ashley avenue

a journey to healthy balance

This is How We Do it…Super Bowl Par-tay! February 6, 2011

Filed under: almond milk,black beans,dessert,dinner,frozen yogurt — ansauls @ 9:18 pm

Hey y’all. So, you know I love y’all when I’m blogging during a football game. What a halftime show! I love some football.

I know, Denver isn’t playing, but I still have to wear my jersey and represent Tebow!

After brunch, Mom and I ran errands to get ready for our party. We stopped for lunch/mid-afternoon snack at Marmalade Skies for some fro yo. I rolled with Vanilla yogurt with kiwi, raspberries, and dark chocolate chips. As I was deciding about what to get, I sampled (of course!) blueberry that was advertised as nonfat, all natural, …, BUT as I read the ingredient list, it included high fructose corn syrup and things like red number 6. How in the world can they advertise it as all-natural with high fructose corn syrup and dyes? I’m a little upset and glad that the ingredient list was included. The vanilla had 12 more calories per serving but a lot less ingredients and things I could actually identify.

All Natural Lowfat Vanilla

Serving Size 4oz. cup

Calories 80 Fat 1.5g
Protein .75g Cholesterol 0mg
Sugar 11g Sodium 30mg
Carbohydrates 17g

 

Ingredients: pure crystalline fructose, extra grade sweet whey, malt dextrin, non-dairy creamer, natural gums, yogurt solids, natural flavors, whey protein concentrate
*All-Natural, no chemicals or preservatives
*Gluten Free
*Active Yogurt Cultures
*Kosher

Like our shadows in the background? 😉

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So, as usual, dinner didn’t go as I had planned, which may be a good thing. I ended up skipping the Green (Bay) Juice “Cocktail” and just went with the food. We didn’t use my tahini dip afterwards, but I’ll use it on salad later this week. It’s good to have some stuff ready for the week. I ate some “uncomfortable” foods in moderate amounts, and, honestly, I feel fine right now.

Let me show y’all how we throw down ’round here…

1. The veggie display that I made. I love this cutting board that doubles as a display for dips as well. Our dips are 1) my Mom’s mexican cream cheese dip, some plain hummus (yay!), and my Mom’s guacamole.

2.  Chicken kelaguan that one of our best friends always makes. It’s a traditional dish from Guam that is soooo good! It’s got chicken, coconut, and tons of veggies chopped really small.

3. Family and friends…

4. Wings and chicken tenders with biscuits…

…that Daddy looooooves

5.  Nachos and beer-battered hot dogs…

…mine are the ones with blue corn chips and “cheeze” that I made out of heated almond milk and nutritional yeast.

6. Dessert spread (minus my Black (and Gold) Steel-my-Heart brownies)…key lime pie, 10-layer chocolate cake, chocolate cookie cake, monster mash and black M&Ms.

7. TV

My first plate…veggies with my guacamole and hummus, chicken kelaguen, and my nachos (blue corn chips, “cheeze” sauce, ground beef and black bean mix, olives, rotel, greek yogurt).

My second plate ;)…more of the same.

And dessert at halftime…a small piece of key lime pie, a black bean brownie, and the football out of the cookie (yes, I’m that girl that just cut the football out) 😉 plus some bedtime tea and a little almond milk to drink.

Watchin’ the rest of the game…

Gotta love football.

What was your favorite game food today? Or did you not watch it at all? How do you party?

Back to the game…

 

Cleaning Up Dinner January 30, 2011

Is this really a football game? The Pro Bowl is craaaazy…42-7 at the half?!

After trying to nap for a while to no avail, I just rolled and prayed for rest. My brain’s just too busy, I guess. Enough about that 🙂 I got a pre-dinner snack around 4 p.m. I just skipped right over lunch after our mid-morning brunch.

So, I was laying there and trying to decide what to make, and I went with a new version of a classic PB&J. I read in Real Simple that one way to eat healthier is to have new associations with food so that you don’t fall back into old traps (i.e. a corn dog reminding you of a carnival). So, the new PB&J

  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • peanut flour banana sauce
  • a sprinkle of oats
  • 1 tsp of Cranberry Apple Butter

Yummy mix of sweet and tangy! I really wanted some raw oats.

So, as promised, my fam made fajitas for din din as we watched the Pro Bowl NFC Slaughter. I made my own guac…

  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • a little lemon zest
  • sprinkle of sea salt

and some “cheeze sauce” that I poured over my brown rice and black beans

“Cheeze Sauce”

  • 1/8 cup almond milk
  • nutritional yeast

Heat in microwave for 1 minute. I found recipes online that had vegan margarine and flour or cornstarch in it if you wanted to thicken it up. It was just enough for me as is…just a hint of flava!

Then I topped the 1/2 cup brown rice and probably about 1/2 can of rinsed black beans with TONS of veggies that I sautéed with a little EVOO on the stove (1/4 red onion, 1/4 orange pepper, 1/4 yellow pepper), my guac, and sprinkles of chipotle powder and cumin. YUMMY veggies fajitas. I did try 1 shrimp and a teeny piece of my Mom’s chicken so that I could tell her I tried it, but I didn’t want too much protein with all those black beans.

This is an appetizer plate, just FYI.

And dessert!!! Get this…

  1. Start with chocolate sauce: dark chocolate cocoa powder and light agave mixed to this consistency.

2. Top with banana freeze (a little almond milk and 1/2 frozen banana blended).

3. More toppings: 3 sliced strawberries, blueberries, a Ball of Energy, and a square of 100% unsweetened chocolate.

Yummy!!! I love how you can “clean up” food to still get the taste of dessert without overindulging.

Back to the slaughter…half time’s over!

 

January 28, 2011

Filed under: almond milk,breakfast,lunch,nut butter,SIAB — ansauls @ 5:50 pm
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Hey y’all! Thanks for all of your comments and prayers. Today’s been much better. For some reason though this time of day (5:30/6 p.m.-ish), I start feeling down…not sure why. God woke me up to a beautiful brand new day full of goodness and grace.

As promised, breakfast was a smoothie in a bowl (SIAB) of the rest of yesterday’s smoothie topped with a dollop of Naturally More, goji berries, cacao nibs, and raw oats. The raw oats were amazing…so flavorful by themselves. I was surprised!

I went to yoga for 90 minutes with some meditation (not sure how long the actual practice was) for my workout today.

Home for lunch and some studying. I knew exactly what I wanted for lunch…leftover pasta from last night over a bed a spinach and a smooooooooooothie to drink.

This smoothie was inspired my friend Lindsay: 6 oz. of plain keifer, the rest of my defrosted mixed fruit, and 1/2 sliced nanner, a little ice. Pretty pink ;), and it made enough for breakfast tomorrow! This smoothing thing is a time saver!

It was the perfect combo of protein, fat, and carbs for lunch 😉

I cleaned the house this afternoon, then had a snack of an organic fuji apple with about 2 tbsp of almond butter (it’s been soooooo long since I’ve had almond butter, but I went to store and splurged on some today), a sprinkle of apple pie spice, and some “a is for almond milk” hehe

What to do for dinner? hmmmmmmm….

What do y’all have on tap for the weekend? Pro Bowl is Sunday!!!! woohooo!

 

Is going for it OK? January 27, 2011

What’s up, buttercups? I taught my 6 a.m. Pump class then headed to Starbucks for Awake tea and a breakfast “happy bowl” that I made last night at home. I liked the tea 😉

In the Happy Bowl

  • organic fuji apple
  • 1/4 avocado
  • a few soaked almonds and pistaschios
  • 2 chopped dates
  • cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp original tahini hummus

Yummy! Then studying for a while. Is it bad if they recognize you at the local Starbucks now?

I am in extreme like of the new BodyCombat, so I went back to the gym to take that, then home for lunch: a beast of a salad with carrots, celery, grape tomatoes, tabouli, hummus, and herb greens,…

…a bowl of 1/2 orange and kiwi slices

and a smooooooooooooothie!

Green Drink

Makes 2

  • 1 cup coconut water
  • sliced banana
  • mixed fruit (strawberries, sliced peaches, mango) from a frozen mixed fruit bag that I defrosted
  • handful of spinach
  • 3 sprigs of mint
  • 1/2 organic lemon with rind (I’m not sure I’d add that again, but I wanted to use what was in the refrigerator)
  • toppings: 1 tbsp Naturally More, cacao nibs

It made enough for tomorrow’s breakfast: smoothie in a bowl!!! I forgot how nice it was to make breakfast at night since I haven’t had overnight oats in a while. I may have to bring those back for y’all! So selfless hehe 😉

After more studying, I made a quick snack since I knew that I was teaching Zumba. I wasn’t super hungry, but I feel like I teach better when I have a little fuel for the fire. Not sure if that was a good decision, but I had greek yogurt for protein with some mixed fruit and a few soaked mixed nuts.

 After a Zumba class, I wasn’t super hungry for dinner, but my mood was telling me that I needed food (you know what I mean?). Y’all can pray for me. Satan is after me with negative questioning of food as to over analyzing everything I’m eating again.

My parents were making spaghetti, so I tried to simulate their meal so that we could all eat together….

spinach noodles from Whole Foods with organic pasta sauce, a few steamed broccoli and cauliflower, black beans for protein, nutritional yeast, and spices all over a bed of spinach. I made a side salad just like the one at lunch and had an end piece of bread with some EVOO.

While battling in my head over the bread, I just decided to do it and have a glass of Charles Shaw Merlot. I’m feeling the acid now, but I just went for it.

I wasn’t even sure that I should have dessert, but, again, I went for it! I rolled with a Ball of Energy, a square of 100% cacao, and a random mix of chia seeds/warmed almond milk/special dark cocoa powder that I wanted to turn into “pudding” after I sat it in the frige, but no luck 😦 Blah! Oh well….

What is going on with me?!

Sorry, y’all! I’m praying against this spiritual warfare amidst the blessings God’s showing me. Tell me the happiest thing that happened to you this week.

 

Crazy, Wonderful, Happy Bowl Day January 25, 2011

Hey y’all! It’s been a crazy wonderful day! Thanks for the comments on TOMS…so helpful! Now I just have to pick a pattern that I like. What a challenge!

Today’s breakfast is dedicated to Mira. She calls it her “Happy Bowl.” She told me it’s a food combination nightmare but really random and really good!

Mira’s Happy Bowl

  • 2 chopped dates
  • 1 organic Fuji apple 
  • 1/3 avocado
  • 1 tbsp tahini hummus (She uses tahini or almond butter, but I didn’t have any on hand.)
  • cinnamon

I’ve NEVER had hummus for breakfast before, but it was really good and refreshing. Hummus for breakfast was my new ingredient for the day. I’ll do it again for sure.

And I had some “a is for almond milk” to drink 😉

I taught Zumba this morning. A little later, I had a Cherry Pie Larabar, but who hasn’t seen one of those?

I went with my grandma to get her hair done, then she took me out to lunch today. I picked Nil’s Bakery (can you believe it?!), and I had greek salad per usual. I was really in the mood for a salad. Their’s is sooooo yummy!

Afternoon snack: a chai tea latte from Starbucks over studying.

Then it was off to Hot Yoga for some detox and relaxation at One Heart Yoga in Varina. ahhhhhhhh! Mira really challenged us today and made some great adjustments to really help me feel the poses better. What an amazing woman!

More studying, then Bible study! Bible study snacks. Our hostess is the BEST. She even takes into account my love for raw food, and is seriously the sweetest person I’ve ever met.

I had all this goodness and then some more veggies with hummus and orange slices. The colors in this plate are beautiful.

The Bible study ladies are AMAZING! What an encouragement! God is teaching me a lot about obedience through Jonah. I’m praying for exactly what He has for me and what He wants me to get out of it and how I can be obedient to Him.

When I got home, I wanted dessert…

Ashley’s Happy Bowl (my take on Mira’s bowl hehe)

  • smashed banana
  • little greek yogurt (gotta get that protein!)
  • cinnamon
  • 3 slices of kiwi
  • 4 chopped strawberries
  • a few raw almonds and pistachios that have been soaked, toasted, and refrigerated (whew! a lot with those nuts!)
  • a BIG dollop of Naturally More (it’s all I had today)
  • some apple pie spice for fun
  • a square and a half-ish of 85% cocoa chocolate

Yummmmmmmy! And, I got to eat it while chatting with my best friend on the phone!!! Does today get any better?!

I am on the hunt for a Valentine’s Bowl for February…have y’all seen any that I’d like? hehe

Now it’s time for this little girl to get some beauty sleep. Do you have anything or topics that you want me to address? I’m thinking of starting a Reader’s Request Day. Let me know!

Sweet dreams, bloggies! Anything fun on the agenda for tomorrow?

 

Is this real life? January 19, 2011

Howdy y’all! (We did an American country mix at Zumba tonight, and I have it on the brain 😉 )

WHAT. A. DAY!

Let’s begin with breakfast: a bowl of everything raw in my kitchen 😉 well, sort of.

In the polka dot bowl:

  • 1 cup of mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries)
  • smashed nanner
  • a few soaked pistachios and almonds (soaking nuts adds SO much flavors and helps with enzyme breakdown)
  • 1/2 organic apple
  • a few old-fashioned oats just plain
  • sprinkle of sexy spice (no one says you can’t be sexy at breakfast!)
  • almond milk to wet everything, but definitely not soaked (I love texture and crunch)

It was so yummy!

For lunch, I met my little sister for lunch in Chapel Hill. We tried Sandwhich for the first time. We both had the GMC…Amber as a sandwich and me as a salad without the bun and without cheese. The description is “Ashley Farms chicken breast grilled to order, grilled red onions, roasted peppers, our pesto, melted provolone on handmade hoagie.” It was Ashley Farms…how could we resist? 😉 The chicken was great, but I’m still deciding how I feel about truly eating raw and the adjustments that may mean for my diet. I’m so glad that they let me do it as a salad that came dry, which was great by me. The greens were fresh and crunchy, the pesto was a treat. It was a little pricey for me for lunch at $9.16 with tax. Amber wished it had come with a bigger side. It was just a few seasoned carrots…good!

And dessert…a staple: Yogurt Pump. I rolled with a small cake cone of Tahitian vanilla (my favorite!) and Oreo.

I got a hair cut, had a quick snack, ran some errands, and then went to teach Zumba at One Heart Yoga. I had some super fun new ladies!

After a hose off aka shower hehe, dinner is served…

A grain bowl of leftover quinoa-broccoli pilaf, a veggie burger with goat cheese over mixed green and tomatoes, leftover steamed veggies (aren’t leftovers SO great?!), and a piece of cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread with 1 tsp Trader Joe’s Superfruit spread. (I’m craving carbs!) I had cucumber water to hydrate. One thing I learned from Mira is that adding something to water helps your body get more from it so it just doesn’t pass right through. I’m not a huge lemon water fan, but I do love the cucumber “flavor.”

And dessert…a little bowl of 1/2 organic apple, little but of greek yogurt, 4 soaked raw almonds, sexy spice, a few old-fashioned oats (I guess I missed my oatmeal this morning), and a square of 85% cocoa chocolate peaking up in the background.

plus an organic pear and 1 more square of 85% cocoa chocolate. Why am i so hungry?!

OK, so BIGGGGGG news!!!!!

1. I got this black beauty today…

2. We’re going to DISNEY WORLD for spring break!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Am I the luckiest girl princess in the world or what?!

P.S. – I don’t share this to look like a selfish brat, but just to let y’all know how blessed I am and how much God has gone above and beyond to surprise me and done WAY ABOVE & BEYOND what I could EVER imagine. Once I finally surrendered all to Him, He’s been able to work both in and through me in ways I never thought possible. Be encouraged!

It’s Off the Map for me, then sweet sweet dreams. I wish y’all the same! Let me know how you are.

 

Detox Retox January 16, 2011

Evening, y’all! What in the world is up with football underdogs? WHOA!

Well, I held the hunger (and juicing) at bay until lunch time and was able to sneak some studying in. Then, this happened….

I pretty much through all the veggies I could find in the blender.

Serves 2

  • 1/2 tomato
  • a few carrots, chopped
  • a yellow pepper cap
  • a couple florets of broccoli
  • a handful of spinach
  • organic lemon with rind
  • cup of filtered water

It’s like magic! Just press blend (and dream of a VitaMix), and ta dahhhh

It’s like Mira said at yesterday’s workshop: there’s no way that I could eat this many veggies, but juicing makes it easier to get it in.

I had a glass of green juice, a fuji apple with a Ball of Energy (dessert), and a “stuffed pepper” for lunch.

For the pepper, I just capped a yellow pepper (used the cap for juice), baked it at 350* for about 12 minutes…just enough to cook it a little and heat it up so that the edges are a little brown. Then, I stuffed it with quinoa, broccoli, and Craisin pilaf inspired by Real Simple. (Yay for saving time and a dish by cooking it all in 1 pot.)

To save time, I steamed the broccoli in with the quinoa while it was cooking. For 2 servings, I did 1/2 cup quinoa with 1 cup of water, 3 broccoli florets in the pot, then added about 1/3 cup of Craisins at the end to plump up in the water. Garnish with scallions and soaked almonds. The quinoa smelled so nutty while it cooked…yummy! The pilaf was a great balance of flavor and texture as the Craisins added just a hint of sweetness to the crunchy broccoli and pepper….and, look at the color!

It felt nice to take a little extra time on cooking lunch instead of throwing stuff together really quick, plus, now I have LEFTOVERS! hehe 😉

To continue with the detoxing, it was off to Hot 90 for me at Open Door Yoga. I was a sweaty mess…

After detoxing, why not re-tox? 😉 hehe We went to Rockford, and they just happen to have $5 wine night. I know it isn’t eating raw or detoxing my body to have wine, but it seemed like the right decision to make to catch up with one of my best friends. Let me introduce y’all to Merlot…

 I met one of my best friends at yoga then we went to dinner and FINALLY exchanged Christmas gifts…hey sometimes you have to  stretch it out, you know? (p.s. – i LOVE you, KT!)

I was going to order just a salad, but decided that I could have that anytime at home and to try something new…blackened tilapia with Asian spices in a cilantro-jalepeno tortilla filled with coconut slaw (YUM!) with a side of ratatouille (new food for the day) and a side of Thai chili sauce.  Usually, I would not order a wrap, but this sounded amazing, and I didn’t get a lot of protein at lunch, and Rockford had “buy 1 get 1 half off” on their large plates tonight. The ratatouille was amazing…eggplant, stewed tomatoes, squash. When I asked our waiter what was in it, he said, “Well it’s peasant’s dish.” If so, I’ll be a peasant. SOOOO YUMMY! Maybe I’ll watch the movie now 😉 It was definitely worth the indulgence…even the sauce was good.

Random, but this plate at the restaurant are the same plates that my family grew up eating on when I was little. Each dish is served on a different plate, so I felt really lucky and nostalgic to get to eat on this one again.

My friend, Katie, got a turkey burger with Monterey jack and cous cous. She said it was delish as well!

Katie and I both were craving tea, so as we parted, I headed straight for the store. I bought a Bedtime Tea and a Chai. Y’all, I have NEVER liked hot tea, but my palate craves it now. It’s so funny! I didn’t even want coffee…weird! So dessert happened at home…

  • a Ball of Energy (the smallest one I made hehe)
  • a square of 85% cocoa that was yummers (Mom was sweet enough to buy it for me)
  • a frozen nanner blended with some almond milk in the blender topped with raspberries and blackberries (Is it OK to have 2 nanners in 1 day? I usually try to keep it at 1.)

And that’s a wrap…

Sweet dreams, bloggies!