ashley avenue

a journey to healthy balance

The Queen of Multitasking January 8, 2011

Hey y’all! How’s your Friday going so far? Mine’s been productive. I love multitasking. It’s just the way my brain works.

I got up at 4 a.m. to be at the gym by 5 a.m. for cardio before my 6 a.m. Pump class. 😉 Those people make getting up early SO worth it. They are such a blast!

I don’t know why, but I have been extra hungry the past few days (if anyone can look over my posts and see how to help, I’d appreciate it. I feel like I’m gaining weight, and I am actually hungry, not emotional or boredom eating.)

I didn’t know what to feed my growling tummy this morning, so I ended up with a smorgasbord of 1 piece of cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread with peanut flour banana sauce spread on it, an apple with some Naturally More spread on it (I really needed some fiber and digestive help, so I went for it!).

 

And a small yogurt bowl of greek yogurt with ½ sliced banana and blackberries. All was garnished with sexy spice!

 

And some half caff coffee in the ol’ “inspiration tumbler,” of course!

When that was scarfed down and my quiet time done, I got to multitasking.

Side note – I had an amazingly enlightening time in the Bible this morning about how God uses are circumstances to speak to us. I am not sure of my future plans, though I have a plan to get where I want to go. He will clue me in on His plan for me if and when I need to know what the amount of detail that I need to know. He has a great perspective that I do, and He knows how it ends. I don’t. My circumstances now by the world’s standards call me a failure, but I know He’s developing my character for what’s to come and allowing me to know Him in a different way than I ever could without going through these specific circumstances. I just really wanted to share that with y’all because I have seen a lot of relevant posts recently.

Back to multitasking:

I am trying to do a facial mask once a week for my skin this year, but I hate having to put it on and wait for 10-15 minutes before washing it off, BUT it’s the perfect thing to do while baking 😉 So I put on my mask, and went into the kitchen. My Daddy thought I was having a bad make-up day.

I miss my muffins in my oats in the morning and have not made time to make anymore since my “Everything But the Kitchen Sink” ones ran out, so this happened.

 

 This time, I went with Eat Clean Morning Glory Muffins, but adapted the recipe a little to this, what I’m calling the “Rise and Shine muffin”…

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/8 cup peanut flour
  • 2 Tbsp Bob’s Red Mill Flaxseed Meal
  • 3/4 cup Nature’s Patch pumpkin and raisin oat cereal
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup Sucanat
  • 1 tsp apple pie spice
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, 1/3 cup dried cherries

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 banana mashed
  • 2 Tbsp applesauce
  • 1/4 cup egg whites 
  • 1/2 cup plain keifer
  • 1/2 small organic Cameo apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

  • Put all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well.

  • Put all wet ingredients in a medium bowl and mix.

  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients without over mixing.
  • Fill greased or lined muffin tins about ¾ full with batter.

  • Bake at 425*F for 15-20 minutes (I baked them convection style for 15 minutes, and my toothpick came out clean as a whistle!)

  • Enjoy, feast, gawk at, anticipate how lovely they’ll be in oats tomorrow morning 😉

While those were in the over, I got dressed for lunch and curled my hair with hot rollers. While the rollers were setting, I cleaned the bathrooms in our house.

Whew!  Multitasking is fun…it’s like a game 😉

I had lunch with a group of ladies that I worked with high school at a local boutique. They are all in their 60s, but we have a blast together and try to get together for birthdays. We were celebrating one of their birthdays today at a local restaurant called Cooley’s (if it’s your birthday you pick where we meet), which does not have a lot of healthy options, but one can get creative.

One thing I love about lunching with these ladies is that we always have Chardonnay no matter where we go.

 

We sat for over 2 hours just chitchatting over our meal. I had a garden salad with lettuce, tomato, cucumber and red onion (no cheese or croutons, please!) with a sun-dried tomato basil vinaigrette on the side. By the time we ate it was close to 2 p.m., so I easily demolished it.

 

I had a dental cleaning appointment that went really well. They sandblasted my teeth with fluoride since I have a coffee addiction affinity that I’m not willing to give up. They feel clean and smooth now. I ran a few errands to pick up the essentials…Larabars (which I can NOT find on sale anywhere! grrr) and Naturally More. I can only find Naturally More at Wal-Mart, which I detest going into, so I really stock up when I go. You should see the checkout people when they ring up all my jars of Naturally More 😉

One of the gyms I teach at had a two-hour Dance Par-tay tonight that included Zumba and two Les Mills programs BodyJam and Sh’Bam.

 

What a blast! I was a sweaty mess when I left there, and the time flew by!

The lights were off except for strobe lighting and twinkle lights all around the room. It was a night club at the gym, and we let the booty shake, if you know what I mean 😉

 

For dinner, my family went to one of our favorites, Bass Lake Draft House. We used to come at least once a week in the summer but have slacked off some. We always sit in the bar area and have made friends with the staff. They have a great selection of beer on draught as well as vino and cocktails.

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I tasted Magic Hat’s Winter Ale, but I didn’t like the taste. I thought about ordering Woodchuck Pear cider, but I knew that I wanted dessert. I just went with a little water instead to save the calories.

I had my usual there for dinner. ..grilled salmon with double veggies and no rice.

 

And the dessert I’d been so excited to order:

CHOC’LATE LOVIN’ SPOON CAKE – giant mouthful of chocolate pudding between two layers of dark, moist chocolate drenched chocolate cake.  WOOOO! I had some decaf too. No meal is complete without decaf at the end in my opinion.

Are you a “multitasker” or a one-thing-at-a-time kind of person?

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Out of the Office December 19, 2010

Hey y’all! Has anyone else been watching football? 🙂

Just FYI: I’ll be away until Wednesday, but I’ll should have some really fun posts when I return.

My family was craving Mexican tonight for dinner, so we went to a little local place that we frequent. I had the Pollo Fiesta Salad (lettuce, chicken, tomatoes, onions) with fajita veggies and about a Tbsp of guac. My sister doesn’t like it, so she graciously gives me hers. We’re a good dining pair 😉 and menus are just a suggestion, right?

We drove around our little community after dinner for about an hour looking at everyone’s Christmas lights. When we got home, guess what time it was…dessert time! hehe You know my philosophy that every meal deserves dessert.

Chocolate Peppermint coffee from the December Blogger Exchange gift from Clare.

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Biscotti from one of my girlfriends. I am asking for the recipe because it was a-ma-zing!!!!! I’ve randomly been wanting to try it recently. WOW!

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a little greek yogurt, Trader Joe’s pumpkin butter, and creme filling from this morning, and a piece of 100% Ghirardelli dark chocolate (I heard this week that as long as you eat more than 70% dark chocolate, it’s good for you). It was the perfect balance of texture, crunch, and sweetness….yummy!

I can’t get enough of that cute little cup and spoon. Have y’all noticed that small dishes help you eat less? I try to always use an appetizer-sized plate when I eat at home.

More Christmas traditions…my sister  Elfie ALWAYS puts her creative touch on the bows that go on our presents. She’s an artist really.

And with that, I bid you goodnight and sweet dreams. I’ll see y’all in a few days! I’ll miss y’all!

 

Assembly Required

Hey y’all! Happy Sunday! I woke up this morning, had a great quiet time, and came downstairs to make some coffee and watch the news. I’m headed out of town for a few days, so I decided to bake some hostess gifts. I rolled semi-homemade and baked Santa cookies (red velvet with white chocolate chips) and gingerbread men.

The breakfast inspiration continued with a couple of posts this week from the Fitnessista and Pure2Raw. Then, this happened…Bananas Foster Protein Pancakes.

To make this happen, you just layer pancake, creme filling, banana carmelized in pan with pancakes, cacao nibs…REPEAT twice ;)!

In the pancakes:

  • 1/4-ish cup old-fashioned oats
  • a flax egg (1.5 Tbsp flax meal mixed with 3 Tbsp almond milk)
  • 1/2 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • sprinkle of Truvia and cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • pinch of sea salt
  • almond milk, to thin it out

In the creme filling:

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • water and almond milk for desired consistency
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • pinch sea salt
  • pinch lemon zest

Blend till creamy in your blender. (I just have a regular blender but desperately want a VitaMix. Maybe I’ll save enough one day. 😦 )

It was a little bland, so I added a drizzle of maple syrup…fa drizzle! It was really yummy, not too filling! I had some creme leftover…what in the world will I do with it ;)?

My workout today was 50 minutes of cycling and an hour of power yoga. I was really tired today. I think I’m in need of a rest day soon because my workouts have not been as efficient because I am feeling weak and tired during the workout. Rest day coming soon for sure…decision made!

After exercising, I made some lunch…a slice of multigrain boule withorganic spinach and an egg and some cheddar-style Daiya,

and some carrots, edamame, and celery with Moroccan hummus that I got on sale at Harris Teeter. The hummus was really tasty…it had kind of an Indian flava!

Yummy, colorful, texture-ful lunch!

I had  a sweet Fuji apple (also on sale from the Teet) for dessert. I love crunchy apples!

Off to watch some football! WOOHOO!!!!

 

Breakfast of Champions December 9, 2010

Filed under: baking,breakfast,coffee,dessert,dinner,lunch,oatmeal,working out — ansauls @ 9:17 pm

Dinner last night was Ruby Tuesday’s with my Daddy. I rolled with a salad beast from their salad bar with lots of goodness, grilled salmon, asparagus, and green beans. For some reason, I was craving a cold beer even though it’s freezing outside. I had a Sam Adams Winter Lager, which is so yummy! I didn’t take any photographs…some food is just not as photogenic as others hehe.

YAY! Amanda got her package! Here’s what she had to say:

“I MUST have that cookie recipe, they are seriously some of the best cookies I’ve ever had.  Thank you SOOO much for sending them, the packaging was all so so adorable!! You are the best!!”
 
She is so sweet and amazing! Y’all should check her blog out too! I’ve loved getting to know her through this exchange. Hopefully there will be more to come! Speaking of, I’d REALLY like to do another sort of exchange some time soon. Bloggers, any ideas? It’s just SO MUCH FUN!

Breakfast this a.m. was the MOTHERLOAD! As you know, I was SUPER excited about my oats because of my muffins. It did not disappoint. I ended up with this: 

I tried something different this morning. I started my oats with 1/3 of a Fuji apple heated in the microwave for 1 minute. I had it leftover from baking last night and wanted to use it.

Then, I made pumpkin/banana/chia seed/greek yogurt oats as usual (almost done with the pumpkin!). The apples took up a lot of room, so my bowl looks super full.

Then came the toppings:

  • blueberries (oh, how I’ve missed them!)
  • a few slivered almonds
  • 1 Tbsp Naturally More
  • some Trader Joe’s pumpkin butter (I’m trying to finish this too)
  • and my glorious “Everything but the Kitchen Sink” muffin crumbled

                                        

This was a seriously delicious combination. I loved all the flavors and textures together. And, of course, I had it with some luscious coffee 😉

Do any of y’all wake up excited for breakfast? 😉

Today has consisted of BodyAttack (a Les Mills class that is a kick-booty cardio workout with two peaks followed by tons of push-ups and abs. It reminds me of some of the Insanity cardio workouts on crack!) and BodyFlow (a Les Mills version of yoga), lunch with one of my best friends at Olive Garden (had salad with no croutons and no cheese and dressing on the side and a bowl and a 1/3 of minestrone soup), and now I’m about to start working on my resume as I would like to find a medical/nutrition/fitness job in preparation for PA school.

I’m sipping on some coffee (in my gingerbread cup from Clare) I bought a few weeks ago at the new Tanger Outlets in Mebane and eating some banana split cake with 1/2 extra sliced banana (hey, a girl has to get her fruit in!).

What are you asking Santa for? I always love hearing Christmas lists for fun ideas.

 

A Whole Lotta Bakin’ Goin’ On

I got in a baking mood this afternoon, started looking at a lot of recipies and threw what I had together. I hope they turn out OK.

The “Everything But the Kitchen Sink” Breakfast Muffin

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • Flax egg (3 Tbsp ground flax mixed with 3 Tbsp water)
  • 1 medium shredded carrot
  • 3/4 cup keifer
  • 1/2 large Fuji apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Dry ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 coup Bob’s Red Mill Flaxseed Meal
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, 1/3 cup dried cranberries

Directions:

1. Mix together dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

2. Mix together wet ingredients in a separate mixing bowl.

3. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in wet ingredients.

4. Stir well.

5. Pour batter into a greased muffin tin.

6. Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes (until toothpick comes out clean).

The batter tasted yummy ;).

I can’t wait to crumble one of these bad boys on my oats in the morning.



Speaking of baking, Amanda should have received her Blogger Exchange box today, so I’ll post what I sent her. (Amanda: do NOT look at this until you open your box. I don’t want to ruin the surprise!) I rolled with what I like to call “Santa Cookies” because they are so festive, almost like red with white polka dots. Really they are red velvet cookies with white chocolate chips. They are the perfect Christmas cookie, in my opinion.

I made them on my favorite baking pan. It’s an old one that my Mom and I always use when we make cookies. I told my Mom that I really want this pan one day. You just can’t replace some things, you know?

I put them in a cute container with bows 😉 and included some other fun Christmas goodies (a kitchen towel, jingle bells, a candy cane, etc). Gifts are always more fun when there’s lots of little unexpected things involved.

Off they go! I hope that you like them, Amanda.