ashley avenue

a journey to healthy balance

A Perfect Day February 7, 2011

Hey y’all! How’s your day been? Mine’s been right at perfect. I felt rejuvenated and alive and happy all day. Yesterday’s rest and step out of the comfort zone paid off!

Breakfast: a Sexy Bowl

  • 1/2 Haas avocado
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • organic pink lady apple
  • 2 chopped dates
  • cinnamon

Workout today: RPM (45-minute format), BodyPump, BodyFlow, taught Zumba

Then it was lunch time!!!

Look at the plate I found in the cabinet!!! Mom told me tonight that it was my baby plate, but I love the size of it for portion control, and the dividers help me keep my food from touching (I am weird about that). Do y’all care if your food touches on your plate?

Our refrigerator is full from last night’s leftovers, so I’m trying to clean it out. I made some kale chips, heated up my leftover butternut squash, a scoop of chicken kelaguen, and some hummus and the tahini dressing I made over carrots/cucumbers/celery. I really like the dressing!

Lunch dessert: check out this tea that my sweet friend Lindsay brought me to try! It’s almost like hot chocolate!

plus some grapes, 1/2 apple, 1/2 orange, and a black bean brownie. I like the brownies better cold for sure!

For snack today, I had the Green (Bay) Juice that I was going to sip on at last night’s party. I guess today I can call it Super Bowl Champion Juice ūüėČ

LOOK WHAT I GOT IN THE MAIL, an early valentine’s gift from one of my best friends!!! Thank you soooooooooo¬†much, Steph! You are the best!!! I can’t wait to have this for snack soon. I’m saving it! (P.s. I LOVE your stationery, Steph, and your address label!)

 

After teaching Zumba, the “baby plate” came back for din din…my salad beast of the day with balsamic tofu and mushrooms/carrots/celery/cucumbers/spinach and a tbsp of tahini¬†garlic dressing. Plus some mixed berries (black ones, blue ones, and straw ones) hehe.

Dinner dessert: get this…start with pumpkin maple oats (1/4 cup, water, almond milk, and organic pumpkin; 1 tsp chia seeds; a little sea salt and maple extract), then crumble up a black bean brownie on top…

…then top with 1/2 chopped nanner and 1 tbsp Naturally More.

Put in your UNC mug so you can eat it while the women’s b-ball team beats DUKE!!! YAY FEAST!!!

Hey, a girl’s gotta have her oats! It was a wonderful dessert. Now I’m sippin’ on some bedtime Yogi tea. The inspiration on it tonight is “Truth is everlasting.”

I know it seems like nothing super, over-the-top fantastic happened today maybe, but it was a perfect day for me.

Getting excited for one of my best friends in the whole world who has a very special birthday tomorrow… ūüėČ

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I have officially run out of space again for pictures on the blog, and I don’t want to delete old pictures because it removes them permanently…what do I do? I can’t afford to splurge on a space upgrade…new URL? Have any of y’all run into this problem?

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Game Day…My Way February 6, 2011

Filed under: breakfast,eggs,fruit — ansauls @ 12:14 pm
Tags: , ,

Good morning!!!! I love rest days…sort off¬†ūüėČ Wooo…I just need to learn how to actually rest. Do y’all experience that on your days “off?” I miss my routine and feel like I should be scarfing down amazing oats and running off to the gym. However, I’m trying to take today to cook some stuff ahead for the week to use the time that I’d normally be working out.

I started off getting ready for our big Super Bowl PAR-TAY by trying to make as much ahead of time as possible so that I can relax and enjoy my guests tonight ūüėČ

Do y’all have “safe foods”…foods that you feel comfortable eating? I definitely do, and it’s when I get out of that circle that Satan attacks my thoughts and they spiral. SO, to avoid that this evening I made some stuff to have. If others’ eat it, great…if not, more for me ūüėČ I know there’ll be wings and nachos, which are not on my list, so here’s some eats that are…

Tahini Lemon Garlic Salad Dressing

This is a¬†salad dressing¬†with a¬†creamy, thick consistency with a sharp, peppery taste. I may try it on salad later, but tonight I’m using its¬†a (hopefully)¬†delicious dip for vegetables (carrots, celery, cucumbers). I figured the more veggies around for me, ¬†the better. I think this came from Kath, but I can’t remember. I just keep recipes in a “To Make” folder and use them when the time arises.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Directions: In a food processor, process all ingredients until smooth. Makes about 1.5 cups

I also made some fresh guacamole for veggie dipping…

Homemade Guac

  • 1/2 ¬†avocado
  • ¬†juice of 1/2 lemon
  • cumin
  • chipotle chili powder
  • cayenne
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

I also know that there will be free flowing¬†cocktails and beer tonight, which I’m still figuring out how comfortable I feel about. I do love a good cocktail, but I am trying to be so good and detoxed until vacation in March. So, my cocktail will be…

Green (Bay) Juice¬† ūüėČ

Ingredients

It’s 5:00 somewhere, right? ūüėČ

There’ll also probably be some sort of dessert, which don’t tempt me as much as they used to, so I’ll be grazing on some…

Black (and Gold) Bean Steel-My-Heart Brownies ūüėČ

Servings: 9

Notes: Rolled oats run through the food processor may substituted for the instant oats. Use optional sugar if your bananas are still green and not very ripe.

Ingredients:

  • 15 ounces black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2¬†whole bananas
  • ‚Öď cup agave nectar
  • ¬ľ cup unsweetened dark cocoa
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¬ľ cup old-fashioned oats

Instructions:

Preheat¬†oven to 350 F. Grease an 8×8″ pan and set aside. Combine all ingredients, except oats, in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth, scrapping sides as needed. Stir in the oats and pour batter into the pan. Bake approximately 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before slicing.

Note: if you find these brownies are too soft or too fudge-y, add another 1/4 cup oats or flour.

Hey, I’m just hoping for a great game, so I have to play it fair when naming my eats today between Green Bay and the Steelers ūüėČ It’s days like today when I really wish I had a VitaMix. Maybe one day, my dream will come true hehe

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Sunday Brunch was ON this morning…

I tackled another Real Simple smoothie…

Strawberry-Flax Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1¬†cup strawberries
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 3/4¬†cup¬†plain low-fat keifer
  • 1/2¬†orange without rind
  • 1¬†tablespoon¬†agave
  • 1¬†tablespoon¬†flaxseed meal

Directions

  1. Place the strawberries, keifer, orange, agave, and flaxseed meal in a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth and frothy.

There was also¬†an egg + 1/3 cup egg whites with mushrooms, tomatoes, and spinach involved. ūüėČ

And the masterpiece…

Pancake in a Ramekin

  • 1/2 cup peanut flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp stevia
  • a little under 1/2 cup liquid (I did 1/2 almond milk + 1/2 water)
  • 2 tablespoons¬†mashed banana
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • a little sexy spice
  • Toppings: WHATEVER YOU WANT!!!! I did blueberries,¬†cacao nibs,¬†walnuts, and a few slices of banana.¬† Anything goes!!¬† Make it yours!!

Directions:

  1. Mix everything together and pour into a ramekin.
  2. Cook in an UNpreheated oven at 420 degrees F for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  3. ¬†Then you get to play!! (I added my “toppings” before I put it in the oven, but you could do it afterwards too.)

WOW! And, would you believe it wasn’t super filling. I was afraid it would be too many calories on a rest day for breakfast, but it’s only been 1 hour and it may be snack time soon ūüėČ

Are you watching the game, just the commercials, the half time show, or any of the festivities?

 

Today’s the Day I Tackle Tofu February 5, 2011

What’s up, lovelies? How’s your Saturday been?

Mine began with a bowl of Rainy Day Oats ūüėČ as it was raining when I woke up, which made getting out of bed not so easy, but I couldn’t wait to get to the gym for RPM Plus. So, I made this beauty…

Rainy Day Oats

  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats, water, almond milk, organic PUMPKIN (brought it back…I’ve missed it!)
  • sprinkles of cinnamon and sea salt
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • toppings: chopped date, blackberries, 1/4 cup Nature’s Path pumpkin seed raisin cereal for crunch, ¬†1 tsp Trader Joe’s Cranberry Apple butter, peanut flour “butter” spread (made from 2 tbsp peanut flour, sea salt, almond milk to desired consistency…PLEASE bring it back, Trader Joe’s!)

plus some red leaf chai tea

PHENOMENAL! Man, I have missed pumpkin!!! Got me all pumped for RPM.

Workout today: RPM Plus (60-minute format), 20 minute core class by a pilates instructor, and BodyPump (that I taught)

For lunch today, I knew exactly what I wanted and dreamed about it my whole workout…an “Asian Bowl.” So, I ran by the grocery store on my way home to get the ingredients. It was a cheap lunch.

Step 1: cook tofu (yes, today’s the day I learn to cook this feared ingredient of mine). After lots of recipe searching, I ended up just cooking 1/4 block of extra firm tofu in a small skillet with soy sauce for 5 minutes, turning a few times. I read a lot about pressing it for 30 minutes and cooking for another 35-ish minutes, but my growling tummy was not having that. The 5-minute fix was much better. I LOVED IT!!!

I still have 3/4 of a block left to cook¬† get creative with…suggestions? What should I do with it?

2. Make sauce of 2 tsp of low sodium soy sauce, 1 tbsp Maranatha (one of my favorite brands of all things nut butter) Almond Butter, and water to desired consistency and to thin out.

3. Steam the mixed Asian veggies (140 calories total) and brown rice (1/2 cup) together to save a pot.

4. Top with tofu.

5. Pour on sauce.

FEAST!!!!! Oh. my. foodgasms!!! It’s so wonderful to give your tummy EXACTLY what it’s asking for. Aren’t we lucky to have access to so many ingredients? This was a filling lunch!

Mom and I ran some errands before church as I am trying to find a few key pieces for vacation after cleaning out my closet.

Snack time: can you guess? hehe

I haven’t had this flavor in ages…what a yummy treat! Still no sign of blueberry muffin around here ūüė¶

Church service tonight was amazing. All about the redemptive quality of a relationship with Christ even though we have to deal with the consequences of our sin. We’re in a series on the life of King David and how he pointed to our ultimate King, Jesus Christ, in so many ways, but could not fulfill all that Jesus was to be for us.

Dinner with my family tonight at Tony’s Oyster Bar.

Appetizer: steamed oysters on the 1/2 shell with a little cole slaw. I ate more oysters than just these ūüėČ They were big and juicy and a little sweet…perfect!

Salad: Garden…dry (no dressing). Our waiter made a face at me when I ordered it dry. Perrrty¬†goood ūüėČ

Entr√©e: grilled mahi¬†mahi with pineapple mango salsa and mixed saut√©ed veggies. This is my favorite mix of steamed veggies at a restaurant. The meal overall was just OK. I’ve had better. The veggies were soggy and maybe had a hint of butter (I’m praying that they didn’t use any on them). The fish was cooked, but just kind of ‘blah’; I’ve had better here before.

Dessert when I got home: peanut flour banana sauce with an organic pink lady apple (it had a weird taste). I used a whole nanner¬†in the sauce this time, so it honestly could’ve¬†used more peanut butter and/or peanut flour, but I just went with it. Plus some sleepytime tea. I missed it last night, and I don’t think I slept as well. Maybe it’s all in my head, but I think it helps

Now, I’m munching on a pear (I just looked them up, and they have about 100-120 calories in them. I had no idea!) because I was still not full. I’ve been hungry all day.

Tomorrow’s a BIG day…SUPER BOWL!!!!, and it’s rest day for me (I hope), so I have Disney research to do, blog reading to catch up on, and pancakes to make for breakfast ;). I’ll also do a reader’s request tomorrow.

Tell me ANYTHING…I am officially opening the floor for whatever you want to share with me. I just love reading your comments.