ashley avenue

a journey to healthy balance

Game Day…My Way February 6, 2011

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

 

A Breakfast and a Half January 30, 2011

Filed under: breakfast,dinner,eggs,fruit,Naturally More,nut butter — ansauls @ 11:53 am
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On the way to church yesterday, I sipped on this beauty…

Can you find the smoothie amidst the flowers? hehe

In the pretty glass:

  • 1 sliced kiwi
  • 1/2 cup keifer
  • 1/2 orange

Service was amazing, as usual. A lot about unconfessed¬†sin and the damage it can play in your life. When we were¬†leaving, Mom had texted Amber and I to say meet at Carraba’s! When we got there, Mom asked me to get a drink with her. Usually, I turn her down, but it seemed like the right thing to do last night, even though I wasn’t super comfy with it, I ordered a pomegranate martini…it was yummy though!

Italian Salad

Entrée: grilled salmon with tomato basil vinaigrette and green beans

 

I decided against dessert¬†and coffee, but my family got their favorites: a bambini¬†sundae for Amber and a John Cole for my parents…with decaf coffee.

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I decided to take a day off from working out today. My muscles are repairing and a sore.

As a family, we do Sunday brunch a lot, but it usually doesn’t happen until 11 a.m. or so, so I am hungry and cranky by then. So, today, I decided to have a small organic apple with a teaspoon of Naturally More and some hot¬†tea around 7:30 a.m.¬†to try to hold me over. Finally, 11 a.m. came, and I had…

Poached Egg Omelette

  • 1/3 cup egg whites
  • 1 egg
  • sliced mushrooms, grape tomatoes, spinach
  • goat cheese
  • minced garlic, spices, cracked pepper

and a “Pretty-in-Pink” Smoothie

  • 5 strawberries
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup plain keifer

…plus some mint water. And I present to you, my Sunday brunch:

Not super filling, and also should count as 2 meals (breakfast + lunch), but I may still have to have lunch, even though I had a breakfast and a half already.

We’re doing fajitas for the Pro Bowl..stay tuned!

Happy Sunday, y’all! Enjoy your day! Are y’all watching the game?

 

Going Green January 23, 2011

Filed under: breakfast,dinner,eggs,fruit,salad beast,veggies — ansauls @ 11:07 pm

Hey y’all! I just got back into town from our namesake city, Charleston! I missed watching football (Go Steelers and Packers!) It should be a good game on February 6th! Today in pictures…

Breakfast…a sweet omelette of 1/3 cup egg whites, some Trader Joe’s Superfruit spread and goat cheese.

on 2 slices of cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread…

Breakfast sandwich, later garnished with sliced banana and sexy spice.

I had it with a bowl of fruit and soaked pistashios and almonds, cucumber water, and red chai tea.

Snack on the road: apple. Sweet and crunchy…YUMMY!

GREEN lunch (in a recyclable container)…mixed greens, Brussels sprouts, celery, hummus, tomatoes….

…and a GREEN pear.

Afternoon snack…chai tea latte from Starbucks in my own tumbler.

and a Apple Pie Larabar (in a GREEN wrapper).

Dinner….mug of turkey chili with 1 tbsp Angus Barn cheddar, GREEN beans, orange, 85% cocoa square.

I hope that y’all had a happy Sunday! We had an amazing team meeting for my South Africa trip. See y’all tomorrow!

What did y’all do today?

 

Celebrating Mom January 21, 2011

Filed under: eggs — ansauls @ 6:47 pm
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What’s up, buttercups? ūüôā

I hope that y’all have had a fabulous day!

I woke up early did some Zumba practice then 25 minutes on the Treadclimber¬†at home while I watched lecture DVDs…Queen of Multitasking, remember? hehe

Since yesterday was Mom’s birthday, I took her out to brunch today at our favorite little place…

[Source]

We didn’t eat until around 11 a.m., and I was sooooooo hungry! How do y’all handle eating on your family’s schedule? I feel so selfish being so cranky and hungry by waiting that long, especially on trips. I need advice!

Anywho, I rolled with a PUMPKIN (yes, they still have pumpkin!!!) muffin and grapefruit juice to start (their breakfast comes with juice). Juice is an indulgence for me, and it was yummy…a nice little treat, especially grapefruit–a little tangy and sweet at the same time!

Main course for breakfast from their Fresh and Fit menu (so nice!): the Low-fat Fitness Omelette (egg whites, fresh mushrooms, broccoli, and diced tomatoes) served with fresh fruit.

All I left on the plate was the fruit rind ūüėČ I don’t always eat off the “fit” menus because a lot of time it’s just eggs and meat or just cereal and yogurt, but this was a good one. It was soooo yummy!

Then Mom and I headed to the spahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Boy, was I tight today. It was the kind of massage that hurts so good, you know? However, I can tell that yoga is helping with my tightness. Again, I’m the most blessed girl in the world, I know.

Quick snack after being pampered….fro yo from Marmalade Skies!

[Source]

I had Marshmallow (all-natural, sugar-free…they sweetened it with Stevia!!!), and it was only 66 calories per 4 oz. I probably had a little under 2 cups (I think. I’m bad with judging¬†sizes.)¬†Toppings: raspberries and kiwi. Kiwi may be my favorite topping on frozen yogurt.

Now we’re about to re-group to head out for Mom’s family birthday dinner….Bass Lake Draft House, I think. That means salmon and double veggies for me. Do y’all have “usuals” at your favorite restaurants? I can be so boooooring, but when you get a good thing, stick with it! ūüėČ

Have a great rest of your Friday!!! What are y’all up to this weekend? Any football predictions out there? ūüėČ

Love,

me

 

The Joys of Comfort Food December 27, 2010

With all the laying around¬†yesterday, I wasn’t really hungry last night around dinner time (grrr!), so I rummaged around in the pantry and found the ingredients for some soup (high volume, low calorie):

  • organic veggie broth
  • can of green beans, rinsed
  • can of corn, rinsed
  • can of black beans, rinsed
  • frozen okra
  • leftover lima beans with parsley from Christmas dinner

P.s. – I learned that there’s so much icky stuff in canned soup and canned veggies, so it took me a while or reading cans to find these veggies that were “clean.”

Yummy! I had a broiled turkey burger sprinkled with mozzarella-style Daiya and a spoonful of traditional hummus.

and some Finca Roja Malbec

Dessert consisted of peppermint mocha coffee, a Fuji apple, and a square of 100% chocolate. It has a yummy bitter taste.

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I wanted some of my Peanut Flour-Banana sauce at breakfast this morning, so I made some to top my oatmeal with. Warm oats was the perfect breakfast with the chill of the snow still around.

also topped with EBTKS muffin and blueberries. And some half-caf coffee ūüėČ

Yummers!!!!

My workout today was two-part: this morning I did BodyPump and 45 minutes of cycling, and I taught Zumba tonight.

We went to get my Mema today to bring her to our house for the week. On the way home, Cracker Barrel was calling our name, so I rolled with breakfast #2 (breakfast all day!)…what is it with comfort food this time of year?

Morning Sampler: 2 turkey sausage patties (I was wanting meat…weird!), 2 sunnyhappyside-up eggs hehe, cranberry orange muffin (amazing but huge! I only could eat half, so I brought the other half home), a pineapple and vanilla yogurt parfait with almond granola. It’s a little bit of everything!

and some decaf to drink, which was really good!

As soon as we got home, I changed and got ready for Zumba. Amber came tonight, wearing her new Zumba top I got her for Christmas.

We’re rocking the gear! And Mema came! She was so cute!

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Also, I just found out that if you’d like to support my medical missions trip to South Africa, you can do it online.¬†You’ll need to simply create a profile to access the online giving. I have been promised that¬†this doesn’t spam or send out messages! We’re really pushing to get the majority of our donations online this year if possible. Thank-you for your continued friendship and support!

 

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow! December 26, 2010

Filed under: breakfast,coffee,eggs,fruit,ham,oatmeal,working out — ansauls @ 11:16 am

I woke up early this morning and peaked out the window to this beautiful scene…

A few inches of snow that has now turned into 7 inches, and it’s still snowing! I can’t remember a snow like this in a looooooong time. It’s a beautiful white day-after Christmas.

Nobody was up at my house at 7, and my tummy was growling, so I just went for it! For breakfast this morning, I made some oats…the usual topped with blueberries, an EBTKS muffin, almond creme, and 1/2 sliced banana.

and some coffee, of course!

My workout today was just 45 minutes on the Treadclimber while I read the newest issue of Real Simple and 15 minutes of abs.

I came downstairs to my family making their breakfast around 10, so I sat to eat a little something with them. A little slice of ham with eggs…

…and a side of mixed fruit.

I’m looking forward to making some snow cream later!!!!! Do y’all have any fun snow plans for today?