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?

 

Too Sexy for My… February 3, 2011

…sexy spice! What’s up, loves? It’s been a fun day for food around here!

Breakfast: I’m a Real Simple kind of girl, and this month they had a special section on smoothies. My goal is to make all 10 by the end of the month. Today’s breakfast…a take on their Banana-Cashew Smoothie.

In my mix:

  • 1/4¬†cup raw¬†soaked pistachios
  • 1¬†cup¬†ice
  • 1/2 frozen¬†banana
  • 1¬†tablespoon¬†light agave syrup

Directions

  1. Place ¬Ĺ cup water and the cashews in a blender.
  2. Cover and refrigerate until the cashews have softened, at least 6 hours (and up to overnight). (I keep soaked nuts and frozen bananas on hand for just this occasion ūüėČ )
  3. Add the ice, banana, and agave syrup.
  4. Blend until smooth and frothy
  5. Top with raw old-fashioned oats, 1/2 sliced nanner, and peanut flour “butter.”

It wasn’t super filling and needed some sexy spice ūüėČ Next time, I’ll add sexy spice.

After a lot of studying and practicing for Zumba, my rumbly¬†tumbly was ready for some lunch! And it was a BEAST of a lunch…

… organic mixed greens, steamed Brussels sprouts, sliced baby carrots, butternut squash (cold, I know it’s weird, but I like the texture in my salad), edamame, original tahini hummus, and 3 pieces of celery. WOW!!!!

Lunch dessert: a Ball of Energy over a cup or so of grapes that I topped with sexy spice! I’ve never put sexy spice on grapes before, but I didn’t hate it!

I have been so hungry all day! Snack time brought yet another Real Simple smoothie…the Kale-Apple Smoothie¬†and the other half of the apple I used with some almond butter.

I’ve been wanting to try this combo for a while, and it didn’t disappoint! Aren’t the colors of these smoothies so fun?! It’s like magic when you press ‘Blend.’

My Take on This One:

Directions

  1. Place the kale, celery, banana, apple juice, ice, and lemon juice in a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth and frothy.

I like this one!!!!!

I taught Zumba tonight to my biggest class yet! It was such a blast to feed off the crowd. Then it was cleaning out the fridge for dinner ūüėČ

…2 chicken tenders that had been grilled with spices, the rest of my kale chips, some butternut squash (warmed), brussels sprouts and cauliflower that had been steamed and topped with nutritional yeast. I feel like I’ve been eating a lot of oil lately over all these veggies and such…I hope it’s not too much fat!

And dessert!!!! Some bedtime tea and Inside Out PB Cake that I was inspired by from Carrie

Inside Out PB Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Trader Joe’s peanut flour
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • dash sea salt
  • Stevia to taste
  • 1/4 cup almond milk

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients and bake at 390*F for 15 minutes

ONLY 185 calories and 24g PROTEIN! (without toppings!)

Top with anything you like!! I topped mine with fudgie paste and blackberries!

Fudgie Paste (also from Carrie)

  • ¬†1.5 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp agave
  • splash vanilla extract
  • water to desired consistency

And of course, I topped it all with sexy spice ūüėČ WOW!!!!! The inside was still gooey!

It’s good to be back. Off to watch some surgery on Grey’s! Reader’s Request on the way!

I¬†read Romans 14:13-23 this morning. Am I am stumbling block for my family as far as food goes?¬†I try to educate them in love, but I fear I come across as judgmental and condescending. I don’t want to be a stumbling block for them, for y’all, or for me¬†with all my crazy thoughts lately. I’ve become a lot more vulnerable on this blog than I ever imagined. Do you experience this? I’d love to hear what you think.

Romans 14:13-23 (NIV)

 13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. 14 I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean. 15 If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let what you know is good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.

 19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. 21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall. 22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.[a]

Today’s inspiration: (from my tea bag): “Experience your own body, your own mind, and your own soul.” This was great for me as I still haven’t decided how I feel about eating meat, and I had chicken tonight.

Do y’all have a favorite spice you like to use? Anything inspiring today? Thanks for reading today’s long post ūüėČ You made it across the finish line!

 

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?

 

Calorie Counting January 26, 2011

What’s up, buttercups?! How’s your hump day been? Mine was fantastico…until I calorie counted.

Beginning with breakfast:

A Bowl of Goodness

  • 3/4 cup Nature’s Path Organic¬† Pumpkin Seed Raisin Cereal
  • 1/2 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • peanut flour banana sauce
  • cacao nibs
  • sliced strawberries
  • blueberries
  • goji berries
  • cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup almond milk

Mix all together and enjoy!

I went to do RPM and BodyFlow¬†at the gym then off to Starbucks to study with a Lemon Pie Larabar that paired lovely with some Earl Grey tea. I’m trying different teas to see what I like, and this one was good.

 

After studying for a few hours, I met my friend Melissa for a late lunch at Cafe Carolina. I got the Cafe Carolina Signature salad: “a unique blend of flavors available exclusively at Cafe Carolina! mixed greens with mandarin oranges, strawberries, dried cranberries, raisins, pineapple, pecans and gorgonzola cheese tossed with our poppy seed¬†dressing and croutons.” YUMMY! They only use a little dressing, and it’s served with a sweet potato biscuit ūüėČ I didn’t eat the croutons. I just pulled up the nutrition info on this beast and WHOA…almost a 1300 calorie lunch for the salad, dressing, and biscuit. OUCH!

I’ve been in a tea mood all day as it’s been so chilly and rainy outside, so I had some chamomile tea on the side.

After teaching an amazingly fun group of women at Zumba tonight, I was ready for some¬†dinner.¬†Tonight that meant¬†about 1/3 of Amy’s Roasted Vegetable Pizza with no cheese, a salad beast (herb greens, sliced cucs, 4 grape tomatoes, tabouli, hummus, a few carrots), a smoothie, and some mint water.

Smoothie for Today (inspired by my friend Mira’s)

  • 1 cup coconut water
  • a few sliced strawberries
  • blueberries
  • a few slices of kiwi
  • Twisted Power Powder from Whole Foods
  • 1/2 sliced nanner
  • cinnamon
  • goji berries

 

Here’s Mira’s just to inspire y’all: Banana, blueberries, mango, hemp seeds, maca, vitamineral¬†earth powder, cinnamon, gojis, almond mylk¬†and loooove. She’s the best!

And dessert: organic fuji apple with a little greek yogurt and apple pie spice heated, a 100% unsweetened chocolate square, and an energy ball.

It was just OK. I’m feeling like I ate a lot of calories today..hmmmmm. How do y’all handle calorie counting?

Also, I am blogging about my team’s trip to South Africa here: http://southafricamedicalmission2011.blogspot.com/. Check it out and subscribe for changes if you want to keep up with us. I’ll be blogging from South Africa on this site once we get there.

Off to watch Off the Map¬†with my Mom and then off to bed as I teach 6 a.m. BodyPump tomorrow. Sweet dreams, y’all!

 

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 ūüėČ

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?

 

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?

 

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 ūüėČ )

WHAT. A. DAY!

Let’s begin with breakfast: a bowl of everything raw in my kitchen ūüėČ 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? ūüėČ 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.