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?

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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?