ashley avenue

a journey to healthy balance

More Than I Can Ask or Imagine January 13, 2011

What’s up, buttercups? After a SUPER FUN Zumba class tonight full of hard work and laughing (gotta love a party good workout), I made a random dinner of turkey chili, a glass of Duplin Christmas vino, a plate of steamed broccoli with nutritional yeast (new ingredient for the day…I’m trying to up the B12), and a NM&J (Naturally More and jam) Rise & Shine muffin. I had to get in my daily dose of Naturally More. 😉

So yummy and full of flavas!

And dessert…an orange and my last square of 100% cacao. I’m not a huge fan on those chocolate oranges that you crack open, but this was a great mix! Plus, I had some Starbucks caramel coffee 😉

Maybe it’s the early morning Pump, but I have been draggin’ today, and I am NOT a napper. I feel guilty and like I could be doing so much more productive things.

I also wanted to just take a moment and say THANK-YOU so much for reading my little blog. It means more than y’all know. I began this as a writing “project” to keep me accountable, and I love writing. I can’t believe that you actually read it and support me and live life with me. Y’all are truly amazing and such an encouragement. This community has been beyond what I can imagine, so thank-you!

Ephesians 3:20-21 has been coming up daily in my life for the past 2 weeks. It says, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

Not only y’all, but there have been so many situations, conversations, experiences that have truly been more than all I could ask imagine!!! I have news that I’ll explain when I can ;), the support I’ve received for my South Africa trip has already been a rollercoaster ride of blessing, friendships, and all the answered prayer that I forgot that I even asked for. For example, my Mom joined a Bible study and has been going to church with me. My parents have an amazing group of Christian friends whom I love. I also fell in love in 2010. I fell in love with Christ. He answers prayers in ways above what I can’t ask or imagine…

Do you have an experience that has been above what you asked or imagined?


Learning to Listen

Filed under: almond milk,breakfast,coffee,lunch,veggies,Zumba — ansauls @ 3:47 pm
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Hey y’all! Happy Thursday! How’s your day going?

I teach Pump at 6 a.m. on Thursdays, so I knocked that out with some fun ladies this morning. On my way home, I was thinking about breakfast and could NOT decide what I wanted (except coffee!), so this ended up happening:

Breakfast “Cereal”

  • 3/4 cup Nature’s Path Pumpkin Seed & Raisin cereal
  • sliced nanner
  • 1 Tbsp  Sunflower Butter
  • some Trader Joe’s Cranberry Apple butter
  • 5 raw almonds
  • a few goji berries and cacao nibs
  • crumbled Rise & Shine muffin (no breakfast is complete without one hehe)
  • just a little almond milk to wet the muffin and cereal (I do not like ‘smushy’ cereal. I like the crunch!)

Amazing texture.  I can’t believe I used to be OK with “normal cereal” for breakfast…if I’d only known what I was missing!

I had a great quiet time in Experiencing God and studied most of the morning. I learned a lot about fats today…trans fat, saturated/unsaturated, and omega 3 and 6. It’s so interesting but difficult!

When my tummy started growling, I headed down for the lunch I’d been dreaming of all day! I knew exactly what I wanted (YAY!)…leftovers! It looks like a lot of food to me.

  • Brussels sprouts
  • 1/2 sweet potato with organic baked beans
  • the other half of the Trader Joe’s “Chicken-less Pulled Chicken”

YUMMMMMMMMMMY! And very little prep and clean-up work!

Back to studying and planning for tonight’s Zumba class until savory snack time 😉

I started with this, but ended up only eating a few pistachios, 8 carrots, a little Moroccan hummus (not too much the carrots were just so good by themselves!), a few pieces of celery (the Angus Barn crock may or may not have made a little appearance). I just ate until I was satisfied, not too full and I didn’t make myself eat exactly what I pulled out. Learning to listen to my body is a 2011 goal…getting there! Sorry that I didn’t put it on a dish. I’m in a lazy  I don’t want to do the dishes mood today 😉

I’m teaching a dance to Waka Waka by Shakira tonight! Woohoo!!!

What are y’all up to tonight?


Naked Lunch January 12, 2011

Hey y’all! Productive day. How was your day?

Breakfast today was the usual, and really yummy! 😉

The polka dot bowl was full of:

  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats, water, almond milk, keifer
  • 1 tsp chia seeds, peanut flour
  • sprinkles of sea salt and cinnamon
  • drizzle of maple syrup (my new ingredient today…I didn’t like it as much as maple extract, but it was worth a shot)
  • toppings: crumbled Rise & Shine muffin, dollop of Naturally More, blueberries, blackberries, Trader Joe’s cranberry apple butter (the tartness is perfect in the sweet mix!)

I. love. breakfast!

I met Amber in Chapel Hill today to take her some stuff from home, and we did our standard Carolina sister date…Qdoba and Yogurt Pump, more affectionately called “YoPo.” I rolled with a naked (yes, I said it!) chicken taco salad (no dressing) with corn and black bean salsa, pico de gallo, fajita veggies, and salsa verde. Pretty colors!

At YoPo, I had peanut butter and Tahitian vanilla in a HOMEMADE small waffle cone with rainbow sprinkles.

It was AMAZINGLY good. Seriously, one of my favorite cones ever!!!

Snack while studying about acids, bases, and buffers,  along with some decaf for Starbucks!

When I took this photo at Barnes & Noble, a guy asked me why I was taking a picture of a bar. When I explained about the blog, we got into a conversation about eating clean. He told me that he recently read that due to all the preservatives in our diets now, dead bodies are taking longer to decay. Crazy, huh? What do y’all think?

I met one of my friends from college who is about to leave the country for 6 months on Christian missions. We went to Panera, which was kind of our “place” at Carolina. I had a cup of the “new” all-natural chicken noodle since it was the soup with the least calories ( I really like how Panera puts the calorie count on the menu now). I asked what “new” meant as they’ve always had chicken noodle and was informed that there is now celery in the soup and better quality ingredients. It sounded good to me, and it was. They chicken does taste leaner and the noodles less “doughy” than before. I had a whole grain baguette on the side…so, chewy in the center and toasted on the outside! I always get bread at Panera!

It was just not enough. When I got home a few hours later, I had a late night snack of 3 pieces of celery with Angus Barn cheddar, 5 carrots and hummus, and a Fuji apple with peanut flour banana dip 😉 and some half caff.

Workout today: practiced BodyPump 76 for launch and taught Zumba at One Heart Yoga.

I went by cupcake bite to tell Gina “Hey” after my class. They were closed, but I saw that S’mores is the flava of the week! I WILL be going back ASAP to get one! She is so cute and creative and can make a cupcake!

Now I’m watching Off the Map. Anybody else tuned in?

With all my extra time not blog reading, I’ve been able to pray a lot about my trip and for the members on my team. My prayers are for my focus to stay on Christ and the cross, to know what’s true amidst spiritual warfare, and for our team that our hearts would be knit together even now, and knit to the people of South Africa that we’ll encounter. I’m praying that God will prepare all of our patients and conversations even now.

Side note: do y’all have an opinion of lululemon vs. Athleta yoga gear? What do you like best?