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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Holding Out for Blueberry Muffin February 4, 2011

 

Hey y’all! Happy Friday! How’s your day been? I’m a sleepy girl tonight ūüėČ

Breakfast this morning was back to oats…and a red mug of tea for Wear Red day ūüėČ

Today’s mix was the usual banana chia seed mix topped with 1 tbsp Naturally More (I actually measured it today, and I was surprised to find out that a tbsp is more than I thought…YAY!), some Trader Joe’s Cranberry Apple Butter, 1 chopped date, 1/2 smashed banana, and blackberries.

I did some cleaning, practiced for Zumba, then off to meet my sister for lunch at Chipotle. Normally we roll at Qdoba but because of parking in Chapel Hill, we tried Chipotle today, and I was impressed!

All this for $5.95…lettuce, black beans, a little chicken (still undecided here), fajita veggies, 3 kinds of fresh salsa (pico¬†de gallo, medium, and sweet corn), a little guac. All their veggies are organic and chicken in antibiotic-free. The freshness of the ingredients was evident. It was a small bowl but packed a lot of punch!

And Yo Po for dessert…my 2 favorite flavas: Tahitian Vanilla and Peanut Butter (imagine that). This was one of the best yogurt mixes I’ve had there, but my little cake cone was stale, so Amber ate that for me ūüėČ

Why did we get fro¬†yo…It’s so chilly here?! Fro Yo is good in any weather! I actually think I like if better when it’s cold outside…weird, I know! I went to Starbucks to study and got a Vanilla Roobios to keep me company.

Then it was off to a beautiful 90-minute Hot Kunga¬†Vinyasa Detox at One Heart Yoga (the actual class was candlelight only)…

Mira kicked our booties with some challenging arm balances and flows. WOW! I was exhausted by my last chaturanga!

As a hungry girl in the kitchen when I got home, I just wanted everything “clean and raw”¬†that I could find…

a Pretty-in-Pink smoothie (1/2 cup keifer, ice, 5 strawberries, 1/2 frozen nanner); bowl of edamame, celery, 7 baby carrots, green beans, 5 grape tomatoes, original tahini hummus; and dessert…

…organic pink lady, grapes, 1 square of 100% unsweetened chocolate…topped with sexy spice ūüėČ

Still a little hungry, but it’s 10:00 p.m., so I’m waiting til breakfast ūüėČ

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So, here’s a response from Trader Joe’s regarding peanut flour…

“We have discontinued the Peanut Flour in our¬†stores due to slow sales. Because our stores have such limited space, if¬†an item does not meet a minimum sales volume, we will discontinue it in¬†order to bring in something we think will sell better. I will pass your¬† comments on to our buyers for consideration. From time to time, if there¬†is enough outcry to bring back a discontinued item and we are able to do¬†so, we will give it another run.¬†
 
Thanks for shopping with us,
Nikki
Customer Relations”

Let ’em know if you want it back: wcr001@traderjoes.com.

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Good news: I found a good deal on Larabars today at Whole Foods

Bad news: still no Blueberry Muffin in stores around here. ūüė¶ Maybe soon…

That’s all for today. What do y’all have planned for the weekend? Super Bowl? ūüėČ

 

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!

 

This and That February 2, 2011

Happy Groundhog day, y’all! Spring is on the way!!! Yippeeee! It got up to at least 68* here today! (Sorry, Clare!)

Breakfast today was a SIAB inspired by my smoothie yesterday. I just can’t get enough of that pretty purple!

In the mix:

  • 1 cup plain keifer
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, a few goji berries
  • 1 tbsp dark cocoa powder (protein powder was tastier)
  • a little ice
  • toppings: 1/2 sliced nanner, 1/4 cup oats, Ball of Energy, cacao nibs

Yummmmmy! It was fun to switch it up today!

Workout today: RPM, BodyPump, and BodyFlow.

I met my friend Lindsay for lunch today. We met at the gym and have become friends, so we decided to move our friendship out of the group fitness room and take it on the road…to Nil’s Bakery ūüėČ (my favorite! I just love supporting the locals.) And it’s so wonderful to have lunch with a friend who just “gets” me. Thank-you, Lindsay!

I switched it up today though! I ordered a “Terry Salad.” It’s not on the menu, but I told the sweet lady of the couple that owns it that I wanted the hummus veggie wrap as a salad, and she told me that’s what it’s called.¬†Ever since Amber and I went to Sandwhich, I’ve been more aware of the option to turn a wrap into a salad…love it!

I officially have a new favorite at Nil’s Bakery and Cafe!!!¬†It’s essentially a greek salad with roasted veggies and hummus. Does it get any better?!

I was still hungry, so while I was studying at Starbucks today I ordered a Grande Vanilla Roobios¬†(trying new teas) Latte with soy milk. It was delish! The tea was described as “A lush and indulgent blend of rooibos, Tahitian vanilla, sweet cinnamon, apples and peaches.”¬†¬†I wasn’t sure about the fruit in the tea, but I loved it, especially with the sweetness of the soy milk. It was a yummy dessert…and only 200 calories!

After a lot of reading, it was time for a Larabar ūüėČ

Perfect! I can’t believe I ever used to eat Snickers bars ūüėČ I love Larabars!!! hehe I also spied this beauty that I’d really like to have for Valentine’s Day, but I have to save $ somehow. No splurges!

[Source]

After a little more studying, it was home for din din. I knew exactly what I wanted tonight.

Leftover kale chips, organic baked beans, and butternut squash (diced, in the oven at 400* for 33 minutes).

And dessert…sleepytime tea (I think it’s helping me sleep better), 2 squares of 100% unsweetened chocolate, an organic pink lady (isn’t that the cutest name for an apple) with some Naturally More as I haven’t had any all day!

Yummmmmmmmmmmmmy! The apple was perfectly crunchy and sweet.

WOW! Y’all have blown me away with the all the fun recipes while I was away. There’s no way I’ll ever be able to catch up, but I’m starting anew. I missed you.

Congrats, Erica!!! and Happy Belated Birthday, Amanda! I’m so sorry I missed it!

I love y’all bunches and can’t tell you what a joy you are to my life.

Food for thought:

Food Inc. that Lindsay told me about…have you seen it yet?

Oprah’s Vegan Episode…did you see it?

 

Breaking the Blog Fast January 31, 2011

Hey y’all! Guess what? Blog fast ends tonight! So, obviously I can’t re-read ALL of your lovely posts from the 10th, even though I wish that I could. Will you please leave a comment and let me know which posts are your favorite or that you really want me to read? I’m excited to get back to y’all…I’ve missed youuuuuuuuu!

It’s been a while since I’ve had oats, I can’t believe it! This morning, it was back to the basics…with red chai tea.

In the mix:

  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats (the Trader Joe’s ones are better than Quaker…better flavor and texture), water, almond milk, greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • sprinkle of sea salt and cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp pure maple extract
  • 1/2 smashed nanner
  • toppings: blueberries, a few raw soaked almonds, drizzle of honey (a yummy new addition), peanut flour banana sauce, sexy spice ūüėČ

Workout: 45-minute RPM, BodyPump, BodyFlow

Lunch: a slice of leftover Amy’s Roasted Vegetable Pizza with no cheese, salad BEAST (organic mixed greens, 2 pieces of celery, tabouli, hummus, 7 baby carrots, a leftover chicken tender from last night), …

…and a pear for dessert ūüėČ

After a lot of studying, a snack…a small organic fuji apple with 2 tbsp Naturally More, and a chocolate berry smoothie.

Berry Chocolate Smoothie

  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 scoop chocolate¬†protein powder
  • a few blueberries
  • 5 sliced strawberries
  • a little ice
  • cacao nibs to garnish

A little more studying, taught a Zumba class for my Club 59 ladies, a shower hehe, and then some dinna!

I am the luckiest girl in the world to have a Mom who buys mahi¬†mahi for dinner ūüėČ (I love you, Mom!)

…a hunk of mahi¬†mahi¬†cooked stovetop¬†with a little EVOO, a squirt of lemon juice, a little basil, and 1/2 cup plain brown rice, and some steamed brussels sprouts (I think they are officially my favorite veggie ūüėČ ) YUMMY!!!! This is the most “comfortable” meal I’ve had in a while, and it felt nice to just enjoy it without thinking about every little ingredient.

And dessert…orange and 2 squares of 100% cocoa chocolate.

Has anyone tried the new blueberry muffin Larabar? I can’t find them anywhere.¬†Also, I only have 2 Larabars left for snacks. Anybody seen them on sale anywhere? Leave me those comments! I can’t wait to get to readin’ tomorrow…

 

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?

 

January 28, 2011

Filed under: almond milk,breakfast,lunch,nut butter,SIAB — ansauls @ 5:50 pm
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Hey y’all! Thanks for all of your comments and prayers. Today’s been much better. For some reason though this time of day (5:30/6 p.m.-ish), I start feeling down…not sure why. God woke me up to a beautiful brand new day full of goodness and grace.

As promised, breakfast was a smoothie in a bowl (SIAB) of the rest of yesterday’s smoothie topped with a¬†dollop of Naturally More, goji berries, cacao nibs, and raw oats. The raw oats were amazing…so flavorful by themselves. I was surprised!

I went to yoga for 90 minutes with some meditation (not sure how long the actual practice was) for my workout today.

Home for¬†lunch and some studying. I knew exactly what I wanted for lunch…leftover pasta from last night over a bed a spinach and a smooooooooooothie to drink.

This smoothie was inspired my friend Lindsay: 6 oz. of plain keifer, the rest of my defrosted mixed fruit, and 1/2 sliced nanner, a little ice. Pretty pink ;), and it made enough for breakfast tomorrow! This smoothing thing is a time saver!

It was the perfect combo of protein, fat, and carbs for lunch ūüėČ

I cleaned the house this afternoon, then had a snack of an organic fuji apple with about 2 tbsp of almond butter (it’s been soooooo¬†long since I’ve had almond butter, but I went to store and splurged on some today), a sprinkle of apple pie spice, and some “a is for almond milk” hehe

What to do for dinner? hmmmmmmm….

What do y’all have on tap for the weekend?¬†Pro Bowl is Sunday!!!! woohooo!