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 😉

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… 😉

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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?

 

Holding Out for Blueberry Muffin February 4, 2011

 

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

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

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 😉

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 😉

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

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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. 😦 Maybe soon…

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

 

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 😉 (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 😉

Perfect! I can’t believe I ever used to eat Snickers bars 😉 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 😉

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 😉

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 😉 (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 😉 ) 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?

 

Is going for it OK? January 27, 2011

What’s up, buttercups? I taught my 6 a.m. Pump class then headed to Starbucks for Awake tea and a breakfast “happy bowl” that I made last night at home. I liked the tea 😉

In the Happy Bowl

  • organic fuji apple
  • 1/4 avocado
  • a few soaked almonds and pistaschios
  • 2 chopped dates
  • cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp original tahini hummus

Yummy! Then studying for a while. Is it bad if they recognize you at the local Starbucks now?

I am in extreme like of the new BodyCombat, so I went back to the gym to take that, then home for lunch: a beast of a salad with carrots, celery, grape tomatoes, tabouli, hummus, and herb greens,…

…a bowl of 1/2 orange and kiwi slices

and a smooooooooooooothie!

Green Drink

Makes 2

  • 1 cup coconut water
  • sliced banana
  • mixed fruit (strawberries, sliced peaches, mango) from a frozen mixed fruit bag that I defrosted
  • handful of spinach
  • 3 sprigs of mint
  • 1/2 organic lemon with rind (I’m not sure I’d add that again, but I wanted to use what was in the refrigerator)
  • toppings: 1 tbsp Naturally More, cacao nibs

It made enough for tomorrow’s breakfast: smoothie in a bowl!!! I forgot how nice it was to make breakfast at night since I haven’t had overnight oats in a while. I may have to bring those back for y’all! So selfless hehe 😉

After more studying, I made a quick snack since I knew that I was teaching Zumba. I wasn’t super hungry, but I feel like I teach better when I have a little fuel for the fire. Not sure if that was a good decision, but I had greek yogurt for protein with some mixed fruit and a few soaked mixed nuts.

 After a Zumba class, I wasn’t super hungry for dinner, but my mood was telling me that I needed food (you know what I mean?). Y’all can pray for me. Satan is after me with negative questioning of food as to over analyzing everything I’m eating again.

My parents were making spaghetti, so I tried to simulate their meal so that we could all eat together….

spinach noodles from Whole Foods with organic pasta sauce, a few steamed broccoli and cauliflower, black beans for protein, nutritional yeast, and spices all over a bed of spinach. I made a side salad just like the one at lunch and had an end piece of bread with some EVOO.

While battling in my head over the bread, I just decided to do it and have a glass of Charles Shaw Merlot. I’m feeling the acid now, but I just went for it.

I wasn’t even sure that I should have dessert, but, again, I went for it! I rolled with a Ball of Energy, a square of 100% cacao, and a random mix of chia seeds/warmed almond milk/special dark cocoa powder that I wanted to turn into “pudding” after I sat it in the frige, but no luck 😦 Blah! Oh well….

What is going on with me?!

Sorry, y’all! I’m praying against this spiritual warfare amidst the blessings God’s showing me. Tell me the happiest thing that happened to you this week.

 

4 Boos-Boos January 24, 2011

My loves! Good evening. I’m so sorry for the late post, but it’s been a manic Monday!

I guess Disney’s getting to me because the little girl in me is coming out. Let the childhood favorites keep on rollin’…

One of my favorites when I was little was a peanut butter and banana sandwich that my Mom always made me when we had soup. So, this morning I made Peanut Butter, Banana, and Honey Oats!…a little more grown up than the sandwich.

In the mix:

  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats, water, almond milk, greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 smashed nanner
  • sprinkles of sea salt and apple pie spice
  • toppings: 1/4 cup of organic pumpkin seed – raisin cereal, drizzle of honey, blueberries and peanut flour sauce (basically this is what Mom would put between two pieces of white bread when I was little, except she made it with white sugar and mayo hehe)

I didn’t get to do my usual Monday workout, which stressed me out a little, but I had to get over it and re-prioritize as school work had to get done, and I had a doctor’s appointment. I had to get 4 vaccines for my trip (yes, that’s 4 needles!). Luckily, it’s better to use your arms after you get shots than to keep still, so I did BodyPump this afternoon and taught Zumba tonight. My arms aren’t nearly as sore as they were when I was still studying earlier! I was also suggested to start taking probiotics…do you take probiotics or have any stories associated with them?

Lunch: a mug of Amy’s Tuscan Bean and Rice soup, a pear, and a salad BEAST! My Mom was sweet to let me shop at Whole Foods today, so I got some tabouli and herb mix (I LOVE THIS!!!) to make a salad with. Other toppings included carrots, celery, cucumbers, some green beans (steamed and in the frige over night…so good for a little texture on salad!), and Greek-style hummus.

I had some water with fresh mint to drink. I have been adding either cucumber or mint to my water lately to help hydrate my body better so that all the water I drink doesn’t just rush right through me.

Some more studying til snack time! An organic Fuji apple with NATURALLY MORE! (This is a particularly good jar. You can really taste the honey 😉 ) Garnished with a purple spoon hehe

…and some leftover green juice (about 6 oz.). It was actually pretty good even after being in the refrigerator for a couple days. Take a look in the deep dark cup of green juice sweetened with some light blue agave…

I taught a lot of “arm songs” tonight at Zumba selfishly to keep my arms moving. Sorry ladies! 😉 After Zumba and a shower, I present dinner: mixed steamed veggies and a piece of my Daddy’s famous pork…plus some more veggies.

Dessert! A BIG bowl of fruit (navel orange, a few strawberries, 4 slices of kiwi, some apple pie spice (I put it on a lot lately!), mixed soaked raw almonds and pistachios, a little greek yogurt sweetened with Truvia. Plus a garnish of a little less than 2 squares of 85% cocoa. Plus some bedtime tea to drink.

After a little more studying, I’m watching Castle with my parents. I appreciate getting to be here so much tonight!

Inspiration for today: You are beautiful…share it with the world! Making others happy makes you happy 😉

Trip update: I met my $500 support goal yesterday! Praise the Lord! Thank-you SO much for all of your support and prayers.

Also, I’m wanting some TOMS for my trip. Do you have a pair? How does sizing run?