ashley avenue

a journey to healthy balance

Today’s the Day I Tackle Tofu February 5, 2011

What’s up, lovelies? How’s your Saturday been?

Mine began with a bowl of Rainy Day Oats ūüėČ as it was raining when I woke up, which made getting out of bed not so easy, but I couldn’t wait to get to the gym for RPM Plus. So, I made this beauty…

Rainy Day Oats

  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats, water, almond milk, organic PUMPKIN (brought it back…I’ve missed it!)
  • sprinkles of cinnamon and sea salt
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • toppings: chopped date, blackberries, 1/4 cup Nature’s Path pumpkin seed raisin cereal for crunch, ¬†1 tsp Trader Joe’s Cranberry Apple butter, peanut flour “butter” spread (made from 2 tbsp peanut flour, sea salt, almond milk to desired consistency…PLEASE bring it back, Trader Joe’s!)

plus some red leaf chai tea

PHENOMENAL! Man, I have missed pumpkin!!! Got me all pumped for RPM.

Workout today: RPM Plus (60-minute format), 20 minute core class by a pilates instructor, and BodyPump (that I taught)

For lunch today, I knew exactly what I wanted and dreamed about it my whole workout…an “Asian Bowl.” So, I ran by the grocery store on my way home to get the ingredients. It was a cheap lunch.

Step 1: cook tofu (yes, today’s the day I learn to cook this feared ingredient of mine). After lots of recipe searching, I ended up just cooking 1/4 block of extra firm tofu in a small skillet with soy sauce for 5 minutes, turning a few times. I read a lot about pressing it for 30 minutes and cooking for another 35-ish minutes, but my growling tummy was not having that. The 5-minute fix was much better. I LOVED IT!!!

I still have 3/4 of a block left to cook¬† get creative with…suggestions? What should I do with it?

2. Make sauce of 2 tsp of low sodium soy sauce, 1 tbsp Maranatha (one of my favorite brands of all things nut butter) Almond Butter, and water to desired consistency and to thin out.

3. Steam the mixed Asian veggies (140 calories total) and brown rice (1/2 cup) together to save a pot.

4. Top with tofu.

5. Pour on sauce.

FEAST!!!!! Oh. my. foodgasms!!! It’s so wonderful to give your tummy EXACTLY what it’s asking for. Aren’t we lucky to have access to so many ingredients? This was a filling lunch!

Mom and I ran some errands before church as I am trying to find a few key pieces for vacation after cleaning out my closet.

Snack time: can you guess? hehe

I haven’t had this flavor in ages…what a yummy treat! Still no sign of blueberry muffin around here ūüė¶

Church service tonight was amazing. All about the redemptive quality of a relationship with Christ even though we have to deal with the consequences of our sin. We’re in a series on the life of King David and how he pointed to our ultimate King, Jesus Christ, in so many ways, but could not fulfill all that Jesus was to be for us.

Dinner with my family tonight at Tony’s Oyster Bar.

Appetizer: steamed oysters on the 1/2 shell with a little cole slaw. I ate more oysters than just these ūüėČ They were big and juicy and a little sweet…perfect!

Salad: Garden…dry (no dressing). Our waiter made a face at me when I ordered it dry. Perrrty¬†goood ūüėČ

Entr√©e: grilled mahi¬†mahi with pineapple mango salsa and mixed saut√©ed veggies. This is my favorite mix of steamed veggies at a restaurant. The meal overall was just OK. I’ve had better. The veggies were soggy and maybe had a hint of butter (I’m praying that they didn’t use any on them). The fish was cooked, but just kind of ‘blah’; I’ve had better here before.

Dessert when I got home: peanut flour banana sauce with an organic pink lady apple (it had a weird taste). I used a whole nanner¬†in the sauce this time, so it honestly could’ve¬†used more peanut butter and/or peanut flour, but I just went with it. Plus some sleepytime tea. I missed it last night, and I don’t think I slept as well. Maybe it’s all in my head, but I think it helps

Now, I’m munching on a pear (I just looked them up, and they have about 100-120 calories in them. I had no idea!) because I was still not full. I’ve been hungry all day.

Tomorrow’s a BIG day…SUPER BOWL!!!!, and it’s rest day for me (I hope), so I have Disney research to do, blog reading to catch up on, and pancakes to make for breakfast ;). I’ll also do a reader’s request tomorrow.

Tell me ANYTHING…I am officially opening the floor for whatever you want to share with me. I just love reading your comments.


Childhood Favorites January 22, 2011

Good evening, my loves!

Yes, I did go with the usual last night at Bass Lake Draft House…grilled salmon with double veggies.

I skipped restaurant dessert, but when we got home, I wanted something before bed to keep my metabolism up, so I had an apple sprinkled with cinnamon, some warm almond milk (a childhood favorite), and a Ball of Energy sandwich (aka 85% cocoa chocolate square + Ball of Energy + another square). The chocolate melts when you dunk it in warm milk, but I wouldn’t know that from experience ūüėČ

I don’t know if it’s knowing that I am going to Disney World or what, but I have been craving childhood favorites lately…with a twist!

First up, when I was little, my favorite lunch was peanut butter and jelly. Maybe it was because I could help make it, it was my Mom’s favorite, or because¬†it was like dessert at lunch time. So, this morning, I made PB&J Oats!…although not with JIF¬†and Smuckers like when I was little.

“PB&J With A Twist” Oats in a Jar

There’s a little something in my heart that jumps when there’s about 1-2 tbsp of nut butter left in a jar because it means that OIAJ is not far. ūüėČ

In today’s mix:

  • 1/4 cup oats, water, almond milk, greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 smashed banana
  • sprinkles of sea salt and cinnamon
  • splash of maple extract
  • toppings: 2 tbsp Naturally More in the bottom of the jar, 1 tbsp Trader Joe’s Cranberry Apple Butter (my “jelly”), cacao nibs

How do y’all feel about extracts? Are the awful for you or OK? Should I just use regular maple syrup to flavor my oats?

We had LAUNCH for all our Les Mills programs today at O2 Fitness, which means brand spankin’ new choreography to new music that all the instructors have been practicing for a couple of months. I got to launch BodyPump¬†76 and take the new BodyCombat¬†and BodyFlow. Combat was my favorite release ever, and Flow had some great tracks as well.


The music rocks because it’s so sassy!

I was a hungry girl when I got home, and because it was later than normal for me to eat lunch, my family was hungry too! YAY! And I present to you…lunch: cucumber water, a mug of soup (I ended up eating about half of it), a salad beast with the rest of my leftovers (edamame, mixed veggies, celery, cucs, carrots, a little bit of hummus, goat cheese, grape tomatoes), a pear, and a piece of Ezekiel toast with some Trader Joe’s Superfruit spread.

Amber and I went to church tonight for an incredibly entertaining yet challenging¬†sermon on self-destruction through sexual sin. Then, it was home for Mom’s Birthday Bash at our building. I felt freedom to make my own food to take, so I made some steamed Brussels sprouts, a micro-sweet potato (I know microwave is not the best cooking method, but I needed some quick food to take out), and a piece of my Daddy’s pork tenderloin about the size of the deck of cards, and boy, was it tender. I also took some greek yogurt topped with 1/2 banana, 3 strawberries, and some blueberries out there for dessert and passed on cake as it tastes great going down, but the sugar rush I have to pay for later isn’t worth it.¬†I was nervous about bringing my own food to a party, but it went over flawlessly as no one questioned me. I figured I’d spare you the image since it’s pretty basic.

Are there any foods that you are “uncomfortable” eating?


To Rest or Not to Rest January 8, 2011

Hey y’all! What a day!¬†How was your Saturday?

I woke up this morning without an alarm at 6:30 after going to bed at 12:30 a.m. My intention was to sleep in today and then go to an hour RPM (a Les Mills cycling class) at 8 a.m. After doing my quiet time, I battled back and forth with going as I was exhausted from the Dance Party last night and 5 hours of sleep (not rest) the past 2 nights because of early classes.¬† My options were to take a day off or go to yoga at 10 a.m. I wasn’t starving as I usually am when I wake up and was running out of time as I was trying to decide what to do. I struggle with how many calories I’d burn today (this is SO vulnerable and scary to put out there…whew!) since I knew my family was going to Carraba’s for dinner.

In the end, I laid back down on the couch for a little less than an hour, then got up, made some yummy breakfast and went to 10 a.m. yoga. I want to encourage y’all and ask your advice on your mental battles. Do you ever have¬†mental conversations with yourself on body/nutrition/exercise issues?

¬†I’m trying to stick with my goal¬†listening to my body this year. I know it’s¬†important to take time for your body to repair and get rested for¬†your next workouts, but I have a difficult time with full days off and am praying for God to teach me how to prioritize¬†and take care of¬†the one and only temple I’ll ever have.¬†I’d love to hear anything y’all have to offer on this issue of rest days. What do your rest days look like…doing nothing, a little stretching, etc.?


My yummy breakfast was a bowl of oats with a muffin crumbled on top! Oh, how I have missed this goodness in my life. ANNND these muffins were even better than the last batch! You can really taste the apple pie spice since there’s not a lot of other competing flavors. Observe Exhibit A…

In the mix:

  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats, almond milk, water, Kiefer (NEW INGREDIENT of the day!!!)
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 Tbsp peanut flour
  • 1/2 smashed banana
  • sprinkles of salt and sexy spice
  • toppings: crumbled Rise and Shine Muffin, blackberries, 1 Tbsp Trader Joe’s cranberry orange spread (another new AMAZING ingredient!), a little Naturally More (for digestive help!)

Today’s new ingredients as you can see were keifer¬†and the cranberry orange spread. I tried keifer¬†because when I use greek yogurt, I like to liquid stuff on top in the morning mix because of the little liquid consistency, so i¬†figured I’d just try keifer, and it turned out great! I was afraid that it would be too liquidy…nope! Perfect consistency! The peanut flour in the mix really balanced it out well. My other new ingredient was the cranberry orange spread from Trader Joe’s. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!!! It’s the perfect flavor combo at breakfast. I tried it since I like their pumpkin butter so much, and it did not disappoint.

Is it bad that I’m already excited about a repeat in this polka dot beauty tomorrow morning?!

Oh, follow-up from yoga. It was great! I loved Mira’s flow today. I was really challenged, and it felt great to stretch out my muscles from yesterday. It didn’t matter that I didn’t burn all those calories from RPM. I challenged myself in a different way, and I discovered that I love binding poses. We did a bound tree fold today that felt great! And we did a flower pose…so pretty!

I went to the store with Mom then came home for lunch. I cooked a massive bunch of kale on the stove top¬†with a little EVOO¬†and garlic and 1/4 cup of water. The bunch was taking up so much room in our frige¬†that I just decided to cook it. It’s amazing how much smaller it is cooked down hehe. Plus, I had enough for leftovers for later this week.

For lunch, I just put some on a plate as a bed for a Morning Star veggie burger (love these!) topped with roasted red pepper hummus…

…and a small organic cameo apple with peanut flour sauce and a Rise and Shine muffin. The muffins are SO good!

Plus some Starbucks Caramel coffee. Perfect lunch! This coffee is really good. I don’t use coffee cream, so having flavored coffee is a great treat!


Summit was incredible tonight, especially worship! Our sermon was on Isaiah 11:19-30, and we were challenged on how respond to how God is working and not becoming too complacent or enjoying glory that belongs to him. I was challenged to examine where I can more sacrifically live and give.

As I mentioned, we had dinner plans for Carraba’s…

I started with a glass of red wine (the Sangiovese-Merlot blend). Yummy!

An Italian side salad (thank-you, Carraba’s, for not drowning the salad with dressing!)

And Chicken Bryan (with no butter) and green beans.

I didn’t want dessert tonight (gasp! I know!). I guess I’m just looking forward to breakfast!

Saints lost ūüė¶ Watching the Jets and Colts play now…

Thanks for reading, y’all, seriously! I look forward to your comments on rest .