ashley avenue

a journey to healthy balance

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 ½ 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 😉 )
  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 😉 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 😉

…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 😉 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 😉 You made it across the finish line!

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Grocery Shopping and New Ingredients February 1, 2011

I’m back! It’s been a blasty reading those blogs and catching up on your lives.

Today’s breakfast: red chai tea and…

I-Wanna-Try-a-Blueberry-Muffin-Larabar Oats

Here are the ingredients in the new Larabar that I’m aching to try. I still can’t find one. 😦

sooooo….here are the oats I cam up with

  • usual banana/chia seed/greek yogurt mix
  • 1 chopped date
  • handful of blueberries
  • lemon zest from an organic lemon (NEW ingredient for the day!)
  • maple extract (because the vanilla we had in the panty had corn syrup in it)
  • toppings: honey drizzled over peanut flour banana sauce, almonds (since I didn’t have cashews)

It was the closest I could come to the Larabar, and it was gooooooooooooooood!!! The lemon zest really added the perfect hint of flavor. I use it in baking a lot, but haven’t used it in oats yet.

***If anyone has connections at Larabar, please let me know ;)***

Also, I got this info today from my friend Lindsay…”Tragedy! Trader Joe’s has discontinued their peanut flour!! Ugh!! I went on Saturday to buy some and they were sold out. I just called to see if they had any in and they said it has been discontinued :(” I guess we’ll all be ordering PB2.

Workout today: taught Zumba and took BodyCombat.

Lunch when I got home from gym and running errands (including grocery shopping as I was low on produce), I made some kale chips. They are AMAZING!!!! I just drizzled some EVOO on a bunch of kale de-stemmed on a baking sheet, sprinkled with some sea salt, and put in oven for 15 minutes in the oven at 375*…just until the ends brown and get crunchy.

It makes enough for at least 2 meals. I had some kale chips with a Caitlin lunch of a sweet potato topped with organic baked beans (thanks, Caitlin!), a little edamame, and a few carrots topped with tahini. (This is a dinner-sized plate.)

And lunch dessert…red chai tea and an orange.

After some studying, I had a phone date with the owner of Angus Barn to talk about her experience in Africa as I am going to South Africa on a Christian medical missions trip in May. She’s absolutely amazing and someone that I look up to so much. She told me, “I admire anyone who is giving of their time and efforts to a third world country as you are doing! I can completely relate to your passion.” One of friends went to the restaurant over the weekend and got to tour the wine cellar and their son got to make an ice cream sundae in the kitchen. Angus Barn is class act. Period. I can’t wait to go back.

Quick snack and my favorite smoothie I’ve made to date…my favorite color to date. It’s always fun to press “blend” and see what color comes out of the ingredients I put in the blender.

Purple Chocolate Berry Bomb

  • 1/2 cup plain keifer
  • 1/2 cup blackberries
  • 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • a few blueberries and goji berries (hey, I used every kind of berry I had hehe)
  • 1/2 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • a little ice

It was sooooooooooo good!

I’m a wedding planner on the side, so I had a meeting with a bride and her fiance the mother of the bride today to go over some details.  When I got home, I was hungry for exactly this…

…the rest of my Amy’s pizza (Roasted Vegetable with no cheese) and a salad BEAST (mixed greens, a few carrots, grape tomatoes, 3 slices of organic cucumber, edamame, 3 sliced mushrooms, tabouli, and original tahini hummus). YUMMMMMMM! I couldn’t wait to inhale this 😉

Dinner dessert (y’all know my rule: Every meal gets dessert 😉 ): an organic Pink Lady (so crunchy and perfectly sweet) with a square of 100% unsweetened chocolate, and some Yogi Bedtime tea as I watch my Heels slaughter BC!!!! GO Heels!!!!

Getting to grocery shop is such a privilege, and it’s great to have all these new ingredients! It’s great to be back. Sweet dreams, y’all!

Love,

me

 

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…

 

Cleaning Up Dinner January 30, 2011

Is this really a football game? The Pro Bowl is craaaazy…42-7 at the half?!

After trying to nap for a while to no avail, I just rolled and prayed for rest. My brain’s just too busy, I guess. Enough about that 🙂 I got a pre-dinner snack around 4 p.m. I just skipped right over lunch after our mid-morning brunch.

So, I was laying there and trying to decide what to make, and I went with a new version of a classic PB&J. I read in Real Simple that one way to eat healthier is to have new associations with food so that you don’t fall back into old traps (i.e. a corn dog reminding you of a carnival). So, the new PB&J

  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • peanut flour banana sauce
  • a sprinkle of oats
  • 1 tsp of Cranberry Apple Butter

Yummy mix of sweet and tangy! I really wanted some raw oats.

So, as promised, my fam made fajitas for din din as we watched the Pro Bowl NFC Slaughter. I made my own guac…

  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • a little lemon zest
  • sprinkle of sea salt

and some “cheeze sauce” that I poured over my brown rice and black beans

“Cheeze Sauce”

  • 1/8 cup almond milk
  • nutritional yeast

Heat in microwave for 1 minute. I found recipes online that had vegan margarine and flour or cornstarch in it if you wanted to thicken it up. It was just enough for me as is…just a hint of flava!

Then I topped the 1/2 cup brown rice and probably about 1/2 can of rinsed black beans with TONS of veggies that I sautéed with a little EVOO on the stove (1/4 red onion, 1/4 orange pepper, 1/4 yellow pepper), my guac, and sprinkles of chipotle powder and cumin. YUMMY veggies fajitas. I did try 1 shrimp and a teeny piece of my Mom’s chicken so that I could tell her I tried it, but I didn’t want too much protein with all those black beans.

This is an appetizer plate, just FYI.

And dessert!!! Get this…

  1. Start with chocolate sauce: dark chocolate cocoa powder and light agave mixed to this consistency.

2. Top with banana freeze (a little almond milk and 1/2 frozen banana blended).

3. More toppings: 3 sliced strawberries, blueberries, a Ball of Energy, and a square of 100% unsweetened chocolate.

Yummy!!! I love how you can “clean up” food to still get the taste of dessert without overindulging.

Back to the slaughter…half time’s over!

 

The Power of Suggestion January 29, 2011

Filed under: breakfast,Happy Bowl,lunch,RPM,salad beast,veggies,working out — ansauls @ 2:27 pm
Tags:

Happy Saturday, my loves! What are y’all up to today? Anything surprising and super fun? The weather is soooo much prettier here. Literally, it was 28* when I woke up this morning and is supposed to get to 58*. WHAT?!

So, dinner last night ended up being a local steakhouse because my Daddy saw a special Travel Channel episode on steak yesterday 😉 Oh, the power of suggestion 😉

The meal began with a “40-compartment salad bar” that they have. I love a good salad; it’s the perfect start to any meal. I piled it high (you should have seen the pathetic excuse for a bowl they had). I guess I should’ve aimed smaller, but I wanted so many toppings on that lettuce ;)…blueberries, cottage cheese, 1 slice of tomato, 2 broccoli florets, banana peppers, mixed fruit (which came out of its own juice and something I don’t do usually, but I really wanted some fruit on this beast), 1 slice of beet, a little crumbled egg, red onions, a few olives.

Then on to the main event (yes, I did it)…a 6 oz. filet and a plain baked sweet potato.

I was so full that I didn’t even want dessert (Have I been getting too many calories this week? I’m wondering!), but I did get some decaf coffee. You can’t resist when…

So, even though it’s been over a week since I have had any coffee…the power of suggestion…

I like how the bold taste of coffee compliments red meat. It was either that or red wine 😉 However, I have had this coffee before, and this wasn’t as tasty as I remember. I had a few of these little cups. My family ordered Hot Fudge Sundae Cheesecake for dessert, but I didn’t try any. They liked it a lot.

This morning began with the rest of my “Pretty-in-Pink (Lindsay) Smoothie” topped with a few cacao nibs for garnish…

…and a Sexy Bowl: sliced avocado, 2 chopped dates, organic fuji apple, 1 tbsp tahini (my first time everrrr!), and sexy spice.

At first, I wasn’t sure about the tahini, but it really grew on me. What do y’all use it in? I like this new ingredient!

Y’all be honest with me…does this seem like too big of a breakfast? I concerned about overeating this week since I haven’t been as hungry. :/

Workout today: RPM Plus (the 60-minute format), a quick core class, and BodyPump. AND I got to see my friend Lindsay! We usually miss each other during the week because of our schedules, so it was fun to pedal beside her this morning. (Enjoy Angus Barn for me, Linds! Go ahead, your deserve it!)

I didn’t know what I wanted for lunch, and I was surprised that I wasn’t hungry, but I ended up eating a random mix…

1/2 navel orange, 5 baby carrots, a few steamed broccoli florets that I had leftover, about 1/4 of a can of rinsed black beans for protein, 3 pieces of celery, 1 tbsp original tahini hummus, and 2 tbsp tabouli.

***I’m going to try to start measuring more stuff so that I can give y’all exact amounts and so I can start being more sure of not using too much of anything.***

Dessert: 1/2 frozen banana blended with a splash of almond milk topped with a mix of dark chocolate cocoa and a teeny squirt of light agave. I love the combo of banana and chocolate (and nute butter, but I layed off hehe)

Off to church…

DVRing my Heels vs. the Pack to watch when I get back. I think we’re doing fish for dinner, and it’s snack time! Yippeeeee!

Love,

me

 

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?

 

Going Green January 23, 2011

Filed under: breakfast,dinner,eggs,fruit,salad beast,veggies — ansauls @ 11:07 pm

Hey y’all! I just got back into town from our namesake city, Charleston! I missed watching football (Go Steelers and Packers!) It should be a good game on February 6th! Today in pictures…

Breakfast…a sweet omelette of 1/3 cup egg whites, some Trader Joe’s Superfruit spread and goat cheese.

on 2 slices of cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread…

Breakfast sandwich, later garnished with sliced banana and sexy spice.

I had it with a bowl of fruit and soaked pistashios and almonds, cucumber water, and red chai tea.

Snack on the road: apple. Sweet and crunchy…YUMMY!

GREEN lunch (in a recyclable container)…mixed greens, Brussels sprouts, celery, hummus, tomatoes….

…and a GREEN pear.

Afternoon snack…chai tea latte from Starbucks in my own tumbler.

and a Apple Pie Larabar (in a GREEN wrapper).

Dinner….mug of turkey chili with 1 tbsp Angus Barn cheddar, GREEN beans, orange, 85% cocoa square.

I hope that y’all had a happy Sunday! We had an amazing team meeting for my South Africa trip. See y’all tomorrow!

What did y’all do today?