ashley avenue

a journey to healthy balance

The Beast and the Beauty January 18, 2011

Hey y’all! I’m watching my Heels beat ClemPson¬†hehe right now. If I could not have gone to UNC, I would’ve applied to Clemson…seems to be a great school.

Anywho…thanks for all your comments this week. I’ve enjoyed catching up with y’all and hearing your thoughts. It means so much to me!

Breakfast today was OIAJ! There’s a little smirk on my face every time I get to the bottom of a jar when there’s about 1-2 Tbsp of nut butter left, because I know there’s oats in a jar on the way. Today a finished the jar of Sunflower Seed butter, the majority of which was used for my Balls of Energy. In their honor, I made

Jar of Energy Oats ūüėČ

In the jar:

  • 1 Tbsp-ish of Sunflower Seed Butter
  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats, water, almond milk, greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 smashed banana
  • sprinkles of sea salt and cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp Twister Power powder
  • 1 tsp maple extract
  • toppings: Ball of Energy crumbled, 1/2 sliced banana, and a few raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries

I scraped out every last bit of that sunflower seed butter ūüėČ YUMMY! I am already excited about breakfast tomorrow as I type this hehe

I had 8 oz. of leftover green juice from yesterday for my snack after I taught this morning.

When my tumbly¬†started rumbling for lunch, I really just wanted veggies. I keep craving them this week. So, I tried to clean out my leftovers in the frige but ended up adding some more…

I had 1/2 a sweet potato with black beans and sexy spice (I’ve never put cinnamon on black beans before, but don’t knock it til you try it…it wasn’t bad hehe), a little bit of goat cheese, an organic Braeburn apple with sexy spice, a pile of veggies (Brussels sprouts/broccoli/carrots/cauliflower/edamame). Veggie fix: check!

And a little dessert: peanut flour sauce (it looks like a Ying-Yang sign that we used to draw in middle school) and a cup of chai tea. (It’s amazing to me how my palette has changed to not crave coffee in merely a few days.)

Workout today: taught Zumba and went to Hot Yoga at One Heart Yoga to detox this afternoon.

Dinner was a usual favorite…Sweet Tomatoes! I got to catch up with my old boss and friend Brooke who is due in 5 weeks, and I haven’t seen her in months! It’s so fun having friends who are pregnant as I get to learn so much from them.

I had the beasts of all salad beasts for starters. I piled on tons of veggies and beans that looked fresh and crunchy and yummy. I tried wheatberries for the first time…LOVE the texture. It’s nice when you can try something new at a restaurant as it’s already prepared and if you don’t like it, you haven’t lost grocery money on an item. Also, Whole Foods bulk bin is good for trying a little of this, a little of that.

Then some bean and barley soup in veggie broth. All veggies! So yummy! On the side, 2 small pieces of cantaloupe¬†with cottage cheese and a few bites of a whole wheat sugar-free banana muffin top. The muffin top wasn’t that great, so I decided not the waste the calories.

Because I had a beautiful dessert on the brain…

I had this x2 (oops!). I was still not quite full after the first pathetic excuse for a bowl hehe.

As a whole, it was full of guilty, negative, judgmental¬†thoughts as I have to give myself grace that I can’t be everywhere for everyone. If I could have one super power, it would definitely be being able to be in more¬†than 1 place at once.¬†Do¬†you ever feel like that?

That’s all for today. Good night, bloggies. Sweet dreams!

Something to read and ponder…

“Rethinking Thin” Book review

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Foods That Heal January 15, 2011

What’s up, buttercups?! (That’s what I say to my Doodle every morning, and I’m affectionately passing it on to y’all.)
I’m so sorry for not posting yesterday, but that just means that y’all are in for a doosey tonight! Here goes…got your coffee on tea?

First of all, recent eats…

Breakfast for the past two days: a yogurt bowl with greek yogurt, crumbled Rise & Shine muffin, smashed banana (New discovery: I LOVVVVVE¬†this in yogurt.), Trader Joe’s cranberry apple butter,¬†1Tbsp Naturally More, blackberries, blueberries (that were going bad. You know that taste they have? ugh!), and 5 raw almonds for crunch.

And a Grande Starbucks 1/2 caff because our power was out, so we went to Starbucks for coffee.

For lunch, I wasn’t very hungry, and I knew we were going out for dinner, so I had some black beans, carrots, celery, and some Greek-style hummus…plus some more coffee. Our power finally came back on, so we made a pot.

My family went to watch the UNC Women’s Basketball team play NCSU…Carolina VICTORY!!! For dinner, a UNC tradition of Carolina Brewery. I LOVE their Copperline¬†Amber Ale, so I started with that goodness.

“This brilliant red ale, brewed with caramel and pale malts is a best seller at the Carolina Brewery. Using traditional brewing methods, the ale yeast provides a touch of fruit and works in tandem with the malt to make for a very drinkable ale. Kent Golding hops lend just enough bitterness and aroma to round out the flavor.” It’s won GOLD MEDAL-WORLD BEER CHAMPIONSHIPS.

copperline amber ale

On to the food, hehe…I had a veggie burger with sweet potato chips. The veggie burger was the BEST I’ve ever had. You can literally see the black beans and corn, and you can taste the tomato in it! YUMMERS! And their sweet potato chips come with the tiniest amount of brown sugar for garnish/flavor. I even put a little ketchup on a few chips (SPLURGE!), but didn’t touch that mayo…gross! It was a perfect meal!

That concluded with dessert at the game. Another Carolina Tradition SMITTY’S Ice Cream!!! I¬†licked¬†on¬†rolled with Carolina Blue Chip (like mint chocolate chip) in a waffle cone with FREE Carolina sprinkles. It was just OK, but it’s a tradition!

Like I said, breakfast was the same today as yesterday because it’s SO fast when you’re in a hurry. It saved me so much time over oatmeal.

I did 1 hour of RPM, a 20-minute core class, and BodyPump¬†for my workout today. I got to see my beautiful friend Lindsay! We always miss each other¬†during the week because I workout and teach in the¬† morning, and she¬†goes at night!¬†It’s weird…I wasn’t hungry at all, but I made myself eat lunch after a staff meeting at the gym. I went to Nil’s Bakery Cafe in Varina and got a greek salad. They are so yummy. It’s one of the only¬†places that I don’t ask for dressing on the side because they use a perfect amount of balsamic that isn’t too sweet or too tart.

Afterwards, I went to a Healing Foods Workshop at One Heart Yoga by the beautiful Mira. She as kind enough to give me a scholarship to come! It was one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had in a long time. Mira has so much knowledge about raw foods, which I am getting more interested in. The more I learn about food, the more I want to learn. Mira is a Christian, and the way she incorporates mind/body/soul makes sense to me. Our bodies function best when we are in balance in all these areas, I think. However, I also believe you have to do what works best for you (“intuitive nutrition”), but I want to learn more about raw foods and incorporate them more into my diet/go mostly raw. She talked for 2 hours, which FLEW by, and gave us a sample of “Herbal Energy Balls” and Hemp milk. I’m hooked!!!

Have y’all ever done a cleanse? I’m thinking about it. My body feels like it has so much acid, and after looking over past posts (especially with last night’s dinner), I understand why…too much coffee and alcohol, more meat than I’m used to, and I never juice or eat enough enzymes for my body to function properly. I’d really like to figure out what to eat for me to get my body back to regularity. I feel so fortunate to cross paths with Mira and hope to pick her brain a lot more and get some personal help. I know that cleaning and cleansing will cause withdrawal symptoms as I experienced those over the Summer as I went “clean.” I had no idea that it was normal,¬†and I wish someone had told me, so I’m passing it along to any of you who go “clean” or raw. It’ll be OK and is absolutely worth it!

Like Mira said, “Recovery is available at nearly any point! Your life can change!” You have to do what works for you. I’m praying for grace from my family as I try to cleanse on another level. They aren’t interested right now, but I want to love and educate and pray that my withdrawal will be full of joy and grace. Plus, it’s an expensive change for my budget, but it’s worth it to me. Any advice?

When I got home, I was super pumped to start my new phase on the food journey, so I made my own Balls of Energy. Thanks for the recipe, Mira!

Balls of Energy

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of Sunflower Seed Butter (leave enough in the jar for OIAJ¬†hehe)
  • 1/2 cup Light Agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup coconut
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon Sexy Spice
  • 1/2 Twister Power¬†Powder (hemp, cacao, maca)

Directions:

  • Mix wet ingredients in a bowl.

  • Add in dry ingredients, and stir together with a wooden spoon.
  • Form “batter”¬†into balls.

  • Roll them in a topping if you want to. I used cacao nibs, but chopped nuts, maca, coconut, hemp seeds, etc. would be great too! You can even add other powders or chopped fresh herbs. Whatever makes you into a¬†ball of energy!

  • FEAST! -> FOODGASM!!!

For dinner,¬†I had a salad beast (organic greens, a few cherry tomatoes, goat cheese, black beans, celery, carrots), bread with oil,¬†1/2 sweet potato with cinnamon¬† sexy spice and¬†steamed green beans with Garlic Gold nuggets…plus some more green beans.

And dessert…a ball of energy (finally found a use for my sunflower seed butter that I like!), a Red Delish apple (Mom bought the fruit this week and didn’t get organic, but I’m grateful for the groceries!), AND some greek yogurt with berries! I’m hungry tonight!

NO COFFEE…I tried hot tea…decaf orange pekoe. What are your favorites? I’m a tea virgin!

 

Break the routine! December 29, 2010

Hey y’all! SO sorry for the late post. It was one of those days that after-Christmas errands were run, maybe a little shopping ;), a 3-hour Bible study, and dinner at 11 p.m. ūüėČ It’s difficult for me to break the routine usually, but I’m just rolling with it tonight.

I woke up early this morning to do an hour¬†of Pilates. I’ve missed the as part of my workout the past week or so as all I’ve had time for is cardio and weights.

I came down to make some breakfast…

I finally used my last EBTKS¬†muffin yesterday (they store well in the frige), but, luckily, I only ate 1/2 of my cranberry orange muffin at Cracker Barrel yesterday, so I could use the other 1/2 this morning. It was a great morning muffin…love the orange and cranberry flavors.¬† I also topped the whipped banana chia seed oatmeal with cacao nibs and some Peanut Flour Banana sauce:

  • 1/2 banana
  • pinch of sea salt
  • almond milk for desired consistency
  • 1 tsp Truvia
  • Trader Joe‚Äôs Peanut Flour
  • Naturally More
  • sprinkle of cinnamon

and the essential staple…

Mom and I ran errands returned some stuff and bought some more. We were famished by 2 p.m., so we stopped at our favorite lunch place lately, Sweet Tomatoes. I had a salad beast with all kinds of goodness and the muffin top to a Fruit Medley muffin…plus a little more salad. What is it about the muffin tops that are just so perfect?

I was saving up¬†for¬†the dessert that’s included with the cost of the meal, so you have to indulge…fro yo!!! Mom had vanilla with nuts and caramel, we split a chocolate muffin, and I had a mix of dark chocolate and vanilla plain…plus a little more vanilla.

It’s SO good and creamy. I don’t know how they do it. It tastes like custard.

Mema, Mom, Amber, and I all went to Bible study tonight. It was so challenging and encouraging. We’re still working through Jonah (this is week 2 of 6), and we discussed tonight that the “Interrupted Life” is the “Challenged Life.” It’s a good thing to live a challenging life; it means God is working in you, calling you outside your comfort zone so that You can bring Him glory while giving you the blessing. I took so many notes and really was challenged myself to be obedient to His will, knowing that He’ll equip me based on how I’m called.

Ms. Tammi, who is the sweetest hostess had yummy snacks and water and coffee. She’s always so kind to consider “eating clean” for me. It really means so much for someone to go out of their way to accomodate unnecessarily. She’s amazing!

Bible study snacks of 1/2 caf, grapes, celery, carrots, 7 pistachios (my first try), and cucumber slices.

This was just intended to be an appetizer for dinner when I got home. We got into some great discussion and prayer tonight, so dinner did not happen until around 10:30 p.m., which is super late for me, but I rolled with it. I had a glass of Finca¬†Roja¬†Malbec,…

¬†…a sweet potato with ground cinnamon, some collard greens, and a little oven roasted rotisserie chicken.

A little different than late night dinners in college.

And since no meal is complete without dessert (even a late night meal), I made some “cereal,” the perfect late night snack, in my opinion.

In the cereal mix:

  • raw almonds
  • pistachios (I bought some today to try…I like ’em!)
  • 1/2 square 100% chocolate
  • cacao nibs
  • goji berries
  • dried cherries (also a new purchase…love ’em!)
  • organic pumpkin raisin granola

No cereal is complete without…sexy almond milk (with cinnamon!).

Yummy to my tummy! Now it’s time for beauty sleep…fun family day ahead tomorrow! And I’m going to try to take a workout day off!

Sweet dreams, bloggies!

Check this out:

  • Cupcakes for the beau¬†(or¬†belle…hey, I’m all in!)¬†in your life, Butch Bakery! I desperately want to fly to New York so that I can try these. Hey, beer runs and tailgates are for girls too! I hope that they start shipping down south! David, give me a shout if you do, and thanks for following your dreams!!!
  • Curly Girl Design…my newest love! I bought myself an ornament today. I get 1 new ornament every year to commemorate my year, and this seemed to fit. Leigh, you. are. amazing! I want¬† need all of your goodies (especially plates hehe)¬†in my life. What great inspiration! Thanks for sharing your creativity!
 

Christmas Dinner December 25, 2010

A few years ago, we started a meal as a family that has become our tradition…

I began with a glass of Lucky Duck Malbec

We had standing rib roast…medium rare. My Daddy carved it. It seems so “Christmas Carol” to carve meat. I feel like we should have dressed up, but we were all in sweats. I taught Zumba¬†to¬†my Mom and sister today, so we just felt like chilaxing!

Sides: baked sweet potato sprinkled with cinnamon and baby lima beans.

But I really just wanted dessert hehe. I had a little feast:

1. a Fuji apple sliced and surrounding 1/2 a banana that I halved put some Naturally More on and a little bit of 100% dark chocolate.

2. My new obsession apple dip

In the mix:

  • 1/2 banana
  • pinch of sea salt
  • almond milk for desired consistency
  • 1 tsp Truvia
  • Trader Joe’s Peanut Flour
  • Naturally More
  • sprinkle of cinnamon

3.  Vegan hot cocoa with a marshmallow

In this mix:

  • 2 Tbsp dark cocoa
  • 1 tsp Truvia
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla

I’m a little full now…whew! But at least I got my fruit in today ūüėČ Merry Christmas, y’all! I hope that you enjoyed your day.

What is your favorite Christmas gift your gave or received this year?