ashley avenue

a journey to healthy balance

Quick Eats January 9, 2011

Filed under: dinner,Malbec,vino — ansauls @ 10:54 pm

I was in Charleston all day for a meeting for my South Africa trip (more to come!).

Lunch was on-the-go, in the car, at a rest area…(I photographed it before I left the house).

A Rise & Shine muffin, a pear, and a bowl of my Daddy’s homemade guac, celery, black beans, and carrots.

Plus a snack…you’ll never guess what I had 😉 just kiddin’!

When I got home at 9 p.m., I was hungry, so I made an Amy’s pizza.

and made a salad to go on the side: organic spinach, celery, carrots, cucumber, roasted red pepper hummus.

I ate this plus 1 more piece of pizza. It was so great! The crust was perrrrrfect! Sorry for the not-so-exciting “plate.” I didn’t feel like doing dishes 🙂 However, I did sacrifice to wash a wine glass hehe

Dessert: 1/2 caff, juicy Fuji apple with Naturally More, and a piece of 100% cacao.

Perrrrrfect! Time for beauty sleep. I hope that y’all had a wonderful day. What a weekend of football upsets! Gotta love sports!


The End of the Pie January 6, 2011

Mom took me to  her favorite greek restaurant today…2 mediterranean lunches in a row. I could move to Greece 😉 Today I rolled with a greek salad with a chicken kabob, hummus, and baba ganoush. It was delish! The salad was a BEAST with pepperoni, feta, tomato, olives…with a little oil. Y’all it’s so fresh, with yummy fat. Flava explosion! I had an organic Cameo apple for dessert.

I got a lot done today and am FINALLY caught up on blog world. You ladies are amazing! I have a list a mile long to try. Whew!

Mom treated us to frozen yogurt a little taste of heaven when we left the office at Crema across the street. Here’s the menu board…

Mom got vanilla yogurt with chocolate chip cookie dough and walnuts. I had vanilla yogurt with peaches, strawberries and raspberries. They mix everything in a blender, and mine came out pink and looked like a flower!

I have been so hungry today! 30 minutes later I ate a lifesaver… hehe

It was so yummy, but I wonder if I am getting too many calories! I look at the calories and try to portion-size control, but I try not to calories count exactly anymore and have no idea how many calories I net everyday.

I taught Zumba tonight to my Club 59 ladies, then came back for dinner…

I love some healthy leftovers…kale, butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, celery with Angus Barn cheddar, and carrots with roasted red pepper hummus. Plus some Angus Barn homemade crackers with a little more cheddar. And a mug of turkey chili…

And a glass of Malbec. I always crave wine after Zumba.

Dessert…half caf and my last piece of Angus Barn chocolate chess pie. Tears. Only tears. But it was so yummy! Maybe I can afford a visit by Christmas of this year 😉

Watching Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice now…no football this evening. I’m so glad that the shows are back, but I do love those Christmas movies! What are y’all doing tonight?


Is Black the New Brown?

My new product of the day (from the Trader Joe’s run!) that y’all have been inspiring me to try…

It’s an oat topping to begin…

Also in the pretty polka dot bowl went:

  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats, water, almond milk, greek yogurt
  • sprinkles of cinnamon and sea salt
  • 1 tsp maple flavoring and peanut flour
  • toppings: Nature’s Path pumpkin raisin cereal for CrUnCh, 3 dried cherries, BLACKBERRIES (a new topping), 1/2 sliced nanner

Purdy good! + half caf

Fo lunch I met one of my best girlfriends at the mall to help her shop for new clothes for her NEW JOB! Congratulations, Melissa! I am SOOOO proud of you. Y’all her story is seriously an answer to prayer as god seriously brought her the most perfect job at the perfect time. She wanted to eat at Kabobi, a Mediterranean-style restaurant, in the Food Court…

I wasn’t sure what to munch on, but they had descriptions of how everything was seasoned and cooked, which was very helpful. I ended up with chicken grilled in lemon juice, salt and pepper, hummus, and a cucumber salad with onions and tomatoes and a little oil and spices. The salad was really chunky with tons of texture. The man getting my food was the owner and was so sweet…”Very good choice,” he said.  😉

Plus a side of fresh tzatziki. It literally had fresh mint leaves in it.

It’s great to eat authentic “ethnic” food instead of an Americanized version. They use the best and freshest ingredients. It was pretty tasty for cheap food court…great idea, Mel!

We had no luck helping her find business pants that fit…ugh, but I was so honored that she asked me to help!

Snack after burning some calories shopping 😉 I’m SO thankful to have these back in my life….

Ok, I’m reading more and more about black rice. Have y’all tried it yet? I really want to make it for  my Mom soon. I read this article about it yesterday and its benefits. It sounds like a great food to have in your diet, but I wonder if it’s a “craze.” Is black the new brown for eating clean? hmmm….

P.s. – whole living is a great magazine (used to be called body+soul). Do y’all ever read it?

I got to teach Zumba at One Heart. It’s such a beautiful and inspiring space. The ladies who showed up were such a blast!

Then, DINNER PARTY! My best childhood friends (we’ve been friends since we were 5!) is home from Austin and came over from dinner. She’s like a part of the family. In fact, we walked into my parents house, and they screamed to hug her and totally ignored me 😉 Oh well! It was SUCH a treat to have her…not to mention my Mommy’s delicious cooking!

Salad beast with mixed greens, celery, carrots, traditional hummus, pomegranate Craisins for sweetness, tomato…and multigrain boule on the side dipped in EVOO with various spices. Also, notice the glass of Malbec. Boy, was I craving vino after Zumba last night! I don’t know if it was because Amber and I skipped dinner the night before to watch two movies, but I was hungry ALL day. I had another glass of wine while we sat and chatted, another piece of bread, and…

…some Angus Barn cheddar cheese with a few of the Angus Barn homemade crackers and Mom’s homemade turkey chili. She’s so kind to make it with turkey for me instead of beef. It tasted amazing! I think it’s seriously the best batch she’s ever made, and chili just gets better with time 😉 Can’t wait for leftovers.

And dessert (don’t leave home without it!)

a piece of 100% cacao, organic Braeburn apple, dollop of Naturally More since I went for sunflower butter at breakfast….and half caf!

We had a blast catching up and chatting. Old friends are so wonderful!


Be Inspired To Try Something New January 3, 2011

Hey y’all! Snack time came with the smoothie that I was too cold to have this morning…a Green Monster!

I garnished with cacao nibs in honor of my self-names “super foods day” 😉

Into the blender went:

  • a big handful of organic baby spinach
  • mixed frozen fruit (strawberries, peaches, mangoes)
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp Twisted Powder Protein SuperMix
  • 1 tsp light agave (this really helped make it sweet)

It’s been a super foods kind of day 😉

I taught Zumba to my lovely Club 59 ladies tonight. They are such a blast!

For dinner, I decided to go with my goal to try new recipes or food everyday that are “out of my comfort zone.” I’ve been reading a lot about quinoa and some fun recipes lately, so I decided to tackle this “challenge.” Now, for you quinoa pros, this probably is just a baby step (all I did was put 2 parts water to 1 part quinoa in the microwave for 8 minutes, stirred, let it sit for 8 minutes, then heated it for 2 more minutes), so please feel free to offer advice! I garnished it with a few Craisins…great fruit flava!

My dinner plate tonight…the quinoa with Craisins, Brussels sprouts with Garlic Gold nuggets, and a turkey burger with Moroccan hummus and mixed seasoning.

The last of the Malbec (about 1/2 a glass)

Dessert time!

Angus Barn chocolate chess pie with almond milk and half caf. It never gets old!

Annnnnnnd….today was spend working on the 2011 Inspiration Board. Ta dahhhhhhhhhhh!!!

Let me explain…

  • Unlock your full potential and To find your strength, stretch your comfort zone – I don’t know what I’m capable of if I don’t push myself to try new things or things that scare me a little. I really want to stretch my comfort zone this year!
  • Take a deep breath – enough said.
  • Beauty from the inside out – more to come on this on Wednesday!!! Get excited!
  • nourish – this is one of my friend’s favorite words. She put it on a notebook for me for my birthday. It’s a word that inspires me.
  • Balanced fitness – I’m praying through that I don’t idolize fitness and exercise but see it as a gift and luxury with my body as God’s temple and take care of it. I just feel better mentally when I get a good workout in, especially with eating.
  • 100% natural – I want my food to be all natural. My body feels so much better when I feed it what it’s supposed to process. I’m going to make this a goal, even if it’s difficult sometimes.
  • Decadently wholesome – While eating natural, I also want to eat wholesome foods, not processed stuff, and I hope to have decadence in my food, to splurge once in a while.
  • Take the guilt out of pleasure. Sometimes the thing your want most is just what you need. – As I said in my Goal Post, we have to listen to our bodies and give them what they need. Don’t feel guilty! (I’m talking to myself here!)
  • Relearn what your body can do – Yoga poses have pushed me to realize that I can try poses that I’m scared of. In BodyPump, I try going up in weight when I’m not sure I can. I’m not exactly sure what this looks like yet other that these two examples, but it’s only January 3rd 😉
  • lululemon mantra in the background – because I really like all the quotes on their bags, etc. and it’s red…a power color

I framed it in a pretty silver, pearl-rimmed frame, and put it up in my room. Also, I taped everything down instead of glued it. For me, it’s good to leave some flexibility in case the Inspiration Board needs some additions or shifting around 😉 hmmm…

Thanks for the idea, Gina!

My Mom sucked me into watching the Bachelor (what do y’all think about Brad? are y’all watching the Bachelor this season? I’d like to hear your thoughts!). Mom’s trying to get me to apply for the next season (WHAT?!). Now we’re watching Castle! Woohoo!

Send me links to your Inspiration Boards! I’d like to see ’em!



Around the World in A Day January 2, 2011

At least with food ;). It’s been a fun day of eating foods from all over the world!

Let’s begin our world in Asia. Mom and I grabbed a quick lunch at Mama Fu’s after dropping my Mema off. They have these amazing steam bowls…super clean and healthy. It’s brown rice with steamed veggies then you can add a protein. I added tofu. It was some of the best I’ve ever had.

Sauces are served on the side, but I didn’t use any. The clean taste of the food by itself was yummy enough for me!

After running some errands, it was snack time! Lunch was not super filling at all…just perfect! Larabars = my lifesaver!

We’re just getting around to celebrating Christmas with our family friends (who have become like an Aunt and Uncle). My Uncle Carl made my FAVORITE dinner of his tonight…tacos! These are not your typical tacos…they’re foodgasmic. Imagine crunchy carrots, radishes, celery, onions…off to Guam!

I just put the veggies over Trader Joe’s organic blue corn chips (they have organic oil and sea salt on them). I ate half and decided I needed more flava, so I added about 2 Tbsp of ground beef (and a few more veggies) to fit in more with the family. It was the only protein option tonight. My plate…

Now off to Argentina for some vino (Finca Roja Malbec)

Back to America…and Greece 😉 hehe

Not close to being full so that I could have room for dessert: slice of Angus Barn chocolate chess pie warmed with a cup of about 2 Tbsp of greek yogurt (I run through this stuff like nobody’s business) with cacao nibs and 5 sugared pecans (can’t get enough!).

Time for Christmas presents. An ornament for Amber…

Candles for Mom…

a Blue Ray player for the family…WOW!

a Ho ho ho (you have to know the joke) towel for Aunt JuJu

Yes, there’s football in the background. Now we’re watching Knight and Day sipping on some half caf.

I also have to share that God is blowing my mind with raising support for my South Africa trip! It’s amazing to step out of my comfort zone and see what He can do. WOW! See y’all tomorrow!


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. 😉 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’s 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!

The Joys of Comfort Food December 27, 2010

With all the laying around yesterday, I wasn’t really hungry last night around dinner time (grrr!), so I rummaged around in the pantry and found the ingredients for some soup (high volume, low calorie):

  • organic veggie broth
  • can of green beans, rinsed
  • can of corn, rinsed
  • can of black beans, rinsed
  • frozen okra
  • leftover lima beans with parsley from Christmas dinner

P.s. – I learned that there’s so much icky stuff in canned soup and canned veggies, so it took me a while or reading cans to find these veggies that were “clean.”

Yummy! I had a broiled turkey burger sprinkled with mozzarella-style Daiya and a spoonful of traditional hummus.

and some Finca Roja Malbec

Dessert consisted of peppermint mocha coffee, a Fuji apple, and a square of 100% chocolate. It has a yummy bitter taste.


I wanted some of my Peanut Flour-Banana sauce at breakfast this morning, so I made some to top my oatmeal with. Warm oats was the perfect breakfast with the chill of the snow still around.

also topped with EBTKS muffin and blueberries. And some half-caf coffee 😉


My workout today was two-part: this morning I did BodyPump and 45 minutes of cycling, and I taught Zumba tonight.

We went to get my Mema today to bring her to our house for the week. On the way home, Cracker Barrel was calling our name, so I rolled with breakfast #2 (breakfast all day!)…what is it with comfort food this time of year?

Morning Sampler: 2 turkey sausage patties (I was wanting meat…weird!), 2 sunnyhappyside-up eggs hehe, cranberry orange muffin (amazing but huge! I only could eat half, so I brought the other half home), a pineapple and vanilla yogurt parfait with almond granola. It’s a little bit of everything!

and some decaf to drink, which was really good!

As soon as we got home, I changed and got ready for Zumba. Amber came tonight, wearing her new Zumba top I got her for Christmas.

We’re rocking the gear! And Mema came! She was so cute!


Also, I just found out that if you’d like to support my medical missions trip to South Africa, you can do it online. You’ll need to simply create a profile to access the online giving. I have been promised that this doesn’t spam or send out messages! We’re really pushing to get the majority of our donations online this year if possible. Thank-you for your continued friendship and support!