ashley avenue

a journey to healthy balance

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 ūüėČ (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 ūüėČ

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

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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. ūüė¶

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 ūüėČ

Dinner dessert (y’all know¬†my rule: Every meal gets dessert ūüėČ ): 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 ūüėČ

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 ūüėČ

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 ūüėČ (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 ūüėČ ) 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 ūüôā 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 saut√©ed¬†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!

 

A Breakfast and a Half

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?

 

The Power of Suggestion January 29, 2011

Filed under: breakfast,Happy Bowl,lunch,RPM,salad beast,veggies,working out — ansauls @ 2:27 pm
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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 ūüėČ Oh, the power of suggestion ūüėČ

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 ūüėȬ†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

 

January 28, 2011

Filed under: almond milk,breakfast,lunch,nut butter,SIAB — ansauls @ 5:50 pm
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Hey y’all! Thanks for all of your comments and prayers. Today’s been much better. For some reason though this time of day (5:30/6 p.m.-ish), I start feeling down…not sure why. God woke me up to a beautiful brand new day full of goodness and grace.

As promised, breakfast was a smoothie in a bowl (SIAB) of the rest of yesterday’s smoothie topped with a¬†dollop of Naturally More, goji berries, cacao nibs, and raw oats. The raw oats were amazing…so flavorful by themselves. I was surprised!

I went to yoga for 90 minutes with some meditation (not sure how long the actual practice was) for my workout today.

Home for¬†lunch and some studying. I knew exactly what I wanted for lunch…leftover pasta from last night over a bed a spinach and a smooooooooooothie to drink.

This smoothie was inspired my friend Lindsay: 6 oz. of plain keifer, the rest of my defrosted mixed fruit, and 1/2 sliced nanner, a little ice. Pretty pink ;), and it made enough for breakfast tomorrow! This smoothing thing is a time saver!

It was the perfect combo of protein, fat, and carbs for lunch ūüėČ

I cleaned the house this afternoon, then had a snack of an organic fuji apple with about 2 tbsp of almond butter (it’s been soooooo¬†long since I’ve had almond butter, but I went to store and splurged on some today), a sprinkle of apple pie spice, and some “a is for almond milk” hehe

What to do for dinner? hmmmmmmm….

What do y’all have on tap for the weekend?¬†Pro Bowl is Sunday!!!! woohooo!