ashley avenue

a journey to healthy balance

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!


Go BIG, Go Local, Go Home December 31, 2010

Hey y’all! Happy New Year’s Eve! So sorry for the late post. Here’s a quick recap of my life since our last visit…

After I came in from teaching Zumba (what an amazing class!), this was happening via Chef Dad…fajitas! I’m so proud of him…yummers!

My plate (which I had twice): a bed of peppers and onions with a little chicken and shrimp, 1 piece of steak, black beans, homemade guac, freshly sliced tomato, melted cheddar-style Daiya

And dessert….a Fuji apple and a slice of amazing-melt-in-your-mouth Angus Barn’s chocolate chess pie.

Plus some almond milk in my “A is for…” almond cup 😉

Hmmm…which slice is different?

We ate while we watched the UNC bowl game. GO HEELS! What a game…double overtime! And I have to give a shout to and Stanford fans out there…what a game against UCONN. Way to go ladies! Even though I completely respect the UCONN program, the 90-game winning streak had to be broken.


I woke up at 4 a.m. to be at the gym by 5 a.m., did the cross trainer for 40 minutes, taught BodyPump, then came home for breakfast. In celebration of my Heels, I made a true breakfast of champions. It seriously is my favorite breakfast I’ve made in a long time. I could not decide between pancakes (really just maple syrup), oatmeal, or a parfait, so I just had all 3!

Blueberry Pancake Oatmeal Parfait

How to layer:

  • sexy greek yogurt (greek yogurt with cinnamon)
  • maple syrup oats (1/4 cup oats, almond milk, water, 1 tsp chia seeds, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a pinch sea salt, 1/4 tsp maple flavoring)
  • Peanut Flour Banana sauce
  • blueberries
  • sliced banana
  • pumpkin banana granola


It’s a lot of flavor in small doses, which is my favorite way to roll! Great texture that way too!

Mom and I went for facials ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh today 😉 What a way to end 2010! Guess where we went for lunch? Nils Bakery! I can’t get enough! Do you have one of those places that you could literally go to everyday and order something different because the menu is just that good? or the same thing because it’s just your fave? hehe

Today I tried something new (proud?)…Greek salad, and I was NOT disappointed. Like I said, the couple is from Turkey and knows how to do it up right!

The salad came with drizzled balsamic (so thankful it wasn’t drowning the salad!), fresh feta, olives, cucumbers, tomatoes, fresh lettuce, and a grape leave (dolma) garnish. The balsamic was especially yummy! I left the bread alone today.

We walked around Varina to check out the little shops, and guess where we ended up?! Cupcake Bite!!!!

I’ve been anxiously awaiting their opening. I found out from Gina (the owner) today that they use all natural and organic products. I love them even more now!

Isn’t she the cutest?! She is going to “audition” for Cupcake Wars! I hope that she makes it! Mom got a cookies and cream cupcake, I got a banana cupcake pop (how could I resist…it’s so cute!), we got Daddy 2 coconut pops, and Amber a flavor of the week (mint!).

Mom opening the cute little pink box…

We took our cupcakes to the local Starbucks to enjoy over coffee. What a pretty day to sit outside. I had a grande Pike Place.

Once you pop…

The fun don’t stop…

WOW! Gina, I loved the real mashed banana in with the cake mix dipped in chocolate. Banana and chocolate are one of my favorite combos. Add some peanut butter to this, and you could call it the “Ashley Avenue” hehe The pop is the perfect size! Or maybe I should have gotten 2 😉 Oh, and Mom thought her cookies and cream was amazing…real Oreos crushed in the icing.

After some errands getting ready for tonight soiree, a snack to hold me over…

Off to try to come up with something fabulous to wear tonight. Happy New Year, y’all! Be safe, don’t drive if you shouldn’t, take care of your friends and family, MAKE SOME MEMORIES & HAVE FUN! Bring in 2011 right. Let me know how you do it.