ashley avenue

a journey to healthy balance

Southern Style, Y’all! January 11, 2011

Howdy! How are y’all?!

My workout today: only Zumba (45 minutes) and a 20 minute ab workout.

Lunch today was a mug of Mom’s (best batch ever!) turkey chili with a dollop of Angus Barn cheddar cheese (wow, that was amazing!) with some Brussels sprouts, a Fuji apple with peanut flour sauce dip. It was so colorful, yummy, and healthy.

I’ve been having savory snacks lately. Usually, I’ll have something sweet like greek yogurt and fruit or an apple and PB, but lately it’s been hummus and cheese with veggies (carrots and celery today with roasted red pepper hummus). I feel like the hummus is multiplying! I can NOT get rid of it. This particular kind isn’t that great, but I don’t want to open a new container until I finish this one, you know?

Today, I studied about metabolic acids, ketone bodies, ion concentration, acids and bases…it sounds so nerdy, but, again, our bodies are SO COOL!

Daddy and I are home alone this week because Mom’s out of town on business. We’ve been watching hunting shows in Africa together in the afternoons. They are SO cool! I can’t wait to go!!! (not to hunt hehe)

I’ve been planning dinner in my head since my Trader Joe’s shopping extravaganza last week. I wanted some southern cookin’, clean style…sort of!

Some ingredients…

That turned into…

1/2 package Chicken-less Pulled Chicken (like pulled pork), 1/2 a sah-weet potato with organic baked beans, a huge bunch of kale (like collard greens) that I felt like needed to be finished off. I almost made some sweet tea, but saved the calories for this instead…

a glass of Christmas wine from Duplin County.

And for dessert…

Vegan Chocolate Mug Cake adapted from Gina

Serves: 1


-2 T flour of choice (I used peanut, but whole wheat or gluten-free would be great too)

-1 T protein powder (I used Chocolate)

-1 T special dark chocolate powder (or 1/2 T of cooked cacao powder)

-1/4 t baking soda

-pinch of sea salt

-1 flax egg (1 T milled flax seed mixed with 3 T water)

-2 T almond milk (or any other milk of choice)

-1 square crumbled 100% cacao

-1/2 T unsweetened applesauce (optional, for moisture)

-1/2 t vanilla extract

-cinnamon and Truvia, to taste

-greek yogurt for a la mode style  (optional)


1. Spray the inside of a microwave-safe coffee mug with nonstick spray

2. Add the dry ingredients (flour, protein, cacao, baking soda and salt), and stir well to combine

3. Add the wet ingredients and mix with a spoon until mixture resembles a thin cake batter –make sure there are no flour chunks in there.

4. Taste the mixture and add Truvia and cinnamon to your tastebuds. Stir in chocolate chips or even nuts if you want to.

5. Microwave on high for 2 1/2 – 3 minutes, until the cake is cooked on top and around the edges. (I did 2 and 1/2 minutes and had a chocolate lava explosion in the microwave hehe)

6. Using a spoon, loosen the edges (or scrape it off the microwave 😉 ) and plop onto a plate. Garnish with fruit, chocolate syrup, cacao nibs, sexy spice, or nut butter…even make it “a la  yogurt” if you’d like.

7. Feast!


Fasting January 10, 2011

Hey y’all! Happy Monday!!!! How was your weekend? Let me know!

My tummy was growling this morning after a wonderful time in the Word. I knew EXACTLY what I wanted…some Rise & Shine oats!

In today’s mix:

  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats, water, almond milk, greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp chia seeds, peanut flour
  • sprinkles of sea salt and cinnamon
  • 1/2 smashed banana
  • toppings: Rise & Shine muffin, blackberries, blueberries, Naturally More, Trader Joe’s cranberry apple butter (I think I said it was cranberry orange before, but no, it’s apple, and it’s so so so good!) 

WOW!!!! I wish you could have had some 😉

Today was the usual Monday workout of RPM, BodyPump, with a twist of Flow Yoga (with Margee…one of my favorite teachers!). Margee always challenges me, and she really brought it with core work today! WOO!

When I ran in from the cold came home for lunch, I did NOT know what I wanted. I can’t stand when I’m not craving something not :(. so I ended up with…a little mug of vegetable soup (green beans, okra, black beans, corn, lima beans, veggie broth)…

with some seasoning (crushed red pepper flakes and mixed seasoning from the Farmer’s Market.)

…the rest of my Amy’s pizza (roasted veggie with no cheese) and some carrots, cucumbers, and celery with Moroccan hummus.

Plus a Fuji apple with peanut flour banana sauce. I figured y’all were tired of that photo 😉 with some 1/2 caff to warm my bones. It’s starting to snow here, so I cancelled Zumba for tonight 😦 I will miss my ladies so much!!!


Also, I need to tell y’all about a decision I made. I am participating in Awake 21. I have felt the Lord calling me to fast for a couple weeks now. I did not think it was wise to do it with food right now, so I’ve been seeking what to fast as I want to spend extra time praying for my trip to South Africa, the country as a whole, its people, my team, and for the financial support that I still need to raise. Besides food, I thought about what I spend a lot of time doing that would mean A LOT to me to sacrifically give up for 21 days…

  • TV – it’s become the 1 family activity that my parents and I do together and talk about every week, and I don’t think it’s wise or healthy to give that up with them right now as they’ve been so sweet to me through my crazy journey these past few months.
  • Food – I need to nourish my body and didn’t see it as healthy to forgo food for 21 days.
  • Exercise – it’s my job right now, so that’s a no go
  • Reading blogs – sadly, this is what I feel is best.

I am going to continue writing my blog so that y’all can walk with me through this process and pray with me; however, I am taking a 3 week fast from each of your wonderful lives. I feel so selfish asking you to continue reading Ashley Avenue when I am not going to be reading back, but I hope that you do. Feel free to leave me comments on my blog about your lives as I’ll still be reading and responding to those. I’ll be back to reading on February 1st, but for now, that’s a HUGE chunk of time that I can be spending preparing and praying about my trip and the funds I need to get there. God’s already BLOWN MY MIND with the support that has come in, and I have NEVER before raised $3000 for anything, so it’s totally in His hands.

If y’all would like to help support me, or have a creative idea for how I can raise $, leave a comment or shoot me an e-mail (ashley dot nicole dot sauls at gmail dot com). I am trying to get creative. Thank-you in advance for understanding and for always being so gracious to me. Y’all mean a lot to me!




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?