ashley avenue

a journey to healthy balance

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!




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!



Assembly Required December 19, 2010

Hey y’all! Happy Sunday! I woke up this morning, had a great quiet time, and came downstairs to make some coffee and watch the news. I’m headed out of town for a few days, so I decided to bake some hostess gifts. I rolled semi-homemade and baked Santa cookies (red velvet with white chocolate chips) and gingerbread men.

The breakfast inspiration continued with a couple of posts this week from the Fitnessista and Pure2Raw. Then, this happened…Bananas Foster Protein Pancakes.

To make this happen, you just layer pancake, creme filling, banana carmelized in pan with pancakes, cacao nibs…REPEAT twice ;)!

In the pancakes:

  • 1/4-ish cup old-fashioned oats
  • a flax egg (1.5 Tbsp flax meal mixed with 3 Tbsp almond milk)
  • 1/2 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • sprinkle of Truvia and cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • pinch of sea salt
  • almond milk, to thin it out

In the creme filling:

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • water and almond milk for desired consistency
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • pinch sea salt
  • pinch lemon zest

Blend till creamy in your blender. (I just have a regular blender but desperately want a VitaMix. Maybe I’ll save enough one day. 😦 )

It was a little bland, so I added a drizzle of maple syrup…fa drizzle! It was really yummy, not too filling! I had some creme leftover…what in the world will I do with it ;)?

My workout today was 50 minutes of cycling and an hour of power yoga. I was really tired today. I think I’m in need of a rest day soon because my workouts have not been as efficient because I am feeling weak and tired during the workout. Rest day coming soon for sure…decision made!

After exercising, I made some lunch…a slice of multigrain boule withorganic spinach and an egg and some cheddar-style Daiya,

and some carrots, edamame, and celery with Moroccan hummus that I got on sale at Harris Teeter. The hummus was really tasty…it had kind of an Indian flava!

Yummy, colorful, texture-ful lunch!

I had  a sweet Fuji apple (also on sale from the Teet) for dessert. I love crunchy apples!

Off to watch some football! WOOHOO!!!!