ashley avenue

a journey to healthy balance

To Rest or Not to Rest January 8, 2011

Hey y’all! What a day! How was your Saturday?

I woke up this morning without an alarm at 6:30 after going to bed at 12:30 a.m. My intention was to sleep in today and then go to an hour RPM (a Les Mills cycling class) at 8 a.m. After doing my quiet time, I battled back and forth with going as I was exhausted from the Dance Party last night and 5 hours of sleep (not rest) the past 2 nights because of early classes.  My options were to take a day off or go to yoga at 10 a.m. I wasn’t starving as I usually am when I wake up and was running out of time as I was trying to decide what to do. I struggle with how many calories I’d burn today (this is SO vulnerable and scary to put out there…whew!) since I knew my family was going to Carraba’s for dinner.

In the end, I laid back down on the couch for a little less than an hour, then got up, made some yummy breakfast and went to 10 a.m. yoga. I want to encourage y’all and ask your advice on your mental battles. Do you ever have mental conversations with yourself on body/nutrition/exercise issues?

 I’m trying to stick with my goal listening to my body this year. I know it’s important to take time for your body to repair and get rested for your next workouts, but I have a difficult time with full days off and am praying for God to teach me how to prioritize and take care of the one and only temple I’ll ever have. I’d love to hear anything y’all have to offer on this issue of rest days. What do your rest days look like…doing nothing, a little stretching, etc.?


My yummy breakfast was a bowl of oats with a muffin crumbled on top! Oh, how I have missed this goodness in my life. ANNND these muffins were even better than the last batch! You can really taste the apple pie spice since there’s not a lot of other competing flavors. Observe Exhibit A…

In the mix:

  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats, almond milk, water, Kiefer (NEW INGREDIENT of the day!!!)
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 Tbsp peanut flour
  • 1/2 smashed banana
  • sprinkles of salt and sexy spice
  • toppings: crumbled Rise and Shine Muffin, blackberries, 1 Tbsp Trader Joe’s cranberry orange spread (another new AMAZING ingredient!), a little Naturally More (for digestive help!)

Today’s new ingredients as you can see were keifer and the cranberry orange spread. I tried keifer because when I use greek yogurt, I like to liquid stuff on top in the morning mix because of the little liquid consistency, so i figured I’d just try keifer, and it turned out great! I was afraid that it would be too liquidy…nope! Perfect consistency! The peanut flour in the mix really balanced it out well. My other new ingredient was the cranberry orange spread from Trader Joe’s. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!!! It’s the perfect flavor combo at breakfast. I tried it since I like their pumpkin butter so much, and it did not disappoint.

Is it bad that I’m already excited about a repeat in this polka dot beauty tomorrow morning?!

Oh, follow-up from yoga. It was great! I loved Mira’s flow today. I was really challenged, and it felt great to stretch out my muscles from yesterday. It didn’t matter that I didn’t burn all those calories from RPM. I challenged myself in a different way, and I discovered that I love binding poses. We did a bound tree fold today that felt great! And we did a flower pose…so pretty!

I went to the store with Mom then came home for lunch. I cooked a massive bunch of kale on the stove top with a little EVOO and garlic and 1/4 cup of water. The bunch was taking up so much room in our frige that I just decided to cook it. It’s amazing how much smaller it is cooked down hehe. Plus, I had enough for leftovers for later this week.

For lunch, I just put some on a plate as a bed for a Morning Star veggie burger (love these!) topped with roasted red pepper hummus…

…and a small organic cameo apple with peanut flour sauce and a Rise and Shine muffin. The muffins are SO good!

Plus some Starbucks Caramel coffee. Perfect lunch! This coffee is really good. I don’t use coffee cream, so having flavored coffee is a great treat!


Summit was incredible tonight, especially worship! Our sermon was on Isaiah 11:19-30, and we were challenged on how respond to how God is working and not becoming too complacent or enjoying glory that belongs to him. I was challenged to examine where I can more sacrifically live and give.

As I mentioned, we had dinner plans for Carraba’s…

I started with a glass of red wine (the Sangiovese-Merlot blend). Yummy!

An Italian side salad (thank-you, Carraba’s, for not drowning the salad with dressing!)

And Chicken Bryan (with no butter) and green beans.

I didn’t want dessert tonight (gasp! I know!). I guess I’m just looking forward to breakfast!

Saints lost 😦 Watching the Jets and Colts play now…

Thanks for reading, y’all, seriously! I look forward to your comments on rest .


The Queen of Multitasking

Hey y’all! How’s your Friday going so far? Mine’s been productive. I love multitasking. It’s just the way my brain works.

I got up at 4 a.m. to be at the gym by 5 a.m. for cardio before my 6 a.m. Pump class. 😉 Those people make getting up early SO worth it. They are such a blast!

I don’t know why, but I have been extra hungry the past few days (if anyone can look over my posts and see how to help, I’d appreciate it. I feel like I’m gaining weight, and I am actually hungry, not emotional or boredom eating.)

I didn’t know what to feed my growling tummy this morning, so I ended up with a smorgasbord of 1 piece of cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread with peanut flour banana sauce spread on it, an apple with some Naturally More spread on it (I really needed some fiber and digestive help, so I went for it!).


And a small yogurt bowl of greek yogurt with ½ sliced banana and blackberries. All was garnished with sexy spice!


And some half caff coffee in the ol’ “inspiration tumbler,” of course!

When that was scarfed down and my quiet time done, I got to multitasking.

Side note – I had an amazingly enlightening time in the Bible this morning about how God uses are circumstances to speak to us. I am not sure of my future plans, though I have a plan to get where I want to go. He will clue me in on His plan for me if and when I need to know what the amount of detail that I need to know. He has a great perspective that I do, and He knows how it ends. I don’t. My circumstances now by the world’s standards call me a failure, but I know He’s developing my character for what’s to come and allowing me to know Him in a different way than I ever could without going through these specific circumstances. I just really wanted to share that with y’all because I have seen a lot of relevant posts recently.

Back to multitasking:

I am trying to do a facial mask once a week for my skin this year, but I hate having to put it on and wait for 10-15 minutes before washing it off, BUT it’s the perfect thing to do while baking 😉 So I put on my mask, and went into the kitchen. My Daddy thought I was having a bad make-up day.

I miss my muffins in my oats in the morning and have not made time to make anymore since my “Everything But the Kitchen Sink” ones ran out, so this happened.


 This time, I went with Eat Clean Morning Glory Muffins, but adapted the recipe a little to this, what I’m calling the “Rise and Shine muffin”…

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/8 cup peanut flour
  • 2 Tbsp Bob’s Red Mill Flaxseed Meal
  • 3/4 cup Nature’s Patch pumpkin and raisin oat cereal
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup Sucanat
  • 1 tsp apple pie spice
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, 1/3 cup dried cherries

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 banana mashed
  • 2 Tbsp applesauce
  • 1/4 cup egg whites 
  • 1/2 cup plain keifer
  • 1/2 small organic Cameo apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


  • Put all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well.

  • Put all wet ingredients in a medium bowl and mix.

  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients without over mixing.
  • Fill greased or lined muffin tins about ¾ full with batter.

  • Bake at 425*F for 15-20 minutes (I baked them convection style for 15 minutes, and my toothpick came out clean as a whistle!)

  • Enjoy, feast, gawk at, anticipate how lovely they’ll be in oats tomorrow morning 😉

While those were in the over, I got dressed for lunch and curled my hair with hot rollers. While the rollers were setting, I cleaned the bathrooms in our house.

Whew!  Multitasking is fun…it’s like a game 😉

I had lunch with a group of ladies that I worked with high school at a local boutique. They are all in their 60s, but we have a blast together and try to get together for birthdays. We were celebrating one of their birthdays today at a local restaurant called Cooley’s (if it’s your birthday you pick where we meet), which does not have a lot of healthy options, but one can get creative.

One thing I love about lunching with these ladies is that we always have Chardonnay no matter where we go.


We sat for over 2 hours just chitchatting over our meal. I had a garden salad with lettuce, tomato, cucumber and red onion (no cheese or croutons, please!) with a sun-dried tomato basil vinaigrette on the side. By the time we ate it was close to 2 p.m., so I easily demolished it.


I had a dental cleaning appointment that went really well. They sandblasted my teeth with fluoride since I have a coffee addiction affinity that I’m not willing to give up. They feel clean and smooth now. I ran a few errands to pick up the essentials…Larabars (which I can NOT find on sale anywhere! grrr) and Naturally More. I can only find Naturally More at Wal-Mart, which I detest going into, so I really stock up when I go. You should see the checkout people when they ring up all my jars of Naturally More 😉

One of the gyms I teach at had a two-hour Dance Par-tay tonight that included Zumba and two Les Mills programs BodyJam and Sh’Bam.


What a blast! I was a sweaty mess when I left there, and the time flew by!

The lights were off except for strobe lighting and twinkle lights all around the room. It was a night club at the gym, and we let the booty shake, if you know what I mean 😉


For dinner, my family went to one of our favorites, Bass Lake Draft House. We used to come at least once a week in the summer but have slacked off some. We always sit in the bar area and have made friends with the staff. They have a great selection of beer on draught as well as vino and cocktails.


I tasted Magic Hat’s Winter Ale, but I didn’t like the taste. I thought about ordering Woodchuck Pear cider, but I knew that I wanted dessert. I just went with a little water instead to save the calories.

I had my usual there for dinner. ..grilled salmon with double veggies and no rice.


And the dessert I’d been so excited to order:

CHOC’LATE LOVIN’ SPOON CAKE – giant mouthful of chocolate pudding between two layers of dark, moist chocolate drenched chocolate cake.  WOOOO! I had some decaf too. No meal is complete without decaf at the end in my opinion.

Are you a “multitasker” or a one-thing-at-a-time kind of person?