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!


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 .