My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!


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Baked Doughnuts For Everyone: From Sweet to Savory to Everything in Between, 101 Delicious Recipes, All Gluten-Free


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sweet + savory + workout awesomeness

Like I said yesterday, I was missing my Scottish Oats! 

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I made my strawberry banana pancake topping…but why?

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Bowl of cinnamon Scottish Oats.

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Where did the oats go?

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Smoothie oats!  These would have been 10x better if my banana wasn’t sliiighty green :(  It was still good but I hate that un-ripe flavor…it is really overpowering!  I heated up the smoothie part so it didn’t make my oats cold.  I wasn’t 100% sold on this idea, but it was a fun change.

However, I’m still missing my regular Scottish Oats.  I know what’s on tabs for tomorrow!

I am still obsessed with my Maple Cinnamon Almond Butter.  I have tried to stop talking about it so frequently…but I still eat it almost daily.  Mmmmmm

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I caught up on comment responses, cleared my google reader, and cleared my inbox.  I can’t believe how behind I get from the weekends!  I felt like fishing around in the pool today, so I got ready and was walking to the rec center at about 12:30.  The open swim only went til 1:30.  When will I learn to get going EARlier so I can actually swim the distance I want to…or at least have more time than I need.  I always get interrupted by the guards pulling the lanes out.  Silly me.

This is hands down the best coconut water I’ve had yet.  I mixed it with 1/2 water in my bottle and some ice.  The flavor was delicious and I could even drink this one straight up because it didn’t have that weird slippery texture that all the others have.  It’s pretty pricey so I will keep diluting it  :)

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Fish workout:

  • 50m – kickboard
  • 50m – buoy
  • 50m – breast stroke
  • 1625m – freestyle – My longest distance yet! [in my last post I said I went 1700m…apparently I need to go back to math class…doh!  I actually went 1450m last time]
  • 75m – breast stroke cool down
  • 3min tread water

Guess what else?? During the 1625m I did bilateral breathing the.whole.time!!!  This was huge for me!  The past few weeks I haven’t even been attempting it.  I felt like I just couldn’t catch my breath or get in a groove.  A little over half way through I switched to strong side breathing for 2 laps, just to see the difference…and now that actually felt harder to me!  I’m really excited about this!  My whole workout was 45min.  I loved iiiit!!!

I made some realizations on my walk home from the pool.  The weather was amaaaazing today and I felt so great after the swim.  I started to think about the difference in how I feel since my running break.  I touched on this last week a bit but want to talk about a few more things.

I realized that for so long, I felt I had to work out.  I had to work out to burn off that extra bowl of cereal/cookie/muffin/etc. or to try to help get rid of the last of my annoying college weight, or extra pounds I put on with my desk job last year.  I always thought I enjoyed working out, but now I’m realizing most of the time I wasn’t really there for the fun of it [and by “there” I mean the gym, because I was never really an outside runner and just got into biking]. 

I’m not saying it’s bad to work out with a goal in mind.  And I’m not saying it’s wrong to work out for the calorie burn.  However, since the running hiatus, I feel that my health + fitness level has improved to a new level.  I also have stopped thinking about going further just for the reason of burning more calories.  I now want to go further and push harder to test my limits and see improvement.  Climbing at the gym has been so rewarding.  Every single time I’m there, I finish a new bouldering problem that I wasn't able to finish the previous trip.  It’s more like a game than a workout, and I’m loving it. 

I guess this started last year when I started running and training for my first 1/2 marathon.  However, after that was over, it was back to running just for maintenance. 

Learning to ride a bike again [haha] has given me confidence that I will one day be able to compete in a triathlon.  I feel + see myself getting stronger and expanding my list of exercise activities.  Swimming has amazed me.  I hated swimming in high school.  How dare they make you swim in high school.  Awkwardness on so many levels.  I remember using the “time of the month” excuse whenever I could [sorry to the 3 male readers I have].  The locker room, boys’ stares, wet hair the rest of the day, blegh!  Torture.  I lifeguarded for one summer but never did much actual swimming.  I swam for exercise a bit at OSU but gave up on it because I felt like I could never catch my breath!  My senior year I took a swimming class and the teacher really helped us excel and build up endurance, and I liked it!  Up until now, I haven’t had such easy + cheap access to a pool.  I had to get back in the water!!  You know by my workout recaps that I’m loving it.

What am I trying to say here?  Basically, I no longer work out solely to balance my food intake.  Sure, that is some of it but it is not the driving force or even close to it anymore.  Now, I work out for complete fun.  I workout to see how far I can push myself [within reason of course].  I workout to feel strong and healthy.  I try new things to become a more well rounded athlete.  And yes, I consider myself an athlete

And now I present you with a hungry hungry hippo’s lunch.  Can I be the pink one?


Leftover soba/italian/bean pasta from yesterday.

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1 slice of Fitness Bread [You must try this!!! just found it at Whole Foods] topped with:

  1. ~1T tomato paste + 5 stalks sautéed asparagus + ~1/2T hidden nutritional yeast [you can see a little yellow under the asparagus!]
  2. ~1T maple cin AB + 2 huge spoonfuls of plain greek yogurt [Allie style] + slice of kiwi

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Oh yes.  This was delicious.  The nut butter flavor with the yogurt = YUM plus a little kiwi sweetness and savory bread.

(9 of 20)


(10 of 20)

A sweet + savory balanced meal.  It was completely satisfying and filling.  This actually kept me full for more than 2hrs!

(11 of 20)

We headed to the rock gym and it rocked. [ha.ha.ha.]  I was stuck on 1 problem for the first 20-30min.  I think I tried it about 10 times and finalllllly completed it.  Ultimate satisfaction.

Now what? 

Why all the dark chocolate?

(12 of 20)

Well to make peanut butter chocolate coconut butter of course!!  I haven’t completed it yet, but have a few ideas of what I’m going to do.  I’m going to try incorporating high quality dark chocolate in a few of the trials and use pure cocoa powder in the other trials.  Yes, there will be multiple trials!!  My reasoning is that the dark chocolate has cocoa butter in it, sugar and a few other ingredients that will add to the overall taste.  Similar to Artisana’s Cacao Bliss using Agave, Cocoa Butter, etc.

I also want to try it with the pure cocoa powder mixed into the pnut butter and coconut butter.  It will be interesting to see what works the best!

(13 of 20)

Peanuts –> Organic Valencia Dry Roasted Peanuts

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Organic, dried unsweetened coconut flakes. [for the coconut butter part of it of course!]

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Time to get my butter on.

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Within a blink of a eye, the peanut butter was already creamy.  I literally only had to scrape the bowl once or twice.  It came together in a matter of minutes.

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Another minute…still a little gritty.

(18 of 20)

Another minute…pure creamy goodness with no added salt or sugar.  WHY would I ever buy peanut butter again?

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Peanut butter done!!  Are you getting excited for this creation, Natalie??  hehehe [my sis-in-law challenged me to make this]

(20 of 20)

Then, I took the dogs for a walk…one at a time of course!  We’re trying a new method to stop them from pulling and it’s actually working!!  It was some obscure training video Chris found.  He is trying to find it so I can post the link for you doggie owners to try out.  He literally stumbled on it on you tube.  Hopefully he can find it!

Kenna is non-stop.  She can’t sit still for a no-flash photo.

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Kenna at her finest. 

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Dakota, looking regal…and depressed.  Poor thing.

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Melissa + Jake are coming for a play-date tomorrow!!!   Soooo excited! 

Shower time.  Bed time.

<3 ashley <3

Chris found the dog training video.  It’s called Crazy Man Method - hahahaha

Reader Comments (56)

I want to make my own nut butters so bad! If only I had a food processor.

I know exactly where you're coming from re workouts! My workout used to be just to burn calories - but now I do it for the same reasons as you. I love it, and I want to see what I can do! (Bring on the 30mile challenge in July...:p).
I can't believe how easy making PB looks! I definetly need to stock up on peanuts :P

Ok the peanut butter coconut butter looks amazing! I need to make some of that tonight.

May 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJessica @ How Sweet

What a great walk home! It sounds like you have really reached your tipping point when it comes to health and exercise. You're found that healthy balance!!! This is probably what everyone strives for in life itself, but it's one of the most difficult things to obtain! Good for you Ashley! :)

May 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

Love your workout transformation - I feel the same way!

And that is quite the lunch!! Yum!

Lastly, you make homemade PB look so easy. I'm going to give it a try!

May 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKath

Ugh, I was NOT a fan of swimming in high school! And that is probably why I never caught on to it. Maybe I should take up swimming in the winter when I can't 'play' outside?

Have fun on your play date :)

May 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNienke at Revel

OH! I am so excited to try coconut peanut butter! I, too, love making my own nut butters, and I agree that maple almond is an amazing combination (I must admit I have yet to add the cinnamon...but it will be happening soon....)

Nut butter and yogurt...sounds delish! I have only had that in the form of overnight oats though...will have to try it on bread :)

I have to try bouldering. It sounds like it's a really good challenge both physically and mentally.

"I’m not saying it’s bad to work out with a goal in mind. And I’m not saying it’s wrong to work out for the calorie burn. However, since the running hiatus, I feel that my health + fitness level has improved to a new level. I also have stopped thinking about going further just for the reason of burning more calories."

I'm trying so hard to do this! I find myself at the gym doing my cardio and I feel so much better after the workout is done rather than during! I'm hoping that when I go to Greece for 3 weeks for school that the lack of a gym or scheduled time for a routine workout allows me to find some new things and maybe not obsess so much about burning calories but focus more on just being healthy and maintaining weight~ Always nice to know I'm not the only one feeling this way. :)

May 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel

nut butter at home = amazing. LOVE IT! also, i'm glad you added that part about working out...i think it's something we can all relate to!

We have several women's only triathlons here in the Denver area. It is a fantastic way to give it a "tri"! The Tri for the Cure is a very low key, although somewhat crazy experience! There is a training plan and even some how to classes. I think based on what you've been saying that you would love the experience. For me it makes exercise so much more fun to have a goal at the end. Give it a try! The only thing you might regret is the fact that you get addicted and it's ummmm kind of a costly sport! :)

May 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjulie

So weird I was just talking about 'Fitness' bread yesterday! I've been eating it for years! My favorite is to toast it and throw an egg on top. All the other types of rye bread that the company makes are great too! I lived in Denmark for a while and this is their #1 bread, but they serve it with pickled herring and liver pate (yuck haha). I wish it was cheaper here, best bread ever!

May 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

Yeeeeeah!!! Greek yogi on toast!! I thought people would look at me funny for that but it tastes like cream cheese :)I'm so happy for you and your workout realization. Working out for the calorie burn is much like self abuse. No bueno!

You are dangling those baby spoons in my face, tempting me!!

Thanks for the cliff hanger! I thought you were actually going to make it all the way through ;)

May 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFallon

Lunch looks so good!
I love the variety :)

May 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCamille

I love what you were saying about working out not because you feel you have to. It's so important to have physical activity as part of your lifestyle, not just another thing to check of the to-do list. Also, LOVE the idea for your peanut butter combo! Sounds soooo good!

May 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

Omg the asparagus and the yogurt on the bread looks amazing!

I read an article in Runner's World last month about viewing workouts as a privilege...because it truly is a privilege to be able to get up every day and move our wonderful bodies. That's given me a whole new perspective on my workouts...its no longer a chore, but a gift.

May 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStacy Marie

LOVE the new outlook in exercise!

I am at the end of my seat waiting for these amazing nut butter trials!

May 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

SOLD I have to make homemade peanut butter!! after seeing this and the possbilities for endless goodies to add into it! i must try for myself!!!

not to mention your smoothie oats look DELISH!

i always try to work out for fun and to feel good!! i was once asked, if I already had 'the perfect body' would I stil workout? and the answer is YES of keeps me sane! i workout to get those feel good endorphins, not always to balance out my food intake or 'tone up' it makes me feel amazing, strong and powerful and I dont know waht I would do with out!!

Wow! The PB looks amazing, must do this now. How much money were the roasted peanuts?

ALSO! I've had fitness bread! It's super good, dense, and really good ingredients. I like it with jam :)

I definitely know what you mean about working out to push your limits and to feel accomplished with yourself over burning calories. I never thought about food intake/calories/etc. when younger than in college I did and it was not as exciting to run anymore. It took 2-3 years to get back to working out for the reason I worked out in high school, and it is so wonderful to feel the real workout high. That peanut butter looks so creamy and tasty...I really should make some ASAP. Oh, and a clean google reader...jealous!

May 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterclaire

What a wonderful and what I would call- balanced way of looking at fitness. Your realization is a dream I have for everyone! It took me over 15 years to get there. Our society has coined exercise to be nearly a punishment for health and vitality. Instead of viewing it as a way to feel alive, we think it is a way to prevent disease and weight gain. I am starting my wellness coaching practice and one of my greatest goals is to help clients move beyond using exercise exclusively as an end to a goal.

Your view will take your great places my dear!

Getting super siked for the coco.choco.peanut butter! I have a feeling it's gonna be better than the Maple cinn AB...blasphemy?? ;)

May 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNatalie

Oh I need make some of that peanut butter...STAT! :)

May 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

I am glad to know the Fitness bread is good! I have seen it for a while so the next time I am at WF's I am definitely going to pick some up!! :) Thanks!

I sure am excited!!! HE.

I feel the same way about my running hiatus. Er, well, exercise in general hiatus. Now, burning calories is the last thing on my mind. I just want to exercise because I enjoy it and it's good for me and will keep me healthy. Which is a good place to be!

I completely agree!

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

It's reallllly tasty. I can't wait to try it with other toppings!

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

LOL....I don't know if it can top that!!

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Wellness coaching? That's awesome. Thanks for your comment!!

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Yeah, when I worked out in high school it wasn't for the calorie burn either. I was having fun with it! So glad I'm back in that place!

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

They were under $3/lb at whole foods for the organic. Yes, sooooo good..I bet it's awesome with jam!

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I completely agree :) I love the strength I'm feeling!

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley


May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Girl. That is AWEsome. We are SO lucky. Love love love that you mentioned this!! A true gift.

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

flavor explosion

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

bahaha...sorry!! I was running out of daylight + time ;)

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Um no. I can't WAIT to try other variations!

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Gaaaaaah...sounds like perfection with eggs...I luuuuurve eggs!!! Pickled herring and liver? No thanks ;)

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I was looking at a Tri in the beginning of August..not sure which it was but the swim part was 750m...It might have been a Tri for breast cancer? Can't wait til my first tri!

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I hope you can "let go" a little bit in Greece as well. Have you tried yoga? That definitely helps my mental game when it comes to working out for happiness rather than a calorie burn. Try switching something up in your routine if you feel like maybe you're burnt out!

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Yes. Totally!

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Well I haven't added the coconut yet...didn't get that far, haha..but even just the PB Is awesome! ADD the cinnamon!!! If you like cinnamon that might be the best part!

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

1-2-3 simple!!!!

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Awesome girl!!

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Oeh this post makes me really excited to make my own PB.
So can you confirm all you did was put dry roasted peanuts and unsweetened coconut in blender? Most recipes for homemade PB I have seen include some kind of oil?
If you provide quantities for this "recipe" that would be amazing! Thanks, love your blog :)

May 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRoz

Correct. Only PB...not coconut. This was just plain peanut butter! :) No oil...that was definitely not necessary!

May 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Wow coconut peanut butter. That sounds amazing. mmmmmmm.

May 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercara

I absolutely LOVE that photo of Hungry Hungry Hippos- so colorful and brings back fun memories! The peanut butter looks so creamy- gotta try this!

May 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeather I.

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