Front-loading all the healthy this week

Wednesday already? Here we are in the middle of the week. And this is a short one for me, because I’m heading out to Florida tomorrow for a bachelorette party in Key West. Good times ahead! But as the title of this post suggests, I’m front-loading my workouts and nutritious food, because it’s not going to be top of mind while I’m away and celebrating.

As usual on Wednesdays, today is all about food. Over the weekends, I like to indulge in a little wine and dessert, but Monday through Thursday, I prefer to keep my eats on the clean side. Sharing these posts each week is something I like to do, because it shows that consistency, variety and color are all aspects of a healthy diet. I never skip a meal, I try to include protein and carbs on each plate, and I also make sure to get plenty of fruits and veggies.

What I Ate Wednesday via A Lady Goes West

Here is everything I ate on Monday of this week …

Breakfast at 8 a.m.

Oats for breakfastOatmeal. I made this by microwaving a mixture of half a cup of oats and half a cup of almond milk. After it was cooked, I added cinnamon, a scoop of almond butter and a sliced-up banana. This bowl of goodness was enjoyed alongside a mug of green tea, sweetened with stevia and almond milk.

Mid-morning snack at 11 a.m.

Morning snack 3.2Cottage cheese, of course. Protein, tasty and everything you could ask for in a snack. And it’s so easy to pair with other things. Sometimes cottage cheese makes an appearance during my breakfast and sometimes it shows up during my snacks or lunch.

Lunch at 1:30 p.m.

LunchThis is a play on the fabulous orange dream mango protein smoothie I shared last week. But this time, I added a cup of frozen spinach for some greens. And yes, just that one cup of spinach changes the color completely. 

Mid-afternoon snack at 5 p.m.

SnackI eat a couple of protein bars a week, usually before teaching morning classes, and this Balance Bar has a good combination of both protein and carbs. Perfect pre-BODYATTACK fuel. This was nibbled on alongside another mug of hot green tea, sweetened with stevia and almond milk.

Dinner at 8:30 p.m.

Dinner 3.2Look at those grill marks. Dave prepared this BBQ-flavored chicken on the grill, and the kale and cranberry, pecan and honey-dijon-dressed salad is a pre-packaged one from Safeway that we’ve been buying a lot lately. 

That’s that! My weekly food recap has officially been shared. Now enjoy your Wednesday, friends! I’ve got quite a bit to do, including teaching BODYATTACK, before I board an airplane super early tomorrow! Woohoo!

More daily eating recaps

Each week, “What I Ate Wednesday” is hosted by Peas and Crayons for bloggers to showcase their eats to the world. If you want to see more food recaps, check out some of my posts from the past here:

  1. A full day of eating in pictures
  2. Another full day of my eats and drinks
  3. Real food isn’t always pretty
  4. Do you have a balanced dining out strategy?
  5. What I ate and drank all day
  6. Three meals, two snacks and a shake
  7. Food trucks and rest-day eating
  8. Plenty of protein at every meal
  9. Colorful fuel for a day of training
  10. Long days of training require a lot of food
  11. Making do on “What I Ate Wednesday” 
  12. Healthy foods for a rest day
  13. Who doesn’t like pictures of food?
  14. A look at a full day of eating in pictures
  15. Snapshots from a day of delicious meals
  16. Pictures of food, because you like them
  17. Food pictures and the juice cleanse that wasn’t
  18. A look at what I really eat in a day
  19. What I ate in the Sunshine State
  20. My weekend eats and a little narrative
  21. Stories about food and yesterday’s meals
  22. A day of eating and some commentary
  23. Do you want to know what I ate yesterday?
  24. Healthy challenges and foods from my day
  25. Eating, napping and eating again
  26. Filling up on healthy food before the holiday
  27. A perfect birthday at home and my eats
  28. Top blog posts, reader stats and my food
  29. A different kind of training and my food
  30. Joining a healthy green movement and my eats
  31. Must-try veggie pasta tip and my eats
  32. Are you eating this sweet and satisfying fruit?
  33. What a difference a week makes and my eats
  34. On Wednesdays we look at pictures of food
  35. Food, drinks and a very hydrating giveaway

Questions of the day

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten lately? How’s your week going so far? What’s the last place you traveled to by plane?

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A fabulous housewarming party full of friends

It’s been one month since Dave and I moved into our new place. After more than two years of living in incredibly small apartments in downtown San Francisco, we’re absolutely loving our newer and bigger spot outside the City in the East Bay. While at first I thought I would miss being right in the middle of the hustle and bustle that comes with urban dwelling, I’ve quickly come to realize that comfort and quiet is more important. Now that I have a car and don’t have to walk everywhere, life seems a little less stressful. Grocery shopping is easy, everything I need is a quick drive away, and yet we can still get to a sushi restaurant on foot in less than 10 minutes, oh and we have more than one closet. So basically, it’s perfect.

Soon after getting settled in our new place, Dave and I knew we wanted to throw a little housewarming, since we finally live in a place large enough to entertain. 

Ashley at housewarmingI love to host! And I also love to use my silver serving platters, which Dave and I received for wedding gifts nearly three years ago.

A couple of weeks ago, we sent out an evite to some of our friends and were very surprised and elated to have nearly 30 people RSVP “yes.” In the end, we had 26 people total who showed up for the Pitt “Suburban Soiree” gathering this past weekend. So it was a full house.

A very successful Suburban Soiree

On Saturday, at 5:30 p.m. the guests began to arrive. (My college girlfriend Chelsea stayed in town for an extra night after her work event, the lovely wine-tasting, which Dave and I attended the night before, so it worked out perfectly that she could also come to our party. She came a little bit before the group to hang out and help set up.) 

As people showed up, we welcomed them upstairs into the main living area where we had some party tunes playing on Spotify, a slideshow of some of our crazy adventures playing on the flat-screen TV and an array of food and drinks. We sent out a map of the area a couple days in advance, letting people know that the front door of our place actually opens to a courtyard and luckily nobody got lost or confused. Dave even drew some stars on the sidewalks leading up to our door to help people find their way.

The guest-list was pretty diverse, and the attendees included some of our friends who live in San Francisco, some of Dave’s coworkers who live all over the Bay Area, and other people we’ve become close with during the last two-and-a-half years living in California. It’s times like those when you have all of your friends over that you can truly appreciate the value of friendships made, because it certainly helps you feel like you’ve set some roots down in your “newish” city. It was even more enjoyable to see our friends from different groups get to know each other over the course of the night. Good people like other good people, that’s for sure.

Party guests and friendsA look at some of the friendly faces who joined us for the party, including a group shot of some of the ladies in the kitchen, me with Chelsea and Sarah, and our dear city friends Mike and Laurene.

So many of our friends brought us bottles of wine as gifts, and we even received some gourmet popcorn, a bouquet of flowers and a potted plant. I was super excited to find a place for the plant, and with the addition of live greenery, we can certainly call our place a true home. Now let’s get to some of the party logistics …

The details on the party food

I made all of the food for the party, focusing my efforts on bite-sized delights that would please a large group. Some items had a healthy twist, but most of it was purely delicious party food, prepared without regard to the calories. Because let’s face it, calories consumed at parties don’t count. Right?

Party foodBite-sized treats shown above include nearly all the colors of the rainbow.

Here are the recipes I made and/or assembled, some of which I modified slightly:

I prepared the desserts on Friday, as well as prepped the chopped-up veggies. The rest of the food I made on Saturday in the day and finished everything right before it was go-time. I was the queen of lists leading up to the party. I assembled my recipes via Pinterest, made shopping lists, went to several grocery stores more than once, wrote out instructions for each dish and then conquered each one-by-one. I’d say it turned out pretty good, and the stand-out crowd pleasers were of course, the meatballs and the cheesy bacon bites.

Housewarming food and drinkA selection of goodness including a cocktail served in a large mason jar, various food and drinks.

And for the beverages, Dave and I provided a variety of beer, wine, bubbly and spirits, including a specialty cocktail, which we made — Sweet tea vodka lemonade. Most people also brought a little bit of beer and wine to share as well, which was a good thing, because the party went on until nearly 11 p.m. so we needed the extras!

The details on the party entertainment

Outside of hanging out with our guests, nibbling and drinking, we also had a few activities planned. In the garage, Dave has set up a “speakeasy lounge” featuring music, beer pong tables, flip-cup tables, a sidewalk chalk graffiti station and more. This was not just a man cave, and many of the girls hung out down there as the night went on. However, Dave didn’t introduce the lounge concept until a couple hours into the party, to make sure we didn’t create a segregated girls and guys environment too early on in the night (because you know most girls tend to stay in the kitchen, which was true for our party too). Unfortunately, it was way too dark to capture any photos worth sharing of the garage set-up, so you’ll have to use your imagination there.

Housewarming party successA shot from the kitchen looking out at all of the guests socializing, as well as the food table before party time and a fancy bottle of champagne, brought as a celebratory toast from some lovely friends.

We also had some fun taking blurry and ridiculous photos using a selfie-stick. And finally, we got into a late-night game of Cards Against Humanity (one of my favorites from Friday) with a group of about 10 people who stayed until the end, which was a fabulous time, full of laughter. It was at this point that the munchies set in and our group finished off nearly all of the remaining food.

Filling the house with warmth

After everyone left, Dave and I were completely exhausted, but so happy with the turn-out. We decided to leave the mess and went to bed. It took quite a while to clean up on Sunday, but we had our place back in business by noon, which really wasn’t too bad.

Hosting parties is not only a lot of work, but it’s also pretty expensive when you have a big group. It’s something that Dave and I did a lot more when we lived in Florida, and I’d love to get back into it. In the end, it was worth every little bit of effort to welcome all of our friends, who live all across the Bay Area into our home to hang out. The term “housewarming” is totally effective to describe how it felt. Our place is broken in, warmed up and serving as a fabulous place for us right now. We’re pretty darn happy we got to see so many of our friends and show them our new pad, as well as have a little carefree fun on a Saturday night.

So there you have it! Tonight, Dave and I are attending a fashion event in Union Square, and I’ll be back here with you tomorrow for a post about food. Happy Tuesday, friends!

Questions of the day

When was the last time you went to a good party? What’s your favorite game to play at parties? What’s something you are looking forward to this month?

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