Currently loving in fitness and food

Oh hey, friends! Welcome to today’s edition of favorites on the blog. I hope you’ve been having a great week. We’ve had a lot of rain over here in the Bay Area, and that has put a bit of a damper on our daily walks, but there’s still been some good stuff going on. Let’s get to it!

Simple-ingredient snacking on Larabars

You know my love for Larabars, because I’ve shown many-a-picture of these. However, I want to reiterate that the reason I love Larabars is because they are extremely accessible and also clean snacks, which you can find almost anywhere — they aren’t some obscure health food item you can only order from an organic overseas farmer’s market online or whatever — you know what I mean.

They have a lot of fruit and real-food ingredients. And while they don’t have a ton of protein, you know what you’re getting when you pick up a Larabar. You don’t always know what you’re getting with other bars, so read the labels, folks.

Three Larabars March 2018 by A Lady Goes West

I buy boxes of Larabars from Target, where I find they are the cheapest, and Dave and I both enjoy them. However, I recently got a shipment of some harder-to-find flavors (shown above) from my friends at Larabar (I buy WAY more than they send to me, just to be clear), and I’m LOVING all these flavor combos. Rumor has it that there is a peanut butter and jelly Larabar and a hazelnut one. I MUST get my hands on these.

I’ve mentioned this before, but in order to up the fat/protein of one of these bars, you can slab on a tablespoon or less of a clean nut butter to bolster the staying power of the snack. Yum! My overall favorite seems to be cashew cookie, but carrot cake is up there now.

A happy and noisy baby-at-the-barre class

I can’t NOT mention bring-your-baby-to-the-barre class at Open Barre Fitness in Walnut Creek again this week, because I just look forward to it so much. So quick Brady story: He has learned to “screech” with his voice, if that makes any sense — and BOY it’s loud. And it’s not a sad sound, it’s a happy sound.

Well he was SO darn loud screeching with happiness while watching me during barre that one of the other mothers came up to me after the workout was done and said .. “wow, he’s really found his voice, hasn’t he?” Ummmm, yes. Sorry! hahahah! Oh well, he did fine other than that!

Ashley and Brady at barre March 2018 by A Lady Goes West

I’ve found creative ways to touch him and wiggle him while working out, just to make sure he is entertained — like shaking his hand while I’m in plank and adding him to my hips during bridges so he can bounce. Tough stuff!

By the way, for my local friends, Open Barre Fitness is adding two more baby classes, so the schedule is now Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 2 p.m. for this session. First class is free! And they are SO kind to let me keep coming! 🙂 

The return of the sweet potato lunch

Favorite lunch of the week! Gigantic organic baked white sweet potatoes were back in my life this week for lunches, as well as avocado, Vital Farms eggs and a new kimchi from Trader Joe’s. Okay, sweet potatoes never left my life, but I hadn’t been having them every day for lunch like I used to, so I had to call it a return.

Sweet potato lunch March 2018 by A Lady Goes West

More about the kimchi (the orange stuff), because I always get questions. It looks like this …

Trader Joe's Kimchi March 2018 by A Lady Goes West

It’s pretty spicy, and although this Trader Joe’s version is quite a bit cheaper than the Farmhouse Culture kimchi I have been buying, I don’t like it as much. So this kimchi is not an official favorite, but if you’re into hot and spicy, you may like it. Nonetheless, kimchi is a fermented food, which is REALLY good for your stomach/digestive health, much like sauerkraut or yogurt. But only eat it if you like it, not just because it’s good for you.

Home-made matcha tea collagen latte

Matcha tea lattes are my jam, and I’ve been getting them at select coffee shops for more than five years — WAY before they became popular, I swear. Well, I had a few failed attempts at making them at home with crappy matcha powder in years past and so basically gave up making my own — until just recently.

I’ve finally figured it out and found the right product to do so. And an added benefit, my home-made matcha lattes have collagen in them too, featuring the high-quality matcha powder from my favorite collagen provider, Vital Proteins, of course. (<–Affiliate links!)

Vital Proteins matcha latte March 2018 by A Lady Goes West

I’ve had a warm matcha collagen latte at home this week on the rainy days, and it’s been splendid. I mean, I’m not going to give up my weekend coffee shop visits, but I’m sure happy to have these lattes at home when I need them during the week.

Here’s how I do it, and no, I’m not fancy enough to own a frother, so I do it without, just using a regular metal whisk …

How to make a matcha latte March 2018 by A Lady Goes West

(Yes, I’m still rocking these red slippers, all day and night at home!)

  1. Bring water to boil in a tea kettle.
  2. Simmer some milk in a sauce pan with a packet or two of stevia added.
  3. Put a scoop of matcha in a mug.
  4. Pour the boiling water over the matcha, while whisking it together.
  5. Pour the milk and stevia into the mug, while whisking it together.
  6. Enjoy!

So easy and so delicious! Give it a try — just in time for St. Patrick’s Day too! And thanks to my friends at Vital Proteins for always keeping me stocked.

Best reads from the web 

Just a few things worth sharing from the week … 

  • Beauty: I’m a big perfume lover and was sad to learn that most popular perfumes actually include a lot of harmful chemicals like phthalates, which are known to cause headaches. While I won’t throw out my nearly full bottle of FlowerBomb (my personal fave, which I’ve been in love with and using forever — sooo good), I am thinking of purchasing a nontoxic scent next for more everyday wear, so I loved this article on nontoxic fragrances
  • Perseverance: Part of me was worried watching this little girl try to do a box jump, but the sheer look of celebration at the end made me realize this was awesome! And it also reminded me that I haven’t done a box jump since before I was pregnant. 
  • Connection: This is a good one about how connecting with people and having a community or support system actually helps you to be healthier. Enjoy your “me time,” but also find others to share meaningful interactions with as often as you need it.

Favorite A Lady Goes West archives 

Because you often need a distraction at the end of the week, here are some more posts to peruse …

Have a fabulous weekend, my lovelies! I’ll be teaching barre, meeting with someone about our taxes and having a little pizza party with friends. Three cheers for the weekend!

Currently loving in fitness and food on A Lady Goes West ... Click To Tweet

Questions of the day

What’s one good thing that happened to you this week? Or did YOU make it happen?

What’s your current favorite TV show? We’re finally starting to watch “This Is Us” and so far so awesome!

What’s something you only like to buy and not make at home?



  1. I enjoy Lara bars from time to time too, but I definitely need to try out these new flavors. I haven’t seen them in stores near me yet, though. I wonder what would happen for you if they came out with a Red Velvet version?!!

    Happy Friday, Lady!

    1. OH MY GOSH! Should I put in a request for red velvet? Maybe they could make it with beets or something! Such a great idea! Happy Friday, Courtney! 🙂

  2. We’ve been onto the Newsroom lately, with Jeff Daniel’s it’s so good and nice to have something both Scott and I can watch.

    So glad you’re loving baby and mom classes!!!

    This is Us is suuuch a tear jerker!!!

    Happy weekend!

    1. I haven’t heard much about Newsroom before, but it’s always good to find something you and the man can both enjoy — there are a ton of shows I want to watch that Dave doesn’t hehhe. So I love when we agree on something. Happy Friday to you, my friend!

  3. I’m going through the backlog of Amazon Prime and Netflix, as I’ve been talking about on the blog. Emmie has a sort of screech that she does, but she does it when she is asleep! I think we might have just skipped the coo stage, lol

    1. heheheh a screech in her sleep? So cute! We had a long cooing stage, but now he is all about the screech. It’s pretty funny!! 🙂 Happy Friday to you! Enjoy the baby snuggles, Susie!

    1. Hi Carrie! The Farmhouse Culture kimchi (Whole Foods) is not spicy and is really good — it’s California style. And Yay for perfume twinsies heheh! Hope all is well, lady!!

  4. I love Larabars and have been searching for those new flavors but haven’t found them. And we LOVE This Is Us, we actually just got caught up last night. It’s just such a good reminder on how beautiful all kinds of love is 🙂 Happy weekend!

    1. I want to binge watch all of This Is Us and get caught up, but of course, with our Brady duties and Dave’s work schedule, we basically get to 2 episodes a week these days hahah And I can’t watch them without him — that would be bad! hahha Happy Friday, lady! Three cheers for LOVE!

  5. I hear you on the matcha! I purchased a flavored matcha and tried 3 times to get it to taste right and everytime it was very gritty. It actually made me very nauseous! I would like to try the Vital Proteins matcha, but it doesn’t have as much protein as the regular collagen. Do you use both?

    1. Hi Kimberly! hahhah bad matcha is REALLY bad. I feel ya! And yes — I have the collagen peptides or creamer in my morning green tea (just a tea bag). THEN, I have the matcha collagen in addition later – so I’m getting a double dose. It’s more like a snack or addition for me, not the main deal. And it’s good! Happy Friday!

      1. Thanks Ashley! Do you think the green tea you have in the morning gives you more energy than the matcha? That is mainly what I want it for. What green tea do you drink in the morning? Thanks again and have a great weekend!??

        1. That’s a great question — I feel like the green bagged tea (I get the 365 by Whole Foods Organic Green tea or the organic Trader Joe’s bagged kind) gives me a little boost. The matcha gives a different boost — like a gradual one that stays with you. It’s hard to describe, but NEITHER give me the jolt that coffee would, but I rarely drink coffee. I guess you could do two tea bags or double the matcha load for more of a buzz?

    1. I always have a Larabar in my purse too, Emily! I guess I’ll have to share with Brady AND Dave one day. Darn hehehe! 🙂 Happy Friday!

  6. Hi Ashley, I have never tried a Larabar. We have a Target near us. I will have to look into it. All the flavors look good. Sounds like Brady is getting more vocal. He must be getting to the age where he knows he can get your attention making noise. I am never done with yard work but I think the cool weather this week and getting the leaves all cleaned up I been able to take a few days off from the yard. But it won’t last long. A television show I have enjoyed is Timeless. Time machine goes back in time. I read that is the hardest show for the wardrobe crew to prepare for each week. Since the wardrobe has to match the time the characters are in lot of different outfits. Amazing when you are aware of this when watching the show. But MLB is my favorite sport to watch. I get the package on my cable so I can watch 10, 12 games a night. My favorite childhood team is the St Louis Cardinals. They get the most attention. Really main reason I subscribe to the package. Have a wonderful weekend.

    1. Hi Richard! I haven’t heard of Timeless, but yes, I bet it’s super hard to get all of those outfits RIGHT. I hope you enjoy the nicer weather that you’re having while it lasts! Have a great weekend! Go get a Larabar hehehe!

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