I had this idea for a series of pop-up dinner parties last year. But the vision never really played itself out in my head until I decided to use the 21 Day Fix's nutrition plan to help me go Paleo. After I announced that I was trying the Paleo lifestyle on for size, I had a lot of people remark to me that while they thought it would be good for them, they could never do it because they would never be able to go out to eat, or have friends over for dinner... in essence, they told me going Paleo and eating mindfully would equal the death of fun.
I love dinner parties and hosting friends over candlelight and delicious food more than most people you may know! So the idea of never getting to do that again just because I wanted to eat according to the Paleo template made me sad! I decided that I was not going to give in that easily! And the idea for GATHER was born! What if I could plan a series of Paleo (Get it... "gather"? Thank you. Thank you. I'm here all week!) dinner parties that were mindful, used fresh and clean ingredients, and that could fit into a balanced and moderate meal plan like the 21 Day Fix? Was this the holy grail of healthy living?!
I set out to take on the task with my inaugural GATHER. An autumnal inspired gathering with a simple but savory spread for a few of the girls on my team! I planned a menu that included some of my favorite Paleo menu items and made sure to label everything with the serving sizes fitting into the 21 Day Fix guidelines so my guests could serve themselves according to their daily allowance of each food group! It was a SMASHING SUCCESS!
Take a look for yourself! I hope you are inspired to think outside of the box and make your healthy choices a natural part of your life! And stay tuned, I've got a bunch more GATHER pop up dinners in the works so keep checking in for more healthy and mindful dinner party inspiration!
A simple menu with items FULL OF FLAVOR made for a satisfying meal high on happy and low on compromise. The table was set up family style so guests could serve themselves according to their own preferences. Each dish was labelled letting everyone know the 21 Day Fix servings and portion size!
The roasted root veggies (sweet potato, purple potatoes, yuca root) were diced, tossed lightly in extra virgin olive oil and roasted till tender with ghee and fresh minced garlic! A tiny sprinkle of salt to enhance all the flavors and it's that simple!
Boneless, skinless organic and free range chicken breasts were cut into slices, and seasoned with herbs then grilled. Cherry tomatoes were stacked onto fresh rosemary sprigs and grilled till tender! Grilling them directly on the rosemary sprigs infuses them with flavor! (And it's pretty!)
The harvest salad is one of my FAVORITE salads! Mixed spring greens are tossed lightly in olive oil and champagne vinegar then pickled beets and pistachios are added in. I had goat cheese on the side for anyone who didn't mind some dairy.
Lastly, herb infused lemon water was made fresh just before dinner! You can do all kinds of fun infusions in ice water that add so much flavor and keep water from being boring.
Our team's symbol is the arrow so there were lots of hidden arrows incorporated throughout the party. Like these in the initials on each guests' cup.
As the sun set, the cafe lights we strung up over the table made everything begin to glow! Is there anything better than twinkly lights? I think not.
This arrow bracelet is a little gift I send my new coaches when they hit their first big promotion! It was so fun to see one of my girls wearing it to our party!
I couldn't resist pulling out my polaroid and snapping some just-for-fun keepsakes! I can't wait to have the GATHER parties grow! But something about this very first one, small and simple, will forever be special.