Mid-Week Break

Mid-Week Break: Goodbye 2014, It’s Been Great

Everyone is likely reminiscing on the past year. But who says I can’t do it, too? I feel like 2014 has been a pretty good year for me. The last full year of my 20s and I had a lot of good experiences. Not every moment was sunshine and daisies, but overall, I look back on the year fondly. And with that, I want to share with you a list, in no particular order:

Miss Jaime’s Top Moments in 2014

  • Going on a trip to D.C. with a great friend from college – we saw the monuments, ate pudding donuts and did a ton of walking
  • Getting promoted to senior level at work
  • Starting with my personal trainer – I was nervous and didn’t know what to expect… who knew it would turn out to be such a great experience
  • Visiting various CT wineries with my mom and with my favorite ladies from high school
  • Running my first 5k! (and then two more)
  • Long weekends at the beach and singing along to Backstreet Boys on the porch
  • Quiet evenings on the couch with the cats
  • Seeing Fitz and the Tantrums
  • Being introduced to The Name of the Wind by a friend and not being able to put it down
  • Learning how to grill!
  • Finally achieving my goal of starting a blog

I hope everyone is enjoying what’s left of 2014. Looking forward to sharing 2015 with you!

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Recipe Monday

Recipe Monday: Black Bean Salsa

I don’t know about you, but when I go to parties, I like to bring something that people will enjoy. What’s better than something that people will enjoy that is also pretty healthy for you? You get that with my Black Bean Salsa. My friends request that I bring this to events and it’s super easy to make. I stole the recipe from Whole Foods, but I’ve made it so many times that I like to think of it as my own.

Ready to be mixed!

Ready to be mixed!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion, rinsed to remove acidity
  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar (depending on your tastes)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3-1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped

Directions:

  • Mix together corn, onion, pepper and beans in a large bowl.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together rice vinegar, olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper.
  • Add dressing to large bowl and mix thoroughly.
  • Add cilantro now or wait until just before serving. Make sure you give it another good stir before mixing so that the dressing redistributes.
  • Serve with delicious and unhealthy tortilla chips.

I’ve never recalculated the nutrition info based on my version (I use a bit more beans than the Whole Foods recipe), but if you want a good basis, check out the Whole Foods version.

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Week In Review

Week In Review: Post-Holiday Blues?

Life seems like it’s missing something once Christmas is over. I don’t know what it is – the anticipation? The never-ending Christmas songs on the radio? Thank god Hallmark still has Christmas movies on this weekend, otherwise I wouldn’t know what to do with myself.

In the days leading up to Christmas I kept myself busy getting ready for the holiday. Tons of baking, wrapping presents, checking my list twice, some last minute shopping.

But waking up Friday morning, I felt a little lost. Christmas is over, now what? Well, I went for a great run at least. It was a beautiful day and I pushed myself to go quite a bit farther than I have been running on the treadmill lately. My knees paid for it a bit, but it felt good.

With all the Christmas prep, I had also been neglecting my condo. So I spent some time cleaning. And there were also parties at a couple of friends’ houses to attend on Saturday.

But overall, I’m feeling a little blah. All my holiday overindulging caught up with me as I had no energy and just felt like a lump at my trainer appointment Saturday morning. Now my fridge is stocked with healthy foods and I made an amazing chili with some canned pumpkin I had to use up. I guess it’s time to get back to ordinary life!

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Fit Fav Friday

Fit Fav Friday: A Sunny Winter Day

With all the “stuff” of Christmas a day behind us, I don’t want to talk to about a physical thing today. Of course I enjoyed Christmas. It was a wonderful day filled with family, love, kindness and generosity. It was also a day filled with food and drink and laughs. I’m a little sad it’s over and I had a mini panic attack when I turned on Hallmark channel and a Christmas movie wasn’t on.

But today I am extra appreciative that I woke up to the temperature approaching 40. I’m happy that I was able to go out for a long run without bundling on layers. I’m grateful that the ground was dry and there was no snow around.

What more could I ask for the day after a wonderful Christmas than a sunny, temperate winter day in Connecticut?

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Mid-Week Break

Mid-Week Break: Cookie Extravaganza

Yesterday I did my annual Christmas baking. I usually give baked goods to family members, such as aunts and uncles, since I never know what to get for them. I think I might have gone overboard this year…

Holy cookies!

Holy cookies!

And of course as I baked, I sampled. Gotta try each type fresh out of the oven. Now, do they still taste as good when they’re cool? Which basically means that I ate more cookies than I should have.

That brings me to something I’ve been thinking a lot about this holiday season. Since Thanksgiving I’ve been having a terrible internal struggle, bouncing back and forth between:

  • “I’m going to keep on track” and then failing miserably with many food meltdowns; and,
  • “I’m just going to enjoy the holidays and not feel guilty” and then feeling very, very guilty about my overindulgences

How on earth do you balance the quest for a healthy lifestyle and the holidays? I want to enjoy myself but I also don’t want to undo too much of the work I’ve done this year. And honestly, I don’t have any great revelations about this just yet.

How do you handle the holidays? Are you just as lost as I am or do you have a game plan to get through?

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Recipe Monday

Recipe Monday: Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili

This week’s recipe feature is a review of another Skinny Taste recipe. Since there’s so much temptation around this time of year, I’ve been trying hard to make sure I cook healthy dishes for myself. That’s why I turned to one of my favorite healthy recipe blogs for a favorite that I’ve made a few times: Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili.

Almost ready!

Almost ready!

I could eat this all week and not get sick of it. And that’s exactly what I did.

One of the things I love about this recipe is how simple the prep is. Just put everything in the crock pot and let it go. You’ll be treated to some deliciousness in 8-10 hours. So head on over to Skinny Taste and check this one out.

Yum!

Yum!

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Week In Review

Week In Review: Christmas Countdown Is On

I think I’m due for a new laptop. This one can’t even handle word documents anymore. I had a whole post typed up and lost it (twice now!)… That’ll teach me not to save while I’m working (apparently I’m a slow learner today). Well, let’s see… Can I remember what I wrote?

I think I finally have Christmas under control. I finished my shopping. Presents are wrapped under the tree. I have all the ingredients I need for my giant day of baking on Tuesday. I think it’s finally time to relax. And that’s what I’m doing today with some Hallmark Christmas movies. (Anyone else love these??)

And I’m already way off track from where this post should be going. I think it’s because I don’t really want to rehash last week. It was just stressful and exhausting. Work has been rough with a lot of work coming in and people being out for the holidays. I also ran a bunch of errands during the week, which isn’t my favorite thing. I’m the type of person that really needs my downtime. Add on getting up for my morning workouts, and it was a busy week. Continue reading

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