Turkey Trottin’ and Roasted Sweet Potato Salsa

Hi friends! How are you all doing?! I spent my whole vacation on cloud 9 –  I spent 2 straight days with my family, enjoyed the latter half  of my break in Atlanta with Derek’s family.

We had such a wonderful Thanksgiving that began with the Turkey Trot 5K that I mentioned earlier in the week. After waking up in the 6 o’clock hour and enjoying a pre-race cup of coffee, my dad, Derek and I ventured out into the 37 degree Florida weather for our Turkey Trot in Fishhawk, a neighborhood near our home.

photo 1

We went back and forth on whether or not we should keep our jackets on while we ran. That’s how I know it’s really cold – when Derek and my dad run in long sleeves. In the end, we all decided to be wimps and run with the layers. The run never seemed to warm me up so I’m sure glad I kept my jacket on.

We ran with my dad for about 1.5 miles , and then all met up at the finish line. I didn’t pay much attention to my Garmin, and instead just enjoyed running with Derek and my dad beside me. We are all usually focused on trying to do well in our age group, so this was a nice change to run together.

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We ran mile 1 in 8:48, mile 2 in 8:07 and the last 1.1 mile in 7:54.

It was such a fun race and the turnout was great –  I’d guess about 2,000+ came out! I love seeing races grow from year to year!

After our run, we made our traditional Starbucks stop, and I realized it was my first Starbucks red cup of the holiday season. I’m pretty sure this is pitiful, since this means I haven’t had Starbucks in about a month. What was I thinking???!!!

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We rounded out the morning by decorating the Christmas tree, watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, preparing my contribution for Thanksgiving dinner, and attempting to take a successful Christmas card photo.


My family always celebrates Thanksgiving at my Aunt Suzanne and Tio Frankie’s home, and since they have the Thanksgiving meal perfected, I was asked to bring just an appetizer. I knew I wanted it to be something in the spirit of Thanksgiving, but couldn’t think of a dish for the life of me. That’s where Martha Stewart and Real Simple came into play. I found this recipe on their list of easy Thanksgiving appetizers, and it was definitely a hit at the get together (as much of a hit as an appetizer can be – we all know what we were really there for!)

Roasted Sweet Potato Salsa

1.5 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and diced small

1 large red onion, diced

1 ½ tbsp. olive oil

2 tomatoes, diced

2 avocados, diced

3 tbsp chopped cilantro

Lime juice from 1 lime

Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat your oven to 450 . Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray, and roast diced sweet and onions tossed in olive oil for 20-25 minutes, or until sweet potato is lightly browned. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool completely.


Once roasted veggies have cooled, add in tomatoes, avocado, onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Serve with pita chips or toasted baguette.


I hope you all had as lovely as a Thanksgiving break as I did, and I hope your week is just as great!


Sweet Potato Nachos Recipe

Hey friends Happy Hump Day! Tuesday was a long one for me, that started with hitting the snooze button instead of heading out for a morning run. I was a little disappointed in myself with the lack of discipline I had, but it ended up being for the best as I was able to run after work and attend a CXWorx class. My typical runs lately have been even paced and long, but since I was crunched for time yesterday, I completed an interval run that looked a bit like this:

Work out May 25

My plan was to complete the entire run, but I cut it short after the 30 minute mark because I was pressed for time!

Other than that, the day was all work and no play, and I know I will be worn out by the time the weekend rolls around!

I didn’t have time to cook on Tuesday and so we all had leftovers for dinner, as well as a giant salad filled with apples, grapes, almonds, and goat cheese. Not very fall-ish of us, but still delicious….


salad but I have a tasty recipe to share with you from Monday evening. We made ours with chicken, but the meat can easily be left out for a vegetarian friendly meal!  It goes a little bit like this:

Sweet Potato Nachos


4 sweet potatoes

2 chicken baked or grilled chicken breasts, cut into cubes

1/2 orange, red or yellow onion, sliced

1/2 cup reduced fat crumbled feta cheese

1/3 cup reduced fat spicy pepper jack cheese, shredded (I used Cabot Jalapeno Light)

1 cup diced tomatoes

1/2 cup diced scallions,

1/2 tbsp garlic powder

1/2 tbsp pepper

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tbsp vegetable oil

cooking spray


Preheat oven to 425°. Cut sweet potatoes in half length-wise, and place cut side down on cutting board. Cut sweet potatoes into wedges – about 6 wedges per 1/2 sweet potato.

photo 1

Combine sweet potato wedges, vegetable oil, garlic powder, pepper and red pepper in a large bowl, and toss to coat sweet potatoes. Spray a baking sheet/baking dish (or 2) with cooking spray, and bake wedges in a single layer for 15-18 minutes.

photo 2

Remove trays from oven, and top sweet potatoes with scallions, tomatoes, pepper strips, and cubed chicken breasts, if using, and return to oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven once more, and top with cheeses. Continue baking for 2 minutes, remove from oven, and serve immediately.

photo 3

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If y’all try it out, let me know what you think!

Today I’m excited to get together with several friends for dinner – nothing like a mid-week wine, girlfriends, and food treat!

Spiced Up Maple Roasted Chicken

Greetings everyone! I think I’m officially back to my old self, thank the good Lord! I had a rough 72 hours of the 4 C’s: couch, crackers, cortisone, and chicken noodle soup, but that’s in the past and onward we go!

My mom and I attended a restorative yoga class yesterday evening, and I loved it. She’s been asking me to go for quite some time now, but I’ve always had evening class or plans and I’m never able to make it. Since I was laying low at home all afternoon, I was able to attend with her and I’m glad I did. Restorative poses are usually held longer than other poses, and use props, blocks, and blankets for extra support. It’s a relaxing and deeply stretching yoga practice, and was just what I needed after taking the last few days off.


Thirty minutes before leaving for yoga, I started preparing a meal that would be ready right when my mom and I walked back in the door (all that was needed was a couple checks on the oven from dad). Here’s my recipe for… Spiced Up Maple Roasted Chicken and Sweet Potatoes

potatoes and onions


1 teaspoon chili powder

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

2 tablespoon sugar free maple syrup

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3 yellow onions

2 large sweet potatoes

4 chicken breasts

1 ½ tablespoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the yellow onions and sweet potatoes in small cubes and place in a deep baking dish. Drizzle olive oil and salt and pepper over the potatoes and onions. In a small bowl, mix together honey, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, chili powder, cinnamon, and pepper. Rub over front and back of chicken breasts. Place the sweet potatoes and onions in the oven and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and place maple marinated chicken breasts in the baking dish with the sweet potatoes and onions. Return to oven for 25-30 minutes. Serve hot!

chicken sweet potatoes

dinner june 17

We ate our chicken, sweet potatoes and onions alongside some hot steamed veggies, and followed up dinner by watching The Bachelorette!

Any other Bachelorette viewers out there?

Who is your money on for who Des picks?

Fitnessista’s Summer Shape-Up and My Chicken Chili Recipe

Well hello there, friend! I’m happy to report that I’m back to my normal self today. I began my morning with steel cut oats.

After I let my breakfast settle, it was time to get my work-out on. At the last minute (it began yesterday), I decided to participate in Fitnessista’s Summer Shape Up! During this food and fitness filled 4 weeks, Gina will send participants weekly work-out routines to complete, as well as meal ideas. Week One looks like this:


Since I was late signing up, I wasn’t e-mailed the password for “Workout 1” until Monday night (participation in summer shape-up is free, but Gina password protects the work-outs she creates). This was fine, though, since I was still recovering from the stomach fiasco of Sunday. I hopped on board to the Shape-Up today with “steady state cardio” (I did 35 minutes instead of 30).  After work this evening, I did a 5-minute ab burner and a Tabata video from Fitnessista’s website – I felt like I should do a little catching up from the last few days.

I think I’ve mentioned before that I like to have either a Mexican Monday or Taco Tuesday.. We didn’t have any tortillas on hand tonight, but I still wanted some spice in our dinner, so I made Chicken Chili and Chili-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes. This is how it all came together:

chopped veggies

Healthy and Hearty Chicken Chili


4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

1 can black beans

1 can white northern beans

1 large can diced tomatoes

1 large onion

2 ears fresh corn (canned corn is ok)

4 cloves garlic, chopped

2/3 cup no sodium chicken broth

2 tbsp peppercorn

1/2 jalapeno pepper, diced very small

1/2 cup low fat shredded cheddar cheese

Splash of unsweetened original almond milk


Add chicken breasts, 2 cloves garlic and 1/3 of onion to a large pot. Add water to cover tops of chicken. Bring to a slow boil and cook, covered for 20-25 minutes. Remove chicken from pot. Let cool, and shred.

In a large clean pot, add 2/3 cup chicken broth, 2 cloves garlic, and the remaining onion, chopped. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add in white beans, diced jalapeno pepper, corn, black beans, and cook for 25 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add in shredded chicken and a splash of almond milk to thicken. Cook for 10 more minutes. Top with cheese (or guacamole) and serve.

My parents’ and my standard size Chili Bowl:


Derek’s Massive Chili Bowl:

dereks chili

Chili-Stuffed Sweet Potato


2 large sweet potatoes

chili from previous recipe


Puncture sweet potatoes with knife. Cook in microwave 15-20 minutes. Split sweet potatoes in half, and scoop out 1/2 of inside potato. Place the scoop in a separate bowl, and add in a few spoonfuls of the chili. Mix by hand the sweet potato and chili until incorporated. Spoon the mixture back into the sweet potato shells. Serve hot!

chili stuffed sweet potato

Now that dinner is over and lunch for tomorrow is packed, I plan to spend the rest of the evening watching TV with my family and snuggling with lil’ Lou!