Top 13 Recipes of 2013

Hey guys! Can you believe it is the LAST day of 2013? When I sit here and think back to the last day of 2012, I am stunned to realize how fast time has passed by and how much has happened in the last 365 days. This year has been one of growth and change for me (I hope I can say that about most years), and I am so excited to see what lies ahead in 2014.

Starting this blog was one of the most out-of-the-ordinary things for me to do, and I’ve truly enjoyed sharing with you guys my favorite healthy (for the most part) recipes, some parts of my fitness routine, and my love for running. As the year comes to a close, I thought a round-up post of your favorite recipes I’ve put on the blog would be a fun post to do. So here goes!

1. Homemade Tortilla Chips

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2. Bang Bang Shrimp – Lightened Up!

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3. Homemade Pizza

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4. Balsamic Chicken Caprese

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5. Minestrone

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6. Mango Strawberry Banana Smoothie

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7. Honey Vanilla Overnight Oats

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8. Blackened Tilapia Tacos

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9. Peanut Butter Granola

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10. Hummus at Home

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11. Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

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12. Baked Chicken, Penne and Vegetable Pasta

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13. Banana Walnut Loaf

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I wish you all a safe, happy and healthy New Year!

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Seven Ways To Make September Sensational

I LOVE a new month! The beginning of a new month feels like a fresh start, and a great opportunity to set new goals and try out new activities. The following seven things/activities/ideas represent how I plan to make September Sensational!

1. Cook with seasonal produce! September is great because summer vegetables are still around and fall produce is starting to come into season. In the beginning of the month, try cooking with avocado, mango, tomatoes and summer squash. Pretty soon, these tasty veggies are going to be set aside, as sweet potatoes, figs, pumpkin and butternut squash take center stage.
2. Set a new fitness or health goal – mine is to train for my first half marathon. I began training late last week, and I’m following this training plan. Derek and I plan to run our first half-marathon in Orlando this December. Maybe you want to try out a new fitness class, or start incorporating more produce into your meals – now is the time to start!

3. Savor the last bit of summer by throwing a pool party or summer BBQ.
4. Take a step into fall in the latter part of the month by hosting a football tailgate for friends, or attend a game of your favorite team.
5. Start reading a new book. I’ve spent this summer reading auto-biographies, comical books, dramas, and self-help books. While I do love the instant download on my iPad or Kindle, I’ve been ordering books off of Amazon lately, saving up to 75% and enjoying the “old-school” hard copy.
6. Find a halloween outfit – I’m not sure if I’ll be dressing up, but I plan to have fun finding a costume for Louie. I’m thinking he’d be an adorable Minion from Despicable Me.

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7. This may sound crazy, but I start brainstorming Christmas gifts right around this time. By the time the holidays roll around, I’ve already found the perfect personal gifts for family and friends, and don’t feel like I’ve gone broke spending all my money at once!

What do you plan to do this month to make it a special one? Please share!