Hi friends! I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted. Instead of explaining all of the details behind why I took a bit of a blogger’s hiatus, I can sum it up in two words: life happens.
So far, 2015 has been rockier than I’d anticipated. Usually, my world is super-stable. I have a solid routine that I stick to day in and day out. Every day is basically a carbon copy of the one before it: wake up, lift, shower, work, boot camp, dinner, play with my dog, sleep, and repeat. Over the last few weeks, most of my days were far from normal and included things like a trip to Arizona, a funeral, 3 days of a work conference, and helping a close friend move away (not in that order). For the most part, there hasn’t been much “smooth sailing” to speak of.
The beauty of this is that difficult situations spawn growth, and a lot can be said about how you deal with the rough patches. Do you use them as an opportunity to self-medicate, self-loathe, or focus on the negative? Or, do you look beyond the bad in order to recognize the good? The last 2-3 weeks have given me the chance to prove to myself that I fall into that second category, which I’m proud of. There were days where I was really pissed off and/or sad, and there were days where I was fine, but I’m getting back to normal. If I would have tried to post before today, there’s really no telling what I would have ended up writing. :o)
If I would have had to start off 2013 the way this year has started, I would have handled it way, way worse. 2 years ago, I would have eaten until I couldn’t stuff anything else down my throat and drank until I blacked out. Today, I deal with struggle by finding ways to better myself (like hitting new PR’s, cooking, or talking with family/friends). Regardless of what type of day I’ve had in the last few weeks, I’ve done my best to make it to the gym and stick to my normal routine. Sure, I missed a couple of workouts and ate more than I should have on a couple of days. I’m human, I’m not perfect, and I’m okay with that. I’ve grown more in these last two years than I could have ever hoped, and I owe a lot of that to improving my physical health.
We’re getting to that time of the year where people start to falter on their annual resolutions, and LOTS of people give up after a couple of days/weeks being “off course.” Sure, there were a couple of days in the last few weeks where I ate more than I should have, cried a lot, and didn’t feel like doing anything at all. But, I let myself work through the emotions and did my best to move on with life. Here’s a challenge to all of you reading this: do your best to accept failure/hardships. Learn from it, pick yourself back up, and move forward. Check your emotions when you’re off of your intended path. If you’re not working towards a goal you’ve set yourself, take a moment to ask yourself why instead of giving up altogether. I promise you, you’re worth the effort.
If you’ve gone a week or two without prepping your meals, or if you’ve had a difficult time getting back into the swing of things with your workouts, get over it. Don’t waste your time beating yourself up about it. (Really, it IS a waste of time. :o)) And if you’re struggling with your resolutions, check out my post from this time last year on why 92% of people don’t stick to theirs (which — coincidentally enough — also has the recipe for what will be my dinner in a couple of hours! Weird).
All of that aside, now that things are leveling off a bit, I’m going to do my best to start posting regularly again. I haven’t stopped cooking (duh), but I could definitely do a better job of making sure the new recipes show up here for you guys to try out! So as my first post of the new year, I want to share a great party appetizer that would be PERFECT for any Super Bowl party. I made these adorable little Shrimp Tostada Bites for a New Year’s party, and they were a pretty big hit. If I end up at a pot luck game-watching party this year, I’m totally going to bring these and my Slow Cooker Chicken Wings, which are also the bomb. And YES, they’re only 30 calories per bite!
Shrimp Tostada Bites
Nutritional Overview (per bite)
Serves: 30 bites
Cook time: 25 minutes
- 30 medium or large raw shrimp, deveined and tails removed
- 3 tsp Lawry’s seasoning salt
- 3 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cracked pepper
- 1 large avocado, diced
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 small can chipotle chilis in adobo sauce
- 30 Tostito’s Scoops (make sure they’re whole chips and not cracked/crushed!)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Line your shrimp out on the parchment
- Combine 1 1/2 tsp Lawry’s, chili powder, paprika, and 1 tsp garlic powder in a small bowl, then sprinkle over the raw shrimp
- Bake for 7-10 minutes or until shrimp turn pink
- Combine avocado, lime juice, remaining Lawry’s, crushed pepper, and remaining garlic powder in a small bowl or food processor
- Combine yogurt and chipotle chilis in a food processor
- Line your chips out on a serving dish, then layer with 1/2 tbsp avocado mixture, 1/2 tbsp yogurt mixture, 1 shrimp, and a sprinkle of cilantro
- Serve immediately! The chips WILL get soggy if you try to prepare these ahead of time (still tasty nonetheless!), so I’d recommend assembling immediately before people dig in. :o)