Yea Mon!

by Lauren on February 4, 2011

After a much needed vacation in sunny Jamaica it’s back to reality. The -20 degree frigid weather was a pretty harsh reality, but it’s good to be home anyways.

Our trip was amazing! My sister’s wedding was beautiful and the resort we went to was awesome. We stayed at Couples Swept Away in Negril, which is on one of the most amazing beaches I’ve ever seen. It’s known as 7 mile beach and has white, soft sand and clear turquoise water. The weather was great, and so was the food; probably too good as my pants are fitting a little tighter this week, but as I always say, it’s important to let yourself indulge every once in a while.

The resort has an amazing beach side café called Sea Grapes that serves up fresh fish & vegetarian options. The menu includes amazing sweet potato chips with black bean hummus & pumpkin jalapeño dip (the chef was nice enough to share the recipe – see below), vegetarian sushi and grilled snapper. You can also order smoothies with just about any fruit or vegetable imaginable. I usually went for a straight watermelon & ice smoothie because it was light & refreshing. Watermelon is amazing when you’re hot & a bit dehydrated because it’s mostly water. And it’s also really good for you because it’s a great source of lycopene, which is an antioxidant and has been said to prevent cancer. Tomatoes are also a great source of lycopene (whether tomatoes are raw, cooked or in sauce form – you can still get the same amount of lycopene – amazing!)

But I must admit that I didn’t just eat the healthy stuff all week. There is an amazing grill that serves up beef patties, jerk chicken and woodfire stove pizza, (soooo good during 4pm happy hour). Also, this resort is known for its pastries & desserts, which I had everyday and they were totally worth it. My favourite dessert is key lime pie, and this resort had the best I’ve ever tasted. I also have the recipe for that, but I don’t know if I can post it. The recipe calls for 10 egg yolks…enough said.

That being said, they also have a great sports and fitness area on the resort. I try not to be too strict with my workouts while on vacation, but I usually try and do something active everyday because it makes me feel good and to compensate for the extra calories that I’m consuming. At home, I usually just do my workouts in the gym, but on this trip it felt so good to burn calories while having fun. We played tennis & basketball and even managed to do a spinning class! They had real spinning bikes and an awesome instructor who taught classes throughout the week. We also played beach volleyball, went snorkelling, swam everyday and did an amazing beach walk followed by awesome abs on the beach. I learned a valuable lesson on this vacation – working out doesn’t always have to happen at the gym. While some of these activities may not burn as many calories as a spinning class or running on the treadmill; why not incorporate them into your fitness routine once or twice a week? It’s a great way to switch up your exercise routine so your body doesn’t get into a rut, and it makes being active & healthy more enjoyable. I’m definitely going to keep this in mind and try to incorporate more active, fun activities into my workout routine when the weather gets warmer.

The sports complex also has a great smoothie bar, and gives you the option of adding wheat germ! I guess the word is spreading about the benefits of wheat germ (a great source of protein & B vitamins!). The greatest thing about this bar is their infused water. Everyday they offer different flavours; you can get cucumber, watermelon, pineapple or aloe. They are so refreshing and the flavours are really subtle. It’s a great alternative to other flavoured waters that are loaded with sugar or artificial sweeteners. It’s also really easy to make yourself. Just cut up the fruit or vegetable of your choice, put it in a jug of water, and let it soak for a couple hours, and voila!

Overall it was a great vacation, and I would recommend this resort to anyone. We’re already figuring out how we can go back next year!

I think I’m finally back into my routine, so I will continue my vitamin blogs next week.

Pumpkin Jalapeno Dip

Ingredients

1/2 small pumpkin – roasted (or butternut squash)
1 lb cream cheese (I would recommend light cream cheese or try plain Greek yogurt)
2 cloves of garlic
1 onion
1 can or jar of Jalapenos
Salt and Pepper to taste

Method:

Dice pumpkin or squash

Rub salt, pepper and olive oil on pumpkin and put to roast in oven (450 for about 20 minutes or until pumpkin is soft)

Allow pumpkin to cool, and than combine all ingredients in processor, mix until smooth

Add salt and pepper to taste

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