Taco Tuesday for People Who Hate Tacos

Today I’m linking up with the Recipe ReDux to celebrate’s February theme: Taco Tuesday.

This month’s ReDux theme presented a unique challenge for me because, frankly, I hate tacos. I want to like tacos, but it’s kind of like how I want to like camping or swimming in the ocean: While I like certain elements of tacos, they’re just not my thing. Tacos represent to me what I will never be: hip and low maintenance. Great with beer and margaritas.

I’m a champagne lover and a whiskey girl at heart—what can I say? I’d rather be sipping bourbon in a dark bar listening to Tom Waits than tossing back brews on the beach. I sunburn in about two minutes no matter what level of SPF I’m wearing and I hate sand in sneaky places. So there’s that.


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Healthier Holiday Cocktails

Calories from holiday cocktails can add up quickly without us even realizing we’re taking in way more than we need. This time of year I find myself talking a lot with clients about lower-calorie drink options. How do you enjoy yourself without overdoing it?

rose champagne

I honestly think that the best answer is to choose what you’ll enjoy the most and be satisfied with the smallest amount of. For example, 3 light beers will not hit the same sweet spot as that Guinness or coffee stout. If you’ll just drink eight white wine spritzers to fill the chardonnay void, just have the one or two glasses of what you really want.

A few of my go-to drinks this time of year:

  • Champagne or sparkling wine—fewer calories than red or white wine and super-festive to boot
  • Bourbon, rye, or scotch, neat—sipping an uncomplicated drink like whiskey neat is easy to nurse and helps you stay in touch with how much alcohol you’re consuming.
  • Gin or vodka and club soda with lime—a lower-calorie alternative to a G&T that’s still refreshing
  • Club soda, plain or with lime or lemon and a dash of bitters.

For more healthier cocktail ideas, check out my article on Tabelog.

What’s your favorite drink? 

champagne glasses


PS—you still have a couple days to enter my RawSpiceBar giveaway! Winner will be announced on Thursday!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. 

Healthier Happy Hour

Happy Thursday! Hope you’re having a great week. For those of us in the U.S., we’re looking at the Memorial Day long weekend, which is basically the unofficial start of summer. This is a time of year when social invitations pick up and we enjoy more time outdoors with friends and family—or going on more dates because it’s easier to motivate yourself to go out and meet people when it’s above freezing. Other side of that coin is that if you’re in a relationship, it’s a lot easier to get out and do fun stuff outside.

Happy hour drink and food specials can be a great way to catch up and connect without breaking the bank. The downside is that this can make it way too easy to go overboard on calories. Another thing that can contribute to summer weight gain is swapping those after-work gym sessions and fitness classes for the bar.

A lot of my clients freak out a bit when they look at their summer calendars, but it’s totally doable to be social and still be healthy.

watermelon mimosas

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What I Ate Wednesday # 261: Whiskey and Popcorn

How’s your week going? I’m gearing up for a long-weekend girls’ trip, so I’m trying to clear as much off my desk as possible so I don’t have to get on the plane with a giant to-do list.

Speaking of to-do lists, here’s something to do today: you still have until midnight tonight to enter my Larabar giveaway. A winner will be announced tomorrow morning!

Larabar variety box

I try really hard not to glorify being busy. I don’t know if it’s a New York thing or an everywhere thing, but it can be really easy to fill your schedule to the brim. As someone who balances clinical with freelance and private consulting work, if I’m not actively working, then I’m out there networking, pitching, or scoping out new opportunities. It feeds my brain, but I do have to remind myself to schedule in breaks and restorative introvert “me” time. Don’t even get me started on finding—or making—time for dating. That’s a blog post for another time—always a good story, if nothing else.   Continue reading “What I Ate Wednesday # 261: Whiskey and Popcorn”

What to Make this Weekend: Your own damn PSL

There I go again, with the autumnal references. But hey, even Google is getting in on it. Did you see the logo with all the different seasonal squash this week? This Food52 post that tries to figure out the types of squash in it is hilarious. I love that it occurred to anyone in the first place. 

Talking about Google makes me think of algorithms, and speaking of algorithms, I’ve been amusing myself dreaming up stuff for fake online dating profiles. For example, the other night, I was giggling over an idea for a description of a stereotypical dietitian’s “ideal date.”

Let’s get one-pump, no-whip PSLs and walk through the park and then stop into a cafe for kale salads! 

Actually, that sounds kind of pleasant. Damnit. Stereotypical for a reason, I guess.

Moving on…let’s just appreciate that we made it to Friday. It’s been one of those weeks over here.

Coffee Love Hate

(Jess is in a relationship with coffee, and it’s complicated)

Speaking of coffee…The New York Coffee Festival is going on this weekend. There are going to be tons of different workshops, tastings, tutorials, and more! You can still get tickets here.

In that same caffeinated vein, have you seen or tried the new Toasted Graham Latte from Starbucks? I love that they’re marketing it as a “less sweet” treat, when a grande still has 40 grams of sugar. Yes, some of that is lactose naturally present in the milk, but come on. I shared a few thoughts on the new drink in this Yahoo Health piece. Compared to the Pumpkin Spice Latte (which has 50, though that’s with whipped cream), I guess it is less sweet, but, well, 40 grams of sugar is 40 grams of sugar.

Since coffee is this week’s incidental theme, I made you a PSL.
Homemade PSL

This can be made with stuff you likely already have at home. The only “fancy” equipment is a little handheld milk frother. I found my $10 battery-operated one a few years ago at Bed Bath & Beyond, and it is wonderful and user-friendly. Here’s an example. When you use it, just make sure the milk is cold rather than heating it before you try to froth it.

You can adjust this recipe to your personal preferences. For example, you can make it more or less sweet, mix up the type of milk you use, or play with the amount of pumpkin. Consider this a jumping-off point. The milk-to-coffee ratio makes my version less of a latte and more along the lines of a macchiato-inspired beverage, but feel free to adjust as desired.

Oh, and if you have an espresso maker—can we be friends?


  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin puree
  • 1/ 4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon sweetener of choice (stevia, maple syrup, etc)
  • 8 ounces brewed coffee (or a shot of espresso)
  • 2-4 ounces milk of choice (I used organic 1%)


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together pumpkin, vanilla extract, spice, and sweetener. Whisk into coffee.
  2. In a mug, froth the milk until fluffy. Heat in the microwave for about 30 seconds or until warm. Froth will expand.
  3. Pour milk and front on top of coffee mixture. Sprinkle additional pumpkin pie spice on top and enjoy.

What’s your favorite cool-weather coffee drink? 

Watermelon Mimosa

watermelon mimosaLast summer, I barely ate any watermelon. It’s one of those foods I love but tire of quickly. Or more so, my muscles tire quickly of lugging it from the store. Or so I thought. I’ve been making up for lost time this year, finding all kinds of ways to enjoy this seasonal superfood. Aside from being a rich source of antioxidant lycopene, watermelon is also super-hydrating, making it a perfect fruit to reach for when the temps climb.

Though it’s hard to say for sure that combining watermelon and alcohol will prevent a hangover by hydrating as you simultaneously dehydrate, it sure tastes delicious. This watermelon mimosa is the perfect hot-weather cocktail.


  • Watermelon, cubed
  • Lime juice
  • Champagne or sparkling wine


  1. Puree watermelon in a food processor or blender with lime juice. Pour into wine or champagne glasses.
  2. Pour champagne over watermelon.


What’s your favorite summer cocktail? 


Mid-Year Resolutions Check-In

Seeing as we’re halfway through 2014, this seems like a good time check back in with my resolutions for the year:


This is basically the  nerdiest list ever. And yes, back in December, I felt I had to schedule in time with friends. Sad but true. What can I say—my friends are brilliant, busy people : )

I’ve actually done really well with all of these except the last two. It hasn’t made as much sense to work much in a coffee shop as it did in December/January, but I still do it a few times a month. As for “throw the drink,” well, it’s possible I will never learn that one, even when throwing a drink in someone’s face is totally warranted. I’m not going to write a whole blog post about the astounding prevalence of douchebaggery behavior amongst the male of the species, but I could.

The other resolution that could use a little work is the yoga one. When I first got into the Jillian Michaels workouts, I found myself doing that instead quite often, which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Still, I definitely have missed the mindfulness aspect of more frequent yoga practice. With that in consideration, my mid-year resolution is to make more time for yoga, even if that means going to an evening class on days I work at the hospital. I went a couple times this past week and really felt the difference on a physical, mental, and emotional level.

I think I’m going to add a new one to the list, which is to focus more on the positive. I’ve got a post coming up on that one soon…

What were your 2014 resolutions? Throwing any new ones on the pile? 


Fall Beers

I’ve tried to like beer, but we’re just never going to be good friends. Yes, even pumpkin beer. I know. pumpkin face

However, I understand that people love beer, and that seasonal beers get a lot of love.

Current health recommendations for alcohol are up to one drink per day for women and up to two per day for men—not fair, but you need to take into account the fact that our bodies metabolize alcohol at different rates. So if you’re wondering what to fill those two allotted glasses with this weekend, Self magazine’s Flash blog just put out a great little list of “fall beers worth every calorie.”

Do you like beer? If not, what’s your poison? 

Favorite Tea

IMG_2247I’m very loyal to green tea. Save for a weird six-month coffee stint in 2011-2012, I’ve been drinking it every morning since I was 20. Sometimes I want something a little different though. A few months ago, my mom gave me a few bags of this cinnamon tea from New York company Harney & Sons. It was love at first sip, and when I saw their booth at the Coffee and Tea Festival in March, I quickly bought a tin. I really wish I’d bought more than one…this is so good. Life is too short not to love what you drink. Hm. That sounds like a cheesy commercial. Ah well. It’s not like I work in advertising.

Have an awesome weekend!