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St. Barths Series

In the Kitchen with Adrianne Ho

What's cookin, good lookin'? Tilapia tacos & pineapple salsa, that's what.

It's that time of year. You know, when New Years' Resolutions suddenly lose their luster and slowly, Seamless and cereal for dinner begin to look a whole lot more tempting than whatever salads and quinoa stir fry you'd envisioned as of January 1st.

Luckily for us, we happen to have Adrianne Ho of Sweat the Style on speed-dial—or at the very least, available via e-mail—to hit up whenever we need a tiny bit of inspiration to back away from the leftover Chinese and instead reach for a little whole grain toast and avocado. That said, should you find yourself waking up the morning after an especially ahem, indulgent night, Ho explains that you need not beat yourself up afterwards. "I don't believe that food should be looked at negatively especially if you're going to be eating it anyway. There are so many healthier alternatives to the traditional comfort foods than ever before. I love desserts, especially chocolates, sweets, and baked goods. When I'm going to have something for dessert I always look for the vegan, raw, gluten-free, and/or organic alternatives to the preservative-packed, artificially flavored, and trans fat loaded fare."

And while Ho may not believe in beating yourself up should you slip off the wagon, she does believe in keeping it clean where you can. "Make sure a large portion of your diet consists of whole foods. No, I'm not talking about the grocery store; I'm talking about food in their natural state that hasn't been processed, fried, baked, or roasted. That's when the most nutrients and enzymes are available for absorption." And if not the grocery store, then where? "There are Farmers Markets that pop up all over [New York] City on certain days. I'll either visit the Union Square Farmers Market, East Village Farmers Market, or the Chelsea Market on the West side [of New York City] for fresh seafood. I always try to buy local and organic produce whenever I can, as well as fresh fish and herbs. I also stock up on healthy on-the-go snacks like bars and mixed raw nuts." She makes it all sound so easy, right? 

Oh, and if you're looking for the step-by-step breakdown of exactly what to put in your mouth each day? Ho's routine is a pretty great place to start. "A typical day will start with warm water and lemon to clean out and alkalize my body. Then I'll have a breakfast of avocado and a poached egg on Ezekiel or gluten-free toast, a salad for lunch, green juice in the afternoon, and a dinner of fish with brown rice and steamed veggies. I'll finish with Coconut Bliss ice cream." 

And so when we're in need of a little in-the-kitchen inspiration, we've been turning to none other than Ho and the holy-sh*t-this-is-delicious meal she whipped up for us while in St. Barths. On the menu? Tilapia tacos with pineapple salsa. See? We told you healthy eating wasn't all kale salads and fat-free dressing on the side. At least, not all the time. Just take a click through the rest of Ho's healthy eats if you don't believe us. "Because there was a lot of us staying at the villa in St. Barths, I wasn't sure what everyone's taste was like. I thought it would be best to make something customizable like fish tacos with avocado, mango, and pineapple salsa. I set up stations around the kitchen so everyone could serve themselves." Cute, right? You might want to save that one for your next dinner party—it kind of beats leftover merlot and sad, sad, burnt frozen pizza for which you eventually have to call in take-out to replace.

It's easier than you think—we swear. 

Combine red pepper, onion, cilantro, avocado, mango, pineapple, and lime juice and set aside. 

In a pan, heat oil and throw in garlic and cook until slightly brown. 

Add tilapia fillets and cook for a few minutes on each side until it's opaque throughout and flakes easily with a fork. 

Squeeze lemon over it and season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Set up stations with fruit, avocado, salsa, salad, tomato, tilapia, whole wheat (or gluten-free) tortilla, and cilantro to garnish. 

Oh, and one last tip for sticking to what's good for you while on vacation? "Take a look at what the locals are eating. They'll know what the indigenous fruits and vegetables are and how to prepare them. Avoid fast foods and be adventurous to try new dishes!" Girl's got a point.

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