When I dip you dip we dip…..

Now you’re singing it, right?

And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s a little musical snack for you…..

I get a lot of questions about my nails and decided it was finally time to share a little about them and maybe even get some of you on the dip train with me.

I’m not going to go super in detail with my nail history, but let’s just say it went a little something like this:

-Years of acrylics (because I loved that airbrushed design life, yo)
-Rocked the natural look
-Went to gel nails
-Back to natural
-Threw in some of that Jamberry stuff
-Back to gel
-Back to natural

Gel nails were always marketed as such a great way to do your nails, and I wasn’t one to disagree. I loved the look, but for me, they would tend to chip at the most inopportune times and always during the most random activities. I hated seeing those chips! Still, I stuck with them because they were much better for me than acrylics.

Recently I switched nail salons at the recommendation of a friend (Shout out to Michele) and was eager to get back to my gel lifestyle. I had taken a brief nail hiatus because my old nail tech never had any availability, and I figured I’d just do my natural nail thing for a bit while I determined a new location and tech that was legit. Michele always had killer nail designs, so I set up an appointment with her girl.

As I waited for my nail tech to finish up her appointment and start my nails, I selected my color, which was the Katie usual: White with white glitter for one nail. When I gave Toni, my nail tech, the color ring she asked if I wanted to switch to powder dip since I had selected powder dip colors. I was clueless but was in love with the glitter, so I said sure.

Let me tell you….the powder dip method is the best thing that has ever happened to the nail business. My nails remain in tact with it for nearly four weeks….which includes me working out, flipping tires, and all kinds of typical Katie stuff that used to chip the gel nails. Other than the growth (which is inevitable, especially due to my Shakeology drinking), the nails looked as perfect going into the fourth week as they did on day one. SOLD.

The dip process is pretty simple. Your nails are buffed, a primer coat is applied as well as a base, then each finger is dipped into the selected color. It is sealed with top coat. No UV light is required. Boom. The look is amazing and long-lasting.

Cost wise this method is just about the same as a gel manicure (my salon is about a $2 difference, well worth it since it lasts so much longer). And how about removal…..let’s talk about that. Incredibly easy. All you do is just soak your nails in a bowl of acetone and the powder melts off. Seriously, it melts off.

Guys, this is the best. I can’t really say more about it than that. If you are an acrylic or gel gal, make the switch. You will be so happy you did.

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Drink the beach.

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Usually my daily Wonder Woman shake involves peanut butter because I am always craving peanut butter cups, but some days I think of the beach and want to bring it to me. This recipe was my quick solution today as I was looking at tickets to fly to Hawaii to visit my family.

Ingredients:

-8 oz coconut milk
-1/2 frozen banana
-1/2 cup frozen pineapple
-1/2 cup frozen mango
-1/2 scoop vegan vanilla superfoods mix
-4 ice cubes

BLEND and pour into glass.

Then…..

-6 oz water or coconut milk (I always go for a blend)
-1 cup blueberries
-1/2 scoop vegan vanilla superfoods mix
-3 ice cubes

BLEND and pour into glass. Top with blueberries or shaved coconut….even a little umbrella if you have one!

ENJOY!

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Shrimply the best.

Since sharing about my new found love for my Air Fryer, I’ve been getting so many messages asking for my favorite recipes. I’m going to be honest….this air fryer has untapped potential…you need to get one, and you won’t be sorry. Allegedly you can make donuts, cakes, and all kinds of foods in this thing! Don’t worry….I’ll report back on how that goes once I try them.

Since I’ve literally been air frying errryyytthing I figured I would share my current favorite: Coconut Shrimp! I’ve recently been completing a new nutritional program my company launched that is all about mindset, so I have been focused on protein and veggies like nobody’s business. Shrimp has been my go to protein, and if you have ever been in one of my online fit clubs you know that one tip I always share about meal prep is to pick one or two proteins and change up the recipes. Protein is typically the most expensive part of meal prep, and having one protein allows you to buy in bulk and not spend an excess on groceries. When I first switched to shrimp I had a variety of recipes in mind, one being coconut shrimp, but after making this recipe in my air fryer, I canceled all other shrimp recipes for the week and made this recipe in bulk.

                                            AIR FRYER COCONUT SHRIMP
Ingredients:

-Jumbo Shrimp (I usually grab the frozen shrimp at Aldi)
-1 cup egg whites
-1 cup dried, unsweetened coconut
-1 tablespoon cornstarch
-1 cup panko
-1 cup flour (you can use white or wheat)

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Preheat airfryer and spray with coconut oil spray or cooking spray, depending on what you prefer. Mix the coconut and panko together in a bowl, then set aside. In another bowl, mix flour and cornstarch. Dip one shrimp at a time into the flour mixture, then into a bowl of egg whites, and finally into the coconut mixture. Repeat for all shrimp. Cook for 10 minutes at 350 degrees, turning shrimp after 5 minutes.

How simple is that? I absolutely love how they turned out, and if you are a fan of coconut shrimp at Red Lobster, Outback, or any other chain, trust me when I say these are just as good.

If you like dipping sauce, whip this up:

-1/2 cup oranger marmalade
-1/3 cup sweet Thai chili sauce
-pinch of salt
-pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

Mix everything together and adjust if needed based on your desired spicy/sweetness level.

ENJOY!

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Summit 2018: Recap

Hey guys!

Can you believe it is JULY? This year is flying by….it’s insane!

I’ve been in go-go-go mode for a bit, but now that I’m back home and all settled I am able to finally get back into blogging mode. Make sure you guys let me know topics/things you want me to blog on. I have a long list of things you have submitted, but I always like to have more for the future. After all, this blog is for you, and I want to hook you up with info you like reading about!

Before I start hitting some of those topics, I have to fill you all in on my recent trip to Indianapolis for our yearly convention! It was much earlier than usual (typically it is in July), and I was really excited to go to this unfamiliar city. If you remember, last year’s location in New Orleans wasn’t my favorite, and I was hopeful this city would be much better suited for this big event. And let’s not forget the one big win with it being in Indy: it was only a short 4.5 hr drive from my house!

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Off to Indy!

Last year the sparkle coaches who were accompanying me and I rented a big house, but this year we opted for hotel rooms based on the logistics of the events. I was stoked to not only road trip with two of my besties but get to room with them there, too, which was perfect since our lives are crazy and we we don’t get to spend as much time together as I would like. In addition to us, three sparkle bombshells from my team joined us. There were supposed to be quite a few more, but due to a variety of situations, they had to cancel. I always wish every single coach could go, but I always understand when life happens.

We got into town Wednesday afternoon and were pleasantly surprised to find our hotel was directly across the street from the convention center and Lucas Oil Stadium, the two locations where our events would take place. Besides that, the hotel had covered walkways to both AND was attached to a mall, so you know I was pretty freaking pleased, especially since Indy had strange weather that included rain every day at some point…..I think we all know I’m not a fan of getting caught in the rain.

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The view from our hotel, right in the center of the city!

Everything began Thursday evening, so we used Wednesday to hang with the team. We enjoyed a nice team dinner and some shopping. Since I am considered a “legend”, I get special privileges like getting to explore the special Beachbody shopping center called The Core Wednesday evening. I always love getting in and not fighting the crowds, plus things sell out so quickly I wanted to make sure I got what I wanted. Hey, it’s a tax write off, right???!!!

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Team dinner!

Thursday we had a team lunch and a big team photo before opening ceremonies kicked off. Opening ceremonies are always such a blast….new programs, new products, new trainings are announced….all things that excite me to no end! Two things that really excited me: a new Shaun T workout that is only 20 minutes a day AND a pumpkin spice shakeology flavor launching with limited release! Basic bitches everywhere, unite!

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I love my Dynasty United crew!

Friday started off extremely early, and what better way to start than day than getting your ass kicked by Shaun T. Naturally I had my unicorn blood (two scoops) and still felt like a walking zombie, but we crushed that workout! I did slightly hurt my ankle during one of the moves (hence why you haven’t seen me working out the past few days) but loved the moves and, as always, Shaun’s motivation. There is something about how that man fires you up that can’t be duplicated.

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I love so many parts of Summit, but I am kind of a nerd, so my favorite aspect is always the workshops. I love to learn from others, gain a different perspective, and just think outside the box. I’m still going through my notes! Friday and Saturday afternoons were spent in workshops hitting a variety of topics and every last one was fabulous.

Friday evening I earned the right to some exclusive parties based on my success during the year, and I brought my coach Christen with me as my date. These parties are always over the top and so much fun, so I gave my team the opportunity to earn my plus one. Christen was the winner! Not only did I get to hang with one of my other faves, Tony Horton, but I enjoyed a tasty cupcake in bed post celebration!


Saturday was the final day of our trip, as we had to leave earlier than anticipated to get back home. It included a super workout, more trainings, and lots of laughs.  Fortunately we were able to stream closing ceremonies on the way home….it stunk to have to leave early, but because I had a dog sitting issue Saturday evening, I had to make it back to take care of my guys.

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Before we headed home there was one thing I absolutely had to do, and if you know me you aren’t surprised when I say we went to the best donut shop in Indy: Jack’s Donuts! Every time I travel I always have to find out where the most amazing donuts are then find out for myself! The best part of this quick stop: I got busted by a bunch of coaches in my coach family. It’s like they knew where to find me!

Next year our conference is back in Indy, and I couldn’t be happier. It was such a great city for so many reasons and one that really welcomed us with open arms.

Now that I’m back and settled back into my routine my team and I are working toward a huge goal. I’ve never been more excited, and I can’t wait. If you have been thinking about doing what I do or just learning more, fill out this quick interest form HERE so I can reach out and see if this is a good fit!

Already looking forward to seeing you next July, Indy, and of course, I’ll be back to Jack’s.

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You need some flea in your life.

There was a time in my life when I associated the word flea with filth. No one likes when their dog gets a case of the fleas (it is the worst), and for most of my life any flea market I went to was dirty, full of used garbage, and left me going home smelling like a mixture of rotten produce and a barnyard explosion.

When I moved to Cleveland I spent quite a bit of time looking into neat things to do around the city. I’ve always loved to explore the culture where I live and try/visit new things or places that are hidden gems of the city. I knew about some of the more obvious cultural musts in Cleveland: The Rock N Roll Hall of Fame, the museums, the West Side Market to name a few….but as I started to look around one summer event kept popping up everywhere I looked: The Cleveland Flea.

Immediately I thought back to my previous flea market experiences and cringed. I’m not one who likes second hand items or garage sales, and to me flea markets are larger versions of those things. I resisted going the first few opportunities I had to attend one, then finally decided I would go. At least I could say I checked it out, right?

The Cleveland Flea takes place once a month from June to October in the Asiatown neighborhood of Cleveland and exists with the mission to promote small businesses in the area. The Cleveland Flea, much difference from the other fleas I have been exposed to, is actually a small business incubator. While there are some vintage vendors, the majority are local Cleveland businesses eager to get their products in the hands of the nearly 10,000 visitors that check out the flea each year. The vendors range from clothing to succulents to dog treats to my favorite local vegan donuts from The Vegan Doughnut Company…..and the food trucks and options for feasting are out of this world.

Last weekend was the first flea of the year, so I had to go. Luckily one of my bffs Melissa was free to go with me and check it out for the first time!

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Waiting in line for strawberry lemonade!

I never go to the flea looking for any specific item…..that way i have zero expectations, but I do look over the vendor list before I go. When I saw my donut friends were there, that was the first stop for us….luckily they were right inside the gate! I know from experience that they sell out every time, and I wasn’t going to miss out! The glazed twist is a classic favorite, but I had to snag a strawberry shortcake and a few cookies and cream! I cannot tell you enough how tasty these donuts are…..and in case you forgot, I’m not vegan and no, you can’t tell that the donuts are.

One of my favorite finds at the flea: these super cute dish towels! Notice how many of the things i love involve foods??? I love the simplicity of the black and white, which matches my kitchen perfectly.

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One absolute must when at the flea: wear elastic waist pants. No jeans. You’ll eat a lot, trust me on this. I was excited to see one of my favorite food trucks, The Funky Truckeria, in attendance…..their tacos and goat cheese risotto balls are the dreams are made of!

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Mark your calendars for July’s Flea on the 14th….you don’t want to miss it! I’ll see you guys there!

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National Donut Day: One of my favorite days of the year!

Unless you literally started following my blog twenty minutes ago, you know one thing about me: I am obsessed with donuts.

I was recently talking to my mom about this love affair, and she shared with me something that FINALLY made me realize why my love for donuts was so strong. She ate a glazed donut pretty much every day during the end of her pregnancy with me! Thanks, Mom….that explains why my blood type is donut.

The past few years I haven’t been able to truly celebrate National Donut Day (which falls on the first Friday in June each year) because of prior commitments, but this year I had cleared the calendar and made plans with one of my sisters, Marenda, to participate in a donut crawl.

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We were very excited to try all of the donuts!

Yes, you heard right, a donut crawl.

During my drinking days I participated in quite a few bar crawls, but never a donut crawl, so I was excited! This event, which you can scope out here, takes place in a small town not far from where I earned my graduate degree and is such a great little community. …They already have the dates released for next year, so mark your calendar for the weekend of June 7th!

Surprisingly, I opted for the donut crawl option instead of the donut coma (the crawl came with 10 donuts….the coma had 15). Marenda chose the same. In addition to our donuts we received one drink (i chose coffee) and the cutest mug. In true Katie spirit, I dressed in a donut costume because I take my love for donuts seriously. It was not only funny but helpful, as it protected me from the rain when it hit.

Here’s a list of the donut shops that were present this year:

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I’ve shared before how much I love donuts from White House Fruit Farm…I grew up not far from there and think they have incredible donuts (blueberry and cherry are my faves). However, there were a few shops that had exceptional donuts in my opinion. Marenda and I made the decision to cut each donut into quarters and try one of each to determine our favorites. Our eyes may have been bigger than our stomachs, because we were full pretty quickly, but we stayed the course and tried them all.

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My top picks from this box of amazingness:

Lemon Donut from Valencia Donut Co: this one is easy to spot in the box. It had such a great flavor and consistency, something hard to find with lemon donuts. Often they have an artificial lemon taste, but not this one. Highly recommend them to my donut lovers nearby their shop in Valencia, Pa.

Apple Fritter from Bill’s Bake Shoppe. This donut (closest to the text in this picture) was FABULOUS. I am a huge fan of apple fritters, and I was a little worried about this donut. It was the last one we got in the torrential downpour and we kind of just had the guy throw it on top of the box. The fritter is hands down the best fritter I have ever had.

Sprinkled Cake Donut from Sweet Chessie’s. This was the only cake donut in the bunch, and it was unique in its appearance, as it lacked the typical donut shape. The frosting was delicious, and the cake donut even better.

All three of these shops are places I will easily be revisiting in the future!

There was one thing we indulged in that I have to mention…..the donut sandwich we had! It features pulled pork between a fresh glazed donut. Ohhhhhhhmmmmmgeeeee! I like my pulled pork plain, but Marenda chose one of the bbq sauce options on hers. We were both very pleased. I love a sweet/salty mix, so this was perfect! Don’t knock it until you try it!

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I can’t wait for next year’s event and hope you partake in a fun donut crawl, too!

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Church’s Chicken….You’re Fired.

Oh, food, how I love you…..let me count thy ways.

Anyone else there with me? Food is sooooooo good!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think many people who follow me on social media are always surprised when they learn how much I like foods that aren’t exactly healthy…..you know, donuts, tacos, pizza, basically anything with sugar. As an online health and wellness coach, most people think we live on kale and celery stalks, and trust me, that’s not the case. We just appreciate balance in our daily lifestyles, and sometimes that means eating something that isn’t a healthy choice.

Last week this unhealthy choice came into my life in the form of fried chicken.

Fried chicken isn’t something I crave often; however, back in January when I started my 80 Day journey following a timed nutrition program, it was the one food I started to miss the most. I have no clue why. I wrapped that program up and for some reason never got the chicken that I had thought about so often during those three months.

On Tuesday Kyle had decided he was going to stop by a local Church’s Chicken and pick up their 2 piece special…..something he did often because he enjoyed their chicken. I told him to pick me one up as well. In typical Tuesday fashion, I went into the studio and taught my kickboxers a few classes, then returned home, excited to partake in the chicken.

The 2 for $2 Tuesday special includes a leg and a breast, and Kyle always sticks it in our toaster oven for a few to give it some extra crispiness. I crushed the leg first (i have always been a drumstick person), then bit into the chicken breast. Immediately I felt like something didn’t taste right, but I took another bite to make sure. It tasted like the chicken wasn’t cooked thoroughly. To be certain, I peeled back the layer of fried skin to look at the meat, and that’s when I saw it: what I thought was a chicken brain.

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The Church’s that served me this is located at 1391 Wooster, Akron, Ohio.

I started to freak out, and Kyle, still enjoying his chicken, thought I was being dramatic. Finally I shoved the box in his face so he could see up close what I was talking about. He was as appalled as I was and immediately whipped out his cell phone to start to figure out what the heck was in my chicken. After some googling (which included him measuring the special addition to my chicken), and me contacting a few of my veterinarian friends, it was confirmed that it wasn’t a brain (though it sure looked like one), but was instead a chicken lung that had not properly been removed.
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I was sick all night from the chicken, not because of my disgust of the lung being in it (though don’t let that fool you, I am still thoroughly disgusted now….which is why I had to share with you all), but because the chicken wasn’t properly cooked. Lucky for me I ended up being extremely sick for a full day after and struggled to get through my daily activities.

The following morning I contacted Church’s corporate office to report the incident. Hooking your customers up with salmonella or food poisoning is never okay, and the lung being in the chicken breast was completely unacceptable. I spoke to a gentleman who barely even apologized for the bad experience, only giving me a reference number and assuring me someone would contact me regarding this incident. UPDATE: It is over a week later and still NO ONE has contacted me. I also went through the website, submitting photos of the chicken, and have not had anyone from the Church’s where the chicken was purchased contact me. Unacceptable. It’s bad enough to serve less than desirable food; it’s even worse to not deliver quality customer service after the fact.

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Another up close look at the nastiness of Church’s.

I am urging all of you to stay far away from Church’s Chicken. I know fried chicken is so great and many of us love it, but this is not the chain to get it from. In fact, thanks to the disgusting experience I think it is safe to say I will never be eating fried chicken again. Thanks, Church’s.

For those local to me, the Church’s Chicken you SHOULD NOT GO TO is the one located on 1391 Wooster, Akron, Ohio.

Please let your friends know, especially those who frequent this establishment. If you are going to go to Church’s, I highly recommend you dissecting your chicken before eating it to avoid eating a surprise part of a chicken’s body.

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Get your Unicorn Drink On!

You guys know I love unicorns…..right now as I am writing this blog I am staring at a mounted unicorn head. Don’t believe me? Here she is:

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As much as I love my unicorn life, I equally love the daily superfood shake I drink. It helps to fill the gaps in my nutrition, eliminates some of the digestive issues I have suffered from in the past, and it allows me to bypass the multivitamin I had to choke down before. Beyond that, I love how creative I can be with recipes while still hooking myself up with a tasty treat that is the same as taking five BIG trips to a salad bar. Huzzah!

Recently I concocted a unicorn version of my beloved ride or die shake and loved it so much I had to share with you all! This recipe is great for summertime, especially since Farmer’s Markets are open and you can snag some amazing fruits!

Katie’s Unicorn Drink

Ingredients:

-1 scoop Vanilla Superfood Mix (I use vegan vanilla because I love the taste. You can grab it HERE in a combo box that also has chocolate!)
-1/3 cup pineapple
-1/3 cup strawberries
-1/3 cup blackberries
-12 to 14 oz water or coconut milk, divided into thirds
-Ice if desired

How to make:

-Blend 1/3 of your vanilla superfoods with one of the fruits and 1/3 of the liquid. I also blend in 2 ice cubes. Once that is blended, pour into glass. Repeat two more time with remaining fruits, superfoods, and liquid. As you pour each layer, a fun unicorn layered effect will happen.

-You can top with whipped cream and sprinkles if you really want to, or you can make your own using coconut cream! I prefer this option so it is still on point when it comes to my meal plan!

***Few things I want to share:

-I prefer water, but coconut milk is my runner up when it comes to liquid. You can use almond, soy, or whatever milk you like.

-I prefer milkshake consistency, so I tend to go heavier on the ice. You can omit if you like it differently.

-Someone will ask if they can use their protein powder. Totally up to you. I will say this: The superfoods mix I use is NOT a protein powder. It does have protein in it like what yours may have, but the OTHER ingredients in it that are all natural that make it different. Read your labels. You may be drinking something you think is good for you that isn’t loaded with emulsifiers, sugars, and crap. A $30 thing of protein powder is NOT the same, so I cannot guarantee that taste. If you do want to try mine, let me know so I can get you the best deal!

ENJOY, my unicorns!

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Every Day is Fry-Day!

I am one to never jump on trends….it doesn’t matter what it is. I like to wait it out to see if something is worth buying, and I am one of those people who love to get the opinions of those I love who have experience with said item, and I also read reviews…..lots of reviews.

I had a few friends buy an air fryer when they first became a phenomenon, but I wasn’t sold on them. I love fried foods, but something that uses the air to help fry a food….could that really taste good? And did I really need another thing to junk up my counter?

So I waited…..I read the reviews….and slowly more and more of my friends were sharing about their love for the air fryer. I was turning to the dark side…..and I finally decided I needed to get one.

I read many reviews on the best air fryers on the market, but most of my friends who were actively using one weren’t using those brands; instead NuWave seemed to be the winning brand. Do I go with what consumers say is best or what my friends say works?
My friends….always! I listen to the people I trust in my life because I know they won’t steer me wrong. I ordered the Nu Wave 3 Quart Air Fryer and patiently awaited its arrival.

Piece of advice: Shop around for the best deal! Right now there are lots of great savings with Memorial Day, and make sure you are using Ebates first to get the most cash back.

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The day my air fryer arrived I was elated and started using it immediately. HOW IN THE WORLD HAD I WAITED SO LONG TO BUY THIS THING????!!!!

The first thing I made: Jojo Potatoes (or wedges for those of you not from Ohio). I cut the raw potatoes into wedges, tossed them with a mix of 1 tablespoon coconut oil, paprika, and garlic, and cooked them for about 16 minutes in the air fryer. The result: perfection!

Reasons why you need to own one: 

1. No oil! Hot air is what is used to cook the food, and unless you are using a little bit to coat the foods like I did with the JoJos, you don’t need it.

2. You can make pretty much anything. Wings, fries, donuts, onion rings…..anything you love that is fried! Don’t believe me, check out pinterest for some ideas!

3. It’s quick and a healthier alternative! I was able to make fresh fries in about 15 minutes in a healthy way. You can’t beat that.

4. It’s easy to clean. All you do is press a button to release the frying tray and boom…..ready to wash.

Im very happy with this NuWave product and think it is very easy to use. There are lots of options out there, so do your research on what will work for you and talk to those you know who have one. Listen to their reviews! I only have one complaint with my air fryer….I should’ve purchased the 6 quart instead of the 3 quart! The 3 quart is fine for two people, but if you have a family of more than two, definitely go for the bigger size!

I’m off to make onion rings now…..but if you grab an air fryer let me know your thoughts!

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Gettin’ Philly With It

One of my meal plan staples has always been the stuffed pepper….there’s something about it that makes it part healthy part comfort food, and with about a million variations, it is something I am always into.

This weekend I was craving a good ol’ cheesesteak, and I’m not talking the fake kind. I’m talking a legit Geno’s Cheesesteak (Sorry if you are Team Pat’s…this girl is Geno’s all the way). Since I wasn’t in the mood for a 6 hour drive to Philly to get one, I opted to put a Philly spin on my stuffed peppers. My Instagram DMs blew up asking for the recipe… so here it is! Although I also received a few messages about my vampire pepper that I shared….

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Philly Cheesesteak Peppers

Ingredients:
-3 peppers (any color), cut in half and seeds removed
-1 yellow onion, diced (optional)
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-1 pound steak (I use sirloin and slice very thin)
-12 slices of provolone cheese
-1 tablespoon chopped parsley
-8 oz sliced mushrooms (optional)

Directions:

Place peppers in baking dish and bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. As peppers bake, heat olive oil in pan and cook steak. Make sure it is sliced thin! Add onions and mushrooms to the pan if you are using them, cooking until brown. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Once peppers are done, remove from oven and place one slice of provolone cheese in the bottom of each pepper. Fill with steak mixture, then top with another slice of cheese. Broil for 3 minutes or until cheese is completely melted and golden brown. Top with parsley and serve! So easy, and this recipe is always a hit!

Enjoy!

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Ready to eat!

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