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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Dog Rescue > Richard Gere Fire Escape Rescue.

“A senior dog? I don’t know about that.” This was exactly what I told Kyle a few months ago when he mentioned wanting to adopt a senior dog.

Don’t get me wrong…..I love all dogs, but after losing our senior pug Bubba only a few weeks prior, my heart was still very broken, and a big part of me felt like I was too fragile to possibly endure another dog loss so soon. My mind was also set on adding a French Bulldog puppy to the clan mid summer. We tabled the senior dog discussion at that point….or at least I did. Every now and then Kyle would text me a picture of a senior dog in need of a home, so I knew he was still very focused on it, but I just brushed most of them off.

Two weeks ago I woke up in a wretched mood, and I texted my friend Brandee to see if she wanted to meet me at a local pet rescue. She liked to visit the cats, and I figured petting some dogs would cheer me up. Kyle mentioned there was a senior Boston Terrier there that he was interested in meeting, so he decided to come along. In my mind, I was going to pet some dogs, hit up Starbucks on the way home, and return home in a better mood. I did not intend on connecting with a dog and beginning the adoption process.

Initially I was interested in two chihuahuas that were bonded, but I quickly realized they were not only yippy, but mean. As I tried to befriend them, an employee had walked out with the Boston Terrier Kyle had told me about. His name was Spike, and he was ten years old with really no back story. All we knew was that he had been brought to the shelter from Animal Control. We spent some time petting him, got some info on what to do if we wanted to move forward, and left. I knew immediately Kyle wanted him, but I told him that I needed to think about it.

Yes, he was a senior dog. He was emaciated, his spine had an odd shape, the shelter thought he had vision impairment, and it was uncertain if he had hearing issues. I had many concerns about him, but mostly if we would be able to give him the proper care. Bubba, our pug, had lost his vision during the last year of his life, but he had also lost mobility….Spike was still very active, and I worried about how he would move around the house safely.

As the days passed, all I could think about Spike. My heart honestly hurt thinking about how sad he looked being at that shelter. Four days after we first met him I asked Kyle to go back to the shelter so we could walk Spike and spend a little more time with him. That moment we saw him I knew it was meant to be. We arranged a meet and greet with Luigi and Murphy a few days later, and luckily, they loved him. The paperwork was signed, and Spike was ours.

We brought Spike home on Mother’s Day, and in the short time he has been with us he has made it clear he belongs with us. It’s a little challenging getting set in a new routine because we had such a set one already, but we are adapting. Each day Spike’s personality comes out a little more, and you can see how much he loves the attention and plush dog beds around the house.

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The day we brought Spike home!

I have moments where I want to smack myself for almost talking myself out of getting a senior dog. Now that we have him, I can’t imagine life without him. One thing I keep thinking about is something one of the rescue workers said to me as I was waiting for another employee to bring out Spike the day we went to get him. I must’ve looked confused or lost because he asked me if he could help me with something. When I told them I was there to adopt a dog and was waiting for him to come out, he asked which one. After I told him it was Spike, he looked incredibly happy and said “We didn’t think anyone would ever adopt him.” My heart broke and exploded with happiness at the same time.

Shelters are full of senior animals needing a loving home….they tend to be the majority of what is there! While the thought of a little puppy is appealing, I encourage you to consider bringing a senior dog. Just knowing you are giving a dog the best life you possibly can is such a good feeling. I have no idea what kind of life Spike had before he found his way to One of a Kind Pets,  the rescue where we adopted him from. What I do know is that he has the sweetest temperament, loves sweet potatoes and hugs, and looks like he is smiling when he sleeps in the gray velvet bed I bought just for him. I can’t change how his life was his first ten years, but you better believe I’m going to make every year he has left the best I possibly can.

If you are local, make sure you check out One of a Kind. I’ve mentioned them before…..they host Pug Fest every year! If you aren’t, I encourage you to find the shelters near your home and give them a chance when looking to add to your fur family.

The funny thing about rescuing a dog…..they steal a line from Pretty Woman and they rescue you right back.

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Welcome to the family, Spike!

 

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Fun Facts You May Not Know About Me

Writing a blog has been something I have absolutely loved doing the past few years. Besides expressing myself through writing, I have had the ability to connect with so many new followers. Thank you guys so much for hanging with me virtually!

Since I have so many new blog subscribers lately, I wanted to share a few fun facts about me that you may not know. I always love learning random things about others, and since many things about me are obvious, it’s nice to sometimes change it up! Here’s your random dose of Katetastic-ness for the day!

1. I have an obsession with tiny hats.
  I cannot tell you when this obsession began….but I can tell you it started when I was really young because I have loved tiny hats since I was a little girl. Now I find a reason to tie a festive hat in with anything I possibly can….brunches, parties, holidays….they are a great accessory! I get all of my tiny hats from Chiki Bird Hat Studio…..Corinne does amazing work!

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My favorite hat!

2. My favorite book of all time is Catcher in the Rye.
  I absolutely love to read…..and I love all kinds of books ranging from leadership books to feel good stories to fictional tales. Catch in the Rye is a book I first read back in junior high, and it is a book I have read every year since. I tend to like anything with a little bit of rebellion, but there’s something about this book that is just different that I connect to. Regardless, if you have never read it, do it.

3. My alter-ego is Hurri-Kate.
    Yes, I have an alter-ego, and when she comes out, it isn’t the prettiest thing to see. She was nicknamed Hurri-Kate quite some time ago by a friend who was present when I got extremely fired up, and that nickname just stuck. This isn’t to be confused with the name I give whenever I’m out and about…..that name is Dallas (you’ve got to choose a name after a city or a state)!

4. I was homecoming queen in high school and college.
   I was a huge fan of the small town I went to high school in and later turned down larger colleges to go to one situated in another small town. I guess I’m just a small town girl….living in a lonely world (I had to go there….you know how I love my music).  I was proud to serve as Homecoming Queen at both schools…..even though I hadn’t discovered mascara or proper brow products back in high school (I was a bit of a tomboy back then).

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5. I absolutely cannot burp.
   It is just something I CANNOT do. I know, it’s very strange.

6. I was an on air personality for Froggy,
  One of my favorite jobs of all time was getting to be on the air for Froggy, ironic since I hate frogs. My on air name was Pollywogg, and I absolutely loved getting to be on air, playing music, and going out into the community for live events. It also wasn’t a bad gig getting to meet and introduce celebrities like Joe Nichols, Bret Michaels, Toby Keith, and Travis Tritt to name a few. I often miss radio and have considered getting back into it, but then I realize I already have a pretty full life and probably shouldn’t add anything else to it.

7. My name was {almost} Greta.
   My mom really liked this name, but my dad was against it. I’m thankful my dad won on this one. Can you imagine if I was named Greta??????

8. I absolutely HATE getting a suntan.
  There was a brief time in college when I managed a tanning salon and tanned every day, but I quickly realized I didn’t want to look like leather down the road and abandoned that immediately. Now I’m that person who wears a big floppy hat at the beach, and I layer up on sunscreen just in case a little bit of sun gets in under the hat or the umbrella I hide under. I just don’t like getting tan.

9. I was born 21 days late. Sorry, Mom.
   And I’ve been a pain in the ass ever since. Right, Mom???

10. I absolutely love public speaking.
 One of my favorite things to do is speak publicly. I don’t care what the topic is…it could just be me delivering bad jokes…..give me a mic, and I will be in my happy place. I’m thankful that I have many opportunities now to speak to others, whether it be in a motivational format or to deliver training materials. I wasn’t always this way though….back in college I dreaded taking public speaking, but when I did, guess what? I fell in love with it.

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It’s always fun to learn new things about people, isn’t it? I challenge you to share something others may not know about you today!

And just like that….80 days are DONEZO!

Well, ninety days if we want to be 100% accurate.

Many of you have asked me why my time doing this program seemed longer than eighty actual days….that’s because you don’t count Sundays aka rest days, meaning ten extra days are added on to those eighty workouts! Sooo…..three months. That’s what this program breaks down to……….and it’s over now!!!!!!!!!!!!

This past weekend I officially wrapped up 80 Day Obsession, and I have to be honest….I was kind of sad to see it go. In some ways it felt like I had been doing the program foreveerrrrrrrrr, but in other ways it seemed like I had just started.

Was this workout program a journey? Absolutely.

I ended up finishing the program down 16.8 lbs and 18.4 inches lost….not too shabby! However, I have to say….the thing I’m most excited about is how strong I felt at the end of the program. Sure, losing weight/inches is cool, but actually feeling yourself get stronger as time passed….that was really a great success.

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So what’s next? This week I did some Core de Force and a little from both T25 and Hammer and Chisel. My plan initially was to do CdF then go into H & C next month (thinking I wanted a little break from weight lifting), but after two days without weights, I was missing them BIG TIME. In fact, I actually started considering going back through 80 Day and doing another round. I’m going to make a decision as to what program I want to start over the weekend and officially begin it on Monday.

Besides that, I will be getting back into my Ninja Warrior training this week, which includes rock climbing, running, and a medley of workouts with my tractor tire, sledgehammer, plyo box, and bosu ball. I’ll also be back to throwing in some kickboxing classes as well. This past week I was able to take my first kickboxing class since January, which was fabulous. Even though I teach kickboxing, I was very cautious during 80 DO because I did not want to go up even higher in the food bracket list. Teaching had me already bump up two brackets (I had to ensure I had the right amount of calories coming in), and if I had opted to take additional classes for the workout purpose, I would’ve needed to adjust even more. Since I struggled some days to eat the food I was supposed to anyway, I elected to just not take any classes until I finished the program.

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You guys all know that the FIRST thing I did the morning after I finished up 80 DO was hit the donut shop….I successfully went three months without a single donut! Donuts are probably the only thing that will get me up before 8am on a Sunday!

But……..I have to be real with you guys…..I wasn’t that into them.

Yes, you heard right. I ate the donuts and wasn’t a huge fan. Thinking maybe it was a fluke, later that day I ordered a stuffed crust pepperoni pizza. I didn’t like that either. Later in the week I got hibachi and also McDonalds…..I didn’t like either. What does this tell us? My taste buds drastically changed as a result of my nutrition on this program, and I’m not too upset about it if we are being honest.

Speaking of nutrition, all week I felt lost. The timed nutrition aspect of 80 DO really had become a routine for me, and I actually liked how it was structured. I am definitely going back to the preworkout/postworkout timed meals for sure regardless of what program I am doing, but most likely will be following the rest of the meal plan structure because it just worked.

Final thoughts on this program if you are considering it:

The performance line is a MUST. I’ve said this before, and some of you probably thought I was blowing smoke up your ass, but I’m serious. This is a challenging program that tasks your muscles in a major way. You have to help them recover! You want to eliminate muscle soreness! The performance line is my go to. If you are going to do this program, don’t half ass it….just use the stuff. You’ll thank me later.

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-Absolutely have an accountability group. I’m always thankful for the ladies in my online fit clubs, but I was especially for this program. Toward the end I lacked some motivation and needed the extra acceptability. Luckily, I had about 10 girls following the same program I was, and they helped me keep my eyes on the finish. Sometimes you need all the help you can get.

If you fall down, just get back up. This is a long program, and some of you may be worried about stating because you are afraid you may miss a day, or mess up the nutrition. I screwed up a ton! But I always kept going. No one is perfect, and the end result is so worth it. Just try it! If you need that extra support and a fitness wingman, I’m here to help you every step of the way!

Thanks so much to everyone who supported me on this journey! Now onto the next big thing……..

P.S. Can you believe that the pineapple my magician friend Stacy made me on January 21st looked like this NINETY days after she made it? It stuck with me through the entire program! Maybe to be symbolic of the fact that my reasons for yelling out “pineapples” during the workout were dwindling????

Happy Sunday, friends.

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Week 11-12: I’m in the homestretch!

I cannot believe that tomorrow I begin Peak Week, the final week of 80 Day Obsession. In some ways it feels like I have been doing this program forever (I kind of have….I started January 22nd), and it some ways it feels like it was just yesterday that I began. It’s crazy how time can make you feel that way!

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The final two weeks of Phase 3 have not been all sunshine and roses, and I won’t even try to sugarcoat it. There’s something about this final phase that has really been challenging. Like I mentioned in my last update, this phase has been a complete mind#$k. I’ve lacked motivation, I’ve felt like quitting so many times, and I have just struggled to get through the workouts. I really just think that it is my workout ADD kicking it…..this has been such a long commitment, and as someone who loves those shorter workouts and changing up what I’m doing, that commitment has been incredibly tough. You better believe I am going to be so proud of myself when I finish this program, and I am definitely rewarding myself with some new Lorna Jane gear. I freaking deserve it.

When it comes to my nutrition, I’ve barely cheated. I had two days that involved tacos, one being after our quarterly Super Saturday, and the next being the following day for Wrestlemania. I specifically chose tacos that weren’t super bad for me and could still work into the meal plan, but I won’t lie….some plantain chips and guac were included, and those definitely weren’t. I did remain focused on my meal plan and water, and I was really happy about that. This morning I met some girlfriends for brunch at one of my favorite local spots, The Blue Door, and I was able to resist the chicken and waffles I love from there and made a meal plan approved choice instead (The Olympian….it is so tasty).

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Mine is on the right!

But….I did have some moments with my nutrition that were touch and go. This past week was a bit of a struggle for me. One of my best friends lost his father, and my heart was absolutely broken for him and his family. At the same time, watching him go through a loss of a parent brought up a lot of weird feelings and sadness that had me feeling like I was reliving the loss of my dad all over again. I was proud of myself for not emotionally eating and addressing my anger/sadness by killing my workouts, something that has served me as therapy the past few years. I cried a lot more than usual, and I slept way less than I typically do, and let’s not ignore the fact that I was a royal bitch because of the weird feelings and emotions I had going on in my head. Yet, somehow I avoided falling into the emotional eating mindsuck, and I’m super proud of that.

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Sometimes you just have to workout knowing you are doing it for those who no longer can. 

I was very pleased to complete my FINAL 8 round trip to the zoo aka Cardio Flow, and I was kind of sad to see it go. From hating the workout initially to slowly falling in love with it, my relationship with the moves was definitely one of the greatest transformations I had during this program. This definitely has been the workout that has had me incredibly sore following its completion each time, and I have remained committed to self care following that workout. Any excuse for a bubble bath, right?

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I hope you celebrated Unicorn Day like I did….I tied it together to self care day!

As of now I have lost 14 lbs and 19 inches……and I’m pretty okay with that. My strength and endurance is what really has me happy, especially since my Ninja Warrior training is going to kick into high gear as soon as I complete 80 Day.

Many people have asked if I am going to do another round. Maybe….a long time from now. My plan is to begin an MMA/Muay Thai inspired 30 day workout on the 30th, then go into one of my all time favorite lifting program, Hammer and Chisel, before beginning one of our newest lifting program early summer. In addition to that, I will be Ninja training like I mentioned and mixing in some running and rock climbing as well.

Here’s a look at my meal plan for my FINAL week of 80 Day aka Peak Week! It’s mostly protein and veggies with a few carbs mixed in.

So excited to share my final update with you…..and also eat a fat ass donut.

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