Category Archives: Healthy Living Looks Good on Everyone

Bidi Bidi Bom Bom

I’m a huge Selena fan, so when I first heard of the dish that I’m about to share with you, I instantly thought of this song and gave it a new name. I’m just weird like that! This song had one of the most iconic looks (fun fact: I’m considering this outfit for Halloween this year), and has such a fun, catchy beat!

Watch the video here!

Now that Selena’s song is stuck in your head (your welcome), here’s the recipe I had to share with you…..Bibimbap! It’s a dish my brother got my hooked on, and this particular recipe was in one of my Hello Fresh boxes awhile back. It fits in great with my current meal plan, and I hope you love it as much as I do!

BIBIMBAP
Ingredients for 4 servings:

-Zucchini
-8 oz Button Mushrooms
-2 large carrots
-4 Scallions
-Ginger (about a 2tsps…I love ginger so I use a bit more)
-4 cloves of garlic
-1 1/2 cups jasmine rice (you can sub cauliflower rice or brown rice if you prefer)
-2 Tbl sesame oil
-4 tsp sriracha
-6 TBL soy sauce (I use half that amount)
-20 oz ground beef

Wash and dry all produce. Bring 1 3/4 cups water to a boil. Halve zucchini lengthwise and slice into thin half-moons (I use a vegetable peelers to make zucchini ribbons). Thinly slice mushrooms and scallions, keeping scallion greens and white separate. Peel carrot, then use vegetable peeler to shave into ribbons. Peel and mince ginger and garlic.

Once water is boiling, add rice. Cover and reduce to a gentle simmer, cooking for about 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, pickle scallions by tossing the scallion whites with vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside and let marinate. In another bowl, stir together sesame oil, 1 1/2 TBL sugar (I skip the sugar), half the sriracha, and 1 1/2 TBL soy sauce.

Heat drizzle of olive oil in a large pan. Add carrots, cooking until tender but still crisp, about 3-4 minutes. Add a little more oil and add zucchini. Once those have been cooked, add the mushrooms and cook until tender. Remove from pan and set aside. In the same pan, add a little olive oil as well as ginger and garlic, tossing until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add beef, cooking until no longer pink. Pour in remaining soy sauce.

Divide rice between bowls, then arrange beef, zucchini, mushrooms, scallion white mixture, and carrots on top. Garnish with the green scallions and drizzle with the remaining sriracha.

The awesome thing about Bibimbap is that there are several variations. Some have an egg, some have other veggies….it just depends! I love this recipe but encourage you to use the veggies you like so you really enjoy it!

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Recipe courtesy of Hello Fresh

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Miso happy about this recipe!

Hehehe…..see what I did there? Obvious little pun to let you know a Chinese recipe is coming your way!

I love Chinese food, but I can’t work much into my meal plan because the things I love most are loaded with not so healthy ingredients…..like fried egg rolls or crab rangoon. Miso soup I can, but that’s not the recipe I want to share with you right now……

I want to share with you the deconstructed egg roll recipe I have on my meal plan this week! It’s so freaking good!

Deconstructed Egg Rolls

Ingredients:
-Turkey Sausage
-Coleslaw Mix
-Brown Rice
-Sesame Oil

Cook the sausage (Remove the casing) until brown. I use a Pampered Chef mix n’ chop to make sure it is broken up. At the same time, cook brown rice. Once both are ready, add coleslaw mix to the sausage so it softens up. Add rice and cook for a few more minutes, stirring consistently. Add Sesame Oil and fall in love!

Let me talk about how much you need of what. The recipe I initially found said to the portion amount was 1 sausage, 1 cup coleslaw mix, 1/2 cup brown rice, 1 teaspoon sesame oil. That equates to one red, one green, one yellow, and one teaspoon if you are following one of the meal plans I do. Since I don’t cook in single servings, I cooked an entire box of rice, used 2 bags of coleslaw mix, and 6 sausages. When it came to the sesame oil, I used 6 teaspoons, but you can go a little heavier or lighter if you wish.

I love it! I hope you do, too.

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Muffins deserve their own pair of pants!

I bet you never thought about that happening, did ya?

I’m currently running an online bootcamp entitled “Eff You Mom Jeans and Muffin Tops” because the ab region is the area most of my challengers shared they needed some work. Not only are we focused on our nutrition, meal planning, and our daily workouts, but we are working hard on getting rid of those muffin tops and avoiding mom jeans for-ev-errrrrrrr (Sandlot voice).

I wanted to share one of my favorite healthy muffin recipes with my challengers and wanted to make it fun, so I decided the muffins needed some pants. Yes, they exist….you can actually buy them HERE!

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Here’s the recipe for the Banana Apple Muffins I love so much (found in the Fixate cookbook, a staple in my kitchen):

Ingredients:
-2 large eggs
-1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 medium sized bananas)
-1 Tablespoon grassfed butter (melted)
-1 1/2 cups almond flour
-3/4 Teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 cup chopped apple
-dash of sea salt

***I also add in cinnamon to taste, usually about a Tablespoon. This is not part of Autumn’s recipe, just something I think makes them even tastier!

Preheat your oven to 350 and prepare muffin tin by spraying with nonstick spray or paper liners. Combine eggs, banana, and butter in a bowl and mix until blended. Combine baking soda, almond flour, and salt in a separate bowl, then mix in with banana mixture. Fold in apples and cinnamon (if you are using). Divide batter between muffin cups (this recipe usually makes about 9 muffins). Bake 16-18 minutes or until golden brown.

That’s it! How easy are they?

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A few things I want share:

-I prefer using silicone baking cups, so I loved the little silicone muffin pants. However, they do make smaller muffins. In the batch I made last night I was able to make 9 regular muffins and 4 muffins wearing jeans. I also was worried about overfilling them so they didn’t end up with a true muffin top, which is actually okay since we are working on getting rid of them anyway!

-You want to use ripe bananas…..as in REALLY RIPE bananas. If you follow me on Instagram (@sparklefitnessbabe) you probably caught my IG story where I showed how RIPE mine were….they were basically black! I love baking with bananas at this state because you can mash them so much easier and they are so much more flavorful!

If you are a 21 Day Fixer, 80 Day Obsessioner, Hammer and Chiseler……these count as 1 purple and 1 blue (blue is the almond flour. If you use another flour you will want to adjust accordingly).

Enjoy friends!

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Carbs are out, clouds are in!

Listen, friends….I’m all about that carb life…like 99% of human beings. But…..I have some issues with gluten, so I have to be careful. If I’m going all in with gluten, it’s going to be something really satisfying, like a huge doughnut!

My breakup with gluten meant that my bread intake went from a thriving relationship to pretty much non existent. That makes spaghetti dinners and lasagna and all things Italian a little sad, right???? And don’t get me started on things like egg salad or chicken salad, two of my favorite quick lunches!

Fortunately for me, I stumbled across a recipe awhile back that has been a lifesaver and serves as a wonderful bread substitute: CLOUD BREAD!

For starters, the name Cloud Bread is just fabulous as it is….but there is something to the name. This “bread”, made with only four ingredients, comes out light and fluffy like a cloud. The best part??? It is a protein! Yes, you read that right….nothing carby about it! You’ve got to make it!

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                                                    Katie’s Cloud Bread Recipe
Ingredients:

-3 large eggs
-1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
-Dash cream of tartar
-Dash of salt (optional)

How to make:

Heat oven to 300 degrees, then spray cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Separate egg whites from egg yolks, placing in separate bowls. Add dash of cream of tartar to egg whites and beat on high until peaks form (between 3-4 minutes). Set aside, then add yogurt and salt (if using) to yolks, beating until blended completely. Fold 1/3 of the egg white mixture into the yolk mixture, then fold in the remaining egg white mixture. Using a spoon, scoop mixture onto cookie sheet, pressing mixture down to resemble a pancake. Bake for 30 minutes or  until golden brown. The “bun” should be crispy when touched. Once you remove from oven, loosen with spatula, then allow to cool. If not serving immediately, store in tupperware container.

***Few notes***

-Don’t over mix when combining the egg whites and yolks.
-When scooping out mixture, make sure scoop is about 3 inches in diameter.
-This recipe makes three servings. A serving is two pieces of “bread”.
-One serving has 94 calories and 9 grams of protein.

ENJOY!

 

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Hello, Hello Fresh!

If you follow me on Facebook, you’ve seen that for the past few weeks I have been taking advantage of a weekly food delivery service called Hello Fresh. Chances are you have heard of this company….they market like crazy on pretty much every social media avenue known to man.

I was skeptical to try this food delivery service because I had previously tried Blue Apron, one of Hello Fresh’s competitors, and I was extremely disappointed. I felt the quality and selection of food items was poor, and for the cost involved it was not worth it (at least to me). But….I had a lot of things coming up and really wanted to try the Hello Fresh for the sake of convenience. I had a lot of people I know tell me it was fabulous, so I gave it a shot and used a $40 off coupon on my first box (Click HERE to get your own $40 coupon).

Since you may be a little skeptical, I’m going to cover the things everyone has been asking me about: the process, the quality, the cost, the portion size, and my overall opinion.

THE PROCESS

Hello Fresh’s ordering process is very simple, especially from their app. Once you create an account (you’ll have to do this), you select what plan you want. There is a vegetarian plan, classic plan, and family plan, and you have the option to easily modify if you want to down the road. I signed up for the classic plan because I knew I would be the only person eating the food and was curious how portions would break down for me since I follow a pretty regimented meal plan when it comes to portion size.

Once your account is set up and you have determined your plan, you get to pick your meals and the day of the week you want them delivered! On the classic plan, there are 8 dinner selections, and you pick 3. If you would select the veggie plan, you unfortunately don’t get to choose; there are 3 selections, and those are the 3 you get. I have had mine set up to arrive on Tuesday, but I have decided I am going to change the date so I have them delivered on Friday, giving me the weekend to prep.

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A look at my choices in the app

 

On delivery day, everything arrives in once giant box. When I say EVERYTHING, I mean EVERYTHING. The only thing I have had to contribute to the meals is olive oil for when I need to cook meat or sauté veggies. You get recipe cards, nutritional information, and each meal in its own bag with the ingredients for that recipe. In the bottom of the box, packed under the largest ice packs I’ve ever seen, you will find the meat you need for your recipe.

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THE QUALITY

I have been incredibly impressed with the quality of the food I’ve had thus far. Every week I choose at least one steak option, and the steak I have gotten has been thick cut with very little fat. This week I had a salmon that was as good as the salmon dishes on the coast. Most of the ingredients that accompany the meat selections are organic. There has not been any item I have received that wasn’t excellent quality.

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Everything I need to make Cherry Drizzled Pork Chops!

THE PORTION SIZE

My biggest complaint about Blue Apron was that I felt like their meal sizes were more like snack sizes, and I was worried it would be mine with Hello Fresh, too. However, I was pleasantly surprised. Most of the meals I have gotten have easily served as three portions for me instead of the two they claimed to be. I liked that….I liked that a lot!

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Chicken Parm Salad…this is ONE of the three servings I had!

THE COST

I started this experience with a $40 coupon which made my first box $19. Was it worth it? Absolutely! The quality of meals was well worth that and much more, so I didn’t have a problem with it. Full price for 6 meals is $59, so it equates to a little over $9 a meal (shipping is free), and that is before any additional coupon codes. Initially I thought this was a little high, but when I sat down to think about it I spent more when I ran to Panera to grab dinner and spent about the same when I meal prepped at home. Since getting Hello Fresh, my grocery list is minimal, as I don’t need to get much other than breakfast and some items for lunch, so really I am at about the same for my grocery tab for the month.

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One of my fave recipes thus far!

MY OVERALL OPINION

Super worth it! The recipes have all been delicious and most are all things I will make again. Did I mention you get the recipe to recreate them whenever you want? That makes it really easy to expand your recipe collection with healthy options down the road. Only one recipe I didn’t care for much, but that was only because I burnt the fish a bit….oops!

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This was the only recipe I didn’t love. 

I love the convenience of getting everything sent to my house, and I love getting to try some foods I don’t normally try. That’s the other nice thing about this program….you can pick those normal “safe” meals (like salmon and jasmine rice) or try something a little outside of your food comfort zone (like bibimbap). Sometimes we need a little push like this to try new things!


Guys, I 100% recommend you give Hello Fresh a try. Even if you just try one box, I guarantee you will be happy you gave it a shot! You may love it and stick with it…..you may learn more about eating healthy and portion sizes….you may just fall in love with cooking. Regardless, your taste buds will be happy!

 

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Jack-O-Peppers!

I don’t normally do back to back recipes, but since it’s been awhile AND Halloween is just around the corner, I wanted to share a fun twist to one of my go to recipes: the stuffed pepper!

A few years ago I shared my recipe (you can access it here), and it has remained a constant on my meal plan over and over again. Stuffed peppers are so much fun because you can change up how you make them based on your likes. Sometimes I use rice, other times I use quinoa. Sometimes I use black beans, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I season with taco seasoning, other times I don’t. Be creative with them!

I wanted to turn the pepper into a little jack-o-lantern to be festive, and it was surprisingly easier than I thought. All you need is a sharp paring knife (I use one from Pampered Chef that was the perfect size), and sub in orange peppers in place of the green peppers!

If you are the kind of person who usually tosses the “hat” or top of the pepper, don’t this time. Make sure when you make the cut you do so relatively close to the top so there is plenty of room to fill with your stuffing AND so it resembles the top of a pumpkin. Remove the innards (I call it the pepper brain).

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Using your knife, “carve” your pepper pumpkin.

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Prepare your stuffing mixture, then fill your pepper pumpkin.

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Place pepper pumpkins in a 9×9 pan (or larger if you are making a larger batch). Place top on each pumpkin and bake for about 40 minutes at 300! Your family will love them, and you’ll be hooking them up with a healthy and festive dish! Enjoy!

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Muffins are naked cupcakes.

And sometimes that’s not a bad thing!

While I love me some cupcakes, I am growing quite fond of the healthy muffins I have been making lately using only my blender. Yeah, you heard right. I’m making muffins by throwing stuff inside this guy. How easy is that?

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If you know me, you know I am forever trying to make things I like healthier. It’s not always for the health benefit (though they are great), but mostly because my body reacts in a strange way to some ingredients typically found in the foods I love. I have a gluten intolerance as well as issues with lactose, and if I eat things that fall into those categories I tend to blow up like I’m 9 months pregnant immediately after eating….not to mention I feel awful.

Muffins, you fall into this category.

So how about some flourless muffins without oil or anything weird?

YEAH!!!!

This recipe is one I have come to love, not only because of how easy it is, but because it also helps me with that crazy sweet tooth I am always battling. Remember these Hostess bad boys? This recipe reminds me of them…only healthier, and you won’t feel as guilty when you eat three packs worth. We all know we could demolish the whole box in one sitting, so let’s not even pretend.

                                    Katie’s Double Chocolate Blender Mini Muffins

Ingredients:

-1 medium ripe banana
-1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
-1 large egg
-1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
-3 tablespoons honey or agave
-1 tablespoon vanilla extract
-1/4 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

How to make:

Spray mini muffin pans and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add all ingredients except chocolate chips into blender, blending until smooth (this usually takes about a minute or so). Once blended, stir in chocolate chips (using spoon, DON’T use the blender for this step). I prefer Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips…they are dairy free, soy free, and also nut free!
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After the chocolate chips are mixed, spoon into mini muffin pan. I’ve found the best tool for this is the small cookie scoop from Pampered Chef; it helps them come out perfectly rounded after baking.

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After spooning mixture into tins, sprinkle some mini chocolate chips on top, then bake for 8-10 minutes. The final product is a mini muffin that looks like absolute perfection!

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When I make these I typically make a double or triple batch. Each batch makes about 20 mini muffins, and I count 4 as a serving if you are a 21 day fixer. If you prefer to make them in a regular size muffin tin, you can!

You know what’s awesome about these? NO ONE EVER KNOWS they are healthy! Trust me on this…….they pack the right amount of chocolate to satisfy a craving and make you feel like you are indulging in something that is a total cheat.

I hope you love them!

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Treat Yoself.

If there is one topic I could argue about until I go blue in the face, it is how important a life of balance is. Surprisingly, this is a topic that I get a lot of crap for….and I know I’m not the only one.

Let’s play Captain Obvious for a second…….

-Yes, I am in the health/wellness industry. Not only am I a consultant, but I’m also a fitness instructor and entrepreneur providing support to hundreds and hundreds of individuals.

-Yes, I have had a massive health transformation of my own. I’ve lost (and kept off) over 60 pounds by incorporating at home workouts, eating a healthier diet, and eliminating alcohol.

So that should mean I only drink water and eat kale, right?

No. Noooooo. Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

The one thing that gets really frustrating in this industry is that some people look at you like you have three eyes if you eat ANYTHING other than kale on kale on kale with a side of kale. Let’s be real people! That’s not happening!

I truly believe that it isn’t healthy to eliminate food groups…and if you do some research you’ll see that most people end up gaining back the weight they lost temporarily once they reintroduce whatever food it was they eliminated. There are better ways to lose weight and get healthy, friends, but we can chat more about that at a later date.

Back to the balance thing….

Since the beginning of my journey I have made it clear that I will never be someone who eats healthy 100% of the time….I love doughnuts and pizza and tacos too much! Instead I focus on the 80/20 rule…..I eat healthy 80% of the time and indulge the other 20%.  I bust my ass hard enough that I don’t feel bad about myself when I do eat those things, and I focus on portions. Regardless of what I am doing I always focus on the portion amount; it’s a great way to still eat those foods without feeling awful after. Thank you, Fix, for teaching me about the importance of this. Some foods I have perfected healthier alternatives to, like my beloved Nice Cream, but some things are best in their original form. Chocolate Pretzel doughnut, I’m talking to you.

Awhile back I got a little heated on social media when everyone was all hopped up on the Unicorn Frapp from Starbucks. Did I go get one? You bet your sweet ass I did. ANYTHING that has Unicorn  in the title is something that is a must for me….I am obsessed with Unicorns! I was all about trying it to see the hype, and I was prepared for some comments about a health coach choosing to try it, but what I wasn’t prepared for was the insane amount of unicorn haters!

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I’ll be honest….I actually liked seeing this pretty little drink pop up in my newsfeed all day when it was launched. What a breath of fresh air! Instead of seeing so many of you posting gruesome images related to crimes or animal abuse or racially charged statuses or political garbage….I was seeing something that people were associating with happiness. That’s a win in my book.

At 59g of sugar for a Grande, I can tell you it obviously isn’t the healthiest choice. I was prepared for some shade thrown at me since I’m a health coach indulging in a sugary drink; what I wasn’t prepared for was the fat shaming and straight up rudeness I saw people demonstrating……OVER A FRAPPUCINO!!!!!!!!!

Guess who was at the center of all the ridicule? Fellow fitness lovers. No, I’m not just talking about my fellow coaches, though some of them got hit pretty hard, but friends of mine in the running community, friends who are vegetarian, friends who own yoga studios, etc. It was like all of these people who spend time working out and taking care of their bodies were not allowed to try this Starbucks specialty drink.

Here’s where I get super irritated with that kind of behavior: the people who were doing the dissing and posting ignorant comments are the same people who go through fast food restaurants every.single.day…..people who go out and drink in excess every single weekend….people who eat 3x the recommended serving amount….and the people drinking soda after soda after soda. You want to talk to me about sugar? C’mon, hypocrites.


Friends, if you want to drink a silly colorful drink, drink it. Don’t do it every day all day, but every once in awhile, treat yoself.

There’s a new fad drink in town, and I am hoping people don’t treat those who indulge in it the same as #unicorngate….and you better believe I gave it a whirl as soon as i saw it was advertised.

I am a huge cereal fan…..I rarely eat it anymore because it is one of those things where I cannot exercise portion control. To me, a whole box is a serving size (I know I’m not alone with that). Lucky Charms is up there as one of my favorites right behind Apple Jacks and Fruity Pebbles, so when Burger King launched their Lucky Charms shake, I decided to take one for the team and try it out.

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When it came to the Unicorn Frapp, I wasn’t into it……I’m just not a huge berry fan and I didn’t like the sour sprinkles. When it came to the Lucky Charms shake, I was super disappointed. I wanted to like it so much….especially since I have had a sore throat for a few days. Katie logic: milkshakes help sore throats.

Thinking about trying it? Here’s what you can expect:

Lots of milk full of soggy Lucky charms bits (and I’m not talking about the tasty marshmallows), some weird marshmallow syrup on top, and a guaranteed stomach ache. I was prepared for it not to look like the pictures, but I wasn’t prepared for how nasty I would feel after I was done. It was GROSS.

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I’ve always been upfront with my desire to live a balanced life and my love of food, and that’s not going to change anytime soon.  It’s OKAY to be in the health and fitness industry and like things that aren’t the healthiest. It’s OKAY to talk about them.

And it’s OKAY to try a drink when it comes out to see if it lives up to the hype.

To my brothers and sisters who believe in living a life of balance, cheers!

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Fill your cup.

Let me let you in on a little secret……my life lately has been HECTIC. That happens when you are an entrepreneur and active in organizations outside of your business….things just tend to compound and before you know it you don’t have time to do the things you love.

About a month ago I sat down and really put some thought into where my focus and energy was directed. It was long overdue. I kept thinking to myself….I need to slow things down….and because of this, I knew I had to step away from something I had been a part of for the past few years and truly loved with all my heart.

The Summit Athletic Running Club.

I joined SARC several years back when I moved to the Akron area with the hope of finding some new friends to run with and the skinny on local running trails. I loved the club immediately and after some time joined the Board of Directors as Membership Director. It was a role I was very proud to have….and a role that led me to many great friendship and runs with incredible athletes.

However, serving on the Board the last year was rough on me. Once my father passed away I had a difficult time making myself go running, and it was challenging to talk about running in a positive light. It took awhile, but I finally got right in the mind with running….but when I started to think about what needed to go in my life, my up and down relationship with running was at the top of the list.

So…..I submitted my resignation to SARC as a Board member and also as the Race Director for my beloved Shamrock 5k and 15k race. I knew it was the right thing to do.

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Interested in a great run club? Join SARC!

I got to thinking that I know many others who load their plate and try to be superwoman. You may be one of those ladies. There’s no shame in trying to do it all….but what’s the sense in doing it all if you are sacrificing things you love….or doing all those things half assed?

Here are some ways to prioritize if your plate is loaded up higher than one at a Golden Corral buffet…..

1. Make lists. People who know me know that I love lists, but this really does help. Make a list of the things you spend the bulk of your time doing. Also make a list of the top priorities in your life, numbering them from most important to least.

2. Delegate when able. We all think we can do everything, right? However, some of the items on our plate can be delegated to those in our family, our coworkers, etc. Don’t be afraid to give up control….it will help you…trust me!

3. Have a tribe! I talk about my tribe a lot….those on my team and the incredible coaches I work with every day within the community. By having a tribe and sharing challenges I face, I am allowing others to potentially help or offer solutions.

4. Always have ME time. This could include reading a book, taking a bath, going for the run…..but make sure you have some time to enjoy something you love. Ever hear the saying, “you can’t pour from an empty cup?” You have to take care of yourself, too.

5. Know the difference between importance and urgency. Assign deadlines to complete tasks based on their overall importance. Some tasks on your plate may not be needing as much focus as others, which can help lessen your task load.

It’s never easy to start this process, but if you feel overwhelmed like I did, it is important. Am I sad to leave the Board of Directors for SARC? Absolutely. However, I know I can still remain involved by volunteering when I’m able and running with the club as a member. Sometimes you just have to acknowledge that it’s okay to be involved in a lesser capacity.

Listen to Dolly Parton…..never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.

Thanks for the memories, SARC!

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With Boston marathon great Dick Beardsley

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Doughnuts for everyone…Vegans, too!

Doughuts need to be a food group…I will never stop lobbying for that to happen. They are just one of the greatest things in the world!

If you follow this blog, you know I recently finished up a 21 day detox called The Ultimate Reset. It was challenging in many ways, but I was determined to complete it and decide if I wanted to pursue a lifestyle that leaned more toward vegan/vegetarian. There are many aspects of being vegan/vegetarian that have interested me over the past year; however, I’m a hardcore carnivore so I wasn’t sure if I would be able to make the change.

I’m still debating….although I am leaning more toward just cutting out SOME of the animal products and making my diet more 80% plant based and 20% animal product. Time will tell.

Shortly after I started the Reset, I connected with the owners of The Vegan Doughnut Company,  a local company that was just starting out on a quest to share their vegan doughnuts with the Cleveland area. As a huge supporter of local businesses AND doughnuts, I just HAD to check this company out and share with all of you, so I accepted their invitation to attend a doughnut tasting a few days later. I didn’t care that it fell in the middle of my reset….the doughnut tasting was happening, and I was pumped about it.

Since The Vegan Doughnut Company is a newer company, they do not have their own brick and mortar building yet……so the tasting was held at Kitchen 216 in downtown Cleveland, and awesome space perfect for the event. There were two tasting times, one at 10am and one at 11am….and knowing how I’m not a huge morning person, I naturally opted for the 11am timeframe. I wasn’t sure how many doughnuts I would be able to try since I had been on my restricted meal plan…fortunately my friends Julie and Erica attended the same session. I knew between the three of us no doughnut would go untouched!

Before I share a little about the doughnuts, let me give you a little scoop on this company as told to me by owners Kyra and Kharisma!

-When and why did you start the Vegan Doughnut Company?
The Vegan Doughnut Company started back in November of 2016 but was publicly announced just a month ago. We absolutely love doughnuts but couldn’t find vegan doughnuts. Plus we always wanted to own a business together that involved what we loved, which is veganism.

-What did you do before you started making doughnuts?
Kyra: Sophomore Mechanical Engineering Student at CSU and Intern at Dominion East Ohio.
Kharisma: Laboratory Supply Coordinator for University Hospitals.
We currently still have our jobs.

-Where can individuals buy your doughnuts?
Right now, we do orders minimum of 1/2 Dozen and The Cute Little Cake Shop on select Saturday’s

-Do you do special orders?
Yes we do special orders. Anything can be done with a doughnut. Anything from letters to unicorns.

-What is your favorite doughnut?
Kyra: Vanilla icing with Sprinkles
Kharisma: Glazed chocolate cake

-Do you partner with any local businesses for ingredients?
Not currently but we would love to in the future.

-Did you complete any formal training/where did you learn to bake?
Honestly, we both learned the bulk of our cooking in high school home economics. Also, watching our parents when we were younger. That’s where we feel in love with cooking…..we had to learn to make our favorite food in vegan versions.

-What made you want to bake doughnuts instead of other vegan items?
Everyone makes cupcakes and cookies. We like to be different.

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The talented owners of The Vegan Doughnut Company

The doughnut tasting was pretty neat…..and I can honestly say I didn’t know what to expect since I had never been to one before. We arrived at Kitchen 216 and were given score cards to rate the flavors. Since The Vegan Doughnut Company is a newer business, they were eager to learn what kind of doughnuts we the people liked, so we got to try one doughnut hole in each flavor. Give me all the doughnuts! Angels were singing to me….it was that glorious.

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Oh, hello you attractive little babes. 

The flavors ranged from Vanilla Sprinkled to Chocolate Cherry to Chocolate Glazed to Hibiscus to Oreo…..I almost didn’t want to eat them because they were so cute in my little tray. However, we all know me so you know I did.

My favorite? It’s a tie between the Maple Bacon, the Hibiscus, and the Oreo. The only one I didn’t like was the Lavendar doughnut, and that’s because I associate lavender with my baths……it is the scent of one of my favorite Lush bath bombs! They were all so tasty and had a great consistency….sometimes with vegan baked goods they taste a little off, but not these doughnuts.

Want to score yourself some of these delicious vegan treats? The Vegan Doughnut Company will be at The Cleveland Flea May 13th (more dates to come depending on how well they do…it’s their first Flea!) You can also catch them at the Cleveland Bazaar May 20th, July 1st, Sept. 16th, and Oct. 7th.

Don’t forget about Social Media!!!! Like this local business on Facebook by clicking HERE!  This way you won’t miss anything regarding upcoming pop up shops or news regarding their business!

Kyra and Kharisma, thanks for having me at your doughnut tasting! And please know I am ALWAYS available to sample doughnuts!

Is there a job out there as a professional doughnut taste tester???? Because this girl right here would really do well with that…..just saying’.

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