Sushi for Dessert? Yes, please!

A few weeks ago I ran across an article for an easy dessert sushi recipe that I absolutely had to try. It took all of a minute to make, and was delicious! Try it….especially if you have kids!

Here’s how I made my version of dessert sushi, but you could honestly customize it however you (or your kids) like!

Katie’s Dessert Sushi

-Peanut Butter
-Graham Cracker
-Dark Chocolate Chips

Roll peeled banana in graham crackers, then slice lengthwise. You can also roll banana in coconut or rice krispies depending on what you like. Drizzle with melted peanut butter, then top with chopped up strawberries and dark chocolate chips. I use the brand Good Life for chocolate chips, which are great if you are looking for a dairy free, nut free, and soy free option, and I also used Smoreables in place of graham crackers!

Serve with chopsticks for a fun dessert experience!

The finished product! I didn’t roll the banana completely in graham crackers, but you can. 

Tagged , , , , , ,

Obsessed: Three Weeks In!

I can’t believe another week has come and gone! This week was so crazy…..I had four other blogs to get up and none happened because I was up to my ears in receipts and tax paperwork preparing for my appointment with my accountant this morning. When you are a business owner that process is always such a blast…..(insert sarcasm). Now that they are filed I can resume normal blogging activity and fill you guys in on how  week three went for me!

This may be redundant, but I CANNOT believe I am still sticking with everything when it comes to this program. Not one workout skipped….meal plan followed to a T….I’m very proud of myself. I am self diagnosed with Workout ADD (I know it is a real thing), but the variety of workouts keeps me engaging, interested, and challenged. I’m almost a third of the way done!

Screen Shot 2018-02-12 at 9.52.33 PM

I’m in love with this meal plan!

This week my workouts shifted to a 3×10 structure, meaning we did 3 moves with 10 reps of each move, then we repeated for a total of 3 times. I love this lifting pattern because I enjoy getting moves over with….sometimes I drag a little when it comes to workouts where I go through 10 or 15 moves then have to repeat.

When it comes to how I felt this week though, I will be honest. I felt strong AF. Some of the moves that previously challenged me, like the buddha squat, were much easier. I upped the weights on some moves, and sometimes I even used two resistance bands. For the first time ever I am truly tracking every single rep for every workout, and that has me pushing a little harder. I definitely recommend you start this immediately if you haven’t yet. You MUST be able to identify areas where you can go heavier so you don’t fall in a place of complacency. My best friends during this journey: my cushioned mat and my recover. I can’t imagine how I would be feeling without either.

Meal plan wise, I was money in the bank. My deconstructed egg roll recipe was one I fell head over heels in love with and made again this week. It is just so simple, yet filling, and the sesame oil makes it flavorful. You have to try it! Here’s a look at the other meals I am rocking this week. As always, I am really following a system of repetition, which works great for me, especially since I just can’t get enough of some of these combos!

Screen Shot 2018-02-12 at 10.06.09 PM

This week I successfully resisted my mom’s chocolate chip cookies, chocolates from Belgium that looked incredible, a King Cake from New Orleans, and numerous paczkis. Tomorrow is Fat Tuesday, and I am refusing to give in to the temptation, even though this sweet treat has been a tradition for many, many years. However, I committed to this program and being a relative of the donut, the paczki just isn’t winning this year. I did have a Cherry Mocha from Starbucks, but other than that, I was golden.

I did build into this week’s meal plan a meal that involved going out to eat, and I have had it planned since before I started the program. Valentine’s Day is Wednesday, so Kyle and I will be hitting up our favorite local taco spot, and even though some of my choices CAN work with the meal plan, the plantain chips and queso do not. I have ZERO regrets about making the decision to do this, and you better believe I will enjoy every last bite because that is the only cheat I have planned until this program comes to an end in about two months.

The greatest lesson I am learning through this program: my mental relationship with food has greatly improved. I used to think I needed this or that and would talk myself into it. It’s funny how much stronger I have gotten, even disinterested in foods I previously would’ve scarfed. This week I also ran through a McDonalds drive thru to grab just a coffee, and the smell of the food coming from the building made me sick to my stomach. I was proud of that moment, and I am very happy with how I am feeling with my food choices so far.

This is my final week of Phase One, and then I go into a brand new workout routine for the second Phase. I’m excited to see what it will bring, and can’t wait to share with you all my thoughts and feelings. I have no clue what to expect, but I’m hoping that I don’t hear the word inchworm ever again.

I want to leave you with a challenge: I challenge you to do something that you honestly think you can’t do. I felt that way about this program, and why? Because I thought I couldn’t commit to something for 80 days???!!!! Now looking back I can’t believe I ever thought that, and I can’t imagine if I hadn’t given this a chance.

Step outside of your comfort zone this week. I know you can do it! Luigi does, too.

Screen Shot 2018-02-12 at 10.14.45 PM

Tagged , , , ,

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… 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

-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.

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 9.50.49 PM.jpg

Tagged , , , ,

Obsessed….Two Weeks In!

66 Days Left! I can’t believe I have completed two weeks of this program already!

So Week Two….how did I do?

The week started as it will every Monday…taking measurements and weighing in. I don’t typically weigh myself every week because I think the scale lies and discourages, but because I am trying to track EVERYTHING with this program, I think it is something that needs done. I wasn’t upset….I had lost 5 pounds and 7 inches in my first week of the program! Yesssssssss! More importantly, I was feeling great and had not cheated on my meal plan ONCE.

Week Two though….I had a few slip ups. I fell victim to a Goodie Girl cookie (my favorite) as I waited in line for my coffee at Starbucks, and later that same day one of my kick boxers brought me crag rangoon from the local Chinese restaurant that I love. While I did share, I had some. But…..I want to be real. I’m not upset. It was shark week (sorry gentlemen), and I usually would be trying to eat all the chocolate and snacks and ice cream. I know it could’ve been so much worse, so even though I slipped up, I still feel like I did pretty gosh darn fab. My week even included a trip to Columbus to spend some time with my brother, and I was able to stay on track while there!

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 7.54.49 PM

Gosh, I love these cookies!

Workout wise, this week was a challenging week. Week One I went into my workouts using modifiers and easing back into things, but going into Week Two I went back to going all in. I definitely felt ready to, so I did. But I will tell you this….my body was so so so sore. I could feel every muscle working every workout, and that made me happy because I am the kind of person that gets satisfaction from feeling the burn and soreness. When Leg Day came around on Friday, it was killing me to sit on a toilet and climb stairs! Cheers to you, Autumn, for creating a kick ass program.

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 8.01.58 PM

Don’t underestimate these sliders…they are brutal!

I shared a few times over the past few weeks how important the performance line is, and I will not stop saying that. I truly believe if you are doing a program like this, caring for your muscles AFTER the workout is critical, and I do not recommend doing this program if you aren’t using them. Trust me, your muscles will be happier you did. My favorite product: the chocolate recovery drink I have post workout….I add frozen cherries to it, and it is so delicious!

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 8.02.36 PM

Simple and effective. 

This week I decided to be proactive and returned to my sports chiropractor. I’ve had one on my speed dial for awhile, but this week after feeling the burn, I decided I needed to get back into a routine with my dude, Dr. Matt, at Ohio Sports Chiropractic. I love this practice and the treatments I get there, and it doesn’t hurt that the practice treats Olympic athletes either. I’ll be seeing them regularly for dry needling and myofascial cupping, but on the days I’m not there I will be getting even closer with my foam roller. This thing is a life saver and feels so amazing.

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 8.02.24 PM

Regardless of what kind of athlete you are, BUY one of these!

Here’s a look at my meal plan for the upcoming week! I am so excited about every single meal on this plan!

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 8.30.42 PM
I’ve had the Turkey Bacon Spinach Quinoa Muffins on my meal plan since I started this program, and they are so delicious! I wanted to share the recipe with you…..and you don’t need to be doing this program to enjoy them! I love them for a pre workout meal because they aren’t heavy but are still satisfying.

Turkey Bacon Spinach Quinoa Muffins


-1 cup spinach
-1 tablespoon green onions, chopped
-1 egg
-2 slices cooked turkey bacon, chopped
-1/2 cup quinoa, cooked
-1 tsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 and spray a muffin tin with coconut oil or nonstick cooking spray. Cook spinach with olive oil until spinach is wilted. Mix spinach with remaining ingredients, then spoon into muffin tin. Bake for 20 minutes!

This recipe makes THREE muffins, which equates to a Green, Yellow, and Red container. If you want to make more, adjust accordingly and use those multiplication skills you learned back in high school!

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 8.28.15 PM.jpg

I use a Pampered Chef large muffin scoop to make them come out perfectly!

In addition to rocking Week Two of 80 Day Obsession this week, my team and I also launched our FREE fit community, The Sparkle Bod Squad, on Facebook! It was an idea I have wanted to bring to life for over a year, so I am excited! Our team wanted to reach out to more people and share more resources, recipes, and tips, and I encourage you to join it by clicking HERE!

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 8.39.25 PM

Our team is excited to help you!

Here’s to another successful week! Let’s make it one full of sparkle!

Ps. I am still dreaming of donuts…..

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 8.02.05 PM


Tagged , , , , ,

Katie Carbonara!

When you have Italian heritage in your blood, you tend to be all about that pasta life. This girl…..she sure loves her pasta, lasagna, stuffed shells, manicotti…you get the picture.  I love a lllllllllllllll the pasta and don’t discriminate.

However….there’s this little thing called gluten intolerance, and I have it. Several years back I went completely gluten free because I was misdiagnosed as having Celiac disease, only to find out that I didn’t, just the intolerance. Still inconvenient, but whatever. I deal with it. Sometimes I really want something that is full of gluten, and it is worth the suffering and appearance of being 9 months pregnant after consumption to enjoy the carby heaven in that moment.

Besides the fact that gluten hates me, I know it isn’t the best option on my meal plan. As I’ve learned more and more about nutrition and how to fuel my body, I’ve found amazing substitutes that are much friendlier on my stomach. One of those: Banza pasta!

For those that haven’t tried Banza yet, it is a pasta made of chick peas and pea protein….and it also has about 25 grams of protein in a serving. Best part: it tastes like regular pasta. I am obsessed with it.

Screen Shot 2018-02-03 at 9.52.24 PM

Don’t worry…it comes in other pasta forms, not just shells!

It came in handy tonight when I started craving Carbonara like a crazy person! Since I am on a specific meal plan, I knew that legit Carbonara would not work. But…..I could make Katie Carbonara and still enjoy this dish while sticking to my meal plan!

Here’s how you make this easy and tasty dish:

Katie’s Carbonara

-One box of Banza
-1 egg
-Olive Oil
-Italian Seasoning
-Cherry Tomatoes
_Meat (optional)

To make:

Cook Banza pasta in a salted water until cooked to your desired taste. Drain. In a saucepan, sautee tomatoes in olive oil, then mix in the pasta, a small bit of ghee, an egg, and a little more olive oil if needed. I like to get a little heavy-handed with the Italian seasoning, and sometimes I mix in a meat (cooked, drained lean ground beef or sausage). The egg makes it a little creamier, and it ends up being a satisfying meal. You can even mix in some spinach if you need to sneak some veggies in!

I love this recipe, and I hope you do, too!

Screen Shot 2018-02-03 at 9.52.39 PM.jpg

Look at this beauty!


Tagged , , , , ,

Obsessed….One Week In!

80 Days.

80 freaking long days.

Earlier this week I started a new fitness program that will last exactly that long, and I had no idea what to expect. I have lots of friends and team members that were already a week in, so it is nice that they are able to give me a little heads up on what was about to happen, but I still was relatively clueless. Since I am learning as I go, I will be doing a weekly wrap up on the program each Sunday to let you know what to expect in the event you are thinking about giving it a go or simply want to support me on my journey.

So what is this program? It is an 80 day workout program created by Autumn Calabrese (you may remember her from a little program called 21 Day Fix). Each day features a different workout, and utilizes weights, resistance loops, and sliders. When it comes to nutrition, this program is the most precise and specific I have ever seen, combining timed nutrition and portion control.

I was extremely excited to get started with this program, and I was heartbroken when I was told by my doctor that I wasn’t cleared to begin the program last week when it launched. My pneumonia was still lingering, and I was also battling acute bronchitis. After some additional medicine, more rest, and desk duty at the studio, I was finally cleared the end of the week to begin this past Monday.

I know many of you follow me on social media and know that I’m always doing a program, but I will be honest….I don’t always go ALL IN. Working out for me is something I need daily for my mental health, and since I am a huge supporter of balance, I refuse to give up the foods I really love, like donuts, tacos, and pizza. Everything is ok in moderation in my book. However, when I decided to do this program, I knew it was one that I had no choice but to go all in with. The other programs I do….I have completed them by following the workouts and nutrition 100%, so I know they how they work and how to coach others to success with them, which is why now I dont always follow them 100% now. I know what I can do with them if I do commit 100%. With 80 day obsession though, I do not, so I committed. Hardcore committed. Remember, this isn’t just about me getting results….it’s about me helping the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of clients I have get them, too, and I can’t give them the best info if I half assed the program!

Since I was already well aware that some of my favorite foods would not be part of this meal plan, I had a lovely farewell weekend to some of my favorite foods before I began Monday….and when I say farewell, I truly mean I celebrated them in style. Saturday afternoon I enjoyed a philly cheesesteak and fries, Saturday night I got my favorite grilled cheese from Melt Bar and Grilled (the Mighty Macaroni in case you were wondering) and Mochi, Sunday morning I met two of my besties for brunch at Townhall for eggs benedict and sweet potato pancakes, and I rounded out the weekend by getting a half dozen of my favorite donuts from The Vegan Doughnut Company. Ive blogged about this company before, so you already know I love them, but my love for them has continued to grow. Kyra and Kharisma hooked me up with special donuts that said “80 Days”, perfect for my final donut meal for awhile. You better believe I will be having them make me some special donuts once this 80 day journey is up!

Needless to say, my before photos were pretty cute. I have a gluten intolerance AND a dairy intolerance, so that mighty macaroni grilled cheese hung around for a few days and made me look about 30 months pregnant.

The meal plan was what I was most nervous about coming into this challenge. I had never done timed nutrition and didn’t know how it would fit into my lifestyle. But, after a week in, I can tell you I really made it a bigger deal than it was. Since I was eating about 5 small meals a day before, I realized I was kind of already doing timed nutrition without me knowing. The only difference: I used to do fasted cardio every day, and with 80 day I needed a pre workout meal. Here’s a look at my meal plan for the week! Can I tell you how obsessed I am with the spinach bacon quinoa muffins??!!!!

Screen Shot 2018-01-28 at 10.02.33 AM.jpg

If you want me to email you this planner, send me your email through the contact form!

I created my own meal planner that helped me visually stay on track, and as you can see, nothing is too strange when it came to what I ate. Most of those foods I was already eating! Another difference: I added in the performance line.

When it came to getting groceries, I shopped at my two main stores, Aldi and Whole Foods 365. I usually spend about $40 a week on groceries, and I stayed right around that, so don’t tell me you have to shuck out all this $$$$ to make this program work. There are thousands of recipes out there that you can make work with your taste buds/wallet/family. And that cost for the week did include me snagging some purple cauliflower for the upcoming week’s plan, and that mochi i enjoyed Saturday night.

Let’s get to the nitty gritty though regarding my Week One thoughts/feelings/suggestions:

NUTRITION: As I mentioned, this isn’t as bad as you may think. My biggest piece of advice: PLAN. If you know you are on the go, bring an insulated cooler and your meals with you to stay on track and resist temptations. Monday our kickboxing studio had a DJ event with lots of tasty treats. I was thankful I had my meals with me so I could say NO a hell of a lot easier. I was PREPARED. Be prepared, too.

If you aren’t used to several small meals, you may not be hungry when it’s time to eat, but you make it work. Trust me, it gets easier. And MEAL PREP! You know how I feel about this….you have to make it a part of your weekly routine, especially for this program!

Should you change up the meal plan if you don’t like how the containers are broken down? NO. You need to follow this as Autumn structured it. She did it the way it is for a reason! Trust the process, and stick to the plan!

Screen Shot 2018-01-28 at 10.11.32 AM.jpg
The Performance Line: Several people have asked me “Do I really need to use that?” My answer: F*%k YES!!!!!!!!!!!! I have always used the preworkout and think it is the best on the market, but I had only dabbled with our recovery drink and overnight recharge formula. However, I knew coming into this program and talking to my friends who were in the test group that you absolutely need it, no ifs, ands, or buts. This program is designed to really kick your fitness up a notch and is treating you like an athlete. You, in turn, need to fuel your body like an athlete does.

I will tell you this……I had miscalculated how much Recovery  I had on hand (the protein drink you consume within 30 minutes of working out for muscle repair), and I also did with the Recharge, too (I know, what a slacker). Going into Day 3 my muscles were killing me from not having the Recharge the night before while I slept, and after the workout my body ached from not having the Recovery. I’m almost glad I ran out to see how greatly they are needed and what a difference they make. Thankfully, my shipment came later that day, and I was back to normal. If you are doing this program without the performance line, we need to talk, because you 1,000,000% should not be doing it without them.

The Workouts: Are they hard? YESSSSSSS. By no means do I recommend this to a beginner, and it is a HARD NOOOOOOOO  to anyone pregnant. Since I am coming off my stint with pneumonia, I did modify a lot, and that was still challenging. Are they rewarding though? Absolutely. Even though they are challenging and I cuss the whole time, I feel so much satisfaction when the workouts are done. I already feel stronger and see changes in my body. I like that. I like that a lot.

Screen Shot 2018-01-28 at 9.59.33 AM

Water: You need need need to be drinking water like a camel. Hydration is so important.

Throughout this 80 day journey, I am doing something a little different. I’m taking a photo of myself every single day to show you all the progression. So often people will post a before and after and say shit like “that’s photoshopped” and I’m going to show you it’s not. I’m also going to show you that things don’t happen overnight. I can’t wait to show them to you all in 73 days. I’m also taking measurements and weighing myself each Monday to track what’s going on.

I’m excited about this journey, and I’m really proud to report in Week One I did not cheat on the meal plan ONCE! New program, new meal plan, who dis? I’m still thinking about my bff donut though…..

But that doesn’t mean the struggle isn’t well……

Here’s what else I have to say about week one:

Tagged , , , , , ,

WTF is Mochi????

I heard this question about a billion and five times over the weekend once I shared on my IG story that I was enjoying a few flavors before starting a new workout program and meal plan on Monday. I was shocked how few people knew what it was!!! Let me educate you, my fellow ice cream lovers, because you deserve to have some Mochi in your life.


Vanilla Bean, Kona Coffee, and Green Tea Mochi


Mochi is a Japanese treat that is basically a sweet rice dough ball with an ice cream center…..sounds delicious yet odd, right? In Japan, mochi is a symbol of good fortune while also representing sustenance for those who may be in need due to the fact it is incredibly filling. While it has become popular around the world and available for purchase year round, mochi has been an integral part of the Japanese New Year celebration, a celebration going on since the late 700s. No one can confirm the exact origin of this treat, but  it is known that mochi was eaten exclusively by emperors and the aristocracy since the beginning of the Japanese New Year celebration, being nicknamed “the food of the gods.”

The main ingredient in mochi is Mochiko or Shiratamako rice (both variations of Japanese sweet short grain rice) that is used to create a dough to wrap around a ball of ice cream. The flavors are endless…..vanilla, coffee, strawberry, peanut butter, sesame, green tea….I could go on and on! And the best part…..each little ball is only about 100 calories! Yahtzeeeeeee!


Why are these so tasty?!?!?!


I discovered this treat several years back while shopping at a Whole Foods Market and instantly fell in love. There are several ways you can enjoy it; I usually just cut into it with a fork and knife, but I have used a toaster oven to change it up from time to time. If you choose to do this, you only need to put it in the toaster oven for about 8 minutes or so (you want the dough to puff up a bit and turn a golden brown) and can top with a mixture of soy sauce and sugar for a more traditional taste. If all else fails and you find yourself without an eating utensil, you can just eat them whole!


The perfect treat for those with a sweet tooth or ice cream addiction!


One thing I’ve learned about mochi: many people have never heard of it, but once they try it they can’t imagine how they lived life without it. If you are into ice cream, go get yourself some! They are traditionally about $1-$1.50 per ball and located in the freezer section of stores. Not all stores carry them, so do some research in your area if you are on the hunt. I presently buy mine at a local Whole Foods 365!

Go get some and tell me what you think!

Tagged , , , , , , ,

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!


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

-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?


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… 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!

Tagged , , , , , ,

Crack isn’t always whack….

At least when it is crack chicken we are talking about!

I made this super easy chicken recipe for dinner the other night and had to share. It’s one of those recipes that everyone always wants seconds of, begs for the recipe, and requests over and over. Best part? I made mine in my Instant Pot, but you could use a crock pot if that’s easier!


Katie’s Crackpot Chicken


-2 pounds boneless chicken breast
-8 pieces of bacon (cooked and crumbled)
-1 packet of Ranch seasoning
-8 oz cream cheese
-1 cup water
-4 oz shredded cheddar cheese
-3 tablespoons corn starch
-chopped green onions

Place cream cheese and chicken in your Instant Pot, sprinkling the ranch seasoning packet over the top. Add one cup water then cook on high pressure for 25 minutes (do a quick release once complete). Remove the chicken and shred (I use my Kitchen Aid mixer with the paddle attachment), then return to Instant Pot, adding in cornstarch. After water has been absorbed, mix in cheddar cheese, bacon, and green onions. Serve on a bun, in a wrap, over rice, or on its own.



2017: Year in Review


Similar to the last two years, it was a year mixed with some really great moments and some not so great moments, too. When I look back on years like that it is always so challenging to determine if it was an awesome year or a blah one, and it seemed like a lot of my friends had a challenging year as well. Here’s hoping 2018 is better for all of us.

I’m changing up how I do some things on my blog this year, and one will be a fun monthly review. However, since a year just ended I decided to kick it off with a look back on some of my favorite parts of 2017, broken down month by month.


January started off with a huge huge HUGE event that my fellow Market Council ladies and I put on for the coaches in the community. We brought Beachbody Supertrainer Sagi Kalev into town for an incredible day at The Agora in downtown Cleveland. I can’t tell you how much fun it was to hang out with “The Beast” himself, listen to him motivate the crowd, and run around backstage at The Agora, which has hosted everyone from The Beatles to Elvis Presley to The Rolling Stones. As a former on air personality and hardcore music lover, this was such a cool experience for me. You can read more about this event HERE plus check out a fun video I took that day. Overall, it was a killer start to the year.


Our crew preparing for the event. 


February was a slooowwww month for me. I spent most of the month relaxing at home thanks to the Ohio cold, crushing business goals, and looking forward to warmer weather and the beach. There was one thing that stood out big time in the month of February… of my best friends, John Paul, and I decided to try out a new kickboxing studio in the Youngstown area, and I absolutely loved the workout. Little did I know a few months later that same fitness chain would open a location a mile from my house, and I would end up becoming an instructor for them. Crazy how things work, right?

Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 12.34.43 PM.jpg

We kick ass at kickboxing and at life. 


For the past few years my February-March planner has been dedicating to making sure the Shamrock 5k and 15k races for the Summit Athletic Running Club went smoothly. As the Race Director, I had to secure food donations, establish timetables for the event, coordinate volunteers, design shirts… many tasks! I also knew this would be my final year in charge of the event, as I was planning on submitting my resignation from the event and club shortly after due to a lack of time and some other reasons.

My final event as Race Director was amazing. We flew in Boston Marathon great Dick Beardsley, and getting to meet and talk to him was really neat. The race itself was its usually chilly self, but overall, it was a wonderful day.


With Boston Marathon legend Dick Beardsley

Besides rocking out my final Shamrock, I also did something that I was pretty freaking proud of: I officially completed The Ultimate Reset, a 21 day detox (99% plant based) AND abstained from coffee for 21 freaking days. Shocker, right? This was by far one of the hardest things I have ever done willpower wise, but my body has never felt better. I am already planning on doing another round of it again in 2018. If you want to know more about this, I blogged about it every single day of the journey, so just search Katie’s Ultimate Reset Journey in here and you’ll learn a lot!

Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 12.55.55 PM
March also brought something else that was a lot of fun…..a surprise baby shower for one of my oldest friends, Krista. Somehow we were able to lie to her and throw a fun casual shower without her finding out anything. We also recreated this photo taken at the baby shower for her son Wesley five years ago.

Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 1.13.57 PM

Holy shit. April was probably one of my absolute favorite months of 2017. SO MUCH HAPPENED!!!!

As we planned our April Super Saturday event, I was made aware of something super exciting at the last minute: our event was going to have our brand super trainer in attendance, and I was going to get to introduce him to our attendees. I was so excited because the trainer was someone who lived locally and who was just such a good dude, and I couldn’t wait for everyone to learn about him and his program. However, it was very challenging to keep a secret, as only myself and a few others knew. I couldn’t even tell the other Market Council ladies until the last minute! It was such a great experience, and I was thankful one of my coaches snagged this video of me doing the introduction and the crowd going crazy!

April was also pretty neat because I got to go on an exclusive trip to Punta Cana, which was earned for free from my company. I had never been to the Dominican Republic before, so this was a brand new experience that I was so happy to share with friends. I held a monkey, enjoyed the beach, tried lots of tasty food, and made so many memories. I cannot wait for our Riviera Maya trip in a few months….same awesome people, different location. It’s going to be the best! You can relive my Punta Cana trip HERE.


May started with an exciting meeting…I got to meet Krista’s baby Whitney for the first time! I was so happy to meet this little babe…she was seriously the happiest and sweetest baby ever.

Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 1.15.17 PM

Later that month I got to watch something I am obsessed with LIVE. Many of you know that my goal is to try out and participate on American Ninja Warrior….it’s been a goal of mine for quite some time. While I have been training for it in different ways, I’m not at the place yet where I feel confident enough to try out, so instead of participating in the Cleveland tryouts this year, I drug my friends Erika and Melissa to a 2am taping of it on a super cold morning in downtown Cleveland. It was such an experience….I cannot wait until I am out there on the obstacles myself.
Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 1.19.43 PM
Erika and I also were able to be a part of a Cav victory, which was awesome for the city of Cleveland. I love basketball, and I was also pumped to hang with Kevin Love. And our seats were awesome, which didn’t hurt.

Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 1.23.37 PM


I personally challenged myself to go streaking… in running at least a mile every single day for the entire month of June in honor of National Running month. I’ve been very open about my struggles with running after losing my dad, but I made myself complete a run every day this month, and I was really proud of that. I even ran a Facebook group so others could do this with me and we could support each other, and one of my coaches told me she STILL is streaking to this day! I felt very accomplished and strong after completing this goal.

Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 1.26.32 PM
June 1st was also an important day….my baby Luigi was born, and I paid the deposit to get him in July. It had been a long time since I had a brand new puppy, but I was stoked! And yes, Luigi was named after a Super Mario Brothers character…I do like the gaming world (fun fact).

Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 2.20.17 PM

July started in the best possible way: Some of my friends and I went to the New Kids on the Block/Paula Abdul/Boyz II Men concert and had a kickass luxury box. My friend Heather and I have been going to NKOTB concerts together for as long as I can remember, so I always look forward to these dates. As always, the New Kids did not disappoint.

Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 2.20.36 PM

Waiting for the New Kids to perform!

The concert was the first, and since July is my birthday month, it is always the busiest month. I took off for New Orleans for our big Coach Summit a few days later, and while i loved hanging with my team, learning from the best in our industry, and the beignets and Cafe au Laits at Cafe du Monde, I was not a fan of the city. You can read more about that experience HERE.

After returning from  NOLA, I had only a few days of relaxation (including my actual birthday) before taking off to Chicago with my best friend, Whitney. We always do something together each year for our birthdays, and this trip was going to be really special. I shared a lot about what that trip meant to me in this blog from the summer, and I am already looking forward to going back.

Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 2.30.51 PM

Whit, Kendall, and I taking our obligatory Bean Selfie.

Two days after returning from Chi-town, it was time to get Luigi from the breeder in Indianapolis! He was super tiny but fit in immediately! It’s hard to believe he was ever that small…..those who have seen pics of him recently know he is getting to be a big guy!

Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 2.34.45 PM
And somewhere in there….between the travel, the parties, the coffees, and the dogs, I accepted an opportunity at the kickboxing studio I mentioned earlier and started teaching a kick ass workout to locals. I’m tired just thinking about the month!


If you read the blog I mentioned above while talking about my Chicago trip, you already know what went down in August: I conquered something personally that was HUGE. I was able to run and finish the Star Trax evening race that I used to always run with my dad. I tried last year, and at the last moment just emotionally wasn’t ready. This year it was hard, but I had great support that got me through it. The moment I crossed this line felt great while also feeling emotionally draining. Sometimes you just have to do hard things.

Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 2.44.11 PM.jpg


The end of the month brought a joyous event, the wedding of my friend Stephanie and her boo RJ. It was one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever been to, and I had such a blast with some of my bridal friends dancing and stuffing our faces with food from The Funky Truckeria. There’s nothing better than seeing your friends happy.

Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 2.43.30 PM

The beautiful couple ❤


September brought on more travel, as we flew to Myrtle Beach for a big family vacation. It was the first family vacation in years, so getting to spend an extended period of time with my brother and mom at the same time was awesome. I’m already looking forward to our trip next year. I ate copious amount of seafood and hushpuppies, and it was really nice to relax on the beach without any responsibilities.

Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 2.43.22 PM

Not a bad view at all.


I had been waiting and waiting and waiting for October because I was so excited to attend Pugfest, an event put on by a local animal rescue that was ALL PUGS. I’m talking pug vendors, pug rescues (including my favorite, Ohio Pug Rescue ), pug contests, and pugs walking around absolutely everywhere. It was heavenly. We brought Bubba and Luigi, and my mom brought Desmond. Everyone had a great time!

A few days later I made another big decision: i finally said goodbye to my beloved Xterra, Farrah, and purchased a new car.

Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 2.44.24 PM

And the travel continues!

Some friends and I packed up and took off for a trip to Vegas to celebrate my friend Amanda’s upcoming birthday. We hit a burlesque show, Fremont Street (my favorite part of Vegas), ate our faces off, including dinner at one of my all time favorite restaurants The Sugar Factory, and celebrated like rockstars. My friends even talked me into going on The High Roller, which was terrifying and something I will never do again.


December was a chill month, which started with me relaxing and enjoying some downtime, and it ended with me having pneumonia and virtually missing the holiday season. I did my best to embrace the holidays with decorating and Christmas traditions so I wouldn’t be as Grinchy as I was last year, and I even made a kickass gingerbread house. And while I was salty that I was so sick and stuck at home for several weeks consistently, I was thankful I had that time to spend with Bubba since I knew his days were numbered.

Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 3.09.16 PM
There were definitely many memories made in 2017…many new friendships that I was lucky to make….many new exciting business opportunities….and many changes. I’ve learned to take the good with the bad and do my best to always rise when others consider me down and out. And above all, I grew stronger as a person, which really is the greatest accomplishment of them all.

So 2018… may have started off on the wrong foot, but I am confident you will be throwing a lot of amazingness my way.

I’m grateful for all of you and your presence in my life. From the support and encouragement to the hugs to the travel companionship, I don’t know where I would be without you guys! Thanks for always being the best part of any year!


Tagged , , , , , , , ,