Tag Archives: #fitness

RBF…I rock them.

I’m not just talking about the Resting Bitch Face I have mastered….I’m talking about my Resting Beach Face, too!

And I rocked that during the last week in Punta Cana!

My trip to Punta Cana was one I desperately needed….and my excitement over the past few weeks was off the charts! I couldn’t wait to get to The Hard Rock and meet up with all of my people!!!!

In case you aren’t connected to me on Instagram (@sparklefitnessbabe) or on my main Facebook page (Sparkle Fitness Babe), I earned an all expenses paid trip to Punta Cana for rocking the heck out of my business last year. These trips are something we coaches absolutely love….Beachbody spoils us like crazy and really goes all out to make sure we are treated like royalty. Last year they chartered The Oasis of the Seas for 3000+ of us, and this year they took over The Hard Rock!

My trip to PC started very early Saturday morning…..3am to be exact, after only a few hours of sleep.  We all know I am very much a night owl, so forcing myself to go to bed super early and wake up at the time I normally go to bed….that was a challenge. Everyone kept telling me to sleep on the plane, but contrary to belief, I really hate naps. With contacts, I always wake up with such a headache and red eyes….it’s easier to just avoid that.

Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 5.44.11 PM
After a quick layover in Newark (one where I had to spend $7 on a damn pen because I lost mine), I was off to Punta Cana, arriving a little after 1pm. I knew traveling to another country, especially by myself, would be interesting, and I was right. The Punta Cana airport was a little different…lots of flash mobs were going on, and it was hot as hell. I was happy to find my friend Nicole and her husband Stephen as I waited for my bags because I was nervous to find my pre-arranged transportation by myself. We found out that my success partner and roomie, Nichole, and her coach Corey were coming into a completely different terminal, meaning I wouldn’t meet up with them until we got to the hotel. One thing that was for certain…I wish some of the Spanish I had learned over 5 years of classes had stuck with me.

We took our shuttle to the hotel and met up with Nichole and Corey right away….however, we were about to have a fun little afternoon figuring out where we were staying. Since we flew in a day earlier than the trip was scheduled to start, we thought we would be able to stay with Nicole and Stephen until our room was ready Sunday morning. Wrong. Since it was an all inclusive, we couldn’t get past the main lobby, which was a little bit of an issue. The hotel also had told us they were at maximum occupancy and we couldn’t book for the night; this led us to booking a room on Orbitz, as rooms were available.

Oh, if only it was that easy. The reservation with Orbitz was incredibly misleading, and the $400 reservation was only good for ME. After some back and forth, we finally got a room, and it ended up being only a mere $1000 (insert eye roll). I was worried our whole trip would be one cluster after another.

Fortunately our evening was great. We hit up one of the many restaurants on the resort…Mexican because tacooossssss……and I even got to take some photos with a monkey!

Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 5.59.53 PM.jpg

This little babe is 15 years old!

The next morning we were supposed to have a beach photo shoot, which I was really pumped about. However, one of the girls backed out at the last minute, which was extremely disappointing, as we ended up canceling the shoot. I told myself that I would not let the selfishness of others ruin the rest of my trip and made it my choice from that moment on to spend time with amazing people who I genuinely was happy to be around. After all, photo shoots can always be rescheduled.

Lucky for us, the rest of the trip was incredible. I mean, look at this view! I love the beach, but I really loved this one because I was able to hide out under the tiki huts (I don’t like getting tan even though I love the sun) as my friends were able to bask in the sun.

Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 6.07.08 PM
This trip allowed me to hang with some of my faves, like Autumn Calabrese (creator of 21 Day Fix), Danielle Natoni (Live instructors and Max 30 lovers, you recognize her), and Tania Baron, aka The Machine, who I relied on for my first 5 weeks of T25. I also was able to celebrate my local friend from the 330 and Beachbody’s newest super trainer, Chris Downing, as he debuted his Shift Shop workout. The workout was killer….make sure I have you on my Shift Shop VIP list so I can keep you updated on all the details!

Each day there were workouts with the trainers, a Shakeology bar, and the opportunity for fun excursions. My crew and I spent time at the spa (honestly, the best spa experience I’ve ever been to) and decided to skip the excursions since we didn’t want to have to go off the resort and spend time waiting around when we could be relaxing at the beach/pool. We all wanted to relax and spend time with each other, and as much as I wanted to swim with some dolphins, I was totally okay with hanging with my crew.

Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 6.18.42 PM

Guys, the community that Beachbody has brought into my life….I can’t even put into words how thankful I am for them. These ladies challenge me, support me, laugh with me, and believe in me, and I can only hope I do the same for them. There are so many misconceptions out there about women…like how all we do is tear each other down and compete with each other. I’m thankful that our community of coaches truly has the mentality that there is enough success for everyone out there. Girl compete. Women empower.

Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 6.29.08 PM

My Success Partner Nichole and I before Opening Ceremonies

The Hard Rock was an amazing resort…I recommend it to anyone going to Punta Cana. So many pools….so many restaurants…and the people there were all so friendly. I took complete advantage of all of the food options and also enjoyed a doughnut a day (so many delicious doughnuts there for me to try). I did gain 5 pounds over the course of the trip, but I’m okay with that. Vacations are about fun splurges, right?

Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 6.42.31 PM

I love you, doughnut!

Next year Beachbody is sending us to Riviera Maya….I’m already looking forward to it! I’d love for you to be with me on the trip! If you want to learn more about coaching, shoot me a message at Katie@sparklefitnessbabe.com. I love what I do, and I want to share opportunities like this with everyone.

Here’s a look at the rest of my trip!

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , ,

#Squadgoals

People.

People make the difference.

I know you’ve heard that before, and it’s completely true…especially when it comes to fitness.

16804643_10158175458615244_673075670_o

If you have been struggling with reaching your health goals, I recommend finding a fitness tribe to help you out. It doesn’t matter if you are rocking a Beachbody program or a Richard Simmons DVD or just enjoy jogging around the block. It’s easier to stick to goals when you have a tribe to back you up!

When I think back to my own fitness journey….the one I started nearly four years ago and the one I am still on today…..my fitness tribe is the #1 reason why I have been successful.

       Here are five reasons why I love my fitness tribe and why you need to find one:

1. Accountability.

Regardless of where you are in your fitness journey, there are going to be days you just aren’t going to want to workout….there are days where you want to eat a dozen donuts in one sitting and wash it down with a gallon of Sweet Tea from Chick Fil A. When you are paired up with others with similar goals and doing things like sending sweaty selfies via snapchat or sharing your weekly meal plans, you have more motivation to stick to those healthy activities. There are days where I will log into my challenge group and see that all 30 of my challengers have posted their workout for the day but I still haven’t….do I want to be the only one who didn’t log their workout for the day? Hell No! The accountability pushes me to get past my excuses. 

2. Breaks you out of your comfort zone.

I had so many reservations about joining a fitness support group online in the beginning…..when you are getting started it can be a little scary! I was so embarrassed I had gotten to such a low point with my health and didn’t want to be the loser in the group, plus I didn’t know ANYONE in the group…..not one person! I used that as an excuse for a little bit, and then I realized that good comes at the end of comfort zones…..so I jumped in. Fitness tribes make you get past the uncomfortable excuses so you get results. Sometimes we need that….I needed that….and I still do.

3. Resources.

None of us have all of the answers with what will help, and in the beginning it can be challenging when words like “meal plans” and “measurements” and “portions” are being thrown around. I love being connected with people who share their recipes, meal plans, and tips because it helps me come up with new ideas that I can apply to my own routine. So many of the recipes I love and use on a weekly basis have come to me through my fellow fitness tribe members….they are way better than Pinterest!

4. A Celebration Committee.

I love love love love LOVE when someone hits a goal and EVERYONE celebrates your success with you. I hate when I look around and see others cut down people who are achieving goals (trust me, it happens all the time) or when I see people giving up on their goals because they feel like a failure. In a fitness community, small victories are celebrated, as well as those monumental victories, too. Small victories add up to those big ones…..and it is nice to have people who are genuinely happy for your success! Plus, celebration and positive energy is contagious!

5. Hope.

There have been so many days when I wanted to give up. Last year as I struggled with the loss of my dad, I felt like there was no hope for me and that I was going to revert back to old ways. My fitness tribe didn’t give up on me then….they encouraged me and supported me and gave me the hope I needed to know I would be okay. Little things like that make such a difference. Sometimes we just need someone to tell us we CAN do something.

Your fitness tribe can be made up of whomever you want….family members, coworkers, neighbors……the important thing is you want people who have similar goals and will hold you accountable….and who aren’t afraid to dish out tough love if you need it.

If you don’t know who to turn to to help you on your journey, let me know. There’s always room in my tribe for you 🙂

16990379_10158226539045244_607577438_o

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Beast Up Cleveland!

This weekend you guys….what a wicked awesome time!!!!

If you follow me on Snapchat, Facebook, or Instagram, you knew this weekend wasn’t just any old Saturday and Sunday combo….it was the weekend we brought Sagi Kalev aka The Beast to Cleveland! I’ve been waiting for this weekend for months!

I was very lucky to have been asked earlier last year to join the Cleveland Market Council, a group of amazing women who head up all of the Beachbody community events for Northeastern Ohio, and I was excited when we decided to try to bring a Beachbody super trainer to the area. Since most of us are relatively new to the council, we really wanted to start the year with a bang and impact as many people as we possibly could. During our discussion it was a no brainer that we absolutely had to bring Sagi to town…..so we got to work!

After securing Sagi we locked down the most historical venue in all of Cleveland, The Agora, known for hosting the best of the best, including Elvis, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, ZZ Top, and Peter Frampton, but also features many local acts. Those who haven’t been to The Agora before…it’s hard to describe. It has an industrial feel to it….a little grunge…a little rock and roll….a whole bunch of character. I’ve seen many shows there throughout the years and always thought it was a cool place, and we all agreed it would be a great way to show off the historic side of Cleveland.

screen-shot-2017-01-17-at-4-38-28-pm

In every group of friends, there is a tall tree. Somehow it is always me. 

So what all went on during the weekend?

FRIDAY

The council and I had a private dinner with Sagi and Barbie, a Superstar Diamond Beachbody coach who just happens to be Sagi’s wife. We had a private dining room at Adega, an incredible restaurant located in the best hotel in Cleveland, Metropolitan on the 9. You may remember me mentioning this spot before…we had our wedding photos taken throughout it because we loved the vibe (our best’s man Aunt and Uncle own it, so they hooked us up), and both Kyle and I had our bachelor/bachelorette parties there. If you travel to Cleveland, that’s where you have to stay….it’s the best hotel in the city.

Dinner was great…we had the chance to really get to know this man who most only knew to be a tough meathead from the workout programs Body Beast and Master’s Hammer and Chisel. It was amazing to hear him talk about various nutritional things…he actually is a clinical nutritionist…and just to see how real and down to Earth he was. I had the Shrimp and Chorizo Flatbread…try it…it’s so good! (For those of you who wondered…Sagi had a steak.) As far as attire goes, I rocked a black lace back jumpsuit that I am obsessed with….it can be glammed up or down…and paired it with red suede heels, a red clutch, and red lips!


SATURDAY

I was driving the struggle bus HARD Saturday morning, but there wasn’t a chance in hell that I was going to miss a moment of the day’s events. I left my house a little after 6am after only catching about 2 hours of sleep, hunted down the biggest coffee I could find, and started to search The Agora for a coffee IV drip I never found. The staff at The Agora was fantastic, which meant that the initial set up went very smoothly.

screen-shot-2017-01-17-at-7-41-15-pm

A few of my amazing coaches! I love this team!

The day was jam packed! Here’s how the day broke down!

9am: Fifty people were able to be a part of a VIP experience with Sagi where he interacted with them all and discussed personal development. Personal Development is huge in our business, and Sagi is such a motivating person that I think everyone walked away feeling enlightened. At the end of the session everyone got a photo with Sagi.

10:30am: Barbie came out and addressed the audience. Those who don’t know about the ranks in Beachbody, a Superstar Diamond is the highest rank you can achieve, and this is what Barbie is. Her knowledge…her passion….I had no idea how strong of a coach she is. I feel so honored to have met her and to have learned from her.

screen-shot-2017-01-17-at-7-50-03-pm

Barbie and I backstage

11-12:15pm: Sagi took the stage to address the crowd. He has such a great story and so much valuable content to share….he could’ve talked for hours and hours! I wrote down so many notes!

12:45pm-1:30pm: Sagi led a workout for all attendees. I personally didnt participate and spent the workout running around capturing pics and video, but I do know my team mentioned how brutal it was…their legs were on fire!

1:30-2:15pm: Prize giveaway! Sagi and Barbie were so generous and gave away so many great prizes! Attendees won hats, water bottles, watches, autographed posters…and a handful won his book.

Overall the event was a huge success. Our only glitch was that The Agora had some issues with the boilers, so it was a little chilly in the venue. That was eliminated once the workout began though!

Here’s a little recap of the event from my perspective:

Look like fun? The Market Council hosts events every quarter. This has been the biggest to date, but we have big plans to bring other celebrity trainers to the area as well as top coaches full of valuable info. These events aren’t just for coaches….anyone who loves fitness and health can benefit! I’d love for you to join us next time!

Make your mark on this world…..maybe it’s on a wall. Maybe it’s by inspiring someone. Maybe it’s doing a good deed. Regardless, make it.

Have a week full of sparkle, friends!

Screen Shot 2017-01-17 at 7.38.51 PM.jpg

The famous graffiti wall! My name is now on it not far from Elvis!

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

My favorite finds of 2016

At the start of a new year I love to share some things that I fell in love with during the year prior. With my Sparkle of Dull monthly segment and just overall love for shopping I always come across way more than I could ever review on the blog, so a yearly wrap up is the winning solution. Plus, I find things that aren’t necessarily beauty related but are worthy of a shout out, too! Here are some of my favorites from 2016!

(And because someone will ask….no, I’m not paid to promote these items. I just really freaking love them, ok?)

1. Glam Glow Mega Illuminating Moisturizer.

I am very focused on taking great care of my skin, and this product line has a lot to do with it. I use the moisturizer every single day, and have some of the masks as well. This product has an amazing smell to it and is lightly tinted, so if you are someone who doesn’t like to wear a lot of makeup, this can help you with a little coverage while still moisturizing your skin. Some people may be scared away by the price, but you don’t need a lot every day, therefore, it lasts quite some time.

Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 9.31.23 PM.png

I purchase mine at Sephora!

2. Matcha Green Tea Powder

Before we bought our house I began a very healthy/unhealthy addiction with a green tea smoothie from a local smoothie shop called Pulp (if you are local check them out). After going there countless times I determined I wanted to be able to make my own version of this treat, and I found the secret to the recipe to be a quality green tea powder. You can do a lot with this product….it’s also fabulous when mixed with hot water and a little creamer!!!! To duplicate the smoothie you just blend the matcha powder with soy milk and greek yogurt. All the Yesssssssss!

screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-10-04-54-pm

Miss my Pulp smoothies these days!

3. Altar’d State clothing

Honestly, the entire store makes it on this list! I discovered this company earlier in the year and spent quite a bit of time trolling on its website. Then, out of nowhere, the shopping gods provided a Christmas miracle and put a brick and mortar store in local mall. I almost peed my pants! This store is full of Boho-chic clothing options, cute home decor, and whimsical gifts, and the company itself has a strong philosophy on charity and giving back. I really like that in a company and support their mission 100%. If you haven’t heard of this company yet, check them out!

4. Kuhn Rikon Stay Clean Scrubber

Let’s be honest here…if you are someone doing the dishes, you have probably encountered a little situation called the Smelly Sponge. It’s gross, right? This product (which you can also find on Amazon, Walmart, Sears, etc) is made of silicone and dries faster, eliminating bacteria that can thrive on a sponge. They also come in cute colors! Mine is green to match my green kitchen decor!

Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 10.26.00 PM.png

5. Best Friends by Sheri Cuddle Cup Dog Beds

I’m guessing 99% of you know that I am crazy about dogs, but for those of you who don’t know….I’m crazy aboutdogs, especially my little guys. One is a Pug and the other is a Boston Terrier, both breeds known for loving to cuddle. In October I found the Cuddle Cup while wandering the aisles of our local Homegoods and decided to buy one for the dogs. The next day we went back and bought two more for our house and two for my mother in law. They are extremely  soft, come in several styles and sizes, and allow dogs who like to curl up to do so and feel protected. I have two in my office so the boys can hang with me while I work….Bubba (on the left) is in the Deep Dish Cuddler and Murphy (right) is in the Round Cuddler Bed, also known as the Mini Throne Cuddle Cup. The outer part is a gray suede to match my office decor and they feature a sherpa lining. If they were big enough I’d cuddle in them………

Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 10.31.47 PM.png

My little loves

6. Marc Jacobs Under(cover) Coconut Primer

For real for real….any time something says “coconut” I have to try it…..coconut is my #1 scent of choice! I had read many reviews on this product earlier in the year and finally gave in to try it….it did not disappoint. The coconut smell is not super potent if you aren’t in the coconut fan club like I am, but the coverage is great and it has awesome hold. It also makes my skin feel super soft after application, and I like that a lot! If you are someone with dry skin, this won’t dry you out or make your skin flake out…it actually doubles as a moisturizer!

Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 10.42.43 PM.png

Coconut, how I love thee. Let me count thy ways.

7. Everfitte Workout Tanks

I’ve always favored the small shops on Easy…heck, the majority of my wedding was made possible by the vendors on the site! I was pleasantly surprised when I stumbled across this shop earlier in the year and immediately fell in love with their sassy workout tanks. They constantly have deals on tanks if you are shoppertunistic, and the quality of the shirts is great…super soft and breathable for workouts or just relaxing! They have a saying that can work for anyone….whether you love workouts, wine, or The Bachelor……

screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-9-54-26-pm

Because I love carbs….and I’ll never quit them. 

8. Layer Cake Soap by Lush

I am forever raving about my love for all things Lush, but I was pleasantly surprised this year when I traded in my Shooting Stars soap for the Layer Cake soap! I’ll be honest…I was drawn to the product because of its beautiful rainbow colors, but once I smelled it I knew it was a winner. Each piece will look different, some more rainbow-like than others, but all smell fabulous, as it is made up of juices like orange, pineapple, and raspberry to name a few!

Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 9.37.27 PM.png

Even Murphy agrees…it is fabulous!

9. Beat by Dre Headphone Stand

This item is a must have if you have headphones! I recently was gifted a pair of Wireless Beats from my coach Laura after hitting the huge business milestone of Success Club Legend, and I knew that 1) I would be using them constantly so I needed them handy and 2) I wanted to make sure they wouldn’t be damaged. This stand is sleek, stylish, and a great to ensure my headphones are nearby when I’m doing work (I use them for personal development every morning) and out of the reach of little dogs who may mistake it for a cool toy/bone.

Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 11.04.46 PM.png

Ahh…the romantic glow of my Pink Himalayan Salt Lamp in the background…..

10. New Balance Studio Skin

This product is for my fellow sock haters….and those of you who need a little something to help you get your workouts done if you are barefoot. The studio skins have just the right amount of traction and cushioning without feeling like a shoe, and I think they are super cute, too! I heard about them from some of my yoga buddies who had been wearing them for class….definitely worth the investment!

11. On Demand Fitness Membership

Guys….I’ve been talking about this a lot of Facebook because I am just so freaking in love with Beachbody On Demand. This is what I use every day for my workouts and is similar to Netflix….I log in from my iPad, computer, tv, wherever…pick what workout I want to do, and bam! There it is! Last week it was announced that through the month of January there would be a special bundle giving you access to every single workout every created by BB, plus portion containers plus a month supply of my beloved Shakeology for the super low price of $199…..I was floored! All that for an entire year of resources to help you reach your goals? Yes, please! I’m excited to help everyone find their soul mate workout with this system….and did I mention that everyone in your house can use it, too? Talk about a great deal!

Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 11.18.17 PM.png

Best $16 a month I’ve ever spent!

12. Tarte Rainforest of the Sea palette

Tarte is one of those staple brands for me when it comes to makeup, and this palette is at the top of the list. It seems like I get more compliments on the colors in this little number than any other eye shadow palette I own. It’s a great combo of browns and purple-brown colors, and they have a rich shimmer to them. This palette is great for those of you who like more natural colors on your lids or don’t like to do a bunch of fancy schmancy smokey eye techniques.

Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 10.16.12 PM.png
As always, I could include about a million products on this list, but I have to draw the line somewhere…otherwise your wallets and bank accounts would hate me! The items included in this list can be purchased from multiple sites (for the most part), so do some research and find the best deal for you!

Here’s to a happy, healthy 2017 full of lots of wonderful Sparkle Babe approved items!

sparkleon

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Time to Fly.

Back in July our company announced the release of a brand new program, Core de Force, that would be launching the beginning of November. Of course, I was over the moon excited.

I always love the release of a new program because it is a new challenge for me, and since I want to educate my clients properly I always do them so I can offer advice and support. This one, being an MMA inspired program, was definitely something I had little experience with but loved the concept of. All I knew was that it would be 30 days in length with workouts ranging in length from 16 minutes to 47, and that it required no equipment.

I was even more excited about the release date, which fell at the very beginning of November. November, by far, is the hardest month for me, and I knew this year in particular would be extremely difficult. The middle of the month brought my grandmother’s birthday, and it would be the first time in my entire 35 years on this planet that we did not get to celebrate with her. A few short days later would mark the one year anniversary of the passing of my father.

I miss my dad and grandma every single day, but just knowing these particular dates were approaching meant that I had to find a way to attack this difficult time. The old me would’ve eaten my feelings…..like wheels of brie cheese and stuffed crust pizzas and ice cream out the ying yang….and I didn’t want that to happen. For some reason these past couple of months I have been a lot angrier at the fact that my dad was taken from our family so young, and to me, a program that allowed me to get out my aggression would be just the perfect solution.

Enter Core de Force.I was determined to make this workout my saving grace as emotionally I was falling apart.

For 30 days I channeled my inner bad ass. I completed workouts that involved Muay Thai, Capoeira, and Jiu Jitsu, and I documented everything on The Sparkle Fitness Babe. Each day I shared with my followers a snippet of the workout I had just done as well as pow punch picture with the day. I NEEDED to document this program this way….I needed my followers to keep me accountable if it was getting late and my video wasn’t up yet. People often give us coaches crap for posting our selfies or our workouts or our meals on social media, but you know what? We use social media as our workout diary….this is what keeps US on track. It might not be your bag, but to me I need to know someone will call me out if they don’t see me post about a workout….and I like to track my progress this way. Don’t be afraid to share when you get your sweat on…or eat something fabulous…if people hate on you for holding yourself accountable then they have no business being in your life.

Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 7.09.20 PM.png

30 Days of Accountability, one punch at a time.

When I started this program I wasn’t sure if I would like it, but I hoped deep down I would. I love any workout with high intensity, which I knew this program had, but I worried some of the moves wouldn’t be up my alley.

I was wrong.

Every day I felt challenged by this program. Every day I felt stronger. Every day my technique got better. I looked forward to my workouts with this program every single day, which is a rarity for me. I found that I am actually pretty good at these moves and love MMA workouts. I am now considering joining an MMA gym to further explore my new love.

My favorite workout: MMA Plyo. My least favorite: Dynamic Strength. The one workout I still throw in every so often: 5 Minute Core of the Floor….Wowsers does that burn!

Who is this program good for? Any man or woman who likes a challenging, high intensity program. I do not recommend this for beginners, though if you really wanted to challenge yourself you could do it….I just personally think this is a program you should build up to. Some of the moves were incredibly difficult for me at first, and at times I got a little discouraged, even though I knew eventually I would get the move. I’d hate for someone to start with this, get down on themselves, and quit. I personally think this is a great program to toss in for some cross training if you are a runner or if you need to add cardio to your weight lifting routine but hate cardio like running.

How did I do with the program? Overall, I am very pleased!

I always take my Before and After photos first thing in the morning, so I always look like a hot mess, but that’s okay….I didn’t even care that I have the most ridiculous derp face in my after photo.

Overall I lost 5 pounds, which was fine…I’m not really interested in losing any weight…my focus is just to tone up and get stronger so I can kick American Ninja Warrior tryouts’ ass. I lost 2 and a half inches from my waist (it has CORE in the title for a reason), plus a half inch from each thigh and one inch from my hip.

Was I perfect during this program? Hell to the NO. I did kind of eat my feelings a little bit on the anniversary of my dad’s passing….i did indulge in lots of delicious things at Thanksgiving…I did celebrate a baby shower for a friend with a cupcake or two. I’m ok with that. This journey I’m on and this coaching thing I do….it is not about perfection. It’s about balance and has its ups and downs. I had loosened up on my nutrition the few months prior, so I was glad to get my abs back after this 30 days program.

And you know what? It proved to be the best outlet for my grief and emotions during the month of November. Ever hear that saying the exercise is the best form of therapy? It’s true.

I already can’t wait to do another round of this program, which I will be starting February 7th. After completing the first round of Core, I debated if I should do back to back rounds, but I opted to jump back to one of my other favorite programs, 22 Minute Hardcorps, which is a 60 day program for some variety. Once I finish it up I will be back for another 30 days of roundhouses!

If you are someone who has been wanting to make a healthier change, but don’t know how…just know I am here to help. You don’t have to round house or throw punches like I did in this program…I literally have a solution for everyone depending on your fitness level and interests. Not only can I hook you up with a great workout program and structured meal plan, but I can plug you into one of our online groups that help you stay on track and hold you accountable.

Register for my January Challenge Group HERE!

corefinal

Remember guys…. we all have the power to get healthier and stronger. You just have to be willing to get over the excuses and make the decision to start. Starting is the hardest part…I remember how scared I was when I got my challenge bundle in the mail….how afraid I was to fail.

What if you fail?

Oh, but what if you fly??????

Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 7.52.26 PM.png

Woohoo!! Program graduate!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Why did the Chicken cross the road?

To get to Katie’s kitchen for meal prep time, that’s why!

I can’t believe it is meal prep time again…the week has flown by! And this isn’t just any week…..It is the final full week of Core de Force!

If you have been following me on The Sparkle Fitness Babe, you’ve been watching my journey through the program thus far. I am so excited to share my results with you all when I wrap the program up in just 10 short days!!!!

As I head into the last week of a program I always dial in my nutrition more than usual. This means No Cheat Meals and a lot of repetition because I know that is what helps me be the most successful with my meal plan. You may not like repeating meals, but studies have shown that it is directly related to staying on track with your meals! I can attest to this first hand.

I’ve been craving chicken lately, so I am making my favorite chicken and serving it with two of my standard faves: green beans and sweet potatoes (made in the crock pot of course!) and a dish I haven’t made for ages, ratatouille!

Before we go any further….how do I make my chicken? A simple and delicious recipe, that’s how. Mix 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt with 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp pepper and spread over boneless skinless chicken breasts. Bake for 45 minutes at 375! This is how I typically make it and love that it isn’t your same ol’ boring chicken recipe. Try it!

Here’s how my meal plan looks for the week!

mealplannov28

Breakfast: Back to the Basics for me! Egg Whites and Oatmeal (I make with cinnamon) are the perfect combo of protein and carbs to start the day. This may be boring to some people, but for me, it is simplicity at its finest.

Lunch: All about my staples this week…..chicken, green beans, and sweet potatoes. I literally could eat sweet potatoes for every meal, but will just be enjoying them for lunch this week. Like I mentioned, I cook them in the crockpot which is super easy! The weekend includes me traveling back and forth to my mom’s as well as a baby shower, which means I get to visit my favorite local place, All Good Things, for lunch! If you haven’t tried this spot yet I will be sharing a blog on it this week!

Snacks: Canteloupe, Shakeology Protein Bites, and Shakeology at night!

Dinner: More chicken, only i am pairing it with my ratatouille recipe! Whenever I make this and tell people what it is called, they look at me like I am nuts! It’s a great spin on a veggie dish….try it!

KatiesRat.jpg
You might still be on the fence with making this….so here is a look at the finished product:

Screen Shot 2016-11-27 at 8.50.47 PM.png

Last week I make crockpot pork carnitas and had a strong interest in the recipe, so I wanted to share with you here! I love this recipe because it is super easy, flavorful, and it is versatile. I had the meat in true carnita form in a corn tortilla and also made salad with it a few nights. Here’s the recipe!

Crockpot Pork Carnitas

Ingredients for Pork Loin Rub:
-2 tsp cumin
-2 tbl chili powder
-1/2 tsp cloves
-1 tsp ground coriander
-1 tsp onion powder
-1 tsp garlic power
-1 tsp oregano

Mix all spices together and rub over 3 lbs of pork loin. Place pork in crockpot with one bay leaf and about 1 1/2 cups of water. I cook mine on low for about 8 hours, checking the pork every few hours to make sure it wasn’t getting dried out. If you notice this, add a bit more water! Once cooked, shred the pork.

You can top your carnitas with whatever you like, but we typically use black beans, shredded lettuce, avocado, shredded cheese, and brown rice. If you like your corn tortillas crisper, place in over for about 10 minutes at 350!

Top with a cilantro lime dressing! You can make this by mixing 1/4 cup lime juice with 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt and cilantro.

Minimal effort for a great 21 Day fix approved dinner that makes a nice amount for the week or for your family!

Screen Shot 2016-11-26 at 10.43.07 PM.png

A beautiful dinner!

I’m ready to attack this week….I hope you are, too. If you are still feeling the post holiday hangover and bloat, tomorrow is a brand new day. Make great choices with your nutrition, get a good sweat in, and drink lots of water!

I believe in you!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Things your Beachbody Coach Wants You to Know

When I began my journey with online fitness and wellness coaching a little over three years ago , I had no clue what I was doing. I did know I was starting something incredible…but I had so many questions that I kept to myself. With so many people reaching out inquiring about programs and solutions….especially with New Year’s and resolutions looming….I wanted to take a minute to share a few things that I, as your coach (or future coach) want you to know.

1. I want to help you….and will continue to help you….long past your initial purchase. My role as your coach is to help you for as long as you need it….whether that be for a month, a program, a year, or forever. My customers always have access to one on one support and all of my challenge groups, as my goal is to help you reach whatever goals you have set for yourself. I don’t mindread though(unfortunately)….so please don’t hesitate to tell me if you need more help!

2. I want to see those sweaty selfies and pictures of your food! I read somewhere recently that one of the top reasons why people are defriended on Facebook is because they post pictures of their food. Are you serious???!!!! I am proud of my clients when they share healthy changes they are making, and it makes me sad that some people are afraid they will be the butt of other people’s jokes when they share something healthy they are doing. Let me be real: I post my sweaty selfies because I need the accountability, and I know there are people who will shoot me a message if I don’t share something about a workout to make sure things are ok. When it comes to sharing what I am eating….I hope it encourages someone to try a new recipe or get past the idea that eating healthy is difficult or bland. When you share what you are eating for dinner, my wheels are turning and I am looking at a new addition for my next meal plan.

Screen Shot 2016-11-22 at 8.17.47 PM.png

3. I get you free stuff! When you purchase a bundle from a coach, you get a special thank you gift….a FREE workout! Having the ability to be in my challenge groups allows you to win lots of fun prizes, and once you finish a program I help you get your free completion t-shirt! Free stuff is lovely. Don’t pretend like it isn’t. Purchasing from a coach is different from getting programs from a random site….here’s a little more about that……

4. I struggle with workouts and eating healthy, too. I think a lot of people are intimidated by working with a coach because they think they have to be perfect and never mess up a meal plan or skip a workout. WRONG! Guys, I mess up all the time! I practice a life of balance, so I eat clean 80% of the time, but sometimes I overindulge more than I want. Some mornings I don’t want to workout and press the snooze button. Some days my workouts straight up suck and I don’t give it my all. The joy of working with a coach is having accountability and someone who has solutions when these things come up. Fitness is a journey with ups and downs…we all have them….but it sure is nice to have someone in your corner when you are having a down day to help power you through it.

5. I will take you back regardless of how many times you break up with me. Life happens. You may not finish a program. You may disappear in a challenge group. You might ignore my emails checking in on your progress for a month straight. It’s ok….when you are ready to get back on track, I will take you back, no worries.I just want to help you reach whatever goal you have!

6. Yes, I really do love Shakeology. Giving this product a chance was the best thing I ever did for my health. I realized very early on that it played a HUGE part in the weight loss success I had and it is the saving grace every night when my chocolate cravings fire up.  If you are starting a program and not seeing the results you want, your nutrition needs to be looked at, and, as your coach, I am most definitely going to recommend this bad boy. Don’t compare this item to another shake…there isn’t one out there that can compare. Comparing this shake to those is like comparing the rides at DisneyWorld to the horsey ride in the food court at the mall. I don’t just talk the talk with the products Beachbody offers; I genuinely love them and value what they do for my health and longevity.

7. No, I don’t love every program Beachbody has, and I will be honest with you when it comes to them. I’m not some robot….and I am very opinionated. I’ve tried pretty much every single program we have to offer because I think it is important to know first hand what is great or not so great about a program, and I want to be able to answer any question a client has. I’ve fallen in love with many and hated some as well. My goal is to help connect you to the right program, so I will always share with you what recommendations I think would be best based on what your goals are and what you like.

8. I love what I do, and I truly want everyone to find something they love like this. I’d love everyone to be a coach, but I know it isn’t for everyone. I’m sad when people write off what I do, but I have learned that if someone feels that way they don’t really know me and what makes me tick. I live for helping others and sharing my sparkle with everyone I meet. I want to make the lives of everyone I know better in whatever way I can. It look me 32 years to find this opportunity. If you haven’t found something that lights a fire in your soul yet, maybe you are overlooking it. I’d love for you to see what I see in coaching.

Screen Shot 2016-11-22 at 8.17.37 PM.png

Enjoying the view from our balcony on last year’s All Expenses Paid Cruise to the Bahamas and Jamaica.

My team and I are hosting an online open house that is sharing a behind the scenes look at coaching this Sunday, the 27th. We will be answering lots more questions and sharing more of our hearts with you about why we love this business. Join us! You have nothing to lose and can see if it is something you want to learn more about! Fill out this quick form so I know to add you, and connect with me on Facebook by searching for The Sparkle Fitness Babe!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Operation: Don’t Eat the Feelings!

Do you ever feel like you absolutely KILLED the week?

That was me this week.

I officially started Core de Force Monday as a participant with a coach launch group as well as started a focused launch group of my own. These two groups were EXACTLY what I needed. Not only did I stick to my workouts, but I was laser focused on my meal plan, too. I’ll tell you what…when you have people who can see if you logged your workout or not….who encourage you when you don’t quite feel like pushing play….great things can happen. I’m so excited to take my progress pics tomorrow and measurements! Besides that, this program is proving to be a great fit for the stress and weird feelings I associate with this time of year. Let’s just call it DVD therapy!

Last week I totally failed and forgot to post my meal plan….sorry guys!

Here’s what on tap for this week.

This week I am fully exercising my right to the crock pot. Do you realize how many incredible recipes you can make in one pot with minimal effort???? Last year I ran a group focused on sharing healthy crockpot recipes that was a big hit….I’ve been toying around with the idea to run another one. The pumpkin overnight oats I am making this week came from that group originally, and I’m also making 21 Day Fix Pork Carnitas for dinner. They are so good!

Aldi’s has had some great deals on Jalapeños, so I am using them in my egg muffins as well as the Jalapeño Cheddar Burgers that came from the Core de Force recipe book. These are very flavorful, and if you are making meals for people who aren’t as focused on eating healthy as you are, serve them with a bun instead of plain.

menunov14

This week is going to be a little hectic for me…I will be out of town Tuesday-Wednesday, which will result be eating out for a few meals. Since I will be back home by my favorite local spot, All Good Things (be on the lookout for a blog on them coming soon), I will be grabbing dinner there Tuesday…their Quinoa Salad is one of my favorite things! I’m also trying out a new place Wednesday for lunch that is a vegetarian restaurant….I haven’t ben able to access their menu online, but I’ll make sure to share how it is! I get a lot of questions as to why I add an extra snack on Wednesdays…I always have an apple before I teach Cize Live….it’s just my little energy boost!

Besides being on the go this week is also going to be a tough one for me emotionally. Tomorrow would have been my Grandmother’s birthday, and since it has only been two months since we lost her, I know I am going to be a little sad. Besides that, Sunday is the one year anniversary of losing my dad. I’m worried I will deviate from the meal plan this week and eat my feelings, but I am going to do my best to stay on track. I know the groups I am in will help me, too. However, if you see me and I am going for a brownie…or cookie…or pizza….you have my permission to smack me.

Let’s do out best to make it a great week, ok? I know we can do it.

gram2

Happy Birthday in Heaven to my sweet Gram. She is missed so much!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

October: Sparkle or Dull?

My makeup peeps…..why are there so many new and fabulous products being released???? Seriously! There are so many that I want to try out for you guys!

This month I decided to review a purchase I had made while redeeming some points at Ulta earlier in the month, the Too Faced Grand Hotel Cafe boxed set, and a brand new item from the Elf line, the instant brow lift.

Let’s start by chatting about some brows!

PRODUCT #1: Elf Instant Brow Lift Pencil

This was one of those random finds as I was trolling around Target one day. You know those trips….the ones where you go in for one thing and end up leaving with a cart full of things you really didn’t need???

Anyway…..I have been toying around with changing up my eyebrow routine for awhile now because I have not been 100% satisfied with the Anastasia brow products I have been using. If we are being honest….quality eyebrow products seem to be expensive, so when it comes to me purchasing a new one I really try to do a lot of research and get friends’ opinions so I don’t waste my money. I mean….I know this blog is about determining if a product sparkles or if it is a little lackluster, but my hope is to always have more sparkles than dulls….a dull product means money down the drain!

I was leaning toward trying out a product from It Cosmetics and was actually en route to Ulta when I stopped to make the previously mentioned unnecessary Target stop. It proved to be a smart move on my end, because the new brow pencil from Elf had just been released and came across my line of sight. At $2.00, its price was very attractive, and since I have always had good experiences with the Elf line, I decided to give it a chance.

Let’s talk about brows for a second. Do you need a product? Not necessarily. I never used to use one. Then one day I had an eyebrow wax that left them looking a little wonky and uneven if I didn’t use a product. For me, the product is more about shaping my actual eyebrow as opposed to filling them in. Depending on your brow, you may do the same, or they may be thin and you may need to spruce them up a bit.

Screen Shot 2016-11-08 at 5.08.20 PM.png

A look at the product in action. 

FINAL VERDICT: SPARKLE!

For $2.00, I was extremely pleased with this product. It went on smoothly and was easy to use, kind of like a mechanical pencil. I also loved that it included a spoolie brush on the opposite end to help blend and mute the color if you got a little crazy. I definitely recommend this product, especially if you want to try something cheaper before moving on to a higher price brow product.

***I do need to state this. The one thing I wasn’t super pleased with when it came to this item was the fact that it only came in three colors. I used deep brown because of my coloring, but it also comes in a taupe and neutral brown. I’m not sure if this is just because it is newer, but hopefully they expand the palette soon…the taupe, which is the lightest of the three, may still be too dark for you if you have very blonde hair, and there aren’t any options for my ginger friends. Fingers crossed for you guys!

PRODUCT #2 Too Faced Grand Hotel Cafe Palette

If you follow me on Facebook you may have seen me unbox this purchase live after redeeming my Ultamate rewards points at Ulta. When I saw this product, I had to have it….they claimed the three palettes smelled like coffee, and you guys know me…..

Screen Shot 2016-11-08 at 4.42.16 PM.png

Look how cute the packaging is!

What all comes in this boxed set?

-3 palettes that include 6 eyeshadows each, as well as one blush: Peppermint Mocha (top), Gingerbread Coffee (bottom left), and Egg Nog Latte (bottom right).

-Deluxe size of Too Faced’s Better Than Sex Mascara aka best mascara in the damn land.

As you can see from the picture below, the color palettes are great for all people, as there are colors that compliment both warm and cool undertones. I personally love them all, however, I have been using the Gingerbread Latte more frequently for the eyeshadow colors than the other two. The blush in that palette, called Gingerbread, is great for contouring if you are a contour lover like me. I’ve been using it for that purpose, then using the blush from the Egg Nog palette over top of it. As with any Too Faced eye shadow, the colors are incredible and great quality…some with some shimmer, some with a matte finish…but all able to be blended beautifully.

When it comes to the mascara…this is the kind I use every day. I always put one layer of mascara on before applying my lashes, and with some lash styles actually apply a layer after to blend my lashes and the falsies together. It is great on its own for you non lash wearers!

Screen Shot 2016-11-08 at 5.18.11 PM.png

A look at what you get with the Grand Hotel Cafe box, photo courtesy of Sephora. 

Here’s a look at a basic eye that I did last week blending three colors from the Gingerbread palette on my eyes: Maple Syrup on the lid, Ginger Cream on the upper lid to blend, and Cup of Joe to smoke it out a bit. I used the Peach Cobbler blush from the Egg Nog palette. Absolutely love it!

Screen Shot 2016-11-08 at 4.42.29 PM.png

Love the simplicity of this look….add lashes and a bright lip to make the eyes pop. 

FINAL VERDICT: SPARKLE!

This boxed set is a great value…it is only $49, and you get a ton of great items with it. The only bad thing about this item…it is limited edition because it is seasonal, so if you want it get it asap!

Be on the lookout for great deals coming up at Ulta and Sephora….they always have awesome items that are great for gifts or stocking stuffers that surface this time of year!

sparkleon

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

More coconut, please!

This weekend I wrapped up my meal planning and prep early so I could watch the World Series game and get caught up on my emails. Usually I love to prep while watching a show or two (it’s a great way to motivate yourself if you know you are doing something you need to do with your health while indulging in a little tv), but tonight I didn’t want to miss a pitch!

Last week I stuck to my meal plan for the most part….which honestly was very surprising. Since yesterday would’ve been my dad’s birthday, I was fearful that I would spend the day eating my feelings because sometimes that happens with grief. Other than a piece of the little birthday cake my mom made to accompany the dinner she made (one of my dad’s favorites…..salmon burgers, green beans, and mashed sweet potatoes), I stayed on track. I’m proud of myself for that!

Here’s a look at what’s on my plate for the first week of November!

mealplanoct31

Breakfasts: My usual Southwest Cups because I just love them and an omelette tomorrow to use up the spinach I have left over. I’m trying out a new recipe this week…healthy chicken and waffles! Don’t worry, I will share if it turns out ok!

Lunches: I’m president of the Ahi Tuna fan club right now, so that’s one of my lunch options, as well as Beast Egg Salad. I think I am just in Beast mode since we announced on Saturday that THE BEAST himself, Sagi Kalev, is coming to Cleveland in January! Beast Egg Salad was one of my favorites during Body Beast. I’m also making Chicken Parm (from the Fixate cookbook) and pairing it with spaghetti squash! If you want to come to our Sagi event, you can purchase tickets HERE!

Dinners: Last week I mentioned I was making a new recipe, coconut crusted chicken. I can’t lie…it was delicious! If you love coconut, you need to try this recipe….I’m sharing it below! I’m bringing it back this week! You probably will notice the healthy chipotle bowl….yes, you can make chipotle healthy! It’s all about portions and healthier choices (Just say No to Sour Cream)!

chicken
The only thing you aren’t seeing broken down is Sunday; since I will be at my friend Jodi’s for a party I’m not sure what my options will be. However, I can tell you that I will be making wise choices and making sure I’m not abusing any containers!

This is a big week…..Core de Force launches tomorrow!!! EEK! I am so excited! Nothing helps me zero in on my nutrition like a brand new program to dedicate myself to! I cannot wait to get it and begin!

Remember….tomorrow may be Halloween, but that doesn’t mean that you should overindulge in mini candy bars. Make smart choices…those little things are the devil! And those calories add up fast!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,