Tag Archives: #healthy

Jack-O-Peppers!

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

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

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

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

Screen Shot 2017-10-21 at 10.11.30 PM

Using your knife, “carve” your pepper pumpkin.

Screen Shot 2017-10-21 at 10.11.14 PM
Prepare your stuffing mixture, then fill your pepper pumpkin.

Screen Shot 2017-10-21 at 10.10.54 PM
Place pepper pumpkins in a 9×9 pan (or larger if you are making a larger batch). Place top on each pumpkin and bake for about 40 minutes at 300! Your family will love them, and you’ll be hooking them up with a healthy and festive dish! Enjoy!

Screen Shot 2017-10-21 at 10.10.36 PM

Advertisements
Tagged , , , ,

Nice Cream for the Win!

I’ve been posting a lot lately about how much I love my Nice Cream, and it has had so many people asking about that I figured it was time for a quick blog!

I LOVE ice cream, but I know that when it comes to my meal plan eating it every day is probably frowned upon, so I decided to find a healthier option to still enjoy one of my favorites without feeling like I was missing out.

Best part about my Nice Cream (besides the fact that it is healthy, of course)….it is super easy to make. Here is a step by step walkthrough so you can make it, too…..I even have a video at the end showing you how I make it if you learn better by seeing!

What you need:

-Frozen Bananas
-Protein Powder (I always use my trusty Shakeo and change up the flavors)
-Little Bit of Milk (could be almond, soy, coconut, whatever)

screen-shot-2016-10-03-at-1-52-50-pm

End goal: Chocolate Ice Cream

How you make it:

Toss 2 frozen bananas into your blender with a scoop of the protein powder you choose. Include a splash of the milk you have selected, but don’t get crazy with it…..you can always add a tad more if you need it a little creamier.

screen-shot-2016-10-03-at-1-52-43-pm

Blend like a banshee!

Dump contents into a bowl once you have reached the desired consistency! The ice cream itself will be 2 purples and 1 red if you are following the 21 Day Fix!

Screen Shot 2016-10-03 at 1.52.27 PM.jpg

Oh hey, lover. 

Top with whatever toppings you prefer. My staple toppings: Almonds, Cacao Nibs, Coconut Flakes, and Chia Seeds!

Screen Shot 2016-10-03 at 1.52.18 PM.jpg

Beautiful. My photography skills aren’t too shabby either.

And if it helps….here is a quick video I made while whipping up some Nice Cream for breakfast the other day. Yes, I eat it for breakfast sometimes, and I am not ashamed. Today I think I am going to try out a pumpkin ice cream recipe….if it turns out, I will share, don’t worry!

Happy Nice Creaming!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

July Beauty Finds: Sparkle or Dull?

This month’s beauty finds………ahhhhhhhhhhhh! I was so excited to try both and review them! I’m not even going to mess around with some kind of introduction….let’s get right into it!

Product #1: Tarte’s Swamp Queen Palette

Me and eyeshadows go together like peas and carrots…we just belong together. In recent months I have started to use more products from Tarte (not sure why I waited so long), and was extremely excited when it was announced they were going to pair with Grav3yardgirl, a youtube sensation, to create a palette.

Who is this Grav3yardgirl? A hot ass mess, that’s what, but in a good way. Bunny reviews lots of crazy products, does tutorials, and is just ridiculous….probably why I gravitate to her channel. Her style is all over the place….much like mine. I love it!

I knew that this palette would have some awesome colors that were different from my normal palettes (I love anything brown, purple, grays, etc), and, knowing Tarte’s quality, I had a feeling they would be super rich and apply wonderfully.

I’ll be honest….for a hot second I thought I may not get my hands on this palette. Initially I saw it at an Ulta in Michigan while shopping with my cousins, but since it had been released that day I thought I would just wait and get it back home. They will have ppllleeennntttyyyyyyyy of them at my Ulta, right?

WRONG. Every Ulta near me was sold out….so was Sephora (good news, back in stock if you want one). Fortunately, a girl at Ulta told me she heard through the grapevine that Macy’s was going to be carrying them for a brief time. I took advantage of her tip, found it on Macy’s website, ordered it, and performed a serious of cartwheels and somersaults when it arrived a few days later.

Look at these colors! In the palette you get 9 eyeshadows, 1 bronzer, 1 blush, and 1 highlighter. The colors are very rich (can you see the sparkle in a few of them?)!

Here’s my honest review of the product: It is fabulous BUT…..because of how pigmented the colors are I highly recommend using a little at a time….then adding a little more…and so on. I think we all know I love a strong contour, so when I started with the Sweet Tea shade (top left), I was surprised at how INTENSE it was…..leading me to wash my makeup off and start over. Same with Gator Wings (bottom left), which is a highlighter. It has a strong glittery shine to it, so start small with a fan brush and add as needed.

As far as the eyeshadow colors go, I liked them for a more natural, subtle look. Sippy Sippy (middle row, far right) was my favorite color in the palette, but I did have a lot of fall out with the shadow than with the other colors, so be careful or apply eyeshadow before the rest of your makeup.

FINAL VERDICT: SPARKLE! It’s great for traveling since your blush and contouring friends are a part of the palette, and it can work on any skin tone (in my opinion).
Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 7.35.23 PM

Product #2: Stila Waterproof Eyeliner

I’ve really struggled lately with eyeliners…I don’t know why! I love a strong wing, so I prefer a liquid liner for my top eyelids and use a pencil for my lower eye. This is the summer of weddings for me, and being outside at a lot of them I noticed that my trusty eyeliner (a cheap kind by Wet N Wild that I have used for years) was running faster than Usain Bolt. No bueno. Throw in a few happiness tears…and my whole eye look was ruined.

So I did something I never ever do…..I walked into Sephora and asked one of employees for a recommendation. This is big for me! I swear I know more than the majority of people in there, so asking for a suggestion….that was like taking a bullet.

Lucky for me I got one of the few Sephora employees that seems to know what is going on in the world of makeup. (Sidenote: Why does Sephora always seem to hire idiots? That don’t know what things like highlighters or primer are? Or who Kat Von D is? And who can’t even apply makeup to their own face? I swear…the last time I was in Sephora one of the girls was rocking a foundation shade that would’ve worked if you had been sunburned in Cancun, not if you had the alabaster color skin she did. She looked ridiculous! Ok, I’ll stop). The girl recommended the Stay All Day waterproof eyeliner by Stila, which made me happy. I had done a little online trolling of my own and this one popped up numerous times. Her suggestion gave me the go ahead to purchase and try, and I am so glad I did!

Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 7.44.38 PM.jpg
This product is just like a magic marker for my eye….easy to use, great for making thick wings or subtle ones…and comes in a variety of colors. Best of all, it doesn’t run when Im crying or sweating…which is a huge plus!

Final Verdict: SPARKLE!!!! Yes, yes, a million times yes. Add this to your makeup bag immediately.

For fun I made a little tutorial with the colors I love from Swamp Queen…and I used my Stila pen, too!

sparkleon

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

I do it all for the cookie.

Hi, I’m Katie….and I am a cookie monster!

Recently I had a hankering for some chocolate chip cookies, but since I knew my usual recipe is anything but healthy, I decided to give the healthy 21 Day Fix approved chocolate chip recipe a try. This recipe is from the Fixate cookbook that shares 101 recipes that are compliant with the 21 Day Fix eating plan. Need the cookbook? You can buy it here!

I always have two goals when making a new cookie recipe: Don’t eat them all, and make them good enough that Kyle won’t mind that they are healthy.

Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 7.39.27 PM

FIXATE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Ingredients:

3 cups almond flour (I use Bob’s RedMill)
1 teaspoon gluten free baking soda
1/4 cup organic coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup raw maple syrup
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 large egg whites (1/4 cup)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (you can use semi sweet if you prefer)

What to do:

1. Preheat oven to 375 and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Combine almond flour, baking soda and salt in bowl, mixing well.
4. Combine oil and maple syrup in bowl, beating until creamy.
5. Add egg, egg whites and extract to oil mixture and beat for additional two minutes.
6. Add almond flour mixture to egg mixture, mixing well.
7. Fold in chocolate chips.
8. Drop teaspoons of dough onto parchment paper.
9. Bake 14-16 minutes and store once cooled in an airtight container. Enjoy!

 

Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 7.39.38 PM

 

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

The Last Straw

I knew this blog post would have to happen. I just knew it!

Yesterday I shared with my followers over at The Sparkle Fitness Babe that I had found a three pack of stainless steel straws during my Starbucks stop and was beyond excited! I had been looking for some this week and was very happy to randomly find them while I was getting my caffeination on. Since stainless steel straws aren’t super popular yet, I knew I would have a bunch of people asking me why I wanted them and what the deal is with them.
Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 10.45.06 AM.jpg
This blog is for you, questioners of the straws.

As we know, I pay a lot of attention to my health and the quality of things I put in my body. Something that is just HUGE to me that I have been working hard to eliminate: chemicals. Something that is also pretty huge to me: lipstick. Yes, I love wearing it, and I don’t always want to mess up cups with my “Katie was here” lipstick marks, especially when I am drinking my frothy daily Shakeology….milkshake mustaches and bright pink lipstick shades can be messy! Because of that, I have always been a straw gal. Prior to this purchase I was using biodegradable  paper straws.

Reasons why I opt for stainless steel straws (say that five times fast):

-They are reusable so you are eliminating waste. I really try my best to do little things daily that can help impact the environment in a positive way. By eliminating the use of plastic straws I am eliminating the daily tossing of plastic, so they are better for the environment. They are also extremely durable and unbreakable, meaning they will live a long and happy life in my kitchen cupboard.

-They are cost effective. A three pack of stainless straws from Starbucks runs you $5.95. A twelve pack of plastic straws from Target costs about $3. Those, obviously, are for a one time use. I can use my stainless straws over and over and over and over, saving me money. When I was using the biodegradable straws, six straws would cost me $2.

-They are chemical free. Many plastics have traces of BPA and Phthalates, toxic chemicals that can harm your body. Stainless steel: none. They are BPA free and non toxic.

-I love how they look. There are other kinds of great reusable straws on the market, such as glass straws or bamboo straws, but I just love the look of stainless and prefer those over the others.

You may not be a straw person, and that’s ok, but if you are I recommend going a more eco friendly route and trying stainless!

Off for my daily straw and shake date! Have a happy Friday, friends!

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

Healthier Coffee for all!

I love coffee.

I love coffee a lot.

In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s my blood type.

Over the years my coffee style has evolved. Back in the day I actually hated it….yes, you heard right. I hated it. If I needed a boost I opted for pop instead of coffee. The taste of coffee was just….ugh! I’m not sure when I actually decided I liked coffee, but I can’t believe I used to choose that carbonated nastiness over my now favorite beverage!

In the beginning I would load my coffee up with flavored creamer and sugar to disguise the taste, then slowly started to cut back on all of those “add ins” I put into my cup. When I became a health and fitness coach, I started to pay more attention to how I was fueling my body. The creamers I loved….I was sad to find out how bad they were for me, but I knew that I couldn’t drink my coffee black. What in the world could I substitute for the fabulosity I had been using?

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 3.34.17 PM

Here are some healthier alternatives to keep your coffee flavored and tasting great without loading it with unnecessary calories:

Coconut Oil and Extract: Coconut Oil has about a million uses, so I was excited when I added it to my coffee! Besides smelling like a beach,  coconut oil is great for boosting your immune system, increasing energy, and speeding up your metabolism! All you do is add one teaspoon of coconut oil, a splash of extract if you prefer (I love hazelnut), and blend in a blender or with an immersion blender. It makes it nice and frothy with a kick of extra flavor!

Coconut Oil and Unsalted Grassfed Butter: Also known as Bulletproof Coffee, I wasn’t sure how I felt about putting butter on anything besides toast, especially because I had read many articles sharing reasons NOT to drink bulletproof coffee.  However, I had read articles that shared how having your healthy fat early in the morning helped with focus and mental clarity, so I figured I would see for myself what the fuss was about. Blending the ingredients in with your coffee created a delicious latte , but I wasn’t a fan of cutting out other areas of my breakfast due to the nutritional content of the butter. Some people love this and drink it daily; my only recommendation is to do your research to see if it aligns with your current meal plan/diet.

Almond Milk/ Coconut Milk Creamer: I always have these on hand for my shakes so from a cost effective standpoint, I don’t need to purchase anything additional to flavor my coffee. Using a splash in your coffee with a bit of Stevia is a great way to add a little sweetness without the calorie overload (Sidenote: Stevia is all natural and a better alternative to sugar, but don’t use much…it is much sweeter than sugar).

Cinnamon: Replace your creamer with a teaspoon of cinnamon. This is my new favorite recipe, and it has a bunch of health benefits! Not only does it save you over 75 calories a cup, but adding cinnamon can help reduce cholesterol and blood sugar. Pay attention next time you are at Starbucks….you’ll see a cinnamon shaker at the coffee stand!

Make your own creamer: I used to follow the recipes for homemade creamer from Deliciously Organic, only I would use almond milk in place of the heavy cream. Making your own allows you to control everything that is in your creamer and the recipes make a ton!

Remember, everything is okay in moderation. Sometimes I indulge in regular coffee creamer (I love the Nestle Coffeemate Samoa flavor), but I don’t go overboard. Make smart choices…you don’t want to drink all of your calories!

All this coffee talk has me needing to brew another cup……or hit the coffee shop!

Happy Caffeinating!

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 3.34.36 PM

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

Peanut Butter Jelly Time

“Do you think there will be peanut butter on the ship?”

That’s a question I have asked more friends that I care to mention this week.

When it comes to addictions, I think it is common knowledge that coffee is one of my big ones. Peanut butter is a close second. I’m coming clean with it right now because I am tired of peanut butter getting a bad reputation.

I love peanut butter for a multitude of reasons and in a multitude of ways. In my shake, on a banana, on a sandwich with cheese (yes, you heard right….peanut butter and cheese), on a brownie, just on a spoon by itself……it’s such a versatile and delicious item.

 

Oh, and it has some health benefits, too!

PB is packed with nutrition.
Protein, potassium, vitamins, healthy fat, antioxidants, OH MY! Did you know that peanut butter actually has higher antioxidant levels than beets, apples, or carrots????

PB loves your heart.
Peanut butter can help cut your risk of cardiovascular disease in half, as they assist with reducing inflammation and strengthening blood vessels around the heart.

PB hooks you up with potassium.
Do you love sodium? Potassium helps counter the effects of too much sodium by relaxing blood vessels and lowering blood pressure.

PB is the good kind of fat.
Monounsaturated fat is something your body needs. Many people associate peanut butter as being unhealthy because of the fat content but fail to realize that unsaturated fats differ from saturated fats.

PB helps you fight cravings.
Since it is protein rich, peanut butter actually helps you feel fuller longer. It is also satisfying and assists with sweet tooth cravings.

PB helps with muscle growth.
Protein is key in repairing muscles, as well as providing you with energy to take on the day. PB also has healthy levels of zinc, which contributes to muscle growth.

Now before you go and eat a whole jar, I’d like to say that peanut butter should be eaten in moderation, much like anything. 2 Tablespoons are recommended daily, and you should steer clear of peanut butters loaded with sugar and additives….truly the only ingredient should be peanuts!

Since I have a healthy love affair with peanut butter, I’d like to think I know a think or two about ones that taste amazing. There are so many peanut butters out there, and I am always on a quest to try new ones, especially interesting flavors. Here are a few of my favorites, most of which are hanging out in my pantry as we speak!

Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 12.24.52 AM

My present PB situation

Nuts N More Salted Caramel or White Chocolate

I am a HUGE Nuts N More fan and was pleasantly surprised when I received my first protein peanut butter from these guys. I first learned about this product during a Shark Tank bingefest (they were on it), and as a salted caramel fan figured it was worth a shot. Of all of the peanut butters I have tried, the salted caramel is my favorite, however, I love the white chocolate as well. Great taste, great source of protein, and backed by Mark Cuban….I like that. My favorite use? Using a teaspoon of salted caramel with a scoop of chocolate vegan Shakeology, 14 oz of liquid (I like 7oz almond milk and 7 oz water), and 4 ice cubes. It’s so good! I can assure you my cupboard will never be without it.

Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 12.25.23 AM

This should be renamed Bee’s Knees….because that’s what it is.

Justin’s All Natural Peanut Butter

My favorite natural peanut butter! No crazy flavors, just plain old peanut butter. It’s available all over (I get it at Target or Giant Eagle), and I love that the company started out with a single guy selling his homemade peanut butter at a local Farmer’s Market. We all know how I feel about entrepreneurship! Justin’s is what I will be taking with me on our trip….it comes in handy dandy little travel packs that are great for trips….or kids’ lunches….or just to carry because you love peanut butter like it’s your job.

Wild Friends Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter

I discovered this flavor randomly during a trip to Giant Eagle. I didn’t even need peanut butter that day, but somehow I wandered down that aisle. Wild Friends is a brand I had heard of (I have a friend in love with their sunflower butter), so I gave it a shot. It did not disappoint! Much like Justin’s, this brand started in a little apartment with two roommates just wanting to create a delicious and healthy peanut butter.

You Fresh Glazed Donut Muscle Butter

This is may not fall into an actual peanut butter category, but I had to include it. Gluten free, No GMOs, no additives….and amazing flavor. Yes! This is one that I am often busted eating a spoonful of, but it is great as a spread if you prefer!

Smuckers All Natural Peanut Butter

A classic favorite, Smuckers is great for those of you who may not be interested in any additional proteins or flavor and just want a classic brand to make your PB and J with. It comes creamy or chunky, so you aren’t deprived of your favorite consistency. Bonus: It’s made about half an hour from me, so YAY Ohio!

As much as I love my peanut butter, I do try to stick to the recommended 2 tablespoons a day,  usually one in the morning and one at night. There are days that I want to eat an entire jar….and there are days where sometimes i just might. It’s my healthy fat of choice, and I embrace it #likeaboss. So does my husband……check out the brand and flavors he goes for:

Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 12.25.31 AM

All this peanut butter chatter has me hungry…..time for a little late night snack.

Peanut Butter, you are the glue that holds my body together.  As far as my love for you goes, #thelimiteddoesnotexist. Thanks for being you, boo.

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 12.25.39 AM

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Brownie Points!

My love affair with chocolate is not something I have ever hidden. In fact, I’ve always embraced it. Why hide such a wonderful thing that brings so much joy to others????

When I started making healthier changes to my life back in 2013, I knew that my relationship with chocolate needed to have some boundaries…..more like the occasional visitation. The one thing I think people are surprised to learn about me is how important balance is in my life. Yes, I love living healthy and making quality choices with what I put into my body, however, I believe very strongly that you should never cut things you love completely out of your diet…..I feel like that only leads to bingefests and bad decisions. Instead, I believe you should balance your choices. Do I eat pizza and chocolate every day? Absolutely not. But do I deprive myself of them? Nope. I’ve just learned that having a slice or two of pizza with some salad is a much better option than eating a whole pizza, and I’m ok with that.

Over time I’ve learned healthier adaptations for the foods I used to binge on. Some people may roll their eyes and think that there is no way cauliflower pizza crust is any good, but trust me. Some of the healthier recipes I have come across or created I actually prefer over the original. Yes, you heard right!

Back to my love affair with chocolate…..how amazing is the brownie? Of all the treats in the world, brownies (especially my mother’s) have always ranked in my top favorites. For a long time they were the one treat I had failed countless times in finding a healthy alternative.

That is no longer the case.

I’d like to enter into the discussion my old friend, the black bean. I’ve written about them previously and think they are one seriously underestimated item in your cabinet. Awhile back I stumbled across a brownie recipe where black beans were used. I was open minded to the taste, thinking the black beans would be noticeable but that they would still be okay.

My apologies to the recipe for thinking it would be just “okay.” These brownies were incredible! Here’s how you make them!

Before you begin making the brownies, you must follow the first rule of thumb for handling black bean. Rinse the heck out of them! You don’t want the bean slime to join you in cooking, and you want to make sure you get rid of any additional sodium lingering.

2016-02-19 21.56.20
After the beans have been rinsed, it’s time to break out your food processor and get to work. You’ll start with just the black beans and process until their are smooth, then add in the rest of the ingredients with the exception of half of the chocolate chips (the full recipe is posted below). 2016-02-19 22.00.24

Pour batter into a greased 8 by 8 pan and place into an oven set to 350 degrees. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips on top. Looks just like a pan of regular brownies, right??

2016-02-19 22.13.38

As you can imagine, the excitement of trying a new brownie recipe didn’t just appeal to me. Murphy was extremely focused on the brownies….too bad chocolate isn’t for dogs, Murph.

2016-02-19 22.13.54

Once the brownies have baked for 30-35 minutes (depending on your oven or when the brownies start to separate from the edge of the pan), remove them and let cool before you decide to enjoy them.

2016-02-19 23.53.51

So what did I think of this recipe? BEST EVER. You can’t taste the black beans at all, and they have a great fudge-like texture. Overall, they were a huge hit, and a much healthier one at that! I opted for dark chocolate chips, but you can go with semi-sweet if you prefer.

You may be nervous to try them because you don’t like black beans as a side dish. Trust me….you want to try these and give them a chance. If I brought you a brownie and didn’t tell you what the ingredients were, you’d never know black beans were in it. Don’t knock them until you try them! You may just be pleasantly surprised!

Here’s the recipe so you know what all you need! Happy Baking!

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 4.50.47 PM

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

Rock Bottom is worth celebrating

Victories.

If you have ever been in one of my online accountability groups, you know that this is one topic I discuss every single group. It doesn’t matter if it is a small victory…..like choosing water over pop at dinner….or a big victory….like losing ten pounds. You need to embrace all of the little steps that help get you where you want to be. Change doesn’t happen overnight. It happens every day, little by little.

Today is the two year anniversary of a pretty large victory in my life.

Two years ago today I completed my final workout of T25 and stepped on the scale for my final weigh in. It was a moment that was not only a large victory in my life, but a moment that will always be one of the most defining moments of my life.

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about how I felt on the morning of November 1st, 2013. Somedays I am simply completing another Shaun T workout and think about how far I’ve come since the days I relied on the modifier. Somedays I am talking to a potential client who feels hopeless and like they can never reach the goals they have for themselves. Somedays I am celebrating with a current challenger about their results. As a coach, it is obvious I get to talk about the programs and the impact they can have on one’s life because helping people get results is what I do. My ability to do so and my belief in what I do is fueled by those feelings that took place two years ago today.

As human beings, it is obvious there are moments (both good and bad) that shape us as people. Moments that help us overcome and triumph, and moments that help ground us when needed. Since today is the anniversary of one of those defining moments, I wanted to take  a minute to share with you the two moments that have completely changed my life and that will forever be the catalyst for what I do.

Defining Moment #1: August 25, 2013

This was the day that Sh*t Got Real in the world of Katie. This was the day that I drove to my parents’ house, asked my mother to take my “before” photos for this silly little online group thing I had decided to do in a last ditch effort to regain control over my health and my life, and put on a bikini that I hadn’t worn in almost two years.

I was humiliated by the process. I was embarrassed and angry at myself that I had dug myself into such a deep, dark hole that putting on a bathing suit made me feel so awful. I missed the days where I could wear all of my beautiful clothes. I missed the days where I liked what I saw when I looked in the mirror. I hated feeling the way I felt.

My mother took the pictures, and I made myself smile even though I was crying on the inside. Then I drove myself home, crying the entire way, and proceeded to get drunk so I wouldn’t be as sad about how the whole picture taking process made me feel. I felt like I would never feel like myself again and could never get back to how I used to be.

How did this miserable moment end up being a moment I classify as one of my defining moments in life?

Easy.

I will never ever ever forget how I felt that day. From the moment I stepped on the scale to do my weigh in to the moment my mother took these pictures….I will ALWAYS remember how I felt.

I remember the sadness.
The embarrassment.
The anger.
The feeling of defeat.
The questioning of self worth.
The loneliness.
The shame.

I think back to that day and know that I never want to feel that way again. It is a reminder to me of my Rock Bottom.

Screen Shot 2015-10-31 at 8.12.15 PM

Defining Moment #2: November 1, 2013

This was the day that, once again, Sh*t got real in the world of Katie. I had completed the sixty day online challenge group, not missing a single workout in the T25 program. I had modified my meal plan and had incorporated a superfood packed shake into my routine to help with my nutrition. Somehow I had stuck to a promise I made to a complete stranger in the group named Theresa that I would not step on the scale a single day during the challenge. I had completely given up alcohol. And as a result of all of that, on November 1st, 2013 I stepped on a scale to realize I had lost 47. 5 pounds.

I cried like a baby. I instantly took my “after” photos and could not believe the difference.

I will never ever ever forget how I felt that day. From the moment I stepped on the scale to do my final weigh in to the moment my roommate at the time took these pictures….I will ALWAYS remember how I felt.

I remember the happiness.
The feeling of accomplishment.
The confidence I had gained.
The strength I felt.
The pride.
The rebirth of a mindset and a person.
The thought that this was only the beginning for me.

Screen Shot 2015-10-31 at 8.11.51 PM

Why is this a defining moment for me?

I think back to that day and see it as a constant reminder that I can do absolutely anything I put my mind to. I think back to that day and want EVERY SINGLE PERSON I WORK WITH TO KNOW THAT FEELING. I want every single person to someday look back at their after photos and feel the sense of the accomplishment like I do when I look at mine.

The photos I took on November 1st, 2013 serve as a badge of honor to me. They were the end of an awful time frame in my life and the beginning of the most incredible.

Side by Side Results!

Side by Side Results!

Awhile back a stumbled across a quote by J.K. Rowling that I 100% could relate to, which I have shared below.

I hit rock bottom. It absolutely sucked.

However, that rock bottom became the foundation for my life. I could never be where I am now….personally, professionally, mentally, financially…..had it not been for me hitting rock bottom.

Because of that, I will continue to think of these two defining moments every single day of my life and be thankful they both happened as and when they did.

I’m proud of my failures, and I love them just as much as my triumphs. Both have made me who I am. Both have impacted the way I live my life and the way I hope to help others. And both should serve as a reminder to you that regardless of how bad you think things are or how unhappy you may be with yourself, you ALWAYS have the ability to change.

Here’s to all of our rock bottoms and the amazing things that come from them……..

Photo Courtesy of fearlesslifequotes.com.

Photo Courtesy of fearlesslifequotes.com.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Squash the stereotype….Italians can survive without pasta!

Little Pop Quiz for Ya….

Q: What is the one food item that is the most difficult to give up when you are trying to eat healthy AND have Italian in your blood?

A: Pasta, Pasta, Pasta

Don’t get me wrong….pasta isn’t entirely bad……especially when you eat the proper portions. However, what Italian do you know that actually eats the proper portion of lasagna, spaghetti, etc? I know I struggle with it.

Until Now!!!!

I found a way to disguise vegetables as lasagna!

It was a squash kind of week!

This week I made the most amazing lasagna that allowed me to have a pretty substantial portion. Since I am now obsessed with this recipe (I think I will be making it weekly), I had to share.

                                                      Katie’s Bombdiggity Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

         (I know what you are thinking….spaghetti squash, yeah right. Be openminded. Veggies are good for you!)

What you need:

-1 cup ricotta cheese
-2 1/2 cups of Italian turkey or chicken sausage ( I use the Fit and Active brand at Aldi’s)
-1 spaghetti squash (cooked)
-2/3 cup mozzarella cheese
-1 1/2 cups homemade tomato sauce (I use a family recipe or the one in the Fixate cookbook)

To cook the squash:

-I place mine on a cookie sheet and bake for about 55 minutes at 400 degrees. I literally do nothing to the squash other than plop it on the cookie sheet.

***Sidenote….Aldi’s presently has squash on sale for about $1.29 each! Stock up!

While squash is cooking:

-Brown the sausage (make sure to remove the casing….what a fun, slimy, gross job) and spray a casserole dish.

Once you remove the squash from the oven, set it to 375 (the temp for baking the lasagna). Cut the squash in half, remove those blasted seeds, and use a fork to remove the “spaghetti”.

Then break out your inner Italian and assemble the lasagna in the casserole dish as follows:

– Spoon about 1/3 of the sauce on the bottom of the casserole dish
-Place spaghetti squash on top of sauce
-Add the sausage (make sure it is drained…no one likes that extra grease)
-Add 1/4 cup sauce, then 1/3 cup of mozzarella cheese
-Spread ricotta
-Top with remaining sauce and mozzarella

Bake for about 15 minutes at 375.

So freaking good!

That’s it! Super easy, and it is absolutely delicious! You can change this up if you want…maybe you don’t want the meat; you can go without. Pair it with a nice salad, and your Italian heart can be happy.

21 Day Fixers, one portion of this is equivalent to ONE GREEN, ONE AND A HALF RED, HALF A BLUE, and ONE THIRD OF A PURPLE.

Don’t be a squash snob…..spaghetti squash is so versatile. And with this recipe the Italian in you doesn’t have to feel guilty about lasagna!

Enjoy, my fellow health conscientious Italians!

File Oct 21, 11 12 07 PM

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,