Thursday, July 10, 2014

Follow Your Heart

Aloha!
I'm back and soooo excited to update you guys on my travels!  I took a brief adventure hiatus….journaling along the way of course =] & am now stoked to share my wonderful experiences with all of you!

Rewind to New Years Eve: I made the most thrilling & totally terrifying decision in a long while…to take a total leap of faith and buy a one way ticket to Hawaii.  After a few years of pursuing my career in TV hosting/journalism, there was something missing and I needed to make a serious change up.  I absolutely love traveling and thought the best way to gain experience in my field, fulfill my love of learning new cultures & simply trusting myself was to pack my bags and head to Oahu.  Why Hawaii you might ask?  I had visited a friend a little over a year prior and fell in love with the beauty, traditions and people I met along the way.  I knew at some point I just had to go back.

Once I decided to really make the move… I had no idea for how long or how difficult it would be to find work.  Of course I also had to break the news to my parents… "Hey guys, I'm going back to Hawaii….in three weeks."  "Wait.What.How long?"  "I'm not sure…it just feels like the right thing for right now…maybe a month…6 months…a year.. forever…" I literally had no idea.  I was totally for the first time doing what felt right in my heart and felt a sense of freedom to not have a detailed plan.  I'd be lying if I said I didn't cry a few times before I left when I thought about how crazy this decision was.
Once arriving at Honolulu Airport, my initial feeling was holy shit what did I just do….followed by this is going to be an experience I will remember for a lifetime.  At that moment, I knew everything would be just fine!

I was so fortunate to have a few good friends from college out there with me who I stayed with throughout my travels.  My good friend China, who I visited on my first trip made my transition so smooth letting me stay with her family and adjust to island life while finding work.  A local family I had the pleasure of meeting and surfing with on my first trip opened their home to me as well.  Hiriata introduced me to many of her friends on the island and really made me feel at home.  I will forever appreciate her hospitality and kindness.  Mahalo.

Once I landed a waitressing job, I moved to the West side, found a roommate and discovered the bus system….let me just say I will never in my life take a car for granted…ever!  Walking miles down a mountain and more importantly back up with groceries & running across a highway to get to work….is some truly humbling shit.  My mom would laugh every time I called home and ask how my sitcom of a life was going.

After getting settled and purchasing a gopro I was able to film snorkeling in Hanauma Bay, hiking Dead Mans Cat Walk, a shark dive with Galapagos & Sandbar sharks 4 miles out and goofy, fun times with friends. The absolute best part was shooting a remarkable interview with artist Tim Nguyen, whose paintings of the Hawaiian people truly capture the exquisite island culture and customs.  His passion for art is so contagious and inspiring.  It was truly an honor to sit with him and listen to his stories while viewing his artwork.

The Hawaiian Islands are without a doubt one of the most beautiful places in the world, with a rich culture, delicious cuisine & endless outdoor adventures.  The list of reasons to stay was quite long but I realized there would always be one very important thing missing… my family.  While looking at a sunset one night I realized that despite how much I appreciated the absolutely astonishing views…it just didn't mean as much without my loved ones close by.  I knew in my heart that I belonged closer to them & it was time to hit the road.

Once I made the decision to head back to the mainland, I felt content with the amount of time I spent there, the people I had met, the exploring and more importantly the personal and career growth I had made.  I am happy to say I hit a few major goals and left a few to tackle on my next trip.  I have come to realize that it's impossible to fail at following your heart.  Travel, change your mind, move a handful of times, fall in love, switch careers ... whatever your heart desires.  The growth and discovery you make with each step on your journey is what enables you to discover your passion, meaning in life and ultimately find true happiness <3

 xoxo Kat

Sunday, January 12, 2014

New Year, New Meaning, New You!

Hey Everyone!
I hope you all had a Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday Season and amazing start to your New Year!  The Holiday season is perfect for reminding us what is truly important in life.  While it's easy to get caught up in the hectic craziness of shopping, cooking and planning, it's important that we remember to take a step back and recognize what this season is all about.  The pure love and joy that we share with family and friends is what we really should be celebrating and appreciating.  If only there were more commercials to remind us of that instead of the "Last Minute Sales" or "Doorbuster Deals."  I hope at some point you were able to relax and enjoy great conversation with older relatives, learn a new family
recipe or watch the excitement of a little cousin opening presents.  These are the memories that stay with us for a lifetime and make the holiday season exactly what it should be.


As we go forward in the New Year, many of us have a renewed hope in achieving our dreams and goals.  Whether they be fitness, career, health or personal, I challenge you to truly see them through.  As the year progresses and obstacles present themselves, focus on why you started, how much time and effort you have dedicated and how amazing you will feel at the finish line.  I know that each and every one of you are capable of achieving whatever it is you set your mind to.  Surround yourself with positive, encouraging people, push the limit and be proud of how far you have come and how far you will go!

The possibilities are endless!

Happy New Year!


Kat<3

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Warm Filling Meals on a Chilly Autumn Day

Hey Everyone!
It seems the temperature has officially dropped forcing me to finally put my flip flops away & pull out my Uggs for another chilly season.  Although I'm not a huge fan of the cold weather, I do love seeing the leaves change colors, the abundance of fresh produce at local organic farms and new hot recipes to indulge in!  Here are two great recipes I absolutely love on a chilly day that are sure to warm you right up!

Basil Pesto Pasta:
Ingredients- 1 1/2 cups of fresh basil, 1 lb. of brown rice/quinoa pasta, three small zucchini, 4 cloves of garlic, 1/2 onion, 3 tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, filtered water, 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes,  1/2 cup goat cheese, salt & pepper.

Chop & saute zucchinni, onion, garlic, tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil until tender.  In a separate pot, boil water and cook pasta (7-9 minutes once boiling).  In a food processor/blender, add fresh basil, 1/4 cup of water, 1/4 cup olive oil and a dash of ground black pepper and salt & blend until smooth and creamy.  Once the pasta is cooked, drain and add to vegetables.  Pour basil pesto over top, add goat cheese and mix well.  Heat on Medium/Low for 10 minutes and Enjoy!





















Sweet Raisin & Apple Acorn Squash:
Ingredients- 1 cored apple, 1 acorn squash (halved & seeded), 2 tbs butter, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon & 1/2 cup raisins.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut squash in half and throw away seeds.  Fill baking pan with 1/4 in. water and place squash cut side down.  Bake for 30 min.  While the squash is baking, melt butter over medium heat & add in cubed apple for 15 min.  Stir in raisins, brown sugar and cinnamon and cook for another 10-15 min.  Lastly, drain water from pan and fill squash with mixture.  Bake for 15 minutes and  Enjoy!


I hope these delicious meals warm your soul, fill your belly & satisfy your craving for fresh wholesome goodness!  

Bon Appetit!
 Kat<3

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fall Into a Crisp Fresh Start

Hey Everyone!
I know I know I have totally been MIA this Summer but for good reason....I've been enjoying the beautiful weather and making the most of the great outdoors!  I figured you all were obviously doing the same & wouldn't miss me too much...but now that we've hit Fall.. (my absolute favorite season) I want to step things up and bring you tons of helpful info, advice & fun ideas that I discovered throughout the Summer months.  So lets get started!

Inner Health:

    • I've been following many health blogs, articles and various books by nutritionist and dietitians and ended up zoning into one imparticular.  She is a well known nutritionist who is not only highly educated but has knowledge beyond the classroom which I believe far outweighs anything you can learn from a textbook.  She has traveled the world, studying numerous diverse cultures and their individual ways of practicing medicine, cleansing, proper digestion and relaxation/meditation.  
    • Her name is Kimberly Snyder, author of The Beauty Detox Solution and Beauty Detox Foods.  Her approach to inner health and beauty is honest, straightforward and most importantly realistic.  Rather than jump into a quick fix, which we all know sends us back to our previous uncomfortable weight in a matter of weeks, Kimberly sets up a long term lifestyle change with levels to move from at our own pace.  While she does highly suggest a non animal product diet she does not push a vegan lifestyle yet rather gives alternatives and suggestions for choosing which animal products are best for our digestive system and how often to eat them.  I highly recommend reading her books and checking out her blog  (http://www.kimberlysnyder.net) for unique recipes, practical transitioning tips and a wealth of nutritional knowledge.   
Fit for Fall:
    • So did yal get your beach bodies this Summer or what?!?  I can honestly say the beautiful weather certainly kept me outdoors and exercising but Summertime always undoubtedly includes lots of BBQ'S, beer, frozen drinks with the girls and eating out.  I am all for living it up, especially while the weather is nice but I must say now that Fall has arrived it's time to kick fitness into high gear and hold onto the work we've been putting in for the past few months!  
    • To me, Fall always feels like the beginning of a new year....the crisp fresh air, back to school, football season and perfect weather conditions to sweat it out in the great outdoors... without overheating in five minutes.  While you all know I love my Insanity workouts by Shaun T (everyone should definitely invest in this workout especially if you travel!) I absolutely love exercising outside too.  Since there are literally zero excuses, put on your sneakers grab a water bottle and check out these workouts everyone can do!
      1. Yoga/Meditation: Yoga is one of if not the best workout for our body and soul.  It's easy to get caught up helping others and letting ourselves go from time to time.  Give your body and soul the care it needs by checking out a local yoga studio and choosing a class that fits your needs. Take time each day or a few times a week to truly relax while strengthening your core and improving your breathing and balance.  Namaste!
      2. Walk/Jog/Run:  Cardio is one of the best ways to build endurance and core strength.  Many communities have reservoirs, trails, parks and tracks.  What could be better than a little brisk HIIT cardio while soaking up some Vitamin D! =]
      3. Strength Training:  Many of us have been told cardio is the best exercise for losing weight.  While this is not entirely false and cardio is a vital form of fitness, weight lifting is also equally important in building a balanced core and aiding in weight loss.      It is imperative for men & women to learn a weight training program for their body type while being sure to account for your individual goals and any prevalent health conditions.
Time to Eat:
    • The best part about this crisp, fresh beautiful weather is the abundance of local Organic Farmer's Markets!  =]  After working your butts off I know you definitely do not want to ruin that hard work by shoving processed food in your mouth right?  No need to worry! Local markets are often more affordable than produce at the grocery store and you can pick it straight off the vine yourself!  I usually make a list of ingredients I need for two or three meals and only buy those items as fresh produce does not have a long shelf life and needs to be cooked and eaten within days.
    • #1 most important thing to keep in mind if you miss the Farmer's Market and have to resort to the grocery store... make a list of your favorite fruits and vegetables and find out what season they fall under so that you are purchasing the freshest locally grown produce available.
    • Last but certainly not least: try to purchase a few organic items if your budget allows.  The most important produce to buy organic are the ones that do not have an outer layer.  Example: lettuce, celery, apples, tomatoes.  Anything with a layer or skin being peeled off can fall into the non-organic pile to help manage your budget while still eating a healthy cleansing diet!
I hope these simple tips and ideas are helpful to you guys and can't wait to hear how they work for each of you!  Be sure to comment and keep me posted on what works for you as well as your own suggestions.  Be sure to welcome and enjoy each day and keep a positive outlook as you continue your journey towards a healthy, beautiful successful life!


Lots of Love,
Kat<3


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Indulge Naturally: Smoothies That Cleanse, Detoxify & Taste Delicious!

Hey Guys!
I hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful weather outdoors and feeling refreshed, happy and ready for the Summer!  Summertime means one thing when it comes to snacks: cool, delicious and often processed =0/  I know, we all look forward to stopping for gelati's at Rita's, slurpee's at 7/11, milkshakes at WaWa and banana split sundae's at Dairy Queen after a fun hot day in the sun.  It's summer....we're supposed to kick back, relax and indulge in what we love....right?  The answer is without a doubt YES...with a slight twist!

Kimberly Snyder, nutritionist & author of The Beauty Detox Solutions & The Beauty Detox Foods has put together amazing recipes for smoothies you will love!  I have been sampling her various recipes and have chosen two for my list below.  Kim's recipes are #1 and #2 and can be found at http://kimberlysnyder.net  The third recipe is a blend of fruit and coconut water that I found to mix really well together for a sweet & satisfying snack!  This Summer, feel free to indulge daily in these simple, affordable, all natural and delicious smoothies that will not only leave you feeling full without the bloat but actually be incredibly healthy for you inside and out!  Enjoy! =0)

1. Glowing Green Smoothie:

  • 1-2 cups of romaine/spinach mixture
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1/2 an apple
  • 1/2 a pear
  • 1 small banana or 1/2 large banana
  • juice of 1/2 lemon 
  • 1 cup of water
Add water and lettuce to blender and blend to form a liquid consistancy 
Blend in apple, pear and celery
Lastly, blend banana and lemon juice
(Drink every morning to start your day with a boost of energy & natural cleanse!)

2. Vanilla Milkshake

  • 2 cups of vanilla unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons of Chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
Blend all ingredients until smooth
(Feel free to add hemp protein powder and 1/2 banana for a great post workout meal)
(If chocolate is what you're craving... look for chocolate unsweetened almond milk and a chocolate hemp protein)

3. Sweet Summer Fruit Smoothie:

  • 1/2 cup mango
  • 1/2 cup pineapple
  • 1/2 cup dragon fruit (pitaya)
  • 3 ice cubes
  • 1/2 cup coconut water
Blend until smooth and garnish with a few mint leaves



Spread the Aloha,
Kat<3




Friday, April 12, 2013

Springtime: Full Cleanse Season- Mind, Body & Lifestyle Revamp!

Hey Everyone!
Happy Springtime!  Beautiful flip flop weather has finally arrived here on the East Coast!

It's time to kick things up a notch and revamp your routine.  If you've been following my posts I'm sure you've been doing an awesome job throughout the winter months staying organized, fit and on top of your career search game but after a long chilly season, it's healthy and important to change things up a bit.  Mentally we need new changes to keep us interested and focused on our goals.  Springtime is the perfect time to make those adjustments!  Here are a few tips to get you excited for the new season and motivated to keep grinding!


  • Open your windows, let in the sunshine and empty your closet of clothes & shoes you haven't wore in the last 6 months.  Unless they're for special occasions you aren't going to miss them.... & I bet a few of you will be surprised to find things you didn't even know you had!  Donate to a local charity for those in need.  Giving back to the community is perfect no matter what time of the year!
  • Treat yourself for the hard work you've put in all winter!  Refill the empty space in your closet with some new Spring/Summer outfits!  =0)
  • Roll out the mop and duster and blast your favorite music.  A day spent cleaning your house/apartment from head to toe may not seem so fun but the sense of accomplishment once you are finished will alleviate more stress than you think.  Mopping while jamming out to your favorite playlist can turn chores into a fun, stress relieving activity.
  • Add some color to your room to enhance a bright, positive & happy mood.  Buy some fresh flowers or a few decorative pillows.  You will be amazed with the mood satisfying results!
  • Update your resume, web page, demo reel and any other documents important to your job profile.  I'm sure you've gained some experience since the Fall even if it was just a training class or internship.  These are all awesome additions that can help land your next job!
  • Clean out your fridge and pantry!  Toss the processed food and restock with fresh produce and whole grains!  Now that the warmer weather is well on it's way there's no excuse to avoid a healthy diet!  Local farmer's markets and grocery stores have seasonal vegetables, fruits and whole grains for more affordable prices.  If you can buy organic that's even better!  Try to incorporate these three food groups into your meals each day for a natural energy boost and uplifting mood!
  • Soak up that Vitamin D!  Take your workout routine to the Great Outdoors!  Go for an early morning/after dinner walk or a bike ride with family & friends.  There is nothing more refreshing and satisfying than having fun in the sun!
I hope you are all as excited as I am for Spring and are looking forward to starting the total cleanse!  This refreshing revamp will have you energized and feeling absolutely amazing!  So start shedding the stress and mundane routine...let in the sunshine & get ready for your fresh new look!



Love Always,
Kat 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

What's Cookin Good Lookin ?!?

Hey Guys!
Now that everyone has had a decent amount of time to organize, relax and get into a healthy routine, you might need a few ideas to change up your weekly meals!  Here are a few delicious, healthy & quick homemade meal ideas for the busy 20 Something working hard to stay fit!
  • Spicy Quinoa, Veggie & Bean Dish:  1 box of quinoa, 1 can of corn, 1 large can of crushed tomatos (low sodium), 1 small can of tomato sauce (low sodium) [Tuttorosso or Hunts], 1 can of kidney beans, 1 can of black beans, 1 bell pepper, 1/2 red onion, 6 garlic cloves, extra virgin olive oil, 1 Tbs Sriracha, 1 1/2 tsp each of : black pepper, cumin, chili powder, paprika, oregano, & crushed red pepper flakes. (Whole grain pita: optional) 
Cook quinoa & corn separately and set aside. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil in a large pot and turn heat on medium/high.  Add both cans of tomato sauce plus 1 cup of water and let heat.  Add in cooked quinoa & corn.  Rinse and drain beans and add to the mix.  Dice and sautee pepper, onion and garlic until tender and add to pot.  Add hot sauce and spices. Cover & let simmer on Medium/Low heat for 35-45 minutes.  (Add extra water if neccessary.)


  • Grilled Salmon over Romaine: 1 piece of fresh wild salmon. Fresh romaine, plum tomatos, black pepper, red pepper flakes, extra virgin olive oil, & lemon.
Rinse and dry salmon & place on a sheet of foil.  Drizzle lightly with extra virgin olive oil, juice of 1 lemon, crushed black pepper & red pepper flakes.  Fold the foil like a tent around the Salmon and place on heated grill (Medium/High Direct heat for approx. 12 minutes)  Switch to Indirect heat for final 3-5 minutes depending on fillet size.  Rinse lettuce and top with sliced plum tomatos.  Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil, juice of half a lemon & crushed black pepper.  Place Salmon on top & Enjoy!


  • Chicken Rollatini with Spinach alla Parmigiana: 8 thin chicken breasts, 1/2 Cup whole wheat Italian breadcrumbs, 1/4 Cup of grated Parmesan cheese (divided), 6 Tablespoons of Egg Whites, 5 ounces of frozen or fresh spinach, 6 Tablespoons of part skim ricotta cheese, 6 Ounces of part skim mozzarella cheese, extra virgin olive oil non stick spray, 1 1/2 cups of your favorite low sodium marinara sauce (try and make it homemade!) & lastly ground black pepper to taste.
Wash & dry cutlets & season with pepper.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees & spray baking dish with non stick spray.  Combine breadcrumbs and half of the grated parmesan cheese in one bowl and 1/4 cup of egg whites in another.  Cook spinach on stove or microwave with some water until wilted then squeeze dry.  Combine spinach, 2 ounces of mozzarella, remaining grated parmesan, 2 tablespoons of egg whites and 6 tablespoons of ricotta cheese & mix together.  Dip chicken in egg whites, then breadcrumbs and lay in baking dish.  Scoop 2 tablespoons of spinach/cheese mixture and place in center of chicken cutlet.  Roll loosely keeping the seam side down.  Lightly spray top of chicken breast with nonstick spray and bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.  Remove from oven, top with already hot marinara sauce and remaining mozzarella cheese.  Bake for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted!  Enjoy!


  • Black Bean Burger, Fresh Homemade Guacamole & Kale ChipsChips: 2 Cups of Kale, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, & black pepper.  Burgers (4):  1 can of black beans, 1/2 green bell pepper, 1/2 onion, 3 cloves of garlic, 1 egg, 1 Tablespoon of chili powder, 1 Tablespoon of cumin, 1 1/2 teaspoons of Sriracha &1/2 Cup whole wheat bread crumbs.  [Whole wheat/whole grain burger buns optional].  Guacamole: 1 avocado, 1/2 tomato, 1/2 lime, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 teaspoon of chili powder, 1 teaspoon of paprika, 1 teaspoon of cumin, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.
Rinse and dry kale and chop into small bite size pieces.  Place in plastic bag and drizzle lightly with extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper and shake!  Place on a baking sheet and bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes (until crispy).  Next, mash one avocado with diced tomato and finely chopped garlic and onion.  Add in chili powder, cumin, pepper, salt, paprika and lime juice.  Mash until all ingrediants are well combined.  Set aside.  Lastly, rinse & drain black beans.  Mash until thick.  Finely chop bell pepper, onion, & garlic in food processor or blender.  Combine Sriracha, egg, chili powder & cumin in a bowl and mix.  Stir egg/spice mixture into black beans & add bread crumbs.  Mash with hands and form 4-5 burger patties.  Lightly spray foil with nonstick spray and place burger on top.  Lay foil on grill and grill on each side for 8 minutes over high indirect heat.  Place on bun with a slice of tomato & top with a scoop of guacamole!  Grab some of your Kale chips & Enjoy!



These simple, delicious & healthy meals are great for dinner during the week & you'll have plenty of leftovers to enjoy for lunch at work!  Bon Appetit!
<3 Kat