Bye Felicia… And turning 25!

 

There are many reasons why I am so ready to say Bye Felicia to year 24. Don’t get me wrong, there were definitely some great things that happened to me along the way like getting into graduate school, moving to a new city, and learning more about myself as a person. But boy has this year had many more downs than ups, and if I can take away anything from this past year, it is that I have to always put myself first.

I am a person who dares greatly and takes pretty significant risks, often which have resulted in great reward. But what I had not experienced was much loss. I dared greatly to love with my entire heart only to be left picking up the pieces. I dared to move to a new city and live alone for the first time ever, and have found that I am much better off in the company of others. I dared to strut my stuff in a bikini in front of hundred, and for the first time experienced stage fright during a flute performance. However with my many failures, I have been highly successful at gaining weight.

If 24 has taught me anything, it is that failure is inevitable. But its how you recover, how you can bounce back from those failures that truly matters. I have learned that the heart does mend, but often times it feels as slow as molasses. I have learned that no matter what I am feeling, sadness, heartbreak, happiness, success, I cannot let my emotions dictate my eating choices. By no means have I learned to master the skills of truly dealing with specific emotions I am facing, but I am now learning to recognize how to address them in healthier ways. As a person recovering from eating disorders, and what feels like many faliures, I am choosing to dedicate year 25 entirely to myself.

I have to learn to take care of myself and accept the flaws and strengths within my soul. I have to learn that the negative things people have said to me, do not define my character. And I have to learn that my happiness is not defined by my size, shape, or the clothes I wear. This year I am daring to love myself fearlessly and put myself first. I am daring to continue to take risks, and to follow all the many adventures that have yet to come.

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Bye bye Morning Blues

Mornings can be rough.  It’s 6:00am and your alarm clock blares telling you its time to wake up and smell the roses!  You know it would be best to get up and get your day started, but instead you hit that snooze button just for a few more blissful moments in your warm and cozy bed.  Finally, after three too many hits of the snooze, you realize that you have 10 minutes to get out the door to be on time to work.  You skip breakfast, didn’t have enough time for your morning coffee, can’t find matching socks, and will have to opt to scrounge something from the vending machine at work.  You barely had enough time to get dressed and brush your teeth.

My ideal morning consists of me doing a morning meditation, followed by breakfast and coffee while scrolling through my Instagram feed, and then getting dressed and out the door.  While I typically am a chipper birdie in the morning and usually wake up before my alarm, I have noticed that I still am rushing to get everything I want done before I leave to start my day.  So I have turned a new leaf these past few weeks, and started planning ahead the night before.

Whether you like to hit the snooze button until the last possible minute, or are like me and wake with the rising sun, these four tips will help you to say bye bye to the morning blues:

  1. Pick out what you are going to wear the night before.  This saves so much time, and prevents me from ripping apart my closet to find the perfect outfit the following morning.  Not only does it make my morning so much easier, it also helps me to keep my closet and room more organized!
  2. Pack your lunch!  I love cooking, and would much rather eat the food I make then buy something that is much less healthy for me.  Let me tell you, of all the things I now do the night before, this is by far the best change I have personally made.
  3. COFFEE: Caffein is the key to my heart, and when I don’t drink coffee in the morning my day is totally thrown off.  I like my coffee to be very strong, and my favorite way to make coffee is using my pour over coffee brewer.  It makes the richest flavor of coffee, but does take longer to make.  Instead of waiting till the morning, I now prepare my coffee at night and fill my teapot with water.  Unless its the weekend I always use a to-go coffee cup (and so should you!), and right now I am loving my new Valentines Day Starbucks cup! 
  4. Sunday Meal Prep:  I find that if I designate one day in the week to cooking, it makes the rest of my week (and particularly my mornings) so much easier.  I cut veggies, freeze fresh fruit for my morning smoothies, and cook protein.  This week I took it one step further and divided all of my lunches into containers, that way I am always prepared for a great day of clean eating.

Zucchini Chicken Tacos with Sriracha Ranch Dressing

 

 

I LOVE TACO TUESDAYS! In fact, I wish it were taco Tuesday everyday and anytime I can get the chance to devour these delicious morsels, I do.  I am part Mexican, and grew up eating copious amounts of Mexican food.  I spent my summers eating too much fresh pico de gallo and guacamole, and laughing at my dad who cannot handle spice.  One summer my mom made an exceptionally spicy batch of pico de gallo, and while it didn’t seem spicy to the two of us, my dad just about keeled over from the heat.  It was hilarious to watch him as he took his first bite, and with bulging eyes yelled “Jesus Ang are you’re going to kill someone with that spice.”  Mexican cuisine will always be a staple in my diet, from my grandpa’s homemade tamales at Christmas to my mom’s enchiladas on Sundays.

Any whoo, lets get back to tacos.  I have made tacos in all varieties, and one of my favorite ways to make tacos is to add veggies.  It adds flavor, nutrition, and lots of color. This particular taco recipe I made, has flavorful chunks of chicken seasoned with cumin, red pepper flakes, and garlic, zucchini, red peppers, topped with avocado and Sriracha ranch from Trader Joe’s.  If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, then stop what you are doing and go buy their Sriracha ranch, it is the bomb dot com! If you don’t like spicy food, then I suggest using half of the Sriracha ranch mixed with sour cream or ranch on your tacos. These zucchini chicken tacos will keep your tastebuds humming and are bound to be a hit at your next Taco Tuesday gathering.

ZUCCHINI CHICKEN TACOS WITH SRIRACHA RANCH DRESSING

PREP TIME: 15 MIN                    COOK TIME: 15 MIN                    SERVES: 4 PEOPLE

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1/2 medium red onion
  • 1/2 zucchini
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1tbsp Olive oil
  • Mexican blend cheese
  • corn tortilla shells
  • Sriracha Ranch Dressing
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp of cumin

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Using a separate cutting board, cut chicken into 1 inch cubes. Place into a bowl, coat chicken with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and cumin. Set aside.
  2. Crush and thinly slice garlic, dice onion, cut zucchini into quarter sized pieces, coarsely chop cilantro.
  3. Heat pan to medium heat, add olive oil.  Once pan is heated, add onion and sauté until translucent.
  4. Add chicken and garlic to pan.  After 1 minute, flip chicken and add zucchini.
  5. Once chicken is fully cooked, add cilantro and turn off heat.
  6. For tortillas: warm in a pan or microwave.
  7. Finally assemble tacos and top off with cheese, sliced avocado, and Sriracha ranch.
  8. Enjoy!

 

 

You’re not fat, you’re beautiful

4ec3c3f8aaf76a287e777ab5ee783189Hello Beauties!

In a world that is obsessed with being thin and dieting, it is inevitable that throughout our lives many of us will lose weight, gain it back, and maybe lose again.  The past few months for me, have been a bit of a challenge as I moved to a new city yet again, and am now back in school full time.  And of course, as my location, job, love life, and relationships began to change, so too did my body.

Whether I am fat, skinny, or anything in between, I tend to not let the way my body looks, affect the way I feel.  However, a few weeks ago I was in a funk and I told one of my friends, “I feel so fat right now.” She responded, “Kat, you’re not fat, you’re beautiful.”  While I know this friend meant no harm by her comment, I thought to myself I know I am beautiful, but I also know that by no means am I a skinny woman.  

Today I wanted to take the time to explain that you can be both fat AND beautiful.  

Who says being fat isn’t beautiful? THE MEDIA.  The media is driven to convince us that being bigger or fat is not acceptable and is a danger to our lives.  The media is the biggest source of fat shaming, and often tells us that fat people are lazy, don’t eat well, are not healthy, are too big to get off the couch, and would never be caught at the gym.  But let me tell you, I eat well, am in perfect health, am extremely hard working, and as you all know I love to shake my booty at ZUMBA any chance I get.

I know what you are all thinking: “But I was told that I should have a perfect skin complexion, no cellulite, naturally sun kissed skin, long legs like Taylor Swift, and the signature Kardashian booty.”  Ladies, it is important to remember that the images we see in the media are all PHOTOSHOPPED.  Women who appear in the media seem to have flawless skin and eternal beauty, but they too have imperfections just like us.  And while they are naturally beautiful women, they look very different without all of the photoshopping and professionals that work tirelessly to make them look flawless.   Unless you have a professional makeup artist that does your makeup every day, a stylist who dresses you in the most flattering clothes, professional photographers, and a team that alters your photos, then I don’t think its fare for you to compare yourself to an ideal of beauty that doesn’t exist without an expensive glam team.

As a woman who is both beautiful and yes fat, I want to challenge other women to stop feeling as if being fat, plus size, curvy, or what have you, is not acceptable, because you all are beautiful in your own skin.  Each woman is unique in her own way, and beauty should not be defined by a woman’s size or what the media deems to be the current it-look.  Women who are fat, skinny, and anything in-between are all beautiful, and its about time that we start recognizing that size has nothing to do with beauty.

For the most part my weight has not held me back from doing the things I am passionate about in life.  From performing on stage, to flying on airplanes, to wearing bikinis on the beach, to riding donkeys up the Atlas mountains, to dating and loving fearlessly, I refuse to let the size of my body hinder me from reaching my full potential.  And ladies, neither should you. My hope for you all in 2016 is that you stop obsessing over your desire to look a certain way, and start embracing yourself just as you are: unique and gorgeous.  I promise that if you take a leap of faith and stop obsessing over what the media has told you is beautiful, and start realizing that you are gorgeous just the way you are, you will live a happier, more fulfilled life.

Curly Hair Products

Hello Beauties!

Today I decided to take a leap of faith, and posted my first video about the products that  used to style my hair today.  I am beyond excited for what this year has to bring, and am making it a priority to write and post more frequently.  Keep an eye out for both videos and posts about my hair, my curves, and how to love yourself in the skin you are in.  I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday, and remember that your perfect imperfection is what makes you flawless.  Catch ya on the flip side beauties!

The Never Ending Diet

These past few weeks have been a serious struggle for me, and I keep grappling with the same questions: Is it possible to lose weight and be happy without constantly putting yourself on a diet? 

Everyday I experience the same internal conflict.  Should I eat that, will it help me in my goal towards happiness?  Why is it that I associate my eternal happiness with being a certain weight?  Why can’t I be proud of how far I have come?  That I have lost 86 pounds thus far?

I am constantly striving for perfection in everything I do, and my most challenging roller coaster towards perfection is attempting to make every food choice a perfect one.  When I fall from perfection, I fall hard, and punish myself for again failing to do everything right.  Often I find it difficult to accept myself as I am, and I have found it overwhelming to spend every waking moment thinking about food.  Should I eat that birthday cake flavored ice cream, or opt for yet another chocolate flavored protein shake?  Why can’t I have my cake and eat it too?  I live my life in extremes.  I can spend days, even weeks eating pristinely and with such perfection that people think I have it all figured out.  I calculate my food choices, and have restrictions of what I can and cannot eat.  But these restrictions are followed by real life struggles with over eating and eventually it becomes too difficult to refrain from listening to the small whispers that tell me to indulge.

I can fall apart at an overwhelmingly rapid rate, and I again turn to food to mask the emotional conflicts in my life.  StressUnhappiness..AnxietyFear of the FutureFear of Love.. All of these emotions and thoughts trigger a deep desire that I have to use food as my emotional fix.  Rather than acknowledging that specific emotion or feeling, I choose to ignore it and replace that feeling with something delectable.  So yet again, I turn to food and over eating for comfort, and I find myself feeling less than comforted.  These moments of weakness and struggle, leave me feeling defeated and disappointed in myself for choosing food instead of myself.

When will the day come that I don’t battle with choosing to restrict what I eat or alternatively, over eat?  I want to be able to truly enjoy food without making certain foods off limits, and stop turning to food when I feel that I can’t handle the unexpected turns that life throws my way.  For now I will continue to take each day one day at a time, and learn to listen to my body and my feelings.  My life, and my choices may not always be perfect, but instead of ignoring the complexity of difficult experiences, I choose to embrace them, and live for the wonderful moments that are intermittent with the not so great times.  I am me, and I am perfectly imperfect.

120 Percent

Recently I attended a summit at Beloit College, and the overarching theme I walked away with is learning to always give 120 percent.  What does it mean to give 120 percent, even in the hardest of times?  Often when we struggle with conflict, or grapple with differences, it seems to be the most difficult to give your all and continually bring 120 percent to the table.  But in times of struggle and conflict, it is imperative that we all continually put our best foot forward and give 120 percent.  Even though it is often easiest to walk away from the situation, we must learn to give 120 percent and continue working towards a better cause.  We must learn to give 120 percent in our jobs, to our friends and family, and above all to ourselves.

Magnificent I have found that the first thing that I stop giving 120 percent to, when I am struggling, is myself.  Last week, I stopped giving 120 percent to myself, and could tell that the person who it was affecting the most was me.  When you don’t give 120 percent to yourself, it becomes next to impossible to do it in all other aspects of life.  Self care, and appreciation of yourself is most important.  As leaders, citizens, and friends, in order to lead a life of purpose and be consciously in the moment, it is critical that we remember that as individuals we are not perfect, and must take care of ourselves first.  It may feel selfish, but you cannot lose yourself, or forget that you above all are the most important, and your well-being matters.  You cannot give 120 percent to other aspects of your life, if you do not realize that you must give it to yourself first.  Personally, for me, I give myself 120 percent by eating a well balanced diet, journalling, and going to Zumba!  When I neglect to do these things that help me to stay centered and positive, it makes everything else in my life operate well below what I want.

This week, I have found my motivation to continuing putting my best foot forward and give 120 percent.  And I encourage you to make every day a magnificent day, and put in your 120 percent, because the benefits you will reap when you take care of yourself are endless.

What Pageantry Taught Me

Hello my lovelies!

It has been quite some time since I have last written, but boy do I have many updates for you all.  I began the journey to participating in the Miss Beloit Pageant over a year ago, and it taught me more about myself than I ever imagined.

MB-509First and foremost, many people believe that being in the pageant world, means that you must be a size 0 and extremely beautiful, but from my experience it is quite the opposite.  While the media does portray pageant women to be thin and beautiful, I came to find a side of pageantry that is much more meaningful and important.  I found that people cared more about my intellect and talent, than my size and looks.  As a curvy gal, this experience allowed me to flourish and embrace my body, mind, and soul on a level deeper than I had ever reached.  Being apart of the Miss Beloit Pageant, taught me to love myself, and appreciate that although I am not perfect, I can alwMB-432ays strive to be the best version of myself.

Although I didn’t walk away with the crown, I walked away with a sense of pride in myself.  I am proud of who I am, all I have accomplished, and all that has yet to come.  The night of the pageant, was humbling, and I found that so many young girls and women found my confidence (in my not so size 0 body) to be inspirational.  I have lived an incredibMB-394le life, and I am glad that I was given this opportunity to help other young women see beyond the looks and perceived notions of who should be in a pageant.  I am young, confident, and curvy, and yes I walked across a stage in front of hundreds of people in my two piece swimsuit.  To all the young women out their who think that if they are a specific size they will be happier, this is just not true.  You must be happy with who you are, and love yourself for all the perfectly imperfectness that is you!     MB-510

The Great Migration

Every year fish migrate thousands of miles back to their place of birth.  Like the many fish in the sea who travel back to their home, I too have done the same.  I recently made the move back to the land of cheese, beer and great football.  I could not be happier with the decisions I have made with my new career and moving back to my hometown.

After graduating from high school, I sought out to spread my wings and fly away.  I moved to another state where I spent four years becoming the passionate and fierce person that I am today, and learned that I am capable of more than I ever dreamed.   The time I spent at “camp Deni-Doo” will always remain some of the most memorable times in my life, and I was able to travel and experience different cultures around the world.  I left college with a new perspective on the things I wanted out of life, and took ahold of an opportunity to work in Texas.

The time I spent in Texas was an eye-opening experience, filled with many challenges and great success.  The year I spent in Texas was a roller coaster of emotions, crazy nights, and life changing opportunities.  I can’t believe how fast this year has flown by, and that my time spent in Texas has finally come full circle.

Living and working in Texas has had many ups and downs.  I have been able to experience Texas for what it truly is and I must say, there is no place like Texas.  This past year I worked  to help get 9th graders back on track in English, and let me tell y’all I am going to miss hearing them say “Miss you rachet”.  These kids have forever changed me in more ways than I can describe, and I know that they will always remain close to my heart.

I am so proud of how much my students have grown this year, and am excited that I will be able to return back and visit for many years to come!

 

 

P.S. Now that I am finally getting settled into my new life, be on the lookout for more updates on my life, Paleo recipes, and road to becoming a pageant girl!

 

DIY Whitening Toothpaste | SunKissAlba

SunKissAlba provides a great organic teeth whitening strategy!

SunKissAlba

Hi Sunshines!

Here is a simple yet very effective way to whiten and clean your teeth daily, without the usual unnecessary toxic/chemical ingredients found in many store bought toothpaste. These are simple ingredients you can fully understand and use safely daily without breaking your wallet. This toothpaste has a minty fresh feeling due to the peppermint essential oil, stain removing power due to baking soda, and a gentle cleanse to lift toxins and tooth buildup with coconut oil. All of these ingredients combined make the best Whitening Toothpaste without harmful ingredients.

DIY Toothpaste1{ WHAT YOU WILL NEED }

1 Small glass storage jar with lid (BPA Free)

Coconut Oil (Organic, Un-refined, Coled Pressed) I use Dr. Bronners or Nutiva only!

Baking Soda (Pure) Bob’s Red Mill brand

Organic Peppermint Essential Oil – Aura Casia brand

Stevia “Optional” (Raw Organic powder or Liquid form) Available at http://www.Live-Live.com

DIY Toothpaste 3DIY Toothpaste 4DIY Toothpaste 5DIY Toothpaste 6DIY Toothpaste 7DIY Toothpaste 8DIY Toothpaste 2{ INFO }

I always…

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