Gift Guide: For the Foodie

Kitchen Gadgets & Tools

Spiralizer – $26.99

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This is a wish list item for me, but it has AMAZING reviews! I buy pre-spiralized zucchini noodles right now, and I could have bought 10 of these by now based on how much money I’ve wasted doing that. Based on every review I’ve read, this is the best buy for your money. It’s easy to use, and it looks extremely simple!

Cookie Sheet – $7.49
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I got this cookie sheet on sale at Target on a whim and it’s the best $7 I’ve ever spent. I use cookie sheets for roasting large amounts of vegetables each week, among tons of other things, but this thing is the EASIEST cookie sheet to clean, ever. Nothing sticks to it which is perfect for me because half the time I forget to spray it. It’s also beautiful to look at. Even if you don’t think you need it, you do. Go ahead and buy two while you’re at it.

Muffin Tin – $8.49

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This is the pan I make all my mini muffins/pancake bites in! I love this thing so much. It’s super non stick, it’s great quality, and hello, you can’t beat $8.49!

Ninja Blender – $91.99

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I have yet to pull the trigger on the Vitamix so for now, this is what I use! I really do love my blender and part of the reason I haven’t splurged on a Vitamix yet is because I’ve had no problems with my Ninja. It does everything I need it to and more. It’s held up great for two years now, being used at least three times a week. It’s easy to clean, and it’s simple to use. There aren’t a ton of weird functions, just the basics, but that’s what I love about it! What more can you ask for!?

Crock Pot – $29.99

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Not one week goes by where I don’t use my crockpot. I whip this baby out every Sunday for one recipe or another. Crock pot chicken, white chicken chili, etc. It’s a cheap crock pot, but the quality is amazing. I’ve had no problems with mine whatsoever!

Skinnytaste Book – $19.99

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This is my all. time. fave. cookbook! I love Skinnytaste and this cookbook has never failed me. There are SO many great recipes and they’re recipes that anyone can make. I’m not a chef by any means and all of the recipes have been so simple, and SO delicious. I highly recommend this as a gift for recent college grads/newlyweds!

Cookie Dough Scoop – $12.99

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I truly don’t use this scoop for cookie dough all that often, however it’s my short cut for energy bites/balls! Instead of rolling my bites into perfect balls, I just scoop and go. This can obviously be used for cookie dough too, this is just what I use it for most often! I love the Kitchen Aid brand and mine has held up extremely well!

Kitchen Aid – $242.00
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When I first got my mixer as a gift, I didn’t think I’d use it all that often. I was so wrong. I use this thing multiple times a week. Baking is kind of my thing, so that’s what I use it for most often, but with all the different attachments, it has so many more uses than just for baking! This is also a great price, so if it’s something you’re in the market for, jump on it!

Skillet – $10.99

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I use this little skillet daily! It’s perfect for making eggs, cooking small amounts of meat, and most importantly, the @RachaelsGoodEats skillet cookie! It’s uber cheap and worth every penny.

Keurig – $67.98

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I use my Keurig every single day, and I’d say it’s pretty much a no brainer for any coffee drinker! It’s quick, it’s easy, and K-Cups are sold just about everywhere you go! This is the single cup version and unless you’re brewing for an army, this is the way to go! It’s the cheapest option and it gets the job done without taking up too much counter space. Highly recommend, and mine has lasted for years!

Milk Frother – $10

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This tool is a total non-necessity, but for $10, it totally makes my Saturday mornings. It’s super simple to use, all you have to do is fill a mug with 1/4 cup of milk, put this frother in, turn it on and froth for about ten seconds, and then add your coffee. I also love this because it helps dissolve my collagen when I put it in my coffee! And it just makes your coffee look fancy, who doesn’t love that?!

The Goods

PS Snacks – 3 tubs for $32.00

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This product is probably my most asked about product on Instagram. And it’s pretty obvious as to why that is. It’s healthy cookie dough and I could eat dangerous amounts of it. I tell everyone I know about this cookie dough because it truly is so good. If you need something to satisfy your sweet tooth at night, this is the perfect fix! It’s so worth the price! Use “kalekouture” at checkout to get free shipping!

Perfect Bars – 8 for $24

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My favorite bars of all time, ever. These things are worth their weight in gold and are another product I tell everyone about. I could eat six a day and that is not an exaggeration. The ingredient list is as clean as it gets, and the flavor is truly out of this world. I have not had one flavor I didn’t love. If there’s a foodie in your life, get them a box of these and you will 100% be their favorite person for the year. Totally worth the price and then some!

Collagen – $34

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Collagen is what I use in my coffee EVERY single day. It contains 7 grams of protein and it’s tasteless so it’s the perfect way to start your day with a little extra protein! It’s also worked WONDERS on my hair, skin, and nails! Think of it as Biotin on steroids. You can use “kalekouture” for 20% off your purchase making this only $34!

Eating Evolved Coconut Butter Cups – $2.99 for 2 cups

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Another insanely good product to kick your late night sweet tooth, or really just for any time of day for that matter, coconut butter cups. The ingredient list is squeaky clean so it’s a treat you can feel 100% good about! Put some PS Snacks cookie dough on top and you’ve got yourself a match made in heaven!

RX Bar – 12 pack for $22 (CHEAP!)

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If you’ve watched my story ever in your life you know my obsession with RX Bars. I have one of these every single day and there is not one flavor I don’t love, so you can’t go wrong with any of them! If you like the chocolate sea salt, Amazon has them for a great price, but you can get these just about anywhere now!

Stevia Drops – $15

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I feel like these drops are a product not many people know about, but I put these in so many different things! They’re a great way to sweeten greek yogurt, you can use them for baking, and I also put a couple drops in my coffee every morning! Don’t let the price scare you. One little bottle will take me a year to go through. You only need 2-3 drops for anything you use them in! They’re so versatile and you’ll use them more than you think! Perfect little stocking stuffer!

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Gift Guide: For the Fitness Lover

I’m so excited about this post because a) I’ve worked extremely hard on it, and b) all of these products are items that are items I own and use ALL the time/are items on my own wish list! If there’s a fitness fanatic in your life, or even if you’re just shopping for yourself, I promise you/they will love anything this list! I’ve included a couple of items that are on the more expensive side, but I also tried to give you tons of affordable options! I will also say that anything more expensive on this list something that is totally worth the investment!

Please message me or comment if you have questions on anything, I’d be glad to help! The guide is broken down into different sections, so if you’re not in the market for anything in one of the specific sections, keep scrolling to the next heading! If you’d like to shop any of these items directly, just click the underlined links and they’ll take you to where you can purchase!

Gym Accessories

Resistance Bands $8.99
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I’ve been using these resistance bands since June and I love them! They’re so cheap, and the quality is great! I’ve had no issues with them. They come in a little drawstring bag that makes them super convenient to throw in your gym bag, and it makes them ideal for traveling! I brought them to Mexico with me and they were the perfect way to get in a quick workout when I couldn’t get to the gym!

Sliders $9.99
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These are an at home workout must for me. You can use these sliders in so many ways! These are also super travel friendly and are such a great addition to a workout when you don’t have access to your normal gym equipment.

True Wireless Earbuds – $42.99

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My brother asked for these earbuds for Christmas and when I read more about them I decided to buy some for myself too! I’ve never used anything other than the IPhone earbuds but I’m really excited to use these! They come in a box that charges the earbuds, which is so convenient! All the reviews say they hold a charge really well, the sound is great, and many people talked about how well they stay put in your ear even during high intensity workouts. These are a great option if you’re not ready to spend $200 on Beats!

Beats by Dr. Dre $199.95

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I included these because I know so many people who have these and absolutely love them. I have not pulled the trigger on them yet but they’re definitely a wish list item for me. This is an item that I think is definitely worth the investment if this is something you’re in the market for!

Jump Rope – $9.95

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This is the jump rope I use when I do at home workouts. It’s really durable and I love the grips on the handles. Jump rope is a great way to get cardio in in between sets or even just for a quick at home workout when you’re in a pinch!

Clothing/Accessories

Adidas Swift Run White – $85.99

Taylor, if you’re reading, these are on my wish list! 😏 I have wanted these shoes for forever. I do not need another pair of tennis shoes but these are SO cute and I feel like they go with everything! I’ve tried them on and they’re extremely comfortable too! If you prefer Adidas over Nike, this is your shoe!

Nike FlyKnit – ON SALE! $109.99

These are the tennis shoes I wear daily, and I think I get asked about them every day! They’re the most comfortable tennis shoe I own and there is not one workout outfit they don’t look perfect with! They’re a little spendy (but on sale which never happens!) but good shoes are 100% worth the investment. I’ve had these for over a year now and I know I’ll get at least another two years out of them! Highly, highly, highly recommend.

Black 38mm Apple Watch – $249.99

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My Apple Watch is like my lifeline. I feel lost without it. I got mine last year for Christmas and I can’t believe I went 24 years without one. It’s such a great tool for workouts. It tracks your heart rate, calories, steps, everything! This is the water “resistant” option, not water “proof”, but I take mine off when I shower, so unless you’re a swimmer, this is a great option. It’s way cheaper than the water proof one too!

Apple Watch Replacement Band – $10.90

I love having a couple of different options to switch out my Apple Watch band with. These are SO cheap compared to what Apple sells them for, so Amazon is definitely the way to go! These would make the perfect stocking stuffer!

Short Socks – $12.99 for 9 pairs

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These are the greatest socks of all time and they’re SO cheap. I’ve bought more expensive brands and these are still my favorites. You can’t see them with any tennis shoes and they’re really thin which I love! I sometimes find that these types of socks tend to wear out pretty quickly but mine have been washed hundreds of times and they’re still like new!

Nike Sports Bra – $22.50

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I own this sports bra in every color it’s ever been made in. I love this bra because it’s thin, but it holds the goods in place if you know what I mean. It’s comfortable, breathable, and I’ve had some of mine for over two years. For the price, the quality is amazing too! This bra would work for all cup sizes! I’m a D cup and wear a medium for reference.

Zella Live In High Waisted Leggings – $54.00

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I bought these leggings during the Nordstrom anniversary sale and I have been kicking myself ever since for not buying two more pairs. I wear them ALL the time. They material isn’t sweat wicking or anything so I don’t work out in them, but as far as athleisure goes, these are everything. They’re SO soft, so comfortable, and I can definitely tell the quality is good enough to last a couple of years. These would be the best gift!

Old Navy Crops – $29

If you’re not ready to spend $70+ on Lulu crops, these are hands down my favorite crops. They keep everything in place, they’re super flattering, and they’re extremely good quality for the price. I think I have them in every color!

Hair, Skin, & Nail Must Haves

Free People Hair Coils – $5.99

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I mentioned these hair ties in my post gym hair care post back in October! They are my absolute favorites for wearing to the gym because they don’t leave a crease in your hair! They’re my secret weapon as far as being able to salvage clean hair after the gym!

Batiste Dry Shampoo – $8.99
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This is my all time favorite dry shampoo. I use it every day after I leave the gym! It gives it body and a little grit which is 100% necessary on day two and three hair! It’s cheap and it lasts forever.

Tula Cleanser – $28.00

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I just started using Tula products but I have fallen in love. I use this cleanser on my face morning and night, but I included it in this guide because I also use it right when I get home from the gym! It’s extremely gentle and leaves my face squeaky clean and free of sweat and dirt!

Supplements

Cellucor C4 – $28.99

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This is my favorite pre workout of all time! It’s pretty strong so I sometimes only have to take a half scoop which makes it cheaper than it already is. It is a total necessity for my early morning workouts!

Dr. Axe Collagen – $34

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Collagen is what I use in my coffee EVERY single day. It contains 7 grams of protein and it’s tasteless so it’s the perfect way to start your day with a little extra protein! It’s also worked WONDERS on my hair, skin, and nails! Think of it as Biotin on steroids. You can use “kalekouture” for 20% off your purchase making this only $34!

BioHealth Nutrition Protein Powder – $40

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I’ve been using BioHealth Nutrition protein powders for almost two months now and I love them more than any other powdered protein I’ve had before. This protein is pasturefed blend so it’s really natural and it’s not hard on my stomach like many other proteins usually are. There are tons of great flavors but chocolate milk is my favorite right now! Use “BIOKALE” at checkout for a discount on any of the products on their site!

Miscellaneous

City Shape Membership – $50

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City Shape is like Class Pass for all the local KC gyms! Being a member of City Shape has exposed me to so many new gyms and classes I would never have known about, or had the opportunity to try without my membership. For $50, you get four classes. You can schedule them wherever and whenever you want! Your membership also gives you a discount at some of my favorite places around KC, including Enjoy Pure Food, Unbakery, Simple Sciences Juices, etc. This would make an awesome gift to start the new year with!

Healthy Human Cruiser Tumbler – $22.99

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This is the Healthy Human bottle you’ve probably seen on my Instagram story a thousand times. It keeps my coffee hot for hours! I recommend this to every one I know! The purple one is on my wish list this year! Use “kalekouture” at checkout for a discount on your purchase!

Spiced Up Roasted Veggies

I roast veggies every single week in some form or fashion. However I usually don’t take the time to try to fancy them up by any means. I chop them, spray a little olive oil on them, hit them with a little S&P, and call it good. While this method is quick, and it works for me, this week I decided to actually put a little more effort into the roasting process. It added a whopping two minutes on to my prep time, but the difference this two minutes made was undeniable.

There are two things I did differently with these veggies. First, instead of forgetting about the veggies after they went into the oven, I set a timer for 20 minutes (this is halfway through, total roast time is 40 minutes) to take them out to flip everything so all the veggies could be evenly roasted. You don’t necessarily have to do this, but it definitely makes the veggies crispier. I typically find that my sweet potatoes are always really soft even if I roast them for longer than 40 minutes, so this definitely makes all the difference. Thanks for the tip @wellnessforthewin (follow her if you don’t already!).

The only other thing I did differently was that I seasoned my olive oil (with more than just salt and pepper!) and coated the veggies with the olive oil mixture instead of sprinkling the seasoning on the veggies when they’re on the cookie sheet. I felt like this more thoroughly seasoned them and it gave all the veggies an even coating!

This roasting method can be used for any and all veggies! In addition to brussels and sweet potatoes, I do cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, zucchini, etc. This is how I meal prep large amounts of veggies for the whole week and typically two pans of veggies lasts me five days! It’s quick, easy, and there’s minimal clean up!

Ingredients
  • 3 large medium sized potatoes, chopped
  • 1 lb brussel sprouts, halved
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup avocado oil (I use Chosen Foods!)
  • 2 Tbsp honey/maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup reduced sugar dried cranberries
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Put all your veggies into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, honey, spices, and garlic. Whisk until combined.
  4. Cover your veggies with the olive oil mixture and coat evenly.
  5. Dump onto a baking sheet and spread evenly.
  6. Roast for 40 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  7. While the veggies are cooling, sprinkle them with the dried cranberries.
  8. Enjoy!

Why I’m Not Sharing Ways to “Stay On Track” This Thanksgiving

I was not planning on writing a blog post on this, but after seeing SO many people this week posting their “tips and tricks” on ways to stay healthy on Thanksgiving, I felt compelled to share my own two cents, and it may not be what you think it is. Let me preface first by saying, I’m not dogging on anyone who has written one of these posts. Everyone is 100% entitled to their own way of thinking and that’s what I truly love about blogging – reading about someone else’s perspective!

You knew there had to be a “however”, right?! However. Thanksgiving is one dang day a year. One day. One out of 365 days of the year.

I’ve seen so many people say “limit your desserts”, “load up on veggies”, “drink tons of water so you’re not super hungry when it’s time to eat”, “get an early morning workout in”, “limit your alcohol intake”, “walk off your food after dinner”, etc. I promise I’ve seen it all. All of those things are great, and if doing that makes you feel better, you do you! But I also think it’s okay to spend your holiday NOT conscientiously thinking about these things.

Am I going to limit my desserts? Let me tell you the last time I ate a full fat, full sugar dessert. Besides a donut on Halloween, it’s been months. So no, probably not limiting myself there. Am I going to load up on veggies? If sweet potato casserole counts, yes! Am I going to get an early morning workout in? Does lifting my wine glass from the table to my mouth count? Am I going to walk off my food after dinner? Well realistically that would take days to do, and we go to a movie as a family after dinner, so no. Limit my alcohol intake? No to that too.

I would say for about 350/365 days a year, I count macros, eat nutrient dense foods, make sure to eat enough protein, limit processed foods, limit my sugar intake, work out, limit my alcohol intake, etc. The 15, give or take a few, days a year I let myself completely indulge (like turkey day), account for 4% of the year. Do you think that 4% of the year has any affect on my overall health, or the way I look? No. The only thing it affects is my sanity. I am able to have a healthy relationship with food because of that 4%. I’m able to do all of those things I listed above, the other 96% of the time, because of that 4%.

I am so proud of the way I live my life and the changes I’ve made over the past 5-6 years, but I am also so proud of the fact that I can celebrate Thanksgiving with my family, and not feel the need to modify every recipe I’m bringing, or feel the need to say no to trying an additional dessert because I’ve already had one, or worry about what hours Planet Fitness is open on Thanksgiving day. And you know what? Even if I did worry about those things, I wouldn’t be a pound lighter once it’s all said and done. Because one day, makes ZERO difference in the scheme of life.

There was absolutely a point in my life where I did worry about all of these things, as recent as last year. I had a moment the other day when my mom texted me and said “Can you dig the unhealthy stuff off the sweet potato casserole or do you want just a plain sweet potato for Thanksgiving?” While a part of me knows that she was being so thoughtful, the other part of me kind of hated that she had to ask me that. If you were wondering, I responded without hesitation “I can eat the unhealthy stuff!”. And I will, with zero guilt.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, fitness and health are parts of my life, they are not my whole life. On Friday, I will go right back to eating like I do 90% of the time, and working out 6 days a week. But if you can’t indulge a couple of days a year, then when can you? Balance is a part of health. Indulging every once in awhile is a part of health. Not working out every once in a while is a part of health.

This subject is something I’m so passionate about, and it weighed heavily on my heart this week. I never want to make anyone feel like the way they’re living their life is wrong, so if you read this post and feel differently, that’s perfectly fine! And if you’re one of the people I referred to earlier, I still love you! I just felt compelled to share because for years, I felt like if I didn’t do things the “healthy” way on Thanksgiving, other holidays, etc., I wasn’t a “healthy person”, I was losing progress, I was going to gain a bunch of weight, etc. And that’s why I restricted myself in so many ways. But in fact, I now feel the opposite.

I hope if you take nothing else away from this post, it’s to give yourself some grace tomorrow. Eat the pie, drink the wine, lay on the couch, BE HUMAN. Be thankful for the people you share your day with, for all the amazing food you’ll eat, the people who prepared it, and for the time you get to spend with them.

I hope you all have the best day tomorrow! Happy Thanksgiving.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

Happy turkey week yall! I hope you’re planning on spending the rest of the week relaxing, spending time with your loved ones, and eating alllll the food and drinking alllll the wine. That is my exact plan!

I’m sharing this recipe because I’m a) I’m a sucker for pumpkin anything, and b) I’m going to be eating every dessert in sight on Thanksgiving so it makes me feel better to know that at least one of my desserts will be halfway healthy. Plus, I love recipes that I can keep around all year long and this will definitely be a healthy treat staple for me.

That being said, you cannot tell these cookies are even halfway healthy. They’re dense, chewy, and so chocolatey. If I’m being honest I probably tripled the chocolate chips because I didn’t measure but hey, it’s Thanksgiving so that’s acceptable, right!?

This recipe is adapted from Amy’s Healthy Baking! I added a little less maple syrup/honey, and I actually didn’t flatten the cookies like her website says to! I think keeping them in their dropped shape helps them stay a little chewier and hold their moisture a little better, but it’s totally up to you!

Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp mini chocolate chips
Directions
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the butter, pumpkin, and vanilla. Stir in the honey/syrup. Add the flour mixture, stirring until incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips. Chill the cookie dough for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Use a cookie dough scoop to drop the cookie dough into 20 rounded scoops onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake at 325°F for 15 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes.
Macros
  • 10g carb
  • 2g fat
  • 1g protein

Reflecting On October’s Fitness Goal

At the beginning of October, I posted a picture on Instagram stating that my October fitness goal would be to run two miles, for 25 days of October. I never imagined how many people would be encouraging me on this month long October journey of mine! Each day I posted about my two miles, and every single day I got words of encouragement, pictures of people running their own two miles, or even people asking if I had done my two miles on the five days I took off. Talk about being held accountable!

A couple of people asked me to post about my thoughts on my goal and how it affected me. I was gathering these thoughts along the way myself, so this was the perfect excuse to blog about them to share my pros and cons with you!

Pros
  • Accountability.
    • I was held accountable by my friends and followers throughout every day of this month. I loved knowing that my goal was public, aka: people would notice if I ran or not! I also loved the fact that someone else seeing my 2.0 mile Insta stories, encouraged them to run their own 2.0 for the day. This encouraged me to get my butt to the gym to get my miles in, even when I wasn’t feeling it.
  • No excuses.
    • It’s a well known fact that I don’t love cardio. I never have and I never will, and that’s okay. If you love cardio, you’re either lying or there might be something wrong with you. Just kidding. Kind of. That being said, before this month, I had no problem skipping cardio here and there, just because I always have a hard time deciding what I should/want to do as far as cardio goes. Knowing I had to do my two miles gave me no choice but to hop on the treadmill the minute I got to the gym. It completely took the guess work out of cardio, which sometimes is half the battle.
  • Goal Driven.
    • I’ve worked out consistently for over 5 years, so going to the gym pure habit for me. I don’t have to muster up a lot of motivation most days because I know that it’s just part of my day; there’s no “if”, it’s just “when”. However after a while, I find myself going through the motions without necessarily having a passion for what I’m doing. This month was different. I was so motivated by having a specific goal that I actually felt like I was accomplishing something every time I stepped in the gym. I wasn’t just going through the motions; I had something to work for and it was and it was the best feeling!
  • It pushed me.
    • Like I mentioned before, I am not a runner, by any stretch. I trained for a half marathon a couple of years ago but was forced to quit because of a hairline fracture in my tibia. Since then, I have not run anywhere close to 9 miles. While 2 miles a day isn’t close to 9, it’s closer than 0! At the beginning of October, I couldn’t finish a mile without stopping. On the last day of October, I ran two miles with no breaks – progress!
  • Bigger Goals.
    • My two miles a day made me want to set bigger running goals for myself in the future. Maybe 3 miles a day for a month, maybe a half marathon, who knows?! It definitely lit somewhat of a fire under me as far as running is concerned and I haven’t had that sort of running motivation in forever.
Cons
  • No physical change.
    • When working towards a goal, especially a fitness centered goal, it’s easy to want to see a physical change. That’s typically why most people work out, right? I totally get that, and while I’d love to say I saw a huge physical difference in my appearance after this month, I didn’t. Two miles a day equated to about 20-25 minutes of cardio before my strength training workouts each day, which is exactly what I had been doing before I started this month’s goal. So because it wasn’t an increase in cardio, there was no change to my physical appearance. Which is a great lesson learned for me. Do I see a physical difference in my body? No. But I do know that my heart is in better physical shape just based on the progress I made in my times and in my ability to run without stopping. Heart health is a whole lot more important to me than anything I could’ve seen on the outside!
  • I missed other cardio machines!
    • Having to run every day as my cardio made me miss some of my old cardio routines! It will be a little while before I step back on the treadmill as my cardio for the day. Not because I didn’t enjoy this month on the treadmill, but I actually started missing the Stairmaster! Something I never thought I’d say! But on a real note, doing something for a month straight does start to get mundane after a while. I have a newfound love for the Stairmaster and that’s exciting to me! A negative turned positive.
  • Two A Days
    • Because I became an ambassador for CityShape this month, that meant I was attending more fitness classes than usual. So because I was away from Planet Fitness at least once a week, I had to go and do my two miles before my classes, which meant I was technically working out twice in one day. I never considered my two miles my entire workout, it was more of a warm up, but it definitely wasn’t the most convenient goal during a month when I was away from my home gym quite a few times!
November Goal

While this month’s goal might not seem nearly as challenging as October’s, I’m trying not to set myself up for failure! There is something to be said for setting your sights high with a lofty goal, however I’m also trying to be realistic. I know for a fact I will be traveling this month, celebrating the holidays with my family, taking 5 more CityShape classes, and I know my workout routine won’t be nearly as rigid as it is in other months. Which is 100% okay with me. However, I wanted a goal that would push me, but it would be something I could do, regardless of where I am! That being said, I decided to do a month long plank challenge.

As cheesy as I used to think these were, it’s actually something I’ve wanted to do for a while now! I will post the plank challenge below, so feel free to join me! It’s something that obviously doesn’t have to be done at a gym, so anyone can do it! The other part of my reasoning behind this goal, was because my core area is the last thing I ever focus on. I tend to rely on strength training and hitting my macros to do most of my core work for me, so I’m hoping to see a little bit of change with the extra attention!

30 Day Plank Challenge

1a47130942ae36deb73c5d38ccb75eef

@neilarey.com

I hope you had a great Halloween, indulged in some candy, and are now ready to hit your November goals! Comment and let me know what your goals are!

XO, A

Protein Pancake Bites

My love for Kodiak Cakes is so real. Their pancake/waffle mixes are such a great option for breakfast, no matter how you use them! The protein packed mixes are by far my favorite, but I have tried nearly all of them and they’re all to die for!

These little bites are a delicious way to start your day with a good amount of protein, and they’re made with 4 ingredients … how can you beat that?! If anyone could win an award for worst pancake maker, it’s me, so the fact that you can bake these instead of cooking them on a griddle like normal pancakes, is also a total win for me.

These are a great option for meal prep because they’re so quick and easy! I made 24 of them in less than 15 minutes and that takes care of breakfast for me for the entire week – I eat 4/5 at a time. All it takes is 20 seconds in the microwave when you’re ready to eat them and they’re good to go! Pair these babies up with a hardboiled egg, some fruit, or just by themselves with a side of honey or syrup and you’ve got a delicious, easy, protein packed breakfast!

Ingredients:
Directions:
  1. Combine pancake mix, almond milk, and egg until thoroughly combined.
  2. Fill mini muffin tins until 2/3 of the way full – they should perfectly fill a tray of 12 mini muffins!
  3. Top with chocolate chips.
  4. Stick them in the oven for about 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. I tested mine with a toothpick to make sure the middle was done – their color kind of makes it hard to tell if they’re done, so just check on them if you’re not sure!
  5. Let them cool, and enjoy!
Macros (for 1 of 12 pancake bites)
  • 5g carbs
  • 1g fat
  • 3g protein

Birthday Cake Protein Balls

If you know me at all, you know I’d eat concrete if there was a “birthday cake” flavor. That being said, these protein balls have quickly made their way to the top of my “favorite recipes” list lately!

These protein balls are a spinoff of the recipe I shared here. I typically stick to this recipe as a base and switch up the dried fruit and protein depending on what I have on hand/want to use. This recipe is fool proof and it can be made in under 5 minutes!

The best part of these specific balls though, is that they’re made with one of my all time favorite protein powders, which just so happens to be birthday cake cupcake! It is seriously to. die. for. You can order it here! Regardless of if you use it for these protein balls or not, you can also use it for pancakes, shakes, etc., It’s amazing in everything.

Ingredients:
Directions:

This is where the recipe gets tough – just kidding. All you have to do is mix everything together! There’s no order or specific way to do it, just mix until combined! Once everything is thoroughly combined, roll into balls, or cheat (like me) and use a cookie dough scoop! My mom taught me this and it is one of the greatest protein ball hacks. No messy hands, and you get the perfect sized ball without having to roll them! The recipe should make around 18 balls total!

Macros:
  • 11g carbs
  • 3g fat
  • 6g protein


 

What I Eat In A Day

Happy Tuesday friends! This blog post was totally inspired by you and I am so excited about that. I am really loving the new Instagram polling feature because I feel like it’s really going to help me tailor the blog in a way that allows me to post exactly what you’re wanting to see! It gives me quick feedback, and in addition to that being helpful for the sake of the blog, it’s also lighting a fire under my butt as far as blogging goes because I know this is stuff you’re truly interested in!

So, on to the good stuff, what I eat in a day. A few things you should know first:

  • I love to meal prep, but I realize how much time it takes if you overcomplicate things so I try to prep foods that are quick and easy. This is key to making meal prep a habit: QUICK & EASY.
  • You do not need to spend a ton of money in order to maintain a healthy diet. I buy 80% of my food at Hyvee, SAM’s Club, and Walmart. There are a few particular items that I eat that I can only get at Trader Joes, Whole Foods, or Sprouts, but I do not do the majority of my shopping there.
  • I track macros, so that is how I plan what exactly I eat every day. That being said, my meals are personalized for me and what my body needs. What I eat in a day may be a good outline for you to follow, but please don’t think that by eating the exact things I eat, your body will respond the exact way mine does.
  • A rule of thumb I try to always stick to is: 5 servings of veggies, and 1-2 servings of fruit per day, and the rest (protein, carbs, fats) is based around my macros!
  • Even if you’re not tracking macros, a good rule of thumb for all of your bigger meals is: protein, carbs, and fats. If you make sure to include those three items, you’re on the right track to having a well rounded meal!
Breakfast: 6:00am

I try to eat a big, well rounded breakfast every single day, mainly because that’s the first thing that’s going in my body for the day. I like to think that if I start out on a good note, the rest of the day will follow suit! In addition to that, this meal has to last me from 6:00am to 10:00am so I want it to be hearty enough to keep me full for that long! I always make sure to include a protein (egg), carb (bagel and blackberries), and fat (peanut butter).

Mini Whole Wheat Bagel w 1 Tbsp peanut butter & a drizzle of honey + one hard boiled egg + 1/3 cup frozen blackberries

bfast

Coffee: 7:00am

I drink coffee every single morning. I always stick to one cup, because any more than that and I am feeling sluggish, bloated, and dehydrated. In the summer, I mixed my coffee with protein shakes, but in the fall/winter I drink it hot so I don’t do that. I give it a little protein boost with one scoop of Vital Proteins collagen! For those of you who don’t know, collagen is a flavorless protein that dissolves into anything you want!

1 cup coffee + 1 scoop Vital Proteins Collagen

collagen

Morning Snack: 10:00am

I eat a snack around 10:00am because I don’t eat lunch until 12:30 and you’re cray if you think I can last 6.5 hours without eating. I have to eat something quick and easy that I can have in my classroom so that tends to be a bar of some kind. I also try to eat a veggie so that I can get a jump start on my 5 servings for the day. I have a wide range of bars I love, but I try to stick to something with a little protein to keep me full until I can eat lunch! I love RX bars, Square Bars, and Quest Hero bars.

85 grams of celery + Maple Sea Salt RX bar

mornign snack

Lunch: 12:30pm

My lunch is typically the meal that varies the most from week to week. It totally depends on what I’m feeling as far as meal prep goes, what I have time for, and what’s easy to pack! I am always trying to switch things up because I hate eating the same things over and over again. I still try to stick to a protein (ground turkey in the cauliflower rice), carb (grapes and carrots), and fat (hummus) and that is typically the key to holding me over until my afternoon snack.

Chicken fried cauliflower “rice” + green grapes + carrots + spicy avocado hummus

lunch

Afternoon Snack: 4:00pm

My afternoon snack doubles as my pre-workout snack so I typically eat something pretty carb heavy in order to fuel my workouts properly!

Banana + 1 Tbsp peanut butter

banana

Dinner: 6:30pm

Dinner is another meal that spans a pretty wide variety depending on the week, but just like breakfast and lunch, I always make sure to include a protein (turkey burger), carb (sweet potatoes and brussels), and fat (turkey burger).

Butterball turkey burger (no bun, just plain!) + 100 grams sweet potatoes + 85 grams brussel sprouts

dinner

Dessert: 7:30pm

Yep. Dessert. I have a bigger sweet tooth than a five year old and neglecting it only does horrible things for me so I make sure to fit something sweet into my macros each night or I know I’m in trouble. 90% of the time it’s ice cream and Halo Top is my go-to. One serving of something sweet is typically enough for me, but if I’m still hungry, I drink some water with mio to curb my hunger when my macros are gone for the day!

1/2 cup Halo Top red velvet ice cream

halo

Water: All. Day. Long.

You’re well aware of my constant struggle with drinking enough water, but I do shoot for 64 ounces of water per day. I use Mio in my water all day long, it helps!

64 ounces of water throughout the day + a few squirts of Mio
kokua

And there you have it! This is a very typical day for me so this should give you a good idea of what I’m usually eating. Like I said before – as long as you’re sticking to a good amount of protein, carbs, and fats at each meal, and some fruit and veggies in between, you’re on the right track! And then of course Halo Top whenever possible! 🙂 Thanks for reading and responding to the poll, I love hearing your feedback so let me know if this was helpful to you!

XO, A

 

 

Little Life Update, Big Thank You

Happy Thursday! I feel like I had to brush the cobwebs off my computer as I opened it up today, it’s been awhile! While part of me feels guilty for not having blogged consistently for quite some time now, I do have to remind myself that I have a “real” life outside of KaleKouture, that sometimes inevitably has to come before Instagram/blogging. But that’s what today’s post is about – where the heck I’ve been!

My excuse for any kind of hiatus on the blog tends to be “life’s gotten crazy”, but that really is the truth. And I’m learning how to be okay with that! In the past, if I wasn’t blogging twice a week, I got stressed out, and I feel like I would sometimes write just to write. I never want to blog about something just to put a post out there, I want to make sure it’s worth reading. So now, if that means I’m posting once a week, or every other week, or even once a month, I’m good with that! Quality over quantity.

I figured I would jump on the blog today though, to update you on what exactly all this craziness is – because it’s all exciting! Part of my absence has been me trying to transition from hardly working for three months this summer, to getting back to school. For any of you who are new to the blog, I teach Kindergarten! This is my third year teaching, and you’d think after doing it 3 times, getting back into the swing of things would be easier, but it’s not. However, we are now six weeks in, and I’m finally feeling like I can breathe again!

Aside from that, back in August, I mentioned my boyfriend Taylor and I were in the process of buying a house. And I am so excited to say, that after 3 long, stressful, confusing, sometimes discouraging months, we will finally be homeowners a week from TODAY! I won’t go into detail in fear of boring the heck out of you, but home buying is not for the weary. However, it has already been 100% worth it and I cannot wait to show you guys where I will surely be spending 90% of my time .. my sparkly new kitchen!

But all that to say, instead of blogging lately, all of my free time outside of school has been spent going to showings, looking at houses online, etc. And for the next two ish weeks, that free time will be spent packing, furnishing, and moving into our new home! But after we are moved in and settled, I have some exciting blog content lined up that I’ve been trying to work on in any spare moment I have!

On top of starting a new school year, and buying a house, I’ve also become an ambassador for City Shape KC! City Shape is a membership program that allows their members to try different gyms and workout classes all over the Kansas City area, as well as have access to various discounts and perks at local KC businesses! This means I’ll be trying out new workout classes every week, posting about my experiences, and attending City Shape events. I am thrilled to be involved with such an amazing group of girls who are just as passionate about fitness as I am!

AND, if you’re still reading, bless you. This is so much longer than I ever intended – this is what a two month blog hiatus does to me! But the true reason for me writing this post was not only to update you, but to THANK YOU, as well!

The blog hit over 10,000 views last week and when I saw it, I literally could not believe my eyes. Grateful does not even begin to cover how I feel knowing that over 10,000 times, someone has visited http://www.KaleKouture.com. That blows my mind! I would obviously not be blogging if there weren’t people reading, so – THANK YOU.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you, for continuing to care about anything I have to say, being interested in any recipe I’ve ever shared, or any other various reason you’ve come to the blog! Being able to share my two cents about fitness, health, wellness, balance, nutrition, macros, etc., with people who care and are interested, is so meaningful to me and I am so happy to be able to share my knowledge with you.

Whether this is your first time reading the blog, or the 10,000th, (my mom could be my only reader I really have no way of knowing!) thank you so much for reading. I hope you choose to continue to follow along. If you want to stay updated, just click the “come say hi!” button at the top of the screen, enter your info, and you’ll get an email every time I post!

I hope you all have a fabulous rest of the week!

XO, A