Catching Katy

Reads, Eats, & Everything Else

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#8. Yoga

#8 from my 30 before 30 list is done – I’m over halfway done! About 2 years ago I bought a Groupon for 20 classes to Red Hot Yoga. Luckily they accept them whenever – literally no expiration date – so I finally started to use it at the beginning on the year. Mostly thanks to another friend who wanted to go.

Yoga is great, especially if you typically hit the cardio and/or weights hard. Stretching is important – and I don’t do it nearly enough for as much as I run. And as I have discovered lately, training for a half marathon at 29 is definitely different than training at 24. I know it sounds silly but it is – if I don’t stretch now I pay for it. Insert yoga. Especially since I’m training for a half marathon right now, it feels great. And I am not flexible at all, so don’t use that as an excuse. It really does help you become more stretchy the more you do it! And actually the heat (this is hot yoga) helps even more. The heat is actually what scared me the most, but I go early morning and it actually feels awesome. This studio is great because you don’t feel like a fool – there are always other beginners and they are pretty good about making sure you are doing all the poses correctly (otherwise it’s kind of pointless).

I still have about 10 classes left on my groupon and we’ll see what I do when that is up but I’m hoping to keep going at least once a week! Now if I can only get in the habit of stretching on my own….



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Stitch Fix

Apparently February is my month to try new things….or maybe to be lazy since these things are all home-delivery. Either way, there are some pretty cool home-delivery services out there so I might as well try them! While one coworker got me on the Plated train, another convinced me to try Stitch Fix. I had heard of Stitch Fix in passing but hadn’t really looked into it. My coworker, however, tried it and loved her experience so I figured I’d give it a try!

What is it? You make a style profile and a stylist will compile of box of 5 pieces of clothing and/or accessories based on your profile. This profile includes questions about what you would spend ($$) on different items.

How does it work? You pick which day you want your box to arrive and pay a $20 styling fee. You get your box in the mail and try everything on. The items you want to keep, you buy (with that $20 applied to your purchase). The items you don’t like you send back in the pre-paid package that came with your box. If you want to keep everything you get 25% off.

You can opt to receive a box on a regular basis ($20 each time) or you can just schedule one occasionally. It doesn’t even automatically opt you in for the regular shipments so you don’t have to worry about canceling anything or automatic charges!

My box actually came a couple days early – everything was neatly packed and comes with a personal note from your stylist and pictures with ideas on how to wear each item you received.


personal note and style guide

personal note and style guide

I loved 4 of the 5 items I received – one was a long-sleeve shirt which I don’t need more of and I didn’t love the style. The scarf was super cute but scarves are the last thing I need more of. The dress, jeans, and blazer all fit really well and I kept the blazer! The jeans were actually too long – to which they replied that they are regular inseam – which I find hard to believe that I would have to roll up skinny jeans about 4 inches. I’m not super tall but I’m definitely not short!

Give it try! If you are so kind, use my referral code (!! Then when you love it you can share it with your friends!

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#26. Dinner Party

Cross off another item – #26 to host a dinner party! It wasn’t a “proper” dinner party – I don’t a big enough table in my apartment for everyone to sit, but it was homemade food and wonderful friends, which is all you need.

The hardest part about hosting dinner? Having all the food cooked and hot at the same time. Luckily, we have so many ways to cook things nowadays that it is a little easier. I made the cake early so it was done. Next you have to use the crock pot (obviously – do you know me?) – I started the roast. Then the sides I made simultaneously closer to dinner time, using the stove and oven.

Now, I consider myself a decent cook and baker. But it seems lately I have more and more kitchen blunders. It’s never anything major – only once has it completely ruined the dish (pumpkin pie on the floor). This time it was burned bacon (apartment filled with smoke, smoke detector beeping, throwing windows open and fans on, the whole nine yards), roast not completely cooking in the time it was supposed to, and cake (the entire thing) sliding off the plate. Luckily I was able to salvage about 5 pieces of bacon to crumble into the side dish, I finished off the roast in the oven while we waited for a couple more people to arrive, and only a small chunk of cake came off and I had extra frosting to mostly repair it! Guess I need to pay better attention and maybe not try new recipes when I cook for others.

Dinner party was great – I’d love to make it a fairly regular thing since I love cooking for people and just spending time with people I love. I’ll post the recipes this week too since they were delicious.

Dinner Party Menu

Appetizer: cheese! stilton w/ blueberries & apple smoked gouda; flat bread crackers

Entreé: pot roast

Sides: roasted brussel sprouts; garlic mashed potatoes

Dessert: flourless chocolate cake w/ strawberry frosting


pot roast

pot roast






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Whole 30 Wrap Up

My last week of the Whole30 was pretty uneventful – just chugging along at this point. Apart from my cheat, my breakfasts and lunches were pretty much the same as in week 3 (slight variation on the taco chicken to cilantro lime chicken). Told ‘ya I was keeping it simple! I did have a couple new dinners:

marinara sauce w/ ground turkey + zoodles. this was good and easy – I’ll definitely keep this recipe on hand.


slow cooker chicken & butternut squash + sweet potato. this was delicious and I’ll post the recipe this week!

happy plate

And my final overview. I am ending my Whole30 a couple days early, but with good reason. Unfortunately I have not had such a positive experience with it as most people. Unfortunately, my digestive system has been off-kilter the entire time. I wanted to give my body time to adjust but it only did literally in the past 2 days. Although I figured out the Whole30 may not have been completely at fault for this, it is true that many veggies are more difficult to digest and I think the increased intake was just too much.

As I’ve said, I did feel mentally better simply eating better, but the other downside was that it was difficult to have the energy to do my typical workouts. I know it’s possible, since other people do it, I just don’t have the time or money or commitment to continue to keep dramatically changing my diet. I obviously don’t want to go back to eating a bunch of crap. The plan is this: limit my dairy, grains, sweets [as in never buying any myself, only indulging for special occasions]. And honestly, my typical diet is not that bad (apart from my long binge between Thanksgiving and New Years).

I don’t regret doing the Whole30, but if you’re considering it and know you have a sensitive stomach, consider it very carefully. It may help or it may hurt. I hope it helps! If you’ve been following my Whole30 journey – thanks! I do still post pretty regularly on my blog apart from these posts, so hang around and I hope you continue to follow!

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Whole 30 – Week 3

I think I’m finally getting the hang of this. I think I just wasn’t eating enough for my metabolism and/or workout habits, and I think the biggest downfall was breakfast. So I simplified it and have way more energy this week. I also simplified all my meals (save one dinner as I had shrimp that needed to be used) by using the crock pot so the week was way less overwhelming. I’m not going to lie, though – we cooked dinner at a local transitional shelter and baking cookies was the WORST. Definitely the biggest temptation so far.

Here’s the breakdown from Week 3 – 9 more days to go!

Breakfasts: Hard boiled egg(s) + 2 sausage patties + strawberries + blueberries + banana. The number of eggs (1 or 2) and whether I had a banana or not depended on my workout for that day. Strenuous workout = more food. 🙂 I did some scrambled eggs on the weekend but basically kept everything the same!



Lunches: taco chicken + lettuce + bell peppers + shredded carrots + avacado + salsa. I tried to use romaine as a taco shell the first day, but that proved to be way too messy – especially since I usually eat and work at the same time. So the rest of the week was “taco” salad. And it made enough to get me through the weekend also!



Dinner: sticky shrimp + steamed broccoli/cauliflower + sweet potatoes. I haven’t had time to post the shrimp recipe (maybe later) but it’s linked to where I found it. It was definitely not an ‘easy’ one but I had shrimp I had to use – and it was VERY good. I also had fun cutting the sweet potatoes using my  still new-ish spiralizer.



Dinner: “creamy” chicken & tomato soup. A yummy crock pot recipe. Makes so much I’ll probably use it for lunches next week. One night I stirred in some mixed greens. One night I ladled it onto some zoodles. Yum.



Dinner: cilantro lime chicken + zoodles + sweet potatoes. Another great crock pot meal (I’ll post the recipe this week)! Normally would go on rice, so I just sautéed some zoodles with some chili powder. And the sweet potatoes totally didn’t fit but I needed something with carbs since I was doing a 5K the next morning. Random-looking but all delicious!


There were of course little snacks of Lara bars or nuts when needed. I did find a very delicious roasted almond recipe that I will post soon. Heading into the home stretch!

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Whole 30 – Week 2

So, things didn’t just simply get better as I hoped. Not to scare anyone, but this thing does take a lot of work. I got a little overwhelmed in week 2 with time (planning, shopping, prepping) as life has gotten a little crazy. And I’m still pretty tired, so I’ve been working to adjust my meals – I am sure it is user error. I’m still feeling great about eating better in general. I know it’s been good in this stressful week, I normally would have been chowing down on all kinds of sweets and junk.

I wanted to switch up breakfast and lunch in week 2 and not just do the same thing for all 30 days. And yes, that took more time. I’m still not loving breakfast – I definitely miss my greek yogurt – but we’ll see what week 3 brings! I’ve realized I’m I think I’m trying too hard – typically my meals are pretty simple, so I need to move in that direction for this – simplicity. The plan for week 3: making sure I’m using up food I have already (it’s easy to go crazy and buy new stuff when you have plenty) and using the crock pot. I have high hopes (and the 3-day weekend will surely help)! I’ll get this eventually – even if it takes me until Day 30!

Here’s the breakdown from week 2. Sorry, I’m not going to have time to post every recipe, so some are just linked to where I found them, but I’ll try to still post a couple of my favs each week!

Weekday Breakfasts: Egg muffins + strawberries + clementine + turkey bacon + 1/2 an avocado (added mid-week). These egg muffins were ok. I think I liked my Week 1 casserole more, though I’m still not sure it’s enough. The avocado was good to add to help me make all the way to lunch.



Weekday lunches: Turkey-zucchini poppers w/ salsa + carrot sticks + 1/2 an avocado.  I sometimes threw in a handful of cashews also. And one day I had the rest of my butternut squash soup (delicious to dip the poppers in). Still might need a little more substance so will revisit a plan for week 3. (sorry, work was a little nuts this week so I forgot to take a pic)

Dinner: Zoodles with cashew cream sauce + baked chicken breast. This was delicious but was a little time-consuming. Check out the full post for details!


Dinner: Pork tenderloin + roasted mashed cauliflower. This was good – again a little messy work and was not my best cooking. I roasted my cauliflower too long and I could not find Dijon mustard without white wine as in ingredient, so I just used yellow mustard. The taste was still great. The cauliflower tasted good but looks questionable. I might try a different way to do mashed cauliflower next time. Haven’t posted this recipe yet – I’ll get there eventually. Add a green veggie side to mix up the color a bit (see my leftover zoodles on this night)


Weekend breakfast: sweet potato hash + eggs + fruit + coffee


I also had my first successful dinner out! My mom’s birthday was this weekend, so we went to Bonefish Grill for dinner. This was pretty easy – grilled ahi tuna & steamed broccoli. The menu lied a little bit and said it came with a seasonal veggie (in additional to my chosen broccoli side) but it came with a risotto instead – definitely would have asked for double broccoli had I know that. So the meal wasn’t super filling but it was still a success – I didn’t even mind missing the bread!


Whole 30 Week 1

Week one down!! And let me tell you, I feel great! Mostly it’s just mentally feeling great about what I am eating or, really, not eating. I haven’t really been tempted by anything.

I’m not going to lie, my Day 1 was ROUGH. But I was also going back to work after being off for 2 weeks, so the combination was not the best. I got a headache that only got worse throughout the day and I got in bed at 8pm. But it could only be better after that, right?! And it did! Obviously your body has to adjust. My energy was a little low starting my Whole30, but even after just a few days I could already tell it was getting back to normal, and I mostly noticed a difference during my workouts.

As I said initially, I was keeping it simple the first week. So I had the same thing for breakfast and lunch every weekday – which is what I normally do anyway. Other factors I had to consider: 1) I eat breakfast at work, so I needed something I could make or heat there and 2) our kitchen at work is tiny, so it’s best to quickly get your lunch together or else there’s literally a traffic jam in there. So I spent about 3-4 hours on Sunday prepping.

Every now and then I had a small handful of cashews if I got hungry in between meals, but I don’t really love raw nuts, so I haven’t found the best snack option yet. Typically I try to not snack, so this wasn’t something I considered from the start. I also had to sneak a couple Lara Bars in when I got desperate a couple days.

I’m really enjoying the Whole30 so far! I even made it through a partay Friday night and just sipped on a La Croix!

Weekday Breakfasts: Egg, sausage, spinach casserole + piece of fruit + black coffee. Technically the sausage is not Whole30 approved – there is a tinsy bit of sugar added. It’s just impossible to find. I won’t eat it every single day though. It was good – nothing special really but it was filling and tasty! Also really easy to heat up.


breakfast – week 1


Weekday Lunches: Salad w/ grilled chicken, zucchini, squash, brussel sprouts, avacado, blackberries & orange poppyseed dressing (yum). I grilled (on a grill pan) a bunch of chicken on Sunday seasoned with Penzeys Mural of Flavor, cut it up into pieces and portioned it out between 5 snack-size Ziploc bags. I steamed the veggies slightly – but you definitely don’t have to – and also portioned them into Ziploc bags. (If you have not discovered Ziploc Steam Bags – they will change you life.) The seasoning on the chicken paired perfectly with the dressing.

lunch - week 1

lunch – week 1


Dinner: baked salmon + sweet potatoes + broccoli. My kitchen was not back to normal until mid-week, so the first couple of days needed to be super simple. I baked salmon seasoned, again, with Mural of Flavor (seriously amazing on so many things), steamed some frozen broccoli, and steamed a cubed sweet potato! Nothing special, but it was good!

dinner nights 1 & 2

dinner nights 1 & 2

Dinner: beef & sweet potato chili. I cannot express how delicious this was. I’ve already posted it, so check it out!

Weekend Breakfast: sweet potato hash w/ egg + turkey bacon + fruit. Megoir’s look way more delicious than mine – I’ll have to perfect this.


Weekend Dinner: spiced butternut squash soup. I’ll post this recipe this week – so good, but not so easy. One night I had a side of sweet potato, one night a small piece of baked chicken.

I need to be better about lunch on the weekends, but I usually eat a later breakfast and am out and about in the middle of the day. So there was more Lara Bar cheating and small handfuls of cashews than planned.