Health & Fitness, inspiration, My Life

I Face To Be My Strongest Self

I turned “there’s no way” into “I freaking did it.”

Here’s to my year of being my strongest self.  

Stop making excuses, quit holding back. You are the only person that limits you from being the best version of yourself.

That is exactly what I am working on.I am learning that the ONLY thing pushing my back in life is my own thoughts, perceptions, and beliefs. Yeah, there are many outside influencers but the way I internalize and process the world around me is my own personal choice. 


The winter blues have been real throughout the start of 2018. I’ve struggled to stay motivated in the midst of the bipolar Chicago winter. The dark days and cold temperatures are not my favorite, but I have been finding ways to help me through it.

This past month I decided to channel all my stress, anxiety, uncertainty, and basically every emotion I feel, into physical energy. Meaning that instead of sitting in my bed analyzing each aspect of my life as ups and downs approach (which many did), I pushed myself to break a sweat and get active.

I didn’t ignore my worries and stresses, but I choose to stop letting them define me in that very moment. I am aware of how my body feels mentally, physically, and emotionally after an intense workout. My energy is high, my mind is clear, and my heart is open. I am more productive, happy, and motivated throughout my day when I make time to release everything and just let my body do work.

Now I can lie and say I was motivated to make working out a priority for my mental health all on my own, but truth be told I wasn’t.  One of my favorite workout places in Chicago, Barry’s Bootcamp is what pushed me to face myself.


Barry’s Bootcamp has challenging workouts that push you mentally and physically. The hour-long workout is designed to efficiently lean and tone the body. BUT IT IS ALSO FUN. The “red room” is constantly packed with high energy people working towards their goals, a dim red lighting to take away “comparing yourself to others”, and exciting and upbeat party music. It is honestly the best workout I have ever done. I always leave feeling sore, but also refreshed because every workout is different and certain days focus on certain muscle groups.  

So what exactly did I do? I pushed myself to complete 16 classes in 30 days. I signed up for their #faceyourself challenge and crushed 16 hours in the red room throughout February. That is a countless number of all-out-effort sprints at 10mph as well as numerous maximum repetitions of push ups and chest press. It was extremely difficult, but totally worth it.


There were times where I snoozed my alarm because I wanted to sleep in and skip class, but I didn’t. I dragged myself out of bed and by the time I physically showed up for class, I was mentally ready to do my best and create a change within me. I was determined to always run faster, to lift heavier, and to stretch deeper. 

If I was going to commit my time and money by signing up for the #faceyourself challenge, you best believe I was going all in. I crushed it. I am so proud of myself for getting out of my comfort zone, showing up, and committing to something to benefit me me mentally, physically, and emotionally.

The #FACEYOURSELF challenge was the kick-start I needed to start breaking down the mental barriers I put up against myself. I am capable. I am strong. I am enough. It is up to me to create the life I want to live.

I can achieve anything and everything I truly desire if I am willing to:
Approach with an open mind
Commit & hold myself accountable
Appreciate and accept the ups and downs for what they are
Focus on the here and now but visualize the end result
Smile and breathe cause I am alive and capable

Thank you Barry’s Bootcamp for teaching me a lesson in personal responsibility and self-appreciation. I am motivated, inspired, and feeling like a badass. I worked hard to face myself and become my strongest self. 

I recommend to everyone and anyone to find what works for you. You are aware of your interest and passions so put the work in. Stop waiting. Stop avoiding it. Put yourself out there and start working towards what you truly want out of life. If I can achieve greatness, so can you.

Health & Fitness

Getting creative in the Kitchen!

Trying to eat a balanced diet on a college student budget is extremely difficult. On top of that, being surrounded by so many amazing places and products in Chicago make it harder to control my food spending habits. I can’t tell you the number of times I have gone over my weekly budget on groceries.

This week I have challenged myself to use the products and foods that have been sitting in my kitchen, untouched, because I bought them on impulse. Often, I over purchase for myself and end up throwing food out because it goes bad or I forget about it.

Instead going to one of the many local grocery stores, I decided to look more thoroughly than usual at what I have left in my kitchen. To my surprise I didn’t find myself saying, “I have no food left”, instead I was shocked by the amount of food products I have neglected to use the past few weeks.

I may be out of my staples of bananas, orange juice, and avocados; but I have so much in my pantry and fridge that I can use to create tasty, healthy, meals. So I put on my thinking cap and decided to get creative in my kitchen. My goal was to take full advantage of what food I do have handy.

When cooking it is important to me that my foods are filling, nutritious, and easy to take on the go. (and obviously tasty) I usually just mix a bunch of things together in hopes that they work out, and to my luck recently the meals and snacks have come out amazing! I don’t want to lose my tasty creations so I decided to share them with you!

The first thing I made over the weekend was a vegan friendly tofu dinner/lunch that I took to work with me. SUPER SIMPLE and SOOO GOOD.


What I used:

  • Half a package of organic tofu from Jewel
  • Half a green pepper chopped
  • Quarter of an onion chopped
  • Half a can of black beans rinsed out
  • 2 Cups of organic jasmine rice

What I did:

  1. Cut, rinse, and dry out tofu. While tofu is drying, chop your onions and peppers into the desired size.
  2. Cook rice according to what the package says. I prefer using a  rice cooker because it ALWAYS makes to rice come out perfectly.
  3. Lightly oil frying pan (I used spray olive oil). Cook tofu by itself until it begins to brown. Stir it constantly! Use medium heat.
  4. Add peppers and onions into the large frying pan with tofu. Keep stirring!
  5. Add desired seasonings to your mixture. I used literally a little bit of everything in my kitchen.
    • Turmeric
    • Garlic PowderIMG_5834
    • Italian Seasoning
    • Sea Salt
    • Black Pepper
  1. Continue to fry tofu, peppers, and onions at medium heat until the vegetables look fully cooked.
  2. Open a can of black beans, drain and rinse them. Let them sit to dry out a bit.
  3. When rice and tofu mixture are done, let them sit to cool before you pack everything into reusable food storage containers to take on the go!


I topped off the finished product with green dragon sauce from Trader Joe’s and let me tell you, my meal tasted amazing at work! All I had to do was heat it up in the microwave for two minutes, then bam! I enjoyed it.

— — —

The second thing I made is for breakfast on the go. The idea sprouted because I go back to school this week and knowing myself I will be rushing to get to my 8am classes on time. From what I had in my kitchen, it looked like matcha pumpkin protein muffins was the way to go.  


What I used:

  • 1 can of 100% pure pumpkin
  • Organic vegan pumpkin spice protein
  • ¼ cup of organic matcha green tea powder
  • 1.5 cups of brown rice flour
  • 1 cup of rolled oats
  • ⅓ cup of organic ground flaxseed
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup of almond milk
  • ¼ cup of coconut oil
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 2 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • Chia seeds (for sprinkling)

What I did:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Measure and mix all dry ingredients into a medium-sized bowl. (protein powder, matcha, brown rice flour, oats, flax-seed, baking soda, cinnamon)
  3. Measure and mix all wet ingredients into a large-sized bowl. (pumpkin, eggs, almond milk, coconut oil)
  4. Slowly add dry ingredient mixture to the wet ingredient mixture. I stirred by hand, but feel free to use an electronic mixer.
  5. Add muffin wrappers into muffin tin and SPRAY them with baking spray!! (or else they will stick to the wrapper)
  6. Use ice cream scooper to scoop completely mixed muffin batter into muffin tin cups.
  7. Sprinkle Chia seeds on top of each muffin!
  8. Bake for 12-15 minutes. (WATCH THEM!)
  9. Let cool and enjoy right away! OR Wrap muffins up and store in the fridge to grab on the go!

— — —

Lastly, I prepared my own mason jar trail mix with all the random snacks I had in my kitchen. When I am out and about I always find myself stopping at the local corner store to grab a snack. Spending $2-$3 here and there adds up so quickly!

A few weeks ago I bought myself a bunch of random nuts and such from Aldi and haven’t touched them yet! To think I would’ve gone to the grocery store to buy protein bars and chips is crazy! I had so much goodness stocked up in the back of my cabinet.


What I used:

  • Dry roasted unsalted peanuts
  • Whole almonds unsalted
  • Dry roasted unsalted sunflower kernels
  • Dried fruit medley (pineapple, banana, papaya, golden raisins, raisins, coconut)
  • Organic Coconut Flakes

What I did:

  1. Tossed all handful of each product into a mason jar and shook it!
  2. Throw it into your purse or backpack for a healthy snack on the go.


It is amazing what one can find when they take the time to really look. Yes, it takes longer to get creative and prepare meals, but if you just take a couple of hours out of one day you can prepare enough food to last you a few days and even the whole week.

I am really proud of myself for being more conscious about what’s in my kitchen. I just saved myself a trip to the grocery store and money. Exciting thing is, I was still was able to prepare myself healthy, filling meals!

So before you say, “there is no food in this house”, take a closer look and get creative. We should all be grateful that we have the luxury to eat three meals a day, every day.

To keep up to date with my cooking and baking creations, follow me on Instagram! I am constantly updating my story with my current eats!  

inspiration, My Life

New Year, Even Stronger Me!

2018, I am ready for you! Here’s to a year of personal strengthening: mentally, physically and emotionally. Each of my goals for this year are working towards expanding my knowledge, improving my weaknesses, and creating something new and empowering for myself.

I’m really excited about another revolution around the sun because each year brings new experiences and opportunities that fuel my soul and ignite the fire inside me. I know this year will also bring challenges and obstacles, but I am making a promise to myself to conquer them head on with an open mind and loving heart.

To be completely honest my goals for 2018 are inspired by some really amazing and influential people in my life as well as the subconscious fears I’ve been avoided committing to in the past. I wanted to share my goals with the public to inspire others and myself. There is nothing better than putting your wants and desires out into the universe and watching them blossom.


Kasey’s Personal Goals For 2018: The Year of Strengthening

Take A Yoga Class Once Per Week!

Yoga really helped me from junior year of high school to my freshman year of college as I was constantly fighting a battle within myself. I was not in control of my emotional state of mind; I was a being filled with constant high anxiety and depression and through yoga I discovered how to breathe and take control over the way my body feels. I fell in love with the way yoga makes me feel and in the past couple years I’ve been putting my practice on the back burner due to other responsibilities I have. Lately I’ve been letting myself fall back into the weak state of mind I once had, and I know yoga helps me through it so I am committing myself to make time for my mat once a week. One class, one hour, one moment just for me. Even if it has to be a Yoga With Adriane video on YouTube! Yoga heals.

Read 2 Books Per Month!

I have never been much of a reader. I don’t know the reason why but I have never gotten into books, like ever. One of my professors I had this fall (shout out to Bruce Boyer at RU) ended the semester by informing my class on the importance of reading and writing as integrated marketing communications major. I’ve always known that reading improves your vocabulary and challenges your mind, yet I haven’t pushed myself to get into it. After my professors lecture and conversation with my class, I realized that at 21 years old, it is crucial for me to spend more of my time with my face in my book and not my phone. How am I going to successfully write for a living if I don’t take the time to read other people’s writing? It’s like the lightbulb just clicked on and it’s time for me to catch up on what I’ve been missing out on. Thanks Boyer for inspiring me to read anything and everything!

Run Kasey, Run!

Running used to be the death of me until this past October. I decided to run a 15k on a whim with my roommate and actually enjoyed it. I’m already pretty physically active, but never ever have I been a runner. Though the 15k was extremely difficult (realistically I wasn’t prepared), the feeling I had after completing the race was something I have never felt before. It was so rewarding and I felt so proud of myself for facing my fears and just going for it. So for 2018 I have signed myself up for a 10k race and a half marathon! I’m not about do any sort of race on a whim again so here’s to running weekly in order to prepare myself for completing races! I know I am physically capable of running, but it’s time to strengthen my mental ability.

Eat A More Plant Based Diet!

This goal I started a little before the new year, but I am proud to say that I’ve finally committed myself to be a ovo-vegetarian for a year. This decision was a difficult one to commit too since I already have such a limiting diet. (celiac disease, which eliminates gluten and anaphylactic allergies to tree nuts and shelled fished). In 2017 I gave up dairy because it was making me feel quite sickly. Though I am not diagnosed by a doctor with lactose intolerance, it is quite a common thing for people with celiac disease to develop. I know my body and ever since I’ve eliminated dairy I have felt less bloated and food flows through my digestive system without physical pain. YAHOO! I decided to take my diet one step further in a more clean and healthy way by eating more fruits and vegetables and natural foods. My journey has just begun and there is a lot more I plan to learn throughout 2018, but thanks to my friend and vegan activist, Carly Bergman for being educator and influencer for me to make this choice. YOU ROCK!

It’s not even one week fully into 2018, but I am pumped up and already working to live my life to fullest! I am really excited about my goals because they are concrete, tangible, and measurable! They all works to growing my personal strength; mentally, physically, and emotionally. Life is so beautiful and offers so many amazing things and to realize that I can create whatever I desire out of it is so exciting!’s to you, me, and 2018. Write your goals down, share them with those who love and support you, and accomplish them head on with love and gratitude for all experiences! You are loved and capable of doing whatever your heart desires! Cheers to the new year and even better version of you!


Image courtesy of Spiritual Gangster
Image courtesy of lululemon
Image courtesy of Kristin Lohr
media production

Chelsea Vaccariello Fitness Documentary

The final assignment for my media production course at Roosevelt University was to create a 3-5 minute documentary on the topic of our choice. We had to showcase the skills we have been working on all semester from shooting angles and interview questions to editing techniques.

I decided to make a documentary on Chelsea Vaccariello, a fitness entrepreneur in Chicago. Chelsea’s story is very inspiring and interesting because her fitness company grew drastically through the power of social media, specifically her Instagram!

My Life

Workin’ on my Photography Skills!

My life has been beyond busy lately. My days are constantly filled with a full-time school schedule and two jobs; yet I am still making time for my passions and fun! 

A few weeks ago, I explored the West Loop, in Chicago with a few of my friends to work on my photography skills. My focus was capturing exciting and effective photos. 

All these photos are taken on my Canon Rebel T6 and edited in generic apple iPhoto Macbook application. (still saving up my money to purchase a professional photo editing system) I find it really important to showcase my skills, whether they are perfect or not. It helps hold myself accountable to constantly work harder as well as it provides an outlet to showcase my growth over time. 

Enjoy my photos and reach out if you’d like to help me work on my skills by doing a shoot of you or one of your events!



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