Kat Eats



HEALTHY EATING: Mediterranean Diet

Photo Credit:

I’ve never been one to really stick to a certain diet per se, for that long.

The word diet itself can be cringeworthy.

Continue reading “HEALTHY EATING: Mediterranean Diet”

BRAIN FOOD: I definitely just stuck some EVOO in my ear.


(What a heading, right?!)


I’m fighting off a head cold this week, and one of the symptoms that comes with it a lot for me, is clogged ears / ear tube pain.

Continue reading “BRAIN FOOD: I definitely just stuck some EVOO in my ear.”

REVIEW: Think Jerky

Last week I chatted with the man behind Think Jerky: the jerky that’s hoping to shake up the jerky industry with cutting edge flavors developed by famous chefs. (Check out my interview here.)

Today, I am excited to say I’m putting Think Jerky to the test.

Continue reading “REVIEW: Think Jerky”

BRAIN FOOD: Meditation

My blog may be all about food, but I can’t help but think about the food you feed your brain, too!

I meditate.

Continue reading “BRAIN FOOD: Meditation”

BROOKLYN: Nature’s Grill 

There’s a place I discovered via my uncle that I absolutely adore.

Nature’s Grill is all about taking fast food and making it healthier. From protein packed meals, to smoothies and juices, EVERYTHING is fresh, and good for you too!

Tonight, once again, I am in love.

Continue reading “BROOKLYN: Nature’s Grill “


“Jumping on the bandwagon” is the phrase that comes to mind tonight when it comes to my latest grocery store obsessions.

And these two items are innovative, fun and delicious.

1) Dole Kale Caesar Salad Kit

What the kale Caesar salad kit looks like after tossing it up and then pouring on a plate!
What the kale Caesar salad kit looks like after tossing it up and then pouring on a plate!

Browsing Kroger a few nights ago, I came across this gem, with the “New” on the packaging. Was so excited, and thought to myself two things:

1) Why didn’t they think of this before?!

2) They’re jumping on the kale bandwagon!!

I’ve always been a big fan of its lettuce Caesar kits as the dressing has awesome flavor and its SO easy to make. But now, with kale?! In. Love.

And here’s what’s jam packed inside this particular bag according to Dole:

“Another way to enjoy Caesar, a new way to love Kale: shaved Parmesan-Romano cheeses, roasted garlic croutons and DOLE’s All-Natural Caesar Dressing are tossed with bold baby kale, tender baby spinach and crunchy shredded broccoli. A delicious way to get vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K and calcium, it’s everything you love, and more.”

Chock full of vitamins, plus kale, according to, helps fight off CANCER along with promoting eye health, as well as lowering blood cholesterol levels and lowering risk for heart disease.

This salad took minutes, yes minutes, to prepare, and loved every bite. The dressing had a good amount of tang and spices, and along with the crunch of the garlic croutons and the crunchy baby kale, spinach and shredded broccoli, it was having a restaurant Caesar salad with even more health benefits and minus the prep work / fancy presentation. As kale has been such a huge craze, it’s exciting to see it being implemented into salad bags. Its already implemented into its chopped salad bags (another new favorite of mine from Dole), check those out here.

2) VitaminWater‘s line of sparkling water

VitaminWater's new fruitwater. Strawberry kiwi style.
VitaminWater’s new fruitwater. Strawberry kiwi style.

I said the same two things to myself after seeing these in the water aisle, next to a similar product that’s been out for some time now, Sparkling Ice.

I have found myself guilty of drinking A LOT of diet soda over the years. I love the taste, and at zero calories, it’s a great cold refreshing drink.

But I realize it’s not always the healthiest. And at times, I have turned to sparkling water’s, such as Sparkling Ice or back when I lived in CT/NY – Stop & Shop‘s sparkling waters.

Sparkling water versus seltzer to me is HUGE. The taste of seltzer is acquired. It can be bitter. Sparkling water, depending on the one you have, tastes like fruit flavored soda, minus that hard seltzer taste. Can I get a YUM!?

Which brings me to VitaminWater on the sparkling water bandwagon. It’s awesome.

I’ve had the strawberry kiwi flavor, and it tastes just like its still version, only carbonated. Zero calories. Delicious. Not overly sweet, just the right amount.

After doing a little research, its sparkling water has been around for a bit. However, the new packaging reminds me of Sparkling Ice, which makes me wonder if they’re trying to compete with them.

Regardless, so glad both parties in today’s post are on the bandwagon, and if you try either of these products, please let me know what you think!

DAYTON: #grocerystoreobsessionsMay21

I love grocery stores.

I’m fascinated by them.

Ever since I was younger, I’ve always loved to browse the aisles for unique items.

I’ve done this with friends, I’ve done this flying solo (i.e. the 24 hour Wegman’s in Syracuse, and here, the 24 hour Kroger‘s).

As I’ve said before on this blog, for the most part I like to eat cheap, and eat out of convenience.

Sometimes that can get tough when you feel the need to jump on the healthy train.

But I’m on my latest healthy kick, and I’ll tell you, I have found some guilt-free items at the grocery store I am full on OBSESSING over! And if you tried them, I think you would too.

Without further ado, here they are:

1) SKINNYPOP – Ultra Lite White Cheddar flavor

photo 2(1)

POPCORN. It’s the movie time staple we all know. But when doused in a ton of movie theater butter (I’m guilty of this, trust me), calories can add up. But this popcorn is a guilt-free gold mine. If you love cheese, this is the popcorn for you. It’s just enough of a cheesy taste to fulfill a craving, but it doesn’t overdo it (and you won’t get orange or white powder on your hands!). According to its website, the ultra lite white cheddar has a serving size of 3.5 cups, which is generous! And at only 160 calories, 9 grams of fat and 95 mg of sodium per serving size , guilt-free is definitely the word. And as it says there’s “no artificial anything,” as well as zero trans fat and a good source of fiber, I say DIG IN and bring this to your movies (or try it as a snack anytime).

2) Green Giant Seasoned Steamers: Brussels Sprouts with Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper

photo 3

These are something that if you offered it to me as a kid, I would’ve said no. Brussels sprouts! The ultimate healthy green vegetable that you either like, or pass on. I grew into liking these green morsels in recent years, and came across these frozen ones at Kroger recently. Very easy to make, just microwave and when you open the bag they’re hot, steamy, and perfectly seasoned with the salt and pepper. The serving size is 3/4 cup at 3 grams of fat. The only thing to watch would be the sodium (at 250 mg).  But according to, brussels sprouts have special cholesterol-lowering benefits, and is also a great cancer protector!

3) KIND Bars

photo 1Have you ever had a protein bar? I’ve tried different kinds, from PowerBars to CLIF, and while not all of these are “protein” bars, they’re amazing for breakfast or as a dessert to resist eating sweets (and I’m a chocoholic, I love sweets!). In fact, it says on the bars’ packaging that “A recent study conducted by the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center found that two KIND bars a day can curb appetite and even help prevent weight gain.” The company is all about using ingredients you can actually pronounce, i.e. nuts. But many have nuts in them, so if you don’t like nuts or are allergic, be cautious at the store. There are so many sweet/savory combinations to choose from, but two of my favorites right now are Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew + Antioxidants and Dark Chocolate Chili Almond. 

4) Brad’s Raw Crunchy Kale Chips, Vampire Killer flavor:

photo 4Friends, these kale chips are mind-blowing.


So much so that as soon as I finished the first pack I bought a few days ago, I went out and bought another one tonight at Kroger. Right now they’re situated near the vegetable section.

Now you’re probably thinking, Vampire Killer?!What’s up with that!

I’m a huge garlic lover, and that’s exactly what Brad set out to do in this chip, bring out the garlic and cheese with a good crunch.

Here’s what makes up Vampire Killer chips, according to its website:

“Coated with red bell pepper, cashews, sunflower seeds, lemon juice, scallions, chickpea miso, garlic, and Himalayan sea salt, these kale chips may kill vampires, but they liven up your taste buds!”

Its website also points out that all flavors of Brad’s Raw Crunchy Kale is dehydrated, to preserve the nutrients that “enhance digestion and dramatically increase energy levels.”

Woohoo!If you’re looking for something fun to munch and crunch on guilt-free, this is IT. And to give you an idea of the fat content, serving size is 1 ounce, 7 grams of fat and 116 mg of sodium.And Brad’s story on the website is inspiring in itself, please check it out. Brad, if you read this, I give you MAJOR kudos to an awesome chip. —What are your current #grocerystoreobsessions?Comment below or tweet at me, @kathleenhessman!

DAYTON: The Water Test



Do you think about its taste? Does all water taste the same?

I don’t think it does. Depending on the filter, the source, and what may or may not be added into it, each cup of water, whether it be tap or the most expensive bottle of water ever, is different.

Which brings me to Saturday afternoon (May 17).

I’m browsing the aisles of my local Kroger, and I’m headed down the water aisle.

I love buying the big bottle jugs of water (i.e. Ice Mountain or Nestle Pure Life), but the last time I bought water, I bought a 6 pack of Fiji water.

Ah, Fiji.
There’s something special to me about buying the Fiji water over other brands of bottled water. It’s always stood out to me, and tastes amazing, with a light, clean and smooth taste. (P.S. I don’t know about you, but I’m not really into Evian). Comment below and let me know which brand(s) of water you like!

I’ve noticed there are starting to be some other brands who want in on the I’m-from-out-of-the-country-you-must-try-my-water train. So I went ahead and bought the two I keep seeing, and am comparing the two to Fiji water.

The contenders, 3 500 ml bottles:

L-R: Kiwaii, Fiji, Icelandic Glacial
L-R: Kiwaii, Fiji, Icelandic Glacial

Icelandic Glacial

Country/Source: Ölfus Spring, Iceland

Price: $1 at Kroger for a 500 ml bottle

Packaging: Narrow top but wider square bottom. I love the way the top looks like an actual glacier, a very nice touch. I love how the bottle says multiple times “the source of an epic life.” The packaging also says the water has a pH level of 8.4, which is good.

Taste: When I first drank it, I thought the consistency was almost too light, like I was drinking air. I was shocked at the light consistency of this water. It was clean, and almost didn’t have taste as to how light it was, which impressed me, making me think, “Wow, is this what it’s like to sip water near a beautiful glacier?!” Overall was satisfied.

Compared to Fiji: Fiji is definitely a little thicker in consistency. Just like Fiji (and Kiwaii), there’s a natural lava rock filtration system going on with this water. As Fiji notes on its website that it has a “soft and smooth” taste due to the filtering through the volcanic rock in Fiji, which according to its site, adds electrolytes and minerals, but you can definitely taste the mineral-y taste in Fiji compared to the Icelandic. 


Country/Source: Blue Spring, New Zealand.

Price: $1.29 for a 500 ml bottle, with Kroger card $1

Packaging: The look of it is very similar to Fiji, except different color packaging and a narrower/skinnier bottle. The Kiwaii is written vertically as well. On the bottle it says “100% True New Zealand Spring Water”, along with “Water You Can Trust.” While I appreciate that its saying I can trust this water, are we not supposed to trust other water bottles? Is there something wrong with other water bottles, is there “true” water and “false” water? What makes up “false” water? The bottle struck my curiosity.

Taste/Compared to Fiji: It’s another water that comes from a source having to do with volcanic rock (like Fiji), so I was expecting it to be just like Fiji. It was definitely lighter than Fiji, but definitely not as airy as the Icelandic was. There definitely was a “taste” I was picking up as I sipped on it, perhaps the minerals? Overall this one is good too, a little lighter than Fiji.

Fiji’s latest campaign says: “Earth’s Finest Water, Perfected by Nature, Untouched by Man.”

It’s amazing the words that are used to make you drink or not drink something. I have always loved Fiji water, but trying the other two newer bottles into the market, Fiji definitely has some competition.

Each of the two contenders were good in their own right. I do think Kiwaii is very similar to Fiji, and if you like Fiji water you’ll like Kiwaii. But if I had to pick Kiwaii or Icelandic Glacial, I’d pick the Icelandic Glacial. I really enjoyed drinking that bottle, and I really liked its packaging.

I thought the pricing was interesting too. Each one is about a dollar a bottle, the Icelandic Glacial being $1 at Kroger right now, and the Kiwaii being $1 if you have a Kroger card. You can get a pack of six 500 ml bottles of Fiji at Kroger for $6.19 right now, which equals about $1.03 per single 500 ml bottle.

Which water brand(s) do you like? Is there a difference in taste when you drink different waters? Comment below!





PINTEREST DINNER: Crock Pot Paleo Beef Stew

Eating out of convenience is my motto.

And easy cooking for me, a single on-the-go chickie in Ohio, is a huge plus.

A snow storm is supposed to move into the Dayton area tonight. And with that, I thought about beef stew for dinner, to eat warm & hearty tonight. I’m craving it!

As I was searching Pinterest for recipes, a thought prevailed on me:

“Why don’t I make a paleo recipe?”

While I’ll admit, I by no means stick to any one diet or another (I love my sweets!), I love trying new things, healthy or not, and paleo is definitely one of those healthy things that’s really good and I recommend!

The paleo diet, according to, says the following about what the diet actually consists of:

“The Paleo Diet is based upon eating wholesome, contemporary foods from the food groups our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have thrived on during the Paleolithic era, the time period from about 2.6 million years ago to the beginning of the agricultural revolution, about 10,000 years ago. These foods include fresh meats (preferably grass-produced or free-ranging beef, pork, lamb, poultry, and game meat, if you can get it), fish, seafood, fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and healthful oils (olive, coconut, avocado, macadamia, walnut and flaxseed). Dairy products, cereal grains, legumes, refined sugars and processed foods were not part of our ancestral menu.”

Thought this was interesting too, the website also says:

Decades of research by Dr. Loren Cordain and his scientific colleagues demonstrate that hunter-gatherers typically were free from the chronic illnesses and diseases that are epidemic in Western populations, including:

  • Obesity
  • Cardiovascular disease (heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, atherosclerosis)
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Autoimmune diseases (multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, etc.)
  • Osteoporosis
  • Acne
  • Myopia (nearsightedness), macular degeneration, glaucoma
  • Varicose veins, hemorrhoids, diverticulosis, gastric reflux
  • Gout

After browsing and browsing I came across a fabulous recipe by another fellow Ohio blogger, Tales of a Closet Homemaker.

Truly I feel this was a case of fate.

Here’s her fabulous paleo recipe that I’m trying out tonight (with the link to her post):

Crock Pot Paleo Beef Stew


2lbs beef stew meat

6 stalks of celery, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

1 pack mushrooms, chopped

1 bag baby carrots, chopped (4 or 5 whole)

1 bag frozen peas

3 potatoes diced (skins on)

2 TBS minced garlic

1 can diced tomatoes(or 1 1/2 cups)

1 can crushed tomatoes (or 1 1/2 cups)

1 cup beef broth

2 TBS Parsley (dried)

2 TBL Basil (dried)

1 1/2 TBL Sea salt

1 TBL Pepper


Throw it all in the crock pot (this will fill a 5 qt to the very top).  Cook high 4-6 or low 7-10.  You can’t really overcook this one, and it can be assembled the night before and left in the refrigerator.

Here’s how I’m doing it:


The top left picture has most of the ingredients. I used:

  • Lean Angus beef stew meat (I love lean meats and saw this on sale at Kroger today, got very excited!)
  • A can of crushed tomatoes
  • A can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup of beef broth
  • Two sweet potatoes, chopped (sweet potatoes are hard to chop when uncooked, do you agree? I used these instead of regular potatoes. Very paleo 🙂 )
  • A pack of mushrooms, chopped
  • 7 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped

The top right picture has the spices, I used:

  • 2 TBS parsley (dried)
  • 1 TBS Italian Seasoning spices, Garlic & Herb ( I didn’t have basil so opted for this instead)
  • 1 TBS black pepper
  • 1/2 TBS salt (the less salt the better in my opinion)
  • A little over 2 TBS chopped garlic (I loveee garlic.)

The bottom picture: I loaded all of the ingredients into my crock pot (with a liner in) and am going to cook it on high for 4-6 hours.

Excited to show you the final result!

I’ll post a picture later!

In the meantime, bon appetit and Happy Crocking! (And thank you, Tales of a Closet Homemaker for providing a fun recipe to try tonight!)

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