More and more people are starting to ask me about eating a more plant based diet or they know someone who is leaning in that direction so with the Thanksgiving holiday or thanksLIVING holiday as I like to call it coming up I wanted to highlight a few items that might make your holiday season a little easier if you choose to not eat animal products or you are entertaining someone who chooses to eat this way.

Fortunately options are easier than ever to find and most of our local grocery stores carry some kind of option at this point for the center of the plate. This year we are trying out Gardeins holiday roast (in picture) its a meatless turk’y roast stuffed with kale,cranberries and wild rice. It serves 8 and comes with gravy. Other favorites I have seen are field roasts “celebration roast” Trader joes has a vegan turkey-less  stuffed roast with gravy. Tofurky makes a vegan roast and a new item this year is a ham loaf. I am certain there are even more than I have listed here but there are plenty of options. You can always make your own homemade versions to, such as a lentil loaf, roasted and seasoned cauliflower steaks or stuffed butternut squash.


When it comes to stuffing that’s no problem, swap out any chicken broth for vegetable broth and swap out dairy butter for a plant based version such as miyokos (pictured) or earth balance. Use those same butter options in making desserts, they work just fine and taste great. If your stuffing uses meat then buy some frozen meatless crumbles from Beyond meat or gardein or even use crumbled tempeh. All cholesterol free and add lots of flavor.

I have you covered on cheese which I know I know can be a tough sell but the market is IMPROVING! Companies like Vio-life (pictured), miyokos, follow your heart and kite Hill are doing some great things so check them out. These cheeses can also take your mashed potatoes to the next level! Speaking of mashed potatoes….

Dairy free milks are quite readily available at this point, sweetened or unsweetened for any recipes that call for dairy milk switch it out with cashew, almond,coconut or make your own….I have a great you tube video showing you how to do that in 5 min!

Animal free gravy is not an issue, my husband makes an amazing mushroom gravy  using vegetable broth, vegan butter, and flour…but if you do not want to make your own, pacific foods makes a vegan mushroom gravy.

Whipped cream is a must when it comes to pumpkin pie or pecan pie! We make our own using a can of coconut cream and maple syrup. Very easy and extremely tasty, trust me no one will spit it out. OR check your store for dairy free whipped topping options I know the So delicious brand make s a great whipped topping. Ice cream falls right next to this category and this area is a simple one, even Ben and Jerry’s is on board with several dairy free options, so delicious has several as well. Many of these plant based ice creams are coconut milk based and they are incredible.

We are making a vegan pecan pie this year and we also got one of Daiya’s cheezecakes and we will make a maple pumpkin topping to drizzle on top of it.

I know of 2 vegan restaurants near me that do fully prepared vegan meals that are ready for pickup and I know Whole foods stores do a similar option. While these might be a little costly it certainly saves time and takes pressure off of the host OR if you are a guest at someones house and you know there will be minimal options for you then this can be your solution!

As you can see a few simple swap outs can be made without a lot of trouble because when it all comes down to the holiday season it should be about spending time with those close to us, helping out others and making good memories and finding joy together.

Reach out to me with any swap out questions you are struggling with or if you have tried some items you want to share with me that would be great!!





November has a Motto! Learn it, Say it.


I hear excuses all year about why people are not living in the most healthy way possible and it really starts to heat up in November as we approach the holidays, but let’s make this year different.

Let me give you insight to the top 3 excuses and how to flip them into actions:


Very Classic and very common one here but ya know what we all probably have more time than we realize. How much TV time are you putting in per week? How much social media time? How many times did you go out with friends during the week or month? Don’t get me wrong we all have to relax, unwind, have fun but don’t look at me and say you don’t have the time until you are being honest with yourself about how many hours per week you can’t really account for doing anything productive because it all adds up and it’s time you could be working towards your goals.

Excuse : It is too expensive to eat healthy and get fit: 

Nope just not true! So maybe keep track of your money spent during a one month period keeping track on things you didn’t really need or use. How many times did you go out to eat or go to the bar? Once again being honest with yourself. After the thinking, it’s simple math to decided what your choice will be.

If you think you cannot meal prep on a budget then take a grocery store tour with me and allow me to help you in this area. If you think you need to buy half of Lululemon to get in shape, don’t! Come see me for some workouts you can do at home with just the strength of your awesome body! #bodyweight


Excuse: I am too old or out of shape or “insert some kind of negative comment about self here” 

This one is a real combo of people feeling like it is just too late or they are just so beyond helping so what’s the point in trying? Well I am here to tell you it’s never as bad as you think and you are never too old! I just watched an 85 year old man deadlift 315 pounds at a National Powerlifting meet so I ask you, how are you using your body today?

“It’s the life in your years not the years in your life.”

Bottom line is we can all come up with excuses for everything in life that we don’t feel comfortable doing, are scared to do or if we just feel like it’s not possible.

Get your head right and come see me so we can work on YOU because you deserve to be good to yourself. You deserve to be the healthiest person you can be. I promise you will not regret it!! #noexcuses

My Baltimore Trip : Natural Products Expo East

I recently had the opportunity to go on a trip to Baltimore for the Natural Product Expo East and I when I first thought about writing this I thought it would be a good opportunity to show and tell the foods I ate on my trip and what I did for my workouts. When I really thought about it though, the trip was super good for my physical and mental state and it occurred to me that the getaway was actually a great way for me to escape my routine and rest my body. I hope you find this insightful as I share my perspective.


I was away from home for 4 days with 2 great friends of mine and without my husband which is extremely rare, we are always together and hardly ever spend more than 1 night apart. I did not have my heavy weights to push around for an hour each day. I did not have my refrigerator fully stocked with all of my favorite healthy foods. OH NO!! So for those who know me well know that I am very strict about my workouts and my meal timing/choices and some would even say I am “obsessed’ with these areas at times.

I decided to go into this trip and let all of that go for a few days. Just live my life and enjoy myself and that’s exactly what I did. I didn’t seek out a gym or take note of everything I was eating at all times. I took 4 solid days off of lifting weights and pushing my body hard. I ate some awesome food at some cool restaurants!


Did I lose all my muscle gains? Did I put on a bunch of fat? Answer is, NO and NO! In fact I came back stronger and so refreshed and re- energized. Now I am not gonna lie, by the end of the trip I was really wanting to work out and I was a little bit in my dwell chamber of negative self- talk but I was able to squash that pretty quickly and get real with myself.

My point of talking about this is that sometimes we need that break and its OK to take a break because we all need it to be better. Rest is actually OK, especially when you are pushing it so hard all the time. For me ir is a mental barrier that I need to knock down and be mentally alright with taking a few days off here and there. This is a struggle I will continue to work on.

Alright already let’s talk about the trip! I was lucky enough to get to go to this really cool show and see whats happening in the natural food world, the show is huge and it’s pretty much 6-8 hours of walking around and sampling so much incredible food and drinks like all kinds of coconut water, protein drinks, protein bars, coffees, chocolates, veggie burgers, vegan ice cream and more! You name it and it was there! So needless to say I did a lot of grazing! The show was 3 days and we attended each day so I managed to eat my fair share of food. I would guess a few full meals but I will tell ya they were worth it!


We did pack a lunch each day at the show so we could have an actually meal in between grazing sessions.

We had brought a few things from home and also stopped at a Whole Foods to raid their salad bar and deli. We managed to pull together some pretty solid lunches for the 3 days but we did get to eat out and ate at a few pretty cool places. A great pizza place downtown called Johnny Rads which had vegan pizza and my review was that vegan pizza rocks!

Another good place was a small Ethiopian restaurant, kind of one of those hole in the wall places that turned out to be pretty on point! Food was great!

We even found a place that made vegan soul food like mac and cheese, crab cakes, collard greens,sweet potato cakes and all kinds of other things.

It was  really fun to explore different cultures of food and I like everything so I can appreciate all the spices and flavors. I suggest the website when you are traveling because it can tell you some good restaurants, health food stores and co-ops in the area that you are staying or traveling through.

We rented a house so we made dinner one night which was these porcini and vegan cheese stuffed veggie burgers and salads. I recommend these little burgers for a meal or two.


Overall it was a great trip for me mentally and physically. It was hard to break away from my normal routine but as mentioned I am glad I did!


What are some things you like to do or places you like to go to get away from your routine? How do you feel when you get back?

Shout Out to September : 2016


Here we go bouncing right into September already! I know life can get crazy for many of us this time of year. Families with kids in school, new activities, sporting events, etc. but if you have been working this #summer to create some good habits around fitness and nutrition then you should be armored and ready to conquer September like its no big deal!

Let’s say you have not established some good food shopping or food preparation habits and you certainly have not touched a weight all summer then that’s OK because there is never any better time than RIGHT NOW to get going with creating a structure of healthy living for yourself and your family members too.


Fitness You Can Live With has you covered from:

-Grocery shop tours

-Pantry cleanup/ Kitchen visits

-Meal planning, recipe ideas and prep

-Workouts for all fitness levels

-motivation, accountability and much more!

I want you to reach the best you that you can be which ever way we have to get there, we will do it together.

Connect with me throughout my social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube) and check out the new LOOK on my website! New content and group rates!



Screen Shot 2016-09-01 at 7.47.52 PM

I will be using YouTube as a teaching resource for kitchen tips, recipes, workout ideas, exercise tutorials and everything else in between so I greatly appreciate your feedback.

Fall schedule for Group Fitness

Monday: 5p-6pm at Fitness You Can Live With

Wednesday: 3:45p-4:45pm at Maltby Middle School (Brighton)

Saturday: 8:30am-9:30am at Fitness You Can Live With : Power Boxing

**Bring a friend rate is now $10 each boxer on Saturday’s only!**

Check out this great weeknight recipe! 


Transformation Tuesday :: Lori

Jumping with 2 feet in!

When I met Lori in February of 2016 she was already on her way to getting a handle on her health but she wanted to get stronger and just start getting more into fitness.

We started off slow and worked on proper form as well as building some endurance, working on balance, coordination, etc. Lori is a quick learner and is very aware of how the body works and was easily able to pick up on what muscles were being worked, before too long she was using her new muscles in all sorts of life functions! Carrying heavy buckets while digging for rare stones on vacation, sleeping without shoulder pain, flying on a plane without stressing about the seat belt!


In a recent text from Lori – “OMG Look how much room I have left on the airplane seat belt! I don’t need the extension! Yeah! 🙂 It’s the little things ya know! Thanks Kelly! Your training rocks!”

I always know when Lori is feeling good during a workout session when she breaks out in dance! Totally just rocking it and having fun which, I am all about!!

One of the things Lori told me when we first started is how she wanted to be able to jump with 2 feet again because she got to a place where her body physically didnt want to do that, but now she can easily jump with 2 feet and is now jump up onto boxes,leaping forward and doing jump squats with no problem!!
Her total body strength has improved immensly within just a few months it has been very fun for me too share the experience with her, I truly look forward to her new feats of strength because we are always working on something new!!

I recently sent out a survey to some clients but Lori’s really hit home with her transformation. Here are her answers to some of my questions:

Kelly Itsell (KI): What are a few day to day functional differences you have noticed in your life since training with Kelly at Fitness You Can Live with?
Lori (L): I can tie my shoes without difficulty! I have better balance. My shoulders no longer hurt when I sleep on my side!

KI: What are some exercises you couldn’t do (or didn’t want to do!) 5 months ago but can do now?
L: I did not want to do any exercises where I had to get up from and down on to the floor. Now I can do Planks, and windills… and I am sure a lot more floor exercises now that I have admitted it! I was UNABLE to jump!!! One day I just discovered I could no longer jump! That was so bizarre! I jump when I dance and the other day, I noticed I was jumping with ease….. YEAH!

KI: What were some of your prior exercise experiences and how were they different than training with Kelly?
L: Compared to other workouts, I find that Kelly’s are different every time! She is very creative with each workout which makes it fun and challenging. It also strengthens the brain!!! She calmly allows you to try the things you do not want to attempt and is there for support.
KI: What are you most proud of on your health journey so far?
L: That I am being consistent with my workouts and I am starting to challenge myself!!! And I am beginning to like it!!!! YIKES!

KI: What are some of your gym goals for the future?
L: Jumping Rope. Windmills from the ground level and 1 pull up! Yes, I have never been able to do a chin-up, even when I was little! So I am in serious training to perform 1 full pull up!! Maybe a competition…Who Knows!!! I continue to feel stronger every day.


#flexitfriday process!

Define progress? In my book progress means moving forward. I dedicate my #flexitfriday to progress. I am making strides to move forward and accomplish realistic goals that you have set for yourself. Lifting weights, eating healthy and every so often snapping a selfie to see the progress you have made!

It can be very motivating to take progress pictures of your body changes because if you are only looking at one thing such as a scale it can be very confusing and de-motivating depending on your goals.

This is one of the reasons I always suggest taking body measurements, paying attention to how clothes fit, take pictures, journal your workout progress.

I was just comparing some of my progress form last year at this time:

For the past year I have been focusing more on building strength as well as working on my main 3 big lifts being deadlift,bench press and back squat. With that I have focused on consuming more food to help fuel those bigger lifts and to give me the strength to progress in them. With that has come weight gain which is what I wanted, some of that is lean muscle and some of that is fat.

Deadlift-150lb then to 215lb now

Bench press – 90lb then to 115lb now

Back squat – 140lb then to 200lb now

I’m pretty happy with these but of course never satisfied, I know I have a long way to go on these lifts before I am maxed out so I will keep pushing for my goals on those. Pullups is one area that I have also made a commitment to, so 5 days a week I do some sort of pullup. I suggest you try it out because it is a hard move for everyone and you will never do it unless you practice practice!

Fitness You Can Live News: August is a Hot One!

Heading into the final month of summer and it has been a HOT one! I know I have gotten outside a ton for fitness this summer, how about you? What things have you enjoyed outside?

I have logged a lot of cycling miles, done some outdoor circuit training, outdoor boxing, hiking, and working in the yard.

Check out these pictures of some of my clients hitting this playground for a bunch of cool bodyweight exercises! I love it! What’s even better is that they use the workouts that they have done with me and put them to use on vacation and at home! So if you have a playground nearby which I bet nearly everyone does, then you are lucky to have your own personal gym space! Creative workouts like this are my favorite especially with a good workout buddy who is going to work hard too so you can push each other.



How’s your nutrition game these days? I see a lot of terrible eating and snacking happening with a lot of people which makes me sad because there are really tons of good options if you simply take the time to learn about them and make the effort to purchase or make your own food! I am here to help and that’s why I post so much on my social media outlets so people can get ideas and fuel their bodies with better choices.

One of the first things people say is “well how many calories is it?”

I’m sorry but this thinking is just the wrong way to live! Instead try looking at how many nutrients are in it. Think of calories as units of energy. I think we are all looking for energy to power through life. What are those calories composed of? Stop with the numbers game and eat real food, you will be much happier! If you don’t know what food choices to make and you are spinning your wheels and going nowhere fast then please reach out to me for nutritional guidance. I offer a variety of services to help you learn more about nutrition.

I will leave you with this great breakfast idea from Vega! Vega makes products that are built to suit anyone’s busy life. I especially love the Vega One formula to start my day because its loaded with 20 grams of protein, 6 servings of green vegetables, 6 grams of dietary fiber, omega 3 fatty acids ,probiotics! Bonus! All plants, No soy, no dairy ,no animal products used!