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G A T H E R I N G S | Healthy Living

Inevitably, this is the time of year that I always seem to stay hungry. I'm sure it has to do with the fact that I gorge myself on all the Thanksgiving goodness, and the old saying "the more you eat, the more you eat" becomes me. So what better time to schedule a Healthy Living class than right smack dab in the middle of the holiday season in hopes of being able to learn a little self-control. Not only was self-controlled covered in the Healthy Living class taught by Traci Holloway of @holloway_healthyliving, but some amazing secret recipes that have been staples in Traci's kitchen over the last couple of years. However, I will have to say that not a lot of self-control was administered during this extremely fun and informal class - we ate until we could not eat anymore!

Traci Rico Holloway is a small town girl who grew up in Eupora, MS. She moved to Madison in 2013 where she married her husband, Greg. In 2017, Traci made a decision to change her lifestyle. This SAHM/Nurse was tired of the way she felt. She had terrible eating habits and just felt sluggish and miserable all the time. She knew something had to change so she reached out to a nutrition coach. Slowly, she started incorporating healthy habits and learning about the basics of food. This led her to discover her passion for healthy cooking and fitness. She was obsessed with discovering ways to alter recipes, to mimic past favorites without the miserable after feeling. Soon after her journey took off she started documenting healthy meals she would prepare for her family. People began reaching out to her, asking her to share recipes. She now has an Instagram (@holloway_healthyliving) full of healthy food recipes, pregnancy comparisons, and motivation. Her desire is to inspire people to invest in themselves so they can not only look great, but feel great as well. She is now Precision Nutrition certificate and is now coaching others on healthy lifestyle choices.

What a blessing it has been over the past five years to watch my friend, Traci, grow into such a wonderful wife and mother. I love her passion and desire to help others.



Crack Chicken


3lbs chicken breast

8oz. Fat free cream cheese

1 packet of ranch dressing

½ bottle Franks hot sauce

splash of low sodium chicken broth


Add a splash of low sodium chicken broth to crockpot, enough to cover the bottom. Add chicken. Cook on high for 3.5 hours.

Once chicken is done, discard all but about ¼ cup of juice. Shred chicken. Add remaining ingredients and cook for another 30 minutes until cream cheese is melted.


Cheesy Meat Lasagna Rolls


1 ½ cups fat-free or part skim ricotta cheese

1 ½ cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons dried oregano

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 pound lean ground turkey (90% lean)

One 24-ounce jar marinara sauce

14 lasagna noodles, cooked al dente (7 to 8 minutes)

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)


Preheat the oven to 425’F.

In a mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, ½ cup of the mozzarella, the egg, ¼ teaspoon of the garlic powder, the oregano, and the black pepper. Set aside.

In a large skillet coated with nonstick oil spray, cook the turkey meat over medium-high heat for about 8 minutes, stirring continually to break apart and crumble. Drain off the fat and discard.

Stir in 1 ½ cups of the marinara sauce along with the remaining ¾ teaspoon of garlic powder. Mix thoroughly and remove from the heat.

Add the meat sauce to the cheese mixture and combine.

To assemble the lasagna rolls, cover the bottom of a casserole pan with a thin layer (about ½ cup of marinara sauce.

On a flat work surface, lay out each noodle one at a time and add ¼ cup of the meat filling on top. Using your fingers, spread filling even to cover the entire length of the noodle. Roll the noodle staring with the end closest to you. Place into the prepared casserole pan with the seam underneath so the lasagna noodles do not come unrolled.

When all of the4 noodles are neatly rolled and set in the pan, pour the remaining cup of the marinara sauce evenly over the top. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup mozzarella and top it with the grated Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes, if desired.

Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown and bubbly.


Flourless Skillet Brownies


1¼ Cups dark chocolate chunks, divided

¼ Cup (½ stick) unsalted butter

1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup granulated maple sugar or coconut sugar

¼ cup cocoa powder

½ teaspoon baking powder

pinch of sea salt


Preheat the oven to 350’ and grease a 12-inch cast iron skillet.

Place water in the bottom of a double boiler so that the water level is ½ inch below the upper pan.

Place 1 cup of the chocolate chunks and the butter in the upper pan, then set the double boiler over low heat. Stir often until the chocolate is melted. Pour the melted chocolate into a large mixing bowl.

In a blender, blend the avocado until smooth. Add the avocado to the melted chocolate and mix until combined.

Add the eggs to the chocolate-avocado mixture and whisk to combine. Stir in the maple syrup and vanilla.

In a bowl, mix together the sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry mixture to the wet and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula to combine.

[endif]Fold in the remaining ¼ cup of chocolate chunks and pour the batter into the prepared skillet.

Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle. Let cool completely in the pan before cutting. Store in a container on the counter or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to 1 month.






friends of gatherings

"Girlie whirlie" was the feeling I felt as I was pulling this hot pink baby over my head. I have been trying to add pink to my wardrobe for quite some time now - since I will be welcoming my new grandbaby girl into the world this coming January. So you can imagine my excitement when @VillageBoutiqueMS chose this little number for me to wear by Wilt. I always love adding Wilt pieces to my wardrobe. They are comfortable and casual on those days you want to wear leggings and keds, but throw on some pearls and heels and you can dress it for church. Village Boutique is located at 1888 Main Street in Madison, and is a friend to Gatherings.



The correct serving piece can make all the difference in the world and this platter totally set off this pineapple salsa. Conveniently located right off the Gluckstadt exit, Relish Home Accents has a vast array of home furnishing, lighting, serving pieces, and a ton of new items for all your Christmas decorating needs. Visit Relish Home Accents at 113 Dees Drive, Madison, and tell make sure you let them know that you are glad they are a friend of Gatherings!

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