Demo Reel

Chacha or waltz? Upbeat and sassy or smooth and elegant?

It’s the 10th Annual and final Dancing with the Knoxville Stars fundraising event for East Tennessee Children’s Hospital and I am pleased to be part of the cast of dancers!

Dance Tonight Knoxville paired me with dance pro Kris Hazard who is not only a fantastic choreographer, actor, and professional dancer, he is a great dance instructor. Dancing with the Knoxville Stars

It was an exciting night where Kris and I danced a chacha to “Feel It Still” by Portugal. The Man. We finished second overall with 28 out of 30 points and third in fundraising with over $10,000 raised for ETCH.

Thank you to the businesses who donated to ETCH on my behalf:  Solinity, Clayton Homes, DeRoyal Industries, Engert Plumbing & Heating, Inc., Phillips & Jordan, plus many other friends, family and supporters!

Celebrity Dancers and professional partners:
Leslie Ackerson / Jeremiah King
Tyrone Beach / Stephanie Braeuner
Heather Haley / Jeremy Norris
Laura Halm / Gaberial Akers
Lisa Henderson / Al Henriquez
Sara Mitchell / Kris Hazard
Dr. Amit Patel / Emily Norris
Sylvia Peters / Talon Hill
Wes Rucker / Rachel Henriquez

Dancing with the Knoxville Stars 2018 Full Performance from East TN Children’s Hospital on Vimeo.



What a way to start the new year! In the months of January and February, I was thrilled to drive a Lexus luxury vehicle from Lexus of Knoxville for the 2018 campaign:  Lexus Driver Experience.

It was an honor to drive the newest wheels and test out unmatched features and tools that make driving in a Lexus unlike any other vehicle.

During my time as a Lexus Influencer, I was fortunate to drive the NX 300, IS 300, and ES 350. Some of the standard but nonetheless bonus features I enjoyed most were heated/cooled seats, sunroofs, digital touchscreen audio controls, driving assist, and touch-less lift gates.

Aside from excellent vehicles, Lexus of Knoxville is also devoted to the community and those living in East Tennessee. As part of the Lexus Driver Experience, I was pleased to participate in the Comfort Bears event where Lexus of Knoxville teamed up with B97 to collect stuffed animals that emergency first responders will have in their vehicles at the scene of emergencies to present to children who are facing crisis.

The 2017 Rivalry Thursday/H3 Playoffs season was one of the best! Games were action-packed and athletes made plays that surprised us each week. I loved sharing stories of coaching staffs, athletes, communities and student sections.

Thanks for welcoming our team into your home on Rivalry Thursday and H3 Playoffs!

2017 SCHEDULE:
August 17th Anderson Co. @ Carter
August 19th Bearden @ West
August 24th Morristown East @ Jefferson Co.
August 31st Morristown West @ Farragut
September 7th Bearden @ South-Doyle
September 14th South-Doyle @ Sevier Co.
September 21st Rockwood @ Harriman
September 28th Rhea Co. @ Catholic
October 5th Greenback @ Coalfield
October 12th Maryville @ Ooltewah
October 19th Central @ South-Doyle
October 26th Farragut @ Hardin Valley

PHOTO GALLERY:

Emcee of Endeavor Summit 2017

Over 500 participants gathered at the Mill & Mine in Knoxville, Tennessee for the second annual Endeavor Young Professional’s Summit 2017 sponsored by the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce.

It was an honor to return as emcee of the event where I had the privilege of introducing community leaders, speakers and guests. The lineup of breakout session leaders and keynote speakers included entrepreneurs, local business executives, public speakers, and business savvy professionals. The theme of this year’s Endeavor Summit was “amplify your impact.”

Throughout the full-day event, individuals were encouraged to complete a service-to-go project of filling an “enrichment treat” for the animals at Zoo Knoxville.

The day concluded with a social hour where participants were invited to mix and mingle with young professionals, visit partner booths, and celebrate the day with live music and festivities.

Keynote Speaker: Hallerin Hilton Hill

Service-to-go project for Zoo Knoxville

Participants were invited to print personal t=shirts at The Print Truck

Endeavor 2017 Social Hour

July 4th Sweets & Treats

The fourth of July is so much more than cookouts, get-togethers, fireworks and food. This patriotic holiday is a great display of our celebration of the Declaration of Independence.

So what better way to celebrate than with red, white, and blue sweets and treats?

Take a look at these recipes of yummy patriotic items to share at your July 4th events!

Heart Healthy – Patriotic Parfait

Ingredients:

  • Greek yogurt (vanilla or plain)
  • Fresh strawberries or raspberries
  • Fresh blueberries
  1. Wash strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.
  2. In individual snack size bowls, scoop ½ cup of Greek yogurt per bowl.
  3. Slice strawberries into bite sized pieces.
  4. Place strawberries slices or raspberries and blueberries over the yogurt.
  5. Let chill and serve.

Nutrition Facts:
Serving Size    Approx. 5 oz.
Calories           125
Sodium            90 mg
Sugars             19 g

*Fruit nutrition facts vary.
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be high or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Semi-healthy – Banana Sparklers

Blog - bananas Ingredients:

  • 4-6 large bananas
  • Nutella spread
  • Red, white & blue sprinkles
  • Wooden skewers
  1. Cut the bananas into halves.
  2. Insert one rod into each of the snack sized banana cuts.
  3. Heat 1 cup of Nutella in a microwave safe bowl until melted.
  4. Dip each banana cut into the Nutella, spread until the banana is covered.
  5. Shake sprinkles over Nutella-covered banana cuts.
  6. Place on serving dish and let chill.

Nutrition Facts:
Serving Size    1 Sparkler
Calories           150 calories*
Sugars             20g*

*Approximate nutrition facts based on fruit and Nutella dipping.
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be high or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Soul Healthy – Red Velvet Crinkle CookiesBlog - crinkle cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 red velvet cake mix
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
  • ½ tsp. cornstarch
  1. Preheat over to 375°F
  2. Combine cake mix, eggs, butter and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl; stir until blended.
  3. Blend sugar and cornstarch in small mixing bowl.
  4. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll dough balls in sugar mixture.
  5. Place 2-inches apart on cookie sheets.
  6. Bake 8-10 minutes or until firm.

Let cookies cool then place on a serving dish with a side of blueberries.

Nutrition Facts:
Serving size     1 cookie
Calories           71
Total Fat         2 g
Sodium            13 mg
Sugars             2 g

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be high or lower depending on your calorie needs.

On April 28, 2017, the Tennessee premier of “Dog Years” film took place at the Nashville Film Festival in middle Tennessee. In front of a packed Regal Cinema theatre, the highly anticipated film played for cast, crew, directors, local viewers and special guests.

Photo Recap:

On April 22, 2017, the world premier of “Dog Years” was shown at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. The film stars legendary Burt Reynolds and Modern Family’s Ariel Winter.

In the summer of 2016, the film was shot in Tennessee. I am thrilled to have been part of a stellar cast as the bride in the wedding scene.

Take a look back at this photo recap from the world premier.

Each year in April, the American Heart Association sparks a movement with National Walking Day. Today, April 5, 2017, is used to encourage individuals to take a few extra steps to move towards a healthier lifestyle.

So…it’s walking day. What do we need to do?

Walk thirty minutes TODAY! It just takes going on a walk to celebrate the day!

Research shows that walking at least thirty minutes per day can help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels, maintain body weight and lower the risk of obesity, enhance mental well-being, reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes (heart.org).

What might help motivate you:
1. Walk with an accountability partner
2. Set a specific route with time goals
3. Set a timer and make sure you complete the time
4. Upload new music to listen to during your walk
5. Take a pet with you (canines need exercise too)

Or if you are like me, you might use those 30 minutes to call a friend or family member. Just make sure they know why your breathing is more labored than normal!

Whether you are starting your healthy lifestyle journey or you just need a boost to get back on track, it never hurts to look the part. Below are some of my favorite items to wear on a walk (sorry, fellas, you might want to stray away from the women’s section).

*Click on the photo to find links to items.

Reebok Cardio Capri  – The soft nylon, breathable, speedwick capris are perfect for cardio, using weights or a fitness class.

Reebok ActivChill Tee – This v-neck tee is flattering, cool, and fitted just enough to move with you during your walk.

Asics Running Shoes – It’s important to have a durable shoe that will support your foot on a treadmill, trail or track. I have found that Asics fit me well and have substantial support.

Use National Walking Day to help make a change towards a better, more fit YOU. Just thirty minutes of a quick-tempo walk could make a difference.

Don’t forget to stretch! Happy walking.

-Sara

Breakfast to go

Good morning!

As National Nutrition Month comes to a close, it does not mean that we should stop talking about food! After all, food it is what our social events are planned around, it’s what we look forward to each day, it’s why we gather in the kitchen, and it gives us an extra boost during long days.

Eating HEALTHY food is challenging but there are tricks to make the process a little more simple. One of my favorite breakfast items for hectic mornings or just a delicious on-the-go nutritious option for every age is an egg muffin.

IMG_0426

March is National Nutrition Month

These nutrient-packed breakfast egg muffins are easy to pop in the microwave to heat up and take on the go or simply speed up your morning routine. The great reality of egg muffins is that you can add any healthy ingredients and make them as colorful, nutritious, and paleo as you want them.

See below for my favorite breakfast recipe:

Egg Muffins

  • 1 carton egg whites
  • 1 carton egg substitute
  • Turkey bacon or sausage
  • Sautéed peppers
  • Sautéed onions
  • Sautéed spinach
  • Sautéed mushrooms
  • Low-fat Feta cheese

Sauté vegetables of choice and cook protein. In a standard 12-muffin baking pan, pour a thin row of egg substitute in each of the muffin holes. Then add approx. 1 tsp. of each of your vegetables and protein; crumble a thin layer of feta cheese on the ingredients. Fill the remainder of the egg muffin with egg whites.

Egg muffinBake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden on the top.

Approximate nutrition facts per egg muffin: Calories 50; Protein 4g; Carbohydrates 2.5g

I hope you enjoy these delicious protein-packed breakfast muffins for all ages.

Happy healthy eating!

-Sara
AAAI Sport Nutrition Consultant

March 15: we are half way through National Nutrition Month. New Years Resolutions fell apart several weeks ago, right? And the grind of eating healthy meals has probably gotten the best of us.

If you messed up…get back on track!

Be encouraged. This month is not over, and you have plenty of time to get back on your resolution or goal of healthy eating.

Among my top 5 life items includes FOOD! I love to eat. Breakfast, snacks, sweets, meals, munchies, you name it. For someone who thoroughly enjoys food yet also has an awareness of fitness and health, it can be difficult to make it work sometimes. Consuming “healthy food” day in and day out is tricky and challenging.

IMG_0424

Baked broccoli, sweet potato bites & smoked salmon

March is officially National Nutrition Month which is a month-long campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It’s a time to be reminded of the basics of healthy eating (http://www.eatright.org).

The American Heart Association recommends eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods which contains minerals, protein, whole grains and other nutrients. An overall healthy diet consists of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry and fish, nuts and legumes and non-tropical vegetable oils (www.heart.org).

With all of these recommendations, commercials, posts, and other reminders, where do you start? I want to share a few of my favorite Instagram accounts and recipes that are simple to make and yummy.

IMG_0426Be sure to check out these accounts:
Recipes @paleodietrecipes
Supplements @eddieshealthhoppe
Meal prep ideas @simonhallprivatechef

 

Here are a few of my favorite recipes that keep me on track with eating a healthy diet.

Paleo Avocado Chicken Salad
• 1 avocado
• 2 cans chicken breast
• 1/2 cup of grapes, sliced
• 1/3 cup of craisins
• lime juice
Mash the avocado with the lime juice and mix all ingredients.
One serving size (approx.) 190 calories, 8.5 g fat, 5.6 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 22.5 g protein

Healthy Soup
• 1 lb. ground turkey
• 1 cup diced onion
• 1 cup sliced celery
• 1 cup sliced carrots
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 can (16 ounces) tomatoes
• 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
• 1 can (15 ounces) red kidney beans, undrained
• 2 cups water
• 5 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
• 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
• 1 teaspoon salt
• ½ teaspoon oregano
• ½ teaspoon sweet basil
• ¼ teaspoon black pepper
• 2 cups shredded cabbage
• 1 cup frozen or fresh green beans, cut in 1-inch pieces
• ½ cup small elbow macaroni
Brown ground turkey; drain. Add ingredients except cabbage, green beans and macaroni. Bring to boil. Lower heat; cover and simmer 20 minutes. Add cabbage, green beans, and macaroni; bring to boil and simmer until vegetables are tender. If you prefer a thinner soup, add additional water or broth.
Enjoy!
One serving equals 1 protein, 1 bread; also contains 152 calories, 776 mg sodium, 34 mg cholesterol, 17 gm carbohydrate, 12 gm protein, 4 gm fat.
Yield: 12 servings
*For healthier options, choose low sodium, low fat beans and tomatoes.

Paleo Brownies
• 1 16 oz. jar almond butter
• 2 eggs
• ½ cup honey
• ½ cup maple syrup
• 1 tsp baking soda
• ¼ tsp salt
• 1 cup dark chocolate chips
Beat eggs, mix all ingredients in bowl. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
One Serving size (approx.) 53 g, 253 calories, 17.6 g fat, 5.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 21.5 g carbohydrates, 17.2 g sugar, 125 mg sodium, 2.2 g fiber, 5.8 g protein, 13 mg cholesterol.

Keep checking back for additional healthy recipes and tips to live a healthy lifestyle! Happy National Nutrition Month.

-Sara
AAAI Sport Nutrition Consultant

$65K raised at Technology Gala

Hundreds milled about Knoxville’s Rothchild Catering and Conference Center at the Farragut High School Technology Gala Saturday, January 28, 2017 with one common goal: contribute to the mission of gaining one-to-one technology per student ratio. Because of generous wallets and caring hearts, a total of $65,000 was raised by dozens of silent auction items, raffles, and live auction items.

It was an honor to share the stage with PacMan Productions Owner/WVLT Sports Reporter, Mark Packer, as we encouraged attendees to bid on items and bid generously. The students at Farragut High School now have an opportunity to learn with classroom smartboards, more library computers, and other specific technology used for education.

Farragut High’s technology coordinator, Mary Lin, and Susie Whitener organized, decorated and directed a fantastic event that directly benefits students at FHS. The “black tie and blue jeans” themed event was a hit!

Photos provided by the Farragut Press.

Monday, November 28, 2016 is a date that thousands of Sevier County, Tennessee residents and business owners will not soon forget. It is the day that fires began to ravage its way through the beautiful Smoky Mountains and burned tens of thousands of acres of land including homes, stores, parks and wildlife.

The aftermath of the deadly fires beckoned a call from the American Red Cross and local disaster relief teams. The result has been overwhelming.

Donations poured in from friends in the area as well as neighboring states and beyond; items for fire victims, other donations for first responders, and even others for those initial volunteers who assisted at shelters and donation drop-offs.

Locations that housed donations began to fill quickly and volunteers became a need at those warehouses, churches, and other delivery points. Various organizations are helping connect volunteers to locations in Sevier County who need assistance with tasks like sorting apparel, organizing food boxes, packing boxes for families with specific requests (i.e. baby items; microwavable food; pet items; etc.) and loading trucks that will deliver supplies.

Imagine walking into a massive warehouse to see a couple dozen volunteers of all ages filling bins of toiletries, others opening bags upon bags of donated t-shirts, socks and jackets, and just beyond those tables, a group of volunteers unload pallets of canned tuna and soup.

I was overwhelmed. I was emotional. I was touched.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that through the love and generosity of complete strangers, fire victims would soon have the essential items needed to make it one more day without a home, kitchen, and all those necessary items we take for granted.

As I, along with several volunteers, packed box after box of non-perishable food, I kept wondering if the recipients even liked cheese and crackers, protein bars or trail mix. Would they smile as they opened the box filled with oatmeal packets, hot chocolate and chips? To add a touch of Christmas spirit, peppermints and candy canes were placed carefully near the top of the boxes.

Later in the day, I learned of a family with an infant who lost everything in the fire. They were in need of a car seat, blanket, bottles, baby formula, bibs, diapers, wipes. When I reached for baby wipes, a note taped to the package caught my eye. It read, “Prayers from Washington, IN.”

Wow. Someone from Indiana had sent baby wipes to help someone they might never know in east Tennessee.

It was a sweet moment. I realized what a special place it is that I call “home.” A tragic event like the Sevier County wildfires has brought volunteers together for one mission: to help our neighbors. I am thankful I had the opportunity to see some amazing, selfless actions of many individuals. It is an experience I’ll remember for a long time.

Video from the LeConte Medical Center warehouse:

See photos from the LaConte Medical Center warehouse: