Chomps: A Jerky Stick to Sink your Teeth Into

I am training for my first half marathon. I am also mostly dairy and wheat free, due to intolerances that make my skin break out into a nasty red rash. To prevent a lovely red glow, I stick to a mostly Paleo/Whole 30 diet, which makes me feel great – inside and out.

As an occupational therapist, I work in nursing homes and home care. Sometimes my lunches are in my car, or I am stuffing my face in the hallway before I enter my patient’s room. I work long hours, so eating something that is healthy and fills my belly is non-negotiable when I look for an on-the-go snack/meal.


Take Chomps out to the ball game! Peanuts are good, Chomps are better!

Enter Chomps.

Chomps is founded by Pete Maldonado, who knew he struck gold with his homemade jerky snacks.


Chomps Sticks

Millennials like me are awfully picky nowadays. We want grass-fed, non-GMO, sustainable food. We actually care about what we put into our bodies. We follow diets like Whole 30, Paleo, and do things like Intermittent Fasting. We like variety, too. Chomps hits the nail on the head…here’s why:

Chomps jerky sticks are:

  • 100% Grass-Fed, Non-GMO Beef
  • 100% Grass-Fed, Non-GMO Venison
  • 100% Free Range Chicken
  • No added sugars
  • No MSG or nitrates
  • No fillers or binders (celery juice is used, instead!)
  • No added preservatives
  • No antibiotics
  • Gluten-Free
  • Whole 30 and Paleo approved

Chomps is sustainable, which couldn’t make me happier. Each Chomps stick has at least 9 grams of protein and is 100 calories (Crankin’ Cran is 110 calories), which makes this a perfect snack for in between meals. A box of 5 Chomps sticks costs $11.25 USD. They can be ordered online through the Chomps website or you could search their store locator.


Yours truly with the flavored Chomps

Enjoy Chomps in FIVE different flavors:

  • Beef, Original Flavor
    • Feedback: I love the natural beef taste mixed with the spices. I especially taste the garlic and coriander. I feel good that the beef is 100% grass fed and that there are no synthetic materials. Chomps shows me the beef!
    • Ingredients: 100% grass fed beef, water, salt, encapsulated citric acid, celery juice, black pepper, red pepper, garlic powder, coriander, stuffed in a collagen casing
  • Beef, Hoppin’ Jalapeno
    • Feedback: I am the jalapeno lady. I have a jalapeno plant in my garden. I am constantly adding jalapeno to cocktails and garnishing meals. The jalapeno compliments the beef; it isn’t too spicy, either. My husband LOVES this one!
  • Beef, Crankin’ Cran
    • Feedback: I love cranberries. I often purchase real cranberry juice and add it to my smoothies. I also make one hell of a Paleo meatloaf with cranberries. I love the Crankin’ Cran Chomps stick. It’s like Hoppin’ Jalapenos arch nemesis. This is the sweeter, softer stick. Excellent for a midmorning snack!
  • Chicken Flavor
    • I did not sample this flavor.
  • Venison, Cracked Pepper & Sea Salt
    • Feedback: I love venison because it isn’t gamey and is super lean. Chomps perfects being able to taste the meat, and adding delicious spices to enhance the flavor.
Chomps Sticks

My mom, Anna, loving her Chomps sticks

Final Thoughts

Invest in your health. Sink your teeth into Chomps. You won’t be disappointed.



My husband leaving for work with a backpack full of Chomps



Disclosure: Chomps sent me their product in exchange for an honest review. All opinions within are my own.

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Part 2: Lake Placid, NY – Things to Do

If you haven’t already, take a look at Part 1: Lake Placid, NY – Where to Stay & Eat.

This blog post features some of our adventures during our 4 night, 5 days stay in Lake Placid, NY.

Adirondack Wildlife Refuge

We love animals, so being able to see wolves, foxes, bald eagles, owls, and coyotes up close was really cool. We snapped a lot of pictures! The Adirondack Wildlife Refuge operates on donations, so make sure you leave a few dollars to keep this non-profit organization running smoothly.

Lake Placid Olympic Ski Jumping Complex

I always watch the Olympics. We got at the complex at the perfect time; the Olympians were practicing ski jumping into the pool. We watched them in awe. Then we took an elevator ride to the top of the ski jump. It gave us great views of the complex and high peaks.

Olympic Platform

Olympic Platform in the Ski Jump Complex

Ski Jump, Lake Placid NY

Ski Jump Complex, Lake Placid, NY

Hiking Cascade and Porter Mountain

If you are not in decent physical shape and don’t have the appropriate gear, please don’t attempt the high peaks! This was grueling. It took us six hours to do both Cascade and Porter mountains. The conditions were terrible; muddy and high water everywhere. Jason and I are in decent physical shape and we struggled! If you can do it, I would recommend it. The summits are beautiful and we enjoyed a breathtaking view. There are plenty of easier, shorter hikes if this is too challenging. I would recommend getting outside and on a trail!

Cascade Mountain

Cascade Mountain

Fly Fishing

Jason visited the local fly shop, The Hungry Trout, and had the best day in his fishing career. He fly fished the Ausable River and caught (and released) over 20 brown trout. This is a fisherman’s dream!

Balanced Bodywork and Massage

I treated myself to a 90-minute massage and cupping treatment with Tim. It was one of the best massages I have ever received. I made sure to bring my AromaTouch essential oil, which made me feel super relaxed and calm. When I go back to Lake Placid, I will be getting another treatment at Balanced Bodywork and Massage.

Balanced Bodywork

Inside Balanced Bodywork and Massage

Shopping in Lake Placid

After my massage, I spent the rest of the day shopping in downtown Lake Placid. I purchased local olive oils, salts, dish towels, local brews, and other novelties. Each shop is unique!

Final Thoughts

This is a great trip for families, couples, and singles. There is truly something for everyone in any season. If you like the great outdoors, relaxing, adventure, and enjoy the Olympics, you would really enjoy visiting Lake Placid, NY. We will be re-visiting Lake Placid in the near future.

Have you been to the Adirondack region? What was your favorite thing to do?


Lake Placid, NY - What to Do





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Part 1: Lake Placid, NY – Where to Stay & Eat

Lake Placid, New York has always fascinated me. My friends have told me stories about skiing, hiking, the Olympic sites, and the quaint downtown. My husband and I purchased a Groupon Getaway to the Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort in Lake Placid, New York for January 2017. I injured my back, and the hotel allowed us to reschedule our 4 night, 5 days stay for May 2017. We were thrilled. We stayed on the fifth floor Marcy Specialty room, which had a jetted tub, fireplace, and private balcony.

Lake Placid, NY

Lake Placid, NY

Here’s why I would strongly recommend staying at the Golden Arrow:

  • Beach access, right on Mirror Lake
    • Canoes, kayaks, paddle boats, docks, plenty of water toys
  • Indoor pool with two hot tubs, a wet sauna, and a dry sauna
  • Fitness Center with locker room and dry sauna
    • Insider tip: use the sauna in the fitness center instead of the indoor pool area
  • Generations Restaurant
    • Happy hour all day when you show your room key
      • $5 house wine, $3 well drinks, $4 select draft beers
    • Free breakfast included with your stay
      • This was delicious!
  • Alpine Mall Shopping attached to hotel
    • Restaurants, shopping, and liquor/wine store
  • Location of hotel
    • Right in the center of Lake Placid, convenient to shops and restaurants

There are two issues with Golden Arrow: parking for a full size truck (even though they have a lot across the street, the parking is terrible during peak season) and the layout of the hotel (could only access the fifth floor from certain elevators & the elevator signage is confusing and varied in each elevator).

Lake Placid, NY Balcony View

View from the Balcony

We would absolutely stay at the Golden Arrow again. This was an incredible resort and we not only enjoyed our room but took full advantage of the amenities.

Where to Eat

Smoke Signals

If you love BBQ, put this on your list. Smoke Signals has indoor and outdoor seating and a fabulous menu that will make your mouth water. We had not one complaint about eating at Smoke Signals. The food was really delicious after a long drive up to Lake Placid.

What we ordered: 

  • Perpetual Pig BBQ Wings
  • Jason: Brisket and Macaroni & Cheese
  • Danielle: 1/2 rack of ribs and Macaroni & Cheese
  • Two local draft beers

Big Mountain Deli & Creperie

After a long day seeing the sites, we stopped here for delicious sandwiches.

What we ordered:

  • Jason: Table Top with chicken and a bag of Kettle Chips
  • Danielle: Algonquin sandwich with a side of potato salad

Big Mountain Deli and Creperie has 46 sandwiches to represent the 46 High Peaks. They also have soups, salads, and crepes. The sandwiches are very filling, great after a hike!

Big Mountain Deli & Creperie

Lisa G’s

Lisa G’s was another fantastic restaurant that had indoor and outdoor seating. The outdoor seating overlooked a scenic waterfall. Everything on the menu is homemade and the drink I ordered, Salty Rikki, was strong.

What we ordered:

  • Jason: Chicken Parmesan
  • Danielle: Crispy Goat Cheese Salad with Chicken
  • Drink: Salty Rikki

Salty Rikki

Honorable mentions:

  • Generations Restaurant (adjacent to our hotel)
    • We ate breakfast here every day as it was included in our stay. The blueberry pancakes were incredible, as well as the special egg concoctions. The Sunny Cove ($2 upcharge) was my favorite. We never had a bad breakfast here!
  • Emma’s Lake Placid Creamery
    • Dairy makes me sick to my stomach but I couldn’t help myself. I got a small maple ice cream. Jason had a scoop each of cookies and cream and double fudge ice cream. Incredible.
  • The Lake Plaid Pub & Brewery
    • Besides the long wait, this had three floors of fun and a store to purchase pint glasses and other keepsakes. Jason enjoyed the Ubu Ale while I imbibed the Golden Ale. The food was hot and delicious. I ordered the Josh’s Fire Fish for dinner while Jason enjoyed the Schulzy Burger.

Final Thoughts

Have you visited Lake Placid? Where did you stay? What was your favorite restaurant?

If you haven’t, what restaurant would you want to try?

Stay tuned for Lake Placid, NY Part 2: What to Do!

Lake Placid, NY Where to Stay and Where to Eat





Pet Grief Relief – a Program to Cope with the Loss of a Pet

I am fortunate enough to say that I have never lost a pet. Okay, I lied. I forgot that I lost Chet, a Black Moore Goldfish that I had for two years while I was in grad school. He knew the sound of my voice and slept on the left side of the fish tank, right next to my bed. Even though he was a goldfish, I was sad he was gone. He was my study buddy, and always followed my finger outlining his tank.

Almost ten years later, I entered the rescue world, filled with dogs that are sick with viruses and mothers giving birth to stillborn puppies. Those rescues are the hardest, because you do everything in your power to save the dog’s life, and they just don’t pull through. Pets, whether they are with us for one hour during a rescue transport, or fifteen years, become a part of us. They become a part of our lives. Sometimes, we love them more than our human counterparts. How do we cope with losing them?

Most pet owners know that their animals won’t outlive us, and we don’t even think about how to prepare for the death of a pet. If you type “pet loss” or “pet grief” into a search engine, you will find some articles, but there are little to no resources to help you cope with your loss.

The last post on Realm of Vibes, 10 Ways to Cope with a Pet Loss, was written by Kelly Catalano, who created the Pet Grief Relief Program. I am fortunate enough to review Pet Grief Relief to help spread awareness about this program to help people cope with the loss of their pet.

About Kelly Catalano 

Kelly Catalano is a gifted Spiritual Teacher, Master Energy Healer, LOAC Life Coach/ Prosperity Guide, Holy Fire Reiki Master Practitioner/ Instructor, & EFT Specialist. Talking to her is like talking to a cool, calm, and collected older sister. Even though I’ve spoken to her for a few weeks, I feel like I’ve known her for years.

Several years ago, her family’s 8-Year-Old Italian Greyhound, Chloe became ill. Chloe’s diagnosis was terminal, and a difficult decision had to be made to either prolong the inevitable or put Chloe to sleep. Kelly and her husband did not want to see Chloe suffer, so they wound up putting Chloe to sleep.

Words can’t express how they felt. Putting their beloved dog to sleep took an emotional, physical, and mental toll, as they were not eating, sleeping, and replaying the series of events in their heads over and over and over again.

They found a video for grief of a loved one using Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), which is a combination of acupuncture, energy medicine, thought field therapy (TFT), and psychotherapy. After two 15 minute sessions, Kelly and her husband felt calmer and more relaxed. She created the Pet Grief Relief EFT Tapping program to help pet owners cope with the loss of a pet.

Kelly Catalano of Pet Grief Relief

Kelly Catalano, creator of Pet Grief Relief

Pet Grief Relief Program

Pet Grief Relief is comprised of 3 tapping scripts, the first to help heal grief, the second to relieve the guilt, and the last to pave the way for healing and recovery. A bonus EFT tapping script for stress around the illness or failing health of your pet. With the purchase of your program, you will receive access to the Rainbow Bridge guided visualization designed for you to energetically connect heart to heart with your pet on the spiritual plane.

Some of you may be wondering, “what is tapping?” I thought the same thing. Tapping is just that, tapping, specific pressure points while repeating statements and allowing yourself to really feel emotions. Tapping frees you from limiting beliefs, fears, traumas, old memories, and blocks in your subconscious mind. Tapping allows negative emotions to dissipate, and for you to feel more relaxed and calm.


EFT Tapping calms the sympathetic nervous system and works similarly to acupuncture. EFT and Tapping are non-invasive and only requires your time.

Program Options

Pet Grief Relief

Program #1: PDF Download, $97 USD

Program #1 is a fantastic option for those who can read and follow a script telling you where to tap. Perfect for solely visual learners.

Pet Grief Relief

Option #2: Audio & PDF Download, $147 USD

This is an upgraded option where you can follow Kelly’s soothing voice while following the script on a PDF. Perfect for auditory learners.

Pet Grief Relief

Option #3: Video & PDF, $197 USD

This is the program I received complimentary. This option you follow the EFT Tapping Scripts with Kelly in video format. I would prefer this option over all of the others since I am a visual kinesthetic learner. I learn by seeing and doing.


I first started by reading through the PDF which explains the Pet Grief Relief program, the story of how Pet Grief Relief came about through Kelly’s personal story, information and the different components of EFT, a diagram of the tapping points, and Kelly’s background information and credentials. You click on a link and are given a password to access the Pet Grief Relief Tapping videos.

The four Pet Grief Relief Tapping videos:

  • Pet Grief Relief Tapping for Grief
    • to help heal grief
    • Example: “This pain in my heart is overwhelming me” while tapping collar bone
  • Pet Grief Relief Tapping for Guilt
    • to help heal guilt
    • Example: “I have lost so much” while tapping side of eyebrow
  • Pet Grief Relief Tapping for Healing Recovery
    • paves the way for recovery
    • Example: “Maybe I can move forward in a way that feels safe…while still honoring my pet” while tapping under eye
  • Pet Grief Relief Bonus Tapping for Stress
    • designed to calm the stress and helplessness you may feel about your pet’s health and well-being
    • Example: “I am sad for my pet’s health” while tapping side of eye

Each tapping video is 7.5-9 minutes long and can be repeated as many times as needed.

Kelly starts each script with deep breathing. She encourages you to alter the script to your feelings and/or needs.

I find Kelly to be very calming and soothing. Her voice is relaxing and she makes me feel safe.

Rainbow Bridge Meditation: This ten-minute meditation is to connect with your pet on a spiritual plane. Kelly guides you through a box breathing segment, and then a meditation that you just can’t help but to feel extremely relaxed and calm. I’m not going to lie, I cried. When Kelly said, “Suddenly, here comes your pet over the Rainbow Bridge. Your pet is full of joy…You embrace your pet…” Oh. My. Goodness. This is a beautiful guided meditation that you could repeat over and over again to really spend time with your pet on the other side. I think that when pets pass, they are truly happy.

My thoughts: After each video segment, I felt like a different person. I love how Kelly integrates finding a comfortable seat, breathing, tapping pressure points with mantras that can help you cope with the feelings of losing a pet. I like how I have the option to stop and rewind the videos and access them at any time. Kelly always ends on a positive note and tells you how many times to repeat the script before moving on to the next one.  It isn’t time-consuming, and all you need is to have a place to sit and your computer. I recommend a quiet area that you can really relax and pay attention.

I have started integrating tapping during my morning meditation with statements such as, “I am strong.” and “I am going to have a good day, despite any challenges that get in my way.” I am a true believer in the EFT Tapping technique after following the Pet Grief Relief program.

Make sure you visit Pet Grief Relief on Facebook and Instagram. Don’t forget to share the Pet Grief Relief program, for it can be a fantastic resource for those dealing with the loss of a pet.



Disclosure: I had complimentary access to Option #3 of the Pet Grief Relief program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions within are my own. If you would like your product or service to be featured on Realm of Vibes, please visit the Contact page and fill out the form. 

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10 Ways to Cope with Pet Loss

by Kelly Catalano, Master Energy Practitioner/Healer, Creator of Pet Grief Relief

Anyone who has had a pet transition can find it challenging to cope with the heart break, intense pain and emotional chaos. No matter what type of pet you owned, coping with the grief of losing it is an intensely personal process.

In order to understand how to process the grief, let’s briefly review the five stages of grief.


You may move through these stages very quickly or linger in each stage for a prolonged period of time.

Pet grief is very dynamic and often misunderstood. The pet owner can be shocked by the intensity and emotional turmoil associated with the death of a pet. When the brain experiences emotional trauma it takes just a few seconds for an emotional response to kick in and become associated with it. That is why when we recall the memory, we get an emotional response no matter how much time has passed. The more physical response tied to the memory, the harder it is to release it.

The longer we hold on to emotional anguish, the more we poke it, prod it, recall it and relive it, the more embedded the detrimental emotions become.

How Grief Works

Our emotions become a tangled-up mess we are unable to process, let go of and hold us hostage in a time and place we no longer wish to be in.

They say time heals all wounds but in reality, in order to heal and recover we have to actually release the emotions tied to the memory from our body. There are a variety of ways to accomplish this. They are all safe, effective and work relatively fast.

As a master energy practitioner/ healer here are my favorite ways to help clients release pet grief.

  • EFT tapping…Emotional Freedom Technique
  • Distance Reiki
  • Chakra Clearing
  • TAT…Tapas Acupressure Technique
  • Guided visualization to connect with pet heart to heart on the spiritual plane

These techniques work all the time. No need to believe to receive.


In the meantime, here are 10 coping methods I find work well to start on the path to healing and recovery.

  • Take as much time as you need to grieve. Only you know what is best for you. Don’t let others dictate your feelings. Honor how you feel and the life of your pet in a way that celebrates your time together.
  • Be open to how you experience grief. Trying to repress feelings causes more stress and anxiety than expressing them.
  • Express your grief in a way that allows you to honor your pet’s life. Write a poem, a letter to your pet, create a memory book. Engage in a positive activity that will move you forward.
  • Have a memorial service for your pet or create a memorial for your pet. Celebrate your pet’s life in a way that makes the most sense to you.
  • Find your tribe. Connect with others who understand how you feel. There are many support groups on social media or locally to help you through this challenging time.
  • Get involved. Help organize a pet food drive. Volunteer at an animal shelter. Offer your support to someone else.
  • Write it out. Keep a journal. Journaling allows you to express and work through your feelings in a safe private nonjudgmental way.
  • Get professional help if and when needed. Use a program like Pet Grief Relief to help process, find relief, heal and recover. While intense grief is normal and natural, experiencing prolonged grief, sadness, anger, and depression is a sign more help is needed as well as lead to physical illness.
  • Ease into a new routine. Join a gym, take a class, engage your brain and time toward a new learning activity.
  • Be easy on yourself. No matter how your pet transitioned, your pet loves you unconditionally and knows you always had their best interest at heart. Our pets are always with us on the spiritual plane looking after us. They are always available to connect through visualization or meditation from their new state of being.

10 Ways to Cope with Pet Loss

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