Travel, Uncategorized

Breakfast In Paris

Around mid-morning, French cookbook author Anne met us at a classic French boulangerie- a place that only uses sourdough, she explained, so their bread has less gluten and is healthier. “Us” meaning myself and three other lovely American tourists, who had each paid about $70 through Airbnb’s new experience feature for Anne to show us how a French breakfast is done.

Anne ordered piles of pastry and a baguette for the group, and we headed off to her place to start cooking!


Her table was beautifully set for our little group, and we sat down to get acquainted over croissants, pain au chocolats, and pain au raisins. We sipped her homemade blood orange juice and fresh coffee, savoring each different flavor. Anne also poured us some delicious hot chocolate, which I loved dipping pieces of my croissant into.


After the first part of our meal, Anne showed us how to make little pastry cakes- I’ve completely forgotten what they were called, but they were delicious! They remind me of making “fairy cakes” as a kid. We also learned how to make butter in France, which is actually super easy- it’s harder to find the proper ingredients in the US, though, sadly.


On the savory side of things, we soft-boiled a few eggs, seasoned them a bit and then dipped freshly-buttered slices of brioche in them. What can I say? Delicious.


We spend a while chatting about France and fresh produce and the different lives all of us attending lived, as we stuffed ourselves on some of the best and freshest delicacies France could offer. All in all, it was an absolutely glorious morning. Anne made sure to point out that this was not a typical French morning- but we loved it all the same.

At the end of our little adventure we climbed up to her rooftop, took a look around and posed for a quick photo.


I’m usually not one for spending close to $100 on anything while travelling, but if you’re going to splurge, splurge on an Airbnb experience. These are local people that really know their stuff, and it’s such a cool way to get to know a city from the other side.

Thanks again to Anne for her wonderful hosting and an amazing morning.


How to improve your morning coffee

Ah, coffee.

You cheer us up on the darkest and coldest of mornings.

We hold our steaming mugs beneath our noses and inhale your scent.

You nudge us awake after long nights out, help perk us up after a slow afternoon.

We may cheat on you with green tea or yerba mate on occasion, but those of us who truly love you will always return to your dark pools of delicious energy.

You have become a ritual, a part of our culture. You encourage discussion and stimulation, interaction and pleasure.

I’m not interested in destroying a beloved morning routine. I wouldn’t give up my morning black coffee for anything.

However, there are always ways to up your coffee game a bit, and I love bumping up the nutrition in my morning mug when I’m craving something a little heartier than a plain coffee.


1 cup hot coffee

2-3 spoonfuls coconut manna

1 tsp raw creamy almond butter

Place these all together in a blender (be careful with the hot coffee, as putting hot liquids in a blender sometimes forces the top off). This recipe is inspired by Laura Wright’s cookbook, The First Mess. In it, she mentions that adding coconut manna to coffee and blending it mimics the froth you’d get in a latte at a coffee shop. She also advises blending raw creamy almond butter with water to make a quick almond milk, so I figured doing this with coffee makes it kinda like a latte. With the coconut manna, it works!


1/2 cup hot coffee

2-3 spoonfuls coconut manna

1/2 cup warmed almond milk

If you want a creamier option, make your own almond milk by soaking almonds overnight, then blending them with water and straining out the pulp. This way takes way too much time, and is way too expensive. There are only a few brands of almond milk I think are clean enough to drink, like Three Trees. New Barn comes close, but both brands get pricey quickly. So… stick with Base #1.



Once you’ve created your base, it’s time for the fun stuff! Here are some add-ins you can mix and match to create your perfect cup.

mushroom powders:

I like these packets from Four Sigmatic, super easy to just tear open and stir in. Mushrooms are INCREDIBLE for your health, and these powders are potent but you’ll barely notice the flavor.

collagen powder:

Collagen is great for your skin, joints, hair… Your whole body, basically! I’m using it right now to help support my bones while I’m healing from a stress fracture, but it’s also making my skin look dewy and gorgeous. If you’re only going to take one supplement in your life, make it this one!

cacao powder:

Cacao powder (not it’s over-processed cousin, cocoa powder) has a ton of antioxidants in it. If you add just this though your drink will be very strong and bitter, so I’d recommend adding a dash of maple syrup or honey as well.

butter/coconut oil/MCT oil:

Adding fats to your morning meal (or coffee, in this case) will help keep you full longer, so it’s always worth adding a small amount if you won’t be eating for a while. The coconut manna in our coffee drink already counts for a bit of that,  but you can always do more or use another fat that tastes better to you.


Just tastes damn good. Also, it’s anti-inflammatory!


*As usual, please remember I am not a certified doctor or nutritionist. Everything I write on this blog is based on experimentation I have done by myself with the foods, ingredients and procedures described. Please see a medical professional if you have further questions/concerns.

Travel, Uncategorized

how to stay healthy despite holiday travel and stress

Unless you have a perfect immune system, it’s pretty likely that you understand the distress of falling ill during the holidays. If you are travelling, your sleep schedule is often disrupted, you encounter strange foods, and you are exerting a lot more energy participating in holiday events- and I don’t even want to get started on plane germs. Even if you’re staying in your hometown, the stress and pressure of the holiday season can be overwhelming to the point of exhaustion for some.

Lucky for you, I have some tips to help you take care of yourself, so that you can truly enjoy what is supposed to be a wonderful, celebratory season.


Avoiding illness:

In general, you should aim to consume most vitamins and nutrients through your diet.* Doing so will give you a strong immune system to start with, which means you won’t have to worry so much about avoiding illness when you’re on the road. The trick is to figure out what specific nutrients your body is most in need of, and what imbalances you need to keep in check in order to maintain your health.

For me, too much sugar inevitably makes me sick, especially combined with too much gluten (which I have a sensitivity to). Knowing this, I try to limit my sugar intake throughout the holidays and make sure I’m getting plenty of Vitamin C and D to support my immune system. Now, I’m no nutritionist, but this has worked for me so I am sticking to it! Though I do take these vitamins in capsule form a few times a week, I also try to eat plenty of kiwis and bell peppers, foods that I know are high in vitamin C. I also add supplements to smoothies or coffee for my overall health, like spirulina, chlorella or maca powder. If I’m starting to feel sick, I use my friend’s home remedy- a spoonful of chopped up garlic wrapped in raw honey, taken at last once daily. It doesn’t taste good, but it usually works! I recommend experimenting with your diet to see what works best for you. I eat a lot of cooked greens but not a lot of raw salad- raw salad in the winter makes me feel rough and chilly, whereas cooked greens, preferably with garlic and lemon juice, make me feel nourished and strong.

If you’re unable to pinpoint a specific area that makes you feel better or worse, simply focus on making sure you are getting enough vegetables and not too much sugar. This is more important than usual during the holidays because you’re likely already consuming a lot of delicious, but not super healthy desserts. Keeping your immune system strong by supporting it with healthy nutrients will ensure that you can enjoy your holidays without compromising your health.

There’s also the travel factor. Are you flying somewhere for the holidays? Bring some turmeric or mint tea with you on the plane (bring the tea bags and ask your flight attendant for hot water). Both are anti-inflammatory, and mint will help calm your stomach. Drink TONS of water. Bring papaya capsules or evening primrose oil to help offset an upset stomach after a large holiday meal.

At the end of the day, listen to your body. That’s the best way to figure out what it needs!



The first thing you should do if you are feeling fatigued or wiped out is to get some sleep. Seriously. You will feel so much better if you do.

If you really, really can’t sleep, or if you have slept and it isn’t doing anything for you, get yourself some iron. In capsule form, red meat or leafy greens, whichever you prefer. As a female athlete, so much of any fatigue I’ve ever had has been cured almost instantly by supplying my body with more iron.

You can also start adding chia seeds to everything you eat for a little superfood boost. These guys work well in pastas, salads, smoothies, oatmeal… seriously, almost everything.

Finally, take some time out for yourself. Really rest. Turn off your phone. Go for a walk. Take a hot bath. Go to your local market and pick out some fancy chocolate, a great bottle of wine or a selection of fresh pears. You will be amazed at how much taking a little time away from it all can re-energize you. If you can, take some time off an go for an all-out vacation! I’m going to Paris for a week next month and although I’m excited because, well, PARIS, I’m also looking forward to just spending a relaxing week in one of my favorite cities in the world.


For skin and hair:

Wake up and splash your face with cold water. Not only will it help wake you up, but it will also tighten your pores and make your skin look fresh and gorgeous. Don’t use soap! In order to keep your skin supple, only wash it with soap at the end of the day. Too much scrubbing or washing will dry out your skin, causing it to produce excess oil and giving you a splotchy complexion. I always use Acure’s Brilliantly Brightening Glowing Serum.  This is probably the priciest product I use but it is SOO worth it. Failing that, I use plain old argan oil.

In order to keep my hair hydrated, I avoid shampoo year-round. As an added boost in the winter, I use a deep root conditioner every other week (Acure Deep Root Conditioner and Giovanni 2Chic Soothing Hair Mask with Cherry Blossom and Rose Petals are my favorites). As my hair dries I massage coconut oil into the ends and spray on some Acure Leave-In Conditioner.


One last tip for a winter glow: shower less! It dries out your skin. You aren’t sweating that much in these temperatures, anyway.

The blues:

Depression, SAD, the blues… We know it by many names, but many of us understand that feeling of sadness during the holidays for one reason or another. If you are suffering from depression or are unable to get out of a dark mood, please seek out medical care from a licensed professional.* However, if you just need to get out of a rough patch, here are some things that have worked for me.

Get outside. Take a walk, even if it’s cold- especially if it’s cold.

Meditate! There are so many options on Youtube (so, free!) for guided meditation. I love the Headspace app, though at the moment I can’t afford it. However, you can also just sit in silence and meditate alone for 5 minutes a day. I used to not believe in meditation until I started having stress-related breathing issues last year, and learned that it was mostly in my head. Meditating a few minuets a day, a few times a week got rid of that issue, as well as taught me to approach things in my life with a more balanced mindset.

Read a book. My winter recommendations are here.

Go to a yoga class, stretch out at home, or just move your body in a way that reminds you how good it feels to inhabit it.

How are you staying healthy this holiday season?


*I am not a certificated nutritionist or medically trained in any way. The contents of this blog are things I have experimented with and have had success with, and might work differently in your life and with your body. Please seek out a medical professional if you have severe issues with illness and/or stress. 

Featured photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash.

Local exploration, Uncategorized

Breakfast at The Edgewater

My grandmother and I are both early risers.

The other day we met up for breakfast and were rudely reminded that the rest of the world doesn’t get up as early as we do… none of the eateries we could think of were open until 11 or 11:30.

After a bit of driving, we decided to head to Six Seven at The Edgewater, a hotel on Seattle’s famous waterfront.

The view from our table was stunning. Despite the fact that I grew up here and often run along routes with similar views, I was reminded of why we attract so many tourists up here in the Pacific Northwest.

Being situated in a pretty luxurious hotel, I expected Six Seven to be pretty nice. And wow, were we blown away.

From the service to the food, the coffee (Zoka) and presentation, we were pampered. Everything was beautifully done and DELICIOUS.

It was also great to be able to dine out at a nice place without worrying about my allergies- I had fruit and an avocado/bacon/caramelized onion omelette with basil and goat cheese, and it was phenomenal. I’d had to talk myself out of the (glutinous) pancake stack and didn’t regret it for a second.

Perhaps the best moment of the whole thing was this seagull who watched us for most of our meal, probably hoping we’d share.

What a beautiful place. Thanks to my grandmother for taking me out. 🙂

What’s your favorite local breakfast spot? Comment below!

Local exploration, Travel

Discovering Redmond

Redmond, WA is not the first place Seattleites think of when they want to check out a nearby city. We’re more likely to head to Vancouver or Portland, eschewing the smaller cities in favor of places with hipster coffee shops and organic grocery stores. Around here, Remond is pretty much known for two things- Microsoft and Marymoor Park.


By chance I ended up there this weekend and discovered a pleasant little niche of the Pacific Northwest.

The reason I was in Redmond at all was an envelope containing two tickets to Cirque du Soleil’s Luzia at Marymoor Park.

Marymoor is a massive greenspace filled with meadows, sports fields, bike paths and a well-known velodrome, beaches, a dog park and more. It’s home to numerous outdoor concerts and events every summer, largely because of it’s ability to host so many people. It’s a nice place- not super exciting, but a good way to get out in nature while not straying too far from the city.

I’m the type of person who always wants to be everywhere waaay early, just in case, so my boyfriend and I headed over to Redmond several hours before the start of the show. We planned on just wandering around a bit, maybe grabbing a bite to eat or exploring the park. Our plan was essentially no plan- and aren’t those often the best?

45 minutes after leaving my apartment, we got off the bus across the street from Victor’s Celtic Coffee. On the outside, it looked like a little hole in the wall, with some gorgeous outdoor wall paintings.

Inside, though, was a whole other story. The place was huge and well lit, stuffed with people. A sign was hung up next to their in-house roasting room that read “no wifi- talk to each other! pretend it’s 1995!”

We were delighted with the find before we even noticed the menu, which confused us for a moment.

“Wait… Banana Split? Almond Roca Mocha? These are coffees? How do they even get banana in the coffee?” I kept asking. Victor’s serves all your usual espresso drinks and pastries, but the highlight of the menu is definitely their unique creations, with fun names like “Zebra Mocha”, all topped with chocolate whipped cream.

I loved the fact that there were signs posted all over about no laptop use on weekends and no business meetings- so many lovely coffee shops in Seattle have been overtaken by that ALL WORK ALL THE TIME vibe of the tech industry that it was refreshing to be somewhere unapologetically pronouncing that they weren’t into it. Later I went on Yelp and unfortunately, it seems like a lot of people can’t deal to be parted from their laptops for an hour and are leaving negative reviews. Don’t listen to them! If you need your barista to suck up to you and craft your grande sugar free triple shot mocha with 3 pumps of hazelnut syrup, extra hot, go to a big coffee chain. If you want an authentic coffee shop, go here.

After coffee we realized we were hungry and ended up grabbing burgers next door. And I mean next door quite literally.

Feed Co. Burgers  was adjacent to the coffee shop. It was a bit of a contrast from the old-school vibe of the building we’d just left. As in Seattle, the trend with new eateries revolves around minimalist design, stark lettering on a typically contrasting background, and imagery to evoke days of primal eating (in this case, a butcher’s outline of a cow in white paint against a black wall- I can think of two places in Seattle already that have an almost identical mark on their property).

Luckily, it seems as though the health trends of Seattle (and I suppose, the PNW in general) are seeping into nearby cities. I remember days when, if you weren’t in a big city, good luck finding anything to supplement an alternative diet. But here we were facing a menu offering gluten free buns, antibiotic and hormone free meat, and sweet potato fries.

I haven’t had a good gluten free burger in years. These guys did an excellent job of making up for lost time and crafted an absolutely amazing, guilt free meal for me.

After that we thought we’d grab some snacks for the show in case we got hungry, so headed to Trader Joe’s. In the Redmond town center area there’s also a Flying Apron (gluten free and vegan bakery also located in Fremont) and a Whole Foods, both places that me and my boyfriend, who are gluten-free and aiming for healthy diets, can eat. We bought some veggies at Trader Joe’s (I love the prepackaged bags of snap peas- they’re super portable and will taste fine after being in a purse for some time) and then found a trail to Marymoor park. We also passed a Super Jock n Jill, a Seattle based running store I absolutely LOVE.

So many bikers whizzed by as we ambled along… Redmond is known for being incredibly biker friendly. This little green trail is called the Sammamish River Trail and it took us along (what else?) the Sammamish river until we arrived at the park.

I didn’t take many pictures of the Cirque du Soleil show- too busy watching- but that’s not the point of this post. I was truly surprised by what Redmond has to offer, and wanted to share the experience of that discovery.

 I’m still not a suburbs person- I prefer either the grind of the city or the peace of the countryside. I find the in-between somewhat unsettling. But Redmond exceeded my expectations, and it was great to get out of my usual routine and go exploring. Of course! It always is. 🙂