Health, Recipes

Top Ten Tips for the Whole30

August 13, 2016

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My friend Morgan started the Whole30 this month for the first time and I have been thinking of doing it again so I thought I’d post some things/recipes I found helpful during my first round!

  1. Meal planning – I set aside Sunday afternoons to prep my breakfast and lunch for the week and then I make dinner everyday
  2. Don’t buy foods you lose control around – for me this is dried fruit and dates, I just can’t limit myself if I have things in the cupboard so I realized that and stopped buying them about halfway through
  3. Always have an emergency snack – apple and Rx/larabars work great! Trader Joes sells RX bars now!
  4. Get creative – look up recipes on Pinterest and spend the time/$ learning a new recipe
  5. Pick a month that doesn’t have any very important social engagements or events (i.e. a wedding, special vacation etc.)
  6. Don’t eat a whole Costco-sized bag of dried mango in two days  ( I think you can guess why this is a bad idea)
  7. Eat more than you think you need or you’ll end up snacking a lot! I started making my breakfasts bigger and it really helped stay full until lunch
  8. Make sure to have a fat, protein and veggies (+ optional fruit) at every meal – helps you stay full forever!
  9. Eat protein before a workout and a carb after, this works for me at least, I tried eating fruit or dates before my runs but I crash faster than if I eat two hardboiled eggs pre-workout and a sweet potato post-workout
  10. Read all labels carefully – I got some cashews at Whole Foods and didn’t realize until I bought them that they were roasted in oil not dry roasted, lesson learned!

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My Top Favorite Whole30 Meals/Foods as a Pescatarian

  1. Eggs with salsas, sauerkraut and avocado
  2. Cauliflower fried rice – tastes indulgent but you can eat like 5 cups because it’s so healthy and low-cal!
  3. Shrimp zucchini patties
  4. Baked cod with pesto and sweet potato fries
  5. Scallops with any vegetable
  6. Sweet potato kale muffins
  7. Tuna with homemade mayo in lettuce wraps
  8. Deviled eggs with homemade mayo
  9. Sweet potato roasted with guacamole
  10. Comfort food: hashbrowns (sweet potato or white potato) with scrambled eggs and avocado
  11. Zucchini fritters
  12. Apple with TJ’s crunchy almond butter
  13. RX blueberry bars – only flavor I’ve had but I’m sure the others are great too!
  14. Mangos
  15. TJ’s sliced jicama
  16. Cashews
  17. Pistachios
  18. Pesto on spaghetti squash or zoodles
  19. Brussel sprout chips – more amazing than they sound
  20. Plantain chips
  21. Dates and almond butter
  22. Dried fruit

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Health, Recipes

How to Make Buckinis

July 31, 2016

Buckwheat is a plant with grain-like seeds. Despite it’s name, it is not related to wheat at all and is in the sorrel, knotweed and rhubarb family.  This gluten-free plant is called a pseudocereal because the seeds are eaten and it is a complex carb. Russia, China, Ukraine and the United States are currently the top growers/producers of buckwheat.

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So why should you eat buckwheat? Because these seeds are packed with nutritional benefits! They are low on the glycemic index scale, high in protein and high in nutrients like magnesium. Many studies have also shown that consuming buckwheat lowers the risk of developing high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Buckwheat also keep you very full and also have shown to control blood sugar and help prevent gallstones.

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Buckwheat is either hulled or unhulled. Hulled means that the tough outer shell has been removed and unhulled means that it has not been removed.

Buckwheat groats (hulled buckwheat) can either be raw, toasted or sprouted. Roasted groats are known as “kasha” and are very popular in Russia/Eastern Europe. They are plump, tender and nutty. Unroasted groats have more flavor and can be easily sprouted or used raw to make a sort of grits cereal.

Buckinis are the sprouted/activated groats (not to be confused with bikinis :)) I have heard this term used by Australians and Europeans only so maybe this is a foreign word to Americans but I like how it sounds. Sprouting is the stage between a seed and a plant. Sprouting literally opens up the seed which allows you to absorb more nutrients out of it, therefore making the nutrients more bioavailable. My favorite phrase I’ve heard to describe the sprouting process is “it’s like a mini treasure chest, you just have to open it up.” Sprouting also aids in digestibility because it helps breakdown some of the complex carbs for you.

buckwheat-forms

Here’s a quick summary of the different terms:

Hulled – Tough outer shell has been removed

Groats – Hulled or crushed grain

Buckinis – Sprouted buckwheat groats

Sprouting – The process of soaking, draining and rinsing seeds, legumes and grains until they germinate or sprout

Here’s a closer look at unhulled buckwheat seeds. Not too tasty looking huh? Unhulled buckwheat can be used to grind into flour. It produces a grayish flour with dark specks (from the shells) and will be stronger in taste than hulled buckwheat flour. Sounds delightful :0. I have yet to try uhulled buckwheat flour.

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Recently, I got some raw buckwheat groats and decided to give sprouting a try and it worked out great!

What you’ll need:

~1 cup dry, raw buckwheat groats (I did a large batch so it will look like less than less)

~ 1 medium/large fine mesh strainer

~ 1 medium/large mixing bowl

~A fine cheesecloth

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Here are my pre-sprouted groats:

buckwheat

Unfortunately I didn’t get pictures of the process but it’s pretty easy to describe and follow.

Step 1: Rinse your groats in the mesh strainer for about a minute before soaking.

Step 2: Put the groats in the medium/large mixing bowl with about 3 cups of water and soak for 30 minutes.

Step 3: Put the seeds back into the mesh strainer and rinse very well under cool water (60-70 degrees) until the gooey starch water is all off.

Step 4: Leave the seeds in the mesh strainer for the sprouting process, I just put the strainer in a large bowl to catch the water drips. Set this out of direct sunlight and 70 degree room temp is best. Then cover the sprouts with a breathable cheesecloth. They like air circulation so don’t suffocate them with too many layers of the cloth.

Step 5: For the next two days, twice a day, rinse and drain the buckwheat. I do it at breakfast time and at dinner time.

Step 6: After the four rinse and drain sessions over two days, you should see little tails have formed on the buckwheat groats. This means it’s time to stop the sprouting process, if you keep sprouting the seeds will get bitter. After the final rinse and drain session, drain them very well and lay them on paper towels to dry.

Step 7: Once your sprouts are dry you can store them in the fridge and sprinkle them on salads, smoothies, etc.!

Step 8: If you have a dehydrator, you can dry them at 115 degrees for 4-6 hours or until dry and then store them in an airtight container for granola, yogurt or porridges.

Here are my dehydrated and sprouted buckinis:

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I put them in a mason jar and add them to smoothies, oatmeal and homemade granola for an extra crunch! I have also seen recipes that caramelize them for a sweet topping.

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What do you think about buckwheat seeds? Will you try them?

Life

Birthday Weekend at Home

July 27, 2016

Last weekend I went home to visit my mom and pup and to celebrate my 25th birthday with them. After a lot of traffic from Seattle, we made it home Thursday night and I walked in the kitchen to see this beautiful birthday cake! I requested the same cake mom made last year, Minimalist Baker’s Chocolate Hazelnut Cake (GF + Vegan), it’s SO good and moist and mom puts hazelnuts between the layers for an extra crunch too.

bday cake

The perfect birthday cake in my opinion.

bday cake blow out

We lit the outside candles first…*facepalm*

bday cake light up

I love three layer cakes because you get more frosting! So moist.

bday cake slice

The next day, mom and I went blueberry picking at her friend’s blueberry farm. We went at the peak of blueberry season so the berries were plentiful.

blueberry tunnel

I love overalls and I’m so glad they’re in style again!

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blueberry picking berries

Momma bear picking berries.

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blueberry heaven

We ended up picking 19 POUNDS of blueberries in about 2 hours. They cost me about $45 bucks but totally worth it for a freezer full of berries. My mom picked for me but she is actually going to work for her friend (who owns the farm) a few days this summer in exchange for blueberries so she’ll get her freezer filled too! We’re like squirrels trying to tuck away enough for winter.

blueberry haul

Blueberry farms are so familiar and comforting for me, I have been picking since I could walk!

blueberry farm

We got some of the bugs and leave out but definitely not all of them!

blueberry cleaning

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Ready to be weighed!

blueberries so many!

Aren’t they beautiful?

blueberries closeup

After getting our blueberries tucked away, it was time to feed my mom’s rabbit, Gandalf, some kale. He’s so funny to watch chomping away and he’s got major bunny sass.

bunny eats kale

This is the only photo he doesn’t look like an oversized, grey, unidentifiable cotton ball!

bunny

I love visiting home in the summer because, besides all the animals, there is a bounty of fruits to pick. My mom has a huge fig tree in the garden and I love to get the fruit picker and try to pick them which is quite hard because they are so squishy and high up.

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Backyard flowers.

pond flower

My little muffin by the pond

gryph at pond

Unfortunately, I missed the first round of raspberries and this was like the only berry left in the garden, bummer!

single raspberry

This little weirdo…

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Rub-a-dub in the tub

gryphon in tub

The reason for the above bath is because my mom got the great idea to do a professional photoshoot with my sweet Gryphon at JC Penney! Since Gryphy is getting old, it was really fun to do this together and Gryphon was the star of the show, he really is photogenic, don’t you think? Of course, mom had to hold a squeaky toy over the photographers head.

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We bought the biggest package of photos so I have some hardcopies coming soon, I’m so excited to frame them and put them all over my apartment. I would highly suggest getting a JC Penney shoot with your furry loved one (Ann, that means you!).

Anyways, I hope you got through this long post! Thanks for reading 🙂

Life, Travel

A Weekend in Port Townsend

July 24, 2016

The weekend before my 25th birthday, I went to visit my grandparents in Port Townsend with my dad. They bought a house in town and now live just a hop, skip and a jump from downtown (and, most importantly, the food co-op!). I love PT because it’s quite a small town with lots of pretty gardens, houses and the population of deer rivals the humans!

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I went for a long weekend so this post is pretty long and has a lot of food. My grandma wanted me to try out this almond cake recipe, it’s GF and just uses almond flour, sugar, olive oil, eggs and an orange and lemon.

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It’s baked in a springform pan and the batter looks pretty oily but it smells heavenly like orange/lemon. This is a pre-baking picture:

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We decided to use a cheap paper doily as a stencil for a powdered sugar topping, it turned out so pretty!

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The cake is super duper moist and tastes so citrusy and delicious. It’s a very Italian recipe and you could definitely find something similar in a high end bakery.

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My grandparents’ dog Blacky, wanted a piece (of anything)!

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For lunch, we had the best kale salad ever (GF), cantaloupe and prosciutto for the meat-eaters and a fresh loaf of whole wheat sourdough bread–the best thing in the world.

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This whole wheat sourdough bread made me want to try my hand at sourdough, I am hoping a bakery in Seattle might give me some of their starter.

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The best kale salad and a apple kombucha made in Oregon. I highly recommend making this salad, you will become addicted. It does have dairy from the cheese and really shouldn’t go without it but maybe a modification could be made.

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On Friday night for my birthday dinner we went to Sweet Laurette Cafe and Bistro. It’s a cute little restaurant and I have been there before and the food is really good but the service is always quite slow, it took us about an hour to get our appetizer…

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I got the pan-seared sea scallops and it was so delicious and very filling!

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We shared the creme brûlée for dessert but I really wanted some traditional birthday cake so my granny was kind enough to go on a cake hunt with me. We found two pieces of locally made cake at the food co-op — chocolate with cream cheese frosting and ganache and carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. Both were super good.

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The next morning was graced with homemade blueberry sourdough pancakes. The batter must be prepared the night before and it is very bubbly.

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They turned out great and we made a homemade plum sauce to go on top.

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I think I might have eaten about 15 pancakes…

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After pancakes we went on a walk and went to the plant nursery and got this plant. Isn’t this an interesting flower? They are edible and would look so pretty in a salad.

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We take a lot of walks when we visit…I trail behind and take pictures 🙂

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Friendly–terribly excited–neighborhood pup

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There are blackberry bushes everywhere so I kept stopping to snack like a deer. I would love to be a deer in PT because there are so many fruit trees/bushes!

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The houses are very victorian and pretty:

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The gardens are amazing:

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My granny Ann knows everyone in town so we stopped by some of her friends houses. This is Kipper who is a Havanese like Gryphon, my pup.

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Pretty flowers everywhere!

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Stare-down with a buck. This is with no zooming in and it actually made me a bit nervous because I was so close and he was staring me down hard. Maybe he was just saying hello or looking deep into my soul or maybe he was about to charge. I took this picture and then ran away ha ha.

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More flowers.

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After our long walk, we stopped at the farmer’s market to get salmon sandwiches from the Cape Cleare Salmon stand.

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These sandwiches are TO DIE FOR. A big fillet of fresh salmon on the best chewy bread with tartar sauce in-between. I could eat this everyday.

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This is the view from the docks downtown:

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Another walk we went on led to a nice beach where Blacky took a chilly swim. He likes to lay down in the water for a few seconds and then get up, like a weirdo.

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Action shot! For a senior dog, he is quite athletic.

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For my last dinner, we went to Hillbottom Pie which has the BEST caesar salad I have ever had (and I have had a lot). I would describe it as juicy and super cheesy. Juicy is a weird word to describe a salad but you really should try it.

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My grandparents and I split the white pizza which has: Basil walnut pesto, blended ricotta, aged mozzarella, kalamata olives and parmesan. It’s very tasty and very rich. Two slices were plenty for me.

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I’ll leave you with this deer picture. You can tell how comfortable the deer are in town, they just walk where ever they want and eat whatever they want (aka everything you try to grow in the garden!).

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Review, Travel

A Weekend in San Francisco

June 18, 2016

I visited my boyfriend in San Francisco recently, we ate a lot of food and saw some of the touristy sites. I had been to SF twice before but I was only there for the day and didn’t get to see very much so going for almost a week gave us plenty of time to hang out and see the city!

I arrived around midnight from Seattle so we went to bed immediately and then got up pretty early the next day. We already bought Alcatraz tour tickets for that day so we went out to brunch near G’s apartment which is in the best location ever, the marina district! You can see the golden gate bridge from outside his door and all the apartments have the typical SF ornate style.

I did a quick Yelp search and this place, Cafe Golo came up with good reviews and it was like a 2 minute walk so we gave it a go.

My handsome BF:

Greg cafe golo

This is a teeny tiny kind of hole-in-the-wall looking place, our waitress/possible owner was really sweet and brought out some pastries made in-house (it’s also a bakery):

cafe golo

G and I ordered the same things, the blueberry french toast on their cinnamon swirl bread with a scrambled egg and bacon (mine went to G of course). Verdict: Great bread, tasted like a cinnamon roll! BUT they used terrible fake maple syrup instead of real which is basically a sin for a cafe specializing in brunch. The eggs were nothing special either and the meal costs almost $15 each! Unexpectedly pricey for the look for the place and for somewhere that uses fake syrup.

breakfast sf

G lives about a 5 minute walk from the Golden Gate Bridge!

greg at the marina

marina

Next we walked to Fisherman’s Wharf where the Alcatraz cruise takes off. I pictured a bigger boat but the use pretty small ones that bounce a lot on the waves and almost sent me flying a few times! It was sunny but pretty chilly on the water because the wind is super strong near the bay.

Arriving to the rock…

Alcatraz

alcatraz arrival

It’s actually quite pretty:

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Not very pretty inside though:

alcatraz jail 1

The great escape:

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alcatraz window

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So close to the beautiful city! I can see why one would want to give swimming to shore a try

view from the rock

A decaying house of one of the prison officials

alcatraz building

We escaped the rock!

view from alcatraz boat

The tour took longer than we thought so we were starving by the time we got off the boat. I had yelp’ed this fish and chip stand which has amazing reviews to we went to find it near the piers. I LOVE the name!

The codmother fish stand

These are the BEST fish and chips I have ever had! They are in the classic English style with malt vinegar included. The breading was so airy and light and the fish was perfectly moist.

the codmother fish and chips closeup

After that huge meal, we walked back to G’s apartment and passed out from sun over-exposure (me the Seattleite – not him).

The next day I dubbed “mission district day” so we headed over there and played a fun game of mini golf at Urban Putt which was so fun! After playing golf, we went to La Taqueria El Farolito which is supposed to be one of the best mexican restaurants and it’s super cheap! I got a veggie burrito with guac of course and G got some meaty burrito. It’s a very narrow little place and kind of dirty but they have good food and the lines are long. They do only take cash though!

el farolito SF

Burritos the size of newborns:

el farolito burrito SF

Mmm so tasty!

el farolito burrito closeup

Because we are gluttons with endless pits for stomachs, we also got ice cream at Bi-Rite Creamery! I have been here before and they have high-quality stuff! I got cookie and cream and mint chocolate chip and G got a huge ice cream sandwich that he couldn’t finish. Don’t worry, I finished it for him.

bi-rite cookie ice cream SF

bi-rite ice cream SF

The next day was reserved for the enormous Golden Gate Park! We went to the Japanese tea gardens and the botanical gardens. The whole park is so beautiful and it’s so much bigger than I thought!

Botanical gardens:

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botanical garden purple flower

botanical garden bird

I love this wisteria, so pretty!

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Weird plant in the Australian section:

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botanical orange flower

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flowers SF

Japanese tea gardens:

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GG tea garden

In front of one of the museums:

kyla at golden gate fountain park

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Greg at GG park

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The succulent part of the botanical gardens is my favorite!

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GG Park botanical garden

Two goobers:

greg and kyla SF botanical gardens

So many succulents!

succulent gardens!

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G caught me mid-complaint about something lol!

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This is my favorite picture:

succulent garden closeup

succulent garden cactus

Whew this is such a long post, hopefully you are hanging in there!

The next day, we went to Chinatown and the financial district area for some tasty eats.

First I dragged G to a highly-rated bakery called Good Mong Kok, here is their menu:

good mongkok bakery SF

Everything is SO cheap so we got a bunch of stuff to try. G got a barbecue pork steamed bun:

good mongkok bun SF

I got some scallion/shrimp dumplings which are so delicious:

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G got us egg custard tarts which are really good and he loved them so much he said it was the best thing we ate the whole trip! The crust is super flaky and buttery and the custard is just right.

good mongkok custard tart SF

Not a great picture, it’s hard to balance a camera and a tart! 😉

good mongkok custard tart closeup

A pineapple bun – decent but nothing too special,there is no filling so it’s kind of plain, I wish it was filled with custard.

good mongkok pineapple bun

Scallion bun/bread – yummy and super huge, couldn’t finish this one!

good mongkok scallion bun

good mongkok scallion bun!

After our massive chinese bakery breakfast, it’s only natural to wash it all down with a bubble tea! We went to G’s favorite place, i-Tea, which has a bunch of locations in the bay area. They have an awesome large menu and the tea is really good! I wish they would come to Seattle.

I got a jasmine green tea with boba and G got a wintermelon milk tea:

itea bubble tea

Then we walked around the Ferry Building Market for a bit, always a good time.

ferry building market SF

At this point, coffee was needed, so we got blue bottle NOLA iced coffees, the only coffee I like! It has roasted chicory root in it.

kyla at ferry building

Unbelievably, we got hungry again and since it was my last night, we decided to go for Italian food so we stopped at The Italian Homemade Company which I have been to before and they make the best pasta! We went to the original restaurant in the teeny Italian district of SF.

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I got pesto ravioli and savored every bite.

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G got spaghetti with meatballs which also looked divine.

italian homemade company greg

To end the night, we stopped at Naia Gelateria for a cone, I got hazelnut chocolate and biscotti something or other. Good thing we walked so much otherwise I would have gained 10 lbs from this trip! We averaged about 20,000 steps a day!

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The next day I had a late afternoon flight so we were able to go out to breakfast. I looked up some places close to his apartment and chose a rather touristy spot, Hollywood Cafe, which is in the Fisherman’s Wharf area. G got blueberry pancakes and I got french toast and fruit.

hollywood cafe SF

The amount of fruit is impressive! It was pretty good french toast.

Hollywood cafe SF fruit

We walked around at the marina park and got mojito iced coffees at Philz coffee. It is a little too sweet for me so G had to finish mine for me.

philz coffee line

greg at the marina 2

philz coffee mint mojito 2

I ate some farmers market strawberries too:

sf farmers market berries

It’s such a pretty area, I would love to live near this like G does! I ran 11 miles here on one of the days for my half training and it was super hot but it had great views!

marina SF

I love these apartments! They cost a fortune to live in though.

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Beautiful SF…

San fran!

We also had time for one last frozen yogurt, we went to this place like 3 times during my visit because it’s SO good. It’s called Loving Cup and they make their own probiotic froyo and then mix in toppings for you. It’s only a few blocks from G’s apartment on Polk street! I actually like this better than the famous Bi-Rite Creamery.

loving cup menu

I got the “Dirty Hipster” a couple times, it’s vanilla froyo with oreos and nutella mixed in…Heavenly!

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Post-froyo cheerfulness:

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We walked by this donut shop and I saw the biggest donut I have EVER seen! The cinnamon roll next to it is the size of an adult hand so the donut is about the size of my head! And no, we didn’t eat that too 🙂

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We also stopped for a quick drink on Union Street, G got a beer and I got a rather weak black currant kombucha. They don’t really have much kombucha around in SF that I saw, I should open a kombucha bar there!

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That concludes this super long post! I hope you enjoyed reading. Have a good weekend!

Life

Life Lately…

June 16, 2016

I went home to Olympia because I had my half-marathon so I got to see my sweet senior pup Gryphon. He’s about 14 years old now and he is getting cataracts now 🙁 He does get more handsome with age though. This is the only non-blurry picture I took, he’s so hard to photograph!

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My mom tried to get a picture of the two of us but all them turned out blurry except for this one and I had to hold Gryphon down so thats why he looks all awkward!

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This is my mom’s angora rabbit, Gandalf, he’s really cute and huge, like the same size as Gryphon! He always seems kinda of cranky to me though.

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One more of me and Gryphon, this was the morning after my half marathon. Gryphon’s wearing his fancy bow tie 🙂

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Right after my half marathon. It was really hard and I pulled a muscle or something in my hip so the last couple miles were really tough but I made it under my goal time so I was happy.

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Me and my parents 🙂 My dad ran with me up one of the big hills for support.

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HUGE stack of post-run pancakes at the Spar restaurant. They were soooo good and probably made up for all the calories I just burned lol!

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The best restaurant I went to recently is called Araya’s, it’s a vegan thai restaurant and they have several locations in Seattle. My dad and I tried it out and we both loved it! The inside is really cute too.

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One side of the menu:

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I ordered the thai tea with coconut milk which is delicious.

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For an appetizer, we got the mango cashew tofu salad and it was so tasty!

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For my main dish, I ordered the avocado curry which had both seitan and tofu in a green curry and it is probably the best curry I have ever had. I only managed to eat like a quarter of it because the cashew salad was very filling.

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Even though I was super full, when I saw mango sticky rice on the menu, I just had to have it and it was totally worth the belly ache.

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My BF came to visit me for memorial day weekend and we went to Din Tai Fung which is always yummy. I got fish dumplings and two veggie buns.

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Handsome man:

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Number one dumpling lover:

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It was such a beautiful, hot weekend so we decided to go kayaking on Lake Union! I can’t believe I’ve never done this before, it’s so easy, cheap and fun.

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You do have to watch where you paddle though, lots of boats and water planes in Lake Union!

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Greg doesn’t look happy haha but he was having fun splashing me…

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Recipes

Paleo Pumpkin Scones

June 12, 2016

I found the BEST healthy-ish scone recipe ever on Laura Fuentes‘ awesome blog. This is a perfect recipe for my inner yoga-pant-clad-pumpkin-spice-latte-loving white girl who emerges every fall. Best of all these are grain-free and dairy-free!

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Serves 6

Paleo Pumpkin Scones
Save Recipe

Ingredients

    For the scones:
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • 2½ teaspoons pumpkin spice
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, chilled in freezer
  • For the pumpkin spice glaze:
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons almond butter
  • 1½ teaspoons honey
  • 1½ teaspoons coconut oil (soft but not melted)
  • 1/8 teaspoon pumpkin spice or cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl (or in your stand mixer) combine eggs, pumpkin puree, honey, and vanilla extract. Mix until combined.
  3. Add in coconut flour, pumpkin spice, baking soda, and sea salt. Mix until combined. Remove chilled coconut oil and chop into small pieces, add them into the mix and combine.
  4. To shape the scones, simply measure out ¼ cup and create a round ball like shape. Press it down so that it's about 1" tall, or you can use a biscuit cutter.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the tops are golden. Remove and allow biscuits to cool on baking sheet prior to transferring onto a cooling rack.
  6. For the glaze:
  7. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until coconut oil is incorporated into the mix. Once scones have cooled off, drizzle them with glaze.
http://www.thedailyoats.com/paleo-pumpkin-scones/

 

Health

Whole30: Day 30!!

April 20, 2016

I did it! 30 days of healthy food. I can’t believe I lasted this long without my daily oatmeal and without baking any cookies. This experience felt like it flew by so fast but it also feels like it has been a long time since I had a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie 🙂 Reintroduction of non-gluten grains starts tomorrow and I’ll be doing a whole reintroduction post so look for that! I’m still going to be eating my delicious savory breakfasts, now I have grown to love them!

dinner whole30

PROS:

  • If someone offered me a cookie right now, I could say no easily. Not sure exactly how but the Whole30 has made my cravings for desserts decrease a lot, in fact, cravings for all non-Whole30 foods like oatmeal and pasta are pretty minimal. I did smell my favorite pizza place that is next door to my apartment wafting down the street on my way home yesterday and it did make me hungry. And maybe after I start eating more food groups, I’ll go back to my need-dessert-daily mindset, who knows!
  • Skin is clearer and less groggy in general
  • Whole30 meals never leave you feeling super weighed down like if I were to eat a bunch of pasta
  • Discovered some new ways to cook veggies and some new meal favorites!
  • Taste buds are “cleansed” and I am more sensitive to added sugar tastes
  • My runs have been going really well, not sure if this has anything to do with it but it might!
  • Overall a great experiment for your body and mind!

CONS:

  • Super hard to go out to eat/be social obviously and a bit awkward to explain to people who don’t understand it
  • Super hard to get over not relying on fruit for ‘dessert’
  • I actually gained a couple pounds…too much fruit? I didn’t eat many nuts and ate normal portions otherwise so it must be the fruit. There are lots of carbs in mangoes and I ate a ton of those over the 30 days. I ate more regularly though and probably all together more food than before or at least higher calorie foods.
  • Expensive, food prepping and grocery shopping constantly! I can’t imagine doing this with a family, just by myself it was a lot and I’m even a pescatarian!
  • No fun for foodies who love trying new foods and baking

Even with all the cons, I definitely recommend doing this at least once in your life, just to reset your system for a bit and maybe learn something new about yourself.

WOULD I DO IT AGAIN?

Yes, for sure! In fact, I’ll probably continue to eat Whole30-ish after my reintroduction, adding the foods my body seems to handle well (and the smoked salmon in my fridge that has been waiting for me for weeks because it has brown sugar in the seasoning!) I mean, everyone should be eating veggies at every meal and eating healthy like 90% of the time. Of course I am going to bake and eat cookies but probably less often than before and I’ll really think about whether a sugary treat is truly worth it before diving in next time. I sometimes forget that nature has already provided us with candy, in the form of fruits and dates (or my homemade dehydrated bananas below)!

dried banana snack

If you are interested in doing the Whole30 Program, here are some resources I found useful:

Whole30.com – the official website, tons of info, shopping lists and a forum for questions

MelJoulwan.com – great recipes

It Starts with Food – book by the Whole30 creators, a good read!

I found most of my recipes on Pinterest or blogs. Be sure to check out my other Whole30 posts!

Recipes

Kale Sweet Potato Egg Muffins

April 12, 2016

I make these sweet potato muffins very often now that I’m doing the Whole30. They are the perfect balance of sweet and savory and pack a lot of flavor for just being vegetables and eggs. They are dairy-free, gluten-free and vegetarian. I microwave two of these for breakfast during a busy work-week.

sweet potato muffins

Serves 12 muffins

Kale Sweet Potato Egg Muffins
Save Recipe

Ingredients

  • 9 whole eggs
  • 3 tablespoons full-fat unsweetened cooking coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chives
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups sweet potato, diced
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cups kale chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a standard muffin pan with oil (I use coconut oil) or use muffin liners.
  2. On the stove, heat a pan to medium heat with the olive oil and add the diced onion and sweet potato. Cook until onion becomes translucent and sweet potato has browned a little, about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Add the minced garlic and chopped kale to the pan cook until kale has wilted a little.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the 9 eggs with the coconut milk, chives and nutmeg, season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  5. Add the veggies from the pan to the eggs and stir everything together until well combined then pour the mixture into each muffin tin until 3/4 full (they puff up a little).
  6. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until cooked through.
  7. Then enjoy! These can be stored in the fridge for a week (or longer).
http://www.thedailyoats.com/kale-sweet-potato-egg-muffins/

sweet potato muffins recipe

As you might be able to tell, I got a new camera! I chose the Nikon D3300 because I was looking for a beginner DSLR and it is one of the cheaper options (but still so $$$, thank god for my tax return!) but still has very good reviews. So far I am loving it!

succulent

I can’t wait to take more photos, they turn out so much better than my Iphone pictures!

me portrait

XOXO

Health, Life

Whole30: Day Twenty

April 10, 2016

It’s already time for my day twenty update on the Whole30! It came around so fast, I can’t believe I’m almost done with this program. If you are a newcomer, get caught up on my initial Whole30 post as well as my day five update and day ten update.

How I feel right now:

Good! I feel pretty healthy. The only bother I have right now is remnants of a cold that I got last week. I ran 9 miles yesterday and it felt pretty good so my running doesn’t seem to be suffering. I have been sleeping good as well.

What I’ve been eating:

A ton of eggs, veggies and fruit. I also tried making my own mayo and it turned out perfect (shout-out to my vita-mix), it became so fluffy that my blender stopped being able to blend! I followed the instructions on this recipe. Be sure to read all the tips like using light olive oil (not EVO). This came together in about 2 minutes and is super easy to make!

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I mixed the homemade mayo with chives and lemon juice and put it on some cod o bake with sweet potatoes.

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I also used the mayo to make deviled eggs for one lunch, so amazing! On the side we have a roasted sweet potato with guacamole.

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My current favorite kombucha flavor is this superfruit one. It has yummy black currant juice.

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My favorite weekend breakfast consists of homemade hashbrowns (throw some potatoes in the vita-mix to shred and then pan fry with olive oil) with scrambled eggs, TJ’s salsa verde (the best!!), TJ’s regular red salsa, sauerkraut and half an avocado. Mix everything together and enjoy the most flavorful, filling breakfast ever! I like to have a side of fruit as well, my oranges have been gross and dry lately so I have moved on to strawberries and bananas.

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Another use of the homemade mayo: tuna salad with green onions, avocado and kale salad. I LOVE tuna but I try to only eat it once a week maximum because of the mercury content.

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A new favorite snack: jicama! Well, not really new actually, I used to eat jicama all the time when I was little but I forgot about it for twenty years or so haha. I love jicama because it is almost like a fruit to me, it’s kind of sweet, crunchy and mostly water but it’s a vegetable so I can eat as much as I want! It’s basically like a less-sweet watermelon. Yesterday I went to Whole Foods to get some fruit and veg and I asked if they had jicama and the produce guy said “wait a second, I’ll go look in the back”. He came back out with this enormous root (jicama is a root) the size of my whole head! I was a little shocked because I have never seen jicama in its natural form so I asked how much it was since it felt like it weighed ten pounds and he said $1.99 a pound which would make it around $20! We both laughed at the crazy thought that I would spend $20 on one vegetable and I asked him to take it back to the “back”. Sorry jicama root, one day I’ll be able to buy you but for now I’ll be sticking to TJ’s $2.99 snack box.

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Improvements?:

Still eating an ungodly amount of fruit…I could try to control it more I think but  fruit isn’t bad for you and I love it so I’m going to keep eating it. I finally decided to stop buying dates for a little bit because I was eating a lot of them with almond butter and it’s supposed to be an occasional snack not an every single night snack so if I don’t buy them I won’t be tempted.

In other news, I went to the tulip festival with my dad last weekend, so beautiful! It was cloudy but still amazing to see. If you are in the Skagit Valley area of Washington sometime in late March/April you should check it out for sure!

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I’ll see you in 10 days for my final Whole30 update!

XOXO