Eating Paleo in Iceland

This post has been a long time coming and after much chipping away, it’s finally done! Anyway, as many of you know, my husband and I traveled to Iceland this past March and had an amazing experience. We loved it all — the scenery, the food, the people, etc. It was incredible and we’d go back in a heartbeat. I imagine many of you wonder more about the food though and specifically, if it was easy to eat paleo there. The short answer is yes, it was easy and I had no problems with the food situation. Trust me…I ate very well!

Icelandic horses in field

I ate a lot of fresh Atlantic fish (Arctic char, ling, other cod varieties, salmon), pickled foods (beets, cucumbers, fish), root vegetables, potatoes, greens, tomatoes, and plain Skyr (traditional Icelandic yogurt). We ate a big breakfast every morning in our hotel, had a snack in the afternoon (generally macadamia nuts and/or an Epic Bar that we packed with us), and then went out somewhere for dinner. One night though, we had an awesome buffet dinner (followed by soaking & sauna) at the Laugarvatn Fontana, about an hour out of Reykjavik and afterward, went on a guided Northern Lights hunt (it was too cloudy to see them that night, but we did see them another night). There was fish, root veggies, salad, chicken, tomato basil soup, etc. It was delicious!

Jesse and me Iceland

You may or may not know this, but despite its cooler temperatures (it was mainly in the mid-to-upper 30s while we were there), Iceland actually grows a lot of its own produce in geothermal-heated greenhouses. Additionally, Iceland is self-sufficient in producing meat, eggs, and dairy products. Iceland’s food is centered around purity and sustainability. They do not use hormones or antibiotics, and the use of herbicides and pesticides is very restricted. They also have very low pollution, and the water is so pure and fresh (no need to buy bottled water here — get it straight from the tap). Iceland for the win!

Meanwhile, my breakfast included lemon water, black coffee, smoked fish or lox, hard-boiled eggs, pickled veggies (sometimes a bite of pickled fish too), fresh tomato slices, potatoes, and a bit of bacon. It’s not pictured below, but I usually ate half a banana and some plain Skyr as well. Oh, and a shot of Icelandic fish oil some mornings since they put the bottle and little shot glasses out each day. We looked forward to coming down to breakfast every morning in our hotel and having this traditional Icelandic spread. If you’re wondering, we stayed at Center Hotel Thingholdt in Reykjavik. It was a great hotel and fantastic location. Breakfast was included in the stay too.

Below are some of the places we ate in Reykjavik that I recommend. We had fantastic food and zero problems ordering!

Glo: we ate here multiple times because the food was so amazing. Most everything is gluten-free and while there are a lot of vegetarian items (some incredible vegetable sides!), a chicken dish is available as well. The food is SO good and fresh! And, don’t even get me started on their gluten/grain-free raw desserts. We tried many and all were incredible! The second photo below is their pecan pie (grain & dairy-free – it was an almond and egg white base) with fresh whipped cream. I think I could eat that pecan pie everyday. It was unbelievable. Their raw tiramisu (don’t have a picture) was my other favorite. The first photo below was our actual first dinner in Iceland. I don’t remember the exact details of what was on my plate, but there’s curried chicken, cold root veggies, mixed greens salad, cucumber salad, and cold potatoes with some sort of amazing raw sauce (I think it was either either almond or cashew-based and had coriander seeds in it). It’s definitely food that makes you feel good!

Messinn: We had our favorite meal of our whole trip here, and that says a lot because everything we ate was amazing. I had Arctic char that was served with honey, almonds, cherry tomatoes, lemon, and butter. It came in a big cast iron skillet with baby potatoes and a generous pile of arugula on top. Jesse ordered their cod, which had different elements, but was served in the same manner. He thoroughly enjoyed it as well. We went back on our last night (I planned to get the same thing again because it was that good), but they had to close for dinner that night due to some sort of unforeseen situation or emergency. We were so bummed!

messinn arctic char

Bergon Mathus: this was a meal for two that we shared, which was not only delicious, but a really good deal too. It was whole cod with roasted vegetables, and also came with two small sides of our choice. We went with a sweet potato mash and cucumber/tomato salad. The restaurant itself was adorable and had a lot of character.

fish aftermath Iceland

Helisuhusid: this is a great little health food store right next to Glo. We had packed a lot of our own travel snacks, but it was handy to have a spot to re-up our supply, as needed.

Photo credit : foursquare.com

Saeta Svinid Gastropub: we ate here one night for dinner and I had a lovely meal of ling with mashed potatoes, caper flowers, and Dijon-butter sauce. We were in close quarters with the table next to us and couldn’t help but strike up conversation with each other. We ended up having not only an enjoyable meal, but a great evening with an English couple. They were a hoot and our interacting with them is why I did not take a photo of my meal. Oh, and Jesse had a bun-less burger here, which he greatly enjoyed.

Kryddlegin Hjortu: the soup and salad bar here is where it’s at, and this place is extremely gluten-free friendly. In fact, the majority of their menu is gluten-free or can be made gluten-free. And, all four soups on their soup bar are gluten-free too. The very fresh salad bar was almost all gluten-free, except for the homemade spelt bread and a couscous salad. But, these things were clearly labeled and obvious. We ate here two different nights and I got the soup and salad bar both nights. My favorite soups (which rotate, except for a homemade mushroom soup that they always have) included a vegan coconut curry soup and a spicy Indian chicken soup. The salad bar was loaded with fresh veggies, herb-infused oils, fish, fresh fruit, etc. Unfortunately, I never got any photos here, so you’ll have to use your imagination!

Joylato: Three words: nitrogen ice cream! Pick whether you want an organic cow’s milk or coconut milk base, choose your flavor, and any mix-ins. They add the milk base to a mixer bowl with the necessary flavoring and turn it into ice cream in an instant with liquid nitrogen. Then, they mix in the topping(s) of your choice and serve it up with a homemade piece of gluten-free waffle cone. I had coconut milk chocolate ice cream with almonds and Jesse had coconut milk vanilla ice cream with homemade chocolate sauce. It was SO good and fun to watch the process. This place was busy though and took a while to get our ice cream. They have a line-up of 4-5 mixers, but can only make it so fast. When we were there, one person was taking orders and one person was making all the ice cream.

joylato iceland

nitrogen ice cream

joylato

Reykjavik Roasters: homemade coffee Skyr yogurt with maple syrup and almonds. I got this twice while visiting – once on our first day as an afternoon snack and another time after soaking at one of the local thermal pools. Their coffee was also excellent!

Booja Booja: this is an incredible England-made, non-dairy ice cream we found at the health food store above and also at a convenience/mini grocery store in Reykjavik. Most flavors are sweetened with agave, but the one below was sweetened with coconut syrup. These are a cashew base with 5 simple ingredients and no gums, preservatives, or weird stuff. It was so divine and creamy! It tasted very much like a rich, classic chocolate ice cream and the smooth texture was all there.

As you can see, it is easy to eat well in Iceland! I was always satisfied and did not eat a bad meal anywhere. Ordering was simple and I was always well understood when asking about things like gluten. I actually didn’t have to do any complicated ordering or even substitutions when dining out. Again, Iceland for the win!

Advertisements

New York, I Love You

IMG_3646
Grafitti I spotted in the Lower East Side.

I recently got back from an incredible trip to New York City and am still feeling high from all the excitement and energy. I’m almost at a loss for words as to how amazing this trip was. I went for a wellness/self-care/inspirational conference called, “I Can Do It!,” with a good friend (two other friends also joined us for the conference piece), but had extra days before and after to explore. The entire experience made me feel so alive, revived, grateful, loved and more connected to myself. I came out of my shell a bit, learned a lot, observed, wandered, bonded and reminisced. It was also the first time that I really took a girl’s trip and I realize that it’s something I need to keep doing. It was amazing. Also, I totally loved NYC and am definitely not done with that city. My friend and I are already planning our next trip back, but we plan to stay in Brooklyn next time. We’re shooting for late September or early October of next year. Meanwhile, we did and saw a lot on this trip, and there was no shortage of amazing food and drinks.

Oh, and the first night we arrived, I found out that I passed my Yoga Tune Up® written exam! It was an awesome way to kick off my trip, especially because I worked so hard on it. If you recall, I did the week-long, in-person piece of the teacher training back in October. Anyway, I’m pretty stoked about all of this and what’s to come!

IMG_3637
Grand Central Terminal. This place is magical.
IMG_3597
Flatiron building.
IMG_3645
More cool graffiti in the Lower East Side.
Dinner at Cookshop after the first day of the conference. This place was incredible.
Dinner at Cookshop after the first day of the conference. This place was incredible and came highly recommended by a friend of mine who recently moved from Manhattan to Portland.
Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center. The tree is under that construction on the right. They were getting it ready!
IMG_3574
NBC Studios
Got to reconnect with this great lad who now lives in Brooklyn. We go back to high school!
Got to reconnect with this great lad.

During my trip, I also got to spend some time with my cousin, Carol who lives in Brooklyn. My friend and I dined with her on two different occasions and she also gave us a little driving tour around parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Additionally, I was able to catch up with someone I was very close with in high school and part of college (we also dated for a long time), who also lives in Brooklyn (he’s in the pic above). Visiting with him was definitely a trip down memory lane and we shared so many laughs. We were both much younger and in a different place in our lives the last time we interacted, but it almost felt like time hadn’t skipped a beat — except that we’re both in a much better place now. It was very special.

A misty walk through Central Park.
A misty walk through Central Park.
IMG_3654
My friend, Heather, me, and my cousin, Carol at Extra Fancy in Brooklyn (Williamsburg, specifically). This is where my friend works and he whipped us up some amazing cocktails.
IMG_3641
Katz’s Deli! I ate some awesome pastrami and pickles here. It’s a nuthouse inside, but the pastrami is epic.
IMG_3606
Chelsea Market.
IMG_3602
Getting ready to dine at Hu Kitchen.
IMG_3609
The Highline. A city park up above, on old railroad tracks. It’s really cool.

Meanwhile, below you’ll find some awesome stuff I jotted down at the conference, and there’s much more too! All the speakers were incredible and I gathered so much from each and every one. The conference was seriously chill-worthy. The picture below is of Dr. Christiane Northrup during her talk. I also got to hear from Cheryl Richardson, Nancy Levin, Mike Dooley, Dr. Bruce Lipton, Kris Carr, Nick Ortner, Dr. Joe Dispenza, Gabrielle Bernstein and Dr. Barbara De Angelis. Dr. Wayne Dyer was also supposed to be a presenter, but as some of you may know, he passed away a few months ago. There was a touching tribute for him on the first day of the conference though. Anyway, I hope you enjoy what I have to share below.

IMG_3622
Dr. Christiane Northrup at the I Can Do It! conference.
  • Sensitivity is a great gift. Protect it! It’s okay to be sensitive. Care for it, so it can flourish and bring even better art to the world. Desensitizing does not support our creativity.
  • Internal conversations get passed down generationally.
  • When you ask the universe to support you, take action when it does. Set intentions and act on them!
  • The voices in our head keep us small. The voices in our head want to keep us “safe.”
  • Our present moment choice predicts our future. It’s our crystal ball.
  • Give ourselves space to be with the unknown. It’s in the unknown where opportunities and possibilities exist.
  • Our belief systems are put into place by the age of 11!
  • Age is just a mindset. It’s constant thoughts. We need to step out of the “age cage.”
  • The moment you believe you’re a victim is the moment you lose power.
  • You are a master of your genetics. You are not a victim of your heredity.
  • If people are in harmony with you, then your energy and their energy entangle. This = good vibes. Bad vibes = losing power, energy is out of harmony with your energy, energy is weak.
  • Vibration is the primary communication between all organisms.
  • Change the picture in your mind and your mind is completely changed.
  • Life is uncertain and in that uncertainty is where we find joy — where the magic is.
  • Say yes to your life. Say yes to your passion. Say yes to using your voice.
  • Life is not something that happens to us — we happen to life.
  • If you don’t address traumas, they’re going to keep coming up in your life. Traumatic events get locked in the body. We need to go back and rewrite the events. We need to heal. “If you want to clean the house, you have to see the dirt.”
  • All the negative aspects we think are previously coded events.
  • We think 60,000 – 70,000 thoughts in one day. 90% of those thoughts are from the previous day.
  • By the time you’re 35 years old, you’re on autopilot 95% of the time.
  • Miracles are natural and when they’re not occurring, something has gone wrong.
  • Live the path of choosing again moment-to-moment.
  • Sometimes, spirit shakes us awake with things that get our attention. This is out of love!
  • We are wired for greatness, for maximum capacity, for maximum light. Our circuits get unplugged and we forget to plug back in. It’s not because we’re not capable.
  • Shift from thinking of things you’re doing as good or bad to, “what’s the vibrational impact?” Cultivate expansion and eliminate contraction. Think to yourself, “what am I choosing in this moment? What’s a more enlightened choice I can make right now?”
  • Be a force of love.
  • The hardest thing about change is not making the same choices you did the day before. It’s gonna be uncomfortable.
  • Be defined by a vision of the future instead of a memory from the past.
  • Lean towards joy and you will be led. If you’re ready to create more success in your life, make joy a priority. Be deeply grounded in that joy. Joy is your birth right!
  • Show up for your light.
  • The greatest gift we have is giving voice to our truth. And, when we do, there is no wrong way to live our life.
  • Whatever you didn’t get from your mother and father, you’ll probably try getting from your significant other.
  • We draw people that reflect back to us.
  • Reclaim what we’re not taking responsibility for in ourselves. Every time we point a finger, there’s three fingers pointing back at us.
  • You always have the strength to choose how to engage. Be open for what’s coming.

Jamaica Wellness Retreat Recap

IMG_4241

You may recall that I went to Jamaica last month for a wellness retreat with Synchronicity Wellness and ePhysiologix. I was fortunate to have won the retreat, which was truly meant to be. The retreat was called, “Optimizing Your Awesomeness,” and took place at an all-inclusive resort called, the Grand Lido in Negril, Jamaica for 4 nights and 5 days. I felt very blessed to be given this opportunity and it still blows my mind when I think about it. I was able to take Jesse with me as well and we both had a wonderful time. We met a group of amazing like-minded people, learned some valuable things, got plenty of R&R and enjoyed visiting a new place. It was transformative, introspective and an experience to remember. The retreat was led by Dr. Dan Stickler, Dr. Mickra Hamilton, Dr. Warren Walsh and Kim Smith. Below is a group shot of all of us  striking our, “power pose.”

Jamaica power pose

IMG_4236

Some of the topics covered during presentations and discussions included stress, sleep, heart rate variability (HRV), strategic eating, nutrition and food intolerances, breathing and meditation, fitness, living optimally and more. Each morning started with yoga and meditation outdoors, which was led by the lovely, Kim of the PaleoYogaMom. After yoga, some of us weight trained in the resort gym and then, we normally ate breakfast together. Lectures started shortly after and lasted a few hours. The rest of the day was ours to do as we pleased, but most of us all hung out together on the beach during the day.

Oh, one day it started pouring in the afternoon (literally buckets of rain!), so we had a dance party and played a classic Jamaican game (see next two pics):

IMG_4228

IMG_4234

IMG_4220

Jamaica dudes

If you’re curious, it was not hard to eat paleo on this trip at all. Breakfast and lunch was always a huge buffet, and dinner was at our choice of on-site resort restaurants (they were very accommodating with substitutions and dietary needs). One of the nights, there was a giant dinner buffet though, which had so many great foods to choose from (fresh fish steamed in coconut milk was my favorite that night). My breakfast of choice was always bacon, eggs made to order (which they’d cook in butter for me), steamed greens (which I’d put butter on) and black coffee. Lunch was usually more steamed veggies, curry or stew of some sort (one day was even goat, which I tried for the first time and enjoyed), fresh fish and maybe a little salad with olive oil. Most of my dinners were fresh fish (often snapper) with veggies, but I did have a delicious beef filet one night as well.

IMG_4222

IMG_4219

IMG_4223

Anyway, here are some interesting points or things to think about that I took away from the retreat:

  • Humans are the only beings that can think themselves into stress.
  • About 90 percent of physician visits are stress related.
  • With stress, you have to treat the brain, not the adrenals (the brain sends the signals).
  • Constant chronic stress has you constantly on guard, ready to jump.
  • 20 minutes of meditation is equal to 2 hours of sleep on the body.
  • The time of your sleep is crucial. Going to bed from 12-8 is not the same (quality-wise) as 10-6. This is because our circadian rhythm is most active from sunset to sunrise.
  • You need 8 REM cycles for adequate sleep each night. To get all 8 REM cycles every night, you need 7.5 hours of sleep minimum. Only about 1 percent of the population is efficient and needs less.
  • Memories make life epic, not material things!
  • Happiness is a choice; only YOU can make YOU happy.
  • Lucky people will pick up on opportunities or details that other people miss or overlook.
  • Practice more autotelic living. In other words, do something solely for the purpose of doing it and not for its goals or consequences. Pay attention to an activity for its own sake. This is the idea of getting into a flow state.
  • Keys to balance are: 1. Sleep, 2. Stress management, 3. Sound nutrition and 4. Smart exercise. It is imperative to keep it in this order!
  • Nutrigenomics is the combination of food, environment, genetics and epigenetics.
  • 95 percent of us is subconscious. We use only 5 percent of our brain.
  • We are conditioned by our experiences. We have a love lens and a fear lens.
  • You can un-pattern your conditioned responses via breath-work and meditation.
  • To change our lives, we must change the way we think, feel and behave. Break up your habits, take another route, do things differently. You can’t change anything by fighting what exists.
  • Use your breath to get out of an unhealthy reaction or situation (excuse yourself for a few minutes if you need to). In doing so, you’ll realize there’s never really a need for conflict.
  • 70 percent of people live in the past. Come back to the present! There’s also no need to stew about the future. The present is all you have and there is no stress if you’re in the present moment.
  • Ask fear why it’s there. Move from illusion to truth.

The ePhysiologix and Synchronicity Wellness team is leading another retreat in May 2015, which will take place in Sedona, Arizona. Jesse and I are hoping to go, but can’t commit financially at this point. If you’re interested in attending, please check out this link for more details. I guarantee it will be epic! Plus, I’ve heard Sedona is pretty magical.

IMG_4226

Hawaiian Honeymoon

I realized I never shared any photos from my recent honeymoon in Kauai and Oahu on here, so I thought I’d share some highlights.  I had a recipe in store for today, but ended up not being completely satisfied with it, so decided to scrap it for now.

Meanwhile, here are some memories from our trip. Enjoy and happy Friday! Oh, and our 1-year wedding anniversary is this Sunday, June 8th. Hard to believe a year has passed already!

Polihale Beach in Kauai. This beach is on the west side of the island, down a 5-mile bumpy, dirt road. It was super rough, but well worth it.
Polihale Stae Park in Kauai. This is a remote wild beach on the west side of the island. The trek to get there is down a 5-mile bumpy, dirt road. It was super rough, but well worth it.
IMG_4161
Gearing for a 90-minute sunset catamaran ride, the last night of our honeymoon. Honolulu, Waikiki Beach.
Hanelai Bay
Hanelai Bay, Kauai.
My tasty breakfast one morning at the Common Ground Cafe on the North Shore of Kauai.
My tasty breakfast one morning at the Common Ground Cafe on the North Shore of Kauai.
Zip-lining fun at the Princeville Ranch. It was a blast!
Zip-lining fun at the Princeville Ranch. It was a blast!
Jesse climbing on the rocks at Ha'ena State Park. This was mere hours before he lost his wedding ring in the ocean at Tunnels Beach. Darn frog paws pulling it off.
Jesse climbing on the rocks at Ha’ena State Park. This was mere hours before he lost his wedding ring in the ocean at Tunnels Beach. Darn frog paws pulling it off.
A really happy lady with her Mai Tai at Tahiti Nui in Hanelai.
A really happy lady with her Mai Tai at Tahiti Nui in Hanelai.
Our amazing view of Hanelai Bay during the most epic (and spendy) brunch ever at the St. Regis Princeville Resort.
Our amazing view of Hanelai Bay during the most epic (and spendy) brunch ever at the St. Regis Princeville Resort. It was worth every penny.
Jesse on our sunset catamaran ride in Honolulu.
Jesse on our sunset catamaran ride in Honolulu.
Jesse in front of a dry cave. It was neat walking around inside. This was right across from Ha'ena State Park.
Jesse in front of a wet cave. Absolutely no swimming in there though because of some nasty bacteria.
A close-up of the wet cave.
Closer up of the wet cave.
Jesse eating a homemade acai bowl (minus the granola) at the Hanelai farmer's market.
Jesse eating a homemade acai bowl (minus the granola) at the Hanelai farmer’s market. Still had his wedding ring here too. It was 2 days later that it left us.
Ha'ena State Park/Tunnels Beach area, where Jesse lost his wedding ring.
Ha’ena State Park/Tunnels Beach area (far end), where Jesse lost his wedding ring.
My lunch after zip-lining at the Common Ground Cafe. Grass-fed beef burger with bacon and raw cheddar (yes, I do okay sometimes with highly fermented cheeses), organic veggie salad and a legit homemade avocado dressing. This place had great food and super good quality too.
My lunch after zip-lining at the Common Ground Cafe. Bun-less grass-fed beef burger with bacon and raw cheddar (yes, I do okay with small amounts of highly fermented cheeses), organic veggie salad and a legit homemade avocado dressing. This place had great food and super good quality too.
Poipu Beach at the South end of Kauai. We beached it this day with two friends who were also visiting the island. Afterward, we went for Mai Tai's. Great snorkeling here -- saw lots of cool fish!
Poipu Beach at the South end of Kauai. We beached it this day with two friends who were also visiting the island. Afterward, we went for happy hour Mai Tai’s. Great snorkeling here — saw lots of cool fish!
Dinner at Rum Fire after our catamaran ride on our very last night. Honolulu.
Dinner at Rum Fire after our catamaran ride on our very last night.
It was a windy ride!
It was a windy ride!
St. Regis Princeville Resort.
St. Regis Princeville Resort, waiting for our car to arrive after brunch.
Apple bananas. These are so good!
Apple bananas. These are so good!
I treated myself to this ring from the Hanelai Farmer's Market. The woman who made these used to live in Oregon and now resides in Kauai, making jewelry. She had such cool stuff!
I treated myself to this ring from the Hanelai Farmer’s Market. The woman who made these used to live in Oregon and now resides in Kauai, making jewelry. She had such cool stuff! Here, I’m admiring it at Polihale State Park.
Hot ride.
Hot ride. I couldn’t resist taking a picture. No, this was not the car we drove around in!
An epic sunset overlooking Hanelai Bay. We pulled over on the side of the road to snap a picture. The photo doesn't do it justice.
An epic sunset overlooking Hanelai Bay. We pulled over on the side of the road to snap a picture. The photo doesn’t do it justice.
Fruit stands are all over Kauai and a must to stop at!
Fruit stands are all over Kauai and a must to stop at!
It was Mai Tai o'clock a lot.
It was Mai Tai o’clock a lot.
Fresh Hawaiian pedicure in Honolulu.
Fresh Hawaiian pedicure in Honolulu.
An amazing view during a morning walk, our first day in Kauai.
An amazing view during a morning walk, our first day in Kauai.
Sitting on the terrace at the St. Regis, enjoying our fancy brunch. Seriously, most amazing brunch ever. There was everything and it was all homemade! They even cooked the eggs in clarified butter!
Sitting on the terrace at the St. Regis, enjoying our fancy brunch. Seriously, most amazing brunch ever. There was everything and it was all homemade! They even cooked the eggs in clarified butter!
One of the 9 zip-lines we went down. So fun!
One of the 9 zip-lines we went down. So fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m Going on a Trip and I’m Taking…

b60d6e67e047f3422c0d7be3ee3f2935

As you know, my honeymoon is coming up. In fact, we leave for Kauai this Friday! That’s only two days away! I am so ready and beyond excited! Meanwhile, I’ve started packing and stocking up on some essentials to take with us. Aside from the obvious swimsuits, tanks, shorts, sundresses, sunglasses and camera, I thought I’d share with you some of the things I’m including in our suitcase and/or carry on:

Epic Bars: these are great anytime, but especially on the go. Made of high-quality meat and low in sugar, these soft jerky bars really satisfy and taste great too. We actually bought a whole box (12 bars) and for doing so, got a 10 percent discount at Whole Foods. We did half beef (my favorite) and half bison (Jesse’s favorite).

Justin’s Almond Butter Packets: again, another easy food to travel with. Plus, Justin’s Classic Almond Butter is actually my favorite. The individual packets can be expensive, but fortunately, they’re on sale for $0.89 each at one of our local co-ops right now. Eat it straight from the packet or squeeze onto an apple or banana, which are easy to find at the airport (and also easy to pack in your carry on).

Dr. Mercola’s Sunscreen: inevitably, we’re going to get prolonged exposure to the sun. We practice safe sun exposure and eat plenty of foods that add protection, but we’re going to be in the sun a lot and for long periods of time, and covering up is not really desirable when it’s hot. We generally don’t use any sunscreen, except coconut oil, but in this case, realize we’re going to need a bit more. We avoid toxic chemical sunscreens, but are comfortable with something nontoxic and of high quality. Dr. Mercola’s sunscreen is chemical-free, hypoallergenic and biodegradable. We have a bottle of SPF 30 and SPF 15 to take with us. Read more about Dr. Mercola’s sunscreens here. We also prepared ourselves for sun exposure by supplementing with astaxanthin in the weeks leading up to our vacation. This is a potent antioxidant that basically acts as an internal sunscreen.

Coconut Oil: I don’t take the whole container, but scoop some into a small travel-size container. It’s a great after sun moisturizer and truly, great for almost anything! I don’t travel without it!

Rosewater Mist: I use this stuff as my face toner, but love it as a body mist too. It’s great anytime you just need a refresher, really. Its light rose scent is so pretty, fresh and delightful. It will be great to spray on after being at the beach or after a sweaty hike along the coast.

Minimal Sandals: I just treated myself to these new barefoot sandals (in the grey/silvery color) for our trip, and Jesse got a pair too. He actually got them first (the men’s version) and then I liked them so much, I went and tried on a pair. I know they’re spendy for such a minimal style sandal, but the brand is reputable and well made. These can also be worn in the water and are easy to clean. I like that they’re like a flip flop, but have a back strap and flatter sole. The back strap eliminates the need for the toes to grip to keep the sandal on the foot, which is what inevitably happens with flip flops. I admit that flip flops are convenient and handy for certain things, but for walking around, I’d rather have something like this. Better for the feet too.

Digestive Enzymes: when I’m regularly eating my meals out, like I will be on my trip, I like to carry these with me. I never veer from my version of paleo when traveling or eating out and always make my needs clear when I order. But, just in case cross-contamination happens, these help. See the link above for the brand I like best.

Lacrosse Balls: we always travel with at least one mobility tool and lacrosse balls are one of them. I like to keep one ball in my carry on and use it on the plane under my hamstrings, behind my upper back or manually use it along my chest/neck. It really helps relieve stiff tissues from sitting and makes me more comfortable on longer flights. Of course, we use them to a greater degree in our hotel room when we have more space and access to different angles in the body. We usually take a double lacrosse ball (two balls taped together like a peanut) or the MobilityWOD Gemini for the thoracic spine, and Yoga Tune Up balls too since they’re lighter and don’t take up much space. We have some other mobility tools too, but they’re better left at home due to size and weight.

Things I’m Excited About…

ec0a1c401b30d4c8b3d54a5c3256cba6

Hi and happy Monday, everyone! I thought I’d take the time to share some things that I’m anticipating and excited about right now. It’s great to have things to look forward to and in general, it’s good to be excited about life. Please take a moment to tell me what you’re looking forward to in your life. I’d love to hear!

Cheers,

Alisa

Cirque du Soleil: Jesse and I are going to see Totem this Wednesday night. It was a late birthday gift to him from me.  We plan to go out to dinner beforehand and making a full evening of it. We try and catch the Cirque du Soleil performances whenever they come through town because they’re always amazing. It always makes me want to change my mind about what I want to be when I grow up. Gotta start training young for those kinda skills though.

Hawaiian honeymoon: I know I’ve already mentioned our belated honeymoon, but it’s coming right up! We leave for Kauai April 25th and will be there for seven nights. Then, we fly to Oahu for the last three nights to visit some of our favorite stomping grounds. A couple things we already have planned are zip lining in Kauai and going on a bike tour in Honolulu or the North Shore. A former colleague of mine (from when I worked at a PR firm) just moved to Honolulu with her husband and opened a bike tour business there. They now have a location in Portland and one in Honolulu. So cool!

IMG_0637

Animal Flow: The talented Mike Fitch himself will be here in Portland April 12th and 13th, at Recreate, leading the certification. I’m blessed with great employers who are hosting the certification and also paying for me to do it. It will be hard work, but valuable and fun too. Plus, have you seen Mike Fitch?

September MI trip: Jesse and I just booked a week long trip to Michigan September 24th – October 1st. My dear cousin is getting married on the 27th and I wouldn’t miss it for the world. She was like another sister to me growing up (kissin’ cousins, like our parents said), so missing it is not an option. It will be a beautiful wedding and a lot of fun too.

IMG_1339

Leftover meatloaf: I will be sharing the recipe of my classic, go-to meatloaf later this week, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, we’ll be enjoying the leftovers for the next couple of days. As a kid, I detested meatloaf in any way, shape or form, but now I like it, especially the leftovers.

6bf5ce2f4812cfee0c85e498381d45a4

Hawaii Photo Highlights

Cheers to Friday! I don’t have a recipe to share today, as I was in Hawaii and didn’t get home until midnight on Wednesday night — technically Thursday morning. I’m still pretty wiped out from traveling, the time change and jumping right back into work (thank goodness I’m not a desk warrior and don’t have to be at work for 9-hours straight), so give me some time to get back into my groove. Meanwhile, here are some shots from our trip. Anyway, enjoy and have a great weekend!

Honolulu at night -- view from our room on the 24th floor.
Honolulu at night — view from our room on the 24th floor.
The pier where Jesse asked me to marry him last December. It was December 20, 2012 to be exact.
The pier where Jesse asked me to marry him last December. It was December 20, 2012 to be exact.
A shot of the pier from the side.
A shot of the pier from the side.
Jesse, deep in thought while drinking a Mai Thai, shortly before heading to the airport on our last day.
Jesse, deep in thought while drinking a Mai Thai at Duke’s. This was right before we had to head to the airport on our last day.
Our view from breakfast one morning. Not bad, huh? I could get used to this on a regular basis.
Our view from breakfast one morning. Not bad, huh? I could get used to this on a regular basis.
My breakfast to go with the view above: fresh pineapple and an omelet stuffed with meat! It was delicious.
My breakfast to go with the view above: fresh pineapple and an omelet stuffed with bacon and ham! It was delicious.
Toes in the sand.
Toes in the sand. Yes, those are my toes.
Walking around on the grounds of the Royal Hawaiian.
Walking around on the grounds of the Royal Hawaiian.
Me with some fresh lettuce-wrapped mahi mahi tacos. And, a really strong Mai Thai. It was seriously like a three-in-one.
Me with some fresh lettuce-wrapped mahi mahi tacos. And, a really strong Mai Thai. It was seriously like a three-in-one.
Jesse and me with the Supple Leopard himself, Kelly Starrett. This was taken at the end of our seminar.
Jesse and me with the Supple Leopard himself, Kelly Starrett. This was taken at the end of our seminar.
Love these palm tree lights downtown.
Love these palm tree lights downtown.
Jesse on the beach.
Jesse on the beach.
Diamond Head from Waikiki Beach.
Diamond Head view from Waikiki Beach.