Category Archives: about me

Uprooted & Updated (URL)

It’s been almost five years since my words made a new home in this space! As a brand new dietitian (circa 2009), I eagerly put fingers-to-keyboard and found a voice through which to relate to you, eat with you, train with you, and move all around life with you. In fact, I’ve “lived” here longer than any house, or city, since my teenage years! Whoa.

That said, a little freshening up was in order. All of the miles, recipes, and life updates are packed up and ready to go! Soon you’ll see them all comfortably settled into the new digs – same name, different URL.

NEW SITE: ! See ya over there!

And more importantly, Thanks for being along for the ride…

Bixby Bridge Highway 1_DOTR


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Life with Micro-Adventures

On at least two of my weekly runs I tune into the Art of Adventure podcast led by fellow blogger Mary Loudermilk’s husband, Derek. They’re living it up as true adventurers in Ubud for the time being – which is fascinating in and of itself – but he interviews life adventurers every week! The episode always ends with this question: What does adventure mean to you?

Two answers have stuck with me:

Adventure is a roller coaster of {emotions} and transformation.
Ericka Dhawan

Adventure is indulging your sense of wonder.
Shane Snow

Last month’s Outside Magazine featured various Happiness Hypotheses, as part of a “Happy + Healthy 2015” spread. Christopher Keyes wrote one that straight up defines how we’re trying to live life here during our relatively short stint in California: “Microadventures amp up your mood.”

Chance of success? Slam Dunk.

Asilomar Beach Sunset Surfer

Two weekends ago we decided to take an overnight trip to San Luis Obispo (SLO), because why not? We had nothing stopping us (see: obligations, schoolwork, wedding work) and we keep saying “We should go to SLO”. So, we went. This was planned in a manner of minutes on Thursday evening, and by Saturday afternoon there we were driving along the most beautiful highway in the nation (imo) with the sun out, windows down and Taylor Swift blasting. We stopped at Big Sur Bakery for a treat, because that’s what you do, and we pulled over to stare at (uh, quite disgusting) elephant seals yelling at each other but barely bothering to move.

Bixby Bridge Highway 1_DOTR

Sunday morning we decided to run around SLO and then hike, because according to our “Central Coast Day Hikes” book, there were quite a few options and we have a long list to start checking off!  And apparently we also had “hike above the fog and literally be on top of the clouds” to check off, too.

SLO hiking_DOTR

SLO hiking plank_DOTR


Micro-adventures*: impromptu outings to take advantage of where you live and why you live. Seeking things that bring you joy. Wondering about your surroundings, and indulging that curiosity with experience. Not wasting any more time because there just isn’t enough of it; you do what you prioritize. Excursions that bring transformation.

*as defined by yours truly.


These micro-adventures should be anything but overwhelming. They can be a quick weekend road trip, or an impulse flight purchase, OR they can simply be running on a new-to-you trail, trying a new restaurant, or choosing to spend Tuesday night watching the sunset on the beach because life won’t always present you with this opportunity on any night of your choosing.

Asilomar Sunset Surf

The sunset we decided to catch after our usual run through the Farmer’s Market.

No matter what your micr0adventure list looks like, it should bring you joy and transformation. It should change the way you look at something.

It should just feel like the best thing to do in that moment.


What are some of your favorite ways to get in “micro” adventures? I’m taking tips to add to our growing list.


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YTT: Behind the Maya (Veil)

Throughout the course of our 200-hour yoga teacher training(YTT), we have to observe class at least 3 times. One thing you rarely, if ever, consider as a student is the structure behind 60-90 minutes of a yoga flow. And with good reason! There’s some magic in the not knowing, just listening, doing and digging around your brain.  And trying to keep your hips closed or feet balanced. That may be all you ever think about – that ish isn’t easy!

I remember my first few yoga flows in Denver, when all the things began to click, leaving class in a mysterious state of bliss. Like, man, if only people knew that sanity is so accessible and a high is so easily reached without having to do much besides roll out and step onto the mat! I remember walking out of studios way above cloud 9, craving and seeking that mental massage more and more. Running is great, sure – but yoga? Puts you on a different level.


I’m learning (as you may have guessed). And part of that involves stepping behind the veil/illusion (or maya, in sanskrit). Erasing a little bit of the “magic”. Setting up props for the Scene, and watching the Director work. (In our YTT Director’s Chair: Coral Brown.)

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Did you know:

– Most classes build you up to a Peak Pose. You may not always recognize what this pose is, but the asanas (poses) leading up to it all have a specific purpose (e.g. open your hips, warm-up your back, engage your core, loosen your hamstrings, etc.)

– (Prana*) Vinyasa Flow classes will always start with sun (or moon) salutations, called “Namaskars”. Depending on the teacher, you may do a few different variations of classic sequences. This warms you right up!

– Every pose has a counter-pose. It’s all about balance, yo.

– There is always purpose behind the sequencing. It may seem as though you just aimlessly move from one sequence to the next, but know that the teacher’s mind is always taking you down a specific, planned out, path.

*This is the type of teacher training I’m completing – Prana Vinyasa Flow.

Sitting back, behind mayas, and watching a full hour of yoga without doing anything but observing is a completely different experience. I noticed so much more than I would have if I were on the mat. My mind wasn’t focused on meditation, but rather on learning and piecing together. I was a little jelly of everyone getting their asana-on. I was awake and alert while they blissed out in savasana. Not the same! But the totally-worth-it reward will be leading a full class through a similar journey sooner than later. Paying more attention to what’s behind-the-veil shifts your experience on the mat, but it also means I soon get to create my own story, bhav and flow, and see what happens.

For now, I’m still reading the script. (5o hours in)

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Avoiding Decision Fatigue: Why I eat eggs for breakfast everyday

There’s something to be said for food habits. I once survived on the following: oatmeal for breakfast, turkey sandwich on whole-wheat bread for lunch (with lettuce, cucumbers & salsa) – possibly a chocolate pudding or just chocolate, yogurt somewhere for a snack, carrots/chips+salsa while cooking, some version of “grilled” chicken + veggies/pasta for dinner. Maybe an Oreo or small bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats for dessert. Every day.

I’m not kidding at all. And this was during and probably for a while shortly after my college days (studying Nutrition Sciences). Take that as you will…

Usually no mind was paid to the fact that I very often ate the same thing, or some very slight variation of it (depending on dining hall, apartment grocery stash, or internship funds availability), for every meal, every day. If I was questioned, my only justification was “it’s what I like…”. I thought that was true. If I look back on it now, I think two things: 1) it kept my grocery shopping and bills simple & consistent (you know, no-income days!) and 2) it kept decision-making to a minimum. (Brain space was free to learn and have college / no-FT-job-days fun!)

Let’s talk about the latter – Decision Fatigue.

Research suggests we pull from a pool of will-power and decision-making power every day, which like most pools, can be drained. Depleted. Donezo. In a similar thread, the hypotheses suggest our brain fatigues, just like any other muscle. We can make up to X tough decisions per day, feeling strong and in control, until we aren’t. By the time the choice between Y & Z comes up, we’re at a loss. The easy, well-paved path, is taken – with a side of light remorse and defeat for dessert.

There may be more to stress eating, to the gravitational pull of comfort foods, and to giving into cravings in a brief moment of weakness. Maybe not always, but maybe sometimes those moments happen because the hours leading up to them have exhausted you in some way or another. You’ve had to pull from that will-power bucket too many times in one day; your decision-making muscle has been lifting 20-lb weights all day when it’s so used to the 10 pounders.

Remember Steve Jobs in his outfit of choice? Black turtleneck and jeans. Recognize Mark Zuckerberg by his signature hoodie + t-shirt look?

From Business Insider’s article on the latter:

He said even small decisions like choosing what to wear or what to eat for breakfast could be tiring and consume energy, and he didn’t want to waste any time on that.

I may not have nailed this down until more recently, but it’s so clear now. Decision Fatigue: the struggle is real. It’s been years since I had the same exact thing for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks every day. (It’s also been a long time since chocolate pudding or Oreos saw the inside of my grocery cart.) But even recently,  for a long time, I had oatmeal + peanut butter every single morning. Last year I switched to a more protein-based breakfast: 2 eggs scrambled with kale and chopped veggies (peppers, onions, tomatoes / whatever we have leftover), 1/2 avocado and a banana.  And Sriracha.

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It feels good to have breakfast habits. I like having the same thing most days. Now I know why: because it feels good to start your day without having to make decisions! I like what I like. I get variety during the rest of the day, and my brain is ready and happy to make those choices.

Other ways to avoid decision fatigue:

– Minimize your wardrobe. Throw out half of that stuff you haven’t worn in months, or years, anyway.

– Develop a few healthy food habits/staples and you’ll make grocery shopping easier, minimizing impulse buys. See also: meal planning!

– Have an exercise routine or work with a coach. Take the guesswork out of the day and you’ll be more likely to not only go workout, but also to stick to it. (This is easily one of the best choices I’ve made in the past year.)

– Recognize the days where it may set in, and make things easier on yourself by making a few choices ahead of time (pack lunches & snacks on stressful work days; have a go-to outfit for presentations or VIP meetings; set up a training plan for a “crazy week”).

Perhaps more importantly, get to know yourself. Recognize those times where you “give in” and take a few steps back. Do a mental rewind through your day – what made your brain tired? What was different about today vs. yesterday? What choices have you had to make that depleted your buckets? Every time you do this, your buckets get deeper. Your brain can take on more ‘weight’. You’ll make better decisions.

Additional Reading: – Drowning in Jam: How to conquer decision fatigue

NYT WellBeing Blog  – Do you suffer from decision fatigue? – Here’s the Real Reason Mark Zuckerberg Wears the Same T-shirt Every Day

The Strength Model of Self-Control – Baumeister, Vohs & Tice (FSU & Univ of Minnesota)


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YTT: What do you do that’s not true to you?

“My religion is based on truth and non-violence. Truth is my God. Non-violence is the means of realizing him”  – Mahatma Ghandi


Moving right along with Yoga Teacher Training (YTT): We’re one week into a one month “Living” meditation. It’s not all about sitting cross-legged on a colorful pillow in a quiet room for 1-10 minutes per day – as meditation rarely is – but rather taking a concept to live with all day, every day. It’s meditation through your thoughts, which turn into actions and behaviors, concentrating on different topics/ideas every few days.

A lot more a-ha moments, not as much quietness.

Refuse Spa Carmel Valley_Silence

On Friday we got our second prompt: Truth. Satya: from the root “to be” (sat). To be truthful; to be true to yourself. To realize that sometimes we block the truth with an iron no-thank-you-ma’am shield. We try to hide the things we most want to reveal, admit or accept about ourselves. We suppress things we want to ignore; we ignore things we really want to chase.

Things to think about this week…

How often do you find yourself rationalizing things that you’ve said or done that don’t really feel “true” to you? How many times per day do your wishes have one thing in mind, while your actions (almost unconsciously) express another? When was the last time you felt like a shadow of yourself because you’re not entirely sure what truth you’re chasing (or not) + why?

If you can’t tell the truth to someone else, what makes you think you’re telling it to yourself? Call the bluffs, yo.

“It seems so simple, yet it can sometimes be quite complicated.”

It’s almost unnerving how often you can catch your mind sprinting to justifications or excuses for why/not you do or say something. There are probably quite a few ingredients in this self-preservation recipe, but Ego and Fear tend to dominate the flavor.


A few random moments in the past week have made a few things very clear to me, and I won’t chalk it up to coincidence. Spend even 5 minutes (or 24 hours) focusing on these little things, and your mind will bust out the obnoxiously huge spotlight and shine it right on whatever it is you’re struggling with, ignoring or wishing-to-be-different (but probably not doing much about). It gets easier and easier to separate the important truths from everything else.

What are you doing that’s not true to you? Why?

Back to regularly scheduled light-hearted eats and running anecdotes after this break, brought to you by a yoga teacher-in-training with a busy mind!

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