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Hike of the Month: Lake Serene

Hike of the Month: Lake Serene






Lake Serene Hike This is not a hike I would recommend to someone for whom solitude is important. However, it is beautiful and worth the trip if you can venture out midweek and are ok with encountering quite a few other hikers on the way. […]

Food is Not the Enemy

Food is Not the Enemy






From a young age, many of us have been inundated with warnings about eating too much food. Women, in particular, are constantly bombarded from all directions with ‘tips’ on how to eat less. Whether it be avoiding certain foods, finding ways to feel more full […]

From Paleo to Plant-Based: 5 Steps

From Paleo to Plant-Based: 5 Steps

5 Steps to Transition from Paleo to a Plant-Based Diet

I followed a strict paleo diet for about three years before making the decision to move toward a plant-based vegan diet. I’ve written before about my motivation for transitioning away from paleo and about the similarities between paleo and plant-based diets. This post is more of a ‘how I did it’ explanation of the specific steps I took in moving away from paleo and toward a plant-based vegan diet.

Despite the similarities between the two lifestyles, I found the switch to be more difficult than I anticipated, especially from a mentality perspective. One of the more challenging parts of the transition was overcoming the stigma associated with vegan diets in the paleo community. A lot of work goes into discrediting veganism in terms of both health and ethics, and it takes effort to undo some of that training.

I took the process in steps, starting with what I felt to be the most important and continuing with what I found easiest to digest.

Step One – Removing meat and dairy

Removing meat from my diet was not difficult for me, in large part because I spent most of my childhood as a vegetarian and I really don’t like meat. I always had to make myself eat it when I followed a paleo-type diet and thought meat was critical for health. Beef and pork were the first to go, followed closely after by chicken. I have had a dairy allergy for over 10 years, so removing dairy was also easy. I was still eating casein-free ghee, which I also removed at this point. This step was actually a huge relief. It felt like I had suddenly been given permission to stop eating these foods that I really didn’t like and that I felt guilty for eating. The fact that I could maintain my health without animal foods was an immensely freeing realization. (more…)

Hike of the Month: Greider Lakes

Hike of the Month: Greider Lakes






Greider Lakes Hike I love this hike for its relative solitude. The hike itself is nice, though not stunning. And in an area full of overcrowded trails, some forest-centered quiet and privacy is incredibly valuable. This is a great early-season hike to explore when most other hikes […]

The Best Type of Exercise for Longer Telomeres

The Best Type of Exercise for Longer Telomeres






There is plentiful evidence supporting the ability of exercise to slow the effects of aging and improve overall health. And research is mounting that a substantial source of that anti-aging power may come in the form of telomere length maintenance. I talk about telomeres in […]

White Bean and Greens Dip

White Bean and Greens Dip

Carrot tops are one of my favorite ingredients, and unfortunately are very often thrown out. Rich in nutrients, and delicious, they are a great addition to many recipes. I use them in this dip to impart a rich green color and subtle carrot flavor. I have eaten this with a spoon as part of a meal, and with crackers as a dip. I also love to bring it on day hikes to eat with crackers and veggies. This dip is easy to make, with minimal prep, and uses only 5 ingredients.

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Trail Etiquette

Trail Etiquette






Over the last five years or so, there has been huge influx of people on trails in Western Washington. The population in the Seattle area is rapidly increasing, and along with it comes a loss of solitude on popular trails nearby. Generally speaking, I’m not […]

What Are Telomeres and Why Are They Important?

What Are Telomeres and Why Are They Important?






The study of telomeres is a growing area of research, and one that I find really fascinating. I wanted to talk a little bit about telomeres, with the goal of laying the groundwork for some future posts about telomere research. What are Telomeres? Telomeres are […]

Vegan Backpacking Foods

Vegan Backpacking Foods

Backpacking season is rapidly approaching, and I’m itching to get out into the woods. Now that I have transitioned almost completely to a whole food plant-based diet, I thought it was about time that I put together a list of my favorite vegan backpacking foods.

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Evolving Food Views

Evolving Food Views






For many of us, the path that brought us to the way of eating that is best for each of our individual bodies (in this moment) is a winding one. And that winding path often garners criticism. I know it did for me. In transitioning […]