3 DAY GUIDE: YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK

My roommates and I went to Yosemite National Park over Labor Day Weekend and we had an absolute blast! I personally loved the chance to escape from the city and enjoy almost three full days without cell service. My phone was nothing more than an expensive camera - which means I took a TON of pictures that I can't wait to share here with y'all!

Two quick notes before we dive in:

1. Due to COVID, Yosemite now requires reservations to enter the park. Reservations are per car and are released on the first day of the month prior to your visit. My roommate Katie got our pass (bright and early in the morning!) on August 1 for September 5, and it's valid for 7 days past the original reservation date. While there were still crowds, this system definitely has its perks: we could always find parking, less bottle-neck on the trails, and virtually no traffic driving around Yosemite Valley.

2. Obviously right now, Yosemite and much of the West Coast are on fire. Wildfires are definitely something to consider if you're planning a trip for the fall. We had two mostly clear days (Saturday and Monday), but of course, the day we planned on going to all of the various viewpoints was the smokiest. You'll see in the pictures below that it looked like an orange filter had been placed over the sky. There's not a ton of service in the valley if you choose to turn on your phone, but there are Park Rangers all over the park if things get too hairy.

Ok, onto our itinerary! 


WHAT TO EAT THIS WEEK vol. 3

Hey hey hey, happy Sunday people! Back this week with another menu and grocery list! I've figured that these usually last me every two-ish weeks. This week we're doing for chicken wraps, pasta salad, enchiladas, and my go-to classic: chicken, vegetables, and a baked potato.


Let's get it 🔥

MY PERIOD STORY + EXPERIENCE WITH BIRTH CONTROL

Oooh boy. I have never shared this story publicly until very recently in a 2 sentence blurb on Instagram. To me, this story is incredibly personal and I'm still feeling the effects of it.

This is my birth control story: why I went on it, how it gave me my life back, and how it is 100% without a doubt a form of healthcare. I'm a couple of weeks late from the initial outrage, but this a conversation that absolutely must be had!

Also, before we start, wanting to go on birth control because you simply do not want to get pregnant is absolutely a valid reason to get birth control. Full stop, end of discussion.


Okay... onto my story!

BRIDGE TO NOWHERE HIKE IN AZUSA, CALIFORNIA

I've always enjoyed hiking, but I've done more trails in the last two months than ever before! I love getting out in nature and exercising and of course enjoying the views.

My roommates found the Bridge to Nowhere hiking trail in Azusa, California so we decided to give it a try! It's a 10-ish mile hike round trip (5 miles to the bridge, and 5 miles back out). It's relatively flat - only 900 ft of elevation each way - but definitely not what I would consider to be an "easy" hike, but with enough water, snacks, and time to rest, people of most fitness levels can complete it.


Read on for details of the hike, my tips for completing it, and things that I would do differently if I do the hike again!

WHAT TO EAT THIS WEEK vol. 2

Hi friends! Back this week with another sample menu and grocery list. This week we're having buffalo chicken lunches and Italian dinners. Simple, summery, and delicious!

As with everything, take what you want and leave what you don't. Hopefully, this list will at least give you some ideas! Enjoy!



CHOCOLATE DONUTS WITH PEANUT BUTTER GLAZE (gluten free + dairy free!)

Wooooh baby, I took a bite out of one of these and literally gasped. They are SOOOOO GOOOOOOD.

Today I'm celebrating because one year ago I was unceremoniously let go from the job I moved across the country for! If you told me a year ago that I would be celebrating this day, I would not have believed you. It honestly felt like I had hit rock bottom.

Maybe it's just because of how different the world looks today (hello coronavirus, being unemployed again, don't know when it will end, etc.) or because I've had 365 days of growth in between, or maybe a combination of both but I am feeling GOOD today.

Some day I might share more about my experience, but it's still a little painful for me to talk about the details. However, I will always be grateful that this job led me down the path that I'm now on: got me to LA, made me seriously consider a job in food + wellness, and ultimately starting Nutrition School at IIN. :) :) :) Everything happens for a reason, friends.

OKAY, enough reminiscing! Onto the good stuff: these donuts.


WHAT TO EAT THIS WEEK vol. 1

Hello friends! Earlier this week, I shared my weekly menu and subsequent Trader Joe's haul on Instagram. I felt as though it was somewhat basic, but I got a lot of positive feedback on it and a couple of requests to share my grocery lists more often. So, why not make it a weekly series on the blog? 

Each Sunday I'll post my menu and grocery list to hopefully give you some ideas on healthy, simple meals for one person on a budget. I'll also link out to any recipes I'm using for inspiration. Read on for this week's list!


IS YOUR SMOOTHIE MESSING WITH YOUR 💩? AND MY FAVORITE COMBOS

It's summer and man oh man, it is HOT! 

There’s nothing better than a cold smoothie on a hot summer day, but if you notice a change in your digestion after drinking one, you’re not alone! Read on for some reasons as to why your smoothie is messing with your stomach and tips to avoid the discomfort. 🙃🥴⁣


GREEK STYLE TURKEY BURGERS

You guys know I love a good cheeseburger. Burgers in general are my favorite, but I rarely make them! They always seemed like too much work and not enough reward, but man was I wrong.


These Greek-inspired turkey burgers! Stuffed with feta, spinach, and red onion... they are juicy and flavorful and take just a few minutes to make. The recipe is below, enjoy!

FLOUR POWER

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a baker. When it comes to making loaves of bread, cakes, cookies, etc. I tend to follow recipes vs. making my own.

In recent years, baking flour has gone from that simple white powdery substance in mom's kitchen to all different sorts of flours for all sorts of recipes. It left me scratching my head! It also made me wonder more often than not if I could substitute them easily. (Somehow whenever I need oat flour for a recipe, I always have almond flour and vice versa!)

I compiled a list below of the different characteristics of each flour, what they're best used for, and how to substitute (if you can!). Read on!


AIR FRYER CHICKEN NUGGETS + FRENCH FRIES

Guys, I bought an air fryer a few weeks ago and it has definitely changed my life. It's so quick and easy to use, and who doesn't love crispy food? So far I've used it to cook chicken breast, tofu, cauliflower, potatoes, and my favorite so far: chicken nuggets and french fries.


Read on for the recipe!

10 At-Home Workout Resources

Living an active lifestyle hasn't always been important to me, but it's something I seriously value now. Getting in some form of exercise and movement every day is how I stay grounded and is one of my favorite forms of self-care!

As we settle in to our "new normal" - working from home, unable to go to our favorite fitness classes, and facing a world of uncertainty - staying active is more important than ever. And while I still totally believe in slowing down and not overdoing it, I do believe that exercise is one of the ways we can stay mentally healthy during this period of unknown.

I've rounded up 10 of my favorite at-home workout resources to share with you!


*most of these deals are just for during the Coronavirus pandemic, but who knows, maybe you'll find something that makes the price tag worth it!

10 MINUTE FALAFEL CRUNCHWRAP

You guysssssss. Do your best ideas ever come in the shower?! Pretty much all of mine do. It's where I came up with the idea for my podcast, do most of my major brainstorming, and where I thought of this amazing FALAFEL CRUNCHWRAP!



MY SKINCARE ROUTINE

A few days ago I was talking to a friend about exfoliating before shaving and it absolutely BLEW MY MIND that a lot of people don't do that... especially our gentlemen friends who just shave with no preparation.

It got me thinking about my overall skincare routine, the products I use, and how it's changed! I'm nosy and fascinated by other peoples' routines so I decided to share mine if you can relate!