How to: Have a Healthy-ish Vacation

3 Ways to Have a Healthy Vacation || On Simple Medicine

You may or may not have noticed my week long departure from Simple Medicine and most social media. I wasn’t posting as much on instagram, but I did maintain a pretty steady stream of funny snaps on snapchat. I took a REAL vacation! We spent the week in Maine with my med school bestie Christine, her husband and their son. Christine is a born and raised New Englander and was the perfect tour guide. Some of the highlights of our trip included visiting Boston, Portsmouth, Kittery and driving along the coast of Maine, a Taste of the Nation event, a ghost tour, lots of baby laughs and delicious watermelon beer. I’m seriously in love with the Northeast right now and I’m dreaming of the Juicery. I would give up my Friday off this week for another Prana Smoothie.

One of the big things on my to-do list while on vacation was to stick to my workout plan. I’m here to report: that did not happen. Christine and I did a fantastic 20-minute HIIT workout followed by a mile long beach run on day 1 and then…we didn’t. I did get some burpee action and ab work in mid week and we did lots of walking, but the motivation to really workout sort of fizzled. I focused my energy on my friends, on moving in ways that were natural, on a couple of paddle boarding adventures and on having fun. Which I did. I had a lot of fun.

I also put on a bathing suit for the first time since Vegas and I was not disappointed. Shoutout to Ivanna for keeping me accountable and on track. She checked in with me and that was great motivation. Since I’ve now admitted that I’m not exactly a ‘stay healthy on vacation expert’, I’m going to give you a few tips to enjoy your vacation while staying on track.

3 Ways to Have a Healthy-ish Vacation:

Scoop Deck

  1. Eat

Eat well + local. Eat the food you normally eat but don’t be afraid to enjoy something you can’t enjoy at home. For example, if you’re in Maine, have lobster and visit the Scoop Deck. Our hosts were so wonderful and introduced us to the local food scene in Maine and New Hampshire which makes me want to shout, eat local!

The North End Boston [Read more…]

6 Ways to Have a Spectacular Summer

6 Ways to have a Spectacular Summer || on Simple Medicine

With the first day of summer right around the corner (June 21), now is the perfect time to remind ourselves to slow down and disconnect. As children, summer was the season to recharge and refresh; something we are desperately missing as adults who are constantly connected to technology.

We forget to let go of stress, our careers and most importantly, our cell phones, to engage in the season that is surrounding us. It’s become commonplace to choose technology over nature.

The energy of the summer months is refreshing, freeing and full of light, if we simply stop to enjoy it. The longer days combined with the natural tendency to slow down leaves time to eat dinner out doors, stay up just a bit later and enjoy life just a little bit more. There are many ways to end the summer season feeling refreshed; here are a few of my favorite tips to make the most of your summer:

6 Ways to have a Spectacular Summer || on Simple Medicine

  1. Eat Well

The summer months give us an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. Step outside your comfort zone and pick out something new – papaya, pineapple, cherries, figs, berries and melons are all in season. Vegetables like squash, zucchini, fennel and chard are aplenty. Summer is also when you’ll find Farmer’s Markets popping up all over your city. Check one out for the best produce selections and prices.


  1. Get Wet

Do you remember the feeling of running through a sprinkler hose with the sun shining down on you? The smell of wet concrete and grass always brings back this memory for me. Take the time to splash around in a community pool, at the beach or local lake; if you don’t have access to a body of water, simply hook up a hose and have at it. In addition to making you feel young at heart, water based exercise and activities have been shown to improve mental health and mood.


  1. Breathe Deep

We’ve all heard the phrase “get some fresh air!” Summer is the perfect season to do just that. Most Americans spend nearly 8 hours a day indoors at a desk; factor in commuting and that number increases significantly. Take some time during your lunch break to step outside for a quick walk; walking promotes deep breathing, which encourages a slower heart beat and stable blood pressure.


  1. Sleep under the Stars

[Read more…]

I am not my Hair

I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am not your expectations no no
I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am a soul that lives within

– India Arie

Our society has a tendency to use hair as a construct of beauty. For most of my adult life, I’ve had long hair. Over the years, lot of people have been kind enough to compliment me on my hair. It’s healthy and shiny…and long. And no matter what we do or say we can’t change the fact that most people will associate that with something to be desired. Along the way I’ve also had plenty of people tell me I shouldn’t cut it. As if my long hair has anything to do with anyone else! Into the Gloss wrote a great piece about the pixie cut, but I think this comment was the highlight:

HairI would say men generally fail to see the freedom that comes with chopping it all off. They just don’t get it. With the exception of a few occasions, I’ve maintained long hair for the majority of my adult life because I felt like my hair made me pretty. It’s a weird thing to think or even feel, isn’t it? How can a physical extension of me make me pretty?

I’ve had the urge to chop it all off before (once in high school I got a pixie cut); the last time I chopped it all off was right before starting grad school at Bastyr:

Short Hair

I loved this cut. It felt fresh and it was exactly what I needed for my big move across the country. That’s the funny thing about hair, it’s a part of us that we can change quickly and feel a million times better/different/prettier/happier. It holds a lot of weight. And changing it, drastically or ever so slightly, has the ability to change the way we feel.

When I make the decision that my hair needs a cut or a trim, the urge usually strikes in a very strong way. I set my mind to it and I have to do it. This weekend the urge hit hard on Saturday night and so, on Sunday, I decided it was time for a change.

If you remember, this is my most recent picture, long hair and all:


and now: [Read more…]

Greek Orzo Salad

Greek Orzo Salad || A veggie heavy vegan/vegetarian pasta salad for #Meatless Monday

Every time I make this dish for a group event, people request it again. And again. And again. It’s the perfect companion to a summer BBQ or even a fall tailgate. 

When I’m with my in-laws we enjoy it regardless of the season.

The first time I had orzo salad was the summer that I met Matt’s family. We went up to Northern Michigan and I had it at the restaurant that Matt’s sister worked at. It’s been a favorite ever since.

I used to make this pasta salad using bottled Greek dressing, but now I’ve perfected my own dressing and no longer need the bottled stuff. It’s even better when you add feta to it but for now, we’re avoiding dairy and I went without. 

Greek Orzo Salad
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
11 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
11 min
  1. 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  2. 1/2 cup Vinegar (red wine or rice)
  3. 1/4 tbsp salt and pepper to taste
  4. 1/2 tbsp dried basil
  5. Optional: crumbled feta cheese
  6. 1/2 tbsp dried Italian herbs
  1. 16oz box of dried orzo
  2. 1 pint of greek peppers (in a jar) + reserve 2 tbsp of the juice
  3. 6 oz of kalamata olives
  4. 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
  5. 2 medium or small cucumbers in half moons
  6. 1/2 medium red onion finely sliced
  1. Prepare orzo per package instructions, drain and toss with dressing.
  2. Allow pasta to cool in refrigerator and then toss in veggies; add the juice reserved from the greek peppers.
  3. Chill for 1-2 hours and enjoy!
Simple Medicine

I like this dish because despite being pasta, it’s still full of vegetables. We eat this often during the summer because it’s easy to make and nice and cool. Summer is the season of salads, so hopefully this one gets added to your rotation.

I’m sharing as part of Meatless Monday with Tina Muir and Confessions of a Mother Runner 


and Powered By BLINGThe Fit Foodie Mama, and Running on Happy!

Your turn: what is your favorite pasta salad? What are you eating this Meatless Monday?


Progress not Perfection


Progress Not Perfection

When I started consistently working out again (around the middle/end of January) I had big hopes for changes. I know what I weighed around the time that I started, but I’m not in the habit of regularly weighing myself.

We have a scale in our bathroom but I’m never tempted to step on it. Recently I did step on the scale and I was super disappointed to see that the numbers hadn’t changed at all. I was reminded about why I don’t step on the scale often.

Two weeks ago I started working with Ivanna on a 6 week workout plan. She’s helping me tremendously by telling me what to do each day at the gym and I love it. Last week was my very first week and I’m embarrassed to admit that I totally lost my rhythm by Wednesday. I had an unexpected meeting at work and I missed my opportunity to go to the gym. I took Thursday off because I had several doctors appointments and I missed my workout again. I missed two workouts within the first four days.

It wasn’t a good start. 


By Friday I pulled myself together and did my 3rd scheduled workout. Saturday and Sunday I completed the last two for Week 1. This week I’ve stuck to the schedule and I proud of myself for doing so. I told Ivanna that I feel strong, and that is the truth. I don’t really feel all that bad about the scale because I know my body feels different. 

And then something else happened.  [Read more…]