Travel

Chicago Trip!

Another trip?! I swear, this summer I was away more than I was at home. But I do love traveling so I’m ok with that! This trip was semi-last minute because my little sister just moved out there a couple months ago. Of course, I had to plan a trip to visit right away. This was my second time to Chicago and I am in love. It is the perfect foodie city and the only downside is that there are so many places to choose from, I can’t possibly try them all! We had a great time exploring the city, finding fun work out classes, and eating amazing food.

We arrived late Wednesday night and went straight to bed so we could wake up and enjoy our trip. We tried out FlyWheel for an awesome cycling class followed by ProteinBar for breakfast! I realllllyyy wish we had these franchises in Washington. My bestie, Annie and I split two smoothies. We got the Avo-Matcha (add spinach, no agave) and the PB&J (add spinach, no sweetener). They were both tasty! After that we walked over to The Goddess and the Baker for a lovely strawberry matcha. I asked for almond milk and no sweetener!

For lunch we had Goddess and the Baker (AGAIN) because it is that good. I got the Super Seed Avocado Salad with wild caught salmon and the dressing on the side. Annie got the Quinoa and Arugula Salad and added chicken! During the day we walked all around town, exploring, seeing the Bean and walking along the waterfront. We got drinks at Cindy’s which is a rooftop bar and restaurant. Rooftops are super popular in Chicago and you can find a lot of cool places with great views. At night we were able to attend the 11th Annual Chefs on the Grill Festival, in Millennium Park right under the Bean! This was a super fun event where chefs from some of Chicago’s top restaurants competed in a grill-off to showcase their signature recipes. There were unlimited tastings, an open bar, and live music! Can you think of a better place for a foodie to be on a summer night in Chicago? I think not! We loved all the food and we were even able to vote for our favorite dish! For dessert, we went to Freshii and got the frozen kefir (probiotic yogurt) to go and brought it home to eat.

Friday morning we woke up in time for another AMAZING workout class at Barry’s Boot Camp. This was my first time at Barry’s and now I know why people love it. It was fun, challenging, and a great atmosphere. If you have tried Orange Theory, it is pretty similar to that but without the rowing machines. You switch back and forth between lifting weights and running on treadmills. I actually hate cardio, but it is fun in a class environment! I also was a huge fan of the music! We were able to order smoothies before class and pick them up after it was over. I ordered the dirty chai town and Annie got the Matcha made in Heaven. If you ever get a chance to try Barry’s, I highly recommend it. You may be wondering how I was able to attend all of these workout classes. Well, I have something really amazing called, ClassPass, which you may have heard me mention before. This is great for me because I absolutely love workout classes and ClassPass allows me to go to different classes all over town! When I am traveling to a large city, all I have to do is change my location in my app, and I can attend classes where ever I am at. My favorites are boot camps, pilates, and cycling! 

After getting ready for the day, Annie and I headed out to hit the town. We went shopping on the Magnificent Mile which has everything you could ask for. For lunch, we headed to True Food Kitchen. We do not have this is Seattle either, so we were super excited. I got the Protein-style turkey burger (this just means lettuce wrapped) with kale

salad and roasted sweet potatoes on the side. Then we walked our way over to Sawada Matcha for an afternoon pick-me-up. I got the Military latte, unsweetened, with macadamia nut milk and it blew me away! This latte had matcha with espresso and cocoa powder. I have been making them at home almost daily now that I am back because I am slightly obsessed. 

When my sister got off work we met her at a grocery store to make dinner at home before going out at night. No, unfortunately, I did not run into Grocery Store Joe, although my sister works out at the same gym as Diggy!! For those of you that aren’t Bachelor fans, just ignore me 😉 We picked up as many fresh veggies as possible (asparagus, peppers, mushrooms, and more) along with chicken and cauliflower rice to make stirfry. It was delicious and the day after we got back from 0ur trip, both my sister and Annie texted me saying they were making stirfry for their husbands for dinner (they must have really liked it)! That night we went to the Comedy Bar for a show. It was hilarious and I would definitely go back. Who doesn’t like a good laugh? After that, we went to Three Dots and a Dash for drinks. They have amazing, beautiful, and very strong Hawaiin style drinks in cool cups. It is an underground speakeasy tavern with a secret little entrance in an alleyway. The atmosphere made it worth the while!

On Saturday we woke up and went to free yoga in the park! I don’t think there is anything I like more than free stuff. We made a fabulous breakfast at home with avocado toast, over-easy eggs, and green juice. My fav way to make avo toast these days is to squeeze a little lemon on top and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Delish!

We set off after breakfast and walked to navy pier. It is a long walk but fun to see! We weren’t too hungry after exploring so we came home and ate leftover stirfry for lunch. Then relaxed until dinner and spent that quality time together that we needed 🙂

Dinner was at Kurah which is a Mediterranean restaurant. We all love that kind of food so it was a perfect choice. I got the chicken and steak kabobs with extra salad and it was gluten-free. We all shared a huge appetizer platter. Then we walked around town enjoying the sights. We called it an early night since we had to leave for the airport at 4am the next day. The plus side of that was when I arrived home it was literally only 8am so I had the whole day on Sunday!

I also wanted to post a couple things from the last time I came to Chicago as well because there are a few other gems that we found last year when Taylor and I went together.

Restaurants:

  • Beacon Tavern– We went here for a late dinner the first night when our plane landed. Super good service and food as well as walkable from the Mag Mile.
  • The Signature Room– We had drinks at the bar and you have the best views from the 96th floor. This is an amazing way to see the sights of Chicago from above and you don’t have to buy tickets, just drinks!
  • Tanta– Freaking awesome place if you love Peruvian food. We went here for lunch!
  • BLVD– Our friend’s friend owns it so we had to check it out. Felt like we were in Vegas, such a good vibe.
  • LondonHouse– Another awesome rooftop bar with breathtaking views.
  • Everest (40th Floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange)- We splurged for our anniversary dinner and it was the nicest meal I think I have ever had. I did feel like I was onboard the Titantic and we were the youngest people there by far. Grand experience!

Things to do:

  • Architectural Boat Tour- The river cruise was a great way to learn more about the city and see it aboard a boat. Another option would be a kayak river tour 🙂
  • Cubs Game- Of course, going to Wrigley Field is a must-d0 at least once in your life!

 

Thanks for reading! As you can tell, I spend my time finding tremendous foodie places when I am traveling 🙂 Let me know if you go to Chicago and try out any of these places! In the near future, I will do a full post on how to eat healthy while traveling, because contrary to popular belief, it is possible! It just takes s little more effort to research restaurants and their menus.

 

xLaura

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maui 2018!

Hawaii holds a special place in our hearts. You can’t get much better than a tropical paradise with beautiful beaches, warm water, and great food and drinks!? This year we definitely had a more relaxing time in Maui, unlike last time which was full of activities! But that is what makes Maui so great… you can relax OR be adventurous OR both!

Salad at Bamboo Fresh

In this post I am going to go over my most recent trip in detail, then I will finish it off by adding in the adventures we had when we were last here in 2015!

We arrived on a Wednesday afternoon in June, and went straight to Bamboo Fresh in southern Lahaina. I found it on Yelp and even though the menu looked great, I wasn’t too impressed. The salad was warm, wilted, and had hardly any chicken. Safe to say I took a little extra HCl to make sure I had enough stomach acid to kill any little buggers.

After refueling, we went to check in to our hotel, the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa. This was our first time staying at a resort instead of a condo and to be honest, we were a little nervous about not having a full kitchen in our room. It ended up being totally fine because we booked our vacation through Costco and the breakfast buffet was included!  We also had a fridge to store our snacks and drinks so we were set. The room was perfect and had an ocean view as well. I loved the gym onsite and the pool with a swim-up bar!

Breakfast buffet at the hotel

We were so lucky to have our best friends and their two babies join us on this trip. We met up with them at the Cliff Dive Bar at the Sheraton for the famous old fashion mai-tais before heading out to dinner! We then Uber-ed to the Seahouse Restaurant at Napili Beach. The beach is a fun to visit during the day but we went after dark so we couldn’t see the pretty views.

Fleetwood’s at sunset!

Day 2 (our first full day) was the ultimate relaxing day. We reserved our beach chairs in the morning with our towels (people honestly reserve chairs at 6 am and if you don’t, you won’t get one)! Then we took advantage of the free yoga on the lawn offered by our hotel. It was awesome! Yoga is relaxing in itself, but hearing the ocean waves during your practice is the best way to do it! We ate breakfast at the buffet and then headed to the pool. We had fun checking out from work and reading our fiction books while getting a tan. For lunch, we ordered pool-side fish tacos that were amazing! Dinner was at Fleetwood’s in Lahaina. If you haven’t sat on their rooftop for dinner during sunset, you are missing out!!

Salad at Duke’s!

Day 3 was another fun yet relaxing day. We did a quick workout at the hotel gym and then over-ate at the buffet (again). At least there are healthy options to choose from! My fav was the fresh papaya and pineapple. After that, we headed to our friends’ condo for another pool day, this time with the kiddos! We ate lunch at Duke’s and had many poolside drinks 😉 For dinner, we headed to Mama’s Fish House. You have to make reservations in advance for this one and make sure to wear appropriate attire! It is a little pricey but SO worth it!

 

Ceviche at Mama’s
The most amazing panang curry at Mama’s
Macadamia crusted crab cakes and Ahi appetizers at Mama’s
Cookie Monster smoothie and added kale! It has detoxifying zeolite clay, shilajit, warrior protein, coffee beans, one date, almonds, banana, coconut meat, coconut water, blended with cacao nib crunchies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On day 4 (Saturday) the boys headed out to an early round of golf at the Royal Ka’anapali Course. They had a great time and it had beautiful ocean views. I did the free pilates class offered on the lawn of our hotel (what great perks)! After that, I ate the buffet and then met my friends at the pool. Lunch was lighter because of the heavy buffet and we went to our favorite health bar, Choice Health Bar, for smoothies. My number one tip is to order online before you get there! It can take a while to get your food if not 🙂 All of their food, smoothies, acai bowls, bars, etc. are amazing but your bill can add up quickly ($$). They have multiple locations which is awesome and they even have house-made paleonola! The best activity of the day was the sunset cruise. We like to do these on every beach vacation we go on. They are so fun, great food, unlimited drinks, and a beautiful sunset. If you do not get seasick on catamarans, the cruises are a must-do! This time we went on the Trilogy Cruise. After the cruise, we shopped around Whaler’s Village and the ate a late dinner at Monkey Pod. Their One in a Melon cocktail is my fav!

Day 5 was a lazy Sunday 🙂 We started off the day with a couples massage and ate breakfast at the buffet. Then we reserved a pool cabana and hung out with our friends all day long in the sun! The cabana was right on the beach so we had access to the pool and the ocean for swimming. There was a shade on the cabana as well if you wanted to get out of the sun. It was inexpensive at $100 rental for the day. The cabanas come with food and drink service so that made it quite easy on us. I ordered a salad and we also had calamari and poke as appetizers. All of the food and drinks were amazing! When we were done in the sun, we got ready and went out to eat at Pacifico. I was super excited to try this restaurant because it is farm to table. Maybe next time I will get a chance to visit their farm on the island, but at least we got to experience this dinner. We started off with housemade fennel bread and rosemary salted butter (to die for). Then I had the beet salad and Taylor had the farm salad. For dinner, I had the olive oil poached fish and Taylor had the coconut crusted mahi-mahi. Since we were celebrating, dessert was on the house and was so delicious! We had the chocolate decadence and it was worth the sugar!

View from the massage room!
Lunch at the cabana! Hawaiian salad with grilled chicken thighs.
The table at Pacifico right on the beach. It was too dark to get any good food photos!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 6 (Monday) was our last full day in town. Tay and I decided to go explore the island a little bit! We went on a morning run on the beach and stopped at Choice Health Bar in Whaler’s Village (new location) for breakfast. We were obviously completely over the hotel buffet! Then we went to the Maui Tropical Plantation to explore and get some coffee at the Millhouse Roastery. The coffee was amazing and the scenery was beautiful. We walked around the plantation ourselves but did not do a tour. There was a cute little farm stand at the plantation so we picked up some goodies like macadamia nuts, dried coconut, and dragon fruit.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From there we headed to Secret Beach. On the way, we stopped at a coconut stand and a small farmer’s market. We ended in Kehei at the Paia Fish Market because we had heard so much about the famous fish tacos! After lunch, we spent the rest of the day relaxing before heading out to our last dinner at Mala Ocean Tavern. It was a cute little restaurant right on the water. We started with the Ahi Bruschetta which was delish! Then I had the Fresh Fish a la Plancha.

Paia Fish Market tacos!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 7 (Tuesday) was our final morning in Maui. Of course, we had to have our favorite breakfast, Choice Health Bar. We went for another hard beach run and enjoyed our last morning looking at the waves with our toes in the sand before packing up and heading home! When I say hard beach run, it wasn’t very far because any beach run is hard! At the airport, we had a lot of time before boarding our flight so we ate at Sammy’s Beach Bar and Grill and I had the fiesta salad with kalua pork. It was great!

This trip turned out to be the ultimate relaxation vacation. Last time we were in Maui in 2015 we did ALL of the activities. Below is a quick recap from our last trip:

  • We stayed in Lahaina area at the Papkea condo
  • Friday- We went to Leilani’s in Whaler’s village (pretty yummy)
  • Saturday- Kayak and snorkel tour to Turtle Town 
  • Sunday- Beach Day and Sunset Cruise– FAV THING
  • Monday- Beach day and Lahaina Grill
  • Tuesday-Hike to Twin Falls- jumped off waterfalls J
  • Wednesday- Pool day and Luau- Sheraton
  • Thursday- Rented mopeds and took them to the blowhole (808 mopeds)

Please let me know if this post is helpful! I would love to know what ya’ll want to see from me! If you have specific questions about any of the places we went to or the food we ate. Aloha!

How to Stay Healthy While Traveling

Wellness Tips for when you’re on the go!

I know that many of you out there share the same passions about traveling as I do. Travel is an opportunity to explore the world, leave your daily routines, and get away from it all. Travel creates extraordinary experiences and memories, but most of all, it is fun! Whether you prefer backpacking in the deep woods, high up in the mountains, a European road trip, or a tropical beach vacation, the opportunities are endless. But many people (especially health nuts like myself) ask the question, how do you stay healthy while traveling?

Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to maintain wellness throughout your vacations! Here I share my tips for staying healthy while away and I would love to hear yours as well 🙂

Water Consumption:

The very first and most important tip while traveling is to stay hydrated! Our bodies are made up of about 60% water and need water to thrive and survive. It is very easy to forget to drink water or skip it while you are out of town. This is especially true when you are in another country where water might be harder to come by, or more expensive to buy purified water bottles. When you are on vacation it is often a different climate that you are not used to (for example, hot and dry) so you need to replenish your water stores even more. Many people get dehydrated on the plane which starts off your trip on the wrong foot! When you are dehydrated, you have a harder time recovering from jet lag and a harder time eliminating waste throughout your entire trip. It may be inconvenient to get up on the plane, or make pit stops when you are on a road trip, but it is very worth it in the end.

Healthy Eating:

  • Pack snacks!!! Airplane, car, etc.
    • Travel snacks:
      • Protein bars, nuts, seeds, nut butter packets, granola, dried fruit, whole fruit, jerky or pepperoni, protein powder, etc. The options are endless.
    • Book a room that has a kitchen (or at least a fridge and a microwave). This makes it possible for you to not have to eat out for every meal
      • This is also a great way to save money because eating out for every meal can really add up. My husband and I typically like to buy breakfast food (oats, eggs, fruit, etc.) and eat the first meal at home. It is great if you can pack a few lunches as well like turkey wraps or sandwiches. We also always bring snacks with us when we are out and about!
      • If the hotel has a free continental breakfast there are often great options such as hard boiled eggs, bananas, and oatmeal to choose from.
    • Don’t treat every meal as a cheat meal just because you are on vacation. Trust me, you will feel so much better if you are eating well while you are away! Like I said above, if you bring your own breakfast and lunch that leaves dinner open as a great time to enjoy yourself and get what you really want.
      • With all of this being said, I truly believe that vacation is a time to enjoy yourself. Do not fully deprive yourself when you are away… have some fun and treat yourself! If you are getting your exercise in and eating well throughout the day, you definitely deserve some treats!

 Fitness:

  • Make sure to pack a few workout clothes! I always make sure to pack a few different outfits and most often wear the attire on the plane, in the car, etc.
  • When traveling, it is most often easiest to get a workout in first thing in the morning. This gets it out of the way so you can enjoy yourself for the remainder of the day. A nice jog or home work out is a great way to burn a few calories and get your day off to a great start.
    • Write down a few home workouts that you can do while you are away. There are great workouts you can find on Google whether you are in a hotel, on a beach, or in a park!
  • Walk! Typically, when you are on vacation, you are able to get in a lot more steps (unless of course you are on a tropical island sunbathing all day long). Walking around town and exploring instead of taking public transportation everywhere is a great way to get exercise.
  • Maybe you do want to take a break from the gym while you are away. It is a great way to re-set your body for a week, and come home strong and ready to hit the weights! Make sure you get fresh air and some steps in daily to keep your body moving.

 

That is all for now folks! Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or suggestions. Don’t let your healthy lifestyle hold you back from exploring the world 🙂

Free Download:

Join my email list and get my Self-Care Ideas Checklist!