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What Did I Bring While Traveling? My Toiletries/First Aid Kit

Packing for a trip is hard. You never know what you are going to need, or what is going to be useless. I had never been to SE Asia, so I didn’t know what was available at the pharmacy or store and also didn’t know what the prices would be like. So, I figured better bring more than regret bringing less. While the items might seem like a lot, and they are compared to what backpackers would bring, I found them not to take up too much room. And they have been useful so far. Below is what I brought in terms of toiletries and first aid kit.

Plane Essentials

These are the things (minus the no-jet lag, plus therapy oil which is in the last picture) that I like to take anytime I travel. I put these in a baggy and bring them on the plane and have them next to my bedside table wherever I sleep. I find these items comforting and useful.

Plane Essentials

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Apple Tea In Seoul

When I was in Seoul, South Korea I spent a rainy afternoon in an adorable, cozy tea house called Tea Therapy. The shelves were lined with bulk herbs and teas in glass jars. All of there tea was presented so beautiful, little flowers in vases, bite size snacks all on a tray. They also had a foot bath outside so clean your feet. The whole place was just lovely, it was a super cozy and sweet place to hang out for a bit. There menu was also unique, instead of listing what was in the tea, they listed ailments/systems you wanted to improve, such as headaches, fatigue, immune system and more. It took a little bit of getting used to because I’m used to picking teas by the flavor so it felt like I was blindly a tea, but it was fun nonetheless.

apple tea

One friend ordered the seasonal tea and was presented with a delicious apple tea. From what we could tell they boiled the apples in water to make a tea. It was so simple and yet so soothing and delicious, much more delicious than the apple spiced tea you can buy in bags.

lemon tea

I ordered their immune boosting tea which turned out to be a simple lemon tea. They  boiled the lemon and lemon rinds in water with sugar.

Next time you want a warm drink I suggest using seasonal fruit and boiling it in water. Serve it with the fruit in the teapot or cup and enjoy the subtle, sweet flavors of the fruit.

p.s. We happened to pick the simple fruit teas, but they also had many herbs for more complex teas, if I go back I will try something more complex.

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Don’t Get Sick This Winter! Immune Boosting Ideas

apple a day

Does an apple a day really keep the doctor away? I’m not sure, but these seven tips I have listed below have helped me have sniffle free winters! Try them out and let me know if they work.

1. Drink green juice! Last winter anytime I felt I was coming down with something I downed a green juice. I added ginger, lemon, turmeric, tons of greens, celery, cucumber plus an apple or some sweet fruit to sweeten the juice.

2. Eat citrus, greens and spicy warming foods such as ginger, chilies and garlic.

3. If you feel some sickness coming up take a dropper full of echinacea goldenseal.

4. Sleep! Get as much sleep as you can.

5. For a great under the weather meal make tom kha gai soup. This is my favorite soup for when I’m feeling a sore throat or stuffy nose starting. The spiciness soothes my sore throat and dissolves congestion. The vegetables add vitamins and it’s a great light dinner. Note: this can be easily made vegetarian, use soy sauce instead of fish sauce and omit the chicken. If you don’t have all the ingredients (like galanga root or kefir lime) don’t fret. It will still taste great.

6. Drink hot water.

7. Avoid: dairy and sugar when feeling sick. Ice-cream does not soothe a sore throat, it instead adds to congestion and sickness.

Here is to a healthy winter!

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Spotlight on Mango Sticky Rice


As I’ve mentioned I’ve been traveling for the past two months and I’m currently in Thailand. Being able to sample all of the amazing food has been amazing, the Thai really know how to cook! Coming from the land of dairy and wheat, it always surprises me when I realize how little dairy and wheat I am consuming here. Instead the Thais live on rice and coconut milk. I’ve been told that Thais eat rice three meals a day, and seeing what they eat, I can verify that. Even their desserts are made out of rice! One easy to dessert to make, that can be found in almost every restaurant and at food stands lining the street, is mango sticky rice.

While I know it’s winter in most parts of the world, this dish can be made with a seasonal fruit, such as apples, pears, bananas or persimmons. I know that might sound strange, but if you think about it, so does mango and rice.

To make this simple dish, just cut up some fruit (if you are using a harder fruit I suggest baking or cooking the fruit to make it soft).


1 cup sticky rice
1 cup very thick coconut cream
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 pinches of salt
*(optional) 1/2 teaspoon red beet juice

1. Cook the sticky rice for about 20 minutes (1 cup rice with 1 1/4 cups water).
2. Once the rice is done, combine the coconut cream, sugar and salt to the pan. Stir gently.
3. Let it sit for 1/2 hour and then mold the rice into any shape.
4. Serve with fruit

*If you want to make half of the rice pink, add the red beet juice (or in Thailand we used red dragon fruit juice) to half of the rice mixture. To get red beet juice just boil a small piece of beet and collect the juice. Or better yet, make some beets for a meal and then grab the pink water. One more idea, make some freshly squeezed beet juice and use that.

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Self Care- Top Three Essential Oils

If I had to pick three top essential oils to have on hand I would have to pick: lavender, tea tree and peppermint. While there are many other essential oils out there that are wonderful, I find these are the ones I use the most. They are great for traveling, for home first aid kits and for general use. To note, sometimes when you use these oils directly on the skin you need to use a carrier oil, such as almond, olive or coconut oil. The essential oils are strong and can irritate the skin. Adding them to the carrier oil dilutes them and makes it easier to rub into your skin.

Lavender Oil


Lavender oil is probably the most common and most loved essential oil. You can find this oil in many candles and self-care products and for a good reason. Lavender oil is calming, a great sleep aid and good for cuts and scrapes. I like to put a few drops in my bath for a calming effect, dab a little on pimples, or spray in the room to freshen things up.

tea treeTea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has a distinct smell that can be over powering at times, but this mighty oil is one of my favorites. I use it on pimples (without a carrier oil) and it once cured my planter warts (when going to the foot doctor and getting it burned off didn’t work). For the planter warts I dabbed them with tea tree oil and after a week or so they disappeared and have not come back, it’s been 10+ years! Tea tree can be used for canker sores, dandruff (you will notice it in some natural shampoos for dandruff), cuts or as an all purpose house cleaner.








Peppermint is great in food/teas or as an oil. Massage peppermint oil with coconut oil into your temples to relieve headaches, take a whiff to energize you, take a few drops in water (make sure it’s food grade or just get peppermint tea) to calm an upset stomach or ease the pain of sore muscles (once again massage with a carrier oil).


Photo sources: 1, 2, 3


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Pad Thai

I absolutely love Thai food, so when we decided to visit Thailand I knew we had to do at least one cooking class! We decided on Asia Scenic’s cooking class and had a great time! We spent the day cooking, learning and eating and left with a cookbook and a full tummy (possibly a little too full, it was hard to stop eating!). We made five courses in total and had a choice of about three to five dishes per course. I want to share with you one of my favorite Thai dishes that I made at the cooking class, Pad Thai! Throw your hands up in the air if you love Pad Thai as well! I love the simplicity of the dish with the subtle flavors of lime and sauce. My only complaint is this dish has very little vegetables, so when I re-create this at home I will add for example: broccoli, more kale and some carrots.

pad thai vertical

I also love that pad thai can be vegetarian or not, depending on your preference. I will include both options. This dish cooks very quickly so you have to be alert!

Recipe thanks to Asia Scenic.

Pad Thai


Soak dry noodles in water for 10 minutes.


2 Tablespoons cooking oil
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoon fish sauce (soy sauce for vegetarians)
3 teaspoons oyster sauce (mushroom sauce for vegetarians)
2-3 pieces of garlic chopped
1 piece tofu cut in small pieces
1 stalk chive cut into 1 inch lengths
100 grams of bean sprouts (a handful)
50 grams chopped chicken
200 grams rice noodles (about 3/4 cup I would say)
1 egg (optional)


1. Combine sugar, fish sauce and oyster sauce in a small bowl.
1. Fry garlic in hot oil over low heat until fragrant. Add minced chicken and tofu. Cook for a few minutes.
2. Add the egg and sauce. Let egg cook and then stir everything together.
3. Push the mixture to the side away from the heat and add the noodles. Drizzle it with a little water, stirring the noodles for a minute or two.
4. Bring everything back to the heat. Add bean sprouts, chives and any other vegetables and cook for one minutes.
5. Serve with ground up peanuts, chili powder and lime.


Here is another way to serve Pad Thai with the egg on top from the restuarant Pun Pun in Chiang Maipad thai2

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Setting Goals for the Years End


Happy November! 

Are you excited about the cold weather or wanting to run away to a tropical location?

Winter is the perfect time for renewal

With winter approaching, it’s a perfect time to re-evaluate your goals, try new recipes and get ready for the cooler months. The transition time from hot to cold is an ideal time to detox to get your body healthy in preparation for winter. A proper detox can release excess heat (which can dehydrate you if it stays in the body), rehydrate you and boost your immune system; all things you want while moving into the colder months. Contact me if you want help with a simple detox.

Click on for goals!

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Macrobiotic Inspired Meal


Sometimes it feels refreshing to have a very simple meal. No bells or whistles, just plain simple food. On days when I don’t want to be creative in the kitchen or I’m feeling under the weather, I like to whip up something simple like this meal: brown rice, lightly sauteed vegetables and miso soup. It’s nice to give your digestion a break once in a while to give your body time to clean up a little. I suggest doing a juice fast for a day or or eating a light dinner such as a light vegetable soup.

The simple meal I made above is similar to a macrobiotic diet. The macrobiotic diet comes from George Ohsawa who believed that simplicity in diet creates greater health, and the Macro diet is just that, very simple. It’s also not just a diet but a way of life, introducing it’s followers to lifestyle principles and spiritual practices.  I am not saying that it is simple to follow, but the foods they favor are fully from the earth, balanced in yin/yang and Asian inspired, full of grains, vegetables, seaweeds and soy. The diet is low in fat and high in fiber.

To create my macrobiotic meal I made brown rice with drizzled olive oil and some gomasio on top. The vegetables were fresh from my parent’s garden– collards, summer squash and carrots–cooked with a little oil. The miso soup is another very easy recipe, as long as you have the right ingredients. 

Miso Soup

1 Tablespoon miso paste (I used this kind)
1 cup hot water
1/2 teaspoon wakame seaweed
Small amount of sliced green onions
Tofu cubes (optional)

1. To prepare the seaweed put a tiny amount in some water and let it sit for about five minutes.
2. Meanwhile boil you water and then pour it into a small bowl. Then add the miso. Miso should never be boiled or cooked.
3. Add the seaweed, green onions and tofu (optional)

This meal is soothing on a cold winter day if you are feeling under the weather or wanting something light to eat. Feel free to add a salad or some protein to round the meal out if you are wanting more food.

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In Season- Butternut Squash

butternutImage Source

If I had to pick a favorite winter squash, butternut would be the top of the list! It is fabulous roasted, baked, boiled and sauteed.

Benefits of butternut squash:

Butternut squash is full of folate, phytonutrients, antioxidants, carotenoids (beta, alpha-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin), fiber and much more! All of this means it lowers inflammation, helps prevent heart disease, breast cancer, birth defects, and stabilizes blood sugar. I realize that every whole food has many benefits but sometimes I like to list them to remind everyone to eat the rainbow and eat real food! You can heal yourself with food.

Now that you are probably excited about eating butternut squash I have complied a few butternut squash recipes that I hope you will try out. :)

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Travel Health Tips- Staying Healthy While Traveling


After a 14 hour flight we arrived in this empty Dubai airport terminal.

I am going to be on the road for about eight months. My husband and I are on a world travel adventure, we have always wanted to explore the world together. Our destinations include: Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, New Zealand, Australia, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia and Europe. We plan to settle down in Thailand for a bit, so I hope to start posting regularly again soon.

Being on the road this much can be hard on the body. It’s easy to get sick and tired due to different foods (usually heavier foods), a lot of plane and train travel and inconsistent sleep schedules. I’ve compiled some tips that I’ve learned along the way and some travel health tips for staying healthy while traveling:

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