My friend Chris from Japan and I posted nearly identical winter weather-grams on Instagram this week. I loved his caption, “Same same but different.”

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A LONG WEEKEND: good eats and magical popovers!


Happy post-MLK weekend! I had a really relaxing long weekend.

Saturday morning, I went out to breakfast at Mirabelle’s (<—one of my favorite breakfast places in Burlington) for a classic morning meal: scrambled eggs, hash browns, fruit, toast, and cappuccino.

In the afternoon, I went to a beginner’s yoga workshop and my downward dog has been revolutionized. I tend to hyperextend my elbows, so the instructor showed me how to keep them slightly bent in the pose, which feels SO WEIRD but she says is SO RIGHT.


I had to do some grocery shopping afterwards, but ended up starving once I got there (of course), and ending up buying a chocolate bar and the brightest beet juice ever at the café in the store. It sounds like a strange combo now, but seemed like a balanced snack at the moment.


Later that night, I went out for pizza at Pizzeria Verita downtown. The wait was kind of crazy – two hours with lots of olives and wine to tide us over! – but the pizza was fantastic. My favorite pizza had cherries, honey, and arugula on top.


I was on a yoga kick this weekend, so I went to a mixed levels class Sunday morning, then putzed around my apartment for most of the afternoon. At night, I went over to Jen’s to watch We’re The Millers a second time. She had fruit, tea, and cookies for a snack. So pretty!


Monday morning, Jen and I made brunch: popovers, scrambled eggs whites, chicken sausage, and fruit. King Arthur Flour popovers for the win! I highly recommend making this recipe soon. THEY.WERE.AMAZING! Magical. To say we were over-excited by our first time making popovers was an understatement.

Monday MLK Brunch.Monday MLK Brunch.Monday MLK Brunch.Monday MLK Brunch.Monday MLK Brunch.

I also went overzealous on the drinks too. We had a green juice, a fruit juice, and iced coffee.

Monday MLK Brunch.Monday MLK Brunch.

It was snowing all day, so we went sledding in the afternoon. The best!


I still had my weights class that night, and it was the hardest workout I’ve had in months.

This was the easy part.

5 sets of 3 reps – Front Squats (95 lbs for me….probably could have done more. I’m just now, after months of this class, understanding my ability in relation to actual weight.)

5 sets 3 reps -  Bench Press (85 lbs…again, probably could have done more.)

3 sets 15 reps – Band bend-overs. We take this rubber band and step on it, then hook it around our neck, and do front bends with it. It really gets the hamstring.

This was the hard part.

5 push-ups

10 front squats with 35 lb kettlebell

15 sit-ups with 10 lb medicine ball.

20 front lunges with 35 lb kettlebell

FOR 15 MINUTES. That was a long-*ss time to be pushing and squatting and sitting up and lunging non-stop. But since I can’t run anymore – long story, but I have genetically bad feet so no more high impact sports, like running – I also really liked it. I’m definitely enjoying weights more and more for an exercise routine, realizing that change is generally a good thing for me.

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My favorite yoga studio of late is ALL about senses: playing soothing nature sounds a la a Planet Earth documentary, burning incense and spritzing herbal sprays. It’s like a retreat. I’m obsessed. I’ve started buying sandlewood incense, and I told my sister that I’d pay $15 just to be misted by their herbal spray. I have no idea what’s in it – for all I know, it’s homemade. Jen has tried to ask, and I’ve tried to check out the bottle. It is a cobalt blue bottle. After testing out a few sprays at City Market, I saw this COBALT BLUE BOTTLE from Wild Hill Soap & Herbals. This is the same company that makes the Stress Away Stick that Mindi sent me in Japan and I kept with me at all times. Amazing products! This Energy & Air Cleanser is absolutely incredible, and I think it might be the same one the yoga studio uses. Regardless, I  LOVE IT! I feel all stuffed up with the stale winter air at home, so I’ve been using this multiple times a day.

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SAKURA MATCHA KIT-KAT, all the way from Kanazawa!


A professor brought me back some goodies from her winter break trip to Kanazawa today. I thought I’d show some pictures of my sakura matcha Kit-Kat bar. Japan is like the BEST PLACE EVER for seasonal specialty Kit-Kat flavors.

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A SUGARBUSH WEEKEND: Like skiing on an ice cube.


Hola! I spent part of the weekend at Sugarbush with some friends. It was my first time skiing there and, unfortunately, it was like being on a giant ice cube. Beyond icy. I skied off and on for half the day, pretty much the same trail, then went inside the lodge to drink coffee and read while my friends finished out the day. I’m rereading an old classic, Gone With The Wind. Rhett Butler for the win because he’s sharper and edgier than I remembered. I’m at the hospital bazaar scene and there’s DANCING!

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My sister was telling me about these noodles over the holidays, and then I found them in the grocery store in Vermont. Shirataki noodles that contain virtually no calories or carbs. Shirataki means “white waterfall” in Japanese and I thiiiiiiink these are essentially what we called konnyaku in Japan. Except they were more brown.

For the first ten months in Japan, I would often pass – because the grocery store was so small, and because I went almost everyday since my refrigerator was so tiny – the section with mysterious packs full of gelatinous, brown, squishy substances. Having absolutely no idea what they were, and thinking they looked disgusting, I never bought them. However, a teacher used them in a dish she taught me to make and LO AND BEHOLD I liked them.

They are actually made from some sort of yam. (Just looked it up- Devil’s tongue yam, to be exact.) In Japan, konnyaku can also be bought in a block, and you would tear it off into bite size chunks.

Here’s me taking pictures of Noji-sensei and her daughter tearing up the konnyaku.


I bought them a few more times during the summer, but thought I’d never see them again. But they are here! In fettuccini form! And I totally Americanized them by adding homemade turkey sausage spaghetti sauce on top.


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I’ve been in TOTAL tea mode this winter. Over the holidays, I was reading The Four-Hour Chef in Ohio, and a section of the book talked about the best antiangiogenic (cancer fighting) foods. According to Doctor William Li, it’s TEA. He preferred a blend of white and green, specifically jasmine pearls with sencha.

When I went down to Burlington’s Dobra Tea – pause here, it’s THE MOST ADORABLE PLACE AND I NEED TO GO MORE OFTEN – to buy some new tea this weekend, their jasmine pearls were actually green tea instead of white tea. I guess there are many varieties? (I’m not a tea expert… again…MUST GO THERE MORE OFTEN.)

I bought jasmine pearls, a green tea, and silver needles, a white tea, and they really do look like pearls and needles. They told me to use half as much of the jasmine pearls as the white needles when brewing. It turns out to be a light, aromatic, floral tea. Since I like most things floral and anything that people tell me is a miracle food, I LOVE IT.

P. S. Here’s Dr. Li’s TED Talk, “Can we eat to starve cancer?”

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