My favorite Eats in NW Washington State.

There’s just nothing like going back home after a long absence. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest so I get all exited and start making lists of things I want to do and people I want to see. But inevitably my list ends up being a bunch of places where I want to eat!  So here is my list of places that you absolutely MUST go if you ever visit the north-west corner of Washington state.

Bow, WA – The Breadfarm. This tiny place is the bakery to end all bakeries. They make THE BEST sourdough bread around and OMG the cookies are amazing! It’s a little off the beaten path but it is SOOOO wort the effort to go check it out. Be sure to bring cash because they don’t accept credit cards. They also go to most of the local farmer’s markets so you may be able to find them that way also. What i like to get here is a big box…then I start picking cookies that look good to me. Cookies for breakfast even? You betcha!

Mount Vernon – Skagit Valley Food Co-op. The Co-op is Ahhhhmazing! It is an organic grocery store that sells everything from produce to essential oils. They have a shop upstairs where you can buy jewelry and kitchen gadgets but their deli is what always gets me! The food is fabulous and good for you too! They have a hot table full of yummy goodness, desserts, a salad bar and cold case full of prepared foods. They also pull a mean shot of coffee.  My favorite thing is the coconut cuban rice pudding. Try it, you won’t be sorry!

Anacortes – The Store This little shop at the top of Anacortes is a big surprise! It doesn’t look like a whole lot from the outside but boy do they deliver! The sell wine and other various sundries and also have a small cafe where they serve coffee and snacks. But where you will find the line of people is at the bakery counter where you can buy humongous muffins that will leave you wanting more and more and more! My must haves are the coconut muffins or a bag of mini macaroons!

Anacortes – Gere A Deli This place is an Absolute MUST. The decor is vintage and the food is fabulous. EVERY single time I go to Gere A Deli I get the Reuben. It’s hot and a little spicy and they use this sweet mustard that just makes my mouth drool even thinking about it! My second favorite is their Clam Chowder that is served on Friday. But if you want some you better get there early because it sells fast!

Seattle – Little Water Cantina This place is a little slice of Mexico right in the heart of Seattle. They are located on Eastlake Boulevard just south of the University of Washington on the east side of Lake Union. There is seating outside that overlooks the boats and they have monthly live music during the summer. I tell people about this place all the time! The MUST HAVES are their margaritas (one kicks my butt) the homemade guacamole and chips and the Posole. The posole is so good that it makes ME – a confirmed poor cook want to learn how to make it!

Seattle – Ivars If you grew up in Seattle you know all about this place. It’s the best. It’s the one place that my Dad absolutely HAS to visit when he comes to town.  It’s entirely nostalgic and brings back tons of memories of eating outside with my grandparents and feeding the seagulls my uneaten french fries. There are several Ivars locations but I recommend the one on the Seattle waterfront.

So there you go, the best eats from a girl born and raised in Seattle. Enjoy!

Cookie Police!

Do you like cookies? My favorite is a coconut macaroon but I’ll try just about any cookie once. I guess I like cookies as much as the next person. It’s even better when they are free! Even if they aren’t really great cookies – they’re free and that makes them awesome! My local print shop always has a box of cookies sitting out by the coffee maker and everyone is welcome to have one or two.

A few days ago, I was happily munching a chocolate wafer cookie while waiting to pick up some items when the lady in front of me turned and addressed me. I was in my own world at the moment so I didn’t really hear what she said, “I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you.” I said to them. Lady A dressed all in white with white hair wrapped up in a french twist said, “I asked if you were eavesdropping on our conversation?” “No” I told her, “I was too busy enjoying my cookie.” Thinking to myself, “Oh boy, what did I miss?”

Lady A continued, “Yes, it’s only skinny people like you who can eat cookies!” she said with a little laugh and a dismissive shrug. First of all I wanted to kiss her for calling me skinny and then my brain got stuck trying to figure out why she thought only skinny people can eat cookies. When I get confused like that I find that going with my gut is usually best.

So I told her thank you and then proceeded to share with her that I wasn’t always this size. That before I became a yoga instructor I was 40 pounds heavier, severely depressed and about ready to get a divorce. I think she was taken aback by my candor. “So you see,” I said with a big smile on my face “I earned this cookie.” I worked hard to get here and I now allow myself to have a cookie now and then. Cookies aren’t just for skinny people.”

At this point, lady B – much more quiet and a little cowed by her friends’ outburst began to ask me where I teach yoga and how she could find out about classes. Lady A left and Lady B and I visited for maybe 10 minutes. She took my contact info and may come to a class.

It’s strange being a public yogi. I get people who think I don’t eat meat – and lots of yogis do abstain from meat. I get people who think I don’t eat bread – OH HELL NO…..I Love bread. I drink coffee with a little cream and sugar and I even eat dessert occasionally. I’m pretty much a middle of the road yogi. I believe that between the two extremes lies the path. I’m not fanatical in any way except for the fact that I believe yoga can change your life. It changed mine.

So……If you want a cookie – eat it dammit. No matter what anyone says.

Xoxo From a Yogi who got called out for eating a cookie in public. And I’d do it again!!!!!

A Letter From A Yoga Teacher.

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Something strange happened to me the other day. I was at a dinner party with a large group of people and someone asked me, “Is this food ok for you to eat?”  For a moment I was stunned as I looked down at my yummy plate of spaghetti wondering what in the world they were talking about. Were they asking if I had food allergies? Were they wondering if I didn’t like pasta?  As my mind formulated several witty and off color comebacks, I realized that that their question was based solely on the fact that I am a yoga teacher.

It was the first time that I realized I was being viewed through a different lens simply because I teach yoga. You know because all yoga teachers are vegan, only wear hand woven clothing made in america of natural fibers, eat only organically grown fruits and veggies and raise their own soy beans. They most certainly do not drink coffee or eat chocolate or hamburgers! They drink tons of green tea and eat granola. They are all a size 4 and can do every pose in the book……right?

Wrong. Yoga Teachers are just like everyone else. We are all unique individuals. We all come in different shapes and sizes. Some of us still eat meat – and lots of it. Others have chosen to forgo sugar and caffeine and leather. Some are small and very bendy and others of us are still working out the kinks.  But each and every Yoga Teacher is different and thank god because wouldn’t it be boring if we were all the same?

So just so you know – This yoga teacher drinks coffee every morning, still partakes of sugar, will eat just about anything except for liver and onions, has an occasional alcoholic drink, is definitely NOT a size 4, makes lots of mistakes but tries to laugh through them, loves people, tries to find joy in every day,  loves to laugh and play and most importantly LOVES sharing yoga with others!