Live with Intent

“Take up more space,” Intent Hot Yoga instructor Autumn Baughn tells her class. “Take up more space with your breath, deep into your belly. Take up more space with your body.” The students move through sun salutations, their faces glowing with infrared heat and a healthy dose of bliss. I feel the warmth of the practice flood my body, the heat allowing for increased flexibility and providing a respite from the rainy evening outside.  

Baughn’s words were directed at the yogis, but they could easily apply to the space that Intent Hot Yoga has created in Bellingham. In a town that already has quite a few yoga studios, Intent has found a home in the Fountain District, fusing hot yoga with philosophy to create an experience that is holistic, nourishing, and accessible. 

Founder and teacher Tawni Lester opened Intent Hot Yoga with exactly that in mind. “I wanted to create a space that is accessible to anyone,” she tells me. “Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned in your practice, you can come here and get something out of it. It’s not just a workout. I hope that if someone is brand-new to yoga philosophy, this is where they can at least get little bits and pieces of it: breathwork, mindfulness, and maybe further self-study with the yoga tradition.” 

Lester came to yoga after a stint in the Seattle corporate world. “One day I woke up and realized I wasn’t living on my path, I was living the way I thought I was supposed to,” she says. She and her husband Blake sold their possessions, bought a Volkswagen van, and hit the road with their dog Walter. Their path took them to Baja, Mexico, where Lester received her yoga certification and began to turn her intentions into reality.  

That reality took the shape of Intent Hot Yoga, where Lester, along with eight other teachers, offer an array of classes with something for everyone. Power Vinyasa is a dynamic and sweaty class driven by a killer soundtrack (Lester’s playlists are legendary around the studio, and for good reason!), while Intent Flow and Yin Yoga offer slower flows and deep holds.  

Lester’s intention is woven into every aspect of Intent, from the array of local products for sale to the inviting, modern lobby bedecked with plants and a neon sign reading Live with Intent. Lester’s greatest intention is that her space can be open and welcoming to all. “The accessibility part is really big. You don’t have to be a certain body type, a certain level of ‘yogi’ to be here. You can just step in and feel good and comfortable while still being challenged if you’ve been seasoned in the practice.” 

Intent Hot Yoga takes up a new, beautiful space in the Bellingham yoga community with truly something for everyone. 1415 Dupont St., Bellingham, intenthotyoga.com  

For more like this, check out our Wellbeing section here.

Skincare for your 30s, 40s, and 50s

The aging process affects your skin differently as you get older. What worked for your skin in your 30s is probably not going to be as effective in your 50s. Even though you can’t stop the clock, you can be ready for whatever the years throw at you.

Thirties

Believe it or not, once you hit your 30s, your skin has already begun to succumb to the aging process. While you might not notice many changes taking place when you look in the mirror, deep down your body is losing its ability to produce important elements like collagen that keep you looking young and healthy. That’s why this decade might be the most vital period to get a handle on caring for your skin.

It can also be the most challenging time to keep up with the demands of proper skincare. Juggling a career, family, and a social life, people in their 30s often skip or don’t properly perform the most important step in skincare: cleansing. Thoroughly cleansing your skin in the morning and removing makeup and cleansing before bed is vital to your skin’s health. Proper exfoliation and moisturizing practices can help too.

Men and women in their 30s can do their skin a big favor by applying a broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen when going outside, even when it’s cloudy. Aside from a decrease in collagen production, sun damage is responsible for the majority of aging skin issues and is an often-forgotten aspect of skin care, since the signs of UV damage don’t appear right away.

Forties

Forty might be the new 30, but despite how young you feel, your skin is in need of even more attention during this decade. The collagen loss that started in your 30s has accelerated and you now have significantly less of it than when you were 20. This is usually the time when your skin is drier, duller, and wrinkles and fine lines start to appear.

During your 40s, your skin doesn’t regenerate as quickly and it’s slower to shed dead and damaged cells. Those cells can build up, leading to dull or muted skin, which is why you’ll want to continue to exfoliate. Exfoliating more frequently can keep those dried-out, dead cells at bay, allowing your skin to glow and look healthier.

This is also the perfect time to add a hydrating serum. Your skin doesn’t retain moisture in your 40s like it did earlier in life, and that can leave your skin feeling dry and lifeless. You can replenish and lock in moisture by incorporating a quality serum into your regimen.

Then there’s that all-important collagen. Giving your skin a much-needed boost of collagen production can go a long way in holding off the signs of aging. Be sure to add at least one collagen-enhancing serum to bolster your skin’s natural network.

Fifties

If you’re a woman in your 50s, it’s time to consider the effects menopause is having on your skin. Lower estrogen levels mean a drop in natural skin protection, as your body doesn’t maintain ample hydration or produce new collagen the way it used to. To keep moisture levels up, apply a moisturizer that’s rich in essential lipids twice a day,

Women with light skin tones might also notice the appearance of brown spots along the hairline, chest, and the tops of the hands. Of course, powerful sunscreen is the best way to keep your skin spot-free, but you can also banish these blemishes with a skin-brightening complex to lighten the spots and even out your skin’s pigment. Be sure to have any suspicious growths checked out by a professional.

Like the rest of your face, the skin under your chin is also thinning out and being pulled down by gravity. While you don’t necessarily need a specific formulation to battle neck dryness, wrinkles, and laxity, you do need to apply an effective moisturizing cream every day.

For more like this, check out our Wellbeing section here.

Living with MS: Q&A with Trish Palmer

Trish Palmer was hardly 30 years old when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). Despite the disease, she continues to thrive as a traveling nurse based in Seattle.

In her free time — when she’s not working or navigating the world of online dating — she enjoys traveling, hiking, and educating others about MS. She hopes to empower others living with MS in the Pacific Northwest to find a treatment plan that suits their lifestyle.

What was your life like before diagnosis?

My life was pretty normal! I was working as a nurse and living in Columbus, Ohio.

What were your early symptoms?

Numbness and tingling were the unsettling sensations that I first experienced in November 2013, shortly after I turned 30. I woke up one morning with the feeling of pins and needles on the right side of my body.

It was so strange, but I assumed I had just slept in a weird position. The sensation worsened over the next three days into what felt like bees buzzing under my skin, along with difficulty walking and near-deafness in my right ear.

What does your treatment plan look like?

Every six months I return home to Columbus for an infusion. It takes about six hours, and I use the time I’m in town to visit with friends and family.

The medication I take is called Ocrevus, and I have some lab tests and the occasional MRI to check for new MS lesions. So far, things have gone well. I’ve been on Ocrevus since August 2017 and since then, I’ve been free of relapses.

How has your life changed since your diagnosis?

I can’t say in what ways my life would have been different, but I’ve had some challenging moments since I was diagnosed. From the death of my estranged father and a traumatic breakup to a cross-country move for a job I’d always wanted, I’ve experienced a lot since 2013. I think I’ve handled it relatively well, and I try not to let the diagnosis get me down.

What has your experience been like living with MS as a millennial?

Between dating, jobs, and new friendships, I’ve been navigating MS through some crucial parts of my life. Online dating is bewildering enough, let alone complicated by a chronic illness. It’s one of those things that isn’t an issue until suddenly, it is.

You know you have trouble swallowing, but you’re on a date and you don’t want to ask for a straw with with your beer… next thing you know, you’re choking and coughing because it went down the wrong way — do you explain or just laugh it off?

It’s one of the little things, but it’s happened more than once. I’m fortunate to work in healthcare, where discussing your health is probably more common than in other jobs.

What’s been the most rewarding aspect of your journey?

The most rewarding part of my journey with MS has been the people I’ve met and the relationships I’ve made along the way. They’re people I’m lucky to know, even if we met because of an unlucky situation.

What would you like to tell readers who have MS or know someone who does?

“No” is a complete sentence. It’s okay to be tired, it’s okay to sleep in if you can, it’s okay to not feel like being social. It’s also okay to be a social butterfly and say yes to adventures.

Everyone with MS is having a completely different and personal experience. Personally, I love when someone says, “I can’t even tell you have MS” or “But you look great!” However, not everyone wants to hear that. Many of the symptoms of MS are “invisible,” like fatigue, sensory issues, and pain.

What do you wish more people knew about MS?

The MS that affected your grandmother or uncle isn’t necessarily the same as it is today! There are treatments and adaptations that make living well with MS more possible than ever. It is important for people with MS to be proactive in managing their disease and to talk with their healthcare provider about treatment options that fit their needs and lifestyle.

For more like this, check out our Wellbeing section here. 

Four-Legged Fitness Hero

When vets at Bellingham’s Northshore Veterinary Hospital posted a video of the cat Cinder-Block to their Facebook page last October, they never could have imagined the response it would receive. In the video, which has since racked up more than 3.3 million views, Cinder paws at the ground and mews at the camera while sitting half-submerged on an underwater treadmill. “That’s good work!” vet technician Jason Collins exclaims.

The video soon went viral, with outlets like the Washington Post and Time Magazine picking up Cinder’s story. Due to the response, Purina sponsored the cat with a free year of weight loss cat food. In December, People Magazine named Cinder the “Most Reluctant Exerciser” of 2019. Dr. Brita Kiffney, who works with Cinder, attributes the video’s success to the cat’s relatability — who can’t empathize with not wanting to exercise?

“It definitely came out of the blue,” an employee at the vet says about the overwhelming response to Cinder’s videos. “And it definitely gave [Dr. Kiffney] a platform to inform people about obesity in pets.”

On the vet’s Facebook page, employees like Dr. Kiffney post frequent updates on Cinder’s progress, as well as open fan mail. Today, Cinder weighs 20 pounds — about 4 pounds less than several months ago. Still, with a weight goal of 12 pounds, Cinder has a long way to go. Obese pets are subject to a whole host of issues, like pain, arthritis, and decreased lung capacity. The vets at Northshore expect she’ll be at the hospital for another year, before she goes home with receptionist Jan Province. These days, Cinder spends three days per week with Province and the other four at the vet.  

“She’s kind of a mascot for all of us,” Dr. Kiffney says. “”At a vet hospital we can see a lot of sad things and, after a stressful day, if you take five minutes to hang out with Cinder, she really helps to cheer people up.”

Perhaps most importantly, vets at the hospital have used Cinder’s success for good. A GoFundMe in Cinder’s name netted almost $2,500 for pets in need. And for those who still want to lend a hand, all proceeds from Cinder’s merchandise goes toward programs like the Whatcom Humane Society and DVSAS. 

For more like this, check our Wellbeing section here. 

Where and Why to Sauna

As we head into winter, it’s essential to find ways to stay warm. You can always wear cozy clothes, drink mugs of hot tea, hang out by a wood stove, or coerce a cat to hunker down on your lap. You can also consider another way to warm up this winter: saunas. People have sought the healing benefits of sweat for centuries. Thousands of years ago, the Mayans created sweat houses for religious and health purposes. Some Native American tribes relied on sweat lodges to seek wisdom,celebrate, or mourn; a few of these traditions still exist today. In Finland, saunas emerged roughly 10,000 years ago, when they were just holes in the earth covered with animal pelts.

Although the concrete benefits of saunas are still under contention, various studies have found a relationship between sauna use and improved immune function, lower blood pressure, pain relief, heart health, and healthier cholesterol levels. As saunas typically increase heart-rate, those with heart issues should consult with their doctor beforehand.

No matter where the research falls, you don’t need a scientist to tell you that sitting in a sauna is relaxing. It loosens the muscles, calms the mind, and eases tension. It’s also a nice opportunity to disconnect from the outside world and check in with your body.

There’s also nothing quite like a sauna when it comes to bringing people together. Not only do saunas promote body-positivity, but they also encourage conversations with strangers and respect of shared spaces. One thing I personally love about saunas is that they’re an inherently technology-free environment—nobody wants to bring their iPhone into a 150-degree sweat box.There are few phone-free spaces left in the world, and saunas are one of them.

Many studies suggest the benefits of a sauna are best if you use them multiple times a week. If you’re looking for an easy way to relax and detoxify this winter, here are a few local spots where you can sweat it all out.

Semiahmoo Resort

With a hot and dry sauna in both the women’s and men’s locker rooms, guests can enjoy whatever kind of sweat they desire. Pair a trip to the sauna with a relaxing CBD-oil massage or a detox and renew body treatment wrap for a truly restorative experience. 9565 Semiahmoo Pkwy., Blaine,855.917.3767, semiahmoo.com

Doe Bay Resort & Retreat

The dry sauna at Doe Bay Spa is located next to three outdoor soaking tubs. The private, clothing-optional spa area overlooks beautiful Doe Bay. It’s open seven days a week from 8 a.m.–10 p.m.; family hours run from 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Purchase a day pass or enjoy complimentary access with an overnight reservation at one of the resort’s cabins, yurts,domes, or campsites. 107 Doe Bay Rd., Olga, 360.376.2291, doebay.com

Zazen Salon Spa

Zazen offers an array of spa services and encourages clients to arrive early so they can take advantage of the infrared saunas. These saunas are heated to between 100 and 140 degrees, allowing first-time users to ease in on the low end of the spectrum and veteran sauna users to crank the heat.The salon also has showers so clients can rinse off before their appointment. 11 Bellwether Way, Ste. 201, Bellingham, 360.715.1050, zazensalonspa.com

Internal Harmony Center

This holistic wellness center is dedicated to helping clients feel better. It offers a range of services, including an infrared sauna to promote “natural healing and disease prevention.” Clients can purchase single sessions or packages. 1333 Lincoln St., Ste.2, Bellingham, 360.734.1099, internalharmonycenter.com

Bellingham Fitness

The spa at Bellingham Fitness offers a dry sauna as well as a steam room and hot tub. Members can enjoy these amenities post-workout for an extra-cleansing gym experience or just pop in for a quick sweat on a cold day. 1730 N. State St., Bellingham, 360.733.1600, bellinghamfitness.com

Flow Motion

Choose between a single-use, full-spectrum infrared sauna or a community Himalayan salt sauna, which incorporates the good-feeling properties of Himalayan salt. The large, co-ed infrared sauna has an entire wall made of Himalayan salt. If you’ve ever spent time near a salt lamp, you know there’s something strangely calming about the soft pink light. 1920 Main St., Ste. 19, Ferndale, 360.393.8829, moveinflowmotion.co

The Spa at The Chrysalis

If you’re planning a massage or facial at The Chrysalis Inn and Spa Bellingham, a Curio Collection by Hilton, be sure to arrive early so you can take full advantage of the eucalyptus steam room.With showers and a relaxation lounge overlooking a pond and waterfall, stress doesn’t stand a chance. 804 10th St., Bellingham, 360.392.5515, curiocollection3.hilton.com

For more stories like this, check out our Wellbeing section here.

A Silver Lining

Going Gray… On Purpose

The latest hair trend is not what you might expect: Young women all over the country are dying their hair gray or silver. To those that have naturally gone gray—and perhaps tried to reverse the phenomenon by dying their hair a different shade—it might seem perplexing.

Why would young women want to go gray? I like to think of it as a mini-revolution, interpreting the trend as a stand against the notion that women should feel averse to aging, that there’s something inherently less beautiful about gray hair. By choosing to go gray, women redefine the color—and the process of aging as a whole—as something beautiful.

It’s also a matter of expressing our agency. Women can do whatever we want, whether it’s letting our hair change naturally or dying it gray—or pink, or blue, or any color we want. Women should be able to look however we want to look, embrace it, and celebrate it.


To learn more about the process of dying gray, I sat down with Katie, a stylist at Bellingham’s Vanity Hair Studio on Dupont Street.

What is the process of going from your current hair color to gray/silver?

Katie: The first thing you’ll want to do is get the hair to lift to a pale blonde. So then once you’ve lifted to the lightest possible level, which needs to be a level nine or level 10, then you go in and kind of have to personalize the color combination to get it to whatever picture [the client] showed you. The thing with doing it on brunettes is that it’s 2019—most people have colored their hair. So it usually takes at least two processes to lift it to a white blonde. So now you’re looking at going in for multiple services in order to achieve this.

What are some upkeep tips?

Katie: Something I like to recommend when people are going through a bleach process, especially multiple, is purchasing an at-home conditioning mask or coming into the salon for conditioning treatments. It’s just really good for your hair and helps it process and hold the color longer. Also, purple shampoo essentially neutralizes all those gold and yellow tones that, obviously, if you’re doing a gray, people don’t want.

What tips do you have for making naturally gray hair more vibrant?

Katie: I would probably gear a little bit more towards a really fine weave of a highlight and then tone those to try and match whatever their natural gray is. Just because a lot of people don’t go 100 percent natural gray at once, you know, they start at 30 or 40 percent, then go to 50 or 60, then eventually they’re 100 percent gray. So depending on their existing level of gray, that’s how I would go forward. Or if they desire something that’s a little more vivid, maybe then we go into it with a white and do that.


For more content like this, check out our Beauty section.

Autumn’s Comforting Bounty

The leaves are starting to fall, the days are getting shorter, and the evenings are just cool enough for a sweater. Autumn may signal the end of summer, but it’s also the beginning of my favorite time of year: the time to cook soups, stews, and other warming comfort foods. Even better: Because we’re in no rush to go anywhere, we can often let these meals slow cook and simmer.

October is also a perfect time to reap the bounty of our gardens—or our local farmer’s field—that are bursting with potatoes, onions, garlic, carrots, tomatoes, and squash.

As a kid, squash was never on the top of my favorite foods list, but rather on the “Do I have to eat that?” list. Now, I can’t get enough of it, especially since I discovered one of the greatest kitchen gadgets ever invented: the vegetable spiralizer!

Full disclosure: After I bought my spiralizer, it sat in the box, unopened, for more than four years. It now occupies a place of honor in my kitchen, and it’s all because of this recipe. If you’re looking for a flavorful, gluten-free meal that incorporates all the fresh foods of the season, then this is the recipe for you.

ZOODLES WITH MEATBALLS MARINARA
SIMPLE MARINARA SAUCE INGREDIENTS

1 38-milileter can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon rosemary
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Chopped fresh basil to garnish

MEATBALL INGREDIENTS
1 lb. ground beef
1 large egg
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon mushroom powder
1 teaspoon Italian herbs
1/2 teaspoon kosher sea salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire or fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

INSTRUCTIONS
• Preheat oven to 400 F.

• Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and place baking rack on top.

• In a large bowl, mix ground beef, egg, and spices until well combined.

• Roll meatballs. Make sure they are all the same size so they cook evenly.

• Bake on middle rack in oven for 18–20 minutes.

• Remove from oven and set on paper-towel-lined plate.

• Serve with zoodles and my Simple Marinara Sauce, or place in a freezer-safe container and freeze for use later.

• To prepare the zucchini, use a spiralizer to cut into long strips. Using a steamer basket placed over a pot of boiling water, cook for 2–3 minutes or until al dente.


For more content like this, check out our Nutrition section.

Set Yourself up for Clear Skin Success

In my last article, I discussed acne and its effect on self-esteem at any age. It’s important to understand that acne is genetic. Once it’s under control, the effective treatment plan and home care must be followed or it will come back.

So how can you or a loved one struggling with acne achieve long-term, clear skin success? There are so many choices and contradicting opinions when it comes to treating breakouts that just knowing where to start can feel overwhelming.

In my opinion, the best course of action is to find a skin therapist who specializes in acne. A skin therapist will help you find effective ingredients, treatments, and services for acne while avoiding the lure of marketing hype from department or drug store brands.

DERMATOLOGIST VS. SKIN THERAPIST

When you believe you’ve lost all hope for clear skin, seeing a skin therapist in conjunction with a dermatologist can definitely enhance results. While dermatologists practice out of medical offices and often prescribe medications, skin therapists typically work in salons, spas, or under the direction of a dermatologist.

Even if prescription medications help clear up acne, many topical or oral drugs can leave skin dry, irritated, and congested. Often, these side effects can be just as uncomfortable as the acne itself. Skin therapists help you balance abrasive prescription solutions with calming and hydrating skin support.

In my experience as an acne skin specialist, prescription medication is only one of many approaches to the healing process. It’s possible clients may even need to quit prescription medications because they’re either ineffective or too harsh on skin.

PRO-ACNE INGREDIENTS & METHODOLOGIES MATTER

Acne-approved ingredients and treatment options are very specific and require an entirely different level of skin knowledge and experience to use effectively.

Skincare ingredients such as fruit acids, benzoyl peroxide, and retinoids create clear skin results but can be drying if not used properly. If, for example, any of the above ingredients are not combined with the correct moisturizer, you will likely experience dry, irritated, and flaky skin. Think you can pick up any old face cream to balance it out? Unfortunately, the answer is no. A common cause of breakouts in mature skin is from moisturizers designed to hydrate but which contain pore-clogging ingredients.

As tempting as it is to try DIY acne products and treatments, a skin therapist specializing in acne will guide you toward educated, acne appropriate solutions so that healing happens faster and with better results.

PASS ON THE POPPING

While it may feel strangely satisfying, squeezing pimples often makes matters worse. Not only does popping pimples lead to larger, redder, and more noticeable imperfections, but it also results in slower healing. In worst case scenarios, popping can also lead to scarring.

Touching pimples may also cause them to multiple. When using incorrect pressure, or squeezing at the wrong angle, you easily disrupt the integrity of your follicles, causing infection to spread to other follicles. This leads to inflammation and, ultimately, more breakouts.

A NOTE TO PARENTS

Admittedly, the teen years are a difficult time to adopt a regimented skincare routine. Parents may think their helpful tips and face wash-nagging will help their child achieve clear skin. Trust me, it doesn’t work—it simply makes them more self-conscious and less likely to try. Let a trained professional teach them how to manage their skin.


For more content like this, check out our Beauty section.

Cooking with Wine

Cooking with wine is an excellent way to add flavor and character to your food. It’s also a great way to use up those half- empty bottles of wine that sit on your kitchen counter or in your refrigerator for weeks on end.

Any opened bottle of wine will gradually turn to vinegar; while this makes it unpleasant for drinking, it’s still perfectly fine to use for cooking.

Give leftover wine a flavor boost by popping in two to three cloves of garlic or some fresh herbs, such as a sprig of rosemary. Then let it sit for several days. Your rejuvenated wine will be ideal as a marinade for pre-grilled meats or a deglazing liquid to pick up those tasty bits of food that stick to your frying pan.

Make sure to serve the finished dish with a wine that will either complement or contrast the food. For example, try a big, buttery Chardonnay to complement a rich, seafood entrée such as lobster or salmon; or pair a smoky, earthy Pinot Noir with duck and sautéed mushrooms.

For a contrast, consider a late harvest Riesling with spicy Asian cuisine, where the wine’s sweetness will shine through any level of peppery heat. The pairing will allow you to taste both the food and the wine, creating a more memorable dining experience.

SINGLE SKILLET CHICKEN PICATTA
INGREDIENTS

2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, butterflied and cut in half
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour, for dredging
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 cup full-bodied white wine such as slightly oaked Chardonnay
1/4 cup brined capers, rinsed
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped

DIRECTIONS

• Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour and brush off excess.

• Over medium-high heat in a large skillet, melt 3 tablespoons of butter in 3 tablespoons of olive oil.

• When the butter and oil begin to sizzle, add two pieces of chicken and cook on each side for 4 minutes. When the chicken has browned, flip and cook the other side for an additional 4 minutes. Remove to a warm plate and cook the remaining chicken in the same manner.

• Pour the excess oil/butter from the pan. Do not wipe the pan; the tasty brown bits remaining will make your sauce even better.

• Into the hot pan add the lemon juice, stock, capers, and white wine. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Use a wooden or Teflon-safe spatula to scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan so they incorporate into your sauce. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, stir to incorporate, and then pour over the chicken.

• Garnish with parsley and serve.


For more content like this, check out our Recipes section.

A Recipe for Meditation

A recent study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology suggests that people who take on small, creative projects such as baking or cooking feel happier and more relaxed. In fact, time in the kitchen can be so good for your emotional wellbeing that some therapists recommend that patients suffering from depression or anxiety—as well as eating disorders, ADHD, and addiction—use cooking classes as a form of therapy.

My kitchen is a place of solace whether I am preparing a tried-and-true family recipe or creating a new one of my own. The simple act of chopping an onion, stirring a soup, or whisking a favorite salad dressing can help keep my mind off things I don’t need to focus on. Cooking is also a way to express emotions. What better way to show someone you care than by nourishing them with food?

As a holistic nutritionist, I understand the importance of balanced nutrition. Marrying the science of nutrition with the art of cooking is just like meditating, but with a more gratifying outcome for the taste buds. I am also a big proponent of applying the Keep it Super Simple (K.I.S.S.) principle to my culinary creations, which is why I came up with this simple but satisfying recipe. With only four main ingredients, you can have dinner on the table in 15 minutes.

STEAK-STUFFED BELL PEPPERS

Serves: 2
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

1 red, orange, or yellow bell pepper
1/2 small yellow onion
1/2 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
150 grams cooked steak or roast beef (I used leftover tri-tip roast beef)
3–4 tablespoons avocado oil
1 tablespoon butter
Kosher salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

• Thinly slice the onion.

• Heat butter and 2 tablespoons avocado oil in skillet over medium heat.

• Add the onions, stirring occasionally until they become translucent. Reduce the heat to low.

• Continue to cook the onions until brown (semi-caramelized).

• Meanwhile, slice the pepper in half and remove the seeds and membrane.

• Place peppers in microwave-safe bowl with 2–3 tablespoons of water.

• Microwave on high for approximately 2 minutes or until slightly soft to the touch.

• Turn the oven to broil.

• Slice roast beef or steak very thin, and add to onions. Add more oil if needed.

• Remove peppers from microwave and place in oven-proof baking dish. If the peppers are not sitting level in pan, roll up a piece of aluminum foil to prop up as needed.

• Add meat and onions to the peppers.

• Top with cheese.

• Broil until cheese is melted, a little brown and bubbly.

• Plate and serve with a simple green salad.


For more content like this, check out our Nutrition section.

Pro Tips for Highlighting Your Freckles

As a makeup artist, one of my most common requests from clients is that I not cover their freckles. Of course, I shudder at the thought; I love freckles! Because these little facial gems can be tricky to highlight, I’ve compiled a few of my top pro tips and products for letting them truly shine.

First things first. Ever notice that you have more freckles where your skin gets the most sun? Wear your sunscreen! Outside of the spots we inherit through genetics, freckles are technically sun damage that happened when we were young and carefree. Love them, yes, but remember they can sometimes come at a cost.

Keep your skin healthy and let your freckles shine. Make sure you exfoliate and hydrate your skin to keep it glowing. Ideally, your freckles should be the only texture on your face. The Sonia Roselli sexApeel Instant Exfoliation Spray and Water Balm are two of my all time freckle-friendly favorites. Pick them up online—you will not be disappointed.

If your freckles are not the only texture on your face—because, let’s be real here—grab your favorite concealer and spot-treat anything that needs it. Gently tap with your finger to blend. Go naked or apply a light BB cream to the rest of your face. My ultimate favorite concealer for this is the NARS Radiant Creamy concealer. It has a wonderful, buildable coverage that hides problem areas while perfectly blending into your skin.

Match your concealers and foundations to the undertones in your skin, not to your freckles or a shade in the middle. Freckles are often quite a bit warmer than the skin they grace, and the last thing you want is an orangey face on a cool-toned neck and chest.

For a little extra something, don’t be afraid to add a touch of sheer rosy tones for blush and shadow. Pro tip: Use your blush as a light eyeshadow for a natural, youthful glow.

To enhance your freckles—or even fake them— simply take a brown eyeliner pencil and softly dab over your existing freckles. Then take your finger and tap to softly blend. My favorite pencil for this is the Urban Decay Brow Beater Pencil in Warm Brown. The trick is to keep the faux freckles balanced without making any noticeable patterns. I like to work quickly to keep myself from thinking too much. Don’t stress if it doesn’t turn out perfect the first time—you can always buff out a faux freckle if it’s in the wrong place!

If you couldn’t tell by now, freckles are pretty much my favorite thing. They’re the perfect excuse to rock a simple “no makeup” look, but they also pair effortlessly with a little splash of drama. A statement lip? A little smudged eyeliner? Très chic! There are many sides of you, and the beauty of makeup—and freckles—is about getting to show those sides to the world.

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ASB Trail

The First Steps to a New Waterfront District

The Aerated Stabilization Basin (ASB) Trail has been the city of Bellingham’s first step on the waterfront cleanup project. The cleanup, which stretches from Zuanich Point to downtown, is an extensive process. The ASB Trail was created to give the public a front-row seat to the transformation.

Parking for the trail can be confusing. After turning on to Bellwether Way, immediately on the left is a parking lot for a marine supply store. Just beyond this is a large gravel lot—park here. On the path leading to the trail, you’ll notice an interpretive display detailing marine life. You’re on the right track—this is where the trail begins.

When you arrive at Hilton Avenue, cross the street and find where the trail resumes, proceeding slightly uphill. In the warmer months, head down the stairs and check out the small pocket beach. It’s not a place to swim, as several signs warn of contamination. However, it’s a relaxing place to listen to the waves, watch boats go by, and get some sun.

Back on the path, you’ll notice a long, large fence guarding the pond. This 37-acre reservoir, the trail’s namesake, was part of the Georgia-Pacific plant as a treatment facility for wastewater contaminated with mercury, which also seeped into the soil. It’s safe to walk around, just don’t take a dive. Keep pets on a leash, as the fence is there for a reason. A bonus—a variety of birds use the sheltered pond as a sanctuary. Bring binoculars.

This trail offers some amazing views across the water. Turn the corner and you’ll see downtown Bellingham contrasted against the Cascades.

Presently, the trail nearly completes a loop, but not quite—just far enough that you will have to double back all the way. As work continues on the waterfront, the trail will one day connect with the new developments near the remodeled Granary Building. The city hopes that this trail is a stepping stone in connecting the trendy downtown district with the historic industrial area.

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