• Recipes,  Wellness

    Dairy-Free Vanilla Saffron Creamer

    I enjoy a rich cup of black coffee, especially at a local Denver or Richmond roaster. However, I’ve gotten into the habit of adding a spot of cream when I make my first morning cup at home. There’s something so divine: a gentle swirl to soften it up and add a touch of flavor. True, organic, grass-fed, heavy cream is a treat, and a little goes a long way.  When I went dairy-free, finding a replacement for my heavy cream was tough. The store-bought creamers tend to be laden with additives (even the organic ones). Sugar, gums, preservatives, emulsifiers…all things I wasn’t willing to add to my daily diet.  Finally,…

  • Research

    SIBO: Internal Contribution to Dysfunction

    Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) is commonly defined as an increased number of bacteria and/or abnormal type of bacteria in the small intestine (Kwiatkowski, et al., 2017).  SIBO plays a role in malabsorption and nutritional deficiencies, altering the body’s homeostatic state (Zeigler & Cole, 2007). The build-up of displaced bacteria can cause an increase in intestinal permeability leading to general malabsorption and alterations of certain water-soluble B vitamins including biotin, folate and B12 (Bures et. al., 2010). Overconsumption of vitamin B12 by the dysbiotic anaerobic flora, can cause deficiency and lead to conditions such as megaloblastic anemia or polyneuropathy (Sachdev & Pimentel, 2013).  Bacterial overgrowth leads to deconjugation of bile…

  • Adventure

    CO Hike Series: Grizzly Lake

    My Number One Hike in Colorado Hiking has been a great passion of mine since I was young. I can remember tagging along with my Dad in the Blue Ridge Mountains, recreating memories at the Peaks of Otter and Humpback Rocks. Hiking got a lot less fun when I was “too heavy” to be carried up the mountain on his shoulders anymore. Luckily, I learned to love the experience of being outdoors and achieving a feat of tackling a peak or reaching a lookout. Colorado really reignited the wonder of hiking for me. There is just so much to see and experience- and the Rocky Mountain vistas just never get…

  • Research

    A Wide-Eyed Approach to Caffeine

    Caffeine is often found in analgesics because it lowers gastric pH, increases antinociceptive effects, drug absorption and gastric motility, and improves mood and reaction time (Lipton et al., 2017). It works to mitigate pain by activating the pain-suppressing noradenosine pathway and acting as a nonselective antagonist of adenosine A1, A2A and A2B receptors which speeds nerve cell communication and results in vasoconstriction (Lipton et al. 2017, Chen et al., 2018). Caffeine is an adenosine receptor antagonist and blocks the detection of pain by blocking adenosine receptors and inhibiting phosphodiesterases (Mantegazza et al., 1984). Caffeine absorbs rapidly and has a half-life of 3–6 hours. This can cause consumers to become dependent…

  • Movement,  Wellness

    Why I Love CrossFit

    Since a young age, I have played team sports. The competition, community, and teamwork mindset has become an internal part of who I am. From youth t-ball to college field hockey, I have always had my team to motivate, inspire, and support me. After graduating and moving to Colorado, I turned to hiking and skiing and biking to fulfill my physical activity—but I felt a little out of place without the accountability of daily practices and the excitement of upcoming games. I lost my drive, and with it, my fitness. I no longer felt like an ATHLETE. In January 2017, I got over my fears (of the stereotypes, the injuries,…

  • Travel

    Day In the Life: Richmond, VA

    My Day Exploring RVA with Mom, Dad & Kelsey Going home to visit is always a special occasion. I’ve lived in Colorado for 5 years now, so any time I get to visit home is enjoyable. Richmond has changed A LOT since I was around, so this was a perfect day to really explore the neighborhoods of the river city. We had a Saturday with no plans, and since we LOVE COFFEE, I mean are OBSESSED with coffee…of course!  A coffee tour of Richmond! We started the day with a roastery. I love bringing coffee back from every place I visit, so this was how our plan began. My Mom…

  • Wellness

    Simple Habits for Healing the Gut-Brain Connection

    Restore Digestive Balance with Mindful Practice For many people, how we eat can be just as important as what we eat. If we are stressed out, in a hurry, or eating too much at the wrong time our “gut brain” gets overwhelmed. This second brain activates signals that cause weight gain, impair digestion and interrupt absorption. These are a few simple habits that can improve the gut-brain connection and restore digestive balance:   1.       Eat slowly, Eat mindfully. This is a tough one! Try to eat distraction free- no phone, no TV, no computer. It takes a few minutes for the brain to get the ‘message’ that the stomach is satisfied. 2.       Find…

  • Recipes,  Wellness

    One-Pot Cast-Iron Camp Meal

    I am so, so happy to live here in Colorado. One of my favorite activities is camping. I can decide on a Friday afternoon that I want to spend the weekend in the mountains- and by dark I will be sitting by a fire stargazing. That’s a major reason I moved to Denver in the first place. I want the ease of adventuring…. which means spontaneous weekend getaways that may have previously taken months of planning. I got in some early spring camping this year. April is still quite cold and unpredictable, but I was set on getting out there! I took the gamble, and endured some mighty winds and…