Avoiding “The Plague”

Let’s be honest here, we all get sick, well at least most of us. And sometimes sickness plagues us at the most inopportune times, like finals week. Times like these, call for extra measures. Being sick during finals week just makes everything harder, but there are some things that you can do to help keep your immune system healthy and ward off any inklings of sickness.

  1. Drink Water. I cannot stress this enough. Dehydration can cause a myriad of issues, including lowering your immune system.
  2. Eat Healthier. Again, I say this all the time, it’s not about eating completely healthy and clean, it is about balance. Yeah, you can totally stress eat some cookies and chips, but make sure to have plenty of fruits and veggies to off set those treats.
  3. Garlic Pills. Garlic has been shown to help your immune system fight off colds and my Calc Professor always told me to eat raw garlic if I was getting sick. If raw garlic isn’t your thing, I would recommend taking Aged Garlic Pills if you think you are catching a cold.
  4. Oregano Oil. It has been shown in some preliminary research to be an anti-viral agent, so once again, if you feel a cold coming on, then it worth taking. I put two drops into a glass of warm water and drink 2-3 times a day.
  5. Vitamin C. I never really have a problem getting enough of this in my diet, but if you think that you are low in Vitamin C, it might not hurt to take a supplement or two.
  6. Vitamin D. If you live somewhere like Washington, you probably aren’t getting enough of it. You have two options, get outside on those sunny days and/or supplement with a good vitamin D supplement.
  7. Exercise. It is good for your body and for your overall mental health. Stress = higher cortisol levels, which in turns means a lowered immune system. But exercise has been found to be a really big stress reliever due to the endorphins released.

Now the trick to these things, is that they aren’t quick fixes. Yes, start them as soon as you think you are getting sick, but things like healthy eating, exercise, and staying hydrated are things that you should try and incorporate into your lifestyle. It isn’t easy, but slowly it will become part of your daily life. And taking one dose of oregano oil or garlic pills won’t cure your cold, but studies show that taking them consistently can help reduce the duration of the cold.

Also take all this info with a grain of salt, I am not a health professional and the things that I have told you are based off of personal research and personal experience. So yeah, don’t come after me with pitch forks if you find it doesn’t work for you.


trash panda’s delight


Trash panda’s delight, a vegan’s take on the garbage plate. So it is pretty far from the actual ingredients of a garbage plate, but I like to think the concept is similar. And in all honestly I didn’t know what to call this. So trash panda’s delight it is. An ode to my favorite neighborhood alleyway trash pandas.


baked potato slices + vegan “meat” + broccoli + avocado + cashew cream + avocado 

the vegan “meat” in the making [tempeh, mushrooms, onions, garlic]

Serves 2-4

  • 1 sweet potato + 1 russet potato (or two smaller yellow potatoes)
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • 2 crimini mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup tempeh
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • olive oil
  • salt + pepper
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup soaked cashews*
  • 1/2-1 cup warm water
  • 1/4 avocado diced
  • 1 green onion sliced

Preheat oven to 425°F, clean and slice the potatoes, leaving the skin on for added nutrients. Toss the sliced potatoes in a pinch of salt and a few tablespoons of olive oil, then spread evenly on a lined baking tray. (I like to use my Silpat because it’s reusable.) Then place in the oven for 15-30min until soft and slightly crispy.

While the potatoes are baking, dice the mushrooms, onion, and garlic. Add the mushrooms and onion into a pan with around a tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt + ground pepper. While that is sautéing, crumble in the tempeh and continue to cook for another 2mins, then add the minced garlic and cook for another few minutes. Set aside.

Cut up the broccoli and steam until tender. (Don’t overcook!) Set aside.

Next, add lemon juice, soaked cashews, 1/2 cup water, and a pinch of salt into the blender. Blend until smooth, adding more water to achieve desired consistency. It should be creamy, but not too thick.

Now time to build. Start with potatoes, next broccoli, then tempeh mushroom mixture, drizzle over sauce, and top with the green onions and avocado.

*If you don’t have a high speed blender, I would recommend soaking overnight. Otherwise 30mins to an hour in boiling hot water should work just fine.

Green Smoothie #1

When I really think about it, I drink a lot of green smoothies, but the truth is most my green smoothies don’t look so green, and that’s ok! Yeah, it is super cool to take an instagram of your bright green smoothie, but I got a little bored of not being able to put berries in my smoothie for fear of turning it brown. Well I fear no more, because lately I’ve been making this not so green, “green” smoothie daily.


The ginger and the juice in this smoothie isn’t really optional, unless you would like to taste the full earthiness the kale and spirulina have to offer.


  • 2 stalks of kale
  • 1 cup of juice (orange or apple)
  • 1-2 tsp fresh ginger
  • 1-2 cups frozen berries (blueberries + strawberries)
  • 1 tsp spirulina
  • 1 tsp barely grass juice powder
  • 1 tbsp homemade coconut yogurt*

Blend the kale, juice, and ginger until smooth. (You can skip this step, but be forewarned, you might find pieces of kale in your smoothie.) Then add in the berries and green powders and blend until smooth. If needed, add more juice or water to reach desired consistency. Top with coconut yogurt + enjoy!


lentil curry + crispy tofu

This is honestly one of the most fusion meals I’ve created…but it is so so good. The curry almost feels thai, yet also indian, with lentils which remind me of dal bhat, and then crispy tofu takes us back to thai again. All around its a solid meal filled with acres of plant based protein.

Sautéed green veggies for the side.

This recipe was adapted from Anett Velsberg’s peanut lentil curry.



2 tbsp coconut oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, minced

2 carrots sliced

1-2 potatoes diced

1 tsp smashed coriander seeds

1 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp curry powder

1 tsp turmeric

1 cup red lentils

2 cups water + 1 tbsp veggie stock concentrate*

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can coconut milk

Juice of 1 lime

– TOFU –

1 tbsp olive oil

1 pack of extra firm tofu

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tbsp tamari

In a large pot, heat the oil and add the garlic, ginger, and spices. Cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, until the spices, are fragrant. Add the vegetables, lentils, stock and crushed tomatoes. Stir and place the lid on. Cook on a low heat for 20 minutes or until the lentils are soft.

While the curry is cooking, preheat oven to 400°F. Next, wrap a towel around the tofu and press under something heavy for 5-10mins. Dice into medium-sized cubes and toss with olive oil, nutritional yeast, and tamari. Spread evenly onto a lined baking tray and bake for 15-20mins until desired crispiness is reached

Add the coconut milk and mix well. Simmer for another 5 minutes, then top with lime juice and crispy tofu. Serve with rice, steamed or sautéed  green veggies, and flatbreads. Enjoy!

*This veggies stock concentrate has a lot of flavor and salt, so I definitely would recommend using it. But if you can’t find it or don’t want to use it then use normal veggie broth (instead of all the water) and add some extra salt.

clear skin + updated skincare routine

Processed with VSCO with b5 presetSkin, its super important and actually the largest organ in our body, yet it can be oh so easily be forgotten about…well at least until trouble is spotted. I’ve had my fair share of skin problems, granted I never had a serious acne condition, but from high school until last year I dealt with patches of acne on my face, neck, back, chest, and sometimes even my arms. At the times I thought it would never go away and I definitely stressed over it when I couldn’t hide it. But alas, my mother was right and eventually, it would clear up. I attribute it clearing up to a few things…

stressing less. This was a big one for me. The times when my acne is the worst is when I am under a lot of stress. And yeah, it’s not super easy to just quit stressing. (As an avid worrier, I would know. ) But I do think that reducing my stress has been key to my skin clearing up. This year my acne has been almost no existent and I think part of that is because I have been taking steps to reduce stress. Like, not procrastinating on studying + assignments, spending more time outdoors, and having solid ways to manage my depression and anxiety.

more water. This one should be pretty obvious, everyone I know who promotes health, promotes drinking more water. It is honestly one of the simplest things you can do for your skin. I’ve always kind of liked drinking water, I find it super satisfying, but if that isn’t the case for you, then find ways to make it more enjoyable. Try adding lemon slices or other fruits, or make little goals to have so much done by lunch, or even try drinking it with a straw. Honestly just find something that works and get that water in!

a more balanced diet. Eating healthy is one thing, but also eating a well-rounded diet is crucial. I spent all of high school eating super healthy all day and then eating tons of “unhealthy” foods at night, because I neglected to satisfy my cravings during the day. For example, this morning instead of just drinking a green smoothie for breakfast, I also had two eggs with vegan parmesan cheese. And at lunch I had a buddha bowl but then also had vegan yogurt for dessert and a chai latte and a fig bar for a snack. I still eat healthy, but I avoid restricting myself. I’ll probably eat a big dinner tonight and have dessert after and that is OK. So yeah, I eat more, but I try to keep it pretty healthy and balanced.

simplified natural skincare routine. For the past 4 years I’ve exclusively used dr. bronner’s rose castile soap as my face wash and I’ve found it to work super well for my very sensitive skin. (Oddly specific, but the rose is the only one scent that I’ve found to keep my skin clear + clean.) And then beyond that things have changed recently but I try to keep my skincare routine super simple + natural.

So then you ask…Emily, what exactly do you do? Continue reading

Aug-Jan: where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to

Wow, it has been a bit since I’ve last posted here. August 3, 2017. Let’s see, where does one even begin? In September I moved to a pretty bomb apartment with my childhood best friend. We have sweeping views of Bellingham Bay and it’s a short walk to school. The late summer was filled with lots of last minute hikes, bouldering sessions on the beach, and many haphazard adventures. In the fall, I fell in love with biking again. I pushed the limits of my little racing bike, taking it on muddy trail rides and splashing it through countless puddles around town. But fall wasn’t just all biking, I started to recognize the importance of my Bellingham family. I spent countless evenings having family dinners with my brother and our close friends. And most importantly, in October we welcomed Luna into the clan. She immediately stole everyone’s hearts, despite being a holy terror sometimes.


Continue reading

Passionate About Life


If I am being completely honest, spring quarter was a hard one for me. I left behind familiarity and friends to seek out something I was passionate about. Environmental studies is not offered at Walla Walla University and overall I was feeling a little trapped. I couldn’t live off campus, I wasn’t able to drive 5 min to see the sea, and I was hours away from home. And I really wish that I could have my friends and still attend the university that was best suited for me. But I couldn’t, so I moved to Bellingham to attend Western Washington University.

The adjustment period was a bit rough, if you know me at all, then you would know I’m quite introverted. So introverted that I scored the highest on a test I had to do in a health class. So making friends proved to be challenging and not having my study buddies around made things worse. But I’ve managed and now I am here, done with spring qtr.

I was flipping through my bullet journal on Saturday evening and came across a page of quotes from April of last year. The one that stuck out to me the most said…

“I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. He taught me that if you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it at full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good. Hot is no good either. White hot and passionate is the only thing to be.”

It’s a quote by Roald Dahl. And it was a simple reminder to run full speed ahead at the things I’m passionate about. It reminded me that I haven’t done any community service or volunteer work in almost a year and that I miss it dearly. It made me realize that I shouldn’t hold back my passion for creating and that I should embrace it. And most importantly it reminded me to run towards a major in environmental studies wholeheartedly. I’ve been holding back, sulking, and getting lost in it all. But sometimes we just need a gentle to reminder to focus on a few things and do them well in life.

So this week, I encourage you to be an enthusiast about your life.  Find your passions in life and seek them out wholeheartedly.

Things I Do “Everyday” to Stay Healthy

IMG_8935.jpgIt can be hard to stay healthy…When you are busy and stressed, it is easy to forget to take care of yourself. I know that I struggle to be healthy the most when I am going through a bout of depression. Either I don’t eat, or I eat something processed that sounds like a good idea, but ends up making me feel worse in the end. So today, I thought I would share with you a few things that I do almost every day to be just a bit healthier.

  1. Drink Water. This one might seem a little obvious, but a really simple way to help your body is to drink water! I try to drink two cups of water first thing in the morning to jumpstart my system. Then throughout the day, I try to drink between 2-3L of water. If you have trouble with drinking water, try adding fruit or lemon slices to add some flavor.
  2. Green Powders. After my water, I’ve been having either a smoothie or just some orange juice with green powders mixed in. Currently, the two powders I am using are spirulina and barley grass juice powder. Spirulina contains 60% protein and is an excellent source of vitamins A, K1, K2, B12 and iron, manganese and chromium. While barley grass juice powder contains beta carotene, vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12, pantothenic acid, and folic acid.
  3. Yoga. I like to take 10-15min each morning to do a little yoga outside. It helps to wake up my muscles and get me ready to conquer the day. You don’t have to be a master yogi to do this. I’ve taken a couple classes and watched a few videos, but now I just roll out my mat and move my body. It is that simple.
  4. Consume Fermented Foods. Fermented foods like saurkraut and kombucha will help introduce good bacteria into your gut, which will lead to better digestion and a happy gut leads to better overall health!
  5. Load Up on Fruits and Veggies. I’ve found that personally, I feel the best when eating lots of fresh fruits and veggies throughout my day. I like to drink smoothies, eat whole fruits, and have big salads at dinner or simply just eat some steamed veggies. The more you eat them, the better they will taste and the healthier you will feel!
  6. Eat an Early Dinner. My mom has always had me eat an earlier dinner, and I didn’t really know why until I was on my own. Eating an earlier dinner leads to better digestion and better sleep! And both of those things will lead to you feeling a lot healthier.
  7. Go to Bed Early. I’ve always heard that the hours of sleep that you get before midnight count as double. Unfortunately, this isn’t true, but during the first third of our sleep cycle, we experience our deepest sleep. This is the time that is the most restorative for our bodies, so hop into bed a little earlier and take advantage of your slow wave sleep.

I am by no means perfect. Hence the quotation marks in the title. There are certainly days that involve sleeping in till 10 am, eating frozen waffles for breakfast, skipping all forms of exercise, eating at 10 pm, staying up late, throwing caution to the wind. But I’ve started to realize that by doing these simple things every day, I feel a lot better, even on days when everything else around me seems to be falling apart. There are tons of ways to live a healthy life, so get out there and experiment. Find what works best for you and let me know! I would love to hear some of the things you try to do every day to stay healthy.

A Note on Mental Illnesses

If you don’t suffer from a mental illness, sometimes it can be hard to understand what your family and friends are going through. I can’t speak for anyone besides myself, but I thought I’d give you an idea of what depression and anxiety can feel like.


It creeps up on you at the most inopportune times, right before big papers are due or before finals week. It robs you of your will to keep going, of your motivation, sometimes even of your will to live. It makes you hide in your bed for long hours, avoiding texts, phone calls, class, homework, eating, … pretty much anything. It locks you inside on sunny days and tells you not to reach out for help. It makes you feel like a failure and a burden. It lets you know that since you can’t do this one thing right that there is no point to go on. On the worst days, it leaves you numb, feeling like you are unable to move or speak. It has the tendency to grab hold of you and can be very hard to shake off. For someone who suffers from depression, they can’t just be happy or let it go. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. So be patient with them and encourage them to seek out help, because nothing is worse than suffering alone.


Anxiety is not just being nervous, it is when the worries and fears you have are so strong that you interfere with your life. There are so many different types of anxiety and they all affect people in different ways. I suffer from generalized anxiety. I can worry about anything and everything. From whether I locked my car to if the headaches I have are from a brain tumor. Sometimes it can be as simple of a feeling of panic arise anytime I do something new, different, or wrong. Being late to class can bring on a feeling of uncontrollable panic. Sometimes it starts as a little voice in the back of your head and then slowly or not so slowly begins to make you feel on edge. Often the voices just get louder and louder until something is done to fix it. And like depression, it often starts at the most inopportune times. Just last quarter my anxiety went from manageable to a near panic attack in my lab final. It can be difficult to learn to manage and I’ve often pulled away from doing anything new to avoid my symptoms of anxiety. I’ve canceled countless plans due to my anxiety and I’m sure that people probably thought I didn’t want to see them. But in reality, I was too afraid to reach out and tell them that I was feeling anxious. So again be patient and please encourage them to seek out help, because suffering alone is horrible. I would know, I did it for years and years.

Mental health is a touchy subject still, it still isn’t treated like real illnesses. If you broke your leg and had to cancel plans because of it, people would totally understand. But if you say you can’t because you are feeling depressed or anxious, it is likely you will be told you’re fine or just get over it, or it will be fun, don’t be such a downer… etc. When people say these things it just makes it harder for people with mental illnesses to reach out and get help. I’ve often heard a little voice pop up in my head telling me what I am going through is not real and when I get shut down, it just is like pouring gas on a little spark. Something so tiny is turned into a roaring fire. So I plead, for me and other people who suffer from mental illness to be patient and supportive.

If you have ever contemplated suicide, just know that you are not alone. You are not bad for having those thoughts, you are by no means damaged. You are a beautiful human and I beg to you seek out help and support. Call a friend or family, call your campus hotline, call the police, call the national suicide hotline (1-800-273-8255), just please call somebody. Your life is too precious to end it, the dark days, although they feel long, will pass and the sun will come out again.

Side note, don’t forget to use person first language when talking about people and the mental illnesses they suffer from. So instead of “she is autistic” or “she is depressed”, switch your language to “she suffers from autism” or “she suffers from depression”. It can be surprising the difference it can make it people’s lives, to know that they are more than the illnesses they suffer from.


June Favorites


Since last month, I finished my freshman year of college, turned 20, and opened my first Etsy store! It has been a busy month, but definitely a good one. Now, let’s get into the favorites for June!


First up is this basket I got for my birthday from Salt Shoppe. At first, I was surprised by its size, but soon I fell in love. It is a large basket, but it makes it so useful! I can even fit my beagle inside. 🙂 It is perfect for trips to the produce stand, beach, thrift store, post office. Literally anywhere you need to transport a large amount of stuff. I would 10/10 recommend this basket!

Next is a collection of mostly food that were favorites in June… here we go!

  1. simple mills grain free gluten free crackers – I swear these have crack in them, they are so addictive
  2. Garbology – a book I am reading for my environmental studies class, I highly recommend.
  3. bouldering – the act of climbing without ropes, such a good workout and something that I’ve dearly missed and rediscovered during June
  4. strawberriesssss – fresh, in season, local strawberries were definitely consumed in large quantities. And when they started to go bad we turned them into sweet sugary jam
  5. Chaco Canyon Organic Cafe – If you are ever in Seattle, go to Chaco Canyon. This place is hands down my favorite cafe ever. It is vegan, healthy, tasty, and has tons of gluten-free options… just prepare for it to break your wallet. It is pricey but soooo worth it. 10/10 would recommend.
  6. Miyoko’s vegan cheese – last but not least, Miyoko’s double chive vegan cheese is amazing. Also, it is $10, not friendly for a college student’s budget, but definitely one of my favorite treats during my birthday month.