Published

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I am proud to announce that I accomplished one of my major bucket list goals today: getting published in print!

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My food/travel story about Austin, TX is in today’s issue of the Boston Globe (page G 23). You can also read it online here. I first got connected with the Globe after taking Sheryl Julian’s food writing class in the Boston University Gastronomy program (which I highly recommend for any aspiring food writers). While the subject matter of the article couldn’t be much further from health or sustainability, I am pleased to be a published food writer and photographer. I also added a new ‘Press’ page to my website. Any ideas for my next story?

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– Kelly

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Austin Fitness Bucket List

^^ Lady Bird Lake Hike & Bike Trail. Image via American Forests

^^ Stand up paddle surfing in Lady Bird Lake. Image via meetup

Austin is quirky and fun city with a great music and nightlife, a bustling university, and best of all, an amazing local restaurant scene! That being said, nonstop tacos and barbeque can begin to take a toll on your health. But don’t fear- Austin is consistently rated one of the healthiest cities in America for a reason. Are you looking for something active to do in Austin? Here are some ideas to get your muscles moving:

  • Go for a walk, jog, or bike ride around the 10 mile Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail, which winds through the middle of downtown and offers unmatched views of the city.
  • Another great way to enjoy Lady Bird Lake is by renting a kayak going stand-up paddle surfing. See here for rental info.
  • Pease Park trails and the beautiful surrounding neighborhoods are the perfect place to go for a jog, take a leisurely stroll, toss a frisbee, and gawk at lovely houses.
  • Spend a day outdoors in one of the many natural springs. Barton Springs, McKinney Falls State Park, the Greenbelt, and Hamilton’s Pool are just a few that come to mind.
  • Dance up a storm at Midnight Rodeo or the Broken Spoke.
  • Explore the city on foot! From the University of Texas campus, to the Capitol Building, to the shops along South Congress, there is so much to see. Austin is also incredibly bike friendly.
  • Drive out to Fredricksburg and go hiking or rock climbing at Enchanted Rock. Fredricksburg is also a great place to go peach picking in the summer.
  • Work up a sweat by volunteering. The Green Corn Project builds organic gardens for those in need, and is one of my favorite volunteer groups in Austin.
  • Give yoga a try! Black Swan Yoga has 4 different locations throughout the city, and offers classes (including hot yoga) for a minimum donation of $5. On a similar note, $10 yoga classes are offered on Wednesdays and Fridays at the Umlauf Sculpture Gardens.
  • If traditional yoga isn’t Austin enough for you, try full moon yoga. Every month (during a full moon) free yoga and meditation classes are offered at a scenic outlook.
  • Sign up for a race. From the Austin Marathon and Half Marathon, to the Capitol 10K, to the Chuys 5K fun run, there are always plenty ways to stay active. See here for a list of upcoming races.

^^ Yoga at the Umlauf. Image via Austin 360.

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^^ Kayaking in Lady Bird Lake (view from the Congress Ave bridge, while waiting for the bats)

While the following activities won’t require quite as much exertion, these are still some excellent ways to check out the city and enjoy the outdoors:

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^^Mount Bonnell

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^^ 360 Overlook

Did I leave anything off of my list? How do you stay active in Austin, TX?

– Kelly

Tea Time

Nothing says cozy like a cup of tea. Since making the snowy streets of Boston my new stomping grounds, I now enjoy more tea than ever before. Sure, I love tea… but you should love it too! Not only is unsweetened tea a fun alternative to water or coffee, but drinking tea is also associated with several health benefits, most notably, a decreased risk of cancer.

The Steeping Room, Austin, TX

Black, green, white, and oolong teas all derive from the leaves of the Camellia plant, and contain the same beneficial polyphenols (health promoting, antioxidant compounds). They differ only in the various levels of processing undertaken.  On the other hand, herbal teas and Red Rooibos teas are not derived from the Camilla plant, and so scientific studies touting the benefits of tea cannot be applied to these beverages. Also note that decaffeinated teas contain lower levels of flavonols, and therefore don’t offer the same antioxidant punch as their full strength counterparts. Because most teas contain less that half of the amount of caffeine than coffee, full strength tea is recommended. Nonetheless, decaffeinated, herbal and Rooibos teas are still healthy, plant-based beverages that contain varying levels of antioxidants and are a healthy alternative to sweetened beverages. To learn more about tea, I highly recommend this article.

Although I almost always have a large supply of no-frills green tea on hand, I also really enjoy flavored teas. Flavored teas are also a great way for non tea drinkers to ease their way into the wonderful world of tea, and are a tasty, calorie free alternative to other beverages. Here are my top picks:

Ginger Peach Black Tea (The Republic of Tea)

White Ayurvedic Chai Tea (Teavana)

Vanilla Rooibos (Tazo)

And for any tea lovers that find themselves in the Austin, Texas area, I highly recommend the following places:

Tea Embassy

The Tea Embassy

Enjoy a leisurely cup of tea in the charming Campbell-Miller house in downtown Austin. You can buy a variety of unique teas, as well as teapots and other tea accessories. Enjoy your tea at the bar, or on period furniture near the fireplace in this adorable, historic home. (P.S. Juliana- thanks for taking me here!)

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The Steeping Room

This restaurant and tea lounge has a brunch that can’t be missed, as well as an excellent variety of teas. The menu is pleasing to both omnivores and vegans alike, and also boasts a large selection of attractive gluten free options.

– Kelly