5 tips to keep up your healthy lifestyle while traveling abroad

Poached eggs spinach parm Blixen London

If you don't know me personally, you may not know that travel is my favorite hobby. I have been to 30 countries in my 30 years* of life, and I intend to keep that ratio going. I however, have not always been the perfect example of health whilst on the road. As my life has become increasingly focused on health, I have had to adapt my indulgent ways to create balance in my life. Inspired by my trip to London last week, I have assembled some tips to help you while you travel internationally (and domestic as well for many!). Remember it is all about Soulful Healthy (Eating) Decisions, every day. 

Tip #1: Eat Clean before you go

My first tip actually starts before you even set foot in the airport. If you know you will be traveling, try to cook at home as much as you can the week before you leave, and obviously, keep it clean. This will help set you up for success and not feel overly indulgent once you arrive in your destination. Basically, you are prepping your body to splurge a bit. Bonus points if you are going on a beach vacay, you will feel great in that bathing suit! 

Also, prepare for the flight and immediate arrival by bringing your own healthy fare. For the plane I brought almonds and dried fruit. I also had a couple RX bars on hand for mini meals upon arrival. Kick your trip off on a good note!

banana oatmeal healthy tips while traveling

Tip #2: Make a trip to the local grocery

If you are staying at an AirBNB you most likely had this as a part of your plan, but for the rest of the hotel dwellers, you may think twice about this step. Going to the grocery store at your destination can be an awesome asset. If you have a fridge in your room you can pack up with all of your go-tos. You could get yogurt, almond milk, fresh fruit that needs refrigeration, etc. It really opens up a whole realm of possibilities. If a fridge is not in the cards, there are lots of shelf stable foods that can help you stay on track. On my trip last week, the minibar fridge was full so I didn't have the option. I bought GF oatmeal, bananas, and some popcorn for snacking. We had a kettle in the room, so that was all we needed for a quick and easy brekky. Starting your day with a healthy, balanced breakfast (I sound like a commercial from the 90s) allows for wiggle room later! This will also help you save some $$!

Tip #3: lean into what the locals eat

Just because you are starting the day right doesn't mean you should be eating all of your meals in your room. The fact is, you are in a new place, you should enjoy it! Try street fare, go to all the best restaurants and eat what sounds good to you. When you are experiencing a new culture, you shouldn't stress about eating too many carbs or having dessert. This is why tips 1 and 2 are so important. By starting off on the right foot, you can be more indulgent in other areas. 




Tip #4: Pick your spots to indulge

 Shameless (truly) eating of the most delicious NOT gf buttery scones in all the land. At Hoi Polloi in Shoreditch, London.

Shameless (truly) eating of the most delicious NOT gf buttery scones in all the land. At Hoi Polloi in Shoreditch, London.

 Chia pod and chai almond milk latte - still starting the day clean!

Chia pod and chai almond milk latte - still starting the day clean!

So, please, you absolutely should indulge during your trip. BUT – you do not need to indulge at every meal. If you think that you will be eating an extravagant dinner, try to not have an indulgent lunch. This move should also be apart of your healthy living routine in life, so don't throw it to the wayside just cuz you're not in your every day reality! 

Also, you can still make healthy decisions whilst eating out. As always, keep an eye out for lots of veggies and lean protein. Choose some meals to not have white carbs (potatoes, pasta, bread, etc). 


Tip #5: Move

This may be an obvious one, but try to move your body while you are traveling. Post long plane ride you are going to want to stretch it out. Try to reconnect with nature upon arrival. Walk around and let the earth know where you've landed (yeah my woo-woo side is showing). On some vacations, activity is just built right in! Go hiking on Machu Picchu! Go swim in the ocean with some dolphins! Bike through tulip fields in Holland! Even playing golf counts (just don't use a cart ;)).  But if you're traveling for work you may not have those lovely options. Here is a list of possible ways to move if you are not so lucky:

  • walk everywhere
  • use the hotel fitness center
  • do a yoga flow in your room (or in nature if possible!)
  • go to a local fitness studio
  • use a fitness app on your phone
  • go for a run (if the neighborhood is safe and is culturally appropriate)

Moving your body daily will make you feel good and help you stay in balance. Try to keep it up for the duration of your trip, but listen to your body. If you're tired, rest! :) 

Bonus Tip #6: don't expect to be perfect

It's all about the ebbs and flows of life. You are on a trip: whether it be business or vacation, you are experiencing a part of the world you don't get to be in all of the time. Soak up every second. Be present. Enjoy yourself and don't obsess! When you get home, you can get back to your healthy routine as usual. Life is good. 

Where are you off to next?  Would love to hear about your next big trip and your biggest challenges when traveling! Leave me a note below or a comment on the gram. Cheers friends! Xx - AHS

*I wrote this when I was still 30. I turned 31 this week. Ratio to be updated hopefully soon! 

Wedding Celebrations: A Guide To Healthfully Making It Out Alive

A wedding could be defined as one beautiful day where you marry the love of your life in a ceremony and then throw a party for your family & friends. That’s what I thought before I was engaged at least. Oh, how wrong I was. 

A wedding really is a series of events.  Depending on your style (and the generosity of various friends and family) these are some of the events that may be included in your “wedding season” (as my mom referred to mine!): 

bridesmaid cheers wedding events healthy
  1. Engagement Party (informal, formal or both)
  2. Trying on dresses. Followed by dress fittings. 
  3. Picking out bridesmaid dresses with yo ladies
  4. Meetings with vendors (varying from venues, florists, photographers, videographers, bands/djs, wedding ring shopping, etc.)
  5. Catering/Menu tasting 
  6. Cake tasting
  7. Bridal Showers (could be thrown by bridesmaids, relatives on either side, colleagues or all of the above)
  8. Bachelorette 
  9. Welcome party (for out of town guests)
  10. Bridal luncheon 
  11. Rehearsal
  12. Wedding
  13. Day-after brunch

It is easy to see that the wedding is actually just one day in a slew of nuptial-related events. Ideally, you want to feel bride-y and festive for every single one. But how to handle so many, especially the ones surrounding feasting?  Below I take a look at some of the hardest events to navigate. I have compiled my best advice as a past bride and health coach to navigate your “wedding season.” This should help you feel your best and enjoy to maximum capacity. 


General Rules of Thumb for Your Wedding Season

Remember that this should be one of the happiest times in your life. Don’t let the stress of planning, and weight loss make it any less enjoyable. No matter what – resolve to be present, and enjoy every moment of the process. Planning the wedding and the events are the majority of your time spent, so make it count. Also, when you are stressed, your body releases the hormone, cortisol, which makes it very difficult to lose weight. So keep it chilllllll. 

If champagne is present, you are obligated to have a glass. You are the bride, and you deserve it! Celebratory champers is a must. However, it is important to not over indulge, particularly in the final events right up to your wedding (welcome party, bridal luncheon, rehearsal). While you are most likely at the weight you will be at for the wedding, alcohol is a huge bloat offender. So have the glass of bubbles. Don’t have 5. 

Overall, remember that consistency is key. While there are quite a few events in prep for the wedding, you have plenty of other days of the week where you can be eating clean! It's all about striking a balance, my friends. 


Engagement Party 

This is typically quite a while before the wedding. Least amount of pressure. Sample food. Live it up. Try not to overdo it but don't stress if you do. Just enjoy. 



Normally closer to the wedding, now is not the time to indulge. If you know there is going to be some amazing food, try to manage your meals before and after so that you can have your cake and eat it too! Feel free to try bites of everything, but eat slowly and pay attention to your hunger cues. 


wedding events food

Catering/Menu Tasting

It is so important to try everything because this is what your guests will be served, so this is not a time to be skimpy. That being said, try one of each appetizer (or if you trust your future hubs you can delegate), and be sure to try all of the entrees and wine selections (if you are having it). Operating word being “try”. You do not need to eat all of the food placed in front of you. If you don’t like wasting food, you can see if they will give you boxes. The key is to not feel like the giant blueberry kid from Willa Wonka at the end of the meal. 


Cake tasting

cake tasting wedding events healthy eating

Honestly, what is better than tasting your wedding cake?!

The beauty of tasting is that it is just that, a taste. So unless you are gluten intolerant (and if so, perhaps look into GF desserts) you should be able to enjoy this part of the wedding process, no problem! Just remember to take small meaningful bites. 

With one of my cake tastings, we ended up with 12 cupcakes to take home. While I wish I could say I gave them away, the truth is I slowly ate them, ¼ cupcake at a time, alongside my boo. Bad form ladies, bad form. Learning from my mistakes I highly recommend finding out in advance if you are going to have leftovers (call the bakery and ask). If you are going to have leftovers, drop them off in a care basket with friends.

Try to do this early on in the wedding process so you aren't stressing it! 



This is the time to let loose! When else are you going to have all of your girls there to party with you? If you do go the traditional bachelorette route, try to have the party more than a month before the wedding. Then get right back on the healthy living track post-soiree. This ensures that you won’t sabotage all of your hard work! 

However, if raging isn’t your thing- more power to you! I know ladies who have done trapeze or pole dancing classes bachelorettes. Active and booze-free (aka calorie-free!), you can have a blast and be working towards your dress-worthy bod. 


welcome party, bridal luncheon, rehearsal dinner

These events usually directly precede the actual wedding. The good news is, you already fit in your dress, the key is making sure you feel fabulous the day of your wedding. 

During these events, engage in the practice of mindful eating, chew slowly, and eat until you are full. Try to avoid breads and cheeses (keeping your digestion nice and clear for the next day).

Ideally, drink celebratory toasts but make sure you don't have more than a couple drinks. Alcohol, besides providing lovely hangovers the next day, can create bloat in the body. If you do wake up the morning of the big day and you are feeling less than your best, I recommend drinking some dandelion root tea (add to your shopping list now!) - it is an excellent de-bloater.


The Wedding and Day-After Brunch

Congratulations, you made it! The morning of the wedding - please eat a light breakfast (eggs or oatmeal are good), even if you have nerves (#nofaintingbridespls)!

During the events eat as much food as you can, when you can, because you are going to be pulled away almost immediately to go round to tables or chat with someone you haven't seen yet. Everyone is there to see YOU, after all. Cheers to your happily, healthfully, ever after! 

What do you guys think? Do you feel prepared to tackle your wedding season? I hope these tips help! Let me know your thoughts below or on Instagram! Xx - AHS

Yoga Teacher Training and Upcoming Travel

 A very zen koi pond at the Yoga Barn in Ubud, Bali. 

A very zen koi pond at the Yoga Barn in Ubud, Bali. 

Hello my friends! A personal post coming atcha today. :)

 A peek at my first homework assignments. 

A peek at my first homework assignments. 

As many of you may know, my preferred form of exercise is yoga (for more of my thoughts on fitness read here). My first experience with yoga was in my second semester of my freshman year at Indiana University (Go Hoos!). I enrolled in yoga as an elective, thinking it would be fun to try. It changed the way I felt about exercise, and opened me to the mind-body connection. I hadn’t been an athlete in high school, so moving my body wasn’t something I had realized could affect my body AND mind for the better. I fell in love with the movement, and how yoga made me feel. 

Sometimes I am more into the physicality of the practice, other times for the mental peace and clarity that comes from the focus on the mat. Through my practice I have cultivated a deeper sense of mindfulness that has led to a career changes and other shifts on my journey. 

 The Yoga Barn in Bali (2012)

The Yoga Barn in Bali (2012)

All that being said, I have decided to pursue yoga teacher training this spring. I have been contemplating teacher training for at least 5 years at this point, so it is time! I am hoping to deepen my own practice, and also bring my new knowledge to create some Zen for the Wed in your lives!  

I haven't decided how much yogi stuff to share with you guys, but would love to hear if you are interested in my learnings, asanas (poses), guided flows or meditations or anything else related to teacher training. 

 Doing TT locally (not somewhere warm!!), just thought this pic captured my excitement and vibe at this moment. Xx

Doing TT locally (not somewhere warm!!), just thought this pic captured my excitement and vibe at this moment. Xx

On a related note: one of my long term goals is to practice yoga on every continent. So far I have practiced in (North America - duh), Australia/ Oceania, Africa, and Asia! Europe is up this month. I will be traveling to London this month for a week celebrating my birthday! I would love your recos - particularly for some healthy eats and yoga studios. 

Today is my first day of teacher training, so please send some good vibes my way! 

Namaste :) 


Creamy Cashew Cheese Sauce and Vegan Mac & Cheese

vegan mac and cheese with caramelized onions and spinach

News update! Today, we went live with the Goodies page of the website. It is your go to resource for things you may need during the Shed program. Go check it out! I will update it occasionally with new finds, too. Also, I decided to test out putting the recipes at the top of the post to make it easier to get to. Babble underneath will give you some other ideas on how to use the sauce! :) Let me know what you think of the new "shop" and format! xo

Creamy Cashew Cheese Sauce


  • 1 1/2 cups roasted cashews (I soaked for about 20 minutes, but my food processor is strong. If you are using a blender that may not have strength, soak for a couple hours)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup of water (use until you reach your desired consistency)


Blend ingredients in food processor or blender! Use in the following recipe and store excess in the fridge for up to 5 days. 

    vegan mac and cheese with sedalini


    Vegan Mac & "Cheese"

    (SErves 4)


    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 onion, sliced
    • Salt 
    • 2 cups spinach
    • 12 oz sedanini lentil pasta (from Trader Joe's)
    • Cashew cheese sauce above (use enough to cover pasta)


    In a medium pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and salt (coat in a layer). Lower heat to medium-low and stir onions occasionally, making sure that they don't stick to the pan (add more oil, if necessary). Continue until onions are golden brown (this can take as long as 40 minutes), salting occasionally.  Add spinach to onions, coat with oil from the pan and stir until wilted.

    Meanwhile, cook pasta according to directions on package. Drain, and put back into pot. Add cashew sauce, mix well. Serve in bowls with onions and spinach mixture. NOMS. 

    As I mentioned in last week's post the blizzard we had in Chicago really put me in a cooking frenzy.  And severe winter weather means comfort food. I got very excited to try my hand at making cashew "cheese" sauce to make some healthy mac and cheese!  I've seen recipes with butternut squash, but I wanted to keep this as simple as possible. It's a really versatile sauce. You can serve it over: 

    • Any gluten-free pasta - chickpea, brown rice, sedanini, etc. 
    • Steamed cauliflower - mix the sauce with Frank's hot sauce, it's to die for!
    • Chicken with marinara sauce- like a healthy chicken parm! 

    Basically, this is an awesome sub for anything you would want cheesy goodness. I would love to hear if you decide to try it! Cheers to "cheese"! -AHS

     Cashew sauce in all it's glory. 

    Cashew sauce in all it's glory. 

     I clearly did not listen to my own advice, and had lots of onion stick to the pan. 

    I clearly did not listen to my own advice, and had lots of onion stick to the pan. 

    Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Pancakes (GF, DF, & Sugar-Free!)

    pumpkin spice glutenfree sugarfree dairyfree pancakes with blueberries
     My mom's pup frolicking in the snow. Is this not the most joyful picture you've ever seen??! Photo courtesy of Marju Eisenberg. 

    My mom's pup frolicking in the snow. Is this not the most joyful picture you've ever seen??! Photo courtesy of Marju Eisenberg. 

    Last weekend it was snow heaven. So much snow. Schools were canceled. I measured the snow sitting on top of our flower beds- we ended up with 13 inches! People were cross country skiing in the parks. And yes, I live in Chicago, this should not be shocking. But it was a legit magical snowfall. I don't complain about the snow- I am a weird breed of Chicagoan that gets upset when people complain about the weather all the time. "It's too hot. It's too cold. There's too much snow." Move to LA or take some vitamin D. But really, I have had a garage for the past 4 years so I do not stress about snow. #blessed Chicagoans are kinda crazy with the street parking. Dibs is very real and I have no interest in getting involved in any of that! 

    Anyways, so it was snowy and cozy and you know what that means! Fun in the kitchen! I experimented with quite a few cozy winter recipes that day (more to come soon!) basically because the cold makes me crave carbs. It seemed like a great day to make the oatmeal pancakes from the Shed plan. But because I am incapable of following a recipe to save my life (even my own!) - I ended up improvising and coming up with a new fun variation on the traditional recipe. These pancakes are #shedapproved for both month 1 and 2! 

    I think what I liked most about these was that compared to my favorite banana pancakes, these hold together beautifully. The combination of the oat flour and the pumpkin really make a nice batter! I probably didn't need the eggs- but I'm always glad to include some protein in breakfast! 

    I am also crazy about nut butter and berries. I learned this when I used to work at a juice shop. It is a life-changing combination. 

    The pancakes aren't sweet on their own, so the blueberries really add an extra something to them! 

    Having treats like this that are #shedapproved are really what makes living a healthy lifestyle something that you can do consistently! I highly recommend you make these bad boys. They may just change ya life! 

    Stay cozy, friends!


    pumpkin spice oatmeal pancakes with blueberries and peanut butter

    Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Pancakes


    • 1/2 cup rolled oats 
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/2 15 oz can of pumpkin puree 
    • pumpkin pie spice (use liberally)
    • olive oil spray 
    • 1-2 tbsp organic peanut butter 
    • 1/2 cup frozen organic blueberries (or fresh if they are in season)


    Blend or pulse oats in a blender or food processor until oats have the consistency of flour. Transfer to bowl. Add eggs, vanilla extract, pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice to bowl. Mix thoroughly (I used a hand mixer, you could use a tabletop mixer as well).

    Heat a nonstick skillet lightly coated with olive oil spray over medium heat. Ladle batter into skillet to form pancakes. Cook for about 3 minutes. When they look like they have a solid base, flip. Cook for an additional minute or so until they have firmed and are golden brown. Serve with peanut butter and berries on top. 


    • While all oats should be gluten-free, due to how they are processed in the U.S. - often times they are not. Check the label to ensure they are gluten-free!
    • I don't keep my food processor out all the time. So if you want, you can pulse extra oats to make this task easier for the next time. Do it in small batches, the food processor will not work as well with large quantities. I store my leftover oat flour in a sealed container in the fridge. 
    • Alternatively, you can use butter on the skillet and on the pancakes if you aren't into the peanut butter berry combo. Note: this makes them only #shedapproved for month 1.  

    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Wellness

     I have used stock photography of "wellness" or "meditation" throughout this post to demonstrate how unattainable wellness can feel. Wellness is achieved by doing yoga in a fjord, clearly.

    I have used stock photography of "wellness" or "meditation" throughout this post to demonstrate how unattainable wellness can feel. Wellness is achieved by doing yoga in a fjord, clearly.

    Have you ever felt overwhelmed by wellness? Like, you couldn't be taking good care of yourself if you aren't adding reishi ashwaghandha adaptogenic blends to your coffee (wait, excuse me, MATCHA) every morning. Or you drink alcohol (GASP!).  Or you just can't get yourself up for a 6am cardio class before work and then you end up skipping the gym that day and all is lost? Do you eat cheese? Like what is Keto? Why is everyone doing it? What is bio-hacking and should I call my IT guy to help me with it? Where does all of this fit into one's daily existence? 

    It is hard to keep up y'all. 

    I truly enjoy trying out all the new trends. I like seeing how each new superfood/ supplement/ vitamin/ way of eating/ workout / etc.  affects my body and mind. It's fun, it's interesting. And it is not what actually matters. 

    First, let me define wellness. 

    ˈwelnəs/ noun 
    1. the state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal.
     Meditation is swimming in the ocean at sunset surrounded by mountains. 

    Meditation is swimming in the ocean at sunset surrounded by mountains. 

    Okay so great - pursuing good health. Yep, all about it! It’s great that all of these superfoods and supplements can help us feel awesome. It really is. More things that fuel the body, and help us kick some a- every day – hey all good. But sometimes it feels like the wellness industry chooses to be confusing. Really, to be well, you need to eat lots of vegetables, sleep, drink water, move your body.  The trends that require you to eat a certain way, those are just diets. Diets are fine, but diets are not sustainable. Diets are not wellness. You can add superfoods to your daily morning beverage, and that can aid in wellness- but you don’t need to spend excessive amounts of money on supplements and superfoods to be well. Being thin is not wellness. Sometimes it’s a byproduct of wellness, but not always. It can also be the byproduct of very unhealthy behavior. 

    The second you begin to obsess over your food choices, your fitness level, etc- it is no longer wellness. That means “wellness,” “eating healthy,” or “fitness” is no longer serving you. That means it has become a distraction from the things that really matter. 

    Now that we cleared up what wellness actually is and what it is not…why do we pursue it? 

    Quite simply, good health is a means to help fulfill our work on Earth. Our soul's purpose... This is not about feeling 22 forever.  

    ....Woah, Alexandra. That just got intense! Soul's purpose? I don't know what that is?! 

    I know, I know. That's not an easy question to answer. 

     You too, can be well if you manage to meditate on the beach with your arms up in the air. 

    You too, can be well if you manage to meditate on the beach with your arms up in the air. 

    If you already know the answer. Fantastic. Now go and be well, and have food fuel you and movement inspire you! You are done here. 

    If you don’t have the answer to this, you may not have an answer for awhile. I encourage you to dig deeper. Start to meditate. Pray (yes, I said pray). Go to yoga or for a run - whatever gets you in your zone. Think about what lights you up. What gets you out of bed in the morning? How do you help others in your day to day life? Your purpose could be related to your career, or not. It could be related to your family, or not. I unfortunately don’t have a guide book for this (although I bet one exists). I don’t have the answers, only you have the answer inside of you.

     Balanced rocks in water - clearly you have reached the pinnacle of enlightenment if you sit near these bad boys. 

    Balanced rocks in water - clearly you have reached the pinnacle of enlightenment if you sit near these bad boys. 

    My action steps for you: 

    1. Reflect on what has sparked your interest in nutrition and wellness. We are human, having a booty like Eva Mendes is a fine answer- no judgement. 

    2. Keep it simple. If you enjoy wellness trends, feel free to jump on board - but you don’t need to eat like Amanda Chantal Bacon to be well (see links here and here). Remember at the end of the day, the wise Michael Pollan deduced healthy nutrition to: “eat (real) food, not too much, mostly plants.”

    3. I want you to stop sometime in the next day or 3- put down your phone. Turn it off. Spend some time alone and reflect. Reflect on what matters most to you. If you were to be gone tomorrow, what would you have wished you had done?

    4. Use that beautiful body and soul of yours to thrive!

    Yeah, I went deep on you guys. I hope if nothing else, this gave you some food for thought on this chilly winter day. I hope that this helps inspire the divine light within you. 

    Be well,