Life / Travel

Vacationing – Find peace with being out of the routine


When you are away from home for any extended period of time, it’s easy to get out of your routine and feel “out of whack”. Even if I am having the best time ever, often times I am left at the end of the day with a tummy ache. So, here’s what I do, when I feel like I’m away from my normal routine. Check it out…

1. Breathe and enjoy it – Don’t worry so much – I think the expectations we set up for ourselves to maintain a healthy lifestyle is probably what makes “leaving the routine” so difficult. It’s the internal pressure that we have to drink 2 glasses of water before coffee or to sweat it out for at least 30 minutes before breakfast, that when we miss it, we feel bad about ourselves. And god forbid we forget to pack the collagen peptide packets!

Don’t worry so much, it’s not worth it. Let it go and instead try to be in the moment. Breathe and enjoy it. Listen to what you need at that time, but don’t beat yourself up if you miss your daily handful of supplements one morning.

If you think about it this way, the purpose of routine is to help us manage our time and achieve our goals. When you’re at home or working routine is essential for productivity. When you’re on vacation, your routine, or lack thereof, should also align with your goals. And when your goals are to relax, disconnect from your daily reality and reconnect with yourself and your traveling partner, breaking from routine may be just what you need.

After all, you are away from home for a reason, and most likely it’s to disconnect from your daily reality. I think it is healthy to give yourself and your body a break from the strict day-to-day schedule. Bottom line – stick to your routine, when you can, while you’re away, but don’t over react if you miss a few steps along the way, it’s part of the adventure. Your routine will be waiting for you when you return home, and by then, you will be happy to jump right back into it.

This sunrise just makes you want to transport yourself to this beach and take a deep breath, right?

2. Drink lots of water – I really can’t say this enough. I tell myself all the time that I need to drink more water (I typically keep a big jug on my desk at work for this very reason). But it’s even more uber important while you’re traveling. Airplanes, trains, and automobiles are breeding grounds for your next cold. As when your body is dehydrated, you are more susceptible, as you are not giving yourself a way to flush out the daily toxins, but also helping your body prevent things like headaches and tummy issues. (Which definitely tend to happen to me, while I’m on vacay.)

Another benefit of staying hydrated, which I’m a big believer in, is to clear up your complexion/skin. I can’t tell you how much clearer my skin became while I was away for two weeks. (And I was out of my routine!) I do think a big part of it was a reduction of stress and probably the moisture in the air was helpful, but I also think that the amount of water I had was a big contributor. When we got to Hawaii, we bought a flat of water to keep in our hotel room and we would grab a few to go every time we went out. Or, you could tots bring a re-fillable one with you… I just didn’t think of that when I was packing for my trip the morning we left. (I blame the honeymoon brain).

I wore basically no makeup my entire vacation – my skin loved the moisture & hydration!

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Featured / Glistener of the Month

November 2018 – Glisteners of the Month – Our Hubbies! (AKA the Glisten Guys)


This one’s for the men that help make the magic happen in our lives. The ones that believe in our dreams and push us to be our very best selves. Their mission is our happiness and they support anything that contributes to it.

They are also the ones that give us cuddles when we are sick. They bring us chocolate when we need it most. They are the ones that give us great, big hugs that can dry up any tears. They will give up watching an important baseball or basketball game to spend time adventuring with us. They will always love us more than any “like” on our Instagram page.

This one’s for our Glisten Guys.

While we may be taking photos of foods we eat, coffees we drink, and creations we whip up in our kitchens, they are more than patient. Sometimes, they even do the photo taking themselves while we pose in front of the pretty sunset or cute café we found exploring a new area. They are sometimes our editors, our idea spinners, and our taste testers. They are just as part of this as we are.

So, here they are, our husbands – the Glisten Guys!

Meet Josh and Matt:

Josh is…

  • The biggest Yankees Baseball fan you will ever meet. For our wedding, I had a grooms cake made for him shaped as a Yankees baseball hat.

  • A true car fanatic – everything from old El Caminos to supped up Jeep Wranglers to super-fast Ferrarri’s. We go to “Cars & Coffee” almost every weekend and I hear “this is my next car” that changes weekly.

  • Fitness fan – he loves a good chest lifting workout and can do more pushups than I can ever imagine doing. He’s promised to be my running buddy since our first week dating (he’s still warming up to the idea of running half marathons with me). Recently, I’ve gotten him to sign up for a few OTF classes with me! I’m thinking… #MauiMarathon2020
  • A big foodie – He loves things like bacon, smoking meat on our little smoker in the backyard, craft beer and ice cream. But he is also always up for trying the “healthy” things I make and exploring new restaurants with me. We are still working on kale, but he won’t turn down some freshly roasted brussels sprouts!

What is something you’d like to see featured on SU&G? More information on how to’s on food, exercising, and living a healthy lifestyle

What is your favorite foodie thing that Breah makes? Banana muffins

Why are you a #GlistenGuy? Because I like to workout and live a healthy lifestyle while still enjoying life at the same time.

Matt is…

  • The biggest Golden State Warriors Basketball fan you will ever meet. I never watched basketball before I met him. I mostly love watching him watch because he loves it so much!
  • An amazing guitar player– Matt can listen to a song and then play it which amazes me because I have exactly zero musical talents. In college, he won a radio contest for playing a Joe Satriani song. For our wedding, I had an ice sculpture made for him that included his love for the Warriors and his passion for playing guitar.

  • The smartest person I know. If he sets his mind to something, he achieves it. He’s currently teaching himself how to code. So, who knows, maybe there will be a Glisten Girl App in our future 😉 Oh, and he’s great at following directions which makes him my favorite IKEA furniture-building partner.
  • The best travel buddy. I love traveling with Matt because he researches for months before we go on vacation and he makes detailed spreadsheets so we never get lost and we’re always on time. I would be so lost with out him! And he’s even nice enough to be an “Instagram Husband” sometimes. But not all the time which is good because it keeps me in the moment.

  • A super-taster which means flavors are more pronounced for him than the average person. For this reason, he’s a bit of a picky eater. He’s still not a big veggie fan but he does eat a larger variety of foods since meeting me. He’s great for when I can’t pinpoint a flavor. He can usually tell me what is is in one taste!

What is something you’d like to see featured on SU&G? 
I’d like to see dinner party tutorials.

What is your favorite foodie thing that Sam makes? I like Sam’s chocolate avocado pudding and her risotto.

What is a healthy habit that you live by? I walk at least 4 miles a day and I drink lots of water.

Now that Josh & Matt are officially part of our Glistener community, hopefully they won’t be strangers. You may just see them as featured guests in future posts or Instagram stories. They are super good sports and we love them to pieces. Thank you Joshy & Matt, you two really are the very best! We hope to plan an adventure all together soon! <3

Breakfast/Brunch / Food / Snacks

Vegan Pumpkin Pecan Bread


Since my early teens I have struggled with health issues. After being diagnosed with Celiac Disease and Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism at about 15 years old, I realized that I would have to put in more work than the average person to maintain my health and mental clarity.

As I’ve grown, I have continued learning about my body and what I need to eat, how I need to exercise and what tools work for managing my stress. Even though I work hard to lead a healthy lifestyle complete with organic vegetables, cardio and meditation, I still struggle with symptoms such as bloating, mood swings, occasional rashes and inexplicable headaches.

So, I have chosen to devote this year to understanding why I’m still dealing with these issues. To accomplish this, I started working with a Naturopathic doctor which has helped immensely. She ran the tests I needed to finally understand what’s really going on in my body.

First, she tested my microbiome. We found out that I don’t have any good gut bacteria. She explained that some people are not able to colonize easily – I’m a non-colonizer lol! So, she put me on a super powerful probiotic called Mega Spore. So far, I’ve noticed less bloating and my nails seem stronger – I’ll take it!

After that, she tested my hormones. For this test, I had to provide a saliva sample. It was so hard to collect the amount of saliva that was required. I had to think of sooo many sour lemons!  The test results showed that my estrogen and progesterone were a little bit low. I was shocked! I actually thought she would say my estrogen was too high because I am sooo emotional sometimes. She suggested some herbs to help get my levels up. I take Gaia’s Women’s Balance every day and I supplement with an additional 250 mg of VItex (chaste tree berry) per day 5 days before my period or day 23 on until my period begins. She also suggests that I consume 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed per day since it’s an estrogenic food.

Next, she ran a blood test to see if I have a mutation on my MTHFR gene. It turns out that I have one mutation on each gene. It’s a little difficult to explain but it basically means that I don’t methylate B vitamins as efficiently as I should and I’m not able to detox my body very well. For this, I take a methylated B-vitamin complex and I take Liposomal Glutathione to promote healthy detoxing.  If you’re a woman of child-bearing age I definitely recommend getting tested!

The last but perhaps most helpful test that she ran was a General Food Panel: IgA/IgG test. This was a blood test that tested my antibodies to show which foods I’m reacting to as well as how severely I react. I discovered that I have a high sensitivity to eggs, almonds and coffee! Okay, when I saw coffee I cried for a couple days and I’m not even joking one bit. However, I’m happy to report that I have been coffee-free for one full month now and I no longer crave it. I’m now addicted to matcha, yay me! I also have a moderate reaction to sesame, blueberries, cranberries and sugar cane. She said once I cut these foods out of my diet, I should be able to heal my gut and all of my symptoms should eventually decrease as well. I’m pretty sure I have a long road until I’m completely healed but I do feel like my bloating has decreased and I haven’t had any headaches or rashes recently (knock on wood).

Okay so that was a very long winded way to tell you why I made Vegan Pumpkin Pecan Bread! I’m sorry but I just felt you should know the reason I had to search and search for a bread recipe that didn’t call for eggs. Actually, thinking of breakfast options has been difficult for me now that I know I cannot eat eggs. Most of my mornings consisted of scrambled eggs on gluten-free toast (that also contained eggs) and coffee with almond milk (aka 3 of my 7 sensitivities….anyone else wondering how I am still alive??)

I know what you’re thinking, “But you could just use egg replacer.” Well, that is true but have you tried egg replacer with gluten-free flour before? It creates a yucky gummy texture that I just CANNOT handle. Believe me when I tell you that this recipe is far superior to any recipe that originally called for eggs that were then replaced with fake eggs. I PROMISE!

Vegan Pumpkin Pecan Bread
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Lucious, moderately spiced, maple sweetened pumpkin bread, full of toasty pecans and chewy dried figs is what this recipe delivers. A slice of this bread is perfect for breakfast with a warm cup of coffee or tea.
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 1 loaf
  • 1½ cups Pamela's Gluten-free all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ cup diced dried figs
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans
  • ½ cup light olive oil
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup cooked pureed pumpkin
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-by-4 inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, figs, and pecans.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, water, pumpkin, maple syrup, molasses, and vanilla.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture, stirring gently just until the dry ingredients are moistened.
  5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
  6. Bake until loaf is golden and springs back when touched, 40-45 minutes.
  7. Let the bread cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to continue cooling.
  8. Serve warm or room temperature.

I think the pictures are worth a thousand words. This bread is so delicious and it has allowed me to actually enjoy breakfast again….even without eggs or coffee! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. If you have any questions about the tests I had done please don’t hesitate to reach out.

XO, Sam