This blog post, part 2 of my Seattle trip, begins after I completed the half marathon, which was on day 4 out of 9…
After the race we ventured to a small, rural town called Sequim, where my extended family lives. Prior to checking in to our cottage, we went grocery shopping for the items we would need for the next couple of days. It can be inconvenient to transport refrigerated goods, therefore my advice for when traveling is to buy only the food you need in each city or destination, every trip will be different. Make the grocery store the first stop in each city, thus eliminating the need to refrigerate goods. We typically get breakfast and lunch foods. Dinner foods can be purchased as needed. Nothing is worse than wasting food (at least in my opinion). Eggs, Greek yogurt, creamer, Parmesan or feta cheese, apples, avocados, carrots, celery, bananas and oranges are some of my favorite essentials. My go-to dry goods are bread, mixed nuts, almond butter (or any nut butter), honey or jelly and coffee. Meals can be as simple or as complex as you want. Breakfast for me is either some rendition of eggs with a piece of toast and fruit or Greek yogurt with fruit and nuts. If hiking or on the move, an almond butter and honey sandwich with an apple is my favorite!
My uncle is an excellent chef and had offered to cook dinner Sunday night. He baked two large pieces of Wild Alaskan Salmon and roasted locally grown asparagus. He also made a radish, cucumber salad with a vinaigrette and a quinoa, tomato, cucumber, mint salad. Corn and red potatoes were served as well. Everything was delicious and it was nice to dine in the comfort of their home.
Monday was our first day in Sequim and we were on the move by 9:00 o’clock. We headed to Olympic National Park where we drove up to Hurricane Ridge. We had every intention of taking a hike but it was freezing! I am talking sub 50s with wind and there was still snow covered patches along the ridge. We decided to skip the hike and head to a spot called the Split, which is a beach in Dungeness National Park. This was the perfect spot to have a picnic, which included almond butter and jelly sandwiches, leftover pizza and salad, apples and oranges. When we went back to the cottage, I managed to fit in a nice, casual 30 minute walk which helped to stretch out my muscles. I did some dynamic and static stretching at the end. After any hard workout or race, it is incredibly important to take care of your body and to stretch!
Monday night the “kids” offered to cook dinner for our parents. Since we were cooking for a vegan, three vegetarians and five meat eaters, we decided to make tacos which are always a crowd pleaser! The menu included black beans and sweet potatoes as the vegetarian/vegan option and chicken for the meat-eaters. The toppings included red onions, tomatoes, avocado, Cotija cheese, cilantro, sour cream and salsa. We also served a mixed greens salad topped with Parmesan cheese. We had the option of small corn tortillas or larger whole wheat tortillas. I personally am a fan of the small corn tortillas. Dinner was a hit and everyone was appreciative of our efforts. And just as important, it was a fun experience cooking for everyone!
Tuesday was a hiking day! We made breakfast burritos from the leftover dinner veggies, avocado and tortillas. My uncle packed most of the food but we did make a few almond butter and jelly sandwiches. We hiked a trail in the Olympic National Forest. It was a 6.8 mile round trip with the turnaround point being an open meadow with a camp site. Once again, we lucked out with the weather, it was sunny and in the mid-70s. Perfect for outdoor activities!
As you could imagine, we were pretty hungry when we got home, so we opted to dine out. We went to a Chinese restaurant called Fortune Chinese which was located in downtown Sequim. As you can probably guess, we started out with appetizers and then ordered a couple entrees to split for dinner. RD tip: Appetizers tend to be the most calorically dense food items on the menu. To avoid overeating (which is easy with tasty appetizers) avoid foods that are fried, crunchy, battered, breaded, or crispy. Stick to vegetable based appetizers that are grilled, roasted, baked, braised, boiled, poached, seared or steamed. For example, we ordered the asparagus and broccoli for starters. Then for the main course, we order Mu Shu Shrim, Budhist Delight, and Ma Pa Tofu which we all shared, family style.
I started Wednesday off with Insanity Max Interval Training, which is one of my favorites. It is about an hour long and it always leaves me sore and sweaty! I have Insanity on my laptop, therefore there is NO excuse to skip a workout (even on vacation). Around noon, we ventured downtown for our last lunch with our family as we were headed back to Seattle in the afternoon. My uncle suggested this cute, family owned and operated café called The Oak Table Café. I had to get crafty when ordering my meal because I wanted to have a healthy, nutrient-dense salad but the options were limited. I ordered the Shrimp Salad, and asked to hold the cheese and add avocado. I also asked for the dressing on the side. RD tip: always ask for the dressing on the side. Also, ask yourself if the cheese is needed on the salad (or any other food really). If the cheese isn’t going to make a significant impact on taste, omit the cheese. By doing this you will cut calories and saturated fat from the meal, which are two things that food eaten outside of the home are high in. I added the avocado because it is a healthy (monounsaturated) fat.
As I said, Wednesday was a travel day with our end destination being Seattle, more specifically the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle. Queen Anne is a nice neighborhood just north of Seattle Center and downtown Seattle, approximately a forty minute walk to Pike’s Place Market. Queen Anne’s restaurant scene reminded me of Fairmount’s (Philadelphia). We decided to stay in our neighborhood as it was getting late (~8pm) and there were tons of well-rated restaurants in walking distance. We chose to dine at a French Quarter inspired Kitchen Lounge and Universe restaurant, Toulouse Petit. The ambiance was incredible with the dining room featuring over 250 candles along the walls which provided most of the lighting. Appetizers were a cheese board, grilled asparagus with a sweet soy bacon vinaigrette, and oyster and shiitake mushrooms with thyme. The menu offered a variety of seafood which made dinner a tough (but a good tough) selection! I ultimately chose the long line fresh cod in a creole court bouillon with wild shrimp, mussels and Manila Clams (think fish stew). I love seafood dishes like this because they are usually very tasty, flavorful, filling but yet aren’t going to be over the top in calories and saturated fat.
Thursday was our last day on vacation and we made it count! Karly and I woke up early to run along the Puget Sound. It was a beautiful morning! I know I keep saying that but the weather was seriously perfect, especially for Seattle! We got our dose of history by exploring the Boeing Museum and grounds. We also participated in the Beneath the Streets Tour which detailed Seattle’s fascinating history. The tour took place in Pioneer Square, the city’s oldest neighborhood, which is full of shops, bars, cafés and restaurants. Reviewers raved about the Mediterranean inspired food at Café Paloma so we decided to check it out. I loved their menu because it was 80% vegetarian AND healthy! What a combination! I went for the soup and salad combo. The soup of the day was a red lentil soup. I chose the Beet Salad which featured red beets with hazelnuts, red onions, oranges and goat cheese on a bed of mixed greens. I asked for the traditional vinaigrette dressing on the side. I took pictures of everyone’s dishes because they all were delicious and presentation was on point.
We spent the afternoon walking about downtown Seattle and Pike Place Market. My mom even had fish sent home from one of the markets. She couldn’t resist! The produce was all so gorgeous, I had to take pictures!
Since it was our last night in Seattle, we really wanted to try some local seafood. We decided to head to the Taylor Shellfish Oyster Bar located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Our server gave us the history on Taylor Shellfish Farms which was impressive to say the least. Taylor Shellfish Farms is located in Washington and is known nationally AND internationally for their oysters. Since it was an oyster bar, we planned to only get appetizers. We ordered the oyster platter which offered a dozen of the best oysters, seaweed salad and a cheese and charcuterie board.
Then we headed to a Tango, a restaurant also located in Capital Hill. Tango offered tapas style dining, also known as small plates, which was perfect since we had appetizers at the oyster bar. We ordered the wild mushrooms with kale, olives and toasted almonds, the Peruvian ceviche, the moqueca which was scallops, mussels, prawns, calamari, tilapia and rice in a coconut broth, and the piquillo peppers which were stuffed with portabella mushrooms, farro, cheese and pine nuts. The night ended with the five of us sharing the el Diablo, which is a bittersweet dark chocolate mousse with cayenne, spiced almonds and a tequila caramel sauce.
My last morning in Seattle consisted of a peaceful, long run along the Puget Song. Seattle was an awesome city that I suggest you put on your bucket list. This trip offered the best of the city and the best of the country. I ran the streets of Seattle, completed a half-marathon in a rural town with my sister and hiked the trails of the Olympic Forest Park. The eats were delicious and (most) were healthy! I hope to come back to this awesome city in the future because there is so much more to do… and eat!
I am a registered dietitian, licensed nutritionist, foodie, fitness enthusiast, traveler and runner, living in the city of brotherly love. I have a passion for cooking and sharing delicious, healthful food. I enjoy working with clients to help them achieve their health and nutrition goals.