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Browsing Tag: travel

The BEST itinerary in Bali: A Romantic Luxury Retreat

Welcome to the enchanting island of Bali, where lush jungles, cascading waterfalls, and ancient temples await your exploration. Here’s the perfect Romantic getaway for a one week mesmerizing journey uncovering the hidden gems of this tropical paradise.

For a quick rundown, check out this Youtube video of your week in Bali!

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Ubud, Bali: Where Nature and Culture Collide

monkey forest

Our adventure begins in Ubud, the cultural heart of Bali. Immerse yourself in the mystical ambiance of the Ubud Monkey Forest. Where cheeky macaques roam freely amidst ancient temples and towering trees. As you wander through the forest, be sure to capture unforgettable moments with these playful creatures. The monkey’s are welcome to come to you; however do NOT make eye contact with them! Definitely a bit intimidating.

Next up, the famous rice terraces. The story of Bali’s rice terraces dates back over a thousand years to the 9th century; when the Balinese people began practicing wet rice cultivation. With the island’s volcanic soil and abundant rainfall, rice farming became the backbone of Bali’s economy and culture. One of the most iconic rice terraces in Bali is the Tegalalang Rice Terrace, located just north of Ubud. While the exact origins of these terraces are unclear, they are believed to have been built by the ancient Balinese Hindus; who developed sophisticated irrigation systems to harness water from nearby rivers and streams.

Over the centuries, Balinese farmers perfected the art of terrace farming, carving intricate patterns into the landscape to maximize space and water efficiency. These terraces not only provided sustenance for the local population, moreover served as a source of spiritual inspiration. Many rice farmers incorporate rituals and offerings into their daily farming practices.

rice terrace

Ubud’s waterfalls and culture experiences

Before we bid farewell to Ubud, we’ll pay a visit to a Bali’s waterfalls and traditional coffee plantation. Kopi Luwak coffee, also known as civet coffee, is one of the world’s most unique and sought-after brews. What sets it apart is its unusual production process, which involves the Asian palm civet, a small, cat-like mammal native to Indonesia, feasting on ripe coffee cherries in the wild. The civet’s digestive enzymes interact with the coffee beans during digestion, altering their chemical composition and imparting unique flavors to the beans; After being excreted by the civet, the beans are carefully collected from the feces, thoroughly cleaned, and then roasted to perfection.

Bali Travel Essentials

You read that right, you drink coffee from beans that have been eaten and pooped out by a cat! Although timid, I did in fact partake in sipping Kopi Luwak coffee. We had purchased nearly every coffee and tea to give as gifts to family and friends, because they were so incredible, but unfortunately left our bag of goodies along our journey somewhere! Along the road to your next stop, add an unforgettable sunrise hike to Mount Batur, and then continue to the best part of the trip, Sidemen.

Sidemen, Bali: A Sanctuary for the Soul

Leaving the bustling streets of Ubud behind, venture into the serene landscapes of Sidemen, a hidden gem nestled amidst lush rice terraces and towering mountains. I can’t repeat this enough, DO NOT MISS SIDEMEN when visiting Bali!!

wapa di ume, sidemen

THE. BEST. HOTEL we have ever been to, (and so far I’m convinced the best hotel in the world) is Wapa Di Ume, Sidemen. Retreat to this luxurious sanctuary where you can indulge in meditation classes and unwind in your private infinity pool overlooking the lush jungle canopy. Let the soothing sounds of nature lull you into a state of tranquility as you bask in the beauty of Bali. One million percent recommend.

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Nusa Penida: A Paradise Untouched

Our journey continues as we set sail for the pristine shores of Nusa Penida, a secluded island paradise just a short boat ride from Bali. Explore Angel’s Billabong and Kelingking Beach, where towering cliffs meet crystal-clear waters in a breathtaking display of natural beauty. Be careful, it’s a sharp cliff off the side (we lost our drone case and batteries to the cliff below!)


For the adventurous souls, snorkeling with majestic manta rays awaits. Dive beneath the surface and encounter these graceful creatures in their natural habitat, an experience that will stay with you long after you’ve left the island.

Canggu, Bali: Where Surf and Serenity Collide

Our final stop brings us to the laid-back coastal town of Canggu near the airport, where surfers ride the waves against a backdrop of stunning sunsets. Spend your days soaking up the sun on pristine beaches, exploring vibrant markets, and indulging in delicious cuisine at beachfront cafes.

As the sun sets on our unforgettable journey through Bali, we’ll bid farewell to this island paradise and make our way back home to the states, carrying with us memories of adventure, serenity, and the unparalleled beauty of Bali.

Until next time, Bali. Terima kasih and safe travels!

we run the states

What To Do When Half Marathon Is Derailed With Unexpected Injury

Training for a half marathon is a commitment of time and energy to yourself. With 12-weeks of preparation, your training can be derailed with unexpected injury or illness and have such an impact on the outcome of the race. I’ve alway considered myself a particularly healthy individual. With an education in healthcare, I write about endurance running & form, clean eating, and how traveling the world improves your mental health and creativity. During my training for the Idaho potato half marathon, I was diagnosed with a new autoimmune disease that shocked my core to the very being.

How in the world did I end up being admitted to a hospital for a week with extreme gut pain? How could this happen to me? Then of course the subsequent self-doubt mind chatter follows. Did I cause this autoimmune disease? Did I eat too much sugar? Was this caused by recent stress during the pandemic and moving my family to a different state, or lack of sleep being a full-time mom and working?

According to national Institute for health, more than 7% of the American population suffers from Autoimmune disease and the prevalence is rising. Triggers of autoimmune disease include stress, diet, exercise, insufficient sleep, and yet again I’m angered with this diagnosis wondering,

‘I thought I was healthy, what the heck happened?

Moving forward, learning to control my symptoms of autoimmune disorder I appreciate the wealth of knowledge regarding clean eating and food to nourish my body. To gain perspective on the healing effects of clean eating for our bodies, let’s begin with the most underrated organ of our body, our gut. Here are a few facts that absolutely blew my mind about our gut’s amazing abilities.

  • One ounce of our stool (poop), has more microbes than there are people living on this entire planet! Wow! Each one of us holds our own ecosystem within our gut.
  • Your Genome has the potential to grow over 400 million different ecosystems. That translates to, if you’re not happy with your body‘s performance now, go and build one of the other 399 million options your genome has potential of. You’re microbiome changes every three days!

You can focus on changing your gut ecosystem from sedentary lifestyle to Elite athlete with proper clean eating nutrition.

Meaning, There’s Hope for you and me!

  • 95% of serotonin originates in your gut. Serotonin is a neurochemical in your brain that controls mood, which is why when you’re feeling loved you can get ‘butterfly’s in your tummy’. Also the use of an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) is the mainstay medication used to treat anxiety and depression. This means what you eat determines whether you have anxiety, depression, fatigue, fear, guilt.

With building entirely unique gut ecosystems, we literally become the phrase “you are what you eat!”

With more knowledge on gut health, let’s begin to provoke change. Finding a problem is liberating as it helps lead to a solution. The walls our our digestive tract are extremely thin, less than one cell in diameter. With certain foods the lining will become porous letting “bad bacteria” slip through the lining causing chronic inflammation.

Signs of chronic inflammation include:

  • Fatigue
  • abdominal or chest pain
  • mouth sores
  • fever
  • rashes
  • joint pain

(I have definitely experienced ALL of these symptoms personally, *and if you have, you should speak with your primary care provider*)

So what do we do about the rise of autoimmune disease, and how does this affect my running?

I had been training for a half marathon in Idaho. I highly considered cancelling my race after two separate admissions to the hospital to control my gut pain. Life had thrown me a curveball; just as it had done at the Grand Teton half marathon, when I unexpectedly had to push a double stroller for 13.1 miles.

But running a half marathon in each state is a journey within itself. The road trip across states with my best friends was be pivotal to my soul, and laughter I desperately need. Traveling to different states gives my body exposure to different microbiomes. And people with the ‘healthiest guts’ tend to have the greatest diversity of bacteria in their microbiome.

Plus, I have now given myself permission to walk the entire race with rest and bathroom stops as often as I need to.

This upcoming race will challenge me, even if I only walk the course. and that’s ok.

I can create one of the other 399 million potential microbiomes my genome is capable of creating. So I continue upon this clean eating lifestyle, and continue to learn and share my knowledge with you in hopes you can excel to your athletic potential as well.

For additional knowledge, I recommend taking Outside’s Learn “the gut health fix”, with Seamus Mullen. This master class has been pivotal in my understanding, and I highly recommend this course.

I write to you as a running coach to make suggestions to improve your performance. But YOU get to make the decisions. Choose options that honor your body and your practice.

I went on to start the famous Idaho potato Half marathon as planned, and I FINISHED the RACE STRONG!

we run the states
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