Eating Enchanted with Marla Groves


Meet fellow Kirklander, incredible cook, world traveler, avid entertainer (pre-COVID), and now The Eating Enchanted Cookbook author, Marla Groves.  What better way to re-launch into your stay-at-home time than with some new recipes!  Especially healthy ones. Marla's philosophy is that people should give themselves the gift of healthy eating while recognizing that everyone's path is unique. All of her recipes are naturally gluten-free and focus on unprocessed ingredients that are both flavorful and nutritious. She says, "you should never feel restricted or locked down but work towards a balanced and sustainable healthy lifestyle. "

Marlacookbook Marlathaicurrysoup <--Khao Soi (Northern Thai Curry), which would hit the spot on a rainy day like today

Many of the recipes found in Marla's cookbook have a flair of flavors from Italy or Thailand, both places she has lived before, and that have continued to ignite her love of fresh seasonal and local ingredients.  In her cookbook, you'll find breakfast, soup, salad, fish/poultry/vegetarian modifications, snacks, cocktails, and desserts which are all dishes she shares from her own family's table. Some are simple 10-minute ideas to whip up, and others are more elaborate creations, but all have her voice woven in the stories behind the recipes and how they came to be.  There are great tips, photos, and -bonus- each lists out whether it has gluten, dairy, veg, lectins, low carb, vegan, pescatarian, or even if it is a 'healthy comfort food.' Marla grew up cooking with her mom and baking with her grandma and was clearly inspired from a young age.   Her career has spanned from the finance industry to trained pastry chef, but her discoveries around sustainable healthy eating and how it can make you feel have certainly been culminating for years.  The result is her Eating Enchanted cookbook that she's excited to share with you, her Kirkland community.  You can find it on Amazon now ($40 paperback or $9.99 Kindle version). 

Restore. Yes, please.

RestoreExteriorRestoreKimandJJ <--owners Kim & JJ

in Kirkland Urban opened on Feb 22nd and then we blinked and COVID was here. Fast forward six months and I've had time to mask up, walk on over and pay them a visit. There's usually street parking right outside their door. And it's exactly what we all need- a little injection of  hyper-wellness!   We need to remember to take care of ourselves, especially when we've taken up new outdoorsy adventures like hiking and biking and kayaking, or binge watching Netflix that can make our old asses sore.  Feel free to drop in or make an appointment  for a socially distanced/masked tour of this clean and new recovery haven. 

RestoreInfraredRestoreInfraredRestoreInfrared RestoreCryoRestoreCryo

They offer services that include full body cryotherapy (good for inflammation, metabolism, mood boost, skin/collagen generation), PBM infrared light therapy (reduces pain, cellular regeneration, eye health, skin, sleep), infrared sauna (detoxifying, heats from within), hyperbaric oxygen chamber (stimulates healing), compression therapy (lymphatic stimulation), stretch therapy (assisted stretching), and nutrient IV's  (with a very extensive menu, these require an initial consult with their nurse/naturopathic doc).  They also offer cryoslimming (Oh sign me up!) and cryotoning and cryofacials with a specialized aesthetician. 

Restore has 62 locations and plans to have 125 across the U.S. by the end of the year.   Over 180 Kirkland members have been using these all-natural modalities to help themselves feel better in recent months. The staff can help you put together a plan to meet your individual goals and tailor a program to address your needs.  Or if you prefer, you can just drop in for a service when you feel like you need it.  Training for a marathon and feeling sluggish? Working to recover from an injury? Everyone needs a nudge. Co-owner JJ Durant says they also offer great treatment alternatives and compliments for chronic pain such as rheumatoid arthritis and even auto-immune conditions such as lupus.

Everything can be a la carte or memberships start at $79 and work up to $239 (for a daily pass) depending on your number of visits.  Members also get a discount on services. Bonus- students get 50% off retail prices!  My husband has been in to Restore for cryotherapy (brrrrr..) twice in the last week and is potentially addicted, so there's a good chance you'll see us there. 



Can You Loan Me $65 for Some Hand Sanitizer?


With our amazing community of people, charming downtown and phenomenal sweeping lake views, who would have ever thought that Kirkland, "Washing-hands-a-ton" would make global news for being the US epicenter for COVID-19? But here we are.  It looks like we may not make the  "Best Places to Live" list again this year, but that's the least of our problems.  Lucky for you, I'm not the news, so instead of throwing a bunch of up to the minute statistics  at you and current local advisories, I thought I would try to keep it light and look at the bright side, because sometimes we need that.  Especially w some kids home from school and spouses working from home and 2 rolls of toilet paper left. 

Here are some of my random observations and not-always-particularly-wise tips on how to look at the bright side:

  • I'm so proud-you guys are eating your fruits and veggies! Nice work, Kirkland. Of course the TP, hand sanitizer and water are depleted from all of the stores, but I was really impressed to know that you realize the importance of fresh produce for your overall health and have decided to also clear out most of the hardy greens and fresh fruits.  A+ people.  I've noticed a post that Met Market was cleared out of kombucha, artisan breads and black truffle burrata.  Aren't we fancy!
  • A few weeks ago I was looking for face masks online  and came to realize some of them were being shipped from China.  I could have COVID-19 delivered straight to my front door? How's that for irony?   
  • I'm worried for our local businesses that have seen a tremendous downturn in the past month.  It's good that you're staying safe and following guidelines to minimize the potential spread, but maybe we can do some online ordering to help keep them afloat? By the way, WowWow Lemonade has permanently closed their Kirkland location.  And there is a Grand Opening event this weekend for Mr. Wish at 320 4th St (next to the Shell on Central Way) and they are excited to be here with their freshly brewed fruit tea, smoothies, bubble tea and milk tea.  Here's their flyer for a "buy one get one free" event 3/9-3/10.
  •  Mr.WishGrand Open Poster
  • We all know how to wash our hands while singing happy birthday now. It's easier than chewing gum and tapping your head.  And I mean REALLY wash our hands, nothing like pre-Corona hand washing. We are paying extra attention to fingertips, thumbs, that meaty blob under your pinkies and the back of your hands.  And using the paper towel or an elbow to turn the water off when done drying.  And then there's Ellen's way
  • Handshaking is so 2019.  Hugs? Don't you dare. It's a foot-shake now folks, and here's how you do it.  
  • On the upside, traffic is non-existent. And I went to the gym yesterday and rolled right in to my favorite parking spot, used my sleeve to open the doors and wiped down everything before and after I used it.  I appreciate that the staff is visibly wiping down equipment and doorways/knobs constantly.  But I was mostly by myself (with my new haircut), as you can see by the sea of empty treadmills. Good news: The lake is flat and I just got word that a boat is de-winterized so my future workouts may be waterskiing- especially since it's a gloved sport and I'm hoping COVID-19 can't sustain the 48 degree water temp like my drysuit can.  
  • IMG_8524
  • Airfare is cheap.  I just got an email from Alaska about flights starting at $20 one way.  In case you're plotting an escape...
  • Or-stay! This is a great time to organize at home! Before the stir-crazy part sets in, I'm thinking I can clean up some crap piles of paper from my office and re-arrange some furniture to keep things exciting around here. 
  • Teach your kids negotiating skills by bartering for in-demand quarantine supplies.  I'll trade you 3 rolls of toilet paper for that hand sanitizer?  In a pinch, you can make your own hand sanitizer.   My dad texted to let me know there's a way to make sanitizer with vodka.  But I would never waste perfectly good vodka that way. I still have some olives around here somewhere and I could just as easily start my cleansing on the interior. 
  • One silver lining of having  Kirkland unwilling land in the national news is the re-connections that it has sparked.  My mom heard from a friend she hasn't spoken to in 20 years.  I'm getting Facebook messages from friends all over the country checking in.
  • Feel free to share your upside stories and advice for this not-so-awesome time in Kirkland.  It's kind of a nice break from the news. :-)  


Dear School, Please Open Soon. Please. Please?

IMG_3614 <--someone erased Seattle?

Are we having fun yet??! I think we need to set up some neighborhood home-school services so my teenagers will stop loafing around and messing up my kitchen.  I went to BB Nails (thank you for being open) today and got my toes painted hot pink so they could remind me of springtime.  They are my secret happiness in my snowboots.   Then I went for a walk with some girlfriends and we stared at this eery site of Lake WA (photo)where we couldn't even see Seattle because of the snow and clouds. 

IMG_3617 IMG_3616 <-- photos taken through glass, everything was closed for snow

We also chatted about OrangeTheory that has opened on Park Lane and happened to notice that there's a new Club Pilates right next door.  I expect every one of you Kirklanders to be rockin' a six pack by summertime with the gym choices we have around this city.  Another hot topic of conversation was Papi's Cantina, since I just spoke with Denny Pentin, who will be running it.  It's all coming together quickly.  Danny used to be the GM of Matador in Redmond and is also currently involved in Art Marble 21 in South Lake Union and The Parlor in Bellevue.  They are planning to open Papi's on March 1st and bring a fun, amazing atmosphere with an all scratch kitchen, regional offerings and great cocktails everyday from 11am-2am.  They want to be THE spot where everyone goes. At 5pm everyday there will be a singsong announcement over a speaker letting us know that it is "Margarita Time" and you can get yourself a $5 margarita. So, who is this Papi guy, you ask? It is the nickname for Don Pedro Sanches de Tagle, the 'Father of Tequila.

More to come on these fun new spots once the snow (now slush..) clears...

The Sky is Falling

I can't think of a more annoying interruption to my late morning workout than a blaring cell phone alert from President Trump.  Just when I was trying to let off some steam...perfect timing dude. Great to know you know how to find me. And also that there's not a real emergency?  There was also some mayhem on the roads of Kirkland this morning, though. At the 116th/98th, the  traffic light (in every direction) was blinking and so  we all acted like grown-ups and had to treat it like a 4-way stop.  Then as I head up Market St to the light at Forbes Creek Rd at a whopping 4 mph in standstill traffic, it appears that light is only letting 2-3 cars through per green light. Software issues? Also problems at lights in Houghton some friend mentioned. Anyone else experience this?  Maybe Trump was checking if he could jam our grids too.

Then the afternoon came around with the news that The Slip is closing. Twenty two years and done. So no more Earth burgers for you.  Heavy day, right? They will be open Thursday through Sunday until Oct 21st so you have a little time to say goodbye.  And also hello to Orange Theory opening soon on Park Lane (you read that right, another gym in the -033 now?!)


Better U Today (and tomorrow, and the next day...)

IMG_0874 1<--Sam, health & wellness coach (and Mila Kunis look-alike)

I recently spent some time chatting with Travis Jorgensen, owner of Better U Today that opened at 355 Kirkland Ave (across from the Kirkland Performance Center) back in May. You've probably driven by and wondered what is happening in there.  Better U Today offers a customized weight loss program, based on your specific body composition and goals.  The process starts with a free consultation which includes a trip to their super-fancy Imbody 570 scale. Even though I don't get myself on a scale very often (I prefer to let my clothes tell me the bad news), I did muster up the courage to stand on this telling device.

IMG_0871<-- yep, there's my butt

While barefoot, holding onto the handles, and keeping still for a few seconds the machine uses low impact bio-electrical currents to determine my body composition (photo). It spits out a report that breaks down my weight by intracellular water, extracellular water, dry lean mass and body fat mass. Sam, the lead health & wellness coach (photo above) explains it all to me and also reviews the graphical representation of my muscle-fat analysis, obesity analysis and segmental lean analysis (comparing weight/balance of limbs and trunk).  The real kicker is understanding the visceral fat level (ie the 'deadly' fat).  Turns out I am not a candidate for the program, but if I was, the next step would be to fill out a questionnaire and determine our goals.  

IMG_0872<--say hello to owner, Travis, on the vibration power plate ( I like to call it the fat-jiggler but he has none)

The Better U Today program focuses on nutrition.  Under a nutritionist's guidance, they supply 80% of your food. Breakfast, lunch, and two snacks are provided and they teach you how to eat healthy and choose your dinner.  Provided food is mostly smoothies and dry foods and allergies or special dietary requirements can be accommodated.   The length of the program varies based on your starting body composition and where you'd like to be.    Typically men lose 4-6 pounds a week and women 1-3 pounds (nature..hardly seems fair, right ladies? ). The focus is on how you eat, although they do encourage 30 minutes of exercise a day, even if it's a brisk walk. Clients come in once a week to meet with their coach---helloooo accountability!

Additionally, they have a red-light therapy sauna to help increase metabolism and whole body vibration power plates (photo) that helps detox your lymphatic system. Better U Today wants this to be a lifestyle change, and allows you to use the facility free of charge for a lifetime after your goal is met.  Travis prides himself on playing an important role in helping people achieve something that they haven't been able to do before that can change their life.  

Stop in and ask questions anytime at 355 Kirkland Ave (free parking in garage). The consultation and getting on that magical scale is free.  The cost of the program varies based on each case and the amount of time required to attain your goals.  Both individual and corporate rates are available.   425-332-5000. 


Embrace the Cold at Icehouse Cryotherapy

 IMG_4991  <--you are not crazy. This is not a padded room. Leave your straight-jacket at home

Have you ever wanted to try cryotherapy? Hint, hint (freebie alert in this post...)

I decided to give cryotherapy a try at Icehouse Cryotherapy, mainly because I was just dying to know what all the buzz is about.  It's been hiding from me for about a year now, but now I know what I've been missing.  Many professional athletes such as Kobe Bryant and LeBron James swear by it, not to mention numerous celebrities (perhaps you saw it on "Real Housewives?" don't admit if you did).  Your entire body goes into a cryo-chamber that subjects you to chilling temperatures nearing -220 degrees F for up to 3 minutes. Sounds kind of insane at first.  But the concept has been around since since the 1600's, and then a Japanese researcher introduced whole body cryotherapy in the 1970's.  It's touted to help with things like reducing muscle pain and injury recovery time, inhibiting inflammation, improving joint function and the immune system, increasing blood circulation and energy, while also improving collagen production and accelerating metabolism.   The intent is to trick your brain (which is easy to do w/MY brain) into thinking that your body is in a dangerously cold environment.  In response, your brain tries to protect your body by dropping its core temperature and stimulating regulatory functions.  The skin exposure triggers the release of anti-inflammatory molecules, endorphins, increased oxygen in the blood and the release of toxins.  Learn more about the benefits here.

IMG_5009                IMG_5007                    IMG_5013

Back to my chilly, I grabbed my bestie and made us an appointment at Icehouse Cryotherapy in Totem Lake. Easy peasy, you can do it right on their website.  The location is a little bit hidden, but worth it, tucked away in the corner space that adjoins to the Eastside Tennis Center.  A super patient and kind cryo tech explained all of the do's and don'ts, mainly that you can't wear any metal (wear a sports bra, ladies) and you can let her know if you want to exit at any time.  You keep your undergarments on and they provide a robe, socks, gloves, hat and slippers.  The max time is 3 minutes in the chamber filled with liquid nitrogen, but apparently some don't make it that long.  Challenge accepted! Once in the chamber you toss your robe out and start to freeze your willies off as you watch the temperature continue to drop.  Try to relax!  I tensed up bracing myself for the cold but it's not that bad.  It's a dry cold (the polar plunge is way worse!) and for the first 2 minutes it's fab and then you start to wonder if your butt cheeks might be on the floor, cause you can't feel them anymore.  You can dance and turn in little circles. Or at least that's what I do. Three minutes- bam! done!  My skin temp was 82.5 to start and when I got out it was 43.5.  Don't worry, my heart is not so icy.  I was super glad to get back in my cozy clothes and felt totally invigorated.  Like I wanted to kick some ass (Jersey girl, I know) but I settled for conquering my day with gusto. Little pains and aches from the week's workouts were undetectable and I slept solid that night.  My mind was still telling me I'm chilly on the inside for the next few hours, but the next day felt like a normal day in the life of Janis. And we all know how exciting that is. I would definitely try this again, especially  if I was training for something or had a chronic pain from an injury. 

Some of our local professional athletes reap the benefits of the visiting the cryosauna twice a day because it's great for speeding up recovery and alleviating muscle soreness.  But for the average part-time athletes and weekend warriors like you and me, 2-3 times a week can really optimize the cumulative effects of your raised metabolic rate from the first session.    I think this would be awesome for runners.

What does this cost, you ask? First timers get to freeze for $40, and there are other packages to explore once you are hooked.  Today is your lucky day my frigid friends,  because Icehouse wants to give a FREE session to a Kirkland blog reader! Tell us why you'd like to try Cryotherapy and I'll randomly select a winner by Friday. As much as I love receiving your emails (ie, don't hit reply if you subscribe), please post your response in the 'comments' section on the blog to be considered.  Good luck!

Hours are Mon-Fri 9-1 and 3-7. Sat/Sun is 10-2. [email protected] , FB page 425-440-1970  


Shamrock Run: Register Now for $5 OFF

This year's Kirkland 5K Shamrock Run (or walk..) is Saturday March 11, 2017 at 9am. If you're in the mood for a holiday deal, you can register before Dec 31st and enter discount code HOHOHO to enjoy $5 off your entry. This event benefits local non-profits and, logically you can celebrate your finish time, whatever it may be, at Wilde Rover afterwards. Sign up here and get ready to get your green on through the streets of downtown Kirkland.


Quick City Athletes Gets Your Student Athletes Prepared

QuickCityVideo 012
Youth fitness is a rapidly growing segment of the fitness industry and Daniel Alderete, owner of Quick City Athletes, has got his program brilliantly dialed in to sports performance training for kids.  So often in the new year we push to get ourselves to the gym, but have you thought about ALL of the athletes in your house?   Daniel specializes in student athlete injury prevention, teaching them how to properly stretch, warm up and cool down so they are able to play longer.  He also trains them in multi-directional speed, quickness and reaction, agility, footwork and coordination, plyometrics and strength and conditioning. 

This guy can also walk the talk because he played Division 2 college basketball on a full-ride scholarship.  After a devastating knee injury, he's passionate about sharing what he knows about being well-prepared for your sport and how to take your game to the next level. As he says, " I wish I knew then what I know now."  So...... of course, I'm going to throw my three kids at him for an hour and see what this Quick City program is really all about. Daniel is working out of the Hot Dog USA space in Bridle Trails right near the Ace Hardware. We met him in the big gym there with my VERY excited with anticipation children.  Wide-eyed and ready to conquer.

QuickCityVideo 002   QuickCityVideo 005

With energizing music in the background, Daniel first introduced himself to my mini-me's and learned a little about each them and what their sports are.  I really like that his tone is approachable and not at all intimidating for kids, and he was able to be funny with a side of silly to break the ice.  They started with dynamic warms ups that included things like skipping with arm circles, side-stepping doing arm hugs, and lunges with elbow touches.  Then on to hip flexors, inchworms, butt-kicks and high-knees. Trickier stuff was next.  Each was instructed to find a line on the court and he timed them for 30 secs jumping back/forth over the line and then front/back.  Once they got the feel for those exhaustion inducers, they moved on to targeted hopping on one foot (in a square on the court).  I was laughing at them from the sidelines but when I tried these later, in private at my gym, I was surprised that this is much more difficult than it appears.  

The agility ladder came out next where he taught the kids various shuffles with their feet, which increased in coordination level requirements as they progressed.  Once they were proficient in some of those, Daniel grabbed a tennis ball and had them shuffle through the ladder in a pattern while tossing a tennis ball back/forth with him.  Holy footwork AND hand/eye coordination!!  I was proud of my little nuggets for pulling this off. Stretching at the end was some planks with partners and high fives, V sit holds for 45 sec and Russian twists (tapping to the sides in a V-sit).  By this time the kids were laughing along and recapping with Daniel about their fun and what they had learned that day.

QuickCityVideo 008   QuickCityVideo 009

I think that Daniel has a lot of knowledge to share with our young athletes and that his program would be especially beneficial for teens playing middle-school and high school level sports.  His program helps these kids build confidence, learn how to take care of their bodies in the wake of demanding sports, focus on specific skills (jump higher, faster footwork), and have fun all at the same time.  My kids got in the car and immediately said, "That was SO cool, Mom!!  When can we go again?"  Daniel does individual or small group training.  Get a couple of teammates and go together or have Daniel come to your team's practice.  When the weather is nice he has offerings at Grasslawn Park too.  And...wait for it....Kirkland Blog readers get their first session for FREE.  You can contact  Daniel at Quick City Athletes at 206-450-2333 or email [email protected] with questions or to schedule some time. ~j


Kutting Edge Fitness Opens in Rose Hill

It's that time of year again.  Time to remind yourself to put down that bottle of wine, lock the fridge, tighten your belt and hit the gym.  Sucks, I know.  Rose Hill residents, I think you should pay special attention.  With all of that traffic and construction on 85th lately, this might be the answer to your 2015 fitness fantasies. 

Brothers Adam and Dan Kleckner opened Kutting Edge Fitness on January 1st.  It's located at 8524 122nd Ave NE Suite B3 (same complex as the  Mercurys Coffee, which is handy for afterwards!).  The open turfed space is conducive to the small semi-private training that is their focus.  There is a maximum of 3 members to each personal trainer.  But before any training happens, the first step is getting a functional movement analysis.  These guys are focused on the anatomy and physiology of how you move, and of course, everybody has different areas they need to be focused on, so each person will have a unique program designed for them.  I went through the analysis today.  It was about 8 simple stretching/movement tasks where my range of motion, stability and form was observed and measured.  Turns out I am really 108 years old.  Ok, maybe not quite, but even though I scored well there were some notable areas where I am super tight (hello hip flexors) or compensating for one muscle group with another. We also went over some exercises and strategies for working on these areas.  

Membership works on a monthly dues amount based on how many times a week you will be coming in for your semi-private sessions.  You can sign up for 1, 2 or 3x/wk.  Once you are signed up for the semi-private options, all other classes and nutrition consulting (customized meal plans) are INCLUDED.  The brothers wrote a nutrition e-book that dispels common myths, which they will send to you for free if you email [email protected] .   There are some cool classes that range from box skill training (Adam was a boxer), core training, movement training, and sports performance.  There is even a class that does a Titleist golf movement screen to figure out where you are leaking power or can't hold posture.  I probably have a lot of power leaks, maybe that will be a start for improving on my golf game this spring.

Another great thing these guys are doing is giving back to their community already.  Every Saturday morning at 9am they do a "Bootcamp for a Cause."  It's a (minimum) $10 donation to attend the bootcamp and all proceeds are given to a different charity each week.  Many are local stories of hardship.  

To get you in at Kutting Edge Fitness, Adam and Dan will do a $79 trial for the first month.  That gets you the initial movement analysis, semi-private sessions 2x/wk and unlimited classes ($347 value).  Or just try a class to check it out- first class or training session is free!  Come with me, I'm going to give it a try. :-) Questions can go to [email protected] or 425-307-1706. ~j