Spiced Beet Tonic

Period got you down? You’re not alone. It’s one of those things nobody talks about. But we should. It’s not gross. It’s not taboo. It’s part of being a woman and part of life. We can learn so much about ourselves by studying our cycles. All of those pesky PMS symptoms are signs that something it out of balance. It’s an opportunity to confront our bodies and set new intentions; to start fresh.

I feel lucky to have grown up surrounded by women who weren’t afraid to talk about their periods. In fact, they celebrated womanhood and each time one of us girls came of age they’d throw us a party. As the youngest in the community I viewed these celebrations with awe and reverence, waiting year after year for my turn. When it finally came, my mom and all her friends gathered together to pamper me, wash my feet, brush my hair, read me poems and offer me life lessons. Everyone brought a bead and we strung them together into a necklace that I still keep tucked away in my hope chest. Looking back on my coming of age ceremony, I can’t help but cringe a little remembering all the new age pomp. But, despite the chanting, tarot cards and smudge sticks I still feel so grateful to have learned at such an early age to celebrate my womanhood and my body despite the pain, discomfort and inconvenience of each new cycle.

I’ve always struggled with PMS, irritability, cramps, tender breasts (“tender” is an understatement), breakouts, heavy bleeding (and the accompanying anxiety that goes with it every time you have to leave the house and go out in public). In high school and college I took Midol regularly, went on the pill, bought Tampax (with the applicator), pushing aside the fact that I knew that I was essentially bleaching my insides and using unnecessary amounts of plastic. Eventually, my desire for long term health and sustainability outweighed my need for convenience and I switched to hot water bottles and organic unbleached cotton tampons. But, I still didn’t address the underlying causes of my symptoms. Only recently have I started to see my cycle as a reflection of my overall health and wellness and to invest the time and energy into charting my period (I use this app) and incorporating a more comprehensive “ladies’ holiday” self-care routine into my life.

In the Ashtanga tradition, it’s typical to not practice for the first three days of your period. They call it “ladies’ holiday” which I just love. We deserve our own special holiday every month right!? So in honor of “ladies’ holiday” I’ve got the recipe for this Spiced Beet Tonic and some Ayurvedic tips for self-care during that time of the month. Keep in mind that these suggestions are based on my personal experience. As such, they address Pitta type menstrual symptoms (loose stools, heavy bleeding, a burning sensation during urination, fibrocystic breasts, hot flashes, acne, and inflammation). Recommendations will vary for Vata type menstrual symptoms (bloating, cramps, lower back pain, constipation, scanty bleeding or spotting and missed or absent periods) and for Kapha type symptoms (cramps, bloating, water retention, heaviness, and lethargy). If you have questions about how to address symptoms not covered in this post, comment below or shoot me an email and I’ll do my best to help you out.

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Holiday Gift Guide 2017


The annual Tending the Table Holiday Gift Guide is here! I’m excited to be sharing some of my favorite sustainable,  ethical and hand made products with you including some luxurious self-care items and a few of my go-to kitchen tools I can’t live without. I’ve also compiled a list of several non-profits who are doing really exciting and innovative work to promote sustainable and equitable food systems and lobby for better agricultural policy if you’d prefer to donate to a good cause. Happy holidays!


  1. Veja V-10 BMESH Shoes made from recycled plastic bottles, wild rubber and recycled cotton.
  2. Breville Milk Frother  to take your morning latte to the next level.
  3. Matcha Yuuwa from Stone Leaf Teahouse. Independently owned teahouse and tea importer in Middlebury, VT.
  4. Kika NY City Bag in tan. Handmade in Brooklyn, NY.
  5. Totem Mug in crater white. Handmade in Berkely, CA
  6. The First Mess Cookbook by Laura Wright. My current favorite right now full of cozy plant based recipes.
  7. Stone Ring by Nicole Ringgold. Made in Winthrop, WA.
  8. Sarada Ayurvedic Remedies Tridoshic Body Oil. Candy for your skin.
  9.  Christy Dawn Marlow Jumper or anything from Christy Dawn. All of their dresses are made with reclaimed deadstock fabric that would otherwise go to waste.
  10. Lock Eat Glass Carafe. Perfect for storing homemade nut milks. Great shape, pours well and is easy to open and close.
  11. Redecker Copper Cleaning Cloth. A great substitute for disposable sponges. Long lasting and recyclable.
  12. Jem Organic Sprouted Hazelnut and Raw Cacoa Nut Butter. This stuff is crack. So freaking good.
  13. Kati Von Lehman Speckled Bowls. Handmade in Portland, OR. Also check out her hanging planters.
  14. Katherine Moes Wall Hanging. Handmade in the PNW.
  15. Weleda Everon Lip Balm. The only lip balm I’ll use.
  16. Hu Kitchen Chocolate Bars. Vegan and refined sugar free. My favorite is the Almond Butter and Puffed Quinoa.
  17. Manos Zapotecas Sky Diamonds Pillow. Fair trade home goods and bags hand woven using traditional designs and techniques in Oaxaca, Mexico. Empowering women and supporting communities through socially conscious commerce.


  1. National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition: Advocating for federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities.
  2. Fibershed: Building a regional textile industry that supports soil health, clean water and social justice.
  3. Methow Conservancy: Protecting farmland and supporting Methow Valley farmers and their work.
  4. Quivira Coalition: Building a coalition of ranchers and farmers practicing regenerative techniques.
  5. Ecotrust: Reimagining a sustainable and equitable food economy.
  6. Point Blue: Using science to develop conservation solutions for working lands.
  7. Food Corps: Connecting kids to healthy food in schools across the country through hands on learning and school cafeteria reform.

Chocolate Olive Oil Torte with Cardamom, Pears and Hazelnuts

Oh hey there! Hope you’re having a fabulous week. And if you’re not, this Chocolate Olive Oil Torte with Cardamom, Pears, and Hazelnuts is sure to make it better. I developed this recipe with my friend Renee a few weeks ago while she was in town for a visit. Renee and I first met last year and quickly discovered our shared interest in yoga, health and wellness and self-care. It was great to spend more time with Renee just hanging out, cooking together, walking on the beach, binge watching Stranger Things, sipping matcha and talking about life goals, love, self-esteem and work. As an introvert I’ve never had an abundance of friends and have always prided myself on my independence, but who am I kidding. We all need friends and I’m finally learning that I need  to spend more time with mine. Spending time with Renee left me feeling rejuvenated and inspired to make this space and my work a truer representation of who I am and all I value. Now, cake. This one is rich and moist with a subtle hint of cardamom and is topped with sliced pears and chopped hazelnuts. The pears lighten things up a bit and balance out all the chocolate while the hazelnuts add a deep nutty flavor. After tasting three different olive oil varieties from California Olive Ranch, we settled on their Arbosana olive oil for its round flavor profile and creaminess. The cake is also gluten free and refined sugar free because that’s how we roll with our desserts around here. This cake is the perfect thing to bring to your next holiday party or for Christmas or New Year’s Eve. Continue reading for the recipe…

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Tahini Rose Rooibos Latte

The holidays are upon us which means many of us are traveling, bouncing from one social gathering to another, or bustling around getting everything ready to host friends and family. Either way, if you’re like me, you’ll probably get spun out and need to incorporate some serious self-care to stay grounded, sane and healthy throughout it all. Well don’t worry because I’ve got some tips to pacify all that erratic Vata energy and the recipe for this super cozy Tahini Rose Rooibos Latte for you. This latte was inspired by a recent visit from my friend Renee. She whipped up the most amazing herbal latte for our impromptu meet-up here in Seattle which inspired me to switch up my morning drink routine and try my hand at an herbal latte of my own. Tahini makes this drink super creamy and cozy, cinnamon adds warmth and spice and the rose water calms the mind. Continue reading for some Ayurvedic tips and the recipe…

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Twice Roasted Maple Harissa Sweet Potatoes

Have I already told you about this book? Anders read it last year and I’m finally getting around to reading it myself. It’s the first time in a while that I’ve felt inspired and hopeful about the future of our food system and the planet. I don’t know about you guys, but there are days when Anders and I want to drop everything and run away to the country to build a self-sufficient life away from all the hatred and backward thinking policies and systems. There are just so many variables and it’s hard to know what things will really make a difference. So much so that I sometimes feel lost in a sea of good intentions. Since the Saveur Awards last month I’ve been examining my work, my purpose, and my goals. For now I’m exploring and learning. I’ve been looking into food studies masters programs, connecting with various non-profits, considering several conferences, and reading things like The Soil Will Save Us. If you’re interested in sustainable agriculture and mitigating climate change this book is a must read. It’s all about how no till practices, diversified plantings, and intentional grazing pull carbon from the atmosphere, create habitat for insects, birds and microorganisms, and create healthy, productive soil that saves farmers time and money. It’s so well written and full of compelling stories, charming interviews and just the right amount of science. I’ve dog-eared a half dozen pages with references to regenerative agriculture pioneers and organizations doing innovative work to reform our agricultural system. Anyways, I’m loving it and you should check it out.  Now, let’s talk about these Twice Roasted Maple Harissa Sweet Potatoes. Continue reading for the recipe…

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Fall Panzanella with Roasted Squash and Creamy Lemon Pepper Dressing

I few weekends ago I met up with six other bloggers on Fox Island. We spent our time together hanging out by the fire, cooking, exploring the nearby beaches and towns, and catching up. We also styled and photographed a cocktail hour, a dinner, and a brunch and we’re each sharing a recipe from the weekend over the next month or so. Keep an eye out for Shelly’s Roasted Grape Crostini with Chevré and Rosemary, Krissy’s Smokey Aubergine Spread, Trisha’s Shakshuka with Chevré and Fresh Herbs, and Natalie’s Coconut French Toast with Poached Apples and Pecans. I made this Fall Panzanella with Roasted Squash and Creamy Lemon Pepper Dressing to go with Alanna’s Golden Vegetable Chickpea Minestrone with Lemon Parsley Oil and Eva’s Apple Bread Pudding with Caramel Drizzle. The whole weekend was made possible by La Brea Bakery who generously sponsored the event. It was so fun to taste all the different breads and to learn about the baking process. For example, they’ve been using the same starter since 1989 and every loaf rises for at least 24 hours. I think the cranberry walnut loaf was my favorite, but the sesame semolina loaf that I used for this panzanella was equally great. It has a crispy crust and soft, flavorful inside that holds up well…perfect for toasting and serving in a salad. Oh and did I mention how amazing it was to sit by the fire, listening to the sound of the rain, with the smell of freshly baked bread wafting through the cabin? Well, it was amazing! Keep reading for the recipe…

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Pecan Date and Coconut Slice and Bake Cookies

Hey friends. Some of you have been asking about the Saveur Blog Awards which made me realize that I should have announced the big news here and not just on Instagram. Honestly, I’ve been struggling to process the whole thing and at a loss for how to best communicate all my feelings. I’ll keep working on it but in the meantime in case you missed it…. I won Editor’s Choice for the Most-Inspired Weeknight Dinners! The awards were full of good food, more cocktails than I typically drink in a year, panel discussions with industry leaders, and all the biscuits! It was great to get to know some of the other finalists and to explore beautiful Charleston and I feel flattered and honored to be recognized for my work. I couldn’t have done it without you so thank for your support and love. I feel so lucky to be able to share my passion for food, wellness, and sustainability with you and am excited to see what the future will bring. Thank you again!

Now, on to these Pecan Date and Coconut Slice and Bake Cookies. The holidays are quickly approaching so why not add another cookie recipe to the mix? You can never have too many cookies if you ask me. Anders’ mom always bakes up a half dozen or so different kinds for the holidays, most of which are old family recipes. My favorite are her springerle which are studded with anise and decorated with beautiful embossed prints. What’s your go-to holiday cookie recipe?

These cookies are slice and bake which means you can make them ahead of time, freeze them, and then bake them when you’re ready. They’re also packed with finely diced Diamond Nuts pecans, shredded coconut, dates and warming spices which make them perfect for the cooler days ahead.  I’ll be adding these to my holiday gift baskets this year alongside some preserves and candied grapefruit peel. Continue reading for the recipe and have a great rest of your week…

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