4 Reasons You Should Try Out a Health and Fitness Challenge

4 Reasons You Should Try Out a Health and Fitness Challenge | This Miss Cooks

Yesterday was the beginning of the Tone It Up 21 Day Challenge, which is a 3 week program put on by two fitness trainers that includes a general weekly workout guide, daily toning moves & a few healthy Fall recipes (heavy on the pumpkin spice). I’ll be participating for the most part this year, though I’m decidedly giving myself some flexibility around travel and Friendsgiving this weekend. It really got me thinking though about why I choose to do these challenge programs regularly, and I figured that there would be a few of you out there that are wondering the same. Continue reading

Ultimate Fall Kale Salad Recipe

Ultimate Fall Kale Salad Recipe | This Miss Cooks

On Tuesday I promised you a recipe for my very favorite Fall kale salad, and I am here to deliver! I’ve been tweaking it for a while now, but I’ve finally settled on this version that leaves me perfectly satisfied all afternoon while making me dream of pumpkin patches and corn mazes and crisp, cool air. Continue reading

Feeling Fine Friday: 6 of the Best Fall Finds at Trader Joe’s

Feeling Fine Friday: 6 of the Best Fall Finds at Trader Joe's | This Miss Cooks

Look, there are any number of terms floating around now to describe the type of person who loves pumpkin and all things Fall, but I’m going to be a rebel here and call this tribe of (often) ladies simply Objectively Correct. Or maybe #ObjectivelyCorrect. Heck I’ll even settle for BASICally correct, if you catch my drift.

Now that that’s out of the way, welcome to the unequivocally best time to set foot into your local Trader Joe’s. I read the entire Fearless Flyer ad for this month cover to cover on my flight home and I STILL wasn’t fully prepared for the childlike glee that overtook me as I wandered the store (I did however stop myself from buying them out of every item labeled ‘pumpkin’ so that’s good at least). Here is my highly UNobjective list of what you should check out at TJ’s. Continue reading

Healthy Fall Recipes to Make on Busy Weeknights

Healthy Fall Recipes to Make on Busy Weeknights | This Miss Cooks

The leaves are turning, the smell of Pumpkin Spice Lattes is in the air, and I have heard the words Hocus Pocus mentioned at least once a day for the past two weeks. Friends, I do believe it’s Fall and I could not be any happier. Well, I suppose that’s a lie but I don’t think the human stomach was made to hold 15 boxes of Girl Scout cookies so I will settle for this.

I talked about how I’m crafting my Fall To-Do List recently, and I’m putting the finishing touches on it now. Think apple picking, corn mazes, pumpkin patches and some frightfully fun costumes come Halloween. Oh, and the most Autumnal-themed trip to Trader Joe’s you ever did see. More on that little interlude between me and the hallowed aisles Friday. Continue reading

Honest Imperfect Produce Delivery Review

Honest Imperfect Produce Review | This Miss Cooks

If you’ve been on the internet or in grocery stores at all in the past few years, you’ve likely seen the many options out there for food delivery companies. Everything from the advanced restaurant delivery of UberEats to the meal kits like Hello Fresh to grocery deliveries from Instacart. One of my favorites has been community supported agriculture, or CSAs for short.

CSAs provide not only seasonal produce that’s often organic, they also allow you to buy local and support farmers in your area. There are some estimates that an apple travels 1500 miles on average from the time it’s picked to the first bite the average American takes of it. That’s a whole lot of non-renewable resources that go into getting an apple into your lunchbox, especially if you live within 100 miles of farmland.

Farmers Markets

One great place to get local fruits, vegetables and more is a farmer’s market, but to be totally honest I just really have never made it fit into my schedule to hit one of them up during a busy day of grocery shopping. So, point to the CSA box for the delivery option (or even just the option to pick up your box at a local grocery store).

Grab Bag CSA Boxes

Now, I’ve tried a CSA box previously. It made me feel very ‘Portland’ and ‘Adult’ and subsequently ‘Stressed Out To All Hell.’ I liked the challenge of figuring out how to use a bunch of random produce in a given week, but when I found myself frantically googling how to use up a metric ton of garlic scapes (a search that came right after looking up what on Earth a garlic scape was) I threw in the towel.

Enter: Imperfect Produce

I had a friend send me her referral link since she knew I had struggled with CSAs before but was hoping to come across something workable. Imperfect Produce had everything going for it. The only quirk? All the produce was just a little bit too funny looking to sell in stores. Color me intrigued, I wanted to see what all the hype was about with this ugly agriculture.

  • Delivery option every week or every other week, could place on hold for vacation
  • Variety of box sizes so you don’t have to eat vegetables nonstop to use them up
  • Customizable, no garlic scapes if you don’t want them
  • Organic and non-organic options
  • Largely local produce
  • Inexpensive

So I took the plunge, ordered my first box, and literally jumped up and down like a kid on Christmas morning when it arrived. If you’d like to get $10 off your first order, you can use my referral code here!


The delivery was kind of cool, you get a text message alert when they’re about to arrive with your box which is very convenient if you live in an apartment complex. The box itself was cold to the touch, so I knew they didn’t just have my food wilting in a hot vehicle most of the day (the arrived in the evening, my selected time frame).

I had gotten the opportunity to go and select the contents of my box earlier in the week, meaning I knew what to plan my meals around for the coming week to include them.

Honest Imperfect Produce Review | This Miss Cooks

We went for apples, peaches & plums for morning snacks and breakfast add-ons, bell peppers & carrots for Mr Never Cooks to dip into hummus, and butternut squash & red onions for me to roast up for a couple of lunches. Everything was surprisingly normal-looking, and the flavor was excellent. The carrots were even sweeter than what I was used to!

Final Thoughts?

I’m definitely sticking with this! We easily used up our box of produce in a week, it worked around a busy travel schedule, and the quality was excellent. Plus, the price and convenience just can’t be beat. If I can also help reduce food waste in the process, then I think I’ve found my perfectly Imperfect Produce soulmate.

Feeling Fine Friday: 5 Perfect Travel Workouts

5 Perfect Travel Workouts | This Miss Cooks

I’m going to assume you don’t need me to remind you that you can usually lace up those sneakers and go on a run while on vacation if that’s your thing. I honestly have a hard time running routes I’ve never been on before, so I put together a list of workouts that I can do without packing my entire home gym. You might also notice that none of these workouts are terribly long, either. I’d prefer to spend my vacation time with my loved ones, so I try to get in a quick workout in the morning to feel like my best version of myself and then just not worry about it while I celebrate or play or relax. Continue reading

4 Tips for Eating Healthy When Flying

4 Tips for Eating Healthy When Flying | This Miss CooksPhoto by Cole Keister on Unsplash

I’m writing this post on the road through Idaho with my future mother-in-law and 2 dogs on our way back to Portland. If you’re planning your own road trip, I have a few tips for keeping yourself healthy and sane from last week. My lab will be getting extra busy with experiments in the next couple of months, so I’m getting in most of my vacations in now. Which is why I will be jetting off on Friday (so soon!) to visit my sister in California and will need to brush up on how to avoid gaining 10 pounds in 3 days. Continue reading

Sunday Recap: Eating Healthy & Finding Balance on a Road Trip

Ladies and gents, this gal is in full vacation mode. We survived the 20+ hours in the car from our home in Oregon all the way to ski country, Colorado and we somehow avoided stopping at every McDonald’s on the way. I talked earlier this week about tips for eating healthy on a road trip and how to make sure you stay happy and sane without just aiming for the lowest calorie menu option. Continue reading

5 Tips for Eating Healthy on a Road Trip (Plus a Bonus Cheatsheet For Ordering Out)

5 Tips for Eating Healthy on a Road Trip (Plus a Bonus Cheatsheet For Ordering Out) | This Miss CooksPhoto by Ryan Johnson on Unsplash

If you’ve been on the healthy lifestyle train for any length of time, you’re likely familiar with the tiny little wrench that travel throws into your best-laid plans. Perhaps the most notorious among them is the quintessential and all-American road trip. And hey, there are some foods and events that are the very reason for the word balance, but it can be so easy to get totally derailed and spend an entire vacation on an endless sugar crash. Continue reading

5 Unusual Sources of Motivation

5 Unusual Sources of Motivation | This Miss Cooks

Have you ever read a book that light a fire under you to get up and change something about your life? Listened to an utterly inspiring TED talk that makes something in your head finally click? Watched a documentary that made you put down whatever it was you were eating and never touch it again?

Yeah, me neither. :/

Look, I try to read the motivational tomes my book club seems to hold so near and dear, but aside from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (which I skimmed) I just can’t get into them. So instead of trying to find inspiration in all the normal places, I decided to work with the brain I was born and epigenetically raised with. Continue reading