A trip to the hospital to meet Chef Jason Kieffer

Chef Jason 1When I was in Park City I asked my cousin Hope if she had any good suggestions on healthy restaurants.  She reported back to me that oddly one of the best healthy chefs in town, Executive Chef Jason Kieffer, was located at the local hospital, Intermountain Healthcare’s Park City Medical Center.  I feel like the food typically is so bad at hospitals that there are jokes made about it, personally I have had plenty of bad food from hospital cafeterias.

I knew that I needed to make time to head out to the hospital before leaving town to try some of this food. When we arrived at the hospital for lunch on Sunday I did not expect to see Chef Jason but he stood behind the counter doing what he does best….cooking. I approached the counter and introduced myself, having already set the stage to what I was doing through a Facebook message.  He immediately shook my hand and eagerly chatted with me about his love of cooking, the path he took to get to where he is now as well as some exciting things he is doing outside of the hospital.

I was very hungry and incredibly excited to try this food so I placed my order.  I had the Southwest Turkey Burger Wrap which was 390 calories and only $6.00! The wrap was outstanding, the meat full of flavor and the vegetables were crisp.  If I lived in the area I would definitely be back to try other items on the menu as well as revisit the lunch I had just devoured.

Chef Jason is not only responsible for the food program in Park City he manages 26 other locations within Intermountain Healthcare. In addition to his work for the hospital Jason created “Blended Beets” which started as a way to encourage school age children to move and eat healthy, at these events he mixes music and nutritious smoothies for his guests.  In late September he will also be participating in The 5th Annual Summit Wine and Food Festival in New Jersey as a guest chef.

You can connect with Chef Jason via his website and Facebook:

http://www.chefjasonkieffer.com / https://www.facebook.com/pages/CHEF-JASON-KIEFFER

Chef Jason’S Bio: From coast to coast, Chef Jason Kieffer has pleased the palates from super models to athletic legends. His resume includes Executive Chef at Google, Vegetarian Executive Chef at Microsoft World Headquarters, and Private Chef to a billionaire. He wasn’t too far into his career when Chef Kieffer realized that there was so much more to food and health and soon began a journey towards a naturopathic approach to cooking. Chef Jason is a student of the acclaimed Culinary Institute of America and disciple of Ayurveda and naturopathic traditions and enjoys sharing his love and knowledge of food with the LiVe Well Center clients.

Chef Jason 2

Silver Creek Lunch

Silver King Cafe

I Lyle Lovett Park City

SJM Lyle

If you looked at the map on my website you probably realize that I made a pretty severe detour.  I was originally set to go through South Dakota but when I learned that I would be in the State with thousands of motorcyclists I decided to alter my route.  This decision was made easier when I was able to stay at the Wildfin Fishing Lodge and realized that I had several people that I could see in Idaho, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado.

I had never been to Park City Utah but had heard wonderful things about it and was excited to catch up with several friends I had not seen in ages.  As I drove into town I was in awe of the landscape and the mountains, such beauty.  Though I haven’t skied much in my adult life I used to ski the majority of winters in my childhood and these mountains had me itching for snow and a hot toddy. The closest thing I would get to the frigid mountain air was the blasting air conditioning in my car as it was in the 90s and hot!

My first full day in town had me walking around Main Street, visiting my cousin Hope who works at an amazing interior design store called Root’d.  I then headed up the mountain for an attempted hike at the Deer Valley Resort, when I got to the resort to purchase my lift ticket up the mountain for my hike down they had just closed the lift due to lightening.  I was determined to get a workout in so I headed back to my hotel, Canyons Resort to work out in their onsite gym.

That evening I was supposed to meet up with my friend Kris to watch the Seahawks game, however, earlier in the morning he texted me to see if I was interested in going to the Lyle Lovett concert that evening which was hosted by the St. Regis Hotel where he worked.  He had helped Lyle earlier in the day and Lyle asked him if he was interested in attending the show! There was absolutely no debate on my end, I love Lyle Lovett’s music and I am a sucker for a live outdoor show!

When we got our tickets there was a fancy sticker tucked in with them and I was dying to know what this meant, it turns out it was access to meet with Lyle after the show.  We were escorted into a private room with about 15 other people and waited as Lyle chatted and took pictures with people.  He approached us and asked us what we were waiting for and was surprised when we said we were waiting for him.  We chatted for a bit, him teasing Hope who kept slapping his arm by saying “I don’t know why you keep striking me but I think I like it” and we ended our meeting with me sending him to the tour bus with a bag of food filled with smoked salmon and grapes which he thanked me for via text to Kris the next morning.  Such a nice man!

I couldn’t have asked for a better Park City weekend, the scenery was amazing, the music and company even better.  I hope I have another opportunity to visit again soon!

Fancy after party pass!

Fancy after party pass!

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Waiting with Kris for the show to start.

Waiting with Kris for the show to start.

Happy Hope!

Happy Hope!

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An Introduction to Jackson Hole Foodie

Jackson Hole foodieWhen I spoke with Stacy Fisher of Fisher Fitness I asked her if she knew anyone in Jackson who specialized in local food.  She immediately set me up with Annie Fenn, a retired OBGYN from Jackson who currently spends her time focusing on her loves; family, food and photography.

Annie writes for her own blog,  Jackson Hole Foodie where she covers the growing, foraging and cooking of food. She is doing a lot of amazing things with her writing, in addition to her own blog she also writes feature articles for Teton Family Magazine, her current online column is 5:00 in the Tetons, a guide to inspired drinks, both with and without alcohol (pick your poison!).  She also created a column titled In The Kitchen  for the print magazine Teton Home and Living where she pares her adventures with creative seasonal menus.

One of the topics that I find most interesting is her Loving Your Lunchbox column on Dishingjh.com.  She provides great menus for various lunches to even include a tasty traveling menu idea, something that totally piqued my interest.

A complete list of her published works can be found at the following link on her website, http://www.jacksonholefoodie.com/published-work.html

You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram @ jacksonholefoodie.

Annie graciously took the time to answer the following questions for me:

Q. If you were going on a road trip what would you pack in your cooler?

A. I get sleepy when I drive long distances, so I always keep bottles of ice tea (black) in case I need a caffeine boost!  But mostly I pack lots of water, some sparkling water, and snacks I can eat without too much mess–black seedless grapes, whole wheat crackers and hummus, strawberries, blueberries, etc.  If I have time before I leave, I’ll bring a jar of homemade watermelon juice with mint and a squeeze of lime–it is really refreshing and just sweet enough to conquer a sweet craving.  If I am going through a town with a Whole Foods Market, I always grab a box of sushi and fresh salad rolls for an on-the-road lunch.

Q. What is your favorite quick healthy snack?

A. My favorite snack is a crisp apple, sliced into wedges and dipped in almond butter.  In fact, I eat this in the car almost every day when I drive my kids to the school bus or around town after school.

Q. What is your favorite healthy recipe?

A. My Nutter Butter Smoothie is fast and really satisfying.  1 frozen banana + 1/2 cup almond butter + 2 pitted dates + almond milk to cover. Whir in the blender.  I make lots of variations on this recipe for my family–my teenagers add cinnamon and honey, I sometimes skip the dates to make it less caloric–and we make it all the time as a pre- or post-workout snack, or for breakfast on the run.

Q. Do you have a favorite season for cooking?

A. Fall is my favorite time to cook. Our summers in Jackson Hole are short, so we spend as much time outside as we can.  When the weather starts to turn colder, I love spending chilly afternoons in the kitchen, baking oatmeal cookies and huge batches of granola, turning wild game that my husband hunts into curries and stews, and cooking Italian food. My favorite fall meal would started with a green salad with toasted pecans and cubes of butternut squash tossed in a maple balsamic vinaigrette, followed by an Italian porcini pot roast made from a bison or venison roast, with polenta and a side of braised Swiss chard. For dessert, I’d make an olive oil cake with almond flour, lemon, and orange rind.

Annie Jackson Hole Foodie

An Introduction to Stacy Fisher of Fisher Fitness

FisherFitnessLogoFinal

I was lucky enough to connect with Stacy Fisher of Fisher Fitness (http://www.fisherfitness.com) for one of her Melt Method classes (http://www.meltmethod.com) while in Jackson, Wyoming.  I had never heard of Melt Method and was eager to experience something new.  I arrived to the studio to find people sitting on the floor on their yoga mats and a long body roller beside them.  As is my usual reaction I started getting anxious.

When I was working out with my trainer David he had us roll ourselves on foam rollers, something that I always thought looked awkward and difficult, I always opted for the Tiger Tail Massage stick.  I let those other people roll around on the ground while I quickly rolled myself out while standing. Looks like I was going to finally have to get down and dirty and actually foam roller.

Stacy started the class with a warm welcome and instructed us to do a self assessment of our bodies.  This involved us getting a sense of how our feet were grounded as well as laying down and getting an idea of how our bodies pressed against the floor.  She then asked us to grab two small rubber balls, one about the size of a bouncy ball and hard, the other essentially a softer tennis ball.  We ran through various pressure points with the balls underneath our feet, many people had extreme discomfort, I actually tolerated the pressure quite well.  I have struggled with Plantar Fascitis in the past and felt for those who were feeling the pain.  We then moved on to our hands and retested our connection and flexibility, it was amazing how much difference those simple movements made in my stance and finger flexibility.

We then moved to the floor to do the body work.  When I did my self assessment the weight of my left side against the floor in comparison to my right was the most notable.  Stacy instructed us to sit on the foam roller and to be honest my first concern was I was going to squash my roller flat, thankfully that didn’t happen and my anxiety lessened. We started rolling ourselves every which way on this roller, closing our eyes and focusing on our movement.  I was surprised that I wasn’t embarrassed about rolling around on the floor and I actually found it quite relaxing.  Once we were done rolling ourselves we reassessed our bodies and it was a remarkable improvement, my body laid more evenly, more natural.

The entire class was an hour and I enjoyed every moment in the room.  I look forward to learning more about Melt Method and I hope to incorporate this into my own routine.

Stacy offers both private training as well as group Melt Method and Belly up to the Barre.

Stacy Fisher, Founder
120 West Pearl Avenue
Jackson, WY 83001
(1st/2nd Floor- South Side)

Mobile: 307.690.8906
Email: fisherfit@gmail.com
Web: http://www.fisherfitness.com

Stacy was kind enough to answer my personal trainer questionnaire:

Q. Why did you become a strength coach?

A. I was actually on the career path to becoming a Physical Therapist. I went to the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and majored in Kinesiology-Exercise Science. As our final Senior semester, we were assigned real clients to train three times a week. I immediately fell in love with personal training, although I did not like getting up early in the morning! It also helped that my first client was a total gem…an overweight yet flexible, positive and strong willed man. He did whatever I asked and he actually became healthier and I became confident in my abilities as a trainer. I was amazed that I could have that positively affect another human’s life. That was 2004 and I have continued to evolve as a trainer, always keeping in mind the excitement I felt working with him.

Q. How do you customize your program to adapt to different fitness levels?

A. Every session is customized to my clients, every day. I adjust not only for different fitness levels, but also based on how they are feeling that day, what activities they did in the days prior, etc. There are many factors that go into creating a workout. People are dynamic and therefore it is impossible to plan a workout too far in advance. Living in a very healthy, active community like Jackson I usually have to work around my clients’ outdoor pursuits. This means I spend more time trying to correct dysfunctions caused by their sports. I feel fortunate that I can focus on corrective exercise and less on motivating my clients to stay healthy on the days I am not working with them. Mostly I pick a theme…say posterior chain strength and length or scapular stabilization, etc. I work in little a different manner than most personal trainers. I share space with Excel Physical Therapy and therefore I work in a rehabilitative manner, but also incorporating more functional full-body movements than physical therapy allows.

Q. What do you do in your community to stay in shape outside of the gym?

A. Run, bike, hike, walk my doggie, MELT, Yoga and downhill skiing

Q. Do you have a success story you are most proud of?

A. No. I feel that I have little mini-successes each day, either with my own professional development or when a client achieves a small or large goal. The last four years I have dedicated a majority of my work toward getting my clients to “Restore More”. We exercise a lot in Jackson, some people bordering on exercise addiction. I strive to get people to focus on restoring and hydrating their bodies through a new self-care technique called The Melt Method. I first discovered it at a fitness conference and it completely changed my outlook on the human body. It created profound changes not only in my body, but in my clients as well. I became the first Melt Method Instructor in Wyoming in 2009, so I guess that is one title I hold with pride.

Q. What is your favorite workout soundtrack or song?

A. I have a Spotify account, which is fantastic, albeit a bit overwhelming with all the choices out there. I make countless playlists for my classes…my clients say they like my music. I hope they are not just being nice! I try to incorporate all genres, because my clients range from 25-80 years old. I cannot play Beyonce all day as my older crowd gets tired of that pretty quickly! We had our first live DJ Belly up to the Barre Party recently. Working out with a live DJ was unbelievably motivating! I know I was working harder than ever before because I was SORE the next day! I am already looking forward to our next party in a few weeks.

Q. What is your most embarrassing gym moment?

A. I am truly a clutz. I hit my head on everything. I am not sure how I can be so balanced while working out and yet have terrible spatial awareness. They say that most accidents in the gym happen when you are not actually doing an exercise. I can confirm that is true. I have almost knocked myself out on the squat rack (a few times) by bending over to pick something up and whack! stood up right into the side bars. I have also been hit in the head by a medicine ball (my client threw it at me when I was not looking).  I cannot say I was embarrassed because I was too busy seeing stars.

Heather Erson Jackson Hole Photography

Heather Erson Jackson Hole Photography

Wildfin Lodge, Ashton ID

I am blessed with a lot of amazing people in my life, some of which have amazing vacation homes that they are willing to generously share with me to help support me on my journey.   I liken my stay at the Wildfin Lodge (http://wildfinlodge.com) to winning the road trip Lotto.  Paul and Cindy Nagy built their dream vacation home on the banks of the Henrys Fork (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henrys_Fork_(Snake_River)) in Ashton, Idaho.  This place is a mecca for fly fishing and as I relaxed in their lovely home I saw many people float by either on tubes or fishing in small boats.  I had originally thought that I would give fly fishing a try but in the end I decided to use the time at Wildfin to relax and get caught up on my blog writing.

This home was recently completed in May of this year and has been artfully curated from the comfortable leather sofas in the living room to the custom designed log bed in the master bedroom, two places that I spent some time.  The home has custom details wherever you look, Paul designed and worked with a wood carver to create the stunning mantle over the fireplace in the upstairs living room and Cindy personally shopped for all the interiors and has a great eye for design. The home sleeps 17 people in six large spacious rooms, has two separate living room areas and a wonderful hot tub with amazing views.

There was only one thing that I didn’t like about this house….and that was that I was alone.  This home is so spectacular it is meant to be shared.

If you are looking for a great luxurious vacation rental please check out Wildfin Lodge.

Wildfin Lodge: 3660 Fishermans Drive, Ashton, ID 83420

info@wildfinlodge.com . facebook.com/wildfinlodge

Cindy & Paul Nagy, my gracious hosts!

Cindy & Paul Nagy, my gracious hosts!

View from the upstairs living room

View from the upstairs living room

View from the couch. :)

View from the couch and a glimpse at the custom mantle. :)

A stroll through Harriman State Park

A stroll through Harriman State Park

A stroll through Harriman State Park

A stroll through Harriman State Park

Flathead Lake Friends

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If you look closely you can see remnants of my morning smoothie. Keeping it classy!

The drive from Whitefish to Polson, Montana on the Flathead Lake was a quick and beautiful drive.  I was excited to meet up with several different friends from college and their families.  As I drove into town I passed by the “Happy Hippo” which seemed to be a Montana version of the “Ride the Ducks”. I have always wanted to Ride the Ducks and so I thought that this was my perfect opportunity. When I met my friend Aimee and her husband Kevin and kids Lex and Nate at their restaurant; The Cove (http://www.covedeli.com) I proposed the ride to them and they eagerly agreed to join me.  We had a wonderful dinner at The Cove, which creates its own fresh dough every morning for their pizzas.  I know what you are thinking, pizza? It is all in moderation my friends and boy did it taste good!

The next day we payed our fee and hopped aboard the Happy Hippo.  We were all instructed to wear life jackets for the duration of the ride, both on land and on sea.  As I settled in to my seat, which was covered with brightly decorated duct tape, I immediately saw buckets full of water sticks/guns.  I was wondering how exactly we were going to get wet and I think I spied the answer.

We took a nice tour of town which included a Pirate attack at The Cove and moved on to the lake tour.  The captain instructed his First Mate to hand out the guns and placed buckets of ice cold lake water in the aisle for reloading.  There was a small child, about two years old, sitting behind me with adorable curly hair piled into a little pony tail on the top of its head.  The First Mate noticed it getting agitated and asked the mother if he was doing okay, after she answered I turned around and said, “I can’t believe she called your child a he, she is obviously a girl” I realized my mistake immediately, mama bear was not happy with me.  Dumb. Dumb. Sarah.  Fast forward ten minutes to the water fight. I was sitting in the front row, strapped into a seatbelt with no access to the water buckets, aka no ammo and no target in front of me to shoot.  The back of my head however became the perfect target for the offended mother and the rest of the passengers. I can’t say that part of the ride was my favorite, being hit with piercing cold water repeatedly for about five minutes was enough water play for me.

After a nice warm shower I said goodbye to Aimee and her family and went to meet up with my friend Rich and Susan and their son Zach.  They were traveling from Bend, Oregon to a rented home on the lake.  I thought it was a bit of a hike and was wondering if they didn’t have lakes that were closer but the second I stepped onto the property I understood the reason they chose this place, it was beautiful. We shared an amazing dinner as the sun set over the lake and even finished the evening with a quick night swim.  They invited me to stay in the extra bedroom which I didn’t hesitate in accepting.

I had such an amazing time reconnecting and enjoying this beautiful part of the country.

The Happy Hippo

The Happy Hippo

Choose your tour wisely.....

Choose your tour wisely…..

I could have stayed here all week!

One of my hosts for the evening, Susan! This house was amazing!

Afternoon on Flathead Lake

Afternoon on Flathead Lake

Sunset on Flathead Lake

Sunset on Flathead Lake

Healthy, Happy Whitefish

The only time I have spent in Whitefish was for work and I was eager to return to experience the town in a different way.  I had heard that two sisters had opened a new hostel within a few blocks of town and wanting to support women entrepreneurs I booked my room.  I hadn’t stayed in a hostel since my stay in Edinburgh Scotland two years ago.  What I remember of that hostel experience was the affordable price, uncomfortable beds and dirty showers.  The experience at the Whitefish Hostel was much different.  The sisters, Kirtlye and Lynon had stayed in many hostels around the world and made a list of what it was they enjoyed in each of the different locations.  They were able to create a very comfortable and memorable experience at a great price point; one evening on a memory foam bed in a shared room cost me $33.00.

I was able to easily walk the two blocks to the main street of Whitefish to meet up with a contact I made through Couchsurfing.org, a wonderful resource when you are new to town and looking to chat with locals or find a place to stay for the evening.  Sue graciously gave me several hours of her time to tell me about the great places to visit in Whitefish, the secret lake access that not many tourists knew about, the restaurants serving up healthy meals as well as some helpful information for my future road tripping through the North East. I really cherished this time and will definitely utilize this site again.

On my way out of town I passed by a juice bar that served organic juices and smoothies.  I hadn’t had lunch yet and I was excited for a fresh and healthy smoothie.  This place was really unique, not only did it offer fresh juices and smoothies but it also rented mopeds and had a food cart at the entrance called “The Greek Guy”.  If you are driving from Kalispell to Whitefish you should pass right by this place, I highly encourage you to stop and take a sip!

GoGo Juice Bar, Whitefish, MT

GoGo Juice Bar, Whitefish, MT

Whitefish Juice Bar