Whole 30 Challenge

This Shit Was Hard & A Big Announcement!

Editor’s Note: This is Natalie's fourth and final installment chronicling her journey on the Whole 30 Challenge. We've loved having her as a featured contributor on Yoga Travel Tree and can't wait to see what other adventures she'll be sharing in the future! To recap, Natalie has been consuming nothing but whole, healthy, natural, and lean foods for 30 days – The Whole 30 Challenge ###

Day 30! I Did It!

Phew! I made it and I feel GREAT. Tiger blood is pulsing through my veins. I feel lean, mean, fit, and strong. I also feel well-rested all the time, which for me is HUGE. I know you are dying to hear about the status of The Boston Bloat...but I am going to wait until the end for the big reveal.


Reflecting on the 30 Days: This Shit Was Hard

After completing Whole 30, it is very apparent that my eating habits come from a want and need to feel comforted in this place (Boston) where most of the time I feel uncomfortable. It has been an emotional month and not relying on the comfort of food was challenging and a GREAT learning experience.

Whole 30 is 30 days of eating food for nourishment and not for comfort. For me, that was the hardest part: To come home after a stressful day at work and not have a drink/cookie/huge bowl of pasta. Instead, I would ask for a hug or go for a walk or write! I have been reminded of other healthy emotional outlets besides eating. Go figure! I doubt my emotional eating was conquered in 30 days, but I am keenly aware of it, which is a step in the right direction.


SURPRISE! I lost weight without even trying!

Although I did not do Whole 30 to lose weight, I was definitely curious, so I weighed myself before I started. As I mentioned in my Week 3-Day 22 article, training for my half marathon was not going well. So, I haven’t been working out as often as I usually do, which was one of the reasons I was completely dumbfounded when I stepped on the scale on the morning of day 31 to find that I had lost 8 pounds. I wore pants that I hadn’t worn in over a year... It felt WONDERFUL to put them on!

I am still totally dumbfounded that after 30 days of eating a large amount of food (albeit different food), I was close to the same weight I was when I arrived in Boston 3 years ago. It is a great reminder that there is always the opportunity to reset your body and treat it right! Once you start making good choices, it only takes a few weeks for your body to get the message and start getting rid of excess baggage. The hardest parts are starting to make good choices and then sticking to those good choices even when the payoff is not immediate. It is worth the suffering of the first weeks to feel this great!


Eating My Own Words: Food Does Matter

I used to say that I became a runner so that I could eat whatever I want....I am now eating my words for breakfast, lunch, and dinner sans carbs. Even as a runner, I was eating WAY more carbohydrates than my body needed. I REALLY hate to say this, but the food you eat really DOES matter even if you are active. BUMMER!

This is the time in life (our 30s) when our bodies process carbs differently. ‘Differently’ for me means that all the excess carbs I had been eating were turned into chub and bloat that was unevenly distributed to my beer-gut, hips, and butt. Even when I was training for a marathon and running 30 miles a week, I STILL had a gut. I am not sure how much exercise I would have to do to burn all of the carbs I used to eat, and if it is more exercise than running 30 miles a week, I am not going to find out. 30 miles is A LOT.

Natalie Canfield Whole 30 Nike Women's Marathon

Which leads me to my conclusion: I have to maintain a Whole 30-esque diet if I would like to keep the gut, hips, and butt at bay. BOOOOOOOOOOO but also YAY because I have found a diet nay nutrition plan that makes me feel great!


Beyond the Bloat: Whole 30 Benefits

Clear Skin: I was blessed in high school to not have acne, so I went through adolescence with clear skin. I was grateful and I thought I dodged the acne bullet until I realized that adult acne was a thing. BUMMER! I have gone through iterations of back-ne, chest-ne, and also the classic facial acne. Whole 30 cleared up my skin! It took a while and I didn’t really notice a change until day 25 or so. I felt like I was an acne-free adolescent again! YAY!

Bye Bye Allergies: They suck, right? I have had some type of allergy since I was about 5 years old. This is a total exaggeration, but I feel like my sinuses and nose have been stuffed up for over 25 years... Ok, that is a SUPER exaggeration. BUT, Whole 30 cleared up my congestion! Again, it took a few weeks, but it felt awesome to breathe freely and not be blowing my nose all the time!!

Sweet Dreams: SLEEP! I am a notoriously terrible sleeper. It usually takes me about an hour to fall asleep, and I generally wake up a few times during the night and have a hard time falling back to sleep. After about week 2, I was sleeping like a CHAMP! I would get exhausted around 10pm, fall asleep soon after my head hit the pillow, and wake up at 6:15am feeling refreshed. Sleeping well had such a positive effect on every aspect of my day to day interactions and productivity!


The Boston Bloat: Pronounced Dead on Day 27

 Natalie Canfield Whole 30 Day 27


 So, it took a while, but The Boston Bloat was pronounced dead around day 27. It was a long wait! Actually, in concluding this particular article, I want to emphasize how long it took for my body to react to the good choices I was making. I think sometimes we get discouraged if we don’t feel fabulous after a week or two of a new diet or exercise regime.

In weeks 2 and 3 I was feeling good but not as fantastic as I feel now, which made it hard to keep going...I was doing all the work without feeling tremendous benefits. Little did I know that my body was changing slowly but surely and killing The Boston Bloat at the same time!


The Power of Reflection!

Because of the opportunity Yoga Travel Tree has given me to write about my experience, I have been able to reflect on how my body is changing (or not changing) as I go along. Writing about this experience has been incredibly valuable not only to reflect on how I am feeling and how my body has changed, but to start a discussion with friends about healthy eating and exercise. I highly recommend keeping a journal so you can go back and see how far you have come! I have learned so much about myself and my body throughout this adventure.

If I may speak from my soapbox for a moment: Your self worth, your ability to be a fantastic mom/friend/partner/person, or your ability to make changes to feel healthier has nothing to do with how you look or feel today. Life is dynamic and you have the power to choose how you live it in every single moment. There is power in being comfortable in the body you are in right now AND power in choosing a lifestyle for the benefit of your health and well-being.


I’ve been keeping something from you....

Natalie Canfield Whole 30 New home

Remember how I said that I dream of the day of moving west? WELL, that day is about to arrive! On August 27th, my fiancé and I are moving to Colorado. I look forward to sharing my adventures from our new home at the foot of the Rocky Mountains!

Until then.... Be well!!


Follow Natalie's Complete Whole30 Journey...

Part 1, Part 2Part 3, and Part 4


Natalie Canfield is a California born and Arizona bred lover of sunshine, the outdoors, international adventures, and delicious beer. Challenging humans to dream big is her life’s work and currently it manifests itself through working in study abroad. She lives with her fiancé and his five bicycles in Somerville, MA and they dream about the day when they will move back west. Follow her adventures on Twitter @Life_of_Noods.

Hipsters Don't Give A Shit What You Eat

Editor’s Note: We’re taking you inside Natalie’s experience consuming nothing but whole, healthy, natural, and lean foods for 30 days – The Whole 30 Challenge ###

By week 3, I was sleeping better, waking up WAY before my alarm feeling refreshed, AND the terrible bad breath I didn’t mention in my first two articles went away! I could hardly stand to breathe out of my own mouth for a few days. Anyways, eating within the confines of Whole 30 became easy. It felt nice after MANY days of craving comfort foods and being cranky. I definitely still want that ice cream as big as my face, but I no longer feel like I NEED it for emotional survival.

Great Meals I’ve Had This Week

One of my FAVORITE dinners! Mexican seasoned ground beef and guacamole over mixed greens. Simple, easy, YUM. I added almond butter with raspberries and cantaloupe as a sweet treat. Sparkling water has been my beer replacement. Not ideal, but it is a nice alternative to good ‘ole fashioned (boring) water.

 MexicanSaladDinner Whole 30 natalie Canfield

Unwrapped breakfast burrito with Mexican seasoned ground beef (leftover from the night before), guacamole, and scrambled eggs with green peppers.

Natalie Canfield Whole 30 unwrappedBreakfastBurrito

I stuffed a bunch of salad mix into a jar with cucumbers, strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes, red peppers, and green peppers. It may look cool, but the logistics of getting salad mix into and out of a jar are not ideal. I spilled a lot. I added avocado, lime, and chicken breast when I was at work. I used a little lime and a lot of salt and pepper for dressing, which mixed with the raspberry made the salad a sweet and tangy treat!

 Salad lunch Natalie Canfield Whole 30

Here is a treat that is Whole 30 friendly: Prosciutto and melon. We added it to our egg, red pepper, green pepper, tomato, and avocado scramble. This was SUCH a good brunch!

 BRUNCH Natalie Canfield Whole 30

Hipsters: A Breath of Fresh Air in the Morning (another tip for eating out)

A friend of mine and I often meet for breakfast at our local hipster coffee shop before work to start the day off right with a nice balanced meal. It is easy to create a Whole 30 friendly breakfast at your classic sit-down restaurant (as long as they cook with oil and not butter), but your local hipster coffee shop can be a challenge.

Your choices are generally: baked good, vegan baked good resembling hockey puck, bagel with cream cheese, or yogurt with granola. Luckily, this particular hipster coffee shop also serves up a breakfast burrito that I ordered sans tortilla, black beans, and cheese. The hipster behind the counter barely flinched at my request. He didn’t even confirm each omission just TO BE SURE I was clear on the definition of a burrito.

The moral of this story: If you are tired of getting dumbfounded looks when you order, find the most hipster spot and go eat there. Hipsters don’t give a shit what you eat.


Summer BBQs and Saying ‘No’ to the Best Chocolate Chip Cookie on the Planet

 Saying no to booze when everyone else is drinking was NOTHING compared to saying no to the best chocolate chip cookie on the planet. Our crew of friends waits for Valentine’s Day and Christmas to arrive so we can devour our friend Jackie’s cookies. They are THE BEST I have ever tasted. The chocolate chip cookies (not-so-secret ingredient: sea salt) are irresistible. BUT, I prevailed through the BBQ AND I came prepared with a ziplock bag. I took two cookies home to freeze. I plan on eating them immediately after this Whole 30 thing is over. Possibly for breakfast on day 31. Thank you Jackie!!


Survival tools for a friend’s summer BBQ:

Homemade fruity soda water

Drinking Jar Natalie Canfield Whole 30

Wild-caught salmon for the grill (Can you tell which one is wild-caught and which is farm-raised?)

Wild Caught vs Farmed Salmon Whole 30 Natalie Canfield

Training for a Half Marathon: DO OVER!

I have been feeling great in general, so I thought my running would improve as well. Unfortunately, it has taken a serious dive. I am having a MUCH harder time getting through my training runs. For example: The first week of Whole 30, my running buddy and I started doing track workouts. The first workout was fine. It was hard, but I finished it. Week 3 was a different story...I got through two thirds of the same workout and had no energy to finish. I sent my running buddy ahead (keep in mind-she is doing Whole 30 as well) to sail around the track at top speed.

It is important to remember that every body is different. Your body may react to this process differently than mine or my running buddy’s. Be patient. I am training for a half marathon that is in October and I have decided to start my training over because my fitness is not improving. Especially with running, it is very important to increase your training slowly so you don’t get injured. My “General” Tiger Blood has definitely arrived, but I am holding out for “Running” Tiger Blood. SHOOT! I should have asked for cheetah blood!


Finishing: WTF Happens Now?!

I am just a week and a couple days away from finishing and people are already asking what I am planning for my first non-Whole 30 meal. After splurging on sugary cocktails last week, I am keenly aware of what a binge will feel like, so I am going to continue eating on the Whole 30 plan and slowly add ‘treats’ like those two chocolate chip cookies I froze from the BBQ, beer, bread, and CHEESE. Oh how I miss cheese...

If I have learned anything in the last 22 days, it is that I consumed WAY MORE carbohydrates than my body could burn before Whole 30. There is no doubt that I will be enjoying ice cream, booze, and the occasional grilled blueberry muffin (try it, it is delicious), AND I am now keenly aware that the proportion of those items compared to real, whole foods needs to be a VERY small percentage. In the future, not every meal I make will have rice or pasta of some kind. I will also treat beer as a ‘treat’ rather than an essential part of dinner......most of the time.

8 days left!


Follow Natalie's Complete Whole30 Journey...

Part 1, Part 2Part 3, and Part 4


Natalie Canfield is a California born and Arizona bred lover of sunshine, the outdoors, international adventures, and delicious beer. Challenging humans to dream big is her life’s work and currently it manifests itself through working in study abroad. She lives with her fiancé and his five bicycles in Somerville, MA and they dream about the day when they will move back west. Follow her adventures on Twitter @Life_of_Noods.

Give Me A Damn Bagel!

Editor’s Note: We’re taking you inside Natalie’s experience consuming nothing but whole, healthy, natural, and lean foods for 30 days – The Whole 30 Challenge  

Zzzzzzzzz and GIMME BAGEL

The first week was rough. I was craving everything, felt starving (even though I was eating A LOT), I was cranky, and exhausted! My body was pissed that I wasn’t giving it instant gratification. Apparently bodies like instant gratification without all the work. Don’t we all! Well body, you can SUCK IT because I am retraining you to use what you’ve already got and not rely on the quick fix. There is a new lady in charge!

In the first week, my system made a switch from digesting food in my mouth to digesting food in my stomach. I know this sounds weird, but hear me out: For a whole week, I was missing that instant high that each meal used to give. I craved bagels, donuts, or at least a bun to hold my damn burger together. I wasn’t actually hungry, but my brain thought I was. I have no scientific understanding of digestion, and from experience alone I can say with confidence that digestion of carbohydrates starts in my mouth and then instantly goes to my head. The entire first week, I wanted an ice cream as big as my face, which luckily one can find here in New England. Evidence (pre-Whole 30):

Natalie Canfield Whole30 Ice Cream

Eating Out: Piece of Cake Free Range Chicken Breast!

Thanks to my running buddy, my lack of afterwork plans, and bulk shopping, I was REALLY good about cooking at home the first week. In the second week, I went out of town, had friends and family in town, and went to two Red Sox games. I didn’t cook AT ALL. BUT, I did learn that it is possible to eat out AND make good food choices! I went to one of my FAVORITE restaurants in Boston and they had one entree that I could eat made with local bass. It was DELICIOUS.

Natalie Canfield Whole30 Neptune Oyster

When you eat out, you may only have one choice on a menu and it is usually a salad, which makes decision-making easy. You also have to be willing to ask questions like: “Is there ANY trace of sugar or dairy in ANYTHING on this particular salad? Yeah, would you check with the chef? No, I don’t have an allergy it is just a dietary restriction.” or “Can I get a burrito with no cheese, no beans, and no tortilla?” Yeah, you heard me buddy. A burrito sans tortilla. DO IT! I AM STARVING. Just kidding, I’m fine. It is only my brain telling me I’m starving.


The Stigma of Healthy Living and Eating- Getting serious for a minute...

Since this is my first adventure in conscious eating, it is my first time realizing first-hand the stigma that our culture has on eating healthy. It makes it hard to make good choices when everyone around you is urging you to fall off the wagon ASAP.

Sometimes it IS hard for people to understand why you are making particular food choices. Why anyone else cares what I eat is truly beyond my comprehension (and patience level), but MANY people around me want me to eat sugar, carbs, and (especially) drink booze WITH them. I am a strong-willed person and when I set a goal, I do it for a reason. I will do everything in my power to meet that goal, including ignoring friends and coworkers who attempt to peer pressure me into falling off the wagon.

With that said, I am absolutely not perfect and have no intention of being perfect (see the “Dipping my Toe off the Wagon” section for evidence). Moral of this rant: Even though your coworker is double-fisting Fenway Franks, be strong and make good choices because good choices make you feel good. F everybody else and their opinions. Also, you can have Fenway Franks in 15 days if you really want them.

More Evidence that Boston is not LA And again, the stark contrast between LA and Boston is evident. The LA culture is supportive of healthy choices and an active lifestyle. The downside is that LA definitely has an unhealthy extreme-dieting scene.

My rule of thumb: Ignore Hollywood’s idea of ‘normal’, which really isn’t that hard because there is nothing normal about Hollywood. Also, on that note: Kill your TV.


Dipping my Toe off the Wagon

So......part of Whole 30 is to commit to all 30 days with no free days and no, “I’ll just have a little sip of this beer and it will be fine...” It totally makes sense because the goal of Whole 30 is to cleanse your system of all of the bad stuff. I completely agree that cheating here and there is not ok, but when you have a friend in town that you haven’t seen in 13 years, that deserves a cocktail!

Natalie Canfield Whole30 Feway

Here is how my cheating went down: It was a TRILLION degrees in Boston that weekend and I was showing my friend all the historic sites, which happen to be outside. We decided to grab a margarita to cool off and relax. I was smart and steered clear of sugar: I had tequila over ice with soda water and lime. I felt great afterward. After almost two weeks of not drinking, I was buzzed from one drink. Score!

Later, we went to dinner and I had two drinks including a sugary cocktail. I got accidentally drunk. Oops! I slept horribly that night (I had been sleeping like a champ) AND I woke up with a stuffy nose (something that Whole 30 had cleared up). The consequences were immediate. I was sorta baffled.

Lesson 1: It wasn’t worth it AND it would have been really easy to NOT order an alcoholic beverage. Trust me, order a soda water with lime and call it a day. They are surprisingly refreshing!

Lesson 2: when you are mostly eating really healthy and then you add something not healthy, you feel the consequences almost immediately. Generally, I eat so unhealthy that I feel less-than-stellar all the time. Not that I support dipping your toe off the wagon, BUT feeling the consequences instantaneously after making a bad choice was SUPER enlightening, and I am now keenly aware of how bad choices effect my body.


The Status of The Boston Bloat

I wish I could tell you that the bloat has been eradicated after two weeks. Sadly, this isn’t so... I do know that my body generally has about a month-long lag to catch up to my exercise regime, so I would not be surprised if The Boston Bloat is either on the same timeline or is completely an emotional thing. Jerk.

Overall, after the struggle of the first week was over, I started to get into the groove and just stuck to the plan (minus my three cocktails). This is the easy part because I am over the days of feeling miserable, and I have clear instructions of what I can and can’t eat.

According to the Whole 30 gurus, I am supposed to feel like I have “Tiger Blood” days 16-28. I am not quite there yet, but I did cheat just 4 short days ago... I will keep you posted on how ferociously awesome I am feeling. Fingers crossed that my own ‘Tiger Blood’ will arrive soon!!! Until Next time!

Natalie Canfield Whole30 TigerBlood


Follow Natalie's Complete Whole30 Journey...

Part 1, Part 2Part 3, and Part 4


Natalie Canfield is a California born and Arizona bred lover of sunshine, the outdoors, international adventures, and delicious beer. Challenging humans to dream big is her life’s work and currently it manifests itself through working in study abroad. She lives with her fiancé and his five bicycles in Somerville, MA and they dream about the day when we will move back west. Follow her adventures on Twitter @Life_of_Noods.



One Woman's Quest to Beat the Boston Bloat

Editor's Note: We're taking you inside Natalie's experience consuming nothing but whole, healthy, natural, and lean foods for 30 days - The Whole 30 Challenge! This is the first installment as we totally creep her triumphs and challenges trying to get lean and mean. Shit is about to get real!   

My life in LA was divine.

I lived three blocks from the beach. I ran for fun and for the added bonus of getting a glorious tan. I was active and had a healthy diet by default. I also grew up as a ballerina (this will be important later when I actually talk about this challenge called Whole 30) and took a dorky, adult ballet once a week that I loved. Life was guuuuuud and staying fit was effortless. Natalie Canfield Hiking in SanDiego Whole 30 Natalie Canfield Hiking in LA Whole 30 Natalie Canfield Kayaking in LA Whole 30

Where am I now? Boston, MA.

Snowy Boston Beacon HIll Whole 30

Winter Hoodies Are Officially OUT

How (why) did I get here? Love makes you do funny and miraculous things like move from Southern California’s sunny beaches to New England’s terrible winters and cranky humans (this does not apply to my friends and coworkers who I love). Natalie Canfield Boston Snow Whole 30 When I decided to make the move from West to East to be with my fiancé, I did not anticipate how much my habits would change. My previously healthy lifestyle went out the window along with my flip flops and ‘winter’ hoodies and was replaced by beer, pub food, winter boots, and my very first parka. You can take the girl out of California, but... well, you know. Winter did not treat me well physically or mentally. To say that Boston is not a great fit for me would be an outlandish understatement. I have never felt so out of my element. I have spent time in places where ‘plumbing’ is a bucket or a hose, and I felt more at home in those locales than here in Boston. I am not sure what that says about me but.... There you go.

Here's Where Things Get Interesting Bloated

As a result of my lifestyle change, a disregard for any healthy food choices whatsoever, and general depression about being here, I developed what I have fondly named: The Boston Bloat. I have been bloated for THREE YEARS. NO JOKE. It subsides after approximately 4 days of being away from Boston. It doesn’t matter where I go...Sure, it may be a mental thing, but it exists and it sucks and it gives me gas.

Natalie Canfield Whole 30

After my first winter, and after being a spectator at the Boston Marathon in 2011 (which happened to be just before my 30th birthday--much like love, the dirty 30 makes us do funny and miraculous things), I decided that I would run my first marathon. I have been a runner ever since and I am training for two half marathons that I will run in the fall. Running cannot kill The Boston Bloat. It is a BEAST of epic proportions--It will take drastic measures to kill this beast.  

Running Didn’t Work. Time to Kill the Beast: Whole 30

Here is where I talk about Whole 30...About a month ago, my running buddy mentioned this Whole 30 thing and immediately, I thought, “Isn’t that Paleo? I have some ridiculously happy friends who eat that way. Clearly, I am skeptical.....” Intrigued, I thought, “Could The Boston Bloat meet its match in Whole 30 Land?” It's worth a try for sure. I mentioned ballet earlier (I told you this would come up again). I was a ballerina for most of my life: Ages 3-20 to be exact. I went to college for ballet. I was serious. With that said (and you are never going to believe me), I have never consciously changed my diet or monitored my food intake. I am not one of those “lucky people” who can eat cake twice a day and not gain a pound, but I was always physically active by default and didn’t think much about what I put in my mouth because it was generally healthy. Until I moved to Boston....

Goodbye My Friends (Beers, I will miss you most of all.)  

So here I am, a 32 year old washed-up ballerina who is desperate to slay the beast I have dubbed: The Boston Bloat. It truly is the most trying times in life that bring the most learning and it totally sucks.

Natalie Canfield Beer Whole 30

The Boston Bloat sucks so much that I am giving up sugar, alcohol (I will miss you old friend), dairy, and my most trusted companion: carbohydrate. All to see if I can slay this beast in 30 days. If it works, it will be well worth the sacrifice. It is only 30 days after all!

‘The Plan’ or ‘Setting Intentions’ or ‘Starting Off on the Right Foot’

This is where I tell you that my running buddy and I started off strong and really came into this thing intentionally, possibly by meditating or doing yoga.... BUT, that would be a lie because Sunday happened a little like this: We started off well with some meal planning...

Natalie Canfield Meal Plan Whole 30

And a shopping list... (The chocolate milk was for my fiancé, I swear)

Natalie Canfield Shopping List Whole 30

And we hit up Costco to stock up on delicious meat, fish, and fresh produce. (Not pictured, but bulk shopping totally happened.) Then....we decided that we needed one last cocktail, which turned into A LOT of cocktails (and a mezcal tasting). Oops!

Natalie Canfield Cocktails Whole 30

Natalie Canfield Margarita Whole 30

And, there had to be delicious blue cheese. . .

Natalie Canfield Blue Cheese Whole 30

I somehow forgot to take pictures of all the fresh food that we picked up and instead took pictures of all of the things that I won’t be enjoying over the next 30 days. It was a true homage to all the things we love and we went out in style.

Despite the Hangover: Day One Was A Success! 

This can’t be THAT hard, right? I made it through day one! Oh wait, they warned me about this. But still, I had a GREAT dinner cooked totally caveman style on the grill. (This is for more than just me and for more than one meal...) Counter clockwise (from the thing in the cage): Wild caught halibut, New York strip steak, red pepper, locally sourced squash from our CSA, and green onions also from our CSA.

Natalie Canfield Grillin Whole 30

I threw in some sweet potatoes (energy for my run tomorrow) and made a coconut, lemongrass sauce that I found on the cilantro package. It was DELICIOUS.

Natalie Canfield Dinner Whole 30

Ghee, You Are My New Best friend!

I also used ghee for the first time and although I still have no idea WTF it is (sure I could look it up on this fancy interwebs thing, but where is the fun in that?), I LOVE IT. Who cares what it is? If it keeps me from running into the nearest hipster coffee shop and ordering a large iced-mocha with whip cream, then ghee is awesome. On that note, I will embark into week one with high hopes and a love of my newfound friend, Ghee. Until next week...

Follow Natalie's Complete Whole30 Journey...

Part 1, Part 2Part 3, and Part 4



Natalie Canfield is a California born and Arizona bred lover of sunshine, the outdoors, international adventures, and delicious beer. Challenging humans to dream big is her life’s work and currently it manifests itself through working in study abroad. She lives with her fiancé and his five bicycles in Somerville, MA and they dream about the day when we will move back west. Follow her adventures on Twitter @Life_of_Noods.