Explore | Capitol Hill Seattle

Matthew Konsmo is a suit by Havana restaurant in Capital hill, Seattle.

CAPITOL HILL | SEATTLE WASHINGTON

exploring Capitol Hill in Seattle on a Cheat Day

I decided to spend my cheat day in Seattle, taking one day off from my disciplined diet routine to indulge in some foods that I often crave, yet stay away from except when I plan for a cheat day. For me, cheat day is something I look forward to because it keeps me motivated to stick to my diet. When I plan my cheat day, I go for it. There are no limitations whatsoever. For this cheat day, I went to the Capitol Hill neighborhood to grab burgers at Dicks Drive-In, ice cream at Molly Moon’s Ice Cream, tacos at Tacos Chukis, and browse books at the Elliot Bay Bookstore, where I found some interesting facts about dieting, fasting, and managing weight to keep me focused after my cheating on cheat day has been exhausted.

Dick's drive in sign Capital hill
Dick's drive in restaurant sign in Capital Hill

First things first...Local legend...Dicks Drive in. 

First stop, Burgers!!! This place has been legendary for years. Get ready to get out of your car. Dicks Drive-In sells great simple burgers, fries, and shakes in Seattle, maybe anywhere. Dicks began in 1954, and there are seven locations around Seattle, including Wallingford, Broadway, Lake City, Queen Anne, Edmonds, Holman Road, and Kent. I like the Broadway location on Capitol Hill the best. It's urban, and there’s always a line, great character, someone to talk to. It feels out of place and completely part of the place, both at the same time. It’s been there so long that everything modern has been built up around it. But if you grab a burger (2 Dick’s Deluxe and 2 Cheeseburgers ) and fries (or 3 fries), as I did, you can scarf them down while hanging out at the impromptu orange counter outside while you simultaneously accomplish some epic people watching.

Dick's drive in sign Capital hill
Dicks burgers and fries with a drink.
Eating Dick's fries at the drive in sign Capital hill
Dicks menu in Capital Hill.Dicks burgers and fries with a drink.Matthew Konsmo eating Dick's fries in Capital hill.

Best Ice Cream in Seattle at Molly Moon’s Ice Cream

I was going to get a shake at Dicks to go with my burger and fries, but then I remembered that Molly Moon’s Ice Cream was just around the counter. Besides selling the best ice cream in Seattle, they have an excellent reputation for supporting their employees and their community. They have a mission statement with five goals: Be Smart, Be Generous, Be Homemade, Be Joyful, Be Brave. They are very conscious about where they get the ingredients for their ice cream. They buy a lot of fruit and nuts from local organic farms in Washington, Oregon, and California. They use Theo Chocolate and Union Coffee, two local companies, for some of my favorite flavors. They also buy organic lavender from Purple Haze Farm in Sequim, Washington, for their lavender-honey flavor ice cream, which I have had before, and is also one of my favorites. Today, I ordered a double scoop of vanilla ice cream in a wafer cone. The milk, sugar, and cream were phenomenal. If I’m going to cheat with ice cream, I’m going to cheat with the best ice cream. The cone was huge, so I had to sit down and check out the scenery while I ate it. I like this location because it has one of their "Ice Cream Makes You Happy" window where you can look at the ice cream actually being made. You can also look across Pine Street to watch pick-up soccer games at Cal Anderson Park. Or you can blend into the background and check out the books in the windows at Elliot Bay Bookstore on 10th Street.

Eating Dick's fries at the drive in sign Capital hill
Matthew Konsmo eating Dick's fries in Capital hill.

Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream
www.mollymoon.com
917 E Pine Street
Seattle, Washington 98122
(206) 708-7947

The corner at 10th Street and Pike Street is always one of the best corners in Capitol Hill to meet up, or hang out, or find parking. For me, it’s the jumping-off point for adventures on Capitol Hill. Very often, for example, there’s a concert at Nuomo’s that brings a lot of people to the neighborhood, and they’re sometimes lined up around the corner, waiting to get in. That corner is also very close to a lot of good coffee shops and restaurants and bars. I like Caffe Vita for a quick double-espresso, or Elysian Capitol Hill Brewery for a quick drink, or Genera Porpoise Doughnuts, just around the corner, for something to go with coffee.

Dicks menu in Capital Hill.Dicks burgers and fries with a drink.
Eating Dick's fries at the drive in sign Capital hill
Eating Dick's fries at the drive in sign Capital hill

Best Bookstore in Seattle at Elliot Bay Bookstore

But the real reason I like this spot in Capitol Hill is for Elliot Bay Bookstore, which is easily one of the best bookstores ever. They have everything to read across all interests, and it’s a fun place to browse through everything. It’s a big store with two levels that hold a lot of books to brown in person, which is much better than looking through books on the internet. In the past, I’ve found great books about Vincent Van Gogh in their collection of art books, I’ve found great books by Charles Bukowski in their poetry shelves, and I’ve found great journals in their section of writing products, including some notebooks by Moleskine, Shinola, and Watermark Bindery from Port Townsend, Washington. Today, as usual, I was drawn into the section on Health and Fitness to explore some concepts about the human body.

Elliot Bay Book Company
www.elliotbaybook.com
1521 10th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 624-6600

First Thoughts on “The Obesity Code” by Jason Fung

I browsed through “The Obesity Code.” My first impression was that I liked his ideas about controlling insulin levels to manage weight. He mentioned intermittent fasting, controlling calories, snacking only on whole foods, removing processed carbs, things like that. I was especially interested in how the book talks about how you can reach a healthy weight by utilizing intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting has been beneficial for me, so I try to read about different strategies for how to put it to use in my life to improve my nutrition. In my opinion, intermittent fasting has to be uniquely tailored to each individual. You have to know what works for you. This will take some trial and error. This will take some research. And you will always be trying new things, new innovations, new choices to improve your fasting schedule. The first thing I learned was that fasting is not as drastic as it sounds. For example, I like to fast until 3:00 PM, eating nothing until my dinner or a snack until that time. Then I eat another meal a little later on in the day. Then my fasting schedule starts over. This book focuses on the connections between insulin, carbs, and losing weight. The author’s focus on insulin was something I had heard about, but not researched in-depth, so his perspective was very helpful. I’ve heard a lot about this book, so I was happy to see while browsing, and I ended up buying the book to read more carefully.

“The Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss”
by Jason Fung
Link to book >

Best Advice for Planning Cheat Days

This book made me think more about diet strategy, especially cheat meals and cheat days. I like to use intermittent fasting for 6 days, then utilize a cheat meal or cheat day on one day per week. I like to work toward a carefully planned cheat day because it gives me the motivation to stay disciplined. If I plan one cheat day, I tend to keep my goals for food, calories, and exercise during the rest of the week. The question to have a croissant, or a latte, or dessert is always tempting, but when I know I can wait to have dessert on Saturday, I know I don’t have to splurge on dessert on Tuesday. Cheat days are key to motivation. They help guide me through the week's diet goals. I read an interesting article a year or two ago in the Journal of Consumer Psychology. The article was titled, “The Benefits of Behaving Badly on Occasion: Successful Regulation by Planned Hedonic Deviations.” Their study stated, “it may be beneficial for long-term goal-success to be bad, as long it is planned occasionally.” We all want to achieve goals to be healthy, but each person is human, so we need to plan moments when we can deviate from those plans in order to enjoy life a little, maintain our discipline, and stay on track. If I know I can spend a day eating any food I crave, I know I can stay disciplined during the rest of the week.

Journal of Consumer Psychology
“The Benefits of Behaving Badly on Occasion: Successful Regulation by Planned Hedonic Deviations.”
LINK >

Dicks burgers and fries with a drink.

Top 5 Taco Spot in Seattle at Tacos Chukis

After reading about fasting and dieting, I decided I really wanted to explore the opposite idea of eating so much food on my cheat day that I wouldn’t ever want to eat again. I hadn’t had any tacos yet, and that’s a must on any cheat day, so I walked back around the corner to Broadway to visit Tacos Chukis. I am so lucky there’s burgers, ice cream, and tacos all in the same few balocks. Just like Dick’s and Molly Moon’s, Tacos Chukis serves the best of the best. You can’t see this tacqueria from the street side, so you have to know where it is. When you know where it is, like me, you go inside and order three carne asada tacos topped with cilantro, onions, salsa, guacamole, all in a corn tortilla AND order three House Tacos with adobaba pork, melted cheese, guacamole, grilled pineapple, onions, salsa, and cilantro. You have to get both the carne asada and the house tacos. These tacos appear typical, but they are unique, and you might even say they are perfect. Everything about their taste is exceptional. Tacos Chukis makes tacos better than any other place makes tacos. I’ve tried everything on their menu—tortas, quesadillas, burritos—it’s all good, but these two perfect taco combinations are epic, vintage, quintessential cheat day go-to priorities. When I am facing difficult choices about maintaining my workout schedule and maintaining my diet discipline during a mid-week moment of weakness, it is the thought of Tacos Chukis that keeps me motivated to be motivated. The knowledge that I will be eating as many of these tacos as I want on a future Saturday keeps me motivated to not stray from my diet plan and workout schedule during the week. I live for tacos! 

Split in the trail on Runyon Canyon.
Dicks burgers and fries with a drink.

Tacos Chukis
219 Broadway East
Seattle, WA 98102
https://www.facebook.com/TacosChukis

Diversity in Capitol Hill Neighborhood in Seattle

All this food and all this time at the bookstore, I was just killing time until I could meet up with my wife and kids. I met them on Pine Street. They grabbed ice cream cones at Molly Moon’s, and we went for a walk through the park, then down Broadway. There are some very Instagrammable locations for diversity on Capitol Hill, and the most recognizable spots are the rainbow crosswalks scattered around Broadway and Pine and Pike. Broadway is the best place to walk if you want to explore the different shops and people-watch. There are make-up stores, clothing stores, street artists, coffee shops like Espresso Vivace (I grabbed a quick double-shot espresso to counteract all the cheat day food in order to keep up with my family), markets like Whole Foods, lots of students walking around Seattle Community College, and Metro trolleybuses and the Link Light Rail moving commuters and tourists and locals up and down Broadway. The bottom line is that Capitol Hill has become the symbolic neighborhood for diversity in Seattle—lots of people from all different cultures and backgrounds—and I want my kids to participate in diversity.

Here are directions to CAP HILL:

Matthew Konsmo on hiking path looking up the mountain

Written by: Matthew Konsmo

Send me your favorite hikes! Matthew@konsmoclothing.com

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