Have a Healthy, Happy December with these Local Wellness Events

From liver lessons and cricket flour cook-offs to solstice yoga and skiing with Santa, Portland keeps it weird this month.

By Katelyn Best and Tuck Woodstock December 3, 2015

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Eat breakfast with Santa, then hit the slopes on the season's hottest gear at Mount Hood Meadows on December 20.

Cricket Cook-Off

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Image: Seamus Burke

What: Get in touch with your inner insectivore at this unique cookoff, which brings adventurous cooks and eaters together in a celebration of entomophagy. Competitors will be provided with whole frozen crickets or cricket flour to test their buggy chops on, and can submit both savory and sweet dishes to a panel of judges from the local food, health, and tech scenes. Feeling bold enough to snack on some bugs? You can also snag a ticket to the tasting and a post-judging reception featuring cricket dishes by local chefs.
When: Wednesday, December 9, 6-9 pm
Where: WeWork, 220 NW 8th Ave
How much: Free to compete, $5 to eat. Details here

New Seasons Healthy Happy Hour
What: Learn the secrets to a healthy holiday happy hour from a friendly New Seasons Market Nutritionist. Guests can munch on appetizers, sip samples of local libations, and discover healthy choices for parties and gatherings, from cocktails to crudités. 
When: Thursday, December 10, 5-6 pm
Where: New Seasons Cedar Hills, 3495 SW Cedar Hills Blvd, Beaverton
How much: Free. Register here.

Holiday Half Marathon and 5K
What: Burn off a few of those Christmas cookies with a festive winter race through North Portland. Jog along scenic Willamette Boulevard as carolers’ sweet serenades provide a delightful distraction from the burn in your legs. Runners can choose between a 5K or half marathon; either way, finishers are rewarded with seasonal craft brews, hearty holiday soup, oatmeal, eggnog, and hot chocolate.
When: Sunday, December 13. Half marathon at 8 am, 5K at 8:15 am
Where: Adidas N. America Campus, 5060 N Greeley Ave
How much: $33 to $41 for the 5K, $66 to $82 for the half marathon. Register here.

Lovely Livers with Salt, Fire & Time

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What: Give your liver some love this winter by learning the best ways to prepare delicious and nutritious organ meats. Led by Tressa Yellig of Salt, Fire & Time and Alison Loercher of Vital Compass, this interactive class invites guests to source, clean, and prepare dishes like chicken liver pate, pan seared beef liver, and pork liver pate.
When: Tuesday, December 15, 6:30-8 pm
Where: Broth Bar, 115 NE 6th Ave
How much: $35. Register here.

Yoga Bhoga Winter Solstice
What: Commemorate the shortest day of the year and welcome the rebirth of the sun with a special Winter Solstice yoga practice. Four teachers will guide yogis in a candlelit ritual of 108 Sun Salutations. All levels are welcome to this meditative practice.
When: Saturday, December 19, 2:30-5 pm
Where: Yoga Bhoga, 1028 SE Water Ave #265
How much: $30. Register here.

The People’s Yoga Partner Yoga
What: Shake up your typical introspective yoga practice with a joyful and energetic partner class. This workshop will explore partner poses and simple assists, allowing yogis to move deeper into poses while creating physical and emotional support for each other. Bring a pal, or make a new friend in the class. All levels welcome.
When: Sunday, December 20, 2-4 pm
Where: The People’s Yoga, 4210 SE Belmont
How much: $40 per pair; $25 per individual. Info here.

Breakfast with Santa and Winter Demo Day
What: Hit the slopes at Mt. Hood Meadows for a dual-event day: bring the kiddos to grab some waffles with Santa, then head over to Winter Demo Day, where you can try out new skis and snowboards on the slopes. Bring your own boots!
When: Sunday, December 20, 8-10 am (breakfast), 9 am-2 pm (demos)
Where: Mt. Hood Meadows
How much: Free; registration is required for demos. Details here.

First Run of 2016
What: Start the new year on the right foot—a running shoe-clad foot, that is. Portland’s annual First Run 5K and 10K leads participants on a midnight jog along the waterfront and across two bridges before ending at One World Trade Center for food, drink, dancing, and a costume contest.
When: Thursday, December 31. Festivities start at 10 pm, and races kick off at midnight.
Where: World Trade Center, 121 SW Salmon St.
How much: $45 in advance, $50 day of race. Register here.

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