For the Love of Food

Food holds so many stories for me. It provides comfort. I experience moments of catharsis when indulging in culinary experiences. This trip to Switzerland was very much about healing through the enjoyment of food.


Fondu is one of the most comforting dishes. The warm deliciousness brings back winter memories, and walks in the snow. The walk back to the hotel after this wonderful dinner which was much needed after it’s indulgent decadence.

Filet mignon with Salad. Finished off with a delicious meringue with fruit and cream. No words, just pure amazingness. The steak was brought on a hot stone, moved to the cutting board, and the hot stone was used to cook the meat to my liking.

Rösti is a delicous potatoe dish which sadly I forgot to take pictures of. We had our first one at the lovely little cabin half down our ski run back down into Zermatt.

Spetzli was kindly brought to me by the server after I asked if I could order a little side of it because I haven’t had it in years and I can’t get it in the states. It might not look that good in this presentation, but it sure hit the spot and tasted just like way it did when I was taught how to make it.


Beef tartare is one of the dishes that provides such a magical warmth in its cool texture. This really hit my beef tartare spot!

Chocolate! Do I really need to say more? I purchased chocolate in Zermatt, Grindelwald, and at the top of the Jungfraujoch at the highest shop in the Swiss Alps at the Top of Europe. Lindt chocolates hold a special place and it was a very healing experience being able to bring home these chocolates for myself. A long the way, I purchased chocolates at special places.

Each one of the dishes held a special memory. However, my intention here was to create new memories leaving me feeling postive that I could enjoy them again. The flavors filled me with such warmth and comfort for the future.

As the Switzerland adventure comes to an end, I’m feeling a strong sense of closure I checked bucket list items off my list one by one. Enjoying the comfort and familiarity of food along the way. Each day becoming a little more confident with my understanding and recognition of the different languages. Not being afraid or intimidated by not having an interpreter.

Sitting in the second level of this Starbucks in Zürich, watching the snow flakes fall, sipping my oat milk latte. Embracing the gifts that life has bestowed upon me, fills me with such gratitude that there is little left to do but pass on what I can to future generations. I say that would the complete understanding that I will never stop learning! I’m inspired to create an environment where people who have a desire to get into a helping profession can shadow me for a time to see the role I have created as a strength and conditioning coach focusing on building strong rapport and taking a holistic approach with my athletes. My door is open to students working on getting into the strength and conditioning field, they always have been, but I feel any profession where an individual is required to be of service to someone else can learn a tramendous amount about how to have a positive impact on a persons life by spending time with your local strength and conditioning coach.

We all have gifts to give to each other. What gift will you pass on?

I can say with confidence that I have created a positively optimistic relationship with this beautiful country. I have checked off all the items on my bucket list and I’m ready to move on to the next global destination. People close to me have been encouraging me to visit New Zealand. Could that be next?

Published by: Coach DanielH

Daniel Heller is a strength and conditioning coach, working in the field since 2007 where he began as an intern at Hope’s Gym in Monroe, Washington. In 2009, a month after graduating from Bastyr University, Daniel became a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA). Since then, he has served as a strength and conditioning coach in the private sector, helping athletes from youth through college level in ice hockey, figure skating, mountain biking, football, and motocross. He works closely with each athlete’s physical therapists and doctors to ensure safety and performance improvement. In 2013, Daniel received the designation of Registered Strength & Conditioning Coach (RSCC) through the NSCA. On the side Daniel was the exercise physiology, biomechanics, and kinesiology consultant for the Advanced Products Development Team at Oakley Inc. He is the Cofounder and Head Strength & Conditioning Coach at Seattle Institute of Athletic Performance providing Functional Movement Screens, corrective exercises, athletic performance programs, as well as educating athletes and parents on the importance of Long Term Athletic Development (LTAD) and practice of heads up sports. Daniel’s passion for strength and conditioning stems from his days as a competitive ice hockey player and mountain biker, aside from the many recreational sports he participates in. He is the true strength & conditioning coach for competitive youths aiming for long careers as athletes but also the weekend warriors that train during the week to stay safe on the weekends. In 2015, Daniel took a year break from coaching in Seattle, Washington to pursue his dream of acquiring a masters degree. He returned to Seattle in September 2016 with a Masters of Science in Strength & Conditioning from the University of Edinburgh after living in Edinburgh, Scotland for a year. By immersing himself in the cycling community of Scotland, he was inspired to focus his dissertation on competitive cyclists from varying disciplines where he researched a potential method of improving stationary sprint start performance. He is excited to return to coaching mountain biking combining his childhood passion with his academic and applied expertise.

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