Posted in Veg/Vegan

Easy Plant-Based Breakfasts

I’m normally a grab-a-smoothie/protein shake/banana-on-the-way-out-the-door type gal, but pregnancy has made me so hungry that breakfast is back on my plate. My first meal tends to set the tone for the rest of the day, but I don’t have a ton of time to make anything amazing. I’ve come to rely on a few staples that are fast, healthy, plant-based and a good carb/protein/fat/calorie balance to keep me happy and satisfied.

The Easiest – Healthy Cereal, Bananas and Almond/Coconut Milk

A lot of days I just have to get out the door, so my go-to is a healthy cereal like Mom’s Best Cereals (I love the Sweetened WheatFuls) or Nature’s Bounty (my fave are the Heritage Flakes). I top them with a sliced banana and pour in almond or coconut milk. I love using almond milk because it has so much potassium (along with the banana) to help combat leg cramps. Plus, it’s good!

The Sweetest – Fuity Waffles

I’ve been craving waffles my entire pregnancy, so I went hunting for healthier options than a late-night food run. My favorites so far are Nature’s Path (dark chocolate, buckwheat or plain), which I pop in the toaster and top with whatever I have in the fridge. They’re great with strawberries and almond milk whipped cream and agave syrup, with almond butter and bananas, or leftover raspberries or blueberries.

The Yummiest – Coconut Yogurt Bowl with Lilikoi Butter

Ok, so this is one of those breakfasts I’d make with a little more time – like a Sunday morning or if I just woke up a little earlier than usual. This bowl isn’t too tough to make, but just takes a little more time to make, eat and clean up. Mine is just a scoop of coconut milk yogurt topped with coconut flakes, a little granola, a banana, and lilikoi butter (popular out here in Hawaii).

The Savory – Just EGG Omelette

On the rare days I want a savory breakfast, I’ve been loving making Just Egg vegan omelets with spinach and non-dairy mozzarella cheese. I also add a little garlic and cook in a little bit of plant-based butter, and pair with a mock sausage patty and avocado salsa. This is another Sunday morning/extra time breakfast, but it’s enjoyable and well worth it.

The Savory-Ish Waffle

Waffles have been a constant craving, so I also started eating a more savory version with avocado and banana. The avocado adds a deeper texture and is great with a little lemon juice and salt on top.

The On-The-Go: Jamba Juice

I rarely every buy breakfast, but in the rare cases I do, my favorite is Jamba. They’re everywhere, we can order ahead of time, and I have plenty of plant-based options, obviously. My favorite is the Blue Sky Bowl which is packed with spirulina and other goodness.

The On-The-Go: Banan ‘Ulu Waffle

Here on Oahu, we are graced with the fruity magical-ness that is Banan. I am beyond obsessed. From their farm-to-table-to-farm business model (meaning the store’s food waste is composted and sent back to the local farms they get their produce from) to their ever-changing menu, it’s my favorite treat. Their ‘ice cream’ is made from super-sweet apple banans and topped with locally-produced guava, lilikoi, mac nut butter, macnella (macadamia-nutella, basically) and more. When they announced they had an ‘ulu (breadfruit) waffle, we had to run over there ASAP.

Happy Eating!

Posted in MAMA

An Active Pregnancy

Before I got pregnant – or when I very first got pregnant – I was beyond naive. I signed up for a 10K and 1-miler on the same weekend (instead of the Honolulu Marathon, of course) and assumed I’d slowly and happily jog through them with my barely-present bump and continue staying consistently, highly active through the whole 9 months.

By the time this weekend rolled around, I had been vomiting and barely eating for weeks. I was so nauseous in the first trimester I had trouble sleeping at night, didn’t want to socialize, and found most foods aside from bananas and crackers to be inedible. I still technically ‘completed’ these ill-fated digital races, but I half-jogged the one mile and walked the entire 10K. I also threw up several times during the 10K, and only continued because that was typical of any day at that time.

Now that I’m in my second trimester and counting down the days until the third, things have changed. I have a nice round belly that makes it tough to tie my shoes, but said belly is no longer growing and expanding like it was before. I can finally eat tomatoes again, have more energy, and can get through the day pretty normally with an afternoon nap. I can also walk/jog now that my new balance is under control, too.

Here’s a few things that have been incredibly helpful in staying active during my pregnancy.

Let It Go

This is the most important lesson of all. Whatever you thought pregnancy would be like, forget about it. You’re on your own unique journey and your body will be crystal clear on what it can and cannot tolerate. Sure, I’ve watched YouTube videos of women running half marathons or doing deadlifts or whatever else pregnant, but that’s their abilities and experience – not mine. I was an extremely active person before baby, and was almost completely sidelined by the first trimester alone. If that’s what’s right for me and my baby, I’m happy to stay on the bench as long as I need to.

Gym/Lifting Weights

The gym has been my go-to most days. I did some quick research to find safe exercises and even some that help build muscles for labor. My basic routine is a lighter/modified leg day with biceps & triceps and cool-down cardio.

At Home/Park/Wherever Workout

My husband is fairly active, and I’m usually playing soccer or skating right alongside him. Now that those things have been deemed off-limits, I started lugging my yoga mat, kettlebell and dumbbells with him to the park. This can also easily be done at home, at a kid’s soccer practice, or wherever.

Prenatal Yoga

Prenatal yoga is, according to my doctor, one of the best exercises for moms-to-be. It helps stretch out tight hips and uncramp crampy legs, bring some peace and stillness, and help with nausea and balance. Here’s one of my favorite youtube videos with minimal equipment I can do right at home.

Walking/Hiking

Running has been out of the picture for most of my pregnancy. At first, I was sick and dizzy, and then became wobbly and off-balance and plain old tired. Walking has been my best friend. I walk all the time, from taking my dog around the neighborhood to going to the track to taking a (literal) hike. Walking is low impact, keeps the heart pumping, and is gentle enough that I can do it on my worst days – and on those days, it actually makes me feel a lot better.

Important – I’m Not a Doctor

Just a quick note – I am not a doctor, and am sharing what’s worked specifically for me during my pregnancy. I ask my doc all kinds of crazy questions, and those include checking that everything listed above isn’t only safe for pregnancy in general, but for me and my pregnancy, specifically. Be sure to do the same with yours!

Posted in spiritual

Being the Change I Wish to See

It’s been hard to write lately, because to be honest – it’s been hard to merely exist and push through day by day. Tourism is effectively shut down for 6 months now, we missed my only sister’s wedding, missed being able to meet my cousin’s new baby, and have had an enormously tough time being a business owner during this pandemic. Top that off with police brutality, systemic racism, and a state of divisiveness in the country we call home, and the struggle has been really real.

The toughest part of all of it, for me, is the feeling of being unable to do anything about my own circumstances and to change the injustices and systemic injustice going on. I’m just one small, insignificant person. Does what I do even matter?

I firmly believe it does, for two reasons: 1. everything does matter, and collective action can make a difference, and 2. most of the time, that’s what we can do. No matter our financial, physical, logistical or social situations, we can at least do something for what we believe in and wish to see. If we don’t do what we are able to do to change the world – what do we have to say for ourselves?

That is my hope, and the light at the end of my figurative tunnel. I may not be able to control much, but i can control what is in my control – how I lead, how I love, what I speak and post about, what I buy, watch, and eat. My actions may be just a drop in the proverbial bucket, but a drop is a drop is a drop.

I will always do what I can do, at the very least.

Posted in Veg/Vegan

Belated Cinco de Mayo Vegan Enchiladas!


Guys, I totally failed on making and posting this recipe for Cinco de Mayo. In fact, I haven’t exactly done a great job of posting regularly, either. What can I say? Life’s hard. Life’s busy. And for me, life has been a whole onslaught of major life changes, big risks and bold gambles. My poor little blog has simply got lost in the shuffle.

Moving on, I whipped up these gorgeous enchiladas in a belated celebration of the blessed, tequila-and-food-infused holiday that is Cinco de Mayo.  These babies are a healthier, non-fried and dairy-free recipe jam-packed with potatoes, black beans, bell peppers, onions, soyrizo, jalepenos and green chiles. The green sauce is complemented by Daiya jalepeno-havarti cheese and lots of lime, time and love. They’re also quite easy to make, although I can’t promise much on the mess factor.


Here’s what you’ll need:

12 corn tortillas

5 russet potatoes

2 4oz can diced green chilies (don’t drain them – we gon’ use that juice!)

1 large bell pepper

1 large onion

1 can black beans

Soyrizo (found at most grocery & health food stores)

Diaya vegan jalapeno & Havarti cheese block

Coconut oil

1 lime

1 28oz can green Chile enchilada sauce

1 jalapeño, seeds removed

Chili powder, salt, pepper, & garlic to taste

Directions:

First, rough chop the bell pepper, onion, & potatoes. I boiled my potatoes for about 20minutes so they’d cook well with the rest of the filling.


Next, fire up a pan with some coconut oil and start with the onions. Cook until they almost carmelize, throw in a little more oil, and toss in the bell peppers and potatoes. If you like, add some beer! (I always do)


As the veggies cook, add in the can of black beans and the green chiles – they chile juice will help flavor the filling. Also add salt, chile powder, pepper, & garlic to taste and judge by the aroma.


Next, add in the can of black beans, potatoes, and a quarter cup of Soyrizo and mix thoroughly; keep adding more (if need) to taste. Keep cooking until the filling looks fully cooked and limp.

Next, stack your corn tortillas on a plate with a damp paper towel in between each tortilla, and toss them in the microwave for 30 seconds or until they’re limp and malleable. The paper towels help ‘steam’ the toritllas so they are easy to roll.


Next, dump your giant can of enchilada sauce into an even bigger bowl. Set up your ‘station’ with the tortillas first, sauce second, and filling last. Also line a baking sheet with foil & oil and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

To move through your station, take each tortilla and do as follows:

  1. submerge tortilla completely in the giant bowl of enchilada sauce and let sit for a few seconds.
  2. Retreive tortilla and place on foil-lined baking sheet
  3. Add filling and roll up!

Do this for all tortillas, and then cover the entire baking sheet with the remaining sauce, ensuring you don’t get too crazy and spill.


Take your Daiya cheese block and grate the cheese ALL over the place.

Cook for 20 minutes and enjoy!

Posted in Eating, Running, Veg/Vegan

ENERGYbits Product Review

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I wrote a post a few weeks ago about natural preworkout alternatives – how you can fuel your body with coffee & tea instead of getting cracked out on neon-colored, chemical-laden junk. A little bit after, I was lucky enough to get a sample of ENERGYbits in the mail! I’m always on the hunt for  holistic workout options, so I was stoked to give these green little powerhouses a try.

I’d promised myself I’d go on a run when I got home today, but I had a long day at work. I was mentally frazzled & physically exhausted, but obediently forced myself to make my run happen. I figured it was the perfect time to try the ENERGYbits, since I really needed a boost just to muster up the energy to lace up my shoes.

Despite their deep green color, the bits lacked any odor or flavor. They were smooth & easy to swallow, and I took them 15-20 minutes before leaving my house. I didn’t expect to feel much (since they were so small and suspiciously non-neon colored) and still felt sluggish as I embarked into the chilly evening.

About a mile into my run, though, my pace picked up. I docked a minute off my second mile, and my body felt a little lighter and faster with each step. It wasn’t until mile three that I remembered, “hey, I took those tablets! They’re totally working!” Instead of overwhelming my body in a chemical-fueled rush, the bits lifted my energy naturally and comfortably. There was no flushed, red skin, prickly hands and feet, or racing heart beat, but they definitely worked.

I ended up running four miles and a decent negative split. The ENERGYbits felt like they freed my body from its own grogginess, allowing it to have a great workout. My run, in fact, turned my crappy day at work right around! I loved the bits, and would love to have about a zillion more samples to try with different workouts.

Energybits-ad

Sooo…..what are ENERGYbits??

These cute, green little tablets – bits, if you may – are 100% spirulina. This algae is a super star among super foods, touting the highest concentration of protein in the world, over forty nutrients, and plentiful amino acids to soothe & rebuild cells and muscles. This stuff is downright awesome. As quoted from their website:

“Our organically grown spirulina is NON GMO, 100% natural, 100% green, carbon neutral, has only ONE calorie per tab and contains no sugar, no caffeine, no chemicals, no gluten, no soy, fillers or anything artificial.”

So, it’s basically every fit girl’s dream? Pretty much. Spirulina helps fight fatigue, hunger, and cravings, and promote athletic performance, weight loss, physical energy.  This blue water algae also helps build muscle and strengthen bones, nails, hair & skin. It’s also a great alternative to animal protein! Vegetarians & vegans – especially active ones – are always in need of protein alternatives.

got-algae_energy2Ingesting algae sounds a  little icky, but as I mentioned before, the bits don’t really have any taste or smell to them. They were so easy to take, and I liked that they were effective without all the crazed/crack-ish side effects.

The ENERGYbits were great, but the company also makes SKINNYbits, RECOVERYbits, and VITALITYbits, each with their own mix of superstar algae-based ingredients. I’d love to try some of their other bits, and would definitely reccommend using these as part of your workout routine!

If you’d like to learn more or snag some ENERGYbits, click here!