Thursday, September 28, 2017


S L O W   F O O D   

Wow. Has it been that long? Don't think I fell off the face of the earth due to my increased weight (although the weight did increase, I am still on planet earth). I AM BACK!!! HI!!!

And guess what? My birthday was on Monday. A FULL DAY OF CELEBRATING. But all in a good way -- I chose, intentionally, to eat to live. I had a caesar salad for lunch (mahalo to child #4) and a crab salad for dinner (thank you to husband #1). Add a couple bites of a yummy birthday dessert to please my dining friends and I was good to go. I made a conscious decision to make this new revolution around the sun a well-being one. I figured out that spending an entire year (which seems like a lifetime when you're like 18 but it is a flash when you're 58) focusing on my well-being is but a drop in the bucket if it is going to make the rest of my life (and who knows how long that is) brighter, lighter, and funner (I know thats not a word but I like it). If I have more energy because I am making better food choices and I am exercising regularly then the years will be even fuller because I will be able to fit more in! No fatigue during the day, no achy bones to keep me on the couch. Yeah. All of that.

So let's get on with it. I have so much to say but I will try to do it in small bites. lol.

Guess what Friday is...go on. Guess...

It is SLOW FOOD FRIDAY, a.k.a. F*ck Fast Food Friday, which was its original name for like two hours. And then someone came up with a kinder name and I took it. Because that's how I roll. If a friend has a better idea than me, I have no problem adjusting (so props to Kika, my daughterfriend. Who knows, it may change again. This is a new thing. And what happens with all new products? Eventually, it becomes NEW and IMPROVED.

The goal of of things to come (STAY TUNED FOR MORE) is to make changes in what you're currently doing in order to improve your quality of life. And if you're reading this, food is a big part of your life. So let's make some food changes, okay? Okay.

The idea for  SLOW FOOD FRIDAY came about because fast food kills. It does. Sorry if you eat it. I ate it. I was famous for going through the drive thru for a happy meal for each kid for dinner once or twice a week. Or stopping at the convenience store for the requisite hot dog since $1 is $1. But it kills. You know it from watching documentaries like Super Size Me. And The Weight of the Nation. And you know it because you have seen, read, heard that obesity in our nation is an epidemic. And you look around you, at the fast food restaurants and drive ins. We is BIG. Ugh. It hurts to even type it. So let's move on.

So on Friday (my tomorrow) help me celebrate  SLOW FOOD FRIDAY.

slow food
  1. food that is produced or prepared in accordance with local culinary traditions, typically using high-quality locally sourced ingredients.

Take a minute to re-read that.

Local culinary traditions. That might include cooking in an imu (now THAT is slow food). But it could also mean using your crock pot or even your pressure cooker (way faster but still considered slow). The more important part is "using high-quality locally sourced ingredients".  For me, that is the ʻulu my friend gave me. Or the Chinese cabbages that are so affordable at the farmer's markets. Or maybe it is just a regular cabbage stir fried with some smoked meat or kalua pig you have in the freezer. That was created SLOWLY. In your home. With your loving hands. Taking your time because why rush?

Whatever you choose to do, do it in your kitchen, with the music or a podcast playing, trying your best to create good food (with or without the help of youtube or the many recipes, blogs, Facebook and Pinterest posts.

You are not choosing:

fast food
ˈˌfas(t) ˈˌfo͞od/
  1. food that can be prepared quickly and easily and is sold in restaurants and snack bars as a quick meal or to be taken out.
    "a fast-food restaurant"

    To me, processed food is fast food. It doesn't fit into the definition above but we consume processed foods because they are fast. We choose to buy a random bag of whatever because it is fast and thoughtless. Just run into the store, grab and go, rip it open and regret it later on. If it has five or more ingredients listed OR if you can't pronounce an ingredient or your great grandma wouldn't know what it was, then it is processed.

    Okay so are you on board? Will you join me? 
    Be sure to join our Facebook page and post your SLOW FOOD photos!

    I am so excited. GO GET READY!! What do you have in your fridge? What do you need to buy or pick or gather? Or who can you join up with? 

    ʻAʻohe ʻulu e loaʻa i ka pōkole o ka lou
    You can't get the breadfruit if your picking stick is too short.
    Plan for success, people. What will you do on  SLOW FOOD FRIDAY   for breakfast, lunch and dinner? And all your snacks in between?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Mango Season = Mango Mania

There is nothing as joyful as mango season. Wait. I take that back. There is nothing as joyful as access to mangoes during mango season. And thanks to family living on the west side of Oʻahu and a trip to visit grandkids, I bartered for my favorite fruit. Oh. So. Worth it.

Seriously. How could this not look like the perfect breakfast to you? Okay, I get it. A mango crisp? Top of my list. Buttery goodness. Crisp topping. Brown sugar love. But I got me some love handles from so much of that brown sugary buttery goodness love that I make a huge effort to go sans that. And trust me. This raw oats with fresh coconut milk, topped with mango cubes and sprinkled with some bee pollen is plenty yum for me. And because of the whole grain oats, I stay full for a long time, usually at least a good four hours. So worth it.

 I added some chia seeds to my oatmeal to soak up some of that coconut milk. I used this mango slicer that my brother, Bulla, gave me a few years ago. Works perfectly!

Yesterday, since the weather was a little cooler, I went ahead a cooked my raw oats with some almond milk on the stove for a short while. Added some mangoes into the pot to sweeten up the oats a bit and then when it was ready, topped it all with more mangoes. You can't have enough mango!

Other ways I've had mango this past week? Mango sticky rice, mango in my smoothie, and just plain old cut up mango, curl up on the couch, watch some Ellen mango. Big mahalo to Jordan and Naomi for sharing their mangoes with me!!!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Coconut Milk

My friend, Ku'ulei, shared with me a great new coconut knife she bought on  Amazon. Now mind you, I haven't had my own in the husk coconut for, I would say, years. Seriously. I mean living in the mountains where not a coconut tree is in sight, well, it isn't my first priority. But show me a kitchen gadget that you think works miracles and I am there. Like a bear. It's an illness. Don't judge. So what do I do? I go straight to Amazon, order the knife, and then proceed to find coconuts.

That's the beauty of friends in low places (as in ocean dwelling peeps). It was just a matter of days before 3 coconuts, unhusked, appeared on my doorstep. Or desk, in my case. And so it goes.

With knife in hand, and a handy dandy husband to do the husking (in true Polynesian style...with a pick axe), I began to remove the meat from the shell. And then what would any first time coconut milk maker do? Ask friends and go to youtube and google. And thanks to my good friend, Ku'u, and youtube, I was able to produce the freshest, most delicious-est coconut milk, made from my own hands. In a relatively short period of time. Thanks to my kitchen gadgets, the coconut knife and vitamix, and with the help of a milk bag, which is not technically a gadget but sort of is. I bought it months and months ago thinking one day I would make a nut milk (think almond) but didn't. Yay me again.

And now I have fresh coconut milk in my fridge (to add to smoothies) and in my freezer (to cook with).

Oh, and get this...I took the leftover coconut bits (oh and believe me, with a vitamix, it is little itty bitty bits), and dried them in a low temp oven (175 degrees) and I am going to turn it into coconut flour. Don't ask me what I am going to do with it, but I will do something. Because I can.

Coconut meat de-shelled

Throw it all in the vitamix

Add hot water and whirl away

Pour whirled coconut "milk" into the milk bag

Isn't it beautiful?

There is it! Three coconuts produced one pitcher plus about 3 cups I froze

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Week 1 - CHECK!

Wow. I have completed one whole week on ETL. No oil, sugar, salt. No meat, dairy, refined grains. And I didn't starve. I ate a lot.

True confessions: I went to a party, and saw ham. On the bone kine ham. I heart that kind of ham. On round one, I passed it. On round two I looked around, I grabbed a small piece, put it in my mouth. And chewed. And then felt guilty. And spat it into a napkin. And continued on my merry way. Then I passed the dessert table and took a piece of the haole brownies I made. And I did the SAME THING! Like I didn't learn my lesson the first time! Spat it out. Lesson now officially learned. I figured if I kept it up the next step would be bulimia and I don't want to go there!

In this first week, I learned that having a network of family and friends along for the ride is a great incentive. Being accountable to a like community makes a difference for me. I learned how to use soy curls and make coconut milk. I learned that prepping my own meals is way safer than eating out. And I learned that if I can do one week, I can do two.

Good luck to all in week two.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Day 2 - Oh Yeah!

Another successful day. For breakfast: Acai bowl with toppings (this time included pomegranate whatever those bits are called which they sell in the frozen fruit section of Costco. I have never ever purchases a pomegranate and have only eaten them on rare occasions, which does not include the most delicious pomegranate margaritas that Hilo Bay Cafe used to make).

I do need to stop eating so many nuts in the mornings but I just love them so! I try not to eat them at other times during the day. 

For dinner, I made a curry stew using potatoes, cauliflower, baby carrots, celery, onion, and a can of garbanzo beans. To this I added a can of stewed tomatoes, a can of coconut milk and then a tsp or so of curry powder, turmeric, and cumin. I put it in a slow cooker. It was delicious. Maybe next time I will add the coconut milk in at the end or a half hour before the end. It curdled a bit but the taste was still there.

So day 2 is complete. How did you do?

Monday, March 31, 2014

Day 1 - Soft Opening

You know, just like a new restaurant opening before the grand opening just to try things out? That's me. Today. For Eat to Live. Several of my friends are starting today but I wanted to wait until April 1. Except I want to ease into the ETL of tomorrow by ETL'ing today. Only thing different is that I am having a "last hurrah" this evening with a girlfriend of mine which may (most likely) include a couple margaritas. Oh yeah.

But I'll just make pretend tonight isn't going to happen and let you know that this morning I made a thick smoothie (using my magic bullet) using 1 apple banana, 1 packet of acai (from Costco) and coconut milk (also from Costco in a 2 pack 1/2 gallon box. Yum).  I poured that in a bowl (a bit too runny but I am still mastering the acai bowl thing) and topped it with mac nut bits, chia seeds, cranberries and goji berries. Yum.

For lunch I had romaine lettuce, a couple slices of tomatoes and sliced raw mushrooms. Enough to hold me over for an hour or so. Then I had a mountain apple and two cuties (the citrus fruit, people, don't get crazy).

For dinner, I had a couple of red potatoes, a few pieces of beets and made a delicious pesto dressing with pesto, dates for sweetness, lemon juice, nutritional yeast and coconut milk. It turned out yummy for an ad lib dressing.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Here We Go Again

I know, it's been a while. Okay. A ridiculous amount of time has passed. Good news: I can pretty much still fit in the same clothes that I bought after my initial ETL (Eat to Live) adventure. Bad news: my body aches. Sitting or lying down for a few minutes (or hours) and then getting up is difficult. I am battling neural foraminal stenosis (narrowing of something where my nerves are in my lower back) which means my lower back really hurts, my leg now hurts and sometimes my leg goes numb. I now have appointments at a pain clinic, a physical therapist and a neuro-surgeon. Yup. Good times.

I am convinced that eating plants will help my back. Or at least the aches and pains I have been experiencing lately. And don't think that I totally fell of the wagon and have been eating crap but I'll admit that I am not the 80/20 that I should be. I would venture to say I am 50/50. Not good enough for me.

Tomorrow is my "soft start" (I have a "date" with a bff that is sure to include a glass or two of wine). April 1 I am going full fledged eat to live until May 13 and then beyond.

To prepare I went grocery shopping to load up on fruits and veggies. I am armed with a new pressure cooker to assist in the evening preparations (and it doubles as a slow cooker too!). I have family members and friends who are joining me in my adventure (we are 11+ strong) so there is no way that I can not succeed.

Onward and downward we go.


S L O W   F O O D    F R I D A Y Wow. Has it been that long? Don't think I fell off the face of the earth due to my increased weig...