Friday, February 24, 2012

Getting My Walk On

I remember reading this: The key to good health (and weight loss) is diet and exercise. But DIET is the trump card. I know people who have exercised up the ying yang to no avail in the weight loss area. It can be quite frustrating. And then you buy into the belief that "you're building muscle and muscle weighs more than fat and that's why you're not showing weight loss." Babe-muscle does not weigh THAT much more. You probably are toning up and losing millimeters but more than likely you are eating more. Best you combine exercise with a plant strong diet.

This is me in the Great Aloha Run 2011. One year ago. I had been working out the previous year (2010) doing lots of walking (a little running but not much) and Zumba and Wii Fit. And trying to do better in the eating realm.

Yay to Kaipo for going the distance with me in 2011. In 2012 she was a volunteer!

While I did run a LITTLE bit last year I mostly walked.

This is me one year later (last weekend) in the same Great Aloha Run but the difference is that I started my plant strong lifestyle, virtually cutting out meats, dairy, sugar, salt and oil.

Didn't run a lick this year.

Girls posing!

Diet is the trump card.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Challenger Potluck 2/12/2012

We had a great potluck for interested and available challengers in Hilo. Following are some photos of the 'ono food we ate.

Duck balls (a.k.a. Lianabars rolled in coconut or peanuts or mac nuts or laced with unsweetened cocoa powder)

These roasted beets were dressed with lemon juice and fresh herbs (thyme, parsley, sage) and pepper

A most delicious tofu stir fry using mushroom sauce (vegetarian oyster sauce found in most supermarkets)

Who needs whipped cream and chocolate on your fruit salad when you have shredded coconut, nuts and raisins?

and using a fancy slice on bananas just adds a certain level of class to any fruit salad

Quinoa with all kinds of veggies and beans and seasoned with a bit of braggs and lemon juice

This paella was very special and included more veggies than you have ever used in one dish

The dahl was accompanied by a whole grain Naan. It was quite a treat for all of us!

Doesn't it even look like mashed potatoes? It's cauliflower! Steamed and food processed. Season it with your favorite herbs or spices!


The spread


talk story and eat

Our Mashed notatoes maker and new challenger, Kēhau.

Banana "ice cream" for dessert

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines & Anniversary to Me


Wow. It was exactly one year ago today that I started, officially, the Eat to Live lifestyle. I blogged about it here. One year has flown by. I cannot believe how that one change has had a profound impact on my life. I started getting so excited by the results that I ended up getting other people to do their own six week challenges. I started way back in June of last year. I've had a few since then. In fact, I have a new group of about 60 challengers who started on January 23rd.

If you scroll back to one year ago and read forward you will see how my life has changed. I did the Honolulu Marathon for the first time ever. I posted before and after pics. Whew. That was difficult. And the best part is that others, my family and friends, they've changed their lives, too! LONG LIFE!

My wish for all of you is that you take this opportunity to love yourself and love those around you and eat a healthy diet. Quit eating foods high in fat. Meat. Dairy. Quit eating foods high in sugar. Breads. Candy. Juice. And eat vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains.

It's the best Valentine's gift you can give to yourself and those you love.
Me and my Valentine

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Loving Hut Honolulu

Stuck between a rock and a hard place at a meeting in Honolulu (a.k.a. no veggie meal ordered) gave me a great excuse to grab a couple of challengers at Kawaiaha'o Plaza and head on out to an eatery I knew about but had never been.

I first went to Loving Hut in San Francisco and really liked it! It was fast (you can choose your 2-3 items for your plate) and delicious. I ended up eating there a couple of times.

I had heard that there was a Loving Hut in Honolulu, right on South King Street so we headed there to get a quick bite to eat. Ironic that it's right near the Baskin-Robbins.

What a pleasant surprise. Though not nutritarian (they use organic sugar and oil) the choices are delectable and varied. I had the heavenly salad (shredded cabbage, carrots, tofu, onion, herbs, with a delicious dressing (I should have asked them to reduce the amount so as not to have too much sugar). Yummy. My friend had the tofu tomato scramble and the curry and loved both.

As we drove back to our meeting, we ended up passing another Loving Hut, right on Pensacola! And it has a whole different menu!

Next up on my next adventure into vegan dining: Peace Cafe!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Are you Vegan?

I'm getting this question a lot lately since more and more people become aware of my new eating lifestyle. And my immediate response, if there's time, is no, followed by a long drawn out more information than they would like to know about being plant strong or nutritarian. If there's no time, I just kind of hem and haw and say something like "yeah sort of but not really".

I don't want to be labeled a "vegan".  Many vegans choose not to eat OR wear any animal products because they don't think animals should be killed or milked for our benefit. I am not of the same philosophical mindset. Vegans can also eat all the sugar and refined carbs they can stand which means their diets can still be quite unhealthy. That's not my focus.

I don't have an issue with eating dairy or meat or sugar. If there's pesto on a veggie sandwich that's being served at a luncheon, I'll eat it because, well, I love pesto. I don't make traditional pesto anymore and I probably wouldn't eat pasta that's laden with it. But as a spread on bread? Seems okay to me. If there's a bit of honey or sugar in a dressing, I'll use a little bit of it if I don't have any of my own dressings on hand. And I have no qualms about eating kalbi (my one meat indulgence to date). I won't go out and search for it but if it's on your plate and you offer me a piece I might take you up on it. There really isn't any rhyme or reason to how I pick and choose.

Bottom line, I don't have any objections to eating things I used to eat in abundance like ice cream, brie, prime rib, pecan pie. But those are the same foods that got me to a place I didn't like to be in, namely obese, sluggish and just plain old disappointed in myself. I don't necessarily seek those foods out for a meal and I can generally do without sweets (like the Haagen-Daz ice cream bars that were served at our meeting yesterday), but I'm not a fanatic. And I never will be. I put no restrictions on myself and DEFINITELY don't judge what you put on your plate. We all make our own choices.

I'm not sure what the best response is to people who ask if I'm a vegan. Maybe just tell them I'm plant strong and I try to stick to fruits, veggies, and beans. But then I feel like I should give some credence to the nuts, seeds, and whole grains I consume. And then recommend they read Eat to Live and watch Forks Over Knives. And tell them about all my friends and family members who are no longer taking drugs for diabetes or high cholesterol and blood pressure.

How do you respond to the question "Are you vegan"?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Kika Style Quinoa

I want to introduce you to my 2nd child, Kika Honda, a social worker currently working on O'ahu. She is one of the funniest people I know. They don't come any funnier or wittier than Kika. Oh and if you need to know the right road to take, as in the high road or the left road, she can talk you through it so you know EXACTLY which path to traverse, poetically speaking. Kika loves babies, most especially her niece and nephews. 
Kika and Kanoa (mo'o #2)

Kika and Hulali (mo'o #1)

Kika and Rocket (mo'o #3)

The following is her FIRST guest appearance on So Duck Soup. 

Baby Duck #2 and Mama Duck
(she is NOT taller than me)

Yesterday, empowered by the fact that I was solely responsible for a 4 month old and kindergartener, I felt compelled to make a colorful and tasty nutritarian feast for my family.
However, being busy with a 4 month old and a kindergartener, I had to make something that could be done fairly quickly, with what we had on hand, and without dirtying TOO many dishes.
I decided on making our go-to "we need to eat something healthy but haven't been shopping in a while" meal...

Quinoa: Whatever-you-have-on-hand Style.

I rummaged through the kitchen and was able to find that we had everything we needed (clockwise, from the top:)

4-5 mini sweet red peppers (any color will do, we had a half bag leftover from Costco)
black beans (one can, rinsed)
corn (one can)
tomato (I prefer cherry or grape but we only had steak, so I squeezed some of the juiciness out so it wouldn't soggy up the salad!)
edamame (from the freezer, just defrosted a cup and a half or so)
red onion (half of a big one)

I chopped everything up, cooked some quinoa (Bring 3 cups water to a boil, add 1 1/2 cups quinoa, boil covered 12 minutes. All water should be absorbed. Fluff with a fork. Remove from heat and keep covered for 15 minutes. It should be ready! And you should be all done chopping, or feeding a baby, or reading to a kindergartener, or praying that their mother returns home soon.)

Throw it all together, add some fresh cilantro, and viola! Dinner is served.

Admittedly, this wasn't the kindergartener's favorite dinner ever. She doesn't love onions or peppers. Her mother and I loved it though which is just as well, since I made a ton and we'll be eating it for a while! Try it with your favorite dressing, or even just some fresh squeezed lime. If your'e in to the salad jars but ran out of lettuce or greens, try making some quinoa instead! You can totally add anything and everything you want.

Over and out, 
Baby Duck #2.

P.S. The kids and I survived, though I fell asleep at 6pm. But everyone was fed!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

More Salad Jars

I just blogged about "salad jars" last week. It is seriously the latest greatest thing since fried rice! Or should I say "un"fried rice! I use quart ball jars like the ones above. And below. I think my husband might be able to use the even BIGGER jars. He can eat. Maybe fixings in one jar and lettuce in another.

Pour a couple tablespoons of dressing in the bottom and add beans. In this case I have chickpeas, a.k.a. garbanzo.

Then just layer whatever you have. As you add the beans the dressing gets a bit dispersed. I have added red bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, pea shoots and black beans. It took all my energy to not add corn. Maybe next time. I need to leave room for greens!

I stuffed spinach in there and then realized that I meant to add ground flax seed for my omega 3!

Top it off with more spinach and then almond slivers

All set for three days of lunch. Shake well before eating. It helps to get that dressing going. Otherwise you pour it into your bowl and the beans and dressing kind of get stuck in there.

A thing of beauty. I'm pretty darn proud of myself. It can only get better!
Now all I have to do is remember to take a big bowl to work.


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...