Thursday, August 6, 2020

Duke's on Sunday

For the past year, I have been wanting to go to Waikiki to Duke's - an iconic beach front restaurant that personifies the aloha lifestyle. With the help of miss Devan's dinner gift and tourism being pretty much non-existent right now, I convinced mrC that we should go there for his birthday!!

So, on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, we put on our swim suits, packed up our beach bag and drove to town for an afternoon on the beach, exploring and Duke's on Sunday.

Love the board storage along the walkway to the beach. Wish we had this at Kailua Beach.

This was my first visit to Waikiki even though we have lived on Oahu for over a year and the view was not disappointing! 

We found a spot on the beach (which is actually not very roomy!) and got in the water for a little bit, but after the waves almost drenched our belongs a few times, we decided to take a walk.

It didn't take us long to find an acai bowl! We shared this soft serve version from Banan and it helped cool us off.
After wandering around International Market Place, we were ready to head to Duke's. Luckily there was one table remaining at the Barefoot Bar, even though it was not fully shaded. Before our nacho order arrived, another table opened up and mrC snagged it!
The best part was the table had a much better view of the outdoor stage and Henry Kapono!! Henry (of Cecilio (d.) & Kaponoa Hawaiian pop music duo) and his band play at Duke's every Sunday from 4-6. 

Normally people would be up and dancing, but because of COVID-19, there was no dancing allowed. We didn't mind though because we were enjoying the whole view. 
mrC has been a fan of Cecilio & Kapono since he was stationed here and he introduced me to the music when we got married. It was so awesome to see Henry Kapono and his band in person, but even better to get this pic before we headed up to the dining room for our dinner reservation.
Our table overlooked the Barefoot Bar, so we continued to enjoy the live music over dinner. mrC had the fish and chips and I had the Baked "Duke's Fish" - white fish (I didn't catch the name) with garlic, lemon and sweet basil glaze served on basmati wheatberry rice. It was soooo good! 
Our server surprised mrC with a complimentary birthday Hula Pie! He absolutely loved the macadamia nut ice cream, chocolate cookie crust and hot fudge.
Duke's on Sunday was the perfect way to spend mrC's big day!! 

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Berry Banana Smoothie

Making a break fast smoothie makes me happy!

I love that I can pack so many macro and micronutrients into one meal. I don't feel stuffed or hungry later either. In fact, I often feel satisfied until dinner. 

The weather is heating up here in Hawaii and on days when the trade winds are low, there is nothing like a good smoothie to cool down the body temperature.

Most of the time I follow a recipe, but yesterday I decided to wing it and the result was delicious! I promised to share the recipe, so here goes...

Berry Banana Smoothie

1 banana - frozen
1 cup frozen berries
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 TBSP flaxseed
1 TBSP chia seed
1 TBSP almond butter
1 cup green lettuce
1/2 cup spinach
1 serving collagen protein
2 tsp lemon juice

Not only was this smoothie delicious, it was just the right balance of protein, carbs and fats, perfect for a regular macro day if you follow the FASTer Way.

Here are the macros for all you trackers out there:
Protein 29g, carbohydrates 54g, fat 18g and fiber 17g

When do you like having your smoothie?

Friday, July 17, 2020

Friday Five: Summer Favorites from Beautycounter

I have been using Beautycounter for a couple of years, slowly switching to clean products once I learned that what we put on our bodies is just as important as what we put in them! 

Did you know the average woman wears an estimated 63 disease-causing chemicals on her skin every day? Hidden toxins can have a big impact on our health. In cosmetics alone, the European Union has banned or restricted more than 1,300 chemicals. The US? Partially bans 30.

It’s up to us to be smart consumers and purchase products that are in line with a healthy lifestyle to reduce our overall toxic load. I don't know about you, but I'm tired of waiting for the government to protect us when it comes to the food and beauty industries.


Here are 5 things I am loving right now:

Countersun Mineral Sunscreen - I love that this light, creamy lotion goes on easily and a little goes a loooong way. I usually prefer sprays because lotions can be thick and heavy. It is also reef safe, which is important to me as a Hawaii resident. 

Countertime Collection - Admittedly, I've never used a full line of products before (cleanse, prep, treat, protect). Now I look forward to washing my face every morning and night! 

Skin Twin Featherweight Foundation - I feel like I've spent most of my life looking for a foundation that didn't feel like I was wearing foundation (including other BC products). THIS is the winner for me! It's hot in Hawaii and this doesn't feel like my face is melting off - even if I have makeup on before a workout!

All Bright C Serum - I recently added this to my morning face routine because I have sun and age spots on my face and chest that I do not like at all. I have seen a noticeable lightening of the spots on my face and my face is just overall brighter.

Lip Gloss - Just like the name says, it's glossy! I've always been a lip gloss girl. I am very picky about the brand because I don't like sticky or thick. This makes me feel glam, even in my athleisure wear. 

I recently became a Beautycounter consultant so that I could help get clean beauty into more hands. Using safe or clean products that do not have toxic ingredients not only helps your skin, it can lower your risk of other health issues like skin cancer, nervous system issues, reproductive issues, and more!

Let me know if I can help you find something you are needing and want to make a switch.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Supersets with Tempo and a Booty Challenge

Today was our first strength training day following the new programming for July: Supersets with Tempo. We are going to be focusing on doing two exercises at a time back-to-back. One will be straight reps and the second we will vary the speed to increase the time under tension, aka max out the muscles!

I was really liking the mixed pyramid sets we were doing in June, but I know that in order to see change, we have to mix things up. That is why I love being in FASTer Way VIP. I get the perks of a personal trainer without the price!

This month we are also doing a Booty Challenge. So a couple of days a week we get bonus content to build our lower body strength. Today was day 2 and let me just say that things were on fire!

After my workout I did a cool down walk. It was a stunning day here in Hawaii with great trade winds, so I took advantage and headed toward the Lanikai Monument. This monument marks the entrance to the Lanikai neighborhood. 

The monument is my turn around spot, but I like to walk down the hill to the lava rocks and take in the view first. If you follow my Instagram stories you will see that I am here a lot! mrC and I love to sit and enjoy the breeze while looking for turtles. We came here almost everyday when the beach was closed at the beginning of the COVID quarantine.

I just love looking at the amazing view of Kailua Beach and the Kailua blue water from here. We truly are blessed to have this as our playground.

One reason I love this walk, is because it is all sidewalks and walking paths from our apartment (unless we take a side street which has very little traffic). The walking/bike path goes right through Kailua Beach park.

I spent the rest of my day working a little, chatting with my Functional Medicine Practitioner and eating! BreakFAST was one of my favorites: egg, tuna, avocado and hummus on gluten free, dairy free toast. The bread is made locally here on Oahu and is the best GF bread I've ever had.

While I was working, I had a 3 pound turkey breast cooking in the crockpot, so dinner was turkey breast, steamed broccoli and sweet potato chips. Turkey is my new chicken!

I got a bit of a game plan from the FMP today to help with my gut health and cortisol spikes. More on that in my next post.

Do you mix up your strength training workout programming or does someone do it for you?

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Blueberry Flaxseed Muffins

I've fallen in love with Blueberry Flaxseed Muffins!

Recently, I discovered that I could make muffins for a low carb day snack. I've actually had the recipe for awhile, but put off trying it because I thought it would be complicated. Isn't baking from scratch usually complicated?

Anyway, I was tired of Fat Bombs and all the other low carb snacks I've tried over the years like...

celery and Ranch dressing
turkey roll ups

...either don't appeal to me now or I literally don't eat those foods anymore.

So I finally got around to making Flaxseed Muffins and 1) the recipe is pretty simple and 2) they were ok (topped with almond butter), but kind of plain.

Since I love blueberry protein bars and cinnamon, I decided to add blueberries and some cinnamon to the recipe and see what happened. WIN!!

I've had a lot of requests for the recipe, so here it is! 

Blueberry Flaxseed Muffins - makes about 16 mini muffins 

1 cups ground flaxseed

1/2 T baking powder

1 TBSP cinnamon 

1/2 tsp sea salt

2.5 eggs (room temp)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup melted coconut oil

1/4 cup room temp water 

1/2 cup fresh blueberries 

Preheat oven to 350. 

Prepare muffin tin with liners or spray with oil. 

Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl. 

Crack eggs into a separate bowl and whisk for 30-60secs. Add water & oil. 

Combine wet & dry ingredients and stir to combine. 

Let sit for 1-2 minutes. 

Fill muffin tins using 1/4 cup. 

Cook for 20 mins. 

Store in fridge once cooled.  

Heat briefly before eating and top with your favorite nut butter!

Let me know if you make them, what you think, and if you change anything to make them better!!

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Best Green Smoothie Recipe

If you are like me, you want to include all the super healthy greens into your morning smoothie, but your taste buds resist!

While doing a 5-Day Reset with my FASTer Way VIP community, I could not drink the green smoothie recipe the way it was written. Cilantro? Cucumber? Anyone else struggle with the taste of these ingredients?

So after much trial and error, I finally tweaked the recipe and found the perfect combination that I know you will love, even if you are not in a constant battle with your taste buds!

Ingredients to blend:

1 cup coconut water
1 cup loosely pack parsley
1 cup loosely packed baby spinach
1/2 cup cucumber
1 cup pineapple (frozen)
1/4 cup mango (frozen)
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon fresh ginger
1/2 avocado

One of the things I love about this green smoothie is that the ingredients have so many benefits!
  • Lemon juice - boosts immune system, aids in digestion, balances ph, flushes liver and kidneys
  • Coconut water - vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, regulates ph balance
  • Ginger - helps with digestion, reduces inflammation, improves cholesterol levels, lowers blood sugars
  • Parsley - improves digestion, supports gland health, aids bone health

Full disclosure, this smoothie was not my favorite from the Reset, but it did taste better and go down a lot easier at the end - when my taste buds got their act together!

Do you like green smoothies?

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

5 Day Reset

Let's face it, there are times when we all fall off the wagon when it comes to our nutrition and fitness.

While my everyday lifestyle didn't change as much as most because of COVID-19, I did let bad eating habits start creeping back in. Convenience foods, extra treats, more indulgences...they were all adding up. 

Even with the best intentions, it can be hard to know where to start to get back on track! Just because I am a certified coach for a health and wellness program, doesn't mean I don't have struggles. Sometimes I NEED my community just as much as my new clients do.

Enter the 5-Day Reset.

In the FASTer Way community, we are given tools and challenges to help us navigate through plateaus and dial back in when we have let things get too loosey-goosey. This month we are doing a 21-Day Community Cut where we are cutting out habits and thoughts that don't help us reach our goals. The community challenge is always optional, but I couldn't wait to dive in as it came on the heels of my 10-day elimination detox with my FMP ---> perfect timing for me!

We kicked off our Community Cut with a 5-Day Reset to make nutrition our main priority and reset our minds and tastebuds. For 5 days we re-committed to whole food nutrition and focused on eating clean. No processed foods, no sauces and marinades. No sugar. Why? To clean out our body. To eliminate the foods that cause cravings.

How it Worked.

Day 1: all smoothies, all day. Instead of 3 square meals, we flooded our bodies with macro and micronutrients. We had a break-FAST smoothie, a lunch smoothie and a dinner smoothie. There was so much packed into those smoothies, I wasn't hungry at all! 

Days 2-5: two smoothies and two clean meals. Every day we broke fast with the break-FAST smoothie and every day we had the lunch smoothie as a snack. Lunch was 5 ounces of protein, 6 ounces of sweet potato (on my sensitivities list, so I had brown rice) and 1 cup steamed broccoli. Dinner was 5 ounces protein and greens.

The Ingredients.

There was a method to the madness! Every ingredient was picked because of the amazing benefits and the volume it would provide. Lemon juice aids digestion, flaxseed good source of healthy fat and helps hormone balance, coconut water contains electrolytes, ginger reduces inflammation. 

We were urged to drink green tea instead of coffee because it is anti-inflammatory and boosts metabolism. This was easy for me because I had already given up coffee during my 10-day detox, but drinking green tea was something new. I discovered that I like it!

The Results.

This reset was just what I needed to get back on track and recommit to whole food nutrition. I loved breaking my fast every day with a smoothie. I used to do this ALL THE TIME when I was still teaching. By day 5, I was enjoying the green smoothies as much as the fruitier break-fast smoothie. Proof that my taste buds had changed. I also had more energy, less gas and bloat, and slept amazing all week. My cravings for all the convenience foods I was reaching for more and more, have diminished almost completely and I find myself thinking about fruit a lot more. All big wins!

Combined with my 10-day elimination detox, I feel so much better than I did 15 days ago. I have lost water "weight" which I can see and feel in my belly and face. My clothes are fitting more comfortably and I am excited to continue to fix my body with healthy foods and not pills.

Have you ever done a reset? How did it go?

Let me know if you have any questions!!

Saturday, June 13, 2020

My 10 Day Elimination Detox

I recently completed a 10-Day Elimination Detox.

The detox was recommended by my functional medicine practitioner to help me reset my gut since that is where a lot of our health issues actually begin. My issues started over the last year with some weight gain (I could tell by the way my clothes were fitting, bloating after eating and changes in my libido. I just felt OFF. I had a hormone test done and the results showed some cortisol spikes, low vitamin D and elevated thyroid antibodies. My PCP and GYN were not concerned, but I wanted to get to the root of what was causing these things going on in my body and I didn't know how to do it on my own.

I turned to a FMP for help and after chatting with my her and hitting it off, I enlisted her guidance. She set me up to do some additional tests that will provide her with a bigger picture of what is going on. At the same time I started the detox.

The main protocol of the detox comes from Dr. Mark Hyman's 10-day detox. The premise is to eliminate all known inflammatory foods and get back to the basics. It basically makes you focus on 1) food, 2) habits and 3) support. Overall, I eat very well. I live the FASTer Way lifestyle, so I have been gluten and dairy free for a few years (90% of the time), avoid overly processed foods and artificial sugars, but I admit that I still reach for convenience items one in a while and splurge at times, too.

What the Detox looked like for me:
- eliminate gluten, dairy, caffeine, all sugar (including natural) and alcohol
- eliminate my known list of sensitivity foods (I was tested for this)
- eliminate all grains, beans, legumes and starchy veggies
- follow the daily menu (which was basically low carb)
- keep a daily journal of my sleep, food and drink, feelings, measurements, poops and gratitude
- practice self-care like deep breathing, detox baths, less social media time 

I've "done" detoxes in the past, but I was never truly ALL IN like I was with this one and I could tell the difference right away. It wasn't easy figuring out what to eat even with the menu full of recipes because I also had my own food sensitivities to contend with. Many of the recipes were chicken based and that was on my avoid list. So I tried what I could and then focused on what protein and veggies I could eat. 

So, while there were a lot of food restrictions on this detox, I still ate plenty. Everyday I broke my fast with a detox smoothie and had a snack, lunch and dinner. I tried every single smoothie recipe and landed on one that I liked and stuck with that. I have always been a creature of habit. There was plenty of food every day to fuel my workouts. Once I got past the yucky feeling the first two days, I followed my regular workout schedule.

My thoughts:
The thing I missed most on the detox turned out to be my carbs. I thought it would be coffee but I barely noticed. At the end of the 10 days I had lost most of the belly bloat, a few pounds (water weight most likely) and an inch or so from my measurements. I did not really take a break from social media, since it is the main source of how I do my job as a FASTer Way Coach and I did not take the detox baths because I don't have a tub. I did take time for gratitude each day and become more mindful of how I eat my food. 

One thing I really like about this detox is that it is doable and can be re-visited when needed in the future. For now, I am reintroducing foods from my sensitivities list one at a time to see how they make me feel.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Motivation Monday: FASTer Way 5K in Kailua, Hawaii

We moved to Hawaii over a year ago and I am still in awe over how beautiful it is. One of the first thoughts I had was, how amazing would it be to run here!

While it is a bummer that my knee can no longer handle running, that is not stopping me from logging the miles and enjoying the scenery. In fact, we have gotten into the habit of walking almost daily to the beach which is about 3 1/2 miles round trip!

For Motivation Monday, I am taking us back to November. Back in November, we officially walked a virtual 5K with the FASTer Way community for our traditional Thanksgiving Day activity. We looked for a local event to join, but there really wasn't any planned for the actual day and sadly, the ones that were did not have a walk option.

So we planned our own!

It was always so important to pick out the right run outfit, so just for fun, the night before I laid out my 5K outfit.

In true 5K fashion, we headed out early, took #walkfies along the way and logged our walk route. It was perfect!

The FASter Way 5K was part of a challenge in the FASTer Way to Fat Loss VIP community. For 5 weeks the VIP community trained together, motivated each other and supported each other. I loved that we did this as a community. The veteran runners were able to go out and do their thing, the new runners leaned on each other through the training days and for those of us that walked, we were 100% embraced and recognized for our accomplishments, too.

One thing that I have learned through all this is that you have to keep moving forward. Even when there is change or injury or whatever road block might be put in front of you, you just have to do what you can, when you can. Feel good about that. Embrace that. Focus on what you CAN do, rather than what you can't. No excuses!

Happy Monday!!

Monday, April 27, 2020

Join the 30 Days of Planking Challenge

Over Lent, my husband and I planked every day for one minute and spent that minute thinking about what we are grateful for. Normally, we give up something for 40 days, but this year we decided to add something positive to our daily lives.

Some days we forgot, so we doubled up the next day and sometimes we planked before crawling into bed. It wasn't a perfect 40 days (although we didn't take any Mulligans either), but we enjoyed it so much that we decided to keep it going. We bumped up our time and have continued to plank every day.

But now we want you to join us.

I am thrilled to announce that I have opened a FREE plank challenge to help you build a stronger core. This is a trying time for everyone who is stuck at home, shut out of their gyms, missing their normal workouts and I want to help. This FUN 30-day challenge can easily be done at home and added to your existing workout routine. The plank exercises will progressively challenge ALL of your core muscles day to day, week to week.

Are you in?

Join me for the 30 Days of Planking Challenge! This is what you'll get:

  • Achievable and challenging daily plank exercises

  • Weekend bonuses

  • Private Facebook Community

  • Daily encouragement and more!

  • You get all of this FREE!! 

    This 30-day challenge starts with basic planking to get the key muscle groups working together in your core. (Can’t do a plank yet? Start by doing it on your knees, not your toes) Then, you’ll add to the challenge by doing different plank exercises each day. Each week will engage more muscles getting progressively harder.

    We will be doing a different plank exercise every day and each week will get progressively more challenging. On the weekends you will be given on optional bonus exercise to do. 

    The point is to challenge yourself mentally and physically and to get out of your comfort zone.

    Join today by requesting access to the private plank challenge group ---> here.

    Comment below with your answers:
    Do you prefer to plank or do sit-ups?
    How long can you hold a plank?
    What is harder, standard plank or forearm plank?

    Thursday, April 23, 2020

    Our HEALTH is NOT Quarantined

    Happy Fitness Friday!

    Today I want to talk about health and wellness. Shocker! But seriously, I found out this week that the stay at home order in Hawaii has been extended until the end of May. It was supposed to expire at the end of April and I was really looking forward to things returning back to normal.

    You may be getting similar news where you are. Are you?

    While this is a difficult time, it doesn't mean that we should stop focusing on our health and wellness. Our HEALTH is not quarantined.

    Things happen to us, they always have and always will. Things that are out of our control. Things that make our lives more complicated and challenging.

    We can choose how to respond. We can decide what actions we are going to take when things happen to us.

    Right now, we can still focus on out nutrition, exercise, self-care and positive mindset. Just because our daily routine has changed, does not mean that our health and wellness is less important. It is actually, even more important to focus on how we are going to stay healthy.

    You can choose to eat whole foods that are going to help you naturally detox your body and system.
    You can choose to move and exercise for 30 minutes each day.
    You can choose to stay committed to a routine so that you get enough sleep and take time to relax.
    You can choose to look at the situation with positive thoughts.

    Our thoughts become words and our words become actions. We control how we respond. Our health is not quarantined.

    If working on your healthy living is something you are interested in, but you feel lost as to where or how to begin, I can help you with that. I help women and men escape the frustration of not knowing what to do to get healthy, fight disease and feel engerized by coaching them through the FASTer Way program (learn more about my next round here).

    My clients are THRIVING right now because they know what to do. They are focused on their nutrition, exercise, self-care and mindset. You can to!

    How are you focusing on your health and wellness? Share in the comments.

    Sunday, April 19, 2020

    Super Simple Chicken Tacos

    You may or may not know this about me, but I DO NOT MEAL PREP, not usually. I do not chop and pre-portion and freeze at my house. I might batch cook or use the cook once, eat twice method, but that is about as elaborate as my meal prep gets.

    I one hundred percent consider grocery shopping a major part of my meal prep and by that I mean that I'm going to take full advantage of what I can find already prepped for me at the grocery.

    Yesterday, we spent the morning paddle boarding (you might have seen what happened to us in my IG stories) and then made our weekly trip to the grocery. It's probably the same for you right now ---> grab your cart and disinfect, wait in line because the store is capping the number of people who can be inside, put on your face mask and then try to shop while staying 6 feet away from everyone else. It's a lot more time consuming!

    For dinner, neither one of us felt like spending a bunch of time in the kitchen, on top of the fact that we had not thawed any protein. Enter Super Simple Chicken Tacos and I mean simple! 

    One of my best tips for staying on track with your wellness goals while also keeping it simple so you don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen (unless you want to) is to buy pre-cooked protein. I buy pre-cooked shredded chicken for the days when I don’t feel like cooking (or when I forget to thaw the chicken 🤪). *be sure to check the ingredients to make sure nothing has been added (like sugar) that you don't need

    Heat up the chicken in a skillet in under 10 minutes, add the taco seasoning and bam! Choose your toppings and serve how you like. I had lettuce cups and mrC had wraps. Super simple and simply delicious!

    My recipe for two:

    8oz pre-cooked frozen chicken
    1 packet taco seasoning
    1/2 cup water

    Options for toppings: tomato, onions and green chiles (or keep it simple with salsa), (dairy free) cheese, avocado...
    Options for serving: romaine lettuce leaves, wraps, hard shells...

    Following a healthy lifestyle, like the FASTer Way, does require you to be a chef or make magic happen in the kitchen. To be successful, your meal planning and food prep needs to work with your family routine. It doesn't matter how you do it, as long as you DO IT because failure to plan = planning to fail.

    Have questions or want to know more about FASTer Way.
    Leave a comment, send me a message or click here!

    What does your meal prep look like?

    Thursday, April 16, 2020

    3 Things I Love About Carb Cycling

    Carb cycling is the intentional variation of carb intake. When you cycle, you alternate between high carb and low carb days. If you are following the recommended daily nutrition, 45-50% of your calories should come from carbohydrates. On a low carb day, this might drop down to 10-15%.

    I know a lot of people are following low carb diets, but many find that it is not sustainable. In this video I talk about why I think carb cycling is better than low carb dieting.

    When being strategic about how and when you eat your carbs, you will find that you have more energy and get better results from your workouts. By carb cycling, my clients continue to see fat loss and improvements to their overall body composition, all without sabotaging their hormones and metabolism. ⁣

    Here are three reasons I love carb cycling:

    1. I get the full benefit of the low carb days without worrying that I will damage my body.

    2. I enjoy all the carbs, like fruit, sweet potatoes, quinoa and rice, knowing that what I eat is rebuilding my energy stores so that I can get through my day, my workout and more.

    3. The pattern of carb cycling is easy to follow and sustainable because it gives me food freedom. I never feel deprived because low carb days are temporary.

    Carb Cycling is one of the strategies that we use in the FASTer Way to Fat Loss program to promote natural fat burning and muscle growth.

    Are you fed up with Keto and READY to carb cycle the FASTer Way? Let’s go! Join my next round of FASTer Way ---> click here for the latest info.

    Friday, March 20, 2020

    How stress during social distancing affects you

    Social distancing is affecting all of us in different ways. In Hawaii, schools are closed, parks are closed and there is talk of making all visitors mandatory quarantine for 14 days on arrival.

    For me, not much has changed since I now work from home, but the stuff going on outside is a little crazy.

    I have seen many people posting on social media about how this is a stressful time. And it is. So I want to talk to you today about stress.

    During stressful times, you might be tempted to give into stress eating. This is a common way for many of us to find comfort during times of anxiety. Not only does it curtail progress toward our health goals, but it also can negatively impact our immune system. Others might be tempted to work out to de-stress and often times begin over-exercising.

    Both of these things actually add to your body's stress.

    Think about it...

    Normally, our bodies can handle a certain amount of stress. Imagine that you have a stress bucket - everyday life goes into that bucket and you’re probably thinking about things like dealing with kids or family members at home, work stress, traffic issues that might make you late, worrying about loved ones and friends who might be going through something, paying bills. Things like that.

    But what also goes into your stress bucket that impacts the stress on your body are things like not getting enough sleep or not sleeping well, not slowing down and taking a break, not eating well, not exercising or exercising too much.

    All of these thing fill up our bucket and can make it overflow every day, every single NORMAL day

    Now think about where we are today, the added stresses we are dealing with being home from work, working from home for the first time, with kids or family to take care of, worried about getting sick, paying bills…the list seems endless.

    So today, when you think about or catch yourself stress eating or turning to exercise to relieve your stress, think about your stress bucket.

    Instead focus on eating healthy. Snack on whole foods that are going to boost your immunity like fruits and veggies. Try yoga or meditation or a walk to destress - so your body and cortisol levels have a chance to calm down.

    There is A LOT that we can’t control right now, but we can control how we treat our bodies.

    I am still working with my clients through the FASTer Way program and I can tell you honestly that they are feeling good and feeling calm because they are learning how to fuel their bodies to get well and fight disease. They are learning how to exercise enough to burn fat and build muscle but protect cortisol levels. They are learning to listen to their bodies and dial it back when they need to. 

    And they are leaning into their group for support and guidance.

    You can learn more about the program here.

    I hope that if you are feeling overwhelmed that you will think about what I have shared today. And you will do what you can to take care of yourself even when it feels like you can’t.

    Friday, March 13, 2020

    Two Days on Maui: Haleakala & Whale Watching

    Every year, mrC and I try to spend our anniversary somewhere new or doing something new.  In the past we have spent the day leaf peeping on the Kancamagus Highway, running a few races together, driving to the top of Mt. Washington and lots more.

    Back in October, mrC took me over to Maui for a couple of days for our anniversary and more recently for a quick whale watching trip. Both times we stayed in Lahaina at the Pioneer Inn. The town of Lahaina reminds me so much of Newport, RI ---> right on the water, cruise ships and boats in the harbor and streets lined with shops, restaurants and pedestrians. It just has a good vibe.

    The Pioneer Inn is an older but quaint large inn right in the heart of Lahiana with views of the water, an attached restaurant and the nicest people work there. I love the rocking chairs on the lanais (even though they tip back dangerously easy!).

    On our first trip to Maui we had more time to explore. We found acai bowls at Baya Bowls and if you know me, this was a priority! They were very good, but the location was off the main drag and the seating was limited on shade which is a big deal on a hot day in Hawaii! We strolled under the historic Banyan Tree which is the largest in the USA. We found plenty of good food and great views at Cheeseburger in ParadiseKimo's, and Lahaina Fish Co.

    One highlight was snorkeling at Baby Beach. We walked about a mile from the hotel to the secluded beach used mostly by local families. The beach is protected by a long reef creating a perfect place for spotting fish in the shallow and warm water.

    Never ones to pass up an active experience, mrC booked us on a Haleakala Sunrise Bike Tour. Much like our Sunrise Trek up Mt. Batur in Bali (read about that here), we were picked up around 3am at our hotel and transported to the top of Haleakala in time to see the sun come up.

    After a the stunning sunrise, we took a tour around the summit and then began our descending bike ride back down the volcano to Haiku. It was super fun!!

    Last month we went back for a quick two days basically for whale watching, but we explored a bit more too. We enjoyed a light breakfast on the water and then watched some group surfing lessons. It definitely looked like  great place for newbies to get their feet wet 😉

    Thanks to the early flight out of Honolulu, we were able to book the morning whale watching tour out of Lahaina and it was AMAZING!! I highly recommend visiting Maui in the winter and taking a whale watching tour. We booked with Pacific Whale Foundation and they did a great job.

    The next day we hopped on local bus #28 for a ride to the nearby town of Ka'anapali which is where a lot of large hotel resorts are located, one on top of the other. It's like a mini Waikiki. 

    It was nice to check out the shops and restaurants at Whaler's Village (I even got a henna tattoo), basically an outdoor mall, but the highlight was mrC spotting breaching whales during our beach front walk!

    Most importantly, we enjoyed more amazing food on this trip. I think we found our favorite Lahaina acai bowl at Breakwall Shave Ice and it had lots of seating options in the courtyard of The Wharf off Front Street. It was so good, we had it both days. We were back for some delicious ono grilled fish at Lahaina Fish Co and more ono at Captain Jack's Island Grill.  

    As usual, we left Maui with more items on our Maui bucket list, so we will be back!

    Have questions about our trip? Drop them in the comments below!