Tuesday, December 22, 2020

My Favorite Way to Eat Crispbread from Trader Joe's

Recently, my friend Renee set me up with some of her favorite products from Trader Joe's. We don't have one in Hawaii, shocking right? We think so. But honestly, we've never lived near a Trader Joe's and only popped into one for the gluten free Pumpkin Pancake Mix a couple of times. 

Anyway, Renee came to Oahu for the FASTer Way virtual conference and brought me some Crispbread.

My favorite way to eat crispbread from Trader Joe's is a combo of avocado, coconut yogurt and salmon. This meal is perfect on low carb days because it has tons of protein, fiber and healthy fats.

I like to mash my avocado and use it as a spread. Avocado is a great source of fiber and healthy fats. If you are not a fan of avocado, I highly recommend mashing it up and blending it into your food. Works for me!

I like to add vanilla coconut yogurt which boosts my heathy fats and drops a little sweetness to this combo. Then I top my crispbread with a generous portion of salmon - a great source of protein and healthy fats.

Another delicious option is to spread a bit of Kite Hill cream cheese with chives (or any dairy free cream cheese) and top it with salmon. Tuna would work, too. Soooo delicious!

If you are a FASTer Way client or just follow a low carb diet, Crispbread is amazing on low carb days. It has lots of protein, healthy fats and fiber. These are all of the things we want on low carb days!

Are you a crispbread fan? How do you like to eat yours?

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Focus On These 4 Things to Achieve Your Goals

 We have less than 3 weeks left in this crazy year of 2020! Time is just flying by.

Time is one of those things we would love to control, but it has its own path, right? I have clients who get caught up in how quickly they are losing weight, losing inches, changing their body composition. How quickly those things happen varies from person to person and is simply something we cannot control.

Instead of focusing on time, I tell my clients to focus on what they CAN control.


  1. How consistently they are making healthy choices with their nutrition. Choosing whole foods and avoiding highly processed foods.
  2. How consistently they are getting in their exercise. Moving each and every day whether it is a structured workout or not.
  3. How consistently they are sleeping enough - aiming for 8 hours each night - and sleeping well. This is important for the body to be ready to burn fat and build muscle.
  4. How consistently they are kind to themselves - it is important to have a positive mindset and show ourselves grace if we have an off day. 

These are the things that we CAN control. These are the things we CAN be consistent doing that will have an impact on how quickly we make progress.

Consistency is the key ---> to progress, to seeing change, TO SUCCESS!

Want to learn more about joining the FASTer Way with me? Click here!

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Thanksgiving at the Hale Koa

Neither mrC or I have any desire to make a big Thanksgiving dinner for just the two of us. Instead we treat ourselves to the traditional turkey meal at a restaurant every year we are away from family. 

This year, the pandemic made it a little more challenging because of state guidelines for restaurants. Never one to be deterred, mrC found a way for us to enjoy a delicious dinner and staycation too!

After finishing our FASTer Way 5K walk and breaking our fast with a smoothie, we packed an overnight bag and headed into town, aka Honolulu. We were staying at the Hale Koa for the night and having dinner at Koko at Kalia, one of the hotel restaurants.

The Hale Koa is the military hotel in town. We've overnighted here for early morning flights before we officially moved to Hawaii. This is also where we came to see a luau when the girls and Sean were visiting.

They let us check in early, so we had plenty of time to put on our fancy clothes and share some wine on the lanai before we headed to our dinner reservation.

I was so happy when the hostess led us to our table and it was one with a view ---> it's hard to see in the photo, but we had view of the garden, the beach and the water. Being on the west side, we were in direct line of the sun. Fortunately it was partly cloudy because the sun warms things up quickly. In the shade and with the breeze, I would have needed the jacket hanging off the back of my chair.

Unlike like the big buffet we had at Hickam AFB last year, our dinner was a set menu. Onion soup followed by the main course and then dessert (we passed). It was SO. MUCH. food. The soup was delicious. I loved the asparagus (normally don't because it's too soggy), and the turkey and potatoes were very good. mrC had multiple helpings of the cranberry sauce and neither one of us cared for the stuffing.

After dinner we walked to the store to get some snacks -> sounds funny, I know. Our dinner was at 4PM because we wanted to be sitting on the beach for sunset. I knew I would want something crunchy later.

We sat right on the sand to watch the sunset, a few surfers and one crazy guy swimming with the sharks. mrC always reminds me that sunset is the time of day that the sharks get hungry, too. Ha! 

We spotted a heart on the high rise hotel next to us. Can you see it?

Walking back to the hotel, we got to see all the festive lights ready for the next holiday.

In the morning, I sipped my coffee and watched the sky light up from our lanai while mrC was still sleeping. 

After he woke up, we took our coffees and went to sit on the beach for a bit before heading off to our leg day at the gym.

We have learned to make the best of holidays away from family. I hope you had a wonderful holiday, too!

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

FASTer Way 5K 2020


For the second year in a row, we kicked off Thanksgiving Day with the FASTer Way 5K for a cause. Even though we are no longer runners, it just feels good to get out and move before feasting later in the day. 

All participants were provided a training plan with registration. Runners received a four week plan and walkers received three weeks. mrC and I didn't really need a training plan since we walk to the beach as often as we can.

Just like last year, the weather was absolutely perfect and there were a ton of people out walking, running, biking. We suspect they were doing the same thing as us, working up an appetite.

Instead of just turning around at the Lanikai Monument, we did what we always do and went down the hill to the water to check the turtles.

We also detoured off the walking trail in Kailua Park. First we sat on our favorite bench and just stared att he water. This is one of our favorite past-times. Then we went down to the beach and asked a friendly gentleman to take a pic - he thought we were tourists!

We don't really need an excuse to get out and walk, but it felt good doing something to give back on Thanksgiving. The event generated a donation of $50,000 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

How do you kick off your Thanksgiving day?

To learn more about the FASTer Way, click here.

Monday, November 30, 2020

A Real Hawaiian Christmas Tree

This year we treated ourselves to a real live Hawaiian Christmas tree!

We have been living abroad since April of 2015 and every Christmas we have decorated. Apartment living, especially in Asia, means small spaces. Small spaces = small decorations. Like most things, we have made the most of it. 

Here's a look at some of our Christmas decorations over the years...

Shenzhen, China 2015 - hand-me-downs from another expat on her way out of Shenzhen. 

Hong Kong 2016 - a little upgrade with the added poinsettia!

Hong Kong 2017 - upgraded our tree to a mini live branch, haha. We had a lot of presents because Grant and Georgia were both visiting that year. I don't remember where the green light came from??

Hong Kong 2018 - Not sure this is an upgrade since it's fake, but it did have lights. I bought this tree from someone who was leaving Discovery Bay and posted in the neighborhood "things for sale" group. The upgrade would definitely be the two new ornaments from Devan and Georgia (which were too heavy for our tiny tree, haha).

Kailua 2019 - another pre-lit tiny tabletop tree, but we upgraded to also hanging lights on the lanai. I always loved having lights on the house at Christmastime.

Kailua 2020 - Meet Norton, our Norfolk pine from Helemano Farms in Wahiawa. 

The day before Thanksgiving, we drove about 35 minutes from Kailua to Wahiawa. With COVID social distancing and regulations, we planned to be first in line when they opened so we could get in and out. We were second.

Helemano Farm had lots of trees. Fields and fields of baby trees not ready to be cut yet. The views with the mountains in the distance were stunning.

We wanted to find our perfect tree, so our guide led us past the pre-cut trees to the field where the mature trees were growing. 

We were told to look for the trees with the white tags - which meant they were 6 feet tall. The tags were in the middle of the tree, which was actually the bottom of what would be cut. We would be taking home the top.

After picking the best looking tree around, Daniel took about 5 seconds to cut it down. Then he carried it off to be wrapped and tied it to the top of our car. That's when we learned that we were his very first customers on his very first day! 

After stopping for lunch in Haleiwa on the North Shore, we finally got Norton home and unwrapped. Chris had to trim him a bit and wrap the base to make it fat enough to fit in the stand. Then we crossed our fingers that he would perk up and stand tall.

A few days later, I had picked up some real decorations (although still small because Norton is a delicate guy) and got to decorating. Fortunately Target, which is right around the corner from our apartment, had just what we needed for our little Hawaiian tree.

We also upgraded the lights on our lanai. I found some awesome solar lights on Amazon. They charge all day and come on as soon as it is dark enough. 

I am loving our tree and decorations this year.

How do you do Christmas?

Monday, November 23, 2020

Monday Must Haves - 5 Beautycounter Products I'm LOVING right now + ON SALE NOW

Have you ever noticed that there are things in our lives that we didn't know we needed until we tried them for the first time? That's how I feel about most of my Beautycounter products because I have never been the make-up girly-girl. I'm still not, but I do know a lot more about beauty care now that I care about what we are putting on our bodies.

So, just in case you don't know, here's a little background on Beautycounter.

As a FASTer Way coach I care about what people put IN their bodies and encourage clean, whole foods. Once I learned that MOST beauty products (make-up and skin care) are filled with unregulated toxins, I wanted to advocate using clean products ON our bodies as well. So I became a Beautycounter consultant.

Here are some of my 2020 work from home, Zoom ready favorite products:

Beyond Gloss Trio - Limited Edition colors
I love Beyond Gloss, but I'm beyond obsessed with these colors. I think women look amazing in lipstick, but I've always preferred the glossy look. 

Golden Hour All-In-One Palette - Four shadows, blush and highlighter. 
Perfect for getting ready for client calls and work trainings on Zoom. Plus, I'm looking forward to taking this to New Hampshire next month for my stepdaughter's wedding. Perfect colors and simple for travel.

Countertime Radiant Skin Set - Countertime Tripeptide Radiance Serum and Turn Back Time Facial Roller. 
I absolutely love this combo! The serum has been part of my morning and evening routine for awhile, but now it feels like I'm giving myself a little mini-facial every time I massage it into my skin with the roller. It also works well with the Counter+ All Bright C Serum.

The Jellies - Brights and Shimmers
Back to the lips! These jellies are extra glossy and each one has its own scent experience. Fun tip: you can punch a hole in the end to add it to your keychain and your gloss will never be left behind again.

Luminous Lid Cream Shadows 
My eye shadow is usually pretty low key, but I'm loving the hint of sparkle that comes from the responsibly sourced mica in these creamy shadows. 

I have many more favorites, but these are a few products that I find myself looking forward to using each day lately. The BEST news is that Beautycounter's Great Holiday Gift Event is going on right now and you can save 15% off each of my favorite products plus free shipping on orders overs $50! Treat yourself or buy a set and break it up to give as multiple gifts. Act fast though because inventory will be selling out before you know it. Sale ends 11/29/2020

New to Beautycounter or have questions? I'd love to help you get started! Shop my link here or leave your questions in the comments below.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Cilantro Lime Black Bean Rice & Chicken Bowl

I used to be the girl that kept everything separate on her plate and ate one thing at a time...ok, I still do that sometimes, but now I am more likely to throw a bunch of different foods in a bowl. 

A few nights ago, I was on my own for dinner because mrC was on a trip. I had spent most of the day getting work done and dropped the ball on meal planning for myself. Fortunately I had all the ingredients (well, most of them) for this yummy recipe from the FASTer Way meal guide.

*Every week, FASTer Way clients receive a meal guide as a resource. Clients are not required to follow it, but it definitely makes planning and coming up with ideas for meals A LOT easier. You can learn more here.

Most of the time, I like to use the meal guide as inspiration. I'll add some ingredients, substitute for others or just leave out what I don't like. That's how I put together this recipe for Cilantro Lime Black Bean Rice & Chicken Bowl.

My version:

1 cup baby spinach

1 cup read leaf lettuce

1/4 cup basmati brown rice

1/4 cup black beans seasoned with 1 tbsp lime juice, 1/4 cup frozen onion, 1 tsp dried cilantro, 1/4 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 cup organic salsa

1 tbsp flaxseed and 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds (because I seed cycle)

4 oz grilled chicken diced

This recipe came together so easily because I had grilled a big batch of chicken earlier in the week and use pre-packaged rice (this is my favorite) and organic salsa from Whole Foods. I'm all about keeping things simple!

This is a great macro meal for days when you need all the macros! Plus it is packed with fiber to keep the gut a happy place. I encourage my clients to do meal bowls because they're more likely to have balance.

Do you like meals in bowls? What is your favorite combo?


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Hiking: Pu'u Ma'eli'eli Trail (Digging Hill)

Our first attempt at doing this hike was postponed when mrC got an unexpected work trip. We did it a few days later under not so perfect conditions, but you can't wait for conditions to be perfect!

So, once again we headed to the trail even though the skies were cloudy and rain was in the forecast (same thing happened when we hiked Aiea Loop Trail). We parked at the Ko'olau Shopping Center and then followed the guardrail on Kahekili Highway to get to the trailhead. It was super easy to find.

After two climbs to get our legs warmed up right off the bat, I looked behind us at the Ko'olau Mountains topped with clouds. We see them in the distance every day, but I will never get tired of taking in their beauty. 

The reviews of this trail warned that it would not be easy or fun to hike it in the rain, so we crossed our fingers that the rain would hold off and the trail stay dry.

Hiking Pu'u Ma'eli'eli was fitting for a Monday hike because the trail ascended in intervals (we do HIIT workouts on Mondays in the FASTer Way community). Just when our legs were tiring from the climb, it leveled out. It's become our routine to have me lead us on the way out and mrC takes over on the way back.

It didn't take us long at all to reach the first pillbox (underground), but it was at the top of a final big climb. Fortunately there were ropes in place to help us get up.

About 20 yards beyond the first pillbox, was the pillbox with the view. The view was still pretty awesome, even on this really cloud covered day. To me, Kaneohe Bay looked like it might if Hawaii actually had a winter, like it was frozen.

We only hung out on the pillbox for a short period because the sprinkles started getting heavier. We are getting better at our selfie game.

mrC took the lead on the way back and it was slow going. The rain came down hard enough that we actually broke out the rain jackets. Any chance of getting off the trail with mud-free shoes went out the window, but at least no one slipped and fell.

Taking in one more view of Kaneohe Bay and mrC points out Coconut Island - a marine research facility for University of Hawaii.

We are happy to cross another new hike off our list, but this is one we will do again on a better weather day to get those amazing views of Kaneohe Bay in the sun.