Dear Nōweo, Last night I put you down to sleep in bed. I almost always put you down still awake and let you fall asleep yourself. You’re really good at that.
Ten minutes later I went to check on you, and you had managed to shimmy yourself around so your feet were at the head of the bed, and your head was at the foot of the bed. You craned your neck to look at me and gave me a big “Mommy-look-what-I-can-do!” grin.
Honeybee, you’re on the brink of discovering that your feet can take you places – WILL take you places. Right now they’re spinning you in circles, but I will teach you to use them. Just don’t run away too soon once you’ve got it all figured out. And REMEMBER that if you don’t know where to go, you can ALWAYS let your feet lead you back home.
So, the reason we were able to make it over to O’ahu was because Keola’s internship sent him to a conference for Hawaiian men. He learned some interesting things there, but the one thing we both took home was a commitment to eating healthier. At the conference, they only ate Hawaiian food, which consists mainly of fish, taro, taro leaf, poi (mashed up taro), breadfruit, sweet potato, banana, with chicken and pork eaten very sparingly. Food was cooked simply (baked/broiled or eaten raw).
I LOVE Hawaiian food, but it’s often expensive or hard to come by, but after last week we thought we’d change our diet to be a little more Hawaiian, and a LOT more healthy.
The basic principles of the Hawaiian diet are:
Fruits/Veggies (even though there weren’t any “vegetables” in Hawaii the way we think of them today)
So we started doing that. Dinners consist of a little bit (I’m talking REAL little – LESS than a deck of cards) of fish (salmon/ahi), boneless, skinless chicken breast, lean pork or lean steak that’s browned in the pan without any oil and then baked with sweet potato and onion. We eat various combinations of broccoli, salad, poi and corn, and some fruit after dinner. I’ve also kept a couple recipes that we’ve already been eating that fit in with this diet. Oh, and NO WHITE RICE – which a staple here but isn’t the healthiest thing to be eating every night. Lots of people I know have cut weight by cutting out white rice.
Breakfast is oatmeal and a strawberry/banana fruit smoothie. (we had already been doing that for a while)
Lunch is usually a sandwich on whole wheat bread, cheese and crackers, fruits and veggies.
Since starting, this diet has done several things for us:
1) It’s simplifies shopping: I just buy a lot of everything, portion it out and we throw food together in whatever combination we want.
2) It saves money: Because we’re not eating AS MUCH meat at one time, we actually save money on the most expensive part of our meals. $10 at the farmer’s market can get me a huge bag of fresh produce, and we steam frozen broccoli or corn on the cob. We’re also not eating out which ALWAYS saves people money.
3) It reduces waste: I haven’t opened a SINGLE can – which means our trash can doesn’t fill up as fast, which means we won’t have to buy trash bags as often, which will ALSO save us money.
4) It makes more room in our cabinets: Since all this food is perishable, we keep it in the fridge, freeing up room in our currently overthrowing cabinets.
5) Oh yeah…we’re healthier: Toward the end of pregnancy and after giving birth, life was kinda crazy and we ate out A LOT. It got to the point where I literally felt GROSS and weighed down inside. Finally we’re getting things under control and I feel lighter on my feet and more energetic. Keola reported having lost 6 pounds IN A WEEK and he loves this diet. I was worried that he wouldn’t feel full because we’re not eating much meat, but we both feel satisfied and good about ourselves.
So, we feel like we’re off to a good start. When we’re settled again, I want to start experimenting with different herbs and spices to make things more interesting, and therefore sustainable, but for now, we like the direction that we’re headed in and can’t wait to see even more benefits!
It didn’t seem that long ago that my family used to enjoy the 4th of July fireworks from the bird’s eye view we had in our front yard. The flashing colors and soft explosions we saw and heard were treats for the senses, but as the years went on, the 4th of July fireworks display slowly lost its’ awe-inspiring wonder and for several years I opted to stay at home rather than fight traffic to watch fifteen minutes of flying color.
This year, my lack of spirit almost kept us home again. I told myself that Nōweo was too young and she wouldn’t remember it anyway, but since this was the first real holiday spectacle that she could enjoy, we thought we shouldn’t pass it up.
So 15 minutes before the show we headed out to try to find a suitable vantage point that wasn’t already overcrowded. We managed to find a curb downtown to park our behinds and settled in for 15 minutes of fiery fun.
Seriously guys. I feel like momness and life as usual is put on hold for crazy-lady-who-knows-she-needs-to-do-20-billion-things-but-hasn’t-done-anything-yet. I’m having writer’s block because I feel like there’s this HUGE dark void called being in-between houses that is preventing me from thinking about anything else. The scariest part is that I don’t know how long we’ll be in this “void.” Could be weeks, could be months. It’s so consuming it’s keeping me from getting anything done. I think deep down I’m not packing or anything because I WANT to hold on to this little piece of security – this HOT one-bedroom apartment that barely fits the 3 of us that I HATE. At least I know this place exists. At least I know where to lay my daughter down at night. I try to picture our new place – where it’ll be, what it’ll look like, how I’ll want to decorate. I picture shopping for furniture and bedding and toothpaste. Then I look around at the mess I’m living in that needs to be sold, given away, tossed or boxed up. Blogging is a luxury right now. I really should not be doing this. I can think of 20 things that need to be done instead but I guess one blog post isn’t enough of a release valve to help me de-stress. I hope you’ll indulge me. I’m gonna go cry now (not really). And then get to work. I promise. Goodnight world.
For those of you who didn’t know me before college, it may come as a shock to you to know that my hair has changed quite a bit over the years and that it is FAR from what it’s supposed to be naturally. Growing up, I HATED my hair. HATED IT. This is what it looked like in my sophomore year:
Yeah. It was a total lion’s main right? I wanted desperately to have beautiful straight hair like all the Asian girls in school. I’m almost half Japanese, but it DEFINITELY doesn’t show up in the strands on my head.
Something like that would’ve been nice…(I KNOW she’s not Japanese…)
BUT it’s just not a part of my genetic destiny.
So I was THRILLED beyond comprehension when my mom offered me the PERFECT graduation gift: To get my hair chemically straightened. I thought this would solve all my I-hate-the-way-i-look issues and she took me to see a friend of hers who owns a salon and who does AMAZING transformations on Polynesian hair, which is different from African or Latino hair. I hopped in that chair and 3 hours later felt like Miss America needed to MOVE OVER. *enter chorus of angels*
Well, you know how when you mow the lawn, you can’t just mow it once and expect the grass to stay short. The little buggers just keep growing. In a few months, my roots started to show. But instead of say blonde roots on someone who died their hair brown, I had little kinky roots starting to show which abruptly shifted to my straight ends. I attacked them with my straightening iron, trying to tame the tresses, but to no avail. The only thing worse than having poofy hair, is having half poofy, half straight hair. I’ll spare myself the humiliation of putting up a pic and just let you use your imagination.
I chemically straightened my hair one more time before I stopped and haven’t looked back, but I spent the next several years flat ironing my hair, which produced good results but killed my hair. Now I only take a flat iron to it for special occasions, but don’t really feel good about that anymore. Now my hair is somewhere in between flat and poofy – like it’s not sure what it should be. Guess what? I HATE IT!
Truth is, my hair was beautiful the way it was. Beautiful and thick and healthy and I cared too much about wanting to fit in to see it. I think now I’m finally mature enough to love myself the way I am (that and I don’t have 40 minutes in the morning to straighten my hair.) I know I sound like a cheating ex-boyfriend but I want my natural locks back – especially now that my postpartum hormonal swagger is taking out my hair faster than Britney Spears with a razor. I don’t know if my PTSD hair will ever be the same after the beating it took, but I’m going to try to make amends and help it grow by doing the following:
1) I will NOT succumb to any permanent chemical treatment.
2) I will not heat style my hair. That means hair driers, straightening irons, or regular irons (yes I did actually IRON my hair back in high school and got a burn on my neck that looked like a hickey. Haven’t done it since but it does fall under the category of “heat styling” so I have to mention it.)
3) I will keep my ends healthy by giving it a trim every 3-4 months.
4) I will only use quality hair care products on my hair.
5) I will brush GENTLY. Usually I yank on my hair like I’m pulling a wax strip or something.
6) I will strive to eat a healthier diet – lots of nutrients = healthy hair.
7) And if all else fails, I’ll get pregnant again. I LOVE my pregnant hair! Nah…that’s not very sustainable.
Got any tips for keeping your hair healthy and happy?