Island Life, Uncategorized

Travel Tuesday: Mt. Olympus Hike


I expected to be writing a super cool post about my awesome travels around Europe with my family, which I would be getting back from just about now. Instead, I didn’t go anywhere – the Europe trip I’d been looking forward to all year became the Europe trip that wasn’t. My mom tore her Achilles tendon, my sister had knee surgery, and my dad injured his kneecap – all within a week. Apparently, this trip just was NOT meant to be.


Seriously, that really did happen. Don’t believe me? My sister sent me this of all of their boots chilling at home together in collective injured non-travelness.


Since I can’t travel, I decided to cram some extra adventure into my life on the island – in the form of beach time, hikes, and  a spontaneous trip up to North Shore. My favorite adventure, though, was a wet, cold, slippery hike up Waahila Ridge Trail to Oahu’s Mt. Olympus peak.


It was one of those hikes were everything went wrong; we left too late, picked the worst possible weather, and struggled to slip and slide up muddy slopes. Mt. Olympus usually offers stunning, panoramic views of Oahu’s south and east shorelines, but it was so cloudy we couldn’t see a damn thing. In fact, it felt as if we were walking on mist itself, the ridge breaking out just above the crown of the clouds.


It was freezing cold and we drudged through mud and sideways, slightly torrential rain. We got to almost the top and the rain picked up so much that we were climbing up a river and were forced to turn back. It was nearly impossible to grab onto the ropes, since they were slick with rain and wet and mud.


We left so late in the day that we walked back the last third of the ridge in the dark. I slipped and fell on my ass half a dozen times on slick tree roots that I couldn’t see because the sun had set and were out of light and luck.


Yet, somehow, it was insanely fun and memorable. How is it that the worst times are often remembered as the best?
  

Thoughts

Thoughtful Thursday: Personal Growth


I  know I tend to preach a lot about self-love, positive vibes, inner peace, happiness, and all that soulful woo-woo stuff that not everyone is comfortable with. To be honest, my life has radically changed so much since I’ve embraced myself fully – mind, body, and spirit – that I can’t help but want to share that with everyone around me. I’ll preach it from the rooftops, cause that self-love shit is straight up contagious.

Whether you’re on the self-love train or not, the idea of personal growth is a lot easier to contemplate. It’s visible, tangible, and real; personal growth is so contagious that, no matter its roots, it affects your life in its entirety. If you have tremendous growth with health or weight loss, it’s pretty much impossible for you to not cultivate a calmer mind, open heart and greater love towards the self along with your new body. If you grow tremendously  on the mental or spiritual side, you likely find yourself making better choices for your physical self; sleeping more, eating better, and paying attention to your body’s internal cues.

A friend of mine posted this posts’ image and I completely fell in love. When you meet someone truly at peace with themselves, they exhibit patience, health, happiness, and love. The positive, quiet, and calm characteristics that comprise a loving, beautiful soul.

Just like positivity shines through, negativity can’t seem to contain itself either. Anger, spitefulness, jealousy, cruelty, aggression; they’re the negative, chaotic, and loud. We’ve all had a customer or coworker flip the f out on us for no apparent reason and go off on some rage-fueled tangent that makes zero sense. And we all recognize the fact that this has nothing to do with me. That anger or hate or rage are clearly coming from a deep, dark place within themselves.

I’m sending you all good vibes and the strength to deal with the negativity that is inherent to this life and this world.

Bless,

Nikki

Running, Veg/Vegan

Bob’s Red Mill Review Giveaway!


Aloha all! Apologies for my absence lately – life has been crazy-full of adventures, injuries, soccer games and marathon training. Between training and work, it’s hard for me to carve out time for my blog, which is a bummer because I absolutely adore writing and seriously miss meeting and engaging with badass women bloggers around the world.

I officially promise to make this blogging stuff more of a regular thing 🙂

Anyways, I just got done doing a super fun Instagram challenge for Bob’s Red Mill with my #sweatpink sisters! I’ve been using BRM products for ages, from their flaxseed meal to almond flour to gluten-free baking products. When they came out with a plant-based, chia-seed-and-probiotic-infused protein powder, I kinda nearly lost my damn mind. So much radness, right?!
Oh, and they also sent it in a gigantic, loud red box that was lovingly waiting at my doorstep after work one day. It was so big, in fact, that my roommate silently came over from the couch for moral support as I cautiously opened this beauty and surveyed its glorious contents.


Let me just say – Bob’s Red Mill, you the real MVP. Y’all hooked it UP. I got four full-size flavors – Chocolate, Protein & Fiber, Vanilla, and, my very favorite, Chai – along with some recipes, sample/travel packs, and a super cute shaker bottle.


THANKS Y’ALL!

While I liked all the flavors, my one true love was the chai. I blended it with coconut milk, bananas and dates for a milk-shake-like smoothie of vegan goodness. Aside from taste, the nutrient content on these totally make the geek in me freak the f out. A vegan powder that has amino acids, probiotics, and chia seeds? Yes, please. Gluten free and sweetened with monk fruit, these babies are some freaking gems in the very rough world of plant-based powders.
I’m so excited, in fact, that I’m gonna host a giveaway for the Protein & Fiber flavor! Check out the link below and follow instructions to enter – the winner will be announced next Monday 🙂

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/7402e5bb5/?

Love, happiness, and plant-based protein,

Nikki ❤

Running, Thoughts

Slow & Steady Wins the Race(s)


I’ve never been one to post (or even support) transformation photos. They’re equally discouraging & misleading; simple things like time of day, lighting and filters can turn a normal tummy into cut abs. Along with other nonsense overloading Instagram, like wraps, cleanses and crash diets, transformation photos give the illusion that immediate results are expected & achievable. Its just. not. right.

The harsh reality is that lasting health and weight loss take time, consistency, and a lot of patience. Between these two paradoxes, it’s easy to feel lost, or hopeless, or impatient, angry and frustrated, as many people are. But with enough time and consistency, transformation do happen.

Big magic just takes time.

When we see problems in our lives, we tend to think ‘big’; giving up entire food groups, or food altogether, or thinking we have to run six days a week to look or feel ‘healthy’. In reality, we should be thinking small. It might seem insignificant whether you grab a croissant or a banana with your coffee this morning, but over enough time, that choice has a powerful impact. The difference between the pastry and fruit is thousands of calories and grams of sugar over enough time. That croissant might make you feel sluggish every day, so you drink more coffee or soda and indulge in a heftier lunch. We’re effecting the lives of our future selves, and it’s not even 10 a.m.


I came to this epiphany after finding a Facebook photo of myself after my first half marathon two years ago, exhausted and beaming with pride. Because I see myself in the mirror every day, I don’t notice the subtle changes occurring. I was so stunned by it that I scrolled through my phone to find a picture of me running my last half marathon a few weeks ago – was that really me?

I realized that, because we live with ourselves every day, we don’t see the magic happening. I’ve been running consistently for two years, and my love affair has positively impacted all areas of my life. I seriously cut back on drinking, ate more healthfully and started playing soccer, which in turn caused weight loss and my own transformation. It happened organically and naturally – so much that I didn’t even notice it.

The takeaway: Positive life changes happen with consistency, time, and joy. We improve our lives on our own accord when we truly love what we’re doing. I think we all make the mistake of shooting for weight loss first, when it’s actually just a side effect of finding activities we enjoy and loving ourselves enough to take care of the bodies we live in.

Running, Uncategorized

A Week Without Running


I have a confession: I love exercise. I dig it, savor it, cherish it, crave it, revel in the endorphine-induced highs and bask in the DOMS-laden lows. I arrange my life around my workouts, and absolutely enjoy pushing my body and self physically, emotionally, and mentally. Just like coffee, I need my daily fill of exercise to stay healthy, happy, and, well – ME.

I finally went to the doctor after a week long miserable cold and was prescribed NO exercise for an entire WEEK. Zero, zilch, nada, not even a tough yoga routine. It’s unfathomable and sounds like torture, but it is my fault. Since I refused to rest and recover properly last week, my cold escalated into full-blown bronchitis teetering on the edge of pneumonia. If I don’t rest, I’ll be out for months – which is the only thing more impossible than getting through the next week without stepping foot in the gym, ocean or track.


Taking a step away from my vices makes me take a hard look at who I truly am. Yes, I love working out – but it’s not just the act of it that has me hooked. It’s the fact that I’m perpetually building towards something – a greater, faster, leaner version of myself – that gives me purpose and positivity each day. Fitness makes me more focused, happy, and driven in other areas of my life. Taking it away leaves me clinging to a more stripped-down, bare and true version of the woman I’ve become. And it’s important that I love her, too, even if she can’t run ten miles this Sunday at race pace.

It’s great for our health when workouts become so ingrained in our daily lives that they represent a part of our well being and identity. But fitness alone, whether its body weight or shape or leanness, shouldn’t predict our happiness. The key is to be happy with you are first and foremost, and utilize exercise as a daily act of self-love. That is true success – and the health and happiness we should all strive for.

Eating, Veg/Vegan

Training – the Vegan Way


My schedule is  a fitness junkie’s dream: I have two half marathons, two full marathons, a Spartan race and a long season on two different soccer teams crammed into my life before the end of December. While I’ve got lots of training and recovery plans in the works, it only makes sense for me to shift to the most wholesome, healthiest, and ethical diet possible. For me, that’s a vegan diet – whole foods, plant based, and focused on the unprocessed foods I already love. From fruits & veggies to legumes, beans, nuts and seeds, I’m stoked to fill my plate with a powerful array of macro and micronutrients that’ll put my exhausted body at optimal health and recovery speed.


Plus – sorry about it but veganism is pretty badass. From endurance athletes to mma fighters to pro soccer & basketball players, a plant-based diet is the way to go 🙂

I’ll be dutifully blogging my progress, training times and go-to meals as I get through this crazy next few months! I’m happy to share this beautiful way of living, especially when I’m blessed to live on a tropical island with gorgeous farmer’s markets all year long. I may not be an elite or professional athlete, but I am an athlete – and just like abs, endurance, speed and recovery are built in the kitchen.


I’ve gone vegan before, but always fell off the wagon for convenience reasons. I also was a poor, starving college student at the time, so my diet was more junk food vegan than exploring the endless, bountiful world of plants and whole-foods substitutes. Now, however, I’m a working professional that can afford the vast array of veggies, nuts, seeds, sprouts, legumes, beans, starches, and grains that comprise a healthful diet.

I’m proud to tackle this new lifestyle and incorporate it into my training & nutrition. It’s a peaceful, mindful, and of compassionate way of living – and I truly can’t wait to make it my own.

Here’s a few infographics on veganism & athleticism, and the potentials for getting strong & sexy the plant based way!

Thoughts

Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe


We’ve all been told since childhood to be careful about who we spend our time with. From that one “problem” friend that our parents never trusted and was consequently blamed for all of our mistakes, we realize we’re all capable of falling in love and friendship with the wrong people. Not wrong in general – but just the wrong people for us. 

As an adult, you truly realize the impact that your friends and coworkers have on your life, attitude and outlook. Despite all the arguing and teenage angst, we really are the company we keep.

Find a squad that aligns with your goals. Encourage the friends and family you love to pursue theirs. As you bring yourself up, you’ll likely bring those around you up as well. And there’s also the possibility that you may lose a few friends as you progress, change, grow and succeed.

We’ve all had that experience where we meet up with a friend and are excited about our new lives and realize there isn’t much to talk about anymore. Or worse, we notice them verbally pitching a dark cloud over our heads as we share our happiness.

Always remember to love yourself first, and don’t be afraid to let go or distance yourself from those that don’t support your journey. 

Stay patient, because your peers will find you. When you’re constantly at the gym, park, beach and health food store, you’re bound to run into the same people that share your self love and are on the same journey. Your vibe attracts your tribe.