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Growing up in Oregon, I constantly heard wise words from my mother like "lets recycle that," "you can walk," "don't use too much water," "whole wheat is better than white," "no dessert if you don't eat your vegetables," "dark lettuce is better for you than light," "paper over plastic," "don't leave anything behind" and so much more. Her healthy ways got me into many sports and helped turn me into a record-setting track athlete. In 2006, my mother lost a 3 year battle with Lou Gehrig's Disease; something nobody would have ever expected. That was right around the time I joined the Surfrider Foundation in San Diego and had my first child, whom she never met. Now 10 years have passed since losing my mother, yet volunteering for the Surfrider Foundation, and becoming a mother, I've noticed her words have come through clearer than ever. In addition to personal training and triathlon coaching, I have done some blogging to help our planet, and improve lives. I hope you enjoy my content, and join me in my journey for a cleaner planet and promoting happier, healthier lives!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

How Do You Get to School?

The 2015/2016 school year has begun!  What's your preferred method of travel?  Here's some money-saving eco-friendly solutions:

-Ride the bus
-Ride a bike
-Ride a scooter
-Ride a skateboard
-Walk or jog

Please let me know if you've got other ideas that don't require gasoline!

We live over a mile away, and there is no bus, so for now, our method of travel is scooters.  We would prefer riding bikes, but there's a district-wide ban of bicycles for kids under 4th grade.  (Scooters are not mentioned in the rules.;)  Of course I am horribly opposed to the rule, and working with many other parents to see how we can change this policy.

So lets compare riding bikes to driving a car:

Biking: Free (once you have a bike), burns calories instead of gas, helps kids wake up and be alert for class, prevents obesity, when accompanied by a parent, it's an excellent opportunity to learn rules of the road, traffic signs, right vs left (if you say we stay to the right with our bikes, kids associate that side with R), promotes a lifelong lesson of healthy and money-saving travel

Driving: Kids and parents are at rest, parents burn gas instead of calories, vehicles pollute the environment, vehicles cause traffic congestion around schools, excess of vehicles make crossing the street at the school more dangerous (even for those who rode in a car because parking gets backed up 1/2 mile or more), kids aren't as alert when they get to the classroom

If you search the web, you'll see there are many bike bans out there, and many fighting it.  It may actually be more of a liability to have a bike ban than to allow bikes!  In a court of law, it takes away parents Constitutional Rights to raise children the way they want, forcing them to either walk or waste money driving.  The good news is, some schools promote riding bikes with award systems!  What if all schools did this?  Think of the affect it would have on our country's obesity epidemic?

If you bike, walk, roll or travel in any other way than driving, we'd love to know!  Thank you for helping the environment!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Gift of the Tropics...

Oh, its been ages since I've posted.  Life of a Mom, athlete, and Coach makes it so.  Yes, I've been doing a lot of triathlon training and coaching since the fall.  What a perfect fit for someone with young kids, who can't take a full-time job (or could, but the pay isn't worth the childcare.)  So the "free-time" is filled with either writing training plans, working with athletes, or doing my own workouts.  Been eating a close to vegan diet, minimizing all dairy, avoiding meat, except some wild fish.  Feeling great eating lots of plant-based meals.

On to the "Gift," my husband's company sent him to Hawaii to teach a class... which happened to overlap the kids' spring break.  So we got to join him!  Oh, how thankful we are!!  Though he had to work the weekdays, we explored a lot!  A few things I wanted to share:

Riding a Bus
-You can get almost anywhere on Oahu with the Bus! (Check out app "DaBus")
-Traffic on the island can be a MESS!  (So take the bus if you can.)
-There is much more beautiful nature than you can ever see in a week.
-You can camp your way around the island if you are that brave.
-Rental houses are a much better deal than hotels.
-If you stay in Waikiki, you're missing out on the culture.
-You can get wonderful fruits and veggies at fresh fruit stands and Farmer's Markets.
From a North Shore fruit stand
-Coconuts can be mailed directly (as long as they don't have a single hole.) ;)


Another important topic, which this blog relates so much, is treatment towards nature, particularly the animals.  It seems when people go to Hawaii, they all want to TOUCH turtles, dolphins, fish, or other creatures.  Yes, when it's been a dream to see these beautiful creatures in nature, it is tempting to reach out an feel them.  BUT, as we quickly discovered, with all the tourists searching for them, there aren't many safe places for these animals to go.  When we finally saw a turtle, it was surrounded by tourists touching it, while it seemed distraught, trying to escape.  It did, and we did not even go close enough to take a picture of that one (to spare it extra misery).

And then, we found this one.  Notice everyone obeys the "look but don't touch" rule...
video

Here's a couple more photos of the nature we enjoyed...

Kailua Beach

Olomana Ridge hike.  (The real peak is too steep for young kids)
Our son with the state fish "Humahuma-nukanuka-a-pua'a"
















We hope you enjoyed reading!

-Aloha!



Friday, October 3, 2014

Win a SURFBOARD

That's right, the title's no joke.  Though it's not actually from me, and you're going to have to do a little help for the environment. ;)  The Surfrider Foundation is giving away a Firewire Surfboard to whoever can make the best art from plastic discarded along our coastline, or anything which could end up there.  (This means no cheating by using your household supplies.  Gotta pick up some waste.)  Our kids are SO excited about this, they're hoping to find enough plastic bottles to build a boat.  Ha, not sure we'll have enough time for that, but we've already picked up some, and will certainly make something.  Here's the link with the full details:

http://www.rapmonth.org/plastic-art-contest/


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Fruit & Veggie Solutions

A big part of reducing waste in our environment starts in our own fridge.  Fruits and vegetables are the best things to eat, but don't last long, so tend to be frequently wasted.  Of course since they're biodegradable, they're not the big problem for our environment (like all those things packaged in plastic), but they are a waste of money when we don't use them.  So... here's a few fun ways to use them up when they're getting ripe: make smoothies, soups, pizza toppings or dry them!  Then compost the waste.

If you have a bunch of fruit like this, you're likely not going to fit it all in one smoothy.  Though it would be yummy. ;)  All this ripe fruit, I cut into slices between 1/4" to 1/2" thick and threw it into a food dehydrator.  I bought this dehydrator at the beginning of the summer when I realized a lot of fruit was going bad before getting eaten.  Well, it has absolutely paid itself off!  One thing to be careful of with a dehydrator is that they do make some heat.  So, in the summer, I hook it up outside not to heat up the house.  Of course when it gets too cold inside, that's a great time to use it indoors!  Here's how it works...

When slicing fruit, remember that the ones with the most water are going to shrink most.  So cut them in slices a little thicker (like this pineapple).  Bananas don't shrink a whole lot, so can be sliced a bit thinner.  Most fruits take several hours to dry.  Of course fresh fruit works best, but I've found that even fruits that aren't as ripe get sweeter when dried.

Now for the veggies, my healthiest solution is a simple pot of soup.  Just chop them up, and throw them all in with your favorite base.  Add some beans to keep it vegan, or add chicken, etc. if you want meat.






Another great way to use up those veggies is a vegetarian pizza.  This I made with a homemade whole wheat crust.  Yum!  So good with our own fresh toppings that the family didn't even care about the healthy crust. ;)

As for the leftover fruit and veggie scraps, I use a countertop composter to start the composting, then transfer it to my TINY southern California garden outside.
You hardly need any space, and composting reduces the amount of water wasted for garbage disposals, while keeping the entire drainage system less clogged up.  There are many cute countertop compost crocks, but you can always just use a tub that seals, to keep fruit flies away.  Here's what I got off Amazon.com...





I hope this post was informative!  As always, feel free to ask questions, and thank you for reading.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

DIY Crafts and Skincare

Oh, it's been a while, only because I've got big ideas and little time.  So, trying to condense a few here, and will share fun stuff when I get to them individually.  What's coming; LOTS of ideas on making gifts and beauty products from home, while saving the planet and your health in the process.  Why buy something if you can make it for less?  It's not just about making, or creating new things, but using what you have, spending less, and creating less waste.  There are hundreds of items we throw away on a daily basis without realizing they may be able to create something we're planning to buy.  Take gifts or skincare products for example.  Why buy a gift if you can create something more meaningful?  And skin products; why buy something filled with toxins when you can make something comparable with natural ingredients from home?  An added benefit, you know you won't be buying something tested on animals.  I'll start with a few ideas here, but will surely add plenty more through this blog as I LOVE to save money and create with what I have.

Before I start on projects, here are some items you may consider saving for specific things:
-Babyfood jars: for Natural home-made skincare or for storing small items like pins, paperclips,  rubberbands, hair clips, bobby pins, twisters, beads, and shells
-Spaghetti or salsa jars: snack jars, fun candles, flower vases, flower pot
-Fabric scraps: book covers, bookmarks, quilts, party streamers, Halloween costumes
-Broken crayons: melt and pour into molds
-Wood chunks: sanding blocks, door stops, wall signs, small shelves
-Toothbrush: cleaning tool or to splatter paint on a painting
-Old tablecloths: cloth for kids to paint on
-Paper scraps: homemade cards, signs

It'll take me a while to get through this stuff, so please send your requests, and I'll get on it. ;)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Happy 4th!

Woohoo, the 4th of July, Independence Day; many Americans FAVORITE holiday as most get the day off in celebration of our freedom as a nation. What do we do? Party!
Shoot fireworks, dress silly,
hold 4th of July races, parades, 
barbecue, eat American favorites, 
drink, make noise, and be ridiculous...


Yep, we always pick
a fun run or bike race...



Here is a homemade carrot cake I made with cream cheese frosting, sliced strawberries for the stripes and blueberries for the stars (sorry, couldn't quite fit the proper 50!)
So much fun, but one "tiny" little problem, all the celebrating around the country makes a horrible mess!   (And you probably noticed I did not show the ADULT ridiculousness!!!)  I've been trying to find some stats, but between the noise and garbage from fireworks and people, the 4th of July may be the worst holiday for our environment.  (New Years and Halloween are definitely up there.)  BUT, not everyone makes a mess, and those who tend to be the least messy tend to be the ones volunteering to clean up the next morning. Thank goodness for organizations like the Surfrider Foundation and San Diego Coast Keeper, many coastal areas have organized volunteer beach clean-ups. We try to attend every year. Here is us from this morning...
Yes, by the time my husband took the photo, we had already been working a couple hours along with many other volunteers, so now the beach looks pretty clean, yipppeeee! You may have noticed we're using reusable gloves and bags to avoid extra unnecessary plastic waste. Yes we found lots of nasty stuff, a couple things we won't mention, but mostly cigarette butts, styrofoam, plastic wrappers, straws and lids. Plus some burried sandals and a couple stray socks. It is always clear there is a TON of plastic waste on our beaches and in ocean.

All that said, I hope you had a wonderful 4th of July, were mindful of the environment, and help clean up the leftovers.  Thank you SO much if you did!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Our Ocean...

The kids and I made this video over the last few days.  It was easy putting together photos of garbage we've taken over the last year or two.  At the time I took the photos, I didn't know if they would ever be used for anything.  I was so happy to put them to use with my children telling the story.  I hope you enjoy!