Making the effort … Part II Grateful for vacations!

The lushness of the big island!

To be continued- Still feeling the effects of my vacation in Hawaii..grateful and refreshed. I have visited the Big Island quite a few times and I enjoy looking for new things to do and new hidden gems to see. This trip did not disappoint! I had found an advertisement for a tour of the Ok Farm near Hilo and also a mushroom farm not too far, both I could squeeze in a day trip to Hilo. My tour ended up being a private tour with the owner which made it all the more special.

Rainbow Falls, One of two Waterfalls located on the land of Ok Farms.

The background story of the farm is pretty much the American dream. People with a desire to bring to life their dream and not about to give up until it happens. What was once a simple Macadamia Tree Farm turned into a farm with citrus, macadamia, coffee, spices, honey and even a few spots of land that locals can rent to farm. Besides producing the owners saw the potentials for tours and a small store to sell their merchandise.

Harvesting Macadamia Nuts, their initial crop, is still done by hand. The nuts are not shook off the tree manually but after naturally dropping (in the green state) they are picked up by hand. After the other common island friendly crops were planted, such coffee and citrus they looked to see what else might be an opportunity for the farm to try their hand at. Spice Row was created, a beautiful exotic section of the farm dedicated to spices. I have to admit my ignorance as to how spices grow and was amazed as I was able to walk and inhale all the wonderful smells of spice row. Curry Pepper Tree, Cinnamon Tree, Clove and Nutmeg are the ones that are harvested and sold at their store and to local chefs. Now this is not a huge mass production operation just a small, trusted amount of good quality spices. I left with Christmas gifts for friends and a warm heart to see what they had made of that land. You cannot put a price on having the knowledge of exactly where your food is grown, and to see the soil and water that nourishes it. Another reason I should consider moving over!

Unfortunately the Mushroom Farm was closed for tours so I visited the Astronomy Museum on the campus of the University of Hawaii. It was a great ending to my day.

An example of a market in the town of Hawi.

After the busy week of travel, overdoing, and my half marathon race on Saturday I decided to take a week off of running.

Meal Prep-Pumpkin Pie Crumb Bars, Pumpkin Chocolate Bars, Creamy Garlic Sauce for Pasta and some Vegan Savory Crackers.

Have a Happy and Healthy Week! Aloha!

Making the effort ….to live in Gratitude!

Being grateful always for Nature’s beauty.

I could have used the phrase “being grateful” or “remembering to be grateful” but I choose to use ” Living in Gratitude” and for me that is taking it to the next level. I consider myself a normally grateful person, believe that it is in my core, but add up a decade or two of life’s stressors, the state of the world’s affairs and what came as automatic now takes effort. I took a month long gratitude challenge and it wasn’t trying to find what to be grateful for that was difficult but actually remembering to take the time to acknowledge it. What was my take away? That I need to take time to honor those feelings more and since I have a birthday coming up this is a good time to hit reboot.

Gratitude– the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness… Oxford Dictionary

from Psychology Today -Gratitude is an emotion expressing appreciation for what one has. It is a recognition of value independent of monetary worth. Spontaneously generated from within it is an affirmation of goodness. Studies show that there are specific areas of the brain that are involved in experiencing and expressing gratitude.

Robert Emmons, Professor of Psychology, UC Davis believes that there are two parts to gratitude. First it is an affirmation of goodness. Second, we recognize the sources of this goodness as outside of ourselves. Emmons also sees the social dimension as being especially important to gratitude, a relationship-strengthening emotion because it requires us to see how we’ve been supported and affirmed by other people.

What Good is Gratitude?

  1. Gratitude allows celebration of the present
  2. Gratitude blocks toxic emotions (envy,resentment,regret,depression)
  3. Grateful people are more stress- resilient
  4. Gratitude strengthens social ties and self-worth

I cannot possibly list all the things I am grateful for but in this moment what comes to mind.. Nature, my health, peace of mind, my pets, my spirituality, friends, my work, my community, memories.. I plan on trying to live in gratitude and I need to make it a priority. How about you?

Super busy week, I played tour guide for a visiting friend and had so much fun. I had also felt a little tired physically so I did take some extra rest days.

Exercise- speed work, stair workout

Meal Prep- Black Bean & Sweet Potato Enchiladas, Cucumber Mint Dressing, Cream of Asparagus soup, Almond Butter, Sweet Potato & Chocolate Chip Blondies

Have a Happy and Healthy Week!