Books to Nourish Your Appetite {List by Slow Food Oahu}

Books to Nourish Your Appetite

I took this post straight from the Slow Food Oahu e-newsletter. I haven’t read any of these books yet, but I’m definitely adding many of these to my list. Enjoy! 

The following list of seventeen (17) recommended food books for Winter 2017 is credited to the Food Tank. If you weren’t able to participate in our first book club and reading group, go ahead and  choose from the list below and start reading.  Look for an announcement soon for the next book in our reading group.

  1. Biting the Hands that Feed Us by Baylen Linnekin. Biting the Hands that Feed Us examines the counterproductive regulations of the American food system. Linnekin digs into the laws that make “ugly” produce obsolete and that categorize necessary fertilizers as toxic, policies that subsequently make some of our greatest challenges-hunger, food waste, inhumane livestock conditions-even harder to remedy.
  2. Fixing the Food System by Stephen Clapp. Clapp takes a shot at answering some of the toughest questions plaguing the American food system. He examines the problems that currently exist and how reform could change the health, economic, and environmental impacts of food. His proposition for a more sustainable food system is supported by his years working in food policy in Washington and insight from food movement leaders over the past 50 years.
  3. The Farm on the Roof by Anastasia Cole Plakias. High above the concrete blocks of New York City stretches one of the world’s largest rooftop farms. Brooklyn Grange started with one rooftop farm on an old Brooklyn building but has grown to multiple urban farms and several other farming ventures. Cole Plakias recounts the stories of the founders and their experience not only growing plants but also growing a business.
  4. Letters to a Young Farmer: On Food, Farming, and Our Future  by Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, Martha Hodgkins. Addressing the young and innovative community of the current food revolution, Letters to a Young Farmer offers lessons from an older generation who broke down barriers for the new food revolution. These food leaders offer insight into the ups and downs of life on the farm. The book releases March 2017.
  5. The Future of Family Farms: Practical Farmers’ Legacy Letter Project edited by Teresa Opheim. The average farmer in the U.S. is aging, a fact that threatens the future of family farming. The Future of Family Farms is an essential handbook for family farmers facing business and inheritance decisions, as well as a collection of memoirs and histories from the legacies of family farms in the Midwest.
  6. No One Eats Alone by Michael S. Carolan. Carolan suggests we put aside our role as consumers to become more involved in the interconnected system of food production. We’ve been distanced from the producers of our own food, rarely interacting-let alone understanding-what goes on beyond the aisles of the grocery store. This gap is slowly closing, he says, and the more connected we become, the closer we get to curing the ailments of the food system, from obesity to labor inequality and toxic pesticides. The book releases in May 2017.
  7. Cities of Farmers by Julie Dawson. Cities of Farmers dives deep into the communities of urban farming in the U.S. and Canada, attempting to pinpoint examples of successful urban farming and reveal solutions to gaps in local food systems. By the end of the book, readers will have a better sense of how to be more active in food production in their own communities.
  8. Miraculous Abundance by Perrine Hervé-Gruyer and Charles Hervé-Gruyer. In the beautiful Normandy countryside lies one of the most innovative organic farms in Europe: Le Bec Hellouin. There is no more picturesque a place for the idyllic, family-owned farm, which uses permaculture and agroecology as a model for a sustainable food system. The book tells the story of how a couple of novice farmers transformed their backyard into a standard for the future.
  9. The Permaculture Transition Manual by Ross Mars. A renowned permaculture expert, Mars shares his knowledge of sustainable gardening techniques in this brimming manual. It’s everything you need to know to get started in building a sustainable lifestyle. In addition to permaculture design and growing techniques, Mars includes information about rainwater harvesting, irrigation, and human waste management.
  10. Seeds on Ice: Svalbard and the Global Seed Vault by Cary Fowler. Deep in the ice of a Norwegian archipelago lie the seeds of the past and the future. With the ever-encroaching impacts of climate change threatening biodiversity, the need to preserve our history for future generations is imperative. Seeds on Ice is a visually beautiful and profoundly informative look at the Global Seed Vault, a frozen cache of our world’s vast edible flora.
  11. Bountiful Harvest: From Land to Table by Betty LaDuke. LaDuke paints her way across Southern Oregon’s local food movement, collecting stories of organic farmers along the way. Through her paintbrush, readers enter the vibrant world of the farms, orchards, and vineyards she visited.
  12. Changing Season: A Father, a Daughter, A Family Farm by David Mas Masumoto with Nikiko Masumoto. As he prepares to pass the responsibilities of his 80-acre organic farm to his daughter, author and farmer Masumoto collects stories from decades of peach farming, including a reflection on the discrimination his family faced during and after World War II. His daughter provides an alternative voice, sharing her experiences as a queer, mixed-race woman in the industry. An array of personal essays charts both their journeys in preparing for a future that’s just peachy.
  13. Multifunctional Agriculture – Achieving Sustainable Development in Africa by R. Leakey. An academic look at agroforestry and multifunctional agriculture, this book is packed with case studies from an expert in the field of sustainable agriculture and development in Africa. Leakey takes a multidisciplinary approach to studying the methods and practices of agriculture in complex societies. The book will release March 2017.
  14. The Case Against Sugar by Gary Taubes. It’s no secret that America has a sugar problem. The country struggles with diabetes and obesity rates, but the degree to which sugar affects such issues is more of a mystery. New York Times best-selling author Taubes takes a whack at explaining how our bodies react to sugar and how we got to this point. Using scientific research, he debunks myths, reveals who’s responsible for the country’s addiction of epidemic proportions, and makes the case against sugar.
  15. Fertile Ground: Scaling Agroecology from the Ground-Up by Groundswell International. In Fertile Ground, readers find a comprehensive look at the ways agroecology and other methods of sustainable agriculture can sustain commercial systems while replacing the harmful monocultural practices that we’ve become so used to worldwide. With case studies from around the world, it demonstrates the growth in popularity of agroecological practices in recent years. This book will be released in early 2017.
  16. Grow Create Inspire by Crystal Stevens. A guidebook for happiness, Grow Create Inspire is for readers who are searching for inspiration for a better life. It provides tips for creating a more self-sufficient lifestyle through growing techniques and green practices.
  17. The Unsettlers: In Search of the Good Life in Today’s America by Mark Sundeen. From a pregnant, classically trained opera singer and her former marine biologist husband to a couple with a decades-old history of organic farming, Sundeen takes an immersive look into the new pioneers in the food system. This book releases in early January 2017.

What’s Your McDonald’s?

Have you ever seen this standup bit by Jim Gaffigan, where he talks about McDonald’s? If not, watch it here (and if you have already seen it, why not watch it again? It’s hilarious):

After joking about eating at McDonald’s, and the food served there, he says:

“I know some of you guys are like, ‘Sorry white trashy guy, I don’t eat McDonald’s.’ I have friends who brag about not going to McDonald’s… I’m tired of people acting like they’re better than McDonald’s. It’s like you may have never set foot in McDonald’s, but you have your own McDonald’s. Maybe instead of buying a Big Mac, you read US Weekly.”

This rings so true, and is worth thinking about. It’s true that I never (really, never!) go to McDonald’s. But, my “McDonald’s” is social media. My boyfriend says his is video games.

What’s your “McDonald’s”?

2016 in Review: Exercise

2015 in Review: Exercise, is here.

No abs? No problem! Just try high-rise leggings 😉

Even though it was encouraging and useful for me these past three years, I think that 2016 is the last time (for now, at least) that I will be recording my exercise. While it’s cool to be able to have concrete numbers, proof of how much I exercised all year, I found it really irritating an item on my before bed to-do list. I actually do not like having any sort of pre-bedtime to-do list, but it’s a must. I have to wash my face, brush my teeth, write in my line-a-day-journal, and write down my workout. Since I still have a year and a half left in my line-a-day-journal, I am going to let myself off the hook and stop recording workouts. The fact that I do not have any specific goal I am working towards, makes me even less inclined to continue to record any/all workouts in 2017.

Since we have the numbers from 2016, let’s take a look at them:

  • I ran 10 (only 10!) miles all year (I am still blaming my foot and ankle injuries from 2015 for that one!)
  • I practiced yoga 219 times
  • I taught 387 yoga classes

I also walked a ton; hiked, swam and did barre occasionally; but I didn’t count those. Which is another reason why I do not want to continue this log this year: it’s not really accurate to what I do in terms of movement, and it also has no real effect on the way I feel physically. I want to exercise for my mental and physical health and well-being; do I really need a ledger for that? Nope. Most of the time, it actually just made me feel worse that I wasn’t able to run or do yoga as much as I wanted to, with everything else going on.

I was able to complete two yoga teacher trainings in 2016, for which I am so grateful, because they are both styles that I personally adore practicing: Strala

and Shakti Flow.

My goal is, like everyone else’s, to get in better shape so that I can more fully enjoy and participate in life. But really, that’s not a New Year’s Resolution; it’s a daily one.


What do you think: does writing down your workouts keep you accountable? Do you have any fitness plans or goals for 2017?

In Praise of Self-Care

I am not a fan, personally, of New Years’ Resolutions; instead, I believe that we all ought to try being the best version of ourselves possible, in each unique moment. But, if you do find NYR’s helpful in your life, then I have an idea for your 2017 #goals: self-care.

I have been thinking a lot lately about social constructs that limit our thinking, and thus, our lives. This is probably at least in part due to talking to my therapist about my process of individuation (which is something I definitely thought I achieved as a teen, but am finding more and more that I am currently in the throes of…ughhhhh). This is a time when big life questions not only mean that I need to start making choices, but these choices are consequential (sure, every choice is consequential, but some more than others). Anyways, it’s really made me think, and part of that has meant examining which belief systems are my own, and which were imprinted onto me from my family, and which were programmed into me by my culture (I have also been very inspired by one of my all-time-favorite lifestyle sites, Free + Native. Thanks Lacey!).

Then I read this article, which begins:

When we’re expected to take care of others emotionally and physically, taking time, energy, and resources for ourselves can feel shameful. In the United States, women report higher rates of stress in their lives than men and people of color report higher rates of stress than white people—there are a lot of factors for why, including the stress of racism and discrimination.

This is so important. The people being the most shamed, are the ones who are already under the most stress. I do not want to be part of a society that shames for self-care. Do you?


It has occurred to me in the past year or so, just how much I apologize. Women are taught to apologize just for existing, in many societies, which is so sad. However, even when I don’t actually apologize, I often feel guilty (which is basically the same thing). Guilt holds us back in so many ways. It robs us of the present moment; it is a thick coat of dust covering up the bright light of happiness.


Every time I catch myself apologizing and feeling guilty, I now try to stop, acknowledge to myself (and then to whomever I am with, if it’s an interaction), clarify my actual feelings, thoughts and rights, and modify accordingly. One of the things I have been programmed by society to feel guilty about is taking time to myself, and/or taking care of myself. And sadly, I know I am not alone. In our culture, people are applauded for not having enough time to eat or sleep. Just think about how crazy that is for a moment (and then maybe check out my rant where I yell at you to prioritize sleep). In our age of fast-food, not one person should be able to say they forgot to eat or didn’t have time to eat. Food is everywhere! And sure, healthy food is not everywhere, but literally gas stations sell food. If you cannot find something to eat on the go, the one benefit of living in our fast-food culture is being wasted.

jumping at AD's hawaii

This photo was taken on a Monday morning when I could have been working #sorrynotsorry

People are taught in our culture that self-care is a luxury, but I don’t believe it is. Let me just pause here to acknowledge my privilege; I am a childless, white, heterosexual adult, with an undergraduate degree, who was raised by a family who didn’t struggle with money, in some of the most sought-after vacation locales in the world. I am so lucky. But I still have problems, as does everyone. We all think we are unique, but the truth is, we all feel the same emotions. We all have challenges, big and small. We all want to live with less pain and suffering. That makes us all equal, and all human. And as humans, we can either take care of ourselves, or not. In fact, I would go so far as to agree with some activists who claim that self-care is a radical political act;

Lorde  says self-care is not self-indulgence but self-preservation. Some have to look after themselves because their are not looked after: their being is not cared for, supported, protected.

Unfortunately, [in the US] we have been trained and conditioned to work more, even though we are accomplishing less. We are taught to stay busy, apologize constantly if we are women; and then console ourselves by bragging about how tired and busy we are. We must be important if we are busy, right!?


Americans have hardly any vacation time, and still we hardly make use of the little we do have. According to Harvard Business Review:

In a dataset of 2,310 respondents, we looked at data from the 20 countries with the most paid vacation days (247 respondents) and compared them to respondents in the United States (1,151). The 20 countries with the most vacation ranged from Australia, with 28 days allotted, to Sweden and Brazil, with 41 days. By contrast, the United States has no law requiring paid time off, and the average full-time worker with a year of service gets 10 paid vacation days (and only 25% of Americans take their full allotment, according to another survey).

It’s ridiculous; especially when you consider the data showing that we get more done when we take more time off.


Yes, self-care can be a luxury; it takes time, money and effort to take care of yourself. And who has the most of these precious resources? Affluent people, of course. So maybe it isn’t the easiest thing to do; but it’s still not a luxury if you do not make it one. It’s a necessity. Is there anything more important than taking care of yourself? Literally, anything? If you don’t take care of yourself, at best you’ll be a highly-functioning wreck, and at worst, you’ll die. So, even if you work 60+ hours a week just to get by, and you have no spending money, and you are in poor health, and you have dependents to take care of, you still need to take care of yourself. It’s a requirement. In fact, at that point, it becomes even more of a requirement. If all you have is time, meditate (it’s free!); if all you have is money but no time, add a massage to your weekly schedule. Maybe self-care for you means time alone; maybe it’s time with others. It’s going to look totally different for each and every one of us, but I truly believe that the world would be a much better place if we all individually prioritized our own well-being. If you love something, you take care good care of it. It’s as simple as that. If you still cannot bring yourself to get on board with showing yourself love and kindness, I highly recommend journaling, meditating, and/or seeing a qualified expert such as a psychologist.

sleeping as spiritual practice

Have you ever said that you exercised/saw friends/etc. and someone either said (or insinuated) “Must be nice?” As if by having the time to do something for yourself, you’re somehow not important enough to be busy? I hate that so much, and yet it’s so easy to perpetuate (yes, I am also guilty of it!). One book that really resonated with me, on this topic, is Thrive by Arianna Huffington. Sure, she has more resources than most of us. But can’t we all figure out how to eat [at least a bit more] healthily, exercise occasionally, and make more time for rest? Let’s all encourage and support each other on this journey; making it easier for each other also makes it easier for ourselves.


Here are some ways I enjoy taking care of myself, that cost me time, money and effort. These things would usually be complied into a list with a completely different title: “10 Ways to Pamper Yourself,” for instance. But I challenge you to mentally reorganize your attitude toward these practices. You wouldn’t call brushing your teeth a luxury, would you? Yet you make sure there is time for it even on the busiest days, because it’s simply non-negotiable.


Your list might look different; this is just a list of what works for me, as a reference for you. If you’d like, you can write out your own list and post it someplace (like your mirror) as a reminder. These are things that keep me rested, rejuvenated, energized, and equipped to take on the challenges particular to my life, and that includes helping others. These are things that we are taught to believe are superfluous luxuries. My point is: they’re not. You need to take care of yourself! And if you needed permission, I’m giving it to you now. My 2017 goal/theme: no shame.

10 Self-Care Ideas

  1. Sleep 8-10 hours per night
  2. Enjoy a soothing, cleansing face mask (one of my favorites here)
  3. Do things that take up time and have no purpose other than providing happiness and/or contentment in the moment (for me that means reading, petting my cat, talking to friends on the phone, going to the library to browse, taking walks, listening to podcasts, reading blogs)
  4. Take supplements
  5. Meditate (it’s free and you don’t need any special space or equipment!)
  6. Look at lists/articles like this: 17 Images Guaranteed to Make You Happy
  7. Keep one day a week completely unscheduled (make no plans)
  8. Spend money on nice clothing that feels good, looks good, and works well for whatever its function
  9. Eat vegetarian
  10. Say no to things, especially if saying yes would only be because of a feeling of “should”

Here are some more ideas:

Another source of inspiration for this article is the great podcast Another Round; the hosts are all about self-care.


Please let me know if this is a topic that you have considered; how self-care is or is not a part of your life, and why; and if you have ideas or resources, please share below. Good luck on this journey. Remember: if you take care of yourself, you’ll be better equipped to show up for everyone else. I’m right there with you, struggling, learning, loving.


Easy Yoga Asana for Holiday Stress Relief

Here is a useful piece I wrote for my Holiday 2016 Newsletter. Ask me for a printed copy in person, or download the full PDF here.

Let’s be honest: between work, school break, parties, family obligations, travel, gift-giving, etc. the holidays can turn from fun to stressful very quickly. Here are some easy asana that will help you relax and re-center:

yogaloha holiday christmas pants yoga

  1. Child’s pose (balasana): Kneel on the floor, with your knees open wide, toes un-tucked, and big toes touching. Lay your torso down between your thighs and rest your forehead on the ground. Reach your hands all the way forward, then exhale to settle your hips to your heels and your arms to the ground.  This is a resting pose; stay anywhere from 30 seconds to a few minutes. It gently stretches the hips, thighs, and ankles; calms the brain and helps relieve stress and fatigue. A variation is to bring your knees in to touch and rest your arms down by your sides, to further stretch the shoulders and allow the spine to gently round.
  2. Butterfly (Supta Baddha Konasana): start laying down on your back on an even surface. Bend both knees and bring the soles of your feet in to touch (prop up your knees with pillows, blankets or blocks if this is too much on your hips). Relax your arms wherever is comfortable (by your side, on your belly, overhead, etc.) and close your eyes. Breathe deeply and stay for 1-10 minutes.  This posture stimulates the heart and improves circulation; stretches the inner thighs, groins, and knees; and helps relieve the symptoms of stress, depression, & menstruation.
  3. Legs-up-the-wall (viparita karani): Simply lay down on your back on an even surface. Lift your legs straight up over your hips, so that your body resembles a capital letter “L.” For even more comfort, you can do this at the wall and rest your legs against the wall. Wiggle around until you find a position that feels good; then hold still. Relax  and breathe. Hold for 5-15 minutes. Benefits include improved mood, increased energy, reduced anxiety and depression, and healing for menstrual cramps, migraine, arthritis, varicose veins, urinary disorders, respiratory ailments, insomnia, high and low blood pressure and digestive issues.
  4. Wild thing (camatkarasana – pictured): Start in a side plank with your right hand on the ground, fingers spread. Inhale to lift your hips higher and float your left leg up off your right leg. Bend your left leg and step your left foot to the floor behind you. Keep that left leg bent and your right leg straight. On an inhale, curl your back until your chest opens up toward the sky; curl your head back and lift your top arm out from your heart-space. Stay for just a few deep breaths. Return through side plank; repeat on the other side. This pose opens the chest, lungs, shoulders, legs & hip flexors. It builds strength in the shoulders & back and treats fatigue, anger, depression & aggression.

Using Essential Oils During the Holidays

Here is a useful piece I wrote for my Holiday 2016 Newsletter. Ask me for a printed copy in person, or download the full PDF here.

Nothing triggers happy memories as strongly as a delicious scent or flavor. Remember, you can always add more oil, but you can’t take it back out; so always start with just one drop and you can add more from there. If you buy quality essential oils, they are not diluted, so use them sparingly (they can be very strong). When using them topically, always dilute essential oils in carrier oils (such as almond or coconut oil). You can use many essential oils internally (more on that here) and best part is, they’re dairy-free, sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian. 


Try mixing your own holiday blend (think peppermint, cinnamon, clove, etc.), or buy doterra’s Holiday Blend oil, which is made with these warm, spicy, sweet flavors:

  • Wild orange
  • Siberian fir
  • Clove bud
  • Cinnamon bark
  • Cassia
  • Douglas fir
  • Nutmeg
  • Vanilla absolute

christmas cookies

  1. Add a couple drops of oil to your coat, scarf or wrists throughout the day (make sure you’ve diluted the oil first, if you’re putting it onto bare skin)
  2. Use your Holiday Blend in a diffuser
  3. Add 5-10 drops of oil to a spray bottle of water and mist your Christmas tree, your car, or your sheets
  4. Bring your bottle of Balance (doterra blend) with you to take a whiff of straight from the bottle in stressful situations
  5. Add a drop of oil to a bowl or vase of pinecones – DIY potpourri!
  6. Add a single drop of peppermint oil to your hot cocoa or mocha
  7. Add a drop of peppermint, cinnamon or clove oil to your Christmas-cookie batter
  8. Use essential oils instead of spices to make MULLED WINE: add 1 sliced / peeled orange and ½ cup sugar to 2 cups water in a pot. Bring to a boil then simmer for 15 minutes. Reduce heat & add 1 bottle red wine, 1-drop clove oil and 2-drops cinnamon oil. Slowly reheat but do not boil. Serve warm in mugs & garnish with cinnamon sticks. Serves 4-8.

christmas beverage mulled wine

HoneyColony Equilibrium Energy Superfood

honeycolony logo


HoneyColony Equilibrium Honey and Herbal Superfood

Click here to get 20% off Equilibrium Superfood (12 oz; through 12/31/16). I wrote about it in my 2016 Holiday Gift Guide, so check that out for more details.

superfood honeycolony honey

I’ve been enjoying this superfood honey in tea. It isn’t a sweet honey, but it still really helps curb my intense post-meal sweet tooth.

Life Inspiration: Jane Kenyon Quote

“Be a good steward of your gifts. Protect your time. Feed your inner life. Avoid too much noise. Read good books, have good sentences in your ears. Be y yourself as often as you can. Take the phone off the hook. Work regular hours.”

-Jane Kenyon, poet


Image from

2016 Holiday Gift Guide

merry christmas yoga yogaloha

December has arrived! Time for my annual gift guide. I love making these! This year, I wanted to choose all conscientious companies/items. I also wanted to be able to get discounts for you guys, so I included those with each item 🙂 It’s a shorter list this year (6 ideas); if you like lots and lots of items, scroll to the end for my full (personal) wish list. What’s on your wish-list?! 

2016 holiday gift guide

Subscription to Atlas Coffee Club

Use code ValerieCoffee to get your first bag FREE! as part of the coffee subscription that takes people around the world of coffee!

atlas coffee club

This is the gift of deliciousness AND productivity! Good for anyone you know who likes to get shit done (or who plans to with their New Years Resolutions).

atlas coffee subscription atlas coffee subscription

Plus, subscriptions make the best gifts, since it’s something the recipient can look forward to and enjoy multiple times.

atlas coffee club

On average about 50% – 60% of the coffees this company offers are fair-trade certified, direct trade, or go through a coffee cooperative. However, ALL of the coffee comes from farms that use sustainable farming practices (and they pay above-market prices for the coffee to ensure the farms can continue to produce high-quality coffee in this sustainable way).

atlas coffee club

Oh yeah, and of course, the most important question: does it taste good? The answer is a resounding YES! I loved using these beans to make regular coffee, as well as homemade cold-brew.

Speaking of subscriptions…

Subscription to Book of the Month Club

book of the month club feminist books

Use code FRIEND50 for 50% off a 3-month membership! This is another fantastic gift, especially for anyone who loves to read or wants to get into reading! Watch this video I made for full details:

Lily Lotus *Limited Edition* Chakra Long Legging Rainbow Wash Lunar

lily lotus chakra tie dye leggings

Mention this gift guide to get 15% off Lily Lotus items at their two Hawaii boutiques!

lily lotus chakra tie dye leggings

Made in the USA (90% Organic Cotton 10% Lycra), this high-waist lifestyle piece is great for all activities! Slip on these cozy, beautiful leggings for a versatile option that looks great with tanks, tunics and t-shirts. Perfect for practice or just to wear (#athleisure). You can get them with or without the chakras up the leg. I just LOVE the beautiful colors, which look painted-on. I have these in a different color scheme, and I get compliments on them constantly.

lily lotus chakra tie dye leggings

im with standing rock t shirt gift

Actress Shailene Woodley has joined forces with Standing Rock to protest the building of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Construction of this pipeline through the Missouri and Cannon Ball Rivers poses a serious threat to the water supply of the Native American tribes—and all 18 million residents—that live along its course. In Lakota, they say “Mni Wiconi,” which means “Water is Life.” When you buy this unisex shirt (there’s also a sweatshirt available), not only are you showing the world that you demand change to protect our waters, but you’re also helping fund Up to Us. They’re dedicated to organizing, educating and activating communities on how to become leaders who are willing to stand up in the face of adversity and demand dynamic change to create a world that works for all of us.

Click here to learn more about what is happening at Standing Rock and/or to make a donation and see how you can help.

Slow Food Membership

become a slow food member

A Slow Food membership comes in multiple prices, and is a great gift to the world as well as the recipient.

become a slow food member

The membership includes:

  • discounts and special invitations to local, national and international events, including Terra Madre and Salone del Gusto
  • an exclusive print magazine that showcases what is happening in the Slow Food movement locally, nationally and internationally and access to special members-only offers and previews
  • opportunities to get involved in national campaigns and local activities and projects
  • a membership card that proclaims commitment to Slow Food values; devotion to living Slow helps make “good, clean and fair food for all” a reality

HoneyColony Equilibrium Superfood

HoneyColony Equilibrium Honey and Herbal Superfood

Click here to get 20% off Equilibrium Superfood (12 oz; through 12/31/16).

Equilibrium Energy Superfood is ideally designed for athletes or anyone who lives an active lifestyle. I’ve been adding it to my tea, but it would also be good on toast or in recipes. Through naturally stimulating the nervous system, enhancing brain function, supporting muscle relief, and providing anti-inflammation support, each jar will keep you energized.

superfood honeycolony honey

HoneyColony is dedicated to cross-pollinating with companies who uphold high-quality standards that value planet, humanity, honesty, and fair-trade practices (their site includes informational articles, and many other healthy products). Real people hand-select all the brands and products on the site.

Equilibrium Energy Superfood is HoneyColony’s own special blend of organic and wildcrafted [vegetarian] ingredients; at the core is raw honey. From there, 11 other superfoods are added (active prebiotics, phytoplankton, blue algae, medicinal mushrooms, adaptogenic herbs, ORMUS, ginger, turmeric, bee pollen, bee propolis, royal jelly)—each organic or wildcrafted, potent, and boasting it’s own numerous health benefits. Combined, these 12 ingredients bring harmony to the body and mind by and reducing stress, toxins, and negative energy. Equilibrium Superfood is made in small batches to ensure high quality, exact measurements, and consistency in every Biophotonic jar.

2016 holiday gift guide

So, maybe that was plenty of options for you; or maybe you are making homemade gifts; or maybe you do not do gifts around the holidays. But, if you need more recommendations or just love browsing lists like these, I wanted to just add my own, much longer, *personal* wish-list (below). This is just an ongoing list that I compile throughout the year as things catch my eye / fancy:

  • LUSH argan oil/rose shampoo bar with the tin for traveling
  • A small-size hiking backpack (from REI, LL Bean etc. NOT one of those camelback water backpacks)
  • Anything from (or gift card to) Ginger13 (store in downtown Honolulu)
  • Any gold ROLA jewelry (from Fighting Eel)
  • A waterproof go pro
  • Coola Mineral Face SPF 30 Matte Tint (sunscreen)
  • Poppy & Someday Tinctures
  • Neshama Project Necklace (not picky about which one but gold please, no silver)

HealthySkoop Powders

green smoothie bowl

I have been eating smoothie bowls almost daily all summer. One of my favorite add-ins I’ve found are powders by Healthy Skoop. My favorite for flavor (and to add a thicker consistency) is the Choco-lot Plant-based protein powder (16 grams of plant-based protein delivered with only 1 gram of coconut sugar per serving).

healthyskoop review

These delicious powders are

  • Gluten-Free
  • Soy-Free
  • Vegan / vegetarian (whey-free & dairy-free)
  • Non-GMO
  • QAI-Certified Organic (contains 80% organic ingredients)

healthyskoop green smoothie bowl

And if all that isn’t enough motivation to try this brand, how about this: they donate 3% of every purchase to Project Produce, a give-back initiative they co-founded to help kids eat more fruits and veggies.

green smoothie bowl

The greens blend (which pairs perfectly with sweet fruit to mask the most savory taste) naturally fights inflammation, boosts energy and powers your best, most resilient super-self. Smoothie bowls can be difficult to make since they consistency and thickness needs to be just right; powders are a huge help. Especially if you’re vegetarian or vegan, it can also be helpful to add some protein to your bowl, to ensure you’re properly fueled.


Click here to try a free HealthySkoop sample!