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

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!

Cool Choice Nutritional Supplements

cool choice nutritional supplements

Although the efficacy of nutritional supplements is contested, I still sometimes find it helpful to supplement my diet with vitamins, minerals and herbs (especially if I am traveling, or if people around me are getting sick). 

cool choice nutritional supplements

I recently discovered Cool Choice, and true to its name, it’s cool because it lets you choose a blend of vitamins, minerals and herbs based on your desired result. You don’t have to actually pick the supplements; you just choose from the above list of benefits, then you are sent a supply of personalized packets containing your unique combination of supplements.

cool choice nutritional supplements

I was a little skeptical, because almost every supplement that I’ve tasted from one of these little packs either contains questionable ingredients, or tastes terrible, or both. Not Cool Choice, I’m happy to report!

cool choice nutritional supplements

Sure, it looks a little weird. It contains no sugar (or sugar alternative!) and contains fiber. A win-win!

cool choice nutritional supplements

I mixed it with water. It tastes like watered down lemonade; perfect for me, because I always water down my lemonade anyways. I have to say, it’s really delicious (even with zero sweetener, it tasted just slightly sweet to me). Especially if you don’t like drinking plain water, this is a great option. I chose, as my benefits: beauty, brain care, and eye care. I’m not sure if every combination results in the same flavor.

cool choice nutritional supplements

They’ll give you 10% if you follow them on social media, and reward you with free packets once you buy a certain amount (see details in the above photo). I’ll maybe try out a different combination of benefits next time.

The Beet Box Cafe {Haleiwa}


The Beet Box Cafe used to be a small counter where you could order food in the back of a health-food store, on the North Shore of Oahu (in the small, touristy town there called Haleiwa).

beet box cafe haleiwa

I ordered an iced tea for while we waited for our food (you order at the counter, but they bring the food to you at the table. You then have to bring your dishes to a bin, but sometimes they come get the dirty dishes for you. It’s pretty confusing). I love that they added frozen blueberries in with the ice; by the time I finished the beverage, the plump blueberries had absorbed some of the tea, and tasted even better than regular blueberries.


I hold a special place in my heart for restaurants that serve breakfast all day. The breakfast options here are so good that even Kiyo ordered off the breakfast menu (and he never does!). He got the Mexicali Blues: eggs scrambled with a crunchy, toasted, sprouted-corn tortilla and jalapeño jack cheese topped with homemade salsa, avocado, and sunflower sprouts, and served with brown rice and Brazilian black beans. He opted to add soyrizo (vegetarian chorizo).


On the recommendation of a friend, I ordered the Zen, a scramble (choice of tofu or egg) of broccoli, onion, carrots and zucchini “seasoned with curry and love,” served with a scoop of brown rice and black beans and topped with avocado and sunflower sprouts. I LOVED this; it’s the kind of plate of food that I will think about and start to crave. I would definitely brave the traffic of Haleiwa to get to this again.


Although it was a little pricey (more than $12 per plate) we were both very impressed and satisfied with our meal. We each finished our plate of goodness, and felt very full, but managed to avoid the food coma that comes from overeating food that isn’t nutritious.


We had to save our cinnamon sugar [vegan] donut for later, since we were so full. I wouldn’t choose to eat this again; it was much too moist to be a donut. There wasn’t anything terrible or disgusting about it, but if I’m going to treat myself to dessert, I want something that’s worth the sugar and calories.

The Beet Box Cafe

66-437 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712

(808) 637-3000

Corn & Basil Chowder {Recipe}

Ok, one more summer recipe! This is from the AWESOME vegan cookbook Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give a Fuck. It’s less than $15, includes so many helpful tips and tricks, and even my boyfriend (who is a meat-loving home cook) says that it’s his favorite cookbook. I will definitely post a full recap of this book soon; but for now, here’s a counterintuitive summer recipe: it’s soup. But corn is sweetest and cheapest at the height of summer, and basil makes the soup feel light, fresh and summery. Corn chowder is one of my favorite soups, so I was excited to try this lighter, vegan version. Here’s the recipe.

thug kitchen corn chowder with basil summer recipe cooking

Corn & Basil Chowder

  • 6 large ears corn, shucked
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 medium russet (baking) potato
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, sliced into ribbons
  1. First you want to use a sharp knife to cut the corn off the cobs. It’s easier if you snap the cob in half, stand it on its end in the middle of a large bowl and cut the kernels off from top to bottom. When you’re all done, you should have about 4 cups of kernels. Don’t get lazy and use frozen corn here; that shit will not taste the same. Chop the onion, celery, bell pepper, and potato into bean-size pieces and mince the garlic. Prep work done.
  2. Now grab a large soup pot and heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it browns lightly, about 3 minutes. Add the celery, bell pepper, potato and garlic and cook for about 2 more minutes. Add the salt and then three-quarters of the corn kernels and stir. Add the broth and let that son of a bitch simmer until the potato pieces are soft, about 10 minutes.
  3. When the potato is soft, turn off the heat. Use an immersion blender and blend until that motherfucker looks nice and creamy and without a bunch of chunks. (You could also pour it into your blender and do it that way; up to you. Just return the blended soup to the pot.) Add the rest of the corn and the lemon juice, and bring it back to a simmer. Turn off the heat, add the basil, and then taste. Add more salt, more lemon juice, more basil, whatever. Serve right away with some more basil on top to make that shit look as legit as it tastes.


Vegan African Peanut Stew {Recipe}

I posted the below picture to my Instagram account this weekend, and so many people commented asking for the recipe, that I decided to post it. However, I want to make sure to give proper credit where it’s due: this is not my recipe. I found it on Pinterest, and it’s by the lovely Emily, a Registered Dietician in Portland, Maine. Her blog, Sinful Nutrition, features plenty of recipes, so check her out.

instagram for recipes

Kiyo made Emily’s African Peanut Stew and I absolutely loved it! It’s nutritious, vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free, and it freezes and reheats well… so it’s the perfect meal to make for a group, or to prepare for your own Sunday or Monday night dinner, and then eat all week. It’s delicious and filling on its own, or you could serve over a grain (such as rice, quinoa, freekeh etc.). We left out the edamame, added tofu, and used kale instead of spinach. It was so delicious, you guys: creamy, nourishing, so hearty and satisfying, yet light and delicious. I added Trader Joe’s green, herby hot sauce my friend Jenna sent me and it was perfection.

Vegetarian African Peanut Stew

vegetarian african peanut stew

Summer Orange Salad {Recipe}

summer orange salad recipe

This vegan, gluten-free recipe is so simple and easy, it can barely even be called one. My best friend Zan’s mom made this for Kiyo and me when we visited St. Thomas, and we were both blown away by how such a simple dish could be so lovely.

Summer Orange Salad

Serves 2-4

  • 3 oranges
  • .25 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  • 1 tbsp. capers
  • fresh basil, sliced or chopped
  1. Cut the skin from the oranges, then slice each orange into desired thickness (about half an inch worked well for me)
  2. Top with olives, capers and basil
  3. Enjoy!

#FollowFriday: @eyechow

Today I am reserving #FollowFriday for some shameless self-promotion: are you following @eyechow on Instagram yet? Recently I have decided to commit to being vegetarian, so on my food account you can find healthy, vegetarian and vegan food; restaurant dishes and reviews from at home in Hawaii and on my travels; recipes; food ideas and inspiration; etc.


What else would you like to see on my food account?

eyechow vegetarian food blog on instagram

eyechow on instagram

eyechow on instagram

#FollowFriday: @Yogaloha_Hawaii

Of course, as a yoga teacher at Yogaloha, I am a little biased. But, if you are interested in some seriously stunning yoga photos, Hawaii scenery and healthy lifestyle inspiration, go follow @Yogaloha_Hawaii on Instagram!

yogaloha hawaii on instagram Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 2.15.49 PM

#FollowFriday: @photosynthesis206

I met blogger and yoga teacher Lizzie Braicks two years ago in Seattle. At the time, she was also working full-time at Amazon (she has since left that position) and my boyfriend and I met her near work for lunch. Lizzie and my boyfriend grew up together on a small island in Seattle, Washington. I’m so glad that I happened to meet her through this relationship, because she is so awesome; super down-to-earth, smart and easy to talk to. I love how her Instagram account is so cohesive visually, but also provides a constant stream of happy and healthy #lifegoals. She is vegan, has a puppy, cares for her “sassy Autistic brother,” is engaged to a cool-sounding dude, and teaches barre and yoga. There is so much love and positivity on this page; check her out here!

photosynthesis206 Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 2.16.49 PM