Category Archives: Books

Guess who’s back…

Hello blog friends! Wow, it’s been awhile. I took a much-needed hiatus. To be real with you guys, my life is sometimes boring. Like…really boring. I mean, not to me of course, I love the routine! I’m such a creature of comfort, you know? But, 2011 is coming up and I need to get out of the comfort zone and get a move on. I have lots of things in store for the upcoming year…but first….what have I been up to? Well, I served jury duty (first time! And yes, I enjoyed it and yes, I’m a dork like that. I may or may not have spent the whole time singing the Law & Order theme song in my head).

I found this little guy chillin’ in the jury pool room. Only in Hawaii, huh?

I also went to my office Christmas party. I enjoyed a pre-party cocktail with my love monkey beforehand…

Finally, a martini on here! I’d like to rub in the fact that I am sleeveless. It’s one of the things I do love about this place 🙂 Christmas was a balmy 75-89 degrees:

I was bummed that I didn’t get snow for Christmas…for five minutes, and then I got in the car for a sunny cruise, moved on over to Lanikai Juice for a Dr. P.A.G.O. (pineapple-apple-ginger-orange juice) and took in the sunny day. Ben (the husband – there’s only so many euphemisms that I can use. Here at the house, he’s Benino, Ben, Monkey (which oddly enough turned in to shmunkey for a minute there) or Pumpkin Pie Spice, FYI.) got me an iPod nano (pink 🙂 touch-screen, glorious), Ferrero Rochers (I love them), an iTunes gift card (I immediately loaded up some 80s tunes, Bond, Portuguese techno, Eminem…you get the drift, all over), fruity candy canes (I hate peppermint), an iPod sensor for my Nike+ shoes and a gift card to the mall:

You can actually purchase mall gift cards. Our mall is THAT monstrous. I immediately took said gift card for a cruise around Ala Moana Shopping Center:

I picked up Charlotte’s book “The Great Fitness Experiment”, some Lululemon Wunder Under crops (because I can never convince myself to spend $68 cash on workout pants), a bunch of workout shirts and running socks (they have separately marked ones for each foot, weird, but cool).

I’ve also decided to do my first half-marathon!! I’ll be running this little beauty. Ben’s gonna train with me, but he refuses to run it. For all the female-specific activities that he does with me, I won’t begrudge him sitting this one out. I’ll enjoy my tiara and hot pink boa solo 😉

I also picked up RevAbs. If anybody looooves Beachbody products as much as me, I’ll keep you updated once I start it. I don’t want to overdo it with my running and everything, but I’m excited to try it out and also, maybe, become Mrs. Brett Hoebel.

It’s late here so I’ll leave you with a Hawaiian sunset and I promise I’ll be back sooner than last time! Good night!!



Filed under Books, Hawaii

Back to basics…

Hey guys! Wow, it’s been a long time since I sat down and wrote a little somethin’ somethin’. To be honest, I really just enjoyed my vacation with no obligations, even to my hobby that I enjoy so much (that would be this blog 🙂 ). Monday was spent alone; the husband couldn’t get the day off. I went to the beach early in the morning and did a 2-mile run and then came home and did laundry and watched Gossip Girl all day. I topped it off with nighttime yoga at the new studio I’ve been going to. I learned that I’m a lot better than I thought I was. I mastered the Wild Thing pose right outta the gate 😀

Tuesday, the husband got me up early to watch Regis and Kelly (Did I ever mention that I freakin’ love Kelly Ripa? She’s so funny and I love that she’s been married to the same guy since the beginning of time) and then we vegged out and watched Gossip Girl all day. Seeing a trend? I also ate this:

I affectionately refer to these as Mexican Monsters. They’re so simple and I love how I can just make them up really quick. It’s brown rice, half a can of beans (I use pinto or black; tonight I used kidney), half a can of diced tomatoes, a little chopped cilantro and half an avocado. I also mix in cumin, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and salt – I eyeball all of it, as I know what I like.

Wednesday, we actually did things. We may have blown half the morning watching Gossip Girl, but then we headed out to the beach (coated in SPF 80. I don’t just burn,  I sizzle) for an hour to take in some beautiful Hawaiian sun. I have an internal clock that immediately informs me of right when I’m about to burn despite repeatedly coating myself in sunscreen. We left to go to Whole Foods to pick up hot bar (2.00 off on Wednesdays, woo hoo!):

Delicious! Same thing as always – salad with everything on top, grains and roasted veggies. Then, we changed into our running gear and put in 2 miles on the track. We came home and ate this dinner:

Again, quickness is key because we were hurrying out the door for church. This was a bunch of kale that I sautĂ©ed in olive oil with a minced garlic clove, brown rice and (surprise) beans that I seasoned with salt, pepper and paprika with a smashed garlic clove mixed in. You’d think that I’d have an issue with…um…the toots, but I really don’t. I drink copious amounts of water and eat so much fiber, I must have adapted. Sorry for saying the toots. I just thought I’d share.

Church was awesome! Last week, we skipped because the sermon was on politics. One of our pastors used to be a judge and the church is pretty into taking charge and voting. I, however, don’t vote. Really, I just don’t. I don’t have any deeply rooted issues on why I don’t and I know that many women have burned bras and not shaved their hairy legs for my right to turn in a ballot, but I don’t. So, we skipped that informational gem. This Wednesday, however, was really good. I got my midweek recharge.

Today was the usual, right down to oaties for breakfast. Never fear, friends, I got a little something new for you guys tomorrow. I did get in a nice sweaty workout today.

  • Lunge & Lifts with dumbbells
  • Donkey Kick Machine (I don’t know what this one is called. It’s like doing donkey kicks.)
  • Adductor and Abductor machine
  • 1.8 mile run
  • little break because my love monkey picked me up to take me home
  • Stability ball hamstring curls
  • Stability ball calf raises
  • Stability ball crunches

I am now sitting in my disgusting clothes talking to you guys, but I’m about to shower my stinky self, do my devotions, read a little of my new book I got at the library (I’m thinking it sucks, but I have to finish it before I pass my final verdict) and then off to dreamland for me. I’ve got to kick Friday’s butt and stay up late to Skype my mama. Hope you guys have had an awesome week! Have a great night!


Filed under Books, Dinner, Lunch, Recipes, TV shows, Uncategorized, Workouts


Hey friends! What a relaxing day. I didn’t do a dang thing and I’m so happy about it 🙂 I’m more of a gotta-clean-gotta-run-gotta-grocery-shop kind of person, so putting my craziness to the side and really enjoying today felt good.

Breakfast was a new concoction, inspired by the blogosphere’s pumpkin explosion:

Pumpkin pie oaties! Simple, too. I made 2 servings of oaties, put protein powder in my husband’s, put 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin into each one, a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg, a scoop of peanut butter and a sprinkle of pecans. It was good. It needs something sweet (we’re thinking sucanat) but I can’t have that right now, so just keep it like it is.

I then proceeded to scan some blogs and then laid in bed for maybe 2 hours finishing the last book in the Hunger Games trilogy. It didn’t end the way I wanted it to, but I didn’t write it so who am I to judge 😉 Then, I had to fuel up, I was starving. The husband and I hit the road in the pursuit of hot bar food, new bras (for me, not him) and a birthday present for our friend’s kid. This was demolished at the hot bar:

Curried cauliflower, curried cabbage with potatoes and peas, garlic broccoli with scallion hummus, artichoke hearts, some dolmas and Moroccan couscous. It was phenomenal. I love the hot bar, though, so I didn’t expect less than perfection. After that, we cruised around Diamondhead and took in my favorite lookout point (I always think of them as miradors, because that’s what we call them in Portugal).

It was kind of cloudy, hence the gray gloominess, but still beautiful. We headed over to Nordstrom, where a very sweet girl made bra fitting as comfortable as can be expected. I scored two Calvin Klein bras that were 25% off and also found that despite losing 20 lbs, my boobs stayed the same size! SCORE!

We then hit up Barnes and Noble for gifts; I do not give money. I just don’t, that’s not a personal gift. I give books 🙂 I love them and so should everyone else. Speaking of loving books, I may have gotten In Defense of Food…my love was feeling generous today. We spent so much time at the mall, we had to zoom over to the party. It was pretty standard – LOTS of food (Filipino food that I wanted to eat, but couldn’t. Remember my love for pancit? Yep, there was mountains of it.), karaoke and tons of kids. Get togethers here revolve around food. That’s the first time where I felt almost guilty about my food choices. When you say no, no matter how friendly, it seems to hurt your host. We had to escape the (delicious looking) food and get some healthy fare.

This salad will be in my dreams tonight – mixed greens, tomatoes, beets, carrots, mushrooms, black olives, red cabbage, kidney beans, red onions and artichoke hearts. I even grabbed some grilled squash and some cold grains. My husband mentioned that while the food at the party would have knocked him on his butt, this meal made him feel better and I have to agree.

Since I’ve eliminated meat, dairy, added sugar, leavening agents and caffeine, I’ve been performing better, I don’t get afternoon slumps, my skin is beautiful and I feel like I may even be sleeping better. Once I’m back to my normal eating, I’m not sure what to keep and what to change 😩 I’m knocking out caffeine in the mornings anymore. I’ll treat myself here and there, but no more dependency. I’d like to cut down my meat consumption and find plant-based alternatives more. I didn’t even REALIZE how much SUGAR is EVERYWHERE. Yes, I’m shouting. It’s in canned foods, sauces, dressings, everywhere. I’d like to continue to avoid it. And, although I love cheese and ice cream, I’m going to continue to avoid a lot of dairy. These are just things that I think are not worth the effect on my body. We’ll see, but even my husband agrees that the healthier food makes him more energetic (which I’m not complaining about 😉 ).

Now? Snack time and then we’re hitting the movies. I’ve been really wanting to see Life As We Know It. Hope you guys are having a great weekend! See you tomorrow, as the vacation continues. Good night!


Filed under Books, Breakfast, Dinner, Hawaii, Lunch

Back in action…sort of…

Hey friends, I’m back! Wow, this weekend has been pretty awesome, minus the fact that I felt crappy, all the way up until this morning. But, let’s not dwell on the negative, shall we? There was a new yoga outfit purchased for me and loads of veggies were eaten. This does not sound thrilling to a normal person. I am not a normal person.

Today, I woke up sick, so I stayed home in my jammers and caught Regis and Kelly while eating this:

This is the Incan Porridge from Tosca Reno’s Eat-Clean Diet. It is so good, it’s got quinoa, oats, dates and some spices; I recommend the cookbook, but I will say, it’s really hit or really miss. Use Caution!!

Then, I proceeded to hole up in bed and finish Catching Fire, the second book in the Hunger Games series. READ IT! It’s so good. If you’re okay with…post-apocolyptic-gladiator-arena-type things, which I totally wasn’t until I read these books and now I am (wait, that’s a lie too, I loved the movie The Book of Eli, rent it immediately). I did break for lunch. The husband brought me this:

Tofu, sprout, tomato and green onion salad. I tossed it with some spinach and drizzled it with balsamic and olive oil with a dash of garlic powder. It was incredible. I am embracing my veganism during this period and it’s been pretty tasty. I will say that I can’t wait to indulge in cheese, gelato, cheesecake, chocolates etc. once this time period is up, but until then, I’m enjoying the simplicity of it. We split this guy for dessert:

This may be my new favorite flavor. It’s a toss-up with the coconut bar. So good. I then cracked into Season 3 of Gossip Girl (Lord help me, I’m addicted. I love how evil Chuck Bass is. I wish there was an appropriate venue for me to wear an ascot and suspenders and speak all breathy and evil. There isn’t.). After thoroughly trashing my brain, I made us snacks:

Simple and delicious – brown rice cake with pb and 1/2 a naner with some cinnamon on top. It held me over while we picked up our CSA. No pics today. The usual haul of tangerines, salad mix, arugula, kale, radishes and taro. I’m not loving the taro. In fact, I threw away last week’s. I know! I probably should have attempted to eat it, but I just can’t. Poi has really broken my will to cook with it.

Dinner was spent eating this:

and watching Letters to Juliet. It was cute, if you like that sort of thing. I do 😉 That’s Puy lentils with rainbow chard (again, Tosca cookbook. GET IT!!) with brown rice. I also munched a date. After going five days with no added sweeteners at all, dates taste like candy! It was so sugary and delicious.

Agenda now? Finish reading my Cooking Light (which has a tasty prosciutto, pear, blue cheese sammy that will need to be recreated 🙂 ), catch Hawaii Five-0 (my husband the fact checker pointed out this mistake. It’s not 5-0, it’s actually spelled out. Good lookin’ out, beautiful man.), and then snuggle up to my family and try to keep from jumping in the car and driving to Target to get the 3rd book in the series :D. Tomorrow, we have (meaning, I will attempt) an at-home workout during Biggest Loser that I will post. And Wednesday will be the 2nd weigh-in for our Fat Loss Challenge! See you tomorrow; have a great night!


Filed under Books, Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, TV shows

Another one bites the dust…

Friends, this has been the toughest past two days. I quit smoking cold turkey back in April, I quit drinking in July and I can honestly tell you that kicking the caffeine habit has been the most physically painful. My head throbs. My back and legs ache. It’s horrible. So, I apologize for not posting last night, but it’s been killer.

Due to my temporarily adopted eating habits, breakfast has changed:

This Ezekiel cereal is awesome. And, you can heat it up if you want. I’ve been eating it cold because it’s quicker and gives me more time in the morning.

Friday at work was hellish because of my head. I, who NEVER uses medicine unless I absolutely HAVE to, took Advil. It was awful. Today was a little better, but only because the pain has moved to my lower half. It really makes me think twice about drinking coffee in the mornings now. I think a cup here and there for a special treat is ok but I do not want to be reliant on it again. I am now a master of kicking addictions! Sweet.

Lunch today and dinner yesterday was one and the same:

My first vegan recipe!!

Vegan collard wraps – serves four

Dunk 1 bunch of collard greens in boiling water until they are bright green. Mix together 1/2 cup cooked quinoa, 1/2 cup cooked  brown rice, 1 can of diced tomatoes (reserve the juice to thin it out), half a can of garbanzos and a quarter of a block of firm tofu. Mix in a dash of cayenne, a dash of cumin, and a dash of salt and pepper. Fill the collard greens burrito-style with the quinoa/rice mixture, place seam-side down in a baking dish, pour the remaining tomato juice on top and bake in a 350 oven for 20 minutes. Delish.

I made some for the husband with chicken and cheese. Honestly, he said it was lacking the adobo-chile taste from the last rolls. I agree, but it was simple and tasty.

Today was spent doing massive cleaning, grocery shopping and laundry-doing while the husband picked up extra work. Something tells me I might get a present…but I could be wrong 🙂

Dinner was amazing and will be repeated for lunch tomorrow. I’ll share with you then 😉 Agenda for the rest of the night? Catch up on the rest of my new Oxygen magazine, finish season 2 of Gossip Girl and start Catching Fire. Final verdict on Hunger Games? SO. GOOD. I would never let my teenager read it (it’s along the lines of Twilight in targeted age group) due to violence and premise, but I’m definitely going to finish the series.

Hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend! Have a great night!


Filed under Books, Breakfast, Lunch, Recipes

No good very bad day…

Wow, guys. Today sucked. I’m not going to lie; it did. It started off ok. The usual oaties and off to work. We missed the beach because the husband had to go to work early, therefore, I had to go to work early. Insert miscellaneous work related things and then I ate this:

These tangerines from my CSA are tasty. Good thing that I like them because they are apparently abundant, as they’ve given me 45 since my start with them. I also crunched some Mary’s Sticks and Twigs and a Laughing Cow wedge. Lunch was supposed to be epic. I was gonna cruise down to Wahoo’s, about 10 minutes from my job, and enjoy a kiddie bowl. Yeah, right.

I got there, placed my order and found a nice sunshine-y table out front. It was beautiful! And then, it started to monsoon. Not rain, pour out from the heavens with angry rage-filled drops. I ran to the door and tried to grab a seat, but they were all taken. So, I had them bag up my meal and I went outside to moan and complain loudly to the husband. A lovely good Samaritan was so annoyed by my whining kind, he got up and gave me his umbrella-shielded table so that I could munch on this in peace:

Blackened fish, brown rice, black and white beans and extra pico de gallo all over it. I scarfed this down and trudged the 10 minutes back in the rain. My hair got poufy. After work, the husband had to work late, so I grabbed the truck and drove over to Whole Foolio. Problem? It poured, so a journey that should have taken me an hour took two. I did end up with all this stuff though:

Wow. That’s $82 worth of groceries. Not bad, if I do say so myself. I buy mostly in bulk and then, of course, raw veggies, unsweetened soy milk and cereal.

We ate crap. Ha! I had to say it. We got home at 8:30 and the job that the husband did gave him food that was catered in. (Hawaii Food Alert) There was Korean sushi (sushi with flavored beef and Korean veggie filling), Chicken Katsu (panko-crusted fried chicken), pasta salad (wth? I don’t know either), Asian salad…you get the drift. I will regret this when I have heartburn at 3:00am.

Now? I’m brushing my chompers and climbing into bed. It’s early still and I have time to read some Hunger Games and get to bed before 10:00pm. Tomorrow’s plans? Well, it’s not pizza Friday, that’s for sure. I’ll make my collard green enchiladas and hopefully get in at least some Turbo Jam. There was a package slip in the mail for me! We’ll see what came tomorrow. Good night, friends!


Filed under Books, Grocery Haul, Hawaii Food Alert, Lunch

CSA submission…

Good evening guys! Thanks for saying hi; I love hearing from everyone.

Today started out like usual, oaties with bananas and carob chips. I packed up our lunches with a special snack:

New flava! This will be repeated. I like them way better than the curry ones. Work was back to usual, thank God. 11 and a half hour days do not make for a happy Shayna 😩 Lunch was photographed:

Chicken Madras leftovers and the crossword puzzle 🙂 My favorite kind of lunch.

I was expecting a CSA out of the ordinary after looking at their blog. They give you a list of what’s coming your way, like the usual suspects:

Salad, arugula, basil, lemons, tangerines, radishes and beans. It also shared something new was coming my way:

Taro leaves (lu’au leaves), sugarcane (honua ula), banana (mai’a) and taro (kalo). The CSA that I belong to, Ma’o farms, is located on the west side of Oahu. It’s based upon a deep love for the land (‘aina) and wanted to showcase that in this box. I, however, had to admit defeat and tap out. I delivered the taro leaves to my neighbor, an awesome Hawaiian guy who knows what to do with these things. Why? Because every website I saw said that if you cook taro leaves incorrectly, you get an immensely itchy throat. Yeah…not gonna happen. I will conquer this guy:

Here, the taro root is boiled and pounded into a paste called poi, which is served as a gelatinous starchy side dish here. I cannot stomach the texture. It has the same consistency as phlegm. I’ve tried it and I don’t like it. So, I’m going to mash it with milk and buttah like potatoes! I will defeat this thing!

There was more cooking tonight. I hooked us up with a bean soup for next week; it’s cooling and about to be frozen. I also roasted lunch for tomorrow:

I blanched those crazy purple beans (which turned green, boo!) and the string beans that came this time. I put ’em in that dish with half an onion and some radishes. A little Spike, a little salt and pepper and:

Yup, that’s exactly what you think it is. BACON! I partially cooked a package of bacon and put that on top. Put that baby in the oven at 425 for around 20 minutes and you are good to go. I’ll serve it over quinoa. This will serve us tomorrow and the next day, so don’t you worry about me eating a whole package of bacon (although, the temptation is there).

What’s up now? Well, I just finished Hawaii 5-0 (did you think I’d miss it? I’m in love with McGarrett and Jin Su Kwan, er, I mean, Chin Ho Kelly. Whatever, same shooting location, same sexiness). I give them props this week for mentioning malasadas, Kuhio Street, pronouncing Hawaii correctly (the w sounds like a V. Ha-va-ee), and having McGarrett lose the shirt 🙂 It’s also reigniting my interest in surfing. While I fear sharks and random ocean-induced staph infections (loyal readers, I am a hypochondriac. I am ok with this. It’s not debilitating), I’m ready to dive in and try it.

Now? Freezing some soup, showering my stinkiness, reading more Hunger Games (it’s good so far), and sleep time with my honey. Tomorrow? Biggest Loser and a home workout while I watch. Dinner? Collard green enchiladas and yes, there will be chicken and cheese in it this time. Come on back for the recipe. Good night!


Filed under Books, Hawaii, Lunch, TV shows