What a weird/stressful whirlwind this past week has been.

To cut to the chase: When my parents were in Kauai last week, my dad passed out 6 times within a 24 hour period. And one of them was at the wheel as he was driving. Luckily my mom was in the passenger seat and jumped over to push his foot on the brakes in time. They hit a guardrail (not next to a drop off/cliff area thank god) but obviously it could have been so much worse. These episodes had happened once or twice in the past but he never thought anything of it. And after the first 3 episodes in Kauai he had gotten a ton of tests/scans done but he was sent home because they couldn’t find anything wrong. The next day after the next 3 times and the car incident, they finally figured it out and realized there was a signal that wasn’t being fired to his brain saying “hey we need to pump blood to the brain right now.” Therefore, he was life flighted out of Kauai that day to Honolulu to go into surgery. He now has a pacemaker in his chest and is 100% back to normal (ish). Still can’t drive alone for 2 weeks and a little lightheaded but that’s about it.

All I have to say is thank you, Universe, for giving all of us a little reality check and slap in the face reminding us that life is short and things happen that are out of our control all the time. Never take loved-ones for granted and never hesitate in telling them you love them. Things could have been so much worse and I’m so happy my dad is A-ok.

He was low-key enjoying the entire thing i’m pretty sure hahaha.

Besides that I had a nice little staycation by myself at home, worked quite a bit and upped my workout game because I’m going to Kauai on Sunday with my best friend!! So excited. #Homeawayfromhome

Homemade pasta sauce that was truly incredible. (Post coming soon!)

One thing my parents have ingrained in me is to never stop learning. And more importantly to be actively learning, aka: paying attention to whatever it is you’re reading/watching/listening to. Even if it’s a boring article, there’s always going to be some sort of takeaway. These were my 3 finds of the week!

  1. TED Talk on defining fears instead of goals. Pretty interesting.

2. Trying not to get cancer? You’ll probably like this.

3. A neuroscientists delves into staying sane in our “overload” era of twitter/facebook/social media in general.

 

Let me just explain my definition of a #MajorKey: staples that I have been using since I can remember that never disappoint and can’t live without. 

Which brings me to today’s topic and something that everyone needs in their life: A.C.V., aka Apple Cider Vinegar. This magical little liquid is truly my saviour in regards to all things digestion and keepin’ things balanced. Not a health fad, this stuff is legit.

Feeling inflamed: ACV

Ran out of probiotics?: ACV

Under the weather?: ACV

Have a pimple?: ACV

Constipated?: AC-friggin-V babaaayyyy

I don’t care how gross it smells or tastes (you get over that after a while of using it, especially if you mix it with some lemon.), because the benefits and the way it makes you feel is absolutely worth it. And I haven’t been using it for only a few days or anything. I’ve been using this for the past 3 years.  Every morning I put a shot of it in my 32oz water bottle with half a squeeze of lemon and chug that down before anything else in the morning.

It cleans me out, reduces my morning puffiness, and gives me energy. All before having my first cup of jo. 

 

How I use it:

  1. Morning detox tonic: a shot of lemon juice + juice of half a lemon + 32oz of water
  2. Salad Dressing: blend up some lemon juice + dash of ACV + salt/pepper + basil + tsp of honey + olive oil
  3. Toner/Acne-reducer: use a cotton ball and spread it over face
  4. Take a shot of it before bed if i’ve had a lot of carbs/sugar

I friggin loved Ponsonby. Everything was so charming and the neighborhood was very family-oriented but definitely had a night scene which was exactly what I was looking for. More pictures and recommendations to come in a later post!

Where I stayed:

I can’t rave about this little nook of an airbnb I had. Perfect walking distance to Ponsonby’s main hub. Not to mention it’s own private patio looking out over a garden/park. Just what I needed!

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/1535764

Favorite Restaurant:

Little Bird Unbakery

Think: Superfood lattes, all vegan options, amazing coffee, locally loved, amazing space with lots of light. Ate here about 5 times I think…

Best Hike:

Mt. Eden.

Stunning 360 views of all of Auckland.

The Neighborhood:

Extremely walkable city with tons and tons of off-beaten paths, hidden parks, amazingly sweet people, so many flowers and plants everywhere, and cats on just about every doorstep.

Favorite Sites:

Wynward Quarter and Winter Gardens

 

Note the “plant-based” reference. Cue the eye rolls every time I say I’m vegan…so, as much as I wish it didn’t have a stigma around the term, it really really does. Plant-based is harder to argue against and people generally respond more positively to it.

I didn’t want to go meatless initially. I was ready to turn the other shoulder and say eh, I’ll be fine, because I am my mother’s daughter and I looovvee and grew up on chicken and flank steak. But when you constantly keep hearing negative things about animal products and the meat/dairy industry, then I would be ignorant not to at least look into it. I’m always open to change if need be, and hearing both sides to something. Not everything is always what it seems on the in the news these days and traditional thinking and habits aren’t always the best method.

Just to preface this: I have also been Gluten and Dairy-Free for as long as I can remember. My mom has celiac disease, therefore I don’t eat much gluten in our house anyways. Dairy makes me mucous-y, which I take as a sign of inflammation, so bye-bye dairy.

| #1 |

To be honest, I credit social media influencers for the beginning stages of me converting to a plant-based diet. Especially Rich Roll’s podcast and Amelia Whelan (she is freakin’ glowing, no?!). I also credit growing up in Kauai and learning so much about health and wellness from just living there a few weeks out of the years.

Vegan Influencers

| #2 |

The health reasons are reason number two. I know (I mean I’ve lived it after all…) that people can live with meat in their diets. That’s not the point for me. The point for me is that that by cutting out animal products from my diet, I can live more optimally. If cutting out meat and dairy means a potentially longer life, preventing disease, and also helping the environment (food + land waste +pollution) then hell yes. It honestly comes down to just being the best version of myself and treating the one body as best I can.

| #3|

The ethics, politics and sustainability of our planet/growing population played a huge factor in going plant-based. Ethically, after researching both sides of the animal industry and how they are treated (even grass-fed, etc.) and the science that has proven that these mammals feel just as much as humans, how can someone not find that a little horrible. Politically, these large meat factories and dairy industries are pure politics and are out to make big $$$. To me that means they are willing to disregard the health of the people and do what it takes to pump out as much as they can and quickly. Sustainably in the sense that the amount of food needed to feed livestock and the amount of waste they produce is pretty absurd. Not to mention the land needed to raise these animals in the factories.

“The standard diet of a person in the United States requires 4,200 gallons of water per day (for animals’ drinking water, irrigation of crops, processing, washing, cooking, etc.). A person on a vegan diet requires only 300 gallons a day.”

| #5 |

Last but not least, I always come back to these 2 things:

  1. There is no way meat used to be this accessible back in the day. We used to typically have to hunt for it and work to eat a large animal. Whereas now, the options are endless and constantly flowing. That to me, is not natural for our bodies. It also raises the question of how much processing truly goes into making meat so readily available for literally millions of people.
  2. Why should we be drinking milk from a cow if it is used to raise a baby calf to grow into a 2,000 pound animal? How does that make any sense to put into our bodies? And isn’t there a reason we are weened off of breast milk after a certain age? So odd.