5 Juicing & Smoothie Recipes to Kickstart Healthy Habits

My first-born would eat anything I put in front of him, from eggplant to tofu, he would happily try anything when he was little.  As our family has grown in children, so has their pickiness.  Though my third child at two is just now cooperating with eating vegetables, I've not really worried too much when she was rejecting the hard vegetables at 18-months.  My trick has always been to load up the vegetables in smoothies and more recently, I've tried juicing for even more vegetable variety without any complaints on pulp that now come from the oldest child.

A friend of mine from Hawaii, Blake Brutus La Benz, has done a lot of juicing and smoothies this year, and always makes posts of pictures and video on his social media to encourage others to live healthy. Though I've shared some smoothie recipes we use in our house, Acai Smoothie, Vitamin C U Later Sickness Smoothie, and Immunity Packed Pumpkin Smoothie, I was so excited when Brutus generously shared some of his personal recipes for you all. And if you think his name sounds familiar, you might be right.  We've shared about his fame in the list made about the 36 Best things about Hawaii, check him out

Chard-a-licious: A Juice Recipe: By Brutus

Any type of juicer can be used.  For best results, chop larger/wider items into smaller pieces.  For leafy greens, fold the stem into the rest of the leaf and roll leaf tighter before inserting into juicer.  Once juicing is complete, stir well to mix the layers of juice, and enjoy!  Makes between 20-30 ounces.

-4 big leaves of chard (any color)

-4 carrots

-1 medium beet (beet greens optional)

-half lemon

-half orange

-half medium tomato

-half large cucumber

-1 granny apple

Collardy Apple: A Juice Recipe: By Brutus

Any type of juicer can be used.  For best results, chop larger/wider items into smaller pieces.  For leafy greens, fold the stem into the rest of the leaf and roll leaf tighter before inserting into juicer.  Once juicing is complete, stir well to mix the layers of juice, and enjoy!  Makes between 20-30 ounces.

-7 collard leaves

-3 granny apples

-2 celery stalks

-half lemon

-half large beet (red or golden)

Green Goodness: A Juice Recipe: By Brutus

Any type of juicer can be used.  For best results, chop larger/wider items into smaller pieces.  For leafy greens, fold the stem into the rest of the leaf and roll leaf tighter before inserting into juicer.  Once juicing is complete, stir well to mix the layers of juice, and enjoy! Makes between 20-30 ounces.

-3 medium leaves of chard

-4 or 5 medium leaves of kale

-1 medium cucumber

-1 medium tomato

-2 granny apples

-half lemon

-1 handful of spinach

Kalepaya: A Smoothie Recipe: By Brutus

Any type of blender can be used, although I find that the premium blenders (Ninja, Vitamix, etc.) make much smoother smoothies.  Remove seeds and rinds from fruits and vegetables as desired; and use organic or local produce whenever possible.  Makes approximately 25-30 ounces.   Enjoy!

-half medium papaya

-half orange

-2 medium leaves of kale

-1 banana

-1 level table spoon chia seeds

-8 to 10 ice cubes

-1 cup water

Mint-Anana-Kale: A Smoothie Recipe: By Brutus

Any type of blender can be used, although I find that the premium blenders (Ninja, Vitamix, etc.) make much smoother smoothies.  Remove seeds and rinds from fruits and vegetables as desired; and use organic or local produce whenever possible.  Makes approximately 25-30 ounces.  Enjoy!

-3 medium leaves kale

-2 small/medium banana

-1 stalk celery

-1 medium carrot

-1 apple

-1 4-inch mint stalk and leaves

-8 to 10 ice cubes

-1 cup of water

1001 Origami Cranes for Bon Festival

Some of you may have noticed that there's been a summer hiatus from the blog.  Part of the reason was to enjoy time being present with my ohana (family) and another part was the time I spent folding origami paper cranes.

The simple reason behind starting Wailani's in 2013 was that I wanted to focus on health and happiness.  Using all natural and organic ingredients, combined with the aromas of Hawai'i, balanced out what I was doing in sharing Hawai'i with my children, preparing healthy meals for my family, focusing on exercise, etc.  The bigger emphasis for why I started the business in 2013 was that my 68-year-old father had recently moved to a nursing home.  Obesity, diabetes, cancer, strokes, and finally dementia had all taken their toll and I really felt a need to focus on my family's health and teach my children to value being happy and healthy daily.

At the beginning of 2014, my dad died, something which you are never quite prepared for, even if you tell yourself that you expect the inevitable.  When I found out that the Bon Festival, a Japanese tradition celebrated in Hawai'i to honor the spirit of a person's ancestor, was August 13-15- coinciding with my parents' anniversary, I knew I needed to fold the 1000 origami cranes to honor him.

For those that don't know the popularity of the origami cranes, also known as senbazuru, there is a wonderful book about Sadako Sasaki, a Japanese girl that died from her exposure to the atomic bomb at Hiroshima.  She was trying to fold the 1000 cranes because she was inspired by the legend that the person who folds these cranes is granted a wish.  She died before completing the cranes and her classmates completed the rest in her honor. 

In modern times, the cranes are made for many occasions, such as weddings, funerals, birth of a new baby, praying for peace, etc.  I remember helping to fold cranes in grade school to send off to the Hiroshima Peace Park.  Each year, people place cranes there during the Bon Festival in memory of their ancestors.

Thanks to a friend of mine and my husband that helped to fold the cranes, I was able to complete the 1001 cranes...yes my friend said that the extra one is for luck...and give them as a gift to my mom for her anniversary, during the Bon Festival. 

I am happy I got to honor his memory and teach my children more about the traditions I grew up with in Hawai'i, though my son is only at the stage of being able to fold a paper airplane :)  Thanks for supporting me through this adventure of Wailani's and reading about my summer journey with cranes and commemoration.

~Have fun and live healthy! 

Ahi Tuna

My food philosophy is that I love cooking healthy foods that my family LIKES to eat...which is easier said than done with 3 kids aged 4 and under.  I'm very happy that all three kids will eat fish, because it's a protein that is low in fat and cooking is so fast.  In particular, I like ahi tuna, a fish high in Vitamin B, because I can do so many things with the leftovers.  I make extra and use it the next day either as the protein in a salad or on a sandwich. 


Before I get to the recipe, I wanted to give a few hints on replacement options, in case you don't have one or more of the ingredients in the recipe:

  1. I included Hawaiian salt, the same I use in my Kalua Pig.  I could get it in the local grocery store when I lived in Rhode Island, but I buy it online now.  An alternative would be Alaea salt which is the base of one of my favorite seasonings for my Secret Ingredient Steak and with over 80 minerals and elements it's one of the star ingredients in Wailani's Salty Hibiscus Body Scrub.  Alaea salt is also similar to the more readily available Pink Himalayan Salt. 
  2. I was lucky enough to have a meyer lemon on hand, which is actually native to China and so I used it in the recipe that I'm sharing on Chinese New Year.  But clearly, you can use regular lemon zest or dried lemon pepper. 
  3. I used an applewood rub, but Yakima applewood smoked sea salt is another option.  Black pepper instead of white.
  4. You could also add sesame seeds (regular or blacked), but my kids just don't like that added texture.

I think you get the idea, substitute as needed to fit what you have on hand or use more frequently from your pantry.

Enjoy and continued wishes for a prosperous and healthy year or in Chinese: Kung Hei Fat Choi!


Ahi Tuna

Coconut oil

Meyer Lemon zest

Granulated garlic

Hawaiian salt

Ground white pepper

Applewood rub

Ginger powder

Fresh Ahi Tuna Steaks

Melt coconut oil and rub on both sides of the fish.  Sprinkle equal amounts of all other ingredients to cover both sides and rub in. Let marinate for 10 minutes.  You can't put them back in the fridge for marination because the coconut oil will re-solidify.  Bring the grill to high heat and cook 4-6 minutes per side depending on the thickness and desired wellness.


Okay, so I know I had the whole Discover December series of blogs to introduce people to fitness alternatives for New Year's resolutions, so what's Zumba doing here in January?  What can I say, there are too many options to fit into just December.  Plus, there's been a lot of interest and talk about Zumba on Wailani's Facebook page, so I just couldn't resist.  And then there's the fact that I happen to know an inspiring Zumba instructor to give you an inside look, in case you haven't tried it yet.

Let me tell you a little about Zumba with Stefanie and I'm sure you're going to be just as impressed as I am at her commitment to living healthy.  Zumba is not her only activity.  First, she is an excellent mom to three active boys, which she blogs about at My Life with Little Boys...x3, and still manages to squeeze in CrossFit daily with her training partner/husband. 


A nurse by training, she knows what it means to be healthy and uses the Eat to Perform plan to support her fitness goals.


Best of all is that in addition to her passion for healthy living, Stefanie is kind, warm, and has a great sense of humor.  Fun and fitness, what more could you want?  So, if you like what you read and you want to check her out, you can find her teaching Zumba with Stefanie at CrossFit Tahlequah/Five Alarm Athletics on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

Zumba with Stefanie


In 2007 my husband joined the Air Force. We moved our little family all the way from Illinois to the bright lights of Las Vegas, Nevada. Being a small town girl, I was overwhelmed and lonesome, to say the least. Nellis Air Force Base had a large, on base gym that offered lots of different classes and it was all free to military members and their families.  When I saw that Zumba was offered on base I decided to give it a try. Not only was the aerobic aspect intriguing but the thought that I might meet some friends got me up and out the door.

That was six years ago and I’ve never looked back. I am now a Zumba instructor, teaching twice a week. When I started it was too fast paced and intimidating. The Latin music, the moves, the HIPS…oh, my! I stood carefully hidden away, in the back row for months. However, once I learned to laugh at myself and just keep moving I started to pick it up. Most instructors will tell their new students to give Zumba at least three classes before you give up. Students start to pick up the repetitive moves before they realize it and will start dancing in their cars to the songs when they come on the radio. I love Zumba because it’s challenging and fun. It gets my heart rate up and I’m sweating after the first two songs. Women can step it up and do advanced moves or take it down a notch or two and do low impact. It really is an exercise for anyone.


Not only did I fall in love with the high calorie burn, upwards of 800 calories per hour, and the dancing but I also fell in love with the people. Women of all ages, body types, athletic and dancing skills come to Zumba. Everyone is upbeat and excited to be there. It’s as if dancing and laughing with friends relieves stress or something…whod’ve thunk?!

I never missed a class, much to my husband’s dismay, even when I moved back to the Midwest. The classes available in my new little hometown started at 8pm. It was a struggle to get my boys fed and into bed before leaving but I made my health a priority and went to class three days a week. Sometimes it was hard to talk myself into going but I never regretted it once it was over.

I would recommend Zumba to anyone. Women and men love it alike. In fact, a man, Beto Perez, is the founder and creator of Zumba! Doing what you love and in turn, getting and/or staying healthy is the dream! Just remember to laugh when you go or you’ll be the only sourpuss in the back row.

Discover December - Yoga

Thank you so much for joining me on this journey of Discovery throughout December, to explore different fitness options for 2014 New Year's Resolutions.  We started the month with some inspiration on triathlons, moved on to CrossFit, and most recently had a wonderful post on running.  But you know that our month of exercising options wouldn't be complete without information on yoga, considering that two of Wailani's retailers are yoga studios. 

In a recent experience, I can tell you that yoga is not just about relaxation, but can also be an 'aggressive' challenge of your body, mind, and emotions according to my instructor -it just depends on what you want to get out of your practice.  In the words of my wonderful instructor, Valarie, "Anyone can do yoga. You don't have to be super bendy. Would you like more flexibility, better balance or ability to concentrate? Try yoga. Do you want to begin an exercise program and don't know where to start? Try yoga." 


Yoga is for everyone? Yes and yoga can help you in your other fitness pursuits, as Valarie puts it: "I appreciate yoga for many reasons, but more recently I've noticed it keeps my body more agile and flexible so I am able to enjoy other forms of exercise I love: volleyball, running, boot camp classes and keeping up with my energetic kids." If you're interested in a little more before you show up at a class in 2014, let me tell you what you might find, from the insights of one of the The 108 Yoga Studio's owners.

The 108 Yoga Studio

When I first walked through the doors of The 108 Yoga Studio, I quite literally caught my breath! Who knew that this jewel of a yoga studio perched on the second floor of an old brick building at 108 Muskogee Avenue in Tahlequah, Oklahoma even existed? With its hardwood floors, exposed brick walls, and tall windows allowing for beautiful natural light it truly creates a safe and peaceful place in which to practice yoga! I was incredibly excited to find it, and I am equally excited to share it with our current and future students.


At The 108 Yoga Studio we offer something for everyone, no matter if you are a seasoned yogi, or if you are completely new to the practice of yoga.  Our five qualified and experienced teachers provide an array of different yoga styles to our students, and we also offer Pilates, which can be a wonderful adjunct to your yoga practice, or a discipline in and of itself.


People come to yoga for many different reasons; to gain physical strength and flexibility, to relieve stress, to avoid an impending back or hip surgery, to "get quiet" within themselves, the list goes on and on. At The 108 Yoga Studio we don't care what your "why" is...we're just glad you've found us, and we can't wait to see what yoga can do for YOU! Namaste!

Discover December - Run Stretch Go

So excited to continue this series on discovering fitness options for your New Year's Resolution considerations.  About five years ago, I was training for a marathon when I found out that I was pregnant with my first child.  At the time, I was in the best shape of my life and my base of fitness helped me to have a very healthy I'm partial to running- though my husband says my pace is only slightly faster than a speed walk:) 


But enough about me and back to running, let me tell you a little about why Cyanne Demchak is the perfect guest post for our blog on running.  Some of you may remember her as the winner of our 500 Likes giveaway, with her comments on the scrub: "My skin feels so amazing this morning. Thank you Lisa and Wailani's. Loving my pumpkin scrub :) "  You also might remember that I shared that her blog, Run Stretch Go was doing a giveaway of a free three month music subscription to RockMyRun.

You won't be surprised that her personal passion for healthy living is matched with her career at a company in the health industry.   She cemented her love for running by completing her first half marathon in 2009, maybe another reason beside our time together in grad school and the fact that we both have two masters degrees that I feel a kinship with her.  I love following her healthy recipes on Pinterest, because I know she's always cooking to support her healthy and active lifestyle.  I am so excited to share her story about how she developed her passion for running.  I hope you find it as inspiring as I do to dust off my running shoes and get out there.


Learning to Love to Run

Growing up, I was always borderline overweight. I hated running more than just about anything (although onions, mushrooms, and lettuce were also hated pretty heavily). I ran when I was forced to in gym class, as warm up or punishment in sports. My one exception was running foul lines in tennis. For some reason, I loved those things. Otherwise, my general thoughts on running can be summed up in 4 words: "do I have to?" 

After college, I had gained a lot of weight, and remembered how quickly I lost weight in high school when I had to run every day in gym class. I started an intense multi-hour workout plan that included running a mile or two every day. I didn't love it, but I hated it a little less. I continued to run just a little for about 2 years, and then I got severe plantar fasciitis and landed in a boot for 6 weeks in the middle of summer in DC. I gave up running not long after that. 

Fast forward to grad school, and another point in time where I had gained some weight. I began seeing ads for the Pittsburgh Marathon and Half-Marathon, which was being brought back after almost a decade, and race day was 2 weeks before my graduation. I decided I wanted to run the half. I signed up, I found a training plan, and trained. For 12 weeks, I was religious about my training, although I did almost half of it on the treadmill, and was more proud of myself for crossing that finish line than I was for receiving 2 masters degrees a few weeks later. 

Over the course of the next 4 years, I'd complete 3 more halfs, with about 4 months of no running after each race. Then, in January, I moved to a new place, where I knew no one, and decided to train for a spring half. It was a way to keep myself in shape, not focused on everything that was going on in my life, and literally take time up in my day. Over the course of the spring, every run made me happier, stronger and more confident in general. After that half in April, I signed up for 3 more over the course of the year, and ended up signing up for my first marathon which I'll run on January 12th. This year I will have run 12 races total; I've run in 12 states; and I've set 4 PRs. At some point this year, running went from being a hobby, or a way to exercise, to being part of who I am.


I am a runner. I love how it makes me feel alive (and sometimes reminds me I'm alive because I'm in pain). I love how it makes me focus on what I eat, because you can't run 20 miles on Sunday if you ate crap for the rest of the week (or you'll regret it, at the very least). It makes my body strong, but it's made my mind stronger. Now, I have to be told not to run. If only Mrs. Vining could see me now!