Vegetable Soup

I absolutely love using Wailani's scrubs for the great topical applications, such as reducing the appearance of stretch marks or calming inflamed and sore muscles from a tough workout, but secretly one of the things I love is that it reminds me to include the healthy ingredients in my family's meal plan.  The fact that it makes my shower smell like Hawai'i doesn't hurt either.  As the wife of a soccer coach, mother of three, and native of Hawai'i we've used ginger in our house both topically and in our food to help with inflammation and nausea and just because it tastes ono (good). 

I'm using it everything from the scrambled eggs to smoothies and juices.  In our Good Fish Friday recipe, we shared links to just about every other recipe we've shared with ginger, just in case you can't get enough of it.  With our spring special body scrub coming out this week, Hunny Ginger, I thought I'd share a yummy soup recipe that includes ginger and turmeric, both known for their amazing anti-inflammatory properties. 

As you might recall, our Golden Pineapple Body Scrub's beautiful coloring is derived from organic turmeric and so I'm excited now to round-out the anti-inflammatory regime with a scrub that includes ginger essential oil. 

Don't be scared of the long list of ingredients.  The recipe is simple to prep and pull together.  This recipe can feed a crowd, so if you know any expectant mommies out there, a container of soup and a Hunny Ginger Body Scrub make a great Mother's Day gift.  Check out our specials just in time for summer!

Vegetable Soup

2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

20 baby carrots cut into 1/2 pieces

4 celery hearts cut into 1/2 pieces

3 leeks, white and green parts only, cleaned and cut into 1/2 pieces

1/4 cup coconut oil

64 oz. vegetable stock

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 tbsp onion powder

1 tbsp ground ginger

1 tbsp ground turmeric

28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes in juice

2 medium zucchini cut into 1/2 in pieces

1 15-oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

2 cloves garlic minced

2 tbsp dried parsley

1/2 c freshly grated parmesan cheese and rind


1) In a large stockpot, heat 1/4 cup coconut oil over medium heat.  Add cut potatoes, carrots, celery, and leeks.  Stir occasionally for 5-7 minutes.

2) Add vegetable stock, salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, onion powder, ground ginger, ground turmeric, and canned tomatoes with juice.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.

3) Add zucchini, beans, minced garlic, parsley, and grated parmesan cheese and rind.  Reduce heat to low and cook for at least 1 hour to allow flavors to combine.

4) When you're ready to serve, either mash the whole tomatoes with a potato masher, blend with an immersion blender, or transfer tomatoes and some vegetables to a blender and blend to smooth then return to the soup mixture.

5) Serve sprinkled with additional grated parmesan cheese alongside a salad or a piece of crusty bread.

30 Day Fitness Challenge

I originally had a salmon recipe to share with yummy pictures, but I completed a 30 day fitness challenge today and thought I’d share some of the blessings I had this last month for focusing on my fitness and I'll save the salmon for next week’s Fish Friday.

After 3 kids, my body has taken on a whole new shape.  My feet are even joining in the fun and are a full half-size bigger, which I knew was to be expected.  There are other things however that I didn’t expect, like my once poker-straight hair now being curly on half my head.  I can’t decide between straightening half of it or curling the other half, so my solution is usually a pony-tail.

But back to my post-babies body.  My friend Stefanie wrote an empowering post about all the ways that pregnancy changes your body and how important it is to embrace your post-baby body.  While I do have some pre-pregnancy pants that are in my closet daring my hips to ever come back together to fit in, my motivation for working out and completing the 30 day challenge was literally to try and work muscle groups that I know had been ignored since I was marathon training 5 years ago. 

I am a person that works better with a long-term goal and has a plan that tells me what to do each step of the way so that I keep myself accountable to doing it.  If I’m left to my own decision to just go for a run or do some squats or whatever, I’ll always find some excuse of an unfinished load of wash, dishwasher to empty, etc. to not get the workout in. 

Going from occasional workouts to something every day for 30 days was an exciting challenge and I don’t know if my daily attitude of gratitude I’ve been doing for Lent has fueled my passion to workout or if working out has fueled me to be more grateful. 

During the 30 days, there were times felt dumb for not knowing how to do some of the workouts, froggie anyone?...but then loved my feeling of accomplishment when I found the YouTube video and tried something new, though I may not be in love with froggies (Seriously, you’re going to look-up that YouTube video now aren’t you?). 

To be expected what I loved is that the workouts were effective.  Soreness meant growing stronger and the level of challenge was high.  Over the process, somewhat unexpectedly, vicarious learning started happening with my kids. 

Now, I know kids learn what they see from my post on my son riding his bike down a hill the day he learned to ride without training wheels and my husband calling me out on my fear of riding bikes, but I never really focused on the seeing part.  In the past, my husband and I would tell the kids we were going to workout, going to the gym, etc.  We want them to know we value this and it’s important.  And we are certainly active with them, but have done less formal exercising with them, apart from soccer drills.  This past month has been a daily dose of my kids seeing me do all sorts of new exercises and then start trying them themselves. 

Now, even when I go back to hitting the treadmill at the gym or long runs outside, I want to remember to do exercises at home with the kids so that the value of exercising is more than just words. 

Veganish Quinoa Chili

One reason I don't believe in diet fads, is as soon as the diet is over, the results usually are too. I believe to live healthy, you need to find a way to eat that is going to last you a lifetime.  So, for me, there are a couple of foods that mean I'm never going to be vegan or vegetarian for that matter.  I love cheese!  And, there are some meat recipes I can't live without.  I'm sure you remember me sharing my Kalua Pig recipe on Brandi Barnett's blog, which by the way was supposed to be about salads.  When talking with Brandi's husband, Garrett, I let slip another reason I would never go meatless - I love my chili recipe.  He must've said to himself, Challenge Accepted, because no sooner than the words were out of my mouth was he telling me he had a vegan chili recipe that promised I wouldn't be missing the meat.  


Before I share the recipe that I call Veganish Quinoa Chili, because to me every Chili has to be served over rice and have some cheese and a dab of sour cream, I wanted to share a little more about Garrett.  He is an insurance agent by day for his family's business, Celeste Looney Insurance, serving Tahlequah for over 66 years. I can personally vouch for his honestly and integrity, a rarity in the insurance industry for certain, in case you want to contact Celeste Looney Insurance for any of your needs.

By night, weekend, and any other vacation time he can squeeze in, he's an avid biker.  I love his straight-forward expression of love for the sport, almost to the point that I would conquer my fear of a bike (I've run into a fire hydrant people), and his viewpoint on food. 


He's some of his thoughts before I get to the yummy stuff:

"Competitive cycling began for me about 12 years ago. I had been into mountain biking but loved the sense of adventure you could find on a road bike. Within several hours you could be somewhere you had never seen or been before. With cycling you are rewarded by the level of effort you put into it. With so many sports your level of success is dictated by talent or sets of skills with which you are born. Not so in cycling. Inherent ability plays a small role in cycling but it really has more to do with the level of effort you put in. Almost without exception a rider who dedicated 15 hrs. a week to riding will surpass a rider who put in 5. My favorite thing about riding would have to be the sense of improvement and investing in myself. To see improvement beyond what I thought possible.

I have been on rides from coast to coast and many places in between but I would have to say that one of my favorite organized rides include a tour of the ski resorts of New Mexico; however, it is hard to beat a destination ride from home with your buddies. To get up and ride to Kansas or Texas with a return trip the next day is just a lot of fun. You get to ride through towns you may have never been and you can stop and eat whenever you are hungry.

In America I think diet and nutrition is one of the most misunderstood and misapplied aspect of life, let alone sport. I have tried many strategies and most don't work. I have eaten vegetarian, vegan, raw, paleo and just about every other strategy in between. I think it is most important to eat as close to nature as possible. Eat meats that are as close to their origin as possible and organic non-gmo fruits and vegetables. If you don't know an ingredient on a food label, don't eat it. Do not eat processed foods such as sugar, flour, corn meal or oil from things you would not normally eat (i.e. eat olive oil, coconut oil, etc not cottonseed oil, etc.)."

See, now you want to not only try the recipe but maybe go for a bike ride too.  Favorite thing about the recipe is the Coconut Oil. Disclaimer, I'm going to give the instructions the way that I made the recipe (you can chop vegetables as you go through the steps).  But he said even easier is to just throw everything in the pot and cook for 2 hours. 


Veganish Quinoa Chili

~2 hours total cooking time

1/4 Cup Coconut Oil

8 ounces baby portabella mushrooms, diced small

1 med. eggplant, diced small

4 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped

6 Tablespoons chili powder

6 Tablespoons ground cumin

1/2 Teaspoon black pepper

28-ounce can petite-diced tomatoes

1 Tablespoon dried oregano

1 1/2 Cups Lentils, rinsed and picked through

1 1/2 Cups Quinoa, rinsed

1 Tablespoon salt

52 ounces of vegetable stock (more water if needed)

3 med. zucchini, diced small

Salt and black pepper

1) In a large stock pot, heat Coconut Oil over high heat.  Add half the mushrooms and saute well. Add a pinch of salt and the other half of the mushrooms, saute well.

2) Reduce heat to medium and add eggplant and add egglant and another pinch salt.  Saute until lightly brown, not gray.

3) Add onion, saute until translucent.

4) Add garlic, chilipowder, cumin and black pepper.  Stir well and cook for approx. a minute.

5) Add tomatoes, oregano, lentils, quinoa, salt, and vegetable stock.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium and cover.  Cook until lentils are soft and quinoa is cooked through, adding water as necessary (approx. 6 ounces).

6) Stir in zucchini and cook 5 more minutes.  Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve with your favorite Chili condiments.


Super yummy, and you'll feel good serving your crowd this healthy chili on game day or sharing with family, friends, and neighbors.