Surfer Girl Sorbet

The end of 2013 was all about different fitness options to support your healthy New Year's Resolutions, but no lifestyle is complete without some healthy recipes.  So we're kicking off 2014 with a series on ono (delicious) recipes to add to your plans for living healthy.

Freshwater Pearl & Polynesian roping Triple Wrap Bodhi Bracelet

Freshwater Pearl & Polynesian roping Triple Wrap Bodhi Bracelet

Wailani's is especially honored to feature Surfer Girl, Malika Dudley's sorbet in this first recipe share of 2014.  Malika has been a weekend meteorologist and feature reported for Hawaii News Now.  In 2005, she was crowned Miss Hawaii and was named Miss Congeniality in the Miss America pageant that year.  She currently resides with her family in Maui and has her own line of jewelry, Surfer Girl Jewelry.

Sunrise shell and puka pendant on 14kt gold fill chain

Sunrise shell and puka pendant on 14kt gold fill chain

If you love these beautiful creations, be sure to check out her shop.  Matching the beauty of her creations is her super ono sorbet recipe.  Main ingredient is Pineapple, which gives you a boost of Vitamin C, so needed during flu and cold season.  Plus, it's super easy to make with equally easy cleanup.  Hope you enjoy!

Surfer Girl Sorbet




Fresh Mint Leaves

Ginger Rush

Crushed Ice

In a blender, Vitamix recommended, put one chopped up whole pineapple and peeled, seedless lemon.  Put in 15 or so fresh mint leaves, and splash of ginger rush.  (See the health benefits of Ginger Rush for more info.  If you don't have Ginger Rush available, you can replaces with fresh or ground ginger.)  Add a bunch of crushed ice.  Put in a Vitamix and voila!  Simple as that!

Make sure to remember to clean the Vitamix by putting water in it after emptying and running the blender again with the water.  Easy clean up too!


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! 


Discover December - CrossFit is for EVERYONE

It seems that whether you've tried it or not, everyone knows about CrossFit.  I've got family, friends, and neighbors all checking in and getting fit at their local CrossFit. I think it's what people may not know that keeps them from joining in on this health movement.


Fortunately for me, my friend's family are the owners of our neighborhood gym, CrossFit Tahlequah.  What I think you won't be surprised by is just how passionate the owner and coaches are about fitness and health, with coach Samantha (SamE) Dotson even starting her own PaleoJo Meals service to address the nutritional side of health in the early stages of the gym.   Like me, SamE shares a love of coconut oil and recently expressed her Wailani's love: "I loved the scrub. It felt great to get out of the shower and not have to put lotion on because my skin was already moisturized and so soft.  It also smelt amazing. I loved it."

What would possibly surprise you is that CrossFit really is for everyone.  It is for people that have no experience in the gym, it is for others that are coming back from injury, it is for the new mother trying to get into a post-pregnancy workout routine, and it is for kids, with classes being taught by coaches that receive special certification for age appropriate programs.  Did I miss anyone?  And the best part is that the group of people at your local CrossFit are truly passionate and supportive about getting fit and having fun along the way.


Just in case I haven't sparked your interest enough to get you heading out to join your gym's next on-ramp and figure out what all those WOD terms really do mean, here's the story of the owner and, specifically for you ladies, his sister-in-law coach, SamE.  I think you'll definitely be inspired to check out CrossFit Tahlequah/Five Alarm Athletics if you're local or to find your local CrossFit in the New Year.


Barry Dotson:  Barry has been doing CrossFit full time since 2010, after a torn pec muscle left him unable to continue with his passion for powerlifting. Through CrossFit, he has found a new passion for training because of the constant variance and intensity of the workouts.  He became a Level 1 CrossFit Trainer in October 2011, the same month that he, along with Anthony Margarit and Josh Brinkley started Five Alarm Athletics. Some of Barry’s previous records from power lifting include: 4-time Oklahoma State Power-lifting titles, 1 Arkansas State title, 4-time World Cup champion, and 1 Regional Championship. At one time, he held four Oklahoma Deadlift records in four different divisions. Barry still holds two Oklahoma state Deadlift records, and one U.S. Deadlift record. Barry recently received his CrossFit Kids certification in April 2013!


Samantha Dotson: Samantha, or SamE,  found CrossFit through Barry, her brother-in-law. When Five Alarm first opened, Samantha had just been cleared by her OB/GYN to begin exercising after having her second child (and second c-section).  She wanted to get back to “pre-baby” weight, but didn’t like to going to a normal gym because she felt intimidated by all the men. She never dreamed she would find such a passion in CrossFit, and for anyone that knows her, knows how dramatic her physical transformation has been since starting in November 2011.

SamE's 1 year transformation.

SamE's 1 year transformation.

Never before has Samantha been so competitive, and began running 5Ks starting in the Spring of 2012. She reached a milestone in October of 2012, when she finished the Tulsa Run (15K) in 1 hour and 27 minutes! Samantha has received both her CrossFit Level 1 and CrossFit Kids Certifications.

Thank you CrossFit Tahlequah/Five Alarm Athletics for showing us what it really means to have fun and live healthy!


Discover December - Triathlons

Wailani's is dedicating blog posts for the month of Discover December to focus on inspiring stories of fitness- so you can get excited about new alternatives to include in your New Year's resolutions. Before I kick off Discover December with a truly amazing athlete and triathlon coach, Anne-Marie Alderson, let me tell you a little about why she inspires me.

For anyone that knows me, I was training for a marathon before my first child was born and never thought I could do a triathlon because I don't own a bike-I've run into a parked car, ongoing traffic, and a fire hydrant- sad, but true.  Thus starts my complete awe at anyone that excels at running, swimming and BIKING! 

Hawaii Day 3 029.JPG

More importantly, I personally know Anne-Marie from the Tepper MBA program at Carnegie Mellon University. Despite a demanding degree program and career, Anne-Marie has formed her own coaching business; pursuing her passion for supporting healthy living while working full time - you know I'm going to get behind that.  And, she recently had an amazing biking experience in Hawaii on a cycling touring vacation - what's not to love?! The best part is that Anne-Marie is equipped to help you achieve your training goals no matter what your location or experience level!

Alderson Endurance and Wellness - Triathlon Training

I entered the world of triathlon in 2007 when friends I met through a local running club thought it would be fun to enter a triathlon together.  I was a bit intimidated by my new road bike with its ultra-skinny tires and seemingly endless combinations of gears, and the prospect of a 1.5km swim in the Schuykill River in Philadelphia was downright frightening, but I gathered my courage and dove head first into the world of triathlon. 

ironman finish.jpg

I quickly became addicted to triathlon.  My first season involved a lot of trial and error - triathlon wasn’t as popular in 2007 as it has become today, so there was a lot of improvising: how to train, what kind of gear to use, what to eat while training.  Some of these learning experiences were frustrating, but what I didn’t realize was how useful this information would be in the future!

As I become more serious about racing triathlon, I started working with a local coach.  This was extremely beneficial for me, as it took the guesswork out of how I should train.  I felt confident that I was doing quality workouts serving a purpose, and not simply “junk miles”.  My passion for swimming, cycling, and running was something I loved to share with others; I could literally talk for hours if someone asked me a simple question about how to prepare for their first triathlon.  Sometime in 2011, I started to consider becoming certified to coach triathlon myself. 


In the spring of 2013, I obtained my triathlon coaching certification from the International Triathlon Coaching Association (a division of the National Exercise Science Trainers Association) and formed my own business, Alderson Endurance and Wellness.  Due to having a full-time job at a Pittsburgh biopharmaceutical company, rather than develop my own brand at the present time, I chose to work as an Associate Coach with the already-established Pittsburgh-based endurance sports coaching company, Steel City Endurance.   This has been a beneficial arrangement for me because not only does it provide name recognition for attracting clients, but it has also has allowed me to learn from the other coaches:  we share interesting training articles and workout ideas, ask each other questions when we’re uncertain how to handle something, and bounce new ideas off one another. 

Triathlon coaching entails developing customized training plans for clients that are tailored to their goals and their individual level of fitness.  Being a triathlon coach is different than being a personal trainer in that I am not present for the clients’ workouts.  The majority of my interaction with clients is via web, email, and phone.  Thanks to technology, I can provide the same level of coaching to clients whether they are here in Pittsburgh or in Florida. 

When I start working with a new client, I create a high-level training plan to designate the different phases of training for the year (early season preparation, endurance base development, build, or peak) and then develop specific, detailed workouts in increments of 1-2 weeks as time progresses (this allows for tweaks to the training plans as needed).  For assigning workouts and receiving feedback, I utilize a web-based service called Training Peaks.  Training Peaks allows the client to log in to an account I create for them and view their assigned workouts. They can then record comments about how they felt during the workout, outcomes of the workout after completion (such as average pace or interval splits), and even attach a file from a GPS device or heart rate monitor if they have such a device.  I check the post-workout comments and data after they have been added, which allows me to see how the client responded to a workout and how I should structure future workouts.  This also gives me the opportunity to provide encouragement, feedback on the workout, or suggestions for the future. 


My favorite part of coaching is interacting with clients and providing advice on things like choosing a race, racing strategy, gear suggestions, and nutrition.  Coaching is one of the most rewarding things I’ve done in my life so far.  I love being able to share my passion for fitness and health and help others find the same passion.  I find inspiration in watching my clients grow and improve – not only in terms of gaining fitness and being faster, but doing things like overcoming anxieties about swimming in open water.  In the future, I hope to gain additional certifications to further expand the coaching services I can offer. 

Wailani's Body Scrubs- Coconutty Calm Review

Wailani's loves Sandy of Frazee Photography.  She is an extremely talented photographer, not only capturing the face of the business, but is beloved by my children from their first photography session- capturing a truly priceless memory.


Specifically for Wailani's, Sandy wrote one of the first product reviews.  Her kind words and amazing photography skills will always be a valued part of the Wailani's family.  Mahalo nui loa (thank you very much) Sandy!


Today’s post is non-photography related! I wanted to take a minute and let you know about this fabulous product, it’s a line of body scrubs by a local company called Wailani’s. This is a brand new business started up by one of my clients, and I am so excited for her new adventure. Starting a business can be exhausting, stressful, chaotic, but very rewarding….believe me, I know!

Wailani’s body scrubs are amazing, for many reasons, but what really gets me to use it is that:

1. It is made up of all natural and organic products- you don’t have to worry about what is touching your skin.

2. It is relaxing and smells great in the shower.

3. It does not leave an oily/greasy feeling on your skin


I really like the coconutty calm, check out the store Wailani’s, pick out a scent and let me know which one you selected and how much you love it! You can also like the Wailani’s facebook page and keep up with what’s going on in the world of Wailani’s.




Wailani's - It Works!

Recently, Wailani's shared that the #1 tip for smooth legs when shaving: Exfoliate!  You'll see below that the It Works! body wraps also say that the first step is to exfoliate.  When I looked into the products that have before and after pictures showing tightening and firming in as little as 45 minutes, I was happy to find similar ingredients in Wailani's products, such as green tea and jojoba oil.  What I liked best about the claim is that it does not dehydrate, which can gives false results, but instead delivers natural ingredients topically to improve skin appearance and we already know from the International Association for Physicians in Aesthetic Medicine, that the caffeine in green tea has been seen to reduce dimpling due to cellulite.


When I tried it, no there are no before and after pictures, I decided to use Wailani's Golden Pineapple Body Scrub to exfoliate before use, high in Coconut Oil, which has its own healthful properties. I can tell you that applying the wrap was super easy, unlike my plastic body wrapping skills. The aroma was pleasant, which must be from the Rosemary and Eucalyptus oils.  Over an hour later and I was still feeling a pleasant cooling sensation, so I left it on overnight, as the instructions suggest.  Even though I did not take pictures, I did take measurements and can tell you that the next morning, there was a 1 cm difference, a nice confirmation of their tightening and firming claim. 

So now that I've peaked your interest, here's some more information from one of Lauren Radatz, an Independent Consultant for It Works! Global:

Becoming Healthy was my goal after I had my children. Each pregnancy took it's toll on my body, with each one making it more difficult to lose weight. Eating healthy and exercising became my passion, and teaching others how to achieve their fitness and weight-loss goals became my hobby. After doing a lot of research, I found  It Works! a business that I wholeheartedly believe in. It Works! Global is a direct sales company that offers All Natural Health, Wellness and Anti-Aging products. It's widely recognized for their world's first naturally based body contouring line. Our Ultimate Body Applicator is a cloth wrap, formulated with all natural ingredients that promotes optimal skin health, and hydration of the skin, while tightening, toning and firming the targeted area in 45 minutes. They provide nutritional supplements that promote cleansing, detoxification, and alkalizing of the body systems. We also supply a skincare and anti-aging product line as well.  Also, for signing up with It Works! as a distributor or a customer, you have access to FITworks. Which includes daily exercise routines, meal plans, grocery lists, recipes, and support from our Fitworks team. I'm really excited about my  Business and how it's helping me continue a healthy life.

My Results from wrap 2.jpg

I had the chance to try and use Wailani's Mango Green Tea Body Scrub. The scrub was amazing, it left my skin feeling soft and smooth, while feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. The smell of the scrub was delicious! Even after the shower, I can still smell a tropical oasis. I also Love the fact that all the body scrubs are made of all natural ingredients. The number one thing to get optimal results for the wrap was to use all natural soaps or body scrubs, so I exfoliated my belly before I wrapped last night, with the Mango Green Tea Scrub. My belly still feels nice and smooth! 

How to get Optimal Results from the wrap:

1) Take a hot shower and exfoliate your targeted area, just before wrapping. Do NOT use soap with lanolin. It’s best to use all-natural soaps or body scrubs. If you don't have any it’s better to just use a hot wash cloth without any soap at all.

2) If you take medications of any kind (including birth control, Tylenol, Ibuprofen, or prescriptions) do not wrap within 3 hours of taking them.

3) Drink plenty of water!! This is a MUST!!! The recommended amount is half of your body weight in ounces. When I wrap, I use our Greens as well as drink plenty of water. The Greens detoxify, alkalize, and promote pH balance within the body. So you're getting rid of more toxins while wrapping.

4) Do not sweat while you are wearing the wrap. You want the natural ingredients to absorb into your pores, not be pushed out. So just relax. Wear the wrap a minimum of 45 minutes. Approx. 80% of the ingredients will be absorbed into your pores during the first 45 minutes so it’s perfectly fine to wear the wrap longer. The longer it can stay on the better, so sleep in it if you want!

5) Take before and after photos! Front view and side view

Let me know how I can help you!

Lauren Radatz

Dihanara Results.jpg

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.

Wailani's gets some Analytical Insights


I was so excited when a dear friend of mine, Colleen Vrbin, decided to start her own business, Analytical Insights. She is an extremely talented researcher and analyst that's applied her skills to various disciplines in her more than 10 years of professional experience.  There is nothing that makes me happier as a small business owner than to connect others with talented and passionate individuals, especially ones that share my passion for healthy living. 

I asked Colleen to share a little more about her new business and I think you'll find her writing below to be an extremely creative presentation of Colleen's feedback on Wailani's Coconutty Calm Body Scrub.  Colleen embodies the vision behind Wailani's, to have fun and live healthy and she has accomplished this by being brave in starting her own business.  I hope you enjoy learning more about what she offers to businesses that need research solutions.  

Analytical Insights Evaluates Wailani's

What does it mean to live healthy? There is so much advice out there – get eight hours of sleep a night, watch no more than two hours of TV a day, exercise at least one hour a day, laugh more than 20 times a day, eat fewer than 2,000 calories a day, pray, love…the list goes on and on. I can’t live up to each of those goals, as a woman who works full time, has two (soon to be three) young children, and three pets (two dogs and a bunny). To me, the biggest priorities of living healthy right now include feeding my family healthy foods and trying to minimize unnecessary toxins. I’m on board with organic fruits and veggies, organic cage free eggs, and no genetically modified ingredients. We don’t make our own homemade cleaning products for everything, but utilize good ‘ol vinegar and baking soda whenever possible, and rely on brands that exclude harsh chemicals for everything else. We avoid plastics unless they are BPA-free, and never use plastic containers in the microwave regardless of BPA status. And while we all have sweet teeth in my family, snacking on apples and cucumbers is more common than candy (except for the few days following Halloween!).


While I put thought in to what we consume and the types of cleaning products we use, I had, until recently, completely overlooked body care. I would just buy whatever body wash smelled the prettiest.  Then my friend started Wailani's, and my eyes were opened.  A body scrub made only of ingredients you could actually pronounce?! Not made in a lab?! Delicious smells?! And great benefits, like reducing stretch marks (of which I'm particularly interested at the moment, being eight months pregnant). I bought a container of Coconutty Calm, and let me just say I'm more than happy.  My shower time has been transformed into mini spa time.  The aromas are amazing, the scrub is incredible.

But hearing about someone’s opinion, especially a friend of the founder, may not necessarily carry a lot of weight. It just so happens that I’m also a data enthusiast (by the way, if you have any analytics needs, check me out at Analytical Insights). I have some figures to convey the results. Beginning in early 2013, my winter skin was fairly rough (Figure 1). As the spring approached, it improved slightly. However, when I began using Coconutty Calm in August, I saw a definite improvement. And with regular use, I feel like I have skin almost as soft as a newborn right now!


Soft skin is great, but the other component to the benefits I’ve experienced while using Wailani’s product is the overall shower experience. The aroma of the scrub is amazing, and the experience is spa-like. Figure 2 shows that my showers earlier in the year were fairly boring – regular body wash, shampoo, conditioner, done. Now my showers are super relaxing, and Zen-like. I’m definitely a happy customer.


Plus, I can feel good about the product because it is all natural. No benzohexacyclooxzene or yellow dye #5 here! Just a happy customer – and a happy mom makes a happy family!

Speaking of happy, another very important component of healthy living for me personally is job satisfaction. It makes me happy to make others happy, and that is even more important for me to do at a job where I spend most of my day. It can be hard to juggle the responsibilities as a mom, care for the house and pets, and feel productive at a job. Recently, after a lot of thought and a great amount of support from my amazing husband, I started my own business, Analytical Insights, LLC. I love data, I love anlaysis, I love explaining data and the results of the analysis to help people use that information to make decisions, so in many ways this is a dream position. Instead of working as an analyst with one type of data for one type of organization, I get to branch out and work with more people on more datasets for more problems to solve! I’m less than a month in to this venture full time, but so far, I couldn’t be happier! This was definitely a great move to secure my mental healthy living! And if you find yourself in need of any analytical work, write-ups, presentation preparations, grant writing, or anything that falls under the research umbrella, please contact me at

Pineapple Shave Ice

I was missing my favorite Oahu shave ice store the other day- their flavors are ono (delicious) and the ice is soft as snow.  But let’s face it, it’s an indulgence that is purely sugar. 

I had gotten a pineapple to make pineapple whip ice cream, but then I realized, I could substitute a few ingredients and get an all natural version of pineapple shaved ice that is packed with immunity boosting Vitamin C, because I use the core in the recipe as well.  Vitamin C also helps with arthritis, which some people might be feeling a little more with the change of seasons. 

It’s also got coconut water in it, which is high in potassium.  Low potassium leads to Charley Horses, which is common in pregnancy and in athletes.  So give your favorite pregnant mama or athlete this recipe for a sweet treat that’s good for the body.


The ingredients in the super simple pineapple shave ice mimic some of those in the Golden Pineapple Body Scrub, which people say smells so good you could eat it.  So, instead of eating the scrub, try this recipe.  If you don’t want to go through the hassle of shaving the pineapple goodness at the end, you could also freeze into popsicles, making it easier to distribute portions to hungry keikis (kids).


Pineapple Shave Ice

1 pineapple

Coconut water

1 T Honey

1)      Remove top, skin and any divots of the pineapple and cut remaining pineapple, including core, into blender manageable slices

2)      Add pineapple and 1 T Honey to the blender (Honey is mostly for pineapples that might be a little under ripe)

3)      Add coconut water as you blend to create a semi-thick consistency, approx. 4 ounces, but depends on the size of your pineapple

4)      Place blended mixture into a freezer safe container and freeze overnight.  My kids thought I was making a smoothie though, so it can also be enjoyed as a smoothie right away

5)      Once the mixture has frozen solid, get out a metal spoon and shave off desired amount into a bowl and enjoy 

Love making my family healthy food they like to eat.

~Have fun and live healthy!

NSU Men’s Soccer Fall Fundraiser

The passion for all natural body scrubs came from the mission to live healthier and how fitting is it that the first fundraiser that Wailani’s supports is a sports team, the Northeastern State University Men’s Soccer Team.  These guys are all about living healthy to perform and not just for the viral sensation video highlighting their great ball skills.  If you haven’t seen it yet, you’re going to be amazed, and it was edited by Senior Midfielder Juan Gonzalez from Ecuador.

TeamPic (12) 4500.jpg

Let’s go into a little more information on why they’re a great team to support.  Since the 2012 campaign ended in a double overtime loss in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Division II tournament to a team that went to the finals, the team has been hungry.  Currently ranked #5 in the nation, their record is 5-0-3 with eight games left in the regular season.  But enough about stuff you could find on the internet, here’s some little known facts you might not know about members of the team.

The team has traveled up to a 13 hour bus ride to play conference and non-conference opponents.  Players have been known to bring egg crates on the bus to sleep on the floor and some have taken to bringing air freshener to keep the atmosphere a little ‘nicer.’  Their favorite movie to watch on the bus is Wedding Crasher, though one player is pulling for a vote for The Gladiator, phew those were clean choices, and their favorite warm-up song for pre-game rituals is Wake Me Up by Avicii.  Their usual pre-game meal is chicken and pasta with sauce on the side and water or a favorite $5 12” sandwich.


There are six international players on the team of 28.  One player studied for and became a US citizen last year and let me tell you, that test is hard.  One of the players, Roberto Soares from Brazil, can speak four languages: Portuguese, Spanish, English, and Indonesian, just in case you need a translator in your future.

After his first fall season, Coach Rob Czlonka hosted a banquet for the players and was given an award by the team of most likely to quote movies.  Apparently this still rings true, at the helm of his third season as head coach of the RiverHawks.  Sports inspiring movies include The Miracle, Hoosiers, Coach Carter, and more recently MoneyBall.  Some of the players, especially the international ones, tell him he needs to update his movie analogies or maybe stop quoting movies.

It is not ironic that the team’s favorite saying  is, “Look Good, Play Good,” considering the proceeds from this fundraiser are going to help cover the costs of new uniforms next year.  Why do they need new uniforms, might you ask?  Well, it seems that the team is not afraid of a little contact.  Particularly, every time they travel to Missouri, there seems to be a major injury: Concussion and broken facial bones; broken wrist; and hospitalization due to heat exhaustion.


The following is their schedule for the remainder of the season.  Scrubs are available for purchase at home games and if you’re not able to come support them in person, you can contact Wailani’s to find out how to support the fundraiser from your location.  Why not stock up on Christmas presents or bring your Thanksgiving cook a unique gift, Pumpkin Pie Body Scrub, while supporting a group of great guys?!

10/11/2013         HOME                   Midwestern State University                        7 pm

10/17/2013         HOME                   Lindenwood University                               7 pm

10/19/2013         HOME                   Southwest Baptist University                      7 pm

10/21/2013         HOME                   Southern Nazarene University                    6:30 pm

10/24/2013         AWAY                   Fort Hays State University                          7 pm

10/26/2013         AWAY                   Southern Nazarene University                   1 pm

10/28/2013         AWAY                   Ouachita Baptist University                        4 pm

11/1/2013     HOME- SR GAME          Harding University                                     5pm

Go RiverHawks!


The BLRbp Sandwich (Bacon, Lettuce, & Roasted bell pepper)

This recipe, (Bacon, Lettuce, & Roasted bell pepper Sandwich), is probably more on the side of having fun as opposed to living healthy.  Although I only have bacon in the house twice a year, when I do, this is my go to sandwich.

 I’m not one for too much creativity in the kitchen and usually go for tested and recommended most any day.  I first made this original recipe nearly two years ago, when a neighbor had a new baby.  I have to confess that at first, I was going to make kalua pig, but didn’t plan accordingly and running out of time, I thought I’d take a stab at creating something with the ingredients I had on hand.  


I don’t know if it was all the cooking channel shows I’d been watching, but I definitely am appreciative of the inspiration, to be able to bring some friends a yummy break to their sleeplessness.  Since having kids is like a blur, I think that the sandwich name is quite appropriate for the occasion.  Now, I make this BLRbp sandwich every time I have houseguests. Cooking the bacon while roasting bell papers and using store bought pesto make this an easy hit with visitors, yet it totally comes off as gourmet. I think my husband invites people to stay with us just so he can have bacon.  


This recipe should be made to eat right away, though I dare you to try and save any after the smells from your kitchen.  When you adjust for the portions you need, remember it’s hard to eat just one!


BLRbp Sandwich (Bacon, Lettuce, & Roasted bell pepper)

~per serving

3-4 slices Bacon

1-2 Heart of Romaine Lettuce leaves

½ Red Bell Pepper

2 slices Sourdough bread

2 slices Muenster cheese

Pesto with Basil

Olive oil, salt, and pepper

1) Preheat oven to 400°. You will need to have two racks in the oven for cooking.  Line two 11”x17” cookie pans with foil and place a cookie drying rack on top of one of the lined pans.

2) Cut deseeded red bell pepper into quarters and put two quarters per sandwich on the lined pan, alternating facing up or down. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

3) Place bacon flat on the drying rack lined pan, 3-4 per sandwich.  Make sure there are no parts that overlap.

4) Cook both pans in the preheated oven for 35 minutes.  Now here’s the trick. You’ll probably need to wait outside while this cooks, because the smells from your kitchen will just make you salivate.  I try to squeeze in a shower with my favorite Wailani’s tropical body scrub to get my mind off the food.

5) Lightly toast the sourdough bread and spread one side of the sandwich with your favorite store-brand Pesto with Basil. Yes, I’ve made it at home before, but remember I said this is a fast way to do something nice for a friend that they’ll be sure to eat over and over again.

6) To finish your sandwich construction, add a layer of roasted bell peppers to the pesto, top with a couple slices of muenster cheese, some romaine lettuce, and your slices of bacon.  Put a lid on it and enjoy right away and tell me you can eat only one!  

Whether you’re looking to serve someone else or you just want a new spin on an old classic, this sandwich will definitely become a favorite, even after you may have banned bacon from the house in favor of healthy living.

Pumpkins in Hawai'i

So, just for a reminder that Hawai’i celebrates Thanksgiving too, Wailani’s wanted to do a Pumpkin Pie body scrub.  Even though the change of seasons doesn’t involve the changing leaves that other places enjoy, there are noticeable differences, days getting shorter and rain spells getting longer, that are equated with the fall.  There are pumpkin patches, though you might be more likely to find a maze in a pineapple field than a corn field.



While many parts of the Thanksgiving spread might not resemble the traditional meal served at the first Thanksgiving, for example eating with chopsticks, there is one part that does and should remain the same: Pumpkin Pie.  It’s not for sentimental reasons, though I’m sure we all have a favorite memory, it’s because of the awesome vitamin packed punch this ingredient boasts, 280% of your daily recommended Vitamin A value in one serving. 

Vitamin A has too many benefits to healthy living to list here, but just to give you an idea of the reported skin property benefits, they include reducing wrinkles and protecting your skin against UV damage from sun exposure.

Whenever  I find a superfood, I’m always trying to add it to everything.  My favorite thing to get a vitamin packed punch for the day is a breakfast shake.  I make it for the kids to get extra antioxidants from blueberries or a boost of anti-inflammatory from spinach.  I even get some omega 3s in there for heart health with ground flax seed.

While Wailani’s Pumpkin Pie Body Scrub might smell like you could eat it, enjoy an Immunity Packed Pumpkin Smoothie instead.


Immunity Packed Pumpkin Smoothie

~12-14 oz. smoothie

Blend and enjoy!

4 T pumpkin

¼ tsp cinnamon

½ c spinach

1 T ground flax seed

¼ c blueberries

1/3 c mango

1 T honey

1/3 c coconut water (depending on your preferred consistency)

Have fun and live healthy!

Aloha Grace Choi

One of my favorite things to do is cook healthy foods that my family loves to eat.  In teaching myself about the health properties of various foods, I quickly discovered that many superfoods with amazing consumption benefits had transformative topical benefits as well.  And thus was born an all natural body scrub company. 

Therefore, the very first blog for Wailani’s is going to go back to the source of Wailani’s inspiration, cooking, featuring Cooking Channel personality, Grace Choi.



Grace Choi is host of Cooking Channel’s short form program Cooking with Grace.  She is a PhD candidate and adjunct instructor in Food Studies at NYU, lover of cookbooks and kitchen tools, and self-proclaimed wannabe nerd.  Clearly she’s been recognized in her field for her expertise and definitely a talent to look for as an inspiration for your own culinary conquests.



It was an honor for Grace to bring her fine taste for food to a review of Wailani’s Golden Pineapple body scrub, which has a Coconut Oil base.

"As a cook, I know first-hand how important high quality ingredients are to both taste and the body.  When it comes to beauty products (an obsession only second to food), that same philosophy applies. I love using natural products like manuka honey and organic coconut oil for skin and hair, so I was really excited to try Wailani's Golden Pineapple body scrub. First, the aroma of juicy pineapple is nothing short of wonderful. I immediately felt transported to a tropical beach with ocean waves licking my feet and a slushy cocktail in-hand.  Second, the scrub feels so good on tired skin, and leaves your whole body feeling supple and nourished.  Rough patches of skin, be gone - I didn't even need to moisturize afterwards. Two days later, and my boyfriend is still commenting on how soft my skin feels.”

Grace’s words are so delicious it makes it seem like the scrub is edible.  I just know you’re going to love what she cooks up.  Be sure to tell your friends about this rising star in the food industry!

~Have fun and live healthy