Sunday, August 16, 2020

Organization during a Pandemic

I wrote this post when we first were in quarantine in the beginning of April.
This might come into good use for this second round of quarantine.


Monday, April 13, 2020

Keeping order in a new life of uncertainty.  

These are activities I am doing to keep me focused on my personal growth & personal living,
while the #stayhome order is in effect.

Fact, this came after 2 weeks of winging it and a lot of television news, Hallmark, & Netflix,
while laying on my couch!  I needed to do something to get out of my funk.  

Also, when are we gonna have this kind of time again?  Hopefully not too soon.

These are guidelines I use to keep myself focused and organized. 
I am sharing this because it might help you, as it has helped me.

First -
I start my day by focusing on my physical health - floor exercises and stretches
(while watching the news, both local & international news.  Then take my medications and vitamins. 
And finally ESPRESSO!  Then breakfast.

Breakfast consists of either oatmeal with nuts & banana, energy bar, avocado toast w/ dukkah,
or a kale/spinach omelet, depending on what is available in the refrigerator.

Second -

I make a list of business & finance items I need to complete for that day with a maximum time
limit for each item:

  1. Work assignments (2 hours)
  2. Finances & Personal Business (1-2 hours)

Business & Finance Health -

Work on projects for my consultant business.

-Check on my unemployment status.  Be persistent and try different times of the day,
when you cannot get on-line or calling.

-Call every credit card and bank, to get a lower interest rate and/or deferred payment plans.
Write out a paragraph you are going to say on the phone call, so you stay focused.

-Skip or cancel subscriptions. Ask yourself, “Do I really need or use this subscription?”

Have a snack!  After a couple of hours working, you need a snack.  My go-tos are roasted nuts,
cut veggies (celery, broccoli, cauliflower), or a healthy crunchy snack (popcorn, pita chips, tortilla chips). 
Use a small bowl, and do not eat right out of the bag.  It limits over eating from the bag.

Lunch is usually a salad with either a hard boiled egg, tuna, or turkey.  Or a kale, banana,
peanut butter, non-dairy smoothie.  If I do not have either, I eat leftovers from the night before.

Third -
After lunch I usually pick 2-3 of the following activities.  Change it up daily to keep it fun!

Physical Health -
  • Health Maintenance Follow-Up with Primary Doctor (on-line)
  • Diet/cooking - cookbooks & magazines that focus on plant-strong recipes
  • Exercise - whatever works in your current living space - floor exercises & walking works for me
  • Health education - reading books & magazines to broaden your knowledge

Mental Health -
  • Coloring - coloring books
  • Meditation - apps like Headspace & Calm are useful
  • Cleaning/decluttering - keep your living spaces clean & organized
  • Gardening - repotting overgrowth plants 
  • Fun/Laughter - I watch shows that make me laugh - Modern Family, Queer Eye
  • Cry - I watch shows that make me cry - P.S. I Love You, Queer Eye

Brain Health -
  • Vocabulary growth - learning new words to use in your everyday life
  • Language growth - learn another language
  • Motivational growth - using established programs #oprahs2020visiontour
  • Inspirational growth - praying

Imagination Health -
  • Escaping - READ!!!
  • Travel books/magazines/videos

Relationship Health -
  • Texting, FaceTime, Calling
  • Writing cards & letters
  • Social Media posting
  • Birthday Cards
Cooking -
  • Try new recipes, cultural recipes
  • Watch cooking videos

Dinner is the main meal of the day.  I’ve been using different recipes everyday, to keep things interesting. 
My go-to recipes are: chicken soup with green papaya or chayote, ground turkey lasagna, spicy ramen,
pork w/ green beans, bolognese on spaghetti, pork with white squash & long rice, Thai chicken curry,
meatloaf w/ mushrooms, etc.  All meals always include a green leafy vegetable side - kale, spinach,
collard greens, bok choy, choi sum, ong choy, etc. 

Saturday, October 20, 2018

What do I want to do when I grow up?

On my road to turning 60...  

has me currently reflecting on "what do I want to do for the rest of my life", 
and has me asking myself a lot of questions?  

Questions like...

how many more years do I want to work?
do I want to continue working where I am?
is the work I am doing now fulfilling enough?
am I working with people that enhance my life?
am I happy doing what I am doing?
am I being as creative and productive as I should be?
what am I leaving to my family?
what am I leaving to my community?
what makes me happy?

Come with me on this journey of self-awareness, and finding fulfillment.

Friday, October 21, 2016

My "bucket list" visit to the Hashimoto's Persimmon Farm

My long awaited visit to the Hashimoto Persimmon Farm was a something I've only heard about, and always wanted to do.  And I finally made it to the farm, last November during a business trip to Maui.

The Hashimoto Persimmon Farm is located on the cool rocky slopes of Kula, the largest Persimmon farm on Maui.  The farm encompasses a total five hundred persimmon trees on five acres of land.  The fresh fruits are harvested and sold during the months of October, November and sometimes part of December each year.  They grow three primary varieties: fuyu, maru, and hachiya.  Please go to their website to learn more about how Mr. Hashimoto got his Persimmon farm started.  Such an inspirational story.

Note:  Before heading out to the farm, stop by La Provence Bakery and Cafe on 3158 Lower Kula Road, for a cup of coffee and the best croissants on the Island of Maui.  The bakery is on the way up to the persimmon farm and a wonderful way to start your day.


The breathtaking views from the farm.

Grandma Hashimoto still works the farm.  In fact, when I first got there, she was in the drying room packing dehydrated persimmons in packages.  I got to meet 4 generations of Hashimotos.  

Here you have the 3 varietals of persimmons.

The leaves of the persimmon trees are just as vibrant as the fruits themselves.

Here is a Fuyu tree.

Here is the Maru variety.  My favorite because of the little pockets of sugar in the flesh of the fruit.

These are at it's most desirable ripeness.  This is the Fuyu.

This is a Maru tree.

More Maru...

The brown spots are little pockets of sugar deliciousness.

Hachiyas...God Bless You

Remember you cannot eat these unless they are fully ripe and jelly like. But totally worth the wait.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Week Four - "On the Road" Fitness Program

Okay, since my personal training session with Felix last week, I've been on the road again...and that's why this program was created - right!  Felix checks up on my eating and exercise progress, and texts me three times a week.  He is my second mother - my health mama!

Felix has decided to step up my exercise routine and I am sharing it with you.  Personally, I will start this new routine next week, because I hate burpees!  I hate burpees!

But realize I still meet with Felix, to check on my progress, my form, and to reinstate my commitment levels!

We are currently working on Felix's website and Facebook page.  If you are interested in speaking him, please email me at

This email is from Felix to me, with the new exercises:

Nat 2.0
Now that we have gone over technique, form and do's and don't's, we going to step it up a little bit. *;) winking
Remember, focus on the cues we talked about. Always focus on form over volume. Make sure you warm-up, get your heart rate going and do some dynamic stretches.

Day 1:
3 rounds of:
  • 3 burpees
  • 6 push ups
  • 9 RDLs (each leg) – with or without kettle bell (KB)
  • 12 squats
  • 15 sit ups
Day 2:
5 rounds of:
  • 10 squats
  • 10 kettle bell swings
  • 10 kettle bell sumo dead lift high pull
Day 3:
Rest Day – Your Favorite!

Day 4:
3 rounds of 21-15-9:
  • lunges
  • KB swings
  • mountain climbers
Day 5:
  • 50 RDLs (this can be 25 or 50 each leg... your choice)
  • 50 squats
  • 50 jumping jacks
This might seem like a lot but you can break up the reps as you like: 5 rounds of 10 reps (just like Day 2), 10 rounds of 5 reps... however you like, just total 50 reps each.

Day 6:
Rest Day – Your Favorite!

Day 7:
3 rounds of:
  • 10 push ups
  • 15 squats
  • 20 lunges (this can be 10 or 20 each leg... your choice)
  • 25 KB swings
Day 8:
  • 3 burpees
  • 10 squats
  • 3 burpees
  • 10 sit ups
  • 3 burpees
  • 10 lunges
  • 3 burpees
  • 10 KB sumo dead lift high pull
Day 9:
Rest Day – Your Favorite!

Day 10:

Repeat from Day 1

But remember to have fun!


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Week Three - On the Road Fitness Plan

Note to self - meet with your personal trainer, in person, before starting any fitness plan!!!   
It was not his fault, because I insisted that he give me a schedule before we personally met.  

(Oh and do not have 2 bottles of sake with girlfriends the night before your personal workout session!)  I surely PAID for it!

Well, even with videos to show me "how to" correctly do these exercises, I was doing them wrong.  During my 1 hour workout session with Felix on Friday, he was able to show me warm-up routines, proper form for all of the exercises in the plan, offer new exercises, and test my mobility and stamina.  Note: The 2 bottles of sake really came back to visit and affected my stamina!  Damn!

Having a personal trainer shows you the "how to" and "how much to".  For me it is really important to get feedback and it is so beneficial for my results.  Felix pushed me during the exercises, to show me how to push myself, when he is not around.  Yes, there were times, during the workout, that I stood there and looked at him with the "stick eye", but with his encouragement and support, I pushed along.  (Swearing at him under my breath - nah!  Yes.)

Felix truly understands that I cannot totally change my lifestyle of eating, socializing and exercising. He is supportive and always there to suggest solutions.  Accountability!  Felix calls me periodically to check up on me and to see how I am feeling and how my eating is going...accountability!  And honesty is key!

I love his style of personal is really individualized and realistic to someone's life.  Thank you Felix and I love you for your flexibility and patience with me and my craziness.

See you next week!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Week 2 - On the Road Fitness Plan

Here is my update on last week's experience:

I started Felix's "On the Road" fitness program last week Tuesday, on the road to Maui...  True test!  Because my flight was at 5am, I had to do my exercise at the end of my day, which is really hard because I just want to eat and sleep after a 12 hour day.  Because the exercises are fun and short, it was doable - thanks Felix!  The exercises got my heart rate up and I did start sweating.  And most important, I can do this!  The rest days are my favorite.

Finding a daily routine and doing the fitness part in the morning is desirable, but with this program, just doing it is better than nothing.

The nutrition part of this program is a huge challenge when you are on the road.  If there are natural food stores close by, it makes it so much more easier.  When you have a business lunch or dinner, pick a restaurant that offers more of a vegetarian fare, but don't be that person that substitutes everything....I refuse to be that person.  Sticking to the side veggie dishes and ordering a couple of sides is a good meal.  Maui was a good destination for eating out, but the Big Island was a little more challenging.  The distance between the towns made it much more harder to find stores or restaurants with the vegetarian and lean proteins I was looking for.  So purchasing cut veggies and nuts (but not too many nuts), for the road trip is best.

I don't have to travel this week, so I am meeting with Felix to go over last week and to go over my exercises with him.  He will be checking on my form and movement with each exercise.  His feedback is crucial and keeping me accountable is key!

Week Two!  Here are the exercises....

Day 8: Perform five rounds of:
  • 5 push ups
  • 10 sit ups
  • 20 mountain climbers (To begin with, each step can be counted as one. If you are up to it, count two steps (step left + step right) as one rep. These will get your heart rate going.)
Rest 60-90 sec in between rounds.

Day 9: Rest

Day 10: Repeat from Day 1
(see last week's post for these exercises)

When I am not traveling, along with these exercises, I will be doing my usual walks and swimming sessions.

Don't forget to take those moments of magic during your day.....

See you next week at my next update!  Stay consistent and focused!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

On the Road - Day One Fitness Program

Here we go, Week ONE, Day One on our "on the road" fitness plan.  This is what Felix emailed me last week:

Okay, here we go. Writing you a workout program is not an easy task without having first assessed your level of fitness/strength, being able to explain or correct technique and form or knowing what “props” you have available.
Nevertheless, here are some workout/exercises for you on the road. More than working out, diet will be key. *:) happy But more to that after the workout. To begin you will go with a two days on, one day off split. Workouts will be rather short but therefore higher in intensity. You are looking at 10-20 min, with a short warm-up/cool down and stretching before and/or after... so a total of no more than 30 min. Later on, this can/will change. But on the road, your main concern should be staying disciplined. All exercises below are strictly bodyweight exercises and do not require any props or weights.

Day 1: 5 rounds of:
  • 5 pushups
  • 10 squats
  • 30 sec plank

Day 2: Perform 21-15-9-3 reps of:
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Sit ups
  • Squats

Day 3: Rest

Day 4: Complete:
  • 1 push up
  • 10 squats
  • 2 push ups
  • 8 squats
  • 3 push ups
  • 6 squats
  • 4 push ups
  • 4 squats
  • 5 push ups
  • 2 squats
  • 4 push ups
  • 4 squats
  • 3 push ups
  • 6 squats
  • 2 push ups
  • 8 squats
  • 1 push up
  • 10 squats

Day 5: Perform 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps of:
  • squats
  • sit ups

Day 6: Rest

Day 7: Complete the cycle as many times as possible in 5 min:
  • 5 push ups
  • 10 alternating lunges (5 each leg)
  • 15 sit ups
Complete three rounds total.

Since you are on the road, I will mostly focus on the eating out part (since you love to do that anyways *;) winking) and less on the cooking/preparing your own meals.
You know that I personally do not eat any animals or animal products. This does however not mean that I will ask you to do the same. Here are a few guidelines that I think are easy to remember:
  1. First and foremost: Eat for nutrients. No empty calories! This is KEY!
  2. Eat vegetables, fruits, legumes and beans... and some nuts and seeds.
  3. If you chose to eat meat or eggs, opt for grass-fed/free-range/organic and make those the “side” and not the main part of the meal.
  4. Minimize (or eliminate if possible) dairy! No other animal in the world consumes the milk of another animal, especially not after the infant stage. Neither should we.
  5. Minimize refined oil! If you use them, do so sparingly and opt for coconut oil. Fried is pretty much oil with a little bit of food.
  6. No sugars! No sucrose, no glucose, no Sucralose... you name it. Eating sugar in whole-food fruit (i.e. apples, strawberries etc) is okay.
  7. Minimize (or eliminate if possible) processed food! Bread, pasta, donuts, chips... be strong and opt for something else. Notice: I did not put potatoes or rice on the Avoid List. These are okay. Just don't eat them every day and opt for wild rice, sweet potatoes or even quinoa or amaranth.
  8. Use GOOD salt. No table salt, please. Try Himalayan “Pink” Salt.

Salad dressing: You can make nice dressings using (balsamic) vinegar. Sometimes I simply mix oil-free hummus with some vinegar for a delicious dressing. Or try a tahini and soy sauce based dressing and add some lemon juice.

Taste: You can retrain your taste buds within three weeks. Be patient and stick with it. Most people don't like beer or wine the first time the they try it. *:-& sick


I will be sharing my meals in my "end of the week" updates.  Good luck to you and to me!