A Year of Ingredients

year of ingredients
year of ingredients
Photo by Ketino Photography

2017 was a year of new discoveries after moving from San Francisco to Honolulu. But, I have only begun to scratch the surface of what these beautiful islands have to offer.

In 2018 I am starting a new project, that I am calling, A Year of Ingredients. A project inspired by the talented Bay Area artist, Windy Chien, who in 2016 introduced The Year of Knots.

Windy surprised me in Waikiki, the day before New Year’s Eve, gifting me with one of her famous knots (they are works of art really). And not just any knot, the star knot. A knot she admittedly had such a hard time learning she had to resort to watching a YouTube tutorial before throwing in the towel. At the time I marveled at its beauty but hadn’t yet realized its significance.

After hearing all about Windy’s inspirational journey of committing to her art every day without fail for an entire year I sprung out of bed the next morning knowing in my gut what I needed to do.

I needed to commit to my passion for local food on another level, in order to become the expert I wanted to be.

Starting January 1, 2018 follow me on Instagram as I introduce a local Hawaiian ingredient, and how to prepare it, every day for a whole year.

It might be one of the most challenging projects I have ever committed to, but I’m doing it for the knowledge, for the love of food and for my deepest appreciation for all things local. And I couldn’t be more excited.

Join me here for A Year of Ingredients on Instagram.

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Sarah Burchard is the author of The Healthy Locavore, a natural foods chef and certified health coach whose writing centers around holistic health, supporting community and eating locally grown and made food.

New Year. New Plan.

new year. new plan
new year. new plan
Photo by Ketino Photography

Do you feel like you didn’t accomplish what you set out to do last year? Or, like you are fed up with how things are going and you need a change? Sometimes you gotta get it wrong before you can get it right. Right?

It’s a new year. Time to re-focus and start fresh.

Take out a clean sheet of paper and a pen. Make sure you have about an hour free, to answer these questions and create your plan for the new year. 

1. What were my epic fails, let downs or things (let’s be honest) I half-assed this year, that could have gone better?

2. What are three things I can do this year to ensure a more successful outcome in those areas?

3. What is one thing that has been bugging me lately, that I wish were different?

4. What is one thing I can do to change the answer to #3? (Think small and doable.)

5. What are my intentions for the new year in these areas:

  • Career
  • Health
  • Relationships
  • Self-care
  • Self-improvement and/or education

6. What is one thing I can do in each one of these areas to ensure my intentions get seen through?

7. What are three trips I would like to take this year (big or small)?

8. Set a tentative date right now for each trip. Add a reminder in your calendar for each one, two months prior to that date, so that you have plenty of time to plan it.

9. What is one thing I will eliminate from my life this year, in order to have more time for the things that are most important to me?

10. What are my top three priorities right now? (They can change throughout the year.)

Now it’s time to create a system, so this worksheet doesn’t end up at the bottom of that stack of papers on your desk, only to be forgotten about. 

First, set up two calendars.
One for your work life and one for your personal life.

In the personal calendar block out the times when you are working (including your commute, checking email at home and out of office meetings).

In the work calendar block out time for your personal life.

Using your New Year’s plan, schedule the action steps that you can take this year, into the appropriate calendar, to ensure the success of your goals and intentions.

For example, let’s say your top three priorities are “lose 5 pounds”, “save more money for retirement” and eat more vegetables. Then, in your personal calendar, you could schedule in one hour of exercise at the same time every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, have a reminder set on the last day of every month to transfer money into your retirement account and schedule in a trip to the farmers market every Saturday morning.

After you are done scheduling in all of your action steps in order to accomplish this years goals, start looking at your daily schedule. Are you giving yourself enough time everyday to fit everything in?

If not, start looking at areas where you can trim and/or delegate.  This could mean starting to use a grocery delivery service, committing to checking email only twice a day or working out at home in order to save time traveling to the gym.

Essentially, you are creating your ideal schedule. Something you think you can realistically stick to.

Create chunks of time each day designated to the things that are most important to you. Then, focus on sticking to the scope of those chunks no matter what happens.

For example, if you have a chunk of time carved out each week for your social life and your friend cancel’s brunch one week, don’t fill that time with work or house chores instead. Schedule brunch with a different friend or go be social at your neighborhood coffee shop. Whatever you do just don’t give up that chunk! Overtime, the more you give it up the more you will turn it into a different chunk until you wake up one day and you no longer have time for a social life. See what I mean?

Scheduling your life into chunks of time each day enables you to have time to do everything that’s important to you, build routines and create good habits. They become your boundaries.

Sticking to your boundaries is how you are going to carry out those New Year’s intentions instead of getting knocked off course this year.

The more decisions you make right now, the easier it will be to carry out your ideal schedule later when you are tired or stressed. And the more boundaries you set and (more importantly) stick to the less you become overwhelmed and likely to make decisions you will regret later.

So, let’s make a plan, stick to it and get ready to kick some ass in the new year, shall we?

Do you have your new year’s plan dialed in? What is your secret to setting yourself up for success? Tell us all about it in the comments section. And if you liked this article I invite you to subscribe to The Healthy Locavore for more on how to eat local, live well, cook healthier and support each other. I am so grateful for this community, thank you so much for being a part of it!

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Sarah Burchard is the author of The Healthy Locavore, a natural foods chef and certified health coach whose writing centers around holistic health, supporting community and eating locally grown and made food.

Surviving Burnout – How to restore your health and happiness starting right now

surviving burnout

surviving burnout

I haven’t always lived a healthy lifestyle. In fact, it was quite the opposite until about seven years ago. My “aha moment” came at a time in my life when I was at the peak of my career and going downhill fast. Surviving burnout was one of the biggest struggles I have ever had to deal with. But truly, it was also a gift in disguise.

My story

It’s 5:30am and still dark out. The wind howls outside and my partner is fast asleep beside me. I have just reluctantly turned off my alarm clock for the second time. My body hurts.

In the darkness, I grab a white t-shirt, a pair of baggy, greasy, stained chef pants; underwear and socks and walk to the bathroom. I turn on the light. It’s bright, too bright. I squint my way over to the shower and turn it on. I shiver as I undress and hop in. My shower won’t even be long enough to warm my body through.

I get dressed, throw my hair up in a bun and pop my contact lenses into my squinty, burning eyes. I grab a hoodie, pea coat and scarf and a Yoplait yogurt on my way out the door. My morning routine is now complete.

As I walk to the subway station, eating my yogurt, I call my fish purveyor to place the day’s order. Talking to him for ten minutes is the highlight of my day. He is kind, makes me laugh and sympathizes with me. I need it. It starts my day off on a good foot.

If there aren’t any issues with Muni that day and my train actually shows up I get to work at 6:45am. The linen truck and my prep cook are already there waiting for me. I joke around with them for a minute, push aside the homeless man who has made a bed in front of the back door to the restaurant, and walk in. I relish the few minutes I’m in the chef’s office putting away my coat because it’s warm in there.

I get my prep cook going on the tasks for the day and then assume my duty of going into the walk-in cooler for a half an hour to gather items I need for the day. By the time I finish I’m so cold I can’t feel my fingers or feet.

If I don’t get continually interrupted by deliveries while I’m in the walk-in, then I can resume my day on schedule not feeling like I am starting off on the back foot. Though, this pretty much never happens.

The next twelve plus hours are spent on my feet half way in panic mode and half in an adrenalin high. I try my best to get through a never ending prep list, deal with line cooks and their personal problems, try not to lose my shit when I’m hit with large surprise catering orders (that I don’t have time for) and two fast and hard lunch and dinner services. In between “putting out fires” and covering cooks, so they can take breaks,  I have to magically find time to complete my administrative tasks and be “creative”.

With the exhaustion I am feeling I don’t have a single creative thought in my brain, nor do I have the time to steal one out of a cookbook or magazine. The daily specials start to look the same and I can see the line cooks growing bored with them. Shit, I’m bored of them. But, I’m in survival mode. Every day.

When I get home that evening I cook my partner and I dinner, we eat, drink a few beers and then I go to sleep and do it all over again the next day. I do this over and over every day like a rusty drone ready to short circuit at any given moment.

This used to be my life. I was pale, skinny, malnourished, had chronic headaches and backaches. My feet hurt all the time. I had a horrible diet, didn’t exercise, didn’t rest and had wicked mood swings. Sure there were people in my life who made me smile and who I loved but for the most part I faked a smile to cover up how I was feeling inside, which was exhausted and miserable.

I remember being so stressed out one day that I had to stop in the street and sit down. My heart was racing, I couldn’t breath and tears were streaming down my face. I was having my first panic attack. On my day off.

I had never had a panic attack before. Was this the new normal? Was this going to be my life? I couldn’t even enjoy a day off without panicking about what was happening at the restaurant? It was then, that I knew.

I started to think about my life. What I had missed out on, what I would continue to miss. How little joy was left. When my father passed away I hadn’t seen him in almost two years. He was my best friend but I barely had time to talk to him when he would call. I thank god now that I had at least picked up the phone. I missed him terribly and I blamed work for not being able to have had more memories with him.

After twelve years the restaurant industry had finally won. I had officially been defeated mentally and physically, and I was done.

A career that I had worked so hard for and given my whole life to had chewed me up and spit me out. I felt weak and embarrassed. But I also felt free. My last day managing a restaurant kitchen was probably one of the happiest days of my life.

A new normal

The healing process began immediately afterward. I took about two months off where I didn’t even think about work. I started traveling – going to places I had never been, visiting family and taking time to relax, eat and sleep.

I started eating three meals a day, sitting down even. And although my hips were so tight I couldn’t even sit Indian style, I started a yoga practice, which I now accredit to saving my life.

It took a while for me to slow down. Being a chef had trained me to do everything in my life fast, from brushing my teeth to walking down the street. Impatient didn’t even begin to start to describe who I was. I was a “master” at multi-tasking (at least that’s what I thought) and I planned everything I did for efficiency rather than enjoying the process. I was also extremely pessimistic, sarcastic and pretty closed off emotionally to my friends and family.

I had a lot of work to do.

After bumming around a couple years working part time in a few friends’ restaurants, helping out with prep and doing some consulting, I decided it was time to get serious and get back to work. But this time, on my own terms.

I became an entrepreneur and never looked back.

I was motivated by one thing and one thing only — a flexible schedule. Until now, I had never had that in my life, since I started working at the age of 15.

I realize now, that in that moment I started living my life according to my own personal values instead of chasing status, recognition or money. It was one of the most important shifts I ever made.

Over the past several years I have changed my life dramatically and have never felt better. There are so many things that I have learned that I wish I knew back than.

There is a combination of healthy habits that I have adopted slowly overtime since leaving the restaurant industry. I truly believe that with the right mindset and framework that anyone can make these changes in order to restore their health and bring peace to their life whether you are in a demanding job or not.

Surviving burnout

When you are experiencing burnout it is hard to see anything else. You don’t have time for anything. I mean, that’s one of the reasons why you are burning out in the first place.

For the sake of your life, and the lives of those you love around you, you need to stop, look at your situation and reassess it in order for things to change and get better.

Take one afternoon and think about how you are going to do the following:

  1. Set boundaries: Before you can start to do any type of work on yourself no matter what it is you have to build the courage and strength to set boundaries and reclaim your life. This might mean pissing people off, letting others down, being made fun of and/or having to isolate yourself temporarily. It does not matter. This is the first and most crucial part of recovering from burnout. To do this, you must first figure out how much time you need to take back for yourself in order for you to regain your health and sanity. You will then make yourself an “ideal” daily schedule and share it with the people whom it will affect the most. Then you do your very best to stick to it, not allowing anyone to alter it with their own personal agendas. This is where you learn to say NO (for probably the first time in your life).
  2. Get on a sleep schedule: If you are burned out chances are you are not getting enough sleep every night. Sleep is absolutely crucial for your mental and physical health. Get yourself on a schedule that allows you to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Not getting enough sleep every night can lead to weight gain, high blood pressure, low energy, lowered immune system, poor mental health and can lead to diseases like Alzheimer’s cancer and diabetes. According to Matthew Walker, the director for the Center for Human Sleep at UC Berkeley and the author of Why We Sleep, “..after just one night of only four or five hour’s sleep, your natural killer cells – the ones that attack the cancer cells that appear in you body every day – drop by 70%” and “the shorter you sleep, the shorter your life”. So, make sleep your first priority.
  3. Look at the way you handle stress: Are you in panic or worry mode everyday? Do you feel constantly frustrated, pissed off, tense or anxious? Do you feel like “nothing can ever just be easy” or that you can’t seem to get your life into a good place? Chances are this is something you have actually manifested yourself. Is it really just a coincidence that something “goes wrong” every day? The reality, is that even with jobs that are more stressful like a police officer, a fire fighter (or a restaurant chef!) you always have a choice in the way you handle yourself. It may not seem like it, but you do. Have you ever noticed that there are people in your life, maybe even people you work with, that just never seem phased by anything? You are running around like your hair is on fire trying your hardest to keep up and keep the proverbial “boat” from sinking and they are just cruising. That person should get fired you say or maybe you just personally loathe them. But why? Isn’t what you want for your life for it to be easier and less stressful? In a way, you want what they have. Harping on the past and worrying about the future rarely brings anything productive to the present moment. Know that you are doing your best. Trust that you are doing everything in that moment that you can, in order to be successful in the future, and just let life happen. If you are working with integrity and effort than that is all you can do. Are you worried that someone is going to say you didn’t try hard enough? Are you worried about being a failure? That is your ego taking over. Tell it to shut up and go about your day being the rock star that you are at an even keeled pace. And just remember this, the way you do anything is the way you do everything. So the next time you have to manage your emotions or a situation, no matter how big or small, keep that in mind. Make sure the way you handle yourself is the way you want to show up in this world, to yourself and to others. That, and the proven fact that stress causes the same major health issues that sleep deprivation does. Eventually it will literally kill you.
  4. Create a solid morning routine: The old days of me giving myself a half an hour between waking up and running out the door are over. The best way to ensure you have a good day is to set yourself up for success. This starts with making your to-do list the night before and getting a good night’s sleep. Give yourself at least an hour before you have to hit the shower and leave for work to mentally prepare yourself for the day. For me this includes, drinking a full glass of room temperature lemon water, to cleanse my liver and boost my metabolism; meditating, journaling, reading and having a healthy breakfast. Everyone should create a custom morning routine that fits their own needs yet gives you ample time to ease into your day with intention.
  5. Eat healthier: This has just as much to do with the food you eat as it does the way you eat it and think about it. You could be eating the cleanest, most nutrient packed food everyday but if you are shoving it in your mouth on the run, eating more than your body needs or moralizing every piece of food you put (or don’t put) in your mouth than you are not eating healthy. Find the foods that make you feel good and give you energy, drink lots of water and enjoy what you eat. Food restriction does not help you maintain a desired weight and it screws with your head. You know deep down what you need and how much you need of it to thrive. Less processed foods, more REAL food. Don’t over complicate it.
  6. Move: It may sound counterproductive to someone who is on their feet 12 hours a day to develop an exercise routine. After all, “I’m running around moving all day, aren’t I?” Working on your feet all day and exercising are not the same thing. You need at least 30 minutes a day where you are moving without having to think about anything except the movement that you are performing. My current favorite workouts involve swimming, TRX and yoga. I also sold my car and walk a lot more now. It doesn’t matter what you choose as long as it gets your blood pumping and helps strengthen your muscles. Yoga is my favorite because it incorporates mindfulness, meditation and movement all in one – three things crucial for balancing burnout symptoms. If you are lethargic and tired from being burned out exercise will actually give you the energy and mental clarity that you need.
  7. Practice self-compassion: Above all give yourself a break. You have been pushing yourself past your limits for too long. It is time to show yourself some love and care so that you can then show the same to others. It is OK to be a hard worker but not at the cost of sacrificing yourself.

It is time to take back your life right now. Good luck.

Do you have a burn out story? How did you survive? What were the changes that you made in your life that helped you recover? Tell us all about it in the comments section. And if you liked this article I invite you to subscribe to The Healthy Locavore for more health tips, cooking ideas and resources. I am so grateful for this community, thank you so much for being a part of it!

Sarah Burchard is the author of The Healthy Locavore, a natural foods chef and certified health coach whose writing centers around holistic health, supporting community and eating locally grown and made food.

21 Reasons To Meditate Everyday

21 reasons to meditate

21 reasons to meditate

If you do not think meditation works than it will not work for you. This is how powerful your mind is. If you are a believer or at least have an open mind then read on….

There are many reasons why meditating everyday is beneficial for your mental and physical health. Here are 21 of them…

  1. Neuroplasticity – You are literally re-programming your brain by developing this practice.
  2. It’s affordable – This form of stress-reducing, self-care doesn’t cost a thing.
  3. Increases intelligence – With a consistent practice your cerebral cortex will strengthen overtime helping you to better process and retain information.
  4. Stress reduction – Meditation activates the parasympathetic nervous system which shuts off the “fight-or-flight” response in your body. It does this by releasing calming hormones to counterbalance stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, which if always activated cause chronic stress.
  5. Strengthens you immune system – When your body is in a constant state of stress it can lead to high blood pressure, poor digestion, increased fat storage (Ever wonder why you eat a healthy diet and exercise but still don’t lose weight? Look at your daily stress level.) increased blood sugar and a compromised immune system. Since meditation deactivates stress it is capable of reversing all of those things. Always remember, your thoughts manifest in your body.
  6. It creates mindfulness – Your probability of acting more mindfully throughout your day will increase enabling you to make wiser decisions by responding versus reacting.
  7. It’s easy – Meditation doesn’t take any skill, you can do it anywhere and at anytime. Just close your eyes and sit.
  8. To gain clarity – Meditating shines a light on what is truly important to you so you can spend less brain energy on the thoughts that are less important or even worse, debilitating.
  9. To understand yourself – You will start to notice thought and emotional patterns which will reveal to you your true nature.
  10. It enables you to be present – Once you start noticing that your thoughts are only thoughts then you can start to detach from them and instead concentrate on enjoying the present moment. Let go of the past and stop worrying about the future.
  11. Increases patience – You will start to notice that the things that annoyed or upset you easily and quickly in the past will no longer trigger you.
  12. Increases focus – You will be less likely to want to skip around between tasks. Your mind will be more at ease and you will start to catch yourself when you become distracted, enabling you to gently bring your mind back to the task at hand.
  13. You will be more in touch with reality – Meditation allows you to see that the only thing that is really true is what is happening in that exact moment not the stories that you create in your head.
  14. It’s enjoyable – Ok, maybe not so much in the beginning. But once you get past the first several days of squirmy restlessness you will start to enjoy being in a state of peace and your brain will want more of it. I look forward to meditating every morning now.
  15. It helps you build and maintain other healthy habits – Stress and not understanding how to deal with your emotions can sabotage your efforts when trying to build a healthy lifestyle. Meditating helps you stay true to your values. A daily practice creates a domino effect enabling other healthy habits to become easier and more likely to form.
  16. You will be more in tune with your body – It increases your ability to listen to your body and learn what it is telling you so that you can respond accordingly. For example, you will start to understand things like, why you have a headache, if you really are hungry or if you’re just anxious or why your heart is racing.
  17. Increased lung performance – You will start to become more aware of the way you are breathing, not just while meditating but throughout your day. This not only allows you to control how deep you breath but also to make sure you are breathing and not holding your breath.
  18. It builds confidence – When you stop holding on to limiting thoughts and stop rushing from one thing to the next you start to trust yourself more. You start to believe that everything that needs to get accomplished will and that you will remember everything you need to remember.
  19. It heals suffering – By sitting with yourself everyday you are able to start seeing and accepting the root cause of any suffering you may be experiencing rather than resisting it, wishing things were different and therefore staying stuck in it.
  20. Increased success – “Success is where preparation and opportunity meet” – Bobby Unser. Meditation helps you become more mindful in your preparation and better able to see opportunities.
  21. Increased happiness – Chronic stress leads to depression. Meditation creates internal peace, which leads to contentment.

These reasons have both been scientifically proven and experienced in my own life, and only after just a short while of practicing daily. The longer you practice the more engrained the habit becomes, the stronger your mindfulness muscle becomes and the more you will reap these benefits. Happy meditating!

Have you noticed any benefits to having a regular meditation practice? Tell us all about it in the comments section. And if you liked this article I invite you to subscribe to The Healthy Locavore for more health tips, cooking ideas and resources. I am so grateful for this community, thank you so much for being a part of it!

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Sarah Burchard is the author of The Healthy Locavore, a natural foods chef and certified health coach whose writing centers around holistic health, supporting community and eating locally grown and made food.

Celebrating Hawaii’s Emerging Meat Industry – Forage Hawaii Farm To Table Dinner | November 2017

Forage Hawaii farm to table dinner
Forage Hawaii farm to table dinner
Photo by: Ketino Photography

Last weekend I joined forces with Forage Hawaii in hosting our first farm to table dinner on Oahu.

I met Jessica Rohr, owner of Forage Hawaii, taking regular trips to the Kaka’ako farmers market where she distributes local meats every week. Jess and I hit it off right away, both of us being so passionate about cooking and supporting local. When the day finally came, that it dawned on us we should work together, the wheels started spinning and plans to host a dinner event celebrating local farmers and ranchers were made.

After going on a farm tour of Mari’s Gardens in Mililani one afternoon it was settled, we found our venue and this thing was going down.

Don’t rain on my parade

Forage Hawaii farm to table dinner
Photo by: Ketino Photography

The rain dumped all day. And then stopped right before the guests showed up. Just in time for a tour of Mari’s Gardens, the biggest hydroponic and aquaponic farm in Hawaii. Guests got to learn all about their organic, sustainable farming practices and see the very impressive variety of lettuces, microgreens, edible flowers, fruits, vegetables and fish farmed on property.

Forage Hawaii farm to table dinner
Photo by: Ketino Photography
Forage Hawaii farm to table dinner
Photo by: Ketino Photography
Forage Hawaii farm to table dinner
Photo by: Ketino Photography

Knocking it out

A behind the scenes look at the hours leading up to dinner…

Forage Hawaii farm to table dinner
Photo by: Ketino Photography
Forage Hawaii farm to table dinner
Photo by: Ketino Photography
Forage Hawaii farm to table dinner
Photo by: Ketino Photography
Forage Hawaii farm to table dinner
Photo by: Ketino Photography
Forage Hawaii farm to table dinner
Photo by: Ketino Photography
Forage Hawaii farm to table dinner
Photo by: Ketino Photography
Forage Hawaii farm to table dinner
Photo by: Ketino Photography
Forage Hawaii farm to table dinner
Photo by: Ketino Photography
Forage Hawaii farm to table dinner
Photo by: Ketino Photography
Forage Hawaii farm to table dinner
Photo by: Ketino Photography
Forage Hawaii farm to table dinner
Photo by: Ketino Photography

Ingredient driven

An exceptional meal starts with exceptional ingredients. 50% of the produce used was from Mari’s Gardens including: ulu, Meyer lemons, limes, Negi onions, watermelon and Cheriette radishes, watercress, edible flowers and a variety of herbs and microgreens. The other 50% of the produce was sourced from other small farms on island. All of the meats used were locally sourced from: 2Lady farmers, Maui Nui Venison and Makaweli Meat Company.

Forage Hawaii farm to table dinner
Photo by: Ketino Photography
Forage Hawaii farm to table dinner
Photo by: Ketino Photography
Forage Hawaii farm to table dinner
Photo by: Ketino Photography
Forage Hawaii farm to table dinner
Photo by: Ketino Photography
Forage Hawaii farm to table dinner
Photo by: Ketino Photography
Forage Hawaii farm to table dinner
Photo by: Ketino Photography
Forage Hawaii farm to table dinner
Photo by: Ketino Photography

Showtime

After Jess and I kicked off dinner and the food started flowing we had the privilege to hear from some of the key players responsible for the pushing Hawaii’s local meat scene forward: Patsy Oshiro and Stacy Sugai from 2Lady Farmers and Kimo Tuyay from Maui Nui Venison.

Forage Hawaii farm to table dinner
Photo by: Ketino Photography
Forage Hawaii farm to table dinner
Photo by: Ketino Photography
Forage Hawaii farm to table dinner
Photo by: Ketino Photography
Forage Hawaii farm to table dinner
Photo by: Ketino Photography
Forage Hawaii farm to table dinner
Photo by: Ketino Photography

The pork course

Patsy and Stacy told us the story of how 2Lady farmers came to be, thanking the Shinatos from Shinato Farm for their mentorship and helping them get their small pig farm off the ground. They likened their farming style to  Mothers raising their children stating that they really care for their animals like family. Their intentions are to take what they have learned from the Shinsatos and pay it forward, offering mentoring programs to future farmers here on Oahu.

Forage Hawaii farm to table dinner
Photo by: Ketino Photography
Forage Hawaii farm to table dinner
Photo by: Ketino Photography
Forage Hawaii farm to table dinner
Photo by: Ketino Photography

The venison course

Kimo taught us about wild venison. We learned how it is not only delicious but more sustainable to harvest and healthier to eat. He announced a couple of new projects on the horizon including a new line of Maui Nui Venison jerky hitting the market in January and the Kahikinui project, where they will be harvesting another local wild, population – wild cows. After the event Kimo said in regards to 2Lady farmers, “it was interesting to hear the same sentiments they had towards the pigs they raise as the wild deer we harvest, which is less stress equals better product.”

I think everyone was able to take away something important from all of the speakers and reaffirm to themselves why it is so important to continue to support local, non-factory farms.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get many photos of our guests of honor but I think that their beautiful cuts of meat speak for themselves.

Forage Hawaii farm to table dinner
Photo by: Ketino Photography
Forage Hawaii farm to table dinner
Photo by: Ketino Photography
Forage Hawaii farm to table dinner
Photo by: Ketino Photography

The response to our first dinner was heartwarming. It showed that there are a number of people here on Oahu who truly support the farm to table movement and appreciate the people who are providing nutritious and sustainably grown food to this island. It just goes to show that by voting with your forks you can be a part of something that is ethical, pro-health and help to create change in your community and environment.

There’s no “I” in team

Our team did an amazing job and worked tirelessly all day to ensure the event was a true success. Huge thanks to Spencer, Lauren, Annie, Ardus, Ikaika, Jacey, our photographers Rob and Ketino and Brendon and Tanya from Mari’s Gardens. We could of never pulled this off without you.

Forage Hawaii farm to table dinner
The team. Photo by: Ketino Photography

Stay tuned for the next Forage Hawaii vs. Healthy Locavore farm to table dinner…

Forage Hawaii farm to table dinner
Boss ladies. Photo by: Ketino Photography

For updates on when the next Forage Hawaii farm to table dinner will be and about all other Healthy Locavore events subscribe to the weekly Healthy Locavore newsletter here.

Mahalo nui loa to everyone who attended. See you next year!

Sarah Burchard is the author of The Healthy Locavore, a natural foods chef and certified health coach whose writing centers around holistic health, supporting community and eating locally grown and made food.

Forage Hawaii Farm To Table Dinner

Forage Hawaii Farm to Table Dinner

November 11, 2017

Forage Hawaii – Farm to Table Dinner

Forage Hawaii - Farm to Table Dinner
Forage Hawaii - Farm to Table Dinner

About the event:

This farm to table dinner starts with a behind the scenes tour of Mari’s Gardens – Hawaii’s leading aquaponic and hydroponic farm.  From there you will be whisked away to a truly one of a kind dining experience where you will get to enjoy a 5-course tasting menu prepared by chef Sarah Burchard (a.k.a. The Healthy Locavore) featuring local meats and produce from Mari’s Gardens, listen to guest speakers from Hawaii’s emerging meat industry and be the first to hear about a new product launch announcement from Jessica Rohr of Forage Hawaii.

We will be providing a refreshing farm to glass non-alcoholic beverage. We invite you to bring your favorite wine, beer or anything else you love to accompany your meal with. Wine glasses will be provided.

Directions + Parking:

*Attention apple maps users –

There is one direction that is missing at the end when you use this app. After making a right on Hokuliilii st. you will make a left on Makapipipi st. and then take your first right. You will then see Mari’s Gardens up on your right.

*Coming from town –

Once you get on the H1W toward Pearl City you will exit Waipahu.
Keep right onto Kamehameha hwy
Turn left on Lanikuhana ave
Turn left on Makohilani st.
Turn right on Hokuliilii st.
Turn left on Makapipipi st.
Make your first right and Mari’s Gardens will be on the right.

*The address is:
94-415 Makapipipi St. Mililani, HI 96789
*Their phone number is: (808) 625-2800

*Park in front of Mari’s Gardens on the street. There will be plenty of room for everyone.

Click here to view a map of the neighborhood.

About the presenters:

Forage Hawaii distributes high quality meats from local Hawaiian farms strait to the consumer through farmer’s markets and direct ordering. Forage partners with farms that use sustainable, humane and natural farming practices. Their mission is to spread awareness about local farms, the nutritional benefits of natural farming and to make local meats more accessible to Hawaii residents.

The Healthy Locavore is a food and lifestyle blog written by Sarah Burchard. Sarah is a health coach, personal chef and freelance writer based in Honolulu. She is fiercely dedicated to supporting her community and sources locally grown and produced ingredients for all of her nutritious and culturally inspired dishes.

About the sponsors:

2Lady Farmers is owned and operated by Patsy Oshiro and Stacy Sugai. Their mission is to provide locally, sustainably raised pork to Hawaii and pave the way for the next generation of pig farmers. Raised on macadamia nut cakes, their pork has a clean, sweet flavor and has been farmed naturally with no hormones or antibiotics.

2Lady Farmers

Maui Nui Venison is committed to sourcing wild,  axis deer from responsible suppliers. Their product is USDA certified and 100% local. The largest from the tropical deer species, axis deer have evolved in Hawaii without the stresses of seasons, migrations and predators resulting in a less then 1% intra-muscular fat and a subtle, full flavored taste.

Maui Nui Venison

Makaweli Ranch is the direct link from ranch to table. They are dedicated to providing premium, 100% natural, wild harvest and free-range meats. They think globally, source locally and are proud to follow the Robinson family’s legacy of land preservation, environmental consciousness, self-sustaining agriculture and the humane treatment of livestock.

Makaweli Ranch

About the venue:

Mari’s Gardens is a USDA organic aquaponic and hydroponic farm in Mililani. They are proud to set the highest quality standards for this emerging industry assuring that their produce is both safe and healthy. They are dedicated to providing locally grown produce to the people of Hawaii while having the least environmental impact.

Mari's Gardens

Sarah Burchard is the author of The Healthy Locavore, a natural foods chef and certified health coach whose writing centers around holistic health, supporting community and eating locally grown and made food.

Coconut Chia Seed Pudding With Savory Granola And Tropical Fruit

coconut chia seed pudding

 

coconut chia seed pudding

Chia seed pudding has become as popular to eat for breakfast as yogurt parfaits these days. Like yogurt, the simple base for this pudding is very versatile and can be flavored and topped with almost anything.

Living in Hawaii I’m partial to topping it with tropical fruit myself but you could also use fresh berries, diced stone fruit, apples, pears and pomegranate seeds. Really any kind of fruit you can think of.

This is a handy go-to breakfast for a few reasons: 

  1. It’s fast. You make it the evening before so it is ready to eat the next morning. All you have to do is sprinkle on your toppings and grab a spoon.
  2. It’s easy to make. The pudding literally takes 1-2 minutes to put together. You don’t have to make your own granola like I do, store bought is fine and much simpler. If you use fruit like frozen berries there is not even any fruit prep to do.
  3. The ingredients are non-perishable. Keep some cans of coconut milk and toppings like granola and cacao nibs in the cupboard so you have them whenever you need them. If you store toppings like nuts, seeds and shredded coconut in the refrigerator they will stay fresh for months. You can even keep frozen berries on hand in the freezer .You never have to run the risk of any of the ingredients for this dish going bad before you get to them

Coconut Chia Seed Pudding With Savory Granola And Tropical Fruit

This is a very basic coconut chia seed pudding recipe. You do not have to use the suggested toppings to garnish it with. You can use any fruit or toppings you desire or even just eat it plain. The tropical fruit I used in the photo shown was lilikoi, red dragonfruit and papaya from Hawaii.

Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Dairy free, Gluten free
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 14 fl oz Coconut Milk 1 can, unsweetened
  • 1 Tbsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 Tbsp Raw Honey
  • 5 Tbsp Chia Seeds

Garnishes:

  • 1/2 cup Savory Granola store bought or see link below to make your own
  • 1 Tbsp Cacao Nibs
  • 2 Tbsp Shredded Coconut
  • 2 tsp Hemp Seeds
  • 1/2 cup Tropical fruit diced

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl whisk together the coconut milk, vanilla extract, sea salt and honey. Whisk the chia seeds in last. 

  2. Ladle the pudding into 4 ramekins or coffee cups, cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. 

  3. The next day, unwrap your puddings right before serving and garnish each one with granola, cacao nibs, shredded coconut and tropical fruit. 

  4. Chia puddings (without garnishes) will stay fresh in the refrigerator up to 5 days. 

Recipe Notes

I recommend using Organic Aroy-D coconut milk for this recipe. It comes out nice and creamy and thick. Other coconut milks may result in a thinner pudding. 

The recipe for my savory granola is right here.

Need shredded coconut? - Use this

Need cacao nibs? - Use this

Need hemp seeds? - Use this

Sarah Burchard is the author of The Healthy Locavore, a natural foods chef and certified health coach whose writing centers around holistic health, supporting community and eating locally grown and made food.

Producing Pastured Chicken And Influencing Change On Oahu

J. Ludovico Farm pastured chicken
J. Ludovico Farm pastured chicken
Julius Ludovico talks chicken with fellow farmer, Amy Shinsato at the Honolulu Farmer’s Market

If you walk over to the Neal S. Blaisdell Center on a Wednesday night you will see rows of white tents, tables full of fresh local fruits and vegetables, the Shinsatos selling 2Lady farmers’ pork and groups huddled around picnic tables slurping up hot bowls of pho at The Pig and the Lady stand.

If you aren’t paying close enough attention you would never know that you can also buy fresh local chicken at this market. In fact, it’s most likely the only farmer’s market on Oahu where you will find local pastured chicken.

At a modest table with no signage, probably scattered with some jars of honey and bunches of apple bananas, you will find a man with a long beard and thick black rimmed glasses named Julius. Julius owns and operates J. Ludovico farm, a chicken farm, slaughterhouse and processing facility on Oahu.

Tired from a long week of working on the farm, you will soon discover that Julius enjoys working the farmer’s market because it is essentially the only way he ever gets to take a “break”.

Almost every week I come down to the market to buy a chicken and chat with Julius. We talk about natural farming, how he got into the chicken business and what his hopes and dreams are for his farm. He’s a smart man. He is also extremely thoughtful when it comes to his business and delightfully unapologetic when it comes to his opinions on natural farming.

The inside scoop

Not everyone always makes the time to stick around and get to know their local farmer. Which is a shame. You may have the best intentions to buy healthy foods or support local businesses, but until you engage, chances are you know pretty close to nothing about what you are buying or who you are supporting. In the past 6 months of getting to know Julius and his farm I have learned a lot about natural farming and why it is really damn hard to find pastured chicken on the island.

Julius’s farm is a rare breed on Oahu and his story is remarkable.

You can take the boy off the farm but you can’t take the farm out of the boy

Julius grew up in the Philippines raising pigs with his Mom. He remembers always raising them with the intention to have one to eat and one to sell. When the family picked up and moved to Hawaii all of that changed. Julius became an accounting major at the University of Hawaii and found himself working for a non-profit called The Partners In Development Foundation.

But, Julius missed his days growing up, raising pigs. So, it wasn’t surprising that after being introduced to the principals of Korean natural farming by Hawaiian agriculture expert, Mike Dupont at work one year he decided to quit the company and go back to farming.

The next year, Julius and his wife Jamie moved to a one and a half acre farm in Pupukea and bought 16 pigs. They were the second farm on the island to practice Korean natural farming. A system that utilizes naturally occurring bacteria and other microorganisms to fertilize soil and care for animals without chemicals. The result is healthy soil, high crop yields, zero waste and animal pens that don’t smell or attract flies.

Although they were smaller and simpler versions, Julius built five pens modeled after the Korean natural farming system that he learned about from Mike.

Eventually Julius realized that what he had built was a labor of love. The couple realized that they could never scale the operation large enough to make a profit. So, reluctantly Julius sold off all of his pigs.

How Julius “accidentally” became a chicken farmer

After selling off the pigs, Jamie suggested that they try their hand at raising chickens. Julius, being open to the suggestion, agreed and five months later they owned 50 hens all laying eggs.

Baffled as to what to do with all the eggs, Julius went over to his kid’s elementary school and signed up to work the North Shore Country farmer’s market.

After completely selling out at his first market, Julius realized that there was a big demand there for local, pastured eggs. The couple bought more chickens, produced more eggs and kept adding more and more markets to their schedule every week. The hustle was real and ultimately they just couldn’t keep up with the demand. Completely exhausted and burned out, Julius started cutting back, finally only committing to one market a week, The Honolulu farmer’s market at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center.

One day a fellow friend and farmer of Julius’s was placing an order for some meat chickens. He asked Julius if he was interested in buying any. Julius was on the fence but his friend insisted, saying that since he was already going to buy some that he may as well order some for Julius too.

Julius opted to raise pastured chickens using the Korean natural farming practices he had used with his pigs. He asked the farmer’s market if it was ok to started selling his chickens along with his eggs. Being naïve at the time he didn’t realize that he would need special permits in order to sell his chickens. Now Julius had a new problem, he had to track down the USDA FSIS supervisor to find out how he could acquire a permit.

After searching for the supervisor for two months Julius had to laugh at himself. He had actually been living next door to him all along. The supervisor told Julius exactly what to do, he did it and a few months later Julius was in the chicken business.

From the farm to the table

The first restaurant Julius approached was Real Gastropub. He brought them a sample of his chicken and, after finding out if they were interested, disclosed that it would be two months until he could produce their first order. Real agreed and after just one delivery the chef was hooked. He no longer wanted a few chickens every couple of months, he wanted 12 chickens a week.

Julius realized he had a problem on his hands. He had the demand, but since the chickens took two months to grow, he didn’t have the supply for a weekly delivery. After a lot of thinking and researching Julius finally figured out how to make it happen. That is when the real chicken production started.

A year later Andrew Le from The Pig and The Lady called up. They had heard about Julius’s chickens and wanted in. Real Gastropub had officially put J. Ludovico farm on the map. They were now the go-to for pastured chicken and all the high end restaurants on Oahu wanted it on their menu.

Controversy at the market

As the farm to table movement grew more popular on Oahu so did the demand for local, organic ingredients. Customers at the market started coming up to Julius looking for his certified organic sign. When Julius informed them that he was not indeed certified, they looked at him confused (even repulsed sometimes) and would keep walking.

“My farm is not certified organic nor do I plan to get certified”, he says. “I feel like there are other ways to do it. It may come down to a little bit more education or information but I’m not getting certified, it’s too expensive.”

I know from my talks with Julius that he does not use fertilizer or chemicals. In fact, chemicals scare him. He moves his birds everyday. They eat grass and worms in addition to commercial grain.

He admits he gets frustrated sometimes having to explain to people about his natural farming practices only to get shut down by customers who don’t understand.

“Just because something is labeled organic it does not mean that it is chemical and pesticide free. In fact, there are synthetic chemicals on that registry that the organic lobbyists petition the USDA to keep. When you are doing small-scale agriculture (like in your backyard) you don’t need chemicals or pesticides. But when you are farming on a larger scale (even just an acre) there are certain challenges that you are never going to have a solution to without pesticides. The use of organic bacteria (such as BT ) used for pesticides is regular practice on many certified organic farms”, Julius explained.

The other question Julius is inevitably always asked is if he gives his chickens GMO feed. “When people ask me if the corn I feeds my chickens is GMO I say, I don’t know but, it is likely, since unfortunately 96% of all corn in America is now GMO”, he says.

Tired of being told week after week from customers that he should feed his chickens non-GMO feed, he decided to look into it. “I dug deep”, he said. “I looked at the literature on the Non-GMO project’s non-GMO feed. And what I found out is that, they have a threshold. Let’s say they get a container of corn for example, they take a sample and do a PCR test on it and if it doesn’t go beyond 10%, meaning if there is 10% GMO in that batch of corn they will label it “non-GMO.” I though about this and realized that if I bought the non-GMO feed I would be paying a premium, have to raise my prices and my feed could still potentially contain GMOs. I just didn’t feel comfortable with that.”

Julius says he no longer engages with customers who turn their noses up to his natural, yet not certified organic, chicken unless they ask the right questions. “I don’t have time to educate everyone and if someone is stuck in their ways or uninformed then that’s their fault. I’m not here to educate them, I’m here to feed my family”, Julius says.

Luckily, as I have found out on my own, if you do ask and you do seem interested than Julius will tell you everything you want to know.

Desperately trying for sustainable farming in Hawaii

A while back Julius was teaching and taking frequent trips to the Big Island. Mike Dupont invited him, several other local farmers and a couple of the animal nutrition experts from the University of Hawaii to a meeting in Hilo. What they discussed at this meeting was, “What do we have in Hawaii in abundance and what can we do with it?”

Julius left the meeting intrigued and curious. Two years would pass before he and Mike would be reconnected. Julius asked Mike, “What happened to the ideas we came up with at that meeting?” Mike told Julius that he analyzed the list of ingredients and created a data base. Without hesitation, Julius said, “I’m farming chickens, lets do a feed trial.” Mike agreed to it.

Working with a local mill Julius proved that if his farm milled it’s own feed locally, cutting out the need for shipping, than they could cut their costs in half.

Now came the hard part. Getting the feed just right.

It is not a matter of just finding ingredients that are in abundance. It’s also a matter of creating a blend of ingredients that creates the perfect balance of nutrients for the chickens to thrive on.

From talking to Julius I learned that there is a reason why commercial feed is made up of soy, corn and wheat (farm subsidies for GMO crops also play a role I’m sure). The combination provides the exact amount of protein, carbs and fiber needed for a chicken’s diet. Julius’s challenge is to find local ingredients that would replace each of those without disrupting that formula.

“We have tried macadamia nuts and they are amazing. They are high in protein but can only replace about 35 percent of the soybeans. Anything more than that and the chickens do not do well. They just don’t have the same amount of protein that the soybeans do. Next, is replacing the wheat and corn. We are currently doing a cassava trial to see if that could replace the wheat. But there are certain properties of corn that are irreplaceable, so if you want to replace corn you need to have a few different ingredients. The corn doesn’t necessarily make the chickens grow bigger but the carbs do give them the energy they need”, Julius said.

Julius wondered why they couldn’t just make a blend of cassava, macadamia nuts, corn and soy so that they could at least eliminate the need to ship over wheat. Mike explained to him that they can’t do that quite yet. They need to do trials with each ingredient separately first to isolate the nutrients and find out what each ingredient does exactly for the chickens. He said that sometimes combining certain ingredients can potentially turn them into anti-nutrients, which cancel each other out.

Once they tested each ingredient separately than they could start formulating a feed recipe. Julius says, “If we had the funds we would have the information we needed by now and would already be producing locally grown feed, but as it is now the trial has been dragged out the past 4 years and it could probably take several more.”

As it stands right now, Julius and Mike are the only ones doing this trial and it is completely self funded. When Julius applied for a grant he was told, “Sorry, we aren’t interested. Even if you are successful the country won’t benefit from it since it will only work in Hawaii.”

Julius did the math, if he grew all of the crops in order to make his own chicken feed he would lose money. “You’re better of selling what you grow”, he said with a defeated look.

It was then, that it really sunk in for me. Commercial feed exists for a reason and it is extremely difficult to change that reason.

Julius says, “We may have the same commercial feed that conventional farms use but since we are not a factory we handle everything by hand and produce a better quality product. It’s kinda cheesy to say but, we actually care. We know the chicks from the time we pick them up at the hatchery day old to harvesting them and taking them to the slaughterhouse. We know them intimately. There is a certain connection that we have that factory farms never will. When you put in the effort and care about what you are doing it shows in the final product.”

How you can support local farming

Julius encourages people to develop relationships with their farmers. “Get to know what they do and how they do it. Just because they are doing something different from what you think (or have heard) they should be, doesn’t mean that they aren’t putting out a good product or that it’s wrong. There is a good reason for what they do. Every farmer has their own quirks and special ways of doing things. In Hawaii there are so many microclimates that you have to adapt accordingly. You have to make it work where you’re at. One of the things that makes us not a factory farm is the fact that it can’t be replicated on another side of the island. You have to always observe and adjust according to your environment. Your farming practices and feed are changing constantly. You have to be quick because you could lose product. I never say what other farms should do, I just know what I need to do for my farm.”

Just the facts

J. Ludovico Farm has the only chicken slaughterhouse on the island. They encourage more farms on Oahu to raise chickens and partner with them. You grow the chickens and Julius will slaughter and processes them for you.

Some of the top restaurants in Honolulu have J. Ludovico Farm chicken on their menus. Pig and the lady, Piggy Smalls, Fete, Herringbone, Basalt, MW, and Chef Mavro are just a few of them.

You can find Julius every Wednesday at the Honolulu Farmer’s Market at the Neil S. Blaisdell Center from 4-7pm. 777 Ward Avenue Honolulu, HI 96814

Customers who are interested in purchasing one of Julius’s chickens are encouraged to pre-order them. Julius does not store any frozen product. He slaughters on demand, so what you order on Friday, gets slaughtered Tuesday to pick up at the market on Wednesday.

You can email your request to jludivicofarm@gmail.com the weekend before a Wednesday market. Whole chickens are $6/lb

For more information on what J. Ludovico Farm has to offer visit their website at https://jludovicofarm.com/shop/

You can also follow them on Instagram @jludavicofarm

When asked about farm tours Julius got very serious and said, “Sure, we are happy to give you a tour but you better be prepared to show up at 5am and work the farm with us all day.” The same goes for the slaughterhouse. They would more than appreciate volunteers on Tuesdays and Thursdays to come lend a hand. But a word of advice, if Julius tells you to move, you better get out of his way.

Are you excited about local farming on Oahu? Which farms are you proud to support? Tell us all about it in the comments section. And if you liked this article I invite you to subscribe to The Healthy Locavore for more on how to eat local, live well, cook healthier and support each other. I am so grateful for this community, thank you so much for being a part of it!

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Sarah Burchard is the author of The Healthy Locavore, a natural foods chef and certified health coach whose writing centers around holistic health, supporting community and eating locally grown and made food.

The Magic of Mindfulness

mindfulness
mindfulness
Photo by Ketino Photography

Mindfulness is having awareness of the present moment. It is something to be practiced. The result overtime is experiencing less suffering and more joy in your life. Simply put, savor each moment as if it were your last.

What Mindfulness does

Once you start practicing mindfulness you will start to notice many interesting things in your life….

  • You are less likely to react negatively to emotionally charged situations.
  • You will start to transform pain into healing and darkness into light.
  • You will create an awareness that enables you act instead of react.
  • You will start to think about what you truly want, need or feel, making decisions based on your values instead of temptations or the desire to escape.
  • Challenging moments become less intense and no longer consume you.
  • Your physical immune system will become strengthened.
  • Your relationships will grow stronger.
  • Accidents will be prevented.
  • Your true nature will start to show unadulterated.
  • You will experience more success and joy in your life.

Why Mindfulness works

Your ego is a powerful force. It tries to define you and make you feel like you are a separate entity from the rest of the world. But you are not.

It seeks out ways for us to hide from who we really are, what we really think and what we actually need by finding ways to escape our discomfort. It creates resistance in your mind and forms a hard outer shell that separates you from reality, keeping you in your comfort zone. Only it’s not actually comforting.

In challenging times, you may show emotions of anger, fear or anxiety. These are all emotions that arise from identifying with your ego, or your perceived reality. When you practice mindfulness it is you who is in control of your thoughts instead of your ego.

Do you overeat, drink too much, fight constantly with your spouse, hate your job or stress about your future? Believe it or not these are all things you can change by practicing mindfulness.

Practicing mindfulness puts these actions into perspective, forces you to pause and think and allows you to act with intention. The gap that you create in the constant flow of your thoughts enables you to start becoming aware of why you are in these situations and how to make better choices before you do or say something you will regret.

For example, let’s say you had a hard day at work so you come home, prepare dinner, open a bottle of wine and pour yourself a glass. There are several scenarios that could evolve from here. Below are two of them, one being a scenario where you are mindless and one where you are mindful….

A. You turn on the TV plow through your dinner and look up an hour later to realize that the glass of wine you started out with is now an empty bottle. You start to feel ashamed and regretful knowing that tomorrow you are probably going to have a headache, which is not going to make your day any easier than today was.

B. You swirl the wine in your glass inhaling the aroma of the wine taking small sips throughout your meal savoring the nuances of that particular varietal and enjoy the feeling of getting a slight buzz. Once the meal is over you put a cork in the bottle and save the rest for another night feeling satisfied and happy. With a clear head you go to bed thinking tomorrow is a new day.

Scenario B is a good example of participating in an activity mindfully. The actions are deliberate, done with intention and executed using value based decisions. You are completely aware of what you are doing and why you are doing it.

Alternatively, scenario A is a good example of a mindless act. When you react, like eating or drinking on autopilot,  instead of acting with intention it is because you are seeking a particular result. This result usually comes in the form of a quick fix that you think will bring you comfort. Since the decision was not based on your values you end up feeling regret, shame or angry with yourself instead of comforted. When you don’t get the result you were hoping for you start to experience more suffering than what you originally started with.

How to practice mindfulness

Observe your thoughts and actions as they are. Do not let them define who you are or let them turn into bad habits. Instead become curious as to why you have certain thoughts or do the things you do. To find out who you really are all you have to do is sit back and watch.

There are many ways to do this such as……

  • Meditation – Sit with yourself and experience what is. When thoughts arise, acknowledge them without judgement and let them pass.
  • Yoga – A moving meditation. Notice your breath and how you attempt each pose. Are you holding your breath? Are you clenching? Are you angry that you can’t get the pose down perfectly? Yoga can be a perfect metaphor for how you live your life. Do you tense up and judge yourself when it gets hard or do you treat yourself with compassion and know that you are perfect just the way you are?
  • Live in the present moment – Give your attention to what you are doing instead of thinking about the result you want to achieve. You do this by trying not to dwell on things that have happened in the past or what will happen in the future. Use all of your senses here. What do you see, smell, hear, taste or feel right in this moment? How can you bring more awareness and engagement into your current situation?
  • Constantly check in with your body – Do you have a “pit” in your stomach? Are you clenching your jaw or tapping your fingers? These are all feelings that stem from non-acceptance. Your thoughts can materialize in your body. Notice where you feel pain or tightness and try to release any gripping or fidgeting.
  • Catch yourself complaining – Next time you find yourself doing this stop and ask yourself, “What action can I take to resolve this issue?” If you cannot find an answer either leave the situation or accept it as it is.
  • Breath work – There are many helpful breathing exercises that you can do but simply paying attention to your breath is a great way to start. Next time your thoughts are racing stop and see how you are breathing. You might be breathing fast, or shallow or not at all. Stop and smooth out your breath, breathing deep from your belly and then resume your day.

Use practices like these to gain insight on who you really are and what you really need. Practicing mindfulness all of the time even in ordinary situations, not just when times get tough, is the key to growing the skill. Over time your mindfulness muscle grows stronger enabling you to cope with anything life throws your way. The more you practice the more skilled you become. The more skilled you become the less suffering you endure. This is the magic of mindfulness.

Is mindfulness a practice that you have adopted in your life? If so, what positive results have you noticed so far? Tell us all about it in the comments section. And if you liked this article I invite you to subscribe to The Healthy Locavore for more health tips, cooking ideas and resources. I am so grateful for this community, thank you so much for being a part of it!

Resources

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

The Mindful Meal Challenge by Darya Rose (Summer Tomato)

Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach

Eric Ripert Lessons in Mastery and Mindfulness, The Tim Ferris show

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Sarah Burchard is the author of The Healthy Locavore, a natural foods chef and certified health coach whose writing centers around holistic health, supporting community and eating locally grown and made food.

Forage Hawaii Farm To Table Dinner – Menu Announcement

Forage Hawaii Farm to Table Dinner

Forage Hawaii and The Healthy Locavore are proud to announce the menu for our farm to table dinner on November 11, 2017.

It is packed full of locally grown ingredients and promises to ignite your tastebuds. A delicious way to support local farms and ranchers.

Chef Sarah Burchard blends her San Francisco fine dining experience and love of Hawaiian cuisine to create fun spins on classic dishes like poke, loco moco and haupia. And in true Healthy Locavore form, all with a nod to clean eating – using mostly organic, whole foods and making everything from scratch including her home-made spice rubs, kimchee and yogurt.

Forage Hawaii farm to table dinner menu
Forage Hawaii Farm To Table Dinner Menu

After touring the farm at Mari’s Gardens you will get the opportunity to try many of their greens, herbs, fruits and vegetables in our 5-course farm to table tasting menu.

You will also get to hear Patsy and Stacy, a.k.a. 2Lady Farmers speak as you try their delicious pork loin. As well as hear Kimo from Maui Nui speak during the venison course.

The combination of the behind the scenes tour, speeches and tasting menu make this a true farm to table experience. We can’t wait to see you!

Purchase Tickets

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Sarah Burchard is the author of The Healthy Locavore, a natural foods chef and certified health coach whose writing centers around holistic health, supporting community and eating locally grown and made food.