Heyyyo! On IG today I asked if you had any questions for me so I pulled out 19 randomly! I was aiming for 20 but 19 it is! haha. I hope you enjoy and I hope to get to know you more by sharing more and hopefully this will help you feel you can open up to me too! Im going to try and do this once a week to try and get through many of the commonly asked questions and just ya chit chat with ya! Shem is getting home from surfing now, Nalu is about to wake up from a nap and the boys are sleeping at their grandparents tonight with their cousins so I better go get ready for a hot date with Shemmy and Nalu!! And by hot date I mean, getting vegan sushi down the road and in bed watching Netflix by 9! hahah. New born life! Have a good day/night wherever you are in the world right now! mwah! - Andy xo
Did you ever feel alone the first time you moved to Hawaii?
To put things into perspective of what it was like… I was 19, didn’t know anyone, the guy who picked me up and dropped me off at the place I would live helped me break in because no one was home for the next week (that was a surprise!), I slept on a towel on the floor until my roommates came back as I was scared I would sleep in the wrong bed (I was nervous can you tell? haha). I would be rooming with 4 girls in one bedroom by the end of the week. I didn’t know a soul BUT I think thats what helped me get to know people so fast! I would buy a couple apples and some trail mix and just go wonder around all day checking out the area ( I didn’t have any money so I just walked). I quickly met a neighbor who I became good friends with and he would take me on hikes and go surfing every day! Once my roommates showed up we became friends and then school started so you just get to know more people really fast from having classes together! If I ever felt lonely I reminded myself that everyone here is pretty much in the same position as me which means I wasn’t the only one feeling that way and its okay! I was just so excited to be in Hawaii and felt so lucky to get to experience it! I spent most of my time learning how to surf with new people who became my best friends when I didn’t have class!
Id love to know more about your morning routine (when you wake up, when you do your social media stuff (captions, emails) and how your family have downsized so well to live in a 1 bedroom house!
I usually wake up a few hours before everyone else. I like to do all things online before my family wakes up so its all done! I try not to be on my phone while the kids are home as much as possible so Ive made a bit of a routine for myself as far as social media goes- when I post, I comment and chat for 20-30 minutes and then turn it off for the day except to share a story here and there.
I usually write captions during a walk or run. My captions usually have to do with what Im thinking about or working on myself and this seems to be the time I sort through my own thoughts and have my own inspirations. Writing my thoughts and feelings and the things Im learning down is a way of journalling for me and its really interesting and insightful to have feed back from sharing those thoughts and feelings with you guys! I love connecting this way. Sometimes a photo makes me think or feel a certain way or someone says something in the day or I listen to something that inspires me so I try and write it down right away in my notes before I forget it! I find it quite therapeutic. I don’t have a system to how or when I write captions etc tho because I think that would take away some of the fun and realness.
Living in a 1 bedroom! Its kinda all we know since we’ve been married so we are use to it! We love our backyard and our neighbors! We thought we would need to move once we had a baby and are open to a bigger space but right now we are happy and saving up to buy our first home! You can tell we live in a small place because we are always on top of each other! haha! I guess you could say our location makes it worth it and we spend most of our time outside. We’ve gotten really good at having just what we need and giving away excess products that comes in from jobs that we do! One day we will have an indoor shower and more than 1 rod to hang all of our clothes but this totally works too!
How’s your back?
Ah! Thanks for asking! Its so good! I think part of me is still nervous its going to flare up again! Before we left for our trip to Australia I was lifting heavy boxes from cleaning out our shed and it flared up again. My neighbor worked on it again (through pressing on my stomach ) and was able to release it again and I was able to surf every single day and walk around with Nalu strapped to me all day long but I still feel a bit nervous it will flare up if I don’t pay attention to it.
So as a result I’ve decided to do things to help restore and invest in a few things that will help prevent this happening again like pilates and bikram to build more strength around my ligaments. Ive also been a lot more gentle on my body ever since. No more burpees for me for a while. Ive broken my arm a few times and have had pain before but this back pain was the worst thing Ive personally experienced and its definitely been a humbling experience that I am trying to prevent from happening again! Apparently its common in woman who have just had babies as our bodies are extra loosy goosey!
What did you take in college in Hawaii that you were able to move there from Canada?
Getting accepted to a US University is what made it possible to stay here! I got a student visa. I studied teaching (TESOL), anthropology and psychology. My goal initially was to become a marketing psychologist but I got pregnant very young and figured the chances of getting my PHD would not stay a priority so I changed my major to an internationally accepted degree (TESOL). That way we could travel anywhere and work. I finished with a minor in anthropology and psychology.
How do you juggle three little boys and eating so clean? Also how did you get into eating the way you do?
I have found that eating clean is what makes it possible to juggle! If I didn’t have the extra support of energy, and a well functioning body and mind everything that I find enjoyable would be hard. I know this because that use to be me before I discovered how to heal my once failing health with a plant based diet. Its made a world of difference for me and for my kids as well. If we eat balanced we feel balanced, are sick less, happier and life just seems to move better. Eating clean is a priority for this reason. Keep in mind, we all have junk but the majority of our diet is supporting healthy plant based foods! In the end its consistency that really pays off! The goal is plant before processed at every meal! If you want a tone more info on how I did this check out my website! Ive got everything in depth there about how to start this way of living!
What’s the most important thing you want to teach your kids?
To be kind and grateful. Sometimes before we got to bed we will say a prayer that is just giving thanks. We have each kid say their own prayer and list all the things they are grateful for big and small! I hope these kinds of things helps them remember who they are and that there is always something to smile about.
One thing Ive also spent a lot of energy teaching them is to never give up! I would always say to them when they were really young, “all you got to do is try try try, and one day you will get it!” For example, Tama wanted to learn how to skateboard but never wanted to try because he didn’t know how. It was teaching him that in order to know how, you have to try, and every time you try you are that much closer to knowing how! This has made a world of difference for both of my kids!~
How do you stay so friggin teeny tiny?
Haha. My weight and body composition fluctuates because I love to indulge during holidays and vacations but I also am super consistent with exercise to the point that I love it! I almost always break a sweat each day of the week in some way and eat consistently clean. I still eat treats but the majority of what I eat is plant based! Consistency is everything! Im 33 now so my days of getting away with anything are kinda over! haha.
Can you share more about your experience drinking Kagen water
I chose this water filter because it was what my doctor recommended. It felt a little crazy to spend 1500 dollars on a water filter but after researching for hours and hours and realizing how important it is to drink clean water daily it has been a great investment! Our tap water now tastes like dirty pipes and chlorine! Makes you really think about what you’ve been drinking all these years! Being confident in the one thing we drink all day every day is 100% worth it! We’ve had ours for 4 years now and have to change the filter once a year for about 70 dollars. It’s totally worth it.
How long did it take you to get to the healthiest you (right now)? What was the hardest thing about it?
Short answer, years of trial and error! Longer answer, once I went 100% plant based it took me approx 30 days! I spent 8 months eating extremely clean (no processed food whatsoever) and breakfast and lunch raw, with a cooked dinner after that to continue to overcome my health issues. This time was the healthiest Ive ever been! I felt like I was shining from the inside out! I needed this time to heal and I have been able to eat less strict and still feel great but this was a slow process! Eating use to be a very scary thing for me as I was never sure how my body was going to react. Now if I indulge I get a normal stomach ache and can recover really easily! I function like a “normal” healthy person now as long as I am consistently eating about 80% plenty based! The hardest thing about changing is committing. Is not really knowing if its going to work. I was very scared to be honest. The more research I did and the more desperate I became as I had tried everything else the more I realized I just needed to trust in nature and eat as gentle on my body as possible and go from there! There is where all the magic started brewing! I could talk about this for hours!
What’s yours advice on getting through high school when you just want to move to Hawaii and get on with your life!
Patience my love!! Unless you have a long term plan to make it work! Hawaii is pretty expensive so it takes being creative to making it work unless your pockets are full of moola or have a friends place you can crash at! :)
My husband I should say did finish high school a year early by doing the rest online! I guess thats always an option too :)
What are must brings for a beach vacation with a 5 month old? A check list if possible.
A good umbrella
A baby hat
Beach snacks and lots of coconut water for mama :)
I would say a beach chair but I almost never do because its one more thing to carry but it sure is nice!
Have so much fun!!
What’s your best advice for balancing a new born and a toddler? And what foods help you recover from labor and entering motherhood?
I could do a whole blog post on this. I think the biggest thing for me to help balance is to make it your number one priority. These young years go so fast and the best thing I ever did was to cherish them and enjoy it. The times where I get the most stressed is because I am trying to do other things. Its helped me so much to just be okay with saying no to things, being okay with the laundry being stuffed in drawers instead of folded or just leaving it for another day and that my personal goals can wait. And also knowing that this time that can be lonely at times is a phase everyone of us with children has gone through! I told myself, Ill have a social life in 8 years! Haha. Ill do a workout class when my kids are in school! Making peace with these realties has made everything so much easier and enjoyable! In saying this, its just as important to do something for yourself every day. If you have a partner, they need to support this! Going for a 20-45 min jog or surf was always my regroup! It made me a better mom! Having a good stroller has been my biggest source of freedom as well as this was my way to be out doors and hands free and get in me time without relaying on anyone else!
Now that my husband and I work together I have more time to balance off each other and take turns but it didn’t use to be like this with my other kids baby stages. Find a way to have a little me time so that you can be all in with the kids! I feel like the more attention and energy we give them the better they nap and get in a good rhythm and are just more confident and happy! Ive always really loved every stage even though its definitely hard and I look 10 years older as a result of all those sleepless nights etc! haha! I love being my kids friends! They are my best buddies and its so fun to be such an active part of their growth! Its a privilege!
Foods to recover from labor and entering motherhood- well as you know its really hard to sit down and eat let alone make food so smoothies and things to grab and go end up being the reality! Anything you can eat with one hand really! haha. I try to make a liter smoothie to sip on every day and have things like carrots and apples that are easy to grab on the go! I love trail mixes but try not to fill up on just that! If you can afford good green juice then that is pure gold but that gets crazy expensive a lot of times. I invested into my health and got a green juices dairy for the month before birth and month after, I ate loads of greens and tried to eat beets in some form every day too! I also drank red raspberry tea and dates every day!
I also take my hydroflask with me everywhere and always have an apple and a go macro in my baby bag! Annnnd some kinda chocolate or trail mix :)
It almost always looks like you guys are on vacay. It’s quite a lovely life. How do you manage work/life balance?
If you start talking to a lot of people on the North Shore you will be surprised at what kinds of jobs people have. Many people value lifestyle enough to create a life that supports the one they want. For us its become the same. Sometimes thats means having a couple jobs to pull it off! The great thing about the outdoors is even if your busy working all day long and you can get outdoors for a sunset or a jog or walk at some point. Its like inviting a bit of vacay into even the busiest of days! One thing we do a lot too is find excuses to celebrate! Ie I finished the laundry! Should we celebrate? Haha
How do you travel with an infant on a plane ride as a breast feeding mom? Where does the car seat go before during and after the flight?
We have this pillow “lounger” called the snuggle me organics that makes a world of difference for the airplane ride and for where ever you’ll be sleeping. This is what Nalu sleeps in! Its the best! Comfy clothes for you and obviously a change of clothes for you and the baby and of course diapers and wipes! Having a baby carrier as well is huge so you can use your hands throughout the airport and it supports them while they sleep on you if you dont have the lounger. I always try to breastfeed as we are taking off and landing to help prevent any ear aches as well! As for the car seat, you can check it or they will check it as you board the plane. I think its always free! Breast feed and flying is the best! Its way easier than trying to feed a toddler on a plane! Have fun!! Good luck! Oh also! If you’re baby does start freaking out for whatever reason, try not to panic. If you panic, baby will panic more! Just stay calm, try to hummm to create a calm vibration against your baby or sing. It can be so scary, but I swear this works! Maybe Im just lucky but Im on kid 3 and we’ve travelled multiple times and its always been a good experience because of these things!
What make up do you use?
I love Pacifica everything more than anything! Beauty Counter has good clean products too! Pacifica is 100% vegan, and I think everything at Beauty Counter is as well (but not sure, it might be just the products I got). I pretty much only use a concealer for under my eyes and a tinted moisturizer and a little bronzer and or highlighter if Im going to wear make up!
Tell us more about how you get your newborn to sleep at night
Oh gosh, Im no expert here! I just know that routine is so important! We always wrap Nalu like a burrito and that is how he knows its time to go to bed! I feed him, then wrap him, then talk and coo with him in his little lounger that is on our bed and he’ll fall asleep after that. He knows its bed time this way. If we push it and he’s over tired then he doesn’t sleep as good that is forsure! Im all over the place in the day with him but when it comes to night time, I try and be home for him to have a good nights rest! It seems to work best that way for us and baby!
Do you want more children?
Well… every time I see a pregnant woman lately or a fresh newborn or go through Nalus clothes he’s already outgrown I totally tear up! Im not sure what that means! haha. The thought of this being our last new born baby is SO SAD! But at the same time Im so so grateful and feel extremely fortunate to have three kids! Time will tell I suppose!
Summarizing a bit- “I want to cut out dairy from my diet, but every time my family cooks there is dairy in it and I don’t want to tell them every time because it makes me feel bad. Do you have any advice on how to approach this?”
Ah this can be hard! The best and quickest way to help your situation I would say is to start being proactive in the kitchen! Ask your parents if you can help out and even try some new recipes! Explain how much better you feel without dairy in your body and want to try and avoid it as much as you can so you can feel better! Tell them you are so grateful for all their meals but also ask them if they think they can support you with some alternative options even it if means making your own food! Chances are if you they understand where you are coming from and you are open with them and willing to help they will be receptive! Im rooting for you!!
How does one get enough vitamin b 12 during pregnancy without eating meat?
I got a b12 shot every few months! You can take in supplement form as well but I totally feel a noticeable difference from the shot!