Sunday, September 18, 2016

Pros and Cons of Moving to Hawaii - Pros

Hey guys!

It has been cooled down a bit in Hawaii. It was hot and humid in July, so right now the weather is much better for us.

It has been almost three months since my hubby and I moved to Hawaii. I am pretty sure my opinions will change as we stay here longer, but I want to list the pros of moving to Hawaii, based on my "three-month experience."

1. Less stress
I definitely feel less stress now. I do have some worries, and some pressure just like other people do but my stress level is much lower. I think it is because people are more relaxed here.

2. Peaceful driving
This would be depending on where you are coming from. We came from Los Angeles where the traffic is insane. Driving in Hawaii is so peaceful. No one beeps at you, cuts you off, and says F words at you.

3. Beautiful beaches
Self explanatory;)

4. Less racial discrimination for minorities
I do not get treated like I do on the Mainland US. My hubby says the same thing. Hawaii is a nice place for minorities.

5. Awesome foods
As I am Japanese and my hubby loves Japanese food, we are happy that we can get great Japanese food on Oahu. We love Hawaiian food too. There are many good but cheap restaurants here.

What are the reasons why you want to move to Hawaii?

Thank you for visiting my blog;)

Have a nice day!

Friday, September 16, 2016

New Items - Farmers Market 2nd Week of September 2

Here are the items that we bought at the second farmers market we went to.
Almond dip. Nutty by Nature, Chipotle. $8. (Gluten free, vegan, paleo)
This is good with veggie sticks or chips.
Taro on the left, apple custard at the top and goya (bitter melon) on the right. $6.60 total
I have never cooked taro. I have to google a recipe. Do you know apple custard? Me neither. Will show you when I eat it. There seem to be two kinds of goya (bitter melon): light green with smooth skin, or dark green with rough surface (this one above). We called this dark green ones "Godzilla". Don't they look like it? lol

Egg fruit on the left, star fruit, garlic chive (nira) and pink guava. $6 total.
Egg fruit is supposed to have an aquired taste. Hoping that we will like it. Garlic chive is very garlicy.  I love to make soup and sauteed with it. And we bought more pink guavas. I cannot get enough of them.

We bought new veggies and fruit that we have never had before. I have to google to find out how to eat / cook them;)

Thank you for visiting my blog.
Have a nice day!

I am writing a blog in Japanese too.
My Japanese blog

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Guavas!! - Farmers Market 2nd Week of Sept 1

Hey guys!

Guava season has arrived! Guava is one of my most favorite fruits. I was so excited to see them.
We went to two farmers market this week. At the first one we bought:

Pink guavas $1.50 (not certified organic, but they do not use chemicals)
The skin is yellow but it is pink inside. Items from here are all organic.

A pineapple. Do you know how to pick ripe ones? When you can pull off a leaf at the top easily, that means the pineapple is ripe. This pineapple is white inside and very sweet and sour at the same time. It is kind of sticky (gooy) and dense.

1 dozen of pasture raised eggs. Do you know pasture raised eggs are better than free range? Free range chickens are fed soy and still live in a limited space. Pasture raised chickens can go outside freely and they forage for their own food. Meaning no soy in their diet;) We got a mix of green and brown eggs.

A bag of kale and billimba. It was our first time seeing billimba. It is supposed to be gut healing. It needs to be cooked. We later sauteed it with salt and pepper. It was sour and little sweet. Nice and refreshing. Pineapple, eggs, kale, billimba, and a bag of sunflower sprouts (forgot to take a picture of them), it was $25 all together.
I will write about what we bought at the second farmers market in my next entry. Thank you for visiting my blog! Have a nice day;)

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Fresh Produce We Bought at Odori Festival

So these are the produce we bought at Odori Festival at Honbushin International Center in Mililani. Though they use regular fertilizer, they do not use pesticides.

Japanese daikon radish $2. Green onion $1. So cheap right? I just wanted to check out their produce, but when I saw the prices, I had to buy them. Daikon is very useful in Japanese cooking. I can make miso soup, stew, salad, sautee, and many other dishes. Daikon is one of the vegetables I always have in my fridge. Green onion is used as garnish for almost any dish in Japanese cooking. Miso soup, omelet, fried rice, yakisoba, udon, ramen, sushi roll, soba,,, I can go on forever;) This is a must item for Japanese.

Kiriboshi daikon $3. This is made of daikon and it is shredded and dried. When some vegetables or fruit get dried, they become more healthy to eat because of the high content of vitamines and minerals. Kiriboshi daikon is one of them. You want to soak it before using it, sautee with carrots and aburaage (fried tofu), and season with soy sauce and dashi (Japanese bonito fish and seaweed broth). I am excited to use this;)

When I checked their website, I found out that they do "Daikon Festival" and "Mochitsuki (rice cake-making) Festival" too. I can't wait to go there for the events.

Thank you for visiting my blog! Have a nice day-.

I am writing a blog in Japanese too.
My Japanese blog

Monday, September 12, 2016

Japanese Odori Festival in Mililani

We went to Odori Festival in Mililani on Saturday 9/10. Odori means dance in Japanese. Japanese have dance nights in summer called "bon odori" to pray for dead. Since Hawaii has a large population of Japanese, there are a lot of bon odori festivals in the state.

This Odori Festival at Honbushin International Center was pretty big. I have gone to several Japanese summer festivals and bon odoris in Los Angeles, but this one in Hawaii was bigger than these.

We decided to eat dinner here. We bought two orders each of BBQ beef, onigiri (rice ball), banana doughnut and mango doughnut. It was $12 all together.

After eating these quickly, we joined the dance line. Since I am Japanese and I am used to Japanese dancing, I was able to follow the dancing. My husband on the other hand was having a hard time keeping up and kept saying "I don't get it." He is very very good at dancing, but Japanese rhythm might have thrown him off. It is pretty different right?

We had such a fun time here. Before leaving, I wanted to check their fresh produce. They were selling a lot of Japanese and Hawaiian vegetables and fruit, grown in Honbushin center garden. They said that they use regular fertilizer, but they do not use pesticides. The prices were really cheap and we bought a few items.

I will put the pictures of what we bought there in my next entry. I don't know why but I cannot put more pictures here:(

Thank you for visiting my blog.
Have a nice day-!!

I am writing a blog in Japanese too.
My Japanese blog

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Dairy Alternatives - I Might Be Lactose Intolerant

Recently more and more people have become sensitive to gluten, eggs, soy, and/or dairy. I am one of them. My body cannot handle dairy, and sometimes gluten. When I found out about six years ago that I might be lactose intolerant, my hubby and I started focusing on dairy-free cooking. And lately we are trying to reduce gluten intake as much as possible too.

Items that we use instead of cow products are made of coconut: coconut oil and coconut milk.

Coconut oil can be used like butter. We use it for toast, French toast, and for many other things. We buy virgin coconut oil over non-virgin. Virgin coconut oil is off course more expensive, but the quality is better.

Coconut milk is like milk or cream. We use it for soup, curry, French toast, pancake.

Coconut milk and chicken broth make a very good soup. We want to learn how to make dessert using coconut milk too.

Every since I started avoiding cow milk products as much as possible, I get a stomach pain and have indigestion less often. Eating out used to be kind of a tricky thing for me, but luckily more restaurants nowadays have a menu that indicates which dish is vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, or dairy free.

I am still learning what I can eat and cannot eat though, I am happy with the changes we have made to our diet;)

Thank you for reading my blog!
Have a nice day!

I am writing a blog in Japanese too.
My Japanese blog

Friday, September 9, 2016

Gluten Free and Organic Oatmeal Breakfast 9/7/2016

My husband and I are trying to cook more often at home to save money and stay healthy. We eat organic and whole foods as much as possible. It is a lot of work when we try to cook everything from scratch. But we are learning easy and cheap cooking right now.

We made an oatmeal breakfast yesterday. It was totally gluten free and 99% organic. I am planning to write how to make mashed potato and oatmeal in separate entries.

We made:
- Oatmeal with an apple banana, strawberry jam and celtic sea salt
- Mashed purple potato and sweet potato with virgin coconut oil (already made the day before)
- Sliced orange and tomato
- A basted egg with avocado oil

It took about 30 minutes.

It was all organic except for celtic sea salt and avocado oil. The apple banana, purple potato, and eggs were from farmers markets on Oahu.

It was tasty and filling! It was my first time eating sweet oatmeal. In Japan (where I grew up), oatmeal is considered to be baby food, and adults do not really have a chance to eat it. I was surprised when I first found out that people in the US put milk, fruit, and honey in it! But I love sweet oatmeal now;)

What do you normally put in your oatmeal?

Thank you for visiting my blog;) Have a nice day!

I am writing a blog in Japanese too.
My Japanese blog

Thursday, September 8, 2016

The Initial Cost of Moving - It Takes More Than It Should

Hi guys!
How's it going?

Before moving to Hawaii, I estimated that the initial cost of moving would be around 8000 to 10,000 dollars.

Boy I was wrong.

After paying these below,
1. Car shipping from Long Beach, CA to Honolulu: $1070
2. Two one-way air tickets from LA to Honolulu: $950
3. Security deposit and first month rent: $4000
it became already six grand!!
This doesn't even include the cost of rental cars, furniture, food and so on.

The total intial cost turned out to be around 20,000 for the two of us. It was a 1 bed room apt. to 1 bed room apt. moving.

We have moved back and forth between Los Angeles and West Coast Canada four times and each time it cost about $3000 to $6000. But West Coast US to Hawaii costs a lot more for sure! Three to four times more.

It takes more than it should. Keep in mind, it really does!

Thank you for visiting my blog;)
Have a nice day-!!

I am writing a blog in Japanese too.
My Japanese blog

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Noni Fruit and Noni Juice

Hey guys! How are you doing?

Have you heard of noni juice before?
Noni juice is extract from noni fruit which normally takes 2 months or so to get fermented under the sun. We first saw noni fruit at a farmers market and had a sample of the fruit. It was not a form of juice, but actual fruit. It was stinky, like blue cheese. Kind of disgusting, isn't it? But when the woman at the vendor started explaining about all the health benefits that noni has, I became really interested. I have heard of the name before, but I didn't know what it was. Now that I know, I started looking for noni at markets.

And here it is. The vendor "Samsha" has noni juice:

Noni juice infused with cocoa and stevia, $17 for a month supply.

My husband and I have been taking 1oz of noni juice every morning. There seem to be no drastic effects yet though. But keep drinking it. It is supposed to lower blood pressure, burn fat, and control cholesterol level. Also good for digestion and skin.

I actually got noni fruit for free at a market and am making noni juice on my own. I don't know how it is going to turn out, but I will let you know later;)

Thank you for visiting my blog!
Have a nice day;)

I am writing a blog in Japanese too.
My Japanese blog

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Farmers Market 1st Week September 2

Hi guys! 
So here is what we bought at two farmers markets this week.

From the top, purple daikon radish. From the left, goya (bitter melon), yellow, orange and purple carrots, broccoli, and purple okra.
Everything except for goya is certified organic. Goya is still pesticide and chemical free, but the vendor is not certified organic. I forgot how much each item was, but with a dozen eggs, it was about 25 dollars all together. Pretty pricey?

We find so many vegetables in purple in Hawaii. Purple colored vegetables contain more antioxidant. So we like to buy purple veggies over regular colored veggies. Also it is more colorful on the plate;)

We also bought star fruit (on the left), apple bananas (in front), and basil.
These were total 5 dollars and all certified organic. I read that a person with kidney problems should not eat star fruit. It is actually pretty bitter, so I can tell the antinutrients that are in it are strong.

Do you know how to pick good bananas? Farmers at the vendor told us that the more round bananas are, the sweeter. You see these bananas in the picture are pretty round, so hopefully they become sweet;) It should take only two days for them to become ripe. I do not normally eat bananas, but apple bananas are awesome! I would like to eat one banana a day here.

We still do not know all the Hawaiian veggies and fruit yet. But slowly exploring. More farmers markets articles are coming;)

Thank you for visiting my blog.
Have a nice day!!

I am writing a blog in Japanese too.
My Japanese blog

Farmers Market 1st Week September 1

Hi Guys!
Hurricane Lester did not hit the islands hard! It was a beautiful day today. Not too humid, it was a little windy. It actually got kind of cold at night.

I finally figured out how to put pictures on my blog. So I can start putting some pictures here.

We went to two farmers markets this week. One of the organic vendors we bought produces from had lots of star fruit.

These are TAROs!! I didn't know they are this big.

We bought mixed drinks from Samsha.

I wasn't able to put more pictures. I will put what we bought in my next entry.

Have a nice day!!

I am writing a blog in Japanese too.
My Japanese blog

Friday, September 2, 2016

Hurricane is coming and we shopped for water and etc

Hi guys;)

Hurricane Lester is coming to the islands of Hawaii... Actually there were two, but one did not come to the islands. We went shopping a few days ago to buy some items in case of power outage. The last hurricane left some areas with no power. So we thought we really should be prepared for it.

We bought:
A gas stove and lighter at Don Quijote
A radio with a solar power and a USB cable at Hardware Hawaii
6 spring water bottles and canned soups (organic) at Whole Foods
Some candles at Target

It was earthquakes that we were worried about before. Now in Hawaii, it is hurricanes:(

Do you have some items stored at your house? What else should we have in case of emergency?

Thank you for visiting my blog;)
Have a wonderful day!

I am writing a blog in Japanese too.
My Japanese blog