Entries Tagged as 'Health and Fitness'

There’s nothing like food to get your attention!

Well, it works for me. The topic of food seems like a great way to start a person writing, too! As you can see, I seem to have decided that blogging is a semi-annual thing, or a quarterly thing at best. Based on previously posted items, the former seems to be the adopted definition. So, let’s talk about food; I am always willing to talk about that!

June, I read somewhere, was National Fruits and Vegetables Month! I found that acclamation again — San Mateo Public Library confirms it! They have a beautiful picture to go along with sharing this foodie holiday.

So what? What does this have to do with Honolulu? Well, there is this little “business” that was sitting right in my own backyard, so to speak. O'ahu Fresh logoIf you live on O’ahu, doesn’t the logo on the left look just a little familiar? I’ve seen the van and I thought they delivered to the stores, grocery and otherwise but I was wrong. They deliver to us!

O’ahu Fresh gathers local-grown produce and delivers the items they gather in a bag of goodies to you either every week or every other week, depending on how often you want them. If you work in Downtown Honolulu just pick a spot where they already drop off the bags and add yourself to the list. That’s what I did.

I even called O’ahu Fresh to change my order from bi-monthly to weekly because, “June is Fruit and Vegetable Month!” I was aiming to share this here on Homespun Honolulu because food it such a great topic and O’ahu Fresh would benefit from my blabbering, and I could learn how to make new things, and, um, well, it’s JULY! O’ahu Fresh still benefits, local readers still benefit, I have already learned new veggie things, I am still excited about it, I have a new friend over at Oceanit (where I pick up my bag) so the only one to suffer really is Fruit and Vegetable Month. Oh well.

Local produce

O’ahu Fresh has managed to introduce me to some weird things — things that you can actually eat. “What’s that? Never heard of them!” They may be grown here but they are new to me! Fortunately, the O’ahu Fresh website tells you, every week, what is in the bag that week. The best part is they provide definitions for the strange items and links to recipes for all the items!

Do not let the oddities scare you — if you have your pick-up spot close to work, you can always find someone at work who will eat what you will not, or cannot. I hate tomatoes. I hate cucumbers. I hate lychee. Between taste and texture they are all out the door for me. Blech! However, I have found a recipe that works very nicely with cucumber and I found a recipe for katsup! I love ketchup! There are a lot of recipes for catsup! There are even more recipes for ketchup than there are spellings!

With O’ahu Fresh you are not stuck with just produce. They will bring you dairy products, jams and jellies, coffees and teas, and even meats, if you want to add any of those items to your bag. These are all locally grown items which means that beef is free-ranging, grass-eating cattle (compliments of the Big Island farmers)! They have actually, recently, mentioned fresh fish!

Be still my heart with those dairy products and the beef that is as healthy as you can get beef to be! Love fresh produce, I love my home, therefore, I love O’ahu Fresh! Coming up I will share recipes (mine or theirs) and keep it all with local-grown Aloha in the process. Maybe I will be lucky enough to meet up with some of their farmer partners — that would be cool! 🙂

Is it open season on O’ahu’s bloggers?

It certainly seems to be open season on our health!  Oddly enough, separate and apart from each other, we have had unexpected health issues catch several of us by surprise.  I put off sharing mine to see where things were going to go but when I saw the other ladies having issues too, it seemed that now might be a good time.

In keeping with the theme of this blog, I will tell you a bit about my drama and then share my take on the wonderful local businesses that helped me get through the beginnings of what will be an ongoing battle.  A few regular readers may remember this horrible post about my bloody incident.  Yes, I tripped and fell but the reality is that my left foot wasn’t fast enough to recover and catch itself, and the rest of me before it was too late.

Apparently I have “Drop Foot” (or “Foot Drop” — I’ve seen it called both) that causes my foot to not snap back the way it is supposed to when I walk.  Hence I trip a lot.  Those five stitches from that bloody incident were the last straw.  I did a Google search to find out what runners do if they have drop foot.  Sure enough, I am not alone.

Allard USA lets you “Get Your Life Back!Several people spoke of an AFO (ankle foot orthosis) device called “Toe Off” made by Allard USA.  Exciting news!  I made a long distance call to their offices and they told me all about it.  They then told me they couldn’t sell it to me directly.  I would have to work through a company that works on orthotics and prosthetics since they do not sell these things retail. Irritating, yes, but they do that to be sure you get fitted correctly.

This little darling that helps you “Get Your Life Back” is actually manufactured in Sweden.  Hey, they have mountains to climb over there!  One of their flyers actually shows a gentleman wearing this while mountain climbing.  I can run with this, too!  Right?  Allard says yes you can.

Okay, so who do I know in Honolulu?   Where do I go?  Mom always depended heavily on CR Newton so that name was very familiar to me.  While they do have a reputation for being a bit pricey, they also know what they’re doing!

The side of a van makes the best advertisement!

The conversation went something like this:

“Yes, you can get one through us.  Do you have a prescription?”

“No.  Why, do I need one?”

“No but you’ll have to pay for it out of pocket otherwise.”

Long story short, my medical coverage has no DME (durable medical equipment) rider so I was on my own.  “Okay, how much?”  I braced myself for what I assumed would be a 3 or 4 hundred dollar quote.  It turned out to be about three times that amount.  Gulp!

I know what you’re thinking but, knowing that this was going to be my own out-of-pocket expense, CR Newton matched the lower price of a competitor.  “Really?”  Did I cry when I heard that?  You bet!

I got my Bluerocker Toe Off!

So, I got it!  Randy at CR Newton got the Toe Off over here, fitted it for me, and tweaked it for me about a week later.  He kept in contact with me and asked that I call him and report on any developments, problems, etc.  He asked that I keep him informed. 

Sending out a huge “Mahalo!” to CR Newton and Randy Pang for their assistance with this, er, development.

Now I wear it almost every day and I have gone running with it.  The Great Aloha Run is going to be very interesting this year.  Last year I could barely make it back to my car, the pain was so severe.  I have an appointment with a therapist who is in the know about these things over at Kaiser right after Christmas.

Not the prettiest fashion statement but who cares?I sort of need to teach myself how to walk correctly again.  Sigh.  My body was compensating too much and has taken on very bad, pain-inflicting habits.  

Okay, so this device is not the greatest fashion statement but when you need to walk without cracking your head open or causing other related leg injuries, it really doesn’t matter!  For this, vanity flies right out the window!

I decided to share this because two other local bloggers have run into even scarier health issues where vanity is the least of their worries.

Gigi over at Gigi-Hawaii says, Enough of this Sad Story! Gigi, like me, is dealing with a uncooperative nervous system.  We’re irritated, no doubt about that, but we are fighting arduously against this nonsense to maintain both our lifestyle as well as our quality of life, no matter what!

Kay, in her Musings, says it’s One of Those Days as she deals with the threat of one of my worse nightmares.  “At least let me keep the one beautiful body part that I have?!?”  There goes the vanity thing again, sorry.  The reality is, I don’t like those call backs to the doctor’s office and I don’t think Kay does either!

Gigi and Kay, I will keep both of you in my prayers and, no matter what, we will keep “talking” until our fingers stop working!  There’s hope on our highways too!

Keyboard where blogging happens.

We should check in on each other from time to time and see how we’re doing — hold cyber hands and hope that it all stops here!  

I know, Gigi, that we have residual left overs from these things but I want them to stop here and not get any worse, and maybe even get a little better!   Please?

We bloggers need to get out there and share our island’s fun and craziness, therefore, we need to be healthy and mobile!  NO MORE DRAMA!  Come on ladies, let’s get our lives back!

Get to Blaisdell before 5 PM today!

There’s still time to sign up for the Great Aloha Run!

Geoffrey Sewell, MD, President & Executive Medical Director and a Kaiser Vice President whose name I have forgotten.

Get down to the Sports, Health, & Fitness Expo!  It’s a lot of fun and a great community event!

The lead sponsor once again this year is Kaiser Permanente Hawaii.  If you’re a Kaiser patient, make your medical provider proud and come share in the fun and the ongoing efforts to support our community.

Carol Kai was there and she continues to make this a huge part of her life.  There are many corporate sponsors of this event and there are a lot of people who can’t wait to take part in the annual event that the combined effort of all these corporate sponsors has helped to make possible!

Zumba fans can’t wait ’til the doors open to get started on sharing their fitness!

Trying to contain the community’s excitement as GAR approaches is difficult.  The Expo couldn’t even get started without a Zumba crew entertaining onlookers before the doors even opened on Friday afternoon.

Walk, run, skip, just get down there and join in the fun!   According to Carol Kai, there were over 26,000 people signed up for the run before the Expo started.  Be sure to watch the news on Monday evening to hear the total participant count!

After the run, which was wonderful, as always, but way too hot!!! One of the commenters asked if I had any more pics of the Zumba activities going on at the Expo so I am posting what I do have, just for fun.  It was all over way too fast.Zumba goes on  until the blessing and the opening of the doors.Then it moved from outside to inside!

Zumba in full swing at the Expo!

Unfortunately, that’s all I have in the way of Zumba pics. Sorry, Shannon, I thought I had more than this.  Now we have to wait another whole year!  Shucks!

Blood Bank of Hawaii — Need is Critical!

Blood Bank Hawaii logoThe need for blood donors is always great but right now Blood Bank of Hawaii is sending out a plea for Type O blood donors!

This doesn’t happen very often.  When Blood Bank says “critical” they mean it.

The holiday season is a very bad time of year to be in short supply of any blood type!

Here is their appeal:

We are reaching out to you today for your help in getting the word out that we need O-type blood.  Due to the high usage of O-type blood, Hawaii’s blood supply for O-positive and O-negative blood is at CRITICAL levels. 

If you are an O-donor, we ask that you make every effort to donate blood now.

Please call 848-4721 to make your appointment today.   

For detailed information on a blood drive near you visit BBH.org.  You may donate if you are in good health, weigh at least 110 pounds, have a valid photo ID with birth date and are at least 18 years old (or 17 years old with signed Blood Bank parent/legal guardian consent form).Thank you for your continued support and for being a life saver! 

There you have it. If you can, please give. If you cannot, please share with your friends and send them to a donor sight.  Go together and then go out to lunch! You’ll feel so good after you share a gift of life!  There are few things like it.  It also gives you an extra license to eat more afterwards!

No excuses!  Come on, the only part that really hurts is the tiny prick of your finger to be sure you have enough iron in your blood.  The facilities and equipment are very safe, sanitary, and comfortable!

Blood Bank of Hawaii and our community need you!  Please give!

Smooth Sailing on the Star of Honolulu

Star of Honolulu LogoParadise Cruise, Ltd. has a lovely little cruise ship that changes its mission during the year and at different times of the day.

I couldn’t resist getting this “picture of a picture” since it was a nice capture of the whole boat. This photo looks like it was taken some time back but I’m really not sure. The picture looks old, but the boat itself actually looks a lot brighter than the picture portrays it to be.

Star of Honolulu from Brochure

We happened to be passing this boat the other day while we were at Aloha Tower looking for something good to eat. My mother was very attracted to the hula dancing that was going on as people were either getting on or off of the boat. I’m not sure which. Mom decided that she really wanted to go on this boat.

I checked in with their little business office and saw that they were in the middle of a season of whale watching cruises. Hmmm… that sounded like something I could get into! So, we signed up and a few weeks later, off we went to see whales! Of course I had to make them tell me all about how careful they are to avoid striking any of these giant mammals. I was satisfied with the description of their procedures that they shared.

Dining Level, 2nd Floor

The boat was comfortably full of people and the seating on the level where lunch was provided was actually very comfortable. I will say that the food, while alright, wasn’t the delicious spread I was hoping for based on the price we paid for this cruise. Even the kama’aina rates were still kind of steep, I thought.

Close to Shore and Downtown Honolulu

This was kind of neat — being able to see Honolulu from a different angle. It was nice to see it from a vantage point that doesn’t happen very often.

Bar Tender

Of course it’s always important to have drinks, alcoholic and otherwise, available to passengers. You had to pay extra for them though. A soda was $3 and a margarita was $6. The bar tender was young, cute and very professional. I asked her if she went to bar-tending school and she said that, yes, she had. I smiled and teasingly asked if she went to the one on Beretania Street. Uh, she said, “Yes, that’s the one.” I was kidding! But, sure enough. 🙂

Farther Away from Shore

Here’s a clue as to just how insular I am — at one point when we were far enough out and the view looked similar to the one above, I suddenly had a very strong feeling of melancholy. I had an unexpected pang of anxiety and longing for them to “take me home.” It didn’t last long but it was a little weird for that fleeting moment. As if Honolulu wouldn’t survive without me being on shore. Tsk!

That stupidity being said, the water out there was so blue and so inviting! I swear if I didn’t have to worry about my camera and my cell phone… and my mother’s nerves… I really wanted to be swimming in that water! I don’t think the staff of the Star of Honolulu would have appreciated it if I had decided to take a swim on their time.

Matson Ship and Containers

I just had to get the above shot! Remember this story about my attitude problem with the guards near the Department of Homeland Security? The one where they wouldn’t let me get a picture of the Matson containers? I got a picture from the other side of that scene. So, I got my way, eventually.

Impromptu Entertainment

At the end of the cruise, while passengers were waiting to disembark, the guitar player who has been serenading people had two of the servers start dancing hula. They were very good! Maybe not dressed appropriately for hula, but good nonetheless. It did explain why some of their name tags had the word “Performer” written on them. Nice touch guys!

All in all, the cruise was quite nice. The water was soft and it felt almost like a large hammock. An interesting thing to point out was that while out and away from the shore, it was actually very cool. It was almost cold enough to wear a sweater. One of the girls said it would feel very hot once we reached shore. She was right. Once we got off the boat, the weather was sticky and humid.

Many of the cruises offered on this ship are seasonal. The one we were on, the whale watching cruise, was just that. You might be wondering why there are no pictures of whales. Well, we didn’t see any. The agreement that the Star of Honolulu made with the passengers of this cruise was that the passengers would all go again for free if they didn’t see any whales.

All Aboard the Star of Honolulu

We’ll take the journey once more before whale season is over. This time, we’ll eat before we board. It will be nice to ride the boat one more time and enjoy the sleepy sway of the ocean beneath. Maybe then I’ll have pictures of whales to share!

Star of Honolulu
Honolulu Harbor, Pier 8
Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone: (808) 983-7827

Oysters: The Other White Meat


Oysters are the culinary pearls of the sea,
A prized ocean delicacy for you and me
Dining on raw oysters? Check your fork…
Think twice my friend — you’re eating sea pork!

Photo compliments of Jon Aslund on Flickr

I made that up. What would make me say something like that? Well, while reading about them I couldn’t help but remember the stories I’ve heard about people getting sick from eating raw oysters. I usually hear people say they got sick because they ate too many of them. Well, apparently it may be more than that.

Let’s see… they are found in brackish water (water that is salty but not as salty as the open ocean). Now, I can’t help but see that description as a definition of our own coastal waters — where the fresh-water streams meet the ocean. The oysters feed off of what they filter through their gills. Anything floating in the water might end up stuck in their flesh. Hmmm… warning signs for streams talk about how the water may be contaminated. Need I say more?

To be fair, the dangers of raw oyster consumption are primarily aimed more at the Gulf oysters because there are a lot of laws and restrictions about harvesting the oysters from that region. But, I’m paranoid about the handling of food products as it is and I say it couldn’t hurt to be safe about it around here too. This site goes to great lengths to share information about the the health issues raw oysters may cause.

If you love oysters and you’re feeling offended, relax, nobody’s trying to ruin your favorite food. These guys are obviously serious about protecting people from eating this stuff raw. To make oyster lovers happy, they have even provided some mouth-watering recipes. Those recipes sound so good I was actually trying to figure out which ingredients I already have and which ones I’m missing.

Cook them! That’s the message. Remember, you’re eating sea swine. Come on, someone has got to have come up with that analogy already! 🙂

Great Aloha Run Reminder and Runner’s Warning


GAR LogoIt’s getting closer! Sports, Health & Fitness Expo 2008 at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center Exhibition Hall. This is where you need to go to pick up your packets and participate in some of the things they’ve got going on there. Fun stuff! If you haven’t registered yet, this is your last chance!

The Great Aloha Run is on Monday, President’s Day! That’s this Monday! If you haven’t made up your mind yet, go to the Expo and see if it helps you decide! Come on — join the community and have some fun, get some sun and get some exhaustion exercise.

Seriously, it’s fun and very rewarding! I promise! Okay, so now where’s the warning?


While looking forward to this event I have been a little apprehensive. I was trying to figure out why my leg was having so much trouble “getting it together!” I’ve been thinking about a possible cause for a few weeks now but thought I was just crazy. Last night, I finally decided to look it up.

Well, I found one site having a discussion about my exact concern, another site talking about a clinical trial and then, ultimately, WebMD talking about the side effects of Albuterol — pain in the knees and week muscles. OMG! One of the sites I found even used the word dystrophies.

Some time back I attempted a half marathon and I mentioned in a post that my leg pretty much quit on me. Well, I inhaled a little more than usual before the start of that event, because I needed “all the help” I could get! Regular readers might remember the end of this story? I fell — same leg, same symptoms. Now I have a lump and a scar on my brow to show for it.

Trust me, I’m going to have a discussion about this with the asthma/respiratory doctor, soon! But, for now, runners and other sports enthusiasts who think this sounds familiar, be aware. Carry it in case of emergency, of course!!! But, if you don’t need it, why use it? Be careful and talk to your doctor, please?

I would label this a Honolulu Rant but I have nobody to really blame. It is, I think, something that has only come to light recently. I’m angry that this happened to me, excited about sharing the news because I know a lot of people use Albuterol and I’m relieved that it’s not my body falling apart or my old age that’s to blame!

Come join the community, have fun and stay safe!

Having a Bad Hair Life

Remember “Psssst!” — the hair-care product that you could use when your were pressed for time and your hair was an oily disaster? I don’t remember which company made it or what brand it was. It came in a purple, pink and white spray can, if my memory serves me correctly. Unfortunately, my memory would have to serve me correctly because they don’t sell it anymore and haven’t for a very long time!

I have looked and I have called around many times but, unless you want to use foot powder or baby powder in your hair, you’re stuck. I’m stuck. There have been so many times that I’ve wished I had a bottle of that stuff! It’s one of the downfalls of having straight hair. If I could just get my hands on some of that stuff, I would keep one at home, one at work, one in the car and a small one in my purse!

I did find this…

Spray Powder Shampoo - for Brunette Shades

Spray Powder Shampoo – for Brunette Shades

Salon Grafix Spray Powder Shampoo, with its color match formula, is perfect for cleansing and refreshing your hair between normal shampoos or when you are on the go.
• Easily brushes off
• Leaves hair revitalized
• No white powder
• No oil residue
• Clean and shiny hair

Of course they have them for black, blonde and silver shades too.

I got so excited when I saw this “shampoo!” Then I saw the list of stores that sell their products. It’s a long list of businesses! I scrolled down the page and look who was on the list: Longs Drugs, Safeway, K-Mart, Wal-Mart and Walgreens (you guys do remember we have one of those now too, right?). Five of our stores! We’ve got it made!

I’m calling. So far, I’m batting zero. The only product I’ve been able to find is the Salon Grafix hairspray. What I really want is this dry shampoo! “Well,” I thought, “I’ll just order it online.” No shipping to Alaska and Hawaii. For our readers outside the State of Hawaii, this is one of the costs of living in paradise. It happens a lot more often than you think. Just don’t ask me why.

Hey, I tried. The best part of their online ordering was that it went directly into PayPal! That was another benefit. But, no shipping. I know, you guys can order it and send me some! 🙂

In the mean time, I’ve printed out several copies of the page to take to the participating stores that I frequent to see if they can find a way to bring it in. I’ll keep you guys posted and let you know who steps up to the plate with their customer service! I’m an easy sell for three bottles right off the top!

After working all day and suddenly being told you’re going somewhere, wouldn’t it be nice to quickly look like you just got out of the shower and gotten done with the blow dryer? Or, better yet, to make people think you look that good all the time?!? I know I need all the help I can get! 🙂

When are Diet Plans and Weight Loss Healthy?

And if so, which one works? I have tried ones that work, BUT, they require a heck of a lot of physical dedication. Not that this is bad, I actually like doing physical stuff. But, sometimes it’s just not practical. I know, I know… I’m supposed to “make time!” The problem is, making that time is getting harder and harder all the time! Okay, forget about the food versus exercise thing for now. We all know we need to do both. My concern is which ones really work?

My husband is aiming to get involved with one of them that he has seen repeatedly on the infomercials. I would just hate to see such a large outlay of cash go to waste.  Let’s put it this way, I know that I would be a lot better off financially if I had avoided some of the fads seen on the infomercials in the middle of the night. Insomnia and/or quirky sleeping habits are expensive!  Fortunately, there are sites out there that talk about how these weight-loss programs compare. They also deal with the issue of healthy diets and the ever-dreaded need for exercise.

Maybe these guys will help us find the right solution so we can lose weight and save money while trying. In addition to the comparisons, they are offering coupons for some of the programs. Before we sink more money into this kind of thing, I would love to hear if anyone has tried one of these and had success with them. For the record, and for those who are concerned about fad diets the way I am, there are also articles about health, and tips, if you’re looking for them.

I don’t want to hear about Atkins or the Shintani Diet!  The latter was Zippy’s biggest mistake in my opinion! I am curious to hear if anyone has tried any of the other, more-controlled diets that seem more balanced from a health standpoint. Maybe I’m being too fussy but along with obesity, there is also diabetes and heart trouble on both sides of our families so healthy diets are getting more and more important to me. I would say us but I seem to be the only one sensitive to this staff. I guess that means I’m the one who’s getting old! 🙂