Thursday, April 7, 2011

What I Eat

I started this blog about two years ago and in that time ( like most blogs ) it has gone through some expected changes. Most noticeably ( to myself at least ) is the quaility of the photography. In the beginning I had no idea what I was doing and just shot my food with my Nikon D50 in "Auto" mode. However after some patient classes from Carlos ( who shoots professionally ) I finally started shooting in the proper light, right aperture and stopped using the dreaded flash. I still use the same camera today as I did when I started so making these adjustments really helped!
As for some other changes  to the blog I use to document, "what I ate today".....The reason for this was I use to get a lot of comments or emails asking, "What do you eat on a daily basis?".  Friends wanted to know specific serving sizes and what I snacked on.... So to answer these questions I figured the easiest was to just take a picture of my breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner.....seemed pretty simple.
But then I got bored... and tired of eating food cold all the time because I was trying to get a proper shot. I also figured that at that point anyone that was reading my blog regularly probably knew exactly what I was going to have for breakfast or lunch the next day.....blah. Time to move on.
So instead I decided to start featuring more specific fun recipes, stories about what it's really like living on Maui ( I know that this seems unreal to a lot of people ), surfing, traveling, and silly musing about island life with these two characters...

I hope you like the updates and changes to "The Grains of Paradise". I know it's been a fun evolution for myself and writing this blog has helped me organize my thoughts, interests, goals and has even led to me to a ground breaking decision that I will discuss with you soon. Promise.
Oh and where did I come up with the name, "The Grains of Paradise"?
Well there is an African spice out there named, "The Grains of Paradise" that is very similar to black pepper but this is not where the blog name came from. Instead, it's from a short story I read a million years ago back in elementary school.....
"The Grains of Paradise" by James Street, is about a hot pepper fanatic traveling through mainland Mexico when he stumbles upon a sleepy village and ends up in a hot pepper eating contest with the locals. 
I won't bore you with the details but in a nutshell, "The Grains of Paradise" was the name of the hottest pepper in the story and the final pepper in the contest....
Totally random I know, but at the time (I think I was like 8 ) it seemed very exotic and something I would love to go and know... stumble around Mexico eating hot peppers ( oh wait....I did do that.... a little too often actually back in the mid 90s ) Anyway, as you probably know by now through my posts I'm a bit obsessed with anything spicy, I love adventurous travels but mostly I just always loved that name, "The Grains of Paradise".
Yesterday I decided to take pictures of everything I ate for y'all just for old times sake. I also did this because I wanted to show how my diet has evolved over the last couple of years. It has become very whole, it contains little to no sugar, I RARELY snack, I eat small portions and never stuff myself, I try to pack in 2 bunches of greens in a day ( in smoothies, salads, kale chips or green juices ) and since my 35th birthday on April 2, I have officially cut out dairy ( with shocking ease I must say.)
So here you go....
Green Juice
Cucumber, lemon with peel, fresh island ginger, kale, Fuji apple.
Chipolte Black Bean Soup ( recipe ). We made this for dinner the night before so the leftovers made for a perfect lunch. I use to top it with Greek yogurt but now as a vegan I decided to toast up a corn tortilla for a nice savory finish. I doused this with a squeeze of lime and a few dashes of hot sauce.
A Green Papaya Salad made with real Thai green papayas....
Remember my post from the other day where I said I could never find real green papayas?? Well, I did find them the very next day at a farmer's market near Kmart in Kahului. How crazy is that?! The best part is the lady said she has them allllll the time! They run the market 6 days a week stoked am I! This will sure become a staple in the house!
This time I added shredded carrots, Roma tomatoes, chopped green onion, mint, Thai basil and cilantro all from our garden and then topped it with some crushed peanuts. I love!
I had some white jasmine rice on the side which I continued to drown in my beloved sriracha sauce before devouring....
I also had 2 unpictured glasses of pinot grigio wine throughout a lazy evening at home.
I will say that this is a very typical day for me....I tend to always have some sort of liquid breakfast, some sort of heavier meal ( like a curry, stew, squash or pasta ) and one meal that consist mostly of raw veggies. If I do have a snack I've been turning to either roasted broccoli with lemon or my favorite Kale Chips that I lace with sriracha...
As for alcohol, I do drink....I usually have a glass or two of wine almost every night. I found that this completely eliminated my desire for something "sweet" after dinner. Plus the reality is this...I love wine, I love the color, the smell, the process that goes into making it, beautiful wine glasses, and the regions of the world that it thrives in are all close to my heart...( Northern California, Australia, and Argentina ). For a short while I even considered studying viticulture or even pursuing a sommelier license but for now, I'll just keep it as a hobby.
If I could critique my currant diet at all it would be to add more water!! I have never drank much of it and that's just silly.....Also, I don't drink coffee but I'd also love to get into the habit of drinking more green, turmeric ( great anti-inflammatory ), and ginger teas...Just saying.
That was fun..
Off to go stuff myself with some Kale Chips.


  1. girl I think it's pretty amazing that you eat 2 bunches of greens a day! that's so impressive.

    I hope to see more of what you eat! Your food is always so beautiful to look at in addition to eat :)

  2. I had to come out of 'lurkerville' to say how glad I am that you started and continue with your blog! I stumbled across your site about a month ago (while google searching 'vegetarian meals in maui') and have been a daily reader ever since. Your dedication to clean eating and fun fitness is really inspiring to me and even though I don't surf (though I've always lived near the water) I even appreciate your posts about boarding! I'm going to be in Maui in a few weeks and can't wait to try some of the vegetarian dishes you've mentioned at local restaurants... and happy hours too! Thanks for blogging and giving me a slice of paradise everyday! Much Aloha!

  3. I have been following your blog for... could it be a year - or more!- I adore. It and You have opened me up to a clean way of living. I promise to comment more but I have to say I love the changes to your blog. I was wondering if you ever thought of using the tags so that we could search by topic? exp. 'green juice recipes'.
    Also would you be brave enough to do a post on photography and the lens you use?
    All in all fantastic blog.

  4. above post from Laurel it would not let me post under my google account. (work blocks)

  5. Such a great post, thank you for sharing all of the pictures and stories. I wish I ate more like you...heck if I am wishing for things I wish I lived in Hawaii too :-)

  6. Love your outlook on life and eating. Though I still eat meat, you've helped me continually cut it out of my diet, and now it's only a few times a week rather than every meal. Lately I'm inspired to try some of your papaya and other salads - you make it look so easy to eat vegan and raw!

    I also just love the pictures you post of the beach and life in Hawaii. So serene.

  7. Thank you so much for all your sweet comments :) Happy to know I'm inspiring people to eat more veggies xo A

  8. I think it's awesome that you're vegan now! Your green juice looks amazing.