Monthly Archives: May 2015

Loose Ends Before Summer

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Alas, I have come back from the tropical paradise of Hawaii. I had a cup of fruit today with pineapple and it just wasn’t the same as the fresh, super sweet and juicy ones we had in Hawaii. Now we are all back with golden tans and ready to finish up our last assignments for our class. Unfortunately, we can’t get away with simply enjoying a 10 day trip to Hawaii for class credit, so we actually have to do academic things like write a paper and even take a quiz *gasp*. However, once this week is over, I officially begin my summer!

Shortly before I left on my trip, my wonderful parents sent me a copy of the new cookbook called The Plantpower Way. It is written by this awesome couple who are raising 4 kids on a plant-based diet, and the husband is actually an ultra endurance athlete who is in peak physical condition. And it’s not really just a cookbook, it’s more of a life book about the plantpower lifestyle. The recipes are mingled with sections on hot topics like getting enough protein and the environmental impact of eating meat, as well as more spiritual mind-body stuff like finding balance in your life. This book is pretty much all you could ever want in a guide to the vegan lifestyle, and it has become my bible.

Which brings me to my summer project: cook my way through The Plantpower Way. Just flipping through the pages makes my mouth water, and I know I have to try all of these fun recipes. The only downfall with the book is that it is most definitely not written for a college student; some of the ingredients don’t fall within a college budget, and a lot of the recipes seem pretty complex and time consuming. I’m hoping that with a little more free time this summer, I will be able to make a bit of a dent in this feast of recipes, though I may have to forgo a summer shopping spree or two in order to save up for my sea vegetables and weird asian ingredients that I can’t pronounce. Nonetheless, it should be a grand culinary adventure!

Last but not least, here’s a few pictures from Hawaii:

DSCN0339  gecko dropped in for breakfastDSCN0398 strangest flower I’ve ever seenDSCN0410 Kilauea smokin awayDSCN0437 the hot babes of our classDSCN0483  sea turtle!DSCN0492  cool beach angleDSCN0516 top of Mauna Kea, tallest peak from base to summit (13,700 ft above sea level)

Also, I never posted about my trip to Zion with Bridger, which we did the week before I left. It was pretty rainy for the most part, but it was also so lovely hanging out in the desert. Here’s a cool picture from the top of Observation Point, which actually looks down upon Angel’s Landing, which is the most famous hike in the park because of its knife-edge ridge and excellent views. We got the better view from Observation Point in my opinion, but we hiked Angel’s Landing the next day for good measure, and it was still an astounding view.

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Aloha!

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It has been nearly a month since I last wrote a single word on here, and I must say that some of that large time gap was due to pure laziness. Justified laziness though. I finally struggled through all of my final exams and papers in the last week of April and then gleefully indulged in a perfect week off from all things entailing even a inkling of responsibility. I spent the majority of my time sleeping off the immense stress of school in various spots on the lawn with my beach towel, broken only by frequent moments of eating and a little crossfitting as well. On Thursday of last week I packed up for a weekend in Zion National Park with Bridger, and we had a wonderful time doing some road-biking, begging strangers to share their campsite with us, and hiking lots and lots of feet in elevation, all while shrouded in thick, rainy clouds aside from the last day, during which we summited the classic Angel’s Landing. But now I have left behind the desert for something entirely different and exotic: HAWAII!!!!!!!!!

We have this odd thing at Westminster called May Term, which is an optional, month-long “term” in May after Spring semester is over. Classes on campus come at no additional charge, but you also have the option to sign up for classes that include a trip abroad or to some far, cool place in the US. The trip I chose is called the History and Sciences of Hawaii, and yesterday we landed on the Big Island to begin a 10 day trip exploring the ocean, volcanoes, flora, fauna, and historic towns that the island has to offer. Today was spent studying the ocean with a morning visit to a black sand beach and an afternoon spent tidepooling with snorkels. This place is amazing. Everything just grows without even trying!

On a more vegan note, since this is still technically a blog about veganism, although many have noted that it has turned more into a blog about Zoey’s life garnished with a vegan flare, I must describe this incredible place we are staying at for the first half of our trip: Kalani. Kalani is basically this big hippie-dippie, eco-friendly, wierdos-welcome resort. But resort isn’t the right word at all, since it is more like a gorgeous campus with adorable “Hales” or “houses” scattered among lush gardens, swaying palm trees, and open grassy lawns dotted with Buddha statues. One of the other groups staying at Kalani right now is a Tantric Breathing group, and there are buildings with names like “The Rainbow Room” if that gives you a clearer picture. But one of the absolute best parts about Kalani is the kitchen! They serve three, completely homemade from scratch meals every day, and each meal has an equal, if not greater, number of vegan options to omnivore options available. Everything is organic and local, and much of the produce is even grown/picked on Kalani’s grounds. For example, this morning I enjoyed 7-grain hot cereal topped with homemade almond granola, with a side of fresh mango, pineapple, and papaya, and a piece of toast with passion fruit and coconut jams. Lunch consisted of vegan chili, half of a baked potato, a pile of kale-macadamia nut-tomato salad with a refreshing honey-lime dressing, and a blob of homemade hummus and spinach-macadamia nut-basil pesto. Dinner finished off today’s food indulgence with a vegan veggie soup, a giant vegan “patty” full of chickpeas and complex grains, steamed veggies, an interesting potato and brown rice mixture, and a healthy dose of salad with sprouts, artichoke hearts, and olives. I try to tell myself that I won’t eat as much at the next meal, but I have loaded up my plate every time with so much delicious vegan yumminess I think I might pop each time. Totally worth it. Also, the coffee here is out of this world!! Who knew coffee could taste this good? I’m even tempted to try drinking it black, which is something completely unheard of in my normal coffee world. I think I have consumed more coffee over the past 24 hours than I have in the past 3 months combined (which actually wasn’t that much since I ran out of coffee filters at home and pathetically could not bring myself to buy more).

So basically, I am in a tropical paradise full of beautiful and astounding plants and animals and sea creatures and pristine beaches, AND I’m being fed copious amounts of some of the most heavenly, fresh, healthy vegan cuisine I’ve encountered thus far in my vegan adventures. Hawaii, you have delivered.

PS Unfortunately, I haven’t uploaded any pictures to my computer yet, so I don’t have any to share with this post; fear not, they will be coming soon.