Tag Archives: HAWAII

COCO JACK: Why you must have one

Everyone knows how beneficial the coconut & all of its parts are.  From the water, to the meat and even the husk, this powerhouse Superfood is definitely a gift from of the gods!  Below are some of the benefits of coconuts but you can find more in depth info on coconuts by clicking here.

Coconut fresh off the tree. Chirije, Ecuador
Coconut fresh off the tree. Chirije, Ecuador

Coconut Water Benefits:  Coconut water comes from young Thai coconuts that are harvested while still green.  They are an excellent source of electrolytes, particularly high in potassium.  Essential to balancing hydration in the body, potassium also helps build muscles & maintain heart function.  It is said that consumption of coconut water can help with high cholesterol, kidney stones & even liver disorders.  I have used coconut water in the past for urinary tract infections, along with other natural remedies, with great success.

Coconut Meat Benefits:  Coconut meat is the white innermost lining of the coconut.  It is so versatile that it can be eaten raw, cooked, or as a preserve. You can top your usual salads with shredded or grated and then lightly toasted coconut meat. You can use a blender to make it into smoothies as well, mixed with organic full-fat yogurt and fruits like bananas and berries.  Coconut meat is high in saturated fat…don’t be afraid…it is a medium-chain fatty acid that breaks down much faster than long-chain fatty acids and is actually said to increase good cholesterol & decrease the bad.  It is also high in fiber, magnesium, potassium & copper.  On top of that it is so yummy!

So as you can see there are many reasons why consuming coconut water and/or meat is great for your overall health.  Please remember that if you are allergic, this does not apply to you.

Fresh Coconut...my absolute favorite treat. Kauai, Hawai'i
Fresh Coconut…my absolute favorite treat. Kauai, Hawai’i

MY COCO JACK EXPERIENCE:

So first let me say that I love young Thai coconuts!  I love the water, it is so refreshing on a hot day.  I also love that I have to work a bit to get the meat out.  It’s something about working for your food, either foraging, growing or preparing.  Unfortunately before I found the Coco Jack on Shark Tank, opening was a difficult process that required a knife.  I would chop off the husk, then wedge the corner of the knife at just the right position.  Then with another object that happened to be sturdy & handy, I would whack the knife.  As you can see this is probably not the safest way, but it was my way.   It was always a messy experience & I always lost a lot of the water in the process.  Every time I opened one I thought of my trip to Ecuador, it looked so much easier with a machete.

Fresh Coconut Yum!! Chirije, Ecuador
Fresh Coconut Yum!! Chirije, Ecuador

Unfortunately I did not get my coconuts for this experience from an exotic location, just my local Harris Teeter store.  I had my kiddo help with the execution of this so I could take pics.  I got the Coco Jack Pack for $49.95.  It is a little pricy but the time & convenience are well worth the price.  They have since added the Coco Pack Deluxe for $88.95, I think the Coco Jack is sufficient for my purposes though.

The Coco Jack Pack includes: 1-Coco Jack, 1-Coco Mallet, 1-Coco Scoop & 1-Coco Sack

COCO JACK PACK
COCO JACK PACK

STEP 1: Place the Coco Jack on the top of the coconut.  Using the Coco Mallet you whack the Coco Jack a few good times.  FullSizeRender

STEP 2: Once it is wedged inside of the coconut you twist, wiggle and it dislodges a perfect circle, large enough for drinking coconut water or scooping out meat.  It can be a little tough to remove if you have not hammered the Coco Jack enough.

COCOJACK1

COCO JACK2

As you can see it takes no more than 5 minutes from start to finish, so simple right?  I thought so too!  Please visit the Coco Jack website for ordering & more information.

COCOJACK3

BABYMOONS: Who, What, When, Where & Why

I have been MIA for most of my second trimester but for good reason…I have been Babymooning!

So what is the hell is a Babymoon & why should you take one, two or three if you can.   A Babymoon is defined as a relaxing or romantic vacation for the mommy or both of the new parents to be.  My definition would read more like this: Time for mommy to enjoy the second trimester before she gets to big to even find a comfortable position to breathe let alone sit or laydown; a time of rest, relaxation & reflection.  Why should you take one…well first of all why not?  Second of all because you won’t get free time like this in a long time once your baby comes.  So my suggestion…get in as many Babymoons as your time & budget allow.

With my first son I never even fathomed something like a Babymoon.  I worked feverishly up until the day before his induction.  I worked through morning sickness, exhaustion & extreme mood swings, not to mention gaining over 60lbs.  Taking time off for anything other than doctors appointments was unheard of.  Making money & career advancement was the theme of my life at the ripe age of 20.  I was even taking a full course load for most of the pregnancy.  Now that I look back I don’t even know how I managed, amazing what women can do.

Luckily I am in a much different place in my life.  I worked through the first 2 months of my pregnancy but my job for the past six months has pretty much been growing my little guy.  Which I must say is hard work.  I always knew that I wanted to be able to be home away from outside stresses when I carried my second child.  It’s one of the reasons I waited so long to even have this experience again.  I knew that I wanted to be in a comfortable place and not be in a position where I was the sole provider, either financially, physically or emotionally.  After years of persuasion from Papa Bear…here we are now…with our little bear on the way.

I digress, let’s get back to the fun Babymoon stuff.  Here are some Tips by Trimester.

FIRST TRIMESTER: During your first trimester you are generally ok to travel.  Most women will encounter nausea & exhaustion in this stage and it may not be the most comfortable experience for mom to be.  Also be aware that risk of bleeding & miscarriage is the highest in the first trimester.

SECOND TRIMESTER:  This is the best time to Babymoon!  The nausea & exhaustion from the first trimester should be waning and you are not as big as a house yet.  At this stage I could still hide my belly with the right clothes, even on the beach.  You will feel your best and you will have the most energy.

THIRD TRIMESTER:  Travel in the third trimester is very uncomfortable.  By this time your belly & baby will have more than doubled in size from the second trimester.  It is also not a good idea to be too far away from your OB or Midwife in case of complications or pre-term labor.

BABYMOON TIPS

  1. FLYING:  Generally you can travel up to 6 months with out a problem but after that you will have to get  permission from your OB or Midwife.  Some airlines require a physician statement written within 72 hours of travel.  Not that I could imagine sitting on a plane for 5+ hours in the third trimester…let alone sitting anywhere for an extended period of time with out adjusting.  If you do have to travel in the third trimester make sure you travel first class for extra space.  If you cannot afford first class opt for business class.  An isle seat will be preferable so you can get up and move around easily.  Sitting for long periods of time is bad for your circulation.  Be sure to stay hydrated as high altitudes tend to cause dehydration.  Close proximity to a restroom is also preferable.  Bring a neck pillow or small lumbar pillow for comfort.
  2. DRIVING:  Short trips close to home are generally considered safe during all three trimesters.  Anything farther than 1-2 hours away should be limited to the first and second trimesters.  Be sure to take breaks every 1-2 hours and walk around.  Also be sure to stop whenever needed to take restroom breaks.  This will help avoid any urinary infections caused by holding your urine.  Bring a pillow to support your lower back.  You are recommended to wear a seatbelt but I can only wear the shoulder harness as the lap belt cuts off circulation.  Don’t try this at home kids!!
  3. BOATS OR CRUISES: Boating is great as long as you wear a life vest and you stay hydrated.  It is easy to dehydrate when out on the water.  Cruises on the other hand I can’t say ya or nay to.  If there is no outbreak of some known or unknown disease then you are good.  Who knows if your ship will be the next in quarantine or not?  I personally will wait until after the babe is born to take any cruises.

MY BABYMOONS

PRE-BABYMOON: DENVER & VAIL, COLORODO  (Thanksgiving 2014-Nov 26th-Dec 4th)

Since the lil guy was conceived on Thanksgiving vacation I couldn’t help but include.  Just looking at the pictures and knowing that my lil peanut was inside of me growing makes me smile.

Oxana & I being chauffeured through the Rockies
Oxana & I being chauffeured through the Rockies
Oxana & I Resort in Vail
Oxana & I Resort in Vail
Colorado is so beautiful...this was taken at Red Rocks the natural amphitheater
Colorado is so beautiful…this was taken at Red Rocks the natural amphitheater

BABYMOON #1 SEAL BEACH, CALIFORNIA (May 6th-10th & 15-16th)

I chose this location because I wanted to visit one of my best girl friends.  She just so happens to live in one of the cutest little beach towns in Southern California…how convenient.  I stayed in one of the cutest little hotels, The Pacific Inn.  It didn’t look like much on the outside but it was fully renovated & the closest place to stay near the beach.

Debbie & I at Seal Beach Pier
Debbie & I at Seal Beach Pier 6 months Prego
Science Museum Los Angeles, California 5 months prego
Science Museum Los Angeles, California 6 months prego
The Pacific Inn: Cutest Little seaside hotel with open air pool area
The Pacific Inn: Cutest Little seaside hotel with open air pool area
Palm trees in Seal Beach
Palm trees in Seal Beach

BABYMOON #2 KAUAI, HAWAII (May 10-15th)

Now anyone that knows me knows I have a special affinity for Hawaii.  Ever since I first visited in 2005 I have been hooked everything from the climate to the vibe to the people.  This is definitely a place that I am able to reflect, relax & completely release any stresses…lets face it, who cares what is going on anywhere else when you are in Hawaii!  This trip was a solo one for many reasons.  It was last minute, I mean I was already in California…why not fly a few more hours and spend a few days in heaven.

Fresh Coconut...my absolute favorite treat
Fresh Coconut…my absolute favorite treat
Kamokila Hawaiian Village-Traditional Birthing House
Kamokila Hawaiian Village-Traditional Birthing House
Enough Said...
No words to describe the sheer majesty of Hawaiian Beaches

BABYMOON #3 COROLLA, NORTH CAROLINA (June 20th-July 9th)

This was the last and final Babymoon on my agenda.  Over two weeks in the Outer Banks, in our cozy beach house in the woods, Toad Hall.  The beach, the woods & a few of my best girlfriends for some much needed R&R.  I didn’t spend much time doing anything but napping on the beach.  I did manage to get in at least 6 miles a day walking on the beach for most of the trip.  I was early in the third trimester though & exhaustion started taking its toll.  That and it was super hot outside.  Excessive heat and pregnancy do not mix well so I had to cut back on my walks toward the end of the trip.

My best girl Teenie gave me henna belly tattoo before my trip!
My best girl Teenie gave me henna belly tattoo before my trip!
7 months Prego
My Happy Place-The Beach 7 months Prego

Now we are very close to meeting our precious little one.  Less than 2 months to go so I won’t be doing any more lavish trips.  I must say I feel like a beached whale now and much prefer to stay home in peace, quiet and most importantly AC.  Which can now be accomplished since the teen siblings have gone home.  Love the kids but I love my quite too!