Staying Healthy: Eating & Exercise (8/15 – 8/21)

More and more vegetarian and vegan products are becoming available these days, although in a limited market like Kaua’i they can be hard to find or expensive. Costco had a couple of plant-based options that we picked up last week, but we discovered a motherload of vegan options at Walmart as well which was quite the surprise. I had never really searched in the freezer section there before and as the doors are almost always frosted over I had no idea they carried such a variety of items. They had several vegan brands available, like Quorn, Field Roast, Gardein (a favorite), and Morningstar Farms, all at affordable prices. They’re not something we use frequently, but they will give us several more meal and protein options.

Last week I found a website that listed 51 vegan products that Costco (supposedly) regularly carries – our Kaua’i store carries three of them. Shopping trips have turned into treasure hunts as we look for plant-based options. Besides what we found at Walmart, last week’s surprise discovery was grilled vegetable ravioli, imported from Italy. They’re vegan, the ingredients look delicious, but we sadly know they most likely won’t be available the next time we shop. We have so far refused to shop at the natural food stores on the island because of their ridiculously high prices. We can occasionally find some vegan/vegetarian products at Safeway, but prices there can be equally high, so the challenge is ongoing, and we’re grateful for what we do find. I never thought I would be thankful for Walmart, but when it comes to food prices here, they, along with Costco and farmers’ markets, are a lifesaver.

We had four Japanese meals on our menu last week: sushi, zaru soba with accompaniments, mabo nasu, which we made with plant-based ground “be’f,” and Japanese-style tofu patties with a pickled radish salad. The vegan ground beef substitute was delicious. I’m not sure how we ended up with so many Japanese meals in one week, but it’s our favorite cuisine, and is light and easy to prepare. Sunday and Monday’s dinners were chosen for the purpose of getting the refrigerator cleaned out before Tuesday’s Big Shop. New cheeses on our board this week were smoked gouda, English cheddar, and a soft Boursin with herbs. We liked the tofu patties and will have them again, but thought the daikon & carrot namasu was just okay. The radish was quite spicy and didn’t work with the pickling mix.

Sunday: Sweet corn ravioli with pesto; roasted peppers, zucchini, and onion

Monday: Mini pizzas with leftover meat sauce

Tuesday: California roll sushi

Wednesday: Zaru soba; hiyayakko; cucumber namasu

Thursday: Mabo nasu; cucumber slices

Friday: Cheese board

Saturday: Tofu patties; radish & carrot namasu; cucumber slices

We splurged last week and bought a giant Costco apple pie for our dessert for the next several days. Not the healthiest of foods, but cut into 20 servings the calories are the same as a piece of baked oatmeal, and it will give me a short break from baking. Also, after eating pie for 10 days we hopefully won’t be wanting any more for a long, long time. Costco’s apple pies are vegan, by the way.

Below are the meals I’ve planned for this week. We’ll be using up our next to the last package of ground beef to make the egg roll in a bowl, and will try out one new recipe: Ina Garten’s Summer Garden pasta. It looks easy to prepare, and the only cooking required is the pasta. The vegan corn dogs were one of our finds at Walmart. We used to love the ones from Trader Joe’s, and hope these match up.

  • Grilled vegan burgers
  • Summer garden pasta
  • InstantPot bean burritos
  • Egg roll in a bowl
  • Vegan corn dogs
  • Mini pizzas
  • Cheese board
A rainbow here sometimes means rain is arriving, not that it’s finished (and boy it did show up last Monday).

We had good week of walking in spite of some questionable weather on a few days. We got caught in the rain on Monday after finishing the perimeter and heading down from the clubhouse, and both of us got soaked as there was nowhere to take cover. On Tuesday we did our Big Shop, always an exhausting experience (nearly two hours pushing a big cart). We thought we were going to melt from the humidity on Wednesday or be eaten by gnats, and Thursday was still humid but very windy and we left just as some rain was arriving. We picked up another full bag of trash off the course that day and at one point had over thirty wild chickens following us, apparently assuming what was in the bag was for them. Looking over our shoulders at all the chickens behind us was like something from a horror film, but they eventually figured out there would be no food and dropped off. Friday afternoon was lovely: not too hot and a nice breeze the entire time we walked, and Saturday was lovely as well.

Our haul on Thursday: 30 lost balls

We found an unbelievable 68 lost golf balls this past week, with an astounding 30 of them found on Thursday, and the other 38 spread out over the other five days we walked. We’re still shaking our heads in amazement as the golf course has only nine holes and no water hazards. We honestly start out every walk at the park hoping to find just one lost ball, but we’re very good at keeping our eyes open and looking in unexpected places and always seem to do better than just the one. On Thursday, as we approached the last hole where we walk (the sixth) we had already found eight lost balls, a very satisfying number. The sixth hole is split over a wooded gully that golfers need to hit over, and we occasionally find balls on the edge of the course near the green, ones that don’t quite make it over are left behind. As we were walking along on Thursday, Brett spotted a ball a bit down into the gully and climbed down to get it; a few steps later I spotted a ball in another section and climbed down as well. I picked up the ball, looked up, and thought I had stumbled into an elephant’s graveyard of lost balls. By the time I came back up to the course I had 12 balls in my pockets, and Brett had found an additional ten of them from the area where he had been. To say we had a very good week would be an understatement: lots of good exercise and lots of lost balls.

14 thoughts on “Staying Healthy: Eating & Exercise (8/15 – 8/21)

    1. Giving up meat was easier than I imagined it would be, and I think our slowly letting it go helped a lot (we still have a few more meat-based meals to go). Trying to do it abruptly has never worked for me. I tried vegan a few years ago and realized it didn’t work for me because I missed cheese too much, but have done OK without milk or eggs which has been a bit of a surprise.

      We’re going to sell them . . . eventually. For the time being we’ll continue to hunt, and learn all we can about selling. Apparently it’s quite lucrative.

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  1. What do you do with the balls? And if it’s the vegan roasted veggie ravioli we had here this spring, it is DELICIOUS! I’ll be looking for it at my Costco this week.

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    1. For now we’re just collecting and cleaning the golf balls, but they are beginning to take over the cabinet where we’ve been storing them. They’ll eventually be sold with the proceeds going into our travel funds.

      I am greatly looking forward to the ravioli. I wish it was something I could count on Costco carrying, but think it was a one-time deal. If we see it again we’ll buy more.

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    1. We are already out of storage! We are thinking of storing them in our giant bathtub as there really isn’t any other place to put them. Actually, the number we find will be decreasing as the number of tourists declines during the fall. I would be happy with finding just one or two a day for a while.

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  2. There are lots of vegan food options now, but some of them are as full of Franken-foods and GMOs as regular crappy food. Definitely have to pick through the options!

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  3. You may have better luck doing your big shop on a Wednesday instead of Tuesday. The barge from Honolulu arrives on Tuesday and most of the local stores restock shelves Tuesday night. I changed my shopping schedule after a Safeway cashier gave me that tip a few years ago and find fewer items out of stock.

    We walk Kukuiolono most mornings with our dogs. Maybe someday our schedules will change and we’ll cross paths.

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    1. Thanks for the tip – we have seen LOTS of pallets out recently on Tuesdays.

      I am hoping we can get together one of these days for coffee. Maybe with the number of visitors dropping we could meet at the Kalaheo Cafe? I will shoot you an email . . . .

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    1. We checked back a couple of times to see if any more balls had arrived back at the lost graveyard, but nothing. We’ll check again in a month. The groundskeepers are on a rotating schedule, and the last one did not look for balls but we think the new one does – they’ve been harder to find since he took over.

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    1. Yes, we will be selling the golf balls eventually, with the proceeds going into our travel fund. We had no idea that the used golf ball market was so lucrative – we were initially just finding them for fun!

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