That Hawaiian-Themed Camping Trip (Camping and Cooking Ideas)

So, I shared in a previous post about how we didn't get to go to Maui for Memorial Day Weekend, but instead took off on an impromptu adventure up the coast. We weren't going to waste any time crying about the whole thing. We jumped on the opportunity to get creative and come up with ways to have fun with some camping and cooking ideas. Because of our awesome and relaxed mind from all the meditation, (and yoga for me. He doesn't really dig the yoga like I do), we were excited to bring a little bit of Hawaii to us! Namely, Hawaiian-inspired snacks, beverages and cooking! We were going to camp, and we were going to camp in style! Because food is too awesome like that, we had a blast going to the Asian grocery stores to explore. In SF, the choices are: Nijiya Market (a Japanese grocery store) in Japantown, Manila Oriental Market (MOM for short, ha!) in the Outer Mission District, and Kukje (a Korean market) in Daly City. Nijiya was the closest, so off we went!

You wouldn't believe how fast we saw this bottle of Hawaiian water. Stocked next to all of the funny-named Japanese beverages (i.e. Pocari Sweat) and various sweetened green teas, there was no doubt that we would take this Hawaiian Isles bottle with us on our camping trip. Look at it. She was calling our name silently with her Lei and dance.

Above this water bottle were also cans of Hawaiian coffee! Sweet! Literally sweet, because it was blended with milk and sugar...mmm...just the way I like it! Not being an avid coffee drinker, I tend to only drink it in rare occasions like this. Just as long as there's milk and sugar. The "mister" likes his bitter, so he'll only have a little taste of this. More for me. Nom nom nom.

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100% Bottled Water from Hawaii!

coffee, milk, hawaii, kona, traveling, exploring

Blended Coffee with Milk from Hawaii Kona (or at least the label says it is)

Next on our delectable menu was Spam Musubi, a snack that's popular on the islands. It looks like a piece of sushi, except there's no fish involved! Also, sushi doesn't look like a rice hamburger like this. Sometimes, the slice of spam is on top of the rice, but we are Rogue Yogis so we can make this however the fuck we want. :)

We already had seaweed sheets and rice at home. What we needed was a can of Spam. I hoped the market would carry a subset of low-sodium Spam (I'm a yogi foodie, but I do care about my sodium intake, yo!), but they only had the normal Spam. Again, being lazy and on "vacation", we decided to just make do and grab the can.

hawaiian, spam, spam musubi, musubi, camping, camping foodHomemade Spam Musubi with Egg

To balance out the saltiness of the normal Spam, we decided to scramble some eggs and make a nice flat omelette-like layer. Sandwiched between two layers of rice, it worked out perfectly well! We were actually stuffed after eating 2 of these pieces. But, not enough to hit food coma, so we took a gorgeous hike for several miles to burn it off and eat some more.

By the time we got back, we were hungry AF! (If you don't know what "AF" means, it means "as F*ck!!").

Thankfully, we had made a bowl of brown-rice and tuna sashimi! Also known as a "poke bowl", it's such a clean yet tasty meal! With chopped up green onions from our backyard, we mixed in some Sriracha and soy sauce. The tuna sashimi was a bit pricey, so we only got one tray and chopped it up for this bowl. Tasty AF!!!

camping and cooking recipes, camping and cooking ideas, ahi bowl, poke bowl, hawaiian food, cooking, cooking ideas, camping

For dinner, we wanted to make Japanese hot pot. Known as "Shabu Shabu", this is the PERFECT thing to slurp on as the sun sets and as the weather cools down into the night. Not only do you get to choose what veggies you want, you also get to choose what seafood and/or thinly-sliced meats go into your belly!

Napa cabbage is always at the top of our list for veggies, followed by dino kale and green onions. Usually, you will see Spinach as an option at a shabu-shabu restaurant. In our case, we just hate that weird after-taste feeling all over our teeth when we eat too much Spinach. Dino Kale softens up real nice after simmering in the hot water, and leaves NO funky teeth feeling.

To join the veggies, we picked up some enoki mushrooms. These are the very thin, very long white stems with a tiny cap at the end. They are sold as one entire bunch and shrink-wrapped to keep them from going bad. Funny enough, there weren't any shiitake mushrooms at this Japanese market. Usually, there isn't an issue getting them even at American grocery stores. Ah, well. We weren't feeling like driving through the SF traffic to find them haha. Our lazy asses just stuck with what we could find here.

Rogue Yogi, Shabu Shabu, Cooking, Camping, Glamping, Japanese Food

For protein sources, we grabbed some FIRM tofu ("soft" tofu tends to break apart easily in the pot), fried fish cake, fish balls, and specialized "shabu-shabu" sliced lamb and pork. Some markets will have chicken, kobe beef and other sliced steak as alternative choices. For starchy carbs (which I can be addicted to, don't judge me), we picked up some Udon noodles without any soup base since we were creating our own broth by tossing all of this shit into the pot and letting it do its magic. Glass noodles could do really well, too, since they take only 10 seconds to cook! If you're that hungry and have no patience, go for the glass noodles, haha.

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Seriously, though! What other way would you bring Hawaii to YOU?! This was a really fun and collaborative thing to do in the midst of flowing with life's abrupt changes. Keeping things light-hearted and silly was just what made this whole trip worth it. I mean, isn't that what happens on a normal basis? Things change on you, whether you wanted them to or not. You may not be able to control these changes, but you can have the ability to handle the way you deal with them.



Making the Most Out of it in Life!

Happy Memorial Day weekend to all of you Rogue Yogis! Here's to all of those who served, and all of their families that stood right by their choice to serve. Cheers to everyone taking this weekend to explore and relax. *This is where I toast a glass of wine to all the BBQs going off everywhere!*

For the hubby and I, we were supposed to spend this weekend (and more) in Maui. It would've been my first time, as I've never been to Hawaii nor any of its islands. We had planned this trip over a month ago--well, my hubby's company planned the trip. The initial location was actually Mexico, but concerns over the Zica virus grew to the point of moving the destination to Maui.

Excitement built up to the day before our flight. I arranged for substitute yoga teachers for my classes at various yoga studios, which wasn't easy for Memorial Day Weekend!

We talked about the hikes, the snorkeling, the food, the food and the food. We even had time-blocked everything so we could get enough time to explore, nap and enjoy everything.

One thing we didn't talk about was the weather.

After he checked the weather, he found out that it would be thunder storming the entire week. We wouldn't be able to hike. Trails everywhere would be muddy. With an assortment of other reasons beyond our control, we made the decision not go to to Maui. No hiking, no exploring, no food.

This is where the old me would have sulked in a cave somewhere, whining about the situation. A lot of people would feel disappointed or attached to something like this. Totally understandable. But, what if you could focus on the new opportunity instead of the old one? What can happen when you seize the moment and get creative?

All this yoga and meditation practice, along with being so busy with Rogue Yogi, and having such a strong desire to explore, there wasn't much time or energy put into the negative. Standing behind my best friend, the love of my life, I wanted him to get a taste of Hawaii without us having to fly anywhere! Fun was still going to stay on our agenda. Exploring, hiking and FOOD were not going to budge, and that's just how we want it!

So, we grabbed our yogi puppycats, Franklin and Bowie, our camping gear, and our meal prep before we headed up north.  Bowie the Traveling Yoga Cat                                                                           Bowie the Traveling Yoga Cat

Poor Franklin. He is taking a bit longer to feel accustomed to riding in a car, despite being in many drives for the past few years. Hiding in his carrier, he couldn't come out to join Bowie in the furry excitement. Bowie the traveling Turkish Angora likes to perch on top of the dashboard, stare out the windshield, transfer to my lap, meow his commentary on the world outside, then transfer to his daddy's lap to do the same. We are a family of Wanderlusts.
According to the dictionary, the definition of "wanderlust" is:
 1. a strong desire to travel.

It's fucking awesome to have Wanderlust. So equally amazing to have a life partner that has it, too. Maybe it's contagious! What if we gave it to each other?! Then, we gave it to the cat! If so, then I am not complaining! This is something many of us in this world have. Why not drive somewhere to get inspired by something new?

On his agenda: Muir Beach, Muir Woods, the Zen Center SF, Samuel P. Taylor Park

On my agenda: Spam Musubi, Hawaiian water (100% from Hawaii!), Tuna Poke Bowl with Brown Rice, and Japanese Shabu-Shabu (aka Japanese "hot pot"). Mind you, the last meal isn't Hawaiian, but they have a connection somehow, so I'll take it. Also, we just love eating Shabu-Shabu on camping trips. More on that in another post, because I can keep talking about cooking and food for days. You can read about our camping and Hawaiian cooking ideas here!

flowers, muir beach, camping, traveling, flowers

Together, we made a solid plan to go off-the-grid, get away from the city life, and take all the nature in. What was really cool was that our first stop at Muir Beach had so much modernity to its physical structure. The man-made bridges and walkways on the sand had such clean lines. Our eyes couldn't help but follow the horizontal slats all the way out into the hills. Muir Woods also had equally modern mini-bridges in its park. If you're into architecture and design, these spots would be great for you to visit.

Julie the Rogue Yogi practices Tree Pose (Vrksasana) on the Muir Beach Bridge


Next up, the Green Gulch Farm Zen Center SF. Funny enough, we weren't in San Francisco at this point, but the nearby water is technically considered the SF bay, and the main Zen Center hub is in SF. Such a sanctuary. Signs directed us down a woodsy path that passed by the "conference" building. Billowy smoke puffed out of its chimney with scents of fresh wood. Private and shared rooms with large windows got our curiosity going. There were interesting architectural designs of the single rooms. It almost looked like an octagonal pagoda, with each room having a window facing outward.

A lake nearby rippled in the wind (it really was a windy day). Behind it, the farm and garden. Several small Buddha statues adorned the garden. Tags and snippets of paper tied to branches fluttered with the heavy winds. Maybe they were prayer flags from the little Buddhas. Surrounded by tall bamboo trees, these statues looked like they were right at home.

Meditative Buddha Statue Quiets His Mind


Nurseries full of baby kale, lettuce, and various plants struck our eyes with deep burgundy and green colors. Volunteers roamed about this area. Some were watering the plants. Others were tending to wheelbarrows. We guessed that these volunteers were doing this as part of their meditation experience. Being of service to be selfless, to quiet their minds, to give good karma.

zen center, farm, nursery, meditation, peaceful, garden

The Zen Center had a separate Tea Room. Next to it was a huge and rustic bell with words of peace and friendship.

Coming from an urban background, this was definitely a big contrast from the city life. Normally, there would be a yoga studio or my tiny-ass den to meditate in. This expansive space of lush greenery set the tone for some deep relaxation.

We work so hard sometimes (or all the time for us work-a-holics). It can be easy to let a lot of time pass by before we realize we need a break. When we finally take that break and breathe deep, we can clear some space from our heads and open up some room for creative ideas. At least, that's what my road-tripping meditation did for me. In the end, we didn't need to go to Hawaii to get this benefit. We didn't need to go far at all.

Check out this experimental short video I made on "hearing zen". Looking forward to seeing how these videos will evolve over time. Let me know what you think in the comments below!

-Rogue Yogi