Earth Day Field Trip: The Lyon Arboretum

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Recently, on a day off, my kids asked to go on a hike. Having lived here all my life, for some reason, I have never visited the Lyon Arboretum in Manoa. It was the first time visiting for all of us. It’s a wonderful hike if you have elementary and middle school children. There is an app with an audio tour and information about the various gardens and trails. There are also signs that give valuable information on the various plants. They even mark the ones that are endangered. The kids love to follow the map, identifying the markers along the main trail up to the ‘Aihualama Falls. Here’s some information about the arboretum to help prepare you for this fun educational field trip.

Where is it?
The arboretum is hiding behind Treetops Restaurant at Paradise Park. Just drive past the Mānoa Falls parking lot and trailhead. At first it doesn’t look like there is anything beyond the Mānoa Falls parking lot as the road starts to narrow, but keep going and soon you will see the parking lot for the Lyon Arboretum visitors. You can get driving directions and transit options on their website.

History
“In 1919, HSPA(Hawai’i Sugar Plantation Association) purchased 124 acres in upper Mānoa to serve as a test site to evaluate trees that could be used for reforestation throughout the islands, and to test sugarcane seedlings.  The test site became the basis of the Manoa Arboretum.  Planting began in 1920, and was essentially completed by 1945. In the late 1940’s HSPA had achieved their reforestation research objectives and no longer needed the site.  Dr. Lyon strongly believed that Hawai‘i needed a botanical garden and saw this as an opportunity for the state of Hawai`i. In 1953 the Board of Regents of the University of Hawai‘i accepted the land from HSPA for fee of $1.00. The deed stipulated that the University ‘…use, maintain and preserve the granted premises as an arboretum and botanical garden only.’  Lyon used his own money to fund Arboretum operations. When Dr. Lyon died in 1957, he left part of his estate in trust, to help fund the Arboretum in perpetuity.  Seven days later, the University of Hawai`i Board of Regents renamed the Manoa Arboretum the Harold L. Lyon Arboretum.  A plaque located along the main trail commemorates the many contributions of Dr. Lyon.” (Lyon Arboretum website)

Before you go
First, check out their website – it has a huge wealth of information. Everything from the history, visiting hours, tour times, calendar of events, information about research, how to volunteer, safety guides, and more. They offer events such as Mindful Hike and Yoga, Botanical Jewelry Workshop, and Plant Sales.
Download the Lyon Arboretum app. The app has an audio tour that you and your kids can play while exploring the gardens. The audio tour is a great way to learn about Hawaiian history and the indigenous plants, as well as, their usefulness and importance to the environment.

What to expect
Once you get there, you will see the visitors center. A volunteer is there to greet you. There is a place to sign in and a donation box ($5 recommended). Free maps are available and you can buy snacks, water, souvenirs, seeds, plants, and handcrafted items. If it’s rainy, there are umbrellas for visitors to borrow.

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Daily guided one-hour tours are offered Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. for $10 per person. Space is limited, so it is recommended that you call 24 hours in advance to reserve a space. Walk-ins are accommodated if there are spaces available.
My boys and I wandered around some of the various gardens before heading onto the main trial toward the ‘Aihualama Falls. The trail is safe for most children. We saw children as young as about 5 years old on the trail. It took us about 45 minutes to leisurely get to the falls. Mānoa is typically damp and prone to mosquitoes, so applying some sort of repellant and sunscreen is recommended.
A little less than half way up the main trail is the Hawaiian Section – a large area consisting entirely of native Hawaiian plants. This also, served as a nice spot to rest and drink some water before continuing on to the falls.


Be sure to bring your camera, if you’re like me, you’ll want to take photos of the many plants every 2 to 3 feet!


When we got up to the falls, it was pretty dry. You’ll be able to view a photo-perfect waterfall if you go right after a recent rainfall.

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Kids’ assessment
When I asked my kids (Gavin, 11 and Cameron, 9) for feedback, here’s how it went.

Me: Gavin, how did you like the arboretum?
Gavin: It was fun.
Me: Cameron, would you go again?
Cameron: Sure

So, there you have it, simply stated.

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CRYO Therapy Hawaii by Egan Inoue Opening on January 18th

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Why would I want to go into a cryotherapy chamber? I don’t like the cold. I can’t even stand to go into the produce refrigerator at Costco, but, there was a part of me that was curious.  What are the health benefits? How does it work? Is it safe? — were just some of the questions I wanted answered. 

On Monday, January 18th, professional athlete and owner of Egan’s Training Center, Egan Inoue and Dr. Craig Haga, will hold the Grand Opening of CRYO Therapy Hawaii. Some of us who train at his gym, were able to get a pre-opening treatment. I decided to make an appointment and see what the big deal is all about. Floyd Mayweather, LeBron James, and Kobe Bryant are a few professional athletes that opt for the chilly sci-fi cylinder to boost their athletic performance.I chose a whole body and facial spot treatment. Here is what I learned during my time there:

History
Cryotherapy began in Japan, developed in Europe and migrated to the United States. Treatment is intended to address pain and inflammation for sports injuries, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and skin conditions. Providers of cryotherapy are usually physical therapists, chiropractors, athletic trainers, and holistic healers.(wholebodycryotherpy.org)

How does it work?
“With Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC) the body is exposed to ultra-low temperatures, triggering a systematic anti-inflammatory response. This modality was first utilized in Japan in 1978 to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Studies conducted over the last two decades have established WBC as a powerful treatment for inflammatory disorders and injuries. The accelerated production of collagen improves skin elasticity and texture, reversing skin aging and the appearance of cellulite.” (CRYO Therapy Hawaii brochure)

What are the health benefits?
Immune system – Cryotherapy improves the function of the immune system and decreases stress levels.

Skin – Exposure to temperature -160 degrees Celsius (-256 degrees Fahrenheit) triggers the systemic release of anti-inflammatory cytokines, and decreases circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines. This internal response decreases inflammation in all areas of the body.

Musculoskeletal – The anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of cryotherapy can drastically improve joint disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. Athletes use whole body therapy to recover from injuries and improve their performance.

Endocrine – The exposure to extreme cold causes the body to turn up its metabolic rate in order to produce heat. This effect lasts for up to 42 hours after the procedure, causing the body to burn up to 800 calories following the procedure. After several procedures. The increase in metabolic rate tends to last longer. Another “survival reaction” to the extreme cold temperatures is the release of endorphins (hormones) that have analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, and improve mood disorders. (CRYO Therapy Hawaii brochure)

Is it safe?
Based on my experience, I felt the process to be comfortable and safe. I could see why you would never do it alone. Many express concern because of the recent death of Chelsea Ake-Savacion. Although there are not many details known about her death, we do know she was alone. There is a door that latches shut and a hydraulic that lifts you up so that you end up shoulder deep in the chamber when doing the whole body cryotherapy treatments. The controls are all on the outside. So if you are in a cryotherapy chamber, you cannot access the control panels located outside, which are operated by a staff member who is with you throughout the process.

When in doubt, it is wise to consult a physician before trying the therapy. I asked one client who came for a shoulder injury about her doctor’s opinion. Her doctor had no reservations about her doing the therapy and said she could do it an unlimited amount of times as long she found it helpful.

What to expect from whole body cryotherapy
Women have the option of going in nude. Most women go in their undies, bikini, or sports bra. It’s good to have a lot of skin exposure. Men can go in undies and/or shorts.

 

When you arrive at CRYO Therapy Hawaii, you will be given a cotton robe, gloves, socks and some slip on shoes to cover your feet. You want to protect your little digits. Thus, no “naked time” for the guys. Egan being Egan (meaning – he’s CRAZY, DO NOT TRY THIS), said he tried “naked time” and simply put, he said, “It hurts.”

When you get into the large cylinder chamber, the door will be closed, and at that time, you will take off your robe. A staff member on the outside will be operating the functions of the chamber. The floor beneath you in the chamber will lift until you are shoulder deep in the chamber and you can see above its rim. The nitrogen will have already started to fill the chamber. They kept me in for about 90 seconds. You can move around, dance, or talk to staff and other clients waiting to make the time go by faster. However, it really didn’t seem long at all. At -250 degrees Fahrenheit, it sounds very uncomfortable, but I didn’t think so. My legs felt it the most, cold and tingly. Other clients said their legs felt “crunchy.” You can go in for another treatment soon after, which Egan recommends, to receive maximum benefits. Before going in for another treatment (which I did) I had to wait for my body temperature to go back to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The reason for this is for skin safety. This time, my legs felt a bit colder.

It took a good 20-30 minutes for my core to cool down. They gave me a cup of tea and I was still shivering while I was drinking it outside in the sun at high noon. I felt really good throughout the rest of my day and slept soundly that night. The benefit of the therapy lasts up to 42 hours after the session, fighting inflammation and burning extra calories.

Spot treatment
Right after the whole body treatment I did the spot treatment for the face head and neck. In the spot treatment room, there is a large white comfy chair that the client lays in on their back. There is the machine, also known as “the elephant,” that blows nitrogen vapors through a hose. Marcia (Egan’s wife and former competitive gymnast) administered my treatment. She started in the scalp area, which felt really good. When she got to my face, it took a little getting used to. I could feel the skin tightening as the super cold vapors were blowing around my face. The benefits were much more apparent with this treatment. My skin felt much tighter and smoother instantly.


My take on cryotherapy
Although I cannot comment on the long term benefits, I did feel it alleviated tightness in my neck and shoulders. The staff at CRYO Therapy Hawaii has a lot of fun and they make the clients feel at home. It’s super quick, so it’s not like a massage experience that is longer and you can relax and maybe even take a nap. If you are looking for an anti-aging, weight loss, or anti-inflammation regiment, this is a great option. I will definitely go again.

Information
CRYO Therapy Hawaii, by Egan Inoue
2600 South King Street, Suite K106
Honolulu, HI 96826
808-397-6407

Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

www.cryotherapyhawaii.com

Weight Loss and Life-Long Health Goes Beyond Nutrition and Exercise

 

The Cabbage Soup Diet, Jenny Craig, The Hot Dog, Egg, and Some Other Thing I Can’t Remember Diet – like many women, I’ve tried all kinds of diets to keep the weight off.  Never being successful, until now, I learned the most important thing about losing weight and keeping it off.  I learned that no matter what, the change had to be made with my self-worth first.  I have to believe everyday that the work is done in this order – Spirit, Mind, and Body.  The body will reflect what lives in the spirit and mind. How I lost my weight and increased my energy has everything to do with habits I found necessary for me to live a happy life.  Here are some of the adjustments I made in my perspective to accomplish more than just weight-loss.

Goal Setting
The managing trainer (more like a life coach), Kimi Morton, at Egan’s Fit Body Bootcamp, says, “What you can measure, you can manage.”  In other words, we can’t just say that we want to lose weight.  If we say exactly how many pounds we want to lose, set a deadline, and detail what actions we will take to get there, we can be laser focused on accomplishing our goals.  Making it an easy bite size goal is important too, we need to be able to meet our goals because that is what is going to make us feel awesome and ready to set the next step to the ultimate “Big Dream” goal.  For myself, it was, I will lose 1-2 pounds a week to lose 5 pounds in a month by exercising at least 5 times a week.  My husband and I now do this for our financial goals by saying how much we will save per month so we can take a Japan trip with the whole family next year.  I also apply this to how many hours and pages I will cover in my study material to pass the CPA exam.  “Eat That Frog!” by Brian Tracy recommended by Kimi, helped tremendously.  I highly recommend this book if you want to learn to prioritize and have many things, like I do, that you would like to accomplish.

Have a Support Group and Surround Yourself With People Smarter Than You
I most certainly could not have met my weight loss goal if I didn’t have people to hold me accountable.  By having a small group of people after the same goal, you have no choice but to be accountable for your actions.  If you have to report to people about how much progress you’re making, if you stick to your meal plan, and they notice if you aren’t going to your workout, you will be less likely to fall off the wagon.  Also, by having trainers teach me about metabolism and protein and carbohydrate ratios was eye-opening.  

I work in an accounting firm and during tax season, I got smart and allowed others to help me.  Half way through the season I went for lomilomi massage treatment and hired a personal chef.  Just doing these two things lifted such a weight off my shoulders.  I was able to eat healthy with the help of the personal chef.  It was one of the roughest tax seasons we had in a long time, but I felt clear-minded and had enough energy to pull me through the season.  I used to pride myself in doing everything myself. Now, I know it is best for people to help one another by doing what they love.  I am able to share my light by helping people through my career in accounting and love of writing.  By allowing friends to help me with my healing and nutritional needs, I am assisting them in sharing their light as well.  This exchange of helping one another, to me, is the meaning of true abundance!
Reward Your Future Self
The wonderful side effect of proper goal setting and having a support group is being more productive without feeling run down.  I have also picked up a new favorite phrase that keeps me from procrastinating, which is, “reward your future self.”  I got this from Pualena Pakele & Cabot on her “Hot Better Pop” podcast with Kimi Morton (Check out this podcast if you’re interested in life hacks, nutrition, beauty, productivity, unicorns, etc.).  So now, every time I think I am tired and I can just do something later, for example, prepping my breakfast and the kids’ after school snacks the night before, I think about whether I’m rewarding or punishing my future self. This is usually enough to keep me from leaving it to be done the next morning.  This means I always have my 5 a.m. workout clothes on the bathroom counter so I don’t have to decide what to wear at 4:30 a.m.

Cheat Meals (Joy) Are (Is) Essential
That’s right!  I must have a guilt-free cheat meal or two on the weekends.  I LOVE FOOD!  I have certainly learned to love eating cleaner simply because it makes me feel better. However, my husband and I love good sushi, Italian food, and gelato! Not only is it better in the long run to have a sustainable diet that the body is used to, but it’s also necessary to have it as part of a joyful life.  Food is an important part of our culture, brings family and friends together, and used in celebrations.  Therefore, we have to be able to live with food and enjoy it without any guilt, otherwise, chocolates, wine, and pasta will not get the full attention and appreciation it deserves.  Now that’s sad!  So eat healthy and work hard, but balance it with decadence and play!

Bless EVERYTHING!
This is the biggest lesson of all.  Going back to Spirit, Mind and Body.  We can bless our spirit and mind through meditation and learning about things that bring us joy.  We can also bless our bodies through exercise and putting fresh, non-processed foods into our bodies.  It doesn’t have to stop there.  When, I do work for a client, cook food for my family, speak to another, clean my house, I stop and ask myself what kind of energy am I putting into my action and words.   We have a big house and I sometimes catch myself thinking that the cleaning is never ending.  So, at that point I switch my thoughts to gratitude, because when I do, I realize that when I am gratefully cleaning my home, I am blessing it, and when you clean a home that is a blessing rather than a burden, it becomes more beautiful to look at.  Now, blessing is slowly becoming more of a habit and suddenly grumpy clients are kinder, clothes get folded more neatly, food gets better prepared and my physical self is also much improved.  I’m still working on “blessing” our 6 bedroom house, or perhaps I just need to embrace the mess.  Anyways, everything is always a work in progress.  

So, I guess the moral of this story is, if you want to improve something, be grateful for what you have and BLESS IT!!
 Down 20 lbs.and 8% body fat

Egan’s Fit Body Bootcamp, More Than Just a Gym

AUTOBOTS! TRANSFORM! Well okay, Egan’s Fit Body Bootcamp may not transform your body as fast as Optimus Prime can turn himself from a cab-over truck into a giant robot, but Bootcamp has transformed a lot of bodies in a short amount of time. It has also transformed my outlook on my capabilities from the first day I began working out there. I continue to be surprised every day I show up at their Honolulu location located on S. King Street in Mo’ili’ili.  As a working mother of two boys, I was looking for an early morning workout group. I searched the internet and found Egan’s Fit Body Bootcamp, which is owned by professional athlete Egan Inoue and his wife, Marcia Inoue who is also a former competitive gymnast. After reading a few articles and reviews I decided to check it out and took advantage of their unlimited 21 days for $49.95 which is still being offered.  I used to be a runner, but running at 5 am in the dark wasn’t something I felt safe doing by myself.  Much to my surprise, I found more than a safe place to workout.  I found a positive environment of other working parents, singles, and seniors who come to sweat, challenge one another, and grow together, not just in strength and endurance, but also in character. It doesn’t matter how athletic or experienced you are, it’s suitable for all ages and levels.  There is even a keiki bootcamp on Saturdays.

On Day One, Shortly after Brielle, my tour guide for the morning, showed me around the gym, the room was filled wall to wall with early risers ready for class.  Wow, I never knew so many people woke up so early!  Every 5 am class has about 40 to 50 members in attendance.  On this Monday, Egan Inoue, the man himself, set up various exercise stations.  Twenty minutes into the 30 minute session, I had to rest or pass out.  It’s been a while since I’ve taken an excercise class.  A basic sit-up, jumping jack, or a push-up is pretty much just used as a break.  Now all these are done in combination with something else.  For example, doing a sit-up into a tuck jump or combining squats with jumping jacks.  At 5 am, it kind of works the brain too.  Towards the end, I was on the punching bags and exhausted, but, my neighbor said, “We only have 10 more seconds. Finish strong.”  Those words motivated me to finish harder and faster in those last 10 seconds.  Egan also went around supporting and challenging everyone, “Don’t stay comfortable!”  I made it to the end of my first session.  It was a challenge but I felt strong and thought that maaayyyyybe I could do a pull-up before the end of this year.  We shall see, but, just the fact that at the end of my session I began to think of the possibility that I could be strong enough to do something that I could never do before was a transformation that made me start to see that the only limits are the ones we place on ourselves through our thoughts.  I already intellectually knew this and used it as an affirmation, but now I actually started to FEEL IT and BELIEVE IT!

So, after Day One, I was hooked and really excited about the rest of the week and, if you can imagine, feeling quite happy and tough with all my muscle pain. I’m not sure what “tabata” means, but to me it means SUCKING WIND!  Just when I thought it couldn’t get harder than the first day, this high intensity workout on my second day led by the managing trainer, Kimi Morton proved me wrong.  Even when Kimi is saying stuff like, “the cure for pain is more pain, ” or threatening penalty burpees, she is a ray of sunshine!  She is always challenging us with a smile!  The best feeling though, is at the end of class when you look around and everyone is happy they made it through and congratulate each other with a traditional round of high-fives. 20140318-120524.jpg I was also able to enjoy a class with trainer Kyle Higa.  Like all the other trainers, Kyle is a lot of fun but sets the bar of expectations high in the sky, the sky’s the limit afterall.  Each day is not like the day before.  Kyle said we are doing “The Big Twelve.”  I was clueless, I won’t go into the details of “The Big Twelve, ” but I will say that I knew it would be another ass-kicking challenge when a veteran member said, “I’m scared.”  On this day we were working as a group to get through a series of exercises and couldn’t move on until everyone was done.  I used to hate group work in school, but this activity really united the group, not only did I feel great that I had made it through the workout but that there was this added bond because we were all helping one another complete the challenge together.

Their no-diet system was also not what I expected, but when explained, made total sense to me. Marcia suggested that I keep my current eating style but just change a couple of things. In my case, I get to eat more. I learned a little about metabolism and we decided to try adding more protein and eating a little earlier in the morning before my workout.  This simple act will raise my metabolism and keep it raised throughout the day.  I was able to let go of that guilty feeling I had for eating a very creamy and cheesy gourmet meal at the new Koko Head Cafe just the day before.

Egan, Marcia and their ohana at Egan’s Fit Body Bootcamp have created a very unique environment to strengthen the body and mind. Most of the workouts are just 30 minutes. What I love about this training center is that it’s safe, fun, and challenging. The schedules are perfect for those of us who work and have families. There is a support system here that is not available at other gyms. Here, everyone encourages one another like a team mate.  Most of all, no one ever gave me a high-five at other gyms or when I used to run around Diamond Head. Check out their website for more information on locations, schedules, and testimonials. I also highly recommend signing up for the newsletter where there are great tips on how to get the most out of the workouts, recipes, and current promotions. Egan’s Fit Body Bootcamp

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