Meet Our First “Week-in-the-life of”
Voyaging Foods is interested in growing our community of like-minded health-enthusiasts.
Every first week of the month, a new artisan, creative or healthy & local food enthusiast will be taking over our social media to show us a week-in-their-life.
Hi, I’m Susie and I write about running and yoga, on my website.
But it’s more about ‘the long run lifestyle’ and how we can work towards staying happy & healthy for more than a few days, weeks or months, but for the long run.
Yoga and running are both free and accessible forms of exercise that enable us to celebrate, explore and live creatively, energetically – building strength, health and fitness so we can get the best out of life. In the words of Tao Porchon Lynch, the world’s oldest yoga teacher:
“There is nothing you cannot do.”
In addition to feeling fitter and healthier personally, LRY is also about giving something back to our support system, the environment. Once we feel connected internally, maybe after a spot of running & yoga, we can connect externally with everything outside around us – and yes, I’m sounding like a hippy now. But seriously – do what you can – get outside, recycle & reuse, be a wise consumer and breathe deeply. LRY is simply about moving and doing, so we can meet the full potential of each & every day.
I started running at age 11, by accident.
At the time my naïve self would have told you I was a swimmer. But with just one look at my shoulders you would have known otherwise. Luckily, I loved running and it seemed to like me. As an undergraduate student at Newcastle University in England I discovered yoga – and basically have been doing a mixture of the two ever since. I spent two great years as a graduate student at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff from 2000-2002, running competitively with the cross-country and track programs, but then took a few years off from serious running to travel and work. In 2011 I started a blog about yoga and running as I started marathon training, which in turn developed in to a website. This site is where I now share a few insights from the world of running and yoga, which combined have helped me to stay sane, learn, travel and meet incredible people!
Taro was first introduced to me in the spring of 2011, during a work trip to the island of Tutuila, American Samoa. My husband and I stayed in a village where our neighbors would share their Sunday meal with us. The spread included baked chunks of taro covered in a savory coconut sauce served with fish and bananas that had all been cooked in an ‘umu’ or earth oven. To me, it was the Pacific version of an English Sunday lunch, just replace the meat, potatoes, vegetables and gravy with your tropical alternative et voila!
Prior to my Samoan experience of taro I had discovered the root vegetable in Hawaii – where taro – Kalo – is a symbol of life’s inherent connectedness. The first Polynesians to settle the islands carried kalo in their voyaging canoes – and Hawaiian legend tells the story of how every person of Hawaiian descent is related to the kalo plant.
Samoa had piqued my interest in taro, and when we landed back on Hawaii in the fall of 2011 I was determined to learn more. I had also started running on the trails of the Ko’olau mountains of Oahu, which, being very demanding, required extra energy in the form of sugary energy gels and bars. Harking back to days of cold cross-country running in the UK, I remembered how my Mum would bake a type of granola bar, which we called ‘Flapjacks’ that fuelled many a growing teenager, and adults alike. And so, working on the theory that taro was a simple carbohydrate (with a yet chocked with vitamins and minerals, I decided to try and make a Hawaiian version of the flapjack – using a taro flour. A period of trial and error began, but it was great fun – experimenting in the kitchen with various ingredients – some more traditionally ‘Hawaiian’ than others, such as pineapple!
I began making not only taro based energy bars, but taro cookies, and mixed taro with mashed banana, spirulina and also added it to bread recipes. Fast forward to 2015 and I now bake with taro at every opportunity!
The point is that taro is a versatile, easy-to-use and incredibly ‘good-for-you’ product. I know this is not ‘news’ to Hawaiians, and people who have never stopped using taro, or eating pa’i’ai or poi. But it was news to me – an implant from England with an interest in everything life has to offer.
When I found Voyaging Foods taro flour I was stoked! Here is a company who grow taro and mill flour on a small-scale, are locally owned and managed – and have a similar outlook on the importance of non-imported, home-grown products. I can’t wait to start testing more Voyaging Foods products to create recipes and make nutritious, energy packed goods that I can take out onto the beaches and trails.