Balance for the Holidays

I laughed when I opened this post.

I swear we didn’t plan this.

Kat is back with her bi-weekly spot.  It focuses on balance over the holidays…. and it rounds out perfectly this week of posts focusing on holiday survival.

Are you with me the on the #KitchenWorkout?

Most of my posts have been about clean eating and balancing it out with some treats.  Leave it to Kat to keep me honest on the mental front.  It’s not always easy with all we have going on, holiday family visits, and end of the year thing at work!

Don’t neglect yourself  – keeping a healthy mental state will benefit you and everyone around you. 😉

Here’s Kat…


I hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving holiday!  Mine was unreal!  As usual, I had a TON of work to do, but I was in Hawaii.  This felt like a conundrum at first… but I gave myself the “in the long run” pep talk and knew what I needed this trip was balance!

My sister, Kristyn, lives in Hawaii, and because of the cost of travel, she rarely gets visitors.  So, my mom moved Thanksgiving to Hawaii this year!!  I had never been, so I was especially excited to visit my sister, see the island, and celebrate one of my favorite holidays!  My friend Jimmy also came along for the ride!

All in all, I give the trip an A!  The grade is based on the fact that I got a lot of work done, and was also able to spend a couple of care-free days enjoying myself and time with my family.

Whale Watching

Hawaii is NOT really a place for foodies.  However, it IS really a place for active folk!

I don’t know how many miles I swam in the ocean.  Yes, miles. (Editor’s Note: I cannot even imagine doing this… you rock, Kat.)  I also got to run more than I should have (poor IT band, sometimes it hates me for how much I love to run), and got in hours of surfing!   All of this helped to keep off the thanksgiving lbs we all tend to rack up!

I hadn’t surfed in almost 10 years, but after a quick lesson from my sister’s boyfriend on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, I was back up and at it!  Surfing so early in the trip was perfect because not only was it a blast, but it also helped me bring balance into the rest of my trip.

I’m nerdy and metaphorical (Editor’s Note: It’s part of her charm), but after falling a couple of times, and remembering to get up and try again to keep my balance, I knew I would make it through the trip alive, and that I would be able to keep this balance thing going! (I also did some yoga on the long board.)

So after swimming a few miles in the ocean after surfing, I took my Monday to work.  Almost 8 hours at Coffee Gallery in Haliewa, HI.  I got all of the research for my independent study done, and then had an awesome dinner with my mom and sis, and a fun Thanksgiving trip to Whole Paycheck – yep, they’re all over the island!  Besides the fact that my sister kept poking fun at me for being the only chick in Hawaii swimming in a one piece, this balance thing already felt good.

Tuesday I spent the day with my big brother (I mean, my sister’s boyfriend, John).  It was AWESOME.  We hiked up Koko Head.  1,200 feet of elevation gain in 1 kilometer.  It was so much fun and beautiful up top, with 360 views of the southeast side of the island.

Afterwards there was more swimming and lunch.  Later that day I got another opportunity to sneak in some work!

Koko Head

Wednesday was one of my favorite days, randomly enough.  I spent the day with my sister at work.  She works at Starbucks, so I could work on my 35-page independent study all day, and see her, meet all of her friends, and get a run in.

It went pretty well up until about oh, 7 miles into my run, when I realized I was 5 miles from where I needed to be, my IT band wouldn’t let me run another step, and I had to flag down a cop to pick me up and drive me most of the way back into town because the cab I called couldn’t find me.  You follow?  Yes, ride in the back of a cab car in Hawaii.  If only I had a picture of that!  This day still felt balanced because of the assortment of randomness and the work that got done!  (Editor’s Note: Only you… 😉 )

Thanksgiving also rocked!  We surfed in the morning, and I got to spend a bunch of time working while my mom and sister cooked up most of our amazing feast.  I made gluten-free stuffing.  However, I made another contribution that I am eternally sorry for – popcorn.  Yes, I broke a tooth on a kernel and am off to the dentist today to see what can be done.  Yikes!

Sisters contemplating the waves 

The trip was certainly balanced, and I feel more connected to my sister than ever.  Amazing!  How lucky to get to swim, surf, and run for a week in Hawaii!?!  Thanks mom! 

Now, I am in the throws of finals, and hope you all wish me luck in the coming weeks, as I finish the two papers and conquer business tax!  Balance might even be more important this week!


I know jealously is unattractive… but I am insanely jealous of Kat on this trip! :)

How do you remind yourself to stay balanced?

Last dental problem that you caused yourself?  (Editor’s Note: I cracked a tooth on a hard nut in a piece of carrot cake on Thanksgiving… but the worst was breaking my jaw.)


  1. says

    Great post! Balance is something I have to remind myself to remember– whether it be with school work, diet, or just life. It’s so important to take time for yourself and really enjoy the days we’re given! :) Life would be pretty boring and lame if we were rigid 24/7 haha

    • Kat says

      “remind myself to remember” – i like that – positive reinforcement for remembering rather than “not forgetting”! 😉

  2. says

    I just love the picture of the apple with a six pack. Hilarious! Ooh based on all this I’d love to live in Hawaii! Must be a beautiful place to run too.

    Totally agree everything in life is about balance. Work hard but don’t injure yourself in the process. That’s my motto 😉

  3. says

    I struggle with balance too but I keep trying.. sometimes ya got to remember what us old folks know – life is short & sometimes shorter than we expected.. we don’t live forever & neither do loved ones..

    Great post!

  4. says

    I LOVE Hawaii and how amazing that you got to spend Thanksgiving there! Sounds like you had an amazing and very active trip!

    I’m working on balance now with life, work, my blog and now nutrition school. It’s definitely a balancing act, I’m working on scheduling time every morning and afternoon for gym, school work and blogging. But I also need relax time too, so fitting that in when I can :)

  5. says

    Great post and super jealous of Kat’s trip!! Balance is definitely something that I struggle with every day too. I try to think about the things that I have to do versus feel like I need to do versus want to do and try to pare down my list. Otherwise things get too crazy.

    • Kat says

      :) Yes- paring down lists!!!! I struggle with it, but am making it happen! Too many people want to much from us. We are only one person. Sheesh – makes me think – how do I make people feel about what I need from them? I try to let them know I need not much. 😉

  6. Shaina says

    Laura!! You are DEAD WRONG – Hawaii IS a place for foodies! Maybe you just didn’t know where to look! Glad you had fun in my home :)

    • Kat says

      We did go to one place that was featured on the food network – Opal’s Thai Place.. and it was… probably the best thai food I ever had in my mouth, but it was not an experience I enjoyed. My sister maybe just did not know where to take us. Honestly, besides the beaches, O’ahu was kinda.. dumpy. We also went to one other “fine dining” place on the southeast side of the islands, but I was unimpressed. Where do you like to go so I can send my sis?!?!?!

  7. says

    I have not been to Hawaii in so very long, too long. my dad is from there, and growing up I spent my summers there and would visit in college, but I really need to get back. we still have a house there, and I have an idea of taking a trip there with Dad once we finally hear he is cancer free!! #CrossesFingers

    I haven’t had too many teeth problems, except ONE. in college during a tennis tournament, my doubles partner swung his racquet back and my face got in the way – it hit my lower jaw and side of face – years later the nerves are affected and I have had to remove one tooth, perhaps another. GAAH. going to the dentist is a big fear, for any kind of work!!

    I am staying balanced right now by juicing and eating clean in between the holiday festivities – then I will do a post holiday juice fast / raw diet for a bit, clean up :)

    • Kat says

      Juice fast is something I have never done… hmmmmm….. I just thinking eating clean 90% of the time does the trick. 😉 who knows the benefits I might FEEL!?

      Praying and sending good thoughts to your dad – I really hope you get out to see him!

      • says

        thank you, Kat! Dad is actually here on the mainland with me – my thought is for both of us to take a trip to Hawaii as an “all clear” celebration! :)

        and YES – if you eat clean most of the time, a juice fast would most likely be VERY easy for you, with minimal side effects but maximum GOOD – lots of crazy energy!!

  8. says

    I want to go on holidays…somewhere hot…somewhere with sand. somewhere with a beach :)

    Balance…I think it’s something we have to work at everyday and be mindful of as we go along!

    • Kat says

      Ugh, getting off the plane in 32 degree 7:00am weather was brutal. Let’s pray for spring and summer to get here faster, please. Especially with these 5:29pm sunsets! I need light!

  9. says

    Wow! What a week! How fantastic to see the island for the first time, enjoy so much activity, and spend one of the best holidays with your family! I’ve never been to Hawaii but I’ve always wanted to visit…now I REALLY want to go!!

    PS, your tattoos look really cool in that last pic! What are they of?

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