Recap Time: Aloha from Hawaii, Healthy Eats, & Tennis Fun!


I thought I could beat jetlag by staying up for 24 hours, but my body’s alarm clock was like “nope.” I was up at 3:30 am (Hawaiian time) this morning. I’m going to try to stay up later again tonight and maybe take some melatonin. Oh, I’m in Hawaii by the way! 😊 I had a 17-hour travel day, and I’m exhausted, but it’s all worth it. I’ll be blogging from the Big Island of Hawaii for the next two weeks. I have many fun adventures planned and I can’t wait to take you with me! But first? The weekly recap post. And then later, I may take it easy and hit up the beach.
This week was very laid back. I spent most of the week working, taking long walks, and getting everything ready for my trip.

Monday morning breakfast: 5 egg whites + 2 yolks omelet topped with Kite-Hill cream cheese spread, guacamole, and fresh strawberries. I was determined to eat up all the groceries in my house before my trip, so I stuck to a lot of the same foods.
I spent Monday morning working on some photos and writing a blog post and then caught up on laundry after my dog walk. Leo knew I was leaving because he followed me around all week. Dogs are so smart, and they always know when something is up!

While the laundry was in the dryer, I headed out for a six-mile walk in my neighborhood. It was way too hot to take the dogs, so I made it a solo walk. I listened to music and finished in an hour and a half. Going for walks is a great way to stay active, and de-stress. Even though trips are fun, they always give me anxiety because I feel overwhelmed about packing or feeling like I’m going to forget something. Especially when you’re traveling 4,625 miles away from home. 
For lunch, I had an arugula salad tossed in Primal Kitchen honey mustard dressing topped with strawberries, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, rice crackers, and fresh avocados. For my protein, I had 1/2 cup of frozen peaches, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (vegiday), and cashew milk blended.

On Monday night, I had a black bean burger (microwaved) and leftover white rice. I was so hungry that I ate it standing up in the kitchen. I was excited that my new laptop and cell phone came, so I spent the rest of the night setting them up.
After my long Tuesday morning dog walk, I had one of my delicious and healthy double chocolate peanut butter oatmeal cookies (recipe coming soon.) for breakfast with a cappuccino. I got started on the 40 Day Fitness Challenge, which starts in two days and I’m so excited about! Here is the link to the Good Vibes Only and Hello Gorgeous mug! I had a lot of people asking about them, and they’re only $5.99! I bought a set.
For my late breakfast, I had fresh grapefruit and a 5 egg whites + 2 yolks omelet topped with Kite-Hill cream cheese spread and guacamole. 
I was craving a smoothie bowl late afternoon, so I made a delicious blueberry mango one! It had 1 cup frozen mangos, 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, 2 cups cashew milk, 1/2 cup ice, and one scoop of vanilla protein powder. I topped it with fresh banana, peaches, blueberries, unsweetened coconut, and turmeric granola. 
For dinner, I just stir-fried up some chicken breast, carrots, zucchini, and broccoli with sesame oil, garlic, and sea salt. 
It was a beautiful and peaceful Wednesday morning. I love the cooler days filled with sunshine. I had a cup of coffee and a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. My oatmeal had cinnamon, honey, raisins, and almond butter.
I was really running low on groceries, so I snacked on apples dipped in peanut butter powder. This is one of my favorite snacks! 
For dinner, I had arugula tossed in honey mustard Primal Kitchen dressing with kale crackers and shredded chicken breast. 
I spent Thursday morning drinking coffee and blogging all about my Vegan Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies! (gluten free, dairy free, low sugar, soy free, and delicious) 
I met up with Becca for lunch later in the afternoon. We went to our favorite spot, Zoe’s! I ordered the tossed greek salad with falafel and grilled chicken! You better believe I tossed off the olives. 
I didn’t get hungry until around 9 pm on Thursday night, so I just whipped up some eggs and heated up some sweet potatoes. I topped them with the Kite-Hill chive cream cheese spread.
After my Friday morning walk, I had coffee and worked on the fitness challenge outside on the patio. I picked another strawberry from my garden! 🍓
I decided to take a break from working and head over to my parent’s to let the dogs run for a bit. I brought my Kombucha and apple to have while the dogs ran around the backyard! 
They were loving the sun! I kept blowing bubbles for them for about an hour. They were so zonked by the time we got back to my house! 
I spent the rest of Friday finalizing the 40 Day Fitness Challenge, which starts Thursday!!! I can’t WAIT, and I hope you join!! It’s my favorite so far, and I’m looking forward to doing the workouts and eating healthy while I’m out in Hawaii.
Kyle and I made a Blue Apron for dinner and then watched Handmaid’s Tale! I have so many thoughts and theories about the latest episode, but I’ll keep my mouth shut because I don’t want to spoil anything!
My favorite way to wake up! After coffee, Kyle and I took the boys out on a long walk, and then I headed to Target to get some things for my trip so I could start packing on Sunday. 
Before I took off, I had a jar of oats! It had almond butter, oatmeal, cinnamon, chopped dates, and honey. 
When I got back from Target, I made a 3 egg white + 2 yolks omelet topped with Kite-Hill cream cheese spread and a side of Siete grain-free chips!
After lunch, Kyle and I met up with my parents and played 29 matches of tennis. We played over two and a half hours! It was so much fun! My hair was disgusting, frizzy, and sweaty, but here is the photo of the aftermath.
We stopped at the grocery store on the way home to get some ingredients for dinner. I really wanted grilled chicken, and Kyle really wanted pasta, so we started making a random dish!

We mixed fresh parmesan with broccoli, rigatoni, butter, garlic, black pepper, fresh basil, olive oil, grilled chicken, and pesto together. 
Kyle’s delicious creation!
I had the boring dinner, but I was really craving grilled chicken with barbeque sauce and ketchup! 
After dinner, we walked the dogs around the block, and then watched a movie!
I was up bright and early on Sunday! I was ready to get prepped and packed for my trip.

I had the last of the fruit in the house and some eggs for breakfast. 
Leo clearly thought he was coming along…
I have started building a new blog post for jetlag, packing, in-flight entertainment, and TSA approved meal prep! I’ll post it while I’m out here on vacation 🙂 I had so many questions swing my way, so I think it’ll be fun and informative! 
I packed all my meals for the day, and it was so great not stressing about what to eat at the airport! I’ll add the meal prep in the travel post! It was the most convenient thing I packed in my carryon! 
We headed uptown later Sunday evening!
Kyle and I were hungry, so we walked to B Good for dinner! It’s one of our favorite healthy uptown spots.
I ordered the power bowl with grilled chicken. It came with kale, sesame carrots, brussels sprouts, crunchy chickpeas, sunflower seeds, local egg, and tomato vinaigrette. I totally need to make this at home! I also ordered a kid kale crush smoothie. I wanted a smoothie, but not the whole thing, so I decided to go with the kid-sized! It had kale, apple, pineapple, and banana.
On the way home, I picked up a delicious local roast to bring to Hawaii for my friends. They love coffee too! The Rhino Market & Deli has a great selection of local coffee, food, and drinks. 
I was up bright and early on Monday! I needed to have coffee and wake up a bit before my flight! Don’t worry, my hair went into a messy bun. I didn’t go on the plane looking like a cavewoman. Kyle woke up early with me to drop me off. I was sad he couldn’t come because of work, but we have a fun trip planned when I get back. I am looking forward to that! 
My plane took off at 7:30 am! First stop, Denver Colorado! 

I landed in Denver 1 pm Charlotte time, so I had one of my turkey burgers with some sweet potatoes and vegetables for lunch before getting on the next flight. 
The flight to Hawaii almost got canceled. The radio on the plane wasn’t working, so we had to wait for a part to arrive from San Fransisco. Luckily it all got fixed, and we took off an hour later. 
My flight to Hawaii was eight hours long. I ended up watching Jumanji, The Greatest Showman, listening to a podcast, drinking hot tea, sleeping, talking to my neighbor, and playing Candy Crush. I had an apple, some grapes, and my second turkey burger and sweet potatoes for dinner. 
Finally landed in Hawaii at 4 pm! (10 PM Charlotte time/aka past my bedtime)
I was determined to stay up way late so I could beat jetlag. I had a glass of wine out on the patio with my good friends and then fell asleep around 8:30 pm.
Waking up to the birds, the early sunrise, and a delicious cup of Kona coffee is what I had been dreaming of for months!

Questions for you!

  1. What would you like for me to include in the travel-guide post?
  2. Are you starting the 40 Day Fitness Challenge?
  3. What is one thing you’re LOVING right now?


  • Anonymous

    Cool tennis

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Sara

    So easy to eat healthy in Hawaii!

    Reply to Sara
  • eVAN

    I’m just as obsessed with tennis!

    Reply to eVAN
  • Traci

    Ummm, that flowered duffel bag 😍 What brand is it? Hope you’re having a great time!!

    Reply to Traci
  • May

    Have fun in Hawaii! Make sure to stop at the Poke shack

    Reply to May
  • Brittany

    Ahhh so jealous!! There aren’t enough smoothies and palm trees in my office, haha! Have fun Taralynn!!

    Reply to Brittany
  • Danielle

    I look forward to your recap posts every week!! How did you store the meals for the airport so they wouldn’t go bad? Did you pack ice packs?

    Reply to Danielle
  • Cate

    Aloha! Enjoy your time on the island.

    Reply to Cate
  • Tara

    Hey girl! I see you posted a quick shot of you editing your photos. I’ve always been curious about which editing program you use because your pictures are always stunning (though I’m sure that you being a great photographer is 99% of it ;D).

    Reply to Tara
  • Natalija

    What a gorgeous,sun-filled post! Are you safe and away from the volcano? The news they are showing here in the UK about the eruption sound really worrying.
    Double chocolate peanut butter oatmeal cookies mmm, loved the recipe, it’s so good!
    Can’t wait for the jetlag, packing, in-flight entertainment, and approved meal prep blog!
    Did I ever mention I love your tattoo? It’s really cute and suits you so well.
    Enjoy your holiday and I’ll be looking for more blogs and your impressions!

    Reply to Natalija
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks, Natalija!

      Yes! Very safe. I’m on the opposite side of the island. It’s so sad what is happening over there.

      I’m excited to post it. I’ve been working on it! xo

      & THANK YOU! It was a spur of the moment tattoo, but I thought it was fitting!

      Thank you for reading and for all of your kindess.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Susie @ Mile High Dreamers

    Ahhhhh SO jealous right now! We love Hawaii more than words can say. Even though it’s a trek to get there, it’s so worth it! Ben has made it a goal to live there for a year at some point in our lives.
    Perfect Bars are one of my favorite plane snacks. They’re super filling and delicious!

    I’m definitely looking forward to the travel meal prep post. We only recently discovered the joy of bringing our own food onto planes (remember the good old days when they’d serve you a full meal on a 4 hour flight?!).

    One thing I’m loving right now is watermelon juice! It makes me think of all things SUMMER!

    Have so much fun in Hawaii, I can’t wait to see pics!

    Reply to Susie @ Mile High Dreamers
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hey, Susie!

      It’s definitely a trek to get here, especially when I’m 4200 miles away lol! A great place to live for sure!!!

      Hahaha even though airplane food is nasty…I’ll never forget the food they served on my flight to Paris haha

      Watermelon juice? like straight from the watermelon??

      xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jennifer

    I would love to see how you decide what to pack! I’m such an over-packer and always have such a hard time narrowing down what to bring. Also, if you look for cheap flights, how to know when to buy!

    Yes! I will be re-reading through it tonight to plan it out! 🙂

    I’m currently LOVING the new season of Jane the Virgin — the show is so funny to me! Also, I just made a “new” dinner tonight that I will be eating a lot. A piece of sourdough bread toasted topped with avocado, roma tomato, and chicken cooked w/salt, pepper, garlic powder, & chili powder! I love making the chicken super crispy in the pan. So easy, but SO GOOD.

    Reply to Jennifer
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Oh, I’m an over-packer was well. I had to RE-PACK and remind myself that I DIDN’T need everything I brought lol.

      lol that show is funny!!

      ohhhhh and yum!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Ann

    Have a wonderful time! Can’t wait to see pics! And your little strawberry, crazy tennis hair and Leo were all so adorable! (I know that’s weird, I’m a mom so……LOL!)

    Reply to Ann
  • Linda @ the Fitty

    I’d love to hear about cozy OUTDOOR and also INDOOR places! Since I need a bit of both.

    Reply to Linda @ the Fitty
  • Kelli G.

    Ugh so jealous right now, I wont get back to Hawaii until next August!

    A fun thing to include in your travel post would be apps that dont require wifi, so we dont have to pay to access them on those long flights.

    Where do u buy your pillows from, they’re so cute!

    Reply to Kelli G.
  • Brianna Doherty

    So jealous!!! I am dying to go to Hawaii!! Definitely on the bucket list!

    It would be amazing if you did a travel guide post! Also can you go into more detail about TSA approved meal prep? I am going on a couple big trip this year with long flights and having healthy food with me would be a life saver!

    I am absolutely doing the 40 day challenge and I even got some friends to participate with me!! So excited!!

    Have an amazing trip!

    Reply to Brianna Doherty
  • Haley

    Yay! I love your Hawaii posts.

    Reply to Haley
  • Susie

    Awww, so happy you are able to be at Hawaii again! <3 I'm from Europe, and Hawaii is one of my biggest wishes for vacation in the future! Hope to get there next year.

    I'm so happy you will do a travel-guide post! Wanted to beg you to do it, because I love your helpful tips and guides for years now. I would love every tip for packing, and would die to know what you bring in your carry-on bag. I always take way to much with me… so hard to decide what's needed and what's not!

    I'm sure into the challenge! What I love at the moment – being outside and enjoying the great weather. It's pretty warm here these days, and that's just amazing after a long, cold, dark winter.

    Looking forward to your next posts, and I hope you will enjoy your trip!! <3

    Reply to Susie
  • Kristen

    Would love to hear more about what goes in the carry-on for such a long flight! Did your meal prep make it through security without issue?

    Reply to Kristen
  • Sarah

    Love the comment about picking all the olives off… I try olives everytime and just cant get myself to like them and pick them off. Have fun in Hawaii!

    Reply to Sarah
  • Leianna Hellinga

    My brother lives in Maui and my husband and I visited last August but I can’t wait to go back. Hawaii is such a dream!!!

    Reply to Leianna Hellinga
    • Taralynn McNitt

      It really is! I’m waiting for Kyle before going to the other islands! I lived on Oahu, and visited the big island but excited to explore Maui!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Gemma

    Hi Tara,

    I’d like to know how to sleep on a plane (I can’t do it!)
    Do you ever experience any motion sickness and if so, any tips?
    What do you do to handle jet lag?
    Favorite place to sit on the plane?
    Any fear of flying? Does turbulence bother you at all?


    Reply to Gemma
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Gemma!

      It’s definitely not a deep sleep lol. But having a pillow, headphones, and some small dose melatonin (on a long flight) doesn’t hurt!

      Those are all great questions I’ll add to my travel guide tips!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Katie B

    I aspire to eat as many veggies as you! Girl! I’m always so impressed with your ability to just throw salads together and they always look so good! I have got to be better about meal prep, some weeks I’m on pointe, other weeks I miss the marker just a bit – but eh, I’m human, yeah? That is one of the things I’m really going to work on during your fitness challenge!!!

    1) How did you keep everything cold???
    2) As mentioned above – yes!
    3) I’m loving that the midwest is finally over the cold and I’m able to enjoy outside without layers of clothes! All the hiking trips are getting ready to happen, my last one was awesome!

    Anyway, have a wonderful and distressing trip! Catch up with your friends! Until next time!

    Reply to Katie B
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks, Katie!!

      I think you’re doing fine. It’s about balance. NOWAY do I eat veggies every meal, but I try to!

      I have the BEST HACK for keeping everything cold. I’ll share it in the post.

      Wooo for the midwest warmth!

      xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Lauren

    Hawaii is on my bucket list, but it’s so expensive and difficult to get there from Belgium. I hope one day I’ll be able to visit. I would love jet lag tips. We’re going to Florida in a month and I would love to be well rested during our busy holiday. I can’t wait for your travel tips and Hawaii updates! Have fun!

    Reply to Lauren
  • Alyssa

    Have a wonderful time in Hawaii, can’t wait to see your pictures! I’ll be heading to Maui and Oahu later this year and cannot wait! I’m currently in week 2 of the couch to 5K program to get in better shape. It’s kicking my butt but I’m feeling better already. I love that you packed your meals, that’s such a smart idea – I will have to give it a try for my long travel day to Maui. Question – where is your carry on bag from? Too cute!

    Reply to Alyssa
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Alyssa!

      Thanks so much 🙂

      You’ll LOVE Hawaii. I bet you’re so excited.

      My carry on bag is Adrienne Vittadini (denim blue tote) & I love ALLLLL of her luggage. That’s what I use! 😀

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Katie

    Ah Hawaii is on my to-visit list! I don’t know anything about geography, so I can only hope y’all are safe from the volcano!

    1. I would LOVE a “what’s in my carry-on” or “how to stay chill while flying” type post! Hubs and I are going to Orlando/Daytona in June and DC in July (I have been re-reading your DC posts in prep for that 🙂 ) and it’ll only be the second and third times I’ve flown!
    2. I am starting the fitness challenge, and I am SO excited. We leave for Florida in 37 days so I WILL be completing it there 🙂
    3. I am loving life right now 🙂

    Reply to Katie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I’m very safe! No worries. It’s so unfortunate for the east side, but I’m all the way on the other side!

      I’ll add those to my list for the post!


      XO XO & I’m LOVING that answer!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Liesl

    I had never really considered packing full meals while traveling! Such a smart plan! I’d love more ideas on what meals and snacks you bring on trips to keep on track (and avoid outrageous airport prices!).

    I’ll be doing the 40 day challenge! Can’t wait!

    Reply to Liesl
    • Taralynn McNitt

      It was amazing and I felt so much better about eating the food I actually as craving! I hate buying the nasty overpriced packaged a year ago foods at the airport! I hardly have time to do the sit-down restaurants. 😀

      Glad you’re in!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • jordan @ dancing for donuts

    always love seeing your eats, girl!!! i just hopped on the primal kitchen dressing bandwagon (WOW that’s a mouthful) and it’s soooo yummy. have an amazing time in hawaii – can’t wait to see all of your adventures!!

    Reply to jordan @ dancing for donuts
  • Laura

    I always want to pack meals like that for my travel, but I’m so picky about being able to heat them up! I wish airports had microwaves available for that haha! Have a great trip – I hope you’re safely away from the volcanoes!

    Reply to Laura
    • Taralynn McNitt

      See, I’m a room temp type of gal, which is why I love salads!

      It’s sad whats going on over on the east side, but fortunately, I am safe on the other side of the island.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Reunited with Kona coffee at last, I see! 😀
    Hope you have tons of fun in Hawaii, Taralyn! ❤️❤️

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Reply to Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

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