A Fast Update

Ultimate Cinnamon Rolls

                     Ready for the oven – My brother Joel took this photo (www.kaponophotoworks.com)

This post is brought to you by our ultimate cinnamon roll recipe.

You might be thinking, “Wait a minute, aren’t you doing some sort of fast?”

I am (you can read about it here).

One of the most important parts of the fast is not necessarily about the food itself, it’s about learning how to make intentional choices. This is especially crucial in the face of pressure and temptation such as fresh, homemade cinnamon rolls.

Some Background

I’m back in Hawaii for a bit to spend time with family and had the chance to get together with some friends I haven’t seen in awhile. In a typical Hawaii gathering, it’s all about the food. Imagine a long table with snacks, fruit, a couple of salads, rice, a couple of choices of meat, dessert- all in amounts large enough to feed an army. In Hawaii, it’s a sin when you don’t have enough food. It’s extremely important to have enough to feed everyone there. Enough to feed guests you didn’t know might come. Enough to make sure everyone has enough to take home. It’s all about the food.

In Hawaii, the kind of food at the party is also important. Typically you’ll  see plain white rice or a couple of different rice dishes like sushi, or musubi. In fact, there’s a good chance all three rice options will be present. But the key to a successful Hawaii gathering is about the meat and desserts. In regards to all the dishes at the party, it’s important that the majority have meat.  As for desserts, you can’t just have one. There needs to be variety.

As you can see, a typical Hawaii get together is not “fast” friendly.

So I Made Cinnamon Rolls

When doing a fast, it’s probably best not to volunteer a delicious, sweet dessert for a party. Cinnamon rolls represented everything that I am not eating at the moment. It’s also best for someone not to go to a Hawaii style party to avoid being around more food they shouldn’t eat. So how did it go? Not a problem.

Not My First Fast

Fasting should be something that people practice regularly. It helps you develop skills like patience and self control. Once you’ve completed a fast, it get’s easier to do additional ones, and more importantly, to be in situations that would be tempting. You’re training yourself. You also learn some valuable tips and tricks on how to get through these situations.

Fasting Tips

1. Have a plan:
If you know you are going to a party, try to eat earlier. Make your own food that you know is “fast friendly.” If you are going out, check out the menu prior to going out to see what you can and can’t eat.

2. Don’t give up:
The first time I did a fast, I broke it making a stupid decision. There’s a good chance that if you attempt a fast or a challenge similar to this, you might unintentionally or intentionally break your fast as well. Just keep going. By giving up completely, the only thing you’ve taught yourself is that you can’t do it. By sticking with it even after a mistake, you are teaching yourself that it is possible to complete your challenge. Don’t give up.

3. Find a partner:
I’m grateful to have Michelle in my life who is not only supportive, but a willing partner in these fasts/challenges. Having a partner(s) gives you support and accountability.

4. Create a realistic challenge:
One of the biggest mistakes I made in my first fast/challenge was to go too big. If you’re thinking about doing a fast/challenge, make it realistic and doable. For example, a one-year commitment is a lot more challenging than one month. Deciding to do an extensive fast, limiting your options to say, beans and rice, is a lot more challenging then choosing not to eat meat. Start your challenges small and then work towards bigger ones.

5. Find resources:
There are a lot of great resources online. Need a recipe idea? Need a challenge template? Remember that a lot of people have and are currently doing similar things all the time.

So that’s my fast update. I didn’t get to eat any of the cinnamon rolls, but I felt great knowing I didn’t have to and didn’t want to. One week to go.

Ultimate Cinnamon Roll Recipe

                     The finished rolls – My brother Joel took this photo (www.kaponophotoworks.com)

The Latest From J + M

In case you didn’t see the latest update on our travel blog, we have a few pieces of recent news to share:

  • A Worthy Peace Corps Partnership ProjectPhoto credit: Dreamspace CollectiveOur friend, Jordan, a Peace Corps Volunteer who is now serving in our same host community in Jamaica, is raising funds for a project at the community center where Jedd used to work. They plan to create a community garden and demonstration plot that will serve low-income neighborhoods. Learn more and donate here to support this sustainability project!
  • Where To NextOahu
    We’ll be traveling again soon! Our next adventures include Oahu, Vietnam, and Japan – our first time West of Hawaii – and we’re getting all our flights by travel hacking. The main reason for this extended trip (2-3 months) is to help Jedd’s parents make a big move from Hawaii to Japan! As many of you know, we take our freelance work with us on our laptops wherever we go and we’ve got a number of projects going on, so we expect to have our days pretty full this Spring.
  • A New Business VentureScreen Shot 2015-01-23 at 8.03.46 AM
    We’re in the process of forming a travel coordination/consultant business for meaningful, transformational travel. We’re operating under the umbrella of our generous mentor’s travel agency, Travel Team Brokers. Hopefully we’ll have something more solid to share soon, but in the meantime, we’re testing the waters of helping people book travel and starting a network of other travel professionals who are involved in intentional, transformational trips. If you need help booking a vacation of any kind, let us know. You can also help us get connected to people you know in the travel industry who might align with our mission.

Photo Credit (pictures 1 and 3): Ben and Connie of Dreamspace Collective

Let’s Go Fast


Fried potato. Garlic mayo sauce. Cheddar cheese powder. Definitely not part of the fast.

Imagine if today you challenged yourself to completely change your routine regarding food. Today was going to be a start of a 30-day period where you only ate certain things and limited how much you ate. No more sweets or desserts. No alcohol or soda. Nothing fried or processed. No meat. No dairy.

Would you do this challenge intentionally? Why would someone do this intentionally? Could you do it?

Michelle and I started another 30-day fast/challenge. Want to join us?

Why Fast?

One of the best ways to exercise intentional living is to do a fast. According to the all-knowing internet, a fast is an abstinence from food, or a limiting of one’s food, especially when voluntary and as a religious observance (ref. Dictionary.com).

Over the last couple of years, Michelle and I have done a couple of these fasts/challenges where we commit to living our lives a very specific way for a specific period of time. We do this for a couple of reasons:

  1. An opportunity to practice and build self-control
  2. A way to learn what one can and cannot live without
  3. A reminder of actions and things that we do that are unintentional
  4. A reminder of those that don’t have the privilege, freedom, and access to food options

For a fast regarding food there are also secondary benefits:

  1. Healthier eating
  2. Savings from not going out to eat as much
  3. Typically loss of some excess weight (gained from holiday eating)
  4. Learning how to cook better (expanding cooking skills and learning new things to cook)

Continue reading

Why We’ve Given Up Vacations | Intentional Travelers

This post was written by Michelle for our travel blog – Intentional Travelers

It talks about the misconception some have about our recent travels, seeing them as vacations. In reality, travel has become part of work and more importantly, part of our day-to-day lives.

For the past two weeks, we’ve been in Honolulu, Hawaii visiting Jedd’s family. A couple times throughout this trip, people have referred to our stay as a “vacation.” The same thing happened on our three-week visit to Jamaica last month.

But, actually, these are not vacations for us!

We can see why people might be confused: Hawaii and Jamaica are known for being vacation destinations. And it’s true, we are not permanent residents in either place (anymore). We are visitors.

But the real, underlying reason people are confusing our life for a vacation is a societal one.

Outside the Box

We are all used to a world with a 40-hour workweek. The system we’re familiar with allows for weekends off, public holidays, and one or two weeks of vacation (maybe more if you’re lucky). We’re used to people living in one place and commuting to work.

But we’re not doing any of these things.

Being Digital Nomads, we’ve chosen to step outside of these constraints. We still work, but our work is not tied by office hours or geographic location.

With this kind of lifestyle, we haven’t taken any vacations because, well, so far … we don’t need to.

Instead of working in one place 50 weeks of the year and traveling for 2 of them, we work while we travel. It helps, too, that neither of us works “full time” (according to the American post-industrial standard) – this is in part because our online businesses are still growing and partly an intentional choice to live more slowly and simply.

Among the many things we learned in Peace Corps, the slower-paced, people-centered life is one of the biggest lessons we hope to keep living out. Therefore, we intentionally leave flexibility in our schedules to be available to friends and family.

A Different Kind of Work Continue reading