Staying Healthy In Uganda, Africa

Uganda, Africa was calling our names so, we went! Come learn all about how to stay healthy on an international mission trip & be sure to tell your friends and family.

Travel is something we love in our household. We get to try new things, see new places and make more memories. We love to get creative in our packing and try new things we normally don’t buy because #budget. Going out of the country to an undeveloped part of Africa is no joke and could seem overwhelming. I prepped for two weeks worth of snacks, 4 days of travel and layovers and lots of bus rides. I can’t wait to show you my tips and tricks. Enjoy this and use it next time you adventure! *this post contains affiliate links.

Part 1 – the prep.

Like any good adventure requires, I began to prep (food) a few weeks before the trip. I needed to know a few things: 1) that we would have enough food for our days out in the villages, 2) that we would have quality snacks and 3) that we would be supporting our favorite brands all the way from Africa. Thanks to the handy internet, I received all the snacks right to my doorstep. Quick & easy. I prepped 14 bags for both myself and my husband. Each bag contained 1 RX Bar, 1 Primal Kitchen’s Collagen Bar, 1 to-go pack of Vital Proteins Collagen, 1 to-go pack of Dr. Axe Collagen and 1 nut butter pouch (either Nuttzo or Crazy Richards). These were our day bags that we tossed into our day packs each morning before heading out to the village. They were perfect. I was confident that we would be getting sufficient protein on these long hot African days. SOOOO important y’all.

Some other essentials: bamboo pillow, earphones, books and good luggage. Here are some of the snacks we brought for the 6 and 15 hour plane rides. kale chips, chocolate, nut butter, salad, bacon, roasted veggies, hummus, ginger shots and apples.

click here to get your collagen packets!

Our days.

3 a.m. – wake up because jet lag is real RUFFF
– stretch, yoga, try to go back to sleep, talk, eat random things, etc.
– brush our teeth (with bottled water), spray on the bug dope and put on the deodorant
7 a.m. – breakfast
– starch on starch on starch
– occasional greens (either kale or spinach, not too sure)
– pineapple DAYUMM, watermelon and BOMB bananas
– cup of tea with collage and ghee
8 a.m. – family time (debrief about how good God is)
9 a.m. head out to our site for the day
lunch – usually a granola bar because tomato & cheese sandwiches are less than ideal haha / my very allergy
7 p.m. – dinner (so difficult for me to get used to)
– starch on starch on starch, meat, and some veggies per my request because I was NEEDING them

Things to consider.

In America we have all the things we need in life. Clean water, food, clothes, shelter and so much more. Our food is quality (well, we have the option), our water is clean (free of parasites and dysentery) and we don’t have to walk 10 miles to get it. We have refrigeration and a wide variety of foods. Quality meats aren’t contaminated and tadpole infused water isn’t our fate. We don’t have to rely on potatoes, corn and wheat to get enough calories. We visit the grocery store for all of our needs and seldom touch a garden. It’s a different way of life and all of what I just mentioned above is not a luxury in Uganda.

A normal meal (for us mzungus) was fried/boiled potatoes, chicken curry, beef, fish, steamed veggies, bananas, fruit, chapati (unleavened bread), rice, ugali (cornmeal), sukuma wiki (kale) and “soup” aka a tomato sauce for your rice. Their food contains lots of spices we don’t eat here in America which means upset stomach nation. A lot of their food is fried or battered so, running into some hidden wheat was a problem for this gluten-intolerant lady. Interesting enough, I had some chapati from non-american wheat and I was just fine. No reaction, no bumps no nothing.

Since they eat later there, the food seems to sit in your stomach a little heavier than normal. This was especially so since we were eating so many carbs and so little fresh food or fat. When you go, all I can say is go with the flow and don’t stress. That will only upset your stomach more. Chill, hangout with the beautiful people and count the many blessings around you.

The real MVPs.

I felt so blessed to have amazing brands backing this trip. They loved what we were doing and were so excited to be involved in our every day life in Uganda. I got to share their delicious products with the African people and our team members. The Africans LOVED to try new foods that were nutritious and delicious. Our team members loved to have something other than curry for breakfast, lunch and dinner 😉 Here are the brands that fueled our trip and make difference in thousands of people’s lives everyday. I have included direct links to all of the products for you 🙂

RX bar – whole food protein bars without any BS. Several different flavors and perfect when they are warmed by the African sun!
Ancient Nutrition – protein packets with greens, beets and other important nutrients we were lacking overseas.
Primal Kitchen – collagen bars in 4 different flavors that are actually better warmed up than cold like here in Washington.. haha
Heather’s Choice – healthy, calorie dense backpacking meals that were a LIFE SAVER. They were my plane companion and the macaroons are absolutely delicious.
Nuttzo – nut butter packets with no junk. Peanut, peanut-free, cashews, brazil nuts, flax, chocolate and so much more.
Crazy Richards – peanut butter packets that went perfectly atop a little apple banana 😉 the african’s had never had “peanut cream”
4th & Heart – grass-fed ghee that satisfied all my fat cravings when all there was was bananas and pineapple, we made bulletproof tea and coffee each morning. The Madagascar vanilla is delicious
Vital Proteins – collagen protein packets that couldn’t be more convenient. We got the marine peptides and bovine collagen. We added it to oatmeal, fresh juice, bottled water, coffee, tea and soup!
Artisana – their cashew and coconut butter are delicious and the pecan butter is a real champ when you’re on a bus for 10 hours
Holly’s Keeping It Real – this natural deodorant with minimal ingredients packs easy, travels well and makes your pits smell real nice
Badger Balm – when we pulled this bug spray out our team members were like “spray us because it smells so good!” and even better? the mosquitos HATED it. their sunscreen kept our delicate white skin safe and the chapstick made our lips nice and glossy sans sunburn 😉

We flew through Dubai on our way home and were delighted to see an organic juice bar in the airport. Look how adorable it is & the food was on wonderful.

For next time.

Now that I have some experience and know what I am doing, here are a few tips that I wished I would have known before going.
1. pack more return home snacks for the long plane rides and layovers
2. pack electrolytes because no amount of water was ever enough for us. we needed coconut water and salts!
3. pack noise cancelling earphones for the plane rides and big cities – it was draining for my brain to hear all that noise and this would help jet lag
4. pack melatonin because sometime you have to manually knock yourself out after 12 days of waking up at 2 a.m..
5. bring a larger diversity of snacks (repetition gets real… repetitive)
6. pack dark chocolate, hair brush, games, crosswords, meat sticks, oatmeal, fanny pack and coconut milk powder

Have you even been anywhere in Africa? I would love to know so, comment below and let me know your experience, tips and where you went. Have a beautiful day & be sure to share this with you friends and family if you enjoyed it. God bless you!



Maggie’s General Store: You’ve Got To Go!

Have you ever been in a small town and in major need of an apple, smoothie or basically anything fresh? Now, you can get just that at this small-town general store in Kenai, Alaska.

Kenai, Alaska is the hot spot of the week here at Simplholistic. During the summer I would argue that is place (at least) triples in population due to the world class fishing and stunning views. Although a lot of the locals aren’t the biggest fans of the noise and traffic, small business owners love and depend on this busy season. While Kenai isn’t as health-conscious as Homer, Alaska, they surely are taking steps in the right direction. A new bistro, The Flats Bistro, opened about two years ago. They feature local, fresh and organic options whenever possible. This is the first of its kind in this old fishing and homesteading town. Last year, Maggie’s General Store opened. This old-fashioned health food store is in the spotlight for today and you are going to LOVE it.

Maggie’s General Store just celebrated their 1 year birthday and couldn’t be happier with the support they get from the community. They are located off the main road that runs through Kenai; the Kenai Spur Highway. Don’t worry, you can’t really get lost around here as long as you stay on the main roads! They carry local produce, organic dry goods, supplements, organic cold case items and other natural household and beauty items. Maggie’s mother, Rachel, had the brainchild for the store and the rest of the family quickly stepped up to the challenge of opening the first store of its kind in this small town. The family thought, prayed and opened the doors two months after the initial thoughts. Man, I like their style. The family wanted to open a heath conscious store that would benefit not only their own health needs but those of the community as well. Maggie wants her store to be more than just food. She wants it to be a safe place for Kenai residents and visitors alike. She loves that she gets to treat everyone as an individual and not just as a dollar sign. Every person that comes in is welcomed by the small-town Kenai love and lots of health promoting products.

“We want to be all things to all men and women.” -Maggie, Owner

hygiene and beauty products
fresh and local produce
all pantry items a girl can ask for


During my time there, more than ten kids came in with their hard earned change to purchase old-fashioned candy from behind the counter. Something about the little boy that counted – to the very last penny – all the change he had warmed my heart. It’s all about balance. They are teaching kids about value and hard work with a simple piece of candy or fruit. When moms and dads come in with their kids, the kids can play and hang out so the parents can get their shopping done sans stress! In the corner of the store there is a bar table, low-rise game table, board games and children toys. This general store has a place for everyone. Even if you’re afraid of health foods, you can grab an old-fashioned pop out of the pop case. Remember, balance and self-preservation.

Maggie’s is a seasonal store with several local options for purchase. In the summer months you will find organic: berries, melons, apples, lemons, oranges, broccoli, greens, ginger and bananas. The fall months will bring in more squash, root vegetables and fall berries. The winter months tend to have fewer berries and tropical fruit because…. it is winter. Some of the local items they carry are Lucy’s Cookies, Bone broth powder, Loose leaf Tea and produce. Supporting local is a huge part of living a holistic lifestyle and you can read all about that on my supporting local post. The bulk items they care are nuts, flour, rice, beans and other common pantry staples. A small freezer holds gluten-free doughnuts, gluten-free bread, organic sausage, tortillas and berries. The drink case carries a delicious assortment of kombucha, coconut water, organic energy drinks, fruit juice, Barlean’s fish oils and my personal favorite: REBBL. The fridge has alternative milks and dairy milks on rotation due to expensive shipment costs to Alaska. Other items in the fridge are sauerkraut from Farmhouse Culture, local greens, bread, Forager drinks, chlorophyll, Essiac tea, yogurt, Hail Merry tarts, butter and eggs. Jackson’s Honest, Heavenly Organics, Justins, Pacifica, Artisana, Dang, Simple Truth, Purely Elizabeth and Julie’s are a few of the many wonderful brands you will find on their shelves.

Convenience was a huge factor included in their opening. They never want you to drive too far away to get a simple gallon of milk or apples when they have it right there. People that live in the more rural part of Kenai now have the luxury of driving only 30 minutes to the grocery store instead of 1 hour. That makes a huge difference when you are hungry, tired or have kids. If you like products from Rebbl, Farmhouse Culture, Dandies or Purely Elizabeth, get in quick because the barge comes in once every two weeks and they sell out fast!

“It’s convenient and I hate going to other stores when this one has such incredible options. I love the freshness and newness in town. Plus, I am supporting a local business. Everyone here is friendly and it’s a great addition to Kenai.” -Customer

Maggie’s health tips for you: Always dry brush and take chlorophyll.

Be sure to visit their Facebook page for deals, recipes and fresh items. Subscribe to my email list to get these blogs, recipes and deals delivered right to you email. Have a beautiful day.



Home Sweet Homer ft. K Bay Caffé

Stop by the halibut fishing capitol of the world for more than just fish. This eclectic cafe serves up organic coffee, pastries, breakfast and grab n’ go items. There is something for everyone and you will wish you lived in Homer after stopping in!

This summer while I was back home in Alaska I had the pleasure of stopping into K Bay Caffé on one of our trips to Homer. Homer is the furthest south you can go; they call it “Land’s End”. Homer is also the Halibut fishing capitol of the world. Based off these two things, you know it has got to be a cool place. Along with the fishing, tourists, markets and culture, they have delicious restaurants that always feature top notch ingredients. K Bay Caffé is a sweet café that features items for natives, tourists and fishermen alike. Whether you are in the mood for coffee, peanut butter bars or bacon breakfast croissants, this is your place.

K Bay Caffé has been a special part of homer since 1998, which means they are only 2 years younger than me! The owners, Michael and Caressa, got their start when they wanted a better option for busy Homerites to grab healthy eats. Their hearts are for the planet, our bodies and every person in-between. They attempt to cut out the middle man and source local whenever possible. In addition to employing locals, one of their main goals is to reduce the carbon footprint of the café and promote a sustainable lifestyle.

“It is sometimes difficult to live sustainably in Alaska because we are so far away. It takes a whole tribe.” – Remy, manager

After working for K Bay Caffé for 15 years, Remy was promoted to the café manager. Remy couldn’t be more thrilled as she truly believes in the mission of the café. When speaking with her, Remy stated that “Change comes through loving and honoring our employees which then carries over to our customers; our café family.” She educates the employees on sustainability, product and nutrition. These things together make the customer experience all encompassing. She knows that when her employees are taken care of, they will take care of the customers, the café and themselves. K Bay Caffé has such diversity which makes it a warming and welcoming café for all.

Just like other parts of the world, the Paleo and Ketogenic diets are becoming popular in Homer. The people here are becoming more aware of how important diet and lifestyle are in overall health. Whether people are gluten-free or not, K Bay’s gluten free options are a healthy alternative to conventional refined and processed baked goods. They use ingredients like coconut flour, molasses, dates, cashews and berries. Most of their ingredients are organic, GMO-free and local; this includes fruit, alternative milks and flour. Their goat cheese, vegetables, greens and eggs are sourced from Homer. Talk about a small footprint!

K Bay Caffé is most known for their house roasted Coffee. They have over 19 roasts of coffee that are roasted than less three miles from their storefront. Three of their blends directly support the women in the countries they are sourcing from. This organization is called Femenino; you can learn more about that here. K Bay’s commitment to, not only health and local businesses, but ethical sourcing is incredible. At the coffee bar you can find drip, Americanos, lattes, local chai and other made-to-order drinks. Their signature drink is the Cup of Love. This is a latte made with the barista’s choice of syrup. Right now, they use Monin syrups but are in the process of making in-house syrups. Before the end of the year they should have only signature, homemade syrups for your drinks.

If you are craving coffee, dessert or lunch, you are in luck. As mentioned above, they serve coffee, chai, house made sandwiches, smoothies, burritos, noodle bowls, salads, pastries, beverages and chocolate. The most popular dessert is the Peanut Butter Bliss Bar that is made with peanut butter, chocolate and organic graham crackers. The Korean Noodle Bowl is the hottest lunch item that is perfect to grab on the go or sit down and enjoy. Remy dreams about this one! A newer item on their menu is bacon. Customers urged them to get it and they saw the demand so, they listened and you can now get breakfast croissants with bacon. With peanut butter, chocolate, bacon and coffee, everyone wins. If you are gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, vegetarian, carnivore, paleo or keto, you will find your bliss. Be sure to get here early though because they sell out of mostly everything before 3 o’clock p.m..

Alright, let’s get into the details about the food. I had the chance to try several items from their menu and I will break them down below. I will try my hardest not to make you drool but you might need a napkin. I have also included a key. Now you’ll understand the random letters.

GF gluten-free, V vegan, DF dairy-free, VT vegetarian, P paleo, K ketogenic

Korean Noodle Bowl V, DF, VT – This bowl is a grab n’ go item that you can grab quick or sit and eat. It is made with noodles, house made sauce, kimchi, black sesame seeds and mung bean sprouts. They make their own in-house sauce with molasses, sesame oil and other delicious ingredients that truly makes this dish. This bowl packs up nicely for the next day because if you are anything like me and opted for the desserts (first) you are going to be too full to finish it off.

Quinoa Salad GF, P – Like the bowl above, this is a grab n’ go item in the cold case that’s easy to pack up for the next day. It is a sweet blend of kale, local goat cheese, garden root vegetables (sweet potato, potato, carrots), balsamic reduction and red quinoa. The balsamic is a perfect touch but not overwhelming like some other dressings tend to be. The crunchy kale in the bowl adds not only a crunch but a nutrition power punch. Tie this together with all of those vegetables and you are set for the day.

Carrot Cake GF, V, DF, VT – Two words: FREAKING AMAZING. This sweet treat is out of this world. Think carrot cake on taste steroids. The topping is a coconut cream with toasted coconut and you would never know it’s vegan or gluten-free. I ran out of words to say because my mouth was full.

Doughnut DF, GF, VT – Did you know there were gluten-free doughnuts? There are and they are delicious. This doughnut is made with applesauce and a gluten-free flour blend sans the regular gumminess that comes with GF blends. It is lightly sweet and topped with fresh organic strawberries. YUM

Energy Ball GF, DF, V, VT – You know my love for superfood balls because… why not. These balls are a generous size and are made of dates, cacao powder, nuts and rolled in hemp hearts. They are moist and chocolately with a slight crunch. What’s even better is they don’t fall apart which makes them a perfect car snack.

Spicy Chai GF, DF, V, VT – They use local chai and you have the option between spicy or sweet. I let Remy get creative and she mixed ½ and ½ with hemp milk. I get an iced chai, hold the ice. I am one of those people because I am paying for chai; not ice! Sprinkle with a little cinnamon and you’re set. Don’t forget to opt for the hot chai in the winter because we need warming foods in colder months.

Egg Muffin GF, P, K VT– Since I am still not eating eggs, gramps was the taste tester for this one and let’s just say…. it was once in existence. He devoured the thing! Think omelet in a muffin tin and that’s what you get here. They mix eggs, cheddar cheese, fresh vegetables and spices to bring you this quick and easy breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack.

Blueberry Milkshake GF, DF, V, VT – Hang on, it isn’t what it seems. This is a dairy-free milkshake that is good enough to make you leave dairy behind. They mix sweet dates, juicy blueberries and almond milk. All organic, of course. It is perfectly sweet but not too much. Talk about a pick-me-up on a warm summer day.

Remy’s health tips
1. Always have water, water is your friend and having a water bottle is the best way to assure you will drink it
2. Stop, walk and bring your own lunch when you go to work. This means you have control of what you eat.
3. Sleep, always.

We want people’s day to be better after coming into K Bay Caffé. A smile in the morning can make your day.”

There are several opportunities to use the caffé during and after business hours. Email them here if you would like to:
– rent out their state of the art commercial kitchen (the biggest one in Homer)
– host events in their cafe for art clubs, girls night outs, birthday parties and more
– you can even use it to watch movies and have coffee

Here is some last-minute love from our friends over at K Bay Caffé:
“Respect yourself and respect the planet. We are all the same. It is all a great big circle.”

Be sure to follow me on Instagram at @simplholistic for more eats, recipes and health tips!



Alaska and All Its Glory.

I’ve done it on a sail boat. I’ve done it on a road trip. I’ve done it at a remote fishing lodge. So, I can do it at a fishing cannery. Clean eating and healthy living can be done anywhere. Come learn how I stay healthy in a tiny camper in Alaska.

You guys have been asking me for an all-encompassing Alaska post and here it is! I, of course, had to wait until I was done with my time in Alaska to share so I could get everything in here. So, if you’re reading this, I am back in Washington and it is about 100 degrees outside. This is a huge change from the 50 degrees I have been in for the past month (I prefer the heat!). I talk about the adventures, recipes and life at a fish cannery and it is definitely worth the read. Enjoy and ask any questions you have about Alaska that I don’t address in here.

Question 1: “What are you doing in Alaska?”

  • I have come to Kenai, AK (almost) every summer since I was 9 years old to commercial fish with my gramps. We fish on a 36’ fishing vessel that goes out into the Cook Inlet and catch Wild Pacific Sockeye Salmon. If you have seen Alaska Fish Wars, it’s the same thing and our boat is on that show (minus all the fake drama). The net is 900’ long and 20’ deep. We keep the fish on ice, bring them back to the cannery and then they send them down to the states or larger cities for YOU.
  • Our fishing periods are 12 hours long which turns our fishing days into 17 hour days with driving, drop off, fueling, cleaning and showering. It is the best 17 hours a day could have.

Question 2: “Is there a chance I am eating the fish you catch?”

  • There is a big fat chance that I or another one of our buddies are catching the fish you eat at home. If your fish says, “Wild Alaskan Salmon”, “Pacific Salmon” or “Alaska Sockeye Salmon” you might just be eating the fish I caught. While we are here, be sure that you are only eating salmon that says the above things. Any wild, Alaska, Pacific salmon (Pink, Dog, King, Red or Silver) is great. Watch out for farmed, Atlantic, colored, preserved fish because that is just a disgrace!

Question 3: “How do you stay healthy there?”
The Camper.

  • Ah ha! I knew this would be a common question as I went from my nicely stocked and spacious kitchen at home to a small 8X10 truck camper nestled away in a cannery yard. My answer to this one is: priorities. My health is an absolute priority which means there is no situation that can turn away my focus from my health. I made adaptations, pack a small blender and food prep in a small toaster over and that’s all you need folks! We have two outlets and that means I turn off the blender while the heater runs. I have to unplug the toaster oven when the light needs to be on, etc. These are the things that help me to appreciate the conveniences in life.
  • Each week I prep sweet potatoes, carrots, other veggies and smoothie kits. We have a small 2X3 fridge which means limited space. I break down packaging and minimize the space being used by putting greens in bags, veggies in bin and nut milk in smaller containers.
  • I keep the fridge stocked with kale, spinach, avocadoes, salmon (duh), yogurt, nut milk, dressing, salsa, kombucha and my one splurge item: REBBL drinks.
  • The drawer (pantry) is stocked with granola, applesauce, nuts, olives, lentil pasta, ghee, cinnamon, sea salt, nutritional yeast, fruit, ginger, matcha, cacao powder, olive oil, chia seeds and a few other items.

The Boat.

  • On the boat, we have no running water, electricity or cooking gear. I bring pre-made salads, overnight oats, apples & nut butter, nuts, dried fruit, apple chips, REBBLs, fish, crackers, avocado, roasted vegetables and hummus. I also keep some Justins PB cups and Taza chocolate on hand because sometimes I get bored and need some sweetness.
  • Staying hydrated is huge because we are weirdly burning a lot of calories by picking the net, running around the boat, going in and out of the fish hole, tying ropes, keeping our balance and other boat activities. I drink at least 80 oz. of mountain water per day.

A normal day for us looks like FISHING but this year proved a little bit different. They closed us down for an entire week which left us bored, frazzled and restless. For me and Gramps, we had to get the heck out of the fish yard and into nature. We did so much on those off days and I now know so much more about my beautiful home than I ever have. Here is some of what we did:

• 13-mile hike, backpack and camping trip at Cresent Lake
• Mushroom foraging (morels, coral, bolita, chaga)
• Berry hunting (blueberries, elderberries, watermelon berries – all of which aren’t ripe yet)
• Day trip to Seward where we walked around town, had fresh lunch and visited Exit glacier
• Day trip to Homer (most beautiful day of the summer in the most beautiful town)
• A day out at the homestead with a nice homemade steam bath
• Visiting the native net (a subsistence net made just for my tribe)
• Fishing for Halibut and Salmon (pole fishing, not drifting)

Sometimes we want to just snuggle up in a bed (or sleeping bag in my case) and stay nestled away until the sun comes out. This isn’t really an option here because there’s no telling when the sun will be out next. That meant that I had to get my butt out of the truck topper bed and get moving. Each morning, rain or shine, I would wake up, do a quick yoga sequence (in a 4X2 area), stretch and go for a walk. Throughout the day, I walked about 7-10 times and threw in a 10-minute run. There is a gym at the native wellness center here that I use and I stopped in for a few yoga classes at a local studio. This helped me to feel motived and energized when the weather was convincing me to do just the opposite.

Abandoned Camper Approved Recipes

PB Strawberry Smoothie
¾ c. nut milk
½ c. frozen strawberries
2 c. baby spinach
1 T. peanut butter (any nut butter)
1 t. maca powder
1 packet protein (this one)
*add in ½ banana if you need some sweetness in life
*blend all ingredients & top with granola

Alaska Salmon Chips
4 oz. fresh sockeye salmon (Alaskan)
1 t. Dijon mustard
5 – 8 sweet potato slices
1 T. hummus

*slice sweet potatoes into disks (1/8 in. thick)
*mix salmon & mustard in a small bowl
*top with hummus & salmon mixture

Simple Yogurt Parfait
½ – 1 c. full-fat pastured yogurt (plain)
1/3 – ½ c. purely Elizabeth granola
8- 10 pitted cherries

*layer up & enjoy enjoy enjoy

There is always a way to stay healthy, get outside and enjoy the situation. Whether you slow down and read a book or pack up and head out for a 13-mile hike, you have the world at your fingertips. If you want something badly enough… well… you will make it happen. I want to be healthy, feel well and treat my body with respect so, I do what I need to do to make those things happen. This means that I eat clean, sleep well, drink water and spend lots of time with God. Comment below with your favorite Alaskan adventure and/or your dream Alaska vacation!

Don’t forget to head over to Instagram @simplholistic to see more recipes, travel tips and health news.