Behind the Scenes with Our Conscious Mamas
It takes a village.
It's no secret we've got work to do and we're proud to be part of a community that is always playing their part in it. We’re honored to be surrounded by so many incredible women in our #nuiworld who are making a positive impact in the world.
Whether it’s caring for their families, helping others become healthier with their work, adventuring out in nature, running businesses or simply taking time to share their perspectives on Instagram, we are in awe of our community and thought you may enjoy taking a look behind the scenes with these strong and purposeful women.
Meet Felicia Wong, MD
Tell us about you and your family.
Hi, I’m Felicia – a mom of two boys, wife, doctor, adventure enthusiast, food lover, and photographer. My husband and I are both full time working physicians. During the week, our lives are very busy – juggling our work demands and everyday parenting responsibilities (school, extracurriculars, meal time, bath time, bed time). Our time off is never taken for granted, and we try to make the most of our family time.
My instagram and blog are journals of the things and experiences we appreciate and cherish. Over the years, I’ve figured out that feeling “balanced” is not about being stress-free, or getting enough sleep. It’s not achieved by being comfortable, or by having a good job or enough resources. It’s about making sure that the different parts that give you meaning in life, and that make you feel alive and healthy, are nourished. It’s about investing your precious time on what matters most, and to pursue your interests with great passion.
Now that we’ve made it through much of 2020 - How are you maintaining you and your family’s health? (please share any tips!)
When we are not working, we are present with our kids - either reading and playing together at home, or outside exploring and adventuring. During and even prior to the pandemic, we eat all homemade meals - either I cook or my dad cooks homemade healthy chinese food. My kids love helping out in the kitchen as well. We have stayed active by getting outdoors and going on local hikes and bikes rides. On our weekends off, we’ve been camping and immersing ourselves in nature therapy by road tripping to nearby national parks.
When did you first encounter eco-conscious fashion and what makes you seek it out now?
I started learning about eco conscious fashion a few years ago. The more I learn about the fashion industry and waste and the environment - the more intentional I have become about the brands I support and buy.
What do you look for when you buy clothing for your kids? What is most important to you?
My boys are 2 years apart so when I buy for our older son, it is pretty much always re-worn by the younger brother. I like to incorporate color in their wardrobes, but try to get items in complementary tones, so I can mix and match. We are outdoors a lot so we have found wool and organic cotton to be practical, comfortable, durable and sustainable fibers for them to wear.What do you look for when you shop for your own clothing?
I try to purchase clothes that are high quality, well fitted, nicely designed and long lasting.
We know you recently received some Merino Silk from Nui and took it on an outdoor adventure - how did it hold up to your expectations?
- We loved it! It was soft, comfortable, breathable, temperature regulating, sweat and moisture wicking.
- The colors were rich and gorgeous
The fit and styles were flattering.
Where is your favorite place in nature?
- The Beach
- Any park - regional, state or national park
- My favorite national parks are probably Joshua tree and Yosemite
If someone wanted to become more eco-conscious in their everyday life, what are 3 things you would recommend they start doing?
- Reuse - we always have our reusable water bottles with us - whether going to school, roadtripping or hiking
- Consume consciously. Buy less.
- Wear organic fibers like wool which are sustainable, long lasting, and biodegradable
What do you think your kids will remember most about this time?
They will remember the time we spent together as a family.
Words to live by…
“Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder” EB White
“Before you can take care of other people, you have to learn how to take care of yourself” - my mom, Grandma Janet
Lastly, we LOVE all the recipes you share on your Instagram! Can you share your favorite with us? You are quite a chef!
My family has been fighting various colds for the past few weeks, and we have turned to congee to soothe, warm, and fill our bellies. This congee can ready to eat in about an hour (natural release-recommended*), with only about 10 minute of active time.
This recipe is toddler approved, as both my 2 and 4 year olds love it!
Chicken Shiitake Spinach Congee Recipe
1 cup uncooked jasmine rice
2 cloves garlic, crushed (I used Dorot frozen crushed garlic cubes from Trader Joe’s)
1-2 inches fresh ginger, sliced (I am not sure how much this is, I guesstimated and it tasted fine)
8-10 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1.3 lb boneless, skinless, chicken thigh
7 cups water
2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
5 oz baby spinach
soy sauce to taste
sesame oil to taste (a little goes a long way)
green onions, sliced
Slice the ginger – peel if preferred, I did not find it necessary. Crush the garlic, or use 2 frozen garlic cubes. Slice the mushrooms into thin strips.
Wash the rice in the Instant Pot and drain. Spread evenly at the bottom of the pot.
Add the crushed garlic, sliced ginger, and sliced mushrooms on top of the rice. Lay the chicken pieces over the rice and aromatics.
Add 1 teaspoon salt. Add seven cups of water.Close and lock the lid of the Instant Pot. Make sure the steam release valve is turned to the “sealing” position. Press the “porridge” button to begin cooking. The pot will begin to heat and build pressure. Once it reaches the required temperature and pressure, the display will begin to count down 20 minutes.
When the 20 minutes are up, the pot will switch to the “keep warm” setting and begin to drop in pressure. The original recipe (and my experience- see below) recommends allowing the pot to reduce in pressure naturally, without opening the steam release valve. When the float valve falls back to the down position, open the steam valve, and then open the lid. *I tried a quick release carefully, but I think the pressure forces some rice-y water to come through the valve / and then you have to wash the entire lid carefully to prevent the parts from clogging up.
After opening the pot, it will look watery, but don’t worry the consistency will be correct once you stir it. Taste the porridge, and add additional salt as needed. Only add enough salt to amplify the flavors, but leave room for the addition of soy sauce as a topping.
As you’re stirring, break apart any large pieces of chicken – this should happen very easily, as the chicken is now very tender, but you can use a fork if needed. Add a large bunch of spinach and let it cook down (with residual heat) for a few minutes.Ladle the congee into each bowl and enjoy! Depending on your taste preference, you may drizzle a small amount of toasted sesame oil and/or soy sauce on top of each bowl. I like mine with some chopped cilantro. I hope this recipe helps warm some other people during cold and flu season!
THE BEST BANANA BREADIngredients:
1 2/3 cups (210 grams) sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup sugar (*original recipe calls for 1 cup + 2 Tbsp)
1/2 cup canola or other flavorless oil
4 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed.
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*optional : chocolate chips
Directions:Preheat oven to 325 degrees F, with rack in the center of the oven. Line the bottom of a loaf pan with parchment paper, spray with nonstick spray. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
Beat sugar and eggs with a stand mixer using whisk attachment until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Switch the mixer to low sleep, and slowly drizzle in oil.Add mashed bananas, sour cream, and vanilla, and mix on low speed until just combined
Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture until combined, but do not overmix! *If you wish, you can add a handful of chocolate chips here.
Pour the batter into a lined loaf pan. Fill about 3/4 full. If you have extra batter, make a couple of additional muffins (I use individual ramekins) Bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour (less for the muffin sized ones). The bread should be golden brown and the cake will spring back when you press on it. Let it cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then remove from the pan and let it cool.Enjoy! And be sure to check out Felicia and her family’s everyday adventures for more fun, health-inspired tips, and delicious recipes!