You won’t believe what just happened at NMC!

BREAKING NEWS! On Tuesday, July 22, 2014, between 11:30am and 1pm, a group of about a dozen culinary adventurers transformed the Northern Marianas College (NMC) Boardroom into Vegetarian Central Station!

Yes, it’s true! It was an event conceived and spearheaded by Lisa Hacskaylo, long time Saipan resident, currently working with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness at the college. With the support of NMC Radiant (a newly formed group focused on improving the health and wellness of everyone at NMC) and The Spirit Squad (A group of employees who lead activities that promote camaraderie and team spirit!), whose members contributed to purchase the food and supplies, I was invited to do a brief, healthy cooking demonstration for folks looking to lose weight, have more energy and simply eat healthier!

The day before the event, we went shopping around island (Joeten, I Luv Saipan, 99 Cents Store, Sunleader, San Jose Mart and Payless) for all the ingredients–from coconut oil to dried mushrooms to broccoli, Terra Chips (and, Lara bars, of course) and much more! Locally-grown avocados for my magic coleslaw provided courtesy of group members.

In attendance at this groundbreaking event was a mix of administrators, staff, and faculty from all over the campus.

The event was a success, and as difficult as it may be to believe, 11 people were fed (albeit small portions) and not a single animal was harmed in the process!

THIS JUST IN: Word’s getting around, and according to feedback I just received from Lisa: “The NMC Breakpoint Cafe (snack bar) is now going to offer brown rice and a vegetarian stir fry dish prepared with coconut oil as a lunch option once a week–every Wednesday. Yipee! It’s a HUGE start!”

Stay tuned for more!
(Yep, I think I’m getting better at writing compelling headlines! Made you look!)


Lisa kicks things off with a welcome and introduction


Healthy shopping tips, products and dishes!


…And not a single animal was harmed during the preparation of this meal


left to right: Christopher Morabe, Amanda Allen, Ivyanne Ealy, Ni Deleon Guerrero, Frankie Eliptico, Jacqueline Che, Lisa Hacskaylo, Velma Deleon Guerrero, and the Jamaican vegan on Saipan. (Not shown: Floyd Masga and Jack Kiyoshi.)

What you can get for $20 on Saipan!

“What’s the cost of living on Saipan?” “Can I survive on my $700/month SSI?” I get questions like that a lot on my www.saipanliving.com website. So, as a public service for those seeking to relocate here, here’s what you can get for $20 on Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, as of Saturday, July 12, 2014.

cost of living on saipan
1 pineapple ($2.60)
1 watermelon ($4.50; ~7lb @ 0.65/lb)
1 pack peppers (1.00; 24count)
bananas (0.75; small bunch)
1 papaya (2.00)
guavas (1.60)
avocados (1.50)
sweetsop (2.00; plate of 6)
soursop (1.00)
mangos (1.00; bag of 5)
dry coconut (1.00)
Total: 18.95

…purchased at the Sabalu Market* on Saipan! (*every Saturday from 6am to noon next to World Resort/Hanwha Hotel and Naked Fish Restaurant). If you hurry you can still catch it!

Narcisim Alert:
That list also answers another frequent question I get: “What on earth do you eat, then, you crazy vegan nutjob?” Well, for the past 44 days I’ve been doing a completely raw food diet; nothing fried, poached, steamed, boiled, baked, or barbecued. Simply fruits and vegetables (including sprouted lentils). Except for coconut water, lara bars, Terra chips, and my “Jamaican-Superman-please-stop-I-can’t-take it anymore” Coleslaw (top secret, but if you ask nicely, I’ll share it) that list is pretty much all that I eat. That purchase should be completely consumed by about Tuesday–just in time for the Tuesday Market in Garapan!

If you’ve ever wondered what you’d look like if you ate completely raw for 44 days after being completely vegan since 1992, here’s a sample (your mileage may vary):
vegan on saipan
Vegan nomad eats raw; Fries brain with cell phone