out with the bad, in with the good

So, the reason we were able to make it over to O'ahu was because Keola's internship sent him to a conference for Hawaiian men. He learned some interesting things there, but the one thing we both took home was a commitment to eating healthier. At the conference, they only ate Hawaiian food, which consists mainly of fish, taro, taro leaf, poi (mashed up taro), breadfruit, sweet potato, banana, with chicken and pork eaten very sparingly. Food was cooked simply (baked/broiled or eaten raw).

I LOVE Hawaiian food, but it's often expensive or hard to come by, but after last week we thought we'd change our diet to be a little more Hawaiian, and a LOT more healthy.

The basic principles of the Hawaiian diet are:

Fruits/Veggies (even though there weren't any "vegetables" in Hawaii the way we think of them today)


Chicken/Pork sparingly

Simple cooking

So we started doing that. Dinners consist of a little bit (I'm talking REAL little - LESS than a deck of cards) of fish (salmon/ahi), boneless, skinless chicken breast, lean pork or lean steak that's browned in the pan without any oil and then baked with sweet potato and onion. We eat various combinations of broccoli, salad, poi and corn, and some fruit after dinner. I've also kept a couple recipes that we've already been eating that fit in with this diet. Oh, and NO WHITE RICE - which a staple here but isn't the healthiest thing to be eating every night. Lots of people I know have cut weight by cutting out white rice.

Breakfast is oatmeal and a strawberry/banana fruit smoothie. (we had already been doing that for a while)

Lunch is usually a sandwich on whole wheat bread, cheese and crackers, fruits and veggies.

Since starting, this diet has done several things for us:

1) It's simplifies shopping: I just buy a lot of everything, portion it out and we throw food together in whatever combination we want.

2) It saves money: Because we're not eating AS MUCH meat at one time, we actually save money on the most expensive part of our meals. $10 at the farmer's market can get me a huge bag of fresh produce, and we steam frozen broccoli or corn on the cob. We're also not eating out which ALWAYS saves people money.

3) It reduces waste: I haven't opened a SINGLE can - which means our trash can doesn't fill up as fast, which means we won't have to buy trash bags as often, which will ALSO save us money.

4) It makes more room in our cabinets: Since all this food is perishable, we keep it in the fridge, freeing up room in our currently overthrowing cabinets.

5) Oh yeah...we're healthier: Toward the end of pregnancy and after giving birth, life was kinda crazy and we ate out A LOT. It got to the point where I literally felt GROSS and weighed down inside. Finally we're getting things under control and I feel lighter on my feet and more energetic. Keola reported having lost 6 pounds IN A WEEK and he loves this diet. I was worried that he wouldn't feel full because we're not eating much meat, but we both feel satisfied and good about ourselves.

So, we feel like we're off to a good start. When we're settled again, I want to start experimenting with different herbs and spices to make things more interesting, and therefore sustainable, but for now, we like the direction that we're headed in and can't wait to see even more benefits!