Staying Paleo in Kauai (or on any vacation)

The top of the world in Kalalua Lookout

Kauai April 2010…..


In 2001 I started on a health journey, along the way losing about 90 lbs, becoming a trainer and now a certified holistic nutritionist. Besides eating and working out, traveling is my biggest joy in life but since I moved to San Francisco in 2006 I have not been able to go many places. Exploring the bay area is almost enough adventure for a lifetime and you could never see or do it all. But In April 2010, me and my husband were lucky enough to go to Kauai, Hawaii for 6 days. It is the island known for being wild, untamed, and good for active adventure types. We stayed in Princeville on the north side of the island in a condo with a full kitchen. This comes in pretty handy since my husband is a professional chef who loves to make gourmet dishes.


Foraging for Food….


Our condo was about 1/2 mile from a decent grocery store so we could be spontaneous with our meals. The key to staying paleo on vacation is to do your research before you go and book a place with a kitchen. A good rental site is vacation rentals in Kauai which lists creative spaces worldwide. If you do need to eat out it can be done, if you look online at Yelp or Menu Pages to find primal friendly eats while away from home. Eat wild is also a good resource for local meat and Farmers Markets in Kauai. One day we stopped at the Kilauea Farmers Market where we had fresh coconuts and an Acai frozen berry bowl minus the granola. We also made a few trips to the Costco where they had some local seafood and awesome fresh Poke as well as having grass fed lamb, and organic chicken. One more awesome stop is the Hanalei Dolphin where we got some amazing fresh caught local Mahi Mahi. The last day I got this amazing frozen pineapple treat at Banana Joe’s that had been squeezed through a juicer. It was just pineapple but it tasted like a Wendy’s Frosty…..ahhh memories.  Planning ahead is always the key to any active and healthy lifestyle change.


Cook for Yourself…
Hawaii is not really known for it’s food and since we are spoiled by living in one of the best restaurant cities in the world we decided to cook all of our meals. I am gluten free/paleo/low carb and my husband also has dietary restrictions, and together we are a waiters nightmare, so we spared the local restaurants some grief. We made some amazing dishes I will list below. Just because you go on vacation does not mean your Paleo/ low carb lifestyle has to go out of the window.
Seared scallops in mushroom reduction with steamed artichokes and fresh tuna poke
Fresh Mahi Mahi with shrimp and tomato sauce
Rock fish with homemade satay sauce
Grilled lamb with Mustard sauce and sauteed Zuchinni
Keep Active and Keep Moving….
Another key to long term healthy lifestyle is incorporating activity into your daily routine. We went zip lining and kayaking on this trip. We hiked Hanakapi’ai Falls which was a very strenuous 8 mile hike. We snorkeled and swam daily on the various beaches from Poipu to Hanalei. I did floor exercises with body weight when I was feeling like I needed a pump. Don’t get me wrong we still relaxed in the sun, but the point is we didn’t let our fitness go to pot while we were away. In my opinion this attitude is key. If you have ever lost weight, I think you know that being active and staying on track with your nutrition is the key to keeping it off for the long haul.
Kayaking in Princeville

Stop to Smell the Roses….
The most important thing about vacations is to de-stress from life. If you live in a big city like we do, slowing down can be really tough. It is hard to smell the roses between all the highs and lows of the daily grind. It is a good idea on vacation to go to bed and wake up naturally without an alarm clock. Kauai is 3 hours earlier than San Francisco so the time change really threw me for a loop. But I just tried to follow our ancestors by letting the sun tell me when sleep. Try not to over program or over plan. Take time to splurge in a few treats that you may not normally let yourself have such as fruit, wine, or dark chocolate. Sometimes when we remove stress from the equation people can lose weight even when they eat or drink more than normal. Just remember to chew slowly and enjoy each bite. If you are listening your body will tell you when you have reached a satiety point. Try to clear your mind and take deep breaths when near the ocean or in the the clean air of the forest. If you follow these tips you will be as good as new when you return from your next vacation. 

Take some time to relax at Ke’e Beach