Now whether it’s a diet protocol forced upon you because of a chronic disease, or just simply a personal choice, having dietary restrictions can make eating anywhere other than your own kitchen quite stressful or seemingly impossible. However, though food may be foremost on our minds, lifestyle is equally important. Living a balanced life is more than just eating healthy food. Social interaction is also critical for mental and physical health as well.
I would describe my personal diet and lifestyle as an 80/20 approach. The 80% is made up of meals cooked at home, which include the foods that promote health and healing for my personal circumstances. That 80% aspect also includes spending quality time with my family and husband, quiet intellectual time, as well as writing, working, and exercising. The other 20% consists of “everything else”; which ranges from ordering food to-go, dining out, getting a coffee or tea, lunches with friends, business meetings, life celebrations, and everything in-between.
This 20% is crucial in maintaining a well-balanced life. Personally, it allows me to avoid holding myself to an unhealthy standard of perfection. You see, I have an autoimmune condition, but although I am committed to making choices that allow me to heal and thrive, I am also mindful of the mental aspect of it all and the importance of not allowing it to take complete control. That’s because I learned the lesson that poor lifestyle choices can make autoimmune diseases flare just as quickly as poor food choices can. Therefore, BALANCE is what I strive for, and the only way to truly thrive.
With all of that being said, I wrote this article to share some of my favorite local spots on the island of O’ahu (where I live) that I tend to regularly choose during those 20% splurges and events. Though I may not be the one prepping the food or drinks myself, they are businesses that I support, trust, and whom also strive for either local, organic, or are at least creating and serving with nothing but LOADS OF ALOHA.
FOR FRESH-PRESSED JUICESMy Go-To: Hana Hou - a green juice packed with of local greens, kale, green apple, cucumber, celery, and lemon
Where: Kailua & Ward locations
My Go-To: Detoxifier - fresh juice made with beets, carrot, apple, celery, and ginger
FOR KOMBUCHA & SMOOTHIES
Where: Kailua, Kaimuki, Aina Haina locations
My Go-To: AC/DC Kombucha Cocktail - Kombucha, apple cider vinegar, ginger, mint, and honey on ice
FOR GREEN TEA & SWEET TREATS
Where: Ewa Beach
My Go-To: Passionfruit Green Tea Unsweetened + Boba
FOR A VEGGIE-PACKED LUNCH
Where: Several locations across O'ahu
My Go-To: Salad Bar, Okinawa Sweet Potato Salad, Homemade Dressings, Coleslaw, Vegan Rice Noodle Wraps
FOR FRESH COLD COCONUTS, BULLETPROOF COFFEE, SMOOTHIE BOWLS
Where: North Shore and Waikiki
My Go-To: Papaya Bowl, Fresh Coconut Water
FOR PICNIC FOOD
Tucker and Bevy
My Go-To: Gluten-free Chips & Hummus, Green Bowl, Noodle Bowl, Cold-Pressed Juices
FOR SALAD BAR
Where: Ala Moana
My Go-To: The Hot Bar, Coconut Curry, Poke Bowls
FOR “PLATE LUNCH”
Where: Foodland Farms and Waikiki location
My Go-To: Garlic Shrimp & Steak Plate w/No Rice + Extra Salad
FOR SEAFOOD or DINNER
Where: Four Seasons Resort O'ahu and Ko'Olina
My Go-To: Ahi Tuna Tartare