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Healthy Guide to Maui

Having just arrived home from my island holiday, I thought I would put pen to paper (figuratively) and give you all my best tips for the beautiful island of Maui. Now, I have to be honest, I do prefer Kauai – and you can find my blog post on all my fav things to eat and do here. However, I had to broaden my horizons and see another Hawaiian island (even though I would very happily chain myself to Hanalei Bay for the rest of eternity). Maui is a much bigger island, with some incredibly gorgeous golden beaches and crystal clear, aqua waters. There are so many little towns that it makes it tricky to navigate if you aren’t familiar with the island, and didn’t bother doing any research (that was me). However, after familiarising ourselves, I thanked heaven that we chose to stay at the first place we came across – which just so happened to be toward the North Shore rather than the tourist-ridden West. Don’t get me wrong, the West has some insanely stunning beaches, but they are all backed onto by huge, concrete hotels, and to me, that isn’t really the island vibe I seek.

So, my recommendation to stay is the north shore, if you are looking for something more low-key, secluded and equally beautiful. I stayed at a place that was gorgeous, but did feel a little out of the way. I stayed here because I was looking for a health retreat, but I will caveat this by saying it didn’t really live up to my expectations of that. Whilst it does have a lot of daily classes, I mainly just went to the yoga, which for the most part, was really nice (albeit slightly easier than I would have liked. But hey, that’s not a bad thing). The food was overpriced and nothing crash hot, so after the first day we didn’t go back to the on-site restaurant. The rooms, grounds and pool are really clean and lovely. It is called Lumeria for those of you interested. Just expect a nice, quaint hotel, and don’t rush to it if you are looking for a full health immersion. They did have a beautiful organic veggie garden, see the avocado tree below! Note, you must hire a car in Maui, otherwise you will be hotel-bound.

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Ok, so with accomodation out of the way, let’s get into the food!

To eat:

Maui Kombucha – Haiku – This was my fav spot so naturally, it goes first on my list 🙂 Don’t be fooled, it is not just a kombucha bar, it has some incredibly innovative vegan food. I had the most amazing gluten-free waffles with faux tuna (made from sunflower seeds, not gross processed soy stuff) and it was OUT OF THIS WORLD! Their acai bowls are also heavenly, and they have some really delicious and unusual kombucha flavours. Do not hesitate, put this at the top of your list too!

BEST EVER! "Save-da-tuna Waffles" from @mauikombucha They use sprouted sunflower seeds for the faux tuna, Aquafaba & almond flour for the incredible waffles Need to recreate

Choice Health Bar – Lahaina – Ummmm, yum! I was spoiled for Choice here 😉 :p hehe we got acai bowls here on the way to the beach over on the West side, and also bought a box of Mexican-spiced sushi rolls to share as a beach snack. Wish I could have gone back a second and third and fourth time…

Mexican inspired sushi has been a bit of a theme on this trip I'm not complaining! This spiced tempeh was delish! A quick note on soy- people often ask me if it's ok to be consuming it regularly. I have to giggle with them because really, the (phyto)oestrogens in soy is nothing compared to the synthetic & natural oestrogen found in meat & dairy (hello heavily pregnant cow).... yet people never question their intake of those food items? So yes, my answer to you would be it's fine to be consuming whole-food, organic soy products (tempeh, tamari, tofu, miso) daily. There's certainly bigger things in people's diets to worry about. You don't have to consume soy, of course, to have a nutritionally complete vegan diet, but I'd say swapping out a meat/dairy based meal with tempeh or soy milk isn't a cause for concern at all ☺️ I have a whole blog post on this "a love note to soy" if you want to read more...

Paia Bowls – Paia – Your go-to acai in the area. Their acai blend is really delicious, and they offer lots of tropical fruit toppings.

Des Amis – Paia – So close to where we were staying, and a really fun tiki-vibe. We had a cocktail here and two different vegan curries, both delicious. They also play live music.

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Nuka Sushi – Haiku – This was described to me as the best sushi on the island! Lots of veg options, and they even do rice bowls with tofu and veggie sauce (as opposed to fish). Win!

Mamma’s Fish House – Paia – We missed out as they were booked up and I forgot to make reservations for our last evening! But the place is busy and always popping!! I looked up the menu and they have a nice vegan option- so don’t worry if you are vegan or feel like a plant-based meal. The location/view is a drawing card, and the vibe is sensational.

 

To stock up:

Down to Earth – Kahului – Great spot for an easy lunch from their self-serve section, they even have slices of vegan pizza! Similar to Wholefoods or About Life, they have a vast array of natural food stuffs and beauty/household products. Great stopover after your flight in as they are close by the airport. I stocked up on my fav kombucha here- GTs 🙂

Mana Foods – Paia – Oh gosh, whyyyy did I only decide to go here on my last night?! They are great because they stay open until 8:30pm making it a perfect stopover for some vegan chocolate after dinner in town :p They also have a fantastic selection of grocery items and are ideally positioned if you are staying near Paia.

Hawaiian Moons Natural Foods – Kihue – What a health food store! Picked up a bag of longan here (I love!), some delicious spicy tofu, vegan cheese and gluten-free crackers. They have everything! My mum had to hold me back 😉

 

To treat:

Ululani’s Shave Ice – Kihue – Shave, not shaved, ice is a hallmark of Hawaii, and it wouldn’t be right if by my fifth trip to the state that I didn’t finally try it!! Balance, right? We stumbled across this place, and saw a huge line and a big sign claiming it had been voted no.1 in Maui. So, naturally, we joined the cue. It did not disappoint! I assumed it would taste like an icey snow-cone, but it is so much more. It really tastes more like super-sweet sorbet. Different places offer “healthier” versions i.e. organic v non-organic, pure raw cane sugar v high fructose corn syrup and some offer sugar-free (note this place’s sugar-free meant aspartame so I emplore you to just get the pure can sugar ones!). My flavour choice was red raspberry, pina colada (which they offered to just use pineapple and coconut mixed as opposed to the pre-mixed version which they told me was more artificial, and mango. My mum got sour cherry which I definitely recommend! Let’s just say I am glad I only tried it on the last few days of my trip, or I may have gone back for more!

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I don’t think I quite nailed the activities, here so I won’t go into that too much. We did visit a few beautiful beaches – Baldwin beach, Ho’okipa beach, Ka’anapali beach, Mokapu/Ulua Beach – and the twin falls (cover photo) on the way to the Road to Hana. Given we drive on the other side of the road in Aus, I didn’t want to chance it going the full way to Hana with mum and I!! I heard they offered tours, but we ended up deciding on a helicopter tour of the island. If you do decide to helicopter here are my tips: do it first thing on your stay, as they give you some great tips for what to do in Maui on tour, and if you are choosing between going on a helicopter in Maui or Kauai, choose Kauai 😉

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So there you have my advice for a beautiful, healthy, sunny stay on Maui! I hope they are helpful. Please let me know if I missed anywhere, and if you go to any of the places I recommend!

Love & health, always…

Sami

x

A Healthy Guide to the Garden Island…K A U A I

I must say, Kauai truly is a special place. From the moment we hopped off the plane we knew it. The warm sunshine, fresh air, friendly smiles and natural beauty all around us (even on the side of the highway!) were all so welcoming and postcard perfect. We went around the corner straight from the airport and found a cute little farmers markets at Vidinha Stadium where we stocked up on fruit and veg for the drive to the North side of the Island. The highlight was a big bag of small but juicy lychees with the tiniest pips!

We stayed on the North, in Hanalei. In my opinion, it is the most aesthetically beautiful area of the island, very lush and green. I’d recommend staying here or closer East (where the majority of cafes are located). In our condo we had a kitchen so we cooked a few healthy dinners with the amazing local organic produce from the markets as well as the delicious products from the health food stores. Exploring health markets is one of my favourite things to do on holiday so it was nice to be able to buy and cook with local produce, plus it felt like we were local! Speaking of locals, there are beautiful chickens roaming freely around the island, unexpected in this lush oasis but endearing all the same! Much nicer than seeing them caged like you come across in other beautiful holiday destinations 🙁 They are pretty much part of the furniture, and are not shy!

Below I have listed the incredible farmers markets, cafes, juice bars, fruit stands, activities, yoga studios and health shops we visited during our stay. I only recommend what I thoroughly enjoyed. It is definitely an active escape, but please, you can make it as energetic or relaxing as you choose. I think Kauai is the perfect place for adventure as well as for pure restoration. Nature’s beauty surrounds you and the tropical, easy-going vibe is contagious!

Travel tip: hire a car. Kauai is a large island with each area offering a lot so make sure you can access it all!

It's my favourite place on earth!!! Beach walks at dusk along Hanalei Bay ✨❤️ #weddingdestination #bestholidayever

Farmers Markets

Vidinha Stadium – 3pm Fridays (East)Farmers markets just around the corner from yoga Hanalei... What a view to drink in post practice! Everywhere we look is postcard picture worthy. And these local #markets were #beautiful! Fresh fruit & veg, soaps, jewellery etc & lots of drinking coconuts which you could take back to get chopped & have the meat scooped! My kinda coconut situation #healthytravel

Hanalei Markets – 9:30am – 12pm Saturdays (North)

Waipa Ahupuaa Field – 2pm Tuesdays (North)

Another day in #paradise, another farmers market, another coconut From tree to me! #local #fresh One of the best ways to replenish the body of water & electrolytes lost on a hot summers day is hydrating with coconut water ☀️ It's no wonder coconuts are prevalent in so many hot climates... Nature has our back! #hydrate #refreshing #summer

 

Fruit Stands

Aloha Juice Bar – Hanalei (North) – for the very best acai! We went here every morning. My toppings were to add blueberries, macadamia nuts and bee pollen 🙂

The last Acai bowl of the trip Best #acai in Hanalei! Delicious crunchy granola, crushed macadamias, bee pollen, sliced banana & blueberries to top What a way to start every day here!!! Mahalo @alohajuicebar

 

Moloaa Sunrise Fruit Stand – (North-east) Gotta get the “date with fate” smoothie!!

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Kalalea Juice Hale – (North-east) … King Kong acai bowl is a must! Chocolate Peanut Butter lovers dream!

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Akamai Juice Company (North) – I adored! Found on the last day and wish I found it sooner. The Magic Dragon juice is a must. Try a hot shot if you are feeling a bit sniffly.

Banana Joes (North) – small juice bar, lots of yummy, organic produce and snacks. They stock some Rainbow Foods dishes!

Kombucha

Potions Kombucha Bar (East) – a must for kombucha lovers! The friendly owner, Gadhai, is a monk with extensive knowledge on kombucha and herbs and has created some carefully and cleverly constructed masterpieces to create tasty brews that deliver all the goodness of kombucha plus more to your bodies.

Kauai Juice Co (North-East & East locations) – juices, health shots, kombucha, kim chi plus more! You can find their kombucha at most supermarkets on the island, some delicious flavour combos!

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Cafes & Restaurants

Rainbow Living Foods (East) – Raw Vegan… a must! Smoothies, wraps, pizza, burgers, tacos, sushi, salads, chia caviar, falafels and desserts…. A health foodie lovers dream!

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Postcards (North) – best dinner spot in the North that offers vegan/vegetarian/healthy options. Mostly we cooked but if we went out for dinner North, it was here.IMG_7732

JO2 Natural Cuisine (East) – A great dining experience with friends. There are a lot of vegan options on the menu – I recommend the papaya tacos, cauliflower bisque and mushroom risotto 🙂

Café Coco – A Jamaican vibe with gorgeous, fresh, colourful creations!

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Sushi Girl – perfect little stop over when coming back from Key beach or the Hanakapi’ai hike. A sushi burrito is a must! We got ours “just veggies”, and it was delicious.

A SUSHI BURRITO??!! 2017 already shaping up We got the "just veggies" version- do add seaweed salad, ponzu & chilli sauce, don't wait to too long to eat it @sushigirlkauai

Health Food Stores/Supermarkets

Papayas Natural Food Market (East) – THE BEST! It has all your needs, beautiful fresh produce, endless aisles of packaged goods, health food products, extensive range of teas, pick-n-mix nuts, seeds, grains, pastas, legumes… It also stocks some of Rainbow Living Foods dishes in the fridge! Plus beautiful oils, soaps and toiletries…. Could spend hours in here.

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Hanalei Organic Market (North) – a pretty good range of products, supplements and snacks. Didn’t have the best Acai bowl here (go across the rd to Aloha instead) but definitely a great stock up spot for the area

Banana Joes (North) – a cross between a juice stand and a small grocery store, it stocks some items from Rainbow Living Foods, fresh produce, dips, kombucha, soaps etc. and has a small smoothie selection.

The Healthy Hut Market & Cafe – a great selection of health food products and fresh produce! Try the spirulina popcorn!

 

Yoga

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Yoga Hanalei (North)

Metamorphose Yoga (North) – we had the best class with Tulasi!

 

Activities

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Na Pali Coast hikes:

  • Hanakapi’ai Trail (North-west) to a beautiful, breathtaking 300ft waterfall… Just gorgeous!
    • You can also do the Kalalau Trail which is 35km so an overnighter, but you can camp! We didn’t do this but I am sure it is definitely worth it… it is rated top 10 adventure hikes in the USA.

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Kayak to “Secret Waterfalls” (East) – a 2 mile kayak to a spot where you can leave your kayak, jump out and hike 1 mile to the falls. 6 miles round trip! A nice activity to incorporate into your stay, not many places I have come across where you can leave your kayak on the side of a river without worrying it will get taken away. However, when we were there the waterfall was a little sad! Not much water flowing, not in comparison to the Hanakapi’ai Fall we saw the day before. I still recommend it for the exercise and experience.

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Paddle Board around Hanalei Bay (North) – you can paddle into town down or up Hanalei river which feeds out into the ocean. Some of the best scenery around. The silence is so calming and the greenery is unparalleled. We saw a big turtle here! I recommend Kayak Hanalei.

Queens bath – a couple of watering holes that are beautiful to swim in, in summer. In winter they can get very rough, wavy and dangerous, however you might find yourself there on a calm day during low swell.

Bathing like royalty in Queens Bath The Bondi Icebergs of Kauai

Helicopter ride around Kauai (East) – we went with a company called Island Tours, which I would recommend. There are plenty of options though, even open door helicopters. They take you to the Jurassic park waterfall, over the canyon and around the coast. Choose the one that suits your budget and definitely prioritise it in your trip. The best way to see the island!

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Snorkel – unfortunately, on our first trip, our snorkel tour was cancelled due to the wind. We hired snorkels for $5 and took them to different beaches around the island. Do the same! Or buy your own from the ABC stores. On the second trip we went on a small boat to view the Napali coast by boat and it was absolutely stunning! You get to see parts of the island inaccessable by land, dozens of waterfalls, secluded beaches, sea caves, and even dolphins and whales!! Afterward we jumped off the boat for a bit of a snorkel. Such a beautiful part of the world.

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Wailua falls – stunning lookout to the falls

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Anini Beach – the most beautiful beach!

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