This week has been great.  We entered into the week of eating local to push ourselves away from some of the mainland food we are habituated to.  We pushed so successfully that we aren’t going back!  At least for now, we’re just going to keep eating local.

The week culminated last night with a great potluck feast with friends, some of whom ate local this week and some who didn’t.

Dining all local was fun and gave us a common reason to get together and celebrate

Dining all local was fun and gave us a common reason to get together and celebrate

Clockwise from left: beef-ulu-stew; curry-vegetable salad; wild pig (in crockpot), pineapple grown by friend; dragonfruit and banana; guacamole made from one giant avocado; taro-herb patties.


Beef-ulu stew also with kohlrabi, carrots, chicken stock, leeks.


In foreground are the spices (mac nut oil infused with hot pepper, pink Molokai salt) and fizzy drinks (“fermented fruit tonic”) made of orange, banana, ginger, turmeric, and lilkoi in cane syrup


The coco-loco balls (cacao, mac nut butter, coconut flakes, cane syrup) were loved by all, and the pineapple and dragonfruit were perfectly ripe, the best ever!

Although I stopped posting what we ate for every meal (you’re welcome), in summary we ate a lot of fruit, kefir, eggs, breadfruit, meat, taro, vegetables, coconut, macadamia nuts, sweet potatoes, cacao, and cane syrup.  All our herbs and seasonings (except salt) were from our land, and most of the fruit.  The coconuts and avocados were gathered by friends or by ourselves but were not grown on our land.

So Satisfying in So Many Ways

Since we already eat 100% organic, non-GMO, and largely local, it seemed like going all local wouldn’t be that much of a change, to our cooking habits or health.  Turns out that those imported grains we do eat are pretty significant.  The main one is rice, in the form of a grain, cereal, milk, flour, crackers, and bread.  We also were used to eating lots of lentils and beans.

At first dropping the grains was a little difficult, with much time spent planning and preparing, and our digestion was off, but by the fourth day it was getting easy and we started to notice that we felt good in a new way.  It’s hard to pinpoint; our health was good to start with, our energy and mood more than decent.  But something shifted to feeling REALLY good around that fourth day, and we started to wonder – is there something more than psychologically gratifying that’s going on?  We felt satisfied, seriously satisfied, as in less hungry, and also more right with the world.

Is that feeling from eating local, or stopping all grains – I’m not sure, can’t analyze it any more than that just yet!

I do know that eating local is meaningful.  A few motivations are to:

  • help our local farmers be successful so we ward off the big corporate farms that are not interested in our health or the environment
  • … and thus give the islands greater food security
  • contribute less to the pollution casued by shipping food thousands of miles
  • contribute less to pollution of manufacturing and packaging
  • eat fresher

Just this one week added significantly to our familiarity and skill with preparing local foods.

Adding Skills

I added to my fermentation repertoire this week.  I am making a new type of kim chi with all local ingredients except for the garlic (next time I will make it ALL local).  I started making fizzy fruit drinks again, this time exclusively with our cane syrup.  I learned to make kefir and am SO EXCITED about it – it’s the easiest food to make!  And, I am in the process of making pineapple vinegar.  (I will add blog entries on some of these techniques.  As it is, I should be in the garden!!)


Our new morning routine – fruit smoothie with kefir, some cacao nibs, a dollop of mac nut butter. 

Quiche with sweet potato crust

Dinner and lunch a few days was this quiche with sweet potato/mac nut crust, feta cheese, perennial greens (I made two and froze one, but defrosted quiche is spongey!)

For the first time, I used ulu for more than chips, by adding it to the beef stew and then just steaming, which is delicious. Instead of lazily buying coconut flakes from the Philippines, I perfected the technique of making coconut flakes, and also made coconut cream (oh my god delicious) which is a richer concoction than the way I had been making coconut milk.  Motivated by wanting chocolate (a craving early in the week that waned), Dan got into the act and helped with processing cacao nibs, using a fan to blow off the chaff.

Coconut flakes

Coconut flakes

The point I want to make – before getting off the computer! – is that the longer we have done this challenge, the more new foods we are able to make, and the more delicious they are, AND the healthier we feel!

Off to the garden I go!