The Big Island is truly a place unlike any other with its three active volcanos, green and black sand beaches and majestic waterfalls. Recently I visited Hawaii and was amazed by what I learned. Although I probably won’t move to Hawaii anytime soon, I did take a little bit of Hawaii back with me and here is a list of how both you and I can live healthier lives, Hawaiian style.
1. Eat Locally…..and in your backyard.
Living on an island can be expensive! Especially imported food, according to expatistan.com where you can compare the cost of living in various parts of the world, a bag of potatoes cost about 42% more than in Seattle, eggs 43% more, 1 liter of whole fat milk cost about 78% more. Although imported foods are on the spendy side, local pineapple, sea salt, star fruit, mangos, papayas, bananas, macadamia nuts, taro, sweet potatoes, coffee, coconuts, seaweed, pig and seafood are in abundance and are not overpriced. The tropical climate allows for people to grow many of these foods in their yards and many of the locals do. Growing our own food at home and eating locally more often is a great goal and worth the reward, your will save money on your grocery bill, even if it isn’t as much as in Hawaii.
2. Slow Down
In the frantic world of the main land where ‘on time’ means 15 minutes early and there is a constant stress to do and achieve more, the Big Island takes a more polychronic, laid back approach. I learned quickly that 6:30 meant around 6:30 and as soon as possible meant 3 hours later. In the beginning of my trip there were so many things I wanted to do and I woke up rearing to go, but after about day three slowing down I was still able to get the things done I wanted to but without less stress. Sweating the small stuff and stressing over things that don’t matter in the grand scheme of things, is not healthy. Once your slow down your stress decreases and life becomes much happier, capturing this feeling and applying it everyday life is a challenge, but worth it.
3. Pay Homiage to Goddess Pele
Staying on an active volcano can be extremely nerve racking. If you ever have an opportunity to get up close and personal with lava, you will notice the soles of your shoes begin to heat up and you begin to feel like you are in a dry sauna, it’s hard to not be humbled while staring at the red oozing liquid. Very little stands in-between you and utter annihilation, sometimes it’s good to be reminded that there are things out of your control. Natural disasters of giant proportions are one of them, nothing lasts forever and humans are not the top of the food chain. Volcanos are.
4. Have Fun and Get Outside
Let’s face it, sitting inside on sunny day especially with so many amazing things to do rarely happens in Hawaii. Surfing, snorkeling, fishing, hiking, biking and the list goes on…. it’s easy to do these things in Hawaii, but making time for them at home can be more of a challenge. Being active and getting outside to do things like hike and bike is great for your health and a lesson we can all learn from the Hawaiian natives.
5. Embrace Aloha
Hawaiians refer to aloha as a way of life, or “The Aloha Spirit”. It is not simply a greeting of hello or goodbye, it means love, affection, mercy, peace and compassion. It is a way to live, a life of aloha is one where the heart is so full, it is overflowing with good intentions that you want to share with others. We should all strive to speak every greeting as if it is Aloha, with love and good intentions, from one spirit to another.