Saturday, August 27, 2016

Eating Paleo, LCHF, and Ketogenic while traveling in Hawaii 2016

My twitter friend from Portland Dr. Ghaheri, MD asked me for tips for eating Paleo while in Hawaii. Dr. Ghaheri is an excellent resource in tongue tie, so be sure to check out his information on his blog.

The request, tips for eating out in Hawaii

@gardengirl_kp coming there in Sept! Tips for paleo eating out there?
— Bobby Ghaheri, MD (@DrGhaheri) June 25, 2016

Why, yes!  I have lots of great tips for eating Paleo (LCHF & Ketogenic) while traveling. I'm strict gluten, and nut free and emulsifier free, 100% of the time.  I'm a food addict in recovery, so abstaining from my binge triggers is priority #1.

Here are my best tips for eating Paleo, LCHF, and Ketogenic while in Hawaii

AKA What is working now:

1. Pack foods in your suitcase, saves money, know what you are getting.
2. Order "shell eggs" in restaurants and look for grass-fed island beef.
3. Stop at Costco in Maui to stock up, cook in your own kitchen.
4. Get spices and local flavors in general stores or local stores or farmers market type places.

Here's the long version below
Dark Chocolate, Mini Guacamole, Oyster tin, Raw coconut butter-LCHF Paleo travel food

Chicken Salad with greens, radishes, and lime slices, guacamole, coconut milk for coffee

1.  Airport travel:
a. I was traveling from one sensitive agriculture area to another, so I packed only foods that would not get confiscated in San Diego or Honolulu.

In San Diego, beagles are used to randomly check bags for whole fruits and vegetables during certain times of the year.  In Honolulu during inter-island flights, German Shepards were used- more for drug sniffing that fruit. ;)

Normally, I would pack a few whole avocados and call it a day.

b. Chicken salad packed in a "PackiT" soft sided lunch bag with gel packs inside the whole lunch box. Freeze the lunch bag, then pack your cold stuff for lunch inside. I made it through just fine in the carry on TSA line. No need to buy really expensive food when you can eat lunch for $1-2 tops. 

Bonus! We used the lunch bag to keep our water cold on the rest of the trip for post very hot walking and sight seeing.  PACKiT's are $20 at Target.
PackiT lunch bag- you can take it

Honolulu and Waikiki and touring Oahu Island

Food here was very easy because the hotel side of the island is like any major city. Great fresh options. I woke up early, let the teen sleep and explored. I didn't have a kitchen in Oahu, so we found a nearby Denny's.
1. a In restaurants, ask for "shell eggs" only and no pancake batter in your eggs or omelettes. Denny's did not have coconut based oil, so I did get mild stomach upset (probably the corn in the vegetable based oils used to cook the eggs.

Chinaman's Hat, as seen from Kualoa Ranch, Oahu, HI
1. b There are ABC stores on every street corner. And drug stores like CVS carry limited fruits and veggies, nuts, and Hawaiian salt and have decent coconut oil jars. Since we were only on Oahu 2 short days, I waited until we got to Maui to buy the coconut oil. 
Such good beef!
1.c Touring-  Look for local grass-fed beef. We took a Big Island Tour and stopped for lunch at a touristy, yet scenic ranch.

There was a prepaid traditional Hawaiian meal, but I don't eat pork, so I took my chances. I was pleased that they served their own ranch raise grass fed beef.

This burger was tasty and I did not get glutened. Bravo to Kualoa Ranch for offering a great Paleo, Low Carb High Natural Fat option for touring a more remote section of Oahu.

Kualoa Ranch 100% grass fed beef, Oahu, HI

Kualoa Ranch, scenic stop on our island tour

Honolulu Coffee Co., Waikiki, HI
1 d.  Coffee. Yes! So good. I recommend buying and enjoying freshly brewed Hawaiian coffee while you are traveling. An Americano at Honolulu Coffee Co in downtown Waikiki was the same as in the US.

Whole bean coffee to buy and bring home was double the price, so I just enjoyed my cups consumed on the island.

2.  Maui and Lahaina

a. Stop at Costco in Maui, it's near the airport and rental car area

Here's what we stocked up on in the Maui Costco.

Freezer section
Grass Fed pre-cooked burgers

Refrigerator section

Sweet Kale salad (tossed the dressing and toppings)

Wholly Guacamole
Cheese (for my teen)
Romaine lettuce
Bell Peppers
Chicken thighs

Room Temp stuff
Pineapple and Mangoes (for the teen, too much sugar and I need to pass my insurance Ha1c test)

Great locally made salsa from Costcto Maui
Pepper to make your salsa spicy hot

b.  Cook in your kitchenette and grill in Maui

I made omelettes, grass-fed burger bowls, chicken on the grill at the resort, chicken salad to bring with me for lunches.

So nice to have my own kitchen.

c. Buy spices in local groceries- I bought several different kinds of Hawaiian salt and a decent sized jar of coconut oil

The view from the grill was spectacular!! And I got a chance to chat up some of the guests and share my spices with them.

Grilling Paleo/Low Carb on vacation, so great!

View from the grill, Ka'anapali, HI while cooking LCHF
d. Eating out in Lahaina, HI

We ate out a few times in Lahaina. One of the best places was Koa's seaside grill. Great location, great food.
Huge salad at Koa's Seaside grill, Lahaina, HI
We stopped at Koa's right after our kayak and snorkel tour, so the great salad hit the spot.

View from Koa's Seaside Grill, Lahaina, HI

Another great meal was Down the Hatch in Lahaina. I got surf and turf and gave the fries to my daughter. I know better than to even eat a bite of off template food. Belly ache and binge urges have no place in my vacations anymore. Food Addiction gets to stay in remission on this trip!

Down the Hatch is located in downtown Lahaina, near the theater. 
Surf and turf from Down the Hatch- Lahaina, HI

Rainforest hiking, no need to snack, I can run off my own fuel

Catamaran sailing out to Molokini, Trilogy

Turtle Town photo ops- snorkel trip

Dinner made at the hotel

Breakfast fuel. So good!

What worked is above, near the top of the post.

As always, what didn't work in the past when I was obese, morbidly obese and counting WW points

1. I packed junk food and candy to "travel with. Hey, York Peppermint patties were low points, YO! Lordy, I arrived at my destination craving all kinds of junk . Terrible way to start a trip.

2. I used traveling as an excuse to eat EVERYTHING, local, junk food, baked goods. Hey, I was on vacation

3. I thought that I needed to only eat out because I was on vacation.

4.  All local food purchased was junk food. High sugar, breads, etc.

Sigh. Traveling while food sober, Paleo, LCHF, and Ketogenic is a better deal. Glad I've arrived and changed my thinking and habits. Better than before. :)

Zip, Zip hooray, my pants still fit.

Any travel tips for Hawaii that are Paleo, LCHF, Keto- share below.


  1. Karen this is great! Well done. The food looked awesome.

    1. Thank you Mikki!!! I can't tell you how happy I am to be able to travel, eat within my food template, stay weight stable, and have good health. Total dream come true. And totally worth it. Thanks for stopping by the blog.

  2. Getting off the beaten path and going where the locals go can be a lot of fun. There are some things you can eat.

    If you visit the islands and want to bring home souvenir chocolate, macadamias, or coffee skip the touristy spots and buy it at Safeway or Costco or (I think they still have) Longs Drugs. The drugstore (Longs is now CVS in the Western mainland) is also a good place for "rubber slippers" (some people call them zori's or flip flops) and woven beach mats at much more reasonable prices than tourist spots.

    A lot of local places have "Barbeque Meat" (Usually pork) but it's often breaded, so ask. And beware of sweet sauces that can sometimes be on meats.

    Check out the fish sections of local grocery stores for poke (pronounced "pokey")--raw fish salads. You can usually ask to taste samples to see if you like it--again, beware of sweet sauces but not all of them are sweet.

    I also love Lomi Lomi Salmon--a salad of salmon, tomatoes, and onions. You do have to ask because I've seen recipes where sugar is added, but I don't think that's common on the islands, at least not the Big Island.

    Most meals in restaurants are served with "two scoops rice" even when there's another starch like potatoes. You can ask them to leave off the rice, but you will get a lot of funny looks if you are not in a touristy area.

    1. Great tips, Jan. Thanks oodles. Being dairy and nut free really changes what I can choose, so I appreciate tips from people with a bigger food template than me, which is almost everyone. LOL

      Thanks always for stopping by the blog.