I have been fortunate enough to spend many months of my life on many islands across Asia and the Pacific, including islands that are part of Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Fiji, Hawaii and Polynesia. The people that live on these islands and in the remote communities and villages I visited were so beautiful, full of life force, spirit and happiness. There was a presence that is hard for me to describe- the locals are really intertwined in each moment of life. These islands have nourished me, and rejuvenated me on so many levels… and not to mention shaped aspects of my nutritional philosophy that could never be learned from a textbook.
As we come into summer, and the heat index is rising here in NYC, I can feel my body shifting to adjust to the seasons. Accordingly, my diet is adjusting as well. In this climate, my diet is closer to how I ate on these islands.
Here are some of my thoughts:
1. I say this time and time again, but here goes: Do not eat a heavy breakfast. You will not see islanders hunkered down in a café, eating the likes of egg white omelets, bagels and fat-free cream cheese, or Cheerios and skim milk. No! The islanders are out on the fishing boats in the morning, running around and setting up their shops and places of business for a full day ahead. They drink beverages, or may have some fruit, but they stay very light, which keeps them on their toes.
Don’t you get weighed down with a heavy breakfast! Have your Green Smoothie, and become more beautiful every morning!
2. Fruit it up! One of the most important detox fruits is pineapple, because the bromelain enzyme it contains helps bust up toxins in the body. I don’t really do set “cleanses” from time to time, because the honest truth is that I am constantly cleansing from my lifestyle diet. I don’t believe in short-term diets.
In the summer, sometimes I’ll do a few days in a row like this: Green Smoothie for breakfast, pineapple for lunch, Green Smoothie a few hours later, a bowl of blueberries, then a salad for dinner. I’m going to put my beloved father on a program like this soon- he just doesn’t know it yet. :) My beloved mother will support me with this for him as well.
Summer is the season for fruit! We don’t intuitively need heavier foods like we do in the winter.
3. Drink your coconut water if you are active. If you are not active, I don’t recommend having very much of it. Why? It still has sugar calories in a liquid form. If I was sitting at a desk all day and went home and watched TV, I would NOT drink coconut water! But now when I am sweating my _____ off doing yoga, I am drinking coconut water. When I was in Bora Bora and doing yoga on the beach every day, sometimes I would eat/drink 4 coconuts a day. But that was also a big part of my diet. I worry that with the recent coconut water craze people will drink coconut water in addition to their 3 course dinners or turkey sandwich lunches, then get fat, then blame it on the coconut water. It really is for active people. Of course, if someone insists on drinking something with flavor it is better than any soda or pasteurized fruit drink out there!
The Polynesian guy in the picture showed me how to drive a stake into a log in the jungle, then smash a coconut on top to make a hole and pour the coconut water right into my mouth! He also had a technique for squeezing the mature coconut meat to get the coconut milk out, which was quite interesting! If you ever have an opportunity, try a young coconut, the flavor is so dynamic and rejuvenating!
4. No dairy. Dairy is not a natural food of the islands, and you tell by how much better their skin is in general. Avoid, avoid, avoid. Say goodbye to the milk, the cheese, and the highly overrated (and still pasteurized and problematic) yogurt. GOODBYE ugly clogger!
5. Yes, there is some fish and other animal products in some islanders’ diets, but it is WAY less than what the typical Westener eats. And last time I checked, there was no factory farms on Koh Phi Phi, Thailand. If you do choose to eat some animals (which I personally do not), then make sure they are hormone and steroid-free, and cut back your quantities and frequency of eating them.
6. Celebrate your food! Eat with relish and gratefulness and a joyous attitude. Food helps support our God-given life force. All of us are so lucky, in so many ways.
Much, much Love.
Warmly and with More Love, Kimberly