Food for Thought

[How to travel to Oahu, Hawaii]

Pre-Hawaii

Determine what is best for you when it comes to flying. Luckily in Texas, Hawaiian airlines has direct flights out of Austin around $500 getting you to Honolulu in about 8 hours. I looked into my points and ended on a Delta flight in order to use my points. So take into consideration if you’re ok with sitting for 8 hours or a layover is better.

Look at these sites because you’ll need to schedule your COVID test and show proof of a negative result upon landing in Hawaii. I’ve included the government website for requirements for Hawaii.

gohawaii.com/travel-requirements
hawaiicovid19.com/travel-partners
https://travel.hawaii.gov/#/

Things to consider:
You have to take another COVID test if you want to travel to a different island

The test must be scheduled no more than 72 hours prior to your last leg of the flight.

Ex: If your layover is in Seattle at 7PM on a Wednesday then do not schedule your COVID test until after Sunday 7PM.

I went with Walgreens because they have a drive through option. I also schedule the PCR test which looks for NAAT. I also scheduled the Rapid Diagnostic Test (ID NOW) for the following day in case my first test took too long to come back or in case I received a inconclusive result. This happened to my friend and luckily she had scheduled a Rapid Diagnostic Test at a different Walgreens the same day she found out. Walgreens also does not allow you to schedule a test more than a few days in advanced. Set a reminder!

Register on this link: where you upload your test results. You will get a QR code and this will speed up your entry into Hawaii SIGNIFICANTLY. You will need to show the QR code to rent cars and check into your hotel.

Print out a copy of your COVID test results as back up.

Organization

I’m the queen of planning. I started a Google Excel Spreadsheet with the following tabs:

Schedule of when people fly in (this is especially helpful if you have folks coming from different states on different days), Itinerary for the duration of the trip, at the bottom, I included the important website links and a suggested “Things to Pack”

Activities: Name, address, description, best time to go, cost if any

People: Who was staying at which hotel. If it’s a wedding or family reunion, including a relationship to the bride and contact info is really helpful.

To-Do: I assigned people some tasks such as finalize hotel reservations, book restaurants, order flowers and cake, book car, etc. Include the task, who is responsible and date it is completed with notes/need to know

Menu: This is the prix-fixed menu

Finally I shared this sheet with the people who were attending. I made certain people editors and others read only.

Booking

For large group activities:

  • consider a Zoom call to get an idea of what people are expecting to spend and what their preferences are
  • most things required reservations or we had to get there early
  • Oahu Pass – look into this if you know ahead of time these are the things you want to do because t’s so worth it. Do not purchase the pass until you check out the individual activities website and determine if there is space and if you have time. I waited too long and missed out on an all day tour around the island with a chance to snorkel with sea turtles.
  • Things close early in Hawaii, what I did prior to leaving for my trip was look up each place (beach, restaurant, museum, trail) and saved it in Google Maps so that when I was in an area, I could see what was around me that I was interested in. By doing this, I was able to do the following: Bishop Museum, Queen Emma’s Summer Palace, Temple Byodo-In and then Kailua Beach.

Worthy Places:

  • Hanauma Bay is famous for fish that can only be found there. When I went, we were told there was a monk seal with her pup swimming around. To get tickets, which are only released 48 hours ahead of time, we woke up at 7AM and on a laptop, were able to secure tickets for the group. Each person can only book 5 tickets for adults. Know what time you want to go and choose the closest time range, being indecisive will cause you to miss out!
  • Waimea Bay and/or Waimea Valley: Book reservations to go to Waimea Valley then relax the rest of the day on the Bay
  • Dole Plantation: They have weird hours, so be sure to check before you go
  • Polynesian Cultural Center: This place is like Epcott of Disneyworld but all things Hawaiian. Plan a full day here and definitely attend the luau if there are any tickets available.
  • Lanikai Beach: it’s just beautiful
  • Kailua Beach: it’s less touristy and very relaxing, bring an umbrella and boogie board
  • China Walls: cool place to see the sunset, stop here on your way to dinner. Note that it’s in a residential area
  • Food: you really can’t go wrong with food. Be willing to try new things. Just keep in mind that Hawaii has chain restaurants as well. I went to Duke’s and Roy’s and enjoyed Roy’s way better (get their butterfish, it’s heaven). If you see Leonard’s malasadas, you NEED to get some, while they are fresh.

Finally, enjoy the views. The landscape is simply breathtaking. When taking photos, remember the rule of thirds. Center your subject on one of the four intersections of your camera. If you don’t have that setting on, trust me, it’s useful! Go to settings>camera>turn on Grid

What’s your New Year’s Resolution?

22 days into the new year and I finally made my first post. Hi there! I felt this extreme pressure to make this post perfect but I finally had to concede that waiting to publish my first perfect post will delay me from doing what I want to do right now: share nutrition and food information with you!

Did you think of a resolution or two that you will try this year? If it was to start a new diet, which one are you following? Are you going to start juicing more? Do you have a book on the Atkins Diet? Thinking of trying out the Blood Type Diet? I come across articles about how diets set people up for failure and how people who manage to lose some weight following a diet manage to gain it back when they no longer follow the diet because it’s not sustainable. Diet has connotations of restriction and avoidance, but who can’t resist tiramisu or French fries once in a while? Before you know it you are eating everything that was not suggested in the diet. I think that if we all tried to have a healthier eating lifestyle rather than follow one specific diet, perhaps our actions can become a lifetime habit.

Now, click on this link for ChooseMyPlate and spend just TWO minutes browsing the website. Then come back here.  The MyPlate logo replaced the Food Pyramid as a way to visually show a balanced meal where fruits and vegetables take up half the plate, grains and protein take up a quarter of the plate and there is a small circle for dairy, a great source of calcium. It is much easier to translate into meals, wouldn’t you agree? I want to point out that this FREE government website provides a crazy amount of nutrition information that is science based and easy enough to understand so that anyone can begin to eat healthier small steps at a time.

While I follow no specific diet, I have a few mantras when it comes to what I put in my mouth:

  • I am what I eat. I feel better when I eat more fruits and vegetables. Period.
  • I rarely have processed foods such as chips, soda, frozen meals because of the high amounts of sugars, fats and sodium. But if I am eating processed foods, I choose items that have as few ingredients as possible; Cape Cod potato chips has only 3 ingredients and happen to be my favorite chips (once in a while of course).
  •  I am able to control my sweet tooth by eating only sweets I baked myself or a friend baked for me. Or I have fruit instead!

Satiate your cravings once in a while so you don’t overdo it and figure out for yourself whether a food is worth it.

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