Life in These Hawaiian Islands

Trade Winds, Tsunamis, and the Coconut Wireless

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Hair Loss

My physician is especially cognizant of thyroid issues.  One sign he considers is hair loss.  Some information on the net:

My physican recommends the HCG protocol for weight loss. It was discovered and created by Dr. Simeons whose protocol is found here: . [He also recommends following the guideline in this book] But what my physician doesn’t mention is the hair loss possibly connected with the HCG weight loss plan. Internet testimonials note that temporary hair loss follows the tremendous weight loss on the HCG plan.

Then there’s post partum hair loss.  BTW, congratulations Chelsea and welcome Charlotte.

Dual Action Hair Re-Growth Solution

There are many ideas on why hair loss occurs and it would seem that everyone you talk to has a reason for why it may be happening to you.  There are of course only a few scientific proven reasons for hair loss and many of the other reasons are just merely old wives takes.  The five most common reason for hair loss are:

1. DHT

The major cause of hair loss is of course DHT. DHT is a hormone. DHT is directly related to and affected by the level of testosterone in the bloodstream. DHT blocks the growth of hair in men and is the cause of most baldness. And even though this is a male hormone, women also have a small amount that runs through their blood, some higher than others. When a female inherits hair follicles that are supersensitive to DHT, they start to lose hair just like men do.  Men generally have hair loss concentrated in a specific pattern from the front through to the crown, while women have an overall thinning of the hair throughout the scalp. About half of all people have inherited hair loss by about 50 years of age.

2. Genetics

Although not the primary cause of male-pattern hair loss, genetics does have a significant role in male-pattern hair loss. It is unclear whether having an affected mother or an affected father predisposes descendants to greater risks. When hair loss is related to hormones (androgens) and genetics, it is known as Androgenetic Alopecia, or more commonly just balding. Androgenetic Alopecia is an extremely common disorder.

3. Poor Blood Circulation

Hair loss can be attributed to overall poor blood circulation. Studies have shown that the blood flow to the scalp of men and women suffering from hair loss was significantly lower than those not experiencing hair loss.

4. Environmental Pollutants.

Further studies have indicated that pollutants in the atmosphere have contributed to the production of “environmental hormones” which can also contribute to hair loss.

SUMMARY: As you can see there are many factors that can cause hair loss in both men and women but they all have one underlying theme in common, hair follicles that are affected by hormonal “clogging” agents and poor blood and nutrient circulation are less likely to experience a healthy growth cycle.

Dual Action Hair Re-Growth Solution

Dual Action Hair Re-Growth Solution

Not only do you have a lot to contend with already during pregnancy and immediately after the birth, finding handfuls of hair appearing in the shower can be quite concerning and an extra worry that we don’t need. This is very common in pregnancy however. Post partum hair loss is one of those pregnancy side effects that nearly every woman experiences but very few people will talk about is as woman don’t want to admit they may be loosing their hair.

Everyone knows that pregnancy is full of so many physical and emotional changes, no one more than the mother herself. Some of the changes can be a lot to take on. Post partum hair loss is definitely one of those changes that is not discussed openly enough and therefore new mothers sit and worry in silence.

Nearly every woman experiences post partum hair loss to some effect after delivery and especially during and after weaning. This is because of the change in estrogen levels in the body which are elevated until nursing has stopped completely.

In order to help you feel better about post partum hair loss, it can be as simple as taking a trip to the hairdressers to get a new cut. There is a product on the market however that can help promote hair re-growth as well as thickening and strengthening your existing hair. This product is called HarVokse.

What is HarVokse?

HarVokse is a dual action product that not only helps to prevent hair loss but can also stimulate hair re-growth.

Developed by leading Norwegian researchers, HarVokse has been tried and tested in extensive clinical trials and shown to product some amazing results.

How does HarVokse work?

HarVokse is a duel product, being a Protective Treatment Spray and a Hair Regrowth Supplement.

The spray cleanses the scalp and nourishes the hair so that it is thicker, stronger and has more volume.

The supplement stops hair loss at it source, creates hair regrowth and produces thicker, shinier hair.

What are the ingredients in HarVokse?

The main component of HarVokse is a natural marine protein complex which contains a group of proteoglycans that have been shown to regulate the proliferation of cells in dermis (the skin) and which is especially important for the function of the hair follicle and re-growth of the hair. Proteoglycans play an important part in regulating the hair follicle activity, and therefore are necessary to maintain normal hair growth.

HarVokse also contains these other essential nutrients for hair growth:

• Amino acids

• Zinc gluconate

• Extracts of grape skin and grape seeds (antioxidants)

• Vitamin B-complex

• Vitamin E

• Vitamin C

• Chlorophyll

What are the benefits of HarVokse?

Protective Treatment Spray

• Reduce Inflammation

• Fortify & Protect

• Stimulate Re-growth

• Prevent Hair Loss

Hair Re-growth Supplement

• Reduce Hair Loss

• Thicken & Strengthen

• Nourish & condition

• Substantial Re-growth


By ordering the HarVokse two step solution today you can be on your way to fuller, thicker hair that is healthy and replenished leaving you one less thing to worry about following the birth of your baby!!!

Dual Action Hair Re-Growth Solution

Advanced Health LTD

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Yes, Thyroid Issues in Hawaii

One of my physicians says that people in Hawaii have a high incidence of thyroid issues.  He says most doctors don’t recognize that, but since he does, he asks every person he sees thyroid questions (although they may not be aware the questions are related to thyroid problems).

Soooo . . . I am reposting here an article by a Dr. Nikolas Hedberg.  I happened to come across it on the internet and wanted to keep it here as a reminder.

Action Plan – The Thyroid Diet

by Dr. Nikolas Hedberg on March 4, 2011

If you have a thyroid problem, the way you should eat is very similar to that of an individual who does not have a thyroid issue.  Organic foods contain fewer amounts of chemicals and pesticides which, as you know from the thyroid-disrupting chemical chapter, can have a negative effect on the thyroid gland.  The main goals of a thyroid diet are those which remove any stress from the thyroid gland itself and any systems that may be affecting the thyroid gland. 

The first major priority in eating to have a healthy thyroid is to make sure you do not have blood sugar swings.  This requires consistent eating throughout the day of high-quality protein at every meal without eating too many carbohydrates.  Remember that blood sugar swings not only affect the thyroid gland itself but also indirectly affect adrenal gland function which, as previously discussed, is highly connected to thyroid physiology. 

The ideal protein/carbohydrate intake for someone with thyroid gland dysfunction is to eat a moderate- to low-carbohydrate diet with the exception of post-exercise carbohydrate consumption.  The food you consume after you exercise and the meal following your post-workout meal can contain more carbohydrates than you would normally eat.  You can do this because your body is much better at handling carbohydrates and blood sugar after you have participated in exercise.

The next important step in optimizing thyroid function is to alkalize your body.  Your body contains approximately sixty trillion cells which are involved in six trillion chemical reactions every second.  Your cells work best to carry out these chemical processes in an alkaline environment versus an acidic environment.  The machinery in your cells that produce energy and burn fat can most easily do their job when the pH is alkaline. 

Eating foods that drive you into an acidic environment will put undue stress on your cells leading to sub-optimal energy production and function.  The best way to find out if you are in an acid or alkaline state is to do a first morning pH test with Hydrion pH strip paper.  You should be aiming for a pH of 6.5-7.5.  A pH below 6.5 indicates an acidic cellular environment that could be contributing to a decrease in your metabolism.  At the same time, you should not be too alkaline which would be a pH above 7.5.  This would indicate a catabolic state meaning your body is breaking down its tissues rapidly due to some kind of metabolic or chemical stress.  Start by taking your first morning urine pH for five days consecutively.  Eliminate the highest and the lowest of the five readings and then average the middle three to attain your pH. 

So how do you become more alkaline?  The first thing you must do is eat a vegetable or fruit or both at every meal.  Produce contains alkaline-forming substances including calcium, magnesium, potassium and zinc.  These are “buffering” agents meaning they help to reduce acid by-products of metabolism.  The way foods are designated as acid or alkaline is based on the “ash” that is left over when they are burned:  the more buffering minerals in the ash, the more alkaline the food.  In addition, the protein content of a food will also determine its acid/alkaline status.  The presence of more amino acids (protein) in a food leads to more acidity in the body due to amino acid metabolism in the liver resulting in acidic by-products.

Adding sweet potatoes and yams as well as lentils will enhance your alkalinity.  In addition, try to eat at least two cups of alkalinizing greens such as kale, mustard greens, turnip greens, or collard greens each day.  Lean towards the three most alkalinizing grains:  oats (gluten-free if you have Hashimoto’s or Graves’), quinoa and wild rice.

There are many other strategies you can use to become more alkaline.  Taking an alkalizing bath of one-cup epsom salts and a half-cup of baking soda will aid in alkalizing your body.  The epsom salts contain magnesium which is a buffering mineral that will assist in the elimination of acid residues that result from metabolism and detoxification.  The baking soda is also extremely alkaline and will aid in neutralizing acidic compounds that the skin is eliminating.  Take one of these baths every day, and if you are an athlete, take one at the end of your training day to enhance healing of acidic muscle tissue that has been broken down. 

The next thing you can do to alkalize is to drink a morning cocktail of a quarter- to half-teaspoon of unrefined Celtic sea salt, a juiced half-lemon or lime, a greens supplement and a half-teaspoon of buffered vitamin C powder.  This cocktail will flood your system with alkalizing agents that mop up acid residues in the body.  Please be sure to use unrefined Celtic sea salt which is extremely alkaline as opposed to table salt or sodium chloride which is extremely acidic.  Table salt has been stripped of its alkaline minerals resulting in a toxic and acidic product.

Your evening ritual should consist of taking 200 mg of potassium bicarbonate and 100 mg of magnesium glycinate before bed.  Increase by one of each until you achieve an alkaline first morning urinary pH.

Acids and bases in the body are also controlled by your breath.  Each time you inhale fresh oxygen into the system, your body is preparing to exhale carbon dioxide which, if too high, creates an acidic environment in the blood.  Many people in this society are hyperventilators, not taking in full breaths of oxygen and fully exhaling carbon dioxide.  The way to remedy this is to engage in deep-belly breathing for five minutes in the morning and five minutes at night.  Breathe deeply into the abdomen as if filling your stomach with air and then passively exhale the air without effort.  This is how a baby breathes.  Concentrate on your breath without thinking about anything else.  In time, this will become second nature and you will enjoy doing this twice a day.  You can also incorporate this into your meditation practice which you may already be doing.  Those of you who do not meditate will reap some of the benefits of meditation as this is a great starting point to learning how to meditate.  Focusing on your breathing will focus your thought only on this one task instead of the multitude of things that you think about.

In addition to buffered vitamin C powder, there are a few supplements that can aid in alkalizing the body.  Magnesium, potassium bicarbonate, calcium, zinc, fish oil, probiotics and virtually all medicinal herbs will have an alkalizing effect.  Herbs and spices that you use for cooking such as turmeric, thyme, oregano, etc. all help to alkalize.  In general, meat, dairy and grains are acidic but fruits and vegetables are alkaline.  Remember that it is extremely important to eat protein at every meal so do not underconsume protein in fear of becoming too acidic. 

As long as you are eating vegetables and fruits with each meal, you will become more alkaline.  Use the other strategies I have outlined to enhance this process.  You will notice many health benefits as you become more alkaline such as an improved sense of well-being, increased energy, fat loss, improved sleep, clearer/sharper mind, improved digestion and a reduction in allergies.  Your pH is a sign of your alkaline mineral reserves so be patient in this process.  You didn’t become acidic overnight so it will take time to reverse an acidic state.  It may take you a few months to reach a consistent alkaline state. 

How Much Protein Should You Consume?

In addition to developing an alkaline pH, adequate protein intake is a major fundamental aspect of achieving optimal thyroid health.  According to the vast majority of nutrition textbooks, healthy individuals should ingest a minimum of 0.8 g of protein per kilogram body weight every day.

Unfortunately, this calculation is not accurate for everyone, because we all have different activity levels, stress levels, and genetics.  Another flaw in this calculation is that some of the scientific literature shows that one must ingest 1.2-1.8 g of protein per kilogram body weight every day if there is a protein deficit.  Therefore, on average, I prefer for those who are chronically ill to consume 1.2 g of protein per kilogram body weight every day as a minimum.  The one exception to this rule is the patient who is producing high amounts of C-reactive protein which is a marker of inflammation.  Eating protein will further feed its production by the liver possibly exacerbating your condition. 

Another important factor in these calculations is the quality of protein.  Not all protein is created equal.  So, the amount of protein consumed is heavily dependent on protein sources.  Sometimes it can be difficult to get adequate protein intake from diet alone.  This is where protein and amino acid supplements come into the picture.  Before beginning any kind of protein supplementation, you should be sure that you are eating the highest-quality protein from food sources.  These include:

  • Eggs (ideally organic and free range)
  • Types of fish known to be relatively low in heavy metals.
  • Chicken (ideally organic and free range)
  • Non-commercial forms of red meats such as grass fed, locally raised beef; grass fed buffalo; and grass fed lamb. 
  • Dairy products (ideally organic from locally raised dairy cows)
  • Nuts and seeds, particularly almonds, pecans and walnuts (ideally organic)
  • Legumes (ideally organic)
  • Soybeans

Since soy allergies are very common, this may be one of the foods on the list that you will need to avoid.  In addition, soy products tend to be highly processed.  Only soy products that are fermented such as tempeh and miso should be consumed as protein sources from soy.

Dairy is also problematic because of the high allergenicity, processing, and reliability of sources.  Dairy can also be very hard to digest and is often contaminated with antibiotics, hormones and toxins from the cows.  Dairy is of course an excellent source of protein, but I recommend that the amount of protein consumed from dairy should be minimal.

People are most willing to follow a dietary plan when there are a variety of food choices.  This is why I recommend both animal and vegetable-based protein sources eaten in rotation.

Vegan diets can also be a concern regarding protein for a few reasons.  If we review the primary protein source of a typical vegan diet in the United States, it is found that soy is the main protein source.  Unfortunately, soy is low in sulfur-based amino acids.  This is important, because sulfur-based amino acids are required for optimal liver detoxification, the building of glutathione (a powerful antioxidant) and tissue repair.  In addition, plant-based foods contain virtually all of the nutrients necessary for optimal health with the exception of vitamin B12.  I find that many, many patients are deficient in B12 and therefore require supplementation.  Vegans must have a tremendous amount of knowledge for proper food-combining and supplementation in order to achieve optimal protein and amino acid intake for a healthy body.

When it comes to protein and amino acid supplementation, there are a variety of healthy choices.  I recommend whey protein for those who are not sensitive/allergic to dairy.  Rice, pea and hemp protein sources can also provide high quality protein and amino acids.  Protein powder products are the most beneficial to those who have good digestive function.  For those who have impaired digestive function, I like to use free-form amino acid products for direct delivery of protein building blocks into the system.  Some people require HCl or digestive enzymes in order to optimize digestion and absorption of amino acids.

If you have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or Graves’ disease, you must avoid gluten indefinitely.  One of the ways to test for gluten intolerance is the anti-gliadin antibody test which measures an immune response to gliadin, the main protein portion of gluten.  A negative anti-gliadin antibody test in saliva, stool or blood does not rule out gluten intolerance.  You can still have gluten intolerance and have false negatives on these tests.  If the test is positive in saliva, stool or blood then this is a very strong indicator that you are gluten-intolerant.  In most cases, there has to be some damage to the lining of the small intestine for the test to be positive in blood or saliva. 

It is very important to understand that traditional medicine only recognizes blood testing or small intestine biopsy as diagnostic of gluten intolerance.  Your traditional physician will have you go through a “gluten challenge” diet for four to six weeks and then test your blood to see if the gliadin antibody is elevated.  This is the worst possible way of detecting gluten intolerance for two reasons.  The first is that if someone is gluten-intolerant and you force her to eat gluten for four to six weeks, you are significantly harming her body.  The second reason is that this test can be negative even if the person is gluten-intolerant making this test a poor method of diagnosis.

Your traditional doctor may want to order a biopsy of the small intestine to look for damage to the lining of the small intestine.  He is looking for what is known as “villous atrophy” meaning the villi that line the gut have been damaged and are worn away from the immune system attack on the dietary gluten intake.  The problem with this test is that you can have gluten intolerance but not have villous atrophy.  Seventy percent of the negative effects of gluten occur outside of the intestine.  This can result in only mild inflammation of the intestine but extra-intestinal damage to organs such as the thyroid, bones, pancreas, brain, adrenals, etc.  I would not feel comfortable having a piece of my small intestine cut out just to perform a test that is not completely accurate.

The best thing you can do is to fill out our gluten questionnaire and have the blood, saliva or stool test done to see if there is a positive antibody in any of these.  If only one is positive and you have many of the indicators of gluten-intolerance, then you should avoid gluten indefinitely.  Most people avoid gluten for a few months and then sneak something in such as a piece of bread and they end up feeling horrible after eating it.  Remember –  it is estimated that up to 40 percent of Americans are gluten-intolerant so it is very important to know if you are as well.  It can mean the difference between a major autoimmune attack on your thyroid or none at all.

The following grains contain gluten:

  • Wheat
  • Oats (not in nature but 99 percent of oats in the US are processed in machinery used for other gluten-containing grains)
  • Rye
  • Barley
  • Spelt
  • Kamut
  • Triticale
  • Bulgar
  • Semolina
  • Couscous
  • Durum flour

*Gluten can be hidden, so read labels carefully. Be wary of modified food starch, dextrin, flavorings and extracts, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, imitation seafood, and creamed or thickened products such as soups, stews, and sauces.

The following grains do not contain gluten and are acceptable for gluten-intolerant individuals and of course those who are not:

  • Corn
  • Millet
  • Rice
  • Taro
  • Teff
  • Arrowroot
  • Wild Rice
  • Tapioca
  • Buckwheat
  • Quinoa
  • Amaranth
  • Wheat Grass
  • Barley Grass
  • Barley Malt

Goitrogens are compounds in certain foods that inhibit the uptake of iodine into the thyroid gland.  Goitrogens can be neutralized by lightly steaming, fermenting or cooking these foods.  Foods that contain goitrogens include:  kale, cabbage, turnips, rape seeds, peanuts, cassava, sweet potatoes, soybeans, kelp and Brassica vegetables such as broccoli and brussels sprouts.  All of these foods eaten in their raw state could have goitrogenic activity on the thyroid gland. 

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The Alchemy of Food in Hawaii: How Food Transformed Strangers into a Community


Old days, new ways

Historian Arnold Hiura’s new book traces Hawaii’s food trends from plantation fare to modern meals

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Jan 15, 2014

Derek Kurisu, left, partnered with food historian Arnold Hiura in “From Kau Kau to Cuisine.” The men, friends from small-kid time on the Big Island, visited the plantation town of Hakalau where Kurisu was raised.

Food as a social phenomenon has always been front and center in Hawaii. More than just breaking bread together, sharing food for local folks means sharing something of oneself and receiving the same from others.

No doubt the food craze that extends well beyond Hawaii shores adds another layer of interest, with its myriad new ways to experience eating. But for food historian Arnold Hiura, there’s something disconcerting about the manner in which people are participating in this new wave of interest in food.

“I go online and I’m amazed at the volume of blogs — and at how critical they are. That’s not the spirit of food. At its very basic, food is sustenance,” he said.

Hiura spent the past year researching food trends for his latest book, “From Kau Kau to Cuisine: An Island Cookbook, Then and Now” (Watermark Publishing, $29.95), which illustrates some of the ties between Hawaii’s basic fare, rooted in our plantation history, and the contemporary cuisine created by Hawaii’s professional chefs. It will be in stores by the end of January, though pre-orders are being taken now at

“When you see how food is changing, it’s an exciting, interesting time. There’s food trucks, pop-up restaurants, social media where everyone takes pictures of their food. There’s vegetarian food, organic, gluten-free and on and on and on,” Hiura said. “I thought this was a good time to look at tradition, what’s happening now and where we’re going. We could maybe draw some lessons or at least make observations.”

Hiura has a wide breadth of knowledge on the topic. The book is a sequel to his award-winning “Kau Kau: Cuisine & Culture in the Hawaiian Islands,” which was released in 2009. Hiura calls “Kau Kau” a “historical overview of what we eat and why we eat like we eat in Hawaii.”

The sharing of sustenance was one way plantation workers forged a local lifestyle, he said. They packed their meals in a “kau-kau tin” (lunchbox) of multiple tiers. One tier was filled with rice, the other, “okazu,” a main dish such as adobo or chicken hekka.

“Everyone put their okazu in a circle and shared what they brought. This is a great exercise for us in learning to share whatever we have and to eat what someone else offers,” Hiura said. “You don’t want to hurt another’s feelings. You don’t want to be picky. It’s an emphasizing of commonality instead of differences.”

The seeds of the latest project came after Hiura worked on chef Alan Wong’s “The Blue Tomato” in 2010, which gave him insight into the contemporary Hawaii food scene.

“From Kau Kau to Cuisine” examines the wide swath of local history through Hiura’s narrative and the work — and recipes — of two men, Jason Takemura and Derek Kurisu. Takemura provides contemporary dishes rooted in classic local dishes, while Kurisu offers a lineup of traditional plantation foods.

Takemura, 36, executive chef at both Pagoda Floating Restaurant and Hukilau Honolulu, has spent his career using the inspiration of the past to fuel new ideas for his menus. At the Pagoda, the chef is currently beefing up the menu.

“It’s been such a local place, but nothing there was local — even produce and fish were frozen from the mainland. The first thing I changed was to serve ‘Nalo Greens, fresh local fish and Big Island beef,” he said.

Takemura enjoyed cooking from an early age, when as a youngster in Aiea he played Nintendo against his brother.

“Loser cooked, whether it was saimin or pizza from English muffins,” he said. “I found I liked cooking. I’d add furikake and egg to the saimin. And then even when I won, I’d still go cook.”

In college, Takemura lived in Kaimuki with his grandparents, who prepared plantation food and told him about plantation life. Later, away at the Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Ore., and homesick, he turned to some of those dishes for comfort.

It was the beginning of his exploration of local ingredients and flavors. Takemura built his career in California, in the kitchens of such restaurants as Roy’s in Pebble Beach. In 2003 he returned to Hawaii to work at Chai’s Island Bistro. He took the helm at Hukilau Honolulu in 2007 and joined Pagoda in 2011.

Kurisu, 63, is executive vice president at KTA Superstores on the Big Island. His expertise in cooking began when he was a child of “about 10.” His father worked on a Big Island plantation, and when his mother took a job, young Kurisu decided he would take on cooking duties. There was a formidable learning curve, he recalls.

“In the old plantation days, there were no recipes. Everything was ‘oyoso,’ approximations. I struggled but you watch and learn. I liked to eat, so I knew what something should taste like,” he said.

What governed the cooking of the era, and still guides Kurisu, is economy. Plantation dishes employ the basic supplies in a typical local pantry — soy sauce, salt, sugar, vinegar, miso, garlic and ginger — along with whatever’s in the fridge, including leftovers.

“You utilize what’s available and you never throw away anything,” he said.

Today Kurisu regularly visits Big Island senior centers to demonstrate easy recipes. His motivation is the memory of his father asking him why he was doing “a wahine’s job” when he cooked for his mother.

“I remember that macho mentality, and some of our customers have wives who are sick or have passed away. I gotta get these men to know how to cook, or at least to use a microwave and cook rice,” he said.

On the other end of the spectrum, he encourages youths to learn about plantation cooking from their elders.

Hiura himself has a few words of advice for young foodies, based on the inclusiveness plantation workers cultivated.

“The key is to embrace it all,” he said. “Don’t turn your nose up at anything. Don’t exclude people. It’s all good. There’s a place for everyone.”

Home recipes get upscale treatment

In “From Kau Kau to Cuisine: An Island Cookbook, Then and Now,” recipes are presented in pairs, a traditional recipe from Derek Kurisu followed by a contemporary one by Jason Takemura. Many of Takemura’s recipes are from his menu at Pagoda Floating Restaurant.

Besides bearing the distinction of home cooking and restaurant-caliber dishes, the recipes reflect changes in the food scene over the eras. Kurisu’s kabocha and ebi (dried shrimp), for instance, calls for an entire pumpkin flavored by a small amount of shrimp. The dish was practical and economical because most folks grew their own vegetables. In contrast, Takemura’s Roasted Kabocha Risotto “makes the kabocha the star of the dish,” he said, because vegetables today often cost more than meat.


1 medium kabocha (Japanese pumpkin)

3 teaspoons vegetable oil

10 pieces dried ebi (shrimp)

2 cups water

2 tablespoons shoyu

2 tablespoons sugar

2 aburage (deep-fried tofu, optional)

6 shiitake mushrooms, sliced (optional)


Remove skin, seeds and stringy bits from kabocha and cut into 1-1/2-inch cubes.

In deep saucepan, heat oil and brown kabocha and ebi. Add water and bring to boil. Do not cover. Lower heat and simmer until liquid is reduced by half.

Mix shoyu and sugar and add to pan. Cut aburage into 1/2-inch pieces if using.

Add salt, aburage and shiitake if using, and over medium heat, continue to simmer uncovered until kabocha is soft. Serves 4.

Approximate nutritional information, per serving (not including salt to taste but including optional ingredients): 180 calories, 6 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 55 mg cholesterol, 500 mg sodium, 21 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 11 g sugar, 12 g protein


1 kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) or butternut squash

Olive oil

3/4 cup uncooked Arborio rice

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1/2 cup white wine

8 cups chicken or vegetable stock, as needed

1 cup asparagus

1 cup fresh spinach

1/2 cup diced tomato

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Split squash in half and scoop out seeds. Lightly rub flesh with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on parchment paper-lined sheet pan, flesh side down. Roast about 45 minutes. To check for doneness, prick outer skin with fork or skewer; it should easily penetrate. Use large spoon to scoop out flesh; puree in food processor. Set aside.

In saute pan, add raw rice with vegetable oil. Saute, stirring constantly and being sure to coat each grain of rice with oil. Deglaze with white wine. Using wooden spoon, continue stirring rice. Once wine has cooked out, add 1 cup stock. Season with salt and pepper and continue stirring. When nearly all the stock has been absorbed, add another cup. Continue this process until the rice is almost al dente, about 15 minutes. You may need additional stock or not use all of it.

When the rice is cooked, fold in asparagus, spinach and 2 cups kabocha puree.

To finish, fold in tomatoes, butter and cheese. Season again with salt and pepper to taste. Serves 2 to 3.

Approximate nutritional information, per serving (using 8 cups stock and not including salt to taste): 690 calories, 27 g fat, 10 g saturated fat, 60 mg cholesterol, 4,100 mg sodium, 89 g carbohydrate, 10 g fiber,

9 g sugar, 18 g protein


Nutritional analysis by Joannie Dobbs, Ph.D., C.N.S.

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Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve and Beach Park

Photo: Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve and Beach Park.  Located on the East side of Oahu, just past Hawaii Kai, it's a snorkeling heaven.  Closed on Tuesdays.  More information - go to:</p> <p>
Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve and Beach Park.
Located on the East side of Oahu, just past Hawaii Kai, it’s a snorkeling heaven.  One side of a volcanic crater fell into the ocean, then the Pacific Ocean spilled in.  From violent birth, came eventual pristine beauty, and shelter to brilliant Hawaiian fish galore.  If you like to snorkel, go here.  You can also just stop and take a look, as long as the parking lot is open.  But it’s often full and closed mornings.  Best to arrive between 7 and 8am.  Really.
Closed on Tuesdays. For more information – go to:
Location: Oahu, East side
Note: closed Tuesdays, snack bar at the top, minutes by car from Hawaii Kai with its shopping areas, restaurants, shave ice place, and Costco.
$$ Commercial tours available.  (My friends just took one that left at 7am from Waikiki, provided all the gear, then picked them at noon, returning them to their hotel.  They loved it.  The only blip was that one of them saved a snorkeler who was in trouble, and my friend lost his own mask during the rescue.  He had to pay an extra $35 for the lost equipment.)
* * * * * 5 asterisk rating (except for those avoiding sun and ocean water)