Nell and Chris at last year's World Championship.

Nell and Chris at the 2010 World Championship.

We TriWives are so lucky to have tri supporter, triathlete, and Paleo nutrition expert, Nell Stephenson, back to share with us her professional and personal views on Kona.  Nell will be at the Ironman World Championship this year as an age group qualifier, along with her triathlete hubby Chris and was recently in Kona for the 70.3.  As you head to Kona, she wanted to share with you her thoughts about eating locally, but take note that they apply to any dining experience. We totally agree with her views and hope you do, too. Nell also shares with you her favorite Paloe restaurants.  For more words of wisdom, make sure to check out her blog at The Paleoista.

Eating What’s Around You…..Published October 17, 2012 after Nell’s trip to IMWC

Over the last week and a half in Hawaii, I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy a lovely array of beautiful, local fish; Snapper, Ahi, Ono and Opah just to name a few.

I could also have opted for Wild Alaskan King Salmon, but why?

Yes, I love salmon and it’s certainly available here, but it’s come from thousands of miles away and when there are so many other delicious fish to choose from here, it just makes no sense to me to go that route.

Same goes for the choices we’ve been making on our trip with produce.  Pineapples, dragon fruit, spinach, lettuces and papaya that were grown down the street are much more fresh than apples and broccoli that were flown in from the mainland.  Given the bounty of what grows right here on the island, why do we need to have all these other fruits flown in from thousands of miles away?

There’s no downside to staying local; the local farmers and fisherman are supported, your food is more fresh, and you’re not helping make a huge carbon footprint via supporting the foods being flown in.

Plus, it’s not exactly difficult to stomach the idea of eating these lovely foods- it would be different if it were the case that there was nothing local available.

Just think about it next time you’re away from home and are just about to order something tried and true from the menu, like a chicken breast with asparagus.  Paleo?  Yes. Healthy? Absolutely.  Local & fresh? That depends. Do a tiny bit of investigating and at least try the local alternatives. 

We really need to think twice about what we’re eating, even beyond whether or not something is a healthy choice for our bodies, but whether it’s a healthy choice for the planet!

Nell’s picks for Paleo dining in Kona:

We love the breakfast buffet at The Orchid at the Fairmont.
Merriman’s in Waimea – local foods with regional Hawaiian cuisine.
Fish Hopper in Kona does a good salad with grilled local fish.
Ruth’s Chris is always good for a steak with veges  – as long as you tell them
NO butter!!
Tommy Bahama’s is also good for a simple salad with grilled veg e& chicken.
Imari has great sashimi!

 – NELL