A year ago, after months in the running for a reality show, a heart-breaking rejection made me reevaluate my life! In need of sunshine, ocean and exercise, I searched the web for wellness destinations and Kalani found me! I decided right then I’d be heading to Hawaii for a new adventure AND, to grow and heal in the jungle!

Kalani is a nonprofit yoga and wellness retreat center presenting nature, culture, and wellness within sustainable, educational programs that honor Hawaii’s native and diverse heritage. You can go as a guest, a volunteer, or take a sabbatical. I choose the volunteer route and later became a kitchen shift leader. I was also hired as the “Ohana Night” coordinator (social director) for the volunteers.

Kalani’s Volunteer Program welcomes individuals from all over the world to experience service in community, while accessing world-class Yoga, Hawaiian Culture and Permaculture programs. During my three month stay, I met so many amazing people from all corners of the world, that I now call friends!

As a volunteer, I was able to indulge in wellness treatments at a fraction of the cost, take enlightening classes (from drum healing circles to emotional freedom technique – EFT) and assist in the preparation and service of sustainable, nutritious and delicious meals!

Top 7 Things I didn’t do in Hawaii!

1. Skipped breakfast
2. Ate meals in a car
3. Ate in front of tv or electronics
4. Ate passed 8pm except special events
5. Ate bottled salad dressings
6. Binged-watched entire Netflix series
7. Ate fast food or pre-packaged items except dark chocolate and 2 single servings of chips

Top 7 Things I did in Hawaii!

1. Slept at least 7 hours on most nights
2. Ate cooked or fresh greens at breakfast
3. Took at least 10,000 steps on most days
4. Took at least 2 yoga classes per week
5. Ate my biggest meal at lunch time
6. Attended community events on campus daily
7. Ate more plant-based main courses

As a result of the above, I lost 13 pounds without even thinking about it! And, I’m thrilled to report I’ve maintained my weight! Living sustainably and being in a community that supports healthy behavior enabled me to come back to the mainland refreshed and revived! I was living the Blue Zones® way! Thank you, Kalani! Thank you, Hawaii! I’ll be back soon!
Who wants to join me?