Native foods: Taro
Benefits of taro: High in dietary fibre, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 & Vitamin E.
Get it from: The traditional vegetable Taro can be found almost everywhere, even growing in your backyard. Its a lot like a potato (only tastier) and is a must in Fijian cooking!
Common fruit: Mango
Benefits of mango: High in Fibre, Pectin and Vitamin C
Natural Alternatives in Fiji: Visit the garden of The Sleeping Giant to enjoy the natural mud baths and hot springs. You will leave feeling at absolute peace and will sleep like a baby!
Eco-Accommodation: Bounty Island resort. The resort uses island grown produce for cooking meals where possible and have put in place other eco-friendly initiatives to protect our planet.
Restaurants that focus on ingredients naturally provided by the earth: Try local restaurants for the healthiest and most organic produce available. Provided they don't cook with processed foods at home they wont at their restaurants!
Thoughts: As a whole, Fiji is the country I have witnessed the most fresh produce, the freshest meals and felt the healthiest in all my days of travel.
During my time in Fiji I was lucky enough to drive around most of the main island's countryside, where we stopped regularly to pick up fresh, natural grown fruits, vegetables, spices and even seafood. On the roadside you can basically do all of your grocery shopping without even stepping into a store.
While visiting a beautiful mountain lodge, nestled beneath the Sleeping Giant mountain range I ate the tastiest mangoes, papaya and zucchini I have ever had in my life. Yes, they may look a little deformed or even discoloured, but do you know why? Because they are completely free of any chemicals, pesticides or god-knows-what that is put in or onto our produce these days.
As an Australian when I am grocery shopping I am basically guaranteed that my supermarket will stock every fruit or vegetable that I have ever heard of. This cant be natural can it? Considering that a majority of fruits and vegetables are seasonal you can be assured that these are being sprayed with chemicals and grown unnaturally. In Fiji you cannot purchase Mushrooms or Broccoli at your supermarket unless it is imported.
Obviously if they cannot grow it naturally, they wont grow it!
-Don't eat at the Western restaurants. This is pretty obvious… McDonalds in Fiji isn't going to be any more healthy than your McDonalds at home. And the Hard Rock Cafe isn't going to stop importing produce just because they are based there.
-Eat with the locals. If you can find local restaurants you can almost be ensured that they will cook with only the most organic and natural produce available.
-Shop from the roadside! Fiji is not considered a rich country and there are plenty of ordinary people growing produce from their backyard to sell to you on the street. Do you think they can afford chemicals and pesticides? No.
-Pick the fruit on the street. Don't be afraid of the mangoes that are growing in trees all over the island. Pick one and eat it! You'll be pleasantly surprised.
I can assure you that if you eat this way, along with partaking in the water sports and activities you will leave feeling revived, healthy and you maybe even a few kilos lighter!