Kauai’s Healthy Makeover

I am absolutely loving the shifting mindset towards health that is happening around the world and in our country. I don’t think it’s ever been quite so fashionable to be healthy! Thank goodness for the endless amounts of (sometimes questionable) health advice that is both online, and shared by innumerable social media accounts, be it the pages you follow or just your friends who think they know everything (because that’s what they heard from their personal trainer or read online somewhere…) If it weren’t for them, we probably wouldn’t even know what Bircher Muesli or kale or a chia seed is! And these are truly life changing dietary additions, I’ll have you know. Our current health problem: education and accessibility. Many of us are still fumbling around the mountains of information from different resources, and then once we have made up our minds that a certain food MUST be healthy, we are faced with the challenge of trying to incorporate it into our lifestyle. Don’t even try finding these niche items on a menu at a restaurant (though there are a few dotted around who do a brilliant job), rather stick to the slightly less challenging task of finding an organic market (popping up all over the show – in Johannesburg at least) that supplies said ingredients. Then try look like you can tell the difference between kale and spinach…
Alternatively, you can pop into the brand new and improved version of the long-time gym favourite: Kauai – except now it actually is healthy, rather than just producing foods that are marketed as being healthy. They are meticulously sourcing the best ingredients – think grass-fed beef and free range chickens and organic leafy greens. Only the best will do for Dean Kowarski, CEO of Real Foods and Kauai. Kowarski is the driving force behind this new healthy movement, and hopefully he is the first stone to start a ripple effect in the fast food franchise industry in South Africa.
Customise it
Kauai has completely rebranded: no more island style for one thing! The store now resembles a trendy coffee shop: simple, and modern. You now build your own meals, a feature called “Customise It”: wraps, salads and warmbowls and even omelettes. Each meal is built in a production line fashion, providing a more interactive experience: now you can actually see where your food is coming from. Know your food!
The menu still includes many of the old favourites (they would have lost major brownie points if they had done away with the Peanut Butter Bomb!) but they have upgraded it hugely to include cool breakfast options like bircher muesli, freshly cold pressed juices (yay for the juice movement!), and nourishing Fruit & Veg Smoothies.
One of their exceptionally exciting additions is their contribution to the frozen food market. They make their own frozen yoghurt on site, and serve it with trendy and healthful toppings like toasted almonds and chai spice, cacoa nibs with goji berries and chia seeds and strawberry & berry coulis. While many of the toppings are sweet, they are not packed with the artificial flavours, colours and sugars that most other frozen yoghurt stores do. Now you get to indulge in the iced delight without trying to convince yourself that it’s healthier than ice cream. This actually is.
If you can’t tell, I am extremely excited about this new upgrade, this new addition to the fast food industry: it makes healthy living that much more accessible. One of the other incredible bonuses of this shop, is that they pretty much maintain their Kauai prices, which means that their juices fall within a reasonable price bracket (R30 for a fresh, raw juice? Yes please!) – this is roughly what you may pay when buying retail, except here you know that your food (juice) is coming from the best sources and is being produced in the best possible way – trust me (and Sam), cold pressed is the way to go! And it’s fresh (you know when it was made, so you know all the goodness is still there!)
Pop them a visit, and see if their new menu appeals to you. It’s great for people who like to try new foods, and fantastic for people looking for a healthier option on the go. The Kauai in Rosebank is the first concept store of it’s kind and they are planning on rolling out the new menu in the coming months, so keep an eye out for that as well. On the go healthy living is about to get a whole lot more delicious!
Owners Glenn Stead and Keith Watson at the launch of the Kauai Concept Store in Rosebank, July 2015

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