Two more North Hawaii organizations ‘approved’

NORTH HAWAII — In late October, Kohala Coffee Mill was named the the first Blue Zones Project Approved Restaurant in Kohala, and the third in North Hawaii. Just down the street, Kohala Seventh-day Adventist was named the first Blue Zones Project Approved faith-based organization in the region. Both were recognized at an award ceremony during Blue Zones Project — North Hawaii’s 1st Anniversary celebration in Waimea on Oct. 29.

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NORTH HAWAII — In late October, Kohala Coffee Mill was named the the first Blue Zones Project Approved Restaurant in Kohala, and the third in North Hawaii. Just down the street, Kohala Seventh-day Adventist was named the first Blue Zones Project Approved faith-based organization in the region. Both were recognized at an award ceremony during Blue Zones Project — North Hawaii’s 1st Anniversary celebration in Waimea on Oct. 29.

With the persistence of Wellness Committee Chair Patsy Trefz and fellow members, the church achieved Blue Zones Project Approved status within four months of completing the Blue Zones Project pledge. To become approved, they adopted “new best practices” by building a bike rack to encourage members to walk and ride bike to church, replaced unhealthy food options with healthy ones at fundraising events and encouraged more family time by building an outdoor movie screen for monthly movie nights for the members and community. They also hosted a plant-based potluck for the entire congregation.

Kohala’s Adventist Church has a natural connection to Blue Zones Project, since one of the five original Blue Zones is Loma Linda, California — a town that has a large concentration of Seventh-day Adventists — where people live up to 10 years longer than the average American.

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To become an approved restaurant, Kohala Coffee Mill added a “Blue Zones Breakfast” dish to the menu featuring one soufflé egg with multigrain or gluten-free bread topped with veggies of choice. Other changes made during the pledge process were locally sourcing as much of their produce and soup ingredients as possible from local farms, and creating or modifying main dishes to meet the Blue Zones Healthy Dish Guidelines. Examples included an ulu patty served with a side salad, vegan veggie soup with a slice of multigrain bread, and a veggie sandwich with housemade hummus. They also allow patrons to split any entree at no extra cost and provide salad dressings on the side.

“It is important that the food we serve is fresh and flavorful. Whenever possible, we make sure our ingredients are locally sourced and organic. Supporting local farmers has always been a goal of ours,” said Kohala Coffee Mill Owner Karen Rosen.