The Woodstock Fruit Festival Hawaii on the north shore of Oahu was beyond any of the attendees’ wildest expectations of paradise and co-living with other low-fat raw food lifestyle followers.
For a full week, fruit-based pioneers, longtime raw food lovers and those new to the lifestyle wanting to connect with and learn from low-fat raw vegans came together from points all over the globe to celebrate health, fitness, compassion and camaraderie. People came from all over the United States, Netherlands, Australia, United Kingdom, Philippines, Brazil, China, Japan and many other countries.
This festival boasted a theme of fun, activity, socializing, relaxation in the sun and beauty of the beaches and mountains, and travel to spots all over Oahu to experience the wonders of the island.
Yoga classes and running with marathon runner Michael Arnstein were daily morning activities.
Local fruit consisted of banana, papaya and pineapple as staples with tastings of other tropical specialties added each day, such as guanabana (soursop), rambutan, longan, dates and Hawaiian-grown organic durian. I personally loved the apple bananas! Yum! We were blessed to have nice, ripe apple bananas and Williams bananas. Greens such as celery, cucumber and lettuces were always available to combine with the fruit if desired. Fruit was available all day. Some imported fruit was also available, such as apples and tangerines. I especially loved the banana “ice cream” with sweet sauces and puddings.
Arnstein, organizer of all the Woodstock Fruit Festivals, spent hours chopping and opening large green local coconuts at the coconut station, along with festival volunteers, to offer to those who love that delicious sweet coconut water. A special Hawaiian crew with a sugar cane crusher arrived daily to prepare original and ginger-infused sugar cane juice for us each morning. What a delectable treat!
Early evening main meals were big salads with tasty and well-combined dressings. My favorite was Mexican night, when the salad bar contained large local lettuces or mandolined zucchini slices as wraps, Malibar spinach, cucumber, celery, corn taco salad, guacamole and tomato salsa. Awesome and so very satisfying!
The main focus of the Hawaii Woodstock Fruit Festival was exploring the tropics and getting out there and being active. This festival truly was an adventure by the minute! This superactive focus got all of us grouping together, organizing a variety of trips to unforgettable mountain trails with gorgeous waterfalls and lush tropical forests; scenic, magnificent beaches where sea turtles and monk seals are resting; surfing communities with funky fun shops; glider and skydiving experiences; and visits to local farmers markets. And we all gathered together, with filled cars following other filled cars. What a great way to get to know one another!
We also enjoyed impressive fire dancers in the evening, nightly drumming circles around the campfire, Hula Hoop lessons, speed dating, group social games, talent show and much more. Roy Rozman was our humorous master of ceremonies for the week, and he knew how to get everyone involved.
Raw food preparation classes were taught by myself and my daughter Gabriela (Tropical Fun Raw Food Finger Foods), Chris Kendall (Sundried Tomato Pesto and Pad Thai), and Megan Elizabeth and Ryan Lewis (varieties of Coconut Smoothies). I loved the way the children would gather around the food preparation table and excitedly want to try all the new treats being made.
The few lectures during the week were given by Dr. Will Tuttle (“The World Peace Diet”), Anne Osborne (“Fruit Foraging”), John Kohler (“20 Mistakes Not to Make When Going Raw Vegan”), Megan Elizabeth (“Fruit Makeup”) and myself, talking along with my 27- and 24-year-old kids, Gabriela and Marco Ranzi, on “Raising Healthy Raw Vegan Kids.”
The true emphasis of the weeklong Hawaii Woodstock Fruit Festival was on love and support of all those raw food lovers attending no matter what level of health or experience with a fresh, plant-based diet. On the second-to-last evening of the weeklong event, Lori, a lovely woman who had attended previous festivals, wanted to dance at the talent show despite her severe arthritis. Lori danced with great enthusiasm with all the happiness and energy she received from everyone and the uplifting activities she experienced during the empowering week. Her dance sparked excitement and support from the audience of 250 raw food campers, all jumping up to dance and be with Lori in her shining moment.
The talent show turned into a major dance party with Lori and attendees of all ages dancing into the night. As one of the final festival activities, this dance was a major highlight of all the camaraderie, love, spirituality and enlightenment that easily blossomed during the week of this “Happy People” Festival.