E komo mai (Welcome),

My name is Amanda Schaefer. I’m a 25 year old college student. I’ve been gluten free for about 3 years. My family is in Florida and South Carolina. I was born and raised in Florida in a culture that I’d deem United States Southern. The town I lived in was agriculturally oriented, and there certainly was a feeling of Southern hospitality. The aloha spirit feels a lot like southern hospitality to me.

My food philosophy is one of eating real food. For me, this means I eat full fat foods and real sugars. You’ll learn more about this in my posts. I also eat very few processed foods, but I will occasionally pick up something I wouldn’t normallly so I can test it out for you all. Devin’s brother is a hunter and is so kind in giving me venison. You’ll spot it in some of my recipes. I have my own small garden in the back yard. Maui has a lot of farmers markets, which make it easy for us to get our hands on fresh produce, eggs, and even meat.  Eating local foods, and organic foods are parts of my food philosophy as well.

We are definitely a slow food household most of the time. It’s something that became a part of our lives after I stopped eating gluten and started paying attention to what I eat. Some of my favorite people in the world of food are Mark Bittman, Michael Pollan, and Lynn Rosetto Kasper. For my favorite food bloggers check out the Favorites page.

I’m not perfect. I can be lazy, I’m a bit of a homebody, and I have a tendency to overwhelm myself with my studies. I don’t update three times a week, and sometimes I don’t have something to post even once a week. I’m also not a perfect baker, photographer or cook (though my friends might tell you differently). At this point, you’re probably wondering what I have to offer. I am honest. I tell it like it is.

Aloha and mahalo (thank you) for your kokua (help)!

30 thoughts on “About”

  1. Thank you so much for this website! It’s made my first overseas trip since being diagnosed coeliac so much better and less stressful than it could have been!

    I was a big fan of CJs Deli and Diner, they were great and the best ribs I’ve had since going GF 3 years ago. I was also excited to see Pizza Paradiso in Lahaina (near our hotel) had GF pizza bases. However when I called to ask about which of their toppings were GF they obviously didn’t know anything about GF and coeliac and I wanted to warn others. They told me all their meats and fries were GF (which surprised me because i’ve found it hard to find things like GF sausage/salami and fries here), but when I questioned them further they didn’t even realise that meat could contain gluten, or that fries could be packaged in flour etc. A few years ago I would have taken them at face value and ended up really sick, so I thought it was important to spread the word. Nothing worse then being told it’s GF only to find out the person didn’t know what they were talking about!

  2. Help! My son has type 1 diabetes and celiac disease and we are heading to Waikiki in June for a band field trip. From an earlier post, you said you didn’t have knowledge of O’ahu; would you have anyone that I can reach out to that could help guide us to gluten free dining options or other best ways to ensure my son has access to food that he will eat? He eats a limited diet due, in part, to his own food choices. The aspect of food is the most stressful part of our trip! Thank you.

  3. My fiancé and I are getting married on Oahu and then heading to Maui for our honeymoon. I was really concerned about finding options that were gluten free, but I’m feeling much more confident about Maui now! Do you have any suggestions for while we are in Oahu?

  4. Aloha! We own a cottage in West Maui and will be traveling there later this month. This is our first visit to Maui after going GF because our 5 year old has Celiac. I was so happy to find your site! What about Mama’s Fish House, Paia Fish Market, and Hula Grill? Anyone visited those places? Thank you, Amanda!

  5. Good Afternoon Amanda;
    I just opened an online gluten free bakery. I am currently delivering items to the Napili Coffee Store, and The Hawaiian Village Coffee Store in Kahana. Mostly gluten free scones, and muffins. I have severe gluten intolerance, usually resulting in hospitalization so have been gluten free for 3 years. I decided to open this bakery as a result of input from friends, family, and community members that there is a need. Please visit my website @MauiKakes.com, like ‘kakes’ on facebook, and share this resource with your readers. I specialize in gluten free, vegan, or Paleo treats.
    Thank you for having this site so that we can find places to eat, and share resources.

  6. Aloha Amanda! I just stumbled upon your blog and I am excited to dig in a read more. I am also gluten-free and live here on Maui. I am a hotel concierge, so plan to reference your restaurant list for my gluten-free guests. I have JUST started a blog of my own, so please stop by for a visit.


  7. Just returned from a wonderful visit to Maui. Found your restaurant list and feedback very valuable. I want to add a great spot to your list–
    808 Deli
    Richardson Brothers LLC
    2511 S Kihei Rd #102
    Kihei, Maui 96753
    Across from Kam Two Beach
    This is an inexpensive informal deli where gluten-free is understood. I am a very sensitive Celiac. I told them at the time of placing the order. At 808 Deli, I was able to pick up a breakfast panini and lunch sandwich for the airplane. No symptoms…None! But more, it was convenient, inexpensive, and DELICIOUS !

  8. Amanda, I heard through the grape vine that you may know something about the pillbox radio house out on Hookipa, where the radio club meets. I’m interested in the murals out there and wonder if you know if there is a way to commission a mural? Thanks, Paul.

    1. I’m sorry, I don’t know. There’s a woman in our radio club who paints it every year, and she has the permission of the land owner. However, I have a feeling that most of the paintings are done without permission.

  9. Aloha, I just found your site and am very excited! we live on maui and I have been transitioning my family to paleo and one of my kids has a more sever gluten intolerance. It all can be challenging because so many beach activities involve snacking with friends and cookouts but I am getting more resolute how important it is to health. I have trouble finding Maui resources so am loving your site! Really trying to source good grass fed meat and bones for bone broth for gut healing for my little one. I’m west side so know that there are a lot of things upcountry that allude me. Any other Maui resources you have would be great! Mahalo

    1. Maui Cattle Company beef is mostly grass fed. Due to the drought they’ve had to finish them on grain. I’m not sure which stores on the west side carry it. Some of the Longs locations have it. You might also consider buying beef in bulk direct from a rancher. You can get a 1/4 cow from Beef & Blooms. It’s certified organic, but is also not all grass fed.

      I’m glad I’ve been able to help you and your family. It’s nice to hear that.

  10. Hi Amanda,
    Thanks very much for your site. Cool picture of you and Devin, you two are very cute together.
    Lisa(my wife) and I are coming to Maui next week and I’m just starting to research gluten free restaurants. We are mostly going to be cooking our food in our condo, but i do have a question about your restaurant list on the ‘Dining’ page…are the places that aren’t underlined, italicized, or striked-out locations that you have been to and didn’t get cross-contamination?
    Thanks, tom

      1. Cool. I wanted to thank you very much for this site. I was pretty stressed about messing up our vacation with cross-contamination. We will mostly be making food at our condo and packing lunches for hikes…but I know I’ll want to eat out at some point :) Now we know where to go which is awesome. I’m way more confident and relaxed now, and I’m sure Lisa is also. You made a big difference for us, and many others I’m sure. Mahalo

  11. I like your website. Thanks for the good info. My 7 year old daughter has Celiac. We are going to Maui in February. Any places with GF pancakes? We are staying a few nights at Kaanapali and a few at Wailea so we would love a good GF breakfast place either end of the island. Thanks! -John

    1. I’ve heard that the Grand Wailea offers quite a lot of gluten free foods on their breakfast buffet. You should contact the concierge about that before you arrive (if that is where you are staying). I don’t actually know of any offerings of gluten free pancakes or waffles on the island. I find breakfast out to actually be the most difficult meal of the day. There is so much cross contamination involved. However, if you make yourself very clear to the cooks/waitstaff/management then you are more likely to have a good experience than a bad one.

  12. Aloha Amanda! What an informative site. I had never thought of cross contamination pertaining to gluten before. I always thought of it more for vegans. I’m neither gluten free nor vegan but I’ve been pondering both for awhile now and I’m going to have to get through more of your site but so far you make gluten free look yummy!

    1. Oh yes! Cross contamination is a huge issue with gluten free food. I don’t want to offend anyone, but I think it is a bigger concern for those with Celiac Disease as the long term ramifications of gluten consumption for people with Celiac include diseases such as cancer. Even the most minuscule cross contamination can upset my body for days, weeks or months.

      Before not eating gluten for a period of time I suggest you go to your doctor for a Celiac blood panel. I wish I had. For some good information on Celiac Disease check out: http://www.adventuresofaglutenfreemom.com/category/q-a-with-dr-vikki/

  13. Hi Amanda, I love your blog and your outlook on life on Maui. Which farmers markets do you like to visit? I used to got to KCC every Saturday to pick up organic fruits/veggies and free range beef when I lived in Honolulu. The markets I’ve been to here were very small and didn’t have the greatest selection but I know there are many I haven’t checked out yet. Which would you recommend? My healthy eating has gone by the wayside since I’ve returned to Maui and it’s my goal to cook more using locally grown food.

    If you don’t mind me asking, did you go gluten free due to a medical condition like Celiac or was it a personal dietary choice?

    1. I like the Kula Country Farms farm stand, the markets in Makawao & Pukalani (both small, and I don’t get to them often enough), the Maui Swap Meet (rarely get there) and a small community garden near where I live. If you want more information on local farmers markets check out Edible Hawaiian Islands.

      I became gluten free after ten years of thinking I was lactose intolerant. It turned out it was the gluten all along. So, it is a medical reason.

  14. Aloha, Amanda and Devin–

    I just stumbled across your site today–I’ve been promoting the gluten-free lifestyle to my patients and have been so myself since September 2010, with noticeable changes in my life. This looks like a great site–I’ll explore further and get back to you!


    1. What are you reasons for recommending that people eat gluten free? Are you only recommending it for people with intolerances to gluten or celiac disease, or are you recommending it across the board? Why are you gluten free?

  15. Hello!
    I live In Honolulu, HI and about 5 months ago at 27 years old I found out I have Celiac disease and maybe Casin disease as well. I am a Chef in the United States Coast Guard and due to my disease I am no longer able to be a Chef in the Military. So I’m just really stuck now on what to do with the next step of my life and handle all the changes. My dream is to just cook! Do I stay in and go a differnt route or do I get out and pursue my cooking even know the economy is not so good. I guess I’m just looking for some helpful advice I’m so lost right now.

    1. I’m sorry you’re feeling your world is so rocked by this change, yet you can also look at it as an opportunity. Change is the great instigator and I hope you find your bliss and follow it.

    1. Oh, thank you. That’s so nice of you to say! I hope I can provide useful information to everyone, whether they live on Maui or not.

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