Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Hawaiian Idol Winner an Island Natural

Kalona Purugganan

   “Let food by thy medicine, and medicine by thy food,” Hippocrates.

   The above quote was brought to my attention when I was interviewing Kalona Purugganan for this column.

   Purugganan is the Vitamins Manager at Island Naturals Mauka in Kealakekua and she is a firm believer in good health through exercise and diet.

   “I provide customers with the help they need to include the right supplements and or body care products for optimal health,” she said.  “I love it.  Alternative medicine and natural remedies are effective and economical.”

   After work Purugganan can be found doing a variety of activities in order to stay healthy and to improve her overall fitness.

   “When I became a mother (seven years ago) I started running again and making better decisions for my health,” Purugganan said.

   “I’ve always been somewhat health conscious thanks to my Mom who never let us drink soda and made sure we ate our fruits and veggies,” she said.

   The big change for Purugganan came when she started working for the well known Health Food Store some five years ago.

   “When I took my job here at Island Naturals I stopped eating fast food, something that I can’t believe I ever did,” she said.  “I have learned to appreciate the importance of an organic diet, taking vitamin supplements, and cleansing.”

   Besides adopting an organic diet Purugganan will also start each day with a good breakfast and throughout the day stay well hydrated, consuming lots of water.

   Purugganan grew up in the sleepy rural village of Laupahoehoe and in high school dabbled in cross country, junior basketball and cheer lead for one year.  “Those high school activities were enough to get me started,” she said with a grin.

   Today this 27 year old will average 35 miles of running per week, when not training for any races.  She will also include stretching and breathing routines into her weekly exercise program and compliment everything with strength training.

   “Running is my base or foundation,” she said.  “Over the years I’ve combined it with typical weight training, yoga, resistant machines and dance. I think it is important to have variation in one’s exercise regime.  The only thing that always remains for me though is running.”

   Being a busy single parent with full time job Purugganan needs to adapt to the constant demands on her in order to find the time to exercise.

   “Time is of the essence and right now I am learning to be flexible,” she said.  “I’ve been doing a stretching for athlete’s routine for years and now I fit it into my workout schedule at least three times per week for 30 to 45 minutes each time.”

   Purugganan’s talents extend far beyond health and fitness as she is also a singer and songwriter.

   “I won the Hawaiian Idol last year (www.myspace.com/kalonazloveletters) and I performed one of my songs on the new local TV show, Entertain Me, which aired two months ago,” she said.  “Music is my passion and I often get ideas for songs when I am running.”

  Purugganan would like to be able to run three marathons (a marathon is 26.2-miles) this year and then give biathlons a try next year.

   “I’m hoping to do the Kona Marathon in June,” she said.  “Then I’ll do either the Maui or Kauai Marathon, depending on my work schedule, and return to do the Honolulu Marathon again this year.”

   As Purugganan develops into a competitive athlete she plans on adding bicycling and swimming to her fitness regime.

   “My long term goal is to someday compete in the Ironman World Triathlon,” she said.  “I know they hold some spots for us Kamaina.”

   Purugganan has set her goals high for the future and reminded me that above all else, “I am a mother.”  Her daughter just completed her first track season, at age seven, and appears to be running in her mother’s shoes.

   “Anything active and fun I can do with my daughter whether its hula, swimming at the beach, basketball, tennis, playing at the park or just dancing around the house, I consider as my cross training,” she said.

   “I am also leading a life that supports and utilizes sustainable and environmental practices,” she proudly stated.

   Since Purugganan began this interview with a quote by Hippocrates, I find it appropriate to close the interview with a Chinese Proverb that says, “He that takes medicine and neglects diet, wastes the skill of the physician.”


April 28, 2010 - Posted by | Health and Fitness | , , , , ,

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