Photo Credit: Kauai

We are joining the #DontGoBackToAbnormal conversation, encouraging healthy eating and working towards not sliding back into our old, abnormal ways.


South Africa (15 October 2020) – During the lockdown, many South Africans turned to healthy eating and healthy living by working out and making major lifestyle changes. This was one of the positives during the hard lockdown.

Everyone was talking about the “new normal” and how we were going to forge our new futures where we were better, stronger and healthier. Sadly, many of our ways before were not normal; they are downright “abnormal”. Still, for many South Africans, the main topic of conversation over the past few months has been our desire ‘to go back to normal’.

But when our pre-COVID-19 reality was characterised by equally devastating issues like gender-based violence, environmental concerns like poaching and global warming and the generally poor state of physical health of many South Africans, the longed-for return to this so-called ‘normal’ feels misplaced. Despite the devastating impact of COVID-19 on our country, it has also given us an opportunity to think differently, and talk about re-imagining and rebuilding our country in better ways.

Arguably, the most important of these relate to our health and the resilience of our immune systems. October features National Nutrition and Obesity Week with its focus on the country’s nutrition habits and our continuing battle with obesity. The 2020 theme ‘Good nutrition for good immunity’ is a reminder that diet-related non-communicable diseases such as hypertension and Type 2 Diabetes, as well as obesity, have, across the world, seriously undermined many people’s defences to COVID-19.

This is where we take a moment to look back at our lives and realise they were more abnormal than we care to admit. Sitting looking at those sneaky, but all too regular fast food nights or the mornings where we’d rather binge on the couch than get active is a harrowing experience. Thankfully, Kauai has launched a campaign to remind us not to slip back into those bad habits.

Picking up on this idea of rebuilding a new, healthier normal is Africa’s leading health food restaurant chain, KAUAI, which has just launched its ‘Don’t go back to abnormal’ conversation-starter campaign. In it, KAUAI asks South Africans to take an honest look at what was perceived as normal before the COVID-19 pandemic, and whether they would like to go back to this abnormal “normal” or make a positive change from now on.

Setting up its billboards in the midst of the country’s fast-food valleys, KAUAI is provoking thought around the ways that we have normalised things that we know deep down aren’t serving us.

“If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that we’re living in a world where our health cannot be taken for granted. Unfortunately, junk food laden with sugar and trans-fats, preservatives and additives has become a lifestyle standard for many, and tragically, an aspiration for millions more. KAUAI is calling this out as abnormal.For us, healthy eating is normal – enjoying fresh, natural, delicious whole foods with fruit and veggies that support your immune system and improve your overall health. We feel so strongly about this, that KAUAI will be making the choice to eat healthy easier, by offering a once-off 50% discount to any South African during October via our app.” – Dean Kowarski, KAUAI CEO

Are you ready to take up the #DontGoBackToAbnormal challenge and be honest with yourself about life before the lockdown? You are not alone! Brent Lindeque, the founder of Good Things Guy, is taking the chance to assess his own behaviours before the lockdown and is setting his own “new normal” health goals.

Brent has decided to focus his health goal on mental wellness. He hopes that in our new normal, we talk about our mental wellness more. Take a look at his powerful goal below.

We all need to ask the real, hard questions! What is really good for us, and worth taking forward? What is not serving us and should be left behind?

“KAUAI is calling out bad eating habits as abnormal, but we want this campaign to spark different broader conversations about other abnormal situations that South Africans have accepted as normal in their everyday lives. We want to challenge South Africans to reflect on what they think is abnormal and what they would like to change going forward.”, says Kowarski.

Together we can do this!

Sources: Good Things Guy / Kauai
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Tyler Leigh Vivier
About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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