The Magic Spice of Medina

Uncategorized Jan 05, 2018

To write about Marrakesh feels a little like writing about the Universe, a vast body of space and time that will never fully be explored in all of its facets. So, the best I can do is share from what really stood out for both Jeff and myself and which we feel will be lifetime memories.

Marrakech and the promise of exotic spices and cuisines called to me. The cuisine that has evolved in Morocco has many influences as it was a trading post which invited the likes of the French, Moorish and Roman, to pass through its borders. It’s fitting to start this post with Jamaa el Fna, the most prominent Medina. The Medina’s and Souks of Marrakech are most popularly known for their spices shaped in deep earth tone cone formations. I had no idea what to expect apart from this promise. As we walked into the mouth of the beast, we were greeted and tempted with snakes, elaborately displayed fruits, henna tattoos and the entry to the Medina maze.

I quickly learned that photos taken of...

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Uncategorized Jan 02, 2018

I knew that Spain would provide its fair share of nutritional challenges. Clients and friends had said that Spain was all meat, pasta, cheese and bread. This is not entirely true. It’s similar to if you are thinking about the color red, you will see red everywhere..... if you are thinking about meat, pasta and cheese, you will see it everywhere in Barcelona. That doesn’t mean that Barcelona doesn’t have vegetable does. It just requires a little extra navigating and specifications when ordering.


There are certainly questions to ask when ordering. Most menus won’t explain what is actually in that “salad”, pasta or meat dish. These lessons we learned the hard way served as a heaping “salad” of mayo and tuna which they call a Russian salad and a pasta with mushrooms that had more cream than I have had at one sitting in my entire life. Evidently they haven’t gotten the memo just yet about menu and...

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Uncategorized Dec 30, 2017

I am all about getting creative with workouts with what is available. Some hotel gyms will be stocked to the nines with all of the free weights and machines. Some, however, will not. So we improvise! This is a little cable workout which incorporates multiple muscle groups in each movement to improve heart rate, metabolic function and muscle recruitment.

Try 4 sets of 8-15 reps of each. This workout may not make you sore, but it will leave all of your muscle feeling awake and ready to take on the travel day!

Weights will vary depending on your body weight and strength. Start easy and work your way up with each set.



Set your feet a little wider that hip distance apart. Engage your booty, shoulders and core. The goal with this exercise is to keep your hips absolutely stable and your arm locked out. The only movement should come from the rotation. Of the rib cage caused by your internal and external obliques doing their work. Breath helps a ton with this...

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Uncategorized Dec 26, 2017
It’s easy to plan ahead for the idea of working out when traveling. Choosing hotels that have fitness facilities, or are partnered with a near by gym, is a breeze. The reality of getting there and actually putting that plan into place can be a whole other experience. With travel arrangements and time changes, you may find it as a break in the rhythm of vacation to schedule times to go to the gym.

Our lives can be so regimented by the minute that scheduling workouts sessions among days where we could be out exploring, simply doesn’t feel like a vacation. So we can improvise. Track your steps and set a daily goal, look to beat that goal even if by one extra step, each day.

Try having a little challenge with yourself or your travel partner:

  • 100 push-ups

  • 60 jump squats

  • 60 V-ups

  • 30 side planks with extensions.

Modifications for weak knees or building strength could go something like this:

  • Push-ups on knees 10 at a time

  • Body weight squats on their own or up...

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Uncategorized Dec 24, 2017

Marrakesh. What can I say. Words will NEVER do it justice. Even the photos can’t compare. This place is magic on ice. Burning man every moment of every day. The colors, fabrics, lines of faces, animals, smells, textures and overall ambiance captive and excite in a way that, well, I have never been excited before. As we sit atop the roof of The Pearl Bar in Marrakesh, my only comment to Jeff was,

This was a f*cking great idea. 

Portugal was a great introduction to sights and smells. Marrakesh is THE place if you want to experience LIFE. Life in all that it has to offer. Fear, joy, camaraderie, poverty, opulence and everything in between. 

As we navigated the maze of the Medina our haggling became better and better with every stop. A mixture of sweet and hard. As Jeff said, I was the water and simply moved around the gentlemen who were the hard rocks of sales men. You say 800 Dirham? I say 300. No? Ok, I don’t really like it that much. And from there, let the...

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Uncategorized Dec 23, 2017

As a health coach traveling through Europe, my main objective is to discover how I can support clients along their travels. This whole thing is for you guys AND, I am certainly enjoying the experience ;) 

What I notice with clients, gearing up for travel, is a general idea of helplessness in terms of navigating nutrition for a big trip ahead. There is this thought that if they are out of their comfort zone and their safe daily schedule, then there is no way that they can possibly stay on track. So, I set off to discover for myself what the actual challenges would be regarding nutrition and macro nutrient navigation. 

The first stop, Portugal. I didn’t have much in the way of expectations. I actually wanted to do as little research as possible prior to getting there. This way I could have the raw experience of navigating on the fly and in unknown circumstances. Here is what I discovered and very quickly that:

  • The Meat is incredible 

  • The Seafood is...

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Uncategorized Dec 22, 2017

Dublin’s reputation as a hub for libations remains firmly in tact, but the influence sharing a round has on the cultural identity of this town can only really be appreciated in person. A challenge posed to those who visit Dublin is to navigate a route across the entire city without ever passing a pub. IF it’s ever been done, I’d say that’s worth a free pint!

The streets are lined with cozy watering holes teaming with lively patrons, from far and wide, enjoying a contagious social buzz. While Guinness and Jameson do seem to dominate the landscape, it would be a lifelong undertaking to sample the vast variety of whiskeys and beers on offer.

Peering through windows never meant to hang neon, from the cobblestone streets never meant for Nikes, one quickly gets a sense of the value these congregation stations offer the populous and hath offered for millennia. A place to unwind, a space for critical discourse, and a meeting point for old friends and new, the pubs...

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Uncategorized Dec 21, 2017

Jeff and I had a conversation yesterday about time and how it passes while on vacation. We were both noticing the feeling of days seeming longer. Perhaps this is what just happens when you are on vacation. I had a thought that it was partly due to taking the time to walk. Walk anywhere and everywhere that we could.

Growing up, I would walk everywhere. I would throw on my headphones, a jacket and walk in every weather condition. Walking in the rain was a favorite event. I don’t walk as much anymore as the function of my job supports the whole “time is money” aspect.  Every extra moment that I spend, will take longer to see clients which is something that I can’t yet justify on work days.

However, what I have noticed, and am reminded of, is what I experience while walking. Walking allows me to use my senses. The air on my skin, the rhythm and texture of the street or ground as I step, the lights, pebbles, street signs and little pieces of magic found...

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Uncategorized Dec 20, 2017

It's almost impossible to travel in Ireland and not at least see photos of the typical Irish Breakfast. The breakfast may vary slightly from region to region. Our first experience was at the hotel breakfast buffet.

As we were assessing the breakfast options I was happy to see the European version of bacon. This always makes me laugh as almost every other part of the world has the actual MEAT portion of bacon while in America, the marketing of bacon has us fooled. What every other country considers, “the scraps” is what Americans pay extra for. The European bacon is actually quite lean. Don’t get me wrong, I love the fatty bacon in the US, although while trying to keep dietary fat low, the Euro bacon makes room for fat in other areas. Don’t worry, they have that fat area covered.

Here is what the typical Irish breakfast includes:

  • Bacon Rashers

  • Irish Pudding

  • Toast

  • Grilled Tomatoes and sometimes Mushrooms

  • Baked Beans

  • Pork Sausage

  • Hash Browns


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Uncategorized Dec 18, 2017

In my experience, some great trips come with a bit of a rocky start. Almost like a right of passage. Well, trip to Dublin, you were right on cue.

With an emergency 4 hour medical stop in Bangor, Maine, followed by the ole' switch-er-oo of luggage (which we found out at the hotel upon opening Jeff’s bag finding an abundance of stuffed animals as opposed to men’s wear in his orange suit case), we were in for a test in travel patience right from the start. What were the odds that someone else heading to Dublin had the same ginger suitcase?!

Travel snafus aside, as I was contemplating writing this little intro, I became aware of the travel strategies that I always employ on overseas treks and they go a little something like this.


If you have ever carried a water bottle on the plane and watched the pressure do it’s work on the bottle, you will get a sense of what may happen inside our bodies as we go through various altitudes. Check out this article for a...

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