Only the second full day here and I feel like it has been weeks. All worries are gone and life could not be better. Once again it started out with a glass of Kombucha and a nice relaxing morning on the palapa. We like to watch the boats pass through the canal in front of the house, from small fishing boats to huge catamarans there is a huge diversity of people who are headed out to sea. Regardless of their reason, a common joy is shared through all of these adventures.
Perhaps the most beautiful view for a lunch on the peninsula is Mango’s, a beach bar just north of the village in Maya Beach. As we walked up the front entrance stairs I was instantly blown away by the view through the restaurant, nothing but ocean as far as you can see. I started my meal with a glass of fresh pineapple orange juice, so sweet and delicious. As I went out front to get a video of the place, the chalkboard at the door showed the lunch special: Lobster Tail, Shrimp Skewer, & Fish Filet with a side of coconut rice and beans…I couldn’t pass this up.
I had only actually had lobster one time before, last summer in San Pedro on the first day of Lobster fest. That time it was chopped and fried in coconut breading, but this time it was a full tail grilled (served with butter that I happily passed on). The fish was a nice filet lightly fried but not greasy (yes the Grassfed man is enjoying a few lightly fried treats before the internship begins) and the skewered shrimp was grilled to perfection. Overall the dinner was incredible, a little more expensive than I thought it was worth but very enjoyable.
After leaving there we traveled north to Coco Plum, an insane development a few miles north of Maya Beach. The whole development is 224 acres, spanning a huge portion of the beachfront. Needless to say there is every sort of living situation you could imagine here: Condos, houses, Cottages and more. A little too fancy and out of town for me..but it will be interesting to see where it will go in the next few years.
The evening consisted of trivia night at the Tipsy Tuna, home of Mia and Ziggy (the most incredibly athletic dogs I have ever seen). These dogs will come to your table and drop a stick at your feet and wait for you to launch it in the air so they can leap and catch it, they rarely drop it…even Ziggy who only has 3 legs. A mixture of horrible questions from the commentator and a crowd of drunks lead to extreme entertainment in between throws of the stick. It probably been even more fun if I was as drunk as the rest but I haven’t had a drop of liquor in a few months and I don’t plan on drinking at all this whole trip..so they got a little annoying after a while.
After getting home and watching the hurricane news from Florida I got a call from my brother Chris, the oldest of the 4 boys and 3rd oldest kid. Chris and I have always been closer than me and any of the other siblings as long as I could remember, I was always his tool to get chicks when I was little (it worked). As he tells me how proud of me he is, I can’t help but think how awesome it is to have such a strong support system behind me as I start such a journey as this. We ended up talking for 3 hours about everything you could imagine, I think every set of brothers should have a connection like this. It really makes you appreciate the opportunity to have people like that around.
So remember, be thankful for the people in your life that want to see you succeed, these are the ones that push you to be all you can be. Always remember who has been on your side from day 1.
After getting settled in Placencia, there were a few things that I had to get the first day: Watermelon Juice from Above Grounds, Kombucha from Brewed Awakenings, and The Fish Sticks(lightly fried fish filet strips) from MOJO’s. After the first decent night’s sleep in a week or so it was nice to get some real rest..but I always get too excited to sleep so I end up getting up early.
There is no better way to start your day than a glass of Kombucha and a view of the ocean with birds chirping away..Once again. This is the definition of paradise.
We wanted to head into town for lunch, so Tipsy Tuna it was. Owned by an ex-pat (American moved abroad) couple from New Jersey, the atmosphere combined with the awesome staff and nice ocean breeze makes it one of the best places for lunch in town(Not to mention an awesome $5USD Lunch Special) . It’s so cool to constantly hear laughter and joy in the air regardless of where you are at.
After a nice lunch we headed down the Placencia sidewalk to show Birdie and Jeanne some more of the village while we figured out what the rest of the day had in store for us..then I remembered that Faizal, the owner of MOJO’s and Fusion Beach had invited us to lunch at Fusion. We hopped on the golf cart and headed north to an incredible beach front bar and grill with a huge pool and extended patio, a great place for an afternoon of drinks and lunch.
I have always had a passion for cooking, so Faizal pulled me into the kitchen and I had the opportunity to watch one of Placencia’s best chef’s do his thing and get some videos(will be posted at http://bit.ly/GrassfedYouTube). Growing up watching people like Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern lead me to always have the vision for owning a restaurant as well as traveling the world food blogging(it will happen, I promise) so this was the first true experience in this field for me.
The first meal that Chef cooked was Lionfish Sashimi with a cucumber apple salad and wasabi sauce. Sashimi is thin sliced raw fish, many people are afraid to eat raw fish but it was really good. The wasabi flavor mixed with sesame oil and rice vinegar made for an unusually delicious taste. The most interesting thing about the meal was the story behind the Lionfish. They are an extremely invasive fish that destroys reefs and many of the best dive spots. I have a good friend who does underwater dive work and she has experienced first hand the extreme damage that they do, I am inquiring about a guest blog post from her so stay tuned for more information on Lionfish.
The second meal was perhaps one of the best meals I have had this trip, Feta Stuffed Chicken Breast with Quinoa and Molé sauce. The Quinoa was prepared risotto style with red wine and a fantastic mixture of spices and seasonings. Most baked chicken that size tends to dry out but the moisture and tenderness of the chicken breast followed by a hint of feta was so good(I am not a fan of cheese but this was well prepared and made it worth it). To top the dish off the Molé sauce was made up of crumbled cookies, chocolate, onions, cinnamon, nutmeg, & dried chili peppers.
Later in the evening I met some of my parents’ friends that are working in town for a few months: Freddy, Christina, & Joseph. Each from 3 different countries, they all had such different stories, opinions, and outlooks on life. This is my favorite part of traveling.. meeting people with similar desires(seeing the world) and picking their brains on everything from health, life, and the culture of life in their homelands.
I cannot begin to explain how excited I am to see where all of this takes me, only my first full day in Belize and it just keeps getting better. I find myself in a situation where I stare off into the ocean and find my eyes watering out of joy and happiness. Life is good
The Journey Has Begun.
I had only been back in the States for 21 days when I got ready to venture back to paradise. I had an awesomely productive few weeks which included a trip to Tulsa-Memphis&Back (Fun time with the World’s most amazing sister), a week at Canton Trade Days, and meticulously packing for 3 months abroad.
Monday morning I went to Allen High School for the first time since graduation, something I had been meaning to do for the past few months..I had to do it before I headed to Belize. It was a great experience, seeing the teachers who truly made an impact on me and thanking them for everything was a must. Mrs. Kulkarni, my sophomore Chemistry teacher and leader of the AHS Science Club has invited me up to talk with the Club about The Grassfed Way and the chemistry behind organic foods. Needless to say opportunities continue to flow in (Thank you Universe).
My plan was to leave by noon and make it to Missouri by 7 or 8 PM to get some rest and visit with family before we head to St.Louis to get catch our flight the next morning(Tuesday). If you know me, you know that I did not leave at noon. My whole schedule was thrown off whack when I picked up Angus to hangout, leading to me not leaving until 7PM. I figured it was my last time I will see him before New Years so it was well worth a sleepless night.
I was running on 4 hours of sleep(the previous night) when I finally got on the road..Logic on repeat helped along with chugging holistic energy powders and Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar Energy Drinks.
I promised Aunt Birdie that I would not be late, “We are heading out around 4 so make sure you get here” rang in my ears.
I knew I would make it, it was just a matter of if I drop dead from lack of energy when I got there.
3:58AM- I finally pull into Aunt Birdie and Uncle Darnell’s house as Uncle Darnell is loading is the car waiting for me. Instantly I went from almost asleep to wide awake and ready for the adventure, his energy is incredible..One of my favorite people of all time.
By about 4:15 we were on the road and headed to pick up our next VIP, Jeanne(One of those non-blood family members that you like better than most of your actual kin, truly a joy to be around). Once we had our car loaded up we hit the highway from Poplar Bluff, MO to St.Louis.
The best part about traveling for me is the excitement that you get to see in others when they haven’t been somewhere. I kept telling Birdie and Jeanne that I couldn’t explain the life here, there is something that exists here that we cannot find in America. A Simplicity and quality of life that most have never experienced. Simply Paradise.
Our first flight was from St.Louis to Houston, it was cool to be at the airport that I grew up going to. Once in Houston we were escorted to our next gate by a man named Michael, his attitude made him one of those people who will stick in my mind forever.
Michael was a 41-year-old airport worker with 6 kids, and never have I ever heard anyone so proud of his kids. Just in our walk from one end of the airport to the other, he showed a passion and drive to be happy in life while still working and getting things done and bettering the people around you. 3 of his kids had gotten degrees in various fields while 3 more were at home. He talked about the quality of life that is achieved through how you think and that mindset is the key to life, while admitting that his health is the next step on the list. People like this are encountered for a reason, I learned a lot from him.
Once we were wheels up in Houston it was only a matter of 2 hours and 25 minutes until
Little did we think about the commute to the house as we load up 2 backpacks, 2 large suitcases, 2 medium suitcases, Mom, Dave, Jeanne, Birdie, Uncle Floyd, and I on a 5 seat golf cart. We looked like the Belizean Beverly Hills Hillbilly’s. But we made it to the house, dropped our bags and had an awesome dinner at MOJO’s.
So we made it, the feeling of not going back to Amercia for 3 months is something that I have longed for..and it is finally here. In a commencement speech, Jim Carrey talks about how you can ask the universe for something and with hard work, determination, and positivity The Law of Attraction will send things your way. Fear is something in your mind that holds you back from acheiving what you really want.
“You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance at doing what you love” -Jim’s Father
The Church of Freedom from Concern, what does the world need that you can provide?
“The effect you have on others is the most valuable currency that exists”
This speech gives me goosebumps everytime I hear it. Check it out.
Needless to say..LIFE IS GOOD.
As always, Stay Grassfed.
“Half way to 112”
Every year on this day I mention to my mom as a joke that she is half way to a certain age..kinda my ongoing birthday joke with her.
Yes today is my wonderful mother’s birthday and I couldn’t think of a better reason to thank the most amazing woman in the world for everything that she has done for me.
I often find myself at a loss for words when a friend mentions a lack of empowerment, support, or have a general complaint about their parental unit and ask why my mom is so cool and supports me on whatever adventure is at hand. I can only describe it as, “Dude you can’t compare her to other parents…she doesn’t count. You can’t put a major league team on a little league field and ask why they are so much better than the others..” She is simply the best. In a whole other league.
Pepper is the Dream Team, All-Star Lineup, and Hall of Fame all in one. I have never had an aspiration that she did not fully support me in or a dream that she didn’t tell me to follow. Never have I had to second guess whether I wanted to attempt something because she always says, “If it is really what you want to do then do it.”
In the process of raising us six crazy bastards most people would be nuts..some people may tell you that she actually is. But chances are they are just jealous of her awesome personality, beauty, and general amazingness. Easily the most spectacular mom I could ever ask for.
I have always been a Momma’s Boy and couldn’t be more proud of it. I can’t wait for the next 56 years of being her favorite son and traveling the world with her.
Thank you for empowering me to follow my dreams, be a better person, and providing a more than comfortable and blessed upbringing.
Happy Birthday Mom!
You are half way to 112..and the Grassfed Way will help you get there:)
I love you!
Check out her blog at: www.lessonsinbelize.com
I was in Sprouts this morning and found a new brand of Kombucha that was on sale so I decided to try it out. There were a lot of different flavors to choose from, I usually go with a gingerade but today I went with Miss Tang.
For anyone who doesn’t know about Kombucha, it is an incredible fermented tea with probiotics and sometimes assorted fruit juices. Health benefits include: improved digestion, boosted metabolism, promotes healthy gut flora(healthy bacteria in your belly), and usually gives a nice energy buzz.
Cultures for Health is a great source of info on Kombucha, with articles and steps in brewing your own at home (saves so much money!!).
My personal preference for Kombucha is a very strong flavor that sometimes has a bit of a bite to it, the flavor that keeps some people from drinking it. So that being said..everyone has their preferences for everything and Kombucha can be brewed many different ways.
The first thing that I noticed was the lack of culture floating in the bottom of the bottle, not saying that is a bad thing..just an observation. My first drink had a light tint of ginger and a more dominant citrus flavor. It was a pleasant taste that I think many more people will enjoy as it didn’t have that jaw-tightening bite to it.
Overall the drink is a nice light Kombucha with clean ingredients, not my personal favorite but that is completely preference based on strength of brew. I will definitely try other products from BluePrint Organic in the future and recommend them to anyone who likes a lightly flavored Kombucha.
Their website is : http://www.blueprint.com/
My official grade: B+ for Great flavor and clean ingredients but it doesn’t pack that Kombucha punch that I love to get.
If there are any products that you think I should try out and review..tweet at me or email me and let me know! I always love to try new healthy products.
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Adding one healthy drink like this a day can be an easy first step to boost your health and maybe even kickstart a new lifestyle.