Category Archives: Caribbean

Coconut Smochonut…This Water Had Me Jumping

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Wowsa – not surprising but Coconut water has become big business in North America. All of a sudden people are calling it “Mother Nature’s Gatorade” and talking up all of  it’s amazing restorative powers. Nutritionists have been endorsing the daily use of coconut water for decades and now cocktail blogs are posting recipes for coconut water newbies, talking about this delicious new chaser that’s actually good for you. Post-workout for those of us into fitness or heavy-duty travelers – this is a great, electrolyte-restoring thirst quencher and for cocktails at home, it’s perfect for a pair of scotch and coconut waters.

Ask anyone from the islands and they’ll tell you – we are all WAY behind! Coconut water has been a staple in cultures around the world FOREVER, for exactly these reasons!

I’ve been lucky enough to grow up drinking coconut water since a kid and having my sister family from the islands I understood what it was like to have cold coconut water, fresh from the nut. Over my many years of traveling I have had the pleasure of having coconut water and its flesh all over the world and it is DELICIOUS. If you ever visit a tropical local that has – it’s a must. Stop for coconut water, drink it, and then ask the vendor to cut it open so you can enjoy the coconut jelly inside. So good, and so good for you!

Recently I was asked to sample some great new coconut water on the market available here in Canada at our Shopper’s Drug Marts and it was a big hit at home. Coco The Natural Drink is convenient and tasty especially when ice-cold and is a great product to have stored to pack for those long car rides or hard workout days.

 

I’ve taken a local health guru’s recipe and adapted it to suit with this great product, Coco The Natural Drink and I hope you will enjoy!

Amazon Power Smoothie

1 cup coconut water

1/2 cup chopped strawberries

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/4 cup Acai puree

1/2 tsp Guarana powder

Agave Nectar to taste

2 cups ice

Blend and enjoy!

Country of origin:
Brazil (northern)

Ingredients:
– Coconut Water
– Vitamin C (ascorbic acid*)

More Details:
COCO the Natural Drink is a Brazilian coconut water that is harvested and bottled at 5 1/2 – 6 1/2 months; at it’s nutritional peak.

Available in:
– 330ml Tetra Pak
– 12 Units Per Case

So delicious, so refreshing – and if you’re new to coconut water, trying it with a light fruit flavor like Pineapple or Mango – this isn’t a bad way to go. My only complaint is that the single-serving size cartons are too small for me, I always want another one! My Godson and his sister love the single size for the road and the tetra paks are easier to store in the cupboard before making their way to the fridge.

Have a look at what is going on with this super fab company and the amazing people they support like Olympian Kyle Jones.

Website: http://www.cocothenaturaldrink.com

Give them a follow over at Twitter: http://twitter.com/COCOTheDrink

Coco The Natural Drink is now the proud sponsor of Canadian National Champion and 2012 Olympian, Kyle Jones from Oakville, ON, who is now living and training in Victoria, BC with his wife Kelly. Follow him on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JonesKyle

Go out and give them a try and if you try the Smoothie recipe let me know how it turns out or if you make a new blend of your own!

Namaste

Some Recommended Authors for International Mysteries- Get Your Travel Reading On!

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So I’ve started off a great list of authors that a friend and I once created under the subject of adventure and encourage you to add to the list of any great ones you are aware of or love!

Recommended Authors for International Mysteries Reads

Africa

  • Malarkey, Tucker
  • McCall Smith, Alexander

China

  • Bradby, Tom
  • Liang, Diane Wei
  • Xiaolong, Qiu

Cuba

  • Garcia-Aguilera, Carolina
  • Latour, Jose
  • Parker, Barbara
  • Standiford, Les
  • Truman, Margaret

England

  • Armstrong, Vivien
  • Dexter, Colin
  • Fowler, Christopher
  • Hall, Patricia
  • James, P.D.
  • Marsh, Ngaio
  • McCrery, Nigel
  • Rendell, Ruth

France

  • Claudel, Philippe
  • Simenon, Georges
  • Temple, Lou Jane
  • Vargas, Fred

Holland

  • Ewan, Chris
  • Freeling, Nicolas
  • Mathews, Adrian
  • Van De Wetering, Janwillem

India

  • Adiga, Aravind
  • Keating, H.R.F.

Ireland

  • Brady, John
  • Malarkey, Tucker
  • Nugent, Andrew

Italy

  • Dibdin, Michael
  • Eco, Umberto
  • Hewson, David
  • Leon, Donna
  • Nabb, Magdalen

Japan

  • Hunter, Stephen
  • Nonami, Asa
  • Okuizumi, Hikaru
  • Rowland, Laura Joh

Norway

  • Fossum, Karen
  • Nesbo, Jo

Pakistan

  • Benard, Cheryl

Russia

  • Bradby, Tom
  • Kaminsky, Stuart

Scotland

  • Beaton, M.C.
  • Mina, Denise
  • Murray, Colin
  • Rankin,Ian

Spain

  • Perez-Reverte, Arturo

Sweden

  • Mankell, Henning
  • Edwardson, Ake
  • Nesser, Hakan
  • Tursten, Helene

A Traveller’s Checklist

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After speaking with a rather well-travelled client the other day and hearing their tales of passport dramas I decided it would be great to do a short review of a well-advised Traveller’s Checklist!

 

Your safe and well-planned trip begins with most or all of these important steps:

  • Carry a personal passport from your country of residence/citizenship that is valid well beyond the date of your anticipated return to your country of residence; keep a copy of the identification page separate from the original. I also scan one into my computer and take with me in digital format as well/store on an external storage site ie. Cloud etc.)
  • Leave copies of your passport indentification page, itinerary, and insurance policy with friends or family(I also scan one into my computer and take with me in digital format as well/store on an external storage site ie. Cloud etc.)
  • Obtain any required visas well in advance – do your research or ask your travel professional as you might need a lot of lead time to obtain!
  • If travelling with children, carry documentation proving your right to accompany them ( eg. a consent letter or court order)
  • Arrange for Travel Health Insurance
  • Plan your Itinerary and Budget
  • Anticipate financial needs: local currency, traveller’s cheques, departure taxes which may need to be paid in local currency at destination
  • Take care of health needs: vaccinations, prescriptions,medical certificates,supplies, extra eyeglasses/contacts
  • Check whether Dual Citizenship is an issue for you
  • Carry an Emergency Contact Card with the coordinates of the nearest home countyry government office in your destination
  • Obtain an International Driving Permit, if required(you must have a driver’s license in your home country – if not it can prove to be difficult)
  • Carefully attend to luggage, documentation, and airport security.
  • While abroad, keep receipts for purchases and make special arrangements for any food, plants, or animals brought back to your home country.( I try to remember to take pictures with my camera/smartphone or use a small portable scanner that links to my computer by USB like NEAT – fits nicely into the suitcase or carry-on)

 

For those of us here in Canada I also suggest signing up for the Registration of Canadians Abroad Service at http://www.travel.gc.ca/register

Another helpful thing that our Canadian Foreign Affairs and International Trade offices provide is the Bon Voyage, But… from the Consular Services which contains essential information for Canadian travellers. You can also get copies of the Country Travel Reports for your destination(s). before you go that are filled with some great information and contact names and numbers. An email address to keep in your “travel “go-to” list is the following: sos@international.gc.ca and is to only be used in cases of emergency when you are abroad.

I hope this checklist was helpful and informative and will guide you to better planning or remind you for the next journey you head out on!

Travel Safe!

 

 

Happy LOVE Day!

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Happy LOVE Day!

Like the old saying goes, “Love makes the world go round.”


As you celebrate the love in your life be sure to take the time to celebrate one of the most important relationships in your life – the one with YOURSELF! Due to old ways we have been programmed to think we associate the phrases self-love and self-care with selfishness (I’ve struggled with those myself many times) but in reality it is exactly the opposite. Until we can love, care and appreciate ourselves fully we can’t truly bring those attributes to a relationship.

“You must love yourself before you love another. By accepting yourself
and fully being what you are,  your simple presence can make others happy.”
~ unknown

Take today and the rest of the week to nurture your body, spirit and soul and notice that goodness radiate out to others around you.

On the healthy side: Get heart healthy and cut out some meat. Did you know that by reducing your animal protein intake, you immediately lower your risk for heart disease and reverse some affects of currently blocked arteries!

Stress reduction is the best medicine for an overworked heart and head! Start planning your vacation now and reap the benefits for the next few months. Do you hear those waves lapping up on the shore…feel that sand moving between your toes…how about the sun shining its love down on you?Whether its a full blown retreat or just a quick getaway squeezed into a busy schedule – taking a break is so very needed and well deserved – you work hard so don’t forget to recharge and reward yourself.

So enjoy the day for yourself and while you’re at it pick up your favourite flowers and chocolates, go home, light a candle and wrap yourself in a great big hug or hop online and start doing your travel research!

You deserve it!

“Only from the heart can you touch the sky” ~ Rumi

 

What is Eco-Friendly in 2011?

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Here is a fast-n-furious navigation through the environmental consciousness with some easey-peasey definitions that aren’t too sci-fi when you travel and are reading just what your destinations are providing you for options.

Ecological Footprint: The amount of natural resources required to sustain a plant or animal to full growth

Eco-conscious: Having the awareness and being concerned for the environment

Fair Trade: Those people who make the textiles and the clothing – being paid a fair price and having decent working conditions

Organic: In relation to fabric, Fibres that are grown and produced without chemically formulted fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, growth stimulants, etc.

Reclaimed:Those textiles or garments that have been discarded or given away and are suitable for re-use

Recycled: Those textiles that have been manufactured from previously made items/products such as bottles and cans

Renewable: Those resources that can be replenished within just a few years – not decades

Vegan: Those products that are made without the use of animal bi-products

My latest guest post on Vallarta Escapes:Labour Day – Do We Leave The Summer Fitness Behind? www.vallartaescapes.com

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Each year we try something new to get ourselves out of our fitness rut so this year I decided to dig a little more into the various ways to retrain my body after injury and decided that a bootcamp of sorts is the best way for me to challenge myself . I’ve asked my latest clients who run their own bootcamps in Mexico (and soon to be other Caribbean destinations) away from their home back in Ontario, Canada.

Here is what Lisa and Jason, owners of Live in Motion ( www.liveinmotion.ca ) had to tell me in my learning curve about bootcamps at destination

“boot camp”

 “Boot camps are a wonderful way to participate in group activity as a single person, with friends or even family members. Creating just the right atmosphere for any type of client!! This is also a great way for someone to meet new people with the same interests from other parts of the world.  Boot camps offer a variety of training techniques including building the aerobic and anaerobic system! This is done through some very short sprints, stair climbing, speed and agility exercises as well sometimes through trails in the local forest or along the beach front! For some it’s about building up their cardiovascular system to enhance a sport or even work on building up strength so the participant doesn’t feel out of breath walking up a flight of stairs or even carrying their groceries from the car! WHAT a great way to spend time doing something you enjoy while receiving the benefits of exercise!

Sessions also offer muscle endurance, strength and flexibility.  Some participants report strength gains in their abdominal muscles, legs, back and even report a newly found tight BUTT!!! Let’s not forget weight loss!! Many boot campers brag how much weight they have lost and how their energy levels have improved. Participating in a week long camp will allow the individual to improve or continue their ability to train in a safe monitored environment while enjoying the beautiful scenery of Mexico! 

Boot camp sessions can take place in or out doors depending on the environment! Participants love the outdoors because they get to enjoy the fresh air, the beautiful city and the scenery at the beach. Over all it changes the atmosphere of a work out that is constantly done inside all winter or in stuffy gyms!!

Traveling, learning new things, taking part in group exercise and yoga, eating right and coming home with a newly rejuvenated body is the perfect gift you can give yourself.   “

So this year don’t let the winter season take away the blast of results you can get from a bootcamp! Try taking part in one at a destination and soak in the sun and all the healthy goodness!

My Guest Post on Vallarta Escapes :: Food Safety Tips for Home and Away

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Food Glorious Food! Just the thought of tantilizing flavours from far away conjures up the most amazing of sensations. Maybe at this exact moment you are remembering a favourite dish a parent, relative or friend made like Uncle Jim’s perfectly barbequed tasty ribs or Grandma’s expertly rolled homemade cinnamon buns. The thing about food is – it sustains us both emotionally and physically – it’s not just a necessity for living but also a joy and a simple pleasure so let’s discuss the challenges of taking this joy on vacation.

If you’re in a non-English speaking country, it’s a good idea to get referrals from other travellers and your travel agent if possible as well as having a phrase book on hand to help translate the menu and avoid potentially risky dishes. Do some research online or at the library to better understand the cuisine of the location you will be visiting. Make sure that your food is always cooked thoroughly and served hot if that is what the dish is supposed to be. This is not the best time to be super adventurous and have a runny egg huevos rancheros or some prepared tartare in a country not known for its “raw” menu items. It’s also a good idea to see how an eatery runs their clean “ship” as that will usually tell you how clean they might be keeping their kitchen.

One of the best things about travelling is enjoying the tastes and smells, the experience of new cuisine; one of the worst things about travelling is the possibility of food related illnesses. When choosing to place to eat, try to dine in busy tourist destinations, which are more likely to have higher food safety regulations, standards and practices in order to maintain their reputation and the continued return of business.

A new little travel tip I was recently enlightened to has helped to ensure that I don’t create a recipe for disaster and digestive chaos was the following: if the drinking water you will have access to is questionable, simply add 2-5 drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract (otherwise known as GSE) to each glass of water. Be sure to get its full effects by stirring it well and letting it sit for a few moments before you consume it but be forwarned its quite bitter(think citrus on steroids) . As an excellent antimicrobial it’s great to have on hand to keep those digestive complaints at bay while travelling. Most will say that the best advice is to only consume those beverages that are bottled and served to you sealed(it’s not uncommon for bottles to be refilled from a contaminated source and order your drinks without ice,including those ones that are blended- I know- takes away the fun but its about being safe!

Danger Danger …sometimes its only skin deep so only eat fruits such as oranges and other citrus fruits, bananas and mangos that have a protective, peel-able layer of skin. The peel of the fruit acts like a protective barrier to microorganisms that can make you sick. The peel protects the fruit inside but also makes it a net that harbours the growth of bacteria and molds so always make sure you completely wash and peel it first so you don’t tranfer anything.

Wash, Wash, Wash! Don’t forget to wash your own hands many times over! Washing your hands is even more important to travellers in a foreign locale than at home because of the possibility of picking up “little critters” or microbes that you have never been exposed to.

Paying attention to food safety is not just a travelling issue as we are such a global community that comes with a very global food supply. Food is sourced and delivered from multiple sources and your favourite fruits and veggies can travel thousands of miles to grace your table and even our local produce is handled many times over before we pick it up at the supermarket and the local veggie stand.

Travel safe!

~ Namaste ~

Join Us on our new adventure…Words N Wisdom with Dwayne Morgan

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This Trip has now been postponed until November 2011….Look for updates soon!!!

Words N Wisdom with Dwayne Morgan May 14th – 21st, 2011

Includes:

  • All Inclusive 7 nights accommodation at the Iberostar Costa Dorada
  • Return airfare and transfers from Toronto
  • Workshops, performance,writing materials,2 excursions,volunteer experiences and publication in E-book
  • Two Suggested Excursions (weather permitting):Mount Isabel de Torres & Pico Isabel de Torres (Cable Car) plateau similar to Brazil Christ Statue atop as well, with amazing views and Damajaqua Cascades a series of waterfalls (27 Waterfalls)

Click below for a more detailed itinerary and keep checking for more updates or email us directly or call 647-347-6693.

Words N Wisdom