Category Archives: video

Nonstop Awesomeness, On the GO!

In July, Taste Life Twice ran three feature posts on authors. And now, for something completely different… (combining our food and travel themes): meet our featured Nomad Foodie, Nathan Agin.

Nathan’s been living out of a backpack for the last three years. He’s challenged himself to stay on-track with his passion of healthy living while discovering the world through travel, not an easy task. It’s all going to be in his new show, Travel. Eat. Thrive. Here’s the preview:

I asked Nathan a few questions about his efforts, lifestyle, and lessons learned.

First of all, tell us a bit more about the show Travel. Eat. Thrive. How does it help people with cooking at home?

The show is designed to share restaurants around the world serving nutritious and delicious food, and then—how you can make those same meals at home! We connect with someone locally—someone who wants to eat healthier—taking that person out to different restaurants, and then to have him or her decide what meal to recreate in the kitchen at home. There are lots of ideas of how to engage and include the audience (something I think many current food and travel shows are missing)—from viewers directly contributing content to creating worldwide communities around food.

Why do you think it’s so hard to eat healthy when eating out? Is it an American problem? Or are there places where it’s not a problem?

Because there is so much JUNK out there! :)

Fast food, processed foods, sugar, and unhealthy fats have become such a part of the food available out there. This stuff is very cheap to produce, which is why it is EVERYWHERE. This is not just an American issue, though we do have some of the highest obesity numbers—lots of other places and cultures are struggling with the proliferation of “not-food” out there.

We’re also wired to enjoy sugary, salty, and fatty things, so what’s even more problematic is that many companies know this and design their products to be as addictive as possible. These types of foods provide such little nutritional content that we end up in a cycle of eating more because we’re not getting the nutrients we need, thus leading to serious issues like obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

When I’ve traveled to Europe and South America, there are some of the same issues. Yes, there are places that focus more on locally-grown, whole foods, but then in these same countries, you can often find fast-food chains, local markets full of candy and processed foods, and sugary beverages as far as the eye can see. This is a global problem, and we need a global solution. Based on all the work out there around food and health now, I do think we’re headed in the right direction.

For a peek at what Nathan does to remedy those processed-food candidates, check out this video from San Diego:

 

Many people with a regimen at home, me included, relax the rules for the more uncertain circumstances they may encounter while traveling. Where did you get your driving impulse to stay fit and disciplined, even while traveling?

Even before I became a nomad, I had been learning about nutrition and living optimally, so it was really a question of integrity: if I *knew* what to do and what worked for me, did I have the character and strength to put this into practice?

Many people can skirt this issue while on the road because they’ll say, “when I get back home, I’ll eat better and get back to exercising.” Well, since I don’t have a home, if I’m going to do these things, I just need to start!

Really it’s a question of willpower, which is a muscle like anything else, and the more you develop it, the stronger it gets. Willpower is what will help you create and stick with new routines and going outside your comfort zone. A meditation practice (even 30 seconds per day!) is actually one of the best ways to develop your willpower muscle!

 

Much of the damage done while eating on the go could be attributed to the lack of control over one’s own routine, i.e. no kitchen, no fresh produce, no refrigeration, etc. How do you grapple with such big changes in routine?

Usually when you’re on the road, it’s not about dramatically improving your health or training for a triathlon; you just want to focus on what will help you maintain, sustain, energize, and inspire.

I like to say that you need to remember to pack two things: Commitment and Flexibility. Commitment is your pledge to yourself in terms of what you do everyday to hit the four words above; these are more general terms, like exercise, meditation, nutrition, gratitude, etc. Flexibility refers to *how* you can practice your commitment—you might only be able to squeeze in 10 minutes of yoga (instead of your usual 90) or maybe you can find a couple pieces of fruit for breakfast instead of a green smoothie.

The fact is you are doing something—which is WAY better than nothing, and you’re keeping up your routine, rather than letting it all slide, feeling guilty, and depressed (which can add to the stress you might already be experiencing from being in a different place).

Do whatever you can to keep yourself grounded and connected to your regular way of life—these habits will absolutely help you feel more present and energized during your travels.

 

Thanks to Nathan, our featured passionista this month, and a fellow WDSer, for living the life he imagines and being an inspiration! 

If this kind of info is up your alley, I invite you to check out Nathan’s new show Travel. Eat. Thrive. Right now for the launch, you can enter to WIN a free meal for two at restaurants around the US (and Canada!)—check out the contest!

 

Scottishness: it’s up to me

A few days ago, I came across this song, called Dawning o’ the Day, by The Corries.

 

No, The Corries are not some 80s alternative-rock band. They are a Scottish folk duo that were extremely popular in the 1960s and 1970s, and I got hooked on their Youtube videos when I was doing all my research into Scottish history and literature and arts last year. This song came up for the first time this week, and a particular verse stuck out in my mind:

“It’s no use in thinking it’s too late for changing
No use in thinking that it’s not up to you”

This blog, as I hope you have noticed, is about ways to get UNSTUCK. The last post was pulled out of my  desire for some encouragement- even if I had to give it to myself! When I heard those lyrics, it was just what I needed. I was climbing out of a trough of worries and woes onto a grassy knoll where I could once again feel in control of my destiny, my hand firm on the tiller.

I’ve often wondered why I, and others, feel drawn to a certain period of history, or a certain group of people. What does it tell us about ourselves? Anything?

My friend Erin Kurup recently posted about her young (and continuing!) obsession with pioneers. In her words: “There it was – the connection between past and present, between my childhood heroes, who trekked across the American wilderness so many years ago, and what I am doing today,” i.e. being a entrepreneur, chasing a crazy dream.

Powerful stuff, isn’t it? So what do I gather from my obsession preoccupation love affair with all things Scottish from the 18th and 19th centuries? I think it has something to do with being downtrodden, being at the end of your resources, feeling sidelined, missing the identity which you were once justly proud of… and building back up, starting over, and never losing hope.

There is a strong thread woven through Scottish arts and crafts to this day that preserves the belief in their right to rule themselves. While Irish songs are comparable in their anti-English sentiment, the Irish end up sounding either antagonistic or mournful, while the Scots seem to scorn the Brits or just carry on being proud, acknowledging their loss but not letting it be the end of them. A very interesting difference.

I am preserving what was good about my past experiences, but not fearing to go forth and create new paths, just like the Scots settled new lands after they were chased out of their own homeland. For:

“It’s no use in thinking it’s too late for changing
No use in thinking that it’s not up to [me]”

 Who’s with me?

Injury and Insult

If I write a post that is not so happy, but just as spirited, will my audience be all right? Well, here goes: a little therapeutic exposition of my recent past.
Injury: About 6 weeks ago, I was heading out to a friend’s boyfriend’s band‘s performance. They were great! Happy, happy bluegrass! Ok, back to not-so-happy.
As per my usual, I was a little late heading out to the venue, and so, as I turned left out of my building’s driveway, I broke into a quick trot to make up some time. Bad move, Indy.

The sidewalk is none too even in my neighborhood and I tripped so fast over a botchy job at even-ing out the sidewalk that I was sprawled out on elbows and knees before I even knew I’d fallen. Impact fell mostly on my knees and left elbow.  These two were taken about a week after the incident, after the initial swelling went down and the bruising got all pretty. Good thing I wasn’t going to a ball that month, eh?
While it was painful to hold ice to it while listening to the bluegrass all that night, I’m glad I went. I may never get to lean with my elbows on the table again, but … well, that would be hard. But at least they still bend!

And these two were taken a day or two later, for comparison.
There you have it, my ghoulish/ proud-of-injuries side. It’s a sleeper, so don’t blink or you might miss it!
And no, of course I didn’t see a doctor about this. I’m terrified of navigating health care waters. But I did make a baby step in the right direction by asking a coworker about help understanding it! (Go, me!)

Part II of this post is about Insult. I live in an apartment which faces out onto an alley, which affords me the occasion of hearing many sorts of human interaction, almost all of them from people passing through on their way hither and thither in this metropolis we call Washington, DC. But this summer, and now this fall, I have been plagued by two pests that set up camp and persist for a time like wasps: a neighbor, and a construction crew.

That is what I heard, of a sudden, on Wednesday, November 2nd, at 630 AM. Notice the super-strong lights necessary, because it was not yet light out when they started drilling, beeping, and jack-hammering. This went on for most of a few weeks, and it made me want to get out of my apartment as fast as I could in the morning, which is my usual quiet-time, devoid of obnoxious lunkhead neighbors who yell during the evenings (to whom I have just composed a strongly-worded letter, as they are at it again!).

But there is happy ending to this post: the city construction is done and now we have a nice red-brick alley and the convenience store on the other end of the alley has nice parking spaces (that we of course can’t use). And my elbow no longer show any traces of the fall; I’m hoping eventually I’ll be able to lean on tables with my elbows again.
There: now it’s out of my system. I hope to post a lot this week to catch up with all the other fun activities I’ve been up to (and keep my promise to the Food Blogger Cookie Swap peeps, as well!), so stay tuned!