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Boats on a beach in thailand.

I frequently refer to Thailand as “Backpacking for Dummies.” You don’t come to Thailand in hopes of ditching the beaten track. You come for the ease. And perhaps the pad Thai.  The first time I ventured to the infamous sandy beaches in the south of The Land of Smiles, I was meeting my boyfriend after months apart. We’d both been…

Paper lanterns at festival floating in celebration.

November is a pretty wonderful time to travel abroad. The big summer crowds (and sky-high summer temperatures) have calmed down a bit, and tourists may even benefit from shoulder season pricing.  But being away from the States for Thanksgiving can be bittersweet for Americans. Sure, it might seem like missing out on your great uncle’s political rants is a bonus……

Plane flying over snowy mountains

The holiday season is characterized by parties, shopping, gift wrapping and family gatherings. You can also argue that this season is also notorious for waiting in line, spending, traffic and crowds. This is especially true when it comes to traveling during the holidays. Thanksgiving especially is when the traffic and crowds associated with travel hit an all-time high, with people…

Spices in bags in a market.

Cosmos (my discreetly hilarious tour guide) squeezes a quick double beep from the van as he weaves around the tight corners leading from the tropical waters of the Caribbean to the waterfall-strewn rainforest, only 40 minutes apart on this tiny island.  There is a subtle but important distinction between the quick “honk honk” meaning “what’s up brother!” and the slightly…

Bowl of Moroccan lentil dip on blue napkin on table.

This delicious and decadent tasting dip is savory, smoky, sweet, and delicious on everything from crackers to sandwiches to roasted vegetables. Lentils are a protein powerhouse, packed with fiber, iron, and compounds that help stabilize blood sugar and lower cholesterol. The Moroccan inspired spice mix for this dip included cinnamon, which acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory in the body and…

This classic Turkish dish revolves around a handful of simple ingredients, making their quality of the utmost importance. Good quality extra virgin olive oil makes all the difference here, both in the flavor of the recipe and in your health. Olive oil contains heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and also keeps your hair, skin, and nails in tip-top shape. Eggplant is…

These delicious noodle bowls are a deconstructed version of the classic Vietnamese summer rolls. Traditional nut butter dipping sauce is used here to dress fiber-rich brown rice vermicelli noodles, and offset with hydrating cucumbers, detoxifying radish, and digestion-boosting pickled shallots. Mushrooms provide a meaty stand-in for traditionally used shrimp, and provide a boost of vitamin D to help support your…

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