The Bourbon Orleans Hotel was SCARY…

but that was just the occasional (friendly) ghost seen here and there on the property!

Haunted
In fact, the Bourbon Orleans Hotel was such a wonderful place to stay and we can’t wait to return in a few months. Let me break it down like I do:

Property – the property was once my great, great, aunt’s home as one of the original 12 nuns of the first Black Creole order of “Sister of the Holy Family” Convent in 1881 (today the Bourbon Orleans Ball Room), but that’s what makes it so special to me. For you, you’ll love the solar cell salt-water pool in the beautiful Court Yard. The property also boasts a restaurant and a bar for you to enjoy (more on that later.) There’s also a St. Ann Cottage that’s often used for celebrations and events. The Cottage is also home to the Administrative Offices (more on them later too.) The Rooms, Pool Rooms, and Loft Suites are sensational at great price points. We stayed in the Roux Loft Suite and it was so elegant with Creole French Style furnishings, but with a modern twist. We’ve enjoyed the wetbar and the 2 flat-screen TVs. Also on the first floor is the living room, complete with a large desk (WIFI is included at NO additional cost.) The patio balcony was great for late-night people watching and/or sipping great wines under the crisp moon. On the 2nd floor LOFT area is a Queen sized bed. You would think that you’d prefer a King, but the Queen is just right for those HOT French Quarter nights. The bathroom with the walk-in shower is ultra modern with a masculine edge that we so appreciated.

French Quarter
Location – the Bourbon Orleans Hotel is located smack dead in the middle of all that the French Quarter has to offer. To your right is Bourbon Street with all the fun craziness that you can possibly imagine, and to your left is Royal Street facing the historic King Louis Cathedral (the oldest cathedral still in use in the United States.) It is literally steps to famed Café du Monde (Beignets and Café Au Lait) AND steps to the all-important Mississippi River.

Staff Members – what an amazing set of dedicated staff-members (more like family members!) I have to give a GREAT shoutout to Kiana (Front Desk Manager), Miss Sweet Ivy (and ALL the housekeeping staff members), the Bartenders Steven, Justin, and Becka, and all the Food and Beverage staff (especially the wait staff) and of course, Laurie Guidry, Mark Wilson, & Marc Becker are all delightful.

The Roux Restaurant – the popular chef, Joey Wells, was not available (was looking forward to his Shrimp & Grits specialty) but the Chef who took care of us was OUTSTANDING!! We had the crab-stuff chicken breast and the filet mignon – heaven!! We were on a Gastro Tour all over the French Quarter, but the Roux Restaurant at the Bourbon Orleans Hotel will be on my TOP 8 FRENCH QUARTER RESTAURANTS to VISIT!!

Mixologist
The Bourbon O Bar – the best thing at the bar is not even a drink or beverage…
it’s Mixologist of the Year – Steven Lemley!! He is sensational. I was quoted as saying “Some bartenders make drinks, this Mixologist Steven Lemley creates an Experience!!” Not only will Steven create the most-beautiful drinks you’ve ever tasted (with FRESH fruit juices), he will give you a brief history about specific drinks as well. You’ll oooh and ahhh over his “flourishes” while he makes the cocktails, and if you don’t know what you want, he’ll gently recommend a cocktail based upon the flavors you do like. When visiting Steven Lemley, please tell him that “H. Luiz Martinez” sent you!

Now – when staying at the Bourbon Orleans Hotel, remember to bring earplugs to ensure that you get some rest. The Hotel itself is pretty quiet as far as hotels go, but don’t forget that you’re in the French Quarter and on/near Bourbon Street – legendary for late night excitement, partying, and club-going. But there’s the other side to explore too – food, tours, steam-boat trips, food music, casinos, food, historical content, and did I mention food? jajajaja!

Enjoy New Orleans, enjoy the French Quarter, enjoy the Bourbon Orleans Hotel, and enjoy yourself!
H. Luiz

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Priority List: 8 At-Home Spa Treatments You Can Do on Vacation

Priority List

Pampering yourself at home with spa treatments is easy, rejuvenating and quite cost-effective. You have the luxury to control the ingredients that go onto your skin and into your body, too. You have control over the music you listen to as well as the environment’s “feel” as a whole. Why not incorporate those same basic principles and take those ideas with you when you travel? No, I’m not talking about lugging spa equipment, carrying mani-pedi tools, or packing a boat-load of tubes, jars, and containers on vacation. I’m saying that you can take those simple “at home spa treatments” and tailor them for your hotel room while on your vacation.

These treatments I’m about to illustrate came about when I needed to get creative and use what was available to me in a hotel. Jet lag, bad weather, irritability, and not feeling your best can all conspire to make a vacation turn sour, really quickly. In most cases, I had to improvise, but “discovery” was part of the fun. Of course, some of these ideas are just modifications of what I do at home, but a couple of ideas came from professional spa technicians in some of the very hotels I stayed in. After an enjoyable spa treatment or two, I always ask them, “How can I do this for myself at home?” You’d be surprised just how easy it is! Here are eight personal spa treatments you can create when you need to refresh, distress, or unwind while away on vacation.

1. Create a Refreshing Station

I do not drink as much water as I should when I’m at home, but when I travel I drink lots of it. I know it’s important to stay hydrated, especially in the tropics where I tend to vacation. The first thing I do is pick up the phone and order room service. I ask for sliced cucumber, sliced limes, and mint leaves (they may not always have mint). Then I ask for a large glass pitcher or carafe of filtered water. And while I have them on the phone, I usually ask them to send up a fresh fruit basket too. As soon as the fruit and water arrive, I put the sliced cucumber, limes, and mint leaves in the carafe with the water to create a cool, nutrient-rich, vitamin water. I’ve done this so many times that when we now return to some resorts, we’ll find a complimentary “refreshing station” and fresh fruit basket already set up in our room. That’s always a nice touch!

2. Steep That Tea

I remember once, when we finally arrived at our hotel room after a long flight, looking in the bathroom mirror and seeing this tired-looking man staring at me from the other side. Cabin pressure, lack of sleep, and caffeine really do a number on the skin, especially the face. I used to bring along spray mists but my large ones are now against air-travel regulations. So, I decided to give myself a mini-steam facial to invigorate my skin, open up my pores, and improve my circulation. You can do it, too. Fill your clean hotel sink with hot water. Throw in a couple of those complimentary herbal tea bags (maybe they’ll even have chamomile) and grab a nice fluffy towel. Drape it over your head and shoulders to create a tent over the sink. Steam your face for about three minutes. Want more time? Just add more hot water. Don’t forget to breathe in deeply and relax. Afterward, gently pat your face dry with the towel. This will put the glow back in your face for sure!

3. Make a Natural Facial Mask

After you’ve spent time giving yourself a steam facial, you can apply a natural facial mask. It’s very easy: mix some milk and honey together and that’s all you really need. The mixture should be creamy yet sticky. These two ingredients work well for all skin types. However, I encourage you to experiment with other natural ingredients such as hand-mashed avocados and moistened oatmeal. Simply apply the mixture as you would with any store-bought facial mask. Lie down on your bed, throw some of those cucumber slices over your eyes, and just relax for about 15 minutes. When you’re finished, rinse with slightly cool water. Dab your face dry and apply your moisturizer. A natural mask has many beneficial properties. It hydrates your face and draws out impurities from congested skin. It also helps to calm and smooth tired skin and reduce puffiness. When someone comments on your beautiful skin, just say, “It’s natural, baby!”

Read the rest of Priority List: 8 At-Home Spa Treaments You Can Do On Vacation here
H. Luiz Spa

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The Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort in St. Maarten

Sonesta Great Bay Beach
“I wrote this from my in-flight airplane seat, because I wanted to give you ALL the details that I could remember about our 7-Day stay in the beautiful Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort in St. Maarten.”
– H. Luiz Martinez

 

The property, though charming with a Dutch Island feel, was in need of a few modern upgrades, but guess what? They were set to close the property after Labor Day, Sep 1st for a month-long renovation project – after our stay. However, the infinity pool, and the 2 other pools were beautiful and we enjoyed swimming in them every day. You couldn’t beat the beach and the view from the resort and it was literally breath-taking! We had an “apartment” in the resort, which is like a Jr. Suite, that had the cleanest full kitchen I have ever seen! You were able to reach your personal patio (complete with an outdoor dining table and chairs, plus lounge chairs) through the bedroom and/or living room glass patio doors – there’s an indoor dining table and chairs as well. The flat screen TVs have great reception and the WiFi is strong! Again, the views are post-card perfect! The pool, the bars, the daily entertainment, and live music were reasons enough to stay.

The staff members at the Sonesta Great Bay Beach are more like long-lost relatives, always attentive yet non intrusive to your privacy. Phrases like, “Enjoying your Happiness today?” “Have you found your Calm yet?” and “Be sure to soak up the Tranquility” were said to us every day with genuine smiles. They have a great General Manager named Karl Bourne, who seems to anticipate guests needs before they even arise. Mr. Radcliffe, Operations, was helpful with any questions, scheduling, and service needs as well. A big Thank You to Cleopatra, Food and Beverage, for welcoming us with a bottle of wine, fruit and cheese platter, and a warm “welcome” note!

Welcome Hospitality

The Executive Chef, Marc Innocenti, is truly a superstar! We’ve been treated royally before in other Caribbean Islands, but Chef Marc was also someone we could just hang out with and talk about food, great restaurants, and tennis (the US Open was running during our stay.) He prepared us private dinners that were simply extra-ordinary, becoming of an experience executive chef and beyond! We’re still talking about our surf and turf of Lobster Tail & Filet Mignon – which was just 1 of a 5 course gastro-tour. That dish alone is enough to make us return next year!! The stuffed mussels and seafood filled balls (rellenos) were delectable and the blue-cheese frisee salad was delicious. As an extra treat (and perhaps our favorite) was the Shrimp Mac n’ Cheese! That was enough to put tears in our eyes and smiles on our faces.
mussels GreatBayFood2 GreatBayFood3

Chef Marc Innocenti was also our point person on this vacation in regards to our dining experiences. He coordinated our day-trip to sister resort Maho Beach and setup all our transportation services and back. Chef Marc scheduled another gastro-tour there, but we had a BBQ Buffet instead. The BBQ was great, but we were disappointed that the chef there did not “deliver.” The sister-property at Maho Beach is geared more towards families with children, but we had a great time at the pools, casino, and watching planes fly startlingly close over the beach.
St. Maarten

Back at Great Bay Beach, Chef Marc introduced us to Executive Sous Chef, Fabio.  He created Sicilian inspired dishes but with a Caribbean tasty twist! Chef Fabio is one of those chefs that if you give him 30 days, he can prepare 30 distinct dishes without much effort. That’s what you call passion!  Again, with the coordination of our Superstar Executive Chef Marc Innocenti, we’ve enjoyed a Romantic Dinner on the very sands of the St. Maarten Beach of the resort. There, Chef Fabio and Chef Win spoiled us again! The spiny-shell lobster was prepared to perfection and we would guess to be about 4 to 5 lbs…each! We thought we died and went to seafood heaven. Also, the seafood bisque with fresh Johnny cakes and sweet-potato crab cakes were enough to have us smiling all night, not to mention the other course in between. Be sure to check out Pescatore whenever you’re in St. Maarten (or anywhere you’ll find these CHEFS!)

We can’t wait to return next year!!
#HLuizStyle

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The 2014 Fall Fashion Issue of Passport Magazine is OUT!

 

PAssportMagSep2014

The 2014 Fall Fashion Issue of Passport Magazine is OUT and available on newsstands, available for digital downloads, and ready to be delivered to your door now!
SubscriptionsDigital, and iTunes for iPad. The current Fall Fashion Issue of Passport Magazine is packed with GREAT articles, pictures, and up-to-date information for all your Lifestyle and Travel needs.
Gay Travel

This issue’s Priority List brings you 8 Style and Prep Tips to Keep YOU Looking Fashion Forward While Traveling. These tried, tested, and true tips will give you not only great perks and possible upgrades, but they can help make you look and feel comfortable while flying too! I’m sure you’re going to enjoy it, especially when you see that the Fall Fashion Issue is so FULL of great stuff from cover to cover!
Priority List: 8 Style and Prep Tips for Travel


Passport Magazine:
You have to checkout Associate Managing Editor, Joseph Pedro’s WILDE DUBLIN.

Also, “Passport Concierge” by Lawrence Ferber and the “VIP Lounge” where Lawrence chats it up with my long-time Friend and Tony-Award Winning Actor – Billy Porter! 

Rich Rubin gives us a wonderful look at “Quirky, Loveable Asbury Park” in my home state of New Jersey.

Jeff Heilman gives us WORLD EATS from Melbourne, Australia and for you pet-lovers, Jimmy Im informs us of Pet-Friendly Accommodations. Jimmy also informs us “Where Love and Creativity Equals Success” in BUSINESS PROFILE highlighting the story of Malin + Goetz.

Morgan Ribera tells us about Food, Wine, Art, and Hollywood Glamour in Central Virginia in GLOBE TROTTING.

Andrew Villagomez gives us “What’s New in…” Curacao and Jim Gladstone shows us “Hot Type for Savvy Travelers” in TRAVEL BOUND.

And probably my favorite section in this issue, the beautiful photography of Ezequiel De La Rosa in Broadway’s Leading Men! I’m talking Legends like Alan Cumming, Andy Karl, Kyle Dean Massey. They have Broadway Hunks like Christopher Sieber, Rob McClure, and Josh Tower. They even have the Hot and Talented Ramin Karimloo and Matt Bogart too!
Photographer
Ezequiel De La Rosa

Get your Passport Magazine NOW!! :)
Subscriptions
Digital
iTunes for iPad

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New FB Page: The Golden Girls – Sophia Petrillo Quotes

Golden Girls
Don’t you love ALL those witty and wise-cracking quotes, Sophia Petrillo (Estelle Getty) of the Golden Girls used to say? I do too, so I decided to setup a new FaceBook Page titled Sophia Petrillo Quotes.

Here’s Sophia on Marriage Equality, back in the 1980s…
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Please share this on your media sites and “Thank You for Being A Friend!”
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Pedestrian Plaza on Newark Ave in Jersey City, NJ

Are you READY for the Pedestrian Plaza on Newark Ave in Jersey City, NJ? I sure am and so were the residents yesterday, who attended the “Opening” to a grand success!
PedestrianPlaza

Local Jersey City Downtown Businesses, Pedestrians, and Cyclists give their thumbs up to the NEW Pedestrian Plaza on Newark Avenue from Grove St to Barrow and Erie Street and from Newark Avenue to Bay Street in Jersey City, NJ.

Jersey City Residents

The “Pedestrian Plaza” hours are Monday – Friday 3pm to 12 midnight and Saturday – Sunday ALL day! That means no cars on the road and businesses extending their hours (if they’re smart) to accommodate their customers.
JJman

“The opening was a huge success, with people enjoying the additional space,” “Like any new project, we will continue to tweak and modify the plan until it is perfect.”
– Jennifer Morrill, City Spokeswoman.

They tried to do this last year, but it was met with strong resistance from motorists. Now, with everyone on board, I hope it’s a great success! They’re trying it out for 3 months (I wish they started in July so that we all could enjoy being outside with more daylight) from August 19th through to November. These months are great (cooler weather) for us to be outdoors, shop, and eat. Also, a safe-zone from motorists, especially for kids visiting after school.
Jersey City Downtown

How do you feel about it? Let us know in the “comment section” below.

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“The Blame Game: Original Sin” a NEW Piece by Safi Thomas

Original Sin

The Hip-Hop Dance Conservatory of New York’s “SUMMER INTENSIVE 2014″ Dancers are giving a must-see PERFORMANCE, titled “the Blame Game: Original Sin” on August 16th at the Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet beginning at 5:30pm in NYC.

Tickets are selling quick but as an incentive to make it more affordable to “experience” first-rate theater (featuring authentic Hip-Hop Dance), HDCNY has partnered with Groupon to give us tickets for less than $20 per person. This low-price includes delicious coffee and tea sponsored by Cafe Boca Ciega, intermission cupcakes sponsored by Billy’s Bakery, a reception dinner complete with wine sponsored by Gastrunamy and Meet n’ Greet Live Discussions with the HDCNY’s Repertory Company. Now that’s what I call value!! Here’s the money-saving GROUPON link: The Blame Game: Original Sin

As The Hip-Hop Dance Conservatory’s annual performance series, The BLAME Game has established a long lineage of intense, narrative choreography. Each installment is the fruit of the conservatory’s summer intensive program, and while last year dove into the head of a man driven to madness, this year taps into the Biblical creation myth of the female demon *Lilith.
OriginalSin

*The Mythical Lilith (also known as Lilit, and Lilyth) is a biblical persona and first wife of Adam (Eve being from his rib); a beautiful goddess of childbirth, women, and sexuality; a seductress and giver of wild dreams, or a demon due to the rise of patriarchy. Lilith is found in the Bible (Hebrew text, Greek version, Latin Bible and English versions, Jewish Tradition (including the Dead Sea Scrolls, Talmud, Kabbalah and “Tree of Life”), Mesopotamian mythology, Greco-Roman mythology, Arabic mythology, in Western literature, German literature, English literature, and Armenian Literature. Lilith is also found and revered in Feminists groups and modern occultism.

The Blame Game: Original Sin is a story about a woman’s love and despair that transpires through the centuries up to “Modern Days.” Come delve into the dark abyss of institutional asylums, set for those who dared to challenge patriarchal control, like Elizabeth Packard…

BlameGame

This is Safi Thomas’ latest creative piece and the newest production of the Theatre of The Mind®: “The BLAME Game: Original Sin”. H+ | Guided by Science. Powered by Soul.® Sponsored by: †∆†∑m® {Theatre Of ThE Mind®} featuring HDCNY’s Summer Intensive Performers.

“Without dialogue with the music, we are making dance about us. It’s like going on a date and only talking about yourself. Like any significant conversation, our movements must be a response. An expression of our comprehension of the music’s message. A barometer or indicator of how well we are listening.” - Safi A. Thomas, Artistic Director
SafiDance

Thinking about joining the Hip-Hop Dance Conservatory? Learn more about the school from Artistic Director Safi Thomas and Education Director Yvonne Chow HERE.

Get your tickets: The Blame Game: Original Sin then let me now via FB Message (My Facebook Profile here) if you want to meet Henry and I there. I’m sure we’ll have fun!

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Priority List by H. Luiz Martinez exclusively at Passport Magazine

Have you picked up the August Issue of Passport Magazine yet??

Culinary Issue

I’m super-excited about the cover and ALL of the entertaining articles inside! Be sure to checkout Legendary Sophia Loren’s recipes and all of the other great features in Passport Magazine’s premiere Culinary Issue!

You can find my column, Priority List, exclusively at Passport Magazine. In this issue, I share my 8 Cultural Food Practices that influence how I cook and entertain. You may click here to check it out: 8 Cultural Food Practices
H. Luiz Martinez Column

Pick up Passport Magazine’s Premier Culinary Issue at newsstands now or subscribe to the PRINT EDITION by clicking here: Passport Magazine Print Subscription
If you just can’t wait (like me) subscribe to the DIGITAL EDITION by clicking here: Passport Magazine Digital Subscription
iPad Users may catch it on iTunes – Click here: Passport Magazine for iPad

#PriorityList
#HLuizStyle

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Create YOUR Own 90 Minute Brunch Party

I think the best way to entertain your family and friends is with a late breakfast or early brunch! The beauty is that it does NOT have to be expensive, NOT need to last for hours, and CAN be just as fun as any dinner party. I created the 90 Minute Brunch Party that’s so easy to do! Self-serve is always best.
Priority List

Beverages: I ALWAYS have Bellinis (Prosecco w/ Peach Puree) -or- Mimosas (Champagne w/ Fresh Orange Juice) in glass pitchers. Provide an extra pitcher of OJ for those that do not want alcohol in their juice. Add 2 or 3 bottles of large sparkling water along with some flat waters. I like to set out a tray of glasses and a stack of cotton napkins alongside the pitchers. Hot coffee is a must! I have a couple of Percolators and I find that they’re convenient for guests to serve themselves as compared to one large clunky coffee urn. Put out the milk, cream, and sugar and you’re ready to go.
champagne and orange juice

Food: Make a great frittata or a large potato pancake with scrambled eggs on top – I slice it into wedges and let guests serve themselves. Make 2 for larger parties.  A side platter of pancetta, bacon, or savory herb breakfast sausage rounds out the dish. If I have 8 or more guests, I make a simple green avocado salad or grilled asparagus with a buttery lemon sauce. This will not only compliment the main dish, but it will stretch out their portion size.
latkes pork

Dessert: I either have biscotti or fresh-fruit tart(s). In the summer, I like having small glass bowls of cubed watermelon which I drizzle with my honey-orange-ginger glaze. It’s so refreshing topped with baby-mint leaves.
fruit tartcookiesskewered fruit

Make sure your guests know in advance that it’s a 90 Minute Brunch Party. Some may have to be reminded AFTER 90 minutes but that’s okay. jajajaja!  The best part is that you and your guests will have the rest of the day to relax and do whatever it is you want to do.
magazine

 

 

 

 

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Priority List – My Column in Passport Magazine

PassportPassport MagPassport Magazine
I am so excited to tell you all that my 2-page column Priority List has already launched on the pages of Passport Magazine. Come check it out CLICK HERE: Priority List

Passport Magazine, The Hetero-Friendly Gay Magazine, is America’s #1 Travel Mag. It’s an Insider’s Guide to Gay and Lesbian Travel, your online leader for gay travel destinations, travel videos, gay travel guides and news. They focus on providing useful and up to date information on gay travel, culture, style, adventure and romance! Come pick up a copy or find us online @ Passport Magazine !

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It’s Time to DETOX and CLEANSE…

won’t you join us? We start Monday Morning May 19th!
HLMkitchen

This Food DETOX is NOT a diet in efforts to lose weight, although my Partner and I lose about 8-12 pounds each within the 5 days of our cleanse. It’s a detox – plain and simple. When we go through this 5 day cleanse, we feel more energized throughout the day, our eyes look brighter, our heads feel clearer, our skin seems to glow (yes, more than usual jajajaja) and our hair – well, we shave our heads, but if we had some hair I’m sure it would look shiny!

Our “Detox Cleanse” is actually part of the Whole Body Action Plan by Dr. Alejandro Junger, author of “Clean.” We make it as simple as possible for us. We have Almond Milk Fruit Smoothies (no sugar) for breakfast AND dinner. Then we have grilled fish with veggies or split pea/ lentil soups for our lunches. 5 Days during the week- DONE!
detox

I will be posting our meal pics (it keeps me honest jajaja) and hopefully it will motivate and inspire you to maybe try the Detox Cleanse for yourself. You’ll find those pics on my FaceBook Food Page next week at H. Luiz Presents…FOOD!

Here are some tips…

Foods to Include:

•Dairy substitutes- rice and nut milks such as almond milk and coconut milk
•Non-gluten grains- brown rice, millet, amaranth, teff, tapioca, buckwheat, potato flour, quinoa, gluten-free oats
•Fruits and vegetables- unsweetened fresh or frozen whole fruits, water-packed canned fruits, diluted fruit juices and raw steamed, sauteed, juiced, or roasted vegetables
•Animal protein- fresh or water-packed fish, wild game, lamb, duck, organic chicken, and turkey
•Vegetable protein- split peas, lentils, and legumes
•Nuts and seeds- walnuts; sesame, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds; hazelnuts; pecans; almonds; cashews; nut butters such as almond or tahini
•Oils- cold-pressed olive, flax, safflower, sesame, almond, sunflower, walnut, canola, and pumpkin
•Drinks- filtered or distilled water, decaffeinated herbal teas, seltzer or mineral water
•Sweeteners- brown rice syrup, agave nectar, stevia, and blackstrap molasses
•Condiments- vinegar; all spices, including salt, pepper, basil, carob, cinnamon, cumin, dill, garlic, ginger, mustard, oregano, parsley, rosemary, tarragon, thyme, and turmeric

Foods to Exclude:

•Dairy and eggs: all
•Butter and mayonnaise: all
•Grains: wheat, corn, barley, spelt, kamut, rye, triticale, most oats (oats are usually contaminated with gluten unless you can find a gluten-free brand)
•Fruits and vegetables: oranges, orange juice, corn, creamed vegetables
•Animal protein: pork, beef, veal, sausage, cold cuts, canned meats, frankfurters, shellfish
•Vegetable protein: soybean products (soy sauce, soybean oil in processed foods, tempeh, tofu, soy milk, soy yogurt, textured vegetable protein)
•Nuts and seeds: peanuts and peanut butter
•Oils: shortening, processed oils, salad dressings, and spreads
•Drinks: alcohol, caffeinated beverages, and soft drinks
•Sweeteners: white and brown refined sugars, honey, maple syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, and evaporated cane juice
•Condiments: chocolate, ketchup, relish, chutney, barbecue sauce, teriyaki

Things to Watch For:

•Corn starch is often present in baking powder, beverages, and processed foods.
•Vinegar in ketchup, mayonnaise, and some mustard usually comes from wheat or corn.
•Breads advertised as gluten-free still might contain coats, spelt, kamut, or rye.
•Many amaranth and millet flake cereals contain oat or corn.
•Many canned tunas contain textured vegetable protein, which is from soy; look for low-salt versions, which tend to be pure tuna, with no fillers.
•Multi-grain rice cakes are not just rice. Be sure to purchase plain rice cakes.

Wish us luck and Good Luck to YOU!! :)

Here’s a link to an in-depth WEEK 1 of the Whole Living Action Plan which our Detox Cleanse is based on: Click Here for Action Plan

 

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8 Ways to ANNOY Travelers

We are expected to have a great time when we travel, go on vacation, and take a holiday – aren’t we?

hluizpresents

However, sometimes we may get annoyed by the “little things” that then become big things (if ignored) and before you know it – aaaaarghhhhhh!!

Here are 8 Ways that Hotels may ANNOY Travelers:

1. Charge GUESTS hundreds of dollars per night, then charge $15-$25 dollars a day for WIFI service. I don’t want to ASK for FREE WIFI, especially when I know how little it costs the hotel to setup WIFI services. It’s about $3 a month per room – that’s an average of .10 cents a day and you want to charge me what??

2. Rearrange personal toiletries left in the bathroom but don’t replenish shampoos/soaps in the shower. I understand that you want to be “helpful” so that I may tip you well (don’t worry, as long as you change my sheets, you’ll get a handsome tip.) But to not replace soaps, replenish bathroom tissue, or provide enough clean towels? Now that would be most-helpful.

3. Call the next morning at 7am (with a phone set to SCREAMING LOUD) to ask if everything’s okay. Some people “sleep in” while on vacation. The last thing I want to do is to bolt out of bed because of a SREAMING RINGER and then be asked “How’s everything.” Trust me, I will give you an earful after that. This happens so often that we literally unplug the phone cord before we go to bed now. Also, make sure the alarm clock is set to off – if you can’t figure it out – unplug and use your mobile phone alarms if needed.

4. Watered-down bottles of alcohol. What is up with that? Don’t they think we’re going to notice? I do not drink much alcohol, so if I can’t taste it, imagine my partner who can drink lots of “spirits” with no problem? Then they’ll charge extra for added (still watered-down) alcohol and you’re left paying $20 for essentially a virgin drink.

5. Asking every 5 minutes if guests want something to drink/eat in the pool/beach areas. We get it – you want to make cash tips, but if you annoy us, we’re not going to want to come down to the pool/beach areas. On more than one occasion, a staff member woke up my Partner to ask if he needed “something,” in which he replied, “Yes – to be left alone for an hour.”

6. Bombard guests by hawking time-shares, selling excursions/trips, pushing spa services, and tickets for sale to local clubs. Listen – we did all those explorer/adventure trips more times than we can count in our younger years. Now, we just want to relax, lay in the sun, and prepare for nothing. If the Hotel has Spa Services – that’s great. Promote and market your spa and all it has to offer, but once is quite enough.

7. Hotel noise – the kind EMPLOYEES make! When other guests make noise, it’s an easy fix – usually. But when employees make noise (slamming doors, having loud conversations across the hallways, talking on mobile phones, etc.) at the wee hours of the morning, it’s not so cute! Once, we were abruptly awakened by a drill gun – A DRILL GUN! The bungalow next door had a loose something or another and so it was being “taking care of” at 7am.

8. The room safe cannot accommodate today’s modern devices. Today’s traveler, couples, and families each have electronic devices, smartphones, tablets, and laptops that they want to put away in a “safe” place like…well like…well like a safe. Some room safe boxes can hardly handle a wallet and a watch much less an iPad or two. About 8 years ago, a Floridian Hotel asked if I wanted to upgrade to a bigger room with a slightly larger safe box AND wanted to charge me for the upgrade. I said, “You’re in need of modern utility upgrades and your solution is to charge me for a room with a slightly larger safe?” I got the new room at no charge and the safe was NOT that much bigger (still couldn’t fit our tablets) but I’ll never stay there again.

I hope you hoteliers were paying attention! I’m not much of a complainer to my audience (that’s how come they have not heard all this before), but at least I didn’t name names. I’m hoping if your property has these problems, that you’ll correct them BEFORE “other guests” get there.

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$25 Can BUY 21 MEALS in NYC! #TrueStory

Now really…what can you get in NYC for $25 these days?
Aids Walk NY 2014

Maybe 5 to 6 “café grandes” at you know where…
coffees Please CLICK here to Donate and join the TEAM if you can: http://awny2014.kintera.org/faf/search/searchTeamPart.asp?ievent=1089371&lis=0&kntae1089371=82B36BE4DB8D461CAC0AED4529064166&supId=0&team=5926653&cj=Y

Or maybe two packs of cigarettes…
cigarettes

Maybe two watered-down fruity drinks…
drinks

Perhaps even one inexpensive dinner, but 21 full balanced and nutritious meals for $25??
foods

Well YOU can! Here’s how: when you give the minimum ONLINE amount of $25 to the AIDS Walk New York Foundation, an individual in need will receive 21 meals. That’s a nutritious breakfast, a great-filling lunch, and a wonderful meal for dinner – all in a congregate setting for a FULL 7 Days! This is all made possible by YOU and the Nutrition Education and Meals Program at GMHC. Please CLICK here to Donate and join the TEAM if you can: http://awny2014.kintera.org/faf/search/searchTeamPart.asp?ievent=1089371&lis=0&kntae1089371=82B36BE4DB8D461CAC0AED4529064166&supId=0&team=5926653&cj=Y

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Please CLICK here to Donate and join the TEAM if you can: http://awny2014.kintera.org/faf/search/searchTeamPart.asp?ievent=1089371&lis=0&kntae1089371=82B36BE4DB8D461CAC0AED4529064166&supId=0&team=5926653&cj=Y

AWNY 2014

THANK YOU! :)
H. Luiz
Please CLICK here to Donate and join the TEAM if you can: http://awny2014.kintera.org/faf/search/searchTeamPart.asp?ievent=1089371&lis=0&kntae1089371=82B36BE4DB8D461CAC0AED4529064166&supId=0&team=5926653&cj=Y

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Valentine’s Day TIPS and TRICKS

Heartsssss

2) 1) You do NOT need to spend $60 – $150 on red roses. $20 of red carnations dispersed around your home is very romantic. I usually put the carnations and baby’s breath in fluted glasses (kind of like mini vases) and I can get about a dozen full glasses all around the room.

2) You also do NOT need to have chocolate for dessert (how many times are we going to have chocolate covered strawberries?) This year, we’re making strawberry ice cream sandwiches with oatmeal cookies, coated with pistachios – very sexy!! (check out my non-chocolate dessert from about 3 years ago Individual Heart-Shaped Ice Cream Cake)

3) COOK for your Valentine! Nothing’s sexier than someone cooking you a meal from the heart (making reservations on Feb. 14th can get very expensive.) Ditch the everyday meal and go fo something different, maybe some new spices or exotic proteins like elk or bison. Sometimes, an apron covering just a nude body may be all you need to perk up an evening. Oh!

4) Do NOT give someone you’re dating a black velvet box on Valentine’s Day, unless your planning to propose with an engagement/promise ring (I gave a woman I loved a black velvet box and she was so disappointed to find a pair of earrings inside.)

5) Here’s one of my simple table-top tricks: cut up heart shapes from shades of red and pink construction paper and sprinkle your table with them. Then set your table with plates, cutlery, and glasses on top of all those hearts for a festive look.

6) Cookies (either home-made or store-bought) look more elegant on a little cake stand rather than a plate. It makes a great centerpiece too.

7) For an inexpensive cocktail, use your blender – puree some frozen fruit (such as strawberries or raspberries) and place about 2 tablespoons in a champagne glass. Add Prosecco (Italian Sparkling wine) and you have yourself a beautiful and delicious cocktail. A good Prosecco runs between 8-12 dollars for a bottle. A good Champagne can run you from $30 and up…you do the math.

8 ) Strawberry Shortcake is quick an easy and you CAN use store bought items in ANY grocery store. All you need do is slice some pound cake, place strawberries on top, then whip cream, another slice of pound cake, strawberries, then whip cream again. (If you buy fresh strawberries, rinse them, pat them dry, place in a glass bowl with a 1/2 cup of sugar, refridgerate for at least 3 hours – this will make it’s own juice/syrup)

9) If you’re sharing Valentine’s Day with children, bake cookies or prepare dinner with them. Let them take part in the little “touches” you do. Have them come up with some gift ideas, make them part of the celebration (children should witness the romantic side of your relationship – how else are they going to learn how to be “romantic?”) Our son says all the time, “I can’t wait to travel and enjoy the oceanside with my girl…holding hands and kissing while watching the sunset in her eyes…I can’t wait to be in love.” Studies show (here I go…) that children learn how to interact within a relationship based upon their parents relationship. If you’re romantic, caring, selfless, patient, and loving, your children will probably be the same way when they get into their relationships. If you’re nasty, cruel, snippy, and evil…well, you get the picture. It’s important to show them that it’s about romance, an appreciation, a consideration of the one you are in love with, it’s not about a sex thing.

OR – order a few pizzas and lock those kids in their room (tell them to invite a friend or two – their parents would love you for that, especially on Valentine’s Day), give them their iPods, video games, and cellphones and trust me, they will not come out.

10) If you’re romantic throughout the year, then Valentine’s Day will not be an “expectation” to be romantic. If you give your special someone your undivided attention every time you see them, then there will NOT be a specific date where you must “perform” an act of love. A foot rub, massage, warm bathtub, or even an early nap together is all you need on Valentine’s Day, if you’re romantic throughout the year. Flowers, reservations, chocolates, diamonds – who needs them on February 14th (prices are tripled) when you give/receive these things (and so much more) throughout the year?
:)

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