Dominican Republic Trip: The Adventures!


I’m back with my final Dominican Republic press trip recap: the adventures! This post is insanely long, so grab a cup of tea and settle in for awhile. Also, if you missed my first two recaps, check those out first: Running in the Dominican Republic (<—also includes our hotel details) and Dominican Republic Trip: The Food! I’m writing this post while watching the snow fall outside in DC, and extremely jealous of myself from a few days ago…

When I first got the email about this press trip last month, I was really excited about the itinerary because it was full of ALL the adventure. Right up my alley! I’m happiest while busy and active, as you guys have probably gathered by now, and love anything involving a physical challenge and the great outdoors combined.

I had no idea the Dominican Republic was such a great outdoorsy/adventure trip spot! A lot of the adventures we got into were similar to those that Matt and I did on our honeymoon in Costa Rica back in 2012. If you’re looking to have a fun outdoorsy honeymoon that also involves some nice beach time, definitely look into the DR!


Anyway – here is what we got into. We were quite busy, in a good way!

Learning to Surf

On our first full day in the Dominican Republic, we went to check out Master of the Ocean, which is an annual water sports competition that was going on last week, featuring surfing, windsurfing, kite surfing and stand up paddle boarding.



With Sarah & Gina watching the action – love these ladies! It was so good to see them again.


We got to get in on the action by taking a surfing lesson from 321Takeoff!



Ready to go with our sweet foam boards! ;)



I’ve only surfed once before, in Australia back in 2003 while studying abroad in college. I remembered it being hard but fun!


Woohoo – stood up on the first try!!


We had a BLAST. Having foam boards and guys pushing us so we caught the waves more easily probably had something to do with it, but I stood up almost every time, and even rode a few in all the way! I think I’ll be ready to compete in Master of the Ocean next year… ;)


Our instructor showing off – mad skills:


The whole crew, including our instructor who should probably quit his surfing gig and take up modeling instead. On the left with us are Annie and AJ, our PR hosts for this trip. They were awesome – we had such a great group!

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The Extreme Hotel

On Saturday, we spent the day enjoying the adventurous offerings at the Extreme Hotel, which is a small eco-friendly adventure/fitness-focused hotel in Cabarete. I was in love with this place!


The whole hotel is powered by solar (Lu, I thought of you!) and they grow a lot of their own food, too. They are also starting to grow food to give to underprivileged locals – amazing. This is moringa; the leaves are rich in protein, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, and minerals. We tried some – it was kind of peppery and peanut-y. Interesting!


The Extreme Hotel is also super affordable ($59/night base price; fitness stuff is additional and there are various package options) and boasts yoga, CrossFit, kite surfing, a health-focused restaurant (and bar), and even a trapeze/circus school! I totally want to go back to the DR just to stay at this place! The rooms are apparently no frills, but who cares since you’re outside all day, anyway?



We started our morning with the trapeze! I’ve done trapeze before (remember when I did a trapeze class here in DC a couple years ago?) and absolutely love it, so I was pumped.


Talk about an adrenaline rush – we were all shaking when we hopped off!


Weeeeee! You can see a video of me in action on the trapeze over on Instagram.


We survived!

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Next up – a CrossFit class at onsite Rogue Fitness Cabarete! How cool is this open air gym/hut?



The workout was legit! It took us 30 minutes to complete and we were all quite sweaty by the end of it. Whew!!



Sarah posted a cool video of the workout over on her YouTube channel – check it out! It actually starts with footage of me jumping off a cliff into the water on our canyoning trip (more details on that in a sec).


Working on our inversion skills after class:

headstand practice

The whole crew with our instructor, Zach, who is, as you can tell, in terrible shape.


Monkey Jungle: Zip Lining + Monkey Encounter

On Sunday, we headed to Monkey Jungle for zip lining and a monkey encounter. Monkey Jungle is located on a small dirt road out in the middle of nowhere, and one of their main purposes is to use the money they raise from tourists to fund a free on-site dental and medical clinic (complete with a pharmacy) for underprivileged locals. Amazing, right?

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It’s also a 280 acre working farm! There are 7 lip lines on the property as well as the monkey jungle. I have gone zip lining a few times now and always enjoy it; the weather was beautiful and the views were lovely, too!



They let us go upside down on the last one. I was clearly all over it!

monkey jungle zip lining

One of the last zip lines was actually straight down and part free fall into a cave! I’d never done a zip line like this before – so cool!




I survived!


After zip lining, we had our monkey encounter!


For all my bravery with adrenaline sports, I was TERRIFIED of the monkeys – Gina has a hilarious video on her phone that I was taking of her with the monkeys; halfway through the camera goes crazy and you hear me SCREAM and say “I’m freaking out!!!” – lol! A monkey had leapt onto my back during the video!

After a little while I finally got brave enough to take the plate of fruit so some of them would come over to me. They were actually quite soft and gentle, but I was still pretty nervous. ;)

monkey jungle dominican republic

Iguana Mama Canyoning Excursion

Our final adventure of the press trip, on Monday, was a canyoning excursion with Iguana Mama! They bill their eco-excursions as “nature’s amusement park” – I would agree!



The excursion we did was called Magic Mushroom because one of the waterfalls we rappelled down has a rock that looks just like a mushroom. Neat!



Matt and I did a similar excursion in Costa Rica on our honeymoon – LOVE canyoning/waterfall rappelling.

waterfall rappelling dominican republic

This trip also involved cliff jumps of up to 25 feet down into pools, and some water and regular hiking. What a blast!




And now, here ends the longest post ever.

Another HUGE thank you to the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism and to Annie and AJ from their PR agency for having us on this trip and covering all our expenses. I’ll never forget our amazing adventures together. Until next time, ladies! I miss you all and the DR already!


Dominican Republic Trip: The Adventures! originally appeared on fANNEtastic food | Washington D.C. area Registered Dietitian | Recipes + Healthy Living + Fitness on March 5, 2015.

The post Dominican Republic Trip: The Adventures! appeared first on fANNEtastic food | Washington D.C. area Registered Dietitian | Recipes + Healthy Living + Fitness.


Court confirms constitutionality of the Mexican soda tax

Last week the Mexican Supreme Court passed down its judgment on a writ of unconstitutionality (amparo) filed against the soda tax that went into effect in January 2014.

This unanimous judgment:

Documents (in Spanish):


A Family Of Bears Teaches You Everything You Need To Know About Soft Drinks


These lovely polar bears are delivering a “new” kind of message about your favorite soft drinks!

The post A Family Of Bears Teaches You Everything You Need To Know About Soft Drinks appeared first on A Black Girl’s Guide To Weight Loss.


Barley and Asparagus Omelette

Barley and Asparagus Omelette | @naturallyella

As I walked off the plane after landing in California, I took a deep breathe. I love Illinois but with the snow and the cold, it was nice to be back in California where spring is in full swing. The trees are budding, the almond orchards flowering, and windows open during the day (sorry everyone who is still dealing with snow!) With the arrival of spring, this also means the transition into spring produce.

Asparagus | @naturallyella

Every year when asparagus season hits, I go overboard. I find ways to eat asparagus all the time and most of the times, it’s in some easy meal that I can get from start to finish in less than 20 minutes. I also am keen on combining asparagus and eggs, like this omelette.

Barley and Asparagus Omelette | @naturallyella

When I make an omelette, I like to make it an event. While I don’t like to overly stuff it full, I like to make sure the omelette will keep me full and moving for the morning. I’m also a big fan of showcasing the filling on top (primarily because of how gorgeous the produce usually is- like this radish omelette I made for The Kitchn!)

Barley and Asparagus Omelette | @naturallyella

On a separate note, I’m headed to Expo West today to see what’s available in terms of natural foods (and hopefully hearing Mark Bittman speak!) Be sure to follow along on twitter and instagram to see what I’m up to (and if you’re at the conference- let me know!)

Barley and Asparagus Omelette
Prep time
5 mins

Cook time
15 mins

Total time
20 mins

Author: Erin Alderson
Serves: 1

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ medium shallot
  • 3-4 stalks asparagus
  • ½ tablespoon butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup cooked barley
  • ½ ounce shredded gouda, mozzarella or mild, melty cheese

  1. In an 8″ skillet, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Dice shallot and slice asparagus on the bias into ¼ pieces. Add the skillet and sauté, stir often, until asparagus is tender,4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the pan, set aside, and wipe out pan if necessary.
  2. Still over medium-low heat, melt butter in the 8″ skillet, swirling until the bottom of the pan is covered. Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Pour into the hot skillet. As the bottom of the eggs set, lift up the side of the eggs with a spatula and let uncooked eggs run under the cooked eggs. Continue until egg is fairly well set. Carefully flip the omelette over and sprinkle ½ ounce cheese, barley, and ½ the asparagus mixture. Turn off heat, fold omelette in half, and allow to sit for 1-2 minutes until cheese melts. Serve with remaining asparagus mixture.

If you would like to make more than one serving, multiply ingredients by the number of people you would like to serve.


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