There is no recipe included in this post, so if that’s your main reason for visiting IBIH then you may want to skip this one and I won’t hold it against you! I do have an exciting announcement that involves new recipes though, and also lots of great vacation photos of Belize so it’s up to you…
After being a total slacker for a month I figured I owed you guys an explanation and wanted to take this opportunity to reconnect! Taking time off and getting out of a work routine makes it super hard to get back in the swing of things work wise – even if I do get to do it with no dress code and nonstop access to coffee.
I didn’t actually intend to take time off from the blog, but we had friends visit us in Belize for 2 weeks and we were having so much fun with them that all of my good intentions to work early in the mornings while they were here went right out the window!
More on that below with lots of pictures of cave tubing, and some of the other places we went that you should totally make part of your list if you ever visit Belize!
First my exciting announcement (well, to me anyway!) After turning down many offers over the years because it wasn’t good timing for me, or the publisher wasn’t the right fit for what I wanted to do, I finally signed a contract for my first “real” cookbook!
Yes, you read that right! Finally an IBIH cookbook you can hold in your hands! ? ? ? ? ?
I’ll be working with the awesome team over at Victory Belt, who have published a LOT of best selling cookbooks from some of our favorite Paleo and Keto Bloggers – many of which are linked to over on the IBIH Pantry Recommendations Page.
My first keto book with Victory Belt will be out around this time next year, and will be available at all major retailers! I’ll keep you posted on how it’s all going and on a final release date, pre-orders, tour and signing dates and locations, etc.!
I’m not going to lie, it’s a little stressful and overwhelming since I will be super busy churning out some of my best work for the book, but I also want to make sure that things keep running smoothly here on the blog with recipes that are just as easy and delicious as usual!
The plan is to post at least one new keto recipe a week from yours truly, but there will also be more roundup posts on Fridays, and I’ll be lining up some awesome guest posters for mid week to keep you guys entertained while I’m dividing my time between here and the book for the next 6 months.
If you are a professional low carb, keto, or paleo blogger and want a shot at a guest post slot, you can contact me at email@example.com and I’ll see if I can get you on the schedule!
In addition, this is as good a time as any to introduce you to my friend Stacey, who has been working with me behind the scenes as my assistant these last couple of months – she will be instrumental in helping me keep IBIH going while I’m busy with the book. Stacey is currently handling most of my social media scheduling, and you have already met her hands in my recent videos as my shoot assistant.
I asked her if I could post a photo of her so you could put a face to the name (and hands) and she said sure. I chose this one, which I took of her on a recent catamaran trip to Caye Caulker that a bunch of us went on, because I think it shows her fun personality to a “T.” Even her husband approved, saying it “makes her look fun and interesting instead of mean and boring like she actually is.” He was kidding – I think. ?
When I texted her to see if it was ok with her for me to use this one, she texted back “Yes, my butt looks amazing in this photo.” ?
You can see why we’re friends – they are both hilarious. Stacey is also super smart, capable, and while she’s not currently on keto she has done it in the past and has a good knowledge of how it works – making her a great choice for my assistant, and someone that I trust to interact with you guys on social media and the forums.
Speaking of the forums – we have big plans to get more active on them and Stacey will be running some weekly and monthly challenges over there using the IBIH free keto meal plans, egg fast plan, fitness challenges, etc. through the summer. I’ll keep you posted on that as we figure out how we’re going to structure them moving forward.
We will also be hosting some really epic giveaways coming up soon, so stay tuned for those!
Stacey and I will be focused on the forums, organizing guest posters, and mostly shooting recipes for the book, so I’m not going to have time to produce more recipe videos for awhile. No worries though, I hired out some videos to a production company and the first three new ones should be ready to roll out this month. If the videos are great (and I hope they will be) then I’ll be hiring them to produce more videos each month to add to the blog. I’ll probably do some of the most popular recipes first, so if you guys have a favorite, or some recipes where you feel a video would be helpful to you, please let us know in the comments!
Ok, that’s it for the boring work stuff – now let me tell you about some of the fun things we did during this last month or so, when I probably should have been working but wasn’t! ? ? ?
Some good friends from New Jersey were coming to Belize for the first time, so before they came over to our island (Ambergris Caye,) we met them on the mainland to show them around and do some of the cool things there are to do over there. Our first big day was cave tubing, which even we hadn’t done before.
We chose to go with Cavetubing.bz out of Caves Branch in the Cayo district of Belize, because they had great reviews on TripAdvisor. We were staying at Dream Valley Resort in Teakettle, which was about 20 minutes away from them by rental car – but if you ever come to Belize City on a cruise and are only here for a day or two, you can still book a trip with them and they will pick your group up at the ship.
My only regret is that we didn’t do this sooner – we’ve lived in Belize for a year and have spent weeks on the mainland, but never got around to doing the cave tubing until this last time. It was amazing!
After a 35 minute hike on a groomed trail through the jungle, we arrived at the platform to start our tubing adventure. The water was crystal clear and bright blue, making it not nearly as creepy as I was expecting.
We were well outfitted with headlamps, life jackets, bottled water, and tubes that had a solid bottom so you weren’t hanging in the water – which was nice if you have an overactive imagination like mine about what hungry creatures might be watching you float by from underneath! ?
Side note – there are no piranhas in Belize. Yes, I looked it up first. ? Also, while there are crocodiles in the rivers of Belize, it’s said that they aren’t in this spring fed river because the water is too cold and clear, and they prefer warm, murky water for their habitat.
I don’t know if I believe that completely, but we didn’t see any crocodiles so…??? ? ? ?♀️
Our guide was informative and fun, and he stayed with the kids the entire time while the adults floated behind chatting. Which was a good thing – because while we were still in the caves and drifting about 100 feet from the kids ahead of us who’d already floated out into a shallow clearing, I heard my son yell “Snake! SNAKE!” and started paddling with my arms like a maniac to get to them.
Living in a very snakey South Carolina for five years from the time Hungry Jr. was a toddler paid off, because we’d trained him young to never approach a snake, stand still or retreat if possible, etc. It was a good thing, because the snake that slithered right by him while he was attempting to climb the bank was identified by our guide as a deadly Fer de Lance. After casually making its way past our son on the bank, the snake simply curled up in some tree roots without a care in the world.
While my son was basking in the cool factor of seeing one up close “it was RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY FACE, MOM!” Mr. Hungry and I were trying not to dwell on what COULD have happened had it been cranky that day. Fer de Lance are known to be aggressive, so I’m grateful that this guy for whatever reason was in a amicable mood.
After the excitement died down, our tour group headed back into the second, even more impressive series of caves to finish the trip. Once you exit the caves, you have another maybe 1/2 mile of river to meander through before you arrive back where you first put in.
When you get back to where you started there is a short hike (3-5 minutes) back to the parking area and changing rooms, where there are also vendors selling fresh coconut water, food, cocktails, and local crafts if you’re so inclined. Our tour with Cavetubing.bz headquarters included lunch, so we went back to their place and had some delicious Belizean Stewed Chicken with some local side dishes and drinks.
All in all it was a GREAT day and I would highly recommend Cavetubing.bz if you’re ever out that way! They were knowledgeable and professional, the equipment was all up to date and well maintained, and they are committed to both safety and showing you a fantastic time while you’re out with them. They also have zip-lining and some other tours that they offer, which you can view on the Cavetubing.bz website.
By the way, I’m not sponsored by them at all – we paid full price for everything and they don’t know IBIH exists, I just want you to know if you ever come to Belize that we really enjoyed our experience with them and I think you will too.
Would we go again in spite of the snake episode? Absolutely! Cave tubing in Belize was an incredible day of fun in epically beautiful natural surroundings – if you ever have the chance you should definitely take it! Just stay alert, listen to your guide, and don’t take unnecessary risks – it will be the time of your life!
Beyond cave tubing on the mainland, we also enjoyed some pool time, spectacular sunrises and sunsets, the always popular Iguana Conservation Project, and the small but cool Cahal Pech Mayan Ruins in San Ignacio before bringing our friends back home with us to Ambergris Caye.
Once we got back to the island it was all beach time, boating, snorkeling with sea turtles, sharks, rays, and manatees, fishing, and other fun stuff – like learning how to make chocolate at the Belize Chocolate Company and some epic fails and fun at the inflatable obstacle course at Amber Beach Bar – both which I highly recommend if you come to Ambergris Caye.
Can you see now what it’s so hard for me to get any work done while living here in Belize?!?!? I’m not really expecting any sympathy ha ha – but hopefully now I’ll finally be able to refocus on work AND get this cookbook done on time!
For more photos and videos of our travels and adventures in Belize, you can follow my IG account @allbelizeallthetime!
Let me know if you guys enjoy these kinds of posts going forward – I know a lot of you are just here for the recipes, which is totally OK, but if enough of you want to see more photos and hear about our life in Belize, I’ll throw in some posts like this one every once in awhile!