Guest Post: Melinda of Nutrition, Food, Travel, and More

Hello, everyone!  To continue THIH’s guest post series while I’m in China, we have Melinda of Nutrition, Food, Travel, and More!  For those of you who have had the good fortune to read Melinda’s blog, you’ll know that it’s filled with gorgeous pictures of her current home on the Azores islands, and of all the wonderful food she makes and eats!  I imagine that living overseas can take a bit of adjustment, but Melinda seems very at home in the Azores and always has something interesting to share with her readers.  Check out her recent series on local bullfights for an amazing look at a popular pastime. You’ll get a little preview below.

Welcome to The Happiness in Health, Melinda!


Hello Everyone! My name is Melinda and I am so honored to be doing a guest post on Jessie’s blog. She always has great things to share and she is doing a great job working towards becoming a RD. I am a registered dietitian, but today I decided to write about things other than nutrition. I think Jessie has gotten that part down and there are plenty of places for you to get good, credible nutrition information. Instead, I wanted to share with you something different. I mean really different. Something you probably won’t see elsewhere.

Not only am I registered dietitian, but I am also a military wife. It is this role that has led to my living overseas. We are not just anywhere overseas, we are technically in what is considered a remote location. You might think “remote” would be a bad thing, but not really when your location is on an island. We live in the Azores, which is a group of Portuguese islands in the Atlantic Ocean. Here is a map:

The island is not very large, some estimates I have seen show the island as only 18×11 miles, but it can take 2-3 hours to drive around the whole thing because of the tiny side streets and the amazing views. The island is really 4 volcanoes that have come together. Let’s hope it’s as dormant as they say it is! There is one main beach, in fact the only real beach, and then in the largest city, there is a manmade beach. Actually, there are only 2 real cities. The population of the whole island is only 54,000-56,000 (I’ve seen so many estimates of this and I think it has to do with counting the military or excluding us). Therefore, you can imagine that it is not too crowded, even in the cities. Otherwise, we live in little towns and villages.

I would like to share some of my adventure with you through some of the MANY photos I have taken since we arrived here almost a year ago. I started my blog Food, Nutrition, Travel and More as a way to show others the unique culture here and the amazing seafood, along with an outlet to share my nutrition knowledge. Another reason would be that I can’t work here as a dietitian because there is no hospital setting on base, only a clinic. So, I need something to keep me busy, right?

Here are some pictures of the landscape, out and about on the island:

This is a natural swimming hole. These form in lava rocks and usually have a “concrete” beach nearby.

Driving along the coast:

This is the interior of the island.

This is known as split rock, for very obvious reasons. This is just off the coast of a town called Porto Judeo. One of my favorite restaurants overlooks this rock from the other side.

This island is filled with cows. Mostly they are for dairy, but they do raise for beef too. Cows are everywhere.

They are herded from field to field on the same streets we drive on. Talk about a major traffic jam! Actually, this is about as bad as the traffic gets.

Here is the man made beach in Angra. You can see my favorite looking church in the back.

Here is a close up of one of my favorite spots anywhere. I love the colors of this church.

Here is one of the rocky coastline.

This is inside a hollowed out volcano looking up through the hole.

Ok, that is enough of some scenic shots. I also want to share the biggest cultural activity on the island. That would be the bull fights. These go from May through October and occur almost every night, sometimes in more than one town. Now, get those ideas of what you think a bull fight is like out of your head. These are bulls released on neighborhood streets and locals chase them around. Yes, they taunt the bulls, but no bull is killed. Occasionally one will get a scraped knee, but that is the extent. Then the bulls get to rest for at least 7 days before they are used again. This is a HUGE event on the island.

Here are some pictures of the bulls, and the men who are responsible for holding the bull, since he is attached to a rope.

The last thing I want to share with everyone is the local Portuguese and Azorean food. Usually it is the meat or fish, served with a salad and potatoes.

Here you will also find some of the most amazing seafood ever. Look at these giant shrimp (actually, I think they are called prawns).

Sometimes dinner can be fancier, like this lobster I recently enjoyed for a nice night out to celebrate.

Well, I hope everyone has enjoyed these pictures of the island and a little look into my life outside of the United States. I really enjoy living overseas and experiencing another culture. Not only do we get to learn about these people and their customs, but we can learn another language and we also learn to appreciate all that we have, both as Americans and as people in general.

This has been an amazing experience so far and I look forward to the next year. I am lucky to say that I can eat my breakfast in my driveway while looking out to the ocean, I see the sunrise over the ocean on my drive to work in the mornings, and my newest hobby is snorkeling (while my husband and the boys spear fish). I am just all around lucky to be able to have this experience, so thank you for letting me share this with you.


Thanks for sharing your insight into another culture, Melinda! And those pictures of the island are gorgeous! I won’t say I’m jealous that you watch an ocean sunrise in the mornings, but my face may or may not be a little green 😉 From reading your blog, I know that you guys enjoy some delicious food, both cooked at home and in restaurants. Yum yum! Thanks again, Melinda! 😀

Q: Have you ever lived in a different country than the one in which you were born? If you haven’t, is there a place you’d like to live?


  1. Melinda, I think it’s awesome that your being a military wife enables (or necessitates, depending on your opinion) you to travel around the world and experience all the different cultures, in addition to all the food that comes along with it! I think it must really require you to be an open-minded and adventurous person, and I admire you for that. 🙂 After all, the best way to live life is just to roll with it, right? 🙂 Ha!

    To answer Jessie’s question — I’ve never lived in another place other than Canada, but I would certainly relish living in the South of France. 🙂

  2. IM SHOCKED! wow Melinda, you really are such an amazing being.. i mean what a life of travels and fun/excitement. you are so blessed, and just like the above comment, ive never been anywhere other than canada either. more people need your attitude and spirit! that is so important, and will carry you well into your life. all the best love <3

  3. wow Melinda! thank you for sharing those gorgeous pictures and part of your adventurous life with us. you seem like the type of person who will make lemonade if life handed you lemons. i really admire people like you who have such an appreciation for life and all it’s beauties. spear fishing, snorkeling, eating FRESH exotic seafood, now that’s the life! i LOVE seafood! great guest post!

    hey Jessie,
    i’ve lived in Canada all my life from the age of 1 so i’m practically a CBC. I do wonder what it would be like to live in LA where there’s much better weather, food and beaches though.

  4. Wow Melinda what an experience. I am a military wife as well and it’s hard enough moving a few, ok across the country but still. Really enjoyed the post.

  5. Hi Melinda – I think it is really cool that being a military wife affords you the opportunity to see parts of the world you may otherwise never have had the chance to!

    Of course there is no telling where you might end up and culture shock is always something to contend with.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences and all these gorgeous photos with us 🙂

  6. This post was so great! we ALMOST booked a holiday in the Azores for this summer, but in the last minute we decided on South France. Azores has such a beautiful nature 🙂

  7. Melinda is definitely one of the most interesting bloggers!! not only is she a wonderfully strong person (have to be as a militant’s wife!), she is incredibly wise, well-grounded in nutrition facts, practical, AND adventurous. I love all her from-scratch meals, and her ability to experience fully in whatever place she is in.

  8. Such a neat place to live (at least for a while..right?!) I love learning about new countries, and seeing all of your pictures Melinda. It’s like a geography/culture class in the blog world!! So neat.

  9. Interesting and well written guest post. Wonderful photos. Anthony Bourdain recently did his show, No Reservations, from the Azores it was a great episode. Who knew that Massachusetts has a large azores community.


  10. great post Melinda always love your posts about the Island

  11. The Azores look so absolutely perfect for family life!! And the prawns are probably my favourite of all edibles that come from the sea! I try to cook prawns or shrimps once a week! (but they’re expensive and not always good :()

    About the bull fighting, I would be more worried for the people than the animals actually (because I know they are being taken care of), do people get hurt often?

    I have been living in London since September for my postgraduate studies, but I am from Greece, and apart from the weather (you just can’t beat the Greek weather hehe) I really, truly love everything else here! Oh but I am very sorry to say that the Brits can’t party like Greeks do! 😀

    I would like to try living on the other side of the pond for awhile, the US or Canada, but certainly in a big city. The bigger the better! 😀

  12. I was born in California,US and now live in Ontario,Canada.

    Beautiful place to live Melinda!

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