Life is all about balance. If you don't strengthen and put attention towards your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual stability, it creates this unbalance. Clinical therapist and behavioral consultant Maurice Travis work with high-risk people in general. He talks about the platform Ripped Like Jesus and their whole concept of how to stay balanced to live a more fulfilled existence. In this insightful episode, Maurice shares his journey to finding balance is all aspects of his life and shares how you can cope with the soul, body, and mind balance, which ultimately leads to finding peace within yourself to be able to give and create a positive impact around you.
I'm with the beautiful, wonderful and gracious, Marie.
Lee, how are you?
I'm doing excellent. We have a phenomenal guest, a best friend, a mentor, a guy to hang out with. He's a super cool person, humanist, life hack, foodie as well and workout guy. He’s ripped up from head to toe. His name is Maurice Travis, a clinical therapist. He's a licensed marriage and family therapist. He's obtained his graduate-level training from Sonoma State University. He has worked as a behavioral consultant for The Association of Behavioral Consultants since 2003. I've seen him work with high-risk people in general. He's amazing around all sorts of people. He's helped out many. He has a wonderful daughter who’s in college at Humboldt State. She's amazing and such a light as he is too. She has this comedy, which is phenomenal. He’s a comedian. He's amazing. There are a couple of friends that always say that they think they have the best smile. This guy has got the best smile. Maurice, how are you doing?
I'm doing amazing, especially after that introduction. The reciprocity is there too. You gave me all these accolades and talked about how amazing I was and I want to throw that back at you to let you know that the feeling is mutual. I think that iron sharpens iron. We sharpen each other.
I appreciate that. I had a backpack on and I was sitting with my coffee cup and somebody was being funny. They're telling me to put them through like, “What if they were an actor? What would I say to them?” Some girls are like, “You’re skinny.” I’m like, “I actually am.” I've talked about Maurice on the show. He’s finally here. I was in a bad spot and the only person, except for my mother, not even my real brother and I love him to death, know nothing about that. We all have our traumas and we wear them differently. Maurice every single day would check on me and make sure that I was good. There are a couple of different versions of us that are out there in the universe. There's a version of myself that did not make it. It wasn't because of him. It’s because of the fact that in this life, which is the most important moment, Maurice was there for me and he helped me through it.
Part of my success and part of my journey, and many of us, is to fall down and the strength lies within vulnerability which Maurice always talks about, “Are you going to get back up?” This guy never quit on me, so I decided not to quit on myself. I had to do the work. He told me all the time, “It's not going to be easy, but you’ve got to do the work.” I've been doing the work. Chef Marie, you're just like him but you’re a different version. I feel like both of you guys were family and some respects, maybe being married to or brothers and sisters or whatever that might've been.
You guys had been in my karmic life to help me along my path. I appreciate that. You're right, iron sharpens iron but your sword is very sharp. I was very dull but you sharpened me up. For people that are new readers, our show is about three or four major things, one life, fitness, most importantly inner work. If you're not working on the inside, the external world would never feed you. It will never be satisfying for you. The only time you can be not happy because as Maurice says all the time, “Happiness is fleeting. You want to strive towards being peaceful or having that mindset of being at peace.”
That's what a lot of people are missing these days. They transfer peace with happiness and happiness at some point will disappear. We want to be at peace. This show is about having a resolution or getting closer to being at peace, life hacks, being in keto, being driven and in shape. I see Chef Marie out there all the time. I see her on-screen and her arms are cut up and she's on keto. I got my other friend over here who's in the gym all the time and pushing 40, but he looks like he's 28. He's ripped up. Maurice, people don’t know where you come from. Can you share a little bit of where you've come from?
I wanted to say that you said something about me believing in you when you didn't believe in yourself. You’re absolutely right. I did believe in you when you didn't believe in yourself because someone believed in me when I didn't believe in myself. It's like being loved. You only know how to love from the love that you've been given. For me, once upon a time when I didn't believe in myself, there were a number of people that believed in me until I was able to believe in myself and that made an imprint. When I saw that was where you were, I knew that I believed in you. I knew what it took to help you to start to believe in yourself. I wanted to throw that out there because it wasn't just your story. It was my own story that helped me to have the insight and clarity to believe in you enough for you to believe in yourself.
I attribute some of your successes to people who either deserve it or didn’t deserve it. A story is very powerful for me. It's a great anecdotal story about how far you've come and where you've been. The story is you’re at graduation with a mom, someone you don't even know. Can you explain that story and go back? It's powerful about how people care for people where they end up.
I was raised by my mother. She was a single parent. She was a young mom. I'm the youngest of three brothers. By the time she was 21, she had three kids. We had no fathers in our lives. We all had different fathers. My mom was trying her best. Early on in my life, my mom found refuge in drug and alcohol. It got tough for a long time. By the time I got in junior high, about twelve years old, it was full-blown. My brothers are five and three years older than me. They were teenagers when I was still in junior high stage. I saw the brunt of it because I wasn't old enough to get out and about but they were already out seventeen and sixteen. I couldn't fend for myself. My mom, she’s in a much better place now, but growing up I never knew where my mom was. I was couch surfing at twelve-years-old. I was homeless. I remember walking the streets where I felt welcome with some of my junior high families because I stayed the night over there day-after-day. There were a couple of times where I was walking the streets at twelve years old.
A good friend of mine, his name is Greg Leon, his mom, her name is Pam. There were a lot of families that let me hang with them. They never asked any questions. Now that I'm older, I get it. They knew what was going on. They didn't have to ask any questions. She let me stay with them for the whole eighth grade because we got evicted from another place and my mom was out and about. Her son, Greg, was a kid that never wanted for anything. He was a little selfish and he didn't do as much. I was appreciative so I’d do the lawns. I'd always help her with the dogs. I'll never forget I barely graduated eighth grade and she bought me my eighth-grade graduation outfit. She was the only one that came in my eighth-grade graduation. I didn't know where my mom was. Here I am, this little black kid living in this all-white town. This little white lady had flowers, balloons and was cheering for me when I walked across that stage. I'll never forget how she believed in me and never asked any questions.
I was talking to you about how you learned from what you're taught. She taught me unconditional love. That's why I pay it forward because she didn't have to do any of that stuff. That wasn't her responsibility as a mother. She had already done her responsibilities as a mother. She went above and beyond. It resonated with me. There are so many different stories like that of parents that are in my life that look nothing like me but that came to my call and love me, which taught me how to love, how to give back and how to be of service to other people. That's definitely a defining moment for me. The power of love and connection for sure.
That one gets me all the time because the power of love and the human connection for people who don't know you. I believe that there are angels that are amongst us on this earth that are humans that have defining moments that teach us and allow us to be in a space for other people when they can't be of service to themselves. You are co-owner with myself in something called Ripped Like Jesus. We've never had a platform so much. It's something that we started a while back and we're getting some nice footing because now that I can help out and be in a space to be a living testament of RLJ. Can you tell the readers what RLJ is? We also go by different handles. I go by Tek and he goes by Hinges. It's TekAndHinges.com. It ties into selflessness and love.
That was a defining moment in my life. Throughout my life, there was a multitude of defining moments that helped me to not only understand myself but understand myself in relation to other people and led me to this path. As far as Ripped Like Jesus, the inception of that is we were both in a tough place at a point in our lives. I know for me, I was in a place where I was separated, about to get divorced. Before that, I was in a tough place in dealing with the relationship. I was 30 pounds heavier. I wasn't taking care of myself as well as I should have been. A lot of it was distress and tumultuous relationship that I was coping with in different ways that weren't that healthy. Although I was still having my clinical practice, I felt like I was on autopilot where I didn't even have that zest. Once I decided that I needed to get healthy and take my life back, I've started working out again.
I saw one of my friends at the gym and he was ripped up and he was lean. I've never seen him that way. I was like, “What happened? How'd you get like that?” He goes, “I been starting doing this intermittent fasting thing.” I'm like, “Tell me more about it.” It was weird because, Lee, you told me about that back in 2010. I don't remember when, but you’re always at the cutting edge of new stuff. We talked about at one point and finally I was like, “I'm going to try this.” I did it and I started seeing some good results. Physically, I started to feel better. As my physical health started to change, I'm a therapist so let me make sure that my emotional and mental health is where it should be. I went and got some therapy and started looking at some things. As all these things started to change in my life, I saw more clarity.
Things became a lot clearer in my relationship and that was when things started to change and we got separated. Lee’s always got amazing things to say. He’s talking about this whole concept of Ripped Like Jesus. I started with my physical health. Once I got my physical health in the right place, I started working on my mental and emotional stability and strength as we started doing that with intermittent fasting. Part of this is a spiritual journey as well. I started to tap into the spiritual side of myself with fasting and understanding who I am and consciousness. I remember feeling so good and I'm thinking, “This is the blueprint.” If you look at all these things, it's all about life balance. A lot of people may be strong, healthy physically or some people may have a lot of money and may not have higher functioning intellectually. If you don't strengthen and you don't put attention towards all four of those things, it creates this unbalanced. That was our whole concept, how do you stay balanced? By being balanced, you are going to live a more fulfilled existence.
I was wondering if you could define success. Success is such a big word and we identify success in our society in many different ways. To you, is it life balance?
You’re right, success is relevant. To me personally, success is life balance. It's self-fulfillment. I feel successful when I'm enriching, impacting, influencing other people in a positive way. That's where my passion lies. If I can look at it that way, then I can do those things every single day. I don’t care if it’s opening the door for somebody. I don't care if it's smiling at someone where we’re not in a place where they're smiling. You can walk away going, “How are you doing? It’s pretty cool. Can you help me with the door?” or he smiled at you when you made a joke. For me, that's a success because the more of service I give to others, the deeper the healing is for me. I don't know if that's a selfish thing or not, but that’s how I define success. All the other types of successes they piggyback off of that, that internal love and peace and being able to give that back to other people.
Is it you because you are at peace with yourself, balanced into your life in order to be able to give the way you do because you are creating a very positive impact around you?
Lee said you have to work on yourself to be able to give that energy back to other people. You have to make sure that you are present, aware and being the best you can be whatever that means for you. That energy that you give out to other people is the best energy that you can because they're going to soak the energy up. We're all just aspects of energy and we're all part of the same existence. We're all part of the same universal field of energy. The type of energy that we are giving out is going to impact everyone else. Have you ever been in a room where someone walks into the room and you're like, “There's something about that person?” It's all energy and we're all connected to that. That energy can dictate how other people are. Making sure that you were working on that for yourself is important for me at least.
There’s a person who does all those thoughtful poems that you’ll see some cool videos. He talked about we're all different light bulbs because if someone passed away, and we see Dennis who passed away and we sit there and go, “Dennis is gone.” The energy behind Dennis who's now in this shell of a body that's not existent anymore, he's gone out of that. The stuff we talk about energy, I think that a lot of people might call that woo-woo. If people that are reading that don't believe in that, it's not broscience. It's not just Maurice, myself or Chef Marie making this up.
We are energy. Once we can agree upon that and we're all in agreement, then that means there's a oneness between energies of all of us. There's no difference. Our shells are different. We might look different but then inside, all we are is this spark of amazing energy. For people out there, they might be misinformed. Stop trying to make us different when we're all virtually just the same. Let's talk about a couple of things. Physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. It's this crazy table that we have. If one of those legs got a little crick, too short, your spirituality isn't that great and that's going to be unbalanced. We all hate to be unbalanced because in nature, we are meant to be in balance, be at one and be at peace. Maurice, why Jesus on the shirt?
There are a couple of different reasons that we ended up picking Jesus to represent our shirt. When we talk about Ripped Like Jesus, it is a spiritual component. Jesus represents one of the three monopolistic religions. When we think about Jesus, it comes down to love and selflessness. That’s our take on what Jesus represents. It may not coincide with the aspect of Christianity. We're a more spiritual perspective on this. Love and selflessness is the cornerstone of why we picked Jesus for our shirt. Him being strong is a representation of the four different aspects of strength because a lot of people don't understand that. It's not about him being physically strong, but it's about him being toned in all the different quadrants, physical, emotional, spiritual and mental because it takes strength in all aspects to have that path to live in the most fulfilled life.
We talked about the spiritual aspect of Jesus and the spirit of what Jesus represented, for many Christians and people who do follow as I do. Someone said it before that people will see her story, but Leah said, “It's great to see Jesus every single time we go to church. He's sitting on the cross.” He's a warrior. It's so much bigger than just that cross. I know that he died for our sins but he's a strength for people. People can look at him a different way and have a bit of a turn. He sacrificed himself, but how many times have we sacrificed our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual self in this moment and became weaker?
Jesus wants you strong. For the readers out there, grab a shirt because when you have that on you, you feel different. I've seen people's lives change and you have too. We go to the gym and people we don't even know are flexing because it does something. You're held accountable for who you are. You can't walk around saying F-bombs. With this shirt, people are like, “What are you all about?” Not that Jesus cares that we're saying F-bombs because we make God to be human. That's my whole thing. When you’re wearing that shirt of RLJ, you're telling the world, “I'm trying to be there or I am there and I'm working in it.” As Michael Gerber would say, “We're working on myself to attain those legs and make sure those legs are rock-solid strong.” Good for us. It's for creating something like that and for people who are out there that want to learn more, you can always go to TekAndHinges.com.
One of the other things outside of selling shirt is we want to put together training and different types of things that address those four aspects of strength. We may be putting together a physical training and exercise routines. We may be talking about emotional management and self-care, nutrition, how do you take care of your body and what do you put in your body. It covers life in general. We want to put out lots of different nuggets to help other people. Feed your brain and soul.
We haven't even touched upon the fact that you're working on a book, which I'm very excited and very proud of you. I know you're not there yet, but you are working on it. It's going to be good. It does have personal stories that involve you with therapy and all these wonderful things. Can you share a tidbit about that? It’s a book that I believe is going to help the world. Your first novel that also is very therapeutic as well. It has anecdotal stories from his own life as well as how those tie in together with therapy.
I've been wanting to write a book for probably about seven, eight years. I didn't have the mental energy available to do it. I've conceptualized this book and knew that I wanted to write something. It's funny how when you are working towards those four legs and you've taken a whole lot of excess stress and energy out of your life, all the energy the positive that's there. I decided to commit myself to write this book. This book is my personal journey. It's a kaleidoscope of experiences, events and situations that have created who I am.
The book is going to be told from a lot of different angles. It's going to be told from the place I am within the book. It's going to start from when I was younger, but it's also going to have perspectives from who I am and how I can look at those same experiences as a 44-year-old man. It's also going to have clinical perspectives where I look at it from the developmental standpoint and look at it from these different clinical aspects. It's going to have a lot of humor in it too because part of my life and part of what got me through a lot of the struggles that I've had has always stayed connected with that humorous side and try not to take things so seriously.
If you know me like Lee knows me, I'm a goofball a little bit. It's going to be something that people can resonate with. You may not be able to resonate with every single aspect of it but there's got to be something in it that you can go, “I understand that. I went through that too.” I wanted to be this cornucopia of emotions that people can feel. You may get sad at points, you may get energized and angry, and you may feel loved and appreciated at points. I wanted to be something that inspires people and people can relate to. That's all in the book.
It’s going to be very interesting. We can't wait to see that because it's food for thoughts.
When I go home and write every day, it's like binging Netflix. It's like when you go home, “I can't wait to watch Games of Thrones.” It's the same thing, “I can't wait to go write this chapter.” You left it off two days ago at this one place, you go, “I want to write this part now.” It's gotten to that place. The beginning was tough but I get excited to add a burst of flavors.
Bring us these thoughts. I think it's going to help us to achieve and to continue to evolve. We can't wait to read your book. I'd like to know if you have a special routine during your day, food for the soul and food for the heart. How do you feed yourself for your body and feed yourself for your mind?
I do have a routine. I'm a creature of habit. One of the things that I've started doing is I read a book called Own the Day by Aubrey Marcus. If you guys don't know Aubrey Marcus, he's a phenomenal guy. He has his own podcast and he talks a lot about spiritual enlightenment, health and nutrition. He talked about meditating early in the morning, whether it's 5, 10 or 30 minutes. Calming your brain in the morning, I thought that that was such a cool thing because in the past, as soon as I wake up, my head gets rolling with everything that I have to do for the day. If you think about it, like Joe Dispenza says, “Once you start growing about everything that you have to do for the day, then you're living in the past because that day is a reflection of the same stuff that you've done the days before. If you're living in the past, then it's hard to move forward to the future.” One of the things that I've started to do is meditate for about five to ten minutes and quiet my mind in the morning when I wake up and get in touch with my presence and being here. I find that it helps me. It makes my day. I don't wake up with anxiety. I don't wake up worried about what I have to get done.
It comes to me to where I can start the day off the right way. I've been doing that a lot of days in the morning. I’ll wake up around 5:30 and hit the gym. I try to get the workout in as early as possible. That way when I get off work, I can do a jog. I'm working two or three different types of jobs throughout the day every single day. Some are behavioral consultants. I have a caseload of behavioral consultant clients because I work with individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. I have those clients that I see throughout the week. I have private practice clients to see throughout the week. I meet with some colleagues. We're doing a social-sexual skills curriculum for developmental disabilities for individuals. Throughout the week from 9:00 all the way at about 7:00, I'm busy most of the times. Having that meditation and that workout done early is important. I do my intermittent fasting, so I don't eat until about 12:00 to 2:00, but I make sure that I have the right nutrition.
When I do eat early in the morning, then I make sure that I'm eating well. I eat two times a day. I make sure that both of those meals are pretty nutritious and packed with vitamins and all kinds of cool stuff. At night, I will chit-chat with my friend Lee. We talk about the day and hang out. I think it's good to have somebody that you can talk to about the day and find some time to laugh. Me and this guy when we're together, all we do is just joke and laugh. It's a cool way to end my day connecting with him and seeing how his day is going and seeing how we might be able to support one another. There are two people that I reach out to each week and if I don't reach out to these people, then I can feel my stress level rise. My daughter, she goes to Humboldt State University. She's almost 22. I’ve got to make sure I reach out to her and then I reach out to my mother. At least once a week, I have to hear from both of those. Those are the ladies in my life. If I'm able to hear from both of them at least once a week, it makes my week that much better.
I'm going to ask you what gets you out of bed every morning but I know that it's been in service to people and passion and you spend a lot on that already. From a lot of different people's standpoints, you are a very busy person but at the same exact time, you give so much of yourself. How do you not get lost with your client’s traumas because I've heard some things from other people who do what you do know but not necessarily you? How do you separate it from the other problems? I know a lot of people they always brought their problems home and it was horrible for a relationship. How do you not bring that stuff to other people? How do you keep your stuff compartmentalize between Maurice, your relationship, your daughter or whoever? How do you not step on everybody else when your day is bad?
The best way that I can answer that is who I am as a person, as a friend and as a therapist, they're all the same person. Whether I'm at home or out, I don't differentiate who I am. There may be some things that I have to do differently in different environments, but I don't differentiate the whole of who I am. I think self-care is huge. You have to take care of yourself. If you're not taking care of yourself, you can't be the best for anybody else. If I'm not listening to my body and getting the right rest or putting the right nutrients in my body, feeding myself, feeding my soul by being in nature, being appreciative and thankful for the life that I have. Then it's going to be hard for me to give the energy that I need to give to my clients, to my friends, to my family, even the people out in the world that I like to smile.
That's one of the things that is important. When you're taking care of yourself, then you're not going to be emotionally bankrupt. Psychic energy is limited. What that means is the energy that you spend on the things in your life is limited. If you're expounding energy into things that are negative or not going to be beneficial for you, then you're taking away the energy that could be used to be healthy and could be used to enhance your life or other people's lives. Just taking care of myself and realizing there's so much more for me to learn and staying humble realizing that I can learn from anyone. I've met this thirteen years old and he has autism. I don't know if you know much about autism, but individuals with autism, a lot of them speak their mind. They don't have a filter. Part of the characteristics of autism is communication issues. The cool thing about that was he said something that was so simple that was us adults that think about things and ponder so much. It was so simple.
What did he keep on saying?
I don't remember right off the top. It was something that was super simple that when you're an adult, you think of all this stuff and you're like, “Why can't I think in that simplistic way?” He said something and I was like, “That's right.” When I walked away from that, I was like, “It's a trip.” You spend so much time trying to think about things and evaluate things that you don't look at some of the simple things that make sense.
You bring up a couple of things. One, when I hear that from you, I hear Bruce Lee. He's always talked about being in flow. When you talk about being in flow and being with where the universe should allow you in places you to be, many times as adults we forget that the easiest way for me to think about is I talked to myself when those things happen, if I can, and not be stuck in emotion and trying to think things through. Am I swimming upstream against the current or am I in a raft letting myself to be free?
One of the best songs that we grew up with, and I'm sure you probably grew up with it too as well, Chef Marie even though you're French, is Row, Row, Row Your Boat Gently Down the Stream. It's not saying go against the stream and roll up against the current. It's row your vessel gently down the stream, not in rugged waters, allowing yourself to flow with the universe, allowing yourself to flow with the water. Maurice, you are very much always in flow. We talk to each other about how is each other's day. It could be for fifteen minutes you've got a break and we're always laughing and I think that if we can start to laugh more because people are so serious these days. I see both of you guys smile all the time because you both are always consistently cracking me up. I'm saying things to Chef Marie and she’s saying things to me. You’re saying things to me, Maurice. It makes life that much easier. If you haven't known yet another person being in flow, allowing yourself to flow with things and not make things hard, that can be easy.
It’s awesome that you’re saying that because it doesn't matter the terminology. It can be flow, it can be serenity, it can be embracing, but whatever the case may be, it's relinquishing control. That’s what it boils down to when we try to control things. If we abandon that to a certain degree, you find that there's no need to control it. When you try to control things that are outside of your control, that's where anxiety comes into play even thinking, “Why am I trying to control this?”
I look at my own life and your people start looking at yourself. That's what's the most important. Not like, “My husband stopped controlling me.” It's about self. It’s movie stuff. It's taken almost two years for this movie from 2017 to 2019 for me to go, “It's going to be what it's going to be. Just let things go.” Cher Marie, you've spent ten years. We're getting to a point where things are picking up, but things happened out of happenstance because of the hard work you've done. We don't have any control. Like you said before, within reason. We have control of ourselves. We have control over emotions. I control how I look at the outside world.
You control how you think about it. You control the meaning that you subscribed to it. That's the difference. It's the meaning that we subscribe to certain incidents or situations in our life. If we change that meaning, then that situation changes. That's why we say, “Happiness is bleeding.” Thinking about it when you get a call from a girl that you like and you guys are going, “I'm happy.” She stands you up and then cancels. That's why I'm always talking about peace because it’s something that you can sustain. You have to practice and work on that. Anything that we get good at is practice. You look at anybody successful out in the media. All we see is where they are now. We didn't see all that stuff that it took to get to where they are.
It's the iceberg analogy. You see the little piece of the iceberg, but you don't see that huge thing underneath that all those years of heartache and pain. The only difference between someone that's successful and someone that's not successful is the person that's successful never quits. They may have to adjust a little bit, but they keep moving. That's the important piece of it. Success may not even be where you're trying to get. It may just be that path you're on that you start to realize, “This is what's more important.” It's not about making that move your way up there. It's about these connections that I've acquired along the way and the insight that I've learned.
I look at Chef Marie’s life and what she's doing. She wakes up early in the morning. She's always like, “Lee, are you up?” I'm like, “No, I'm not up.” She’s like, “Call me when you wake up.” She's all full of energy. She’s like, “Lee, what are you doing?” I'm like, “What's happening?” Chef Marie, your voice is amazing. Your accent is almost like African, but it's almost there’s a little twang and you change it. Your English isn’t perfect like someone who's from Africa. I love the French accent. It's amazing because I can't wait to go to Montreal. I see how hard you work. You're right, Maurice. You wake up in the morning, she starts her day. She's always got her running. She's running six miles a day. She's always working hard and I see that. Her hard work is definitely going to pay off.
Our friend, Lee, is very high keto while he doesn’t do much work. I bust my diet two times a day with workout. It's hard for me to get keto high. He does put his mind, he meditates right.
Your body looks ridiculous. You’ve got crazy legs and your arms are cut up. I'm not like you. I’m just trying to change my thought as far as me being at the gym every single day, but I'm not knocking it. I love being in the gym with Maurice. He works hard and he makes me work hard. I try to do it less often and try to get more eating wise.
That’s what friends do. You came to push yourself positively. A little tap on the shoulder and like, “You go boy.” That’s how we are.
If you do happen to go to Amazon, type in MCHEF and you're going to find The Burst of Flavors. I have Mr. Maurice Travis. He is a foodie but he says he's not a cook. He cooked some nachos. It's a long time ago and it had these nachos, but he didn't promote himself as a chef and like, “I can cook.” I've been over to his house plenty of times and I've eaten tilapia, salmon and all sorts of things. Anything he cooked, it's always been delicious. Maurice, you've tried The Burst of Flavors, the MChef spices. What do you think about those?
I'm getting excited even talking about it because I love to cook. I like to get creative in the kitchen. It's one of the things I like to do. Growing up, we're poor, so we always had to create stuff out of nothing. I used to call my brother the Black MacGyver in the kitchen because he could take some flower and something else and before you know it, we had some food. As I got older, I love to take a lot of southern unhealthy food and make it healthy. That was always my thing is converting unhealthy food into healthier entrees.
The thing about Chef Marie's spices is a life hack. You don't even have to know how to cook. You don't have to know what you're doing and you put these spices and herbs on your salad or on your meats and you present that to somebody. They're going to think, “What's going on?” They're going to think that you have it going on in the kitchen. You were talking a lot about it and you gave me some seasons. You're like, “Have you tried those seasons yet?” I'm like, “No, not yet. I haven't tried them.” He’s hyped up and he gets a little upset. I had some salmon and I was like, “Let me try these seasons.” I have my whole seasons up there. I sat down and I was all by myself and I put my hands up like, “What is going on here?”
I think the first one I had was the San Antonio and I had the Louisiana. All week I'm spraying on stuff. I had some tomatoes, mozzarella and eggs. I was putting it on everything. I made these chicken tacos with the spice. I'm all out. They're amazing and they're flavorful. If you're not a great cook, it makes it easy for you. There are so many people that are on the go all the time that don't have the time to prepare things, a traditional fashion. Just by putting these spices on there, it accentuates anything that you're going to eat and prepare for yourself the food. Thank you, Chef Marie.
It's been a labor of love for her. Several times we've been on the phone and she's like, “Do we continue with spices?” I know that I hype a lot of things up to you, guys. For the readers out there, that seems like I'm crazy. I guarantee you, your life will be better once you've dumped some of these spices on there. First off, filler-free, second off, gluten-free, third off, we've got 100% organic and it's also allergen-friendly and allergen-free. Maurice speaks to the truth. I called Marie and I said, “Mo, you’ve got to try these things.” I feel like I'm a chef. She's made it so easy. You dumped the stuff on. I put mine in olive oil in a hot pan. I cook it up a little bit. I drizzle that all of my salmon, I throw it in an air fryer for ten minutes. I didn’t even talk about chicken thighs. I made chicken tacos out of turkey meat and I put the island spices on there. Try this and your life will be better. You will feel better. Your body will start to react in a way going, “This is what life should be when I taste something that I made.”
Your kids, wife and you will be happy. I'm not a chef and I shouldn't be in the kitchen at all. I'm cooking for myself every day. Do you know what that does for me, for anybody who's single or anybody who's married, anybody who's a human on this Earth? When you can tell yourself that you can't be something that you can and you change that impossible to a possible as far as your meals, you start to treat yourself better. Your body will look different regardless if you work out or not. I'm not implying that you shouldn't work out and be healthier. It happens in these three ways: diet, sleep and workout. That's the order, and that's not up for option. That's not my opinion. That's how life goes.
That's how you survive to be 90 years old. That's how you search for Nirvana at being more peace. You mixed those up in order. You're not doing it right and I guarantee you, I'm right on this. I'm not a doctor by any means, nor am I a nutritionist but I'm telling you that's how things work out. It’s built this out of the kitchen, not the gym and sleep. It’s so important for your body and for your mental health. I'm stoked about these spices. That’s Chef Marie and me. I know for you Marie, that it's been a long time coming, that things you've seen that light in the tunnel with Kevin Harrington, Harrison Ford and potentially QVC that's happening and all these things that are amazing.
You spend a lot of years of your life developing this, friendships lost and things happening and boyfriends. You have an amazing man, Chris, who's an awesome person. I haven't met him personally yet, but when I come to Vegas, I will, and you're an amazing woman as well. You go to Amazon, Burst of Flavor. We're at a point on the show that Chef Marie is going to give us a recipe for our guest. It's inspired by our guest but she's made it up. I remember we had the Bloody Brain with Jeff Allard, who's a French but Asian. We had Rahart. What do we have for Maurice Travis?
I want to mention to everyone that the recipes will be found not only on our page, MChef.com, but we'll also be able to see it as a video because I will do that. We will travel and we're going to use the herbs of the Mediterranean. We're going to have a lovely keto, pasta, pesto, and prosciutto chips very easily done. One zucchini is for two people, cut that in two and you make some very minced zucchini. It's very fast on the smoky pan with a little bit of olive oil. You're going to sauté it by 30 seconds because you just want to keep them still crispy to keep the nutrients. It’s important or else they're going to turn out to be saggy and it’s not that interesting as for texture in the mouth.
Sprinkle with a little bit of herbs of the Mediterranean, and then you mix it just before serving with arugula. As simple as that while you are making this beautiful prosciutto chips. Oven-baked for 350 degrees. You spread the prosciutto on a baking sheet on 350 degrees and for eight minutes, you’re going to get that crispy. If you want as an extra, you make yourself a pesto. Parmigiano-Reggiano basil, fresh garlic in the food processor with lots of good cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil and you're in business. It’s keto-friendly and we love it.
You’ve got to make that for me. That sounds amazing. It will be on her IG and you’ll find it on our YouTube as well. You're talking to a person who does not eat vegetables. Maurice knows this way back in the day. I never had that, but now I love vegetables. I will eat some zucchini and cucumber. I'm down for that, straight up.
Probably the only vegetables you used to eat were the ones that were in the top of the ramen.
That’s true. I threw those away, Maurice. The pea and the little onions on top.
Look at you, you like heirloom tomatoes.
I can't believe it, avocados every day. It doesn't slow down. Maurice, I’m putting you on the spot. If a person on this show has an anecdotal story that they share that's funny. Do you have anything you can share, a story of yours? I'm basing off of his life a television show that myself and Jamal and Maurice will be working on. That's a little bit like The Wonder Years.
Growing up poor back in the Midwest, we used to make what we called ghetto slushies. You're probably wondering like, “What is a ghetto slushy?” It's pretty gross. What we would do is the icebox in the refrigerator would get filled with all this weird frost. If you think about it now, it's horrible. It’s bad for you. When we were kids, we scrape all the frost off the top of the icebox and it would be crushed ice. We would take a Kool-Aid and we put some in this contaminated ice and we would drink it or we would eat it with a spoon. One day my brothers ate all the ice from the top of the fridge. I was trying to get something and I couldn't get any. I was little. I had to get on a chair to get up to even scrape the icebox. Don't ask me why I thought like this. The thought process of a five-year-old but for some reason, I thought, “Since I can't get the ice, let me go ahead and try to lick it.”
I stood on my tippy toes and for some reason, I tried to do a nice little swipe with my tongue and my tongue got stuck on the top of the freezer. Here I am on my tippy toes with my tongue stuck and I'm yelling at him. I’m crying and I'm like, “Help me.” My brother was running there and they're like, “What’s going on? What are you doing?” I’m like, “I’m stuck.” My brothers are trying to figure out how to get me down. My middle brother, he was always the mean one. My older brother, he was more compassionate and we couldn't tell my mom because we would get in trouble. My middle brother yanked me down. Part of my tongue was stuck in the ice. I was crying and blood was getting everywhere. They finally rinse me off and my mom came home and found out and she spanked all of us. Not only did I have part of a tongue missing, my butt was hurting because my mom spanked us. Even to this day, I'm like, “What compelled me to try to do that?” Children, they’ll just tell you. Your impulsivity is not there when you're five-years-old. It’s definitely embarrassing.
The biggest part of that story, which I don't understand and we know inherently ethnic wise is that you're hurt. The same thing happened to me. This is an African American thing or not. You didn't do anything wrong but why are you getting beat? My mom is like, “You got hurt, so you’re getting beat too.” Spankings are going on around the place. You were hurt, poor little Mau had a piece of tongue up there and you’re getting beat with your brothers.
My mom always spanks us after dinner. I hated it. Dinner would be a couple of hours later. You couldn't even eat because you know that you’re getting spanked after dinner so you eat slow. You finally get to the end of your dinner and you embrace it. You're like, “I'm going to get this spanking and go to sleep.” What would happen all the time? You get out eating, you're ready for the spanking now your mom would be busy, she wouldn't give you a spanking. You start thinking like, “Maybe I'm not going to get a spanking.” You start to relax and you drop your guard and as soon as you drop your guard, there she comes. “I didn't forget about that spanking.”
That's definitely a black thing. It always happens. You drop your guard down and the belt comes out. Thank you so much for that story.
I want to know Lee, Maurice, what was your favorite type of Kool-Aid?
It was a toss-up between the grape and the cherry.
Mine was apple. They made apple Kool-Aid in St. Louis.
It was green.
It wasn't green. It looked like apple juice. When I was in college, I was still drinking it.
You’re drinking it at 25?
I was drinking the one called Purplesaurus Rex. It had a little purple dinosaur and he had a little lemon in his mouth. It’s the most ridiculous Kool-Aid ever.
I've never heard that one. We had the old school ones.
You called it red. You can call it cherry. They had strawberry and cherry. It didn't matter. Your lips would be all red. Sugar is not the same as they make these days. We had real sugar back then. Good for us. Chef Marie, do you have a floating thought for us to lead us out of this wonderful, masterful show and insightful as well?
I was guided by Buddha. I always take a moment before our show and I ask to be guided for the spiritual cult. Maurice, it’s Buddha who’s talking to us. It’s very beautiful and I can't wait to share that with you. “To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one's family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one's own mind. If a man can’t control this mind, he can find the way to enlightenment, all wisdom, and virtue will naturally come to him.” It's the mind.
Anything about that that resonates with you? I know there are plenty of things. I know the readers would love to know your insight a little bit about that quote, Maurice.
That quote embodies my mission and who I am because where your mind goes, your body follows. You can look at that from a clinical point. It’s how you think is how your emotions are going to respond. Learning how to control your mind is important because that's the basis of all the other aspects of relationships that are in your life and understanding your mind. We always have this chaos going on in our heads, all the things we got to do. Learning how to quiet your mind and be at peace is important. Stress, anxiety, depression is either in the past when you're focusing on what's going on in the past or you're worried about the future. It's not in the present moment. There was no anxiety or depression in the present moment. Learning how to calm your mind and be present is huge because the anxiety and depression doesn't live there. That's where you find that inner peace.
That should be helping me. I thank you very much. Thank you for your energy.
Thank you for having me. I appreciate it. It's been an honor.
Maurice, it’s has been a pleasure having you on. I'll leave the readers with this quote and what Maurice also said too. A very famous magician, Houdini, said that he was going to go to jail and release himself in jail within one hour. He goes inside the jail and in his belt, he has hidden this little piece that you can try to saw off the bars. He hides it inside his belt and took his belt off and start sawing away. He spins not only 25 minutes and he's in full-blown sweat. He's sweating because he's thinking to himself, “I can't get out of this prison that I put myself inside of.”
He’s sawing away but nothing is happening. He's there for an hour because he’s at risk of losing his fame being able to be the greatest escape artist that ever lived. Two hours pass by and he almost has given up. He leans against the jail cell and the door opens up because it was never locked. What I'm going to leave my readers is what mental prisons are you blocking yourself from and not allowing yourself the ease of allowing yourself to be at peace to know that we lock ourselves consistently inside of our own prisons, and how do you get yourself out of it? Become easy, in flow and lean against something and allow it to open. Thank you so much.
Maurice, we’ll invite you again. Would you like to come again?
I’d love too.
You guys are very inspirational.
You’re an inspiration as well, Chef Marie. I applaud you. You're fabulous and I'd love to get to meet you face-to-face.
I love both of you. Thank you so much.
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