Dana McMahan Dana McMahon
Hi! I’m a travel, food and fitness writer for outlets including NBCNews.com, Fodors.com and the Huffington Post. I’m the restaurant news columnist for the Louisville Courier Journal and dining columnist for Her Scene magazine. I’m working on a several-year magazine feature series and book for Kentucky Monthly magazine on the foods of Kentucky, and I edited the Zagat guide to Louisville.
I’ve also written for Elle magazine, Delta Sky Magazine, Gadling.com, SweatRX magazine, Experience Life magazine, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, WFPL.org, TheDailyMeal.com, xojane.com, Blisstree.com, and Jaunted.com among many other publications. See a sample of my recent work on my portfolio.
I was the writer-in-residence at Kitchen-at-Camont in Gascony, France, in winter 2010, and edited Food & Dining Magazine, Louisville edition, from Nov. 2010-Nov. 2011. I was a contributing editor for FoodConnect.com for several years.
My photos have appeared in Travel+Leisure, Frommers.com and Schmap guides. Some of my photography is available for sale from Getty.
Contact me at email@example.com
Note: I don’t update this page anymore — please see my portfolio for the most recent work
Runaway Train Elle magazine, June 2012
Read “But Wait, There’s More” on my blog
What happens when a sport changes your life-and then you can’t do it anymore? Carried away by the power of powerlifting, Dana McMahan discovered new abilities and hard limits.
Listen to Your Doctor (Unless You’re an Athlete) Huffington Post
Most of us grow up taking what the doctor says as gospel. They went to school for all those years after all, studying relentlessly in college when the rest of us went to a class or two between parties and part-time jobs. And when we started eeking out livings with that fresh diploma, they trucked on, cramming their brains with evermore knowledge. Even now, when we’re kicking back watching Top Chef, they’re probably poring over a text in a medical journal, all the better to instruct you and I what to do.
Why No Pain No Gain Is All B.S. blisstree.com
“No pain no gain needs a lot of explanation. That’s the trouble with clichés.”
That’s Dr. Eddie O’Connor‘s much nicer way of putting something I’ve been saying for a while: “no pain no gain” is bullshit that gets you hurt.
We know No Pain No Gain is BS. Pushing through injury is dangerous and downright foolish. But exercise isn’t supposed to be easy, either. When I gasped about how hard some uphill weighted walking lunges were to my trainer last week, he replied drily that he doesn’t mean for me to feel like I’m floating along.
If girls started getting under the bar with some serious weight, the market for diet books, gadgets, pills, food-like products, exercise gear, Spanxx, and so-called health/fitness magazines might just entropy.
Resolution Rehab: Screw The Scale—Get Me A Barbell blisstree.com
Brimming with elation, exhilaration, exuberance. Racing heart. Face-splitting grin. Did I win the lottery? No. I reached a goal – an epic, seemingly unattainable goal. I conquered a 200-pound – nearly double my bodyweight – lift.
I spend four days per week in a gym; on days off, I pine to be there. I lift hundreds of pounds, sport smeary chalk prints on my sweat-soaked clothes and listen to cacophonous music at dangerously loud levels when I train. I attack large, bloody-rare steaks like a caveman. Am I a 275-pound shaved-headed dude with my bench total dangling as a charm from a gold chain around my thick neck?Nope. I’m a 100-pound 30-something female food writer who has fallen in love with powerlifting.
Injury 101: What You Need To Know When You’re Hurt blisstree.com
Chances are you won’t read this until and unless you suspect you’re hurt. That’s human nature. Athletes get hurt, but it won’t happen to us, right? Until it does. If you’re living an active lifestyle, you’ll likely face an injury eventually. Plan for that with the same attention you plan for your successes. Getting back on track is dependent on taking proper care immediately.
Let’s stage a coup of weight rooms across the country, tell the magazines and their five-pound weight routines where they can go, and get serious about heavy lifting!
Strong is the New Skinny Her Scene magazine
A local surge in strength-oriented fitness programs points to a growing desire among many women to develop powerful, strong and feminine bodies. Dining columnist Dana McMahan has joined their ranks—and now eats as much as she wants.
Exploring Louisville’s Urban Bourbon Trail Gadling.com
When the world descends on Louisville for the Kentucky Derby the first weekend in May, those breathtaking thoroughbreds may be first on visitors’ minds, but you can bet bourbon is a close second. Bourbon’s legacy is intertwined with Louisville’s history going back even further than the Derby.
Lexington city guide Delta Sky Magazine
Louisville Street Eats: Grind The Daily Meal
Fresh, local, grass-fed, just-ground, hand-pattied, and cooked to order beef on a locally made brioche bun is the star of the show at this fresh, white foodtruck. Ever had freshly ground beef? It’s a revelation, truly. Hands down, the hot-off-the-griddle quarter-pound-plus burger was the best hamburger this author has ever had.
Moroccan, Parisian dishes are a duo of fine feasts Louisville Courier Journal
We roll down a dusty street in Zaida, a town at the foot of the Atlas mountains in Morocco. Billowing clouds of smoke bring us the smell of grilling meat. It’s lunchtime.“Ici?” I ask Hammi, who’s driving us the 400-some kilometers to the Sahara and back to Fes. “Ici.” Here.
Coming to Louisville for the heart-pounding, two-minute Run for the Roses on May 7th? Now in its 137th year, the Kentucky Derby shines a light on all that Bluegrass Country has to offer, from its history of thoroughbreds to the future of bourbon.
9 Underground Dinners You’ve Never Heard Of The Daily Meal
If you haven’t already heard, the cool kids are bypassing Michelin stars and permanent menus in favor of a new brand of mystery and exclusivity. They’ve eschewed guidebook-listed restaurants and instead have turned to insiders’ word of mouth to discover this new trend of secret dinner clubs set in private homes and offbeat locations.
I live in the regular world, full of regular things, but I know that there is magic to be found. And of everywhere in the world I’ve been, I know Paris to be where the most magic is found. The simplest thing can make me nearly tear up with joy, or at the least smile till I think my face will split; an entire shop dedicated just to pistachios, a crunchy baguette stuffed with oozing camembert and slathered with salted butter, a caramel ice cream cone from Berthillon, savored in a bit of pale winter sunshine on the Ile St. Louis.
Discovering a feast of 1,000 spices in a Moroccan adventure Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
MARRAKECH, Morocco — Toto, we’re not in Whole Foods anymore. I stand blissfully unaware as my friend Tracy orders a chicken in her newly acquired Arabic. The merchant chooses one from the squawking, feathery crowd behind him and oooh — snaps its neck before I can blink, much less look away. “Anna jai,” Tracy tells him. (“We’ll be back.”)
Eating Quebec Jaunted (a CondéNet publication)
It may be a little chilly right now, but Quebec offers as much culture as Europe for way less cash. And thanks to the resurgence of the dollar, there’s never been a better time to head to Canada. Dana McMahan just got back and is dishing on the province’s eats all this week. See the series here.
Off the beaten track Paris for foodies Boots N All
Paris offers some of the world’s best-known opportunities for foodies. Michelin-starred dining and legendary food purveyors compete for the bon vivant’s attention on every corner. But for the intrepid visitor, attractions under the radar beckon. On recent trips to Paris I’ve visited the world’s largest fresh food market, taken a behind-the-scenes tour of a nearly 200-year-old boulangerie, and dined on ten sumptuous courses at an underground restaurant.Keep reading
Bacon is the gateway.Cliche though it may be, there’s reason aplentyit’s so often the sire call of crisp, fragrant, oh-so-fatty bacon that lures vegetarians into an omnivorous lifestyle.
Quest to Cook: Pigalle Crepes Food & Dining magazine (editor’s column)
From byline to working on the line, what happens when a food writer crosses into the chef’s world?
Quest to cook: macarons Food & Dining magazine (editor’s column)
A craving born in Paris is finally indulged
Quest to cook: Pad Thai Food & Dining magazine (editor’s column)
New editor Dana McMahan traveled halfway around the world to learn how to make Pad Thai – now she shows you how
A day in the life of a food writer xojane.com
If I told you I had to eat at 10 restaurants in 24 hours once researching a guidebook, or that I had to judge a dessert contest and partake in 40 varieties of sweets, you’d play your tiny violin, wouldn’t you?
Foie gras is to be banned in California. And though I didn’t eat meat for nearly a third of my life, I’m annoyed beyond measure.
Winning Invitation Her Scene magazine
Magic is in the air at Derby,” says Dianne Lee. Especially in the Highlands home where she and husband Edward Lee – Iron Chef winner, Top Chef contestant, James Beard finalist and the man behind 610 Magnolia – welcome guests for five days of unforgettable food and hospitality.
Meals to Remember Her Scene magazine
Want to wow out-of-towners with our city’s culinary prowess? Dana McMahan points out plates and places likely to impress your guests
More from Her Scene
- New temptations
- Cocktail hour
- Edible Art
- Out-of-the-box lunches
- Festive Fusion
- Tasteful Trends
- What’s (Healthy) on the menu?
Moroccan pastilla recipe The Daily Meal
Moroccan food intrigues me with its exotic spices and happy melding of sweet and savory in unexpected places.
Paleo-Friendly Tips for Carb Lovers The Daily Meal
If you think good bread is a birthright and know a dozen ways to prepare a potato, striking carbs from your diet can be perplexing and, frankly, miserable. While most anyone can give up carbs for a few days, it takes a bit of strategy and new ways of thinking to plan ongoing meals you’ll actually look forward to, sans the starch
WHAS ABC Louisville Great Day Live appearance in which I dish on the local restaurant scene and demonstrate powerlifting
WHAS ABC Louisville Great Day Live appearance with Bluegrass Barbell, my female powerlifting club
World’s Best Secret Dining Clubs • www.travelandleisure.com • December 2008
Photography available for sale from Getty.