Archive for June, 2013

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If you are looking to start your own hipster-attracting restaurant, or not sure if you have just walked into a cool (like Arcade Fire cool) trendy new joint, here are a few notes that will point you in the right direction:

 

 

  1. You must write your entire menu and drink list in vibrant bright chalk with goofy bubbly, or ‘Old English’ script.  This will make you patrons think you have a rotating seasonal menu and liquor options.  Make sure to never change your menu to even further confuse your guests.
  2. Print your menu on cheap parchment that easily gets dirty, as well as use odd names, vague menu descriptions, and exotic sounding or upscale words for relatively simple food items.
  3. Your tables, chairs, dinnerware, and overall design should look old, beat-up, communal, and look sporadic.  In fact, purposely acquire things that don’t match.  This will make your hipster guests happy as it will remind them of their hairstyle,  fashion, and overall lackadaisical attitude.
  4. Set up photo booths with odd lighting at each table so patrons an Instagram photos of everything they eat or drink.
  5. Make sure to only serve microbrew and exotic alcohols that no one is familiar with.  However, PBR is the exception, and due to the hipsters, the price is continuing to go up.
  6. Have you waitstaff only communicate to guests via social networks.  Also, keep your restaurant or bar bright since most people will be wearing huge sunglasses.
  7. Only play 80’s cartoons, cheesy B-grade horror classics, or foreign films on your TV screens, especially when major local sporting events are on.  Also, only Indie bands in the juke-box.
  8. Make a conscience effort to support skinny jeans, and high waisted Mom pants in your vicinity.
  9. There should be a minimal noise decibel level  coming from the jewelry, chains, necklaces, and bracelets worn by all staff and customers.
  10. Don’t clean too much.
  11. Keep a small stage available for the freedom of expression.
  12. Make sure to segregate any non-hipster like individuals who come into the restaurant or bar, and berate them with strange questions about weird books, or composting.
  13. Serve Totino’s pizza rolls as an appetizer to be ironic.
  14. Reuse food other people don’t eat to save the environment.

What did I miss?

 

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I like to eat, and I like to be full!

This weight reducing diet is what helped me lose a good portion of the weight I have dropped over the last few years.  This diet is not for everyone, and has some conflicting theories to traditional diet plans.  I personally feel that this weight loss diet is a good way to learn about caloric density of food, to train yourself to eat more meals throughout the day, and is the perfect supplement for those of us who can eat like it’s our job. (For some of us..it is our job)

Basically, this diet plan involves being able to eat larger volumes of food, as long as the food has very low caloric density.  To put this into perspective, place a 100 calorie slice of pizza next to 100 calories worth of celery, and you will see the difference.  Again, in my opinion, I like the idea of eating food until I am full, not eating a specific amount of calories per meal.  However, you will have to do work upfront to understand which foods will fit into a low caloric density category:

  • Non-starchy vegetables
  • Lean meats and seafood
  • Broth based soups and sauces
  • Fruits with high water content

High caloric density foods would be items like:

  • Fats, oils, butters
  • Nuts
  • Candy and soda
  • White flour or high starch based foods

This diet also promotes relatively high fiber content which can slow down how fast your body absorbs calories.  Brown rice, whole grains, and certain fruits will allow you to stay full longer, which makes timing your meals much easier.  Any doctor or nutritionist will tell you that a diet lower in fat and calories with an increase of lean protein, vegetables, fruit, and whole grain is a winning combination.

There are of course a few tidbits of info I am going to bring up which have helped me along the way that everyone might not agree with.

  • First of all, SALT CONTAINS NO CALORIES! You can argue all day long, but salt itself has negligible caloric density, and since you will be eating a low fat diet (fat being flavor) I recommend using salt to compensate for this. Yes, salt with increase your water weight, but that is not FAT and can be flushed out with physical activity. There are of course other health concerns involving a high sodium diet, but physical activity can counter act those negative effects.
  • Which brings up my second point, physical activity. Starting out, you wont be running marathons, but as time goes on you should be increasing your physical activity as you become more ‘fit’. At the same time, you can start to slowly transition from very low caloric density foods and incorporate other items like nuts, healthy fats, and caloric dense fruits. Once you build up your ability to burn calories, you can start being a little more lenient on your diet.
  • Fat is fat is fat.  Yes I know that olive oil is more ‘healthy’ than butter HOWEVER when speaking about caloric density, they are the same. Fat contains 9 calories per gram if it’s olive oil, corn oil, safflower oil, avocado oil, butter or margarin. Starting out, you will want to limit your overall fat intake. Once you increase your physical activity, you can then start incorporating these healthy fats back into your diet, as well as reducing some salt intake since fat is the greatest thing to happen to food since bacon.
  • This diet is not designed for you to drop 10 pounds in a day. You need to stick this out and try to lose 2 or so pounds a week. This is much easier to do while also being full.  This is also not the type of diet to weigh yourself every day. The good part is you get to eat a large volume of food…the not so good part is your weigh will fluctuate more day by day.
  • This diet is made to fight boredom. Many people eat for comfort, boredom, or out of habit. If thats the case, grabbing those low caloric density foods is perfect compared to grabbing that bag of chips. Loading your fridge with fresh veggies and low-calorie dressing (SALT SALT SALT) make them a convenience food as well!

There are some fundamentals of the Atkins diet that can apply here as well, but I do not believe in a carbohydrate free diet.  The nature of humans is to use fat AND carbs as energy, but choosing the right carbohydrates at the right time is key.

If you like being full, enjoy finishing your plate, not necessarily following a calorie counting diet, or are a boredom eater, this might be the diet plan for you!

Please feel free to comment with questions other useful information!

  • Skinny – You get to wear smaller sized cloths and look good
  • Fit – You get to wear tighter fitting cloths and look sexy

 

  • Skinny – Success is measured in pounds
  • Fit – Success is measured in inches, and how many pounds you can move

 

  • Skinny – You save money on food because you don’t eat much
  • Fit – You get to eat a LOT of food, and work it off if needed

 

  • Skinny – It is easier for your significant other to pick you up
  • Fit – It is easier to pick up your significant other

 

  • Skinny – Perfect…if you like doing nothing
  • Fit – You can run up stairs, pick up heavy stuff, and not struggle when trying to stand up

 

  • Skinny – You are breakable
  • Fit – You break stuff

 

  • Skinny – Things still jiggle
  • Fit – Rock solid

 

  • Skinny – Results from doing nothing
  • Fit – Results from doing things other people can’t

 

Please add some more if you have any!

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“When I was your age, we used to go outside and play!”  We have all heard this line before and it basically proves my point about why the food and beverage industry should not be at fault for the obesity problem.

Quick history lesson…potato chips were first massed produced and the first fast food restaurants were introduced in the 1920’s, 7up and Hostess Brands like Wonder sliced white bread were invented in the 30’s and  soda fountains, ice cream parlors, candy stores, and television were all rising in popularity, TV dinners and frozen pizza were introduced in the 50’s; THEN the current obesity problem didn’t start creeping in until the mid 80’s and 90’s.  So for all those years and many generations, the US consumer enjoyed prepared and manufactured foods, all was good with the world.

But now, the food and beverage community is being blacklisted for providing what is now considered unhealthy foods and the cause of the current health and obesity problem.  Does anyone else see a problem with this?  We have at least 60 years when the American consumer utilized prepared and manufactured foods in there diet without an obesity outbreak.  So what else could be the cause?

The wonderful and historical modern technology I am using to communicate this message to you is the cause in my opinion! We are texting, tweeting, facebooking, searching the internet, using smart phones, gaming, staying indoors, working at our computers, and letting technology do everything for us.  People are no longer encouraged to work outside, have jobs that involve manual labor, walk instead of drive, or exercise.

That being said, I love video-games as much the next person, and TV, movies, and the internet are utilized more than they should at my house, but I balance this with physical activity.  Everyone loves to pull information from movies like ‘Super-size Me” or discuss what is being served at schools, but have we discuss the activity level of your average person between the 30’s, the 60’s, the 90’s and now?  I have a feeling you will see a DRAMATIC drop in calorie expenditures while the calorie intake level will have a much slower, steady increase.

20% of an elite Kenyan runner’s diet consist of plain old SUGAR, an average professional athlete is consuming 3000 – 4000 calories a day, and olympic level athletes have been quoted as eating what you might call ‘junk food’ to achieve the 6000 calories needed for top performance.  Michael Phelps can sustain on a 10,000 calorie a day diet which includes: eggs, french toast, pancakes, pizza, and energy drinks, but he has the physical activity to back it up, which proves my point that it’s not what you eat, but how to use it.

Am I the only one who feels activity level is the cause of our obesity problem, and not the food?

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I would like to state right here and now, that I am the originator of the ‘Burger Crusted Steak’.  I used the same burger meat I created yesterday, and packed it around a beef filet, then made magic happen.  This is how you do it…(dun da dun da dun dunnnnnnn):

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First you make your bacon bleu burger mix:

  • 2 pounds of 90/10 ground chuck (90% lean)
  • 1-1/2 pounds raw applewood smoked bacon (pureed in food processor into a paste)
  • 8 ounces gorgonzola cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp. granulated garlic

Take a 6 ounce beef filet and flatten it to about 1/2 inch thickness, then season with salt.  Take your ground meat mixture, and liberally pack it around the steak:

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On a grill set to super high, grill for about 5 minutes on each side, turning 90° half way through:

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Place the burger-steak-beast on a small sheet tray, and bake in a 375°F oven for about 6 more minutes to have a nice medium-rare center (you can adjust your cooking time here to your preferred doneness).  Remove from oven and let sit for at least 5 minutes before cutting into this bad boy and having a party in your mouth!

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If  winning was a Bacon Bleu Cheeseburger Crusted Filet…this would be it.  Hopeful this starts a new trend with all the hipster-foodies out there, and I get the occasional shout-out.  \\..//

Bacon.

It is my favorite food group.  In a previous post I used bacon puree to make bacon chips.  I have taken bacon slime to new heights with what I like to call a ‘3B slider’.  I wanted to make the ultimate bacon slider using fresh blended bacon puree seen below. This is 100% real applewood smoked bacon pureed in a food processor.

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For the burger patty, I blended together:

 

  • 2 pounds of 90/10 ground chuck (90% lean)
  • 1-1/2 pounds of bacon puree
  • 8 ounces of Gorgonzola crumbles
  • 1 Tbsp. black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp. granulated garlic

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This mixture will be a lot looser than your average ground beef so I think it works best as a slider.  I formed these bad boys into small patties, then cooked them on a SUPER hot grill for about 1 minute and 30 seconds a side.  I assembled them on small dinner rolls with buffalo aioli, 2 hour caramelized onions, green leaf lettuce, and garlic pickle slices:

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Juicy and flavorful doesn’t even begin to describe these little nuggets of joy.  I also recommend cooking them to about medium well (yeah thats right!) to have a super nice crust to the patty.  You have a combo of salty and creamy from the bacon-gorgonzola patty, sweetness from the onions, and heat from the buffalo aioli.  You can thank me later.

Let me know what you use bacon puree in!

 

Here is a quick explanation on how metabolism works in regards to your diet.  Yes, many factors affect your overall metabolism (age, sex, muscle, physical activity), but this analogy will discuss why smaller meals more frequent is the way to go for successful weight loss.

  • YOU ARE A MACHINE – You are a car.  You run on fuel, and get a certain amount of miles per gallon (this is your metabolism).  Some gas is better than others, however for this explanation,  we are converting gas into general calories.  So to sum it up, the amount of miles you travel compared to how much gas you have in the car will represent how well your metabolism is working.
  • RAN OUT OF GAS – Let say you have no gas in your car.  Your car will, of course, not move.  It is a fact that when you consume little to no calories, your metabolism is inactive.  Your body will stop utilizing gas (calories) as its energy, and start breaking down the internal car parts to move.  I don’t think I have to tell you that this is bad.  Many people who are on a very calorie restrictive diet who also work out a lot will find it hard to lose weight because your body is trying to hold on to as much as it can to function normally, while using what it does’t think is important as energy. YOUR CAR WON’T MOVE WITHOUT GAS.
  • TO MUCH GAS – Your car has a gas tank that can expand and can hold WAY more gas than it needs.  You can fill it up as much as you want, and your car will work VERY hard, but your car will move SLOWLY.  All of that gas is weighing your car down and decreasing your miles per gallon.  You are producing excess exhaust and making your engine parts dirty.  Overfilling your gas tank will cause some gas to spill out and unfortunately, your car absorbs this excess weight as ‘hard to use gas’ aka…fatty fat fat.  YOU DON’T NEED ALL THAT GAS.
  • JUST RIGHT – When you fill up your gas tank just enough to get to your next destination, you win.  You have found that happy medium of the right amount of gas for the right amount of miles. When you are traveling, and you are running out of gas in this mode, you will coast to the next gas station to refuel (coasting is my way of saying fat/weight loss).  You are getting the best miles per gallon because you are not being weighed down, and you have gas to move.  Your parts are running very efficiently and your system know how to handle the waste.  For longer road trips, you can add more gas to the tank, but just enough to handle the extended distance. JUST ENOUGH GAS IS GOOD.

As stated earlier, this is in regards to your diet.  If you have a high tech car with super premium gas, you will have better performance.  Certain model cars just work better than other.  Upgrading your car parts will increase its ability to run.  Now how hard is that to understand???

Eat smaller meals more often Speed-Racer!

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