After returning from an hour and a half of sweating in multiple saunas and steam rooms, and engulfing way too much Kimchee fried rice, I grabbed an Uber with my brother and our buddy Nick back to my airbnb in Venice. Its been fun having them around the last couple days. On Friday I will be back to being on my own trying to commit to figuring out where the hell I want to establish my base. There are parts of LA that I thoroughly enjoy. The nice weather, the upbeat energy, beautiful women, amazing food. Inspiration is always in the air and I feel it hovering over me whenever I am out and about. These are alot of desirable qualities for me. On the flip side everything is so spread out. I want to live by the beach in Santa Monica, but everybody I know lives in the Hollywood area or up in the hills.
The sense of community is tough to grasp out here. I get the vibe that everybody is in the process of some kind of self discovery all the while aspiring to do something great in their own eyes. At the end of the day we all live in our own realities, and what is very important to me most likely isn’t going to mean one iota to you. The freedom that comes with me having an unconventional lifestyle as an entrepreneur also leads to too much isolation. My friends that live around the LA area are all so caught up in their own lives. So I am at a crossroads in regards to what I am looking for. Do I just get a base out here and build a life? Or do I move to a place where I know a lot more close friends that won’t be spread out. My family business is headquartered in Boulder, Colorado so I think its only logical for me to be based on the west coast. I lived in Colorado for a few years, and as much as I love being there for parts of the year, it was tough for me to have much of a social life out there. I have narrowed down my decision to either Los Angeles or San Francisco to be for half of the year. I figure the other half of the year will be spent rotating between Boulder and our expansion markets in which I will want to hop around as we continue to tap into new landscapes.
I have been staying balanced through daily workouts, writing, and all this Vitamin D from the California sun definitely helps too. At some point soon though I am going to have to stop living this nomadic lifestyle and get a base here in LA or up in San Francisco. Nothing is permanent and its time for me to stop delaying and just pull the trigger already.
I am not one of those guys that spends a lot of time working out to try and get chiseled abs. I don’t live to eat, I workout to eat. My appetite is so ferocious that the only way that I am able to match it is by an hour of high intensity workouts. On more days than not this consists of me going for a long run and doing pushups and sit-ups until I am ready to puke. I never reach the point of throwing up, but I purposely dabble with that edge. Some people are in the mentality that since they put so much effort into a workout that it is essential to always eat extremely healthy afterwards. I beg to differ, as who wants to deal with a gruesome workout without a treat waiting on the other side? To each their own I guess, I am content with the fact that a six pack isn’t in my future. I can’t stand beer, and refuse to eat religiously healthy for a lengthy period of time, so I will just stay in my foodie lane.
There is no better feeling than after a great workout, while taking a shower hearing your stomach begin to rumble. Most of my post workout showers consist of daydreaming about what type of food I am going to devour within the hour. I try to eat as healthy as possible, but there are times when a pizza is just calling my name. Eating is one of the pure pleasures in life and I am in the mentality that you should thoroughly enjoy every bite, and the anticipation that leads up to the meal. My biggest weakness is getting so excited that I eat too quickly. I have had this problem since I was a young kid. The all in or nothing mentality trickles onto the plate as well. On that note its time for a workout so I can go to town on the fridge later. What’s cooking for dinner? Can’t wait to find out!
Right now I am craving a thin crust pizza with mushrooms and jalapenos. Last night it seemed like Sushi was calling my name. On most days and nights of the week don’t be shocked if you find me at a local dumpling house. There is nothing like a hunger craving when you know you are about to eat something you have been yearning for all day. That first bite into a perfectly cooked pizza. When its crunchy but not burnt, and the cheese is melted to perfection without any excess grease. As for my dumpling preference? Throw them all at me in every which direction! I try to keep it healthy and avoid fried, but once in awhile I’ll treat myself. Chinese delivery is my go to on Sundays and sometimes Ill order three separate orders of shrimp and vegetable dumplings. My favorite day of the year is Christmas because I know I am heading for a dim sum food coma.
As I eagerly await a buddy to pick me up to grab dinner my stomach begins to growl. What is on the menu tonight? Time will tell, but I am craving some dominant Mexican food right about now. What leads to a craving? More times than not its just a food that you really enjoy. However, Steak is one food that if you are craving might mean you are lacking iron and should go to town on a new york strip, porterhouse, or a ribeye. Just don’t get in the habit of eating steak any day, as that can’t be healthy for anybody. Everybody has a wide variety of food cravings, and there is nothing better than the anticipation of a great meal. On that note I am off to feast!
Studies have shown that babies come out of the womb craving sugar. That is if their mothers had a sweet tooth during the pregnancy. So mom I guess I can call you a hypocrite then telling me to stop eating all those sweets as a kid? Growing up Chocolate was one of those “special occasion” treats. I completely understand from parents vantage point that their kids have enough natural energy. Add sugar to the mix and you have an energy ball that is out of control. So there reached a point in which I was convinced that since Chocolate was used as a reward that it must not have been good for you. This was usually thrown into the same category as how often my brothers and I would get a special treat and get McDonalds drive thru. Isn’t this backward thinking? Not for a bunch of kids who thought fast food junk food was the most awesome thing in the world! Remember those TV dinners with the brownies, and the lunchables that had enough sodium to kill a rat? Yeah those were other special treats of ours. I think Hungryman was one of my idols from the age of 10-14. My parents did all they could to ensure I ate healthy, and come high school I actually began eating much healthier. However it wasn’t up until a few years ago that I delved back into being a chocolate lover. To this day its beyond obvious that Hungryman, Lunchables, and Mcdonalds fast food is awful for you. Although I give Mcdonald’s credit for beginning to attack the healthy movement. With all that said, chocolate never deserved to be in the same category as any of those unhealthy brands. Chocolate gets a bad rap too often when quite frankly in moderation it could be one of the healthiest foods known to humankind.
Taste buds are supposed to change every seven years, and one day out of nowhere I began enjoying bittersweet dark chocolate. The kind that has 90% cocoa content. For some reason it made me feel good and turned into a daily ritual. These days you will be hard pressed to find my freezer without a few dark chocolate bars stocked up. Eat Chocolate Everyday, yep I said it. I am not telling you to down a Twix or Three Musketeers Bar. However in moderation chocolate has proven to provide numerous benefits. I have always been a major fan of chocolate. Then again do you know many people out there who hate on chocolate? If you eat chocolate on the regular you can not only lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol, but also lower your risk of heart disease. How often can you eat something as delicious as chocolate and have it reap so many benefits. To add another layer to the awesomeness is that chocolate has been shown to elevate moods. If you want to really do it right then go with Dark chocolate which contains properties that reduce inflammatory as well as cardiovascular risk. For those of you who love basking in the sun, chocolate can also help with skin damage. Although I highly recommend still dousing yourself in sun tan lotion. Better to be safe than sorry, treat your body like a temple and eat chocolate everyday! Just keep in mind that the darker and higher cocoa percentage chocolates are the healthiest. Your dentist and doctor for is going to be ringing my phone off the hook if you take this too literally. Like anything, everything is a balance, including a healthy chocolate intake.
You thought I was going to add Jelly in there didn’t you? Peanut Butter and Jelly might be the ying and yang of the food world matches, but lets give peanut butter some credit here. Lets play a game of food mad libs. The real question we should be asking ourselves is, “What doesn’t go well with peanut butter?!” Fish for starters, but in all seriousness what we would do without peanut butter? I have a buddy who has a peanut allergy and I really feel bad for the guy. If you were to tell me I had to give up peanut butter I would ask you for an alternative option.
Last night as I was preparing myself a peanut butter covered banana I was trying to recall the first time that my taste buds discovered one of the natural wonders of the world. Being an avid foodie and one that lives to eat, I consider coveted snacks to be world wonders! Anyway, looking back it had to be in one of those early preschool days in which my mother would ship me off to school with one of those lunch boxes that were decked out in stickers. Within that lunchbox held the key to my toddler daily happiness. When peanut butter and jelly was first thrown into the cycle I must have come home smiling ear to ear. In the early days however there were times in which peanut butter really frustrated me. Sticking to the roof of my top, no beverage in sight, what is a young child supposed to do? Those milk cartons in the school cafeteria saved the day more times than not even though they completely disgusted me. I have never been able to drink milk unless it is doused with chocolate syrup or doused with cereal. The one exception has been the peanut butter predicament. Milk really does unleash the hounds and alleviate the sticky factor!
All in all peanut butter gets an A+ in my snack ratings. You can combine it with anything from jelly, chocolate, apples, bananas. You can make peanut brittle, peanut butter french toast, peanut butter pancakes, peanut butter filled doughnuts, peanut butter in oatmeal. Or how about an asian curry dish? Satay with peanut dipping sauce? We can go on all day folks, bottom line is all this snack talk is making me hungry. I feel like Tom Hanks in Forest Gump here listing off all the different ways you can make shrimp. Where is the Jif or Skippy or any peanut butter brand for that matter. Smooth, crunchy I don’t care send it my way!
We all are supposed to have at least one day of rest every week. Whether its a workout routine, taking a break from a diet, or getting off from work, its common practice for people to take “me” time on a consistent basis. This usually falls at the end of the weekend on the ever so coveted Sunday. While growing up, Sundays were a very crazy phenomenon for me. On one end I have always been an avid NFL fan, and look forward to Sundays for the same reason as Millions of Americans. An entire day when my ass cheeks have a date with the couch? You are reading a blog called the fear of complacency for a reason. Normally you will be hard pressed to find me on the couch, let alone sitting down at all. However when it comes to Sundays, an aura of happiness hits the air. Sundays during the spring and summer are fun for being outside and enjoying the weather. However, once the leaves turn colors and much of the country starts loading on their outer layers, that is when paradise really begins.
Yesterday I ordered a pizza for delivery along with some wings, and while waiting for the delivery while tracking my food in real time through an app, I thought to myself, life is good. When in history would we have the luxury to just hang out on a cushion and press a button that automatically makes a pizza appear 45 minutes later? Never! The food delivery aspect of Sundays really put it over the edge as my favorite day of the week(end). As a kid I would have a love hate relationships with Sunday. I had early morning ice hockey games which was a positive. Unfortunately right after hockey I was raced over to Temple to deal with the most dull two hours of my week. Sunday school was absolute torture for a kid that had zero interest in religion and cared more about the lox and bagels that were promised to me shortly after class ended. Many times thanks to my dad I would finagle my way out of even being at Sunday school. Many times it revolved around going to New York Giants games, hockey scheduling conflicts, or just because my dad wasn’t religious and got a kick out of helping my brothers and I play hooky. Lets just say my mom didn’t find this very amusing, but it was clear that I wasn’t going to be a Rabbi.
Once NFL games would wind down for the day the anxiety would start to build up within me. Five days straight of mindless boredom stood in my way until the next two day break, and there was nothing I could do about it. As I have grown older I have come to completely appreciate Sundays. I embrace the relaxation notion of ending the week on a high note. What is happening on Monday doesn’t matter. All I care about is how far out the delivery driver is with that pizza and if I am going to follow up with a chinese food delivery just to really put a fork in the day!
Growing up did you ever think you would utter the words “Pass the Brussels Sprouts please?” I can proudly say that not only did I just order a pizza with Brussels sprouts as a topping for dinner tonight, but also chose the trendy vegetable as an appetizer the other night while out for dinner. Brussels Sprouts are sitting at the cool kids table along with Avocado, and Cauliflower all of a sudden. While crunching down a bacon riddled brussels sprout appetizer last week, I began to wonder what led to this recent craze? Yes it is quite ironic that one would eat bacon with brussels sprouts. Hey I got my vegetables in one way or another, and they are a lot more tolerable when drenched in artery clogging fat.
Now that the corny food humor is out of the way lets get down to the brass tax. For starters, lets breakdown the health benefit of the Brussels Sprouts. Did you know? Sprouts contain high levels of vitamins A and C, folic acid and fiber and can help protect against colon and stomach cancer. When cooking you have to be careful to not overcook or else they will smell like rotten eggs! However, if grilled, roasted or sauteed the right way the Brussel Sprout can be the highlight of the appetizers at any restaurant in the land!
After years of constant demand it is clear that Brussels Sprouts are way more than a fad, and have eclipsed a trend. We might be heading toward Spinach territory here in which you are going to see Popeye have a son named B Sprouts. Once a vegetable has a cartoon character revolving around it you know you have made it into the vegetable hall of fame. Bugs Bunny and Carrots, Popeye with Spinach. Maybe we will see a super hero comic come out with those little green balls being the centerpiece. This superfood isn’t going anywhere except on chefs menus and in consumers mouths.