Friday, May 30, 2008

Across the Street

I awoke on Sunday with an awful hangover. I spent the previous evening enjoying the visit to my Alma Mater irresponsibly, and as a result my body was tired and racked with pain. Instinctively, I made a phone call to a friend to set the wheels in motion to recover from this awful state.

The plan was to eat at Highland Bakery, a very prestigious and delicious restaurant near Midtown Atlanta which I have previously and satisfactorily patronized. Upon our arrival, we found a 30 minute wait to be seated. With nothing else to do, we accepted our fate, and resigned ourselves to having a mimosa. Alas, Highland had no bar. With no qualms, we simply left our name to be seated in 30 minutes, and walked across the street to another newly opened restaurant appropriately titled “Across the Street”. What happened next will go down in foodie history as an example of the rewards bestowed upon the open-minded, spontaneous and flexible.

We sat down in a rustic, Mexican-themed bar and ordered 2 Mimosas and a Bloody Mary. My cohort in this journey struck up mild chit chat with the bartender, and after exchange of a few light hearted jokes, commented on his friendliness and open mindedness, especially given our Bible Belt location. Credit is due to Max (our distinguished bartender) for engaging us in the following 2 hours of pleasant and intelligent conversation, ranging from politics to NASCAR, international travels to favorite stocks, and so on. An exemplary bartender must be capable and willing to engage in fruitful conversation, and in this category Max received 5 stars.

After realizing we had blissfully surpassed our 30 minute wait time at the other location, we asked Max for brunch recommendations at his establishment. He recommended the French Toast and Crab Cakes. We supplemented this order with Rancheros and a Cowboy Steak. The English vocabulary lacks the passion with which to appropriately describe the exhilarating food that was delivered to us. But I will attempt.

  • Mimosa – The culprit in keeping us planted to our seats, their Mimosas are a little variation of the standard, with Champagne, a dash of vodka and Triple Sec, and OJ, on the rocks. Quite an appetizing and fulfilling drink!
  • French Toast – Cavalier in its simplicity, this toast was made with Challah bread, and served on a plate with fresh berries and light syrup. The toast was semi-sweet, and was moist like cake. Exquisite.
  • Crab Cakes – Served over an English muffin, topped with a poached egg. It was drenched in a delectable hollandaise sauce, which added just the right tang for the crab. Fresh crab meat was featured, with minimal other distractions in the cake. The crab cakes were amazing and even better with potatoes lightly fluffed to the texture of grits. Delicious.
  • Rancheros – Two flautas stuffed with “divorced” eggs, affectionately titled as to characterize the way they are served on opposite ends of the plate. One comes topped with a red tomatillo sauce, the other with a green. Decent, though not the best.
  • Cowboy steak – Semi-lean cut of sirloin served with hash browns, cooked medium. Quite what you would expect, a standard steak for breakfast.

All and all, no disappointment on this menu. I had the pleasure of meeting Ali, the chef whose magical hands created the works of art to which we were privileged to enjoy, and thanked her profusely for giving us a memorable meal. Max stands as a testament for how amiable service can convert into revenue for any restaurant, especially after the patrons share a few fine tequila shots with their host!

For a good environment, delicious food and praiseworthy service, I encourage you to try
Across the Street!

-The UE

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Friday, May 16, 2008


Did you know, in 1996 the average American had sex 138 times a year. Compare that to 2007, when people reported having sex just 85 times a year. That's a staggering 38 percent decrease in a little more than a decade. Furthermore, psychologists estimate that as many as 1 in 5 couples are in a sexless marriage, which means sex less than 10 times a year. Sex drive is losing because of one thing – food.

Fat people don’t have a strong libido. Chemically, our bodies are not meant to be overweight. Your blood flow drastically reduces when there is more area for the heart to cover, leaving it overworked and you under energized. A physically fit person not only enjoys more energy from increased blood flow and adrenaline, but more turning heads and more pinched cheeks (and not the ones on your face).

Think seduction



Now think
Big Love.

Doesn’t fit, right?

The lesson, people, is that as much as we like to hide in our food, take comfort from our food, or simply over indulge in food, our bodies will react to the things you put in them. So consider your future and where you would like to be. Do you want to be one of the people who wake up and are too tired to grab life by the horns? Or do you want to roll over for seconds?

Eat to live, and eat to love!

Smoothie for Him
The Built-to-Last Power Smoothie

1 cup blueberries
1 cup vanilla yogurt
2 Tbsp flaxseeds
1 cup orange juice
1 cup ice
Consider this man’s ultimate erection insurance. The main reason? It’s loaded with two of the most potent circulation enhancers out there: soluble fiber and antioxidants. Soluble fiber helps push excess cholesterol through your digestive system before it can be broken down, absorbed, and deposited along the walls of your arteries. Antioxidants attack free radicals before they have the chance to lower nitric oxide levels. And since nitric oxide helps deliver oxygen to your blood, the higher the level, the better your bloodflow.

Smoothie for Her
The Lusty Latte

2 shots of espresso (or 6 ounces of strong coffee)
1 cup skim milk
2 Tbsp dark chocolate syrup
1 cup crushed ice

More than just providing a caffeine buzz and a host of antioxidants, java increases bloodflow to your genitals, making sensitive nerve endings more easily accessed and stimulated. A Southwestern University study even found that female rats wanted more sex after a shot of caffeine. Add to that a big hit of calcium, another important contributor to effective bloodflow, and a swirl of chocolate, and you have a scintillating shake to wake up to. Chocolate contains a host of chemicals to brighten your mood, including anadamine, which targets the same receptors as THC, and phenylethylamine, which produces a cozy, euphoric feeling. It’s no wonder a new Italian study of 163 women shows that those who regularly eat chocolate report enhanced sex drive and sexual satisfaction.

Breakfast for Two
Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast Sandwich

The foolish see an Egg McMuffin; you should see the ingredients for sex. The combo provides extra zinc—a mineral that she needs to stay well lubricated and you need to keep producing semen—and niacin. This B vitamin is essential for the secretion of histamine, the chemical that helps trigger explosive sneezes and orgasms. It also has a perfect balance of fat, since studies have found that too much or too little dietary fat can decrease levels of libido-boosting testosterone.

-The UE

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1500 – The Final Showdown

4 weeks

1500 calories

3-4 workouts a week

45 minutes or more cardio a day

1 awesome workout partner good for commiserating and motivating

1 inch in waist gone

6 pack emerging (though not totally due to periodic cheating in the diet)

Discipline + Consistency = Achieving The Goal

The Biggest Loser – The UE

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1500- Last Stand on Manorexia

Anorexia is a very serious disease to which most people know at least one person who has fallen victim. Given my recent borderline unhealthy obsession with my diet, caloric intake and physical appearance, several people have made the joke that the UE is “Manorexic”. Now I personally shrug this off as good humor, but it led me to wonder about other men who may be so stricken and affected by the images in the media that portray men with rock hard abs and rippling muscular frames that they may be driven to extreme forms of dieting.

Male image, like female, is affected significantly by the media. Men just internalize it differently because we are supposed to be huge and ripped, not slim. Below are just a few of the images the media has celebrated over time.

-The UE

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Friday, May 2, 2008

Training for 1500

I find it tough for people trying to find their way to a healthy lifestyle to come up with their own distinct habits. I found it useful to read others’ struggles, and learn from their regimen, to get a sense for what is acceptable, and how hard I should be pushing myself to attain my goal. It is in this spirit that I would like to share a typical day in my regimen, so that others may find the motivation or inspiration to stay the path.
  • Breakfast: Bran muffin and Activia yogurt (good for digestion when eating a lot of protein), or fruit ~350 calories

  • Midday Snack: If I’m really feeling hungry, or if I ate a very early breakfast, I would take down a balance bar or a banana ~150 – 200 calories

  • Workout: 10 minutes on treadmill, 20 minutes on Stairmaster, 10-15 minutes on elliptical, 15 minutes abs OR 10 minute treadmill, 15 minutes abs, 30-45 minute weight training

  • Protein: Designer Whey protein with half cup no fat milk ~150 calories / 18 grams protein

  • Lunch: I usually try to go heavier in this meal (circa European style, sans siesta), so might be a heavy sandwich ~600 calories

  • Dinner: Salad, Jamba Juice or Fruit Salad ~300 Calories
Clearly that leaves a few calories short, but of course I can’t resist a cookie somewhere in there. Lets be real, I’m still human…and chocolate chip cookies are quite possibly the greatest junk food on the planet :)

-The UE

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The Battle of 600

One of the most difficult challenges I faced while on the pursuit of 1500 was finding satisfying meals that would fill me up, and be tasty. This, coincidently, seems to be the plight of almost every “dieter”. How does one replace such rich and lush food with fruits and berries? It almost sounds blasphemous.

Well, I did some brain storming and came up with a 600 calorie meal (easily split into 2 meals) which is not only filling, but nutritious AND delicious. See below.

Fresh Salmon Filet
Fresh Spinach
1 fresh apple
1 fresh pear
Balsamic Vinegar (flavors are acceptable)
Crushed Red Pepper
Old Bay Seasoning
Black Pepper

Preheat the oven to 375. Season the filet with the pepper, old bay and basil, rubbing heavily to push the spices into the meat. Bake filet for ~20 minutes, or until flaky.

Slice the pears and apples into cubes or slices (as above). Place the spinach in a microwaveable bowl, and sprinkle balsamic vinegar over the leaves. Microwave for 10-15 seconds, stir, and repeat until leaves are wilted but still bright green. (Shout out to
Grimace for putting me on this). Serve hot with the salmon.

This should take a total time of 30 minutes to prepare. A quick, yet nutritious meal for the healthy eater, complete with protein, vitamins, fiber and fish oil.

-The UE

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