Five For Friday: My First Paleo Meal, Manhattan, and Burpees

OakMonster.com - Anais + Tara Paleo Feast

Five for Friday is a weekly (well, almost) series about the five new things I learned each week. It could be anything from a new recipe, new skills, or a new life lesson.

This is a week of MANY firsts!

My First Paleo Meal

Breaking news: Paleo diet is not gross. Well, at least at Anais + Tara’s Paleo Feast it is not. (For those who don’t know about Paleo diet, read here.)

Of course, being the one on the Eat ‘Em All diet, I’d never refuse myself of any culinary pleasure. Well, except for beets. I can live without beets.  But since I’ve heard about Anais and her food a LOT these days, and I’ve known Tara, the Bacon Vixen of the Sticky Pig, for a while now. I thought I should support my friend and try it out. After all, if Anais is cooking and Tara is doing dessert, nothing could possibly go wrong.

And nothing did.

This is what was served.

Roasted beet with orange blossom honey, mashed sweet potatoes with orange and butter, “bangers” and mash with onions and apples, and my favorite, cabbage and bacon.  Not pictured: Brussels sprout slaw in a kick-ass creamy cashew and lemon dressing, and Tara’s Paleo chocolate espresso layer cake.

OakMonster.com - Anais + Tara Paleo Feast

If you know me, you know that is A LOT for my portion. But the food was so good and the conversation was so awesome that I determined to just sit there and eat everything. I employed the Asian At A Buffet tecnique–slow and steady–and 1.5 hour later, this happened.

OakMonster.com - Anais + Tara Paleo Feast

Lordy…

I was REALLY full when I got home, but it was not the uncomfortable feeling I usually get. I have issue with dairy but never thought about gluten. Now that I have a dairy and gluten free meal, perhaps I should give it a little bit more thought.

The Paleo Feast is on on Wednesday nights. And if you do “Chef’s Table”, you’re right there in the kitchen with Anais and Tara, so you can watch the magic happens in front of your eyes.  They also offer take-out for those just coming home from Crossfit.

Disclaimer: I did not get paid to promote this or receive any comp meals. Tara did give me a caramel bacon pecan tart earlier in the week but that’s because I begged.  I had a really great meal and I want to tell everyone!

And speaking of all this healthy stuff…

My First Burpees

I finally looked it up to see what the hell it is.  I seriously thought it had something to do with trying to pat yourself in the back or something.  Nope.

So I tried to do a few since I already am doing push-ups anyway.

As I was hopping from plank into squat, my toes caught the floor and I almost ate it.

Do I have “graceful as a yak” as a tag yet? I should.

My First Manhattan

David would be so proud of me! If it wasn’t for him, I probably would never have develop my palette to handle bourbon.

I HATED whiskey in general. But since I was making David bacon-infused bourbon, I had to taste the stuff…and I gagged a little every time. But after a while, I’ve gotten used to it.  I would still not drink bourbon straight up but I wanted to try something.

At Haven Gastropub last Friday, an after-party of the event I went to, I decided to try a Manhattan.

Jeremy the Bartender: What kind of bourbon?

Me: Er. Not so bourbon-y kind?

Jeremy: Your first Manhattan?

Me: New to bourbon altogether.

Jeremy: Don’t worry. I’ll be gentle.

OakMonster.com - My first Manhattan

And gentle he was. That drink was perfect. I asked Jason who is a bourbon connoisseur to approve the drink. He said Wow. I desperately wanted another of these but I could only do one that night.

Now that I’m in love with Manhattan, I know exactly where I can get them done right locally. 320 Main, I’ll be seeing you!

Being A Little Bit Paranoid Is A Good Thing

A woman was stabbed while jogging at night not very far from my house in the neck of the woods I run in. (Stabber is caught by the way. Good job, OCSD!) God bless this lady for having fought the guy off and that she’s not lethally injured.  It’s a horrible thing to have happened to anyone, let alone in this sleepy side of town. It’s also a lesson that nowhere is truly safe.

Running alone at 9 p.m. isn’t something that would cross my mind.  If 4 years of night classes at USC didn’t instill any survival instinct and personal security common sense into you, I don’t know what would.  LOL

Sure, having come from the sheltered life in Bangkok and then Orange County, I was extra paranoid when I first got to the urban setting of USC.  I would never walk around campus alone at night unless people were still going about. Foot traffic thinned out after 7 p.m. so I would call campus security to escort me.  But the paranoia paid off.  Not one single incident. Well…having all four wheels stolen off my car on campus isn’t the same thing…

Later on when I was taking Taekwondo, our dojang held women’s self defense class a couple of times a year.  The first lesson is NOT how to fight off the attackers but how to NOT get yourself into that situation in the first place.  Sure, we were taught the tactics we can employ so we can get away and how and where to strike a defensive blow when it comes to it. But most importantly, if we end up having to use any of the moves, we haven’t learned a damn thing from this class.

I’ve learned to evaluate my personal security mentality.  My size makes me a super easy target.  As much as I wish I’m Black Widow, I am not her  (*snap* damn…) and therefore I will not be going toe to toe with anybody and win.

Considering myself a gimpy weakling in a herd might just be my best self defense strategy. All eyes on the predator and stay out of the way. Somebody would consider my thinking setting back feminism 50 years, but I don’t care what you think. Preserving my life is more important than your opinion.

Be mindful, NOT fearful. You’re never as safe as you think you are.

I never thought that running/jogging is a dangerous workout from the perspective of personal safety until I got a little lost in Rossmoor that one time.  The neighborhood was empty because folks had gone to work. In broad daylight, I suddenly felt like I was in Downtown LA at 9 p.m. After that, I started paying attention to where I was running.  I run on the sidewalk but I still go against traffic so I can see who’s coming toward me. If I somehow ended up on the same side of traffic, I pay special attention to any car that slows down by me or pulls up just ahead. If that feels weird, I trust my instinct and just cross the street.  I’d also cross the street away from any parked vehicles–especially vans–that give me a weird vibe.  (Disturbingly, I found there are more creepy vehicles parked on school days. Heebies. Jeebies.)

Be safe out there, kids!

Broccoli Can Be Sexy

No. Seriously.

OakMonster.com - Sexy broccoli

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