Monday, June 27, 2016

Fitness and Living Jigsaw: Number 6



Fitness and Living Jigsaw:  Number 6





What signs of better strength, wellness, and living have you seen since Fitness and Living Jigsaw: Number 5?

Remind yourself again:  You deserve to live well and be well.  Making fitness and good nutrition a routine, a habit, and expression of how you respect yourself is essential to developing a desire to get moving and stay moving.  

It is imperative to understand the power of health and wellness.  One of the most critical factors in the process of physical, mental, and emotional wellness is you.  Your creativity, choices, work out equipment, awareness of your own abilities, evaluation of health goals, and execution of good habits is essential.  Execution and implementation can be a challenge, although without implementing the proper healthy habits all the reading of exercise articles will not make you physically stronger.  Rather than a specific plan, this article supplies guidelines, inspiration, and ideas to spark your interest.

Often I am asked about my routine for healthy living and how I maintain good fitness, especially when I am regularly baking, cooking, and always on the hunt for excellent restaurants.  No big secrets here.  I eat well, get a good amount of sleep, rest, and give my body and mind a good work out.  If anyone knows a thing or two about fitness and nutrition, it’s me.  And if I can do it, you can too.  A background of teaching health and physical education, as well as a lifelong interest in nutrition, has been essential to maintaing an excellent level of fitness, energy, and strength for me.  

Models, actors, athletes.  The images we see in ads, movies, and media can influence our goals and perceptions.  Keep in mind the people in those professions spend a lot of time and have a lot of time to look their best.  Or computer graphics best.  Rather than focusing on images in media, focus on health and wellness for the mind, body, and soul.  We all approach fitness at various levels, perspectives, and habits based upon previous experiences and family environment.  Take a moment to reflect upon good values, the ideas you hold close, that will be the center of what gets you physically fit.  Structure your day, fight for the time to eat well and get physically fit.  Work toward betterment, not perfection.  Be prepared to respond in life.  That means being ready to plan out options and alternatives to preserve your health and wellness.  We all know life is a continual journey, full of difficulties and blessings.  Put on some good music, turn up the volume, and get liberated from those unhealthy habits.  

Working out is not enough for our bodies.  Diet, what you eat, what you buy at the store and bring home to your kitchen, is highly significant to strong abs and obliques.  Purchase and prepare foods that satiate your appetite.  Eat seasonally and enjoy the monthly flavors.  Your fitness routine also needs variety.  Mix up your activities.  Sleep is also key.  The body, mind, and soul need rest and revitalizing.  Sometimes preparing yourself is the key.  Remind yourself in verbal or written form to workout the next day or after work.  Repeat that reminder each night before you go to bed.  This mantra may be the key to applying the health and wellness information you know to do. 

Eat.  Enjoy.  Satiate.  Satisfy.  Get nutrients.  Deal with emotions.  Make something beautiful to make your belly happy.  Breathe.  Those daily habits make a difference.  In my book, candy, cakes, cookies, and desserts are not the devil.  Too many sweets and too often is not good.  Not to worry though.  Take a breath.  If you get off the path of healthy living, I’m confident you can do better next time.  As David S. Ludwig, MD, PhD stated, “Overeating doesn't make us fat.  The process of becoming fat makes us overeat.  In other words, hunger and overeating are the consequences of an underlying problem.  Follow a simple lifestyle prescription focused on enjoyable physical activities, sleep, and stress relief to improve metabolism and support permanent behavior change.”

Jigsaw Number 6:  Stretch and Psychomotor Options

Quadriceps Stretch




Rhythmic Activity




As part of improving flexibility, agility, and coordination change up your routine with quadricep stretches or bouncing a basketball to the beat of music.  Begin with either activity and then work up to doing more of that exercise.  You may find doing variations on your movements or speed and distances makes working out more interesting for you and you may see better results.  

Lower back stretches are key to your fitness program.  The quadriceps is a four-part muscle in the leg.  Beginners should perform this stretch by placing one hand on a chair for support.  Then stretch the muscle by slowly grasping one foot by the opposite hand and gently pull the foot towards the glutes.  (Pull the left foot using your right hand and then your right foot using your left hand.)  Keep your quadriceps (thigh muscle) aligned with your torso.  Remember to hold the stretch for 30 seconds, breathe, and relax while stretching.   

Rhythmic activities are another significant option to get your heart pumping and lungs working hard.  The moving of a basketball at a fast-pace can be an intense work out.    First select a basketball for this workout.  Select basketballs, tennis balls, and rubber balls of various sizes to increase the complexity of the activity.  Then, select music for your work out.  Beginners should start by bouncing the ball in self space to the beat of music.  Those people at the intermediate level may wish to bounce the ball in more general space and in various directions and distances.  People at a more advanced level may wish to incorporate tossing the ball and catching it, one-handed bouncing, and rolling the ball from one arm, across the shoulders, and down the other arm.  Keep in mind the tempo, speed, changes in the music as you bounce the basketball, tennis ball, or rubber ball.

Join with your family and friends today.  Find a locale to work out that gets you inspired.  Then return here and share your progress, tips, and what you learned.  Please remember all information is of a general nature and is furnished only for education.  See a doctor or medical professional for your own personal fitness advice.











Order online or contact me for catering.

Join the Pointe Viven circle
sign-up for email updates. 

Note: All information is of a general nature and is furnished only for education.  See a doctor or medical professional for your own personal fitness advice.  Use of this information is at your own risk in regard to any losses, liabilities, injuries or damages resulting from any and all claims.


Credits:  drweil.com/drw/u/ART03528/Always-Hungry-David-Ludwig.html, Image courtesy of [lkunl] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Image courtesy of [stockimages] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Image courtesy of [photostock] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Credits:  drweil.com/drw/u/ART03528/Always-Hungry-David-Ludwig.html, Image courtesy of [lkunl] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Image courtesy of [stockimages] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Image courtesy of [nenetus] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net,   Image courtesy of [JanPietruszka] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net, KiropraktorCentrum

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Pearl’s: A Great Rooftop Barstaurant



Pearl’s:  A Great Rooftop Barstaurant





“An upscale bar and restaurant on the Sunset Strip.  Known for its menu of decadent cocktails, delicious food, unique decor, and stunning rooftop decks.”

Pearl’s is a 1920s inspired eatery on Sunset Boulevard.  Located between the famed Doheny and San Vicente.  The restaurant and bar is an origination of the team behind its neighbor Rock and Reilly's.  This Hollywood scene offers city views, an indoor-outdoor garden, and small plate dishes.  A great spot for dining the day after a late night out, meeting up with friends, or as an escape from the tourists.




My Recommendations

1.  Pearl’s is located at 8909 West Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90069.  This is a walkable distance from venues, such as The Roxy Theatre, Whisky a Go Go, and The London.  From further distances use a taxi or car service.  

2.  Peak times occur during weekdays and nights, especially on weekends during concerts and other events in the city.  Dining before or after peak times can ensure a more pleasant mealtime.

3.  I have enjoyed a variety of dishes on various occasions dining at Pearl's.

Kale and Quinoa Salad:  Purple Kale, Red Quinoa, Red Pear, Pistachio, Black Currant, and Champagne Honey

Pearl’s Burger:  Aged Cheddar, Melted Onions, Lettuce, Tomato, Aioli, and Sesame Brioche Bun

Poached Eggs and Quinoa Bowl:  Two Poached Eggs, Red Quinoa, Roasted Tomato, Broccolini, Toast, Avocado, Chimichurri, and Truffle Salt






Order online or contact me for catering.

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Pearl's Liquor Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Credits:  pearlsliquorbar.com/, facebook.com/pearlsrooftop

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Fitness and Living Jigsaw: Number 5



Fitness and Living Jigsaw:  Number 5





What signs of better strength, wellness, and living have you seen since Fitness and Living Jigsaw: Number 4?

Remind yourself again:  You deserve to live well and be well.  Making fitness and good nutrition a routine, a habit, and expression of how you respect yourself is essential to developing a desire to get moving and stay moving.  

It is imperative to understand the power of health and wellness.  One of the most critical factors in the process of physical, mental, and emotional wellness is you.  Your creativity, choices, work out equipment, awareness of your own abilities, evaluation of health goals, and execution of good habits is essential.  Execution and implementation can be a challenge, although without implementing the proper healthy habits all the reading of exercise articles will not make you physically stronger.  Rather than a specific plan, this article supplies guidelines, inspiration, and ideas to spark your interest.

Often I am asked about my routine for healthy living and how I maintain good fitness, especially when I am regularly baking, cooking, and always on the hunt for excellent restaurants.  No big secrets here.  I eat well, get a good amount of sleep, rest, and give my body and mind a good work out.  If anyone knows a thing or two about fitness and nutrition, it’s me.  And if I can do it, you can too.  A background of teaching health and physical education, as well as a lifelong interest in nutrition, has been essential to maintaing an excellent level of fitness, energy, and strength for me.  

Models, actors, athletes.  The images we see in ads, movies, and media can influence our goals and perceptions.  Keep in mind the people in those professions spend a lot of time and have a lot of time to look their best.  Or computer graphics best.  Rather than focusing on images in media, focus on health and wellness for the mind, body, and soul.  We all approach fitness at various levels, perspectives, and habits based upon previous experiences and family environment.  Take a moment to reflect upon good values, the ideas you hold close, that will be the center of what gets you physically fit.  Structure your day, fight for the time to eat well and get physically fit.  Work toward betterment, not perfection.  Be prepared to respond in life.  That means being ready to plan out options and alternatives to preserve your health and wellness.  We all know life is a continual journey, full of difficulties and blessings.  Put on some good music, turn up the volume, and get liberated from those unhealthy habits.  

Working out is not enough for our bodies.  Diet, what you eat, what you buy at the store and bring home to your kitchen, is highly significant to strong abs and obliques.  Purchase and prepare foods that satiate your appetite.  Eat seasonally and enjoy the monthly flavors.  Your fitness routine also needs variety.  Mix up your activities.  Sleep is also key.  The body, mind, and soul need rest and revitalizing.  Sometimes preparing yourself is the key.  Remind yourself in verbal or written form to workout the next day or after work.  Repeat that reminder each night before you go to bed.  This mantra may be the key to applying the health and wellness information you know to do. 

Eat.  Enjoy.  Satiate.  Satisfy.  Get nutrients.  Deal with emotions.  Make something beautiful to make your belly happy.  Breathe.  Those daily habits make a difference.  In my book, candy, cakes, cookies, and desserts are not the devil.  Too many sweets and too often is not good.  Not to worry though.  Take a breath.  If you get off the path of healthy living, I’m confident you can do better next time.  As David S. Ludwig, MD, PhD stated, “Overeating doesn't make us fat.  The process of becoming fat makes us overeat.  In other words, hunger and overeating are the consequences of an underlying problem.  Follow a simple lifestyle prescription focused on enjoyable physical activities, sleep, and stress relief to improve metabolism and support permanent behavior change.”

Jigsaw Number 5:  Strength and Aerobic Options

Bicep Curls




Kickboxing




As part of building stronger abdominal and heart muscles change up your routine with bicep curls or kickboxing.  Begin with either activity and then work up to doing more of that exercise.  You may find doing variations on your movements or speed and distances makes working out more interesting for you and you may see better results.  

Bicep curls are key to your fitness program. Weight training in combination with aerobics can increase your strength, muscle tone, power, and lead to weight loss.  If beginning weight training seek out an excellent trainer that can teach you proper and effective technique.  Stretching and warming up the muscles is essential before bicep curls and working out with weights in general.  After a proper stretch and warm up choose the proper weights and perform 12 to 15 repetitions of bicep curls with dumbbells.  

Kickboxing is another significant option to get your heart pumping and lungs working hard.  The drills of kicking, punching, and moving at a fast-pace can be an intense work out.  This combative and aerobic sport developed over a period from the 1950s-1970s with Japanese martial artists.  The movements burn calories, can strengthen the cardiovascular system, and can be good for the mind, body, and soul.  Overall, kickboxing can be an excellent activity for individuals that like variety, are looking to increase stamina, reduce stress, strengthen the core, and learn self-defense.  As kickboxing involves high-impact drills, work with a professional and speak with your doctor before joining any classes.

Join with your family and friends today.  Find a locale to work out that gets you inspired.  Then return here and share your progress, tips, and what you learned.  Please remember all information is of a general nature and is furnished only for education.  See a doctor or medical professional for your own personal fitness advice.











Order online or contact me for catering.

Join the Pointe Viven circle
sign-up for email updates. 

Note: All information is of a general nature and is furnished only for education.  See a doctor or medical professional for your own personal fitness advice.  Use of this information is at your own risk in regard to any losses, liabilities, injuries or damages resulting from any and all claims.

Credits:  drweil.com/drw/u/ART03528/Always-Hungry-David-Ludwig.html, Image courtesy of [lkunl] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Image courtesy of [stockimages] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Image courtesy of [photostock] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Wicked Spoon: Where to Start Your Vegas Adventure by Jesse Bluma



The Wicked Spoon:  Where to Start Your Vegas Adventure





“A bustling culinary food hall, the Wicked Spoon delivers well-crafted original selections for every appetite.  With its mix of top quality, familiar staples and imaginative seasonal dishes, this Las Vegas eatery satisfies cravings and invites discovery.”

Wicked Spoon is located in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.  When the hotel and casino was erected on the west side of the Las Vegas Boulevard, it triggered heads to turn, enticed a new crowd, and filled a niche.  The Cosmo’s two towers, casino spa and casino beach club, give Vegas goers a kinetic resort for fun, play, and dining. 

The buffet is handsomely designed with golds, browns, and oranges, stylistic decorative features on the walls and gilding the ceiling.  The chefs at Wicked Spoon create small plates and spoonfuls of food items, in bold contrast to many other buffets and restaurants.  The cuisine includes foods from America, Mexico, and AsiaThis allows each diner to personalize, portion out, and enjoy a wide variety of options.  A liberating concept and welcome experience in a town of excess and overabundance.  Highlights of the restaurant are the carving station, ceviche, Asian food bar, and the desserts.  The service I experienced was excellent.  The waiter and staff was attentive, anticipated when my party needed something, and worked hard.






My Recommendations

1.  The Wicked Spoon is located at 3708 South Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas, Nevada.  This is a walkable distance from other hotels and casinos, such as Caesars Palace and The LINQ.  From further distances use a taxi or car service.  

2.  Peak times occur during week days and nights, especially on weekends and after shows within the casinos.  Dining before or after peak times can ensure a more pleasant mealtime.

3.  The daily bottomless brunch with mimosas and Bloody Mary's is an excellent way to indulge and start your day in Las Vegas.

4.  Several of the buffet items at Wicked Spoon are tempting, including the pancakes, sausages, and their famous desserts.  The bone marrow on my visit was too oily for my liking, although many other diners have enjoyed a better experience with it.  The following were my favorites.

Pork and chicken from the carving station

Omelet with applewood smoked bacon
















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Wicked Spoon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Credits:  cosmopolitanlasvegas.com, facebook.com/TheCosmopolitan  

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Hash House A Go Go: “Twisted Farm Food”



Hash House A Go Go:  “Twisted Farm Food”





Buttermilk biscuits. Fried chicken.  Smoked bacon.  Served on plates the size of the state of Indiana.  Hash House A Go Go is the creation of executive chef Craig “Andy” Beardslee and former musician and San Diego restaurateur Johnny Rivera.  The menu marries the heart the Midwest with mad flare.    

“Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, Hash House A Go Go puts a unique spin on each meal of the day.  We keep food fun while pulling from the experiences of farm fresh agriculture, livestock and old recipes with a twist.  Casual by day, we serve up flapjacks and farm benedicts for breakfast.  Lunch offers our famous Hash House stuffed burgers among many other great farm fresh classics.   For dinner, we offer upscale dining in a relaxed atmosphere.  Dinner dishes range from homemade chicken pot pie to braised slow-cooked barbecue pork ribs to a 14 oz. New York steak.”

Critics, such as Martha Stewart, Las Vegas Weekly, and The New York Post, have enjoyed dining at Hash House A Go Go.  The original location is in San Diego, California.  Other locations include Las Vegas, Nevada, Chicago, Illinois, Orlando, Florida, Mohegan Sun, Connecticut, Reno, Nevada, and Plano, Texas.




My Recommendations

1.  Hash House A Go Go at The LINQ is located at 3535 Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas, Nevada.  This is a walkable distance from other hotels and casinos, such as The Cosmopolitan.  From further distances use a taxi or car service.  

2.  Peak times occur during week days and nights, especially weekend nights and after shows within the casinos.  Make reservations to ensure a table.  Hash House A Go Go is a top spot to dine after a late night in Vegas.

3.  Share a meal.  Not joke.  The menu items at HHAGG are beyond generous in size.  The vast majority of people do not finish their meals.  Go hungry, choose an item to share with a friend or family member, and be prepared to take a box of leftovers to your hotel room if it has a refrigerator.  

4.  The menu at HHAGG has many tempting choices, including waffles, house hashes, farm scrambles, pancakes the size of the table, and meatloaf.  The following were my favorites.

Andy's Crispy Sage Fried Chicken Salad:  mixed greens, green apple, blue cheese, caramelized pecans, tomato, sage fried chicken breast and clover honey mango vinaigrette.  This ample size salad and biscuit is plenty for a very famished person.  Order the dressing on the side.

THE BASIC:  Two egg breakfast any style, potatoes, fruit and biscuit or toast.  Add 
Sausage, Smoked Bacon, or Ham.  This is a substantial meal, satisfying, and perhaps one of the few dishes made for one person to eat.

5.  Many dishes are accompanied by a sprig of fresh rosemary.  A few rosemary leaves in your water makes for a fragrant and flavorful drink in the desert climate.  Also, it is a good idea to save the rosemary for a cocktail or cup of tea later back at your hotel room.








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Hash House a Go Go Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Credits:  hashhouseagogo.com, facebook.com/HashHouseAGoGo/

Monday, May 9, 2016

Mesa Grill: Bobby Flay Delights with Southwestern Cookery



Mesa Grill:  Bobby Flay Delights with Southwestern Cookery





“Bobby Flay brings his passion for bold and innovative Southwestern fare straight to the heart of the region that inspired it at Mesa Grill, Caesars Palace, Las Vegas.  Bobby developed his signature style of American cookery, marrying the flavors of southwest with his love of grilling at Mesa Grill.  Las Vegas' proximity to Mexico gives the restaurant access to some of that country’s highest-quality tequila and mezcal offerings, and the expansive wine list has a global reach yet maintains an emphasis on top American wines.”

I have always enjoyed my experiences at various eateries within Caesars.  On my last trip I finally had the opportunity to eat at Mesa Grill.  The restaurant is exceptionally designed with Southwestern decor, various furnishings, and textures, all with a casino vibe.  The thoughtful design reflects the nature of the menu and cuisine.  




My Recommendations

1.  The restaurant is located on 3570 South Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas, Nevada within Caesars Palace.  This is a walkable distance from other hotels and casinos, such as The Cosmopolitan.  From further distances use a taxi or car service.  

2.  Peak times occur during week days and nights, especially weekend nights and after shows within the casino.  Make reservations to ensure a table.  Also, an excellent choice is to see a show and then eat at Mesa Grill.  Eating after a performance will allow for more time to enjoy the meal.

3.  The menu at Mesa Grill has many tempting choices, such dishes made with bourbon-ancho chile sauce, crushed pecan butter, and chipotle glazed rib-eye with red and green chile sauce.  The following were my favorites.


COFFEE RUBBED FILET MIGNON with Mushroom - Ancho Chile Sauce 

Double Baked Potato with Horseradish, Green Onions, and Crème Fraîche  (a rich and tangy sour cream)

CASCABEL CHILE CRUSTED RABBIT with Sweet Pea Cous Cous, Green Chiles, Mint, Marcona Almonds, and Smoked Red Pepper Sauce

 Mesa Margarita created with white tequila, orange liqueur, fresh lime juice, ice cubes, lime wedge, and coarse salt, optional.








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Mesa Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Credits:  mesagrill.com, bobbyflay.com

Saturday, May 7, 2016

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas: "Just the Right Amount of Wrong" by Jesse Bluma



The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas:
"Just the Right Amount of Wrong"





We waited for it.  When The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas was erected on the west side of the Las Vegas Boulevard, it triggered heads to turn, enticed a new crowd, and filled a niche.  The Cosmo’s two towers, casino spa and casino beach club, give Vegas goers a kinetic resort for fun, play, and dining.

“The Cosmopolitan is the most original destination in the heart of The Las Vegas Strip.  This unique luxury resort and casino is unlike any other.  Enjoy residential-styled living spaces with private terraces and breathtaking views of the Las Vegas skyline.  Dining is reinvented with a one-of-a-kind restaurant collection featuring world-class chefs making their Las Vegas debut.”

Should you choose The Cosmopolitan as your destination, the vibrant scene will attract your eye.  The resort occupies what was part of the Jockey Club.  The Rockwell Group is responsible for the interior, the principals and designers included Edmond Bakos, Tucker Viemeister, Penelope Fisher-White, Lauren Farquhar and, Emily Morley.  The team created a three-story, undulating chandelier and a magnanimous lobby centered with eight large digital columns.  The fantastic lighting and changing images on the screens keeps the pulse of Las Vegas running through the casino.




The exterior of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas was handsomely designed by the Friedmutter Group Architecture and Design Studios.  Additionally, the Friedmutter Group is responsible for the pools, night club, casino, and select suites.  Brad Friedmutter is known for his work with Steve Wynn.  His wife is actress and model Kimberly Stevens. 




I have enjoyed my experiences staying and playing games at The Cosmo.  This last trip was for a wedding.  The evocative room consisted of modern furnishings, kitchenette, mood lighting, telescoping doors, two televisions, panoramic views, and a private terrace.  The amatory dressing area, bathroom, shower, and Japanese soaking tub had amazing views of the city.  If reserving a room at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, reserve a room with fountain views.




The various pool options are excellent as well, depending if you are looking to unwind or play.  The Boulevard Pool has upbeat music, a multi-level deck, cocktails, and food.  The Bamboo Pool has a terrific private feel, lulling you into relaxation with smooth music.  I enjoyed the mojitos at the Bamboo Pool Bar, a cocktail consisting of white rum, sugar syrup, lime juice, sparkling water, and mint.







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Bamboo Pool Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Credits:  cosmopolitanlasvegas.com, archdaily.com/office/rockwell-group, fglv.com

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