Empanadas in Boulder: Rincon Argentina (Hungry’s Food Reviews)

This is going to a short review and although I should have just put it up on Yelp and not on this website, I can’t help myself because I want to talk about empanadas a bit extra because they are awesome. I will start by saying that I do not recommend this location, although I haven’t had empanadas anywhere else in Boulder. Despite the lack of competition, I cannot say that I enjoyed this meal but this is subjective and here is my issue.

photo (31)

Empanadas are flavorful. They are not typically overly healthy. A pastry filled with vegetables and meat. It’s got some dead carbs in it but the crust is one of my favorite parts. These crusts were not on point for me. I am selective and enjoy it being crispy on the outside and slightly softer on the inside due to the absorption of liquids from the inside where the fillings are hiding. There was nothing memorable about these crusts other than the fact that they were served piping hot to the point that I had to wait ten minutes before I could touch it. Hot food is great… you know its fresh but the highest quality food service locations will serve food the temperature it should be eaten at if they do their job right. But who cares about the outside, right? It’s the inside that matters.

photo (32)

Well, between a carnivore and a vegetarian, we nearly got every kind of empanada on the menu. Chicken, beef, spinach, cheese, open face, traditional, etc. There were no flavor profiles. The flavors were not developed at all. At first I thought that it was just too hot to taste but once they cooled down there were still no flavor profiles. It was a major miss. The service was good, the restaurant is cute, and it’s a little pricey for the portion sizes, but it’s very pricey for the taste of the food. We got Mexican orange soda, which was a treat, but the empanadas were lacking.

photo (30)

Now, I have a lot of experience with empanadas and I’ve even had my share of Argentine ones so I think that I am a fair judge of what is a flavorful empanada. This is Boulder, so they might be going for the this is healthy and natural type of thing, but that’s not what I think of for an empanada. It’s a pocketful of flavor, not nature and health. Whether it’s the Stable in Jersey, food trucks in Brooklyn, supermarket in Peru, or anywhere else I’ve had empanadas, they’ve been full of flavor. Now, I’m not trying to be mean and if you want to try this location, I won’t stop you. They’re nice people and they’re authentic people, but they’re not people who gave me tasty empanadas. We’ll keep you updated on our search for empanadas in Boulder and until then, stay hungry and fit!

photo (33)

(This is a good place to go if you want to watch good futbol matches with a cool Mexican coke or orange soda! Stop in just to check that out!)

You might also like…

How to Complete a Transformation Contest (I Did It!!)

So this is less of a “how-to” and more of a “I-freaking-did-it” post. And this is even less of a “I’m-gonna-win” and more of a “I-made-it-through” post. I think you’re getting the picture. But you can still pick up some tips from my journey. Don’t worry, I’m not going to write Day 1: I cried for lack of cheese. No, no, but an overall view of the contest and my journey through it. Let me start by saying that I, an already-fit personal trainer, dropped 6.5% body fat and 10 pounds. Anyone can do anything they put their mind to. That’s what I love about humans, we can always adapt to become stronger, better than what we are. This may be a long post, but it for me it was a long journey (that I can’t believe is over). You can skip to the end for tips or take a few minutes and read the whole thing.

Back shots, before and after

Back shots, before and after

If you aren’t sure what contest I’m talking about, read this briefly. I completed a 6-week (plus a 10-day cleanse before that) “Strong to the COR” transformation contest. It was sponsored by Cellucor, a popular supplement company. The grand prizes for one male and female are 10k a piece along with supplements, apparel, and a free cruise. Sounds pretty nice. But I wasn’t in to win. I know that sounds bad. I was in it to win it for myself and complete it all the way for myself, but I had an inkling I wasn’t going to win as other females came in weighing 200lbs with 30%+ body fat percentage. Much easier for them to complete a transformation than a 135lbs, 20/22% body fat percentage gal like me. And 6-weeks isn’t a proper time for a true transformation, most contests include bulking and cutting that consist of maybe 6 months. But here I am, coming in at a fit weight and body fat to prove to myself that I can do anything.

For the "before" pics, we tried to get me as messy as possible and push my stomach out as much too!

For the “before” pics, we tried to get me as messy as possible and push my stomach out as much too!

And I made it to the very last day. Despite vacations (ice cream, you are my downfall), dinners out, and moving, I stayed on track for the most part. Sure, I did have ice cream in Iowa on vacation, sure I did have a slice of homemade pizza, but I stuck to my macros. And I killed it with my workouts. For the last 3 weeks of contest, I used Ashley Conrad’s 21-Day Clutch Cut. Basically, shredding workouts in addition to the clean-eating I was doing. Her program consisted of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) that was slowly built up (last week was awesome torture) and strength circuits to keep the heart rate up and the body strong. She put in rest days, but I wasn’t so good at listening to those. I always had to do something, even if it was a trail run with the dog we were taking care of.

Mid-workout

Mid-workout

Around Week 3, right around/before I started the 21-Day Cut, I started to feel not as focused, not as dedicated. I was still killing it with the workouts, but my eating habits were slipping. I was still sticking to my perfected clean-eating, but I started to pick at bad foods. That’s my bad habit. My friends all know this—I pick at things. Which is one of the reasons I wrote this post. After I slapped myself into shape, I really buckled down with the eating. Sure I’d pick here and there once in awhile, but when I saw Hope Solo diving across my screen, I knew that it wasn’t worth it to mess around. Chris always says, “Keep your eye on the prize.” And I did, and it helped. I started seeing results, my back became beastly and my abs visible.

Actually developing some abs

Actually developing some abs

The last week and a half was my super clean-eating, low-carb, high-fat week. This was probably the most monotonous with meals, but I was okay with it. I was in it to win it (not ACTUALLY win it…but you know what I mean!), and there was no room to mess around. I went longer on my circuits, harder on my HIIT, and cleaner with my nutrition. Peeling hard-boiled eggs became my bane. My meals normally consisted of tuna, avocado, eggs, nuts, protein shakes and hot sauce. And I made it work. No actual carbs, but I would get them from things like vegetables and such. I really started seeing the results by this time and I turned in to a lean, mean egg-white-eating machine. And I made it all the way to the very last day, even though we were moving the last 2 days that made it tough to squeeze workouts in.

 photo 2 (19)

I couldn’t have done it without support. Every step of the way, Chris was there to push me on and catch me if I fell. He was a great coach (even though he never thinks so). He provided me with meal plans and workouts before Ashley Conrad, and supported and encouraged me to just finish that last circuit. It helps to live with your coach, and he really made the difference for me. As did my friends, and family (whenever I talked to my dad, he would cheer me on and say he’s behind me the whole way)–jeez, I have a great ring of support. I would text my friends in anguish during my workouts and they would tell me to finish that last set, that I would regret if I didn’t and they would send me strange picture messages through emotes (COUGH—Kathleen).

photo 3 (14)

What did I do on Monday, the day of contest completion? WENT CRAZY. Just kidding…kinda. My stomach had felt a little weird from eating bread the night before (carb loading to fill out my muscles for pictures), so I didn’t feel like having a huge breakfasts. I greased myself up, did some exercises to pump up my muscles, and Chris photographed me in my poses. We went to Spruce Confections, our favorite bakery, and got warm croissants. Mmmm! I can’t describe how good it was to have one.

photo (28)

I went through the day not feeling great after eating a brownie, some yogurt, and peanut butter. I shocked my system a little too much. Once I ate some Wahoo’s tacos, I felt better—real food helps, I think. For dinner, my cousins, my cousin’s boyfriend, Chris, and I went to our favorite Italian place in town to get a wonderful dinner. We were seated outside and just had a great time—I got pesto gnocchi. However, I couldn’t fill up too much because Chris had challenged me that I couldn’t eat a pint of Glacier cookies and cream ice cream. Who are we kidding, does he know who I am? So after that Italian feast, we headed to Glacier and I finished the pint in 12 minutes. That’s right, I always make my Powell family line proud (we are known for our love of ice cream). Not to say I felt great afterwards (rather, I’m still feeling the effects of dairy, which I hadn’t had for at least a month, sitting in my stomach 12 hours after), but it was fun to finish and celebrate with family and friends.

Tacos

Tacos

Gnocchi

Gnocchi

photo 3 (19)

Megan caught stealing my food

Megan caught stealing my food

Nice view from the table

Nice view from the table

Gettin ready to CHOW DOWN

Gettin ready to CHOW DOWN

 

Start of ice cream

Start of ice cream

BEASTED IT

BEASTED IT

So what the heck should you learn from this? How to complete a transformation contest

  • Find a support network. Whether that means your partner, your friends, your family, even online—find that support group. On bodybuilding.com (where this contest was hosted), there was a forum for all of us doing the contest, and there were loads of supportive people all helping each other to make it to the end. You may think this is all about your body, but you need support to keep going.

  • Find a meal plan that works for you. I happen to enjoy nuts, eggs, tuna, and avocado—but maybe you don’t. It was tough for me being a vegetarian on a bodybuilder’s diet (it’s much easier with meat), but I made it work. If you aren’t sure what to eat, search online for resources, ask a trainer, nutritionist, or someone you know that’s into the fitness industry.

  • Don’t only do cardio. This is a transformation. It’s not just about weight loss. You want to build muscle. If I had no muscle, I would look pretty horrible. My muscle is what makes me look good, what makes me stand out, and look strong. And I am strong Stronger than I look too. You do cardio, you’re just going to run your butt literally off and have no structure to your body. Incorporate strength training and cardio.

  • Don’t starve yourself. I know you want to win. I know you want to see a difference in your body. Starving yourself is not the way to go, see the point above: you won’t build muscle, you won’t look good. Don’t become a stick, it’s not very attractive, and people who lead transformation contests do not appreciate it. They appreciate muscle, definition, toning, and HEALTHY effort.

  • Give yourself some breathing room. It’s okay not to be on the ball every single second—especially if it’s a 6-week contest! I wish we could all be paid to do these contests, but we’re real people with real lives and real work. Things come up, you may not be able to hit every set of that workout you wanted or you may have to scarf something down on the go. Maybe you go to a family reunion and can’t resist Grandma’s strawberry pie—it’s okay. One cheat meal isn’t going to kill you. Breathe, and continue on.

  • Count your macros. Working out is important to build muscle and lose fat—of course! It’s a big part of this transformation process. However, without proper nutrition, all that hard work isn’t going to go too far. Check this post out to learn more about macronutrients and comment if you have more questions. If you count your calories, carbohydrates, fats, and protein, you will be fine in the eating realm. It comes down to pure science, and there’s something beautiful about that. Stick to your macros and you will see a difference.

  • Keep your eye on the prize. Like Chris said—this is so important. Want to pick at the brownies you just made for everyone? Keep your eye on the prize. Weigh decisions. Is it actually worth it to eat that piece of cake or lick of frosting? Probably not. Reject those animal impulses and use that willpower muscle. It’s my favorite muscle.

  • Measure yourself every week. I might’ve thought I wasn’t making any progress, but then I had my fellow trainers measure me and I was seeing the body fat drop. We are hardest on ourselves so get the real hard facts of the progress you are making through your hard work.

  • Focus on the positive. This could be one of the most important things. I’m very hard on myself, and sometimes I can get negative with how hard I’m working. This is bad. We don’t want to be negative about ourselves because it will lower our motivation level. Look at the positive things that you’ve done—you actually got to your workout, you resisted that candy, and you are staying on track. Don’t look at the negative—it’s not going to help anyone.

photo (29)

So here I am, at the end of 6 weeks, transformed and happy. I’m proud of myself for going all the way and happy with my results. It has felt like a long journey, and I learned new things about myself. But now I’m wondering…what’s next? Compete in a contest to stay hungry and fit!

You might also like…

Peruvian in Downtown LA: Mo Chica (Hungry’s Food Reviews)

This is another one of my “should just be a Yelp review” because it could be short and it’s going to be negative but I want to talk about the subject more than usual because it’s Peruvian food. As a whole food culture, it has to be one of my favorites, if not my absolute favorite. It’s generally a mix of Japanese, Chinese, and Spanish food. The diversity in the dishes is unbelievable and the development of flavors is unparalleled. One of my go to dishes when in Peru was lomo saltado and I’ve had gallons on gallons of Inca Kola so now let’s talk about Mo Chica.

A few months ago, the LA Times published its list of 100 or so best restaurants in Los Angeles for the year. We were conveniently in Santa Monica for the long weekend at the time. To our dismay, many of the locations listed were very expensive and not places we frequented. Therefore, I arrogantly thought the list was garbage, a mere compilation of advertisements and favors. But how could I be a fair judge without trying the other places? I had to try one and conveniently that ended up being Mo Chica for a second late lunch on a Sunday afternoon. We had Sugarfish (sushi) and I was NOT full. Kai told us that Mo Chica was on the newly formed list and when I saw it was Peruvian, I did not hesitate.

Inside

Inside

Mo Chica actually reminded me of other New York City Peruvian restaurants that actually were not very good. It didn’t remind me of the good places in the Jersey ghettos and in Peru itself. Nevertheless, I ordered the lomo saltado for takeout. Orders come with two sides but the host informed me that they couldn’t give me sides since it was takeout and the price remained. I was so excited that I had no problem with that (I would regret that). While we were waiting, I saw an employee carrying a six-pack of Inca Kola to the bar. Inca Kola is the drink of Peru, literally, that is what the can says. It tastes like golden bubblegum soda. I told the host to throw that on the take out order so Alana could try some. Then I got the food and bill, so it was time to pay and eat.

photo 3 (11)

15 dollars for the lomo, 4 for the soda. Are you kidding? Four dollars for a can of soda? I can buy a six-pack in New Jersey for $2.50. I can get a two-liter bottle for a dollar! It’s even cheaper in Peru. I know you don’t have to import that stuff so how can it be so expensive? Crazy. And 15 for the lomo? Okay, but without the sides? This better be the best lomo that I’ve ever had. Well as you can see in the pictures, which were taken before I ate anything, I think they forgot half my food. It was the smallest portion of that dish I’ve ever gotten. And what I got wasn’t good! It was okay and they gave me very little rice! It felt like I was robbed.

Where's the rest of the rice?

Where’s the rest of the rice?

How can you ruin a dish like this? It’s basically onions, high quality beef, and french fries cooked in a pan with delicious flavors. Even in the bad areas of Lima, for a dollar, I got bigger portions of higher quality product. Safe to say that I have no interest in returning for the other dishes if they can’t get lomo right. And after seeing the portion sizes and prices of the other dishes, I really can’t see what reason I have to return anyways. For other LA locals that don’t know Peruvian food and get caught up in the trend, I hope you enjoy it and keep them in business. They seem like nice people and the service was good. We’ll just leave it at the fact that it doesn’t seem like Grandma and Mom made this food. It seems more like it was the cool son that cared about being trendy and looking fancy, not being authentic and full of flavor.

photo 1 (15)

photo 3 (13)

Disappointing. Please find a GOOD Peruvian restaurant as in my opinion, it is probably the best ethnic cuisine there is. It has everything you need and want and more. Eating Peruvian food really is a great way to stay hungry and fit!

You might also like…

Hungry’s Movie Reviews: Pacific Rim (2013)

Guillermo del Toro is one of my favorite directors. Blade II, Hellboy, Hellboy II, and Pan’s Labyrinth are four of my favorite movies of all time. They all crack the top 100 list and Pan’s Labyrinth is no doubt in my top 10 for what I consider to be the best movies of all time. Now, I am not a critic with a degree in theatre and cinema or anything along those lines, but I love movies and I have a huge imagination. Everyone is free to enjoy a movie and Guillermo del Toro has provided me with many movies that I enjoy a lot! Pacific Rim might not make it higher on the list then the four movies already mentioned but it was enjoyable. Let’s talk about what made the movie only enjoyable, what could have made it better, and where it faltered.

pacific-rim-poster-banner

The movie was simply too long. Alana and I agreed that it could have achieved the same effect without a few scenes that seemed to add nothing to very little to the movie’s overall feeling. Cut out some of those scenes and the movie would have moved a bit quicker, keeping you engaged. The movie had some character and plot development, but nowhere near as much as some of his other work so I banked on huge fight scenes to make up for that. Unfortunately, there was a lot less robots vs. monsters (jaeger vs kaiju) than I anticipated. I should have known better because Blade and the two Hellboys also had some serious downtime. It just seemed as if the fight scenes in those movies were longer. You might be disappointed by some of the fights because they simply end too quickly, before we get to see what the jaegers or kaiju are truly capable of in combat. On top of that, many of the kaiju are just too similar. One of the monsters had a bunch of abilities, but the other four or five were all the same. That was a bummer.

The movie did have some powerful scenes, mainly involving human lives being taken. They were my favorite scenes because I would not expect a movie like this to have the effect on me so I appreciate what del Toro did there. He did a very good job taking what would seem like a rock-em sock-em Godzilla vs Ultraman and turn it into something with plot twists and complications that kept you on your toes. Many events and outcomes were predictable but I didn’t see everything coming. The actors all did a fair enough job, the special effects were exciting and well done, the editing and cutting were clean enough to make large-scale fights easy to follow. A lot of things were done properly.

I could see room for a potential sequel that takes a completely different path and continues to highlight the world’s reaction to and actions taken in order to deal with the disaster. We appreciated the anti-government, pro-freedom, anti-greed, pro-environmental stances that were taken, no matter how subtle. It’s refreshing but now not uncommon to see directors and writers go in that direction. The movie definitely was not too gory for young audiences despite some mature themes and large-scale deaths.

All in all, it was an enjoyable del Toro movie that might not have taken this genre out of the realm of its specific fan base, but it was successful in captivating multiple audiences and developing some advanced themes. We were in our seats a bit longer than we wanted to as the movie dragged on at times but it still gets a hungry thumbs up! (Fellow Gundam fans, don’t expect this to be anything like the series we all love. The jaegers were nowhere near “badass” enough to achieve Gundam status)

You might also like…

Boulder’s Best Italian Food: Il Pastaio (by Costa Ricans?!)

Il Pastaio, 30th and Arapahoe, (in the King Soopers Shopping Center) has shown itself to be Boulder’s best Italian food thus far. We have not gotten the chance to go to Pasta Jay’s, which is the only other Best Italian recommendation we’ve gotten, but we’ll try to soon so we can compare the two. We have had Trattoria on Pearl, Antica Roma, Salvaggio’s Italian Deli, Laudisio’s, Pasta Vino, Pizzeria Basta, just about every Pizza place, and then some. Pasta Vino is the only one that holds a candle to Il Pastaio and the rest did something WRONG. Pasta Vino was the best Italian lunch we’ve had in the past year here while Il Pastaio was the best dinner and best overall experience. This is why… they don’t do anything wrong and do tons of stuff right.

The restaurant is small and very compact but you can make reservations, which we did. I recommend you most certainly make reservations for the reason that it is extremely busy during dinner hours because it is so good. We were seated quickly after our reservation, despite a long line and there was a fuss about who was next, but they rightfully seated us at the proper time. I credit this to the owner’s son, who did an exceptional job taking care of us the whole night. He was personable and polite, efficient and honest, and an all around good guy for the job. He spent some time in Brooklyn so we talked to him about the restaurant’s history.

We found out that his father and family are from Costa Rica but his father (the owner) studied in Italy and learned how to cook Italian food there. We could see Costa Rican touches throughout the restaurant as well, including the unbeatable bread that was served with the meal. A hot batch came out of the oven near the end of the meal so we asked for a fresh loaf and they obliged without a question. Great service. Let’s talk about the food.

They have Boylan’s beverages. That’s enough for me and it was the perfect compliment for me. It reminded me of home so much… it was the only Italian place in Boulder that reminded me of home. What’s home? The Italian-American food capital of the world.  We got a few appetizers including a caprese salad, a seafood mixto plate, the biggest antipasto platter, bread, and more. Everything was very good and we didn’t leave any leftovers at this point.

Boylan's and hot bread...who could ask for more?

Boylan’s and hot bread…who could ask for more?

Appetizers

Appetizers

However, then I was surprised at the size of the portions. The restaurant is not expensive but the quality of the food and the portion size would make you think it should be. Alana got a custom-made mushroom ravioli with a tomato-basil sauce. I got what I get every time I test a new Italian place out… chicken parm platter with pasta. It was HUGE. MASSIVE. I actually couldn’t finish it but it didn’t make it past the next day.

Alana's ravioli

Alana’s ravioli

Chicken parm, baby

Chicken parm, baby

Everything was good but they custom make raviolis. You can choose from a huge selection of fillings and then add whatever sauce from the menu you want. The quality is exceptional and allows the customer to get anything they want. Seriously, this was one of our best meals and dining experiences while in Boulder. And it’s not very expensive. I think all of that added up to the 60 dollar range and it was completely worth it.

Gelato

Gelato

And canoli

And canoli

So if you’re in Boulder and looking for good Italian food, call up our Costa Rican friends at Il Pastaio and make a reservation. Maybe we’ll see you there. Fueling up on some great pasta and protein can really keep you hungry and fit!

You might also like…

How to Choose the Right Dentist for Your Kids

Having the right dentist for your children is important. Choosing a dentist for your child is like choosing a doctor; taking the time to research your options to decide on a specialist is the best way to make sure everybody has a good experience.

If your child is reaching the age where it’s time to start seeing the dentist regularly, or you’ve moved to a new area and find a new dentist for your kids, you likely understand how stressful it can be finding a new dentist. It isn’t a process to be rushed, however, because if you don’t get the right dentist for your child, there could be problems down the road. Check out these tips on how you can find a good dentist for your kids.

Ask for Recommendations

One of the best ways to find a dentist for your kids is to ask friends and family for recommendations. You likely have some family friends with kids that are going to the dentist, so asking them which dentist they go to and whether they like the services is a good way to find a dentist.

If you’re moving to a new city, you can ask your current dentist for recommendations or referrals to a new dentist. Even if you’re moving to some far away city like Olathe, your dentist might have a recommendation for a Kansas City cosmetic dentist that he or she knows through conferences or conventions. If you like your child’s current dentist, this can be a great way to find a new dentist because you’ll be getting a valued opinion on a new dentist.

cosmetic dentistry bonding

Find Out Policies

If your child has trouble going to the dentist, you likely know the nightmare that it can be whenever a checkup is required. Before settling on a dentist, check out certain policies that relate to your situation to see if the dentist is a good fit for you and your child. For example, if your child is too scared to sit in the chair by his or her self, see if you’ll be allowed to go back there to hold hands. Some dentists might have a policy against parents doing this, which is why it’s important to check policies before making a decision.

On the flip side, some dentists might require the parents to be in the back room. Whatever the situation is, make sure you double check the relevant policies so you can find a dentist that fits your and your child’s needs.

Richmond Hill Dentist
Check the Accreditation

This should be a no-brainer for parents searching for a dentist for their kids, but sometimes it’s often overlooked. Check to see if the potential dentist you’re considering is accredited with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. This is the most respected accreditation for child dentists, so make sure that the dentist has this accreditation before agreeing to any sort of agreement. All it takes is a simple question to find out if the dentist is accredited.

cosmetic dentistry

Image credit: http://www.bcdentalcare.ca

A Beautiful Summer Beach Wedding (First to Get Married)

This is going to be a very happy post because it was a very happy day for everyone. One of (probably my absolute best, top 2 ^_^) my very close friends recently got married to a great guy. Memorial Day Weekend 2013, Laura and Tim Johnson were married in a beautiful ceremony at the nicest church in Santa Monica, CA.

Woohoo!

Woohoo!

First, Laura went to college and met Tim. Then when we went back to LA, we visited them at Pepperdine University and went out for Thai food. We didn’t get to hang out much but Tim seemed like a really nice guy and we got along pretty well. So, I was actually happy for Laura, which is saying a lot because she’s kind of family. (A slightly younger little sister) Later, she tells us they’re engaged and we get the save the date. Excited! We buy our plane tickets for Memorial Day Weekend and then it’s the big day out of nowhere. Here comes the good part!

Before we got there

Before we got there

Getting ready for wedding...Chris the self-proclaimed French hairstylist

Getting ready for wedding…Chris the self-proclaimed French hairstylist

Alana and I show up LATE to the ceremony. That’s right. We show up after the bride and have to slip into the church through a side door. Felt horrible but who wants a boring wedding? I don’t think it ruined anything and Laura seemed so into it (and nervous) that she probably didn’t even see. Too many important people there anyway. It was a short and enjoyable traditional ceremony. The priest was very funny and made the boring parts really fun.

Yay!

Yay!

It was just great seeing Laura and Tim up there. Stuff happened… and then they kissed! We cheered, they left, everyone left, we left. Then, we decide to go to the spot for the reception in a limo bus with her family and closest friends. Alana and I talked to her parents in the bus and they remembered who I was. Her mom has such a great memory and is the sweetest lady ever. Laura’s dad is super nice too. Then, when we get to Casa del Mar (nicest hotel in Santa Monica, great restaurant) we find out that the reception doesn’t start for 4 hours! Oops, we didn’t do our homework. So then we slip out the back door and make our way to Bay Cities for lunch. I texted Laura and Tim to see if they wanted any but it seems like they were too busy so no Bay Cities for them!

photo (24)

Leaving for the RECEPTION this time

Leaving for the RECEPTION this time

Finally we come back for the reception and it was top-notch. Casa del Mar and the host families did not disappoint. The cocktail hour included a free open bar, SUSHI, oysters, sliders, and more. You can see the pictures, including one where Alana tried her first oyster off the shell. Then we all got moved inside and we were seated at Table #2, which had all couples that were basically all from Pepperdine. The only person I know besides those 4 already mentioned was Evi, the maid of honor. I never got the chance to say hi but she made an awesome speech, along with the best man, all the parents, etc. Really heart-felt and nice warm reception. The food was all amazing, especially the filet mignon. On to the entertainment.

Cocktail hour

Cocktail hour

NEVER AGAIN

NEVER AGAIN

photo (20)

photo (19)

photo (17)

Drool...

Drool…

Alana's stuffed veggie plate

Alana’s stuffed veggie plate

Beautiful table

Beautiful table

They hired a very talented band of all kinds of musicians and vocalists that covered tons of songs. We went from Motown to hip hop to country to GREECE! There was a Greek-Armenian (I think) artist who was hilarious. He had such great charisma and energy and we could tell that everyone that could understand him was loving it. So we were loving it too. They danced traditional Greek dances to traditional songs and we watched. Alana was jealous that she wasn’t Greek. It was a great mix of a traditional American and Greek wedding. Everyone had a great time and we left a little early because we were getting a ride home from Alana’s generous father around midnight (what, are we in high school?). The best part of the night for me was getting to give Laura and Tim a good bear hug and get a picture with the bride. I snuck in and out while they had ten free seconds in between events and songs. I barely made it but I’m glad I did and I’m super happy for them.

Band

Band

Greek/Armenian singer

Greek/Armenian singer

Father/Daughter

Father/Daughter

GREEK DANCE

GREEK DANCE

photo (5)

Hopefully we get a chance to visit them in their new home soon! Congrats you two and we better have reunions in Jersey, LA, and everywhere else! Cant’ say enough about that day and wish everyone could have been there! Good luck Laura and Tim. We’re here for you if you need anything! The big picture is that if you are really close and care about certain people then you can just see them after years and it’s like you never missed a day without seeing them. One of Alana’s clients who is an absolutely lovely lady told us that yesterday and it’s so true. Always be there for those good friends because having those extra support systems can mean the world to people. Loving your real family and friends can give you the support to stay hungry and fit!

(P.S. – I haven’t seen any of the Twilight series movies, nor do I plan on seeing them anytime soon. However, Laura and Tim’s first dance was to Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years” and that was my favorite part of the night. Love that song)

photo (15)

Bride & Groom

You might also like…

5-Minute Protein Pancakes

So I’m still prepping for contest, so I’m upping my protein and lowering carbs somewhat. It’s about two hours before my second workout (just cardio) and my tummy is rumbling. Hmmm…what to eat? I don’t want to eat any straight-up carbs (during this LAST week of contest, I’ll get my carbohydrate grams from other sources like veggies and shakes) like cereal or oatmeal, I don’t feel like having tunafish or a salad, but I could always use more protein. Hmm…oh yes–protein pancakes! I had played around with a recipe before, didn’t quite get it how I wanted it, so I used this recipe and altered it a bit to fit my needs. It’s extremely easy and filled me up without feeling sluggish.

Oooooh yes!

Oooooh yes!

Macros (for 1 serving…even though I couldn’t finish the serving, maybe it’s 1.5 instead)

  • Makes: 4 good-sized pancakes (I could only finish 3)
  • Calories: 230
  • Fat: 4.6g
  • Carbs: 19g
  • Protein: 33g

Again, I could only finish 3/4 of this serving, so I didn’t get those full macros above.

photo 3 (4)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk 
  • 1 scoop protein powder (I am using MTS Machine Chocolate Whey)
  •  1/2 small banana
  • 3/4 tbsp cinnamon 
  • 2 egg whites

Directions

  • Put in the (preferably over-ripe) banana in a small bowl and mash to smithereens
  • Next comes the egg whites, stir furiously, in comes the cinnamon to spice up our lives, throw the protein powder and mix, and finally slowly add almond milk and stir. You may not need the whole 1/2 cup or you may need more, you don’t want it too liquidy.

photo 1 (7)

  • Cook like regular pancakes on a griddle or a pan on medium-heat. Mine made 4 big-ish ones, takes roughly 5 minutes to cook. Feel free to top with whatever you’d like. I would normally put maple syrup on mine (even maybe some greek yogurt), but not until this contest is over. Some fruit would be delicious too.

photo 2 (5)

Really tough recipe, huh? Took me roughly 7 minutes and I got a whopping 30 grams of protein under 200 calories (because I couldn’t finish it all). This protein pancake recipe is worth it if you’re craving some good flap jacks, but are watching your macros. Even if you aren’t watching macros, this is a delectable snack or breakfast! It still has the pancake feel and taste, and makes us feel like we’re having that traditional drool-worthy breakfast. Use this recipe to stay hungry and fit! 

Deeeeelicious

Deeeeelicious

You might also like…

Hungry’s Movie Reviews: Disney’s The Lone Ranger (2013)

Johnny Depp. Jerry Bruckheimer. Hans Zimmer. Disney. $225 Million Budget. 149 minutes.

Pirates of the Caribbean in the Wild West.

None of my movie reviews are the same. I always pick something different to talk about before reaching my closing remarks that summarize what I felt and what I thought. In discussing Pacific Rim, a movie I saw the same day, I spoke very little of the director and nothing of the actors and actresses. I didn’t mention anything about that movie’s huge budget. This review is clearly different.

Pirates of the Caribbean was brilliant, whether you liked it or not. It is loved by people of all ages, it has grossed billions of dollars throughout its four films (fifth coming) and all of Disney’s “merchandise.” It was driven by one of Johnny Depp’s most influential characters. So why has The Lone Ranger received such poor reviews and had such a hard time in the box office? Simply put, it’s not as good as pirates.

The sad thing is that I can’t really tell you what makes The Lone Ranger worse than Pirates aside from the fact that The Curse of the Black Pearl has been followed up by three more movies to strengthen the story set in the first film. I can honestly say I think that it’s impossible for us to see three more Lone Ranger films from Disney, Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, Hans Zimmer, and Jerry Bruckheimer. Nevertheless, let’s appreciate this movie for what it is and can be instead of what it’s not.

The highlights are clear to us. Johnny Depp’s performance as Tonto and Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack stand out against everything else. The movie discusses strong themes such as the importance of family, the greed of American corporations (funny, eh? I love Disney), the corruption of the government, a sense of true justice, and the ability to forgive individuals for what they’ve done. That last one doesn’t quite make it all the way to the end of the film. I also enjoyed the way the story was told, through the older Tanto talking to the young boy that represented the “American Dream.” Finally, I was laughing a lot and that is a good sign, plain and simple.

Here are the downsides: It was too long! There were a handful of scenes that just didn’t contribute to the plot or character development significantly enough to justify the amount of the time that they took. And I really do try to justify extra scenes going to the point of reaching into my super imaginative part of my brain to do so. The casting was not great. Many of the main performers were convincing but some just didn’t do it for me. It also had a Disney feeling but a few scenes made the movie a little bit too gory for young audiences. I wouldn’t mind but most parents would prefer to not let their child see a man cut out another man’s heart and eat it. Even if they didn’t show it directly, it is easy to see what was going on at that point.

The bottom line: For a prominent series in American pop culture to which I have no personal history or relationship with, the unstoppable team of Disney, Bruckheimer, Depp, and Zimmer brought us a slightly too long Wild West version of Pirates that might not have the magic of their first series, but still portrays important messages in American history while generally entertaining the audience through its sense of hope and outrageous stunts. Even if the movie under-performs and Disney cannot afford a sequel, I would be pleased to see what a second movie could deliver. The Lone Ranger gets a hungry thumbs up!

You might also like…

Gym Reviews: Ironhouse Gym (Mason City, IA)

This product is a result of the work of the worker and not the place they are working. A true talent can create without any tools or resources because they make everything work by themselves. But some nice equipment and a great working environment can really help maximize those results sometimes! In Northern Iowa, about two hours from Des Moines and Minneapolis, lies Mason City, the home of the Music Man. It’s a large town with a small population but it has one of the best gyms in the country that no one knows about. Welcome to Ironhouse Gym.

Outside of the building

Outside of the building

It is what you would expect due to the name. A small building made of sheet metal that absorbs the extreme temperatures and weather conditions of Northern Iowa, but you would never know that while inside because of the great temperature control. I’m not one who cares how hot or cold it is where I workout but it’s nice for other people who have those needs. Another major perk is that the facility is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you’re a member and you have a keycard, then you can key in whenever you want. This is the kind of place I would love to have to myself at 2:00 a.m. although all of our workouts were mid-morning. The three days we were there it certainly wasn’t busy during those normally peak times, but it wasn’t empty either. All kinds of people were working out, but no one that unnecessarily threw weights and stacks around. They actually are pretty strict with behavior, which I can appreciate. If you’re deadlifting twice your body weight and need to drop it, okay I get it. Lately however, guys at our gym in Boulder (big guys) have been tossing the 35s on flat chest press like they were lifting 140s. Oh well.

photo 3 (16)

Speaking of equipment, Ironhouse has it all. I don’t want to tell you what they have because it’s like a spoiler in a good story. However, I will say that the dumbbells do not go very heavy. I think the heaviest were in the 120-140 lb range. I would expect up to 200 in such a great place but that’s fine! There are plenty of other ways to get your heavy lift on here. Full and half racks, roman chairs, captain chairs, wide chest press, elevated stand for back exercises, standing shrug machine, tons of plate loaded stuff, lots of cable and stack based machines, every bench you need, places for pullups and dips, tons of cardio equipment, and more and more and more.

photo (4)

I was like a kid in a candy shop. I wanted to do something on every machine because no place in Boulder has anything like this. The only gym I have found in Colorado that can compare so far is Armbrust Pro Gym where Phil Heath trains. The amount of cable based machines with stacks is ridiculous. They have nearly 5 machines just for triceps in that section alone. It’s absurd and everything is this bright firehouse red, which is awesome. I want to go back!

photo (1)

The dressing rooms are modest and the lockers are on the floor. There are no showers but who needs those anyway. There is also a supplement and apparel store attached to the gym that is open during normal business hours. They have great deals on great supplements and I bought this awesome tank the second that I saw it. They also have an honor-based mini-store in the gym itself for when the store is closed. If you need a pre, intra, or post workout you can grab it out of the mini-fridge and throw some cash in the cash box if you’re an honest man or woman. You can buy belts, lifting straps and other gear too if you need it. They have everything you NEED and a ton of stuff you WANT.

photo (6)

We did a push day, lower body day, and a pull day while we were there and it was a blast. Check out the website or leave a comment if you have any questions but if you need the best gym in Northern Iowa and maybe even a greater area around that, Ironhouse Gym in Mason City, Iowa is your place. Bring one to Boulder! Bring one everywhere! Very nice employees, awesome facilities, great products, and the best equipment makes Ironhouse Gym an easy place to help you stay hungry and fit!

You might also like…