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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Another Yelp Elite Debut!



I just dined hear for the very first time this past Sunday at 1030am as part of a Yelp Elite event I attended with my fellow local Yelpers. About 50 of us were in attendance while I was there for this debut visit. 

I have been by near here many many times during my HQ visits on other occasions but never for a dining experience at S52, brunch, lunch or otherwise. Today was brunch!

Now do forgive me folks, really, forgive me, if you find it wrong that I have dined in at two venues now (this being the 2nd) event as a Yelp Elite member who did not try a single bite of the foods made available to us (beyond some really good Columbian coffee) then I may let you down a bit with this review as that is the honest case and thus cannot offer feedback on the food taste or quality from my perspective.

I am under 5 weeks out from a big men's fitness contest at the pro level in Hermosa Beach, CA with my sponsors all riding on this as well as my coach, family, friends and my own high expectations to do very well.....so cutting corners and eating out at all has went to the way side about 2 weeks ago period. Lets say my home grill and kitchen have been an endless zone of personal creativity lately!

Anyway......Seasons 52. The pictures below show the awesome foods served up with one omission on my part and for that I am sorry because they looked bomb!....the S52 Eggs Benedict! I had a picture but deleted it from my camera before uploading it! My bad! 

My companions all had good things to say about every item we were served let me say that. Not one person had anything negative to say about anything. Great drinks, food, service and the venue itself its very nice, classy and higher end but no super over the top either. A very wise choice for anyone looking at a solid Sunday brunch location to bring a bigger group and be able to satisfy everyone from the vegetarian, meat eater and anything between with breakfast/brunch staples of a higher end quality.

Shrubby Mary and Mimonsa!

Dessert Mini's (5 flavors!)

More lovely desserts!

Veggie Frittata

Brick Oven Brioche French Toast

Garlic-Parm Rosemary Roasted Red Potatoes

Happy Yelpers!

Shashuka

Smoked Salmon Flatbread

Brunch Menu- full description



Safe to say that even without having tried anything myself......this venue is indeed a sure means to a BetterBite and one I will return to post contest to fully indulge in!



Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Nothing Common about it!

So I finally have a local SD based venue to bring to your attention!!




With my eating/dining out norm having been on the down-low with the contest prep diet I am on I have very few meals out anymore at all being just 5 weeks out from the big day. Last night however, a Thursday from 6-8pm myself my fellow Yelper Elite status friends came into The Commons Bar on 4th and F St in downtown Gaslamp.


This event hosted here by our good man and local SD community organizer, Brad and the awesome people of Commons Bar. I had never been here until this event so this was a true debut experience full of novelty and first times. Not my last either let me say that now. 


Brad and I having a darn good old time at The Commons Bar

Take it from a San Diego Yelp Elite like me to tell you where to find "A Better Bite!"


The venue itself is smaller but does the job just fine. With outside, 4th ave patio seating, general floor level bar seating and a smaller row of upstairs seating it works out well I found. Plenty of TV's all over the place for watching the big game or sports event as well, always a plus. Its a bit loud but what sports bar-ish type place is not right? We had live music on this evening as well so that added to the acoustic vibe as well (and he was good too!) 







From the food side of things I got to see (sadly not sample) their cheeseburger sliders, house wings, pretzel bites and pita/veggie/hummus plate. All of them looked like true winners in my book. Items I will order in the future for sure. My dining companions tore through the samples being brought out during our stay so I think they liked it all, safe to say!







Not one to ever really drink much at all other then red wine, I cannot speak on the booze side of things. The darn diet does not have room for any booze sadly, for now anyway (I know, how could I!?) But these bad boys seemed to be real hits among my comrades all night.


Tipsy Palmer 


Service was great, very kind gals working the bar and the floor, quick to keep drinks full and food trays stocked during our 2 hour group event. 

This is a great place to watch a game, hang out, grab drinks or take in a downtown weeknight happy hour with friends and co-workers. Once this contest is done and my diet ends, give me a shout and let me know when your coming in......lets make this place a truly Common Bar to hang out at hey?


Yelper Elites enjoying and reviewing the not hotspot.

Live music! Yeah buddy!

Perfect spot for the game!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

ProSupps Stack Review

The second review within the dietary supplement/sports nutrition arena I will cover is the ProSupps brand. I selected this brand because I have been following the company for a good year now. I have followed the company CEO and his career as a successful bodybuilder and businessman since 2004. His story is inspiring to say the least. A guy who has his track record as a former athlete, deeply connected to the sport he now serves as well as a professional businessman with 10+ years in the sports nutrition industry. He has owned companies with annual revenues of over $65 million so its safe to say T.J. knows a thing or two about the unique sport, the lifestyle, the products and quality.


 So, the three products that particularly really got my attention for their potential to help me with my own personal fitness goals of competing in my upcoming fall men's physique contest within the UNBA which will take place in Hermosa Beach, CA on November 19.


I chose these 3 items among the many items ProSupps brand offers because these have the best direct purpose for my goals. I say this as I urge anyone using dietary supplements to have a purpose, a justified, rational reason for taking and using any supplement brand at all. Make sure the ingredient(s) have substantiated benefit for your particular goal or outcomes as well. Be it stamina, strength, power, body composition, more lean muscle mass, fatigue reduction, recovery enhancement etc......take a product that fully supports that outcome. NEVER take a product "just cuz" or because Jack/Jane "know it all from the gym" said so. That's just, wasteful, silly and dangerous as I see it. 


The 3 products I selected were those with strong utility and purpose in my own training goals and needs as it relates to preparing for this contest. The 3 items are as follows: Click the product title to be taken to the page that gives full description and use and ingredient facts labels.


  • CRASH (sleep assistance and support)
    • I train at 530pm and end at 7ish so I am pretty wound up yet after workouts and its nice to be able to come back down and sleep well for better recovery and so this item (taste is amazing) with 6 oz water 30 minutes before bed has been helpful so far. I sleep pretty well as it is by keeping a very consistent sleep wake schedule all week long. This helps establish a strong circadian rhythm and better recovery. I also control things like blue light, noise and room temperature as best I can to promote better sleep conditions. I also like my coffee but make sure not to ingest much after 530pm so its out of my system by the time I hit the hay around midnight......I am a total night owl by the way.

  • HDYRO BCAA (intra-workout training support and muscle retention)
    • A staple year round product for me during my workout sessions. Research has shown equivocal to some positive benefit to using properly dosed (6-10g) BCAA in a 2:1:1 or more ratio to help with preventing muscle breakdown from strenuous resistance exercise. While dieting on lower calories like I am now; I find BCAA's like this with electrolytes and citrulline to be a nice buffer for keeping every ounce of muscle I worked to build. It also promotes hydration and muscle performance by keeping sipping more fluid and the added sodium/potassium.
Blue Raz flavor is amazing! 2 scoops mixed with 50/50 Sprite Zero & Water with ice. Take that to the beach!

  • I LOAD (post exercise blood sugar and insulin control)
    • When dieting down for contests like I am, getting ultra lean (5% or less) is the goal and it is not normal to be this lean for long. Doing so takes careful design in training and diet to get there. Carbs for me are needed to do my day job, train 90 minute sessions of my own in the gym and function as a human. I cant and do not do the keto or super low carb thing....I cant. I stay around 200g carbs even in the grinding end of my contest prep diet. But to get super lean carbs must be taken in strategically to do their job but not stall fat loss. Timing, type and amount are the keys to making this work. Manipulating the hormone response to these carbs I eat is also something I found very helpful. This product takes chromium and 4 other well known ingredients, helpful in keeping a tight rein on blood sugar and insulin and thus, better fat loss. This allows me to eat higher carbs before and after training sessions to promote recovery and performance without stalling fat loss. Diabetics and those with hypoglycemia issues should consult a sports dietitian (CSSD credential besides RD designation) prior to using this item or those like it.


With this being said I do not mean to say anyone has to use or take these items. If your goals do happen to match that of my own then consider these as possible aids in such pursuits. The flavors are on point, they are all manufactured in a cGMP facility and made here in the USA. No adverse event reports have ever been filed on these 3 items that I could find on SupplementWatch or ConsumerLabs. I hope some of you found this 2 series blog post edition on sports nutrition and dietary supplements a nice change of pace and perhaps if you all like this, I will do more in the near future.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Protein On The Go!

As promised in my last blog post, I would be making a review on two new brands of dietary supplements of which do not run in direct competition to my sponsoring brand affiliate ProLab.

As I also noted before, I do no get any kind of endorsement or financial kick for these reviews. I simply wanted to try them for my own insights and thoughts. I figure I can help benefit many of you blog readers in the process of doing so as well.

So here we go. Brand one, product 1, E-Hydrate Protein On-The-Go.

These unique and first of its kind dry pack pouches are pretty neat. You stash them in a pocket easily prior to a long hike, long ride on the bike, a long run session, stock a few in a glove compartment of your car (which I have done). The super convenient nature of these foldable, small, lightweight packs gives them utility that other bottle based powders or bottle based protein powders do not. Not that grabbing a pre-made and bottles protein or meal replacement shake is inconvenient either.....but for the truly on the go type person or athlete who needs/wants an easy and super versatile protein option, this is a no brainer.

Taste wise its not bad at all. Chocolate and vanilla both have legit flavor with no funky aftertaste. As long as you add enough water to the fill line listed on the pack and mix it really well with the cap screwed on well (check that!) it mixes pretty well. No clumps or chunks. Use cold water it all possible as its thicker and just taste better that way I found.

Nutritionally speaking, these bad boys are not bad at all. As seen below on the supplement facts label, a nice macro profile that's suitable for all types. Whey comes from a combo of whey isolate, concentrate and hydrolysate, giving the consumer three profiles/tiers of high grade, fast digesting whey for muscle recovery. The addition of some sodium and potassium is also a plus for the active person in the midst or between workout sessions where electrolyte replacement is as important if not more so in the acute sense....than the protein itself.






E-hydrate protein powder can be bought in both straight 1.3lb tubs and as the 3 or 6 pack pouches in at their company website which is found right here:  https://e-hydrate.com/


With this said.....it looks like some companies such as this one now make it possible for the athlete of all levels to find "A Better Bite" while on the go! 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

A Short Term Shift Perhaps?

In the coming two weeks I will be taking slight twist in the blog posts I discuss here. Food however, either that of which I make on my own at home (majority for the next 7 weeks leading to my second of two fitness contests this fall) and those very few I do perhaps go out to and review for the first time. As of right now this is just two spots this month...... Seasons 52  for Brunch and The Commons Bar. I have Yelp Elite invite events to attend and my duty as a Yelp Elite status member is to uphold my promise to visit, review, experience and report back to the SD people just like you who read this, about such hotspots from a devout foodie insiders perspective.

Beyond those two formal dining out plans I have this month, I plan to highlight on a few new dietary supplements I am looking to sample out or have been sampling out and really finding some great utility with.

So far one such item is MitoXcell protein blend. I bake with, blend with it, freeze with it, mix with it and more. Its texture, taste, nutritional profile and versatility in the kitchen has made it a go to item for my protein powder based recipes I make almost weekly if not more.

This concoction below is a little sum-sum I call "protein muscle-mash"


  • 20g unsweet cocoa
  • 24g pbfit powdered peanut butter
  • 1 cup unsweet almond milk
  • 30g chia seeds

Mix well, let sit for 4+ hours in fridge for chia to soak and thicken with other ingredients. Stick in freezer for up to 1 hour before consuming this and enjoy!

I have also made peanut butter fudge protein oatmeal bars, and some amazing greens power smoothies using this product with tremendous outcome each time. The whey/casein blend really makes for a unique and useful consistency in the above items I find.

Full Disclosure Statement: I do not receive any kind of compensation/kickback or benefit for the promotion or endorsement of this brand or its product line. I have obtained small batch samples to review for my own use as well as educational workshops only.


As mentioned in the beginning of this blog post, I did say I would be changing the theme a bit only for the next couple weeks. The topic will shift to cover my review of two different supplement brands/products. These are are the first supplements not from my normal past selections nor my current sponsor (ProLab) that I have even bothered to try in months if not longer.

The brands are:
ProSupps-
E-Hydrate-

Which items I will be reviewing over the next 2 weeks from each brand will be kept a secret until the time comes to post my final thoughts, insights, outcomes and perspectives.

Stay tuned for these and find out where your next "Better Bite" in the nutritional supplement realm may come from and if its worth buying, using for your needs.

Until next time......eat well my fellow San Dieagans!