Archive for August, 2009

Bromelain Enzymes: Sportspeople & fitness buffs take note.

The Big Pineapple

 

I drew an imaginary double underline on the word ‘Bromelain’ when I stumbled upon reading about it from Michael Van Straten’s Superfeast’s superfoods list. The hardcover book flushed rich in colors of nature; fruits, vegetables and nuts, decorating every page opaquely in the background behind bold typeface matching every type flora photograph to its definition in title. Bromelain was discussed on Van Straten’s page featuring the pineapple, stated as a type of enzyme that acts as an anti-inflamattory and aids in muscle repair that is found in pineapples (meat). He also said that boxing trainers in 1900s were reputedly known to feed their boxers pineapples in between fights to minimize bruising (really?). I threw a look at my leg bruises from pole sporting and bought a pineapple not long after. I knew I had to do further reading before appraising its superpowers, but that didn’t happen until two weeks later. I figured if I were going to continue with the pineapple eating, I should at least confirm its bromelain sources. I am one of those difficult individuals who will not settle for gullibility on unsupported information. Thanks to my philosophical professor back in university who won every battle argument on the accuracy of his students’ writings, I picked up some of his trait along the way.

 

 

Google and Wikipedia I went, and this is what I found:

 

  • Bromelain is a protease enzyme (protein digesting enzymes) present in any plant member of the Bromeliaceae family, which parents the pineapple species. The bioactive ingredient was first isolated in 1891 by a Venezuelan chemist, and introduced as a therapeutic supplement in 1957. Medicinal uses include treating inflammation (as a large variety of proteins involved in inflammation are prone to genetic mutation that impairs the normal function and expression of that protein. Inflammation examples: asthma, transplant rejection, arthritis, etc.), sport injuries, reduction of blood clots in the bloodstream (thins the blood here) and other kinds of swelling. Particularly useful in post-surgery healing.
  • Now this is where it gets interesting. Bromelain is present the whole of pineapple, but much  more so in the STEM rather than the FRUIT berry of pineapple. By how much exactly, I don’t know; but the impression I’m getting is that the amount of bromelain contained in the fruit is insignificantly little in comparison to its higher-concentrated counter part, the stem. Bromelain is prepared after fruit harvesting whereby the stem is peeled, crushed, and pressed to get the juice containing bromelain, followed by purification and concentration processes. The stem isn’t much of a palatable delicacy and I would guess it can turn the texture of your tongue into something else undesirable when tried to be eaten. The best way to consume it is through supplemental pills. Most vitamin shops should carry them.

 

Tip: take them on an empty stomach or in-between meals if you are after its medicinal uses; otherwise they will be used for digestion instead (you can use do so if you wish). You can also use them topically on open wounds to speed healing. On my achey days, I take them the morning I wake up and allow one hour to pass before eating my first meal. 

 

There’s bromelain for you. If the story holds true (Van Straten did get the core information wrong after all), what wasteful efforts boxing trainers went through in the 1900s, but I suppose there is some benefiting from the psychological placebo effects that the boxers truly believed that those super pineapples they chump by the chunks are making their way on a healing quest. 

 

– Dom

 

 

Sources: 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bromelain

http://www.bromelain.net/

http://www.worldhealth.net/news/bromelain_pineapple_enzyme


‘Badi-rak-tivi’

I found one of her videos a while ago and it gave me giggles. I cannot be definitely sure what brought the memory back, but I searched for it again and thought I’d share a smile for the day.

-Dom

Pole is up! Big, big smile.

Dearest Pole

I figured I might as well buy one since I’d be away from one at home for a little while longer. I subscribed to Pole Dance Allure 1-month membership so I could get my daily fix of the pole play, but that one month is up (the owner was kind enough to freeze the account while I traveled for 3 weeks) and I miss moments when I would spontaneously decide to give the pole a spin after careful calculations on the possibility of a posture that might, just happen this time, only to find that you still are, not strong enough and fail; but it’s ok. There’s still tomorrow morning following the sleep that’d help me regain some muscle strength and wake up to a souvenir batch of bruises .

Off I went purchasing another pole, and this time I got the Kendra Wilkinson Sport Pole by X-Pole.

Pole review: Yes, it is another one of those celebrity-endorsed product whereby the endorsee is almost utterly irrelevant to the product. However I hear that preceeding the endorsement, Kendra did manage to pick up a few moves on the pole. The vertical piece of metal is an addictive toy after all. Anyway, the pole is an X-Pole, which leads in the pole manufacturing industry that engineers the most robust and beautiful looking poles available in market. So, it IS a good pole.

In comparison to the original X-Pole. The Kendra pole is $50 cheaper, smaller, more portable (though it is still heavy), and very, very easy to install. The new mechanical structure enables bottom loading; no more ladders and clumsy, awkward postures from you trying to get it standing straight. The downsides are: 1) no spinning mode, only static. 2) the locking nut is visible, it has no covering. so that limits your hand spins to end just above the locking nut.

Improvisation

As you can see from the photograph, there is evidence of improvisation in raising the floor 3 hardcover books up. The pole wasn’t long enough for ceiling and there was no bloody way I’d wait for an extension to be ordered for Pete’s sake. I meditated over it overnight and the lightbulb lit. The minute I woke up, I gathered 3 thick Economic syllabus books from my sister’s bookshelf, a handbag’s protection bag, huffed and puffed in setting up the pole all by myself. An extra pair of hands would’ve been useful but what I didn’t have was the patience to wait for someone to wake up and help me. The excitement was uncontainable, I could have exploded. Anyway.. by doing what I did, I risked in smashing the TV apart should I lose balance of the pole while setting it up and fall over. The TV is still in one piece, thank you very much dear God. And how happy am I my designer brain is still tock-ticking.

Enthusiasm can make people do ambitious stupid dangerous things.

-Dom

Ani Phyo at BLD

ani phyo et moi

It was a sunny Sunday afternoon in LA and I almost took a pass on lunch with my sister and her friends. I had already filled up on munching the freshly made successful-first-attempts corn chips and onion bread; but it’s a nice day out so I thought what the heck, just get your ass outside. We drove to BLD restaurant on Beverly Boulevard, and there in view, sat Ani Phyo while we were being ushered to our table. PSYCHED! Her book, Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen, in my possession, is pretty much a battered up poor looking book; few pages coming loose, drips of sauces and wet patches here and there, post its, and the curled-out corners of its page cover, it’s been with me since mid 2007 and I’ve used it like a bible. 

Another funny thing, I had sent her an email a couple of weeks back just trying my luck to see if there is any slight chance she has spare time to meet a fan all the way from Indonesia. Her assistant replied confirming her busy schedule with her upcoming book tour a week later. And the following week, there we were under one roof at the same time! I’m telling you The Secret is very a powerful tool. I think I’ve mastered it. No, really. 

So I waited for her to finish her meal (I asked my sister who sat in good view of her to report progress), stood up and made my way over like an eager NBA fan approaching Kobe Bryant. We chit chatted for a short while, she introduced me to her lunch companion, brother Max, I shared a brief chapter of my life story, experiences and prospective resolutions, yada yada, and parted with goodbyes just by the time her dessert plate arrived. I suppose I’d see her again on September 3rd for her tasting and demo at Erewhon (nowhere spelled backwards).

-Dom

Alive & Cafe Gratitude: San Francisco Raw Eateries

Golden Gate Bridge

 

These two are long due for a review. I dined at Alive & Cafe Gratitude during the 4-day San Francisco visit in mid July and boy, did I walk away at the end of my meals with the biggest satiated smile.

 

Considering how quickly you fill up on raw foods, I ordered an ample amount of them for one person for every time that I go, (yes, I went on solo.. my family party wasn’t too keen on dining raw) but the intention for this summer holiday travels was to try out (wherever available) raw eateries as many as, if not more than the number of cities I visited. I would order 3 or so dishes, eat halfway on each and take away the rest. Though I shouldn’t have done them with the cake slices because they required refrigeration to stay firm and solid; I ended up with a pile of mush a few hours later.

 

Raw food menus generally carry heavier price tags than the regular non-raw menus. I suppose all those extensive processes of nut milking, soaking, straining, sprouting, dehydrating, dicing, blending, pureeing, julienning, chopping, cubing, did I already say dicing? In care of keeping those exogenous enzymes in tact so our pancreases can focus solely on body maintenance rather than digesting are high premiums to pay. So was I willing to exchange the content of my wallet to please my palate with fancy, labor-extensive prepared raw culinary delights to alleviate stress off my pancreas’ enzyme-producing duty? I guess I was.

Alive

Neighborhood: Marina/Cow Hollow

1972 Lombard Street

(between Buchanan St & United States Highway 101) 

San Francisco, CA 94123

(415) 923-1052

www.aliveveggie.com

 

Alive


Ordered:

1. Spicy red curry avocado wrap

2. King trumpet mushrooms, capers, and Mendocino sea palms with almond cream sauce

3. Chocolate coconut banana torte

 

I was in love with their ‘king trumpet mushrooms, capers, and Mendocino sea palms with almond cream sauce” (they should really come up with a name for this) entree. The Mendocino sea palms made a superb pasta/noodle feel of the whole dish; crunchy, lightly slimed, fettuccine shaped sea vegetable. I would toss out the old method of creating raw “pasta” from zucchini and squash (I rarely can mouth this very well, they quickly turn bland) and in with this! or at least mix the two together to give a balance.

 

Sea Palms, botanical name: Postelsia, grow in the North America. So do not attempt to find them in an Asian grocer, you’d waste your time looking. There are online retailers you can buy them from, get googling. They are also protected species and has been in danger of over-harvesting as the shorn edible plant blades affect the limit of its spore production, needed to reproduce. Currently illegal  (to harvest, I believe) in B.C., Washington, and Oregon.

 

 

Cafe Gratitude

Cafe Gratitude

Neighborhood: Mission

2400 Harrison Street

(between 20th St & 21st St) 

San Francisco, CA 94110

(415) 824-4652

www.cafegratitude.com

Cafe Gratitude

Cafe Gratitude

Ordered:

1. Daily special enchilada

2. Key lime pie

3. Tiramisu

 

enchilada

Daily special enchilada

THE tiramisu

THE tiramisu

The lovely lady taxi driver who brought me back to the hotel from Alive the night before recommended Cafe Gratitude. I’m happy I didn’t miss this place. I got the entire key lime pie to go and did the half/half-eat in/to-go with the enchilada and tiramisu.

 

All I can remember eating here was taking part in savouring the taste of every bite. The enchilada foursomed with cooked quinoa, red rice (i’m still a sucker for rice and other cooked grains), and cabbage salad was just.. out of this world. From its dehydrated enchilada wrap to its nutty filling, served warm, I think I found the ultimate comfort food in raw. Eating it reminded me of times when I would eat a plate of fried eggs, bacon, and potato waffles the morning after an alcoholic night out; except I would get an unpleasant coma from the breakfast and not from the enchilada.

 

The tiramisu. Oh! THE tiramisu. Thank the Gods and Goddesses I can eat tiramisu again, this time without the fight to break free from a never-ending addiction to refined sugars and double/full-fat/heavy cream fixing spoon after spoon after spoon. Whoever says (refined) sugar satiates the appetite is a big fat evil liar. The appetite only ends when the dessert plate shines clean. I don’t think a detailed description of the tiramisu is necessary here. Just try it when you happen to be in the city. I’m going to try to create my own version (good luck to me!)

 

-Dom

Michael Pollan: the omnivore’s next dilemma

absolutely love this guy.

Michael Phelps’ Breakfast for Champions

 

What Michael Phelps eats in a day.

What Michael Phelps eats in a day.

 

Who hasn’t heard of Michael Phelps in the water world? He’s won 16 Olympic medals; 14 gold & 2 bronze, breaking 37 world records in swimming. The above is a photograph of the 12,000 calorie high-fat diet he consumes in a day.  I wonder how he would perform on a raw vegan diet. 

Watch Jon Henley from Guardian giving the meals a go, here.

-Dom