05/09/2011 First time away from home…
We arrived in the early evening last night, on the drive up from DC; we made 1 stop in Delaware at the first rest stop, where the only thing I bought was a cup of coffee and two hardboiled eggs. In the past rest stops were a reason to eat crappy food on the road, a chance to devour meaty fried goodness. This most recent trip it was a place to take a piss, and get some coffee.
Dinner Sunday night was at Michael Mina’s Seablue. I’ve eaten here a couple of times before each time the experience was phenomenal, the service, the food, and the atmosphere was executed the way modern fine dining is supposed to be, professional but with a bit of flair. This most recent visit started off great, my sister ordered the calamari, the squid, and the tuna tartare. Each dish tasted excellent. A mouthful of seafood goodness, the calamari was fried perfectly the freshness of the oil used was palatable.
I found it much easier than anticipated to taste the food and not become the tables open mouthed black hole. For the first time in my 32 years of living, I am beginning to understand what an appetizer is supposed to do, it’s not the pre-dinner to your dinner, it’s a way of turning on your taste buds, and hence it’s called a starter or appetizer, and not pre-dinner dinner.
Our main entrees did not go off so well, after an hour wait, we were given subpar dishes. My craving for red meat needing to be quenched I ordered a steak, but specifically asked for them not to finish the steak with any butter, or olive oil. When my steak was brought out it looked like a glistening mess, in my head instantly there was an image of a fat guy in latex, who rolled around in some KY Jelly. I asked the server if they had finished the steak, when I told them not to, she went back to find out and of course they had brushed butter, and olive oil on the steak.
Adding insult to injury the Miso Black Cod we ordered for my mom was tepid, and tasted like a water downed mess of crap. I’ve had this dish at Seablue before and normally it’s the reason to eat there, it’s one of the signature dishes, but clearly some Sous chef was rushed to put out subpar food. I was looking around hoping to spot Gordon Ramsay, yelling at someone and saying in his Ramsay way “where’s your pride, where are your standards?”
When I called over the manager I released a bit of furry, and gave him a bit of the Angry Asian. On a scale of 1 to 10, he got the 5, the equivalent of a Chinese guy back in the railroad building days running out of the tunnel after the dynamite had been laid, and realizing that the fuckers lit the fuse before he was completely out of the tunnel.
The manager handled the situation well. He first tried to bring out another steak and offer it on the house, but the one he brought out looked like they had just cooked it with a blow torch. I just told him I’m past eating at this point, so no thanks ass (ok I didn’t call him an ass). Rendition two of my mom’s miso cod tasted exactly the way we remembered it. Clearly the second edition of this dish was cooked by a senior chef.
In an attempt to make amends the Manager didn’t charge us for my mom’s miso dish, or the desert that my sister ordered. I left an above average tip, and took the time to call the manger back over and thank him for his good service.
It ended being a late night. I got to bed around 2:00 AM after having my ass handed to me playing 4 Card Poker. My parents and my sister stayed out 4 hours later than I did, I found out later that my mom who is 69 pulled an all nighter. I guess tomorrow night she’ll be doing a keg stand.
With 6 hours of sleep, I was charged up for a morning cardio session. The gym at the Borgata is nice. They charge $12.00 a day.
For cardio they have a large number of treadmills, elliptical machines, and stationary bikes. I decided I would use the Life Fitness elliptical. The model they have at the Borgata is nicer than at most gyms. It has a built in TV, and all the controls are touch screen. It’s the type of cardio machine you picture in a Manhattan executive club.
I found out quickly that this machine is a piece of crap compared to an Arc Trainer. There are no incline controls, and the resentence level goes as high as 25. In honor of breaking last week’s work out schedule I figured Mountain Monday would be the order of the day.
I warmed up for 5 minutes, and then increased every 3 minutes for 15 intervals instead of 12. At the top I held the level 25 resistance for 8 minutes. I ended the session with 1 1-minute sprint, and 1 2-minute sprint.
I’m not sure if it was the machine, all the rest I’ve had, or a combination of things, but the hour workout just made me feel like I need to spend more time working, so I decided to do an extra 30 minute session. My “bonus” session started with a miracle mile at resistance level 15, then 5 2-minute resistance increasing intervals which started at resistance level 20. The last part of the session involved another miracle mile, with about a 4 minute active recovery.
After the workout, I played some more 3 card poker, and then had lunch with my sister at the Borgata Buffet.
I took two laps around the buffet items, before I started to fill my plate. I found 4 items which I felt edible, salad with no dressing, Asian Style Tofu, Beef Brisket, and a carved Pork Loin. I had a bit of desert with my sister at lunch, a small bite of Cheesecake, and ¼ cup of sugar free gelato. I left the lunch feeling satiated, yet not unconformable. My last visit to the Borgata I filled my plate 4 times, and had a half plate of sweets.
In the afternoon I went to workout again at the gym. I wish I could have recorded the entire session. My first workout without a trainer, since March 2011, I was on point today. I started the session with the treadmill to warm up, 15 minutes of increasing incline levels, followed by a further warm up of a Miracle Mile on the elliptical machine. I finished the mile with a time almost a minute and half slower than my last Miracle Mile.
My back was the area of focus. I grouped the workout into 3 short circuit routines. Circuit one, included bent over dumbbell rows, medicine ball throw downs, and kettle bell swings, circuit two lat pull downs on a machine, with resistance ball crunches pressing a 4lb weight bar, and Bosu side Steps, and finally circuit three seated cable rows, with Bosu crunches, box jumps, and Bosu planks. I kept up a quick tempo transitioning between exercises in seconds, and only taking 30-45 second breaks between sets.
The session was completed with another Miracle Mile on the elliptical machine. My last mile of the day was only 5 seconds off my mornings closing Miracle Mile.
I spent about 4 hours today working out, and according to my heart rate monitor burned over 2300 calories. Upon completing my afternoon session I felt awesome, I couldn’t believe the workout that I had just given myself. Keeping up a high intensity workout on my own felt fantastic.
My reward for all this hard work today was to have dinner with my sister at Izakaya. This place is badass, modern Japanese food, with lots of style. It’s the kind of place you want to go hangout with a group of good friends. I may have been smitten because my future wife hostess put me into a great mood from the start. She wasn’t “hot”, but just really attractive in that I want to take you home and bind your feet sort of way, is that strange that I typed that? Foot binding that’s still a modern practice right?
My sister ordered a bunch of dishes so we had a bit of Japanese Tapas, all of it great. For my entrée I had a 7oz Kobe Beef Strip Steak, it was heaven in four words, don’t ask about price because in the real world outside the walls of the Casino I would never pay what I did for this steak.
Again upon the conclusion of dinner I felt satisfied, and didn’t feel bloated. I think with everything that I tasted today that I didn’t eat over 2000 calories, and if I did I’m certain I didn’t eat more than my Resting Metabolic Rate, I was able to successfully portion control my food.
I realized today how crucial the outings with Kent were back at the Ranch. It really did prepare me for days like today. I have NEVER felt this in control of my eating ever in my entire life. Who knew a person can actual choose to eat smaller amounts, and choose to stay away from specific types of foods. What a great feeling.
This trip has proven to be beneficial for me in several instances, first I got in about four hours of working out today, second I was able to make smart choices in a situation where all of my meals had to be purchased, and finally it has given me a renewed vigor to kick ass over the next few months.
Success comes in many forms, fortunately for me this trip gave me a renewed appreciation for what I am attempting