Vacationing with the hubby is always a great time, wherever we venture! This excursion was no different. We highly recommend The Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida. Our stay was simply magnificent from the moment we arrived to the bitter-sweet day we left for the airport headed home. Superb customer service upon encounter with our beautiful front desk clerk Neka, and the continual concierge love we received with every request, made each day pure heaven. But what made this stay that much more amazing for me was the fact that this was a Chef Geoffrey Zakarian culinary curated hotel! What an honor to be staying at a hotel where the Iron Chef himself has personally touched each dish we'd be devouring from the Diplomat!
Click heOur first tasty engagement occurred at the Point Royal Restaurant located right past the bar leading out to the pool and beach area. I had the Crab Croquettes accompanied with Chef GZ's infamous "Comeback Sauce" and a side of Buttered Broccolini. The hubby had the St. Tropez Turkey Club and a side of seasoned fresh cut fries.
The Verdict: I felt the crab croquettes lacked flavor. I was somewhat disappointed that I didn't taste the sea-sweetness of fresh crab in these little bites. While I was thankful they were not loaded down with stuffing/breading like some, basic bland crabmeat rolled in panko and deep fried, unfortunately allowed much to be desired. Not to mention I was saddened by the very sauce I've seen Chef make on TV. The 'Comeback Sauce' reminded me of the combination of a well known salad dressing sandwich spread and ketchup mix. Thankfully my palate was saved with the broccolini which was prepared to perfection! And the hubby's club sandwich was fresh, delicious, and exactly how I would make it!! Trust, adding sliced boiled egg and avocado to a traditional club sandwich makes everything right with the world!re to edit.
Point Royal's exquisite breakfast buffet is a thing of glory! Unique handcrafted salads, exotic seasonal tropical fruit, fresh gourmet cheeses, waffles, roasted potatoes, wide range of breakfast meats and cured meats, hot and cold cereals, fresh juices, coffee and tea. But what set this buffet off was the Omelette Bar extravaganza! I would have to love this right?! Come on, you all know 'make it your own' is my mantra- this was no different. I had a delicious veggie loaded egg white filled with scrumptious smoked salmon and herb goat cheese. Hubby's was filled with divine chicken sausage!
The Verdict: AWESOME!! I do believe my favorite part of the bar though was the amazing variety of sweet and luscious tropical fruit- truly earth's candy if I ever tasted. Our amazing server Bridgette gave us an awesome tip: Come down to dine 30 minutes prior to the end of the buffet. That way we'd pretty much be satisfied for most of the day! Boy was she ever right! And as an added bonus, Bridgette became such an insight to me as our 'culinary health' discussions regarding blood conditioning provided validation for a facet of AC Art Of Food. She was and is a true gem!
Oddly enough, we ventured off property to the popular mall in Hollywood, Aventure Mall, where we decided to dine at one of our favs, Cheesecake Factory. I had never seen the Almond Crusted Salmon Kale Salad on the menu in my previous visits here in Atlanta, but dining on the patio in balmy Hollywood, Florida convinced me that this was the 'coolest' dish to order. A lemon zest cream sauce topped this delicious piece of fish literally making my toes wiggle! Frankly, I've never been disappointed with a Cheesecake Factory meal ever, so I was not surprised! And this beautiful salad was mixed with delicate quinoa and tender sliced radish. Chunks of avocado and sweet-tart dried cranberries gave this nutty salad the sublime boost it needed. And of course, I will be re-making this some time in the near summer future- stay tuned.
The Verdict: A toe-wiggling winner!
And the highlight of our departure, a delicious bite at Point Royal before the car takes us to the airport. Are you sensing my love for salmon on this trip yet? Is it obvious? Lol!! This was the quintessential breakfast to seal the simply amazing time we spent on our vacation. Lox and Bagels is one of my favorite combinations ever! This Scandinavian/ Chinese/ Italian/ Americanized dish is so fresh, briney, creamy, and crisp and ever so refreshing as I squeeze lemon over everything! Sealing the deal with a steamy cup of coffee made this to be the perfect morning dining experience! Fresh baked bagels, cream cheese, lox, capers, boiled egg, sliced red onion, thinly sliced English cucumber, juicy Roma tomatoes, and don't forget the lemon! What more could a girl ask for!
The Verdict: The perfect ending bite to a perfect vacation!
In conclusion, when visiting Hollywood, Florida, I would encourage you to feast and reside at the Diplomat Beach Resort Hotel for a stellar experience all around! We're already planning our return- hope to see you there!
I recently posted a video on my AC Art Of Food Facebook page regarding a woman's testimony on how she beat cancer. She explained how not only was she diagnosed with breast cancer, but she beat it, and then it came back in another part of her body. This woman endured chemo and radiation, and after all that was given only 21 months to live. Fast forward TWELVE YEARS LATER, this miracle of a woman is sharing how she beat this beast of a disease with a positive outlook and eating not only healthy, but a specific type of healthy foods. These specific foods are known as alkaline foods.
There is a scale in our bodies on the ph spectrum that balances acid and alkaline in the body. You want your body on the alkaline side. 'Why' you ask? Cancer cells CANNOT live in an alkaline environment. For this reason, prevention is paramount.
This champion of a woman beat the odds by focusing her diet on alkaline rich foods. Just think, if we all incorporated alkaline rich foods into our diets the monumental changes we can make to our lives. Please be clear, I am not stating, nor am I in a position to state, that this is a cure for cancer. However, I am expressing that alkaline foods are a large contributor in the fight against cancer.
I became so pumped by this story that my mind immediately started buzzing with ideas on how to create delicious recipes rich in alkaline. There are plenty of these types of foods to choose from, check out a few of my favs below:
I didn't have to look any further than my own backyard garden for one of the stars of my recipe where I'm growing gorgeous swiss chard! The recipe you ask? Here it is! My colorful Alkaline Rich Black Bean & Leek Salad. This amazing salad was a huge hit at our cookout! But this is just the beginning! I can't wait to develop more of my new 'F@#$ Cancer' recipes!
The annual celebration of Earth Day turned 48 this week, and it's theme: End Plastic Pollution!
Earth Day is a great way to really focus on what we as people should do in order to protect and preserve this planet in which we live. It's unfortunate that we have not done a very good job as a whole in this effort. From hunting for pleasure endangering species, to chopping down vital forests and everything detrimental in between, we have not done a very good job in nurturing OUR earth. However, now is the perfect opportunity to re-commit, re-connect, and play in the dirt again- figuratively speaking...or maybe not!
This year's focus is on the need to end plastic pollution. So many items we purchase to wear, eat, and drink, often if not always, come packaged in plastics of some sort. In my household, we're doing our part by growing fresh fruits and vegetables to help avoid plastic packaging- garden to table, if you will, ha! But inquiring minds what to know what you are doing to leave your mark on protecting Mother Earth.
Not sure about what you can do? No worries! I've formed a list below of excellent steps you can take towards rebuilding a better place in which we dwell. Which ones will you choose to participate in? Let me know by posting in the comments below!
AC Art Of Food's Tips To Preserving Mother Earth:
Find even more ways at www.earthday.org!
Who are we kidding, life is passing us by quicker and quicker and there is absolutely nothing we can do about it. Unfortunately there is no 'stop' or even 'pause' button for real time. But worry not! What we can control and focus on is living our best, right now! Regardless of our age, we can take hold of the reins starting today, right this very minute, by getting the right amount of sleep, adequate exercise (not overdoing it), and ultimately the proper nutrition our individual bodies need, at the ages we are, this very moment! I don't know about you, but I'm excited and intrigued with the abundance of individuals in their later years, near and upwards of 60 looking amazing and speaking out regarding how they feel the best they've ever felt in life! And what are they attributing it to you ask? Clean and plant-based foods! The proof's in the pudding (pun intended)! These individuals are stronger in mind, body, and spirit. This inspires and motivates me on my laziest of days, to move and be purposeful to put in my body foods that heal, not hinder.
One Green Planet has done a great job of spotlighting 8 individuals you may know at various ages who relay how they optimize their culinary lifestyle to maximize to their fullest potential in the article link below.
Are you living your best life, right now? Let me know what you nosh on to keep it right and tight, at your age!
My sister asked me the other day if I thought of her as a foodie. I flat out replied 'no'. Sensing a bit of disdain in her breathing after my response, I begin to explain that although she enjoys a good meal from time to time, chitterlings, pig's feet, yellow rice, hot Cheetos, and an occasional can of Lime-O-Rita, I just don't feel a 'foodie' makes. I wasn't trying to be mean, nor judgemental- although now typing it out on this blog, yep....that's exactly how I sound. But who am I to determine if someone is a foodie or not? What guidelines are there that constitute one as a true food connoisseur? I mean hey, at times I feel that I don't always fit into the grouping of a 'foodie' as I don't always expand my horizons in traveling out to the un-tasted. I also struggle with how to be a foodie when embarking on a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle which ultimately limits the consumption of various delicious vittles.
So how is a 'true foodie' determined? Associations Now feels they've tapped into the basic mindset of this creature of culinary expertise in their 2017 research. Check out the article and the checklist below from Popsugar and let me know if you agree or disagree- this should make for tasty conversation!
Article: Get A Glimpse Inside The Foodie Mindset
Find out if you're a Foodie: Foodie Checklist!
This post is one that I have been sitting on for some time now. I've experienced from near and afar, instances that cause me to pause and contemplate what I was feeling. Conversations I've had with friends, colleagues, and foodies of industry alike that have either had similar thoughts, or have been on the other side fueling what I have termed 'Evilveganism'.
'Yes, I'm Vegan'. 'Vegetarian is what I've become'. 'Yes I'm flexible- mainly vegetarian, but I only eat chicken on Mondays and Wednesdays, that means I'm Flexitarian'. 'Pescetarian here, fish isn't really meat, so I'm good'! I make sure that veggies are based around my chicken and steak, so I feel that makes me just good ol' plant-based, yeah, I'm Plantbased'. LABELS.
My eating journey started out like most, trying to figure it all out in an instant. I eat this, not that. Basically following a trend of what was popular, but also with the potential of eating better. I've pretty much dabbled in all of the above eating labels and have finally concluded that it's about what works for ME, regardless of the culinary trend. And isn't that what it's really all about- what works for you? Common sense says yes- enter EvilVeganism. It is truly a phenomenal time when the popular thing to do is eat more healthy. Unfortunately, these self-appointed spokespeople have an uncanny knack for making clean-eating-challenged, primary meat-eaters feel as if they're less than adequate for not giving it all up and once. These Evilvegans hop on their soapboxes and dictate all types of judgement and critique that raises them seemingly higher on this platforms as they look down on those not yet conformed. Ugggh, you eat that? You know you're killing yourself, right? So you're good with eating a chicken's period? And you wonder why you smell like that? I have heard and seen enough! You would think these self-righteous, holy-grass eaters have been vegan ever since the boob! Just a few years ago if not LESS, these exact same 'Mean Girls' (persons), were most likely in the drive-thru line of their neighborhood fast food chicken spot trying to get a 2-piece with a side of red beans and rice or at the burger joint ordering a double cheeseburger with extra pickles CUT IN HALF! Get tha' hell outta here! Because of these Evilvegans, I have seen friends and acquaintances at one time or another go into seclusion denying themselves holiday and other festive gatherings as not to be tempted by meat-laden vittles trying to fit into this unrealistic square peg magically overnight.
*NEWSFLASH*: If you have been a primary meat eater for 30+ years, chances are your body/mindset aren't going to adjust in 24 hours, or even 24 days.
While I am a strong proponent for a plant- based lifestyle wholly believing food is indeed medicine, as with anything your body consumes on a regular basis over an extensive period of time, you must PREPARE. Never have I heard those behind this EvilVeganism movement once utter the importance of speaking to your physician about plans to begin this lifestyle and considering your labs/blood work. Or providing resources and/or help to guide you in making an optimal and realistic plan for you to obtain this goal. Or encouraging one to not aspire to be a label but in fact to incorporate a healthy 'lifestyle'.
And this word 'lifestyle' has even gotten lost in the shuffle. Folks are being so ill-advised to embrace labels that they don't even comprehend what's all involved. What may seem like common sense to some is foreign to most. Veganism is not just an eating plan rid of animal protein and product derivatives. Veganism means that your favorite oh-so-soft-all-leather handbag is being donated to a shelter. Those badass leather and/or suede boots, shoes, earrings, jacket, headband, bracelet, wool coat/socks, etc., yep, no more. That killing-me-softly-warm fur coat you inherited- yeah, pass that on down to the next family member in line. And this is just your attire, we haven't even touched on that sheepskin rug or leather couch you're sitting on as you read this blog post. And did you pay extra for that all leather interior package in your vehicle? Or better yet, do you own a pet? Oh, ok. So you see, this style of living is deeper that what it looks to be on the surface. And it's not fair to those true vegans living this reality daily. Now this is not to say these are not your endeavors, my point is that research, time, and self-realization is needed. Understand that it is completely OK to take time to process and not feel bullied or less-than trying to live up to some Evilvegan's epiphany and exclusion of those just trying to live their best life.
So do you, be you, know YOU! Don't fall prey to EvilVeganism. Embrace and acknowledge your limitations and AT YOUR OWN PACE, seek to be more than a label.
Now go out and make it a Great Tasting Day!
There is no secret that November 1st of every year is National Parent Candy Eating Day (yeah, I made it up, and it is a thing, lol!). However, when this oh-so-special day turns into NPCE week, there's a problem. You tell yourself, 'but they're mini and only a fraction of calories from the real thing'. Or, '...it's only once a year'. And the other many, MANY, excuses we comfort ourselves with in order to justify the sweet creamy chocolate we allow to touch our lips, over, and over again!
So this is how I know sugar is the devil. See, I've been pretty consistent to limiting my 'sweets' intake to only a few times a month- and they most, if not all, of the times were dark chocolate (me making it beneficial, ha!) Limiting caffeine, gallon-a-day water intake, no meat, you know, just working really hard to be great.
Enter: the week after Halloween.
With my lifestyle of eating and exercising, I have miraculously demolished the 2pm work day slump. So walking into the break room to fill up my water mega mug around noon, what do I see?!? A bounty of the 'good' chocolate Halloween candy sitting pretty, right there on the table. WTH?!?!? And whyyyyyyy is the flesh so weak?!?! Somehow, completely unbeknownst to me, a handful of these chocolate 'devils' jump into my hand and walk me back to my desk- the nerve! After about only 15 minutes of being back at my desk I start to hear something. Low and behold, the Halloween candy begins whispering my name, louder, Louder, and LOUDER!! So me, trying to not to call any additional attention to myself, immediately put the candy in my mouth to keep down the noise, LMAO!! When I tell you, these little portions of delight blessed my soul something beautiful!!
I begin to feel my eyes get heavier and heavier. The usual podcast I listen to while working seems to now be singing a lullaby. All of a sudden I'm hearing this 'pinging' noise that startles me into snapping my head back to the upright position from being tilted all the way back, with yes, my mouth wide open in mid-slumber! It just so happens that my fingers properly in the home-row position, have acquired a bit of additional pressure from me FALLING ASLEEP!!! This NEVER happens! I am usually always alert at work, especially with my mid-day workout. As I begin to assess what could have possibly altered my sleep the night before, it hits me. The Halloween candy. That one piece of candy turned into me consuming 3 pieces within a 10 minute period. People, the sugar-rush struggle IS REAL!!!
Thankfully I had a 16 oz. mason jar of my usual morning green juice (spinach, cucumber, green apple, banana, ginger) I hadn't drank yet waiting in the fridge. I kid you not, I drank the entire jar and within 30 minutes you would have thought I had a shot straight to the vein of concentrated caffeine! It was unreal!! I didn't have that 'jittery' effect associated with a cup of strong coffee. It was like I was on a natural high! Even hours later after getting home and beginning my evening job as 'wife/mommie', I was still good, not winding down until it was my bedtime!
I say all of this to relay, beware of the sugar monster, it is a thing...a very, very baaaaaaad thing. It is indeed satan. Here's your proof from me, tried and true!
But as always, don't take my word for it! I gave you the ingredients of my SUPER green juice above, you try it and let me know how you felt afterwards in the comments below!!
Make it a Great Tasting (sugar-free) Day!
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.....because it usually gives us a bubbling gut, ugghhhh!! Luckily, in my search for all things deliciously-culinary health related, I stumbled upon a couple of tasty lines of lactose-free ice creams that are proven to be easy on the belly rumbles, lol! Even better, one is actually vegan (and just so happens to be my favorite!). This just goes to show that more and more people are finding their way to a more plant based lifestyle and are demanding it be tasty!! Well, from the looks of it, the food producers are listening!
So enjoy the video, and don't just take my word for it, head out there and find your favorite! And PLEASE be sure to comment below and tell me what you think!
Make it a Great Tasting Day!
God, family, food. Yep, and in that order! As a self proclaimed culinary health foodie, I have seen and tasted up close and personal food trends and health fads that have come and gone. Trendy diets, detoxes, and cleanses too. And yes I've tried a few in my day- a vegetable soup flush here, and 'grade B' maple syrup lemonade cleanse there. And indeed for that moment once completed (not even going to describe the level of mood swings when you begin these food hiatus'), you're pounds lighter and your attitude is on cloud 9!! .....then you eat...and it all goes to hell in a hand-basket. In most instances you gain back not only what you initially lost, but a few more ponds that you've found along the way! Here's my point- unless you plan on eating that magic weight loss soup or only sipping on that spicy lemonade for the rest of your life, all you lost is coming back, and with a vengeance!
My thought process: A skinny person is not necessarily to be assumed 'healthy', nor is a thicker individual necessarily 'unhealthy'. Once you get the mindset to make 'healthy' not only your priority but your way of life, i.e., lifestyle, a much satisfied and health-ful person you will be.
Out of all the food fads throughout my lifetime, one tidbit seems to always prevail- plan-tbased is best. No, this does not necessarily mean all the world should ONLY eat grass for the rest of their lives. However, making plants primary and animal protein the smaller portion on your plate, is not at all a bad thing. Salads are not the only dishes to be enjoyed within a plant-based lifestyle. Roasted seasonal vegetables have taken over as a more tastier option when eating from the earth. Various beans/legumes, and even veggies taking the place of certain grain carbs such as rice and pasta, are heavily on the climb as the more tastier and beneficial choice. And yes, salads are a one bowl traditional go-to for vegan, vegetarian, plant-based grazers alike, but the salads of today are created thoughtfully 'outside the box' where in most cases lettuce is either a very small ingredient if included at all.
If a more gradual approach is what you're seeking, there's an option for that as well. There are loads of veggie 'meat' substitutes out there for those transitioning desiring a more textured vegetable replacement. However, be mindful that just because it's not meat doesn't mean it's better. In all things consumed and applied to your body, check the labels. Make sure your meat-subs are free from GMOs, too many ingredients with more than 8 letters (lol!), and are artificial anything! I'm not going to bash the product lines that are guilty of providing such ingredients for the sake of taste, but I will acknowledge my top two (2) favs:
And that's my take!
This beautiful sister right here touched my spirit and inspired my soul! DeAnna's food journey, no, her life journey alone is so faithful and filling, it's no wonder we stood in her store and talked for almost an hour yesterday! She's constantly looking for ways improve her already prized jewel, Simply Produce on Roosevelt Hwy in College Park, Georgia. Her suppliers consist of local gardeners and farmers right here in our own metro area- now you can't get more local than that!! It was a beautiful site seeing such a diverse group of customers walking through her door to fuel their bodies with nature's produce by way of SP! (There was a line waiting for the doors to open!!) Her knowledge and expertise about farming fresh fruits and vegetables is stellar. And no need to worry if you don't see what you need on her shelves- she SPECIAL ORDERS for your desired need!! The customer service is phenomenal! And EVERYONE knows that AC thrives off of GREAT customer service, given and received. So I already knew when I walked up and she greeted me as 'Queen', this was the place for me!! Beautiful people, phenomenal heart and passion for the love of feeding the soul, and awesome fresh local produce conveniently available right here in our community, 'Simply Produce' is AC Art of Food’s new spot for always local, always fresh produce.
Now let me get off here and make my list for next Saturday!!!! *GO SEE DEANNA at Simply Produce- it'll do your body good!!!
Simply Produce LLC
3375 Roosevelt Highway, Suite F
College Park, GA 30349
Satuday 10am- 5pm
*Closed Sunday & Monday*
Make it a Great Tasting Day!
I've recently become a fan of podcasts, and one in particular that gives me life is 'The Read' with Kid Fury and Crissle. During their sponsor credits they rave about the snacks from naturebox. What made the sponsor shout even more attractive was the '50% off your first order' offer when you use the specific code from the podcast...uh-uh-uh, you gotta go listen to their weekly hilariously opinionated, politically conscious, always woke, and current-events-ripping podcast to get that valuable piece of info😉.
While listening one day at work, I pull up www.naturebox.com on my computer and am immediately in love with the vast variety and taste combos of these healthy snacks! So I peruse the site, selecting to my cart snacks that tickled my fancy the most, applied my discount code (thanks Kid Fury and Crissle!), enter my payment/shipping info, and less than a week later my huge brown box arrived! I immediately rip open each pack nibbling here and there getting a sample of everything! There was not one snack I did not like, but here are my top 5 in order with #1 being just that, my #1 tasty snackmazing pick!
A naturally delicious way of snacking that's outside the box (ALL puns intended)! I highly recommend this line of snacks that have a minimal listing of ingredients that I can easily identify and pronunce! I have also referred friends and family to this snackline, primarily to keep them away from my snack stash!!
I have my own line of healthy snacks that I make from scratch, but when time gets away from me and life begins to happen, I reach for my naturebox snacks and I'm a happy camper!
👍5 out of 5 ACAOF Green Apples rating👍
But don't just take my word for it, go to www.naturebox.com for your discounted first order today!
Tis’ the season for delicious deviled eggs! You don’t have to know how to actually cook to boil an egg though, right? It’s a simple as boiling water, right? WRONG! A simple process yes, however, it’s all about timing. In the spirit of the first un-holiday-kick-off-prequel to summer, let’s get these bad boys right, as not to ruin the entire summer with crazy looking eggs…maybe. My new found love food52 has done an awesome job in diagnosing what’s gone awry in basic egg boiling, as well as giving a prescription on correcting the issue! This article even suggests tasty recommendations for your not-so-perfect little balls of sunshine that’ll make your guests think you meant to do that.
So to devil an egg, or not to devil an egg, that is the question, and now we have the answer!
I simply love this time of the year, however, the grocery shopping hustle and bustle that is Thanksgiving has come to an end. Homes full of family and friends holding plates stacked high with traditional comfort, cups full of thankful spirits, and grateful smiles on each face and in each heart are officially of yesterday. Not sure if your plans are to shop til' you drop or indulge in a repeat of last night's feast for breakfast, but the day after Thanksgiving finds me sipping down a delicious cleansing matcha green smoothie, watching the Hallmark Channel's holiday movie marathon, resting cozily here....ahhhhhhhhh, tis' the season!
Check out @acartoffood's Tweet:https://twitter.com/acartoffood/status/802201139282399232?s=09
Want the inside scoop on how restaurants get you to come out of your pocket and at the end of your meal have you wondering, ‘What did I order?’
Here’s the scoop! An article written in Excelle– a social networking site created primarily for the career-minded woman, gives 10 restaurant menu ‘illusions’ that entice and ultimately get you to come out of your pocket more generously than you may have intended. Everything from, ‘this isn’t what it looks like in the commercial’ to why adding ‘bacon’ to a dish immediately increases its worth, is laid out for you here so you can be better equipped next time you dine out.
Hey, make it a great tasting Friday!
Let’s face it, most of us have trouble with dieting or, as I like to say, ‘eating right’, primarily because of what we have to cut out. It’s like a constant smack on the hand followed by the antagonistic phrase, ‘don’t eat that’!
Well a new study is underway that may make you happy camper. Per a ‘tweet’ from my fellow ‘twitter-er’ @susansandler, the online version of the health magazine Prevention, has consulted with Connecticut-based dietitian Milton Stokes, MPH, RD, regarding taboo bites that are not so taboo.
Make it a great tasting day!
Remember, SHARING is caring!