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Coffee, is it your really your addiction or just your crutch?

March 28th, 2013 2 Comments

Latte from Alfred Coffee Los Angeles

During my dtox juice cleanse* in Atlanta, I obviously wasn’t drinking ANY coffee. The thought of not having a cup was terrifying because I like not only the taste but also the caffeine getting my body moving in the early hours of the morning. Who doesn’t? So before the cleanse, Shannon (owner of dtox) suggested I try her Pu-erh latte to help me make the transition. (Pu-erh is an aged tea with a decent dose of caffeine and notable health benefits. The older it is the better it gets.)

To make her latte, Shannon steeps The Art of Tea Cocao Coconut Pu-erh and then tops it off with her fresh almond milk frothed with a Capresso frother.

When I tell you this combo tastes better than a real latte, I’m exaggerating. Neither is “better” than the other. But one IS “better” for you and happens to taste unbelievably delicious. In fact, I loved the Pu-erh so much I shunned our Breveille espresso maker and fresh ground Intelligencia beans during the cleanse and then for a month afterwards! I made Shannon’s blend every morning instead. I will say though, somehow hers is better…

Tea with Almond Milk

Don’t get me wrong, my obedience was facilitated by the fact that the best cappuccino was either made my traveling BF or a 20 minute drive from our home in Atlanta. When I returned to Houston and I could hit up Boomtown Coffee 5 minutes from my mom’s house, it was my first stop. But! I only did it once :)


As I person who enjoyed two to three cups of coffee a day, I really thought I was becoming addicted to it. But when I made the switch to only one Pu-erh a day, I didn’t get crazy headaches or feel more sluggish than normal. I was totally fine. What I realized is that I was using coffee as a crutch because I just like drinking good coffee….and hate drinking water. However, we all know that anything in excess is bad for our bodies. While debate is still out on whether coffee is “bad” for our health because it has proven benefits, I’m sure we can agree the stuff that most people put into their coffee is crap (dairy, soy milk, processed almond milk, syrups, etc). So now I enjoy tea in the morning and at least a gallon of water a day. I can’t say I feel different, but I don’t feel bad or like I’m missing out on anything. Of course I splurge on an occasional cappuccino or latte from time to time, just not two a day like I used to. If you’re wondering what shops serve up the best capps and lattes, I’ll give you a little list of my favorites should you be in one of my “home towns.” NYC





(*More on dtox juice and new cleanses soon!) Photo: Latte from Alfred Coffee, new “Ace Hotel” like coffee shop on Melrose Place in West Hollywood. They use Stumptown beans and have baristas who know how to serve them up right!

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Where to eat right now: Atlanta

August 24th, 2012 4 Comments

I was surprised to find out that Atlanta is teeming with talented chefs.  Another shocker is that vegetables are really hard to come by in the “farm-to-table” looking eateries.  Their southern food is flavorful, rich, and mostly devoid of anything green.

That being said, I love the fare I have found around town.  So many new places are opening as well, I’m working hard to discover them all as well as the classics.  The following are the city’s latest and greatest.

The Lawrence (Midtown)

You can tell the boys in the kitchen were not so pleased at my request for a picture, but I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to snap a pic of famed chef Shane Devereux and his all-bearded crew!  I’m a fan of his other restaurants, TOP FLR and Sound Table, and I was pleasantly surprised to see Shane had elevated his game for The Lawrence, a casual, yet sophisticated, Midtown venue.  After my veggie intro above, I need to say that The Lawrence menu has the biggest selection of veg I’ve seen in ATL.  I have no complaints about The Lawrence.  It’s my current favorite!

Barcelona (Inman Park)

New to Inman Park, this tapas restaurant and wine bar already has a great buzz going.  Unfortunately I can’t find the picture of my paella, but I can tell you I did sit at the table above and enjoy every dish that was served on our 4-top.  The service is a bit slow and the noise level (as well as the bill) is high, but the energy in the room kept our spirits high.  I would go to Barcelona again for a spread or simply grab a glass of wine and a snack at the bar.

Watershed (Buckhead)

Decatur’s Watershed (started by Indigo Girl Emily Sailers) moved across town to the southern tip of Buckhead on Peachtree and 28th.  The neighborhood could not be more delighted to have a trendy spot!  Think Local Three menu in a “southern contemporary” decor.   Reservations are hard to come by, but the bar is huge so you should be able to find stools and enjoy dinner.  Since they’re new, they’re still working out the kinks, but the food doesn’t need any tweaking.  Whatever the pasta dish is, order it!

Octane Coffee Bar (Grant Park)

My favorite coffee shop opened its third and largest location in Grant Park (next to Six Feet Under).  It’s a tough decision in the afternoon – coffee and sweets or beer and chips – but it can be done.  Right now Octane is outlet-less, but I’ve put a word in with management to open at least a couple! Here you’ll also find a bigger bar and a bake shop that makes delicious things you should enjoy but eat sparingly.

Others you need to know:

  • Lure – The new hot spot with great fish and a fun scene.  Or so I hear. The decor and patio look amazing and the location should make it successful.
  • Spence – Top Chef winner Richard Blais’ new place is a let down in terms of both food and decor.  On paper it should be perfect; hopefully the execution will come around.
  • F & B – From Holeman & Finch, this french bistro is already bustling in Buckhead.  I haven’t tried it yet.
  • Cib0 e Beve – Way up north on Roswell, this cozy Italian spot is not new, but no one really knows about it.  Sit at the bar and tell Matt and Justin I sent you.
  • Abbatoir – This chophouse has been around even longer, BUT it’s got a new chef.  I should say THE chef: Tyler Williams of Baccanalia (Altanta’s best restaurant) to make the food more approachable.  It worked.  I love it!
  • Aria – Another one that is not new, just wanted you to know it’s still alive and kickin’.  The food was fresh, not too heavy, and all-around fabulous.



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