LA – Cafe Gratitude, Bulletproof Cafe, and U.S. Airport Security
When I flew overseas last year, I purposefully booked myself a 24 hour stopover in LA on my return. I don't really like LA that much, but I was flying through there anyways and and super keen to check out the new Bulletproof Cafe in Santa Monica. I've been listening to the bulletproof radio podcast about two years now and I'm totally hooked. I love the variety of interesting people that he interviews, and the information about nutrition is fascinating. Knowledge about nutrition is constantly changing and updating, so I like to try to stay on top of the latest news. (https://blog.bulletproof.com/tag/podcast)
So I went to bulletproof at 7am for a traditional bulletproof coffee, which is a blended hot drink made with three ingredients: top grade organic coffee, grass fed organic butter and brain octane (high strength coconut oil). Now, I don't normally eat dairy, but the hype about this stuff is so huge that I wanted to just give it a try. Not to mention the very friendly staff bought me my coffee when I told them I'd come all the way from Australia to try it. What stellar dudes! And did I mention its totally delicious and satisfying? A bit decadent if you're not used to drinking something very fatty and creamy, so it might take getting used to, but if you like coffee, give it a try!
I went straight from bulletproof to an 8am meditation session. I wouldn't normally have coffee before meditation, because of the buzz, I thought it would be difficult to sit still. No way. I was sooooo focused and present! Then I went to a 9:30am power yoga class and had loads of energy. I hadn't even eaten breakfast and I wasn't hungry after that workout? I am a big fan of breakfast, and normally don't leave the house without eating something substantial. But this stuff was unreal! There is definitely something to be said for healthy fats for fuel! [side note: I was eating a very high fat and very low carb diet at the time, similar to the bulletproof guidelines. I've noticed that when I'm eating a high carb diet and my body is not used to burning fat for fuel, the fats don't fill me up, because my body wants carbs. But once you are mostly off carbs, your body will begin to burn fat for fuel, and it does fill you up.]
I went back to bulletproof for lunch and sampled some fine beef tacos. The taco shell was made from coconut, completely grain free. I wish I knew how they did that! I will be experimenting with that recipe for sure - watch this space.
The bicycle ride from Santa Monica to Venice Beach is really lovely as well. I hired a bike for a day for $30 and had plenty of time to cruise between bites and yoga sessions. I laid on the beach for a couple of hours for one last chance of a tan before heading back to winter in Australia. Now, after 9 years of living in Australia you would think that I could learn my lesson about sunscreen. Nope. I turned cooked lobster red, and didn't even notice until AFTER bikram yoga. No wonder I was struggling with the heated class LOL.
Finally, at the end of a glorious day of indulgent eating, sun baking and stretching, I treated myself to a fancy meal at the one and only Cafe Gratitude. I discovered this place when I did bikram yoga teacher training in LA in 2012, and I've been dying to get back ever since. The staff are so friendly and the atmosphere very relaxing. I really enjoy a restaurant that I can feel comfortable sitting alone at. I chose the salad special of the day which was grilled asparagus with roasted pumpkin, almond feta, and smokey toasted coconut "bacon" bits. It was of course, divine. I followed it up with the most delicious raw cake that I've ever eaten. It was called Irresistible – raw coconut cream pie, which paired exquisitely with a warm immune elixir of turmeric, dates and almond milk. It was probably THE most satisfying meal I've ever eaten.
So, an all around enjoyable and successful day of indulgence, I would say. Unfortunately it didn't end so pleasantly. When I went through security at the airport that night, walking through the scanner in my stocking feet I slipped and fell dramatically and sliced my face open. I was bleeding everywhere and it was painful and embarrassing. I just wanted to go home alread... I blame the accident on the fact that I was watching my luggage go through the x-ray machine, instead of watching my step, because I was paranoid about someone taking my bag. I had $100 worth of brain octane oil in there after all. And wouldn't you know it, silly me forgot that you can't put large bottles of liquid in your carry on luggage. So while I was tearily holding napkins to my bleeding face and feeling quite pathetic, I watched the security staff put that expensive coconut oil straight in the bin. Palm. To. Forehead.