…or at its worst?
The foie gras and black truffle-topped Kobe [beef] burger is served on a brioche truffle bun and garnished with [famed] Chef Hubert Keller’s special sauce consisting of…more truffles. To accompany this decadent burger, guests will enjoy a bottle of Chateau Petrus 1995 poured in Ichendorf Brunello stemware, exclusively imported from Italy. After the meal, the team at [Las Vegas, Mandalay Bay hotel and casino restaurant] Fleur de Lys will ship the glasses to the guest’s home at no additional charge. www.mandalaybay.com
Traveling in ‘luxurious’ style via a discount airline to the city known, and proud of, its excessive excessiveness, I read about this delicious burger in the always fascinating in-flight magazines. As my ‘high-end’ plane had no music, movie screens, televisions and certainly no class (it was an add-on we opted out of), I had nothing else to do and plenty of time to do it. It’s here where they gave us the ‘luxury’ of time prior to take off while the double duty working staff (the baggage handlers also checked us in and for all we know may have flown the plane) made sure the correct amount of duct tape was used to secure the wings (2 packs per side apparently took care of that). Trying to distract myself from thoughts of imminent death by airplane, the article on the $5,000 burger quickly caught my eye.
Although this burger sounded scrumptious and would probably taste amazing (I wonder how much they charge for extra cheese?) it wasn’t the price tag that turned me off (after all, who CAN’T use an extra pair of Ichendorf Brunello stemware?) but its calorie content. Although not posted anywhere online, based on the ingredients alone, this burger and fry combo is sure to be at the top of any cardiologists’ DO NOT CONSUME list.
Out of reach foodstuffs is also the perfect theme for this week as I wind down the 6-month weight loss challenge I began with 8 other health minded gals.
The Goal: to slim down as much as possible within a 6-month period.
The Process: kick start a healthy eating regime with the support of the group, share tips and tricks along the way and couple all of it with mutual encouragement plus fun and active group events
The Reward: a slimmer, healthier you cash money!
The Process didn’t go as well as planned as organizing the schedules of 9 social females across different cites proved trickier than we thought. Group activities were minimal, team meetings were non-existent but luckily encouragement to keep at it has been there the whole time.
Once a week an email update was sent out with individual and group percentage weight loss #’s to date and in the first few weeks we all dropped significant pounds. Though as time wore on, some definitely continued to slim down, while others maintained the early weight loss but got stuck on plateaus. However, in the end what will be important is that everyone drops a few pounds or at least learns new ideas and skills on how to do it better on their next attempt.
Top 10 things I’ve learned (and relearned) from this 6-month experience:
- I can easily be motivated by $$$, woo!
- If you don’t eat healthy foods, you don’t lose weight – boo!
- Going to the gym/boxing/yoga/tennis/walks/hikes/snowboarding 6+ times a week means nothing if you’re going to indulge in the poutine après ski experience (add a strawberry milkshake to the above and what an experience it is!)
- You CAN make friends with salads (and they call you back the next day too. They are SO into you).
- Boyfriends/guy friends/hubbies/etc. can be the devil when it comes to slimming down. Something about having a salad for dinner vs. a deep dish pizza seems to have some of them perturbed.
- Desserts are not a mandatory part of the meal (but always welcome!)
- Frozen yogurt is not a healthy dessert option when you cover it in chocolate sauce, whipped cream and chopped nuts. Yes, even when it’s low fat frozen yogurt.
- Fruit truly can be a dessert…especially when you cover it in whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Mmmmmmm- oh wait….
- If you love your workout/exercise regime you WILL do it again.
- The only things truly low in fat are fruits and vegetables. For everything else, just get the full fat version, eat less of it and enjoy.
Bonus ‘get my learn on’: Whether you do or you don’t the time is going to pass anyway so you may as well do something about it.
December 13th is the long awaited day where we all get together for the final group weigh-in. Some of the girls I haven’t seen for several months too so I’m looking forward to seeing how much healthier they are now. We also took ‘before’ pictures in June and will take the ‘after’ shots to really appreciate the differences you can’t always see on the scale.
If I win: A wad of cash (woo!) to use on a much needed shopping spree. I also get to plan a fun event in January with delicious and healthful foodstuffs for all of us to share. Plus, after the weigh-in I plan to devour a plate of my favourite Chinese food. The dish of choice –beef with black bean sauce over rice noodles (my love, it has been too long!)
If I lose: Bitterness, disappointment, a much needed shopping spree (using my own cash, like a chump!) followed by a dish of beef with black bean sauce over rice noodle (my love, I certainly can’t blame you for being you!).
Mmmmm. Now that’s what I call win-win
At last check I was ahead by a few percentage points but updates haven’t been available for the past several weeks to motivate us to keep at it till the end. For me this means I can’t slack off this last week. There are several gals still in it to win it so these last 7 days could be the deciding factor. On my agenda this week– hot yoga, boxing classes, spin classes and boot camp style workouts. It will be 7 whole days of clean eating, getting plenty of rest, incorporating various exercises and most importantly – booze free living. And yes, this unfortunately includes sweet, delicious wine. Also out this week: rendez-vous’ with gentleman callers because you know how those go… Yee gads! This might be the longest 7 days of my life.
It had better be worth it.
I would also like to take this time to apologize in advance to my friends and family and to please note that when I’m screaming at you this week over the phone for any and all past transgressions -“ You stole my favourite red crayon in 4th grade and I want it back!” it’s really just the lack of sugar talking. To my dear coworkers, if I yell at any clients I’m training this week and you hear me spout phrases such as ‘incompetent’, ‘moron’ or ‘Is there a monkey on your staff I could speak to instead?’ please kindly suggest that I take a carrot stick break and gently pry the phone out of my hand.
Wish me luck!
Want to make the burger yourself? Good for you. See the recipe below. Extra points will be awarded for anyone living outside of Paris, France who can source ‘Fleur buns’ and ‘black truffles’ from your local grocer.
Hubert Keller’s – The Fleur Burger recipe
Makes 4 servings
32 oz coarsely ground Kobe beef
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 cup brown Chicken Stock
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. Madeira or port
4 Fleur Buns
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 oz. black Perigord truffle, very thinly sliced (about 5 slices per person)
8 to 10 oz duck foie gras
Fleur de sel
1 bunch watercress, washed and picked over.
Get the rest of the recipe here
Beef noodle source