Monday, August 10, 2009

Black coffee? Works, but ...

My quest for the ultimate energy boost (before those midnight rides on the bike) led me to cold coffee drinks from Nijiya Market.

My first test: Roots Aroma Black Hot Blend coffee. (Hot Blend? It's a cold drink.) At 9.7 ounces in a squat little plastic bottle, all I knew is that it is black coffee with no sugar. Mr. Hornet, my longtime friend, would be proud being the no-cream, no-sugar coffee addict that he is.

The first taste was sorta awful. I'm no coffee drinker (though I have a love for coffee ice cream, particularly Baskin Robbins' Jamoca Almond Fudge). But I did it in the name of research. I gulped down all 9.7 ounces, bitter as it was. Not the worst taste in the world, and I don't mind, really. After all, I (can) eat parsley and basil now -- things I hated as a kid.

Did the Roots black coffee help? Well, I had huge energy for my 40-minute (stationary) bike ride, yet only burned 342 calories, well off my recent new record of 377. What happened? I was whizzing on that bike at a great rate two-thirds of the way through. Maybe I got too distracted with the TV show (TNT, forget the show's title) in front of me. Maybe the caffeine kick wore out.

I'm not ruling out black coffee as a spark for future workouts. But it won't be at the top of my list, partly because it had my plumbing in a state of percolation. Nothing horrible, but uncomfortable enough to make me wince once or twice during the ride. Then, while I played basketball, it kept feeling like I had to pee. Coffee is a diuretic, I know real well now.

There are several more coffee drinks in my fridge. A little suffering in the name of research will be worthwhile.

Check out the Roots site here.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Always reliable: Waianae Store ahi poke

They always have fresh poke with fresh ingredients for your custom-made, tasty treat.

I've never grown tired of Waianae Store and their fresh ahi poke. Limu. Inamona. Chili peppers. Onion. Sesame oil. Shoyu. They don't mess around. They will make your poke right there on the spot. Next time, I'll try to get a photo or two of the actual mixing by those talented hands.

For now, I can tell you that this poke tastes as good as it looks. As always!

Tasty Freeze/Waianae Drive-In has Faith

Faith's Place serves up the same burgers, hand-cut fries and that onolicious mustard-mayo sauce.

Faith is not the name of a new owner. It's the name picked by a pastor (the lady behind the window said), and a church (I'm guessing) now owns one of Waianae's oldest eateries.

Unlike before, they now serve plate lunches. Today's choices were roast pork (which was out by 3 p.m., shortly after I got there) and pork adobo. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

How was the food? Good as before, though it's not as cheap. Still reasonable: hamburger special (burger, fries, medium drink) is just $5.15. It's an extra $.50 for sauce on the burger or fries. The strawberry-orange (combo) soda I ordered was flat, so the lady was nice enough to get me another one. Still flat, unless she forgot and got me a fruit punch.

Note: If the customer ahead of you orders 12 burgers and fries, expect to wait about 15 minutes. It's worth the wait.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Sugar Free Red Bull does the trick

Must give props to Red Bull (Sugar Free, 6.4 fl. oz.). Blew past my previous record in the 40-minute stationary bike by melting 377 calories tonight. WOOHOO. Just hoping I'm not wired until 7 a.m.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Oolong Shot better than Red Bull?

If you don't need to be wired for hours on end, Ito En's healthy blue-tea drink does the trick.

For my purposes, anything that gives me more energy -- especially late in the day -- before I exercise is desired. I just won't have anything that has sugar, or a crazy amount. That's why sugar-free Red Bull is one of my favorites. Logging all my workouts and intake of energy drinks has shown that Red Bull gives me very good results.

Tonight (it's 3 a.m . as I write this), took a detour away from energy drinks and dipped into the forest of tea drinks. I drank a small 6.4-ounce can of Oolong Shot -- a "blue tea" that is nothing more than a few ingredients: purified water, oolong tea and ascorbic acid. The can reads: "Unsweetened, All Natural, No Calories."

The result: I burned 368 calories in my 40-minute stationary bike workout. That's a record by far. My previous "personal record" was 355 or so. I'm not saying that Oolong Shot is a superior product to Red Bull. I'm in better shape -- stronger legs -- than I was a month ago, so any drink might work fine for me. But unlike Red Bull, Oolong Shot has no additional stuff like taurine or guarana, so I have no lingering spike in energy after exercising.

According to, what I experienced makes perfect sense.

There is 40 mg of caffeine -- less than coffee, slightly more than most sodas. The naturally-occurring amino acid theanine allows for the slow release of the caffeine and produces a calming effect rather than jittery energy.

That's nice because Red Bull always has me up until 6 a.m. or later. (I'm normally up 'til 3 a.m.) With Oolong Shot, I got a good spike and might be crashed out by 4 a.m.

For people with fatty livers (I'm one), this statement by is also intriguing.

The oolong polyphenols are believed to abet cardiovascular health and the healthy digestion of fats.

Here's another site,, that has video of the host sampling Oolong Shot (after trying Ito En's other shot tea, Sencha.

Oolong shot is made by Ito En; product of Japan. There are a ton of different energy drinks and teas (many from Asia) out there. I might be testing out many of them in the next few weeks.

Man, sugarless, calorie-less tea drinks with a good kick and no after-effects -- in some ways better than typical energy drinks. Plus, a beverage like Oolong Shot has lots of health benefits (antioxidants). Tea better than energy drinks?

What a concept.