Hollywood entertainer Cat Ce On Staying Physically & Mentally Fit In Hollywood
“It’s all about balance”
All round entertainer and producer Cat Ce is a familiar face and name in Hollywood circles.
Known for Producing sold out comedy shows every month at The Ice House, The World Famous Comedy Store etc. She also is a fan favorite guest star on leading shows at Jimmy Kimmel’s Comedy Club Las Vegas.
When not doing stand up comedy, she is a working actress and just celebrated her 50th popular Podcast, which is on spotify and iheart radio.
Cat Ce is definitely productively packing her days with her creativity and manages to stay fit and radiant. She is also a certified Pilates teacher – which explains the body!
Her work out regime is very specific to her needs and she swears by swimming to keep her body toned and mind relaxed.
Anyone who has been backstage at a comedy show or eaten at a comedy club will tell you there are specific comfort foods that may not be the healthiest if eaten on a nightly basis. Who doesn’t love pizza or chicken wings and fries at 11pm?
Well, Cat Ce for one stays away from the temptations as much as she can.
“I try to eat healthy & balanced meals.
Smoothies, fruits, veggies, fish or lean meat with great protein are my main nutrients…”
reveals Cat Ce
“…I try to do everything in moderation. I don’t completely cut out bread, I just try to minimize the intake of carbs, get enough protein, and never deprive myself. I have a balanced lifestyle. Staying active with daily exercise, and swimming is my daily routine. A solid workout will obviously help you stay in shape, but also helps me manage stress.
I keep physically strong, which leads me to feeling mentally strong, this also guarantees a good night sleep — which is also key.
The simple basic fundamentals of taking care of ourselves is my mantra, this will lead to success. I believe.”
Something tells me Cat Ce is right!
To catch Cat Ce performing check out her upcoming shows in Los Angeles Hollywood Improv Jan 15th and 19th, the Comedy Store Jan 15th and Jimmy Kimmel’s Comedy Club in Las Vegas on Jan 20th!
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By Joe Winger — 10 months ago
Southern California wonders how bees are involved? How do they actually make plant-based honey?
Traditionally bees have a massive role in producing honey. So, removing their support seems unrealistic, or does it? And sure, scientists can try to explain it. But can someone explain it in simple terms, in a way that a curious foodie could understand it?
Let’s find out in an exclusive interview with Mellody Food’s Darko Mandich.
Darko Mandich is a food entrepreneur in San Francisco. After spending almost a decade in the European honey industry as a business executive, Darko committed to reimagining the honey industry to become sustainable. Darko immigrated from Europe to California to launch Mellody, the world’s first plant-based honey brand. Darko is an advocate of saving the bees and wild pollinators.
Recently, I had a chance to talk with Darko.
From a science point of view, how are you creating plant-based honey products?
The process has to start with philosophy. When people think about science, engineering and process, what comes to their mind is what’s the science? What’s the engineering behind that? What’s the process of making something?
But I would argue that every process, every science starts with a philosophy in the first place. So for us, our philosophy was there’s honey made by the bees in the market, the real ones, that product quality-wise is amazing, but has negative baggage in terms of how it’s made. Next to that, there’s fake honey. There’s basically adulterated honey that’s made by people taking fraudulent activities and blending a little bit of real honey and a lot of rice syrup.
That’s done outside of the US by people trying not to get caught. The third group are vegan honey alternatives, made out of tapioca, dates, maple, pure sugar. These products are just not honey. Trying to impersonate honey, but it’s not honey. It’s a legit product. It’s in the market. People can buy it.
What was missing is the fourth group, which is the category that we pioneered.
Honey, the product that has the composition of real honey but that doesn’t have any rice syrups, nothing that doesn’t belong to honey. But, it’s not made by the bees and therefore by default is vegan and plant-based. So that was the category that we started, and we didn’t start it only for vegans. Obviously vegans are our early adopters. They love what we’re doing. I’m vegan myself. But I want this to be an inclusive company and brand, and therefore we launched this for everybody. For everybody who likes delicious and nutritious foods. By choosing this you’re basically voting for those little creatures to survive on this planet.
You asked me about the process.
You wanna make honey only from something that in nature that touches bees and honey, it’s very strict. Our team studied a lot of different honeys, the different anatomy of the bees, the science behind honey production. Bees land on a flower, they suck up nectar. And there’s a couple of things in a bee’s anatomy. We came up with this proprietary process where we interact with the plants, we take different parts of the plants.
What’s really exciting and cool is we can take the whole plant, break it into different ingredients, and take parts of the plant that maybe bees don’t have access to, like its roots. So we take different ingredients from different plants. We have more than 30 different plants in our product that we launched and we created this process that is basically mixing all those ingredients in a food facility in a regular culinary approach, and basically create a product that looks, tastes, and behaves like honey.
Is your honey currently available at Eleven Madison Home?
This is the product from a direct to consumer collaboration. We just launched with three Michelin star, Eleven Madison Park in New York City.
Yeah, the honey is currently available. The Specialty Tea and Honey Box launched for the Mother’s Day collection and Earth Month.
It’s a specially curated box of artisanal teas coming from different parts of the world with honey and also amazing, shortbread cookies. All plant-based, also made with our honey. That’s available right now
Sometime very soon a standalone jar [of honey] will also be available to Eleven Madison Home.
Tell us again what’s available, how to find it; and how to follow you and support you.
Yeah, follow us on Instagram and TikTok at MellodyFoods
In terms of purchasing, head to ElevenMadisonHome.com and you can purchase it there.
Saving the bees is learning more about them. Learning more about pollinators and you can do that on our social media.
And finally, if you’re equally passionate about bees and plants as we are, ask your favorite restaurant to reach out to us to offer Mellody in your favorite restaurant. It can be a vegan restaurant on non-vegan.
We are gonna work with all the restaurants that reach out to us where people ask to see our product offered, either on the menu, either within a meal, or just if you order a cup of tea and you want a side of Mellody.Post Views: 140
By Contributor — 2 years ago
Why You should make Boutique Bells Up Winery part of Your Oregon Trip!
Bells Up Winery – Accessibility and Experience are worth its weight in wine!
Dave and Sara Specter, owners of Bells Up Winery in Newberg, are proving that a tiny winery (they describe it as “micro-boutique” and “un-Domaine”) can make a lasting impression on visitors who want that special “Oregon Experience”.
How does Bells Up Winery do it?
One phone call, one email, and one pour at a time.
Sara sums it up nicely.
“We were out-of-state visitors ourselves in 2008, and this type of one-on-one owner/winemaker-hosted wine experience was what we loved best, but you hardly see it anymore.”
Their strategy and business plan—producing a scant 600 cases per year across nine wines, and only offering winemaker-hosted private tastings limited exclusively to one group at a time—may sound a bit retro, but it is an intentional throwback to simpler times… when communication and commerce were way more personal and intimate, and far less digital.
Related: Williamette Valley’s Bells Up Winery is Oregon’s answer to music in the bottle
What’s the Bells Up Winery Method
Bells Up Winery is one of the few that do not embrace online sales, online reservations, and SMS text marketing.
Dave and Sara have proved that old school relationship-based wine sales can not only work, but their customers also find it refreshing.
The only way to buy their wine is directly from the winery, either in person or by phone call. Once they’ve gotten to know you and your wine preferences, repeat orders can be made by phone or email.
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If you are uncertain about a selection, they can either reference your tasting with them or discuss your preferences, then describe the available wines directly to you.
Only accepting tasting reservations by phone also allows them to advise their guests about what to expect in advance, which sets expectations for an exceptional experience. After all, reservations for this $50/person winemaker-hosted tasting are special and limited to a maximum party size of six.
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This ensures that Dave and Sara can make the personal connections that create happy visitors that talk about their experience and ambassadors of them and their Oregon travels.
Their managed and controlled growth plan of increasing production only as a wine consistently sells out allows them to stay small, intimate, and personal. They insist that winery production will cap at 1,000 cases, which will allow them to continue their focus on surprising and delighting their visitors.
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How does Bells Up Winery do it?
To learn more, visit www.bellsupwinery.com, then phone them at 503-537-1328 to arrange your own Bells Up wine tasting as part of your next Oregon Travel Experience!
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By Marty Neehin — 10 months ago
Your Coffee Can (and Should) Taste Better, Maurice Contreras at Volcanica Coffee
Just about everyone has their coffee preferences. But the truth is, most of us aren’t enjoying coffee the best it can be and we don’t even know it. The beans, the grinding, the flavor (or lack thereof).
And before you ask, nope, good coffee doesn’t need to be expensive. Actually most great coffee is more affordable than the bad stuff you’re currently drinking. True story.
But I wanted to get answers and advice from a coffee expert, so I had a conversation with Maurice Contreras from Volcanica Coffee.
Native Costa Rican Maurice Contreras started Volcanica Coffee to import excellent-tasting coffee from volcanic regions, such as his homeland, to consumers. He started the company in his garage and now operates a coffee plant near Atlanta with 20 employees, including his wife and two adult children.
What is your favorite thing about coffee?
My favorite thing I like about coffee is really the flavor. That actually was how I got started. I’m from Costa Rica and for a long time I would do annual trips with the family. It was a family vacation. One of our trips we did a coffee farm tour. And just got to learn about coffee. And this is back in 2004. One of the things that dawned on me is how coffee in Costa Rica was so much better than coffee in the United States. I just didn’t understand why a 3rd world country had better coffee. The quality of coffee in the United States has really come down over several decades. So that’s when I thought that there was an opportunity to bring better tasting coffee or specialty coffee as it’s known today to the United States. That was really how it got started. It really was more about the flavor and just enjoying the richness of a Costa Rican coffee.
Is there a simple reason why first world coffee just isn’t as good?
Yeah, the general sense was because it became more of a highly produced, big production, big coffee house; and I’ll tell you a quick story. A lot of people don’t know this, the word Maxwell House, it actually is a chain of hotels. Some of them are still in existence. And so Maxwell House started from the Maxwell House Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. They served breakfast and they had really good coffee and it became really popular. It became very famous, and then eventually it became its own brand Maxwell House, and then it ended up getting acquired by corporate conglomerates. And that really good tasting coffee just turned into [not-great] coffee.
So that’s really what happened to coffee in the United States. At one time, back in the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, people would really appreciate good coffee and then just kind of lost sight of what good coffee was.
From a coffee lover’s point of view, what would you say to convince them to give your coffee a try?
That coffee really is an enjoyable drink to be appreciated and enjoyed for the flavor of what it is. It’s not just something to wake you up. But really coffee and all the different varieties, there’s a lot of flavor notes, a lot of different flavors to be enjoyed. A lot of it depends upon the different regions. My recommendation is try it out and get some good coffee with some flavor notes that you enjoy. Like, for example, Ethiopian coffees, they have a lot of berry notes, a lot of fruit tones, even red wine notes. Some of those things can really open up people’s perspective on coffee.
Before we jump more into coffee, I wanted to ask you about your background as far as the work you did before Volcanica Coffee
My career was in marketing specifically I was in the wireless telephone industry. It really was just about creating a brand. I was part of the startup team at TracFone Wireless which is now a part of Verizon. I was the National Director, I created the brand. In fact, there’s still a lot of things in the brand that I created. I had a passion for marketing.
It was kinda like, “Hey, gee whiz, what if I created my own brand and just created a business?”
And so I actually was on a hunt for a couple of years thinking what would be a good business? And then I just kind of stumbled on coffee because it was staring me in the face.
There’s such a message in there. The success you’re currently riding is because you took industry knowledge of marketing, a personal passion for coffee, and took the risk of putting them together in a business start-up.
Yep, that’s true. It was a risk because I was making a good living, I had a young family, I didn’t wanna affect any of that. It was something part-time, working nights and weekends, that’s how it all started out. I
How did your family feel about that? Was there anxiety?
It was definitely a struggle and I loved spending time with them and being with them. But part of how I resolved that was I would just wake up early in the morning and spend 1-2 hours before I had to go to work doing this. I didn’t want to neglect my family and I didn’t.
There’s so many people out there who aspire to take those steps and they always find reasons not to, but you found a way. When people are drinking your coffee, they’re not just drinking delicious coffee, they’re supporting someone who took a huge chance, who followed his passions.
So segueing to the actual coffee part now.
Your website mentions coffee regions and how the region’s soil contributes to the taste. A lot of our audience who’s into food and wine will realize the terroir aspect is very familiar to that.
Can you pick two or three regions and explain their soil and how it contributes to the taste?
I’ll start with African coffees. Their soil is very unique. Coffees from Africa tend to have a lot of berry notes, a lot more flavor of fruit which is very unique and very different compared to coffees from Indonesia.
Indonesian coffees tend to be lower in acidity. Acidity provides flavor but they’re still very good tasting coffees, even though they’re lower in acidity.
Also the coffee in Indonesia, Sumatra, for example, Papua New Guinea, and even Hawaiian Kona coffees, those tend to have a lot of boldness. When you taste the cup, your mouth just tends to [recognize] that bold flavor, which you don’t get in African coffees. So those are a couple examples.
So really it is like old world wine versus new world wine. A noticeable difference in mouth feel depending on what region you’re going after.
When people ask, Hey, what kind of coffee should I buy? I always ask, what kind of flavors do you like? Start there. Then for people that are experimenting, try different coffees from different regions.
You mentioned that you’re from Costa Rica. So tell us more about the Costa Rican volcanic regions.
It’s the most popular coffee growing region in Costa Rica, the Tarrazu area, which is very mountainous, goes up to 5,000 feet above sea level south of San Jose. Very steep.
The coffee beans, because of the volcanic soil, have a lot of flavor. It’s a very mild flavor, but very flavorful as well. And because of the elevations, the beans are also very dense. They’re a harder bean. In fact, there’s a designation strictly hard bean that is used in the industry because of that.
Being from Costa Rica I came here [to the U.S.] when I was a baby. My mom would tell stories about how she would assist with her father, which is my grandfather, in the harvest. Because my grandfather was a teacher, he would work out in the rural areas of Costa Rica where the coffee bean farmers worked. They would assist during harvest time with picking coffee beans off the tree. There was the connection going back a couple generations in our family.
There has been a coffee influence throughout generations of your family.
Yes. For decades, maybe even a century, coffee was the number one product for Costa Rica. Today it’s tourism.
I’m glad you brought up tourism. We cover a lot of travel. If somebody wanted to visit Costa Rica, maybe even a specific coffee lover, is there a place you can recommend to come visit?
One of the farms that we work with actually has an Airbnb right on their plantation. We’ve had several customers that have made trips there and have gone and stayed at the house. It’s gorgeous.
More people are working from home and making coffee at home. A lot of us making coffee wrong. Can you just walk us through step by step the best way to grind and brew your coffee?
The single largest improvement in the freshness of your coffee is by grinding your beans at home. A lot of people don’t know this: buying ground coffee, because it’s in smaller particles, tends to deteriorate very quickly. So you’re not enjoying the best of what coffee can be.
So first of all, grind at home and it’s the type of grinder.
We recommend a burr grinder. The other type of grinder is a blade grinder, which is a cheap type grinder, which does not do as well as a burr grinder.
Second thing is you wanna match your grind type to how you’re brewing. So there’s different levels, how fine or how course you want the coffee. If you’re doing a French press, you want to have a coarse grind. The opposite spectrum is an espresso grind. It’s almost like very fine sand. So if you had coarse coffee and an espresso maker, you’d have a bad cup of coffee. And the opposite too. If you had a French press where you’re using espresso ground coffee, you would not have a good tasting coffee. A lot of it has to do with the extraction and this is the chemistry behind coffee.
Then in the middle of that would be like a traditional drip grind, which most people have which is a medium coarseness of a grind type. That works best to pour over or a drip grind.
Once you buy the equipment, you’re saving quite a bit of money by doing this all at home. More value and quality out of doing it at home?
Oh yeah. A cup of coffee outside can cost $3-6. At home, 50 cents per cup. Plus you’re controlling the flavor, how hot it is and how fresh it is.
How many cups do you think the average coffee person drinks per day?
The average is between one to two cups per day. Wall Street Journal says 66% of Americans have had coffee within the last day.
So with volcanic, you’ve mentioned low acid. Tell us more.
Low acid coffee is actually a natural occurrence. There’s no additives that need to be added, at least we don’t add anything to our coffee. It’s just how it’s sourced. How it’s brewed also affects acidity.
So for example, the cold brew method tends to lower the acidity of coffee. Even more than if you brewed it traditionally in a drip grinder. It benefits people who suffer from acid reflux; and different types of indigestion abnormalities can benefit from low acidic coffee just because the pH is a higher number.
We have a lot of customers thanking us because they could not drink coffee before they heard about our low acid coffee, so now they can drink coffee again.
We have a blend of different coffees called the low acid coffee, plus 12 or 15 other coffees that are also rated as low acid. We rated them, we’ve done the pH levels on all of them, and all of them fall into that category of being lower in acidity.
Volcanica has built up a really strong community on your social media avenues. What have the results been like?
We’re on all the major socials: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok. It’s very easy to find us. We take customer feedback really seriously. We’re always looking for input and ideas.
We’ll get a request [to] carry a type of coffee or coffee from a region and we’ll always look into it.
We offer 100% customer satisfaction. We take returns, even when the customer just didn’t like a coffee, which is no fault of ours.
When someone does suggest a new bean, a new region, is that an easy outreach to investigate, or is that a whole process?
It is a whole process.
What’s a great online shopping strategy for finding the right coffee beans?
Align yourself with a brand that has a quality product. Look at customer reviews, their roasting technique. Then it’s a matter of what type of coffee do you like? What flavor notes? Something mild? Berry notes? Lower in acidity?
So I go onto your website to buy some beans. What’s a safe way to pick a bean that I’ll probably enjoy?
We carry over 150 different coffees, which is a lot. Visiting our website you have to know your preferences. Having some [filtering/search ] tools out there would be beneficial to people helping the selection process, that’s actually on our roadmap for the future.
Part of the reason why we have 150 coffees is because we’ve been listening to our customers over the years.
Tell us something about Volcanico Coffee that not everyone knows.
We love to give back. We’ve been blessed, we’ve been very successful, so we donate 1% of our website sales to an organization called Charity Water. They build water projects in impoverished communities around the world. This year we’re actually sponsoring a well in Ethiopia for a particular town. We know that we buy a lot of coffee from Ethiopia and we’d love to give back to them.
What is the future of coffee?
The future of coffee is specially curated lots. We call them our “Private Collection”. Farmers that are actually fermenting their coffee with mango, peach, different types of fruits. We have a few of them right now. We’re hoping to be carrying more in the near future.
Our audience is listening right now. What would you like them to do?
If you’re interested in finding out more about coffee and experiencing coffee, start exploring. We offer a great cup of coffee. Great different flavors and varieties. We even offer decafs, flavored coffees, something for everybody.
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