Avocado Salad (Deconstructed Wrap) Recipe

Our avocado salad is nutritionally dense and filling, high in fiber and good fat.  Animal protein such as chicken can be added if you want more protein. We developed this recipe to get customers to not just like it, but also addicted to it.

Fiber from juicer (we use mostly carrot)
Alive Juice Bar miso dressing (click on link for recipe). Make thick version.
Collard Green
Cooked beans (we use pinto,any bean will do)
Apple (prefer tarter and less mealy varieties, such as granny smith)

Cut apples and cucumbers into bite sized cubes.  Add them and beans and fiber into bowl.  Add dressing.  Mix till you get preferred consistency and taste. This is your chunky sauce.

Slice collard greens into large noodle sized slices. Place them in bottom of bowl. Then add cubed avocado. Top avocado with sauce.  Top dish with julienned beets to make dish colorful, attractive.  The layers serve a purpose, explained below.

We don’t drench the collards and avocado in sauce because it’ll make the dish overwhelming for many. The first bite should be blissful — get you hooked — because the sauce is a mixture of sweet, slightly savory, and a tad too salty. It’s a heavy sauce, somewhat like ranch dressing.  People will get tired of it quickly. That’s why there’s little flavoring added to the avocado (just whatever residual flavors that drip down from chunky sauce). We want to highlight the savoriness of the avocado.  Avocado be difficult to eat if it’s also sweet and salty, it’ll be sensory overload. The collard won’t be flavored at all because by the time the avocado is finished, eater has had enough fat, salt, and sweet. Any more and they’ll get sick of the dish.  Collard functions as a palate cleanser.  If we didn’t have it there, the salad wouldn’t be addictive, enough so that some will purchase it every day for weeks.

Strong to subtle to refreshing/cleansing.  That’s the experience we’re trying to give customers.





Supplemental Questions to NYTimes article: Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

Base your answers on themes, discussions, and research highlighted in the article, Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food, and not on your personal preferences.  We’ll use these questions to begin discussion about the politics and science of eating and to formulate tactics to generate greater demand for our products. You can also use these questions to guide your reading.

To improve reading comprehension skills, write down two to three questions after finishing each section.  Then read section again.  Asking questions will teach you to engage with the reading, rather than trying to memorize it (and never understand it).  I’ve found this to be the fastest way to improve reading comprehension.


1. You’re the CEO of General Mills.  GM shareholders, mostly middle-class folks who are saving for retirement or education, are expecting you to increase value of their stock holdings.  What’s the best way to increase their value?
a) Line extend best selling products to attract wider demographic.  Add more sugar to most of these products.
b) Invest most research capital to develop new line of healthy snacks to attract growing demographic of health conscious consumers who are willing to pay a premium for such items.
c)  Keep doing what works.  Step up marketing of the same items.  Put it on TV enough times, people will buy more.

2. When average consumer purchases a snack, what’s their primary concern?
a) health
b) taste
c) cost

3. People are least likely to grow tired of which item, assuming they have to eat each everyday?
a) White bread
b) Doritos, extra, extra sharp nacho cheese flavor
c)  Buffalo wings dipped in heavy ranch dressing.

4. Which item are people most likely to love at first but quickly get sick of if they have to eat it everyday?
a) Rye bread
b) Cheetos, extra cheese.
c) Kale salad w/oil and vinaigrette dressing

5. What has most impact on how much someone likes a drink?
a) color of drink
b) whether or not drink contains fair trade ingredients
c) how healthy it is.

6. What’s the most pressing issue facing working mothers preparing lunch for their kids?
a) time
b) health
c) cost

7. Why do baby boomers, as a whole, eat fewer salty snacks than those in their teens and 20s?
a) Their palates become more sophisticated as they mature.
b) They become more concerned about their health as they age.
c) They ate fewer salty snacks when they were in their teens and 20s than does current generation of teenagers and twenty-somethings.

8. Why are soft drink companies so successful at targeting “poor” communities?
a) They provide the poor with more calories per dollar than most other food items
b) Poor consider drinking soda a sign of middle-class modernity
c) The poor have poor palates, so they’re more likely to drink soda

9. What would be the most effective way to increase sales of Coke to “poor” communities in Venezuela?
a) Send attractive, middle-class sales people into these communities with samples of Coke.
b) Develop a healthier and affordable version of Coke and convince these communities that Coke is a healthy drink
c) Develop a version of Coke and appeals to local tastes and sensibilities.

10. Imagine yourself as CEO of Lunchables and you’re tasked with making your packaged meals healthier.  What are the salient obstacles you’ll encounter?
a) Coordinating timeline for processed foods with timeline for non-processed foods (supply chain and logistics)
b) Keeping prices low enough so consumers will purchase them.
c) Creating a large enough demographic that’s interested in “healthy” snacks.

11. Why are Lunchables so popular with kids?
a) They love the added salt, fat, and sugar in the meal. It tastes great!
b) They’ve grown accustomed to it because that’s what they’ve always eaten.
c) Lunchables empowers them by letting them put together what they want to eat when they want.

12. What will most likely happen if a kid receives a packed lunch consisting of an apple, kale salad w/olive-vinegar dressing, and a lightly salted sauteed, and a Snickers bar?
a)  Eat the Snickers bar first, take a bite of the apple, toss the kale salad, take two bites of the salmon.
b) Eat the kale salad first, then the salmon, then the apple, and finally the Snickers bar
c)  Eat the Snickers bar then kick the shit out of the kid w/Twix bar and eat his Twix.

13. What’s the best way to market snacks to middle-age baby boomers?
a) Give them something new, something that differentiates them from their kids. Label it guilt-free but give the same amount of salt, fat, and sugar as what’s sold to younger demographic, but in smaller package.
b) Give them something new, something with very little salt, fat, and sugar.  Label it healthy.
c) Give them what they had growing up in a different, more age appropriate package.

14. Which item would sell best with middle-class baby boomers, assuming same amount of salt and fat?
a) Doritos, extra nacho cheese
b) Toasted pita chips
c) Non-fat Cheetos



Ideas are Worthless

When someone asks me to comment on an idea, I *used* to usually tell them that it sucks.  I now realize it doesn’t matter what I or anyone else thinks about the idea. Nor does it matter if it turns out that the idea isn’t as original as one thinks (if you’ve thought of it, good chance many others have thought of it before you), and that every execution of that idea has resulted in failure. Ideas are worthless. It’s the force of character behind an idea that matters. An idea’s value isn’t dependent on market demand, it’s dependent on one’s ability to create and control demand.

Most people think that successful businesses are made because they were built on great ideas.  Wrong, it’s the other way around.  The most successful businesses are made because someone *made* an idea great.  Consider Starbucks.  Most analysts thought Howard Schultz idea of elevating average American taste in coffee and having them pay five bucks for it every day was a terrible idea, a yuppie fad that wouldn’t last, a habit that would never be picked up by the masses.  They were wrong because they didn’t understand that the idea is irrelevant, that trends and consumer habits are mostly controlled by a select few who have the force of character to do so.  It’s stupid to invest in something just because you like the idea — I’ve done that before and it rarely turns out well. Invest in character, not in ideas. Invest in YOUR character, not in get-rich-quick schemes.

When you tell someone their idea sucks, do you mean to say that you don’t think enough people will like whatever it is that person wants to sell to them?  Or are you saying that this person doesn’t have what it takes to execute the idea? If it’s the former, then you’re limiting yourself, you don’t live in a world of endless possibilities, you don’t understand yourself or other people, you probably waste a lot of time brainstorming with people as clueless as you, you’re a slave to other people. If it’s the latter, then you either understand that ideas are worthless and it’s the character behind them that matters or you’re projecting your shortcomings. If you think most ideas are great (esp. from those you like), then you’re fucking wasted, you’re too nice and have nothing to contribute.  Go back to bed.

Bottled fart, ram penis hotdogs, midget porn, fresh raw juice at people’s doorsteps every morning, let’s keep it all in play.  Anything is possible, there are no bad ideas, stop worrying about market demand. The moment you become obsessed with market demand is when you become a slave to other people.  Better to recognize that we’re all deeply flawed characters. Instead of asking people if you have a good idea or not, ask *the right people* if you have the character to execute the idea.  Ask yourself if you have what it takes — habits, mindset, attitude — to get the job done. Figure out what it takes to get the job done. No, not the technical expertise, I’m talking about the force of character who can manage the unexpected and execute an idea.

Someone recently asked me about a business idea — providing customers with fresh juice at their doorsteps every morning.  I resisted the urge to tell her that it’s a bad idea.  (It *feels* like a bad idea to me only because I don’t think I have the force of character to make such a business successful, but this isn’t about me, it’s about her).  I instead tried to get to know her, her work habits, where she’s from, what she’s experienced.  She, on the other hand, wanted me to share my technical expertise and didn’t understand why I asked so many questions about her character.  It didn’t take long to figure out that she doesn’t have the force of character to execute the idea. She really believed she could run this business, teach yoga, and attend grad school at the same time.  She’s had a history of being a dilettante. She seemed incredulous that it would require 100 hours a week of her time, that she’s getting herself into some serious shit the moment she signs a lease and has overhead bills to pay.

I bet her friends have told her that she has a great idea, that they’d love to have fresh juice delivered to their doorsteps every morning.  I’m confident that none of them asked her about her character.  The lack of introspection is why it was so easy for her to become passionate about the result — fresh juice to everyone — but not the process — the force of character — it takes to achieve result.  That’s why I prayed to God that evening to have mercy on her, to give her clarity of thought when it’s time to sign the lease.

Cook Like a Peasant, Eat Like an Aristocrat. Think Like an Aristocrat, Eat Like a Douchebag

Many conversations and media narratives about food and health assume that one has to be wealthy to eat well, to be healthy. These narratives aren’t just wrong, they’re dangerous.  They give those who feel or identify as poor another reason to quit life, to become envious, needy, and fearful of the uncertainties of life.  These narratives will unravel a nation, tear its people apart from themselves and one another, and make social and economic mobility more difficult than it already is.  I see the impact of these narratives on today’s youth, who, more than any generation, want so much and want to do something special. Yet something in them holds them back — “but I can’t, I can’t, I can’t, because I don’t have this or that” is what I often hear when they’re faced with an opportunity. The ones who become envious will become dangerous adults because envy –unlike jealousy, which merely triggers imitation — aims to destroy that which one covets.  Envy is acid on the face and I see some of these darlings, confused and seething, figuring out how to destroy that which one believes one’s entitled to but cannot have. They are willing to destroy a nation to feed their narcissism and to legitimize their inflated sense of self.

It’s not access to certain ingredients and equipment that makes one a good cook, it’s one’s ability to make the most out of circumstance.  Eating well isn’t a function of income, it’s the result of desire, grit, and innovation, regardless of circumstance. Consider why we eat so little of what’s edible, like a fraction of one percent of what can fuel us. Dandelions and snails are pests (except at farmer’s markets and French bistros), liver and pig ears are pet food (except at French bistros and Chinese butcheries), and  fruit from trees are left rotting throughout the city.  Food is everywhere, most of it ignored or discarded because eating them doesn’t match our sense of self or what we think we’re told about proper living.

Not saying that we should all grow and hunt for our food, start frying snails and worms.  In many cases, that’s inefficient use of post-industrial labor. I purchase produce to make your meals because I’m not efficient at growing and hunting for them.  You purchase meals from me because I can make them better (I hope) and more efficiently than you can.  What I’m saying is that we should always — slowly is fine — expand our palates to include unfamiliar food, especially peasant food.  Peasant food is the food of grit, desire, and innovation, while aristocratic meals are representations of excess, waste, and gluttony.

But so many want to be aristocrats.  The lure of power, riches, romance, kinky sex, power, glamour, power, power, whatever it is that we imagine aristocrats desire and get.  But we don’t live in a feudalistic society and marxists unable to recognize the distinction between feudal work and capitalist work will not be able to understand the social topography and cultural logic of capitalism.  In feudalism, social mobility is limited by birth.  In capitalism, social movement becomes possible, encouraged even, and thus social life is much more fluid, with imitation of another social group becoming the driving force of consumption.  Whereas serfs worked to survive and to consume as serfs protected by the aristocrat.  Capitalism didn’t destroy the aristocracy because the new masters needed them. Capitalism simply made them look like douchebags, but still desired by the working masses, with the bourgeoisie exploiting this desire, this image, for social and economic gain. Pick up a copy of People magazine and you’ll understand.

If you understand the cultural logic of (late) Capitalism, you’ll understand why Anthony Bourdain can’t find ghetto food in the ghetto.  It’s found in high end restaurants.  Where the fuck are the pigs feet and chitterlings?  High end restaurants frequented by the bourgeoisie.  Why is that?  In capitalist societies, where social mobility is possible, those seeking upward mobility imitate their *perception* of those above them. The poor long for continental cuisine, surf and turf, Starbucks, the food and drink the middle-class takes for granted. Middle-class get fancy with kobe sliders, California rolls, and cosmofuckingpolitans, whatever else that’s served in downtown Edmonds and Bellevue. The upper class, (or more accurately, the highbrows?) finds middlebrow sensibilities too fake, too ludicrous (kobe fucking burgers!), so they search for inspiration from the poor.  Like old school, moonshine swilling, possum hunting and munching poor. Not wrong side of Mountlake Terrace Juicy Couture wearing British royal family following poor, more like wrong side of the mountain poor where there’s no Starbucks, no Walmart, no Taco Bell, no Gamestop or even a copy of People magazine for miles.  Poor like this:

Highbrows are inspired by moonshine possum eating poor because these motherfuckers are 1)definitely not poor in spirit; 2)authentic, childlike, don’t give a shit what others think of them so they can live exist outside the dialectical relationship between material base and capitalist culture; 3) they make sense, which means they make rough versions of some great culture, especially food.

No really, they make a lot of sense, a lot more sense than does your typical middle-class person with a bullshit degree from a bullshit college make.  Enough sense that food network and travel shows will sometimes focus on what these people eat – from scorpion brains to duck tongue to ram penis.  Where do you find the best beef bone marrow and stinky tofu? Street vendors or Micheline star restaurants.  Check out what Michael Hebb serves at one of his underground dinners.  Beef tongue stew, pig’s face melted down to a rillet, fried shrimp head. Check out who attends these theatrical culinary events.  Russian lit degree from Oberlin, English lit from Sarah Lawrence, Cultural Anthropology from Columbia.  Everyone wears glasses.  It’s heaven for overeducated dumbass hipsters willing to pay obscene sums to accumulate more cultural capital to make up for their uselessness.

The point is, the best food is peasant food.  It’s simple, authentic, and emphasizes conviviality rather than formality. You could pay a lot of money for it, as some do, or you can make it yourself and eat like an aristocrat on a peasant’s budget.  The other option is to think like an aristocrat and pay a lot of money to eat like a douchebag.  Choice is yours.