A Valentine's Day Culinary Experience

The OC Mix is one of our very favorite places to hang out in Orange County.  If we're not there with our kids on the weekend shopping at the Farmer's market, my husband, Michael, and I may meet up for a coffee, or one of us will be there on our laptops doing work.

This Valentine's, Michael surprised me with a progressive celebration of our love.  We enjoyed 4 different establishments!  The amazing truth was that, although each location is within The OC Mix, it literally felt like we were in completely different locations for each spot!

Even more amazing, we ate at 2 different restaurants, 1 coffee shop and 1 chocolatier and did not gain 1 pound!

You can do it too!  Read below for the details…

Spot #1: Shuck Oyster Bar

We love Shuck Oyster Bar! As you can see from the website, the vibe is cool and clean.  Oysters here are so fresh that we are usually lucky enough to eat some that have just been delivered.  For Valentines, they had a super cute “Four Play” Menu but we were there for appetizers.  So, to stick with the “HealthySexy” and romantic Valentine theme, we had 2 First Encounter oysters, 2 Naked Cowgirls and 2 Naked Cowboys. he..he..he..!

Oysters are “HealthSexy” because

  • Fish have a good quality protein that is easily used by the body, and has high levels of EPA and DHA
  • They are low in other fats and calories and high in vitamins and minerals such as Vitamins A & D, iodine, selenium, and zinc
  • We ate them with fresh lemon and freshly grated horseradish.

Why you won't gain 1 pond: Oysters are full of fat burning protein, are gluten free and are sugar free.

Spot #2 Arc Restaurant

Arc Restaurant is rich in dark colors and has a smokey sensual look and feel.   The food is phenomenal as it is all cooked in a wood fire grill and the Chef uses only the best ingredients.  Their motto is simple: “Dirty. Sexy. Happiness.” and I quote


Arc is our favorite Orange County restaurant!  Chef Noah Blom, one of OC's new and awarded Chefs, and his wife Marin Howarth, run an amazing restaurant.  (By the way, this sexy and brilliant couple own Shuck too).  Do check out the  website for yourself to see how sexy and romantic it is.  Ooh, and the libations are a specialty craft and are like no other too!

We ordered calamari as a starter.  It's menu description is “lemon.fresh“. That's it!  The food quality speaks for itself. So this was not your typical gluten-filled-fried-in-bad-GMO-oil calamari, but instead was pure healthy goodness!

Next, we were served lettuce-wrapped beef/pork/duck burger cooked in duck fat and loaded with fresh and flavorful veggies.   We had ours with no cheese and no sauces to keep the burger “clean” and we enjoyed every bit of the real food ingredients that made the burger simply juicy without needing the cheese or sauce. The healthy duck fat puts this burger at a higher level of taste and nutrients.  (See my post on good fats here.)

Why is it “HealthySexy”? Everything at Arc leads to its HealthySexiness! From the quality of the ingredients, to the sultry-colored glasses used for the water, to the delightful food presentation.  The beauty and detail of the food and ambiance encourages you to enjoy every single bite to elicit full, and heartily digestion.

Why you won't gain 1 pound: The calamari and beef are fat-burning, protein-rich, gluten-free, sugar-free, and loaded with great quality fat-burning duck fat.

Spot #3: Portola Coffee Lab, our favorite coffee shop

Like Arc, Portola Coffee Lab is run by another fabulous husband and wife team Jeff and Krista Duggan.  The supreme quality of the coffee, onsite roasting and brewing methods are amazing! And my Cuban husband knows and appreciates a good quality cafecito!

We had a single origin espresso and a single origin V60 Pour Over.

Why is it “HealthySexy”?   Because single origin coffee has less mycotoxins (or mold toxins, read here for more info) and the taste of this coffee made for an amazing start of our dessert course.

By the way, no cream or sugar needed…Just black. Portola has a motto which encourages you to taste the true essence and quality of their coffee and dare you to “Try it black“!

Why you won't gain 1 pound: Coffee can boost your metabolism.  AND, great quality coffee has less, if any, mycotoxins that would cause inflammation.  Inflammation=stored fat

Spot #4: Michelle Haut Chocolat

This, like all of the other spots, will need a post for itself because the experience was memorable and quaintly romantic.  A perfect Valentine's experience!

This is a great local chocolatier for those in the Orange County, CA area because they make their chocolates in Laguna Beach and are very community-driven.  They support their fellow shops in The OC Mix and use spices from the Spice and Savory Shop and espresso beans from Portola Coffee Lab to add a touch of vibrant flavors to their chocolates.

Why is it “HealthySexy”?  Michelle Haut Chocolat is made with fresh quality ingredients with no artificial ingredients, additives or preservatives (unlike many other popular low-end and even high-end addictive and non satiating chocolate boxes) and their chocolates are 73% bittersweet chocolate from Belgium with a full and rich satisfying flavor.

Why is this extra “HealthySexy”?  The experience raised our oxytocin (love and bonding hormone) because the entire space was drizzled with sweet fragrant, deep heart-colored-red rose petals, there was complimentary champaign and complimentary chocolate-dipped strawberries that we enjoyed while having enjoyable custom service from the chocolatier herself, Valerie.  She took us through an incredible chocolate tasting that was a sensual experience that skyrocketed our serotonin (the happy hormones) levels!

Why you won't gain 1 pound: High-quality Chocolate like this is so rich and flavorful, you can just take a few bites and be fully satisfied without gaining 1 pound.


Check out The OC Mix and spend the day, or even just a couple of hours, with your loved one and/or your family.  You WILL LOVE it and it will help balance your hormones.  Remember, Balanced hormones=weight loss.

More importantly, you can indulge as we did ANYWHERE and not gain 1 pound by sticking to the good healthy and fat-burning proteins, fats and vegetable while ditching the inflammatory-inducing items such as bread, vegetable oils, and sugar.

If you follow these “how to's” you won't even gain 1 pound!

Please share in the comments below what your favorite experience has been at The OC Mix.  Our progressive Valentine's experience is mine!

Do you have any suggestions as to how to indulge without gaining 1 pound?  If so, please share in the comments as well.

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Elaine De Santos

Wife & Mommy | Transformational Nutrition Coach | Lifestyle Entrepreneur at Family For Health
I am a wife who loves falling in love with her husband over and over again! I am a stay-at-home mommy to a sweet girl with a big heart and an energetic boy with a zest for life.

I’m addicted to cooking real foods and shopping locally at Farmer’s Markets.I am a health revolutionary who is writing this blog with a desire to “pay it forward in health”.This desire stems from love and my pursuit to make a difference in people’s health and wellbeing”.

I am a certified Transformational Nutrition Coach that helps women discover their healthy lifestyle that finally works so that they can transform into the healthy sexy and confident woman they want, and are meant to be.

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