What an Effin B****…

Oh, let me clarify!

WHAT AN EFFIN BEAST when it comes to her ZUMBA/LATIN HEAT class!!!!

I finally went back to the gym yesterday and just had to start it off with a Latin Heat sesh. It’s like Zumba but with more dance moves! I mean it’s the most perfect workout for someone that doesn’t enjoy to workout. I love to dance. I have been Latin Ballroom dancing since I was 10 years old. I met my ex-wife at a ballroom dance studio. And now my daughter is a young Cheryl Burke! Yeah, I said it! I’m one of those parents. Anyhow, it was the best. I actually didn’t know they had one at that time. I was confused by the schedule listed on LA Fitness’s website but it ended up working out. Get it?!? ;-P

It was an early day sesh, so it wasn’t that packed. The young to middle aged women that were there left some room for me in the back corner. I love walking into these workout rooms and getting all the wonderful attention. They all give me that stare of “What is he doing here? Eww!” Cue Jimmy Fallon…



I settle in and claim my space. Of course I made friends with the older women making enough room for them. I love to dance with older women. That’s for another post.

The class begins and I’m immediately in love! Why wouldn’t every workout dance sesh start off with Prince Royce’s bachata rendition of “Stand By Me?” Whaaaaat!




At that moment, I knew that this was going to be the start of a beautiful journey! But I ain’t gonna lie, my body is aching from my first day back into the workout world. But don’t they say “No pain, no gain?” Well, I’m in pain and I better NOT be gaining any weight. The only gain I accept is an increase in losing the weight.

If you have the chance, Take Joelle’s Zumba/Latin Heat class at LA Fitness in Clifton. She teaches every Monday and Thursday at 11AM! Click back <– there for the club and class info! Tell her Flo sent you. I’ll be there next Monday at 11AM!


LA Fitness | Class Schedule (Print Version) – CLIFTON – CLIFTON, NJ





Watch out ladies, Chef Flo is ’bout to show y’all that my moves extend out of the kitchen! Yassssssss!


And if you come and try out Joelle’s Zumba or Latin Heat class, don’t forget to holla at me in the back corner. Oh…

Picking Up The Pieces Before I’m 30…

Two years ago, this week, I made a promise to myself that I would change the way I ate and lived. I was fearful that four years from then, when I turn the big THREE ZERO, I would have to assess where my life is at and ask myself “How crappy does it look?”

At this point in my life, being a single, self-employed (or what I like to call “f-unemployed”), twenty-six year old father has been quite an adventure. Trying to keep afloat and busy with my hands in four different, yet strangely connected, business concepts, mainly as a PERSONAL CHEF, is quite tiresome. So confusing and frantic that I just realized I’m no longer twenty-six but two years older. As much as anyone can see that my desire for total domination in the foodservice and wellness industries look a bit hectic, it’s probably the one that is a constant. A constant that keeps me happy and moving. And by the way, I don’t talk about being a father so much as a job or something I have to think about. My instincts are what help me raise my daughter. Well, that along with my parents! What? There’s no point in lying about that. Anyhow, busy as I may seem, I do have time to notice that there is one thing that has been falling to the wayside. My health! My health AND all the fatty body parts that we all try to hide from. The truth is that I’m not getting any younger and all the stress from my life along with the crappy food I eat (Well, taste. At least that’s what I tell myself) is the cause of my unhealthy life.

And #letsbehonest, this means YOU too!


Now when I say UNHEALTHY, I’m not only talking about the food that I eat. Unhealthy describes my lifestyle, my habits, and my addictions. Just like getting yourself back on track is a TOTAL PACKAGE, becoming unhealthy takes the same amount of effort. You don’t go to the gym, you stress yourself out about work, you drink yourself to a happy-state, and you top it off with Carne Asada Fries, a Shake Shack – Shack Shake…oh, and don’t forget the Bourbon Pecan Pie with extra whipped cream. Ok, maybe I went too far…maybe you only drink yourself until you’re inebriated, whatever! YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN! Our late twenties can not just be about celebrating that we’re out of college, “I finally get my own office (translation: cubicle), and possibly getting government healthcare (or not, whatever floats your boat)!” We have to start setting up our lives for SUCCESS. And in all honesty, without our personal well being, our health and our bodies being in the best shape possible, how can we even achieve what we really want in the future?

Our health determines our wealth! Sounds cheesy but it’s true!

Now that I let this glass of SANGIOVESE open up this post, here’s what I’m trying to tell you. Along with all the other challenges and responsibilities we have in our lives, we can’t forget the biggest one of all, our health. Aside from our genetics, WE ARE IN CONTROL OF OUR BODIES! Not your mom, your doctor, or even your significant other.


I made a decision to take back my health with a vengeance. Two years ago, I became PLANT-STRONG. I changed my whole life around and accepted a plant-based lifestyle. It wasn’t just a diet. It was an entire overhaul of my health. I finally took control and said,

“I want to live. I want to live worry-free. I want to live so that I can see my daughter graduate. I want to live longer so I can walk my daughter down the aisle. I want to live so that I can watch over my grandkids when my daughter visits me in Hawaii, where I will be retiring!”

Somewhere in between me moving back to New Jersey to start over with my daughter and ending an 8-year relationship with an amazing company, I fell back into my ways. I had my ups and downs. I know what I should and shouldn’t eat. I knew what would probably send me back over the edge. I knew it all but I just kept saying, “One time won’t hurt. I’ll just work out more tomorrow. I’ve been good all week, I deserve this!” Well, guess what, I’m back where I started and nothing to show for it.

Well, not everything!

The one thing that I have that can help put me back on track is this amazing knowledge gained from a small span of time of living a plant-based lifestyle. That’s the best part, I know what I need to do. I know what the results will be if I stick to it. SO HERE I GO! AND I’M ASKING YOU TO JOIN ME! Whether you actually take this ride along with me or if you just sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. I want you to take as much away from my experience as you can. Enough to change your own life!

I joined Portia Joyce Wellness’s Beyond the Resolution: 11-Day Clean Eating Program!


It’s an amazing DETOX where guess what?…YOU CAN EAT!”

Yesterday, started the 4-day Pre-Detox. We began to slowly eliminate certain foods so that we minimize withdrawal symptoms from all the food that we probably have depended on too much. Some of these foods like caffeine, alcohol (clearly I have not weened off of that just yet), gluten, dairy, and beans are what may cause us to be so toxic. (***CHEF FLO DISCLAIMER…DAIRY KILLS***)

Once, we have slowly removed these types of food out of our diet, once the actual detox meal plan begins, it will be a lot easier to adapt. We all know that it ain’t easy to quit addictions “COLD TURKEY!” And yes, eating unclean, toxic foods found in the Standard American Diet (or how my friends over at the Engine 2 Diet phrase it, “S.A.D.”) can be an addiction. OK, I take it back. It’s not that it “can be” and addition, IT IS AN ADDICTION. Let’s call it what it is.

“ADDICTION: a strong and harmful need to regularly have something (such as a drug) or do something (such as gamble) : an unusually great interest in something or a need to do or have something” – Merriam-Webster Dictionary

“Addiction is a condition that results when a person ingests a substance (alcohol, cocaine, nicotine) or engages in an activity (gambling) that can be pleasurable but the continued use of which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary life responsibilities, such as work, relationships, or health. Users may not be aware of their behavior is out of control and causing problems for themselves and others.” – Psychology Today

A DETOX is about the removal of unwanted substances, such as toxins, that hinder our bodies from performing its natural and healthy functions. It is NOT to DEPRIVE or CAUSE STARVATION. It is to CLEAN AND REVITALIZE the one and only body that we have.


These next few days will be difficult and maybe at times unbearable. Knowing that this will be a form of rehab for my body and health is all worth it.  To rid yourself of one of the worst addictions in this world causing many diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, malnutrition, obesity, osteoporosis, anemia, and worse of all heart disease, is the best thing you can ever accomplish. The next best thing is to prevent yourself from contracting any of these diseases. Like I said before, aside from genetics, these diseases are more than reversible, they’re preventable. In the end, this is the best thing I can ever do for myself and my daughter.

There is still time to join. Go visit Portia Joyce’s website (or just click HERE) for more information. Like I said, if you don’t know if this is for you just yet, stick around. I’ll keep you posted on how I am feeling day to day, what I prepare to eat, down to if I ever let myself falter and grab that burger I THINK I want but know I don’t need. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and here on this blog to get up-to-date information on how this detox is working out for me.

Maybe, just maybe, you’ll see that it isn’t that hard to “pick up the pieces” whether you’re turning 30 or even 60.

We’ve Missed You!

For my loyal followers, I do apologize for the lack of posts I have made. I have more than busy with Serve M.E. Now: Personal Catering and with my own career as a Culinary Instructor. Stick around, I promise some new and exciting material in the next few weeks!


Thanks for your patience and your loyalty!

-Chef Flo


While Chef Flo was away, he has been working with Cook & Go, USA in the Chelsea area in New York City, NY as a Chef Instructor.

He has also been at the Kent Place School in Summit, NJ. He has been the Chef Instructor for Middle School students with the Creative Arts Camp at Kent Place School Summer Camp.

If you are in search for your own Personal Chef, Private Catering, Private Cooking Lessons, Personal Shopping, Meal Plans, or anything your heart desires and need to speak with Chef Flo, please feel free to contact him at florvilking@servemenow.org.


Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Journey to the Garden State

I enjoyed my last two days in Vegas in style! Accommodations by the Red Rock Resort and Casino, I got to indulge in a favorable, however empty, past time! Kind of ironic if you ask me. My daughter and friends enjoyed some fun in the sun by the beautiful Red Rock Casino pool. I tried to absorb much of the desert sun and its dry heat as I could before I left for the humid heat of the east coast. With the help of some friends, I was given a couple of memorable Bon Voyage parties most of which I can’t recall. (Again ironic) Friday night, Sean, a co-worker and friend, was dropped off by a few “unique souls” and joined us for another farewell celebration. I didn’t expect us to have much fun that my goal of departing Vegas at 3AM PST turned into 6AM PST after 3 hours of sleep. All in all, great friends sent me off making sure I’ll be sure to return. By the way, Lily, a dealer at the BJ table we played at was awesome!
With a refreshing 32oz Peach Blossom Iced Green Tea in my hand and a large Iced Coffee in Sean’s, we hit the 15 North revved and ready for this epic trip! My fourth and his first time around, we had the sunrise blinding our view of the road ahead with the excitement of reaching our first destination. As soon as our first 3 hour leg was finished, we realized this desert was larger and more boring than we had imagined. Where are the mountains of the Rockies? We definitely couldn’t wait until we saw that “Welcome To” sign and the elevation begin to rise.

Conversations were definitely had to pass the time and when you have endless dry land and rocky formations, there was plenty of it to go around. We also tried to keep our tunes going but with having only a tape deck and am/fm radio to entertain us, it wasn’t the easiest thing to do. Before we left, I jumped over to Best Buy across from Red Rock and purchased an AM/FM Radio Transmitter for my iPhone. It was more of a good idea than a reasonable solution. The thought was there. Basically, it only works on stations that doesn’t transmit current radio shows. But with us traveling 100 of miles in one day, every thirty minutes the station frequency changes. It was hard trying to keep the Beatles and Pink Floyd in the sound system for more than a handful of songs.

Through our travels we definitely made sure we caught a glimpse of each state’s “Welcome To” sign. Utah, Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and finally, New Jersey were the 11 new states we entered on our way from Las Vegas. By far, experiencing different parts of the country always reminds me of how small I am when it comes to the rest of the world, let alone our country. Kansas was, by far, the most boring state in the country. The same views of rolling plains and wheat fields border to border. Snoozefest is the best way I can describe that state.

Each day we drove at least 800 miles and 13 hours a day. This trip must’ve been the most unhealthy trip I’ve ever taken during my plant-strong journey. Not because I ate crap but because I hardly ate. By the time I ate at night for dinner, I couldn’t help but eat whatever I could and it usually was far from PLANTiful! 🙁 I tried which is all that matters. Remember, making the best decision possible is all that I can ask of anyone trying to live and eat this way. In reality, without proper preparation and 100% sacrifice, we can’t stay strong but it’s about making the best possible choice of food is what counts.

In Denver, we “had” to stop at the Buckhorn Exchange located downtown. The restaurant was featured on Travel Channel’s Man V. Food and was more of a novelty stop than a true dinner experience. So while we were there, why try steaks and lamb, let’s go for the Rocky Mountain Oysters, Alligator Tail, and Buffalo Sausage. Three appetizers and a great bottle of red wine for about $64 with tip. Needless to say, I regretted jumping ship from my plant-strong journey for these delicacies. The bulls balls and alligator were both deep fried and served with dipping sauce. What a special treat…fried food! Ugh! Made the experience a lot worse. Maybe they could’ve served the bulls balls tenderized and stewed in a light white wine broth and the alligator sautéed scampi style. The deep fry of offal and reptile was not easy to stomach.

In St. Louis, we enjoyed three tourist hotspots. Arriving late and starved, we stumbled upon St. Louis Q, probably one of the most unique bbq spots ever. A small shop that bbqs everything on a aged grill in the garage adjacent to the store. Inside we walk into a small counter-style BBQ storefront featuring some authentic eats. What made it unique were the cardboard pieces written with movie titles plastered and scattered all around the store and tv display. What was playing on the tv, you ask? A pirated DVD of Men In Black 3 adorned the screen. Order and watch a movie while you wait. Amazing concept! Just in case, $3 for one and $5 for two. For only $27, we bought a slab of ribs, green beans, baked beans, sliced white bread, and a copy of MIB3 and the Avengers. What a deal! Quite simply, ribs were fall-off-the-bone perfectly cooked and the BBQ sauce perfectly spiced. True St. Louis style BBQ done right! The DVDs weren’t a bad copy either. 😉
In the morning, we planned on getting up at 6AM and leaving at 7AM. By that time, Sean and I thought, “When in Rome…?” We went to visit the “Gateway to the West,” the St. Louis Arch! It was a purely amazing site. Futuristic architecture of the past. It was exactly what was envisioned by President Jefferson for his National Expansion Memorial. For only $10, you can travel 630 feet up into the clouds and view St. Louis from small slits at the top-center of the arch. Totally worth it just as long as you aren’t, “claustrophobic, afraid of heights, and nauseous.”


For lunch, we thought, “Let’s YELP it and find a great eatery! I’m hungry!” I was directed to the Soulard Coffee Garden, a family-owned restaurant in a chic neighborhood with a backyard and patio to offer a great ambience of St. Louis. It was the first restaurant I was excited to enjoy a plant-strong meal at. Check it out if you’re ever there, I promise you won’t regret it!
Well finally by 12 noon, we started our final leg and headed towards New Jersey. Let me start off by saying, “Bad move!” We had a 17 hour drive ahead of us and there was no way we would make it before the start of the next day. But at least we enjoyed what St. Louis had to offer. Again, “When in Rome…!” I didn’t enjoy the drive through Pennsylvania and New Jersey due to the rain and pitch-black road. But we were almost there…New Jersey…home!

4:30AM and we arrive in Lyndhurst, NJ! After 40 hours and 2,520 miles later, we get to our destination. Phew! I never thought ‘Dodgy,” my 2002 Durango would make it but she surprised me the most! Finally, the start of my new chapter in life. New opportunities, new networks of friends, rekindled friendships, and a better life for my beautiful daughter and her gay, single father…we need a reality show! Haha!

If You Didn’t Know, It’s Because You Never Asked!

“Growing Pains”

It’s been six years in this dessert called Vegas. Back in 2006, I really don’t know what my goal was of moving to Las Vegas from the Jersey Shore. Literally, I lived 20 minutes from the shore where my ex-wife and I lived with her parents and our daughter. I’ve been working at Whole Foods Market in Red Bank, NJ for a little less than a year when I saw an opportunity for me to relocate close to the West Coast. Was it for a better life? Was it for more money? Or was it to just to be the rebel that I was and explore the world that no one around me ever explored before? I really don’t know why I left New Jersey in the beginning but all I knew was that it was something I needed to do.

Now I won’t bore you with the story of “What happened in Vegas.” What I will tell you is what I gained from my experiences here. Well maybe not…

Before 2008, my life was all about providing for my family. Both my ex and I turned 21 in Vegas but never really partied. We both just worked our asses off to “raise” our daughter. Me, I clocked in and clocked out, loved my job but was just basically clocking in and out and earning a pay check. Nothing more, nothing less.

My daughter Cecelia motivated me to work hard and ask questions later. Everyday I came home from work, all I wanted to do was play with her, dance with her, and just enjoy my life as a father. We loved going out on adventures and seeing the city we lived and loved! My family was my life. Seeing them happy was all that I needed to keep me going. And they were happy.

After a while, work became mediocre. I was a Customer Service Supervisor since I opened my first Whole Foods in NJ. I loved interacting with customers and my job was not that hard. I was organized and determined to do the right thing, productive, and loved going above and beyond. I made some great friends working at Whole Foods Market. But with all those positives, I was missing something. Where was my passion?!

I needed something more. Now, don’t get me wrong, my daughter was everything to me. She was a constant. But you know how they say, things come in twos? Well, I needed something to go along with the love I had for my daughter. Then, the answer came to me, a wife! My ex and I got married on August 8th, 2008, yeah, all the eights were a symbol for “infinity.” I love how I talk about her back then as my ex already. Well I guess you can predict what happened.

I believe that God creates things and destroys things for a reason. Low and behold, my marriage was something that was destroyed because it shouldn’t have been created in the first place. I mean, I loved her so much. She was my first love (that I exclaimed in public) and I mean I genuinely cared about her. She was the mother of my daughter. Isn’t that enough, title and love? Apparently not. Our lives went down the wrong path together. If anything, we failed together. We drifted apart and it ended kinda nasty. I’m sure not as nasty as others…here I go again making excuses. Ok, it was horrible. I was broken-hearted, lost my confidence, and that’s when I turned to God.

In the summer of 2009, a little less than a year from when I vowed a life of infinity with my ex, I left immediately for New Jersey. Leaving everything behind, work, friends, my wife and the life I created. My daughter came with me to “start anew.” Trying to begin my life all over again I fell into depression and just denial. I turned to my family and a couple of friends (literally, there were just two) for help. But I could not keep my mind out of Vegas. I left everything back there, the support system I created with coworkers, the life I “dreamed” of, and the unresolved problem with my ex. I tried to build something in NJ. With the help of my family, those two friends, and especially God, I did. I realized what that second thing I needed in my life was. I found it, my passion for food and cooking!

With the help of some prayer. I created the idea of Serve M.E. Now. A play on words describing serving God, who is entirely about M=magnificence & E=excellence, now. God helped me through a lot of my pain and despair. So it was only fitting to praise him for giving me my talents and passions. Serve M.E. Now, or how I like to call it, SMN, is a personal catering company where I provide in-home, on-site catering for clients with all tastes and desires. It was the best thing I had going for me next to my beautiful daughter.

While all this creativity and passion was sparking, there was still something missing, unresolved. I hated that feeling of unfinished business weighing heavily on my shoulders. So, after 7 months of roughing it, three jobs plus trying to raise my daughter (with the help of my parents and siblings, of course), I needed to go back and settle things in Vegas. This time, I’m back on a mission…to live my life for only two people, my daughter and myself.

It was rough at first, my ex and I, to say the least, we’re not seeing eye to eye. I moved in with two friends from Jersey, I started all over at Whole Foods, and was back with my crew in Vegas. Life was great, so far. Until drama inserted itself between my friends. But hey, things come and go right? That was the first thing to go (or you can say first case to be closed)

Meanwhile, my daughter had to adjust living with parents who were separated, living in two different homes. She had the notion we were getting back together. It sucked to continuously crush her dreams. I hated myself. I felt like the worst person in her life. How can she love me? I didn’t do what she asked of me, to be a family.

I needed something to regain pride in myself again. So I did what I knew best, cook! Whole Foods Market offered me a chance to pursue my dreams. Cook and bullshit, I mean provide great customer service! ;-P I loved it! I cooked every day at work, created my own recipes, showed off in front of customers and team members. My confidence was back! Then, SMN, got some attention as well. With the help of some friends, I acquired a few catering events that got my name in the Las Vegas community. Six months later, I got called to do the unimaginable, become a private chef for a well-to-do (Jewish) family.

So I did it! 4 years after moving to the desert, I’m building a career with WFM and started a viable business that showed great rewards. Immediately after working for this family, I realized I loved this. I found my passion and I’m sticking to it. Plus, my daughter finally accepted reality and I did everything I could to work things out with my ex. Now we’re a well oiled machine. This is what God wanted for us. To be a loving team for our daughter, we did it! Things are looking up!…right?

Here I am, a little over a year later, and I’m a new person. Career-oriented, self-motivated, loving, hard-working father, whole foodie-by-day, foodie-by-night, but I’m still missing something…family. I grew up with over 25 blood relatives living within 2 miles of my house. I knew what it meant to be part of a community. However irritable and frustrating it could’ve been, it was still family.

My daughter only has me, my ex, my ex-in-laws, and my late ex-brother-in-law (RIP Allen) to grow up with out here. We are a great group, however divided, that’s what we had to offer. My ex and I have no time to join the PTA, hang out with the other parents and kids, or join after-school activities. My daughter has no one else to grow up with other than her young-adult parents and their young-adult friends. It’s not fair and it’s not right. So I gotta do what any 26 (almost 27) year old GAY (how do you like that for subtle), single father has to do, move back to where you started and ask for the help from your amazing, unrelenting, always reminding, forever loving parents!

These past two years alone, I learned so much, the value of friends, the value of children, the value of passion, the value of love, the value of dreams, and the value of life itself. By my own definitions, I became an incredible chef, healthy-eating guru, businessman, father, and lover of life. I’ll be the first to say I still need to work on becoming an incredible brother and son, but I can’t do that without living around family right? Maybe?! Anyway, I have never felt this complete and incomplete in my life. Remember having to complete a project at school? Then, at the end when you received your grade of an ‘A-‘ along with the statement, “needs more content!”? Well, that’s how I feel.

I achieved all I wanted to achieve out here or at least that I could. I got the ‘A’ I’ve been aiming for BUT have no real content, I need MORE! I’m ready to take the next steps but feel like I can’t budge out here, alone, in Vegas. Now that my ex and I are in a better place (heaven compared to before) and my career jump started thanks to WFM and SMN, I need to make my next move. I need to expand my horizons and set down my family’s roots.

My daughter and I will be back in New Jersey this coming June. With the help of my parents and family, I’m ready to move into the next chapter in my life. I am hoping to expand my experience and skills to create SMN into the company I dream it could be. I want to dive into different aspects of the foodservice industry to learn what I need to make SMN successful. I want my daughter to grow up surrounded with loved ones that you can’t stand but just can’t live without. I want her to experience a community as amazing as I did. She is the most important thing in my life and I want the best for her. Even if the best means swallowing by pride, going back home, and living the life God intended for me.

New Jersey…he’s baaaaack!!

Stay tuned for “The Great Construction”…