Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Don't you wish you could be my next door neighbor? I handed out peppermint brownies to the dear folks who feed my cat when I'm away and who warn me when I'm parked on the street sweeping side of the road. Thank you to all my readers as well. I'm sorry all you get is a photo of brownies. My new year's resolution will be to post more often so consider that a gift in a way. Hope everyone has a great holiday season. I will post exciting news next month! (hint: I'm not pregnant)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Good Eats At Disneyland

When I learned that my family was going to be spending three full days at Disneyland this year I actually started to panic thinking about my food options. I anxiously went online in search of sustenance that if not entirely raw, at least vegan and healthy. I was pleasantly surprised by the listing on You can check out the menus for all of the eateries at Disneyland, California Adventure and Downtown Disney. If you're at Disneyworld in Florida, they have a nice vegan/vegetarian listing of what's available at each park. Click here for some tips on helping you find the food you need on your visit.

Luckily the day before we left I shot my instructional video and was left with loads of food. Kale, not tuna salad, brownies and chia pudding were my saviors on Day One and part of Day Two which I stored in the refrigerator at my hotel room. As we walked around Tomorrowland I made a fantastic discovery...

KALE! LOTS of it! Along side rosemary, lavender (we rubbed this under our noses to keep the crowds from stressing us out), oranges and grapefruits. How exciting. I was so tempted to steal a few leaves but afraid of being ejected from the park for eating the landscaping.

I was really pleased to find a few fruit stands in the park. Though not organic, better than some of the processed options being offered.

After perusing the menus on, temptation brought me to Cafe Orleans in the New Orleans Square next to Pirates of the Caribbean. They had a ratatouille that was simply divine. You have to mention that you want it vegan or else it will come with cheese on top and corn cakes that also contain cheese. Totally delish.

In the same area across the street is Royal Street Veranda that serves a vegan gumbo served in a bread bowl. There is a great review on To Live and Eat in LA. I didn't go for the gumbo because bread is my kryptonite. The more I eat it, the more I want it, the more it weakens and rules me.

For Day Two and Three I ate apples for breakfast that I brought from home. For lunch we went to the Storyteller's Cafe in the Grand California Hotel. They have a couple of lovely salads that you can make vegan and a tasty vegetable broth soup served with a cheese crouton that you can have sans cheese.

For dinner my family went to the Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney. Their menu is VERY meaty but the chef was able to prepare for me a large serving of vegetable jambalaya over spinach fettuccine. It was spicy and flavorful, but I mostly picked off all the vegetables and left the pasta. Next time I'll order it without pasta (rice is an option as well).

For anyone who is strictly raw I suggest bringing a cooler stocked with your own food or forage in the gardens when no one is looking. I didn't spend time at California Adventure this trip but will add on to this post if I discover anything exciting. For the average vegetarian there are plenty of options that will make your time at the happiest place on earth truly enjoyable.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Longevity Now Experience

This past weekend I attended David Wolfe's Longevity Now weekender in Costa Mesa, CA. I wasn't familiar with the Longevity Now program but I love listening to his talks on superfoods that I couldn't resist not going. Seven hundred people were in attendance to hear a dozen different speakers discuss how to love our liver, utilize our lungs, yin yang herbs, cellology, essential oils, candida, libido, and most importantly how it all applies to longevity. I only purchased the program yesterday so I have not read all the materials but from what I gleaned the basic premise is that many illnesses of aging are due to calcification. Just as there are good fats and bad fats so we consume good and bad forms of calcium. Bad calcium accumulates in our body and grows much like coral does. It contains nanobacteria that set up shop in our joints and organs manifesting itself as arthritis, kidney stones, cataracts, brain sand (Alzheimer's), etc. David Wolfe's protocol is to dissolve the bad calcium, remineralize and rejuvenate our cells through the use of ionic substances, superherbs, various supplements and bodywork. This was so new to me my mind was blown. This flies in the face of all we have ever learned about calcium supplementation. Wolfe said there is no study that actually proved that calcium supplementation strengthened bones and reversed osteoporosis and challenged anyone to show him that it did. I was riveted as each speaker discussed the different steps but honestly it did start to seem like I was watching an infomercial marathon as each speaker touted their various products. I figured these are tried and true David Wolfe approved products that he uses regularly so I, under the influence of cacao, bought almost everything. I kid you not. I won't even tell you the monetary amount and, unfortunately, nothing there was cheap. I had to keep telling myself, "It's a write off," "It's an investment in my health." Which it is, but of course, one part of me is apprehensive about taking such a risk. The other side is fired up and can't wait to jump feet first into it. I will blog more about the actual program as I go along but here are a few photos from the event.

Dark field live blood cell analysis was offered for $99. The reason I look a bit pale is because I passed out when they took my blood. So embarassing.

I learned I have very strong red blood cells but some fermentation and bad stuff that could be eliminated through liver cleansing. That amoeba you see is a white blood cell cleaning the place up. You go! If you're interested in live blood cell analysis or liver cleansing kits check out Love Your Liver.

Some well preserved fast food hamburgers...and to think I used to eat those all the time. Sheesh.

Bulk herbs were available through Shaman Shack from Los Angeles. Rehmannia Dean is incredibly knowledgeable with herbs and can make you a mixture for any ailment.

The vendor hall had everything you need to follow the Longevity Now program and then some. I bought plenty of zeolite, fulvic acid, reishi and phyto marineplankton to get me started. I also purchased a liver cleansing kit and a cellerciser which I'm very excited to tell you more about down the road.

There was not much talk about the raw food lifestyle. It was so beyond eating tomatoes and cucumbers and green smoothies. This was about taking things to a whole new vibrational level that can only be achieved through superherbs and supplementation. We did get a couple demos on how to make a Maca Mamma Malt Shake and Pineapple Jalapeno Gazpacho. Yum.

Whenever I read a tweet or status update from a raw foodist about how blissed out and ecstatic they are I always roll my eyes. I feel great on raw food but I've never felt ecstatic. Well say hello to my new friend, the $18,000 Jing Master. This little bliss fest was offered at the on site tonic bar and can also be found at Erewhon market in Beverly Hills. For $22 you can feel like you're in love. No kidding. 13 different ingredients work together to make you feel high, yet focused, not jittery, just, well, blissed out, without the crashed out feeling you get from coffee. A very fun splurge if you're ever in the area.

David couldn't go anywhere without a mob surrounding him. He's a total rockstar and I'm totally his groupie.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

...aaand I'm Back!

So nice to be back in southern California. I was at Living Light Culinary Arts Institute for two weeks and in NYC for four weeks teaching my raw food basics as well as learning some cooked culinary arts as well. I took a class from the Natural Gourmet Insitute in Manhattan. They offer a range of different healthy cooking classes from vegan, to raw to meaty things. I took the Southeast Asian Vegan Banquet class and just loved it. We made: hot and sweet sesame nori fins, watercress and green mango salad with peanut dressing, red bhutan rice with roasted baby vegetables with lemongrass and cilantro, yellow pepper-coconut milk sauce, spinach-thai basil sauce, baked tofu triangles, Indonesian sambal, crispy rice sticks, and mango-lemongrass ice cream. It was really fun to try something new, heating food!, but I kept thinking about how I'm going to convert these into raw. Can't do that with the rice but the sauces, definitely. I often find my inspiration for raw foods from the cooked food world as opposed to leafing through raw recipes books. I don't want to reinvent the wheel, I would rather do my own spin on things. At least that's how I'm approaching the recipes for my, one day, raw book bestseller. :) Here are a few photos from the class.

Though I don't advocate eating tofu I did appreciate that everything was cooked in coconut oil (minimizing the formation of cooked toxins). We got to chow down at the end of the class and enjoy our hard work. Everything was absolutely delicious and they even served white wine (you can bring your own, too) with our dinner. I would certainly take more classes like this in the future.

Since I've been home I've been going to commercial auditions, detoxing (I'm on day 6 of 10), and working on various raw food endeavors. I don't want to let the cat out of the bag just yet, but I have lots of great things on the horizon. Raw foods has put me on such an amazing journey. I never know what unique opportunity is around the corner. The other night I made an appearance at the Center for New Medicine to promote my upcoming class and a woman asked if I could develop a raw cookie/treat for horses. Sure thing! The head of the center wants me to come to her home and teach her housekeeper how to make raw foods. OK, will do! and a couple of weeks ago I got an offer to go to Tulum, Mexico and Brazil to make vegan and raw food for two different retreats. Alrighty! I'm super excited and grateful for all that life is offering me right now. I think when your heart is in the right place things just start to come together. In the near future, I'm going to be doing some filming, as well as a lot of writing, so I will keep you all posted. Thank you to all who have been keeping up with my blog and sending great comments my way. xoxo.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Upcoming LA/NYC Raw Food Classes

I will be teaching Raw Food 101 twice this month on both coasts.

Sunday, Oct. 4th in Brooklyn

Sunday, Oct. 25th in Long Beach, CA

Click here for more info!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Navitas Naturals Organic Chocolate Kit

I'm so enamored with these cute little kits that came out by Navitas Naturals. They come in three flavors: Cacao, Goldenberry, and Goji Berry, and contain all the ingredients to make your own gourmet chocolate at home. Since Goji berries are one of my favorite snack foods I decided to give the Goji kit a try.

You will need a knife, a couple of bowls and an ice cube tray. I used a heart shaped one but a standard ice cube tray will work just fine.

The kit contains a little brick of cacao butter, some Goji berries and a very delicious blend of cacao powder, mesquite, lucuma and maca powder.

Step one, shave the cacao butter into thin pieces with your knife.

Place in either a metal or glass bowl (or mason jar) and let sit in a bowl of very hot water.

Use a spatula to help it melt and change the water if it cools down too quickly.

Add the cacao mix and combine well. Pour into 12 molds and place in freezer for about 10 minutes.


I thought they tasted fantastic though my husband didn't really care for them. I think mesquite, lucuma and maca is a little unusual for some chocolate connoisseurs but I really enjoyed the malty flavor. The cost of the kit is $9.99 and yields 12 sizable pieces. That's actually a good deal compared to other raw chocolate bars I've bought. I love that everything included was organic and thought it was fun and easy to prepare. This would be a great activity to do with children as well as make a great gift (or Valentines Day candy - thanks Adriana!). Find them at Whole Foods, your neighborhood health food store or online.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Science of Raw Food Nutrition

Last month I attended an amazing nutrition course offered at Living Light Culinary Arts Institute. Taught by the raw food doctors, Rick and Karin Dina, they thoroughly explored every aspect of raw food nutrition over nine days. For a health enthusiast like myself this was exciting but also extremely intensive. So much so, that my eyes started twitching on the 7th day from reading the textbook and watching the lectures all day long. Nevertheless, I loved every bit of it!

Some of the topics they covered:

vitamins, minerals, enzymes
optimal blood sugar regulation
acid/alkaline balance
the B12 controversy
how we get protein
essential fats
human digestion
cooked food toxins
history of human food choices
youth extension and longevity
history of living foods
food combining
women's health topics
animal products
menu planning for various health challenges
raw food exaggerations

And that was just the tip of the iceberg. I really appreciated that all of it was scientifically supported and cited. I've been raw for over two years and still get confused by conflicting claims in the raw food community. This helped me make sense of what is nutritional truth and what is just plain silly. I also learned little fun things I've never heard before. For instance, if you lay out for 5-10 minutes a day like I do to get your Vitamin D, don't shower till at least the next day or you will lose the Vitamin D that was created when the sun reacted with the cholesterol on your skin. I also didn't know that green leafy vegetables have essential fatty acids in them or that goji berries are part of the nightshade family.

The classes are offered in three sections that you can take separately or all at once. It equips you to become a Science of Raw Food educator and you receive a powerpoint presentation that you can use for your own lectures. I highly recommend it to anyone in the holistic health field or if you just want to do it for your own health and benefit. You won't be disappointed. If you can't make it to Living Light they do travel the country (and Canada) to teach the introductory class. Check their website for dates.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Easy Apple-Pear Cobbler

Fall is my favorite time of year. I'm lucky to be spending it in NYC where delicious honey crisp apples are coming into season. Take advantage of the bounty of apples and pears by whipping up this easy cobbler recipe. You can skip the pears if you'd like and even substitute peaches or berries which are still in season as well. Slicing the apples takes the longest in prepping this recipe but so worth the effort. You can easily double this, too. Your family and friends won't even know it's raw or vegan!

1 1/2 cup apples, peeled and sliced
1 1/2 cup pears, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons agave
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 cup walnuts or pecans (soaked and dehydrated is best but not necessary)
1/4 cup dehydrated cane sugar (or brown sugar if not available)
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup medjool dates
pinch of salt

Toss sliced apples and pears in lemon juice, agave and pumpkin pie spice and set aside.

In food processor, combine walnuts or pecans with dehydrated cane sugar and process until you get a coarse meal. Add raisins, dates and salt and process until it sticks together. Don’t overprocess.

Sprinkle half of the nut mixture in the bottom of four 6 oz. Ramekins or 6 x 6 serving pan, then layer with filling and then use remaining nut mixture on top.

Optional: warm in dehydrator at 145 degrees for 45 minutes or oven at 200 degrees for 10 minutes.

Serve with sweet cashew cream or raw or vegan ice cream (Coconut Bliss is a good one!)

Makes four servings. Will last 3 days in refrigerator.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Vibrant Living Expo

Last weekend I had the opportunity of attending the Vibrant Living Expo in Ft. Bragg, CA. Put on by Cherie Soria, gourmet raw food chef and founder of Living Light Culinary Institute, the expo featured dozens of raw food and medical experts, motivational speakers and gourmet chefs. Four hundred people were in attendance to hear lectures from those on the forefront of the raw health and wellness community. A few of the highlights:

"Diet For a New America" author, John Robbins, was the keynote speaker.

The mad cowboy, Howard Lyman, was there to tell his story about his battle, along with Oprah Winfrey, against the cattle growers of Texas. His book "Digging the Grave with our Fork" is a real eye opener.

There was a heated Q&A among some of the raw food experts. The panel included Viktoras Kulvinskas, Douglas Graham, Dr. Karin Dina, Brian Clement and Dr. Tom Lodi.

Made a few stops at the Artisana booth. Mmmm...

Matt Monarch and Angela Stokes-Monarch made a few appearances during the weekend talking about raw transformations and raw travel tips.

The main hall was lined with exhibitors and plenty of good eats.

Kevin and Annmarie Gianni spoke about plant-based diet pitfalls and meal planning for optimal health. Get their new smoothie book. Now!

Lots of fun stuff to buy at Matt Monarch's booth.

Good eats everywhere you turned.

The rising stars of the raw culinary world were there to tantalize your palette. You could forgo buying food by just attending all the culinary demos.

Fellow Lithuanian and the father of living foods, Viktoras Kulvinskas, spoke about superfoods, enzymes and surviving and thriving into 2012.

That was just the tip of the iceberg. There were yoga sessions, meditations, bodywork, film, music, pie contests, raffles, auctions and more. I loved every minute of it. There were four different events happening every hour on the hour totaling about 100 hours of lectures and demos. It was truly raw foodist heaven. For those of you who couldn't make it, they are offering an online encore presentation that allows you 60 days of unlimited access to all the events. I signed up for the encore because there was so much I missed! Yes, I'm really into this. If you would like to sign up for the encore presentation click here. I highly recommend it for anyone with an interest in health and who wants to know what is happening in the raw food world.

After the expo I stuck around to attend the Science of Raw Food Nutrition classes being offered at Living Light. I'm on day 4 of 8 and absolutely loving it. I'll write a post soon as I complete the course. It's extremely interesting and the most comprehensive information I've ever had on raw food science. Definitely recommend it for all of the aspiring raw food coaches out there.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

New Raw Food Restaurant in Detroit

A couple weeks ago, while visiting friends in Detroit, I made a wonderful discovery at the Detroit Zen Center. In the Hamtramck neighborhood is an organic cafe and co-op featuring live and gently cooked vegan dishes, juices and desserts. I was not expecting to find anything like this at all while in Detroit so this was a major score.
Kick your shoes off, grab a cushion and get cozy. The menu changes daily but try the live pizza if you get a chance. My friend and I also ordered the live burger, butternut squash soup, and salad. All delicious. We went crazy for the banana parfait. Seriously, so good. It was no surprise to find that the head chef, Emju, learned how to make these wonderful raw creations by Juliano. She's probably the only raw gourmet monk/chef in the world.

They haven't been advertising the cafe yet, so if you're in the area, please pay them a visit and pick up a few items for your kitchen as well. Better yet, be part of their co-op and what the heck, take some meditation classes. You know you need some yoga classes, too. I was so impressed and touched by the vision of the center that I gladly handed Emju the recipe for my famous brownies. Word on the street is that she made a batch this weekend. Now if that isn't reason enough to go then...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

How To Open A Banana Like A Monkey

This is going to be helpful for all you 80/10/10ers.

I never knew!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Popeye

This isn't the first time I've mentioned this fantastic and simple post-workout concoction. It's called the Popeye, and I started every morning with one when I worked at Bonobo's where they sell like crazy. Just blend fresh young Thai coconut water with a handful of spinach and you have everything you need to replenish your electrolytes, protein, and minerals. That is if you work out like me, which is 45-75 minutes of weight resistance, yoga stretches and cardio. All you hardcore athletes should look into a Brendan Brazier or Tim VanOrden plan to meet your nutritional needs. Btw, you can also throw in some of the coconut meat as well but I prefer to keep it light and frothy. The perfect drink for a hot summer.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Red Hot And Raw

If you haven't had a chance to check out the 200-and-something raw food blogs out there on the internet then you may not know all the exciting new things happening in the raw food world. Here are a few things that I've been particularly excited about which I'll call my Red Hot and Raw List.

1. RawFu magazine made its debut last month. Both gorgeous and informative, it's a great read for raw food beginners and veterans alike. Lord knows niche magazines could use all the support they can get so if you have a spare $20 bucks then why not subscribe to something you can also share with your friends and family. While you're at it, check out Purely Delicious, another wonderful raw food magazine with lots of recipes, health info and great interviews.

2. The Raw Union of Matt Monarch and Angela Stokes on June 20-21. How cute are they? Two movers and shakers in the raw food world with two amazing testimonials are getting married next month by David Wolfe and everyone is invited! I'd go if I wasn't already traveling around all summer.

3. Sarma Melngailis has a new recipe book coming out on June 30th called "Living Raw Foods." Her last book, "Raw Food Real World," is my raw culinary bible so I'm especially excited to get my hands on this. Pre-order through One Lucky Duck and get a signed copy and a little something yummy with your order.

4. Gnosis Chocolate is starting to come out with a line of beauty products. If you haven't tried Gnosis chocolate bars you don't know what you're missing. They're slowly making their way to Whole Foods and natural food stores across the county and now they're introducing the first product in their beauty line, a delish chocolate bath bar. You can purchase the bath bars on their website as well as their full line of superfoods and other products at great prices.

5. Though I'm a proud graduate of Living Light Culinary School I'm also completely enamored with the new living foods culinary education center being built in Oklahoma City under the guidance of Living Light alum, Mandilyn Canistelle, and raw food chef extraordinaire, Matthew Kenney. Opening in September, the center would be home to 105 Degrees restaurant in addition to the cutting edge learning facility. Can't wait to see some photos. If Matthew Kenney is teaching any of the gourmet classes, you bet I'll be there in a heartbeat.


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