Monday, October 17, 2011

Cafe Rivva

So I received an email from Cafe Rivva advertising:

Rivva "Veggie Crispy Chicken" & Avocado Sandwich
Heirloom Tomatoes, Romaine Lettuce, Red Onions & Vegenaise (no egg)  

Now how could I pass that up?????  The restaurant also happens to be within walking distance of my office so I decided to hit it up and was not disappointed.  

This sandwich was delicious.  It was a bit messy because the "chicken" was all chopped up and the avocado made it all slippery.  However, it was well worth the messy Veganaise-y fingers.  I suspect that the chicken was Gardein but it was still yummy.  The side salad is also great.  The inclusion of plums was a surprise but a tasty one.

The menu changes every week at Cafe Rivva and it's easy to miss because it's in a shopping center on the second floor, but everyone should check this place out.  I didn't order a smoothie because I was totally broke but next time I go, I definitely want the kale smoothie!  Sounded delicious.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Catch up

As always, I start this post with a chastisement to myself as a bad blogger.  However, I feel like a wedding and honeymoon and getting back into the fold of things are my excuse this time.  I dare you to top that!  So yes, I am officially married to my lady love and have some stuff to blog about.

First, our honeymoon was in Hawaii.  I found one vegan restaurant called Joy's Place pretty close to where we stayed.  I ordered the Veggie Burger Sandwich and it was incredibly tasty.  The patty was homemade with beans, lentils and grains.  I expected it to be mushy but it held up really well.  I also got a kale, spinach, banana avocado smoothie.  Yummmmmm.

Sorry for the picture alignment.  Blogger is not working with me today!

So I will update on some LA restaurants soon!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Candle Cafe frozen meals

Ok so as of today I've tried both the Macaroni and Cheese and the Tofu Spinach Ravioli.  I gotta say that I had very high hopes for these products because I've heard such amazing things about the restaurant.  However, neither were that great.  Certainly not better than anything I could make myself.  I'm pretty sure both entrees used Daiya, which is readily available at most Whole Foods.  The ravioli was a bit on the mushy side.  At more than $5 per entree, I think they may need to rethink their recipes.

Nevertheless I am still ecstatic to try Candle Cafe in NYC.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Baked Tomatoes, Squash and Potatoes

So I opened my new issue of Whole Living Magazine (which used to be A-mazing and now is just sorta so-so but I'm a subscriber so whatever) and found a section on what to do with bumper crops.  Because my CSA gave me a ton of tomatoes and I'm not the biggest fan, I was excited to find this recipe because it incorporated tomatoes with stuff I like much much better.  Here is the recipe:

Whole Living's baked tomatoes, squash, and potatoes

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 small tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 medium yellow summer squash, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 medium yukon gold potato (or 2 smaller potatoes), sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (omitted)
  • 2 tbsp freshly grated parmesan
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Heat oil over medium and cook onion until tender and lightly golden, 6-8 minutes
  3. Arrange the onion on the bottom of a 9 x 13 in ch baking dish.  Overlap tomato, squash, and potato on top of the onion.  Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with thyme and parmesan, and drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Bake covered for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake until golden, 30 minutes more.

I actually used both crookneck yellow squash and zucchini so mine didn't turn out as pretty as the picture they showed.  However, all the tastes really came together in a really delightful way.  (Obviously I also substituted parmesan for Daiya mozzarella.)  I'm not the biggest fan of thyme it turns out so next time I think I would add a bit of garlic.  Oh and I also don't own a casserole dish so instead I used two pie pans.  Oh the fun of kitchen experiments.  Nevertheless, I ate the entire thing in two days, which is cool cuz it's pretty low in cals, and ate it so quickly that I even forgot to take a picture!  Oh well.  Make the recipe; it's good.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Around the world with greens

Ok so I've obviously failed the blog challenge so I'm back to just posting bout food!  So last night I decided to cook, which is bad because it's been awhile.  I made Kenyan Kale and Tomatoes, garlic broccoli and then a tofu shallot salad from Whole Foods.

I know it all looks the same on the plate but all three flavors are distinctive and awesome. The kale and tomatoes were soft and delightful whereas the broccoli was still crispy and pungent and the salad is my favorite one at WF because the dressing is sweet with a tiny hint of spice. Both the dishes I cooked were really easy to make.  I decided to make this meal because I knew that Becca would most likely shrug at mere kale and tomatoes as a full meal.  Though she's basically vegetarian now, she still has a hard time defining a meal as just veggies.  She wants some sort of bread or rice or fake meat to go with it.  I am currently trying to stay as gluten-free as possible so it's been a challenge.

This morning I started the Tracey Anderson Method.  This is a workout series (I'm ignoring the meal plans as even the vegetarian track is dairy-heavy) that has toned the bodies of such celebs as Gwenyth Paltrow, Courtney Cox and Shakira.  So far so good.  I'm not too sore so maybe all that personal training is working out after all!  However, I have 31 days before my wedding so only time will tell!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A year ago

I'm supposed to upload a picture of me from a year ago and talk about how I've changed.  However, since Facebook sucks, it's a pain to pull pics off the site and upload them so I suppose you will have to imagine what I looked like a year ago, i.e. basically the same with slightly longer hair and more weight.

How have I changed?  Well, I've lost about 15 pounds so that's good.  I got engaged to be married so that's a big one.  I went vegan a little over a year ago which was the single most important decision in my life.  Really though I have the same job, same apartment, same gf since last year so there hasn't been a huge shift, except in my perception of things.  I'm actively trying to be positive, something I never would have fathomed a year ago.  I just want to be the change I want to see, as cheesy as that may sound!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Giving Up?

Ok so is it totally lame to give up on a 30 Day Blog Challenge halfway through when I've already missed plenty of days?  Today is supposed to be about goals but honestly I'm so confused about my goals at this point in my life that I don't even know what to say.  My only real goal is to have a wedding without too much drama.  As far as work, I just don't know anymore.  I don't really like my job. It's not challenging at all, but then again I get paid to read celebrity blogs and watch movies on occasion.  There are certainly worse things out there but I just don't feel like I'm contributing to the greater good here.  We make movies, horrible ones at that.  But I mean, do I want to be a nutritionist?  A yoga instructor?  A housewife?  I just don't know and I feel like I'm getting to that age that it's no longer acceptable to not know...

Ok so that's a downer.  I guess here are some of my goals.
1. Lose another 10 pounds. I want to be a skinny person.  There. I said it.
2. Finish my novel.
3. Find a more fulfilling job.
4. Adopt another kitten.
5. Rent a house in the next year or so.
6. If I rent said house, and it has a backyard, I would also love a goat and a bunny!
7. Volunteer more hours at Animal Acres.
8. Meditate more.
9. Work out 5 days a week.
10. Drink less but still be fun!

Alright I think that there is enough goals!  Le sigh.  Looks like I won't be quitting this blog challenge after all; it just means it will take me about twice as long!

Monday, August 8, 2011

I'm so not good at Blog Challenges

Haha as made apparent. I am not so good at blog challenges.  Today has been a toughie.  Not only is it Monday, but I'm exhausted.  Not sure why but I think it's because I worked out super hard over the weekend and just dread coming to work.  Now Becca and I are fighting about our wedding. Of course this is nothing new but we're getting so close that every fight just feels silly.

Ok so the topic for today is what I never leave home without.  That's easy.  My purse, wallet, cards, cell phone, Bobble.

Friday, August 5, 2011

A quote I love

This is a quote that I intend to use during my vows. "I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close." - Pablo Neruda

Nice message to leave y'alls on this fine Friday. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Ok so obviously I failed this 30 day blog challenge.  However, in my defense, last weekend I flew to Tahoe to finish our final tastings for our upcoming nuptials.  Happy to say we have our vegan cake and entree!  The bad news is that I also got a pretty wicked cold/sinus infection.    So yes, I didn't do any writing.

The good news is I'm feeling much better, albeit a little tired.  Ok a lot tired. All the time.

So today's challenge topic is to talk about something I'm afraid of.  The first and most obvious to anyone that knows me are clowns.  I absolutely hate them.  Even the funny, cute ones  that are supposed to make you laugh.  Not a fan.  The root of all this is of course Stephen King's IT.  When I was about 5 years old, my family watched the movie, but my older sister covered my eyes for all the scary parts.  I really thought it was just a movie about kids and a clown.  So when my friends Cassandra and Kelli said that they had a copy of IT to watch, I boasted I'd already seen it.  They were impressed and we decided to watch it together.  Riddle my little mind blown when I actually watched the gruesome movie. In reality, it's not a very good movie.  Downright cheesy in parts.  But damn it if the opening scene of the little tricycle wheel spinning STILL doesn't make me scream.  Pennywise ruined clowns for me.

I also used to have a little blue clown doll that you wound up.  He would play music and tilt his head from side to side.  My older brother once got mad at me and ripped the clown's head off.  My mother fixed his head but now when you wound him up, the circus song would play and his HEAD WOULD FRIGGIN SPIN ALL THE WAY AROUND. I was terrified, so much so that I couldn't even throw him away.  I thought he would come back and find me so he got a coveted place on the front shelf by my bed to scare me all through the night.  I have no idea why I thought close proximity to my head would appease him...

Next, and also somewhat relating to my fear of clowns, is the fact that I hate the dark.  I don't know if I'd go so far as to say that I'm afraid of the dark per se, more just that I hate it.  I used to sleep with a light or television on constantly.  Now I'm nearly 29 years old so I can stand to turn out the lights.  However, sometimes when I wake up scared, I will still lie extremely still in case there's something bad out there, namely a clown living under my bed.

Friday, July 29, 2011

A favorite pic of a best friend

My best friend and I have been friends since I was three years old and moved next door to her.  We have seen each other through a lot.  There were times that we weren't super close and others when we were.  he will be my Maid of Honor and I love her very much.  She's the kind of girl that I can forget to call for months but when we talk, it's like no time has passed.  Here's a picture from a few years ago that I love.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Today's topic is where I've travelled to and where I want to go still.  This is a toughie because I've traveled around a bit.  My favorite trip was Italy though.  I was 19 and went with my best friend and a class.  I'd never seen such beauty before.  Pictures did not do it justice.  However, because I was with a college, I also didn't hit the town properly.  Italy is a place that I really want to get back to with Becca.  We would do it up right this time!

The funnest/weirdest trip I've had was going to Cannes, France for the film festival.  I volunteered to work and it was an amazing time. I had to find hash for a pretty famous actress, snuck into the Playboy party where I sat on Hef's lap, and lied my way into a number of upscale screenings.  It was fantastic.  However, I also got drunk and lost in the middle of nowhere and had to beg some McDonalds drugdealers to help me find my way.  Lucky I wasn't at least robbed but I had someone looking out for me!  All in all, it was totally worth skipping out on my college graduation.

But I suppose the most important trip I ever made was moving to Los Angeles.  I had visited a couple of times before but didn't know my way around at all.  It took months to get my bearings.  The reason this destination means more than any other is that I met Becca here.  She is my life now and I am so grateful that I was pulled to this city.  For all the douchebags and fakery, LA has become my city.  Sure I miss San Francisco but I'm  not even sure what I would do there now (except go to culinary school which I would TOTALLY do).

Becca and I actually have a long list of places that we want to travel.  The big ones are Hawaii (about to check it off in September!), Amsterdam, Dollywood, and Italy.  I want to show her the landscapes and dart around public transportation and learn to understand a language I don't know.  Oh man, this post just makes my feet itch with the desire to get out of my office.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What makes me happy

Oh wow.  This is a great topic.  What exactly makes me happy.  First of all, I have to say FOOD!  Food makes me very happy.  Gotta give shout-outs to Gardein, Spork Foods, Cafe Gratitude, and so many other cruelty-free products and restaurants.  It's funny because before I went vegan, I think that I took food for granted.  I didn't really taste anything or understand my relationship with food.  However, now I am practically orgasmic for certain foods.  It's fabulous, made all the more better by being compassionate as well!

Animal Acres makes me extremely happy.  My good friend Kelly planned my bridal shower there and it was more than I could ask for.  Not only did it get many people that otherwise would not step foot on a farm there, but I think some of my friends finally made the connection between the animals out there to the ones on their plate.  Yes, there were a few jokesters who made bacon comments in front of the pigs (which enraged me but I kept my cool) but for the the most part everyone was on their best behavior.  Animal Acres is just so lovely.  It's apparent that the staff truly loves and cares for the animals. They couldn't ask for better homes than Acton.

My girlfriend/fiancee/wife-to-be makes me happy.  She's my best friend and the only person I've ever been able to spend so much time with without being driven crazy.  Sure we fight sometimes and I get mad at her, but she's helped me become a better person.  She's unlocked a loving part of myself that I had hidden away.  Becca really is the best.

Brand new babies (including but not limited to human) make me happy.  Our friends just had their first son two days ago and I'm very excited to meet the little guy!  I will also be attending my first bris which makes me nervous I'm not going to lie.  However, I love how newborns look, smell and feel.  I love anything that just sleeps and looks cute all the time!

Traveling to new places makes me happy as well.  Perhaps not the travel part since I dislike airports and get bored in cars but nevertheless, I love being somewhere new.

And finally yoga makes me happy!  I am a new convert and still don't get to practice as often as I'd like due to my hours but I love every second that I do attend.  I am getting back into the habit of going at 6:15 am just to round out my 6 am bootcamps haha.  I am getting more into the idea of liking exercise so yoga is my transition.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pet Peeves

Uh oh this could be a long one!  Today's topic is pet peeves.  I would have to say that as an LA driver, turn signals are one of my biggest pet peeves.  How hard is it to flick a turn signal? For serious people!  Yes, I will ride your ass and no I don't know that you will suddenly slam on your breaks and turn into the In N Out Burger, you fatty.  But if you'd merely turn on a signal then I might be able to anticipate your move rather than skid to a stop just shy of your bumper while simultaneously looking in the rearview for people that may rear end me.  Turn signals are easy.  USE THEM.

Next one is due to the fact that I work in an office for a producer.  I understand that everyone that calls for my boss thinks he/she is the most important person in the universe.  However, if you say, "Hey, this is John" or Adam, Susan, or any other ridiculously common name, DO NOT be offended when I ask you to clarify with a last name.  Please don't say, "Oh he knows me" as I have no doubt that he does.  But I can't very well say, "John on one" without him asking John who.  So do us all a favor and acknowledge that you have a common name just say the full name.  Oh, and to assistants who do this as well.  You are even worse because you are aware how annoying your boss is and still don't supply a last name.

My newest pet peeve, one I didn't even know existed till now, is people that don't RSVP.  I mean, I understand if you get an Evite and don't click Maybe right away but I'm planning a wedding here, people.  Not to sound conceited but you should feel lucky to have been invited.  Believe me, we hacked and hacked at our list until we had something reasonable.  So if you get an invitation, just RSVP back yay or nay.  And do not invite a guest unless it is specified on your invitation.  That's just tacky and rude!

My final pet peeve of the day is a silly one and even I acknowledge this.  However, if I have to read one more celebrity saying that they "don't really exercise, they just eat small meals five times a day" I will set the magazine on fire.  I'm sorry but you have nothing to do all day but interview, cook, exercise and whatever else it is that you do to feel normal.  Here's a secret: THEY ALL EXERCISE.  They all have personal trainers and nutritionists.  They eschew bread, freeze grapes as snacks and always pass up desert unless of course being photographed.  Stop lying about it, celebs.  You only help perpetuate a stereotype and it's not even true!

Alright and scene.  I will now take a deep breath and calm down!  Thanks for listening to me vent :)

Monday, July 25, 2011


Ok so my b.  Already failed the 30 day blog challenge by not posting at all this weekend but I was a busy girl.  So I decided that I would continue in spite of my lack of discipline.  So today is about what inspires me.  Right now animals are a huge inspiration to me.  I am going to attend Farm Sanctuary's Walk For Farm Animals which will raise money for the sanctuary.  It's so important to help organizations like this because the sanctuary helps raise awareness for the plight of farm animals.  It also exposes people to farms, many of whom would never otherwise know how friendly farm animals can be.

The Spork Sisters are also incredibly inspiring.  They have a cookbook coming out in October and I can't wait!  They offer amazing vegan cooking classes but beyond that, they are true examples of veganism at it's best.  They are not judgmental at all.  They believe in what they do and teach so it's fantastic to be around them. They're cheerfulness is totally addictive and the good news is that it rubs off as well!!!

My friends also inspire me because they stick with their convictions and help me to lead a fuller life.  I will be forever grateful.  And of course my bride-to-be helps inspire me to be a better person.  I strive to keep us healthy and happy.  Because I met her, I am able to better myself for her.  I am so grateful to have met her!

Friday, July 22, 2011

My parents

Ok so today's topic for the 30 Day Blog Challenge is to talk about my parents.  Oh man, what can I say about the 'rents?  They really are the best.  As you may have noticed from my last story, I was a bit of a troublemaker as a kid.  I won't lie.  I stole from them constantly, mostly booze and cigarettes.  I stayed out late, I lied, I got in trouble.  Yet they stuck by me every time.

Now I would say that I have a fantastic relationship with both of them. I don't have much time so I hopefully can expand on this another day.  Suffice to say, they are the kindest people I know.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

First Love

Oh man, okay so here it goes.  Today's topic is about first love.  My first love came about when I was sixteen years old.  As I look back on it, I'm not entirely sure why I cared so deeply for him.  Everyone told me he was a bad guy but I defended him to the end.  He was cute, in an awkward, crooked teeth, red-headed way. But to me he was the cutest boy I'd ever seen and the only boy I ever least at the time.

I was  bit wayward in my youth so he and I met at a party in which I got so drunk I passed out on his friend's filthy disgusting mattress.  He stayed with me until I fell asleep then left to his apartment which was up the stairs.  As a sidetone, when his friend moved out and we moved said mattress, there were maggots living underneath it.  Yep, it was basically a disgusting flop house.  But hey I was only a kid.

So the guy, let's call him Ginger for his red hair, and I flirted for a couple weeks.  All I wanted was for him to ask me out.  He had a reputation as a player but spent every day with him so I knew it was all exaggeration.  After about two or three weeks, he finally asked me out in the backseat of my best friend's car.  It was magical....or at least so I thought at the time.  I think it went more like, "Hey, we should go out." Me: (SWOON) Yes!  Then I believe we drank a fifth of Vodka and ended up coffee camping at Denny's.  Not exactly the stuff dreams are made of...

So we dated for I think about three or four months.  Not totally sure of the timeline.  As you can see, my memory was alcohol induced.  How did it all end you ask?  Well, first three of my best friends died in a car accident.  It was the absolute worst thing that has ever happened to me and it still hurts to this day despite over a decade elapsing.  At a time when a boyfriend should be comforting and close to his girlfriend, Ginger would break up with me then about an hour later would apologize only to do the same thing over and over the next day.  It was a turbulent roller coaster of a relationship.

The final nail in our coffin came one night when I was home and I got a phone call.  It was Ginger's ex-girlfriend who had actually moved into his apartment with his parents.  She had been thrown out of her house so they took her in.  After all, Ginger had dated her for two years so she was close with his family.  I never questioned the arrangement because I thought he was the most charitable guy ever.  Of course I still very much hated her, going as far as to steal her sweatshirt, graffiti it and wear it all over town. Well, Ginger's ex informed me that she was pregnant.  At first, I didn't understand why she was telling me this.  Then I realized that she was telling me because she was pregnant with Ginger's baby.  I felt like all the air was sucked out of me.

Yep, my boyfriend had his ex-girlfriend call me to break up with me for him because he'd been cheating on me the whole time and knocked her up.  This was of course enough for me never to speak to him again...not.  No, later he begged me to take him back, claimed he didn't love his ex but rather me.  Silly sixteen-year-old that I was, I believed him and took him back.  We played the he dumps me then apologizes thing for awhile until he just sorta stopped coming over and I sorta stopped looking for him.  I heard later that he moved somewhere back East.

So there you have it. I was a pathetic lovesick teen and it truly bothers me how dumb I was.  In retrospect, I know he never loved me. (I should have known since his first declaration of love was in a letter he wrote me while he was in Juvenile Hall telling me he loved me and please wait for him. It had all seemed very romantic so I waited.  Every day I stayed home waiting for him to call during Rec Hour. Some days he did, some days he didn't.  When I wrote him back telling him I loved him as well, he never wrote another letter.  I wrote two a day.)  All Ginger really wanted was my money and easy access to booze.

I actually saw him about six years ago.  He now works at the Dollar Store in my hometown.  I've heard he has five kids, two with the same ex, the other three with other women on the East Coast. I was visiting from Film School and ran into him.  For years I'd pondered what I would say or do if I ever saw him again.  None of those witty, biting comments came out.  I just turned bright red and stuttered.  My mom told me I looked white as a ghost.  I then proceeded to vomit in the parking lot.  My mom took me to a bar across the street and got me drunk.  It was the only time I've ever done shots with my mom.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

30 Day Blog Challenge - Nicknames

Ok so today's topic is nicknames.  This at first struck me as silly because I don't really have nicknames then I started thinking of some stories in which nicknames were assigned to me.  My first nickname was merely Britt, though with two t's.  I hate when people write Brit.  My grandmother always does!

But for the far more fun nicknames, I would say that Brat-ney or Bitch-ney were common as a prepubescent and teenager.  In soccer, I was often called Brat-ney because I threw fits if I didn't get my way.  Not much changed as I grew older except we were now allowed to curse.   Regardless, it's not my favorite memory of being such a brat that people labeled me as such.

My favorite nickname is Beerney.  This was given to me by my dear friend during our first year of film school together.  We were hanging out in the boys' dorm watching movies, drinking beer and smoking cigarettes.  She meant to say, "Brittany, can you get me a beer?"  Instead she said, "Beerney, can you get me a britt."  It may not sound as righteously funny now but at the time we nearly wet ourselves giggling.  The boys thought we were nuts.  Nevertheless, my friend still calls me Beerny to this day.

Another nickname is Ruger.  I went to Vegas with a few Los Angeles friends to celebrate a birthday party.  On our first day, we went to Starbucks where they massacred all of our names.  Mine came out Ruger.  Still no idea how the baristas managed that one but so it goes... Anyhoo, we decided that our Starbucks names would be our alter egos. Ruger came out many times during the course of that trip, mostly when drunk.  While in a total state of intoxication, I actually threw ranch dressing at my friend.  She still will not let me forget it!  But the highlight of that trip was when we got an accidental text message that read: "Can you take Laylani to church?  She really needs to go."  Obviously Laylani had gotten herself into some trouble and needed Jesus' help.  We sent back a ridiculous reply and then headed to the airport.  It was an epically fun Vegas trip and my friends will still call me Ruger when I drink from time to time.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Long time, no write

As always, I will start this post with a woops, it's been way too long post.  However, for the next 30 days (give or take) that will all change.  I'm going to do the 30 Day Blog Challenge which actually has nothing to do with being vegan, but rather it's about writing something every day.  So it's about to get personal up in here!

Since it is day one, I am supposed to share a recent picture, introduce myself and share 15 interesting facts about myself.  Of course the interesting part is subjective so let's do this.

This picture was taken at the Wiltern just before the band Fun. came on stage.  They are one of my all-time favorite ones and it was a great show.

So a new introduction.  I am now 28 years old.   I am still an assistant to a producer, though the more I learn about nutrition, yoga and other "hippie dippy" stuff, the more I wonder if this is the industry I want to stay in.  I may go back to school for nutrition but that is at least another year off.  Got to give myself time.  I am also a writer and avid reader.  I am engaged to a great woman and will be getting married in September.

1. I am mostly vegan.
2. I am a lesbian
3. I am at 42, 519 words as of today in my new novel.
4. I have 2 fur babies, Pinkerton and Wilco.
5. I like to cook.
6. I juice every day.
7. My VitaMix was the best gift I ever got.
8. My favorite book is the Count of the Monte Cristo.
9. My favorite movie is The Godfather.
10. A movie I will always watch if it is on is The Sweetest Thing.
11. My guilty pleasure movie is Rock Star.
12. I am the middle child within my family.
13. I have 2 Bachelor's Degrees.
14. I am allergic to corn.
15. I am getting married in September!

Ok so there you go, folks. Easy peasy.  But I assure you, it gets much more intimate as time goes on!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My blog is one year old!!!!

Alright so first things first, I've been incredibly lax and lazy with my posts lately.  No real excuse except life getting in the way.  I can't believe the serendipity that I decided to post today then when I checked it out realized that it's been exactly one year since I started this thing.  Once upon a time, I was really unsure whether I could remain mostly vegan but it turns out that wiping out fish and other bi-products really wasn't as hard as expected.  I feel better, I'm more in tune with my body, and recently started a mediation and yoga practice!  Exciting changes are afoot.  The more I learn about nutrition, food and healing, the more I love it.  I am currently looking for a new assistant position (fingers crossed on one job in particular) and I think that this will be my final year as an assistant.  I want to look forward.  If I am not promoted within a year, I believe it may be time to make some real lasting changes in my life, namely getting out of this rat race.  I still love film; I really do.  However, working in this industry can have a disastrous effect on your health.  The constant stress and resentments that build up are toxic to be in for too long and I'm going on my fifth year of it.  Now I know some people are thinking then why throw away all that time.  I don't see it as wasted time though. Without this business I would have never made many of my friends or met the love of my life.  But sometimes you realize that you don't need to identify yourself by your job and maybe that time is coming for me.  Anyhoo, enough of that!  Let's talk food.

So first things first, I tried the Greek Gyro Bowl at Native Foods. It is described as: Our thinly sliced Native Peppered Seitan sautéed with shallots on quinoa, steamed vegetables, and kale with lemon garlic sauce and hummus. Served with grilled flatbread.

Let me just say it was spectacular.  The flatbread was soft and pliable, perfect for scooping.  The hummus was a little more like dressing because it was liquidy.  Just really a perfect bowl.  I felt very energetic after eating and enjoyed that I had some yummy leftovers to boot!

Next, Becca and I got Bistro Boxes from Madeleine Bistro.  Basically you get several meals delivered to you on Monday afternoon that you can reheat and enjoy at home.  I am a HUGE fan of Madeleine's so Becca and I were very excited. It's now been a week and we've gone through nearly everything.  We got a bit lazy in our picture taking so we only have the Mac & Cheese Casserole with roasted veggies.

I will admit the mac & cheese wasn't as flavorful as I'd hoped it would be. Mostly it tasted like the bread crumbs on top, which I think were cornmeal since I had an allergic reaction later that night.  However, that's not to say we didn't enjoy eating it.  Out of our box, I think it's safe to say that the "Chickn" Pot Pie with Biscuits was our fave.  

Finally, Becca and I headed to Arizona for Memorial Day weekend with my parents.  I was a little worried about the lack of vegan options but managed to find True Food Kitchen.  They were FANTASTIC!!! We loved them so much we ate there twice.  Both my parents even enjoyed their meals and they can be finicky eaters. True Food has both omnivore and vegan meals.  They also have an array of gluten free and soy free foods as well.  I was really craving a tofu scramble so I got the Tofu Scramble Wrap (with a Prana which is the most delicious cocktail eva!) while Becca went with the Halibut sliders (not pictured for obvious reasons).  The following day we split a roasted veggie pizza with no cheese. Yum.  What's great about this restaurant is that the staff was very young and friendly.  It was obvious that one of our waiters wasn't entirely sure what vegan meant, just that they offered vegan food.  However, he was very quick to ask lots of questions, such as is it ok if there is some milk in the sauce (answer obvi no) and other things like that. He really believed that vegans could eat fish! So here are the pics:

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What Are You Grateful For?

Today's word for me is gratitude.  I feel immensely blessed to be where I am in my life.  Not everything is perfect by any means, I could gripe about plenty but in this moment, I am truly grateful.  For what you may ask?  Well, Becca, my friends, my amazing family, kale, Animal Acres, sunshine and my easy-going boss that lets me take off for interviews when I need to.  Thank you from the bottom of my soul today.

Oh what else am I grateful for?  Cafe Gratitude! Becca and I went there last night and decided to try to keep our meals mostly raw as that is my new attempt in life.  Let me just say YUM.  We did order a cooked appetizer but hey we made strides :)  So here is my review of yum.

First we started with the I Am Vibrant which is sauteed greens and pumpkin seeds.  This was seriously so delicious.  The sourness of the vinegary sauce, the crunch of the seeds and the straight-up delishness of the greens made this a stand out dish.

Next up we ordered entrees.  I went with the I Am Complete, which was almond hummus, olive tapenade, live falafel, a buckwheat cracker and a side salad with a creamy mint dressing.  I was skeptical about all of this since it's raw but it all turned really well.  The buckwheat cracker especially was fantastic, which surprised me because I thought it would be dry and gross.  My only issue was with the amount of dressing on my side salad.  It was a little much.

 Becca chose the I Am Hearty.  It's a live onion crust with cashew cheese, marinara, pesto,  and tapenade.  They top it with brazil nut parmesan and basil.  This was very much the winner for the evening, although it was a bit small.  We wished there were two on the plate!  Nevertheless, this is definitely something to try, especially if you're a newbie to eating raw.

Cafe Gratitude rocks my socks.  For serious.  I can't wait to go back there!

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Rapture

Ok, so tonight is supposedly the beginning of the end.  The Rapture is supposed to take place I hear around 11 pm PST or possibly 6 pm tomorrow.  I'm a little bit hazy on the details.  Honestly all this talk freaks me out.  I mean, what if we all made fun of it and suddenly all these people started disappearing and ascending?  It reminds me of a Stephen King novel and he scares the shit out of me (except when he guest writes for EW).  So I decided that maybe I should write a blog post about my thoughts if this is really the end, and a reminder of what I want if it's not.

First of all, I love Becca very much and miss her while she's having her bachelor party in NYC.  I wish she was beside me.  Secondly, if this is really the end, I'm bummed because I just got into a new spiritual practice.  I am a lapsed Catholic.  Or rather my parents sent me to Catholic school as a child and rebelled as quickly as humanely possible, but those notions were still drilled into my head.  Now I've started meditating and practicing yoga.  It feels so good and slowly but surely I believe that I am freeing up some energy.  I've been writing again!  That excites me because it's been awhile and I would like to take advantage of the creativity.  I believe that it is true that what you think becomes you.  One of my mantras is that I am open to all creativity and here it is.

What else? What else?  I guess I love my family and hope that should this really be the end, well I'm glad that I'm vegan and hope to carry my compassion even further because this is all silly and the world is not ending.  Love to all!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Red Thai Tofu and Butternut Squash Coconut Rice

So another sterling victory for Isa's Appetite For Reduction!  If you haven't picked up a copy, do yourself a favor and do it NOW!!!!  I don't get paid to endorse anything (though should vegan companies feel like giving me freebies, I'm more than happy to oblige :P) but this has to be one of the best cookbooks I've found yet.  Not only are the recipes delicious, but they're manageable even for little ol' me AND nothing is over 400 calories.  It also helps you out with portion control.

Last night I decided to make the Butternut Squash Coconut Rice.  I had roasted a 2 pound squash a couple nights ago in anticipation of making this recipe.  I know that Becca loves butternut squash so I thought this might be  fun way to incorporate it.  Her trainer recommended that she only have non-processed, veggie-based meals at dinner.  Of course, I've been saying the same thing for eons.  Funny how she only listens to Constance!  Because I wasn't sure if the rice would be filling enough, I decided to tackle the Red Thai Tofu as well.  Becca isn't a fan of spice so I thought this may be a dish only for moi.  However, she ended up loving it as well!

The two dishes were different in flavor and yet complimented each other very nicely.  I was uber proud. We both fought over the left-overs this morning while I tried to make them as even as possible.

In other news, I started my morning with five minutes of meditation, or at least I tried. I realize it is a lot more difficult when I have two cats bellowing that they would like to be fed. The alternative of course being the ting ting of their collars hitting their food bowls while they eat.  Do other people have indoor pets and still meditate?  How do you find inner stillness?  I'm debating shutting them both up in the bathroom for my five minutes, although I suspect that will only lead to scratching and howling instead.  Maybe I will attempt to go out on the balcony instead.  Who said meditation was easy right?

I also dry brushed my skin this morning.  I've been reading about the importance of dry brushing in increasing circulation, working the lymph system and for all the haters out there, helping get rid of the appearance of cellulite.  I won't lie, I have plenty of dimples I would love have disappear so I'm going to try dry brushing every morning in order to help with all that.

Then I had my Hour of Power work out downstairs, though it may have been more like 40 minutes of power when all was said and done.  However, it was nice to sweat a little and get my heart rate up. I intend to take a 2 mile walk at lunch.  I have to get this full feeling out of me. It's not bloating really, just a feeling that I'm always full.  I may have overeaten last night but for serious, how do I empty myself? I had a BM this morning and I thought that would cure it but alas, still full-bellied over here.  I did make myself a green smoothie with cucumber, broccoli rabe, kale, carrot, almonds, spirulina, banana and some strawberries.  It was...interesting.  The consistency was a little thick and Becca wasn't a huge fan but I know that I have some valuable veggie and fruit servings all without engaging my digestion too much. Yay for the future!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Brussel Sprout Hash and Curried Tofu with Wilted Spinach

I just have to talk about my dinner (and leftovers lunch) last night.  It was AMAZING.  The picture here does not do it justice.

I really loved this so very much that I may have overstuffed myself (twice)!  I got the recipes from Appetite For Reduction.  The first is the Brussel Sprout Hash, which is basically potato and brussel sprouts seasoned to loveliness.  I wish that I had a proper lid for my skillet. I think the results would have been even better but for serious, this was delish.  I also modified the Scrambled Curry Tofu with Wilted Arugula, mostly because I only had spinach.  This also turned out magnificently.  I even felt like a proper cook weighing out and chopping ingredients beforehand so when it came time to mix, everything was in its own glass bowl just waiting. I also (somehow) managed to have both recipes come out at the exact same time!  It was a fantastic night for cooking.

If you're interested in more recipes like this, check out the Post Punk Kitchen.  It is full of fantastic advice and recipes about veganism.  Isa Chandra Moskowitz totally rocks my world.  Tonight I'm going to yoga and will not be cooking, but I already roasted some butternut squash and have EVERY intention of making her creamy Coconut Butternut Squash Rice.  Here's to another beautiful day in La La Land.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Day 7

So my detox is winding down now that I've started breaking it.  The breaking of the detox is a tad confusing because it doesn't really specify which of the drinks I still drink and how often. I've tried to stay pretty well balanced.  I had juice this morning. Two hours later I drank the protein so that I gave my body a chance to digest the juice.  I drank my Essential Greens and tea.

At lunch I went to Whole Foods to major grocery shop, or as major as I could do with two small reusable bags and just my legs to carry me the two miles. I didn't want it to be too heavy or I would never be able to get back.  While there I decided to make myself a salad.  Here's the thing, if you know me, you know I'm not much of a salad girl.  Before my vegan days, the only way I'd eat salad was with bacon in it.  As a vegan, I do like the O.C. Raw Chopper at Native Foods, but that's on a limited basis.  (Oh if you're at Native Foods and it's on the menu, the seasonal Buffalo Seitan salad is also kinda amazing.)  However as far as a build-your-own, I'm usually blah about it.

Today I added a little of all the lettuce options: mixed greens, spinach, romaine and raw kale. Then I added some grated carrot, cucumber, black olives, celery, garbonzo beans, jalapenos and beets. I topped it off with Follow Your Heart Ginger Miso dressing, which turned out to be quite excellent.  So here's the amazing part. When I sat down to eat my salad, I was shocked by how delicious it all seemed. Perhaps it was the extremely satiating ability to chew food but I truly enjoyed every flavor my salad offered.  The textures, smell and tastes were divine.  It really makes me wonder how bent out of shape my tastebuds must have been from eating nothing but processed foods.  I mean, I will not hate on Veggie Grill or Gardein because they are both amazing, but they should be treats rather than the norm as they had become in my house.  I look forward to to making more meals at home and keeping my life as fresh (and raw) as possible.

Tonight I'm taking a page from Appetite For Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.  I'm going to make Brussel Sprout Potato Hash and a simple Tofu Scramble.  Becca's personal trainer has recommended no processed foods after lunch so she is pushing me for more plant-based meals at dinner. I'm more than happy to do this for her, although it does add pressure on me to make sure that I always have a meal up my sleeve!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Day 6

Day 6! I can't believe it.  So rather than continuing my detox and drinking the protein drink, I decided to start to break the detox.  Five days was a good amount of time for me, though I look forward to trying this again in the near future, most likely before my wedding.

What I ate: I started my day with the berry drink and then my vanilla protein drink.  I went to yoga class at the Heartbeat House, which I loved soooo much. I haven't tried Kundalni Yoga before.  It was fantastic. I love the chanting and singing. Though the moves seem relatively simple (stuff like rock pose, frog pose, etc), it really did get my heart rate up and had some muscles trembling with exertion. I look forward to attending this class on a regular basis. I literally felt my head and hands tingling during the exercises.  It was great.

In the afternoon, Becca and I went to The Gentle Barn.  I must say that I prefer Animal Acres because it feels much more like a sanctuary than a business. The Gentle Barn seemed to have some lackadaisical animals that were motivated more by food than love and attention, although the cows were fantastic.

I stayed mostly on schedule with my Green Drink and VegeSplash.  Becca and I went to Real Raw Live for lunch.  I was ready to try my hand at solid food and figured a raw food restaurant would be perfect. I got a tofu pesto wrap and Becca got the chicken parm wrap.  First of all, the service was horrific.  Becca and I waited about 20 minutes in line just to pay. The women behind the counter were rude and unfriendly, especially when we said that we didn't want a smoothie as well.  Also, their credit card machine was down so we had to do it old school where they took an impression of our cards.  When Becca asked for a receipt, the girl said, "Abso-fucking-lutely."  Just not proper way to talk to paying customers. When we got home, I realized that the wrap was not raw at all as I previously thought it would be.  I thought the "bread" was dehydrated zucchini or something along those lines but nope, regular tortilla.  They also don't make the food in house it turns out.  Instead they ship it in from San Diego. So much for that place.  I will never return.

The food almost instantly made me sick, I think because of the tortilla so I put it in the fridge for some other day.  Instead I just drank my VegeSplash instead.

For dinner I made a quick steamed stirfry made of collards, celery, carrots, green beans and garlic.  I didn't use any oil because I was afraid it would hurt my tummy.  I ate about a cup and felt even hungrier than I did when I started eating.  It's the first time in about 48 hours that I've felt hunger pangs so obviously I restarted my digestion.

Tomorrow I plan to eat a salad for lunch. I will probably go to Native Foods and get the dressing on the side in order to make sure I don't eat much of it.  I don't know what my stomach can or can't take at this point.  I also plan to make some hummus (I roasted garlic on a whim last night!) tomorrow night and possible start cooking some beans.  I have been craving them for days now.

All in all, I think my stomach is a little sensitive so I want to be kind to it.  I don't want to immediately put the wrong food into my body.  I have lost 5 pounds and intend to keep it off while continuing to lose for my wedding. I am going to be one hot ass bride!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Day 5

Ok, so today will be my final day of the detox.  I woke up this morning worse than ever before. My head was killing me, my stomach was upset.  I decided to stop taking the Inner Cleanse because lots of people have trouble with it.  However, I still vomited up my juice and could do nothing more than go to sleep.  I walked downstairs to work out but just going down two flights of stairs made my heart pound like I'd run a marathon.  I thought I would faint. I think that this detox is no longer safe for me to continue.  Plus, Becca just about force fed me out of sheer worry.

So I had a protein shake this morning. I chose vanilla and it was actually pretty good.  Otherwise I stayed mostly on track. I could barely get through the soup though. It made me nauseous to even smell it.  So I ate some but not all.

I am disappointed that I didn't make it the full 7 days, but my body obviously wanted something very different.  Annemarie Colbin says that it's dangerous for people to push their bodies just to stay on track so I'm taking that advice to heart.  She says that you should always ask your body, "Is this OK or not OK."  This morning I knew that it was NOT OK. So I leave my detox with a mild sense of regret at my failure but knowing that I did well for the 5 days I've stayed on track.  I will still break my detox properly with raw veggies tomorrow and slowly moving up to beans and rice, which is all that I've wanted since I started this detox.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Day 4

So I won't lie.  This morning was a bit rough on me.  First of all, I didn't get up early as planned to have my Hour of Power as Tony Robbins calls it.  And by that I mean I work out for 30 - 60 mins while expressing gratitude, picturing life as I wish it looked and having a mantra.  My mantra goes something like this, "Every day and every way my ass is getting smaller" or "Every day and every way I am getting more successful."  Instead I slept in as late as possible. In fact, I can't seem to get enough sleep.  Maybe it's catching up on my sleep debt or I'm being lazy, not totally sure.  What I do know is that I'm having bizarre dreams, this time I was living in Sex In The City and I think I was Samantha.  That's not totally the weird point though.  What is strange is that for the last two nights, I have been able to wake up then go back to sleep and resume my dreams!  This has not happened to me before.  I don't know if this is because my body is cleaning itself or my mind is reaching some place of lucidity.

I knew going into this cleanse that it's possible to evoke some long-stored emotions and boy did they come up this morning. I woke up so lethargic that I could barely drag myself into my shower.  I had to tell myself that I am grateful for this day, this body, this life.  But I'm sorry if my brain refused to believe it.  Instead all I could think was that I was a failure. I would fail.  There was no way I could ever finish this cleanse and I would have to tell my friends, family and the blogosphere (is there anyone out there?) that I didn't succeed.  But the thing is I haven't failed at all. I've stayed on my regimen every day so where were those feelings welling from?  Well, they were accompanied by the strongest desire to eat pasta, lots and lots of pasta, particularly from a restaurant called Goodfellas on Melrose.  Now I've maybe eaten there twice but realized that the first time was with my ex-boyfriend Derek when we were 18 and drove to LA on a whim.  We were broken up at the time but he desperately wanted to get back together and I was considering it even though I knew we weren't right together and the relationship would fail.  Could it be that I stored those feelings of failure and doubt along with the sensory memory of pasta?  That I finally released it out of my fat cells and dumped it into my bloodstream?

So my muscles ached and I also had a stuffy nose.  This lasted through most of my morning, especially when my stomach started growling at 11:45 am and I almost threw in the towel and ate some Lays potato chips, which are all over my office.  But alas, I sipped my tea and something miraculous happened.  Levity hit and I felt an overwhelming wave of OK.  By that I mean, I suddenly felt like everything was alright with the world.  Or as Elizabeth Gilbert would say in Eat, Pray,  Love: "All shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well."

My soup is a tad disappointing. I made it up and hoped to give it more flavor but alas it tastes fairly bland. Again, I am not eating for pleasure, I am eating for my health.  I have to give my body fuel to clean out its closet.  I look forward to the weekend and only hope that I can stay on schedule.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Day 3

So it's a little after 6 and I'm trying to get through my Creamed Broccoli soup. Unfortunately I added waaaaaay too much parsley in an attempt to eat through it before it goes bad.  This tastes like Creamed Parsley soup.  That coupled with the fact that the Whole Foods Juicing Woman also added too much parsley to my juice today makes me a cranky girl indeed.

So this morning I made apple (granny smith and gala), pear, broccoli stalk (left over from soup), 1/2 cucumber, 1 celery stalk juice.  It was light and tasty and just fine.  I drank it down while I did my hair.  I only wish I could clean my Jack LaLanne Juicer was as quick and easy to clean as it is for me to polish off the delicious juice.  I took my digestive enzyme and Inner Cleanse.

Then I stayed on schedule for my Green Drink, Berry Drink and water count. However, I decided to stray away from the VegeSplash.  I'm sorry but I just don't like how sweet it is.  I would much rather just taste the veggie taste instead.  However, I got a scolding by Dr. Roni about it so I will go back to drinking it.  Instead I made my 2 mile walk to Whole Foods and got a Green Giant with beets added.  It was very pretty, but tasted like parsley.

On the whole, I feel good today. I slept well last night, having a strange dream in which I was living inside the movie Crybaby and had a wicked beehive hairdo.  I think I may have even made out with Johnny Depp so that's aces.  I woke up with a slight headache that has stayed with me all day, settling on the bridge of my nose, but it's nothing I can't handle and/or ignore. I am noticing that my back muscles are very stiff, almost flu-like.  Again, I tell myself that sometimes you have to feel bad in order to heal.  I also have the mantra, "I am not eating for my palate, I am eating for my health."  This seems to be helping me as I choke down my latest concoction.  I'm not sure what kind of soup I will be making for tomorrow but think that I will try my own version.  There just aren't enough recipes in the book and I'm still a little unclear on what's ok to eat and what isn't.  For instance, I was told not to eat red pepper but can eat cayenne pepper.  Are onions ok? I know that garlic and ginger is so where does that leave me?  I will be safe of course.

Oh and on another sad note, my teapot has officially died.  It's one of those super old school ones from the '70's that I stole from my mother.  Alas, the bottom has become so thin that it is leaking and for some reason, the sides kinda' caught fire last night and scorched the whole thing.  RIP dear teapot.  Now I must buy another, perhaps something along the lines of this!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Day 2

So I have arrived at day 2 in my detox.  This is the day that most people say that they hit a wall, that it's the hardest and I think I understand what they mean.  First off, I will finish off last night's adventure.  At 6 pm on the dot, I had one cup of broth from my Collard Green Soup.  The broth was actually pretty good. I'm not really one for drinking broth even when I'm sick but I made sure to drink broth first in order to convince my tummy that it was a little full before embarking on the soup.  The Collard Green Soup (located in the back of the book) was a bit on the bland side but that's because you can't use salt and I didn't get super creative with spices.  Then at night, I finished it up with the Inner Cleanse Nighttime Formula and some CALM, which totally knocked me out.  I didn't do my shot of aloe juice because it says it's optional and should be used if you can't tolerate the Inner Cleanse, but so far so good for me. I might have some aloe tonight though because I want as many nutrients as possible.

So today!  I got up early to have my colonic, which was a long trek to Santa Monica.  I had a Gather Green coupon to use so it was basically free!  However, this colonic was on a self-regulated machine. I know! I'd never of heard of a DIY colonic before either.  It's not the most comfortable process but neither is it bad. After 40 minutes, I felt much lighter and told myself healthier as well.

So I headed into work a few minutes late and stayed perfectly on schedule.  I drank my tea, Essential Greens and VegeSplash.  At lunch I walked a mile to Whole Foods (getting my exercise!) and got a Giant Green juice, which is celery, parsley, apple, cucumber and mixed greens. It was fantastic and rather cooling, a total plus given that I had to walk a mile back uphill in the heat.  I finished it before I made it back to work.  I also took my digestive enzyme and Inner Cleanse Daytime pills.

Now for the bad stuff.  Today has been hard. I'm hungry damn it!  There's no other way to put it. I. Am. Hungry.  However, I know this is just my brain's defense mechanism playing tricks on me. It's afraid that I've found myself in a drought or famine and will die without nourishment. However, brain, listen here, I'm getting nutrients so back the eff off!  I've also found that I have a mild headache in the back of my head, a strange taste in my mouth, and I've been unnaturally sensitive. I'm serious. I got so angry about a Facebook headline that I almost started to cry...not normal behavior.  So I'm trying to do some deep breathing and keep my shiz together.  I've also felt some panic about money and my job in general, but I realize that these are just intensifications of my regular worries. I never make enough money and it IS time to find a new job, but there's no point in worrying in this moment now is there?

So there it is. I'm trying to remain positive and focused.  I just wish that time wouldn't creep by quite so slowly. Seriously just want to go home and go to sleep and hope tomorrow is a better day.  Here's to 44 hours without solid food!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Day 1 Detox!

Ok so it's only 3 pm but I'm a little excited and decided to start the blogging now.  So I woke up this morning feeling much better than yesterday, which proves what Annemarie Colbin says that the body naturally wants to heal itself if you allow for it.  I juiced when I got up.  Today I mixed 1 green apple, 1 gala apple, 1/2 pear (other half fell on the floor oh well), 1 collard green leaf and a handful of kale. It was yummy and split between Becca and me a perfect 10 oz apiece.  I also took a digestive enzyme.

On my way to work, I drank 8 oz of distilled water.  Then I had a tea because everyone was making and eating bagels so I wanted something warm to combat any cravings for bread.  Then my package finally arrived!!!!!!  I took my 3 internal daytime cleanse pills and had a shot (1 oz) of berry drink, which immediately made me nauseous. However, those hunger pangs I was feeling were eliminated so it's sort of a wash on that one. Not sure if it was the drink or the pills but something sat wrong with me.  But then I had a BM (gross I know. I considered not talking about this but I want this to be informative for anyone thinking about the Martha's Vineyard detox) and that made me feel much better.

At 12:15ish I had a glass of water mixed with one scoop of VegeSplash.  Gotta admit I like green drink better. I got the apple carrot VegeSplash, which smells like green apple suckers but tastes like sickeningly sweet green drink, though it does dissolve easier.   Then I went on my 2 mile walk from my office to Whole Foods.  Partly this is because Dr. Rani recommends moving 1 mile each day and partly because I needed paper towels and face wash.  Unfortunately it is about 90 degrees outside and I'm totally wearing a dark blue shirt that darkens when it gets wet (ie sweat spots grooooooosssss).  I'm hoping I dry out fast as my boss has 2 meetings with some pretty prestigious writers and I don't want to look like some disgusting sweaty mess.  Also, I smelled someone cooking or bbq'ing outside and it made my tummy grumble in protest.  This is the first real hunger pains I've had but since they dissipated as soon as I was out of sniff's reach, I think my body was just faking it, the big lie-teller.

Now I'm settling back in and continuing to drink from my Bobble.  At 6, I have Collard Green soup made right out of the book (though I couldn't find green beans right now).  Basically, it's carrots, distilled water, collard greens, broccoli rabe (I added that because I didn't want it to go bad), and kale boiled down and pureed.  I also have a cup of broth from the soup to drink.  Though the soup smelled fabulous when it was simmering, I'm worried it will be bland when I actually eat it.  However, I can deal with blandness if it's for a good cause.  And cleaning up my body is most definitely a good cause!  I'll probably try to blog later today about how I'm feeling for the rest of the day.  But I will say that I'm feeling clear-headed and the sickness I had yesterday has all but gone.  Just the tiniest hint of a runny nose left. Yay.  See you later and/or tomorrow!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Martha's Vineyard Detox

So I have to postpone my detox because after all my traveling, drinking, overindulging I now feel a bit sick.  Also, my detox package still hasn't arrived, which is a total bummer.  So today is sorta a free day. I'm following parts of the detox.  The water, the green drink, detox drops and hot tea.  I even took a bath in Epsom Salts, Baking Soda and lavender oil.  It was divine.  But I think that I will eat some food today, not a lot, just enough to stave off hunger.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Gearing Up For The Detox!

I am getting so excited! But also biting my nails because my detox kit hasn't arrived yet.  To be fair, I waited awhile before I ordered so if it's not here by May 2, that is totally my fault. Nevertheless, I really need to just be patient.  Hopefully it will arrive tomorrow because I sent it to my office. So if it doesn't get here until Monday then that means that I will have to begin all on my own, without the berry drink.  Ce la vie right?

So in order to gear up, I have been following some of the regimen.  For instance, I started having Amazing Grass Green Super Powder in my water bottle, juicing in the morning and taking digestive enzymes.  Becca noticed that she often had to go to the bathroom after taking the enzymes but I haven't noticed any real changes.  What has been interesting for me is seeing that I crave less food at lunch and dinner.  I get full faster.  Perhaps this has something to do with the green drink or maybe just maybe I'm starting to listen to my body.   I have tried to stop eating once I feel full or rather fullish.  Of course when I'm in the throes of a vegan pizza binge, I can override these senses at will. But for the most part I think I've done a pretty good job of keeping my shiz together.  So I wanted to post the daily schedule for my detox, partly because I'm excited and partly to show everyone what I will be doing:

Daily Schedule for – 21 Pounds in 21 Days: The Martha’s Vineyard Diet Detox

(On the Odd hours: 1 glass - 4 to 6oz of water)


Inner Cleanse Daytime formula - 3 tablets (14 days only)
1oz of liquid Berry or 1oz of liquid Berry with 6oz of water
1 cup of hot/iced Herbal Tea - (add stevia optional)


1 8oz glass of water mixed or blended with 1 scoop of Essential Greens


1 8oz glass of “live” fresh juiced vegetables
If you’re not juicing -mix or blend 8oz of water with 1 scoop of VegeSplash

Fresh juiced vegetables are highly recommended

1 Digestive Enzyme
Inner Cleanse Daytime formula - 3 tablets (14 days only)


1 8oz glass of water mixed or blended with 1 scoop of VegeSplash


1 8oz glass of water mixed or blended with 1 scoop of Essential Greens


1 cup of homemade puree soup
1 cup of broth from soup mix - optional add Braggs Amino Acid
1 Digestive Enzyme
Inner Cleanse Daytime formula - 3 tablets (14 days only)
1 cup of hot/iced Herbal Tea - (add stevia optional)

Inner Cleanse Night time formula - 3 tablets (14 days only)
1oz of Aloe –OPTIONAL: if not able to tolerate the Inner Cleanse Formulas.
1 teaspoon of CALM mixed with 6oz of warm water - optional if you are having a hard time sleeping.

Good Night Congratulations you completed another day towards the new you…
Have a healthy night sleep — Dr. Roni and James

Note: Day 22 starts your 9 days of Maintenance. Follow the above schedule and at 8AM have 2 scoops of protein
shake blended with 8oz of water.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Martha's Vineyard Detox

So I'm soooo very excited because I'm going to detox.  This is something I've been passionate about for awhile but never found the time to do.  Partly this is because Becca does not love the idea of me not cooking for her and partly because I never made it a must rather than a should (obviously I've been listening to Tony Robbins!)  I discussed it with Becca and informed her that she would either have to fend for herself for dinner for a week or eat much pureed soup with me. I think even if she only detoxes partially, that's still a win for her!

So basically the detox is all about fresh, live juices and pureed soup.  No chewing!  I'm excited to get started even if it's not the most comfortable thing in the world.  While I'm excited to possibly lose some weight, I mostly want to detox my body and realize what it feels like to be 100% healthy and clean.  There are several ways to do the detox.  The hardcore go for 21 days but I just didn't think that felt reasonable. Instead I am doing the 7 day detox with 3 day comedown as you have to break the fast in a very specific manner.  I started on the Superfoods Green Drink supplement already just to add some nutrients to my day and it's surprisingly ok.  Obviously I'm still eating solid food so I don't know what kind of hunger I will face, but I am definitely starting to practice.  I dusted off my juicer and have been concocting all sorts of potions.

I guess I'm writing about it now because I'm excited to begin, though not until after my sister's wedding on April 30, but also to hold myself accountable.  I don't know if anyone really reads this blog, but if you do, I promise to start my detox on May 2nd and blog about each day.  How I feel, what's going on, etc.  Can't wait for this journey, especially since it means no alcohol or anything.  Yikes! Let's see how it goes.

Catch Up

Hey there, to all those in Blogger world, sorry I've been MIA.  Life got in the way as it's often want to do.  Anyway, I have some fun things going on.  First, on Saturday I volunteered at the North Central Animal Shelter.  Because I was on that side of town, I decided to hit up Figueroa Produce to try some of these sandwiches that Quarry Girl talks about.  The man behind the counter didn't speak excellent English and mumbled a lot, so I'm not entirely sure what I did order except vegan sub.

Nevertheless, it was amazing.  The bread, which is vegan (I checked) was outstanding. Just the right amount of flakiness.  I loved that it had lettuce and sprouts, Daiya cheese, spicy peppers, pickles and Veganaise.  Soooo good.  I wish that it was located closer to my house. I would be there all the time, alternating between that and Locali!

Then I made a butternut squash kale casserole. I am not a huge butternut squash fan.  Something about the texture often creeps me out.  So more often than not, I roast it in the oven, usually too long so that it becomes mush, and force feed it to myself.  I found the recipe on VegWeb and it was perfect!
Butternut Squash, Spinach and Kale Gratin

Ingredients (use vegan versions):

   2 teaspoons olive oil
   3/4 cup onion, chopped
   3 garlic cloves, minced
   1 1/2 pounds fresh spinach, chopped 
   1 1/2 pounds kale, chopped 
   1 cup plain nondairy milk (I use soy milk or soy creamer)
   4 tablespoons vegan butter, divided
   1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
   salt and pepper, to taste
   nonstick spray
   1 large butternut squash, sliced into 1/8" slices
   vegan parmesan


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large saucepan, heat  olive oil and saute the onions and garlic. Before the garlic turns brown, add the spinach and kale and cook until they are both wilted and fairly soft. 

2. Add the milk or creamer, 2 tablespoons of the vegan buttery spread, the nutmeg and salt and pepper. Cook on a medium flame until creamy and heated through.

3. Spray a casserole dish with oil and layer the squash then the spinach-kale mixture alternately until you end up with the squash layer on top. Sprinkle the top with vegan parmesan and dot with the remaining 2 tablespoon of vegan butter.  

4. Cover dish tightly with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until bubbly. Remove foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes until the top is browned.

This goes great as a side dish or stuffed into a baked potato!

Makes: 8 servings, Preparation time: 10 minutes, Cooking time: 25-30 minutes

Seriously the butternut squash was cooked perfectly and made the kale taste like roasted, buttery perfection.  I may have gone a bit overboard on the Daiya cheese but Becca loves it so that's ok.  I just scraped some of it off.  We fought over the leftovers the next day!

Monday, April 4, 2011

My big fat vegan weekend!

This last weekend was so full of awesomeness that I can hardly contain it all. So I will do a play-by-play of the weekend.  On Friday night, we headed to Doomies in Hollywood because they offer breadbowls on Fridays.  I had intended to go in and get the vegan clam chowder because I had to know what that tastes like.  Luckily, our waitress gave us samples and I realized how epic the chili is.  The clam chowder tastes more like potato soup so I chose the chili breadbowl.   Becca went with the country fried steak with mashed potatoes.  Once again as I reported before the potatoes left something to be desired.  They taste like they come from a box.  Also, her country fried steak was a bit dry, though the outer breading is so delish that it really didn't matter.  As for my breadbowl, I was hoping for some vegan sourdough which didn't happen.  However, the bread bowl tasted like delicious toast and was HUGE.  You really can't tell from the picture but seriously it was gigantic.  We also ordered some buffalo chicken wings.  We ate them so quickly that we didn't even get a picture.  They were amazing.  So yes I would recommend Doomies to veggies in the area but just know that this is comfort food, no doubt about it so go there on a very empty stomach when you have a bunch of calories to use.

Saturday morning I woke up early for Animal Acres Chore Orientation Day!!! It was so amazing and fun.  The clouds were glaring at me in Los Feliz when I woke up but as I made the 45 minute trek to the farm, sun burst out from the clouds and the day looked be-yooo-tiful.  The birds made me feel right at home as they played a round of tag.  The turkeys, which are only 8 months old, have gotten ginormous.  Part of me feels so badly that their genetics have caused these birds to grow so rapidly, but then I remember that they are going to live the rest of their lives happily doing what they love.  I also finally got to meet Peeta and Maria, the goats Becca and I sponsor.  They were both sooo sweet, though neither of them really wanted to pose much for a picture.

 I "totalled" out the goat enclosure, ie cleaned up all the straw and goat poop from the pens and around their feeding area.  It was actually a lot more fun than I expected. The goats made the process much like a dance because you'd have to rake up the straw around them while they continued to eat as much as possible.  The work has made me very sore but in that great way that lets you know you've been burning cals.  And this was even better because I got the opportunity to make a difference.  I was able to put into practice my beliefs.  By helping Animal Acres, I was truly helping make the animals' lives better.

After I helped clean up after the goats, I joined a crew of people stuffing envelopes for donations.  That was mindless work but again helpful and necessary to keep Animal Acres the amazing place that it is!  Plus I was able to sit down for a bit and chat with some very nice folks.  It's always so great to meet like-minded individuals that just want to help farmed animals.  I felt very connected out there and seriously feel like it's a slice of heaven on earth. I badly wish that I had considered throwing my wedding there because it would have been GLORIOUS.  Perhaps I will have my next birthday party out on the farm :).

After volunteering with Animal Acres, I did my second favorite thing and attended a Spork Foods class!
Jenny and Heather were amazing as always.  They have a cookbook coming out this fall so they are cutting back the number of classes they do, but I was lucky enough to attend the South American Cuisine class.  We made feijoada (black bean soup), Columbian style rice, Venezualan chopped salad with cashews and avocado and pineapple coconut empanadas.  Sadly I only snapped a pic of the empanadas, but this was due to the fact that it was so awesome that I immediately stuffed my face rather than take pictures.  Seriously this was one of my favorite classes by far because everything turned out so well and actually seemed like something I can make without huge effort.  Some of the Sporkie recipes can feel complicated to a newbie cook like me so it's inspiring when I find things I know I can make.  Check out how perfect the desert empanadas came out!

For dinner, we had to go downtown for a birthday party.  The restaurant chosen was very heavy on the meat so we decided to meet for drinks and eat alone.  We went to Mac and Cheeza, a fun eatery in downtown LA that caters to vegans and omni's alike.  The menu is only mac and cheese but you get to choose the side, base (soy or cheese), additions and finally topping.  I went with the Baby Daddy (smallest size though still pretty big) with soy cheese, collard greens and jalapenos with a spicy walnut topping.  Becca chose the soy cheese with broccoli and crushed Doritos on top.  I didn't take a pic of hers since it wasn't wholly vegan.  I must say I wasn't really impressed with the quality of the mac and cheese.  The cheese was bland and the additions made it super salty.  I think maybe I will try this again but I will definitely get mac and cheese plain with perhaps a side of collard greens?

Now we're to Sunday in which I promised Becca that I would do Sunday Funday with her because I spent most of Saturday away. Becca was using the Living Social I gave her for Valentine's Day to get a facial.  We started the morning at Savyon Cafe on Pico. They had a vegan all-you-can-eat brunch for $8.99.  The mini vegetable wonton-y wrap-ups and stuffed pizza were incredible. Other highlights were the roasted potatoes and curry.  So YUM.

Then we headed to Santa Monica for the facial.  I stopped in at O'Brien's to have a mimosa and read a book while Becca was busy.  For dinner we decided to go back to Native Foods.  I ordered the meatball sub, which was awesome.  Chef Tanya is just amazing.