Thursday, February 17, 2011

Vegan Valentine's Day, Weight Gaining, & Beijing!!!

So a lot has transpired since my last post. I've been cooking a lot, and so far the 95% rawness thing has been going very well. I have a lot to update about, so I'll split it up into short bits.

Everyone knows that Valentine's day sucks ass for those of us that are single and short on time to mingle. (e.g. cliff champion...) Also, being vegan with raw inclinations makes it even worse because just about every token of sugary affection is not only very un-vegan, but also really really unhealthy. So you would expect this holiday to just blow for a raw vegan right? Not so. Leave it to my own mom to make the day. 

She sent me this bomb care package that has some of my favorite candy, as well as some new things that she picked up at a raw food cafe in fairfield CT called "Catch a Healthy Habit." Check it out.

swedish fish (an all-time favorite), bora bora bar? (never heard of it, RAWMESAN CHEESE pumped to use that one, RAWTELLA (yes that's right... such a thing exists... I had a heart attack upon opening the package...), and "salad sprinkles!" can't wait to try them! 

sweetened with coconut crystals... NOM NOM NOM 

it has nutritional yeast... but hell. looks delicious. 

 random, but thoughtful (i have yet to try it. maybe it's great!)

this mix is great, and super savory. i have to find the right dressing for this salad topper.


So anyhow, this care package included many more things... (like a remote controlled mini-helicopter! yahooo!) and even though I'm 21, i'll never be too old to get care packages. Or remote controlled helicopters. 

Also, I've recently gotten fed up with the fact that I'm so skinny. I'm about 5 or 10 pounds away from being an unhealthy BMI (not that the BMI scale is all the accurate or significant... but...) and I've decided to make a concerted effort to gain some weight. Very soon, I won't have such easy access to a gym (more on that later...) and I also won't have as much time to make so much food. Things like work, rent, and living abroad will get in the way. SO... for the remaining 3 months of school, I want to work out 4 days a week, and eat a 90% raw diet. 

Mexican "nut loaf" from Matt Amsden's Rawvolution book. I met him on wednesday... super nice guy. his food is amazing! It's also helping me meet my inflated protein quotas... tons of sunflower seeds, almonds, etc. in there. 

This of course, brings me to the question of protein. I've heard so many different thoughts on this from both vegan and non-vegan experts, and i've been told to eat as little as 30g of protein a day, all the way up to 170g! I've settled on the amount that Brendan Brazier recommends, which is about 70g a day of protein. To help me reach that level I've started using Sun Warrior sprouted rice protein. I got one of those american express gift cards from my madre (once again, feeling incredibly spoiled) and I used it to buy 2 bags of the stuff. (at least i'm using the money for good things... right?)

typical lunch... salad, chips and salsa, a "burrito", apples and almond butter, tea, and a green smoothie. NOM NOM NOM

Anyhow. I'm starting out the week at a whopping 6'2", and 155lbs. Sad right? Anyhow. Good news is that I'm working on it. I'll keep you all updated with my progress... hopefully this will yield some results! I definitely feel the boost of the protein powder though... It's helping.

ON TO THE BIG ANNOUNCEMENT. I'm got into an intensive mandarin program in Beijing for next year! I'll be spending 9 months in a school where NO english is tolerated, and I will be in intensive language courses for 4 hours a day, and I will also have to write a thesis paper IN CHINESE! This might sound like hell for a lot of people, but for me, it's an opportunity to finish up my foundation in mandarin, and be able to pass the HSK. I hope to work in China after that, so raw food will undoubtedly have to take the back seat for a while. :-(

While I have undoubtedly found a whole new passion for food, nutrition and health, I can't let my eating restrictions hold me back from following my life's path. I have felt lead back to China for a while, and I can't wait to really dig into the culture over there. Beijing is an awesome city with a ton of vegetarian restaurants... I can't wait to go! It's been a real relief knowing that I have the next stage of my life settled after I graduate in April. It's all great news!

Thanks for reading, and I'll keep posting while I'm in the US... 



Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Recent Raw Food Creations

As a follow up to yesterday's favorite NON-vegan foods, I wanted to post a little proof demonstrating that I actually do make a lot of raw food. Here are some things that I've been eating lately.

Let's begin with a typical lunch: In the container with the fork on top of it, I have a large salad with mixed greens, pumpkin seeds, shredded onion, cranberries, diced apples, and enoki mushrooms. In the ball jar, I have a green juice made of kale, cucumber, ginger and celery. In the rectangular container, I have MANGO SALSA (details below) with a bag of organic tortilla chips (not raw), and in the green container, I have a Rawmazing Maple Cinnamon Pecan cookie! (details also below.)

I usually lug all of this stuff in a canvas bag to school. A glorified lunchbox. 
It can get embarrassing at times. Not much has changed since 1st grade.

On to the mango salsa. I basically modified a recipe from my friend June Louk's book, Rawumptious Recipes, and I made it into a savory-sweet mango version. So good. I've had a few other people try it, and so far it's a hit. For now it's made an excellent snack. I have to ask June if I can post the recipe in the future.

so good!

Also, I made the life altering decision to try out Susan Power's Maple Cinnamon Pecan raw food cookies! With the exception of maple syrup, these babies are all raw, and they have rocked my world lately. While the texture is (sadly) lacking that oven crispness, they have a unique taste and texture all their own. The maple cinnamon "frosting" is out of control, and they have been going fast. I'll need to make another batch soon.

nom nom nom

addicting. couldn't believe crack wasn't an ingredient.

Lastly, another recipe from June Louks is the Berry Crunch Cereal... I made it last night and had it this morning with some fresh almond milk. SO GOOD. It tastes better than most commercial cereals, and I'm happily allowing it to replace my beloved Shredded Spoonfuls.

Great start to the day. Fresh out of the dehydrator...

Anyhow, that's all for now. Stay tuned for some new stuff!



Tuesday, February 8, 2011


For those of you who may be shocked, horrified, and disgusted by the thought of non-raw and vegan food... TURN AWAY! This is a quick post dedicated to some of my favorite vegetarian foods. You have been warned!

One of my all-time favorite breakfast cereals in the world is Barbara's Shredded Spoonfulls. It's pretty harmless, vegan, but definitely not organic. I grew up with this as my daily breakfast, and I still have a pretty strong attachment to it. It was great to be able to eat it again after my 3 weeks full throttle raw!

I still ate it with homemade raw almond milk... Really good!

I'm currently creating a gigantic batch of the Louk's Family's Raw Berry Crunch Cereal... So that should replace this option soon. But in the meantime... I've been binging.

Also, I am fortunate enough to live near the best Thai Food restaurant in America: Cholada's Thai Beach Cuisine. It's on PCH in Malibu, and I literally have dreams about the food from this place. One of the first dishes I ate was the Tofu Pad Thai from Cholada's... Literally the best. AND, they serve fresh young Thai Coconuts! Two of my favorite foods in one restaurant! If I worked there I would become morbidly obese in a matter of weeks. I have a problem.

I salivate just looking at this. The lime juice makes this dish amazing.

Also, if you haven't been to Sharky's Mexican Food Restaurant through the Malibu Canyon, then you're missing out. I have a running total of more than $600 dollars spent exclusively at this restaurant, and that's difficult to do because the food is really cheap. It's organic, wood fired, and they have tons of vegetarian options. The Tofu Nacho-Grande is what I get every time. I went last night and was sent into an eating frenzy that satiated a deep part of my soul haha... Really though, this is the best Mexican food I've ever had. I will sorely miss this place when I leave LA. I didn't get a picture of this yet... I will though. It's difficult to restrain myself from attacking the plate when it gets to my table, but I'll try to resist so that I can photograph it next time.

I obviously have several more favorite non-vegan foods that I would love to share, but these are just a few. I'll be sure to keep posting!



Sunday, February 6, 2011

Long Time No Blog

I'm back! It's been a while since I've posted, and a lot has happened since then. I finished my 3 weeks raw à la Tree of Life, and it was an amazing experience. I've also transitioned to my more standard raw food diet which is a balance of 80% raw and 20% cooked.

Here is a break down of how I felt during the entire period of time:

Week 1: The first couple of days went great. I felt energized, inspired, and committed. However, as the week progressed, cravings began to kick in, and I experienced some mild detoxification symptoms. (Fatigue, light-headedness, mild headaches, irregular bowel movements, etc.) Finding the right balance of time to spend on preparing food was difficult. I made it through though.

Sweet Potato Fries... It was a miracle that I was able to resist them... Taylor looks like she's enjoying a rather large piece of bacon. Covered in cheese of course.

Week 2: I definitely felt the cravings kick in during that week. It was really difficult to balance my social life (my friends all eat meat, drink, smoke, etc.) with the dietary choices I was making. I was faced with many situations in which things like nachos, onion rings, pizza, etc. tempted me. It was tough, but the only thing that made me stick with the diet is the results I was noticing. I felt extremely clear headed, happy, balanced, and very energetic. My detox symptoms began to fade after the second half of the week. It was a good stretch.

My new pitcher! Filled with TOL Almond Milk... Thanks for the Sur La Table giftcards Mom and Dad!

Week 3: The only challenge towards the tail end was finding time to make food. I was feeling a bit uninspired, (and broke!) and had a ton of homework to accomplish during this week. I must admit though, I felt at the top of my game. My skin had really cleared up (I have issues with dryness on my nose... it gets flaky sometimes! Kind of gnarly...) and I felt like a raw food machine. I would wake up around 7am alert, and ready to go, and I would be up until midnight without batting an eye. All of my homework and papers from that week got really good marks, and I attribute that to my eating patterns. It was a great way to finish.

English Bulldog puppy skateboarding in Venice Beach... I can't wait to get a dog one day

Post Diet Mayhem: So on the day after the 3 weeks were up, I went over to my friend Azzurra's house for a potluck dinner. I brought a raw salad with Matt Amsden's Orange-Hemp dressing. (I previously couldn't have oranges b/c of their high glycemic index! So this was exciting!) Azzurra made a great meal with several different options (some were purchased at Lemonade in Venice Beach) and it was a great time.

 The spread... (My salad is the top-right dish)

 Azzurra being a good host

The Damage

Although I had a few pieces of mozzarella cheese, I wasn't too worried about what I had eaten. It wasn't until afterwards that the real damage started. Somebody busted out the ingredients for CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES. These were organic, but FAR from vegan, and I didn't hold back in the slightest. Those things came out of the oven and went immediately into my stomach, only to later clog up my intestines and negate the past 3 weeks of hard work. Worth it? Psychologically, perhaps. Physically? No. To give you an idea of how hard I fell, I had about 12 of those bad-boys. It was pandemonium.

Raw "Beegan" Chai Sorbet... 
Did I forget to mention I finished that off before the 12 chocolate chip cookies?

Since then, I have been generally pretty balanced, with the exception of last night... (bad choices were made) and I'm ready to hop back on the raw food bandwagon.

Moral of the experiment? Raw food makes you feel amazing. I was happy, productive, calm, and energized... Which is exactly how I would want to live my whole life. :-)



Friday, January 28, 2011


Hey Everybody! Please vote for one of my favorite bloggers out there, Amber Shea Ford. She runs the awesome blog "Almost Vegan" and she has some of the best raw food recipes out there!

She is in a contest for a "raw chef-off" and I would love it if you could vote for her! She deserves to win this!


Let's help her win this!

Best of luck Amber! (Not so sure who else is gonna read this but hell, I tried! Hahaha)


Monday, January 24, 2011

Olio-Garlic Kale Chips

This might seem basic for a lot of raw fooders out there, but kale chips are delicious. I always struggled with recipes that required you to soak nuts and seeds, or to add a bunch of different ingredients for complex combinations. Kale chips are supposed to replace things like potato chips right? We need convenience! Convenience I say!

So... I was messing around with some different ingredients and have developed the best kale chip recipe I've had in a long time. As a "vata" constitutional type, I need things to be oily to balance out my natural tendency for dryness. These chips are both crunchy, and oily, just like the good old American greasy potato chip! What a God send!

Here's the recipe:

1/4C Raw Organic Macadamia Nuts (NO SOAKING NEEDED!)
1/2C Raw Organic Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 or 3 cloves of Organic Raw Garlic (you can always up the garlic if you like it more pungent)
1/2t Herbamere

Just blend everything in a Vitamix and pour it over a head of destemmed kale. The picture shown is of curly kale, but I would imagine that dino kale would work fine too. Make sure to massage it into the kale, and then throw it on a teflex sheet in the dehydrator at 105 degrees until crispy. It doesn't take long so overnight or even 4 or 5 hours will do.

BE CAREFUL. These things are highly addictive. I had a moment where I was watching a movie and eating these things, and I went through 4 trays in one sitting! Yikes!

They're amazing though. Please let me know if you like the recipe! It's an original! :-)

(AND, it's good for phases 1 and 1.5 of the Rainbow Green Live-Food Cuisine diet if you're interested!)



Thursday, January 20, 2011

Rainbow Green Live-Food Cuisine Phase 1.5 CREATIONS

Hey everybody! Since I've switched to Phase 1.5 of the diet I've felt a lot better. As I previously mentioned, my light headedness has ceded, and I'm still feeling that sensation of stable energy that I had before!

What's interesting is that my appetite has gone down a lot, and I can make it through the day with small snacking and maybe one or two bigger meals. (like a soup, smoothie, salad, wrap, etc.) It's been nice though not to have all of that pressure of preparing so much food.

I thought I would share with you guys a few of my favorite new dishes that I made! I had two birthdays where I was asked to make cakes, and I got a chance to use my new SPRINGFORM PANS! These have seriously revolutionized my raw-food life and make my "cakes" look SO BEAUTEOUS. (good word right?)

Anyhow, tons of pictures below. Check it out!

This is one of the berry popsicles I mentioned. They're a great dessert and are completely low glycemic. Stoked about the lack of blood spikiness. 

This is a picture of the first cake I made. My neighbor Lauren had her birthday, and I wanted to give her a present to thank her for being an awesome friend and for lending me her paddleboard so often! It was a vanilla coconut creme (from, with an almond date crust (recipe compliments of June Louks), and layered with blueberries from the Malibu farmer's market! (see here:

Check out that layering! Skills! hahaha

They loved the cake. It was a good compliment!

Undoubtedly the coolest looking dessert I've ever made. Same recipe as above but a bit smaller. (The Louks only had 5 people, and the Weissmans had 10 or 12 I believe.)

The birthday girl and her mom and sister.

Mom and birthday girl!

Tree of Life Phase 1.5 Keylime Pie! Yahooo!!! (so good looking right?!)

Tree of Life Curried Carrot Avocado Soup! It made a great dinner last night.

SO. Allow me to elaborate on what's been going on. The birthday dinner for Hailey at the Louk's house was so much fun. They always have something going on (with 4 daughters it's always going to be action packed!) and it was great to catch up with all of them. Their garden was doing especially well, and I got to go home with a giant bag of local lemons! The dinner was spectacular and the cake was a big hit. All in all it was a lot of fun and I always leave there feeling awesome. It's nice to be in a family environment once in a while.

I have a lot of homework this week so it's been tough to find time to post lately. I will try though! Stay tuned and thanks for readingggggg

All the best,