I went down to Little Saigon in Orange County to celebrate Lunar New Year, Vietnamese style. Here I’m being fitted for my dress. Traditional Vietnamese dresses are called Ao Dai.
These dresses are super flattering with high side openings and wide, silky, flowing pants.
Next stop is the Vietnamese New Year Festival, where I found a baby cherimoya tree.
This marketplace made me feel like I was in SE Asia, except it was much colder here in California. Tons of tropical fruit like rombutan, cherimoya, and jackfruit. Yummy!
These magnolias are so pretty!
There were so many varieties of orchids at the Lunar New Year Festival. Check out the bulbous orchids at the top of this photo, hanging down.
It’s the Year of the Dragon. And, no Lunar New Year Celebration is complete without dragon dancers. These Vietnamese dragons, aka lion dragons, are made up of 2 people, while the Chinese dragons are much longer.
There were 4 different lion dragons in different colors. People were feeding the lion dragons ‘lucky’ dollar bills to ensure good luck and fortune for the new Lunar New Year.
And last but not least….. fresh durian! Here my friend and I are driving and eating durian in the car. We actually think durian smells good! Sweet and delicious. I guess I can only be friends with people that love durian too. Hahaa.
Wishing you and your loved ones a very Happy New Year that’s filled with tons of love, bliss, health, and prosperity. May we all choose to live long and be happy! xoxo
One of my favorite foods is cabbage because it’s super versatile, has hardly any calories, is free of wheat and gluten, is great for digestion, and is beautiful in color (purple and green). It tastes awesome in salads, gives us valuable probiotics as pickled sauerkraut, plus it works perfectly as a “shell” to be stuffed with yummy fillings to make a delicious hand held treat. I’m currently reintroducing heart-healthy fats into my diet from flax and chia seeds (omega-3), some nuts (vitamin E and antioxidants), and olives to keep my skin supple and moist, especially now that autumn is upon us. I picked up a bunch of avocados at the Farmers’ Market, but am disappointed they didn’t make it into my bag!
Today, I filled up a red cabbage shell with Chiffonade green cabbage. Watch our “How to Chiffonade” video I shot for Vegetarian Times Magazine: http://www.vegetariantimes.com/video/10). Please watch on the Vegetarian Times website to help generate viewer numbers. Thank you!
I’m also embedding it below from my own YouTube channel:
I first filled up my purple cabbage shell with Chiffonade green cabbage. Next, I layered on a Black Olive Tapenade, from Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen, page 155, and Candied Onions, inspired by my Buckwheat-Battered “Fried” Onion Rings, from page 116 of Ani’s Raw Food Essentials, plus I added maple syrup to sweeten the onions. I then topped it all with artichoke hearts, and would have added avocado, if I had some on hand.
Black Olive Tapenade
Place all ingredients into food processor, mix well.
Will keep for a week or longer stored in fridge.
Place all ingredients into mixing bowl. Set aside to marinate and wilt for at least 10 minutes. Add syrup to your liking. I choose to make this sweet! Squeeze excess liquid before using.
Will keep for several days in fridge.
I was honored to have been invited to speak on a panel with superstars (from left to right above) Rachelle Carson Begley (married to Ed Begley), Sophie Uliano (NYTimes best selling author), Izabella Miko (actress), Carly Harrill (blogger ghost writer), Karen Stewart Brown (fashion designer), Kris Willey (host of WotGG), and Alexandra Spunt (author).
The focus of this panel was how we came into our careers. I explained how I used to work in a corporate environment that was not recycling, was wasting energy, and was using styrofoam cups for one 4 ounce shot of water. I realized my raw food catering and the weekly events I was hosting (to feed myself good food) was a successful business. So, I decided to leave corporate America to focus 100% on my prepared packaged foods, catering, and events. I followed my bliss because I believed raw foods helped people feel better and healthier. It also helps us tread lightly on our Planet.
This event was held in Culver City, Los Angeles, CA on Saturday May 14, 2011. These beautiful photos are courtesy of photosbyKailas.com. Thanks Kailas!
My family loves to take our holiday in mid to late January in honor of Mom’s birthday, and after the holiday crowds have dispersed. This year, we found our way to the beautiful island of St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands.
When the water reaches out to the horizon with over 180 degree views, it’s super calming and breathtaking.
The palm trees are over 5 stories tall, and full of green coconuts that I can’t reach. It’s torture, especially since there’s a bunch right off my balcony. It took me several days before locating a coconut to drink. (Though, I think I like Thai coconuts better. They have a sweeter and fuller flavor.) I was surprised at how little fresh produce or raw foods were available on St Thomas. They were serving pineapple juice out of giant cans and were making smoothies using strawberry puree from a box! Thank goodness I packed most of my suitcase with fruits, sea vegetables, nuts, seeds, blue green algaes, and superfoods.
I met a lot of iguanas, they are so cute, and very mellow. Folks seem afraid of them, but they’re harmless.
All I want to do on holiday is play play play. One of my favorite pastimes is swimming in the warm ocean (the ocean in LA is much too cold for me). I’ve been enjoying the sun, lifting heavy weights, and running up mountains. I don’t recommend running here because the roads are very narrow, there’s no shoulder, no sidewalk, and people drive crazy. I don’t think you can ride a bike here either, and I haven’t seen one yet.
Forgive me for being a cheeze ball here, but I want to show off my ab muscles. I don’t remember seeing abs on myself since I was in middle or high school. I’m happy I upgraded my workouts from long, slow, distance to explosive, heavy, and intense workouts. I believe training with sprints and intense spikes in cardio is how we exist in nature since we have to quickly and suddenly run away from predators.
Since St Thomas is 4 hours ahead of LA, I haven’t seen a sunrise yet. But, the sunsets are gorgeous! Sitting on the beach under the stars and moon at night is such a treat. Thank you to my friends in Florida for telling me to avoid night swimming because that’s when sharks feed. As a raw fooder, you know I would have been out in the ocean swimming naked every night! Ha haaa.
I was invited onto FOX in San Diego for a 6-minute segment on the benefits of the raw food diet and to talk about the Sambazon Warrior Up Campaign. I made host Raoul Martinez a few smoothies including a Banana Butter Breeze with Cacao. I planned to make him a Tomato Tarragon Bisque, but ran out of time.
Almond Buttered Banana Freeze + Açaí (adapted from Ani’s Raw Food Essentials)
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