To celebrate completing my book, I spent the day on my bicycle. Rode it about 25 miles to and from the ocean, and I was stoked the sun finally came out…even in Santa Monica (which seems to always be overcast, foggy, and cold compared to West Hollywood). While I was in Santa Monica, I stopped at the beach by the pier, where there’s an adult playground with ropes to climb, balance beams, parallel bars, and a row of rings to swing on.

Since I’m a monkey (Chinese year of the Monkey) I was drawn to the rings. It looked hard, but it really doesn’t take strength, but rather, finesse. You just have to get enough momentum, rocking back and forth, to swing and grab the next ring. That said, my hands were killing me, and I was on the kiddie set of rings! The adult set are really high up, and scary. But, perhaps I’ll give them a try next time I visit the coast.

Whenever I find myself West of the 405, which is a rarity, I make sure to stop into see Juliano at Planet Raw for his kick-ass chocolate shake….that revs up  my cycle back home. Yesterday, I enjoyed a burrito at Better Life Cuisine, and spent a couple hours catching up with Dr. Z, who owns that building.

Back in WEHO, I stopped at Beverly Juice Club for my favorite green juice shake blended with frozen banana and sunflower seeds (no added sweetener). Had hoped to get to my favorite Koreatown Sauna, but ran out of time. Instead, met my friend and his puppy at the park with Kanga, and they had a great doggie play date together. Then, met up with my brother, Max, for dinner later in the evening.

A great day it was celebrating life, love, health, sunshine, and ….with good friends and family. I’m blessed.

This recipe offers another great way to enjoy greens, and boy do I love dehydrated salad! As a matter of fact, that was exactly how I first discovered Kale Chips, back in Portland, OR, in 1995 or so. After a big catering gig, I had so much marinated kale salad remaining, it would have been a shame to throw it out. Usually, I feed leftovers to Kanga, my pooch, but too much kale’s been known to make her poot (stinky!). Instead, I put all the salad into my dehydrators, and was stoked by what I found the next morning! Kale Chips!! It makes me happy to see Kale Chips have gone mainstream today. Finally, a healthy snack enjoyed by the masses!

The texture of these chocolate coated collard leaves is much like the texture of dried cashew cheddar, from my traditional Kale Chips on page 110 of Ani’s Raw Food Essentials. (Signed copies of Ani’s Raw Food Essentials are available at GoSuperLife.com). Delicate mouth feel, and amazing flavors.

Thanks to everyone for being patient with me, waiting for me to post this recipe after I’ve completed my next book! Enjoy xo

Chocolate Collards

  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 2 Tablespoons agave syrup, or your favorite syrup sweetener
  • 2 Tablespoons mesquite
  • 2 TTablespoon cacao nibs
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 bunch collard greens, destem, cut each leaf into 2 halves
In high-speed blender, blend all ingredients (except collards) until smooth.
Place collard half leaves into a large bowl, pour chocolate sauce over leaves. Coat each leaf completely.
Place leaves in dehydrator at 104 degrees. Dehydrate for 4 to 6 hours, until dry.

 

Labor Day marks the weekend my Rhodesian Ridgeback, Kanga, and I rescued one another….9-years ago! How time flies. (and yes, I cake sunblock on my face, as you can see).

Kanga had been at the Humane Society for over 2 weeks, and no one adopted her. Surprising, since she is a beautiful specimen of this breed. Plus, she came fully trained, so someone had spent a lot of time and energy with her. She was skin and bone, and 50+ pounds underweight with kennel cough and dusty fur. Poor baby.

Luckily, a truck intercepted 20 dogs on their way to get euthanized, and brought them back to a no-kill shelter in Portland, OR called Family Dogs NW. This was where I found Kanga early the very next morning. I applied the same raw food principles to Kanga as I do for human healing, and over the next month or two she gained 50 pounds and regained radiant health on a Raw Food diet. You can read more about her journey in Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen, where Kanga has her own dog food chapter.

My brother Max saw this photo of Kanga and said she looks like she’s “mugging”. I had to ask him what the heck that means. Max said “mugging = posing, like rappers do for pics”. Hahaa. Yup, Kanga is a superstar, and very popular too. Folks always stop us to pet her, especially young children.

Kanga’s from Rhodesia, which is now Zimbabwe Rhodesia, and the Sahara so she loves the sun, warmth, and sand. She hates water, but it was so hot out that Kanga got her paws wet. I love dog beach because here she can roam off-leash, and run free to play with other dogs.

Kanga and I love laying in the sand and soaking up the sun. It’s never hot enough for us, and soaking up sun is one of our favorite past times. I’m happy I got to take Kanga to Huntington Dog Beach yesterday on the final hot day of the summer (it was 90 F) to celebrate her 9-year Bday and Dogversary with me. Thank you Kanga for being my family, love, and for hanging out with me for the past 9-years! I love you.

 

I visited Erewhon Natural Foods in Los Angeles on May 28, 2011 along my book tour for Ani’s Raw Food Asia. Erewhon is my favorite Raw Food store. These beautiful photos are courtesy of the very talented Sherman Lee at http://www.digitalslimages.com.

Juan Hernandez, the store manager, makes sure to offer the largest range of Raw Food products and brand, and has created the nexus for Raw Foods here in LA. Juan was one of my earliest supporters of my SmartMonkey Foods packaged and prepared foods products.

Each year’s visit celebrating my new book always draws a packed house. I love Erewhon!

I showed everyone how easy it is to make my Mushroom “Bul Go Gi”, from Ani’s Raw Food Asia, page 186, using mushrooms marinated in tamari or nama shoyu (raw soy sauce), toasted sesame oil, asian pear, and sweetener of choice like agave or brown rice syrup. We topped off these beautiful Lettuce Wraps, from page 188, with my version of a traditional Korean Gochujang Sauce, page 225, made with miso, sesame oil, chile powder, and sweetener like agave.

Following my food demo and Q+A…next, I get to sign books and meet people 1 on 1!

This tour, many people had me sign multiple copies of Ani’s Raw Food Asia for friends and family. I do love when people bring their entire collection for me to sign too…..a blessing for me.

My friends Ron Gilmore and Caroline Jue create an awesome animated series called Rawman & Green-Girl. They are doing great work educating and sharing information about our food sources.

Elaine R. Johnson hand delivered this beautiful porcelain sculpture she made to me all the way from Arizona with her mom. Elaine is amazingly talented. I can’t even begin to express my gratitude for such a beautiful gift.

This is the beautifully talented Elaine R. Johnson. She told me how challenging porcelain is to work with….cracking as it dries, or cracking out of the kiln during baking. A labour of love, it shows!

On May 19. 2011 I got to visit Seattle along my tour for Ani’s Raw Food Asia. First stop was with host Margaret Larson at King 5 TV’s NewDay Northwest Show. Everyone in the studio audience received a copy of Ani’s Raw Food Asia.

Next was Evergreen Radio’s Kitchen Corner Show where I had a pleasantly challenging conversation with host Jo Ann Henderson. Jo was skeptical at first, but I hope I was able to convince her that raw foods are simply a way to enjoy more whole, fresh, organic ingredients.

At the same time, another pre-recorded radio program aired on Seattle radio where I spoke with host Keesha Ewers on her Healthy You! Radio Show.

By lunch I was hungry for some local raw food treats, and we stopped at Thrive Cafe for a meet-and-great and book signing, and they fed me delicious salad, green juice, and desserts.

Next stop was KOMO Newsradio where we aired during afternoon drive-time traffic. The hosts Herb Weisbaum & Jane Shannon are already into raw foods, and were already making their own kale chips. I love how main stream kale chips have become!

Our final destination for the day was the Woodmark Hotel and Yacht Club in Kirkland, on the lake. This was the view from my room, you can see snow topped mountains in the distance.

The Woodmark Hotel hosted what they call “Happy Hour and a Half”. They made 2 recipes from Ani’s Raw Food Asia, I gave a talk, answered questions, and then signed books. It was another clear, sunny, dry, warm day in the Seattle. After this final event, I went on a long walk along the lake front. The air was fresh, clean, and crisp. And I felt grateful for all the wonderful people who welcomed me to their beautiful city.

This was the awesome lady who made this day happen for me, Joy. In addition to shuttling me around town, she also hooked me up with a food assistant so that I didn’t have to carry all my food, plates, props with me on the airplane! Plus, she kept the car stocked with cut, prepared veggies of all sorts for me to snack on all day long.

This was Joy’s assistant Lee, who had shopped for props and ingredients, and helped me prep for my TV appearance. Thank you Joy and Lee!! You’ve officially spoiled me.

My first stop in Portland, OR was to shoot a 6-minute segment with host Dave Anderson for AM Northwest on KATU TV. I show Dave how to make a Vegetable Nori Roll from Ani’s Raw Food Asia. Dave’s lost a ton of weight since I saw him along my last tour, and looks great. He said he cut out processed foods and cut back on alcohol.

Here I am above with AM Northwest  co-host Helen Raptis.

Next stop was Yummy Tummy Cafe for a lunchtime fuel-up on a gallon of Norwalk green juice; chocolate covered jungle peanuts; and a ruben sandwich made from flax seeds, mushrooms, and sauerkraut. Omg, seriously yummy tummy! And, a book signing meet-and-greet. From here, I was shuttled over to the KBOO radio station for an interview, and then finally ended up at Powell’s Books downtown for a talk and book signing.

I got to visit Powell’s rare book room, where I sat and signed a stack of my books, including Ani’s Raw Food Asia.

Peter Hanfileti is a very dear, long-time family friend from when I was in middle school…that’s so long ago! He’s an MD and acupuncturist in Vancouver, WA.

Kris Dyer may look familiar because he’s in my first book, Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen, which I wrote when I still lived in Portland. Kris was also one of our SmartMonkeys! I love tour because it allows me to visit friends I haven’t seen in a while. The weather was dry and sunny, just like last year in Portland! I love that city especially when the weather is gorgeous. Plus, the city’s blanketed with WiFi.

Watch my debut on Los Angeles TV with ABC 7′s Health Coach Lori Corbin. I show her 5 raw food recipes that have gone mainstream including my Zucchini Pasta (featured in Food Network Magazine), Nut Mylks (like Almond Milk), Green Smoothies, Kale Chips (from Ani’s Raw Food Essentials), and Seaweed Chips (from Ani’s Raw Food Asia).

Watch the 3-minute video, and learn how raw foods helps with weight loss too!

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!

The 1st stop along my book tour for Ani’s Raw Food Asia was at Santa Monica Place at Artisanal LA on April 16, 2011. Here are 4 short videos from my talk, Q+A, and book signing:

1) Ani’s Raw Food Asia – I love organic, local, seasonal foods

2) Ani’s Raw Food Asia – Probiotics, Happiness, Longevity

3) Ani’s Raw Food Asia – Easy ways to add more raw to any diet!

4) Ani’s Raw Food Asia – Recipe inspirations and sources for protein.

I had so much fun celebrating the pre-launch of Ani’s Raw Food Asia at Artisanal LA in Santa Monica.

All of these beautiful photos were taken by the amazing Sherman Lee. Thanks Sherman!!

It was a weekend full of local and seasonal gourmet foods (though way too much bacon! – what’s up with bacon these days?) and great expert panels and talks.

I love this fish eye photo, it was a full crowd with great people old and new to raw foods and the raw food diet and lifestyle. Thanks to the wonder woman organizer Shawna Dawson for all her support, for announcing my talk over the loud speaker, and for putting me and Ani’s Raw Food Asia in their printed program.

Q+A is my favorite part of my appearances because I get to listen and interact with my new friends.

It’s always so nice to have my brother Max and my family with me at my events.

This lovely lady kept asking me about how to learn to make raw food. I say if you’re interested in making food, you have to learn how to make all foods first. Then you can translate it into raw food prep.

Libby drove all the way up from San Diego with her friends just to grab an early copy of Ani’s Raw Food Asia.

Please check my homepage and also my calendar of events for upcoming events and stops along my book tour. Hope to see you all very soon. xoxo

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