New Year’s Day 2012 I took a trip out to Pasadena’s Rose Bowl to help with the Donate Life float for the Rose Parade, which was on Jan 2nd this year. Donate Life is an amazing organization that raises awareness so we stick that pink dot onto our driver’s license, to help save lives by being an organ donor. My dad was a kidney recipient, so this organization rings very close to my heart.
This is the beautiful finished float. The folks sitting on it are the stars of the show…family members of donors from 2011. The stories I heard yesterday were so moving, and I broke into tears numerous times. One woman’s 9-year old daughter had gone to the hospital for an ear infection. The hospital misdiagnosed and mistreated her (not uncommon), and she died. Her mom was proud to share how her daughter lives on in others, literally, and that her daughter has saved many lives by being a donor. You can see the portraits of each donor on 6 clock faces, a total of 72 donors are honored.
My good friend Vicky is a ‘red jacket’ and one of the team leaders on this huge project. She’s been here working on the float for weeks from early morning until 11pm. A huge undertaking, whew.
We are all misting the flowers with water before the float is moved outdoors for judging. It was gorgeous in Pasadena, 80 degrees!
Everything on all of the floats in the Rose Parade are all organic! This means only living materials like flowers, leaves, seeds,…all put on by hand.
Look at this detail….mustard seeds painstakingly glued onto the surface. Wow.
Beans and flower petals have all been attached by hand.
This is the bed of roses underneath the clock with the moving hands at the front of the float.
Look closely and you can see each of these red roses has a wish tied onto them.
When the float moved outside into the sun, all the colors popped so brightly! You can see the driver of the float inside the open door. The driver can’t see a thing, and is guided by audio by someone outside the float.
At one point, everyone held hands in a circle around the float. It was very moving. And even the judges teared up and cried when they talked with the donor families and heard all the incredible stories. Today, I discovered (since I don’t have a TV to watch the parade myself) that our float won one of the top 3 trophies and the craftsmanship award for outstanding showmanship and dramatic impact over 55 feet! Yeah! I also heard that floats cost about a half a million dollars to build! Great exposure and for a wonderful cause.
This was one of the best, most memorable New Year Day’s of my life. What a way to spend the 1st day of the new year. Plus, I felt like it was in honor too of my dad, who was so very blessed to have had a kidney transplant, which helped extended his life another 10 or 12 years. I learned that a liver lives for 100 years, so even after someone passes from old age, a liver can be donated to help another person live. Amazing.
I’ve chosen to be an organ donor for as long as I can remember, and I hope you will also consider joining me in helping save lives so someone else may live one more day! For more information check out Donate Life.
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.
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.
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.
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.
BBC Good Food interviewed me for a feature on Raw Foods in their Feb 2011 issue. Very cool, take a peek!
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