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We launched FoodStuff LA with a big celebration at the Pedal Patch Community offices in downtown LA. Above is founder Jason Boarde and Rebecca McQuigg Rigal who works through GOOD with the Pepsi Refresh Project as the Arts & Culture Ambassador.

My RAWvolution event is on September 19th, where we’ll be harvesting from the PPC local community and rooftop gardens, then preparing a delicious raw food meal. Hope you’ll join me for this fun event.

Christian Page is a locavore, sourcing the finest organic ingredients from our local community. He made all the food happen for this event, including delicious black mission figs, which I ate by the pint! Christian’s Living La Vida Local event is in October.

LA Green Girl Siel was at our event, and it was lovely to finally meet her in person…a fellow Korean American!

I made it to San Diego Tuesday for the launch of  Sambazon’s Warrior Up campaign… and to see my new billboard in person. I found it at 30th and Adams, in the Hillcrest area of town, supposedly where all the hipsters hang out. Kato and I screamed and giggled when we first spotted it. What a feeling!

Sambazon is helping to promote organizations that give back to our communities and to the world, and Pedal Patch Community in downtown LA is the non-profit I’m working with. Jason Eugene Boarde is the Director of PPC, and is pictured to the right above at one of the community gardens.

Ani Phyo at Biscuit / Toy Lofts Community Garden from pedalpatch on Vimeo.

Raw Food Star Ani Phyo with PPC Director Jason Boarde from pedalpatch on Vimeo.

PPC is a community supported social enterprise advocating innovative, community-based solutions to hunger, food insecurity and sustainability. PPC works with at-risk youth and develops edible landscapes and garden communities that focus on positive land use, eco-literacy, food system sustainability, food security matters and community involvement. We’re launching a series of talks and events called Food Stuff LA on August 21st, 2010 designed around a panel of experts providing a healthy dose of wellness, good food, and ardent discussion to raise awareness around healthy sustainable food options and food security and safety issues.

Now, on to the PARTY!…later that evening, we headed to downtown San Diego for the launch and press event. It was in a warehouse with beautiful exposed brick walls. The 11 warrior images were posted on opposing walls, and the space was transformed into a hip art gallery.

I felt so honored to be in a line up with Jack Rose and free surfer celebrity Jon Rose. They both work to make clean drinking water available to those in the world who need it most through their non-profits Rain Catcher and Waves for Water. Currently, they’re traveling into Haiti every other week  with ceramic water filters and buckets to set up water filtration systems to save lives. I’m in awe of this father and son team. They both have beautiful spirits, fiery passion and drive, and amazing stories.

To the right is master surfer Rob Machado who’s non-profit, Rob Machado Foundation, funds educational programs to help kids better understand their contribution towards a healthy planet. Programs include community gardens on school grounds.

Hans Rey, the pioneer in trails mountain biking and all time legend, provides bikes for people in developing countries in need of transportation to get to work or school through his non-profit Wheels 4 Life. We’ve had mutual friends in common for a couple years, and it’s always awesome to finally meet in person.

Kassia Meador is a real beauty. Kassia is a pro surfer, Roxy swimsuit model, and is a spokeswoman for Keep a Breast. Keep A Breast is a non-profit organization that exposes young people to methods of prevention, early detection, and support through development of habits that will benefit their long term health and well-being. Kassia and I share the same ideas for preventative care, eating right, and decreasing toxic load on the body.

Jeremy Black is one of the founding brothers of Sambazon.

And, Ryan Black is the other brother. Both are super handsome, smart, sweet, and doing really great things on the planet like making anti-oxidant rich Acai available for us here in the U.S.A. while giving back by creating sustainable projects in the Amazon.

Here’s the man behind the camera, responsible for all the beautiful photos in this campaign…JP Greenwood. He was laying low all evening, and I needed help finding him in the crowd..he’s super talented, and so modest!

And, here’s 2 of the magic makers at Sambazon….Kaia, to the left, and Alana, to the right. They’re the dynamic duo. Kato Banks has been a very good friend for many years from back in my San Francisco days.

This was a hugely successful event and launch of an amazing new campaign, which is no surprise since everything Sambazon does rocks!

My NYC tour kicked off last Monday at Rockefeller Center on the set of LX New York at NBC studios. I chat about the benefits of a raw food diet with hosts Janice Huff and Jane Hanson. You can watch my segment here, though it’s stretched out horizontally and the audio is out of synch. (As soon as I get my own copy of the segment, I’ll repost)

Tuesday evening, I had a food demo, talk, and book signing at Bonobo’s Restaurant. The room was packed with folks eager to learn more about raw food nutrition and recipes. I demonstrated how fast and easy it is to make my Simple Rosemary Oregano Noodle Salad with zucchini, tomato, avocado, and herbs.

Pictured above is Rose Voisk of the World Olympians Association. She was a gymnast in the 1948 London Olympics. She looks great, is vibrant, and strong. A testament for eating well.

Wednesday evening, I was hosted by the lovely Hyacinth Mills of New Life Journeys and her Montclair Raw Food Meetup Group. I demoed my Super Cacao-Coconut Energizer smoothie recipe from page 39 of Ani’s Raw Food Essentials. Hyacinth’s group is full of vibrant folks excited about raw foods. Her husband and 2 boys are handsome as can be, and Hyacinth has a natural glow of beauty. A great spokes model family.

I had randomly bumped into Hyacinth at Port Authority late on Monday night, 2 evenings before our event, as we were both catching our buses back to NJ that night. What’s the chances of that? It’s magic!

Thursday night I was at Organic Avenue for a workshop hosted by Mia Santos Andres. Above are my lovely assistants Sara, Sam, and Lee who helped to prep my recipes and samples, and then helped me set up before my workshop. They all had that glow of inner health and beauty. What angels!

In my workshop, I demoed my Tomato and Tarragon Bisque, page 137, Pad Thai Kelp Noodles, page 227, and Strawberry Kream Pie, page 266 from Ani’s Raw Food Essentials. It was another packed house with great audience participation, questions, and book signing.

Thanks Mia for a great event, and for my goodie bag full of green juice in the cute Organic Avenue bottle, and BlackBird Truffles, handmade by raw model Anthony Andersen. Yum!

Mia is so pretty, I look shiny. Ha haaaa. I can’t wait to get back to NYC before another 6 years passes….

I had the honor of meeting Dr T. Colin Campbell at the Farm Sanctuary Hoe Down last weekend in Watkins Glenn, New York, where we were both invited to speak about vegan lifestyle, health, and diet. He’s pictured above with his wife Karen.

Dr Campbell is the author of the best selling book The China Study. Campbell says about his research in the Philippines “In this project, however, I uncovered a dark secret. Children who ate the highest protein diets were the ones most likely to get liver cancer…” A 20-year research project partnership between Cornell University, Oxford University, and the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine found that “People who ate the most animal-based foods got the most chronic disease … People who ate the most plant-based foods were the healthiest and tended to avoid chronic disease. These results could not be ignored,” said Dr. Campbell.

In the Farm Sanctuary ‘People Barn’, I spoke to a full house about the benefits of the raw food diet, why whole and unprocessed foods are important, showed everyone how fast and easy it is to make a healthy Strawberry Kream Pie using just a handful of ingredients, from page 267 of Ani’s Raw Food Essentials, and then passed out pies to taste. Folks thought the pie was delicious. You can’t really go wrong with dates, cashews, almonds, vanilla, and strawberries.

Next, Dr. T. Colin Campbell took the stage, and reinforced many of the same concepts I had presented. He explained why taking supplements doesn’t work, and emphasized the importance of avoiding processed foods like all the junk vegan convenience foods on the market. He explained how protein turns-on cancer cells in the body.

In the USA, we promote high protein diets made up of about 80 percent protein. Most Americans eat around 50 percent protein. However, Dr. T. Colin Campbell advocates a diet of at most 20 percent plant-based protein for optimal health and longevity.

My mom and step dad came to the Farm for the weekend, and left inspired by all the great speakers and information, as did everyone! I can’t wait to visit the Farm Sanctuary again very soon.

Last weekend, I was invited to speak and demo my raw foods at the Farm Sanctuary Hoe Down annual celebration in Watkins Glen, NY. It was a huge honor to be included in the speaker lineup with founder Gene Baur and T. Colin Campbell, author of the China Study. The Hoe Down was one of the best organized events I’ve attended.

Volunteers helped me prepare pies for over 120 people in about 30 minutes just before my presentation. We chose the manual ‘food processor’ style of hand mixing dates with almonds. Good forearm exercise.

Strawberry Kream Pie, from Ani’s Raw Food Essentials. Made with dates, almonds, cashews, vanilla, and strawberries. Simple and delicious.

A photo of my raw food demo, taken by Morgan Jamie Dunbar.

It’s so much fun to sign books after a raw food demo and talk. I love having this opportunity to connect with other like minded folks in the community.

Later, I got to visit the animals out on the other part of the 200 acre farm. This guy was 3,000 pounds big, what a cutie pie!

Amazing to stand in the pasture with a flock of sheep as the sun was setting. It was so peaceful. Actually, I rested really well on the farm every night.

That evening was the Barn Dance where we line-danced first, then it broke out into a full on night club with a packed dance floor until after 1am. Everyone had tons of energy and was jumping up and down, especially Gene Baur, who was wringing sweat out of his t-shirt! My hair was soaked in sweat too. I noticed no one stunk of body oder, and people’s sweat didn’t gross me out as it usually does. That’s a huge plus for eating clean, vegan, and raw.

I realized this was my 20th year reunion from Cornell, and I hadn’t been back to Ithaca since I graduated in 1990 (except returning briefly for my brother Max’s graduation in 1993). So, it was a double treat to visit Ithaca and Farm Sanctuary. I’m looking forward to the next Hoe Down in California, and visiting New York’s Farm Sanctuary again soon.

I was invited to visit 105degrees in Oklahoma City by owners Chef Matthew Kenney and the lovely Dara Prentice. I taught a public class on Tuesday evening July 13th to a packed room of ladies, spoke to the Academy students on the 14th, and then hosted a sold out RAWkstar Dinner event later that evening.

Here are 3 video clips from my class, created by Penni Shelton of Raw Food Rehab.

My class introduction where I speak about being raised on a raw food diet, and my reintroduction as an adult to the gourmet raw food diet for functionality, health, vitality, mental clarity, and focus.

Watch how fast, simple, and easy it is to make my raw food Tomato Chili, from page 145 of Ani’s Raw Food Essentials.

Here I show the class how to make my South-of-the-Border Wraps, which are super fresh, healthy, raw food wraps filled with Cashew Chipotle Cheeze and drizzled with a decadent Chocolate Mole Sauce. From page 180 of Ani’s Raw Food Essentials.

Penni also put together a 20-minute video of the sold out RAWkstar dinner event you can watch on her Vimeo channel here.

ani phyo 105degrees rawkstar dinner raw food oklahoma

It was an amazing trip, I love Oklahoma City. Everyone was super warm and inviting. And, I was even surprised by a delivery of a bouquet of balloons from 3 ladies the following day! The card read “Thank you for a thrilling evening last night”….which could potentially sound strange taken out of context. Ha haaa.

I’m so grateful to have amazing friends like Dara and Matthew who create so much good in our world! Thank you Dara and Matthew for all of your inspiration, love, and beauty! xoxo

This is a book trailer for Ani’s Raw Food Essentials.

Watch as I show you how easy is is to make my Coconut Cake with Nutella Hazelnut Sauce, from page 271.

ani phyo, frances fisher, eva, moby, diamondsnake

Moby was performing with his new heavy metal band DiamondSnake last night in Hollywood, where I bumped into Frances Fisher and Eva. We had a blast dancing up a storm. You can see Moby on stage behind us rocking out to his new Heavy Metal music.

Lead singer Phil Costello’s voice is incredible. They have a song called Rock and Raw, give it a listen on their homepage. These guys are a funny!

moby diamond snake phil costello

It was way past my bedtime of 10pm, and I lasted to about midnight, but left before they finished their set, unfortunately. I hope to get to see DiamondSnake again, maybe along with NYC tour next month.

DiamondSnake was sporting vegan guitar straps, very cool! Choosing vegan has the biggest impact on helping to save our planet and stop animal suffering. Besides, a vegan diet, and especially a raw vegan diet, helps with weight loss, increases health and our immune system, and gives us tons of energy to rock on roll!

It’s official, I now like Heavy Metal music. Moby…I love you!

A book trailer for Ani’s Raw Food Essentials for a naturally effervescent probiotic drink called Water Kefir from page 56.

This healthy drink is simple to make using water kefir grains that you can purchase online. I include resources in my book, and recommend going straight to the source for the living grains. Avoid the processed, dried, packaged grains because they are not as vital as the living grains. Plus, the dry grains only brew maybe three batches before you have to go and buy more dried grains again.

It takes just 48 hours to brew Water Kefir, and it’s full of friendly bacteria for building healthy intestinal flora. It helps me with digestion, assimilation of nutrients, and elimination. I enjoy Water Kefir with and after meals to help with digestion. I drink a cup on an empty stomach before bed to balance my intestinal flora.

In this video, I use a variation of the recipe in my book.

Water Kefir
Note: avoid metal. Metal damages probiotics and water kefir grains. Use only plastic spoons, measuring cups, and glass jars.

  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 1/3 cup organic cane juice crystals (sugar)
  • 1 Tablespoon turbinado (brown)
  • 2 pieces ginger
  • 3 slices dried pear (unsulphured)
  • 1/4 cup water kefir grains

Place water into a glass jar. Add sugars, ginger, pear, and stir. Add grains. Close lid, and store in cabinet for 48 hours to brew.

Pour brew through a plastic sieve to catch the grains. Remove ginger and pear. Store brew in glass bottles at room temperature to increase vitamin B levels. Or, store in fridge to chill.

Start your next batch immediately.

ani's raw food essentials kefir

In this video, I speak with The Blissful Chef Christy Morgan after my book signing and food demo at Erewhon May 8, 2010 about my philosophy  of raw food and about my new book Ani’s Raw Food Essentials.

ani phyo raw food essentials

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