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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

ani phyo raw food essentials au lac california

Last Saturday, I was invited to speak at AuLac, my favorite raw restaurant in Fountain Valley, CA. Chef Ito is a good friend who makes the best food ever!

The goal for my new book is to take the mystery out of raw food prep, and to help everyone become their very own home raw food chef. Raw foods prep can be easy, fast, and doesn’t need to cost a ton of money.

I introduce simple, paired down recipes I call basics, then teach the reader how to add on additional  ingredients to mix up the flavors to create endless varieties of recipes. I include tips on setting up the Essential Raw Kitchen, shopping lists, eco green living resources, lists of recipes that travel well, sample menus, importance of probiotics, and how to ferment drinks and vegetables.

ani phyo raw food essentials au lac california

Following my talks, I always love to sign books because I get to meet people in person. I enjoy hearing their stories, inspirations, and passions. Sometimes, it’s a sad story of a spouse lost to cancer that puts someone onto the path of raw and live foods. But it’s always a good thing when people start to understand the correlation between health, vitality, happiness, and our diet.

ani phyo raw food essentials au lac california

Fountain Valley is an area known as Little Siagon. It’s full of Asian markets, and AuLac serves the best Vietnamese cooked foods. Unfortunately, I’ve never tried any because whenever I’m at AuLac, I’m wishing my tummy was bigger so I could eat up more and more of Chef Ito’s raw foods.

ani phyo raw food essentials au lac california

The photos above were taken by the lovely Maria Loewenstein, pictured in green. Pete is on the left, and designs the coolest contemporary eco green kitchens (Artistic Freedom Designs), John Johnson was just awarded a lifetime achievement award for his body piercing work, and Lien Chau Zhang is my beautiful film maker friend passionate to end the suffering of animals. She told me an amazing story about this new chain of vegan Asian style restaurants that has opened up 130 Loving Hut vegan locations globally in the past year!

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