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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.

ani phyo at erewhon natural foods raw food in los angeles kate magic

Watch video: 8 min, 15 sec

Kate Magic was visiting from the UK last fall. In this video, you can watch our visit to Erewhon Natural Foods in the heart of Los Angeles, CA. I believe Erewhon was SoCal’s first natural food market and co-op. It’s full of the healthiest foods, cookbooks, natural eco green cleaning products, and lots more. Rooted in macrobiotics, they have a great book selection too.

Erewhon offers a huge array of raw food products in their store, it’s probably the largest raw selection in the world. The raw food goodies take up 2 full isles, end caps, plus a refrigerated section. It’s always a treat to peruse the isles to see what new raw food products have hit the marketplace.

Kate and I enjoyed a lovely day playing around West Hollywood. We started out at lunch eating delicious collard roll wraps, then stopped into Trashy Lingerie next door. Since raw foods keep me at my ideal weight, makes my skin smooth and clear, and helps me build a lean, strong body, it makes shopping for and wearing lingerie easier.

Next, we visited a thrift store, which is my favorite way to shop. It’s recycled fashion, eco, green, good for our environment, and it’s true that one person’s trash can be another person’s treasure. Finally, we then made it over to Erewhon.

Kate will be back in LA in August this year. I look forward to continuing our SoCal adventures together!

kevin boyland, ani, and joe connelly

kevin boylan, ani, and joe connelly

The Veggie Grill is taking SoCal by storm with their delicious vegan foods. I love the fact they use soy-free cheese made from cassava root. (I’m in fact Asian, but allergic to soy products). And, they have a great marinated raw kale salad that’s yummmms.

Joseph Connelly, publisher of the best vegan lifestyle magazine VegNews, was in town on his way to Expo West in Anaheim tomorrow. So, we met up with Veggie Grill owner Kevin Boylan for dinner in West Hollywood. It was so good! I gave Joe an early copy of Ani’s Raw Food Essentials to check out.

We also met 3 fitness buffs. They were ripped with huge muscles on a vegan, plant based diet. All train in Jujitsu, and looked like they could be body builders. I asked the lady in the group about her protein intake, and she said she doesn’t worry about it. To build muscle, she told me to pump heavy iron at high reps of 20, 4 sets. I’m going to try that later today at the gym.

I’m all about building up my muscle mass lately. I feel that as I’m growing older, my metabolism is naturally slowing down. One way to boost it up is by building more muscle mass. I’ve noticed after years of detoxing and fasting that my body cannibalized my muscle. So now it’s time to rebuild more.

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