Monday, June 4, 2012

Blog Rebranding

I think it's safe to say that this blog as I know it has run its course for me. I'm just not feeling as connected to my original message, as so many things have shifted and changed in my diet and my life since starting this blog.

That said, I believe blogging has a place in my life, and I'd really like to continue writing and sharing my adventures, recipes, etc. with you. I just don't think I want to limit sharing only food-related content. I really want to bring fitness, fashion/beauty, meditation, yoga, and general advice on living a more loving, connected, happy life. I've found that a lot of health issues, especially those involving digestion, can stem from more than just bad diet (although it's a huge piece of the puzzle!) To become the best versions of ourselves, we need to focus on the whole picture, not just one piece. This is something I still struggle with, but I'm improving every day and I want to share that with my readers so they can join me on the journey to health and happiness and discovering our purpose in this world.

One of the trickiest parts of starting (or in this case, revamping) a blog is coming up with a title! That's what I'm essentially working on at the moment. I want something that is catchy and draws people in, but also contains a deeper message.

Please stay tuned and bear with me as I change things up. I truly appreciate your support!


Monday, September 19, 2011

Portland VegFest! My Faves From The Conference

Hi friends!
I had the most amazing weekend, and I give full credit to Portland VegFest 2011!

For those of you who missed out, wow, I'm sorry, because it was amazing. It completely rejuvinated me and reinforced my decision to go vegan. It was exactly what I needed. My biggest regret was only making it for one day, if I'd known what to expect I would have spent the entire weekend there.

Since I missed most of the speakers and demos (ughhhh bummer), I spent my time at VegFest checking out all the booths in the exhibit hall! A lot of the products I'd tried before, because lets be honest, I've devoted an entire blog to finding new products i can eat. But there were a few that were new to me that I'm really excited about!

First of all, my boyfriend Joe bought a Vitamix, which means my smoothies and soups are about to reach a whole new level of awesome. Stay tuned for recipes!!

Oregon Ice Works - I'd seen their food cart before, but never had a chance to try their stuff, so VegFest gave me the opportunity. Wowza. They make vegan Italian Ice in all sorts of flavors. I got to try the marionberry and the vanilla which were both out of this world. The only drawback is that their products are sweetened with cane sugar (although it is fair trade which is nice!). But other than that its just water and fruit! Pretty great, right? You can get more info at their website:

It's Alive - So this is one I've tried before, I'm actually a regular buyer of their raw dill sauerkraut, but they have some new flavors and products that I feel deserve attention! Like....their seaweed kimchi! I know it sounds weird, but if you are a fermented foods junkie like myself, you'd LOVE this stuff. It would take a pretty great flavor to pull me away from my beloved dill sauerkraut, but this one did it. Because its new, it isnt available everywhere yet, but they do have it in bulk at Peoples Coop which is awesome! The other product that's amazing is their dehydated snack mix, which is a mix of seeds and spices that was absolutely to die for. My favorite was the Wasasbi Nori. For products and locations, check out

Foods Alive - Ok, this is a bit random, but I've never had oil as tasty as their flax oil. Oh my god. I would eat that stuff straight out of the bottle. And its full of vegan omega 3s, which is an added bonus! They also make salad dressings that use the oil as a base as well as flax crackers that are pretty dang good! Unfortunately, they can't be found locally, but its totally worth buying online:

Al Amir -  Al Amir is a lebanese restaurant here in Portland, but they make some of their dips and sell them through grocery stores. We tried their garlic sauce, and WOW was it good. We kept going back for seconds and thirds and fourths, and if we'd had the cash both my friend Ilan and I would have bought it on the spot. This stuff is amazing, and its available at a bunch of places apparently, even Fred Meyer! Also a plus, their restaurant serves gluten free falafel, so heyyy, that's a win!

But of all the vendors, I did have a favorite...drumroll please

And the winner is....Solstice Snacks!

Oh my stars. They make these goji snack bars that are like rice crispies and fruit and all sorts of yummy goodness and I think I probably had at least two samples of every flavor (unfortunately some of them have peanut butter). Of all the flavors, my favorite is a toss up between Chocolate Mint and Thai Spice. I noticed the thai one isn't on their website, so it must be fairly new. These little snackies are sooo delicious! I can't wait to go buy some once I'm off my cleanse! More info can be found at

So I did kinda lie, I actually had a product I liked as much as the Solstice Bars; Sorta Sausage Hemp Burgers. I was all ready to write them this glowing review, when I checked their website and found out they contain corn! I'm so bummed! I was dumb for not asking ahead of time, especially because I had enough samples to equal a whole burger. I like want to cry. It was one of the best things I've ever tasted. I'm hoping to write to them and comment that they should make a corn free version. However, if you aren't allergic to corn, you HAVE to try these. Find out more here:

At the end of the day, Ilan, Joe and I stuck around for a screening of the film Forks Over Knives, which was the final straw in convincing me to go vegan 7 months ago. If you haven't seen it, I HIGHLY recommend it. It's out on video now and its also available on Netflix. What gets me every time about this movie is how well researched it is. With so much conflicting info out there about nutrition's part in health, its easy to get confused. I still do, after all this time. But this movie really reminded me that I am doing the right thing. I think the thing that makes this movie so awesome is that it presents the information from a health standpoint, rather than being a slasher film full of clips of animal cruelty or an intimidating and annoying liberal protest-fest. This movie focuses solely on the research that proves eating animal protein can lead to the growth of cancer cells, as well as cause diabetes and heart disease. It appeals to such a wide audience, which is really what I'm trying to accomplish as well. So seriously, SEE IT! It will change your life.

I can't even express how perfect VegFest was for me this weekend. After being run down from my cleanse, it was exactly the boost I needed to remind me why I live the way I do. It got me excited about veganism again. I was seriously glowing after I left, my whole being was filled with energy. I definitely plan on attending more NWVeg events, and I'll keep you all posted on each one! And be on the lookout for more VegFest related reviews, I have a couple new restaurants to try and tell you about!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ready to get Clean!

This summer has been a ride...

With the drinking (and hangovers that keep getting worse), eating out, and never ending stomach issues, I think my body needs a break.

About a month ago I ran across a book called "Clean". The author, Alejandro Junger, discusses why it's important for us to detox our bodies, and how to go about it without derailing our busy lives. It completely fascinated me, and although I've done cleanses before, this one seemed to be way legit. He's an M.D., so I feel comfortable knowing that he went through med school and still believes that this is the way to go. It definitely takes a more mainstream approach to the idea of fasting.

I'll be deviating from his cleanse just a bit, but you can find out more about his program here:

After talking to my natropath, I've come to the conclusion that although my stomach is improving quite a bit, eating a ton of raw veggies may not be ideal for my healing process. So instead of eating a solid meal at lunch, I'll be eating smoothies, blended soups and juices throughout the day. I feel confident that with this cleanse and the homeopathic supplements I'm taking, I'm on the right path to full healing.

I'm going to be giving a day to day account of my progress on my other blog, including recipes for the smoothies and juices I create. I'm hoping to also post some of those recipes here, but the other blog is the best place to follow me on my journey. Also, I'd definitely recommend checking out Dr. Junger's book, it's really interesting stuff, and it appeals to a wide audience in that it definitely applies to everyone.

Stay tuned, I'll be all clean before you know it!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Portland VegFest 2011 is Coming!!

Hi all!
I know not all my readers are vegan or even vegetarian, but I assume if you read my blog you love good, healthy food that makes you feel great! Maybe some of you are even a little veg-curious, but don't know much about plant based diets or aren't sure how to transition to one. It can definitely be intimidating to ask for answers from hard-core vegans (I'll admit...that scares me a little too!).

But hey, it doesnt have to be that way!! My recommendation? Come to Portland VegFest!! This two-day conference, held at the Oregon Convention Center, features guest speakers, chef demos, family activities, resturants and vendors, and best of all, free food! It's a great place to explore vegetarianism and get your burning questions answered.

I'm most excited to see Dr. Neal Barnard speak...he's an MD who specializes in healing the body through a whole foods, plant based diet and he's been featured on numerous talk shows like Ellen, plus he has a best selling book out. He'll be a fantastic resource for vegan and veg-curious attendees alike.

Also a plus for you veg-curious types, the documentary Forks Over Knives will be screened during the conference. This is the movie that convinced me to go vegan back in February! After seeing this movie, you'll have no doubt in your mind that veggie is the way to go. And don't worry, its not full of grotesque images of abused farm animals (although that tends to get the job done as well); its all about how your health can truly benefit from a plant based diet, and it shows success stories of people curing their diabetes and other chronic illnesses with this way of life. Very inspiring, and very cool!

Here's the info on the event, I truly hope you'll join me in attending this fabulous event! I've been looking forward to it for months :)

What: Portland VegFest 2011
Where: Oregon Convention Center
Date: Sept. 17-18
Time: 10am - 6pm
More info: Check out

Friday, August 12, 2011

Plum Vegan Bistro - Seattle, WA

Yes, I'm still alive.

I say this every time, I know, but I've neglected the blog once again while I attempt to make sense of the craziness that is life. I'm still without a new job, which brings both anxiety about money and the childlike excitement of having four day weekends! Last weekend Joe and I ventured up to Seattle (again, I've been there a lot this summer!) with the boat to check out Seafair. Seafair is basically a big festival complete with drunken hoards on boats, watching the blue angels fly, and hydroplane races. I'd never been so I didn't know what to expect...but wow, it was unreal. Boats literally everywhere, swells that you'd expect to find amidst a storm way out at sea (which sucks when you are hungover, ughh), and a flight show by the Blue Angels that is sure to blow your mind. I loved it!

What I also love about visiting Seattle is trying new restaurants!! Seattle's no Portland, but it has it's share of vegan, allergy friendly cuisine. Last time, I checked out Chaco Canyon, which was absolutely to die for, but this time we stayed in Capitol Hill so I was determined to find somewhere a little closer to try for the first time. Luckily, Joe's friend Chris, who we stayed with, has a roommate who's girlfriend is vegan, so a quick text and we were on our way to Plum Bistro.

Upon arriving, it was clear to me that this was the most upscale vegan spot I've ever been to. The decor made me feel like I was in some exclusive, members only ski lodge in Aspen; wood beams on the ceilings, dim light, just a very elegant feel.

The menu honestly looks like a menu you'd get at a regular gourmet restaurant: protein dishes, gourmet burgers and pizza, pasta, salads, and a custom drink menu. Yet instead of ordering a "steak", "seafood", "pork" or "chicken" entree, you ordered a "tempeh", "seitan", "quinoa" and "tofu" entree. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. This was definitely the first time I'd ever seen a menu like this in a vegan restaurant. To top it off, they label what is gluten free by adding a little G with a slash through it next to the description, AND everything on the menu is made with 100% organic ingredients! That being said, it's obviously on the spendier side, but so worth it.

We started with an appetizer, and I absolutely could not resist ordering the avocado roll. I love sushi so any chance for me to try a new type of vegan sushi roll I'm all over it. But it seriously exceeded my expectations; I can easily say it was the best vegan sushi roll I've ever had. Better than like actual sushi places. The concoction inside the roll tasted like it could almost be raw tuna, but better due to whatever seasoning was used. I honestly still am not sure what was in it, but it was amazing. Even cooler, they make it with brown rice instead of white...I hardly come across that in sushi places and I'm so glad they were conscious enough to make the switch!

For dinner, I couldn't wait to try a tempeh entree. Although the Tempeh Vermouth is their most popular item, I decided to go off the beaten path and check out the Chipotle Glazed Tempeh (which, I just noticed, isn't on their permanent menu...bummer). It came out topped with mango salsa on a bed of steamed greens and man was it good! I think I may have licked my plate really inspired me to get good at cooking tempeh.

Joe, of course, couldn't resist ordering a burger. He ended up with the Crazy Jamaican Burger. The burger was jerk tofu, topped with ripe plantains, sweet onions, potato salad and tomatoes, with a side of fries. Thanks to the bun I couldn't try an actual bite, but I tasted the burger part and the fries and WOW. Easily some of the best fries I've ever had, and the burger had such a unique but satisfying flavor. And of course, Joe and Chris both loved it, which means it had the "normal-eater" stamp of approval :)

At the end of the meal, it was honestly all I could do to not order more food, I was so intrigued by the menu and seriously dying to sample everything! There is no question I'll be back....I gotta find out the secret ingredient in that sushi so I can make it and share it with all of you! ;-)

Monday, August 1, 2011

WTF Brewfest??

What a weekend!

First off, I can't even say how thankful I am that we are finally having nice weather! And its been consistent! This is what I live for...especially when I can spend my weekends on the boat, perusing farmer's markets, and experiencing all that summer in Portland has to offer!

If you are a Portlander, you know that the Oregon Brewer's Festival, lovingly dubbed "Brewfest", is the biggest (and there are quite a few) brewer's festival in Portland. Always the last weekend of July, it showcases beers from all over the Northwest, many of them made right here in town. Although I'm not a beer drinker (hello gluten!), I always go because I love the atmosphere...tons of wasted people being wild and loving life. I have a blast everytime, despite being sober in a sea of drunks.

This year however, I was pleased to hear that Brewfest would have a gluten free beer for the first time ever! Deschute's Brewery's Gluten Free Pale Ale (which I love), was among the beers being showcased. I was so excited that I'd finally be able to participate in a ritual that is so loved by Portlanders and out of towner's alike.

All my friends planned on going Saturday afternoon and staying all day, and sure enough, when Joe and I arrived, we immediately ran into people we knew. It was super packed, and everyone seemed to be having an amazing time already. We made a beeline for the Deschutes trailer, eager to try their GF concoction, only to find....nothing. The sign for Deschutes brewery had a makeshift sign up advertising some beer that was definitely not gluten free. When I inquired, I was informed that they were out. OUT. As in, nothing left. I was so disappointed. And then I was kinda angry. Here's my deal. People like me who are gluten free usually don't expect to be included in festivities involving beer. Like I said, I've had a blast in the past sober, simply because thats what I went in expecting. But when you go out of your way to advertise that you will be offering a gluten free beer, you open the doors for celiacs and gluten intolerant people to finally come where they may not have before. Once we are there, and have paid our money to get in, we don't really have any options besides that one gluten free beer, and its not like admission and tokens are refundable. So we naturally expect that what we came for will be there. So Joe and I were stuck with an extra mug and wayy too many tokens (we had leftovers even after Joe blacked out...).

I think what annoyed me most about the whole deal is that when we got to the front of the line to buy tokens, I specifically asked about the GF beer, making sure I hadn't been misinformed that it even existed and finding out where it was located. The guy assured me it existed, sold us tokens, and pointed us in the right direction. I understand that it would be overwhelming to keep up with all the beers and which ones had run out, but when you have an entire demographic that comes for one specific beer for health purposes, you'd better be on top of your ish...

I'm normally a big complainer, since I know I'm one of the most high maintenance eaters on the planet. I'm usually happy that people even consider accomadating my requests. But when you advertise something, you should really pull through on it, especially because if you don't, you are losing an entire demographic of people. I do plan on sending an email so that they don't make the same mistake next year. If you feel the same, please send an email as well, requesting not only that they serve gluten free beer, but that they bring enough! I'll be contacting the festival director, Art Larrance, at, I encourage you to do the same!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Vegan, GF Enchiladas! Just like mom used to make...kinda

Hiieee friends!
Once again, I've abandoned you for a whole week. I'm sorry! Life has been crazy with job hunting, house hunting, and most importantly, playing in the sun! I had a pretty awesome weekend; saw Katy Perry in concert with my sister, spent a LOT of time boating, participated in a pub crawl...makes it tough to get back in the swing of things when a new week starts.

The good news is, I did pick up a second job, so that lessens the job search a little, and there is a very good chance the house search could be over by the end of the week, so more time to make up some recipes for you guys! Especially cause Joe and I are getting sick of cooking the same dishes every night, so we are trying to branch out.

My mom used to make these KILLER homemade enchiladas that were basically corn, wheat and dairy all mixed together and cooked...needless to say I haven't had those in a while. But I'd been craving that recipe and I knew I could probably figure out a way to make them, so I attempted it last night. I used soy curls instead of chicken, because we tried soy curls at Blossoming Lotus that were marinated in enchilada sauce they tasted just like chicken, no joke. It got the Joe Kemp (aka non-gluten free and non-vegan) seal of approval, so I figured it was worth sharing!

Mom's Enchiladas (Vegan, GF, corn free)
Serves 2-3

1-2 cans enchilada sauce (if you are avoiding tomatoes, use a tomatillo one like I did...its the green one)
6 small GF tortillas (we used French Meadow but they do have a trace amount of corn, you can also use Food for Life and tear them in half or just make super-sized enchiladas haha)
~1/2 c. Wayfare Mexi Cheddar Style Spread (if you can't get this, I'm assuming any vegan cheese spread will do)
1/2 c. Daiya pepperjack shreds
1 1/2 c. soy curls

Heat about 3/4 of the enchilada sauce over medium high heat until warm. Stir in soy curls and remove from heat, letting them sit at least 20 minutes if possible (they will soften up more in the oven, but the longer you can marinate them the better). Take each tortilla and spread about a tablespoon of chedder spread in the middle. Top with soy curls and daiya cheese, roll up, and place in a square baking dish. Use a toothpick to hold them together if needed. Cover with remaining enchilada sauce (the more you use the softer they'll be) and sprinkle more Daiya over the top. Cook in oven at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

They aren't a perfect replica of my mom's enchiladas (they were packed FULL of cheese), but they'll definitely do in a vegan pinch! I'm just happy I can make enchiladas again! I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Have a wonderful week, and if you live in the Portland area, make sure to check out the Oregon Brewers Festival this weekend....they are FINALLY serving a gluten free beer!