blog, Raw Food Adventures, Restaurant Review

2012 Here We Come

durian_smoothie_better_life_LA

The beginning of 2012 is only days away. Are you ready? Do you have your RAW 2012 Calendar? It’s loaded with 13 raw recipes from me.

It’s likely that 2012 will be the most over-hyped year I will see in my lifetime, second only to the uneventful year 2000 and all the Y2K foolishness. Anyone living above ground and keeping up with headlines is well aware that things are heating up on all fronts… economic, political, social, agricultural, spiritual… if you can name it, it’s likely that it’s changing dramatically for better or for worse. We all must do our best to see the big picture regarding the changes that are occurring. In isolation, the news headlines can be a bit scary and I believe that’s the whole point, to scare the public. We need to look beyond the manufactured headlines and try to see the whole picture. I see antiquated, exploitative, unsustainable, unbalanced, unhealthy, unfair and unethical systems being dismantled. The news media isn’t going to point this out because they’re an important part of this dysfunctional system that is on the way out. So it is our responsibility as conscious and accountable individuals to read between the lines and move in the direction of positive change. If you’re reading this then what I’m saying most likely resonates with you, and life is all about resonance and the vibration of things.

One of the best ways I’ve found to raise my vibration is by my food choices. We eat food for energy and energy is vibration so the foods with the highest vibration are the best sources of energy. These foods are fresh, naturally grown, whole foods which include fruits, vegetables, sprouts, nuts, seeds and sea veggies. Fermented foods like miso, kombucha, sauerkraut and kimchi are also high in vibration.

Things to avoid are low vibration foods or foods with dissonant vibrations. These foods stress the body and create imbalances that eventually lead to disease. To be avoided are flesh foods (meat, fish, eggs), dairy, fried foods, processed foods, white sugar, white flour, corn syrup, hydrogenated fats, synthetic drugs, alcohol, tobacco, coffee, soft drinks and anything made with genetically modified ingredients. I like to say, “if you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it.” Stress is a dissonant frequency that should be avoided as well. This is often easier said than done being that almost anything can be a potential stressor. Just remember to breath and be grateful. We are truly blessed. Thoughts and intention have been shown to have an effect on the vibration of things. With this in mind think positively and bless your food and drink with intention when ever possible.

Speaking of being blessed, I recently toured Los Angeles, California and visited an array of raw food restaurants. Here’s a rundown of some of the spots I visited:

Cru_raw_vegan_LA_cafeCru

1521 Griffith Park Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026 / tel: (323) 667-1551

Silverlake is a hip section of LA which is home to Cru, a raw vegan cafe featuring some fine raw cuisine.The decor inside Cru is minimal and sparse but the food is full of flavor and color. I dined that evening with my friend Robyn who was nursing a broken jaw. She ordered a fresh green juice while I enjoyed a young Thai coconut and ordered the evening special – Jicama Raviolis. The presentation was divine, price was right and the portion ample. Oh yeah and it delicious as well.

Cru_slivelake_LA_raw_ravioli

I followed up the entree with a slice of blueberry/strawberry pie which was great… not a religious experience like pie at Cafe Gratitude, but good. In keeping with the minimal decor, the slice was decorated with a strawberry fraiche.  I’m not one to pass on dessert and I didn’t pass on this one, plate was licked clean.

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Nice Slice

Better Life Cuisine

717 Broadway Ave. Santa Monica, Ca 90401 / Tel: 310-458-7620

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Gigantoid Burrito

Better Life Cuisine is home of the “big a$$ burrito”. Enter with an appetite and leave satisfied and with a “to go” container. I enjoyed not only the fried bean burrito but also a durian smoothie, cinnamon bun and kale chips. Everything was fresh, tasty and well priced. The only challenge was finding the place. We had blindly followed the directions from the GPS which had us driving in circles in Venice. Fortunately we didn’t give up on our quest. Check out my video review below and remember to Keep It Live!

blog, How To, Raw Food Adventures, Recipe

Raw Spirit and San Diego Fun

We got noodles and kraut

The Live Food Experience is on the road again. This time I went to Raw Spirit Festival in Prescott, AZ and now I’m in San Diego to see family, friends, surf and teach a class. At Raw Spirit Fest I teamed up with my friend Savrah of “Savrakraut” and we were vendors. Our booth featured kelp noodles with a hemp miso sauce and 6 different kinds of sauerkraut. Savrah is a good friend from back in Tree of Life days. Currently she lives in LA where she makes her hand-crafted fermented veggies. The flavors we featured at the fest were classic, kimchi, lemon garlic dill, fennel, garlic pickled veggies and goji Chinese 5 spice. During the festival I also taught a food prep demo. The fest was a good time but unfortunately attendance was pretty low. It almost seemed like staff, vendors and volunteers out numbered guests. In the end I was able to make my money back from the fest but it is unlikely that I’ll be a vendor in the future.

Friday Night Demo

Why the low attendance? For one thing Raw Spirit Fest is a niche event so many mainstream people just can’t bring themselves to attend. Another reason may be that this years line up of speakers and presenters was pretty bland. On top of all that the biggest name at the event Viktoras Kulvinskas canceled due to a “family emergency”. Oh yeah, and the Longevity Conference with David Wolfe was the exact same weekend. You add all of these factors together and you have quite a challenge on your hands. No regrets though. I really enjoyed myself and made some new friends, like Bud from the Arizona health department who resembled a cross between Matt Damon and Ron Howard. He paid us quite a compliment in trying our food… which he enjoyed. Most everyone enjoyed Savrah’s kraut and the kelp noodles. We actually sold out of noodles on the last day.

After the fest I headed to San Diego where we arrived at 2am. A slight hiccup in plans had me back in LA the next day and evening. While there I was able to catch up with an old friend (Hara) who I had met in Chicago years ago. She’s an actor, writer and director who has been slugging it out in the LA trenches for the past 10 years. We spent the evening catching up and the next morning I caught a ride back to San Diego with a rideshare that was listed on Craigslist.

Bud from AZ Health Dept.

Once back in San Diego at my friend Robyn’s place I was able to relax. I threw together a kale spinach salad dinner with Robyn and her roomie and that evening I dreamed of West Coast surf… The next morning after an early morning green juice, my dreams came true. I headed down to Swami’s in Encinitas and surfed Robyn’s 10 foot long board. I’ve never paddled a board this big but it treated me just fine. Next up, more surf and a raw food demo on Saturday for the San Diego County Raw Foods Meetup group.

Here’s the recipe for the delicious hemp miso sauce that was on the kelp noodles we served:

  • 1/2 C hemp seeds
  • 2 T miso – unpasteurized
  • 1 orange, peeled
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 t fresh ginger
  • salt to taste

Blend all the ingredients smooth. Add water if too thick.

More to come… Keep it Live!