I had the pleasure of meeting the very talented and sweet award-winning Amy Loch - Vegan Pastry Chef at the vegan potluck a few weekends back. I’ve known her delicious looking instagram pics for a while but her contribution to the potluck were scrumptious Sriracha cakes in mini mason jars, how cute and smart! Finally, my first hand experience of her culinary skills.
Amy has started a crowd funding project called Giraffe Munchies.
A summary from Amy herself: The goal of Giraffe Munchies is simple - to make freshly prepared vegan baked goods accessible to all! There is a remarkable amount of bakery trucks in the area, however, there is a severe lack of vegan baked goods available at these trucks. Imagine being out with non-veg friends, searching for a snack on the go but leaving empty-handed. I want to put an end to that!
Giraffe Munchies’ baked goodies are all VEGAN, free of dairy, eggs, animal products, palm oil, cholesterol, and trans fat. The vegan butter, shortening, sprinkles, and fondant are all HOMEMADE to ensure top quality.
Goods are baked fresh daily and in small batches.
Opening Menu includes, but is not limited to the following:
-Eat Your Veggies (Giraffe Munchies’ Signature Flavor) - gluten free brussel sprout, carrot, curry cupcake, cream cheese frosting, maple curry walnut reduction (* This was a Cupcake Wars winning cupcake!)
-Wakey Wakey - maple tempeh bacon cupcake, maple frosting, tempeh bacon topping
-Lemon Lavender Bundt Cake
-Strawberry Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with Shortbread Cookie Crust
-A variety of cookies, including chocolate chip & pink sea salt, buttery roasted macadamia, jumbo linzer tarts, and more!
-Caramel Apple Pie Pizza
-Doughnuts of all varieties
-Other specialty baked goods
Let’s help her out and make a pledge because that menu is lookin’ mighty tasty.
This cute prohibition era looking spot on Sunset Blvd is a breath of fresh air…except for not having the most vegan-friendly menu. With a little mix and matching you can make it work and have a tasty meal (sans any desserts).
For Sunday brunch I was outnumbered by a group of non-vegan girls wanting to try a new spot. Fine with me. It happens quite often and I’m very capable of making due. You won’t normally get exactly what you want and you may have to pay more but the truth of the matter is, you can be vegan pretty much anywhere. You can stick to your diet, your lifestyle, your beliefs and still hang with your girlfriends without causing a fuss.
To add insult to injury I’m not the biggest drinker…but this Sunday after taking a tough yoga class AND also teaching my first practice yoga class to my girlfriends, I decided I would indulge in a little of the bubbly with them.
Say hello to the Mimosa Platter!
After being able to try LVX from a VeganCuts Beauty box I purchased over winter, I came to appreciate the company not only for its huge selection of gorgeous colors but also for what they stood for as a brand.
LVX is a vegan, cruelty-free, luxury fashion line. They don’t compromise on where they set their high standards including adopting a 5 free model. They are free of Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, DBP, Toluene and Camphor—the most common and harshest chemicals found in nail polish.
I noticed when I tried my first color back in winter, that LVX was more chip resistant and longer lasting then other popular brands on the market like; Essie and OPI. I was pretty shocked. It made me wonder why brands like Essie and OPI resort to such severe chemicals, but as it goes, it’s big business and to dissect that can leave you feeling nauseous.
Lately, I have been very thankful for party throwers who are extending the extra effort in accommodating the array of special dietary needs of their guests. By saying this, it doesn’t mean I am not thankful for all the other events I go to but just recognizing the extra effort some are putting in to make everyone feel included. I know it’s not possible to make everyone happy but it is a safe bet that most guests may not enjoy a personal preference of a heavily doused ranch dressing over a gorgeous salad. This is why at most parties you either see; an undressed salad with a multitude of salad dressing options to choose from or a lightly dressed salad or both—an undressed salad and a heavily doused salad. Recently, I attended a small outdoor ol’ school movie party at a personal residence. I will try not to bore you too much as I relive witnessing the gorgeous view from the patio, but as the house lay quaintly on top a hill overlooking the twinkling valley with the backdrop of rolling San Fernando hills, I couldn’t help but feel grateful for my surroundings.
The host (vegan) and the hostess (non-vegan) had prepared food to accommodate both diets (lifestyles)! Oh how progressive and wonderful!
They thoughtfully posted little cards to designate what was vegan and what was not.
From a hot tip my friends over at Nary Dairy gave me, I ventured to M Street Coffee, a new neighborhood coffee shop over the weekend. Nestled on a corner in the suburbs of Sherman Oaks, this coffee shop has a slight resemblance to the cozy charm of a San Francisco coffee shop but placed in an LA setting. San Francisco coffee shops with the dark wood, the bohemian vibe and the organic fare, were a place I felt at home. They were the quintessential art students dream place to feel inspired and to be left alone. This shop has taken a little bit of that charm and then elevated it, adding in a modern LA twist. It’s simple, quaint and thankfully not another Starbucks.
For me, the biggest bonus is the simple goodies they provide. There isn’t a laundry list of treats or eats but what they do provide is plenty enough for my wandering eye.
"Cut me before you cut my trees"
If you think one person can’t make a difference, there is at least one man who can single-handedly prove you wrong.
Jadev Payeng "The Forest Man", has planted 1,360 acres (larger than Central Park) since 1970 and the momentum he has constructed hasn’t stopped since then. The forest that he has built, including live animals such as; tigers, elephants, deer’s and rhinos, is on a sandbar in the middle of the world’s largest river located in North East India.
This extraordinary piece of land could be gone in the next 15-20 years due to soil erosion. With this, Jadev still continues to exert the effort to make the “shift”. He believes he can save his land and I believe, with effort, we can work to save ours.
He is but one man and the world is a big place, but with more individuals like this, we can create the “shift” right along with him.
The beauty this man poses brought tears to my eyes. Watch the video and be as inspired as I was.
It’s only 16 min long but the takeaway will last much much longer.
Hey Coconut Water drinkers, this is an important read!
Not all coconut waters are created equal especially when some of them are produced by Pepsi and Coca Cola. Most on the market are said to be 100% coconut water when if fact they are created from concentrated syrup.
Foodbabe has put together an extensive article breaking down some important facts and finds that I think all consumers should read.
Let’s stay informed and pass it on.
Plantfusion Protein Powder + GIVEAWAY!
I consider myself to be quite an athletic person. I did have the goal this year of finally participating in Tough Mudder and I did! Someday I would like to push myself even further and possibly aim for a triathlon, but at the moment I’m still basking in my post-Mudder experience.
Being vegan, the inference I get the most is that I do not get enough protein. There are a lot of reasons why non-vegans think we don’t get enough protein but the truth is we do.
Gracias Madre Brunch
I saw Gracias Madre had added a brunch menu with some new tasty brunchy items. You know what that meant right? I had to go check it out!
On this gorgeous summer Sunday, a cute couples brunch took place. A very relaxed vibe welcomed us as we took our seats.
At the table, I was the only one who has ventured to this Gracias Madre before, but I was a first timer when it came to the brunch menu. The menu had a nice mix of new starters, entrees and fun brunch type drinks.
Veggie Filled Salad with a side of Skinny Crisps Crackers
Well I finally opened my favorite Skinny Crisps, Plain Jane. I can’t preserve this bag forever and there is no better time then the present to enjoy these scrumptious crackers.
Tonight, I paired the Plain Jane’s with a tasty veggie filled salad made up of tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, romaine lettuce, spinach and jicima. I then topped it with nooch (nutritional yeast), avocado, Himalayan sea salt and Coconut Aminos. Mmm mmm good!
Try and take a minute to enjoy the simple things in life, as natural produce and products are our foundation to sustaining a healthy mind and body.