Trilogy Sanctuary Shines

unnamed3La Jolla can be proud of another jewel on the scene. Trilogy Sanctuary labels itself a healing arts center and a fully organic vegetarian cafe and juice bar. This business is one step ahead of many herbivorous places on the health consciousness scale by offering only soy- and gluten-free dining.

They also have yoga and aerial yoga which can be spotted on the rooftop terrace with ocean views! As part of a holistic approach “nourishing mind, body and spirit,” Trilogy Sanctuary even offers spiritual counseling!

unnaThe portobello tacos were quite tasty. I devoured my coconut milk ice cream with strawberries and cookie crumbles and was tempted by the wonderful-sounding smoothies. Get on down to Trilogy Sanctuary, and visit the Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy downstairs for some lovely healthy snacks, candles, or maybe a kombucha.

 

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May 1st, 2015 by veglady | No Comments »

Let’s Educate Ourselves for Earth Day

NurtureNature370Drought and climate change are upon us. Let’s educate ourselves about pressing environmental issues as Earth Day approaches! April 19 marks the 25th anniversary of San Diego EarthWorks’ EarthFair – the biggest annual environmental festival and Earth Day in the world! With approximately 60,000 attendees, it’s not an event to miss. If you can’t handle the parking hassles at Balboa Park, arrive before 11 am or take advantage of the free shuttles, bike or public transit options.

Be there if you enjoy healthy food, free bands, organic T-shirts, alternative energy cars and hundreds of informative booths. This is definitely a child-friendly event too, with face painting, games, a garden program and even a children’s parade.

Click here for more information. You can also pick up the San Diego Earth Times newsletter around town (or download here).

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April 7th, 2015 by veglady | No Comments »

Healing Scents

essential_oilsWhile I heard that essential oils are only used by two percent of the U.S. population, the fragrant plant oils have long been utilized for their healing properties in various forms worldwide. The plant products can be used topically, internally, or aromatically (such as in a diffuser or spray).

Have you ever taken a whiff of lovely lavender (pictured – photo by Olga Miltsova/Shutterstock)? The purple plant is known for relaxation and sending one into a soft slumber. Simply place a few drops of essential oil on the skin! The scent also aids depression, anxiety, headaches and sprains. To relieve blood pressure, use some lavender essential oil in a diffuser, or apply to the feet. Lavender also helps with sunburn, insect bites, and rashes.

Another essential oil to write home about is peppermint. You may associate it with toothpaste, but it offers much more than breath freshener. Peppermint soothes headaches, nausea, stress, nasal congestion, bronchitis, hot flashes . . .and the list goes on.

It seems essential oils offers viable alternatives to the more traditional medicines we take liberally for pain, illnesses and emotional difficulties. Chemical-free, essential oils can also be used for cleaning the home! They can be ordered online, via distributors, or found in natural food stores; quality varies. For general information, see the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy.

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March 16th, 2015 by veglady | No Comments »

Veggie News in San Diego

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Cheery Sol Cal Cafe

Happily, San Diego’s restaurants are becoming more veggie-friendly, and people are excitedly checking out new options for plant-based dining. Check out the very active and helpful San Diego Vegans group on Facebook for more updates!

In downtown San Diego, try the newish Sol Cal Cafe for organic and fresh foods and juices. The Raw Pesto Kelp Noodle Pasta was definitely tasty, and my friends enjoyed the enormous Loaded Baked Sweet Potato! Trilogy Sanctuary in La Jolla is another new kid on the block I have yet to try. I finally made it to the cozy spot with yummy vegan and gluten-free pizza:  Red House Pizza in University Heights. Nearby, Plumeria Vegetarian Restaurant has expanded their space and it’s hard to stay away from the amazing Satay (grilled skewers with mock chicken and peanut sauce).

Cafe Gratitude, an organic, vegan favorite in LA, San Francisco and other areas will open a location soon in Little Italy, and Ocean Beach People’s Organic Food Market plans to build a veggie restaurant and juice bar when they expand.

Last but not least, San Diego Veg Festival is back for the third year, sharing speakers and exhibitors and offering health-conscious items for sale. Check it out on April 5 in Point Loma.

Please leave a comment if you know of any other San Diego news for the veggie crowd.

 

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February 20th, 2015 by veglady | No Comments »

Marveling at Mexico City, San Miguel de Allende, and Guanajuato

Adaptation of article written for VegDining.com

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Pyramids of Mexico City

Venturing through Mexico is definitely doable, though it takes research and resourcefulness, especially as a vegan. Efforts are needed to avoid lard, chicken stock, and other animal ingredients while also dodging stomach issues that may arise from local unbottled water or produce that has not been cooked or disinfected. Speaking Spanish helps with asking wait staff questions, though there are no guarantees.

In enormous Mexico City, I was mainly fueled by beans, avocados, and steamed vegetables. In charming Coyoacan, the area in which Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera lived, I had a tasty grilled vegetable meal at Anselma Parilla Mexicana, with a broad view of the surrounding plaza and fountain. We soaked up other sights too, walking down Avenida Madero in the historic center and climbing the incredible ancient Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacán, said to be the third largest pyramid in the world.

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Guanajuato Views

We were captivated by the colonial towns San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato, which offered some decent vegan options. From Mexico City, San Miguel de Allende was about three hours by bus, and worth the ride for its gorgeous scenery filled with churches, plazas, and a European feel. Via Organica at Calle Margarito Ledezma 2 was our mainstay, a peaceful environment with many expatriate clients, an organic garden, a natural foods store, and a pretty upstairs patio. I enjoyed their tamales, soup, salads, and green juices. La Media Naranja at Hidalgo 83 is a small and bright spot that prepares a yummy “Mexican Eggs without Eggs” breakfast of spinach, beans, potatoes and pico de gallo, and nutritious juices with ingredients like beet, ginger, and celery. They serve falafel for lunch too. Nectar, at Correo #43, which had fish but was otherwise a vegetarian spot, was a refreshing change with a more gourmet touch. In a relaxing outdoor patio, we could choose quinoa, teff, and millet cereals with almond milk, a vegan meatball sandwich, or zucchini soup infused with lemongrass tea, among other unique vegan and gluten-free options.

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Mandala

Guanajuato was about a four hour bus ride from Mexico City. I was completely enticed by the steep alleys filled with colorful buildings and tranquil vibe. There were tours of mines, and creepy museums filled with mummies and torture devices used by the Holy Inquisition. Habibti Falafel at Sostenes Rocha 18 was a small funky restaurant that became a favorite, dishing up delicious falafel, hummus, grape leaves, and salads. Mandala, 32B Calle Sangre de Cristo, served flavorful Indian food in a cheery environment. They also had vegan brownies! Midi Bistro, in South of France style at Calle San Jose #4, had an appealing minestrone soup and couscous along with live music and art.

For more nutritionally-balanced trips, I suggest staying somewhere with a kitchen that enables you to prepare your own meals, and remembering that the joys of travel outweigh the lack of culinary variety.

Photos by Paige Newman, 2014

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January 15th, 2015 by veglady | No Comments »

The Yucatan Peninsula: Caribbean and Colonial Charm

By Paige Newman, written for VegDining.com

Merida

Merida

A week in Mexico’s delightful Yucatan Peninsula ended all too soon. I loved the clear Caribbean Sea and the small beach towns, and we lucked out with finding restaurants with healthy options.

Merida was our first cherished locale – a gorgeous, tranquil colonial city. The walkable plazas were vibrant with that Latin American essence, and amazing old trees. Vendors’ tables showed off attractive handmade blouses and jewelry, and pastry carts rolled by while musicians chimed in and couples chatted in silly swivel chairs. At first, finding veggie food in the heart of the city seemed hard. I resorted to one of my old travel tricks: scouting the local store for a can of refried beans and corn chips. Then the curtains parted when we discovered Amaro Vegetariano y Internacional on Calle 59. The herbivore-friendly menu, romantic colonial courtyard setting with live music, great guacamole, and veggie fajitas captured my heart. Amaro instantly became one of our favorite restaurants, ever.

El Vegetariano, Tulum

El Vegetariano, Tulum

We left Merida in a long-distance bus, an adventurous way to explore if you can ignore the ubiquitous televisions blaring with violent North American movies. We skipped the extreme tourist spots like Cancun and boarded a bus for about three hours to Tulum, our first stop along the Caribbean Sea. Don’t miss this land of ancient Mayan ruins on a cliff above the bright blue ocean. The beaches were stunning but packed. Back in the town of Tulum, we kept returning to La Hoja Verde. It’s a small and friendly place to grab a falafel, soy burger, or green smoothie, and it was conveniently close to the ADO bus station on Avenida Tulum, the main drag.  They sell t-shirts, vegan meats, and other household items. On the same highway but not as centrally located, El Vegetariano also offers falafel, salads, other vegan and vegetarian entrees, and fresh juices. You can watch the meals being lovingly prepared in the open-air kitchen.

Akumal

Akumal

Next we went off the beaten track to Akumal, a roughly 20-minute taxi ride from Tulum. We had an extremely windy stay with the ocean too rocky for swimming, but the Yal-Ku Lagoon was a refreshing spot to dunk into cool waters and view garden sculptures. Admittedly I didn’t do much research, and found no memorable veggie fare in a short visit.

Another beloved beach area was Puerto Morelos, a small town about an hour from Tulum. We liked the relaxing vibe and calm, turquoise waters so much we gave up braving the famous Chichen Itza ruins for a few more coastal days! El Nicho Restaurante on Avenida Tulum and Rojo Gomez had a delicious breakfast called “Vegan al Gusto,” containing beans, potatoes, toast, local greens known as chaya, and an oven-roasted tomato. La Terraza also on Rojo Gomez had fun art and serves wonderful salads, Indian soups and other veggie dishes.

Since meatless options are more limited in certain areas, I suggest doing research before venturing out, as with any international trip. It’s absolutely worth the efforts to experience the wonders of the Yucatan!

Puerto Morelos

Puerto Morelos

Another beloved beach area was Puerto Morelos, a small town about an hour from Tulum. We liked the relaxing vibe and calm, turquoise waters so much we gave up braving the famous Chichen Itza ruins for a few more coastal days! El Nicho Restaurante on Avenida Tulum and Rojo Gomez had a delicious breakfast called “Vegan al Gusto,” containing beans, potatoes, toast, local greens known as chaya, and an oven-roasted tomato. La Terraza also on Rojo Gomez had fun art and serves wonderful salads, Indian soups and other veggie dishes.

Since meatless options are more limited in certain areas, I suggest doing research before venturing out, as with any international trip. It’s absolutely worth the efforts to experience the wonders of the Yucatan!

-   Photos by Paige Newman, 2014

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November 13th, 2014 by veglady | No Comments »

Following the Breeze

1916924_1189517811044_7613825_nThis post is in honor of our dear family friend Deborah Shemesh, the beautiful blond in this 2009 photo with her son Adam and I. Deborah passed away a few days ago after 34 years of warding off cancer. She’d hit the big 60 year milestone, was thrilled to have become a Chopra Center Certified instructor in recent years, and watched her son Adam turn into a wonderful man. She wrote this article in late September and had started signing emails “dying gracefully.”

She emailed me “life is such a magical mystery,” and suggested I keep following the breeze rather than go against the wind. I am so grateful to have known her and that she may now rest without so much pain.

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October 28th, 2014 by veglady | No Comments »

Blogger’s Break

Life is full and I am on an indefinite break from blogging . . . may you enjoy the sunrises and sunsets.

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May 24th, 2014 by veglady | No Comments »

Always Adventuring

nativefoodsThe first piece of exciting news in the San Diego region is that the beloved veggie heaven aka Native Foods is opening in Point Loma on April 29. I went to a delicious pre-opening event and was stuffed with tortilla soup and salad, while eyeing the amazing nachos and sandwiches others were eating.

I read that veggie-friendly Swami’s has taken over the beautiful North Park space that housed Casa de Luz. Sounds fun to fill up on pancakes, soy turkey and other items for breakfast.

Exploring nearby Tijuana is a fun way to get some culture and try new foods too. The indoor-outdoor Mercado Hidalgo has everything from a naturopathic-type store with herbs and incense to spilling-over containers of Peruvian beans unnamed(pictured) and chia seeds. There were long lines for freshly-cracked coconuts, and tables decorated with enormous jackfruits, mangos with chili powder.  And don’t miss the live concert with romantic ballads in blaring volume.

 

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April 27th, 2014 by veglady | No Comments »

Yummy Yucatan

YucatanMarch2014 037A week in the wonderful Yucatan ended all too soon. I loved the clear Caribbean sea, the small beach towns, and hearing Spanish spoken everywhere. We also lucked out with great hotels and natural foods finds. As always, I looked to Happy Cow for some veggie options.

Merida was a favorite trip spot – a gorgeous, tranquil colonial city. At first finding veggie food in the heart of the city seemed hard, but then we came upon Amaro Vegetariano y Internacional and drooled over the beautiful setting, great guacamole, veggie fajitas, and live music.

When in Tulum: La Hoja Verde was a small and friendly place to grab a falafel, soy burger, or green smoothie, and was conveniently close to the ADO bus station on Avenida Tulum, the main drag.  On the same street but not as centrally located, El Vegetariano (upper photo) is an open-air restaurant also offering falafel and other vegan and vegetarian meals.

Another beloved beach area was Puerto Morelos. El Nicho Restaurante on Avenida Tulum had a delicious vYucatanMarch2014 087egan breakfast, pictured.  La Terraza serves wonderful salads, Indian soups and other veggie dishes (sorry, I don’t have the address, but it’s a tiny town so have no fear as to locating places).

Viva el Yucatan!

 

 

 

 

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April 9th, 2014 by veglady | No Comments »