Grateful and Healthy

1450968_421835091277145_1270584050_nIt’s the time of year for spending chilly days with loved ones and focusing on gratitude. As Oprah says, being grateful is by far the most powerful thing you can do to change your life. I keep a daily gratitude journal, noting even the small things like a colorful candle on my table or a nice compliment received. What are you grateful for?

During Thanksgiving and other holidays, it can be easy to over-indulge in all the chocolate, candy canes, and other sweets being thrown our way.  It’s important to enjoy life, but also wise to maintain a foundation of health as we are vulnerable to winter colds and flus.  Cups of ginger tea keep us warm and well; likewise, chefs worldwide are always inspiring us to eat with nutrition in mind.

This article from Vegan Mainstream features a new e-book, Twelve Terrific Thanksgiving Recipes by Stephanie Weaver, filled with some veggie-friendly and gluten-free ideas for late November feasts. Enjoy!





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November 27th, 2013 by veglady | No Comments »

Support Refugee Causes, Especially at Holidays

jalI had the pleasure of seeing Emmanuel Jal (pictured) speak and perform last weekend. A refugee from Sudan, he tells powerful stories of growing up in a war zone and refugee camp, losing relatives, and suffering from starvation. He motivated the crowd to make a difference through local youth programs and activism.

International Rescue Committee (IRC) is a well-known humanitarian nonprofit organization supporting refugees around the world. Sunny San Diego is a main hub for refugees, and we are lucky to have an active branch of IRC.

IRC is having a Peace on Earth Holiday Bazaar on Dec. 7. from 10 am- 2 pm.  Another  wonderful way to support some of these refugees who start their own businesses once they come to the U.S. is to purchase their veggies, fruits, crafts and other products at the City Heights Farmers’ Market on Saturdays from 9 am- 1 pm at Fairmount Ave. and Wightman Street in City Heights.


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November 16th, 2013 by veglady | No Comments »

Special Weekend for San Diego Veggie-Lovers

orblogoIt’s an exciting time in San Diego for herbivores and their friends.

For years, many other cities have had vegetarian festivals; it is wonderful to see San Diego catching up with the trend. This weekend is the second annual San Diego Veg Festival in North Park along Herman Ave between University Ave. and North Park Way. The main event is Saturday, Nov. 9 from 10 am –  5 pm but there is also a Sunday brunch at Casa de Luz from 10 am – 2 pm. Saturday’s gathering will have speakers, food demos and samples, an eco-friendly fashion show, and even features as specific as making your own dog biscuits and vegan cheese making!

Also, Moncai Vegan is opening a restaurant any day in North Park and fans are eagerly awaiting.  Their spot will be 3131 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104. Their brunches at San Diego Public Market and food at other farmer’s markets receive raves.

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November 6th, 2013 by veglady | No Comments »

Bad Ass Power Cookies Spice Up Life

badassInspiring people in the worlds of fitness and healthy eating for years, John Lewis aka Bad Ass Vegan has done it again. Now this motivational man offers us a nutrition-conscious cookie. Read more of his personal health transformation story here.

Like many health nuts, John would love how he felt eating spirulina, the green superfood powder full of minerals and protein. However, he was not alone in finding the taste of spirulina unpleasant. He creatively threw some into his oatmeal raisin cookie dough, and the Bad Ass Power Cookie was born.

Vegan cookies sometimes turn out hard or have strange flavors, but these are soft and tasty, as well as being organic. The cookies are not gluten-free, but use spelt and oats as well as healthy pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. As John develops his brand, he is looking into additional cookie flavors and other products. For now, the Bad Ass Power Cookies are sold online individually or in packs. They would make great holiday gifts!

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October 27th, 2013 by veglady | No Comments »

Chocolate for a Cause

rc_jess_Peanut_Butter_1_1024x1024Rescue Chocolate is not only organic, vegan, fair-traded and certified kosher — all the things conscious shoppers want in their treats — but it’s delicious and the company gives 100% of the net profits to animal rescue groups around the U.S.! Each flavor represents a different rescue issue, and the chocolate bar names are creative: Fosteriffic Peppermint, educating people about the need for pet foster homes, and Mission Feral Fig, highlighting that feral cats need a humane solution, for example.

Within the eco-friendly packaging you’ll find some crafty snacks. The Mission Feral Fig bar has big beautifully visible pieces of almonds and dried figs. Since I haven’t been eating chocolate much lately, I definitely got a little buzz off the 66% dark chocolate. Rescue Chocolate can cater baby showers, weddings or other events. To see if the bars and other products are available in your city or to shop for the chocolate online, click here.rc_jess_plain_11_1024x1024

Sarah Gross, the founder of Rescue Chocolate, is also actively planning events such as the New York City Vegetarian Food Festival to be held March 1-2 of 2014. Last year over 6,000 people attended and they hope for an even larger turnout this time in the city that doesn’t sleep.


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October 12th, 2013 by veglady | No Comments »

The Power of Enough – Alchemy of Presence

shapeimage_2I wanted to share an article written by my lovely friend Parminder Randhawa. She is a Certified Usui/Tibetan Reiki Master who also leads women’s healing circles, dance events, and personal growth workshops.  

For more info on Alchemy of Presence, contact Parminder at (858) 444-7993 or email

In an age constantly pushing us towards more, I am beginning to think that any hope for lasting peace and happiness will only come once we––individually and collectively––learn to live by the principle of enough. In so many different ways, I find myself easily and repeatedly getting sucked in by the allure of the “more is better” mantra. This is the principle our whole economic system seems to function on––a  constant striving for more profit, more growth, more productivity. It’s the principle our advertising and media industries teach us––spend more, have more, consume more. It’s also the principle many of our social structures and institutions inculcate in us––study more, achieve more, be more, do more.

This constant push for more is a recipe for disaster, both personally and socially. On an individual level, it promotes a constant dissatisfaction with our lives and sets up unhealthy comparisons and expectations that leave us feeling more alone and discontented. Socially, it has led to the destruction of natural resources and many other forms of life. What’s even more dangerous is that the push for more is accompanied by a belief in the scarcity model, which teaches that there is not enough to go around for everyone. This sets up unhealthy competition between individuals and societies as we all try to make it in a world that has become full of uncertainty, insecurity, and fear. No wonder so many experience anxiety and depression!

Read more…

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October 3rd, 2013 by veglady | No Comments »

Snacking on Superfoods

coconutIt’s been fun experimenting with new organic superfoods lately, with Navitas Naturals serving as one of the main companies I purchase from.  Tart goldenberries from South America supply Vitamin A, fiber and protein. Even tastier for snacks and smoothies are goji berries, full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant-rich mulberries.

Coconut fans will love some of Navitas Naturals products. Low-glycemic coconut sugar has healthy minerals, and works great for baking. This chocolate chia pudding uses both the coconut sugar and chocolate coconut water powder. The latter powder consists of the juices from inside a young coconut which have been freeze-dried, providing electrolytes for people working out or on the go, and can also be used for smoothies.

Read more…

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September 21st, 2013 by veglady | No Comments »

Power to the Young Ladies

IMG_0397So many people in San Diego are doing vital work to help the community. Among that crowd you’ll find 100 Strong San Diego members Jacqueline Penhos and Olivia Dixon mentoring young women. The two ladies hosted the Women Empowerment and Career Enhancement 1st Annual Fundraiser on Sept. 7 at World Beat Center.  Speakers included Dr. Shirley Weber, the first African-American female assembly member; Dr. Suzanne Affalo, MD from Kaiser Permanente, an advocate for minority and underserved communities; and others. Several vendors were selling jewelry, hats, cosmetics, and other fun items, and nonprofits were available to offer youth confidential HIV testing, breast cancer and domestic violence education, immigration services, and more.

Jacqueline and Olivia are holding a Rites of Passage Program for young women ages 10-18 from March through June of 2014. They will have workshops, field trips, cultural understanding through art, and volunteering opportunities. Girls will learn about adult living, finances, preparing for college, and much more. For more info, contact Olivia at 619-501-6985 or Jacqueline at 619-200-2708.

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September 8th, 2013 by veglady | No Comments »

Lending a Helping Hand

5288_1189517811044_7613825_nTwo of my friends don’t know each other but are both amazing artists and meditation/yoga teachers. They devote their lives to helping others and are in need of receiving at this time.

Deborah Shemesh (pictured with me and her son, Adam) is an inspirational woman that has been fighting off cancer for more than the 20 years my family has known her. She is a Chopra Center teacher living in Northern California, and mother to a son in San Diego. She recently had hip surgery, and next month is facing another expensive surgery for adenocarcinoma. To learn more — or if you are able to donate even a few dollars — please click here.

Lotus Love, about half Deborah’s age but full of wisdom, is a San Diego healer offering yoga, reiki, meditation and more, and she and her partner Andre are awesome artists. They recently incurred not only the sudden death of their sweet cat but steep unexpected vet bills and came up with a creative way of exchanging their healing and artistic services for donations. See this video for details.

Give and receive!






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August 26th, 2013 by veglady | No Comments »

Forward Thinking: It’s Time for Sliding Scale Animal Clinics

Sara Vaz, one of my dear friends, is the CEO of Clifford Animal Foundation, a new Oceanside non-profit which provides veterinary services to low-income clients through 30 to 50 percent discounts, based on need!

Check out this article on Clifford Animal Foundation written by Lisa Lipsey in Rage Magazine San Diego Edition -see page 65.


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August 15th, 2013 by veglady | No Comments »