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 »

Cool Your Fire with Ayurveda

This article was written by the lovely Jenna Sullivan, a San Diego yoga teacher and nutritional consultant.

jennaAyurveda, which literally means “The Science of Life,” is an ancient system of natural healing that originated from the Vedic system of India several thousand years ago. Ayurveda focuses on being in harmony with natural cycles (including days and seasons) and views health as balance between our bodies, minds, spirits, and environments. Using natural methods, Ayurveda focuses not only on creating, but also maintaining optimal health and well-being in each person. Ayurveda sees the creation of health and/or disease as the result of how we interact with the world in regards to our thoughts, conditioning, feelings, beliefs, and perceptions, which eventually determine our actions.  Simply put, Ayurveda believes that when we are in harmony with our true and highest selves, we create health, and when we are out of touch with our inner nature, we create disease.

Within Ayurveda are the doshas:  three biological energies that are found in the human body and mind.  All physical, mental, and emotional processes are guided by the doshas. Each individual has some Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, but everyone has a unique proportion of these doshas.  This is called our Prakruti, which is our natural constitution at birth.  When we are in alignment with our Prakruti, radiant, glowing health ensues. When we deviate from our birth constitution, or Prakruti, we enter a state of imbalance, called Vikruti.  The doshas are dynamic energies and can change in response to our diets, our environment, our thoughts and actions, the seasons, and anything else that can be perceived.

In Ayurveda, the goal is to balance and pay special attention to the primary dosha.  Through a questionnaire, one’s primary dosha can be determined.  Summer is considered the time of Pitta. During this time of heat, it is easier for Pittas to become imbalanced and those having some Pitta within them can easily become imbalanced as well.  Eating spicy foods, drinking coffee, black tea, or alcohol, eating while angry, being overly competitive or working too much, or being around excessive sensory stimulation can all contribute to an imbalance of Pitta types.

Read more…

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August 2nd, 2013 by veglady | No Comments »

Couple Transforms Their Lives, Creates Healthy Lifestyle Business

tiffThis article was written by Tiffany Janay, one of the creators of Organic Blood, a healthy lifestyle company which has recently relocated to Atlanta.

My name is Tiffany Janay, and seven years ago my husband, Malik Zakee, and I decided to quit our jobs and never go back so that we could be full-time free people.  This decision was not for the faint of heart, AT ALL.  But if you’ve ever felt like walking out of your job and never looking back then you can relate to the story I’m going to tell you.

One day we realized that working a 9-5 provided very little time to focus on what really sparked us inside like doing music, being creative, photography, dancing, being in love, and just having fun and not having to use so much energy on “surviving.”

As a result, we had to give up everything our 9-5 jobs provided, meaning our cars got repossessed, the house went through foreclosure and eviction shortly followed, and of course we lost our cable TV package and were no longer able to buy new clothes every week. We eventually had to get on food stamps, and for seven whole years we’ve had nowhere stable to live.

Read more…

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July 21st, 2013 by veglady | No Comments »

Kauai Veggie Options Expand

"The Sombrero" at Postcards Cafe

Dinner at Postcards

I have been a lucky frequent visitor of the gorgeous garden island of Kauai, Hawaii and just returned from another tropical relaxation-fest. Eating well is always an enjoyable part of a vacation. Bragging about Postcards Cafe, which my parents own, is second nature. I truly love the food and cozy atmosphere for dinners in Hanalei. The “Sombrero,” pictured on the left, was amazing! I didn’t find much else new in that cute town. In nearby Princeville, Lotus Garden Chinese and Thai made for a good lunch outing with big portions.

A few of us went to Common Ground in Kilauea for lunch, which had a beautiful landscape of many acres and a “field to table” menu including some delicious sweet potato fries and smoothies, and a few vegan options.  The eco-friendly shop was fun for roaming.

On the island’s South Shore in Poipu, Living Foods Market was a nice spot to get some lunch fare before heading to one of the nearby beautiful beaches. The organic produce section was picture-perfect and the store offered many veggie and gourmet goods.

Kauai farmer’s markets are easy places to stock up on produce and kauai 146snacks, as are the health food stores like Papaya’s in Kapaa or Harvest Market Hanalei. If you know of any other veggie-friendly places, feel free to leave a comment.

Aloha and enjoy!

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July 14th, 2013 by veglady | No Comments »

San Diego Teacher Shines Her Light – Tara Brennan Interview

tarabThis article features Tara Brennan, a San Diego teacher and healer extraordinaire.  I have had the pleasure of receiving spiritual coaching, meditation instruction, energy work sessions, as well as amazing massages from her, all with wonderful and obvious results.  Enjoy learning about Tara’s passions.

 Please describe your spiritual coaching.  What does it entail?

Well, it evolved.  I do intuitive readings for clients and teach one-on-one classes.  The two came together in individual sessions in which I would do an intuitive reading looking at a person’s energy in present time.  I can see all the dynamics going on with them at that moment in regard to relationships, work, family, spiritual growth, creativity, vitality, etc.  I then begin teaching the client some energy mastery tools to shift the dynamics in their life to be more in line with their goals and desires, all in one session.  So my spiritual coaching is a highly tailored, one-on-one instruction in energy mastery guided by intuitive reading.

What results can someone expect out of a session or class?

They may develop a sense of themselves as more empowered and in charge of their life.  Often a client comes to me feeling aspects of their life are out of control, or feeling drained or depleted by life.  They may know something is missing and want to get more aligned with their spiritual path.  They may be seeking a breakthrough.  Perhaps they want to return to good feelings about themselves and life, more joy and freedom, or are looking for increased fulfillment in their work.

Recent testimonial from spiritual coaching client: “I’m becoming a different person.  It’s not that you helped me fix things; you helped me become a different person I didn’t know existed.  I’m more in control, I’m more at peace.”

What are the benefits of your work?

There are many benefits, including better family relationships, increased energy, and feeling more grounded and self-confident.  Students share that they are able to meditate more easily and even enjoy it now.  I’ve also seen clients/students manifest desires quicker: they’ve moved into beautiful homes, changed to better jobs, found their soulmates, and discovered new paths.  They’ve been able to get out of relationships they felt stuck in, too.  People also have reported improved sleep; that’s a big one.  One student shares her one-year journey through Energy Mastery 1, 2 & 3 (the classes I teach) and how she was able to get off antidepressant medication.  Another student shares how she was able to relieve nausea from chemotherapy treatments using Energy Mastery Tools, especially the tool of Grounding.  She believes that every cancer patient should learn Energy Mastery!  Another student/client will share his speedier recovery with a lung infection and his ability to get off oxygen much sooner than doctors projected.  He received two treatments of Reiki Energy Healing sessions with me every week for a few months, which he attributes to his medical success.  These stories will be on my blog.

Read more…

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June 30th, 2013 by veglady | No Comments »

August 22 Fundraiser in NY the Place to Be

wtfvfEvent-300x250I was lucky enough to share a few hours in San Diego with the inspirational young Kristin Lajeunesse — social media whiz and traveler extraordinaire — as her trip was nearing its end months ago. We met through her great work with Vegan Mainstream. The “Will Travel for Vegan Food” tour took Kristin to 48 states, and 500+ eateries! Over 35,000 miles later, the trip was a great success.

Those interested in delicious food, health, animal rights, and networking with fun people in New York City must get themselves to the Will Travel For Vegan Food End-of-Road-Trip Party + Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary Fundraiser from 7-10 pm August 22!

To celebrate the end of her life-changing journey, Kristin is hosting this fundraiser party at Top of The Garden Event Space at 251 West 30th Street, 16th Floor, New York, NY 10001. The party will be catered by Jay Astafa, a young, up and coming vegan chef; there will be sweets from Vegan Treats; and, live musical and dance performances. Enjoy a high-end auction (details about products coming soon), announcements related to Kristin’s book deal, and honoring a few key people who helped make the road trip a success. Kristin also has a mystery keynote speaker lined up.

This sounds like so much fun, so don’t miss it if you are in NYC! All ticket proceeds will benefit the non-profit organization, Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary.

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June 19th, 2013 by veglady | No Comments »

Gardening on the Cheap: Your Guide to Getting Started this Spring

Reprinted from Vegan Mainstream

By Ellen Jaffe Jones, Guest Contributor 

IMG_0497-300x225My daughter recently said to me, “Mom, I hate to eat tomatoes at restaurants. I keep remembering how delicious and sweet the tomatoes were that we used to grow in our organic garden. Most tomatoes I taste now pale by comparison.”

This was the same child who wowed the nursery school field trip farmer by knowing the difference when he tried to stump the kids holding up the green kale leaf and asking: “What’s this?” All the other kids yelled, “Spinach!” It was my daughter who tasted sugar snap peas for the first time and asked, “Is this candy?”

“Teach Your Children Well,” as the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young song goes. Children respond so well to early tactile and taste stimulations. If they are imprinted with early tastes for foods in their natural states, it stays with them the rest of their lives.

Having a garden is the best way to introduce them to nature and understanding that food doesn’t grow in a shrunk-wrapped package at the grocery store. As the snow (hopefully) melts, and the scents of spring beckon children outside, starting a cheap garden is a great way to keep them outside.

Read more…

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June 11th, 2013 by veglady | No Comments »

Fondue for Two in San Francisco

photo (478x581)I am grateful for every visit to San Francisco. Though it’s chilly, the veggie-friendly restaurants, beautiful historic buildings and artistic vibe bring happiness to many! And what other city boasts an organic cafe and a yoga room in the airport? SFO (the airport) is home to The Plant (which has other Bay area locations as well). The Burlingame location had rather cheery staff, and the airport was a novel place to buy a predictably overpriced kombucha along with their beloved Plant Burger, laden with beets, lentils and other unique ingredients.

Just as exciting for veggie foodies is The Source, a restaurant in Potrero Hill with a long wait on the phone and a line out the door. But our patience paid off as we indulged in Baked Vegan Spinach Artichoke Fondue! My entree was Sriracha Cluck Teriyaki, a dish spilling over with a meat substitute, veggies, and a perfect spice level. To top it off, we had the peanut butter cookie covered in chocolate that my flexitarian friend had been raving about for days! It is easy to leave your heart in San Francisco.

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May 31st, 2013 by veglady | No Comments »