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Monday, June 21, 2010



There is inspiration and then there is elevation. I have been blessed (or cursed) with a mad passion for plant-based, whole food nutrition...a passion that wakes me up early in the morning and keeps me up late at night, constantly striving for ways in which to share my passion, educate others, motivate, contribute. This depth of inspiration grows from the hope that I might help as many people and animals as possible...and then multiply that exponentially.

Usually, my days are filled with answering questions, defending my choices, guiding others to proper resources, explaining, expressing, describing, enlightening...

Last night at the EarthSave event honoring John Robbins and fundraising for our new beautiful program, Meals for Health, the ambiance was radiating with this feeling of home, comfort, inspiration, compassion. I felt surrounded by like minded people, filled with the same drive, fortitude and focus. This is why it is elevating, a step beyond inspiring, when all of that energy comes together and fills the soul, empowering the mind, body and spirit to proceed, to endure, to connect.

As I listened to John Robbins, my hero, speak, I had the same reaction as when I heard for the first time last Fall and the first time I discovered him as a young girl reading Diet for a New America. Physically, I cried. Mentally, I ventured. Spiritually, I soared. As I had tears running down my cheeks, I asked John's wife Deo (who I sat on the floor in front of in order to sill myself with enough energy to fuel me until the next visit) if she cries everyday from the wisdom and inspiration that is *John*. She said she cries every time she hears him speak. I can only imagine. The profundity and sagacity that pours out of John's lips every time they move is impossible to express. Thus, I cannot recommend enough his books, his talks.

The whole evening was invigorating. As the new Executive Director of EarthSave, just starting out with this new program, I could not sleep last night...eager to get started. We have the potential and the amazing people behind us (Dr. John McDougall as Medical Director, Rip Esselstyn and Ambassador, Blake Young as our partner at the Sacramento Food Bank, to name a few) to make a significant impact...and we will. There is no limit to the prospects for which this project is intended...to make a difference in people's lives. People who have limited or no access to resources, who are sick with chronic disease. We will show the world that food is everything...and can make or break human health. It will underscore the relevance of how sick we have become as a nation via our misguided educators and strident misinformation coming from the food and pharmaceutical industries. We are going to establish a precedence like none previously recorded.

So stay tuned...

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Duck Family


Meet the Duck Family. I just met them this afternoon. Yes, your eyes are seeing clearly...they are in a parking lot.

You see, while my kids were in school this morning, I went to the gym for some cardio and weights. Having been rather efficient with my workout, I was done early and was considering running to a coffee shop for a green tea soy latte as a treat before I had to pick up the kids. So, I walk to my car slowly (which is extremely rare for me as I am always in a mad dash to get everywhere). As I am pulling out of the parking structure, this is what I see:

Of course, I did a double take...and it took me a moment before I realized whether or not this was normal or whether this was an emergency...I knew I had to do something...so as I was in my car, I started following them to my side as slow as possible as they walked (or waddled) so I could warn other drivers. Then I realized that I had to get a picture of this because this would be an impossible moment to describe. Fortunately, I had my camera with me!

Then, as I was trying to herd them to safety with my new car, I noticed another man (who was soooo nice...like an Angel...I mean another animal rights activist was there at the right place at the right time???...really???...hmmm...) who was trying to do the same as me. Only he was talking to the Mama Duck: "Come on, Mama". Needless to say, I parked my car and was THRILLED to have a partner to try and save this painfully adorable little family.

We worked so hard to try and get the family to a safe place---away from the traffic! But Mama Duck was so scared. She was panicking even though we were trying to protect her and her babies. She was so nervous that she was losing touch with her communication skills. She would hop up on a curb and the ducklings were too little to follow her so they mini-quacked to get her attention. The nice gentleman figured out that we could just give the ducklings a boost with our hands....can I just interject here that I have never felt anything so soft in my life??? It took all of my willpower not to just scootch the entire family up into my new car and bring them home with me. They did try to go under my car and hide...

I knew my kids would love them. My cocker spaniels and hubby...hmmm...not so much....or maybe too much (as in the wonderful text my husband responded to my question regarding where I could "purchase a duck family of my own"...he said "they have lots of them in most pet stores and restaurants").

After several minutes of cajoling/coaxing/encouraging the family towards a body of water in which we knew was nearby, we finally, unintentionally scared them into a bush. And they were in the bush...as in lying down and hiding from us. There was not much we could do at this point. Not to mention the fact that my kids were waiting for me to come pick them up and I couldn't be late. But who do I call? 911? The Animal Rescue? What is that number? I have not felt this helpless is a long time.

I did ask these men standing nearby (apparently there to perform some construction or repair work) to pay attention and make sure that when they finally emerged from the bush they would be guided in an appropriate direction. I even gave them directions to my home (not really, but I would have if I knew I could help the Duck Family and adopt them into my family).

A few hours later, I went back with my kids...just to see...I can't stop thinking about them. They weren't there. I just hope and pray they are safe and found somewhere to go where Mama could teach her gorgeous, ultra-fuzzy, heavenly ducklings to fly, eat, hop up a curb, and all the other tasks a baby Duck must learn before it moves up to adult status.

What do I know? I grew up in Los Angeles! I never saw anything like this. But I am in love...

Friday, June 4, 2010

Thai Corn Chowder & Cabbage Salad, Part 1


Chef Kirk Leins and Tony Pinto from www.NoTimetoCook.com offered me the opportunity to work with them and I was magically able to "inspire" them to go plant-based with me for a few recipes. This is the first part of a two-part series and an additional series to come (in the can...as they say in Hollywood :)!).

We developed a Thai theme for these two soup and salad recipes. Part 1 shows the preparation of the Thai Corn Chowder and stay tuned for Chef Kirks delicious and easy-to-make Thai Cabbage Salad.

Here is the recipe:


2.5 cups vegetable broth
1 cup onion, chopped
bunch of celery, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 inch fresh ginger, grated or minced
½ tsp coriander seeds
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 good pinch of sea salt
1 stalk lemongrass
4 cups frozen corn
1 can light coconut milk
1 cup red pepper, chopped
2 limes' worth of zest
juice of 2 limes
½ cup fresh cilantro


Sauté onion, celery, garlic, ginger, coriander, red bell pepper and sea salt in ½ cup of the vegetable broth in a large pot on low-medium heat. Stir to prevent sticking and to combine flavors. Cover and let simmer for about 5 minutes or until vegetables look translucent. Add lemongrass bulbs, 2 cups of the corn, rest of the broth and coconut milk to the pot and bring to a boil. After boiling, reduce heat to low, cover and let cook for 10 minutes. Use immersion blender to blend the mixture (or remove some and blend in a regular blender and return to the pot). Add the other 2 cups of corn and red pepper flakes. Cover and let simmer for 10 more minutes. Add lime zest and lime juice, cilantro and serve. Serves 4-6.