Friday, December 18, 2009

Healthy Voyager Holidays!


Here we are again, another year behind us and a new decade just days away. Sure we've been inundated with holiday spirit since the latter part of November, but we still have a few weeks to go until we kiss the festive season goodbye until next year. As I have in year's past, I have compiled some tips, suggestions and recipes to help make these next few weeks brighter, happier and healthier. They are my gift to you in wishing you and yours a very happy holiday season and an even better new decade year!

In years past, I have written about eco, healthy and affordable holiday ideas and you can check them all out here: 2006, 2007, 2008.

But this year, i thought I'd share a few tips to just make this joyful, yet stressful season, a little lighter.  Seeing as how 2009 has been a rough year for many, we should close out the year on a high note so that we can all enter the new year happy and optimistic ; ) I hope that some, if not all of these can help make your, and those around you, holidays merry!
  • Let go of a problem you can't solve. Enjoy the season ; )
  • Don't despair if you are short on cash. Be creative. Sometimes thoughtful gifts are better than store bought ones.
  • Organize a neighborhood holiday dinner. Have appetizers at one home, the main at another and dessert at the next!
  • Remember our feathered friends! Roll pine cones in peanut butter and bird seed and hang them out side a window where you can enjoy them feasting on your treat.
  • Don't wait until the last minute to wrap gifts or write all your cards. Wrap as you buy and divvy up your cards to do 10 a night until they are done. Don't make yourself work harder then you have to.
  • Sing!
  • Give your loved ones, friends and everyone you encounter the gift of a sweet disposition ; ) We are all stressed over the holidays to some extent but try to be the first to spread the holiday spirit! a person wrapped up in himself is a very small package.
  • Give instead of receive. Pick some charities you would like to help out and try to donate some time or funds to help those less fortunate.
  • Remember the best solution for holiday blues is to do something nice for someone else! Give anonymous gifts and be kind without expectations.
  • Start collections of recipes and decorations for your children, adding one to each collection every year. When they are all grown up, they will have a nice collection to get them started along with wonderful memories attached to them.
  • Plan ahead, be prepared and keep it simple.
  • Curl up in front of a blazing fire with someone you love.
  • Take the long way home and enjoy neighborhood lights.
  • Start your own traditions, however small they may be ; )
  • If you have the time, bake double batches of your holiday goodies to share with friends. Having extra baked goods is also great to have as an impromptu gift to take to a party. 
  • If you have children, have a decorations craft night and help them decorate their room for the holidays.
  • Dance!
  • Get the names of local military personnel and send holiday cards thanking them for their service. Do the same with nursing homes and find out who doesn't receive much mail. Send them a card and sign it "Love, Santa"
  • Have hot cocoa, apple cider ans popcorn on hand for unexpected guests ; )
  • Give yourself the gift of slack. No one expects perfection, especially during the holidays. Even Santa needs helpers!
  • Make sure to make time for yourself to enjoy the season, to reflect on the past year as well as some goals for the new one ahead.
  • Remember the best gift is a person filled with love & understanding ; ) 
And enjoy the flavors of of the seaon!! For  a hearty and healthy holiday meal, try some of these recipes! If you're in search of seasonal sweets, be sure to visit my recipes page on my website for some yummy ones under holiday, beverages and even the sweets page ; )

Cranberry Chutney

8 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (2 pounds)
2 shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups red-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons whole mustard seeds
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons salt

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat. Simmer, uncovered, stirring often, until the cranberries have broken down and the mixture has thickened somewhat, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool completely and serve or store in glass jars.

Cranberry Spinach Salad

1 (6 ounce) package fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup olive
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons red wine or balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon sour cream
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

In a bowl, combine the spinach, pecans and cranberries. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the remaining ingredients; shake well. Drizzle over salad and toss to coat; serve immediately.

Holiday Shepard's Pie

Filling:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 1/2 pounds ground soy beef (boca, ives or sub with marinated tempeh)
16 ounces canned tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups cooked mixed vegetables (peas, diced carrots and corn)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mashed Potatoes:
5 russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/2 cups unsweetened soy milk
1/2 cup vegan butter
1/2 cup vegan sour cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cornbread Crust:
1 (12-ounces) boxed cornbread mix (follow instructions but sub eggs with egg replacer, butter with vegan butter & milk with unsweetened soy milk)

Directions
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute the onion in vegetable oil. When the onion is soft add the soy ground beef, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon and brown. Stir in tomato sauce and mixed vegetables. Season with salt and pepper.

In a pot of boiling, salted water, cook the potatoes about 20 minutes or until fork tender. Drain well and return to the pot. Whip the potatoes with an electric mixer until moderately smooth. Add milk, butter and sour cream and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Adjust consistency with more milk, if desired.

Follow directions on box to make cornbread batter.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Lightly grease 6 (8-ounce) ramekins with nonstick cooking spray.

Spoon the mashed potatoes into the bottoms of each prepared ramekin, spreading them evenly with a rubber spatula. Then add the meat filling, spreading that evenly over the mashed potatoes. Pour the cornbread batter evenly over the meat layer in each ramekin.

Bake for about 30 minutes until the cornbread is cooked through and golden on top.

Butternut Squash Rice Pilaf

2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, halved and seeded
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large red onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 parboiled brown rice
1 3/4 cups water or 1 14-ounce can vegetable broth
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup chopped fennel fronds (leafy tops)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of cinnamon
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Grate the squash through the large holes of a box grater.

Heat oil in a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft and lightly colored, 10 to 12 minutes. Combine 2 tablespoons water and tomato paste in a small bowl and stir it into the pan. Add rice and stir to coat. Add the squash, in batches if necessary, and stir until it has reduced in volume enough so that you can cover the pan.

Increase the heat to medium-high, pour in 1 3/4 cups water (or broth) and wine, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, covered, stirring once or twice, until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid and the squash is tender, 25 to 30 minutes.

Add fennel fronds, oregano, salt, cinnamon and pepper; gently stir to combine. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

I wish you very happy & healthy holidays as well as a wonderful new decade! See you in 2010!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Healthy Voyager Radio - Healthy, Eco-Celebrities



Listen to the Healthy Voyager Radio right here!! Featuring Actor/Director/Activist Ed Begley Jr. & Wellness Guru, Kathy Freston!:


I wish you very Happy Holidays & a Wonderful New Year!
See you in 2010 with more great guests, tips, music & more!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Ahh, Ashland ; )


As we crossed over the Oregon/California state line, we hoped to find a place to grab some grub. We lucked out and drove through the cutest town nestled in the mountains, a town called Ashland. Well known for it's renowned Shakespeare Festival, this once mining village is now an adorable artist community and college town. I was so excited to explore the downtown area so we stayed a bit and discovered some yummalicious locales!

If you're looking for a quick and healthy bite, Pangea is your spot.  I could tell by the name that they were veg & health friendly so I popped in just to be sure. And I was right ; ) They offer all kinds of veggie salads and sandwiches as well as tofu & tempeh options.  IN addition they've got gluten free options as well as some really nice low fat goodies ; ) Yummy, quick and affordable so if you are in town, give Pangea a whirl!

In the mood for something warm, spicy and/or delicious? Then Sesame Asian Kitchen is a must visit. With a menu that suits everyone at your table, Sesame had some of my fave dishes like tofu lettuce wraps and pumpkin curry.  With a chic vibe and creative menu,  I recommend this place for a fun night out with friends or even a romantic meal. A meal at Sesame is like dying and going to the veg-friendly orient heaven ; )

For a family fun, great for all "omnis" & "herbis" alike, Grilla Bites is your place. This natural and organic sandwich-soup-salad-ery has something for everyone. For sit down or take out, Grilla Bites is super accommodating as the menu is clearly marked with what is veg, vegan and even heart healthy! Their tempeh burger rules and so does their bbq tofu ; ) With locations in Oregon, California and Utah, you gotta try them out next time your in the Pacific Northwest.

I LOVE Italian food, especially when it's chilly out. Very comforting and warm ; )  Pasta Piatti mixes casual with traditional and was totally a hit with this veg-maniac. I devoured my huge bowl of veggie minestrone along with a scrumptious organic mista salad.  Warm bread and Italian comfort food, how can you go wrong. Check out what you'll order at Pasta Piatti online!

I wish we had more time in Ashland as it was just charming. perhaps I'll come back to catch some Shakespeare festival action soon!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Healthy Voyager Radio - Vegan Cooking & Compassionate FIlms



Listen to the Healthy Voyager Radio right here!! Featuring Celebrity Vegan Chef, Tal Ronnen & Documentary Film Director, Shaun Monson:


Next show, Ed Begley Jr. & Kathy Freston close out 2009 with a bang!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Eco & Healthy Holiday Gift Guide


So here we are, Black Friday and Cyber Monday behind us and the holiday shopping season in full swing! We still have a few weeks before the presents are all unwrapped, Santa has made his way back home & we're prepping for the new decade.  So that means it's time to hit the stores, both online  as well as brick & mortar.  I've gathered my top healthy & eco holiday picks for everyone on your list, just in time to check off before time runs out!

Just a few tips before you flash your credit cards and get yourself into a wrapping frenzy:
  • When heading out to shop, be sure you eat before leaving the house. Nothing kills your wallet and your stomach like fast or food court food.  Walk off your meal, that's a better option ; )
  • Bring a healthy snack with you so you're not tempted to snack on trash.  It's also handy when you find yourself starving in a long line with no end in sight.
  • Wear comfortable shoes! Nothing kills a day of shopping like blisters and a headache. You need supportive and comfy shoes for holiday marathon shopping. Plus it makes it easier to run from sale to sale!
  • If you're shipping gifts that you are purchasing out and about, bring your address list with you. A lot of the times stores can ship for you directly from the store so it saves you a step.
  • Speaking of shipping, know the cut off dates for packages to arrive on time. If you are a procrastinator, this tip will come in handy ; )
  • When shopping online, be sure that the sites you are shopping are secured sites. You can tell that it is secured if the address reads https: and/or there is a lock icon with a secure company logo on the bottom of your window. If uncertain, don't make the purchase or you will have a nightmare before Christmas!
  • Be sure to add your coupon and promo codes at the right time before check out. Once you hit submit, sometimes it's a hassle to get your discount.  Keep a window on your browser open to search for coupon codes of any store you are shopping at - you can save a pretty penny! Just cut and paste the codes into the promo window. Sometimes they don't work but it's always worth a shot!
  • Gift giving etiquette - Don't give a gift you wouldn't like to receive. Sure, it's the thought that counts however,  if you re-gift some used, crappy odd n' end or pick something up from the 99 cent store on your way to a party, maybe it's best to just get a nice card instead ; )  Words can sometimes be better than a tacky nick knack that screams "gas station gift rack".
  • Shop all year long - sounds like fun right? Actually, it's a smart way to ensure that everyone on your list get something they actually want or speaks to their personality.  Ever see something and say "So and so would love that". If you have the cash, buy it and save it in a special place instead of racking your brains Thanksgiving weekend wondering what you should get that so and so or where that cool thing was that you saw in July.  Think ahead as it will save you time, money and you look like the hero.  Also, keep notes of when the people on your list mention something they like or need - it really comes in handy during shopping season and your giftees will be overjoyed with your thoughtfulness ; )
  • When in doubt, give a gift card!  You can get them virtually anywhere, in any denomination and the person o your list gets to go on a mini shopping spree, thanks to you! 
Alright, here are the goods for Holiday 2009!:


Charity
(To give instead of receive)

  • HOW - www.helpinghow.com - Donate time or money to helping orphans all over the world
  • Talk About It - www.talkaboutit.org - Help those who have trouble coping with epilepsy as well as helping spread awareness
  • Generation Rescue - www.generationrescue.org - Help families affected by autism by donating time and money to help promote therapies, awareness and more
  • Homefront America - www.homefrontamerica.org - Providing assistance to families when their head of household is in deployment. Job assistance, school supplies, and services need volunteers and donations.
  • Make-A-Wish - www.wish.org - Help make an ailing child's holiday season bright
  • Family to Family - www.family-to-family.org - Help a needy family this holiday season by helping with time or money towards food, shelter, supplies, etc.
  • The Animal Rescue - www.theanimalrescuesite.com - Donate to this wonderful organization that helps needy pets. Or better yet, adopt a pet this gift giving season!
Him
(For the men on your list, both young & old)

  • Shoes, Belts & Wallets -  www.thevegancollection.com - The Vegan Collection is an online vegan shoe and accessories company providing stylish, cruelty-free men’s shoes at reasonable prices ; )
  • Pacific Shaving Cream - www.pacificshaving.com - Personal care products (for men and women) that are good for the skin, good for the wallet, and good for the earth. Made with certified organic, natural and naturally-derived ingredients, environmentally friendly practices, and minimal packaging.
  • Eco Poker Tables - www.egmgreen.com - Need a gift for the man who has everything? How about an eco poker table! Using sustainable design principals and manufacturing in a 100% green building, you can think of it as doing something good even when you're bluffing ; )
  • Recycled Beer Glassware Sets - www.elsewares.com  - Men of all adult ages will enjoy these for their big boy drinks. Hearkening back to college days is this frat boy to father friendly glassware sets. You can find their favorite brand so they can enjoy any beverage in it, any time, any place ; )
  • Cardboard Animal Heads - www.uncommongoods.com - More modern design than hunting lodge, these clever, cruelty-free cardboard deer and moose heads are a fun way to add a trophy to your wall without having to go after Bambi's mom.
Her
(For the ladies be they young, moms or busy bees)

  • Golden Earth - www.goldenearth.net - Perfumes, lotions, bath gels and more made from cruelty free and 100% organic, vegan ingredients. All essential oil based, spoil the ladies on your list with natural bath, body & beauty.
  • Annatarian - www.annatarian.com - Be it a 7 wishes bracelet from their PeaceLoveEarth line (www.peaceloveearth.com) or a custom couture gown, their is something beautifully green for every lady.  An eco-effective design firm, anything from Annatraian is an art piece with intention while sacrificing nothing in the environment. Beauty & function is a gal's best friend ; )
  • Matt & Nat - www.mattandnat.com -  For luxury, vegan & eco handbags and accessories, you can't go wrong with anything from Matt & Nat.  Super chic bags, no one will know they aren't fresh off the European runways. From clutches to diaper bags, introduce your gal to accessorizing the eco way! (they've got some nice goodies for men too!)
  • Espe -www.espe.ca - 100% vegan, cruelty free accessories such as wallets, cell phone pouches, computer bags and more, their colorful and handcrafted designs are great for gals of all ages. And they too have not forgotten about their male counterparts. Super cute stuff!!
  • Beyond Yoga - www.iambeyond.com -  Organic line is beautiful! From yoga pants to jackets, built in bra tops to wraps, they've got it all. For your work out or you night out, Beyond Yoga helps you strike an organic and stylish pose ; )
  • Psi Bands - www.psibands.com -   Great stocking stuffer! Acupressure wrist bands for the relief of nausea due to morning sickness (pregnancy), motion sickness/ travel, chemotherapy, and anesthesia. They are stylish, drug-free, adjustable, comfortable, waterproof, reusable,  and affordable.
Unisex & Couples Gifts
(For anyone or any duos)

  • Recycled LP Record Bowls - www.uncommongoods.com - Great for the music loving couple, or person, on your list. Choose the music style and even the artist to suit your giftee's style.  Way cute & uber eco-chico!
  • Recycled Wine Barrel Chair - www.uncommongoods.com - Beautiful, functional and 100% green, these chairs are a great addition to any home. Not only a killer conversation piece, these chairs are comfortable and are good for you as well as they have been to the environment. No more "whin"ing about where to sit!
  • Digital Magazine Subscriptions - at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com as well as select publication websites, you can find tree-free subscriptions. These magazines are emailed directly to your inbox and leave nothingout from their hard copy siblings excpet that it saves paper, printing, shipping and moola! And best of all you can print things you like, save articles, etc. A lot are way sophistocated and can turn the pages and everything. Eco, cool & a monthly gift that is also easy to shop for!
  • Organic Bedding  -  www.gaiam.com - Put allergies and chemical sensitivities to rest with exclusive beds and linens made from pure organic cotton and other natural fibers. Organic bedding offers superior comfort, gorgeous style and fabrics that are better for life and the planet. Feel extravagant while being good to yourself. Choose from organic cotton sheets, comforters, blankets, pillow cases and throws. Green your & your friends' homes with Gaiam.
  • Emailable Fandango movie gift cards - www.fandango.com - Personalize the designs on the gift cards to send your friends & families out for a nice night at the cinema. Best of all, you can email their gift certificate so you save on buying non-eco-friendly plastic gift card, postage, etc as well as time on your end. Certificates are valid at most theaters nationwide, just be sure to check the small print just in case. On top of it, you can buy and email to all everyone all your list, all at once, with the click of the mouse!
  • BYO Lunchbags - www.builtny.com - Gotta love these eco lunch bags for takin' to the office, on road trips, or to send the kiddies off to school. They also carry rockin' wine bottle bags as well as goodies for laptops, cameras and more. You can go wrong with a useful, cool lookin' and enviro-present ; )
  • Organic Spa Robes - www.thepristinehome.com - Snuggle into a Pure Bamboo Bathrobe made of 100% bamboo fiber. These plush robes feature a detailed shawl collar, cuffed long sleeves, two front patch pockets, and available in sizes for both men and women. If you're looking to spoil someone on your list this year, this is it!
Kids
(Babies, teens & all in between)

  • Eco Building Sets - www.uberstix.com -  Talk about teaching our kids about the importance of recycling early on, these sets not only boast green technology and components, they also promote creativity, critical thinking and coordination without the help of a game console or computer monitor. Nope, just good old fashioned hands on building sets with an eco twist. And you don't need to throw out all the other stuff as thes sets are made to mate with with competitors such as Lego and more!
  • Organic Front & Back Baby Carriers - www.ergobabycarrier.com - I guess this is more for new 'rents but, this can be a great gift for baby nonetheless. A wonderful product line and company, these carriers help mom & dad carry baby from infancy to toddler while keeping kiddie comfy and safe. Lots of other goodies in adorable colors, you can't go wrong with a gift from Ergo baby.
  • Ripstik Caster Board - www.ripstik.com - These aren't by any means new but they a cool and healthy gifts so they made it on the list. The coolest offspring from the age old skateboard, Ripstik is a whole new kind of fun. keeping your kids active, this slick board helps them with balance, core strength and will have them out of your hair for hours!
  • Build Your Own Kits - www.cardboarddesign.com - Help  their imaginations run wild in a plane, a rocket or a teepee they built all by themselves (and with you!). Made from eco friendly cardboard patterns, kids can build, paint & personalize their own magical world ; )
  • Eco Friendly Doll House - www.peapods.com - A mother-owned family store offering wood toys, baby slings, cloth diapers, music and books. Their doll houses & doll house furniture are so pretty, hand crafted and hours of fun for little girls.
  • Mighty Muggs - www.hasbro.com - Oddly enough from toy tycoons, Hasbro, come 100% recycled material toys of awesomeness.  They are figurines/collectibles/pop art all in one - neat, stylized models of your favorite movie heroes like Iron Man & all the Star Wars peeps. Eco Pop!
  • Sprig Toys - www.sprigtoys.com - An exciting line of battery-free, eco-friendly, paint-free, kid-powered toys that are sure to dazzle the most discriminating preschooler.
  • Eco Friendly Play Kitchen - www.guidecraft.com - Children will delight in this mini kitchen unit chock full of amenities. Includes sink, refrigerator, oven, microwave, stove top, clock and wireless telephone. You can't beat education and green toys as well as teaching your kids early on how to fend for themselves, heehee!
  • Organic Baby Gifts - www.kee-ka.com - Again, baby gifts are more for the parents but no need to skimp on health & greenness for the little ones. Clothing, bedding and all in between goes over super well for the tiny ones and the new parents on your list will appreciate such a heartfelt & thoughtful gift for their most precious possession; )
Pets
(For all furry babies)

  • Mane Street Bakery -www.manestreetbakery.net  - Tasty, eco and mainly organic vegan treats for dogs & horses. They even have some yummy peppermint treats for our merry and furry friends!
  • Puppermint Chew Toy - www.fetchdog.com - Hours of fun with this eco toy that also keeps your furry friend's breath pepperminty fresh!
  • Eco Collars & Leashes - www.thegooddogcompany.com - uhh, so cute and sustainable? Your 4 legged baby must have one of these eco & hemp accessories this season ; )
  • Eco Pet Beds - www.modernecohomes.com - They've got everything your pet needs to have a comfy and restful nights’ sleep. There are 100% natural cotton beds, eco-friendly hemp beds and beds filled with 100% recycled material. Round, square and bumper pet beds, all natural and earth friendly. They have even carry eco-conscious cat furniture - good for bunnies too ; )
  • Eco Scratching Posts - www.mountaincattrees.com - Unique, eco-friendly products for enriching the life of your feline companion. Their handcrafted cat trees and scratching posts are 95% biodegradable, made from real trees and untreated wood, and are built to last.
  • Ionic Pet Brushes - www.lentek.com - The perfect answer to easy pet care!  The Ionic Waterless Bath Pet Massage Brush allows you to clean and massage your pet with minimal effort.  Reduces pet odors without messy baths or harmful chemicals, and relaxes your pet through its gentle massage action.
Health & Beauty
(For all aspects of health & vanity)

  • ToGoBrands - www.togobrands.com - Promote a healthy new year with these packets of goodness either as stocking stuffers or as a big box under the tree.  Packets such as Go Greens that gives you 6 servings of green veggies in 1 pack as well as Green Tea Energy, Vitamin C and more, you can't pick a more healthful gift this year!
  • Pillo1 - www.pillo1.com - If you want to give the gift of a good night's sleep, it the Pillo1. It's unique design is built for side and back sleep and gives ultimate neck support which keeps your back aligned all night long.  Great sleep equals great days, health & productivity.
  • Care by Stella McCartney - www.stellamccartneycare.com - Ok, so maybe splurging on a Stella gown this year isn't in the cards but pampering yourself with 100% organic skin care should be. The veggie rock star offspring of style has done it again and oh so well. A gorgeous line with nothing but beneficial ingredients to give you that healthy glow is the perfect package to be wrapped up in a bow this season ; )
  • EcoBella Makeup - www.ecobella.com - Ecco Bella's got body care, hair care but best of all, makeup! All natural, vegan, gluten free, mineral cosmetics in dazzling colors; what lady wouldn't want to sparkle while being au natural!
  • No Miss Vegan Nail Polish - www.nomiss.com - Nothing is as decadent as getting a mani/pedi but in this economy, we're started to go back to doing it ourselves. And why not keep up the healthy trend by using nail polish that is good for you! UV inhibitors, moisturizing, and durable, these little ditties come in a rainbow of colors. They are sure to please and light on the wallet ; )
  • Alba Facial Skin Care Line - www.albabotanical.com - Get on a healthy skin & body regimen this new year with the delicious product line from Alba. Great for men & women, their full line of skin, hair, body & sun care products are made from natural botanical, enzymes, fruits and nuts for a healthy & affordable way to stay pretty and handsome all year long.
Fitness, Adventure & Sport
(For the fitness sport & adventure nuts on your list)

  • DynaFlex - www.dynaflexpro.com - Used by top athletes, NASA, military, doctors, chiropractors, fitness trainers and more, the dynaflex line is the leader in gyroscopic fitness. Great for strength training to battling carpal tunnel syndrome, these fitness gadgets are a fun and nifty gift this year for the fitness guru to the desk jockey ; )
  • Eco Skateboard - www.bamboosk8.com - To shred in the most eco of ways, you can go wrong with a skateboard from eco-friendly Bamboo Sk8. Look out for their new longboard line in 2010.
  • Eco Surfboard - www.imaginesurfboards.com - For the wave rider on your lost, get them a performance driven and fully sustainable board from Imagine Eco. They even have take apart boards for airline travel!!
  • Cold Weather Training "Bone Beanies" Caps - www.thenorthface.com - Moisture-wicking beanies are great at regulating your temperature- keep it on until you warm up & peel it when you've reached your ideal temperature.
  • Eco Sleeping Bags - www.rei.com - Sleep in comfort while you slumber in an eco-friendly sleeping bag under the stars. Your gear will be great for you while not taunting your natural habitat with city slicker garbage ; )
  • Eco Yoga Mats - www.naturalfitnessinc.com - Green your workout & health sanctuary with this awesome eco mat!
Home & Lifestyle 
(For cool home and miscellaneous goodies)

  • Game Whys - www.thegreenboardgame.com - Hours of fun with family, friends and kids while learning a great lesson about our earth.  Whether it's the beautifully handcrafted board game or a cute stocking stuffer card game, a game of Paradice or GameWhys is one of the best gifts for anyone this holiday season.
  • Pong - www.pongresearch.com - If you love someone, keep them safe from radiation with the Pong Iphone case. Coming soon for blackberry, this stylish case reduces over 85% of "hot spot" radiation, redirecting the flow of energy away from the head. And it's the only FCC certified case on the market!
  • Scent of a Scandle -  www.ascentofscandal.com - Giggle while filling your home with yummy aromas. With names that will make you chuckle, the scents & ingredients won't as they are made of vegan awesomeness. The perfect, and affordable, gift for anyone on your list.
  • Love Bottles - www.lovebottle.net -  The rage is BPA free bottles and the slick aluminum ones with neat designs. But drinking from glass is the best way to imbibe your daily H2O and Love Bottles has the neatest designs around.  Carry your healthiest water in style and be the envy of all your work out friends ; )
  • Vapur Bottles - www.vapur.us - Great as an eco-stocking stuffer and fun for the traveler on your list, the vapur bottle is the anti-water bottle. BPA free and fully roll-upable, this neat gift can fit in a purse or carry on bag and is dishwasher friendly.
  • DSI International Energy Saver Power Strip - www.notestation.com - Did you know that leaving your appliances plugged in sucks energy even when they are turned off? Well, here is a gift that will save people money this year and they will love you for it. This energy strip has a master switch that shuts of the energy suckage without having to individually unplug everything in your house. Time & money savers are a hit under the tree!
  • Ionator from ActiveIon -www.activeion.com - The coolest, eco & money saving cleaning product ever! The ionator is a powerful appliance that uses ionizing technology to convert tap water into a safe, effective cleaner and sanitizer.
  • VerTerra -www.verterra.com - Dinnerware made of nothing but fallen leaves and water. Super eco-chic!
  • Green Garmento -www.thegreengarmento.com - This eco bag is a hamper, laundry bag, duffel bag and also a great way to pick up your dry cleaning without wasting so much plastic.
  • Solar Chameleon Pool Lights - www.stigroup.com - Literally making someones life brighter the solar way! Perfect to float in the pool for some neat night swimming or parties or even to place around the yard from ambient color ; )
Books 
(For cooks & bibliophiles)

  • The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, PhD - www.thechinastudy.com - It will change your life!
  • The Conscious Cook by Tal Ronnen - www.talronnen.com - One f the yummiest vegan cookbooks around
  • The Mad Cowboy – www.madcowboy.com - Learn about healthy, vegan eating as well as the truth behind factory farming from one the pioneer of the vegan moo-vement himself!
  • I'm Dreaming of a Green Christmas - www.amazon.com - Green your holidays with this nifty book covering everything from decor to party planning
  • Why We Don't Eat Animals by Ruby Roth - www.wedonteatanimals.com - A very sweet book that helps introduce compassion to animals to the kiddies ; )
  • Healthier Ever After by Doc Rob - www.docrob.com - A good read on how to get your health in order, simply and smartly this new year!
  • Compassionate Table by Colleen Patrick Goudreau - www.compassionatecooks.com - All her books are great but this is her newest and I would say yummiest!
  • The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone - www.thekindlife.com - A nice intro to veganism from beginners to advanced plant eaters. Filled with delish recipes too ; )
  • The Bubbly Bride: Your Ultimate Wedding Cocktail Guide - www.theliquidmuse.com I'm particularly fond of the Low-Cal cocktail chapter and the "Green Wedding" cocktail section ; )
  • Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero - www.theppk.com - One of the most comprehensive vegan cookbooks around, it will hold you over for a long time if it's the only vegan cookbook you can get this year ; )
  • Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero - www.theppk.com - The title says it all!
Travel  
(For the globe trotters you'll be gifting)

  • Select Wisely Special Diet Travel Cards - www.selectwisely.com - Super handy cards that fit in your wallet that illustrate and say, in virtually any language, what foods you cannot eat. Perfect translations for all special diets from celiac to vegan so that dining while traveling is no longer a mystery or health hazard.
  • To-Go Ware - www.to-goware.com - Fabulous utensils & containers to take with you anywhere you go! Made of bamboo and recycled materials, a To-Go Ware set is the perfect stocking stuffer for the eco person on your list.
  • Jane Marvel Luggage - www.janemarvel.com - Slick and vegan luggage, done deal!
  • Solar Chargers -www.solio.com - Save time, money and hassle when you're on the go with these nifty solar charging gadgets. Good for phones, Ipods & more!
  • Terra Pass - www.terrapass.comBuy credits for any one on your list to balance the carbon footprints of friends & family. It's the gift that gives back!
  • Bamboo Eyemask & Blanket - www.wrapables.com - Green your mile high zzzzz's with this yummymy soft duo ; )
  • Water Powered Travel Clock - www.thinkgeek.com - A smart, cheap and dependable way to stay on time wherever you may be!
Cooking
(For the novice to the pro)

  • Vitamix -  www.vitamix.com  - It's way more then a food processor, blender, mixer - it rules! Chopping, blending and even making hot soups on the spot,  Vitamix will be a welcomed gift this holiday.
  • Eat Cleaner - www.eatcleaner.com - This is a great, affordable and health promotion gift. The coolest is the "Wash & Dryer" kit for veggies!
  • 360 Cookware - www.360cookware.com - Vapor cooking technology in beautiful, eco-friendly pots and pans that are not only durable and sustainable but healthy ; )
  • MuBamboo - www.mukitchen.com - Super green kitchen towels, mitts and aprons - cute!
  • Eco Slow Cooker - www.vitaclaychef.com - There is nothing like throwing your food into the slow cooker in the morning and coming home to a fully prepped, hot meal! Slow cookers promote easy and healthy cooking while the VitaClay uses less energy to do the job then its competitors.
  • Easy Composting Starter Kit - www.uncommongoods.com - Promote a green kitchen but gifting the gift of easy composting. Fun for the whole family!
  • Happy Tiffin - www.happytiffin.com - Sustainable, reusable, eco friendly food storage containers. Cute, healthy and functional  - and they travel too!
Food & Beverage
(For gifting with a smile)

  • CSA Organic Produce Subscription - www.localharvest.com  - Purchasing an organic produce subscription for someone this holiday is one of the most thoughtful gifts there are. Organic produce that can be picked up or delivered weekly or monthly, offering only the freshest produce to your friends and family while helping local farmers all year long ; )
  • Frey Wine - www.freywine.com - Organic Wines from California Wine Country
  • VeeV - www.veevlife.com - Accai Spirit, great straight or mixed!
  • Maison Le Grand - www.maisonlegrand.com - Artisanal pestos, tapenades & sauces for all sorts of special diets.  Great for a ton of yummy dishes throught the holidays and all year long.
  • Gift Certificates - Give the gift of a meal out on the town or a week of groceries when gifting gift cards to  local veggie restaurants or markets like Whole Foods or Trader Joes!
  • Allisons's Gourmet -www.allisonsgourmet.com - Who can deny that the gift of killer chocolate isn't on their top 5? Allison's offers a wide variety of scrumptious vegan confections and cookies that are available as single items, gift baskets or "of the month" club deliveries.
  • Vegan Divine - www.vegandivine.us - Vegan Divine is your premier online vegan gift shop, specializing in quality vegetarian (100% vegan) gift baskets and gifts made with all natural, organic, vegan, eco, fair trade, and hand crafted products. Talk about guilt free gifting!
  • Healthy Voyager Wine Club - www.healthyvoyager.com - Featuring organic, biodynamic & sustainable wines, delivered to your door, every month!


Services & Classes
(For the gift that keeps on giving)

  • Get Real Plan - www.getrealwellnesscoach.com - Give the gift of  a wellness coaching certification.  No gift keeps on giving like that of a fresh new career or hobby!  
  • The Vegetarian Cooking School Online -  www.thevegetariancookingschool.com - Online cooking classes for vegetarians and vegans!
  • Healthy Voyager Cooking Classes - www.metabellapilates.com -  If you're in the LA area, you can purchase gift certificates for my cooking classes that are held at MetaBella Pilates in Studio City.  Every week I will cover a vegan, gluten free and other special diet class that will take us all over the world. From theme classes to general cooking how-to's & nutrition, Healthy Voyager Cooking Classes can be the gift that keeps on giving.
  • Online Yoga Classes - www.myyogaonline.com - For yourself or a friend, this site has online classes for beginners all the way to advanced yogis. This is great for travelers as you can log into your account and get your stretch on in your hotel room any where in the world! Begin your path to a healthy lifestyle in 2010 ; )
  • Bootcamp for Your Mind Entreprenurial Coaching - www.amyapplebaum.com - When you need a helping hand in building your business, join Amy one on one or in her fabulous teleclasses!
Online Stores 
I hope this list helps make your holiday shopping easier and merrier while making your holiday giftees happy, healthy & green!!

Happy Holiday Shopping Days!!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Healthy Voyager Radio - Holiday Gift Guide



Listen to the Healthy Voyager Radio right here!! Featuring my Holiday Gift Guide Picks as well as picks from Ecostiletto.com's Rachel Sarnoff:



Next show, Holiday Cooking with Celebrity Vegan Chef, Tal Ronnen & Animal Love with Earthlings director, Shaun Monson!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thanksgiving Throwdown ; )


We are here once again! The holidays have made their way around again and for most folks, evoking mixed emotions. While most people enjoy the onset of the holidays because it means time with family, good food and a time filled with cheer, 2009 has taken its toll on folks so it may seem as not so merry a season this year. However, this Thanksgiving, it is more important then ever to be thankful of what we do have and look towards the new year & decade with hope and positivity. Sure there maybe less gift giving and some may have to skip the trip home but I've got some ways to help you salvage & enjoy this Thanksgiving and holidays season! For tips to green up your holiday as well as additional recipes, be sure to check out past Thanksgiving posts from 2007 & 2008.
  • If you aren't able to make it home this holiday,  gather up a group of others who can't make it home and have a potluck dinner.  It's great fun to cook together to create a beautiful meal and enjoy the eclectic menu. Make it an event to look forward to with games, movies or even holiday crafts or even host a "Thanksgiving Throwdown" cooking competition a la Food Network style. Whether you are hosting or going to a dinner, make a full day of celebrating so that no one is feeling lonely. It is also great fun to host a Thanksgiving leftovers brunch so that the food does not go to waste and it is a way to continue the fun with your friends for a lovely holiday weekend.
  • Be creative with your menu.  If you can't afford all of the usual holiday fixings, cook up a more affordable menu like pasta, salad and rolls. Or if you're looking for something different, try a themed dinner. No matter what is served, it's all about the company ; )
  • If you don't have time to cook, make it a semi-homemade dinner and plan ahead.  It's always smart to cook a few things ahead of time and freeze/refrigerate them until the day of.  And for labor intensive parts of the meal, be sure to check your local markets to compare pricing on pre-cooked holiday meals.  In addition, if you are invited to a dinner where you know you're dietary needs will not be met, bring your own meal (which can be ordered as well) along with a dessert or a bottle of wine for your host. Then everybody wins ; )
  • Give instead of receive. Volunteer at a local shelter or soup kitchen and help those who are less fortunate.  Clear your cupboards of non-perishable food you know you will never make and donate it to a food bank to help feed a needy family this year. Rally your friends to do the same and make a day out of it ; )
  • A big tip that tout year round whether it's the holidays, you're traveling or just hangin' at home, it is sticking to your routine.  There are so many helpful resources that can help you with everything from menu planning, fitness planning, recipes, etc. Outside of healthyvoyager.com, a wonderful site that can help you now as well as year round is Vitaljuice.com. They are promoting their Happy Healthidays and if you are one of the first 100 people to sign up for their free daily newsletter from this Vitaljuice.com link, you will be entered to win $2010 on January 1st! Cash along with a healthy new year? You can't beat that!
  • And always make healthy choices! Be sure to check out my Winter Wonderland Holiday mini Ecookbook, available here. And as an added treat, enjoy these recipes this day of thanks:
Pumpkin Stuffing 


1 medium sugar pumpkin
6 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and chopped
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 (16 ounce) can whole berry cranberry sauce
1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup dark rum (optional)
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger root
1 tablespoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Position rack in the center of the oven.
Cut out top of pumpkin, and set aside. Scoop out seeds with a metal spoon.

In a large bowl, stir together the apples, walnuts, cranberry sauce, pineapple, brown sugar, raisins, and rum. Season with ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon, and mix well. Spoon the mixture into the cleaned pumpkin, and replace top.

Set pumpkin directly on a baking stone or a thick baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until pumpkin begins to soften. Remove from heat, and stir, scraping the sides gently, so that some pieces of pumpkin fall into the apple mixture. Serve & enjoy ; )

Sweet Potato Fries

9 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup agave
3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees (205 degrees C).

In a large bowl, combine the sweet potatoes, agave, ginger, oil, cardamom and pepper. Transfer to a large cast iron frying pan. Bake for 20 minutes.

Turn the mixture over to expose the pieces from the bottom of the pan. Bake for another 20 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender and caramelized on the outside.

Apple Pound Cake

2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
3 egg replacers
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups chopped, peeled tart apples
1 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup raisins


Apple Cider Glaze:

1/2 cup apple cider or apple juice
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons vegan butter

In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla; mix well. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg; add to egg mixture and mix well. Stir in apples, almonds and raisins. Pour into a greased and floured 10-in. fluted tube pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan to a wire tack to cool completely.
In a saucepan, combine glaze ingredients; cook over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Prick top of cake with a fork; drizzle with glaze.

Butterscotch Cocoa

3/4 oz Butterscotch Schnapps   
3/4 oz Coffee Liqueur   
5 oz Vegan Hot Cocoa  (prepared)

Mix ingredients in coffee mug, and top with vegan whipped cream.

Fizzy Apple

2 oz Apple Juice   
4 oz Soda Water   

Pour the apple juice into the old-fashioned glass filled previously with 3 to 5 ice cubes and add the soda. Stir before you serve.


I'm wishing you all a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving!  See you soon with the 2009 Holiday Gift Guide!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Healthy Voyager Radio - Thanksgiving Special '09



Listen to the Healthy Voyager Radio right here!! Featuring Guests, Molly & Dave Anderson of Madeleine Bistro as well as CEO of Flanigan Farms, Nutritionist Patsy Flanigan:



Next show, Healthy & Eco Holiday Gift Guide 2009 with Me & Rachel Sarnoff of Ecostiletto.com!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Before Departing Portland


Woe is me, if I could only stay a little bit longer or visit a little more frequently, I would be a happy girl. Portland charmed the pants off of me with it's fun folks, eco-friendliness and health, vegan goodness. I could go on for ages but I'll save some for my next visit.  In the mean time, here are a few more "musts" to check out in good ol' Portland!:

There are no words to describe how phenomenally awesome Portobello Vegan Trattoria, it is that indescribably good. With a seasonal, vegan menu, this coffee shop by day, fine dining by night phenom blew me out of the water.  Each course was even tastire then the next and I knew that every dish on it's ever changing menu was not only well thought out but prepared with meticulous love.  Since I was there in the fall, I indulged in all things autumn starting with their hearty Fall minestrone and moving on to their pumpkin crepe topped with cashew cream & basil. An I didn't stop there because I was torn between 2 desserts so I got them both (which was totally cool as I had Dan to share them with).  Uh, uh, uh, what????  The best tiramisu on the planet & the bomb diggitiest chocolate cream filled cannolis! Yes, I know, I stuffed myself which is not of the Healthy Voyager code but man, ohhhh man, sometimes you just have to live a little and Portobello is where its at!

One of the newer kids on the Portland scene is the appropriately named, Back to Eden Bakery. A veritable wonderland for shutting up your sweet tooth, Back to Eden dishes up freshly baked vegan delights along with soft serve soy & scoopable coconut  ice cream. In addition, they have a boutique that stocks all sorts of vegan goodies, candies & even local crafts from other artsy vegans.  Back to Eden is a super sweet spot so add it to your dining card!

One thing I absolutely love but don't get to much of, is fabulous breakfast or brunches.  There are some terrific places in LA but their all spread out all over town so I rarely get my butt out of the house in time to go get some on any given weekend. But on my trips, I am always in search of that elusive, perfect breakfast and I found it at Paradox. Serving food all day, this menu is just heaven. They've got everything from comfort food, fun food and healthy dishes so no matter your mood, Paradox has it.  But brunch was my meal of choice and Paradox delivered. It's been well over a decade since I've been able to order my breakfast by number so I was stoked when my number 1 made it to the table, tofu with home style potatoes along with a hunk of corn bread. I had to try their pancakes so I split a baby stack of the Solstice Corn Cakes with my guy.  Talk about a breakfast of champions!

I love places that has something for everyone and Old Wive's Tale is just that kind of place.  From omnivores to vegans, gluten free folks to low fat diners, this menu is drool inducing and wonderfully accommodating. Serving up yumminess all day as well as their famous Sunday brunches, this is the spot to bring everyone in your crew and no one leaves hungry. On top of the eclectic menu, OWT gives you a choice of fun dining areas: the main dining area, the children's playroom & the classical music dining room. It is hard to dine at the Old Wive's Tale and not want to try everything once and if you did try that, you wouldn't run out of options for an awfully long time! I made the healthy choice of visiting their soup & salad bar and just loved all of the great selections. Fresh & friendly isn't just an old wive's tale in Portland ; )

The last but certainly not least on the list is Vita Cafe. The epitome of Portland culture with its sustainable philosophy, veg-tastic food & fun for everyone vibe at and affordable price, Vita Cafe rocks! Specials for healthy kids meals are a great draw but the food itself is draw enough. Another all day eatery, you can eat your 3 square meals here and be surprised by each and every one. I went both naughty & nice with an order of shareable mac & cheese along with a super stuffed cold veggie wrap that was chock full of crunchy and good-for-me goodness.  Another hot spot in the Alberta Art District Vita Cafe is yet another home run ; )

So it's ta-ta for now to Portland but so much more ahead. See you next week for some more healthy eats in a new city!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Healthy Voyager Radio - Veggie Pioneers



Listen to the Healthy Voyager Radio right here!! Featuring Guests, The Mad Cowboy's Howard Lyman & Raw Vegan Radio's Steve Prussack:



Next show, Thanksgiving Special with Dave & Molly Anderson of Madeleine Bistro & Nutritionist, Patsy Flanigan!

Friday, November 6, 2009

PDX-ellent!


I just couldn't get enough of Portland and neither will you!  If you're a foodie, this town is the gem of the northwest. Sure San Fran, LA and even Seattle have their famous eateries on this vast west coast, but Portland rivals the best of the best  with some surprisingly delicious dishes!

You cannot, I repeat, cannot, visit PDX without hitting up Voodoo Doughnuts. With locations in downtown as well as South East Portland, these all night doughnut shops are more then the usual joint. I've never seen a more creative, funny & outstandingly tasty menu of doughnuts, not to mention, a HUGE selection of vegan choices. I haven't had an iced & topped doughnut in ages so I splurged and ordered a few.  On top of the ginormus variety of sugary sweets is their killer collection of artwork, knick knacks & overall enjoyable eye candy. And if awesome doughnuts for all kinds of eaters along with a fun environment & staff wasn't enough, the cool cats at VooDoo also perform weddings! Yep, that's right, from super simple to the big shebang, owners Cat Daddy & Tres are the kings of bliss both in dessert & of the wedded variety.  Check them out as soon as you roll into town and go every day until you leave because you can't have just 1 when the VooDoo casts its spell on you!

The best thing to do after mountains of sugary dough is to work it off.  Seeing as how Portland is one of the most bike friendly cities in the U.S., it is a great idea to set up a ride with Pedal Bike Tours. See the great metropolitan areas of the city on the most eco-friendly of vehicles while hearing city secrets & stopping for local treats with your savvy tour guide on 2 wheels.  I was lucky enough to have Todd, PBT's owner himself, to give me the grand tour of the cit he calls home and it was fantastic.  Through downtown, a few of the bridges that link the city with the burbs, checking out some history and more was a fine way to spend a Fall afternoon in Portland.  The tour comes with a bike, your helmet and a whole lotta fun, visit Pedal Bike Tours online for more information.

Most of the cheap eats & meal deals aren't consumed by us veggie folk as they rarely exist. But again, Stumptown hits it outta the park at the Hungry Tiger Too.  Every day of the week, this bar & grill boasts a "regular" as well as a vegan menu so everyone can enjoy a brew with some good grub and not feel left out.  Their mac & cheese is to die for, their butternut squash filled wontons with coconut cream are just insane but the big draw... $1 vegan corn dogs every Wednesday. Oh yeah, they are always on the menu but hump day is the day to hit them up for cheap eats, laughs and even cheap beer.  Make sure you head over to the Hungry Tiger Too and if you happen to be around on a Wednesday, live it up for a few bucks ; ) Visit them at 207 SE 12th Ave, Portland, OR 97214, (503) 238-4321.

With 2 locations, one in the Pearl District and one in SE Portland, the Blossoming Lotus is the talk of the town. Everywhere I went, all I heard was "Have you been to the Blossoming Lotus yet?" so I finally made it in.  The cafe in downtown is located in a beautiful yoga studio and offers some gorgeous, healthy fare as well as a nice variety of raw food.  Their newest location serves all day and has a larger menu for a more sit downy, romantic feel. Either way, Blossoming Lotus has a fresh and pure menu that doesn't leave out taste.  Their signature cashew hummus, raw cacao truffles & lavender lemonade are just a smattering of how innovative the food is here at this healthy sanctuary.  So after a great yoga session or for a romantic dinner, Blossoming Lotus is the perfect choice!

I am a sucker for all kinds of ethnic cuisine and Arabian Breeze hit the nail on the head.  With a mix of Syrian, Lebanese & Middle Eastern flavors, their authentic menu sends your right out of the states and into a new and exotic world.  They offer everything for all sorts of patrons so I had no problems finding a hearty array of things to try.  I went for the vegan Arabian Breeze Mezza which was a delicious sampler plate of middle eastern goodies then followed that up with their vegan Arabian Breeze pizza, whoa! What a neat combination of flavors and I'm so glad I had some to take back to the room with me to enjoy later. 

If only all of these placed could same day fed-ex me, I would order up dishes & treats from them every day! Stay tuned because there is still more Portland next week - hungry yet?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Healthy Voyager Radio - Vegan & Eco Authors/Advocates



Listen to the Healthy Voyager Radio right here!! Featuring Guests, co-author of Skinny Bitch, Rory Freedman, and Founder/CEO of Ecofabulous.com, Zem Joaquin:



Next show, vegan pioneers, The Mad Cowboy, Howard Lyman & Raw Vegan Radio's, Steven Prussack!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Portland Ohhh-regon!!


Well, Portland is pretty much like visiting vegan & eco-friendly heaven.  It is so easy to find something healthy, gluten free, vegan or whatever in this town along with super convenient bike paths & parking.  The city is very busy downtown and connected to the "burbs" by 10 very different bridges.  It is bustling with out feeling hurried or stressed, manageable without feeling trapped.  I really enjoyed my time here, made a bunch of new friends and know that if there is just 1 thing I need to come back for, it's the food!!!!

For first rate accommodations, the Hotel Monaco in downtown is a must.  Not only is it mega pet friendly and green seal certified, this place is luxurious and fun with zero pomp.  Beautiful rooms and killer decor throughout the hotel, the Monaco is a fabulous place to rest your head in the heart of the city.  With fun music and complimentary wine & food tastings at happy hour along with extraordinarily friendly and helpful staff, Hotel Monaco is a healthy, eco & adventurous traveler's dream.  Find out more about the hotel, reservations, their fantastic car-less vacation package, bike rentals and other reasons why they are not only green certified but also awesome, online at the Hotel Monaco website.

During my stay in Portland, I was able to visit the Bob's Red Mill facility as well as the restaurant & market. Not to mention, I got to hang out with Bob himself! Visiting the healthy & gluten free flour king at his plant was like seeing Wonka in action.  His product line is impressive and his factory, jaw dropping.  After a tour of the building, I got to ride over the nearby Bob's Red Mill market & deli with Bob in his '31 Model A Ford.  I totally dug the big red barn filled with all things Bob & his Mill produce while enjoying a fabulous brunch with him and his staff.  The deli offers food for all kinds of folks and is very accommodating to vegans & gluten free diners.  If you do ever find yourself in the Portland area, make a date to visit Bob's Red Mill. Stock up on all their wonderful products and have a fresh, healthy & scrumptious breakfast or lunch too! Who knows, Bob himself might have a seat at your table!

Sweet Pea Baking Company, Herbivore Clothing, Food Fight Grocery & Scapegoat Tattoo are all a part of what has been coined as the world's first all vegan mini-mall (it's just like, it's just like - a mini - mall!).  And I spent hours there!  I started out with a tasty brunch at Sweet Pea Baking Company.  Offering home made and ridiculously delectable sweets, treats, sandwiches, soups & healthy rice bowls, Sweet Pea rocks!  I couldn't decide on just one thing so I ordered a bunch to be sure I didn't miss out on any of the goodness. I helped myself to a hug pumpkin cinnamon roll, a bbq sandwich, a happy rice bowl of veggies, brown rice & beans topped with garlic aioli & a latte.  No I did not eat it all in one sitting but I did devour it shortly after ; )

After my brunch I popped into Herbivore clothing.  Also an online retail store, their brick & mortar location boasts some pretty nifty goods. From clothing, bags, jewelery & books, Herbivore Clothing is 100% vegan & cruelty free.  A great place to shop for hip, guilt free gifts!

Next door was the famed Food Fight Grocery. Also with an online component, their physical shop is not only full of great, hard to find products but it's also a crack up.  Every corner has something that is chuckle worthy and their veggies fighting the McDonald's cast of characters is priceless. In town or not, make it a point to shop at the Food Fight Grocery.

While I'm not a tattoo clad gal myself, I was intrigued by Scapegoat Tattoo.  Another 100% vegan establishment, Scapegoat's tattoo artistry is eco and animal friendly. From soy based inks to healthier ways to clean their instruments, Scapegoat, mainly staffed by vegans, is a neat departure from the run of the mill ink shop.

Since I had walked off my brunch, we decided to grab a slice o' pizza so we headed over to Bella Facia Pizzeria. Pizza pie for everybody, I was stoked to be able to order a fully vegan, fully delicious, piece of pizza. It's not every day that I can walk into a pizza joint and get 1 slice. Usually I have to special order it and get the whole darn pie but at Bella Faccia, they know to have it ready and waiting.  The vegan is rad with its roasted pepper, tomato & cashew base, topped with marinated tempeh & loaded with veggies. And the crust is boss! Nothing rocks harder then killer crust, ok and vegan cheese, but crust is king. Bella Faccia also offers great salads and a variety of baked goods from Piece of Cake Bakery (lots of goodies for gluten free peeps & vegans).

For an elegant yet affordable and sustainable dinner, Aquariva on the river is just the spot.  A really chic locale with a nice bar and event space on the second floor, Aquariva isn't what you'd expect.  The menu is extremely affordable and on top of that, features local and organic, seasonal ingredients. They even have their own vegetable and herb garden for added freshness.  I was glad to see how helpful they were in recommending and creating a wonderful vegan meal for me. My risotto was off the charts and the baby greens and beet salad was nothing to sneeze at.  For a change of pace & ambiance, have a romantic and relaxing meal at Aquariva.

Let me tell you, there is way more Portland to come.  I could go on for days and still not have covered all the phenomenal food & neat things to do in this Pacific paradise. See you again next week with some mo' Portland!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Healthy Voyager Radio - Halloween w/Veggie Grill & VegNews



Listen to the Healthy Voyager Radio right here!! Featuring Guests, Kevin Boylan & Ray White from Veggie Grill as well as Colleen Holland fro VegNews Magazine:



Next show, Co-Author of Skinny Bitch, Rory Freedman & Zem Joaquin of Ecofabulous.com!

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Green & Good for You Ghoul's Day!


For those of you who don't know, I LOVE Halloween ; ) Dan and I love dressing up as a fun and famous duo each year - last year it was Bonnie and Clyde! The crisp air, the colors and onset of the holidays season, Halloween is nothing but a big ol' treat for me!! From October 1st on, I relish each day by burning pumpkin candles and planning which haunted houses to hit up while helping Dan build one of our own in front of our house to entertain the neighborhood ghouls on all Hallow's Eve. For the past 2 years I have offered up some healthy as well as eco ideas for a slim and trim as well as green Halloween  - you can view the past posts right here - 2007 and 2008.  Lots of fun tips and recipes to make this a rockin' Halloween for all.  Below I have also compiled some new tips and recipes to try out this year at your own or if attending any spooky festivities!!
  • The best new vegan chocolates on the market are by Go Max Go Foods - they are hoping to roll out the holiday fun size bars in 2010 but for now, hand these sweet treats to the best dressed kids in your hood ; )
  •  Another great healthy candy find are Surf Sweets! Healthy, naturally sweetened, gluten free and mostly vegan (a few items aren't so make sure you read the ingredients) gummy and jelly beany treats. Awesome!
  • Visit and sign up for Green Halloween - it's a great resource for parents & schools to help make Halloween healthy and safe for our most precious goblins ; )
  • Visit school and community organized Halloween events, pumpkin patches and haunted houses.  It's a great way to help out your community while having some good clean fun.
  • If you are hosting a party, opt for the weekend after Halloween. This way, you can enjoy the actual Halloween night as well as the competing parties and you have an excuse to wear your costume 1 more time!  It's also a great way to rid yourself of left over candy and be able to enjoy the fun for a bit longer ; ) Or maybe, celebrate Dia De Los Muertos Day on November 1st with some creepy pinatas and fun Mexican style cuisine!
  • Make creative and healthy treats for your guests as well as opting for home made or recycled decorations.  Please visit my previous posts for some green decoration as well as yummy recipes to go withe the ones below:
Spooky Juice
1 oz Organic Vodka
2 splashes Blue Curacao
1 splash Grenadine
Fill with Orange juice

Mix with ice and serve in a scary goblet!

The Great Pumpkin Punch
1 Pumpkin
1 part Apple cider
2 parts Ginger ale
1 part Rum
Sprinkle with nutmeg

Serve in a hollowed out pumpkin with floating pumpkin chunks. (make non-alcoholic by removing the rum)

Cranial Cream Cheese Dip
Plastic wrap
1 small party favor plastic skull candy container
1 package vegan cream cheese
1 jar chunky salsa (or fresh home made salasa!)
crackers or chips for spreading/dipping

Set the cream cheese out to warm to room temperature. Line the inside of the plastic skull dish with plastic wrap leaving enough edges to wrap around later. Spoon the softened cream cheese into the plastic-lined skull dish, mashing in as much cream cheese as possible to pick up the most detail in the mold. Scrape any extra cream cheese off the top so it is flat. Close the plastic wrap over the flat cream cheese top and place in the freezer to set. Once set, remove the plastic wrap from the skull dish, and serve. Place the skull in a shallow dish, garnish with the bloody salsa, including inside the eye sockets, and stab with your favorite spreader. You can extend the time before needing to refill by placing the skull on half a block of cream cheese, but cover the plain cream cheese with enough sauce so you can only see the skull above the "blood."


Pump-cicles
2 1/2 lbs. butternut squash
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2/3 cup vegan whipping cream
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Cut a butternut squash into quarters and scoop out the seeds.  Boil or bake the squash until soft. Let the squash cool a bit before scooping its flesh into a medium-size bowl.  Add pure maple syrup, vegan cream, and pumpkin pie spice to the bowl. Use a potato masher to mush the squash and blend all of the ingredients. Spoon the mixture into ice pop molds, add sticks, and freeze for at least 6 hours before serving.


Healthy & Haunted Graveyard
1/2 cup fresh spinach
10 ounces garlic hummus
Broccoli and Celery (for trees)
Pretzels (shirt, thin sticks & mini twisties for the fence)
Tofu (marinated in clear or white marinade like italian dressing & cut into ghost shapes)    
Crackers (square for tombstones)
Black olives
Paint brush and black food coloring

In a food processor, puree the spinach and hummus.

To make the tofu ghosts, cut slits and insert black-olive facial features. Use the small paint brush and food coloring to turn crackers into tombstones.

Mound the dip on a tray and top it with veggie trees, a pretzel fence, tofu ghosts, and cracker tombstones to create your graveyard!

Dead Gingerbread Men
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vegan shortening
1 egg replacer
1 cup molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons warm water
1/4 cup raisins for decorating

In large bowl, cream vegan shortening, sugar, egg replacer and warmed molasses. Dissolve baking soda in warm water and add to egg replacer mixture. Beat until smooth. Slowly add flour, spices and salt. Mix until well blended. Cover and chill for 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets. Roll out dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch on a floured surface. Cut out gingerbread men using cookie cutters and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on wire racks.

Use black icing to make an "X" where the eyes should be, you can also make a frown for a mouth using the icing. Break off some of the heads & use red icing for blood around the neck on the heads & bodies ; )

Have a very happy and healthy Halloween!! OOOOHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Healthy Voyager Radio - Natural Health & Fitness



Listen to the Healthy Voyager Radio right here!! Featuring Guests, Naturopath & Chef, Doc Rob, & Vegan Fitness Guru, Ashley Marriott:



Next show, Halloween treats with VegNews Magazine & Veggie Grill!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Healthy Voyager Radio - Pet Adoption Benefits & Resources



Listen to the Healthy Voyager Radio right here!! Featuring Guests Abbie Binstock Moore from AdoptAPet.com & animal lover, comedienne, Lang Parker:



Next show, Health & Fitness for the holidays with Doc Rob & Ashley Marriot!

Friday, October 2, 2009

World Veg Festival Weekend in San Francisco



If you happen to be withing driving distance to San Francisco this weekend, make it a point to spend some time at the World Veg Fest in Golden Gate Park.  It will be full of all kinds of great exhibits, vendors, TONS of awesome food and some wonderful speakers. One you won't want to miss is my presentation at 2:45pm on Saturday in the Garden Club Room. I will be chatting about my global experiences on planes, trains and automobiles as the Healthy Voyager as well as some fun, healthy and green tips that you can use on future travels. 
For more information on the event as well as the speaker schedule,
visit the World Veg Fest website!
Hope to see you there!!
I will be off on some Pacific Northewest Healthy Voyages over the next few weeks but I will be back in time for some fun Halloween tips and recipes as well as some great new healthy city secrets!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Healthy Voyager Radio - Women's Health



Listen to the Healthy Voyager Radio right here!! Featuring Guest Lissa Rankin, Holistic OB/GYN & Founder of OwningPink.com:




Next week, Pet Adoption and Benefits with Abbie Moore from Adoptapet.com & Comedienne Lang Parker!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Hangin' in Hendersonville


Passin' through North Carolina, we made a pit stop in Hendersonville, located about 30 minutes from Asheville. Cute, quiet and lush with green forests, this small, American town had some fine places to dine.  Not far from here, Dirty Dancing was filmed, and its no wonder as the calm and peaceful, rolling hills are a slice of American splendor ; )

A way stylish joint with a creative menu, the Never Blue was our first meal in town.  I devoured my home made hummus (yummy with spinach and lots of garlic) along with my fresh beet salad (sans cheese). Some great Spanishy & Asiany culinary action going on here. This place is such a treat for anyone passing through town. For more information, visit the Never Blue website.

Square 1 Bistro felt like chic and hipster Asheville had moved to small town America.  Open for brunch, tapas and dinner, Square 1 prides itself on serving sustainable, green and local cuisine. The menu is based on what is in season and grown locally so that each dish that leaves their kitchen is as fresh as can be. Their garden plate was not only beautiful but tasty too! There is nothing like freshly picked veggies cooked with flare. Do yourself a favor and have a meal and a glass of wine at Square 1 Bistro.

For a great cup o' joe and a killer snack before heading out of town, pop into the Living Room Cafe. Really cute inside, this coffee shop is more then meets the eye. Home made desserts, soups, salads and famous sandwiches are a great reason to come on back through town. The veganized veggie cuban was rad and the service was stupendous. Don't miss your latte or your road snack, head over to The Living Room Cafe at 536 N Main St, downtown, Hendersonville, NC 28792 (828)692-6335.

Some of my favorite finds are in the smaller towns. It's so much fun to discover great food in all sorts of neat locations.  Hopefully your future travels will bring you through good ol' Hendersonville someday!