Evolve: Feed your Soul

Oak Bluffs, MVIt's amazing what a little day trip can do for the soul. One of my all time favorite things to do is explore a town or a city and find healthy, alternative, funky veg friendly spots, pop into some shops, take a nice walk or a bike ride and soak in the beauty of creation that surrounds me. This is exactly what I did in Vineyard Haven, Martha's Vineyard, MA while my new bf :) made me feel like I was Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman as he went off to work and brought me along to play for the day! Swoon!

First on the agenda for my source of fun: FOOD! Oh my amazingness at Blissed Out! I'm telling you ~like attracts like, and it pops up all around me now!

Blissed Out, Vineyard Haven, MVI rounded the corner and poof ~ Blissed Out appeared! It's the only healthy vegan cafe of its kind on the whole island, and it just happened to be less than a block from our hotel!

The owner and I bonded over the excitement of fresh off the dehydrator raw vegan macaroons and curly hair talk! You never know who you're supposed to meet ~ just as she was a treat to me, I was a little treat to her with my curly hair expertise:)! Wahe Guru!

Blissed Out, Martha's Vineyard

Blissed Out, Martha's VineyardAfter my basking in bliss moment of enjoying these little food delights outside on the bench in the warm sun, I wandered into an art gallery and found myself enchanted by an array of greeting cards.

Ingrid Goff-MaidoffAs I was taking pictures of these inspiring quotes, I was drawn to a unique poem just as the woman who created it approached me. Our eyes locked and it was as if I was instantly taken to another life that we must have shared together ~ it was so obvious that we had known each other somewhere! It was such an awesome experience! We both agreed we had a soul connection. I thanked her for her bright light in my life that day and felt so blessed to be able to really experience the love that surrounds us always.

Ingrid Goff-MaidoffA simple smile or a thank you can instantly brighten a persons day and life. I am so grateful for her. She is such a gift to the world with her creative spirit expressing her talent through her art form. It filled me with so much gratitude for the Creator and for all of our unique gifts and talents that make this world go round.

Emily DickinsonMy inspiration continued to bubble over even more as I stumbled into more art galleries and enjoyed the beauty of the artists' perceptions, their talents and their gifts. I became overwhelmed with inspiration in art, in creation, in life, in love, in joy and in pleasure. It made me realize that all we have to do is look around, and open our eyes. Beauty is everywhere, from the food I ate that day, to the art work, the written quotes and poems, my bike ride in nature, and my time spent with my newfound bf.

My heart was fluttering with inspiration and motivation to keep writing and blogging, to keep aligning with my gifts and talents, and to feel at peace knowing that we all have a unique set of gifts and talents that expresses the light within us, which contributes to the collective beauty in this life that surrounds us.

We are all ONE and we are all LOVE. What we experience is what we are putting out there. Everything is a mirror that only multiplies as we keep attracting more of the same, raising our vibration one person at a time through an attitude of gratitude, a jolt of inspiration and a smile of joy.

So keep on shining!

KATE-SIGNATURE

LifeStyle Lessons: Holy, Hangover!

FOMU, vegan ice cream BostonI'm not talking about an alcohol hangover, oh no, I'm talking about over indulgence with food! No bueno! I do this sometimes, testing the waters, thinking I can get away with not feeling the effects of sugar or baked goods, or anything that's hard to digest, especially when eaten later in the day. I followed 'the when its okay to cheat on your diet rules' though, and ate my vegan ice cream in the middle of the day, at the peak of the fire of digestion! It was my little treat to myself to comfort me on a rainy day after a yoga class that brought up lots of anger emotions (strange?!)

I had found FOMU in Boston a few months ago while visiting my sisters. We had a totally decadent night of veg friendly food followed by vegan ice cream sundaes!

I haven't been back there since I moved here, but I happened to stumble into this cute little gourmet shop called Beacon Hill Gourmet on my street a couple weeks ago and found that they sold FOMU 'ice cream' by the pint. I chose Salted Caramel because I had been envious of my sisters who both enjoyed a salted caramel ice cream cone from J.P. Licks the other day, (J.P. Licks also has vegan ice cream options too which is oh so fun!) so I jumped all over buying that cute little packaged pint!

It had been sitting in my freezer for a couple weeks, and I hadn't been in the mood for it until yesterday. Maybe I would have been okay if I had just eaten half of it...but I kept going! It was just so comforting and creamy and delicious! No wonder though, the second ingredient was evaporated cane sugar, and the third, agave. I basically just ate a pint of coconut cream and sugar....

I didn't feel the negative affects at all until about an hour later....hangover central! My stomach was so mad at me, and there was really nothing I could do!

I pulled out all my tricks though:

Ginger tea. Hot water with lemon. Detox tea. A walk to move the digestion. A short nap to try and sleep it off. A Hot Body Scrub before bed to remove toxins. Barley (to pull out the dampness in my body) vegetable soup for dinner. Double dose of Triphala before bed (a natural detox pill to support elimination).

Luckily I feel better now that it's the next morning, but I must live and learn from this little over indulgence. While it was fun, I'm not so sure it was worth it...Now that I've been eating so clean for so long, my body just can't handle these very yin (Macro term), very kapha (Ayurveda term) extreme foods.

Everything in Moderation, right?! Hopefully I'll keep myself in check next time! Til then...

KATE-SIGNATURE

Reviews: Healthy Brunching in Boston

Life Alive, CambridgeI wrote this post long ago, but it has a newfound meaning for me now that I can actually call Boston home this week!!:) Yay for moving to Boston and having some pretty awesome restaurants to choose from! I can recall many an indulgent breakfast/brunch in my college days either spent all day drinking champagne at Charleston's Vickery's, or 'still--drunk fests' at Myrtle Beach's finest ~ Denny's.

Brunch is the NEW 'weekend night out' in the most trendiest of places and will always satisfy that comfort we crave, but now that I'm a 'healthy veg girl', it's not typically a meal that I look forward to eating out because the options tend to be limited to oatmeal or toast...

You can imagine my excitement when I stumble across a healthy restaurant that caters to me and my tastebuds!

Life Alive in Cambridge, MA is tried and true! While it doesn't have a breakfast menu per say, it does have an amazing juice and smoothie menu and a lunch menu to die for! Literally, anything you get there will leave you feeling happy and satisfied!

True Bistro in Somerville, caters to the fancy vegan cuisine palette! Their dinners are lovely, but their brunches are a treasure!

Veggie Galaxy

Veggie Galaxy in Cambridge is a vegan indulgent diner haven! True to diner form, it offers malt shakes, sundaes, french toast and pancake galore set to the '50's soundtrack and a spinning case of baked goods.

ROOT in Allston is a new fave!! A super hip hot spot serving up a vegan 'foodie' menu complete with a farm style ambiance that includes mason jar glasses.

Thank you Boston, for serving up all that I crave and more! I can't wait to explore and eat my way through the city starting next week! I'll be sure to post my adventures:)

(I hear The Friendly Toast is great for brunch, so you know I'll be checking that out asap!;)

KATE-SIGNATURE

Kate

Indulge, then re-group

well clearly i've been too busy indulging in all the glory of the fall, by eating and exploring and not writing! i'm loving being back in charming new england during my most favorite season! i've been 'peeping' my way through all the foliage and breathing in that crisp, clean, woodsy scent of autumn. the bright colors on the leaves, mixed with the low hanging sun in the light blue sky is absolutely dazzling! it gives me an extra spring in my step!

i've taken full advantage of road tripping through the state of massachusetts and you better believe, all my vegan restaurants were scouted out before hand, and ALL of them surpassed my expectations!

the little town of northampton, MA is super funky and had two delightful restaurants!

paul and elizabeth's, as recommended to me from a friend, had the best vegan burger and sweet potato fries! we started with a yummy bean soup too and were completely warmed right up from a cold, damp day!

we asked the waitress what she recommended as far as hiking/walking trails, and she led us to the most beautiful little trail through smith college campus. all the leaves were changing, and filling up the path for us to kick around, all while winding around the quaint little river...so perfect!

we then made our way out to the berkshires, and i would have driven the 3 hours alone, just to eat this absolutely, out of control with yumminess, pizza at baba louie's in great barrington.

O.M.G...seriously  never had a pizza this good - including my days of real cheese...we hiked up mountains, got lost through country towns, and eventually made our way back through northampton to try the second recommendation at bela's vegan spot.

their apple, caramel, walnut cake, was the epitome of comfort food!

fast forward to NYC.

oh, NYC, how i love you...the weather could not have been more perfect for strolling through central park, or for my bike ride along the hudson river! i was in heaven!

even though i had a lot of time to myself, i wasn't going to let that get in the way of checking out lots of vegan restaurants on my list, on my own!

candle 79 in the upper east side had the best black bean and pumpkin seed burger with a side of polenta fries! surprisingly, it was an upscale, bistro setting, with a super cool wine bar and bartender to boot!

i left with my helmet in hand, and made my way down to the east village to indulge in the BEST vegan ice cream parlour, stogo!! i looked like a little kid with chocolate ice cream all over my face and hands and was smiling ear to ear...it's the little things that excite me! i had 3 different scoops of ice cream - yes that's right, i go all out! aaaannndd i got a cookie to go with it....literally a kid in a candy shop....

i was also completely blown away by the cool, 'foodie' type vegan spot in the east village called dirt candy. my new friend who i met on the train from providence to penn station, used to live in the city and had recommended it to me. i feel so cool that i ducked into this gem of a spot like a true new yorker, without the help of any bloggers reporting on where to go that's trendy...

but, i will say that probably the highest reviews/recommendations that i came across were on cafe blossom....and it is all that it's cracked up to be, and more!! we had a yummy three course meal there and i was literally stuffed for days...

needless to say, all this food, albeit healthy, vegan food, still has sugar and flour in it, not to mention the fact that i had some wine and bourbon along the way...i needed to come back and detox...

i wanted to share with you my little go-to mini cleanse as recommended to me from my macro cooking instructor...it's only two days long, but brings you back to center in no time.

i start my day with the carrot-daikon drink for breakfast (refer to previous post on the recipe), then i have mild fish soup with steamed greens for lunch, and for dinner, i have a grain and bean/lentil soup with more steamed greens.

i repeat for day two, and it's amazing that by just eating two soups per day and drinking a detox tea on an empty stomach, to start the morning really gives your digestion a much needed rest.

the fish in the soup helps pull you back to the yang side of your yin (sugar/flour/alcohol) rush...basically just boil some water with dried shittake mushrooms and add some veggies to simmer til tender, add greens and fresh white, wild caught fish, cut into 1 inch cubes and let it simmer til the fish is cooked. season with some tamari, and enjoy!!! it's soooo satisfying! note, that you're not eating a grain with this meal...

final note on entering into this holiday season, or anytime for that matter, please keep in mind to "check yourself, before you wreck yourself"! don't think, 'oh who cares, i've already eaten bad today, i may as well continue into the next'...recipe for disaster my friend...

always come back to center, sit down to a wholesome meal, and you will be back on track...just stay mindful, and know that you have to hone it in sometimes...

New England Road Trip

i was able to maintain a vegan lifestyle with ease, as i stumbled across many vegan restaurants while living in L.A. the more restaurants i found, the more fun it was to become inspired by their dishes to create at home. in turn, creating a domino effect of mastering the knowledge and practice with my approach to eating whole, natural foods. with that being said, having a variety of vegan restaurants to choose from when you need a break from your kitchen was a luxury!

the best of the best surrounded me in my L.A. neighborhood, where i could relax in knowing i was being served an animal free, fun, alternative spin on my favorite comforts from my past.

i mean, come on, who doesn't love a good cheeseburger? or pizza? or ice cream sundae? or nachos? we vegans gotta get our fix somehow! i will mention here for the record though, that in all honesty, i prefer my cooking on a daily basis to going out because i take pride in what i feed myself.

but, it is imperative to get a break and have someone else cook for you and serve you, to experience foods that you don't regularly cook for yourself. i am utterly (no pun) grateful and appreciative for the revolution in vegan friendly menu's and restaurants! it is amazing how a vegan version of our favorites can be re-created to satisfy our nostalgia.

now that i'm back on cape cod, i'm left with some slim pickin's...granted, i can find a vegan option on any menu with a little tweaking and re-designing (always being articulate and sensitive to my server). but the 'fun' foods are hard to come by - luckily, there's an app for that!

the 'vegan' app. or go online and check out to www.vegguide.org, or yelp and type in 'vegan' and you can find places in your surrounding areas. or blogs - one of my favorites in L.A. was www.quarrygirl.com, but the best is word of mouth.

this is how i came to find 3 AMAZING vegan spots this weekend while over the bridge.

if you are ever in the providence/newport area, you must try Keen-wah Super Food Eatery in newport, where you can satisfy your lunchtime burger craving - YUM!

then head over to the amazing vegan food truck, serving up all things soft serve in providence- from ice cream floats to shakes, and beyond into the candy world, at LIKE NO UDDER (great name).

for dinner in providence, you must try garden grille cafe - their tacos are scrumptious and their carrot cake, divine!!

i was like a kid in a candy shop all day! it was heavenly. i intend to eat my vegan way through new england to report on all my findings!

two other delights that put me into a blissful state recently, that need mention in the boston area are, true foods bistro in sommerville.

an awesome place to get your fancy, eclectic spin on!

and life alive in cambridge - it is sheer grounded-ness comfortingly warming and inviting on all levels - i could literally live there!

stay tuned for my next recommendations! til then, please comment on your favorites that are must try's!