48 Hours in Denver, Colorado

The places I go when I travel are always changing but the few things I always find right away are some great vegan food, find where to try the local brews, take in a hike and do what the locals do.

This of course applies to my trip in the great mile high city, Denver. Yes we all know that Marijuana is legal in Denver which is awesome but no I did not take advantage of that on this particular trip. I have in fact been to Denver on numerous occasions but those were all planned trips with either a show to go see or friends to visit so on this particular solo trip there were a few things I had wanted to do last time that I could get in now.

So lets start off shall we, after all day in an airport I’m usually pretty hungry and definitely thirsty so I solve that problem first. After I got checked in and dropped off my stuff I took to the town on foot. The weather was mild and the town was buzzing even though it was a Tuesday night. I had heard of a spot called City O’ City that was supposed to have the best vegan fare and fresh crafty cocktails and decided that would be my spot for the evening. Upon entering I observed the dim lighting, it was dimly lit in the best way possible, lit in a way to that would allow a solo traveller a nice quite seat unnoticed at the bar to unwind for the night.  I began with a cocktail named ‘spring of 68‘ which consisted of house infused jalapeno tequila, carrot juice, lime, tripel sec, cilantro garnish. This was indeed my first encounter with mixing carrot juice and tequila and I was stoked. Who knew that two of my favorite things could be combined so nicely. It was fresh, earthy and sweet because of the carrot with a little kick at the end. This is one I will definitely re-create at home. While reveling in my spicy carrot, tequila concoction I began to peruse the menu and was immediately concerned. I want everything on the menu, how could I ever make such tough decisions when they all sound so intriguing.

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Getting my vegan yum on with the Crudo Board @City O’ City

I started with the crudo board, a melange of zucchini roll-ups, julienned fruits and vegetables in spinach leaves, a rustic salsa in a spoon, and a tower of avocado poke topped with grapefruit, with red bell pepper and greens, house pickled vegetables, delicious. I was unable to make any further decisions without consulting with the creator or my tasty libation, so upon getting some suggestions from the bartender I was able to proceed. Next was seitan wings with half buffalo and half bbq sauce (this is how the bartender suggested I try it) served with ranch and celery. Fantastic, it was as close as anyone has gotten to making a faux meat dish without it tasting like cardboard. Next the savory waffle, a gluten free delight topped with seasonal vegetable ragù and vegan cheese fondue, let me tell you it was stellar!  At this point I had surpassed what could have been any slight notions of hunger many bites ago and could not consume another morsel of tasty vegan goodness, so I decided that for desert I would to go for elevenses cocktail. Lavender infused cap rock gin, earl gray syrup, lemon, topped with soda, this fizzy and effervescent botanical blend was the perfect way to end my night. I crept back out into the night, with what seemed like twenty seven pounds of leftover food to cram into my teeny hotel fridge, with a feeling of satisfaction and success.  

City O’ City
206 E 13th Avenue
Denver, CO 80203
(303) 831-6443

cc4a847fc03d9a60402dcc106ed9e2fdI arose early, big day ahead, meeting friends at Coors Stadium for a Colorado Rockies game later in the afternoon and needed to get in some time for sightseeing before that. After touring the promenade of neat little shops, bakeries for a while I decided it was time for a bite. That is when I trekked across town to go to Snooze. Once just a small breakfast joint in Denver serving up the best and freshest breakfast fare, now they boast locations in California and Arizona and I can see why. The atmosphere is bright, you can’t help but feel chipper when you are there with all of the fun colors and the fun, bubbly staff. When I am home I am not a big breakfast person, its always some kind of smoothie or juice on the run for me so sometimes when I travel I revel in this enjoyment of a sit down breakfast that is so foreign to me. After assessing my options I have come to the conclusion that I will definitely have to be “that person” that wants to modify something 97 different ways. If there was something I learned from years of working in the service industry and being a vegan is how to put in those annoying orders in a delicate manner as to not royally piss off those poor guys in the kitchen in the first few hours of their 10 hour shift. So I nonchalantly order the Snooze Breakfast Burrito, a monster burrito filled with scrambled eggs (which I had the option to substitute scrambled tofu for), hash browns, house black beans, cheddar & jack cheese (I substituted guacamole), topped with pico de gallo and of green chili. I decided the best accompaniment to my meal was the Gazpacho Bloody Mary, its components consisted of Cucumber, Pepper & Garlic Infused Mell Vodka & House Bloody Mix. Now I feel like the champion of all breakfast champions, you know its going to be a great day already thanks to the fine folks at Snooze.

As a non-organized sports fan, watching sports is about as enthralling as watching paint dry. I have nothing against it in anyway, it just escapes my attentions if I was a five year old walking by a pet store. But when you are in the crowd with all of the excited fans you can’t help but feel a bit excited along with them. There is sunshine and beer so its already going to be a lovely afternoon. I honestly don’t know who won that game but I do know this: people watching at sporting events is the cats pajamas, I mean this is the mother of all people watching spectacles. From parents trying to wrangle their five kids together like a group of monkeys to the die hard body painters to the failed attempt at a creative first daters and a plethora of others in between you can see it all here at Mile High Stadium.

2001 Blake St, Denver, CO 80205

Colorado Rockies/Coors Field

 

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Cabbage “crostini” with homemade ginger squash hummus

Cabbage “crostini” with homemade ginger squash hummus, avocado, dill, carrot zest and cracked black pepper.

I love to eat light and fresh. This recipe is perfect as a quick appetizer to impress guests or enjoy whenever you please.

What you need:

Cabbage 3 large leaves cut into small squares (any type is fine, napa cabbage or purple cabbage are my favorites for this recipe.

Half an avocado

1 Carrot sliced into small strips with a vegetable peeler or julienned

A few springs a fresh dill coarsely chopped

Ginger squash Hummus: This part you will need to make ahead of time. 1 cup cooked butternut squash, 1 inch chunk of fresh ginger, 1 clove of garlic, juice of 1/2 a lemon, 1 tbsp tahini, 2tbsp olive oil, pink himalayan sea salt and pepper to taste. Place all ingredients in the blender and viola you’ve just made a bean free hummus with less fat content and fresh taste in no time!

Once you have everything prepped start by laying out your cabbage squares and put about a tablespoon of hummus directly on all of the pieces. Next layer a slice of avocado on top of the hummus. Top the avocado with your freshly chopped dill. Sprinkle on the small shreds of carrots and finally top of with freshly ground black pepper, enjoy!

This is entirely, gluten free, soy free, dairy free, bean free and always %100 Vegan.

Juicing Cannabis

I have been an advocate for Medical/Recreation Cannabis use for many years now and over time I have tried several ways to incorporate marijuana into my diet/body in the most healthy natural ways possible. Juicing cannabis is fantastic and simple if you are already juice a lot, I have my juicer running almost every single day so I can juice the leaves in my daily green juice. The folks over at Leaf Science compiled some great tips and breakdowns of the benefits of Cannabis juicing.

1. Avoid the High

While the downsides of getting high are often debated, the fact is that some people prefer their cannabis without psychoactive effects. This is where juicing comes in handy.

Since heat is required to convert the THCA in raw cannabis into THC, its psychoactive form, juicing provides a way of obtaining many of the benefits of cannabis without getting high.

2. Ingest Higher Doses

Along the same line, not getting high makes it easier to take higher doses of cannabis and therefore more of its medical components, also known as cannabinoids.

One doctor who recommends juicing is Dr. William Courtney, founder of the Cannabis International Foundation. According to Dr. Courtney, THC can be taken in doses of hundreds of milligrams when in its acid form. However, once heated, the tolerable dose drops to 10 mg a day.

Cannabis juice also contains CBDA, the acid form of CBD.

3. Versatility

Cannabis juice can be mixed with a variety of other healthy ingredients to create delicious drinks perfect for any time of the day.

It’s also easier to drink cannabis juice while at work, in the car and in other places where smoking or vaporizing might be inconvenient.

4. Avoid Smoking

Juicing, like vaporizing, allows you to avoid the negative effects of smoking.

Although cannabis smoke has not been linked to lung cancer, it can irritate the airways and lead to minor respiratory symptoms such as chronic bronchitis. Thus, juicing may even help you breathe a bit easier.

5. Prevent Disease

While cannabis is often seen as a treatment for chronic diseases, incorporating cannabis into your diet can be a great way to maintain health and prevent disease.

Cannabinoids have been shown to possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties, making them a powerful dietary supplement.

As Hippocrates, one of the most famous physicians in history, once said: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

 

Wilderness Therapy

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Twin Lakes, Jackson, Montana

We all have those times in life where things just feel stagnant, it can be hard to get motivated, you may be suffering from a loss of creativity or just sheer boredom. Well there is one solution that is 100% guaranteed to cure all of your blues, just get outside, breath in that fresh air and let go of all of your worries. Being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings. Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones.

So now matter how or where you are get your daily dose of nature.

Benefits of Superfoods

What are superfoods you might ask? A nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being. Superfoods are very special things that do wonders for our body and overall health. Superfoods are popping up in restaurants dishes and products all over everywhere. With so many nuts, seeds, legumes and plants boasting these super benefits it is so easy to incorporate them into our daily diet. Blueberries, Maca, Raw hemp seeds Beluga Lentils, Cacao, Ginseng, Green Tea, Kale, sesame seeds, avocado, bananas, walnuts, bok choy, spinach, apples, asparagus, spirulina, steel cut oats are all great superfoods we could all use more of.

Check out more of my articles like this here.

Goddess Retreat @ Re/creation Cafe, Hollywood Hills, CA

The guys at the Re/Creation Cafe put on an incredible event bringing together so many beautiful souls for a day of yoga, play, beauty and pure bliss. These men treated every woman like the true goddess they are!

See other past events like this and check out upcoming events at the Re/creation Cafe.

 

Lemons and their many wonders

I just LOVE lemons.

I make a warm cup of lemon cayenne water first thing. Doing this ritual every morning provides a super stimulant to the liver, your main detoxing organ in the body. Your liver will release uric acid and create bile to safely eliminate environmental and lifestyle toxins that would otherwise be trapped in your digestive system longer. Remember keeping your liver and digestive system clean and in optimal condition will help your body prevent diseases like cancer in the future. Combining cayenne with lemon increases the detoxing effect and raises the temperature of your body increasing your metabolism.

As an excellent source of the powerful antioxidant vitamin C, lemons and lemon juice can help fight the formation of free radicals known to cause cancer.

The antioxidant vitamin C, when eaten in its natural form or applied topically, can help to fight skin damage caused by the sun and pollution, reduce wrinkles and improve overall skin texture. Vitamin C plays a vital role in the formation of collagen, the support system of your skin.

Iron deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in developed countries and a leading cause of anemia. Pairing foods that are high in vitamin C with foods that are iron-rich will maximize the body’s ability to absorb iron. For example, squeeze lemon juice atop a salad with spinach and chickpeas (both a good source of iron).

Check out my “Cheesy” Kale Chips Recipe

Check it out, now published in Los Angeles based Attract Magazine

“Cheesy” Kale Chips

1 Bunch of organic kale

1/3 Cup Nutritional Yeast

1 Garlic Clove

½ A red bell pepper

2 Tablespoons of olive oil

3 Tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice

½ Teaspoon sea salted

1 Cup of raw cashews soaked for one hour and drained

Rinse the kale and dry. Remove the stems and tear into bite size pieces. Let the kale air out as much as possible before coating. Blend all of the other ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth. Transfer kale and seasoning to a large bowl and mix well using your hands to ensure the leaves are well coated. Place the kale on the dehydrator trays, dehydrate at 118 degrees overnight or until coating is dry. You can also bake them in the oven at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until crispy.

What I eat in a day as a gluten free, soy free vegan

Many people tell me they how no idea how I survive on such a “strict” “diet.” Well let me break those last two myths down.

First, while I do have a large list of things I will not eat the amount of things that I do eat largely outnumbers what I can’t. There are vast arrays of fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables and grains that enjoy all the time so I do not consider it “strict” or ever feel like I am missing out on anything.

Second, I also do not consider they way that I choose to consume my daily nutrients and calories to be a diet. This is my lifestyle and the conscious choices that I make on what I eat are a reflection of my beliefs and goals. Having a plant based diet is what works for me and makes me feel my best, it is also much better for the environment and the economy to choose to buy local, organic and plant based as much as possible.

So here is a little look at what I consume on any given day.

After waking up and oil pulling I make a warm cup of lemon cayenne water first thing. Doing this ritual every morning provides a super stimulant to the liver, your main detoxing organ in the body. Your liver will release uric acid and create bile to safely eliminate environmental and lifestyle toxins that would otherwise be trapped in your digestive system longer. Remember keeping your liver and digestive system clean and in optimal condition will help your body prevent diseases like cancer in the future. Combining cayenne with lemon increases the detoxing effect and raises the temperature of your body increasing your metabolism.

Breakfast: Superfood Smoothie

RAW SUPERFOOD SMOOTHIE

1 Banana

¼ Cup Goji berries

2 tbsp Raw Hemp Seeds

2 Dates

1 tsp Maca powder

1 Cup of Strawberries

1/2  Cup Kiwis

1 ½ Cups of Almond Milk (can substitute hemp milk, soy milk or base of your choice)

Place all ingredients in the blender on high for 1-2 minutes, pour and enjoy this delicious treat that will keep you full all morning! Check out my article in Active Orange County Magazine.

Lunch: Cabbage “Crostini” with home made ginger squash hummus. Check out my recipe Cabbage “crostini”

Dinner:

 

 

The Raw Food Diet

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What is the raw food diet that everyone has been buzzing about lately? “Rawism” as it is sometimes referred to consists of eating only raw, fresh, living, organic unprocessed foods that have not been heated above 118 degrees Fahrenheit. This concept is based on the fact that once food has been heated above that temperature it begins to break down and loses nutrients and enzymes. These natural occurring enzymes aid in the digestion process, help to boost the immune system and fight chronic disease. So what does that mean? In short by eating raw foods that are full of their natural enzymes your body does not need to work as hard to process these foods and absorb all of their powerful nutrients. A proper raw diet eliminates constipation, and the transit time of waste matter shortens to 24 hours or less, avoiding the buildup of toxemia from the recycling of toxins from the colon. Many people on the raw food diet or a diet that consists of mostly raw foods say that they have more energy, sleep better, feel clear headed and have had an easier time shedding unwanted pounds. The very best quality vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, enzymes, co-enzymes, fiber, water, protein, carbohydrates, and fats come from fruits and vegetables. They are complete nutritional packages and provide the body with everything it needs to function properly. Of all foods, fruits are richest in vitamins and water, and second richest in minerals and fiber, while vegetables and leafy greens are richest in minerals and fiber, and second richest in vitamins and water. The other two nutrient groups, proteins and fats, are needed in smaller quantities; so, while fruits and vegetables are not high in protein and fat content, they still remain their ideal source.

You can find many raw food products at your local health food store such as grab and go meal bars, raw chocolates, raw dehydrated crackers cookies, wraps and more.

If you find yourself in Orange County looking for a juice bar with amazing healthy options the Sejuiced is your place. Get your juice to go and walk across the street to the Corona Del Mar state Beach.

Ummm wow! #sunset #beach #epic
Corona Del Mar State Beach, CA

See this article and other great reads here at Active Orange County Magazine