Big UPs and Mad Props! What Makes Me Glow, From My Head to My Toes

Or actually, from toe to head…

Adrienne is the queen of pedi’s….and i’m sure mani’s and waxi’s and everything else she does but for me it’s all about the toes.  From Ninja’s to Mustachioed Bananas, cherries to zebra stripes, Adrienne never hesitates to create 10 little masterpieces for me to love and adore.

Lucia is the namesake of this salon on Broadway (and now open downtown!) and boy howdy does this lady know how to rock a Brazilian.  The first time i went all bare down there i was nervous as hell, but Lucia was warm, gracious, funny, and above all…fast!  Even while humming a tune, telling jokes, stopping to gaze at the ceiling to remember a thought, Lucia has you in and out within 15 minutes, you barely (hehe) have time to get nervous or feel pain! And although the Queen herself is my favorite she has trained many other women in the art of the….rip.  Check them out, you won’t be sorry!

I ♥ The Y

1) The facility is enormous, and clean.  Also you can pay to have a tote to leave your shoes there so you don’t have to carry them around.  The only downside? After months i sill get lost in the change rooms.  2) The classes are fab! From Dancefit with Johanna Ward to Cardio Kickboxing to my personal fave Yin Yoga with Angie, there is something for everyone. 3) Free nuts and appreciation!  Sometimes in the lobby there is a big sign that says “We appreciate you!” with little cups of nuts and berries.  How sweet. 4) The staff is fun, friendly, and energetic. 5) Everyone goes to the Y, except gym monkeys!  From skinny yoga bum girls to middle aged ladies, to old men who love Johanna’s class,  everyone fits in.  Except creepy over muscled dudes with bad tans!  Too bad 😦

So far every facial i have had at Skoah has been amazing.  I will continue to come here for several reasons.  The ambiance strikes a wonderful balance between warm and inviting and clean and clinical.  They say they’re not “spa-y” but the rooms are warm and cozy and have soft music playing.  The products (if you can get over the fact that they replace all their C’s with K’s) smell amazing and really work.  They make a point of encouraging loyalty.  The last time i was there i was given a free shampoo sample and every time you re-book within 2 months you receive money off product.  Also they send you a thank you email the day after your treatment.  They don’t push the products on you the way some spas do.  They simply make recommendations and leave you be.  The staff and business really seem to care about healthy glowing skin. It’s apparent from the obviously knowledgeable staff and the quality of the products.  And last…the messages…mmmmm the massages…..

Yes she is one of my bestest besties but when i say Josie is a hair goddess i mean it.  She took a gawd awful head of thick frizzy choppily colored mess and has transformed it time and time again.  From black to blond to red, with every color highlight of the rainbow.  From extensions to shaved designs Josie helps me show my creativity through my hair.  If it wasn’t for her collaboration i wouldn’t be nearly as fulfilled as a person as i am.

So those are the businesses and the people who make me feel pretty from top to bottom.  Thanks Ya’ll!

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Big UPs and Mad Props! Vegan Treats That Are Kick Ass Awesome!! (and gluten and sugar free…what the?!!?)

So since i can’t really eat anything “bad” right now what better time to think about it right??!?  The good news is some of this isn’t bad at all.

Chocolate Brownie (fudge) Balls! (Beware, there is a point in this recipe where i cannot control my immaturity, sorry).

Josie and i learned how to make these from Janice Skoreyko of the Raw Foundation Culinary Arts Institute. They are really healthy, hella yummy and SUPER EFFING EASY!  Also they are vegan, gluten free and sugar free, hooray!  The trick though is that after you make them only eat a bit and then put the rest in the freezer.  They get better and better every day they are in there and you can pop a few out and into your mouth any time you please.

You Need:

  • 1 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 14 medjool dates (pitted) – medjool’s are the nummiest, i haven’t tried other kinds of dates.  That’s why i’m still single! Budumching.
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder
  • pinch of salt

What You Do:

  • Blend the walnuts in the food processor until they are fine.
  • Add everything else and blend until it turns into a lump of dough.
  • Scoop out small amounts and form into balls.
  • You can leave them plain or roll them in something like cacao nibs, coconut, crushed walnuts, salt (you know, for chocolate salty balls).

Things to note:

  • When Josie makes these her dough magically forms into a ball in the processor when it’s done, mine does not. I have no idea why and both are great.
  • Check it a few times while it’s processing to see if it’s done.  If you leave it too long it get’s steamy and hot.  Hot balls.  Ok, moving on…to oil (this is not going to be good)…
  • Yes, your balls will be oily (oh man).  It’s the walnuts.  I like to pat my balls (this is just so hard)…with paper towel (only if you bought it by accident, other than that you shouldn’t have paper towel) or a coffee filter before freezing.

Phew, kind of got through that!  Now read the rest of this post and then you can run out to get the stuff to make these!

BANANA ICE CREAM!

Stole the pic from The Voracious Vegan, as the one i took was baaaaaad.

I originally found this recipe at Choosing Raw under the title “This Post Will Change Your Life”.  Has raw banana ice cream changed my life?  I’d say so.  Not in the way other major events change your life….but whatever.  I had some just last night!  It’s the easiest dessert on the planet.

Take 2 or more FROZEN (they have to be really frozen, don’t cheat or it wont work!) chopped banana’s and put in your food processor.  Turn your food processor on.  Wait a few minutes.  Done.  Seriously, that’s it.  You can then top your ice cream with agave and cacao powder icing if you want,  it’s lovely.  Next time i am going to experiment with adding some PB and cacao in the processor…mmmmmm.

I started this post yesterday and this was kind of all i had, which bugged me because i like things to be in 3’s, or a minimum of 3…weird?  Perhaps.  Any way, good thing i didn’t finish (stupid job got in the way) because i went to the West End Farmers Market today on a tip from Jenn that there was a vegan baker there who had gluten and sugar free treats!  Whoo hooo hoooo!

I ♥ edible flours tagline: "Treat yourself or someone you love of even someone you just like a lot"

edible flours

Ok…WOW.  I had the banana loaf and a lemon cookie.  I would have taken a picture had i not scarfed them BOTH down so fast.  Yum!  edible flours (they hate capitalizing just like me!) has a pick up and a delivery service as well!!  And a free delivery day!!!  They rock.  And for that they are the proud (or they would be proud if they had any idea) recipients of the KICK ASS AWARD!

So sometimes it sucks to be limited by your diet, but then again, peeps who can eat whatever they want don’t get nearly as excited when they find something they can eat, because they can eat anything. Comma Comma Comma Comma Commacameleon.  Sorry, i’m hopped up on no sugar.

Big Ups and Mad Props! My Favorite Vegan(friendly) Restaurants in Van (and 1 in Portland)

*Update: July 29th 2010*

Ok, so there aren’t really that many totally vegan places in Van but there are many great options that are vegan friendly.  Much better than being vegan unfriendly.

Nuba – authentic Lebanese cuisine. Nuba has a flavorizer in the kitchen.  This is a top secret device that takes already nummy food and kicks it up 10 notches.  It looks similar to The Machine from The Princess Bride but inflicts yummy instead of pain.  I made that up but how else can they create such insanely flavorful morsels of delight!??!  I have loved everything i have ever had but i especially dig the Najib’s Special (crispy cauliflower tossed with lemon and sea salt) and i have finally started pronouncing it properly, NaJib with a hard J.  To make Nuba even awesomer they have updated their menu.  Instead of noting the vegan dishes they state that everything is vegan unless noted with an M for meat or a V for vegetarian.  Love that!  Also love the hottie cook i noticed in the kitchen today.

The Wallflower Modern Diner.  So far i have had the Portobello Burger, the Tofu Peanut Wrap, the Vegan-Gluten Free Pizza and bites of the Mac and Cheesy.  Mmmmm…….everything has been super-duper delish!  The Tofu Peanut Wrap is saucy and flavorful and filling and the Vegan-Gluten Free Pizza is AMAZING!  They make their own crust which has to be fresh and so the pizza is only available on Tuesday’s but it is worth the wait.  Light, tasty, not crumbly crust topped with your choice of veg and fake meat and of course, ooey gooey Daiya cheese to top it all off.  My non vegan, gluten eating friend said “this is sick you loser” JUST KIDDING!  She loved it and said she would def** be back for more.  Also the drinks are cool and fresh and creative, and the staff is friendly, fun, and well dressed.  Thanks Wallflower!  Also thanks for calling yourself a Modern Diner (which you are) instead of an Urban Diner.  Much less douchey.

Grub.  As with the Wallflower Grub has an option for everyone.  Like to eat duck?  there’s an entree for you!  Like to eat lamb?  Come on in!  Like to leave cute animals in the wild and off your plate?  You kick ass and can eat at Grub too!  Not only does Grub serve up the cruelty free gourmet they also have a drinks menu that includes punch.  In a punch bowl.  With little punch cups.  And a ladle.  Seriously!  It’s just too rad to describe, you’ll have to go check it out for yourself.

Planet Veg. Today was my first time and i will be going back for more fo sho.  Tomorrow maybe.  Awesome Indian vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options.  I had the Bombay roll which was so great i went back on my way home to pick up some pakoras to go.  I am always amazed by restaurants that seem to have a magic flavor machine in back and wish i could come close to making my food taste the way they do.  Alas, that’s what going out to eat is all about i spose.  That and pretending you have slaves for an hour or so.

**October 6th:  WTF?!?  Why would i want to pretend i have slaves?!?  i meant servants.  Happy servants who are paid well and love serving.  They may or may not be unicorns.

Organic Lives. Totally vegan and raw gourmet restaurant and store.  If you like the idea of raw but don’t know if it can be effing amazing then check in here and check your head.  You will be blown away by what someone who knows their shit can do without cooking.  I recommend the lasagna and the pizza.  All i can say is WOWZERS.

Radha. Vegan gourmet.  When i am in here i don’t know what to do with myself and i order 4 or 5 things…having options as a vegan is overwhelming as it does not happen often.  Also it’s not as hippy dippy as it sounds.

Banditas Taqueria.  THE BEST VEGETARIAN BREAKFAST IN THE CITY!  Totally vegetarian with lots of vegan options – they carry non dairy milk, cheese, and sour creme!  Also the peeps is coooool.  You either know what i mean or you will when you go.  I seem to recall that i once went when it wasn’t breakfast and the food was great.  Oh, and one of the hottest boy spottings of my career (yes, my career as a hot boy spotter) was here.

The Naam.  But of course.  What would a veg in Van post be without a shout out to the Naam.  It is good.  And wholesome.  And yes, the fake looking grapes on the rafters outside are real.

And the one in Portland?  The Bye and Bye of course!  AN ALL VEGAN PUB!  PUB!!!  With “meat”ball subs, and grilled “cheese” and hot boys who work there and hot boys and girls who eat there and drinks in mason jars and an outside patio where you sit with strangers on picnic tables…..Breathe…And they let you smoke at the picnic tables which last year was rad but this year will be sad.  Oh well.  They have VEGAN CHILLI DOGS!  Oh my.

Did i miss a kick ass awesome vegan place in Van you love?!?  Let me know yo.

**it is A-OK to not spell a whole word because it takes away from your creative flow (read: lazy) on your blog.  It is A-NOT OK to not spell a whole word in order to cheat at Scrabble.  Thought you should know.

The hotties of the Bye and Bye.  Told you so.  Anyone up for a road trip?!?