Archive for the 'Love' Category

End of An Era

May 5th, 2015

chef bio
Hello out there! It’s been way too long. I’m wondering if anyone even still reads this thing. Well, I’m still here. Though not online as much as I’ve been at other points of my life. A lot has CHANGED. It’s kind of cool for me to come back to this now. Who knew this blog was going to lead me on such an incredible journey. I mean, I was just trying to get healthier. And boy did I.

fuzzy guitar
When I started this blog, I was just your average girl. I had developed a lot of HEALTH PROBLEMS from a toxic exposure. It’s kind of a LONG STORY. I had worked in restaurants forever. I was in a band. I wasn’t feeling well. I just wanted to feel better. So I started a blog of figuring out how to eat so I could feel better. Little did I know that this was the beginning of a crazy adventure.

I started feeling better. And changing my diet was a really key component of that. I was inspired to learn more. I wanted to get better at it. I wanted to be proficient. I was spending all my free time making food. And I wanted time for other things in my life again. So I went to CULINARY SCHOOL (YOU CAN FOLLOW MY JOURNEY). It wasn’t so much a career move. I was just thinking I could maybe do some freelance catering gigs afterwards. And keep my day job. But the universe had another plan for me.

Shortly after I returned, I was in a serious CAR CRASH. I was in physical therapy for about eighteen months. A while anyway. I was pretty knocked out. It took a while for me to get it together. I wasn’t moving very fast. During that time, I started making products. It was mostly a physical therapy project at first. Something to work on while I was getting it together. I started making kale chips first. And those went well. But it was painful for me to make them. Because I had nerve damage in my shoulder. So I started making these cheeses. Dairy free cashew and macadamia cheeses. Cheeses that I could eat. For me. At the time, there weren’t really a lot of options out there. There was one company making them. DR. COW. And that was it.

These little guys CHANGED MY LIFE. I am not kidding. It was like a movie. The cheeses took off. They started selling all over the country. I did a launch on KICKSTARTER when I finished physical therapy. And donations poured in from all over the world. I was in over my head pretty quickly.

julie and me
That’s when my partner JULIE came on the scene. She had been right under my nose the whole time. She had just sold her record store and had some free time. She can’t eat dairy either. So she was passionate about the cheeses and had been helping me make them. It was clear that things had evolved beyond me. I needed help. And the universe had put the perfect person in front of me. We found some investors, and BUILT OUT OUR OWN SHOP just for the cheeses in 2012. It’s been a whirlwind ever since. We’ve just been trying to keep up.

Julie and Sonny
Then, Julie became a mom. To the fabulous Sonny! We definitely had our hands full. But the cheeses never slowed down. They just kept growing. And we had to keep up.

heidi and me
That’s when HEIDI came into the picture. Heidi is a nutritionist/registered dietitian based in Seattle. We used to be roomates. Back in the day. She also happens to be the one who helped me get my diet on track. When I first got sick. She led the way for me. So the two ladies who helped me get back on my feet when I was down and out became my business partners. I can’t really think of a better foundation for greatness. Things have evolved a lot. In a very grass roots way. It’s funny. People often have the impression that we are a big business. And are surprised when I tell them how big our space is. And how much cheese we pump out. It’s been a labor of love. To be sure. My health has evolved a lot too. I’ve definitely had some ROUGH PATCHES.

Adjusting to the stress of running a business was a difficult puzzle to figure out. Luckily, I had some little CRITTERS TO SHOW ME THE WAY. It seemed like the more I adapted my lifestyle to work for me, the better I got. Despite all the stress and trauma. The way revealed itself to me.

Meanwhile, the cheeses just kept growing and growing. They did so well that since we started, a bunch of other companies with a lot more money have jumped in the scene. Now there are tons of products out there like us. We have been like the little engine that could. Just chugging along. While bigger companies have flooded the marketplace. A whole new CATEGORY OF PRODUCTS has emerged. There have even been articles in the press claiming that we have been following their footsteps. You can rewrite history in the press. And people will believe it. But I’m here to tell you that we are the REAL DEAL over here. We are the ones that sprang from a truly divine inspiration. We did the work ourselves. From the ground up. We’ve been here from the beginning. We may not be the biggest. But we have heart and soul. It’s frustrating sometimes. That not everyone sees that. But honestly, I’m just happy to have graduated to normal people problems. I am happy to be functioning in society again. Actually, I’ve gone way beyond that. I’m thriving now!

Here I am now. I was getting ready to do a cooking demo at one of my very favorite restaurants. KARYN’S in Chicago. KARYN CALABRESE is an inspiration and an icon. And I was honored to do a demo at her holiday event last year.

So anyway, I’ve been thinking…That since this blog was about my journey back to wellness…And since I feel like I can say now that I’ve arrived…It might be time for a new era. So I’ve started a new blog. With my business partners, HEIDI and JULIE. A PUNK RAWK LABS blog. I’ve been posting over there lately. I might show up here again. Sometime down the road. But I think this is gonna turn into my personal blog now. And since I’ve become part of something larger than me, I’m embracing a NEW ERA to reflect that. Come by sometime and check it out!


Chronic Urticaria

April 10th, 2013

love fest
We interrupt this love fest to bring you another dose of reality. If you’ve been reading my ramblings lately, you will know that i just ADOPTED SOME AMAZING AND LOVEABLE PETS! Part of this was an attempt on my part to bring my life back into balance after noticing some ALARMING SYMPTOMS THAT I’VE BEEN ATTEMPTING TO IGNORE OUT OF FRUSTRATION WITH THE CURRENT STATE OF OUR MEDICAL SYSTEM. Well I finally got over myself and my ‘I’m never going to the doctor again’ drama long enough to go get it checked out.

Turns out I have chronic urticaria. Basically this means I have chronic hives. A pretty frustrating place to be. The doctor said that basically it’s a complication that is often associated with LUPUS (a drumbeat that’s been beating in my world for a while). But just because I have it doesn’t mean that I have lupus. She also said that the hives are triggered by stress. Which is also not surprising considering that I became the CEO OF A MULTI-NATIONAL CORPORATION this year and my business partner is on maternity leave. The hives won’t be under control until the stress is. So basically, I’m on the right track. I think I instinctively knew what I needed to do. But I need to step it up a bit.

Needless to say, I am doing a lot of processing right now. I have a lot to say about all this. But as with most emotional processing, it will probably be happening in fits and spurts coming up. I’ll keep you posted…


Holiday Recipe Series

December 13th, 2011

holiday cheese platter
Hello out there! Lots of exciting developments over here. I just FINISHED PHYSICAL THERAPY. And to celebrate, I am planning PUNK RAWK LABS official launch! Finally! We are kicking off the celebration with a HOLIDAY RECIPE SERIES on PUNK RAWK LABS TV. There is a video for how to make this lovely holiday cheese party platter there waiting for you.

The cheese platter goes perfectly with this RUSTIC HOLIDAY FLATBREAD (whose recipe can also be found there).

mint nib
But we didn’t stop there! There is also a recipe for these mint nib macaroons using homegrown mint.

date cheese bites
These date cheese bites also pair nicely with the cheese platter…

And these chocolate truffles are always a crowd pleaser! Videos demoing all of these recipes can be found at PUNK RAWK LABS TV.

Last but not least, I have a Christmas carol for you. It’s me playing the piano! Truth be told, I posted it last year too. But our piano has been in storage for way too long. So alas, I don’t have a new one this year…



Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes

October 29th, 2011

I remember when that record came out (GRACELAND – the one with DIAMONDS ON THE SOLES OF HER SHOES). I loved it so much. I played it over and over. And there’s even a song dedicated to me on it…YOU CAN CALL ME AL. He has a new song that just came out this year that I LOVE LOVE LOVE too. Kind of relevant to my health care conundrum. 🙂

angle shelfYou can barely make out my wheatgrass operation in the left side of my living room photo. It’s all records and wheatgrass. (That’s where it’s at. The secrets to healing). 🙂  Anyway, as you can see I have a nice little supply of wheatgrass going.  My boyfriend bought 35 lbs. of seeds.  So, I’m going to town.  I’ve actually been putting off writing this post because I have so much to say about this.  If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you will know of my WHEATGRASS ADDICTION.

I even made a VIDEO ABOUT HOW TO GROW IT YOURSELF. I have to say that in the course of trying to heal myself, I have tried many, many things. And to be honest, a lot of them didn’t work. But wheatgrass is the cheapest, most powerful thing I’ve tried. And yet, most people are reluctant to try it. I think that most people find it difficult to fit into their lifestyles. But I actually think that’s part of the point that the grass is trying to make to us. If you are willing to listen to it.

I go in and out of sync with it. Truth be told. But right now, I’m in big time. How do I know this? Because the grass lets me know when it’s happy. When it’s perfectly happy, it makes these perfect little dew drops at the tip of each blade. They look like diamonds!

dew drops
How amazing is that? I am on a wheatgrass roll! My little trays have been coming out so perfectly. So green! With diamonds! And no mold. 🙂

tray base
And can I just tell you how amazing this stuff is for your LIVER? It’s truly profound. So much so that it probably deserves it’s own post. But I will say this…Right now, I am breaking through some huge barriers that have been holding me back for a long, long time. And I truly believe a lot of it has to do with this grass. More on this later. Wish me luck! Next week, is my follow up with the NEUROSURGEON. I’ve been kind of in denial about this since everyone has been gently bringing up the idea of back surgery with me (an idea which I am not really in sync with). Don’t worry though. I’m not nervous. I’ve already decided that I am an empowered being and the ultimate decision rests with me. 🙂


Kristen’s Front Porch Grocery and Lounge

October 23rd, 2011

Well, if you haven’t checked the LATEST EPISODE of PRL TV, you should! In this episode, we show you how easy it is to start a local food REVOLUTION ON YOUR PORCH.

Leave it to a single mom to come up with creative solutions for difficult times! I truly hope that those who have carried the burden of our dysfunctional economy will be rewarded in this new incarnation. These are the most resourceful, deserving, and grateful among us.

Here is an action shot of Kristen’s Porch. Did I mention that this episode features the most uplifting song by Minneapolis’ finest brass band, the BRASS MESSENGERS? Not too mention an interview conducted simultaneously in English and Romanian.

behind the scenesYep. THIS EPISODE has it all. Food, music, and friends. What else do you need?


First Farmer’s Market

June 7th, 2011

Look at these perfect little dew drops on my WINDOW WHEATGRASS GARDEN. They look like little diamonds. A perfect omen for my first day at the FARMER’S MARKET.

Here I am all packed up and ready to go. I wasn’t sure how much to make. So I was way beyond ready. I’m kind of relieved actually. That is wasn’t as busy as I was ready for. Because I practically killed myself doing all this. Truth be told, I’m still working through a lot of ISSUES. Things without easy answers. So the actual pace of this market might be right on target with my capacity at the moment.

booth 34Here I am manning my booth at the market. I’m in booth #34 (right next to the info table) at the NE FARMER’S MARKET. I have to say that the farmer’s market is one of my favorite things. I love it! The energy is great. And the other folks that are involved are all great too. It definitely feels like I’m starting to connect back into society from a perspective that is closer to my heart. So that is a very positive development. According to MATTHEW SANFORD, figuring out how to connect back into society after an illness/trauma is the culmination of every healing story. Maybe that means I’m finally starting to see the peak of the mountain!

Directly behind me is the Que Kombucha booth. I love these guys. They make the best kombucha. They grow sprouts too. And the best part is that they love kale chips. So we have a trade going.

My friend, PAIGE, came to visit since it was my first day. And she spotted this truck that pulled up right in front of our booth. The door has a little cartoon that says ‘Viva la revolucion’ or something like that. I’m taking that as an omen too. No more sitting on the sidelines. I am now officially part of the revolution. VIVA!


Merry Christmas

December 24th, 2010

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you are all having the most wonderful of holidays. I am in the middle of making some lovely holiday truffles for tomorrow. If you would like to know how, check out this lovely VIDEO that I made on Christmas Eve last year for PRL TV (which details the entire process)!

prl tv banner

On that note, I will leave you with a Christmas Carol. A perfect piece for Christmas Eve. My boyfriend recorded me playing it. I love how the door squeaks at the end. 🙂 Enjoy! And Happy Holidays…



Tasting Party

April 30th, 2010

This week, I threw my first tasting party, and it was a wonderful success! I wish I had taken more pictures, but I was so busy enjoying myself that I didn’t take many.

Of course, I had to make chocolate truffles. Ironically, many of the folks that came to the party had seen my TRUFFLE VIDEO. So hopefully, I encouraged some to go home and make them.

I made three flavors: pistachio, cacao, and coconut.

Here were a few of the options that were available: eggplant chips with hummous, pesto ravioli, date and herbed cheese bites, and kale chips. Hopefully, I’ll get more pictures of the other items soon…

layer cake
The chocolate layer cake was a big hit!! My roomate (who isn’t into raw food AT ALL) was really surprised.

We had a lot of leftover wine. Everyone brought some, but nobody was really drinking much.

I was surprised with a few presents!!

My friend, Alison, brought me a box of goji berries to PLANT (I might have to send a few to J).

candlesMy friend, Paige, brought me these beautiful candles for ambience. Little did she know that they would match perfectly! How cosmic. Paige is my first friend from work who actually appreciated raw food! Needless to say, people were pretty MEAN in the beginning, but not Paige!  She’s a pretty open-minded and groovy lady.  🙂



test tubesShe also brought me some spices…in test tubes!! How thoughtful is that?! My boyfriend was really impressed. Nutmeg, pink salt, and saffron from Iran!! How cool!  LADAN would be really impressed.

Overall, it was a really fun party.  It was a pretty friendly audience though.  Everyone who came was pretty open to raw food already.  I think the concept of raw and vegan is scary to most people.  My roomate was the only neophyte and my toughest critic (I frequently find packaging from McDonald’s and White Castle in the trash).  He was really surpised!!  He liked everything.  He said it completely changed his opinion of raw food!

Perhaps next time, I should just throw a party and not distinguish it with labels.  Just to see what happens…


Warm and Fuzzy Feelings

January 25th, 2008


inspriational blogger award

Guess what? Yesterday SHANNON MARIE, fellow blogger extraordinaire nominated me for an inspirational blogger award. I have to admit that there’s a little punk rock element in me that’s sort of morally opposed to awards. I mean, after all, you should just do things to do them and not for the awards, right? But then, the other side of me has to admit it feels really good! Especially coming from Shannon Marie. Not only am I addicted to her blog, but she is the newest contributor to WE LIKE IT RAW. Basically, she’s a rawk star. And it’s VERY punk rock to be recognized by a rawk star. 🙂

So, now it is my job to pass the torch. I am supposed to select 5 other bloggers who are inspirational to me. How fun is that? So, here goes… (Drum roll, please – drum rolls are also very punk rock).

Lucie of RAWKIN’ – Not only is Lucie an excellent musician and artist, she is a great raw role model. She had had an unbelieveable transformation. The pictures are amazing. She doesn’t even look like the same person. She and her boyfriend Steve are also responsible for the inspiration that led my boyfriend to get really gung ho about raw. The same boyfriend who used to be morally opposed to eating at home. But once he saw Steve’s flax cracker shaped heart, something in his melted. And the rest is history.

Debbie of DEBBIE DOES RAW – Debbie is a survivor. She inspires me with her upbeat and positive outlook in dealing with CLL (Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia) – I had to look that up. I think she discovered raw from reading Kris Carr. I also admire how spunky and self-sufficient she is about medical advice. It’s inspiring to see how she processes her journey and spits it back out in a spunky upbeat way. AND she has a daughter who is half-asian – just like me 🙂

Dani-ella the RAW WAIF – Dani-ella was one of my very first blogging friends. She started experimenting with raw at about the same time as me. I loved how she would grace us every day with a new haiku. She bought a house recently and has been fixing it up. I hadn’t heard from her in a while, and then yesterday out of the blue she left me a note to tell me how good I looked after my horrible colonoscopy. How much more inspiring can a friend be? Anyway, here’s hoping we’ll be hearing more from her.

Anthony the RAW MODEL – I know Anthony has probably already been nominated a million times. He’s like the Cate Blanchett of inspirational bloggers. I wonder if it becomes meaningless after a while? I had to nominate him again because I’m addicted to his blog. I love how he’s really honest about his journey even when it’s not what people want to hear. Honesty (esp inconvenient honesty) is VERY PUNK ROCK. Anthony is a couple years ahead of me on his journey it seems like, and I think that’s a lot of why I get so much out of his blog. It’s really inspiring to see how much more refined it can be. It seems like he’s always pushing the limits. It’s great to have Anthony there always raising the bar on us. As a person struggling with health issues, it is VERY INSPIRING to see the potential of someone with boundless energy and perfect health. I’m gonna get there! The other reason you’ve got to love Anthony is that he’s from MINNESOTA.

the Creotians of CREOT RADIO – Creot Radio isn’t really a raw blog, but I had to include it because Creot Radio is VERY PUNK ROCK. Before I got sick and became obsessed with my health, I was obsessed with music – The making and recording of music. I started an independent radio show with friends from all over the world, and I miss them. I’m taking some time off from all my music projects at the moment to focus on my health for a minute. And once I get there, that’s where I’ll be again.


Here is a picture of the inside of my heart 🙂