Tag Archives: California
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Veggie Bites of Wisdom #65

30 Mar

Veggie Bites of Wisdom from KarmaFree Cooking

I am going to Los Angeles!!!!!  To EAT!!! The Food Experience at the #LBNC15…

17 Feb

For years I’ve been meaning to travel again to California.  I have been there several times – once with my family when I was about 15 years old and then a few more times in Los Angeles and San Francisco for work.  But the last time I set foot in Cali soil was almost 10 years ago… and it’s just been way too long.

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For a few years now, California has been calling my name.  Reading magazine articles about the farmer’s markets in Los Angeles, looking at pictures on Pinterest on the latest and greatest veggie-centric restaurants in San Francisco, watching on TV about the vegetarian food trucks, chatting to other Cali-based bloggers on how many vegan options are there in menus and how knowledgeable the chefs and servers are about what a vegetarian is…  all those things and a few more is what has been luring me to visit.

When I learned about the Lifestyle Bloggers National Conference (#LLBNC15) in Los Angeles, organized by my online friend and blogger, Ana Lydia Ochoa-Monaco, I knew it was the perfect excuse to do some blog-related work, networking  and to live, even if for 10 days at least, the California experience.  And like I said to my friend Diana, now living in Sonoma Wine Country…  I am coming to California TO EAT!!!!  So let me tell you a little bit about the experience I am going into at the conference specifically:

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The Corner Bakery Café will supply the breakfast…  I am very much looking forward to trying their Chilled Oatmeal, or as they call it in Europe, Muesli. And I like that on their menu it’s labeled as Vegetarian, Gluten-Free and Low Fat.  Three pluses!!!

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Fresh Brother’s Pizza will be providing our lunch… and in true California fashion, their menu includes a MegaGrain Crust Pizza, which I am interpreting as an ultra, heavy duty whole grains crust; not the usual white, semolina flour crust here. And they also have a gluten-free crust made from rice, tapioca and potato crust.   Hello!!?!?!  Which pizzeria in Puerto Rico advertises openly they have gluten-free crust and are actually proud of it!?!?  They even have vegan cheese and sausages available… although I have a feeling, I will go for the real cheese one.  I am very much looking forward to this…

For the cocktail parties, Anepalco’s Café will be sharing their creations on the appetizer front.  Looking in advance at their menu, I hope they come up with some true vegetarian (as in no fish or seafood) options for me.  If they can bring an appetizer version of their salads – like the Colorada Beets or the Snow Arugula – I’ll be a happy camper.  Besides, I’ll be too busy talking and networking to be eating… NOT!! There’s always time to taste test!

I am also looking forward to visiting a few spots in LA, Sonoma and Napa:

I want to try chef Roy Choi’s new veggie-centric restaurant Commissary where my Puerto Rican friend Monti works sometimes…  maybe all the time.  I’ll learn more about it when we actually meet in person for a bite or two in the next few days.

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I was also dreaming to sit down and enjoy the fabulous Vegetable Tasting Menu at the French Laundry by chef Thomas Keller, but unfortunately for now, the kitchen is currently under renovation.  Chef Keller and I will have our rendez-vous on a future trip to Cali or maybe at Per Sé in NYC.  Time will tell… in the meantime, I’ll continue salivating over their menus online.

The rest… I am not planning too much.  I decided this would be a trip to “go with the flow”.  I will be in Los Angeles during the Oscars, so I may or may not be able to meet any celebrities or even a vegetarian/vegan Academy-Award winner. You know who you are…   It’s all up to Karma and the Universe.  But be certain, I will share as much as I can with you all.  Deal??

Are you familiar with Los Angeles and San Francisco and would like to recommend your favorite vegetarian fare or restaurant???  Please share with me in the comments section or on Facebook or Twitter.  Gracias!!!

Oliviate – Bringing the natural goodness of olives to your beauty routine

8 Jun

I am a scrubber… and have been since my days in high school.  I’ve always used a facial scrub to exfoliate my face and keep it looking its best.  And more recently I have also become a body scrubber, to make my skin feel soft and avoid any ingrown hairs after waxing.

But I must admit, even though I always try to go for the most natural products, I was not aware that many popular scrubs out there are made with small pieces of plastic.  And when I rinse them off my skin, I am contaminating the environment and possibly endangering many ocean species.

When I published the article on my friend Robin’s experience using coconut oil as a beauty product, Emily reached out to me to see if I wanted to try out their natural olive oil based scrub, in which the scrubs are made from ground up olives pits from California.  How can I turn down such an invitation???

I received a small sample of Oliviate to try…

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The first thing that impressed me about Oliviate was it is made almost entirely with organic, whole, California-grown olives that are stone-ground to create a scrub that clears away dead surface skin cells.  The scrub is made from the pits of the olives, not artificial plastic beads.  Then, using the natural oils in the olives it capitalizes on all the benefits of olive oil, in a topical format for your skin.  I love that they also have thought of their packaging to make it more environmentally-friendly.

Oliviate looks like olive tapenade in a jar.  I had to stop myself from trying to spread in on a cracker and taste it because the aroma is so completely wonderful.  In the description Emily sent on what to expect from the product it said Aroma: Lemongrass, Wine, Earthy.  It smells like wine alright… but it doesn’t have an ounce of alcohol.  The ingredients are natural as they come – Organic Olea Europaea (Olives), Organic Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Cymbopogon citratus (Lemongrass) Essential Oil and a bit of Potassium Sorbate, a food grade preservative to make it last a while until you finish your jar.  This is basically food you’re putting on your skin…

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The experience in my shower was magical… the smell of the scrub transports you immediately to the wine orchards of Napa Valley.  Or maybe even an olive grove in the Mediterranean.  The scrub is mostly fine, but you need to be careful in your face because there are a few larger pieces that could feel a tad more abrasive that you would want in your delicate face skin.  The good thing is the olive oil in the scrub counteracts any grittiness and your skin is left feeling soft and supple.  It worked great to scrub by elbows, knees and the back of my thighs after I waxed them a few days ago.

Oliviate Exfoliating – Moisturizing Olive Mask & Scrub

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And how can you get a hold of your very own bottle of Oliviate?  By contributing to their IndieGoGo campaign.  Oliviate is not currently available in stores.  It is only available via Emily and Rob, the manufacturers directly.  They need to raise $25,000 to help them purchase equipment, packaging etc to be able to bring this wonderful product into the market.  We only have until June 20, 2014 to raise these funds.  Contribute a little and you get a little product… but contribute a lot and you get MORE – even an experience visiting the olive grove where they source their olive pumice.  We only have a few weeks left…  so I urge you to visit their Indiegogo page, make an investment in this organic natural initiative and let’s be all part of contributing to bring good, natural, organic products to market!!!

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I already did my part… help us doing yours too!!!  If you like Oliviate and what they represent please select a perk and enjoy the natural beauty benefits of California olives in your own home.

 

 

I was only given a small sample of this product to try.  I was not compensated in any way for this product review.   The views and opinions are entirely my own. 

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