When I was in sixth, grade I met Jamila. She was exotic to me. Tall and beautiful. She fascinated me. She used to put on my bottom eyeliner in the bathroom at school because I wasn’t allowed to wear make-up yet. She also taught me how to wash it off. That was something we shared. A strict and sheltered upbringing.
She instantly became my best friend. The coolest thing about being kids are that you aren’t filled with prejudgements yet, or maybe it was another time. Yes, it definitely was another time, because I knew she was Muslim. We talked about it. I had never been brought up with a set religion. My dad was a Protestant, my mom was Presbyterian, but we never belonged to a church. I was never baptized. So hearing about her religion was nothing stranger than anything I had heard in any mangled teaching of every other religion I heard of through my friends. Religion was not practiced or discussed much in my household. So I never thought twice about what she or her family believed. I liked her because she was really nice to me and we had a lot of fun together. We had this thing, that was a part of her culture that if you stepped on the back of your friend’s heel you had to immediately turn around and shake hands. Like some sort of superstition that something bad would happen between the the two of us if we didn’t shake hands after a shoe shiner! I mean my father never would let us have a black cat… So superstition or not, we never tested it. We shook hands every time. What I would have done to get though middle school without her I don’t know.
We were sophomores when 9/11 happened. I didn’t know the day it was happening just how much it would change her life. I didn’t really start thinking about it until recently. How hard her life must have been after that day as an American Muslim
Where would I be had I not had that friendship?
What kind of judgements would I have rushed to like so many fellow Americans.
Jamila to me represents the Islamic Religion. She is a Muslim American and she Jamila represents a piece of me. I am a better person because of her. Bad people are bad people and Good people are good people. It doesn’t matter your religion. It doesn’t matter your race. It doesn’t matter where you come from. Do good on others, and don’t judge. Or else you might just miss out on finding your best friend.
Ever wonder what the big deal is about this whole RAW FOOD MOVEMENT! Well, if you are tired of feeling like crap and relying on everyone else to take care of you, and want to take your lifestyle to the next level, look no further. A raw food diet is filled with unlimited ways to eat your favorite foods! You won’t have to count calories or starve yourself. With this lifestyle you can eat a lot; And guess what?! A RAW FOODIST is defined as someone who eats 75% or more of food that is cooked to 118 degree or less. So don’t feel like you have to give up EVERYTHING. That’s no fun right? Just substitute some snacks and small meals and feel a HUGE difference. You’ll slowly find yourself replacing bad habits with good ones.
Here’s the top 10 reasons people are making a switch to this alternative lifestyle.
10. You finally really get to see where you food comes from!
Food Revolutionist, Jamie Oliver asked some school children to name an assortment of common vegetables. The results are scary!!! How many fruit and veggies would you be able to identify. Lets try out a few and see if you know what they are.
9. And how it grows!
The best way to know what you are putting into your body is if you grow it yourself. It’s amazing watching things grow. Whether you have a small patio, yard, or window sill, you can start growing your own herbs and salad. You’ll save money and be able to use fresh herbs for your dishes.
8. You will be more likely to purchase your food locally, and organically. So you can save money, and won’t be eating as many pesticides.
Here is a family who went Organic for a month. The results are astounding!
7. You will learn how to prep your juices and meals ahead of time so you have fresh quality meals ready to go always!! Plus doing things yourself saves you quite a bit of money.
6. You might just stop caring about Brand Names and keeping up with anyone.
5. So you can spend your money and time on better food and experiences.
4. And you might even decide to start measuring success by happiness.
3. Because we all deserve good food, peace, and happiness
2. When you are taking care of yourself… You are only as old as you feel.
1. Because you are what you eat. So eat beautifully.
**I am Chef not a Doctor** I have no medical training ** These statements have not been approved by the FDA**
It doesn’t take much to keep me happy these days… I’m learning to let go of pieces of me. I suppose like a lizard sheds its skin. I’ve grown so much over the years. It’s hard to let go, but it’s hard to carry such a weight of the world. I’m going to let others shine the way I got to. It’s hard for me to fathom the way we are always changing. We are always evolving. We are always getting older. I like to watch food grow. It’s so predictable. So easy to control. Life happens as long as there’s something to live for. Lucky for me, these plants can’t water themselves. Not quite yet.
I’m at a place in my life where I just need to sit and reflect. I don’t need to evaluate my decisions or over analyze my experiences. I have to remind myself everything had to happen the way it did it get to where I am today. I finally get to be. I get to be me.
So I haven’t updated since October. I apologize to anyone left in the dark, but the most amazing thing happened. I was once told a saying that “luck” is when “preparation meets opportunity”. My entire life I was preparing for an opportunity that came around the time I stopped updating.
One of the first restaurants I visited when I began my journey into raw foods opened a second location in Los Angeles. I jumped at the chance to apply for a position and took an even bigger chance by applying to work in the kitchen. I have a degree in Journalism, but no experience with culinary school. Everything I ever learned was from the web. So, I used what I had, my self published raw recipe book, and my dedication to learn everything I can about the culinary world of raw vegan food. So they took me in. After one night of washing dishes, my next duty was to separate micro greens.
Have you ever had that feeling of complete peace in you work? Even though I was standing there at the sink washing a separating micro greens, I was so happy. Like this is it. I’m about to learn from a master. Third night in, they put me on the line, and that’s where I’ve been ever since. Living, learning, and making food for some amazing people!
Au Lac– Home of Chef Ito. He’s been on a vow of silence for over 10 years. He’s taught me the difference between “purist” and “raw foodist”. He’s also taught me to break the stereotypes and categories many feel we have to label ourselves with. I never really understood the term “humanese” which I was introduced that first visit many years ago, until I entered his kitchen and when asked his ethnicity he answered he was “Humanese”. Owner Mai, has created the most amazing Plant-based Vietnamese Fusion restaurant and I am both honored and excited to be part of such an amazing place. I’m both learning and growing as a chef and I think you will see a major shift in my flavors and creativity all inspired by my new home and sanctuary that is Au Lac. Please come visit me if you ever find yourself in DTLA. Whether you are vegan or not, you will find yourself completely satisfied and impressed by our menu with both raw and cooked options: ) Plus, all the staff is amazing.
710 West 1st St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
11AM – 11PM
So that’s it. No more excuses. I shall be updating a lot more consistently and stay tuned for more info on my live streaming cooking show on Mobli!!! It’s the coolest App! Tell you more about it soon.
An apple a day… You know the saying! The other day I was using my new zucchini spiral machine when I got this idea to run an apple thru it. If you don’t have a spiral machine you can use a simple apple peeler or cheese grater for a similar effect.
In the end I had these amazing apple noodles!
This recipe is just too easy not to share!
2-3 Granny Smith Apples
2 Tbsp raisins – (easy to make yourself)
1 Tsp Cinnamon
1 squeeze lemon juice
Don’t worry about being to precise on measurements. With only four ingredients, so make it taste the way you like. Want some extra spice? Add a little more cinnamon.
Spiral or shred the apples. You can peel most of the skin to make it easier. Leave a little for color. Mix in raisins and lemon juice then sprinkle cinnamon over the top.
That’s it! Enjoy!!
(Got grapes? Put them out in the sun or in your dehydrator at 105 degrees until they turn into raisins!! Yum yum!)
And just a reminder!! Always shop Organic when possible. Why? Because you don’t want to eat pesticides! Why? Because it’s poison!
This post represents a lot more than a delicious, refreshing, and satisfyingly spicy salsa recipe I’m sharing with you. You see I grew those Anaheim Peppers and tomatoes with my bare hands. I watered them all summer and trimmed their dead leaves. That lime, well I picked it from a tree while I was walking around a neighborhood. And that peach… That peach is an organic fresh from the farm peach I got at work. Besides the garlic and salt… garlic is what I want to grow next… this was pretty much free, minus the labor, seed, and soil. Those were some of the freshest ingredients around and that is super important. Food is meant to be eaten fresh and nothing is fresher than what you grow yourself. I’ll be offering gardening information very soon, so you can grow your own food.
Garden Peach Salsa
4 medium to large tomatoes
2 Anaheim peppers
1 clove garlic
1 tsp salt
Chop and dice all ingredients except the lime. Place in bowl and squeeze lime juice into the bowl. Add salt. Serve now or place in fridge to chill. Enjoy!
It’s so easy!! All it requires is a Food Dehydrator, and Food Processor.
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
Soak your nuts for 8 hours. Dehydrate for 12 hours for crunch or use soft for this recipe.
Add all ingredients in food processor and process for 1-2 minutes or until the mixture is smooth. Pour or scoop out onto Teflex sheet or parchment paper. Place in Food Dehydrator for 12 hours. Remove Teflex/prachment paper and dehydrate for another 12 hours or until desired consistency. Cut into squares and top with a walnut!