Vegan Cooking Class & Healthy Taste of LA

March 4, 2013

Hi there and happy Monday to you! I hope you have a nice weekend.

EZ Tofu Press Giveaway:

Wow, I think we had the most number of entrants ever for the EZ Tofu Press giveaway from last week; 133! Heather was the lucky winner who was randomly selected; her response to the question about preparing tofu was:

“I think pressed, marinated and then baked is my favorite way to eat tofu. I usually use heavy cans, but this gadget looks much easier!”

Congrats, Heather, and thank you to everyone who entered. Your responses were all so interesting and we could fill a cookbook with all of the delicious dishes you described using tofu. If you want to purchase your own EZ Tofu Press or learn more about it, you can do that here.

Healthy Vegan Travel:

I have been a busy lady starting Friday morning as I traveled to Los Angeles for the weekend. It was really, really important to me that I stuck to my goals for the Healthy Vegan Challenge, so I did as much preparation ahead of time for healthy meals. I made these salads for Alan and me to eat on the road:

Salads to eat on the road.

I usually put the dressing on the bottom and leave the rest of the salad undressed so the lettuce doesn’t wilt. Then, when it’s time to eat, I just stir it up. These salads had greens, beans, broccoli, avocado, roasted garlic, tomatoes, onions, sweet potato and bell pepper.

I did research ahead of time to make sure there were restaurants where I could find healthy meals. I did pretty well, wouldn’t you say?

Healthy meals eaten at vegan restaurants.

These were all 100% vegan meals made with whole food ingredients from Real Food Daily and The Green Temple. I also had food from the salad bar at Whole Foods and my breakfasts were made using fruit and oats I brought from home.

Vegan Cooking Class:

On Saturday, I attended a class through the Yummy vegan cooking series held in Pasadena, CA. The one I attended was given by Chef Ramses Bravo from the True North Health Center who cooks with no oil, salt or added sugars so this was right up my alley.

Chef Bravo has a new cookbook out called Bravo! and it was such a fun afternoon learning new skills and recipes:

Chef Bravo and the Yummy vegan cooking class.

I will be sharing tips from this cooking demo in a future blog post. At the class, I also finally got to meet the lovely and talented Chef AJ in person:

Chef AJ and Carrie.

Chef AJ is truly extraordinary and she is the mastermind behind the “Healthy Taste” series of lectures that are sweeping California by storm.

Healthy Taste of Los Angeles:

On Sunday, I then had the opportunity to attend The Healthy Taste of LA which featured none other than this man as the lecturer:

Dr. Michael Greger and Carrie.

That would be Dr. Michael Greger of fame! It was such a celebrity sighting moment for me to meet Dr. Greger and take a picture with him. I admire him so much and the incredible work he is doing to bring the scientific literature on plant-based eating to the public. Please do check out the website, Nutrition

I really enjoyed seeing nearly 200 people come together yesterday afternoon to hear Dr. Greger speak and I plan to attend as many of these events organized by Chef AJ in the future including The Healthy Taste of Ventura on April 7th. If you are in California, I hope you can attend!

Dr. Greger is so generous that he is offering to do a giveaway for one lucky reader who will receive his latest DVD, volume 12 of the “Latest in Clinical Nutrition”, plus a DVD of his fantastic lecture, “Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death.” To enter, please leave a comment on this post telling me that you went to his website and watched at least one of the videos (tell me which one). 

I will randomly select a winner on Friday, March 8th. This giveaway is open to anyone in the whole world. Good luck and I’ll see you back here on Wednesday!

{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

Katie March 4, 2013 at 9:36 am

Hi Carrie, wow what a wonderful weekend! Congrats on staying on plan. I LOVE Dr. Greger and one of my favorite videos of his is “The Wrong Way to Detox” about how nursing mothers pass the toxins in their bodies to their babies through their milk. :(


Wendy Doyle March 4, 2013 at 9:39 am

Hi Carrie!
I went to Dr. Greger’s website and watched “treating Parkinson’s disease with diet”. It was the 1st video that I came across. It hits close to home since my father has Parkinson’s. I’m always looking for ways to lessen his symptoms. Not sure if I can get him to eat a plant based diet but will definitely share this with my family. Thank you!!!


Kara March 4, 2013 at 9:50 am

I would love to be able to win the set of DVDs!!! Oh well, I’m Canadian!! Would be great if they came to our little city of Victoria, BC and gave speeches, and cooking lessons here! Thank you for sharing. Might have to order the Bravo cookbook though!!!!


Carrie March 6, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Shhh, don’t tell, Kara, but I’ll be doing a giveaway of the Bravo cookbook next week. :)


Vicky March 4, 2013 at 10:10 am

Oh, wow! That looks like my kind of event! ;-)


Carrie March 6, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Yeah, you would have loved it, Vicky! When you are back in the States, you have to come to CA to visit! :)


Laura March 4, 2013 at 10:17 am

Awesome that you could meet Chef AJ and Dr. Greger! I subscribe to Dr. Greger’s weekly videos and this week he featured treating Parkinson’s with diet. I would love to have the DVD set !


Robin B. March 4, 2013 at 10:52 am

What a great resource is! I watched a number of videos on mood (The Best Way to Boost Serotonin, Improving Mood Through Diet, Plant-Based Diet & Mood) and a couple more on allergies. Interesting stuff. I would love to have his DVDs.


Tina March 4, 2013 at 11:03 am

Hello Carrie,
I really enjoy your blog so much, it is comforting. I have only been a vegatarian for the last two years and only a few months vegan which by the way I love so much more than the way I ate before.
I am 50 year old Who smoked for 34 years & changing everything was overwhelming at times, my husband passed away suddenly at the age of 44 from unidentifed heart disease which was a huge wake up call.
You have certainly made it easier by being real and putting things in real language I understand with ingredients I can identify.
Really all I wanted to say is thank you for what you do.


Carrie March 6, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Wow, thank you for the really nice message, Tina! Interacting with people like you is why I do my blog. :)


Alisa March 4, 2013 at 11:42 am

Hey Carrie,
LOVE Dr. Greger’s presentation on Top 10 Causes of Death in the USA. I have watched it twice and posted it to Facebook. He is smart and funny! So glad you were able to meet him in person. Thanks for all the inspiration.


Linda March 4, 2013 at 11:44 am

I watch most of Dr. Greger’s videos and find them fascinating. I asked a question on “Clinical Studies on Acai Berries.” I’m concerned about the brand of pomegranate juice I’ve been using, Pom.
How exciting to meet Chef Bravo, Chef AJ, and Dr. Greger! I love your blog and recipes. You give me so many great ideas to spice up my nutritarian diet.


Carrie March 6, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Awww, thanks for the kind words, Linda! :)


Rachel @ My Naturally Frugal Family March 4, 2013 at 12:51 pm

I went to Dr. Greger’s sight and watch “Protein, Pubert, and Pollutants.” As a mother of a 3, almost 4 year old daughter, this was pertinent to me. Puberty is tough enough for a child, let’s not make things harder for children.

What a fantastic weekend you had, and I love that blue scarf.

Have a very happy Monday Carrie!


John March 4, 2013 at 12:56 pm


I watched Dr. Greger’s presentation yesterday via the web. You did great, too! This morning I watched the “ClinicalStudies on Acai Berries” video. I hope to make it to the Healthy Taste of Ventura event. Maybe I will get to meet you there.

Newbie Vegan


Linda March 4, 2013 at 1:47 pm

Sounds like a fabulous weekend! Thanks for sharing the fun with us readers.

I LOVE Dr. Gregor’s videos! The ones I find most fascinating are about cancer–causes, prevention, effect of dietary changes, etc. All his videos are outstanding, though; I use them for home school material for my boys, too, when the topic is pertinent to something they are studying. I also tend to send select video links to friends who might be willing to watch a short clip, even if not yet feeling ready to take the plunge and earn their best possible health via nutritional/lifestyle excellence.


Diane March 4, 2013 at 2:07 pm

I love dates but don’t eat them because I can’t stop at just one. So I watched the video about dates – are they good or bad for you. I was happy to find out that they are great to eat, even though they are high in sugar – I’m going to buy some the next time I am at a store.


Katie March 4, 2013 at 7:07 pm

I have been wondering about coconut oil for awhile now so I watched all his videos about it. They were all super helpful and a great aid to make a healthy and educated choice!


Sarah March 4, 2013 at 7:41 pm

I watched “Plant-Based Diet & Mood” and a few related videos. Fascinating stuff! Some day I want to go back to school and study the combined effects of diet and exercise on psychological health.


Justin March 4, 2013 at 8:45 pm

I watched today’s video on the effect of a plant based diet on Parkinson’s


Ramses March 4, 2013 at 11:38 pm

It was so great to meet you Carrie, thanks for coming to my class. I enjoyed very much. As for Dr. Gregor, I was so impressed by his lecture, his work is amazing. Hope we can meet again soon.


Laine March 5, 2013 at 6:43 am

I love! I just watched “Antioxidants Sprouting Up”. Lucky you to have met Dr. Greger!


kimmythevegan March 5, 2013 at 6:44 am

It’s all about preparation and it looks like you planned well =)
Those look like pretty fun eats! I had a feeling the L.A. are wouldn’t be too hard up on healthy eats ;p
Looks like you had a great time!


Jeanne March 5, 2013 at 7:50 am

Hi Carrie!
Thank you for the suggestion to check out Dr. Greger’s website. I just watched the video “Does Coconut oil cure Alzheimer’s” and “Preventing Strokes with diet”. I did not know that a tomato, greens, beans and dates have more potassium than a banana.

Take care,


Michelle R March 5, 2013 at 11:12 am

Hi Carrie, It looks like you had a fanTabUloulsly great weekend. OMGoodness…. there is so much info on One topic (Inflammed Bowel Disease) lead to diabetes lead to detoxing. I will continue to use it as a resource.

Have a great week. And thank you for your information, passion and love the wednesday photos of what you eat!! I am sorta new to this ETL, however it has saved my life.



Carrie March 6, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Wow, thanks for the awesome message, Michelle! I am glad to hear you are doing well on ETL; it saved my life, too.


Jennifer Arent March 5, 2013 at 8:12 pm

I am a subscriber to his emails and really enjoy them – very informative without being too lengthy. I just watched Neurobiology of Artificial Sweeteners. My fingers are crossed!


Gail March 6, 2013 at 2:12 am

Thank-you for the reminder to watch Dr. Greger videos. He’s so knowledgable & has such a comforting voice. I live in Canada so have been watching videos on bone health with respect to Vitamin D & the Vitamin D2 vs Vitamin D3 debate. I would be thrilled to receive a Dr. Greger DVD.


Deb Nicholls March 6, 2013 at 9:18 am

I love! I watched “Treating Parkinson’s with Diet” and having worked at this with my mom for a year, can attest to it! She had advanced PS, so the improvements were subtle but still made quality of life better for some time.


Mrs Ladybug March 6, 2013 at 9:25 am

Once visiting Dr. Greger’s website who can watch just ONE video? However, I believe the one I liked best out of the 15 or so I viewed would be the Mushrooms and Breast Cancer. I also enjoyed the information regarding gargling and the common cold.
Thanks for the give away!


Carrie March 6, 2013 at 3:22 pm

Yeah, I forgot to mention that the site is a time warp, it just sucks you in! :)


Susan March 6, 2013 at 9:38 am

I have watched many of his videos. I recently re-watched on the on cinnamon. Thanks!


Sharon March 6, 2013 at 9:56 am

I have been getting Dr. Greger’s e-mails and videos for a long time, always informative and interesting.


Stacy L. March 6, 2013 at 10:07 am

Thanks for another great Giveaway, Carrie! I watched “Fibromyalgia vs. Vegetarian & Raw Vegan Diets”. I work at an Internal Medicine practice and we are striving to implement a Whole Foods Plant Based diet for our patients. We continue to see increasing numbers of patients come to our practice who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, so I am in great need of further information on this.


Michele March 6, 2013 at 10:41 am


Thanks for doing another giveaway. I have watched several videos. The most recent was “what is the best airplane beverage?”



Karin Stevenson March 6, 2013 at 10:54 am

I have been subscribed for quite a while and adore him! I would find this such a treasure and would use it well in my endeavor to gain health. Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Diabetes, Arthritis, Asthma and more are continuously improving thanks to learning how to eat healthy. Thanks for entering me :)



Robert White March 6, 2013 at 11:12 am

I love Dr. Greger’s website and I gave a contribution last December to show my support for his non-profit organization. I read his blog regularly and saw one of his latest videos: Phytochemicals: The Nutrition Facts Missing From the Label. After watching it, I just want to go eat a whole apple or down a few red grapes! Thank you Dr. Greger for reporting on the science beyond a plant-based diet and also for
your videos. Our local vegetarian society has watched one at one of our potlucks!


wina March 6, 2013 at 3:54 pm



Erica March 6, 2013 at 5:52 pm

His website seems fantastic! Great video on Hibiscus tea, I once had a Hibiscus margarita….does that count? lo! :)


Merrill R. March 6, 2013 at 6:03 pm

I love watching Dr. Gregor’s videos! I visit his website all the time, but I just watched the one on Hibiscus tea. So cool! Now I just might have to find where I can get me some dried hibiscus :)
Btw, your “on the road” salads look delicious!


Pamela March 6, 2013 at 6:36 pm

Being from the far cold North, I’m always looking for new drinks to warm me during the winter months. I watched the “Better Than Green Tea” video. Great information for a good tea mix with high levels of antioxidants.


Loraine March 6, 2013 at 10:27 pm

I watched “Herbal Tea Update”. Love his site. Thanks!


Cel March 7, 2013 at 1:28 am

I watched the plant based diet and mood video! Cant wait t hear your no coooking with oil/salt tips!


Nikki @ Eat To The Beet March 7, 2013 at 6:26 am

What a fun weekend! I’m a big fan of Dr. Michael Gregor and his website. The latest video I watched was “Clonal Selection Theory of Immunity”. I’m very interested in the immune system, the impact of diet on it, and plan on incorporating information like this into my practice after graduation from NP school.


Andrea Azurdia March 7, 2013 at 7:59 am

Hi Carrie!
Thanks to your post I have discovered Dr. Greger’s website and I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot! I have spent the last 3 days just going through so many of his videos and they are so informative! I’ve particularly watch those regarding inflammatory diseases and rheumatoid arthritis (which I have) and what stood out was the Algae-Based DHA vs. Flax video. Since going plant-based I’ve given up my fish oil and now thanks to Dr. Greger I’ve now found vegan DHA! Yay!
And thank YOU for all the great info in share!


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