New Website and Announcements!

Hello friends!

Many things are happening in my world and we’ve moved this blog over to my new website:

There you’ll find more about some of my new services including restaurant & hospitality consulting as well as classes, coaching and public speaking! Head over to take a look!


I’ll keep updating it with health info and recipes too!

And I’m also offering this free service for the month of August as a partnership with The Good Life Refuge. The five part series of classes is focused on plant based health and healthy recipes that are easy to integrate into your day. Tune in to the The Good Life Refuge’s Facebook Live at these times to catch it!

Longmont Leader published an article about the series, which is a good place to learn more.

Compassionate Cooking with The Good Life Refuge

So, if you’d like to keep up with me, please head over to my new website and subscribe! Thanks so much for your support!

Vegan For Everyone – The Best of Jazzy Vegetarian – Cookbook Giveaway

This is such a cool cookbook!! It’s full of such classic, comfort food recipes. I loved the recipes so much that I made close to 10 of them in just a few days and definitely plan on making more!

_Vegan for Everyone cover

What I love about this cookbook is that the recipes are fun, easy, and the everyday favorites we know and love. The recipes call for ingredients that are easy to find and don’t require any fancy equipment or preparation techniques. It’s a cookbook we all can use!

Rocky Mountain Toast and Bacon

Rocky Mountain Toast with Portobello Mushroom “Bacon”

I’ve watched Laura Theodore (the Jazzy Vegetarian on PBS) for years and just love the way she teaches people how to prepare simple, flavorful, healthful meals. She’s also so upbeat while teaching and it’s so fun to watch her work! This cookbook really is a wonderful a collection of her best recipes and I definitely recommend adding it to your library. The recipes included are those that you can make over and over, share with friends and take to special events.

Lemony Hummus 2

Turmeric – Lemon Hummus

Vegan For Everyone, is also beautiful and includes full-color drool-worthy photos that help you easily choose the dishes you’d like to prepare for the entire week. This cookbook is a great meal planning tool and good for beginners as it covers some pretty basic vegan cooking concepts.

Jazzy Vegetarian Ratatouille 2

Ratatouille Bake

Many of the recipes are also gluten-free or at least have recommendations for how to easily make them gluten-free.

Brussel Sprouts and Maple Tofu

Maple Baked Tofu and Chili – Maple  Brussel Sprouts

Vegan For Everyone, includes an entire chapter of up-to-date nutritional information contributed by Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPT (The Plant-Based Dietitian), making it a complete and fun way to make family meals kinder, healthier and—most of all—tastier.

Jazzy Vegetarian Pate

Jazzy Vegetarian Not Liver

With classic recipes like No-Egg Tofu-Veggie Scramble, Crazy, Easy BBQ Portobello Burgers and Cauliflower Steaks with Sweet Pepper Sauce; kid-friendly recipes like Yummy Banana-Oat Pancakes, Rockin’ Peanut Butter-Banana Toast and Date n’ Rice Cereal Treats; and plant-based, gluten-free recipes like Peachy Date-Nut Oat Bars, Zucchini Fettuccine Alfredo and Mad Mocha Marbled Mousse Pie, you’ll be able to delight your entire family and all of your guests with easy-to-prepare, four-star meals that are satisfying, nutritious and delicious!

Jazzy Vegetarian Skewers 2

Tasty Tofu – Veggie Kebabs with BBQ Sauce

Vegan for Everyone includes:

  • Over 160 delectable vegan recipes, each with easy-to-follow instructions
  • Full color photo with almost every recipe (over 200 photos in all)
  • Recipe ingredients that can be found at most local supermarkets
  • Handy icons to quickly identify over 135 gluten-free friendly recipes
  • Detailed lists of vegan essentials, including how to stock your plant-powered pantry and organize your spice rack and table of equivalent measures
  • Many quick and easy three-ingredient recipes
  • Festive recipes to serve for holidays, birthdays and any special occasion
  • Comprehensive plant-based nutrition chapter, contributed by Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPT
Salad Nicoise

Jazzy Salad Nicoise with Lemon – Dijon Dressing

Vegan for Everyone includes delightfully delicious, classic recipes to impress everyone you are cooking for—whether they be vegans, vegetarians, flexitarians, or even omnivores.

Mushroom Nut Burgers

Mushroom-Nut Burgers

Mushroom-Nut Burgers


This snazzy burger is an updated version of my original well-loved Mushroom-Nut Burger recipe. Packed with flavorful ingredients, it also has a “meaty” texture. This burger is a sure winner! Bonus—these burgers freeze well too!

  • 1½ cups freshly ground vegan whole-grain bread crumbs (use vegan and gluten-free bread for a gluten-free option) (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 cups chopped cremini or white button mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup diced sweet onion
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free tamari
  • ¼ cup vital wheat gluten (optional, omit for a gluten-free option, see note)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a medium-sized baking pan with unbleached parchment paper.

Put the bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, chili powder, garlic powder and salt into a large bowl. Put the walnuts in a blender and process until coarsely ground. Add the walnuts to the bread crumb mixture and stir to incorporate. Put the mushrooms, onion and tamari in a blender and process into a chunky purée. Add the mushroom mixture to the walnut/bread crumb mixture and stir to incorporate. Stir in the optional wheat gluten and 1 tablespoon olive oil, adding more olive oil 1 teaspoon at a time, if needed, until wheat gluten is fully incorporated and the mixture is no longer dry and holds together when held in the palm of your hand.

Place a 3½ to 4-inch cookie cutter ring on the parchment. Pack one-quarter of the mushroom–bread crumb mixture into the ring and press it firmly and evenly into the ring to form a “burger.” Gently remove the ring (see note). Repeat with the remaining mushroom/bread crumb mixture until you have formed a total of 4 burgers. Flatten each burger slightly with the back of a flat spatula.

Bake for 15 minutes. Flip each burger and bake for an additional 15 to 18 minutes or until the burgers are slightly crisp and golden. Serve with ketchup (or Ketchup-Mayo Sauce, below) in a whole-grain (or gluten-free) bun, along with a thick slice of tomato, chopped sweet onion, dill pickle slices and crisp romaine lettuce for an “out of this world” veggie burger!

Chef’s Note: Freshly made bread crumbs must be used in this recipe, as dry bread crumbs will not hold the burgers together. To make fresh bread crumbs, tear 3 to 4 slices of fresh, soft, whole-grain (or gluten-free) bread into chunks. Put the bread chunks into a blender and process (on low) into coarse crumbs.

Chef’s Note: The addition of the vital wheat gluten will produce a firmer burger with a more realistic “burger” texture. That being said, I have made these burgers many times without the wheat gluten and love them just as much that way! So–in short–the vital wheat gluten is truly optional! If you do omit the wheat gluten, decrease the amount of olive oil to 1 to 2 teaspoons. (If you are cooking gluten free, be certain to omit the vital wheat gluten.)

Chef’s Note: Alternately, you may form 4 burgers by hand and then flatten each burger slightly with the back of a flat spatula.

Recipe from Vegan For Everyone by Laura Theodore. Published by Scribe Publishing Company, ©2020. (Revised recipe from Laura Theodore’s Jazzy Vegetarian Classics /BenBella Books, 2013.) Reprinted by permission.

Quick Ketchup-Mayo Sauce

Makes about 3 tablespoons

This simple sauce dresses up vegan burgers, sandwiches or green salads.

  • 2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise, plus more to taste
  • 1 heaping tablespoon prepared ketchup, plus more to taste

Put all of the ingredients in a small bowl and briskly whisk to combine. Taste and add more ketchup or vegan mayonnaise, if desired._Vegan For Everyone 3D

Learn all about Laura and pick up a copy of Vegan for Everyone on her website:

And the giveaway here:

Vejje – A Cut Above the Rest + a Giveaway!

Vejje is a Colorado grown plant-based meat and I am so proud of what my friends Doug Meier and Kris Giovanini have done to bring it to market. I’ve cooked with Vejje many times and it’s a super fun product to work with. That’s why I’m telling you all about it today and be sure to see the bottom of this post to enter to win our giveaway!


Vejje was created because Kris and Doug wanted to create a shelf-stable vegan burger mix that was as tasty or better than any commercially available frozen or refrigerated plant-based burger.  Taste was not the only priority, the mix also had to be easy to use, cost efficient and extremely versatile. After several years of work, Vejje Beef-Free Mix (and the famous Vejje Burger) were born.  Vejje Sausage-Free Mix soon followed. Vejje Chicken-Free Mix is the newest addition to the Vejje family of plant-based meats and although Vejje Beef-Free Mix is currently their most popular mix, the newer Vejje Chicken-Free Mix is a real game changer. “There simply is nothing else like it on the market!” According to Doug.

All Vejje mixes are dry so they are shelf stable with most mixes having a one-year or longer shelf life.  Vejje mixes are also easy to hydrate and use and each box of Vejje makes between 2½ to 3 pounds of plant-based meat. This makes Vejje very economical to use.  Prepared Vejje meats taste amazing and you can prepare so many different meals using Vejje mixes. Additionally, once hydrated, cooked or uncooked Vejje meats can be refrigerated for 5 to 7 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

“Our plant-based mixes are unique in that if you are looking for the “meat experience” you can make burgers or breakfast patties. However, if you are looking more for the “vegetable experience” you can use our mixes in unlimited recipes that include a wide array of vegetables, beans and lentils. Our website has some of these recipes, but even something as simple as chili or burritos could include many vegetables and then our mixes would be used to replace the meat” says Doug.

Kris loves to use Vejje Chicken-Free Mix to make everything from chicken pot pie and other casseroles to chicken sandwiches and stew.  “Customers seem to especially love Vejje BBQ Chicken and Vejje Chicken Salad and both of these recipes are on the Vejje website. The chicken salad recipe uses cranberries so the dish will be a festive addition to any gathering this holiday season” she says.

Vejje Beef-Free Mix can also be used to make burgers, burritos, meatloaf, stuffed cabbage and beefy mac & cheese.  You can also add sautéed vegetables or mashed beans to the mix when making Vejje Burgers. You can get really creative making Vejje Burgers. In fact, Vejje was specifically designed to be easy to use yet allow for cooking creativity.  Customers especially enjoy Vejje Tacos and Vejje Burgers and these recipes are both on the Vejje website.

Several favorite ways to enjoy Vejje Sausage is in pasta sauces, lasagna and as a topping for pizza.  As a pizza topping and in lasagna all you do is hydrate Vejje Sausage according to package directions and then simply crumble it on your pizza or in your lasagna before baking. For sauce simply add hydrated Vejje Sausage to the sauce and simmer for about 30 minutes If you have leftover hydrated uncooked Vejje Beef or Sausage, simply refrigerate or freeze it.  All Vejje meats freeze beautifully.

Vejje has seen some great growth of the last few years and Kris says she feels very proud when she hears from people who love preparing meals for family and friends using Vejje.  “It feels really good to know that Vejje Mixes are helping people share more plant-based meals.”

Doug is also happy to share with us that “Vejje has consistently been in the top 3 spots on Amazon for best-selling new releases in the meat substitute category.” Congratulations Vejje!!!!!

People can find Vejje Mixes online ( at Amazon and in the Denver area at Nooch Vegan Market.

And now for a delicious Vejje recipe:

Buffalo Vejje Chicken Rollups – Uses Vejje Chicken

Veganized from Pillbury’s recipe for Buffalo Chicken Rollups

Serves 4 people as an appetizer


  • 2 cups diced Vejje Chicken – this will be about 3 patties (prepare and cook according to package directions and then dice the patties into small chunks)
  • 2 oz vegan cream cheese, softened (from 8-oz package)
  • 2 tablespoons Buffalo hot sauce or hot red pepper sauce
  • ¾ cup shredded vegan Cheddar cheese (3 oz)
  • 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury™ refrigerated crescent dough sheet
  • ½ cup vegan ranch dressing


  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Spray 9-inch round pan with cooking spray. In medium bowl, mix cream cheese, Vejje chicken, hot sauce, and vegan Cheddar cheese until well blended.
  2. On large cutting board, unroll dough sheet; spread Vejje chicken mixture evenly on dough to within 1/4 inch from sides. Starting with one long side, roll up dough; firmly pinch seam to seal.
  3. Place seam side down on cutting board. Using sharp knife, cut roll into 8 equal slices; place cut side down in pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until deep golden brown. Serve with ranch dressing and, if desired, additional Buffalo sauce.

Vejje mixes

Enter for our Vejje giveaway here!! Must be in the US to win:

Don’t Let Veganuary End in January! A guest post by: Octavian Ristea

I remember the times I started on new projects with the at the start of a new year. I also remember finding myself having quit those projects altogether by the end of that same year.

Whether it was going to the gym, learning a new skill, or being more social, I would start out strong and then my positive behaviors that supported those goals would taper into nothingness.

The wonderful thing about Veganuary is that it’s a start to the year and not an end. Even if you don’t find yourself eating a “strict” vegan diet 24/7/365 after January, don’t fret, you can keep the momentum going.

With all the companies that are starting to embrace plant-based alternatives it can be easy to find yourself exploring a new vegan product very often. There’s also a lot of alternatives to try from the stores.

Don’t stress so much over changing completely in a heartbeat. Just let the proverbial candle burn slow and steady and let your new food delights connect you to others, the planet, and the divine.

Don’t Let Veganuary End in January by Danielle MacInnes

Don’t Let Veganuary End in January by Danielle MacInnes

Find Apps to Empower You on Your Journey

There are apps out there like Happy Cow that can help you pinpoint a vegan restaurant to eat at nearby. Download apps like this and use them, especially if you’re travelling to a new place you haven’t been to before.

There are also plenty of apps that can help you find recipes and plan meals as well. One of my favorite sites is which helps you plan an entire day of meals based on the number of calories you want to eat and the amount of meals you want to prepare. They also have an app on iOS available here and one for Android available here.

I believe that transcendental changes come in measured steps and with little reminders here and there. My personal vegan transformation started out as pescatarian, then vegetarian, then vegan, and then eventually vegan without honey. It’s better to leave little “breadcrumbs” for yourself on your phone in the form of apps that you’ll be able to tap into at any moment than to leave Veganuary without an easy way to keep it going!

Vegan Bread Crumbs - Photo by Free to Use Sounds

Vegan Bread Crumbs – Photo by Free to Use Sounds

Keep Experimenting with Food

It can be really exciting to get into vegan dishes. I remember how my world opened up when I realized how many plants I had never tried, and how many combinations I had missed out on. At the same time, I think it’s easy to get laser-focused on eating vegan. I learned this the hard way and I wish I expanded my horizons when I started learning about what I could change that went into my body for the better.

If you want to expand your experiments and experiences, I recommend trying out raw food, probiotics, juicing, and even fasting during Veganuary. There are a myriad of benefits and foot notes that go along with these different modalities.

Do your research on different diets and find out if something like intermittent fasting or probiotics improves your health. Don’t take my word for it, don’t take a “guru’s” word for it, and whatever you do buy books and programs from trusted leaders instead of opportunists.

During your research and journey, don’t go for the “vegan diet” fad books. Not all vegan books are created equal. Go for the books like “Conscious Eating” from authors like Gabriel Cousens M.D. who know their stuff. Go for the vegan cookbooks that are inspired by your heritage and culture. In short, go for substance not for the “I am eating vegan” checkbox.

You’ll be better off with a combination of life-improving changes than by simply going vegan. I also learned this over time, but it’s better to buy books used and spend the savings on quality food. You can’t eat freshly cut trees, but you can eat delicious recipes from used pages.

Experiment with Food by Rustic Vegan

Experiment with Food by Rustic Vegan

Listen to your Body and Keep a Food Journal

In order to make the best out of your food experiences, you can keep a food journal to jot how certain food makes you feel. Does it give you energy or does it make you feel sleepy? Does it make your stomach hurt? Did you get gas? Did a certain food make you feel creative or open? Did you feel fuller after eating one type of food over another?

Listening to your body is the best way to get insights into what food is beneficial to your lifestyle and what food isn’t. It can also help you act accordingly. If you want to feel sleepy then maybe you eat a certain dessert after dinner, and if you want to avoid gas during a date you avoid a certain type of food.

Since you’ll be experimenting with new plants and new recipes, it’s a good time to learn from the first go rather than get surprised down the road. If you don’t like keeping a journal then a mental note will do, but you have to make a conscious effort to tune into your body and its state before and after the food.

If you are eating a diet that contains sugar, processed ingredients, pesticides, or GMOs then it’s a good idea to take those things into account too. Alcohol, gluten, and drugs can also impact how we feel depending on what we’re consuming and on how we’re each built.

Food Journal by Carli Jeen

Food Journal by Carli Jeen

Share with Friends and Family

If you have the opportunity to share a dish with a friend or family, don’t hesitate to do so. Even if you can’t do it in person you can always take a photo or share a recipe with one another.

When eating with my friends I enjoy learning about what they eat and their own personal experiments with fasting, eating raw food, or other topics. For example, I learned from a friend who was raw vegan for 17 years that I shouldn’t base my concept of veganism on what I see others do, because if they change then my entire world might come crashing down.

At other times I speak with people who are vegetarian, and I have the opportunity to learn about the recipes and brands that they enjoy. My thinking there is that when I speak to other vegetarians, I can share those things with them. I’ve had people say to me “look, I am not going vegan, but I want to cook healthier for my kids because I understand that meat isn’t that good for us, what can I cook?” In a moment like that it pays to have listened to friends and family and to understand what they enjoy in a dish that doesn’t have meat. It’s better to listen than to speak, we have so much to learn from each other especially considering that food interacts differently with us all.

One footnote: from my research into the Essenes, my understanding is that food can become toxic to us if we have negative feelings while eating it. For your sake and for others’, steer clear of negative emotion inducing topics while eating with your friends & family. Debates and eating don’t mix well, no matter how good your intent might be.

If you are presented with a challenging conversation you can steer the conversation out of it and enjoy your meal together. That’s what counts the most.

Food with Friends by Brandless

Food with Friends by Brandless

Explore the Roots of Veganism

Veganism is like a finger on the hand of “Ahiṃsā.” Ahiṃsā is a key virtue in Hinduhism, Buddhism, and Jainism which translates roughly into “nonviolence.”

As you let the seeds of veganism grow in your heart, let the tendrils of compassion and mindfulness encompass it so that you may purify your words, deeds, and thoughts. If you feel judgement, contempt, or other ill-feelings about a situation you find yourself in then you’re in a perfect place to explore ways to “react” to that with love and compassion.

Being vegan or eating a vegan diet can cause a war in one’s psyche, with one’s friends, and with one’s family. If you are standing on one pillar, of veganism, then your foundation is shaky. If you are standing on the pillars of compassion and veganism you will find it easier to navigate the challenges that come with change in a world that can at times be so averse to it.

Oh, Great Spirit,
whose voice I hear in the winds
and whose breath gives life to all the world, hear me.
I am small and weak.
I need your strength and wisdom.

Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes
ever behold the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have made
and my ears sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise so that I may understand
the things you have taught my people.
Let me learn the lessons you have hidden
in every leaf and rock.

I seek strength, not to be superior to my brother,
but to fight my greatest enemy – myself.
Make me always ready to come to you
with clean hands and straight eyes,
so when life fades, as the fading sunset,
my spirit will come to you
without shame.

american indian – lakota – chief yellow lark – 1887

Octavian Ristea is a passionate vegan who is working hard to earn the title of Collectively Empowering Others at He is also cultivating a food blog at

You Are All Set helps conscious companies thrive through Digital Transformation. You can connect with them through their site or via their Instagram profile @youarellset.

5 – Ingredient Vegan Cookbook Giveaway

I could make a recipe from this cookbook every single day! Each recipe is perfect for, I’d say, for all of us who are generally crunched for time and looking for healthy meals that are quick, easy and full of flavor!

5 Ingredient Vegan by Nava Atlas 3

5 Ingredient Vegan is the most recent cookbook by innovative author, illustrator and recipe developer Nava Atlas. Just a few of her other popular cookbooks include; Plant Power, Wild About Greens, Vegan Holiday Kitchen, Vegan Soups, Vegan Express and Hearty Stews for All Seasons. What I love the most about all these cookbooks is that they are all focused on making plants taste great.

Chickpea Snacks

Chickpea Snacks

The ingredients Nava includes in her recipes in 5 Ingredient Vegan are easy to find in grocery stores in any part of the US. Just one of the time saving techniques Nava includes in this fun new vegan cookbook is using items like; fresh produce, good quality canned and frozen foods, whole grains, prepared sauces and obviously only 5 of these ingredients.

Mushroom Soup 2

Mushroom Soup

Another one of the secrets you will learn in 5 Ingredient Vegan is how to pack your dishes with flavor so that your friends and family will be coming back for more! I would also recommend getting fruits and veggies from local farms or Farmer’s Market that will kick your dishes up several more notches!

Polenta Stacks 2

Polenta Stacks

Many of the recipes in this cookbook are ready to eat in a or less than 20 minutes and have you covered for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and more. They are also fun to create, very pleasing to the eye and would be great for people starting out on a plant based diet or helpful for someone that you are encouraging to eat more plants. Many of the dishes will also make you the star of the show if you brought them to parties!

Cauliflower Fried Rice

Cauliflower Fried Rice

Pinto Bean and Avocado Salad

Pinto Bean Salad

Pinto Bean and Avocado Salad

Brought to you by the Department of Yum, this lovely bean salad is richly flavored with olives and avocado. It pairs well with vegan quesadillas and simple grain dishes.

Reprinted with permission from 5-Ingredient Vegan © 2019 by Nava Atlas, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. Photo by Hannah Kaminsky.

Serves: 4

  • 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 ripe avocado, diced
  • 1 heaping cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup pitted black olives (halved if large)
  • 2 limes
  • Olive oil as desired, preferably extra-virgin
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Drain and rinse the pinto beans, then combine with the avocado, tomatoes, and olives in a serving bowl. Toss together gently.

Add the juice of 1 lime and a drizzle of olive oil and toss again.

Season with salt and pepper. Cut the second lime into 4 wedges to serve with the salad.

Optional addition:

Garnish each serving with a few fresh cilantro leaves.

5 Ingredient Vegan is my kind of cookbook, it contains unique recipes that focus on bringing out flavors of whole foods, and that is what I love! I think you will too, so pick up a copy of your own or enter for your chance to win a copy at the link below!

5 Ingredient Vegan by Nava Atlas 2

With dishes like Scallion Pancakes, Southwestern Tofu Burritos, Tempeh Fries with Fresh Dill Mayonnaise, Smoky BBQ Chickpeas, Baked Polenta Fries, Coconut Sweet Potato Bisque, Pasta with Power Greens, Salsa Verde Bean Burritos, Skillet Blueberry Crumble, Pineapple-Orange Ambrosia and Chocolate Granola Clusters, how can you go wrong?

Find the giveaway here:

Easy Meals For Great Brain Health

As a follow on to my June post about foods to eat for great brain health, I’m writing today with some easy meal ideas which can help keep your brain extra sharp throughout your entire lifetime. As I mentioned, in my original post, the key to great brain health is eliminating inflammatory foods like; gluten, sugar, dairy, meats, fast and processed foods, fried foods, pastries, alcohol, food additives and preservatives. It can be a little tricky to stay on track, when you are working to eliminate inflammatory foods but with a little pre planning as well as creativity in your kitchen you can still eat an abundance of delicious foods as well as try out new flavors you’ve never enjoyed before!


Research indicates that some of the best foods for your brain include: apples, blueberries, beets, coconut, grapes, herbs – especially sage and rosemary, leafy greens (kale, turnip greens, swiss chard and broccoli are the best), mushrooms – most notably Lion’s Mane mushrooms, olives, oranges, spices – especially Ginger, Saffron and Turmeric, strawberries, omega-3 rich foods including; walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds and hemp seeds. So think of the many ways you can consistently sneak those foods into your current cooking repertoire or create new recipes using those ingredients.


Just a few of the dishes you can easily incorporate into your healthy brain meal plan include:

  • Chia Seed Pudding made with Coconut Milk, Turmeric and topped with Berries
  • Avocado Toast (on Gluten Free Bread)
  • Baked Sweet Potato topped with Almond Butter, Blueberries, Bananas and Ground Flax Seed or Granola
  • Energy Balls
  • Spiced Nuts
  • Dried Fruit
  • Chopped Veggies with Hummus or another plant based dip
  • Green Leafy Salads loaded with veggies, fruits, nuts and seedsimg_7356
  • Beet Salad
  • Fruit Salad
  • Buddha Bowls
  • Cauliflower Steaks topped with Herbs and Spices
  • Zoodles or Spaghetti Sauce topped with Herb Pesto
  • Roasted Broccoli
  • Roasted Carrots with Rosemary
  • Soups loaded with beans, veggies, herbs and spices
  • Golden Milk
  • Ginger or other Herbal Teas
  • Water Infused with Fruits, Sage and Rosemary
  • Indian and Thai Food are excellent choices when dining out. Did you know that India has one of the lowest rates of dementia? It is thought that is largely attributed to the abundance of herbs and spices that they eat each day.
  • Any recipe that includes mushrooms are great for your brain but especially the delicious gluten free and vegan stuffed mushrooms below which are a huge hit with everyone!

Good for Your Brain Stuffed Mushrooms

Great For Your Brain Stuffed Mushrooms

Serves 4 people as a side dish

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 16 oz baby bella mushrooms, stems removed and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 shallot, small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, small dice
  • 1 handful of spinach or other leafy green
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon miso
  • Salt & Pepper, if desired

Clean mushrooms and remove stems. Set the caps aside. Chop the stems and then sauté along with the shallots, garlic, rosemary and sage in the olive oil on medium heat until the shallots are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach, walnuts and nutmeg and cook another minute. Let the mixture cool and then transfer to a food processor, add the miso and process until thoroughly combined and the mixture is the consistency of bread crumbs. Add salt and pepper to suit your taste, place the caps upside down in a casserole dish and spoon the mixture into the caps. Cook at 350⁰ for 30 minutes. Serve with any desired herbs, chopped veggies or seeds as a garnish.


VegReady – Meals to Go Giveaway!!

For 40 years, Mark Perlmutter ate a plant-based diet and encouraged his friends and family to adopt the lifestyle as well. For health, for animals, and for the environment. He was so passionate about the benefits of eating a diet solely sourced from plants that he produced a documentary titled Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days. But over the years, he found that despite the information and desire to change, all the excuses got in the way:

“I don’t know what to make”

“It takes too much time to cook it”

“It’s not convenient, etc”

People began reverting back to fast foods and meats that were destroying their body from the inside out. The wheels in his head began turning and he thought…. What if there could be a Vegan/Plant-Based meal that was easier and more convenient than the fast food alternative? And VegReady was born!



Mark created VegReady with the mission of helping 2 million people eat just 2 more plant-based meals per week as a first step on their transition to a better life. The meals require no cooking, no refrigeration, and no heating – these meals are ready for you when you are. In the office, at home, in the cabinet, or even camping – all you have to do is open and eat.

VegReady Meals are made with 100% plant based ingredients and make eating healthy, simple, convenient and allow you to do more of the things you love like; spending time with family, doing your hobbies or getting outside and enjoying life – something we all need to do more of!




VegReady’s vision is to offer 200 dishes from four regions of the world; South America, Mediterranean, India, and Southeast Asia. The current line of dishes come source from Peru – where they have various Quinoa and Rice trays with a variety of sides.

There are two ways to purchase VegReady Meals; with the subscription service or individually. Customers can save with the monthly subscription, or purchase quantities of 8 or more meals at a time.

When you purchase VegReady, you receive a cardboard Case containing 8 custom-built MealBoxes, each with 3 dishes listed below. Each MealBox is decorated with mouthwatering images of the food inside. As a bonus, each MealBox comes with a pamphlet outlining the benefits of two plant meals per week for our bodies and our planet.

Inside each VegReady monthly delivery you’ll receive:

Main Trays (8 total):


  • Quinoa & Lentils; Blond Quinoa +

Sides & Sauces (a mix of 2 per box):

  • Ratatouille with Tomato, Eggplant & Zucchini: A succulent medley of rich and savory vegetables. Full of nutrition and flavor!
  • Zucchini & White Onion: A savory mix of hearty vegetables, with plenty of crunch and loads of taste! Delicious on it’s own or mixed with a spinach & broccoli dish!
  • Piquillo Pepper, Cabbage & Lentils: One of our saucier mixes, perfect for stirring in with a quinoa or lentil dish, and packed full of nutritious and delicious veggies!
  • Tomato, Mango, Hearts of Palms & Peppers: A rich and savory sauce, with a sweet undertone, with no oil and plenty of flavor. A delicious addition to the quinoa dishes!
  • Spinach & Broccoli: perfect for adding flavor and nutrients to complete each meal. Getting your greens has never been so tasty!

With the 12-month shelf life at room-temperature, you can be sure you always have a healthy meal within arms reach. No refrigeration. No heating.


How can you help VegReady help to be successful? Try their meals, let them know what you think of them. They can be ordered through and if you’d like to spread their message, VegReady has a Brand Ambassador program where you can earn rewards and points used towards your next purchase.



And today, the folks at VegReady want to get their meals in your hands so they are allowing me to give away a case of 8 meals to one lucky winner! Please enter to win at this link and good luck!

Grillo’s Pickles – The Best Pickles I’ve Tasted!

I tried Grillo’s Pickles a few years ago and they are, hands down, the best pickle I’ve ever had. I wanted to give them a big shout out today and tell you about them too! If you haven’t had a chance to try them, you really should.


Grillo’s offers a variety of products such as spears, chips, and whole dills. Differentiated by its clean offerings, each hand-packed batch of Grillo’s is made cold, shipped cold and sold cold using the highest grade of naturally crunchy cucumbers, fresh – never frozen – white California-grown garlic and organic, fresh cut dill before being preserved naturally with grape leaves. The brand’s Hot Italian Dill varieties includes an entire habanero and jalapeño pepper in each jar, while its Bread & Butter options is made with a touch of raw sugar, mustard and celery seeds, yellow onion and red bell pepper for a naturally sweet taste. They have a great flavor, crunch and texture and are great in many recipes or to eat just by themselves.


The other thing that I really love about Grillo’s , aside from the flavor, is that they are all natural and have no funny stuff in them. I stopped eating store bought pickles a few years ago because I found out that most have a preservative called Polysorbate 80 which is thought to not be a very good chemical for anyone to consume. I try to avoid as many preservatives as I can and I was excited to learn that Grillo’s has only all natural ingredients and I could eat store bought pickles again!

Grillos 2

Grillo’s is based in Massachusetts and has pretty nation wide distribution. You can find them in many natural and traditional grocery stores. To find a retailer near you, visit:


They’ve recently released a sandwich cut which would be great on sandwiches and would be great to make a vegan cuban with. This is what I think I will try next! They’d also be excellent on a veggie burger.


I also just recently purchased an Air Fryer and made Fried Pickles – they were fun and easy! I also made a nice pickle potato salad and some vegan hot dogs with them. The are also excellent to snack on just plain. They would also be really excellent one of my all time favorite recipes, Tuna-Less Salad, from Rouxbe Cooking School.


And Grillo’s would love for you to try them too so they are giving away coupons for some free jars! Thank you Grillo’s! If you have them in your community, enter to win and you can pick them up at your closest grocery store! Good luck & Enjoy!






What To Eat For a Healthy Brain

June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month and is a time to bring awareness and show support for the millions of people worldwide struggling with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. According to the Alzheimer’s Association 5.7 Million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s. By 2050, this number is projected to rise to nearly 14 million. With a family history of dementia, myself, this is something I take very seriously, and you should too, especially if cognitive decline and impairment is something that has affected someone in your family. While we might not realize it, while were young and healthy, the decisions we make throughout our entire life can greatly affect the health of our brain later in life. I wrote a this post a few weeks about how we can protect our brains and in this post I’d like to cover some of the best foods we can eat to help our brain remain sharp.


Photo by Thomas Kelley on Unsplash

One of the best things we can do for our overall health, disease prevention, to protect our brains and help us feel our very best, is eliminate inflammatory foods which include; Gluten, Sugar, Dairy, Meats, Fast and processed foods, Fried foods, Pastries, Alcohol, Food additives and preservatives.

While you may think, poo! That doesn’t leave a lot for me to eat, it’s quite the opposite. Our bodies have evolved over many years to eat a diet that sustains us and helps us procreate which ensures survival of our species. This diet does not include many of the foods that are in the Standard American Diet. In fact, there is a very strong correlation between the increase in processed foods and many of the dreaded diseases of our modern society. In particular, Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Poor food choices and an accumulation of other environmental factors damage our brains throughout the course of our lives and if you have a genetically predisposition for dementia, these factors greatly accelerate the risk of getting the disease.


Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

Like I mentioned previously, the best thing we can do for our brain is eliminate those bad foods and instead focus on adding in more fruits, veggies, nuts, beans and especially greens, lots of healthy, whole foods, plant-based fats and foods low on the glycemic index.

I’ve highlighted the foods that have been found to provide the most promise for prevention and treatment in numerous studies below. Most experts recommend eating a diet rich in protective compounds like a diversity of berries, nuts and seeds, abundant herbs, leafy greens as well as focusing on vitamin A (beta carotene), C, D, E and all the B rich foods, Omega-3 fatty acids, flavonoids, folate, magnesium and curcumin. 

Just a few of the foods that have proven beneficial for dementia prevention and treatment include:


Photo by Edgar Castrejon on Unsplash

  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Beets
  • Coconut
  • Grapes
  • Herbs – especially Sage and Rosemary
  • Leafy greens (Kale, Turnip Greens, Swiss Chard and Broccoli are the best)
  • Mushrooms – most notably Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
  • Olives
  • Oranges
  • Spices – especially Ginger, Saffron and Turmeric
  • Strawberries
  • Omega-3 rich foods including; Walnuts, Flax Seeds, Chia Seeds and Hemp Seeds


One of the clearest lifestyle choices, in addition, is ensuring you are exercising 4-6 times a week both your body and your brain as well as getting adequate sleep and have a stress management routine in place. It’s also important to work with a knowledgeable natural health practitioner who can analyze blood work and provide supplement recommendations.

If you are at risk of getting any of the forms of brain disease, I would greatly encourage you to do your research and empower yourself with knowledge. Some of the Doctors pioneering this field are Dr. Dale Bredesen and Team Sherzai, a husband and wife neurology team – please be sure to check out some of there books and programs. It’s very encouraging to know that there are simple steps we can take, and when we start early, we can keep our brains functioning optimally throughout our entire life, even though our genes may say something different.


Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash




All About Me – Sarah Eastin, Health Coach Plant Based Chef

I wanted to write this post because I often times don’t tell people much about myself. I’m to a point in my career as a health coach and plant based chef and give a lot of shout outs to so many other people, I need to give a little shout out to myself every once in a while, right?


So here I am!! For those of you you that don’t know me, name is Sarah and I’m a Vegan Health and Lifestyle Coach, Plant-Based Chef (and newly certified Culinary Nutrition Expert) and lifelong animal rights activist. I also have a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. I like to tell people that I use all of the knowledge and skills I’ve worked very hard to attain throughout my career to create a compassionate community and improve the planet for all species. I’m currently based in Denver but that may change at any time!


I’m pretty proud to announce that I recently graduated from the Academy of Culinary Nutrition and am now a Certified Culinary Nutrition Expert. I hope to use the knowledge that I obtained in this program to help people improve their health and heal themselves with foods. Please follow my facebook page for my upcoming classes. I’m also happy to work with people remotely, if you know anyone interested!


I also just started, what is known as a Veganizer Chapter. Veganizer is a plant-based food consulting and marketing agency. As part of my work with this program, I collaborate with omnivore restaurants, encouraging them to get creative in the kitchen and expand plant based offerings on their menu and hosting Pop Up Dinners at their restaurants. This helps give the restaurant exposure as well as keep up with increasing plant based and healthy foods demand. In addition to the Veganizer Pop Up Dinners, I also recently helped organize a Vegan Restaurant Week in Denver! This event was so fun and successful- we had 40 restaurants and food trucks participate!

Vegan Restaurant Week

For our hard work with Vegan Restaurant Week made it into the press! You can read all about the restaurants, menus and delicious specially prepared dishes they created in the VegNews article here and the Denver Westword article here. Special thanks to VegFest Colorado for your help with this event (don’t forget to come see me there July, 27th & 28th).


I also plan to organize a Boulder Vegan Restaurant Week this fall so please stay tuned for that! Considering Vegan Restaurant Week was so successful, it’s giving me some great inspiration and motivation to keep working on more events! Here are a few food highlights:

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Please come to my next two events, if you are in Denver:

A Pop Up Market on June 22nd:

Vegan Pop Up Market1

And my next Veganizer Pop Up Dinner:


And finally, please let me know how I can help you, whether that’s teaching you how to make amazing plant based foods, cooking them for you myself, or if you are a restaurant and may need some help incorporating more plant based foods or are interested in working with me to host a plant based pop up dinner!


And don’t forget to follow me so you know about my upcoming events!