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The music legend and activist on why GMO labeling matters and why we need to stop Citizens United and Monsanto

Chef and vegetable connoisseur, pioneer in haute, plant-based cuisine






We’re celebrating his upcoming October tour and one of the most loved musicians in the world uses his voice for compassion

Chef to tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams, Stevie Wonder, Common, and on First Lady Michelle Obama’s obesity prevention campaign. Feeding 600+ on the first green hip hop tour









His 28-year anniversary of being vegan, his new organic, plant-based restaurant in la, how less meat solves the climate crisis, and how plants can save us all. Plus, I’m pretty sure he’s an alien



Gene Baur: Many credit him with Jon Stewart’s decision to retire to a farm sanctuary life



WildAid: When the buying stops, the killing can too



On myth-busting, your “foodprint,” and documentaries that change your life



Miyoko Schinner, the leading pioneer in artisan vegan cheese and author of The Homemade Vegan Pantry, dispels the myth that vegan food can’t be gourmet

Katie Higgins: On six million monthly viewers on her viral food blog, baking brownies in her pajamas, and chocolate, chocolate, chocolate

Their inspiration + passion



Food, like love + sex, is important in a relationship. It’s nourishing. It’s emotional. And it’s complicated




THRIVE TEAM Editor-In-Chief/Founder Maranda Pleasant Twitter: @marandapleasant Creative DIRECTOR Melody Tarver

This is our time. Let’s protect what we love. What an amazing issue filled with the top plant-based chefs in the nation, leading nonprofits protecting animals and natural habitats, and artists and athletes kicking ass and really making a difference. Our community came together to make this issue happen. People who give a damn. Collaboration is the key to building a better world. Thank you to the strong, powerful women who made this plant-based bible of an issue happen.

Senior Editors Alison Burgos Michelle Gaber Editors Kaiulani Kimbrell John Lewis Charlie Amos copy EDITOR Colin Legerton

Truth Bombs I am passionate about: #1: Take no crap. Less processed foods. Let’s go 100 percent organic, non-GMO, and plant-based, for the planet and for the animals. Let’s stop putting chemicals on our skin, in our bodies, and in our homes. Thanks, Neil Young, for your stand against Monsanto. #2: Time to shake it up. Let’s start using our voices to really shake stuff up. Climate change is real, except to total nutters. Let’s kick the meat. Going vegan is the number one way to save this planet. Let’s stop sitting in the dark vegan corner and start using our voices to protect this planet.


#3: Conservation + clean energy is the new black. Being environmentally mindful and protecting endangered species and nature is the sexiest thing we can do. Let’s toss the single-use plastic, fracking, and gas-guzzling cars. Let’s invest in solar and in people and companies that are creating a new clean future.

#4: Honor the real rockstars. So proud to have my heroes, the activists and artists making a difference. These badasses inspire me to do more to protect animals, our oceans, and the world that we love. #5: What’s in the ocean needs to stay in the ocean. There is no way to eat fish sustainably. We have to protect every living being in the ocean as if our future depends on it. It does. #6: Have more hot sex and vegan dark chocolate. This should be self-explanatory.

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#7: Watch our energy. Let’s hold ourselves responsible for the energy we bring to the room, a situation, our lives, and our families. Let’s focus on creating the life and the world we want. Let’s think bigger possibilities and less stuff. More love. More hot sex and self-care. We get to really shape this world. Let’s create it together. #8: Kick the mediocre. It simply amazes me how most people think they’re actually good at what they do when the reality is that most people are terribly mediocre. Let’s step it up this year. Let’s own our field.

Maranda Pleasant THRIVE Magazine • ORIGIN Magazine • Mantra Yoga + Health • REAL Magazine Founder / Editor-in-Chief



Twitter: @originmagazine

Mantra Yoga + Health editor@mantramag.com Twitter: @mantrayogamag


(888) 51-TESLA • teslamotors.com





don’t like the current political system in the USA and some other countries. Increasingly, democracy has been hijacked by corporate interests. The money needed to run for office, the money spent on lobbying by special interests, the ever-increasing economic disparity, and the well-funded legislative decisions, all favor corporate interests over the people.

Such is the case with the reaction to my new album, The Monsanto Years, which covers many of these issues. I support those bringing these issues to light and those who fight for their rights, such as freedom of choice.

The Citizens United Supreme Court ruling is proof of this corruption, as are the proposed trade deals that would further compromise our rights.

That’s why it’s crucial we all get engaged and get informed.

These corporations were originally created to serve us, but if we don’t appropriately prioritize they will destroy us. Corporations don’t have children. They don’t have feelings or souls. They don’t depend on uncontaminated water, clean air, or healthy food to survive. They are beholden to one thing—the bottom line. I choose to speak Truth to this Economic Power. When I speak out on corporations hurting the common man or the environment or other species, I expect a well-financed disinformation campaign to be aimed my way.

But freedom of choice is meaningless without knowledge.

That’s why GMO labeling matters. Mothers need to know what they are feeding their children. They need the freedom to make educated choices at the market. When the people have voted for labeling, as they have in Vermont, they need our support when they are fighting these corporate interests trying to reverse the laws they have voted for and passed in the democratic process. I do not trust self-serving misinformation coming from corporations and their media trolls. I do not trust politicians who are taking millions from those corporations, either. I trust people. So I make my music for people, not for candidates. Keep on rockin’ in the free world. photo: PEGI YOUNg





Champion for Peace, Animals, and the Environment. Documentary Producer. Organic Regenerative Agriculture Advocate.

Elizabeth Kucinich on Turning Negative Thoughts Into Positive Action, GMOs, and acting with urgency on the brink of climate disaster Interview: Kaiulani Kimbrell, Director/CoFounder Hollywood Food Guild

Kaiulani Kimbrell: Elizabeth, you’re such a beautiful soul. Tell me, what are you most passionate about right now?

“None of us are perfect. You don’t need to be. But know how powerful you are, embrace that and have the courage to live as you see best.”

Elizabeth Kucinich: Thank you, Kaiulani. Well, as you know, I always seem to have a lot of fingers in a lot of delicious pies (vegan of course!) but everything I do reflects upon my overall desire to help bring our social, economic, agricultural, and ecological systems into balance. In that vein, I’m working on the production team of several documentaries at the moment, which I’m very passionate about. KK: You and I have often spoken about the interconnectedness of things. What inspires you most in the food and environmental arena? EK: My mother always taught me to “turn a negative thought into a positive action.” We are on the brink of climate disaster. Whether an endorser or denier of climate change, everyone has to acknowledge that we are experiencing varying degrees of climate crisis: great fluxes in temperature, rainfall, etc. causing floods, droughts, and crop failures. On the other hand, we are faced with great opportunities to turn this around. One of the reasons I work in the area of food and agriculture is that it connects all to everything. From our daily meal choices and personal health to the largest potential to reverse climate change—yes! reverse climate change—through regenerative organic agriculture where photosynthesis is the greatest potential tool for carbon sequestration. Soil is the building block of life. It is presently being depleted at a rapid rate through most conventional agriculture, but we can restore it. KK: You’re from England. Have you noticed a big difference between the way people eat and grow food here in the states versus Europe? EK: The United States and Europe are both quite inconsistent. Europe has erred on the side of the precautionary principle and largely rejected GMOs, though politically there’s great pressure to change that. Conversely, organic as a market has slumped in Europe while it’s the largest growing agriculture sector in the United States. There are also big differences in the use of chemicals. Europe has put a moratorium on the use of neonicotinoids, for example, due to their potential harm to and decimation of pollinators such as bees. Other very nasty agricultural chemicals are also banned, like atrazine, whose use is widespread across the United States. KK: When it comes to a healthy lifestyle, what do you think is one of the most important things we can each be doing? EK: Making conscious food choices. Pure and simple. Eat a rainbow of organic plants, fruit, nuts, and seeds, with as little added oil and processed products as possible, and drink plenty of water. Think of food as nourishment. For example, we may feel in the morning that we need ElizabethKucinich.com



a coffee to wake up, and that’s fine, but it’s a stimulant drug. What we really need to do is nourish ourselves with wholesome food and freshly made vegetable juice—that’s where the real kick can be felt! (Not that I do that—I don’t have a juicer) KK: What’s your favorite way of connecting with nature? Do you have a favorite place or activity? EK: I love walking in natural parks, but more importantly, I see Mother Nature everywhere, be it the abused houseplant in a Congressional office begging for water (I’m notorious for getting staff in each office I visit to tend to their plants), to the ants scurrying across the pavement, and the trees and wild plants (some call weeds) miraculously growing out of the sidewalk. These tenacious beings provide great inspiration and lessons for us to learn from. They also provide us with an opportunity to exercise consciousness and compassion in tending to them and ensuring that they have a place in our lives. KK: What’s your favorite sound to wake up to? EK: My husband’s gentle breath and strong heartbeat under my head. KK: Your favorite way to relax? EK: Snuggling with my dogs on the sofa watching a mind-numbing TV series. KK: One thing you can’t live without? EK: Love. KK: What does THRIVING mean to you? EK: None of us are perfect. You don’t need to be. But know how powerful you are, embrace that, and have the courage to live as you see best. Embrace your potential and the world-changing opportunities in your own life, starting with the food you eat and how you nurture the little patch of land around you. We are all in this together. The micro informs the macro. The path begins with oneself. When we address our own lives, we start to transform ourselves, and from there we transform our communities and the world. Blessings to you on this great journey.

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The McCartneys’ Meat Free Monday Campaign Celebrates Years


Meat Free Monday is Now a Global Awareness Movement

Music Legend




McCARTNEY getting Back ‘Out T here’ In October We’re Celebrating His Upcoming October Tour and One Of the Most Loved Musicians In the World Uses His Voice For Compassion.




photo: MJ KIM

eaded by Paul, Mary, and Stella McCartney, Meat Free Monday is looking forward to reaching new audiences.


Meat Free Monday has had an incredible response. Some of the world’s leading authorities on climate change have endorsed meat reduction as an effective way of fighting global warming, including former US Vice President Al Gore. A host of celebrities and high profile chefs support the campaign, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Oliver, and Sir Richard Branson. On six continents, in over 35 countries and 23 languages, people have taken the pledge to go Meat Free on Monday, making eating for a healthier lifestyle and planet a worldwide movement.


You’re passionate about animals.

A: You can judge a man’s true character by the way he treats his fellow animals.

Q: You’re quite vocal about being vegetarian.

A: If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian.

Q: How can people help the planet?

A: If anyone wants to save the planet, all they have to do is stop eating meat. That’s the single most important thing you could do. It’s staggering when you think about it. It just takes care of so many things in one shot: ecology, famine, and cruelty. I think globally and act locally. Q: You also care about endangered species. A: It’s time to end the cruel slaughter of whales and leave these magnificent creatures alone.

Q: You have a new tour this year, “Out There.” Why are you still traveling and performing?

A: Why would I retire? To sit at home and watch TV? No thanks. I’d rather be out playing.

You can judge a man’s true character by the way he treats his fellow animals.

Q: Do you practice a religion? A: I am not religious, but I am spiritual. Q: I hear you are into natural medicine. A: I can’t manage without homeopathy. In fact, I never go anywhere without homeopathic remedies. I make use of them often. ›






Eating more fruit and vegetables, and less meat, is good for our health and good for the planet. With diet-related diseases on the rise, Meat Free Monday is more important now than ever.

photos: MJ KIM



According to the Center for a Livable Future at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, “Animal agriculture generates a significant amount of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change, and the increased frequency and severity of flooding, droughts, and other weather events expected to follow.” The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that global meat production accounts for nearly 15 percent of all greenhouse emissions, while other scientists suggest the figure may be much higher.

Some food for thought: • Reducing meat consumption lessens the risks of heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and obesity. • Research by Oxford University found that 45,000 lives a year (and £1.2 billion in NHS costs) would be saved in the UK by people reducing their meat intake. • An area of Amazon rainforest the size of a hundred soccer fields is cut down every hour to create room for cattle ranching. • Participating in Meat Free Monday just one day a week can reduce your annual carbon footprint by as much as not driving your car for an entire two and a half months.



A Conversation with M e d i a M o g u l , V e g a n , Y o g i , Meditator, and Our Inspiration:

Russell Simmons on Success Through Stillness, His Path to Yoga and Meditation, W h y t h e A b u s e o f A n i m a l s i s t h e D e s t r u c t i o n o f H u m a n i t y, and His New Book, The Happy Vegan K a i u l a n i K i m b r e l l . C o F o u n d e r / D i r e c t o r , H o l l yw o o d F o o d G u i l d

Kaiulani Kimbrell: Russell, I’m so happy to be talking with you. What are you most passionate about in your life right now? Russell Simmons: Right now, I’m passionate that I’m talking to you and I’m passionate and inspired by this drive in the car to work. I am really excited to just be where I am. And that’s the plan, to try to be like this more often. KK: You have encouraged so many into meditation and yoga. How did that path begin for you? What were some new awarenesses that began to transition you on that path? RS: Well, I went to yoga because there were so many hot girls there, twenty-some-odd years ago. That’s why I went to yoga. And then after my first class I was so high and that was an awakening. I became addicted to yoga and I have been ever since. There’s nothing in the yoga scripture that we don’t already have etched inside us. Things that promote happiness are really etched inside you. You have to have a path. And life is about connecting to that path, connecting to that kind

of awareness. I read, study it, and live it as much as I can. I fuck it up daily, but I find that it helps me evolve towards a happier place. And I think that’s what we are here for, to be happy and to be able to see all these miracles unfolding in front of us. So that’s the work we do. We try to be present and awake and see it, and see our work as prayer. It’s challenging, it’s exciting, and makes our lives meaningful. KK: I feel like you are somewhat of a modern-day mystic. How do you integrate being a businessman, working in one of the biggest cities in the world, while connecting to that spiritual realm that surpasses understanding? RS: This yoga science that you’re referring to applies to everything. It always is the basis of happiness and success. It’s always the science of service. We don’t realize that the words of the scriptures are ones that promote a better business. You know, Jesus said good givers are great getters, but then he told his disciples, just give without expectation. He told his disciples to have faith and just do the

work and forget results. He taught the masses, good givers are great getters. That’s the basis for our operation. Get up and give. That’s how you get, that’s how you feed your family. That philosophy is one that I try to adopt and [it] is a prayer I try to live up to. That’s what it's about, how often can you remember to remember. KK: I love that. How often can you remember to remember. That’s beautiful. You’ve written a book called Success Through Stillness. If you could boil the message of the book down into one or two lines, how would you describe it? RS: Well, just knowing that quiet time is critical for everyone. We all have to have self-reflection in order to dig for the self while we are promoting and living in a noisy world. We have to sometimes withdraw the senses and meditate so we can see our path, our truth, and find our happiness. Meditation is a very helpful way of doing that and the most helpful way known to man to move that process of self-discovery forward. › photos: Fadil berisha





And life is about connecting to that path, connecting to that kind of awareness. I read, study it, and live it as much as I can. I fuck it up daily, but I find that it helps me evolve towards a happier place.

KK: What does your day look like in terms of a non-negotiable meditation or yoga practice, and what is your strategy for engaging the day? RS: My non-negotiable is my physical yoga practice and my meditation practice. Beyond that I do what I’m told. It’s put on a schedule, they ask me, then I go to work and my schedule is whatever it is. I just show up where I am told. If I need prepping I will prepare for a meeting, but otherwise I walk in cold. You know, I have many businesses, many charities, many social and political causes, and as they come up I am just able to say, “Do it, do it, schedule it” as much as I can. Even if I am on a plane, I will find a yoga practice and I will show up. I don’t miss that and the morning meditation.There’s a second meditation for the day I sometimes miss, but I don’t miss my morning meditation.

and all the natural resources— stealing everything that we hold dear. We subsidize meat yet we don’t subsidize vegetables. That’s why I occupy, because the lobbyists have taken control of the federal government. And to the businesses running this country, money is more important than people. Money runs politicians. Our democracy is deeply flawed.

RS: If I am doing a decent thing then it’s all part of the process. Just do the work. If it’s show up at an animal rights fundraiser or go to a march or rally like with Black Lives Matter, I just have to show up and do it, and keep doing it. Smile big in difficult positions, and try not to differentiate between success and failure.

There’s something I want to say here. I have never said it, but I thought of it this morning in meditation. I think that if my upcoming book Happy Vegan gets the kind of media my previous books have gotten or more, the facts in there are so devastating that if they were to be spread around further in a purposeful way, in front of the masses and on television and the animals right community, if you took a little spark from that, it could be the end of animal factories. There are companies that are building alternatives—many, many alternatives. They are using the forty thousand plants on this planet as replacement for animal products. People don’t realize they are the planet. The planet is them. They are the animals they eat. The animals they eat are them. They don’t realize that. They don’t know about the Prozac and antibiotics they are eating in their chicken or cows. If they realize this and get plant-based alternatives that are good and cheaper, it’s the end of factory farming.

KK: Can you tell Thrive Magazine’s readers why you choose to live a vegan lifestyle and what that means to you?

KK: These are powerful statements. Is there anything else you’d like to say to Thrive readers?

RS: Because we are destroying the planet and killing ourselves.The abuse of animals is the destruction of humanity. It is the worst karmic disaster in the history of the world. One hundred billion animals born into suffering every year, living in the most difficult, hurtful, abusive lifestyles so that we can then eat them and destroy the planet, the ozone layer,

RS: At first I just wrote the book because I knew I needed to write it, but now I am thinking that it could be meaningful, it could be a dharma that is more time consuming, which is good. Just the idea of educating people on this subject matter is something I think I may be good at. I’m getting ready to get off and go on this journey right now.

KK: And for you there’s no separation between the work life and the practice, it's all integrated into one thing ultimately?







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Never Underestimate A Vegan Hippie Chick With A Race Car.





Leilani Munter on Being a Woman in a Male-Dominated Field, Clean Energy, Protecting Animals, Yoga, Charging her Tesla on Solar Power, and Her New Film, Racing Extinction Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive or inspires you? Leilani Münter: Waking up and fighting for a better future for our planet and the incredible animals we share it with. Clean energy, electric cars, animal rights, and plant-based diet are some of the issues I fight for. MP: You are a badass in a male-dominated field. What is it like breaking boundaries in your field?

LM: I don’t know what it’s like to be anything other than a woman in my sport, so I’m not sure how it is for the guys coming in, but I definitely faced a lot of sexism when I came into this sport, from both the fans and people within the sport. Female racers develop a very thick skin very early on, otherwise you would never survive here. It’s much better than it was, and there are some people in racing who are very kind to me, but overall the sport certainly doesn’t roll out the red carpet for female drivers when we first arrive in the garage area. But I think that is to be expected in a male-dominated sport like racing. I didn’t expect it to be easy. ›




Leilani Munter MP: Any health tips for staying in optimum shape?

LM: Go vegan! Listen to what your body craves. It’s always worked for me. MP: Tell me if you have a yoga or mindfulness practice. What influence has it had on your life? LM: I love doing hot yoga and it prepares me for the stamina I need to be in a race car for long periods of time. I have driven in races where it was 155 degrees in my racecar and I am in a fireproof racing suit and a full face helmet, so believe me I need all the help to be as prepared as I can for that kind of heat! MP: What is love for you? LM: Love is having compassion for others, including other species. This is my favorite quote about compassion. It’s by Andrew Boyd and I think it sums up what every animal rights activist feels inside: “Compassion hurts. When you feel connected to everything, you also feel responsible for everything. And you cannot turn away. Your destiny is bound with the destinies of others. You must either learn to carry the Universe or be crushed by it. You must grow strong enough to love the world, yet empty enough to sit down at the same table with its worst horrors.”

MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? LM: Please make your next car electric, put solar panels up on your roof, and go vegan. MP: Your EffOil license plate on your Tesla has become pretty famous. What's the most important thing we should know about clean energy? LM: Clean energy is our future and there is no turning back. The price of solar has dropped by 80% in the last five years and currently every 2.5 minutes a solar array is going up on a home or business in the United States. I have driven over 27,000 miles in my Tesla, and with the solar panels on my roof, I am driving on sunshine. It doesn't get any better than that! MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine? LM: You have to find an inner peace that stays with you even among the chaos all around you. I think that racing has taught me how to do that, even when I am going 190 mph into a corner with racecars all around me. I feel a deep sense of calm in the racecar. I think there might be something about that, that I am able to take with me when I climb out of the car. When I am home, which these days is rare, I like to do hot yoga. MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life? LM: I started a bucket list in high school, and some people have told me they think that’s morbid, but I think I just realized from a young age that our time on Earth is limited, so I have always lived with that in the back of my mind. I still have a bucket list, and as I check things off, I add more. It’s never ending! MP: What truth do you know for sure? LM: That animals feel as deeply as we do and that is why I will fight for the animals who don’t have a voice to fight for themselves.



MP: Causes or organizations that you're passionate about? LM: I am on the board of the Oceanic Preservation Society, the makers of the Academy Award-winning film The Cove and the upcoming documentary Racing Extinction. I also sit on the advisory board of The Solutions Project, which is a nonprofit working to accelerate the transition to 100% renewable energy across the United States. I also volunteer for Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project, and I am passionate about any organization fighting for animal rights and the vegan diet.

“This is what I live for. this is what gets me out of bed in the morning: fighting for our planet and the beautiful creatures we share it with. It gives purpose to my life.” MP: Tell me about your latest projects. LM: I am working on launching a vegan clothing line called VegNation. The clothes are sustainable, 100% made in the USA in a facility powered by 100% solar power! I have been working with the Oceanic Preservation Society on Racing Extinction, and we just had an amazing event in New York City where we lit up the Empire State Building with endangered species. It was magical to see New York City stop and gaze up to the sky and see the beauty of all these amazing creatures we are losing. We just finished filming Racing Extinction which I have been working on for three and a half years now, and I hope it will have a big impact. It will have a theatrical release in September and will air worldwide on Discovery Channel on December 2. MP: Why are these important to you? LM: This is what I live for. This is what gets me out of bed in the morning: fighting for our planet and the beautiful creatures we share it with. It gives purpose to my life.



Raw instead of refined. Stairs instead of elevator. Whole grain instead of processed. Doing the best for your body can really be good for your soul. But even if you live well, you still may not be getting all the vitamins and minerals you need. At Solgar, we get it. After all, we’ve focused on wellness for over 65 years. That’s all we do. And when it comes to supplements, we practically invented them. Today, we still craft our vitamins and minerals in small batches to help ensure consistency and purity. And we always strive to make as many products as possible natural, vegetarian, plus dairy and gluten free. Focusing on wellness never gets old. Neither does feeling good throughout your life. So have a great journey. Solgar is with you all the way.

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E N Y A W E N Y Oming Lips C Fla A C on v ersation with E ditor M a r a n da P leasa n t

On Living Intensely with Vibrancy, Thirty Years of Helping Animals, and Doing Everything With Love



C “

W he n yo u do the thi n g s i n yo u r li f e , whateve r it i s that yo u do, do it with love .

Maranda Pleasant: How do you live with so much life, color, and vibrancy? Where does it come from? Wayne Coyne: Well I think it’s just an expression of what I like. Haha. And, I think I am, maybe, too intense. So, if I like something I usually think “LET’S DO MORE” of it. Haha. So like we use, during our live stage shows, confetti, balloons, strobe lights, smoke bombs and L.E.D. screens, and strings, and like I said, I have a tendency to want more! More! More! So yeah. All that gets “over the top” pretty quick. And we also have an art gallery called The Womb and yeah it’s pretty much same way. The whole building was painted by muralist Maya Hayuk and I think it is her masterpiece! Sometimes I am not ready for it and I’ll be driving up to the building and I’m like ‘FUCK! That is wicked.’ Ha. MP: Why do you do so much for animals, especially in Oklahoma, where you live? WC: I do so much for animals, because people treat them so horribly. I don’t really think about bears and raccoons and birds and things that are in the wild, you know. I obviously want them and where they live to be taken care of and not fucked up by greedy humans, but mostly the animals I am fighting for are homeless dogs and cats in Oklahoma City, where I live, but really everywhere that there is horrible abuse and neglect. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? WC: I don’t think it would be very different from things that have been said a billion times already. Maybe it would be...when you do the things in your life, whatever it is that you do, do it with love.




I do s o m u c h f o r a n imals , b e cau s e people t r eat them s o ho r r i b ly.

moby The Genius of

His 28-Year Anniversary of Being Vegan, His New Organic, Plant-Based Restaurant in LA, How Less Meat Solves the Climate Crisis, and How Plants Can Save Us All. Plus, I’m Pretty Sure He’s an Alien.

Maranda Pleasant: This whole thing with animals and compassion—why is that important to you? Moby: Well, from my perspective, veganism, or even just a reduction in the amount of animals and animal products someone consumes, is kind of like the magic bullet for all of our issues. What I mean by that, I was reading this book by Jeffrey Sachs, he’s a UN economist, about looking at ways traditional development has impacted the planet, which even the Pope is talking about. Jeffrey sort of offers all these new ways moving forward with more sustainable development and the line to all of it is animal agriculture. Basically, if tomorrow we no longer used animals for agriculture, climate change would be reduced by about 25%, heart disease would be reduced by about 75%, cancer rates would be reduced by about 50%, deforestation would pretty much cease to exist, and the rainforest would start



to grow back. We’d probably have about 60% more water overall, algae blooms and water pollution would be reduced by about 60%, desertification would be reduced 60%, and also we’d have enough food to feed about twice as many people as are currently on the planet. So it’s this one magic bullet. Oh, and in the process we would all look better, live longer, and animals wouldn’t suffer. So I think it's one of these things that, in the future, assuming that we have a future, the future generation will look back at us and say, “Why were you all so stupid? You knew what to do; why didn’t you do it?” MP: Well, I feel like that was the entire interview right there. Moby: [Laughs] ›



T he paradox is that e v erybody wants

To li v e longer , look better , be healthier ,

But their actions don’t support that. MP: Just for people that don’t know, how long have you had a plant-based diet now? Moby: I’ve been a vegetarian for 32 years and Thanksgiving will be my 28-year vegan anniversary. MP: Happy anniversary. Moby: And I’m sort of like, you know how when you’re eight years old and someone asks you how old you are and even though you’re eight you say nine because you know in a few months you'll turn nine. I’ve already started identifying myself as having been vegan for 28 years even though Thanksgiving is technically my 28-year vegan anniversary. MP: [Laughs] That’ll work. Let’s talk about your restaurant, The Little Pine, opening in Silver Lake, in east LA. Why in the world would you want to do that? Moby: Opening a restaurant on one hand is one of the most foolish things anyone can do entrepreneurial. Especially opening an organic vegan restaurant. If I’m lucky we’ll break even. But my criteria for looking at it isn’t necessarily entrepreneurial. In opening a restaurant I can satisfy a lot of my interests. I can satisfy my interest in veganism. I can satisfy my interest in organic farming, because the restaurant will be 100% organic. I can satisfy my interest in architecture, in design, in community; also the city is forcing us to have a retail component. It’s this weird bit of legislation where we only have six parking spaces on the property, so we have to have 250 square feet of retail, which at first I was like kind of annoyed by, but now I actually see it as a chance to just kind of go out and get all of these interesting things that I like and sell them. MP: Like our magazines. [Laughs] Moby: Yeah, plus your magazines. Also, when I was in New York, I had a tea company and I’m sort of revisiting that, so we’re going to have 75 teas on the menu. We’re going to be selling tons of loose-leaf teas. That excites me a lot. Also, did I tell you my dermatologist story?

around New York getting baked, and I went to the dermatologist and he told me my skin was fine, and he said the only reason for it is because I’ve been a vegan for so long. The more research I do, I keep coming up with just the power of all of these things only exists in plants and they really are just remarkable, and not necessarily when you strip them out and sell them and use them as an essence. Because I’m a nerd, I was researching cranberries this morning and cranberries are amazing. They have these antioxidant properties, but only when you eat the whole cranberry. When you drink the juice, especially when you add sweetener, to a large extent the benefits are kind of nil. But it makes me so much more excited by and enthusiastic about plants when you realize they look beautiful—they look beautiful when they’re on the plate, they taste amazing, and they have this synergistic relationship with our bodies where they basically clean us and protect us from everything. Plants are like God’s messengers. They go through our body scouring away the bad stuff and making sure that we stay alive. It’s odd that I became a vegan for animal reasons, but as time goes on I find myself becoming this weird, almost like evangelist for the power of plants. MP: I get so excited when I talk to you. Moby: And there’s this really cool TED Talk, one of my favorite ted Talks is by Mark Bittman, he’s a food writer for the New York Times. He’s not a vegan, but he goes on and on about how, basically, plants are going to save us. Plants put oxygen in the air, they clean water, they clean the soil, and the food that comes from plants keeps us alive and enables us to live long, healthy lives. You know, so I’m a vegan for animal reasons, but I’m also a vegan because I think plants are these phenomenally complicated expressions of the divine, which is something only a Southern Californian could say. MP: Yes. It’s beautiful and very LA. Moby: Well, thanks. MP: Happy almost birthday, by the way. We’re doing a big vegan cake for you and we’re gonna worship you and I’m going to jump out of a cake.

MP: Yes! Moby: So basically I went to the dermatologist at age 48 after a life of not wearing sunblock and going in the sun and being a drunk and wandering



Moby: [Laughs] One thing I’m increasingly fascinated by is the fact that people do so many things to hurt themselves. And I used to. I used to drink and take tons of drugs. Years and years

ago, before I became a vegetarian, I ate McDonald’s and drank Coke and when we stop to think about it, the fact that any individual would take any action that hurts them is the most sad, illogical thing that anyone could possibly do. Like, I’ll go out to dinner and I’ll look at the way people eat, and I’ll see people eating deep fried animal products and I’ll see people smoking cigarettes and I’ll see people filling their bodies with chemicals and it’s so baffling that anyone who is given a life would do anything to harm their own life. And the fact is that our culture basically runs on people doing bad things to themselves. The drivers of our economy, most of which are self-harm, and that really baffles me. MP: Give me some examples. Moby: Okay, alcohol, tobacco, animal products, artificial scents, artificial flavors, fluoride in the water supply, cars that put out toxic chemicals, preservatives, artificial everything. All these things that we know hurt us. Everybody knows it and everybody buys into it, like most people, from the time they wake up until the time they go to sleep they’re involved in something that causes self-harm, and that is like a sin against the holy spirit as far as I’m concerned. It's just so baffling, and also the paradox is that everybody wants to live longer, look better, be healthier, but their actions don’t support that. I was on a train going from New York to Philadelphia, and I was looking at all the businessmen who were sick, overweight, eating bacon and eggs, drinking Diet Coke, taking tons of prescription medications, and it just seemed so contrary to the ethos of life. I feel like every action that a human being does should be in support of being alive, and should look at their body and say, “What can I do today to help me to live better, live longer, live healthier, and also support life in other people and support life in the world?” as opposed to all these desperate, feral, grabbing actions that people take that hurt themselves, that hurt the people around them, that hurt the world. It’s just the lack of logic behind it, not even from an ethical perspective or from an aesthetic perspective, but just the simple lack of logic that any living creature would consistently act against its own self interest. I feel like, as a species, that’s the thing that we have to move beyond. MP: I really just love listening to you talk. I’m gonna replay the interview and get all fired up.

moby “ I feel like e v ery action , should be in support of being ali v e .”



Interview with Editor Maranda Pleasant

The Sensual Vegan A Conversation with Pamela Anderson { Animal Activist. Chef. Cooking Show Host }

On Loving from the Edge, the Lost Art of Compassion, Loving without Attachment, Transcendental Meditation, her New Cooking Show, and Launching her first Vegan Fashion Line

Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive or inspires you? Pamela Anderson: Doing what I love. I am living my dream. I always have. My passion is to make a difference and bring awareness to living sensually. It has extended into many genres and all parts of my life, my relationships, and my family. The most natural and exciting new little self-produced project is my cooking show on thesensualvegan.com. The book I'm working on now is all me, The Sensual Vegan. It’s not just about food, but food is a very sensual part of life. This is my baby and a labor of love. Compassion IS sexy. Empathy is everything. A gentle reminder and a lost art. MP: What makes you feel vulnerable? PA: We are all vulnerable. We are human. I think people fear being vulnerable and fall for the gimmicks, the quick fix. I enjoy all my emotions and strengths. I’ve tried to remember who I am, where I come from, and not blame people. I am grateful I am alive, though I live and love on the edge. It's a vulnerable place. I think with my heart. And it’s been an emotional ride.

MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine? PA: I write every morning. I take my dogs to the beach every morning. I make my caffeine-free coffee. I meditate and sometimes take naps. I love to catnap. It's good to have a routine. You never know what life will bring. And when I work, I work long hours. So when I can, I meditate more and rest. I get a lot of great ideas that way. I rewatch Matter of Heart, a Carl Jung documentary, if I feel off. It resets me. I usually make bold moves after I reconnect the dots. I only fall for someone’s tricks for so long. I enjoy it, a challenge. I understand it’s insecurity, I just wish it didn’t take people down. I know when to switch gears and move on. Every relationship is an adventure and to love without attachment is hard. But it is freedom. MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life? PA: To let go even more and to trust my intuition even more and to be more brave.

MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be?

MP: What truth do you know for sure?

PA: Just do your best. Find your purpose and passion. If you had everything, what would you do? If money didn’t count? Make good choices that allow you to enjoy your life with meaning, having fun, with good consequences. Every action has a consequence. Good or bad. It’s up to you. Also, read and go to museums. Artists are the freedom fighters of the world.

PA: That art is learned.

Pamelaandersonfoundation.org | Thesensualvegan.com



MP: What is love for you? PA: Being loving is all I have control over. Being loved is a gift.

PhotoS: Emma Dunlavey

C ompassion IS sexy. Empathy is Everything. A gentle reminder and a lost art.



MP: Causes or organizations that you’re passionate about? PA: My foundation supports a lot of great initiatives. Rights 4 Girls, National Domestic Violence Hotline, PETA, LCA, Cool Earth. Everything I learn inspires me. I’ve been to Haiti and Honduras to connect people regarding deforestation. My boys and I have helped distribute clean water filters in Brazil and Indonesia. I support Sea Shepherd and we’ve done a lot together. I also support activists in need. MP: Tell me if you have a yoga or mindfulness practice. What influence has it had on your life? PA: Transcendental Meditation (TM) has really been helpful. It also stirs the pot. You face yourself and your decisions. I love Kundalini yoga. I was very drawn to it intuitively. MP: Tell me about your latest projects. PA: My vegan boots (PAMMIES) will be available in stores this fall. My new sexy vegan shoe and handbag line with Amélie Pichard will be in stores internationally in December this year. I’ve finished a few indie films we’re hoping to see in festivals. I’m shooting a lot of fashion, and my boys are home for summer and they are busy with girlfriends and our new puppies. It’s a full house. It feels good. I’m also excited about my coffee table book with photographer Emma Dunlavey, RAW; it is available to preorder now on Amazon. [It’s] my poetry and journals from over the years and behindthe-scenes pictures in a layered scrapbook style, benefiting my rebel foundation, The Pamela Anderson Foundation. MP: Why are these important to you? PA: I’ve been trying to get a line of vegan products out there for ten years. The stars are aligning and it’s been a battle. But it was worth fighting for.

Pamela Anderson, a Canadian-American artist, activist, author, mother of two, muse to many, is best known for Baywatch and Borat, and a part of the Playboy sexual revolution.

Being loving is all I have control over. Being loved is a gift.

PhotoS: Emma Dunlavey



I live and love on the edge. It ’s a vulnerable place. I think with my heart. And it’s been an emotional ride.




R a i n Phoen ix

I don’t believe in shaming anyone. I don’t believe I am more right than anyone else. I don’t

believe I’m more advanced. I don’t believe I’m more

evolved. I simply believe in not harming.

When I was five years old and my brother River was seven, we were about to fry eggs for breakfast when it dawned on us that they were baby chickens. My family had been vegetarian for a short while and so we asked our parents what was the difference between eggs and meat? Weren’t they in fact baby chickens just as a burger had once been a cow? They couldn’t find a good argument to the contrary and so after my dad spread the last of his beloved butter on a piece of toast, the decision was made to go vegan. This was soon followed by a ceremonious burial of all our leather items. The vegan Phoenix family was born. At the time the only vegan alternative to meat was tofu and we had to search out a local tofu maker in the small town of Winter Park, Florida. Soon after this my sister Summer was born vegan. There was something so powerful about our collective commitment to not harm any living thing.

A long while later in adulthood, I admittedly had some years of “dabbling in dairy” and even at some junctures ate eggs!

I rationalized it by making sure they were “farm raised” or “grass fed” or any and all the ways I could make myself believe I was not harming. The lines of which were ever increasingly blurry. I killed mosquitoes and washed ants down the sink and even bought leather. The cruelty of life and sad moments I had experienced had left me calloused and caused a disregard for the voiceless. This is not about judging those who choose any

and all of the things I have listed above, or who eat red meat every single day for that matter. Vegan is relative as there are animal products in photography equipment, cars, household products, etc.

It’s expensive and time-consuming to be 100% vegan, and when we drive down the street the bugs we kill can quickly make us 99.9%. I truly believe there is no need for blame or judgment, even of my own “vegan enough” years. I see my foray into vegetarian as a way back to my commitment to not harm any living being, to going vegan again. I should say here that during all of this, my family had remained “militant vegan” and when they found out I was not, my guess is it pained them, but they never judged me for it. If it even came up, it only served as a reminder for me to consider that I had in fact been one of the catalysts for us going vegan in 1977. Some years ago I began to take a hard look at my choices—the ways that I explained away, through laziness and convenience, harming other living things. I became vegan again, but still used honey. I recently phased that out too. I still have the same leather shoes I bought or borrowed or were gifted to me, and to this day I haven’t yet buried them or given them away. I only buy vegan shoes now and just purchased two fake leather jackets that I love. It’s a complex issue, this “not harming” business. How many ants and bugs will die if I dig a hole? Is Polyurethane a truly humane option if it simultaneously destroys our environment? If I’m mad at the world, cutting people off in traffic, judging others for their choices, and overall being more self-righteous because of my newfound commitment to not harming; well, is that truly not harming? I guess what I came to in my limited capacity is not harming means not only not eating animals, but also not judging anyone else’s choices. It is no small task to keep the mind and heart compassionate and accepting when innocent animals

centerforpeacebuilding.org | venusandthemoon.net | theartofelysium.org



are being slaughtered for selfish reasons, and even more maddening when nutrition experts equate animal products with the many diseases we humans face. There are many other options to that “one tofu spot in a small town,” even big chain supermarkets have health sections now and there is an almost unlimited array of fake meat products. Why is the status quo to still kill and eat animals, which is so harmful to our planet and our health? I wish I had more answers and could definitively point you in a direction that would mean less suffering for all. All I can do is share with you my story in the hopes that it will make you ponder these questions. I think debating the issue in a safe and open environment could be healthy too. As I said before, it’s a complex issue and divisiveness and judgement seem not to be the most productive routes to unifying us all. I think compassion for what we all must endure to make it through this thing called life is tantamount for there to be any understanding. If we should meet for dinner sometime, don’t be surprised if I encourage you to order the filet or the burger as you uncomfortably look at the menu wondering what yucky veggie item you must order cause you’re sitting with a vegan. I don’t believe in shaming anyone. I don’t believe I am more right than anyone else. I don’t believe I’m more advanced. I don’t believe I’m more evolved. I simply believe in not harming. Rain is a board member and artist ambassador with The River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding, with the mission to build safer communities through conflict resolution and restorative justice. She and her family are also working on a vegan cookbook and food line, Phoenix Family Foods. Her band with Frally Hynes, Venus and the Moon, are preparing to record their first record. She’s been working with writer/director/activist Katie Davison on the launch of a project called SOUL BRUNCH, a facilitated group discussion that aims to bring about mutual understanding in regard to the world’s most pressing issues. Rain also volunteers her time with The Art of Elysium.

photo: J​ EFF KATZ

“There was something so powerful about our collective commitment to not harming any living thing.�



Don’t be afraid to let go and love, take chances, travel the world, and live life every day as if it was your last, because we aren’t guaranteed tomorrow.

KatieCleary.com | Peace4Animals.net | Give-Me-Shelter.com | WorldAnimalNews.com



Cleary M o d e l . Ac t r e s s . P h i l a n t h r o p i s t. F i l m m a k e r . P e ac e 4 A n i m a l s F o u n d e r

ON Being a Voice for the Voiceless, Defining Love, Her Biggest Lessons, and How She Stays Centered

MP: What is love for you?

I n t e r v i e w w i t h Ed i t o r M a r a n d a P l e a s a n t

KC: Love is a feeling that you get in your heart when you’re with someone that you care for deeply. When two souls connect and you feel like you found the missing piece that you’ve always been searching for. It is a very powerful feeling that can take you over when you’re with that person. You want to be around them all the time. You feel complete when you’re with them. They are your soulmate. MP: Causes or organizations that you’re passionate about?

Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive or inspires you? Katie Cleary: Being a voice for the voiceless and raising awareness for animal welfare. Creating a positive change in this world to pass down for future generations. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? KC: I love the quote that Esai Morales said at the end of Give Me Shelter, “Live simply so that others can simply live.” MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine?

KC: My cause and passion has always been animal welfare and focusing on helping animals through my organization Peace 4 Animals. Our goal is to impact people on a global scale and create positive change to help protect the planet and its precious animals so we can all live together in peace. MP: Tell me if you have a yoga or mindfulness practice. What influence has it had on your life? KC: I love yoga. I feel at peace and it definitely helps to clear my mind after a hectic schedule. I feel it’s important to meditate; praying is my meditation and I do that to keep connected with God. MP: Tell me about your latest projects.

KC: I love to have a place to go at the end of a busy work week that is relaxing and serene. For me, that is usually by the ocean relaxing at the beach and getting outdoors hiking with my pups. That is when I’m truly at one with the earth and when I find my peace. MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life? KC: Don’t be afraid to let go and love, take chances, travel the world, and live life every day as if it was your last, because we aren't guaranteed tomorrow. MP: What truth do you know for sure? KC: That there is a God and that it is very important to have a passion and purpose for something greater than yourself in life and to give back!

KC: I just finished producing the award-winning documentary Give Me Shelter that premiered on Netflix in May. I will be shooting the film The Wind Of Heaven directed by Stephen Savage this October about saving the wild mustangs in Montana. I am working with Peace 4 Animals partner Social Compassion In Legislation on a resolution to the Humane and Environmental Educational Act in California. I am also launching the new site WorldAnimalNews.com which will be like the CNN for animal welfare on a global scale. Katie Cleary is a Model/Actress turned Philanthropist/Filmmaker. Katie got her first break in entertainment on the hit TV show America’s Next Top Model. Her most recent accolades include roles on How To Get Away With Murder and Two And A Half Men. Katie founded the animal welfare organization Peace 4 Animals in 2012. She just finished producing her first documentary, Give Me Shelter.



Photo: JoAnne McArthur



T h e F a rm S a n c t u a ry Life INTERVIEW: The Barbi Twins

Many credit him with Jon Stewart’s decision to retire to a farm Sanctuary life. Seen this year on The Daily Show, Baur’s Book made national news and became a top seller.

Gene Baur

The vegan Ironman, activist, author, and president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary, a farm animal rescue organization. Involved with animal rights since he founded the Sanctuary in 1986.



“We envision a plant-based, regenerative food system ”

where animals are not exploited.

-Gene Baur

T h e F a rm S a n ct u a ry L i fe Photo: Farm Sanctuary



Barbi Twins: What is the Farm Sanctuary Life? Gene Baur: The Farm Sanctuary Life is an aspiration to live well and with compassion for others, especially farm animals, who have been made to suffer extreme cruelty at human hands. It means living in alignment with our values and interests, and recognizing that kindness to animals is also good for people. BT: What was your goal in writing Living the Farm Sanctuary Life? GB: One of Farm Sanctuary’s most important organizational values is to engage people where they are on their own journeys, and to support incremental steps toward more compassionate, mindful living, and that is exactly what this book does. After all, we all started somewhere. Every day people are awakening to the truths of our inhumane and unhealthy factory-farming system. Without guidance, these people would lose hope and fall into a state of apathy. In Living the Farm Sanctuary Life, I sought to provide practical advice and easy-to-follow suggestions for people looking for easy-to-adopt and meaningful solutions. I love seeing people take responsibility for their actions and being empowered to live better, which contributes to a better world, and I believe this book can benefit anyone, no matter where they are on their journey. BT: Speaking of journeys, where did your journey toward more mindful eating and living start? Was it gradual? GB: It happened incrementally for me. My first step was to avoid veal, after my grandmother told me how veal calves are mistreated. In college, I learned about other problems linked to animal agriculture, including how wasteful and inefficient it is. I saw enormous harms caused by people—to each other, to animals, and to the earth, and I didn’t want to be part of it, so I began exploring ways to make a difference. I didn’t want to be a cog in a wheel of a destructive system. The more I became aware, the easier it was to see often-overlooked animalfriendlier alternatives. And that’s what ultimately led to me going

vegan in 1985. BT: How much of a role does habit and custom play in apathy toward our food system? GB: People are complicated, and often develop habits without thinking very much about them. I grew up eating meat, like everybody around me, without recognizing the harm I was contributing to. I also believed the widely marketed idea that consuming animal foods was healthy and necessary for human health. We are social animals, very much influenced by the beliefs, including myths, of those around us. We also tend to do what others around us do and adopt normative behaviors without critically evaluating them. If we have never met someone living a plant-based life, we are unlikely to know that being vegan is an option. We learn from those around us, and our beliefs and behaviors rub off on each other. BT: Based on your tenet 1­—Live and Eat in Alignment with Your Values—in your book, you say that 97% of Americans believe that animals should be protected from abuse. Why, then, do you think it’s so hard for these Americans to choose plant-based dieting, especially when there are so many options? GB: Our lives are filled with complexities and contradictions. We are imperfect and will make mistakes, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive to do better. In the U.S., we grow up eating meat, milk, and eggs from factory farms, where animals are treated in horrible ways that are an affront to our humanity. We have bad habits, and unfortunately, it can take some time for habits to change, especially when the social and economic infrastructure is built to support those habits as has been the case. It is easy and convenient to adhere to the status quo. However, in recent years, with increased awareness and concern about our broken food system, plant-based companies and products are developing. These are expanding along with social and economic systems and infrastructures that support compassionate living. Societal awareness and consumer habits are shifting, and this will continue especially as vegan options become more convenient and cruelty-free living more familiar and normalized. Photos: Farm Sanctuary



BT: Being that living the Farm Sanctuary life is not only about helping animals, but also about helping oneself, what are some selfgrowth benefits to living the Farm Sanctuary Life? GB: It’s really about paying attention and being aware of the consequences of our actions and ultimately acting in a way we can feel good about. Most people want to be humane, and knowing we’re not causing unnecessary harm feels good. If we aspire to be compassionate, but behave in ways that are cruel, such as by supporting the factory farming industry through our food choices, there’s an emotional toll, a dissonance between who we want to be and who we are. Nobody is perfect. Just by living we cause harm, but we also create kindness and beauty, and we can each strive to do better. Living the Farm Sanctuary Life is all about aspiring to live as well and compassionately as possible. It’s a process more than an end destination. To paraphrase Gandhi, it’s about being the change we wish to see in the world. BT: Cruelty-free is not only about your diet, but also about what you wear. What is the best way someone can become aware of their fashion and knowing that an animal wasn’t harmed in the making of it? GB: Living the Farm Sanctuary Life is not about sacrificing taste, comfort, fashion, style, or anything else. It’s about making informed, conscientious choices for stocking your closet or your fridge. When you’re more mindful about what you’re wearing, you can feel good about expressing yourself and intentionally opting out of violence and exploitation. In our daily lives we model who we are and what it means to be humans. When we choose compassion in fashion, we are quite literally wearing our hearts on our sleeves, and it’s never been easier to find apparel free of animal exploitation. For example, athletic running shoes are commonly made of manmade materials. They are lighter and more durable than leather. You also see mindful compassion on the fashion runways with John Bartlett, Vaute Couture, Stella McCartney, and Brave Gentleman, among others. BT: You wrote about farmer Bob Comis, who made the transition from raising pigs for slaughter to running In Line vegetable farm. What do you tell farmers who say, “Sure, living a Farm Sanctuary Life is good for my body and the planet, but I raise my animals well. There’s a demand for their meat and I’d rather be the one to meet that”? GB: I recognize people need to eat, and that we depend on farmers to feed us. The key question is how and what farmers produce, and I believe plant-based farming is better for animals, the earth, and consumers. And it is also good for farmers. We are not antifarmer, we are anti-cruelty. We envision a plant-based, regenerative food system where animals are not exploited. It is exciting to



see a thriving spirit of entrepreneurism in a burgeoning food movement, and we support farmers who strive to create a mindful, regenerative, and healthy food system. But, too often, animal products are labeled in ways that make conditions sound better than they are. Products labeled as “free-range” or “cage-free”, for example, typically come from factory farms. There are a small handful of farmers, like Bob Comis, who operate farms where animals actually experience a better life, but these farmers still struggle with the fundamental conflict between treating animals with compassion and respect, and then slaughtering them for food. The words “humane” and “slaughter” don’t fit well together. I am very enthusiastic about Bob’s shift to plant farming and hope he becomes a model for many others. He rejects the factory farming system and the notion that animals should be exploited and slaughtered for human consumption. He had taken a step away from the industrial farming status quo and raised animals in a way that many people thought was admirable. But he came to realize the fundamental contradiction between compassion and killing. Bob expressed that killing animals was bad for animals, and it was also bad for him, and he didn’t want to be a part of it any longer. BT: You talk about how Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, became a vegan after visiting Farm Sanctuary. How can business executives benefit from living the Farm Sanctuary Life? GB: Factory farms behave in ways that are an affront to our humanity, and outside the bounds of acceptable conduct in our society. Agribusiness is actually pushing for “ag gag” laws to prevent consumers from finding out about their untenable practices. That says a lot. When consumers learn about the cruelty, waste, and other negative consequences of industrialized animal farming, they are appalled. And, popular opposition to factory farming can influence the marketplace. When consumers learned about the inhumane treatment of calves raised for veal, for example, veal consumption dropped precipitously. Consumers don’t want to support irresponsible business nor do they want to ingest unhealthy foods. Businesses are increasingly being scrutinized by consumers who want to support those who adhere to humane principles and act in an admirable way. It all boils down to the triple bottomline or the three Ps: people, planet, and profit, which are the pillars of business sustainability. BT: You also highlight the experiences of couples who’ve come to share the Farm Sanctuary Life after a visit to one of the sanctuaries. What is the best way to encourage a loved one to take steps toward this lifestyle? GB: The best way to influence and inspire loved ones, or anyone, is to model compassion and attract and support others to be their best self. We are social animals and living with someone and having an intimate

relationship can be even more beautiful when there are aligned values and a shared aspiration. It’s about living a purposeful life, and supporting each other, which enriches one’s life and relationship. BT: Benjamin Hope, author of The Tao of Pooh, is one of several people you quote in Living the Farm Sanctuary Life. Hope says, “If people were superior to animals, they’d take better care of the world.” What do you think is the first step someone can take right now to making a difference in their world or community? GB: This involves the first tenet in Living the Farm Sanctuary Life, which is about aligning our values with our actions. This typically means being more reflective and mindful, and assessing the consequences of our behaviors. It involves taking responsibility for our actions. If we are causing harm, which sadly so many human activities do, we need to reflect and consider changing. In our society, most of us grow up with habits (like eating large quantities of meat, milk, and eggs) that need to be reevaluated. As we make small changes and become more mindful, we can accept other challenges more easily and take important steps toward a Farm Sanctuary Life.

T h e F a rm S a n ct u a ry L i fe

“If we aspire to be compassionate, but behave in ways that are cruel, such as by supporting the factory farming industry through our food choices, there’s an emotional toll, a dissonance between who we want to be and who we are.”

Photos: Farm Sanctuary



Jan Vertefeuille WWF's Senior Director, Advocacy, Wildlife Conservation

WORLD WILDLIFE FUND Indonesia: Saving Thirty Hills A Refuge for Critically Endangered Tigers, Elephants, Orangutans and the Indigenous Communities that Call these Forests Home.


ndonesia earned the nickname “Emerald of the Equator” for good reason. Its lush, green forests once covered much of the country’s 17,000 islands, nearly unparalleled in their biodiversity. Much of that forest is gone now. Tropical forest throughout the country has disappeared at an alarming rate due to deforestation and development. But there are still places where a journey into the forests here yields surprising discoveries and some of the rarest species on Earth. One spectacular swath of tropical forest is called “Thirty Hills” and WWF and partners are doing everything we can to save it. Deep in the heart of Sumatra, Indonesia, almost 10,000 miles from the United States, you’ll find “Thirty Hills”—a refuge for critically endangered tigers, elephants, orangutans, and the indigenous communities that call these forests home. Picture a landscape with rolling emerald hills, dense jungle canopy rich in biodiversity that extends to the horizon. This is Thirty




Hills, also known as Bukit Tigapuluh, and one of the last places on the planet where tigers, elephants, and orangutans coexist. And now, Thirty Hills has been granted long-term protection. Several years ago, WWF and partners, the Frankfurt Zoological Society and The Orangutan Project, set out to get critical parts of Thirty Hills rezoned from logging forests to “conservation concessions.” This August, our efforts finally paid off—Indonesia’s Ministry of the Environment and Forestry recognized the importance of the landscape and provided a “lease on the land” to WWF and partners to ensure that 100,000 acres of lowland rain forest in Sumatra—the kind of flat terrain that elephants prefer—is protected for conservation and restoration projects. Step beyond the boundaries of Thirty Hills, and it’s easy to see why the work we’re doing is so vital. ›

© WWF-Indonesia/Samsul Komar

“ With this new lease on the land, we now have a chance to be part of helping restore the Emerald of the Equator.” © Fletcher & Baylis / WWF-Indonesia



In other parts of central Sumatra, the scorched remains of ancient forests litter a barren landscape— miles and miles of forests lost to deliberately set forest fires, commercial clearing, or illegal logging. Sumatra—still one of the most biodiverse places on the planet—has lost more than half its forests in the last thirty years. The region has one of the highest deforestation rates in the world. Knowing what was at stake, WWF cultivated a broad base of support to protect Thirty Hills. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio, a WWF board member, helped bring much-needed attention to the cause. “To protect this landscape, WWF and its partners had to think big and think differently,” he said. “We are working together to ensure the protection of an extraordinary place and create a better future for the local communities of the Bukit Tigapuluh landscape.” We’ll need to work hard to ensure Thirty Hills remains a safe haven for wildlife and indigenous people. Anti-poaching patrols and forest protection monitoring groups will keep an eye out for poaching and illegal logging, and we’ll work closely with local communities and officials to build programs that restore and protect the mega-diverse landscape from deforestation and poaching threats. The future is bright for Thirty Hills. It’s a future that holds great promise for its indigenous tribes and the critically endangered species that call this paradise home. With this new lease on the land, we now have a chance to be part of helping restore the Emerald of the Equator. Few places inspire awe quite like Thirty Hills. It’s a spectacular place. We aim to keep it that way. To learn more about WWF’s efforts to protect Thirty Hills visit: worldwildlife.org/Thirtyhills

LOGGING ACTIVITIES photo: © Jikkie Jonkman / WWF-Canon | FOREST CLEARANCE photo: © Fletcher & Baylis / WWF-Indonesia



orangutan photo: © naturepl.com/Anup Shah / WWF | TIGER CUBS photo: © Alain Compost / WWF-Canon



What Can you do to


Africa’s Wi l d l i f e ? WildAid: When the Buying Stops, the Killing Can too.


ew world issues can render us so angry and seemingly helpless as the fight to save Africa’s wildlife.

An estimated 33,000 elephants (and perhaps more), are being slaughtered every year. Their ivory is traded by militant groups for arms, smuggled by criminal syndicates, and sold by unscrupulous vendors all over the world. Under the light of a full moon, poachers often use tranquilizer darts to immobilize rhinoceroses, hacking off their horns and leaving the animals to die. Consumer demand for illicit animal products from shark fin to pangolin scales is driving the slaughter of many other animal species as well.

Animals are not the only victims. Recent polls in countries such as Tanzania show that the public views elephants, rhinos, and other animals as integral to their heritage, and are deeply concerned about the demise of wildlife. Government officials point to huge economic losses as a result of poaching, which threatens burgeoning tourism industries that support countless jobs. We can indeed all do something to put an end to this crisis. Even on the local level. Here are just some of the ways you can help.




1. Shockingly enough, the United States remains one of the world’s largest markets for wildlife products such as ivory. And much of the ivory for sale is widely suspected of originating from elephants poached within even the last few years. The good news is that there’s an emerging effort to ban the trade in major markets such as California. New York and New Jersey have already banned ivory sales, and the Obama administration announced new regulations over the summer that aim to choke the trade out of existence. But effective state laws are still needed. Contact your local representative: Ask them to make your state Ivory Free. 2. Many nonprofit organizations are at work on this issue, not only to save wildlife from poaching, but also to improve the often deeply impoverished communities that live alongside. The African Wildlife Foundation supports anti-poaching efforts throughout the continent while supporting innovative initiatives such as conservation primary schools. Save the Elephants is world-renowned for its groundbreaking research and advocacy. Finally, the nonprofit WildAid focuses on a key aspect of the illegal wildlife trade that historically has been ignored: consumer demand. WildAid works in countries such as

China and Vietnam to educate the public on poaching. Their methods have shown measurable success in raising awareness and encouraging people never to buy animal products. 3. Join a global movement by pledging to be “Ivory Free” at IvoryFree.org, a campaign launched by these three charities. By signing, you pledge never to buy, give, or accept as a gift any ivory items. WildAid’s mission is to end the illegal wildlife trade in our lifetime. They envision a world where people no longer buy wildlife products. While most wildlife conservation groups focus on protecting animals from poaching, WildAid works to reduce global consumption of wildlife products by persuading consumers and strengthening enforcement. With an unrivaled portfolio of celebrity ambassadors and global network of media partners, WildAid leverages nearly $200 million in annual pro-bono media support. Their message reaches up to one billion people every week.

Photo: Shannon Benson

“An estimated 33,000 elephants

(and perhaps more), are being slaughtered every year.�




One of the Largest Farmed Animal Protection O r g a n i z a t i o n s i n t h e C o u n t r y, C h a n g i n g t h e Landscape for Animals on an International Level. Our Hero, Founder and President

Nathan Runkle


hen I founded Mercy For Animals sixteen years ago, there were only two brands of soymilk on the market, and vegans defended their brand choice the way geeks declare loyalty to Star Trek or Star Wars. Non-dairy cheese tasted like plastic and smelled funky, and not in a good way. Being vegan meant peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were a near-daily staple. Now, all that has changed, except, perhaps, for those of us who still love PB&Js. If the explosion in vegan food options is any indication, the movement toward a cruelty-free world has come a long way since the late 1990s.

Mercy For Animals has grown along with it. What started as a tiny group of fired-up locals passing out leaflets in rural Ohio has blossomed into one of the largest farmed animal protection organizations in the country. With a multimillion-dollar annual budget, offices in a few major cities, and an increasingly global reach, Mercy For Animals is now changing the landscape for animals on an international level.




One fact still underscores everything we do, however, and that is this: Animals raised and killed for food are by far the most abused and exploited, but by far the least considered and protected. Our goal is simply to right that wrong. There’s no question that the current situation is problematic. More animals suffer and die in factory farms and slaughterhouses in the United States every year than there are people on this Earth. As our undercover investigations reveal, farmed animals sustain not only malicious abuse, but also severe confinement and excruciating routine mutilations day after day. And they endure it all just to please human palates. But progress is happening fast. Each time someone chooses to cut out or cut back on animal products, we take one collective step closer to a kinder, healthier, cleaner world. Studies show meat consumption has nosedived in the United States, and I’m proud to say Mercy For Animals has played a role in that trend. Over the past decade and a half, we’ve inspired thousands of people to leave animals off their plates through our education programs—sparing about five million animals from misery each year.

Companies, too, have begun to reconsider how their decisions affect animals. Thanks in large part to Mercy For Animals’ work, several of the world’s largest corporations, including Nestlé and Walmart, have overhauled their animal welfare policies—moving to do away with tiny cages for pigs, hens, and calves and end the painful mutilations of animals on factory farms. It’s now clear that animal abuse is not just morally wrong; it’s also bad for business. Meanwhile, business is booming for companies entering the cruelty-free market. Times are changing, and there has never been a more exciting moment to work for justice on behalf of those who need it most. Each day brings another victory for animals, small or large, so there is always something to celebrate. As an animal advocate, I am thankful to live in an increasingly accepting, compassionate society—not to mention one where vegan cheese is more delicious than I would have ever imagined!

Nathan Runkle is the founder and president of Mercy For Animals, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing cruelty to farmed animals and promoting compassionate food choices and policies.

“Animals raised and killed for food are by far the most abused and exploited, but by far the least considered and protected. Our goal i s s i m p ly t o r i g h t t h a t wrong.





Th e


Stephanie Davis

Record-Breaking Base Jumper. Wingsuit Maverick. Iconic Climber. Dedicated Yogi. Vegan. I n t e r v i e w :

K a i u l a n i

K i m b r e l l ,

Kaiulani Kimbrell: Stephanie, you are an incredible woman. Not only are you a household name in the climbing world, but you also hold a Master’s in English, and are an author and blogger. What are you most passionate about right now? Stephanie Davis: I’m most inspired by wingsuit base jumping, climbing, and vegan cooking— right now, I’m making a lot of fermented foods, tofu and raw desserts, and energy bars. KK: What led you to veganism? Do you find the culture in beautiful small town Utah supportive to a vegan lifestyle? SD: Moab is great for food! We have several local organic farms and a great independent health food store, the Moonflower Market. There’s also a weekly farmers market in the town park. Moab’s first economy was peaches, so fruit trees grow well here, and I always have great basil (pesto!) and tomatoes in my yard in the summers. We also have some great restaurants that give a lot of attention to vegan options as well as using local produce.




C o F o u n d e r / D i r e c t o r,

KK: In your opinion, what is the biggest problem in America when it comes to food? And how do you suggest we address it? SD: Many people don’t seem to care about what they put in their bodies, and there is what I could only call an epidemic of sugar consumption in America. I know this is extremely controversial, but I was hugely in favor of the mayor of New York’s attempt to outlaw soda. That’s essentially poison, and it creates disease and really ruins people’s lives. I’ve read several articles about the difference between American school lunches and European school lunches, France in particular. I think it’s the government’s responsibility to eliminate fast food, soda, and candy from schools and to dedicate a lot of resources to feeding children healthy foods that don’t include added sugar. KK: What is the greatest lesson you have learned over the years when it comes to staying in ideal shape? SD: Food is fuel: it should be clean, simple, and high quality. Doing some yoga every morning, even if it’s only a couple of sun salutations, always seems to jump-start me to a productive day.

H o l l y w o o d

F o o d

G u i l d

KK: As a writer, what’s the main message you’d like your readers to walk away with? SD: Life is change. We don’t decide what happens to us, but we decide how we feel about it. KK: What does THRIVING mean to you? SD: Having a healthy body and healthy mind, and appreciating everything! KK: Anything else you want to say to Thrive readers? SD: We’re all creatures, and we need to take care of the animals.

Steph’s resume of climbing achievements spans 25 years, including being the first woman to free-climb the Salathé Wall on El Capitan. Steph has written two memoirs, High Infatuation and Learning to Fly, and curates a blog: stephdavis.co. She also owns and operates Climb2Fly Productions in Moab, Utah, a climbing and base jumping stunt company. ›



Life is change.

We don’t decide what happens to us, but we decide how we feel about it.

T h e

L eg en d

Stephanie Davis Photo: Tommy Chandler



1 0 R e a s o n s A P l a n t- B a s e d Diet Is The Best Way To Eat For You and The Planet

Plant-Based Ultra-Athlete

Rich Roll F a t, S i c k , a n d T i r e d E n t e r i n g M i d d l e A g e , H e ’ s N o w Considered One of the Fittest Men in the World. Oh, Yeah. He’s Also Vegan. At thirty-nine, I was a fat, out-of-shape couch potato hurdling into middle age, depressed and unenthusiastic about my life. It was only in the wake of a health scare on the eve of my fortieth birthday that I realized not only that I needed to change, but that I wanted to change. That change ultimately took the form of a plant-based diet, a decision that permanently changed the trajectory of my life—transforming me into a middle-aged ultraendurance athlete, one of Men’s Fitness’ “25 Fittest Men in the World” and the respected wellness advocate I have today become. By eating nothing but plants close to their natural state,



I lost weight quickly and responsibly. My vitality and enthusiasm for life restored, I went on to accomplish athletic feats I could have never previously dreamed possible, including top finishes at the Ultraman World Championships and becoming the first person to complete EPIC5: five Ironman-distance triathlons on five Hawaiian Islands in under a week. I can say without reservation that these achievements became possible only because I put animal products in the rear view. Wellness begins with what we put on our plate. But that’s just first base. True health is far more comprehensive—extending beyond our personal physical well-being to the collective, sustainable health of all living beings and the places they call home. ›

Wellness begins with what we put on our plate. But that’s just first base. True health is far more comprehensive— extending beyond our personal physical well-being to the collective, sustainable health of all living beings and the places they call home.



Rich Roll

Here are my top 10 reasons why going plant-based is the best way to live healthier and more responsibly so together we can all thrive. 1. It prevents (and can reverse) chronic disease.

6. It reduces waste pollution.

A whole food, plant-based diet has been proven to prevent and even reverse a litany of food and lifestyle-borne illnesses, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes—modern plagues on the developed world.

Every minute, seven million pounds of excrement are produced by animals raised for food in the U.S. In fact, a farm with 2,500 dairy cows produces the same amount of waste as a city of 41,000 people.

2. It conserves water.

7. It helps prevent marine life destruction.

More than half of all water consumed in the U.S. is used for animal agriculture. In fact, it takes about 660 gallons of water to produce just one quarter-pound hamburger. Dairy isn’t much better, requiring 1,000 gallons of water to produce just one gallon of milk. This is not only wasteful and inefficient, it is emblematic of a broken system of food production that is simply unsustainable.

As many as 40% (63 billion pounds) of fish caught globally every year are thrown out, and some scientists say we could see fishless oceans by 2048. Moreover, the waste runoff from animal agriculture can cause ocean dead zones—giant algal blooms so oxygen-deprived that no animal or plant life can survive.

3. It cuts greenhouse gas emissions

Animal agriculture is responsible for up to 91% of Amazon destruction, and one to two acres of rain forest are cleared every minute for grazing and growing feed for livestock. The impact is a cancer on our planet’s precious lungs, responsible for providing us with the oxygen we need to survive.

When it comes to global climate change, we tend to focus on the impact of fossil fuel use and hot-button issues like fracking. But the elephant in the room is animal agriculture, which is responsible for 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions, more than the exhaust from all transportation combined.

4. It conserves land. Livestock covers 45% of the Earth’s total land. In other words, a meat eater requires 18 times the amount of land necessary to feed someone eating plant-based. You do the math.

5. It helps prevent species extinction. Animal agriculture is also a leading cause of species extinction. More than a hundred animal and insect species are lost every day from rain forest destruction—a crucial, irreparable blow to the biodiversity essential to maintaining our planet’s healthy ecology.



8. It stops deforestation.

9. It helps alleviate world hunger. We are currently growing enough food to feed 10 billion people, and the U.S. alone could feed 800 million people with the grain that livestock eat. Hunger isn’t a scarcity issue, it’s an allocation and distribution issue.

10. It boosts athletic performance. I truly believe that eating plant-based is my secret weapon for maximizing athletic performance by expediting my recovery—the holy grail when it comes actualizing performance potential. If I could do what I've done athletically on nothing but plants, I assure you that you can, too. It’s time for a food system reboot. The good news is that version 2.0 has been staring us in the face all along. Adopting a plant-based diet isn’t just a good idea, it’s the ultimate planetary life hack.






ON STANDS nationally now TOP





Boxing Legend

Sugar Ray

Leo nard Interview: Robert Piper

the hardest thing is to accept the fact that it’s your fault, and that you are responsible for your failure and that you take it upon yourself to correct, to make those changes. ”

Photo: John Russo



People tell you you can’t do something, because they can’t do it. So you have to believe in yourself. ”

On Believing in Yourself, Owning your Failures, Advice on Working Out, and Overcoming Struggles Robert Piper: What kind of workouts do you recommend?

RP: Can you tell me about the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation?

Sugar Ray Leonard: I feel that, ya know, after a certain age, once you start hitting your forties or maybe your fifties, I’m actually waffling between which stage is harder. When you turn forty, it’s a wakeup call that you are getting older. When you turn fifty, it’s the “acceptability” of being fifty. But I listen to my body; I train hard, I run, I do a lot of cardio, but I listen to my body. If my body says, you know, Ray, let’s take the day off or let’s not go as heavy, I don’t really lift a lot of heavy weights. I do a lot of reps and I enjoy that, Robert. I enjoy working out because it’s like my state, it’s like my therapy. When I used to go to the gym or to the training camp, that was my sanctuary, because all I thought about was working out, getting my body and mind in the best condition ever.

SRL: Wow, ya know, it’s something that’s coming up for around six years. My wife Bernadette and I started this thing six years ago and the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation, we’ve been raising awareness and raising funds for juvenile diabetes research. We’ve written a number of checks to provide Children’s Hospital Los Angeles with programs that target inner city kids and those that don’t have gardens to buy, they don’t buy organic foods. There’s reality to the whole thing, too: people who are at another level, they buy and eat what they can. You know what I mean?

RP: Can you talk about overcoming failure and what it takes to really persevere in life? SRL: Well, I think the hardest thing is to accept the fact that it’s your fault, and that you are responsible for your failure and that you take it upon yourself to correct, to make those changes. It’s very difficult, particularly in an individual sport; like a boxer, when he loses that fight, you can't really blame your trainers at a certain level, at my level. What happens is the fact that after you’ve lost that fight, you have your group, your guys, they tell you that fight was close, I thought you had it. But when you are by yourself, and I know this from personal experience, ya know you have to accept the fact that it was your fault. It was your mistake. It was you dropping down that right hand and getting hit by a left hook. It’s interesting how this whole thing plays out.

RP: Right. SRL: They eat what they can afford, and that’s the reality of it. But I’m happy, especially with the exercise programs. Fitness is a plus for most diseases. RP: What’s your best advice for anybody, after you’ve kind of lived your life, for people to overcome struggles? SRL: You know what, it’s so funny you asked me that because I just spoke to this company and it’s all about believing in yourself. You know people tell you you can’t do something, because they can’t do it. And they can easily convince you that you can’t do it, whether you’ll be successful at this or that. Whatever the case may be, they will tell you that you can’t do it, because they can’t do it. So you have to believe in yourself.

Sugar Ray Leonard is a retired professional boxer, author, speaker, co-host of Premier Boxing Champions on NBC, and president of the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation. He is an Olympic Gold Medalist and six time world champion in boxing.

sugarrayleonard.com | sugarrayleonardfdn.org






Interview: John Lewis, The Badass Vegan

Torre Washington Vegan Five-Time Bodybuilding Champion On His Jamaican Culture, Living Off the Land, and What it Takes to Succeed “Ital is vital and the natural way of living. This lifestyle mirrored the vegan lifestyle when it came to nutrition so it was an easy transition for me coming from a Rastafarian way of living.”

John Lewis: What is your background and what led you to Miami? Torre Washington: I am thrilled to answer this because it allows me to revisit my vibrant heritage. “Out of many we are one” is a coined phrase within my Jamaican culture. I was born in Birmingham, then we moved to Jamaica when I was nine, where I lived and attended school in Kingston, until we ended up in Fort Lauderdale. My love for the fun, sun, cultural diversity, and the challenge to help grow the vegan community led me back here this past year. JL: I often hear you mention the ital way of life. Can you help our readers understand the meaning and how it fits into your life? TW: The Ital way of life was and is a lifestyle brought to life by Rastafarians of Jamaica. This lifestyle spoke of living off of the land for everything, including food, utensils, and also not using salt to add to the food. Ital is vital and the natural way of living. This lifestyle mirrored the vegan lifestyle when it came to nutrition so it was an easy transition for me coming from a Rastafarian way of living. JL: What mentality does it take to become a five-time bodybuilding champion? TW: Persistence, drive, fun, and a passion for the challenge. JL: What is next for you? TW: I am launching an all-new website to feature multiple ways of sharing my vegan lifestyle with the world and helping to save the animals and our planet. In addition, I am partnering with some talented people to create an informative, yet entertaining documentary on veganism and developing a groundbreaking event focusing on vegan fitness. It will be epic, so stay tuned.



“There is no limit to what a person can do if he or she sets a goal and has the right expertise and dedication to get the job done.”



Eat Plants, Lift Iron Plant-Based distance runner shares his journey to gain 20 pounds here are a bazillion resources out there for losing weight. But what about all the skinny cats who are vegetarians and vegans who want to gain? Since my youngest days I have been a slim guy and it always seemed impossible to gain weight. I became a vegan over ten years ago and started practicing martial arts for many years. Over time I also began practicing yoga and fell in love with distance running. With a super high metabolism, a highly active lifestyle, and a vegan diet, I felt great, but still wasn't at the desired weight I wanted to be at. I wanted to be at least twenty pounds heavier. I got with my strength coach Scott Shetler NASC-CPT, owner of Extreme Performance Training Systems Gym, and Holistic Nutritionist Afya Ibomu B.S., CHHC, who just happens to be my wife of twenty-one years, and we three embarked on testing a hypothesis that would become the book Eat Plants, Lift Iron: A Plant Based Weightlifting Experiment.

I began a systematic regimen of weightlifting, distance running, and eating a wholefood, glutenfree, and supplement-free diet. It was challenging managing my time as a husband, father, and owner of several businesses and intermittent international touring with my band dead prez with balancing training, preparing meals, and eating consistently. I had to make significant lifestyle adjustments to give it 100 percent dedication. My wife made following the nutrition guidelines easy because of her soulful plant-based recipes and meal planning expertise. She has a degree in Nutrition and is a certified Holistic Health Counselor and a vegan chef and author of the books Vegan Soulfood Guide to the Galaxy and The Vegan Remix: A Soulful Spin on World Cuisine. She instructed me on how to be scientific about my caloric and nutritional needs without giving up really good tasting food. Scott was great at teaching me why we did what we did and why it works scientifically. He shared tons of useful tips

that helped me take the guesswork out of “training for gaining.� My goal was not to look like a pro-bodybuilding magazine cover. I just wanted to gain twenty pounds, like the average guy wants to fit their t-shirts a little better and improve on their confidence by achieving a personal goal. There is no limit to what a person can do if he or she sets a goal and has the right expertise and dedication to get the job done. When I first started running I could barely even run for five minutes, but I stayed consistent over time and trained myself to run twenty-six miles non-stop, completing my first marathon. My experiences with eating plants and lifting iron have also taught me valuable life lessons in overcoming resistance for life. Get the book Eat Plants, Lift Iron at RBGFITCLUB.COM.

photos: TT COLES



“ If y o u w a n t i t badly enough, j u st b e l i e v e i n y o u r s e lf !”




Elite Marathon Runner, Three Guinness World Records, Animal Sanctuary Owner, Vegan for Forty Years, and honored by the Queen and Prince Philip.

Fiona Oakes o n H e a lt h T i p s F o r S tay i ng i n O p t i m u m Sh a p e , L i s t e n i n g t o Y o u r B o d y, B e i n g T o l d Sh e ’ d Never Run Again, Breaking the Animal P r o t e i n M y t h , a n d W h y Sh e K e e p s Running

Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive or inspires you? Fiona Oakes: Achieving all I can and being the best I can to represent the animals and my beliefs in the most positive way I am able is what really motivates and inspires me. Knowing that I am using my sport to help animals pushes me to the next level and [keeps me] always hungry and wanting to achieve better results for them. Using that success for their benefit to illustrate the injustices they face on a daily basis is the most amazing motivator to get to that finish line as quickly as possible, far more so than just a medal or a time can give. MP: You are a legend. Why do you run? FO: Simple, I run to illustrate what I truly believe in. I run to break down the myths and misconceptions, so often portrayed in the media and press, that a wholly plant-based diet is detrimental to not only sporting excellence and endurance, but general health too. I have always felt that actions speak much louder than words and are far more difficult to ignore or argue with, and getting out there and achieving things is proof positive of what I believe. MP: Any health tips for staying in optimum shape? FO: Learn to listen to your own body, the messages

it sends you and how to interpret those messages in the most practical and beneficial way for both mental and physical health. I believe mental health is just as important as physical health, and I know I am very lucky that the strength of my convictions and beliefs goes a long way to benefiting both. It is a great comfort to me to know mentally that my physical performance is in no way enhanced by the suffering of others. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? FO: I would ask them to consider following one basic ethic or ideal—compassion to all and for all. To understand that all creatures are equal and each life is therefore of equal importance, to only treat others the way you would wish to be treated yourself. MP: How do you handle emotional pain? FO: Running the Sanctuary and seeing the amount of cruelty and suffering I do does make for a pretty emotional ‘roller coaster’ of a life. There are tremendous ‘ups’ and devastating ‘downs’ most every day which can cause terrible emotional pain and exhaustion. I tend to use my time when I am running to sort things out in my head and work out my problems and how I am going to solve them if I am suffering or struggling emotionally.

My running time is my thinking time, especially on long, solitary efforts where you have to dig deep both physically and mentally. It is also a great comfort for me in particularly difficult times to be able to walk freely amongst so many contented souls and lives which have been saved by the Sanctuary being able to step in and help them when there was no hope for them elsewhere. It is shocking, distressing, and traumatic for me to know that so many are literally in hopeless situations, but it is a great emotional lift for me to know and see on a daily basis that I have not been helpless to offer a hand of kindness, love, and security to so many. MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine? FO: Yes, I have a very rigid daily routine which never really varies. This is something the animals really do benefit from and respond to, a stable and regular routine. I get up at 3:30 a.m. and start my work with the animals. I finish my day when the jobs are done, usually around 9 at night. I need to train basically nine times a week, varying from speed work, hills, off road, on road, recovery, and longer tempo runs. I am also a very calm person and very logical and unemotional in a crisis. I tend to use every experience in life, whether good or bad, as a learning opportunity and I think I have always been able to progress and move forward rather than stagnate.



Fiona Oakes

pu sh es or t to he lp an im al s sp y m g in us am I at “K no w in g th hu ng ry d [k ee ps m e] alway s an l ve le xt ne e th m e to re su lt s fo r th em .ˮ er tt be e ev hi ac to an d wan ti ng MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life? FO: Don’t let other people tell you how much or how little you can achieve. Decide for yourself what you want to do and go out and find a way of making it happen. After my surgery to remove my right knee cap, thirty years ago as a teenager, I was told I would never walk properly again and it was inconceivable I would ever be able to run. Even now, doctors are stunned that I am able to do what I can, some saying it defies all logic. So, if defying logic it what it takes, then so be it. If you want it badly enough, just believe in yourself! MP: What truth do you know for sure? FO: The truth I know for sure is that my commitment to my beliefs is what has driven me on to the levels I have reached. Reaching out and




showing other people that truth is what is most important to me. Spreading the message of compassion is my truth. MP: What is love for you? FO: Compassion is love and love is compassion. The idea that compassion is for all, not just certain species or scenarios. That is love. MP: Causes or organizations that you’re passionate about? FO: Obviously my own animal sanctuary is very important to me as it is where I care for, give hope and a home to over four hundred animals who have suffered neglect, abandonment, and cruelty in a previous life. MP: Tell me about your latest projects.

FO: Obviously, within the Sanctuary I am continually trying to improve and grow things wherever I can. With my running I am currently training for the Berlin Marathon where I have an Elite Start and would like to break two of my own world records. Next year I am looking at the 4 Deserts Grand Slam.

Fiona Oakes is an animal sanctuary owner, ethical vegan for forty years, and elite marathon runner. Her sanctuary, Towerhill Stables Animal Sanctuary in the UK, cares for over four hundred animals, particularly farmed animals and horses. She currently holds three Guinness World Records for being the fastest woman to run a marathon at the North Pole and fastest to run marathons in all seven continents in both days elapsed and combined running time. Her main goal in life is to promote all aspects of a cruelty-free lifestyle in a positive, proactive, and peaceful way.

Interview with Editor Maranda Pleasant

A Tall Drink of Water

An Interview with Suzy Amis Cameron on Myth-Busting, Your “Foodprint,” and Documentaries that Change Your Life Suzy Amis Cameron’s office is overflowing with books. Afternoon sun streams into a space that also includes family photos, ample working area, and an oft-used whiteboard. An environmental advocate, mother of five, and married to director James Cameron, Amis Cameron may be Hollywood A-list, but she certainly doesn’t act it. She’s far too busy trying to make the world a better place for future generations.

“I am deeply grateful for all I have,” she explains, “and I have the platform, opportunity, and responsibility to make a positive difference at this critical, urgent time for our biosphere.” To that end, she has founded a school, several organizations, a farm and marketplace—all with serious sustainability-related missions. Most recently, she and her husband founded Food Choice Taskforce, focused on showing the impact of animal agriculture on the environment and climate change. Here, Amis Cameron talks with Thrive about what drives her. Maranda Pleasant: What led you to become an environmental advocate? Suzy Amis Cameron: I have had many amazing moments in my life—but two moments shaped my personal mission. The first happened twenty-five years ago while diapering my first child, Jasper, and learning about the nasty chemicals in diapers. I couldn’t believe that it was permissible for noxious chemicals to be next to precious baby skin. This started me on a path to learn all I could about the environmental and health impacts of products we use, which led me to think about the environment as a whole. MP: What was the second moment? SAC: The second big moment came three and a

half years ago. At the recommendation of a friend, I watched the documentary Forks Over Knives. It shattered the myth that we need animal protein for maximum health. On the contrary! It features the latest research and science that shows that meat and dairy consumption can contribute to cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Talk about a wake-up call. As a mother, it’s my job to feed my kids as healthily as possible. I really thought I was doing everything right, but so much of what I believed was dead wrong. MP: It does really fly in the face of what we’ve been taught. SAC: Big time! I came from a big Oklahoma family. We were taught that we had to drink milk to keep our bones strong, and meat and potatoes were the norm. Vegetables made minor appearances in meals. MP: Did you change what you eat as a result? SAC: Yes! I had no idea that watching Forks Over Knives would completely alter the course of my family’s life. My immediate task was to get my husband, Jim, to watch it with me. We both have heart disease and cancer in our families, and I felt like it was almost life or death. The bottom line, though, was that Jim was as struck by the science and medical research as I was: immediately, we

converted our kitchen, pantry, and family meals to plant-based. There was just no need for animal protein anymore. MP: You make it sound so simple. SAC: Jim and I are pretty passionate—and once we make up our minds, it’s game on. I began to read everything I could get my hands on, and I learned that animal agriculture also has a devastating impact on our planet. Here I was, a committed environmentalist, and I had no idea that the livestock sector is the second largest cause of human-made greenhouse gas emissions and the leading contributor to ocean dead zones, deforestation, and biodiversity loss. This made it even more urgent for us to go plant-based. It was a no-brainer. Having said that, my friend Kathy Freston, who is a vegan cookbook author, told a story recently about how it took her two years to go completely plant-based. It’s a process and involves re-learning how to grocery shop, cook, pack a school lunch, order at a restaurant, you name it. For our family, it wasn’t without hiccups and a steep learning curve—and with that came the desire to share all that I learned with others, especially mothers. ›





Reducing your meat intake is t h e q u i ck e s t , easiest thing you can do to care for the environment, hands down.



Suzy Amis Cameron Plant-based eating is such a ‘win-win-win’—good for the environment, our health, and animals—that it now informs just about everything I do our environment.ˮ


MP: What do you say to all of the bacon and cheese lovers about going plant-based? SAC: I am not trying to wrestle bacon away from anyone, I promise. It’s not about 100% perfection or dogma, yet it is about making the right food choices as much as possible. Reducing your meat intake is the quickest, easiest thing you can do to care for the environment, hands down. It felt liberating that there was a simple, elegant solution that touched on every aspect of our environment. I hope that as people discover the impact of animal agriculture on our planet, that they will make planetfriendlier food choices as often and as soon as possible. MP: Has your plant-based mission extended beyond the Cameron family kitchen? SAC: Plant-based eating is such a “win-win-win”—good for the environment, our health, and animals—that it now informs just about everything I do. At MUSE School, for example, which I cofounded with my sister Rebecca Amis, we started One Meal a Day for the Planet, (OMD for short and the brainchild of our Head of School, Jeff King) which is the first plant-based school lunch and snack program in the country. In this first school year, the MUSE community will save 80,000 gallons of water per student and staff member. MP: Was there resistance?

Suzy’s Favorites Learning more: Forks Over Knives documentary and companion book Comfortably Unaware by Richard Oppenlander Devour The Earth (on YouTube) Cookbooks: China Study Cookbook Engine 2 Diet by Rip Esselstyn Native Foods by Tanya Petrovna

SAC: We had to answer parents’ concerns—many of which I’d had myself—about nutrition, such as the classic, “How will my child get enough protein?” Naturally, we consulted with chefs, nutritionists and doctors, such as Dr. Neal Barnard of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Dr. Barnard explained that studies have shown that children whose diets emphasize plant-based foods grow as tall or taller than their meat-eating friends, and that they can also gain a measure of protection from future health risks. He also points out that some studies have even found that children eating plant-based diets have higher IQs. MP: What are three quick and easy changes people can make for the planet? SAC: First, try choosing a veggie burger over a cheeseburger. One cheeseburger requires 634 gallons of water to produce. You can cut your “foodprint” in half simply by making plant-based choices. Second, try replacing cow’s milk with nut milks, starting with your coffee and some of the amazing coconut and soy creamers out now. Third, I’d suggest replacing butter with coconut or olive oil. One stick of butter is 366 gallons of water, not to mention, the livestock sector uses the land equivalent to all of North America and two-thirds of South America. photo: Brandon Hickman
















ON STANDS nationally now








Interview: Robert Piper

C elebrity P ersonal T rainer and F itness N utritionist C oach

Astrid Swan


on Workouts for Immediate Results, High Intensity Interval Training, and the Best Ways to Lose Weight

Robert Piper: What kind of workouts do you recommend for people who don’t have a lot of time? Astrid Swan McGuire: HIIT WORKOUTS! High Intensity Interval Training workouts for fifteen to twenty minutes can get the job done! Using heavy weights and mixing in compound moves with cardio bursts! No one has time to be working out for hours a day! Jumping rope for 100 counts, into squat thrusts, mountain climbers, into renegade rows are an example of how you can get your heart pumping and your muscles changing.

I will admit, it is tough, but if it were easy, what results would you achieve? My bootcamp classes are intense, yet fun. Everyone is at a different level but excuses are left out at the door! I am going to push you outside your comfort zone. I run a fast-paced class, but form is key and no one is allowed to cheat! I support you and have your back, but don’t cross me and don’t give up. It is an experience that you are either going to love or hate but I promise those that ‘hate’ it return because I get results and get results quick! Expect full body burn outs and expect to sweat!

RP: What kind of cardio do you recommend?

RP: What inspires you?

ASM: For cardio, I love running, rowing, and jump roping. Depending on the day or where I am, will dictate my cardio plan. The key for me is getting it done. I only do thirty minutes of cardio and it might not even be thirty minutes back to back. I love to break it up with strength training!

ASM: I find inspiration every day. I am from the Midwest and I always knew I wanted to live in Los Angeles and wanted to be an inspiration to others. Helping people gain confidence and blossom into who they are supposed to be fills my heart by teaching them ways to improve their diet and push hard in the gym, all while living their life to the fullest, is my biggest inspiration. Nothing is better than having your client smile proudly of their hard work and thank you for the encouragement.

RP: Do you do interval training? If so, what kinds of exercises? ASM: I love interval training! It keeps me on my toes! An example would be a five minute warm up jog, then do a five minute upper body sculpt, do five minutes of sprint work (thirty second wind sprints, recover thirty, five times), lower body circuit for five minutes, hill intervals, followed by core work and repeat that two to three times! Sweating and change in my body tone is guaranteed. RP: What’s a typical boot camp training consist of? ASM: Don’t be afraid of the word “bootcamp.”

RP: How often should someone work out if they want to lose weight? ASM: Ideally, I recommend finding a way to be active every day. Commit to four to five times a week of a higher intense workout, two days of moderate activity, and then take a day of active recovery. What I mean by active recovery is making a choice to not use your car that day. Walk to run errands, take an evening stroll after dinner, something to get the body moving!

Photo: Ashley Barrett Photography



“ It is tough,

but if it were easy,

what results

would you achieve?”



“Food can

either be fuel or fumes.




Photo: eye recap photography


The Bad Ass Vegan

John Lewis

Living a Healthy Cruelty-Free Life + Motivating Others to Live Life to the Fullest.

Interview with Editor Maranda Pleasant

315lbs. Full of Muscle, Energy, and Heart. Dispelling Myths, Defying Stereotypes, and Bringing Veganism to a New Urban Community. Maranda Pleasant: People are calling you "the new face of vegan." Why? John Lewis: While I am so happy that so many people are loving the BAD ASS VEGAN movement, I had no idea it would do so well. The premise of BAD ASS VEGAN has always been to show that you can be athletic, strong, sexy, smart, cool, hip, and an all-around BAD ASS while still being vegan. Not all vegans are hippies and walk around hugging trees, even though if I see the right tree there is bound to be some hugging going on. I don’t think that I am truly the face that is recognizable, it is more of the movement. BAD ASS VEGAN provides a safe haven for those that are vegan or that want to become vegan, but want to keep a certain edge. Not to say that all vegans are not BAD ASS, but there are so many different types of people in this world and it's just a great way to unite more people in a positive way. MP: You are known for your mission to motivate others, but what motivates you? JL: My motivation actually comes from knowing that I have so many people watching and counting on me. It is truly empowering to receive so much love from people that barely even know you but understand your motive to motivate and push others. I know that

there is someone out there watching me who can relate to my story and can hopefully believe in themselves by me. Somewhere there is someone who is a 315 pound adopted person who has lived in their car, who is looking to change their life for the better. And I hope that we can feed off of each other and reach new heights. MP: How do you find a balance between a hectic career and living a healthy life? JL: Luckily I was able to turn my passion of health and fitness into a career, but I’ve always made time for eating right and a consistent workout regimen. I truly don't look at working out as a reward for me. If you put into perspective that only a small percentage of the human population can actually perform a push-up it makes me grateful for the abilities I have. And I understand that in order to hold on to those abilities and enhance them, that I must continue to work out and fuel myself correctly. MP: I see that you refer to your food as fuel. Can you expand on that? JL: Yes, it is something I had to come to a realization about. Food can either be fuel or fumes. Our body is a machine, and without the proper fuel it is inefficient. Many times when we eat certain foods it can mask itself

as good, but the body sees it as fumes. Those fumes not only make it harder for the body to perform better, but it also accelerates aging, while causing complications. Proper fuel can literally can make the machine run on all cylinders. While fumes cause decaying, fuel maintains as well as rejuvenates. MP: With the success of your VeganSmart protein shake and other products, what is next for you? JL: I’m so grateful for the overwhelming response that the VeganSmart shake has gotten recently. The success of VeganSmart has opened the doors for so many things. I will be hosting more vegan brunches. We are also developing a VeganSmart bar which will be great for people on the go. The meal service is underway as well. I am also in the final stages of developing two apps that will be launching soon. One is a game about farm animals and the other is about health and fitness. The clothing line is coming along well and I am in the developmental stages of my self-help book which I am teaming up with some great friends in the vegan community to complete by the holiday season. Wow, this just made me realize how busy I really am.



101,000 Instagram

Followers. Multi-sport Athlete.

Healthcare Exec.

Mostly Raw, Proud, Ethical

Vegan. Total Rebel

Disrupting the Factory

Farming System.





Domi nick Thompson

Interview: John Lewis, The Bad Ass Vegan John Lewis: Where do you currently live? Dominick Thompson: I now live in New York City. Prior to New York, four years ago I lived in Atlanta. Both cities are really home for me. JL: What led you to believe that a vegan lifestyle was right for you? DT: One reason. My genuine love for all living animals. It’s that simple. Sure, there are health benefits to being vegan, and there are a lot of individuals that turn to a vegan diet for this reason alone. But my reason is simply because I love all animals unconditionally. I also truly feel human beings are not designed to eat animals. We do not posses the physical characteristics or anatomy to consume another animal in its raw form. With the rise of so many diseases and so many health-related deaths, I strongly feel we are now witnessing the very long-term effect of what so many years of consuming meat has done to us as a human race. What we consume as humans should be taken very seriously. One can no longer believe the myth that consuming meat and dairy products will produce a quality life for you and your family. Scientific data and evidence proves this is simply not true, but in fact, harmful. Not only is this practice harmful to your health, but it is also harmful to our planet. Honestly, even if I did have claws or fangs, I still wouldn’t consume another life. It is not my place in this universe to do harm to another living being, let alone one with a

disadvantage of not being able to defend themselves. I see no pleasure or reward in doing so. To me, taking advantage of another living being in this scenario is pure evil being done both consciously and unconsciously on so many levels. JL: You are a multi-sport athlete. What is a multi-sport athlete and what are some of your favorite disciplines? DT: Some associate multi-sport athletes with just triathlons. Personally, I associate myself with other disciplines I love to train and participate in, which includes marathons, powerlifting, crossfit, boxing, ultra-running, and of course, triathlons. JL: What races and competitions are you training for now? DT: I already completed a few races this year. The next one I’m focusing on is the Chicago Marathon as well as the Philly Marathon. Next year is full of a few Ironmans and a few ultra-runs. JL: There is a huge movement right now behind a lifestyle brand you started for vegans and animal rights activists known as Crazies and Weirdos. What made you create this company? DT: I’m an activist before I am anything else. This company reflects my primary mission in life, which is to save as many animals as I can. It’s that simple.

“It is not my place in this universe to do harm to another living being, let alone one with a disadvantage of not being able to defend themselves.”



Maria Juur: Kaiulani, you are the mastermind of Hollywood Food Guild (HFG). What is HFG, and how did it come to be? Kaiulani Kimbrell: Thanks, Maria! Hollywood Food Guild was actually inspired by my father, Andrew Kimbrell, the founder and director of the Center for Food Safety. In my early twenties, he often came to Los Angeles to visit me. I was a recording artist then, touring and working on my first album. Because my dad had been in many food documentaries, he would get calls from producers or directors asking food and agriculture questions related to TV or movie plotlines. He was struck by how hungry the entertainment community was for legally and scientifically vetted facts, and from there the idea of a guild was born. Now ten years later we have co-conspired to make the vision a reality!

Why don’t we have mandatory GMO labeling in the United States?

economic gain over people and long-term social and economic health.

KK: Certified organic food has been grown without toxic, synthetic chemicals, growth hormones, and sewage sludge, and is non-GMO. We would hope that no food would have these things, but unfortunately conventionally grown food (food that is not certified organic) is riddled with them.

MJ: Are we making progress as a nation with environmental/food awareness? Anything we need to be wary of?

While non-GMO food is free of genetic modification (which is good), it can still be grown with pesticides or grown or raised in other harmful forms of industrial agriculture. Even in the absence of GMOs, we still face the issue of an agricultural system that is spraying hundreds of millions of pounds of pesticides a year in the U.S. alone. MJ: What is the “Food Movement”?

The Food Movement is the most important issue of our generation, and Hollywood is a powerful megaphone with a global reach. It is our mission to give influencers with a passion for food and environmental issues the credible information and encouragement they need to be able to use their voices most effectively. In partnership with Center for Food Safety, we are able to provide them with the inarguable facts that can stand against the multi-billion-dollar agrochemical companies who have nearly unlimited funds to pay for the best PR and marketing strategies. MJ: What does organic really mean? And what is the difference between organic and non-GMO? HollywoodFoodGuild.org



KK: The Food Movement, in my words, is an awakening. It is the realization that everything is interconnected. From the way we grow our food, to the beauty and household products we buy, each of our choices impacts the land. When we support regenerative farming, it’s not only better for our health and that of the farmers, but we also feed back to the soil and support the health of all living creatures, from birds to worms to pollinators. Everyone can be part of the Food Movement because it is essentially about health, stewardship, and achieving the highest quality of life. The big agrochemical companies are examples of an outdated paradigm that puts profit and short-term

KK: Yes! Before Prop 37 (the vote to label GMOs in CA in 2012), almost no one here knew what a GMO was. Even though the vote didn’t pass, it spread awareness like wildfire. The organic industry is still only about 5%, but it is growing. We are absolutely making progress. We must be vigilant about something the Center for Food Safety does everyday, and that is protecting our organic standards and improving them. As organic food becomes more and more popular, many businesses will seek price and marketing benefits from the organic label, without doing the work. That is exactly what we don’t want. We cannot have that label watered down. So it’s not enough to promote organic; we must uphold and improve standards. Organic is not the ceiling. It’s the floor where all agriculture should start. It can always be better. And we should strive for that. MJ: This fall, HFG is launching its new original content series called Food Voices, that you executive produce and host. Could you tell us more about that project? KK: I’m so excited for Food Voices! It’s a show I’ve been developing for over a year. We shot our pilot with amazing recording artist, Moby.

photo: Lauren Hathaway

Food Voices is an interview series that engages influencers and food movement experts in personal conversations in the areas of food, health, and the environment. With each story, we add facts and transparency pieces to inform the viewer and suggest action steps. It’s three parts: inspiration and awareness, plus action. MJ: You work closely with your father. What’s that like for you? What’s the most important thing he has taught you when it comes to work? KK: I love my Dad. We have a very special relationship, hold tremendous respect for each other, and are unbelievably alike. The greatest thing he has taught me when it comes to work is to “bow my head,” to humbly go where I am called. He never thought a majority of his life would be dedicated to defending our food and environment. But he was called to it. When we go where we are called, often we find ourselves where we really wanted to be all along. MJ: What does THRIVING mean to you? KK: Thriving is living without unnecessary internal conflict. Often our suffering comes from two opposing thoughts or voices within. One is innate wisdom and the other is conditioned thinking we have learned. When we live unconscious of the internal thoughts that drive us, we can end up struggling to fully realize our truest selves and to live the lives we know are possible. I believe the problems in our food system are external examples of these internal conflicts. We are in conflict when we act in a way that is not in harmony with our deeper internal knowing. MJ: Anything else you want to say to Thrive readers?

T h r i vi ng i s li v i ng wi th o ut u n n ecessary i nter na l con fli ct.

KK: Be wary of self-doubt. Deep within the core of your being, you know what is good for you. By realigning with the natural world, we can reset our internal compass.

Kaiulani is the Director & Co-founder of Hollywood Food Guild, a nonprofit dedicated to organizing Hollywood around the Food Movement. She is also host and producer of Food Voices, a lifestyle interview series with influencers and leaders focused on food, health, and the environment.



B rin g in g a P l a n t - Bas ed D i et t o the U r ba n Co m m u nit y .

Street Smart.

VeganSmart. Kareem Cook + Claude Tellis

These entrepreneurs got junk food banned from vending machines in Los Angeles’ schools, overcame mind-blowing adversity, and have families plagued with diabetes and cancer. Now they’re changing people’s lives through a plant-based diet. They’re also changing the game.

THRIVE MAGAZINE: How did you guys meet? Kareem Cook: Claude and I met in college. We both attended Duke University in North Carolina. THRIVE: How did you decide that you two should become business partners? Claude Tellis: We ended up both going to business school at the same time. I went to The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Kareem went back to the Fuqua School of Business at Duke. I decided then that I wanted to be an entrepreneur. Two years after graduating, I decided to make a move to Los Angeles and decided Kareem should roll with me. Kareem: I always say I moved to LA for a woman. And I did. But not my woman. Claude's woman. Claude: My fiancé was living in LA. She gave me until February of 2002 to find a way to move out to LA, or she was returning my ring. We got here January 31, 2002. THRIVE: So what was the plan? Kareem: Well, Claude and I had written the business plan for a friend of ours, world-renowned dancer, choreographer, actor, producer, and director Debbie Allen to open up the Debbie Allen NATURADE.COM | VEGANSMARTSHAKE.COM



Dance Academy. She offered us the back offices of the dance academy to use as a headquarters for starting a company. What company? Nobody knew. Claude: But we immediately noticed all of these overweight kids walking around when we got to LA. Kareem: Being from the East Coast, we had this preconceived and erroneous belief that it was going to be like the show Baywatch out here. Everyone would be in excellent physical shape. The moment we stepped out the car, we realized that we had been hoodwinked. First, you see it, then you read about it. There was a 40% child obesity rate in LA! We said to ourselves, “Some smart business people will come up with a way to address this child obesity problem.” Claude mentioned an idea he had about healthy vending machines, and how effective that could be. We figured, why not do that in LA? Claude: Problem was, we were here in LA, jobless. We decided to write a business plan and raise some money. We received a small business loan from a local bank. Debbie’s husband and former NBA player Norm Nixon saw what we were doing, thought it was noble, and joined us. A month after arriving in LA, we managed to meet with the head

of the YMCA and embarrassed him by reminding him of their tenets and that those soda machines in the lobby were in direct contradiction. We walked out of that office with the contract for all the YMCAs in LA. Kareem: That was a good start, but we had to figure out how to get into the schools where thousands of children would be. Claude: Getting a school wasn't easy. There were over 120 public high schools and middle schools in LA. Schools in LA had an incentive to sell junk food. Scoreboards, uniforms, and other basic activity equipment comes out of the vending commission payments. Kareem: We got our first school, Venice High School, in June of 2002, four months after moving to LA. Claude: We made some smart moves, like joining an alliance of health teachers and taking a trip to Sacramento to meet Phil Angelides who at the time was State Treasurer of California. We knew he cared about social justice and he championed our cause. We helped get junk food banned in LA in 2003, and in May of 2004, we were awarded the contract for every public high school and middle school in LA. Photo: Samuel Whitworth

, s aren't sexy n a g e v t a h t h t ling the my Being healthy . l o o c “We are dispel s i n a g ol.” iful. Being ve u live in is co o fit, and beaut y d l r o w e h t g about is cool. Carin

THRIVE: We hear stories from people who dive into entrepreneurship and failed, but you guys seem to have been successful from the start. Kareem: Listen, it was very hard. I lived in the office for a year and didn’t have a personal car. We were robbed of our money, confronted by some local gangs, and were under a lot of pressure to go get traditional jobs. Our mothers were worried sick. We really made no money in the first few years. We had opportunities to make money, but we knew we had to stick to our principles. We have horror stories for sure, and it isn’t for everyone. But we would’ve had it no other way. THRIVE: So how did you come into owning Naturade and VeganSmart? Claude: We realized that the vending machine company was not very scalable beyond LA, and underlying our desire to be successful was a desire to help our community overcome so many diseases that plague us, like diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. All of my aunts and uncles suffer from diabetes. In my family, it’s not a possibility, it’s an eventuality. They live in the South with very few healthy options available to them. So we parted ways with the business and sold it to our third partner. We returned to our Duke roots. We are both from the private

equity world, which means that we are skilled at examining companies for investment, fixing what’s broken, and then growing companies. We met with some Duke University alumni, many of whom were trustees, and told them our story: How we played a major role in getting junk food banned in LA public schools. How President Bill Clinton and Governor Mike Huckabee had us come to Arkansas and discuss what we had done in LA. We convinced them to invest in a family office that we control, which allows us to acquire companies such as Naturade. Kareem: We realized the best way to address these diseases is through prevention. And for the most part, it’s diet. So we found Naturade, a company that has been around since 1926. We knew it had an outstanding reputation and that we could use it as a platform to launch products that would address the issues that were important to us. Claude: The more we learned, the more we realized that a plant-based diet is an amazing way to prevent many of the diseases that plague us. I watched my wife fight off cancer in her father by simply changing his diet. I was blown away. So we created VeganSmart. It’s an All-in-One nutritional shake that not only has twenty grams of protein, but also twenty-two vitamin and minerals,

digestive enzymes, dietary fiber and omega, prebiotics, and more. And importantly to both of us, it is very low in sugar. We really wanted it to taste amazing, which it does. It has really resonated well with the vegan community, but we really want to hit people who don’t consider themselves vegans. It really is a product that everyone should use whether you are vegan or not. We get letters all the time telling us how we have changed lives. It has been an incredibly fulfilling venture. Kareem: We took the lessons of the past and are using them now in the present. The same things that motivate kids, motive adults: fear and being cool. We are making it cool to eat a healthy diet again. We are making it cool to be vegan. We have launched a series of VeganSmart Brunches, and we bring 500 to 600 people together in cool cities to enjoy vegan sliders, smoothies, and veganfriendly alcoholic beverages. We are dispelling the myth that vegans aren't sexy, fit, and beautiful. Being vegan is cool. Being healthy is cool. Caring about the world you live in is cool. I can’t put into words how happy I am to see the fruits of our labor manifest in such a positive way. We drove out to California to chase our dream in 2002, and in 2015, we are helping people worldwide. Doing great by doing good.













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L o s A n ge l e s

Cafe Gratitude Executive Chef Dreux Ellis

Se r v e s




R o a s t ed B r u s s e l s S p r o u t s in a M a p l e M i s o G l a z e 3 lbs Brussels sprouts, cleaned and cut in half 1 cup olive oil ¹⁄ ³ cup maple syrup ½ cup red miso 1 tablespoon tamari ½ cup apple cider vinegar In a blender, combine the olive oil, maple syrup, red miso, tamari, and apple cider vinegar. Dress the Brussels sprouts liberally with the glaze. Make sure the Brussels sprouts are well-coated and lay out on a baking tray. Drizzle ¼ cup of water over the Brussels sprouts to add some vapor while cooking. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes or until well-cooked. Approximately 10 minutes into the cooking time, turn the vegetables to ensure even cooking.




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Chloe Coscarelli Chef + Partner, by CHLOE.

on Three Bestselling Cookbooks,

Her New York City Restaurant,

Winning the CupCake Wars,

and Her Mom as her Main Inspiration



Alison Burgos: When did you find your passion to cook and bake?

CC: Just do it! If you don’t believe in yourself, no one will.

Chloe Coscarelli: My passion started when I was young, cooking in the kitchen with my mom. As I got older, the passion only grew as I worked with my mom to veganize all her classic recipes.

AB: Finish this sentence: Food is...

AB: You were the first vegan chef to win Cupcake Wars on the Food Network. What was that experience like? CC: The experience was exhilarating and very satisfying. It was extremely validating to win over the judges with my vegan creations, and it was an amazing launching pad for the rest of my career. AB: Who are your role models in the plant-based culinary world? CC: My mom! She was veganizing our family meals before anyone knew how! AB: Your new restaurant by CHLOE. has just opened to critical acclaim. What advice would you give an aspiring chef who wants to take the leap?

CC: On my mind 24/7. AB: With three popular cookbooks and your new restaurant under your belt, what’s next for you? CC: Working! I’m at by CHLOE . every day in the kitchen, chatting with customers. It’s a 100% hands-on commitment. Right now my goal is to make by CHLOE. the best it can be.

A lifelong vegetarian, and vegan for ten years, Chloe Coscarelli is an award-winning chef and bestselling cookbook author. Chloe first earned national attention after winning the Food Network’s reality-competition series Cupcake Wars, as the first vegan chef to win a culinary competition on national television. Chloe has published three cookbooks: Chloe’s Kitchen, Chloe’s Vegan Desserts, Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen. She launched her restaurant, by CHLOE., in NYC.

“As I got older, the passion only grew as I worked with my mom to veganize all her classic recipes. �



Chloe Coscarelli Chef + Partner, by CHLOE.

Heirloom Tomato Toast

3 THREE Serves

Ingredients: 6 Slices multigrain bread Olive oil 3 Heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced Sea salt Freshly ground black pepper

Preparation: Preheat the oven to broil, set to high. Place bread slices on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes, checking frequently until lightly browned. Fan tomato slices on toast and drizzle olive oil over the top. Season with sea salt and pepper. Serve immediately. *Recipe courtesy of Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen (Simon & Schuster 2014)





To heal the world, we must first heal ourselves. – Seane Corn

Seane Corn, Celebrated yoga teacher, activist, & co-founder of Off the Mat into the World

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interview: M i c h e ll e Gaber

c h e f a n d v e g e t a bl e co n n o i s s e u r , p i o n e e r i n h a u t e , pl a n t - b a s e d c u i s i n e

Daphne Cheng

With her hyper-sensitive palate and creative vision, she focuses the culinary spotlight on fresh, seasonal vegetables. She challenges the status quo, believing that vegetables can and should be the centerpiece of a meal.




Photo: Yuko Torihara

“ Foo d i s l i f e . L i t e r a lly . W e a r e l i t e r a lly m a d e o f w h a t w e co n s u m e . ”

Photo: Daphne Cheng



Michelle Gaber: Where did you grow up? Daphne Cheng: I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. In those days, Olive Garden was considered fine dining in our family. MG: When did you know you wanted to be a chef?

DC: Never be afraid to experiment and have fun with your food. Recipes are guidelines, not rules, so use your imagination to swap out ingredients as you please. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes; you might uncover some fun new creations. Or at the very least you will learn how to do better next time. Make your cooking your own.

MG: Where do you see yourself in five years? DC: I’m currently working on a venture but can't reveal full details yet. In five years, it will have a globally established presence. I would also love to write some cookbooks, both for beginners and more experienced chefs. MG: Finish the sentence: Food is…

DC: I started getting interested in food and cooking when I was fourteen or fifteen, but I didn't take the idea of being a professional chef seriously. Coming from an Asian background, I was always directed towards a “prestigious” and secure career, like becoming a doctor or lawyer. I attended the University of California, Berkeley for a year, but soon realized it wasn’t the right path for me. It took another year to figure out that cooking was truly my purpose and I decided to enroll in culinary school in NYC. MG: Best piece of advice you would give a home enthusiast?

MG: Who in the food world do you most admire? DC: The late Charlie Trotter was my earliest inspiration. His namesake restaurant was my first exposure to fine dining and what it meant to truly respect food. Chef Matthew Kenney was also an early influence with what he achieved in elevating raw cuisine. Today, I am inspired by the very many talented chefs in the world, each with their own special style and approach to creating good food.

DC: Life. Literally. We are literally made of what we consume. Food makes the world's many cultures rich and interesting. Food plays an integral role in shaping our lives, mentally and physically. And without food, I'm not sure life would be worth living.

Daphne Cheng is a classically trained chef, but considers herself largely self-taught. She most enjoys juxtaposing ingredients and flavors in unusual ways, defying her father’s repeated admonishments: “Don’t play with your food.” The resulting dishes can be all at once elegant, provoking, and even bizarre, but most importantly delicious. Her global flavor palette evokes memories you just can’t seem to place.

“Never be afraid to experiment and have fun w i t h yo u r f oo d . R e c i p e s a r e g u i d e l i n e s , n o t r u l e s , s o u s e yo u r i m a g i n a t i o n t o s w a p o u t i n g r e d i e n t s a s yo u pl e a s e . ”

—Daphne Cheng daphnecheng.com



Photo: Daphne Cheng

golden, about 5 minutes. Pour the oil and garlic over the red pepper flakes and let cool, stirring a few times, for about 20 minutes. To prepare the vegetables, put 2 teaspoons of the olive oil and ¼ teaspoon of the salt in a large bowl and mix. Put 2 inches of water in a large pot fitted with a steamer insert and bring to a boil. Put the potatoes in the steamer, cover, and cook until fork-tender, adding more water if necessary, about 45 minutes. Remove the steamer basket from the pot and let the potatoes cool for 5 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.





4 to 6 servings

4 teaspoons red pepper flakes 1 /³ cup peanut oil 1 large clove garlic, minced



“Ndiri Ndanogio Niwe” by Mbiri Young Stars from Kenya Special: Selected East African Recordings from the 1970s & '80s

3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 ½ teaspoons coarse sea salt 12 small yellow potatoes (about 2 inches in diameter) 2 ½ cups shelled green peas (about 2 ½ pounds fresh peas in the pod) 2 ¼ cups sweet corn kernels (from about 3 ears of corn ¼ cup packed chopped flat-leaf parsley Freshly ground white pepper To make the chile oil, put the red pepper flakes in a small heatproof bowl. Warm the peanut oil in a small skillet over medium heat, then add the garlic and sauté until the garlic is fragrant and just starting to turn


Transfer the potatoes to the bowl with the olive oil and toss to coat. On a clean work surface, gently press each potato with the palm of your hand until about ½ inch thick. With a spatula, transfer to the lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until browning and crispy on the edges. After the potatoes have been baking for 15 minutes, put the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil and ¼ teaspoon of the salt in the same bowl and mix well. Put about 8 cups of water in a medium pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons salt, then add the peas. Return to a boil, and cook uncovered until the peas are just barely tender, 2 ½ to 4 minutes. Add the corn and cook for 30 seconds. Drain well, then transfer to the bowl with the olive oil. Add the parsley and toss well. To serve, top each potato with 3 heaping tablespoons of the pea mixture, drizzle with the chile oil, and finish with a few grinds of white pepper.

Bryant Terry, a James Beard Foundation Leadership Award-winning chef, educator, and author renowned for his activism to create a healthy, just, and sustainable food system gives us one of his fav recipes. He is currently the Chef-in-Residence at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco.

Photo: Bryant Terry



Interview with Editor Maranda Pleasant

Eat Yourself Sexy Queen of Green: C he f L a ure n Von D e r Pool Chef to tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams, Stevie Wonder, Common, and on First Lady Michelle Obama’s obesity prevention campaign. Television Health Expert. Feeding 600+ on the First Green Hip Hop Tour. Wonderwoman.

Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive or inspires you? Lauren Von Der Pool: My son makes me come alive; he gives me even more of a reason to live! I am inspired by passionate people that pierce through plateaus and prove that miracles are real and these miracles aren’t separate from us, but rather birthed within! MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? LV: Love anyway. Shine anyway. Envision your grandest dreams anyway. Think your biggest thoughts, regardless of what may be going on in

your life now! It’s important to know that what’s going on in your life at the moment is a result of your past thoughts and feelings, which means there is always an opportunity to speak, feel, and create miracles into existence from right where you are!

consciousness awareness of humanity starting with myself. I began to educate myself and the community both locally and globally about healthy living. Bringing myself into alignment with my purpose has made tons of blessings unfold in my life!

MP: Favorite foods and ingredients?

MP: What truth do you know for sure?

LV: Mangoes, mushrooms, and habanero peppers.

LV: I know that I don’t know much. The moment you think you know something the universe will show up with a new veil to be lifted. Being open to change is an important lesson I learned from water.

MP: Tell me about your food journey. How did you get here? LV: Wow, it’s a long story, but the gist of it is that I realized my purpose on the planet is to raise the

MP: Food is...? LV: Food is life, energy, vibrational resonance. What you eat you literally become, even down to the subatomic atoms of your being. Food comes in many forms. Thoughts and feelings are also food. What you think and feel also become part of your creation, so being mindful of all we consume is essential to our longevity. Let your food be your medicine! MP: Tell me about your latest projects. LV: I am the new health expert for the Tennis Channel’s show Fit to Hit. I just catered the set of Barbershop 3, working with Academy Award-winning Common and Cedric the Entertainer. I also went on the Songs in the Key of Life Tour with Stevie Wonder as his personal chef. I just published the new edition of my book Eat Yourself Sexy. I am doing the very first Green Hip Hop Tour feeding 600+ families a free vegan dinner with live music, poetry, and culinary concert served up by me. We have already done Atlanta and Seattle with Washington D.C., Baltimore, and New York on September 18, October 2, and November 10.




“Love anyway. Shine anyway. Envision your grandest dreams anyway. Think your biggest thoughts, regardless of what may be going on in your life now!”



Beauty Bars

C he f Lau re n Von De r Pool

Turmeric Radiance



INGREDIENTS: • ½ cup of almond milk • ¼ cup of light coconut milk • 1 teaspoon of turmeric • A dash of pumpkin pie spice • A dropper full of an herbal tonic (my favorite is by an amazing company called The Forgotten Foods)

DIRECTIONS: Blend to your desired consistency. Freeze!


These beauty bars are amazing because I am loading them with collagen-building, mineral-rich herbs from around the world. All of these things are blended into a yummy mixture of sweet popsicle goodness! I am working on a whole book of beauty and medicine bars to help boost immunity and radiance, so stay tuned! GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS: Get a BPA-free popsicle mold, blend your ingredients, and pour them into the mold. I like to add some goodies like toasted nuts for texture to keep things exciting. Freeze them, pop them out, and enjoy radiant, glowing skin!

Strawberry Pearl INGREDIENTS: • ¼ cup of almond milk • ¼ cup of light coconut milk • A teaspoon of crushed pear • 3 tablespoons of maple syrup • Handful of organic strawberries

DIRECTIONS: Blend to your desired consistency. Freeze!





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chef paco


interview: alison burgos

Organic, Cold Pressed, Vegan, and Good Vibes.

Alison Burgos: What is going to be the next big thing in the food world? Darren Laszlo (Aka Chef Paco): Learning how to forage, hunt, and grow your own vegetables. The future of food is individuals learning how to be sustainable. That and going back to basics when it comes to treating and preserving food, pickling, and drying in the sun. AB: Favorite foods to cook with? DL: When I’m home, I’m a big grill guy. I cook on the grill and start from scratch. I chop my own wood. I’ll make salsa from the grill; charred tomatoes make for the best salsa. I cook vegetables on the grill: asparagus, cabbage, and raddicio. Everything tastes amazing on an open fire. AB: What do you do for fun? DL: I like to bake. I bake gluten-free stuff all the time at home. I make a mean vegetable stuffed cornbread. AB: Finish the sentence: Food is…. DL: All we have. Chef Paco is a classically trained chef who has accepted the challenge of making health food that is as culinary-driven as his training. He is a New York City native and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. His venture, Jugofresh, is the spot for organic cold-pressed juices, smoothies, vegan foods and good vibrations in South Florida.




PHOTO: Gesi Schilling

Blake Leeper Lives: Olympic Training Center, Chula Vista, CA Gold Medalist 400m Relay, 2012 Paralympics Training to be first American double amputee in Olympics Philosophy: The only disability in life is a bad attitude Mat: Jade

Nature’s Best Yoga Mat

Great grip. Earth friendly. www.jadeyoga.com THRIVE


Miyoko’s Kitchen

Miyoko Schinner, the leading pioneer in Ar tisan Vegan Cheese and author of The Homemade Vegan Pantry, dispels the my th that vegan food can’ t be gourmet. I N T E R V I E W : M ic h e l l e G a b er



Michelle Gaber: When did you discover your passion for food and cooking? Miyoko Schinner: I threw myself headlong into cooking when I transitioned to a plantbased diet in my mid-twenties, over thirty years ago. I was living in Japan at the time, and there were not many (if any) resources on how exactly to do this. I was enamored with rich, indulgent dishes of French and Italian origin, and had to figure out how to recapture those flavors and textures using nuts, grains, and beans. This led to full-fledged experimentation in cooking and testing my creations on a different group of people every Friday night when I would host a “pop-up” serving a ten to twelve course tasting menu at my house. Soon, I launched my first food business, a small wholesale bakery, and the writing of my first cookbook. MG: You have a long history as an entrepreneur in the vegan community, from opening a restaurant, writing several cookbooks, and creating several brands, including the wildly popular Miyoko's Creamery. What are you most proud of building? MS: It’s not a product or a thing that I’ve built other than myself. It’s taken me a long time to figure out why I do what I do, and where

I’m going with it. It’s only been recently that it has all begun to make sense, and all the different things I have done, from writing to baking to running a restaurant to doing cooking demos, are beginning to synthesize into a cohesive whole. Frankly, what I’m most proud of is just arriving at the realization, albeit not until my fifties, that the purpose of it all is to inspire and encourage others to take steps and actions that lead to saving animals and the planet. A lot of people retire around my age. It’s only now that I’ve figured out what I want to do with the rest of my life, and for that, I feel proud and happy. MG: Your new book, The Homemade Vegan Pantry, just recently hit the bookshelves. What can readers expect? MS: I hope my new book will inspire readers to find the beauty in creating the foundations for all of their cooking. When you learn how to make the staples that we assume only come in boxes or cans or bottles, it can become quite liberating in the kitchen. You are now in control of exactly what you put in, which allows for more creativity as well. You’ll find everything from condiments to cake mixes to meat substitutes to condensed milk, but more than staples, I hope the reader will find it as a lifestyle guide that will inspire

them to slow down and savor not only the fruits of their creation but life itself. MG: What advice would you give an aspiring author? MS: This answer may make me unpopular in an age when people feel compelled to write regularly on schedule, but my first advice to aspiring authors is to make sure they have something they want to say and share with the world. Don’t just write for the sake of writing, because you feel you must in order to make your mark on the world. Spend time really exploring your subject, getting to know it intimately, whether it’s food or anything else. When you’re excited and feel like you just have to tell the whole world, that’s when your readers will feel your enthusiasm and be inspired. Otherwise, go live life, learn to dance, delve into cooking, adopt some animals, do anything that will captivate you fully. Through experience, you’ll find something you must share with the world, and it will be that much richer. MG: Finish the sentence: Food is… MS: Life.




“The purpose of it all is to inspire and encourage others to take steps and actions that lead t o s av i n g a n i m a l s a n d the planet.” M i y o k o S c h inner





Ch e f Aaro n A dam s

Farm Spirit Portland, Oregon

on The Importance of Local, Seasonal Ingredients, Essential Advice for Aspiring Chefs, and Becoming a Vegetarian at Sixteen Interview: Michelle Gaber

Michelle Gaber: How did you become inspired to open a place that really respects local and seasonal ingredients? Aaron Adams: It’s fair to say at this point that if you aren’t featuring local ingredients in your cuisine, you’re behind the times. I’m inspired by chefs like Dan Barber and Sean Brock who’ve made it their life work to educate us about the importance of supporting local agriculture. Not only does it keep us in the rhythms of the season, but it is important for the local economy and the creation of a distinct geographical food culture. For us, we’re trying to contribute to a Cascadian cuisine, based off the best of the forests and farms of the Cascade region. We’ve created relationships with the farmers we buy from, like Shari at Dancing Roots Farm and Geoff and Siobhan at Black Sheep Farm. We know their names, respect their work, and treat their wares tenderly with love and respect.

AA: Go find a chef that inspires you and go work for them. Put your head down and look at your cutting board for a couple of years. Come early and stay late. Write everything down. Really. Write everything down. Fill notebook after notebook. Treat your chef with respect and try to make their life easier by actively listening, following direction, and trying every day to improve one thing. Keep your station clean and your knives sharp. In your free time, experiment and read every cookbook and magazine that you can get your hands on. If you have a suggestion for how to make something better, speak your mind, but wait until before or after service. Above all else, meditate on why you are getting into this business: hospitality. Hospitality, and the edification and happiness of your guest, is foremost. If you’re in this to try to get famous or make people think you’re super all the time, go kick rocks. Get out of the kitchen and make room for someone with some heart.

MG: Favorite kitchen equipment or gadget?

MG: Favorite cookbooks?

AA: Ooh! That’s hard. I think right now I’m a little overexcited about my Pacojet. It’s an amazing tool for making vegan sorbets and ice creams with minimal processing and ingredients. It allows us to make two ingredient sorbets: fruit and sweetener. My second favorite would be my combi-oven, which allows me to make great breads, crackers, steamed vegetables, and roasted veggies. It's amazing.

AA: Plant Food from Matthew Kenney and Scott Winegard, Michel Bras's Essential Cuisine, Fäviken Cookbook, Noma by René Redzepi, Charlie Trotter’s Vegetables, Bar Tartine: Techniques and Recipes, Tartine Bread, Quay by Peter Gilmore, Flavor Bible, Brooks Headsley’s Fancy Desserts, Pierre Gagnaire: Reflections on Culinary Artistry, Openeder’s Dessert Art, Elements of Taste by Gray Kunz...jeez...there’s so many favorites. I can’t even go on. I won’t stop.

MG: What advice would you give an aspiring chef?




MG: Did you eat your veggies when you were a kid? AA: Yes indeed! My mom was really good about always trying to get me to try new things. She’d take us to the farmers market at Jack London Square in Oakland and grab all sorts of cool veggies. We also did a good amount of cooking at home when we were kids. I went vegetarian in sixth grade, so I started cooking veggies pretty early. MG: Finish the sentence: Food is... AA: Essential. It’s essential to living, obviously (sorry Breatharians). But more than that, cuisine helps prop up culture, brings family together, and facilitates celebration. As cooks, we are among the luckiest members of our community for not only are we allowed to work in the service of others, but we get to inform our local culture, bring those families together, and make celebrations memorable. I can’t truly articulate effectively how absolutely full of gratitude I am for being in the position I am in. It’s amazing.

Embracing a compassionate lifestyle, Chef Aaron went vegan in 2004 after years of working in omnivorous kitchens, eventually opening Portobello in Portland, Oregon. His newest venture, Farm Spirit, continues with the spirit of compassion adding an emphasis on personal health and happiness, offering multi-course plant-based dinner parties at their chef counter seating fourteen guests nightly.

PHOTOS: Nikki Unger-Fink



Ch e f Aaro n A dam s

Farm Spirit Portland, Oregon

“ [food is] Essential. It ’ s essential to living, obviously (sorry Breatharians). But more than that, cuisine helps prop up culture, brings family together, and facilitates celebration. ”




PHOTOS: Nikki Unger-Fink



Serves Up of Our Favorite Recipes



Creamy Orange C recipe nutritional facts (per serving) Calories 271 kcal | Fat 8 g | Saturated fat 0 g | Sodium 36 mg | Carbs 46 g Fiber 8 g | Sugars 29 g Protein 6 g | Calcium 132 mg | Iron 1 mg This bizarre-sounding combo of vitamin C champions (orange, strawberries, sweet potato, and red bell pepper) creates a delicious immunity blend that’s also a great way to get kids to drink their vegetables. For added anti-inflammatory power, throw in the goji berries, ground flaxseeds, and turmeric.



1 cup (240ml) freshly squeezed orange juice 1 orange, peeled, seeded, and quartered ½ cup (70g) mashed cooked orange sweet potato ½ cup (60g) frozen raw cauliflower florets ¼ cup (35g) diced red bell pepper ¼ cup (30g) blanched raw almonds, soaked 1 ½ teaspoons finely grated orange zest, plus more to taste ½ teaspoon natural vanilla extract 1 ½ teaspoons pure maple syrup, plus more to taste 1 cup (160g) frozen strawberries 2 cups (250g) ice cubes optional boosters 1 tablespoon goji powder 1 teaspoon ground flaxseeds Pinch of ground turmeric Throw all of the ingredients into your blender and blast on high for 30 to 60 seconds, until smooth and creamy.

photo of tess masters: Anson Smart | PHOTOS of smoothies: Erin Kunkel




Antioxidant Avenger

nutritional facts (per serving) Calories 256 kcal | Fat 1 g | Saturated fat 0 g | Sodium 12 mg | Carbs 66 g Fiber 9 g | Sugars 48 g | Protein 2 g | Calcium 43 mg | Iron 1 mg I think of this powerful immunity blend as “field to shield.” With the antioxidant weight of these ingredients, nothing’s gettin’ the better of you (especially if you boost with açaí, maqui, and chia seeds)! The trio of orange zest, cinnamon, and ginger warms up the party, making this “berry” special.



1 ¼ cups (300ml) coconut water or water, plus more as needed 2 cups (320g) mixed fresh or frozen berries (½ cup/80g each of blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries) ½ cup (85g) red seedless grapes 1 ripe pear, skin on, cored and diced ½ teaspoon minced ginger ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon finely grated orange zest 1 chopped pitted date, soaked, plus more to taste 1 cup (125g) ice cubes optional boosters 2 tablespoons açaí powder 2 teaspoons maqui powder 1 tablespoon chia seeds Throw all of the ingredients into your blender and blast on high for 30 to 60 seconds, until smooth and creamy. Add more coconut water as needed to blend. Tweak the sweetness to taste.


Green Mojito

nutritional facts (per serving) Calories 118 kcal | Fat 0 g | Saturated fat 0 g | Sodium 14 mg | Carbs 33 g Fiber 5 g | Sugars 17 g | Protein 2 g | Calcium 83 mg | Iron 1 mg This is a cold-and-flu buster and potent detoxifier, all in one zesty cocktail! The bromelain in pineapple suppresses coughs and loosens mucus, while mint clears respiratory congestion, soothes sore throats, and alleviates nausea. The vitamin C in limes has antibiotic power, anti-inflammatories in kale and pineapple combat arthritis, and ginger boosts immunity, aids digestion, and adds a powerful zing.



1 cup (240ml) coconut water or water 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest 3 limes, peeled and quartered 1 cup (25g) torn-up curly green kale leaves (1 or 2 large leaves with stalk removed) ½ cup (18g) firmly packed mint 2 cups (320g) frozen pineapple 5 drops alcohol-free liquid stevia, plus more to taste optional boosters 1 teaspoon wheatgrass powder 1 teaspoon minced ginger 1 teaspoon coconut oil Throw all of the ingredients into your blender and blast on high for 30 to 60 seconds, until smooth and creamy.



n a g V e lat e o c o h C

t n e d a c e D d an s u o i c s u L y l l Unapologetica ry-Free Desserts Dai Int

an Costig n a r F with uctor y Instr erview

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PHOTO: Kate Echle

Sea salts: fine/coarse Pure maple syrup, dark Quality neutral oils (My preference is mild tasting extra-virgin olive oil) Apple cider vinegar Pure extracts High percentage dairy-free chocolates (70 to 72%) Silken tofu Agar powder, flakes Arrowroot, organic cornstarch Guar gum Chia seeds, white Raw cashews Plant milks: almond, macadamia, coconut milk beverage, canned coconut milk

“To day, ins t ea d o f h aving to defen d v e gan des s erts a s wo rt h y o f t rying , I h av e to co nvince peo pl e t h at t h e des s ert they a re s wo o ning over is in fact veg a n ! ” AB: What is your favorite food memory? FC: Growing up, Hershey’s Kisses and bars and M&M’s were my idea of chocolate. Then at twenty, I had my first taste of an exquisite chocolate in Switzerland. I remember to this day the complex flavor, silken texture, and sensation of that chocolate melting on my tongue. There was no going back to waxy or low-percentage chocolates for me. Happily, excellent craft bean to bar chocolates are no longer the provenance of only a few specialty shops or Europe. Premium high percentage, dairy-free, organic, and fair-traded chocolates are easy to find. AB: You work to advocate for healthier choices in the school systems; where do you see the future of the American diet heading?

Alison Burgos: How have vegan desserts evolved over the past twenty years? Fran Costigan: Twenty-five years ago, when I left my position as a pastry chef in a traditional establishment, vegan desserts were largely uncharted territory. The few vegan desserts I found in markets or the occasional restaurant were heavy, gummy, or dry and looked awful. As a classically trained pastry chef, I understood the importance of foundational pastry technique and using quality ingredients, but the early vegan desserts seemed to disregard both. I understood why my professional colleagues were rolling their eyes at me, believing that “vegan pastry chef” was an oxymoron and that an “excellent vegan dessert” was a contradiction in terms. Contrast that with today’s modern, refined, and unapologetically delicious vegan desserts. Technique, proper recipes, and excellent ingredients have made possible vegan desserts that are as good as, and often better than, their traditional counterparts, from simple puddings, cookies, and brownies to more elegant desserts like L’Opera Gateau, silken Chocolate Truffles, Lemon Tart, Crème Brulee. Today, instead of having to defend vegan desserts as worthy of trying, I have to convince people that the dessert they are swooning over is in fact vegan! The tide has shifted to the point that the majority of the requests I get for consulting, demonstrations, and classes are from culinary professionals who realize vegan desserts are the answer for everyone, whether or not dietary consideration is an issue.

FC: I am proud of the accomplishments of Coalition for Healthy School Food and serve on the advisory board. We helped two schools transition to fully vegetarian menus—the first public schools in the country to do so. Attendance and grades are up, BMI’s are down, and standardized test scores rank notably high. Our plant-based family dinners raise the food literacy of the parents too. With statistics showing an epidemic of very young, very unhealthy children, there is an exponentially growing movement to reverse the trend. I believe the American diet is heading towards a healthier whole foods, plant-based diet.

Fran Costigan, internationally renowned as the authority on vegan desserts, is a professionally trained pastry chef, culinary instructor, and author. She teaches her unique Vegan Baking Boot Camp Intensive and other distinctive courses at the Institute of Culinary Education, Natural Gourmet Institute, major corporations including Google, and culinary events worldwide. Author of Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts and More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts Naturally.

AB: For an aspiring home baker, what are the basics they should stock in their pantry? FC: Many of the staples used in vegan desserts are found in any baker’s pantry. For a more complete list, see the Introductory Chapter in my book, Vegan Chocolate. Flours: organic all-purpose, whole-wheat pastry flour Cocoa: alkalized and non-alkalized Organic granulated sugars (cane, coconut) Aluminum-free baking powder, baking soda PHOTO (top left): Charles Kaszytski



Interview: Alison Burgos

Mark Reinfeld The Male Equivalent to a Plant-Based Rachael Ray, Author of Vegan Fusion World Cuisine, Dishes on the Power of Plants to Heal and Transform Lives and Restore Health, Essential Tools for the Kitchen, and Advice for Budding Food Authors.

Alison Burgos: What are you most proud of? Mark Reinfeld: I would say that I am most proud of the impact my Vegan Fusion culinary workshops and trainings have upon the students who take my courses. These events attract people from all walks of life and all age groups, from classically trained chefs to those just learning how to cook, from teenagers to retirees. It is profound for me to see how lives are transformed when people are empowered with greater confidence and creativity in the kitchen. It’s like the old adage, "Give a person a piece of tofu and feed them for a day; show them how to bake the tofu and feed them for a lifetime." I am continually inspired by the testimonials I receive that prove to me the power that plants have to heal and transform our lives. People are taking their health back into their own hands, reversing diabetes and heart disease, lowering their cholesterol levels to normal, attaining their ideal weight without dieting, and raising healthy vegan kids. The list goes on. I see the ripple effect of these healthy food choices and how they positively impact the students, their families, communities, and future generations. This is the way of life that veganfusion.com



creates a sustainable future and preserves the earth's resources, including our water, land, and rain forests. It is also the solution to alleviating world hunger and creating a more peaceful planet. AB: What are the most important cooking tools one should have in their kitchen? MR: I recommend starting with a good knife and a cutting board that you enjoy using. I like ceramic knives and bamboo cutting boards. Build your kitchen gear over time as your means allow. Having a strong blender and a food processor will open up many new dishes for you. Gadgets like a citrus juicer, garlic press, microplane zester, and a finger peeler make life in the kitchen more fun. For those serious about raw food preparation, consider investing in a dehydrator. AB: What advice would you give an aspiring cookbook author? MR: I encourage everyone to follow their passion. The publishing world is changing dramatically. Traditional publishers typically look for a large following, and a strong marketing strategy, before seriously considering a proposal. With so many self-publishing options available now, many authors can

get started by creating a blog and sharing their recipes and food photos with the world. Continue to network, learn some social media strategies, and over time you can build your fan base. Once published, your book can serve as a business card, and as part of a larger personal platform. AB: Finish the sentence: Food is…. MR: Food is art. Food is medicine. Eating food is a universal activity that unites humanity. Art, music, and culture also unite humanity. But without food, there can be no art, music, or culture. I feel that if we bring mindfulness, compassion, and consciousness into such a core human activity, our food choices, it will create a ripple effect that will restore balance to our planet.

Mark is a Miami-based, multi-award-winning author and chef with over twenty years’ experience preparing creative vegan and raw food cuisine. He is the author or coauthor of six cookbooks, including Vegan Fusion World Cuisine, winner of a Gourmand Award for “Best Vegetarian Cookbook in the USA.” Mark offers culinary workshops and chef trainings internationally and online.

Author Photo: Elyse Butler

“Food is medicine. Eating is a universal activity that unites humanity.�



Drastic detox plans don ’ t usually leave you with a new set of habits that you can maintain, so I prefer a more moderate ‘everyday’ approach to detoxing.”

Interview: Alison Burgos

Megan Gilmore Creator of

Detoxinista On Tips for Your First Detox, Three Must-Have Kitchen Gadgets, and Creating Easy Delicious Recipes on the Go

Alison Burgos: What inspired you to create Detoxinista?

AB: Any tips for someone doing their first detox?

Megan Gilmore: I’m passionate about food and nutrition, so I wanted to make healthy living more accessible by sharing healthy recipes that don’t taste “healthy.” I think a lot of people are still under the misconception that healthy food doesn’t taste as good as traditional recipes, or that it’s more expensive and difficult to prepare. I’m on a mission to prove that’s not the case. As a working mom, everything I make has to be as quick and easy as possible—and most importantly, it has to taste good! It’s my hope that these recipes will work for other busy individuals and families, too.

MG: Make small changes that are easy enough for you to do every day, such as starting your morning with a green smoothie or cutting out your daily soda. Drastic detox plans don’t usually leave you with a new set of habits that you can maintain, so I prefer a more moderate “everyday” approach to detoxing. When you increase your intake of fresh produce while gradually reducing your consumption of processed foods, you’ll naturally support your body’s detox organs and enjoy lasting results.

AB: What are three must-have gadgets for a home kitchen? MG: A high-speed blender, a ceramic chef’s knife, and a microplane. I use my Vitamix at least twice a day to make my family’s smoothies and salad dressings, and I love how a good ceramic knife always stays sharp, so you don’t have to worry about it slipping when slicing vegetables. I tend to use fresh garlic and ginger daily, so I use the microplane to quickly mince it seamlessly into dishes.




AB: You have thousands of followers on your blog; are there any blogs that you follow? MG: I love Oh She Glows and Choosing Raw. I’ve followed both Angela and Gena for years, and I love their sensible approach to healthy living and their creative plant-based recipes!

Megan Gilmore is the creator of Detoxinista.com and recently released her first cookbook, Everyday Detox. She is a certified nutritionist consultant and her recipes have been featured in The Guardian, as well as Shape and Clean Eating magazines.

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Crafting the

Future of Food Chef Matthew Kenney One of the Top Raw Food Chefs in the World and a Leader in the Plant-Based Lifestyle Movement, with Multiple Best-Selling Cookbooks, creating innovative recipes and pioneering food aesthetics.

Interview: Alison Burgos



How a Raw Diet Changed His Life, Fixing a Broken Food System, and Transitioning from his Classical French Culinary Training to a Plant-Based Cuisine. MK: So much of this transition starts on a small scale with what we are doing in our restaurants and in our neighborhoods, and the decisions we make on a daily basis to support local farmers, engage in responsible practices, and source seasonal, organic ingredients when at all possible. This includes urban farming. In our restaurant Plant Food and Wine in Venice, California, we’re growing corn, peppers, zucchini, artichokes, herbs, tomatoes, and a variety of fruits, all of which are used in the kitchen. Making thoughtful decisions and surrounding oneself with a community of like-minded people working towards the same goal, and educating people along the way, will make huge strides in achieving a more sustainable, healthier planet.

Alison Burgos: When did you know you wanted to be a chef? Matthew Kenney: Growing up in Maine I’ve always had a huge interest in nature and in food; many of my earliest memories involve foraging and picking wild strawberries and other fruits with my family. My first summer job was washing dishes in a restaurant. I fell in love with restaurant work and the people who work in the kitchen. I developed an interest in eating healthy food and improving my health, even at a young age. I continued to learn about new foods and ingredients I had never seen before in my young life. I knew my future was in food, I enrolled in the French Culinary Institute in New York, and I never looked back. AB: You have a classical French culinary training and opened several of your own highly acclaimed restaurants, receiving awards including America’s Best New Chef and two James Beard nominations early in your career. You then had a transformative experience that has brought you to your life today, one of the world’s leading plant-based raw chefs, an author and entrepreneur. Can you share a few lessons discovered on your journey? MK: Transitioning to a raw food diet changed everything about my life. For me, it was much more than just what I was eating. I felt better, I had more energy, my overall health improved, I found new inspiration in my career, and I wanted to share this discovery with many more people. This is part of the reason opening a raw foods culinary academy is such an important part of this work. I’m able to reach so many more through teaching, and our students at Matthew Kenney Culinary go on to teach their communities and cultures about plant-based cuisine. Throughout my career I learned to keep an open mind and embrace new possibilities. I was skeptical of raw food before my having my first raw food meal myself. I learned to find inspiration in unsuspecting places. I learned to take risks and to surround myself with good people who challenge me to reach new levels each and every day. AB: Our food system is broken. How are we as a society going to create solutions to create a conscious and sustainable way to feed the world?


AB: Your brand is constantly growing and evolving; what’s new at Matthew Kenney Cuisine?

Transitioning to a raw food diet changed everything about my life. I felt better, I had more energy, and my overall health improved.

MK: It’s been a very busy summer; we’ve just launched a brand new restaurant, Plant Food and Wine in Venice, California. This restaurant has been a passion project of mine. The setting is truly magical, with a large outdoor courtyard, edible garden, and the flagship location of our culinary academy is located upstairs. It’s wonderful to have our restaurant guests and students working together in our combined mission to craft the future of food. We’ve also just opened MAKE OUT, a plantbased café in Culver City, Los Angeles. Our academy in Thailand has just opened as well. Looking forward, our brand new restaurant, White Lotus, is opening in Miami in winter 2015/2016, and the academy onsite there will be open in November. This is a very exciting time for our team.

Matthew Kenney is the world’s leading raw food chef, the writer of several best-selling cookbooks, a culinary educator, speaker, and an entrepreneur specializing in the plant-based lifestyle. He has authored 12 books, including his memoir Cooked Raw: How One Celebrity Chef Risked Everything to Change the Way We Eat, released in January 2015. Kenney has been honored with a James Beard Foundation Rising Star Chef nomination and was named Food and Wine Magazine's 1994 Best New Chef.

” Photo: Erica Rae Brown



HOT Plant-Based CHEFS their Favorite Cooking Secrets





Charles Grippo Chef/Owner, Green Bar + Kitchen Growing up in an Italian household, flavor was in our DNA. As I matured I tried to understand how to layer flavors, making my cooking taste better. Depth of flavor that makes you want to have more. Like smelling cookies baking in an oven turns us all into a child for a split second. The goal for me is get to a dish that I call a “holy shit!” The feeling that you have to have more or a second, third, and fourth time. It’s the “crave factor.” The savory mouth-filling taste (also known as Umami). Layering or capturing Bitter, Sour, Salt, and Sweet can really amplify your dishes. I highly recommend The Vegetarian Flavor Bible to help learn more about complementing and pairing flavors. GreenBarKitchen.com

The goal for me is get to a dish that I call a “holy shit!” —Charles Grippo

Jess Rice

Owner/Chef, Avo Resturant Gourmet raw food is a labor of love; all of the recipes are time-consuming. My advice to home cooks: if you are throwing a dinner party, consider your menu well in advance. Preserving your own lemons for a vinaigrette or making seasonal kimchi from scratch can take your menu to the next level, but forethought is essential. EatAvo.com Photo: Emily Dorio F O RETH O UGHT



HOT Plant-Based CHEFS THEIR Favorite Cooking Secrets Rachel Best

Executive Chef. Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant The key to using shredding zucchini in fritters and pancakes is to pull the moisture out of the squash. Shred the zucchini and salt heavily. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes in a colander. After 30 minutes, squeeze the zucchini with your hands and then with paper towels to get all the excess water out. Now the zucchini will not make your fritters and pancakes soggy. LeafVegetarianRestaurant.com z u cc h i n i

“ You can even grow one or two herbs in pots, snipping only what you need. It’s like free food. —Ellen Kanner

Ellen Kanner Syndicated Columnist: The Edgy Veggie

Two words—fresh herbs. Nothing ups your game in the kitchen more. Using fresh herbs in your recipes ramps up the flavor effortlessly. It’s like your dinner on HD. Fresh herbs are a world away from their dried, jarred, tasteless counterparts. You can taste the life force in them and they feed it right back to you. We’ve used fresh herbs for culinary and curative purposes for centuries. You can even grow one or two herbs in pots, snipping only what you need. It’s like free food. Ellen-Ink.com FRESH




Chef Hiram Camillo Private Chef I don’t have any secrets, but the following tips have served me well. Use great ingredients, taste as you go, never stop learning or asking questions, turn up the music, fill your glass, enjoy your time in the kitchen, and most importantly, check your ego at an extended stay and never come back for it! HiramCamillo.com TASTE

Angela Lowe




Chef Angela Lowe Catering + Events When deciding to have a dinner party, keep things simple. Don’t overthink it all. Be daring. The strangest and most magical things happen when you play and approach cooking as an art form. Just do what you feel without the implied rules attached. Also, when you chop fresh herbs toss a bit of salt onto them whilst on the cutting board to keep them from bouncing around. ChefAngelaLowe.com Photo: Amy Postle B E




HOT Plant-Based CHEFS THEIR Favorite Cooking Secrets

Patty Wiedenhoeft Executive Chef, Cider Press CafÉ As a big advocate of farmers markets, I feel that all cooks, both professional and aspiring, should shop for local and seasonal produce. Building your recipes based on seasonality will highly enhance flavor profiles and allow for sustainability. My secret is shop first and build the recipe later. CiderPressCafe.com s e a s o n a l i t y

Building your recipes based on seasonality will highly enhance flavor profiles and allow for sustainability. —Patty Wiedenhoeft

Shane + Marie S+M Vegan We keep a variety of dried mushrooms in our pantry. We add them to stocks for a deeper flavor, and to stews and risottos for richness and texture. Powdered, they are a great addition to any dish or sauce that needs an umami boost when there’s no time to make a stock first. Powdered mushrooms also add a great touch to a finished dish. Also try sprinkling porcini powder over freshly made savory doughnuts! SnMVegan.com Photo: S+M Vegan d r i e d



m u s h r oo m s

SUNCAFE: LOS ANGELES SunCafe would not be the same without our local farmers. The LAFungHi Sauté was created in collaboration with Dirk Hermann, local mushroom forager and owner of LAFungHi. Dirk has the best selection of foraged mushrooms in LA and can be found at farmers markets throughout the city. Dirk & Chef Chris discussed how lobster mushrooms give a pleasant shellfish taste and pair well with corn and fennel. A bed of baked and seared potato adds hardiness, and the sauté is finished with aromatics to match the sweetness of the corn—tarragon, fennel frond, and chive flower blossoms from Kenter Canyon Farms.

LAFungHi Sauté Serves


Mushrooms 8oz Lobster Mushroom sliced into ½ inch pieces 4oz Beech Mushrooms 4oz King Oyster Mushrooms sliced into ½ inch pieces

1 tablespoon Hepp’s lime salt 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil 1 tablespoon vegan butter Sauté lobster mushrooms in grapeseed oil, season with lime salt & finish with vegan butter.

Corn Sauce 3 tablespoons shallots, diced 3 tablespoons fennel bulb, diced 2 tablespoons garlic, chopped 8 tablespoons corn 1 cup white wine ½ cup cashew cheese 4 tablespoons fresh corn Sauté the shallots, fennel bulb, garlic, and first corn until onions are translucent. Deglaze with white wine, reduce by half, add cashew cheese. Allow to simmer 1-2 minutes. Puree until smooth, add fresh corn to finish.

Meanwhile, sauté

Roasted Potato

2 Large Russet Potatoes cut into halves (1 half per person) 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil Salt & pepper to taste Slow roast until soft, in a 275 degree oven for approximately 90 minutes. Pan sear with oil and season to taste. To Plate: Place the Russet Potato in the base of your favorite shallow bowl. Top the potato with the sautéed mushrooms. Spoon the corn puree over and around the potato and mushrooms. Arrange a generous amount of the selected herbs around the dish. Enjoy!



“You have to

put thought and purpose into what you feed your body as well as what you feed others.

Alison Burgos: Candle Cafe and sister restaurant Candle 79 have been staples in the NYC vegan community for thirty years, and you have been with them for over a decade. How have you evolved as a chef during these ten years? Angel Ramos: When I started at the Candle Cafe, our menu was much more simple. When we opened Candle 79, we wanted to create a menu that elevated vegan cuisine while still giving people the feeling of comfort they enjoyed at the cafe. Over the years, I’ve had to push myself to take our simple organic ingredients and turn them into creative and elegant dishes. AB: Favorite foods to cook with? AR: Whatever produce is in season. One of my favorite things to do is go to the green market and talk to the farmers. I love to get whatever new seasonal vegetable they have and plan a dish around it. Right now, because it’s summer, I’m using a lot of squash blossoms and fresh basil.

Interview: Alison Burgos

New York City’s Ico n i c R e s t a u r a n t Candle 79 [ I nterview wit h E x ec u tive C h e f A nge l R am o s ] on Cooking Seasonally, the Importance of a Vitamix, and Using Food to Heal candle79.com



AB: What are the most important cooking tools one should have in their kitchen? AR: A Vitamix because it is so versatile. You can make amazing sauces, dressings, and soups. Also I think every kitchen needs a sharp set of knives and a good sauté pan. AB: Finish the sentence: Food is... AR: Healing. The food you prepare and eat has such an effect on how we feel physically and emotionally. You have to put thought and purpose into what you feed your body as well as what you feed others.

Executive Chef Angel Ramos cultivated his talents for eight years at Candle Cafe. He then brought the innovative creations with him to Candle 79 and Candle Cafe West. Ramos has been acknowledged by the New York Times for his mastery of vegan organic cuisine. Chef Ramos has helped develop Candle Cafe Frozen Entrees, which are available nationwide, and is a coauthor of the Candle 79 Cookbook. PHOTO of chef angel ramos: Eric Marseglia



Katie Katie Higgins: on Six Million Monthly Viewers on Her Viral Food Blog, Baking Brownies in her Pajamas, and Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate Michelle Gaber: What inspired you to create ChocolateCovered Katie? Katie Higgins: Originally, it wasn’t meant to be a food blog at all. I started the site as a way to keep up with high school friends when we all went off to different colleges. However, as I wrote about my foodie adventures through Philadelphia, bloggers I’d never met began to leave comments on my site. I became friends with some of these food bloggers and eventually turned my own website into a food blog. And I soon realized that the recipes I most enjoyed baking and writing about were desserts! Chocolate is my favorite food, and I eat it in some form at least twice a day. MG: Funniest kitchen incident? KH: Oh there are so many. Forgetting soup on the stove while taking a shower, setting the microwave on fire by heating food wrapped in tin foil, starting the blender when the lid was not on. MG: Who in the food world do you most admire? What is going to be the next big thing in the food world? KH: I think that healthy eating is going to take center stage: not necessarily any one special diet, but just healthier eating in general. Already, we’re seeing consumers becoming more aware of what they’re eating and demanding companies be more forthcoming about their ingredients and practices. MG: What do you most love about your job? KH: EVERYTHING! I get to bake brownies in my pajamas...for a living! MG: What’s your go-to comfort food? KH: Brownies, chocolate bars, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate pudding, chocolate cream pie. Sense a theme? MG: Finish the sentence: Food is…. KH: Love. I’m Italian and therefore was raised to believe that food is so much more than fuel. Whenever I can’t find the right words, I show my love through food. chocolatecoveredkatie.com

“ MG: What’s your ‘Last Supper’ meal? Your ‘Death Row’ meal, as Anthony Bourdain puts it.

Whenever I can’t find the right words, I show my love through food.

KH: Roasted sweet potato piled with tahini, lentils, and caramelized onions. And maybe the dairy-free coffee chocolate chip ice cream recipe in my cookbook for dessert. On top of a homemade brownie and covered in chocolate fudge sauce. Chocolate on chocolate on chocolate. MG: What are you most proud of? KH: Having a book with my own name on it feels pretty fantastic! When I see it at Barnes and Noble or Whole Foods, I still have a hard time believing it’s really there.

Katie is the face behind Chocolate-Covered Katie, the popular blog with over six million monthly views from all over the world. She also recently published her first cookbook, Chocolate-Covered Katie: Over 80 Delicious Recipes That Are Secretly GOOD for You. PHOTO: Sara Kiesling




Brian L. Patton

C oo k boo k a u t h o r , blo g g e r . po d c a s t h o s t @ t h e s e x yv e g a n With a bounty of flavors, colors, and textures, not to mention a free pass to be a complete glutton and not be judged for it, Thanksgiving dinner is, hands down, my favorite meal of all time. The house is filled with aromas of sage, thyme, and mirepoix. It brings family together and signals the beginning of the holiday season, and mashed potatoes. TheSexyVegan.com Photo: Paul Von Rieter

Corey Mosier

T h e P l a n t i f u l B lo n d e @ pl a n t i f u lblo n d e My favorite meal is a Buddha Bowl: a go-to dish filled with various textures, colors, and flavors. No two are ever alike. I mix them up with fresh seasonal vegetables, which I sauté or steam on top of a brown rice-quinoa combo. Drizzle with spicy red pepper tahini dressing and grab a pair of chopsticks to devour the crunchy goodness. ThePlantifulBlonde.com

Consuelo Morcillo

There are so many topping options that it wouldn’t be hard to live on toast for the rest of my days.




Ho n e y a n d F i g s K i t c h e n @ h o n e y a n d f i g s blo g It’d have to be toast! There are so many topping options that it wouldn’t be hard to live on toast for the rest of my days. Ripe avocado, peanut butter and jelly, tomato + olive oil, homemade nutella. There are so many to choose from! Nothing better than freshly baked slices of homemade sourdough topped with the aforementioned. HoneyAndFigsKitchen.com


New Veganism Columnist Gena Hamshaw Author of Choosing Raw

Kale Salad with Kabocha Squash, Toasted Hazelnuts, and Pomeg ranate Seeds SERVES 4 Kale salads are so popular these days that it’s easy to take them for granted. But a great one can still be showstopping, as is the case here, in part thanks to the lively vinaigrette and tart, crimson pomegranate seeds. The creamy and colorful kabocha squash gives substance to the dish, so you can serve it as a filling appetizer or a lighter meal. This is an ideal salad for holiday entertaining, or just for brightening your table on a chilly winter night. 1 small kabocha squash (about 1 pound/450g), cut into 1.5-inch (4cm) pieces 4 tablespoons (60ml) olive oil Salt and pepper ½ cup (65g) hazelnuts 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon maple syrup 1 large bunch curly kale, stemmed and torn into bite-size pieces ¾ cup (130g) pomegranate seeds

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). 2. Toss the squash with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, then spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes, then stir well. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes longer, until tender. Let cool to room temperature. 3. Meanwhile, spread the hazelnuts in a small baking pan or pie plate and toast in the oven for 4 to 6 minutes, until golden. Check them frequently and remove them the moment they start to get brown. Let cool slightly, then rub the nuts between paper towels to help remove the skins. Coarsely chop the nuts. 4. Put the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a small bowl or cup. Add the lemon juice, mustard, maple syrup, and ¼ teaspoon of salt and whisk until well blended. Season with pepper.

5. Put the kale in a large bowl and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the dressing. Massage the dressing into the kale with your hands until the kale has a soft, almost wilted texture. Add the squash, hazelnuts, and pomegranate seeds and toss gently until all the ingredients are evenly coated. Taste and mix in more dressing if desired. 6. Divide the salad among four plates and serve. Stored in

a covered container in the fridge, any leftovers will keep for one day.

Gena Hamshaw has written the New Veganism column on Food52 since 2012; she is a certified clinical nutritionist and the author of the book Choosing Raw. She currently lives in New York City, where she is completing her master’s in nutrition at Columbia University, and leads workshops and cooking classes. FOOD52.com | photo: James Ransom



Interview: Alison Burgos

Authors of the New York Times-bestselling vegan cookbook Thug Kitchen

Matt Holloway and Michelle Davis

n e h c t i K g u h T On making healthy food for all, their new Party Grub cookbook, and having the courage to do it their way

Alison Burgos: You discuss in your first book the issues around healthy food accessibility for everyone. What can we do to change that in our local communities? Matt Holloway/Michelle Davis: There are so many things you can do. First, let businesses know that there is a demand for healthier options. Everybody wants to make some money, and if they know they can do that by stocking some greens alongside the chips at your corner market, they’ll fucking do it. Secondly, work with community leaders to get a weekly farmers market or stall set up that accepts cash, cards, and SNAP/EBT. Everybody should be able to get some farm fresh produce no matter how they pay. AB: When did you become plant-based/ vegan and what led you to that decision? MD: I have been vegan for twelve years now. I just never felt good about eating animal products since I was a kid. How am I supposed to relate to Wilbur and then eat that shit for dinner? I couldn’t compartmentalize like that. MH: I’ve been vegan for a few years now. Before, I’d never really felt “healthy” and I had indigestion so bad I took medication for years. When I cut meat and eventually dairy out of my diet, my indigestion disappeared almost overnight. After going plant-based, I felt such a drastic improvement in my body, mood, and overall well-being that I never fucking looked back. THUGKITCHEN.COM



AB: What is going to be the next big thing in the food world? MH/MD: Hopefully we’re moving away from that rarified air bullshit of using exotic ingredients and more toward making inventive dishes using everyday ingredients and tools. That shit is the real challenge. The food world needs to appeal more to the real world. Also, people are losing their goddamn minds for turmeric right now. So there’s that. AB: What are the most important cooking tools one should have in their kitchen? MH/MD: We’re used to cooking in tiny kitchens, so we like to keep shit simple: a good, sharp knife, a cutting board, a couple mixing bowls, box grater, a rimmed baking sheet, a fine mesh strainer, a couple of pots for boiling and sautéing, and a big spoon/spatula thing. Keep things basic and throw any extra cash at a badass knife. It makes all the difference. AB: What are the basics to stock a pantry? MH/MD: People ask us this a lot and we tell them again to stop overthinking shit. We keep all the basics stocked: dried and canned beans, some pasta, short grain brown rice, canned tomatoes, some olive oil, and some onions and garlic. Between all that shit and whatever spices you’ve got lying around you can always make some dinner even if the fridge is bare.

AB: Your first book hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list, which is a feat for a first-time author. What advice can you give to other aspiring cookbook authors? MH/MD: Don’t worry about whether or not everyone is going to love your work; they won’t, so just get over that shit right now. Make the book that you wanna read, with all the instructions, recipes, and photos you wish you had seen the first time you picked up a cookbook. Fuck trends and all that. Have the courage to do it your way. AB: You have a new book coming out in the fall; can you give us an idea of what we can expect? MH/MD: Our new book focuses on party food. Ya know, shit worth sharing. Just because you want to do right by your body doesn’t mean you need to be some outcast who can’t hang with the rest of your garbage-eating friends. Our second book shows you how to whip up some badass food that you won’t feel guilty eating or bringing to your cousin’s BBQ. Because if it’s delicious, nobody will give a damn what’s in it, even vegetables.

Matt Holloway and Michelle Davis are the authors of the New York Times-bestselling vegan cookbook Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook and Thug Kitchen: Party Grub, which will be released in October.

“Hopefully we’re moving away from that rarified air bullshit of using exotic ingredients and more toward making inventive dishes using everyday ingredients and tools. That shit is the real challenge.” THRIVE


Th u g K i tc he n

DEVILED CHICKPEA BITES M akes about 1 8 bites , enough for 4 to 6 people You’re not still fucking around with deviled eggs, are you? That app is more antiquated than your grandmother’s sweaty Jell-O salad and tastes just as boring. Try these delicious deviled motherfuckers and bring your buffet table into the twenty-first century in style. 1½ cups cooked chickpeas* 4 teaspoons white wine vinegar 2 tablespoons minced shallot or yellow onion 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon water 1 tablespoon nooch** 1¼ teaspoons Dijon mustard ¼ teaspoon salt ½ baguette, cut into slices no thicker than ½ inch 1 large cucumber, thinly sliced*** 1 bunch of chives, minced Paprika

1. To make the filling, throw the chickpeas, vinegar, shallot, oil, water,

nooch, mustard, and salt into a blender or food processor and let that shit run until it looks all creamy. If your machine sucks, add another tablespoon of water to get it going.

2.To assemble the bites, smear a little of the chickpea mix on the bread

slices so that the cucumbers stick, then place 2 slices of cucumbers on the bread so that the surface is mostly covered. Now you can just spoon 1½ tablespoons worth of the chickpea mix on the cucumber slices or you can use the lazy pastry bag method from our book and pile that shit on like you’re out to impress some motherfuckers.

3. Sprinkle the chives over the top and shake on some paprika for

looks. Serve within a couple hours of making so that the bread and cucumbers don’t get soggy. * One 15-ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed, is no problem ** Nutritional yeast. *** You can leave the skin on the cucumber if 1) It isn’t too waxy and 2) You’re down with that shit. Clearly, we are.

Iconic Los Angeles Plant-Based Restaurant

Gracias Madre Recipe: Chandra Gilbert, Executive Chef

Chilaquiles Roja or Verde [ Yield: Serves 4 ] It will help with the frying if your tortillas are a little dry. If they are fresh, cut them first, put them in a warm oven for a few minutes first to dry them out a bit, and then proceed. INGREDIENTS 1 dozen corn tortillas, preferably stale, or left out overnight to dry out a bit, quartered or cut into 6 wedges Rice bran oil Salt 1 ½ to 2 cups red chile sauce or salsa verde A few sprigs of cilantro Cashew crème Cilantro, chopped Chopped red onion Avocado, sliced or roughly chopped *Red chili sauce 4 dried ancho chilies 3 garlic cloves ½ teaspoon salt Take 4 dried ancho chilies, remove seeds, stems, and veins. Heat chilies lightly on a skillet on medium heat to draw out their flavor. Put chilies in a saucepan, pour boiling hot water over to cover. Let sit for 15 minutes. Add chilies, 2 garlic cloves, ½ teaspoon of salt, 1 ½ cups of chili soaking liquid to a blender. Hold down lid of blender tightly while blending. Blend until completely puréed. Strain through a mesh sieve into a frying pan to make the chilaquiles.

*Salsa verde 1 lb tomatillos 1 jalapeño 2 cloves garlic Put 1 lb tomatillos, husks removed, into a saucepan. Cover with water by an inch. Add 1 jalapeño, stems and seeds removed. Add 2 cloves garlic. Bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes until tomatillos have changed color and are cooked through. Use slotted spoon to remove tomatillos, jalapeño, and garlic to a blender. Add a cup of the cooking liquid. Blend until completely puréed. Add salt to taste. *Cashew crème 1 cup cashews soaked overnight and rinsed ½ cup water 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1 teaspoon salt Blend with ½ cup water, 2 tbsp. lemon juice, 1 tsp. salt in Vitamix or blender.

1. In a large sauté pan, coat pan generously with rice bran oil (¹/8 inch). Heat on medium high to high, and when the oil is quite hot, add the tortillas. Fry until golden brown. Remove tortillas and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to soak up excess oil. Sprinkle a little salt on the tortillas. Wipe pan clean of any browned bits of tortillas.

2. Add 2 tbsp oil to pan, and bring to high heat again. Add the salsa and let salsa cook for several minutes. If you have a few sprigs of cilantro, add them to the salsa. Then add the fried tortilla quarters to the salsa. Gently turn over the pieces of tortilla until they are all well-coated with salsa. Let cook for a few minutes more. 3. Remove from heat. Serve chilaquiles garnished with cashew crème, chopped cilantro, chopped red onion, avocado, and a lime wedge.



L o s A n ge l e s

Cafe Gratitude W h e r e E n t h u s i a s m i s C o n t a g i o u s a n d L ov e i s the Bottom Line. “Plant based” is presented a s a f oo d g e n r e , I n s t e a d o f Foo d Do g m a . W h e r e S a c r e d a n d C o m m e r c e C o m e To g e t h e r . Owner an d C I O , C h ie f I ns p irati o n O f f icer ,

R y l an d E nge l h art Lau nc h es Kiss t h e G ro u n d, His Ca l i f o rnia Hea lt h y S o i l s I nitiative

Maranda Pleasant: What is different about Café Gratitude? Ryland Engelhart: It’s a family business and our family is very committed to the practice of love, gratitude, and personal transformation. Hence the vibe of Café Gratitude. The Gratitude thing is not just a good marketing gimmick. It is what we have been practicing since I can remember. Seeing every circumstance as an opportunity to be grateful is a meditation. We see challenging customers as our “Zen Masters,” training us in unconditional love. The food is 100% organic and plant-based. We make almost everything from scratch. Meaning when you ask for a side of ketchup, it was made from fresh tomatoes stewed down the day before. When you get a side of almond milk for your coffee, that did not come out of a box, in fact two different varieties of almonds we soaked for 24 hours, then blended together and put through a hydraulic press, adding some local dates and sea salt to make a fresh creaming almond milk. We take our staff on farm retreats, bring 24 or so at a time to our 21-acre family farm in Vacaville, CA, giving them a full back-tothe-earth experience seeing what life on a




Regenerative Farm looks, feels, and tastes like. This also provides an experience of connection with founders, my parents who are also farmers. MP: Why do think Café Gratitude has been such a success? RE: 1. Consistently tasty, organic, everyday food. 2. As the context is gratitude and the employees practice “being present,” our customers feel welcome and seen. 3. Beautifully designed restaurants that make people feel comfortable and at home. 4. “Plant based” presented as a food genre, instead of food dogma. MP: What motivates the expansion of Café Gratitude? You’ve opened three new restaurants in one year. RE: We have an amazing team and everyone knows their roles, allowing us to move swiftly and harmoniously forward. We also love creating community; each restaurant is a new community that we get to participate in and witness lives being transformed. There are 60+ new employees in San Diego that are trying out two words in the same sentence for the first time, Sacred and Commerce. I once asked an employee after three weeks of employment what they were getting out

of their work experience. They said, “Before Café Gratitude I was never grateful and I didn’t know I had an internal dialogue.” Not bad for three weeks in a restaurant. The three restaurants that we will open in 2015: Café Gratitude Arts District, Little Italy San Diego, and Newport Beach. MP: What’s the Question of the Day? RE: Who do you want to acknowledge today? I want to acknowledge my mother for teaching me that enthusiasm is contagious and love is the bottom line. MP: How does Café Gratitude reach outside of the walls of the restaurants to make a difference in the community? RE: We started a nonprofit called Kiss The Ground. Our mission is to inspire and advocate for the restoration of soil worldwide. We are working to create awareness and consumer demand for the way we do agriculture, which can help reverse climate change. We have created a four-minute media piece called the “The Soil Story” that explains this in simple terms, and created a California Healthy Soils Initiative that urges the public to support government to allocate 160 million to rebuild California soil.


Seeing every circumstance as an opportunity to be grateful is a meditation.




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M O N M O N NOMG o N om Y o u rse l f w ith M ary M attern M a r y D i s h e s o n h e r f a vo r i t e r e s t a u r a n t s , w h y o r g a n i c i s e s s e n t i a l , s a v i n g a n i m a l s , a n d w h a t i t t oo k t o b e co m e a s e l f - m a d e , s u cc e s s f u l f e m a l e e n t r e p r e n e u r .

A Conversation with Kaiulani Kimbrell, Director & Co-Founder, Hollywood Food Guild

Kaiulani Kimbrell: Mary, you’re a beautiful woman, amazing chef, and a vegan inspiration, with a new book coming out!
 Will you tell us what got you passionate about food and being vegan?

disassociated from food and what I was putting in my body. Chicken the animal was not the same as the chicken I was eating. I also was not educated about nutrition in school (aside from the food pyramid) so I didn’t value food as fuel. Food was something you did three times a day in order to survive.

Mary Mattern: Thank you! You sure know how to make a girl blush! My passion for food came from going to the farmers market in Baltimore City every weekend. I wanted to stop wasting the produce I was buying. So I was determined to teach myself how to cook. Then, it just became the last thing I thought about when I went to bed and the first thing I thought about when I woke up. Everything in my life became centered on food and how I could create something different with vegetables. Soon after I taught myself how to cook I realized that I was eating a plant-based diet. Food was the main reason I said I could never go vegan. So after maintaining a vegan lifestyle almost accidently, I proved myself wrong. Once you see just how many options are out there for you, veganism becomes a lot less intimidating. It also makes you think about where your food actually comes from, and that’s the reason I’m passionate about veganism now. For the animals, who don’t need to be killed for our wants.

MM: One of the main questions to ask yourself is what do you want to be putting in your body? Ninety percent of chemicals used in agriculture have not been tested for longterm health effects. So why are we okay with putting it on our food that we eat? Aside from the risk that these chemicals are untested, it is ruining our environment and our food supply. GMOs and pesticides are not sustainable. These weeds and bugs that pesticides are trying to ward off are becoming immune to the chemicals, creating the need for even stronger, harsher chemicals. It is possible to feed the world organically and this is what we should be working on. Not how to ruin our crops until we can no longer farm.

KK: What was your relationship to food growing up?

KK: I know you recently moved to LA from the East Coast. What inspired that move?

MM: I didn’t have much of a relationship with food growing up. My mom made dinner almost every night, but I never really had an interest in cooking it with her. I was so

I did! I had been avoiding it for so many years. I’m an East Coast girl. I love seasons and being close to a variety of major cities. However, it became apparent very quickly

that LA is the place for me to be for work. I was traveling here once, sometimes twice, a month this past year that I just said, “Okay, it’s time.” New York and Baltimore will always be home to me, but Los Angeles has been welcoming and beautifully interesting so far. KK: Five favorite restaurants East or West Coast?

KK: Over 200 million pounds of pesticides are sprayed in the U.S. every year. When we’re talking about whole/plant-based foods (and all food, really), why is organic important?

MM: Crossroads in Los Angeles is my number one. Chef Tal to me is like Beyoncé to everyone else. I don’t say that lightly. I really respect his view on veganism and how we can really move forward. Voodoo Doughnut in Portland would be number two. Yes, it’s a restaurant because I would eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner there if I could. Three, I’d have to say Candle Cafe West in New York City, because I always leave there beyond satisfied. V Street in Philadelphia is number four. I haven’t eaten such creative food in a very long time. Last, but definitely not least, Woodland’s Vegan Bistro in DC. Imagine the most delicious soul food you could possibly think of and that’s Woodland’s. KK: What inspires you? MM: Many different things inspire me. First and foremost, saving the animals. As well as the cities I travel to, the farmers markets I go to, the farmers and people I talk to while I’m there, the music I listen to in the kitchen, there’s a lot of different factors that keep me really passionate about food. Chefs like Chad Sarno, Sean Brock, Hugh Acheson, Kristen Kish (and the list goes on...) inspire me to continue to create interesting food.

PHOTO: Christopher M. Perino



“ O u r f oo d h a b i t s a r e a t t h e co r e o f a lo t o f i s s u e s i n t h e wo r l d . E n v i r o n m e n t a lly , p h y s i c a lly a n d m e n t a lly .



“ D on ’ t

b e intimidated b y c oo k ing or v eganism . Both w i l l he l p yo u thin k more a b o u t w hat yo u eat .

you pair it with some lentil sausages. KK: What’s your hope for the book? What inspired it? MM: My hope for the book is that it inspires people to get into the kitchen and start cooking again. No matter what it is. I think home-cooked meals will lead to healthier lifestyles and people’s want for less processed foods. Honestly, the people who have been following me since the beginning were my biggest inspiration to do it. They wanted recipes so I started writing and once I started I couldn’t stop. Only recently have I made my website recipe friendly. I’m a personal chef so I didn’t have time to update the site often. This book is my favorite picks of all those recipes I wish I had the time to post. KK: I know you’re recently engaged, congratulations! So exciting! Is your fiancé vegan? What his favorite thing you make?

KK: What’s your favorite place or thing about nature? MM: My favorite place would have to be the Ramapo Mountains. I spent a good part of my childhood hiking them with my mom, siblings, and friends. It’s absolutely gorgeous. There’s also something wonderful about being in the mountains less than an hour away from New York City. KK: If you could do one thing to change or evolve this world, what would it be? MM: There is a laundry list of things that need to change in our world in order to even be a future for evolution. I would change the way we view food and the value of where it comes from. Our food habits are at the core of a lot of issues in the world: environmentally, physically, and mentally. KK: I ask this question lightly, knowing life is full of surprises, but for today, where do you see yourself in five years?

KK: You’re a self-made, successful female entrepreneur. What’s one habit or routine that you think has helped you succeed? MM: 
Doing what you truly believe is right and not listening to anyone that tells you that you can’t do something or you’re doing it wrong. The only thing you can regret when it comes to living your dream is not listening to yourself. KK: Can you give us a sneak peek into your new book: Simple Vegan Cooking coming out in the fall? What can we expect?
 MM: Absolutely. These are the recipes that I documented when I first became vegan and started cooking. I thought if I could document my journey into veganism that it would help others that may be going through the same struggle I was. At the same time, I wanted it to be recipes people would make and their meat and dairy eating friends would go, “There’s no way this is vegan.”

MM: Thank you so much! I feel like the luckiest girl on the planet. My fiancé, Andrew, eats a 100% plant-based diet and does not consume any products tested on animals. However, because he is in the United States Marine Corps, it’s hard to label him vegan by definition. As far as food goes, I feel like the more appropriate question would be what’s my favorite thing that he makes. He’s a fantastic cook and makes delicious meals with very little space and equipment on base. We both love and appreciate food, but we definitely differ in favorite foods. He gets excited about kale bowls and I get excited about doughnuts. KK: If you could give Thrive readers one piece of advice, what would it be? MM: Find out what you’re passionate about and make it your life. You won’t regret looking for it. The satisfaction you feel when you find it is worth it. KK: What does “thriving” mean to you? MM: It stands for when someone is growing at an advance rate and living up to his or her full potential.

KK: What’s your favorite recipe in the book? MM: I can only hope I’m still writing cookbooks and cooking for really interesting and wonderful people. Also, doing talks to educate people on the benefits of a vegan lifestyle. Most importantly, just remain healthy and happy. Possibly open a café that just serves coffee and sandwiches, my two favorite things. Lunch all day.

MM: Deep Fried Guacamole. It’s probably the most difficult recipe in the book because it’s so fragile, but it’s well worth the mess. Oh! Or the Gingerbread French Toast. I love breakfast and there’s no better breakfast food than French toast with fresh fruit on top. Really though, it makes an excellent dinner too if

KK: Anything else you want to say to Thrive readers? MM: Don’t be intimidated by cooking or veganism. Both will help you think more about what you eat. KK: Mary, you’re the best. Thank you, sister!

PHOTOs: Mary Mattern



It’s the

! om N

G r i ll e d P e a c h K a l e S a l a d w i t h Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette Makes



Salad 1 white peach, or your local peach, sliced and pitted 2 cups kale, massaged and chopped ½ cup edamame, cooked 2 figs, quartered Vinaigrette ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil ¼ cup rice wine vinegar 2 cloves garlic, chopped 2 tablespoons agave nectar 2 tablespoons ginger, minced 1 teaspoon sesame oil Turn grill on high and sear peaches on both sides. Put all vinaigrette ingredients in a blender, and blend on high until smooth. Place kale on plate, followed by edamame, figs, then grilled peaches. Drizzle with vinaigrette and enjoy!




R a w C oco n u t M u s h r oo m So u p Makes



2 young coconuts (meat and water) 1 teaspoon chili powder 1 clove garlic, diced 3 teaspoons fresh lime juice 1 date, soaked 1 tablespoon tahini 1 tablespoon liquid aminos 1 teaspoon ginger, shredded 1 stalk fresh lemongrass, cut in ½-inch pieces 1 cup white button or shiitake mushrooms, sliced ½ cup carrots, shredded ½ cup edamame, shelled ¼ cup fresh cilantro or ½ cup green onion In a blender, put coconut, chili powder, garlic, lime juice, date, tahini, liquid aminos, and ginger. Blend until smooth. Place in container with lemongrass and refrigerate for 1 hour. Top with mushrooms, carrots, edamame, and cilantro or green onion. Enjoy!





It’s the

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ALBUM COVER : Avery Publishing Group



Chef and Author Tal Ronnen { Crossroads: The Restaurant that is Reinventing Vegan Cuisine }

Advice For the Home Cooking Enthusiast and the Next Big Thing in the Food World. Interview: Alison Burgos




Tal Ronnen

“I try to learn in the moment. I take in each project, focus on it, and enjoy it while it’s happening.” Alison Burgos: When did you know you wanted to be a chef? Tal Ronnen: Probably in my early twenties. I had started eating a plant-based diet and was endlessly frustrated that the only dishes I could order in restaurants were side dishes. Even those were bland and texture-less. At that time, you couldn’t even buy frozen veggie burgers. They came in a box—you had to mix the contents with water and form it into patties—so you can imagine how they tasted. I wanted to be able to prepare dishes that were actually enjoyable. It inspired me to learn how to cook, and I was pretty serious about it right away. AB: Best piece of advice you would give a home cooking enthusiast? TR: Keep it basic: learn basic cooking techniques, read through the entire recipe before shopping for ingredients, measure ingredients out in advance, prepare component parts of recipes ahead of time. When you’re comfortable with basic cooking techniques, you’ll cook more often. And when you’ve prepped your ingredients ahead of time, the actual cooking process will take less time. For example, with the rapini in the book, if you make the black garlic vinaigrette ahead of time and roast the

broccolini ahead of time, finishing the dish will only take five minutes. Choose a dish that you’re excited to make. AB: What is going to be the next big thing in the food world? TR: Chefs are, across the board, starting to embrace more plant-based food through ideas like Meatless Mondays. Growing food is becoming increasingly difficult. Using water and grain to feed animals before turning the animals into food is less efficient than using plant-based resources to feed people directly. As more chefs and consumers recognize this trend, they’ll become more motivated to pursue better plant-based food ideas. AB: What’s your go-to comfort food? TR: A fresh piece of focaccia dunked in Scoty’s marinara sauce—we make it at the restaurant just about every day, and it’s amazing. I’m excited that we get to share that recipe in the new cookbook so people outside of Los Angeles will be able to taste it. AB: What are you most proud of?

I try to learn in the moment. I take in each project, focus on it, and enjoy it while it’s happening. Right now I’m particularly proud of the Crossroads cookbook, Crossroads: Extraordinary Recipes from the Restaurant that is Reinventing Vegan Cuisine. My hope is that it will elevate plant-based cooking while also appealing to everyday home cooks. AB: You’re consulting at Wynn and Encore, you’re co-founder of Kite Hill, you have Crossroads and numerous other projects. How are you able to juggle everything? TR: For me, it’s about putting together teams that I can trust. The restaurant, Crossroads, is my main focus, and I’m there just about every night. But I’ve worked with Scot Jones [executive chef at Crossroads] so closely for so many years that when I do travel, I don’t have to worry about leaving the restaurant in his hands. It’s the same way with Kite Hill. That’s a 26,000-square-foot facility in Hayward, CA, and I only visit it once a month because Jean Prevot (COO, Kite Hill Cheese) runs it so well. There are always exciting things going on at Kite Hill.

TR: Whatever it is I’m currently working on, whether it’s a new dish or a new restaurant. PHOTOS: Lisa Romerein




Scot Jones: EXECUTIVE C H E F “Being able to shop at local farmers markets in Southern California, for me it’s like being a kid in a candy store. Always beautiful finds that spark a fresh perspective.”

Alison Burgos: As executive chef at Crossroads, which has a legendary reputation, how do you keep the menu and food fresh and innovative? Scot Jones: We change our menu with the seasons, meaning that at least four times a year we reset the menu. Tal and I both feed off our love of Mediterranean food. I am classically trained in Northern Italian cooking and California has a similar climate to Italy so there’s a lot of natural inspiration. Being able to shop at local farmers markets in Southern California, for me it’s like being a kid in a candy store. Always beautiful finds that spark a fresh perspective. AB: What do you most love about your job? SJ: The instant gratification of our customers’ response to our cooking, as well as loving doing my job every day. For me, that comes down to two things: being a chef and teaching my staff. AB: What’s your go-to comfort food? SJ: Pasta. I LOVE PASTA! If I could choose my last meal, that would be it. AB: Finish this sentence: Food is... SJ: my life! PHOTOS: Lisa Romerein





Baby parsnips are so tender that you don’t even need to peel them. They have a sharp flavor reminiscent of parsley’s and become sweet when roasted. In this winter dish, they are drizzled with a glaze of maple syrup, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and a splash of vinegar. Chanterelle mushrooms add a woodsy flavor. 24 baby parsnips, trimmed, or 8 regular parsnips, root ends trimmed and peeled 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper ¼ cup pure maple syrup 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes 2 tablespoons Earth Balance butter stick 1 shallot, minced 2 garlic cloves, minced ½ pound chanterelles, wiped clean, quartered if large Finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish Flaked sea salt, such as Maldon

1. To prepare the parsnips: Preheat the oven to 400°F. 2. If using larger parsnips, peel and quarter them lengthwise so the pieces will be uniform in size and cook more evenly. Put the parsnips

in a large mixing bowl, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the oil, season with kosher salt and black pepper, and toss to coat evenly. Spread the parsnips out in a single layer on a large baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time, until tender and slightly charred. Set aside. (The roasted parsnips can be prepared a couple of hours in advance, covered, and held at room temperature. Reheat before serving.)

3. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze: Combine the maple syrup, vinegar, and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, swirling the pan around occasionally, until the mixture is reduced and syrupy, about 10 minutes. Cover and hold warm.


To prepare the mushrooms: Put a large sauté pan over medium heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the butter substitute. When the butter substitute has melted, add the shallot and sauté until soft but not browned, about 1 minute. Add the garlic, tossing to combine. Add the mushrooms and sauté, stirring frequently, until they lose their moisture, soften, and begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

5. To serve: Crisscross the parsnips on a platter, overlapping them just slightly. Drizzle with the maple glaze and top with the mushrooms. Scatter chopped parsley on top and season with flaked sea salt.

Excerpted from Crossroads by Tal Ronnen with Scot Jones, (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2015

PHOTO: Lisa Romerein

REAL FOOD DAILY: LOS ANGELES R ea l F o o d F o r E ver y o ne : A nn G entr y

Yucatán Yam Picante Serv es




[ m ak e s 1 2 c u ps ]

Heat the oil in a heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic, coriander, cumin, and crushed red pepper and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the celery, bell peppers, and 2 teaspoons of the salt and sauté until the vegetables begin to soften, about 12 minutes. Cut three-fourths of the yams into about 1-inch chunks and add them to the soup. Stir in the water, coconut milk, and basil. Bring to a boil over high heat then decrease the heat to medium and simmer until the yams are very soft, about 30 minutes.

2 tablespoons olive oil 1 large onion, coarsely chopped 3 cloves garlic, chopped 2 teaspoons ground coriander 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon dried crushed hot red pepper 3 celery stalks, chopped 2 red bell peppers, coarsely chopped 2 teaspoons fine-grained sea salt 2 pounds garnet yams or red-skinned sweet potatoes, peeled 8 cups water 1 (13.5 ounce) can unsweetened lite coconut milk 2 teaspoons dried basil ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until it is smooth. Return the soup to the pot and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, cut the remaining one-fourth of the yams into ½-inch cubes and add them to the pureed soup. Simmer until the yams are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the cilantro. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve. The soup will keep for 2 days, covered and refrigerated, or 1 month frozen. To re-warm, bring the soup to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally and adding water to thin the soup to desired consistency.

PHOTO: Sara Remington





















FOODIES Their Inspiration + Passion photo: Gina Kamburowski



JenniferRose Rossano

Fo u n d e r o f N e u r o t i c Mo m m y @ N e u r o t i cMo m m y

What inspires me most is my son. Because of him and becoming a mom I’ve found my passion to inspire others to make healthy life changes for themselves and their children. We have to lead by example for the next generation. Being or living healthy isn’t a style or trend, it’s just life and we all deserve that. Knowledge is power, right!? NeuroticMommy.com

Margaret Chapman

The Plant Strong Vegan @PlantStrongVegan

I’m passionate about creating good food that’s good for you. I believe that we feel and perform our best when nourished properly. I will always strive to uphold that belief through the countless recipes I create and share online. ThePlantStrongVegan.com

Being or living healthy isn’t

a style or trend, it’s just life and we all deserve that.

—JenniferRose Rossano



Maya Sozer

Dreamy Leaf @ t h e d r e a m yl e a f There is an extraordinary amount of talent out there that continues to inspire, teach, and humble me every single day. There is no shortage of amazing vegan food and amazing photography. The vegan world also shows me how passionate and loving people really can be towards animals, proving that better, humane days are to come. DreamyLeaf.com


Sophie MacKenzie

W h ol e h e a r t e d E a t s @ w h ol e h e a r t e d e a t s

I am passionate about eating as simply, as locally, as harm-free, and as natural as possible. I strongly believe that healthy food doesn’t have to be bland and boring! I want the food I eat to make me and others feel amazing while being out of this world delicious! WholeHeartedEats.com Photo: Margarita Garcia

Leslie Durso

There is no greater love I can give than nourishing someone's body and

soul with food that not only tastes delicious, but makes them a

healthier person inside and out. —LESLIE DURSO

Vegan Chef and Healthy Living Expert @LeslieDurso

Being Italian, most of my love comes in the form of feeding people. There is no greater love I can give than nourishing someone’s body and soul with food that not only tastes delicious, but makes them a healthier person inside and out. I’m also passionate about living a cruelty-free life through diet and lifestyle. Being healthy is not just what we put in our bodies, but what we put on it and how we treat the world around us. LeslieDurso.com Photo: Laura Grier/Beautiful Day Photography



McKel Hill

C r e a t o r o f N u t r i t i o n S t r i pp e d @ n u t r i t i o n s t r i pp e d The Nutrition Stripped community inspires me every single day! I love being able to connect with people all over the globe over healthy food that truly nourishes the body. It’s also fun and challenging to incorporate my nutrition expertise into making really innovative food that tastes delicious, is simple, healthy, and can be appreciated globally. NutritionStripped.com

Gena Hamshaw

A u t h o r , C h oo s i n g R a w @ c h oo s i n g r a w I’m passionate about creating vegan food that is as healthy as it is enticing and delicious! ChoosingRaw.com Photo: Jeff Skeirik

Kim-Julie Hansen

Fo u n d e r a n d C o n t e n t C r e a t o r , Brussels Vegan + Best of Vegan @bestofvegan | @brusselsvegan I am most passionate about showing people that vegan food is not only the most nutritious, but also the most delicious food out there, and that going vegan is by no means a sacrifice, but rather a wonderful journey that benefits everyone. BrusselsVegan.com



“going vegan is

by no means a sacrifice,

but rather a

wonderful journey

that benefits everyone. —KIM-JULIE HANSEN


I teach others how we

can have our cake

and eat it too! —LIANA WERNER-GRAY

Liana Werner-Gray

Fo u n d e r / A u t h o r O F T h e E a r t h D i e t @TheEarthDiet

I absolutely love assisting people in transitioning away from junk foods to natural lifestyle. I teach others how we can have our cake and eat it too! As long as we are getting nutrition from our favorite foods like raw chocolate, raw cookie dough, and cashew cheesecake, for example. I am passionate about enjoying completely nourishing nutrient-rich foods and drink every single day to ensure the body is getting a strong foundation of nutrition. Six years ago, my goal became to achieve consistent health, instead of binge eating on junk foods. TheEarthDiet.com | LianaWernerGray.com Roxxe NYC Photography

Julie Morris

Earthy Andy

S u p e r f oo d C h e f + B e s t s e ll i n g A u t h o r @ s u p e r f oo d j u l e s

Plant-Based Hawaii @earthyandy

I am passionate about creating recipes that taste indulgent but are abundantly healthy and teaching others how to empower themselves in the kitchen through creating this superfoodinfused cuisine for themselves.

I have struggled with health my entire life. That is, until I became a plantbased vegan. My whole life has changed as a result. I live on the beautiful Island of Hawaii with my two beautiful boys and wonderful husband and I am able to enjoy my entire life on a new level thanks to changing what foods I allow to enter my mouth! I love food and now it loves me back! Aloha.

JulieMorris.net Photo: Oliver Barth

Photo: Amber Mozo



Gina Kamburowski

Goo d L i v i n g i s Gl a m @ g oo d l i v i n g i s g l a m I am most passionate about sharing my holistic wellness philosophy with my growing social communities, and also learning from my followers and people I follow. Every day I wake up thinking about what dishes and ingredients I want to explore, I consider what will resonate within my community, and then the fun begins. I brainstorm about how to capture it in the most beautiful, unique yet minimalist way possible. GoodLivingIsGlam.com Photo: Gina Kamburowski

Kate Lewis

Foo d + t r a v e l p h o t o g r a p h e r / f oo d s t yl i s t @_kate_lewis While being a photographer and stylist by day and recipe tester and developer by night, I really get to focus on my loves of natural, cruelty-free whole foods. In my blog and social media I enjoy sharing my passions for traveling, good health, and most importantly, kindness to the earth and its animals. kk-Lewis.com



Kristin Lajeunesse

W i ll T r a v e l f o r V e g a n Foo d @ w t f v e g a n f oo d I am passionate about food and travel. I fell in love with food after becoming vegan, specifically, finding places to dine out, wherever I may be, and have always lusted after the gifts I’ve come to associate with travel—revitalized creativity, personal growth, and comfort-zone-pushing. wtfveganFood.com | KristinlaJeunesse.com Photo: Phillips Payson


Jason Wrobel

C h e f + C oo k i n g C h a n n e l T V Ho s t @ J AS O N W R O B E L

Innovation, simplicity, and improvisation inspire me, which, coincidentally, I feel are all necessary components of any successful creative endeavor. In particular, good food requires all of these skills along with the courage to attempt new ideas and the daring to be great! JasonWrobel.com Photo: Jackie Sobon

I went from eating a paleo diet to a raw vegan diet high in fruit and it has

transformed my life on all levels,

mind, body, and soul.


Ashley Clark

N a t u r a lly A s h l e y @ m i s s n a t u r a lly a s h l e y

I am inspired by fruit! The sweet taste, the vibrant colors and juicy textures, I love to eat and photograph fruit and raw vegan meals. I went from eating a paleo diet to a raw vegan diet high in fruit and it has transformed my life on all levels, mind, body and soul. I feel so alive, high vibe, and more in alignment with my true divine self than ever! NaturallyAshley.com



Spreading the message

that eating healthy

does not mean depriving yourself.


Laura Wolfe

@ lol a coo k s I’m passionate about veganism in every aspect, including the countless health benefits, the delicious plant-based foods, not supporting animal cruelty, and preserving the environment.

Jason Wyrick Kristina Ridder

@lemonsandleisure Spreading the message that eating healthy does not mean depriving yourself. Eating a healthy, plant-based diet means you get to provide your body with beautiful, colorful, and nutrient dense foods that make you feel amazing inside and out. Walking through the produce aisle or farmers market always ignites this creative spark in me and I love that through social media I can share that with people around the world.



Executive Chef of The Vegan Taste @thevegantaste

For me, food isn’t just the meal on your plate. It’s a vibrant story that weaves together the cultural and historical context of a dish. Where the ingredients were produced, the farmer that grew them, the environment that shapes what ingredients are used and why, the science of how those ingredients are transformed into a meal, the chef that puts everything together, and even the diner themselves. TheVeganTaste.com


Lauren Toyota & John Diemer Ho t f o r Foo d @ h o t f o r f oo d

We’re passionate about vegan food and cooking, especially making favourite comfort foods from totally plant-based ingredients. Instagram is a huge source of inspiration. We love the community we are a part of… #vegansofinstagram! As well as being out in nature. That’s always a good way to think of new ideas and clear your head. hotforfoodblog.com

Tim Moore


I seek inspiration through food. Food has the power to nourish us, comfort us and entertain us but food can also inspire us. In my VeganFatKid journey throughout Los Angeles, I’ve witnessed amazing vegan chefs transform meat-centric dishes into plant-based works of art. Crafting a delicious dish without simply “wrapping it in bacon” is truly an inspiring thing. Proving a vegan diet is far from restrictive; in fact it’s inspiring.

“without simply VeganFatKid.com

Crafting a delicious dish

Alexandra Dawson

I n My B owl @ T a ll u l a h Al e x a n d r a

“wrapping it in bacon” is truly an inspiring thing.

An advocate for plant-based nutrition, healthful and positive living, and a mantra of #GoddessVibes, I’m most passionate about making whole body wellness accessible and approachable to every demographic. With a background in neuropsychology and nutrition, I champion unprocessed and natural foods as a preventative medicine. Keeping it light and engaging, I sneak health through the backdoor of cozy ‘every-man’ recipes, vibrant photographs, and a fashionably unfashionable persona.





Jason Sellers Ch e f | Own er , p la n t R e stau r a n t

Ash evi lle on Learning from Every Encounter, Recognizing Mediocrity, and Gaining Inspiration from Other Chefs



“Part of being a successful chef is knowing that mediocr ity is something that you must recognize in your efforts and move beyond.”


would hope plant is best known for making food with care and a palatable dedication to originality. We love that we are regarded among peers for furthering the world of vegan cuisine while forging our own style. Sometimes, it’s enough to be an earnest vegan restaurant in the Southeast, where people still seem surprised to find us and that has gained us notoriety. Inspiration for the dishes at plant most often comes from eating out, eating the food of other chefs who cook seasonally. I’m always looking for a way to capture, in my own way, the spirit of a dish I have out, because that’s when I’m most relaxed. Looking at other chefs’ food this way helps remind me that there is more to consider than what’s currently on my menu. I would encourage any aspiring chef to learn from everyone they encounter.

Part of being a successful chef is knowing that mediocrity is something that you must recognize in your efforts and move beyond. Otherwise, you’re probably not offering your guests something memorable. Paying attention to others’ interpretations of seasonal foods should bolster any chef’s effort to outdo themselves. At home, I like to prepare foods that speak to my hypothalamus, that comfort me, or satiate a nostalgia for the smells, textures, and flavors that I enjoyed long before I became a professional cook. We have burger night at home a lot, where we load up burgers with pickles and grill bread just right. My partner, Laura, really likes gooey food, rice dishes, and whatever satisfies the familiar craving that day. And whiskey. Food is one remarkable facet among many that gives me peace and reassures me that I’m lucky to be alive.




I n t e r v i e w : Al i s o n B u r g o s

Jay Astafa V e g a n C h e f . C a t e r e r . Fo u n d e r o f N Y C P op - U P D i n n e r S e r i e s P L ANT

On going vegan at fifteen, the thrill of being busy, and his advice for aspiring chefs

Alison Burgos: You have accomplished quite a bit at such a young age. When did you know you wanted to be a chef? Jay Astafa: Thank you! I became vegan when I was fifteen. That’s when I started to teach myself how to cook vegan, because no one in my family knew how to cook that way. Before then, I never did that much cooking or even thought about being a chef. I was actually an aspiring actor for a few years before going vegan. I then realized there was a void of plant-based chefs out there. From sixteen, I knew that I was going to go to culinary school right after high school. I was looking for a way to be an activist for animals, and that’s what inspired me to become a vegan chef. Today, I love showing people how amazing plant-based cuisine is! AB: What advice would you give an aspiring chef? JA: The first thing I would recommend for any aspiring chef is to learn as much as you can about food. When I first started cooking, I would read a ton of cookbooks and watch the Food Network all the time. This taught me so much about cooking. I would also recommend getting experience working in either




a restaurant or catering company. I started working at my dad’s restaurant/pizzeria when I was fourteen, and I’ve done everything from serving to being the executive chef. Once you definitely know that you want to become a chef, I recommend going to culinary school. After culinary school, just keep teaching yourself new techniques. I consider myself both a self-taught and a culinary school-trained chef. AB: You have the vegan menu you oversee at 3 Brothers Pizza Cafe, catering, appearances, and a new pop-up dinner series in NYC called PLANT by jay astafa. What’s on the horizon for you? JA: I’m currently keeping myself busy with a lot of different projects! We have just opened a second location of 3 Brothers Pizza Cafe on Long Island, which is called 3 Brothers Vegan Cafe. I’m currently working on further growing my catering company, jay astafa catering. We have a lot of exciting events coming up. I started working on writing my first cookbook. I’m really inspired to start a plant-based creamery company. Right now, I’m just figuring out how to make it possible. With PLANT, I’m creating haute, vegetable-forward tasting menus and the venue changes all the time. I

also would love to open a restaurant in NYC within the next couple of years. AB: What’s your “Last Supper” meal? JA: My “Last Supper” meal would be an epic comfort food, carb-filled dinner! All vegan, of course. I love pasta, so I’d want to have a tasting of all sorts of pasta dishes. Lots of crusty artisan bread, paired with the best Italian extra-virgin olive oils. I also would pair the bread with some Miyoko’s Kitchen nut-based cheese. I’d also want spanakopita, which is one of my favorite things that my mom makes. I’d absolutely have to have mozzarella in carrozza made with my fresh cashew milk mozzarella; it’s so delicious. For dessert, I’d end with Sweet Maresa’s French Macarons and a Peanut Butter Bomb from Vegan Treats, which are both so amazing.

Jay Astafa is a twenty-two year old vegan chef based in New York. He is the owner of jay astafa catering, and the chef and founder of PLANT by jay astafa, a pop-up dinner series. He’s also the creator of the vegan menus at both locations of the Long Island-based 3 Brothers Pizza Cafe.


From sixteen, I knew that I was going to go to culinary school right after high school. I was looking for a way to be an activist for animals, and that’s what inspired me to become

a vegan chef.”



F Interview by Michelle Gaber

Indian kitchen Richa Hingle V e g a n C h e f. b e s t- s e l l i n g Au t h o r . B l o g g e r

On the inspiration of her Indian homeland, her favorite food memories, and the rewards of connecting with her readers






Michelle Gaber: How do you get your inspiration?

“Food is a shared experience. For me, it defines a moment in time, shared feelings, the scent and flavors, the memories.”

Richa Hingle: The love and appreciation of my readers keeps me going every day. Being able to connect with so many people who are making a conscious choice of what they eat, their comments, feedback, and personal stories make it a very rewarding experience. I believe that vegan food can taste so good that everyone can enjoy it. As I cannot do much out in the field, I do what I can do well: create accessible recipes so everyone can eat delicious plantbased food. MG: What is your favorite food memory? RH: My favorite food memories are from when I was growing up. I would come home from a long day at school and other activities and jump right on the dining table. There would always be freshly cooked foods like dal (lentil soups) or bean curries, subzi (spiced veggie sides), rotis (wheat flatbreads) right off the skillet, and a zesty side salad of onions, tomatoes, and cucumber. I still try to recreate this whenever I can. MG: What is the best piece of advice you would give a home enthusiast? RH: Keep a well-stocked pantry. Learn a few go-to dishes that you can make in a jiffy. Keep experimenting and find an intersection between things you enjoy preparing and eating. MG: Who in the food world do you most admire? RH: Food is made with patience and love. And I cannot help but admire people who spend any time in the kitchen. I admire the people who originally developed the flavors and combinations used in Indian food. I admire my mom, aunts, and everyone who cooks amazing food and admire them for carrying on the tradition. From bloggers and authors, I admire the creativity and craft of Robin Robertson, Terry Hope Romero, Isa Chandra [Moskowitz], Fran Costigan, and the many blogs I read every day. I learn from all of them. I also admire the activists in the field working selflessly, like Eileen Weintraub, Gene Baur, and others. Their tireless work inspires me to keep creating delicious vegan options in the kitchen. MG: What are your favorite foods to cook with? RH: Currently, I am in love with cauliflower and chickpeas. I keep going back to them. MG: What are the most important cooking tools one should have in their kitchen? RH: Basic tools are really important. You want to have good skillets, pans, great knives that work for you. It is such a pleasure to prep with a sharp knife that fits in your hand like

an extension. A good blender and a spice grinder, too. MG: What’s your favorite meal? RH: I would have to say my comfort meal is my favorite. A well-spiced dal or chickpea curry, a veggie side usually with cauliflower or potatoes, and freshly made flatbreads and a side salad. MG: Finish the sentence: Food is … RH: Food is a shared experience. For me, it defines a moment in time, shared feelings, the scent and flavors, the memories. This is why so many people remember the dishes from their meals eaten with family and celebrations. It is also very important to be inclusive when it comes to food, so everyone can share and celebrate with you.

MG: Tell us about your cookbook. RH: My first cookbook, Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen, covers dals, rich curries, flatbreads, savory breakfasts, exotic desserts, and all flavors Indian, celebrating vegetables and legumes. The recipes are inspired by regional Indian cuisines and local ingredients, and are streamlined for the home cook. You would be surprised how accessible Indian recipes can be with simple instructions. I love reading about how people who were previously intimidated are now enjoying their home cookery.

Richa Hingle grew up in India, where everyday food was vegetarian and focused on eating fresh, local, and wholesome foods. Today, she is the prolific and highly regarded voice behind the popular VeganRicha.com, where she showcases her tasty recipes.



A Conversation with Authors Zoe Eisenberg + Ayinde Howell

The Lusty vegans F o o d , L i k e L o v e + S e x , i s I m p o r ta nt i n a R e l a t i o n s h i p It ’ s N o u r i s h i n g . It ’ s E m o t i o n a l . And It ’ s C o m p l i c a t e d . Dating for Vegans. The Struggle is Real.

Michelle Gaber: We love the book’s title,The Lusty Vegan: A Cookbook and Relationship Manifesto for Vegans and Those Who Love Them. Tell us more about the book and what inspired it. Zoe: Ayinde and I had been working together on Ayinde’s website iEatGrass.com for years, where I wrote a weekly dating column called The Lusty Vegan. Despite being dedicated vegans, neither Ayinde nor myself had ever dated another vegan, and it was a constant discussion between the two of us, as well as a source for blog fodder. Quickly we realized that the struggle is real! We weren’t alone— many other vegans out there are also dating people whose diets and philosophical beliefs directly opposed their own. We really wanted to help make these relationships work, which is why the book not only includes recipes but also lots of storytelling in which we analyze the shortcomings of our previous veganon-omnivore relationships. MG: Why is food such an issue in relationships and dating?



Ayinde: In potentially serious relationships you bump up against traditions, cultures, and just basic understanding. Families often have deep-rooted traditions around food, like feeding newborns goat meat or having a pig roast every year. And it’s hard to walk in as the vegan and be like “Hey, I’ll have vegan goat? No? OK, hummus then.” In casual dating, it’s usually not a problem, but it’s always a good place to start looking for those traditions and things you will have to brace for.

partner. Don’t do it! Remember, you are the one who chose to be with someone who is different than you, so stand by that decision and act with kindness.

Never get into a relationship with the hope you will one day change your partner.ˮ

Zoe: The second most visited train of thought, after sex of course.

MG: What’s the best advice you could give us in regards to food and relationships? Zoe: Never get into a relationship with the hope you will one day change your partner. This happens in many relationships, but especially in vegan/non-vegan ones, where the vegan may secretly hope to “convert” their

MG: If you had just one wish, what would it be? Ayinde: I wish my foresight was as 20/20 as my hindsight. MG: Finish the sentence: Food is….

MG: One last question, Chef: What’s your ‘Last Supper’ meal? Your ‘Death Row’ meal, as Anthony Bourdain puts it. Ayinde: Waffles with tons of gluten, fresh strawberries, vegan butter, and syrup, crispy smoked tofu—my own special homestyle braised tofu—rosemary home fries, grits, fresh orange juice, and a slice of watermelon. Then shoot me immediately after I pass out from eating all that.

Breakfast Andouille Sausage with Biscuits Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 20 minutes | Serves 2 to 4 You can prep the sausage a day or two in advance, and the biscuits are pretty quick as well. They can also be made in advance and frozen, then defrosted when you need them. BISCUITS 1 cup all-purpose flour ½ tablespoon baking powder ½ teaspoon sea salt 4 tablespoons vegan butter, very cold ½ cup unsweetened almond milk SAUSAGE ¾ cup Lightlife Gimme Lean vegan sausage 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning 2 teaspoons paprika 1 teaspoon minced garlic ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ¼ teaspoon sea salt ¼ teaspoon gumbo filé powder ¼ teaspoon chili powder ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes ¼ teaspoon ground cumin Grapeseed or safflower oil ½ cup julienned green bell pepper ½ cup julienned red onion ½ cup vegan cheese shreds OPTIONAL TOPPINGS Vegan butter Raspberry jam (or your favorite flavor)

1. Biscuits: Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Using a fork, mix in the cold butter until it becomes the size of small peas. Slowly add the milk, gradually stirring until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. 2. Place the dough onto a floured surface, and knead 15 to 20 times. Pat or roll the dough out to a 1-inch thickness. Cut the biscuits with a large cookie cutter or the top of a juice glass dipped in flour. Repeat until all the dough is used. Brush off the excess flour, and place the biscuits onto a lightly floured baking sheet. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown. 3. Sausage: In a large bowl, break up the sausage. Add the Cajun seasoning, paprika, minced garlic, black pepper, salt, filé powder, chili powder, red pepper flakes, and cumin. Mix well. Take ¼ cup of the sausage mixture and form into a ½ inch thick patty. Repeat until all patties are formed. It should make 4 patties. 4. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat ¼ cup oil until hot and shimmering. Fry the patties for 3 to 5 minutes on each side until golden brown. Transfer the patties to paper towels to cool. Reserve the oil in the skillet. 5. Reheat the skillet with the oil from the sausage over medium heat. Add the bell pepper and onion and sauté until caramelized, 5 to 7 minutes. Use a spatula to push the onions and peppers into four piles large enough to cover the sausage patties and sprinkle the top of each veggie pile with 2 tablespoons of cheese, allowing it to melt. Using a spatula, place the vegetables and melted cheese on top of each sausage patty. Serve with hot biscuits topped with butter and jam, if using, on the side.

From The Lusty Vegan © 2014 by Ayinde Howell and Zoe Eisenberg. Used with permission from Vegan Heritage Press




CHEF + AUTHOR ROBERTO MARTIN Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi’s personal chef creates meat-free recipes that Delight Carnivores and Vegans Alike and Launches his New Restaurant, eLOVate Kitchen, in Santa Monica.




Alison Burgos: What’s your go-to comfort food? Roberto Martin: Roasted broccoli and cauliflower florets with olive oil, salt, and pepper. It’s super simple and so yummy. I love flavor and texture contrasts. The edges of the vegetables get charred and crispy while the centers are soft and chewy. I can eat a giant bowl of that stuff. AB: How do you get your inspiration in the kitchen? RM: Creatively I’m inspired by childhood memories of yummy foods, by what other chefs are doing, and by statements like “I wish someone would finally make...” Challenge accepted! AB: When did you know you wanted to be a chef? RM: It was a long discovery. My family was not in the restaurant business and I didn’t know any chefs. There was always this inner battle going on with me where I felt like in order to have a career I had to stop having fun and being creative. I felt this pressure to “grow up” and have fun on my days off like everyone else. The thought of office life and indoor confinement nauseated me and I knew I’d self-sabotage in that environment. After college I waited tables and loved it. It wasn’t until I met some cooks at a restaurant in Downtown LA that my eyes opened up. These guys took what they did so seriously and the food was beautiful and delicious. I had to get in the kitchen and try my hand at that. At the time I was sure it would be one more short-lived adventure like acting and stand-up comedy. It wasn’t! I was hooked. Sharp knives, pressure, adrenaline, and fear meshed seamlessly with creativity, the use of all my senses, and a touch of flare and style. I went from prep cook to line cook in three months and I knew that this life was for me. For the first time in my life I felt comfortable with the idea of doing one thing well for a long period of time. Within one year of my first day in the kitchen I had enrolled at the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) in Hyde Park, NY, and I was on my way to being a real chef. AB: What can we expect from your new restaurant, soon to open in Santa Monica?

RM: eLOVate Kitchen is the most exciting thing I’ve done yet! 100% Vegan and Organic Fare. We will offer vegan versions of familiar comfort foods like Cobb Salad, Smoky Black Bean Burger, and Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies. We will also have more adventurous items like Grilled Ancho-Marinated Maitake Mushrooms and Sake Braised Daikon Scallops. We will be making cold pressed juices and smoothies as well as a FULL BAR with all kinds of innovative signature cocktails! Most importantly there will be a lot of Love and Fun going on here. It’s a casual yet sophisticated fullservice restaurant where a family can feel comfortable sitting next to a business lunch.

“Sharp knives, pressure, adrenaline, and fear meshed seamlessly with creativity, the use of all my senses, and a touch flare and style.” As Ellen DeGeneres’ personal chef, and author of Vegan Cooking for Carnivores, Roberto Martin adapted quickly to cooking vegan and has been immensely successful at transforming plant-based foods into masterpieces. bottom PHOTO: Jannah Eilanie Szeibert



Our fav

MIXOLOGISTS THE GRACIAS MADRE Jason Eisner, Beverage Rockstar Los Angeles GraciasMadreWeHo.com

The Legendary ‘La Purista’ Margarita 2 oz organic reposado tequila 1 oz fresh-pressed lime juice ½ oz organic agave nectar 3 dashes homemade orange bitters lime peel Housemade Sweet Orange Salt Rim 1 pinch sea salt 1 pinch sugar orange zest lime wedge

KINDRED Restaurant David Kinsey, Bar Manager & Overlord of Elixirs San Diego barKINDRED.com

Ghost Chant 1 oz Gin 1 oz Vodka ¾ oz Cocchi Americano ¼ oz Creme de Violette Tools: Barspoon Strainer Glass: Coupe Garnish: Fresh mint leaf Rose flower water Combine all ingredients into a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir well to chill, then strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with a mint leaf and a few drops of rose water. Photo: Simpatika



Combine sea salt, sugar, and orange zest. Rub orange zest into the salt-sugar mixture. Use the lime wedge to moisten the rim of a double rocks glass, then dip the rim into the mixture to coat. In a cocktail shaker, combine tequila, lime juice, agave nectar, and orange bitters. Shake and strain into the glass. Add fresh rocks and a lime peel.

VEDGE Restaurant Ross Maloof, Mixologist Philadelphia VedgeRestaurant.com

Mellow Greetings Torontel pisco, grapefruit-kaffir lime shrub, rhubarb, lemon. This is a bright, fun, and approachable cocktail that draws inspiration off of a traditional Peruvian drink, the Pisco Sour. I start by making a shrub to really capture the pithy flavors of grapefruit and beautiful aromatics of kaffir lime leaves. I let the peels of a few grapefruits as well as a bundle of kaffir lime leaves mingle with sugar in a container for a few hours, agitating it a few times along the way. The sugar slowly draws out the oils from the grapefruit’s skin. Then I add in a little bit of white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and water. Next, I bring the whole thing to a boil and then let steep for about fifteen minutes. After straining and cooling, I am left with a bright and tangy shrub which serves as the backbone of the drink. 2oz Viñas de Oro Torontel pisco 1oz grapefruit kaffir lime shrub ¾ oz fresh lemon juice ½ oz fresh rhubarb juice Shaken. Served in a collins glass with a rhubarb ribbon and kaffir lime leaf.





Cofounder of Scratch|Bar and The Gadarene Swine:

Prodigy Chef Phillip Frankland Lee Interview: Alison Burgos



“ The more you keep an open mind, the more you can be inspired. ” —Phillip Frankland Lee




Food Photos: Yasmin Alishav

A Top Young Chef on Healing his Tumor with Plants, his Favorite Chefs, and Finding Inspiration in Unexpected Places. Alison Burgos: With a list of accolades and awards you’ve have already racked up, including Zagat 30 under 30, a Chopped win, and Best Young Chef, what is next for you? Oh and let’s not forget Guy’s Grocery Games and Cutthroat Kitchen as well. [Laughs]. Phillip Frankland Lee: I think its time to settle down a little and really focus on growing our business at the restaurants and solidifying and growing our foundation. With that said, I have two other projects in the pipeline which should see the light of day before the end of this year. AB: Who in the food world do you admire? PFL: I admire a lot of people. But I think my top two would be Michael Cimarusti and Quinn Hatfield. I still get nervous when those two are in the room. AB: What is your favorite ingredient? PFL: I have a lot. But it’s not about the ingredient, it’s about what you do with it. I like when you can transform an ingredient into something new and exciting, while maintaining the integrity of what you started with. AB: Where do you find inspiration? PFL: Everywhere. I once got inspired by a fish tank while waiting to see a doctor. The more you keep an open mind, the more you can be inspired. AB: Where do you see the future of food? PFL: I see the future of food as something very exciting. I see it going back in time. Not in presentation and ideology, but in terms of sourcing and manufacturing. I’m doing everything in my power to be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem, which is why we make everything from scratch at both my restaurants, and we work hard to make sure all of our products are sourced responsibly and are even working on planting a 3,000-square-foot garden where we will grow almost all of our own vegetables for both Scratch|Bar and The Gadarene Swine.

Chef Phillip Frankland Lee opened Scratch|Bar with his wife and pastry chef, Margarita Lee, in 2013, and The Gadarene Swine a year later. Chef Phillip was diagnosed with a tumor and Chef Margarita put him on a diet of vegetables, herbs, and juices. From there, Chef Phillip was inspired to create a restaurant that serves just vegetables. Both restaurants have received outstanding accolades throughout the last two years, such as Best Young Chef in America by San Pellegrino, Zagat 30 under 30, and #97 Best Restaurant 2015 in the U.S.



I n te rv iew B Y A l i s o n Bu rg o s


Secret Supper

Au tho r + P l a n t- Ba s ed Ch ef of V egan Secret Supper

Mérida Anderson

On her roving supper club’s surprising start, changing perceptions about vegan cooking, and a passion for popcorn

When I cook for Vegan Secret Supper, my clients are not always vegan or even vegetarian, and I think my challenge is always to try and change the stigma that, for some reason, can still be associated with vegan food.





Alison Burgos: What inspired you to create Vegan Secret Supper back in 2007?

because I have never found anything like it, or even know what it was called.

Mérida Anderson: At that time in Vancouver, I had just taken a break (literally, because I broke both my wrists…) from a clothing line that I had been designing for the past four years. I took a trip out to eastern Canada and ended up in Halifax at a friend’s supper club. This would be the first that I would partake in, and I fell in love with the idea. I came home and within a month started Vegan Secret Supper in my tiny attic apartment. My kitchen was a small closet where I was serving up to thirty people per supper. I have no idea how I even did that now, looking back. Vegan Secret Supper started just with word of mouth and a small email list, and turned into what it is today, where I travel from Montréal, New York, and Vancouver to host.

AB: What’s your go-to comfort food?

AB: What is your favorite food memory? MA: A memory that stands out to me was when I would have been about seven or eight and I was in Holland with my family. My aunt had given us this cake that her neighbor had made, a dense cake made with tiny, five-millimeter layers of white and dark cake of sorts. Perhaps it sticks in my mind forever

MA: I don’t know if I can choose just one! I love, love, love ramen. Packaged ramen, homemade ramen, noodle soup of any kind really. I would, and sometimes do, eat it every day. I would also want to say popcorn. Popcorn with sea salt, olive oil, nutritional yeast, and Aleppo pepper. Ahh! Maybe all my comfort foods are junk foods! It’s hard for me to pick because food changes through the season. In winter it’s grapefruit, in spring it’s mango, in summer it’s cherries and peaches, all the fruit from growing up in British Columbia, and in the fall it’s butternut squash soup.

dishes, but sometimes texture is the biggest challenge. Trying to achieve a specific idea of texture in a dish, like a light and fluffy dessert cream, or the ratio of crispy and chewy in a shiitake mushroom. AB: Who in the food world do you most admire?

AB: What do you think is the most challenging ingredient to work with?

MA: Honestly, I don’t really follow the food world very much. I have been inspired by artists around the world who use food and the idea of community and sharing meals in their practice. Perhaps if there were one person I have been very inspired by in the past, it is my older brother, who is also a chef. He has passed down a lot of food knowledge to me here and there, and I like to think I have pushed him over the years to think more about plant-based cuisine in his practice.

MA: I don’t know if there is a specific ingredient that I find challenging, per se. When I cook for Vegan Secret Supper, my clients are not always vegan or even vegetarian, and I think my challenge is always to try and change the stigma that, for some reason, can still be associated with vegan food. I don’t cook in a style of replicating non-vegan

Mérida Anderson is a multi-disciplinary artist specializing in plant-based cuisine and ceramic arts in communities in New York, Montréal, and Vancouver. Mérida runs a roving supper club in these cities, and is the author of the book Vegan Secret Supper: Bold and Elegant Menus from a Rogue Kitchen.




Philadelphia: Vedge Restaurant Wi fe

an d

H u s b a n d

tea m

Richard Landau


Kate Jacoby I n t e r v i e w : Al i s o n B u r g o s

on their progressive, bold approach to plant-based cooking, their favorite wines, why vegan is the next big thing, and why you might not want to become a chef




right PHOTO: Michael Spain-Smith

Alison Burgos: How did you both meet, and what is it like working together? Kate Jacoby: We met through the restaurant in 2001. I was a loyal customer since Horizons Café opened, and I came in looking for a summer job. It was perfect timing, and I quickly sunk my teeth into as much front and back of house work as I could, eventually giving up my plans for graduate school in sociology to work full-time alongside Rich. Our personal and professional relationships developed at the perfect pace, and we got married in 2004. People ask how we can work together as a married couple, and we respond wondering how people could marry each other if they COULDN’T work together! Like any effort, any relationship in life, you have to trust each other, cherish each other’s strengths and complement each other’s weaknesses, and share the same values for the present and a similar vision for the future.

“ Just because you love food and love to cook doesn't mean you should get into the restaurant business. You should only get into this business if you can't NOT do it.

AB: What is going to be the next big thing in the food world? Richard Landau and Kate Jacoby: Looks like vegan food, right? Everyone’s cashing in on what we’ve been doing for over twenty years! But plant-based, vegan, whatever you want to call it, it’s crucial right now not only for the ethical reasons that inspired our commitment, but also for the human health and environmental impact. I would add, based on our industry vantage point, that all the top chefs are putting forth quick, casual restaurants. So we’re likely to see an influx of clean, healthy quick-serve restaurants, with a focus on organic and local and vegan ingredients. AB: Do you have a favorite wine? KJ: I love all “natural” wines, but in recent years, I’ve been drawn to oranges from Slovenia and Northern Italy and juicy reds from the Loire Valley. But right now, I’m enjoying all the different Pét-Nats out there (Pétillant Naturel, naturally sparkling wines) which you can find all over France and beyond. It’s a huge and exciting part of the natural wine movement where winemakers are allowing for secondary fermentation in the bottle. They’re red, white, and pink, incredibly diverse and super food-friendly, full of character and great texture. I love memorable wines that you talk about long after the bottle is finished. AB: What advice would you give an aspiring chef? RL/KJ: Just because you love food and love to cook doesn’t mean you should get into the restaurant business. You should only get into this business if you can’t NOT do it. You’ll work eighty-hour weeks, burn yourself in awkward places, spend hours organizing freezing walk-in boxes, learn what grease traps smell like, get sprayed in the face changing beer kegs, miss out on important social events with your family and friends, learn to eat your meals at the oddest of hours, but you’ll also surprise yourself with your endurance, your creativity, your ability to squeeze more out of every minute in your day, your leadership, and your sense to not just put out but prevent fires before they start. You don’t get in this business to please yourself—it’s the complete opposite. You get into the restaurant business because you can’t do anything else but cook for, take care of, and delight others.

Chef Rich Landau has been at the forefront of the vegetarian dining scene since he opened his first restaurant in 1994. He has also co-authored three cookbooks, including the most recent Vedge: 100 Plates Large and Small that Redefine Vegetable Cooking. He is proud to have shaped the culinary landscape in Philadelphia and is committed to further raising the bar for vegetable cuisine across the country. Chef Kate Jacoby, a James Beard Nominated Pastry Chef, strives to innovate vegan desserts and bring fresh ideas to rich, quality ingredients. A Certified Sommelier, her appreciation and enthusiasm for wine is evident in the thoughtfully-curated wine list. bottom PHOTO: Michael Spain-Smith



INTERVIEW: Alison Burgos

Chad Sarno

CRAZY SEXY KITCHEN Launched a Boutique Plant-Based Restaurant Brand Throughout Europe and He’s the Culinary Media Spokesperson for Whole Foods Market’s Global Healthy Eating Program. Whew. Oh Yeah, He teamed Up With Kris Carr, Writing the Bestseller, Crazy Sexy Kitchen. Alison Burgos: At a young age you discovered the relationship between what you eat and your health. Tell us about that journey. Chad Sarno: From as early as I can remember I fell in love with food, from how it grew, the meticulous preparation, the heavenly smells, and of course, eating. I adored being my mom’s sous chef throughout childhood, manning my station on a stool pulled up to the stove, assisting with the privileged task of stirring the onions and garlic. Passion for handcrafted food ran deep in our family with my mom and my Italian grandmother’s way of preparing elaborate, beautiful meals highlighting the freshest ingredients. It was crystal clear, I was madly in love with food and the art of stuffing my face. Just like most kids, though, despite the fresh, clean food put on the table at home, I had a dirty romance with processed dairy, and sugar in any form, yet little did I know this fling was the culprit of the severe asthma I was having to deal with daily. With pockets of inhalers, and asthma attacks throughout the years, my first initial introduction to the relationship between health and diet was granted when I made a shift in my diet. By eliminating dairy products, my health challenges magically dissolved. This was my wake-up call, my aha moment, and switch of the reset button. I now needed more answers. With my deep passion for all things edible and now this experience, I dove headfirst into the world of plants and all avenues of a plant-centric diet, being a sponge of all I discovered. Yep, that did it, I was now marinating in the activist approach of going against the grain of society, by diving into chadsarno.com | rouxbe.com/plants | wickedhealthyfood.com



the whacky world of eating only the plant world. Of course this came with being bombarded by the pressures, judgments, and conditioning drilled into my psyche all of my life from the world around me. My journey was in full force, and the fire of passion for more only grew the stronger I recognized my truth. The conclusion I drew up during this time of my life was so eye-opening and transparent. I started exploring the world through travel in my late teens, armed with my passion for plants and health, working, studying, and seeking the counsel of those whose work reminded people of both the implicit benefits of hand-crafting foods and the honest virtues of health. With so many teachers along the way in the quickly growing field of healing through plant foods, the resources were endless. Whether in the American desert or throughout Asia, I continued my vagabond journey being a sponge studying traditional ingredients and customs, and began bringing them together in ways I could express, through recipes and classes. With each creation, the horizon of the clean food world broadened and began to shape my career. Throughout my extensive travels, one thing is certain: just because it is healthy does not mean it needs to sacrifice taste. From your favorite cultural dishes to new vibrant flavor-packed dishes, it’s time to praise the veggies, and show our friends and family that they are so much more than a side dish. With animal-free foods, I was experiencing how the world of plants was so expansive and provided so many that embraced a veggie diet, including myself, a level of vitality, energy, and level of health that I continue to this day to be humbled by. Over the years I have seen firsthand continuously the power of a plant-based diet, and the remarkable results friends, family, author PHOTO: Bill Miles

“With animal-free foods I was experiencing how the world of plants, was so expansive and provided so many that embraced a veggie diet, including myself a level of vitality, energy, and level of health that I continue to this day to be humbled by.� students, and clients have experienced along the way. These experiences have come to a pivotal point in my career when I joined Rouxbe Cooking School a couple years back. With Rouxbe, there was finally a platform to share with the masses about the endless benefits of adopting a plantbased diet, sharing culinary tips and techniques with online cooking courses that put plant-based culinary education into the global wellness conversation. AB: What is going to be the next big thing in the food world? CS: Culinary wellness. I would not really say it is the NEXT big thing, yet that it IS the current biggest. The wellness and healthcare segment is starting to open up to prescribing plants as prevention and treatment more than ever. We are at a time in history, within the health world, that plantbased culinary education has begun to infuse into the wellness conversation. The culinary world is constantly evolving and has grown far beyond a trend with more chefs offering animal-free offerings on menus, but the healthcare and wellness world is just now beginning to recognize that plants are key to prevention, disease reversal, and overall health. Of course there have been some incredible trailblazers leading this mission over the years, and due to their work a snowball effect has begun. This is something many of us know and that has attracted us to eating a plantbased diet, but for a very large segment of physicians, healthcare professionals, and HMO groups to start seeing this is incredibly exciting. With the rise of many diseases of affluence directly related to diet, the time has come where chefs are being looked at as key holders of health and are we are seeing more partnerships happening with physicians and other healthcare professionals within the culinary field. Plants are beginning to take front seat as prescriptions, and the pharma and food industries are being threatened. I personally could not be happier about seeing this culinary wellness revolution unfold. There is no better time than now.



Questions: Alison Burgos

BeyoncÉ and Jay-Z went on a 22 DAY Vegan Di et [ This is the man responsible. ] BeyoncÉ + Marco just launched a plant-based meal delivery service together, bringing a vegan diet to a wider audience. Interview with Celebrity Trainer and exercise physiologist

Marco Borges

founder of 22 Days Nutrition, New York Times Best Selling author and plant-based living advocate.

Alison Burgos: You’re one of the leading exercise physiologists and experts on plant-based health in America today. When did your passion for health begin? Marco Borges: As a kid growing up, I always dreamed of being a doctor and was fascinated with athletics and what the human body was capable of. I was born with an innate curiosity for the human body. Exercise physiology and biology felt like a perfect fit for me because I had decided early that it would be much easier to help people stay healthy with a proactive approach to wellness. AB: Over the past twenty years you have worked with some of the biggest celebrities in the world; share one exercise tip that keeps them in great shape. MB: I’m a BIG believer in consistency! It’s not what you do one time, but rather what you practice on a daily basis that dictates your overall health and well-being. AB: You have worked with Beyoncé for years; how did the idea to work together on the 22-day meal plan come together? MB: We found ourselves receiving thousands of emails asking us for something more convenient than just recipes. People actually wanted us to make the meals for them. We looked at each other and said, “Ok, we can do that. If that’s what it will take for people to move towards a healthier lifestyle, we’ll do it” and we did! The response had been incredibly positive and the testimonials are almost unbelievable!! 22daysnutrition.com



AB: You have inspired thousands of people, so who inspires you? MB: Kind, conscious people inspire me! We live in a world that can be difficult at times and you may not always know what other people are going through. Be kind, you may be that rainbow in someone’s clouds. AB: What’s your guilty pleasure meal? MB: Pizza! My wife makes the most incredible 100% plant-based, wheat-free pizza EVER! Ok, I'm hungry now. AB: The food system in America is broken. How do we as a country relearn how to eat and get corporations, food producers, and restaurants to rethink how they feed us? MB: I believe that corporations, food producers, and restaurants will give us what we want. It’s up to us to educate ourselves and start asking, in some cases demanding, for better food that is both good for us and good for our planet!

Marco Borges is an exercise physiologist, founder of 22 Days Nutrition, New York Times best-selling author, and plant-based living advocate. Passionate about guiding people to develop healthier lifestyles, he has spent the last twenty years as a lifestyle coach and touring the world empowering others with tools for ultimate wellness. He is also the author of Power Moves: The Four Motions To Transform Your Body For Life. He lives in Miami with his wife, their three sons, and daughter.

It’s up to us to educate ourselves and start asking, in some cases demanding, for better food that is both good for us and good for our planet!



Interview: Michelle GabEr


MILLENNIUM RESTAURANT A r t f u l V e g a n A u t h o r . M i ll e n n i u m Fo u n d e r & C h e f

Eric Tucker on Doing What You Love, Not Following Fads, and the Importance of Being A part of Your Community.

ET: I have no clue, never big on trends and fads. I’m just trying to run a quality restaurant. I don’t feel to compelled to use ingredient x because it’s in vogue at the moment. Definitely more vegetable-forward cuisine going mainstream. MG: What’s your go-to comfort food? ET: Noodle! Especially dan dan style with a spicy sesame paste or peanut butter. It’s my post-work fall back and something I’ve been making since I was fourteen. MG: What is your favorite food memory? ET: Going to Chinatown in NYC with my family and Aunt Carole. We used to go quite a few times a year. We’d check out different restaurants and I would be overwhelmed by the markets overflowing into the street with food I was clueless to. Still am! MG: Millennium has such a long and respected history; what piece of advice would you give to someone opening a plant-based restaurant today? ET: Do what you love and be inclusive. Reach out to your local community. Michelle Gaber: What inspires you in the kitchen?

“ I don’t feel to compelled to use ingredient x because it’s in vogue at the moment.”




Eric Tucker: Well, a bit of everything. Whatever is coming into season and looks great at the farmers market. What I had for dinner last night at some other restaurant. What I feel like eating at the moment will find its way onto the menu. Travel, books, the internet, a bit of everything. MG: What is going to be the next big thing in the food world?

Eric Tucker is the founding and current chef and co-owner of Millennium Restaurant. He is the principal author of The Millennium Cookbook and The Artful Vegan. His culinary passion has been to elevate vegetable-based cuisine to the sublime. Eric is an avid supporter of the local, sustainable agriculture movement as well as an instructor at CHEFS (Conquering Homelessness through Employment in Food Service) in San Francisco.



Profile for THRIVE. ORIGIN + MANTRA Magazines

THRIVE 4: Plant-based Culture  

200-Pages of Top Plant-based Chefs, Recipes, Artists, Athletes, Musicians, Animal Activists and People Protecting Endangered Species. The Fi...

THRIVE 4: Plant-based Culture  

200-Pages of Top Plant-based Chefs, Recipes, Artists, Athletes, Musicians, Animal Activists and People Protecting Endangered Species. The Fi...