Tofu Smoothie

Today was the 12th day of the 15-day cleanse … and it’s still going strong! I haven’t posted much in the last week because I got tired of taking pictures of the same broccoli salad day in and day outlolalthough I don’t mind eating it at all. I actually still crave the salad on a daily basis, and my body gets really happy when it’s time to eat.

I started this plant-based “diet” for detoxification purpose, but I like the way I feel after eating fresh vegetables and fruits so much that I’ve decided to take it longer than 15 days. I think I’m going adopt this as my regular lifestyle! I’m not ready to give up fish and dairy altogether just yet, and I’m sure I’ll have an occasional beef and pork, but it probably won’t be in my regular repertoire going forward. If eating mostly plant-based food for a little over a week has this much positive affect on my body, I wonder what it can do if I continue … and I’m excited to find out.

I really like what Michael Pollen said about eating: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plant.

I had a banana that was about to go bad, so I made a smoothie with it. Instead of milk or even soy milk, I added tofu … and it was amazing (I used about ½ of the pack for one serving)! I picked up this super soft tofu at a local Korean market. I’m sure the regular soft tofu in a container works too, but pick these super soft ones if you have a chance. When mixed with fruits (I used both fresh and frozen strawberries, kiwi, and banana), tofu gives out the texture very much like ice cream or frozen yogurt.  It’s seriously super delicious.

I love you, The Magic Bullet blender.

So Far So Good

Day 6 of a 15-day cleanse

Lunch (1:00 p.m.): After my monthly knitting class, I stopped by Trader Joe’s and stocked up on veggies. Kevin came over and we had lunch together. He ate the broccoli salad with me and he liked it! The Mediterranean hummus from Trader Joe’s is the bomb.

Dinner (7:00 p.m.): I ate the rest of the broccoli salad, with a tall glass of juice (celery, carrots, romaine lettuce, yellow paprika, ginger roots, pear, and apples), while Kevin ate Chinese takeout.  I enjoyed the smell of the egg rolls but didn’t crave them!

So far so good!


Day 5 of a 15-day cleanse

Breakfast (7:30 a.m.): I started work at 5:00 a.m. to finish up a project that I needed to submit first thing in the morning. I’m not much of a morning person but I feel super productive when every time I get an early start.

I made a juice (kale, celery, carrots, romaine lettuce, apples, ginger root, and lemon) and realized how much a lemon makes a difference in it. This was my first time adding this citrus fruit in a juice and I loved it. It cuts the slight residual bitterness of kale completely and it makes the entire concoction unbelievably refreshing!

Lunch (11:00 a.m.): My body was craving the broccoli salad so much that I had to eat lunch earlier than usual. To make sure that I have sufficient protein intake, I added tofu to the salad. I crumbed it in and it looked and tasted just like cottage cheese. I had some strawberries for dessert.

Snack #1 (2:00 p.m.): Juice time! I think this is very similar to Mean Green, but with carrots. I was able to cut down the apple to just one this time! I can’t get over how much I’m loving the lemon in the drink!

Snack #2 (4:00 p.m.): Carrot sticks (3 medium ones) with hummus, plus a grapefruit.

Dinner (7:00 p.m.): Spinach and arugula salad with red onion, avocado, and mango chunks, dressed in ginger dressing.


  • My hands and feet are no longer freezing; but then again, it’s also warmer outside today so that can be why.
  • My hair feels softer!
  • I’ve been sleeping better at night. I don’t wake up as often and I feel refreshed when I wake up.
  • My skin feels drier the last few days … my arms are a little itchy.
  • My digestive system is working better than ever!
  • I’m in a better mood lately … and I find myself talking and saying hello to vegetables.
  • I’ve lost 3 pounds so far and my face feels softer, around the neck area.

I Should Change My Blog Name to “Ode to Broccoli”

Day 4 of a 15-day cleanse

Breakfast (10:00 a.m.): I had a tall glass of water with lemon and cayenne pepper as soon as I woke up. There is no sweetener in this drink but it tastes pretty good. I love the cayenne pepper in it. I drank three glasses of this concoction total and I felt great throughout the day. I think it even helped curve my appetite because this was the first time since I started the detox that I wasn’t always hungry.

Today juice: kale, celery, carrots, cucumber, yellow paprika, apples, and ginger root. I really like this drink. My goal is to reduce apples to just one. I’ll be trying Joe and Phil from Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead’s Mean Green soon, now that my fear of cucumber juice is gone.

Lunch (1:00 p.m.): The lovely broccoli salad (same as yesterday), with broccoli, red onion, red cabbage, kiwi, avocado, and carrots, with rice vinegar, oil (2 tablespoon olive oil and ½ tablespoon truffle oil, for indulgence), and salt and pepper.

Dinner (8:30 p.m.): I took a nap from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. I must have been either tired or severely sleep deprived (I went to sleep around 2:00 a.m. last night after finishing a work project … eek) or both, because I was out cold for two hours!

I made another broccoli salad for dinner. I crave this salad and nothing else. This time, I added some fresh mango chunks (1/4 of a large mango) instead of kiwi.

Snack (9:45 p.m.): A bowl of strawberries and blueberries.

Great news! I am about three pounds lighter since I began the cleanse three days ago. I’m not too concerned about the number on the scale and care more about how my clothes fit, but I couldn’t resist jumping on the scale.

I haven’t seen any other major changes to my body yet but I think my skin feels a little clearer. Not by much, but a little.  My hands and feet are still colder than usual, but it’s not anything that can’t be cured by my favorite pair of Life is Good fluffy socks.

Eating More than Ever!

Day 2 of a 15-day cleanse

Breakfast (9:30 a.m.): Juice with kale, celery, carrots, cucumber, romaine lettuce, apple, and ginger root. I’m surprised at how much I’m liking the cukes in a juice, since I usually don’t eat them unless they’re pickled or in sunonumo.

Snack (10:30 a.m.): I was still very hungry so I had a few fresh strawberries.  They were incredibly sweet! I’m so excited that the strawberry season is right around the corner, in May.

Tea (11:30 a.m.): Enjoyed a cup of Le Palais des Thes herbal green tea. I brought this back from Paris more than a year ago, but it’s still surprisingly fragrant.

Lunch (1:00 p.m.): Arugula and spinach salad with cherry tomatoes and sliced red onion. I’m using the picture from yesterday again since I forgot to take one today. The only difference is that I added four olives to today serving.

Snack Part 1 (1:00 p.m.): Perhaps the best kiwi I’ve ever tasted.

Snack Part 2 (2:00 p.m.): I was still incredibly hungry (even after the huge bowl of salad) and I was particularly craving sweets, so I made myself a fruit-based juice. I know this is pretty sugary, with two apples and a pear, but I really needed it!

Snack Part 3 (3:30 p.m.): Celery and carrot sticks with the leftover hummus from yesterday. I was still hungry. I read that the first and second days of the detox / cleanse can be the toughest. I didn’t feel that it was all that tough, but I sure was hungry all day.

Dinner (7:45 p.m.): Another gigantic bowl of salad with arugula, spinach, cherry tomatoes, red onion slices, and yes, avocado chunks!

I think I’m eating more than before since I went on this 15-day cleanse yesterday!lol I love it!

Let the Cleansing Begin …

Day 1

Breakfast (9:30 a.m.): Juice with kale, celery, carrots, pear, orange, and ginger root. I made a mistake of putting in too much ginger, so the juice came out too spicy. I ended up adding a juice of another orange to it just so that I can drink it.

Lunch (1:00 p.m.): Salad with arugula, spinach, red onion, cherry tomatoes, carrots, and red cabbage, with 1 tablespoon of homemade dressing (garlic, rice vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper).

Snack (3:00 p.m.): Celery sticks with jalapeno hummus.

Dinner (7:00 p.m.): Another salad with arugula, spinach, tomatoes, and strawberries, with the homemade dressing.

Today was Day 1 of my 15-day cleanse, inspired by Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.biggrin I’m not following the program to a T, but I’ve committed myself to eating only clean, vegan food for the next two weeks (in both solid and juice forms). The cleanse is also part inspired by Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Diet so you can say that this is a love-child of two of my favorite detox / cleanse champions.

Although dropping a few pounds would be nice, I’m doing this because I really want to clean my body and mind from the inside out. And I can eat as much vegetables as possible (and lots of fruits) in the next 15 days so I’m very excited about it.

No Culinary Blossoms Here: Seed

seed storefrontI wanted to fall in love with Seed in Venice Beach so badly … I really did.

How could I not? This place received an impressive review from the Los Angeles Times, and many patrons also seemed to adore this little join that specializes in organic, vegan macrobiotics choices, with colorful array of dessert selections crafted masterfully by former M Chaya patisserie, Eric Lechasseur, now the owner of Seed. Paired with raves from celebrity fans like Madonna and Leonardo DiCaprio, the place had the pedigree of an ultimate knockout in the culinary rink. Everything was going toward its favor.

seed bowlI would first acknowledge that Saisai Donburi Marco Bowl, a culinary playground of kabocha (Japanese pumpkin), shiitake, kale, sauerkraut, canellini beans and other healthy seasonal vegetables imaginable on the bed of brown rice, that my sister and I ate did live up to all the hype. No doubt. Seitan, a meat substitute made out of wheat gluten, was incredibly juicy and flavorful, it got me, the carnivore, asking, “beef what?” The mixture of seasonable veggies, creamy beans and other pickled vegetables, sprinkled with tangy and aromatic shiso powder and aonori condiments, danced in my mouth, taking me to a happy, gastronomical place. 🙂

With that out of the way, let me begin my rants:

① This place has no restroom in the premise. Seriously, that’s awful. And in front of the join is a small, 1-hour parking … one more thing to worry about when dining here.

② Food comes in plastic container, which cheapened the entire dining experience, especially after dishing out $15 for a rice bowl. Even the desserts are pre-packaged in the clear, plastic box as they sit in the glass case. I saw a threesome that came in to the place, looked at the dessert options, and left. It’s kinda unappetizing, to tell you the truth. This seemed like a strange decision, knowing that the owner is a pastry chef.  And how about the amount of trash that accumulate?

③ I feel like this place belongs in places like Montana Avenue or Abbot Kinney, not in the smelly Venice Beach. It’s just me, but I’m not really a fan of this part of Venice.

④ Bad service. Maybe it was just that day when I was there, but the guy at the counter just stood there even when the food came out of the kitchen. I also had to go up to the counter to get the desserts because he forgot. Granted, my sister and I were the only ones in the restaurant at that time of the day, but we still, we were totally forgotten while staff stood around and talked.

seed cupcake⑤ And the cupcake … let me tell you about the Chocolate Cupcake with Green Tea Frosting that I ordered … disgusting. I know that the cupcakes here are made out of maple syrup and / or brown rice sweeter instead of regular sugar and they use all the vegan ingredients but that’s no excuse. I’ve had plenty of wonderful, non-sugar, non-dairy sweets elsewhere. This cupcake was flavorless and dense (not in a good way), and I had to put it down after the first bite. This was disappointing to say the least because I love cupcakes and I was really looking forward to the much talked-about pastry by Chef Eric who even wrote a book on this topic. 😕 I will say, however, that the Chocolate Mousse Terrine wasn’t bad.  It had a nice combination of sweet and tangy (sounds strange on a chocolate but it works) and aside from being a little too rich, I thought it was very tasty.

seed boardIf this were a dating world, Seed would be someone who’s a really nice guy but other factors, such as his loser friends, are just too much of a liability to take the relationship to the next level. I would definitely like to try its donburi and other delicious food on the menu like Blackened Tempeh Burger with Sauerkraut and Seitan Pepper Steak, but that’s only if someone is willing to pick it up for me, on the to-go order.

I really thought Seed and I would have a wonderful future together but I guess I just have to file away this experience in my culinary “been there, done that” box and put it away. Until I find my macrobiotic and vegan Gastro Mr. Right, you can find me at M Chaya and Real Food Daily, respectively.

1604 Pacific Avenue, Venice, CA 90291

Who Knew?!? Delicious Vegan Lunch at Real Food Daily

lovely-tableI never thought I would put words like “vegan” and “love” in a same sentence — being the hard-core carnivore that I am. But I’ll say it.  I love vegan food!  And I’ll say it again and again.  I also love Ann Gentry’s Real Food Daily restaurant in West Hollywood for opening my cow-obsessed eyes to the infinite possibilities of fresh, organic, natural ingredients that make vegan dishes one of a kind.

My sister took me to this vegan joint she frequents, located a few blocks from the Beverly Center on restaurant-packed La Cienega.  It was a Super Bowl Sunday and although neither of us are girly girls, we just don’t have much appreciation for football, so it was a perfect day for us to get out for a “healthy” day out — while the entire nation sat home and indulged in beer and junk food.

I love all kinds of vegetable and incorporate plenty of them in my daily meals but there was something very foreign and frightening about “vegan” food that completely omitted everything that once had a mother or a head. I was definitely intimidated to try non-dairy cheese and a tofu molded in a shape of a turkey (and mysteriously tasted like one).  I wondered — how tasty can these creations be?

But may I just say … WOW. Everything I had was a touchdown – one of the best food I’ve had in months. My sister and I started out with a tall glass of spinach/celery/carrots/apple/ginger juice. At first, I wasn’t sure about the combination of putting vegetable in a drink. Yes, I’ve seen Jack LaLanne rave about how delicious these juices are (at 2:00 in a morning), but the idea of putting stinky celery and spinach in a juice sort of grossed me out. Well, I guess the good old Jack knew what he was talking about because the juice was smooth, refreshing and delicious. Sweet apples and spicy ginger mellowed out the strong scent and the aftertaste of celery.  It was a pleasant surprise.

I ordered a Portobello Sandwich and although this was no different from a vegetarian sandwich you would order at regular restaurants as far as ingredients (Portobello mushroom, tomato, leafy greens and red onion), it was fresher, more flavorful and satisfying than anything I’ve tasted. The pesto spread made the sandwich out of this world.


My sister ordered a bowl of Fettuccini Alfredo with (non) meatballs. Believe it or not, the vegan version of the meatball was more dense and juicy than any of the ones I’ve had at Italian joints, and I absolutely could not believe they contained no meat products! She also ordered a side of kale, which was very simple but delicious nonetheless.



We ate so much but we didn’t feel gross at all. Because everything was made out of fresh, organic ingredients, we felt great for the rest of the day. I highly recommend this place to anyone who’s curious about vegan cooking, or anyone who just wants to experience an unbelievably delicious food that makes your body jump in joy.

Real Food Daily
414 N. La Cienega Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90048

P.S. We headed to Korean Spa after lunch and got our entire body scrubbed. We soaked in hot baths and sweated all the toxins out in steam rooms. Talk about a healthy day, I tell you … well, so we thought … until we went to Korean BBQ for dinner that night and put all the gunk back into our body!