18 More Reasons for Vegans to Shop at Costco

No wonder Costco has surpassed Whole Foods Market in volume of organic food sold, as I reported in Costco’s Top 5 Vegan and Healthy Favorites. While still relatively few, Costco also has more and more products labeled as “vegan” or carrying the “V” mark for vegan!

I couldn’t contain my excitement when I discovered the “Pressed by Kind” bars on a recent Costco visit to pick up some treats on my birthday. The portable source of nutrition in bars is especially important for vegans because who can’t eat out or buy food just anywhere. But not just any bars will do, since many are loaded with dairy products, processed sugars, oils, protein isolates, genetically-modified ingredients, and chemical additives and preservatives.

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Remembering Fukushima, and Veganism Rising in Japan

Vegan CheesecakeMarch 11 will mark 6 years since the devastating earthquake and tsunami in the Tohoku (Northeast) region of Japan that led to the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

In Tokyo, 150 miles away, we fled our homes and workplaces in panic to witness helplessly on tiny cellphone screens as the massive tsunami swallowed up entire villages. Ultimately, 16,000 lives were lost and hundreds of thousands have been displaced.

Although my home had suffered only minor cracks, I feared going back inside for days as the aftershocks continued. As anyone who’s experienced a large earthquake knows, you cease trusting the ground beneath your feet. You want to run far away to escape what’s happened, but eventually—if you’re fortunate enough to survive—you must return to face the damage and start picking up the pieces of your life.

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Vipassana: May All Beings Be Happy and Vegan, too

Evening snack of fruit for the new studentsI’ve just returned from my fourth 10-day Vipassana meditation course. How peaceful it felt being unplugged and letting the world outside the camp fade away!

However, I realize that for many people joining a 10-day silent meditation for their first time, the food can be a concern.

If you are an omnivore, you may worry whether you’ll be satisfied with meals that are billed as “vegetarian.” Likewise, vegans may be worried if there’s going to be food containing eggs or dairy products.

Relax.

How Not to Die-It’s Never Too Late

how-not-to-dieDoes a book entitled “How Not to Die” make a good present? Of course! Will your loved ones read it? Who cares? If they don’t, you can borrow it and read it yourself! You deserve it, don’t you?

When I first heard the title, I thought it might be off-putting to those who were not familiar with Dr. Greger’s work. Some of my family and friends thought it was not in good taste when I presented it to my mother (who is approaching 90) last Christmas.

I was disappointed—but should not have been surprised—that Mom has read little of it, and I will try to find someone more excited about improving the quality of their remaining years.

As someone who has binge-watched Dr. Greger’s NutritionFacts.Org videos for fun, and has attended his lectures in person on 3 occasions, I understood immediately why he titled his book “How Not to Die.” Continue reading

Vegan Aloha at KCC Farmers Market: Acai Bowls, Natto, and More!

Vegan Acai Bowl at Daizu-Tei (hold the honey!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While most Honolulu locals shop for their fresh local produce, tourists flock to farmers markets for the prepared foods-of which few are vegan-friendly, and a lot are plain unhealthy: Fried this, or fried that!? Even the T-shirts sold by the Hawaii Farm Bureau are adorned with pigs–signifying the ubiquity of meat and other animal products. 

Until the day when there are Vegan Farmers Markets, fortunately there is Daizu-Tei, specializing in acai bowl, kim-chi, and natto using vegan, local, and organic ingredients. Owner Kaori Yoshioka must be doing something special, judging from the long lines at her stand at the Kapiolani Community College (KCC) Saturday morning market (7:30am-11:00am).

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Costco’s Top 5 Vegan and Healthy Favorites

Harmless Harvest says "It’s ok to be pink"Is there anything in Costco’s warehouse for a high-raw, whole foods plant-based vegan diet?

Until a few years ago, I would have scoffed “don’t be ridiculous!”, but these days there are more than a few items that may make a Costco membership worthwhile for you.

Of course, the trend to carry vegan and organic items elsewhere is growing, too. Little coincidence that it was just reported that Costco has surpassed Whole Foods Market as the biggest purveyor of organic foods in the U.S.!

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Enlightened Vegan Dining at Satori Hawaii

Satori Hawaii is a vegan pop-up at Soto Mission

A year ago, Megumi Odin left Peace Cafe, the much-loved restaurant she started almost five years ago, to follow her creative inspiration to the next level.

In September, the chef behind the first vegan restaurant in Honolulu began Satori Hawaii, a “pop-up” in the Soto Mission of Hawaii (1708 Nu’Uanu Ave) serving Contemporary Shojin Ryori (Buddhist Cuisine) meals that are vegan and gluten-free.

Megumi says opening a vegan restaurant in the U.S. was her mission, but she didn’t believe Americans were ready for Japanese style vegan food back when Peace Cafe opened. Continue reading

Honolulu Organic Juice Bars-Few and Far Between

Mike and Stacy, Extract Juice Bar (Bishop St).If you’ve had really fresh juice made from local organic vegetables and fruits, you know there’s nothing that compares.

This is why people travel to rejuvenation centers and spend thousands of dollars to consume nothing but fresh green juice, wheatgrass shots, and low-glycemic raw food to detox and heal their body and mind. If you’ve not taken such a vacation, isn’t it time you did?

If Green Juice’s So Good for You, Why Not Drink It Every Day?

If you have a little time to shop for produce, it’s easy to juice at home. Begin by juicing equal amounts of organic cucumbers and celery for 80 percent (the base) of your juice, and make the remaining 20 percent out of organic leafy greens (i.e. kale, spinach, cabbage), lemon, ginger, turmeric, apple, carrots, beets, etc.-whatever vegetables and fruits you’d like. Or for those who can’t stand vegetables (I know you’re out there), use vegetables you hate the least! Continue reading

Is HPP Juice Worth Your Gold?

Evolution Fresh Hits HonoluluJust a year after receiving my Starbucks Gold Card, recently the  company emailed me that my Gold rewards status had fallen back to green and I had “lost all my Stars.” Dear Me! 

A life-long coffee lover, I stopped drinking coffee around the time I began practicing a mostly raw vegan diet, though I still enjoy the aroma and the occasional sip of coffee while borrowing Starbucks’ internet.

Recently, when Evolution Fresh juices arrived on Starbucks’ shelves in Honolulu, I thought I had found a new way to restore my coveted “Gold” status: Juice!

I wrote about Starbucks acquiring Evolution Fresh a couple years ago for its Cold-Pressed and High Pressure Processing (HPP) juice technologies. In addition to Evolution Fresh, there are many other national brands using HPP, such as Suja Juice (carried by Whole Foods), and more to come!

What is Pascalization?

At first I thought “HPP” was something new, but when I learned that another term for HPP was “Pascalization” (named after 17th century French scientist Blaise Pascal) I knew it must be pretty old!  Continue reading

Soak Your Nuts-All In Good Taste!

Soak Your Nuts: Karyn's Conscious Comfort FoodsAfter perusing “Soak Your Nuts: Karyn’s Conscious Comfort Foods” you will understand why people travel hundreds of miles to eat at Karyn Calabrese’s restaurants in Chicago: TASTE!

With a provocative title that no man could get away with, this book is actually two books in one: One half contains raw vegan recipes (95 pages) and the other cooked vegan recipes (77 pages).  Karyn’s first book in the series was entitled Soak Your Nuts: Cleansing With Karyn: Detox Secrets for Inner Healing and Outer Beauty (2011). She explains on her blog that the attention-grabbing title came to her while meditating.

Though Karyn, an accomplished entrepreneur, has practiced a raw vegan diet for over 40 years, her book’s aim is to help people transition to healthier plant-based eating-whether cooked or raw. Judging from the 100‘s of approachable easy-to-follow and tasty mostly one-page recipes, her aim has been achieved.

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