Saturday, August 27, 2011

GF/V Review: Sun Cafe is my new hot spot

Heading back east for law school poses a huge problem: letting go of my summer addiction, Sun Cafe (also known as Sun Power Natural Cafe, located at 3711 Cahuenga Blvd, Studio City).

I've tried a few things on the menu, but I believe I have my order down to an art. Bring a friend and split a raw Supreme Pizza and a half size of the raw Kale Colossus (the half size is huge). If you only have time for a drive-by, order the Sweet Kale shake (kale, cashew, banana, agave) with a shot of spirulina and 1/2 the usual amount of agave (unless you want it really sweet). You can also sub dates instead of agave as the sweetener.

Let me start with the pizza. Such perfection is hard to come by in a pizza, let alone a raw, gluten-free, vegan pizza. The glory of the Supreme Pizza is that you don'teven have to be a raw foodie to enjoy it. If it's so good, you may wonder why I recommend splitting: because the crust is made out of seeds (and maybe some nuts) and the raw cheese is also made from some kind of nut or seed...and all that seed/nut action leaves you feeling a little
queesy after stuffing your face with the entire thing.

This is why you must also get the Kale Colossus, which is the most amazing kale salad--in fact, the most amazing salad--I have ever had. Don't be deterred by the banana; I also thought that combo seemed odd. Turns out, it's also taste bud perfection. The dressing is a sort of raw, vegan twist on ranch with some sort of cashew cheesy sauce.

As for the dessert, I tried the raw chocolate cheesecake. It was good, but I'll never order it again because a) it wasn't that good, and b) the raw cheesecake is also nutty and how many nuts can I person eat without feeling sick?

I'm also super happy to know that Sun Cafe is only two years old, but still making it in the valley during a rough economy. In my experience, everyone who works there is super friendly and I love the environment. Definitely check it out!

See the menu.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

the hardest part of being a gluten-free vegan...

Being a gluten-free vegan is very do-able, but challenging. However, I have a bigger problem than the handful of GF options at my favorite veg restaurants, or the burden of carrying mini packets of GF soy sauce in my bag.

The hardest part of being a gluten-free vegan is dealing with the people around me, and in many instances, the closest people to me.

Since I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease a few months ago, many have overwhelmed and disheartened me with their skepticism, backhanded criticism, and otherwise discouraging commentary.

None of this makes sense to me. With a macrobiotic, gluten-free, vegan life, my body finally feels right—for once, everything seems to be working. Stomach acid? Gone. Constant bloating? Gone. Asthma? Dramatically reduced and improving regularly. Muscle aches? Dramatically reduced.

My feelings of wellness outweigh any challenge that a gluten-free vegan lifestyle poses. I do not want to eat gluten, “not even a little” as those around me prod, because it makes me sick. I do not want to be sick.

All and all, I am just confused as to why a person would think that pressuring me into eating flesh—something that I am intellectually and emotionally uncomfortable with eating—would improve my quality of life. Although my transition to GF/V was a bit of a struggle, I am now very happy with how I eat and am thankful that Celiac Disease gave me the push I wanted to go macrobiotic. I have now experienced for myself that foods can heal the body and truly impact the mind.

This post is not to say I am uncomfortable discussing the challenges of my lifestyle or having conversations about what I eat or how it has changed my life. I simply mean that when a person comes at me with a negative attitude, or implies that I am unhappy or hungry, I get annoyed.

I love food—it just might be different food than you enjoy. I have found that people become very uneasy and even rude around people who subscribe to a minority dietary lifestyle. I don’t fully understand what that’s about, but I prefer to enjoy my kale-cashew-banana shake in peace. Thanks.