Southern Vacation – California Again!

A few weeks ago I made a last minute decision to come back to California to visit Philip and other friends. What can I say? I'm a costal sunshine girl at heart.

I've brought my health back up to the point where I can handle some traveling, while being mindful of the fact that I still require a good amount of sleep/rest, and need to stick with my new diet/NO cacao. And yes, for the most part I have stuck with my diet, but I admit I haven't been perfect. I've indulged in more sweet stuff that I should be having (but zero cacao, in fact I've been cacao FREE for 9 weeks now - you can't even imagine how many times I've been tempted), and I've enjoyed some wine (I'm not supposed to be consuming any alcohol).

As a "born again" meat eater (if you're wondering what the heck I'm talking about, read this post), I've discovered some cool things. While being on the road, I found it easy to get the foods I needed. It was a little bit of an adjustment from my days of traveling while being all raw vegan where I would grab fresh/dried fruit, veggies, nuts, and cacao. Did you know that at Whole Foods you can order fish or meat and have it grilled right there, free of charge?! I made use of this service a number of times, and then picked up a salad from the salad bar to go with my protein of choice. I've carried hard boiled eggs, celery, dulse, and coconut butter in the car/purse to snack on. It's been a fun experience eating things at restaurants that I haven't eaten in years - cooked vegetable dishes, meat, fish, and raw cheese.

I still eat a bit of plain organic yogurt every morning as a probiotic, and have been enjoying frosty berry shakes for breakfast. I blend: Organic Pastures fresh raw colostrum with frozen blueberries, strawberries, and/or cherries, and stevia. I looove the colostrum - it's highly nutritious and makes my smoothies super creamy!
Speaking of which, I've been asked where to find raw dairy in Canada. So much for free will. Unfortunately it's not legal to sell raw milk here. Instead, a person must get a "cow/goat share" which entitles them to consume the raw product. If you cannot pick it up, most places will ship it to you. It is, however, easy to find raw cheese here, and the organic goat yogurt I use is questionable (since it does NOT say "pasteurized" as most other dairy products do). I've emailed the company and am waiting to hear back. Here's a great list of resources for raw milk and other dairy products in Canada

Upon arrival in LA, Philip and I stopped for a visit at my good friend, Debbie Young's house for a wonderful feast with her family. Deb is amazing! She picked up some grass fed bison, farm fresh eggs, and raw amish cheese from her co-op for me. She also made me some bone broth and jerky for me to enjoy during my stay. CLICK HERE to get her amazing bone broth recipe!

Philip and I picked up 2 durians and a case of young coconuts from the Asian market too. The next morning we tore into the durian outside in the sunshine.

Ripping into it with our bare hands - that's the way to do it!

One of the durians was a bit more watery that we wanted, so I used it as an opportunity to make a simple pudding. I blended durian with young coconut pulp, ice cubes, and fresh vanilla bean for a thick, slightly frosty pudding.

We topped it with a few blueberries, a few crushed nuts, and a drizzle of salted caramel sauce from Kind Kreme.

November 2 was Philip's birthday so a large group of us celebrated at Au Lac restaurant - funny enough, this is where I had my birthday in September. As always, Chef Ito pleases any palate. The company was fabulous too! I feasted on the humanese soup, a seaweed salad, and some California rolls. Couldn't leave without one of Ito's famous donut holes - so soft with a sweet gooey center, rolled in some mysterious white powder. Strangely this was the only raw restaurant I ate during my trip.

Puki and Debbie

A few days later we were on the road, heading to LA for a few days to visit our friends, Anthony and Alexandra, the creators of Blackbird Naturals. We brought along the second durian to feast on. It was Alexandra's first time trying, and she loved it!

The weather was stellar, and we got some quality time on the beach. We had so much fun biking from Venice to Santa Monica beach one sunny afternoon before ducking into Rawvolution for milkshakes (which were really bad, in my opinion - mine was blueberry and tasted like slightly sweetened almond milk blended with ice and a few berries. Philip had the chocolate one and didn't like it either).

Onwards and upwards! A few days later we were back on the road heading to the Santa Barbara area.

Hehe, isn't the seal cute?! I was so excited to get this great shot of him/her. 

We were sure to hit up the shops and restaurants too! We found a really neat new cafe called Epic Bowl that serves frozen fruit blends, topped with fresh fruit, hemp granola, and a drizzle of honey.

Our next stop was at our friend Gina's house for a fermenting class. This is something I've been wanting to get more into, as fermented foods are incredibly healing. We learned how to culture coconut, veggies, salsa, even cacao! I'll be experimenting a lot once I get home.

We enjoyed a fun night out in LA with our friend Disa. 

Back at Dhrumil and Lori's house, a Thai Spring Roll feast was prepared by Lori one afternoon. A DIY assembly line was full of rice paper wraps, noodles, carrot, sprouts, avocado, cilantro, basil, and mint, in addition to dipping sauces. 
Ready to roll and eat!
Today Philip and I went on a 10 km hike at Santa Rosa Plateau. We loved being out in nature, under the sunshine. I'm soaking up as much sun as possible, since I'm heading home in a few days. All great adventures must come to an end. 
I love this image Philip shot of the sun shining through the trees. 
I think this photo sums up perfect how I'm feeling right now 🙂
I'm so grateful for a magical vacation. In a few days I will return home filled with great memories and inspiration...
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  1. November 15, 2010 at 05:01

    You are looking healthier Heathy! I'm so happy for you!! love the photo with the durian :)

  2. November 15, 2010 at 05:05

    your vacation sounds awesome! hearing you triumph over your cacao cravings gives me inspiration to fight the temptations i see day to day...thanks for giving us all strength:)

  3. November 15, 2010 at 05:08

    I love your blog so much more now. It has such diversity, such a journey to follow and will teach many. It's quite a fascinating journey you've been on. And for the record you look more radiant than ever! Keep up the good work! xx

  4. November 15, 2010 at 05:52

    Ooooo, sound like you had a fun time. That's awesome that you are enjoying your diet so much ^.^!<br /><br /><3 Laurel

  5. November 15, 2010 at 06:54

    You are my hero! You are fighting this no-cacao thing like a champ. And looking lovely in the process.<br /><br />:-) xxo Eva

  6. November 15, 2010 at 10:40

    Hanging right in there with you on the no-cacao thing (although I have slipped once or twice). One of my favorite things to do is introduce people to durian! My mom loves it, and so does one of my brothers.<br /><br />So pleased for you that you are being able to exercise so much out in beautiful nature. And although I always thought you looked stunning earlier in your blog, your skin tone is so much more radiant now: it's astonishing, you just glow!<br /><br />Sounds like your LA friends are accepting and encouraging of your new path and the support of friends is one of the most priceless things you can have.<br /><br />lots of love<br />Ela

  7. November 15, 2010 at 11:08

    Wow honey!! Seems like you are so on the right track to getting better, in fact, i would say you are more than half way to getting back to feeling great?<br /><br />Keep up the great work we all love reading what you are up to!!!!<br /><br />Love you!<br />xxxxxxxx

  8. November 15, 2010 at 14:34

    Definitely looks like your energy is back and you are feeling better.<br /><br />Thanks for the link / resource for finding raw milk in Canada. I have been having a hard time finding it, but have found raw cheese at a local farmer's market. Delicious!<br /><br />Soak up those rays before you head back North.

  9. November 15, 2010 at 15:50

    This post just made me S M I L E from ear to ear!!!!! That last picture says it all.. my sweet Heathy (cacao free) is back!<br />I love that we were able to spend time together and have so many good times. Now when will you be back?<br /><br />Love you lots!<br />deb

  10. November 15, 2010 at 16:14

    What gorgeous nature and happy friends! Love you!

  11. Anonymous
    November 15, 2010 at 16:27

    Thanks for the update and the links sweet Heathy!<br /><br />Moe

  12. Carol G.
    November 15, 2010 at 17:58

    Always happy to read of your journeys and now restored back to health: heath is wealth!! Love ya!! x0x0x0x

  13. Anonymous
    November 15, 2010 at 21:26

    I agree you definately look so much more grounded and healthy from the inside out. I so look forward to reading everyone of your posts and they are helping me and giving me so much inspiration. <br />Thank you!

  14. November 15, 2010 at 22:46

    As soon as I started to get weak from my vegetarian diet (I became ovo-lacto, but still...), I immediatly thought about you and your struggle.<br />Being true to our body and health sometimes means rethinking our principles.<br />It's so good to see how healthy you look right now! I'm really happy for you!<br />Kisses from Brazil =**************

  15. November 16, 2010 at 04:09

    so glad to see you had a great trip and are doing well! xoxo

  16. November 16, 2010 at 05:20

    California is def a place to rekindle your inner sunshine! So glad to see you are that much closer to recovery! Xx @healthymodel

  17. November 16, 2010 at 05:37

    Wow Heather! You look so pretty! So happy to hear you are feeling better:-)<br />BTW-I went to The Present Moment Cafe while I was in St. Augustine, FL last month. It was awesome! Thanks for writing about it awhile back. It was totally worth the stop.<br />Much Aloha, Amanda

  18. November 16, 2010 at 14:36

    Hey girlie girl. I just thought I'd check in and see how you were doing. You look lovely. Glad you and Philip have been able to spend some time together. Hugs :-)

  19. November 16, 2010 at 22:18

    Good to hear you are well. I'm happy to offer you a free BodyTalk session on cocoa cravings. It will go a long way, and possibly eliminate the cravings entirely. I can do it long distance. Let me know if you're interested. Bless you.

  20. November 17, 2010 at 00:01

    Beautiful post. I used to be Vegan too. Unlike you, I switched to meat simply because of time and availability of nutritive foods. So wonderful to see you being spontaneous!

  21. November 17, 2010 at 02:30

    Durian? Really? No matter how abundant durian is here in our country, still I don't like to eat it. :p Love your berry shake, though. Looks delicious!<br /><br /><a href="" rel="nofollow">Healthyrecipes</a>

  22. November 20, 2010 at 03:17

    As a canadian girl myself, I must say, moving to Los Angeles has been the best decision EVER. I love the constant sunshine and all the hiking trails. It looks like you guys had a great time, I would love to meet up next time.<br /><br />Kim:)

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