Tree of Life: Raw Food Heaven

We spent a blissful day at the Tree of Life in Patagonia, AZ. Read more about it here! Pay close attention to the presentation and textures they have used…it makes such a difference when preparing and eating raw foods. Don’t miss the video at the end…and if you are ever in the Phoenix or Tucson areas, be sure to go!


March 6, 2010 at 11:56 am 2 comments

W.I.S.H. Summit

Wow. There are TONS of great speakers lined up for this event! I’m especially looking forward to Victoria Boutenko, David Wolfe, Ritamarie Loscalzo, and Dr. Mercola. Don’t miss out…it looks amazing!

Sign up for free before March 8. I hope that you’ll be able to listen in!

March 4, 2010 at 7:47 pm Leave a comment

I Heart Cafe Gratitude

When we were in San Francisco, we HAD to go back to Cafe Gratitude! Definitely my favorite raw restaurant. We went over a busy lunch hour at their location in the Mission District. This location is really small…but somehow, they make it work. I love looking at all of the fun cards, clothing, and gifts they have available. Most of them are available on their website as well.

I dream about this dish. It’s SO good.  Here is what it has in it:

Steamed Bhutanese red rice tossed w/ kale, avocado, cucumber, nori, scallions, & herbs in sesame-ginger sauce.

If anyone has the exact recipe for the “I am Accepting” Sushi Bowl,  I will love you forever. I’m sure I could figure it out, it appears to be a simple sesame-ginger sauce and “herbs”. But there must be something secret and magical in it as well 🙂

Matt had the “I am Passionate” marinara pizza with buckwheat sunflower seed flatbread crust, topped with hearty sauces, sliced tomatoes & cashew ricotta, sprinkled with Brazil nut Parmesan. Yum.

Bella had the “I am a Winner” cheesy rice…wish cashew mozzarella and Brazilian nut parmesan.

You would think that I would have taken a photo of their food. But I was a little obsessed with my sushi bowl and I totally forgot!

The Abounding River board game cards.

Fun stuff to buy.

I LOVE the water bottles that they put on your table.
Each one has a different word etched on the glass. We had “familia”.
Perfect 🙂 Can’t wait to go back again someday!

March 3, 2010 at 2:01 am 13 comments

Happy Janssens Blog!

I am VERY excited to announce that our new blog is officially LAUNCHED!! Woooo hoooo!

Come join us at Happy Janssens!

There are 23 blogs already posted for your reading pleasure and TONS of new photos (including lots of new listings at my Etsy store). I’ve been blogging all of our travels from the time we bought the RV, but the dates aren’t exactly right because I blogged them all at once :) Now that I’m caught up, the posts will be in “real time”. We love love love comments…so don’t be shy!

You will see there that we are currently taking bookings for photography sessions, veggie oil conversions, and custom RV remodels.  Please contact us right away if you’re interested in hiring us for these services when we are in your area. We are basing our route on our booked jobs.

Spread the word…and put one of little blog “buttons” on your site!
Have a wonderful weekend…see you over at Happy Janssens!

February 26, 2010 at 4:46 pm Leave a comment

Confessions of a Happy Foody

It’s almost like a magical “raw alarm” goes off inside me when the temperature hits 70 degrees. This week the weather has been so beautiful and it’s been so much easier to eat more raw. And that’s good…because I’ve been a bit off track as of late.

We have kind of an unwritten rule in our family that December is our “free month”. We are with our families and there tends to be A LOT of delicious foods that we love…but don’t necessarily eat year round. After the holidays, we hit it hard again and get back on track.

This year, however, it seemed especially hard to cut out the junk after the holidays were over. And by junk, I mean breads and sugars. For those of you who think I am Happy Foody superwoman and that I never eat “bad” foods, think again. I eat a cleaner diet than most people, but I have a serious sweet tooth. Except when I’m raw…hence the reason I love raw! 🙂 It balances me. I also apparently have a problem listening to authority. So when my my body was saying…”ok, enough is enough”…by mind was saying “whatever…it’s fine…leave me alone!”.

So…here is my confession. Up until this last week I was still regularly treating myself to a cookie at Starbucks, some chocolate chip cookies at friend’s houses, Hershey kisses or delicious vegan treats. You get the picture. Of course, I was still drinking a huge green smoothie daily and eating wholesome vegetarian meals, but the sugar is what really throws me off course.

 I don’t think it’s bad to have treats once in awhile…in fact, I encourage it. But it got to where I felt like I needed some sugar after every meal…and that is not normal. I know I’m not the only one who struggles with this.

So many of you have written to me and told me about your love for sugar and how hard it is to kick. I totally relate. But I was sick of feeling gross. Every time I would eat sugar or breads, I would feel bloated, get a headache, feel sick to my stomach, or just feel “spacey”. There are symptoms of excessive sugar consumption that just seem like part of normal life…but they aren’t! Cravings for one thing. And forgetfulness…general brain fog. Definitely sugar related for me. I’ve also struggled with yeast issues for a long time…and let’s just say the yeast LOVES it when I eat sugar!

The way I motivate myself to quit doing something is to find really convincing reasons why I should stop. Just do a little bit of research on what excess sugar does to your body, and you will want to swear off of it right now. One of the reasons at the top of my list is compromised immune system. This is an excerpt from “The Scary Truth About Sugar” by Carolyn Dean, M.D.:

“Sugar compromises immune function. Two cans of soda (which contain 24 teaspoons of sugar) reduce the efficiency of white blood cells by 92 percent-an effect that lasts up to five hours, according to Kenneth Bock, M.D., an expert in nutritional and environmental health. Since white blood cells are an integral part of your immune system, if you happen to meet a nasty virus or bacteria within five hours of drinking a few colas, your immune system may be unable to fight off the invader.”

Ever wonder why so many people get sick with the flu and colds right around Halloween? Well there you have it.

The past 3-4 days I’ve been raw all day again until supper and have cut out processed sugar and breads. And what an amazing difference it has made. Two things really got my attention.

•    Headache. On day 2, I went to bed with a horrible headache. I was really confused because I never get headaches. Ever. The next morning, I woke up with the same headache. It persisted all day.
•    Acne. All of a sudden, I had 6-7 zits. Seriously? They weren’t big, but I pretty much never get them anymore. What was going on here?

And then it dawned on me. I’m TOTALLY DETOXING! It’s been so long since I let myself eat so much junk that I hadn’t recognized these obvious detox symptoms. It’s so to get into bad habits…because there don’t seem to be any immediate adverse effects when you’re adding junk slowly. But taking it away is another story.

So I’m back on track…ready to rock and roll. I’ve been eating TONS of greens. We went to a great farmer’s market here in Las Vegas and I bought almost all of their dino kale. It’s so fresh and yummy. I try to eat greens with every meal…in my green smoothie, in my salad at lunch, green lemonade in the afternoon, and steamed greens with my supper. I’m a nursing mama…so those greens are helping to make lots of milk for Lucy!

I have learned that my “happy place” is as raw as I can be all day with a meat/dairy free meal at night (I still do goat cheese on occasion and I do eat eggs…so not totally vegan). When I get too strict with myself and make all of these rules inside my head about my eating habits, I tend to make myself insane. And that’s not the goal.

The goal is TOTAL HEALTH. And health is so much more than just eating. It’s getting enough sleep. Exercising. Breating clean, fresh air. Having healthy relationships and being full of love and joy! And sometimes joy makes me want some warm, crusty bread with my soup. And that’s ok. 🙂

The thing I am really looking forward to is watermelon season. It’s so close. I can feel it. I’ve been in watermelon withdrawal since last summer. Even when I can find it down south, it’s still not the same as summer watermelon! So…I’m counting the days!

I will hopefully update my food journal a few more times this month. Here is today’s entry.

Have a wonderful day…and eat your greens!

February 20, 2010 at 3:38 am 22 comments

Mary’s Secret Garden – Ventura, CA

This is possibly the yummiest veggie burger ever made. All veggie, all VEGAN! Even the cheese. Matt devoured this at Mary’s Secret Garden in Ventura, CA, a sweet little vegan and raw cafe near the beaches in Ventura. I ordered some fresh spring rolls and a pineapple & date smoothie, but forgot to take photos. Oops! I ate them too fast.

The cafe featured all vegan food…with much of that being raw vegan. They had such a great mix of food…and they were super sweet with Bella, making her a special noodle dish upon her request. I had read rave reviews about this place, but we almost left town without checking it out. I’m so glad we didn’t…now I wish we would have been there longer so I could go every day. Yum.

A cute little outdoor patio…looking over the park across the street.

It was hoppin’ at lunch time.

A quaint little corner.

January 23, 2010 at 1:48 pm 11 comments

Raw Mom Summit…AGAIN!

If you missed the Raw Mom Summit the first time around…they are offering it again! This is such a great opportunity to hear leaders in the raw food and health industry talk about different topics. I always like HEARING, rather than reading…it tends to inspire me on a deeper level. The last time I listened to the speakers, it was extremely motivating…so if you’ve been in a slump, be sure to check it out!

December 10, 2009 at 10:58 am 10 comments

Pineapple Guava

Last weekend we went with our friends to the farmer’s market near Santa Cruz, CA and realized why everyone loves living here. They have farmer’s markets year round!! Not fair.

This particular day was even more fun because I tried a fruit that I’ve never tried before. BEHOLD — The Pineapple Guava!! Oh my. So delicious. And to show you how to eat these little gems…I made a video for you 🙂

December 6, 2009 at 2:43 am 21 comments

Road Food

sara cooking
Here I am…in Walla Walla, Washington cooking up some Sunchoke Quinoa with my friend Ali. If you don’t read my other blogs, you might be wondering if I fell off the face of the earth. This blog has been mighty quiet lately 🙂 Our family has gone back on the road full time and the last few months have been full of transition and craziness.

I will still be posting to Happy Foody, but while we’re on the road, it tends to be very sporadic. I’m usually cooking up some deliciousness in my friend’s homes…but most of it is stuff that is on my blog already! So…as I try new and fun recipes, I will post. I’ll be launching our new travel blog soon…stay tuned! Thanks for your patience.

Have a wonderful weekend!


November 13, 2009 at 12:59 am 9 comments

Sunchoke Quinoa

sunchoke quinoa

When Lucy was born, a friend brought over roasted veggies and it had sunchokes in it. Until that point in time, I hadn’t ever tasted a sunchoke. At least not that I was aware of. Sunchokes are also known as jerusalem artichokes, and they are scrumptious. Kind of a mix between a potato and an artichoke. I love this recipe…very tasty and easy. You can’t go wrong with meals that can be made in one pot! It can be eaten as a main dish with a salad or as a side. Enjoy!

Sunchoke Quinoa
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cups veggie broth
1 1/2 cups quinoa
2 T olive oil
1 can chickpeas
1 cup chopped sunchokes (I leave the peels on if they’re organic)
1 can peas
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a 2 qt saucepan over medium heat and saute the onion until translucent. Add the quiona and toast over medium heat until it cracks/pops (3-5 minutes). Add broth and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add chickpeas, sunchokes, peas, and salt/pepper. Simmer covered for 15-20 minutes. Fluff and serve. Top with avocado and sea salt for fun. Yum.

November 12, 2009 at 11:33 pm 8 comments

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Words to Eat By

"It is easier to change a man's religion than to change his diet." -Margaret Mead

"I don't understand why asking people to eat a well-balanced vegetarian diet is considered drastic, while it is medically conservative to cut people open and put them on cholesterol lowering drugs for the rest of their lives." - Dean Ornish, MD

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson


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