Pinterest Winners And Failures in July 2016

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Pinterest winner and loser

Lately the weather has been a bit cooler, aka under 110F/43C degrees, so I have been spending a bit more time in the kitchen doing what I love to do.  This means I can finally share some of tested Pinterest recipes and declare each one a winner and failures.    Each recipe I have tested in my own personal kitchen, all results are my own opinion so possible contrasting views may be possible.  For me, I love finding out if a recipe works in another kitchen before testing in my own, a helpful weeding out process of the thousands I pin on my boards.  Hopefully all of you enjoy these as much as me.  If you have any recipes found to work out great, please let me know.  Or, if you have a vegan recipe you would like me to test out for you, let me know in the comments section.

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What I Ate Vegan: July 2016

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Vegan Options Sharky's Mexican Grill in CaliforniaSomehow July seemed to fly past once again, no idea how this happened again.  We are still in the process of becoming California residents and here we are already in August.  So, I thought was high time I posted some food photos so entice all of you to eat a little healthier and have a little adventure along the way.

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Vegan Grocery Haul: Costco/99¢Store/Trader Joes

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Vegan at CostcoSnoopy at heart, I love to see what everyone else is buying from local grocery stores in my area.  One really does not want to miss out, right?  Still to date we have not found a grocery store that caters to all our needs, hence, we are still going to multiple stores for necessities.  Here are some photos of the items we purchased the last few weeks and the name stores purchased.

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Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve & LA Aqueduct

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Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve

One would think we would have taken the short car ride from Palmdale, California to the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve earlier, since we live in the city but it actually one of the last ones to visit.  During the spring time, this area is probably one of the most famous in the LA county area thanks to the California Poppies (hence the namesake).  Tourists come worldwide to see the poppies in bloom, providing one of the highest income events in the area (in my opinion).  The mountains and hills are supposed to be blanketed with blooms, as far as the eye can see or telescopic lens in a lot of cases.  Due to just moving to the area and house searching, our visit during the poppy season was canceled until next year.  Two weekends ago, we had a little free time so we adventured off to the reserve for a little fresh air. (Video Included)

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A Day Shopping Japanese Stores near LA, California

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Redondo Beach California SunsetAs many of you already know, I spent a few years living in Japan, collectively.  If Genki Husband could speak Japanese, I would probably be living there right now.  Life spins us around in different winding paths though, and I am currently being entertained in Southern California.  Thankfully, my happy place can be found near Los Angeles.  There is a large population of Japanese expats living in the area, hence, a lot of original stores have been brought over to this area.  Normally I am a very socially anxious (although many people do not notice) person, however when I enter anything Japanese, I feel at home.  For some reason anything Asian has become my comfort zone, I feel more at home in a Japanese store than say Walmart.  To each their own, however if you are like me, you might like to check out these fantastic finds in the Gardena, California area.  This is just the start of my list, so please feel free to let me know of your favorites in the area (especially a Korean store, still can’t find a good one). Today I would like to start off with the Japanese store tours at the Pacific Square Shopping Center.

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Bountiful Rainbow Food: What I Ate Recently

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Spinach Nice Cream Breakfast

Meals lately in our household have been mostly whole plant-based, with a strong emphasis on raw vegan.  We are not raw vegan however we lean towards that direction during the hot summers, especially in SoCal.  Nice Cream (Blended Bananas) have become a go-to breakfast for the two of us as the temperatures have been slowly rising.  There is nothing more refreshing than a ice cold bowl of ground bananas on a 105F/40C day.  We can’t complain too much in SoCal, I’ve been following Los Vegas temperatures and I am not sure how residents there do not melt.  Thank goodness air conditioning was invented! Things here in SoCal have been good though, we are making the best of the temperatures and us Indiana expats are learning to love the warm sunshine beams throughout the day.  But back to the topic, food!

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A Stomach is the Size of a Fist, so Eat Accordingly: Weight Loss Myths

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Weight loss myths Image

The various “Secrets to Dieting Everyone Needs to Know” pieces have been circulating for probably as long as print media has been in production.  While there are many myths circulating within all of these articles, this one stated above really has been one that is commonly misunderstood and is dangerous to the health if not applied correctly.  It is “secrets” like this one grabbing the attention of those people seeking help that can end up putting people into harms path.  Lately, I heard someone mention one should portion food to fit into the size of a fist, as in the amount of food eaten per meal should be the size of a fist.  There are so many issues with this false statement, so today I would like to help those of you looking for health and happiness to some truth to why this statement can put one into harms path and is merely a myth.

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Red Rock Canyon State Park

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Located in the middle of no where in a location (I don’t think I can even call it a city) called Cantil, California.  It is just less than 1 hour from Lancaster/Palmdale, California.    Sounds like a long distance but if you are not originally from the area, the drive is absolutely priceless.  There are mountains, fields, and rock formations unlike I have seen before in other places.  (But then again Indiana doesn’t have many rock formations, so…)  These rock formations are red tinted, unlike the tan color of the Lancaster region.  It’s a nice change of scenery.  When the red rocks start to appear, it feels as though your car has just been transported onto a different planet, almost like you’re driving in the Sojourner Rover.  The drive is definitely worth a day trip, or night if you are the camping type.

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Placerita Canyon State Park (Free SoCal Hiking)

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Lately it seems as though this blog has turned into a vegan travel blog instead of a foodie blog.  Rest assures, my temptations with food has not dulled, rather intensified thanks to the multitude of adventurous foods being introduced from living in Southern California.  One would think moving across the nation would not be as different as say moving countries, however it is not the case at all.  Southern California is a vast state full of different cultures and natural scenery for one to adventure.  Genki Husband and I have always wanted to live in such a place that never dulls our adventurous side, so hence my blog posts have been full of local scenes of interest since it is something going on in my life.  Hopefully all of you have enjoyed the scenes from this gorgeous state that we now call home.  Today I would love to share with you a state park near Santa Clarita called Placerita Canyon State Park.

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Happy 11th Anniversary Genki Husband!

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11th Anniversary Day Trip to Ventura, California

June 25th, 2016 Genki Husband and I celebrated on “Year of Steel” together, hands willingly clasped together in marriage for 11 years.  Does this mean the honeymoon years are over?  Who says these blissful years have to be over?  Our marriage is based on love, dedicated, trust and friendship and we will enjoy many, many more years together enjoying life and most importantly serving God as He put us together in the first place.  For our celebration, we plan on going on a larger trip (after the 4th of July tourist craziness) but for now a day trip was the perfect idea.  See what we did below in the video and photos:

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