A Search for Great Vegan Food in San Diego

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Trilogy Sanctuary

Trilogy Sign

Trilogy Sign


LA JOLLA.  I wandered off of Girard Avenue, wound my way through a hallway, and found the elevator.  After a short ride, I found myself on a roof deck set up for a yoga class with palm trees framing the horizon line against the ocean.  I instantly knew I had found a special place.  Trilogy Sanctuary serves a 100% organic, vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO menu, and they strive to source their ingredients as locally as possible.  Chef Scott’s Steele’s attention to detail is evident in the quality of the food served — all of the dishes are thoughtfully assembled and their flavors are in harmony.


During my first visit to Trilogy, I was sitting next to a group of girls who ordered the Vega-Nachos, a mix of gluten free veggie chips smothered in cheesy sauce with quinoa chorizo, avocado, and pico.  They raved about the dish the entire time they were eating them.  I decided I needed to try them … after all, how often does a vegan get to eat nachos?  On my next visit, they were the first thing I ordered.  I loved that the “chips” were made from dehydrated sweet potatoes –a healthy alternative to the normally fried nacho base.  The best part? The quinoa chorizo.  It gave each bite a bit of a kick.  I will DEFINITELY be ordering these again.


[caption id="attachment_2942" align="alignnone" width="640"]Vega-Nachos Vega-Nachos[/caption]


Another amazing Trilogy menu option is the Wrap of Zen.  The wrap (which by the way is vegan, raw, and paleo!) is filled with sprouted homemade hummus, butternut squash, beets, avocado, and cucumber and topped with almond love sauce.  The wrap is bursting with fresh veggies.  I don’t know what is in the almond love sauce, but it is special.  This wrap far surpasses the tired veggie sandwich and is a truly unique dish.


[caption id="attachment_2943" align="alignnone" width="640"]The Wrap of Zen The Wrap of Zen[/caption]


The “Two Perfect Tacos” dish is aptly named.  The tacos are comprised of house made corn tortillas stuffed with quinoa chorizo, roasted sweet potatoes, eggplant bacon, avocado, pico, and spicy almond love sauce.  The roasted sweet potatoes acted as an excellent anchor for these tacos and contrasted deliciously with the salty taste of the eggplant bacon.  Yum!


[caption id="attachment_2944" align="alignnone" width="640"]Two Perfect Tacos Two Perfect Tacos[/caption]


Trilogy also offers a delicious Mediterranean Spaghetti Squash entree made from  warm spaghetti squash tossed in home made pesto mixed with roasted portobello mushrooms, heirloom tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, olives, and toasted pine nuts.  Personally, I’m predisposed to enjoy any dish with pesto and sun dried tomatoes and this dish did not disappoint!


[caption id="attachment_2946" align="alignnone" width="640"]Mediterranean Spaghetti Squash Mediterranean Spaghetti Squash[/caption]


Trilogy offers a wide array of fresh smoothies.  I finally decided on the Lust Smoothie: a mix of almond miilk, cacao, banana, avocado, date, maca, vanilla, cayenne, and cinnamon.  And yes, it tasted as good as it sounds! Chocolatey goodness with a little bit of a kick.


[caption id="attachment_2945" align="alignnone" width="410"]Lust Super Smoothie Lust Super Smoothie[/caption]


Trilogy also offers a wide variety of scrumptious sounding desserts.  Think chocolate mousse, cheesecake, and raw carrot cake just to name a few.  I confess I haven’t yet tried one of the desserts, because I always fill up on appetizers and entrees!!  I’m excited to try one (or more!) soon!


The interior of Trilogy is cozy and made up predominantly of earth tones.  I love the open kitchen concept so that curious customers (like me!) can watch the food preparation.


[caption id="attachment_2950" align="alignnone" width="640"]Interior Trilogy Sanctuary Interior Trilogy Sanctuary[/caption]


Trilogy also offers a beautiful outdoor patio space — tables and umbrellas make it the perfect place to relax and enjoy the rooftop view.


[caption id="attachment_2951" align="alignnone" width="640"]Rooftop Outdoor Trilogy Seating Rooftop Outdoor Trilogy Seating[/caption]


7650 Girard Avenue, #4

La Jolla, CA 92037


Veggie Grill New Mindful Living Menu: 100% Vegan

[caption id="attachment_1125" align="alignnone" width="640"]Veggie Grill Sign Veggie Grill Sign[/caption]


CARLSBAD and LA JOLLA/UTC.  Veggie Grill is pushing plant-based, whole food in an important direction – convenience.  The locations are carefully selected in high traffic areas, the service is swift, and the menu is constantly improving.

In fact, things change so quickly that this is my second post on Veggie Grill!  (Click here to read my previous post!)  This new post celebrates and highlights that (1) Veggie Grill opened a new location in Carlsbad and (2) Veggie Grill recently came out with a new Mindful Living Menu that provides customers with even more healthy options!

Veggie Grill realizes that customers are concerned with more than just the calorie count of their food – they also want to know if a dish is nutritious!  As a result, the Mindful Living Menu goes beyond the traditional counting calories and educates the customer on the vitamin and nutritional content of the dish.


Bombay Bowl:


My first pick was the Bombay Bowl, made from herb roasted veggies, super grains, steamed kale, and cannellini beans that are then topped with cilantro green curry sauce with coconut milk, almonds, and hemp seeds.  Quite simply, I loved this bowl.  The grains, kale, and beans provided a great base to while the curry, coconut milk was creamy and flavorful.  And the almonds added the perfect amount of crunch!

What’s the nutritional profile of this dish?  590 calories, 17 grams of protein, and an entrée that is high in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids!


[caption id="attachment_2173" align="alignnone" width="640"]Bombay Bowl Bombay Bowl[/caption]


BBQ Tempeh Plate:


Are you a vegan who prefers gluten-free options?  The Mindful Living Menu has you covered.  I tried the BBQ Tempeh Plate made from organic, blackened tempeh, caramelized onions, house made BBQ sauce, super grains, and coleslaw. 

Since becoming vegan, I have not experimented much with barbecue sauce.  So I was surprise how much I liked this dish.  The caramelized onion and BBQ sauce on top of the tempeh made the experience reminiscent of eating ribs – except better, because there were no ribs!

I also decided to dig into the coleslaw.  I have never enjoyed the mayonnaise-drenched soggy veggies in traditional coleslaw.  However, Veggie Grill’s Cole Slaw was completely different – I could taste the crisp cabbage underneath the dressing.  Not to mention it further fuels the nostalgia for barbecue!

And it’s not just a comfort food menu item.  The BBQ Tempeh Plate with Supergrains has 650 calories, 30 grams of protein, contains all of the essential amino acids, and has a ton of fiber!


[caption id="attachment_2175" align="alignnone" width="640"]BBQ Tempeh Plate with Supergrains BBQ Tempeh Plate with Supergrains[/caption]


Quinoa Power Salad:


Finally, I tried the Quinoa Power Salad made from quinoa, kale, avocado, fresh fennel, cannellini beans, romaine, carrots, almonds, currants, and mint and then topped with citrus dressing and hemp seeds.  The salad was light, but with a symphony of tastes from the various herbs.  I particularly liked the citrus dressing.  This is the perfect thing to order when you don’t want to weigh yourself down.

Also, this salad has an awesome nutritional profile.  It has 690 calories, 15 grams of protein and is an excellent source of Iron, Potassium, Selenium, Magnesium, Thiamine, Vitamin B6, and folate!


[caption id="attachment_2174" align="alignnone" width="640"]Power Quinoa Salad Power Quinoa Salad[/caption]


Veggie Grill makes it easy to order!  Simply place an order with a cashier, receive a number order, and wait for your food to be brought to your table!


[caption id="attachment_2177" align="alignnone" width="640"]Veggie Grill Counter Veggie Grill Counter[/caption]


Veggie Grill’s Carlsbad location has a variety of comfy booths available for their customers.  The red walls and printed hanging lights bring a cheerful air to the restaurant.


[caption id="attachment_2178" align="alignnone" width="640"]Interior Veggie Grill Interior Veggie Grill[/caption]


There is also a great outdoor patio area for those looking to enjoy sunny San Diego.  You’ll be comfortable no matter where you end up!


[caption id="attachment_2179" align="alignnone" width="640"]Veggie Grill Patio Veggie Grill Patio[/caption]


La Jolla/UTC:

4353 La Jolla Village Drive

Suite, H28

La Jolla, CA 92122




965 Palomar Airport Road

Carlsbad, CA 92011



Coffee Cup: Vegan Friendly

LA JOLLA.  Coffee Cup is tucked into a sleepy section of the village in La Jolla.  But don’t let the quiet exterior fool you.  Inside, there is a small, bustling restaurant with excellent vegan options for both breakfast and lunch.  It fills up fast on the weekends, as the early to risers are hungry after their morning rides, surfs, and swims, and the late risers are hungry from . . . well . . . sleeping.


[caption id="attachment_1626" align="alignnone" width="640"]Coffee Cup Sign Coffee Cup Sign[/caption]


We started with the Muslix, a roasted grain cereal mixed with almonds, raisins and pure cane brown sugar.  It is topped with various fruits and berries.  Be sure to ask for soymilk to keep it vegan!

Coffee Cup’s Muslix is not a bland, boring cereal.  These are not the stale flakes that you might find at a disappointing motel buffet.  To the contrary, this cereal provides a pleasant crunch, it is not too sweet, and the fresh fruit and creamy soymilk round out a satisfying dish.


[caption id="attachment_1627" align="alignnone" width="640"]Vegan Muslix from Coffee Cup Vegan Muslix from Coffee Cup[/caption]


Next was Brian’s Special.  A scoop of brown rice and beans along with broccoli, avocado, green onion, and tomatillo sauce, served with two tortillas.  If you want to go big (as the Fussy Fork is prone to do), you can add marinated tofu.  It is too good.  Everything is cooked and spiced to perfection.  I end up ordering Brian’s Special every time.  It’s my not-so-guilty habit.

But I encourage you to explore the rest of Coffee Cup’s vegan friendly menu.  The staff is extremely accommodating.  Feel free to substitute tofu for meat or to request that cheese be left off a salad.  I’ve never received a dish that was anything less than delicious from Coffee Cup.


[caption id="attachment_1628" align="alignnone" width="640"]Brian's Special from Coffee Cup Brian’s Special from Coffee Cup[/caption]


Coffee Cup is cozy on the inside, where most seats give a clear view of what’s going on in the kitchen.  And there is additional seating on the dog friendly patio!


[caption id="attachment_1630" align="alignnone" width="640"]Coffee Cup Kitchen Coffee Cup Kitchen[/caption]


And if the tofu at Coffee Cup looks and tastes familiar, that’s not surprising.  This place is owned by the same folks that run Isabel’s Cantina (review coming soon!) and Barrio Star (reviewed at: www.thefussyfork.com/vegan-friendly-barrio-star/)  Bottom line, these people take tofu seriously.


[caption id="attachment_1629" align="alignnone" width="609"]Interior Coffee Cup Interior Coffee Cup[/caption]



1109 Wall Street

La Jolla, CA 92037



Bee Green: 100% Vegan

[caption id="attachment_1237" align="alignnone" width="640"]Bee Green Logo Bee Green Logo[/caption]


LA JOLLA.  If you were a celebrity, would you hire a vegan chef to prepare all of your meals?  If you are nodding your head in agreement, it’s time to learn about Bee Green, a company that prepares and delivers organic, plant-based meals to your front door.  This blog post chronicles my experience on the 3-day meal plan.


How Does the 3-Day Meal Plan Work?


Bee Green delivered the food to my doorstep in a reusable cooler bag with ice.  Unzipping the cooler bag was like opening a birthday present.  I couldn’t wait to see what surprises were inside!  I assembled everything on my counter: 6 drinks, 3 entrees, 3 salads, and 3 small snacks/desserts.


[caption id="attachment_1217" align="alignnone" width="640"]Bee Green Smoothie and Juices Bee Green Smoothie and Juices[/caption]


Bee Green also sent a helpful email with instructions and suggestions on how to maximize my meal experience.  My favorite suggestion?  Bee Green recommends eating your biggest meal between 10am – 2pm because that’s when your body burns the most calories.   Who knew?!

This meal plan is designed for maximum convenience.  All of the drinks, salads, and entrees are easily portable.  Also, the entrees are all housed in microwave friendly containers.


Day 1:


I started my first day with the Bee Green Super Food Bliss Smoothie.  This was a mild tasting creamy drink made from avocado, almond, coconut, and banana.  It filled me up and gave me energy for a morning work out.


[caption id="attachment_1219" align="alignnone" width="405"]Bee Green Bliss Smoothie Bee Green Bliss Smoothie[/caption]


Soon after my run, I began obsessing about the Butternut Squash Rito.  I love (and I assure you that “love” is not too strong of a word) butternut squash.  Unsurprisingly, I could not resist this burrito.  I put it in my toaster oven and tried to wait patiently as the intoxicating aroma filled my kitchen.

The burrito tasted as good as it smelled.  Warm vegan cheese clung to brown rice and black beans, and the roasted butternut squash melted in my mouth.   And all of this rolled up in a delicious spinach tortilla!  I applaud Bee Green for “making over” the traditional burrito – heavy with meat and dairy – into a healthy and energizing entree!


[caption id="attachment_1220" align="alignnone" width="640"]Bee Green Butternut Squash Rito Bee Green Butternut Squash Rito[/caption]


Later in the afternoon, I drank my Immune Boost Cleanser made from grapefruit, garlic, lemon, acidophilis, Udo’s oil, and cayenne.  I was not familiar with acidophilis or Udo’s oil, so investigation ensued . . .

Acidophilis is a bacteria that lives in the intestine and consuming acidophilis can help support a healthy intestinal tract and aid in digestion.  To learn more about the benefits of acidophilis, click on the following link:


Udo’ Oil is a certified organic, plant based oil (no fish!) designed to provide you with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the optimum 2:1 ratio.  For more information on Udo’s Oil, check out:


The drink tasted like spicy grapefruit juice with a small aftertaste of garlic.  I really liked it.  The spice complimented the citrus, and the drink kept my hunger at bay for a surprisingly long time.


[caption id="attachment_1232" align="alignnone" width="417"]Bee Green Immune Boost Cleanser Bee Green Immune Boost Cleanser[/caption]


I finished off my first day with the Mediterranean Salad made from baby kale, chickpeas, zucchini, cucumber, red bell pepper, red onion, chia seeds, and dill/mint/lemon dressing.   The crunchy veggies in this salad contrasted nicely with the soft chickpeas.  My favorite part was the zingy, minty dressing.  It was a delicious entrée salad.


[caption id="attachment_1221" align="alignnone" width="640"]Bee Green Mediterranean Kale Salad Bee Green Mediterranean Kale Salad[/caption]


I had been eying the snack/dessert box – the Banana Bread Bar – since unpacking my bag that morning.  It looked like my favorite kind of food – one that feels like an indulgence but that is actually good for you!  A quick glance at the ingredients was reassuring:  oats, whole flour, banana, almonds, pecans, hemp, flax, chia seeds, and coconut oil.  As a helpful bonus, Bee Green had cut the banana bread into three pieces – one piece for each day.


[caption id="attachment_1227" align="alignnone" width="640"]Bee Green Banana Bread Bar Bee Green Banana Bread Bar[/caption]


Day 2:


I started off Day 2 with one of Bee Green’s new drinks, the Green Monster.  Made from gala apple, collards, chard, kale, coconut oil, and orange, it is sweet and easy to drink.  Luckily, its dark green color serves as proof of the dense nutrients inside.  And it paired well with my second piece of the Banana Bread bar – I couldn’t wait!


[caption id="attachment_1233" align="alignnone" width="459"]Bee Green Green Monster Bee Green Green Monster[/caption]


That afternoon, I was ready to try the Spinach Pie, which consists of spinach, onions, sundried tomatoes, garlic, basil, chives, and tofu in a spelt crust.  The spices and the sundried tomatoes ensure that there is plenty of flavor in this pie.  And the flaky vegan crust is both ingenuous and delicious.


[caption id="attachment_1222" align="alignnone" width="640"]Bee Green Spinach Pie Bee Green Spinach Pie[/caption]


My mid-day snack was the Super Food Bliss smoothie.  It was just as good as I remembered from the day before!

Next up was the Green Tahini Salad.  Here, we have kale, red onion, red potato, red pepper, carrots, pecans, and cranberries with a tahini dressing.  In case you just skimmed the ingredient list, I will emphasize that, yes, this salad has red potatoes!  They add gravitas to the salad, filling the belly.  I also enjoyed the strong taste of the tahini dressing.  One of the most unique and tasty salads I have had.  Ever.


[caption id="attachment_1226" align="alignnone" width="640"]Bee Green Green Tahini Salad Bee Green Green Tahini Salad[/caption]

Day 3:


I began day 3 with the Banana Rama smoothie, a mix of banana, spinach, almonds, coconut, and raw protein.  This smoothie was thick, like a milkshake, and had a light taste of banana with a hint of coconut.   And of course, while drinking this smoothie, my last piece of Banana Bread Bar disappeared.


[caption id="attachment_1234" align="alignnone" width="415"]Bee Green Banana Rama Super Food Smoothie Bee Green Banana Rama Super Food Smoothie[/caption]


Lunch time came, and I was excited for my final entrée, the Fideua Spanish Pasta.  This dish is made from quinoa pasta, mushrooms, onion, red bell pepper, parsley, tomato, asparagus, soyrizo, and garlic.  (People are making pasta from quinoa!  How did I miss this?)  Before Bee Green came into my life, I usually put pasta and red sauce in the “boring” category.   But the Fideua has rebooted my whole outlook on pasta.  I loved the abundance of veggies in the dish – every bite contained crunchy asparagus and delectable mushrooms.  I also appreciated that the dish wasn’t smothered in tomato sauce.  Rather, everything was in perfect balance, filling, but not heavy.


[caption id="attachment_1224" align="alignnone" width="640"]Bee Green Fideua Spanish Pasta Bee Green Fideua Spanish Pasta[/caption]


My final drink was the Amazon Power Antioxidant drink, blended from acai, red chard, red cherries, banana, and coconut water.  Perhaps it was fitting that my final drink was also my favorite drink.  This drink confused my taste buds in a good way – it started off sweet, but evolved into tiers of tartness.  It is wonderfully unique.


[caption id="attachment_1235" align="alignnone" width="401"]Bee Green Amazon Power Anti-Oxidant Bee Green Amazon Power Anti-Oxidant[/caption]


And my final day ended with my favorite salad.  The Roasted Veggie Salad combines beets, carrots, zucchini, grape tomatoes, spinach, basil, and vegan feta, served with balsamic dressing.  I will be buying some vegan feta soon.  Very soon.  It adds tremendous flavor to the salad.  Further, this salad also reminded me how roasted vegetables can have more flavor than their raw counterparts


[caption id="attachment_1225" align="alignnone" width="640"]Bee Green Roasted Veggie Salad Bee Green Roasted Veggie Salad[/caption]




I looked forward to each portion of my Bee Green 3-day meal plan.  The drinks were excellent.  I liked the variety of ingredients and the resulting energy boost.  The entrees were also special.  They demonstrate how fresh, whole foods are powerful, filling, and satisfying.  And Bee Green has renewed my interest in salads, especially those born of diverse ingredients and creative combinations.  Most importantly, this meal program unlocked valuable hours in my day and eviscerated the stress of seeking meals on a busy schedule.  My only task was to enjoy the food.  Mission accomplished.


To find out more about Bee Green (they also offer cleanses and cater!) check out their website at:


If you want to see the upcoming meal plan menus, take a look at:


Veggie Grill: 100% Vegan


Veggie Grill Sign
Veggie Grill Sign


LA JOLLA/UTC and CARLSBAD. Could a vegan enterprise be the darling of corporate America?  Yes, according to Forbes.com, which recently added Veggie Grill to its list of “15 Explosively Growing Companies to Watch This Year.”  In fact, during the past year, Veggie Grill successfully raised $20 million to further fuel its expansion.  As a result, its 20+ locations in the western states might be only the beginning! . . .   

So what’s all the fuss about?  Well, each Veggie Grill is 100% vegan and offers a wide variety of convenient, healthy dishes.  With vegan versions of comfort foods like buffalo wings, cheeseburgers, and steak tacos, Veggie Grill proves that it’s not boring to be vegan.

I am thankful that Veggie Grill decided to open up its newest location in San Diego, at the University Towne Center (UTC) Mall.  Although I am not a big fan of malls, I can be lured in with the promise of good vegan food.  (See previous posts on True Foods Kitchen and Seasons 52!)

Veggie Grill offers a well-rounded menu.  The diverse menu spans from salads and sandwiches to plates, wraps, and tacos.   On a recent visit, I tried the Gluten Free Power Plate, featuring a stack of blackened tempeh, portobello mushrooms, and caramelized onions with a side of kale and sliced tomato salad and chipotle Ranch dressing.  There is a lot going on in this dish!  And I love that Veggie Grill showcases kale as a staple side dish, complete with a creamy dressing and sesame seeds to reward the adventurous.


[caption id="attachment_1116" align="alignnone" width="640"]Gluten Free Power Plate Gluten Free Power Plate[/caption]


Next up was the Cheeseburger, ordered “El Dorado Style” – topped with jalapenos and caramelized onions.  The burger is served with vegan cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and chipotle ranch on a wheat bun.  I enjoyed the vegan patty – it was thick and juicy – but the best part was the layer of warm, perfectly melted “cheese.”  A great example of the recent evolution of non-dairy cheese.


[caption id="attachment_1117" align="alignnone" width="640"]Veggie Grill Cheeseburger Veggie Grill Cheeseburger[/caption]


The first trip to Veggie Grill was so good, I went back less than a week later.  Plus, the menu presents a lot of real estate to cover!

We ordered the Baja “Fish” Taco Plate.  Three flour tortillas arrived cradling crispy “fish,” green cabbage, original Baja sauce, cilantro, and lime.  The plate also included a side of roasted corn salsa, and “Bean Me Up” Chili.  The Baja sauce and salsa provided fresh flavor, but this is a light entrée that pairs well with the hearty and well-spiced side of chili.


[caption id="attachment_1118" align="alignnone" width="640"]Baja "Fish" Taco Plate Baja “Fish” Taco Plate[/caption]


The All Hail Kale salad exceeded all expectations.  It is a mix of marinated kale and red cabbage, corn salsa, and agave-roasted walnuts with a side of ginger papaya vinaigrette.  A beautiful medley of bright colors.  We also added Blackened Chickin’ strips, which added even more substance to the salad with their firm texture and grilled flavor.


[caption id="attachment_1119" align="alignnone" width="640"]All Hail Kale from Veggie Grill All Hail Kale from Veggie Grill[/caption]


And because I can’t go anywhere without ordering dessert, I succumbed to the Grilled Cookie.  Veggie Grill takes dessert to the next level by warming the chocolate chip cookie (and what cookie doesn’t taste better warm!) and topping it with chocolate pudding and vegan crema.


[caption id="attachment_1120" align="alignnone" width="640"]Veggie Grill, Grilled Cookie Veggie Grill, Grilled Cookie[/caption]


Veggie Grill has a relaxed and casual atmosphere.  You place your order at the front counter, then sit at a table with a number until some friendly youngster delivers your food.

The interior is bright and cheery – red red walls and green chairs with huge windows to let in the natural light.  The outdoor patio allows customers (especially those withe dogs!) to enjoy warm San Diego days under bright, yellow umbrellas.  Need one last reason to eat at Veggie Grill?  It is clean!  I don’t know how they do it, but the counters and tables gleam, and the floor is free from crumbs.


[caption id="attachment_1121" align="alignnone" width="300"]Veggie Grill Interior Veggie Grill Interior[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_1122" align="alignnone" width="300"]Veggie Grill Outdoor Patio Veggie Grill Outdoor Patio[/caption]


La Jolla/UTC:

4353 La Jolla Village Drive

Suite, H28

La Jolla, CA 92122




965 Palomar Airport Road

Carlsbad, CA 92011


Nekter Juice Cleanse: 100% Vegan

Nekter Sign


LA JOLLA.  As promised, I am chronicling my Nekter juice cleanse experience.  To say that I got “off track” during my recent vacation would be an understatement  —  Norwegians still prefer reindeer to plants – so I was thrilled to start the cleanse when I returned to San Diego!




Nekter offers 3 different cleanses: (1) Classic, (2) Advanced, and (3) Premium Organic.  Each cleanse can be 1, 2, 3, or 5 days, and all of Nekter’s juices are vegan, raw, and “cold pressed.”

What is the big deal about “cold pressed” juice, you ask?  Well, a traditional centrifugal juicing machine has a motor and can heat up the blades that cut the fruits and vegetables.  This heat can harm nutrients and enzymes.  But the cold pressed method involves squeezing the produce with an extreme amount of pressure in order to extract every last drop of “nectar.”  The end result is a juice especially dense in nutrients.

At Nekter, each day of any cleanse includes six bottles (500mL each) that are numbered from “1” to “6,” so even I could manage the proper sequence.  Also, it is recommended to drink plenty of water.  (Interesting note:  my friend found that hot water curbed his appetite between the juices.)  And for those of us who want to work out during the cleanse, Nekter has created a special two-drink bonus (for immediately before, and after, the workout) to supply the extra protein and calories.

I elected the 3-day Premium Organic Cleanse, with the workout drinks.  Let’s get started . . .


Nekter Organic Juice Cleanse, Bottles 1-3




Bottle 1 Ingredients:

Apple, grapefruit, celery, kale, parsley, spinach, and mustard greens

  • Benefits:  

    The grapefruit in this juice is included for its soluble fiber and liver detoxifying benefits.  The greens provide a powerful cocktail of antioxidants, especially the nutrient dense mustard greens and alkaline celery.

  • My Take:  

    The juice had a beautiful emerald, green color.  The apples make the juice sweet, but the rest of the greens ensure that it is not overly sugary.  A great way to start a day!


Bottle 2 Ingredients:

Water, lemon, turmeric, cayenne pepper, agave nectar

  • Benefits:

     Cayenne pepper and turmeric have anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties.  These ingredients help the body bring blood to the surface so toxin elimination can begin!

  • My Take:  

    This lemonade has a bright, golden hue.  It is tart, but delicious.  It also helped to curb my hunger.


Bottle 3 Ingredients:

Carrot, celery, kale, parsley, spinach, ginger

  • Benefits:

     This is an alkalizing green mix with carrots that eliminates free radicals and gives the body a good dose of Vitamin A.  The ginger aids digestion, circulation, and helps reduce inflammation.

  • My Take: 

    Don’t worry about the murky green color — it’s delicious.  The carrots provide a mild, sweet flavor.


Nekter Organic Juice Cleanse, Bottles 4-6


Bottle 4 Ingredients:

Water, lemon, agave nectar, beets, ginger

  • Benefits:

    The beets help purify blood and assist in toxin elimination.

  • My Take:  

    Beets dress up this lemonade and give it a beautiful bright, pink color.  It is slightly less tart than the other lemonade (Bottle 2), and helps give variety to the cleanse experience.


Bottle 5 Ingredients:

Celery, lemon, apple, kale, parsley, dandelion greens

  • Benefits:

     The dandelion greens provide calcium while working with the lemon and apples to help flush out the gallbladder and the liver.

  • My Take:

    This juice is a vibrant green and screams, “I’m healthy!”  Fortunately, the apple makes this veggie bomb easy to drink.


Bottle 6:

Cashews, water, dates, cinnamon, nutmeg

  • Benefits:

     This drink packs a protein punch and provides minerals like zinc, which help the lymphatic system to eliminate waste.

  • My Take:

    Nekter describes this drink as a “dessert,” but it’s more than that.  Yes, you think you are drinking a cinnamon, vanilla milkshake, but it is thick and deeply satisfying.  It is your reward for staying on track.  It will lift your spirits, and you will go to bed happy.


Nekter's Protein and Mojo Drinks


Pre-Workout Drink (Mojo) Ingredients:

Coconut water, lime, mint, apple, AFA (live blue-green algae)

  • Benefits:

     The coconut water helps to hydrate the body pre-workout.  Blue-green algae has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.  To learn more about blue algae click on:  http://www.livestrong.com/article/398318-blue-green-algae-benefits/

  • My take:  

    I loved the taste of this drink.  As the name suggests, it is sweet and minty like a mojito.


Post-Workout Drink (Protein) Ingredients:

Raw almonds, dates, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla bean

  • Benefits:

     This drink delivers necessary calories to your body post-workout.  The vanilla beans help calm the body while the cinnamon helps to steady the blood sugar.

  • My Take:  

    This drink is similar to Bottle 6.  And you know how I feel about Bottle 6.  More, please!


Nekter Premium Organic Juice Cleanse




I woke up and drove to La Jolla to pick up my cleanse package!  The bottles were nicely packaged in a refrigerated bag.  And I confess, at this point, my stomach was beginning to growl, so I opened up Bottle Number 1 for the drive home.  Am I desperate already?

After a few hours at home, I drank bottle number 2 and headed off to work.  Where was I going?  A vegan bakery.  That’s right.  While cleansing, I would be making cookies and icing cupcakes.  This was the ultimate experiment in self-control as there are MANY opportunities to “test” our creations in the bakery!  The upside of being at work, however, was being busy.  The hours flew by, and I finished bottles 3, 4, and 5.

Back at home, I was tired and starting to feel a little cranky.  But this is the genius of Bottle 6.  It is the velvet hammer.  And I went to bed full and slept very well.




On day 2, I woke up after nine hours of sleep.  (This is a good sign for me.)  I started with the Mojo bottle, because the day started with a workout.  My legs felt fresh.  I had been worried I wouldn’t have enough fuel in the tank to power through a full run.

When I got back to the house, I was definitely ready for something substantial.  And the Protein post-workout drink was ready for me on the counter.  It was perfect.  It is obvious that somebody put a lot of thought into this program and provide my body with exactly what it needed.  I enjoyed the rest of my cleanse day without feeling deprived.




I had some reservations about doing a 3-day cleanse.  Previously, I had participated in a 2-day affair with mixed results.  Although I felt some benefits, I also felt sluggish and developed headaches in the afternoons.

So I was pleasantly surprised when I woke up on the third day, feeling good and ready to work out.  I even had the energy to accompany my fiancé and a visiting friend to both lunch and dinner and watch them eat while I drank my bottles!  Even though I was starting to fantasize about what I might eat the next day, I noticed my head felt delightfully light and clear during the long walk to dinner.  There was no tired fog or exhaustion.


Nekter Cleanse Relaxation Time




The Premium Organic Cleanse surpassed my expectations.  To ditch the stress of finding food and cleaning dishes for three days – without the expected drop in energy or mood – was a liberating experience.  It allowed for some introspection and forced some relaxation.  For all these reasons, I recommend a Nekter cleanse.

Nekter has an informative FAQ page that may be able to help with additional questions: http://www.nekterjuicebar.com/c-8-faq.aspx



A lot of readers have been wondering about the specific nutrition content for the different drinks and cleanses.  I was able to get ahold of the information for the Nekter’s Advanced and Classic cleanses.


Advanced Cleanse:


Drinks 1-3:


[caption id="attachment_1811" align="alignnone" width="640"]Nekter Advanced Cleanse Nutrition Information, Drinks 1-3 Nekter Advanced Cleanse Nutrition Information, Drinks 1-3[/caption]


Drinks 4-6:


[caption id="attachment_1812" align="alignnone" width="640"]Nekter Advanced Cleanse Nutrition Information, Drinks 4-6 Nekter Advanced Cleanse Nutrition Information, Drinks 4-6[/caption]


Classic Cleanse:


Drinks 1-3:


[caption id="attachment_1813" align="alignnone" width="640"]Nekter Classic Cleanse Nutrition Information, Drinks 1-3 Nekter Classic Cleanse Nutrition Information, Drinks 1-3[/caption]


Drinks 4-6:


[caption id="attachment_1814" align="alignnone" width="640"]Nekter Classic Cleanse Nutrition Information, Drinks 4-6 Nekter Classic Cleanse Nutrition Information, Drinks 4-6[/caption]


I hope that helps everyone, and happy cleansing!


Lean and Green: Vegan Friendly

Lean and Green


LA JOLLA.  Lean and Green stays true to its name.  The restaurant, set back from the busy street, is an oasis for those seeking organic and vegan wraps, bowls, smoothies and juices.

Slight digression.  Being a soup loving vegan is not easy, right?  Often the following scenario plays out when I go to a new restaurant.  I flip to the soup section of the menu and see an option like tomato soup.  I smile, thankful that the restaurant has a vegan option.  But just to be safe, I ask the server whether the soup is vegan (it is surprising how often restaurants fail to list a soup’s ingredients!), only to learn that there is cream in the soup.

Lean and Green avoids such disappointment with its seasonal, vegan soups.  My most recent obsession is the Spicy Pumpkin Soup.  A combination of pumpkin, coconut milk, and curry, the soup weaves rich, smooth, and spicy flavors together.  A strong start to the meal.


 Spicy Pumpkin Soup


I love that Lean and Green dedicates a whole section of the menu to “Bowls.”  The bowls have a base of organic brown rice.  Next, there is a layer of vegetables, nuts, beans, and other delicious toppings.  An enticing sauce tops off the bowl.

My current favorite is the Miso Bowl made from brown rice, broccoli, carrots, fresh jalapenos, and topped with a sesame miso sauce.   The miso sauce is tangy and lightly coats the rice and fresh vegetables.  Perfect.  (Note: the bowl portions are not huge.  If you are super hungry, you might need more than just a bowl!)


Miso Bowl


Another great option is the Teriyaki Bowl – brown rice, broccoli, and pine nuts, topped with gluten free teriyaki sauce.  The pine nuts take this bowl to the next level.  They add crunch and a richer flavor.  (Veterans of the bulk foods aisle know that pine nuts are ridiculously expensive.  So I appreciate a restaurant willing to include them in a dish.  Crazy delicious.)


Vegan Teriyaki Bowl


Not feeling like a bowl?  Lean and Green makes a delicious Vegan Delight wrap.  Roasted eggplant or tofu is wrapped up with basil, roasted red bell peppers, baby spinach, sunflower seeds, extra virgin olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.  A great meal on the run!


Vegan Delight Wrap


The menu would not be complete without a selection of juice and smoothies.  My favorite is the Crazy Jungle smoothie made from almond milk, spinach, cucumber, avocado, banana, and ice.  This bright green smoothie is sweet and creamy.  An easy way to get some vegetables without trying!


Crazy Jungle Vegan Smoothie


Upon entering Lean and Green, your eye is first drawn to the tree growing out of the middle of the floor.  The two walls are made completely of glass and ensure that plenty of light enters the restaurant.  Customers order at a register and are then able to sit at either indoor or outdoor tables.  It’s a great place to grab a quick bite or settle in with a book or laptop.


Lean and Green Interior   Lean and Green Interior


7825 Fay Ave

La Jolla, CA 92037


Nekter Juice Bar: 100% Vegan

Nekter Sign


LA JOLLA/UTC and ENCINITAS.   The vegan movement in San Diego is building momentum.  Menus are dedicating more space to vegan options, the farmers markets are flourishing, and bold establishments are opening with exclusively vegan fare.  On June 21, 2013, another key player opened its doors in San Diego.  Nekter Juice Bar has taken over a charming cottage in the heart of La Jolla, offering a full menu of vegan juices, smoothies, and snacks.

Steve and Alexis Schulze founded Nekter in 2010 and opened the first location in Costa Mesa.  Then, explosive growth.  Eleven locations sprouted from Orange County to Los Angeles.  Now, the San Diego grand opening.  Next, more cities in California, Arizona, and Texas.  Vegan wildfire!


On opening day, I tried “The Cure,” made from beet, broccoli, kale, parsley, celery, grapes, and apple.  The beets produce a vibrant pink color.  Even better, the beets, grapes, and apple sweeten up the hard-core healthy green goodness.


"The Cure" from Nekter



So obviously I’m hooked – a few days later, I’m back at Nekter.  (I don’t live anywhere near La Jolla, but this doesn’t seem to matter.)  This time around, I ordered the Tropical Cooler—a puree of spinach, kale, pineapple, banana, coconut water, and coconut butter.  Yes, coconut butter.  Is there anything more delicious?  And the combination of coconut and pineapple is well established magic, decidedly tropical.  I couldn’t even taste the spinach or kale, although the bold green color of the smoothie assured me that they were in there!


"Tropical Cooler" from Nekter



Nekter provides a selection of vegan bowls—most are acai based.  However, I decided to try the Pitaya Bowl made from a blend of pitaya, banana, pineapple, coconut butter, and coconut water and topped with hempseed granola, raw coconut flakes, and bananas.  For more information on pitaya, see my post on Lotus Café.  And if you are looking for a more comprehensive run down, click on the link below:


The bowl was big and delicious.  The bright, pink pitaya tasted sweet and smooth.  The hemp granola gave texture to the bowl, and the bananas sweeten things up even more.  Shredded coconut on top?  Yes, please.  (Are you getting the tropical vibe yet?)


PItaya Bowl


Nekter simplifies everything for the customer.  Three separate menus for juices, smoothies, and bowls are posted on the wall for easy reading.  There is also a refrigerated section where you can pick up snacks, pre-bottled juices, and even cocktail mixers!


Interior Nekter


Nekter also dedicates space to its first ever Nekter Cleanse Bar.  A cleanse specialist will be available to answer questions.  And in July, I’m going to tackle one of Nekter’s cleanses.   I will document my experience on The Fussy Fork, so be sure to check back soon!


Cleanse Bar


Nekter’s indoor and outdoor patio seating areas create a fun, casual atmosphere.  It’s the perfect place to sip on a juice after a workout, escape from the office for a restorative smoothie, or sit with a book and a snack.  As an added bonus, Nekter provides free WiFi!


Nekter Patio


834 Kline St

La Jolla, CA 92037


Seasons 52: Vegan Friendly

Seasons 52 Sign


LA JOLLA/UTC and DOWNTOWN.  I usually avoid eating at malls (see the True Food Kitchen post!).  However, Seasons 52 is well worth a trip to the mall.  The restaurant strives to prepare fresh and delicious dishes, all with less than 475 calories.  The restaurant offers a seasonal menu—the Spring Menu is currently being offered.

First up was the Double Hummus (edamame and roasted red pepper) and Crisp Sea Salt Lavosh.  I had never tried edamame hummus and immediately dug in when it arrived.  The lavosh was soft and warm and provided the perfect delivery device for the mild tasting edamame hummus.  Equally pleasing was the roasted red pepper hummus, which was smooth and creamy with a slightly smoky flavor.


Double Hummus


For my entrée, I tried the Vegetarian Tasting.  I loved all of the 4 vegan components that made up the plate.  (1) Quinoa and Citrus Salad: the quinoa was firm and the citrus flavor mixed in provided for a refreshing taste.  (2) Soft Taco: the taco was filled with black beans, roasted peppers, pico de gallo, and guacamole.  The guacamole was smooth, the black beans well seasoned, and the roasted peppers and pico de gallo added additional spice.  (3) Cedar-Roasted Tofu: the tofu was firm and served warm with mango chutney on top.  (4) Vegetables: fresh grilled asparagus, red peppers, and snow peas, and golden beets.  All of the vegetables were fresh and tender.  I particularly enjoyed the sweetness of the golden beets.


Vegetarian Tasting


Dark wood tables and comfortable chairs with soft lighting create an inviting atmosphere.  It is a restaurant in which customers can settle in for hours to share food and conversation.

Also, for those diners who are want to know more about the nutritional information of the food at Seasons 52, it can be found at:



Seasons 52 Interior   Seasons 52 Interior


La Jolla/UTC:

4505 La Jolla Village Dr C1

San Diego, CA 92122




789 W Harbor Dr Suite C-2

San Diego, CA 92101

Lotus World Foods: 100% Vegan

Lotus World Foods Sign


LA JOLLA.  Does anyone remember how cold it was last weekend?  Gray sky, wind chill, and San Diegans bundled in layers.  On Sunday morning, my boyfriend and I were coming off of a 48 hour juice cleanse (I will be adding a post about my cleanse experience later this week), and we were H-U-N-G-R-Y!!

We wanted something substantial, but healthy.  We wanted something delicious, but did not want to burn the benefits of the cleanse.  So we went to an old favorite – Lotus World Foods, a unique gem of the La Jolla Farmer’s Market.

Sarah Nee is the woman behind the creative parfaits, salads, and soups at the Lotus booth.  Sarah talks passionately about preparing foods that makes can help people achieve better health.  In fact, her personal story involves the dramatic reversal of serious ailments through the enjoyment of food that is raw, nut free, gluten free, and vegan.


Sarah Nee at La Jolla Farmers Market


On Sunday, we started with a vegan parfait.  A bottom layer of raw, sprouted quinoa with blueberries and strawberries.  The top layer, strawberry chia seed.  (Superfoods, like chia seeds, are central to Sarah Nee’s creations.)  Further, the parfait was smooth and creamy, with vibrant flavor from the fruit.


Raw Quinoa and Strawberry Chia


Sarah understands that people love sweets.  To that end, she has created a delicious chia pudding with a raw chocolate topping.  The chocolate is sublime.  It is not the overwhelming “sugar sweet” found in candy bars, but a complex chocolate that reveals its flavor as you slowly savor it.


chia pudding with raw chocolate


The salads are special.  These are not the salads that commonly sit next to an entree as an after-thought.  Rather, they stand center stage as the products of careful thought, experimentation, and focus.  The salad pictured below features arugula and sprouts, topped with a homemade ginger dressing.  This description, however, does not do it justice.  The component ingredients are all fresh and crisp but the real treat is the way in which all of these greens combine with the homemade ginger dressing.   The result is a salad that I can’t stop eating.


Ginger Salad


Sarah likes to experiment with food and frequently updates her offerings.  One dish I can’t wait to try is the Raw Cactus Tostada.  The cactus acts in place of a tortilla and cradles the seaweed salad, sprouts, and squash blossom filling.


raw cactus tostada


I would also recommend that if you are ever at Lotus World Foods’ booth and there is soup available, buy it.  Sarah’s coconut soup is literally the best soup I have ever had in my life.   

Sarah can be found every Sunday at the La Jolla Farmer’s Market from 9am – 1pm, and the Lotus World Foods’ Facebook page can be found at:


If you are interested in learning more about raw food—and the potential health benefits—click on the following link: