Soma Speaks Panelists

SOMA SPEAKS 11/16/19

It's been almost a year since my last Soma Speaks event, in which I hosted fully 9 months pregnant! The past 11 months have definitely been colorful, navigating life as a new mom, but even through times of discord with my husband, self-discrepancy, physical exhaustion, confusion and the like, I still felt, relatively, in control. Through past adversity, I've grown and developed resilience that has helped me with new difficulties. I wanted to curate a conversation to perhaps help others dealing with changes in their lives. Soma Nutrition joyfully returned to Coco Mat - Soho for the event: Finding Empowerment Through Challenging Transitions. 

The conversation focused on stress and trauma and the panelists provided tools to interpret challenges in a way that would allow us to navigate them more efficiently and emerge stronger.  Some things we can't control. It's important to find support and learn to let go.

We spoke about how imperative it is to commit to a personalized self-care practice. These practices not only provide a stable foundation that we can fall back on during difficult times but also help us grow. Self-care is varied and can include journaling, meditating, attending support groups, creating boundaries, budgeting, exercising, mindful eating, and utilizing positive affirmations and self-compassion. 

As we are evolving into our highest selves, working towards living our authentic purpose, we begin to realize that our relationships, careers, accomplishments and even appearance do not define us. They can bring joy when in alignment but shouldn't cause worry when rocky, over, or have transformed in some way. Try looking at these transformed situations from a neutral place then ask yourself: how can I listen better, express more, communicate from a place of love and understanding over fear and anger, stop comparing and judging, and heal my mind and body so I'm stronger in the future?

If you'd like to connect with the Soma Speaks panelists, for guided help through a challenge you've been faced with, please refer to their email addresses below.

Summer White-Suski Nutritionist & founder/CEO Soma Nutrition

Ellen Schweitzer Certified Life Coach Your Next Chapter

Lindsay Pfeffer Esq, Partner Cohen Rabin Stine Schumann 

Stephen Kosmicki Psychotherapist

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vegan recipe, sunflower seed pesto, kale sunflower seed pesto, spaghetti squash, plant based meal, nut free pesto, nut-free, nightshade free, gluten free , soma fitness, soma nutrition

Spaghetti Squash with Sunflower Seed Pesto


vegan recipe, sunflower seed pesto, kale sunflower seed pesto, spaghetti squash, plant based meal, nut free pesto, nut-free, nightshade free, gluten free , soma fitness, soma nutrition
Last week was Snowmageddon 2017 with Winter storm Stella making its way to New York City, where I currently reside. We were told to expect between 2 to 4 feet of snow in a 24 hour period, in a blizzard that would be noted in NYC history. A state of emergency was declared, flights were grounded, and many workers were told to stay home.

So on Monday evening around 10:30 pm, in preparing to hunker down for a few days, Jake and I decided to hit our neighborhood Whole Foods. When we walked in, it was like a scene from Supermarket Sweep (i'm a true child of the 90s)! The store would be closing in 30 minutes, but crazed shoppers were running to and fro grabbing what was left of the produce, prepared foods, frozen goods, and canned items. I was shocked to find only 5 single broccoli crowns, 6 mangled carrots, 3 wilted onions, 2 spaghetti squash, 2 yellow bell peppers, 2 heads of red cabbage, and a handful of triple washed spring mix cartons.  I took nearly all, save the spring mix.

Let me digress for a minute. I absolutely hate spring mix. I find that blend to consistently have slimy baby leaves that were likely too small to sell with their adult counterparts.  When I order a salad from a restaurant that serves spring mix, I'm literally sitting for 20 minutes inspecting and picking rotten leaves from my salad.  It drives Jake nuts, but me so even more! I can't stand it, and to make a point I place all the stinky little leaves on a napkin and disingenuously smile at the server when they ask how I'm enjoying my salad.

So anyway, I'm back at Whole Foods walking though the canned food aisle and I see a sad and limp bunch of kale; I grab it nervously like a $20 bill I find in a gutter, keeping it hidden from any other spring mix hater!  I then head straight to the vegan cold food section and feel a sense of relief rush over me.  There sat several packages of organic tempeh, tofu, miso paste, kimchi, sauerkraut, and all the other undesirable items that make my little plant based heart smile.  I knew in that moment that I'd be ok, America doesn't like fermented or vegan yet and I'd eat like a queen another day!

Most of the lines to the cash registers were at least 50 people long. This Whole Foods has a pretty organized way of zooming people through the check out, but the lines were daunting and the store was short on staff as it was officially closed for the evening.  Back near the bulk food section, hidden in the back of the store, the juice bar had decided to open its register to help with those inundated at the front. This line was about 20 people long, and much more doable.  Jake was ready to throw in the towel but we persevered.  While we waited near the nuts, seeds, and grains, I flipped through old photos and inspiration hit me.


A few years ago, we attended a wedding in Vancouver, BC, Canada. I had been some years before, staying with the same couple I'd be celebrating, when I worked for their company Familiar with the lively Gastown area Jake and I wanted to see their new restaurant scene, before the weekend's festivities began.  My favorite happened to be Chill Winston that was serving up some mean spaghetti squash with what I remember to be a sunflower seed pesto.  I've only ever made pesto with pine nuts and walnuts, and that's what I planned to do last week, but alas Whole Foods was out of both options, and sunflower seeds were the last remaining option that night. So here we have it folks.  

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Spaghetti Squash with Sunflower Seed Pesto
(serves 4 as main dish, or up to 8 as side dish)

1 whole spaghetti squash, cutting crosswise into 1" round slices
8 tsp Himalayan crystal salt

Sunflower Seed Pesto
1 cup fresh basil, washed and chopped
2 cups organic kale, washed, stem removed, and chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp juice from fresh squeezed lime
1-2 tbsp water

Preheat over to 400 degrees F.  Cut ends off squash. Cut squash crosswise in 1" rings. Scoop out seeds and discard. Place squash on baking sheet covered with aluminum or parchment paper and sprinkle each ring with salt on both sides. Let sit 15 minutes. Wipe away salt and bake for 30- 40 minutes (I like my squash to have a few burnt pieces for added taste).  Let cool while making the pesto. 

Place first 4 ingredients into blender or food processor, then pulse until well combined. Add oil and lime juice, and blend on low, scraping down the sides as necessary. If pesto is very chunky, add water slowly teaspoon by teaspoon until it has desired consistency. Season with salt, to taste and serve with spaghetti squash.

For any remaining pesto, save in an airtight container with a teaspoon or more of olive oil drizzled on top to preserve.

*The cut of the squash was inspired by squash guru, Beth, over at

plant based, vegan, vegetarian, dieting, fat loss, food pressure

Dealing with Social Food Pressure

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"Are you still eating just air for a diet?"

"C'mon, stop being boring, live a little!"

"No, yuck, I don't want to try that cardboard!"

"Man, sucks to be you!"


This is just a sample of the phrases directed my way when the topic of food comes up in social environments. Reading them has little impact...but in those moments I have, at times, found myself with a range of feelings from humiliation to dissonance, assurance to affirmation.

The journey of self-discovery has been long and unpredictable, and friends and family have had to get used to many layers of me.  I've realized that I cannot take these statements personal. My choices can be confusing to others, and being steadfast in them will get me through the convoluted questioning and criticism I'll likely always get.

In the Beginning

My parents neither pushed nor restricted my diet, as a child; I was a self-determined and self-professed vegetarian for most of my years. Mom was happy to oblige in the kitchen with home-cooked plant-based meals and, as I can recall, my choice was rarely a subject of discussion. My individualism was tolerated, but I was definitely labeled picky!

Candy, pizza, and fast food, were demonized in my household. However, those foods were in abundance in classrooms, academic meetings, and at all celebrations — my sports teams winning games, birthday parties, and holidays.  Social pressure to engage in the festivities came not only from my peers, but from adults as well; so to protect myself from being ostracized by an entire community I indulged, and also began lying to my parents about the things I consumed when out of the house.

Choices Catch Up

I lived a very disharmonious way for many years: at home, cooking and preparing my own food, and when with others excessive food ordering and substance debauchery.  Being raised by a mother that packs your lunch everyday for school, cooks dinner and tucks you into bed, I felt extreme guilt for my social behaviors.  I continued to lie about my lifestyle when speaking with my family; yet I'd find ways to rationalize the issue, because ultimately I liked feeling accepted by my peers.

I've shared my story many times so I won't get into the details now, but all that dissonance caught up and I knew I had to take steps to overcome it.

Pure Aesthetics

When I entered the world of fitness competitions, my life was lonely and isolating at first. I knew I couldn't eat and live the way my peer group was, if I wanted to see dramatic changes in my body and have a shot at a trophy. So I rarely hung out with friends. I quit my job, because it did not support my healthy choices, and opted for another in sales and marketing. I became a homebody, and very neurotic about cooking my own meals... but boy did I look great!

Many people attacked me, saying I was becoming an extreme dieter, a fitness fanatic, and obsessive about health. I didn't know how to respond, so I often lashed out.  I hung out with more and more people in the fitness community, but I began seeing how out of balance I had become. I had cut so much out of my life, to look my best! Winning competitions was my only goal, and a lot of that came with winning the acceptance of those in the fitness community.

Long-lasting Empowerment

It all came crashing down after back to back health scares. At one time I had to give up the gym and competing entirely, because my gut was so severely damaged.  I lost so much weight, and desperately needed to heal so I hired a team to help get my body back. Through a thyroid and adrenal diet coach, a naturopath, and an integrative medical doctor I learned about the foods, supplements, water, therapies, meditations, affirmations, and mindset I'd need for total body wellness. However, I was back to my old isolation strategy.  It became clear to me that I lacked the skills for communicating my needs and my motivations for change with people around me!

Rather than inviting people into my experience and giving people opportunities to relate to me, I was always on to the next. On to the next set of people that could help me achieve some new goal. Always looking for happiness in circumstances rather than in my core values, and that's probably because those values were not defined well. After getting flip-flopped from here to hell with my health, I have discovered that wellness is a core value of mine, and that has been a huge breakthrough for my power over social pressures!

I'm back to being a picky eater, and that means either preparing most of my meals the way I have to enjoy them for my health or asking for modifications/substitutions at a restaurant so I'm not only satisfied but also supported by their menu. I've spoken to all my friends and family about my health and my dietary needs, and they are on board! People have gone above and beyond to honor my lifestyle at get togethers, when picking restaurant to eat at as a group, and even when buying gifts.

I'm sure my abstinence from drinking or eating something that doesn't serve me well can be annoying at times, but they'll live and so will I. I just try not to take comments personal, and when I do I rely mantras, meditations, and affirmations to restore my peace and regain my clarity.  If you are going through a challenging time with a lifestyle transformation or health overhaul, feel free to shoot me an email at!


how to soak oatmeal for better digestion

Probiotic Overnight Oats

why soak oatmeal

Does your recent blood work show that you are low in iron, zinc, calcium or magnesium?
Perhaps you're not absorbing these minerals because of gut damage or it might just be the vegetables, beans and whole grains in your diet!

Phytic acid, or phytate, is found in all plant seeds and is like a storage bin for phosphorus; which, allows for normal growth and maturity of the seed into a plant as well as photosynthesis and respiration in adult plants. Phytic acid, itself, can bind many minerals making it a very unique substance.  In humans, via plant based consumption, physic acid can be protective against kidney stones and heavy metal toxicity; but, it can be quite damaging to the absorption of  minerals in the gut, zapping the body of important digestive enzymes and nutrients.
If you are a lover of oats, nuts, seeds, and plants, in general, there are a few things you can do to improve digestibility and lessen the effects of phytate's powerful nutrient binding and anti-absorption!
1. Soak in warm water for 12 hours or more
2. Sprout seeds or buy the sprouted versions of seeds, beans, and whole grain based foods ex. Wildwood Sprouted tofu & Ezekiel sprouted grain bread
3. Ferment beans by soaking 24 hours in a warm place, slow cooking, then adding 1 tbsp of a bacterial culture like kefir, lactic acid fermented brine from store bought sauerkraut, or another store bought starter culture to 1 cup of beans and let sit in a warm place for few days. Use these step by step directions from Cultures for Health, for proper food safety!
After developing digestive disorders and bacterial imbalances from many years of acidic (dairy as a youth and whey/chicken bodybuilder diet as an adult), inflammatory and grain heavy diets, I cut all meat, most grains and beans from my diet. It took me nearly a year to heal my gut from severe Ulcerative Colitis, and several years of slowly reintroducing foods back in and repopulating my gut with friendly bacteria, but now I'm able to consume organic fermented tempeh and gluten free soaked overnight oatmeal dishes just fine. Spending a year in and out of hospitals changes you, and I no longer sacrifice my health for highly marketed junk foods/drinks/candy. I will always eat a diet for optimized digestion, so you can rely on my recipes if you are interested in doing the same! Of course I eat out locally and enjoy discovering healthy restaurants when traveling, but I choose to cook on my own and control what I consume 90% of the time.
This recipe is for a better soaked overnight oatmeal, utilizing spring water, probiotic coconut yogurt, and fermented water kefir. If you are a fan of muesli, apple pie, berry pie, or oatmeal cookies, then you will absolutely love this recipe!
 how to soak oatmeal for better digestion


1/3 cup gluten free organic rolled oats ( do not use quick oats)
1/3 cup spring or purified water (do not use tap)
1 heaping tablespoon Anitas Coconut Milk yogurt (or full fat greek yogurt)
2 tablespoons Kevita Lime Mint Coconut Probiotic Drink (can use other water kefir like Tonix)
1 packet organic Stevia (i used Wholesome organics)
1 tbsp raw unsweetened cacao nibs
2 tbsp raw pumpkin seeds
2 sprouted walnuts, crushed into smaller pieces
6 frozen organic blackberries
2 frozen organic strawberries

Heat the water in a small saucepan on medium low heat until a lively simmer occurs, do not boil! Let cool for 1 minute and add to heat safe glass or ceramic bowl with the oats. Let sit on counter for  20-30 min, and then add coconut yogurt and water kefir. Cover with plastic and place in refrigerator overnight for a minimum of 12 hours. In the morning, sprinkle stevia to the probiotic oat mix and stir to combine. Then, top with cacao nibs, pumpkin seeds, and crushed walnuts. Place frozen berries in saucepan with 1 tbsp purified water, and 1/2 tsp stevia and heat on low; stirring or agitating pan occasionally, until juices have released and berries soften, about 5 minutes. Place on oats with spoon, one at a time to prevent juice from splashing onto clothes. Enjoy!
Option* If you want more liquid to oats, add a drizzle of unsweetened vanilla almond milk in the morning.

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Body shred finale and on to Milwaukee

Youtube new video for my Bodyshred, weight loss and tone up, grand finale: click here

This post is a few days late, but it's important I share it nonetheless. I decided to end my body shred challenge at day 8.  My weight clocked in at 127.8, nearly 5 lbs down from the official start date of the challenge (132 lbs) and close to 9 lbs down from the day after my final birthday celebration on June 20th (136 lbs) -  I had cleaned up my diet a bit and lost most of the inflammation and water retention that came from the few days of festivities, so that 4 lb loss I didn't count.

I know the formulas for weight loss, body shaping, muscle development, dropping subcutaneous water for aesthetic goals, etc., like the back of my hand; but, when I employ the concepts from myself, that doesn't exempt me from the difficulty.  I was reminded of my strengths and weaknesses, of body and mind, while on this challenge. They say it takes a minimum of 3 weeks to make something a habit, and my personal dedication to a disciplined high protein, plant based lifestyle is unwavering.  My excitement for physical activity and discomfort however, not so stellar.

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Egg white tofu scramble with gluten-free toast

I have mastered both bulk and fresh-made food prep, I always carry my Sun Warrior powder during travel both local and long distance, I have fresh produce aplenty in my fridge, and I know every salad bar/healthy restaurant in any town (I use the yelp app as my aid, and I'm writing this post as I sit in a Madison, Wisconsin cafe called Lazy Jane's that has gluten free bread, organic egg whites, seitan and tofu for vegans, and has non-dairy alternative like almond milk for their drinks).

Purified alkaline water is refreshed in my 5 gallon jug each week, and nearly every gas station carries Fiji for when I'm on the road...I very rarely drink tap water (have you seen the LADWP drinking water quality report? If not, click here ) because neither I nor most establishments have sufficient water filters for optimal health.  I use and carry stevia in my purse for my sweetener (my affinity for sweets and desserts will never die, so I either make my own, just say no, or choose to eat sugar-laden conventional treats for those rare days out of the year where socially I'd feel bad for not going with the flow), and I only drink alcohol on very special occasions (and yes, I still love the taste of a good cocktail or glass of wine so self control has its issues along with its rewards).

Each morning I woke, I followed my priming routine (I got that reference from a Tony Robbins interview, and it stuck with me): use bathroom, take weight, gratitude and protection meditation as my water slowly heats for my matcha latte, put on exercise clothes, then check emails.  The next step would be to head down to the gym and get my cardio on, but that probably only happened 3 of the 8 days.  My body became sore and lethargic, I dreaded the sweat that would ruin my hair, I anticipated gym boredom, and I would justify procrastination with all the other things I needed to do; so, I'd end up squeezing cardio in and rushing around before other work obligations.

For the first time in years, I didn't lift weights while being in the gym. For some reason, I only had room in my mind for the cardio, tabata, and/or plyometrics.  I set my goal at 15-20 minutes of high intensity interval training each day, but I also incorporated functional warm ups and active cool downs for a total training time of 35-45 minutes.  Delaying my arrival to the gym usually meant I didn't have time to do anything other than the cardio, and that's a problem for my long term goals.  What I decided to do was get a caffeine-free BCAA pre-workout powder with beta alanine, from MRM, that gives me a little flush.  I add a scoop of Ajipure non-gmo BCAA powder to bring the total intake to around 10 g of Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine, and I take it right after my matcha.  The mildly uncomfortable tingling it brings, gives me a reminder to head down to the gym asap. Since the challenge, although I'm away from home, I've managed to wake early and successfully workout prior to meal 1, with the help of my Ajipure/MRM blend BCAA, and have plenty of time in my day after. It's been great!!

My flight to Milwaukee was scheduled for July 2nd, and I needed to cook all the vegetables in my fridge on day 8.  I sautéed 3 whole spiralized zucchini with onions, black olives, and coconut oil; 2 packs of asparagus with olive oil and added truffle salt and black peppercorn; and 2 heads of broccoli with organic tofu then added cumin, salt and pepper.

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Spiralized zucchini


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My favorite way to eat asparagus!


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Airplane food - tofu broccoli





I ate everything but one serving of tofu broccoli for my flight on day 9.  My day of travel was great as I enjoyed a Sun Warrior chlorella smoothie prior to leaving my house. Then, I bought a banana at the airport, and noshed on it, my tofu, and a Fiji during the flight.  Once I arrived in Milwaukee, my boyfriend Jake took me to a restaurant called Beans and Barley, where I had a kale coconut smoothie and a roasted vegetable salad. Both were awesome. We then head to Whole Foods and I gathered some groceries for a Nobu inspired, fresh, locally-sourced organic peach ceviche.  For the main course, I made yummy tempeh tacos and used organic corn tortillas as the following morning brought nearly 3 hours of exercise at Milwaukee Power Yoga, then hiit treadmill intervals and a full resistance training routine for my shoulders and rear delts in the gym.

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Body Shred and Tone: Day 2

Youtube video click here

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Day 2 and my weight is down to 130.8, which is 1.2 lbs from where I started yesterday. I despise cardio. It's always been that way. So that will be the most challenging part of this week. Consistency with cardio.

My diet is so enjoyable, and important to note that about two months ago I did a candida diet and was completely sugar and fruit-free, so the one banana a day is heaven!  I like to mix things up on the regular.  Throughout the year I'll bulk to add muscle, eating upwards of 2500-2800 calories per day; i'll cut to get rid of flab; i'll cleanse to reset my body, etc...

The body is highly adaptable, so if your diet isn't changing frequently, your body will stay the same. Think of that concept going both directions.  Dropping calories gradually over a period of time, coupled with exercise will result in fat loss. Raising calories over a period of time, coupled with exercise will result in some sort of gains. If you are lifting heavy and keeping macro nutrient balanced for your goal, you'll gain muscle with very little fat. If you skip the exercise and eat an unbalanced high carb/ high fat diet, you'll more than likely gain fat. Now if you found a comfortable diet, that you just love and lose weight for a period of time but then begin to plateau, think about changing something in your diet!!

My weight will decrease at a steady rate over the next few days, but when it starts to level off I'll drop my carbs a bit. Pretty simple! If you'd like to jump on to my body shred challenge and need more instruction, shoot me an email at!

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One Week Body Shred and Tone

Youtube video blog click here!

Just because I'm a vegetarian and watch my sugar intake, doesn't mean I don't get a little fluff every now and then! I celebrated my birthday by noshing on artichoke parmesan salads, tempura'ed amazu ponzu tofu, and dry miso flaked avocados at Nobu Malibu... Ok, I had a few serrano spiced acai martinis as well. That was all on Thursday, June 18th, but then Saturday June 20th, I splurged again with a brunch at Cliff's Edge Cafe in Silverlake!  There I had an egg white omelette with morel mushroom cream and goat cheese, truffle fries, and a glass (or two) of prosecco.

body shred, body tone, tone up, fat loss, lose fluff, body blast, soma fitness, summer white, ifbb bikini pro, bikini diet, nutrition, weight loss secrets
Day 1 - 132 lbs

Oh the dining was divine, and I savored each morsel like it was my last, but there's no way I can eat, and drink, like that and not gain a little.  It's mostly water and a little inflammation in my gut, however I don't feel like myself and it's time to clean things up. I like to do these one to two week flushes every now and then, and it never ceases to amaze me how quick I can get relatively shredded by eating a whole, unprocessed, unrefined, low sugar, low sodium, high fiber, alkaline diet.

So I decided to do a video blog to share with the world my one week body shred, and also to hold me accountable.  I will be posting my daily videos on my youtube Soma Fitness channel, and I'd love your support! Besides, I'm practically giving away bikini pro shredding secrets! Click the link here to watch the videos!

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Day 1 - 132 lbs and a little fluffy for my liking










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Birthday Adventure Hike at Echo Mountain

This past week on June 17th, I turned 33. Not much of a milestone birthday, so very fitting that it fell on a Wednesday.  The weekend before, June 13th and 14th, happened to be the Weho gay pride festival, and many of my friends had conflicts so that date was out for my celebration. I decided any group plans should therefore come on June 20th, 3 days after my birthday (so should I have called it my 33+3rd day birthday party?!). It's funny how you have to be so calculated with get togethers as an adult! Back in my early adolescence, if you received a birthday invite, no matter the day or date, there would be no question about attendance because nobody had responsibilities or conflicts!

As my circle of friends, and social networks already know, I live and breathe the fit life. I traded in my club card for an IFBB bikini pro card, my party shoes for Nikes, libations for Sun Warrior shakes, and sleeping in till noon for early morning workouts.  I used to have the black list of the best clubs in Los Angeles for each day of the week, and know the promoters and security guards by name, invaluable information that would go for big bucks... but those days are long gone. Now, my weekend place to be is most likely a city's best view and dopest hikes!  I scour yelp for A list trails, and obviously difficulty rarely phases me. I suppose park entrance gates are my new velvet ropes!

So this year, being firmly set in this lifestyle, I decided to celebrate ME with a hike.  I had heard about Echo Mountain and the Sam Merrill trail from a member of my Los Angeles Spartan Race Training meetup group.  It sounded like an adult playground of sorts, complete with abandoned railroad tracks and gears, foundations and plaques of a fairytale resort that had burned to the ground, a megaphone made of steel that echoes messages through the canyons, and picturesque views of Los Angeles and beyond.  I had been so anxious to check it out! So I invited 40+ friends to join me on the experience.

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For the love of hiking!

The weather was forecasted to be in the upper 80s by mid afternoon so I wanted to get an early start. The drive from my house would be 30 minutes, and I'd need to have my morning matcha and some time in the bathroom, so I woke at 6:45 am for an 8 am arrival at the trailhead.  Parking was easy on East Loma Alta Drive near Lake Ave, and I enjoyed the plentiful evergreens and their shade while I waited for all my friends to arrive.

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Switchbacks on the Sam Merrill trail

The friends that made it to the mountain were no strangers to hiking trails; more than half the group had done a Spartan Race together in the past, and all had trained and competed in a variety of competitive sports at some point of their lives.  We kept a fairly quick walking pace during our hike, and if we didn't have two small dogs, we probably would've opted for running.  At times the incline was a bit steep, but overall it was quite easy compared to hikes like Mt Baldy or even some of the Griffith Park trails.

The hike up to the old Mt Lowe Railroad and "White City" resort is a little over 2.5 miles (about 5.2 miles roundtrip), and I read about a picnic area at the top. I hit up Whole Foods the night before for some organic peaches and bananas, dark chocolate covered almonds, organic raisins, raw nuts, and a Steaz raspberry green tea sweetened with stevia. The snacks weren't necessary, but they were fun to have at the top after our many photoshoots!

Brussels Sprout Walnut Salad

Brussels Sprouts Walnut SaladI love going to restaurants because I get so much inspiration for my own culinary creations. Half the time I eat out I have to substitute most of the ingredients, so when I'm in my kitchen and the recipe is under my control... fireworks happen!  I absolutely love the food I prepare, and variety will always keep you sane if you're on any sort of restrictive diet.

As many of you know, I've returned to a strictly vegetarian diet, consuming only egg whites a few times per week, if at all; along with tons of vegetables, healthy fats, occasional tofu and tempeh, and fruit... yes, Summer White said fruit!!!  After 4 years a pollo-pescatarian - eating chicken, turkey, and fish several times a day, and having issues breaking down my proteins (due to naturally low stomach acid), I was forced to adopt a new lifestyle.

I eat mostly raw vegetables and fruits because they are rich with enzymes that help my digestive system work properly.  Back in the day, I used to consume foods that didn't work well with my body which resulted in irritable bowel syndrome, bloating, gas, acid reflux, etc. I lacked the proper digestive enzymes to break these foods down.  It seems I was always having to take laxative teas or capsules, having to get a colonic, or just sitting around suffering and thinking, "is this normal?"  So I eliminated the foods from my body, did coffee enemas and several other cleanses (liver, parasite, candida, and heavy metal), and ate a really basic vegetarian diet to reset.

I can't explain how I began to feel! I wasn't back to normal, because I never knew what normal was!!  My stomach was flat, after eating a meal for the first time ever, and I learned what it was like to be regular in the bathroom! Since this post is about food, I'll save the rest of that info for a later post!

Here is a truly healing and divinely delicious, fully raw salad that will satisfy under any circumstance.

Brussels Sprout Walnut Salad

Serves 1

1 tbsp tahini sauce (Trader Joes)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
splash Braggs apple cider vinegar
squeeze 1/2 fresh lemon
Himalayan crystal salt and black peppercorn, to taste
1 cup raw Brussels Sprouts, shaved thin
3 walnut halves, crushed

Directions:Tahini Dressing

Mix first 5 ingredients in a medium sized bowl until combined. Add the raw Brussels Sprouts and toss to coat with tahini sauce. Place on plate with serving spoon and top with crushed walnuts. Enjoy!

Soma Fitness Party After Glow!

Last weekend we hosted our first Soma Fitness party. It was AWESOME. If you didn't make it, you'll want to be there next time! It was a beautiful day in Los Angeles as we sipped blueberry lemonade and white wine, and snacked on cucumber-tuna bites from the rooftop of the historic Hollywood Towers. The view is amazing, and everyone snapped plenty of photos with the famous Hollywood Sign in the background. Here's a few snapshots from the fete.