Mastering raw cuisine with Matthew Kenny Culinary









MK 2

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banana split

Last week I returned from LA where I was intensely mastering chocolate and nut cheese making at Matthew Kenny Culinary Academy in Venice, CA. This is always a treat for me to be mentored by such a great wholesome vegan dietary chef. I was so impressed with his new restaurant Plant Food + Wine and Culinary school that he recently moved from Santa Monica.

Venice Beach, CA lately became trendy, hip neighborhood with plenty of coolest vibrant cafes, restaurants and shops to choose from. It’s a must visit destination.

I was so regaled to be preparing some delicious recipes and meeting new people at the class. We were a group of 10 and each one was assigned to their workstation equipped with essentials like cutting boards, Blendtec blenders, and mandolins and professional chefs aprons. We were given detailed program itinerary, shown a demo and were ready to put Blendtec, vivacious energy, imagination, and confidence into a good use. Our program started with preparing macadamia nut cheese, raw beet ravioli, pesto, macaroons, and chocolates.

What I loved most about the class was plate decorating using eatable colorful flowers, spreading and smearing flavored colorful sauces. It felt like being at the art class playing with textures, colors, seasoning, portion sizing while creating the most spectacular dishes. When we finished our first course of beet ravioli we were ready to lunch on a terrace and compare our creations. Everyone was so enthusiastic, and seriously focused on perfecting the house recipe. Eating it was the best part of that day.

The Plant Food & Wine restaurant is modern, cozy, with elegant composition of earth tones. There are multiple dining rooms with a beautiful white marble tables and gray cushions. The Culinary Academy is specious, modern and well organized accommodating  16 chefs. I adored the deco of fancy large communal white marble table, oversized windows and stepping out terrace overlooking the garden.

The Academy is located on the second floor just next door to the restaurant. Olive & Fig trees garden is the best feature of MK culinary empire. It felt so special preparing delicious meals upstairs and experiencing PF & W divine menu in the comfort of beautiful nature and tasteful surroundings.

Prior to my intense chocolate course I went with my girlfriend for lunch to Plant Food + Wine ordering almost everything on the menu. We couldn’t resist it was that delicious. I highly recommend turmeric chi latte that will turn your tongue funny yellow color, MK salad, and Brussels sprouts tacos. Everything is served on beautiful black oversized plates. For dessert we chose non-dairy banana split, which was to die for.

The menu is elegantly crafted from finest fresh organic ingredients.

I never knew that I could fall in love with cooking or talk about it so passionately. For the most part in the past I left it to my mom. She has spent endless hours in the kitchen crafting new recipes or exchanging them with her girlfriends and my aunts. I always had plenty of excuses when I was asked to help out. I think I got discouraged after few attempts of making a traditional cheesecake that completely flopped and ended in the trash. Since then I had grown keen on the idea of learning , trying, and striking the right balance between nourishing the body and mind simultaneously.

My love affair with cooking started while traveling to Paris. I wanted to indulge in tasting absolutely everything during my visit in the city of lights. I observed that eating quality food For French people was like obeying a religion. Cooking was definitely an art there, where precision of flavors and taste played a major factor in creating fine cuisine. This observing awaken healthy cooking passion in me that I currently share with my family and friends over home dinners. I wanted to learn from the best raw food chef’s new techniques, plate decorations, portion control, and course placement. There is still so much to learn and improve. Today I am exchanging recipes with my mom and girlfriends showing new ways of preparing healthy dishes while carefully selecting ingredients. Through my culinary journey I discovered that the best and fastest way through everyone’s heart is certainly through fine fresh organic ingredients & lots of chocolates.


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Bra-Blems Solutions


 BRA-2Images credit: Click here


Images credit: Click here


Images credit: Click here

Bra-blems are something that every single woman can relate to. It’s just in the cards when it comes to being a woman that no guy can ever come close to relating to. Every woman has different bra-blems, but today I’m going to share mine. You see, it’s always been an issue for me to find the right bra that fits my cup in all the right ways. It drives me crazy when straps keep falling down or snaps in the back keep rising to the top of my head. And Underwire pierce under my skin or pop out of the bra. Some have lace that its to thin leaving not much to the imagination or the embroidery can be to harsh rubbing off the nipples. I have few of those that decorate my lingerie drawer instead of my breast.

At some point I felt like giving it up and staying bra less. It worked for a little while but I was often challenged when wanted to wear certain tops or dresses with delicate transparent fabric or lace. I was on the mission to find a perfect bra that could be soft, comfortable and do all the “special effect” tricks. I came across ThirdLove and was immediately intrigued by their solution to all my concerns. With help of few questions, deciding on my breast shape and a large assortment of newest technology bras like foam memory I knew I came to the right place. I was even offered 30 days free trial that guaranteed the comfort, and luxury I was looking for.

It’s true art to pick properly right cup size and avoid discomfort. Most of us desire bigger and perkier breast. And at certain age only few remain those assets ready to wear confidently and comfortably trendy backless dresses and low cut shirts. Some girls are forced to wear a stick-on bra, which doesn’t help them on making more full due to the lack of push up and support stick-on bras have. I researched plenty and found at ThirdLove  so many choices. My favorite was feather light breathable selection in all beautiful colors, strapless, and variety of fabrics.

Everyone’s bra-blems are a major factor when it comes to deciding what shirt to wear, and maybe my bra-blem made you feel better about yours. Happy bra shopping!

Thank you Sofia Montanarelli for writing this article

P.S. As always I would love to hear from you. What is your biggest bra-challenge and your solution to it? Share your comments, tips, and suggestions with the rest of us



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Benefits of Coconut oil in daily regimen


skinnycoconut oilI always love being able to share with my readers some of the most amazing beauty products on the market. It can get absolutely overwhelming trying to keep up with all of the new creams, lotions, gels, and any other solution to keep us women feeling young and positively radiant! One of my go-to natural beauty products that I want all of my readers to try is coconut oil.

There are so many positive benefits and results when using coconut oil and can be applied to many parts of your body. One of the most common uses I get out of this natural sheen is by gently rubbing it on my skin before I shower. I love few brands that I noticed stand apart from the rest with its quality, texture and purity. My favorite is Artisana Raw Organic Extra Virgin cold pressed. I also use it in my smoothies, gluten free muffins, and gluten free bread that I make. Another one I love is SKINNY. Its simple transparent jar caught my attention when I saw the SKINNY label. Its silky smooth texture with delicious taste and smell. I use this one for oil pulling (check my previous post) and skin nourishing.

The texture of the oil itself is very light and lathers my skin with moisture while gently nourishing dry patches. I have noticed over a period time it has gradually improved the overall pigment and softness of my skin, leaving it glowing and youthful.

My luscious locks would not have the same amount of body and bounce if I did not include coconut oil in my daily hair care routine. I first started using coconut oil by applying it in small amounts to my scalp in the shower. For optimum results, I would recommend applying a generous coating of the coconut to wet hair after it has already been shampooed. Allow the oil to fully saturate and moisturize your hair before rinsing. Within a matter of days you will notice your once flat and limp hair is now full of volume and shine!

Women out there should really try coconut oil at least once in their daily beauty regimen. It is absolutely life changing and has purposes that go beyond the ones I have already mentioned. You can even apply a small amount on your lips for moisture or dab around your eyes to remove excess makeup. The benefits lists for this product are endless, which is why I am choosing to highlight it specifically for this month! I would never steer my readers wrong, but perhaps you all could introduce me to even more magical merchandise. What are your favorite beauty products, whether it is makeup, skin or hair related? I would love to hear from you!

P.S. I want to hear from you! How do you find coconut oil beneficial in daily use?  Share your comments, tips and suggestions with the rest of us.



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Fashion Magazines with trends to follow









RENE-OFFICE-24I have always prided myself on being up to date with the latest style trends, upcoming designers, and basically any headlining story in the fashion industry. Much of my life has revolved around looking for inspiration anywhere I can find it, which is why I must give credit where credit is due. Vogue magazine has been a constant savior in my stylistic adventures, and has always guided me to what is in and what is out. The reason I give Vogue magazine my vote for periodical of the month is not only because the informational content is so useful, yet also because of it is a timeless reference for fashion-savvy gurus everywhere.

It is unsurprising that Vogue is in a league of its own. Being established in the United States since 1892, it is one of the longest running fashion periodicals the country and world has ever read. The editors at Vogue take pride in the fact they are extremely influential in the industry and much of what they present to the consuming audience will be swallowed within minutes of opening the cover. I personally gravitate towards this magazine to review the latest fashion shows or collections and to allow my eyes to be graced with some of the top clothing images on the market. I also swear by this magazine for the inclusion of lifestyle articles, relating anywhere from personal health and beauty to historical reviews on influential names of the fashion world.

It would certainly be an understatement to say that Vogue magazine submits only the highest quality material. With photography spreads by artists like Annie Liebowitz and Peter Lindbergh and amazing PR campaigns, this source of glamour review is leaving the rest of the competition in their makeup chairs. Vogue has such a high reputation and such authentic sources that it is a must read for any lost soul trying to find the light towards fashion. I have learned about some of the most helpful styling tips as well as emerging new beauty products from reading this renowned piece of literature every month. Vogue is untouchable, yet I reassure you that I keep an open mind to most other couture inspired compositions.

P.S. I want to hear from you! Do you agree with my choice to keep Vogue at the forefront for magazine of the month? Or, is there another periodical that must be brought to my attention for a close runner up?


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Personal Beauty Routine for daily glow


cosmetics-3coconut oil I have always been a firm advocate for beauty, health, and to obtain inward fulfillment and happiness. It is hard to wake up in the morning and always think of such positive notions, especially when I have to get ready for the hours ahead of me. Of course the best is when you get pampered from head to toe. Regardless, these reassuring goals are reflected in my daily routine and are represented in the products I choose to use.

The simpler the routine the better; at least in my eyes! Beauty should not be something that you put on every morning, yet rather a natural radiance that you choose to highlight. Coconut oil is such a big part of my daily routine and is not only used after my eyes open in the morning. I love to use brand from Artsana Raw Organic Extra Virgin in my beauty regimen. I brush my skin with this oil before I shower, and have noticed it has helped with the overall softness. I also apply the coconut oil to my hair and face and recommend this product to everyone. Sometimes I like to mix it with high quality essential oils from DETTERA. They come in different scents and are food grade. Each scent has its profound purpose and they are perfect to be used in smoothies, juices, flavor the food, as fragrance, deodorants, for skin irritation, blemishes, headaches, cramps. Its usefulness is unlimited.  I can share a great oil pulling secret with you that will also whiten your teeth on the top of killing all germs and bacterias. Its been around for so long and originated in Aurveda madison. Just when you about to jump into the shower take 2 tbs of coconut oil and gurgle for 10-15mins. When time is up spit it out. Under any circumstances don’t swallow it. Rinse your mouth with warm water to extract all liquid mixed with saliva and follow with teeth brushing.  Within 3 weeks your teeth will whiten and breath will significantly improve.  On days that I want to deeply rejuvenate my skin I apply a homemade oatmeal, honey and avocado mask. The more natural products you use on your skin the more naturally radiant your skin will become!

Makeup should also be kept minimal yet fresh, which is why I use oil-free tinted sheer moisturizer for a light coverage from Natura Bisse. I fell in love with this product as it evens out the skin tone and gives a smooth glow to your complexion. It keeps the skin breathing while adding a dewy radiance that lasts the entire day.

For a truly fruity and sweet scent I apply Caudaline perfume which smells much more expensive than it actually is. Each time I wear it I get asked all the time which fragrance is it. Its fresh, fruity, light and will be pleasant to everyone’s nostrils. It comes in different scents. My favorite is the VIGN.


Coconut hibiscus butter is also a must and is applied to protect my skin from UV sun  damage and keeps it hydrated. My beauty approach is basic and uncomplicated yet allows me to face each day head on with confidence! I am such a supporter of natural beauty and allowing the products I use to only enhance my features. Are there any beauty products you swear by that cannot be replaced from your morning glamour routine?


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