Does Walt? Naw, he Disney!

Thursday 1st August 2013

On Thursday we had the unbelievable privilege of going to Disneyland California for free (thank you Vinnie, Chris and Universe!)

We went on the Tower of Terror, California Screamin’ rollercoaster, Star Tours, Splash Mountain and Space Mountain but the absolute highlight of the day had to be the Grizzly River Run. This is a river rapids type ride that is the tallest and longest in the world. ‘You WILL get wet!’ read the warning signs everywhere. We only had to wait in line for 5 minutes, which is a miracle, so Vin, Gabe and I were already in good spirits by the time we were seated on the ride. The carriage that you sit in is a circle with six seats. Everyone is sitting around the circumference of the circle with their knees pointing inwards as the floating doughnut sways and sloshes and slops in the water. As there were only 3 of us, we were seated in a carriage with 3 people who we didn’t know. One was a little kid and the other 2 were a young couple.


I laughed and laughed and laughed for the entirety of this bumpy ride. I just can’t explain the hilarity of being mid-conversation with someone when an obnoxious little splash of a wave flies horizontally into the carriage, slaps him upside his head and plasters all of his hair sideways over his face like a wet toupe. Then as the buoyant carriage spun round, the speed and force of it caused a massive wave to form behind the young couple sitting opposite me and before I could warn them, it came pounding over their heads, knocking glasses off of faces and filling up t-shirts. Oh how we all howled and laughed at each other’s watery misfortunes. You’ll be pleased to know that I personally was assaulted by rapid fluids to such an extent that by the end, I had makeup on one half of my face only and I looked like I’d full-on pissed my pants. But it was worth it. Vinnie also took a pounding, by the end of the ride he was competing in a wet t-shirt competition. Gabe was soaked as well completely down one side from head to toe so he looked like someone had dipped him into a pool by a leg and a wing.

Soaked and exhausted we left the park, having been there from 10am-9pm. We stopped at Ruby’s Diner for a late supper and Vinnie, the star that he is, drove us home to Ocean Beach. We had such a wonderful day- one that I will never forget.

Come and say hello over at:

‘angellassie’ on Twitter.


Shady Shades in Shades (You Sir, Have No Right to Sport the Appearance of a Hippy!)

Tuesday 30th July 2013

shades, ob, ocean beach, dining, food

For the first time, my bliss bubble of Ocean Beach has been burst and I realize that I am in a place, although beautiful, that has it’s own bad apples…just like anywhere else.

On Tuesday Gabe and I went out to eat at a beachfront restaurant called Shades. The restaurant is laidback with very reasonably priced food. There is an outdoor patio where dogs are welcome- they even have a doggy menu!

We sat down to eat across from a family who finished their meal just as we were eating our starters. I noticed some time after the family left that one of them had left a pair of sunglasses on the table. ‘I’ll mention it to the waitress’, I thought. Next thing I know, this be-dreadlocked hippy wannabe comes in and sits at the table where the family just were. The waitress came and asked the guy if he’d just arrived and he replied ‘yes’. The table was still littered from where the family were sitting so the waitress made to clear the plates away and clean the table and as she did, she handed the sunglasses to the guy, obviously thinking that they were his. Without missing a beat he took them and put them in his pocket! Hippies don’t do that! Hippies care and share, they don’t steal and deceive!

He didn’t know I was watching him. Without the slightest look of conscience, he took the sunglasses out of his pocket and examined them under the table, obviously looking to see if they were expensive. He sat for another few minutes until his friend came out of the toilet. They pretended to look at the menus before downing a complimentary glass of water and leaving ‘quietly’ and unnoticed- or so they thought. I took on the role of clipe and told the bar manager that he had stolen the shades, in case the family were to come back looking for them.

I had some uneaten spaghetti and Gabe had some salad and couscous leftover. I feel bad for not offering my food to someone who is so starving that he needs to steal sunglasses from a restaurant table to survive. I’m not sure why I’ve experienced such¬† horror at this event- it’s not because the shades were valuable, but I think it’s because that the guy was so cold and guiltless, possessing the opportunist skills of a shop-lifter or thief. The way he took the situation in his stride expressed a familiarity with deception that is frightening. It just goes to show that not everyone will do the right thing when they think that no one is looking. To make yourself a thief over a pair of sunglasses just shows how little some people value themselves and their own integrity. He may have gained a pair of sunglasses but he has lost something much more valuable.

Rant Over.

Ps. I don’t think he was native to OB- the bar manager had never seen him before, and everyone knows everyone here.

Pps. Shades restaurant really is great- sorry this post got distracted away from that fact. I just have to write what’s in my head.

Come and say hello over at:

‘angellassie’ on Twitter.

Super Soccer Sunday

Sunday 28th July 2013

boutique, ob, ocean beach, lola luna, clothes, shopping

On Sunday, Gabe and I met Graeme at the local Irish pub to watch the Gold Cup final: USA vs Panama. I can’t say that I’m the biggest fan of football but it was nice to be in amongst the celebratory atmosphere. USA won, although in my amateur opinion, neither team played very well. I tried a Shock Top beer which was new to me (and very nice, kinda like Blue Moon). After the game, we went a stroll round the shops and I got some lovely palazzo pants from Lola Luna. Gabe and I love bulldogs and we saw two called Rita and Bluto chillin’ outside the shops. Bluto, having drunk his freezing water too quickly, made a lovely spew puddle just as we went over to say hello (nice!). Gabe had a lot of work to do so we went back to the apartment where I had a peaceful nap whilst Gabe worked and in the evening I made us vegetarian thai red curry with brown rice, which was splendid if I do say so myself.

Just a wee short post for Sunday- we were having quiet time in preparation for LA and Disneyland next week.

Come and say hello over at:

‘angellassie’ on Twitter.

OB People’s Organic Food Market: My New Happy Place!

Saturday 27th July 2013

I have grown to love OB People’s Organic Food Market so much that I feel it deserves a post all of it’s own. On Saturday, Gabe and I walked the 3/4 mile from our apartment on Niagara to People’s on Voltaire to pick up our weekly shop. For environmental reasons, we take our own bags (which also enters us into the daily prize draw to win $30 worth of groceries!) and we discuss our spending tactics on the way. This time, we were shopping for ingredients for vegetarian Italian and Thai dinners.

organic, vegetarian, vegan, superfoods, wholefoods, market, farmer, california, co-op, ocean beachPeople’s advertises itself as: ‘A California consumers cooperative where anyone can shop and everyone can join!’. ‘People’s’ is such an appropriate name for the market because it is operated for the people by the people. It’s cooperative structure is one of it’s most attractive features. A co-op business is one that is owned by its members, which sidesteps corporate involvement, avoiding a business model that is disconnected from its community and favours mindless profit over meeting the needs of its customers. People’s is financed, operated and run by the very people who shop there, so their needs and wishes are always met, and the profits from the business are always circulated back into the community- not sent away to some junk-food-flogging-fat-cat.

organic, veg, local, grown, healthy, seasonal, peoplesAnother reason why I love People’s is because I can trust them. The market is fully organic and vegetarian and is stocked with an extensive range of natural products. When I go into other stores, both in San Diego, and back home in Scotland, I find myself checking the label on everything because I cannot trust that the store has my best interests at heart. But People’s take great pride in their organic and natural status and enforce it rigorously. You can shop wildly in there and never come across a single product that has been tested on animals, treated with harmful chemicals or is un-recyclable. People’s have gone to the effort of guilt-proofing your shopping in a way that I have never seen before. I am extremely grateful for the peace of mind that People’s have afforded me as I shop.

kale, chard, spinach, people's food, coop, green, organicThe fresh produce at People’s is absolutely beautiful, and when you enter the fruit and veg aisles, the sights, smells, drips and temperature are that of a botanic garden. Most items are labelled, so you know which organic local farm they come from, and the juicy, plump and natural produce is enticingly brightly coloured and very reasonably priced.

apples, organic, people's, market, food, healthy, fruitEven the building that houses People’s wares is environmentally aware! The custom-designed ‘green’ shop is constructed from recycled steel, engineered lumber, is non-toxic, and features sustainably harvested materials- this is up-cycling to the maximum! The store’s design is natural and minimal, allowing the produce to shine as the centrepiece. Both the building’s location and construction utilize natural daylight to reduce the shop’s consumption of energy, whilst managing the internal temperature of the building and reducing overheating due to sunlight through glass. This reduces and eliminates the need for air conditioning…pretty nifty! Read more about People’s Green Building here.

grains, organic, healthy, wholefoodsAs well as fresh produce, the market also sells an extensive range of grains, nuts, seeds, pastas and flours in a per-lb dispensary system. We discovered the hard way that this is not a pick n’ mix…one bag per one item please! (Sorry People’s!). Gabe and I, being daily coffee drinkers, were delighted to see the organic coffee dispensary at which you can select a coffee, measure, weigh and grind it yourself. Each coffee dispenser has information on the front, allowing you to make the best choice for your caffeinated (or decaf!) needs.

organic, coffee, roast, dark, delicious, people's, market, foodI also love the health and beauty section. This is nothing short of an apothecary, with lotions and potions for illness prevention and cure, cosmetics for natural beautification, and all the vitamins you could ever want. Gabe had bad heartburn so we got a natural remedy to cure him, which worked a treat. I was looking for some spirulina as a diet supplement and we were served by a patient, friendly and knowledgeable man who is an asset to People’s.

people's, apothecary, medicine, natural, remedies, alternative, medicine, cosmeticsAnd of course, those of you who know me will know that the proof is in the wine aisle! People’s doesn’t disappoint with a cheap and very cheerful range of organic and vegan wines…woohoo!

Organic, wine, grapes, alcohol, natural, sustainableIf you ever visit Ocean Beach, you must visit this place- even if it’s just to pick up a refreshing valencia orange to eat on a hot day. For me, People’s represents everything that good trade and good business should be; from the quality of produce to the philosophy of the place, they’ve got it right. The market impressed me so much that it made me both mad and sad that we don’t have anywhere like this in Glasgow. Then I realized that the point of People’s is that they did it themselves, and that if I want a co-operative (not the co-operative!) food shopping experience, I’ll have to do it myself. I did some reading online and discovered- much to my amazement- that my beloved University of Glasgow has a food co-op group that has been flourishing for the last few years. I am extremely proud of this and I plan to throw myself, my money and my skills wholeheartedly at Glasgow Uni Food Co-op, which is close to my home and now, thanks to People’s, is close to my heart.

OB People’s Organic Food Co-op is located at 4765 Voltaire Street, Ocean Beach, San Diego and is open from 8am ’til 9pm daily.

Find out more about Glasgow Uni Food Co-op here.

Come and say hello over at:

‘angellassie’ on Twitter.

Reading, Sunbathing and Eating To Live.

Thursday 25th July 2013

On Thursday I engaged in a simple and pleasurable pasttime that doesn’t cost anything, and to some, is the epitome of what it means to be on vacation: I lay in the sun with a book and a cold drink- it was so nice and relaxing.

I am a great believer in fate. I believe that many pieces of information come to me for a reason, and the book I ended up reading on my sunbathing stretch was one such piece of information. I am very interested in nutrition, food, and the process of agriculture. I am particularly interested in the effects of mono-cropping and the links between the unbelievable rates of disease in the western world and how that links to food, corruption and greed. I do a lot of reading about these matters and I have seen many documentaries about food and nutrition. One name that kept cropping up (‘scuse the pun!) is Dr Joel Fuhrman. Dr Fuhrman is a nutritionist who advocates a plant-based diet and is all-too aware of the corrupt and oppressive forces that control the food that we have access to in the western world. In each documentary, he seemed to be making really intelligent and clear remarks and his words were very appealing to me.

As I was preparing to go out and sit in the sun with my kindle, I noticed a small bookshelf in the apartment, which was occupying the space between the couch and the wall, and which I hadn’t noticed before. The pink and green spine of one book caught my eye: I couldn’t belive it when I looked closer and saw that it was Eat To Live by Dr Joel Fuhrman! ‘I’m meant to read this,’ I thought. I ditched the kindle and decided to pick that up instead. Eat To Live is a book about eating well, eating for health, and eating in a way that minimizes your part in a corrupt, harmful, profit fuelled and chemical smeared agricultural industry (I’m not sure if this is Dr. Fuhrman’s intention with the book, but it certainly is a significant outcome.). Eat To Live is a book that throws its hands up and says, ‘Sorry folks- there is no overnight magic pill to lose weight and be healthy- it takes a lifetime commitment’; which is the thing we secretly always knew but were trying to avoid. Dr Fuhrman’s book offers a lifestyle plan, backed up by evidence and scientific studies, that guides you through how to have a slim and healthy life with rapid weight loss. It does not tell you how to lose weight in a gimmicky, unhealthy and unsustainable way. I am loving this book right now because it works with the truth, rather than trying to cheat its way to results.

eat, live, fuhrman, health, weight loss, slim, healthy, diet, fresh, vegan, organic

Click on the book cover for more information.

Which contains more protein, steak, soy, brocolli or chicken?

If you can’t answer that question correctly, and you want to become healthy and slim, then you should read this book. In some places, the book was hard for me to read because it exposed the truth about some foods that I love. Ok, we all know that fast/junk food makes a beeline to set up home on your hips and ass, but I was suprised to see that some foods that I thought were benefitting me, actually come at a high caloric price and contain zero nutrition. Dr Fuhrman doesn’t tell you to ban anything from your diet: he just tells you the facts and trusts that if you are serious about being slim and healthy, you will use your common sense to make up your own mind. I like that approach. Throughout the book, you are encouraged to eat huge portions of the right kinds of foods (makes a change from other diets!), and many objections and concerns that the reader might have are answered and patiently explained.

Eat To Live has been independently and scientifically verified as the most successful healthy eating plan for long-term and permanent weight loss…of all time. That is a pretty steep statement, but from reading the book, I can see why: because it’s the truth and nothing more!

This post has turned into a book review but it really was an eye-opening read and genuinely made me re-think my gastronomical choices. After reading it, I felt armed with the correct information to make the right choices for myself, and in my opinion, that is the crux of the appeal of Eat To Live. Education is something that is largely missing from how we pick our meals in the western world. We trust the stuff that is sold to us, we put our trust and hard earned money into companies without really thinking about it- we assume that someone else has done the work to regulate them: but no one has. Eat To Live will give you the confidence and information that you need to regulate and interrogate the supermarket for yourself- that is a very powerful tool for successful healthy eating.

After I was done sunbathing, I went to the supermarket all powered up, bought a load of organic and vegan food and made Gabe and I a delicious dinner.

Have you read Eat To Live? What did you think of it? Have you tried any other diets? If so, how much success did you have? What do you think about my point that information is missing from how we choose what we eat?- I’d be happy to read your thoughts in a comment.

Come and say hello over at:

‘angellassie’ on Twitter.

The Wednesday Market Munch!

Wednesday July 24th 2013

For the purpose of this post, I ate at OB Farmer’s Market on Wednesday (hey, it’s a dirty job but someone’s gotta do it!) There were so many stalls at the market selling everthing from organic small-farm honey to traditional Brazilian cuisine. I was absolutely spoiled for choice. After circling the market three times, trying samples and nibbling tasters, I commited to these beauties for feeding my face…

‘Sweet Treats Without the Guilt!’ read the catchy and irresistible banner of the Olive Oil Cafe. Their stall – offering sugar-free, gluten-free, wheat-free, vegetarian and vegan treats – was piled high with colourful and delicious-looking offerings. Having a sweet tooth, I was drawn like a moth to the flame. The chatty and energetic server let me try a little nibble of everything, explaining to me the different dietary subscribers that could eat each treat. I opted for smooth dark chocolate and peanut butter, carrot cake, and coconut butterscotch. At $10 for 3, I got myself a ‘sweet’ bargain.

sweet treats, cakes, biscuits, cookies, vegan, delicious, gluten free, wheat free

Peanut butter and chocolate, carrot cake and coconut butterscotch.


sweet treats, cake, tea, cookies, vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, wheat free



sweet, vegan, vegetarian, handmade cakes

Cocoa nibs, pecan, butterscotch, coconut, gluten free, wheat free!

Although delicious, sweet treats aren’t enough to feed a hungry tourist! So in terms of a meal, I looked for something different. One stall had a line round the block (which, if Hodad’s is anything to go by, is a good sign!). I got in line for some African and Caribbean food. $8 bought me jerk chicken, rice and 2 sides. Nothing was labelled so to choose sides, I just pointed at whatever looked delicious. If I’m honest, the chicken was the least impressive part of the meal. The greens were delicious, al dente, well seasoned and slightly spicy. The red sauce complimented stewed eggplant that it surrounded, and contained all sorts of interesting spices including cinammon and star anise. I mixed this in with my rice and had my fill. I couldn’t finish the meal as the portion was so large, so Gabe polished it off for me.

jerk chicken, african, west indies, greens, street food

African, Caribbean and West Indies food.

After all that indulgence, I thought I’d better give my body a nutritious boost. Morning Star Ranch sold me the most delicious and fresh juice from their stand. The juice is hand juiced and bottled at the farm and contains kale, chard, spinach, apple juice and cucumber, amongst other things, and is absolutely delicious and nutritious. At $9 per bottle lasting 3 days, it works out much cheaper than the juice bar I’ve been visiting everyday- another bargain!

juice, juicing, health drink, healthy, nutrients

Health in a glass, full of nutrients. Tastes great, really lime-y! (By Morning Star Ranch)

What’s you’re favourite kind of food? Have you visited one of the worlds many Farmer’s Markets? What did you think? Do you juice? Feel free to comment, I’d love to read your recommendations!

Come and say hello over at:

‘angellassie’ on Twitter.

That Beautiful Moon…

Tuesday 23rd July 2013

On Tuesday I realized that I have been boozing every day of my holiday but two. I have been eating American portions – three square (foot) meals a day – and I wonder why my shorts are a little tight. My birthday is over, the champagne is finished, and there’s no excuse. The healthy eating kick has begun.

Tuesday was a quiet day, Gabe and I spent it working, writing and planning. We are heading to LA next week so Gabe can attend some meetings whilst I do a bit of sightseeing.

I cooked for us on Tuesday evening- I made a stir-fry with asparagus, onion, brown rice, red and green peppers all dressed in a lovely seasoning (Lynn and Steve’s spice rack is amazing!) And I managed to resist having a glass of wine whilst cooking (my favourite time to tipple!) or with dinner- so far so good on the healthy eating front! Apart from our nice, healthy dinner, Tuesday’s highlight was definitely the evening’s full moon. I love the moon and I always try to stand in her silvery light, feeling healed and inspired by it. I opened the apartment door and was taken aback by the beauty of the moon rising between far off trees, apartments and cliffs…

full moon, night sky, california, ocean beach, dark sky

The moon was the brightest I’ve ever seen it and seemed to be surrounded by pink light- gorgeous.

Come and say hello over at:

‘angellassie’ on Twitter.