“What is your ethnic background?”
Filipino, Chinese, and Spanish
“Where are you originally from?”
I was born and raised in San Diego, and I went to college in Santa Cruz.
“How long have you been cooking?”
I’ve been cooking since I was a little girl. First, with my mom in her kitchen, and I would host dinner parties throughout college.
“Did you go to culinary school?”
Yes, I went to Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Los Angeles. I also took a few Matthew Kenney Cuisine courses in Santa Monica.
“What did you do between graduating from UC Santa Cruz and culinary School?”
I was an accountant, financial analyst and sold real estate.
“How did you heal or manage your thyroid condition?”
Back in 1998 when I had hyperthyroidism and Graves’ disease, doctors zapped my thyroid with radiation. I virtually have no thyroid and have to take synthroid medication for the rest of my life. Now I have hypothyroidism. My vegan and clean-eating choices and exercises have helped me keep weight off and feel more energized and lighter on my feet.
“Do you have celiac disease?”
No, I don't. However, my belly gets bloated after eating gluten, I have digestive issues, and I get bumps (chicken skin) on my arms and thighs. This said, I will still sometimes consume gluten if I really want to try a dish and it's only made with gluten.
“What do you eat every day?”
I start every morning with 16 ounces of a glowing green smoothie.
Lunch and dinner is different every day. I prefer eating raw until 4pm. Starting each meal with a green salad. I love massaged kale salads or brown rice crackers with avocado, a veggie patty, and jalapeño sauerkraut. Dinner is always different. If I don't have time to cook, I either go out to eat, drink a green smoothie, or munch on raw fruits and veggies.
“Do you only eat organic food?”
I eat a mix of organic and non-organic. I mostly buy organic groceries, and don't sweat it if I can't find all organic ingredients. I always buy the ‘dirty dozen ‘ organic – so berries, apples, grapes, celery, tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach, potatoes, berries.
“Where do you get your protein from?”
All plants have protein. Some more than others, of course. I make sure that I eat enough plant protein at every meal, as it’s very important for energy. Plants high in protein that I enjoy most include: dark leafy greens, spirulina, nutritional yeast, nuts, nut butter, seeds (pumpkin, hemp, and flax), chickpeas, and quinoa. If you’re worried about your protein intake, go and see a nutritionist who can work through your meals with you and check that everything is balanced.
“What supplements do you take?”
I take Vitamin D and B12.
“Do you exercise?”
I do. I try to get some movement in my day everyday as it’s so good for the body. I probably exercise about five times a week or so. I love running, walking, and dancing.
“What blender do you use?”
I use a Vitamix 5200
“What are your favorite Los Angeles restaurants and what menu recommendations do you have?”
Organix: El Puerco Sandwich on GF bread, Jesse tacos, and the Poncho Burrito.
Real Food Daily: The Real Food Burger with the works on gluten-free bread with a Great Cardini Salad.
The Springs: LA Phil Wrap.
Bar Ama: The Vegan Queso and Vegan Ama Enchiladas from
Stuff I Eat: Enchilada Pie.
Equelecua Cuban Café: Plantain Nachos
Kitchen Mouse: Their entire menu for breakfast or lunch.
Crossroads Kitchen: Lasagna, Flat breads. Veggie Burger.
Mendocino Farms: Any of their vegan sandwiches.
Plant Food For People: Tacos!
Erven Restaurant: Everything on the Snackables menu with wine.
Masa Pizza: Deep dish pizza, vegan style with red onion, mushrooms, and vegan pepperoni.
“Are you going to write a cookbook?”
Yes, I would love to get a book deal someday soon.