Set Higher Standards by Ravi

Ramblings from a 30-something ultra-marathoning yogi with a day job.

Archive for the ‘Vegan Food’ Category

Vegetarian food on Moorea Island in French Polynesia

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On my honeymoon here in French Polynesia. Right now we are on the island of Moorea. Much of the cuisine here is French style. Tons of fish and meat oriented dishes. There is a lack of awareness amongst locals and the hotel staff regarding vegetarian food on the island, though there are many options available if you choose to seek it out. It does amaze me that given how expensive everything is and the number of tourists that come through that there are not more veggie options.

The fruits here are great, pineapple and papaya especially. There are citrus and coconuts too.

Many restaurants have pizza, pasta and salads to choose from if you are vegetarian. All places have desserts….Chocolate mousse, ice creams, creme brule.

Some recommendations:

Intercontinental Hotel: several options on the menu, including a salad (tell them what you want and they will make it), a veggie pizza, veggie sandwich (again, tell them what you want on it, it isn’t on the menu), veggie stir fry noodles (they have tofu…but you need to ask them for it), French fries, samosas. The breakfast buffet here is epic. Made to order eggs, pastries, fruit bar, cereals, potatoes, several steamed veggies, meats, coffee and self serve espresso machine. We got the breakfast every day and then just had an afternoon snack and dinner.

Le Sunset restaurant at the Hibiscus Hotel: veggie pizza was very good, best of three pizzas we had here so far. The goat cheese salad was great and very big. We also had French fries (thick cut, like steak fries). The view is remarkable, right on the beach. Prices are also affordable compared to other places. The owner will pick up and drop off if you stay nearby.

Les Tipaniers: close to the intercontinental hotel, this place had an amazing vegetarian lasagna. We also had a veggie pasta dish that was quite good. Prices are decent, though Le Sunset was cheaper. They also pick up and drop off from hotels nearby.

Le Plantation: this place actually had a section of the menu labelled vegetarian! They had a few options….a veggie/soy pasta dish, a tofu mango stir fry with rice and some other stuff. The food was decent. However it was very expensive and I preferred the food at the other places noted above.

Overall, as long as you eat cheese/eggs, there is plenty to eat here for vegetarians. Vegans will need to be creative and plan ahead – bring a few bags of nuts, visit the local grocery store for fruits when you arrive. It is doable to travel here as a vegan, but definitely plan for it!

Also, prices are costly, even small restaurants outside the large hotels will cost about $80 for dinner for two….for one drink each, a salad to share, two entrees and a dessert to share. Costs are roughly double what I would pay back in Seattle at a decent restaurant.

Written by Ravi Raman

August 10, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Why Did Steve Jobs Die?

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I think this is an incredibly important article to read, especially in light of Job’s passing and his authorized biography illustrating what an impact his diet had on his persona.

According to Dr. McDougall, Job’s plant-based diet was not at fault for his cancer. On the contrary, it surely did enable him to live longer than would have been ever thought possible with such a disease.

Written by Ravi Raman

December 4, 2011 at 4:24 pm

Health Mastery Tips from Tony Robbins

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Came across some notes from from a few Tony Robbins programs I attended. As we emerge from the holiday’s and the overeating that typically goes along with it, these will come in handy to help us get back on track.

Eight Key Principles for Maximum Nourishment….as taught by Tony Robbins

  1. Break your fast every morning with green vegetables, green juices, non-acid producing, low-sugar fruits and fruit juices or light alkalizing foods only
  2. Properly combine your foods for maximum health. Eat one concentrated food in a meal and do not combine carbohydrates and proteins in the same meal
  3. Eat comfortable amounts of food to maximize energy and nutrition
  4. Consume quality oils (Udo’s oil, flax, primrose and olive oil)
  5. Do not eat when you are stressed or tired
  6. Do not drink water during meals (dilutes the digestive fire)
  7. Eat organic food whenever possible
  8. Do not eat condensed foods, especially animal proteins, immediately before going to bed

Other general tips….

  • Consume 70% from water-rich foods (raw-living foods) – have a salad with every meal!
  • Avoid animal flesh – it’s highly acid-producing
  • Avoid dairy – it’s highly acid producing
  • Eliminate acid-addictions (caffeine, sugar, salt, nicotine, alcohol)
  • Eliminate processed fats

Try the above for 10 days and see how you feel! Make it a 10 day challenge to your own health and wellness. Ask a buddy to join you!

Written by Ravi Raman

December 26, 2009 at 4:11 pm

Interview with Vegan Bodybuilder Robert Cheeke (Part 2/3)

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Here is part 2 (of 3) of my interview with Vegan Bodybuilder Robert Cheeke. You can see part 1 of the interview here.

In this segment, we cover:

  • Robert’s story of transformation from 125 pounder to 200 pound vegan bodybuilder
  • How to gain weight on a plant-based diet
  • The importance of a journal – keeping track of your goals and training progress
  • Tips to staying motivated and achieving goals


Written by Ravi Raman

October 12, 2009 at 6:52 am

Interview with Vegan Bodybuilder Robert Cheeke (Part 1/3)

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<if you can’t see the video embedded in this post, click here>

A few months ago I got the chance to sit down with Robert Cheeke, my good friend and an accomplished vegan bodybuilder. Robert is currently super-busy working on his second documentary (“Vegan Brothers in Iron“), his first book (due out sometime soon!) and touring the country as a representative for Vega and as motivational speaker. He frequently gives talks at health/fitness festivals, universities and vegetarian/animal rights conferences.

Robert is a super-motivating guy who really walks his talk – he’s been vegan for over 15 years and in that time has gone from 120 pounder to 190+ pound bodybuilder, all using 100% plant-based nutrition. I split the interview into three different clips. I’ll post the second two in the next week or two, but wanted to share this one with you right away.

In this <10 minute clip, we discuss:

  • What Robert is up to – filming, speaking, competing!
  • Update on his latest competitions
  • Common nutrition “pitfalls” many vegans make
  • His favorite 100% plant-based protein sources


Vegan Bodybuilder Robert Cheeke Interview (Part 1/3)

BTW…if you have questions for Robert, please leave them in the comments to this post and we’ll address them in a future post.

Written by Ravi Raman

September 13, 2009 at 9:42 pm

Kitchen Sink Rice Stew (Vegan)

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The final product, not a soup...not a casserole...I guess its a stew?

The final product, not a soup...not a casserole...I guess it's a stew?

I got the idea for this while visiting my sister over the weekend. We decided to make a soup and ended up using whatever was available. It turned out amazingly well! The awesome thing is that it took very little effort to make.

In my effort to recreate the soup this evening I did something wrong…and it turned out much thicker, more like a thick rice stew.  I think the reason mine turned out this way is that I added rice instead of quinoa (which my sister used). I also used about twice as much rice as I should have :).

It still tastes incredibly good so I thought I’d share with all of you.

Cooking time is about 40 minutes and total time including all prep is about 50 minutes – depending on how fast you are at chopping stuff up. In fact, you could probably get by with less cooking time but I like to give it a while for all the flavors to soak into the rice.

Ingredients...use organic stuff where possible!

Ingredients...use organic stuff where possible!

The key is components of the stew are:

  1. a bunch of veggies
  2. some sort of starch like a potato, yam or beet
  3. a grain like rice, millet or quinoa
  4. a protein like beans or tofu
  5. some spice like fresh herbs, ginger, etc.

With this framework you can modify to your heat’s content! The recipe for the stew I just made is as follows. It makes a monster sized pot that will probably last for 3 meals for me! Instead of 2 cups of rice use 1 cup of quinoa and even more water for more of a soup instead of a thick stew.

  • 3 medium sized red beets (use golden beets if the a red-colored soup scares you!)
  • 1 cup brown rice (more makes it heartier)
  • 1 cup white rice (ditto)
  • 1 can (15oz) black eyed peas
  • 12 ounces extra firm tofu
  • 4 large celery stalks
  • 2 small carrots
  • 1 medium onion
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 3 dried red chilies (whole)
  • 1 handful fresh parsley
  • 10 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 small avocado
  • some salt
  • some pepper
  • enough water to cover everything completely (pure spring water of course!)
  • a little olive oil
All ingredients in the thickens a lot when done cooking.

All ingredients in the thickens a lot when done cooking.

Directions: Stir fry the onions, garlic, celery in olive oil until the onions get soft. Add in everything else and fill up with water. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat to simmer for about 30 minutes. Check to make sure the rice is nice and soft. Add a little more salt and pepper to taste at the end. Spoon into a bowl and top with fresh avocado.


p.s. if you try out any variations of this recipe, please post a comment and let me know how it goes! The great thing is you can pretty much throw in whatever you have on hand. Instead of beets you could use sweet potatoes. Instead of onion you could use peppers. Etc.

Written by Ravi Raman

September 8, 2009 at 8:48 pm

Posted in Vegan Food

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Rasberry Banana Hemp Seed Smoothie

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It is rasberry season! Finally, I can enjoy these wonderful berries fresh without having to pay and arm and a leg. I picked up an entire tray (6 overflowing pints) of rasberries for $15 from a local farmer’s market (all organic of course). I could probably get them cheaper, but that would require a drive outside of town.

Throw half-pint of berries, a super-ripe banana and a heaping tablespoon of hemp seeds into your Vita-Mix. Blend for about 10 seconds and enjoy. I use the whole hemp seeds in this recipe to get more of the good fats (as opposed to just using the hemp protein isolate). Hemp is an amazing source of Omega 3 fatty acids, and is also a complete and full-spectrum protein source – with all the amino acids your body needs to build muscle.

Written by Ravi Raman

July 12, 2009 at 3:07 pm

Posted in Vegan Food

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