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Racquetball Champion Hosts Vegan Bar Mitzvah at Veggie Grill  

By Marie Oser, Managing Editor
March 20, 2018
File under: Entertaining, Healthy Eating, Party Food, Vegan

Cody Elkins, vegan advocate and Veggie Grill aficionado

Cody Elkins, a 13 year old student at Paul Revere Middle School in Los Angeles was not the usual Bar Mitzvah candidate. Cody was the second in his in is family to cerebrate this important milestone at Veggie Grill, a growing fast, casual vegan restaurant chain.

Scott Nicholson, Senior Vice President of Operations helped Cody plan the party for 100 guests in late October and it was an enormous success.  Scott enlisted his staff to work the event, preparing Cody’s special customized menu, highlighting many of Veggie Grill’s greatest hits.  As a special treat, Scott brought back Cody’s favorite dessert, a luscious chocolate pudding parfait for his special occasion.

Guests enjoyed a delicious appetizers that included Buffalo wings, Crispy Cauliflower and Tempura Green Bean Stacks.  Cody’s custom menu offered many of Cody’s personal favorites such as the Santa Fe Crispy Chicken Sandwich. Guests were delighted to try the the Sonora Bowl, the Masala Bowl, the Mediterranean Salad and the popular, Savory Kale Caeser.

Photos: Marc Blackwell, @blackwellphoto

Cody was born into a vegetarian family and went vegan at 2 years of age when his mom made the vegan life shift.  Cody enjoys educating his peers about the benefits of a healthy and compassionate vegan lifestyle and his Bar Mitvah project was the perfect example of that.

Cody spoke at his school about the connection between going Vegan and saving the planet.  He also shared his thoughts about his veganism in his Bar Mitvah speech at his Synagogue.

Cody is frequently asked about his vegan lifestyle by his non-vegan peers. One if the more frequent questions are about his sources of protein, and when he gave his talk he was sure to include the availability of protein in plant foods, comparing them with animal products.  Watch Cody’s Talk

Cody is also an accomplished athlete! He is a world champion racquetball player, one of the finalists for Great Vegan Athlete of 2017 and is the youngest Great Vegan Athlete listed on the site

Cody has been able to combine the best of both worlds fueling his passion for racquetball with his favorite restaurant, Veggie Grill.

Cody is very proud to have hosted his vegan Bar Mitvah and is confident that he has influenced his guests to think more about what they eat and how it affects their health and the environment.

Cody hopes that he has also sown the seeds of compassion that may one day take root and inspire them to go vegan.  You can follow Cody @whatcodyeats on instagram and @vegansportskid on Twitter.

Marie Oser is a best-selling author, writer/producer and host of VegTV. Her latest book is The Skinny on Soy.  Follow Marie on Facebook and Twitter


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Luscious Double Chocolate Blueberry Bundt ~ High in Protein, Low in Fat

By Marie Oser, Managing Editor
January 11, 2016
File under: Dairy Free, Healthy Eating, Party Food, Recipes, Vegan


Bundt cakes get their distinctive shape from the fluted, grooved tube, baking pan similar to the traditional brioche-like gugelhupfk, which is called bundkuchen in northern Germany.

In 1950, bundt cakes became so popular that Nordic Ware trademarked the name, ‘bundt pan.’ In 1966 Pillsbury sponsored a baking contest where a bundt cake won second place and sales really took off after that.

Rich desserts are traditionally made with butter, eggs and milk. These decadent desserts tend to be notoriously high in fat, calories and cholesterol.

There is a better way to produce scrumptious, rich tasting treats. The key is in choosing wholesome, easy to use alternatives to replace eggs, refined sugar, butter and dairy products. …read more of Luscious Double Chocolate Blueberry Bundt ~ High in Protein, Low in Fat here

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Delectable Apricot Pastry Rolls ~ Four Ingredients!

By Marie Oser, Managing Editor
December 28, 2015
File under: Dairy Free, Entertaining, Healthy Eating, Party Food, Recipes, Vegan

These wholesome and delectable Apricot Pastry Rolls come together quickly with just four ingredients and keep well in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Puff pastry is light and airy with unique properties perfect in many elegant dishes on the party circuit. Easy to use and ready to bake, frozen puff pastry is undoubtedly the simplest route to an endless array of impressive dishes.

It is important to read labels. Some popular brands of puff pastry list unbleached enriched flour as the first ingredient. That is white flour with all of the bran removed, which then has some vitamins and minerals added back. It is best to avoid refined white, flour, bread and rice because they are empty carbs with all of the goodness discarded.

Most brands use lots of butter, which adds cholesterol, saturated fat and excess calories. Equally troubling are the hydrogenated oils and other additives listed on the label of the most popular brand of puff pastry. Hydrogenated oils are trans fats, which increase bad cholesterol (LDL) and decrease good cholesterol (HDL) and also promote inflammation. …read more of Delectable Apricot Pastry Rolls ~ Four Ingredients! here

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10 Delightful Vegan Dishes for a Hearty and Delicious Holiday Buffet

By Marie Oser, Managing Editor
November 22, 2015
File under: Entertaining, Green Holiday, Healthy Eating, Party Food, Recipes, Vegan

The average American gains at least a pound between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, which generally accrues over time.  A minute on the lips …and who knows how long on the hips! Vegans know that there is a far better way to celebrate that is as delectable for the palate as it is good for our health, the planet and the animals

I present here ten enticing dishes that will wow family and fiends!

Artichoke Stuffed Portobellos …read more of 10 Delightful Vegan Dishes for a Hearty and Delicious Holiday Buffet here

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Black Bean Chili Chorizo, Hearty, Healthy and Flavorful

By Marie Oser, Managing Editor
October 17, 2015
File under: Healthy Eating, Party Food, Recipes, Vegan

Gourmet ‘Chili Non Carne’ for the Texas Red Aficionado

Chili is a universal favorite and an easy one-pot wonder that feeds a crowd. ‘Chili Con Carne’ means peppers with meat and originated around 1850 with Texas cowboys, who slow cooked the spicy dish over the campfire.

The first known chili cook off took place at the Texas State Fair in 1952 and continues to this day in communities across the U.S.

In the Southwest, the concept and preparation of Chili varies region to region considerably. In New Mexico, chili is more of a stew, made with chili peppers and vegetables, with or without meat. …read more of Black Bean Chili Chorizo, Hearty, Healthy and Flavorful here

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An alternative approach to health, wellness and disease prevention. Marie Oser and her team of bloggers bring you creative natural solutions to issues affecting our health and wellbeing.

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