Thursday, April 25, 2019

Embracing the Beauty, Cuisine, and Vortices of Sedona, AZ

Embracing the Beauty, Cuisine, and Vortices of Sedona, AZBy Kat Thomas, Editor in Chief, Edible Skinny

“It has been said that Mother Nature created the Grand Canyon, but she lives in Sedona.”

Sedona, Arizona, with its iconic Red Rock canyons and spiritual vortices that whirl about, has been on the bucket list of Edible Skinny for years now.  Well pity us no more, as we’re happy to announce that we finally we able to slash a line through this one as a few weeks we headed to this magical, mystical, energy spot in the high desert of Northern Arizona!  

Sedona the Sacred!  The first thing to talk about in regards to Sedona is that it’s full of spiritual vortices (at least when an energy healer is writing the article...). The basic origin story is that in 1980, a local Sedona medium named Page Bryant acknowledged and named some of the vortices, causing them to gain in popularity as places for spiritual awakening.  But the vortices are nothing new, as Native Americans including the Navajo, Yavapai, and Hopi Indians recognized the energy of this area centuries ago! 

Vortex energy intensifies everything in comes in contact with and makes Sedona a huge amplifier.  In layman’s terms this means that everything you are feeling will be magnified.  If you are happy while you are in Sedona, you may become euphoric or blissful.  Conversely, if you are irritated, agitated or depressed, those feelings will also be magnified.  The locals refer to this special energy field as the “Spirit of Sedona,” a strong, creative, inspiring, and loving feminine presence that causes the trees to grow in twisted spirals and empowers the 4 million visitors that flock to it every year.  

The fabulousness of this energy field was incarnated in our amazing accommodations at the Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock.  Nestled amidst the spectacular beauty of poetic geological formations, this upscale resort celebrates the Red Rock landscape by aspiring to mirror this sacred space with the light and warmth of hospitality.

This energetic promise is found in their 221 oasis like rooms and suites with their stunning (stunning!!!) views and locally inspired designs.  Each room offers refined comfort and privacy with each room including a gas fireplace, balcony or terrace, small refrigerator, and microwave oven.  Seriously, the views are so beautiful you find it hard to believe that they’re even real!!!

After arriving, we headed down to the edible heart of the hotel: Shadowrock Tap + Table, the Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock’s restaurant, bar, and porch that offers a comfortable modern environment where guests can kick-start, recharge or retreat.  The Porch, their 11,000 square foot porch, is the perfect gathering spot for a glass of wine or cocktail.  Adult playtime is available with games such as shuffleboard, ping pong, corn hole, foosball, or chess.  Or you can sit around one of the fire pits or in front of the fireplace while sipping on a craft beer or specialty cocktail.  For the perfect Southwest wind down try their Prickly Pear Margarita; tangy and tart, with a side of healthy (so you can have more than one!).   

The next day, at six in the morning, (and we totally deserve a gold star for getting up for it!), we took the hotel’s complimentary Sunrise Yoga class.  After guzzling down some complimentary coffee, we headed over to the facility’s tennis courts.  There we down dogged and cat and cowed in style as the sun rose from the east.  Namaste! 

And yoga was just the beginning, one of the coolest things about this hotel is their Outdoor Warrior Pit.  The Pit is a cross-training facility where resort guests can exercise at their leisure or attend a weekly class led by their seasoned instructor. This rough and tumble boot camp playground is equipped with tires, ropes, sledgehammers, and anchors; perfect for the Workout Warrior.  Just be prepared to get covered in Sedona’s signature red sand!  And if throwing tires around isn’t your jam, their state-of-the-art fitness complex offers new Precor and Life Fitness equipment, fitness classes, a 25 meter lap pool, and steam and sauna.  

After going hermit style and spending 36 hours at the Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock, we decided it was time to adventure outside of the resort’s grounds.  So, we hopped in our automobile and headed over to Elote Cafe, a restaurant that has quickly assumed regal status in Northern Arizona’s gourmet food scene.  Voted one of the 50 Best AZ Restaurants by Phoenix Magazine, Elote is the ultimate foodie paradise!!!

The restaurant’s concept is creative original Southwestern and Mexican Cuisine, which they do with perfection.  But be prepared to wait for a table as this is a no-reservations restaurant (that being said, the food is absolutely worth the while!).  While dining at the coolest communal table ever, we munched on Tacos de Buffalo.  Composed of Braised Buffalo Short Ribs with traditional Mole Poblano.  This dish was was so tender and flavorful we wanted to extend our stay another day just to return for more tacos!!!

On our last morning in Sedona (which BTWs the city of Sedona was named after one of the earliest settlers, Sedona Miller Schnebly, who was born in 1877 in Gorin, Missouri.  Her Pennsylvania Dutch mother "just thought up" the name Sedona for her daughter because "it had a pretty sound"... this was such a fun factoid we just had to drop it in somewhere…!) we decided to take in some of the 300 miles of scenic Red Rock trails that make it a hiker’s paradise (and make Sedona the Day Hike capital of the United States).   

And naturally if we’re at one of the most beautiful vistas in America, we just had to bust out a few photos with Mowgli The Dinosaur.  Mowgli The Dinosaur is a bedazzled T. Rex with 150,000 hand applied rhinestones of pure bling!  Mowgli is the the first large scale art installation by the creative media company This Way Adventures (owned by yours truly) under the BlingOSaurus rhinestone brand!  This 67 million year old SPARKLY T. Rex has become a mainstay at First Friday Las Vegas, the Dope Cup in the High Desert of California, the Cannabis Cup in Sacramento, CA, private parties in Tucson, and events hosted by The Green Light District.  And thus Mowgli got his own photoshoot in Sedona standing in front of the iconic Cathedral Rock, a beautiful natural cathedral and the most photographed Red Rock formation in Sedona.  

This gorgeous vista was  compounded by the fact that this space is considered a Magnetic vortice having a feminine or “yin” energy.  The flow of this energy is very nurturing, soft and welcoming and can assist you in inward activities, such as contemplation, meditation and reflection.  While the energy is more subtle, it is quite powerful, encouraging you to slow down, become calm and grow quiet.  A perfect bookend to our stay and this article (for those who want to get Meta!).  

So here’s to life being delicious, all your moments being postcard being worthy, and visiting the magical, mystical, energy spot of the high desert, Sedona, AZ! ;-)

Kat Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Edible Skinny, a site dedicated to making your life postcard worthy. She is also the CEO of the creative media company This Way Adventures. You can find more about both brands at

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Don’t Panic, It’s Organic at Kreation Organic Kafe in Brentwood

Don’t Panic, It’s Organic at Kreation Organic Kafe in Brentwood

By Kat Thomas, Edible Skinny
“Take care of your body.  It’s the only place you have to live.”
--Jim Rohn

Don’t panic, it’s organic!!!  A few weeks ago Edible Skinny was lucky enough to have a AB FAB meal at the AWESOME Kreation Organic Kafe in Brentwood.  Dining with the AMAZING Yoga Guru Jordana Reim (who just finished summiting Everest Base Camp with her company 180 Retreats!!!) we sampled complimentary activated charcoal water, were dazzled by blooming napkins, contemplated which flavor to pick from a juice selection that went into the hundreds, and embraced the non-oxymoron statement of desserts that are good for you.  Health at this level might sound like a fantasy, but I assure you in this timeline it’s the ultimate reality a Kreation Organic Kafe! ;-) 

Founded in 2005 by Marjan Sarshar; in the last decade Kreation Organic Kafe has expanded to 17 locations serving 100 percent USDA-certified organic cold-pressed juices, smoothies and superfood snacks.  Four of these locations (Santa Monica, Abbot Kinney, Beverly Grove, and Brentwood) are full-blown cafes and juiceries serving salubrious Iranian-inspired fare for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and brunch menus.  The Brentwood location is also the first location in Kreation history to have a Bar (with a capital B) with Koktails crafted with Kreation’s signature juices.

It’s like this restaurant was designed to be a magical Insta Story...  Each table is decked with large scale vibrational crystals.  Dehydrated Napkins bloom into flowers when dropped into a self serve individual sized water bowl.   A waitress waltzes over offering an eyedropper of tableside activated charcoal to the distilled tap water served…  FYI: this is the PERFECT remedy for anyone with a hangover as charcoal binds to toxins in the body and helps eliminate them.  Along with the complimentary version, Kreation Organic Kafe offers options such as charcoalade, charcoal water, or flush down syringe if you had one too many last night! ;-)

Bring on the Juice!!!  Jordana and I started our meal with a couple of rounds of the Feel Better Shot, a healthy shooter that invigorated us with a serious punch of Turmeric and Echinacea, a bright burst of energy from Lemon, and a Cayenne kick.  It’s dense infusion of Vitamin C, will instantly refresh any foggy head!  But another solution is always alcohol (you like that pun there?), as Kreation Organic Kafe’s Brentwood location is the first to offer a full beer & wine bar, featuring cold-pressed juice Kocktails!  I voted for their Margarita, which was delightfully spicy, sinfully alcoholic, and yet also full of the freshest cold-pressed juices available (so at least it’s a bit healthy…).   FYI Kreation Organic Kafe San Vicente has Gratitude Hour everyday from 3pm-7pm for Kocktails and appetizer specials! ;-)
You are what you eat; don’t be fast, cheap, easy, or fake...  We then continued on to the food portion of this edible adventure!  We noshed on their Avocado Toast composed of Mashed avocado, Roma tomato, basil, garlic, chili flakes and chia seeds garnish on multigrain bread.  And in honor of Meatless Mondays (and Jordana being a Gluten Free Vegan) we also dined on their Vegan Meatballs and Sautéed Zucchini Noodles.  Trés Yumm!!! (With 3 Ms!!!)
In 2005, Marjan Sarshar started Kreation as an organic café on Montana Ave. in Santa Monica serving only 7 menu items, all her favorite Mediterranean and Persian recipes. Because they were one of the first healthy cafes, they were an instant hit for the health conscious eaters who wanted to live a high quality healthy lifestyle.  Later that summer, a retail space immediately adjacent to Kreation became available and she jumped at the opportunity to open the Juicery in that space.  September 17, 2011 became the official birthday of Kreation Juicery.  And from then on, it was to infinity and beyond!!!

Sarshar still stays close to her Persian roots, with Kreation Organic Kafe recently honoring Nowruz, the Iranian New Year (which is celebrated on the first day of Spring).  For the following 13 days afterwards, the restaurant offered Persian-inspired dishes to honor this holiday of renewal including: KooKoo (Persian Quiche), Ash Soup, Bone Broths, Yogurts, Rose Water and succulent Chicken Kabobs with Sumac.  Kreation’s house spices and sauces are also inspired by Mediterranean-Persian fare. 
It’s no coincidence that stressed spelled backwards is desserts!!!  To finish our meal, Jordana and I noshed on some Raw Cacao Pudding, this plant-based pudding dessert is a non-guilty essential full of the indulgent, satisfying flavor of chocolate while infusing your body with one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet: Fiber, Iron, Magnesium, Copper, and Manganese.  So hello dessert and goodbye stressed!!!
So here’s to life being delicious, all your moments being postcard worthy, and not panicking since THE JUICE IS ORGANIC!  ;-)  
Kat Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Edible Skinny, a site dedicated to making your life postcard worthy. She is also the CEO of the creative media company This Way Adventures. You can find more about both brands at