July 1st – 2nd
VegFest Tijuana

Two full days of music, food and entertainment.  You can drive, walk across and catch a cab or ride your bike to Tijuana!  It’s fun, it’s easy.  Cross the border at noon and ride the first-ever Ruta Vegana through the center of downtown Tijuana with a finish line at the Centro Cultural and the Festival Gastromonico Vegetariano Vegano de Tijuana Sana.  Take the first ferry to Coronado and ride the Silver Strand or ride the South Bay.  Cross the border with pedestrians and we will be greeted by Mexican bike riders ready to celebrate with a fun ride and fantastic VegFest at the finish line.

Click here for tips of traveling to Baja.

How to Guide: Attending the VegFest Tijuana


July is Vegan Seafood Month

Next Class:  Get Ready for Meatless Mondays, July 5
6:00 – 7:30 PM
Point Loma Hervey Branch Library

Learn how to make no-fish tacos, no-shrimp tacos and vegan ceviche.
Classes are free and sponsored by the Friends of the Library and the City of San Diego.  Call the library to RSVP: 619-531-1539

The class will be repeated at the Pacific Beach Taylor Branch Library on Sunday July 9th, from 1:00 – 2:30 PM.  Come to the beach and join us for some vegan seafood!  Call 858-581-9934 to RSVP




Celebrating Chef Pietro from Civico 1845 and his feature story, VEGAN….Italian Style on the cover of the food section in the San Diego Union Tribune on Wednesday, June 7th.

Get Ready for Meatless Mondays Class Menus and Recipes

Find the downloadable PDF menus and recipes with photos from our monthly classes in Point Loma and Pacific Beach here on New Option’s Community page.  Access the recipes here or join us in class and experience hands-on training in plant-based foods preparation.  The first Wednesday of each month in the beautiful community room at the Point Loma Hervey Branch Library and the second Sunday of each month at the equally awesome community room at the Pacific Beach Library.  Next class, Veggie Burgers 101 this Sunday 1:00 PM, Pacific Beach Taylor Library, it’s free, just call to RSVP: 858-581-9934



Plant-Based News

6,500 High School Students Reached with Food for Thought in Academic Year 2016/2017

It’s graduation season and I’m really enjoying this time of year with all the news of current grads.   I’ve been through a few graduation ceremonies myself earning degrees in Business Management, Spanish Language, and Culinary Arts.  Today I’m having a great time leading some pretty exciting foods education programs for both the culinary professional and home cook. These programs are helping to reshape consumer opinions about our food choices and teach the winning benefits of choosing plant-based foods.

During this academic year I was a guest teacher in many classrooms and I launched a number of first-ever  Vegan Cooking Clubs!  I started at my own high school (Point Loma High School, class of ’80) and partnered with the grant-funded after school enrichment program the ARC Experience. Together we provided students free after school enrichment classes that provided cooking skills, nutrition and menu planning, with the benefit of taste-testing a great variety of new food products. The program was a big success and I went on to launch additional clubs at San Diego High School, Mission Bay High School and Sweetwater Union High School.  There are many more schools  ready to add programs next year.

Now Hiring! Leading a high school Vegan Cooking Club is fun, it’s rewarding, and there are schools everywhere that are hungry for one.  If you have  interest in creating a plant-based foods education program in your community now is the time to get started. Contact me for  information on what you need to qualify to lead these programs and receive information on grant-funding, resources, and opportunities to partner with education and business to offer a successful  program at a school near you.

Available in early July: ebook How to Start a Vegan Cooking Club







VegFund Activist Training and New Options Food Group

It was a great honor to be asked this spring to share some of my experiences and best practices in outreach, developing new programs, and working with food manufacturers and chefs in promoting plant-based foods. It’s an exciting time of change where plant-based foods represent the fastest growing segment of the foodservice industry and more and more people are becoming receptive to embracing this new lifestyle and all the great food it offers.  It’s been a fun and exciting journey promoting change but it can also be very challenging.  Learn more about the VegFund and what they do to support plant-based foods education worldwide and check out the Activist Training Webinars here for information on effective outreach, employment opportunities representing plant-based foods, and examples of inspired activism. 



Festival Gastronomico Vegetariano Vegano de Tijuana Sana
July 1st – 2nd

 I’ve had a long fascination with Mexico and the Spanish language and now that Tijuana is going vegan I can’t help but venture back over the border again to see what’s going on!! The good news is there’s lots going on, from vegan taco tours to this amazing upcoming Veg Festival at the Centro Cultural the weekend of July 1st-2nd. I’m going to lead a group of bicycle riders across the international border for this event, sound crazy? It’s not, I’ve done it many times and it’s a really great time.  If you don’t ride there you can take the trolley, walk across the border or drive into Mexico.  This is an opportunity for a mini-vacation where you can experience the exciting new vegan cuisine of Tijuana, Baja Mexico. Come for the day or spend the weekend, there are activities all weekend long. 



Get Ready for Meatless Mondays Family Cooking Classes
Point Loma Hervey Branch Library
and a new added location, the Pacific Beach Taylor Branch Library

These ongoing free community classes take place once a month at each location.  There are new menus at each class.  Join us the first Wednesday of each month at the Point Loma Library and the second Sunday of each month at the Pacific Beach Library. Classes are scheduled through the end of the year.

New Options Food Group
2726 Shelter Island Drive, #305 –  San Diego, CA 92106