Eating Can Be Challenging—Why I Turned To Michael Pollan's Books For Help

Hello everyone— food, food, food, it’s a big topic isn’t it? If you’re not incredibly curious about our nations food industry yet, can I invite you to be? Organic, Non-GMO, Natural Flavors, Gluten Free, Local, Cage-Free… the labeling list goes on and it can be challenging to navigate your way without asking some questions and leaning on resources that provide honest and integral information. And— let’s be real, simply taking charge yourself is a pretty good decision.

Inspirational Addict, Sonoma Mama, Andrea Bogart Yoga, Inspiring Blogger, Health & Wellness, Everyday Joys, Mindfulness, Yoga Instructor, Actress, Happy Wife, Nutritional living, Erik Almas Photo

I became increasingly curious several years ago when health issues of my own started to arise. After seeing a holistic doctor over several months, I made vast changes with my nutrition and began a new relationship with what I put in my body. This combined with my yoga practice, which lead to me getting certified, became a healing journey I wanted to pay forward. I was excited to share how a commitment to mindful living could change my students lives the way mine was and I hope to continue sharing for a long long time. As I was just beginning to teach, one of my best friends and wildly successful Hollywood personal trainers, Jason Walsh handed me two of Michael Pollan’s books to read and said they have everything you need to know about nutrition. I read “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and “In Defense of Food”, both of which I loved. I have a heartfelt wish for everyone out there to be able to eat and have access to affordable organic, nutritional food regularly. Our choices for ourselves and our families plays a major part in our overall well being. Leading experts in the industry and my personal interest in learning have been guides for me when I was single and especially now that I’m a wife and mother and preparing meals for our family.

With more and more independent filmmakers producing nutrition-focused documentaries raising eyebrows and providing a plethora of information… although resourceful, often one is left feeling confused about what we should actually eat. Pollan’s “In Defense Of Food”, tackles this very question and sheds light on our incertitude being at the hand of marketers, journalist and scientists who’m often have much to gain by this. Can we as consumers take responsibility to educate ourselves and do the best we can for the life we want to live? I say “absolutely.” I’m with Pollan, who simply says, “avoid food that your great-great grandparents wouldn’t eat.” I giggle as I imagine my great Grams asking, what is a go-gurt or a lunchable. His concept Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. is a good rule of thumb.

I grew up in the midwest eating everything.  A lot of which is even worse today with more crappy ingredients being put into them to preserve things on shelves longer. Although I ate a ton of stuff I will vier away from for my children, we had a garden for years and my parents prepared well balanced meals for us. I know they did the best they knew how to do then. As a baby I had a severe allergy to dairy and wheat but my parents were encouraged to give me a normal diet through my adolescence so I wouldn’t develop reactions to everything containing the two. That all worked out fine until those allergies came back in my early thirties and the development of an auto immune disorder caused me to investigate what the heck I was doing wrong nutritionally, as I mentioned earlier. When you really pay attention to how certain foods react with your system you learn a lot about why you feel the way you do after certain foods. I’m constantly seeking out information in this arena now. Too many people are suffering from major diseases loosing their quality of life over and even more severe; dying from. While practicing yoga propelled me to proactively make healthier choices for leading a life filled with vitality, I can acknowledge that organic food has been one of my greatest healers as well.

Inspirational Addict, Sonoma Mama, Andrea Bogart Yoga, Inspiring Blogger, Health & Wellness, Everyday Joys, Mindfulness, Yoga Instructor, Actress, Happy Wife, Nutritional living, Erik Almas Photo

The insight provided in “In Defense Of Food”  helped me make sense of why all the sneaky worded, so-called healthy sounding things are actually quite toxic. Additionally, it inspires us to get back to food from it’s original state; ie. organic. Pollan simplifies the complexity of what’s happened with the food industry over the last few decades and brought me into a place of comfort with an encouragement to eat mindfully. From the groceries I buy to the restaurants we eat at, thoughtful intention goes into what we decide. Thanks to food labeling we have a choice to steer clear of the products containing GMO’s, pesticides and too many ingredients you can’t pronounce, which I encourage. We’re so mislead it’s no wonder children and adult obesity are huge problems in America. We will continue to see things shift as we the consumers speak up and STOP buying the things that are so terrible for us. That takes willpower, commitment, financial planning and making you and your families health a priority. Yes, FOOD is a huge component to our overall health and mental well being and I’m happy to be playing that on repeat until it’s better understood.


My poor family has been listening to me for years… but guess what, I love them and I desperately care about their longevity and quality of living. They have changed some major things for themselves with how eat and what they buy and I’m so proud of them. Grab your copy of “In Defense Of Food” and perhaps you’ll be next making wonderful changes for you and your family. Michael Pollan also has a new book out I just ordered on audible titled “How To Change Your Mind” I will be diving into next.  Your comments and questions are always welcome here, I’m grateful to have you all popping by. Thank you!


Curious About Drinking Out Of A Copper Water Bottle?

How much do we LOVE drinking water? I hope you're having a great week and staying hydrated with clean & safe drinking water.  If you aren’t aware of the many benefits there are to increasing your water intake let me list a few to get you thinking….

  • Increases Energy & Relieves Fatigue
  • Promotes Weight Loss
  • Flushes Out Toxins
  • Improves Skin Complexion
  • Maintains Regularity
  • Boosts Immune System
  • Natural Headache Remedy
  • Prevents Cramps & Sprains

So many great reasons right? Now let me get you thinking about how one type of bottle can naturally alkalize your drinking water and provide more health benefits by the vessel it’s in. Have you guys ever heard of a “copper water bottle?” I’ve been drinking out of one now for over a month and love it. The copper water bottle by Copperh2o is my Wellness Wednesday feature this week because they are doing great things I want to support! You can never smile too big about things you love!

Health and Wellness Writer, Sonoma Mama, Yoga Instructor, Actress Andrea Bogart photographed with copperh2o by Erik Almas

I’m on-the-go A LOT and I always like to have a bottle of water with me to remind myself to drink throughout out the day. Habitually, I have been guilty of buying plastic alkalized water bottles for the past several years. It’s expensive and don’t even get me started about the amount of plastic that is polluting our oceans and creating major problems for our sacred Mother Earth. I’ve been conscious about this for awhile and I switched to glass water bottles as much as possible but now I have an even better solution! Please take a moment to hop on over to the COPPER WATER BOTTLE and snag some wonderful information about the benefits of drinking out of a 100% pure high-grade food-safe copper vessel. Don’t miss their Good Karma program noting that 15% of their profit goest to several non-profit organizations that work to supply clean drinking water in developing countries.

Photo from Copperh2o

Photo from Copperh2o

my honest review

Not only am I stoked about the taste of water from this copper bottle, the gorgeous look, the no spill cap, easy to clean, benefits I'm receiving and good karma touch— I'm probably most excited that I'm reusing it regularly and no longer buying plastic bottles for my excessive intake of water! While I can't yet physically tell a difference from drinking out of my copper vessel as far as all it's benefits... I'm delighted to be a test case!  

Use the discount code ANDREA for 10% off your bottle.

Follow @copperh2o and hashtag #copperh2o #InspirationalAddict with your new bottle for us— I’d love to feature you! If you have already tried a copper water bottle, I'd love to hear your thoughts too. Thanks again for stopping by and catching some of my wellness Wednesday vibes. Have a wonderful rest of the week gang. 


Trick or Treat Halloween Happiness

This certainly is one of my favorite times of the year and well, October has just blown by with a lot of unexpected happenings for me... which is kinda what life does sometimes right?  In the spirit of Halloween; "when life gives you pumpkins... make happy Jack O' Lanterns or healthy pumpkin power bites... or head for the pumpkin patch, we've got great options!"               


I bought all the ingredients to make these Paleo Pumpkin Power Bites before we had to mandatory evacuate our home early October so I can't speak from experience yet but they look delicious and I'm sharing the recipe from Paleo Grub. I plan to still get them made this week... I'll be eager to be all betty crocker in my kitchen that I've missed dearly this past month and let you know!


I loved taking our family to this fun little activity pumpkin patch at Cornserstone Sonoma

Have a safe and Happy Halloween Everyone!



Hi... do you love chocolate? Or sweets? When you have one sweet treat do you want more and more? Is it hard to cut back on sugar? Let's chat, cause you are not alone!





Now I did not put those photos there for you to start salivating over, although I'd agree my mouth is kinda getting watery... which is all good. 

Let me share with you a little vulnerability and how dark chocolate has come to the rescue. Not so many years ago as I cut way back on drinking alcohol, I unintentionally replaced that with a full blown sugar addiction. As I started peeling back some layers it became apparent I had been using both of those things to mask feelings that ultimately I needed to face and work through. So in my quest to heal which began with changing my diet completely and having that calling to jump on my yoga mat regularly, I discovered dark chocolate along the way. Make no misunderstanding, dark chocolate was not my healer to life's issues but it did become a healthy alternative to the overload of processed sugars I used to consume, like in the photos above. 

                                                                                           Be patient with yourself if you have some unmasking to do.... it's a process 

                                                                                           Be patient with yourself if you have some unmasking to do.... it's a process 

I'd like to think of my dark chocolate consumption now as a Daily Joy. Do I still have a cookie, bowl of ice cream or a piece of birthday cake... absolutely, I would never completely deny myself of life's greatest little delights. But that is a once-in-a-while joy not an everyday joy like it once was treading on. Becoming gluten free has been one of the best things for me and due to reactions in my body that immediately tell me processed sugary, white flour, high fructose corn syrup, wheat containing goodies hate me... it's been a blessing to my overall health. 

It was all sort of a process I went through but as I started really nourishing my body with organic food regularly the sugar cravings lessoned. I often was depriving myself of necessary nutrients that would usually keep your blood sugar balanced and by mid-day I'd essentially plummet into hypoglycemia and suddenly my body would scream for something and it was always sugar that I reached for. Makes sense doesn't it? I needed a nutritionists help to figure this all out but once I realized what I was doing to my own health, I had to get into a better routine. No exceptions. 

Dear Body,
I love you, I accept you, I see you. I promise to cherish you all the days of my life
— Unknown
Photo By  John Hong

Photo By John Hong

As I disciplined myself, I also acknowledged the joys of balance. I honored that I was not going to cut out sweets completely, that would just be rude to do to myself. As dark chocolate entered my life I started trying different forms of it and cacao percentages. Some days I'd have a square and other days an entire bar but by keeping one in my cabinet regularly it's helped me not have has much over all.  My tastebuds have grown to love it and I feel darn good about consuming it, in moderation. No apologies. 

Buying quality dark chocolate with high cocao content is actually quite nutritious. Besides one of the best reasons; IT MAKES YOU HAPPY, there's a plethora of research out there that will have you swooning over it soon enough. So if you've suffered from the sugar binges like myself,  may I inspire you to put down the processed junk and dive into exploring some dark chocolate that will satisfy your sweet tooth.  In combination with nutritious, organic meals you'll be on a path to healthier living– YOU got this!

A few of my favorites:

If I've not convinced you yet check out this great article on Huffington post I found as I wanted to do a little more research for myself... 9 Reasons You Should Eat Dark Chocolate

Well this turned out to be another really fun little bit to share with you all. If it resonates with you or you can relate and want to share, leave me a comment or feel free to e-mail me and by all means if you have a treat you'd like to share, hook a sister up!  Just remember every choice we make can be the start of something bigger and wiser for our over all good. I say hail to the dark chocolate and become a lover. 

XO Andrea


A Smoothie thats great for you and the planet

For all my get up and go pals out there....  do you want to start your day with a protein packed, nutritional plant based smoothie that's great for you and the planet? Quick, easy, filling and energizing is often what my schedule calls for when it comes to breakfast. Does this sound like you?  Vega is a sustainable company with several product options so take a quick look and see what may suit your needs best. Vega One Natural has been my choice and has proven to be my way to nutritionally kick start my day and feel great as I navigate through a physical and mindful few hours of teaching yoga and run around to auditions. Conscious decisions are necessary to stay on top of my health and the health of our planet. Can I inspire you do the same, you are deserving of it! 

Do yourself a favor if you don't have the NutriBullet, get one!  It's been the most functional, simple to clean, blend and go productd I've used. 

My most go-to vega one smoothie with all organic ingredients I love:

  • 1/2 cup or less of frozen wild blueberries
  • 1/2 cup or less of frozen raspberries
  • 1 small banana
  • 1 serving of vega one plant based protein
  • 1 teaspoon of fish oil
  • a shake of chia seeds, turmeric, cinnamon 
  • 1-2 cups of filtered water (thin to likeness) blend and go

Quick helpful reference from Vega Youtube:

One thing I found is that Vega One is loaded with so many essential vitamins and minerals I could do away with having to buy most of the other supplements I was taking.  Take the time to re-organize that for yourself, it's worth it. Our bodies can only absorb so much so there's no need to over-do it and you'll probably save yourself some money. 

Vega saved Erik and I as we traveled through India earlier this year. For those adventurers out there your vega doesn't have to stop when you travel and can really help you maintain nutritional balance during those times. We were limited with what we could travel with so we kept it simple by mixing a banana and bottled water with it daily. We felt awesome over our twenty days of travel and were thankful we snagged the magic bullet (smaller for traveling), a convertor and enough individual packs to supply us during our incredible journey. 

                                                  Our bannans of India

                                                  Our bannans of India

                                          Make'm look fun for you and your teens

                                          Make'm look fun for you and your teens

I hear people of all ages say time and time again, "I don't like to eat breakfast" or "If I eat in the morning then I'm more hungry later", I used to be one of them. I'm not getting anything to promote this, I simply just found something that my man recommended and in comparison to the other's I've tried, Vega has me feeling the best. I know I'll sustain energy, get vital nutrients, be able to focus and enjoy how delicious I can make them taste, not to mention doing my small part for the planet by supporting this product.  It's all a win-win! If you already love Vega, tell me about it, share some recipes you love! If you have anything else you'd like to share or have questions please leave in comments below! 

Click any of the links to find more information. Cheers to your health and you living to your greatest potential.... thank you for stopping by! 

Cucumber Gazpacho Soup

Can I inspire you to get creative and make new healthy meals to enjoy? Being gluten free and really limiting my dairy intake often leaves me making tons of salads and not much else. I have the desire to try new foods but it's easy to just keep doing what you know right? So let's do this! It can be so fun paring, exploring and challenging yourself to expand your palate. My approach in making new things is to decide what I'm in the mood for, find a recipe I’m interested in trying and then making it my own…. this cold cucumber gazpacho soup turned out delicious! Prep was 15 min of chopping and blending. Chill, then serve for a refreshing low calorie blast of coolness on a hot summer day! 


  • 1 cucumber, halved lengthways, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 small avocado
  • 1 small bunch of mint chopped (reserve a few pieces to garnish as you serve)
  • 1 6oz organic plain low fat greek yogurt (reserve 1/2 to put a small scoop as you serve)
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cut lime squeeze
  • few shakes organic green tabasco sauce (add a little on top as you serve)
  • few shakes of sea salt and pepper to taste


In a blender or food processor, puree all the ingredients, reserve 1/2 the mint and yogurt, until smooth. You may add a little more tabasco or vinegar for some more zing. I added a about a 1/2 cup of filtered water to make it thinner. Chill until very cold, then serve with a dollop more yogurt & mint. I made a batch for 2 but seemed like it would serve 4-6. It will keep in the fridge for 2 days – just stir well before serving.

I had some gluten free organic blue corn chips with mine and my man whipped up some mini bruschetta baguettes with his.  The dipping snacks accompanied the soup so nicely.

As a great resource for new ideas and healthy, nutritional meals I often visit - You can find a similar variation to my gazpacho cucumber soup there. Enjoy!

Let me know if you try it and your thoughts, I love hearing from you guys. I like the idea of sharing Healthy Eats with you in the beginning of the week, inspiring you to be conscious about cooking for yourself and others you share your life with! Our mindful lives have to include caring about what we put into our bodies. 

... the way we eat represents our most profound engagement with the natural world. Daily, our eating turns nature into culture, transforming the body of the world into our bodies and minds
— Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals

Tap Coffee of London

Tap Coffee  in London will appease those coffee lovers needs for sure.  The delicious jolt of caffeine and rich smooth taste of espresso in my soy milk cappuccino was just what a wicked morning stroll through streets called for.  There are only a few so keep your eyes peeled for them. 

Photo by me

Photo by me

It’s a quaint, hip spot with a slogan #BuyBetterCoffee which we got a kick out of and it held up to that.  Upon ordering you get a glass bottle with a face card inside as your 'order ID' if you will... and boom, brew delivery to your seat. Should you want a punch card- buy 6 get one free, snag one. Who doesn't love a reward for being diligent with your caffeine fix. 

Follow @tapcoffee #buybettercoffee

Our ambition is to inspire a new coffee drinking culture, where the quality of ingredients rule and the craft of the barista is recognized
— Tap Coffee

If you've been to Tap Coffee let me know what you had? Any comments are welcome! Thanks for stopping by. 



GTA: Gjelina Take Away, Venice CA

GTA is a delicious and convenient spot to pop in and out of quickly or pull up a crate and chill for a few right on Abbot Kinney. I'm always looking for places with healthy options. I enjoyed their quinoa & green bean dish, heirloom tomatoes & avocado and some mixed vegetables with a warm, almond milk cortado (my favorite there) for my caffeine fix. If you want your pizzas, sandwiches and assorted treats they have that too. I may or may not have had a freshly baked, gooey in the middle, chocolate chip cookie. My guy and I just dropped in after lounging at the beach, pulled up a crate and relaxed in their covered alley while we people watched and I felt oh so European. It was just perfect. Enjoy! 

GTA supports local, sustainable & organic practices whenever possible. I'm always a fan of that.

Click here to find them on Yelp.