Jason Wrobel ( J-Wro ) is a ball of energy, enthusiasm, knowledge and inspiration. I was inspired by this firecracker ever since I heard him speak on a podcast. He’s a wellness entrepreneur as a coach, author, chef, and public speaker. He’s put his raw food chef certification to use by preparing meals for an array of celebs. His wealth of knowledge now spreads into his new book, Eaternity and his J Wro Show Youtube channel, and he even had his own TV show How to Live to 100 on the Cooking Show Channel. Jason is all about living a full, energized, long life by eating plant-based whole foods and living life through a humorous lens of positivity.
HOP: How long have you been vegan for, and what was the catalyst?
Jason Wrobel: I’m celebrating my 20th year of veganism this year. The initial seed of inspiration to become vegan was observing the health issues in my family. In 1995, my Grandfather lost his second battle with an aggressive form of cancer
and it made me deeply question the lifestyle choices, diet and habits in my family. I took a good, honest look at how I was living and how I was eating. At that time, I took to the web to start researching nutrition, animal rights, global warming and factory farming. The more I learned, the more I realized that I was not living in alignment with my ethical or moral values. Over the course of a few years, I shifted from a SAD diet (Standard American Diet) to vegetarian to eventually vegan. By spring 1998, I was fully vegan and I’ve never looked back. It’s been the single most important, defining decision of my life thus far!
HOP: Who do you look up to in this plant-based world?
3) The Sarno Brothers (Chad and Derek Sarno)
HOP: Top 5 tips for transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle?
1) Start gradually incorporating more plant-based foods into your life. Give your body time to adjust.
2) Lean on substitutes for milk, cheese, yogurt and meat – there are plenty of vegan options for all of those products.
3) Connect with community, either local or online. Having a support system makes it easier.
4) Eat a wide variety of foods, eat all of the colors of food and focus on diversity.
5) Be courageous in the kitchen and experiment with new recipes and foods often.
HOP: Top 5 ways to detoxify an exhausted and polluted body?
1) Drink more water. A LOT more. Nature’s solution to pollution is dilution.
2) Try far infrared sauna therapy. It helps you detox through your skin and get rid of heavy metals.
3) Eat more detoxifying greens – especially chlorella, spirulina, cilantro and dandelion.
4) Eat more alkaline foods and start your day with warm water and lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar).
5) Try a 5 to 7 day liquid fast with fresh juices, tea, broth and water. It’s a good way to re-set your body seasonally.
HOP: Not only are you an advocate for healthy eats, but you’re also all about creating a positive mindset to ward off depression and negative thoughts. Can you give some advice to those who are trying to make mediation and positive thinking a habit?
JW: You have to make meditation a non-negotiable, like eating, sleeping or brushing your teeth (hopefully that’s a non-negotiable for you!) Taking 15-30 minutes each day to sit in stillness, silence and observe your thoughts is an incredibly effective way to let go of so much every day – stress, anxiety, depression, worry – these can all be allayed by doing a consistent, daily meditation practice. I’ve found (and research confirms) that meditation increases productivity and efficiency, while decreasing feelings of overwhelm. It’s good medicine for the mind, body and soul.
HOP: The vegan music festival in LA, Circle V is getting more and more popular with Moby headlining last year. Do you have a favourite musician or DJ? Do you think they’ll be at Circle V one day?
JW: That’s a tough one. That’s like asking me what my favourite dessert is. Most of my favourite musical artists are dead, so, unless they’ve been cryogenically frozen, I don’t think they’ll be coming to Circle V anytime soon. For current artists, I really love Reggie Watts – who coincidentally played the last Circle V festival. In fact, I’m actually performing with a new band in Los Angeles and our plan is to play the festival later this year! Stay tuned!
HOP: What does your ideal morning routine look like (even if it doesn’t actually happen everyday…because none of us are perfect!)?
JW: My ideal morning routine begins with a warm compress on my face and a saline sinus rinse. Then I drink 24-36 ounces of warm water with lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to alkalize my body. Then I meditate and focus on what I want to create for the day. Then I’m off to the gym or a hike to move my body. And then I start the work day. I make sure the build in plenty of self-care and take care of my own needs before I start addressing the needs of others. It’s made a massive difference in my life.
HOP: What is the next exciting project that all of us need to know about?
JW: I’m launching a new coaching program where people come to my residence in Los Angeles and live on-site with me for a week, focusing on food, nutrition, mindfulness, abundance and setting a solid foundation for a more vibrant life. I’m incredibly excited about that, as I’ve never offered something so intimate and focused for new clients before. Also writing the treatments and scripts for my second television series, which I plan on producing later this year. I can’t tell you much about it (yet) but it will be fun, and crazy and VERY entertaining.
HOP: You have a lot going on! Do you have any secret time management or motivational tips for entrepreneurial types?
JW: There are so many, I don’t know where to begin.
- Firstly, take care of your own needs before you address the needs of others. You’ll be able to show up more present and focused (and not resenting yourself for ignoring your needs!)
- Second, master your calendar. If it’s not on your calendar, it’s not real. Get everything on that calendar so you can stay on top of your commitments.
- Third, use online productivity tools like a pomodoro timer (to work in time blocks), Calendly (to schedule online appointments) and TickTick (simple online to-do list).
- Fourth – try to focus on 3 to 5 big things every day. Don’t overwhelm yourself with 15-20 things on your to-do list each day. That’s the path to crazy making. Stay focused and simplify!
HOP: Your book, Eaternity, is all about nutrient dense recipes. What is your favourite recipe from your book?
JW: Thank you so much! Eaternity was a true labour of love and I’m grateful that it’s impacted so many lives worldwide. My current favourite recipe? It’s gotta be the Sweet Crêpes with Strawberry Tomato Coulis. The crêpes are gluten-free and it took me more than a few tries to nail that recipe. But the results were well worth it. It’s scrumptious and satisfying. Hope you enjoy it!
It seems like all I ever want for breakfast are sweet things. There’s something so sensual, satisfying, and splendid about crêpes—they feel like they should be reserved for special occasions. This crêpe recipe took me about 20 attempts to finally nail it. And the results are absolutely stunning. The inclusion of tomato in the strawberry sauce is hauntingly delicious, and you will be seduced by the perfect texture of these gluten-free crêpes. Plus, strawberries contain anthocyanidins and anthocyanins—nutrients that help reduce stress and depression. C’est magnifique!
Jason’s Tip: Using a very thin, wide rubber spatula will help immensely with getting the crêpes out of the pan. Go slowly and take your time. Crêpes don’t like to be rushed. When using gluten-free flour, make sure it does not contain any added thickeners such as arrowroot powder, xanthan gum, or ground flaxseed. These will ruin the consistency of the crêpes by making them too thick and the batter too viscous.
Jason Wrobel's Crêpes with Strawberry Tomato Coulis
2 cups raw cashews, soaked for at least one hour ½ cup coconut nectar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ¼ cup fresh lemon juice ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons filtered water ½ teaspoon lemon zest ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons organic virgin coconut oil, melted
Recipe type: crêpes, breakfast, dessert, soy free, gluten free
- Sweet Cashew Creme:
- 2 cups raw cashews, soaked for at least one hour
- ½ cup coconut nectar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons filtered water
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons organic virgin coconut oil, melted
- 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose baking flour
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 4 tablespoons organic virgin coconut oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 3 tablespoons golden flaxseed, finely ground
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
- ½ cup filtered water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup diced strawberries, reserved for garnish
- 1 cup crushed walnuts, reserved for garnish
Strawberry Tomato Coulis:
- 2 cups diced strawberries
- 1½ cups chopped tomatoes
- 5 tablespoons coconut nectar
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Pinch sea salt
- First, make Sweet Cashew Crème: blend all creme ingredients in a high-speed blender for 40 seconds until ultra smooth and creamy. Chill before serving.
- Make the crêpe batter: mix together baking flour, coconut milk, 2 tablespoons of the coconut oil, coconut sugar, golden flaxseed, sea salt, baking powder, filtered water, and vanilla extract, preferably with a high-speed blender or hand mixer. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. The batter will keep fresh in a covered container stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.
- Make the Strawberry Tomato Coulis: combine all the coulis ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor and pulse the mixture gradually until well combined, retaining a slight amount of chunkiness to the mixture. Set aside.
- Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of coconut oil over medium-low heat in a nonstick pan or crêpe pan. If using an 8-inch pan, use ¼ cup of batter. If using a 9 or 9½-inch pan, use ⅓ cup of batter. Pour the batter into the pan and shake the pan immediately to spread the batter evenly. When the topside of the crêpe is totally dry, starting to brown slightly around the edges, and producing little bubbles (after about 2 minutes), carefully flip the crêpe with a thin spatula. The other side will need less cooking time, around 1 to 1½ minutes.
- Carefully remove the finished crêpe and transfer to a plate. Repeat until all of the crêpe batter is used.
- Assemble: fill each crêpe with a large dollop of the Sweet Cashew Crème, spooning it lengthwise. Fold the edges of the crêpe toward the middle, one at a time, and then flip the crêpe over, with the top facing down on the plate. Spoon a generous amount of the Strawberry Tomato Coulis on top and garnish with diced strawberries and chopped walnuts.