Thursday, June 24th, 2010
I’m still pregnant and still loving it. I had my non-stress test yesterday with my midwife, and my baby is happy and healthy. Last night we met up with our friends Malynda (vegan fitness goddess) and Robert Cheeke (vegan body builder). You can read about it over on my Green Mommy Blog.
Here are my awesome eats for today. (The shake recipe below is so amazing. So delicious. One of my summer favorites now for sure!)
Magnesium powder in hot water
As you can read on the Green Mommy Blog link posted above, I was in need of some magnesium today. My calf is still sore as I write this, but I’m taking it easy.
Cukes on Ice
I juiced 2 fresh organic cucumbers using my Breville juicer and served it on ice. Delish!
Chipotle Veggie Bowl
My husband brought me lunch so that I could take some time off from the kitchen. I had the veggie bowl, but it’s done up “Kristen semi-raw style.” I have them put a tiny amount of rice in the bowl, topped with two scoops of black beans (getting my protein), and that is topped with guacamole (healthy raw fats and nutrients). I usually skip their salsas since they’re loaded with sodium. Instead, I add my own fresh chopped organic romaine lettuce (and organic tomatoes if I have them), and I sometimes add a little bit of vegan Daiya cheddar cheese. By loading on the guacamole, lettuce, and tomatoes, it gives this dish a nice “raw” edge to it.
Fun Chocolate Banana Plant Leather (a few bites)
I made this the other day, using the recipe in my book, Kristen Suzanne’s Ultimate Raw Vegan Chocolate Recipes. It’s fun and so yum.
Organic Blueberries (6 oz)
Watermelon and blueberries are my favorite fruits. They are both things that I can eat all day long (not together, of course… gotta pay attention to that important food combining rule of not mixing melons with anything else. That’s usually the only food combining rule I follow. ;)
Wakame chugged down with water
I keep a supply of this wakame and every few days or so I take a spoonful of it with water. I quite enjoy it this way… salty without having me experience much fishy-ness since I don’t chew it.
According to Navitas Naturals’ website:
One of the most hearty vegetables of the sea, wakame is in fact an algae that is amongst the oldest living species on Earth. This sea green has been used extensively in traditional Japanese, Chinese, and Korean cuisine as an important health food and key component of Eastern medicine for centuries.
Wakame’s salty taste is not simply “salt” – rather, it is a balanced combination of essential organic minerals including iron, calcium, and magnesium, alongside valuable trace minerals as well. Additionally, wakame well known for its detoxifying antioxidants, Omega 3 fatty acids (in the form of Eicospentaenoic acid), and body-building vegetable proteins. Wakame also provides many vitamins like vitamin C and much of the B spectrum, and serves as an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fiber.
Berry Lip Luscious Smoothie (3 cups)
This smoothie is mega super duper massively delicious. I can’t say enough about it. I’m in love! The recipe yields a quart, but I only had 3 cups of it because I saved some for Greg. He loved it, too! The smoothie is filled with huge antioxidants, fiber, protein, and all things good for the body. If you’re looking for an awesome protein smoothie that is brimming with nutrition, then THIS is the answer.
Berry Lip Luscious Smoothie
Recipe by Kristen Suzanne of KristensRaw.com
Yield 1 quart
1 cup young Thai coconut water*
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
1 banana, peeled
1 heaping scoop Sun Warrior’s Natural (plain flavor) Raw Protein Powder
1 cup ice
splash almond extract
Blend it all up and enjoy.
* I am loving Body Ecology’s RAW ORGANIC young Thai coconut water that I get in the freezer section from Whole Foods Market. It’s delicious, convenient, and healthy! You can read a little more about it here.
Organic Watermelon (lots)
Mulberry Kiwi Kale Salad
I made a simple massaged kale salad topped with hemp seeds, mulberries, and kiwi (the vitamin C in the mulberries and kiwi helps my body absorb the iron in the kale much more efficiently).
If I’m up late tonight and find that I’m hungry, I’m sure I’ll raid the refrigerator for more watermelon or other fruit (I have apples and bananas that need eating).
Sunday, January 24th, 2010
I’ve received a number of emails and blog comments from women asking about the consumption of chocolate while trying to conceive and/or while pregnant. It’s a great question. I know that during previous blog posts I was avoiding chocolate when trying to conceive, and at the time I imagined that I’d also be avoiding it during pregnancy. That said, it’s important to constantly reassess values, ideas, and plans on an ongoing basis to see if things change when new information becomes available (or when hormones take over, LOL… just kidding. Mostly.). But in all seriousness, as you’ll read below, yes, it’s true: I have enjoyed some Raw chocolate while pregnant. So. What changed? Read on…
As many of you know, I’m not a midwife or doctor, so the information I’m sharing is about what I am doing and is in no way prescriptive for you.
Chocolate While Trying to Conceive
When I was TTC (trying to conceive) I eliminated virtually all caffeine including chocolate, coffee, and tea. I might have had one or two bites of Raw chocolate over a span of a couple of months at a time, but you get the picture. Chocolate has a limited amount of caffeine and so I was avoiding it. It also has another “stimulating” type of ingredient called theobromine, which interestingly literally means food of the gods.
Do I think chocolate needs to be avoided completely while TTC? Not necessarily. I do think there are some bad forms of chocolate and I think there are some healthier options. Personally, I would avoid the bad forms, i.e. processed, non-vegan, loaded-with-crap chocolate. The healthier option would be Raw, organic, vegan, dark chocolate. That said, not everyone responds well to chocolate, raw or otherwise, so that should be taken into consideration.
Chocolate While Pregnant
During my first trimester, I don’t recall having any Raw chocolate… I might have had a bite, but I remember staying away from it, so maybe I had my chocolate in a dream? :) When I think back, I didn’t have a solid reason for my choc-abstinence, other than thinking it might be too stimulating from the caffeine (albeit limited) or theobromine, or that having it meant also having the sugar (like the agave in many chocolate recipes). Interestingly, I have since read of a study showing a link between regular chocolate consumption and reduced risk of miscarriage during the first trimester. Go figure.
Now that I’m in my second trimester, I have had a couple of pieces of Raw organic vegan chocolate here and there. What changed? Honestly, I don’t know that I can pinpoint it exactly. For starters, I am sticking to the Raw variety while pregnant, so I have that going for me. The other thing that happened to me was that, frankly, I really wanted a piece! It sounded so good. I was having a number of headaches at the time and maybe my body was telling me I needed magnesium. Raw chocolate is a great source for that. My hormones were raging, too, so perhaps my mind craved chocolate’s calming effects. Perhaps there was a magical force drawing me, as though by instinct alone, to my freezer where the Raw chocolate was just sitting there, waiting to be eaten. I’m guessing it’s all of the above.
I spoke with my midwife and she is fine if I have some chocolate. I’ve since learned that many healthy pregnant women I know indulged in chocolate happily and without guilt while pregnant – I was suddenly the weird one for having stayed away from it. To be sure, I continued with my research and found that prenatal chocolation is fine according to some other books and sources as well. For example, in Shazzie’s wonderful and colorful book about pregnancy and birth, Evie’s Kitchen, she writes, “…We also discovered that researchers had found babies born to chocolate-eating mothers were happier.”
Overall, I feel comfortable enjoying my Raw chocolate in moderation. I might add that it tastes so wonderful – it feels so wonderful – that I’m confident it’s spreading good feelings and vibes through my body when I have it, which are shared with my baby. Within reason, happy mommy = happy Monkey.
I totally understand if some women avoided it altogether and I would also understand if someone had some (although I wouldn’t recommend consuming large quantities). Based on all of the conflicting points of view on this subject, I’m of the opinion that there is no broad consensus as of yet on a “right answer” that can be confidently prescribed for all women. And remember, every woman is different and every pregnancy is different. As always, if you have concerns, a good place to start is by discussing the matter with your midwife or doctor.
So, I’d love to hear your feedback. Did you eat chocolate while you were pregnant? Why or Why Not? If so, how much?
Sunday, September 13th, 2009
Today’s awesome High Raw food (all organic):
Organic Herbal Tea
Pretty & Jazzy Juice
This juice was so dang pretty, I didn’t want to drink it. I just wanted to stare at it. I made it with my Breville and it contained 2 oranges (peeled), 7 smallish/medium carrots, big ol’ knob of ginger. The orange and carrots made it pretty and the heavy ginger gave it some jazz. It was AWESOME! (I should have taken a picture of it.)
Big-Ass Protein Shake
Handful of pumpkin seeds
These were soaked, sprouted and dehydrated. They’re a great source for iron and zinc. Yum! Zinc is important for fertility, especially male fertility!
Fresh Raw Zucchini & Cucumber Pasta
I spiralized zucchini and cucumber with my Benriner Turning Slicer (demonstrated toward the end of this video). I put it in a bowl and added fresh squeezed lemon juice, Himalayan crystal salt and black pepper. Then, I diced up red bell pepper and avocado (using the fruit scooper in this video to get all my avocado out), and threw that on top. Finally, I added fresh raw corn cut from the cob and tossed that in. My husband and I were loving up this fresh concoction. *NOTE: it’s best to cut and use the juice from lemons right before serving (when possible) because from the moment of cutting, you start to lose the precious vitamin C… like, by the minute.
Buckwheat and Fresh Veggies
I mixed up a little cooked buckwheat with a bunch of fresh raw veggies and non sweet fruit and topped it with a fantastic raw sauce mixture of tahini, tamari, ginger, and other awesome flavorings.
I didn’t have hazelnuts, so I used a mixture of hemp seeds, (soaked, sprouted and dehydrated) sunflower seeds, and (soaked and dehydrated) walnuts. *TIP: I have a ready supply of these gems in my freezer so I can quickly grab one whenever I want. That’s one of the keys to succeeding with the raw vegan lifestyle. Have food on hand, already made, ready to eat. Trust me. When I’m going to a restaurant, I can grab my Raw dessert and stash it in my purse so when I get a craving for dessert, I can gobble up my secret treat. When I arrive home from a day of running errands, I like knowing that I can go to my countertop ready to eat snacks and enjoy a nutritious snack (things like garlic basil chia crisps, prunes, dates, sprouted / dehydrated sunflower and pumpkin seeds, goji berries, raisins, etc).
It’s time for a recipe! YAY! Here is a delicious, sassy, and unique recipe that is creamy and nutritious (ginger and hemp seeds rock!). This recipe is featured in my latest book, Kristen Suzanne’s Ultimate Raw Vegan Chocolate Recipes. And, the lovely Ingrid (of Raw Epicurean) also featured this on her blog with a picture.
EXOTIC CHOCOLATE MILK
By Kristen Suzanne of KristensRaw.com
Yield 3 cups
Ginger is a rich source of powerful antioxidants, which have anti-inflammatory properties, and there is evidence that ginger’s antioxidants might help fight/inhibit the growth of certain types of cancers. Not only that, studies show ginger can also help boost the immune system.
Hemp is commonly referred to as a “superfood” because of its amazing nutritional value. Its amino acid profile dominates with the 8 essential amino acids (10 if you’re elderly or a baby), making it a vegetarian source of “complete” protein! And, it’s loaded with essential fatty acids in an ideal ratio of omega 3s to omega 6s. Go hemp!
2 cups water
1 cup hemp seeds
1/4 cup raw chocolate powder
2 tablespoons raw agave nectar or date paste (or more)
1 1/2 teaspoons orange blossom water*
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger (or more)
pinch Himalayan crystal salt (optional)
Blend all of the ingredients until smooth and creamy. Exotic Chocolate Milk will stay fresh when stored in an airtight container for up to five days.
* Available at most Middle Eastern Markets, online, and at some Whole Foods Markets.
Congratulations Shanghai Monkey!!! You win!!! Whoo-hoo!!! Your name was chosen as the winner of my 11th Awesome Giveaway. The prize is a copy of my latest book (or ebook, if you live outside the continental United States), Kristen Suzanne’s Ultimate Raw Vegan Chocolate Recipes. YAY!!!!!! Simply email me the address you want your prize sent to.
Here is what Shanghai Monkey had to say when asked, “What topic(s) would you like to see covered on my blog here?“
Since I just discovered raw nut “milk”, I’d love to see some more recipes (for nut milks & dishes that incorporate nut milks).
My next Awesome Giveaway is in June, so check back for details!
Saturday, March 28th, 2009
I made it through my tech difficulties! My BlackBerry is alive and well (actually even better than before! Yay!). My web email was restored – thank heavens for that!!!!! And, the other issues I was dealing with… well, we have a plan with many options, so that alone empowers me, calms me, and gives me much hope (will share more intimate details with you over time regarding this).
Today was busy and fun. I tagged along with my husband and his business partner up to Flagstaff. I made him a bagged lunch with plenty of Raw vegan goodies (and made one for myself, too). It was nice and relaxing, although pretty chilly up there. Once we came home, I wolfed down a kale salad that had chopped dates, raisins, pecans, grape tomatoes, kale (massaged with the basic lemon juice, olive oil & Himalayan crystal salt), and diced avocado. I call the kale salad, Candy Kale Salad, because it is sweetly delicious. It’s an awesome transition recipe for those of you trying to get more kale (or any hearty greens) into your diet (or your family’s) but really want the sweetness to make it extra fun and tasty. Ha Ha – Who am I kidding? I’m not in transition and I’m eating it… because it’s YUMMY!
Tonight I’ve been in the kitchen working up a couple of final recipes for the chocolate book. I was all finished with it, and then a couple of nights ago, more recipes came to me as I was falling asleep. (This is common with me… so I keep a notepad and pen on my nightstand to jot down the recipes.) These recipes were so cool and unique that I HAD to experiment with them. Great news! They’re awesome! Therefore, I’m back to editing the book, which will delay publication, but I tell ya… it’ll be worth it!!!!
Wednesday, March 25th, 2009
Well, it’s been some crazy days for me. My BlackBerry basically blew up (not really, but you get the picture). I rely on this device to keep my business running in real time, no matter where I am, so it’s a big deal when it’s not working. Then, my web-based email followed suit (still trying to restore my account – yikes! Wish me luck!). Plus, some other things going on that I won’t get into the details with you (yet), but let’s just say…. it’s been a trying week. However! I’m staying strong! I’m deep breathing, exercising, and eating extra-extra well to keep my immune system in top shape. I’m listening to happy music to keep my spirits soaring. I’m dancing with my dog to calm my soul. And…. it’s all working! (smile).
It’s trying times like these that I’m ever so grateful for my healthy HRAV (high raw, all vegan) diet and lifestyle. I know I can count on it to keep my cells properly functioning, happy, and protecting me.
This week I’m adding the final touches to my lastest book and ebook, Kristen Suzanne’s Ultimate Raw Vegan Chocolate Recipes, as well as getting out my March email newsletter (sign up here) – I’m going to have some super yummy recipes in it, so don’t miss out!
Saturday, February 28th, 2009
Whew! It’s been a busy and fun week. We’re staying at my mom’s for a few days and I’ve been food prepping up a storm. (She just finished getting her house remodeled, so I’m showing her gorgeous new kitchen some love and making all kinds of delicious Raw vegan goodies – Cheezy Hemp Nacho Sauce, veggie crudite, lots and lots of fresh Plant Blood (a.k.a. green juice), an awesome new chocolate cheesecake recipe, ice cream, and more!)
Ohhh! My valentine’s day gift arrived today – the new Kindle 2 is in my hands! I’m so excited about it. One of my passions is reading – it has been all of my life. Needless to say, I’m STOKED about this (big thank you to my awesome husband!). The set up for it has been a breeze and I’m getting ready to purchase my first book on it. In trying to decide which one to buy, I’m visiting one of my former Awesome Giveaways where I asked people their favorite books. I’ll take one of those recommendations. (I’ll keep you posted as to which ebook I buy for my new Kindle 2.)
A Great Interview w/ Dr. Neal Barnard by Ecorazzi.com
Dr. Neal Barnard is one of my heroes! When he was asked his opinion about the rising popularity of Raw foods? He thinks it’s great! :)
~ I was notified that my blog is listed in an article as one of the Top 50 Raw Food & Lifestyle Blogs. I’m listed in the Health and Beauty section. Sa-weet!
~ And, I was listed on this very cool new part of We Like It Raw’s website, Masala, as one of the “hottest raw food blogs.” Double Sa-weet!
Saturday, February 21st, 2009
It’s been a such a lovely day today! The weather is gorgeous, and I spent the whole day with my mom. We drank herbal tea and played cards – FUN! I love spending time with her. After that, my husband and I spent some time with my mom-in-law where we played games and watched BSG. Now, we’re back home and working. Saturday is going to be another super day – I can just feel it!
My Raw Food Intake Today
Plant Blood (a.k.a. green juice)
Vega bar (berry flavor)
pumpkin seeds and Brazil nuts
Amazing Grass Whole Food Chocolate Bar (yum!)
Carrots, yellow bell pepper, zucchini veggie dish with Cheezy Nacho Hemp Sauce
Goddess Cream Cake (new recipe in my upcoming book all about chocolate!)
Saturday’s Food Plan (I like to plan my food out and here’s why)
Hemp / Rice Protein Shake
pumpkin seeds and Brazil nuts
Beets, carrots, red bell pepper, zucchini veggie dish with Cheezy Nacho Hemp Sauce
Goddess Cream Cake
Cool News to Peruse: New Project to Make 11 Islands Waste-Free