Friday, February 20th, 2015

I Didn’t Expect This From Yoga

My yoga mat… ready to help me get flexible. Ommm.

My yoga mat… ready to help me get flexible. Ommm.

Unexpectedly, yoga has given me confidence… in the way I move.

Some backstory: As I have gotten a little bit older, I have become more protective in the way I move. I frequently make sure that my posture is proper and I make sure that I’m not mindlessly bending in positions that could cause an injury. You know how it is… digging toys out from under couches or constantly picking stuff up off the floor. 

A couple times I have bent over to pick up a doll and I tweaked my back. The tweak made life miserable for days. I now squat when picking up things, but there are many times I find myself in weird positions cleaning or carrying things or digging around cupboards. Or this(!)… I find that when I am getting my daughter out of her car seat (or strapping her into it) and tightening that belt while I’m in an awkward twist, I can’t help but think I’m perfectly primed for a tweak.

I lived life in such a way that I was a little guarded in my movements. I figured it came with the territory of getting older.

But something unexpected happened…

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Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Spin Class Kicks My Ass (and makes me hungry) But I Have Dreams of Fit n Sexy Legs

by Kristen Suzanne in exercise, Kristen Suzanne
Hello spin bike. We meet again.

Hello spin bike. We meet again.

We joined a great gym over the summer (2014), and when I looked at the fitness schedule of classes offered I saw a lot I wanted to take.

But. I was out of shape. Therefore, I created a plan of attack in how I would eventually make my way into classes. Simply this: I needed to be in shape before I took classes to be in shape. Makes perfect sense to me. I liken it to cleaning the house before the housekeeper comes – you know who you are.

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Thursday, August 25th, 2011

This Week’s Gym Workout

by Kristen Suzanne in exercise

Here is my workout this week. I’m doing a two day split and basically following a “front/back or push/pull” program.

Front/Push Workout (Monday and Thursday)
3 sets per item, in a circuit fashion for each set. That means that for #1 below, I did pushups and then leg extension for one set. Then, I repeated that two more times for a total of 3 sets before moving onto #2. I had minimal resting between sets.

1. Pushups / Leg extension
2. Dumbbell press on a ball / wall squat
3. Dumbbell fly on a ball / rubber band walk (this is to strengthen my hips, I put a band around ankles and do side steps along the track)
4. TRX triceps move / plank step ups with elbows and hands
5. Bench dips (feet elevated) / side(s) plank  and front plank

Back Workout (Tuesday and Friday)
1. TRX back row / walking lunge around the track
2. Back row machine / dumbbell deadlift
3. Shoulder raises / Kettle ball hip thrust
4. Hammer curls / jump squats
5. TRX biceps / roman chair for abs

Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday are either resting, walking, or cardio.

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Friday, February 5th, 2010

Exercise Is Non-Negotiable! Fight Diabetes!

by Kristen Suzanne in exercise

I was watching Oprah’s show yesterday about diabetes. Man, that is scary stuff! I mean, I know it’s awful to have diabetes, but the statistics are a friggin’ growing nightmare! When are people going to wake up and realize that soda, donuts, and fried chicken are crap?! I’m grateful that I’m on a plan for life where the odds are that I’ll never even come close to getting that terrible disease… meanwhile, the cost of it is going to take our nation down if something doesn’t change, and for that, I’m miffed. Come on people! Let’s get this under control! It’s not rocket science… it’s simply eating delicious healthy food and moving our tooshies! Can you tell I’m a little fired up about this? 

One of the things I took away from Oprah’s show was the importance of exercise. True, I always knew this information, but I love watching things, reading information, and hearing aspects that continue to motivate and inspire me. When Bob Greene came on the scene he said two things that I loved:

  • Exercise is non-negotiable. There really isn’t much more to say about that statement because it says it all right there. But, I’ll elaborate on how this felt when I heard it. As far as I’m concerned, my vegan diet is non-negotiable. What I put in my mouth always has a purpose for the good. Well, exercise has the same effect if it’s put in the right perspective. Exercising isn’t new to me, and making it a priority has always been important. But, there are times where I have gone a couple weeks without doing it. I didn’t worry much during those times because I knew myself well enough to know that I’d get back into it. But, nonetheless, an “object at rest tends to stay at rest” and “an object in motion tends to stay in motion.” I want motion! Once I was given the OK to do some walking and exercise during my pregnancy, the role of it took on more meaning to me. I now had two goals: maintain a healthy pregnancy weight and build up stamina for labor. Not to mention that it would be healthy for the growing life inside me, too! I committed to 5 days a week of walking 2 miles each day. And, I’ve stuck to it. I love the habit it’s become. When I add the idea that it’s non-negotiable, well, it feels even more hardcore. 
  • Exercising 30 minutes a day can lower the risk of diabetes by 60%! Whoa! Did that statistic just rock your core as much as it did mine when I heard it? Like… wow! Bring that exercise ON! Again, there isn’t much I need to say about this because that awesome statement says it all! But… I will. We can’t just rely on food for health. Yes, it’s a HUGE part. But, it’s not the whole plan. You can’t be truly healthy if you’re not physically fit. The great thing is it’s so easy to get started because there is a magical force that takes over once you get going. You can literally start with a 10-minute walk once a day. Then, after a week or so, I bet you’ll want to do the 10-minute walk twice a day. We’re only talking 10 minutes! How easy is that? Once you start doing that every day, or maybe 5 days a week, you get excited and the momentum builds. Before you know it, you’re taking that 10-minute walk three times a day, pumping your arms and getting your heart rate up, and lowering your risk of diabetes by a whopping 60%. When I started my pregnancy walking, my midwife suggested one mile a day, four days a week. I did that for a week and quickly found that I wanted more. The next week I told myself that it would be 2 miles a day and I’d do it 5-6 days a week. It’s gloriously refreshing and I can’t imagine ever stopping.
Today’s exercise was fun! My normal 2-mile walk takes me 40-45 minutes. But today, I made it even better. I went on a hike that was easy in some parts and moderate in other parts. The time it took to complete was 65 minutes! Whoo hoo! That’s some awesome exercise. I felt (and still feel) fantastically full of life!

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Friday, May 15th, 2009

5 EASY Tips For Feeling Your Best!

by Kristen Suzanne in exercise

Write these down on post-it notes and place them around the house, in your car, and in your purse or wallet so they can serve as reminders.

1. Alkalize-2-Energize: Even though I’ve followed this principle for a long time, I think I first heard that particular phrase for it from Tony Robbins (he’s one of my favorites!). With Raw Vegan food, alkalizing can be easy peasy, but to kick it up a notch, I add plenty of fresh Plant Blood (green juice) and smoothies to my life. It can make ALL the difference in the world. Trust me!

2. Fresh Air and Sunshine: These are wonderfully therapeutic for both the mind and body. I get my vitamin D from the sun, and I make it a point to get fresh air every day (usually accomplished by taking my darling pooch for a quick walk). One of my favorite times for fresh air is late in the evening, where I concentrate on breathing in fresh air from a star-filled sky.

3. Rest Is Best: I can’t tell you enough how important it is to get your rest. It can be in the form of getting a good night’s sleep or making sure you take a little nap in the middle of the day. Complement this with loving things you can do for yourself such as taking a warm bath and lighting a candle, listening to relaxation music, or quieting your mind through meditation. And, if you’re exercising (especially lifting weights or other vigorous training) then your body really needs the rest to recuperate and rebuild.

4. Exercise: Yes, this is essential and, no, it doesn’t have to be a four letter word :) In order to consider myself truly healthy, I need to be physically fit. If exercise isn’t already a part of your routine, then NOW is the time to start. It’s easier than ever to sneak in a few minutes of exercise here and there into your day. Do them mini-batch style: 5-minutes of exercise, 5-times a day or 10-minutes 3-times a day. Set your cell phone to remind you throughout the day to get off your tush for a fast 5 or 10-minutes). You’ll be amazed at the magical momentum that takes over your mind, body and spirit… pushing you to do more and more. Whether it’s walking, jogging, lifting weights, swimming, jumping rope, rebounding, or dancing, I’m sure you’ll find something you love. Just get started, and before you know it, you’ll be doing more and more (and loving it!). Ehem…. disclaimer… Check with your physician before embarking on an exercise routine.

5. Don’t Eat Before You Sleep: Stop eating at least three hours before you go to bed. It supports getting a restful sleep (#3 above) and can greatly aid in weight loss if you’re trying to lose some pounds. It’s easy. Just pick the time you’ll go to bed and set a reminder on your cell phone to stop eating at least three hours before that. If you do have to eat before going to bed, try to pick something that is light and easy to digest.

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Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

My Interview with Revvell of Rawkin Radio

by Kristen Suzanne in exercise, kids, Kristen Suzanne

I had a fun interview with Revvell of Rawkin Radio, which is now available here.

Just a few of the things we chatted about…

~my bodybuilding experience and how I found vegan and then Raw
~tips for eating Raw in the winter

~getting kids and family into Raw

… are they important? who should take them?
and my latest endeavor
~changing one’s mindset

~digestion (poop is important!)

and more!


Oh! And if you haven’t entered for your chance to win the Lexen Healthy Juicer, you can do so here.

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Monday, May 19th, 2008

Today’s Raw Vegan Food (Banana Splits!) & Exercise

by Kristen Suzanne in exercise

Today’s Raw Food Plan:

1 quart Plant Blood
3 cups watermelon
1 quart Plant Blood
4 cups watermelon
Large spinach salad with Fat Free Strawberry Ginger Dressing
Raw Vegan Banana Split (YUM!)

We’re going to the gym tonight, and I’m planning to work out my chest and triceps, as well as doing some cardio (the treadmill is calling my name).
Daily Conversation Question:
Would you rather live by the beach or in the mountains?

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Friday, May 16th, 2008

Juicing Sprouts Gives Me Extra Energy

by Kristen Suzanne in exercise, green juice

Today’s juice is definitely kick-ass as far as nutrients go because I filled it with home-grown fresh sprouts. I’m feeling extra energized and strong after drinking just 1/2 a glass, and looking forward to going to the gym later this afternoon to work off some of this energy…and, speaking of working out, I received a great question on my blog yesterday about my feelings toward muscle /physical fitness in comparing my pre-raw-vegan days to now (Extra-High-Raw, All-Vegan). I plan on addressing this in a post in the next few days, because I do have some thoughts to share.

Sproutin’ Kick Ass Green Juice
Yield 2 quarts

2 cups water
4 cups sprouts
juice of 2 lemons
juice of 2 oranges
5 big radishes
2 golden delicious apples
1 bunch parsley
1 bunch celery
1 cucumber

Blend all of the ingredients (might take two batches in the blender to get it all done) and strain into a large bowl using a nutmilk bag.

Today’s workout
Legs (3 straight sets, 15 reps)
Walking lunges with dumbbells
Single leg squat with dumbbells
Wall sit (60 seconds in length, 3X, with 60 second rest between sets)

Nice long walk to stretch my leg muscles

Daily Conversation Question:
Who would you like to trade places with for one month?

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Friday, May 16th, 2008

Baby Mama Movie & Raw Vegan Restaurant

by Kristen Suzanne in exercise
I went and saw the movie Baby Mama last night (very funny), and guess what? They eat at a Raw Vegan restaurant (or at least they “try”). Only problem is that I can’t truly write about it because I went to the bathroom during the majority of the scene! WHO KNEW??? – haha! Apparently, it’s not the most glowing example of a Raw Vegan restaurant, but hey, I’m still stoked that they included it.

Sadly, I’m all out of Organic watermelon :( I’ll stock up when I go to Whole Foods tomorrow, though :)
I’m heading to the gym and here’s my plan:
Weights: Back and Biceps – 4 straight sets, 6-8 reps each

Overhead, wide-grip pull-down
Close grip row

Barbell curl
Hammer curls

Treadmill (15 min)
Stairstepper (10 min)
Bike (10 min)

Daily Conversation Question: (This is a good one! I’m going to start asking people this all the time.)
What change would you most like to make for your health?
What’s one thing you can do to start moving toward that goal?

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Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

Watermelon – Be Still My Heart!

by Kristen Suzanne in exercise

Anyone who knows me, knows that my all time favorite Raw food is, quite simply, organic watermelon. The gorgeously pink, sweet, refreshing flesh calls my name every summer and I just can’t ever seem to get enough. Each year, as the watermelon season ends, I want to shed a tear because I’m already eagerly anticipating the new season, when watermelon will again usher more sunshine to my life. I love watermelon.

Now that it’s back, you can count on me eating a LOT of it. For example, today, I have eaten nothing but watermelon. Yep, that’s right. (Talk about easy…those of you saying Raw food prep is hard – whatevah!) I carved up a BUNCH and enjoyed it for my breakfast, snack, and lunch so far. I’m going to have a huge fresh green juice in a moment, then I’ll probably have watermelon for dinner and dessert. If I choose something else for dinner, that’s okay, because come sunrise (okay, let’s be serious, I won’t be up at sunrise) but come tomorrow, I’ll be eating it for breakfast, snack, and lunch.

Watermelon rocks my world because it’s alkalizing, low-calorie, refreshing, cleansing & detoxifying, cooling on the body (seriously, who needs air conditioning when you can eat watermelon), and contains lycopene (all you cooked tomato eaters out there searching for lycopene, get it in your watermelon!).

But that’s not all watermelon offersit’s loaded with Vitamin A and has a low glycemic load. Furthermore, because of its extremely hydrating nature (it’s 92% water), it’s known as a “high-volume” food (takes up a lot of space without a lot of calories…this is helpful for those looking to lose weight). Some people even go on a watermelon fast, because it’s so detoxifying and cleansing. Sounds good to me!

Many enjoy blending their watermelon into a smoothie and adding a little of the rind to it. That’s great! According to David Grotto, author of 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life, watermelon rind contains citrulline, an amino acid that promotes nitric oxide production, improving blood flow through the arteries.

Delicious Sassy Treat: Blend the watermelon flesh and freeze in ice cube trays. This makes for one sassy glass of water with the pink cubes in it!

Warning: As far as food combining goes, I’m not known to be militant, although I am mindful of them. However, there is one that I take as gospel and that’s to eat melons alone. So, when I eat watermelon, I only eat watermelon and nothing else with it (for at least a 1/2 hour after taking the last bite of watermelon). It digests super fast, so I don’t have to wait long before eating other foods. And, if I’ve already eaten a meal (especially one that contained fat), then I wait at least a couple of hours before eating watermelon.

My workout: I’m heading to the gym in a short while (I’m receiving loads of emails asking me to post my workout routine). I’m bringing a bottle of fresh watermelon smoothie to drink (watermelon blended, that’s it).

Today I’ll be working on Chest and Triceps, straight sets, 8 reps/set:
Flat bench
Incline bench
Decline bench

Overhead rope pull
Bench Dips
I’ll also do a little cardio on the treadmill.

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