Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

Green Juice For The Day With My Hurom

by Kristen Suzanne in celery, green juice

Green juice is the stuff of life! I love the way that each and every sip makes me feel alive and gives me that extra oompf for the day. Just think about how much awesome nutrition you’re giving your body with fresh organic green juice – vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and good ol’ magic love. Hhmmmm… that’s the stuff of life!

I love making a big batch of green juice for the day – which can be done with the Hurom, in my opinion, because it’s a slow juicer. This means that it oxidizes at a slower rate than it would with a juicer like the Breville (don’t get me wrong though, I like my Breville… but that’s for juice you make and drink within 15 minutes of making it for the most nutrition). With the Hurom, I can make 2 quarts of juice (or more) so I can drink some and store some for the day. My juice here had loads of fresh-n-simple organic ingredients: cucumbers, celery, and grape tomatoes. That’s it –> SOOOO good.

If you haven’t yet, you might like to check out my video here, where I discuss the different aspects of the Hurom, Breville, and Green Star juicers.

Similar Posts:

~
Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

How To Break The Caffeine Addiction! For Good!

by Kristen Suzanne in Bulletproof Coffee, green juice

Here is a common question that comes up when I’m chatting with people about the raw food lifestyle.

What If I’m Addicted to Caffeine?

No problem! Been there, done that, when it comes to caffeine. Boy, do I remember the days… working long hours, drinking 2 – 3(!) triple shot (espresso) soy cappuccinos. Yikes! I’m surprised my adrenal glands are even functioning any more. Better late than never though. I was determined to kick the addiction and I did just that… by doing all of the following tips and tricks. I like variety, so it was fun to change it up with the different options below. That helped to keep me distracted, too, and made it more enjoyable.

So… need some ideas for kicking the caffeine habit? Try any (or all!) of the following suggestions:


Drink fresh squeezed orange juice in the morning to give yourself some raw (sugar) energy instead of stimulated energy from caffeine.

Hot peppers - These awesome guys can work wonders for your caffeine addiction because they give you a real rush of endorphins. For the hard-core folks out there, think habanera peppers. If you find those too hot, then start with a milder red pepper and work your way up. The idea here is that it must be hot enough to release endorphins—the brain’s mechanism for dulling pain. The endorphins tackle two issues for you: 1) providing energy so you don’t miss the caffeine and 2) fighting headaches that may result from caffeine withdrawal. When I want a quick burst of energy, I just take a couple nibbles. Of course, be careful when handling hot peppers. Wash your hands when you’re done and don’t touch your face!  

Drink green juices, including wheat grass if you like, which some say can reduce cravings for coffee and caffeine. Add carrot juice, either straight or in the green juice. The carrot juice helps give you a little sugar increase which can help give you a little energy boost. That being said, my usual green juice recipe, using our Norwalk Juicer, is made up from (all organic): cucumbers, celery, romaine lettuce, cilantro, with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and sometimes fresh herbs make an appearance. If you don’t have a Norwalk Juicer and want to check out some other juicers I like, here you go.

Upgraded beans for Bulletproof Coffee made using our Technivorm Coffee Pot

Upgraded coffee beans

To help avoid severe withdrawal problems, consider migrating off gradually. You can start with half decaf (or just make the regular caffeine version with fewer coffee beans/ground when you’re making it at home (as in it’ll be more watered down than normal). Back in the day, one thing that helped me when I went to Starbucks was that I had them give me a small regular coffee, but had them put a quarter of it as hot water, and I increased that to half of the cup as hot water with the other half as coffee… and so on). And, of course, you can go half regular coffee with half decaf and eventually work your way to 100% decaf. Get organic and fair trade when possible… that’s very important. My favorite coffee beans right now are Bulletproof Exec’s Upgraded Beans.

Tea can rock the house. Both black tea and green tea are reputed to have a number of beneficial health properties, along with a more subtle caffeine boost than coffee. So, it’s a great way to enjoy a hot beverage with a little caffeine as you transition away from toxic, (often)-pesticide-ridden-caffeine-filled coffee. And, finally, you can have herbal tea as a goal beverage when you’re ready to eliminate all the caffeine in your diet (My favorite sources are: Traditional Medicinals and Mountain Rose Herbs). Enjoy it sweetened with a touch of raw honey (or a little organic maple syrup – not raw) or toss in a tablespoon of goji berries. Those make for an awesome treat at the end of the cup when they’re nice, plump and warm.

If cola, Mt. Dew, Red Bull, etc., is your brand of poison, you’ll get a triple-whammy benefit by weaning yourself off of these antithesis-of-health beverages. You’ll be eliminating not only caffeine, but also 1) a fairly disgusting quantity of sugar (or artificial sweeteners, which bring their own host of problems); and 2) the carbonic and phosphoric acids that are bad for your blood, leach calcium from your bones, and dissolve the enamel in your teeth. As with coffee, it may be easier to reduce your quantity gradually, such as by ordering a medium instead of a large (etc.), or pouring out the contents of a can when you’re 2/3 of the way through it. Another great idea is to gradually cut your fountain drinks with soda water, when available at self-serve fountains (it’s usually dispensed by a little hard-to-see plastic tab that may or may not be labeled). This won’t help reduce the acidity, but it will help you taper off your caffeine levels without denying yourself the refreshing and cleansing fizz—what I like to call “Throat Draino.” Caffeine is much more addictive than bubbles, so once you’ve kicked your chemical addiction to caffeine, it will be much easier to phase out carbonated beverages entirely.

Drink cold-pressed coffee, made with a Toddy Maker. This isn’t Raw and it still has caffeine, but it’s less acidic than regularly brewed coffee, so it’s a start (I’m all about the baby steps!). In the scheme of things, this is better than regular coffee. Use this as a stepping stone on your way to eliminating coffee from your life.

Drink Teeccino®, which is herbal coffee (or my new favorite, the super popular Dandy Blend). YUM! My husband and I have become huge fans of this during the past year. For my husband, it was love at first sip. For me, although I really enjoyed it and would drink it here and there years ago when I first stumbled upon it, it wasn’t (at the time) the perfect coffee replacement to me. Then again, I was such a hard core coffee lover, I didn’t think anything would ever compare to the real thing. That being said, here I am, loving Teeccino – big time! I can’t imagine not having it. In fact, I don’t know what I was thinking years ago by not thinking this was an awesome coffee replacement. Not only does it taste great, but it’s not acidic and safe for pregnancy and breastfeeding. It’s high in potassium, helps restore alkalinity, and the chicory root can help improve digestion. We usually get the Maya Caffe (organic) because it’s the most coffee-like in flavor, but I do enjoy their flavored varieties, too.
We love it plain (black), and we also enjoy it with Raw nut milk or other non-dairy milk for a nice creamy experience. It’s brewed similarly to coffee, using a coffee pot, but recently they launched a new product: Teeccino – “tee” bag style. Now, I can take it with me to restaurants and enjoy it (or Starbucks and just get a cup of hot water there to steep my tee bag). Teeccino is much better for your health than regular (or decaf) coffee, and can help transition you away from coffee. I’ve even brewed coffee mixed with Teeccino for some of my coffee addict friends to reduce the caffeine and help them transition. They love it.

Make a beverage (or food) with raw chocolate powder. Raw chocolate has only small amounts of caffeine, but it has a stimulating effect from Theobromine. Many people love raw chocolate for the feel good, natural buzz they get when consuming it. There are many ways to enjoy this: 1) blend warm water with Raw chocolate and a sweetener such as raw agave nectar (or use a raw nut milk and blend until warm for a hot chocolate type drink). 2) You can also make chocolate nut milk by adding raw chocolate powder and a couple of pitted dates to it to the next batch of raw vegan nut milk you prepare. 3) Make other Raw food recipes. Raw chocolate is satiating, delicious, gives you energy, and is full of anti-oxidants.

REST & ADEQUATE SLEEP! I can’t emphasize enough that getting enough sleep at night (and rest) is one of the big keys for helping to maintain great energy levels so you don’t feel the need to reach for caffeine. I realize that it’s not always possible to do this in our hectic lives, but TRY! Your health is worth it.

Set a schedule for yourself. Decide a plan of attack for eliminating coffee from your diet and write it on your calendar. Try the different methods outlined above for ease and success, and enjoy the healthy transition. You’ll be so glad you did it. Remember, part of the addiction is the experience associated with consumption (such as going to a cafe or wrapping your hands around a big, warm mug), so look for surrogates—ways to replicate the experience without the caffeine. Find new places and new cafes and wrap your hands around a big mug of green smoothie, warm herbal tea, or yummy Teeccino.

Updated thoughts: Now that I’ve broken the caffeine addiction, I can enjoy a cup here and there (when not pregnant or breastfeeding) and not feel guilty about it, or worry about it for that matter. I keep it organic when possible. Usually decaf. There are some things that give you a psychological edge… a spiritual uplift that can be worth their weight in health gold. If having a cup of organic, fresh brewed coffee is that for you, then so be it. It would be my recommendation that it’s not something you consume tons of… keep it in moderation or as a treat – and try some of the other options I mentioned above to help reduce the dependance. Personally, I love my new relationships with Teeccino and herbal teas – thankfully, in spite of it being bumpy at first. Although the heart break was severe when I initially said good-bye to coffee/caffeine, my experience now is much healthier and balanced. 

Moreover, I have concerns about coffee production and the environment, which I haven’t looked into a whole lot yet, but I’ve seen snippets here and there about its problems. I plan on diving into that soon and seeing how bad it is (I’ll be reporting on this over at Green Mommy Blog). I have heard that shade-grown, organic, fair-trade is at least better (for health and environment), but I don’t know how much. 

Similar Posts:

~
Sunday, March 21st, 2010

High Raw Food Intake – Pregnancy Food Journal – Sunday

My husband and I are enjoying a day of High Raw food day. All organic. And, that’s me having fun in my third trimester – YAY! I am so happy being pregnant! (OH! On Monday I’m having another AWESOME GIVEAWAY so come on back tomorrow!!!)

1 large banana – I had mine fresh peeled, and my husband had his warmed in the dehydrator as semi-dehydrated slices

Teeccino with Raw Vegan Nutmilk – I am writing a post on getting over caffeine addictions this week, so stay tuned for that. For my Raw Vegan Nutmilk, I made a 1-Minute Nut Milk with 1 hefty tablespoon of Rejuvenative’s Pecan Pie Butter (so extra yummy!) blended with a cup of water. It’s aromatic, a hint of spice, a touch of sweet, and super delish!

1/2 cup fresh pineapple – I had mine fresh, and my husband had his warmed in the dehydrator as semi-dehydrated. He loves it like that.

Hearty Buckwheat Biscuits – This recipe will be in my next email newsletter, which goes out on Tuesday. I had one of these today and my husband had two. They’re so good! I already need to make another batch!

Plant Blood – I made 2 quarts of organic green juice using my Hurom (love this juicer!). We each had about 2 cups and I’m saving the rest for later in the day. It had 1 bunch of celery, 1 bunch curly purple kale, 1 bunch cilantro, 2 large cucumbers, 2 large carrots, 1/2 inch knob of ginger, 1/2 pineapple, 1/2 cup water)

Protein Shakes – My husband will have one of his Protein Grenades and I will simply have a shake mix of Sun Warrior Brown Rice protein powder, Hemp protein powder, cinnamon, and water.

Huge Protein Salads - Giving my little monkey some extra protein now that we’re in the third trimester. This salad has an awesome raw vegan dressing, cucumbers, red bell peppers, spinach, broccoli sprouts, raisins, and tofu.

Plant Blood – Leftover from earlier in the day.

Sauerkraut – This homemade kraut is sooooo good! I could eat a cup at a time. Yum! I’m enjoying this batch on top of another Hearty Buckwheat Biscuit. (Learn how I make my organic, unpasteurized sauerkraut here.)

Strawberries with Sweet Frosting Dip – The Sweet Frosting Dip recipe will be in my next book, due out in the next couple of months (hopefully before I give birth to my baby). Stay tuned!

Raw Vegan Truffles – My good friends, Dolly and Anthony (you might know him as Raw Model), are making Raw truffles that they sell (Blackbird Naturals is the name of the company) and they happen to live nearby! I bumped into them at the market over the weekend where they blessed me with FREE CHOCOLATE. And, um… about 2 hours later I went to Oakville Market where they sell them and I bought a package. I’m having them for dessert tonight!

Protein Shake – I’m undecided, but if I find myself hungry or needing more protein later tonight, I’ll shake up another protein shake. Perhaps I’ll have another banana, too!

Similar Posts:

~
Thursday, January 21st, 2010

All Raw Food Intake – Pregnancy Food Journal – Wednesday


Today is an ALL RAW DAY for this pregnant, eco-friendly mama! I started the day by taking the dog for a nice long walk. My midwife says that walking is the best exercise in prepping for birth. Therefore, I make it a point to walk 1-2 (usually it’s 2) miles 5-6 days a week. It’s also instrumental in helping keep my weight in check for a healthy pregnancy weight gain. So far so good! My weight is right on track.






All food is organic.

Green Juice (1 quart)
2 tomatoes, 1/3 bunch celery, 2 large cucumbers, small bunch swiss chard
It was really great. Look at all that GREEEEN!

I took the leftover pulp and made a small batch of Raw vegan crackers by adding ground flax meal, tamari, coconut vinegar, and orange zest. They are dehydrating in my Excalibur dehydrator now and they smell fantastic. I can’t wait to enjoy them tomorrow.


Gently Spiced Omega Protein Shake (3 cups)
I’ll post this recipe on January 28, so be sure to check back for it. It’s one of my new faves!




10 Raisins - Yummy little snack

Zippy Energy Soup (3 cups)
This is sooooo fresh and good. Love this recipe – I’ll be sharing it with you January 26, so come on back to get it. It’s nourishing and makes a perfect light lunch or snack. Mmmmm!

2 Small Raw Chocolates
Same as the other day. I dove into my freezer for 2 pieces of the Mint Chocolate Jazz. I’ve been asked many times now about my feelings regarding chocolate while trying to conceive and while pregnant. I am featuring this as a post on my blog on January 24th, so you can check it out then.

Large Fresh Salad w/ A Creamy Tangy Dressing
This salad had romaine, cabbage, red bell pepper, and it was topped with leftover dressing from the other day, a revised Light-n-Livey Tahini Parsley Dressing. Only this time, I took the left over dressing and blended 1/2 of an avocado into it. The result is a decadent creamy and tangy dressing. Avocado is especially great for pregnant mamas because it’s loaded with fiber, B-vitamins, folate, and healthy fats. Yum! Oh yeah, I had a pickle on the side… of course.

That’s it so far. I’ll probably get hungry later because I’m going to need more calories. If I do here is the plan…

Plain Protein Shake
1 cup water with 2 scoops Raw Vegan Sun Warrior Protein Powder. Shake it up. Drink it down.

Raisins and Walnuts
I’m really enjoying raisins the past 3 days which is unusual for me. I’ve always liked them but was never drawn to them like now. The walnuts give me an extra boost of protein and omegas.

Carrots
I love snacking on carrots because they have a little sweetness coupled with a lot of crunch. It’d be smart if I ate these with something that had some fat because the beta-carotene is better assimilated when in the presence of fat. Hhmmm… I know. I have leftover dressing from above, so I’ll dip them in that!

Similar Posts:

~
Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

High Raw, All Vegan Food Intake – Pregnancy Food Journal – Monday

Here was my delicious day!


Kashi Organic Shredded Wheat w/ Raw Granola topped with Organic Rice Milk
I was famished when I woke up today and I wanted something QUICK! Monkey was hungry! So, I ran for a bowl of cereal. The Raw part was the granola, which was from the company Two Mom’s In The Raw (they now have their raw vegan granola available at Starbucks!) I like the granola for the most part but sometimes I get a funny taste in my mouth with it.

1 Quart fresh organic Greeeeen Juice
After the cereal, my body was craving something pure, fresh, Raw, and alkalizing. I made a juice with my Hurom juicer comprised of the following ingredients: cucumbers, kale, Swiss chard, lemon, and celery. It was fabulous. Green juice does a body GOOD!

2 small Raw Chocolates
About a year ago I made the Mint Chocolate Jazz recipe from my book, Kristen Suzanne’s Ultimate Raw Vegan Chocolate Recipes. I enjoyed 2 of them. They remind me exactly of York Peppermint Patties – only my recipe is healthy! I love having a freezer full of organic Raw vegan chocolates for those times you need a bite. Mmmmm! (I don’t eat a lot of Raw chocolate while pregnant, but a little bit here and there.)

Huge Salad with Light-n-Lively Tahini Parsley Dressing
My salad was seriously large. It was filled with organic romaine, carrot, and red bell pepper topped with a version of my Light-n-Lively Tahini Parsley Dressing from my book, Kristen Suzanne’s EASY Raw Vegan Salads & Dressings – except that I used cilantro instead of parsley. Cilantro is a great herb that is full of nutrition and has the ability to help draw toxins (especially heavy metals) from the body.

Celery with fancy schmancy nut butters
In practicing to be a mommy, I went to the kitchen with the intent on making the kid-friendly Ants On A Log recipe. Instead, I ended up using Rejuvenative’s Raw Vegan Organic Almond Butter for two celery logs and their fancy schmancy Pecan Pie Butter (they sent me samples). I write fancy schmancy because the Pecan Pie Butter tastes unique and gourmet. It’s made from pecans, dates, almonds, cinnamon, cardamon, and nutmeg. I ended up liking the Pecan Pie Butter even more than the almond butter today. It was so yummy on the celery.

I made a quicky shake with 2 scoops of raw protein powder mixed with water. It filled my up nicely for a while.






2 cups organic Greeeeen Juice
I made extra juice when I made my morning batch and here is where I finished it off.




2 organic bananas & 1 small organic pickle
I love bananas… aren’t they like the perfect FAST snack. They’re sweet, nutritious, inexpensive, and did I say FAST? If you make sure that you keep a steady supply of these on your counter than you can do all sorts of things from eating them plain (did I mention what a FAST snack it is?) to blending them into smoothies, sauces, nut milks, desserts, and soups.

The pickle… well, I am pregnant. ;)

2 “Pretty High Raw” Tostadas (organic)
These were made from sprouted corn tortillas from Food for Life (they’re not raw but they’re pretty much minimally processed). I topped them with cooked black beans, (raw) fresh salsa, (raw) guacamole, (raw) lettuce, and (raw) Cheezy Hemp Nacho Sauce.

Similar Posts:

~
Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

Super High Raw, Vegan Food Intake – Pregnancy Food Journal

by Kristen Suzanne in green juice, raw chocolate

This is what I ate and drank on Monday. I titled the blog post “super high” raw because when I eat high raw, it usually means cooked “food” in some form, but on Monday, all the food was raw, except for the Teeccino and the small amount of rice milk I had in my cereal.


Here we go…

1.5 cups organic Teeccino – I started the day with this. It has been sounding really good in the morning.
—–
2 cups organic green juice – This was made with lots of dinosaur kale, celery, cucumber, leaf lettuce, carrot, and lemon)
1 organic banana
—–
I went for a walk, which only lasted 30 minutes because I had to get back home to pee. I do that a lot it seems.
—–
Organic marinated kale salad made with avocado, lemon juice, Himalayan crystal salt, and black pepper for the dressing. I tossed in chopped red bell pepper and orange segments.
—–
Gigantic organic Red Delicious apple that I ate while walking my dog for 10 minutes.
—–
1 cup organic green juice (leftover from earlier)
Organic marinated kale salad (leftover from earlier)
—–
1 cup organic Teeccino while walking the dog for 10 minutes.
—–

4 small bite size pieces of delicious organic raw chocolate
1 piece organic Raw lasagna (yes, I had my dessert first – grin)
—–
I was hungry shortly after…. so I went back for more.
1 piece organic Raw lasagna
1 bowl of GoRaw’s buckwheat cereal (apple cinnamon flavor) with organic rice milk

—————-
For Wednesday, so far my Raw vegan food intake has been:

Organic Banana Protein Shake (1-ish cup water, handful of ice, 2 bananas, 2 tablespoons hemp seeds, 1/4 cup hemp protein powder)

Gigantic Organic Red Delicious Apple

Huge Organic Salad with romaine, red bell pepper, cucumber, purple cabbage, carrots, and Sesame Pistachio Hempspread Dressing (using a delicious hemp spread that Wilderness Poets sent me to sample)





Sunny Lemon Macaroons with a cup of organic herbal tea from Mountain Rose Herbs – This is a new recipe of mine that made my taste buds swoon. I created it and named it with my mom in mind. Her nickname is Sunny and she loves lemon, coconut, and dessert. This recipe is to honor my mom, the future Nana to my baby.

Similar Posts:

~
Monday, December 14th, 2009

High Raw, All Vegan Food Intake – Monday

by Kristen Suzanne in green juice, hemp protein, sauerkraut
I planned this menu last night before I went to bed. Read here about why planning your daily food is a great idea and how it can help you stick to your healthy eating goals.

Organic Green Juice

I started the day by making 5 cups of green juice with my Hurom juicer. I drank 3 cups and stored the other 2 cups for later in the day. The juice had cucumber, celery, collard greens, lime, orange, and apple. It was fabulous! I tell ya… so many women say that they get constipated with pregnancy. I have to say… it’s not happening with me. I attribute it to my super healthy diet.

Protein Bar
This bar wasn’t Raw, but it was vegan, macrobiotic, had non-gmo and organic ingredients, and was high protein. It was darn tasty, too, as it should be when one of the ingredients is organic brown rice syrup, huh? Lol

Organic Salad, Crunchy Buckwheat Biscuit, and Raw Sauerkraut
Oh… yum… this lunch was so awesome. I made a fresh salad with romaine lettuce and red bell peppers from our CSA, along with cucumbers. The dressing was refreshing – organic lemon juice, Raw olive oil, Himalayan crystal salt, black pepper, and dried Italian seasoning. Alongside the salad I had one of my Crunchy Buckwheat Biscuits and topped it with my homemade organic Raw sauerkraut. The juice of the sauerkraut seeped into the biscuit, making it a little soft in spots. SO GOOD!!! I promise to get the recipe to you very soon (maybe this week!). These biscuits are full of flavor and nutrition!


Green Juice – 2 cups
Here is where I had the rest of the green juice I made from this morning. I drank it while doing a little dance to Nelly’s Tilt Ya Head Back (featuring Christina Aguilera). I can’t help but get up and BOOGY DOWN! Seriously! :) I can’t wait to have this baby and dance around the house holding him/her. :)


Savory Veggies, Crunchy Buckwheat Biscuit, and Raw Sauerkraut
I made a batch of this popular marinade recipe of mine, and I’m topping the following vegetables with it: organic portobello mushroom, carrots, red bell pepper, and broccoli. I’ll have another Crunchy Buckwheat Biscuit topped with my Raw sauerkraut with it, too.



Frozen Organic Banana Protein Smoothie See recipe here.
I’m adding extra carob for this so it’s more dessert like. I sure do love RAW FOOD!!!!

Similar Posts:

~
Sunday, December 13th, 2009

My Delicious Raw Food Intake Today

Mmmm a day full of healthy, energizing, GREEN, nutrient dense, delicious, EASY, fun, texture filled, Raw, Vegan, Organic food!!!


Plant Blood (a.k.a. Green Juice) – 2 cups
celery, kale, cucumber, cabbage, and lemon









Green Smoothie – 3 cups
1 mango (are those a doozy to cut up, or what? with that pit and all you have to cut around!), fresh cut sunflower sprouts, fresh cut pea sprouts, and 1 frozen banana







Tropical Spicy Protein Smoothie – 3 cups
1.5 cups water, 2 frozen bananas, 1/2 cup mango (or more), 1/4 cup hemp seeds, 1/4 cup hemp protein powder, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne, dash vanilla extract

LOTS of Salad!
I’m crazy for romaine salads lately… like I eat 3 bowls in a row! Must be the Monkey growing in me, eh? The usual easy, simple combo: romaine, cucumber, red bell pepper, and topped with a dressing of lemon juice, raw olive oil, Himalayan crystal salt, and black pepper.



Dinner is not here yet, but here is my plan! Kale Salad and Crunchy Buckwheat Biscuits
Marinated kale salad topped with avocado, cucumber, red bell pepper. Crunchy Buckwheat Biscuits have a wonderful cheesy flavor (I use nutritional yeast – not raw, but everything else is). I dehydrated thoroughly where they’re a thick, crunchy biscuit. Yum! I will post the recipe soon!

PRUNES!
Yum, I love prunes. Deliciously sweet and packed with antioxidants and nutrients.

Update: My kale salad at dinner was a bit different from what I posted above, and let me tell you… We LOVED it! My husband said three times, “Wow! This is soooo good!” I’ll post the exact recipe another day, but the ingredients were marinated kale, garlic, avocado, pineapple, and orange. I’m calling it Pineapple Orange Kale Salad.

Similar Posts:

~
Sunday, November 29th, 2009

How to Detox & Get Healthy for Pregnancy

I’ve been asked many times about what I did to detox and get my body, mind, and spirit healthy for pregnancy. I’m happy to share my plan. It’s lengthy though, so get yourself a nice green smoothie or green juice, sit back and relax as you read through it all. Please keep in mind this necessary disclaimer… I’m not a midwife or a physician, and anyone thinking about getting pregnant should consult one of the aforementioned professionals to discuss your options. We are all different and we all have different toxic loads, experiences, ages, fitness levels, environments, etc. I will mention that a midwife is more likely to understand detoxing and using foods, supplements, etc for helping with pregnancy preparation over a medical doctor. So, with that out of the way… here is what I did.



The Timing
I started the process during the early part of summer (2008). My husband and I had the intention of cleaning our bodies and home for about 6 months before actively trying to conceive. I became a little antsy so we started trying a little sooner, to no avail, but in hindsight, I’m glad our baby waited a little longer so that my body had plenty of time to clean out (6-12 months is recommended).

It was important at the offset to get a good handle on my monthly cycle. I was pretty regular, but timing is everything when it comes to conception, so knowing your body is very important. One way I did this was with the Clear Blue Easy Fertility Monitor. There are old-fashioned (tried and true) methods such as taking your temperature every day (immediately upon waking). I did that as well, but with my goofy sleep schedule, it proved hard to do. On the advice of a good friend, I bought the Clear Blue Easy Fertility Monitor to track my cycle. It was really cool. I simply peed on a stick every morning, inserted the stick into the device, and received a reading for my daily fertility. It was fun, especially when I saw the little egg symbol meaning that it was the right time to try if we were ready. Be warned, it’s not an inexpensive gadget (neither the monitor nor the sticks you must continually replenish) but I decided it was worth it.

The reason I started using it early was because it can take a couple of months to “learn” your cycle, and because I was dying to know if an egg would show up. (Whew! It did!) I had a lot of confidence in the monitor already, because the Amazon reviews were terrific. Some tips I learned along the way: 1) make sure you use the first pee of the morning and 2) pee for a full three seconds on the stick (count 1-Mississippi, 2-Mississippi, 3-Mississippi).

My History
It’s true that I’ve been vegan for about 6-7 years and I’ve been all Raw (or High Raw) for the past 4-5 years. It’d make you think that my body was already ready for a baby. But, my journey to healthy eating had not happened overnight. I had been pretty clean for a long time, but it took some extra work to get to the uber clean place I am today. For example, a year ago: I would drink a cup of coffee from time to time. I took the occasional over-the-counter drug when my period cramps were too intense. Some of the cleansers in my house were environmentally friendly, but not all. (That was a work in progress.) Perhaps the worst offender was that I was coloring my hair every 4-6 weeks. I was using some hair and body products that were eco-friendly, and some that weren’t. I had amalgam fillings in my mouth. I ate mostly organic, but it hadn’t always been like that. And, the years before getting into Raw, I was on heavy medication for migraines and painful headaches. I had no idea how thrashed my liver was from that. Not to mention, from my bodybuilding days, I had taken loads of energy supplements and eaten tons of animal products, which I’m sure had heavily taxed my adrenal glands, kidneys, and liver. From this long history of toxic exposure and potential build-up, I had no idea how long it would take my body to clean out once I cleaned up my diet and environment.

Fast forward to my deliberate pre-conception house and body overhaul… I got rid of every source of toxicity that I could. Today, this means: eating all organic foods except for the few occasions we go to a restaurant where they don’t offer it; totally green cleaning products for our house; totally green makeup, hair, beauty, body care products; an expensive visit to the dentist to have my amalgams removed; and an extremely clean Raw vegan diet, including brief periods of juice fasting to cleanse my body even more. I’ll touch on each of these in a moment. But first…

The Start of My Plan: Creating a List

This picture depicts a little list that I had taped to my kitchen cupboard to remind myself of the many ways I was going to get my body and home super healthy and clean for pregnancy. That list was written way back when we started, and it evolved over the course of our attempts to conceive. However, it was a great exercise to start somewhere. The list included some important nutrients I wanted to make sure I was including in my diet, the sources I planned on getting those various nutrients, as well as some details about overall cleansing plans for my body and home.

My Home Environment

As much as I could, I removed synthetic chemicals from my home. I aired out our place daily to mitigate the effects of continuous outgassing from carpet, paint, adhesives, and other chemicals used in home construction. I used only environmentally friendly cleansers, many of which I made myself (blog post here about the green cleaners I use).






My Beauty Regimen

I stopped all toxic body care and stopped coloring my hair (blog post here about my decision to go natural after having been blond for 20-some years - I will eventually put up a brunette picture as soon as I have the time to get one taken – you’ve already seen my videos with my brown hair). I only used products that had great ratings on the Skin Deep website for body care/makeup, or products where I could read and understand all of the ingredients. Some of my favorite companies are listed in this blog post. I’d like to add Morrocco Method (hair and body) to that list as well as 100% Pure (makeup, body care – some of their products are vegan and some vegetarian… I stick with the vegan ones).

Heavy Metal Detox – Amalgam Fillings Removed
I did a heavy metal detox for one month where I consumed a liquid nanized supplement after having my amalgam fillings removed. Having my amalgams removed was one of the first steps in the detox, getting healthy for pregnancy process. I did not want any mercury to leak into my breast milk if I could help it. I don’t know how long it takes for heavy metals like mercury to leave the body, but I had to keep in mind that I had the fillings in my mouth for many years, and they were no doubt leaking over time. Plus, with the actual removal of them, there was a chance that some leaked during the procedure (so it’s never too early, even if you don’t intend to have kids for years). In addition to the liquid nano supplement, I did the following to help remove the metals: exercised (sweating plays an important role for helping detox), taking chlorella tablets, consuming cilantro in smoothies and green juices, and I generally relied on my overall healthy diet (including some days of juice fasting to accelerate the process).

My Diet In General

I spent a lot of time planning my diet. For example, when I wanted extra protein I included beans, lentils, greens, hemp and rice protein powders, etc. To strengthen my liver, I added ground milk thistle seeds that I added to shakes for a set period of time. I wanted to get enough selenium, iron, calcium, magnesium and vitamin C, so I consumed Vitamineral Green (which is, by far, my favorite green powder) and Fruits of the Earth fruit powder, as well as obtaining other specific nutrients with things like Brazil nuts, greens, and fresh produce. (Note: I do not consume the Vitamineral Green or Fruits of the Earth now that I’m pregnant, but I plan to resume after delivery.) UPDATE {2/9/11}: I am still not taking Vitamineral Green because I’m breastfeeding. I am taking Greener Grasses by the same company.

I consumed plenty of fresh organic green juices, green smoothies, soups, salads, home grown sprouts (see my video on how to grow your own sprouts here), fresh produce, homemade sauerkraut (see my video on how to make your own sauerkraut here), hemp and sprouted rice protein powders, other Raw foods like veggie pastas, lasagna, desserts, dips, etc. I also made sure to consume healthy Raw fats such as chia seeds, avocado, nuts, seeds, olives, flax, etc. You know… a super healthy Raw vegan diet.



I consumed occasional cooked vegan foods (more during the colder months) including lentils, beans, brown rice, oatmeal, steamed veggies, non-GMO tofu, miso soup, and an occasional veggie burger or burrito, etc. I made sure to keep my diet balanced and not consume too much of any one thing at one time. For example, I rotated my greens and produce (easy to do when you eat seasonally). I basically made sure that my greens “took turns.” One week I bought spinach, and the next week I made sure to consume more kale or swiss chard. Another week, I upped the romaine in my diet, and another week I had more cilantro and parsley. And so on.

A healthy detox and diet plan isn’t just about what I added to my diet. It’s also about what I eliminated from my life. For example, I stopped ingesting any caffeine, even in tea or chocolate… no, this was not easy! I no longer had the occasional glass of organic, vegan wine. I stopped all medications. For menstrual cramps, I used a heating pad and, frankly, just endured the pain, especially on the first day. I used ice on my head and neck for headaches, and enjoyed calm, warm baths. It was not always easy, but I took some comfort in knowing that women have done just fine for thousands of years without modern pharmacology and its accompanying toxicity and unintended consequences.

Supplements
Some of my supplements changed over time (for both my husband and myself – remember… he needed to be healthy, too. You need strong swimmers to get to that egg!).

Kristen’s Supplements
  • vegan DHA
  • Vitamin B-12
  • pre-natal vitamins
  • chlorella
  • wheat grass tablets
  • spirulina (didn’t take much of this, I’m taking it more now though)
  • milk thistle (did this for a little over a month)
  • Vitamineral Green powder
  • Fruits of the Earth powder
  • raspberry leaf tea
  • probiotics
  • Vitamin D
  • And… I made sure to consume foods that gave me plenty of zinc, iron, calcium, magnesium, selenium, b-vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, fiber, and protein.
My Husband’s Supplements
He mainly followed my lead with the supplements I took above, but I added more for him, especially over time as we learned that some of our struggles with conceiving had to do with his sperm health. In general, we tried to get as much as we could from the whole foods in our diet, but I wanted to make sure we were getting everything so we covered all of our bases by adding supplements. For my husband, I added maca, extra vitamin C, vitamin E, his own multi vitamin, acetyl l-carnitine, pycnogenol, and beta-carotene.


Exercise
I’ve always been a gal who makes exercise a priority in my life, so this wasn’t something I suddenly added. But it’s important, so I wanted to mention it here. My exercise routine always changes. Sometimes I do outdoor activities like hiking, walking, etc., and sometimes I go to the gym where I do different forms of cardio as well as strength training. I’m a firm believer that having a healthy, strong body that can handle weight training and cardio is going to really help me when I’m giving birth, as well as helping me lose weight after birth. (I’ve never really been one to do yoga, although I suspect it’s wonderful.)

With respect to physical activity, it’s not a good time to try new things when trying to conceive. It’s important to remember once you’re actually trying to conceive (meaning it could happen any time), that there is a two-week period after ovulation where you won’t know you’re pregnant. During these two weeks, it’s pertinent to “act as if” you’re pregnant just in case. So, during this window, trying new things with your body isn’t necessarily the best time. However, if you’re smart and planning things out in advance, like 6-12 months prior to conception, then it should be fine to add something new to your routine, such as yoga if you don’t normally do yoga.
Mental Health, CDs, and Deep Breathing
I’ve never been one to meditate much. I wish I were, but it’s always been a little tricky for me. However, I realized soon after trying to conceive that having a calm mind was essential for conception, at least for me. So, I took the time to deep breath during various periods throughout my day. I would simply take a few minutes and breath deeply, listening to my breath and thinking of nothing else. That was very calming. I also bought some fertility meditation CDs and listened to them when falling asleep at night, before a daytime nap, or in my dressing area while getting ready in the morning. I am very fond of the CDs that came with my hypnobirthing book and that my hypnobirthing instructor gave me. They are actually aimed at helping women who are already pregnant, but I loved that aspect of it despite my not being pregnant yet. It helped me visualize actually being pregnant, which was fun, therapeutic, and likely to help my odds. I also purchased these visualization CDs.

Trying to conceive is a beautiful thing. It really is. But, for me, it didn’t come without a little anxiety as each month passed without success. Meditation was very helpful for me, and I’m so glad I included these tools in my pregnancy tool box.


Research, Research, and More Research
I wrote a blog post quite some time ago, when I knew that my husband and I would eventually want to start a family, in which I discussed various aspects about birth, raising children, etc. I knew there were things I needed to research before getting pregnant. I’m not a last-minute kind of person, I like to be prepared, so I was looking into this stuff well in advance. I’m so glad I did because there’s a LOT of information to cover. In that post, I briefly touched on:
  • Home birth (there are many considerations for the birth itself – location, midwife, doula, birthing classes, water birth, etc)
  • Circumcision
  • Vaccination
  • Breast feeding,
  • Homeschooling, and our
  • Raw vegan diet
What I didn’t bring up in that post, but I am now also researching and planning to do:

In future posts, I will share what I’ve researched and experienced.


Midwife & Doula
Part of my research was finding a midwife and doula with whom I wanted to attend my birth. I did this months before we tried to conceive because I knew that once I was pregnant, time would fly and I’d have my hands full with a million details. It can take time to find the perfect midwife and doula.

In my case, I actually went with the first midwife I interviewed because I liked her well enough. But, over time, I took the opportunity to ask her a few questions via email and found that perhaps we weren’t quite as good a fit as I previously thought. She was a lovely, capable, skilled woman, but I have certain ideas about my home birth experience and I decided that I should probably try to find another midwife who was a better fit. Fortunately, I did just that. Through the advice of my amazing wonderful lovely doula, I found a midwife who fits my needs exactly. Because I had both of these women picked out well in advance of being pregnant, I was able to tap into their expertise when we were trying to conceive, which was extremely useful. (I will be sharing a post later detailing who these women are and why they’re so amazing.)

Now, I’m sure my first midwife candidate would have done a fine job, but had I not begun this process early, I probably would not have had the opportunity to make a course correction and find somebody with whom I felt truly comfortable. So the moral of the story is to start your research well ahead of time.

Conclusion
I’m so glad I took the many months I had to research and learn everything I wrote about above, and I’m still researching lots of things:
  • Vitamin K shot at birth
  • Which prenatal tests I want or don’t want
  • Post-natal eye treatment for baby
  • Which birthing classes to take
  • Newborn screening (drawing blood to test metabolic processes)
  • Finding a pediatrician that I’m happy with, who is knowledgeable and friendly toward my High Raw Vegan diet, my breast feeding plan, and supports my informed consent and personal decisions regarding whatever I want to do with vaccines)
The time to begin ALL of this is before getting pregnant. Waaay before getting pregnant… months, or even years… because it takes a lot of time, attention, and is the only way to make informed decisions without feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or pressured to yield by default to the constant advice that suddenly comes from just about everyone you talk to, whether or not they share your health values or life philosophy. At times like this in particular, I find that having done a lot of research beforehand really equips me to have that discussion, or sometimes tactfully avoid it altogether.

Furthermore, it’s smart to start early because you have no idea how you’ll feel once you’re pregnant. I have spent many weeks ill with all-day “morning” sickness and it’s kept my butt on the couch for days on end. The last thing I would’ve felt like doing during that time was reading books, especially dense books with topics like vaccinations and home birth. I also wouldn’t have felt good enough to interview midwives or doulas. Therefore, I’m grateful that I had that all figured out well in advance.

That pretty much covers everything I’ve considered and done prior to getting pregnant as well as a few things I’m still doing now that I AM INDEED PREGNANT! YEEHAW!!!!! I feel deep down into my bones and cells that my baby is growing inside an extremely healthy body and I’m so proud of that.

One last note: The purpose of this post was to discuss what I did to detox and get healthy in preparation for pregnancy. Once I became pregnant, I maintained some of the practices, but I also changed some. What I’m doing now that I’m pregnant deserves its own future post (or two or three).

Similar Posts:

~
Friday, November 20th, 2009

New Juicer Comparison (video)- Green Star vs Breville vs Hurom

by Kristen Suzanne in Breville, Detox, energy, green juice, video, weight loss

Having green juice (a.k.a. Plant Blood) on a regular basis is very important for my family. We love it! It’s invigorating. It’s filled with easy-to-assimilate nutrients. It’s powerful. It makes the cells in my body boogie-down as if they were listening to Earth, Wind, & Fire! Like the vegan version of being a vampire, I feel absolutely super-human when I’m drinking it.



Fresh fruit and vegetable juices can do wonders for your body, spirit and mind. They can help cleanse your body and detox. They can fill you up with energy because you’re giving your digestion a rest with the removal of the fiber. They can help make you feel like you’re on top of the world (at least that’s what they do to me when I drink them). And for sure… a number of people use fresh organic juices as a part of their weight loss routine. I know that after I give birth, and breast feeding is done, I’ll be using a green juice weight loss program to help me lose the pregnancy weight.

A while back I posted about the two juicers that I have in this post. But, I have a new addition to my family that is worthy of discussion. In the following videos I discuss the pros and cons of each juicer (Green Star, Breville, and Hurom), from my perspective. And, I show you one of the juicers in action.


For great juice recipes, check out my book and ebook, Kristen Suzanne’s EASY Raw Smoothies, Juices, Elixirs, & Drinks.

I’ve recently added another juicer to my family of juicers… check out the updated review here.

Similar Posts:

~