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.

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.

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.

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).

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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.

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Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

Raw Vegan Travel – Jacksonville, FL (video)

by Kristen Suzanne in Breville, green juice, raw travel, video

Friday, we made it to Whole Foods in Jacksonville, FL on our way to Pensacola. Thank heavens! We were all out of fresh organic produce and I was hungry.

I was elated to find that they make fresh organic green juice so I bought a large one that was made of kale, celery and a touch of apple. DELISH!!! Having access to green juice on the road at places like Whole Foods really saves me a lot of effort of trying to lug around my juicer, although I have heard of people traveling with their Breville (this model in particular). I’m tempted to try that next time, perhaps instead of taking my Blendtec. If I could talk my husband into him not taking any underwear, socks, and the extra pair of shoes, then maybe I could bring them both! ;)

I’ve been washing my hands a lot while on the road and using soap in the bathrooms of rest stops, fast food joints, and gas stations. It was making my hands quite dry. So, I was excited to find Dr. Bronner’s Magic All-One Organic lotion. I’m not one to use lotions very much, so I spent about an hour reading all the ingredients of various products in Whole Foods. Dr. Bronner’s was the best, and I’m very happy with it. It makes my hands extra soft.

Here’s a fun little video showing me in Whole Foods (trying to be stealthy and filming without getting caught). Traveling in the Raw is easy.

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Friday, October 2nd, 2009

Raw Vegan Organic Food in South Carolina

by Kristen Suzanne in green juice, kindle 2

Today, we headed south along the coast until we reached South Carolina, where we spent most of our day. During the morning ride, we each had one of those protein shakes I mentioned yesterday. I also munched on an organic cucumber. Refreshing, simple, low calorie, and hydrating. Great travel snack.

We changed our plan, of trying to land at Whole Foods for the main
destination, to a place called The Sprout (they serve delicious, organic raw vegan food). What a little gem of a place. Firstly, they place a huge emphasis on organic food which I loved. They had a few places where it was written “everything is organic.” That’s my kind of place… not compromising. Secondly, they mostly served raw vegan options, while still offering a couple of cooked vegan foods.

We started the lunch with fresh wheatgrass juice (nasty as heck, as usual, but good for us so we did it). They served it on a small slab of “marble.” I love that extra little touch. Then, I had the largest size they offered of fresh green juice (I think the name was Alkaline Battery – or something like that). It was simply cucumber, kale, celery. Another little lovely touch was that they served it in a wine glass. Awesome.

Next up, we both opted for a large salad which had a raw veggie / nut pattie on the side of it. We devoured these, they were so good. I kept moaning with every bite. Major yum!

The little cafe was right next to a fitness center, which excited my husband because (for $10) he was able to work out after lunch. While he did that, I hunkered down inside The Sprout with my Kindle 2 (blog details on the Kindle 2 here).

Before getting back on the road, we ordered two more large salads to go, and bought some raw cookie balls which were quite good. This is picture of my salad with some fermented okra. Interesting, slimy, and pretty tasty. Oh! And, they had some adorable organic onesies! I bought one for our little monkey that said on the front “Save The Planet, We Deserve It.”

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Thursday, October 1st, 2009

Our Road Trip So Far… D.C. and North Carolina

by Kristen Suzanne in green juice

Hi everyone! We’ve been on the road for two days now and I thought I’d share some photos and tidbits.

While we ventured our way to Washington D.C., we stopped at Trader Joe’s (score!) for a potty break, to walk around (doctor’s orders to get out of the car every two hours), and to load up on a couple goodies and some water.

One of the things my husband likes to include in his diet to help him build / maintain muscle is vegan protein powders. We ran out of our Sun Warrior Sprouted Rice protein the night before we left NY, so we grabbed this at one of the many health food stores.

So, while we were in the parking lot at Trader Joe’s, I took our two protein shaker bottles and made us each a shake. It was quite tasty. Note to self: If it’s windy outside, be sure to have the car doors closed when scooping out the protein powder.

We kept on our way to D.C. It was my first time there (gasp!). And, being a foodie, our first stop was… Java Green (chuckling as I think to myself that our first stop wasn’t to see the White House or the Lincoln Memorial… no, not for me… it was food related).

At Java Green, I had their delicious Spicy Green Juice. The sizes I had to choose from were “Tall” “Grande” “Venti” and “Giant” (I chuckled at the Starbucks’ lingo, except for the “giant” of course, which is the size I eagerly chose). The ingredients were kale, spinach, lemon, ginger, cayenne, and agave. It was very spicy but it was oh-so-yummy! Even later that night while we were walking around the windy, chilly city, my tummy felt so warm inside!

Here is the Washington Monument

Here is the Lincoln Memorial (I was pretty much speechless here)

Here is the White House

We stayed the night in Tyson’s Corner which is outside of D.C. and took off the following morning and stopped at Whole Foods Market for food.

We selected a few organic apples – YUM!

I also saw these at Whole Foods Market. They’re by Go Raw. And, let me say… these are FUN. The crunch they give is great. The pow of ginger is awesome. The hint of sweetness is delightful. Hmmm – loved them and wished I had bought another bag. I’ve since heard from my Facebook friends that the Pizza flavor is extra awesome, so if I see those on the road, I’ll be sure to give them a try. These kinds of things make great road trip snacks.
We decided that we’d drive to Wilmington, North Carolina and stop for the night. One of the reasons we chose that city is because Google Maps (via iPhone) told us there were a couple of Whole Foods Markets there, which one of the goals of our road trip is to hit many of them so we can stay stocked with fresh organic produce, food, and snacks. Well, the spot that Google Maps directed us to was smack in the middle of a residential neighborhood. I couldn’t help but giggle as we drove closer and closer to the alleged spot for WF, saying, “It sure would be weird here in the middle of the neighborhood, but hey, what do I know?”

So, we’ll hit up the WF in Charleston, SC tomorrow.

Lastly, the road trip has flown by so far. What would you expect though? We’re listening to New Moon. (My husband is into it, too.)

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Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

How to Make Green Juice Pulp Crackers, Raw Vegan: (Video)

I’m not one to waste organic food… ever. So, when I’m done juicing, I make crackers with the leftover pulp, or I stir some into my dog’s food, or I give it to the bunny’s in my neighborhood.

Here’s a little quick video showing you the batch I made the other day.
I used my Breville to make the green juice (like only $99 bucks for this machine – so worth it). I spread the pulp mixture with an offset spatula (one of my other favorite tools in the kitchen, other than the fruit scoopers). And, I used my Excalibur Dehydrator to dry the Raw crackers (they’re the BEST on the market – hands down).

You can use any spices you have on hand. Be creative and try different combinations. And, use the juice pulp from any green juice you make.

The recipe I used below is:
For the Juice
2 cucumbers, 1 bunch Italian parsley, 5 leaves medium kale

This gives about 2 cups of pulp when using the Breville juicer.

For the pulp
1/2 cup flax* seed, 1 tablespoon tamari, 1 teaspoon turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon coriander, 1 tablespoon mesquite powder, and 3/4 cup water (as needed) *The lovely flax I used was from a sample sent to me by Flax Matters.

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Monday, August 3rd, 2009

Juicing Frenzy – Time To Clean "House"

by Kristen Suzanne in green juice, Mini IVF

I’m embarking on a juicing frenzy that started on Saturday to heal, detox, and lose a little bit of excess fat. My body has been through a lot during the months of June/July and it’s time to clean house. Two of the drugs I was on for weeks were estrogen and progesterone (both fat soluble) – plus I was on other fertility drugs to develop my eggs in June (Yaz birth control for a few days to schedule my cycle, followed by menopure injections and oral clomid tablets). As a result, I’ve put on some icky toxic weight that I’m eager to release. Now, before people start commenting, “But Kristen, you need some fat to help get pregnant…”

Yes, I know. I will maintain a healthy weight. But, I also know my own body, and when I put on unhealthy fat and cellulite in a short amount of time, I know I have some toxins in me and I’m eager to flush them out… sooner than later. I can feel it.

I think it’s prudent to get as healthy as I can before the next treatment (details about my fertility adventure here). Knowing that I likely have some of these drugs stored in my fat, a juicing frenzy and liquid diet should help release them (sorry, but I can’t call it “juice feasting,” because it never feels like feasting no matter how much juice I drink… a real feast, for me, includes chewing – LOL). Plus, it should help my natural hormones get in sync faster, too, which is important before embarking on the next embryo transfer.

I’m drinking LOTS of freshly made green juices all day, but that’s not all. Here is a complete list of what I’m doing to heal my body before the next cycle with Mini-IVF:

1) LOTS of fresh, alkalizing, organic green juice (some have a splash of coconut oil or olive oil to better assimilate certain nutrients, and to get my calories up)
2) Red raspberry leaf tea
3) Kombucha (not a lot – 1 bottle every 1-2 days – it’s fun)
4) Miso soup (1-2 cups a day; some is soy-free, and all are organic)
5) Dry brushing before my showers
6) Rest for recovery
7) Sweating: getting some exercise at the gym and walking in the desert heat (I’m not going crazy though)
8) Stretching
9) Massages from my husband to help release toxins
10) And, I’m still taking pre-natals, probiotics, chlorella, DHA, and wheat grass tablets

I’d like to go 5-days for now, but I’ll start with 3-days and see how it goes. Today is day-3 and the process has been so-so as far as ease. I love food so it’s hard to give that up. But, having the variety of: miso soup (very healing), tea, kombucha, and different green juices is definitely helpful. Oh, and having a jar of watermelon juice every day is delightful and so very helpful with getting through the day (although I’m all out of it now – boo hoo!). But, don’t get me wrong, there are times that I already want to scream, “I want some f*#king food!” And, here’s a tip… don’t watch the Food Network channel when you’re on a liquid diet… it’s pure hell. Honestly, I don’t know how you 92-day juice fasters/feasters do it. God love ya!

Anyway, I’m staying flexible. I haven’t started bleeding from the miscarriage yet, and my restricted diet might have something to do with it, or maybe my body is waiting for the full moon. We’ll see; I’m just taking it day by day for now and healing. It feels really good.

I started on one of my goals (from this post) of researching vaccines. I started by reading Jenny McCarthy’s book, Mother Warriors. I figured it’d be a good primer for diving into such an intense topic and I’m glad I did. I flew through the book and picked up some pointers on a couple vaccines and treatments of autism. It’s easy to predict I’d be a fan of her book though because so much of it is about how diet can help some kids recover from autism… and I’m a big fan of using foods to heal. I’d be interested to hear some of your experiences or plans for vaccinations if you’d like to share in the comments section.

Today, I’m diving into working on my birth plan.

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Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

Today’s Raw Food – Plus Video!

Today I had a high energy, organic, raw vegan food day. It’s been AWESOME and I feel on top of the world. Yowza!

Watermelon (3 1/2 cups)

Bleh Protein Smoothie
OK, this kind of tasted like crap. I winced the whole time I was drinking it. It had filtered water, raw rice protein powder (vanilla flavor, I like the chocolate much better), hemp protein powder, Amazing Grass wheat grass powder, and an orange (peeled). I chugged it down and was glad to be done with it. Bleh.

Watermelon (2 cups)
Remember! One of the main food combining rules (to always follow) is eating melons alone. So, I had this watermelon more than an hour after my protein shake (giving my shake time to digest and leave my stomach).

Fresh Green Juice (3 cups)
Vibrant, delicious, nutritious… this stuff made my cells dance all day long. Green juice, or as you know I love to call it, Plant Blood, is SO good for you!!! Today’s concoction had (all organic) dinosaur kale, celery, dandelion greens, oranges and apple. I used my good ol’ Green Star for this baby! That machine is amazing and is truly worth every penny.

Watermelon (3 cups)
What can I say? I LOVE WATERMELON!!!!!!!!!!!!

Plain Sauerkraut (1/2 cup), 3 Prunes
I made another batch of sauerkraut today but this time I made it with cabbage, carrots, and a little cayenne pepper. I shot some video of the process and will post it later this week. Stay tuned!

Giant Fresh Salad
Tonight’s salad was a big bowl filled with romaine lettuce, shredded carrot, diced avocado and a special dressing that I made using an ingredient I’ve not used before now. I will report back later about what it was. Know this, it was scrumptious!

Plain Sauerkraut (1/2 cup), 2 Prunes

I suspect I’ll get hungry later. If (when) I do, I plan on eating organic cherries and maybe the organic white peach I picked up at Whole Foods last night.

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Thursday, June 25th, 2009

New York Update: Running Over Matt Dillon

by Kristen Suzanne in green juice

I’m still in New York (and loving it!) with plans to get back to sunny Arizona some time next week. Today, though, we had some sun. Yippee! Here’s a brief recap of vegan foodie heaven, NY style. 

A couple nights ago we went back to Cafe Blossom (you all know this is my favorite place by now), and this time I went Raw. I had an enormous salad piled high with spring greens, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, carrots, jicama, and avocado (I love that everything there is organic!). It was delish! Then, I also had an order of their Raw Autumn Sweet Potato Rolls. Oh! And, of course, I had a large Field of Greens green juice (spinach, cucumber, apple, lemon, and ginger). I was feeling alive and on cloud 9 with so much organic raw food goodness. The food was fabulous, the atmosphere was wonderful and the staff, as usual, were awesome. (We’re going back there for dinner tonight!) 

Another night we ventured out to Pure Food & Wine. I adore Pure. But, this particular dining experience was not our best visit to this great restaurant. I had the taco salad, which was pretty good. I especially like the portion size. I also had a very green juice that caused me to make faces when drinking it (you know, like when you do a shot of vodka or something), but I’m a hard core girl and I appreciate mega green juices so that was good. Bring on the greens! My husband had the lasagna and here is where there was some disappointment. The cheese was hard around the edges and dark yellowish like it had been sitting out or perhaps sitting in the refrigerator uncovered. The overall dish just didn’t look very fresh. Maybe someone who isn’t accustomed to raw nut cheeses might not have noticed this, but I wouldn’t have served it like that. All three of us at the table were quite surprised given Pure’s reputation. When it came time for dessert, I was oh-so tempted to get my favorite thing there: Mallomar! But, I ended up ordering the Peach Cobbler. It was pretty good. The flavors were extremely intense, making the super small portion actually not a bad thing. Overall, my husband and I liked it, the presentation was beautiful, it had unique flavors, and I loved the fresh peaches. But, I wish I had ordered the Mallomars; those are wickedly amazing. 

Fast forward to today. My husband and I went for vegan (mostly raw) sandwiches at a little deli near our hotel. These sandwiches are loaded to the gills with fresh veggies, sprouts, avocado, etc. Well, I left my purse there! Doh! We were walking back to the hotel, when we decided to stop into Cafe Blossom for some green juice and raw cookies for dessert. We were there a good 15 minutes before I realized I didn’t have my purse!!! I said to my husband, “OMG! Wait here!” I ran out the door like a bat outta hell, and, in the process, I basically ran over a guy as he was going into Cafe Blossom. I ran like crazy back to the sandwich shop and found my purse – WHEW! – and then headed back to Cafe Blossom. As I was walking in, the guy I ran over was leaving. Apparently though, after I ran him over, he walked into the restaurant and exclaimed in front of my husband, “Did you see that lady running?” Turns out it was Matt DillonHa! But, that’s not the only star enjoying the delectable food of Cafe Blossom. Currently, Ann Hathoway is doing Shakespeare in the Park and she’s been eating there like twice a day. Told you it was awesome!

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Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Not Getting Tired of NY – Lots To Do!

by Kristen Suzanne in green juice, new york

We’re still in New York (it’s been almost three weeks) and we’ve extended our trip. I still have many restaurants to try and things to do. This week we have on the itinerary: Bonobos (Raw Vegan), SproutCraft (Raw Vegan with some fermented foods), walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, tons more green juice at Liquiteria, more Pure Food & Wine (ehem… mallomars!), a possible dinner at Rockin’ Raw in Brooklyn, and more visits to my favorite restaurant in the city Blossom (upper west side location). 

Speaking of Blossom… tonight we met Gena (Choosing Raw) for dinner there. My husband opted for green juice and the soy bacon cheeseburger with Cajun sweet potato fries. I had a green juice and then went for a more macrobiotic approach: organic tofu (plain), gently steamed kale, and a side of their “holy shit, this stuff is the bomb!” potato salad. (OK, that’s not really the name of it, but it’s what I call it.) For Gena’s dinner choice, she took the ultimate high road and went Raw with an enormous salad and an order of their raw sweet potato rolls appetizer.

Well, my husband and I had been kind of holed up in the hotel room for the day making calls and working, without much food other than my container of organic prunes from Whole Foods (gotta poop when you travel and prunes do the job!) and a smooshed berry flavored Vega bar. Seriously, guys, the Vega bars are just not that great. I love the ingredients and pretty much eat them just so I can have a quick snack with nutrients. But, do people seriously taste test these recipes before mass producing them? Did they try it and say to themselves, “This is actually good and people will love it.” I have my doubts. Don’t get me wrong… I love Brendan Brazier. I love Vega’s EFA oil. I love Sequel Naturals chlorella tablets. I cannot stand the vega meal shake. And, the bars? I tolerate the berry flavored bars. But the chocolate ones? Bleh… they sometimes taste like soap to me. 

Anyway, I did not intend for the post to go on about Vega. Back to dinner. So, my husband and I basically only had prunes all day. We were famished by the time it came to dinner. I was in no mood for a salad because I didn’t think it would satisfy me. But, damn. I tell ya… when Gena’s plates came and all of the live raw food was in front of her, I was insanely envious. Her salad was huge and beautiful. The rolls, which I’ve had before, looked amazing. Yes, my food filled me up as hoped (and it was good), but I wish I would have gone Raw. Next time! Oh! And, Gena is such a sweetheart. She surprised me with roses for my birthday.

Funny story… so, it’s been raining pretty much non-stop since 

we arrived. It’s the most bizarre weather for NY during this time of year. We literally have had about 2 days with some sun. And, all I brought for shoes are Crocs. You know, the shoes with holes in them that are basically made for wearing near water and are super comfy. Well, wearing shoes durable near water at the ocean or on a yacht is one thing. Wearing these through New York City with muddy puddles (while crossing Central Park) or disgusting dirty pools of water underground while walking from subway to subway is another thing. It’s really nasty. I finally couldn’t take it anymore and bought a pair of super cool rain boots. I was happy. I was proud. And, my tootsies were finally warm and toasty nestled inside my fancy new red rain boots. My attitude was GRRR! Bring On The Rain and my husband was calling me Wonder Woman (fitting now that I’m a brunette). I felt cool. It wasn’t until many hours later, after walking around in them all day, that I realized I had the enormous tag hanging out of the back of them. I am such a dork. 

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