Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

Surviving the Holidays. Seriously Good Tips. Plus Recipes.

A 2014 Drambuie Christmas Toast with my husband.

Drambuie would “not” be in the healthy category (I don’t think). “BUT IT’S THE HOLIDAYS!”


I’m sharing with you some key holiday survival tips. What do I mean survive?

Well, basically, some tips to help feel well during the holidays by not eating too crappy. It’s easy to succumb to the excuse “It’s the holidays” and make it a free-for-all, right? (Guilty.) But when we let our hair down too many times and go crackers (that’s another way to say “cray-cray”) then, sadly, we welcome a weaker immune system and lower energy. Sigh. Am I a buzz kill already?

No! I’m not! I promise.

We still need to have fun. After all, “It’s the holidays!”

Here are few tips to help you survive.

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Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

Unconventional Ways to Celebrate Halloween

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween

As a mom who doesn’t give her kid candy unless it’s dark chocolate, Halloween is a tricky situation (pun intended)… until now.

To tell you the truth, we have a lot of things we do to celebrate Halloween and all without the traditional trick-or-treating.


For starters, we begin the celebrating with decorations at the beginning of October. This includes wall clings, scary music, carving jack-o-lanters, hanging skeletons from the ceiling, and more. This starts at the beginning of October to ensure a healthy dose of Halloween-ness.

Halloween is a whole month celebration for us.

Halloween is a whole month celebration for us.

Kamea painting a small pumpkin for decoration.

Kamea painting a small pumpkin for decoration.



When the actual day of Halloween arrives, we have a Halloween Hunt where we hide dark chocolates and little trinkets, toys, stickers, etc around the house (or where ever we are).



Another thing we often do is travel during this time to make it extra special… with costumes, of course.

Travel to Flagstaff, AZ. A spooky town.

Travel to Flagstaff, AZ. A spooky town.


What kid wouldn't want to go to DISNEYLAND for Halloween?

What kid wouldn’t want to go to DISNEYLAND for Halloween?


16 months old as a fairy while traveling to Sedona, AZ for Halloween.

16 months old, as a fairy while traveling to Sedona, AZ for Halloween.



We don our costumes many times(!) during the weeks before Halloween. Myself included.

I wear this costume pretty much every year.

I wear this costume pretty much every year.


Halloween Headbands are awesome.

Halloween Headbands are awesome.



We check out the crazy Halloween stores that pop up every year. Sometimes we go more than once. #FieldTrip

Trying on a witch hat. "I'll get you my pretty…"

Trying on a witch hat. “I’ll get you my pretty…”



We go to Halloween parties… like this one at her Karate Dojo.

Halloween Party with a light show and dancing.

Halloween Party with a light show and dancing.



I remember growing up, my mom gave us money for the candy we collected trick-or-treating, which we always preferred over eating the candy. That’s another idea.


A walk down memory lane with Kamea’s first Halloween.

This was Kamea’s first Halloween costume. She was a Chipotle Burrito.

Baby as a burrito: Halloween

4 months old Kamea as a burrito: Halloween

We swaddled her in an organic blanket, first, and you can see the rest. Foil. Organic lettuce. I actually thought she’d hate it because she’s not big on the swaddle thing, but she was a real trooper in her costume as Greg took photos.


Halloween as a SCIENCE EXPERIMENT! From Mothering.com…

I loved candy when I was a kid, but when I became a mother, I worried about my kids eating too much of the stuff. Still, I’ve never banned it from our home. Now, when my children come home on Halloween night, examine their candy, and go to bed without asking to eat a single piece, it’s not because I’ve forbidden it. It’s because they have better ideas about what 
to do with it.

It began with a simple question three years ago, when I was overwhelmed by our collection of Halloween candy. An afternoon with too-generous coworkers, a church Trunk-or-Treat (i.e., collecting candy at every car in a full parking lot), and a subsequent trick-or-treating expedition up our street had provided my four-year-old princess and two-year-old cowboy with mountains of candy. But since the candies had been the gifts of kind friends, and of elderly neighbors on fixed incomes, I didn’t want to throw them all away. Instead, I decided to dole them out one piece at a time. Handing out pieces after lunch was painful—the bowl loomed enormous atop my fridge, and I knew that at this rate we’d be eating candy for months.

Then, as my daughter Katherine poured out a box of Nerds, she asked the life-changing question:

“What would happen if I put these in water?”

I almost missed the moment. I was cleaning up the lunch dishes, and didn’t want to get out another one. Besides, the experiment sounded messy and wasteful (even though I’d just been agonizing about how to get rid of the stuff). I brushed her question aside, hoping she’d forget it. Instead, she asked again. I got her a white, unspillable mug, filled it with water, and set it down in front of her. She poured in her strawberry Nerds, examined them, stirred them into something the color of raspberry lemonade, and examined the cup again. Then I dumped 
it down the sink.

That was our first candy experiment.

Now, that’s a good idea for candy.


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Monday, December 16th, 2013

Recipe Rudolph Cherry Cobbler (Paleo Gluten Free Raw Vegan)

Rudolph Cherry Cobbler (Gluten Free. Paleo. Raw Vegan.)

I asked my husband, who has a birthday around the holidays, what he wanted to eat for his birthday dessert. He said without thinking twice, Rudolph Cherry Cobbler. It’s a raw vegan, paleo, and gluten free recipe from my Holidays Recipe Book that he’s been a raving fan of for the past five or so years. I said to him, “Really? That’s what you want for your birthday?” He said, “YES! It’s the best and I can’t eat just one serving, I keep going back for more.” I can’t say I blame him… it is friggin’ delish. The squishy and delicious cherries explode with flavor in your mouth.

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Monday, October 29th, 2012

Carrot Apple “Halloween” Soup (Raw Vegan)

by Kristen Suzanne in carrots, ginger, holidays, Motherhood, soup

The weather is ripe for enjoying warm raw soups. My inspiration today was from fall ingredients and the Halloween holiday. I whipped up this delightful and flavorful, raw vegan soup, garnished with black sesame seeds (a wonderful “jing” food – more on jing foods for future posts), and it screamed Halloween! It’s mega easy and only has 8 simple ingredients. Check it out…

Carrot and apple make this a perfect fall season soup.

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Thursday, December 15th, 2011

A Vegan Holiday Gift… For You.

by Kristen Suzanne in holidays

Here is a great post I wrote for One Green Planet which is timely with the holidays around the corner. Are you struggling with what to put on your holiday gift list? Struggle no more…

Continue reading…

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Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Kristen’s Raw 26th Awesome Giveaway – FREE Holiday Book!

by Kristen Suzanne in awesome giveaway, holidays, Kristen Suzanne

The holidays are approaching. Can you believe it? Now that they’re around the corner, I’m starting my holiday food planning. What parties will I be going to (if any! lol)? What family events are in store? Am I hosting any get togethers? What foods do I want to eat for Thanksgiving and Christmas? Will I be all Raw or High Raw? What foods do I want to make in advance to freeze?

See? There is much to think about and do! The time to plan is now. And… what better way to help you than with my book, Kristen Suzanne’s EASY Raw Vegan Holidays!

This is a great little book, covering the pluses and minuses of being Raw during the fall and winter holidays. On one hand, holidays are very social occasions that usually focus around food, which raises issues for Raw food enthusiasts, such as how to explain your food preferences to family, hosts, and visitors, and how to deal with temptations to stray too far from healthful habits.

On the other hand, again, the holidays are about FOOD. This presents a fantastic opportunity to try some super fun and delicious, seasonal recipes! (View recipe list.) There is perhaps no better way to start dabbling in Raw or to introduce the cuisine to others… the sheer novelty of Raw holiday food is certain to stimulate conversation. You’d be amazed how some people’s ears perk up when they hear about Raw, as though it’s completely novel and foreign, yet somehow instinctively feels natural and right.

All in all, the holidays are a great time to experiment with all aspects of the Raw lifestyle, both culinarily and socially, and this short book is the perfect place to start. Learn recipes that are easy to prepare, great to take to parties, and perfect for your family gatherings. At a time when the rest of the world is packing on pounds and clogging their arteries with all kinds of yule tide crud, you’ll be getting super healthy and full of energy by eating this amazing food — at the time of year when you need energy the most!

For my 26th Awesome Giveaway…. Someone will win a copy of my Holiday book. (If the winner lives in the United States, he/she has the choice of the print or ebook version. If the winner is from some other great part of the globe, then the prize is the ebook version.)


It’s simple to participate. All you have to do is answer the following question in this post’s comment section. The contest will end Friday night, November 5th @ 11:59pm. I’ll enter everyone’s name who answered the question into a drawing and announce the winner on my blog Saturday, November 6th.

QUESTION: What is your favorite holiday song?

Want another chance to win? Tweet a link to this blog post and come back to let me know in a separate comment.

Want another chance to win? Facebook a link to this blog post and come back to let me know in a separate comment.

Want another chance to win? Write about this giveaway on your blog and link back to this blog post. Come back to let me know in a separate comment.

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Friday, January 15th, 2010

Pure Market Express Raw Food Delivery Review

by Kristen Suzanne in holidays, raw travel

I was sent a package of food for review by the cool people at Pure Market Express. Have you heard of them? Tried their raw food delivery? Let me say… GOOOOOOOOD STUFF! I’m a fan of their work. Not only do they make good raw vegan food, but their energy is pure love. It comes through in both their food and their email correspondence / customer service. That’s important to me. I’ll be honest, this hasn’t been my experience with all of the raw food delivery companies out there.

Raw food delivery can be so helpful with living the raw food lifestyle. For starters, as a pregnant woman, I sure do appreciate being able to sit back and put my feet up on the couch while I wait for the delivery man. Top that with feeding my body and my growing baby some of the healthiest food in the world. That rocks! I also love that they’re including the nutritional information on the packages of food now. That can be very helpful for people who want to calculate calories, protein, fiber, etc.

Secondly, I’m a fan of raw food delivery during busy times in life… for example the holidays. It’s such a relief that amidst all the food prep for gatherings, attending parties, cleaning, decorating, shopping, and resting from all the activity, it’s a real treat to have a box of organic raw food show up at my door.

Thirdly, raw food delivery is great when traveling. Check out this post (video) I recorded when we traveled to New York and Pure Market Express treated me to a delivery for the first time. (My how my hair has grown since that video in September).

Here are some of the foods they sent to me this second time.

Bacon Jalapeno Poppers
These are really yummy. I had them in the last package and was smiling from ear to ear when they sent them to me again. The combination of spice and creaminess is wonderful. (pictured)

Banana Cream Pie
Pure Market Express knew how much I loved their Banana Cream Pie that they sent me TWO pieces in this delivery. The flavor was the same awesomeness as before, but this time the presentation was different. In NY, the pie arrived in a whole piece. In AZ, the pie arrived kind of all mushed up, like a pudding. It might have been the longer distance it traveled that caused this, but I don’t know. It was still tasty though!

Maple Apple Crepes

Hhmmmm! Excellent. I really enjoyed these and hope to have them again some day. A lovely treat. (pictured)

Baked Mac-n-Cheese
I specifically requested this and was very happy with the result. I wish I had saved some for my husband to try. The one thing I’d change… I’d like a little more sauce with it.

There was some zing to this that affected my mouth a bit (my husband’s mouth, too) that I could do without, but otherwise it was good flavor and a pretty presentation. (pictured)

Donut Holes
These were fun. My favorite part was the somewhat crunchy exterior – reminded me of donut holes.

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Sunday, September 6th, 2009

Kristen’s Raw 14th Awesome Giveaway – FREE CHIA SEEDS!

by Kristen Suzanne in awesome giveaway, chia, chia seeds, holidays

It’s time for another awesome giveaway (here was last month’s). The prize for September? CHIA SEEDS!!!!!! WHOOHOO!!!!! I will be drawing the names of 2 winners, and each winner will receive a 3 pound bag of chia seeds (courtesy of Chia Seeds Direct). Cool, huh?

Chia rocks the house. Most of you know I’m a big fan of these cute lil guys. Read my post about chia here, the “Dieter’s Dream Food.” There are so many wonderful ways to enjoy them:

  • Plain, by the spoonful (be sure to carry dental floss, speaking from experience here)
  • Roll a peeled banana in them
  • Add them to smoothies and Raw vegan nut/seed milks
  • Make chia crackers (like here) or chia bread (like here, this recipe doesn’t call for chia seeds specifically, but you can substitute the “twister” blend for ground chia)
  • Make raw jelly
  • And… drumroll please…. chia pudding (like Holiday Chia Pudding!!!) This stuff is the best!

Want the chance to win? It’s simple to participate! All you have to do is answer the following question (be sure to answer both parts) in this post’s comment section. The contest will end Wednesday night, September 9th @ 11:59pm. I’ll enter everyone’s name who answered the question into a drawing and announce the winner on my blog Thursday, September 10th. *Please note: this month’s contest is only open to people living in the United States and Canada.

Question: If you could donate one million dollars to charity, which would you choose AND WHY?

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Saturday, December 15th, 2007

A Kid In A Candy Store – What-evahh!

by Kristen Suzanne in holidays

YUM! YIPPEE!!! WHOO-HOO! I’m like a kid in a candy store because….WAIT! Can we change this statement? A kid in a candy store? That’s awful! How about…I’m like a kid in an open field, running, playing with flowers, animals and making mud pies?! Ah, yes, that’s much better. Okay, where was I? Yes, I’m just like that kid in the field (sounds pretty good for an adult too, if I do say so myself – haha). Why am I so giddy? Well, yesterday, I received my organic produce delivery and I’m rolling around in giant Fuji apples, 10 pounds of bananas (even baby bananas – very cool!), golden beets, Meyer lemons, Persian limes, Satsuma Mandarin Oranges, spinach, avocados, watermelon and my ever-loving….drum roll please….fuyu persimmons (6 pounds…very nice!). I’m in heaven. When I bite into one of these delicious fruits, my mind is immediately transported away to that big open field of flowers, animals, and making dirty mud pies with my hands (it should be no surprise that I love to eat with my hands, too).

I started my morning with a giant green juice made with my fresh, organic produce. It had a little of everything in it and tasted just the same (which was delicious!). Gone are the days of having to “plug-n-chug” (picture this: plugging my nose while chugging down thick, disgusting, chemical tasting protein shakes from my bodybuilding days). Those are gone! Yay! Now, I’m only fueled with head-to-toe energizing goodness from fresh organic fruits and veggies. Life is damn good.

Then, I ate 3 fuyu persimmons. Simply delicious. Yikes! The 6 pounds will probably only last me a couple of days. Oops, I should have ordered more.

For lunch I’ll have warming, organic miso soup alongside a brilliant root salad of golden beets and carrots topped with chopped dates and a delicious Raw dressing. After which I’ll snack on more persimmons. Dinner? Not sure yet. It’s Saturday and a new Irish pub opened near us. Even though we’re very high Raw, my awesome loving boyfriend enjoys a beer once in a while. So, we’ll probably venture over there where he’ll drink that while I sip on a glass of organic wine. After all, it is a “Happy Holidays” time (imagine me saying it as Oprah does…dragged out, “Haaapppy Hoooooolidays”) and I love celebrating the holidays.

My two favorite places to buy organic produce online: Boxed Greens and Diamond Organics.

Today is definitely a SARK – Juicy Living Day. Here’s a good one…

Live Juicy
Living Juicy Means: rolling down a bright grassy hill, sleeping all day to stay in a dream, definitely taking your shoes off at the beach, buying flowers that make you gasp. Find those places inside that jump for joy and do things that bring our your best, most magic self! Live your life in full color :)
~SARK, Juicy Living Cards

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Friday, December 14th, 2007

Bill Mahar – Holiday Turkeys

by Kristen Suzanne in holidays

I’ve been behind on my blogging, but I’m getting back on top of it now.

Even though it’s past Thanksgiving, it’s still before Christmas so this definitely applies. Check out what Bill Mahar has to say: George Bush – Pardon All The Turkeys. Thanks to VegNews magazine for pointing out this story. If you didn’t know, VegNews is my all time favorite magazine. It’s all about living the vegan lifestyle with an ever increasing portion detailing Raw. If you haven’t subscribed yet, you should. I love it!!!

Give yourself your own smile of approval.
~ Maxwell Maltz, M.D.

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