Sunday, October 18th, 2015

A Hospital Tour For Those Planning Home Birth

by Kristen Suzanne in kamea, kids, Kristen Suzanne, Motherhood, pregnancy
Questions to ask a hospital on a hospital birth tour.

Questions to ask a hospital on a hospital birth tour.

No. I’m not currently pregnant.

But, as I wrote in a post recently that talked about all about breastfeeding, I’m sharing some other posts from my old Green Mommy Blog. This is another one… taking a tour of a hospital even though I originally had planned a home birth for my daughter.

Well. As some of you know, I did end up in the hospital for the delivery of Kamea, but it wasn’t the local one I toured. 

Here we go….

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Friday, October 16th, 2015

My Life: Naked Dolls, Qigong, Lemon Water, Matcha, Hot Yoga

Lemon water did more than I realized.

Lemon water did more than I realized.

Here’s a day in my life.

700 am Wake up naturally. Sometimes I oil pull at this time.

715 am Drink some spring water with organic lemon juice squeezed in. I’ve heard about people doing this forever. I never got into it… til now. I read recently that drinking it on an empty stomach does something to help digestion, which helps you better absorb nutrients from your food later. Interesting. Okay, I’ll try. (The rule is that it’s on an empty stomach and you don’t eat for about 30 minutes.)

717 am Rebounding to start moving, getting the kinks worked, blood flowing, and because it’s fun. (Bellicon is the best rebounder.)

740 am Brew Upgraded coffee in my groovy Technivorm coffee pot. While that’s brewing I get other ingredients ready to make Greg’s and my Bulletproof Coffee (Greg likes his in a cold shake form), or I grab my Bulletproof Frozen Cubes.

745 am Make Kamea’s breakfast (usually gently scrambled eggs – something like this)

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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…

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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Saturday, October 10th, 2015

BREASTFEEDING! A Big Post. It’s Important Stuff.

Happy breastfeeding baby.

Happy breastfeeding baby.

Some of you don’t know there was a time when I was crazy writing two blogs. There was (and is) my blog you’re reading now, Kristen’s Raw.

I was also writing a Green Mommy Blog where I shared my “green mommy” ways.

Shortly after I entered motherhood, I realized that it was a wee bit nutz to maintain two blogs so I stopped writing the Green Mommy Blog.

Fast forward to today and I decided to (soon) close that blog, but not without sharing some of the gems of posts. I’ll be updating the information, as well as including some of the helpful comments people wrote. Here’s the first article.

Let’s talk breastfeeding.

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Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

My Kid Eats Frozen Food, But Only When I Do This…

by Kristen Suzanne in gluten free, grass fed butter, kamea, recipe
Some damn tasty frozen food that I doctored.

Some tasty frozen food that I doctored.

My kids eats frozen food.

You probably wouldn’t expect me to admit that, but here I am… admitting that. Frozen food? Ewww. But, yeah.

Here’s the short of it.

I’m a mom. I make most things from scratch three times a day. I’m effin’ tired. The end.

There, see? I need a break and I need something at least somewhat decent to feed my kid because she’s just not into green smoothies or protein shakes that much (<– those are quick things that’s why I mention them).

Enter: Amy’s Frozen Mushroom Risotto

Frozen. Food.

Frozen. Food.

Here’s the thing. It doesn’t have any canola oil in it. (<– you know how hard it is to find frozen food without canola?). And, although this particular frozen food has a cheese in it that is probably not grass-fed, I’m not freaking out about it.

Here’s how I make Amy’s more acceptable. I add things to it, like grass-fed butter, and I don’t microwave it.

I get a little soup / sauce pot. (I adore that little pot. I use it to heat water for tea, make sauces, and, well, as you can see, I use it to warm up frozen food from the store.)

Isn't it adorbs?

Isn’t it adorbs?

I add a few splashes of homemade bone broth and a couple tablespoons of grass-fed unsalted butter. The bone broth adds nutrition and helps it cook in the pot, and the butter adds good fat and nutrition.

–> Learn how to easily make your own awesome bone broth here. <–


Small pot. Bone broth. Butter.

Small pot. Bone broth. Butter.


Frozen food puck. I try not to cringe when I see it.

Frozen food puck.

Ooh. Idea. I could add Amy’s frozen foods to my camping list I wrote about here.


Nifty glass lid on cute little pot on induction hot plate. Love induction.

Nifty glass lid on cute little pot on induction hot plate. Love induction.

I should note that I cook this thing over low heat. (BTW induction hot plates are great. I transformed my kitchen with them.)


Ta-Da. Frozen boxed food made partially acceptable with butter and broth.

Frozen food made more acceptable with butter and broth.


PS. There seem to be some decent frozen options out there these days, with grass-fed meats, no canola oil, etc. I haven’t tried them but it’s interesting to see the options coming to market.

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Monday, September 28th, 2015

Got Kids? Popsicle Sticks For Hours of CHEAP Fun – Epic Fun House

by Kristen Suzanne in family, kamea, Motherhood
Epic fun house from popsicle sticks and creativity.

Epic fun house from popsicle sticks and creativity.

My husband gets credit for this post. Using popsicle sticks to create what has turned out to be an epic fun house was his idea. He wanted to teach Kamea a bunch of skills and concepts in a way that’s accessible to a 4-year-old, as well as convey that activities don’t all have to be pre-packaged, that you can do big amazing stuff with simple objects. He’s very big on teaching her to use things for their unintended purposes (to teach lateral thinking), kind of like “coloring outside the lines” on steroids. Also, he wanted her to engage in a multi-month project to augment the single-serving creative sessions we usually do. There’s something about seeing a project grow and expand over time into wild directions, some planned and some unplanned.


And, so, I share this crazy fun idea with you, parents, out there if you’re in need of a creative activity and long-term project for kids. Keep in mind though, it requires some participation from you, the parents, but it’s easy and relaxed fun. Even mindfully meditative, at times.

My husband bought a bunch of popsicle sticks, and he started gluing them together with Kamea (she’s five years, but this project started while she was four).

Excited to get to work on the fun house.

Excited to get to work on the fun house.


The house started to really take on quite a life for itself and they started to decorate it with paint, stickers, markers, clay, found objects from the recycle bin, and much more. They also incorporated colored popsicle sticks. It’s become the center of attraction for play-dates as kids stare at it in awe. In fact, so do the parents!





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Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

Experiment in Non-Sedentary Living: Moving All Day vs. 1-Hour in the Gym

Hikes are becoming routine to increase our movement.

Hiking for more movement.

In spite of going to the gym for an hour a day, most days, I feel like my life is missing more movement. But, how could that be? I go to the gym almost daily. Surely that’s adequate.

Or, is it?

I took a look at our lives recently and realized there’s just too much sitting… whether it’s eating food at the table, working on computers, playing video games, watching TV, or reading, I had to admit that we’re members of the species homo sedentarius.

Sitting this much just doesn’t feel right. And research says that “sitting is the new smoking,” meaning deadly… even for people who exercise daily! Yikes.

So, on a whim I suggested to Greg that we get rid of our couch, which would make us move more. It was just an idea that made sense to me.

He wasn’t buying it. I mean, who doesn’t have a couch?

Well! Turns out, I’m not the only one to think about this. Apparently there is a movement (pun intended) known as “furniture-free” and I can’t help but be intrigued. There’s even experts on the topic. When Greg heard Katy Bowman, ummm, an expert, he realized it wasn’t just a crazy idea of mine – people are doing this.

Long story short, we got rid of our couch. (Gasp!)

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Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

A Day Without My Kid – What To Do?

by Kristen Suzanne in kamea, Kristen Suzanne, Meditation, Motherhood
Mom's Secret Zen Garden - a place for play, imagination, or meditation.

Mom’s Secret Zen Garden – a place for play, imagination, or meditation.

Mom is taking Kamea for the night, which really means I get all day today, all night, and most of tomorrow to be child-free. Kamea loves going to mom’s sort-of citrus orchard, especially now that they’re creating a zen secret garden of it  – statues, wind chimes galore, and hummingbirds a plenty.

So, what shall I do today? My list is long with much that I can blast through… things like…

  1. Blog
  2. Follow up emails
  3. Make new recipes for my maybe new book
  4. Make kelp capsules
  5. Go to Trader Joe’s
  6. Make liver pate
  7. Qigong
  8. Yoga
  9. Meditate
  10. Read about qigong, yoga, and meditation
  11. Clean
  12. Shower and blow dry my hair
  13. Dinner alone with Greg


I could just lay lie on the floor and stare at the ceiling for 30 hours.


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Friday, June 19th, 2015

Pomegranate Black Raspberry (Nutrient) Gummies – Healthy For All Ages

Pomegranate Black Raspberry Gummy Cubes. #Fun

Pomegranate Black Raspberry Gummy Cubes. #Fun

I’m fascinated with making gummies, using my own healthy ingredients, because they’re an excellent (and fun!) vehicle for getting extra nutrition in my daughter’s body (and, really, the whole family).

Now that there is a reputable source that I trust for collagen/gelatin, I make them regularly.

Let’s talk about that source a bit…

You all know I’m a fan of Dave Asprey’s Upgraded products – I use most of them regularly in my life. Bulletproof Coffee, anyone?

He recently came out with a collagen that has gelatin in it for making gummies and other delicious foods like chocolate pudding. I’m a fan.

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Saturday, May 16th, 2015

Stop Neglecting Ourselves Now To Help Our Children (As Adults) in the Future.

by Kristen Suzanne in exercise, family, kamea, longevity, Meditation


Kamea and I having fun.

Kamea and I having fun.

I’m thinking about the strain we parents put on ourselves when we prioritize our children’s well-being so much that we neglect ourselves.

We forsake our own health. 

That doesn’t feel right to me. Isn’t that the wrong way to live?

I’m reminded of how airplane flights start with the following, “Put your mask on first so that you can better assist others.” Those seem like smart words by which to live.

However, the idea of putting children first is natural to many of us. But here’s the thing… if we neglect ourselves we can set ourselves up for illness in the future, when our kids are adults.

We harm our own health now because we “don’t have time” to care for ourselves properly, only to turn around and put the awful stress and strain on our children when they are adults and need to take care of us.

I know friends who are caring for their unwell elderly parents. It’s hard on my friends. Very hard.

It makes me wonder… if those ill parents had better managed their health (I know some didn’t know any better, but we do!), then would they be experiencing old age with more strength, and not depending on their kids to take care of them so much? Would they be less of a stress on my friends who care for them? I think so. 

This inspires me to care for myself and make it a priority. I take time to eat well, get quality rest, meditate, and exercise. It means making adjustments to my schedule so I get the needed “me time.” This will create a healthier future-me so I don’t put that stress on Kamea to care for me (when she’s an adult and I’m an old lady). I plan to live over 100 years after all. That said, when I reach 110, all bets are off. 

Plus, and this is a big plus… kids learn by example. How can I expect my daughter prioritize her own health and well being, if I’m not doing it myself?

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