Wednesday, November 7th, 2007
I used to be a big food worshipper with an over-the-top appetite. Seriously. I used to proudly boast to my male friends that I could “out-eat” them…not the most feminine challenge. At restaurant buffets, I would bring 2-3 plates full of food back from my first trip to the buffet bar (one in each hand plus one plate balancing on my forearm). But, I didn’t stop there. After the main meal, I would use a dinner size plate for the dessert table. I mean, come on, you can’t fit three desserts on that tiny plate they try to give you, right? And, how can you possibly choose only one dessert from all that are available? I had to at least try them all.
Basically, I loved food. I come from a family that is in the restaurant business and I grew up following my mom around the kitchen. My “high” in life came from the weekly trips to the grocery store with my mom, where she let me help her pick out ingredients. It wasn’t long before I became a little obsessed with food. In fact, it was not uncommon for me to think about what I was going to eat for lunch when it was only breakfast, as well as eagerly anticipating dinner before my lunch even started. And, I was always hungry.
The challenge was that being in shape and maintaining a healthy, slim waistline was, and still is, important to me. I feel the healthiest, sexiest, most playful, and have the most energy when I’m not carrying around extra weight (even if it’s only five pounds). Therefore, always being focused on food, eating a lot, AND trying to stay slim made my life quite a challenge. But, when I went Raw things changed. Whereas before I found myself with a crazy hunger, after starting to live the Raw lifestyle, I began experiencing a healthy appetite that was appropriately hungry before eating and adequately suppressed after eating. Now, I’m not obsessed with food and eating like I used to be. As a chef, I still get excited about food preparation, but now I’m content to eat the same delicious Raw vegan food for 2-3 days straight. I tend to drink the same smoothies for breakfast days in a row and it’s not unusual for me to eat the same Raw desserts over and over. Nowadays, my focus falls on getting fresh organic ingredients for my meals, but that’s about it. Life is healthier, simpler and much more enjoyable.
I think one of the reasons I was always starving in the past is because I wasn’t getting the proper nutrition I needed. My body was crying out for nutrients that were not to be found in all of the cooked food I consumed. Finally, I listened to my body’s cries for nutrient dense, uncooked food. When this happened, my hunger (and obsession) decreased, almost magically, and I was able to focus on other things…like my life.
When you say good-bye to something in your life, especially something like food that you’ve lived with for so long, it can be a tough transition for your mind (and your body). My advice is to take your time and enjoy the journey. Raw can seem like such a huge change, and indeed it is if you go 100% overnight. But, you don’t have to go 100% in the beginning (or maybe ever for that matter) to have some amazing results. Just start eating “more” Raw and listen to body as you go. You’ll probably find yourself in the same boat as many others….it becomes so delicious and healthy that you get excited about adding more and more Raw to your life. I find that the only people who question living a Raw (or high Raw) vegan lifestyle are the people who haven’t tried it. So, if you’re one of those people…to you I say…go ahead and just try it. See for yourself how easy it is and how great you could feel.
I am constantly discovering new ways to improve my health.
I look forward to a healthy old age because I take loving care of my body now.
~ I Can Do It Cards by Louise L. Hay
Monday, November 5th, 2007
Today I made a smoothie that had pretty much everything in it but the kitchen sink; hence, the name (I am creative, aren’t I – ha ha). I threw in spinach, carrots, cranberries, kiwis, apples, dill, red jalapeno pepper (of course!), red bell pepper and water. When I had all the fruits and veggies in the blender waiting to get blended, I thought to myself, “Damn, it’s so pretty! All that vibrant, fresh produce.” Then, I blended it and it looked kind of like…well, something from a swamp. Oh well, it was soooooo tastey.
Workout: I’m going to the gym today for my legs/shoulder workout…working on building more muscle, building my bones and burning fat all day long. (I like to keep a toned body shape.)
Reading: I love to read. It’s one of my favorite ways to spend time. I used to frequent places like SBUX (ticker symbol for Starbucks) while reading for hours on end…sipping a soy cappuccino…hhhmmmm, the memories. Nowadays, I indulge in Starbucks on very rare occasions, so I don’t visit them for reading as much. However, I really love reading at places outside of my home, so I found new experiences. In Arizona, this is fun and easy because we’re surrounded by big sassy hotel resorts with beautiful gardens, bonfire pits, golf courses, pools, and fancy lobbies with comfy couches – all perfect for curling up with a good book. So, after my workout tonight, I’m going to one of my favorite spots in Scottsdale to sip some herbal tea while reading a great book, The Seven Mysteries of Life, by Guy Murchie.
What are some of your favorite books? Anything really great that changed your life and that you recommend?
Find your self a new nourishing spot.
~Juicy Living Cards by SARK
Sunday, November 4th, 2007
I recently saw the movie, Into the Wild, and was inspired to think “outside the gym.” So, Friday we took our dog hiking (into the wild – well, kind of wild). It was gorgeous, relaxing, exhilarating and best of all…fun. It’s important to find physical activities you really enjoy because it’s the easiest way to get more exercise into your life. Other ways I get more physical activity…hula-hooping (I’m lousy, but it’s fun), dancing (lousy here, again, but I love it! I think I heard the words, “Girrrl, you ain’t got NO coordination!” – haha, oh well), and playing golf and tennis (all of these qualify as great physical activities). Oh yeah, and when I go to the store, I park way out in BFE so I get more walking into my life.
Saturday, I went to the gym and lifted weights (chest/tri – heavy weight and low reps). I want to build more muscle to burn more fat all day long. Sometimes weight lifting is fun and sometimes it’s just “okay,” so I rely on great music to keep me motivated. Same story for the gym cardio. I do have days when I’m not thrilled to be on the treadmill, but when I have a great magazine (my favorite is VegNews!) or a super book to read, then I truly look forward to my time with the treadmill or stairstepper. It’s about being smart and making it work for you.
Food for Friday and Saturday are the same (I don’t mind eating the same delicious food a few days in a row).
Breakfasts: 1 qrt Smoothie (water,bananas, cranberries, basil, red jalapeno pepper)
Lunches: 1 qrt Smoothie (replaced cranberries from before with Raw chocolate)
Dinners: Large portion of Carrot Pasta with Indian Marinara
Desserts: Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake
Zen Mind – Experience all things with the enthusiasm of a child, as if you were seeing it for the first time. This is the Zen Mind. Always new, always aware, always that of a beginner.
~Daniel Levin, Zen Cards
Thursday, November 1st, 2007
Happy Halloween! Here I am all dressed up for a day and night of excitement! I hope everyone is having as much fun as I am. This is just one of the reasons I love Arizona…I can wear a costume like this at the end of October and the weather is glorious.
My food today:
1 quart green smoothie (spinach, apple, kiwi, cinnamon)
large salad of chopped veggies and Raw Italian dressing
1 quart banana, chocolate, red jalapeno smoothie
plenty of water
Let’s move our bodies in new and joy~full ways.
Dance with color ecstatically!
~Juicy Living Cards by SARK
Monday, September 10th, 2007
I’ve been playing in the kitchen and I have more easy and delicious recipes I thought I’d post for my blog…stay tuned and check back frequently. Meanwhile, for more info about me, come on over and visit me at http://www.kristensraw.com/. While you’re there, sign up for my Free monthly email newsletter, where you get tips, tricks and/or recipes (sometimes they’re recipes only available to my newsletter subscribers and not posted anywhere else!).