Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

Here’s What I Order to Get What I Want at True Food Kitchen

True Food - a pretty darn decent place for a quality meal. #RealFood

True Food Kitchen – a pretty darn decent place for a quality meal. #RealFood

Going to restaurants requires some creativity and planning on my part if I’m to be satisfied.

Obviously, for starters, I pick restaurants with (at least) mostly quality food, when possible. One of the places we visit in Scottsdale, AZ is True Food Kitchen because they offer grass fed beef options as well as organic vegetables and dairy (I think the dairy is all organic there – not sure if it’s grass-fed).

The next challenge is making sure I pack necessary items to complete my meal or to make it healthier than it would otherwise be. For example, I’ve been known to bring my own grass-fed butter and MCT oil to restaurants along with the usual things I already carry in my purse like sea salt and organic turmeric powder. I’ve written about how I mod my Chipotle bowl here with a variety of ingredients – check it out.

Still, just going somewhere that has some good ingredients doesn’t mean I’ll want anything on the menu. Luckily, True Food Kitchen likes to satisfy their picky customers, like me, when I take various components from the menu and make my own meal. (They even have a coffee drink called Paleo Coffee which is similar to Bulletproof Coffee in that it’s organic coffee blended with coconut oil and butter.)

Here’s what I do when I eat at True Food Kitchen.

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Monday, February 2nd, 2015

The Dry Erase Whiteboard Babysitter

by Kristen Suzanne in kamea, Kristen Suzanne
Kamea enjoying the dry erase side of her easel.

Kamea enjoying the dry erase whiteboard side of her easel.

My daughter likes to color and do artsy things in general. What 4 year old doesn’t?

So we did what a lot parents do and we bought her an easel to facilitate and encourage those artsy inklings. We bought the Melissa and Doug one featured above. (Turns out there’s a less expensive, and probably just as good, option at IKEA – if I remember correctly. Truth be told when I saw it at IKEA I tried to forget I ever saw one for that price knowing what I spent on mine. So, don’t quote me.)

Having an easel has been terrific. She doesn’t use the chalkboard side much, perhaps because it’s shoved up against that side by the wall. But, then again, who really likes chalk (unless it’s on a sidewalk)? She uses the dry erase whiteboard a lot though. A lot.

She uses the dry erase whiteboard so much, off on her own in a wonderland of drawing, that sometimes I don’t even hear much from her. Translation: I can do something myself like sip on coffee and ponder world peace or wash dishes or close my eyes or waste time on Facebook.

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Thursday, January 29th, 2015

A 1-Minute Gratitude Journal Can Be Better Than Coffee to Wake You Up. (almost)

by Kristen Suzanne in Kristen Suzanne
Coffee + Gratitude Journal. A great way to start the day.

Coffee + Gratitude Journal. A great way to start the day.

I have a gratitude journal that I don’t write in as regularly as I should.

So, I’m not surprised that my gratitude journal is not even half full, and I’ve been using it, based on the dates of some entries, for years. Whoops.

Sad thing is that it’s a really simple and fast exercise… usually takes me less than one minute.

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Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Spin Class Kicks My Ass (and makes me hungry) But I Have Dreams of Fit n Sexy Legs

by Kristen Suzanne in exercise, Kristen Suzanne
Hello spin bike. We meet again.

Hello spin bike. We meet again.

We joined a great gym over the summer (2014), and when I looked at the fitness schedule of classes offered I saw a lot I wanted to take.

But. I was out of shape. Therefore, I created a plan of attack in how I would eventually make my way into classes. Simply this: I needed to be in shape before I took classes to be in shape. Makes perfect sense to me. I liken it to cleaning the house before the housekeeper comes – you know who you are.

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Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

Mom’s Back Yard Is Turning Into A Citrus Orchard – My Kid Loves It.

by Kristen Suzanne in arizona, Kristen Suzanne, lemon
A chair begging to read in with a cuppa tea.

A chair begging to be read in with a cuppa tea in mom’s back yard.

I’m lucky that my mom lives only about 38 minutes from our home which makes for frequent visiting. That’s especially great when my mom is one of my daughter’s favorite people – Nana is big fun. Part of that Nana-fun extends beyond Nana to include her house with four dogs and a crazy yard of colors and imagination. The backyard is of decent size and filled with rocks, flowers, bird houses, bird feeders, bird baths, windmills, tons of wind chimes, tinsel on the trees, holiday lights on the trees year round, and what’s turning out to be an organic citrus orchard.

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Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

The Farmers’ Market is Filled with Veggie Treasures (Alien Lettuce, Anyone?)

by Kristen Suzanne in Kristen Suzanne
Today's farmers' market bounty.

Today’s farmers’ market treasure booty with crazy alien lettuce on the left.

I’m overwhelmed with gratitude in this moment at how wonderful our farmers’ market is here in Scottsdale. Not only is it local and fresh, but … I’m spoiled because it’s also certified organic. Gratitude full on.

Today, I was in wonder as I saw purple cauliflower, orange cauliflower, and even green cauliflower. Super fresh broccoli and so much more.

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Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

2015: Time for Changes Like Streamlining Food, Slashing Obligations, and Pillow Talk

Kamea and independent play offers me time to myself

Kamea and independent play offers me time to myself

I needed to make changes this year. Changes I made.

Last year, 2014, was a fun year, but pretty busy and consuming. There were times I felt a bit out of control as I navigated motherhood, wifehood, and balancing my insane foodie passion among other things. Culinary School anyone?

As some of you might know, for 2014, I was drawn to working on one goal throughout the year and that was meditation. I wrote about it here in more detail with info on how I did it with tips. I had decided that meditation, and calming my mind in general, was of paramount importance to my well being, even more so than diet and exercise.

How did it go? Well, it was a successful endeavor for the most part. Meditation, even if only a few minutes a day, became a regular part of my life. Mission accomplished. I also found that I immediately went to deep relaxing breaths when stress appeared – it became my natural response.

So why did I still feel a bit crazed as 2014 was coming to a close? I thought meditation would have been the answer to, well, almost everything. It helped for sure and I will continue to practice it. I imagine my telomeres lengthening with each session, and there are undoubtedly longevity benefits manifesting as a result.

I needed more though. Something was just too jittery in me to feel totally at peace and I don’t think it’s the coffee I drink. I felt a bit unbalanced and it made me uncomfortable.

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Monday, January 19th, 2015

I Must Want to Live A Long Time… Sardine n Smoothie Lunch

Large smoothie and sardines cuz I want to live longer.

Lunch: Large smoothie and sardines cuz I want to live longer.

I’m sitting here eating my lunch after a Basic Yoga class.

I’m eating sardines and a large veggie smoothie. It’s soooooo not a fun lunch. I’d rather toast some of that organic 3-day fermented sourdough bread from my freezer and slather it with a butt-load of grass-fed butter. Yes sireeee that’s what I really want.

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Saturday, January 17th, 2015

Taking Days Off Taking Vitamins. A Supplement Sabbatical.

by Kristen Suzanne in Kristen Suzanne, vitamins
A snapshot of my supplement and vitamin "collection" for lack of a better word.

A snapshot of my supplement and vitamin “collection” for lack of a better word.

I like to listen to my body for cues or inspiration when making health decisions. The other day, with no reason I can pin point, I decided that I wanted (and needed?) to take a break from taking vitamins and supplements all the time.

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Thursday, January 15th, 2015

Top Gun Inspired Juicer Purchase: “I Feel The Need… The Need For Speed.”

Welcome to the family, Breville Juice Fountain Plus

Welcome to the family, Breville Juice Fountain Plus

Juicers are not a new topic on this blog. I’ve been using them and writing about them for years. There was a time I loved my twin gear Green Star back in the day when I was a newbie to raw food. Then, I moved to a cute n fast Breville because motherhood was taking most of my time (actually I’ve owned a couple of Breville juicers). I also fell for the Hurom single auger juicer in an attempt to up my quality of juice while keeping it easier than the Green Star. Finally, I topped out at the all time ultimate Norwalk Juicer thinking that it would save me money in the long long long long run, give me a superior juice never to be more superior, and offer me the option to juice big batches that can be stored for a few days so I wasn’t juicing every day. I wrote about these juicers, and I imagine when this post is done that the bottom “similar posts” links will feature them.

But, things change.

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