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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Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

How to Have a Real Food Foodie Road Trip – What to Pack!

A mini-van almost packed to the gills, ready to roll.

A mini-van almost packed to the gills, ready to roll.

We are a family who loves to travel, and our most recent epic road trip took us to Michigan. But, travel can wreak havoc on anyone’s best attempts to eat healthy. Not always. Check out my post below where I show how we traveled across the country while (almost exclusively) staying on our Real Food Foodie Lifestyle (i.e., we ate really healthy in spite of being on the road). It meant extra work, which isn’t always the thing you want to do after a day of being in the car, but I’m simply not willing to eat crap food which is most often what’s served in restaurants.

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Sunday, September 7th, 2014

I’m Grateful for Gratitude. Meta Gratitude.

by Kristen Suzanne in Kristen Suzanne
Greg and I on our wedding day in Bora Bora

Greg and I on our wedding day in Bora Bora

Taking even 2 minutes to focus your attention on things and people for which you’re grateful can turn any frown upside down. Try it.

I’m grateful for my generous and smart husband. I’m grateful for my precious daughter. I’m grateful for all of my family.
I’m grateful for my friends.
I’m grateful for my health… I’m without cancer, disease, or pain.

I’m grateful for meditation.

I’m grateful for the delicious, superior, high quality foods my family enjoys.
I’m grateful for the roof over my head that protects me from the elements outside.
I’m grateful for our car so we can run errands, visit friends and family, and go on adventures.

I’m grateful for my big, comfortable bed and pillows.
I’m grateful for fresh water to drink, wash clothes, bathe, and make coffee.
I’m grateful for the warm sun of Arizona.

I’m grateful that my eyesight works and I can read.
I’m grateful that I can hear music with my ears and have a voice to sing along.
I’m grateful for my freedom.

I’m grateful for the Internet and my computer.
I’m grateful for the clothes on my back the shoes on my feet.
I’m grateful that I feel safe walking around my neighborhood any time of the day.

I’m grateful for gratitude.

I’m grateful for so many things. Why are you grateful?

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Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Important Nutrients From Food (Chart)

by Kristen Suzanne in food journal, Kristen Suzanne

 

Important Nutrients in Food Chart

Important Nutrients in Food Chart (CLICK to enlarge)

Since changing my diet from vegan to omnivore, I have found myself looking into which foods are optimal sources of various nutrients. As a result, I started making lists to compile all of the data in one place.

Here’s my latest version, which is a work in progress, but I thought I’d share anyway because it’s a nice starting point. I’ve selected nutrients that I feel are important for my family’s optimal health. The items are not listed in any order of importance.

You’ll notice that most of the best sources, for many of these nutrients, are from animals. But, I would never settle for just any animals. As someone who cares for animals, and appreciates them and the nutrition they offer, I will only buy grass-fed and/or pasture-raised animal foods: meat, fish, some dairy, and lots of eggs. To see a list of the various places I source our foods, see this blog post.

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Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Meditation: Why I Meditate. How I Meditate. Plus Meditation Tips

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

Every New Year’s eve my husband and I sit down and write out our lists of goals and intentions for the coming year. I usually divide up the ideas by life segments such as career, family, relationships, leisure, finance, travel, etc.

For 2014, I did something different. I did something I’d never done before. I decided that 2014 was the year I would embrace only one goal for the whole year: Meditation.

My 3yo meditating. #Longevity #Peace

My 3yo meditating. #Longevity #Peace

Why only one goal? For a long time, I’d been wanting to make meditation a big part of my life, a regular staple in my daily routine. But for some reason, I wasn’t doing it consistently. I always said to myself, “Oh, I need to meditate…. I’ll do it tomorrow.” And, as the 2013 year was coming to an end, I decided it was of vital importance to make it a regular part of my life (and for my family, too). So important that it was going to be the only goal I focused on for the year.

Why I meditate. There was a reason that I suddenly came to place meditation with such importance. That’s because I’m now a firm believer that meditation deserves top billing.

As most of you know, over the past couple of years, I’ve dramatically changed the way I eat. I went from being a militant vegan, with animal rights fueling my purpose, to eating a Real Food diet of grass-fed omnivore foods, when my family’s health was failing with vegan foods. (See here and here and here for specifics.) The frustrating thing about using diet for optimal health and longevity is that you can find diametrically opposed camps — with each claiming to have science on their side — about what is right and what is not right when it comes to the food you put in your mouth.

Amid the firestorm of controversy on so many facets of what comprises “optimal” health, the fascinating thing I realized is that there’s at least one thing that pretty much everybody agrees on: Meditation is healthy and important for health and longevity. You might have respected doctors vehemently disagree on whether kale or bone broth is the best superfood, or which position is the best way to sleep, or how to treat a cold… but I have never heard any expert in recent years say you shouldn’t meditate as a daily practice for optimal health. After years of peer-reviewed interventional studies, meditation has become not only non-controversial, but they just keep discovering new amazing benefits. The only people who don’t say meditation is good for your health are people who don’t know the first thing about the topic.

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Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

New York Trip – An Authentic Food Experience Off My Diet – Part 1

by Kristen Suzanne in Kristen Suzanne, travel
Katz Delicatessen (NYC) Pastrami Rueban Sandwich

Katz Delicatessen (NYC) Pastrami Rueban Sandwich

Although I don’t like to think of how I eat as a “diet” …  sometimes that word just works.

Today, I’m sharing with you a meal I had in New York recently, where I went off the rails completely in exchange for a true New York foodie experience. Was it worth it? Oh yes. Yes, I enjoyed every devilish bite.

As you can see from the picture above, I had a sandwich. Ooooh so crazy, eh? Ha. Well, since I don’t eat wheat these days, it was very different for me. Plus, it wasn’t grass fed. But, a healthy lifestyle goes beyond just food. It involves happy experiences, family, friends, rest, fun, and so much more. And, take note, I always say that when I travel to France (some day), I will enjoy their authentic foods with pleasure in all its wheat filled glory. Same goes for Italy.

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Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Modding My Chipotle Bowl With 5 Ingredients For Higher Performance

by Kristen Suzanne in energy, Kristen Suzanne, omnivore, sauerkraut, travel
Modding my Chipotle Bowl with ingredients for higher performance.

Modding my Chipotle Bowl with 5 ingredients for higher performance.

As you all know by now, I’m a wee bit picky when it comes to my food. I want the highest quality and most nutritious goodness for my body and for my family. I want high performance, longevity, and energy. So, to ensure I get all of those things I prepare all of our high quality foods from scratch. That’s no small task as you might imagine, but it matters to me.

Sometimes, I need a break, or sometimes we’re traveling and food choices are limited.

Chipotle Bowl with white rice, steak, and guacamole.

Chipotle Bowl with white rice, steak, and guacamole. It needs to be enhanced.

One of the places on our list of “OK to eat” is Chipotle. It’s by no means perfect; but, on the spectrum of fast casual restaurants, they get my vote. They try to source quality ingredients and they listen to their customers. For example, they changed their oil by switching from crap gmo soy oil and now use less-crappy-but-still-crappy rice bran oil due to customer complaints.

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