Saturday, June 6th, 2009

The Hair Color Controversy

by Kristen Suzanne in cancer, hair, Kristen Suzanne
As many of you know, I’ve been letting my bleached blonde hair grow out to my natural brown color.  Here is an email I received today…

Hi Kristen, I saw your video and wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed it. You look great but I do prefer you as a blonde, it just fits better with you. I WAS  a natural blonde until nature turned it darker around 16…:( Anyway I am really into raw, non toxic stuff like you are. However I almost was going to go au natural with the hair (very very blonde by the way) until I realized I just didn’t want to. I WANT to be blonde, and a little hair dye isn’t going to kill me ya know? We are all dying and everthing around us is a toxic threat, cars, flying, radiation. I personally felt I would live happier being blonde, it feels like me. And in your video I could tell you are just a blonde. I only did my roots during my pregnancy once (before I know I was preggers) and other than that just had some dark roots for 8 months lol.

I do a natural hair color, that is as non toxic as it gets and I do highlights, so nothing is really touching my scalp except for the toner for 5 minutes. I’m not bleach blonde anymore, but I am very blonde and the highlights make it seem bleach blonde. Anyway this was just to let you know I was in the same position as you and it is OK to live life. Oh and I totally agree too if you keep it natural, I just wanted to give some friendly advice!!


I got a real kick out of this email because… I am living life and I love it. I don’t take the stance that I should accept that I’m just dying (and that we all are). I am alive and I’m excited to be doing things in an attempt to prolong that. Of course, there are toxins out there that I cannot really control (cars, pollution, etc.), so I’m doing what I can, to control as much as possible many other things such as eating a healthy diet, getting exercise, making sure I rest and have good quality sleep, and using the healthiest hair and beauty products. 

One of the defining moments for me when I decided to go natural was the result of spending a lot of time on Kris Carr’s forum, CrazySexyLife. It was hard seeing so many young women with cancer. And, at that point I realized that a clean diet is not enough. Yes, things are cumulative when it comes to stresses on the body and that’s the point; I want to do as much as I can to reduce that accumulation. Furthermore… even if I can reduce my toxicity… I realize that doesn’t guarantee I won’t get cancer, but I can’t help but feel that it helps. 

What’s funny (and was unexpected) is that, since going back to brunette, I feel more natural now,with respect to my overall attitude and aura, than I have in 20 years. I walk by a mirror and I feel beautiful… I just wish my hair were longer and that’s the hardest thing for me right now. Not only has my hair been blond for so long, but it’s always been very long. I’m trying to grow it out and that’s been the hardest part. All I can do is be patient. 

I respect that maybe the gal who wrote the email doesn’t want to be natural, but I do. I have no intention of going back to blond. I am very happy with the color of my hair. I love it. I am avoiding as many chemicals as possible, because it’s not good for my health or for the environment. I think a lot of people forget that the environment also suffers when not only the coloring products wash down the drain and into our water supply, as well as taking into account the fuel needed to produce the product, but also the upkeep of other products needed to maintain the colored hair so it doesn’t look processed (i.e., shampoos, conditioners, hair balm, gel, etc). All of those things have a detrimental eco effect. For me, it’s not just one little procedure every few months. I can’t validate what I was doing using that logic. And, the fact that some processes don’t touch my scalp doesn’t let me off the hook either… it still damages the shaft of my hair. Bleach-damaged hair requires a chemical soup of products in order to appear healthy while it’s actually quite porous. I’m so relieved that the days of seeing so many frizzed-out flyaway rogue hairs around my face are gone. No more breakage! No more ends snapping off! (Hair isn’t supposed to do that!) My hair is beautifully soft and shiny and healthy. It now feels right, both literally and figuratively.

It’s not an issue you hear about very often, but I expect we’ll all be hearing about it more as time goes by and data come in about the additive effects of toxins on the body. 

So how about all of you out there? If you color your hair, or have ever considered doing so, did toxicity play any role in your thinking? Or have you switched one way or the other, only to have people coming out of the woodwork telling you they liked it the other way? Please share your story!

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Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Harvesting My Sauerkraut – Holy Heck!

by Kristen Suzanne in Kristen Suzanne, sauerkraut

Tuesday was the big day! I opened up my fancy shmancy sauerkraut pot to see if I actually had edible sauerkraut after waiting (somewhat patiently) for 4 weeks. The recommended time to allow veggies to ferment is at least 3 weeks, with 4-5 being better.) Check out my post about making the sauerkraut here.


Let me tell you, I was actually scared to take the lid off. I’m kind of a wuss when it comes to mold, dark unknown things, cold, damp, etc. I had visions of finding a human head in there or a bunch of creepy crawly things coming out. My mind got a little carried away. I was also a little fearful that the sauerkraut wasn’t a success.

So, while my husband was at a meeting today, I marched into the kitchen, determined and brave as all get out, and I lifted the lid off. Hhhmmm… nothing jumped out to bite me. Nothing exploded in my face. I put my nose closer and took a whiff. It was pleasant and mildly sweet and not at all gross. OK… I’m off to a good start. However, I stopped there. When I looked down in the pot at the stone weights on top of my sauerkraut, which were submerged with brine, I got weak in the knees again. I was afraid to stick my hand in there. Better wait until my husband comes home and ask him to do it!

Fast forward to my husband coming home… I was able to talk him into putting his hand in there and taking out the stones and leaves of cabbage that were placed on top of the sauerkraut. I sniffed again and took a closer look. I didn’t see any mold. My spirits were lifting by the second. It was time to taste it. Uummmm…. “Honey, you go first.” Nope, he wouldn’t do it – LOL. So, I took a tiny nibble of a piece that was accidentally flung on the counter. OMG! It was so good!!!! I took an actual bite. Wowee!!!! Success!!! I gave a fork full to my husband and he was majorly impressed. What a relief!

I transfered it all to my quart size glass mason jars (I filled 6 of them!) and sealed them with my Food Saver (using my glass mason jar attachment). I’m so happy! It worked! It’s homemade! It’s extra healthy! It’s locally grown and organic! It’s made with massive love.

The picture above features my beautiful organic, raw, unpasteurized sauerkraut in the front bowl – I love the gorgeous golden-yellow color. The bowl in the back is holding some fermented raw veggies from Rejuvenative that I bought at Whole Foods. Sorry, that stuff doesn’t hold a candle to my homemade goodness.

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Friday, May 22nd, 2009

How To Make Raw Vegan Milk

Raw vegan milk, made with raw nuts or seeds, is easy, healthy, and wonderful. It’s cholesterol free, full of nutrients, and it’s much easier on the planet. Raw vegan milk is perfect for drinking by itself, adding to smoothies, or eating with Raw granola (or any cereal!). Yum!

When I make a nut or seed milk I usually make it with hemp seeds, because they’re packed with nutrition, I love their flavor, and no presoaking is required. Hemp seeds’ amino acid profile dominates with the 8 essential amino acids (10 if you’re elderly or a child), making it an excellent vegetarian source of “complete” protein. Go hemp!

However, you can make Raw vegan milk out of a variety of nuts/seeds. Here are some things to keep in mind. Always try to get raw, organic nuts and seeds if you can. When using cashews, hemp seeds, macadamia nuts or Brazil nuts, you basically don’t have to soak them before hand. Just put them in the blender with the following ingredients in the recipe below, and blend. Based on the consistency that you (and your family) like, you can simply increase or decrease the amount of water and sweetness. If you don’t have a high powered blender you might want to briefly chop the cashews, macadamia nuts, and/or Brazil nuts before blending to make it easier.

If you’re using pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, etc… then the general rule is to soak them before blending them for 6-8 hours (or overnight). This is done to release the enzyme inhibitors and make them easier to digest. Simply put them in a bowl on your counter, with enough water to cover by about an inch. After 6-8 hours, drain and rinse. Then, you’re ready to use them in your Raw vegan milk recipe.

Raw vegan milk will stay fresh in your refrigerator for up to five days. It’ll separate when it’s been sitting in your refrigerator so simply shake it up before serving. It also freezes pretty well (you might want to make a couple of batches at once and freeze them in glass mason jars).

CREAMY DREAMY HEMP MILK
By Kristen Suzanne of KristensRaw.com
Yield 4 cups

2 1/2 cups water, more if desired
1 1/2 cups hemp seeds
1 – 2 tablespoons raw agave nectar or 2 – 3 dates, pitted (optional)

Blend all of the ingredients until creamy and smooth.

Variations:
- Make it vanilla by adding the seeds of a vanilla bean or some vanilla extract

- Make it chocolate by adding 1-2 tablespoons (or more!) of raw chocolate powder :)


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Friday, May 15th, 2009

Winner of My 11th Awesome Giveaway! Congratulations Shanghai Monkey!!!

Congratulations Shanghai Monkey!!! You win!!! Whoo-hoo!!! Your name was chosen as the winner of my 11th Awesome Giveaway. The prize is a copy of my latest book (or ebook, if you live outside the continental United States), Kristen Suzanne’s Ultimate Raw Vegan Chocolate Recipes. YAY!!!!!! Simply email me the address you want your prize sent to.

Here is what Shanghai Monkey had to say when asked,What topic(s) would you like to see covered on my blog here?

Since I just discovered raw nut “milk”, I’d love to see some more recipes (for nut milks & dishes that incorporate nut milks).


My next Awesome Giveaway is in June, so check back for details!

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Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

Interview: Kristen + Dhru of We Like It Raw = Fun!

by Kristen Suzanne in Kristen Suzanne

I had a great time being interviewed by Dhrumil of We Like It Raw (and Give It To Me Raw). Fun! Fun! Fun! We covered so many topics:


~ Omnivore Bodybuilding to a Plant Based Diet
~ My Story of Vegan to Raw
~ My Raw Food Career Journey
~ High Raw & What I Like About It
~ The Importance of Plant Blood
~ How I Make Raw Easy For Me
~ Community Rocks
~ Upcoming Projects
~ And More

If you’re interested in hearing it, head over here.

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Sunday, April 26th, 2009

Winner of My 10th Awesome Giveaway – Vegyogini

Congratulations Vegyogini!!! You win!!! Your name was chosen as the winner of my 10th Awesome Giveaway. The prize is your choice of any 1 of my 11 available books (view choices here) – YAY!!!!!! Simply email me the address you want your prize sent to.

Here is what Vegyogini had to say when asked, “Where is your favorite place to vacation AND why?”

I live in L.A. and I love taking a week or two of vacation to just stay in town, relax, and explore L.A. It’s so fun to learn more about your own hometown. :)


My next Awesome Giveaway is in May, so check back for details!

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Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Kristen’s Raw 10th Awesome Giveaway – FREE BOOK!



It’s that time again – YEEHAW! Giveaway Time! This month I’m giving the winner one of my Raw recipe/lifestyle books or ebooks (view choices here). This contest is open to anyone around the world. If you live outside of the continental United States, I will email you the ebook of your choice.

Want the chance to win? 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 Saturday night, April 25th @ 11:59pm. I’ll enter everyone’s name who answered the question into a drawing and announce the winner on my blog Sunday, April 26th.

Question: Where is your favorite place to vacation AND why?

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Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

The Raw Food Diet – Is There A Right Way?!

by Kristen Suzanne in avocado, chia, hemp seeds, kale, Kristen Suzanne

I recently saw someone writing into one of the Facebook groups questioning what is the right way with the Raw vegan diet. She was confused because she said there was conflicting information out there and just didn’t know what to believe or which way to go.

My response to this is:
YAY! Rejoice! Hallelujah! This is the beauty of the Raw vegan diet. There are so many options and one size does not have to fit all. It can change by the person. In my humble opinion, this is exciting because it means variety. I love the idea that during one season I can follow some low fat Raw vegan principles and in another season I can nourish my glorious body with avocados, nuts, seeds, and divine Raw vegan desserts. In my life, I have spent time as 100% Raw vegan, and other times (like now) where I’m HRAV (High Raw, All Vegan). I’ve had expanses of time where certain nuts didn’t sit well with me. And, I’ve had other times where I thrived with them in my diet.
Sometimes my level of Raw changes as I travel and sometimes I vary it with the changing moon.

I love this flexibility! I love this versatility! I love the options. You can be a sproutarian! You can love the fruitarian way of life! You can hug a life with green smoothies and juices and all things liquid! You can dive into decadence and nourish your body with loads of essential fatty acids and healthy fats from whole nuts, avocado, coconut, etc. You can tango with a natural hygiene approach (much like fruitarian) and eschew things like oils, garlic, and fermented foods. And, of course, if you’re not currently following a Raw vegan diet, you can choose to follow one of the aforementioned plans for a week, here and there, just to add more nourishment to the lifestyle you live now.

Congratulate yourself for taking your health into your own hands and trying this wonderful diet and lifestyle, no matter which path you pursue on the journey with Raw food. Be confident you’re feeding your body wonderful nutrient dense Raw vegan foods whether it’s avocado, hemp seeds, pineapple, kale salad, Cheezy Hemp Nacho Sauce (chuckling here, those of you who regularly follow my blog know of my addiction to this last month), a plate of gourmet Raw food, or a serving of Holiday Chia Pudding (munch munch… eating this as I write this post). Be excited and happy to know that there are many choices for you. There is no need to stress about it or feel pressed to subscribe to one plan.

You can change it by the month, or the week, if your heart and body desires. It’s all up to you… and you alone. Try on one of the plans for size and see how it fits. Or, heck, don’t subscribe to any of them and just mix it up meal by meal. :)

The bottom line is that you LISTEN TO YOUR OWN BODY! Pay attention to the inner god or goddess inside of you. Follow your intuition. Be patient. Feel excited. Recognize that we are all different… different ages, from different toxic (or non toxic) backgrounds, live in different parts of the world, experience different environmental toxins, have different levels of stress, pursue different levels of physical exercise, etc. What we all have in common is that we can all use some organic, Raw vegan whole foods in our lives no matter where we are on the diet spectrum.

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Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Guest Blog Spot on CSL

by Kristen Suzanne in Kristen Suzanne

The lovely, fun, extraordinarily awesome Kris Carr asked me to write a guest post for her blog. I was honored and humbled, and, of course, I jumped at the chance. If you’d like to read it, come on over here. I wrote about Raw Vegan lifestyle tips.

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Sunday, April 5th, 2009

Holiday Chia Pudding Recipe: Raw, Vegan & AWESOME!

by Kristen Suzanne in cashews, chia, chia seeds, coconut, Kristen Suzanne

I made a new chia pudding recipe that I was going to feature later in the year. But, holy sh*t! It’s so good, that I’m posting about it now… while I’m eating giant spoonful after spoonful. The texture is especially fun because of the shredded coconut, and even though the flavors are for the holidays (my inspiration when creating it), CLEARLY, you can make and enjoy this any time of the year… like NOW!


{Update: I just added the photo to this post January 11, 2010. And, I thought I’d let you know that many people have made this recipe since I posted it. The verdict? They all LOVE it!}

Holiday Chia Pudding
By Kristen Suzanne of
KristensRaw.com
Yield 1 1/4 cups

1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup dried coconut, shredded & unsweetened

1 cup water
1/4 cup
raw cashews
(soaked 1 hour, drained and rinsed)
4 soft
medjool dates, pitted

2 cloves

1 teaspoon
lucuma powder*

1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Place the chia seeds and coconut in a small bowl, briefly stir to mix, and set aside. Blend the remaining ingredients until smooth. Pour the blended cashew mixture into the bowl with the chia seeds and coconut and stir. Wait a few minutes and stir again. (You’ll notice the chia seeds beginning to take on a gelatinous texture.) Wait a few minutes, again, and stir. Do the “wait and stir” once more, and then place the Holiday Chia Pudding in the refrigerator for about 15 – 20 minutes (or longer, if desired). Then, enjoy.

Personally, I especially love this recipe when it’s closer to room temperature, because it’s like comfort food. So, after it gels in the refrigerator briefly, I like eating it before it gets too cold. However, this recipe will stay fresh when stored in an airtight container for 4-5 days, so feel free to nibble a spoonful here and there – cold or not! It’s all good!


*If you don’t have lucuma, then you can make this recipe without it… still delicious. That being said, I love having a jar of lucuma in my pantry for various recipes, so I recommend getting some.

For those of you new to chia seeds… you can read more about them here.

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