Monday, October 22nd, 2007
There are plenty of reasons to add cranberries to your diet, but most people only think about cranberries around the holidays. I plead guilty on this count, too, since I’m writing this at the end of October, just as fresh organic cranberries are making themselves available for the taking. Make a pact with yourself this year. Don’t forget them after the holidays. Stock up on fresh organic cranberries now, freeze them in glass mason jars, and enjoy them year round because cranberries are the gift that keeps on giving.
These little red pearls of tartness present you with vitamin C, dietary fiber, vitamin K, and manganese. We, women, know they’re wonderful for helping prevent and treat urinary tract infections (cranberries seem to work by keeping bad bacteria from sticking to your bladder). But, that’s not all. They help lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL (“good”) cholesterol. And, get this! These ferocious warriors have five times the antioxidants of broccoli and also seem to behave as natural probiotics.
My recent fascination is adding them to smoothies. The following recipe is simple, but you could add any number of things to it….hhhmmmm….I’m thinking red jalapeno peppers or raw chocolate or fresh herbs or leafy greens. Use the following recipe to get you started, or simply enjoy it as is.
Cranberry Delight Smoothie
1 1/2 cups water
3-4 bananas, peeled
3/4 – 1 cup fresh cranberries (depending the level of tartness desired)
Blend all of the ingredients until smooth and enjoy.
Wednesday, October 17th, 2007
I woke up today wanting more fun with hot peppers. After nibbling on a habanero pepper while driving to the gym, I swear my tongue was sweating. Holy s–t! It was so hot and literally felt as if my tongue was perspiring…seriously. Here is what I’ve learned about foods giving off natural heat…the trick is to embrace the heat. Once you accept that your tongue is burning and on fire, it’s not so bad. I mean, afterall, we’re talking about habanero peppers. Once the lovely endorphins kick in, it’s a walk in the park.
Later in the day I made nori rolls for my boyfriend (not a fan of nori, myself – too “fishy” tasting), while I feasted on various fantastic smoothie concoctions (bananas, apples, celery, jalapeno peppers, sprouts, fresh mint, spinach and raw chocolate – not all in one smoothie. I made a couple using the aforementioned ingredients). I finished the day with a huge salad (the produce section was truly lacking at Wild Oats and Whole Foods today – wtf?). Oh well, my salad consisted of spinach, pea sprouts, carrots and celery topped with delicious Raw Italian Dressing. It doesn’t really matter how simple a salad is when you have a fabulous dressing to go with it. I wanted to slurp up the leftover dressing that glazed the bamboo bowl. So good. And, the more simple a meal, the more properly the food combined. See? The glass is half-full in my mind when the store is lacking produce variety.
I was definitely jazzed once I arrived at the gym…after all, my tongue had a head start in the perspiration department and I was eager for my body to follow (nothing like the reward of a good sweat – and since I’m Raw, my sweat smells lovely if I do say so myself. Uh-oh, is this TMI?). Anyway, the endorphins kicked in and I was all too happy to be at the gym; quite giddy actually. I started doing a little dance between weight lifting sets (making anyone laugh who happened to watch, I’m sure). I was pulling out all of the old moves (the sprinkler, running man, cheese grater and a few I made up). I don’t think anyone regarded me as too crazy. I was sure to laugh while dancing and I had a Reebok step near me so I could hop on between moves. They probably thought it was some fantastic new routine.
Back and biceps (overhead wide-grip pull down, close grip row, overhead rope row, barbell curls, hammer curls). I finished up my weight routine by doing 15 minutes on the eliptical while watching Larry King. (Is the eliptical machine really supposed to be exercise? I have to laugh…I think it’s pretty hard to get a “hard” workout on one of those. It’s adequate for a moderate level of exercise I suppose, which is better than nothing.)
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.”
~Henry David Thoreau
Monday, October 15th, 2007
Today was another super day in my life even though I awoke quite late again. How can I help it? Saturday night started with a party (yep, I had wine). Then, I came home and stayed up watching the Firefly TV Series on DVD followed by the movie, Serenity until 5am – they are both fantastic, clever, and addicting (clearly…since I stayed up all night watching them).
I was full of energy and I couldn’t wait to get to the gym. I focused my weight routine on chest and tricep exercises (push-ups, cable cross overs, dips, and V-bar push down). Between sets I raised my heart rate by jumping rope. For the last 15 minutes of my workout I rode a stationary bike, while indulging my mind in a magazine sharing the latest gossip on celebrities. (Did I just admit that?)
Breakfast: 4 cups smoothie (2 cups water, 2 cups spinach (packed), 2 large bananas, 1 apple, 2 tsp fresh rosemary (minced), 1/3 habanero pepper)
Lunch/Dinner: Huge salad with a mix of chopped red bell peppers, carrots, celery, cucumber on top of spring lettuce served with scrumptious Raw Italian Dressing
Snack: nibbled on 1/2 habanero pepper
Dessert: my new recipe Easy Chocolate Coconut Sauce drizzled over sliced bananas and chopped almonds (recipe included in this month’s email newsletter…have you subscribed yet? If not, why are you waiting? Visit www.KristensRaw.com to subscribe now.
Addendum: It’s 3:32 am and I just ate a medium size salad (same items as earlier) followed by my swirling energetic Yin Yang Smoothie. The cool and refreshing effect from the frozen bananas (Yin) opposite the spicy hot fire you feel on your tongue and the back of your throat as you swallow (Yang)…well, it’s enough to make anyone feel refreshingly hot.
Yin Yang Smoothie
1 – 2 cups water
3 frozen bananas
3 tablespoons organic raw chocolate powder
3/4 – 1 red jalapeno pepper
Blend all of the ingredients until thick and creamy. Enjoy.
Monday, October 8th, 2007
It’s about 3pm and I’m just waking up. I stayed up late watching movies (something to the tune of 4:30am). The night began with going to a late movie, Eastern Promises (starring Viggo Mortensen). Great movie! Yes, I brought along my green smoothie for raw goodness. Once I arrived home, I was jazzed with energy, so I watched Batman Begins and G.I.Jane (Did you know Viggo was in this movie?). At that point I was ready to work out after being inspired by Demi Moore, but the gym wasn’t open yet. Where are the 24-hour gyms when you need them?
I’m eating Raw German Chocolate Brownies for breakfast. YUM! I created this recipe because I’m doing a demonstration at Wild Oats to celebrate Oktoberfest . I might even dress up in a costume as a bar wench – haha…we’ll see. I think I’ll eat these all day because I am out of fresh produce in my house. “What??? Kristen Suzanne, you don’t have your kitchen stocked at all times?” Truth be told, I ran out of food….except for the freezer! I have loads of raw food frozen for occasions such as these. I have made (and ready for thawing)….dressings, hummus, pate, desserts and more. You see, ordinarily I’m very organized and prepared….uuhmmm….for the times I’m not prepared.
What actually happened is I spent my weekend at the 10th annual Green Building Expo. My plan was to only attend Friday, but it was so great I went back the second day. It was filled with amazing lectures on how to make green living in your home a reality. I’m now dreaming of solar panel rooftops to make my own energy to sell back to the power company. Very inspiring.
I’m off to the gym now (thoughts of Demi Moore doing her 1-arm pushups are coarsing through my mind and practically pushing me out the door to the gym).
Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007
It’s been a wonderful day! The sun was shining bright, the sky was brilliantly blue, and I was filled with vibrant energy all day long. Lovely.
I didn’t get to the gym, so I jumped rope 3 separate times (2-3 minutes each). I followed each jump rope session with a set of 35 push-ups and a set of walking lunges down my street. I wore my ankle weights all day, everywhere. And, my dog walked me around our big block twice.
Breakfast: 4 cups smoothie (1 cup water, 3 bananas, 3/4 pound strawberries, 2 tbsp fresh rosemary and dill combined)
Dinner: veggie bowl of 4 cups diced carrots and cucumbers, 1 cup packed alfalfa sprouts, 1/4 cup fresh basil, and 1/4 cup mustard seed dressing
Dessert: large piece of pumpkin pie
“What you want to be eventually, you must be every day. With practice, the quality of your deeds gets down to your soul.“
Friday, September 28th, 2007
Raw is a lifestyle, not just a diet. This idea can intimidate some, because they never entertained the idea of an entire “lifestyle” relating to their food choices. For others, like myself, I love referring to it as such. It makes my life easier and keeps me focused because there are no contradictions.
This is my life’s…style. I immerse my entire self into it. Everything is effortlessly connected…from the Raw food I eat to how I feel physically as a result (I feel energized for working out) to whether my mind is calm (I’ll watch the beautiful sunset) or focused and alert (I’m ready to go play in the kitchen) to what I can do with Raw food to control these aspects to affecting things around me such as our home, the earth. All of this matters.
My Raw lifestyle is a part of everything I do…physically, mentally, spiritually, socially, and globally.
Today’s Exercise and Food:
It’s my day off from the gym so I put on my bikini, went to the pool, laid in the sun and swam a few laps.
Breakfast: fresh energizing smoothie (1 1/2 cups water, 3 bananas, 1/2 bunch Italian parsley, 2 tsp minced rosemary, 1 tsp chopped fresh ginger, peeled, and a pinch of cinnamon
Lunch: 2+ cups chopped veggies (carrots, zucchini, red bell pepper stirred into Savory Pecan Pate) same as last night’s dinner
Dinner: zucchini pasta marinara, pumpkin pie
Wednesday, September 26th, 2007
I just bowled a strike in this photograph. I love bowling!!!
Following my exercise and food consumption?
Cardio: Treadmill 40 minutes
Music: Beastie Boys, Carrie Underwood, Tori Amos, White Zombie, Depeche Mode (ecclectic mix, I know)
Breakfast: 3 cups fresh energizing smoothie (water, bananas, rosemary and dill)
Lunch: 2 heaping cups veggie salad (new recipe featured in my upcoming ebook, Kristen Suzanne’s Raw Holiday Survival Guide), 1/4 cup sauerkraut
Dinner: 2 cups chopped veggies (carrots, zucchini, red bell pepper stirred into Savory Pecan Pate)
Dessert: Pumpkin pie
“Nothing is worth more than this day.”
Sunday, September 23rd, 2007
Organic edible flowers are not just for salads and garnish. I love using them in smoothies, too! Did you know that organic edible flowers are rich in nectar and pollen (studies have shown pollen to be nutritious with minerals and vitamins). Roses, especially rose hips, are very high in vitamin C. Dandelion blossoms (and yellow flowers, in general) have plenty of vitamin A, while the leaves are loaded with iron, calcium, phosophorous and vitamins A and C. Marigolds and Nasturtium have vitamin C.
I made a magnificent smoothie from fresh organic peaches and edible flowers. You definitely want to try this.
Dazzling Daylight Flower Smoothie
Yield 3 cups
2 large white peaches, pitted
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup organic edible flowers
Blend the peaches and lemon juice until smooth. Add the flowers and pulse briefly. You want to have gorgeous flecks of colors showing. Enjoy served in a sassy wine glass or goblet.
Thursday, September 20th, 2007
I kicked butt at the gym today and took names! If you’re not exercising by now, what the hell are you waiting for? Remember…to be considered optimally healthy, you must be physically fit. The longest living cultures in the world have excellent diets, yes, but they are physically active daily! Are you?
Weights: Biceps; 4 straight sets for each exercise; low reps, heavy weight
*Barbell curls, Hammer curls – lifted til my arms felt like falling off
Cardio: Jump rope between weight training sets, run on treadmill for 10 minutes, walk at high speed on treadmill for 5 minutes
Music: Linkin Park, Kelly Clarkson, Apryl Electra, Joe Budden
Does anyone really care what I’m eating? Should I bother blogging about it? So far today, a gigantic salad of cucumbers and carrots dressed with my Deviled Mango Dressing…which you don’t have in your hot little hands….yet! It’s coming though! I’ve been eating it on veggie salads for three days now, so clearly….it’s a winner!
Monday, September 10th, 2007
I love my Food Saver! Here is one the best tips ever for Raw food. Get a Food Saver® and make your life a million times easier with Raw food prep. This is more than just a “food” saver, it is practically a “life” saver, a “time” saver, a “money” saver. I love my Food Saver because it adds a longer shelf life to Raw food. For example, when I make a soup that would normally last a few days, I use my Food Saver and I now have a shelf life that is longer…up to a week (they say it’ll last longer than that, I just always end up eating the food before I can see how long it could actually last). I use my Food Saver for salad dressings, soups, desserts, fresh juices, smoothies, sauces and so much more. Now, I can make a large batch of green juice with my Green Star Juicer and have it to drink for a few days, which saves me time.
The easiest and healthiest way to store these foods is with glass mason jars, so you’ll need the mason jar attachment from Food Saver. You can find this online at FoodSaver.com. The Food Saver is also great for things like pesto, burgers, breads and crackers. I use the Food Saver bags for these things and then freeze the items. I save money because food doesn’t go to waste now that it can last longer. I can’t say enough about how fantastic this tool is in your kitchen. With the Food Saver, you can make extra batches of things and “Food Saver” them so they last longer, meaning you can spend less time in the kitchen.