Monday, June 2nd, 2008

A Perfect Monday

by Kristen Suzanne in Uncategorized

Today has been nice and easy (perfect for a Monday), which is the result of my recent purging/cleaning of “stuff.” I love my new “decluttered and super clean” home. I have more space with fewer things and it makes it much more airy, light feeling, organized and healthy. It feels so wonderful, simple and easy…just the way I want my life to be.

My Food Intake (so far): I polished off some watermelon (shocker, I know – haha) and now I’m having a Green Smoothie w/ spinach, blueberries and hemp protein powder. This will keep me fueled for a while. Can I just say how much I love fresh Raw vegan food? YUM!

Today’s exercise: We’ll be going for an epic walk later in the evening when it’s cooler. My dog has been begging us to take him on a long walk, and today is our day off from the gym, so it’s perfect timing.

Daily Conversation Question:
What life experience has strengthened you the most?

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Friday, May 30th, 2008

Still Purging @ Home, Oprah’s Update, Weekend!

by Kristen Suzanne in Uncategorized

I’m still going through my home and purging things. It feels so great and liberating. Stuff I considered keeping for a while longer just two days ago, I’m already excited to give away now.

Today, we went to Staples to get ink for my printer, and ordinarily I’d get a little excited to be there (I love organizational stuff like post-it notes, markers, colored folders, etc), but today I was rather turned off. I wanted to get in, get my ink, and get out. I wanted nothing to do with buying anything I didn’t really need. I’m impressed at how our mindset can change quickly once we’re on a path. I worked so hard to clean my home, declutter it, etc over the past week…the last thing I was going to do was fill it up with stuff I didn’t need.

To further hit home the point, we watched a great documentary, A Crude Awakening. It’s about the oil crisis, how dependent various cultures around the world are on it, and what we need to think about going forward. People need to realize that just by driving less or getting a Prius car are NOT the only things we can do to help lighten our footprint when it comes to oil consumption. It reaches into every purchase we make, whether the oil was used to make the product or deliver it. It’s scary. But, if we all start making some major changes NOW (like I wrote about in yesterday’s blog: consuming less and teaching our kids these values while we’re at it), then we might have a chance. So, let’s get started! Join me and let’s consume less and love it. Be happy and feel empowered with fewer things. Make smart purchase decisions. It’s easy!

Oprah update: Whoo-hoo, I’m happy to report that Oprah is still rockin’ it out vegan style. I love that!

This weekend: If you’re in the Phoenix area, I’ll be at Whole Foods dishing out some deliciously fresh and nutritious Moroccan Gazpacho. Come on down! Details here.

Daily Conversation Question:
What do you miss about childhood?

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Thursday, May 29th, 2008

A Goal For Simplicity – Declutter, Owning Time & Being Green

by Kristen Suzanne in Uncategorized

I have a long-term goal of living a more simple life, which is a far cry from where I was in my mid-twenties. When I was in the corporate world, my boss owned my time. And, since I didn’t own my time, I felt compelled to own things. I looked to my possessions to define me and represent who I was. The cycle was: get paid more, work more, buy more.


Then, some years ago, I heard the saying, “The things you own end up owning you.” My buying behavior came into perspective and I found myself buying fewer things, because I didn’t like the idea of being owned by my possessions (it was bad enough being owned by my boss – haha). It didn’t take long before I realized that I yearned to own my time, not material objects, and that I longed for a more simple life. (Here is a very cool story regarding stuff that further strengthened my resolve.)

I’ve been successful at reducing my consumer footprint, and I’m happy with the results. I know what I’m doing is healthy for my soul and for the earth. It didn’t happen overnight, and it took some getting used to. Now, when I think about making a purchase, whether it’s food, clothing, kitchen equipment, books, electronics, etc, I take the time to think through the following: 1) Do I really need it? 2) Do I really want it? 3) Can I wait 2-weeks and then decide whether to buy it? 4) What resources and energy went into making this product and what am I doing to the earth by consuming it? After going through those questions, I have found that in most cases, I’m eager to say “no” and happy as a result.

Fast forward to today: I still have a lot of things from my previous lifestyle and it became apparent that it was time to declutter my home by cleaning, purging, recycling and throwing many of them away. The quote I reference earlier about “…things owning you” has taken on new life for me. I always thought about it with respect to monetary issues (buy fewer things, fewer things own me). Now, it goes beyond that, because possessions not only cost money, but they also cost time, the thing I’m anxious to own. This became apparent when I started thinking about how hard it is to keep my home clean. Why? Because I own too much shit. Hence, I have too much to dust. Couple that with the fact that I live in the desert with a dog that sheds, and I have a recipe for dust-covered objects. I pretty much have to thoroughly clean every couple of days, or when that Arizona sun comes streaming through my windows it can be a gross site when I see all the dust floating through the air. I immediately think, “Oh boy, that’s either going to end up on my floor, bed, table, etc, or I’m breathing it in. Ick!” Bottom line, I was spending too much of my precious time cleaning and wanted to figure out a way to reduce that. Answer: Have fewer things to dust.

Therefore, I decided to declutter and clean my home – purge style. I spent a couple of days going from top to bottom, under beds, through closets/cupboards, etc and created a HUGE pile of stuff to recycle, give to Goodwill, and throw out. It felt so good, cleansing, and liberating.

Considering the future: As many of you know, we’re doing some family planning, and we’re definitely interested in homeschooling. Apart from the obvious benefit our kids will experience from it, we also want to travel the world with them during these childhood years (even living abroad part of it). This requires packing and moving. When the time comes (whether it’s sooner or later), I want to be able to put as few things into storage as possible, making it quick and easy to pack up and go. When I think about possessions in that perspective, it quickly becomes apparent that if I haven’t used it within the past year, odds are that I don’t need it and someone else might get better use out of it than me (time to recycle). “This house is clean.”

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Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

Saturday At Whole Foods, Exercise & Photo Shoot

by Kristen Suzanne in Uncategorized

Whole Foods: This Saturday (May 31, 11:00am-1:30pm), I’ll be at the new Whole Foods (Mayo Blvd/Scottsdale Rd – off the 101). I’m featuring my Moroccan Gazpacho recipe, so if you haven’t had it, then stop by and try some. And, if you have had it, then stop by anyway and say hi :)

Exercise: I’ll work on my chest and triceps (straight sets, high weight-low reps), and jump rope between sets.

Photo shoot: I’m also busy today with a photo shoot which is going to be fun! I can’t wait to get all gussied up, hair done, etc. I love being a girl!

Daily Conversation Question:
What song evokes the strongest memories for you?

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Monday, May 26th, 2008

My Childbirth Research

by Kristen Suzanne in Uncategorized

Currently, I’m reading: Ina May’s Guide To Childbirth, by Ina May Gaskin

I wrote recently about researching my options with respect to having a baby because it’s something we’re going to be
working on in the not-so-distant future. Hence, I’m researching everything involved. I just finished reading Good Nights, which discusses co-sleeping, and is something we’ll be doing (Pierce Brosnan does it, along with many other stars). I think after anyone does research on this topic they’ll quickly find how wonderful this is for both parents and baby. Seriously, great stuff in that book.

Back to
Ina May’s Guide To Childbirth…I’m excited to read this book because it promises to be filled with loads of terrific information. I want to share one of the impressive endorsements on the back of her book: “Simply put, midwife Ina May Gaskin is the most important person in maternity care in North America, bar none. As a reproductive scientist as well as a medical practitioner, I can assure readers that everything Ina May presents in this book is based on the best scientific evidence. This book should be read by every woman who is having or may someday have a baby, and by every midwife, nurse, doula, childbirth educator, and doctor who assists or may someday assist these women through their maternity experience.” – Marsden Wagner, M.D., M.S., former Director of Women’s and Children’s Health, World Health Organization. Impressive, huh?

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Monday, May 26th, 2008

Plant Blood Rocks My World

by Kristen Suzanne in Uncategorized

I can’t imagine my HRAV (high raw, all vegan) life without fresh Plant Blood. With each sip I feel energized, cleansed, rejuvenated, empowered, fueled, and full of life. Plant Blood is what I call any fresh juice made from plants and following is a recipe that rocks my world.

Plant Blood
Yield 2 quarts
1 cup water
2 cucumbers
1 bunch celery
1 bunch parsley
2 apples
Blend all of the ingredients in a blender and strain out the juice, using a nutmilk bag, into a large bowl. Or, use a juicer, such as the GreenStar to make your Plant Blood. Because I like to make extra, I store my Plant Blood in a glass mason jar, using a FoodSaver to keep it as fresh as possible until I want to drink it later in the day. Enjoy!

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Sunday, May 25th, 2008

Long Weekend…Nice!

by Kristen Suzanne in Uncategorized

We’re spending a nice long weekend at mom’s. We love coming over here because we basically get to go on a mini-vacation (even though it’s only about 45 min away). It’s usually time spent watching movies on the couch, laptop nearby for surfing the web, munching on all kinds of yummy snacks, playing with the four dogs (we bring our dog for the little mini-break too), and just relaxing. Today was special because we celebrated my step-dad’s birthday, and can you guess what movie we voted to take my parents to? You probably won’t believe it…well, maybe you will. We saw Iron Man. It was our 4th time. I tell ya, I just am not tired of it, clearly.

Tomorrow we’re going to eat watermelon, read, and spend some time at the pool if the weather is nice (it’s been rather icky and cold here lately).

Well, I’m gettin’ a little hungry, so I’m off to the kitchen to find something to munch on.


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Friday, May 23rd, 2008

Kohlrabi Nasty Green Smoothie

by Kristen Suzanne in Uncategorized

If you are following me on twitter then you know that I scored some organic kohlrabi the other day. I made a smoothie with it and thought I’d share the recipe with you, but you might not want to make it. Although eating different kinds of produce is important to ensure a balanced diet of well-rounded nutrition, sometimes I’m tempted to put my foot down and say, “no.” There should be some reward for choking down something that doesn’t taste good (let’s be honest: nasty), apart from the nutrients I’m getting. Perhaps I’ll get some cool super-powers as a result. A girl can dream, right?

So, I’m already imagining ways to improve the smoothie…for starters, leave the kohlrabi out (haha). Hey! Maybe the smoothie is giving me comedic powers or maybe I’m just getting the giggles and laughing at myself.

Reasons to add Kohlrabi to your life: It’s from the cabbage family and can be eaten as crudite or blended into a smoothie, like I did today. All parts of it are game for eating (bulb, stem and leaves). Kohlrabi is low in calories, loaded with cancer fighting phytonutrients, vitamin C & potassium, and packed with fiber.

Kohlrabi Nasty Green Smoothie
Yield: too much

1 1/2 cups water
1 kohlrabi (bulb, stem and leaves)
2 red delicious apples (this variety has the most phytos)
2 tablespoons fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Blend it up, choke it down.
Seeing as I have another bulb to force down my throat (and my boyfriend’s), I’m going to make our next kohlrabi smoothie sweeter with bananas (or I’m going to chop it up for our salads).

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Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

Smartest Animals

by Kristen Suzanne in Uncategorized

One of my biggest passions (if not the biggest) is animals, so I’m always stoked when I see an article like this: Smartest Animals. I hope you enjoy this quick article as much as I did. Personally, I’m in awe of animals and filled with so much respect for them. How could you not be? They’re just so damn cool!

This is a picture of my dog here (isn’t he gorgeous?). I was raised with always having at least one dog running around (sometimes up to three of them!), so it only seemed fitting that I’d get my own when I moved out. I’ve had my dog for about eight years now, and he is truly my buddy. I figured a picture of him was appropriate for this post – he is a smarty!


I’d love to have a pig as a pet, too…but all in due time. I envision myself someday living in a home with plenty of land, where I can grow some of my own food, and have all kinds of animals running around (horses, pigs, bunnies, dogs, etc).


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Monday, May 19th, 2008

Fat Free Strawberry Ginger Dressing – Lovely and Fresh!

by Kristen Suzanne in Uncategorized

Yesterday’s class was a major success and so much fun. I’ve already received multiple emails from students telling how much they loved it, and how eager they are for July’s class (check out the goods here…it’s going to be amazing – one of my best ever!).

Here is a deliciously fresh dressing to make as a staple in your household this summer. It’s light, fat-free (yay, put extra on!), and is going to add a little pep in your step with the sassy ginger kick in it. It pairs wonderfully with a spinach-based salad (spring mix greens are a touch too bitter and romaine lettuce is a little too heavy, which detracts from the lovely lightness of it).

Fat Free Strawberry Ginger Dressing
Yield 1 cup

1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, destemmed and diced
Juice from 1 orange
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 teaspoons raw agave nectar
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Himalayan crystal salt

Blend all of the ingredients together until smooth. Enjoy!

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