For the past few years, I’ve basically lived a “high raw” life and I’ve enjoyed it. Some days were all raw and some were mostly raw with a sprinkling of days that were only moderately raw (they’re always vegan though). I’m a big believer in listening to your body, taking it easy, and not stressing about food choices so long as you’re feeling good and more often than not doing the right thing.
At the end of December, though, my tune changed a bit. My diet had been quite clean, but my body told me to eat more raw and kick it up a notch. I felt drawn to it and excited about it.
So, it’s been a month now and I’ve been pretty much 100% Raw with exception to 4 meals (which were still partly raw) in addition to the oats I’m going to eat a few days a week that I mentioned in my last post to help with my breastmilk supply if I feel it’s necessary.
What do I think? Well. I feel amazing, as you might expect. I feel euphoric, on top of the world, extra lean, and I’m running on all cylinders with ease. It’s a great feeling. My cells are dancing. I’ve got my groove on and it feeeeeeeels awesome.
I wrote in my last email newsletter (sign up here) about a couple of different ways that you can successfully stick to the raw diet with ease. I’m doing the method now where I constantly load up on fresh produce and raw foods so that my kitchen is always stocked with just about anything I could want to make a recipe. I am loving this method. Every night I think about what I might make the next day and I write down all of the possibilities, whether I stick to the plan or not. It’s a guide. Not set in stone and it gives me ideas to help me stick to the goal of raw while still allowing flexibility for changing tastes or if Kamea decides that making a raw lasagna is not in the cards that day.
I’m staying stocked with food. I have bags of granola, jars of all different nuts and seeds, kale chips galore, nut butters up the wazoo, stashes of different snack bars (some bought, some homemade), protein powders by the case, my dehydrator has been humming non-stop for the past month, I’m loaded with different kinds of crackers and trail mix, my counters and refrigerators are bursting with fresh produce, and my freezers have frozen fruit, chocolate truffles, and other stocked foods (sprouting seeds, flax seeds, and chia seeds – oh my!). And. I just ordered a bunch of jars of Rawtella because I don’t ever want to be caught without it. It’s the PERFECT fix when I need my chocolate. How do I stay stocked like this? Well, I go to the store 1-2 times a week plus get a weekly food delivery for my produce. For most of the other stuff (nuts, seeds, packaged foods) I usually go online for good deals.
It’s really cool. I wake up and think…. “Wow, I can’t wait to start my day!” As my friend, Lauren, might say, “Nerd alert.” lol
Maybe I feel like raw pizza? No problem… I have cracker crusts in my pantry. I have nuts I can quickly soak to make cheese. I have fresh tomatoes and basil to chop and spread on top. Voila! Pizza. Oh.. I want soup? Easy…. Load my blender up with fresh produce along with some homemade nut milk and I’m good to go. Perhaps I want to take it easy and sip on some green juice – awesome… grab some kale, celery, and cukes. Done. Can’t decide what to have? Ok… get started with a salad and go from there…. sprouts, bell pepper, carrots, olives, avocado… yum! Or maybe I want a hearty collard green bad-ass wrap – cool – I have all the fixin’s for that, too… sprouts, chopped lettuce, shredded beet, lime juice, olives, whip up some cashew cheese or spread some miso on it, add more veggies and a sprinkling of Himalayan crystal salt. Mmmmm mmmmm. Or how about some of that fancy, certified organic coconut water that is $10 bucks a bottle? Give me a case so I’m stocked (and you get a discount when buying by the case) and I’ll take that treat all day long! I get slap happy just thinking about it stocked up in my freezer.
This is my big freezer.
I know some people ask me how I keep a kitchen stocked with the cost of some raw foods. Well, here is the thing. I’ve said this before. I gladly put my money into my health with raw foods. All organic. I really don’t think twice about it. Ok, maybe sometimes I think twice, but then I slap myself (not really) and say, “Snap out of it, Kristen, you are worth it. This is your health!” I don’t really do a lot of shopping for things that maybe others shop for… instead I use my money for my kitchen and raw lifestyle. I buy appliances that keep my excitement running high for food prep. I get happy shivers down my spine when I snag lots of orange bell peppers at Whole Foods. I don’t drink fancy coffee drinks that many people spend hundreds of dollars on a month… instead I spend that money on goji berries, pine nuts, fancy raw sprouted almond and cashew butters, raw cacao, and other dazzling raw goodies.
This is the door to the freezer.
Also… I buy in bulk. This cuts down on the cost. You can also split the foods with friends if getting in bulk is too much. I look for things on sale. We rarely eat out, too. In Kris Carr’s new book, Crazy Sexy Diet, she calculates the cost of eating fast food for the day and it amounts to about $20 a person. That’s not cheap – and that’s fast food! By making my meals at home, even when I use more expensive products because they’re organic, it’s not unreasonable. Oh, and by the way, I rarely get sick. I don’t take prescriptions. That saves money in the long run!
Plus. When it comes to the holidays and my birthday, I am not shy about telling people exactly what I want whether it’s a shiny new juicer, a gift card to Amazon to help me save for an appliance or get this… I ask for gift cards to Whole Foods. I know… some people want to scream LAME! Heck no – I love it! I’ve also redeemed credit card rewards for Amazon.com gift cards and then used those on raw food appliances and supplies.
Bottom line – I want to live until I’m at least 100 years of age. I want to be healthy for Kamea all my years. I want my husband to be there with me every step of the way. How do we reach that goal? EATING HEALTHY! It’s our priority and we live it.
As I get close to that 5000 maximum with Facebook’s normal friend page, I decided to start one of those “fan” pages and it’s titled: Kristen Suzanne (author, chef). I’m excited and have only just started to play around with it, but my goal is to share lots of raw tips and tricks on it as well as the “fans” having exclusive access to recipes of mine that are not yet published. So…. if you want to be a part of the fun…. join here.
And for those of you interested in the Sprouted Protein Bars I wrote about here… I WILL post the recipe on the fan page. It’s not there yet, but will be as soon as I get my new page all figured out. ;) My goal is to have a “recipe” tab on top for only friends/fans to view.
I’m currently reading Kris Carr’s latest book, Crazy Sexy Diet. One word: AMAZING. Kris Carr’s latest masterpiece for living your best and healthiest self is filled with energy and pizzazz that bounce off every page. It keeps you coming back for more… a crazy sexy addiction. Seriously. The moment I finished the book, I flipped to the front and started reading it again because it’s so darn good and I just couldn’t get enough. Kris Carr’s flair is fun and fiery and you can’t help but want to do everything she recommends in the book straightaway. I’m telling ya… buy this book and it’ll become your new best friend. You’ll want to hug it. Possibly sleep with it.
Full disclosure: Yours truly has some recipes featured in the book… but that’s not why I’m writing. I’m telling you to buy the book today because we want to help this dazzling goddess out right now… this is TIME SENSITIVE! By purchasing her book this week (January 16-22) it’s being tracked for the opportunity of being on the bestseller list. Let’s help her reach that goal! Buy Crazy Sexy Diet right here!
I’m not the only one who thinks Kris Carr has got it going on! Check out these testimonials from some of my superheroes.
“Kris has been there, and she brings the depth of her experience to this uplifting book and offers tips from experts and success stories along the way. She even offers a 21-day cleanse with recipes included. Kris Carr is an incredible and tireless advocate for health and she’ll be your coach, confidant, and companion page after page. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I have.” -Neal Barnard, M.D.
“Kris Carr makes practical and hopeful suggestions as we face greater and greater numbers of our friends and family falling prey to chronic degenerative disease. I am personally inspired by her example in leading the way for people to take control of their bodies and their health.” -T. Colin Campbell, PhD
“Kris Carr titillatingly turns a kitchen into a pharmacy. -Dr. Mehmet Oz
“Consider this not a diet book, but a guide to living fully; not a meal plan, but a road map to self-empowerment, adorned with Kris’s unrivaled enthusiasm, humor, and compassion.” -Dean Ornish, M.D.
How cool is this? She’s offering the first chapter of the book for free right here! Once you take a taste, you can’t turn away. You’ll want more and more. So, read the first chapter and then go and buy her book.
Remember when I blogged about my “true” carnivore omnivore family visiting over the holidays and trying some of my Raw Vegan Recipes in this post here? Well, guess what? My sister-in-law went home and actually made two of my recipes! How cool is that?
It was so neat. Upon request, I sent her home with some of my raw vegan recipe books. She called me a couple of times from the store to ask about substitutions when she couldn’t find certain ingredients (easy to do with raw food!). For example, I told her to use cashews in place of macadamia nuts, almond extract in place of cherry extract, and extra dates if she couldn’t find dried cherries for the Rudolph Cherry Cobbler.
Then, she went home and made two recipes, Rudolph Cherry Cobbler and Twilight Pecan Shallot Pate. I’m so proud of her! Her mom and step-dad loved them, too. Her step-dad licked his cherry cobbler bowl clean. ;) Here are the pictures she sent me.
I was watching Dr. Oz on TV a couple of weeks back and he had Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary on as a guest. Dr. Chaudhary shared a homemade curry recipe that sounded and looked delicious. I am a big fan of “disease fighting” curry because it’s a nutritional powerhouse. I thought to myself, wow, making it in my own Vita-mix by grinding up the spices – that’s got to be even BETTER! I was right. It’s amazing. Here is a link to the recipe if you want to make your own. I can’t wait to use it in my recipes.
Over the holidays I was blessed to have my brother and his family (wife and two sons) visit us from Michigan. My brother and I are very close and I miss him terribly! It’s been a couple of years since we’ve seen each other so these holidays were extra special for me. They were able to meet Kamea.
My brother, his wife, and their two sons holding Kamea and my mom’s dog, Miso.
Now, my brother and his family are true mid-western omnivores. I’ll just leave it at that. So, when I was making food for my mom, Greg, and myself, I figured they wouldn’t be interested and I didn’t want to push it on them. It’s not my place to do that, but if they have questions then I’m here for them. When it came time for a few of our meals… my brother went ahead and prepared food for them and I prepared food for us. I always made a little extra though, because I had a feeling he’d be intrigued to at least try a bite – haha – read on…
So, here’s what happened. One night I made my Cheezy Corkscrew Macaroni (Kid Approved!), and I made a double batch because I knew the vegans in the house would want leftovers. This is a great Raw Vegan Transition recipe that incorporates both a delicious, healthy Raw sauce served over cooked noodles. (I have to say here though, that I made enough for my omnivore step-dad because he loves this recipe and requests it every time I visit.) My brother asked if he could try a bite to see what his sister was up to – lol. I said, “Sure, try a bite, but only take a taste. I don’t want you to put a serving in a bowl and if you end up not liking it, it’s wasted. If you end up wanting more then it’s there for the taking.” Well… he LOVED IT! He couldn’t believe how much he loved it. Then, my sister-in-law and my nephews tried it and they all loved it. It was a vegan dinner all around that night. Score!
On another night, I made Rudolph Cherry Cobbler for dessert. Again, I said, “You guys have your cookies and ice cream, we’re going to have raw vegan cherry cobbler. If you want to try it, only take a small amount. If you end up liking it, you can help yourselves to more.” My brother dipped a clean spoon into the baking dish full of cherry cobbler and tried it. He went bananas for it and tried taking the whole serving dish with him as he tried to leave the kitchen! He and his whole family ended up eating Rudolph Cherry Cobbler – Raw Vegan dessert all around. Yay! No animals harmed and everyone enjoying a healthy dessert. It was so cool.
It was like that all week with different vegan and raw recipes I made… By not pressuring my family, along with acting like, “Hey, you can try it, but only a little…” and the fact that the recipes are super delicious – it’s a great way to get friends and family intrigued to try raw and vegan food – and HOOKED! And, you know what? If they didn’t like it, I would have said, “Good, more for us!” :)
So… how were your holidays? How did you handle your food choices? Did you get any crap problems for eating raw or vegan? Or was your family supportive?
Congratulations, Izzzy! You are the winner of my 28th Awesome Giveaway. Email me your address and I’ll get my latest book, Kristen Suzanne’s EASY Raw Vegan Transition Recipes, sent to you next week. If you live outside of the United States, I will email you the ebook. Cheers!
I was given the honor of reading and reviewing the book, Vegan Bodybuilding and Fitness, by my friend Robert Cheeke. I received the book from Robert when I met up with him two days before I delivered Kamea. Robert is such an amazing guy. He’s passionate, kind, happy, energetic, and full of life.
As many of you know, I used to be a bodybuilder. Unfortunately, my days of bodybuilding were pre-vegan. However, I think it put me in a great position to review his book because I do have bodybuilding experience, even if it wasn’t vegan.
So, what did I think of the book? I really enjoyed it and got a lot out of it. I haven’t stepped foot in a gym since before I was pregnant and I’ve decided it’s time for me to do it. ReadingVegan Bodybuilding and Fitness was the motivation and excitement I needed. I don’t have any desire to bodybuild anymore, but I still felt there was great value from his book. Robert holds your hand through the process of diet plans, exercise, and supplements. He gives many details and it left no question unanswered for me – although even if someone did have questions, Robert is personable and accessible via Facebook and Twitter (one of the things I love about him).
I was particularly excited to read about his friend Giacomo who is a RAW vegan bodybuilder. I enjoyed reading about his meal programs especially. Even though I’m not going back into the bodybuilding arena, I am definitely pumped and ready to put on my tennis shoes and head to the gym!
Some other specifics: I liked the 1-week sample training program without weights or exercise equipment because, as a postpartum mom, I won’t always be able to get to the gym. This was exactly what I needed. I also enjoyed reading his section on how he answers the all-too-common question, “Where do you get your protein?” I was especially partial to his clever response #4. And, even though I know where I get my protein, being a vegan for 8 years, I still like seeing the chart of vegan protein foods as a reminder for the variety we have available. It’s a useful and quick reference.
Needless to say, my book has many tabbed pages and highlights. It’s like hiring a personal trainer for the low cost of his book. Gotta love that!
I am listening to one of my favorite holiday songs, My Favorite Things (sung by Lorrie Morgan) and I started thinking about some of my favorite blogs. Truth be told, I have a ton of faves, but to keep this post short and simple, I’ll highlight a handful.
In no particular order…
Choosing Raw – Gena knows her stuff. She puts a lot of time and energy in her blog and it shows. She’s also an amazing raw food coach. I know when I’m reading her blog I’ll either learn something new, be inspired, or both!
Girl On Raw – Robyn is a great friend of mine (she even took a special flight to visit little old me in Arizona when she was in the states attending 105 Degrees Academy). Her blog and newsletter are fun, sassy, light, and lovely. Just like her!
Love Veggies and Yoga – Averie has a special place in my heart. She’s been there for me to answer my thousands of breastfeeding questions (she’s a lactation consultant). I love her blog because she openly shares her daily life with us. She’s inspiring and super sweet!
Rage Against The Minivan – Kristen Howerton is a smart, super funny, and courageous woman. More often than not, she has me in stitches laughing as she tells the tales of her daily life with four kids (2 of which were adopted) and her husband.
Mere Mortal – This is my doula’s blog (well, former doula, I guess she’s not my doula now that Kamea has been born?). I can’t say enough about how much I love the words she writes. Her honesty is moving. Her passion is gorgeous. She’s… simply… awesome.
Sunny Larson Tells All – Last but not least, my mom’s blog. She’s one fiesty woman who doesn’t mince words. She’s full of stories and always cracking me up.