Monday, September 28th, 2015
Epic fun house from popsicle sticks and creativity.
My husband gets credit for this post. Using popsicle sticks to create what has turned out to be an epic fun house was his idea. He wanted to teach Kamea a bunch of skills and concepts in a way that’s accessible to a 4-year-old, as well as convey that activities don’t all have to be pre-packaged, that you can do big amazing stuff with simple objects. He’s very big on teaching her to use things for their unintended purposes (to teach lateral thinking), kind of like “coloring outside the lines” on steroids. Also, he wanted her to engage in a multi-month project to augment the single-serving creative sessions we usually do. There’s something about seeing a project grow and expand over time into wild directions, some planned and some unplanned.
And, so, I share this crazy fun idea with you, parents, out there if you’re in need of a creative activity and long-term project for kids. Keep in mind though, it requires some participation from you, the parents, but it’s easy and relaxed fun. Even mindfully meditative, at times.
My husband bought a bunch of popsicle sticks, and he started gluing them together with Kamea (she’s five years, but this project started while she was four).
Excited to get to work on the fun house.
The house started to really take on quite a life for itself and they started to decorate it with paint, stickers, markers, clay, found objects from the recycle bin, and much more. They also incorporated colored popsicle sticks. It’s become the center of attraction for play-dates as kids stare at it in awe. In fact, so do the parents!
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Saturday, September 26th, 2015
Avocado – a delicious health food.
I’m blogging a quick description on the best way to peel an avocado, because, crazily(!), I just learned this.
I figure there’s someone else out there who needs to know, too.
Ready to peel an avocado?
- Cut the avocado in half.
- Twist it to open it.
- Take out the pit with a knife by gently, but effectively, tapping the blade into the pit. Be careful.
Are ya with me so far? I knew those first steps all along… it’s the next bit that I didn’t realize.
- Now, cut each half… in half again so it’s quartered (as pictured above – you see three avocados in my picture).
- Grab a bit of the peel with a couple of fingers and peel the peel off like you would peel a banana. THAT’S the brilliant part – it’s so easy. You get ALL of the avocado with none left behind as can happen with a spoon scooping it out (and, now, you don’t have a spoon to clean). Plus, you get a good look to see about any bruised pieces you want to discard.
Best way to peel an avocado.
PLUS, most of the nutrition of the avocado is supposedly right in that dark green part next to the peel so don’t leave any behind. Peeling an avocado as I do now, I get maximum nutrition.
Time to make some guacamole. You know the kind… the This Sh*t Is Too Easy kind.
PS. If everyone knew this about peeling avocados thang, except for me, don’t tell me, okay?
Image credit would be to these people, but once you’re there they credit it back to google.
Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015
Kristen Suzanne in camping
, gluten free
, Kristen Suzanne
A family who camps together stays together.
We’d like to call ourselves a camping family, but I’m not quite there yet.
Greg has a history of camping since he was a kid. (He’s slept on pyramids in the jungle in Guatemala, so a Coleman tent is a bit Four Seasons to him.) I, on the other hand, only have a few trips under my belt so I’m still working on my camping legs. We’re really enjoying ourselves though, in spite of the uncomfortable sleeping, cold weather, dirty everything, yadda yadda yadda… cuz… it’s NATURE! Feels so good.
Check out our sleeping quarters in the picture below. Air mattresses supposedly make it more comfy. Our 8-person instant tent is not really instant… or for eight people. I’d like to see that happen. Wait, no I wouldn’t.
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Wednesday, September 16th, 2015
Hiking for more movement.
In spite of going to the gym for an hour a day, most days, I feel like my life is missing more movement. But, how could that be? I go to the gym almost daily. Surely that’s adequate.
Or, is it?
I took a look at our lives recently and realized there’s just too much sitting… whether it’s eating food at the table, working on computers, playing video games, watching TV, or reading, I had to admit that we’re members of the species homo sedentarius.
Sitting this much just doesn’t feel right. And research says that “sitting is the new smoking,” meaning deadly… even for people who exercise daily! Yikes.
So, on a whim I suggested to Greg that we get rid of our couch, which would make us move more. It was just an idea that made sense to me.
He wasn’t buying it. I mean, who doesn’t have a couch?
Well! Turns out, I’m not the only one to think about this. Apparently there is a movement (pun intended) known as “furniture-free” and I can’t help but be intrigued. There’s even experts on the topic. When Greg heard Katy Bowman, ummm, an expert, he realized it wasn’t just a crazy idea of mine – people are doing this.
Long story short, we got rid of our couch. (Gasp!)
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Tuesday, September 15th, 2015
Mom’s Secret Zen Garden – a place for play, imagination, or meditation.
Mom is taking Kamea for the night, which really means I get all day today, all night, and most of tomorrow to be child-free. Kamea loves going to mom’s sort-of citrus orchard, especially now that they’re creating a zen secret garden of it – statues, wind chimes galore, and hummingbirds a plenty.
So, what shall I do today? My list is long with much that I can blast through… things like…
- Follow up emails
- Make new recipes for my maybe new book
- Make kelp capsules
- Go to Trader Joe’s
- Make liver pate
- Read about qigong, yoga, and meditation
- Shower and blow dry my hair
- Dinner alone with Greg
I could just
lay lie on the floor and stare at the ceiling for 30 hours.
Sunday, September 13th, 2015
My favorite breakfast: In Our Time
We went to Art Cafe Hemingway for breakfast every day of our vacation (that they were open) on the verdant island, Kauai.
The food was that good.
Adorbable cafe in Kauai – the best coffee.
The attention to detail and the flavors in their food were such that I savored every bite. Truly. Each forkful kept me mindful effortlessly.
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Tuesday, September 8th, 2015
Reishi Nighttime Mocha – relax yourself with each sip
I’ve been a fan of adding chinese medicine herbs (tonic herbs) into my drinks and foods for years. You can see it evident in the multiple recipes on my blog that use them.
I use them a lot here.
Here’s a Bulletproof -style mocha with tonic herbs.
Damn Good Gluten Free Muffins with tonic herbs.
My Big-Ass Brisket uses tonic herbs.
Souped Up Soup uses them to add nutrition to boxed soup.
See? I use tonic herbs in my life a lot.
So, the other night, I made a delicious decaf coffee elixir utilizing some powerfully relaxing reishi, and it was so effective that I had to share it.
Reishi: A powerful herb for the immune system and longevity
For those of you who don’t know, reishi is basically a potent mushroom tonic herb with many potential health benefits, including some mega relaxation. There’s even a legend that women who consume reishi while pregnant end up having calm babies, known as “reishi babies.” It also has a long history of use as an immune health builder, cancer fighter, and overall longevity supporter. It’s known as the “Mushroom of Immortality” which pretty much says it all.
Um, yeah okay, I’ll take some of all of that.
Reishi Nighttime Mocha Recipe
Blend it all together in a high-speed blender and sip your way to relaxation and a happy heart.
Thursday, September 3rd, 2015
Kristen Suzanne in antioxidants
, Bulletproof Coffee
, gluten free
, MCT oil
Bulletproof -style Matcha – afternoon energy time
I know I know.
I make a lot of beverages in the style of Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof goodness. Guilty. When something is good and works, why wouldn’t I? The Bulletproof -style drinks I make add more energy to my day, fuel my brain and body, are quickly made, and they get me through the early part of my morning.
Today, I’m sharing an organic matcha tea that is created Bulletproof -style. Matcha tea is green tea, where the leaves are ground and consumed whole. It’s a beautiful drink, and the lush color reminds me of my recent trip to Kauai (more on that another day).
verdant Kauai, Hawaii
Tea is liquid wisdom.
Matcha is the Japanese tea ceremony beverage. I’ve been drawn to organic matcha for many months now, and I did a lot of research before selecting the brand I chose. I felt the highest quality would be from Yuuki-Cha because of their standards and my ability to pinpoint from exactly what region of Japan I wanted my organic matcha. This company addressed potential issues of Fukushima Daichi radiation and shared a helpful map to assist my selection. I trust them as a result.
Helpful Japanese Tea Region Map
I selected two kinds: Organic Yame Matcha (from Fukuoka region) and Organic Kirishima Matcha (from Kagoshima) because of their harvest locations and review of tastes on Yuuki-cha’s website.
When I bought my matcha I ordered small sizes and chose two (each hailing from a different place in Japan). I opted not to get the whisk or special drinking bowl because, honestly, I didn’t know if I’d like it so why invest in all of that. Matcha has a reputation where sometimes it’s grassy in flavor, which I’m not craving.
Quality organic matcha: Yame and Kirishima
I was elated with the result of the Organic Yame Matcha. My first sip I knew I’d be drinking matcha for the rest of my life, and I didn’t even make it the classic way with the bamboo whisk since I didn’t buy those (yet). Instead, I heated my spring water on my induction hot plate, used an instant read thermometer to achieve 175 degrees F, poured the hot water into my blender, added the Organic Yame Matcha, and blended it. I’m eager to try the whisk, being all proper about it, as I yearn to experience “the froth of green jade.”
I haven’t tried my Kirishima matcha yet, but have confidence it’ll be bliss. UPDATE: I just tried the Organic Kirishima Matcha and it’s fabulous. I heated my spring water to 175 degrees F and then blended the hot water with 1/2 teaspoon of the matcha powder. AWESOME.
I chose to start basic by drinking the matcha plain, as in hot water and matcha to see if I liked the flavor. As noted above, it was wonderful. That said, I knew there were plenty of options for making matcha tasty in the event of grassiness. For example, I knew I could soften the matcha by making it Bulletproof with grass-fed butter and Brain Octane MCT oil. I also have some wonderful stevia extract in my arsenal. And, I knew I could always add it to my green smoothie in the event that drinking it as a tea wasn’t awesome.
Oh, and drinking matcha green tea iced can help make it more refreshing and less grass-like. I simply blended my spring water (175 degrees F) with 1 teaspoon organic green matcha tea. Then, I poured it over ice.
Iced Matcha Green Tea
Iced organic matcha green tea. Feeeeeel good drink.
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Tuesday, September 1st, 2015
smoothie ebook bundle! 10 ebooks for only 10 bucks
When I was asked to offer my smoothie ebook in a 10-ebook bundle, where you get 10 ebooks on smoothies (a.k.a. easy meals) for only $10.
My answer was, in the words of my step-father, “Does a cat have an ass?” —>> YES!
Of course I’d love to offer people the opportunity to get my smoothie ebook in a bundle with nine other fabulous smoothie ebooks at such a cheap price.
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Saturday, August 22nd, 2015
Kristen Suzanne in books
, easy raw vegan recipe
, gluten free
, Kristen Suzanne
, raw recipes
Simplicity at its best: watermelon and ginger essential oil.
In my search for a more calm life, I find myself immersed in books and teachings of the Tao.
While reading this week from the book The Tao of Daily Life (<— it’s so good), I came across the story of Empress Tz’u-hsi and the teaching of simplicity.
Essentially, the story told that if Empress Tz’u-hsi wished to experience the joy of simplicity, she had to reduce complexity in her life.
I took that to heart. So often I’m making recipes and adding a little of this and a little of that… then more of something else, and more of something like that. The result can be good, but the process elaborate and time intensive. And, sometimes, the individual simple flavors cease to shine as they become muddled and mixed with everything else.
I was inspired to make a watermelon elixir where I blended watermelon with only one other ingredient: Living Libations Ginger Root Essential Oil. (<— the best essential oils)
The result was a delicious marriage where I effortlessly experienced both flavors, two of my favorites: watermelon and ginger. The drink was beautifully pink and vibrantly refreshing. It taught me that, yes, some things (probably most, in fact) are better left simpler.
I’m eager to apply this to other areas of my life outside of the kitchen. It bears repeating that The Tao of Daily Life is great. It’s one of my favorite books right now.