Saturday, September 26th, 2009

Caravan of Dreams Dinner Date With Friends In New York & Saturday’s Raw Food Plan

The other night we met up with my good buddies Gena (of the awesome blog, Choosing Raw) and Cassie for some dinner at Caravan of Dreams (this restaurant is organic and vegan with plenty of Raw options). I kept my food Raw by having their delicious Avocado Coconut soup and a large, fresh salad that came with a delightfully spicy dressing that made my taste buds dance. My husband had a cooked vegan dish which was a burrito with seitan in it (very tasty). Gena and Cassie also kept it Raw with soup and salad. My salad came with nori strips which I asked for on the side. I agreed to try those – again. Try, I did. Twice. I just can’t do it. Ugh. Can’t stand eating sea veggies. I sure wish I could, but I can’t. I’ll stick to hiding dulse and kelp in my smoothies and raw soups instead of tossing it on salads where I actually have to bite into it. In the picture, that’s Gena on the left, me in the middle, and Cassie on the right.


Saturday’s Raw Vegan Food Plan
I have an awesome day of simple Raw food planned (read this post to learn how planning your Raw food for the day can motivate you to succeed with the Raw vegan lifestyle). It’s 9am and I have my list of food. I have a couple of goals with this list. First, I want to make sure I consume the fresh organic produce we bought the other day in a timely fashion. Second, since our embryo transfer is tomorrow, I think it’s smart to make this a day of really easy digestion and nutrient dense food. Sure, that’s usually how my diet is… but by making my food in the apartment and having most of it blended, I’m doing it more so (ensuring it’s all organic, all fresh, and all made with extra love energy).

I would like to find a place with organic wheat grass shots, too, if possible. I know, that last video showing my grimace doesn’t make it sound too appetizing when I think about it, but it’s so good for my body. And, once the embryo is transfered, it’s good for my monkey. I’m taking Amazing Grass wheat grass pills while I’m traveling but I’d like to get some fresh wheatgrass in, too. Ehem, I say I’d like to do it now, but ask me after I drink it.

1/2 quart filtered water with fresh squeezed organic lemon (let me just say here that everything I eat today is organic)
This is a great way for my body to get a little gently cleansing done in the morning after a night of sleep.

1 cup Raspberry Leaf Tea
I’m strengthening my uterus as much as possible by drinking this daily until the big day tomorrow!

Protein Shake (water, Sun Warrior’s Raw Rice Protein)
This is simple, easy, and I just chug it down quickly.

1 quart Green Smoothie (water, cilantro, spinach, fresh squeezed orange juice, bananas)
The vitamin C in the orange juice helps my body better assimilate the iron in the spinach. I can’t wait to drink this!


Garden Guacamole (with red leaf lettuce wraps)
This is the recipe I made the other day, only I made a bigger batch of it yesterday. I’m posting the recipe tomorrow, so be sure to check back. It’s fabulous.






Nutrient Soup (water, fresh lemon and lime juice, dinosaur kale, heirloom tomato, red bell pepper, orange bell pepper, celery, avocado, salt)
I love making Raw soups like this. They’re super easy, really filling because of the fiber and the avocado, and they’re so nutritious.

If I’m hungry later tonight, I’ll have some Raw granola and Raw sunflower seed milk.

Have an awesome day and make it a point to eat more Raw Vegan today! Your body will thank you. The environment will thank you. The animals will thank you.

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Friday, September 25th, 2009

My Kindle 2 Love Affair – Travel Rocks With Kindle 2

by Kristen Suzanne in kindle 2

I love my Kindle 2. And, let me tell you, I had no idea I’d love it this much. Don’t get me wrong, I was excited when my husband bought it for me on Valentine’s Day, but I was excited because I simply thought it was cool. I had no idea I’d love it this much. Even so… truth be told… I was a teeny bit skeptical at first. I figured that for non-fiction I wouldn’t use it much (which is mostly what I read, except for, ehem… TWILIGHT SERIES! (We already bought our opening night tickets for New Moon… but I digress… sorry).

I thought non-fiction wouldn’t be ideal on the Kindle 2 because I like to highlight and tab the heck out of my books. I use stickers. I use glitter pens. I tab my books with post it notes. But! I took a chance for this trip to New York. I decided to buy a non-fiction book for my Kindle 2 that was too heavy to bring on the trip, and would you believe, it was actually more expensive than the paper version? I took the leap though and bought it. I’m so happy I did. Not only do I not have to lug around a heavy-ass book but I can indeed HIGHLIGHT (although it’s a boring gray color, that’s OK because my fear of not being able to mark things well in a Kindle 2 book are gone). My kindle has a highlighting function that keeps everything I highlight in a special section that I can easily refer to anytime, which I have found I actually like even more than highlighting in books. Go figure. The picture above is my Kindle 2 with the animal-friendly carrying case my husband also bought me.

Trust me, the Kindle 2 is awesome. I LOVE IT. I’m forever hooked. My only regret is that I wish I had figured this out before I bought a butt load of pregnancy / vaccine / birth books in print. That picture only shows about half of them. Oh well… At least I can offer those to my blog readers when I’m done with them (if anyone is interested).


See how thin it is? The Kindle 2 is nothing short of awesome. It’s light. It holds tons of books. It fits in my hemp purse. It’s easy to read on and use. It can even read the book out loud to you (or you can use headphones). And, there are so many more great things about it. This is one very cool gift for the upcoming holidays for either yourself or a loved one. It ROCKS! I will definitely carry my Kindle 2 around every where I go. For sure.

Do any of you have a Kindle? Are you loving it as much as I am?

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Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Fertility Adventure Update – Fertilization: CHECK!

by Kristen Suzanne in fertility

GREAT NEWS! My egg successfully fertilized into an embryo. YAY!!! Go Monkey Go! Next step? The transfer is set for Sunday, but they’ll call to confirm on Saturday.


Today we stocked up at Whole Foods Market for some more stay-in-the-apartment-meals over the next week. I was pleased with today’s selection there… nice fresh greens that were hearty and vibrant. I bought ingredients to make that same salad I made before, along with more green smoothies and banana / nut butter sandwiches, etc. Basically, the same stuff we ate last week. Oh, and I grabbed some organic raspberries. They looked and smelled great (yes, I open the package to smell and inspect them. I’m not paying $4-6 bucks just to get home and have them be bad).

On the way out of Whole Foods I noticed a kiosk selling adorable certified organic baby clothes!!! I had to stop in. And, of course, I had to buy this certified organic Monkey outfit!!! How cute is that???

Tonight we’re meeting our good friends Gena and Cassie for dinner at Caravan of Dreams (here is a blog post from our last visit there in June). I’m looking forward to a deliciously fresh, organic, Raw vegan meal. I suspect I’ll get a bowl of their creamy avocado coconut soup and a hearty salad. And, of course… there is Stogo about a block away with organic coconut (or soy) ice cream for dessert (not raw, but it is vegan and organic)… I’m just saying it’s there…. in case any of you wanted to know that… just saying… lol

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Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

Fertility Adventure Update – Successful Egg Retrieval

by Kristen Suzanne in fertility, new hope fertility center

We went to the clinic for the egg retrieval. It was a tad stressful because once they ensured, via sonogram, that my follicle was indeed still there and large (holding the egg), I wanted to make sure they grabbed the egg while it was still there waiting.

I went upstairs to get in the hospital attire and wait with some other women. Women came and went and I was still sitting there after what seemed like forever. All the while, I was willing my egg to stay put until the doctor could take it out of me. Then, while some other ladies and myself were sitting in the pre-op waiting room, there was a TV showing CNN, and guess what they were featuring at that moment? A story about an EMBRYO MIXUP from a fertility procedure in Ohio. YIKES! Not something a bunch of women awaiting egg retrieval or embryo transfer need to see. Thankfully, I opted for the minimal amount of valium so that I didn’t lose my egg sitting right there watching that – lol. I almost passed on the valium, but decided it was important to be as relaxed as possible and the valium would help that. I had it last time they did the retrieval of multiple eggs. So, the nurse gave me the smallest dosage this time since we were just retrieving one egg. I’m usually quite the anti-drug girl, but there are times when I think they’re warranted… like fertility adventures.


Then, it was my turn. I practically jumped out of the recliner and skipped to the procedure room when my name was called. They double checked my identity (whew). And, I hopped up onto the table, put my legs in the stirrups and waited for the doctor. What came next I was a little unprepared for. You see, last time I had the procedure done, like I said, I had valium (probably a normal dosage, i.e. higher than what I had today) and I had been taking a strong anti-inflammatory prescription drug for a few days prior to the procedure. This time, I was instructed to take 600 mg of over-the-counter ibuprofin twice before the retrieval (12 hours apart). What I’m trying to get at is that this single egg retrieval was a little painful. Like… ouch! Sure, I’ve had worse pain before in my life, but this was a pokey kind of needle-like pain. Perhaps last time it felt the same when getting the multiple eggs, but I didn’t care because of the larger valium dosage I was on. That’s all I can come up with because I could definitely feel it this round.

BUT! It’s all worth it so far… we successfully retrieved my egg! YAY!!!! They’ll fertilize it today and let me know tomorrow if fertilization was successful. Then, we’ll let it grow until day 5 and transfer it into my uterus on Sunday. Yippee!

After the procedure, I felt like celebrating. So, off to Cafe Blossom we went. Yum Yum. We had a delicious lunch and as we were walking out, something cool happened. Someone recognized me from my blog. James, as I soon learned was his name, recognized me and called my name. My first thought was, “Aw geez… I’m wearing frumpy ass clothing.” Nonetheless! I was so happy to meet a fellow raw foodie who followed my blog – HOW FUN! He was such a nice guy and we chatted it up for a bit. Truly, apart from my big exciting fertility procedure, this was the next highlight of my day. Thanks for speaking up, James! :)

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Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

Fertility Update: Retrieval Day Is Tuesday!

by Kristen Suzanne in kindle 2, new hope fertility center

We went to the clinic for more blood work (checking my hormone levels) and another sonogram to check my uterus and ovaries today. We’ve been tracking one particular follicle that is growing nicely, every day, for the past three days. (This is a picture of me reading my Kindle 2 while waiting for the doctor. I LOVE my Kindle 2… so much that I’m dedicating a blog post to it this week. So, be on the lookout for that.)

Today, we received good news. I’m finally ready for the retrieval of my egg (grown naturally, without any drugs – yippee!). Tuesday afternoon they’ll grab my cute little egg via an ultrasound guided apparatus (the technical name for the procedure is: ultrasonically guided transvaginal ovarian cyst aspiration for oocyte {egg} retrieval). It should be very easy (and painless) and only take a few minutes to do the procedure. They’ll fertilize the egg tomorrow and let it grow 5 days before transferring it into my uterus. Pretty cool. I’ll keep you posted.

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Monday, September 21st, 2009

Homemade Raw Vegan Meals in New York

by Kristen Suzanne in new hope fertility center, new york, raw

During our last trip to New York (in June 2009), we stayed at the Excelsior hotel in the Upper West Side. As a result, our room was quite small (I like to remember it as “quaint”) and there was no refrigeration. So, we ate all of our meals out and we referred to the meal part of our trip as a “vegan food safari.”


This trip is a little different. Since we’re staying in a nice apartment with a kitchen (and a huge refrigerator), we’ve been having at least one of our meals “home” everyday. We stocked up once at Whole Foods Market (I was not impressed with their organic produce, or their Raw section, at this location) and another time we shopped at Westerly Natural Market (they have a nice Raw section of goodies and ingredients, and the produce section is OK… what’s with all the fruit flies in these small NY markets???). Both times we walked from the UWS to Midtown for the shopping to get plenty of exercise (I love to walk every chance I get). My legs and butt are definitely getting a workout. Between walking to New Hope Fertility on the Upper East Side and the markets in Midtown, we’re clocking about 4-7 miles a day. It feels awesome!

Here is a picture of a delicious organic salad I made the other night that we gobbled up while watching The Daily Show. It had 2 avocados, 1 red bell pepper, 1 orange bell pepper, 2 stalks celery, 1/4 bunch cilantro, lime juice, and sea salt. It was so damn good!



I’ve been making organic green smoothies almost daily to make sure we still get plenty of greens in our diet. Most of them have been banana, dinosaur kale, and lime juice (the vitamin C in the lime helps the iron in the kale get assimilated). But, for the next couple of days, I’m going to make apple, curly kale, and lime juice. We’ve also been having almond butter / banana sandwiches, Raw cereal (GoRaw) and nut milk, and we’ve snacked on fresh fruit, dates, prunes, sprouted / dehydrated sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and coconut yogurt.

Of course, we’ve been eating some meals at one of our favorite restaurants, Blossom Cafe. It was so fun walking in there the first time. Everyone immediately recognized and welcomed us, as if we hadn’t been gone for even a day. We had lunch there and I enjoyed their Raw Autumn Sweet Potato Rolls and one of their huge green salads. I should’ve taken pictures but I was famished and dove in head first. Even the server marveled at how fast the Raw sweet potato rolls disappeared. My husband gobbled up their soy bacon cheeseburger, and we found out that they are using a new cheese by the company Daiya. Check it out. It’s pretty awesome. It melts great and is dairy free, soy free, and gluten free. I was impressed.

Last but not least, here is a picture of the view from our apartment at sunset. With a view like this, it makes it hard to leave the apartment.

In my next post, I’ll update you on the progress of our fertility adventure.

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Sunday, September 20th, 2009

Raw Food Delivery To New York

by Kristen Suzanne in Uncategorized

I had an exciting day Friday, because I received a delivery of raw vegan organic food. Yum.


Pure Market Express delivers Raw food nationwide. Having Raw food delivered to where you are when traveling is a great and easy way to stay on the Raw diet.


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Saturday, September 19th, 2009

Wheatgrass Juice at Candle Cafe in NY – video

by Kristen Suzanne in video

I’ve never been attracted to the smell or taste of fresh wheatgrass. Still… I suck it up and drink it on occasion with Ann Wigmore floating around in my thoughts cheering me on. Here we are at Candle Cafe enjoying, I mean drinking, a shot.




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Friday, September 18th, 2009

NY Apartment – A Tour

by Kristen Suzanne in new york, video

Here is a quick tour of the apartment we’re renting in NY. Check back this weekend for a video of the cool delivery I just received today (hint: it has something to do with RAW FOOD!).

*Update: Hhhmm… just watched this after I posted it. Blogger is not giving me the best quality for the video (or maybe it’s just me?). I opted not to post this on YouTube because I thought I’d keep it just for my blog.

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Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Fertility Update: A Fresh Transfer(?), NY Apartment, And Monkeys On The Ride Home

by Kristen Suzanne in fertility, new york

We arrived in New York safely. I love flying Jet Blue. They have Direct TV / movies and XM radio. They offer plenty of complimentary bottled water and snacks (although I passed on those because they’re not particularly healthy, ehem). We also opted to purchase seats with extra leg room, which was especially nice for my husband. And, we arrived in NY about 20 minutes early.


Here we are at the airport before departure. We checked our luggage, and mine just barely squeaked by, weighing in at 49.5 pounds. Yikes. I’m guessing the culprit is my Blendtec blender. A Raw girl’s gotta do what a Raw girl’s gotta do! Although I love my Vita-Mix 5200 (read my blog post reviewing the Blendtec vs Vita-mix), that thing is a monster in size and weight, so if I travel and have a kitchen accessible then I like taking my Blendtec. But, if I’m in a hotel room, then I like taking this awesome travel blender.


For my carry on backpack I came prepared with plenty of fresh Raw vegan foods for the flight. Ummm…. apparently I couldn’t wait for the flight before my stomach started grumbling so I’m munching away on an organic carrot here, while waiting to board the plane. I also packed a cucumber, red bell pepper, celery, prunes, Garlic Basil Chia Crisps, and an apple.





Here is a pic of some things I packed… water filter, sponge, glass mason jars, protein shaker bottles, Sun Warrior’s Raw Rice Protein Powder, as well as raw cashews, supplements, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, LOTS of prunes (you know the travel thing and making sure you’re pooping), dates, chia seeds, raspberry leaf tea, Dr. Bronner soap, and more. I wanted to make sure I had some stuff from home so I didn’t have to buy everything when we arrived. You can guess my luggage on the trip back will be considerably lighter. Too bad we’re not flying home for it to matter.


We’re going to have an awesome (long) drive home through the south, stopping off in Florida for a quick visit with my father-in-law as well as my friend in Texas (whom I met online), and she has MONKEYS!!!!! And, they love my Raw vegan recipes… check it out here. It can’t hurt to be around monkeys while I’m trying to get my own little Monkey to “stick” right?






We arrived at the apartment we rented and were very happy with it. It’s gorgeous. Small (of course, it’s New York), but gorgeous. We’re staying in an apartment in Trump’s Heritage building on the Hudson River. Here’s our living room. We have a nice kitchen with a huge refrigerator so I plan on shopping at Whole Foods today. Will share more pics and video soon.

Possible changes to our fertility plan. (I love this photo. I grabbed it from a blog discussing a documentary, A Child Against All Odds, but I can’t find the blog now.)

As you know, we came here with the intent on transferring a frozen embryo. But, while at the doctor’s office yesterday, where they did a sonogram of my ovaries and uterus, I inquired about the egg that I’m about to release naturally in the next few days. I thought it would be a waste to just let it go and asked whether we shouldn’t grab that egg while we’re here, fertilize it, and transfer it back this trip, if it makes it to 5 days successfully in the petri dish… and leave the frozen embryos in my “embryo bank” for future use (or to use on this trip in the event that the fresh retrieval doesn’t work). I’m all about getting as many healthy eggs at my young-ish age while I can, so I can store them for future attempts (whether for this first child or the next child), therefore giving me a better chance for success.

The doctor agreed that we could try that. We’ll see how things go. I’m due back at New Hope Fertility on Saturday for another sonogram and blood work to see if we can do this or if we should just proceed with the frozen transfer.

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