Wednesday, October 8th, 2008
It’s that time again… my second awesome giveaway is here. Yay! The prize? Well, I had so much fun last month that this time I’m drawing TWO names out of the hat. The prize if your name is chosen? I’m sending you a 16-ounce bag of Organic Raw Chocolate Powder from my favorite source, Navitas Naturals!
Here is what Navitas Naturals has to say about their raw chocolate… ‘Food of the Gods,’is the literal translation of the name aptly given to everyone’s favorite food chocolate! A treasure of vitamins, minerals, beta-carotene, zinc, chromium and magnesium, raw chocolate is a delight for the senses and food for the mind. New research has shown cacao contains more antioxidant flavonoids than blueberries, red wine and green tea.
Excited? Want the chance to win? Simply answer the following question in the comment section for today’s post. At the end of three days (Friday night, 11:59pm) I’ll enter everyone’s name who answered the question into a drawing and announce the winners on my blog Saturday.
What is the main reason you started adding Raw Vegan food to your life?
Tuesday, October 7th, 2008
When it comes to the Raw lifestyle, one of the biggest hurdles for people has to do with social situations. To this I say… raise your standards. This includes your peer group. Family is usually another issue. You will always have your family (whether they are supportive of what you are doing or not), but your peer group you can choose. Hence, pick wisely. This is one of the keys to setting yourself up to win. Your life is typically a reflection of your peer group’s expectations.
Whether it’s family or friends, they might not be excited about what you are doing. The reason for this is because, typically, the changes you are making to better your health incidentally shine the light on their lifestyle choices. Important: This is not your fault, it’s theirs. You might never say a word to them about their diet, but you will almost certainly encounter people who object to the idea of Raw (and vegan in general) because they feel that their way of life is under scrutiny.
It’s a very strange and emotionally loaded issue for many people. They might take offense because they assume – through no fault of yours – that you look down upon them. This is the key issue: People do some crazy things to defend their egos. Many people will assume, from your dietary choices, that you think you are somehow superior to them… not just their food choices, but actually them. (This is most common among people with the worst diets and those who have never met a vegan, which varies greatly depending on which part of the country you typically roam.).
1) Stay strong, passionate, and excited about your chosen lifestyle.
2) Be choosy with whom you spend your time.
3) If it’s family who is coming down on you, be prepared with a witty and informative elevator pitch that will either get them curious or pipe them down.
4) Spew off your blood data which is probably very healthy (or on its way to being super healthy) and extremely difficult to dispute i.e., cholesterol levels, blood sugar, blood pressure, etc. This is always impressive ammo.
Monday, October 6th, 2008
Today is going to be a day full of fresh Raw Vegan food. I’m going to nourish my body on a cellular level, give my digestion a rest for the most part, incorporate essential fatty acids, and overall make my body super happy :)
1 quart Plant Blood (celery, cucumber, kale)
1 quart Holiday Green Smoothie (spinach, banana, red apple, hemp protein pwdr, carob, nutmeg, cinnamon)
3 cups Kristen Suzanne’s Raw Harvest Soup (perfect for fall!)
Large salad w/ avocado dressing (spinach, red bell pepper, cucumber, radishes, dried cranberries, topped with avocado dressing)
1 quart Plant Blood (purple cabbage, carrot, apple)
Monday, October 6th, 2008
Obviously, there are many more, but these come to mind now…
1) Warm sunshine on my skin
2) Fresh Organic Plant Blood (making some now… cucumber, spinach, celery)
3) Hugging my husband
4) Playing with animals
5) Drinking wine with my mom (she’s really funny)
What is something that makes you happy?
Friday, October 3rd, 2008
You will get much more out of Raw when you add physical fitness to your lifestyle. And, with Raw, it’s so easy. Eating raw food is about strengthening your body from the inside out. What happens is that you find yourself with so much energy that you want to exercise. You’ll want to get outside and enjoy yourself. As you transition to a higher Raw diet, you will find yourself wanting to move around. You’ll feel so good, you won’t be content to just sit on the couch and watch TV. It becomes a virtuous cycle – eating the Raw food makes you want to work out; working out makes you want to eat more Raw! So, now you are strengthening your body – both inside and outside! This stuff all feeds on itself! This is how people get sucked into a full swing Raw life cycle and start making dramatic changes in a way that feels totally transformational, yet in many ways feels effortless because your body naturally tells you what to do next.
If you’re not already doing it, there will be a point, soon in fact, when you will crave exercise and physical fitness. Keep in mind that physical activity is not limited to just going to the gym. Exercise can be filled with fun activities like playing with your kids at the park, shopping (lots of walking and carrying your bags of purchased goods), walking your dog, dancing, hula-hooping, swimming, jumping rope, and so much more.
So… what are you going to do TODAY for 5-minutes (or more!) of physical activity?
Tuesday, September 30th, 2008
Congratulations Ashley!!! Your name was drawn from the big bowl of names for participating in my first Awesome Giveaway. You get to pick out one of my ebooks as your gift for participating (view your choices here). Simply send me an email (or respond on this post) with the ebook of your choice and your email address.
Here is what Ashley had to say when asked where she first learned about Raw:
I first learned of raw when my friend and her husband went from hot dog addicted, junk food eaters to raw vegans overnight. They look fantastic and I was truly intrigued. =D
My next Awesome Giveaway is right around the corner in October. Check back for details! Ohhh, I’m already excited for the next one. This was so much fun!
Monday, September 29th, 2008
Calling all Raw Vegan Chocolate lovers! Are you ready for a super fun trio of recipes? Get out your dehydrator because my Chocolate Chia Crackers are BIG fun. Need a snack for your kid’s lunch box? Want something super healthy to munch on while watching this week’s VP debates? Then, look no further because this is it! I wrote in a past post that Chia is a dieter’s dream food. And, raw chocolate mixed in… HELLO! YUM!
What? Don’t have a dehydrator yet? Why not??? Having a dehydrator is such a fun addition to your Raw Vegan kitchen because it adds tremendous variety to your diet as well as shelf life to some of your food. Now you can have crunchy foods, warm foods, marinated foods with a texture reminiscent of cooked food, and foods that can last a long time in your refrigerator or freezer. Need I say more? Or, maybe you have a dehydrator but want some delicious dehydrated recipes, then check out my ebook, Kristen Suzanne’s EASY Raw Dehydrating.
Okay, back to this wonderful trio of Raw Vegan recipes. Here you go! Enjoy!!!
Chocolate Chia Crackers
Yield 1 tray (quantity depends on size you cut)
1 cup chia seeds (get them here)
2 cups water
Juice of 1 orange
1 apple, cored & chopped
1/4 cup raw chocolate powder (Navitas is my all-time favorite brand)
2 tablespoons raw agave nectar
6 dates, pitted
dash Himalayan crystal salt
Soak your chia seeds for 30 minutes in a large bowl with 1 1/2 cups of the water. Blend the remaining ingredients (including the remaining 1/2 cup of water) together. Add the blended mixture to the bowl with soaked chia seeds and stir to mix. Break up any chia seed clumps with your rubber spatula or spoon. Let the mixture sit (as is) for 15-30 minutes.
Spread the mixture on a dehydrator tray lined with a non-stick paraflex sheet and score to desired size. (For a thinner cracker, divide between two trays.) Dehydrate at 135 degrees for 60 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 105 degrees and dehydrate another 6-8 hours. Flip crackers onto another tray without a paraflex sheet and peel off the paraflex sheet being used. Dehydrate another 6-10 hours, or until you reach your desired dryness.
Chocolate Hazelnut Butter Spread
Yield 1 1/4 cups
1 1/2 cups hazelnuts
3 tablespoons raw chocolate powder
1 1/2 tablespoons agave nectar
1/2 cup cashews
2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
pinch Himalayan crystal salt
Process all of the ingredients in a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, until creamy. That’s it! Easy!
Sweet Southern Peach Jam
Yield 1 cup
1 cup frozen peaches, thawed
3 dates, pitted, soaked 20 minutes, drained
1 tablespoon raw agave nectar
Blend all of the ingredients together. Voila, Sweet Southern Peach Jam!
Monday, September 29th, 2008
I had a great class this weekend… so much fun. I love teaching about Raw food and spreading the word. I get so many questions during my classes, which I love because it shows me that people are eager to learn more.
Next up… preparing for my October class (scheduled for 10/25), Raw Holidays. Last year, this class sold out EARLY, and it was so much fun. As many people reported, “The pumpkin pie alone is worth the price of admission.”
Today, I’m back to work, drinking organic plant blood and green smoothies, and gobbling up fresh salads and bananas. I’m all out of sprouts, so I need to soak some seeds tonight and get those growing again. I could eat sprouts by the mouthful. They’re so watery, fresh and crunchy.
I’m hoping to find time this week for movies. There are 4-5 out that I want to see over the next week and half! Oh, and of course, I’m stoked about this week’s VP debate. I think I’ll whip up an extra special Raw Vegan treat to munch on while we watch it.
Tomorrow, I’m going to post a delicious recipe for all of you Raw chocolate lovers out there!
Organic On A Budget
Daily Conversation Question:
What’s your favorite book?
Saturday, September 27th, 2008
To add some extra fun to my blog, I’m having a monthly giveaway of awesome goodies. Sometimes it’ll be a matter of simply responding to a question or leaving a comment in order to have your name entered into a drawing to win or sometimes it’ll be in the form of a contest / quiz. It could happen at any time during the month.
For September’s drawing, I’m giving away one of my ebooks (your choice of 1 of the 10 I have available – take a look at them here) and all you have to do is simply answer the following question in the comment section of today’s blog. At the end of three days (Monday night, 11:59pm) I’ll enter everyone’s name who answered the question into a drawing and announce the winner on my blog Tuesday. Are you ready? I’m really excited about this… I have some super cool goodies to give away.
Where did you first learn about Raw?
Friday, September 26th, 2008
A great many things await you when you start eating a diet with Raw Vegan food. Common experiences include easy weight loss, increased energy, soft skin, clear and bright eyes, silky hair, better sleep, mental clarity, major health improvements, a peaceful mindset and much more.(Yay!) A common question I’m asked is, “How ‘Raw’ do I have to be to experience these things?”
As with many things in life, whether it’s diet, religion, etc., there are many different schools of thought as to which is the best plan when following a diet of Raw Vegan food. This can be confusing for people (I know it was for me when I first started). There are people on the far end of the Raw spectrum that are classified as “Natural Hygienists” and they lead a fairly strict lifestyle. Many of them don’t use salt, garlic or even ginger in their food. So, you can imagine that their position on something like agave nectar will not be favorable. On the other end of the Raw spectrum is where you find people eating anywhere from 75% to 99% of their diet as Raw and they classify themselves as “High Raw.” And, of course, there are people who call themselves “100% Raw” and they eat anything (plant-based) that is Raw (superfoods, agave nectar, raw cacao, raw nuts and seeds, etc). Really, that’s just to name a few of the categories of Raw.
For the most part, I think labels can be difficult unless you know hard and fast how you will eat and that you’ll stay that way. I find that many people evolve until they find what works best for themselves and their family. If you eat 100% Raw every day of the month except one or two days, does that suddenly mean you can’t classify yourself as 100% Raw? That would be harsh in my opinion. And, what if it changes over the years? Or, you might be like me. I enjoy eating a 100% Raw Vegan diet for weeks, months, or a season at a time and I’m happy following the HRAV (High Raw, All Vegan) lifestyle during other parts of the year. I also throw in a week here and there of just drinking green juice along with some weeks of eating fruitarian style. Oh yeah, and what about that period where I was chugging down green smoothies for days on end (was I a green smootharian?)? Hhhmmm… What the heck does all that make me?
There are a lot of books available with plenty of different opinions about Raw food and how you should go about it. My meta-position: I don’t take any one position all the way. Everyone is different and might react differently to certain foods and this might happen at different times of your life. My best advice is to “listen to your own body” because you’ll figure it out and notice what you like, what is easy for you, and what makes you feel the best. Being flexible will be one of the keys to your success with this lifestyle.