As many of you know, I’ve been letting my bleached blonde hair grow out to my natural brown color. Here is an email I received today…
Hi Kristen, I saw your video and wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed it. You look great but I do prefer you as a blonde, it just fits better with you. I WAS a natural blonde until nature turned it darker around 16…:( Anyway I am really into raw, non toxic stuff like you are. However I almost was going to go au natural with the hair (very very blonde by the way) until I realized I just didn’t want to. I WANT to be blonde, and a little hair dye isn’t going to kill me ya know? We are all dying and everthing around us is a toxic threat, cars, flying, radiation. I personally felt I would live happier being blonde, it feels like me. And in your video I could tell you are just a blonde. I only did my roots during my pregnancy once (before I know I was preggers) and other than that just had some dark roots for 8 months lol.
I do a natural hair color, that is as non toxic as it gets and I do highlights, so nothing is really touching my scalp except for the toner for 5 minutes. I’m not bleach blonde anymore, but I am very blonde and the highlights make it seem bleach blonde. Anyway this was just to let you know I was in the same position as you and it is OK to live life. Oh and I totally agree too if you keep it natural, I just wanted to give some friendly advice!!
I got a real kick out of this email because… I am living life and I love it. I don’t take the stance that I should accept that I’m just dying (and that we all are). I am alive and I’m excited to be doing things in an attempt to prolong that. Of course, there are toxins out there that I cannot really control (cars, pollution, etc.), so I’m doing what I can, to control as much as possible many other things such as eating a healthy diet, getting exercise, making sure I rest and have good quality sleep, and using the healthiest hair and beauty products.
One of the defining moments for me when I decided to go natural was the result of spending a lot of time on Kris Carr’s forum, CrazySexyLife. It was hard seeing so many young women with cancer. And, at that point I realized that a clean diet is not enough. Yes, things are cumulative when it comes to stresses on the body and that’s the point; I want to do as much as I can to reduce that accumulation. Furthermore… even if I can reduce my toxicity… I realize that doesn’t guarantee I won’t get cancer, but I can’t help but feel that it helps.
What’s funny (and was unexpected) is that, since going back to brunette, I feel more natural now,with respect to my overall attitude and aura, than I have in 20 years. I walk by a mirror and I feel beautiful… I just wish my hair were longer and that’s the hardest thing for me right now. Not only has my hair been blond for so long, but it’s always been very long. I’m trying to grow it out and that’s been the hardest part. All I can do is be patient.
I respect that maybe the gal who wrote the email doesn’t want to be natural, but I do. I have no intention of going back to blond. I am very happy with the color of my hair. I love it. I am avoiding as many chemicals as possible, because it’s not good for my health or for the environment. I think a lot of people forget that the environment also suffers when not only the coloring products wash down the drain and into our water supply, as well as taking into account the fuel needed to produce the product, but also the upkeep of other products needed to maintain the colored hair so it doesn’t look processed (i.e., shampoos, conditioners, hair balm, gel, etc). All of those things have a detrimental eco effect. For me, it’s not just one little procedure every few months. I can’t validate what I was doing using that logic. And, the fact that some processes don’t touch my scalp doesn’t let me off the hook either… it still damages the shaft of my hair. Bleach-damaged hair requires a chemical soup of products in order to appear healthy while it’s actually quite porous. I’m so relieved that the days of seeing so many frizzed-out flyaway rogue hairs around my face are gone. No more breakage! No more ends snapping off! (Hair isn’t supposed to do that!) My hair is beautifully soft and shiny and healthy. It now feels right, both literally and figuratively.
It’s not an issue you hear about very often, but I expect we’ll all be hearing about it more as time goes by and data come in about the additive effects of toxins on the body.
So how about all of you out there? If you color your hair, or have ever considered doing so, did toxicity play any role in your thinking? Or have you switched one way or the other, only to have people coming out of the woodwork telling you they liked it the other way? Please share your story!
I love to travel. I love to eat. So, as you can guess, I’m one happy girl right now because I’m able to do both. I’ve been looking forward to coming to NY for a very long time because of the plethora of vegan (and Raw) food options. I came prepared with a long list of places that I want to try. While Raw items might be limited on some of the menus, I still wanted to try out a bunch of places.
The first restaurant we visited Wednesday night was Candle Cafe (we went back Thursday for lunch). There are two restaurants in the city by these owners, Candle 79 (more upscale from what I understand) and Candle Cafe. We plan on checking out Candle 79’s brunch menu this weekend. The owners pride themselves on serving organic vegan food and I was stoked to try them out. We were not disappointed. It was fantastic. That’s a pic of my lovely green juice I had with lunch Thursday.
Then, for Thursday’s dinner, we went to Cafe Blossom in the upper west side, which is very close to our hotel (lucky me!!!). Like Candle Cafe, they were packed. The decor was beautiful and we loved our food. We will be going there many times during our visit here in NY. They’re under the same ownership as Blossom (supposedly more upscale). They were the winner of “Time Out NYC Eat Out Awards 2008 Best Vegetarian Restaurant” and I’m eager to try Blossom now as well.
Exciting Times with Exciting People!
I have a fantastically FUN schedule full of social get togethers with many Raw foodies while I’m here. Friday, I’m meeting the lovely and talented Judita for lunch at Pure Food & Takeaway (I’ve been dreaming of eating here for so long!). You can bet that I’ll be visiting this awesome place multiple times since I can’t eat everything on the menu in one visit, although I might try.
Saturday afternoon, I’m meeting the uberly sweet and fun Gena (of Choosing Raw). She is fast becoming a great friend of mine and I can’t wait to give her a huge hug. We’re getting juiced up at Cafe Blossom. This won’t be our only visit together. Fortunately, we are staying not far from her, so we’ll be gal palling around more than once.
Saturday night, I’m meeting the super famously cool cat, Dhru (of We Like It Raw) at Pure Food & Wine (another place I can now check off of my life’s to-do list – whoot!). Again, I plan on going there a few times so I can try different things. In fact, I’ll be there next Thursday night (fingers crossed) to meet up with one of my girlfriends from culinary school.
June 5…. the start of season two of Whale Wars with Paul Watson (of Sea Shepard) and his crew trying to save whales. Last season was amazing and I expect this one to be the same. Seeing whales hunted makes my blood boil and I’m thankful that Paul and his crew are out there trying to save as many as they can. Check out the following clips.
Note: The clips include raw footage thought by the network too graphic for anyone under the age of 18. While I agree it’s intense and brings out all kinds of emotions in me, I think it’s important for the world to see.
Tuesday was the big day! I opened up my fancy shmancy sauerkraut pot to see if I actually had edible sauerkraut after waiting (somewhat patiently) for 4 weeks. The recommended time to allow veggies to ferment is at least 3 weeks, with 4-5 being better.) Check out my post about making the sauerkraut here.
Let me tell you, I was actually scared to take the lid off. I’m kind of a wuss when it comes to mold, dark unknown things, cold, damp, etc. I had visions of finding a human head in there or a bunch of creepy crawly things coming out. My mind got a little carried away. I was also a little fearful that the sauerkraut wasn’t a success.
So, while my husband was at a meeting today, I marched into the kitchen, determined and brave as all get out, and I lifted the lid off. Hhhmmm… nothing jumped out to bite me. Nothing exploded in my face. I put my nose closer and took a whiff. It was pleasant and mildly sweet and not at all gross. OK… I’m off to a good start. However, I stopped there. When I looked down in the pot at the stone weights on top of my sauerkraut, which were submerged with brine, I got weak in the knees again. I was afraid to stick my hand in there. Better wait until my husband comes home and ask him to do it!
Fast forward to my husband coming home… I was able to talk him into putting his hand in there and taking out the stones and leaves of cabbage that were placed on top of the sauerkraut. I sniffed again and took a closer look. I didn’t see any mold. My spirits were lifting by the second. It was time to taste it. Uummmm…. “Honey, you go first.” Nope, he wouldn’t do it – LOL. So, I took a tiny nibble of a piece that was accidentally flung on the counter. OMG! It was so good!!!! I took an actual bite. Wowee!!!! Success!!! I gave a fork full to my husband and he was majorly impressed. What a relief!
I transfered it all to my quart size glass mason jars (I filled 6 of them!) and sealed them with my Food Saver (using my glass mason jar attachment). I’m so happy! It worked! It’s homemade! It’s extra healthy! It’s locally grown and organic! It’s made with massive love.
The picture above features my beautiful organic, raw, unpasteurized sauerkraut in the front bowl – I love the gorgeous golden-yellow color. The bowl in the back is holding some fermented raw veggies from Rejuvenative that I bought at Whole Foods. Sorry, that stuff doesn’t hold a candle to my homemade goodness.
I made a new chia pudding recipe with the Creamy Dreamy Hemp Milk I made the other day. I decided I needed to share it with y’all, especially since there was a request for recipes made with Raw Vegan Milk. So, here is my latest chia pudding recipe, Hempin’ Around Chia Pudding. It’s yummy! I love how the hemp seed flavor shines through. When I asked my husband what he thought of it, he exclaimed, “AWESOME!” (He’s a huge hemp seed fan.) If you’d like it sweeter, then by all means, add some more sweetness to it. The way the recipe is, it’s not super sweet, making this a good snack or breakfast.
Blend the Creamy Dreamy Hemp Milk along with the dates, lucuma, cinnamon, and almond extract until creamy. Place the chia seeds and coconut into a bowl and add the blended hemp milk mixture. Stir thoroughly and wait a couple of minutes. Stir again and wait another couple of minutes. Stir again. At this point you can eat it or place it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve it. Hempin’ Around Chia Pudding will stay fresh in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to five days.
* I made my Creamy Dreamy Hemp Milk with dates. The dates listed in this recipe are in addition to the dates already included in the hemp milk.
Raw vegan milk, made with raw nuts or seeds, is easy, healthy, and wonderful. It’s cholesterol free, full of nutrients, and it’s much easier on the planet. Raw vegan milk is perfect for drinking by itself, adding to smoothies, or eating with Raw granola (or any cereal!). Yum!
When I make a nut or seed milk I usually make it with hemp seeds, because they’re packed with nutrition, I love their flavor, and no presoaking is required. Hemp seeds’ amino acid profile dominates with the 8 essential amino acids (10 if you’re elderly or a child), making it an excellent vegetarian source of “complete” protein. Go hemp!
However, you can make Raw vegan milk out of a variety of nuts/seeds. Here are some things to keep in mind. Always try to get raw, organic nuts and seeds if you can. When using cashews, hemp seeds, macadamia nuts or Brazil nuts, you basically don’t have to soak them before hand. Just put them in the blender with the following ingredients in the recipe below, and blend. Based on the consistency that you (and your family) like, you can simply increase or decrease the amount of water and sweetness. If you don’t have a high powered blender you might want to briefly chop the cashews, macadamia nuts, and/or Brazil nuts before blending to make it easier.
If you’re using pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, etc… then the general rule is to soak them before blending them for 6-8 hours (or overnight). This is done to release the enzyme inhibitors and make them easier to digest. Simply put them in a bowl on your counter, with enough water to cover by about an inch. After 6-8 hours, drain and rinse. Then, you’re ready to use them in your Raw vegan milk recipe.
Raw vegan milk will stay fresh in your refrigerator for up to five days. It’ll separate when it’s been sitting in your refrigerator so simply shake it up before serving. It also freezes pretty well (you might want to make a couple of batches at once and freeze them in glass mason jars).