Tonight, my husband and I were invited (by Dhru of WLIR) to attend a book launch party hosted by Donna Karan at the Urban Zen Foundation. The book is called Clean and it’s written by Alejandro Junger, M.D. I haven’t read the book yet, but I picked up a copy tonight. While flipping through it once we came back to the hotel room, I saw some recipes in the back for animal product-based meals – darn. I know Dr. Junger is a fan of Raw/Living foods (yay!), and he has some recipes for Raw beverages, soups, etc in his book. I really can’t say much more about the book because I haven’t read it yet (I plan to while on this trip). And, although I’m unhappy about recipes that include animal products, it’s possible that the book can serve as a bridge to some healthier eating (including some vegan and raw food) for people who are completely oblivious to alternatives to the Standard American Diet.
They served loads of fresh veggies and hummus dip, along with some fabulous dolmas. Plus, the bar was awesome: green juice, green smoothie, mango smoothie, coconut water, dark chocolate covered (maybe it was even Raw) goji berries & banana chips, and a bowl full of mulberries. Now, let me tell you… that’s my kind of bar! At the end of the night they also had bowls of Raw Revolution Bars for the taking. Yum!
It’s time for a recipe! YAY! Here is a delicious, sassy, and unique recipe that is creamy and nutritious (ginger and hemp seeds rock!). This recipe is featured in my latest book,Kristen Suzanne’s Ultimate Raw Vegan Chocolate Recipes. And, the lovely Ingrid (of Raw Epicurean) also featured this on her blog with a picture.
Ginger is a rich source of powerful antioxidants, which have anti-inflammatory properties, and there is evidence that ginger’s antioxidants might help fight/inhibit the growth of certain types of cancers. Not only that, studies show ginger can also help boost the immune system.
Hemp is commonly referred to as a “superfood” because of its amazing nutritional value. Its amino acid profile dominates with the 8 essential amino acids (10 if you’re elderly or a baby), making it a vegetarian source of “complete” protein! And, it’s loaded with essential fatty acids in an ideal ratio of omega 3s to omega 6s. Go hemp!
Today was a nice day in New York. The sun came out many times. We spent the early part of the day walking around Central Park which was filled with runners, walkers, families, musicians, artists, and all kinds of neat stuff.
Then, we met Gena for fresh Plant Blood at Cafe Blossom. I was pretty hungry so I had three juices! Ha! I was buzzing on greens for the rest of the day and it felt great. Gena is a great gal and we hit it off. It was a gab fest that I was not ready to have end. Fortunately, we’re meeting up for dinner (and hopefully more juice dates) before I leave. This is a picture of us each enjoying a Plant Blood called Pink Lady. It was fabulous!!!
After our juice date with Gena, my husband and I went back to the room to freshen up for our get together with Dhru and Judita. We arrived at Pure Food and Wine early, so I opted for my 4th Plant Blood of the day around the corner at One Lucky Duck – Pure Juice & Takeaway.
Then, we met Dhru. It was great to finally meet face to face, and it was everything I expected… fun & cool. We really enjoyed talking with him and I look forward to spending more time with him before my trip ends.
When drinks ended, my husband and I elected to stick around and have dinner at Pure Food and Wine. As anticipated, dinner was very good. My husband ordered the lasagna (very popular) and I ordered a falafel dish. I admit though that my favorite part about PF&W and One Lucky Duck are the desserts. Heavenly. Flavorful. Awesome. Perfection. I want to make a meal out of them… and this isn’t out of the question.
As we know… raw desserts can often be eaten even as breakfast! The next time I go there, I’m either ordering two desserts for myself along with a nice cup of herbal tea for my meal. Or, I’m getting a salad and dessert (or two! Ha!).
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.