Thursday, July 10th, 2008

Avocado & Prunes In A Kickin’ Raw Vegan Dressing

by Kristen Suzanne in avocado, prunes, salad dressing

I made a kickin’ dressing for my salad. I say “kickin’” because it has a little spicy kick to it. And, would you believe that this dressing has prunes in it? Personally, I don’t think prunes get the respect they deserve so I’m determined to change that. I use them in dressings, desserts, chopped up on my salads, and just snack on them plain. I love them because they’re not “too” sweet. Step over dates, it’s time for something a little less sweet. Prunes (a dried European plum) have an impressive nutrient profile (one source I found claimed that prunes have more antioxidant activity than any other fruit… more than twice the antioxidant capacity or blueberries!).

The Goods On Prunes:
High in fiber (constipation is not the sexiest topic, but hey, fiber helps reduce the risk of colorectal cancer, among other things, and THAT is sexy!)

Vitamin A

Vitamin C

Potassium (helps maintain normal blood pressure and heart function)

Iron (better absorbed due to the vitamin C in prunes)

Loads of antioxidants (notably neochlorogenic acid and chlorogenic acid)

And much more

Creamy Kickin’ Dressing
Yield 2 cups

2/3 cup water, or more
1 avocado, pitted and peeled
(an amazing, nutrient-packed whole food)
2 prunes

juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon Mexican Seasoning

1/2 teaspoon
Himalayan crystal salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Blend until creamy and enjoy this thick, creamy and kickin’ dressing over your next salad or with chopped veggies. It’s sooooo good!

News To Peruse:
Seattle’s Ban on Plastic and Styrofoam
Local TV News Report Orthorexia On The Rise – haha

Daily Conversation Question:
What do you complain more about than anything else?


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Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

Refreshing Cucumber Blood

by Kristen Suzanne in Uncategorized

I have been juicing a lot this week and I love it. I’ve been making deliciously light and refreshing plant blood with a base of cucumber blood. I love cucumbers, they’re right up there with watermelon in my book.

If I don’t have my green smoothie tucked away in my purse when I go to the movie theater, I often bring this green-skinned fruit whole and eat it just like a carrot or stalk of celery. If people look at me like I just came off the mother ship, I respond with “hhhmmmm, aaahhhhhh, this is so refreshing and delicious!”

The Good On Cucumbers:
Hydrating and cooling because of the high water content

Contains fiber, silica (great for radiant skin), potassium, magnesium
, and vitamin C
*
Not only are they loaded with nutrients, but you can use cucumber slices topically on your closed eyes to reduce swelling, as well as for burns and dermatitis.

So, whether you’re eating your cucumber in a salad or juicing its blood for a refreshing drink… remember that you’ll be “cool as a cucumber” when you do :)

Daily Conversation Question:
What was the most fun you ever had at a party?

*For those who don’t know, I’m adding a “conversation question” to my blog posts. They’re from these cute “conversation starter” cards I found at a little boutique. Sometimes it can be uncomfortable when meeting new people, or if there is silence while around co-workers, or maybe you’re meeting your boyfriend/girlfriend’s parents for the first time and you want to ensure stimulating conversation. These are fun and made for just that!

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Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

Feeling Good!

by Kristen Suzanne in Uncategorized

Whoo-Whee! I feel EXTRA great this past week. From having my amalgams removed to making my own household cleaning products to cleaning/detoxing my home to keeping chemicals off my hair, scalp and body to only using environmentally friendly, natural makeup products to my extra clean diet to my physical fitness (and more)… it’s all kicked my body, mind, and spirit into high gear and I feel absolutely amazing!

Today’s Raw Food:
Watermelon… so far, that’s it. If I could swim in it, I would.

News to Peruse:
Mars Candy Sequences Chocolate Genome For $10 Million (WTF?)
Genetically Modified Crops Cannot Feed The World: A Confession

Daily Conversation Question:
If you could be brilliant in one subject which would you choose?


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Sunday, July 6th, 2008

Stroke Of Insight – An Excellent TED Talk

by Kristen Suzanne in Uncategorized

This is an amazing story. I think a lot of you are fans of Eckhart Tolle… if so, you’ll get a kick out of this quick video (and, if you don’t like Tolle, that’s okay, you’ll still like it). It’s both entertaining and thought provoking. Please enjoy.

Summary: Jill Bolte Taylor (a brain scientist!) tells about her fascinating experience when she had a massive stroke, watched as her own brain functions shut down one by one, and truly experienced being in the present versus past and future thought. Watch video.

My Raw Food (it’s 5:30am and I haven’t gone to bed,so this is Saturday’s food):
Vitamineral Green and Fruits of the Earth with water
Plant Blood (celery, dandelion, apple, kale)
Hummus, sprouted bread
Peach
Green Smoothie (hemp prtn pwdr, banana, celery, carob, freshly ground milk thistle)
Chocolates Diva Jewels
Granola w/ almond milk
*This is in addition to my daily Pine’s Wheat Grass Tablets and Heavy Metal Nano Detox

Daily Conversation Question:
Do you possess any of the qualities of your astrological sign?

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Friday, July 4th, 2008

Starlight: My Transformation

by Kristen Suzanne in hair

Okay, not to gush too romantic, but I just had to share. As many of you know, I’ve begun cleaning out every possible source of toxin in my world, in order to create an ideal body and environment for getting pregnant. I just switched to all organic bedding, had my amalgam fillings removed, threw out chemical-laden cosmetics, and so on. I’ve now come face-to-face with the most challenging change yet — don’t laugh, but it’s my hair color!

The world has not known my true color since I was, seriously, eleven years old. I’ve been blonde so long that it has been inseparable with my self-identity. But no more. That’s right, I’m going all natural in the hair department. Not only are the harsh chemicals for color-treating hair potential toxins for pregnant and nursing mothers, but — more significantly — those same chemicals do so much damage to hair that you must use even more chemicals (plastics, basically) to make color-treated hair soft and silky. That’s right, I have blonde, plastic hair!

So as a big part of my going green, I’m officially going brown! haha! I’m attacking the blonde from both ends, growing out my natural color, but also cutting my hair shorter to hasten the awkward transition period (I opted to go two-tone for a few months rather than dye my hair brunette and grow out naturally from there.) As my first step, I just had over 4 inches cut off, and got bangs for the first time since I was a kid. (Click on the image to view full size.)

Here’s the romantic part. My amazing boyfriend, so full of love and support for this process, surprised me by staying up all night and creating this portrait of me, titled “Starlight,” which he calls “a tribute to my evolving spirit and inner goddess.” Whoa. Who says stuff like that!? It absolutely melted my heart when I saw it! (He’s the bomb.)

It was inspired by equal parts space-travel beach scene from Contact (the movie) and Starlight, the wonderfully intense, uplifting, romantic song by his favorite band, Muse — listen here, the lyrics really say it all, simply beautiful.

So here you go, blonde hair, your last big HURRAH! The transformation has officially begun!

“Far away… this ship is taking me far away…”


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Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

Pregnancy Prep: Remove Amalgam Fillings…Check!

by Kristen Suzanne in Detox

On Monday I had my amalgam fillings removed because the mercury that amalgam fillings release can be a dangerous toxin for a fetus. Moreover, dental amalgams are a source of mercury that can be found in breast milk. Yikes! I’m not taking any chances… so, out they went.

Now, I really like my dentist, and going to the dentist (in general) has never been my favorite thing to do. You know how public speaking is the number one fear for most people? Well, that’s a piece of cake (Raw Vegan) for me. Going to the dentist…well, that’s another story. As a result, even though I’m confident in my dentist’s abilities and modern equipment, I’m now taking extra precautions and kicking up my detox a bit post-amalgam-removal with loads of vitamin C rich Raw Vegan foods and and Heavy Metal Nano-Detox.

UPDATED NEWS (updated 7/7/08): US ISSUES HEALTH WARNINGS OVER MERCURY FILLINGS

On to today’s Raw Vegan food:
Ultimate Meal doctored with freshly ground organic milk thistle seeds, Vitamineral Green, and Manitoba Harvest Hemp Protein Powder. (I’m still full from it hours later!)
Later today
I’ll enjoy a huge leafy green salad topped with cucumbers, carrots, hemp seeds, and a delicious avocado dressing (going to be so good!)
.
Women’s Balancing Tea
Harvest Blend Soup
Lots of water

And… I’m sure I’ll be nibbling on some goodies late tonight since we’re continuing our marathon of Alias dvds (we’re on season two).

Daily Conversation Question:
What makes your generation unique?

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Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

Outsource Your Backyard Garden

by Kristen Suzanne in Uncategorized

I love the idea of having my own garden, but it’s not something I have the time to work on…yet. For those of you with a similar situation, here is an idea…outsource it to a company who designs and maintains a garden right in your backyard. I think it’s a great way to at least get started. Check out the article here.

Today’s EASY Raw Food!
Quart Plant Blood (kale, cucumber, apple, lemon juice, celery)
The Ultimate Meal
made with peaches
Harvest Blend Soup
Spring Mix Salad
Zucchini Pasta Marinara
Women’s Balancing Tea

Daily Conversation Question:
If you were cremated where would you like to have your ashes spread?


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Monday, June 30th, 2008

How To Make Raw Food EASY!

by Kristen Suzanne in raw recipes

I’m often asked how I make my Raw Vegan lifestyle seem so easy. Here are some tips for doing just that:

1) Keep is simple!
Don’t make a bunch of different recipes with different sides and different desserts, etc. Simply pick out 3-5 recipes you’ll make for the week. For example, this week I’m making zucchini pasta with my famous marinara. This will be our dinner for 2-3 nights. When I went food shopping today, I also bought ingredients for my Harvest Soup so we’ll have this for 2-3 days (lunch) served alongside a fresh salad. I’ll make a quick and easy salad dressing (like this, Fat Free Strawberry Ginger or Olive Vinaigrette or Deviled Mango), which will last for about 3 days worth of lunch salads. Making and eating Raw Vegan food in this fashion saves you so much time!

Salads are easy…get the prewashed lettuce (give it a quick rinse anyway), dice up cucumbers and carrots (use different veggies next week to get balanced variety), toss some raisins or dried cranberries in and top with delicious dressing.

Go shopping twice a week to make life easy and have the freshest food on hand.

Don’t worry about eating the same thing for a few days in a row, it’s so delicious, you’ll look forward to the third meal of zucchini pasta marinara, for example, as much as you did for the first meal. By having a few different recipes for the second half of the week, you’ll get plenty of variety.

2) Keep things on hand!
I always have raw crackers, desserts (cookies, ice cream, mousse, cheesecake), milks, cheese dip and pate in the freezer. So, all I have to do the night before we’re going to eat it is take it out and thaw. Pick one or two days a month to make these recipes and freeze them. Think you don’t have room in your freezer? Think again…use a Food Saver and maximize your use of the space.

Keep some bags of frozen fruit on hand for those times you run out of fresh produce.

3) Liquids are high energy and easy!

I can’t say enough about how healthy, easy and high energy liquids can be in your diet. I start every single day with either Plant Blood or a smoothie (it’s usually green). Often (and very often) I stick with liquids for most of the day. This ensures I have extra energy and it’s so healthy because it gives your digestive system a break. So, one of the best tips for making the Raw Vegan lifestyle easy and extra healthy, drink many of your meals. Smoothies only take minutes to make. Depending on your juicer, Plant Blood can take a little longer, but still, it’s quite fast. Want a meal to keep you filled up for hours that is still smoothie style? You should try this great stuff, The Ultimate Meal.

4) Eat good ol’ deliciously ripe fruit (sweet and non-sweet)!
Another smart and extra easy plan is to have plain fruit for a whole meal or even just a snack, sweet and/or non sweet. You all know I love my summer time watermelon, and could eat it all day long. Other examples: I often nosh on just cucumbers for a light lunch (sometimes I sprinkle a little Himalayan crystal salt
and/or dried herbs – so refreshing) and to make it more substantial, I’ll add 1/2 a diced avocado. Or, for more richness, I’ll dive into a phytonutrient, tropical bounty of mango, bananas, and pineapple. It truly doesn’t get easier than that.

For other great tips on living the Raw Vegan lifestyle with ease, check out my ebook, Kristen’s Raw: The EASY Way to Get Started & Succeed With Raw Food.

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Saturday, June 28th, 2008

A Quiet Day

by Kristen Suzanne in Uncategorized

We’re home and even though we’ve only been gone a handful of days, it seems like much longer. I don’t know why, but I just can’t seem to jump back into things straight away. I feel the need to just take my time, do things naturally, and try to get back into the work groove tomorrow (I have to prepare for my upcoming Raw Chocolate class). I cleaned today, researched more healthy products online for my face and body, and did laundry. I don’t feel like doing much more than that.

Today’s food:
1 cup tea made from freshly ground, organic milk thistle seeds (gotta clean my liver!)

Mega shake (The Ultimate Meal, blueberries, Vitamineral Green, Hemp Protein Powder, ground milk thistle seeds, Raw carob – see? Told ya it was mega)

1/2 cucumber with pinch Himalayan crystal salt

Tonight we’re going to dinner with my boyfriend’s mom to one of my favorite Middle Eastern restaurants so I’ll enjoy lentil soup, hummus and some sprouted organic bread of my own that I’ll bring. But before that, we’re going to the gym (biceps and triceps today). And, since I just received my Animal Times magazine from PETA, I’m stoked about reading that while walking on the treadmill.

Daily Conversation Question:
Is there only one soul mate for each person?

My answer? After having met my boyfriend….emphatically yes. And, for those of you out there dating right now…don’t settle. Keep searching for the person who makes you feel like you’re an absolute super star, gives you true peace in your heart, and makes you weak in the knees well after the first couple dates (like FOREVER!).

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Friday, June 27th, 2008

Synthetic Vitamins In My Pre-Natals? Damn!

by Kristen Suzanne in Uncategorized

Okay, so here I am trying to have the healthiest body as possible in preparation of conceiving. Even though I eat a very healthy diet, with tons of fresh, organic, raw foods, I will need extra nutrients when I get pregnant. To make sure I’m getting them, I thought I’d take pre-natal vitamins. In my quest for the perfect pre-natals, I thought back to the many studies I read years ago showing how harmful synthetic vitamins could be. I learned that you should be able to read and comprehend the ingredients without needing a PhD in chemistry. So, I was on the hunt for a completely whole-food, non-synthetic multi, pre-natal vitamin.

I went to Whole Foods and asked for a recommendation for pre-natal vitamins, because once I was there, I saw some bottles labeled as having some organic aspects (but not all…hhhhmmm) as well as some labels claiming they were food-based. I was recommended this brand, Super Nutrition, which I bought because I saw the words “food-based” on the label and figured I’d trust the “oh so sure these are the best you can buy sales girl.”

I started taking them for a couple weeks. I had a stomach ache a few times because I didn’t take them with enough food, although they claim to not upset your stomach (uh-oh – this got me rethinking my choice). Plus, my pee was very yellow, let’s be honest, it glowed in the dark. I mean, think about it, my pee isn’t neon yellow no matter how many bananas or greens or fruit I eat. So, neon pee after taking a supplement…Double uh-oh.

I immediately became curious and put on my detective hat. For starters, I emailed the Super Nutrition Vitamin company that I had been taking to inquire as to whether they had any synthetic ingredients. Here is their response:

Dear Kristen,

Thank you for your interest in SuperNutrition. Our PreNatal multi-vitamins use USP nutrients, in a food-based tablet.
By law, all vitamins manufactured in the United States, including SuperNutrition’s, are made with U.S.P. (United States Pharmacopoeia) grade nutrients, the majority of which (with only one or two nutrients excepted) are always synthetic in every company, no matter the subsequent processing of the tablet or the terms used to describe the processing.


U.S.P. nutrients are bioidentical to the vitamins found in food, and have been shown by over 200,000 published, independent, and peer reviewed scientific studies to be well-absorbed and beneficial for the body.

Our vegetarian, hypoallergenic, food-based tablets are made up of plant vegetable fibers and green foods such as, alfalfa, chlorella, dulce and spirulina. These plant fibers aid in disintegration of the tablet and the green food blend, contain various, and valuable micronutrients. We use no artificial fillers or binders in any of our products, everything in our tablets contribute to the nutritional whole of the product. Please contact us with any other questions.


WTF? U.S.P.? By law? Pharmacopoeia? I don’t even like those words! I was immediately skeptical since I knew from past research that there were whole food-based vitamins out there. By law, my ass. The problem was that it had been a long time since I researched vitamin supplements because I never felt the need to supplement with how great my diet was. And, I figured the label was enough if it claimed they were food-based. And their reply with over 200,00 studies, well, it only takes one study showing me a link with dangerous problems resulting from synthetic vitamins to get me scared (examples on that below). Plus, I knew there had to be totally food-based vitamins out there, so the option was available, meaning, to me, that there was a reason they were available. I just had to find them.

Needless to say, I’m a little fired up. You always have to do double research and get recommendations from people you trust, not just someone who works in a reputed health food store, even when you ask if they’re whole food based.

I was pretty upset when I realized I’d been taking synthetics, knowing how harmful they can be. Just because they contained some organic greens (and such) doesn’t mean squat if they also have synthetics. For example, Synthetic Vitamin C linked to the thickening of the arterial walls of the heart by as much as 2.5 times. Synthetic Vitamin A linked to birth defects in pregnant women who took it. Synthetic Vitamin E linked to lung cancer.

Therefore, I will be returning the vitamins I bought (I had stocked up and bought 2 bottles).

Update 12/1/08:
I have been looking at New Chapter PreNatals and it looks like those might be the answer.

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