Tuesday, January 1st, 2008
Going organic on a budget is not impossible. Here are things to keep in mind that will help you afford it:
1. Buy in bulk. Ask the store you frequent if they’ll give you a deal for buying certain foods by the case. (Just make sure it’s a case of something that you can go through in a timely fashion so it doesn’t go to waste). Consider this for bananas or greens especially if you drink lots of smoothies or juice, like I do.
2. See if local neighbors, family or friends will share the price of getting cases of certain foods. When you do this, you can go beyond your local grocery store and contact places like Boxed Greens or Diamond Organic. Maybe they’ll extend a discount if your order goes above a certain amount or if you get certain foods by the case. It never hurts to ask.
3. Pay attention to organic foods that aren’t very expensive to buy relative to conventional prices (bananas, for example). Load up on those.
4. Be smart when picking what you buy as organic. Some conventionally grown foods have higher levels of pesticides than others. For those, go organic. Then, for foods that aren’t sprayed as much, go conventional. Avocados, for example, aren’t sprayed too much so you could buy those as conventional. Here is a resource that keeps an updated list.
5. Buy things on sale. Pay attention to which organic foods are on sale for the week and plan your menu around that. Every little bit adds up!
6. Grow your own sprouts. Load up on these for salads, soups, and smoothies. Very inexpensive. Buy the organic seeds in the bulk bins at your health food store or buy online and grow them yourself. Fun!
7. Buy organic seeds/nuts in bulk online and freeze. Nuts and seeds typically get less expensive when you order in bulk from somewhere like Sun Organic. Take advantage of this and freeze them (they’ll last the year!). Do the same with dried fruits/dates/etc. And remember, when making a recipe that calls for expensive nuts, you can often easily replace them with less expensive sunflower or pumpkin seeds.
8. Buy seasonally; hence, don’t buy a bunch of organic berries out of season (eat more apples and bananas in winter). Also, consider buying frozen organic fruits, especially when they’re on sale!
9. Be content with minimal variety. Organic spinach banana smoothies are inexpensive. So, having this most mornings for breakfast can save money. You can change it by adding cinnamon one day, nutmeg another, vanilla extract yet another. Make spinach apple smoothies and throw in a date in or some soaked raisins for pizazz. Make salads, smoothies, and soups with ingredients that tend to be less expensive such as carrots (year round), bananas (year round), zucchini and cucumbers (in the summer), etc.
Happy New Year!
Sunday, December 30th, 2007
I’m receiving so many emails for the recipe of my Organic Double Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake. Here it is (already!). It’s so impressive (sure to please everyone) and easy to make. Enjoy as you enter chocolate ecstasy heaven…ohh-la-la!
Organic Double Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake
Yield one 9-inch cake
1 ¾ cups nuts (I used raw almonds)
½ cup raw cacao nibs
1/8 teaspoon Himalayan crystal salt
¾ teaspoon cherry extract
1 tablespoon raw chocolate powder
¾ cup raisins
3 cups cashews, soaked 1-2 hours, drained
1/3 cup raw honey, coconut nectar, or maple syrup
6 dates, pitted
½ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup water
2 teaspoons cherry extract
1 cup coconut oil
¾ cup raw chocolate powder
1 bag frozen berries (cherries would be optimal but any will do!)
¼ cup raw agave
dash fresh lemon juice
Crust directions: Grind the nuts, cacao nibs and salt in a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, until coarsely ground. Add the cherry extract and chocolate powder and pulse to thoroughly combine. Add the raisins and process until the mixture sticks together when gently pressed between your fingers. Press into the bottom of an 8 or 9-inch round spring form pan. Place in the freezer while you make the filling.
Filling directions: Using a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, process the cashews, agave, dates, lemon juice, and water until it’s creamy. This could take 3-5 minutes. You might need to stop and scrape down the sides a couple of times. Add the cherry extract, coconut oil, and chocolate powder and process until creamy. Pour the filling into the spring form pan and freeze the cheesecake so it sets. Let thaw for up to an hour or more before eating.
Coulis directions: Blend all of the ingredients together.
Sunday, December 30th, 2007
I’m working on a fabulous Raw vegan dinner that I’ll be serving family and out-of-town guests tomorrow. For the main course, I’m serving Gourmet Italian Quiche Tarts that will be served alongside a fresh, crisp romaine salad sprinkled with Raw Parmesan Cheese and topped with my brilliant new Hemp Omega Caesar Dressing. For dessert, I made a divine Organic Double Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake (will post recipe later).
Nutrition never tasted so good!
In the meantime, I’ve been gobbling up this scrumptiously saucy dish. I’m sure you all know by now that I love eating salads loaded with chopped veggies. Well, here is a delicious creamy sauce that will sass up any combination of chopped veggies (or salad). I’ve been enjoying this all day. Fresh avocados, orange, garlic, curry….hhhmmm. Yum!
Creamy Curry Sauce
Yield approximately 2 cups
3/4 cup water
2 avocados, pitted and peeled
1 orange, peeled, seeded
1 clove garlic
juice of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan crystal salt
2 teaspoons curry
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Blend all of the ingredients until creamy. Serve over your favorite chopped veggies or salad.
Friday, December 28th, 2007
The holidays have been WONDERFUL! I’ve been having such a lovely, relaxing time.
One of the things my boyfriend and I did to celebrate the holidays was to attend the Luminaria Holiday Lights at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix. It was gorgeous fun. Basically, you walk through the gardens at night where they’re lit with fabulous holiday lights. Along the walk at different spots they have live music playing and snack/drink bars. The highlight of my evening was when we were drinking a sassy Hot Apple Pie made from warm apple cider and tuaca liqueur beverage (not Raw, but definitely festive). The drink normally comes with whipped cream, which we passed on since we’re vegan. We took our warm drinks and sat by a fire with some other people and we were “oohing and aahhing” about how delicious our drinks were. This caught the attention of others and they inquired as to what we were drinking. We told them what it was and made sure to tell them it was without whipped cream, because I’m always looking for a reason to talk about being vegan (hoping it conjures up vegan conversation)…which it did! Here’s the highlight…a teenager joined the talk and volunteered that he was vegetarian. When I inquired as to why, he replied, “because eating animals is mean.”
I’m continually inspired by our youth. There is an interesting book called MicroTrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow’s Big Changes, which details the importance of small groups and their profound impact on our economy. One of the groups he writes about is vegan kids and how they’re on the rise. Very exciting!
Saturday, December 22nd, 2007
Yesterday, my awesome, loving boyfriend and I celebrated our 2-year anniversary. Whoo-hoo! It’s been the best two years of my life; we have so much fun together! I couldn’t have asked for a better boyfriend. I absolutely adore him. This is a picture from yesterday with the gorgeous bouquet of flowers he bought me.
I’m often asked about the kinds of things we do, the places we go, restaurants we frequent, etc. We’re High-Raw Vegans, which means that we eat 100% vegan and it’s Raw most of the time (with many periods when we’re 100% Raw). Since we don’t have totally Raw restaurants in our area, we eat a lot at home (and why not, since I love to prepare food). We enjoy physical fitness activities together: going to the gym, hiking, bowling, bike riding, epic walks in the middle of the night under the stars, and of course this. We’re also huge fans of going to the movies. When we do this, I can be counted on to smuggle in our green smoothies and Raw treats in my big purse.
One of our favorite things to do is spending part of the day at one of the many big, beautiful hotel resorts here in Arizona. I pack up a little bag of organic Raw snacks and we sip herbal tea or wine, while enjoying our books or working on our laptops. The hotels have fantastic lobbies, bars and patio areas that are furnished with big, comfy couches and it doesn’t cost hardly a thing (just whatever we order to eat or drink).
None of our friends are Raw (not yet at least – ha!) but a few are transitioning to a vegan diet (YAY!). Just because our friends don’t completely share our lifestyle doesn’t stop us from socializing with them though. They know we value our health and that we feel great with our lifestyle, so they support us. We bring our own food to gatherings, unless it’s at a restaurant. If that’s the case, our friends are more than happy to meet us at restaurants that offer some Raw vegan friendly items (delicious salads, etc).
We’re very excited about the holidays. I’ll prepare a number of Raw dishes to bring to our family gatherings as we visit each side of the family. Scrumptious fun!
The process of love is exciting, and it fills me with joy and anticipation.
Being in love makes me feel powerful – it makes me feel as if all kinds of wild and wonderful things are possible.
Thursday, December 20th, 2007
This post was supposed to be added yesterday…
Good Day Everyone! I hope you’re doing really great. It’s a lovely day in Arizona, the sun is shining, the sky is bright blue, and I’m feeling wonderful. I’m thrilled to report that Kristen’s Raw was listed in the newest issue of VegNews Magazine (February 2008 issue, page 41). As I posted a couple days ago, this is my favorite magazine. I had no idea they were doing a feature on Raw for this issue, let alone that they were going to list Kristen’s Raw as…well something. Honestly, I’m still waiting for my copy to arrive, so I don’t know how Kristen’s Raw is referenced, but I heard through the grapevine that there is indeed a mention. YIPPEE! I’m honored!
Movie time: I recently saw the movie, Juno; a gripping, must-see! The dialogue is clever, witty, sweet, and funny.
Food Intake: I’m eating clean and light. I love that my food comes straight from the earth; it’s wholesome, pure and sexy.
Breakfast: lots of watermelon (my favorite!)
Snack: more watermelon
Lunch: 2 fuyu persimmons, 2 oranges
Snack: 1/2 avocado blended with 2 stalks celery and used as dip for carrot sticks
Dinner: huge green smoothie with water, 3 frozen bananas, 2 stalks celery and spinach
Dessert: 2 fuyu persimmons, 2 dates
Tuesday, December 18th, 2007
Need I say more? Haha Okay, I’ll write a few words. Living the Raw Lifestyle does NOT stop with the food you consume. It’s a lifestyle, not a diet, so it’s important to incorporate physical fitness into your routine. Unfortunately, many people aren’t big fans of going to the gym. GOOD NEWS! Trade in a trip to the gym for a romp in the hay tonight because FoxNews.com says it does your body good. Whoo-hoo!
I allow myself to connect to my sexual energy: Sexual energy is the creative energy of the universe. It inspires and excites, and sparks passion and enthusiasm.
~ Deepok Chopra
Saturday, December 15th, 2007
YUM! YIPPEE!!! WHOO-HOO! I’m like a kid in a candy store because….WAIT! Can we change this statement? A kid in a candy store? That’s awful! How about…I’m like a kid in an open field, running, playing with flowers, animals and making mud pies?! Ah, yes, that’s much better. Okay, where was I? Yes, I’m just like that kid in the field (sounds pretty good for an adult too, if I do say so myself – haha). Why am I so giddy? Well, yesterday, I received my organic produce delivery and I’m rolling around in giant Fuji apples, 10 pounds of bananas (even baby bananas – very cool!), golden beets, Meyer lemons, Persian limes, Satsuma Mandarin Oranges, spinach, avocados, watermelon and my ever-loving….drum roll please….fuyu persimmons (6 pounds…very nice!). I’m in heaven. When I bite into one of these delicious fruits, my mind is immediately transported away to that big open field of flowers, animals, and making dirty mud pies with my hands (it should be no surprise that I love to eat with my hands, too).
I started my morning with a giant green juice made with my fresh, organic produce. It had a little of everything in it and tasted just the same (which was delicious!). Gone are the days of having to “plug-n-chug” (picture this: plugging my nose while chugging down thick, disgusting, chemical tasting protein shakes from my bodybuilding days). Those are gone! Yay! Now, I’m only fueled with head-to-toe energizing goodness from fresh organic fruits and veggies. Life is damn good.
Then, I ate 3 fuyu persimmons. Simply delicious. Yikes! The 6 pounds will probably only last me a couple of days. Oops, I should have ordered more.
For lunch I’ll have warming, organic miso soup alongside a brilliant root salad of golden beets and carrots topped with chopped dates and a delicious Raw dressing. After which I’ll snack on more persimmons. Dinner? Not sure yet. It’s Saturday and a new Irish pub opened near us. Even though we’re very high Raw, my awesome loving boyfriend enjoys a beer once in a while. So, we’ll probably venture over there where he’ll drink that while I sip on a glass of organic wine. After all, it is a “Happy Holidays” time (imagine me saying it as Oprah does…dragged out, “Haaapppy Hoooooolidays”) and I love celebrating the holidays.
My two favorite places to buy organic produce online: Boxed Greens and Diamond Organics.
Today is definitely a SARK – Juicy Living Day. Here’s a good one…
Living Juicy Means: rolling down a bright grassy hill, sleeping all day to stay in a dream, definitely taking your shoes off at the beach, buying flowers that make you gasp. Find those places inside that jump for joy and do things that bring our your best, most magic self! Live your life in full color :)
~SARK, Juicy Living Cards
Friday, December 14th, 2007
I’ve been behind on my blogging, but I’m getting back on top of it now.
Even though it’s past Thanksgiving, it’s still before Christmas so this definitely applies. Check out what Bill Mahar has to say: George Bush – Pardon All The Turkeys. Thanks to VegNews magazine for pointing out this story. If you didn’t know, VegNews is my all time favorite magazine. It’s all about living the vegan lifestyle with an ever increasing portion detailing Raw. If you haven’t subscribed yet, you should. I love it!!!
Give yourself your own smile of approval.
~ Maxwell Maltz, M.D.
Monday, December 10th, 2007
My latest ebook is now available, Kristen’s Raw – The EASY Way to Get Started & SUCCEED with Raw Food.
This is the ultimate introduction, instruction manual, and guide for living the Raw Food lifestyle. Whether you’re totally new to Raw or just looking for new ideas, this is the perfect ebook for you. In this ebook, I cover what Raw is, why to do it, and most importantly, how — in a way that makes it easy to SUCCEED, by addressing or avoiding the obstacles that most people encounter as they introduce more Raw food into their lives.
A true lifestyle guide, this ebook includes topics such as mental tricks for sticking with it, dealing with cravings for cooked food, tips for handling family and social situations, sample meal plans (recipes not included), thorough instructions on equipping the perfect Raw kitchen, traveling Raw, growing your own sprouts, and more.
How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something, but to be someone.
~ Coco Chanel