Thursday, October 23rd, 2008
Living the Raw Vegan lifestyle is really easy, there is no doubt about that. Whether you’re eating a simple apple for breakfast or making a pate-stuffed tomato for lunch, it can take very little time out of your day. The key when starting out is to be focused and organized, which also makes it easy to stay on your Raw diet. I have found that half the battle for most people trying to stick to a diet is simply having things planned and ready to eat. Once you have that figured out, there is no guess work, making it less likely for you to fall off your chosen path to optimal health.
If you’re the type of person that isn’t normally very organized, don’t fret. Again, you can keep Raw super easy by keeping your meals super easy (eating fresh fruit for breakfast, fresh veggies for snacks, buying pre-made Raw cookies, crackers and snack bars, or having Raw food delivered to you). And, if you don’t have very good organization skills but you still want to make your own food without sacrificing exotic and gourmet flavors, no problem. This lifestyle, and any planning it requires for those kinds of recipes, will quickly become second nature to you.
Bottom line: the more focused and organized you are, the less overwhelming it is. Not only that, but the more planning you do, the easier it is to stay on course with your diet. A great way to do this is to get a special calendar dedicated as your “Raw Kitchen & Food Prep” calendar. Use this to schedule the food you want to eat 3-7 days in advance. Then, pick out some recipes that sound delicious to you, and make a shopping list. Next, write on the calendar any specific steps that need to be done ahead of time. For example, if you’re going to have a pate-stuffed red bell pepper for lunch on Wednesday, then on Tuesday, you need to soak the nuts or seeds overnight so you can prepare the pate on Wednesday. You’ll find that such planning becomes second nature after you’ve done it for about a month or two and you probably won’t need the calendar as much, unless you’re planning something special such as a holiday party, celebration, or maybe when you’re making a dish that is new to you.
The steps it takes to be organized take only minutes, which is nothing compared to the time and energy you will save.
Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008
Raw food can definitely help you get gorgeous glowing skin, but that’s not the only thing. You can jump start the process by exercising, using non-irritating products, and getting enough sleep. It’s this last aspect, sleep, that I’m talking about today. I received a newsletter from a wonderful source of natural skin and body care products, Raw Gaia (here is a blog post of mine featuring all of my favorites). The article featured the importance of sleep in our daily regimen of beauty. It’s a great reminder as to why we need to make sure we’re catching our z’s on a regular basis. Check it out here.
Today is an exciting day for me because I officially mailed in my early voting ballot. If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, then you know that one of my daily activities is following all things political. I like voting early because I feel like I’m doing my part in helping to ease the traffic at the polls on November 4, especially since this election is showing that the numbers turning out to vote will be… HUGE!
Daily Conversation Question:
What makes you laugh the hardest?
Sunday, October 19th, 2008
Hats off to ORGANIC! According to Organic Consumers Association…
- If organic farming methods were practiced on all the planet’s food-growing land, it would be like taking more than 1.5 billion cars off the road.
- You can increase your antioxidant intake by 30 percent by choosing organic.
- The average child in America is exposed to five pesticides daily in their food and drinking water.
- The U.S. water system is regularly contaminated above safe limits immediately following chemical fertilizer applications to farm fields.
- Farms in developing countries that use organic techniques produce an average of 79% more than farms that don’t.
Saturday, October 18th, 2008
Eating Raw and Organic doesn’t have to break the bank for you. Here are 14 great tips to help.
1. Keep it simple. Eating a couple of bananas or apples is an easy and inexpensive option for breakfast. As well, keeping your snacks to plain fresh fruit or veggies (carrots, celery, etc) will also help keep your costs down while keeping your nutrients and energy both sky-high.
2. Super foods can be expensive (goji berries, maca, raw cacao, etc) so keep an eye out for that. A good rule of thumb here is to keep in mind that with super foods, a little goes a long way. For this reason, consider ordering with a friend and splitting the cost and the super food. Personally, there are times I enjoy them and times when I don’t have them for months on end. I can really stretch a bag of raw chocolate or maca.
3. If you’re HRAV (High Raw, All Vegan) then you have some additional inexpensive options. Shop in the bulk aisle of your health food store for things like organic quinoa, lentils, grains, etc. Remember that you’ll likely eat out less at restaurants with this diet and that alone will help you save money.
4. Grow your own sprouts. This is a great and inexpensive way to add loads of nutrition to your diet. 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. Fun! Learn how to grow your own here.
5. Buy nuts, seeds and dried fruit in bulk online. Check places like Sun Organic for increased savings as you buy larger quantities. Nuts, seeds, and dried fruit have a long shelf life, especially when stored in the refrigerator or freezer, so stock up and save.
6. Check the store you’re shopping at for their own brand of organic. For example, the 365 Whole Foods brand and the Safeway Organic brand seem to consistently have the best prices as compared to the competition.
7. Substitutions are a great way to save money. When making a recipe that calls for expensive nuts, you can often easily replace them with less expensive sunflower or pumpkin seeds.
8. Be content with minimal variety. Organic spinach banana smoothies are inexpensive, and my Fluffy Green Smoothie (recipe here)doesn’t cost much either (especially in the fall when apples are in-season). Having something like this for breakfast, snack, lunch and/or dessert can save money. For add variety, change it up by adding cinnamon one day, nutmeg another, vanilla extract yet another. Throw in a date in or some soaked raisins for pizazz on other days.
9. Buy fresh produce 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 green juice.
10. 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.
11. Pay attention to organic foods that aren’t very expensive to buy relative to conventional prices (bananas, for example). Load up on those. Make salads, smoothies, and soups with ingredients that tend to be less expensive such as carrots (year round), bananas (year round), zucchini and cucumbers (summer), apples (fall), etc.
12. Be smart when picking what you buy as organic. Some conventionally grown foods have much higher levels of pesticides than others. For those, go organic. Then, for foods that aren’t sprayed as much, you can opt for conventional. Avocados, for example, aren’t sprayed too much so you could buy those as conventional. Check out this list for more details.
13. 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!
14. 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!
Wednesday, October 15th, 2008
Today is filled with delicious, super nutritious, fresh organic raw vegan food that fuels my body with energy, relaxes my digestion, strengthens my immune system, and gives me “the glow.”
~ 1 quart plant blood (carrots, cucumber, celery, kale)
~ 1 quart Fluffy Green Protein Smoothie (water, spinach, apples, Manitoba Harvest Protein Powder, and cinnamon)
~ 1 banana
~ 1 cup water with 1 T Vitamineral Green Powder, 1/2 t camu powder, 1/4 t liquid B-vitamins
~ 1 avocado
~ 2 cups Raw soup
~ 1 quart Fluffy Green Protein Smoothie
~ 2 Pecan Spiced Delight Cookies (oh my! soooo good!)
I’m watching politics all day (pres. debate is tonight… whoo-hoo!!!) and working on my laptop. I have my timer set to go off every hour so I get up and jump on my rebounder for 5 minutes. I’ll do this about 6-7 times throughout the day. It’s an easy and fun way to get my heart rate up and my lymph flowing. It’s an exercise that Kris Carr recommends in her Crazy Sexy Cancer dvd, which I highly recommend watching. You don’t have to have cancer to get a lot out of this documentary. It’s inspiring and motivating from a preventative aspect. You can get it online here or rent it at most Blockbuster stores.
Monday, October 13th, 2008
I’ve been craving more “whole” fruits and vegetables lately. However, the idea of eating a diced cucumber, “whole” apple or carrot stick just hasn’t been that exciting. I’ve been wanting to have a comfort-food approach to my veggies and fruit, probably because the weather is starting to cool and the season is changing. So, I thought about how I could make my basic “whole” fruits and veggies more comforting… more soft like, more mushy (without cooking them!).
I came up with a great option: Shredding! The simple act of shredding my produce did the trick! Ha! Who knew? Why stop shredding at cabbage for coleslaw, right? It was all about the texture for me and shredding was the answer.
It gets even more fun when you imagine the different produce that could be shredded! The shredded medley you see in this picture is shredded cucumber, carrot and apple. Fun!!! I also shredded zucchini and celery. The shredded celery was really good but not as practical because of the string that’s left behind. However, I ate that separately which was like chewing gum – haha – it took so long to break it down. And, that was fun, too! Beets would be great, as would radishes or pears, and even the stalk of broccoli would be terrific.
I love this because it presents fruit and vegetables in a new fashion. It’s a simple thing like this that can really change your feeling about Raw food during times of boredom or struggle. I think it’s cool… the same exact food, it’s just presented differently and it made all the difference in the world to me. This is the kind of thing that can do wonders for kids and family, too. If it’s a challenge getting them interested in vegetables and fruit, try offering them produce in a fun shredded fashion. Want a little extra pizazz? Sprinkle a tad of Himalayan crystal salt or some dried herbs on top.
Saturday, October 11th, 2008
Congratulations Brenna Kater The Oceanskater AND Shelby (La Belle Vegan)!!! Your names were drawn from the big bowl of names for participating in my Second Awesome Giveaway. Your prize is a delicious and energizing 16-oz bag of Organic Raw Vegan Chocolate Powder! Simply send an email to Kristen@KristensRaw.com with the address that you want me to send your prize to.
Here is what Brenna Kater The Oceanskater had to say when asked, “What is the main reason you started adding Raw Vegan food to your life?”
I started incorporating more raw foods after stumbling across your blog & Green Smoothie Girl’s blog. It just made a lot of sense!
Here is what Shelby had to say when asked, “What is the main reason you started adding Raw Vegan food to your life?”
The main reason I started eating more raw foods is that I heard about all the health benefits and at the time I was unhappy about my body, tired all the time, and my skin was breaking out like crazy. I went a week on just raw foods (this was before I started my blog) and I felt amazing! My skin was clearing up, I had so much energy, and my body looked and felt fantastic. I’m not completely raw but I try to eat as much raw foods as I can and I crave raw foods all the time now.
My next Awesome Giveaway will be in November. Check back for details! It’s going to be terrific!
Friday, October 10th, 2008
If you fall off the bandwagon, don’t be discouraged! Sometimes the harder you fall, the stronger the momentum you have to get back up. What typically happens is that you find yourself equipped with an even stronger mindset that nothing will stop you. Use this to your advantage. Be encouraged. I like what Tony Robbins (one of my favorite personal growth experts) has to say, “When you’re frustrated, that is the time to get excited – because you are about to have a breakthrough.” Whoo-hoo! Now, THAT’S what I’m talking about!
I promise – it gets easier. There might be multiple times that you fall off your Raw Vegan course, but you get stronger each time you get back on. You’ll naturally gravitate back toward Raw, because at some deep level, your mind and body know that’s where you belong.
So, whether you’re trying to go 100% at once or you want a plan that gradually adds more Raw Vegan food into your life step-by-step… if you slip a little (or even a whole lot!) – don’t worry a bit. The very next minute is your chance to change it for the better. Got that? The very next minute you can make an improvement.
And, I’ll share something else. One of the best ways to make that next move is to simply drink a tall glass of fresh Plant Blood (green juice) right away. Alkalizing Plant Blood is a powerful way to turn your mind, body, and spirit back to the high road of health and give you that helpful push in the right direction.
“Never give up. This may be your moment for a miracle.” — Greg Anderson
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.