Monday, April 14th, 2008

Sprouts Are Super-Bad-Ass!

by Kristen Suzanne in Uncategorized

I know that when most people hear that I love sprouts, they automatically presume that I don’t shave my legs and that I hug trees in my spare time. And, when people learn that I grow my own…look out, because I might as well be from another planet – haha. But, when people learn how easy, fun, nutritious and inexpensive it is, they’re all too eager to ask me how to do it. Right now, I have alfalfa, radish, broccoli, and mung sprouts growing in mason jars on my counter. They’re adorable. (Oh yeah, and I “do” shave my legs!)

“Sprouting” is when you cultivate seeds in a non-soil environment just long enough for them to “wake up” from their dormant stage, burst into life, and sprout little, tiny stems and tiny leaves… and then you gobble ‘em up! Sprouting is one of the best tools you can use to helping you stay on the Raw lifestyle path. I’m going to let you in on a little secret (the gardeners among you might know this already)… aside from the physical/health benefits of eating sprouts (which many people speak about) few people recognize sprouting for what it does to your mental outlook. The process of growing your own sprouts is simply amazing! When I walk into my kitchen every day and see these little babies growing from seed to fresh sprout, it makes me smile and I’m reminded about the pure, “living” lifestyle I lead… it’s impossible to miss it, because these little foods are growing and sprouting before my eyes. It inspires me and I reflect on the clean, pure, fresh, and green lifestyle I’ve chosen for myself. It imbues a kind of energy, like warm sunlight shining on me, that is hard to describe, but every bit as real as their food/nutritional benefits. And, if you have kids…this is one of the best activities that you can do together. It’s an awesome way to get kids excited about eating sprouts.

My week has been filled with enjoying many salads comprised mostly of sprouts. They’re delicate, hearty by the handful, and bursting with delicious and nutritious juicy flavor in every bite. There is no doubt that sprouts are one of the healthiest foods you can consume because they’re considered a “pre-digested” food, making them more easily assimilated by your body. It’s during the sprouting process that the seeds’ protein transforms into amino acids, and the starch converts to simple sugars, making these optimal for digestion. They are a good source of vitamins A, C, E and B-vitamins; hence, they are a source of anti-oxidants. Plus, they contain chlorophyll. See? Gone are the days of pushing sprouts to the side. They are a staple in my lifestyle.

Get this! Researchers at John Hopkins University found that broccoli sprouts can have as much as 30-50 times the concentration of protective chemicals found in the mature broccoli plants. Even though they can be a little stinky, they taste delicious so don’t let a little stench put you off. And, alfalfa sprouts have saponins in them, which have been found to bind to cholesterol to help prevent it from being absorbed into the body. The University of Toronto shows that dietary sources of saponins may lower the risk of human cancers, too. Pretty bad-ass, huh?

I enjoy sprouts in many different ways. I eat them in salads, juice them, add them to my smoothies and simply snack on them by the handful all by themselves (before I leave the house, I throw a few handfuls of them into a baggie, squeeze a little fresh lemon, lime or orange juice on them, and toss it into my cooler for the day, along with my mason jars full of fresh green juice and green smoothie). They’re such a light and refreshing snack. If you’re signed up for my next class on April 26 (Weight Loss & High Energy), get excited because I’ll be teaching you how to easily grow your own! If you’re not signed up, you better do it today because I only have a few seats left.

Cheers! I’m off to munch on some more sprouts.

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Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

Maca Doesn’t Taste Like Feet For Once!

by Kristen Suzanne in Uncategorized

I’m not a fan of the taste of maca. It reminds me of feet. Can’t help it, it just does. I’ve tried it many times in Raw food and was never able to enjoy it (or more honestly, I’ve never been able to ignore it in recipes) until I used it here. (Here you go Bonnie :) Hope you like it.) Now, I don’t know if the sun was in the right position in the sky or if my hormones were in line when I tried this, but I ended up loving it. Go figure. If you’re like me and you usually pass on the maca…you can cut this recipe in half just in case you want to try a small amount first.

Maca is known for having some amazing properties, which is why I was determined to make a recipe I could look forward to. According to Navitas Naturals website: Athletes have found in Maca a natural endurance builder, due to its sterol and saponin content. A yang or fire tonic, Maca is widely prescribed in herbal medicine as a stress adaptogen. Recent studies have identified four alkaloids present in Maca known to nourish the endocrine system, benefiting reproduction in both women and men. In the West, Maca is rapidly gaining attention as a potential treatment for chronic fatigue, menopause and loss of libido.

See why I really want to get more maca into my life? It’s impressive. It’s also availalbe in capsules, which is something I might look into. I could always fill my own veg-capsules from the powder I have (there’s an idea for you, Bonnie!).

Love Nest Maca Smoothie
Yield 1 quart

2 cups water
2 cups frozen raspberries
3 dates, pitted
1 tablespoon Vitamineral Green Powder
1 tablespoon Raw carob powder
1 tablespoon chia seeds
2-3 teaspoons Navitas maca powder
3/4 teaspoon cherry extract
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon


Blend it up and enjoy!

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Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

Boyfriend with Flowers, Praising Kiwi & Feeling Great

by Kristen Suzanne in Uncategorized

I woke up today and came downstairs to see a beautiful bouquet of flowers from my boyfriend. He is so sweet. They’re sitting next to me right now and I can’t help but grin at how lucky I am to be loved so much by him. He’s romantic, wickedly brilliant, funny, supportive of all my crazy ways, eats what I put in front of him and loves every bite (he’s usually licking the plate at the end), tells me he loves me at least 15 times a day, adores my dog (now “our” dog), and buys me flowers (and so much more of course, but I have other things to cover in today’s post) – *grin*

In my attempt to have a very balanced diet with a wide array of produce, my attention is focused on kiwi today. It’s not something I eat often, and shame on me for that. It’s an AMAZING fruit with an impressive resume. I’ll point to a few shining aspects here:

~Stimulates cellular repair (Boohyah!)
~Filled with an army of disease fighting phytonutrients (Gotta love that!)
~Loads of vitamin C (Twice as much as oranges!)
~Magnesium, fiber & potassium (Nice!)
~The Journal of Medicinal Food reported that kiwi has an amazing ability to reduce oxidative stress in human plasma. (Enough already! Bring me kiwi!)

See? Pretty darn great!

Here is a fabulously fresh recipe that is perfect for spring. I loved it so much that I’m already drinking my second one!

Cinnamon Kiwi Green Smoothie
Yield 3 cups

1-2 cups water
1 LARGE! handful spinach
1 kiwi (peeled or not, it’s up to you – I peeled 1/2 of mine)
1 whole apple, chopped (yep, core and all)
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Blend this sassy baby up and enjoy the powers of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients going to work for you. YUMMY!

A Great Day - Well, obviously my day started out wonderfully with flowers from my guy, then it continued with delicious Raw liquids (green juices and the smoothies mentioned above). The sun is shining and I feel awesome. I’m working away at my laptop, switching between Oprah and Ellen on TV, and getting ready to take a great big walk with my dog. Later tonight, I’m going to the bookstore to relax and read (one of my favorite ways to spend time). Hugs to everyone out there reading my blog :)

Daily Conversation Question:
Which long lost childhood object would you most like to find?


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Sunday, April 6th, 2008

Chi-Chi-Chi-Chia… Dieter’s Dream Food!

by Kristen Suzanne in chia seeds

I recently featured chia seeds in my monthly email newsletter. (Not signed up for my newsletter yet? You can do so at www.KristensRaw.com). I received so many wonderful emails as a result that I decided to feature it here, too, along with a third Chia Fresca Breeze recipe. (It’s scrumptiously fun!)

Chia is called the “Dieter’s Dream Food,” and there is no shortage of the attention they’ve been getting lately through TV, newspapers, and magazines. And, I’m here to tell you, it’s not because they make cute little animal-shaped plants (although that is cool!). Chia seeds are being praised for many things including their fantastic nutrient profile, which proudly boasts iron, boron, essential fatty acids, fiber, and more. Add to that the claims that they may improve heart health, reduce blood pressure, stabilize blood sugar, help people lose weight from giving them extra stamina, energy, and curbing hunger, and you might become a fan of these little guys, too. They’re superstars in my book.

There is more to the story of chia seeds though. They have an amazing history dating as far back to times where they were a staple of the Aztec and Mayan diets. Even the Aztec warriors relied on them. According to Andrew Weil, M.D., “Chia is undergoing something of a renaissance after centuries of neglect. It was a major crop in central Mexico between 1500 and 900 B.C. and was still cultivated well into the 16th century, AD, but after the Spanish conquest, authorities banned it because of its close association with Aztec religion (Indians used the seeds as offerings in rituals).”

Chia seeds are extremely versatile. They can be used in place of flax seeds in any recipe, you can sprinkle them on salad or cereal, eat a spoonful straight out of the jar, roll your banana in them, or make one my favorite recipes…Chia Fresca, which is a very common drink in Mexico and Central America. It’s positively perfect for spring and summer.

When you consume chia seeds in a drink like Chia Fresca, they take on a fun and groovy texture because of the slightly gelatinous composition they embrace. Well, I’ve added a little sassiness to the basic recipe and thought I’d share it with you. In my latest email newsletter (again, if you’re not yet signed up for it, do so here), I shared two wonderful recipes, Chia Fresca Breeze I and II. I’m addicted to them. When I first created Chia Fresca Breeze I, I drank it down and went straight back into the kitchen to make another. Later that night, wanting more, I came up with Chia Fresca Breeze II. They’re so refreshing, delicious and light. Make sure you try them for yourself. In the meantime, here is my third delicious recipe, Chia Fresca Breeze III. I’m sipping one right now and it’s wonderful.

Chia Fresca Breeze III
Yield 1 serving
2 teaspoons chia seeds
1 cup water
Juice of 1/2 grapefruit
2 teaspoons Raw agave nectar
dash powdered ginger
Stir all of the ingredients together in your favorite drinking glass and enjoy. I like drinking this with a straw so I can stir the beverage between sips to prevent the chia seeds from all settling in the bottom of the glass.


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Saturday, April 5th, 2008

Balancing With Superstar Foods – Arugula An Aphrodisiac?

by Kristen Suzanne in arugula

I make a real effort to get a great balance of fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, herbs, etc in my diet. I want to make sure I’m getting the whole spectrum of phytonutrients, minerals, and vitamins that are for the taking. This is important for fighting diseases and helping me reach optimal health, energy, and vitality.

I thought I’d showcase some of them in my blog posts, so you can follow along with me. Some of these might not be new to you; nonetheless, it serves as a reminder that there is such amazing variety with the Raw lifestyle because of the vast array of produce.

Today, I’m making my green smoothie with arugula. Now, this isn’t one of my favorite leafy greens because of its flavor, but I’m taking it in anyway. Sometimes, you just gotta do what you gotta do. After you read a little about it, I think you might want to add more arugula to your life as well.

Let me begin by telling you that it’s reputed to have aphrodisiac qualities, or at least that is what the ancient Egyptians and Romans thought about it. Okay, sign me up!

Oh, wait, there’s more. It’s extremely low in calories with only five per cup. And when you add in all the nutrients it contains, that five calories is impressive. Let’s see, you’ll be giving your body vitamin A, carotenoids, lutein & zeaxanthin (great for eyes), folate, vitamin K (this is a key for building stronger bones), calcium, and more. Here’s the cool thing about calcium in arugula as compared to spinach…arugula has the same amount of calcium as spinach, but it is lower in oxalates than spinach (a substance fighting calcium absorption).

Arugula Green Smoothie

2 cups water
1 bunch arugula
1 pear
2 bananas
pinch (or more!) nutmeg

Blend and enjoy!

Daily Conversation Question:
What makes a house a home?

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Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

Optical Illusions Making Us Fatter…What?

by Kristen Suzanne in Uncategorized

I’m still amazed (and tricked almost every time…okay, who am I kidding, I’m still tricked every time) when I look at the illusions in the following article. I’d swear one was bigger than the other. I’ve even taken out the scale and ruler…to make sure I’m right…just to find out…WHAT? It can’t be!


There is a great lesson here about portion control with respect to our food consumption. In a world where super-sizing and obesity go hand-in-hand, it’s important to get a grip on our portion sizes now. This article shows how we can easily trick our minds (even when we think already know the answer!), and this comes in handy when eating.

Some of you might be asking, “Why would I need to control my portion size when I’m eating Raw?”

My answer: Not everyone who reads my blog is 100% Raw. And, even if you are, I’ll bet there are times that you still eat too much Raw food. When it comes to longevity, more scientists show that reducing our caloric consumption might be the key. Yes, many Raw foods are already low in calories, but let’s be honest. Are we all snacking on apples and carrot sticks all day long? Not likely. I’ll bet that a number of you are still consuming a lot of calories due to the high caloric content of most nuts, seeds and oils, while still accustomed to big portions. Not to worry though, we can still enjoy our delicious gourmet Raw foods…just eat smaller portions. And to do that just right…we need to simply use smaller plates, cups, bowls, etc. It works and it’s effective!

So, are optical illusions making you fat or hindering your weight loss efforts? No worries! Turn that problem around and use it to your advantage. Throw out the dinner plates and start using those salad plates for your next entire meal and you’ll find yourself consuming fewer calories, yet being more satiated than before. It’s like magic.
For those of you interested in more on the topic, I highly recommend this fantastic read by Dr. Brian Wansink, Mindless Eating – Why We Eat More Than We Think. I read the book in about two sittings and have already passed it on to many friends.

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Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

My Love/Hate Relationship With Dandelion

by Kristen Suzanne in Uncategorized

Hating it: It’s bitter…damn bitter! I just took a swig of the green juice I made with dandelion (I put the whole bunch in and it was big!), and if you could see my face, you’d laugh your butt off at me. Major face contortions going on here, even though I sweetened it as much as I could with apples (while trying not to go overboard on sugar). I’m a hard core gal, remember. I used to compete in bodybuilding where we chugged down protein shake after protein shake (those rarely taste good when they’re made with powder and water only). So, I’m usually cool with just gettin’ it down the hatch. No pain no gain.

Loving it: Even though it’s bitter as hell, dandelion is worthy of being added to my diet any day. According to The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, the following information shows that dandelion is amazing, truly amazing. Check it out:

“The Latin name for dandelion is Taraxacum officinale, which essentially means ‘official remedy for the disorders.’” I should just stop there, because that’s great enough. I mean, come on, “official remedy for the disorders” – I love that. However, I feel the need to brag after drinking this green juice and making faces, so I’ll keep going…One of its main benefits is its ability to help cleanse and detoxify the liver (this is not to be taken lightly because it’s very important to have a healthy, functioning liver).

Dandelion is helpful for diabetes because it contains inulin and pectin. (If only I could get my dad to drink some…hhhmmm….unfortunately, this is not something I can sneak into a meal.)

Helping with PMS. (Sign me up!) If there are two things I can’t stand during PMS, it’s retaining water and mood swings. Dandelion to the rescue! It’s a natural diuretic, and it has two hormone-balancing constituents to help save the day.

Dandelion is one of the most nutrient-rich vegetables available. It contains calcium, potassium, vitamin K, beta-carotene, vitamin A, lutein and zeaxanthin (great for your eyes), and fiber.

So, blend a bunch of dandelions for your next smoothie or juice, grab a mirror, drink it down and have a laugh at the face you make because of the bitterness. You’re doing your body GOOD! I just took my last big swig and although I held my breath while drinking it, I feel G-R-E-A-T! I do believe I’m beginning to feel like a superhero right about now.

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Monday, March 31st, 2008

Burn Fat, Reduce Stress & Fight Osteoporosis

by Kristen Suzanne in weight loss

Getting physically fit is one of the best things you can do for your mind and body, and here are three great reasons to get started today:

1) Burn Fat Fast! When it comes to getting the best body ever, I want super fast results. For me, that means pumping iron. It’s simple…muscle accelerates fat loss. The muscle works on your behalf all day long burning extra calories. Who wouldn’t want that?

2) Reduce Stress! Want to reduce stress? No problem! Have you ever beat the crap out of a punching bag? Now, that’s therapy!

3) Fight Osteoporosis! I am on a mission to fight osteoporosis and lifting weights is one of the most effective ways to do just that. With my history of shoveling slabs of ribs into my mouth and drinking cauldrons full of coffee, I have some major making up to do with my skeletal structure. Lifting weights is the best ally I have for building my bones and fighting that damage.

Today’s Recipe: Power Energy Elixir
Yield 1 serving

1/2 cup water
Juice from 2 oranges
1 tablespoon Vitamineral Green Powder
2 teaspoons Navitas Naturals maca powder
1 teaspoon carob powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Place all of the ingredients in a glass mason jar and shake it up to thoroughly mix. Drink it down (this is just one of those concoctions that is best gulped instead of sipped). Feel the buzz of energy take you over and carry you through your day.

For the rest of the day I’ll be enjoying:
1 quart fresh green juice
The Beowulf Workout Smoothie (featured in my upcoming class, Weight Loss & High Energy)
1 quart fresh green juice
Green Moxie Soup (this, too, is taught in my upcoming class)
Bok Choy Salad with a delicious dressing on top

Daily Conversation Question:
What quality do you think is most important in a marriage?

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Saturday, March 29th, 2008

Buzzing with Beautiful Energy and Loving It!

by Kristen Suzanne in energy, fitness, smoothies

Here it is, after one o’clock in the morning and I am still buzzing with energy. It must have been that delicious Super Star Chocolate Vanilla Power Smoothie I made earlier. Or, maybe it was my Blueberry Omnipotent Smoothie (water, frozen blueberries, hemp protein powder, maca powder, Vitamineral Green Powder, cinnamon)…Or maybe it was the awesome salad sandwich I had for dinner. Who knows, but here I am, still buzzing with beautiful energy so I thought I’d do a little planning for my Saturday.


I’m going back to the gym tomorrow (or, actually later today – haha) and I can’t wait. My plan is to do 30 -minutes of “circuit” type training for cardio and 30-minutes of circuit weight training.

Circuit Cardio: Time to start sweatin’ again! I love doing a circuit cardio routine, because it changes it up with all of the activities and the time flies.

1 minute: jump rope
10 minutes: high inclined treadmill at a speed of 3.7-3.9
1 minute: jump rope
10 minutes: eliptical machine
1 minute: jumping jacks
5 minutes: stairstepper
2 minutes: jump rope

Circuit weights: circuit three times through, with each exercise having 8-10 reps. Weight training is definitely a major key in keeping my sassy, sexy body lean and firm with strong bones!

Chest: Dumbell press
Tri’s: Tri kickback
Back: Overhead pull down (wide grip)
Bi’s: Barbell curls
Shoulders: Triangle shoulders
Legs: Walking lunges
Abs: Crunches



Food Plan:
I’m sure I’ll have a smoothie upon waking before I head to the gym. After the gym, I’ll have another smoothie with Manitoba Hemp protein powder and Vitamineral Green powder added for extra “post-workout” nutrition. Later in the day, I have a feeling that my body will want a delicious, huge, fresh green salad with an amazing dressing, Raw Hemp Oil Za’atar, drizzled on top (YUM!!! and so nutritious!). For dinner, we’re celebrating my boyfriend’s mom’s birthday at a Mexican restaurant so I’m sure I’ll enjoy guacamole and salsa as part of my dinner. And, last but certainly not least, I just took some Raw vegan chocolate coconut treats out of my freezer to snack on tomorrow for dessert (gotta get my chocolate fix!).


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Friday, March 28th, 2008

Super Star Chocolate Vanilla Power

by Kristen Suzanne in Hemp, raw chocolate

I love my Fridays…new movies typically start, everyone is in a good mood, life seems more relaxed and I’m more than happy to participate in all of that goodness! I’m hoping to see the movie 21 tonight and sneak in a tasty smoothie to enjoy at the same time. I made an especially delicious one for it:

Super Star Chocolate Vanilla Power
Yield 2 1/2 cups

1 cup water
1 cup Super Star Vanilla Sauce
2 tablespoons Navitas Raw chocolate powder
2 tablespoons Manitoba Harvest Hemp Protein Powder

Blend it all up, transfer to a glass mason jar and sneak into the movie with this amazing treat! (Oops, I just drank it all while writing this – it was so I delicious that I couldn’t help myself – haha – so I guess I won’t be taking it to the movies.)

Update! Great news – my neck is getting better, thanks to the fantastic treatment I’m receiving at Iron Care. I’ve been given the green light to get back into the gym – hooray!

Daily Conversation Question:
If you owned a boat, what name would you choose for it and why?


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