Wednesday, November 7th, 2007
I used to be a big food worshipper with an over-the-top appetite. Seriously. I used to proudly boast to my male friends that I could “out-eat” them…not the most feminine challenge. At restaurant buffets, I would bring 2-3 plates full of food back from my first trip to the buffet bar (one in each hand plus one plate balancing on my forearm). But, I didn’t stop there. After the main meal, I would use a dinner size plate for the dessert table. I mean, come on, you can’t fit three desserts on that tiny plate they try to give you, right? And, how can you possibly choose only one dessert from all that are available? I had to at least try them all.
Basically, I loved food. I come from a family that is in the restaurant business and I grew up following my mom around the kitchen. My “high” in life came from the weekly trips to the grocery store with my mom, where she let me help her pick out ingredients. It wasn’t long before I became a little obsessed with food. In fact, it was not uncommon for me to think about what I was going to eat for lunch when it was only breakfast, as well as eagerly anticipating dinner before my lunch even started. And, I was always hungry.
The challenge was that being in shape and maintaining a healthy, slim waistline was, and still is, important to me. I feel the healthiest, sexiest, most playful, and have the most energy when I’m not carrying around extra weight (even if it’s only five pounds). Therefore, always being focused on food, eating a lot, AND trying to stay slim made my life quite a challenge. But, when I went Raw things changed. Whereas before I found myself with a crazy hunger, after starting to live the Raw lifestyle, I began experiencing a healthy appetite that was appropriately hungry before eating and adequately suppressed after eating. Now, I’m not obsessed with food and eating like I used to be. As a chef, I still get excited about food preparation, but now I’m content to eat the same delicious Raw vegan food for 2-3 days straight. I tend to drink the same smoothies for breakfast days in a row and it’s not unusual for me to eat the same Raw desserts over and over. Nowadays, my focus falls on getting fresh organic ingredients for my meals, but that’s about it. Life is healthier, simpler and much more enjoyable.
I think one of the reasons I was always starving in the past is because I wasn’t getting the proper nutrition I needed. My body was crying out for nutrients that were not to be found in all of the cooked food I consumed. Finally, I listened to my body’s cries for nutrient dense, uncooked food. When this happened, my hunger (and obsession) decreased, almost magically, and I was able to focus on other things…like my life.
When you say good-bye to something in your life, especially something like food that you’ve lived with for so long, it can be a tough transition for your mind (and your body). My advice is to take your time and enjoy the journey. Raw can seem like such a huge change, and indeed it is if you go 100% overnight. But, you don’t have to go 100% in the beginning (or maybe ever for that matter) to have some amazing results. Just start eating “more” Raw and listen to body as you go. You’ll probably find yourself in the same boat as many others….it becomes so delicious and healthy that you get excited about adding more and more Raw to your life. I find that the only people who question living a Raw (or high Raw) vegan lifestyle are the people who haven’t tried it. So, if you’re one of those people…to you I say…go ahead and just try it. See for yourself how easy it is and how great you could feel.
I am constantly discovering new ways to improve my health.
I look forward to a healthy old age because I take loving care of my body now.
~ I Can Do It Cards by Louise L. Hay
Tuesday, November 6th, 2007
I’m going to start working out twice a day a few days a week (aka “double workouts”). The goal is more physical activity in my life, which is important for slowing down aging. I saw Dr. Oz on Oprah yesterday drinking green juice (Yay! We’ll be mainstream before we know it), and he was discussing the importance of physical activity (I love how he described having muscle on your body to burn more calories and chew up the fat).
I work out quite a bit, but I want to kick it up a notch on some days. When I was a competitive bodybuilder, we had “double workout days” before competition, and it made huge improvements in our physical composition. To give you an idea of what I’ll be doing, my double workout days will consist of doing any of the following twice a day (each single session lasting between 20-60+ minutes, depending on the intensity): swimming, long walk, jog, jump rope, tennis, hiking, lifting weights, etc. In fact, I might go to the gym and do chest weight exercises for 45 minutes and go back later to do 30 minutes of tricep exercises, while throwing a little cardio into the mix. Now, I’m not gonna get all crazy here…but my goal is to make sure I’m more physically active. I spend a lot of time on sitting on my butt in front of my laptop, so I want to shake it up a bit…even if it means taking an extra walk or an extra 15 minute swim in the evening.
Today I swam laps (I love Arizona….swimming under the warm sun in November), and tonight I’ll take a long walk under the stars with my dog (3-5 miles).
Breakfast: large organic smoothie (water, bananas, parsley, spinach, fresh cranberries, and some red jalapeno pepper)
Lunch: A Perfect Salad…so delicious! It’s basically plenty of chopped veggies with a fabulous tahini dressing. I’m emailing the recipe to my newsletter subscribers this month, so if you’re not signed up yet….hop over to Kristen’s Raw and do it. Some recipes are only available to my subscribers so that you feel extra special.
Dinner: Large portion of A Perfect Salad again because it’s scrumptious, alongside a small green smoothie. Also had 2 bananas.
After Dinner Treat: organic tea sweetened with stevia or agave
Extra after dinner food: I’m hungry so I’m having another green smoothie
In what ways are you moving your body?
Tuesday, November 6th, 2007
You probably know by now that I’m all about LIVING THE RAW VEGAN LIFESTYLE, and that means my actions are beyond what food passes my lips. I’m also trying to be as green as possible. Here is a helpful list from Co-op America Quarterly (Fall 2007) for 10 Things You Should Never Buy Again to help preserve our home, earth:
Bleached coffee filters
Overpackaged foods & other products
Teak and mahogany
Chemical pesticides and herbicides
Conventional household cleaners
Higher-octane gas than you need
Toys made with PVC plastic
Plastic forks and spoons
PLUS 5 MORE:
Farm raised salmon
Beauty/Body care with phthalates and parabens
High VOC paints and finishes
Check out all the great specifics here.
And, did you know that you can recycle your compact fluorescent bulbs by taking them to your local IKEA store? Details. Another option – you can order a Sylvania RecyclePak for $15, which is a special lined box for 8 average CFLs. The fee covers shipping to and recycling at Veolia Environmental Systems. Cheers to our earth!
Oh, and by the way…One of my favorite shows on CNBC, Mad Money with Jim Cramer, is focusing on Green companies this week. It’s been great so far, as I’ve learned about Green technology companies as well as companies making changes to be more Green (like Wells Fargo). Whether you invest in the market or not, it’s great because it can help you make educated choices as a consumer… maybe you’ll choose Wells Fargo over another bank because they are doing so much to be Green. I think he’s doing Green all week, so there are still some days left to check it out.
Monday, November 5th, 2007
Today I made a smoothie that had pretty much everything in it but the kitchen sink; hence, the name (I am creative, aren’t I – ha ha). I threw in spinach, carrots, cranberries, kiwis, apples, dill, red jalapeno pepper (of course!), red bell pepper and water. When I had all the fruits and veggies in the blender waiting to get blended, I thought to myself, “Damn, it’s so pretty! All that vibrant, fresh produce.” Then, I blended it and it looked kind of like…well, something from a swamp. Oh well, it was soooooo tastey.
Workout: I’m going to the gym today for my legs/shoulder workout…working on building more muscle, building my bones and burning fat all day long. (I like to keep a toned body shape.)
Reading: I love to read. It’s one of my favorite ways to spend time. I used to frequent places like SBUX (ticker symbol for Starbucks) while reading for hours on end…sipping a soy cappuccino…hhhmmmm, the memories. Nowadays, I indulge in Starbucks on very rare occasions, so I don’t visit them for reading as much. However, I really love reading at places outside of my home, so I found new experiences. In Arizona, this is fun and easy because we’re surrounded by big sassy hotel resorts with beautiful gardens, bonfire pits, golf courses, pools, and fancy lobbies with comfy couches – all perfect for curling up with a good book. So, after my workout tonight, I’m going to one of my favorite spots in Scottsdale to sip some herbal tea while reading a great book, The Seven Mysteries of Life, by Guy Murchie.
What are some of your favorite books? Anything really great that changed your life and that you recommend?
Find your self a new nourishing spot.
~Juicy Living Cards by SARK
Sunday, November 4th, 2007
I recently saw the movie, Into the Wild, and was inspired to think “outside the gym.” So, Friday we took our dog hiking (into the wild – well, kind of wild). It was gorgeous, relaxing, exhilarating and best of all…fun. It’s important to find physical activities you really enjoy because it’s the easiest way to get more exercise into your life. Other ways I get more physical activity…hula-hooping (I’m lousy, but it’s fun), dancing (lousy here, again, but I love it! I think I heard the words, “Girrrl, you ain’t got NO coordination!” – haha, oh well), and playing golf and tennis (all of these qualify as great physical activities). Oh yeah, and when I go to the store, I park way out in BFE so I get more walking into my life.
Saturday, I went to the gym and lifted weights (chest/tri – heavy weight and low reps). I want to build more muscle to burn more fat all day long. Sometimes weight lifting is fun and sometimes it’s just “okay,” so I rely on great music to keep me motivated. Same story for the gym cardio. I do have days when I’m not thrilled to be on the treadmill, but when I have a great magazine (my favorite is VegNews!) or a super book to read, then I truly look forward to my time with the treadmill or stairstepper. It’s about being smart and making it work for you.
Food for Friday and Saturday are the same (I don’t mind eating the same delicious food a few days in a row).
Breakfasts: 1 qrt Smoothie (water,bananas, cranberries, basil, red jalapeno pepper)
Lunches: 1 qrt Smoothie (replaced cranberries from before with Raw chocolate)
Dinners: Large portion of Carrot Pasta with Indian Marinara
Desserts: Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake
Zen Mind – Experience all things with the enthusiasm of a child, as if you were seeing it for the first time. This is the Zen Mind. Always new, always aware, always that of a beginner.
~Daniel Levin, Zen Cards
Friday, November 2nd, 2007
Here is a cool idea that I’m so excited to do this holiday season – I’m asking family and friends to go vegan for 5-7 days, as their gift to me. (Asking them to go Raw is probably too much of a stretch, so I’m starting with vegan. Next year I’ll hit them up with Raw! Remember, baby steps are important.) It’s a chance for them to feel great, learn about the health benefits, reduce their carbon footprint, see how simple it is, and hopefully start making better choices about their food in the future. This is a great gift for any occasion (birthday, anniversary, etc).
With the money they won’t be spending on me, I told them to buy a few staples to last the week (soy or hemp milk, fresh/frozen vegan foods, fresh Raw produce, etc). I’m providing them with a shopping list and I offered to go with them to show them how easy it is. I’ll also give them simple and delicious vegan recipes (as well as easy and great Raw recipes), a list of restaurants in their areas for great vegan food (I’ll use the Internet for areas that I’m not familiar with), as well as giving them ideas for breakfasts, lunches and dinners. The goal is to give them everything they could possibly need for making the week easy and fun. I’m also giving them a free vegetarian starter kit from “GoVeg” www.goveg.com that I pre-ordered early to arrive in time.
Let life scoop you up and change you somehow
~Juicy Living Cards by SARK
Thursday, November 1st, 2007
Happy Halloween! Here I am all dressed up for a day and night of excitement! I hope everyone is having as much fun as I am. This is just one of the reasons I love Arizona…I can wear a costume like this at the end of October and the weather is glorious.
My food today:
1 quart green smoothie (spinach, apple, kiwi, cinnamon)
large salad of chopped veggies and Raw Italian dressing
1 quart banana, chocolate, red jalapeno smoothie
plenty of water
Let’s move our bodies in new and joy~full ways.
Dance with color ecstatically!
~Juicy Living Cards by SARK
Wednesday, October 31st, 2007
YOU ARE A DELICIOUS SUCCULENT HUMAN BEING!
Be Delicious. Eat mangoes naked, lick the juice off your arms. Discover your own goodness. Smile when you feel like it. Be rare, eccentric and original. Describe yourself as marvelous. Paint your soul. Investigate your dark places with a flashlight. Make more mistakes! Tell the truth faster. Celebrate your gorgeous friendships with women. You are enough, you have enough and you do enough. ~“Juicy Living Cards” by Sark
Sunday, October 28th, 2007
Hooray! My newest ebook is now available, Kristen Suzanne’s EASY Raw Holidays. This ebook has the perfect Raw vegan recipes for the holiday season. You’ll find one of my favorites, Oktoberfest German Chocolate Brownies (pic here), along with many others. My mom and I taught a handful of them yesterday at our class, Raw Holidays, and everything was a hit!
Now, you can try them, too. Learn how to make some of your holiday favorites, except now they’ll be healthy, delicious, and Raw! They’re easy to prepare, great to take to parties, and perfect for your family gatherings. At a time when the rest of the world is packing on pounds and clogging their arteries with all kinds of yule tide crud, you’ll be getting super healthy and full of energy by eating this amazing food — at the time of year when you need energy the most!
And, it’s not just recipes. I’m giving you great ideas, tips and tricks that are sure to help you breeze through the holidays while living the Raw lifestyle. Hurry up and get your copy today by visiting Kristen’s Raw.
Sunday, October 28th, 2007
Staying young isn’t just about what you eat.
Back track two days ago…my boyfriend tells me he wants to carve a pumpkin this year. I think to myself, “Are you serious? That’s cute, but I’m sure we have better things to do, right?”
Fast forward to today: I had a great day. Mom and I taught our fabulous Raw Holiday Class to a sold out crowd. We started the class wearing witches’ hats, as we made BOO! Halloween Hummus. We then traded the hats for Indian headdresses while teaching Raw Thanksgiving recipes, and finished the class wearing Santa hats. Oohhh…it was a sooo fun! Here is what I found myself thinking at the end of the day…Keep your body youthful with Raw food and keep your mind youthful with playful behavior.
After a long day of having fun, I came home and found my almost-40-year-old boyfriend carving his pumpkin. He was even listening to scary Halloween music! When he finished the pumpkin, he put a candle inside, and called for me to see his finished work (and now you can, too, with this picture). I looked up and saw this adorable, big grinning pumpkin staring back at me and I couldn’t help but smile as big as the pumpkin was. I felt like a kid looking at it and imagined my boyfriend must have had a blast carving it. I realized at that moment that we all have different ways of “playing” in trying to keep that youthful state of mind (and it’s important to indulge now and then). For myself, I played “dress up” all day in front of a room full of people. My boyfriend? Well, he kept his youthful state of mind by carving a pumpkin…umm, and yeah, I feel like a kid every time I look over at it. In fact, I just might go and put my witch’s hat on while I’m surfing the web tonight.