Tuesday, January 15th, 2008
I feel the need, the need for greens! Kind of like that line in Top Gun…something like, “I feel the need, the need for speed!” – haha
I’m feeling extra wonderful today. I think it’s all of the extra greens I’m adding to my smoothies. Lately, I’ve been adding much more (and less fruit). Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of fruit…but I’m listening to my body, which I always recommend, and I’m craving greens lately, so there you have it.
I’ve also been trying out a green powder that I add sometimes from Health Force Nutritionals (Vitamineral Green) and it’s been great. I’m not usually a big fan of supplements, but again, I listen to my body. If I feel out of balance with my diet or if I’m traveling and I won’t have access to many greens, then I’m all for supplementing (it does have it’s place in my world). Plus, it’s just fun sometimes. I love experimenting when it comes to things like that, so I can’t really help myself – haha. I’ve always had a passion for health, nutrition, diets, physical fitness, and…yes, even supplements. I don’t rely on them though; they’re just something I add once in a while.
Anyway, back to my intense adoration of greens lately. I’ve been enjoying them in mass quantities, and I’m reaping the benefits. My favorites this week have been cilantro, parsley, celery and spinach. Right now, I’m off to make a gigantic smoothie of parsley, cilantro, celery, apple, lime, kiwi, cinnamon, and maybe some cayenne or garlic for extra kick.
Have a GREAT day!
Tuesday, January 15th, 2008
I’m sending out my email newsletter with my Heavenly Cookies recipe. You can sign up for it at KristensRaw.com.
Sunday, January 13th, 2008
It’s been an exciting, busy and fun weekend. I had a great time on TV, Friday, showing my much-loved Raw cookie recipe Heavenly Cookies. This recipe will be featured in next week’s email newsletter so sign up for it if you haven’t at KristensRaw.com.
Today I taught my Raw food prep class, Discover Raw, and it was a blast! I was scheduled to teach at Whole Foods where they have a nice kitchen-classroom. Quite last minute, however, I found out they had to use the room for training, so it was off limits to me. Yikes! They presented me with the option to use the café, but I was a little apprehensive initially. I wanted to make sure the atmosphere was still intimate, and somewhat private, now that it would be held in an open café that could be noisy and seemingly not conducive for teaching.
Well…it turned out great (Yay!); despite the after effects of my voice being hoarse from speaking loudly to ensure everyone could hear me – haha. We all had a terrific time and the café seems like a perfectly viable option if the classroom isn’t available in the future. What’s even better is there were many shoppers passing by, eager to find out what was going on…after all, the class was sold out (24 people), so the gathering of people in the café watching me prepare Raw food and having fun was intriguing to them.
Even though it’s nighttime now, I’m still on a “high” from such a great class. I loved seeing the familiar and new faces. It’s electrifying to me to help spread the word about living the Raw lifestyle and seeing people’s lives change as a result. It’s very rewarding. That being said, a lot goes into preparing for a class (many hard hours of work), especially during the 48-hours prior to class time, and lasting until about 4-hours after class when we’re cleaning up, answering final questions, and heading home to unpack everything. By the time I’m done I feel quite spent, in an exhilarated fashion, from running on all cylinders to put on a great show. As a result, this is a day when I want big-time, high-energy to get me through, so I rely on fresh organic green juices and smoothies. Today was no different. I started with a large fresh green juice at Whole Foods’ juice bar, and had another one after my class (drinking plenty of water between). When I finally arrived home, the only thing that sounded good was a giant green smoothie…something about working hard all day and needing nutritious greens to nourish my bod. I won’t be surprised though if I’m raiding the refrigerator in the middle of the night for more of those delicious Heavenly Cookies.
Sunday’s agenda? I’m taking a break to relax because Monday, I’m back at it preparing for my next class (Jan. 26), Entertaining and Party Favorites. Whoo-wee! This class will be fantastic and I can’t wait to teach it.
Thursday, January 10th, 2008
For those of you who think living the Raw vegan lifestyle could be costly, let me help break it down because it doesn’t have to be. In the beginning stages, it can seem expensive, but in the long run, it’s not. Keep the five following points in mind:
>If you are new to Raw, you’re probably going to try lots of new recipes and you typically don’t have all of the ingredients on hand. As a result, you’re frequently buying new ingredients as you stock up your pantry. Once you’re stocked up with all the appropriate seasonings, herbs and ingredients then you’ll only purchase them occasionally.
>You may find yourself making all kinds of food for others to sample (in getting them to understand and support you, or maybe just trying to impress them, or even encouraging them to try the lifestyle for themselves). It’s all perfectly natural, but keep in mind that these – exotic foods, learning materials, parties, etc. – can increase the financial cost of going Raw.
>Super foods can be expensive (goji berries, green powders, raw cacao, etc) and many people don’t find them necessary at all. Personally, there are times I enjoy them and times when I don’t have them for months on end. It just depends on my preference at the time. For example, if I find that it’s been a couple of weeks without much variety in my diet, I’ll add them to make sure I’m getting a more balanced diet. Or, if I’m traveling, I always take a green powder to mix with water or juice so I’m still getting my greens. Just keep in mind that overall, if you use a lot of super foods, they can add to the cost of your Raw vegan lifestyle.
>Living the Raw lifestyle means not eating out at restaurants very often. This alone can save money! The equipment cost you pay in the beginning can add up, but remember you probably won’t need to buy these items again (or for a very long time) if you purchase high quality equipment. Ask for these gifts for holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
>Remember the things you will not be buying, which will save you money. Meat is expensive. Supplements are VERY expensive – most (if not all) will no longer be necessary. Processed and packaged food is expensive. Going to restaurants is expensive. Doctor co-pays and bills are expensive. Prescription drugs are expensive. Being sick and staying home from work is expensive. Not having enough energy to really pay attention to your kids and be there for them 100% is expensive.
Large green juice
Large green juice
2 of my Heavenly Cookies
Large salad of lettuce, red bell pepper, carrots, celery, tomato topped with a zesty Raw Italian Dressing YUM!
3 of my Heavenly Cookies
Wednesday, January 9th, 2008
I’m back from my snowboarding adventure and it was so much fun. I love learning new skills. Funny thing is that I thought for sure my legs and butt would be sore. Nope! My back and arms are aching from all the snow shoveling I did to help dig out our car. Flagstaff was dumped on with snow the past few days…it was positively gorgeous, glistening, and refreshing. That being said, it’s always nice to be back in the sunny, warm part of Arizona, of which I can never get enough.
I began a fascinating book while I was away titled, The Ethics of What We Eat by Peter Singer. Oh my…it’s a compelling page-turner. I think the review by The New York Times describes it best, “Vital, urgent and disturbing.” I can confidently recommend this book even though I only just started it.
Today’s food was simple:
A dose of E3’s Renew Me Emerald Blend
Handful of Raw Sweet Vanilla Rain Almonds
Large fresh green juice
Huge portion of curly kale salad with dried cranberries
Hemp Chocolate Protein Shake
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way it treats its animals.
Monday, January 7th, 2008
I’m alive and well! I made it through my first day of snowboarding. BOOH-YAH! We started the morning with organic green smoothies made in my awesome travel blender. Then, we stuffed our pockets full with Raw snack bars to enjoy during the day. I came prepared.
It was so beautiful and picture perfect driving up the mountain. We had a ton of snow overnight so it topped the mountain with lovely, fluffy snow perfect for falling down on my bum (or face!) Fortunately, I didn’t do too much of that. It was exhilaratingly exhausting. Just getting used to attaching the snowboard to my seemingly 20-pound boots, getting up from a seated position, under layers of clothes and snow gear that makes me feel the like the Pillsbury Dough Boy, from delicate snow that you sink into and want to fall asleep on (if it didn’t start to make your clothes wet)… all of that is a workout in itself (not to mention the elevation adjustment). My heart was racing all day. Then, as a beginner in a class, they take you down the bunny slope a little, make you walk back up, go down just a little again, and walk back up. Talk about an arduous affair in the cold and blistery wind when my life is typically basked in the warm therapeutic sun of the desert. I admit, I had moments when I looked enviously upon the skiers, feeling a longing tug at my heart to run back into the lodge and swap out the board for familiar skies. But, I’m all for new adventures. All I can say is…Wow. I kept thinking to myself, this is such great exercise even if I’m only spending 15 seconds at a time actually riding the snowboard. All that hard work topped by a few brief moments of sheer thrill…totally worth it and I’m going back for more.
Next up on the lifetime list: surfing!
Saturday, January 5th, 2008
Tomorrow we’re leaving for a snowboarding trip. Whoo-hoo! I used to be a big-time skier, but this is the first time I’ll be snowboarding. I can’t wait! It’s going to be awesome exercise and I’m sure I’ll work muscles that I haven’t used in a VERY long time.
Staying Raw while going on our snowboarding adventure will be super easy. I’m not going to abandon my healthy eating habits while I’m on the slopes, so I’m planning in advance. Since we’re driving to the mountains for our adventure, we’re able to take a cooler, which will be full of fresh produce. I packed my Tribest Personal Blender so we can still enjoy our super nutritious smoothies every morning and evening. (To keep our produce fresh, I’ll change out the ice in the cooler using the hotel’s ice machine.)
I packed organic Raw Sweet Vanilla Rain Almonds (recipe in this ebook), along with fresh dates, dehydrated buckwheat groats and energy bars (all perfect for stuffing into my ski coat pockets) which will serve as filling snacks when we’re warming up in the lodge between runs – clearly I won’t be having the traditional donuts and hot chocolate.
I researched the area for health food stores (fresh, organic produce) and vegan-friendly restaurants ahead of time. What did people do before the Internet? And, when we’re back in the room and need a midnight snack…no worries!…I’m prepared with Raw cookies.
Living the Raw vegan lifestyle is easy even when I’m away from home because I make it that way. It’s simply a matter of thinking ahead, being prepared and packing the essentials.
Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness. ~Edward Stanley, Earl of Derby, speech 1873
Thursday, January 3rd, 2008
Today it was such a lovely day in Arizona. The warm sun was shining in the bright blue sky, and I filled my body with Organic Raw goodness. I was craving Mesquite Carob Banana Smoothies with Sassy Superfood Green Goodness…so I drank like…uhmm, four of them. And they were large ones at that. What can say? I go a little overboard sometimes. *giggle*
When I was not outside enjoying the gorgeous sun today, I was having fun exchanging emails with people all over the world answering great questions about living the Raw lifestyle, swapping cool ideas about athletics, and making friends. I get so excited when I think about all of the new pals I’m making. (Note: This is always nice when you’re traveling and need somewhere to stay, am I right? haha).
Welcome to the center of your life.
Wake up and see the other souls around you. Let them affect you. Live in the center of your life.
~Juicy Living Cards by SARK
Tuesday, January 1st, 2008
Are you trying to get your family (and kids!) to eat more Raw Vegan? Here are some fantastic tips from my latest ebook, Kristen’s Raw – The EASY Way to Get Started & SUCCEED with Raw Food:
1. Show your family great Raw recipes from books and the Internet. Then, let them take turns picking out which recipes you make for them. This will really get their taste buds overflowing with anticipation.
2. Make one Raw dish at every dinner (or every other dinner), and don’t even mention it. They probably won’t even realize they are eating so much Raw food.
3. Introduce your family to Raw with Raw desserts. When kids get to eat dessert after every meal, that is exciting, especially when they can have second helpings of it.
4. Make certain meals Raw. The easiest way to do this is to make breakfast 100% Raw. You can start by drinking fresh organic smoothies for breakfast or having creamy cinnamon nut milk with crunchy Raw granola. It’ll greatly help if you let your family take part in choosing what flavors to make. So, the night before you make a smoothie, ask your kids which flavors they would like. Make it fun by talking about the different colors, too. I love getting my nephews excited about drinking Green Smoothies. I give it a much cooler name, however: “Dragon Smoothies,” or, make a strawberry and banana smoothie and call it “Pretty-In-Pink Smoothie.” Trust me…these things help!
5. Give your kids choices so they don’t feel forced to eat just one thing. You can do this by offering them something really tasty compared to something that might not be as tasty, thereby making the tasty option seem that much better. For example, offer your kids a choice between blueberries and celery. They will probably pick the blueberries and be happy about it because they had a say in the matter and blueberries taste good (imagine how different this is than offering them blueberries or Oreos!) Or, make it a choice between carrots and zucchini. They’ll probably pick the carrots and be happy about it because of the alternative.
6. Another super tip is to cut your children’s fruit and veggies into fun shapes and sizes using inexpensive kitchen tools. They’ll be sure to show these off in school!
7. Include your children in the experience of shopping and preparing the food. This helps them feel more connected to the food and it makes them feel proud to have helped. Have fun while you’re doing it and be sure to thank them for their help.
8. Here is another great way to get children excited about eating fruits and vegetables. Tell them that they get to eat a “rainbow of colors” each day. Get a piece of construction paper for every color of the rainbow – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. Then, have your children cut out a big, fun shape for each color. On one side of each shape, write the word “DONE” and draw a smiley face. Stick them on the front of your refrigerator door with the word “DONE” side down. Each day, as your kids eat a fresh fruit or vegetable that is a color of the rainbow, flip over that color’s shape so the word “DONE” is face up and you can see it. It’s a great way to motivate your kids and get them excited about eating all the colors of the rainbow, because they get a challenge and a sense of accomplishment.
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!