Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

Dealing With Cravings – Short & Long Term Solutions

by Kristen Suzanne in Uncategorized

We live in a world where we’re bombarded with advertising every minute of the day for processed, cooked, unhealthy and addictive food. It’s no wonder that cravings can be hard to deal with. Here are a couple of quick tips for the short term. First, distract yourself with an activity to forget the craving. For example, the next time you want something cooked and unhealthy, take a 4-minute walk. Or, brush your teeth. Or, take a shower. Trust me, these things work!

Secondly, eat some great Raw food (maybe it’s something you consider to be a real Raw treat, such as Raw cheesecake) or drink a creamy, fresh green smoothie. Then, see how severe your craving for cooked food actually is. I’ll bet you it’s gone, or at least reduced big time!


Let’s face it. Odds are that the next time you turn on the TV, you’re not going to hear much about the enormous benefits from living the Raw vegan lifestyle in the mainstream media…(at least not yet). Therefore, to help fight cravings long-term, learn as much as you can about living the Raw vegan lifestyle. This helps you answer people’s questions (because believe me, you’ll be asked what you’re eating and why). So, the more you know the better. It’ll inspire you and motivate you. Read books, websites, and blogs. Attend classes, seminars, expos, and events. Connect with others! Dhru, at We Like It Raw, has been doing a F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S job at keeping us all linked together. We need this Raw Armor of knowledge and community to shield ourselves from temptations and to stand tall, strong, and proud. Thanks Dhru, you rock!

The pain of discipline is easier than the pain of regret.
~ Jim Rohn

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Monday, November 12th, 2007

Farmer’s Market Question, Monday’s Food & Exercise

by Kristen Suzanne in energy, exercise

It’s a lovely day, and I am so happy. I LOVE BEING RAW VEGAN!

Farmer’s Market:
Here’s the thing…I recognize the importance of eating locally (for my health and the environment). But, here’s my question: How do I really know if my local “un-certified” farmers are organic just because they say so? The last time I went to the farmer’s market I was discouraged because no one was certified organic, although they tried to assure me that they follow organic farming practices. They blamed the cost of certification as the reason for not having the label. I was bummed because I wanted to buy local and organic. I left with my canvas bags empty and opted for Whole Foods Market. I later asked a small grower in California and he stated that it’s not that expensive to get certified. Hhmmm. I would love nothing more than to buy the most locally grown produce, but I’m a stickler for organic. I know they “say” they are….but how do I truly know (apart from visiting the farm)?

Today’s food:
Breakfast: watermelon (I love watermelon!)
Snack: Dr. Oz “Fresh” Green Smoothie with 3 figs added (large)
Lunch: Big salad of celery, carrots, red bell pepper, cucumbers, and olives topped with Tahini Gingered Carrot Dressing
Snack: Spinach-Banana smoothie (large)
Dinner: Same as lunch

Exercise:
Back and Bicep weight training
Long-ass walk tonight under the stars (6-miles) for my “double” workout

*These double workout days feel so great! I love them.

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Sunday, November 11th, 2007

Detox – Don’t Be Afraid… Be Free!

by Kristen Suzanne in Detox, vegan

One of my favorite experiences when going Raw was the cleansing and detox aspect. Not everyone agrees with me on this. Sure, it can be a painful experience for some people. I was no exception. I had my share of headaches, pain, snotty nose, skin rashes, lethargy, and horrible pimples (my face suddenly looked like sandpaper with all the little bumps). I instinctively knew it was detox. I felt enormous relief and satisfaction at seeing it expelled from my body, while also experiencing gratitude for being smart enough to eat healthier (especially now that I saw what I was carrying around inside).

Frankly, I was a little shocked that my detox was as tough as it was. I had, after all, been vegan for about 2 years when I started incorporating more Raw. Wasn’t that enough? Apparently not. Hhmmmm…I guess I needed something stronger (Raw vegan) to shake loose the abundance of toxins I ingested prior to my vegan lifestyle (protein shakes for competitive bodybuilding, overloaded amounts of caffeine, prescriptions, cholesterol, conventionally grown produce full of pesticides and herbicides, and meat (even though it was grilled, broiled, or poached made no difference, it was unhealthy).

Bottom line – My detox was liberating, exhilarating, arduous and glorious. It was worth it. I felt free!

Goddess of Truth
I make my highest ideals real by my actions.
Use this thought when you notice that you or someone else is not living up to the standards you have set. Forgive them and yourself for this and appreciate the fact that you noticed. We must be agents of the changes we want to see happen in our world. Realize the truth of the old saying, “A good example is the best sermon.”
~Gifts of Goddess Affirmation Cards by Amy Zerner and Monte Farber

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Saturday, November 10th, 2007

Food & Physical Activity

by Kristen Suzanne in exercise

Happy Friday!!!

Yesterday’s Food:
3 Green Smoothies
2 Perfect Salads I wrote about the other day that I’ll include in the next Kristen’s Raw email Newsletter (sign up here)
Kombucha
4 dates and 2 bananas

Yesterday’s Physical Activity:
Swam 20 minutes (a.m.)
Weight lifting at the gym (Back and Bi’s)
60-minute walk under the stars at midnight

Today’s Food:
2 Green Smoothies
2 bananas
3 tablespoons of Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto (Recipe here scroll to Aug 23)
2 Big chopped veggie salads with a smashingly-delicious-never-to-be-duplicated-dressing-recipe. I took a couple tablespoons of the pesto and blended it with water, olive oil, garlic, basil, onion powder, Himalayan crystal salt, lemon juice….I think that was it. No recollection of amounts, but it’s so lovely. Damn proud of myself, but then again, when you’re working with nature’s fresh organic ingredients, it’s hard not to make something scrumptious.

Today’s Physical Activity: Want a reason to exercise? Read this great article.
Swam 2o minutes (a.m.)
90-minute walk under the stars
JOY
Joy is inside you. Not in attainment of things desired, nor in the achievement of goals made. But in the simple feeling that lies within you. Know that this JOY is unaffected by outer circumstances, and joy will be yours forever.
~Zen Cards by Daniel Levin

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Friday, November 9th, 2007

More Love For Hot Peppers

by Kristen Suzanne in Uncategorized

You know by now that I love hot peppers. It’s not only the endorphin rush that makes them fun, but they’re healthy, too. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications claims recent lab tests showed capsaicin (chili-pepper-derived compound) can kill cancer cells by attacking their energy source – without hurting healthy cells nearby. Plus, their anti-inflammatory action can help arthritis, and according to herbalist, Rosemary Gladstar, the concentration of vitamins help support immune function. Gotta love nature!

For some laughs, check out this video…looks like something I would do - Red Hot News

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Friday, November 9th, 2007

To Date or Not to Date…A Carnivore

by Kristen Suzanne in vegan

This is a fun and interesting topic and here is my take. Yes, it’s okay to date a carnivorebecause it’s possible that he/she won’t be one forever. And whether they go Raw, well, the same logic follows. I remember back in my carnivore days I went on a date with a vegan. I didn’t even know what the term meant at the time. He took me to dinner and I thought to myself, “What the hell? You don’t eat meat? Are you serious? What-evaah!” Even though the guy was nice, I felt uncomfortable dating someone who didn’t eat meat. I wondered how we’d eat together if we were ever to make a more permanent relationship of it. Looking back, the date taught me a lot. I learned patience with the subject and I try to answer people’s questions about it, without ever getting defensive. It’s the only way people will learn. As it turns out, when I became a vegan I was single, and not surprisingly, I wanted everyone to give me a fair chance. Keep in mind the following:

  • People don’t know what they don’t know. Although nature designed me to be an herbivore, my parents didn’t know that. I grew up like many Americans…eating meat. I didn’t know any better UNTIL I began reading and learning on my own. I try not to judge others and remember that they probably just don’t know any better either (there was, after all, a time when I didn’t).
  • Even after enlightening people on the topic, not everyone is ready to make a switch over night. It could take months or even years. When I met my boyfriend, I was vegan (mostly Raw) and he ate meat. I didn’t mind. I knew he was a smart fellow (after all, he was dating me, right? Haha) He was cool with the fact that I wouldn’t make him meat dishes and happy that I made him fabulous vegan and Raw vegan foods. When we went to dinner, that was the time he ate meat and I was fine with that. He respected me and I respected him. He knew it was important to me, so he made an effort to learn more. He was curious and an open-minded skeptic. He asked hard questions that we looked into and both learned from it. After about 8 months, he read the book, The China Study, and one day just stopped eating meat… in fact, he went High Raw at the same time. So, keep in mind, it could take the time to read books, see movies or just staying up all night talking about it on multiple occasions. My advice is to “be there” for him/her and make as many resources available as he/she wants and needs. What would not have worked, however, is dating somebody who either didn’t respect my decision, or care enough — or was too closed-minded to try to understand. Humility means to remain teachable, and I believe it’s a quality you want in a partner for all things, not just dietary choices.
  • Make terrific recipes and show him/her how easy it can be. Get your carnivore mate involved by asking him/her to pick out recipes for you to make. (Hey, it works with kids, why not grown ups? haha) Get their opinion and help them feel involved. If you’re set on only dating a vegan/Raw vegan and you have no idea how to begin. Then, pay attention to proximity. Spend time in places where vegans and raw vegans go… vegan or vegan-friendly restaurants, pot lucks, health food stores, retreats, classes for vegan/Raw vegan food prep, yoga classes, gyms or health clubs, hiking clubs, etc. — in fact, university campuses in general! :) A great place to get started is through meetup.com. It’s a useful way to find local groups of people with similar interests doing fun activities.

Bottom line: If you meet a carnivore who is crazy about you, then that person will be excited to learn more and support you. Odds are in your favor, in my opinion, and they won’t be a carnivore forever.

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Thursday, November 8th, 2007

Cosmic Carrots with Deviled Mango Dressing


Cosmic Carrots Deviled Mango Dressing

Cosmic Carrots with Deviled Mango Dressing

Cosmic Carrots with Deviled Mango Dressing

Dressing Yield 1 1/2 cups

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons raw olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons raw coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon organic white wine
  • 1 mango, peeled, pitted, and chopped
  • 2 dates, pitted
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan crystal salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon red Limo pepper or cayenne pepper
  • 2 carrots, sliced into thin rounds, using a mandoline or v-slicer
  • Garnish: 2-4 leaves fresh basil, chopped

Blend all of the ingredients together (except the carrots and basil) until creamy. Drizzle a few tablespoons of the dressing over the sliced carrots. Garnish with a few leaves of fresh basil.

Kindness
Through kindness, the world softens.
Be kind to all beings and things.
In this way, creation returns to its natural state of beauty.
~Zen Cards by Daniel Levin

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Wednesday, November 7th, 2007

My Story of Food Obsession

by Kristen Suzanne in Kristen Suzanne, raw

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

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Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

Tuesday’s (MORE) Exercise & Food

by Kristen Suzanne in exercise

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).

Food:
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.
Snack: Kombucha
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?

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Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

10 Things You Should Never Buy Again

by Kristen Suzanne in eco friendly, vegan

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:

Styrofoam cups
Paper towels
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
Rayon
Beauty/Body care with phthalates and parabens
Cling wrap
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.


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