Tuesday, June 24th, 2008
Kristen Suzanne in liver
Today was our first midwife interview (yippee!). I immediately liked her, and of course, it makes me even more excited about getting pregnant. I’ve been researching other midwives and although I haven’t interviewed others, I’m very excited about the prospect of hiring the midwife we interviewed today.
She is impressed with my diet and daily habits, and she gave me a little gift packet with great information about nutrition, co-sleeping and other pregnancy topics. I asked her about things to facilitate fertility (in addition to B-vitamins for healthy mucus, folic acid, etc), and she recommended: Pine’s Wheat Grass Tablets and Chlorofresh Liquid Chlorophyll (both of which I found at Sprouts, a local health food store). I’m cool with taking those to ensure I get extra chlorophyll, even though I usually have green smoothies and/or green juice daily, because I’m eager to make sure I have all my bases covered.
One area of concern I have with consuming so much Raw produce during pregnancy is the potential of it being contaminated (thinking about the tomatoes and spinach issues in the recent past have me thoughtful). As an adult, I can tolerate these challenges without much worry, but when I’m pregnant, it’s a different story. As a result, I’m planning on not eating Raw foods at restaurants (salads, etc) to prevent the possibility of eating something either contaminated from the meat being served there and touching the cutting board or knives, etc, or from the produce simply not being thoroughly washed. I also will not have juice from any juice bars, even if it’s organic. It’s just not a risk I’m willing to take. When I’m at home preparing food, I will be extra diligent about thoroughly cleaning all of my produce. It’s kind of a tough place to find myself….knowing all of the delicious benefits of fresh, raw, whole vegan foods, but concerned about contamination. I mean, after all, this should be the healthiest food to pass my lips, rights? Everything is different when planning to become pregnant.
The liver is an extremely important organ throughout pregnancy and I want to make sure my liver is in top shape. Prior to embracing Raw and Vegan, I took many prescriptions for headaches, birth control, over-the-counter stimulants for body building, etc and I hope my liver isn’t still cleaning out those toxins. As a precautionary measure, I’m adding milk thistle seeds to my diet. I bought some through Natural Zing and I’m going to grind them and add them to my smoothies, or make a tea out of them. Plus, milk thistle is in the new shake mix I’m drinking, The Ultimate Meal.
It’s such an exciting time in my life; I can hardly explain it. Up until some months ago (before I was considering getting pregnant), my life was fun, happy, and full of joy. Now, with the hope of pregnancy on the horizon, my life has taken on new meaning and it feels…well…so beautifully wholesome, pure, feminine, and empowering.
After reading many times about how great this meal replacement powder is, I decided to give it a go. It’s 100% Vegan, Mostly Organic, and High Raw. I recommend reading through the entire website about it (Check out the FAQ, too). But if you choose to buy it, get it from Amazon since it’s less expensive. Here is the list of ingredients.
I was attracted to it for a number of reasons:
1. Loaded with nutrients – Even though I get plenty of vitamin and minerals throughout my week by trying to rotate foods and such, I’m still interested in making sure I have as many bases covered as possible. Additionally, The Ultimate Meal has a number of things that I would like more of in my diet.
2. The reviews are great – Like I wrote earlier, I’ve read a number of reviews about this product over the years, I just hadn’t tried it until now. People are very happy with the product, including the famous Vegan Ultimate Fighting Champion, Mac Danzig. Check out the blog article on him here (this is one of my favorite blogs to follow). Once you’re done reading that, you can check out an “in-depth look” here about his diet specifics (for the in-depth look, scroll down to #6). If you want me to cut to the chase, here is this super-mega star’s review of it:
I swear by this stuff, it’s a whole meal and has made up a huge part of my diet for 3 years now. It’s a bit of an acquired taste, but I truly notice myself feeling better when I use it daily. Remember to follow the directions and add the apple and banana. (This is not your normal “add powder to water” supplement.)
3. Great for weight loss – The Ultimate Meal is great for helping people lose weight because it’s reputed for helping people stay “full” up to 6-hours after drinking it. Many people enjoy this for breakfast and lunch or breakfast and dinner, or some have it for all of their meals some days. But, it’s not all about just weight loss because...
4. Excellent pre-natal nutrition – Since I’m not trying to lose weight and will be looking for ways to add more nutrient dense calories to my diet once I’m pregnant, this will be a great choice. I won’t use it to replace meals, rather, I’ll enjoy this as mid-morning/afternoon snack(s). As you can see, it’s up to you how you use this. It can be helpful with losing weight, maintaining weight, or gaining healthy weight.
5. Great pre/post workout shake – This is where my boyfriend comes in. He loves having a shake before or after a heavy duty workout in the gym, so this is perfect for that. It’s filled with carbs from the fruit, protein, and nutrients, to fuel his big muscles. So, all you ladies out there with men who want a shake with some more “oompf!” here it is!
6. Convenient and travel worthy – It’s fast and easy to make. I love that I can take this when traveling, too. It’s important to make sure I’m still packing my body with nutrients when I’m not at home. Yes, you need a blender for this, but that’s not a problem since I travel with this great travel blender.
So, how does it taste? It’s good. I’m not jumping up and down, licking my lips and wanting to lick the glass to get every last drop of it, but I’m also not grimacing and making icky faces either. It’s very likable. I’ve read in the reviews that you need to make it according to the instructions which includes a banana and half-apple or peach or some other fruit for the best flavor. And, if you’re avoiding fruit for some reason, then you can make it with a raw nut/seed milk (hemp would be great) and add a sweetener such as stevia.
So far, I’ve had it as recommended on the container. I’ve also made it and added maca, carob and hemp powder. Another time I added milk thistle seeds and a teaspoon of Vitamineral Green Powder. Overall, we really like it and will continue to use this. If you get some, let me know what you think :)
Here is a new staple smoothie recipe for the summer. It’s so simple, delicious, delightful, light, refreshing, nourishing, beautiful, and vibrant. And, guess what? That’s how you’ll feel after only one sip (or gulp, in my case!).
1 cup water
2 med. bananas
2 med. lacinato kale leaves
1 cucumber, chopped
Give this energy filled lusciousness a whirl in your blender and enjoy with delight.
It’s beauty time girls! In my quest for healthy body care products, I came upon an amazing company. Oh my, let me just tell you, their stuff is exquisite. If you’re looking for organic, vegan and living skin care (my kind of stuff!), then hop on over to Raw Gaia. They use only the most natural, pure, and unadulterated ingredients to make products that are truly healthy for your skin. I’m madly in love with their Sun-dried Green Clay Face Pack – It’s a must have.
Thursday, June 19th, 2008
Did you realize that there is a difference between organic farming and vegan organic farming? Who knew?! It seems to be an emerging trend, so be on the lookout for this to become more popular, like it is in England and Europe (of course).
What exactly is vegan organic farming (a.k.a. veganic farming)? It’s farming without any animal fertilizers or byproducts, which takes healthy farming to the next level. Here is a great article about it (click here to read)
Wednesday, June 18th, 2008
It’s been a fun day so far. I’m filled with so much energy and happiness :)
I’m not doing anything in particular, and sometimes those days are just the best. I’ve been instant messaging a ton with my bud, Malynda, as well as eating lots of Raw Vegan purple cabbage slaw (cabbage is filled with vitamins and phytonutrients!), drinking green smoothies (gotta get my chlorophyll), dancing around my dining room like no one is watching (to some old school Janet Jackson), and working online. Oh yes, I also played with some more chocolate recipes.
Later today, I’ll be going to the gym of course:
Strength Training: Triceps
bench dips, v-bar pushdown, tricep kick backs
heavy weight, low reps, 4 straight sets
Daily Conversation Question:
What are the most important qualities you look for in friends?
In honor of women and our amazing birthing abilities, I’m drinking a Womanly Green Smoothie. As many of you know, I’m going to be “working” on becoming a mom in the (near) future. As a result, I’m starting early in taking excellent care of myself by paying extra close attention to everything that passes my lips and touches my body. I’m making a healthy and fertile playground of my body with conception on the horizon.
I love what Henry G. Bieler, M.D. wrote in his book Food Is Your Best Medicine:
“‘Doctor, is my baby all right?’ is the first question of almost every woman when her child is born. I myself have heard the question thousands of times. If every mother’s greatest wish is to have a truly healthy baby, why (in most cases) does she take such poor care of herself before the baby is born? And why does she feed her child from infancy to adulthood so improperly that illness inevitably results?”
Womanly Green Smoothie
1 cup Women’s Balancing Tea (brewed, cooled to room temperature)
6 organic strawberries
1 handful organic spinach
Blend it up and enjoy.
raw vegan paleo gluten-free strawberry cobbler
This delicious cobbler recipe is available in both my print book and ebook, Kristen Suzanne’s EASY Raw Vegan Desserts (but I’m also sharing it with you here). It’s a delightful recipe with a punch of flavors that keep playing in your mouth, well after you’ve swallowed a bite. *I’ve edited the recipe online to use raw honey vs agave because we don’t eat agave anymore.
I chose strawberries for this cobbler because it’s summer and they’re in season. And, buying organic food in season is just one of many ways to buy organic on a budget.
Strawberries have som nice health benefits:
- Help protect against a variety of cancers
- Rich in folate, fiber, vitamin C and potassium
- Heart-disease fighting phytonutrients
- Compounds may help strengthen short term memory (nice!)
You’ll also see that I’ve included prunes in the recipe. I like using prunes because they have a wonderful, soft texture and they’re not as sweet as most other dried fruits. And, they’re full of antioxidants.
Summer Strawberry Cobbler
Kristen Suzanne of Kristen’s Raw
Yield one 8×8 glass-baking dish
2 cups raw pecans or walnuts
3/4 cup dried coconut, shredded & unsweetened
1 teaspoon fresh organic orange zest
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2/3 cup currants
1/3 cup pitted prunes, chopped
The Strawberry Filling
25 oz fresh organic strawberries, destemmed (or use frozen and thaw them)
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
8 soft dates, pitted
2 tablespoons raw honey (or maple syrup if vegan)
Place the nuts, coconut, orange zest, cinnamon, and salt in a food processor, fitted with the S-blade, and process until coarsely ground. Add the currants and prunes, and process until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs and holds together when gently pressed between two fingers. Set aside.
Take about 15-16 ounces (approximately two-thirds) of the strawberries, chop them and set aside in a large bowl. Then, place the rest of the strawberries along with the orange juice, dates, and agave in a blender and process until smooth. Pour into the bowl with the chopped strawberries and stir.
Pour half of the crumble in the bottom of the glass-baking dish and give it a firm but gentle press. Spread the strawberry filling on top. Sprinkle the remaining cobbler crumble on top of the strawberry filling, allowing some of the beautiful strawberry filling to show through. Serve at room temperature, or warm in a dehydrator for up to an hour at 130 degrees for extra deliciousness. Covered, Summer Strawberry Cobbler will keep for up to three days in the refrigerator.
I craved a big, fresh, organic salad today, but I wanted to put a different twist on it for some extra fun and added health benefits.
My inspiration was to make something that was easy on digestion, and since chewing is such an important part for healthy digestion (breaking down the food into small enough pieces), I decided to make my big, fresh salad truly chopped to facilitate that.
Basically, I used my food processor to chop all the different components of the my salad into tiny pieces (carrots, red bell pepper, avocado, cucumber, parsley, romaine lettuce). Using my food process, fitted with the “S” blade, I processed the different produce one-by-one until it was in tiny pieces and then transferred it to a bowl. (I didn’t throw everything into the food processor all at once because the foods have differing water contents, and if you, for example, chop up cucumber with carrot, the carrot takes longer to chop, thereby turning the cucumber to mush by the time the carrot gets small enough).
Then, I added dried cranberries to the bowl of chopped goodies, and tossed in a simple dressing (hemp oil, lemon juice, salt, agave nectar). Voila… Truly Chopped Salad. Great for digestion, fun to eat, and delicious. Just imagine all of the other possibilities… fennel, olives, herbs, cilantro, spinach, pineapple, zucchini, beets, prunes, currants, celery, etc. Yum!
My Organic Raw Food Intake (so far):
Green Smoothie (apple, orange, spinach)
2 large servings Truly Chopped Salad
Summer Strawberry Cobbler (recipe will be posted by tomorrow)
20 minutes on the treadmill (walk/run)
Back strength training (wide-grip pull down, close grip row, hyperextensions)
Jumping jacks between weight lifting sets
Daily Conversation Question
How will our culture change in the next 100 years?
It’s been a busy Friday so far. I played in the kitchen with new raw vegan chocolate recipes and right now I’m catching up on business, emails, etc. I still have to get to the gym and get a solid workout. I think I really need it…feeling the need to pound it out on the treadmill or something.
Is there a full moon coming in the next few days? Is it me or is everyone feeling a little weird-ish today. Oh wait! Maybe it has something to do with Fri/13th? Hhhmmm….That has to be it (and it explains a lot – haha).
Isn’t this dog adorable? If only I could train my dog to carry my organic produce – yeah, that’ll be the day – haha :)
Thanks to everyone for all the love after receiving my latest email newsletter (sign up here). I love hearing from you.
Daily Conversation Question (doing a twofer today):
What’s the most significant problem facing the world?
What does your perfect day look like?
Wednesday, June 11th, 2008
With summer fast approaching, I was in search of yet another way to enjoy green smoothies, so I decided to make Green Smoothie Popsicles. The extra cool thing about these is that kids LOVE them! They’re so easy, cute, and refreshing…just what we need in hot temperatures. And, the varieties are endless…making watermelon popsicles with a touch of rind is on tomorrow’s menu for me. They’re going to be so pretty – I’m such a girl! I’m going to call those Princess Popsicles. Here are the ingredients for the Green Smoothie Popsicles featured in the picture:
splash lemon juice
Blueberry Ginger Affair
splash lemon juice
Simply blend the ingredients together for the recipe you choose and pour into popsicle molds and freeze. If you don’t have popsicle molds, then you can freeze them in an ice cube tray and have Green Smoothie Popsicle Bites.
I’ll be at Whole Foods this Saturday featuring my recipe for Summer Strawberry Cobbler. With Father’s Day coming up, this is the PERFECT dessert to take (or to any summer party). I promise…people will be begging you for the recipe :) If you’re interested in trying it, stop by Whole Foods (Raintree/101 location) between 11am-1pm.