We decided to hop in the car and take a little day trip to the Mogollon Rim in Arizona (See? It is green in Arizona) and just hang out with nature. There were three of us…..boyfriend, dog, and me… supplied with water, Raw chocolate brownies, green smoothies, bananas and doggie cookies. Yes, an unusual mix for our day’s food I suppose, but we decided this trip last minute and took what was on hand. The day promised big fun and happiness as we drove, my dog’s head hanging out of the window loving every minute of “bye-bye car.”
As we drove to Payson, AZ (Rim Country – founded in 1882 with an elevation of 5,000 feet), we wondered about the relative environmental impact our little day trip had. We try to live environmentally-friendly lives. We realized we were using gas with our automobile, but that we pretty much closed up home for the day (turned air conditioning down, powered off computers, and reduced our electricity usage in general). It’s times like this I wish I had access to Master Google by “crossing my arms in front of me, blinking my eyes, and giving a nod with my head” like Jeannie does in I Dream of Jeannie…but, we didn’t. Nevertheless, I found a resource in one of the magazines I was flipping through on our drive and learned about a place to rent environmentally friendly cars (primarily in the West). Check it out here. Maybe we can do that next time and make our trip even more green.
That’s my dog with me looking out over the Rim. At that very moment, I was thinking about something I read recently, “When the pond is still, the reflection is clear. When the MIND is still, the reflection of life is clear. Reflection brings CLARITY.”When I’m surrounded by such awe-inspiring nature like this, my mind stills itself as things fluidly come into perspective for me. There’s a calm energy that is inspiring, yet relaxing, and I want to bottle it up and take it home with me. I feel refreshed, relaxed, at peace, and happy…I need to do this more often.
Food is important to a healthy lifestyle…but so is physical fitness. You will get much more out of Raw when you add physical fitness to your lifestyle. These together strengthen your body from the inside out.
Two days ago, I went to the gym and that damn jump rope kicked my ass. It was really tough! But, yesterday, I kicked it’s ass and owned it! My heart was pounding, pulse racing, body sweating, and it felt GREAT!
For a really super workout, I have to listen to music ranging from “this gets me moving and pumps me up” to tunes that make me wanna say “gggrrrr“… so I have all kinds on my mp3 from Linkin Park to Trick Daddy to Seal to Madonna to Rhianna and more. Sometimes I just start doing a little dance right there in the gym….okay, not usually in front of people – ha ha…but I just love music and can’t help myself sometimes!
~Yesterday’s workout Weights: Chest; 5 straight sets for each exercise *Flat dumbell press, Incline dumbell press, Decline dumbell press Cardio: Jump rope before weight training, between many of the weight lifting sets, and after lifting. ~Today’s Workout Weights: Back; 3 straight sets for each exercise *Chins, Seated cable row, Reverse bent over flies, Wide grip pull downs Cardio: Jump rope and get on the treadmill for a short journey while I read VegNews magazine.
Think: Delicious, Floral, Chocolatey, Creamy. One of my creations, this recipe is simple (less than 10 minutes to make!) with only a handful of ingredients. Enjoy!
Orange Blossom Chocolate Mousse Yield 1 1/4 cup
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons orange blossom water*
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons raw agave nectar
1/4 cup raw chocolate powder
2 tablespoons raw carob powder**
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 avocado pitted, peeled
Blend all of the ingredients in your blender until creamy. It’s wonderful to eat right away or chilled in the refrigerator or you can freeze it in an ice cube tray for Frozen Orange Blossom Chocolate Bites!
*You can easily find this at most Middle Eastern Markets and some Whole Foods Markets, or purchase it online here: Dayna’s Market (while you’re there, pick up a bottle of rose water, which I use in some of my Easy Raw Food Recipe ebooks). The orange blossom water provides the unique floral and orange essence to this recipe. You can, of course, replace it with plain water, but it will be plain chocolate mousse (delicious still, but certainly not the same).
**The only place I have found “true” raw carob is at NaturalZing.com.
I’ve been playing in the kitchen and I have more easy and delicious recipes I thought I’d post for my blog…stay tuned and check back frequently. Meanwhile, for more info about me, come on over and visit me at http://www.kristensraw.com/. While you’re there, sign up for my Free monthly email newsletter, where you get tips, tricks and/or recipes (sometimes they’re recipes only available to my newsletter subscribers and not posted anywhere else!).
I love my Food Saver!Here is one the best tips ever for Raw food. Get a Food Saver® and make your life a million times easier with Raw food prep. This is more than just a “food” saver, it is practically a “life” saver, a “time” saver, a “money” saver. I love my Food Saver because it adds a longer shelf life to Raw food. For example, when I make a soup that would normally last a few days, I use my Food Saver and I now have a shelf life that is longer…up to a week (they say it’ll last longer than that, I just always end up eating the food before I can see how long it could actually last). I use my Food Saver for salad dressings, soups, desserts, fresh juices, smoothies, sauces and so much more. Now, I can make a large batch of green juice with my Green Star Juicer and have it to drink for a few days, which saves me time.
The easiest and healthiest way to store these foods is with glass mason jars, so you’ll need the mason jar attachment from Food Saver. You can find this online at FoodSaver.com. The Food Saver is also great for things like pesto, burgers, breads and crackers. I use the Food Saver bags for these things and then freeze the items. I save money because food doesn’t go to waste now that it can last longer. I can’t say enough about how fantastic this tool is in your kitchen. With the Food Saver, you can make extra batches of things and “Food Saver” them so they last longer, meaning you can spend less time in the kitchen.
I just created a most delicious soup! I named it Kristen Suzanne’s Harvest Soup because the colors and flavors subtly remind me of a fall harvest. It’s an easy and delicious raw vegan food recipe that the whole family will love (just like all the recipes in my raw food recipe ebooks). With raw being this easy and delicious, who needs cooked food?
Kristen Suzanne’s Harvest Soup
Yield 6 cups
1 cup water
1 large zucchini, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, quartered
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 cups carrot, chopped
2 dates, pitted
1 clove garlic
1-2 teaspoons Himalayan crystal salt
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup raw flax oil or raw olive oil (or mix them both)
Blend all of the ingredients, except for the flax oil, on high speed in your blender until really creamy (approximately one minute – I prefer this soup a tad warm and very creamy). Then, while the blender is running on low speed, add the flax oil. Continue blending, at a higher speed, for another minute or less. This will make it slightly warm.
~Substitute avocado or nut butter… for the flax/olive oil
Move over Old School and Wedding Crashers! I just saw what might be the funniest movie ever. I laughed so hard, I almost peed my pants! In fact, I had to force myself to curb my laughing so that I didn’t miss the next funny line. Are you ready for the name of the movie yet? It’s Death at a Funeral. If it’s playing near you and laughing is one of your favorite things to do, then go see this movie straight away! With studies showing that laughter is the truly the best medicine, go get your dose.
On a Raw note, when I go to the movies, the choices for snacks are slim to none. Well, none actually (there’s nothing slim about it!) So, my favorite snack for the movies is a big fresh organic smoothie. Sometimes it’s green and sometimes it’s all fruit. I’m a big advocate of using glass over plastic, so I take a purse and put my glass mason jar filled smoothie right in (we ladies are lucky to carry purses). Ssshhhh…don’t tell the movie police on me. Truthfully, if the movie houses actually offered healthy snacks, I wouldn’t have to bring my own.
While I understand that alcohol destroys pretty much every cell it comes in contact with, I also understand that not everyone is going to swear off alcohol for life. Wine would be the best choice for your alcoholic beverage since it’s considered Raw. In fact, I created some amazing and fun beverages with wine in my book (boy those were fun to make and test!): Kristen Suzanne’s EASY Raw Smoothies, Juices, Elixirs & Drinks.Once you go Raw though, expect to feel the effects of alcohol more quickly and strongly, as your body will have become very efficient at absorption. Until you discover your new, lower tolerance for alcohol, be very careful when you drink. And…don’t drink and drive.
Organic: Look for organic wine that is low in sulfites or without added sulfites. This is sometimes a point of confusion because sulfites occur naturally even in 100% organically produced wine. According to Professor Roger Boulton, Ph.D., of UC Davis’ Department of Viticulture and Enology, even if no sulfur dioxide is added to wine, fermenting yeasts will produce SO2 from the naturally occurring inorganic sulfates in all grape juices. Thus, says Boulton, it is impossible for any wine to be completely free of sulfur dioxide.
Vegan: But, just because the wine is Raw and even Organic, doesn’t mean it’s Vegan. If it says “vegan” on the bottle, then you’re good to go. Does yours? If not, you might want to contact the company and ask, although I suspect it won’t be vegan unless it says so on the bottle. Here is one that I have tried and enjoyed. It’s organic and vegan: Organic Vintners Mendocino Pinot Noir (pictured here). This is what they had to say about vegan and biodynamic wines:
Biodynamic principles take the organic approach a step further by making sure that the growth of the grapes is in tune with the larger environment. Using homeopathic sprays, herbal preparations and lunar cycles, soil fertility is increased and vines are protected from pests and diseases.
Vegan wines. Winemakers, both organic and conventional, are not obliged to declare on the label when they use animal by-products as fining agents to clarify wine. These include egg white (to brighten red wines), casein (a milk protein to make wine taste softer), gelatin (removes bitterness) and isinglass (derived from fish). A vegan wine, on the other hand, uses no animal products whatsoever. The vegan versions typically use clay to make the wines clear.
I’m excited to see the organic vegan wine selection growing at Whole Foods, as well as to see such a great collection online at places like The Organic Wine Company. Sometimes for holiday, anniversary, or birthday gifts, I buy a bottle of organic vegan wine for people and have it shipped. I like The Organic Wine Company’s selection. AND! Since I’m all about voting with my dollar….here is my planwhen visiting restaurants. I’ll ask if they offer an organic (and vegan!) wine selection. If they say, “no” then I’ll tell them that I’ll just drink water. That’ll teach them, eh?
Here’s a fantastic recipe from my book, Kristen Suzanne’s EASY Raw Sides & Snacks, available on my website by clicking here. This great recipe is so easy and takes very little time to prepare, like most of my recipes. I like to call my recipes “No Excuse Recipes” because they’re so delicious, nutritious, easy and quick to make that you really have no excuse not to make them and, therefore, always have fabulous Raw food on hand whenever you’re hungry.
Tuscan Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Yield 4 servings
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked 2 hours in enough water just to cover, reserve soak water
1/2 cup fresh basil, packed
1/4 cup pine nuts (or pili nuts, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, etc… you can pretty much use any you want)
1 teaspoon garlic, pressed
1 teaspoon Himalayan crystal salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
In a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, combine all of the ingredients except the olive oil, adding a little of the sun-dried tomato “soak” water, if necessary. While the mixture is pureeing, add the olive oil. Enjoy!
~ Dip zucchini slices into this delicious pesto for a fast and easy treat
~ Stuff 1/2 of a seeded tomato or bell pepper (yellow or orange are especially beautiful) with 1/4 cup of pesto, topped with fresh sprouts
~ Serve on top of zucchini angel hair pasta or kelp noodles for an awesome meal
I found a great article illustrating simple tips to help make habits stick, and I thought it was perfect for applying to Raw. Check it out and see if some of the quick tips in the article can be used to HELP YOU STAY RAW!
Hi! I'm a chef, author, homeschooling mom, and I love to eat and cook super healthy food. I'm a former vegan, now real-food omnivore, who enjoys coffee(!), dark chocolate, rebounding, and researching the latest tips for optimal living.