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!
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.
A friend pointed me to this and I thought it was very cool! Watch it and see for yourself what Pangea Day is. After you watch the trailer, be sure to click the “about us” link and watch “Jehane’s Ted Wish.” View World Pangea Day
Here is another great link, Miniature-earth, that is a must see. It definitely gives you something to think about. Once you arrive at the website, just choose your language, sit back and watch.
The holidays are my favorite time of year, and now is a good time to start planning. One of the things I love to do is give Raw desserts as gifts. Gone are the days of giving unhealthy, fattening, processed chocolate to people. Make way to usher in gifts of healthy exquisiteness…Raw organic cookies and candies. What better way to introduce this amazing lifestyle to others, right? Keep in mind, Raw desserts as gifts don’t have to apply only to the winter holidays. You can do this all year long with birthdays, retirements, anniversaries, house-warming gifts, etc. Go to a craft store and buy cute little bags and boxes. Or, do what I did and look for things to reuse…see those gold boxes in the picture? They were given to me last year with gifts in them. I’m reusing them to be environmentally friendly.
To get you started, here is a delicious and easy recipe. The richness of the hazelnuts alongside the decadent raw chocolate will surely get anyone excited about Raw. For resources on where I get my organic ingredients, please visit Kristen’s Raw Resources.
Hazelnut Chocolate Snowballs
Yield 15-20 cookies
1/2 cup dried, unsweetened coconut flakes
1 cup hazelnuts
2 tablespoons raw chocolate powder
pinch Himalayan crystal salt
3/4 teaspoon hazelnut extract
8 dates, pitted
1/2 cup raisins
Process a 1/4 cup of the coconut (reserving the other 1/4 cup for rolling the cookies in) along with the hazelnuts, chocolate and salt in a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, until coarsely ground. Add the hazelnut extract, dates, and raisins. Process until it is a texture, which holds together when gently pressed between your fingers. Roll into balls and then roll in the coconut. These freeze wonderfully.
~ Use raw carob instead of raw chocolate
~ Replace 4 of the dates with 1/4 cup dried cherries
There are plenty of reasons to add cranberries to your diet, but most people only think about cranberries around the holidays. I plead guilty on this count, too, since I’m writing this at the end of October, just as fresh organic cranberries are making themselves available for the taking. Make a pact with yourself this year. Don’t forget them after the holidays. Stock up on fresh organic cranberries now, freeze them in glass mason jars, and enjoy them year round because cranberries are the gift that keeps on giving.
In the Greek myth of Persephone, the pomegranate is called the fruit of the underworld. This legend tells the story that Persephone was bound to hell because she ate a pomegranate seed(s) from Hades. I don’t know about you, but a pomegranate might just be worth it…to me they’re glamorous and sensuous. Cutting into a pomegranate is like opening a treasure chest…inside you find brilliantly sparkling, sweet-tart flavored ruby-like seeds.
I was making my smoothie today and saw carrots in my refrigerator. I thought, why not? It was a delicious and wonderful variation to my smoothie routine . I know…you’re thinking, “Kristen Suzanne, your smoothie routine is anything but routine.” I’m calling it Spicy Sunrise Smoothie (staying true to my spicy life, you can omit the heat if you can’t handle it, but you’re missing out on those lovely endorphins).
I woke up today wanting more fun with hot peppers. After nibbling on a habanero pepper while driving to the gym, I swear my tongue was sweating. Holy s–t! It was so hot and literally felt as if my tongue was perspiring…seriously. Here is what I’ve learned about foods giving off natural heat…the trick is to embrace the heat. Once you accept that your tongue is burning and on fire, it’s not so bad. I mean, afterall, we’re talking about habanero peppers. Once the lovely endorphins kick in, it’s a walk in the park.
Later in the day I made nori rolls for my boyfriend (not a fan of nori, myself – too “fishy” tasting), while I feasted on various fantastic smoothie concoctions (bananas, apples, celery, jalapeno peppers, sprouts, fresh mint, spinach and raw chocolate – not all in one smoothie. I made a couple using the aforementioned ingredients). I finished the day with a huge salad (the produce section was truly lacking at Wild Oats and Whole Foods today – wtf?). Oh well, my salad consisted of spinach, pea sprouts, carrots and celery topped with delicious Raw Italian Dressing. It doesn’t really matter how simple a salad is when you have a fabulous dressing to go with it. I wanted to slurp up the leftover dressing that glazed the bamboo bowl. So good. And, the more simple a meal, the more properly the food combined. See? The glass is half-full in my mind when the store is lacking produce variety.
I was definitely jazzed once I arrived at the gym…after all, my tongue had a head start in the perspiration department and I was eager for my body to follow (nothing like the reward of a good sweat – and since I’m Raw, my sweat smells lovely if I do say so myself. Uh-oh, is this TMI?). Anyway, the endorphins kicked in and I was all too happy to be at the gym; quite giddy actually. I started doing a little dance between weight lifting sets (making anyone laugh who happened to watch, I’m sure). I was pulling out all of the old moves (the sprinkler, running man, cheese grater and a few I made up). I don’t think anyone regarded me as too crazy. I was sure to laugh while dancing and I had a Reebok step near me so I could hop on between moves. They probably thought it was some fantastic new routine.
Back and biceps (overhead wide-grip pull down, close grip row, overhead rope row, barbell curls, hammer curls). I finished up my weight routine by doing 15 minutes on the eliptical while watching Larry King. (Is the eliptical machine really supposed to be exercise? I have to laugh…I think it’s pretty hard to get a “hard” workout on one of those. It’s adequate for a moderate level of exercise I suppose, which is better than nothing.)
Today was another super day in my life even though I awoke quite late again. How can I help it? Saturday night started with a party (yep, I had wine). Then, I came home and stayed up watching the Firefly TV Series on DVD followed by the movie, Serenity until 5am – they are both fantastic, clever, and addicting (clearly…since I stayed up all night watching them).
Yin Yang Smoothie
1 – 2 cups water
3 frozen bananas
3 tablespoons organic raw chocolate powder
3/4 – 1 red jalapeno pepper
Blend all of the ingredients until thick and creamy. Enjoy.