Whoo-Whee! I feel EXTRA great this past week. From having my amalgams removed to making my own household cleaning products to cleaning/detoxing my home to keeping chemicals off my hair, scalp and body to only using environmentally friendly, natural makeup products to my extra clean diet to my physical fitness (and more)… it’s all kicked my body, mind, and spirit into high gear and I feel absolutely amazing!
Today’s Raw Food:
Watermelon… so far, that’s it. If I could swim in it, I would.
News to Peruse:
Mars Candy Sequences Chocolate Genome For $10 Million (WTF?)
Genetically Modified Crops Cannot Feed The World: A Confession
Daily Conversation Question:
If you could be brilliant in one subject which would you choose?
This is an amazing story. I think a lot of you are fans of Eckhart Tolle… if so, you’ll get a kick out of this quick video (and, if you don’t like Tolle, that’s okay, you’ll still like it). It’s both entertaining and thought provoking. Please enjoy.
Summary: Jill Bolte Taylor (a brain scientist!) tells about her fascinating experience when she had a massive stroke, watched as her own brain functions shut down one by one, and truly experienced being in the present versus past and future thought. Watch video.
My Raw Food (it’s 5:30am and I haven’t gone to bed,so this is Saturday’s food):
Vitamineral Green and Fruits of the Earth with water
Plant Blood (celery, dandelion, apple, kale)
Hummus, sprouted bread
Green Smoothie (hemp prtn pwdr, banana, celery, carob, freshly ground milk thistle)
Chocolates Diva Jewels
Granola w/ almond milk
*This is in addition to my daily Pine’s Wheat Grass Tablets and Heavy Metal Nano Detox
Daily Conversation Question:
Do you possess any of the qualities of your astrological sign?
Friday, July 4th, 2008
Kristen Suzanne in hair
Okay, not to gush too romantic, but I just had to share. As many of you know, I’ve begun cleaning out every possible source of toxin in my world, in order to create an ideal body and environment for getting pregnant. I just switched to all organic bedding, had my amalgam fillings removed, threw out chemical-laden cosmetics, and so on. I’ve now come face-to-face with the most challenging change yet — don’t laugh, but it’s my hair color!
The world has not known my true color since I was, seriously, eleven years old. I’ve been blonde so long that it has been inseparable with my self-identity. But no more. That’s right, I’m going all natural in the hair department. Not only are the harsh chemicals for color-treating hair potential toxins for pregnant and nursing mothers, but — more significantly — those same chemicals do so much damage to hair that you must use even more chemicals (plastics, basically) to make color-treated hair soft and silky. That’s right, I have blonde, plastic hair!
So as a big part of my going green, I’m officially going brown! haha! I’m attacking the blonde from both ends, growing out my natural color, but also cutting my hair shorter to hasten the awkward transition period (I opted to go two-tone for a few months rather than dye my hair brunette and grow out naturally from there.) As my first step, I just had over 4 inches cut off, and got bangs for the first time since I was a kid. (Click on the image to view full size.)
Here’s the romantic part. My amazing boyfriend, so full of love and support for this process, surprised me by staying up all night and creating this portrait of me, titled “Starlight,” which he calls “a tribute to my evolving spirit and inner goddess.” Whoa. Who says stuff like that!? It absolutely melted my heart when I saw it! (He’s the bomb.)
It was inspired by equal parts space-travel beach scene from Contact (the movie) and Starlight, the wonderfully intense, uplifting, romantic song by his favorite band, Muse — listen here, the lyrics really say it all, simply beautiful.
So here you go, blonde hair, your last big HURRAH! The transformation has officially begun!
“Far away… this ship is taking me far away…”
Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008
Kristen Suzanne in Detox
On Monday I had my amalgam fillings removed because the mercury that amalgam fillings release can be a dangerous toxin for a fetus. Moreover, dental amalgams are a source of mercury that can be found in breast milk. Yikes! I’m not taking any chances… so, out they went.
Now, I really like my dentist, and going to the dentist (in general) has never been my favorite thing to do. You know how public speaking is the number one fear for most people? Well, that’s a piece of cake (Raw Vegan) for me. Going to the dentist…well, that’s another story. As a result, even though I’m confident in my dentist’s abilities and modern equipment, I’m now taking extra precautions and kicking up my detox a bit post-amalgam-removal with loads of vitamin C rich Raw Vegan foods and and Heavy Metal Nano-Detox.
UPDATED NEWS (updated 7/7/08): US ISSUES HEALTH WARNINGS OVER MERCURY FILLINGS
On to today’s Raw Vegan food:
Ultimate Meal doctored with freshly ground organic milk thistle seeds, Vitamineral Green, and Manitoba Harvest Hemp Protein Powder. (I’m still full from it hours later!)
Later today I’ll enjoy a huge leafy green salad topped with cucumbers, carrots, hemp seeds, and a delicious avocado dressing (going to be so good!).
Women’s Balancing Tea
Harvest Blend Soup
Lots of water
And… I’m sure I’ll be nibbling on some goodies late tonight since we’re continuing our marathon of Alias dvds (we’re on season two).
Daily Conversation Question:
What makes your generation unique?
I love the idea of having my own garden, but it’s not something I have the time to work on…yet. For those of you with a similar situation, here is an idea…outsource it to a company who designs and maintains a garden right in your backyard. I think it’s a great way to at least get started. Check out the article here.
Today’s EASY Raw Food!
Quart Plant Blood (kale, cucumber, apple, lemon juice, celery)
The Ultimate Meal made with peaches
Harvest Blend Soup
Spring Mix Salad
Zucchini Pasta Marinara
Women’s Balancing Tea
Daily Conversation Question:
If you were cremated where would you like to have your ashes spread?
I’m often asked how I make my Raw Vegan lifestyle seem so easy. Here are some tips for doing just that:
1) Keep is simple!
Don’t make a bunch of different recipes with different sides and different desserts, etc. Simply pick out 3-5 recipes you’ll make for the week. For example, this week I’m making zucchini pasta with my famous marinara. This will be our dinner for 2-3 nights. When I went food shopping today, I also bought ingredients for my Harvest Soup so we’ll have this for 2-3 days (lunch) served alongside a fresh salad. I’ll make a quick and easy salad dressing (like this, Fat Free Strawberry Ginger or Olive Vinaigrette or Deviled Mango), which will last for about 3 days worth of lunch salads. Making and eating Raw Vegan food in this fashion saves you so much time!
Salads are easy…get the prewashed lettuce (give it a quick rinse anyway), dice up cucumbers and carrots (use different veggies next week to get balanced variety), toss some raisins or dried cranberries in and top with delicious dressing.
Go shopping twice a week to make life easy and have the freshest food on hand.
Don’t worry about eating the same thing for a few days in a row, it’s so delicious, you’ll look forward to the third meal of zucchini pasta marinara, for example, as much as you did for the first meal. By having a few different recipes for the second half of the week, you’ll get plenty of variety.
2) Keep things on hand!
I always have raw crackers, desserts (cookies, ice cream, mousse, cheesecake), milks, cheese dip and pate in the freezer. So, all I have to do the night before we’re going to eat it is take it out and thaw. Pick one or two days a month to make these recipes and freeze them. Think you don’t have room in your freezer? Think again…use a Food Saver and maximize your use of the space.
Keep some bags of frozen fruit on hand for those times you run out of fresh produce.
3) Liquids are high energy and easy!
I can’t say enough about how healthy, easy and high energy liquids can be in your diet. I start every single day with either Plant Blood or a smoothie (it’s usually green). Often (and very often) I stick with liquids for most of the day. This ensures I have extra energy and it’s so healthy because it gives your digestive system a break. So, one of the best tips for making the Raw Vegan lifestyle easy and extra healthy, drink many of your meals. Smoothies only take minutes to make. Depending on your juicer, Plant Blood can take a little longer, but still, it’s quite fast. Want a meal to keep you filled up for hours that is still smoothie style? You should try this great stuff, The Ultimate Meal.
4) Eat good ol’ deliciously ripe fruit (sweet and non-sweet)!
Another smart and extra easy plan is to have plain fruit for a whole meal or even just a snack, sweet and/or non sweet. You all know I love my summer time watermelon, and could eat it all day long. Other examples: I often nosh on just cucumbers for a light lunch (sometimes I sprinkle a little Himalayan crystal salt and/or dried herbs – so refreshing) and to make it more substantial, I’ll add 1/2 a diced avocado. Or, for more richness, I’ll dive into a phytonutrient, tropical bounty of mango, bananas, and pineapple. It truly doesn’t get easier than that.
For other great tips on living the Raw Vegan lifestyle with ease, check out my ebook, Kristen’s Raw: The EASY Way to Get Started & Succeed With Raw Food.
Saturday, June 28th, 2008
We’re home and even though we’ve only been gone a handful of days, it seems like much longer. I don’t know why, but I just can’t seem to jump back into things straight away. I feel the need to just take my time, do things naturally, and try to get back into the work groove tomorrow (I have to prepare for my upcoming Raw Chocolate class). I cleaned today, researched more healthy products online for my face and body, and did laundry. I don’t feel like doing much more than that.
1 cup tea made from freshly ground, organic milk thistle seeds (gotta clean my liver!)
Mega shake (The Ultimate Meal, blueberries, Vitamineral Green, Hemp Protein Powder, ground milk thistle seeds, Raw carob – see? Told ya it was mega)
1/2 cucumber with pinch Himalayan crystal salt
Tonight we’re going to dinner with my boyfriend’s mom to one of my favorite Middle Eastern restaurants so I’ll enjoy lentil soup, hummus and some sprouted organic bread of my own that I’ll bring. But before that, we’re going to the gym (biceps and triceps today). And, since I just received my Animal Times magazine from PETA, I’m stoked about reading that while walking on the treadmill.
Daily Conversation Question:
Is there only one soul mate for each person?
My answer? After having met my boyfriend….emphatically yes. And, for those of you out there dating right now…don’t settle. Keep searching for the person who makes you feel like you’re an absolute super star, gives you true peace in your heart, and makes you weak in the knees well after the first couple dates (like FOREVER!).
Okay, so here I am trying to have the healthiest body as possible in preparation of conceiving. Even though I eat a very healthy diet, with tons of fresh, organic, raw foods, I will need extra nutrients when I get pregnant. To make sure I’m getting them, I thought I’d take pre-natal vitamins. In my quest for the perfect pre-natals, I thought back to the many studies I read years ago showing how harmful synthetic vitamins could be. I learned that you should be able to read and comprehend the ingredients without needing a PhD in chemistry. So, I was on the hunt for a completely whole-food, non-synthetic multi, pre-natal vitamin.
I went to Whole Foods and asked for a recommendation for pre-natal vitamins, because once I was there, I saw some bottles labeled as having some organic aspects (but not all…hhhhmmm) as well as some labels claiming they were food-based. I was recommended this brand, Super Nutrition, which I bought because I saw the words “food-based” on the label and figured I’d trust the “oh so sure these are the best you can buy sales girl.”
I started taking them for a couple weeks. I had a stomach ache a few times because I didn’t take them with enough food, although they claim to not upset your stomach (uh-oh – this got me rethinking my choice). Plus, my pee was very yellow, let’s be honest, it glowed in the dark. I mean, think about it, my pee isn’t neon yellow no matter how many bananas or greens or fruit I eat. So, neon pee after taking a supplement…Double uh-oh.
I immediately became curious and put on my detective hat. For starters, I emailed the Super Nutrition Vitamin company that I had been taking to inquire as to whether they had any synthetic ingredients. Here is their response:
Thank you for your interest in SuperNutrition. Our PreNatal multi-vitamins use USP nutrients, in a food-based tablet.
By law, all vitamins manufactured in the United States, including SuperNutrition’s, are made with U.S.P. (United States Pharmacopoeia) grade nutrients, the majority of which (with only one or two nutrients excepted) are always synthetic in every company, no matter the subsequent processing of the tablet or the terms used to describe the processing.
U.S.P. nutrients are bioidentical to the vitamins found in food, and have been shown by over 200,000 published, independent, and peer reviewed scientific studies to be well-absorbed and beneficial for the body.
Our vegetarian, hypoallergenic, food-based tablets are made up of plant vegetable fibers and green foods such as, alfalfa, chlorella, dulce and spirulina. These plant fibers aid in disintegration of the tablet and the green food blend, contain various, and valuable micronutrients. We use no artificial fillers or binders in any of our products, everything in our tablets contribute to the nutritional whole of the product. Please contact us with any other questions.
WTF? U.S.P.? By law? Pharmacopoeia? I don’t even like those words!
I was immediately skeptical since I knew from past research that there were whole food-based vitamins out there. By law, my ass.
The problem was that it had been a long time since I researched vitamin supplements because I never felt the need to supplement with how great my diet was. And, I figured the label was enough if it claimed they were food-based. And their reply with over 200,00 studies
, well, it only takes one study showing me a link with dangerous problems resulting from synthetic vitamins to get me scared (examples on that below). Plus, I knew there had to be totally food-based vitamins out there, so the option was available, meaning, to me, that there was a reason they were available. I just had to find them.
Needless to say, I’m a little fired up. You always have to do double research and get recommendations from people you trust, not just someone who works in a reputed health food store, even when you ask if they’re whole food based.
I was pretty upset when I realized I’d been taking synthetics, knowing how harmful they can be. Just because they contained some organic greens (and such) doesn’t mean squat if they also have synthetics. For example, Synthetic Vitamin C linked to the thickening of the arterial walls of the heart by as much as 2.5 times. Synthetic Vitamin A linked to birth defects in pregnant women who took it. Synthetic Vitamin E linked to lung cancer.
Therefore, I will be returning the vitamins I bought (I had stocked up and bought 2 bottles).
I have been looking at New Chapter PreNatals and it looks like those might be the answer.
Thursday, June 26th, 2008
We’ve been spending the week at my mom’s house and it’s so much fun. I know I’ve written before about times such as these, but I can’t help but share again. She only lives about 40 minutes away, but I swear, we feel like we’re at a retreat when we’re here. We bring our laptops, books, dvds, dog, tennis shoes for long walks, swimsuits for late night swimming under the stars, and mom provides the rest…
She stocks up her refrigerator with our favorite foods and we all just relax, hang out, and graze on yummy food all day. I especially love spending time in her backyard because it’s very zen…with wind chimes, shady trees, flowers, bunnies and birds (they love eating up her organic scraps), big fluffy cushioned chairs, and warm sunshine. I feel like I’m transported away to a special garden with only the sounds of nature floating around me.
Most of you know that my mom and I are very close. So, you can imagine her excitement with all of my baby talk. Let’s just say…huge! It’s going to be such a beautiful time in my life to share with my mom, just like she shared with her mom when I was born.
This week we made some refreshing and phyto-nutrient packed coleslaw. We made a gigantic batch of it and have been eating it for a few days now. We’ve also been drinking lots of Plant Blood and smoothies made from The Ultimate Meal. But, that’s not all, of course…we’ve also had our share of fun treats (we are, after all, at mom’s).
I want to say a special thank you to everyone who has been posting comments on my blog with respect to my plans for pregnancy. All of you are saying how great of a mom I’m going to be and it feels so lovely, warm, and encouraging to read those. Y’all are just like family and I love it. Thank you again and again for all of your support. I’m sending you a huge right now…feel it? Nice and big!
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.