Kristen Suzanne’s 3 Secrets to Gorgeous Skin

April 26th, 2010 by

1. FOOD! It’s important to start from the inside of your body if you want clear, glowing skin on the outside. This means eating a clean diet that is filled with foods that are organic, plant-based, alkalizing, mostly raw, and fresh. By loading up my cells with massive nutrients I set my skin up to win!

I’m a big fan of green juices for helping to keep me hydrated, energized, and alkalized. During the warmer months especially, one of my favorite green juices is made from organic cucumbers, organic celery, organic romaine, and served on ice. (Sometimes I just make good ol’ Cukes On Ice, too). Cucumbers are wonderfully hydrating and terrific for the skin. Heck, many people apply cucumber slices directly to their skin to reduce heat and inflammation. I’ve also read that daily cucumber juice may help with eczema and arthritis. So, as a priority for skin care, I make sure my diet is loaded with plenty of fresh, organic, nourishing raw vegan foods.

2. Dr. Alkaitis Skin FoodTHIS has become my ultimate favorite for skin care products. And, let me tell you… I’ve tried tons of companies over the years! There is so much truth that a healthy, raw, organic, plant-based diet will help give your skin the glow, but it’s not fool proof all of the time. We also have to take into account what we put on our skin. One of the general philosophies I follow is that if I can’t eat it, I probably don’t want it touching my skin either. Enter: Dr. Alkaitis products. Holy moly! These are amazing. I started using them after coming off a little breakout session from hormones and within a couple of days had extreme improvement. I actually couldn’t believe my eyes, so I didn’t say anything to anyone, I just kept with the program. And, weeks later, my skin was more gorgeous than it had ever been. Now, I’m telling the whole world about them! I’m going to be hard pressed to use any other company. Almost all of their products are vegan. My favorites: cleanser, toner, soothing gel, treatment oil (love this on my body – the smell is hypnotic!), and eye cream. I’ve used the day and night creams sparingly, but I tend to stick with the aforementioned products on a regular basis. The Travel Kit is a great way to get introduced to the line. It’s how I tried it out when they sent me one. Loved it!

Their products are made with organically grown or wild-crafted plants (or unpolluted sea life), and their herbal extracts are made in-house! The base is organic aloe, making the products very concentrated, so a little goes a long way (my 7-day Travel Kit lasted almost two weeks). All the products are raw, living, not heated above body temperature. And, to preserve freshness, they make small batches at a time and products are only two-weeks old when they get shipped to you (for US shipments). Rockin’ huh?

3. Clarisonic Skin Cleansing Machine – My mom recently bought me the Clarisonic Mia a sonic skin cleansing system. I’ve always known from beauty experts that it’s important to exfoliate your skin on a regular basis for truly trouble free skin. I used to use a fibrous exfoliating hemp washcloth but sometimes it was too rough and aggravated my skin more than anything else. The Clarisonic Mia, on the other hand, exfoliates unbelievably effectively and gently. But, it’s not just great at exfoliating. There are two other great benefits: It gets my skin super clean – like never before. After the first use I couldn’t believe how extra amazing my skin felt. The other unique result from using this is that it helps my Dr. Alkaitis Skin Food products absorb more efficiently.

According to Clarisonic, the following are benefits that can be expected:

  • Leaves skin feeling and looking healthier and??smoother
  • Removes 6 times more makeup than manual??cleansing
  • Cleanses so well that products absorb??better
  • Pores appear smaller
  • Reduces the appearance of fine lines and??wrinkles
  • Reduces oily areas, dry skin patches and??blemishes
  • Gentle for use twice daily for different skin??types

But, you don’t have to take my word for it… check out the reviews! There are tons of raving fans out there using this system. (It probably goes without saying that I don’t use the cleansing products that came with it.) I don’t have the Clarisonic Pro, which has some other perks like the ability to use it on the body, but I’m interested in getting one.??Check out the amazing reviews about the Clarisonic Pro.

Boy oh boy! I sure wish I had known about Clarisonic a long time ago. It’s worth its weight in gold. I’m giddy with sparkly puff joy now that I have this little gadget in my beauty tool kit. It’s game changing!


kitchen_produce

April 26th, 2010 by

kitchen_produce


Babywearing Class

April 23rd, 2010 by

Today, my husband and I attended a babywearing class where we learned about the different babywearing options. It was so informative and encouraging to see actual demonstrations. We learned about the many benefits of babywearing, too. Some of the different wraps that were shown were: ring sling, Mai Tai, Ergo, Action Baby Carrier, and Gypsy Mama (as well as Moby, Bali Baby Breeze). I suspect I’ll end up with a ring sling, Ergo, Moby (already have one of these), Gypsy Mama, and then when the baby is heavier, I’ll get the Bali Baby Breeze. I’m guessing that the ring sling might be easiest for my mom (baby’s grandma) to use. It’s all so exciting!

I plan on blogging about them all in detail as well as showing videos as I try them. I can’t wait!

Do you babywear? If so, what are your favorite slings/wraps/carriers?


Kristen’s Raw Giveaway Going On Now!

April 20th, 2010 by

Want the chance to win a $40 giveaway from a fantastic place that “works hard to help keep you and your entire household healthy and green?” Then hop on over to my blog, Kristen’s Raw, and enter to win.


Pregnancy and Baby Books

April 16th, 2010 by

A few of the books I’ve read.

I get asked all the time about what books I recommend for pregnancy and baby information. I thought I’d list them here. They are not necessarily vegan, but most are friendly toward that, as well as natural childbirth. Some of the books I’ve read entirely and some I have only flipped through because I haven’t needed to use them yet (I glossed through them to become familiar with the topics in the event I need to use them in the future). Some of the books I love and find very useful and some of them were pretty good. In truth, they were all great, it’s just that by the time I read some of them, I’d already exhausted the topic.

Rainbow Live-Food Cuisine by Dr. Gabriel Cousens – this book has information about nutrition and food options for babies. I’m a big fan of Dr. Cousens.

Conscious Eating by Dr. Gabriel Cousens – this big book has a nice section about pregnancy and nutrition (as well as covering so much more about health in general).

Your Best Birth by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein – I can’t stress how important it is to read this book if you’re trying to conceive or already pregnant. There is so much useful information about the different birthing scenarios (home birth, hospital, or birth center). Read why I’m having a home birth here.

Evie’s Kitchen by Shazzie – I really like this book for pregnancy and children nutrition information. This is the one book that is filled with lots of info about raw foods. She covers many natural alternatives and health food options that you won’t find in other books.

Baby Greens by Michaela Lynn and Michael Chrisemer – This book gives information about living foods for children of all ages.

Skinny Bitch Bun in the Oven by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin – I’m a huge fan of the Skinny Bitch books (they’re my style – total sass and fun). This energizing book details the vegan diet and pregnancy.

The Natural Pregnancy Book by Aviva Jill Romm – This book was useful for learning about the women’s journey from baby’s conception to birth. Romm is a midwife and herbalist which is what turned me on to this book.

Naturally Healthy Babies and Children by Aviva Jill Romm – This is one of those books that I haven’t read yet, but I’m looking forward to it because, again, I like the idea of learning from someone who is a midwife and herbalist. The book covers herbal remedies, nutrition, hygiene, etc.

Baby Matters by Linda F. Palmer – This book supports natural parenting practices… “rebuts cry-it-out parenting and the frequent usage of various drugs and vaccinations in children, reveals incredibly common, yet seldom diagnosed food intolerance symptoms???even from foods in mom’s diet???and how to treat them, and discloses the real causes of ear infections, colic, reflux, ADHD and SIDS.”

Wise Woman Herbal Childbearing Year by Susan S. Weed – I didn’t use this book much because I didn’t need to, but still glad to have it in my library. It offers simple remedies for pregnancy, childbirth, lactation, and newborns (including herbs for fertility and birth control).

Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding by Ina May – By the time I read this book, I’d already read some others on breastfeeding, but it was still enjoyable. I’m a huge fan of Ina May and recommend this book.

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May – One of the best books ever. I read it before we conceived and I’m reading it again now in preparation for birth. I bought copies for my mom and mom-in-law to read. Highly recommended.

Permission to Mother by Dr. Denise Punger – A nice book by a doctor with expertise in breastfeeding.

Natural Health after Birth by Aviva Jill Romm – This is a guide to postpartum wellness that I haven’t read yet, but I’m a fan of Romm’s so I suspect I’ll really like it.

Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering by Dr. Sarah J. Buckley – I really liked this book. I enjoy reading books by medical doctors who support natural childbirth. Buckley covers birth choices with sections interwoven about her own four home births. It also includes information about attachment, breastfeeding, and baby sleep.

HypnoBirthing by Marie F. Mongan – My husband and I took hypnobirthing classes in preparation for our home birth and this book was a part of the course. I think it would be of great use whether you took the classes or not. I wrote a blog post about our experience after a HypnoBirthing class here.

The Diaper Free Baby by Christine Gross-Loh – As many of you know, we’ll be trying our hand at Elimination Communication (blog post here). This book was very helpful in teaching us about it.

Good Nights by Dr. Jay Gordon – This is a great book with information about cosleeping and having a family bed. (I can’t wait to cosleep with our baby!)

The Continuum Concept by Jean Liedloff – This is a book about attachment parenting. It was recommended by many people… call me crazy, but I did not think this was a page turner (although I’m very interested in attachment parenting). I recently listened to a current interview with the author that I enjoyed very much. (Thanks, Deb, for reminding me to add it to my list here… oops, I forgot about it – lol)

Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child by Janet Zand, N.D., Robert Rountree, M.D., and Rachel Walton, MSN, CRNP – I haven’t read this book yet, but I suspect I will put it to good use over the years. It offers “safe and effective relief of common childhood disorders, using nutritional supplements, herbs, homeopathy, acupressure, diet, and conventional medicine.”

UPDATE (5/2/10)??The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Vegan Eating For Kids by Dana Villamagna and Dr. Andrew Villamagna – I just purchased this book for my Kindle2 and started reading it tonight. I’m only part way into it and it’s a page turner. I grabbed this from the product description on Amazon: “The guide presents all the nutritional needs for children up to 12 years old, outlining what they need at what stage in their lives, and what vegan foods can provide those nutrients.
???The only book to present a complete plan for raising a vegan child
???Includes delicious vegan recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and snacks
???Includes complete nutritional lists of fruits, vegetables, and nuts
???Features tips for teaching children how to cope in a non-vegan world”

Whew! There were some others I read, but this is a good list to help get you started. I also read about 5 books on vaccinations, as well as plenty of research online. Mothering.com is a great resource (both the magazine and the forum).

Update: (1/25/11) Disease-Proof Your Child by Dr. Joel Fuhrman is another great book that helps answer many questions on how to ensure you’re feeding your children the healthiest diet possible. Disease-Proof Your Child is filled with references to study after study showcasing the extreme importance of how your child’s long term health is connected to the foundation you establish in the first 10 years of life via food.

Are there any books that you loved?