Category: Kristen Suzanne

Moving Back To Kristen’s Raw Blog

October 23rd, 2011 by

As many of you know, I’m trying to navigate mommy-hood while running my business. It’s not easy. It’s not that fun (stress sucks). And, I’m still trying to figure it out. The time I dedicate to work is so haphazard that’s it’s a wonder I can even put more than three sentences together. And, writing something really meaningful? Forget it.

That’s okay, though. Although I get a lot out of working, my real focus is Kamea and my family. I don’t have to pick one totally over the other, but I do need to find better ways to fit it all in. So, I’m streamlining. Doing this means less fragmentation for my mind, more peace for my soul, and being a better mommy and wife.

What does this mean for my workload? It means that I’m keeping my Green Mommy Blog up, but I won’t be posting here (at least not for now). I’m going to post all things green, mommy, and food related over on my Kristen’s Raw Blog. It’s all related anyway, right? Maintaining one blog will (hopefully) help in more ways than one. See you over there! :)

Questions from a Reader… Goals, Magazines, etc

September 19th, 2011 by

Whew, I’m having so much mommy-ing Kamea that I have not had the chance to blog as much. Now that the weather has gone below 100 degrees, it makes it so much easier to get out and about. Every day we’ve been going to new places, including the PARK! Wow… Kamea sure loves to swing. We’ve been going every night and she swings for an hour (pictured below, in action). It’s been a blast. We’ve also been going to different resorts around town (Scottsdale is known for it’s gorgeous resorts) where we just hang out, have lunch or tea, and play.

A while back, I opened up my Kristen’s Raw blog to questions about me, my lifestyle, raw food, etc. You can check out all the great questions and answers here. Then, I received a couple of questions about my daily life in general, which I answered over here on my Green Mommy Blog. Another reader sent me an email with a variety of fun and interesting questions that I thought I’d answer today. Here we go…

Because you are so inspiring to so many, I would be interested in what other practices you have in your life.

1) For example, I believe you set goals, but do you have a system for doing so? How often do you do it? Is it something you attend to daily or weekly? Where did you learn your system / or how did you come up with it???You’re right! I do set goals. Every year, my husband and I set goals at New Years. I love the process????? thinking about the future, planning, getting excited about the projects and things I want to work on. It fills me with hope and vigor.??So, what exactly do I do???Every year, my husband and I stay ???in??? for New Year???s Eve. We light candles, play fun music, turn on the Christmas lights and write our resolutions. I do it BIG style though. I take the opportunity of the new year and really take a look at my life and what I want to accomplish for the coming year. So, I take the practice of setting ???resolutions??? and kick it up a notch.

First, we get out last year???s boards (I???ll explain ???boards??? in a moment) and we go through everything we wrote about last year. We talk about how far or close we came with certain resolutions/goals, cross off the accomplishments, and use this info to help formulate plans for the following year.??We each get out a big piece of poster board (hence, the ???board???) and work on our resolutions for the coming year. I separate my life into facets such as: Health, Leisure, Relationships, Finance, Career, etc. Then, I write individual short term and long terms resolutions/goals in all of these categories. I make the whole process really fun and go all out! I use colored pens, stickers, glitter, and highlighters. I guess it???s kind of like a vision board, but without pictures.??When I???m all done with it, I hang it on the wall by my desk so I can see it every day and be reminded of all the Big and Little Resolutions I set for myself. This helps me stay on track and MOTIVATED! And, it???s fun building my New Year???s Resolution Picture (i.e., the poster board). And, let me tell ya, it sure works for me. I get so much more accomplished this way.

2) Do you read success books and if so which ones inspire you the most? It’s been a while since I read any of them, but I’ve always been a huge fan of Tony Robbins. Years ago I bought his Get the Edge series and it worked wonders for my life. Being interested in that type of book is one of the reasons that Greg and I met. For those of you who don’t know, we met through eHarmony six years ago, and in my profile I wrote that I enjoyed Tony Robbins’ work. Well, Greg is no stranger to success-type books, with his dad being Shad Helmstetter. So, we had that in common. :)

3) What magazines do you subscribe to (health and otherwise)? I subscribe to VegNews, Life Extension, and I used to subscribe to Purely Delicious (no longer available), Mothering (no longer available except I think you can subscribe for an online mag?) and Kiwi (thought is was pretty good, but not worth renewing).

4) Do you journal, practice yoga or meditate? I wish I could do yoga. I’ve tried it many times with different instructors and it’s just not my thing. I don’t meditate regularly, but I do have times where I take the time to center myself, sometimes while taking a bath, and sometimes just before going to bed. Something I want to do more of, so thanks for the reminder. :) Journaling?… Again, not as much as I would like to unless you include my daily food journal – lol. I do, however, spend 10 minutes, one day a week (I call it Gratitude Wednesday) where I think about the things for which I’m grateful. I find that extremely centering.

5) How do you come across new ideas such as for health or parenting? I’m constantly reading books on health and wellness as well as reading online by subscribing to newsletters, etc. Too many to name! It’s a bit of information overload to tell you the truth and sometimes I want to pull my hair out because I feel like I’m always “on” with my full inbox and Kindle. Sadly, I might hyperventilate if I don’t have my iPhone nearby, tis the life of a business owner. On the other hand, I really do enjoy reading stuff for which I’m passionate, so it’s fun at the same time.

6) Do you read parenting books and what has influenced you the most? I do, but I’m careful to always follow my intuition first. It’s pretty obvious that I’m happily more of the “counter culture” type so I find that, for the most part, there hasn’t been one single parenting book that I’ve agreed with 100% (I haven’t read many on attachment parenting, however, because I knew I was already into that style of parenting so there’s a good chance those would be books that I’d tend to agree with more). What I do, for the books I read, is to take the info I like, discard the stuff that doesn’t apply, and weave my own blanket of parenting with a heavy dose of intuition.

However, I just finished reading a book that I would wholeheartedly recommend to all parents. It was thought provoking, interesting, and filled with quite a bit of info that I plan to chew on for a long time (until Kamea goes off to college, basically). It’s called Nurture Shock. There are some other good ones that I’ve enjoyed (Brain Rules for Baby, Bright from the Start, SuperBaby, and Playful ParentingI haven’t read Playful Parenting, but it’s in my Kindle waiting to be ready), but Nurture Shock is probably my favorite. I really got a lot out of it.

Thanks for those great questions! :)

A Day in My Life…

August 18th, 2011 by

A couple of weeks back, I opened up my Kristen’s Raw blog for questions on anything. I received two questions that were similar (posted below) and I thought it’d be appropriate to answer them on my Green Mommy Blog.

What does your usually day look like? I mean, you’re a mom of 1 year old. You workout daily. You also work on your blog and on other projects. I know it is hard to take care of baby and work too.?? Is Kamea good baby who let you work? :-) Also, when you make your food do you make for Kamea the same one??or you prepare for her different food? How often do you breastfeed her? It is still her main sources of calories intake? I am asking because I mom of little girl too and just want to get some inspiration. I know every mom want the best for her child and her family. Do you give her some source of omega3,6 fatty acid or she get it from your??breast milk? I appreciate a lot for all your answers. Many thanks for your work for us.

Hi, Kristen :) love love love everything about Kristen Suzanne! You are one true inspiration. My question is ~ How does a typical day in your life look like? During the week or on the weekend? I always wanted to know:) I am a working mom to a beautiful, little girl (i work out of the house??9-5). A lot of times, I find myself wanting to eat raw, vegan, healthy, yummy…but cannot seem to organize myself or fit everything from preparing the food, playing with the baby, working out, etc etc??into my daily schedule. and weekends are always full of Birthday parties, dinners at in laws :) etc. I want to know how you do it, and always with a huge smile on your face. I really adore You! ~with love, Magda (Joanna’s friend:)

For the first 6 to 7 months of Kamea’s life, I didn’t do much other than take care of her, take care of my family in general, and work. That’s a lot in and of itself! What was missing though was time for myself… time to exercise… time to read stuff other than research for work… etc.??

It was around 7-months for Kamea when I decided I needed to make some changes. It was time for this mama to take a bit of time for herself… every day! I knew that I wanted and needed to exercise. So, I warned told Greg that I’d need more help when it came to Kamea. I needed him to watch her more. I wanted time to exercise every day, even if it just meant I went to the health club and leisurely walked on the track. I needed him to help more, in general, so that I can get more things done in shorter time. For example, making lunch and dinner with Kamea strapped to me in a carrier is great and fun, but it means that prepping dinner is going to take me almost twice as long in some instances depending on what I’m making. Greg was a thousand percent supportive. He even went so far as to tell his business partner that she’s not to schedule morning meetings because that’s the time I go to the health club. Awesome, huh?

So, that covers the part about how I get my exercise time in every day. What about work? Well, that’s been a bit of a toughie to figure out and I’m still navigating the waters of figuring out the ideal work/family balance. Essentially, I reserve the time during Kamea’s napping for working… if I’m not napping with her or reading next to her while she naps. If I don’t get something done, so be it. I’m more interested in making sure that I’m well rested (and happy!) so that I can be the best mom possible for Kamea. Our pirate-style family bed means that I don’t leave her alone while napping because she could fall out. So, I moved my desktop into our bedroom to facilitate working while she naps. If I’m not on the computer, I have my iPhone to read from (using the Kindle app), surf the web, or tend to emails. Or… I nap with her. Her nap schedule isn’t really a schedule, but she usually takes two naps a day, and sometimes it’s only once a day. So, to answer the question above about whether Kamea lets me work? No, she doesn’t, but that’s ok because I don’t want to work when she’s awake. I reserve work time for when she naps. If I’m on a strict deadline, then I have Greg watch her if she’s awake, while I work.

Regarding food prep and feeding Kamea… she is primarily breastfed, but she has the option to eat off our plates whenever she wants. I don’t have restrictions for her regarding food so long as it’s not too hard for her to chew since she only has 8 teeth. And, since she gets so much breastmilk I’m not supplementing her with anything. Once the time comes, I’ll look into Udo’s oil for her (both the regular blend and the one with DHA-fish free) as well as other things like a multi, vitamin B12, probiotics, and vitamin D.

How do I handle all of the food prep in my house and keep it easy? Well, for starters, I have a husband who is content to eat whatever, as many times in a row as necessary. We both love huge salads and smoothies and that makes life easier.

Here are some tips:

Keep things stocked for pure success! I always have tons of options for organic vegan foods (raw and not raw). For example: an array of nuts, seeds, dried fruits, kale chips, granola (some raw and some not), nut milks (some raw and some not), tempeh, oats, beans (canned-BPAfree and dried… I use my pressure cooker to cook the dried variety), Fig soups, Gardein burgers, raw crackers (some homemade and some store bought), raw desserts stocked in my freezer, sprouted breads, and lots of bars (Pure bars, Boku bars, etc).

Organization rules! I have a method to my madness from the placement of my raw appliances to the stocking of my food, and as I wrote before, being??well stocked is a must. Check out my guest blog posts at the Raw Divas for some great details. Part One!??And, here is Part Two!

Big batches – that’s where it’s at! Greg and I both love huge smoothies, protein shakes, and salads. So, those make up the bulk of our raw diet. To make this easy, I like to have greens washed and ready to use. I keep my salad spinner full of washed and chopped romaine lettuce all the time (I probably wash and chop lettuce/greens 2-3 times a week). That way, I can just grab a big bowl, throw the lettuce in and I’m well on my way. The next part involves chopping the toppings and this takes 10-minutes or less and I like to chop fresh just before topping the salad to reduce oxidation. Finally, the trick for keeping this all quick and easy is to have my dressing already made. I make easy and mega delicious salad dressings about twice a week. Here are some favorites: 4-Ingredient Magic Dressing and Garlic Almond Dressing.

The same applies for things like black beans, lentils, and oats. I cook them in big batches so we can eat them for days on end. I keep the variety by changing the flavorings and toppings. For example, one night black beans are topped with salsa or raw dressing and gently steamed broccoli. Another night, I serve them with guacamole. Another night is with chopped veggies. When it comes to oatmeal (I could eat this stuff all day!), I keep the variety by having it one time with nut milk and chopped nuts, next I serve with molasses and hemp seeds, another time with chopped banana and coconut milk. Sometimes I make it savory and serve with spiralized zucchini, dice tomatoes and garlic. The options are endless and when you make a big batch of things like plain oats or beans, once a week, it saves you so much prep time. Be sure to store all of your foods in glass containers, too! I like mason jars and these.

Eating out (and delivery) for sanity! For the times that I just don’t feel like food prep, we either go out to eat (here are our favorite places: Chef Sara, Tru Food, and Chipotle) or I plan ahead and order raw foods.

What is my typical day like during the week???Since Greg and I both work from home, our week days and weekends don’t really get separated. The weekends tend to feel a bit more relaxed but for the most part a Tuesday is like a Saturday for us.

Here’s what happens! I wake up (Greg stays asleep since he works late into the night). I do my morning routine with Kamea (change her diaper, comb her hair, brush our teeth, wash my face, etc). Then, Kamea and I head downstairs where the first stop is the kitchen. I make a protein shake or some type of easy breakfast. Next, I set up the coffee pot with organic decaf coffee, and then I set out all of our supplements in little bowls for the day (we take our doses divided). Then, it’s play time. I read to Kamea and we play with toys. After about an hour or so, I wake Greg up so he can watch Kamea and I head to the gym. Door to door, I’m gone 1.5 – 2 hours. Once I’m home, I eat a quick post workout meal (usually a shake, nuts, and banana or date/fig). Kamea breastfeeds and then I play with her, and we decide what to do for lunch. Next is nap time where I work or nap with Kamea. Play with Kamea. Decide what to do for dinner. And, then we usually try to go on an adventure about 4-5 nights a week. We choose the evening if it’s during the summer because it’s cooler out. Otherwise, we go on adventures during the day. What is an adventure? Anything that doesn’t involve being at home! Going for a walk, going to the mall, Whole Foods, head to a resort and hang out, museum, Starbucks… you name it. We try to get out and show Kamea different things.

That’s my life in a nutshell. :)