April 26, 2010 (6:36 pm)

Kristen Suzanne’s 3 Secrets to Gorgeous Skin

topics: Beauty, Reviews
by Kristen Suzanne

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!

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April 23, 2010 (5:04 pm)

Babywearing Class

by Kristen Suzanne

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?

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April 20, 2010 (8:18 pm)

Kristen’s Raw Giveaway Going On Now!

topics: Giveaway
by Kristen Suzanne

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.

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April 16, 2010 (6:07 am)

Pregnancy and Baby Books

by Kristen Suzanne

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. Read More »

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April 12, 2010 (5:26 pm)

Cloth Diaper Class

by Kristen Suzanne

I wrote recently that my family plans on trying Elimination Communication for our baby, but there are times we’ll need some cloth diapers. Therefore, I attended a cloth diaper class where they went through all kinds of cloth diaper options. Holy moly! There are so many! It’s exciting, yet a little overwhelming. I realize in the long run that cloth diapers should be cheaper, but what if I buy the wrong ones? Hhmmm…. well, I have some thinking to do (I took notes in the class and I need to review them). I’ll report back here on Green Mommy Blog about our choices. We also learned about wipe options, diaper bags, diaper containers, ways to wash baby’s bum, etc.

From what I can tell so far, I suspect we’ll use a variety of them for different situations. I know for sure that we’ll only choose options with organic cotton, bamboo, or hemp options. No wool, since we’re vegan. With that in mind… I’d love to know what your favorites are, so please feel free to share in the comment section.

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April 8, 2010 (5:36 pm)

Review: Sprout Wellness Beauty Products

topics: Beauty, Reviews
by Kristen Suzanne

I really love trying out beauty products. What can I say? I always liked to play dress up as a little girl, too. Lately, I’ve been on the hunt to find some of the best, most effective, healthiest, eco – and animal – friendly products available. Needless to say, it’s been a fun project. I’ll continue to share the goodies I find here on this blog, and you’ll see some of my favorites featured in the Green Mommy Blog Boutique (be sure to check back often as I’ll continue to add the good finds there!)

So, I’ve been trying some new things, and I was sent a generous package of beauty care products from Sprout Wellness (after having learned about them from One Lucky Duck). It’s a sweet little company with an owner / formulator whom I adore. She’s humble, fun, knowledgeable, and mega sweet. Be sure to read my detailed Kristen’s Raw blog post where I share my opinion about a number of other beauty care companies (my likes and dislikes) here.

As I was saying, Sprout Wellness is a neat company. Here’s a little information about Sprout Wellness that I grabbed from their website… Read More »

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April 4, 2010 (5:45 pm)

Elimination Communication (i.e., No Baby Skivvies)

by Kristen Suzanne

Elimination Communication, also known as having a Diaper Free Baby,  is something that I never thought I’d even consider. A long while back on my Kristen’s Raw blog, I blogged about things I wanted to do as a future mama before I became pregnant. These posts generated many comments, suggestions, and questions from readers inquiring about how we we planned to handle diapers. At first I thought, “We’re going green – cloth diapers for sure – organic, hemp, and/or bamboo ones at that!” But, something else came up in the comments. Something called Elimination Communication (referred to as “EC” from here on out). What the heck was EC? The name alone sounded hokey. Come to find out, EC is a form of potty training that basically means your baby is diaper free. What?! No diapers? Seriously? That’s just crazy talk.

Or so I thought. I’ve since learned that with EC, you learn to pay attention to impending potty cues from your baby, you hold your baby over a toilet (or bowl), and when baby is ready, baby lets loose. You hope there are not any accidents, or “misses” as folks in the EC world call it. After reading some of these details, my first reaction was, “Heck no!” It sounded way too weird for me.

Well. I didn’t think of it again, except to laugh with my husband at the absurdity of it after I told him about the comments on my blog. A couple of months later, it came up again on my blog, and since my initial shock about the topic had warned off, I didn’t laugh this time, but I still dismissed it as something that just wasn’t for me.

A few months later, I was reading a blog written by a woman I respect where she addressed the topic. I found myself absolutely devouring the post and its many comments, thinking to myself, “I need to hear what all these people are saying about EC.”

Fast forward to today. I own a book on EC, The Diaper Free Baby, and we plan on doing it. LOL. And you know what?… I’m stoked. I mean, come on, how cool that your child gets potty trained way early and doesn’t have to deal with dirty diapers? (At least, not nearly as much as most of the kids in our culture who often don’t get potty trained until they’re 2-3 years old.)

So, what changed my mind? Read More »

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April 1, 2010 (12:07 pm)

Winner of Green Mommy Blog’s 3rd Awesome Giveaway

by Kristen Suzanne

Congratulations Rachel V! Your name was chosen as the winner of my 3rd Green Mommy Blog Giveaway. The prize: A Free Morrocco Method’s Zen Detox Hair & Scalp Therapy. Simply email me with your address so I can get the prize sent to you.

When asked, “Who is your favorite historical figure and why?”

Here is what Rachel V had to say…

My favorite historical figure was Joan of Arc because she was a radical woman for her time!! She was extrodinary and inspired her fellow citizens, even though she ultimately did not see victory and passed away. Check out my facebook & twitter (RachelMSW) for repost/retweet. Love ya

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About Kristen

Kristen Suzanne is a Raw food chef and author who blogs about all things green and mommy-related! More...

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