Yes and no. The easy parts were: working hard when I didn’t have a baby, and doing something that I love. It was a lot of work, but when you do something that you enjoy then it really doesn’t seem like work – that’s what keeps me going. And, when you have lots of time because you’re not spending it with a baby, it’s easier to make progress toward work goals. The challenging time has been working now that I have Kamea. In fact, this interview has taken me well over a week to finish… I answered about a question each day.
2. What made you interested in raw foods? How did you get into the field as a raw food chef and start writing cookbooks?
I became a vegan first and stumbled upon raw food when I was looking at cookbooks in Whole Foods Market. I was hooked at that point. My family is in the restaurant business so I’ve been raised in a household with chefs. When I started looking into raw, I started making my own recipes… the rest is history.
3. You seem so incredibly balanced in your healthy lifestyle. How do you manage this, a new baby and a growing business?
It’s not easy. As a business owner, I’m always “on” and always need to check in. Now that I’m a mom, it’s a challenge, but I just do the best I can. Fortunately, my husband also works from home, so I can call on him to watch Kamea when I need a little time for business. For sure though, I’ve slowed down the pace at which I work so I can give Kamea my attention. She’s my little stinker bunny and I love her to bits!
4. Anything special you like to do on your off-days?
I literally don’t get “off-days.” It’s impossible for me as a small business owner… at least for now it is. What would I do if I could have an off-day? I’d read, rest, take a bath, go to the gym without time restrictions, surf the web, go to a pet shelter and play with the animals, get a massage… could I fit that all in a day? Lol
5. How is your lifestyle different now than it used to be? Did you have a turning point that made you commit to a healthier lifestyle?
When I was bodybuilding, I experienced a love for working out, fitness, and healthy eating. My passion for healthy food and living was sparked. Unfortunately, I didn’t know that what I thought was healthy eating back then (skinless chicken breast, fish, etc) wasn’t really healthy(!), although it did help me realize the unhealthiness of processed foods and I cut those out for the most part. Baby steps, right? Then, the real lifestyle change happened when I became vegan after reading John Robbins’ Diet for a New America. When what you eat changes significantly, a lot changes in your life because food is steeped so deep in our culture and our daily lives.
6. How do you stay positive in an increasingly unhealthy world? Does the large amount of new health research that comes up seemingly everyday have an affect on you, or do you like to form your own opinions?
I stay positive and excited by the new information that continues to come out. A few years ago, you rarely saw anything vegan or plant-based on television. Today, you see that most reality cooking shows feature at least one episode for vegetarian or vegan cooking. That is exciting to me. Progress is being made at a rapid rate. Just the other day, California passed legislation requiring all medical doctors to include a 7-hour course on nutrition as part of their continuing education. That’s huge! I suspect (hope) that other states will follow suite.
7. What made you start up your two successful blogs? Any advice for healthy living bloggers?
I started my Kristen’s Raw (raw food blog) years ago so that I could share what I was doing with raw food and to help teach others about the lifestyle. As happens for many people who eat raw food, they start to look at other areas of their life and make changes to be more environmental. As a result, I found myself blogging about my green living (and mommy related things). I thought this required a different blog and decided to address those topics through my Green Mommy Blog. I think blogging is great and it’s basically journaling your life to the public. This can be useful for people trying to eat healthier and wanting to stay accountable while doing it. The public is watching.
8. How does it feel to be considered an inspirational woman? Who, or what inspires you?
I’m honored and humbled by it, and I take it seriously. It really means a lot to me that I am able to help people live healthier lifestyles. I’m constantly inspired by the momentum of the healthy eating movement and excited about my lifestyle when I read books that talk about the importance of healthy eating.
9. What is the best piece of healthy living advice you can give readers?
LISTEN TO YOUR OWN BODY. We are all different and have different needs based on so many diverse factors. What works for one person might not be the right move for another. And, furthermore, each person can change over time. You might find yourself responding to certain foods at one time different than how you respond at a later date. I also think it’s important to take healthy living ONE STEP AT A TIME so you don’t get overwhelmed or freaked out. For example, if you’re a caffeine addict, then start tapering off that as your step in the right direction. If you eat an omnivore diet and want to improve your health, then cut out the dairy as a first step.
10. Do you have any future plans for cookbooks or the blog you want to share with my readers?
Yes! I’m super excited about my next book, due out in Spring of 2012. I can’t share too many details yet, but I’ll be updating my blog in the next few weeks with the exciting news.
11. What is your favorite thing to eat? To cook?
My favorite food that I could eat all day is organic watermelon. When summertime hits, I’m a watermelon addict. My next favorite fruit is in the fall/winter time: Fuyu persimmons. The fuyu persimmon season is NOT long enough for me. My favorite raw foods that I prepare: 4-Ingredient Magic Dressing for salads (recipe on my blog), Cheezy Hemp Nacho Sauce (recipe with video demonstration on my blog), and Garlic Cheese Spread which I use with veggies, spread on crackers, toast (when I’m not eating all raw).
12. And, the million dollar question: What’s in your fridge?
I think the better question is “what is not in my fridge” when it comes to produce and raw foods – haha. My fridge is packed with greens, fruits, veggies, nut butters, miso, tamari, dates, prunes, almond milk, and more. I like to keep a well-stocked pantry, fridge (I have two!), and freezer (in addition to the freezers that are a part of the two fridge/freezer units, I have a free-standing freezer, too). I buy in bulk for lots of stuff to save money and so that I always have my raw ingredients on hand.
Thank you Kristen!
Are you interested in raw foods? What sparked your interest?