Archive for January, 2009

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Easy Travel Snacks

January 29, 2009
Alas, I am parted from my beloved blender sometimes!

Alas, I am parted from my beloved blender sometimes!

So I was going to post that salad recipe I was talking about in the last post. But what is really on my mind right now is the topic of traveling snacks. For two reasons: 1) I’ve been traveling a ton lately and 2) A friend of my mine is about to travel soon and she was just asking me! So this blog is dedicated to Nadine. ☺ Traveling can be challenging, because there is  not a lot of great food on the go. But try to plan ahead, if possible, and also be flexible. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t eat perfectly- but don’t let your daily diet go to total hell either. ☺ Here are some ideas that have helped me out:

– Dried figs are the #1 blood cleaner. Have a few but not too many.

– An avocado. Just plain! It has such great healthy fats that it keep you full. One time recently I went to the airport I brought one and just ate it for dinner.

– Along those lines, if you are near a deli in a natural foods store (in NYC Lifethyme, Natural Frontier, even Wholefoods) and you are pretty hungry you can also buy a smallish container of guacamole and eat it plain. I’ve done that before after a super hard yoga class. 🙂

– A Kombucha drink– GT brand. Full of B vitamins and probiotics. Also suppresses the appetite. Sometimes when I’m busy I just grab one for lunch. (There are tons of great flavors and I switch around- but I like Guava, Grape, Green, Cranberry and Gingerade).

– Greens+ bars- I like the chocolate flavor. They have spirulina and algae in them, but don’t eat more than one a day. A good meal replacer- or 1/2 of one as a desert! (Note: Don’t eat fake-sweetener filled Luna, Cliff, or Balance bars).

– Raw almonds- or walnut/almond/Brazil nut/cashew mix. (I’ll do another blog sometime on sprouting your raw nuts too).

– Oranges. I read somewhere that they are the fruit that make you feel the fullest, out of the common fruits. Plus it’s great they have a peel, so they don’t get all beat up if you are traveling and lugging them around. If I’m in a huge bind I’ll buy them from  fruit vendors on the streets of New York. But if I’m in a medium bind I’ll take a wee bit more time to run into Wholefoods and get an organic one. 🙂

Okay, well have a great rest of your week! Hope all is well.
And hope to see you back soon,
Kimberly

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LA Raw

January 26, 2009
Me and the super lovely, sweet-as-Charlotte in real life, Kristen Davis.

Me and the super lovely Kristen Davis.

Hey guys! Things are still great here in LA. I’ve been making food for lots of people like a banchi. 🙂

download-13So Friday was the biggest dinner party of the week, with 16 guests, held at a really awesome producer’s house in Pacific Palisades. His wife was totally into learning about the raw food, and she helped me as a wonderful, good energy, quick-learning sous chef. ☺ What was really remarkable, was that although the first floor of the house was an open layout with several huge rooms, all 16 guests crowded around the kitchen and liked watching me make all the food! I made three different appetizers, and had two platters’ full of two of the appetizers by the time the first guests had arrived. But the third one, the raw sushi, I only started once at least 8 people were there so the nori wrappers wouldn’t get soggy.

As soon as I sliced up and put a few pieces of raw vegan sushi down on the plate, they would immediately get snapped up. So it was a bottomless tray! I loved, loved, loved talking with all the guests while I was making food. I literally had alone time with each and every of them, which is fun about a stand-up dinner party where people can mill about and go to different counters to get different foods and talk to different people, rather than sitting down in one seat the whole time.

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Ally and I having a great time with the food!

From there, I started making a big salad. I wanted it to be cool and very fresh, with bursting natural flavors to separate the apps, which had some dense nut flavors, from the main course. Then I served the main dish, then two deserts. Sometime on Wednesday I am going to post a basic recipe of the salad I made though you’ll have to improvise with the spices and keep finding what tastes perfect to you. You already intuitively know what your body needs!

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I get standup comedy live while making food with the hilarious, genuinely kind Derek Mears. Note: I am wearing 3 1/2 inch heels in this picture! 🙂

There was such good energy at the party. One of my favorite guests was Derek Mears, who at a very broad 6.5’ plays Jason in the upcoming Friday the 13th remake

Danielle Panabaker and Juilianna Guill- the stars of the upcoming Friday the 13th remake. I love them!

Danielle Panabaker and Juilianna Guill- the stars of the upcoming Friday the 13th remake. I love them!

(releasing actually on Feb. 13th!) and is a “hobbyist” UFC fighter, was one of the most genuinely nice, open-minded and sweet people I have ever met! He was very interested in the raw food, and really dug it. I am proud to say that he got very full from my food! So ladies, yes you can feed your male friends, roommates, boyfriends, brothers and husbands nutritionally balanced raw food and they will be very satisfied!

Well, I send my very best. I hope this is your best week ever. ☺ Because…why not? It’s the present.
See you Wednesday!
Kimberly

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The Spineless Cactus

January 22, 2009
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Amazing! This beautiful cactus has no needles, and is so smooooth and soft.

This week with the inauguration, you can deeply feel how much hope is in the air for a more peaceful and stable future. Though I’ve been really crazed with meetings and editing the yoga video (last night we edited until 1:00 AM!), I found some time yesterday, the day of the inauguration, to go to the meditation gardens of the Self Realization Fellowship at Lake Shrine, in Pacific Palisades. It was founded by the great Yogi Paramahansa Yogananda in 1920.

These grounds have amazing vibrations of peace and serenity. There is a sarcophagus containing ashes from Gandhi- since he Luther Burbank and Yogananda were great friends. What I also thought was really remarkable was an amazing, enormous spineless cactus, planted along the walkway. The cactus was a gift from Luther Burbank, a botanist from the 1930’s who developed many different varieties of vegetables, flowers, and plants. He was friends with Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. Not only was Mr. Burbank an amazing scientist, he was a yogi and a very peaceful person. He also realized that all things- humans, animals, AND plants, respond to the energy of love! He notes,

“While I was conducting experiments to make ‘spineless’ cacti, I often talked to the plants to create a vibration of love. You have nothing to fear, I would tell them. You don’t need your defensive thorns. I will protect you!” – Luther Burbank

And so, not just by science alone- but by loving energy, the spineless cactus was born. Amazing! A cactus that grows healthily but with no spines or needles at all. It shows that anything is possible with love. ☺  And this is such an exciting time when the world needs as much love as possible to make positive change.

It is also amazing to realize that energy is all around us and really does transfer. We can directly uplift the energy of our bodies and minds  by choosing to be around positive people, simplifying our lives, and eating living, fresh foods. The food we eat goes into our body and is assimilated into its cells. If we want to feel more energized, fresh and peaceful- let us take more of the freshest, greenest plants possible into our bodies. Organic food is grown in a peaceful environment, with great soil and with lots of loving care.

Well, back to work! I have some fun celebrity raw dinner parties I’m throwing in the next few days, so I’ll be sure to report back on how those go. I’m busy planning my menus right now. 🙂
Have a great day.
Kimberly

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LA Times

January 18, 2009
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Anthony, the editor of the yoga video, and I, starting to piece together all the footage from Bora Bora. Looking at the footage, I could really feel the heat and it brought me back to how hot, tranquil and peaceful it was when I was shooting it!

So I’ve been here in LA since Wednesday night, and I can now see that all y’all in Southern California have had no idea what I’ve been talking about for a few weeks now- about the snow and the freezing cold and the dry skin. It’s friggin’ 80 degrees here! It is interesting to wear Capri pants and see people driving in convertibles in January. ☺

Well I’ve had a slew of meetings, both during the day and at night, in the short time I’ve been here. Friday night I threw a raw food dinner at Kristen Bell’s house. There was some skepticism from some of the guests in the beginning, who worried that the food would not have enough calories or keep them full (!). Oh, definitely not something to worry about when I make food. 🙂 There is always plenty of super healthy fat, plant protein and fiber.   By the end everyone was very happy and had really enjoyed the food. Whew! Kristen is great- she is such a lovely and generous and sincerely warm person.

Remember that raw food should never seem intimidating. It is simply foods from the earth in their natural form, that have not been altered by heat or fire in any way. And you don’t have to be completely raw to change up and add some really beneficial foods. I made spirulina pie as one of my deserts, and it was, as usual, the big star.

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Anthony doesn't practice yoga...yet. So he no basic knowledge of any of the poses or their names. Here's me saying, "Let's go back to Downward Dog for a sec. Um...you know, the one where I have my arms like this on the ground and...." 🙂 Because I have to communicate with him about the feel of the video and what it's really about, we've had conversations about pranayama (breath control), helping his aching lower back, benefits of backbending and much more. It is great to work with open-minded, professional, and warm people!

Then yesterday, I spent all day with the video editor extraordinaire Anthony, laying out the foundation for the yoga video. Editing is a pretty laborious task! We used several camera angles to shoot, so he has to match every single shot. Then we have to pick the angle we want to use in each frame! The editing bay room has a gagillion different monitors and screens in it. The video has a beginner and an intermediate section, a led meditation, an intro yoga montage, and a food section. So there is a ton to work on! Anthony is really chill and good energy. And he is now interested in starting to practice yoga! We hope to have the video ready sometime this Spring. 🙂

Well, take care and have a great short, holiday week! I’ll write more in a few days.

All my very best,
Kimberly img_1400

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A Simple But Little Discussed Weight Loss Tip

January 14, 2009
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Don't worry! This tip does not involve sweating or overexerting yourself! It is actually preeeeeeety relaxing as a matter of fact.

subway_turnstilesYesterday I had to run around all day then rush uptown to do something with a few beauty editors. I entered the Union Square subway station in one of those entrances where there are only the floor to ceiling turnstiles. I went to rush through, but I was carrying some bags and I got STUCK. Literally! I couldn’t go forward or back. I was simply wedged in. Luckily it wasn’t too crowded, or I would have been either stampeded or loudly mocked by all the lovely New York subway crowd. Only two sweet, middle-aged women saw me and tried to help me. I had to back straight out the way I came. And too much time had passed for my subway pass— so it wouldn’t let me go and when I re-swiped it said “Just Used.” Ugh. Super yuck. BREATHE!!! I told myself. And I started to feel better instantly. ☺

So this very important and amazing topic of pranayama, which is proper breathing and energy control, was in the forefront of my mind. For more and deeper info, there are lots of yogic teachings on this subject. But right now let’s not talk about how calming breath control is, or how it sets the foundation for meditation (which it does!). Let’s talk about how…

Breathing correctly can help you maintain and lose weight!! Many people overeat, day after day, because they are not breathing deeply or well. The breath brings in fresh oxygen into your body, and the more oxygen you have available to your cells, the more energy you have to go about your day and complete your goals and tasks, and the less the tendency to reach for more, and often unnecessary, food. Stop what you are doing right now and place one hand over your belly. Be sure that when you are inhaling the belly is rising and expanding. You want to be sure to breathe all the way into your belly, not shallowly into your chest or heart center.  That way you will get maximum oxygen with each breath. When we are stressed or angry, the breath is the first thing to go. You start breathing faster, you don’t get enough oxygen, and next thing you know, you are craving a bagel.

Breathing properly will also make your body more alkaline by removing the carbonic acid from the blood and lymph. And remember an alkaline body, rather than an acidic one, can let go of weight easier!

Here are some breathing tips:

Breathing seems so simple, but many of us don't breathe as deeply or slowly as we should, every breath of every day.

Breathing seems so simple, but many of us don't breathe as deeply or slowly as we should.

1.    Breathe through your nose!!!

2.    If you are feeling worn out, stressed, or tired, go outside into the fresh air and quickly rejuvenate yourself by taking 10-40 very deep breaths through your nose. Note: Do this before automatically reaching for those Sun Chips or a Diet Coke.

3.    Remember that fully exhaling is extremely important! This is when we detoxify our bodies. Take at least 3 breaths a day where you exhale completely and hold your breath with the lungs empty for 6 seconds. This yogic breath will create a vacuum force that will pull toxins from the blood into the lungs to be expelled from the body.

4.    Try this yogic breath- the 1:1:1 ratio. For instance, inhale for a count of 4, retain the breath for a count of 4, and exhale for a count of 4.

Well happy deep breathing! I really hope you discover some great benefits in your bodies and minds from these tips and start feeling even more energized. I am leaving for LA in a few hours for 2 weeks, to do some press and edit our yoga video I shot in Bora Bora. So I’ll write to you from there.
Have a great 2nd half of the week.
All my best,

Kimberly

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Magic Olives

January 11, 2009

olives-1Olives are a magical, ancient food, so by eating olives you assimilate some of their magical energy. Olives will increase your beauty, cleanse, moisturize and rejuvenate you. And right now, in wintertime, their luscious meatiness really hits the spot. It’s as if our bodies can feel how the olives’ many minerals and healthy fats help keep our skin moisturized and keep it from getting dry and damaged by the harsh elements.

Olives are an amazingly energizing food- grown straight from the sun and pure light energy! As the olive ripens in the sun, the bitter compound oleuropein is converted and the fruit becomes edible.  Even though it’s pretty freezing in New York right now, I feel directly connected to the sun when I eat olives. I buy a full container of them every week. I’ve definitely spent countless times kneeling in front of my fridge, munching straight out of the container. 🙂 I also throw them in all my salads- about 10-12 in a salad for two people. I definitely recommend you adding them into your diet, or increasing your weekly intake.

Here are some benefits of olives: 1) Richest fruit in calcium 2) Richest fruit in minerals 3) High in amino acids 4) Very high in beautifying magnesium 5) Loaded with the primary fatty acids of oleic, linoleic, and linolenic acid 6) High in Vitamins A and E.  7) Potent polyphenols- water-soluble antioxidants  8)  Alkaline fat source high in protein 9) Strong ability to dissolve toxic mucus in the body.

Not bad, huh? 🙂 Now please keep these tips in mind when consuming this high prana food: olives1

EAT BLACK, BROWN AND REDISH-BROWN OLIVES- NOT GREEN. Green olives are really unripe olives. Since they are picked early from the tree, they are not as nutritionally dense as black olives. They don’t have its full mineral and oil content. Also, freshly-picked green olives are high in tannic acids, so most are treated with lye- a harsh alkaline chemical.

EAT FRESH OLIVES. Buy olives that are water-cured, raw sea salt and/or olive-oil cured, or  sun-ripened, if you are lucky enough to find them.  You can find fresh olives bars at Wholefoods and many health food markets. Don’t buy canned olives- they have been pasteurized (cooked) and soaked in ferrous gluconate, to darken them.

BUY COLD-PRESSED, ORGANIC, EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL IN DARK GLASSES.

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Walker Lake, the day before New Year's. This is going to be an amazing year!

olives-kalamata-wmc11Most olive oils are pressed in giant machines that reach over 160 degrees Fahrenheit, which totally change the property of the olives, and contain little to no minerals. So to be sure to check on the label for the properties listed above. Dark bottles help minimize light exposure that can create damaging peroxides over time. And remember not to cook with olive oil- which can go rancid and oxidize with heat exposure. If you must cook, use coconut oil.

Here’s to eating more olives and feeling beautiful and having more beautiful skin!!! Have a great week.

All my best,

Kimberly

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Calcium Myths- Debunked!

January 7, 2009
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Gi-normous!!! Chew your greens really well to break down that fibrous, green wonderfulness.

I was prompted to write this blog by an article I saw this week in Time Out New York. “Without dairy, you would have to consume pounds and pounds of greens to get enough calcium,” said a nutritionist they quoted. Eeek…no!!! Not true! I found myself muttering around the house to myself. So instead of joining the legions of New York self-talkers that I often hear and see in Washington Squre Park, ☺ I decided I needed to just write and share this with you guys.

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The acidic byproducts of digesting dairy can accumulate in your joints. I've become a lot more flexible since I gave up dairy, and it is now MUCH easier for me to maintain my weight.

In our country, dairy products are pasteurized, a process that destroys all the dairy’s live enzymes, including the enzyme phosphatase, which is important to the assimilation of calcium. Furthermore, most adults only have 5-10% of the enzyme lactase they had as a child, which is the enzyme we need to digest diary. With the deficiency of lactase, the undigested milk sugar ends up in the intestine as the perfect culture medium for bacteria to grow on. This can also lead to excess toxins and mucus in the body, an increased tendency for weight gain, and as yogic tradition would say- a clogging of our nadis, our channels of energy that flow in the body.

“Ironically, osteoporosis tends to occur in countries where calcium intake is highest and most of it comes from protein-rich dairy products,” says Dr. Campbell, head of the China Project, the most comprehensive large study ever undertaken of the relationship between diet and the risk of developing disease.

Another yucky fact about dairy is that dairy fat is loaded with different kinds of toxins, such as our country’s super high exposure to dioxin- a highly toxic chemical compound that even the EPA admits can directly lead to serious diseases and cancer.

The GREAT news is who needs all that dairy anyway?? It is mucus forming, pasteurized, enzyme-stealing and super hard to digest, and definitely fattening (for the overwhelmingly vast majority of people anyway, I believe). And you already have the best choice available to you for calcium every day: Green vegetables. Greens have calcium absorption rates of over 50%, compared with 32% in milk. I get plenty of calcium from greens by regularly consuming green smoothies, green juices and a multitude of various salads. Other fruits and veggies are also very high in calcium, such as olives and dates.  Calcium is best assimilated by the body when both magnesium and manganese are present together, as they are in greens. Greens are also very alkaline, which means they don’t cause urinary calcium loss, the way acid-producing dairy products do.

There are so many amazing types of dark leafy greens. Notice its strong, vibrant, living energy. Here I am with one of my most favorite greens of all: collard greens. Collard greens are so tough and remind me of the jungle, or that they could have survived from the time of the dinosaurs. Eating collard greens makes me feel almost primal, and definitely connected to the earth. I’ll post a great collard green recipe soon.

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And the winner is...Ta Daaa!!! The mighty collard green!

Glad I got that off my chest!
Hope you are having a great week!
Kimberly

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Spirulina Pie Revisited

January 4, 2009
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Buy spirulina in powder form like this, so it can easily be used in recipes.

Spirulina pie is definitely one of my favorite deserts. It tastes like green ice cream pie, with a nice dense crust underneath. Whenever you are having a dinner party, this is a nice way to end on a high note, and impress your friends! Plus you’ll be having the most nutritious desert in the world, since the algae spirulina is arguably (Dr. Gabriel Cousens would be on that team) the number one food in the world.

So this past Saturday night I had a little dinner party. I made this desert the morning of, so it could still freeze in time for dinner. I didn’t have cashews, which I usually use. But I did have tons of Brazil nuts. With this little modification in the recipe, the texture of the pie changed and came out better than ever! Such are the important subtleties of raw food ingredients and their properties. ☺ Maybe it has to do with the different fat in the Brazil nut- which is also really high in selenium- but the green ice cream part held together much nicer. The taste is pretty similar (which is yum). So below is my amended recipe.  Oh yeah, I forgot to remind you that coconut oil stimulates your thyroid and metabolism, you will not gain weight from this- though it is will increase your beauty. Read on:
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Spirulina: All the essential amino acids in correcte poportion, full of Vitamin B12, vitamins, glycolipis, 17 different beta-carotenoids, minerals (especially iron and magnesium), GLA, and over 2,000 enzymes. Unlike other algaes, spirulina’s cell walls have high concentrations of mucopolysachharids, which are easily digested and used to form protein and the building blocks of cell membranes. Also very alkalizing and healing. What an amazing anti-aging, beautifying food!!!

Filling:
– 3/4 cup water
* 1/4 cup Brazil nuts
* 1/4 cup coconut oil
* 1/2 cup maple syrup
* 2 Tbs. spirulina *** (which you can buy at the health food market, Wholefoods or online).
* 1 Tbs. pure cacao powder

Crust:
– 2 cups finely ground raw almonds
– 1/3 cup pitted dates

To make the crust mix the ground almonds and pitted dates in a bowl. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of a 5-inch pie tin.
In a blender, combine the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour this liquid mixture onto the pie crust and freeze overnight, or at least 4-6 hours before serving.  Almost better than ice cream!

Enjoy!

Kimberly