Archive for the ‘Nuts’ Category

Cruising San Pedro Market, Cuzco, Peru

I must say that I’m not sure why I was called here to Cuzco, but these days when my intuition says something, I listen and follow as best I can. I  mean originally I was coming to Cuzco anyhow to

The Raw Crew for David Wolfe's Adventures in Peru

that I can help my friend Matt Samuelson out with raw food for a retreat of Americans coming to Peru over Thanksgiving. The retreat is David Wolfe’s Adventures. I’ve only met David once and it was very brief at the longevity conference in September/October of this year. We’ve got 30 people coming from all over the states. I’m psyched. First off, I get to hang with Matt who is a good friend of mine from raw food school. He was one of our instructors and we hit it off right away. This guy has a palate like no one else I know and can create extraordinary raw food at a moment’s notice. So that will be fun. It’s also fun for me to gain experience since I’ll be leading my own Raw Trips next year and holding weekend retreats all over the US.

So I actually chose my hostel (Apu-Wasi on the way up to Sacsayhuaman ruins) because it has a big kitchen in which to spend some time. To my dismay (more…)

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It’s been a whirlwind week in North Carolina but with amazing experiences and  outcomes. I met so many fabulous like-minded people as I drove the

Teaching an "Experience Raw" class in Cary, NC

state teaching raw food classes – it solidifies my belief that raw food will help us succeed on this planet. I know it sounds so big picture, but that is the way I have to think these days. With some very detrimental months and years approaching where – well life could go any which

Kirsten given Raw in North Carolina

way…. I have to keep the bigger soulful journey as priority number one!

I remember when Jan said she wanted me to come back from Ecuador and that we should tour, North Carolina came jumping to mind. It was my decision to spread the word here. North Carolina will always hold a special place in my heart. I lived in Charlotte for 3 very big years, which brought a lot of change. Big lessons, life lessons. It’s also the place where I first felt I had my community. It’s more of a feeling than an actual location.

I arrived in Charlotte in such style, I couldn’t have dreamed it up myself. Just so happens my really close goddess friend Lori lives in Washington DC and was traveling to Charlotte for the weekend with her family. So from New York City, I caught the Amtrak down to DC and spent a few days hanging out with my gal and her spicy little girl and extremely cool husband. I love those places where I can just melt into someone else’s life, be mommied and I have such great friends who help me balance and slow down, smell the roses, play with their kids, remember what really counts in this world. If you didn’t know it by now, I’m a huge fan of public transportation. Trains are so super smooth, convenient, roomy and quick. I remember being in Japan and riding the bullet train for the first time – wow, that is the way to go. Japan has really paid attention to their public transportation and it is paying off. We on the other hand, at least in the west, haven’t experienced the sheer bliss of

My Soul Sista Kelly and her son

rapid transportation where you can safely multi-task. Europe, wow they have it down too.

It was such a new experience for me traveling with a family on the go. At one time I think both Peter and Lori were on the phone, their daughter was in the back watching a movie on the computer and I had headphones in.  Sure isn’t like they used to do it, playing eye-spy along the road, the ABC game and other made-up time consumers. I was excited to spend time with them all. They are my family and they were taking me to my other family, depositing me at the door of Kelly and Bill and offspring ☺ And two of my favorite sisters were going to meet, kids running all around, a whirlwind of energy as I landed on Willow Oak drive. Lots of hugs and a big sigh – I was back, back to familiar. There’s a different feeling when you return to a place you used to live. I knew the street names and directions. It felt like  nothing had changed.. but everything had changed. It was my first introduction to the newest member of their family – he’s already 3 years old. I couldn’t believe I was meeting him for the first time. I had seen so many pictures of  him, the latest – when he decided he was going to ride his bike – and so he did.  I had the best time hanging with the kids, watching their sleepy rises  every morning, they’re reading time before bed but after bath and the various appointments and practices through the day.  It took know time to get into the swing of things. It’s vital to have friends that allow for you to be fully into it when you are present, but that are ok with weeks of no communication when you are gone. That’s what good friends do for seeking Sagittarius like myself! Then when the reading time was over, Kelly, Bill and I could congregate in the living room with a few cool brewskies and discuss what’s going on in the world and how our opinions have changed the older we get. It felt so familiar like old times, but truly in a new exciting way.

Charlotte was my home base for the raw food classes in North Carolina.. but I spent a good portion

Spreading the Raw Love in the South

of time driving the state. It’s nice for me to drive alone, good time to think. And since I haven’t owned a car for two years and don’t drive in Ecuador, it’s was kind of nice being at the wheel.

First a lovely class in Winston-Salem. Meghan and Noel of New Planet Yoga http://www.newplanetyoga.com/were so lovely. Their studio is very zen with hard wood floors, lots of light and warm colors. They are energetic and present and we could have talked the night away. The group got very active in class – which is how I like it. I truly think they all will follow through with incorporating some of the recipes. I receive one of my biggest compliments. One client called me the food whisperer! She said that she could feel my connection and energy with the food. One of the biggest parts of my class is the re-introduction to food and the wonderful ways to  use natural ingredients for raw creations.


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Winston-Salem kicked my raw tour off in North Carolina with a engaging class at New Planet Yoga http://www.newplanetyoga.com/. The owners Meghan and Noel are absolutely lovely

Getting Raw and Personal in Winston-Salem

human beings with big hearts, curious minds and great arms for hugging! As I walked through the door, I felt a big sigh, a letting go to the zen they’ve manifested in their space. Peaceful, clean and welcoming. We originally had decided to hold the class at a nearby barn which can be used for functions – make it a whole day kind of thing with yoga, raw food and kirtan.. but the third party backed out at the last moment, so Meghan and I decided we’d go for it at the studio. The good thing about raw food is that you only need a sink and electricity, no heat necessary!

The impromptu grocery store

So we set up some tables, threw some table cloths on top and started setting up shop. Now, I’m not your regular teacher. I try to always think “how would I want to take class” and most of the time my gut tells me, hands on baby, always hands on. While the set up at first had me standing in front of a table and chairs set up in a semi-circle, I knew it would only take a matter of minutes before getting everyone up and around the table. One table I use for teaching, the other is for them to work on – complete with cutting boards and knifes. I believe “doing” is the only way to learn! This group – I must say trusted me fully and jumped in with both feet. I hand one person chopping, the other was running the food processor, while yet another was measuring out dry ingredients. Everyone had a (more…)

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I finally – by popular demand – started some raw food classes down here in Vilcabamba. It’s such a sweet and conscious minded community, I

The gang right on task!

am honored to be helping these lovely individuals learn some new skills on their way to optimum health.

Word started getting around town that I was a gourmet raw food chef. Actually I think it was catering the Raw Food World Conference that helped introduce Jan and I to the ex-pat and Ecuadorian community. Once they tasted what we can do, they are ready to listen and learn… one of those idealistic times to teach. I decided a 4-class series would be a good introduction.. and I wanted them to be a celebration, so Friday evening, it was “Raw and Ready” time. Although I have non of my own yet, children are of utmost importance to me. I want to teach them and hopefully change the bad pattern that’s happening all over the world. Children today are a product of the knowledge we grew up on. We thought we were doing right, we thought we could trust that great information was getting past onto us. I now know that wasn’t so.. and still isn’t. If I’ve learned anything on my journey toward optimum health, it’s been think for yourself. Read and investigate all you can, then experiment and settle somewhat on an opinion, with full rights to change at any moment in time. I made sure my clients know that children always come free.  I had many of my friends bring

Casiopia was the best roller in the class

their Ecuadorian friends and employees too. My Spanish is not so good.. but I appreciate the

Fernanda & little bold Amar.. the youngest raw student

challenge and they appreciate my effort. It’s been a couple weeks now worth of classes and I look forward to every one of  them. What a fantastic set of energy that lands in the house every Friday night. All happy, open and loving. Our first week was a quick introduction where I taught my personal favorite breakfast.. a green drink extra-ordinaire. My motto is stick everything and anything you can in your mouth at all times of the day. Seriously, it’s the color of the milenium! It’s the only way to optimum health. I also taught them wonderful nut milk, kale salad and some other goodies.

The next week  I met guests with  challenge of  stuffed mushrooms, wraps and sushi. I honestly only believe in hands-on when it comes to raw food prep. The entire experience is one of texture, feel and balance. Although many people are aware and LOVE wraps, those rice papers and nori sheets can be intimidating and difficult without proper instruction. This is one of the classes I find (more…)

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Catering for the Raw Food World Conference, Ecuador

All I can say is… fully present, in the moment and practicing a lot of just “be”. Oh yea, and I changed countries. I’ve been here in Ecuador for more or less 6 months and it has been an amazing journey in all sorts of aspects of my life.. mostly the areas I didn’t know existed or certain nooks which needed some cleaning out. This new peace and balance I’ve welcomed into my life has been paying off in a good karma way.. on a daily basis. I’m learning the power of manifestation and how to accutely tune in to my inner-self.. and to be aware of where emotions come from and accepting them as a new lesson.

Sharing a laugh with Jan!

Intention, manifestation and creation.. raw food creations. Ok, this may sounds a tad weird.. but my creations both planned and impulsive have been spot on – like I was somehow told the combination and proportions in the middle of the night. There are dozens of times in the past few weeks that I wake up at 5am and head right to the kitchen to try some random recipe floating in my head. I know in the past,  I usually mull or simmer some things for a couple days before trying them.. but, it’s like I can’t create fast enough!

I think it all started when I decided to get social and meet some others living in the

Eating straight from the garden - everything grows so well here

area. This is the type of place where (more…)

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Teaching Raw Food in Japan

It’s early, the morning after I arrived and I’ve got no time to adjust to the time change, there’s work to do. My first raw food class is tomorrow and I will be teaching a 5 course raw meal for the holidays, complete with table settings and such. If you know anything about raw food, there can be ample prep time involved, especially when you are teaching – which means you basically make some things twice so students can see the finished product (which at times takes days in the dehydrator). I gave Masae and Makiko the recipes for

Having a Raw Food Lunch in Tokyo

the meal ahead of time so they could buy ingredients. That was actually a chore because my original menu included some ingredients they simply can’t get here in Japan and I simply couldn’t bring over with me. I brought one entire suitcase filled with certain dried ingredients and equipment and other decorations… but as with anything, you need to adapt.. and quickly.

The apartment was already stocked with fresh fruits and greens for breakfast – you gotta love when you are coming to a new country and your (more…)

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Raw Foodie on the RoadSucking down a carrot/beet juice, Quito, Ecuador

Sucking down a carrot/beet juice, Quito, Ecuador

I absolutely love to travel, it’s not just a passion, it seems to be a part of me. Checking out new cultures, meeting new people, experiencing life all over the world is one of my favorite thing to do. It also poses challenges when you eat 80% raw.. and follow a plant based diet, cooked or not, the rest of the time. I’ve learned over the years that preparation is the only way to go. So when I planned to go to Ecuador with my friend, I made sure I made a bunch of raw crackers, kale chips, and spice covered nuts to take along. At least I can control the protein and flax seed intake.

Fresh fruit and veggies!

Fresh fruit and veggies!

Then the plan is to find a grocery store as soon as you land and buy organic cucumbers, bell peppers, zucchini, celery, stuff that will last a couple days and doesn’t mind being shoved into a backpack.

It was hell of late when we arrived in Quito, so we had a beer and went to bed. The next morning though, it was time to feed the body the raw energy it needed. To our amazement, we found The Magic Bean in the Mariscal area of the city. It has tons of vegetarian options on the menu, is bright and cheery and had a juice bar!!! Most juice bars – even in the states – are filled with fruit juices, or powdered mixture where they add water. This was a real juice bar, that’s how they do it in Ecuador. They love (more…)

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Coconuts for everyone!

Coconuts for everyone!

Have I mentioned how much of a love affair I’m having with coconuts? I love the tree, I love the history, the meat and yes the nutritious coconut water. It is simple to say that at the moment coconuts are taking the place of a boyfriend – I said at the moment 🙂 First off, the coconut palm tree in many cultures is known as the “tree of life” because virtually every part of the tree can be used. The trunk can be used for fuel, the leaves make thatch roofs, the husk can be braided together to make twine and rope, the shell can be used as utensils and bowls.. and the inside for food and water. it’s safe to say that if I was stranded on a deserted island, I definitely would want a producing coconut palm tree on it with me. A tree grows an average of 60 coconuts in one year – that’s a lot of action going on at the top

One of my creations with coconut wraps

One of my creations with coconut wraps

 of one of those things! Another really cool fact which blew me away when i first heard it – it takes 9 months for a coconut to go from seed to maturity – same as it takes humans to make baby.. ah yes, the tree of life. The water inside a young coconut is some of the purest you can get your hands on. During those 9 months, that water inside is filtered through (more…)

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Artisana booth - mixing up a storm!

Artisana booth - mixing up a storm!

One of my favorite things about raw expos is all the interesting like minded people you get to meet. It’s kind of like a support group for raw foodies – or at least that’s how I see it. You know a lot of us have chosen a lifestyle which is poo  poo’d by many of our friends, simply because they don’t understand it or get it. I’m fortunate enough to have an extremely supportive roommate and close friends – and heck, my guy friends love coming to my house because they’ll eat whatever I make them – they dig raw foods, as long as they don’t have to put the time in. That’s the funny thing, if you are organized, it doesn’t take much time at all – but that’s a whole different blog, right? Back to the expo. I have to say a big highlight in my day on Friday was meeting Cole with Artisana – a fabulous company that makes amazing live organic orgasmic nut butters. One of my favorite is Goji Bliss.. which I just found out they are discontinuing!! Uuugh. Here I was having an amazing conversation with Cole – who is quite the funny and charismatic man – when he dropped the bomb. Nope, it’s going away. Why I screamed?

Sandwiched between two redhead raw food chefs - he's in heaven!

Sandwiched between two redhead raw food chefs - he's in heaven!

I guess when the two tastes sit together for a while – well the company just wasn’t happy with the flavor. Of course it’s not the end of the world, since I can mix my own Coconut butter and goji berries together – but I thought it was one of their best sellers!! See, you get inside information when you go to these expo’s and start chatting up the reps!! Cole did show me how to mix a couple products together to make what taste very similar to peanut butter – I happened to tell him about my obsession with pb from childhood. He also slid me a new recipe for a yummy pudding which I’m not ready to divulge until I try it myself 🙂 Got to say, if you haven’t tried Artisana products yet, go to their website and pick up a few butters. The company does an exceptional job with every product they put out.. and of course, like all raw food and ingredients, it’s all made with love. If you see Cole at an expo, please stop and chat – he’s a people lover and always has some great stories, not to mention free samples. He’s like the wizard of oz.. all in his green jacket!!!

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raw lemon-poppyseed cake

raw lemon-poppyseed cake

I’m embarrassed its been so long since I’ve made an entry, how rude of me. Well I’m happy to say I’m fresh back from the Vibrant Living Expo in Ft. Bragg and gotta say you missed out if you weren’t there. I was chosen a couple months ago as one of the new raw food chefs in the world to demonstrate one of my original creations. It’s a recipe I created while up at school and damn if I do say so myself, it’s yummy as hell. Ok, the dish is Coconut Hoisin Glazed Tropical Gyozas.. and they are good no matter what time of day. I use coconut wraps and a tropical filling to create a little surprise burst of flavor in your mouth. The demo went well thanks to my good friend and now business partner Jan Zerr. She’s a fellow chef who I met a year ago. We are now starting up our own company.. but more on that later, it’s not yet complete!


It was so nice to be back at Living Light and see all my friends. I not only gave a demo but spent all day Saturday in the kitchen helping with all sorts of prep. It was crazy busy, but I thrive on that. I absolutely love a production

Making zucchini spaghetti

Making zucchini spaghetti

and being on deadline, I know, call me crazy. It can be so much fun though if you’re with a great group of people. Matt Samuelson, who’s the head chef at LL and Martine who manages the kitchen are just incredible to work with. I met so many wonderful chefs and speakers and was finally able to put faces to names I’ve heard many times. 


I also learned some crazy new recipes so stay tune to my website for those!! Yum, yum in my tum, tum. I’m still rocking it hard when it comes to raw food and feeling like a rock star with all this energy I have.

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