KrisCarr-grandma

Love, Eat, Heal

September 24, 2012|127Comments|


Hi Friend,

Every time I see a cardinal, I know my grandmother is with me. This regal, red bird was Grandma’s favorite. It reminds me of her fiery Colombian spirit and the blue flames that blazed in her restaurant’s kitchen. Grandma infused her food with love, captivating stories and copious amounts of butter. And everyone who slipped into a booth at The Village Gourmet in Pawling, NY felt that love from their taste buds to their toes.

My grandma died nearly a decade ago, but I swear she’s been sending me flocks of cardinals in her absence. I think she knew I’d be needing these precious symbols of her love. Two weeks before she died, I received my own walloping wake up call. Incurable cancer. I needed a lifeline. I needed my Grandma. So I went into the kitchen – and I’ve never left.

Although Grandma’s passion had led me to the power of food, not all of her recipes were healthy. I kept her gusto and the love that she put into her cuisine, but ditched the ingredients that bought her a one-way ticket to arthritis, diverticulitis and a host of other inflammatory conditions. I also ditched my own addictions and compulsions around food.

Aura

At one of my lowest points, sugar had a painful grip on me. I’d buy/binge and then beat myself up over my behavior. Sometimes the only way out of my drug trance was to mutilate my stash before burying it in the trash. This step was very important. If I didn’t jam cigarette stubs into the pints of Ben & Jerry’s or spray them with cleaning products, there was a 50/50 chance I’d rummage through the rubbish to rescue my heroine.

One thousand donuts could not fill the suffering growing inside me. Which makes a lot of sense, because, since when are donuts miracle workers? Miracles require an overall, tectonic shift toward love and life’s sweetness, which couldn’t be further from processed sugar’s deceptive and fleeting high.

My new kitchen was (and still is) a peaceful haven — fully stocked with nutrient-dense, plant-empowered, whole foods. It’s my direct connection to spirit, and of course, my juicer! Slowly, as my time in the kitchen deepened, I started to feel better. While I may never be in remission from cancer, I am currently in remission from an unhealthy relationship to food.

For nearly a decade now, I’ve been teaching others (like glorious you) how to thrive by filling their bodies with energizing vitamins, nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Not a day goes by when someone doesn’t write me to say, “Thanks, I feel better too now”. Those letters from my readers are my digital cardinals.

The fact is, we need help and we need each other. We’re a nation riddled with preventable, lifestyle-driven diseases. We consume far too many animal products, processed and refined foods, saturated fats and empty calories. Industries that profit from both our ignorance and our misfortune spoon feed us confusion and deception. We’re taught to solely blame our luck-of-the-draw genes for our health issues, rather than our daily habits, dietary choices and interplay with the environment that surrounds us. The real truth lies somewhere in the middle and the good news is that we are more capable of turning around our global health crisis than we think.

Change your plate. Change your fate. If you learn anything from my story, let it be this: Don’t wait. But I get it, change is a pesky notion. For many folks, the biggest challenge in changing their eating habits isn’t money, time or education, it’s reframing their connection between food and love. Love is healing. Love is comforting. Love is holy. Food can be all those things too. But as I mentioned, food can also be harmful. The goal isn’t to be restrictive or tight about what passes through the altar (your mouth) and into the temple (your body), it’s to create sustainable and consistent energy for every deserving cell in your body. That, my friends, is true love.

I dedicated my most recent book, Crazy Sexy Kitchen: 150 Plant-Empowered Recipes to Ignite a Revolution, to Grandma. It’s my way of saying thank you for introducing me to the kitchen–the place that has become my pharmacy and transformed my life. I’m just sorry that I didn’t have the chance to share my decade-long health odyssey with her. I know that the knowledge in Crazy Sexy Kitchen would have improved her quality of life. I also know she would have gotten a real kick out of my friend Chef Chad Sarno, who helped me create the glorious recipes. If Grandma could sit at my dinner table today, perhaps she would have realized that you don’t have to compromise pleasurable cuisine for nourishment and good health–they actually go hand in hand.

Let’s do something together. First, I want to ask you a few questions. How does the food you’re eating make you feel? Energized and happy or sluggish and guilty? Are you treating your body like a temple or a trash can? Sit with these questions for a few moments and then see if the following proposal resonates with you.

Could you honor and love yourself at your next meal? No need to get overwhelmed by the idea of renovating your entire diet. Let’s just take a small step together and see how that feels. Play in the kitchen. Light candles. Experience each bite. Take in the colors and smells. There are countless nourishing recipes right here at KrisCarr.com or if you’d like to try something from Crazy Sexy Kitchen, pick up the sneak peek here and dive into one of the free recipes I’ve provided!

I want to hear from you. I’m having such a blast getting to know y’all again! If you embark upon a sacred meal, let me and your fellow readers know how it goes.

Peace & cardinals,

Kris Carr



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127 responses to Love, Eat, Heal
  1. Wow … Cardinals are a symbol for me for my grandmother too. I saw one the day after I got married and knew it was a sign from her that she was with me … This has been significant through my life since she past away.

  2. Hi Kris Love your new site just as much as your old one.
    Please keep sharing. We all need all the love you have to offer…

    Warm regards
    Doreen Schneider
    Maple Ridge, BC
    Canada

  3. This message is my story. I am grateful that I have not been diagnosed with cancer, however my life with my grandmom is similar to yours.

    Everything I know about food, I learned from my grandmom. She was an awesome cook and food was her business.

    She loved me with food. She has aslo taught me to love food more than divine health. She has loved herself into arthritis, diabetes, hypertension and a host of other things. I have decided that I love myself more than the food I thought I loved.

    I will continue to change my plate so that my fate will not be that of my grandmom’s, but of a woman full of energy and life.

    Thanks for sharing!

    nakeia

  4. You are the empress of sacred food lifestyle. I love your new site, she is as shiny as you are. You have ancestors in the wild fairy world whispering you recipes for your sacred medicine you carry for this world. Yes a kitchen is an empire, the healing place for or soul wounds. Thank you for your bravery, warrior fairy.

  5. I’ve fallen in love with life in a whole new way through cooking. I spent most of the weekend in the kitchen, cooking up recipes from Crazy Sexy Kitchen and feeding my friends and family. Sharing food creates memories–memories that are made even more priceless because they’re also filled with healthy food you can feel good about.

    Even though the weekend was sort of uneventful, I’ll always remember it because of the time and care I put into taking care of myself and others through delicious, home-cooked meals. The time and effort that you put into cooking doesn’t feel like work when you realize how much joy and health you and your loved ones receive in return.

  6. I loved your article!
    I am glad that you overcame your sugar addiction!!!!!
    Did you struggle to give up caffeine also?

  7. Kriss, cardinals are special to me too. Growing up, I remember seeing those beautiful red birds and thought how special they were. They looked so different than other birds in our yard! My dad told us that those beautiful birds were Santa’s Birds. If we saw one, that meant Santa was checking on us, and they would report back to Santa our good deeds (or bad!).

    I lost my dad 2 years ago and miss him dearly. But whenever I see a cardinal, I know dad is around me in spirit, checking in on me..

  8. Chris I loved your story about the cardinals.

    The day after my mum died of cancer, I was surrounded and circled by beautiful swallows while walking in a local park and I knew right away that they were a message from my mum.

    Now when I walk in the same park and the swallows surround me, I feel at peace and know that the world is just as it needs to be.

    Thanks for sharing your story about addiction to sugar as I am currently weaning myself off sugar too. Most days I do ok, but other days I go backwards. What comforts me is that I have more good days than bad ones now.

    I’ve discovered that if you are trying to change a long term, automatically-ingrained-in-your-brain sort of habit, you have to give yourself time and change comes at a steady pace, one day at a time.

    When I fall of the wagon (like yesterday at a birthday party for a dear friend :p ) I picked myself up and got straight back into a fresh food routine today which made me feel so much better physically that I know that I will happily be able to stick with my food plan for the rest of the week.

    Thanks for your story and inspiration.

  9. Thank you for sharing your (most recent) story with us. Your comment about Windex made me smile. It reminded me of the Sex and the City episode where Miranda squirts dish soap onto the brownies in her trash can because she can’t stop eating chocolate. I can relate to these actions as I have done the same thing. Your post is quite timely for me, as my husband and I decided to cut out processed sugar – starting today! I really hope to kick this nasty habit and benefit from the absence of the toxins that go into my body via unnecessary desserts and snacks.

    Thank you for all that you do and share with your audience.

    xo,
    Rebecca

  10. Hey Kris, Couldn’t wait to read your blog today, you always seem to know exactly what to talk about and when!!!! My symbol bird for my Grandma who passed away 11 years ago is a blue jay, She always shows “herself” to let me know everything will be alright just when I need her, just like u do! Thank you for that. Many blessings, Denise

  11. thanks for being so dang inspiring!!

  12. Kris,
    I so needed to hear about the cardinals today, thank you. Real quick I began my Canser journey when our summer RV journey was so rudely derailed when I suffered a first ever brain seizure in August in CA, high tailed it back to AZ, we live in the most beautiful desert town along the Colorado River of Lake Havasu City, AZ but unless you really want to become a lab rat you don’t want to get ill, treated or tested there. So we went to the best which was also in Network on our Insurance, Barrow Neurological,. DX with Non-small Cell lung adencarcinoma Stage IV, with lymph node involvement and what they thought were Mets to the brain but they were scratching their heads because they didn’t look like canser mets but perhaps a virus, a parasite. REALLY? Yuck…..
    So after a brain biopsy whereby getting ready to be discharged I suffered a 35 minute seizure and my doc acted fast and induced a medical coma to calm my brain down. 3 days worth where I was surrounded by angels of the ancestral variety. Yelling and screaming that I didn’t want to go with them to the light because my only child was going to have my first grandchild due 3 days after my 55th birthday in Feb, and I have to FIGHT….they assured me by what I call a comforting cloud like hug that I would see the baby. So yeah, your grandma is right there all the time.
    Love you so much, you give me the persistence to keep on keeping on. I wish I had the ability to go to Pasadena in October, but due to who knows what kind of chemo schedule I have I think my calendar is a bit pre occupied.
    I want to become a medical miracle and kick this crap out of me, I am Vegan, juice organic veggie juices 3 times a day and throw in a smoothie from your e-book which I bought pre DX. Life is a journey and the answers may or not be revealed. I’ll tell you what though, I believe in angels and miracles. So enjoy your day, and someday I will be able to attend one of your presentations.
    Love, Hope

  13. I love that your grandmother sends you cardinals. My father sends me hawks. Makes me know that he is still looking out for me.

    Tonight, I am going to set the dining room table and actually sit at it while I eat a delicious vegan dinner. No sitting in front of the TV!

    Claire

  14. i joke about my addiction. “oh i just love ice cream.” or “i need my starbucks crack today.” “sugar is just my addiction of choice.” it would be funny. except it isn’t. it isn’t funny when i felt the cellulite through my pj’s this morning as i wonder what it is doing to my insides. it wasn’t funny when i was brushing my teeth last night and discovered how loose the skin on my face is. it isn’t funny when i look to sugar to fill some gaping hole inside that i cannot even figure out what it is. the hole just gets bigger. it isn’t funny when i tell myself how weak i am, what a loser i am, how i am going to get sick and die, every time i fall off the 21 day adventure cleanse wagon. it isn’t funny. it makes me sad.

    love the site. love the idea of taking it one meal at a time. i am going to give it the ol’ college try.

    :)
    Jen

    • I too love this site and the words go inspiration. I have struggled with addictions my whole life and have overcome so many except sugar. Sugar is killing me..I can’t seem to stop binging on sugar. I have tried everything. It can feel very hopeless at times. I am just trying to take it one day at a time right now but feeling a little overwhelmed. Thanks for your words!

      • Hi Megan,

        I struggle with sugar too! Here’s what works for me.

        Not eating at night after dinner (drinking lots of water and tea instead). I feel great in the morning when I give my digestion a long rest. Also–I try to focus less on deprivation and more on cooking awesome meals that are packed with nourishment. The more I fill up on greens and other veggies, the less I feel drawn to sugar. Lastly, when I take care of myself–exercise, get lots of sleep–the less I’m blue and the less I gravitate toward sweets.

        Hope this helps.

        Hang in there!
        Corinne

      • DATES, GREEN TEA, CINNAMON STICKS TO THE RESCUE!

        As a treat, I often indulge in pitted dates, oranges, and a few almonds. That often takes care of sugar cravings. Dates are super sweet and good for you! Another thing that works- cinnamon stick and clove tea (throw spices into boiling water and steep for a few minutes). Decaf Good Earth tea in the original flavor used to be what I tuned to. It tastes sweet without adding sugar.

        Also, I’ve noticed when I drink green tea, I lose all desire for sugary anything. Green tea makes me crave something healthy if I’m hungry.

      • Oooo….another thing that makes me desire less sugar- a small piece of super high quality dark chocolate (at least 70% dark). One tiny square is all it takes. I let it begin to melt in my mouth before biting into it. I then close my eyes and savor the deliciousness. After eating this, I can’t even think of a cookie, pastry, or any other sugary something. I don’t even crave more chocolate!

    • Great story. I have a horrible problem with sugar cravings and the holidays are not my friend when it comes to trying to behave and eat properly. All I can suggest is that we all are looking for something and I will suggest this site for all of us sugar cravers to look at. I have just been introduced to F21 and are seeing and hearing amazing results from all types of people with all types of problems. Thank you for the amazing story and I look forward to follow more.

      • DATES, GREEN TEA, CINNAMON STICKS TO THE RESCUE!

        As a treat, I often indulge in pitted dates, oranges, and a few almonds. That often takes care of sugar cravings. Dates are super sweet and good for you! Another thing that works- cinnamon stick and clove tea (throw spices into boiling water and steep for a few minutes). Decaf Good Earth tea in the original flavor used to be what I turned to. It tastes sweet without adding sugar.

        Also, I’ve noticed when I drink green tea, I lose all desire for sugary anything. Green tea makes me crave something healthy if I’m hungry.

  15. I’ve been following your lead in my own kitchen for many years. I was diagnosed with late stage cancer on the Valentine’s Day after your wonderful book Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips came out. Well, I am just fine and really, much better-than-fine now and I give a big nod to you and your work in that kitchen for that! Thank you for all you do. And thanks to your grandmother for being such an inspiring force for you! It goes to show you that even the “little” things we do can be so far reaching. They keep vibrating for many miles and many years. There she was in NY, doing her thing. And here I am, a little gal in Denver, enjoying health and happiness just because she lived the way she did.

    We have many stories of special birds coming to my family members. Here’s my favorite. When my grandma was younger she was talking to her sister on the phone. It was a blustery February day. She heard a bird chirping loudly and wildly outside her kitchen window. When she peered out, there was a bright yellow canary! A canary, in Denver, in February! She started to tell her sister, who was apparently witnessing the same thing outside her own window. They later found out that it came around the same time that their mother, who was very ill, passed on.

    Again, thank you Kris for being such an amazing leader. I know you hear from so many that you have inspired. For each one of those, there are likely hundreds quietly juicing and breathing their way to health because of you are such inspiring force.

    Much love,
    Sara

  16. There used to be a time where my meals absolutely made me sluggish and tired. In college, I would experience some of the same things you did, spraying windex on food in the trash so I wasn’t tempted to continue bingeing on it (always something sugar filled) and then I would beat myself up in guilt over it for days after. Nowadays, I eat raw, vibrant foods and feel great after every meal. It’s hard to have guilt over large portions of vegetables and salads. Eating raw and green foods give me so much energy and the necessary large portions always make me feel energized; not sluggish.

    On a different note, Kris, I noticed you said you are not in remission. Forgive me, I thought you were. Where are you standing in terms of your cancer right now? Thank you for sharing all you do. It is always an inspiration.

  17. My gram had a cardinal visit her backyard feeder every morning. She called him Petie. Thanks for stirring up a happy memory! < )

  18. I just spent a week abusing my body with food and am slowly crawling back to good. I sit here reading your post while craving a Starbucks pumpkin scone, but instead I’ll nibble on an energy bar I made at home from the Terry Walters Clean Start book. I’ve enrolled in a Whole Food Kitchen course, and am digging out my copy of Crazy Sexy Diet, because I’m pretty sure my latest postherpetic neuralgia flare-up was caused by inflammation, plain and simple. I needed this post today, needed the reminders of self-love. Thank you so much for all you do!

  19. I needed this today. I have read a lot of books and a lot of blogs and seen a lot of movies about plant based diets. I know it’s true. I know it. I can’t make it happen in my life. And I was thinking this morning about how I need to face the fact that I’ve got more going on than just “not wanting to.” And I’ve been blaming it on not wanting to be rude to the people around me (wouldn’t want them to feel uncomfortable because of my food choices) and on the huge transitions my life has taken (recently married and 3 stepkids later).

    I was also thinking this morning about how I think my motivation in the past to change my body or my food has been motivated by feelings of not being enough. And that doesn’t provide enough motivation to last very long. I need to find the self love to change how I treat my body.

    Then I got to work and found this in my inbox. I still don’t really know how to fix it. But I feel lighter in my heart than I did 10 minutes ago. So thanks.

  20. Kris,
    Thank you. I’ve known I have needed to change for a long time. I make steps but I always seem to falter. I’m hoping your post will push me over the edge to stay on the right path and not look back. You always make things seem some clear and easy. Thanks for your inspiration.

  21. Hi beautiful Kris. This is such a great article. I signed up for your mailing list after watching your recent episode on MarieTV just to “see what you were about.” Little did I know, meeting your awesome work would create a bit of an uncomfortable scenario for me.

    The next time I slapped some beef into the pan to have dinner, I felt weird about it – like I shouldn’t eat it (in a good way, not in a “because Mama-Kris-would-be-mad” sorta way). The next time I went grocery shopping, I didn’t even want to buy it. Still since then, I find myself becoming much more conscious about what I’m ingesting – much more than ever before in my life.

    I love the section where you spoke about our nation and the state of our health & diseases. It reminds me of the segment in The War of Art by Pressfield, where he also discusses this, but in light of resistance. For myself, I am learning that resistance in one area creates excess in others. What?! Revelation.

    As a healthcare analyst by day, I know more than ever, beyond my own consciousness, that you have knowledge and passion that can really help us get where we need to be health-wise. I so appreciate your work and heart.

    My favorite line of this piece: “The fact is, we need help and we need each other.”

    Yes.

  22. I read your blog and can relate to the whole sugar thing. While I have made improvements in the way I eat, I recently have found myself falling into bad habits again and feeling discouraged. Your blog encourages me to get back on the horse, so to speak.

  23. Happy to know I am not the only one who has gone into the trash to retrieve my “I can beat this, I don’t want any more sugar” cast-offs! There should be a rehab center for sugar addiction. Treating my body kindly resignates with me. Thank you for wording it that way! It helps & makes one want to try new things!!

  24. It’s hard to avoid Starbuck’s when you work there. I’m on day 3 of your 21 day cleanse…and the hardest part is saying NO to shoving my mug under the spout and letting coffee pour into it. Especially when it’s unlimited…and free. Thank goodness we have herbal teas…and I’m sticking to those while I’m on shift. I don’t even look at the pastry case…I used to press my nose against it…MMM Pumpkin muffins, and cheese danishes…not anymore. I bring my own food. And so much raw veggies that I’m stuffed…better said, satisfied; too satisfied to care about a stupid ole pastry! Bringing extra ‘green’ juice and a gigantic raw salad to get through today. Thanks again for the inspiration! Can not wait to purchase your new book. I will be eating my way through all 150 recipes. I even got my fiancé on board :)

  25. Oh this one hit the soul this morning. The things passing my mouth lately…well they fall more into trash than treasure (albeit vegan trash but still…trash). I keep yo-yoing with the CSD…once I allow one or two things past my lips, it begins a chain. Thanks for the LOVING reminder that each time I eat, I have the choice…the power. xoxo

  26. Hi Kris Carr!

    New to your website as of yesterday- and I love it!!! I’ve just started eating vegetarian, using my blender more and stashing up on vegan recipes for the future. My biggest obstacle is that I am in university- and tend to camp out there Mon-Fri all day. I would like to use Sundays to cook/bake/prepare mass amounts of healthy food for the week so I can bring lunches that are healthy and in line with my diet. Do you have any suggestions on food that is can be brought to school and still taste good as leftovers? Thank you so much and I look forward to getting to know you better through your wonderful work.

  27. I hope that in the future I can share my love of cooking much the way my Grandmothers shared it with me, but sharing it in the way I’ve known to grow and love my relationship with food. It’s a long journey to make peace with your plate, but it starts with one day at a time – truly you’ve shown that with your own journey, too.

    Love the ‘digital cardinals’, too! Such a sweet sentiment.

  28. “Change your plate. Change you fate” <- these words can/will change lives. Thank you Kris for all your work and dedication to wellness. Light + Love.

    Namaste.

    Alicia Mathlin
    Toronto, Ontario

  29. thank you for that message…

    I did the 21-Day Crazy Sexy Cleanse and felt phenominal. Then, the parties started. Wine. Cheese. Desserts. I succumbed and now I’m having digestive problems again. I feel lost and overwhelmed. Today, one step for me will be breaking out my juicer and the greens.

    Thanks Kris! XOXOXOXOXO

  30. Your grandmother is lovely! She looks like someone I would want to gather around my table to energize my dinner party!

    Thank you again for infusing your readers with hope that health is a few spoonfuls (or sips) of green goodness away! Sounds so simple in your elequount words…

    Scrappling daily not to use food to fix my woes,

    Suzanne Sersun

  31. Thank-you for your sharing about your Grandma.
    Today, I am starting Round 2 of your cleanse and needed the inspiration.

  32. This is exactly the kind of message I needed to hear today! Thank you Kris…I will fill my plate with love today and forgive myself for starting with sugar. Deep healing breath! With love, blueberries and gratitude, Heather

  33. Hi Kris,
    I am so grateful for your books and web site! Having been dealing with a new cancer diagnosis myself, I am so happy to have found you. I travel often for business and have to eat out often even while in town. I do not have the choice in which restaurants to eat at when it come to business meetings. I am having a very hard time because I am concerned about what is in the food that is offered in restaurants. I would appreciate any suggestions you have?
    Thanks!

  34. I love this story of you Grandma. You have her eyes :) My Grandma passed away this April and I miss her so much. We were kindred spirits. I love your blog – thanks for inspiring so many to live a better, healthier life.

  35. Hi Kris, I see cardinals all the time (love them too) they are our state bird. You have been an inspiration in changing my lifestyle..thanks

  36. Every tme I read what you are up to, my brain comes out to play with new ideas – like remembering how to make mung bean or lentil sprouts. Thanks for being the muse leading the dance to dissipate lifelong eating disorders. I am fifty. I am a two year breast cancer survivor. Your grace, humor and kindness have led me back to loving my body – finding faith I can find my new answers – make better decisions, love myself through the mistakes. At my six month check up – not only had I lower tumor markers, but the glucose and cholesterol have come down , too. This was a shift fueled by exercise and WAY LESS animal fat and sweets, and a whole lot more self love. Rock on, sister friend. You are leading us back to our inner wisdom. I met you through a breast cancer center that has now closed – sadly. that is an other frontier.

  37. Hello Kris,

    Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom, energy and recipes! I struggle with food/mood and am curious about juicing and/or making smoothies. My biggest struggle is finding foods that sustain me. I have done smoothies in the morning, with plant protein powder, only to feel light headed/low mood about an hour later. I am curious if you are in the habit of snacking between juices to feel satiated and sustained throughout the day. Does your new recipe book dive into healthy snacks?

  38. Amazing post. There are a lot of people who struggle with an unhealthy relationship with food. Can’t wait for you cookbook!

  39. Amazing post! I am currently kicking/overcoming the addictive hold that dairy has had over me for some time. Sounds like serious phrasing for an iced chai latte, but it’s amazing the things that have control over us, not the other way around. When you know something is not good for your body or your wallet, it’s time to reassess. Thanks for being here to offer a vision of what’s on the other side, Kris.

    • I can relate to what you’re saying. I went cold turkey, or rather, cold turkey-less, when I switched to a vegan diet. I could not imagine life without cheese, but decided I had to give this crazy sexy diet my all. I truly felt so much more alive eating a plant based diet. Pure, clean energy…..there’s nothing like it! Feeling better and watching documentaries on the meat and dairy industry helped me stick to vegan (even with lots of wonderful cheeses sitting in my refrigerator). Dairy no longer has the powerful hold it once had in my life.

  40. Loved this! and yay to bella abuela.

    I feel so good when I drink lots of water+a lil squirt of lemon, a yummy smoothie of fruit+veggies, or green juice and food that I cook or healthy love filled simple cooking. Lots of veggies, grains, and a nice desert with no sugar and mostly fruit+dark chocolate. That’s when I feel best :)

  41. Thank you Kris for sending your positive energy through my email. I love getting your reminders about loving yourself and taking better care of yourself. Over the past year or so I have been slowly implementing little changes into my family’s lifestyle. We all feel healthier and happier. And I feel great comfort in knowing that I am setting the tone for my children.

  42. I know what you mean about cardinals – I’ve had the same experience with my dad and butterflies. I always see them on days I’m thinking of him, or on days when I am feeling low. : )
    You are right – it’s about nourishing ourselves, and giving our deserving cells what they need! I honored myself at breakfast and lunch and made meals both delicious and heavily nutritious, and I’ve been feeling great all day. More creative – doing a lot of writing and drawing, and more playful – more in the moment with my children, more patient and giving.
    Giving to myself through food is one way I love to fill my heart and soul!
    Thank you for your stories, your encouragement, and your contagious positivity.

  43. Hi Kris,
    This morning, I read your post while my toddler rolled around the bed watching Elmo on YouTube and asking for her “eats”. This post hit home as my mom lay in the other room, since she’s visiting me while I job-hunt, and was reminded of her daily battle with rheumatoid arthritis and GERD among other illnesses. I thought of my grandmother who passed on with excess weight, two knee replacements, and terrible arthritis. My mom and grandmother’s generation ate to comfort their spiritual ailments, and ate to excess to cope with their HIS-tory of living through slavery with not enough food and definitely foods lacking nutrition. All of this is to say, I made my daughter cereal with loads of yummy nutritious granola, and myself a green juice to remind myself that we have life choices.

    Kris, it will be great to hear your feedback on how to approach those set in their ways about alternative eating habits. I cannot even brooch the topic with my mom who says, “she’d rather die” than live without friend chicken, daily sweets, and dairy! Thank you Kris for being an inspiration to us all!

  44. I saw your Crazy Sexy Cancer video a few years back and was so inspired by you and your courage. I was vegetarian then, but became a full-fledged vegan 2 years ago, and have never felt so amazing in my life! (I’m 63)

    You were the inspiration for me to become vegan, then I found a whole community of vegans on-line! I live in a small farming community and I’m the only vegan I know of. I’m hoping to inspire others by example. Food really is our medicine.

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey, your wisdom, and your zest for life! I love your new blog, it’s great!

  45. Thank you for writing Crazy Sexy Diet!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE YOUR BOOK! It’s my new “bible”, gives me hope, peaceful joy and happiness! I went a little crazy sending copies to my 5 sisters, a friend, sister-in-law and sharing my happiness with anyone who asks. I loved Skinny Bitch, but this book takes it one step further and makes SO MUCH sense! I am just SO GRATEFUL you wrote the book.

    I love your suggestions today and what you write about your kitchen. I have a 1 & 3 yr old and tend to feed them quickly (they watch tv) and me hovering over the sink, quickly eating or even skipping my meal and eating their leftovers… what a beautiful and very different way I can serve dinner and teach my children different. Thanks for the post today!! You are truly a Gift From God!! Thank you and PLEASE keep writing!! I love your new website, I couldn’t figure out your old one. : ) xo Lara

  46. Umm…could you be any more awesome?

  47. love your spirit~ thank you for sharing with all of us!!!

  48. I was riding my bike yesterday on a beautiful day when a red Cardinal flew right in front of me… I thought for sure it was my Dad! Funny you had the same experience!

  49. Kris,
    This is fab. I remember you once said you read cookbooks like novels. I so get it. I am so relating to your family my background you know. This is an amazing thing and change must happen. I love it and am do proud of you. You smell a net we both do because I know whatever you will be cooking will be divine.
    Callie.

  50. Hi Kris,
    You are such an inspiration! I had a great start in life, I grew up on brown rice, tofu, and carob chips! But the teenage years turned to processed fatty foods and of course sugar! I eventually came back to a healthy way of eating, or so I thought. Like you, I also had a sugar addiction. Fortunately, in my early twenties I developed a sensitivity to dairy and gave it up completely. The sugar took until my late 30 though to give up. I would always get a sore throat, yeast infection, or a cold after a sugar binge. After watching the Vegan Challenge on Oprah, which resonated deeply with me, I picked up my first copy of VegNews and there you were! My love of eating uber well skyrocketed. I bought Crazy Sexy Diet and started drinking green juice every day and couldn’t believe the difference. I also helped my husband get off Nexium for his acid reflux, which he’d been on for 10 years. And he is now free of “acid reflux” when he food combines. I am now planning a career change to Holistic Nutrition so I can spread the love and joy and proper nutrition! You are a beacon of light, and inspiration, and a joy to know. Keep up the awesom work!!! I love the photo in the green old truck, my husband has the exact same truck, same colour too! You are on my vision board and I know I will have the pleasure of meeting you one day! Thank you Kris.
    Angie Inglis
    Guelph, Ontario, Canada

  51. Kris ~

    I needed this article today. I have lived with my Celiac husband for 8-years now and did my best to find him the best gluten-free alternatives available all the while feeling sort of smug …and lucky…that I was able to eat freely. We always had a rich, above-average mostly healthy diet but recently I was diagnosed as allergic to cows milk and bananas! I cannot tell you how upside-down I feel suddenly. It’s such a minor thing but now suddenly all the foods I loved…and loved to create … are now off-limits to me and I can’t even share in most of what my husband can eat. I’m sort of depressed now about creating foods in my kitchen and the upcoming holiday season seems like it will be bleak – food wise. Again, I know this is minor but it feels huge and reading this post today….helped me feel a bit better about this sudden challenge.
    Keep up the good work & helping us move through our food challenges with some guidance and grace.
    ~ Lisa

    • Lisa, there are soooo many ways to make tasty and very satisfying alternatives — without milk. Change like this can be scary and depressing at first, but you will totally get the hang of it. Promise.

  52. I love you girl and your message! Keep inspiring us all!

  53. Thank you , Kris, for you and your posse for helping me turn my life around. Food is my pharmacy – and I am the number one shareholder ! I honk the car horn every time I go by your exit on the NYS Thruway !
    Thank YOU for being….YOU and having the grace and confidence to share what you know !

    With the “Emerald Elixor” as I call it, more vitality and better skin abound – everyone is noticing and asking me, “…what are you doing ?” I just turned 48, but barely look 38 !

    :)

  54. Sugar is my heroine and I struggle daily with my addiction! I need an intervention!

    • Sooo intervene then. You can do this.

    • Dina said on November 8, 2012

      DATES, GREEN TEA, CINNAMON STICKS TO THE RESCUE!

      As a treat, I often indulge in pitted dates, oranges, and a few almonds. That often takes care of sugar cravings. Dates are super sweet and good for you! Another thing that works- cinnamon stick and clove tea (throw spices into boiling water and steep for a few minutes). Decaf Good Earth tea, in the original flavor, used to be what I turned to. It tastes sweet without adding sugar.

      Also, I’ve noticed when I drink green tea, I lose all desire for sugary anything. Green tea makes me crave something healthy if I’m hungry.

      Oooo….another thing that makes me desire less sugar- a small piece of super high quality dark chocolate (at least 70% dark). One tiny square is all it takes. I let it begin to melt in my mouth before biting into it. I then close my eyes and savor the deliciousness. After eating this, I can’t even think of a cookie, pastry, or any other sugary something. I don’t even crave more chocolate!

  55. Heartfelt thank you!
    You help to bring me back in balance…in a life where I have wrangled the ‘unhealthy relationship with food’ beast. Reading your blogs and the articles you post over the last year has helped to educate me, inspire me and most of all, start to trust me! :)
    Every now and then the ‘beast’ starts to rise, as it did yesterday after trying on my first pair of togs (bathing suit/swim suit not sure what you guys call it over there :) as the weather here turns toward summer. Then POW!! here is a message from you in my inbox this morning to remind me of what has been working for me and ultimately, what makes me feel happy! Beast, get back in your cage!!! :)
    Have a lovely day!

  56. Cardinals are a symbol of my grandmother too (particularly because of our Polish heritage!)

    I’m on Day 12 of Dr. Lipman’s BeWell Cleanse which I discovered through your website. As a Polish-Italian, my diet was loaded with bread, pasta, meats, cheese, etc,. (and when I say, “etc.” I’m talking about cannoli, Girl!) I’m surprised by how much I don’t miss the foods I was basically living off of and as a bonus my dark circles under my eyes disappeared and I lost weight.

    A lot of my lunches and dinners on this cleanse I prepared using your recipes and I was shocked at how satisfying they were without sacrificing flavor. When my patients ask for recipes I share a lot of your stuff! (Juices and Succulent Smoothies included…)

    Hugs from your “Southern” partner in crime – in this thing we call “wellness,” (and fellow Sugar-Addict)
    Dr. Francesca Marino

  57. Your memories of your grandma resonated with me …. I loved that I got to meet her on several occasions and I’ve loved hearing your mom’s stories about her through the years, but hearing yours incorporated into the life you’ve created for yourself is such a tribute and so precious. She, like you and your mom, was an amazing presence … you three are a fierce female tribal force whose personal power and creativity is a beacon to help light the paths of others. At a memorial service for a friend this past weekend the pastor said that “death may end a life, but it doesn’t end a relationship.” I love how much Aura Sr. continues to touch lives and how many lives you’ve touched.

    • Thank you so much for that Jeanine. You’ve been in our lives for so many years — and our lives are better for it. xo kc

  58. Dearest Kris….You are such an inspiration to me. I picked up your Documentary years ago because your cover looked cool looking and your story was intriguing. I would have never imagined that I would be diagnosed with Stage 1 Breast Cancer last year! I immediatelly bought all your books. Your upbeat, glowing soul got me through so much xoxo. During my treatments, not one of my Dr’s or medical staff mentioned changing my diet. In fact, when I told my surgeon that I was juicing and cutting out sugar, he looked alarmed. He told me not to go to extremes, that my Cancer was “random”. I have spread the word about the wonderful health benefits of juicing (and losing weight at the same time). HUGE HUGS and SMOOCHES to you Kris…..

  59. Hello Kris,

    I stumbled onto your site by chance through Elle magazine and I think it was fate: I needed help and someone to show me a way out. I am only 28 yet I have much pain and sorrow and as a result I have binged for the last 5 years. I am educated but I still do this to myself and I am ashamed. I do the same, I buy so much junk food, go through it then hide the remains in the trash, cover it with other garbage and I’d have to throw it out immediately so I wouldn’t touch it again. Before I always loved going to the gym and eating well and feeling good about myself. Yet I went through some tough times in life and allowed myself to lose myself. Time after time, it was too much to deal with and I thought that sweets were medicine. It’s scary how much a person can eat to fill the pain but the pain never goes away and you never feel full, just empty. Instead it would be a cycle of feeling worse because I gained weight, I would crave sweets more and I’d feel worse about my life.
    I feel like your site is my wakeup call. My first step in the right direction. There will be many setbacks in life and it is not a reason to find comfort or a solution in junk food. When I have a tough day, I will refer to your site to remind me to take care of myself and treat myself right.
    Your one photo with the caption “You matter” really made me cry because I feel like I don’t matter and that no one cares. The silly thing is that I have great parents who love me but somehow that isn’t enough to open my eyes. Thank you for your help, I feel like you’re a friend I can count on.

  60. Thanks for sharing your story!….Luv Mori

  61. Love your article! I am an artist and most of my work centers around the mythology and symbolism of birds. I have been dealing with chronic illness for many years, and I am very very cognizant about what I put in and on my body. I don’t eat sugar at all- I really don’t miss it. Looking forward to checking out your book :)

  62. My grandma loved cardinals (she lived in St. Louis and was a big baseball fan!) and whenever we see one we know she is with us. Love your new site! Great photography! Can’t wait to get the book! Thanks for sharing your radiance with us!

  63. Kris,
    What a beautiful story. It’s so difficult to talk to people, or be talked to, about changing something as intimate to us and our daily experiences as the food we eat. You’ve done such an amazing job of getting the important points across while bringing real authenticity and compassion to the table. This is the stuff that really changes behaviors.

    Thank you.

  64. Love all your efforts Kris and it just shows in your smile.

    A book that really helped me to heal my food addictions was “A Course in Weight Loss” by Marianne Williamson.

  65. One word: Awesome!

  66. Love the bright, cheerful look of your website . . . Your grandma was gorgeous . . .

    Yep, I’ve sprayed gnarly stuff on food in the trash, flushed it down the toilet, dumped junk food into the big, ‘green’ (nasty) bin, and I’ve even dumped it into a store dumpster.

    I’ve had to show a great amount of restraint for several years because my darling husband brings home monstrous bags of See’s candy, bags of barbeque chips and sweetened popcorn, pints of Hagen Daas ice cream and loaves of crusty french bread and sickly sweet cookies. It’s a challenge to stay away. He’s got it stashed everywhere. Even knowing that I’m susceptible to another recurrence of malignant melanoma by eating sugar I sometimes fail to restrain myself. Sugar is addictive and damn it, it tastes good! I’m using the technique of visualization to shore up my lack of will-power. I visualize the candy squirming with maggots and, well, I’d better stop there . . .

  67. love to you all – but no more messages, pls

  68. “We’re a nation riddled with preventable, lifestyle-driven diseases. We consume far too many animal products, processed and refined foods, saturated fats and empty calories. Industries that profit from both our ignorance and our misfortune spoon feed us confusion and deception. We’re taught to solely blame our luck-of-the-draw genes for our health issues, rather than our daily habits, dietary choices and interplay with the environment that surrounds us. The real truth lies somewhere in the middle and the good news is that we are more capable of turning around our global health crisis than we think.”

    This couldn’t be truer. I am ashamed of what we’ve become. Thank you for making me realize it’s not too late to turn it all around!

  69. I came across your book, “Crazy, Sexy, Diet”, a little over a year ago. When I read it, a lot of the information blew my mind in regards to how I was actually feeling and what harm I was doing to my body by not eating the right things. A little over a year later, I can’t say I feel any better about myself since I can’t get off the sugar and dairy product band wagon. Being a French Canadian (cheese!) AND a type 1 diabetic, I should know how to fuel my body so that I can control my diabetes and feel good about myself each and every day. Even when I ask myself, “How do I feel now that I’ve eaten all that, etc.”, it is mostly a negative answer. I have since started to read your book again and find new motivation to push towards the right/positive direction. As you mentioned, don’t wait. Any little thing I can do now can be a healthy “deposit” for my body and my temple.

  70. Kris,
    I love the questions that you pose. What a great way to easily break things down, “are you treating your body like a temple or a trash can?”
    My Grandmother’s favorite bird is the cardinal. I am blessed that both of my Grandparents are still living, but they live very far away from me. I have a male and female cardinal that come and visit me often in my backyard. They are always together (just like my Grandparents), they come and say “hi” and hang out until I say “Hi Grandma & Grandpa” and then they go about their business. They always make me happy and remind me what’s important…just like your post did :)
    Thank you! Have a great day, Heather

  71. Kris, you are one of the most evolved people I have come across! You are so beautifully authentic and honest and doggedly persistent in keeping healthy and vibrant each day. I have read your entire site and every blog post and video. You make me laugh and smile! I love the magic chicken! What a beautiful post about your grandma. She must have been, and still is in my opinion, such a beautiful soul. My beautiful grandma passed away when my daughter was 1 month old and my mom, my best friend and soul partner passed away recently, the day before I realized I was pregnant again. Your site and green living has helped me to heal and grow. My mom sends me Canada geese! The cardinals that your grandma sends you must be so beAutiful. I adore your new site, I love your work and the person you are. As I write, I’m preparing to give my 11 month old a green smoothie. He loves them. Big hugs to you and much, much love.

  72. I like to call the way I eat health conscious. I seek out the best quality whole foods, mainly from my local farmers market, some I grow during the summer months here. I eat a high plant based diet filled with medicinal herbs and mushrooms. My day always begins with a fresh quart of green juice, many times I’ll have 3 quart in one day. I love this way of eating, my body and health is in the best shape, I am truly happy and motivated in my life.
    Cheers to green juice.

  73. Once again you seem to be in the right place at the right time.

    After my diagnosis and a year of being a conscious eater the bad habits have started to resurface.

    Your new site and fresh attitude are just what I need right now to rekindle the spark..

    Thank you thank you!

  74. I have been trying to introduce healthier eating habits into my life and struggling with it. One person I know is advocating “Meatless Monday” and another brought a delicious vegan spread to an event I attended, so the subject has been on my mind. Some days I do better than others. I know all about addiction and binges! But even on days when I haven’t done so well I make sure I eat a healthy vegetable salad or a green juice so I know I’ve put something healthy in my system.
    Re/ the cardinals: my mother used to tell me that she saw certain birds at the funerals of her relatives. She even wrote a poem about it. When my father died we saw a hawk. When she died I wondered if she would send me a bird sign. At the burial, my husband was reading aloud one of my mother’s poems; when he recited a line about a crow’s call, we heard, as if on cue – a crow call! Everyone present gasped with amazement. We didn’t actually see the crow, but since I’m a singer, I’m not surprised that my mother would send me an audio sign.

  75. My Aunt Marie was the one who introduced me to cooking and a love of homegrown veggies. When she passed away, nearly ten years ago, it broke my heart. She loved hummingbirds and that is the symbol I use for her. There is nothing more beautiful than a hummingbird enjoying the flowers in our backyard.

  76. Oh Kris, how similar your sugar addiciton is to me- I candidly wrote about mine in a blog- it took me along time to be able to tell my story because of the shame that I carried with it. “Cookie Dough in the Dark” was a step in freeing myself! http://www.moveyourbody.ca/blog/?p=167

  77. Cardinals make me think of my Colombian papa who is also gone from this realm. Love all your stories. Nice website!

  78. I stumbled upon you after reading some of Gabby Bernstein’s work, and picked up your CSD book. I am about to embark upon your 21 day challenge and I’m nervous/excited. There are many foods I have never had and or heard of! Your work truly inspires me and I look forward to becoming a part of your Community!

    Warmly,

    Kristin
    Calgary, AB, Canada

  79. Hi, love your book Crazy sexy diet I am on day 13 and I am starting to feel great,I was only going to try it for the 21 days ,but I plan to eat this way forever. Thank you for this book and thanks for being you ,love your videos, you make me laugh take care. This is the kick start I needed .Thanxs again

  80. your grandmother is so beautiful, and so are you and your message to the world.
    Thank you, Mette, Denmark

  81. Thanks Kris. Love your Love Eat Heal today. Your words resonate with me on so many levels… we see cardinals in our yard all through the summer, now they will bring an extra special meaning, thanks!! xoxox

    You truly are an inspiration and what I love most is how you have given me the tools and insights to change my own life and hopefully the lives of others as well. ;-) I can’t wait for more inspirations from your new book!! Thanks so much xox

    Catherine @AlmostRawVegan
    Ottawa, Canada

  82. Dearest Kris

    You have been the light at the end of my tunnel. I have cared for both my parents with terminal cancer. Sadly, my mum passed away 2 years ago, but my dad is still fighting the good fight and showing signs of improvement.

    YOU, dear Kris have shown me the way forward and how to battle the big ‘C’ and show it who’s the BOSS! Personally, I have found the last year super tough, but with you guiding the way, I now never miss a green smoothie, they are part of our daily routine. We are slowely, but sure going over to a more plant based diet. As I know, this is going to be THE most powerful thing I can do for my own body, having come from parents and grandparents who have had cancer.

    I’m a true believer in our loved ones coming back for a visit. When I’ve had a particulary trying day, I am sure that I feel somebody tucking me in at night…. Which is something my mum always did. Even when I was an adult and came home to visit.

    Much love and keep on ROCKING the new website. I LOVE IT!

    Jo xoxo

  83. Good Morning Kris,
    I would like to know when you soak almonds or any nut should they be in the frig or room temp?
    Thanks for sharing all the great recipes from your new book. Going to make the not tuna sandwich today.
    Have a great day!!

  84. Thank you for sharing your life and your love of food with us! My family is embarking on a spiritual quest to change our thought process and tweeking all other aspects of our lives as well. Recently we gave up red meat and switched to turkey, chicken, or high protein veggie options. We realized we were naturally changing our habits so decided to make it a lifestyle. Currently, in our area, there is contraversy over whether organic is really “better for you”. I have just decided that until we can set up permanent camp in the country, where we can grow our own food, I will patronize local farmers and shop owners, and try to get food as close to the natural source as I can :)

    Thanks again!

    Melissa

    • Thank you so much for the inspiration, I watched all your videos on YouTube and tried a couple of recipes…
      Your raw choco brownies are divine!

  85. Dates are the new “Ben & Jerry’s”!! can’t wait to see your new book….You are such an inspiration!!

  86. Kris,
    I have recently started doing green juices but with my vitamix. What are your thoughts on using the vitamix over a juicer. Is it ok to drink all the extra pulp or do I need to strain it? I have heard that with beets and carrots you should not consume the extra pulp due to the starches.

    Thanks! :)

    • Just wanted to let you know I do the same thing and KC goes into a lot of detail about this in her book Crazy Sexy Diet… there are benefits to both juicing and smoothie-ing… you should pick it up – it’s good stuff! :)

  87. You have been such an inspiration to me. Your book, Crazy Sexy Diet, helped to fortify a shift that was occurring in me to seek out a new way of eating. I grew up on a small farm in Oklahoma, and as a child I saw these farm animals no differently than the family pets. I’ve always felt a kindred-ness with animals that made it hard to justify eating them! That said, the small farm that I grew up on was paradise compared to the factory farms of today. You helped open my eyes to some realities that I wasn’t even aware of. Now, I am educated about the health and environmental factors as well as the ethical issues that are involved. I am fully vegetarian now and I am so excited about your new book because I am slowly working up the motivation to… 1) ditch sugar and 2) go full vegan! I can’t wait for the release! I may blog a little about my attempt…but I’m definitely going to blog a review of your new book so that even more people can be inspired by you!

  88. Awesome book! Can’t wait to try out the recipes! Thanks for the book surprise at RHHLIVE! :) xo

  89. You inspire me. Someday I hope to have such a healthy relationship with food as well. ED’s have controlled my life for years and seeing such a beautiful soul transformed by taking care of yourself encourages me to work harder at finding the balance.
    Thank you for all you do. Mucho carino.

  90. You look like my youngest daughter; your grandmother story (cardinals AND cooking) could be mine and tonight you’ve made me realize, I’m not living the cleanest plant-based diet possible in order to “beef” up my odds against preventable diseases. I’m fixated by impressing my healthful beliefs on others, but equally disappointed by people’s ignorance of ’cause/effect’. You’ve helped me shake off the small stuff and reminded me to get on with living, sexy!

  91. Hi kris ,
    Wish you well ,and a great life you deserve that .

  92. Hey Crazy Girl….
    Just wait till you get to know me……….I am a 36 year pioneer cancer survivor who like you made her way and forged a path to Wellness by making a diet and food choice and walked away from the evils of Chemo… I was 22 years old when my MD said at best you could have 3 to 6 months to live! HA! I just had my 58 the Birthday and still shaking it.
    Just returned from a 2week wine cruise to Western Europe, France, Spain, Portugal and England. Life is full and meant to Live each moment!
    Cheers! Email if you would like to hear more.

  93. I declare that I will eat plant-based meals all month, including Thanksgiving!