PITA = Pain In The Ass

A client (and friend) of mine recommended a fantastic book to me. “Crazy Sexy Diet” by Kris Carr was my vacation reading last week in Israel. It’s not exactly a “beach read” in the vain of “DaVinci Code” but I really enjoyed Kris’ story.  Although, I have to admit I did sit by the pool reading this vegan manifesto while eating a few Bamba and Kinder Bueno!



The author, Kris Carr, was diagnosed with an incurable cancer at age 31 and faced with an incredible journey, took her life in her own hands and became a vegan and wellness warrior. Her documentary, “Crazy Sexy Cancer” was shown on TLC and she has appeared on Oprah spreading her message of “Make Juice, Not War.”

Kris Carr, from Origin Magazine

Kris Carr, from Origin Magazine

From Kris’ website, “My backstory and why the heck I know a thing or two … On Valentine’s Day in 2003, I was diagnosed with a very rare and incurable (yet thankfully slow-growing) stage 4 cancer. This whiskey tango foxtrot moment (that’s military lingo for WTF?!) sparked a deep desire in me to stop holding back and start living like I mean it! I wanted to feel better, love harder and enjoy my life more fully. So I hit the road on a deep healing pilgrimage and have never looked back. Nearly ten years later, my life is truly, madly magical–even with cancer. If I can pull that off, just imagine what YOU can do!”

I found her story inspiring and also a wake up call, even for me, someone who thankfully has never had to think about a cancer diagnosis. The message is so clear to me – eat a plant based diet to have the best health.

Wait, wait! Don’t go anywhere! I know the words “plant based diet” freaked you out and maybe made you want to run to Shake Shack for a burger. But wait, hear me out.

I’m not becoming a vegan.

Whew. (Side note, Jay-Z and Beyonce are becoming vegan according to the news today. I can’t believe we’ll never get the chance to bump into them at our local pizza joint, Lucali. They’ve been known to frequent it while in Brooklyn. Pizza ain’t pizza with the cheese, amiright?).

Having said that, I am adopting a 90% plant based diet.

I’ve been doing this for the last year, but always with some trepidation. Last year I attempted veganism for 1 week and I did so well it lasted 12 days. To which my cousin Paul (a well-known vegan in the family) scoffed, “12 days?!?!” Lame, I know. But it’s all I could handle at the time. I wanted a friggin’ poached egg at brunch, so sue me.

Veganism has always intrigued me because my blog is called MY LOVE AFFAIR WITH CHEESE. This is *not* a vegan manifesto. The idea of being so pure of body that you only put plants and nuts in your stomach seems romantic to me and lofty. “Only whole grains like teff and millet grace these lips, nothing so pedestrian as quinoa or god forbid – spaghetti. I’m just a perfect specimen of plant based godliness. I never crave pizza or Entenmann’s chocolate donuts. I only eat cocoa nibs for dessert once a month.”

Doesn’t sound like me at all. Yet, I’m intrigued by it. I admit it, I want a piece of that crazy sexy body and mind.

So since I am coming off of a vacation and admittedly a very stressful couple of weeks leading up to vacation, I decided upon return to “Make Juice, Not War.”  I had to go shopping for all the veggies and green apples for juicing first.  My fridge was so empty since we had been away, I only had a sad little piece of ginger in the crisper drawer.  I shopped and then I prepped all the goodies for juicing. I washed all the greens and chopped everything up into juicer friendly sizes.  Then I filled giant ziploc bags with the fixings for one juice where all the ingredients were ready-to-go.  This way in the morning when I am ready to juice, I just have to grab a bag and start chucking veggies down the chute!  I tried a new juice recipe from Kris Carr’s book that included kale, romaine, ginger, cucumbers, broccoli stem and a green apple. Surprisingly, broccoli stems are sweet and are a great source of Vitamin C & Vitamin K.  I also loved the idea of using the stems from broccoli that I would normally just throw out.


First juice in a while!

A few tips from Kris that I found really helpful were:

1) You can juice ahead of time and keep the juice in glass mason jars in the refrigerator.  Fill the juice up to the top so there’s no space for air,  to prevent oxidation.

2) When creating a juice recipe use the ration 3:1.  That’s 3 vegetables to 1 piece of fruit. This way you are making sure you get your veggies in but with a touch of sweetness from fruit that makes it taste amazing!

3) Once you’ve juiced all your ingredients, empty the bin with the leftovers and re-juice. Sending it back through the chute could yield you another half a cup of juice.  If you hate the idea of waste, juicing the ingredients twice will make sure you get the most out of them.

I even took the leftovers from juicing and tossed them into my Vitamix blender for about 7 minutes (with an additional carrot and tomato, for flavor) and made a soup out of it!  Sure, it was green, but I liked it!

So yeah, juicing is a bit of a PITA because you gotta prep the ingredients and clean the juicer, but I feel so good when I’m drinking juice!  I think it’s worth it.  I bought a cheap scrub brush from Container Store that makes cleaning my juicer even easier.  And hell, I have a dishwasher.

I just bought Kris’ cookbook as well, “Crazy Sexy Kitchen” and I can’t wait to try more vegan juices and main dishes.  Maybe I will get a small piece of that plant-based godliness after all.

Who’s the Big Winner?

September 11, 2013

FREE STUFF! Come on, you know you want to be the big winner! ONLY 3 DAYS LEFT TO ENTER!

Vince Vaughn, in Swingers

Vince Vaughn, in Swingers

Everyone who signs up for our “The Family Plate” newsletter this week is enrolled to win a free juicer! Make your own delicious juices at home and feel like you are running on jet fuel!

Winner announced Sept 14!


Juicing is fun, family friendly and gives you great nutrition from every day fruits and vegetables!  Read my article on Juicing vs. Smoothies here.

Looking forward to picking a winner this Saturday!



I bought a juicer a few weeks ago after watching this documentary called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.

The man behind the documentary, Joe Cross, goes on a 60 days juice fast to heal himself from disease. I’ve done a juice fast for 3 days and at the time I thought that was quite enough for me, although I’m not nearly as sick as Joe was at the start of the film. Just to think about food as medicine seems kind of weird at first right?

We’re so programmed to go to the doctor for a prescription for things that the idea that the food could be the culprit is outside the box for most of us.

I do believe there are many instances where the doctor and the prescriptions are necessary, and I have great respect for doctors because it is one of the toughest jobs in the world. But, I have to admit that I am noticing more and more the connection between the food we eat and how we feel. Is it a simple case of “you are what you eat?”

According to “Savor” by Thich Nhat Hanh, “you are MORE than what you eat”.  Now there’s something to ponder.  How could I be MORE than the calories I take in?  Isn’t it all, calories in has to be less than calories out?

That’s what I always believed, until very recently when I learned about Primary Food.  The Institute for Integrative Nutrition says primary food is, ” Elements such as a meaningful spiritual practice, an inspiring career, regular and enjoyable physical activity and honest and open relationships that feed your soul and your hunger for living all constitute primary food.”  Understanding this definition has been eye-opening for me.  As I start to work with clients in my new health coaching practice, The Family Plate, I am realizing more and more that the concepts I will be helping people with most are not what foods to eat, but understanding Primary Food.  Of course, there will be plenty of discussion about what to eat, but being more than what you eat will be a larger component than I ever could have dreamed.  I’m so excited to get going with my clients to unfurl this idea with them.  The idea that maybe at the end of the day you need a good hug from your spouse instead of a bowl of ice cream could be revealing for some.

To put this idea to the test, I am going to do a little experiment.  What if every night when my husband comes home, I stop what I’m doing, go over to him and give him a long hug?  You know how crazy 6pm can be in a home, dinner’s going on the stove, baby needs a playmate, dog barking to go out – its mayhem sometimes when Ran gets home.  But I’m going to stop and hug him, and hopefully nourish us both with a little calorie free primary food.  Once I’m done with that hug, I’m going to grab up my baby and hug him too.  I want my family plate to be filled with love and not just the love of food, but the love of each other. I can’t say it better than the Beatles, All you need is Love.  Word.

Check out the trailer for this documentary, it’s available to watch on Netflix and is worth giving it a look.  Discover how a lack of primary food has led some of us to a dangerous place in our own bodies and how turning it around can create a wonderful positive ripple effect in the world.  Then, if you get the juicing bug, you can try my personal juice blend.  Happy Friday all!

@affairwitcheese  @thefamilyplate


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