You've probably had a hundred good intentions since the clock struck twelve on New Year's Eve, but how many have stuck? Are you happier and healthier than you were in 2010? In her new book, Crazy Sexy Diet, Kris Carr goes beyond resolutions and distills what she's learned in eight years of research into achieving optimum health. The book aims to help readers make choices that promote natural energy, health and longevity.
Her inspiration? Kris began her journey to nutritional prowess after being diagnosed with untreatable, stage IV cancer at 31. Eight years later, her cancer is the one fighting for its life.
Daphne Oz: Tell us what a Crazy Sexy Diet is.
Kris Carr: The Crazy Sexy Diet, or CSD, is the opposite of the Standard American Diet (SAD, and so so sad). It is a low-fat, vegetarian diet that emphasizes reducing inflammation in the body by eating a more pH balanced, plant-based diet.
Instead of cramming your body with nutritionally-useless processed foods and negative thinking, the CSD concentrates on tons of lush whole foods, raw veggies, low glycemic fruits, complex grains (many of which are gluten-free), good fats, and plant-based protein. We also throw in some green drinks and super powered green smoothies, packed with vitamins and nutrients for good measure.
DO: How do you manage stress?
KC: It took me a while to figure out how to make moderate exercise a part of my daily life. Learning to shut the TV off early and prepare for bed in a quiet, dimly-lit room helped me retrain my sleeping habits so I can get my solid eight hours a day. Introducing my healthier eating regimen allowed my body to stop working overtime, so it actually had time and resources to repair itself. Soon, my health became my fix. The more vibrant I felt as I continued the CSD, the more reason I had to continue with it.
The first hour of every day belongs to me. I'm a spiritual athlete so I need to warm-up. If I start my day with coffee, emails, and CNN blaring in the background, then my stress shoots through the roof. Make space in your life, space for health and happiness. At night, wind down with a hot bath with lavender and don't bring your work to bed. Sleep is the best time to repair, but it's hard to get a good night's rest when we don't dial the inner chatter down. Instead, turn to one of your favorite spiritual books or guided relaxation CDs. Bring Deepak [Chopra] to bed, he's much more fun!
DO: What can we hope for if we swap out all of our French fries for carrot sticks?
KC: It's important to understand that this diet and lifestyle isn't an all or nothing thing. There is room to lean into it and transition at your own pace. If I had my dream, we'd all be eating more plants and less garbage. You may not go as far as I did, but chances are you need to do something. To start, aim for slightly more than half of your plate to be covered with veggie dishes— salads, steamed or lightly sautéed greens and veggies.
The CSD gave me back my health and vitality. I have more energy, and my immune system is rock solid. For the past eight years, my disease has been stable and I know that my diet is supporting my mission of living a healthy life with a chronic condition. And yes, my skin is flawless! It's really important to emphasize lifestyle changes as well; because it's not just about the food we eat. I had to stop thriving on stress and six coffees a day, and kick my booze-and-cigarette habit—and the guilt trip that went along with it. I needed to recalibrate my "Healthy Compass."
Your Healthy Compass gives you your point of moderation. It's a reflection of what your body thinks is normal based on how you treat it. Your body might think two pints of ice cream after dinner is normal because it has had to adjust all of its chemical processes to combat this influx of sugar and cow milk time and time again. Once you get cleaned up, it will not longer factor this extreme into its idea of balance.
DO: What is your spiritual day-to-day focus like?
KC: My wellness game plan extends far beyond the food in my fridge. A Crazy Sexy Life includes reflection, self-care, natural beauty products, rest, relaxation and a deep commitment to my regular spiritual practice. I used to turn to martinis to dial down the stress. Now, I turn to long hikes in the woods, conversations with my God, and time to just be still. In stillness we create vision, with vision we become visionaries, and as visionaries, our dreams are totally within reach.
We usually put others first, and pile too much on our plates, metaphorically and physically. As a result, we often break many promises to ourselves. The dilemma with continually falling on and off the self-care wagon isn't that we missed out on sweating, healthy food, soul pampering, and prayer, it's that we eventually lose trust in our own word. Losing trust leads to losing belief in our self-worth. As hard as it might be, I want folks to backtalk their inner nag. I encourage my readers to take a deep inventory of their time and to-do lists, to identify the leaks, and plug them with grace. Our mind is the biggest obstacle we face. But once we do, we realize that we are the one we've been waiting for.