Crazy Sexy Juice by Kris Carr

I was introduced to Kris Carr my junior year of college. It was Counseling 101 at Loyola University Chicago, and our professor screened Carr’s documentary, Crazy Sexy Cancer, as a way of showing one example of the grief experience with a chronic illness diagnosis (primarily focusing on the Kübler-Ross stages of death and dying). Carr’s documentary explores the emotional and physical struggle after she is diagnosed with Stage IV cancer in her liver, with fewer medical options other than “watch and see what happens.” She took control through the lens of a camera, and her diet.

Since then, I’ve been following Ms. Carr’s journey through cancer wellness and vegan vitality. I was lucky enough to meet her in a Barnes and Noble in New York when she came out with her book Crazy Sexy Diet, which focuses not only on adapting an alkaline-based vegan diet, but also general self-care and self-compassion practices. She is just as vivacious in-person as she is in her writing.

Her new book is Crazy Sexy Juice, a book which many Carr fans have been waiting for with baited breath. Finally, the queen of green juices compiles her ultimate companion for both juicing and smoothie making.

crazysexyjuicecover-400

I decided to make her recipe for Classic Green Lemonade (recipe can also be found here). It is delicious!

green juice 1

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Well I had to put it in a mason jar! #hipster

In Carr’s new book, you can find an ultimate list of ideas for juices and smoothies. I loved the juice recipes, but favorite part are the recipes designed for juicing pulp (besides composting, of course). I can’t wait to try the beet burgers!

It seemed like every time I turned the page, I thought “wait, there’s MORE?”

As with most things, Carr writes in a way that is both approachable, and thorough. Many of the recipes are categorized by what ailment it might aid (such as hot flashes, or digestion). So, too, does she include suggestions for the emotional components of eating healthier- not to take yourself too seriously, nor putting too much pressure on yourself for “perfection”.

I would recommend this book for folks who are interested in juicing and/or smoothie making, and trying to implement a kinder diet (both to yourself, and animals).

In summary, Carr suggests we:

“Make energy deposits instead of energy withdrawals”

Good advice for just about any part of life, wouldn’t you say?

Rating: 4/5 stars

Further Reading:

  • Book trailer on the author’s website
  • If you are interested in buying a juicer, check out Carr’s guide here 
  • The juicer I own is here

A copy of this book was provided to me by NetGalley. All opinions are my own! 

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The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

the grownup cover

Gillian Flynn has a dark mind, and she’s not afraid to share what’s inside.

The Grownup is a mere 62 pages, but I was nonetheless excited to read another Gillian Flynn piece. Like many others, I was introduced to Flynn’s writing through her sensation, Gone Girl. Since then, I’ve read both Sharp Objects and Dark Places, and I’ve been waiting with baited breath for the next one.

Our narrator takes on a “psychic” job in a seedy tarot joint, knowing full well that she doesn’t possess the clairvoyant gift. She was first hired as a sex worker, after years of begging on the streets with her mother. This is seen as a promotion in this little shop, and soon she takes to analyzing her clients, hoping to find a way to become a psychic entrepreneur.

This narrator is driven to visit a client’s haunted house, not knowing what to expect. The rest of the story has a ton of quick turns, like a roller-coaster that leaves you with a pleasant knot in your stomach after the ride is over. I don’t want to spoil the ending by saying much more.

As far as the publisher’s decision to publish such a tiny story, I am curious to see if this will start a new, mainstream trend. Shops like the Strand Bookstore have been carrying smaller publications of single short stories for a while, but rarely in hardcover. It would certainly make for a fun, unexpected stocking stuffer for the mystery-lover in the family.

Rating: 4/5 stars.

Further reading:

I received this book as a part of the www.BloggingforBooks.com program. All opinions are my own!

Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum

My last semester of high school, I remember going up to my AP English teacher and asking, “Hey, can you recommend a book that isn’t wives cheating on their husbands?” I had just finished reading Madame Bovary, and earlier that year read Lady Chatterley’s Lover. My junior year, we spent several months on The Scarlet Letter. 

In case you are wondering, my teacher recommended this book, and it was exactly what I needed. My snippy high school self look a long hiatus from the adulteress-based book. This isn’t to say that I didn’t like the preceding titles, I just wanted something different.

Now enter 2015, and I fell in love with this cover.

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I had seen the book in magazines, but I hadn’t known what it was about, nor did I know that it was based both on Madame Bovary and Anna Karenina. The author is a known poet, and this is her first novel.

The book chronicles Anna, a housewife (hausfrau) in Switzerland, who manages her day-to-day boredom with a string of affairs. She is married to Bruno, a Swiss-born baker who loves her in his own way, but is still brutish when his temper flares (Brutish? Bruno? Perhaps not a coincidence). She has three children, and admits that her youngest, Polly Ann, is not Bruno’s child. Who is Polly Ann’s father? What is his hold on Anna?

Anna visits with a Dr. Messerli, a Jungian trained psychiatrist. The author paints a picture (through Anna’s eyes) of Swiss culture as focused on practicality- the trains always run on time, high quality timepieces and chocolates, the women wearing practical clothing. Therefore, it was difficult for me to imagine a culture defined by practicality, endorsing a therapy modality such as the Jungian style, which is a more fluid, less objective form of psychotherapy, than its cognitive/behavioral counterparts. However, this Jungian backdrop made for more poetic interactions.

Like her classic predecessors, Anna has much to learn. But will she take the steps to learn them?

This was a very engaging read, and it made me want to revisit the classics. My high-school self, no doubt, is rolling her eyes.

Further Reading: