Eve Lynn Kessner

Snowboard Strength and Reflection

Me Boarding at Okemo Mountain

Me Boarding at Okemo Mountain Yesterday was a very very long day. Not bad, but long.

I took a few days off for the first time in a long time and we spent the weekend with friends at Okemo Mountain in Vermont. It was the first time my girls were on skis and I was uncharacteristically nervous that it would be a disaster. I spent unconscionable hours prepping, buying snow gear, talking to them about ski school, venting to friends and my SoulCycle riders. Snow, cold, wet, wind, a 5 hour ride in the car, heavy equipment, thick layers of clothing, lots of factors that could have made it absolutely miserable instead of the proverbial slopeside fun. Too much was riding on this first trip and the usual laid back, calm mama that I am turned into a bit of a neurotic mess. Skiing/Snowboarding is just too important! It's part of the fabric from which I am made. It has shaped who I am. It brings me (and has always) unadulterated happiness. Talk about chakra opening;)

I grew up taking regular family ski trips and have the fondest, most visceral, memories of those times. I so badly want my kids to have similar experiences, vacations that keep us fit as a family, challenging and adventurous times together. I've been preaching about the importance of starting early for years...this was the time to call my own bluff.

I've been skiing since I was 3 and switched to a board when I was 13. I love almost nothing more than the fresh mountain air, cruising down the slopes, feeling the wind, speed, freedom. It is part of who I am. I crave it. I'm pretty sure I NEED it.

For a handful of years, we skipped the ski trips for warmer climes. Through pregnancies and infant years it all seemed like too much work, arguably too dangerous. We are now though back in a groove. Finally feeling family life (not babyhood) and exploring more . This one was an amazing adventure.

Richie and Avital Skiing Together

Turns out both my kids LOVED ski school. They went with their respective best friends and were such damn big girls about it! Avital, my 6yr old, even spent a morning skiing with Richie. She loved it and I love that she loved it. She was brave and strong and I'm a seriously proud mama. Bar's teacher said she was pretty badass about it all too. No crying, totally got up on her skis, skated a bit, AND I spied her walking in to ski school from their first run and she even has a swagger to her walk. It was so freakin awesome to see.

Bar's Snowy Swagger

The first morning we went out on the slopes took a bit to get everyone settled. Rentals, ski school check in, lift tickets, all that jazz. So us adults took a bit of time to get up on the mountain. Once up, the first run of the season over (always a bit wobbly), we were cruising. It's such a special thing to share with Richie. That feeling of freedom, adventure, open air, nature and the world at your fingertips (well, mitten tips).

A calm and invigoration come over me, at the same time, an excitement and nothing else is like it. Happiness.

But here's the thing, at 33 years old, I felt stronger on my board than ever! My body was capable of so much more, so much earlier in my ride than in the past. I'm pretty sure I'm in the best shape of my life and the prospect of getting stronger and better is exciting. What more can I do, without fear, full of possibility!

I was carving and cruising faster than I ever have on my second run and it felt amazing!! So here's to strength, in your body, as a family, building healthy strong bodies to let us explore this gorgeous world more confidently! Cheers you guys.

Us and Francesca on the lift

Life. Is. Good.

The world is your oyster.

Tips

Eve_Kessner_236

Eve_Kessner_236

More and more often these days I get asked questions about how to lose weight? Tighten up? Stay healthy? Keep my energy up to work, chase kids, and still cook dinners? Maintain balance?

The answer is: there are no easy answers! But there are definitely tips I’ve picked up along the way and incorporated into my daily life that help the process. Lots of the “crazy” things I do seem strange to friends, were strange to me at the beginning, but have become easy, normal, regular.

I do my best to keep it natural and whole, so looking to other cultures’ traditional ways are often what I guide myself towards. For this list (and I’ll post more in the future!) I’m going to avoid what I believe to be obvious (drink lots of water, avoid processed foods, keep away from sugar…) and focus on what may feel a bit more obscure.

Incorporate any of these, maybe one at a time to see if they are working for you, and definitely let me know how they make you feel!

With a new season upon us, my favorite season of the year!, it’s the perfect time to clean up shop starting from the inside out.

So, with no further adieu:

Chia seeds. Packed with omegas and fiber, they are an easy addition to almost any baked goods, pudding, salad, drink! I add them to my water or tea whenever I can remember to. They give a burst of energy and nutrition without adding any taste.

Turmeric. I add it to my cooking whenever I can. It’s amazing for your immune system and brain! Highly anti-inflammatory, it is also a great compliment to any fitness regime.

Essential oils. Now these deserve a whole post of their own, but I diffuse these in the house, use them in my kids baths, take them internally as remedies. Here are a few ways: lavender is amazingly calming for bath time or diffusing in the house before bed time. It is also a powerful wound healer! I use tea tree for skin conditions of any sort (think rashes, pimples, itchy sun burn). Peppermint is amazing used internally as a digestive aid or in a bath to invigorate tired muscles. Eucalyptus clears stuffy noses and sinuses. Orange is our happy scent. Lemon goes down the drain to make the kitchen smell good! I could go on…

Lemon. I squeeze it into and onto anything appropriate. Water, salad, avocado. It is detoxifying and purifying and also delicious.

Apple cider vinegar. I swig it in the morning and a couple times throughout the day when I’m trying to cleanse or boost my metabolism. It’s probiotic and detoxifying and invigorating! Wakes me right up!

Eat and drink greens. Duh.

When I do eat poorly (cause we all do once in a while), I take digestive enzymes to help my body break down what its not used to eating. This just help the body’s natural processes.

Saurkraut (or anything naturally fermented). Naturally fermented foods contain probiotics which help our digestive system do what it needs to do. Our gut is also the hub for the first stop in our immune system, so keeping your gut healthy keeps you healthy!

Avoid the bread. This one is simple. I avoid bread unless it is really worth it. Don’t all or nothing anything, but in my opinion, bread should be worth it! Wait for what’s good and hold back on the empty calories whenever you can.

Eat enough! Too many people that come to me for help are simply not eating enough. By eating too little we are tricking our metabolism into actually hurting our weight loss goals instead of helping us. This deserves a much longer post, but the short end is this: by eating too little our bodies hold onto calories instead of burning them due to what we call fight or flight mode. Basically our body gets nervous about not knowing when our next meal is coming since we are feeding it so little and it conserves what it’s got instead of burning it off. Got me??! Don’t starve yourself! Ever!

The New Me, On a Tough Day

IMG_4595

IMG_4595 I spent a good part of my day thinking of what I was going to write here at the end of it. I remember having some good ideas. I had some good ideas! Yet, in this moment, I cannot remember any of them. It seems impossible to sum it up. Or even just say something meaningful. With so many possible things to say, that I know, that I feel, that are true...few seem appropriate now.

So I'll tell the facts, as they were, as they are: today was Jonny's unveiling. It is hard to comprehend that it's been a year since he died. It's still hard to comprehend the fact of it at all.

Nonetheless, I was fine. I got up early. Drank some coffee. Taught two SoulCycle classes. Ate some food. Packed us bags. And brought my kids to the mall. That's where my grandmother watched them while we went to the cemetery. We were late. As usual. And got to the grave site to find so so many people already there. We walked up. Said our awkward, loaded hellos. And I was feeling ok. Aware that all week I was avoiding, but holding it together: OKAY. And I believed it. Though knew the break was coming.

And for some reason, still, I was surprised when it happened. Strange how that it. How it sneaks up on you. It was when I actually noticed the family headstone. And then the footstone. Jonny's. Immediately I chocked up. Tears welled. But I swallowed it back. And then the rabbi started the ceremony. And again I was fine. But then the cantor started to sing. And the beauty in her voice was poignant. And I cried. And Richie cried. And it was there all over again. The realness. The weight. The truth.

But the ceremony went on. And the day went on. And we all got through it. Lighter than a year ago. In some ways scarier, since we weren't in the state of shock. But also easier, because we are stronger now. WE ARE STRONGER NOW.

And that is what Jonny Kessner gave us. A softness because he was a softee and always made it his business to bring light and laughter to a situation. But a strength too. A strength that I think none of us knew we were capable of . I certainly didn't.

On this earth, Jonny was the sweetest and silliest little brother. For all the things he taught me in the time we spent together, there are infinite things he's taught me since he's left us.

Now, I take bigger leaps, risks, opportunities. I am not afraid of living my life. I am not afraid of what people think. There is just no time... I push myself harder, farther than I ever would have. I stretch myself to the limits and know pride in what I find. I see the positive. I choose the positive. I try to motivate. I always share my energy. I always keep it real. I always keep it positive. There is no other way to live.

The new me is one I think Jonny would have liked a lot.

Whole Grain Goodness

Mixed Whole Grains

Mixed Whole Grains For years and years it's been brown rice in my house. Brown rice, brown rice, brown rice. Organic, short grain to be specific. This old post is how I make the perfect brown rice every time.

It's nutty and filling and goes with almost everything. It's high in minerals and fiber and is everything whole grains are good for.

But, there comes a time in every mama's life when she has to reevaluate those things she cooks too much.

With all the change in our lives, a new home, new season, new, new, new, it was time for some new recipes.

Sometimes I lose hours on the internet looking for recipe ideas, design idea, kid stuff... It's a black hole! That said, often I come out with a new outlook, perspective, project list;)

I found this recipe on 101cookbooks.com. I love her site. Clean recipes, gorgeous images, bright ideas.

But you know I never go by a recipe. It's just not in my blood. So I've been making my own varietals of these mixed grains. Most recently this one has been my favorite:

1 cup short grain brown rice

1 cup quinoa

1/2 cup millet

-Rinse all of these and put them in a pot.

-Add a couple pinches of sea salt and (purified) water to about 1/2" above the top of the grains.

-Bring it to a boil.

-Then down to a simmer.

-Cover and cook for 45 min.

-Turn the flame off, but don't remove the top for at least 5 min.

-Fluff. Serve.

I've been topping it with fresh tomatoes, avocado, marinated tofu, chick peas, gomasio... Fresh summer dinner!

Summer Dinner

Confessions and Transgressions. Perfection is Overrated.

Me and Brooklyn

Me and Brooklyn As many of you know, this year has been particularly challenging for me in so many ways for so many reasons. Making sense of it, finding a silver lining, is easier some days than others. That said, I would not change who I have become for anything.

I believe the best lessons are learned hard. It's just a little speckle of the truth of life. I am not the person I was before we left Brooklyn. And yet here I am again. With new eyes and new energy.

Once upon a time, I spent so much time trying to do everything perfectly. Perfectly according to my moral compass that is. The world was black and white. Strong lines were drawn. And I always made the right choices.

But here's what this last year and a half has taught me: life needs to be lived for the day. So I've softened my edges a bit, been making bolder choices, drinking coffee;) I have a job. I am back in Brooklyn. I am more actively engaged in my kids' daily activities. I push my limits. Am growing my collection of tattoos. And I've blurred the rules of my veganism.

I want to be more fun. So I choose to be. I laugh more, get home later, order in more. I write when I feel like it, not when I set myself a calendar. I take more classes. Wear wilder clothing. Dance on my bike.

Here are some silly things that I found in a ridiculous email that perfectly reflect how I am feeling these days...enjoy!!!:

Be ThankfulSome people...It's better...

Paleo Brownies

Paleo Brownies

Paleo Brownies Soooooooooooooooo...this post can't come without a bit of a preface...explanation...confession:

I'm eating eggs...and sometimes fish...

My vegan diet was amazing for a very long time. It treated me well and took very good care of me. But as many of you know, before I had Bar, I had a few miscarriages which led to a number of blood tests which led to finding out that I have a problem synthesizing B vitamins. So eggs needed to be on the menu. Always cage-free, organic, local. Mostly from the farmer's market. And I felt good eating them, so I continued past my pregnancy. Then after recovering from Bar, most of you also know, I fell into the abyss of SoulCycle. And now I'm instructing. With all of the exercise in my life, I needed more protein. And though I believe that many people can get more than sufficient amounts out of a vegan diet, my body was telling me I needed more for proper muscle recovery. So fish (mostly salmon, almost always wild, Norwegian) is also on the menu.

Soooooooooo...paleo desserts are a fantastic option. And these brownies are nothing short of amazing delicious.  They are a variation of these, just a little less sweet and with more add ins!

Here's how I made them:

Ingredients:

1 jar of smooth almond butter (try to find organic if you can)

2 eggs

1 cup coconut nectar (dry or syrup)

1/4 cup agave

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup cacao powder

Optional add ins: 1 cup chopped walnuts, 1 cup gogi berries, 1 cup dark chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Put everything into the bowl of a mixer (preferably wet ingredients, mix, then dry, but not necessary).

3. Mix until smooth

4. Coat a brownie pan with coconut oil.

5. Pour in batter

6. Bake for 25-30 min or until cooked through and just starting to brown at the corners.

7. Cool, Cut, Serve!

The Cold and Colds

Wellness Shot

Wellness Shot It's been freezing in these parts.  Dead of winter.  And it's no secret that little kids carry lots of little germs.  And those little germs create runny noses and sore throats and all that is evil.

On Sunday Avital puked into my hands while Richie sped to try to get us home.  Yesterday I came home to Ellie's poop everywhere.  Tonight Bar vomited all over me while cuddling on the couch.

I AM SURROUNDED!  And I cannot afford to get sick.

This season is just tough.  Period.

Almost every day I get a text or call from a friend or family member asking what are my remedies for x, y, or z.  Soooooooo...I figured I'd post my cure-all, preventative, germ killing wellness shot for all of you.

You can make it in a juicer to in a blender.  I used my mini-prep Cuisinart thingy then strained it all through a hand strainer and glugged it down.  It's spicy and sweet.  It may burn a bit going down, but I promise it works wonders!  Boost that immunity y'all!

Here are the ingredients (no exact measurements necessary):

1-2 inches of fresh ginger

2-3 cloves of garlic

lemon juice

apple juice

raw honey

cinnamon

As Promised...Recipes! Cabbage Soup

Cabbage Soup

Cabbage Soup No need to reiterate I'm sure, but life has been crazy.  Crazy crazy.  Taxing emotionally and physically.  And time is short.  But I've been trying my hardest to spend time (quality) with the kids and cook more.

Now more than ever, when our adrenals are in danger of fatigue, when the season is changing and the cold is drying us out, when days are shorter and the list of things to do is just as song, when we find stronger sadness AND happiness, we need to make sure we are getting the nutrients we need.

And when I say we, I mean me.  That's what Richie says at least.  And it's true.  Mama Bear is the toughest job out.  Keeping everyone healthy is of utmost importance.  So I've been cooking.  Wholesome, whole foods.

This recipe is a mix of a "clean out the fridge" and my grandma's cabbage soup.  It is sweet and sour and hot and just hit the spot.  With a big hunk of sprouted bread it's the perfect cold  night supper.

Ingredients:

1/2 green cabbage, sliced thinly

1 yellow onion, cut in half and sliced thinly

3 tblsp olive oil

1/2 tsp sea salt

3 field roast apple and sage sausages

1/2 kabocha squash, large dice

1 carton No Chicken broth (or the veggie broth of your choice)

2 tblsp honey

juice of 1 lemon

-Saute the onions and cabbage in the olive oil and salt until soft.

-Break the sausage (with your fingers so that it has raw edges, not cuts) and cook it in with the vegetables.

-When the sausage starts to brown, add the squash and broth and bring to a boil.

-Once it boils, bring it down to a simmer and cook 45min-1hour.  If at any point the liquid gets too low, just add hot water.

-At the end, add the lemon and honey.

More Posting...Coming Soon

Upstate

Hey. Lots of you have been asking if and when I'm going to get back to regular posting.

I am.  I promise.

It feels strange to go from posting about Jonny to posting about vegan muffins.  It feels strange to go back to anything normal.

That said, we've been really busy.  Apple picking, visiting friends upstate, SoulCycling, Halloween prep, new tattoos, cooking, baking, crafting, decorating the house, and, and, and...

I have some great recipes to share with you guys and I'll get those up here soon.

Meanwhile, here are some pics of us doing our thing, getting back to life.  It is a struggle lots of days to be honest, but I'm finding that I squeeze my kids tighter and that feels good.  We belly laugh more.  Even if there is sadness in between...  The good is better...

UpstateFresh Apple MuffinsMe and KillaKammFresh InkHome Goods Shopping with friendsPearl JamKiddosMe and My AliBar's BirthdayBirthday Pancakes