Kris Carr's story of sustaining a healthy and full life with cancer for the past 10 years has inspired the world to eat right and live life to the fullest. Now out with her fifth book, Crazy Sexy Kitchen, Carr shares the secrets to her success.
Carr was diagnosed with a rare, incurable form of cancer on Valentine's Day in 2003. She was only 31. "To say that I was in shock, mad, sad, and terrified is an understatement," she writes in her new cookbook, Crazy Sexy Kitchen. Some doctors recommended lung and liver transplants while others wanted to wait it out, as it was slow-growing.
Rather than opt for surgery or give in to the illness, Carr decided to take control of her situation and overhaul her lifestyle. Once a busy, stressed New Yorker who depended heavily on her microwave -- feasting on processed, fast foods, Carr limited her stresses, made exercise a fixture of her day to day, and most significantly, completely revamped her diet. Carr was able to transition away from the traditional American diet and filled her kitchen with plant-based foods and her diet with healthy, vegan meals to keep her feeling great. "I wanted to participate in my well being and potential longevity," explains the health guru. "The best way to start was with what I put in my mouth, how I nourish my body, and [how I] treat myself."
Her greatest secret to doing this: green juices, the food everyone is missing in their diet. "It's the best way to get all your veggies," she says. "It is a blast of nutrition and hydration." Carr, a vegan, also recommends eating more plants and less animals, processed foods, and refined sugars. To help her make her healthy recipes, Carr hails the cast iron skillet a must-have item in the kitchen and fresh herbs a necessity. "When you buy fresh herbs, you can take [food] to next level immediately," she explains (and you can even use the extra herbs to make lovely arrangements in mason jars).
With a bit of effort and innovation (and perhaps an herb or two) Carr holds that plant-based meals can be exciting, tasty, and make you feel terrific. "In our really busy fast-paced lives we expect things to be 'under ten minutes'; we rely on takeout, and we realize we are sluggish and that we don't feel great," she says. "Take back the kitchen and make basic and healthy meals, and make them on a consistent basis. [You will] be happier and healthier in the long run."
Her Crazy Sexy Kitchen explores 150 health-minded, plant-based recipes inspires readers to "make their kitchen headquarters a wellness revolution." She expands her breadth with this fifth book, teaming up with Whole Food Market's chef Chad Sarno on the recipes and using outside photographers (she normally shoots her own photography) for Crazy Sexy Kitchen's images, all of which will make your mouth water. "I am blown away from what I learned from making this book," says Carr. "I stretched my wings on this one and I'm really happy with how far we have come and the end result."