An Interview With Crazy, Sexy, Kris Carr
IntroducingÖ.(drum roll please)Ö Crazy Sexy KRIS CARR!!! (The crowd goes wild). I know many of you know Kris already from her documentary Crazy Sexy Cancer, her books Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips and Crazy Sexy Cancer Survivor, her killer website CrazySexyLife.com, and her many media appearances, including Oprah. You might have seen Kris on Good Morning America this morning, and you might have been one of the readers who launched her new book Crazy Sexy Diet to #8 on Amazon yesterday! WOOT! Kris is my new BFF and soul sister (GIRL CRUSH ALERT!) and I want you to make sure sheís on your radar. So please welcome Kris on her Owning Pink debut.
But first, a bit of back story.
Back in 2003, Kris was a 33 year old actress when she found out she had a rare, slow-growing but incurable cancer, and after her docs delivered this blow, she picked herself off the floor, cleaned up her diet and her life, and committed not only to living this life fully, but to inspiring other crazy sexy warriors to jump on board and ROCK this life.
In an effort to take an Uzi to her cancer cells with juicy goodness and fill her body with immune-blasting nutrients, Kris dumped booze, caffeine, sugar, and animal products and adopted a diet full of green veggies, freshly-squeezed green juice, and largely raw, vegan yummy stuff. As a physician who drinks four green juices per day, cleanses quarterly, and prescribes raw foods to my clients, I can attest to the fact that Krisís Crazy Sexy Diet applies not only to cancer, but to diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic fatigue syndrome, mood disorders, and just about any other health issue you might have. Plus, your energy levels will soar, your skin will glow, youíll naturally control your weight, your mood will improve, and youíll feel like a million bucks.
Krisís new book Crazy Sexy Diet came out this week (WHEEE!!! Letís launch it onto the NY Times bestseller list!) In honor of her book launch, I invited you all to ask her questions and mixed in some of my own. So here we go!
Crazy, Sexy Interview!
1. You were so young when you were diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. The average Jane might have pulled a “Poor Me” (and I’m sure you had your moments). But you did this whole Pick-Yourself-Up, Brush-Yourself-Off routine that is outrageously inspiring. How did that happen?
It happened in the mirror. I was crying in the bathroom of an oncologists office, trying to hide my terror from my family and I just looked in the mirror and said, ďHell no.” The jackass had just given me an expiration date and suggested I do experimental treatments that would hack up my body but not cure me. The cancer I have has no cure. So we left the office and went to Whole Foods. I mean where else do ya go? Thatís when I decided to take my power back and learn how to truly take care of myself so that I could participate in my health, instead of my disease.
2. Your reaction to your cancer diagnosis was to film your award-winning documentary Crazy Sexy Cancer. What inspired you to take life’s lemons and start juicing lemonade?
Death teaches you a lot about life! Here I was fighting for a life that I wasnít having a good time living. Because the disease I have is slow moving I actually had time to deal with me and as a result I began to live with passion, action, and love. Damn does that feel good!
3. When the docs told you there wasn’t much you could do other than boost the ol’ immune system, you hauled your pretty ass down to Hippocrates and loaded up on the greens, which began the journey that led to your blog CrazySexyLife.com, where you’re the Crazy Sexy rock star leading a whole movement and attracting a dynamically vital community. Now you’ve got your book Crazy Sexy Diet. Can you summarize what this diet is all about for us?
The Crazy Sexy Diet is a low-fat, vegetarian program that emphasizes balancing your bodyís pH by eating more lush whole foods, low-glycemic fruits, raw veggies, alkalizing green drinks, and super powered green smoothies. By increasing the amount of alkaline foods you eat while decreasing acidic foods (animal products, processed sugars and starches, etc.), you reduce inflammation and boost immunity and overall strength. In short, you stack the good-health odds in your favor. The Standard American Diet is quite acidic. Eating more of the alkaline foods floods our bodies with oxygen. Healthy cells need a slightly alkaline, oxygen rich environment. Your brilliant body is designed to operate within a very narrow pH range. Optimally, you want to be a little on the alkaline side, with a blood pH of around 7.365. Blood is the most important, and therefore most protected, pH measurement. Even a minor fluctuation in your bloodís pH (either too alkaline or too acidic) creates distress signals. Our bodies will do anything to maintain proper pH balance. If our diet and lifestyle is too acidic, our body will mine minerals like potassium, magnesium and calcium to neutralize those acids. Hello osteoporosis and other disease! Symptoms generally start out small and then ramp up as the imbalance continues. Everything from a runny nose to skin eruptions, heartburn, eczema, inflammation, arthritis, poor circulation, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, a weakened immune systemóeven cancerócan be traced back in some way to an acidic inner terrain.
4. How has following this diet changed your life? How can it change ours?
Since I changed my diet and lifestyle my health is really strong. I have more energy, stamina, and overall vitality. Plus, my immune system is 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. Plus, I never, ever get a cold. And yes, my skin is flawless (the celluliteís down too, always a bonus!). But itís really important to emphasize lifestyle changes as well, because itís not just about the food we eat, we need to exercise consistently, reduce stress, deal with negative emotions, develop basic self-care practices, and have fun too! After all, life is too sweet to be bitter and unhappy. And if this diet and lifestyle can help me and countless other people who are fighting disease, just think about what it can do for you! Be a ďPrevention is HOTĒ Cheerleader and check it out.
5. My hubby and I call ourselves raw vegan omnivores because we drink our 4-5 fresh-squeezed green juices daily and eat a lot of veggies. But we’re also total foodies and when we go to French Laundry in Napa, we’re likely to order the filet (I know, I know — TUSHIE) and the cheese plate (I know — PUS). I figure that if I give myself permission to indulge from time to time, I’m more likely to be good at home. I don’t have cancer, and if I did, I might find it easier to give up the foodie stuff in favor of survival, but for those who want to be healthy but also love food, what do you recommend?
Well, first Iím just gonna shift that thinking a bit. What I eat is ďfoodĒ too. Iím also a foodie so I totally get what youíre saying. But you can be a vegetarian or a vegan and still eat like a connoisseur. There are so many 4-star veg restaurants that will totally blow your mind (especially in California). If you choose to include animals in your diet then make sure your doing it in moderation and that the majority of your chow comes from the plant kingdom. The more animal protein we consume, the more chronic disease we experience. This is true for excess fat and carbs too, especially trans fats and processed foods. And if youíre juicing daily then youíre totally in the green zone. Chapter 4 in Crazy Sexy Diet discusses the meat and dairy industries and smashes the myths about not getting enough protein or calcium on a plant-based diet Ė which is a totally ludicrous claim. Hereís what I suggest people do: make green juice or green smoothies in the morning and then twice a day, fill half to two thirds of your plate with veggies, especially greens. Reduce animal products to no more than 2-3 times per week. Dump fake food and processed crap too. As far as sugar goes, make low glycemic choices. This diet isnít about deprivation at all, itís about increasing your overall nutritional value and stacking the good health odds in your hot and juicy favor! Prevention is the only lasting cure and what we eat, drink and think all play a part in us staying well.
6. It seems to me that it’s more than your diet that is the secret to healthy living. What are your secrets to whole wellness?
Loving, laughing till my belly hurts, wrangling the monkeys in my mind, creativity, dealing with my fear, anger and sadness, forgiving, walking in the woods, kissing and dancing on tables!
7. Most people who are diagnosed with cancer are riddled with fear that is more destructive than their tumors. You seem to have figured out how to send your fear to time out. How have you done that, and what would you say to others who battle fear and allow it to stand in the way of their dreams?
Fear is not a fact; itís a feeling. Today I am not going to die of cancer so why am I going to sit in the corner on a beautiful day and think about dying of cancer? When scary thoughts come, I do a few things. I ask myself if itís true, right now, in this moment and I move. Motion changes emotions. I walk, jog, jump on my trampoline and turn to loving self care (like a bath or a massage). I also talk to my coach or work with my EFT (emotional freedom technique) practitioner in order to move the negative energy out. Julia Cameron once said that we must ďride the dragon so that it doesnít devour youĒ. I love that quote! Fear is the dragon. You canít amputate it but you can saddle it and gallop around.
8. If you had 10 minutes and a podium in front of 10,000 people in an amphitheater, what would you speak about?
9. We will be a launching a cleanse program this spring via Owning Pink. When I’m cleansing — which I do quarterly, people tend to raise an eyebrow at me. I just ignore them. What do you tell people about why they should cleanse their bodies?
Your body stores waste and poisons in the organs of elimination, your fat cells, tissues and blood stream. If our diet and lifestyle is too toxic we get backed up and our system starts to shut down. Cleansing doesnít have to be hard or extreme. The 21-day plan I suggest in Crazy Sexy Diet involves lots of wonderfully delicious plant based foods, purified water, green juices and smoothies. What it doesnít include is processed foods, excess animal products, sugar, coffee or alcohol. I encourage people to give their bodies a rest so that they can repair and come into balance naturally. Cleansing should really be more like a lifestyle upgrade that you can stick with all year round. Iíd love to do your cleanse with you Lissa!
10. First, you survived a cancer diagnosis and now you’re surviving a book tour! What’s your secret? How do you find your center in the midst of turmoil?
Girrrl, I practice what I preach and when itís as crazy as it is now I crank it up a notch. No caffeine, no wine, I get my ass to bed early and I start my day with a short centering practice that includes deep breathing and yoga. Iím trying to hit the best-seller list with this book, itís terrifying and exciting. The dragon is wearing a western saddle today!
11. What’s your Crazy Sexy big dream?
To create a grass roots movement thatís so big that government takes notice. I am determined to help people stay well so they donít have to travel the road Iíve been down. Itís easier than we think. But in todayís climate, being healthy is a revolutionary act. Itís totally radical. Your doctor wonít give you a magic pill (well, heíll try but really there is no such thing). Government wonít dump special interests, or subsidize the right farmers — organic farmers. Ad agencies wonít protect you from false claims. Pharmaceutical companies wonít stop marketing dangerous drugs straight to consumers, and insurance companies wonít wrangle their costs. Itís up to us. The education is out there waiting for us to apply it. We can vote with our forks three times a day every single day. Join me.
12. What are the first thoughts of the day that keep you going?
I love my life and I love my work so itís really easy to be positive. What brings me down isnít disease, itís over booking my time. Thatís way worse than cancer! Free time to noodle and doodle makes me happy and motivated. Walks in the woods, puttering, playing with my pooch, reading a great book, giving myself space to relax and be human makes me a nice gal. Working like an pack mule makes me a mean gal. Balance is key but it doesnít just happen, I have to actively pursue and protect it!
13. What are the 3 most important things you recommend for cancer prevention?
Reduce stress. Love, laugh, meditate, let the goo out, make healthy boundaries and deal with your stinkiní thinkiní!
Dump the standard American diet TODAY. Move towards a plant-based diet and alkalizing your body by reducing the amount of acidic foods and drinks you consume. Make juice not way baby!
Shake your ass. Move your god pod 5 times per week!
Bonus round: Sleep!
14. What are the top three things that consistently inspire you?
My dog Lola.
Generous folks who are willing to be honest with me. I love people who are willing to share their true feelings and be vulnerable. I love myself when I do that.
Nature is my church. I go there daily.
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Kris, youíre such an inspiration to us all. Thank you SO much for being with us. Iíll see you when youíre here in San Francisco on your book tour — and for the rest of you, you can meet Kris in person when sheís in your neck of the woods on her book tour this month. If you see her, please give her a great, big squeeze for me!