A few years ago, before it was a common thing to do, I started sharing photos of the food I eat and over the years my friends & family have shown gratitude, thanking me for the inspiration. In fact many different people from my past have even mentioned notice of my attention to food, enjoying it more than I would have ever expected.

peace. love. quinoa

Now I notice many of my friends & family have picked up an obsession with food, posting photos of the food they eat on social media outlets. (ha!) I’d like to take sole responsibility for the Food Porn Photo craze that happens throughout my social network. *smiles*

These friends who enjoyed my posts the most recommended that I start a blog….. soooooo in July of 2012, peace. love. quinoa was born.

I am Crista, food obsessed. i currently live in Denver. i spend most of my time traveling, eating, blogging, gardening, and enjoying the mountain life.

I will not label myself a vegan, however I prefer to eat fresh, organic, vegan food. I may occasionally cheat on this lifestyle but chances are I won’t tell you about it. Secrets are meant to be kept.

Besides food, I enjoy blogging about things like yoga, swimming, hiking, rock climbing, photography, travel, fitness, and gardening

crista study

My goal in writing this blog is not only to create a memoir of my journey, and to stay on track with my personal goals but also to inspire others to live a more healthy & peaceful life.

I appreciate any and all who support my blog, peace. love. quinoa. If it weren’t for the support and encouragement of others, this blog would not exist.




A few days ago, I wrote a post about working on your fitness OUTDOORS.

Today, I offer you inspiration on what type of workout you can do outdoors whether you live in the city or the country.

SWIM – Whether you are in a pool, a lake, or the ocean, swimming is one of the most fun, low-impact, and challenging exercises you can do. You will only need 3 items: a swimsuit, goggles, and a swim cap. 

BIKE – Give up the motorized vehicles and ride a bike! Biking will give you a full body workout (including that core!) and decreased stress – no traffic jams!

NIKE TRAINING CLUB – Get lean, get strong, get focused…. and do it without much equipment. If you choose a routine that requires weights you don’t have on hand, find something heavy in your garage (like a sledgehammer.) Download the app on your smartphone.

RAID YOUR BACKYARD OR LOCAL PARK – Seek out monkey bars, benches, & trees. Utilize gravity, your yoga mat, and a resistance band. On my Pinterest Board, I have many different pins that will inspire you with different exercise routines to use outdoors (including resistance band training.) Men’s Fitness offers a few suggestions on how to Turn Any Park Into a Gym, and there are many different yoga apps you can download, my favorite is Pocket Yoga. It will take you through a 30, 45, or 60 minute yoga routine.   

TAKE A HIKE – Take a trip out to a state park and hike the trails. Not only will you become one with nature, you will improve your overall physical and mental health. I like to visit State Parks that offer a lake for swimming in addition to the hiking trails. Take a back pack filled with snacks and plenty of water! 




Oh, that’s how you stay so fit,” was the comment my father-in-law made when he caught me planking on the pool deck. 

You see, we have spent the last 4-5 days of our time at my in-laws place which happens to sit right in the middle of nowhere. It’s a good 15-20 miles to the nearest grocery store and at least 25 miles to the nearest workout facility

Working out is part of my lifestyle, an addiction… and while I’m away from home I can not ignore this part of my life. I must continue my workouts in order to achieve my goals and maintain self.

Certainly, I could have driven 30 minutes and paid an outrageous fee to use the nearest workout facility, however I chose to take advantage of the beautiful 11 acres of outdoors that I had surrounding me. 

I always go back to the phrase that Lululemon uses “Sweat Once A Day” …the 100 degree temperatures ensure that I SWEAT. 

Day 1: Chris & I found a 200 lb. tractor tire and a sledge hammer. While one of us was running sprints, the other was axing the tire with the sledgehammer. After a few rounds, we flipped the tire approximately 50 times.

Day 2: Inspired by Pinterest, I found a few workouts that would not require any equipment and could be done outdoors.

Day 3: Nike Training Club. Again, I found a workout that required minimal equipment. I used a sledgehammer in place of free weights.

Each Workout was followed up with a 30 minute swim. 

In addition to working on my fitness, I had the opportunity to soak up some sunshine and allow my body to produce plenty of Vitamin D. Dr. Frank Lipman has said that at least half of all Americans do not get enough Vitamin D and about 1 in 5 children are Vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D is essential for preserving health and preventing disease. It has the ability to interact and affect more than 2,000 genes in the body. It enhances muscle strength and builds bone. It has anti-inflammatory effects and bolsters the immune system. It helps the action of insulin and has anti-cancer activity.

“Wow, I really regret that workout.” -No one ever




A girlfriend of mine was recently diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease.

Crohn’s disease seems to be an annoying type of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, symptoms including: diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, skin ashes, inflammation, arthritis….

There is no cure for Crohn’s disease and remission may not be possible or prolonged if achieved, although certain lifestyle changes can reduce symptoms, including dietary adjustments. 

Crohn’s is associated with an increased intake of animal protein and milk protein. Those who consume vegetable proteins appear to have a lower incidence of Crohn’s disease. 

We live in a world of gluttony & over-indulgence, I’m never shocked to hear of such diseases.

As I read through different bits of information, I see that a raw, vegan diet is recommended to help calm symptoms, however there is no such thing as eating a vegan/raw “diet” until “cured” of this disease. There is no cure for Crohn’s Disease and becoming vegan is a true Lifestyle Change and requires dedication. 

Even though I am no expert (questionably), (I’m simply obsessed with health, nutrition, and vegan goodies) I am honored that my friend trusts me and came to me the day she was diagnosed looking for advice and inspiration to keep her symptoms at bay. Many people diagnosed will simply rely on medication for the rest of their lives – ignoring an alternative route to freedom. 

Before I overwhelm her with information, I recommend she read Crazy Sexy Diet, Skinny Bitch, and Clean.

“When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied.”
― Herophilus




I found some information I needed to share. WARNING: May Be Disturbing.

Americans eat more meat than anybody on Earth packing away approximately 200 pounds per person in 2005, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which forecasts that we will add another 20 pounds of it annually by 2016. 

the Union of Concerned Scientists points out that 70 percent of the antibiotics sold in the United States are used to treat healthy livestock… what does this say about our own health. 

2,500: The number of livestock animals butchered for each meat-eating American in his or her lifetime. 

Americans throw 22.5 million pounds of meat in the garbage every day – the equivalent of 15,000 cows, 36,000 hogs and 2 million chickens

“Healthy People 2010” report showed that vegetarians typically weigh less than meat eaters and suffer from lower rates of type 2 diabetes and other diseases. 

All of this information was pulled from an article entitled “Of Calves and Carnivores” in Oct 2008 issue of Mpls St Paul Magazine.