Jun
08

home

Gardening is a new experience every year. I have gardened in an urban backyard, the city of Chicago, way out in the middle-of-nowhere Illinois, and in a few different urban settings here in Colorado. Each year and each location has offered different valuable lessons.

I have learned to embrace “bugs” as they play an essential role in maintaining a garden, and I’ve learned to share space with them. I have learned more about bees and why it’s important to protect them. And while I embrace most of the little buggers in the garden, I have learned that some of them can be a real pain in the ass (how about that wasp building a nest in my garden shed right now!)

I have learned where to purchase the highest quality starter-plants and how to properly plant them in the ground. 

I flirted with the idea of having indoor plants and renting a community garden space – both of which I realized aren’t for me.

Gardening in Colorado

Last year, I put a LOT of vegetable, herbs, and flowers in the ground because I had a lot of space to work with. Most everything grew well except for the cruciferous vegetables that were plagued with aphids. I never was able to harvest any of the broccoli, cauliflower, or kale that I planted. The 13 tomato plants all thrived until one plagued with aphids. Because the tomato plants were planted close together, the aphids spread from one plant to another quicker than a forest fire on a dry day.

Gardening in Colorado 

This year, I am gardening in a brand new space at my new house. The yard is huge but the space is not ideal for gardening – there is too much sun in most of the yard (which could scorch the plants) and too much shade in the other areas. An existing succulent garden came with the purchase of my home, which is something I had very little knowledge on – I’m still learning. There are tree stumps that are unidentified,  mulch, rocks, grass, dirt – so many existing elements that I’m unfamiliar with and learning about. 

Gardening in Colorado

In Denver, I learned that it’s typically safe to plant a garden after Mother’s Day however the crazy, uncommon rain and hail this spring have already shortened our growing season.

The day after Mother’s Day, I put a few baby starter plants in the ground, within hours they were attacked by the craziest hail storm I’d ever seen. There was no way we could have known that hail storm was coming, it caught everyone in Denver off-guard. While the little babies didn’t die, they also didn’t get any bigger. It’s been a few weeks now since they’ve been in the ground, and we’ve had more rain and hail – I’ve actually had to stand in the pouring rain to cover the plants with pots to protect them from the hail on a few occasions.

I think two of the little babies aren’t going to make it and I’m not positive the others will ever grow any bigger. (They are pictured in the two photos above this paragraph.)

Gardening in Colorado

While at a Foodie Fest a few weeks ago, I was given a few packets of carrot and radish seeds. I’ve never grown veggies from seeds and I decided now would be a better time than ever to give it a try. Within 2 weeks, I have radish leave sprouting (pictured below)! I’m not sure if I planted too many seeds, too little, or just the right amount, but I’ll find out soon enough! 

Gardening in Colorado

Gardening in Colorado

I’ve never planted in a hanging box, but I have them available so I filled them with herbs. If there is anything in my garden that I am confident about, it’s these herbs. I look forward to the gentle breeze delivering the various herby scents in to my home through open windows this summer.

Gardening in Colorado

Because my baby starter plants are not doing well, I went out and purchased larger, more expensive starter plants – a few already had fruit on them! From now on, I think this is the route I’ll take considering I don’t have a greenhouse, no consistent way to protect my plants, and the unpredictable weather pattern.

I’m curious to see how the various sizes of starters I put in the ground will all thrive.

Gardening in Colorado

Gardening in Colorado

Clearly, there are succulents that can grow in the ground, and there are succulents that should remain in pots. I learned that very quickly. As you can see in these photos, one of my succulent plants has started rotting because of all the moisture and rain. I have dug it up and put it in a pot – There is a 50/50 chance it will survive and re-generate. Succulents don’t like being covered in dirt, but it’s been unavoidable with all of the rain. I go out to the garden after each thunderstorm and clean the fragile plants off. MOST of the succulents are doing ok, it’s these 2 that I’m unsure of.

Gardening in Colorado

While I’d like to say I’m off to a good start, reality is that it’s been rocky. However, I’m not discouraged, I’m having fun, AND I’m learning something new every day.

Wish me luck, my friends!!

If you’d like to track my progress, follow me on Instagram where I post photos daily and/or subscribe to my weekly newsletter!

Love

Crista


Jun
03

Restorative Mushroom Veggie Broth

Every time I have a “day off” or a “day at home” it seems as though I’m going to have so much free time to do anything and everything I want. BUT as the day presents itself, I jump up early before the alarm clock chimes and I run around like a crazy chicken with it’s head cut off the entire day. Take the dog to the dog sitter, go to yoga, grocery store, run “errands” (errands are the WORST!), make it on time to some appointment, make a few calls, update social media, food, OMG food. It’s 2PM and I haven’t had breakfast or lunch. It’s time to go to yoga but I need to eat before. I can’t eat before working out, it’ll make my belly hurt. Sigh. 

Restorative Mushroom Veggie Broth  

There has been a lot of hype around bone broths lately. Although the concept of a bone broth turns my stomach, I can understand why they have become popular – because PEOPLE ARE BUSY, many of us rarely make time for a proper meal (ME, I’m guilty! – see the first paragraph in this post).

Restorative Mushroom Veggie Broth

A broth is a “soup” of sort, and can easily be taken on the go and sipped out of a cup. While it wouldn’t and shouldn’t substitute a proper meal every day, it is certainly a decent replacement when need be.

In this post, I’m sharing a recipe for a veggie-based broth that I created with a select choice of fruits and veggies out of curiosity. I was curious about the experience of sipping a broth, I was curious to see if I could find a need to keep broth on-hand in my home, and I was curious to know if I’d enjoy a broth the same way others have been lately. Every Friday, I pass by a Panera Bread billboard advertising their broth bowls, which only feeds my curiosity.

After carefully planning exactly which fruits and veggies would compliment each other and provide nourishment, I made my broth. I fed my hungry body with the easy-to-digest nutrition just before a hot yoga class. Thankful to have done so, the broth provided just enough substance to keep me alive during my practice.

a Restorative Mushroom Veggie Broth
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup of mushrooms
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 1 square inch of ginger, peeled
  • 3-4 stalks of kale
  • 1 apple
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 2 quarts of water
Instructions
  1. Thoroughly wash all veggies and coarsely chop them into even size pieces.
  2. Put all the veggies in a large stock pot, add the water, then cover.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and barely simmer for about 90 minutes.
  4. Strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer and set the vegetables aside.
  5. Serve warm or closer to room temperature.
  6. Freeze or refrigerate leftovers.

 In one broth bowl, I decided to add some of the mushrooms that had been used to make the broth and I really enjoyed the added texture and substance in the bowl.

Restorative Mushroom Veggie Broth

If you enjoy this recipe, I invite you to subscribe to my newsletter.
As always, thanks for reading. xo

Love

Crista


Jun
01

Quinoa Bowl

Over the weekend, I took an impromptu trip to Austin with my BFF Laura, just for fun. We like to get away every few months and we both had some vacation time to blow so we decided to keep Austin weird for a few days. (photos from the trip on Instagram)

Quinoa Bowl

We had very little expectation for our trip: eat good food, shop, honky tonk, gossip, and sleep when we feel like it. Laura & I live hundreds of miles from each other so we have to travel in order to see each other. We don’t keep up much via text so when we see each other face-to-face, our mouths never stop yapping. It’s so good.

On this particular trip, our conversation was dominated by our ever-evolving relationships and what it will be like to take them to the next level. We both went from single girls to long-term relationships synonymously. History in the making, if you ask me.

We talked a lot about food, Laura and her BF focus on paleo and only eat meat once or twice a week. Patrick and I eat vegan when we are together, he eats meat when I’m not around (for now). We shared recipes and kitchen tips.

We talked about who cooks, who grocery shops, and how leftovers are handled. I’ll eat left-overs ONCE but that’s it before I’m over it – Laura is the same way. Ironically, our boyfriends will both eat leftovers for days and days on end. Seriously, I gave Patrick a large tupperware full of chili (that wasn’t my best work) and he ate it HAPPILY for 5-6 days straight. I’m thankful to have someone around who won’t allow a single bite of food go to waste because I will throw stuff away with no problem.

Quinoa Bowl

If you didn’t catch on by now, I’ll reiterate: I loathe eating the same meals over and over again. EXCEPT for. 
THIS meal: 
Arugula-topped
Quinoa
blueberries
avocados
Sriracha Peanut Sauce

THIS meal is one that I HAPPILY ate 4 DAYS IN A ROW!
On the 4th day, I decided to photograph it.
On the 4th day, I didn’t scarf it before I had a chance to photograph it.

I originally had a version of this quinoa bowl at Ola Juice Bar in Colorado Springs. I loved it so much, I replicated it at home the next day. and the day after that. and the day after that. you know.

Once the quinoa is cooked (make extras for tomorrow! trust me), this bowl takes no time at all to throw together. Quick & easy makes EVERYONE happy.

After having been served some excellent Thai/Chinese (fusion) food in Grand Junction, I found a Peanut Sauce recipe on love food eat – I’d decided that I needed more Peanut Sauce in my life. I kept the recipe bookmarked, knowing I’d find the perfect time to use it. Not long after bookmarking, I used the recipe to make the exact Peanut Sauce that tops this delicious Quinoa Bowl, the only adjustment to the sauce was an addition of Sriracha, for fun. 

Quinoa Bowl

a Quinoa Bowl drizzled with a Sriracha Peanut Sauce
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked
  • a handful or two of arugula
  • ½ an avocado
  • ¼ cup blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha
Instructions
  1. In a food processor or blender, combine the peanut butter, sesame oil, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame seeds, and Sriracha until mixed well. Adjust taste accordingly (for example, add more Sriracha if you prefer your sauce to be spicier). Set aside.
  2. Put a large heaping of quinoa in a bowl and top it with the arugula, berries, and avocado.
  3. Drizzle with the Sriracha Peanut Sauce prior to serving.
Notes
*All measurements are approximate - adjust accordingly. You may like more avocado and less blueberries - do it up however you'd like.
**I prefer the quinoa to be slightly warmed in this dish, although it can certainly be used at room temperature or even chilled.

Quinoa Bowl

There is more of where this comes from! If you like this recipe and/or this post, subscribe to my newsletter.
As always, thanks for reading. xo

Love

Crista


May
26

“Coffee is always a good idea.” is a tweet that Free People posted on Twitter this morning. I’m not a coffee drinker so personally, I don’t relate with the tweet however that tweet made me think of the the people in my life who find great joy in their daily cups of coffee, and it made me smile. My boyfriend, my best friend, my awesome grandpa – none of them would dream of beginning the day without first indulging in a carefully chosen, fragrant cuppa coffee. Observing coffee drinkers, whether it be in my home, in their homes, at a coffee shop, or via social media, I take notice to the experience that these people allow themselves, an experience I feel like I miss out on. Contemplation, relaxation, preparation, and light conversation are all perquisites of a coffee drinker’s day. Myself, I tend to begin my day the instant I get out of bed, often times not even sitting down to nourish my body with a little breakfast in the morning before I go.

Coffee 

I’ve read several articles, books, and blog posts advising how to begin the day, I’ve even bookmarked a few. A morning stretch, an expression of gratitude, meditation, journaling, planning, positive thoughts are all things that could and probably should be done prior to “going.” Unfortunately, I don’t always adhere to my intention of a healthy morning ritual. From what I observe, a habitual coffee drinker takes more time in the mornings (and even afternoons) for solemnity.

Coffee Garden 

When we were in Hawaii over the previous Holiday season, we woke up one morning earlier than usual to catch the sunset and road trip up to the North Shore to visit a coffee farm. My boyfriend is a devote coffee drinker, it would have been a blunder to pass up the opportunity to visit the coffee farm while on the island. 

Green World Coffee Farm 

People enjoy coffee for a variety of different reasons: the morning experience, the caffeine, the flavor, and some people (my boyfriend) believe that it enhances their overall performance.

Personally, I am not an advocate of caffeine which is one of the reasons I’m not a coffee drinker. I don’t like the way it makes me feel and while some people believe it to be a positive way to jump-start their day, I am laser-focused on the negative effects. While I enjoy the smell of fresh brewed coffee , I don’t at all enjoy the flavor – the number one reason I don’t drink the stuff.

But look, I’m not judging.

Coffee Farm

I possess a genuine curiosity in how things grow, like quinoa, olives, coffee, nuts, chickpeas, and cocoa. I recently discovered a video series called “How Does It Grow” – they’ve covered apples, cranberries, garlic, mushrooms, and cauliflower so far. I’ve got my fingers crossed for an episode on any of the items listed above.

Coffee Farm

In this post, you see several photos that I took of the coffee beans at the Green World Coffee Farm. At first glance, the red, ripe “berries” look like grapes, but they are in fact a Coffee Cherry that houses coffee beans.

In this particular garden, the coffee plants were situated in rows that encouraged tourists to take a casual stroll through, experiencing the plants and growth all while sipping on a sampled cup of coffee. The Green World Coffee Farm creates and sells several different flavors of coffee, and samples 5-6 flavors a day. Patrick says it’s the best coffee he’s ever had and has become quite the Hawaiian coffee snob. A friends mom (whom we never met) took a trip to Hawaii and he bothered to have her bring some coffee back to the mainland for him.

Coffee Farm

Coffee Farm

Not only does Green World grow and sample their coffee, they also offer bakery items and Acai Bowls. When we arrived on the island, we were encouraged to try an Acai Bowl before leaving so I was relieved to find them on the menu that morning.

Thankful for the recommendations, the fully-loaded Acai Bowl brought me the same joy and excitement that Patrick found in the coffee.

Coffee Farm

Coffee Farm

As Patrick sits on the couch and enjoys his morning coffee, I mentioned that I’m finally writing this post about the Green World Coffee Farm. His smile exposing a child-like excitement, he can’t help but to remember the awesome experience we had. Aloud he said “That place was magical!”

Love

Crista


May
21

Yoga Giveaway 

What does your yoga mat smell like?

Despite doing a ton of yoga lately, my yoga mat has an uplifting scent from the pure essential oils in the Yoga Mat Cleanse I use after every session. (BRAGGING) In addition to the pure essential oils (including Eucalyptus, Spearmint, Lavender, Tea Tree oil, Lime, Bergamot, and Grapefruit) used in this yoga mat cleanser, is witch hazel and hydrogen peroxide – all natural, and I love it.

I originally found this cleanser/disinfectant on Etsy when looking for a Christmas gift. I purchased one bottle as a gift and then a bottle for myself (that’s how I shop… duh) then later discovered Holistic Science’s website when re-purchasing. I knew my yoga mat needed to be cleaned regularly because I do hot yoga and sweat a LOT but I didn’t realize how nasty and infectious yoga studios and yoga mats could get. Holistic Science’s website lists out all of the nasty things that can happen when you don’t clean your yoga mat – I dare you to check it out.

Anyway, at the end of each yoga class, I’m typically the ONLY person cleaning my yoga mat – everyone else rolls up the sweat and stink in their mats. I don’t want to know whether or not they clean their mats when they get home – the answer is probably no. Luckily, Holistic Science’s Yoga Mat Cleanse is safe for every day use and won’t alter or damage the non-stick surface of your mat.

Currently, I’m in the middle of doing a 30/40 challenge at CorePower Yoga – basically, it’s 30 classes in 40 days. The challenge is coming to an end and I’m right on track to get my 30 classes in before the celebration class on the 26th – the celebration class that will include a live DJ AND an ice cream truck.

2 Reasons I decided to do a giveaway:

1. To celebrate the fact that I’m actually going to do 30 yoga classes in 40 days.
2. I’m obsessed with the two products I’m giving away – daily, I rely on them and I love to introduce my loves to others.

Included in the giveaway is a Manduka eQua Hand Towel. I own more Manduka Hand Towels than there are days of the week (I told you, I rely on them daily) and I color coordinate them with my Lululemon outfits. I use a small towel during yoga instead of the mat-length towels – I like to feel the squishy, grippy mat beneath my toes – we become one during practice. If I get too sweaty and slippery, then I’ll use the towel under my hands, but I try to refrain from messing with it. 

The towel is great for wiping sweat and wiping down the yoga mat after spraying it with the Yoga Mat Cleanse. 

Yoga Giveaway

Enter to win simply by subscribing to peace. love. quinoa and sharing this giveaway on Twitter. If you are already a subscriber to PLQ, type “YES” in the confirmation box and share the contest with your friends!
The contest ends on May 26, the winner will be announced on May 27.
Giveaway does NOT include a yoga mat.
Giveaway sponsored by peace. love. quinoa

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Yoga Giveaway 

Thanks for entering and good luck, friends!! 
xox

Love

Crista


May
13

 How many thousands of dollars would you be willing to pay someone to dig up your backyard/alley? Would you be willing to spend any amount of money at all? No? Me either. But I am. I am getting a brand new sewer pipe today!!!!!!!!! All the exclamation points represent excitement, but the excitement is fake.

How I feel about the day: go suck it. I know what you’re thinking – “that’s not all peace. love. quinoa-like” and you’re absolutely right. But.

All at once today (it’s only 1PM, people) the street cleaners were here and my lawn boy was mowing my grass. My grumpy old neighbor was yelling at the lawn boy to move his truck because she wanted to make sure the entire street got swept. She threatened to call the cops on me because my car was still sitting on the street in front of my house but she gave that threat to the lawn boy (say it to my face, lady!). The rain has caused my car alarm to go off randomly throughout the day for no apparent reason, including the 2:44 AM time slot. Internet forums tell me that the rain screws with a sensor but the dealership has no idea why unless I pay them for a diagnostic (why can’t they find the answer on the internet!?). AND I’m getting a new sewer line which means the entire alley is being dug up (guess who gets to pay for that), loud trucks and lift-thingys have my windows shaking and my head spinning, AND there are worker dudes EVERYWHERE (walking through my yard and shit). In addition to all of that activity, I’m in the kitch stirring up a Stir Fry that I’m dying to share here on the blog. I thought the sewer guys would be here yesterday so when my day was planned, it didn’t look anything like it has ended up being.

Mandarin Orange Chicken-less Stir Fry

mmmmk So all at once, alllllll of my patience is being tested today.

Earlier today, before it all began, I read a blog post from Just A Colorado Gal titled “Behind The Curtain: Life Unfiltered” – the basic message behind the post is that we can and do create perfect-looking lives by picking and choosing what to share via social media.

Today, my life is not perfect, it is hectic and full of stress. I decided to share that in this blog post instead of writing a happy-go-lucky blog post that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. That shit would be fake…. today, at least. So, thank you Heather (Colorado Gal).

I almost went outside and took photos of the huge hole in my alley and all of the big boy equipment surrounding it but I stopped myself, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it – I don’t want to be reminded of it later. After today, I want it to be a thing of the past – byeeeee.

Instead, I took photos of my stir fry as quick as I could, while being interrupted by the lawn guy who assumes being a vegetarian is rough. I  closed all of my doors and windows, and I am now planted on the couch with the music turned up, trying to pretend that the house isn’t shaking and that the windows aren’t rattling.

Also, I just got a new laptop so editing photos is all weird – I haven’t found my groove with this device yet. Oh, also, my dog was begging for food the entire time I was making/photographing/eating this stir-fry. BAD BOY!

Sigh.
“This too shall pass,” they say…. whoever “they” is.

Mandarin Orange Chicken-less Stir Fry

Typically, I edit and upload photos prior to writing my blog posts, but not today. I know I won’t be satisfied with the photos, but it’s the best I’ve got today – Heather, Just A Colorado Gal let me know that it’s ok to be a little less than perfect sometimes so I am embracing that.

Moving on (as though all is well).

Do you remember the first time you ever went to Trader Joe’s? Me too. It was years ago, in my late teen years – I was living in Fort Wayne, IN. I had to drive to Indianapolis to get to one, a 2 hour trip I made about once a month. Someone told me about the Trader Joe’s in Indy because they had been there for the 2 buck chuck ($2 wine) and that was something to be excited about.

When I moved to Denver, Trader Joe’s hadn’t yet opened any stores here – in fact, TJ’s opened up on Feb. 14, 2014 (Valentines Day!), exactly two weeks after I moved here. In between work stuff, and prepping for what could have potentially been a date that night (yeah, dude bombed my Valentines Day but whatever), I made a visit to the store on a very hectic opening day. I doubt I’d have been as willing to move to CO if TJ’s had none plans of opening up here. 

I have like a million other “Trader Joe’s”-related stories I could tell but this post is already getting wordy. I’ll save them for another post. Google SEO is probably all pissed off at me for having too many words in this post, but I wouldn’t know for sure because I know very little about SEO (sigh).

Mandarin Orange Chicken-less Stir Fry

The reason I tell you stories of TJ’s is because this Stir Fry is made with ingredients that all came from TJ’s. Trader Joe’s has more and more vegan “stuff” every time I visit their stores, and it makes me happy. My most recent obsession are the Chicken-less Mandarin Orange Morsels – I keep them in the freezer for emergency meals – you know when you need to eat but you don’t feel like cooking? THAT emergent.

I paired the Chicken-less Orange Morsels (that were hanging out in the freezer for emergent situations) with fresh-cut pineapple chunks, book toy, sugar snap peas, and garlic for a super easy, super tasty, super fresh stir fry. Also, it took me less than 10 minutes total to make. Also, isn’t “book toy” fun to say?

Look when you’re exhausted after a long day of work or you’ve got 10 guys in your front and back yard doing work that costs more money than you’re willing to spend, you ain’t got no time to be in the kitch slanging food for more than 10 minutes AND THAT my friends, is exactly why this meal is perfect.

Also, Trader Joe’s is perfectly-perfect at providing options, fresh and frozen, that allows you to make quick, legit meals. I’ve been passing off TJ’s frozen meals as home-cooked meals for years (shhh don’t tell anyone) – if you learn how to work the frozen meals in with some fresh ingredients, you’re golden. Pay attention to this stir-fry recipe, I’m giving you valuable information here.

Let’s get to it. Remember, EVERYTHING can be purchased at Trader Joe’s. If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s accessible to you then I would recommend that you move somewhere else. I’m just kidding, I’m in a funk today which makes me bitchy. Well, maybe I’m not kidding. :-/ Also, wouldn’t it be cool if TJ’s were sponsoring this post? They’re not. This is alllll me, people.

Mandarin Orange Chicken-less Stir Fry

Mandarin Orange Chicken-less Stir Fry
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 package of Chicken-less Mandarin Orange Morsels (frozen food aisle)
  • ½ package of Sugar Snap Peas (produce aisle)
  • 2 bok choy stalks, coarsely chopped (produce aisle)
  • 1 cup pineapple, chopped (produce aisle)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (or 3, if you're me)
  • 1 bag (of the 2) Fresh Rice Noodles (near produce, and fresh pasta)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Instructions
  1. In a large pan or a wok, heat the chicken-less morsels until they are slightly crispy and browned (about 8 minutes) then add olive oil and garlic.
  2. Put a pot of water on to boil, this is what you will cook your noodles in - don't put the b=noodles in yet, they only cook for 1-2 minutes!
  3. Sauté the garlic with the chicken-less morsels for about 1 minute before adding the book toy, pineapple, and sugar snap peas.,
  4. Sauté the mixture for about 5 minutes (you want the veggies to be warmed but not softened - they are way better with a crunch) and then cover the mixture in the Mandarin Orange sauce that came packaged with the chicken-less morsels.
  5. While sautéing, put the rice noodles in the boiling water and boil them for 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat, drain, and rinse with cold water.
  6. That's all - serve the stir-fried veggies and morsels with the noodles. Ta-da!

 You know what else would be good in this stir fry? Ginger! I didn’t add it but you should if you have some. Chop it finely and add it at the same time you add the garlic.

How’s YOUR day? Mine will get better – I’m off to yoga soon.

Love

Crista


May
08

My poor little pup had to go under anesthesia this past week to get his teeth cleaned (and a few pulled). As he was coming down off the drug that was given, he whined for hours and hours an hours, whimpering. It was heartbreaking. He’ll be on antibiotics and pain killers for a total of 10 days after his.

medication

Not only has my pooch been on meds, I was as well. About a month ago, I found myself in the ER with an infection. The doctor says infections should be treated with antibiotics so he hooked me up with some. He also hooked me up with some pain killers that I became dependent on for a few days.

I know many people who take pop pills on a daily basis for headaches, allergies, body aches, and whatever else. Those of you who know me well, know that I RARELY take drugs – I let headaches heal on their own, and I let body cramps and pains heal on their own. In the ER, I resisted the IV, which frustrated the doctor. I kicked and screamed and said no to everything the doctor suggested. He questioned why I had even shown up so eventually I gave in….

The pain killers and antibiotics did their job, relieved my pain and removed the infection HOWEVER I feel like they messed up my system. I told one of my girlfriends about the changes I feel in my body and she says that she’s experienced the same thing. Gah, as I googled around, I realized that it’s a “thing” – that these meds mess you up. I should’ve known, and I guess subconsciously I did, but I have zero experience with it all. I knew I didn’t want that foreign crap in my body, however I’d never really thought of why.

It wasn’t long ago that my time in the bathroom was pleasant, not it’s an ouch-fest. I’d like to get this shit out of my body completely, because I’m not right. When I google around the internet trying to figure out how to re-regulate my body, I am falsely accused of being a drug addict – google can’t figure out what it is I’m looking for. 

medication

I believe I can treat myself and maintain good health with rest, hydration, and clean eating but I want to find someone/anyone with a related experience. Everything I can find on the internet speaks directly to addiction. 

In conclusion, I’ve committed myself to being more conscious than ever to these few things:
1. Hydration
2. Fiber Intake 
3. Daily Yoga
4. Clean Eating (more raw foods)

I’m not sure what else I can do at this point…. 

 

Love

Crista


May
05

In a yoga class earlier in the week, the instructor asked if anyone in the room has a solid Tripod Headstand. A Tripod Headstand may be one of the ONLY inversions I can do, and it’s not ALWAYS solid so I was hesitant to raise my hand – BUT I did because no one else did. (how nice of me)

Andy, the instructor wanted to demo a Tripod Headstand but wasn’t able to because he didn’t have room for his own yoga mat – the class was packed – so he needed someone in the room to do the demo for him. Anyway, I got lucky and my “demo” was a success, I didn’t fall flat on my face or my back like I sometimes do. (whew)

Tripod Headstand

The only reason I can do a Tripod Headstand is because a yoga instructor in Miami took me under her wing after a class on the beach a few years back- she stayed after class to guide me through the process of getting upside down. When I was able to stay put without falling, she grabbed my camera and took photos of me in my first ever upside-down inversion. I still think of her every time I’m hanging out in a headstand. (I should look for those photos – they were taken with an actual camera, not an iPhone bahaha)

The thing that holds me back in inversions is fear & the unknown. Kicking my feet up or balancing on my hands, all while uncertain whether I will fall or not (the feeling isn’t much different from that of snowboarding for the first time) makes me uneasy. I’ve tried several inversions, but haven’t been successful at many of them so I don’t even know what it feels like to be in those inversions – it’s like I’m upside-down, kicking my feet around aimlessly trying to figure out where my feet are supposed to go, but I can’t see them and it feels like I’m going to fall ahhhhhh!

Anyway, I’m convinced that if I can do a Tripod Headstand, most anyone can if they put their mind to it. 

The first step is simply to get your head and hands grounded. Once you feel grounded, you can lift your legs and rest your knees on your elbows – this is a good place to hang out for a while and practice a few times before you attempt full expression.

At first, I was only able to practice full expression with the help of my instructor. She readily guided my legs up and held on to the tips of my toes while I found my balance…. and then she let go!

Tripod Headstand

If you are working on successfully getting upside-down in to a tripod headstand, I would highly recommend that you find a buddy, or ask an instructor to guide, and hold you while you find balance – I think it is important to know where you are going, be familiar with the process of getting there, and find balance there before you put yourself through the daunting task of finding comfort in the process – and a partner can help you do just that.

To pay it forward, I helped a guy get upside-down in a yoga class this past week. It didn’t take much, I held on to his legs as he lifted them, then held his feet in place for a few seconds until he found his balance. Now that he knows exactly what a Tripod Headstand feels like, he’ll be able to get up on his own. Now that he knows what it is like to be in full expression, he can work on the process of getting there.

Love

Crista


May
03

Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cream Pie

Around Easter (yeah, I know it was a while ago – whatever), I as overwhelmed with recipes using carrots. That must be a “thing” around Easter. Bunnies eat carrots which prompts the humans to eat carrots in honor of the bunny? I actually collected several carrot recipes, they all looked so good. Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal, Salt Roasted Carrots, Raw Carrot Cake, Spicy Raw Vegan Soup, Carrot, Apple Quinoa Hash, and this Vegan Carrot Cake Cookie recipe. I told you, I found a LOT (and even made a few). These cookies, I made immediately… and more than once. I made them without ginger and orange zest and I made them without (because I didn’t have the ingredients). I definitely recommend you use the ginger and orange zest – WAY tastier with! I ate these with frosting and without frosting. While they are good without, the frosted cookies won. 

But really, do I eat cake and cookies because I like cake and cookies or do I eat them because I like the frosting? There is a bakery in Chicago that sells little pots of frosting, ask me how I know.

So anyway, every time I ate one of these cookies, I told myself they are healthy. Carrots, orange zest, ginger, “fruits and veggies” – they’re PERFECT for breakfast (for obvious reasons).

Please do not wait until next Easter to make these cookies, do what the cool kids aren’t doing – eat carrots on the “off season”.

In this post you’ll find the recipe for the cookies and a link to the Coconut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting.

ACarrot Cake Oatmeal Cream Pies
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1 rounded tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • zest of ½ orange
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • ½ cup real maple syrup
  • ½ cup virgin coconut oil, (melted)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • a batch of Coconut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting (find a link to the recipe below)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: the flour, baking powder, salt, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom.
  3. Add the fresh ginger, orange zest, and grated carrots, and mix until evenly combined.
  4. Add the maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla extract, and stir just until combined.
  5. Using a spoon or a fork, drop the dough on prepared baking sheets in about 2 tablespoon sized amounts, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie. Gently push on the dough, encouraging it to flatten out slightly.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cookies are golden.
  7. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely before adding the frosting.
  8. Once the cookies have cooled, use the Coconut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting to make the cookie sandwiches.

In a prior blog post, you can find the recipe for Coconut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting.

Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cream Pie

This cookie recipe was adapted from Always Order Dessert (what a fabulous blog!)

Love

Crista


May
02

Coconut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting 

When my friend Amanda posted a recipe for Coconut Butter Stuffed Dates on her blog, I was floored – 2 ingredients of pure awesomeness. You see, I’d had a jar of coconut butter hanging around for a while, but I wasn’t really sure what to do with it. This simple recipe changed my world – opened my mind up to new opportunities.

My boyfriend is always thinking outside the box when it comes to food & recipes. For instance, he thought we should add chocolate chips to that stuffed-date recipe, he thinks chocolate chips should be added to EVERYTHING (including butter toffee cookies). He’s the one who recommend I use pear with lovage, and this morning he told me to dip my banana in my orange juice. Sometimes he hits the nail on the head, and sometimes he just makes me laugh.

Him and I started brainstorming different ways to use coconut butter (new obsession!) and we came up with this awesome recipe that perfectly complimented some carrot cake oatmeal cookies that I made (recipe coming soon!)

Coconut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

I made a larger batch of this frosting than necessary (don’t judge me) because it’s good for SO MANY THINGS! 

Cinnamon rolls
homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies
atop Cookies
atop Cupcakes
Atop a Carrot Cake
or, as a finger lick
(you know, dip your finger in, lick the frosting off)

Coconut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting {a vegan recipe}
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 6 oz. vegan cream cheese (I like Trader Joe's brand)
  • 2 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon coconut butter, softened
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cup powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. With a hand mixer, blend the cream cheese, coconut butter, and vanilla extract together.
  2. Slowly add the powdered sugar, about ⅓ cup at a time.
  3. Whip together until the frosting has reached the desired consistency.
  4. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.

 Coconut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

Love

Crista