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


Aug
09

SPORT Tea

Sporty, SPORT tea Saturday: my alarm clock went off at 4:15 am because my super special guy friend was up early for a triathlon. After I saw him off, I had planned on doing Yoga On The Rocks at Red Rocks BUT at about 4:30 AM, I realized that I hadn’t purchased my ticket yet. When I logged in to purchase a ticket, I found out that tickets were sold out (2000 tickets – SOLD OUT – that’s nuts!). Operation YOTR: abort. I was pretty bummed, but I realized an opportunity to take a quick (early morning) nap and then RUN. I am not a runner, and I don’t even enjoy running…. but for some reason I have decided that I’m going to train for a few 5k’s. I know I need to introduce some type of cardio back in to my workout routine, I realize that Hot Yoga shouldn’t be the only form of exercise I am practicing. What I like about running is that I can do it outdoors (this IS Colorado), it doesn’t cost me any money, AND it doesn’t require a trip to a gym. Plus, 5K’s are kind of fun (especially when there is beer involved – I’ll see you soon Oktoberfest).

Way back, Mothers Day weekend when my mom was in Colorado visiting, we had dinner at a restaurant called Linger. With our meal, they served us some of the most delicious iced tea we’d ever had. Naturally, we asked about it and found out they use SPORT Tea, which is made locally in Colorado. I’d never heard of it until then. Immediately the next day, we set out to find some of this SPORT Tea and had success at Whole Foods. It sat on a lower shelf in the tea aisle, could have easily been overlooked.

I’m on my 5th or 6th batch of the SPORT Tea and I’ve learned that there are so many things to love about it besides the flavor:

SPORT Tea is cold brew tea, which I’ve never experienced before. All I have to do is fill a pitcher with cold water, add a tea bag, and then allow it to sit in the refrigerator overnight. There is none of that boiling-water-then-wait-for-it-too-cool stuff to worry about. 

SPORT Tea is tasty enough without adding a sweetener. I do like to add mint and lime prior to the cold brew process which greatly enhances the flavor. I like to add the mint during the brew process and then I squeeze fresh lime in just before drinking it.

SPORT Tea contains Electrolytes and Ginseng – two ingredients that are essential for a sporty gal like myself – SPORT Tea gives me energy and helps to minimize cramping during a workout. It also contains Ginger (enhances blood flow and circulation), Vitamin C (crucial for optimal health), and Brazillian Maté (suppresses appetite).

SPORT Tea contains nothing artificial and is 100% natural which makes it a perfect alternative to sugary, caffeinated, carbonated athletic drinks (think gatorade or vitamin water).

Oh, and it’s local (Colorado) – I totally dig that.

SPORT Tea

So anyway, thanks for allowing me to share one of my loves. 
SPORT Tea is available for purchase outside of Colorado HERE.
(oh, and just so you know – Sport Tea did not pay me or ask me to write this post – I did it allllll on my own)
Happy Sporty Saturday, friends! 

Love

Crista


Aug
06

Warren Dunes

Warren Dunes

over the weekend, we discovered a beach in Sawyer, MI at Warren Dunes State Park
which sits just opposite of Chicago on Lake Michigan.
this park is only 90 minutes outside of Chicago and is absolutely breathtaking.

Warren Dunes - Sawyer, MI

Warren Dunes - Sawyer, MI

Warren Dunes

Warren Dunes

we hiked up the sand dunes and sweated our butts off

Warren Dunes - Sawyer, MI

running/walking through the soft, dry sand develops power throughout your lower body and takes more energy than running/walking on a flat, smooth surface like asphalt.
it strengthens your ankles, arches, and all of your below-the-knee muscles. 

Warren Dunes - Sawyer, MI

Warren Dunes - Sawyer, MI

we had so much fun!

Warren Dunes - Sawyer, MI

Warren Dunes - Sawyer, MI

once we worked our tails off to get up the sandy dune, we relaxed under the shady trees and then RAN DOWN THE HILL

Warren Dunes - Sawyer, MI

Warren Dunes - Sawyer, MI

we made time for peace & love ..and play….

Warren Dunes - Sawyer, MI

Warren Dunes - Sawyer, MI

we laid by the beach for some R&R and a healthy dose of Vitamin D 

Warren Dunes - Sawyer, MI

Warren Dunes - Sawyer, MI

Warren Dunes - Sawyer, MI

Warren Dunes - Sawyer, MI

we enjoyed the dunes so much that we’ve already planned another trip to go back.
next time we are taking the family with us.
we’re planning on hiking, water slides (!!), hacky sack, flying kites, grilling, swimming, and maybe even a game of beach volleyball. i won’t fail to get my sweat-once-a-day on either – maybe i’ll get brave enough to take a jog along the beach (it’s hard work!!) …maybe even beach yoga!

Warren Dunes - Sawyer, MI

Love

Crista


Aug
04

I don’t feel fat, but I do feel fat. Am I not alone?

Reality is, I simply want to shed 5 pounds off of my body. (in order to look more like those Victoria’s Secret models)

My midriff area was inherited from my mother & grandmother, who happen to be gorgeous women. However gorgeous, they both happen to have a challenge with belly fat.

The 1st step I need to take in order to shed 5 pounds is to change my eating habits. Although I eat mostly vegan, I don’t always eat healthy. Cupcakes, french fries, bread, flavored drinks, desserts, sugar, and refined carbs are my weaknesses. (these weaknesses also inherited from mom & grandma) While I tell myself that I have a minimum intake of these little devils, I can see that I may have let myself get out of control….

I’ll admit that I’m not completely willing to give up on desserts & sweet treats, I am committed to cutting back. Also, as mentioned in an earlier post, I have committed myself to eating 100% raw 3 days a week, every week.

The 2nd step I have taken is to get regular & cleanse my body. I’m doing the Yerba Prima Women’s Renew Internal Cleansing System which promotes the elimination of toxins from the colon, supports all body elimination systems, and helps to promote a normal, healthy intestinal environment.

The 3rd step: more CARDIO. If I want to lose weight, I have to work out more often. period. I already workout 3-4 times a week, but I need to train harder and longer. As soon as I finish up this blog post, I’m headed to boot camp.

Step 4: I’m going to drink more water… a lot more water. Water boots the metabolic rate and helps to burn calories. Water actually helps you maintain a flatter stomach, drinking enough water and maintaing proper hydration prevents the body from holding on to water weight. 

I’m not going to post photos of my progress simply because i’m fearful there will be no progress. Hey, I’m human. Don’t judge me. …..so much for keeping faith in myself, eh?….

Love

Crista


Jul
26

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.

Love

Crista


Jul
20

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! 

Love

Crista


Jul
18

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

Love

Crista