Dec
03

DIY Oatmeal Honey Soap

It’s one of the things that every single one of your friends and family members use: soap. If you know someone who doesn’t use soap, I bet you wish they did, hehe. Regardless, you know people who know people who use soap.

It feels like I’m feeding you all a really bad pickup line that I need to recovery (quickly) from. 

Also in this post: the awkward announcement that everyone I know will be receiving homemade soap for Xmas this year (hi mom! hi dad! dirty much?)

DIY Oatmeal Honey Soap

Allow me to redeem myself.

I sat on the couch a few nights ago reading through a copy of Flea Market Style Magazine. In the magazine, there was mention of a company that stopped making an exfoliating soap that apparently everyone loved. Included was a quick DIY recipe that caught my attention. There were so few ingredients, I was shocked. I had no idea making soap was so easy.

On Black Friday I set out to Hobby Lobby to pick up the essential ingredients and although I didn’t find everything I was looking for, I was able to to make a few substitutions. Just like that, I had all the necessary tools to make my own soap at home. A moisturizing shea butter base and a soap mold are the only two ingredients that are mandatory in your soap making, the additives are all optional but allow you to completely customize your soap. I purchased a cheap, plastic soap mold because it was all that was available at Hobby Lobby but I have since then ordered a few silicone molds that make removing the soap from the mold easier. I’ll have to say that I am pretty impressed with the cheap soap molds though, they got the job done! I chose the shea butter soap base because of it’s moisturizing properties and because it works well with the honey and oats that I decided to use in my soap.

DIY Oatmeal Honey Soap

In my soap, I added two high-quality ingredients. // My dad recently had a shipment of fresh, recently-harvested honey sent to me from his girlfriends family. Complete with a portion of the honeycomb intact, IT IS AMAZING in color, purity, and flavor, and was a perfect addition to my soap. Honey is naturally antibacterial, full of antioxidants, and it is extremely moisturizing and soothing, which makes it just as good for the skin as it is for the tastebuds. I’m already begging for a second shipment of that honey by the way….

In addition to the honey, I used organic rolled oats that offer a mild exfoliation when the soap is used directly on the skin, and has anti-inflammatory properties which will soothe dry, irritated skin (what’s up Colorado).

DIY Oatmeal Honey Soap

5.0 from 1 reviews
a DIY Oatmeal Honey Soap recipe
Author: 
Serves: 4½ lb. soap bars
 
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs.shea butter soap base
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
Instructions
  1. With a sharp knife, cut the shea butter soap base into large chunks and put it in a microwave safe measuring cup (something with a handle).
  2. Microwave the soap base in 30 second increments until it is melted.
  3. While your soap base is melting, line the soap molds with 3-4 tablespoons of the oats.
  4. Stir the honey in to the melted soap base and then pour in to the molds (over the oats).
  5. Allow your soap to set overnight then pop them out of the molds.
  6. Voila!
 

The scent of your soap will be determined by the type of honey that you use so choose wisely. I would recommend using a honey that is high-quality and locally sourced.

This recipe will make approximately 4 1/2 lb. bars of soap depending on the type of mold that you choose to use. If you don’t have a proper mold, you can use an old butter container or an empty coffee creamer container. I made a big soap bar for myself in an old coffee creamer container, it’s boss.

Several of my friends have tested my homemade soap and have mentioned how smooth, soft, and moisturized their skin feels with this rich formula. Colorado winter, bring it on. I’m sure your friends will say the same if you hook them up with a bar.

To finish off your soap before gifting, tear small sheets of parchment paper and tape them around the soap. Use twine or ribbon for decorating. 

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


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
27

natural food grocery store
On my most recent trip to Peoria, IL, I was extremely excited to find Naturally Yours Grocery, a locally owned health food store. They have the LARGEST selection of kombucha I have ever seen, I went kombucha crazy!!!!!! For those of you who know me know that I have a slight obsession…..

If you have never heard of kombucha or you are not really sure what it is, check out this article:
What is Kombucha (and is it really good for you)?

kombucha
The LIVE Soda brand is fun because they are flavored to taste like popular soda flavors. Culture Cola & Revive Rootbeer are the flavors I chose to buy – can someone say Root Beer Float??

kombucha
I never knew that Celestial Seasonings started making Kombucha, why wouldn’t they? I’m intrigued because I’ve never seen it before, but it isn’t my favorite and I probably won’t buy it again. Can you say “made from concentrate“?

kombucha
Maybe I haven’t said enough about the amount of excitement I feel when I get to sip on a type of kombucha I’ve never tried. Kombucha is the kind of drink that requires an acquired taste. Once you’ve acquired and enjoy the taste, it becomes a delicacy that can be enjoyed on a daily basis. It becomes part of your routine, part of who you are. Kombucha, with it’s live cultures and alkaline PH can instantly improve your mood and well-being.

Reed’s Kombucha, I like because of the flavor. They’ve got many flavors to choose from and they are all delicious. Pomegranate Ginger, Lemon Ginger Raspberry, Cabernet Grape are a few examples of the flavors offered by Reed’s, they sound tasty right? Well, they are.

kombucha
High Country Kombucha, fresh brewed in in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.
I’d never heard of it until now.
Maybe I’ll find more of it on my trip to Boulder next month?

kombucha

Synergy Kombucha: tried and true.
This brand of kombucha is the most common in kombucha drinks and was my gateway in to drinking kombucha. I’ve been drinking it for years and am just recently discovering different brands on the market (see above).
My favorite flavors are Strawberry Serenity and Guava Goddess.

What are your favorite kombucha drinks?
Have you ever tried making it on your own?? ((That’s my next step))
I think my all-time favorite kombucha drink is the buchi water that I had at Wild Cow in Nashville.

Love

Crista


Mar
04

kiwis

Kiwifruits are one of my favorite fruits.
Packed with more vitamin C than an equivalent amount of orange, this bright green fruit is tropically sweet.

As opposed to most people who peel them prior to eating, I eat them with the skin on.
The brown, fuzzy skin adds texture in addition to flavor.
If you think I’m weird for eating the skin, I think you’re weird for not eating the skin.
The thin skin of the kiwifruit offers a crunch, something to bite in to.
Without the skin, the kiwifruit is just… slimy. 

The SKIN of the kiwifruit is rich in flavanoids, insoluble fiber, and folic acid.
Flavanoids display strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-allergenic properties.
Insoluble fiber is beneficial for the digestive tract.
Folic acid is involved in metabolism, red blood cell production and the development and maintenance of the nervous system.

Can’t stomach the skin of a kiwifruit but you’d like to take advantage of the health benefits?
Think twice before skinning, add the hairy kiwifruit to a smoothie.

When eating a kiwifruit with the skin on, it is important to wash thoroughly.
The skin holds 99% of the pesticide residue if it was sprayed.
When possible, BUY ORGANIC. 

Resources:
LIVESTRONG.COM

Love

Crista


Feb
23

Recently, my grandmother was diagnosed with Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer. As you can imagine, this was not easy for anyone to hear. I have spent the last few days on the verge of tears. I cry for my grandma who is still young, and active, and full of joy. I cry for my grandfather who sounds stressed, anxious, and lost. I cry for the hope that grandpa has. I cry because I still have plans for grandma. She is going to be a part of my wedding someday. She will get to meet my kids someday.

I’m freaking out right now.

My grandma is an ultra-cool chick. She enjoys fashion, gossip, and shopping. She keeps her hair colored and her nails polished. (Grandpa colors her hair) Grandma frequents a fashion boutique in her neighborhood, and this is where she purchases her fancy clothing. If grandma likes your handbag or your newest pair of Rocket Dogs, she may go out and purchase a look-alike for herself. Grandma is very popular, she has a lot of friends. She is hip to modern day technology, she owns an iPod, texts regularly, and keeps up with her Facebook page.

Grandma is also very thoughtful, and spiritual. With everything that she is going through, Can you believe that grandma & grandpa made and sent me a card of Sympathy when I lost (other) grandfather last week? Grandma & grandpa have been married for 55+ years and are a true role model couple. 

Whenever I get the opportunity to hang out with my grandparents, we like to try new foods together. I introduced them to a few vegan restaurants, and they introduced me to Cherry Pockets. Grandma & Grandpa both ate their first bites of sushi while out with me. Grandma ate a whole ball of wasabi and Grandpa thought the ginger was salmon. hehe :) Hey, they’ll try anything even if it’s only once!

grandma & grandpa

Every time I talk about my grandma, my friends beg to meet her. (if only she didn’t live so far away!!) A few of my friends have never had a set of grandparents like I have. I understand how lucky I am to have these amazing grandparents. 

Dandelion Communitea Cafe

Years ago, I remember talking to a friend whose mother had been diagnosed with a deadly disease (may have been cancer, I do not remember) and I recommended that he talk to her about changing what she eats, which could have possibly saved or at least prolonged her life. He declined, said she wouldn’t be willing. I was taken aback by his ignorance and lack of faith. Sad.

Although I’m unsure of the response I’ll get, I’m going to make the same recommendation to my grandma. I do not lack faith. I expect that grandma will be willing to try something out-of-the-ordinary based on my recommendation EVEN THOUGH I am no professional. I am flying down to Florida on Monday and I will be there until Thursday. I have two goals to accomplish on my trip: 

  1. Help grandma change her eating habits.
  2. Create & indulge in moments of joy.

Dandelion Communitea Cafe

Here are a few resources I am referring to during this tough time: 

For the remainder of the day, I’ll be busy reading books and blogs and putting together recipes that I can recommend grandma & grandpa use. If you have any reading suggestions for me, please share in the comments.

Love

Crista


Sep
08

 Coconut Water has long been a popular drink in the tropics, places like India, Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean.

In recent years, there has been a huge upswing in the consumption of coconut water, it has been marketed as a natural energy or sports drink and has been sold to many yogis and fitness fanatics. I doubt you can walk in to a gym or a yoga studio without seeing a bottle of coconut water for sale. Like the sports drinks out there on the market, coconut water contains all 5 essential electrolytes: potassium, magnesium, calcium, sodium, & phosphorus.

Coconut water is low in fat, low in sugar, aids in digestion, and has anti-viral/anti-fungal properties. It is refreshing to drink and happens to be one of the purest liquids known to man. Coconut water is alkalizing to your body, helping to maintain health and balance.

There are a few different companies producing coconut water in a box or a bottle for quick & easy consumption, but packaged coconut water is pasteurized. If you are going to drink coconut water, I recommend you extract the liquid directly from the coconut. The second best option is

Harmless Harvest 100% Raw & Organic Coconut Water.

Harmless Harvest Coconut Water

 You will taste more flavor when the coconut water comes from a fresh coconut versus a box or container.

a coconut ginger drink
 
Ingredients
  • young coconut
  • 1 teaspoon ginger root peeled
  • 1 fresh lime quartered
Instructions
  1. Chop open your coconut, using a chef’s knife. Strike the top of the coconut, creating a square on top. Keep doing this until you have cracked the top. Peel the top of the coconut off.
  2. Pour the coconut water into a glass or a bowl.
  3. After your ginger is peeled, juice it and add it to the coconut water. If you do not have access to a juicer, you can squeeze the ginger in a garlic press. The garlic press will produce juice and finely minced ginger, both can be added to your drink.
  4. Transfer your coconut water and ginger in to a drinking glass. Squeeze the juice of one or two lime quadrants.
  5. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Notes
Optional: you can scrape out the meat of the coconut with a spoon and use it in your drink, or you can just eat it.

Coconut Water

BONUS: 10 Reasons to Eat Ginger:

  • promotes the elimination of intestinal gas
  • prevents symptoms of motion sickness
  • reduce nausea & vomiting associated with pregnancy
  • migraine relief
  • menstrual cramp relief
  • natural treatment for the common cold and the flu
  • boosts the immune system
  • decrease cholesterol
  • relieves stress
  • encourages normal blood circulation

Because summer is not over YET. 

Love

Crista


Aug
14


Veggie Fest Chicago
is actually held in Naperville, IL.
this year, we attended for the first time ever.
it was much bigger than we expected.
we had fun, and ate some damn good food!

Veggie Fest 2012

Veggie Fest 2012

Veggie Fest 2012

we found vegan dog food! FINALLY! Purchase online here

Veggie Fest

our favorite food was from the Caribbean Kitchen. see the (vegan) cajun spiced chicken & rice. 

Veggie Fest 2012

Veggie Fest 2012

Veggie Fest 2012

carrots for juicing! 

Veggie Fest 2012

i tried the 5 alive: apple/carrot/cucumber/greens!

Veggie Fest 2012

veggie fest 2012

look at all this yummy food in different ethnic varieties including chinese, indian, & caribbean. 

veggie fest 2012

veggie fest 2012

veggie fest 2012

veggie fest 2012

veggie fest 2012

veggie fest 2012

we had our dessert on the lawn as the band played. how ’bout a vegan whoopie pie & carrot cake

veggie fest 2012

veggie fest 2012

Chris hung out with Donald-Hyun Kiolbassa – a gold medalist in Martial Arts. we purchased his book Discover Your Dragon

veggie fest 2012

veggie fest 2012

in addition to eating lots, we sat through a few cooking demos, watched yoga, considered chair massages, and experienced a portable sauna. not bad for a Sunday afternoon :)
….i already can’t wait for next year….

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