Hi, I'm Kim

Hi, I’m Kim Christensen, M.Om., Dipl.OM, L.Ac. I’m a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and owner of Constellation Acupuncture & Healing Arts in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Back before going to school and becoming a healthcare practitioner, Affairs of Living was my creative outlet while healing from chronic health issues. These days, I'm in a new phase of life, and this website is no longer updated.

Want to stay up to date? Check out my new website www.constellationacu.com.

Recent Posts

Subscribe to RSS headline updates from:
Powered by FeedBurner

Site Search

Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on this blog are free of gluten, peanuts, soy, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, cane sugar, oranges, and yeast. Most recipes are also free of egg, dairy, and tree nuts (if used, reliable substitutions will be provided for these when possible). Check out my recipe index for a full list of recipes by category. 

Entries in Giveaways (26)


Worker B Lotion Bar Giveaway Winners

Worker-B Lotion Bar

Congratulations to Michiel and Trinity, who each won a lotion bar from Worker B. This Minneapolis-based producer of handcrafted natural lotions and balms gave me two of their Lotion Bars (pictured above) to give away to two lucky readers.  I will contact the winners by e-mail to get shipping information. Congratulations!

Drawing through Random.org, congratulations Michiel and Trinity!

In my giveaway post last week, I asked readers to share how they stay smooth during the cold, dry winters in the comments section, and got some amazing feedback. Here is what our two winners have to say, and be sure to check out all the comments for lots of great suggestions from skin scrubs to after-bath moisturizers.

Michiel says: "To stay smooth, I only shower every other day to keep from drying my skin out. Sponge bath on alternate days."

Trinity says: "I have super sensitive skin so lotion after every bath or shower is a total must for me in the cold, dry winter months. I bought a Worker B lotion bar at No Coast, but I wish I had gotten two: one for my desk at work and one for at home. I've been really happy with it so far."

How do you stay smooth during the long winters? Let's keep sharing knowledge. And don't worry - if you didn't win a lotion bar and would like to try one, you can order them online and buy them at a number of Twin Cities retail locations.  Thanks for your participation!

For more information about Worker B and to shop their online store, please visit their website: www.worker-b.com.


Worker B body product giveaway!

Want to win one a lovely Lotion Bar like this from Worker B?
Image courtesy www.worker-b.com

A couple of Minneapolis farmers market friends of mine recently started a new company called Worker B. Worker B makes handcrafted lotions and balms here in Minneapolis using organic, high quality ingredients - never any fillers, synthetics, or preservatives. They use exclusively raw honey, beeswax, organic extra virgin olive oil, organic almond oil, organic avocado oil, vitamin E, propolis tincture, and organic essential oils to create their fabulous products, which range from hand lotions to lip balms.  Not only do I enjoy their philosophy and products, I am totally in love with their slick branding and packaging look, which was designed by a local Minneapolis agency.  Worker B  is available online, as well as at a number of Minneapolis retail locations and farmer's markets. These guys get around!

After spending the summer pestering them every week at the Farmer's Markets around town, I've now had the opportunity to try a number of their products. I liked how they felt clean and pure, and I was able to tolerate them just fine, even with my skin sensitivity.  My favorite is the Lotion Bar (pictured above), a rich and nourishing balm that keeps my hands and elbows soft, even after long days in the garden, long nights in the clay studio, and dry Minnesota winters!

Lucky for you, the generous folks at Worker B  were kind enough to give me two of their lotion bars for a giveaway!   I've been holding on to them since October,  just waiting for the cold winter months where we're all desperate for a little skin-nourishing moisture.  Two lucky readers will each receive one bar!

So, without further adieu, here's the skinny...

Worker B Lotion Bar GIVEAWAY

How to Enter 

Do one or all of the following to enter - the more things you do, the more chance you have to win! Only U.S. and Canada shipping addresses are eligible.  I will select a winner for each bar through a random number generator.   Good luck!

  1. Leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite way to stay soft and smooth in the cold winter months.
  2. Share this giveaway on Facebook and link back to this post (http://tinyurl.com/workerb), and leave a comment below that you did.
  3. Become a "fan" on my blog's Facebook page and leave a comment below that you did.
  4. Become a "fan" of Worker B on Facebook and leave a comment below that you did.
  5. Tweet this giveaway and link back to this post, and leave a comment below that you did. Example: Enter the @workerbbuzz lotion bar #giveaway from @eatingfreely http://tinyurl.com/workerb #organic #gf 
  6. Follow me on Twitter and leave a comment below that you did: @eatingfreely
  7. Follow Worker B on Twitter and leave a comment below that you did: @workerbbuzz

Please make sure you leave an e-mail address when leaving your comment so I can contact you if you win!  


Contest closes Monday, January 24, 2011 at 11:59 pm CST.  Winners will be announced Tuesday, January 25, 2011.  


For more information about Worker B and to shop their online store, please visit their website: www.worker-b.com.  



Cinnamon Raisin Granola (gluten-free, vegan, cane sugar-free)


Here's another one for this month's SOS Kitchen Challenge, which features coconut oil. Granted, there isn't a lot of coconut oil in this granola, but it is still in there!  Coconut oil is definitely my preferred oil of choice for such kitchen endeavors. But despite my deep love for coconut oil, I don't see the need to drown my granola with it! There are lots of recipes out there for granola calling for upwards of 1/4 cup of oil for a comparable amount of oats and other ingredients, which I think is total overkill and leads to very heavy granola. I like what the combination of a little coconut oil with cashew butter does in this recipe. The cashew butter adds great flavor, fabulous protein, the combination of fats allow the oats to crisp up and turn golden without being heavy or greasy.  

I came up with this recipe for a friend who was having a serious granola craving, and she and her husband both loved how easy it is to make and how delicious it tastes. I hope you enjoy it as much as they do.  Granola is perfect for breakfasts, snacks, or to sprinkle over everything from homemade coconut milk ice cream to rice porridge. 

If you are interested in participating in this month's SOS Kitchen Challenge, read the kick-off post HERE and then get cookin'. This month we are giving away a quart of Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil to one lucky participant. 

This recipe is also linked to...




Cinnamon Raisin Granola

yield 4-5 cups

This easy-to-make granola is nutty, sweet, and spicy. If cashew butter isn't your thing, try tahini, sunflower seed butter, almond butter, or another butter of your choosing. The unbaked granola "dough" will taste sweeter than the finished granola does after it is baked, so add a little more sweetener while making to taste than you might think you should - it will bake up perfect then.

  • 4 cups gluten-free rolled oats (NOT quick cook)
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 pinches finely ground sea salt
  • 3/4 cup organic apple juice 
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashew butter (or other nut or seed butter)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup honey, agave nectar, brown rice syrup, or maple syrup, to taste (if desired, use only 1/4 cup sweetener plus stevia, to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup raisins (a mixture of purple, red, and golden raisins would be pretty)

Preheat oven to 325º F and line a baking sheet with parchment.

Mix together oats, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl and set aside.  Whisk together apple juice, cashew butter, sweetener, coconut oil, and cinnamon in a small saucepan. Heat over low flame, whisking constantly to mix.  Once is starts to thicken slightly, remove from heat. 

Immediately pour warm cashew butter mixture over dry ingredients and stir. Spread mixture evenly onto a baking sheets. Mixture should be no more than 1/2-inch thick, so if your baking sheet is too small, line another sheet and spread mixture onto two pans.

Place in oven and bake for an hour to and hour and fifteen minutes, stirring every 15 minutes, until golden and crisp (if using two pans in the oven, rotate between oven racks each time you stir). Remove from oven and let cool completely, then stir in dried fruit and store in a well-sealed jar or container. 

If kept well-sealed, this will keep fresh for 2 weeks. 

january 2011 SOS Kitchen Challenge: coconut oil


Spicy Sautéed Beans n' Greens (GF, vegan, ACD)

spicy beans

Coconut oil is a great sauté oil.  When used with sesame oil, it lends a warm, rich aroma and flavor to humble green beans. Then I added garlic, onion, and crushed dried red chilis to kick it up a notch. Yowzas!  The beans are crisp and tender, the flavor is rich, and the heat is perfect for warming you up on a chilly winter night. 

The prominent flavor of coconut oil in this simple side dish is the perfect reason to include it in this month's SOS Kitchen Challenge. In addition to showcasing coconut oil, one of our favorite ingredients, Ricki and I are happy to share great giveaway with you: a 32-oz jar of Tropical Tradition's Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil! Read all the rules for entering the challenge and being eligible for the giveaway HERE.  Go find yourself some coconut oil, and get creative in the kitchen!


Spicy Sautéed Beans n' Greens

serves 2

  • 2 tsp virgin coconut oil (I like Tropical Traditions brand)
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 2 great big handfuls fresh green beans
  • 2 great big handfuls fresh baby spinach leaves
  • umeboshi plum vinegar, to taste
  • crushed dried red chilis, or red pepper flakes, to taste
  • sprinkle sesame seeds (white or black)

Wash green beans and pat dry. Trim off stem ends and cut green beans into 1-2 inch pieces. Slice onion, and peel and finely chop garlic.

Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium heat, and add onions and garlic. Saute for 4-5 minutes, then add green beans. Saute until they become bright green, then add spinach. Stir, turn up heat, and saute until spinach is wilted and green beans are crisp tender and even just a little crisp on the outside. Stir often to prevent sticking. Season to taste with umeboshi vinegar and chili pepper, and garnish with sesame seeds. Serve.




Grain-Free Lemon Coconut Cut-out Cookies (gluten-free, vegan)

lemon coconut cut-out cookies

I ♡ cut-out cookies.  Since I hadn't made cut-out cookies since Easter, I figured it was about time.  I found a great little recipe over at Green Kitchen Stories for Pepparkaka.  Instead of going the gingerbreadesque spicy route as their recipe called for, I tweaked it in favor of something lemony and coconutty.  They are super delish, and were loved by my housemates and me. I took a few to fellow blogger and Minneapolitan A-K from Swell Vegan when we met for tea the other day, and she polished off three of them in a jiffy. Since she's a rockin' baker, I think that her favorable review bodes well for these little lovelies.

These cookies are grain-free and gluten-free, featuring a mix of ground cashews, shredded coconut, amaranth flour (made from the high protein amaranth seed), and arrowroot starch, with an assortment of other tasty ingredients.  They are also vegan, featuring coconut oil instead of butter.  I thought they would be a perfect submission to this month's SOS Kitchen Challenge, which features coconut oil.  Ricki, my SOS Kitchen Challenge co-host, and I are also offering a great giveaway this month to one SOS Kitchen Challenge participant: a 32-oz jar of Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil from Tropical Traditions! Pretty great, right?

If you are interested, check out the details and rules of the recipe event and giveaway HERE, then get in the kitchen and get cookin'!  Be sure to check out the Linky below this post to see all the great recipe submissions this month - don't forget to add yours!

This recipe has been featured on Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays and Baking is Hot.

zesting lemons for cookieslemon coconut cut-out cookieslemon coconut cut-out cookies

Click to read more ...