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 These days, I'm in a new phase of life, and this website is no longer updated.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.

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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 Recipe Roundups (12)


March SOS Kitchen Challenge Round-Up: Adzuki Beans

Here it is again, the start of another month. That means it is also the end of another SOS Kitchen Challenge. In March, Ricki and I featured none other than the delicious and nutritious adzuki bean. Our readers were inspired by both the sweet and savory possibilities, and delivered a multitude of delicious-looking recipes. From truffles to tarts, soup to salad, and even vegetarian "bacon", we had it all. And, oddly enough, Ricki and I were on the same wavelength and created very similar bean dips, completely separate of each other. Great minds do think alike.


Here are a few highlights from the month...



 Be sure to check out all the great recipes in the Linky below, and prepare to get your bean on.

Anxious for the next SOS Kitchen Challenge? We are too! Ricki selected a great ingredient for the April SOS Kitchen Challenge. This month's ingredient is fresh, seasonal, and perfectly suited for a wide variety of savory dishes. If you can figure out how to use it in a sweet way, you deserve a medal of honor. Any guesses? Check back soon for all the details!


Do you know that my SOS partner Ricki has completed yet another recipe e-book? Her newest recipe collection is entitled Good Morning! Breakfast without Gluten, Sugar, Eggs, or Dairy, and looks amazing. From pancakes to scrambles to breakfast bars, Ricki shares recipes perfect for anyone on an anti-Candida, low glycemic, or low sugar diet, or anyone with food allergies. I can't wait to buy my copy! And, as a bonus, she is offering it at a special price of $9.95 (regular price is $12.95) through Sunday April 3.  Click here to learn more! 

March SOS Kitchen Challenge: Adzuki Beans


February SOS Kitchen Challenge Stevia Round-up & Giveaway Winners


Thanks to everyone who submitted a recipe using stevia for February's SOS Kitchen Challenge! As always, we received a stellar collection of recipes!  And I want to extend personal thanks to Ricki for hosting this month's challenge - I kind of dropped off the face of the map on this challenge, and I apologize for my lack of enthusiastic comments on your amazing submissions! 

Here's the "Sweet"

Ricki and I were blown away by the creativity in the "sweet" section of the event this past month.  While I have added every single recipe to my "to try" list, some that stood out as particularly enticing were

And I must also give honorable mention to two posts on panna cotta!  We also had a submission from reader Jess, who made Ricki's Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles for her sweetie on Valentine's Day.  

And now, for the "Savory". . . .

Um. . . well, er. . . what the--HUH??

It appears that the only savory recipe in the list was Ricki's Crunchy Green Salad!  I guess most people consider stevia a "sweet-only" ingredient, but if you think about all the savory recipes made with a dash of sugar or honey, you'll begin to understand the wide range of recipes that can include stevia.  I hope you'll try out some savory variations in the future!

And the Winners!

Whether sweet or savory, four recipes were still chosen at random to win our four prizes: a box of 50 packets of NuNaturals stevia powder and a 2-ounce bottle of NuNaturals Vanilla flavored  stevia liquid each. Many thanks to NuNaturals for generously providing these prizes! And the winners are

Congratulations, everyone! Please send us an email at soskitchenchallengeATgmailDOTcom with your mailing address, and we'll be sure that you get your stevia prize asap!

February SOS Kitchen Challenge: Stevia


Beyond Milk: Dairy-Free Sources of Calcium

Updated on Monday, February 7, 2011 by Registered CommenterKim

Do you know that 2 cups of cooked kale has more calcium than a 1/2 cup of milk?

The government recommendation for adults ages 19-50 is 1000 mg of calcium per day. One cup of milk has 296 mg, but there are plenty of reasons you might not to drink milk, from personal preference to medical reasons.  If you avoid dairy due to intolerance or allergy, you may think that you don't have very many options to get adequate calcium. How wrong you are! A diverse diet of whole foods provides endless ways to get easily absorbable calcium, without having to take supplements.  

Maximizing Calcium Absorption

These suggestions are adapted from World's Healthiest Foods:

  • Vitamin D accelerates the absorption of calcium from the gastrointestinal tract.  Fish oil, cod liver oil, salmon, tuna, sardines, liquid and pill vitamin D supplements, and various non-dairy milks fortified with D are good ways to get vitamin D in your diet.
  • High consumption of potassium reduces the urinary excretion of calcium.  To learn more about dietary sources of potassium, check out this post. 
  • High intakes of sodium, caffeine, or protein cause an increase in the urinary excretion of calcium.
  • Certain types of dietary fiber like the fiber found in wheat and oat bran, may interfere with calcium absorption by decreasing transit time (the amount of time it takes for digested foods to move through the intestines), limiting the amount of time during digestion for calcium to be absorbed. Dietary fiber also stimulates the proliferation of "friendly" bacteria in the gut, which bind calcium and make it less available for absorption.
  • Phytic acid, found in whole grains, seeds, nuts, and legumes, can bind to calcium to form and insoluble complex, thereby decreasing the absorption of calcium.  To reduce phytic acid content in these foods, soak your grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes before consuming. 
  • Oxalic acid, found in spinach, beets, celery, pecans, peanuts, tea and cocoa, can bind to calcium and form an insoluble complex that is excreted in the feces. While research studies confirm the ability of phytic acid and oxalic acid in foods to lower availability of calcium, the decrease in available calcium is relatively small. 

Chickpeas pack 105 mg of calcium per cooked cup

Click to read more ...


Gluten-Free, Allergy-Friendly Super Bowl Recipes

Truthfully, I don't really care about football 99.9% of the time.  I don't follow it through the season, I don't like the noisy nature of football games, and I hate the way that people get so worked up over it and scream at the TV. But when the Packers go to the Super Bowl, my loyalties to my home state football team flare up and I feel a little pride.  I suddenly become excited about football.  Yeah, yeah, call me a fair weather fan - I won't deny it.

I saw that a few bloggers had posted healthy Super Bowl recipe posts, so I thought I'd follow suit and post a few ideas for health-conscious, GF, allergy-friendly foods that everyone will enjoy while you cheer on the Packers (or that other team...).  

The irony of all this is I won't be having any kind of Super Bowl party at all! I'm in New York right now for a long weekend, and am flying back on Sunday during the game.  Oh well!

Eat, drink, and be merry!  


Crackers and Dips


Burgers & Meatballs

Yeast-Free Pumpkinseed Teff Sandwich Bread (GF, vegan, ACD) 



Crave-worth Vegetables and Salads

Cashnana Cookies



You can find more great gluten-free Super Bowl recipes from Ali at Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen,  Diane at The Whole Gang and Elana at Elana's Pantry


January SOS Kitchen Challenge Round-Up & Giveaway Winner

Like the new logo? Ricki and I sure do. We thought it was time for an update, something a little more playful and fun to fit the spirit of the challenge.  

January's Sweet or Savory Kitchen Challenge was an exciting one, featuring none other than coconut oil. Health promoting and versatile, coconut oil is perfect for everyday use, functioning equally well in everything from raw desserts to savory curries. You exhibited your love for coconut oil in full force, presenting a wide array of delicious looking recipes. Every recipe in the roundup looked delectable - even the Coconut Oil Body Lotion from The Mommy Bowl looked good enough to eat!  That said, we want to highlight a handful of recipes that particularly caught our eyes...




Be sure to check out all the great recipes in the Linky for delicious, creative, and health-conscious ways to incorporate coconut oil in your diet. Speaking of coconut oil, January's challenge featured a great giveaway for one lucky cook: a 32-oz jar of Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil from Tropical Traditions. We randomly picked a winner from all the submissions and qualifying comments.  

The winner of the coconut oil giveaway is...

VeganLisa from Vegan Culinary Crusade

Congratulations! Please contact us at soskitchenchallenge@gmail.com with your shipping information. 

A big thank you to everyone who participated, you continue to impress us with your creativity and raise the bar with every challenge.  Soon we're announcing the February SOS Kitchen Challenge ingredient (and another giveaway) so get your aprons washed, your measuring cups poised for action, and stay tuned for the details! 


January 2011 SOS Kitchen Challenge: Coconut Oil