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 These days, I'm in a new phase of life, and this website is no longer updated.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 Recipes: Beverages (19)


Red Hot Smoothie (gluten-free, vegan, raw, ACD)

Red Hot Smoothie

I just got back from a long weekend up at our family cabin in Northern Wisconsin. Waking to a fire in the wood stove, stepping outside to greet golden trees around the pond...I nearly didn't come home. Responsibility and commitments got the best of me, however, and here I am, back in civilization. 

Over the weekend,  I spent some time perusing a recipe book entitled Juice! that my mom brought along for me to look at. It really got me inspired about juices and smoothies again, and I got all sorts of great ideas for interesting combinations. Mom took the book back home with her, and I can't find it online anywhere, so I'll have to ask my mom the author and update this post later.  It was a great little book that I'd love to share with you!

Feeling jazzed about juice, I threw together this beautiful red smoothie this morning. It is a combination of red bell pepper and beets from the farmers market and fresh cranberries I purchased on my trip  to cranberry country. I added a bit of cayenne pepper and garlic for kick, as well as flax seed, flax oil, and soaked sunflower seeds.  The color was incredible, the flavor was bold and just a wee bit spicy.  The bell pepper and the beets add a hint of sweet flavor, and the cranberries add a nice tart twist. If you like savory smoothies and juices, you'll like this one. It's also super detoxifying, and is especially helpful for the liver.

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Apple Pie Smoothie (gluten-free, vegan, raw, ACD)


This month's SOS Kitchen Challenge features the noble apple, one of my favorite fruits. After gazing upon the pile of apples sitting on my kitchen counter this morning, I was inspired to create a smoothie that tastes like apple pie. 

Now, it's been a long time since I've actually eaten apple pie, at least 3 years. No kidding. But this tastes like what I remember apple pie to be like - sweet, tart, cinnamony. And don't be alarmed by the vegetables hiding below the surface of this smoothie, they are barely noticeable.  It is perfect for breakfasts, snacks, or a healthful dessert.  And so easy to make! WAY easier to make than apple pie.

If you're feeling inspired by apples, you should participate in this month's SOS Kitchen Challenge! Be sure to check out the Linky showing all the submissions thus far at the bottom of this post, and enter yours before the end of the month.  My co-host Ricki (from Diet, Dessert, and Dogs) and I will post a recap at the end of the month to highlight all the great apple lovin' ideas. 


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Tahini Raisin Bran Muffins and Simple Sesame Milk (gluten-free, vegan, low sugar)

I have had this crazy craving for baked goods lately. If I were to post all the cookies, breads, and other sweet treats I've made lately, I'd have to call this a baking blog, seriously. Combined with my crazy craving for and indulgence in fruit, my liberal use of sweeteners like honey and maple syrup and palm sugar that I know I shouldn't be eating, my wild desire for chocolate, my urges to binge eat (and the inevitable followthrough), and my recently recurring joint pain, burning feet, headaches, and a crazy bought of wicked congestion, I am feeling a little concerned. I can't deny it anymore. Once again, I'm having a Candida flare up again or my Lyme is acting up, and  I think I am overindulging in some of the foods that I had been previously avoiding due to allergies or intolerances.

Damn it!  It is hard to keep clean of Candida when taking so many gosh darn antibiotics for Lyme treatment, and it is so easy to go overboard with those foods you reintroduce after years...  Argh.

In addition to being frustrated about those symptoms, I feel fat. I know I'm not, and I know I look healthier now than I have in years.  But my lifelong struggle with weight and body image is playing massive tricks on me. I want to feel more comfortable and confident in my skin again. 

So, I am posting this muffin recipe as sort of a bon voyage to baked goods for a while.  I told myself that once I ate half the batch, I had to put the other half in the freezer, and that I have done.  And now, I need to go on a break from sugar, fruit, and most grains again.  I know these things throw off my blood sugar, increase my cravings, and slow my metabolism. I need to focus on protein and vegetables; I feel best eating that way, and I need to get back on track.  This is going to be hard, but I know I have the willpower, somewhere...I am hoping I didn't forget it in the pocket of those smaller jeans I had to divorce last year....

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Super Seed Granola and Cultured Homemade Oat Milk (gluten-free, vegan, ACD)

Those of us here in the US of A are celebrating our nation's independence day on Sunday.  That means we get a nice, long holiday weekend, with no work on Monday! Hooray.  Long weekends are perfect for leisurely breakfasts and relaxing mornings, and what could possibly be better for such a thing than a bowl of homemade granola soaked in homemade cultured oat milk, topped off with juicy fresh raspberries?  With an extra day of vacation thrown in the mix, you might even have the time to try out a new recipe.  So read on, my friend, and learn how to make an awesome breakfast perfect for a lazy holiday weekend.

For this granola, I used oats and brown rice flakes, pumpkin and hemp seeds, some shredded coconut, and spices. I sweetened it with apple juice and stevia. One cup of apple juice has about 35 grams of sugar, which is a lot if one were to drink it plain. But spread out over an entire BATCH of granola, it only contributes about 2 grams of sugar per 1/2 cup serving.  Not bad, huh?  

It is full of complex carbs, healthy fats, lots of fiber, and packs in over 10 grams of protein per serving.   It is also a great source of omega fatty acids, phosphorus, thiamin, copper, magnesium, and manganese, and potassium (270 mg per serving). Serve with non-dairy or dairy milk or yogurt, over shredded jicama (surprisingly tasty!) or fresh fruit, or as a snack all on its own.  Where else can it come in handy?

  • Take on car, train, or plane trips for healthy travel snacks on the go.
  • Pack in your child's school lunches for a totally nut-free, classroom friendly snack
  • Keep a small snack-sized baggie or jar in your purse or backpack to combat nasty low blood sugar moments while you're out and about. 
  • Keep a jar at work to snack on during those crazy meeting-filled days! 
  • Great for busy students - you could easily make large batches on the cheap!
  • Keep some in the car to have in case of emergency breakdowns 
  • Perfect energizing snack before or after the gym

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Shake it up: Ten Ways to Embrace Change in Your Diet and a Raw Strawberry "Milk"Shake

I am excited to be part of the continuing 30 Days to a Food Revolution blogging event initiated by Diane over at The W.H.O.L.E. Gang. Inspired by Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution to make a difference, she asked 30 different bloggers to share ways to shift from processed foods or unhealthy foods to the foods our bodies need and love.  From April 26-June 4, her blog was filled with these amazing bloggers sharing their wisdom, and it was such a pleasure to read! Since the event was such a hit, Diane wanted to extend the event past the original 30 days and recruited more bloggers to contribute for ongoing posts.  I happily volunteered, and am so excited to be contributing to the growing real food movement. 


My tip: Embrace change and shake it up.

My recipe: Raw Strawberry "Milk"Shake


Everyday, I try to shake it up a bit.   Maybe I sit in a different bus seat.  Maybe I jazz up an old dress with a new belt.  Maybe I try out a new recipe. Sometimes it is a larger decision, like choosing to take part in a new volunteer event, starting a new writing project, or making changes to my educational or work timeline.  Anyone who knows me will tell you: I thrive on change. 

When I was diagnosed with multiple food allergies and intolerances, a Candida albicans overgrowth, and chronic Lyme Disease, I was forced to confront a lot of changes.  Not the least of these changes was reinventing my diet - I needed to eliminate gluten, sugar, yeast, and my many allergens, and make a full transition to whole foods cooking.  I knew I had two choices:  fight change and be miserable, or embrace change and discover joy in the unexpected.

In short? I could either get crabby or get creative.

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