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 These days, I'm in a new phase of life, and this website is no longer updated.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 Tips & Tricks (30)


"It's Alive!": Cultured Kohlrabi Sauerkraut and a few tips and tricks (gluten-free, vegan, raw, ACD)

I needed to clear out my crisper before heading out to New York City a couple of weeks ago.   I decided to whip up a two batches of cultured vegetables, my absolute favorite way to preserve the harvest.  

A friend recently told me that Common Roots Cafe, a local organic restaurant, is serving grated pickled kohlrabi with their entrees.  Inspired, I decided to embark on a pickled grated kohlrabi adventure of my own, a departure from my usual pickled kohlrabi spears (from this recipe or this recipe).  I combined shredded kohlrabi with red cabbage,  scallions, and red pepper flakes, inspired by the flavors of kimchee and Japanese sauerkraut, sealed up the jars, and hoped for the best.  

a portrait of kohlrabi

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New York, New York: Gluten-Free, Allergy-Friendly Travel Adventures, Part II

Vox Pop cafe, Ditmas Park, Brooklyn

I just got back from a long weekend in New York City. I was traveling to see my Lyme doctor, do a bit of siteseeing, and catch up with a handful of friends who live in the city. I had the pleasure of staying with Kim of Wallet-Friendly Wellness and her sister Steph. We had a wonderful time together talking about food, health, and catching up on general girl talk.  Staying with Kim and Steph was such a blessing, and I felt lucky to be be welcomed into their wonderful home with open arms.  

Most of my time in New York was spent in Brooklyn, and it truly stole my heart. Oh Brooklyn, how you charmed me with your beautiful restaurants, quirky boutiques, socially conscious coffee shops, awesome co-ops, beautiful parks, and wide assortment of hip young urban people.  It is much more calm and feels much more authentic than Manhattan - it was a relief to only go downtown on one day, and hang out in the slower-paced environs of Brooklyn most of the time.  I only ventured into downtown for my doctors appointment, which went very well. My doctor is pleased with my progress - hooray! - and things are looking good thus far. I am so thankful. Between spending time with such amazing women, having a great appointment, catching up with other New York-dwelling friends, and having lots of time to explore the city by myself on foot (my favorite thing about traveling).  And thankfully, I felt well enough to explore, which made me very, very happy.

New York is such a vibrant, amazing city. It is beautiful, ugly, energizing, exhausting, frustrating, and inspiring all at once. The diversity of people is incredible; I could ride the tubway all day long and never tire of just observing the people around me (I'm a recreational anthropologist).  Although I have now been to New York twice, I haven't yet set foot in a theater, museum, tourist attraction, landmark, or very many shops. Yes, I those things are great and I will go eventually.  But right now I am finding endless satisfaction in the richness of the neighborhoods and people that make New York New York. I love walking the streets and taking in the sites, sounds, and smells of wherever I am traveling, and New York is perfect for this kind of thing.  Where else can you walk down a single street and encounter a Jamaican restaurant serving ital food next to an Italian trattoria across the street from a Columbian cafe, a Caribbean market, and a Chinese take-out place, while hip hop blares from a boom box on the shoulder of a young African American man standing on the corner? And let's not forget two schoolbuses of Hassidic Jewish children playing in the park, followed shortly thereafter by a spontaneous discussion and photo exchange with a friendly Brazilian tourist named André and an amazing meal at a raw, vegan restaurant. 

New York, I love you.

I wanted to share a few images from my trip, as well as my experiences navigating the gluten-free and allergy-friendly food world of New York. I hope you enjoy!


Carousel at Prospect Park, Brooklyn

Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn

Park Slope neighborhood, Brooklyn

razor wire along Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn

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Helpful Hints for Battling a Herxheimer Reaction - or - my adventures with Teasel

After reading the book Healing Lyme Disease Naturally, I was inspired to add teasel root tincture to my Lyme treatment protocol.  Teasel is a plant with powerful anti-Lyme properties, and is successful in killing the Borrelia bacteria. I spoke to my naturopath about it at my appointment a couple weeks ago, and we decided to go with it.  I started taking the teasel root tincture, slowly building up the dosage, and just waited to see what would happen.  My naturopath had warned me that people Herx badly on this stuff, and I'd read it on the book and online.    

About 36 hours later, it hit me: a got whalloped with a nasty Herx. 

I love it when my medicine comes with a handwritten label. There is so much power in this little bottle.

A Herx, more formally known as a Herxheimer reaction, is when there is a massive die-off of bacteria and your body is suddenly overrun by toxins. Your system freaks out, because you are filling up with toxins faster than your body can purge them. Your liver gets overworked, your symptoms flare up, and you basically feel like you have a super flu times 80 million. In short, it sucks, and you never know how long it is going to last. Eventually, things even out, and then you come out the other side feeling better. But the journey stinks, and it is easy to think about quitting.  This is why so many Lyme patients never make it through treatment - it is sometimes rather intolerable.

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Allergy-Friendly, Gluten-Free 4th of July Recipes

Fireworks from the 2009 Minneapolis fireworks display at the Stone Arch Bridge

Geez, can you believe it is already JULY?!

Summer is officially here, and so is the 4th of July and all that goes with it.  America's Independence Day is celebrated with backyard barbeques, picnics, potlucks, cabins, and pyromaniac fiends (like my brother and his buddies) getting their jollies out by blowing stuff up and creating fiery explosions in the sky.  And while these gatherings are fun, they can be really stressful for anyone with dietary restrictions.  Parties are like obstacle courses, especially if you aren't hosting and you don't know what's what.

No fear! The key to these gatherings is to bring along plenty of safe food. Yes, it involves planning, but it will ensure that you have plenty eat, can relax and enjoy yourself, and not break your diet, have a reaction, or go hungry. 

I dug through my archives and hand selected a wide assortment of recipes that are perfect for summer gatherings and weekends at the cabin or cottage.  You will love them, other people will too, and you will feel happy, satisfied, and celebratory just like everyone eating all the "normal" food. Be sure to check out my Summer Recipe Index for more ideas. 

Have a safe and happy holiday, and please don't blow your hands up or start your garage on fire.  Kisses!

xoxo, Kim

Summer in Minnesota is like heaven, and the only reason living through the winter is at all worth the struggle.

White Bean and Garlic Dip

Appetizers and Snacks

Tomato Free Arame SalsaServe a big bowl of White Bean Garlic Dip, Beet Hummus, or Tomato-Free Arame Salsa with Crispy Raw Flax Seed Crackers  or another cracker, chip, or raw vegetable your choice.

Make Tuscan Chicken Liver Paté "Sliders" for a fun and delicious light lunch or snack. For something more filling, make picnic-perfect paté sandwiches with pickles, thinly sliced radishes, a smear of mustard, and a thick slice of Pumpkinseed Teff Sandwich Bread.

Pepper Crusted Cashew Cheese

Make a big batch of Wasabi Garlic Kale Chips or Toasted Nori Crisps to serve instead of potato or corn chips.

Serve Pepper-Crusted Cashew Cheese with crackers and fresh vegetables.



Jicama Collard Slaw 

Salads, Slaws, and Sides

White Bean Salad with Peppers and HerbsFor a hearty pasta or bean dish, try making White Bean Salad with Peppers and Herbs, Chicken Salad with Artichokes, or Chickpea, Pesto, and Broccoli Pasta Salad, or French Tuna Macaroni Salad.

Instead of a standard coleslaw, how try Carrot Ribbon SaladCurried Rhubarb Coleslaw, Celeriac Slaw with Creamy Cashew "Mayo"Cabbage Slaw with Sorrel and Sesame, Jicama Collard Slaw with Creamy Sunflower Dressing, or Really Raw Slaw instead.

Roasted Vegetables with PestoFeel like whole grains? Make my delicious Cucumber, Olive, and Quinoa Salad or Millet Tabouli with Roasted Red Peppers.

Substitute the classic sugar-laden maple baked beans with a delicious and hearty batch of Mexican Azuki Beans with Epazote.

For a simple and elegant vegetable side dish, serve a big platter of chilled or hot Roasted Vegetables with Basil and Garlic Scape Pesto or Sprouted Chickpea Pesto for dipping.


Firing up the grill for chicken breasts!

Main Course

Grilled Chicken Breasts with roasted vegetables and Jicama Collard SlawIf you're firing up the grill, try making Dad's Mesquite-Smoked Chicken Breasts, or make a grilled version of my Caper & Shallot Turkey Burgers with Pesto.

For a vegan burger alternative, try Sunny Quinoa Burgers or Mung Bean Burgers in a collard leaf with fresh sprouts and grated carrot.  I don't think they'd do well on the grill since they are kind of fragile, but they'd still be great done up on the stove.

Make Turkey Fajita Hash and serve it in brown rice tortillas with all Summer Spaghetti with Zucchini Cashew "Alfredo"the classic taco fixings, like black olives, lettuce or thinly shredded cabbage, thinly sliced radishes, and salsa.

For a quick and filling pasta dish, use fresh farmers market vegetables to make Summer Spaghetti with Zucchini Cashew Alfredo - the sauce isn't too heavy, and is still appropriate for even hot summer days.


Raw Strawberry "Milk"Shakes

Sweet Treats

Rhubarb Cashew CookiesMy Black Bean Fudge is always a hit - and there is no baking involved, so it won't heat up your kitchen! For a crunchy version, try making the recipe for Fudge Sunny Bunnies but cut into stars or other fun shapes instead of rabbits.

Serve a plate of Rhubarb Cashew Cookies, Sunflower Butter Cookies, Amazing Flourless Chocolate Chip Cookies, or Chewy Chocolate Buckwheat Cookies.

Use fresh summer fruit to make Raspberry Rhubarb Coconut Bars or Plum Apricot Tart.

Beet and Cherry CreamsiclesCraving something icy to beat the heat? Try my Avocado Shamrock ShakeRaw Strawberry "Milk"shakes, or Beet & Cherry Creamsicles.

Go all out and make my Chocolate Cherry Berry Layer Cake, and decorate with raspberries, blueberries, and and cherries instead for a patriotic twist!



Granola with fresh berries - the perfect easy summer breakfast!

Breakfasts & Brunch

Rhubarb Coconut SconesFor quick breakfasts at the cabin or on the boat, make a batch of Super Seed GranolaApplesauce Muffins,Cinnamon Raisin Muffins, or Rhubarb Coconut Scones.

For more leisurely breakfasts at home on your holiday off, what about trying a batch of Salmon and Eggs Breakfast Scramble, Sprouted Quinoa Millet Waffles with Strawberry RHubarb Jam,  or Sprouted Buckwheat Blini with Salmon, Cucumber, and PUmpkin Seed Cream?


Have a safe and happy 4th of July!


L'arte d'arrangiarsi and a Roasted Red Pepper & Sauerkraut Dip (gluten free, vegan, ACD)

As a longtime art kid, I have found food to be another artistic medium with which to express myself.   I'm starting to think more about how the colors and texture of ingredients will compliment each other, not just the flavors. I'm playing with garnishes and different ways of cutting vegetables for variety and visual appeal. I'm using different colors or shapes of bowls or plates in order to accent or contrast the food.  I put effort forth to make my food look beautiful. It makes me feel connected and inspired and creative, and that makes me feel alive.

Think about how awesome food looks when you order it at a restaurant (a good restaurant, that is). People pull out their cameras. They "ooh" and "ah" and say things like, "Oh my, this just looks too beautiful to eat!".  They talk about how gorgeous their meal was the whole ride home in the car.  They tell their coworkers about it the next day at the office.  They show you pictures on their iPhones.

Yes, we all love beautiful food.

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