Mother Essentials: Cristina Kisner of Cristy’s Kitchen
Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano
Georgia-based, health-minded mom of 5 Cristina Kisner certainly has her hands full—but in the best way possible. Not only does she homeschool her beloved brood (Camila, 18, Gala, 16, Julieta, 13, Josefina, 10, and Hebe, 8). She’s also a chef, restaurant owner, and author of the recently released cookbook Cristy’s Kitchen: More Than 130 Scrumptious and Nourishing Recipes Without Gluten, Dairy, or Processed Sugars. The physical location of Cristy Kitchen serves up healthy recipes she developed when working around her daughters’ various health challenges and inspired by ingredients from her native Peru. In 2021, the restaurant caught the attention of Brandon Stanton, the creator of Humans of New York, whose numerous followers helped pull Cristy and her family through the pandemic (more here!) and into their next chapter. Below, Cristy shares what Mother Essentials are currently getting her through her days.
AM and PM Rituals. “Every day at 5 am, my favorite way to find calm and recharge energy before starting the day is spending time in the dark, with the house in complete silence, feeling deep gratitude, blindfold on, wearing headphones, and listening to a meditation by Dr. Joe Dispenza. And to end the day, nothing fills me with more love than doing a special evening meditation for children with my two youngest daughters before going to bed. We also use this moment to talk about how to manage our emotions, how to find inner peace, and how to determine the most important things in life.” 3D Sleep Mask, $13.99, Amazon. Sony Noise Canceling Headphones, $144.90, Amazon. DrJoeDispenza.com.
Morning Coffee. “Preparing my morning coffee is a ritual for me, which begins by activating my senses with the delicious fragrance of freshly ground organic coffee. I like to experiment with different superfoods, thus turning a simple coffee into an almost medicinal drink. Maca powder helps me with the symptoms of menopause, adaptogenic mushrooms help my body adapt to stressful situations, MCT oil provides good fats (and energy), and bone broth powder provides protein and helps reduce inflammation. Every meal we eat or drink is an opportunity to give our body what it needs.” Organic Mega Mushroom 10 in 1 Complex Formula, $29.95, Amazon. Bulletproof Brain Octane C8 MCT Oil, $17.21, Amazon. 100% Grass-Fed Bone Broth Protein, $59.99, Paleo Valley.
Fresh Grinds. “More than the taste of coffee, what fascinates me is the smell of freshly ground coffee in the morning. This combo pack with the accessory to grind spices allows me to have them freshly roasted and ground, which makes a huge difference in my recipes. They elevate the flavor of any dish while my kitchen is filled with incredible aromas.” KitchenAid Blade Coffee and Spice Grinder Combo Pack, $59.99, Amazon.
Homeschooling Tools. “Homeschooling is a challenge for my daughters, and more than anything for me, since my English is far from perfect. Our study methods have changed over the years, and even though we have the advantage of technology, I like to use traditional methods like handwriting and real books; so part of their homework is to do Cursive Handwriting Workbooks and read as much in English as in Spanish.” Cursive Handwriting Workbook For Kids Ages 8-12, $6.24, Amazon.
Gardening Kit For Kids. “Contact with nature not only feeds the soul; it makes us feel alive and part of the whole. For children, contact with soil is essential because it also helps them to form a strong gut microbiota and a powerful immune system. A gardening kit is a fun way to introduce children to growing their own food and offers an opportunity to teach them about real food and its health benefits.” U+ME Kids Gardening Set, $36.95, Amazon.
Creative Play. “One of my daughters’ favorite activities is drawing and painting and creating stories around their artwork. They have an innate talent and always help each other to improve their creations by sharing new techniques and materials. Another way to promote their creativity is with Legos, because it allows them to create worlds and stories at the same time.” LEGO Disney Princess Ariel’s Underwater Palace, $84.99, Amazon.
My New Cookbook. “Cristy’s Kitchen cookbook is very special to me, not only because it represents all the miracles my family has experienced, but because it is another way to be close to my daughters. Every time they want to cook something, they just pick up my cookbook and choose their favorite recipe and I’m so proud to see them make their own variations because that’s what cooking is all about, inspiring others to make their own creations and enjoy the magical alchemy in the kitchen.” Cristy’s Kitchen: More Than 130 Scrumptious and Nourishing Recipes Without Gluten, Dairy, or Processed Sugars, $33.50, Amazon and Bookshop.
Vitamix Blender. “When we came to the U. S. from Peru, we brought only the essentials in our suitcases, that season’s clothes, and my Vitamix. This shows how important my blender is to me. Everything is easier with it, from smoothies and ice creams to nut butters and vegan cheeses. The cup and bowl accessories are super useful when you want to make small portions like pesto for two or a powerful personal mocha frappe coffee.” Vitamix A3300 Ascent Series Smart Blender, $418, Amazon. Vitamix Blending Cup and Bowl Starter Kit, $140, Amazon.
Clean Skincare and Cleaning Supplies. “The skin is the largest organ in our body and just as I am very careful with what we eat, I also pay attention to what we put on our skin, because we absorb everything through it. A cleanser with real and organic ingredients is the Pore Detox Herbal Cleanser from 100% Pure, which also has a line of cosmetics. Even though I don’t like to wear makeup, when I do, this is a brand I trust. Another staple in my house is Dr. Bronner’s soap, and to clean my house I like to use a magical combination of organic white vinegar with baking soda, water, plus some organic essential oil.” Pore Detox Herbal Cleanser, $32, 100% Pure. Almond Castille Soap, $16.79, Amazon.
Feminine Care. “With a house full of girls, it is also necessary to focus on the health of their reproductive systems, since today there are toxins that affect us in ways that we cannot even imagine. It’s important to choose feminine pads and even underwear carefully. I always look for them to be made of organic cotton and be free of fragrances and dangerous chemicals.” Organyc via Amazon. Felina Organic Cotton Bikini Underwear, $30, Amazon.
Juicer. “Nothing is more refreshing and detoxifying than a cold press juice. At home it is one of everyone’s favorites, and having a large family, we need a juicer that makes our task easier. Nama Juicer accepts whole fruit, which saves me a lot of time, plus it is kid friendly, so my daughters can create their own combinations of fruit and vegetable juices.” NamaWell.com.
Bedtime Stories. “At bedtime, before their meditation, my daughters have to read a real book. technology is wonderful, but I like to see them take a book with their hands, and not just any book, but something that nourishes their soul and brings positive messages to their lives. One of our favorite books is The Three Little Yogis and the Wolf Who Lost His Breath, and my favorite since I was a child is Omi of the Stars.”
Superfoods. “Our native country of Peru is blessed with a variety of climates and a soil that produces not only nutrient-dense ingredients but exceptional flavor. All of them can be easily found in American stores. One of my favorites is a fruit called lucuma. Sweet and unique, it provides many health benefits and I love to include it in my smoothies, pancakes, desserts, and even in my coffee.” Lucuma Powder, $15.99, Amazon.
Trusted Supplements. “I learned that everything originates in our gut, the total balance of our body is directly related to our microbiota. When this community of bacteria and yeast is in harmony, absolutely everything improves, so it is very important to me that my whole family take the best quality probiotics in addition to a balanced diet. Other basic supplements we take are Vitamin D3, Omega 3, Magnesium, grass-fed Organ Complex, Liposomal Vitamin C, Junior Nutrients, Omega Jr., and ONE Multivitamin.”
School Lunch. “For my daughters who go to school, the lunchbox consists of a healthy and comforting meal. They don’t like to eat breakfast very early, so the lunchbox includes a rich, nutrient-dense meal like a grass-feed beef stew with veggies that they keep warm in a container until lunchtime. And, as a snack, they like fresh berries or a grass-fed beef jerky stick or a homemade baked goodie.” LunchBots 16oz Thermos, $30.99, Amazon. CHOMPS Grass Fed Beef Jerky 10-Pack, $21.90, Amazon. ButcherBox.com.
Fast Food. “As a mom, homeschooling teacher, chef, and restaurant owner, my day is always full of tasks to perform, and sometimes I don’t have time to cook as I would like. On those days it helps a lot to have my baking mixes on hand, and frozen food like empanadas, pot pies, and breads. That’s my kind of fast food–healthy, nutritious, and delicious.” CristysKitchenGa.com.
For more MOTHER ESSENTIALS, peep our recent features on Hedley & Bennett founder Ellen Marie Bennett, Mochi Kids founder AMANDA STEWART, chef CAMILLA MARCUS, artist CAROLINE Z HURLEY, Just Date founder SYLVIE CHARLES, food icon AMANDA HESSER, Prickly Pear founder MONA BAHRAINI, Solace Summer founder MEGAN BRE CAMP, Wonder Valley co-founder ALISON CARROLL, OZMA designer HEIDI BAKER, author TIFFANY ROSE SMITH, PR pro TEMI ADAMOLEKUN, HEIDI BAKER of OZMA, and PHOEBE SUNG of Cold Picnic.
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