About Me

My name is Christine. I'm a visual artist, musician, traditional storyteller, DV survivor, and have been a fulltime caregiver for an individual living with various diagnoses. After my marriage, I learned how to play various instruments, started exploring various means of creative expression, worked with at-risk teens/families, volunteered with the local crisis lines, participated in starting up a family resource center, completed my BA, furthered my studies towards becoming an art therapist, managed homes for adults living with disabilities, and facilitated therapeutic music/art sessions. I was doing everything I could so my children and I could have a brighter life, present and future. My physical health, however, continued to show evidence of too many chronic stressors over many decades. This blog is about my journey in discovering peace and better health by meeting life in the most basic and, in my opinion, the most rewarding of ways - by focusing on the riches of simplicity. If you're a new visitor to my blog, you might be interested in starting here: Finding the Riches.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Toss Anything In!

Turmeric, dehydrated spinach, dehydrated kale, baking soda, dehydrated pumpkin,
frozen organic strawberries, organic banana, pomegranate juice
Almonds, dates, ground flaxseed, chia seed, hemp seed, cinnamon, water
I've had my share of discovered lumps over the years and tire of the waiting and the angst and everything involved in the medical procedures just to have lumps assessed. I've also lived with a generous share of stressors over the years. For all those reasons and many more, including my three wonderful children and my four beautiful grandchildren, I am very mindful of what I put into my body. I haven't always been mindful throughout my lifetime, but I sure am these days.
I really enjoy blending together healthy drinks. I get such a kick out of being able to toss in all sorts of good stuff and just drink it all down. For someone who wants to ingest certain foods on a daily basis, blended drinks are definitely a prime consideration. Every day, in addition to other fruits and vegetables, I aim to have quinoa, turmeric, baking soda, greens, a banana, pumpkin, ground flaxseed, maple syrup, a few nuts, chia seed, hemp hearts, and cinnamon - all of which are easily tossed into a blender. Sometimes I use various green/ herbal/organic teas in my drinks instead of nut milk, water, or juice. And to retain nutrients, I've also been eating most fruits and vegetables more frequently in their raw (usually dehydrated) form rather than cooked.
I also try to eat a bit of cacao each day as well as a bit of honey and a bit of coconut oil. I've tried taking apple cider vinegar every day and really, really struggle with the taste - my face contorts to a point where it might never return to its regular appearance. The health benefits will draw me back to trying it again at some point. I often use blackstrap molasses as a food supplement but I don't usually do so on a daily basis.
I consider the above to be the necessities in my daily eating. I usually try to get all that good stuff into me in the mornings and then fill in with other foods throughout the rest of the day. (That's not to say I don't eat other foods. I enjoy an occasional burger or eggs/toast or "Chinese" food when friends come to visit, and an occasional sandwich or "treat" with my son, etc.) I get my protein primarily through hemp, beans (bought dry then soaked and cooked), chia seed, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and quinoa. My calcium comes primarily from my chia seed, almonds, molasses, chickpeas, quinoa, and vegetables. And "vitamin" D? When not absorbing it outside during non-winter sunny days, I get a whopping hit of it from the hemp hearts.
Some folks have asked how I can afford to buy hemp hearts, chia seed, almonds, etc. It's all about choices. For example, I use Hemp hearts as one of my primary protein sources. One 454g bag costs me approximately $15. That amount of money doesn't buy very much meat these days. I eat 30g -60g of hemp hearts a day, though usually just 30. Here's a link providing nutritional information about hemp hearts: http://manitobaharvest.com/product/206/Hemp-Hearts-454g.html
When I cut out meat purchases, processed food, etc., I found that a big chunk of my grocery budget had been going into my body without providing much nutrition for my dollar. For awhile, I tried eating only really inexpensive "food" but found it didn't work - I felt hungry and unwell, not a good combination for parenting. Once I figured out how to adjust my budget to ensure I was getting decent nutrition, I found that nutritional eating didn't have to break the bank. I just learned to think about food differently. It's a lot of work through summer and into fall to stock up for winter, but it makes winter nutrition really simple. Now I view eating as sort of a science lab exercise, making sure I'm taking in enough protein, vitamins, calcium, etc., each day. And it's a fun exercise! I will point out, however ,that this has been a process. It's taken years to get to this nutritional place, and there were many periods of deep cravings. I believe, however, that we can train our brains to accept shifts in eating habits. Like so many other things in life, it just takes time.

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