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.

Thursday, February 02, 2017


Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts

(scroll down for CHOCOLATE GOODNESS!)

As hemp hearts continue to become more mainstream, entering grocery stores and kitchens with increasing frequency, many people are realizing their numerous health benefits.  Hemp hearts from Manitoba Harvest are the only ones I use.  Over the last few years, I've occasionally received emails asking how  hemp hearts can be used for more than just sprinkling on salads or adding to smoothies. 

As many of you know, I've come to a point in my own life when I'm now choosing vegetarianism and generally incorporate a larger portion of raw food than cooked food in my daily diet.  I am also mindful of glycemic load, gluten, and the relationship between alkaline/acid and disease.  I still often refer to http://www.nutritiondata.com for information regarding a more comprehensive list of food items.

Hemp hearts fit perfectly into all of those decisions, and they're so easy to work with in the kitchen.

I often have "first breakfast" when I wake up, then "second breakfast" later in the morning.  Here is today's second breakfast:  a few sips of organic lemon juice (followed by water to rinse the lemon from my teeth); cottage cheese mixed with chia seeds, hemp hearts, freshly-ground flax seeds, and a hint of powdered cayenne pepper;  half of a cucumber; dandelion tea with turmeric and cinnamon.  I often drink lemon juice shortly after waking in the morning, and then usually 2 or 3 more times throughout the day, always followed by water.  I also aim to have at least 30g of protein before noon each day - an easy task when hemp hearts provide approximately 10g of protein in just 3Tablespoons.


I'm often trying to think of simple ways to eat more hemp hearts because they're such a nutritional powerhouse.  My body doesn't want sweets the way it used to, but occasionally it's nice to have a few little treats around for a quick nutritional boost throughout the day.  And they're so easy to make!  You can experiment with the amounts of each ingredient. 

Here are two simple combinations I made today:

Ingredients:  dates, hemp hearts, chia seeds

Briefly "Pulse" then "Mix" 
I knew when it's finished because the mixture clumped together.
Separate into thirds, roll each into a ball.

And here they are!


The next "recipe" is for chocolate bites.  I used to make chocolates by melting fair-trade, unsweetened bakers' chocolate with honey and letting it cool then rolling it into balls.  However, with my ongoing desire to eat raw items when possible, I experimented with coconut oil, cocoa powder, and honey.  If you find the coconut oil taste to be too strong, you can add more cocoa powder. 

All Measurements are Approximate and You Can Experiment!
1Tablespoon of Coconut Oil, 1Tablespoon of Honey, 1.5-2Tablespoons of Cocoa Powder, 2Tablespoons of Hemp Hearts, 1 Tablespoon of Chia Seeds,
2teaspoons of Pumpkin Pie Spice (Or Try Cinnamon),
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper

Into the Food Processor!
Briefly "Pulse" then "Mix" until a Ball Forms

Separate into Thirds and Roll into Balls

And Here They Are!
Chocolatey, Simple, Healthy Goodness!

 Here are some of the products I used today:



 P.S.  See that painting in the background?  Raye Anderson is the artist.  She is one of my all-time favourites, not only because storytelling takes you wherever she leads but also because her watercolours remind me of my childhood storybooks.


Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Juicing has become one of my favourite ways to get benefits from raw food into my body. 

But what about all that fibre left inside the juicer?  Fruit fibre has a myriad of uses, but that's a post for another day.  Usually I put vegetable fibre directly into a pot of stew or soup, or store it in the freezer. 

One day I decided to experiment and made


Tasty and so quick to make!

First, I made the juice:

Raw Carrot Juice

Raw Cabbage Juice

Raw Cucumber Juice

Total:  1/2 of a Cucumber, 2 Carrots, 1/4 of a Cabbage

Place Something Under Spout to Catch Drips.


Carefully Open Juicer.

Vegetable Pulp Inside the Juicer

Vegetable Pulp Inside the Top of the Juicer

The Pulp Already Easily Clumps Together

Scrape Pulp from Juicer into a Bowl.

Add 1 Egg.

Add Spice/Seasoning (I added Turmeric and Sea Salt).

Mix Together.

Roll into Small Balls and Flatten.

I cooked these in a cast iron pan with coconut oil.

Easy and Delicious!