Thankful for the Power of Gratitude and Some Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake

Have you given thanks today? With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s a beautiful time to remember the power of gratitude in our lives. 
“Without gratitude, life can be lonely, depressing and impoverished,” said Dr. Robert Emmons, professor of psychology at the University of California. “Gratitude enriches human life. It elevates, energizes, inspires and transforms. People are moved, opened and humbled through expressions of gratitude.”
I used to think that happy people just had a lot to be grateful for. But as experience has proven time and time again – just being grateful even amongst chaos – or moreso, especially amongst chaos somehow is what brings more happiness and things to be grateful for. There is so much more science around the subject now that it’s worth giving this gratitude business a shot. These thirty-day gratitude challenges are really worth a shot if you’re looking to cultivate more things to be grateful for. Take the time daily to write out what you are grateful for – even if it’s not in your life at this point and see how things unfold. Consistency is key.
Scientists from the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California are finding an increased correlation in health with those who practice gratitude more consistently. Grateful people have been known to not only experience more joy, optimism and happiness but are showing to have stronger immune systems and lowered blood pressure. It’s healthy to be grateful!
Even the history of Thanksgiving in Canada was not actually based on giving thanks for harvest, which it is mostly related to now, but is actually said to be traced back to a voyager from England named Martin Frobisher in 1578. Travelling to find a passage to the Pacific Ocean in Northern Canada, his crew of 15 ships experienced “freak storms”, including run-ins with icebergs and much havoc. One of the ships was lost which included all of the building material to start their small settlement. The crew was disbursed, but when reconnected they gave thanks for the miraculous divine mystery that brought them to safety - a great reminder to always show gratitude and thanks for the gifts of life even amongst havoc.
Dr. Emmons describes gratitude as a “chosen attitude”. Something we all can choose to cultivate a little more of in our lives. This Thanksgiving, amongst the harvest, the food, the safety, the friends and family… ask yourself, “What can you be more grateful for?” Me? It’s dairy free pumpkin cheesecake. Happy Thanksgiving!
Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake
Chocolate Pecan Crust (from
1 Cup Pecans
½ Cup Cocoa (Raw Cacao preferred)
6 Dates, pitted
1 tsp Vanilla
pinch sea salt
Blend in Food Processor and Press into 8 or 9” Sprinform pan.
2 Cups Cashews
1 Cup Baked Yam
½ Cup melted Coconut Oil
½ Cup Maple Syrup
2 tsp Vanilla
½ tsp Salt
1 ½ tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
Blend in Vitamix and Pour over Crust.


Was at an amazing event yesterday... a grand reopening in Calgary for Rivas Eco Store! You must check them out! 

They have some of the most incredible eco friendly items for your home... They were celebrating their reopening after all the flooding in Calgary and had Jeff McArthur of Pure Air Experts presenting about the importance of the quality of the air in your home and Naturopath



Dr. Katherine Keyes of Marigold Naturopathic Center sharing such valuable information about the health effects of VOC paints, offgasing of carpets, and all those things we need reminders of! The mayor even decided to show up... and he loved my cheesecakes! Great event. Great people. Check out all the info. :)  


Do Healthy People Make you Sick?

Do Healthy People Make You Sick? ....and some peanut butter banana ice cream... ;)

As if you didn’t have enough stress. You’re tired, overworked. You wish you had a nicer body. Maybe you’re overweight, burnt out – perhaps even ready to quit that job of yours that you keep complaining about. Sure you have things to be grateful for - but it’s not so easy to feel that way when the demands of life don’t give you a lot of free time to just relax, let alone exercise or take the time to prepare healthy meals. Relationships are suffering, especially the one with yourself - and the real icing on the cake is that one person in your life that seems so healthy it sometimes just makes you sick. The one probably having you read this article right now.


Eoin Finn BBQ Recipes!

YAY for Eoin Finn! We were so fortunate to have had the Blissologist - join us in Red Deer this past weekend for an amazing workshop through the Breathing Room

It was wonderful to have him sharing his experience of living... Finding that pure joy in life through yoga and nature... then I had the opportunity to tack on some of that feel good food! All the positive energy from the amazing yogis who attended was just awesome! 

A huge thank you to those of you in attendance for your wonderful feedback! It was an absolute pleasure to meet so many new friends and share some food with you all!


Deconstructing the French Paradox


How much does food play a factor in optimal health and how much can be allocated to lifestyle? A little less stress and a lot more life enjoyment – is this more important than the nutrition factor of the foods we eat? A more modest, but regular consumption of red wine, the enjoyment of a delectable French pastry made from whole ingredients and the time spent in preparation of whole natural foods dined over several hours amongst family and friends followed by a plate of fine cheeses –does this not sound like a delightfully indulgent, yet somehow healthful lifestyle? How does the company of good friends and family play a role in our health?
The French diet – said to be more rich in saturated fats, some modest indulgences in sugary rich pastries and of course breads, not to mention an abundance of cheese and wine puts an intriguing spin on the direction of health in North America - leaning towards a more plant based diet, reducing saturated fats, the elimination of sugar and foods containing gluten. With lower rates of heart disease and obesity, this French “Paradox” as it is called certainly brings on the question of how much the quality and freshness of the food dictate our health, as well as living a low stress lifestyle. Is there an element of how food is consumed vs. what foods are consumed?
Of course the post popular conclusion amongst the many studies done on the French Paradox claim their lower incidences of coronary heart disease is attributed in part to the high consumption of Red Wine. The Nutrition and Vascular Physiopathology Research Unit in France showed studies that the 20-30g of alcohol consumption daily “can reduce the risk of CHD by at least 40%”. Although antioxidant rich polyphenols, particularly resveratrol found in red wine produce many heart health benefits, the moderate consumption of alcohol is still associated with increased death rate from liver cirrhosis as well as other health concerns. You just can’t win when it comes to studies.
As with anything, it’s important to look at the whole picture. Many North Americans who rush off to France will find themselves gaining weight, indulging in all the fine food France has to offer. Why is that? Why do North Americans seem to be so indulgent - what is it we are really hungry for? Maybe we are looking for a lifestyle where food doesn’t have to be such a chore – where, maybe even life itself doesn’t have to be such a chore. A lifestyle focused a little more on enjoyment, a slower pace, the pleasure of food and company, eating mindfully and in smaller portions. The French also pay close attention to variety, lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, being active and consuming an abundance of liquids throughout the day, some of which - yes is red wine.  What you eat, how you eat as well as the company you keep all play a role in our health. Appreciation of the simplicity of life and taking the time to eat amongst friends and family has immeasurable health benefits. Ones that maybe a study can’t quite measure precisely, but instinctively we just know.  Remember then to choose quality over quantity and be mindful of your day to day life, enjoying the simple pleasures of each day. Create a lifestyle that incorporates wholesome food and more enjoyment – and live your own French Paradox.    

What if Everything you Ever Wanted was Already Yours?

A little dose of inspiration....

What if everything you wanted was already yours? Usually people don't have a problem going after things they want... most just don't know what it is they DO want. When was the last time you reflected on what it is you would want... or could want? The last time you dreamed a little... It's easy to get caught up in the frustrations in life when there isn't a focus on your direction. Your purpose. Your drive. or...your health. They all go hand in hand. 

What do you want? If you don't know... reflect on it. You don't have to know exactly where or what... just focus on how you want to feel... what your life looks like. And don't limit yourself. If you want to live on the beaches of Southern France... write that down. If there were no limits, where would you be? How would you spend your days? Think about how you want to feel when you wake up, how you want to spend your day... and who will be with you. Then ask yourself why in the world you doubt that it can be yours.  

Daily Gratitude:

I am so grateful to know exactly what I want and where I am headed. I document my dreams and review them daily. I make delicious healthy food and welcome all new adventures to share my insights on health and wellbeing. I am so grateful to have yoga be a part of my daily life and to follow my purpose. To slow down and reflect - letting the world come to me rather than pushing through the world. Everything I have ever wanted is already mine. I am grateful. 




About Me

Kristin Fraser is a speaker and consultant on natural health, including food preparation workshops and nutritional seminars. Offering you insightful information on leading a healthier, happier life.


Red Deer Advocate

The contents of this website are for information purposes only and are not meant for the purpose of medical diagnosis, treatment or prescribing of medicine for any disease, or any licensed or controlled act which may constitute the practice of medicine. All subjects on health matters are intended for general well-being.