Taking Care of Yourself

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As a homesteading family we are busy.  There are gardens to weed, animals to feed, and children to raise.  We can get so busy taking care of everyone (and everything) else that it’s easy to forget that we need care too.

I was reminded of that this past week when, on top of the usual summer chores and tasks, we also had two sets of family visiting from out of town…and then we got sick.  The best laid plans went up in the air and by Friday the house looked like (and we felt like) a bomb had gone off.  We realized, quite obviously, that we needed to take better care of ourselves.   Not that taking good care of ourselves is going to make it so we never get sick but it will help keep it to a minimum and help speed up recovery time.  Plus, we’ll feel better and have more energy and that is always a good thing.

Get Some Sleep:

Friday night we may have changed into our PJs, read some stories, and had the whole family in bed by 8:45.  The dishes weren’t done and the laundry wasn’t folded but we made the decision that our health and well-being was more important.  Our bodies needed sleep and that’s what we gave them.  Does this mean, we’ll abandon chores and go to be early every night? No, but it does mean that we’ll listen to our bodies and on nights when we are feeling run down we’ll head to bed earlier.

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Eat Healthy: 

We generally eat pretty healthy, which for us means, as many local, organic, and non-GMO ingredients as possible.  We avoid processed foods and opt to make as much as we can from scratch, right here on the homestead.  That being said, we’ve been slacking and we know it.  Eating healthy doesn’t have to add to your (already too long) to-do list.  Simple changes like drinking more water and increasing your fruit and vegetable intake can go a long way.  We need to make sure we’re getting our meals planned out each week because that makes it much easier for us to eat healthy.

Reduce Stress: 

Easier said than done, I know.  Something as simple as stretching or a little yoga before bed can make a big difference.  It helps relax your muscles, release tension, and get you focused on relaxing.   I’ve found that I sleep much better if I take a few minutes to stretch while getting ready for bed.  If you are feeling overwhelmed, take a good look at your to-do list.  Sometimes we get so busy with things we think “need” to get done that we lose sight of what is actually important.  If you can cut back on some of those unnecessary to-dos you’ll also cut back on stress.

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A wise person once told me that “You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of someone else” and I agree.  In order for us to be the best parents, homesteaders, and people we need to be healthy…how are you taking care of yourself today? Stop on by the Facebook Page and join in the conversation.

2.16.15 Meal Plan

Our snow count us up around 3 ft with more falling as I type this.  I’ve been posting pictures on our facebook page so hop on over and place your bets on when we’ll ever dig out. Ha! I wrote that last week and its still the same today, the only difference is that we’re up to about 4 ft.  and I’m now convinced I will never see my garden again.  I’ll try and link up recipes when I have them and you can check out my Pinterest boards for more ideas and inspiration.
Breakfasts: We have a variety of breakfast items kicking around the house and pick and choose as we go.  This week we have yogurt, cereal, and homemade bagels.

Lunches: I typically pack our lunches the night before.  Most of the time it is leftovers from dinners but some of our other favorites include, english muffin pizzas, quesadillas, crackers and hummus, and sandwiches. For toddler lunch ideas, check this out.

Dinners: I plan these out one for each night.  Typically we’ll have a “breakfast for dinner” night once a week and at least one “meatless meal”.  I try to stick to traditional real food (no food dyes, artificial coloring, flavoring, or sweeteners)  I also try to make as much from scratch as possible, it is cheaper that way and I can control the type and source of my ingredients.

Note: Tilly eats the same things we do because 1. I don’t want to make extra work for myself and 2. I want her to be exposed to lots of different flavors and textures.  I just make sure things are cut into pieces she can handle.
 
Week of 02/16/15
 
Monday: Turkey melts on fresh baked bread, home canned pickles and salad
 
Tuesday:  Pumpkin waffles with homemade yogurt and raisins
 
Wednesday: Chicken sausage patties with italian veggie cous cous

Thursday:  Fish and chips with salad
 
Friday: Puppy party with friends! *we’ll grab sandwiches and picnic it while the dogs play

Saturday: Breakfast egg rolls (I have wrappers left over from last week) 

Sunday:  Hamburger stew with homemade bread and cheese   

What are you serving up this week? and feel free to leave me some encouraging “Winter will end soon” words of wisdom…I could really use some!

Adding More Vegetables to Your Diet

I am always looking for ways to add vegetables (especially greens) to our diets.  We try and stick to real foods and I make as much as possible from scratch but even still greens are not easy to get past a 2 year old so i’ve had to get creative.

Kale Powder

Kale is my new favorite “seasoning”.  I dehydrate the leaves for around 4 hours or until they are crispy.  Then I pulse them to dust in my blender.  I store this in a mason jar on my pantry shelves along side all my other seasonings and no one even notices (shh don’t give away my secret).  I add this stuff by the spoonful to spaghetti sauce, meatball or meatloaf mix, casseroles, eggs…literally everything.

Green Cubes



This stemmed from needing to preserve large amounts of produce because I tend to buy a lot when it’s in season and on sale.  I’ve used pretty much every vegetable imaginable but my favorite is a mix of broccoli, zucchini, and celery.  I give them all a quick rough chop and then throw them in my little food chopper until they are very finely diced.  Once everything is diced I fill ice cube trays with them and pop them into the freezer.  After they have frozen, I transfer them to freezer bags for long term storage.  These make cooking so easy! All I have to do is grab a couple cubes and toss them into anything that I want to add veggies to, no chopping or prep required.

How do you add more vegetables to your diet?

Royal Berkey Water Filter Giveaway!

My guess is that you are blessed with access to clean running water. We don’t really worry about getting parasites or other waterborne diseases when we turn on our tap. But while we are blessed with clean water coming through indoor plumbing, are you aware of some of the environmental contaminants that are frequently found in that water? Traces of heavy metals like mercury and aluminum, pesticide residues, and volatile organic compounds can be found in our drinking water!
  Berkey Giveaway Banner from Positively Real Media


This is why the bloggers of Positively Real Media are so excited to be teaming up to bring to you a Royal Berky 3.25 Gallon Stainless Steel Water Purifier giveaway sponsored by United Environmental Solutions!

About The Berkey

Berkey water purifiers are truly unique water purifying systems. According to UES, they are able to remove red food coloring from water while still allowing beneficial minerals to remain! As free-standing units that put the power of gravity to use, the Berkey systems don’t use any electricity. This makes them excellent systems to have on hand while camping or during power outages.

  Positively Real Media is giving away a Royal Berkey

While whole house filtration systems can be fantastic solutions to the problem of residual water contamination, they are simply out of the budget for most families. However, a Berkey system is a fraction of the cost and can filter 4 gallons of water per hour, making it a great fit for families! If you want to ensure that your family’s drinking and cooking water is as clean and pure as it can be, a Berkey may be just what you need!

Win A 3.25 Gallon Royal Berkey!


The bloggers of Positively Real Media, a network of naturally-minded Christian bloggers, are thrilled to be able to offer one of our readers a 3.25 Gallon Royal Berkey Stainless Steel Water Purifier, valued at $300! Many thanks to United Environmental Solutions for providing this fanatic prize to one blessed reader. Just use the Rafflecopter form below to get your entries in! a Rafflecopter giveaway

5 Ways to Keep Healthy This Fall

It’s back to school time folks, well unless you work at a year-round school like us then it’s always back to school time. With both Ian and I working at a school and with Tilly in day care we are exposed to every bug, cold, and virus that comes around.  I’ve done a lot of research on immune support and natural remedies and that paired with a healthy diet of real food has kept us going.  Here are 5 simple ways to get healthy and stay healthy this fall! 

Immune Boosting Gummies: I wrote the recipe for these last year (HERE) and I still make them from time to time.  They are a great way to boost little immune systems and taste so good that it’s really more like dessert! 

A Good Nights Sleep: Getting enough sleep is so important to your health and wellness.  If you are having a hard time falling asleep at night try cutting back on “screen” time right before bed. We use lavender essential oil rubbed into our feet when we know that we could use some extra rest.  We also use the lavender oil mixed with coconut oil for Tilly when she is having a hard time settling down at night. 

Activated Charcoal: After an awful round of stomach bug I did some serious research and settled on activated charcoal as a natural solution.  We started taking it shortly after I got a second round of the bug and I recovered way faster and Ian never got sick! Its not recommended for little ones so we gave Tilly extra doses of elderberry syrup and she didn’t get sick either.  I was so relieved!

Tummy Troubles Tea: I love this tea (RECIPE) for all sorts of stomach ailments.  It aids digestion, settles upset stomachs, and relieves gas pain.  The best part about this tea is that it is perfect for young children, I used it in place of gas drops for Tilly when she was as young as 2 months old and it was a huge help. 

Bone Broth: There is a lot of truth in the old “chicken soup when you are sick” tale.  Chicken or beef broth has all kinds of wonderful immune boosting power.  Its also a great first food if you’ve been sick as it can be sipped slowly to give you energy while being really easy to digest and easy on the stomach.  I use my crock pot to make broth after roasting a chicken, you can get the recipe HERE.

What tips do you have for staying healthy? Pop on over to our Facebook page to join the conversation or visit our Pinterest boards for more recipes and inspiration! 

*Linking up with: Homemade Mondays, Homestead Barn Hop, The Modest Mom