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Category Archives for Healthy Living

Easy Ham and Egg Cups

These Easy Ham and Egg Cups are a great way to prepare breakfast quickly while still serving something substantial!

Ham and Egg Cups

I saw a picture of something similar on Pinterest, but the site didn't actually have a recipe, so I made up my own!

Note: I made sure to instruct you to use nitrite/nitrate free ham, but please be aware that I still don't recommend consuming commercially made lunch meat on a regular basis. 

Here goes:

Easy Ham and Egg Cups
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
  • 12 pieces nitrite/nitrate free ham
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 small spring onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup prepared mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, onion, cheese, mustard, salt and pepper
  2. Grease a muffin tin and insert one piece of ham into each cup.
  3. Evenly distribute the egg mixture into each of the pieces of ham.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes.

You can pick these right up and eat them with your fingers!
Ham and Egg Cups


Homemade Insect Repellent Recipes

I wish I would have begun searching for homemade insect repellent recipes a little earlier in the summer, but at least we'll have these on hand for the rest of the year and for every subsequent year as well.

Up until now we've just been using the “slap the skeeters” method.  🙂  When my husband had to do some major yard work last night, he realized he really needed something for the bugs, so he came inside and asked me to find a homemade insect repellent recipe.  I was impressed.  I'm usually the instigator of all the crazy natural stuff around here.  🙂

As I searched, I realized there were several options one can use for a homemade insect repellent, and different ones will work better for different people due to your preferences and the ingredients that are easily accessible to you.  I decided that instead of posting just one recipe, I would post lots of different options so you can quickly browse for a solution that works for you.

Homemade Insect Repellent

1. Rub the juice of a freshly sliced lemon over your arms and legs.  (Lauren at Little House in the Big City advises not to do this if you have just shaved your legs! 🙂 )

2. Another insect repellant idea from Lauren is to lightly wet a bar of soap and rub it over you.  Store-bought soap isn't a completely all-natural solution since it still contains some chemicals, but it's better than toxic bug sprays and is definitely one of the easiest solutions on this list.

Homemade Insect Repellent

3. Smithspirations has a recipe using a variety of essential oils along with coconut oil, cocoa butter, castor oil, and beeswax.

4.  Here's a really nifty recipe for a beeswax insect repellent candle at Design Sponge.

5. Use a lavender and vinegar blend in this recipe from wikihow.

6. Wellness Mama has several recipes using fresh or dried herbs.

Homemade Insect Repellent

7. Your Thriving Family has a recipe using witch hazel and essential oils that can be sprayed around the home or on your clothes or body.

8. Keep spiders and mice away with this very easy-to-make peppermint spray from Scratch Mommy.

Homemade Insect Repellent

9. If you get some bites, read up on some natural remedies for treating them at Day 2 Day Joys.

What's your favorite way to keep bugs at bay?


Healthy July 4th Menu

I love holidays! Getting together with extended family, eating, relaxing, eating some more.  It's great fun!

What I don't love is figuring out what exactly we're going to eat.

For once in my life I thought ahead!  July 4th is next week, and I thought it would be lovely to put together a menu that is healthy, easy, and most importantly, delicious!

Here's what I came up with for a healthy July 4th menu.  Click on the photos to be taken to the recipes.

Healthy July 4th Menu




Healthy 4th of July Menu

Hamburgers made with grass-fed beef on homemade whole wheat buns.  If you have the delight of being gluten-free you can try this recipe for gluten-free hamburger buns.

Healthy 4th of July

You can't have a 4th of July celebration without watermelon!

Healthy 4th of July Menu

Homemade ice cream! I love the recipes in the Just Making Ice Cream ebook.

What would you add?  Do you have any special July 4th menu traditions?

Where to Shop for Healthy Food: More Local Food Options

Where to Shop for Healthy Food

Welcome back to the “Where to Shop for Healthy Food” series!

As I mentioned yesterday, the best way to make sure that what you are eating is uncontaminated with pesticides, GMO's, artificial hormones, and the like, is to know the person who grew/raised your food and how they did so.

Farmer's Markets are an excellent way to procure local food, but there are several other sources you can tap into as well.



CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  Basically, you pay the farmer (or multiple farmers if they have organized a joint program among themselves) at the beginning of the season to grow your food for you, and you get a portion of the harvest.

Just like when you shop at the Farmer's Market, you need to ask questions of the farmers who will be growing your food such as what, if anything, do they use for pesticides and fertilizers, what they feed their animals, etc.

The CSA I am a member of supplies an entire gamut of food, including meat, eggs, fruits, vegetables, and herbs.  Some CSA programs only provide produce.  Each one will vary as to what foods it provides and the specifics of how it operates.

You can find a CSA program in your area by going to www.localharvest.org/csa/ and typing in your zipcode.  You can also ask around to the farmers at the Farmer's Market because there may be something you're not aware of, or they may consider starting one if there's not one available and they see that there is interest.


Directly from the farmer

As you get to know your farmers via the Farmer's Market, you will (or at least you should!) start to develop personal relationships with them.  When the Farmer's Market is closed for the winter, you will still have access to whatever food they may still have growing.


Grow a garden or raise your own animals

You can't get anymore local than your own backyard!  If you're finding that your budget is too limited to afford all the healthy food you'd like to buy, consider growing it yourself!  You'll have to consider how much work you'd have to put into it versus the amount of money you would save and determine what your family's priorities are.

If you can't garden due to time restraints (or lack of desire!  that's me raising my hand!), think about people you know that enjoy gardening.  If you're able to do so without being inappropriate, let them know that you're interested in any extra produce they may have.  Many ambitious gardeners grow a few too many tomato and squash plants during the summer and more than happy to have someone take part of the harvest off their hands!



Foraging is the art of looking for food that grows on its own.  If you live in the country, you can enjoy some family outdoor time while you wander down back roads searching for wild asparagus or berry patches.  Once you know where they are, it will be easy picking come the next year.

As you're out and about, keep your eyes peeled for anything edible, even if it's on someone else's property.  If you see apples, pears, or pecans lying on the ground and rotting, the owners of the trees may not care to pick them.  Dust off your pride and go ask if they pick the apples on their trees.  If not, ask if they mind if you come pick them.  There's a very good chance they'll say yes since rotten apples aren't a lot of fun to run over with the lawn mower.

There are a lot more foods you can forage than just the ones I've mentioned here.  Don't expect to be an expert overnight.  You have to learn what to look for (and I'm still not very good at it.)  But with a little practice, you'll be bringing in some free food!


What did I forget?  Share all your tips for procuring local food in the comments!

Coming Monday Morning!



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Time, Money, Health: The Conclusion

Time, Money, Health: Finding the Balance


If you missed the other posts in this series, you can read part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here, part 4 here,  part 5 here and part 6 here.

I never got around to finishing this series because what I thought I was going to say in this final post was drastically changed!

I was going to lay out some baby steps to healthier eating and tell you some specific things our family was doing so that eating healthy was not so overwhelming.

But before I got a chance to compose the post, I started going to my new doctor (who I absolutely love!) and the diet she prescribed was a radical change!  Baby steps weren't going to cut it for me.

So much for trying to keep things from being overwhelming!

Basically I had to keep doing all the things I had been doing (local, organic food) but with the elimination of gluten and several other food intolerances we discovered that I had.

That's the extremely short version of it all, but my point is that while I was hoping to preach “baby steps” to you all, in reality I had to practice radical strictness for myself.

No matter what path I would have taken, I believe my conclusion to the whole matter of balancing time, money, and health would have been the same:

The balance isn't the same for everybody.

While I may be allotting a generous portion of our budget for food and spending more time preparing my food, you may be only changing up a few key ingredients in your kitchen.

A year or two ago, my mouth would have dropped open if you would have told me how much we'd be spending on food right now.  And back then, it wouldn't have been the right balance for us.  But my husband has been blessed with a raise and good food was a priority for us, so we put extra money toward it.

What we spend on food may not be what you're supposed to be spending (or can even afford to spend.)

Here's the mistake many of us make:  We think that just because we've found the balance that is right for us, everyone else's balance should look just like ours or they're not doing something right.

For those who have a lower income, the temptation comes to think that those who spend extra money on organic food are being too extravagant, too concerned about their health when “everybody's going to get cancer anyway”, and shouldn't be spending so much money, time, and effort on their eating preferences.

For those who can afford it, and choose to make their health a priority with how they spend their money, it can be tempting to be critical of others who don't eat all the same things you do.

Those on both sides of the spectrum need to ask themselves some questions.

Time, Money, Health: Finding the Balance

Am I spending my money as wisely as possible?  I may not have much, but am I being a good steward of my body with the money I do have?

Is there information regarding my health I know I should pay attention to, but I'm choosing to ignore it because I know it's going to require some financial adjustments?  (In other words, I use “I can't afford it” as an excuse when I probably could adjust things to make it happen if I chose to.)

Am I criticizing others for their choices instead of focusing on my personal responsibility to manage my own money and health wisely?

Am I trusting in my food choices to keep me healthy, or am I remembering that my health is a gift from God?  If I can't afford all the food I'd like to eat, am I still thankful for what I have and trusting God to keep me healthy? 1 Timothy 4:4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:

As I write posts on various topics regarding healthy eating, (such as my post from yesterday on Why I Drink Raw Milk) I hope you'll keep in mind that these topics are merely for your consideration; not because I'm telling you I think you have to do this or you are inferior to me if you don't.  I have come to my conclusions about certain foods gradually and after thorough research of my own.  I didn't just decide to start spending extra money because somebody put me on a guilt trip.  And I'm not here to put you on a guilt trip, either.  I'm here to encourage you and provide resources to help you come to your own decisions on what is right for you.


Tell me, where are you in your healthy journey?  Are you still struggling to find the right balance?  Or have you found the balance that is right for your family and just need to make sure you stay on track?