There's an awesome deal available that you'll want to get in on if you're interested in healthy living!
(My e-books are downloading as I type this! Can't wait to read them!)
This week only, April 17-23, you can purchase a bundle of 30 healthy living ebooks for $39.
Here are a few that caught my eye:
Learn how to make all your own homemade cleaning products using simple, natural ingredients. These green cleaning recipes take the guesswork out of using essential oils so you can finally utilize their beneficial cleaning properties. Over 60 natural cleaning recipes for every room in your home!
Can “eating healthy” make you sick? Diet Recovery 2 is the completely revised guide to breaking free from the empty hunt for the perfect diet and the counterproductive pursuit of losing weight. Learn how to ditch dieting, relax and “eat the food” — and balance your metabolism and get healthy.
Note: Have any of you heard of this guy? He says a lot of things that are completely opposite of what we're used to hearing about health. Is he crazy or is he right? I'm anxious to read this and see what I think!
If you're feeling overwhelmed by all the “food rules” out there, you'll love this brand new book about eating healthy, without letting food take over your life. Real food is supposed to be simple! Get back to the basics and check perfectionism at the door, while learning the hows and whys of feeding yourself and your family healthy, whole nutritious foods.
Many of the ingredients found in commercial cleaning and personal care products have been linked to health problems. From infertility to cancer, the toxic chemicals that threaten our health are some of the most common things we put directly on our skin! Are you ready to ditch the toxic garbage for good?
There are several book about living grain-free that of course caught my eye as well, but I need to quit or I'll end up listing every book they have!
One final note: I'll be writing an entire post on this subject soon, but I want to make it clear that I do not believe we can control our own health by how perfectly we eat or how many toxins we remove from our homes. Sickness and disease is a result of the curse of sin on this world. While we have a responsibility to be good stewards of our bodies and take care of them the best we can, we can still get sick even if we do everything “right”. Good health is given by God, and he can take it away if he so desires. We must trust him with our lives and not be so prideful as to think we can control what happens to our health because we make “right” choices. Many of these ebooks may convey that type of an attitude, and I try to take the good information from them and leave the attitude behind. I hope you'll do the same.
I know I've been quite scarce around here lately, and I feel like I owe you all an explanation as to why I've been so quiet.
Mainly, I've just hit a very low spot as far as my health goes. I sleep in very late in the mornings and spend the rest of the day trying to take care of the basics of feeding myself and the kids and straightening up the house so that it's not a complete disaster when my husband gets home.
During the kids' naptime I generally end up needing some more sleep myself.
I'll be all right, though. The doctor I am seeing is everything I have been looking for, and we are slowly working through everything. My body was so nutritionally depleted due to hormone disruption and poor digestion. All the healthy food I was eating was not doing me much good because I just wasn't absorbing the nutrients. I truly believe she's got me on the right track to getting all that resolved; it's just going to take some time. And so often with things like this, you get worse before you get better. It's just the body's natural response to clearing itself of all the built up toxins. I've definitely spent the past couple weeks pretty near the bottom, so I'm hoping that the only way I have to go from here is up!
I'm not exactly thoroughly excited about a lot of the dietary restrictions. She made me take an ALCAT test for those who are familiar with that, and there are a whole slew of things I can't eat for at least 6 months. Meals have been a challenge so far, but once these things are removed from my system, she is confident that I will feel a million times better. I know it will be worth it, but honestly I have felt like giving up. I used to like food, and now so many of the things I enjoy have been taken away! So many of the things on my “approved” list are things I dislike. But, it's not good to eat the same few things all the time either, so I have to force myself to include as much variety as I can even if things aren't my favorite. I tolerate eating now rather than enjoying it.
I'm not saying all this to complain or try to make anyone feel sorry for me. I'm choosing to do this for my own sake and the sake of my family. I'm just being honest and telling you that it's not always easy. One day I hope I will be able to blog from “the other side” and tell you how worth it it was. Until then, I've got to stick with this thing!
Please tell me:
Are you in the same boat with me – trying to get a handle on your health? We're in this together!
Are you “on the other side” – please offer encouragement for those of us who have a long way to go!
Are you somewhere in the midst of your journey? Let us know how it's going!
Are you thinking about getting into the boat, but aren't sure whether you're ready to commit? Let us know; maybe we can help!
The following is a guest post from contributor Lauren.
Do any of you recognize this cute little flower?
I bet you do! It loves to grow wild and it grows EVERYWHERE during the springtime! Many people consider it to be an invasive little plant and try to kill it with everything under the sun ending with a “cide”. That's a NO NO! This little spring flower is one of a honeybee's first available nectar after a long winter of nothing and is also an excellent little flower to provide vitamins and minerals for a spring tonic for us!
Isn't that neat?
Something that we consider to be a nuisance or invasive has actually been given to us by God for health and nutrition and has been given to the bees to help them reestablish after a long winter. We need our bees to be healthy so that they will pollinate our crops, fruit trees, and make us yummy honey to enjoy year round. We also need the spring greens to detoxify our bodies and get those sluggish immune systems going again after a long winter of being inside battling the winter woes! Here's some detailed information on how to make sure you recognize this plant correctly and also on how to use it for your health!
Disclaimer: All of the following information about the identification and use of this plant is accurate to the best of my knowledge. With that being said, only attempt to harvest and eat wild plants that you can identify with 100% accuracy. Buy a field guide or 2 on foraging for wild plants to learn to identify them at all stages. Cross-reference information and photos of plants with different sources. Know if there are any similar looking plants that might be poisonous. Before consuming a wild plant for the first time, eat only a small portion in case you are allergic.
Purple dead nettle is a short lived annual in the mint family (Lamiaceae ). Usually growing no larger than 1ft in height, it has squared stems (characteristic of mint family) and soft fuzzy leaves with a opposite leaf arrangement. Leaves also have a bit of purple in them. Flowers are pink/purple and very small.
The leaves, stem, and flowers are all edible. Purple dead nettle is very nutritious being high in iron, vitamins, and fiber. It can be eaten raw as a salad green or cooked. Try boiling in water for 20-30 minutes, drain, and season to taste. Collect when in flower for fresh eating or for storage by drying.
The entire plant is an astringent, styptic, diaphoretic, diuretic, and purgative. A decoction can be made to help with hemorrhaging and the freshly bruised leaves can be applied to external cuts. Make a tea to use as a laxative or tonic by adding 2 tablespoons of fresh or dried herb to 1 cup hot water and steep for 10 minutes. Strain and drink in 1/2 cup doses.
I have this little flower growing ALL over my yard this year and I am definitely going to harvest, dehydrate at a low temp until dry, and store this valuable little plant for medicinal purposes! So get out there and SPRING into learning about what is growing in your yard that has been put there by God to help you stay healthy and fit for His service! James 1:17 says “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning”. Make sure to take time and enjoy the good gifts that God gives us each and every day of the year! Happy Spring!
You may have been wondering if I was ever going to finish this series! There just always seemed to be something else that I needed to post!
I ended part 5 by telling you that things were going extremely well. We were eating healthier meals. Our grocery budget was lower than it had been in a long time, and I was ready to settle into this well-balanced plan for the long haul.
However, around that time I realized that the extreme fatigue I was experiencing was not going away. In fact, I began getting worse. I would have to sleep 10 – 12 hours at night just to function the next day. I could do the basics of feeding and taking care of the kids, but by their naptime I was shot.
I decided that since the doctors weren't really doing much to help me, I was going to have to try to take things into my own hands.
My healthy eating must not be enough, I decided.
I determined that store-bought meat, produce, and dairy products must not be giving me the nutrition I needed.
I began purchasing all of these products from local farmers. Our grocery budget doubled, but my husband and I decided that in the balance between time, money, and health, our health had to hold more weight. (Plus, even with a doubled grocery budget, we were still only spending a maximum of $400 a month. That's still not bad for a family of 5 eating organic, local food!)
I bought organic whole wheat flour and oats in bulk. I began making our own bread and making oatmeal or eggs for breakfast.
I began making the drive 30 minutes away to pick up raw milk from a local farmer.
It was summer, so I was purchasing produce in bulk and canning, drying, and freezing things so that we could have healthy food available through the winter.
I drove hither and yon to get clean meat from whoever happened to have it available that week.
I read and read and read articles about how bad this ingredient is for you, and how good this food is for you. I turned up my nose at certain items that I used to toss into my grocery cart without a thought.
I did all of this while I was still suffering from the extreme fatigue.
Soon, I was absolutely overwhelmed. And tired. Just plain ol' tired. I couldn't keep up with the pace of living like this. I was torn. I wanted to keep toxins out of my body and put only the good things in, but it was so much work, and I just didn't have the energy!
It wasn't long before my husband's diet was worse than it had ever been. The kids and I would scrounge up some cheese, yogurt, nuts, and whatever few healthy foods we had that didn't require any work. I stopped cooking substantial dinners because I didn't have the energy to prepare it, but I didn't want to go back to the store-bought foods either. My poor husband was hungry all the time. He'd buy chemical-laden sausage biscuits at work for breakfast and get a candy bar out of the vending machine for lunch. My healthy living plan was backfiring big time.
We had some talks, and I had to agree with my husband that I definitely had not achieved that delicate balance of time, money, and health.
We made some decisions and came up with a plan that would work for our family's particular situation.
Next week will be the final post in this series, and I will share with you what that plan is.
(In the meantime, I will tell you that all of that nutrition I was trying to get into myself was not doing making me feel any better because I have Hashimoto's thyroiditis. All the thyroid-boosting things I was eating were being blocked by the disease. I'm going to a specialist in Atlanta this week to start a program to try and help me overcome it.)
Tell me your thoughts! Where is your family on your healthy living journey? Have you ever tried to be so healthy that it backfired on you?
This isn't the right time to tell you everything we learned from The Total Money Makeover, but I will tell you about one change that we made. We decided to make the switch to a cash budget. We weren't really sure it would do much good because we were always so careful about how we spent our money. Plus, when we put everything on a credit card, we earned points that could be redeemed for cash when they had been built up enough.
But, I had seen several people online talking about how well it worked for them, and there were a number of real-life examples in the book as well. We decided it couldn't hurt anything to give it a try.
When I first made the switch off of coupons, I was spending about the same amount of money by shopping at ALDI; I just did not have a pantry fully stocked with the newest products anymore. I was actually spending less money if you factor in the gas and time that I spent shopping at multiple stores with my coupons.
When we switched to the cash budget, the grocery bill dropped even lower. It was a challenge to me to see how much leftover cash I could have at the end of the month, and I began to menu plan every week, making sure I was only buying what was absolutely necessary for the meals I had planned. I ruthlessly scrutinized each item that went into the cart, trying to determine if there was any way we could make do without it. Every dollar's worth that I put back on the shelf added up surprisingly at the end of the month, and I would sometimes have a hundred dollars left over! (Have you tried a cash budget yet? You might be surprised what it will do for you even if you're already very disciplined with your money!)
Things were going extremely well. Due to the lack of free-with-coupon convenience foods, we were eating healthier meals. Our grocery budget was lower than it had been in a long time. I was ready to settle into this well-balanced plan for the long haul.
Then, we hit another bump in the road…
After we successfully polished off 40 boxes of Pop-tarts, I was so disgusted that “buying” the free junk food with coupons really wasn't even a temptation any more. I continued to coupon, but gladly passed up any type of food that I felt would be bad at all for my family. I kept whittling down my list of foods that I was willing to purchase. Eventually I got to the point where all I did was to skim the lists on the coupon blogs looking for great sales on meat and vegetables and coupons for things like cheese and eggs. I renewed my allegiance to ALDI and only went to the big stores if there were several of my approved items on sale.
(I did continue to coupon at the drug stores, and for a time got more heavily involved in that than ever. I got a lot of free necessities for our family like diapers and toilet paper and made a lot of money selling all the excess freebies. But that's another story for another time.)
It was around that same time that I happened to win a blog giveaway for a bunch of Dave Ramsey‘s books and other products. My husband and I both read The Total Money Makeover, more out of curiosity than anything. We had both grown up in homes where debt was never a problem, and we carried that over into our marriage. We didn't spend money on things we didn't need, we saved up and paid cash for big purchases, and we felt like we were doing just fine financially.
What did this guy have to say that we didn't already know?
As it turned out, he knew quite a bit more than we did…