Garden – Year 1

 

This is our first year of a full garden!  Full for us anyway.  Let me start at the beginning…

When we had to rehome our precious hens last year after the hurricane, our first thought was to sell the 2 pens we had put together as our enclosure for the chickens and their coops.  But winter came, time slipped away and then I had an epiphany!!!

Since we have 3 small dogs that would absolutely destroy a garden, I thought it would be a perfect place to put our very first “in-ground” garden!  I had done some container gardening up to this point, so I was really excited!!!!  The big bonus was the shade covers over the entire 30 x 10 area – the birds wouldn’t be able to swoop in for a fruit or veggie snack!

When our farmer market open this spring, I went to check it out…and there were starter plants!!!  Not knowing exactly what I was getting myself into, I got 4 containers of each of these plants:  Watermelon, Squash, Cucumbers, Bell Peppers, and Tomatoes!  I had already gotten 5 Strawberry plants from another homesteader friend.

I got the ground ready, and planted my little starter plants.  They were so cute!  I only used 2/3 of the area I had, but I soon realized that I was going to have to move some of those running plants!!!  I had NO idea how quickly they spread!

 

Now we have TONS of cucumbers, a good amount of squash, several nice sized watermelons developing – on in a hammock hanging from the fence (his fence mate fell off – I was wondering if it would hold or not – so he got his own hammock to finish growing!

Watermelon Hammock

The tomato plants are HUGE and producing very well, the bell peppers are delicious and sort of at a standstill right now after picking all the mature “bells”.  I definitely need to do more research on the strawberries…they are a confusing bunch for me.

 

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All in all, it’s been a good season so far – we can’t wait for those melons to ripen!  But, I have alot of studying to do for next year!!  I’m thinking about some raised beds too, adding jalapeños, beans, onions, and we might try some potatoes!

At least now I know how much room all those vining plants need!!!!!!

Until next time…

Blessings ~

Heather

 

 

“You Are What You Eat”

Our health is determined by what we put IN our bodies (genetics too…but we have control of what we ingest)

As I have gotten older, I soooo wish I had actually CARED about nutrition and natural health when I was raising my girls (please forgive me Melanie, Melissa, and Melinda!!!)

Getting older doesn’t have to stink. BUT…if you are like me and didn’t pay attention to – or cared – what you put in your body up til this point, getting older will definitely make you re-think EVERY food choice…and also every choice about medications {or not}, natural choices, and toxic chemicals.

I am ready to meet Jesus and when He calls me home, I’m out! BUT…until then, I want to live a happy and healthier life – I wanna hang around as long as I can and spend time with my loved ones!

If this resonates with you…check out Dr. Hyman…click on his podcasts, read his articles, learn about health and the Gut-Brain connection!!!

Don’t wait til your old like me!

Blessings ~

 

Heather

What’s all this about “IF”?

 

 

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I have been curious about Intermittent Fasting (“IF” for short) for awhile now.  Several of my friends are doing it and have raved about how they feel great, have more energy, and just generally feel better physically and emotionally!!  Who doesn’t want that?  So, I’ve done some research and was planning to write a blog article about it until I got this AWESOME email from The Daniel Plan today!  I could not possibly add anything better to this so here it is, sharing from their website!  Check out the entire post here.

What are some health benefits of IF?

(SOURCE: this is straight from the blog post from The Daniel Plan linked above)

1. Lowers cancer risk.

Multiple studies have shown a link between intermittent fasting and a reduced risk of breast cancer.

2. Enhances heart health.

Intermittent fasting is thought to lower heart disease risk due to its ability to lower triglycerides and blood pressure and raise beneficial HDL cholesterol.

3. Improves autoimmune conditions.

A fasting-mimicking diet under 1,000 calories a day for three-day cycles has been shown to improve symptoms associated with autoimmune conditions like multiple sclerosis as well as lupus.

4. Improves blood sugar.

When it comes to managing blood sugar, intermittent fasting takes center stage. With its proven ability to lower insulin resistance and increase metabolism, it’s one of my favorite tools to recommend to patients with blood sugar problems.

5. Encourages weight loss.

Weight-loss resistance can often be due to an underlying hormone imbalance. Leptin resistance occurs when your brain stops recognizing leptin’s signals to use your body’s fat stores for energy. This causes your body to continually store fat instead of using it. Intermittent fasting has been shown to improve chronic inflammation that can dull the brain’s leptin receptor sites.

6. Curbs cravings.

If you’re worried you’ll be starving while fasting, you’ll be pleasantly surprised! Intermittent fasting decreases your hunger hormone ghrelin, which in turn can increase dopamine levels in the brain. (Just another example of the gut-brain axis at work.) Fasting can also help free people from emotional eating and kill cravings by transitioning your metabolism from unstable sugar-burning to steady fat-burning.

7. Increases cognitive function.

Studies have shown that intermittent fasting can improve degenerative brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

8. Improves lung health.

One study showed intermittent fasting’s ability to decrease asthma symptoms as well as reduce oxidative stress.

9. Helps heal the gut 

Lowering inflammation in the gut with intermittent fasting improves inflammatory gut problems such as IBS, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease.

While the idea of fasting can be overwhelming, especially if you haven’t done it before, intermittent fasting can actually be a lot easier than many other types of eating plans. Since you are fasting for a good chunk of the day, you’ll be eating less food, which eliminates a lot of the stress around having to meal prep. When you are eating, you’ll still want to focus mainly on healthy fats, clean protein, and carbohydrates from whole food sources—but this isn’t an excuse to hit the drive-thru and load up on sugar the rest of the time!

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I trust The Daniel Plan to give us the best info possible and not lead us astray!  There is a ton more info over at their Blog, so hop on over there to find out how IF works, some great recipe suggestions, and more!

If you are one of those that is doing IF, drop me a comment below and tell us what you think about it and how it makes you feel!  I’d love to hear from all the IF-ers out there!

Until next time…

Blessings ~

Heather

 

 

 

Journey into Wellness

A few things I have learned on our wellness journey…

 

clean eats

Clean eating is the ONLY way to eat! Processed foods were slowly killing us! We are on the beginning of a path to healthier eating – extremely limiting gluten with intentions to eliminate it all together, cutting out processed sugar, limiting dairy products, eating more fresh vegetables and no processed meats (like lunchmeat), and adding good fats like grass fed butter, salmon, coconut oil, and I am also going to be making some “bone broth” to add to our healthy gut diet. What you feed your body has a direct correlation to your emotional health!!! Your gut health and your brain health are connected!  An unhealthy gut may be a factor contributing to depression, ADHD, Anxiety, Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and more!  Gut health and a healthy immune system should be our tops goals!

 

 

suppsAlways keep your body systems at their peak, especially your Immune System! Having an immune system that STAYS above the wellness line makes for a much healthier winter!  We have a daily wellness routine of all natural supplements and essential oils that hasn’t failed us in 4 years!

 

 

toxic chemicals

photo source: Natural Resource Defense Council

All the toxins!!! I never realized how many poisons we were putting in and on our bodies daily!  Shampoo, laundry detergent, make-up, skin care products, cleaning products and so much more are full of chemicals that are cancer causing!  We now use all natural products in place of all of these!

 

 

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Kombucha is a natural probiotic! There are so many health benefits you get from drinking fermented tea – a healthier gut is so important, so that is the main reason I have started brewing my own Kombucha!  I’ll be adding my recipe here soon!

 

 

There is so much more that I could add to this list but this is a great start!  I’m so thankful for the journey we are on – we are not spring chickens anymore and I am positive that these 5 things will allow us to hang out on this earth a little longer than we would have had we stayed on the unhealthy path we were following – God willing!

Love and Blessings ~

Heather