Friday, August 24, 2012

Healthy Sides Showing

Are your kids heading back to school? Maybe they are a week in and have already come home coughing, sneezing, or with something like pink eye.

     Back to school means major germ bombardment, unwashed hands, and uncovered coughs...and....well, we wont talk about what else kids might do or germs they may encounter. (yuck)

As busy Moms, the best we can do is arm them properly with the best defense mechanisms we can.
I'm not talking about spraying them down with Lysol every two minutes either, though you may be tempted.

I'm also not talking about throwing your whole child in the washing machine, though it might feel appropriate.

I'm certainly not talking about pulling out your husband's high pressure washer to spray them off in the driveway before they enter your just cleaned house.

Nope, I'm talking about taking AMAZING measures that take only a few minutes, help your kids to have stronger immunity, better focus, and ... wait for it....wait....wait....


Check this out...



How's your attitude when you feel like crap? Yup. Mine too. (Insert wink, now your getting it)

Okay Mom: So here's your FREE TOOL BOX

1. Keep 'em hydrated. You might be focusing on keeping your water intake at those recommended 8 - 8oz. glasses, but what about your tyke? Sending a water bottle to school with them makes this easier! A properly hydrated body excretes toxins easier!

2. Start Right. Everyone knows already that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but I'm not talking about fueling with junk - ever see what happens when you put sugar in a gas tank? What do you think happens to your body!? Why would you do that to your kids? A perfect start includes: Whole Grain Oats, Fresh Whole Fruit, and....a vegetable! (Yup, I just wrote that) I like offering Oatmeal, rice, or quinoa with fresh fruit and flax seed partnered with a smoothie that includes leafy greens and probiotics)

3. Send them armed. Pack easy to eat vegetables like carrots, celery, sliced peppers and jicama. Fruits like bananas and oranges. Vegetables are packed with Immunity Boosting nutrients like Vitamin C and nutrients that support mental and emotional health like B Vitamins.

4. Make 'em Move It. My son always rolls his eyes when I kick him off the couch and away from the television but he always ends up enjoying himself. How about kicking a soccer ball around? Practicing batting? Skateboarding? Rollerblading? Exercise boosts the immunity and improves circulation.

5. Keep Green. Greens, Glorious Greens. Yes, if you can at every meal! The benefits are more than I can count, from Immunity Strengthening to Blood Cleansing - how? Worst case - a smoothie, but you can put them in soups, stews, pasta salads. Think outside the box as much possible.

6. Try Natural. If the case does come up where your chilun' comes home sick there are a wide variety of natural remedies and healing methods you can use that have been used my Moms everywhere for millenia. If you aren't confident in this space, contact a Naturopathic Doctor or Pediatrician and they will support you. I love things like Chamomile Tea, Neti Pots, Hot Lemon Water, Homemade Chicken Broth, and the fact that allowing them to rest can help them to heal by a milestone.

 Feel overwhelmed? Pick one of these tools to use this month, add another next. My entire practice is around supporting Moms in applying tools like this in their lives and helping them to supply them for their families. For a free sneak peek of how I work - contact me for your FREE one hour break through session!

In vibrant health and happiness,
Tammi Hoerner, CHHC, MH

For more tips on feeding your kids healthfully, make sure you follow me! 

Closing Summer Up with the Practice Of Presence

Dominik starts school on Monday.
There are so many fun things to do in the city!
 This is at the WOW Museum in Lafayette, CO

How did the summer go by so fast?

     In reflection, this was the first summer I've had to spend with my kiddos and have enjoyed every last minute of it! It's been so wonderful to be here, to watch my son (and daughter in her young adult life) grow and change. To experience the long hot lazy summer days watching Dominik run through the sprinkler or to spend time in Cherry Creek with Auriel, eating brunch at our favorite French Restaurant. It makes me feel alive, full, engaged, and fulfilled. There truly is nothing like being an entrepreneur and being empowered to design my career to allow for such times.

Also at WOW in Lafayette
     Our summer has included our first shipment of chicks; a garden full of colorful vegetables, our first plums on our ten year old plum tree, Oriole and Woodpecker sightings, and walks with Sport (our last of a team of three amazing loving dogs) around the yard to chase kitties and dig in the dirt. Our summer was also filled with festivals, a trip to the mountains, the museum, the zoo, the Children's Museum, WOW, and lots of trips to Monkey Business. What a wonderful summer it has been, one I will always remember.

     It's also been a summer of growth for The Nourished Life, Back2Basic Nutrition , and New Beginnings Health & Wellness. All have been quite rewarding but also incredibly challenging while I learn to balance and be in full control of my life. I earned and was rewarded a Health Leadership Award in July from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City, this was both an honor and a surprise. I'm truly grateful for everything that has happened in each division of my new career this summer and look forward to the lasting impact in the months ahead.

     What an amazing summer with so much to be truly grateful for!

     What happened during your summer? Did it impact your life? Do you have lots of memories to tuck away? How about photos or stories to share?
     Every minute we practice presence, we are given the gift of being engaged in our own life and the lives of those we love.
     Practicing presence can be challenging, especially when we - as most Mothers are - are being pulled in so many directions at once, it's much easier to live life in your head.
     What is presence? What do I mean? From my own definition, this practice is staying in the moment. Every time you find yourself thinking of yesterday or tomorrow, you are not in the moment. If you are thinking of this past morning and after work, you are not in the moment. Here are some tips to help you accomplish this rewarding experience;

  • To get myself in the moment, I start by taking a deep breath, maybe two. 
  • Then I close my eyes. I feel my feet, my arms, my toosh in the chair. 
  • I take another deep breath.
  • I then listen to the sounds around me, gently and lovingly pulling myself back every time my mind wanders. 
  • I then will open my eyes to look around me directly. What am I surrounded by? What colors do I see,  what shapes do I see? 
  • In this moment, how do I feel? How do YOU feel? 
     Taking on this practice helps me to be more present for my life, which as you know, we don't get to do twice and since I wouldn't give any piece of it up for the world, I'd like to be here, in the present to experience it. Wouldn't you?

In vibrant health & happiness,
Tammi Hoerner, CHHC, MH

If you found this experience fun or inspirational, I invite you to accompany me on a journey that will change your life. You can start with a simple free one hour break through consultation with me!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Cornish Game Hens

8 week old Cornish Game Hen

Having chickens has been such an enlightening adventure for me, my hubby, and my kids. We have enjoyed their little personalities so far. They are funny, shy, skittish (now I know where the terms of being a chicken came from), and will eat anything (even plastic or styrofoam - like people, not that it's good for them, but it's there). 
The greatest lesson for us was learning that Cornish Game Hens are not full grown adult chickens. The typical slaughter time is at 6 weeks. So, those little bodies you see at the store...those are babies. That's why they are small. 
At 8 weeks, they are nearly the size of a full grown chicken. Yet, they are only 8 weeks old. At 8 weeks our chickens are only just beginning to experience the out doors, are just learning that they love strawberries, and can barely hold themselves up on two legs. They are all free range and are fed at night just before time to recoop them. They have the wide open grassy lawn, the garden, and another wild acre to venture. Most of the chickens are exploring, but the cornish game hen are tired easily, so only venture into the zucchini patch where they curl up and take a nap. It's quite sad, actually. 
This is why we could justify the second butcher so soon. Watching them try to do some of the things the other chicks were doing, only to fear they'd break a leg. They would lay down to eat, lay down to drink. Not by laziness, but by having a body too large for their (actually quite large) legs. 
So, now, we have chicken in the freezer. What's interesting is there is very little fat, so it's not like these were fat chickens. I understand that they are bred (hhhmmmm genetic modification by a gentler name?) to grow quicker and that this is not natural. 

Okay, so there you have it. I'm not sure we'll get more Cornish game hens. Really, it just seems off and unfair for any living thing to only experience 8 weeks of life. That's the main point in this whole process. If we are going to eat meat, to fully understand and reconnect with it seems like the right thing to do. I did cry this day, and felt sad. We did not prepare the meat right away - it's in the freezer. Ultimately, we'll see if this gets easier. 

The rest of the chickens are growing and look more like chickens and less like chicks. They are so beautiful, friendly, curious, and fun. I'm hoping to see eggs in October, but I think actually it will be November and that through the winter the eggs will be slower. Either way, I'm glad we wont be butchering any more for at least a few months. *whew*. 

When I get the guts up to cook one, I'll share the recipe. 

In Vibrant Health and Happiness, 
Tammi Hoerner
Be sure to stop in and request your free week of meal plans! 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Never Thought I'd Say It...

"Where is my zucchini?!"
That's all I could say, we've had a ton of flowers and I've been brainstorming like mad to be sure I had plenty of ideas of what to do with it, but honestly, my zucchini chips were the last I got from the garden!

Today, I went out to pull the ready foods from the garden and lo and behold....

The chickens have been pretty much nesting in the Zucchini plants! They are cozy under the giant leaves, it's shady and cool - not to mention comes with a nice little snack bar....which happen to be my baby zucchinis.

Hmmm... Just as I was celebrating the leave of the grasshoppers.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Zucchini Everywhere!

It took awhile to learn it, but anyone who grows zucchini knows they are very, very prolific. And...unless you absolutely want to eat zucchini for every meal, every day, you should probably only plant 1 or 2 plants.

Even adding them to my smoothies, they manage to get in front of me, so... here's a fun way to use up your zucchini!

Zucchini Chips
1 medium zucchini (garden fresh or farmer’s market, these are always bigger)
Or 6 small zucchini
2 Tbsp Olive oil

Sea Salt
1 clove Garlic, minced
Dried Oregano, basil, thyme

Slice zucchini into 1/8” to 1/4 “ coins. In a bowl, toss zucchini coins with seasonings and oil. Spread in a single layer on baking sheet, I like stoneware, so this is a nice option for making chips. Line with parchment to prevent from sticking.

Bake at 175°F for 2 ½ hours. 

These are a great alternative to traditional potato chips, and are fun for the kids. 

In vibrant health and happiness,
Tammi Hoerner

If you enjoyed this recipe, be sure to stop in to my website and sign up for my Free One Month of Meal Plans! 

Monday, July 30, 2012

For Fires, I'm Grateful that I'm Reminded to Be Grateful

When I was in corporate, I would day dream about working at home. So many wonderful things about being at home, staying on top of chores, having more time with my kids, and being available for emergencies.
I even day dreamed that I would get bored.

Actually working at home is anything but boring, and it certainly hasn't quite panned out to be the all caught up perfectly neat housewife vision I thought it would be. Especially when life throws a curve ball like it did today! 

I was working on my meal plans, when I became very restless. I asked my son to join me on an escapade out to the chickens, then a trip down the drive way to the mail box. It's a great way to get some sun and exercise. I know for me, taking breaks like this helps me to refocus back on work.

From the back yard, we headed up toward the front of the house, Dominik is always about 20 steps ahead of me, so I didn't think to much when I reached the garage and he wasn't there. When I came around the garage, I saw he made it down to the end of the driveway just at the road. He had turned and was headed back to me. And there was smoke. (In my mind's eye all I see is Dominik and smoke, but I know I was taking in so much more. )

I hollared down the drive for him to ride as fast as he could back to the house (RIGHT THIS MINUTE!!) at the same time he hit the garage, I ran inside to get the phone and was dialing 911 and back out front I went to keep an eye.

I asked Dominik to stay inside until I knew what was happening, then pulled him back out where in case the fire reached the house, he wasn't trapped. My mind thought of other things too, like pulling the car out of the garage in case we needed to drive to safety, and my sleeping cats. But I was afraid to not fight the fire, since it takes the nearest fire department almost 15 minutes to get anywhere out here.

At this point, a neighbor who had driven by shortly before returned with a shovel and was out shoveling dirt onto the fire. I got off the phone and joined him with my hose. (Yes, I have a hose that reaches the road, thank GOD)

Together, we coordinated to control the direction of the fire and the pace at which it headed toward my house, although there really wasn't anyway the two of us could have stopped it. It was burning at both ends, and my hose just couldn't reach far enough. I wasn't timing, but my friendly neighbor and I had created a nice  block in it before the firefighters and sheriff arrived.

My adrenaline has never pumped so hard, and I don't think I've ever moved my body that hard, that fast!

I'm not exactly sure how much is burned, the neighbors lost a lot of fence line, but everyone, and pets are safe, for that I'm so grateful.

When my husband came home (much earlier than planned since I was panicking when I called him), I cried. I wanted to cry much harder, but was grateful for him being home early.

In this moment, I am reminded that one of my lessons in this life has been to learn to find the gifts in tragedy and in challenges. This is one of those moments. I could have cursed the transformer, or been so angry that my son was bold enough to get so close, I could have spent the rest of my afternoon crying about how bad it was. But, right now, I'm in a total space of awe and gratitude.

You see, the only reason we even went around the front of the house was to check the mail. I don't always check the mail any more and if we hadn't been pulled to do so, things would have turned out much differently, for everyone.
I'm grateful for neighbors that I've never met, caring enough to take action.
I'm grateful for that hose that reaches pretty darn far that we got for so many trees, we never knew we'd fight a fire with it.
I'm grateful most of all that I was home. That my amazing career that I love so much lets me be here so I can live my life, but to also be present when I need to be.

Post Fire Fighters, Near the Road facing South

Post Fire Fighters, Near road facing North

The edge where we were working to keep the fire away

This picture is facing my house from the far end of the fire. 

A good view from our drive, it burned very, very quickly

And so, I am thankful. So, Incredibly Thankful!

Gratitude has changed a lot of things in my life. By shifting my perspective it has helped me not only to see things differently but to recognize the gifts I'm given daily, to see opportunities when they are presented, and to stay in a happier, more fulfilled state of mind.

How are you practicing gratitude in your life? Need a start? How about keeping a journal where you log three positive things that happened in your day and why they happened. After making note of such events, simply say, "Thank you".

In vibrant health and happiness,
Tammi Hoerner

Finally time for the Farmer's Market

In a nearby town, right along the highway, there has been a farmer's market every year for at least 13 years. It isn't a conglomeration of farms, rather only one. But they are nice people and have a huge variety to choose from.
This was my first exposure to a farmer's market about those 13 years ago.

On my way home yesterday, I was in the area and was pulled to stop in.

Since we have our own garden, we don't often stop at the farmer's markets anymore, but I was glad I did yesterday!

I bought for my home:

3 sweet potatoes
1 bunch small yellow onions
1 bulb garlic
4 ears of corn
4 empanadas (premade tarts)
6 peaches from Palisade, Co
3 lemons
1 lime
4 Patty Pan Squash

and I bought for my daughter:

1 lb green beans
1 eggplant
1 bulb garlic
1 bunch onions
2 tomatoes
(I think that's it, but there might have been a couple more items in hers)

and for my son:
3 honey sticks

For only $30.00!!! 

When I came home, I made the following one dish meal:

Squash and Orzo

1 cup Orzo
1 cup water
2 patty pan squash, sliced
1 small zucchini
1 small yellow onion, peeled and sliced
3 Tbsp Italian Seasoning Blend that includes garlic, pepper and sea salt, basil, oregano
2 Tbsp organic low salt butter
Fresh Mozzarella Balls

Preheat oven to 375.
Layer in a glass baking dish: orzo, water, patty pan, zucchini, onion, seasonings. Top with foil.
Cook about 35 minutes.
Stir everything together, serve with Mozzarella.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

D-Day at Our House

Last Sunday was D-Day. Not for everyone, just four. Plus it was our first time. We didn't want to make the task over bearing or so long that we became vegetarians before the night was out. The Cornish Game Hens were about 2.5 to 3.0 lbs at this point and according to every source the optimal size to begin to take for meat.
ugh. REALLY?!

Even Jim wasn't sure he was prepared for this. It's hard to take little lives. We did it though. And here is our process.

The hardest part was to choose who would be the ones. Jim said four, while we're doing this, we'll try to take enough to last a bit. We got a huge pot for boiled water (180 degrees), a table with a chopping block to kill the chicken, a hanging beam to hang them to bleed out, then finally another table to remove the feathers and gut them. I've spared you the gross stuff for the most part - here is a photo after the heads have been removed but before feathers are removed. 

At this point, I've begun to question the rationale behind my quest. My son was crying and understandably upset, as were Jim and I. It is so much easier to just buy them at the store. This process will change our view of meat forever. 

This is me, taking the feathers off the bird. 
It's not entirely a bad process, it's just not easy. Raising them, you can see they are living, breathing, feeling beings. I believe the term is satient? Not fully sure, but it's hard to not feel for them. 

We kept the other birds completely in their coop so they were not exposed to the trauma of what was happening. But they know their companions are gone and are a bit nervous when I or Jim come out. 

To fully embrace this day, this moment, I froze two of the chickens and put two in the roaster. Quite honestly, it was a little hard to eat, BUT it was GREAT tasting chicken, extremely lean, tender, and juicy. 

Dressed and ready for the oven!

So, We did it. We raised our own meat. We even slaughtered our own meat and sat down together and enjoyed the meal. Jim and I have both decided we wouldn't mind waiting a few more weeks before taking the rest of the Cornish Game Hens though. I think the kids are on board for that too. 

It feels good to know the meat is healthy and strong for my son and for my husband and I and I can truly say I know where it comes from before it's on my plate. 

For that part, the health coach in me is deeply satisfied. The Mom in me is deeply satisfied. The animal lover is a little confused. 

In vibrant health and happiness,
Tammi Hoerner

P.S. If you've enjoyed this article, you might enjoy my meal plans! Be sure you opt in for the One Month FREE Gluten and Dairy free meal plans at the top of my blog! 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Delish Country Dish

We don't have bacon much, but whenever we do, I always reserve the grease for such dishes as this morning's. Sometimes olive oil just doesn't cut it. Today is one of those days.

Small zucchini, mine was from our garden, was medium sized and I used about 3 inches, cut these into 1/2" strips. If your zucchini is fresh or a small one like what you get at the store, no need to peel it.
3 small new potatoes, cut into strips
1 Tbsp bacon grease (You can use olive oil or coconut oil)
4 large leaves fresh basil, diced
2 small basil leaves for garnish.

Heat grease over medium heat in a large skillet. I don't like the way eggs have a tendency to stick so I always use a nonstick pan when I cook eggs.

Add strips of potatoes and zucchini and cook for about 5 - 8 minutes stirring frequently.

Reduce temperature. Add eggs, and stir.

Cook until eggs are completely done. 
Season with Garlic Pepper, I used a grinder seasoning blend to make this simple.

Garnish with fresh Basil, serve immediately. 

Serves 2. 

Oh, seriously this is pretty and yummy!

If you enjoy this recipe, you should try my meal planning! You can get a whole month FREE here!

I am delighted to share such fun and nutritious recipes! 
In vibrant health and happiness,
Tammi Hoerner, CHHC

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Only Thing Constant is Change

Yesterday evening we moved the pheasant to a larger "brooding house", which was our tool storage shed for the garden. Luckily, Jim recently cleaned it out so it wasn't too big of a project in preparation. 
I felt a little sad for the babies as they just were getting used to being in their new home and now we move them again. They seem to like their new arrangement, but had no idea what was ahead of them when we were gathering them for the move. This  morning, they are enjoying the extra space and a bit of fresh air from the vent placed way high in the ceiling, and I can't help but wonder if they knew what was coming if they wouldn't have been more eager to be handled in the move to the new space. 

It made me think about change in our own lives. 

Change is one of life's greatest challenges. We will plant our feet firmly in the ground, or even sometimes, just like these little pheasant did, run around aimlessly screaming as if doing so will prevent the change. But, the change is necessary and will happen anyway. 

Often when I'm working with clients, this topic surfaces. We all know change is imminent, many of us know and recognize that we've changed before and it's often for the better. Still, we do everything we can to stop it. Why?

I believe it is a simple fear of the unknown. We just don't know what's on the other side. It could be something amazing like that new opportunity, an up level in our living (like our pheasant received) or it could be another challenge. 

For me, because I've always had so much change in my life, I will create change in my own life if things sit too still. I often find that I might create challenges for myself this way, but more often than not, they are great challenges where I grow and learn and can create a better me for the world. 

For my clients, I am a facilitator of change, supporting them in moving through small changes, to make the transition easier and longer lasting. Doing so is an honor and a gift for me, because I know that it's an up level in living for them. It's allowing them to walk through the door to that new life, new body, new perspective that so many women are seeking.

Does fear hold you back from living your best life? 
In what spaces do you try to prevent change? 
How does doing so hold you back from your best self? 

I'd love to hear from you! 
In Vibrant Health and Happiness,
Tammi Hoerner

Want to change your diet? Stop in for my FREE one month of MEAL PLANS here: THE NOURISHED LIFE!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Most Saught After PBCC Cookie (gluten/dairy free)

Simply put, I was having a moment. I NEEDED something.
Alas, I have NO junk food in my pantry - this is by design, but always surprises me.
Every time, I do the same thing, search high and low, thinking I'll find something.
The reality is, that I wont. Then I get to sit and decide just how badly I want a sweet. If I want it bad enough to go through the hassle of baking it, then I have no choice but to upgrade my ingredients.

Tonight is just such an example.

Here's the result of my concoction:

1 Cup Earth Balance Peanut Butter
3/4 Cup Turbinado Sugar (Raw Cane Sugar)
3/4 Cup Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 Medium Organic Free Range Eggs
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp Chia Seeds
1 1/2 tsp Sea Salt

Preheat oven to 350F
In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients with a large fork until well mixed.
Scoop out dough one tablespoon at a time onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 12 minutes. Allow to cool completely unless you want to eat them with a fork. (Yes, we did this!)

Fresh from the oven, these are a bit gooey, but oh, they are SO GOOD!

This made about 14 cookies

Were they good?
Well, my toughest client (my hubby) said, "NOW THAT'S A COOKIE!"
Like this recipe? 
You'll want to be sure to get your FREE month of gluten free dairy free meal plans HERE

Friday, July 6, 2012

Birds of a Feather

This mornings visit with my chicks was fun and filled with a bit of surprise.

The chicks are learning to perch on the sides of the brooder. As I said before, we put window screens over the top of the brooders to prevent "flying the coop". When I went out with my coffee to sit by them and talk, I took the screens off. The immediately showed me their new trick. ( Since I'm using my Iphone to take photos, I don't have any but will soon, I hope)

The feathers are growing in nicely, and I'm making friends with them.
Hello Chicks!

Can you see the size difference?

They are growing and curious!

Pretty Feathers

My new found friend

She is really friendly. We aren't sure if these are the Cornish Game Hens or the Leghorns. Jim thinks these are the Cornish Game Hens, which means dinner. (ugh) But, for now, she's my little friend and she enjoys being held.

Check out those feathers!

The surprise? Well, it seems the pheasant are a week ahead of the chicks. I cleaned out the chick pen, fed and watered them. I stepped outside and came back in to a pheasant - about three inches in size, perched on the side of their brooder. Woah.
Wasn't expecting that!
So, they too now have screens on top of their brooder.

What fun this has been!

In vibrant health and happiness,


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Having One of Those Moments?

You bought a dress straight off the rack. It's adorable, but you aren't sure it'll fit. But if it does, you're gonna wear it tomorrow. 
Besides, it's on sale.
You looked at all the sizes and pulled out the L. Not your normal size. But the M just doesn't look like it's going to work. 

You get home and try your new dress on. It's tight. Not just tight, but seems to emphasize your Pear shape, your big thighs and the love handles that landed there sometime in the last week, cause you sure didn't see them before. 

Then it happens. The cloud of doubt and shame, the regret. The confidence that was there only thirty seconds ago flies out the window. You pull on a baggy pear of pants and loose fitting shirt and walk slowly to meet the rest of your family to go. 

There's a heavy feeling of defeat. You feel like you can't have fun. Like if you do, it will make you fat. 
What fun is eating out and celebrating when you are always restricting yourself? Why can everyone else have fun and you can't?

You ask yourself, "Why? Why do I keep doing things that I know are going to make me fat? Why do I keep sabotaging myself? Why is weight loss soooo hard for me?"  

Yep, I've been there! The truth is, weight loss is different for everyone. What works for your neighbor or Bestie, probably will not work for you. Why? Because, Beautiful, you are a unique and special individual. We all are
What makes it more challenging is that what we need changes. As your life changes, the foods that are right for your body change.
Think for a moment of all the different physical demands on your body, those that change through the years. 
Some women are very active, others are not. Some have a job that is at a desk all day, some stand on their feet all day. Some women are 20 and are awake 18 out of 24 hours every day, others are nursing mothers and are awake 20 out of 24 hours. Each woman's life demands something different. Each woman's body, is a little different. 

How will you know what will work for your body?

Instinctively, we all truly know what we need. Sometimes, we need to slow down to listen and this, my friend, takes practice.

There are so many ways to learn which lifestyle choices nurture and nourish your body. One of my favorite tools is to keep a journal. Not just a food journal and most certainly NOT counting calories or nutrients. Rather a "TUNE IN" Journal. Ask yourself the following questions;
  • What/when/ and in what circumstances did you eat?
  • How much water and other drinks are you consuming and when?
  • How did your food leave you feeling?
  • What happened in the day that felt stressful/good?
  • How was your sleep?
  • Did you leave time to play or meditate?
  • How do you end your day feeling? Satisfied or Craving?
  • Are you moving during the day? How much and what types of movement are you doing?
Sometimes, this practice of tuning inward and paying close attention is all we need to identify how we are doing the things we are doing that stand in our way of success. It's the simple awareness and plugging back into our selves.

Having the AWARENESS is the first step!

Even I get lost in the day to day demands and tasks, especially as I add new challenges like my little chickens. Having the right tools in place is what makes the difference between success and sabotage. 

I would LOVE to hear from YOU! 
Feel free to ask questions, leave comments, and connect for more information about how to take steps to lead a healthier life!
Don't miss my free month of Meal Plans by signing up for my Nourished Life newsletter! 

In vibrant health and happiness,

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

They Want to Fly the Coop!

Already, the chicks are trying to fly. I'm surprised. Jim is surprised. They actually look at the top of the brooder box, aim, flap, and next thing you know, there they are! Sitting on the edge, looking at you.
You can tell we're new at this!
We decided to cover the brooders with window screens for now. It's working.

They are  beautiful and growing feathers. It's been since Saturday since we lost any, and I'm quite excited about that. I think it means we're learning and doing okay. The roosters are colorful and curious. The hens are quieter and friendly.

We have some white leghorns - they will be the egg layers, they are HUGE and already look like chickens. Some of them are actually bawking rather than peeping. Less than two weeks old.

Can you believe it? I thought my kids grew fast!

Happy July 4th!
In vibrant health,

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Smokey Morning

One of the greatest things I've done for my health is turn off the news. 

A few years back, there were stories of Mothers killing their children. I'm not talking about birds, cats, or elephants. I'm talking about people. The violence was horrific and left me incredibly distraught.
I got stuck in the stories looking for answer to "WHY"? and "HOW COULD SHE DO THAT?"
It was tragic, but it was the idea of what went through a child's head as they were the victims. What does a child think when his or her Mommy is trying to kill him/her.
I would lose sleep, have nightmares, cry.

I spent a lot of time thinking about it, trying to understand, so that perhaps, I could save a child's life. The only way to intervene is to know what is happening. It is one of the reasons why I do what I do today. It sent me on a search of how to create space for Mothers to decompress. To refocus their efforts on taking care of themselves, nutritionally, emotionally so they can be better Mothers.

After awhile though, the news wears on you. I was tired of reading it. So, I turned it off. 

This morning, those few years later, I am grateful that I can make a difference in lives. Today, I think of how the news gets to me anyway - through word of mouth and pictures on facebook. But today, it's fires.

And this morning it's coming via the air. The smokey, warm morning air. I am miles and miles from the closest fire, but I wake up in the night smelling it. I pray for rain, and pray the people on the plains keep their wits about them so we don't have the same thing as those in the hills. It's always dry in the summer here.
The smoke in this East facing photo is apparent, it's 7:00 am and everything is smokey on the horizon.

I'm not even drawn to watch the news though, I cannot control the weather, I cannot change the turn out of events once they hit the news, I can only share the word of prevention, and help others to be aware.

I find like other news, this event is incredibly tragic. Community action is required. But immersing myself in it, watching it, focusing on it, doesn't change things.

I've decided by turning it off, I am more centered, balanced, better able to help others, because I am not as stressed, and I am being the best person I can be.

In Vibrant Health and Happiness

Monday, July 2, 2012

Cran-Apple Smoothie

*whew* this morning was hot! 

I have two weeks of meal plans to do before I can do much else, so, of course, I decided this morning to water trees. (Now that's avoiding my work) Then, I watered plants out back, took the dog for a walk, and worked with the chicks a bit.
Who, by the way are totally cute. So, I spent some time avoiding my work, playing with the chickens.
After I started feeling woozy, I decided my idea was going to back fire if I didn't haul myself inside, eat breakfast, drink some water, and get to work.
I was sure feeling the heat when I came in, drenched with sweat and a bit light headed. I knew I needed more than just a glass of water, but I was too hot to eat.
That's when I decided it would be a full on smoothie morning!

This tart smoothie is both thirst quenching and cooling!

Cran-Apple Smoothie
1 Green Apple, diced and cored
1 Cucumber, peeled and diced
½ cup frozen cranberries
1 cup coconut water
2 cups water
Blend all ingredients until smooth. Serve with a slice of GF multigrain toast and a boiled egg.
Serves 3 – 4

If you are opting to have smoothies at breakfast but feel hungry before lunch, try adding a boiled egg and whole grain gluten free toast. 

This amazing smoothie was just what I needed to cool and cure my thirst as well as feed my body plenty of nutrients to get started on my day...yes, ... meal planning. 

In vibrant health,

Friday, June 29, 2012

Aahhhh, Routine!

Finally, the chicks have reached stable. Which in English means; I didn't find any more dead this morning. I did however find that the fox can smell where I buried them. Never a dull moment. Never.

I'm exhausted from the week, but am looking forward to watching them grow and seeing how they benefit my family. Just today, I went out to pull weeds in my garden, and walked through a batch of a billion grasshoppers. He-he-he... enjoy it now awful grasshoppers, your day is coming!

As I type this, I am also putting on a batch of eggs to boil. I love boiled eggs and am going to enjoy a lovely Eggs and Greens Salad for my lunch. It's good to be getting back to regular routines, like making my lunch and not hovering over birds.

Wont you join me?

Greens & Egg Salad
Inspired by Vegetarian Times July/August 2012

½ head of lettuce
2 cups chopped rainbow swiss chard
1 cup chopped arugula
1 english cucumber, sliced
6 radishes, sliced
1 heirloom tomato (or beefsteak)
4 – 5 boiled eggs, peeled and cut into quarters

Assemble ingredients of salad first, then set aside. (lettuce, chard, arugula, cucumber, radish, tomato and eggs)
Dressing: ½ cup plain coconut yogurt; strain excess liquid through cheesecloth to thicken a bit. Add to yogurt: 4 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar and 1 cup fresh chopped dill. Blend in a blender on low speed.
Serve salad with dressing on the side. Top with sea salt or dulse and pepper.

This is a simple, hearty, healthy way to enjoy eggs. 

I'm sure I'll be sharing a lot more recipes for chicken and eggs in the years to come. 

In vibrant health,

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Wait!! There's MORE!!

This morning I slept in. All week I've been getting up at 5. Today it was 7:30.
The birds!
Out I run, in jammies to check temperatures, feed, water, and oogle. They still are cute. Though I did lose another one. The little one I told you about yesterday? Well, she died last night. Then, so did the one sitting by her in the picture.
I don't think they are heartless creatures, and maybe, just maybe, losing her friend was too hard on her. so, they both died together. sigh....

Then, through the door comes Auriel. "Mom, I almost forgot, the post office called. The pheasant are here!"

Off I go - yup, jammies and all to the post office. Pheasant in car, back home, then doing my best to mimick my hubbies efforts in making a bird brooder. I think I did alright. Alright enough that we lost one today who drowned in the waterer. Yikes~ these birds are so small that they will drown in the bird waterer. ...

Jim added marbles and praised my brooder when he came home, so now we can sleep.

The chicks? Well, they have tons of feathers and tail feathers and are beginning to challenge each other to belly bumping contests. They chase each other over wood flakes, and come running when I put my hand in the brooder to offer mash.

So far...overall anyway... doing good...

In Vibrant Health,

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

3 Day Old Chicks, The Saga Continues

There was never a dull moment in my home to begin with, but these little ones sure have brought a lot to talk about! Over all, we've lost 5. Of 52, that's not too terrible, given most we lost in the first day. I did lose one yesterday to an obstruction in her throat. I cried when I buried her this morning. (Uh-Oh, I'm already attached, not good for the prolonged intention.) It just didn't seem fair. I guess really, none of it is if you think about it. 

Most of them are growing quite well, full of spunk and are quite funny. There are a few cockrels who have HUGE attitudes already and when they see me they come running. I don't think because they like me, but rather to see what I'm doing and decide if I'm going to do anything of interest. 

There is one little one who seems to not be growing. I can't tell if she's eating at all, most of the time she's sleeping. I've decided to offer her food and water each time I go out. Sometimes, it's followed by interest but mostly not. I don't think that is a good sign for what is to come. So far, though, she peeps a lot and is hanging in there. She's the small one in the picture below. 

The tiny one in the bottom of this photo is about two inches in length - still the size of an egg.
Not much of an appetite, but lots of spirit if she's disturbed.

This is one of the cockrels. He's really pretty and you can see is developing feathers on his wings.
He's getting a few tail feathers as well, as are quite a few of them.
What an amazing opportunity to learn more about life and to grow as a person. I'm so grateful for these little ones and that I can be such an active part in caring for my self and family. In overseeing these chicks, I am able to control cleanliness, water quality, food quality, and the quality of life they live. In a farm to table type approach, I can't see a better way to provide! 

In vibrant health and happiness,

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

2 Days Old...and holding my breath

Wow, it's a bit stressful actually. Having chickens. They are too cute, but now we've lost four to ... stress? Overhandling? The heat? Temperature fluctuation? I'm just not sure. It's very sad.

Today is a new day. The temperature when I went to bed at 11:00 was 92, perfect, finally.
This morning, the temperature was 80! Not so perfect!! Ack!
So, I moved the little heat lamps closer and now they are all sleeping and I'm crossing my fingers that I don't lose them.
Sleeping Chickies. They pretty much just pass out.
It 's kind of funny to watch!

As the temperature adjusts, they rush to eat.

Aren't they cute?

Finally, some stability around here lady!

This little boy is drinking water, they lift their heads back to
swallow it and you are looking at the underside of his face. 

Just like any corporate job, they huddle around the water cooler.

And back to naps...

I think we finally have some stability. Over all, I'm very excited. I'm grateful to have the space to free range them, and to have the opportunity to provide for my family. I think this will be a great experience and a way to provide healthy natural food for my family. 

The chicks that will be egg layers are pretty much in one brooder, while the little cockrels are in another. Mostly, anyway. 

An adventure it is! 
In Vibrant Health,

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Chickens Have Landed!

It's official! I'm so excited to announce that we are a official Home Hobby Farm (or is it Hobby Home Farm?) Whatever, the point is we have chickens!

They arrived this morning. We did lose one grey one in the shipment, and one yellow at about noon. There is one more that I think we'll loose because she's acting like she can't breathe. (I totally know how that feels) 

It took me all morning to get the temp just right, but I think I finally have it. 
They are super cute, really peepy, and fuzzy.

Dominik thought they were the bomb-diggity this morning, but his attention span is on to other things now!

I'm learning so much already. The temperature during a heat wave is really challenging. They should be kept between 90 and 95 F. Really? It's 102 F outside, should I refrigerate them? (kidding, of course)

I learned they are born to hunt bugs. There was a moth that flew in there and it was hysterical watching these little ones chase that bug, then each other, then argue over it. I guess I should feel sorry for the bug, but it was entertaining none-the-less.

These chickens are not our first attempt at meat, but our first fully knowing what we are going in to. I have a group that have been purchased strictly for eggs. The rest are meat. Hence, only the egglayers, once we figure out which ones those are supposed to be, will have names.

Here's to LIFE, a true adventure!
In Vibrant Health & Happiness,

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Serious Upgrade in Smoothie Land

  I love a nice cool creamy smoothie in the morning more than I love starting my day with any other food in the world. My WORLD'S BEST HUBBY surprised me with a Vitamix for my birthday yesterday, so I started my Operation Anti Aging (I'm 40 now) with a beautiful Simple Sunrise Smoothie.

Simple Sunrise Smoothie

1 Large Beefsteak tomato
1 Yellow Sweet Pepper, seeds and stem removed
2 small Red Peppers, stems removed
2 stalks celery
1/2 lemon juice
dash of pepper

Put all ingredients into blender and blend until smooth. Serve with 2 boiled eggs.


Monday, June 18, 2012

In the Wild Frontier

  Well, it's my garden, but with the burst of plants, weeds, bugs, and heat...I feel like I'm definitely in the wilderness.
Chocolate Mint
  I took a bit of a walk, this morning, with intentions to share with you this amazing place I call my garden. 
  I'm so blessed to have a husband who is intent on building paradise because I have a near commercial sized green house that grows the BEST tomatoes and HOTTEST jalapenos this side of the border! I have a lot of space to put whatever I like and this year's harvest will be even more diverse than last year's with God's Grace as the grasshoppers have officially taken residence. 
Yarrow Bursts Yellow - Like the Sun!

This does worry me a bit, but I realize these creatures are like the plague and if I'm meant to have food in my garden, we will be spared. Otherwise, they'll eat everything that is green in their path.

  However, soon, we'll have chickens - next week, actually. I'm excited and anxious for that new adventure. With chickens come eggs, meat, nutrients for our soil (ala chicken poop) and... ORGANIC GRASSHOPPER CONTROL. As I understand, the only true control there is.

  Even though I've lived in this beautiful country for over a decade, farming is pretty new to me. My husband is really the true gardener, with me always being the onlooker, participating when necessary. In the past few years, as I've shifted careers and become quite passionate about food, my hands are getting dirty more often than not. It's a learning curve and a lot of hard work. I LOVE IT!

The greatest reward comes in knowing where our food is coming from and that it has been grown with love and in the best conditions possible. We are learning, some years have been better than others, but it is ALWAYS worth it! 

In Vibrant Health and Happiness,