Things have changed around here... big time!
With all the amazing things that have happened in the last year, we knew that what we needed was just one more big change that would push us over the edge into our amazing, healthy, meaningful life!
So what's that ONE change?
We got rid of something that has been holding us back our entire lives...
After an unintentional but necessary hiatus from posting... Here I am, ready to share with you what I've learned in 2014 and what this all means for My Own Ripple Effect in 2015!
But first, I just wanted to say THANK YOU. It still amazes me that there are people all over North America, and around the world, who read this blog and follow me on social media. I love getting to share my life with all of you!
Here are 14 things I have learned this past year:
1. I can't do it all, but I can do a lot.
If you follow me on facebook then you know that I've had to step back and re-examine my life and my priorities. Nothing bad or life-changing has happened, but I did notice that my life was beginning to lose the "balance" that allows me to be the best wife, mom, church leader, friend, blogger, etc. that I can be.
I was also starting to lose some of my passion for life, which impacts my success in any given area.
So I thought about it. I thought about what I really want from my life right now. What do I want to do that I'm really passionate about?
The answer: write a book.
Since starting the GAPS diet back in July of 2013, bone broth has been a staple in our diet. We either drink a cup of broth or have a bowl of broth-based soup at every meal. But because it has been so commonplace for so long now, I often forget that other people have never made it!
So today I thought I would finally show you the two simple ways I make my bone broth, plus tell you about all the great benefits of including bone broth in your diet.
Extreme Makeover... Extreme Home Makeover... Extreme Couponers... Extreme Cheapskates... Extreme Sports... Our culture loves EXTREME. Being normal, average and middle of the road doesn't excite people. It's like we need something exciting, shocking, and never been done before.
But is our unhealthy fascination with quick fixes, extreme weight loss, and restrictive living helpful or harmful?
Through my observations of my own life and the culture surrounding me, I've come to realize just how imperative it is to find balance in all areas of our lives. Being in the health & wellness industry, I've also come to recognize just how important this balance is in regards to healthy living.
Whether you're struggling to get started or struggling to keep going, I hope these 3 benefits of living a balanced life will encourage you and help you to continue making improvements in your health in an enjoyable and sustainable way.
My plan for today's post was to give out a list of non-food treats to hand out to trick-or-treaters this Halloween. But while I was browsing the web for creative ideas, I came across something awesome... The Teal Pumpkin Project!
FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) has started a campaign that encourages people to raise awareness of food allergies by providing non-food treats for trick-or-treaters and painting a pumpkin teal - the color of food allergy awareness - to place in front of their house along with a free printable sign to indicate they have non-food treats available. Isn't that great?!
Now personally, my husband and I aren't really into Halloween. Of all the holidays, it's probably in the bottom three. Back when we weren't on the GAPS diet, we'd definitely enjoy devouring those boxes of mini chocolate bars, but the holiday itself wasn't a big deal to us. So when we had kids and decided to live healthier lives, it was easy just to avoid Halloween altogether. And since discovering that our kids have various food allergies and intolerances (including peanuts, gluten and dairy)... well, avoiding trick-or-treating is actually necessary.
There's just something about going into a liquor store with littles that seems weird to me. Maybe it's the judgement... Are people thinking I get drunk at 10am to get through the day? Are people thinking I'm buying booze for my kids?! Ok, so that last one is probably not true at this point. Maybe that becomes a gray area when your kids are teens.
But for whatever reason, I just can't take my kids into a liquor store. Even if I'm buying vodka to make essential oil sprays and homemade vanilla extract! I feel like I need a special sign that says "I'm not day drinking, I'm DIYing!"
Oh, and if you're one of my American followers, you're probably not going to fully understand. We (Canadians) can't just sneak a bottle of wine into our shopping cart full of healthy, organic food. We have to go to a special store where people judge the kind of parent you are.
Anyway... All that to say that I sent my husband to the liquor store this week to pick up some vodka so I could get to making my annual batch of vanilla extract!
If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know that I was already planning out our homeschool year back in June... When other families were gearing down and getting ready for summer, I was gearing up and getting myself as organized as humanly possible.
I had many reasons for planning everything out ahead of time. Besides the fact that I am a planner, I also needed to get my head wrapped around what I had gotten myself into with homeschooling. I know, I know, Buttons is only in Kindergarten. There isn't a lot of pressure yet. But I am not satisfied by doing a mediocre job at anything I do, especially if it involves my kids.
So even before June, I was roaming around Pinterest looking for the tools I would need to get organized and put everything on paper. I looked through lots of different planners and printables. I read through lots of blog posts. I was ready to get started.
During my late childhood and teenage years, I popped Tylenol and Advil like it was going out of style. With regular headaches and back pain, plus monthly stomach cramps, I just couldn't cope without OTC (over the counter) drugs. Of course as time went on, the doses I had to take progressively increased. I would take extra strength drugs at the maximum dose and hope for the best. Often, it was barely enough to take the edge off.
Does this sound familiar to you?
Many North Americans are in the same situation. We're in pain and we're hooked on pain killers that are only mildly improving our immediate symptoms while wreaking havoc on our insides.
It's almost Thanksgiving, eh? ;) (Well, it is for us Canadians! Those of you in America are forced to wait until next month.)
But whether your Thanksgiving dinner is planned for next weekend or next month, I know you've been starting to think about food already. Am I right?
I've been thinking back on this past year--especially our journey through the GAPS diet--and have been reminded how thankful I am for the internet! When we had our first Thanksgiving on the GAPS diet, I would've been lost without the fabulous food bloggers I follow.
There are so many people changing their diets now due to health issues and it's great to have delicious recipes at our fingertips! It doesn't seem to matter what type of diet you're on or how many foods you are allergic to, there's always someone out there on the web who has got your back with delicious, healthy recipes.
So today I've rounded up some of those awesome, healthy, real-food, allergy-friendly and delicious recipes that are sure to make your Thanksgiving dinner satisfy your soul!