I was making such good post-baby progress on my health goals this fall. I was exercising five days a week, eating nourishing food, prioritizing sleep, and consciously caring for my mental health. Of course it wasn’t perfect 100% of the time, but I was headed steadily in the right direction.
But then, life hit me. Thanksgiving through Christmas was a bit of a wash in the health department. I worked too much, stayed up too late, ate too much, and may or may not have indulged in way more sugar than I should have. I went into survival mode and dropped the ball on almost every wellness goal I had been working on.
I imagine the busyness and corresponding downfalls of the season is one of the reasons people end up setting New Year’s resolutions so readily. December, with all of its merry making, cookie baking, and feasting can get the best of almost anyone. (Right? Or is it just me?)
I don’t beat myself up over a few bad weeks. I think the over-indulgence of Christmas is just part of the natural ebb and flow of the seasons. That being said, I can feel the awful difference in my body between being an active, mindful eater vs. a sluggish, cookie-vacuum machine. I am SO ready to reform and do better come January.
I don’t usually make formal resolutions, but I do have intentions to press my own “health reset button”- because heaven knows I need it! Here are my health goals for January:
- Exercise 5x days/week.
- Plan and eat balanced, wholesome meals.
- Limit sugar intake.
- Give myself a 10:00 p.m. bedtime.
I’m the type of person who thrives on using tools (or gimmicks) to keep me motivated in areas of health, cleaning, or what-have-you. (This post contains affiliate links.) One of my favorite tools that I keep returning to is the Healthy Living Bundle that I purchased last fall.
If you missed it back in September, there’s good news- it’s back for two days only- today and tomorrow- and is packed full of awesome resources to get you back into your healthy groove. (Cause that’s a thing. I groove to health all the time. 😉 )
You can read my full review of the Healthy Bundle here, but let me highlight three resources that really went to work for me last fall:
- The Thrive 90 Fitness Program– This 90 day workout program (valued at $47) includes daily exercises that can all be done at home with minimal equipment in 30 minutes or less. After completing over a month of this course, I felt much stronger and more energetic- two things that a mom of three littles can really benefit from!
- Oh Lardy’s Guide to Fermenting. (Valued at $9.99) This book was the one that really got me started on fermentation. Tamara and Kelly dish out the science and many health benefits to fermentation, and share many tasty recipes to try. After my first few successful ferments, I never looked back. There’s almost always something sitting out on my counter with an airlock now! (You can find a recipe from the book here.)
- Tired and Hungry Cook’s Companion. Of the twenty-three real-food resources included in this digital library (twenty-three!!!), this is my favorite so far. The two free months of healthy meal plans from Kresha at Nourishing Joy (valued at $24) are complete with over 65 recipes a month, ingredient checklists, and family dinner activities. I can’t even tell you how much money, time, and decision fatigue this meal planner has saved me. I sense a full review coming in the future.
These three resources alone are worth almost 3x the price of the entire bundle, but there’s so much more that it includes! There’s paleo and allergy-friendly recipes, natural home and natural health solutions, basic homesteading skill books, and healthy pregnancy and baby reads. It’s 90+ health resources for under $30- now that’s a way to kick-start your new year!
Remember, the bundle is only available today and tomorrow, so make sure to grab yours before it disappears for another year. I’m so looking forward to getting back in gear and working towards better health all-around. What are your goals for January?
When you purchase the Healthy Living Bundle, I will receive a commission at no extra cost to you. As always, I only promote products that I have experience with and truly value. Thank you in advance for supporting our family in this way!
Are you in love with seasonal produce at the peak of its ripeness? Do you want to buy local, thoughtfully grown fruits and vegetables? Do you like to save money on high-quality food? Don’t you wish that you could save less expensive produce for the middle of the winter?
If you answered yes to the above questions, then you might be a real foodie- and you might need a little preservation inspiration to save all that delicious real food to eat year round.
Whether it be from your garden, local farmer’s market, or just a really good grocery sale, preserving fresh, high-quality fruits and vegetables can help you to save money and eat better at any time of year.
While I’ve still got lots to learn about preservation, I’m certainly not a newbie either. Saving the harvest turns into my full-time job in the fall. But even I, as much as I am passionate about it, still get sick of preserving sometimes. And when that happens, I often just need a little motivation to get going again. For me, trying new recipes can serve as an incentive to get the job done.
That’s why I’m happy to share two preservation recipes from the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle with you! (Many thanks to the authors for graciously allowing me to share the recipes!) The Bundle is a digital library of all things natural health and home, fitness, and food related- with a bunch of great bonuses to boot. I am SO thrilled about my copy, and it’s already served as a serious kitchen inspiration for me. (Because who doesn’t need a kick in the pants to keep up the cooking and canning sometimes?)
Up til the past year, most of my preservation has been done via canning. The acquisition of a dehydrator and the growing knowledge of other preservation methods changed this for me.
Dehydration Inspiration (Do you like how all these titles rhyme?)
The first recipe I’m sharing today is from Kendra Stamy of A Proverbs 31 Wife, author of Food Preservation Made Simple. In this practical introduction to basic preservation, Kendra gives beginning homesteaders an easy-to-follow guide to freezing, dehydration, and canning. Here’s Kendra’s method for a simple, but extremely flavorful favorite of mine- dehydrated tomatoes!
You may have tried sun-dried tomatoes, which normally come in a ridiculously expensive tiny jar at the grocery store. Most of us, however, probably wouldn’t prefer to dry our tomatoes outside in the sun, as they are highly prone to spoilage- and attract a lot of bugs besides. You can, however, make your own “sun-dried” tomatoes in a dehydrator at home very easily. (There are other methods of drying too, but that’s for another post.) Here’s how:
- Wash tomatoes
- Dip in boiling was just until skins split, then remove skins and slice 3/8″-1/4″ thick.
- Dehydrate at 155 for about 8 hours, or until tomatoes are leathery.
And you’re done. Bistro sandwiches, anyone? (These things are delicious in soups, sandwiches, on eggs, pretty much anywhere… give them a try!)
Fermentation Inspiration (Still rhyming. Sorry, can’t help myself.)
The second recipe I get to share with you today is from the gals of Oh Lardy! Tamara and Kelly wrote a friendly guide to all things fermented- Oh Lardy’s Guide to Fermentation. The book gives a thorough and entertaining read on the why and how of fermenting, and a great variety of recipes to try too. This was book was a great introduction for a beginner like me!
We’ve been trying our hand at fermenting several vegetables over the last several months- green beans, radishes, red peppers, and most recently, sauerkraut. But I had never quite built up the gumption to try fermented fruit. I decided that my end-of-summer peach overload was a perfect reason to give it a try. Here’s Oh Lardy’s fermented version of peach chutney:
Fermented Peach Chutney
- 1 ½ c peeled and chopped peaches
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 2 T organic sugar
- ¼ c raisins
- ¼ t cinnamon
- ¼ t allspice
- dash nutmeg
- pinch of sea salt
- 2 T whey or ½ t culture starter
- Filtered water
- Mix ingredients together (except water)
- Add to pint-size mason jar. Press down with wooden spoon or clean fist.
- Cover with a bit of filtered water if necessary.
- Put on lid and leave at room temperature for 2 days.
- Transfer to refrigerator and enjoy! Will last 1-2 months in refrigerator.
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this. It’s pleasantly tangy enough to know that you’re getting a dose of good bacteria by eating it, but sweet enough that my kids keep asking me for “another spoonful of chutney, please?” Sure thing, guys. 🙂
Want more real-food preservation and inspiration to keep you going for a long time? The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle, as part of its many resources, features a fantastic collection of 23 real-food focused books to inspire your kitchen. From freezer cooking to meal planning, salad dressing to drinks, lunches to cheeses, and learning to culture food, the bundle’s got you covered.
Have other foodie interests? This virtual library also includes paleo and allergy-friendly e-books. Want to think outside the kitchen? You can use the bundle read up on natural remedies, homesteading basics, essential oils, healthy kids, fitness, and natural home care too. The bundle doesn’t stick around forever though- it’s only available September 9th-14th. Want to snag yours before it’s gone? Find out more here.
This post contains affiliate links. Thanks in advance for supporting my efforts with this blog!