Monday, September 29, 2014

Organic "Cheddar" Cauliflower Hash

Greetings from fall struck Minnesota. Autumn is in full swing- colorful trees, crisp morning air and the smell of chimney smoke tickles your senses at night. Although for the end of September our weather has been rather hot and humid. Yesterday the temperature reached 85 degrees by the afternoon.

Putting all that a side I love fall weather. Today it will be a lovely fall day, 60 degrees and sunny.
Perfect for exploring and enjoying the beauty of the Autumn MN scenery. I couldn't resist even with the warm weather I have been breaking into my fall wardrobe. I love scarves, skinny jeans and sweaters.

I have also been exploring the bounty of harvest produce available at our local farmers market. Last week I decided to stroll down to the King Field Farmers Market. I was exploring the seasonal produce and quickly remember it is one of my favorite seasons- brassica or cruciferous vegetable season.  Brassica vegetables are part of the mustard family and they include, kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, and the mustard plant. When I worked at Levain we had a dish that was  an ode to these fall vegetables. It included roasted Brussels, kale and cauliflower. It was balanced and if you caramelize these vegetables just right they give off this wonderful sweet flavor. I decided to recreate this dish featuring some lovely orange or "cheddar" colored cauliflower that I snagged from the Gardens of Eagan booth.

I wanted to recreate this salad but I also wanted to make it more into a breakfast dish. I decided to cook the cauliflower in bacon fat to give it a nice char and then season it with garlic and shallot. I then added sweet corn and spinach for color and flavor. Once all cooked down I drizzled cider vinegar in the pan for some acidity and chili flake for some heat. I parred this hash with soft goat cheesy scrambled eggs. It was a perfect hearty dish for a cold September morning.

To Read The Recipe Click Below...

Friday, September 26, 2014

Meet Adriana Christians & Amy Gertz

Hey Everyone! Hope all everyone's week is swell. I have been doing a lot for my upcoming Oysterfest.  Danielle has been on fire this week. She has posted some really interesting things about wellness and how exercise has affected her life. I hope someday soon I will have the time and energy to put a little more focus on my health. I have been so busy and stressed lately that thinking about my overall health has been a bit exhausting. 

Since I don't have the time or energy at the current moment to put into exercising I thought I would feature two ladies who have made exercise a big part of their lives. Both Amy and Adriana have always been active and put priority on staying healthy. I work with Adriana at Meritage and she is absolutely amazing. She runs everyday even in freezing temperatures. She has also always been interested in natural health and we often swap wellness advice at work. She is currently training for the Twins City Marathon which will be held a week from Sunday. I would love to take a moment and wish her and all the other runners good luck!

The second woman I would like to introduce to you is my cousin Amy. From horseback riding to skiing she has always been active. She is a mental health professional that puts a strong emphasis on using unconventional outlets for stress and keeping yourself grounded. She is embarking on getting certification in Equine TherapyEquine therapy is the discipline of using horses as a means to provide metaphoric experiences in order to promote emotional growth. In the past year she has been working and studying hard to meet her goal and outside of it she has been using yoga as a way to release and stay happy and healthy. 

2006 Twins City Marathon

Meet Adriana

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, how you got into the natural world, where you are from, what you do, some of your favorite foods, etc…

Hi, I'm Adriana.  I grew up in a small town called Beaufort, located in the Low County of South Carolina.  It's on the coast, mossy oak trees and the beach, lots of history.  How I love the ocean. I spent most summers with my dad in Minneapolis.  I have many fond memories of the lakes.  Rollerblades.

Growing up all over, with a family spread across the world, I enjoy all food.  Some of my favorites include boiled peanuts, seafood, fish, arepas, black beans and chocolate.   

2. How did you first get into running?

I first got into running my first year of college.  I had a suite mate at College of Charleston.  A petite Phillipino girl, pre med, cute and unstoppable.  She was a die hard runner.  I was looking for something to replace my lost for team sports.  We starting running together, early mornings.  Squeeze in a 5 miler before class and to beat the heat.  Running on the waterfront through historic downtown Charleston, makes it easier to get out of bed at 6 am.  She helped me buy shoes, helped me get out of bed, i helped her get out of bed.  It was fun and it was a great way to explore the city.  

3. What made you want to train for the marathon?

I was 26 when I ran my first marathon.  Having been distance running for some time and racing in smaller distances, it was time for the ultimate challenge- the MARATHON.   It was the perfect time to get distracted from work and a break up.     A health enthusiast himself, my dad is a runner too.  We signed up for the marathon together.  He is my coach.  We love to geek out over numbers, GPS watches and heart rates.  

To Read The Rest of The Interviews Click Below... 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The E. Word Part II

I started talking about exercising on Monday and then when I talked about my dad yesterday, but I wanted to write this follow up post today to Monday's post.
  There's obvious physical benefits to exercising such as preventing yourself from having a heart attack at 45, which sadly does happen more often than we would every want to admit and raising endorphins. One of my best friends in college, Lauren, used to always talk about getting endorphins from exercising and when she would call her mom during the day when we were in the throws of college stress her mom would tell her to go exercise and get some endorphins. It was so cute. While there's known benefits of it and while I know that I feel great doing it, I've struggled with making myself do it as much as I don't enjoy it. I would love to be more organized and disciplined in many areas of my life, but I'm not going to beat myself up for that. I do not beat myself up for anything these days. I lived that way for a while and it never got me anywhere good that is. Now the problem that presents to me... I don't know about you, but for me-- exercising just hasn't been that fun. Part of that is because of the mindset I've had with it, like I talked about Monday. I always thought of exercising just being for the purpose of working off calories.  I realize in life we have to do certain things that aren't fun such as laundry or the dirty dishes. We can say that putting effort into things is bad, but not all "effort" is bad. I heard a pastor say that this weekend, and I loved that. He said we all try to get away from anything that involves work and effort and we don't need to get away from it completely, because effort in life is actually a good thing. Things have to get done, bills have to be paid as our parents all say. However, I don't love forcing myself to physically exert energy when I'm not enjoying it. I would love to read studies about the affects of that on one's body to see if there would be any harm in that. Now! While I don't love the idea of forcing myself to physically exert energy, I do see a high importance and gain in exercising, so there must be a way to connect the two.

I remember a few times in my life where I have connected the two and really loved it. Even though I haven't been to the gym all year long there have been times in my life where going to the gym was a regular part of my daily existence and some of those times I actually did enjoy it. In college my roommates randomly decided to run a half marathon that was the week before graduation. As if we weren't busy enough preparing for finals, graduation, and saying goodbye to all of our friends, we decided to train for and run a half marathon. What were we thinking?! As crazy as that time was, it was actually really fun! I barely trained for the half marathon adequately, but knowing I was going to have to run 13 miles did make me go for runs with friends beforehand. I think that time of running gave me the physical and emotional energy to get through all of the other things we had to get through at the time. I love the way running and exercising consistently made me feel!

Training for that half marathon was also fun because I was doing it with all of my friends. If I would have signed up for that race by myself, you can best believe I would have canceled and not ever even trained or showed up for the race! It didn't hurt that my roommates were all training with me and also my boyfriend at the time-- now husband. My "training runs" with Ben beforehand were practically a joke looking back at it, but I can say it was one of the most fun memories I have of that last semester! I remember one time during our training run Ben picked me up over his shoulders and ran one mile straight as fast as he could with me thrown over his shoulders! I've definitely noticed for me there are two factors that make exercising really fun: doing it with friends as I just said and the type and place that I exercise. Fun really is my solution to exercising, really. It kind of takes away the whole not really feeling like putting on my work out clothes for anything other than lounging around the house and making myself feel better about NOT exercising.  I used to do that all of the time! I would dress up in workout clothes with  my tennis shoes and everything, honestly just to make myself feel better I think! Ha. I did it in college as well as a sort of excuse for not putting on a cute outfit but looking like I had gotten something done that day! Ha. I don't do that anymore. I also never experience that feeling of dread with not wanting to exercise. My solution for that is to exercise for fun. That sounds really, um, not very intelligent. But, for me it's definitely different than the usual mindset I have on exercising.

Exercising for fun means going on a hike with Lucy and Ben on a bright Saturday morning. Now, we don't live in a place now where we can go on hikes regularly-- but we will soon, since we have a big move coming up!! However, when we have gone to visit places that we can go on hikes, we love to go on hikes. When we visit Seaside in Florida, we always take advantage of their bikes and we ride bikes around the town-- which honestly feels like a little slice of heaven! It does not feel like effort or work whatsoever! We don't bike or hike for exercising, we bike to have a fun little moment together. We also love swimming in the ocean. While we are having fun together we are also getting all of the benefits of exercise and that natural vitamin D that I love so much! Another really simple way to do this is going for a walk. I realize I may be picky, but where we have lived in Georgia there aren't any places to go on hikes or swim that I really love the scenery of. So I did try to start incorporate walks. Walks are something you can do anywhere and everywhere. I try to make the walk about being in the present moment. I purpose to  take in all of the sights and sounds and smells. I frequently stop and look at the flowers, the trees, the bushes that I normally would walk right past. I don't focus on swinging my arms and having a "brisk pace." I focus on the present moment and being grateful, and without even realizing it, I'm getting the benefits of exercising. I focus on relaxing, on breathing, and on being thankful. I simply just focus on being alive and in turn it makes me feel-- alive.

I hope all of your weeks are going well and you are living guilt free, alive to all of the purpose and fullness that is available to us all! 

Disclaimer: PRTLIVING (and all of those feature and interviewed) is limited to providing self-help education in natural health matters and advocating of a healthy lifestyle for the sole purpose of sharing personal experiences and historical information about the traditional use of God-given herbs and natural remedies. This information is not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any specific disease. No medical claims are made. If you have a medical problem, please seek the advice of your medical doctor.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

My Hero in Health and Wellness

I started talking about exercising on Monday and I wanted to write this follow up post today. Today I was having a craniosacral session and during the session I was thinking about how my entire being is getting stronger. I've been on a little journey of healing and wellness and that often starts in our minds and in our thoughts. For me it has. I realized today that I've gotten stronger emotionally and mentally and my entire being has become more whole as I've been on this path. So often people start with exercising to become healthy and strong, and for me exercising is the last piece of the puzzle. I knew instinctively that our wellness really takes place first and foremost in our minds and in our hearts. It's our thoughts and how we view ourselves and how we were made and what our purpose is that really determines how "healthy" we are-- not how long you work out in a gym and how many calories you eat. As I was thinking today about the path I've been on to heal my mind, heart, and soul I began to think about how I've long forsaken my physical body and it's need for strength as well. Freedom has started to come in my mind and thoughts and I want my physical body to be able to "keep up" sort of speak. I want my physical body to match the strength that my mind has been developing. Just as I've worked towards freedom and no guilt and true peace on the inside of my body, I want to work toward strengthening my physical body as well. I want my physical body to be able to match the freedom and strength that I've gained in my mind so that my whole body can be in rhythm towards growth, healing, and strength. That's where exercising comes in, but I hate to even use that term, because it doesn't seem to describe the same type of exercising I want to take part in.  

I really think my dad is a great example of all of this because he knows the correlation between strengthening our minds and our bodies. He began exercising at a really traumatic part of our family's life in order to get through that time well and not just to survive. He knew his mind needed to be strong and he needed to develop those "spiritual mind muscles" and he also knew that his physical body needed to be strong as well. So, he started running and he hasn't ever stopped really. He has done Ironman triathlons and many different races and marathons. He often gets first or second in his age group and he has even had a few injuries (which honestly makes me wish he would stop some of the riskier training he does!!) from all of the activities. I honestly feel as if my dad is such an example to me in this area though-- not that I will ever compete as much as he does! I can't say I will never do an Ironman, because maybe I will! But I doubt I will ever compete as frequently as he does. Yet, my dad really has used physical exercising as a way to strengthen his body to get through trials in life and to get through them well

All of us can just let life happen to us, be we seldom realize that we have a choice in how we respond and in what we make of our lives. My dad realized that and at a really crucial point in all of our lives. He has been through a lot and out of most people I know he has reason to complain and his life could very well look a wreck. However, it doesn't and he never complains. He says he wakes up every morning and gives God praises and he goes through his life like this. He didn't just let the bad in life happen to him-- he made choices every single day about what kind of life he would build and have. He decided to pursue wellness and becoming healthy and it's made a huge difference in all of us! I seriously cannot imagine where my life would be if he had not chosen that path. I am grateful he chose that for himself, because his health emotionally, spiritually, and physically has made a huge impact on my life and who I am. We don't realize how much our unhealthiness/healthiness affects those around us-- even our thoughts we think no one else will ever even know. My dad chose to become well and healthy and I'm so grateful! It definitely helps me put into perspective the choice I have on a daily basis to pursue steps towards my wholeness and wellness or to not choose that. When I see the work my dad has done to become a free person and in turn how much good he is able to do in this world it inspires me. I've never seen someone respond to trials and to life as well as my dad does, ever, not even close. Sometimes I feel like he must be a super hero or something because it's really not normal how healthy he is in so many areas of his life and how healthy his responses to life are. However, I know that didn't just get handed to him on a silver platter. He had to work for that healthy mindset and healthy body and he did that by making daily choices to pursue wellness and health and in turn it really affected all of us. I know that today I would not be interested in the field of natural health if it weren't for him, and I wouldn't be half inspired as I am to even pursue my mental and physical and emotional and spiritual health if it weren't for him.  My grandmother and grandfather both gave us the love and stability as a foundation to be able to make those choices from. However, my dad really had a choice early on in his life to give into a life of confusion and chaos and just follow every whim of emotion that  crept up from the immense trials he went through OR to strengthen his mind and body daily by becoming spiritually healthy and physically and in turn being able to give love to all of us. 
Isn't my dad amazing?! You can read another story about him and his lentils here! More Exercising Posts Coming This Week! See Part I Here

Disclaimer: PRTLIVING (and all of those feature and interviewed) is limited to providing self-help education in natural health matters and advocating of a healthy lifestyle for the sole purpose of sharing personal experiences and historical information about the traditional use of God-given herbs and natural remedies. This information is not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any specific disease. No medical claims are made. If you have a medical problem, please seek the advice of your medical doctor.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Sleep Is My Cardio + The E word

Happy Monday readers! I hope you slept well last night and had a great start to your week this morning.  Praying you all have a happy, healing week! A few weeks ago my husband and I were walking around Atlantic Station in Atlanta when we spotted this shirt. Actually, my husband spotted it first and said Danielle I see a shirt that we have to get for you!! That shirt was this one above. We both just laughed. Because it's true-- sleep is my cardio. I mean these past few months (and maybe even past few years!) it has been.  I love that we laugh about it without thinking that it should be otherwise.  This topic was bound to come up at some point. That word that everyone including myself does not like: exercising.  Just typing it out made me roll my eyes. To me it falls under the same category as drinking enough water every day and eating fiber. They're very beneficial (and actually necessary!) but they also have a lot of stigma and frankly boredom attached to them.  I'm sure everyone seems to think that I exercise all of the time since I live a very healthy and natural lifestyle, I'm thin, and I write a blog on natural living. Really though, I basically never exercise.

There's an aspect of that that I do like, but there's another aspect of that that needs some growth and thought for me and what better place to explore such a topic than on this little blog with any readers out there. My initial thoughts on exercising are that I love that I don't have any guilt when it comes to needing to exercise or not exercising. I obviously don't exercise but maybe once a year, and I absolutely have no guilt about that at all. As I've said before, I don't want any kind of guilt associated with eating, being skinny, or being healthy (or with anything really!) to be a part of my thinking or lifestyle.  I intentionally rid of guilt in any form in my life and thinking, and it is intentional! I remember a few times in college I ate a really heavy meal or a ton of junk food and all of us would say casually, "I just ate so much, I need to go work out now!" There were definitely times where I really meant that too, and I did go and work out. I'm sorry, but I'm going to go ahead and say it: I do not like or live by the mentality that I need to work for my food -- healthy food or unhealthy food.  I strongly dislike that mentality actually and it really stirs someone within me to hear people say that. I am not a dog (and to be honest I don't even treat my dog like that!) However, if you're reading this blog post, you're not a circus animal who needs to work for food. Some people post this mentality all over the internet... "You can eat unhealthy, you just have to work for it!" Really? I can eat unhealthy if I choose and I DON'T have to work for it. (I'm sure you're tempted to stop reading here, but keep reading!) I stay far away from that type of thinking, just as I stay away from the whole working out to get rid of calories you ate.  I'm all about working for things and putting effort into things, but working/exercising to eat which is a natural God-given need? No. I don't like this at all. I hate to stir up a raucous, but I don't really like the concepts of The Biggest Looser and their views on "health," which seem to broadcast this same belief all over their show. I only believe that eating and working out should  be related that in the sense that we do it to give to our bodies and to heal and to be well, not that one depends on the other though or that we are allowed to eat unhealthy foods if we work out. I'm sorry, but no!! Now, this isn't to say that I don't think we should work for things in our life or put efforts forth to be intentional in certain areas. I am all about being intentional, and this post is just proof of that. I want us to intentionally think about these things and chat about them too. I desire for us all to think about our lives with intention and not just let life happen to us. That's a mark of growth and maturity. However, let's just establish right off the bat that the reason why I want/need to exercise is not to work for my food!

I do however realize exercising is important and I realize being healthy is important. But being healthy does not equate to being skinny. You can either chase after a certain weight or you can pursue wellness. Those two aren't the same and I believe they're actually very different. You may get some of the same results (such as a healthier body) but the mindset and goals are really very different. Wellness is not about a certain weight or body shape. Wellness, to me at least, is about honoring the body you have been giving no matter how it looks and working towards being well physically, emotionally, and mentally. It's sort of a journey to healing and growing and becoming the men and women we were purposed and destined to be who will accomplish the dreams deep inside of our hearts. Wellness is about healing, and skinny may be a natural by product that comes along with becoming "healthy" and well, but it's not the goal.

Why I Don't Exercise: 
One of the main reasons I have not exercised in the past few years is because all I knew about exercising was working to be able to eat and to be able to eat more yummy calorie rich foods. I knew that I didn't want to partake in that mindset, and since that is really all I knew about exercising I stayed away from it. I don't like to do things in my life against things. For example, I don't want to work against a flu or cold I might get. I want to work with my body to help heal itself and for my body's good, not against something bad. It seems like there is no distinction between the two, but there have actually been many studies that say this type of wording and mindsets make a huge difference in how your brain perceives it's functions and whether or not your body will respond well or begrudgingly. I don't get into all of the research side of things as much (Remember, I'm the girl who didn't go to the Library in college until Senior year!), but I can tell you this-- from my own mere life existence and experience I know this there to be a difference between working against something and working for something. Changing my perspective on this has made a huge difference in my life. For so many years I worked against my body-- against my body shape, against my breakouts on my skin, against my sicknesses that I had all too often (I was a very sickly child, had heart surgery by the time I was two and had multiple health issues my whole life). This perspective of working against sicknesses or anything was an attitude that honestly subconsciously made me sort of hate my body. This is NOT wellness. This is not being healthy. Even if I would have been taking all of these supplements to just GET RID of sicknesses and fat or whatever! That's not wellness. Wellness is honoring your body and honoring who made it. Our bodies are amazing, beyond belief! I mean they are more genius and more of a masterpiece than any other worldly man-made or natural masterpiece ever created. The more I learn about our bodies, the more I amazed and fascinated I am with how genius they are. We are the glorious jewels of Heaven on this Earth. Our bodies were made in such intricate ways to work towards healing. They know healing. Before we came to this Earth our bodies were perfect without flaw and our bodies know that well. We don't need to hate our body or constantly beat it up and down. Let's honor it, let's work with it to do it's job and let's trust that it knows what's it's doing.

Now, in regards to exercising -- I don't want to work out so that I can work against gaining weight or even a disease. If I work out and exercise I want it to be because I am FOR something-- strengthening my body to become stronger as just one example. Feeling better and having more energy as another example. Getting natural vitamin D and relaxing by being outside in pure nature as yet another. I don't even like saying the words that exercising has many "health benefits" because that sounds so boring and really it doesn't even do it justice. I really believe exercising is a privilege that we have the luxury to even do! The important part about this though is that if I'm going to exercise, I want it to be for one or all of those benefits and luxuries, not because I have to do it to loose weight or prevent weight gain or even prevent a heart attack!

So.... this leads me to Exercising Part II which I will post later this week! In the meantime, think about these thoughts I shared. Let me know if you agree or disagree! And let's all try to let go of the guilt! 

P.S. To Read My Series on How I Think About Eating and Health Click Here, Here and Here.


Disclaimer: PRTLIVING (and all of those feature and interviewed) is limited to providing self-help education in natural health matters and advocating of a healthy lifestyle for the sole purpose of sharing personal experiences and historical information about the traditional use of God-given herbs and natural remedies. This information is not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any specific disease. No medical claims are made. If you have a medical problem, please seek the advice of your medical doctor.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Gluten Free Part 3- Curried Sweet Potato Soup and Gluten Free Naan


Now that I have talked about all the basics of starting out gluten free I wanted to provide you with a recipe that everyone will enjoy.

I had mentioned this weekend on Facebook that  I woke up to freezing temperatures. It was 38 degrees! So very cold! I decided it was a great day to stay inside and get some cooking done and one of my thoughts was making chicken stock. From the stock I decided to make a gluten free feast for Sunday night. I wanted something savory and filled with spices because I thought it might be nice to eat in front of my fire place. I found a great recipe on my favorite blog, Love and Lemons, a curried sweet potato soup. I thought I would stick to the indian theme and try and make a gluten free naan.

If you haven't had naan before it is a soft and pillowy traditionally Indian flat bread. Typically in India they eat with their hands in India and they use various breads as a vessel from the bowl to their mouth. I am a sucker for warm bread for dipping so I didn't want to pass up the opportunity to try and recreate a gluten free copy.

Both recipes are easy and don't take much time to make but there are some simple steps that if missed won't yield the bright and spicy flavors.

To Read The Recipes Click Below...

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Gluten Free Part 2- Grocery Shopping

Good Afternoon All!

I hope everyone is doing well and that you are enjoying the fall weather. This is my favorite time of year. It is the time when we can enjoy all the harvest of the summer and also cuddle up on the couch next to a roaring fire with a good book. We always have an early fall here in Minnesota and we usually have snow by Thanksgiving. I want to take full advantage of this season.

After Monday's post I thought it might be nice to go over some rules when gluten free grocery shopping.

To Read The Rest of Laura's Tips Click Below...

Monday, September 15, 2014

Gluten Free Part 1- Celiac Disease vs Gluten Sensitivity

Good Morning Readers!

I spent the weekend resetting before the cold weather hits. I had a lot of housework and re-organizing to do. I have not spent a WHOLE day at home in about six months so it was really nice and satisfying to spend a Saturday relaxing and doing chores. I even got time to make a batch of Danielle's chicken stock which by the way turned out wonderful! I would recommend it for anyone trying to warm up on those cold fall and winter days.

Over the past couple weeks I have been getting a lot of questions about that very popular topic gluten. I wanted to dig a bit deeper into the subject because I have been preparing some gluten free foods at home and thought it might be helpful to all for me to shed some light on the differences between celiac disorder and the various gluten intolerance.

To Read More About Gluten Free and Celiac Disease Click Below...

Friday, September 12, 2014

Holistic Pet Essentials

Happy Friday! 

This week we wanted to give out our all natural pet favorites. I apologize for those of you who do not have pets, as this may be redundant. There are a lot of other posts on our website such all sorts of paleo, gluten free, vegan, and raw recipes on our blog that you can look through in the meantime. My husband Ben and I don't have any kids, and with him in the Army I knew I wanted to get a puppy. I hadn't always considered myself a dog person until one of those first weeks in our marriage when we were asked to dog sit for some friends of ours. We dog sat for a weekend and when the dogs left after the weekend to go back home I cried for days. I had gotten so attached to them and I really learned what it would be like to have a dog around. The next weekend Ben and I went and looked at dogs and I found Lucy. As soon as I saw her I just knew I had to have her. There's only been 3 things in my life that I felt I knew I had to have and Lucy is one of them. I just knew! She has been such a cute little blessing to us and has made us so happy. We bring her everywhere we can and some people even know us as "Lucy's Mom & Dad!" It's so funny. I never thought I would be this kind of dog person. I always used to think it was funny that people treated their dogs like their babies, and now I'm one of those people doing that! Lucy is so sweet though that she has my whole entire family won over! 

We love Lucy a lot and the thought of something happening to her just makes me have a panic attack in my head basically. We really try to only feed her and give her products that we trust. It's hard for us as humans to be able to eat products that are trustworthy and not secretive about where their ingredients are from, but for pets it's even that much harder! It's really crazy. There is so much out there that really damages pets and causes them to get sick. I've found a few resources that have really helped Ben and I along the way. Ben is just as involved in Lucy's health and wellness as I am, if not more! I will often find him researching various foods and products for her. It's cute to me that he cares that much about her to do that. He has even mixed up some flea sprays for her and even a tick removal solution.

Holistic Pet Essentials: 

-Essential Oils: Essential oils are a great tool to use for either your cat or dog and can really become your best friend if you have a furry baby. You can use them for any ailment from upset stomach to sensitive skin issues. You have to dilute the oil more with cats as they are very sensitive. With dogs there are only a few oils to stay away from. The smaller the dog, the smaller the dosage you should use. (Be sure to do your research and figure out which ones you shouldn't use on your pets!) One of the safest ways to use oils for any pet is to diffuse it in the air. Lavender works great to calm dogs down. Lavender is really the best essential oil all around for any pet. So if you're struggling to decide what to use, lavender is always a safe option! Ben and I have also made a flea spray of essential oils for dogs that I will have to post the recipe for at some point. Like I said above, we also use essential oils to remove ticks, and it's one of the  most helpful tricks I've ever come across! It's definitely a lifesaver! Make sure to use a therapeutic grade oil as I've talked about before! 
P.S. Frankencense on the feet of chicken works great if they are sick or on death's door! 

To Read The Rest Of My Holistic Pet Essentials Click Below...

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Healthy Pets / Rescue Remedy


Danielle is off to Beverly Hills! Hopefully while she is there she will find some hidden gems to tell us about on the blog. She visited a local farm when she was in Florida and said it was a spectacular experience and that she has tons to share including a really unique way to care for bees. It all sounds very exciting! I can't wait until I am able to get away again.

I love to travel but obviously with a full time job it sometimes can be hard to get time off. Since I am unable to get away as much as I like, I tend to bounce around from my parents house and my own because it is sometimes even nice to just leave your worries at home. My little kitty sometimes feels a bit neglected when I am unable to spend a lot of time with her so often I travel her with me to my parents. She absolutely hates the car. She wines... and moans... and sometimes even pees on me when I am trying to put her in her kennel- Which let me tell you can be a HUGE disaster. Cat urine is the hardest smell to get out of carpeting and clothes and she always seems to spray when I am in a hurry. As much as I want to be mad at her for urinating all over me I have to wonder what is going on in her head. Why is she so upset to travel no longer than 15 minutes in a secure case in my giant car? There has to be something wrong...

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Healthy Pets/ Sojo's Natural

Happy Monday!

Wasn't Danielle's posts last week really inspiring? She has told me about her philosophy a couple months ago because I have been struggling with feeling healthy. I was so blown away with her outlook on food and life that I thought she HAD to share it with everyone. I have been trying to focus on feeling well instead of feeling fit or skinny. I just want to be healthy and happy. 

Speaking of happy and healthy we decided this would be the perfect week to explore pet health. Danielle and I both have pets that play very important parts in our lives. I grew up with pets and we always just fed them the budget pet food from the store. We didn't think much about what we were feeding out animals because there wasn't an emphasis on what this could be doing to them internally. My parents had a lovely dog named Isabel. She was the queen of the house hold. She was bossy yet sweet and made us all extremely happy. When she started to get elderly she began to have a lot of health problems. She was a Boston Terrier and her smashed face always made it hard for her to breath properly but as she aged it continued to get worse. She started to have fits where she wasn't able to swallow her food and she started vomiting often. My mom took her to multiple vets including the vet hospital at the University of Minnesota. They couldn't really tell us anything that seemed to help.

My mom being my mom started to research on her own because she felt helpless and hated to watch her baby suffer. She stumbled upon an article that outlined the dangers of the ingredients found in certain pet foods. She was shocked to find out that most name pet food brands filled their pet foods full of harmful substances that not only shouldn't be consumed by pets but also in high doses could be toxic. She even found out that the meat often found in pet food comes from euthanized animals. Meaning that a lot of the foods we are feeding our pets contains the same substance that we may use to put them to sleep. She also found out that one of the leading causes of death in dogs in cancer and in cats diabetes. We are allowing our animals to take on the same chronic disease as we do by feeding them foods that can potentially lead to their demise.

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Friday, September 5, 2014

Steps for Learning Your Own Body

This week I've given a bit of an introduction on Nutrition and my story of learning to listen to my own body. What I'm going to say today about "Nutrition" is pretty contrary to everything you've probably heard. I'm basically telling you to eat anything you crave without any guilt or need to "exercise it off!" We've taken classes on Nutrition in college and how useless is that information! I don't even live by the modern day food pyramid, and does any of us use any of the information they taught us in Nutrition 101? I surely don't. In fact I had to get all of that information out of my head and learn what Nutrition really means. It's not at all what we've been taught. It doesn't mean eating food that tastes yucky or bland-- please believe me on this one! It doesn't mean constantly eating or doing things that we don't want to do-- like drinking water instead of soda or exercising when we feel like resting. Nutrition does not mean any of those things-- at least not to me. I shared my story about nutrition with all of you on Wednesday. I hope it wasn't too boring for you to read through. I know I can be lengthy when I am writing out stories, and it's hard for me to shorten my words. I hope you were able to tolerate the post and get through it to the actual meat of it. Today I wanted to give you a few practical suggestion for how you can get into a really good rhythm with your own body, life, and eating. I'm not a doctor of course, so I can't tell you how to care for your body. The interesting thing though is that even if I could, me telling you how to care for your body wouldn't be my main goal. My main purpose would be to empower you to learn how to care for your own body. The truth is, I can't listen to your body for you as adequately and wholly as you can. You are your best tool and asset in your own healing and wellness. Let this post be a sort of sit down session between me and you, chatting casually about how to learn how to pay attention to your body and learn to listen to what it's trying to tell you. I realize, before you even start reading, that these things below might sound self-explanatory and as if they will have no actual affect on your life. All that I can do is to tell you from personal experience and research that these things if done fully will make a huge difference in learning to listen to your body. I hope you will be able to experience the amazing benefits that I do on a daily basis of being able to hear cautions, cues, and warnings of things my body communicates to me on a daily basis. It's amazing to be able to use the tools God has given us and I can't wait for you to experience the fruit of it! Let your own mind and heart be your best asset in your own healing and wellness. 

Click Below to Read My Steps for Learning Your Own Body:

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What Does "Healthy" Mean to You

I just want to warn you, this is a bit of a longer post. I am talking about how to learn how to listen to our bodies this week and what listening to our bodies even means. Our bodies were made by God to work well and have an amazing ability to tell us how to care for them. All of our bodies are different so it really takes us as individuals to learn how to listen to our own bodies and learn what our own bodies need. What my body needs and doesn't need is different from your's most likely. I didn't always listen to my body and it really cost me health-wise and I often felt so sick. Feeling sick with dizziness, headaches, constipation, and fatigue was just normal to me, because I didn't know what it was like to actually feel well. I didn't know how to care for my body individually. I wanted to share my story and background with you today, because when I talk about these things it's helpful to have a little background information about me learning what it means to listen to my own body and becoming my own doctor. 

My Story of how I went from not eating certain foods because "they're not health!" to eating whatever I please and loving life:

Today, the term healthy can mean a lot of different things to many different people. It's amazing to me that when people say healthy these days it doesn’t often mean how much nutrition, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients you gain by eating a certain food-- people mainly throw out healthy as a description for how little weight that food will make you gain. That's crazy! When I say healthy I mean that this is one of the best foods that will give my body so many needed nutrients and make me feel so good! However, often times people say healthy and mean that it’s not full of things that will make you fat. There’s a huge difference. As I talked about on Monday, listening to our own bodies is very important. When we don’t it can cost us health-wise and it definitely did for me. I want to eat “healthy” so I can accomplish all of the dreams that are in my heart and so that I can be the woman I want to be in this world. I want to do good. I want to be a good wife and a good daughter and one day mom. I want to feel good and be enlivened and have the energy to do all that is placed inside of my heart to do. I don’t want to be burdened down by sickness and fatigue like so many of us are today. I also don't want to be guilt-ridden and obsessed with calorie counting or feeling guilty for eating yummy foods. These days I eat whatever I want, whenever I want without one ounce of guilt. That's part of what healthy means to me-- that and also eating foods that will make me feel amazing. I don’t want to be healthy to be skinny. I want to be healthy so that I don’t feel sick every day of my life, but instead feel actually well. Skinny is just a natural by product of that for me, but that's not even the point. The whole premise that our culture seems to miss these days is that what is healthy for me, may not be healthy for everyone. We have to learn what is best for each of our bodies and what our bodies need more & less of. I first started learning about this in college. 

Click Below To Read The Rest of My Journey And Some Surprising Facts About Eating "Healthy"...

Monday, September 1, 2014

Nutrition 101 Redefined

Hi Readers! How were your weekends? By the time you guys read this I'll be swimming in the ocean at the beach with my family. As for today, I'm just sitting down after a busy day of running errands, being on the phone, getting stuff done, picking things up, etc. If I think about my day today alone I'm freshly aware of how little time and even space we humans make for listening to our bodies. I'm not even sure it's something we know that we all need. A while ago Laura and I were texting back and forth about potential future blog topics and we were throwing ideas back and forth. The subject of paleo, GAPS, vegan, gluten-free "diets" came up and I guess it struck a cord in me just within our text message conversation. I started texting Laura about how although I totally support friends who are eating in certain ways, for me I stay away from "diets." (I use the word diet loosely, and mostly for lack of a better word) Although I know that some of the guidelines in those ways of eating would make me feel better, I don't like adhering to a particular way over others. For me, I like to listen to my own body to tell me exactly what kind of "diet" my body was made to follow. In listening to my body and giving myself the space to listen and be, I can learn pretty easily what makes me feel good and what doesn't. I can learn pretty quickly how I particularly was wired and created to live and what would set me up for optimum wellness. You see I think there are definite benefits to adhering to certain ways of eating such as paleo, gluten free, etc. While I can't and won't argue against the obvious benefits of that, I want to argue for listening to our own bodies. So many people in this day and age don't have or make the time to listen to their own bodies. In some ways it's easiest to just eat a certain particular way because there's no thinking involved, it's just adhering to the said guidelines. I definitely don't advocate being consumed or thinking too much about what we are eating and what we aren't. I advocate creating time and space in our lives that allow us to be and to listen to the cues that our body is trying to tell us and allow our own bodies to tell us what foods we should eat and which ones we shouldn't. Every person and every single human body is different. One diet may work for you, but I may be allergic to the main ingredient in that particular diet and that way of eating may not fit my body. Obviously there are some ingredients that are not good for anyone (ahem, high fructose corn syrup!). I'm saying this with the foundation of those things not being a part of this discussion. There are some ingredients and foods that I believe should be off-limits to everyone! I don't eat meat or dairy that is not hormone free. I don't eat fish that's farm-raised. I would never go near artificial sweeteners-- i.e. diet soft drinks. There are some things that are just off-limits completely. In some countries some of the most common ingredients that we consume in America are illegal due to their health risks and dangers. I digress on that, but my point is this: coming from the standpoint that some ingredients are totally off limits, I believe we should allow our own bodies to dictate what we consume and what we don't and learning our own bodies takes time and space. That time and space is something we must create for ourselves, no matter what is happening in our life, because time and space doesn't create itself.

Listening to our bodies and creating that space definitely takes a little thought.  If I want my body to talk to me and to tell me how to heal itself than I have to create the space in my life to allow it to speak. I operate under the whole premise that God created my body to work well. If He created it to work well, then He created it to be able to heal itself and work towards wellness. I believe our body knows how to heal itself even when life happens and I get sick. Just in the same way that I believe it works towards optimum health and wellness on a daily basis. I don't allow it to do it's amazing job when I don't give myself the time and space to be. Today, I've had a busy day where stress was apparent and just there. In this day and age we live in the most "convenient" time where meals are at our finger tips, the internet speeds up everything on earth, and everything is very fast paced. Even though it's one of the most "convenient times" we have the least amount of times to let ourselves be. I get that. Today alone I was running around from place to place getting stuff done that had to be done. We can't escape that. Yet, we will always have a to do list and mouth(s) to feed and places to be. Despite that we must give ourselves time to listen. If we want to be truly well and live whole, healthy, and well lives then we need that time to listen to our bodies. I knew that as soon as I got home today I needed to have some time on my porch to just be-- not even to read although I do love doing that daily, not even to write this post, or check my phone. I had a thousand things that "needed" attending, but I just sat for minutes. I listened to the bugs, I looked at the trees, I prayed. I gave myself some space. I did end up calling my grandmother a little while later, because I love talking to my grandmother and it's one of my favorite parts of my day (yes, I talk to her just about everyday). The point is that I just took some time to be. I know for certain at this point in my life that I need to give my body space.

This week is devoted to talking about my own process of listening to my body and learning what that looks like. Unfortunately, no one teaches classes on that in school or college! How different would our lives be if "Nutrition 101" wasn't a generalized list of do's and don'ts, but an exploration of how we can explore our own health and wellness and learn how to listen to our body's cues. 

So, Hi my name is Danielle! Welcome to my class, Listening to our Bodies 101. I'm excited you will be joining me this week! Thanks for coming and please come back! ;) 

You Can See Part II here and Part III of Listening to Your Body Here

Disclaimer: PRTLIVING (and all of those feature and interviewed) is limited to providing self-help education in natural health matters and advocating of a healthy lifestyle for the sole purpose of sharing personal experiences and historical information about the traditional use of God-given herbs and natural remedies. This information is not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any specific disease. No medical claims are made. If you have a medical problem, please seek the advice of your medical doctor.
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