20% Off Thrive Market
I apologize for the lack of a post last week - my sister came to visit for the weekend, and we went shopping and to the movies, and the time got away from me! However, I'm back this week - and it's NOVEMBER (hard to believe as that is), so it's time for your monthly "Freebie"!

With the holidays coming up, this month's gift is a bit different. I figured you could use some help with your holiday shopping, so I am excited to let you know that my favorite place to shop online for natural foods, personal care products, and other great gifts is offering our readers 20% off your first 3 orders for the months of November and December!

Head on over to Thrive Market to start shopping now, or read more below to find out more about this special holiday offer...

Sorry folks - I forgot to let you know last week that this week is our summer "Blogging Break Week," so I don't have a regular post for you today...

However, we have loads of great content in our archives, so please feel free to choose a category to the right that interests you and browse through our past articles! 

Here are a few of our favorites, for easy reference:

Is Fat Really Bad For You - Part 1 - The Low Fat Myth
Is Fat Really Bad For You? Part 2 - Good Fats & Bad Fats
The Truth About Grass-Fed Beef
The Only 2 Rules for Healthy Eating You Will Ever Need
Why Eggs Are Better for You Than You Think
Guilt-Free Chocolate Fudge Recipe

Also be sure to Like us on Facebook for weekly updates on healthy and holistic living topics.

I'll see you back here next week with a new post to help you lead a healthier, happier, and more holistically balanced life!


Free Chocolate Bars
Ahh - July...it's hard to believe the year is half over already! We have been enjoying some warm and sunny weather, and the garden is going bananas (see last week's post for more about that craziness). We are looking forward to the annual 4th-of-July barbecue, fireworks, and outdoor concert with some dear friends on Tuesday. I wish you a safe, happy, and memorable holiday as well!

But now, on to the monthly giveaway!

This month, we're excited to share a tasty treat from our friends over at Thrive Market. If you're not familiar with Thrive yet, they are an online marketplace where you can find all sorts of healthy organic foods and other products at lower prices than at most other stores. They also have an awesome mission of helping lower-income families afford healthy food, and supporting sustainable farmers and food producers - a cause that as you may know is very near and dear to my heart!

Below are a few more details about Thrive Market, plus a link to grab your free box of delicious Primal Kitchen organic dark chocolate almond bars.  Wait a minute - candy that's good for you??  That's right!  :-)  Get yours below...

Almond butter giveaway
Welcome to our first giveaway of 2017! As promised, we plan to give you something for free every month this year. Sometimes it may be valuable information for living a healthier life, or helping you to achieve your most important health goals, such as a free report or e-book. And sometimes it will something more tangible - like a jar of tasty, creamy, non-GMO almond butter!

This month's gift is delicious, creamy, healthy, and contains only one ingredient: Almonds! Skip the additives, unhealthy oils, and sugars, and treat yourself to a rich, creamy, protein-packed nut butter that makes a great alternative to the sugary nut butter "spreads" on store shelves.

See below for instructions on how to claim your FREE jar of almond butter - available only through January 31st, so get yours now!

2017 planning
The end of one year and start of a new one always seems a momentous time for me. I usually spend about a 4-week period thinking about the year we have just completed - what I accomplished, what I wish I had done differently, etc., and then what I want to accomplish for the year ahead.

While it's not quite the time for New Year's Resolutions just yet, today I thought I would take just a few minutes to share what I am planning for New Holistic Living in 2017, and what these changes will mean for you...

Here are just a few of the things we have planned so far:

Leaves changing
Fall always feels like a time of change to me. Some people get all excited about spring cleaning, or making plans for summer, but for me, fall is always the time when I want to clean out the closets, reorganize the house, and plan out the next few months. The clutter of the year seems to be piling up, and it's time for a fresh start - or something...  (Maybe that's why Election Day is in the fall??)  :-)

Anyway, this year, I'm implementing a new strategy to (hopefully) help me get - and stay - on track with everything. Much as I love blogging, it takes a ton of time, and sometimes (a lot of the time), that means neglecting other things that need to get done - like planning, strategizing, or just plain taking a rest and doing something else for a few days!

So, I'm implementing "Blogging Break Week." For one whole week, I am taking a break from blogging on ALL of my blogs, and tackling a bunch of other projects that I have been putting off.

Some of those projects may even impact you, dear reader!

American flag
(Note: While I don't usually talk politics here, since we're celebrating America this weekend, I thought it would be a good time to address this topic, as it is something that has become more and more evident - and troublesome to me - over the past few years. )

"Make America great again."

It's got a nice ring to it, doesn't it? Regardless of how you feel about "The Donald," you've got to admit it's catchy. When it comes to American politics, don't underestimate the power of a good campaign slogan! (Remember "Yes we can!"? Whatever that means to you, it ended up meaning a win for Obama in 2008.)

The other aspect of a good campaign slogan is that it can mean whatever you want it to mean, making it feel personal to a wide range of people. If you've been fed up with X,Y, or Z recently, you may feel that "making American great again" will solve your problems.  While "Yes we can," ambiguous as it was, offered a sense of hope to the disenfranchised.

The wording is very important here. For example,  simply "Make America Great" doesn't have nearly the same ring. Why not? Because it wouldn't appeal to the dissatisfied masses who feel that something needs to change. (Almost regardless of whether that change is good or bad, but that's a topic for another day.)
It also appeals to the nostalgia we all have for some shining past moment of glory when our country was (presumably) greater than it is today.

However, genius as this slogan is, I have a couple of problems with it.

Natural health products
If you've been reading this blog for some time, you may have noticed something....

I don't promote products. At least not often. I will occasionally write a review of a book or video that I found especially helpful and thought my readers might benefit from the information it contains. But if I do promote something, it's usually just that: Information to help you live a healthier, happier life. Yes, we have some products listed on our "Recommended Products" page, and throughout the website as well. (You may notice that many of those are also information products.)

I also don't promote a lot of products in my daily life. I don't talk about the products I use all the time - even the ones that work really well for me. Maybe I should do more of this, but I just don't feel right about being a walking billboard for products -  no matter how natural and effective.

Why? The reason is simple - at least in my opinion...

New Year
Happy New Year! Here we are on the brink of another exciting adventure - one called 2016!

I'm not sure why, but the New Year always used to  make me sad when I was younger.... Maybe I was missing the past, rather than looking forward to the future?

Whatever the reason, in recent years, my outlook has changed dramatically, and I now find myself relishing the "blank slate" of a new year stretching out before me. This year, for some reason, I find myself extra excited! Maybe it's just the fact that the past couple of years have been so eventful, but I am greatly anticipating all that 2016 has in store for me, and I hope that you are as well!

With the start of the new year comes those inevitable New Year's Resolutions which so many of us make (and so often fail to keep). Last year, I shared a few of mine, as well as some tips for staying on track with yours. Recalling this, I thought it would be fun to revisit my resolutions for 2015, and see how well I fared!

Let's take a look...

Obviously we write a lot about health on this blog - and in particular healthy eating, real nutrition, and the connections between your health and the food you eat - since that is my main passion. But we also want to know what you want to read about, so we can provide information on the topics you're seeking to learn about!
So this week, rather than another general article, I'm asking you to get specific and let us know what information you find most valuable. Are you most interested in fitness and weight loss? Healthy & delicious recipes? Ways to relieve pain naturally? Living a cleaner, greener lifestyle? Or maybe you want to know how you can relieve stress and find a spiritual connection with the universe? Whatever you're looking for, let us know, so we can write about it!

Obviously holistic living is a very broad topic, and we try to cover the various aspects of living a healthy & balanced life on this website.
But you probably have one or two topics you just really want to know more about. We'd love to hear what those are!

And if you have a specific reason for looking for information on your preferred topic, we want to hear about that too - what is your story?  What brings you to seek more information on healthy and holistic living?

Please drop us an email, or fill out the contact form below, or comment on our Facebook page, and let us know what you want to know more about. Although we cannot provide medical advice, we would be happy to share general information on how you can be healthier in whatever aspect of your life you need the most help in.

I look forward to hearing from you - and keep an eye out for more posts on the topics you requested coming soon!

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