<![CDATA[Holistic Living: Your Pathway to a Balanced Life - Blog]]>Tue, 27 Jun 2017 22:25:27 -0500Weebly<![CDATA[Homestead Update: Summer Stress Case]]>Sun, 25 Jun 2017 19:48:04 GMThttp://newholisticliving.com/1/post/2017/06/homestead-update-summer-stress-case.htmlSalad greensPeas, peas, and more peas!
I know it has been ages since I did a homesteading update for you, so I figured I would go ahead and share the good, the bad, and the ugly for the season so far...

Spring was early this year, and then late - back and forth between unseasonably warm and unseasonably cold all the way up into May. But somehow the garden still ended up ahead of last year - except for the parts I am still behind on! We already have little green tomatoes of all kinds out in the garden, okra is up (this time last year I hadn't even planted it yet), and lettuce and peas are almost finished (our best pea crop so far, by far!).

For some reason, every year I think this year I will somehow manage to be not as stressed out during the hectic spring and early-summer in the garden, but it never happens! Last year I thought I would be done with preparing new beds for a while (always an incredibly laborious and time-consuming process), but then we ended up with fewer hay bales this year, so I decided to create one more row of beds so that area wouldn't to go waste this year. Well, it's nearly July and I STILL don't have them done, although getting close, and I should finish them this week at last... Our soil is so heavy and dense, it is nearly impossible to dig if it's not the perfect moisture level. For most of the spring, it has been either way too wet (with standing water in the aisles), or way too dry (like concrete - can't even get a fork into it), so I've been lucky to get one day out of the week sometimes where it is actually workable.

Fortunately, we got 2 1/2" of rain a few days ago, after a long, hot, dry spell, and now it is cool, breezy, and beautiful - perfect for working outside, and the soil is nice and moist - so I'm on the home stretch! My husband is finishing up the bed boxes today, so we should have them framed by the end of the week - so I can finally plant the beans!

The LAST 3 new beds!
Hopefully by next week they'll look more like this...
Besides trying to get everything else done while preparing the beds (planting, weeding, mulching, watering, laying irrigation lines, staking and weaving the tomatoes, replanting things that didn't come up, and weeding, weeding, and more weeding), this year has also been extra stressful because of the pests...

We were blessed the first year here to have relatively few, except for the asparagus beetles. Last year the squash bugs showed up, though not until late in the season, and a few more cucumber beetles, plus lots of flea beetles. This season, it is game on!  Word is out in the neighborhood that there is a delicious, chemical-free smorgasboard just ready for the taking...

And the bugs have arrived for real.

While we didn't have squash bugs last year until late July, now they are already out and about, laying eggs and sucking juices from my poor squash plants, which are already under a lot of stress as I shall describe in a moment. Not many yet, so I'm trying to keep ahead of them by picking regularly. The Japanese beetles, which have always been a problem here, are worse than ever this year - just now arriving in swarms to feast upon the belabored asparagus, as well as the potatoes, tomatilloes, and my flower beds.

But the worst of it this year so far has been the cucumber beetles. They are everywhere - hordes of hungry little beasts ready to suck out the juices of all my melons, cucumbers, and squashes, chew through the stems, and munch holes in all of the leaves. They are very fast, fly far, and burrow into the dirt to hide if they drop off a plant, so they are incredibly difficult to pick by hand.

They killed my one honeydew melon within days of planting it outside in the garden, as well as one of my cantaloupe seedlings, one of my watermelons, and 2 new baby squash seedlings. The larger squash plants have been hard hit as well, though fortunately they were already established when the worst of the beetle scourge arrived. The bugs seem to have only recently discovered the cucumbers (in a different area of the garden), and have completely eaten off several long tendrils that were already climbing the trellis and beginning to bloom.

Much of my time in the garden lately has had to be directed to trapping and picking cucumber beetles, and attempting various organic means to try to control them. Along with twice daily picking (whenever possible), I set up some "traps" I read about online - yellow bowls (supposedly they are attracted to yellow) filled with water and a couple of drops of dish soap. While not a lot of them seem to fall in on their own, it does make picking easier, as I can sometimes shake them off the leaves into the bowls, where they will die quickly in the soapy water.

Along with the bowl traps, for deterrents
I started with diatomaceous earth, which was one of the suggestions I read about online, plus it was something I already had on hand, having recently bought a 5-lb bag of it for general garden use. Some users posted online that they found the cucumber beetles did not like walking in it, so I sprinkled it on and around the leaves of the plants and on the bales where they are planted. It has perhaps helped a bit, but not to protect new seedlings. I discovered 3 cucumber beetles finishing off the last of my replanted honeydew seedlings this morning, while completely coated with DE powder! However, for the less-tasty larger plants, it does seem to deter them somewhat - though it took several days to see a difference in numbers. I am cautious about using it on the cucumbers though, as they are blooming, and I know that DE kills bees, which I am very sensitive about.

My next attempt will be neem oil, which I also have on hand, but am not sure how much it will help - it didn't seem to help with the asparagus beetles at all... For that, I shouldn't have to worry too much about the bees, as from what I have read, neem doesn't bother them much as long as it isn't sprayed directly on them, so I will spray in the evening when the bees aren't around.

And for the third prong of attack, I purchased some beneficial nematodes, which I've read are one of the best ways to control cucumber beetles, BUT they only work on the larvae in the soil, so won't help with the current infestation. I'm hoping if I apply this year, next year there won't be so many? On the plus side, they are also supposed to work for asparagus beetles, which I had never read anywhere before, despite all my research on controlling them! So I also treated the asparagus bed, and we will see how it goes...

My next option if things don't improve soon will be a Spinosad insect spray, which, though organic, is more toxic to many insects, so I wanted to use that as a last resort if these other options don't work. I'm hoping the DE and the neem oil will help lessen the pressure from the adults, while the nematodes will prevent new hatches from making it to maturity.

Besides their incredibly destructive appetites, cucumber beetles also carry various wilt diseases, which I now think is what killed all of my melons last year, as well as my cucumber plants (although, by then, those were about done fruiting). So even though we didn't have that many beetles last year, they still destroyed part of my garden - including my unripe melons, which I was so sad about! I never thought I could hate an insect pest worse than asparagus beetles, but cucumber beetles are pure evil!!!
Cucumber beetle damage on zucchini leaves.
They valiantly soldier on...
Keeping up with the garden tasks and watching my lovely little seedlings die before my eyes have made this a very stressful summer so far. But there are still many blessings. We picked our first few spears of asparagus this year, though not nearly as much as we should have been able to pick, since the plants were so weakened by the scourge of asparagus beetles for the past 2 years and I was worried about taking too much. They were absolutely delicious, and even more amazingly, this year's asparagus beetle infestation seems much lighter than last year! I am not sure why, but am hoping it was the clearing and agitating of the soil during the winter, which I read about online last fall and decided to try. 

The early warm weather has meant that the garden is ahead of last year, and everything (except for the melons and squash) is looking amazingly beautiful, vibrant, and healthy. I told my husband that I think we are definitely on track for our prettiest garden ever this year!

And our newest experiment should hopefully cut down on my ongoing workload in the garden, as well as make it practically magazine-worthy. :-) 

After reading a lot about using wood chips in the garden, I mentioned to my husband that we could try using wood chips to keep the weeds down in the garden aisles between the beds. We had discussed various options for this before, as maneuvering the push mower between the beds is very difficult (though my husband does a great job with it, but it has been frustrating for him), plus the short aisles have irrigation lines crossing them, so I had to weed those sections by hand all summer last year.

And even with mowing the longer aisles, I still had to constantly weed around the edges of the bed frames, and whenever we got a lot of rain, the aisles all turned into mucky, mosquito-filled swamps. My husband had mentioned gravel, but I didn't really want to add a lot of rocks to our garden, even small ones, plus I figured they would be uncomfortable to walk on, and while it might look nice at first, over time, they would become algae coated, muddy, and not very attractive after all. And I wasn't sure they would make a very good weed barrier anyway.

Leaves look nice and work wonderfully at keeping weeds down, but our one giant maple tree only provides enough to barely mulch one aisle, and they have to be replaced every year as they decompose fairly quickly.

What about wood chips?

I had read online that you can often get them free from municipal departments or tree-trimming services. My husband said he would look into it, and on my birthday, at the end of May, he showed up in our driveway with a pickup-truck-load of beautiful, aromatic wood chips!

He found a couple of different sources which would give him chips whenever they have them, so we have been hauling wood chips for the past several weeks, and piling them 4-5" deep in the aisles around the beds. We are almost finished now - just 2 aisles left to go, and then if we can get more I think we will also go ahead and mulch the areas between the hay bales as that section of the garden is just covered with cardboard right now, which doesn't look that nice, and some weeds do find their way through it. Plus I think it will be better for the soil underneath.
The tomato bed, before wood chips...
...And after! :)
So far, the chips have been amazing! Not only do they look beautiful, but they also absorb all of the water when we get a lot of rain - no more splashing around in the muck in my rubber boots amid swarms of mosquitoes just to get anything done! They are soft and comfortable to walk on, and they also do a remarkable job at keeping the weeds down. A few stubborn ones (dandelions, really tough grass, etc.), have poked through, but I can go around once a week with a dandelion weeder and get these few stragglers taken care of in just a few minutes - as opposed to endless and somewhat futile weeding all summer long!

Someone said online that if you put them down too deep, they could smother the earthworms, but I have not found that to be the case at all. In fact, when I have dug a couple of inches down to dig out weeds, I have found dozens of active and happy earthworms working away in the moist chips.

I also read somewhere that they may help the raised beds retain moisture longer, so we will see - I haven't tested that theory just yet, but it does make sense.

While this year in the garden has so far been a mixed bag, overall I am optimistic and hoping for a wonderful season!

I hope your summer is going well and that you are blessed in your own gardening and homesteading endeavors!


<![CDATA[7 Reasons to Embrace a Holistic Lifestyle]]>Sun, 18 Jun 2017 19:20:40 GMThttp://newholisticliving.com/1/post/2017/06/7-reasons-to-embrace-a-holistic-lifestyle.htmlHolistic living benefits
In the years since I started this site, I have come to realize that holistic living is not just a way of life that benefits those who practice it, but it also impacts the health of the planet as a whole. Living holistically doesn't just mean taking daily steps to lead a more healthy, balanced life - it also means respecting the natural world around you, and learning to recognize your place in it, as well as its impact on you.

When you truly begin to live in a holistic manner, you recognize the connections between yourself and others, as well as the natural world. By doing so, you find a deeper sense of peace and purpose in the world, and you also learn to recognize your body's natural needs and take care of yourself in a gentler and more loving way.

Here are 7 awesome benefits of living a holistic lifestyle:

1.) Improves Your Physical Health & Fitness

Of course, when many people refer to holistic living, they are really talking about holistic health. Holistic health involves learning to recognize your body's unique needs and take care of them using natural methods that work with your bodily systems rather than treating your body as the enemy or something defective that needs to be "fixed."

Living a holistically healthy lifestyle includes plenty of physical activity - and especially spending time outside in nature. There is no one right way to be active - simply participating in an activity that you enjoy and that makes you feel good is what it's all about!

Physical activity benefits your health in a number of ways, from burning calories, to strengthening muscles, stretching and lubricating joints and tissues, preventing or reducing pain, lowering stress, and even releasing endorphins which improve your mood. Exercise could be considered the best medicine there is for the human body! Do it daily for best results.

2.) Minimizes Dietary Stresses & Digestive Issues

Eating mindfully is key to holistic health and healthy living. Learning to recognize your body's unique needs when it comes to nutrition is a long process, but well worth the effort! By becoming familiar with the foods that cause you problems, you will be able to make healthier choices that also lead to better health, and make you feel a lot better, too.

Drinking plenty of water is important for detoxification and cleansing of your bodily systems. But you will also want to limit or eliminate processed foods from your diet. These foods are loaded with sugars, preservatives, and artificial colors, sweeteners, and flavors - all of which can negatively impact your health in various ways. They also often contain unhealthy processed fats, and high levels of sodium. 

Instead, choose to eat whole, natural foods filled with natural vitamins, minerals, and other healthy nutrients. (For more guidance, follow my 2 simple rules for healthy eating.)

3.) Helps You Access Your Inner Wisdom

Holistic living is about more than just the body, however. It also means learning to know the inner workings of your own mind, recognizing your triggers, and learning constructive and effective ways to deal with any deep-rooted issues. This self-awareness is geared towards self-love and self-acceptance, and will help you learn to take care of yourself in a more intuitive and caring way.

4.) Increases Positivity & Mental Clarity

Once you have learned to recognize when your mind is dwelling on negative thoughts or heading in a destructive direction, you can begin to turn your thoughts to a more positive state. Getting rid of negative self-talk goes an incredibly long way towards a happier, healthier mindset! If you find yourself criticizing yourself and others often, you may need some work in the area of positivity.

However, this won't happen overnight, and you will need to spend some time each day reflecting and meditating, witnessing your thoughts, and practicing self-acceptance. This doesn't have to take a ton of time. Starting with just 5 minutes per day can help to bring calm, focus, and clarity to your life, and build a more positive mindset which is not as easily affected by external stressors and daily challenges.

5.) Helps You Build Healthier Relationships

When you cultivate a healthier mindset, as discussed above, your relationships will most likely improve as well. A clear, focused, and peaceful mind will make it easier for you to deal with relationship challenges and communicate more calmly and clearly with those around you.

Developing healthy boundaries, practicing honesty and integrity, and accepting yourself as you are will all help to attract other holistically-minded people who will treat you with the same kindness and respect. It may also help you to recognize when others are not acting in your best interest, or are not treating you with the respect you deserve, so that you can take steps to either improve these relationships, or separate yourself from them if appropriate.

Feeling connected, secure, and sure of your place in the world is a wonderful foundation from which to care for yourself and those you love.

6.) Supports Your Local Economy

One benefit of holistic living that you may not have thought of is its impact on your local community. When you start to pay attention to where your food comes from, and how it is raised and prepared, you will likely find that some of your food sources are unsustainable and possibly even unethical. Becoming conscious of what you are eating, and where it came from, will help you to make healthier and more sustainable choices for both the planet and your local community.

Most practitioners of holistic living try to spend most of their food dollars locally, and some even practice seasonal eating to ensure that your food source is in harmony with the natural seasons where you live.

Plus, it can be fun! Learning about where your food comes from, how it is grown, and the people who grow it not only helps support the local economy, but it also strengthens community and may even help you build lasting friendships based on trust with your food providers - something that far too few of us in today's world have!

7.) Helps You Cultivate Gratitude & Balance

Living holistically means living more consciously - on all levels. Becoming more aware of the people, places, and things in your life that you are grateful for will help you find a sense of peace, calm, empathy, and strength within yourself that you never knew you had!

As you can see, holistic living is all about balance - balance not just within your body, but also in the world around you. It encompasses not only physical health, but also mental and emotional health, healthy relationships, and the health of the planet as a whole. By choosing to live in a more connected, balanced, and holistic way, we truly can change the world!

Holistically yours,


<![CDATA[Got Milk? The Great Dairy Debate]]>Sun, 11 Jun 2017 19:31:25 GMThttp://newholisticliving.com/1/post/2017/06/got-milk-the-great-dairy-debate.htmlIs Dairy Healthy?
Few foods have a more interesting history than dairy. For the past several decades, dairy has been touted as so essential for good health that, if you listened to the ads, it seemed the bones of small children must simply crumble away to dust without their daily glass of milk!

However, in recent years dairy has begun to fall out of favor as digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome and lactose intolerance have become more prevalent - or at least more obvious. 

So what is the real story on dairy? Is it good for you, or bad? Should you limit your consumption, or avoid it all together?

Today we will take a look at some of these questions and attempt to clear up some of the confusion surrounding dairy.

The Opposition Party

In recent years, the dairy nay-sayers have stated a number of reasons why dairy should be avoided. Digestive health issues are a primary concern - as well they should be, since the number of digestive disorders and chronic illnesses continues to increase, causing untold suffering for millions of people every year. But is dairy truly the cause of this epidemic, or is something else to blame?

Others have claimed that dairy is a cause of other major modern diseases such as cancer, high cholesterol, and more, while still others have blamed dairy for an increase in food and other allergies.

Environmentalists cite the terrible toll that industrial dairy farming takes on the environment, while animal rights activists protest the inhumane conditions in which dairy cattle are kept and raised.

And lastly, a few thoughtful individuals have decided that drinking another species' milk is simply unnatural. And if you really think about it, it is kind of weird... After all, milk is produced specifically to feed one's young. Baby goats don't drink cow's milk, and vice versa, and you don't see any other adult animal species consuming milk of any kind.

However, there is another side to the debate as well.

Those In Favor, Say...

On the other side are ancestral eating proponents such as those in the Weston Price camp, who feel that since animal products have been consumed by humans practically since the origin of our species, they are perfectly healthy and even necessary for optimal health.

And me? In similar food-related debates, I would often stand somewhere in the middle - everything in moderation, etc.

But dairy is a bit different, as there are so many people who do have real problems with drinking milk. So I have a few more specific suggestions than simply "consume in moderation."

1. Go Raw...

If you have a real problem with dairy, you probably already know it - or at least suspect it. Lactose intolerance is fairly widespread, although the degree of severity can vary a lot. If you experience negative digestive issues after consuming dairy, then yes,  you should probably avoid it. However, if you are very attached to dairy foods and find it hard to give them up entirely, there are a few things you can try.

For one, I would absolutely agree that the pasteurized, homogenized, highly processed milk on store shelves today bears little resemblance to what our human ancestors have consumed for thousands of years. Milk that has been treated in this manner is lacking the essential enzymes that originally helped humans to digest it - not to mention all of the important vitamins and fats that make it a truly nutritious food.

If you can find a source of raw, whole milk, give that a try, and see if it is easier for you to digest. Many people have found they can enjoy raw milk - and products made from it - with impunity, even after experiencing years of "lactose intolerance" caused by commercial milks.

2. Got Grass?

One of the best ways to ensure that the dairy you consume is healthy, that the animals were treated well, and that the environment was protected is to buy grass-fed. For the most part, grass-fed cattle are MUCH healthier than any industrially raised CAFO animal could ever be. The fresh, green grass that they consume is converted in vitamins that make their way into your milk, creating a much healthier beverage that is higher in a number of healthy fats and essential factors that are often missing from the modern American diet (such as certain important forms of Vitamin K that are ONLY found in full-fat dairy).

And yes, grass-fed animals can be a lot better for the environment, if the farmer knows what they are doing! Rotational grazing practices can actually help to enhance soil health, and reduce erosion and runoff of waste into water supplies.

That said, to be able to effectively raise all dairy cattle on grass using responsible and sustainable grazing practices would require quite a bit of land - possibly more than we have available (although I still contend that much of our agricultural land is misused and inefficiently managed, and if everyone switched to more efficient model, who knows what could be possible?)... So, in the interest of making healthier choices both for yourself and the planet, if you do consume dairy, make sure it's grass-fed, buy local whenever possible, and consume in moderation.

But Is It Really Natural?

On the "humans aren't meant to drink milk" front, I have a couple of thoughts on that as well. First of all, maybe it is weird to drink another species' milk - but then again, we humans are WEIRD! Drinking milk is probably the least of it...

Part of what makes us human is our penchant for doing weird stuff that other species don't do. After all, no other species cooks its food either. And few other species combine foods together to make a more nutritious meal, which we have been doing practically since the beginning of time - or at least, the beginning of our species.

While you can argue that our digestive systems have not evolved to digest milk, I disagree. Humans have been consuming the milk of various animals for thousands (perhaps even millions) of years. Ancient remains of human societies and primitive peoples from various countries all around the world have contained traces of milk proteins - although it was more prevalent in some regions than others (for example, dairy has never been common on the Asian continent).

Is it weird? Maybe. Is it new to our digestive systems? Hardly.

However, what IS new to us - at least in evolutionary terms - is the processing of milk. Prior to the discovery of pasteurization, milk was always consumed raw - or cooked only very slightly. Obviously, fresh milk doesn't keep for long (especially without refrigeration), so various fermentation methods were used to preserve the nutrients in milk for human consumption (and potentially make it easier to digest as well). Fermented milk products such as sour cream, cheese, yogurt, clabber, and others were prevalent before the advent of refrigeration, and many health experts now suggest that the lack of fermented foods in the modern American diet may be partly to blame for the drastic increase in digestive issues we are experiencing.

So no, pasteurized, skimmed, homogenized, artificial-strawberry-flavored milk is NOT natural. However, raw, whole milk in it's original form is far from foreign to the human body - at least in most areas of the world.

What About the Health Stuff?

Lastly, in terms of milk as a healthy food or an unhealthy one, Dr. Weston Price's research suggests that primitive cultures which consumed raw, fresh, whole-milk dairy products on a regular basis experienced better dental health, and better health overall, than those consuming a modern diet. And recent studies have found that even processed milk does not have the ill health effects that some have attributed to it. For example, a comprehensive study
of 29 different studies covering more than 900,000 people published in the April 2017 European Journal of Epidemiology found no link between milk/dairy and premature death or cardiovascular disease.

However, if you do want to consume dairy, there is no question that the best way to do it is in it's natural, unprocessed form.

And if you don't, that's fine as well!  Just as there is no rule that says you have to eat meat, there is no rule that you have to drink milk either - or eat yogurt, cheese, or ice cream. However, if you love dairy, but find it causes problems for you, give raw milk a try and see if it helps (read more about raw milk, and find sources here). If you care about the environment and the treatment of animals, buy grass-fed, and local if at all possible. But most of all, remember my 2nd rule for healthy eating, and stay away from the highly-processed, skimmed, homogenized, and otherwise depleted milk in those white plastic jugs in the refrigerator case of your local supermarket - there is no nutritional value to be found there, regardless of where you stand in the dairy debate.

Got questions? Visit our Facebook page to chime in on the debate!

To your health,

<![CDATA[Get Your FREE Ticket To the Homegrown Food Summit]]>Sun, 04 Jun 2017 18:57:36 GMThttp://newholisticliving.com/1/post/2017/06/your-free-ticket-to-the-homegrown-food-summit.htmlHomegrown Food Summit 2017
Welcome to June! For this month's "free giveaway," we're handing out tickets to an amazing event that anyone who is interested in real health, self-sufficient living, or making sure that the food you feed your family is safe and healthy will NOT want to miss!

That's right - registration is now open for the 3rd annual Home Grown Food Summit.

This awesome event kicks off Monday, June 12th, and it includes presentations from more than 38 experts on food, homegrown and natural medicines, homesteading,
urban gardening, raising livestock for dairy, eggs, and protein, and many more health and self-sufficiency topics - plus, you'll have the opportunity to win some really cool prizes for your homestead! (See below for details.)

Get your FREE Ticket here, or learn more about the event below.

Here are a few things you may want to know about the Homegrown Food Summit - especially if it's your first time attending.

1. You don't have to go anywhere to learn all of this valuable information. This is a 100% online event, so you can watch all of the presentations from the comfort of your own home - no traveling or expensive plane tickets required!

2. The event kicks off Monday, June 12th, and will run for 7 days, with 2 encore days at the end to give you time to catch up on any presentations you may have missed.

3. The event will include over 40 hours of video presentations for you to enjoy, including topics such as:

  • How to grow veggies 3X FASTER than the typical garden.
  • Farming in an urban setting -- growing vegetables, fruit, nuts, eggs, milk, meat, and more.
  • SUPER FAST compost -- how to make compost in just 18 days!
  • How to stop CRITTERS from eating your veggies!
  • How to buy the perfect greenhouse; an insider tells you what to look for.
  • Milk donkeys? You bet! Everything you need to know about keeping donkeys for milk.
  • Tree pruning for dummies -- the basics ANYONE can master.
  • How to grow 75% of your food in less than 10 hours per week!
  • And much, much more!

However, although the event is completely free to attend, you must register in advance to reserve your free seat for all of the presentations.

Register & Get Your FREE Ticket Here

And before you email me about this, yes, they will be making recordings of the entire event (including the videos, MP3s, and transcripts) available for purchase as well, in case you miss any sessions, or want to save them for repeat watching and reference.

So if you have schedule conflicts, and you can’t watch it during the week of June 12th, you can grab the recordings and watch it on your own schedule.

But you are not obligated to make this purchase, because again, this 100% online event is FREE to attend.

But not everyone has 40+ hours to watch during the week. So the recordings simply ensure you won’t miss any of this valuable information.

Register Here to Grab Your FREE Ticket to the event, and mark your calendar for June 12-20th to watch for free online!


P.S. A new addition to this year's event is the chance for attendees to win thousands of dollars in valuable prizes, including:
  • A sun oven package for outdoor cooking…
  • 3 different composters, including a Worm Factory …
  • A Kombucha brewing package …
  • A survival water purification still …
  • An essential oils distiller…
  • … And lots more!
You must be registered to be entered in to the prize drawings, and the first drawing happens right after the event kicks off, so be sure to register early to get your name in the running to win some of these awesome prizes!

<![CDATA[Summer Grilling Recipe: Grass-Fed Burgers With Avocado Cream]]>Sun, 28 May 2017 18:50:48 GMThttp://newholisticliving.com/1/post/2017/05/summer-grilling-recipe-grass-fed-burgers-with-avocado-cream.htmlGrass-fed burger recipe
Summer is here at last! (At least in my book, summer starts on Memorial Day weekend.) :-)  I'll have a homestead update for you soon with updated pictures of our garden (which is finally coming along nicely), but for the holiday weekend, I thought I'd keep it short and share a tasty recipe perfect for your holiday barbecue!

As you probably know if you've been reading this blog for a while, we are big fans of grass-fed meat. If you're going to eat meat, grass-fed is definitely the way to go (check out my previous post on this for why we feel so strongly about it).

My husband and I now purchase almost exclusively grass-fed meats through local farmers who raise their animals humanely on pasture. Not only do we know our food was treated well, but we also know it was fed food that was good for it, which makes it better for us! It also helps eliminate some of the other issues with conventionally raised industrially farmed meats. That's why our burgers for this Memorial Day's cookout will be grass-fed!

Below is a simple and delicious recipe that is perfect for the holiday weekend, or any other summer grilling occasion. The avocado adds plenty of healthy fats, and the garlic provides a nice flavor kick (though you can leave that out if you prefer a milder sauce).  I like mine with a few leaves of fresh lettuce from the garden, and a big slice of ripe tomato on top!

Grass-Fed Burgers with Avocado Cream*

Ready in: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

For the burgers:
• 4 (1/3 pound) grass-fed burger patties
• 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

For the avocado cream:

• 1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
• 1⁄4 cup organic mayonnaise
• 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
• 1 clove garlic (optional)
• 2 pinches sea salt

• Other toppings (tomato, onion, lettuce, etc.) if desired. 


1.) Brush grill with olive oil. (Alternatively, you can also cook these on the stove top - just heat the oil in a non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium-low heat. When the oil shimmers, add the patties and cook until a browned crust forms, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the patties over and cover the pan. Turn the heat to low and cook the burgers another 4 to 8 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 155°F on a meat thermometer.)

2.) When grill is hot, add your patties and cook 4-5 minutes per side, until burgers are nicely browned on the outside, and juicy enough for your liking in the middle - test with a knife for doneness, or use a grill thermometer to make sure meat is cooked to 155°F internal temperature.

While the burgers are cooking, make the avocado cream.

Place the avocado, mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic (if using), and salt in the bowl of a food processor that is fitted with the steel blade attachment. Puree the ingredients until smooth and creamy.

Serve the burgers, each with a quarter of the avocado cream on top, and add your choice of other toppings as desired.

Enjoy, and have a great holiday!

* Note: This recipe is from The Eat Fat, Get Thin Cookbook, by Mark Hyman, MD.

<![CDATA[[Video] Fat for Fuel: How to Fight Cancer With Dietary Fat]]>Sun, 21 May 2017 19:27:55 GMThttp://newholisticliving.com/1/post/2017/05/video-fat-for-fuel-how-to-fight-cancer-with-dietary-fat.htmlFat for Fuel
Modern medicine wants you to believe that it holds the answer to disease, but if this is true, why aren't we healthier? In fact, today we suffer more chronic and debilitating diseases than ever before. More than half of all Americans struggle with chronic illnesses, and 1 in 5 deaths in the U.S. today are obesity-related.

So what is the key to this problem?

Many researchers now believe that the increase in chronic modern illness and disease over the past several decades is
largely the result of an inappropriate diet. (Surprise, surprise, right?) Most of us eat far too much sugar (and other simple carbs), and far too little healthy fats and fruits and vegetables.

Part of the problem is that we have been told for years that our bodies should run on glucose for fuel, so we need to make sure to consume plenty of carbs.

However, in the interesting video below, Dr. Joseph Mercola discusses some fascinating findings that suggest that fats are actually the preferred fuel of the human metabolism. By correcting our carb/protein/fat ratio in our diet, he contends that we can maintain long-term good health, especially when it comes to avoiding or even curing modern diseases such as diabetes and cancer.

The interview below with Dr. David Perlmutter, MD dives into the key principles of Dr. Mercola's new book, "Fat for Fuel," to discover how we can reverse chronic disease and protect ourselves from cancer and other life-threatening chronic illnesses. The book discusses how to correctly and efficiently power your body with fat instead of sugar and carbs, as well as how to implement this kind of diet in order to achieve better overall health.

Watch the video below to learn more about this interesting approach to a cancer-fighting and health-enhancing diet.
About Dr. Joe Mercola: Dr. Mercola is a board-certified family physician who has treated over 25,000 patients from around the world. Dr. Mercola encourages and educates people about safe and inexpensive nutritional, lifestyle and exercise options to radically reduce their risk of dying prematurely from dangerous drugs and surgeries, as well as cancer and so many of our common and largely preventable degenerative conditions.
<![CDATA[10 Health Benefits of Detoxing (FREE Video Masterclass)]]>Sun, 07 May 2017 20:37:42 GMThttp://newholisticliving.com/1/post/2017/05/10-health-benefits-of-detoxing-free-video-masterclass.htmlFree Detox video class
This time of year, with the fresh air and sunshine of spring all around us, and dreams of beach vacations dancing in our heads, many people are inspired to start a new diet or undertake a "cleanse" or detox program.

Unfortunately, far too many of us have failed at diets - either finding them too restrictive to continue, or simply getting tired of missing out on all of our favorite foods and not seeing the results we were hoping for. Consequently, statistics show that most people who lose weight through dieting will gain it right back again within a matter of months (or sometimes weeks).

Detox programs are often difficult, and even though they may work in the short term, choking down weird concoctions or swallowing loads of pills every day gets old fast, so many people give up before they lose the weight they were hoping to.

what if you could achieve the same weight-loss effects without counting calories…and achieve dozens of other health benefits at the same time?

Benefits like eliminating inflammation. Like joints not hurting as you cleanse excess sodium from your system. Like better digestive function. Like brain fog clearing. Like anxiety or depression lifting so you get your energy and joy for life back!

When your focus is on optimizing and healing your organs of elimination, you just might find that you kill 10 birds with the same stone!

What 10 birds? That's what you'll find out in this month's "freebie!"

In this free detox "master class," author, researcher, and clinical therapist Robyn Openshaw shares ten different reasons you might want to tackle a significant detox…..rather than doing that same old DIET. (Again.)

Watch the Video: 10 Health Benefits of Detoxing

Robin knows what she's talking about. She has been studying human detoxification with the best holistic doctors, on 4 different continents, for 25 years! (You might have heard of her as “the Green Smoothie Girl” online.)

That's why I’m really excited to invite you to her Detox Video Mini Masterclass going on right now, and it’s all FREE!
  • You’ll learn why detoxing can lead to permanent weight loss, versus a diet.

  • You’ll discover what the 7 types of toxicity are in YOUR body, and how to eliminate them.

  • You’ll also learn the 8 most detoxifying foods. (And the 11 most toxic foods!)

Go watch the video now, and don’t be surprised if you end up getting off the dieting merry-go-round for good!

However, the Detox Video Mini Masterclass closes in just a few days, so make sure you go sign up to watch it now... (And invite a friend too - someone you’d love to have as your "Accountability Buddy" in a detox!)

Get Access to the Free Masterclass Here...


<![CDATA[5 High-Fat Foods With Surprising Health Benefits]]>Sun, 30 Apr 2017 18:36:54 GMThttp://newholisticliving.com/1/post/2017/04/5-high-fat-foods-with-surprising-health-benefits.htmlHigh-fat healthy foods
Despite much evidence to the contrary, most people still believe that high-fat foods are bad for you. In fact, foods high in healthy fats (in moderation of course) can be an important part of a healthy diet. Some even offer some surprising health benefits, including enhanced immunity to illness, more energy, better brain function, and even better weight management!

A recent study conducted at the University of Georgia found several health benefits associated with healthy high-fat foods. The team analyzed several previous studies that focused on the health benefits related to consuming different foods high in healthy fats.

The 5 foods listed below are some examples they found of high-fat foods that may be consumed in reasonable amounts on a regular basis to help you maintain good health.

1. Avocados

Numerous studies have found that avocados are one of the best sources of potassium and fiber. In addition, despite containing high amounts of fat, they have been shown to help lower bad (LDL) cholesterol and increase good (HDL) cholesterol levels.

2. Cheese

Some studies have shown that cheese is a great source of calcium, vitamin B12, and several other nutrients. In addition, cheese contains fatty acids that have been linked to reducing the risk of type-2 diabetes. For the most health benefits, raw-milk cheese from grass-fed cows is best, as it may contain higher levels of heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids.

3. Dark Chocolate

Studies found the high levels of antioxidants found in dark chocolate help lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels, both of which help reduce the risk of heart disease.

4.  Whole Eggs

New studies have shown that the cholesterol in eggs does not affect cholesterol levels in your blood. In addition, eggs are a good weight loss food because they contain highs amount of balanced protein, which helps you feel full faster and longer. Eggs from chickens raised on pasture also contain high levels of vitamin A, vitamin D, and Omega-3 fatty acids.

5. Grass-Fed Butter

That's right - butter!
According to registered dietitian, Laura Schoenfeld, "Nutritionally, butter is actually a much healthier fat than most people realize, especially if it comes from grass-fed cows. The dairy fat from pastured cows contains higher levels of fat-soluble vitamins, particularly vitamin K2, which helps your body utilize calcium appropriately... Saturated fat is also a much safer fat to consume than the omega-6-rich polyunsaturated fats that come from industrial vegetable and seed oils. Plus, butter makes veggies taste amazing and helps us better absorb their nutrients—a win win!" (See our previous post "The Truth About Butter" for more info.)

These healthy types of fat are not only far from the health-destroying monsters they have been called in the mainstream media for decades, but they can actually improve various aspects of your health when consumed in moderation from clean sources. New evidence shows they are much better for you than the processed vegetable fats found in most processed foods and even so-called "low-fat" foods today.

So enjoy your dark chocolate fudge made with real, grass-fed butter, or your pastured eggs cooked in butter with a bit of fresh garlic, or your slice of crumbly raw-milk cheese with a glass of your favorite red wine - and skip the guilt! Even indulgences like these are not as bad for your health as you thought - in fact, they may even be good for you! :-)

To your health (and enjoyment),

<![CDATA[4 Surprising Habits That Double Your Risk of Diabetes]]>Sun, 23 Apr 2017 17:47:41 GMThttp://newholisticliving.com/1/post/2017/04/4-surprising-habits-that-double-your-risk-of-diabetes.htmlDiabetes risk
Diabetes kills thousands of people every year, and the rate of adult onset diabetes (type II) has skyrocketed in recent decades, despite the mainstream assumption that cutting fats out of our diet reduces the risk of diabetes and other weight-related modern diseases, and the resulting widespread reduction in consumption of most kinds of fat. (By the way, this theory has been debunked hundreds of times - check out some of our previous posts on this topic here and here.)

So what's going on?

If we really are eating healthier, why are we getting sicker?

Below we explore 4 common habits that have been proven to drastically increase the risk of developing Type II diabetes. You may think these habits are totally innocent, but you will be shocked to learn that studies have shown these seemingly innocuous behaviors can actually double your risk of developing this deadly disease...

#1: Drinking A Soda Pop

Obviously there's no question that eating tons of sugary foods like candy and soda on a regular basis can lead to type 2 diabetes. Dowsing your body with heavy loads of sugar on a daily basis plays havoc with your blood sugar, and over time, can completely knock your body's natural regulating mechanisms out of balance, creating an imbalance that your body simply can't cope with anymore. This is when diabetes kicks in.

But what if you only indulge in one soda once a day? Surely that can't be enough to cause any harm, right? If you eat healthy otherwise, but just love that one can of Pepsi as an afternoon treat, you may think that this is perfectly harmless.

But, as a recent article from HealthierTalk.com explains, a new Swedish study has found that it could be anything but.

In fact, according to researchers, even drinking just ONE soda per day could more than double your risk for diabetes.

Even more surprisingly, it doesn't even seem to matter if the soda has sugar in it! Their findings suggest that sugar-free diet soda has just as much of an impact on your diabetes risk as the regular version. Researchers believe that although diet sodas don't contain sugar, they may stimulate your appetite and lead you to eat more unhealthy foods, which then leads to glucose intolerance and diabetes.

2.) Missing Sleep - Or Staying Up Late

You probably know that getting enough sleep is critical to staying healthy. Not getting enough sleep makes you more susceptible to all kinds of illnesses and diseases - including diabetes and heart disease. But did you know that when you sleep actually makes a difference as well? Even if you're getting the recommended amount of sleep, staying up late may make you almost 2 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes!

According to research published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, staying up late is associated with poor sleep quality, which can have a negative impact on your metabolism, as can eating late at night, and exposure to bright lights and electronic screens

If you are a night owl, try to slowly move your bedtime a bit earlier - even 10 to 15 minutes at a time can make a difference over a few months. Also, skip the late-night snacks, turn off unneeded lights, and avoid laptops, televisions, and cell phones for at least an hour before bedtime.

3.) Taking Antibiotics

Antibiotics were once seen as a "miracle drug," and indeed, they probably still save thousands of lives every year.

But we have moved into dangerous territory in recent years, and antibiotic overuse has become epidemic here in the West. These powerful drugs are now used to treat everything from superficial wounds to the common cold and flu, even though they have no impact on most of these issues. They are also used indiscriminately among industrially farmed livestock, so that they end up in our food and water as well.

Due to overuse, antibiotic resistance is becoming a major public health issue which is widely recognized among the medical community. Nonetheless, we continue to ask for them on a regular basis, and doctors continue to prescribe them even when they aren't needed.

And now research has found that antibiotic resistance isn't the only problem with antibiotic overconsumption. A major recent study has found that taking just two to four antibiotics within the last 15 years is linked to a 23 percent higher risk for diabetes. And, shockingly, taking five or more sent that risk skyrocketing to 53%!

Numerous other studies have found that antibiotics disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in our digestive tract, thus depressing our immune systems and leading to inflammation and insulin resistance.

It's time to break our antibiotic addition. You can do your part by committing to only taking antibiotics when absolutely necessary. Remember that antibiotics do absolutely nothing against viruses (e.g. the common cold, the flu, chickenpox, or any other viral infection) - they only kill bacteria. If you get sick, get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids, and feel free to try naturally antibiotic foods and herbs, which don't carry the same risks.

Boost your levels of healthy gut bacteria by consuming probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and other naturally fermented foods. And if you do have to take antibiotics for any reason, make sure to rebalance your system afterward by taking a course of good probiotic supplements for at least 30 days or so. (Some forward-thinking doctors actually now prescribe these after a course of antibiotics.)

4.) Consuming Pesticides

If you eat conventionally grown fruits and vegetables, you may be raising your risk of diabetes without even knowing it. In a recent analysis of over 20 different studies presented
by the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, researchers found that pesticides are linked to a 61% increase in diabetes (64% for Type 2)!

While the link is not 100% conclusive just yet, limiting your exposure to pesticides can only be a good thing for your health. If you haven't already, switch to buying organic foods (which are getting less expensive all the time), and if you grow your own, stop using chemical pesticides.

Considering all of these risk factors (which many people don't even realize), is it any wonder that the incidence of diabetes continues to rise every year?

Take steps today to decrease your risk of becoming a statistic! Stop drinking soda and switch to green tea or water with a squeeze of citrus, get to bed earlier, avoid excessive use of antibiotics, and eat organic. Just making these 4 simple changes can slash your risk of developing diabetes by more than half!

To your health,

Source: https://healthiertalk.com/the-one-a-day-habit-that-doubles-your-diabetes-risk/

<![CDATA[FREE: Your Invitation to Live a Happier, Healthier, More Holistic Life!]]>Sun, 16 Apr 2017 19:07:23 GMThttp://newholisticliving.com/1/post/2017/04/free-your-invitation-to-live-a-happier-healthier-more-holistic-life.htmlFree Event
For this month's "Freebie," I've got something really special to tell you about...

While we focus a lot on physical health here, the truth is, living a holistically balanced life is about more than just the physical. In fact, true health comes from leading a rich and happy emotional and spiritual life. That's why I'm so excited to tell you about this week's FREE online event - The Unify Summit! And don't worry, this isn't just a bunch of theoretical "fluff" that sounds nice but won't make any practical difference in your life.

This free event will actually provide you with practical, immediate, life-changing action steps you can take TODAY to start living your life with more clarity, purpose, meaning, health, contribution, and abundance!

Sound good?

Click here to register for your free spot, or read more below for more info on what this special event includes...

The Unify Summit features wisdom from a series of experts who have achieved success in many areas of life, from career and finances, to health, relationships, and more. Best of all, you get to take advantage of their hard-earned wisdom - for FREE!

Watch the Video Here for More Information...

Here are just a few of the amazing things you will learn from these incredible individuals.

• How to Live Your Life with More Clarity, Purpose, and Contribution

• How to Cultivate Greater Prosperity and Abundance

• Ways to Experience More Love in Your Relationships and More Vitality in Your Health

• How You Can Make a Difference in the World By Living Sustainably

• How YOU Can Create a Legacy for Future Generations to Come

Get Free Access Today: http://holisticliving.clkpfct.com/go/unify

During this unique event, each of these amazing world thought-leaders will be sharing their unique insights and practical advice for how to live with more abundance, be your authentic self, contribute to the world in a meaningful way, experience more love in your relationships, experience unified consciousness - and much much more!

The event starts this Wednesday, so don't delay - register now for your FREE access pass...

Visit This Link to Attend the Unify Summit for Free!