Urban Homesteading?

Hey Everyone!

For the past year or so, Urban Homesteading has been something I have definitely been wanting for myself. 

The whole idea of being able to grow most of my own fruits and vegetables, and what is not feasible to grow on the small scale or can’t grow enough of to do all the jam making, canning and preserving, that I would like to do, I would locally source my food by going to the farms themselves, and purchase from farmers at farmers markets. 

In the past couple of years, I don’t know exactly when, some time after developing food intolerances, I have definitely taken a turn somewhere from being very mainstream to being more non traditional. 

In today’s society, we have become all so consumed with having what we want when we want, that for many, the idea of working with our hands outside, growing our own food and self sufficiency are a thing of the past. 

Part of it is the city I live in, the self sufficiency, DIY, Urban Homesteading, shopping local, buying local food, shopping at farmers markets, organic food, is definitely very prevalent here. 

I am very much one who would rather be outside, working in the dirt, growing as much of my own food as possible than sitting in an office. When I was little, I was the one who would be outside playing in the the dirt, digging up worms. I was also the one who loved camping and fishing so go figure. 

The part of the country is a great area for growing food, like Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, tomatoes, peaches, pears, cucumbers, corn, pumpkins, squash, cherries, apples, pears, and so much more. 

Eating Cleaner

Hey Everyone!

It’s still January, and I am really working eating healthier. These past few months, I have been not eating as healthy as I know I should and I have been feeling that. I have also been noticing how expensive it is trying to eat dairy free and gluten free while not eating healthy. I realize that fruit, vegetables and lean proteins are not the cheapest. I have been figuring out where I can shop locally to get the best prices for what I want to eat.

I have also noticed that when I am not eating as healthy as I know I should be, that by mid morning and mid afternoon, I feel like I haven’t eaten all day. This weekend though, I have been eating healthy, and I have been staying fuller, longer. I am also figuring out what types of healthy snacks I like to eat in between meals, that are good for me. 

This past Friday I did my grocery shopping, most of which was done at Trader Joe’s. I don’t do my whole shopping there just because of the limited selection of dairy free staples that I am used to. But in terms of produce, and snacks they have an amazing selection. 

I had spent a little over $52 at Trader Joe’s for this week, and this is all that I got for that money:

From Safeway I spent about $25 and this is what I got:


I have not been a fan of red meat for a while, and I can’t eat dairy, which helps with clean eating. I am definitely trying to eat more fish – especially fish that comes from the Pacific Northwest (Oregon/Washington) or Alaska, and white meat, and do more vegan complete protein that isn’t tofu to change things up. 

Part of my goal is to eat more local foods and food that grows naturally in this part of the country. Because this part of the country is so temperate, and we have plenty of natural waterways, that fish, berries, nuts and such have been available here for quite a while. 

Stay tuned for more clean eating grocery hauls! 

Christmas!

Hey Everyone!

Merry Christmas (it is still Christmas here on the West Coast) and Happy Boxing Day to all of those for whom Boxing Day is a holiday! I get Boxing Day off this year, beings that Christmas fell on a Sunday. 

As 2017 quickly approaches I have been setting goals that I hope to maintain. One of which is to actually eat healthier, stick to a clean eating, dairy free, gluten Free, egg free diet while eating more fish and white meat. A lot of that has to do with my food sensitivities. 

I am definitely needing to incorporate more fruits, vegetables, nuts, gluten Free whole grains and fish into my diet. I am by no means going vegan, as I like to eat chicken and fish, as well as honey. I seriously need to do more research on how the First Nations people of this area ate. Beings that waterways and rain and plentiful in this area, in this part of the state they were more settled / less nomadic as the food supply was consistent and there was always something around to eat. 

I have been working on preparing for when I am able to have my own place, and am able to do more actual homemaking. Homemaking and urban homesteading are two things I am passionate about, and want to live, and share. Living a more natural, healthy life while not completely shunning modern society is my goal. 

What exactly is Alternative?

Hey Everyone!

Beings that the idea, concept, and means of carrying out an “Alternative” lifestyle starts getting complicated really very quickly, I figured I would take some time to talk about it, and how exactly the way I am choosing to live my life is alternative.

“Alternative” lifestyles and culture, is anything and everything that doesn’t line up with what the mainstream culture and lifestyle is. Examples of this include: Indie, Punk, Goth, Emo, Green, Hippie and Hipster. Each of these differ and stray away from the mainstream culture and societal norms. While I don’t identify wholly with any of these subcultures or lifestyles, over the last year, I have definitely adopted more of what I would consider “Historical” way of life. This way of life includes parts of the green, hippie and hipster subcultures.

I adhere to a completely dairy free, limited gluten, limited eggs (I am intolerant to dairy, and sensitive to Gluten and Eggs that aren’t in baked products) and reduced sugar diet. I had picked up a really bad stomach bug 5 years ago, that has since changed what foods my body will tolerate. Due to these intolerances, a lot of what I could eat are what fall within the clean eating category. Clean Eating is all about drinking plenty of water, eating a lot more fresh fruits and vegetables (I prefer local to boot), as well as lean protein, some carbs but limit the refined flours and limiting sugar (especially refined sugar). Before I had to start this way of life, I loved history, especially women’s history and the history of the American West. I am especially fascinated with more the social and day to day lives of those who lived between 1850 and 1965 in the Rocky Mountain states on west. The landscape is a lot more rugged, harsh and unforgiving that one bad winter or with someone who doesn’t know how to be self sufficient and if they made it, it would have been very hard. Over the years, I have learned that some of my distant family members came out west over the Oregon trail, and at least one set of my great grandparents were homesteaders. Having that in my own personal history makes it no surprise to me, why I want to, and feel the need to do more living off the land, growing as much of my own fruit and vegetables that I can. What I can’t grow, I want to buy as much locally grown as possible.

I am also one of these people who is just so done with all the synthetic chemicals that we use to clean, and that are in the foods we eat. It’s no wonder, and shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone why all the rates of diseases are through the roof, and why so many people have “sensitive” skin, its because of all the chemicals that are in the products we now use and take for granted every day. I know that is one thing that I am now personally leery of is all the chemicals in the food, and in the products we use to clean our bodies and our clothes. I am by no means an environmentalist, but all these chemicals and all the garbage we produce is not good for the planet. I know this is partially the Portlander in me coming out, who is now used to sorting true garbage, recycling, and compost that is just what we do.

Being more environmentally conscious and “green”, definitely goes back to where I was raised and the alternative / green lifestyle that is very prominent here in Portland. This is one of the things that Portland is known for, and yes there are parts of the city that are more “green” than other parts of the city.

My food intolerances and sensitivities forced me to dive head first into clean eating and the “alternative” lifestyle. My body’s needs has forced me to embrace a part of this city that I knew existed from a young age, but really didn’t have much to do with until I was an adult. Initially I “converted” or “crossed over” because I had to, but as I did more research, and learned more about it, I have come to embrace it more. Will I be doing all my grocery shopping at Whole Foods, New Seasons, Trader Joe’s or the natural section of the grocery store? No. I do frequent them a whole lot more now.

Living here, where I am only a couple hours if even that from the Ocean, and depending on where I am in the valley, I can see both the coast range mountains and the cascade range mountains at the same time. Here, where we grow so much amazing fruit and vegetables,  vineyards for wine, hops fields for making beer, as well as orchards all over the place, This part of Oregon is one of the best (or in my opinion  THE BEST) growing regions in the country. Not to mention that the coast is the best place in the country for making cheese, butter, ice cream (Not to mention southern Oregon as well for Umpqua Ice Cream), and yogurt. Even though I can no longer eat the dairy products, I still know they are good from having been able to eat them all through my growing up years.

This is what my life has come to

Hey Everyone! 

Since I quit doing ItWorks, I have started feeling better, and trying to get my body back to normal. 

I am still doing Scentsy, and I enjoy that. I am also going to be doing Posh. I am doing both of those because I am a long time customer and I can’t imagine going back to a life without either. Both are really hobbies, because I love the products. I was a Scentsy customer for a year before I became a consultant. I have been using Perfectly Posh for about 6 months now and I have actually seen an improvement in my skin. I won’t promote a company, product or line of products that I don’t believe in. 

The products I use also have to be falling in line with the healthier lifestyle I am trying to live. ItWorks really doesn’t fit in with that. I was taking greens, greens chews, and as many as 13 pills a day that weren’t FDA Approved while doing ItWorks. I also did not see results. I also felt pressured to stick it out, because it would “take off” in time. When it came down to it, it wasn’t for me, and the life I want to live. 

Living a healthier life is a choice, and takes effort and consistency. 

Lately I have been slacking on the sticking to clean eating thing, which I am really trying to get back into, and really stick to being gluten free, I haven’t been doing as well with that. I know I would feel so much better. 

Returning to Clean Eating

Hey Everyone!

Now that Fall is here, and in full swing, I am super excited to see what this season brings for me. The past couple of months I have had a difficult sticking with clean eating and my body has totally been paying for it, and I have not been feeling as good as I know I can. Part of that includes needing to detox from processed/refined sugar.

I know I personally would hard time living somewhere, where I didn’t have access to Trader Joes, New Seasons, Whole Foods, Bob’s Red Mill, and the variety of DF/GF food we have out here on the West Coast. I would totally be fine anywhere in the Willamette Valley, or North Coast, and just make trips to the city to stock up on things I couldn’t get where I was living, if I move away from Portland. As much as I am not a fan of living in the city (noise, all the people, the traffic, the pollution, etc), at least here, I have access to all the DF/GF/ Clean Eating food I could want and need all not to far from me. Not to mention my favorite bakery is here, as well as some amazing tea shops, and Bob’s Red Mill, which is pretty much Gluten Free (and whole grain) heaven. It’s nice being able to go to the local super market and have a decent (albeit not the greatest) selection of DF/GF food.

It is my goal to continue the strict DF diet I have been on for about 5 years now, and get back to being on a more strict GF and minimally processed diet. I am really wanting to incorporate more GF grains and beans back into my diet, and eat Quinoa more often. It is also my goal to eat more locally grown and organic fruits and vegetables.

When I first started this journey, it was because my body was essentially rejecting food, and I needed to figure out what was wrong, and get my body back to as close to normal as I could. That has taken a lot of adjustment, as well as rethinking and really reevaluating my whole thought process, and to some degree my lifestyle. At the same time, those changes bring me to being a bit more in line with the whole culture of where I live, but without giving up my core values. To some, I still may be just another “dirty hippie”, who chooses to eat what I eat, and dress the way I do to make a point, when really it comes down to wanting to feel good, and have food not make me sick, and dress in a manner that is comfortable and normal for myself.

I have also come to a point where I don’t really care what people think, especially the nay sayers who always find something to be judgmental about. I don’t need or want that kind of negativity in my life. The haters are gonna hate, but that means I am just going to be myself all the more. The way I see it, This is who I am, so people have two options, deal with it / get over it, or walk away and its no skin off my back.

I finally feel like I am starting to find my place, and my purpose. I have friends who I care about, and who care about me, they are also supportive and understand (or at least try to), my dietary needs, and I am free to be who God made me to be. I am no longer that people pleasing little girl who just wanted to fit in so bad, she forgot that she was born to stand out. I also realize that I am an example. People watch my life, and see who I am, so I want to put my best foot forward and be the Person I am supposed to be.

Going more Natural

Hey Everyone!

Over the course of the last few months, since I began using ItWorks and Perfectly Posh products that are naturally based, I was reminded of something I had really wanted to start doing a while back. That is to live a more natural lifestyle. That started when I had to go dairy free, and generally gluten free.

I have wanted to use naturally based products for many reasons, mostly health related so that I felt better inside and out, and reduced the chances to have a reaction to products. I still have to be careful about the products I use, and reading labels, as some “natural” products really aren’t all that natural.

Having grown up, and spent most of my life in the Pacific Northwest, in the part of said region that is all about recycling, composting, and is driven primarily liberal politics, at some point some of that “natural lifestyle” was bound to rub off, since I have been saturated in my whole life. Having to go Dairy Free and limit gluten, has definitely pushed my toward it that much more. I have also been trying to educate myself on how bad these man made chemicals really are for our bodies and the environment (every time you shower, brush your teeth, and so much more, you are putting chemicals down the drain then are put into the sewer or septic system and have to be dealt with, and end up in the environment). These chemicals have been connected to causing cancers and other health issues that were not around, or if they were around not as prevalent 100 year ago as they are today.

For the past year or two, I have been using a laundry soap that I mix up myself (it is one of those DIY laundry soaps I found on Pinterest), it uses Borax, Fels Naphtha, and Arm & Hammer super washing soda. Ever since I was little, I (or my parents) had to be super careful with what they used to wash my clothes, as I have broken out in hives with several different brands of laundry detergents, and I can’t use anything that is super strongly scented or I break out.

As for other cleaning products, I like Mrs. Meyers Clean Day and Seventh Generation cleaning products. I am not adverse to keeping some lysol around the house for tough situations or to give the house a good thorough cleaning (especially after having had a cold or something), but for normal day to day, I prefer the natural products, that for the day to day cleaning are just as good and won’t put too many crazy chemicals on or in my body.

While I am well on my way to living a more natural lifestyle, there are many things I am not going to give up, like personal hygiene aka brushing my teeth, showering, using deodorant, doing laundry regularly etc. I am still a firm believer in all of that, I am just choosing to use more natural ways for doing them that are better for me and the environment.