I get asked a lot how I keep my family healthy. My response usually sounds something like this: “Oh, you know, we just keep it simple and focus on prevention.”
I’m sure some people want to smack me after they get that answer, but I like to give the person that asked an out. Because some don’t realize that they’ve just invited me to pull out my soapbox and preach from it for at least 20 minutes. 😉
Since you’re here, I’m assuming you’d like to know how we’ve simplified natural wellness in our family – and I’m happy to share. So get cozy and read on (and I’ll try to keep it short).
I strive to feed my family nourishing, whole foods as much as possible. (Grandma’s cookie jar is really inviting and I let them have one when they go visit).
Does that mean I eat all organic? No. My focus is on lots of fruits and veggies, food made from scratch and healthy alternatives to “junk food.” Healthy fats and plenty protein (as a nutrition coach most of my clients come in only eating about 1/4 of the amount of protein they need). Honey instead of sugar. Home made…everything. Simple snacks like carrot sticks and apple slices.
The main supplement we take is a multivitamin. Our nutrition isn’t perfect, so I like to add a little supplement. I use doTERRA’s Lifelong Vitality Pack since it’s got everything I need, including Omega 3s.
The kids really like doTERRA’s A2Z chewables. I tried getting them to take the fish oil, but nope. So they take the Thrive Market brand Omega 3s instead.
Most of our herbs are used in teas or ointments, like The Balm. Since I discovered essential oils, we use herbs less often and use essential oils for the bulk of our healthcare.
However, I still infuse calendula, comfrey and marshmallow root in healing ointments and we make herbal teas to soothe upset tummies or help us get sleepy before bed.
Sleep is vital to our health. When we sleep, our bodies repair themselves (and kids grow). If we push ourselves too much throughout the day, we get fatigued and over-stressed.
Two ways I get more rest are: going to sleep earlier and taking little breaks throughout the day. My aim is to be in bed by 10, even though it’s tempting to stay up and hangout with my husband or get some writing done since the kids are in bed.
If I’m not feeling sleepy, I’ll usually have herbal sleepy tea, which helps me relax. I also wake up easier when I go to bed before ten.
Since our bodies have a go-rest rhythm, I try to take a break from chores or work for at least 15 minutes every couple of hours so I’m not pushing my body to do too much. A siesta is nice, too.
Everyone deals with stress. Some of us have a way of taking normal stress and turning it into mega-stress (cough, cough). And, as I’ve learned the hard way, too much stress will make you sick.
So I’ve had to learn to reduce and cope with stress. That starts with saying no – to a lot of stuff. It might be hard and you might be saying no to a lot of “good” things, but doing so will allow you to say yes to a few “great” things.
A few things have helped me cope with stress. Prayer. Meditation. Yoga. Walking. Talking to my husband instead of holding all of my feelings inside. Yeah, that one is quite helpful.
I’ve been using oils for over eight years now and love them.
Since I started using them, they’ve helped with occasional stomach upset, energy boosting, skin soothing and so much more. They also help me keep my kids (and myself) calm. They’ve even won over my super-skeptical husband.
They play a very important part in supporting our immune systems.
My favorite thing about essential oils is that they’ve made natural wellness even simpler for us. I use oils like On Guard to promote a healthy immune response, lavender to promote relaxation and restful sleep, frankincense for all sorts of stuff and citrus blends just because they make me so happy.
And they fit nicely in a small wooden box.
In addition to resting and reducing our stress level, it’s also important to focus on self-care. That means figuring out what your needs are and making sure they’re met regularly. No, this isn’t selfish – it’s vital to your wellness. And everyone in your family can do this.
Here are some needs we’ve recognized in our family: solitude, time with close friends, exercise, creativity, learning something new, singing, time outside, snuggling.
There you have it. No magical elixirs. No synthetic wonder drugs. Just simple, natural wellness.
How do you keep your family healthy?
These are all great tips and I use a lot of these as well. It is easier to keep health than try to get health, IMO. In my house the biggest focus on health starts with nutrition. Eating whole foods that are gluten free and organic as often as possible but we all know how hard that can be.
Good luck on all of your New Year ventures!! They sound exciting!! I have to ask about the bus? I get the newsletter and it instantly got me curious to see if it was close to my bus dream….. get a school bus and convert it and travel in it.
Happy New Year!!
Yes Sherry! We bought a school bus and have gutted it, except for the insulation (it was very brown before and smelled like smoke). Now, we’re slowly putting it back together and hope to have it move-in ready soon.
For us it’s very much the food. Cooking everything from scratch and staying away from gluten and sugar has really helped. Another thing is – the outdoors. We are a “hiking family” and we really love getting outside for walks. A half-day or whole day, ouside, bringing a healthy lunch-snack, walking through beautiful forests and up hills with wonderful views – this is healthy for body and soul. And actually, very often, our nicest hikes are the ones where the rain is pouring down – so never let the weather stop you! And at the end of the day – we will all sleep like angels 🙂
I dig this so much. Also, there’s been some really fascinating (and life-changing) research done on stress that shows that it’s not as much about reducing stress (though sometimes it is), but rather about understanding it better. Kelly Mcgonigal has a fantastic TED talk about it!
Oooh, great point, Reed! Thanks for sharing that TED talk. 🙂