Creative Ways to Use Fall Apples

by Tiffany in Eating Local

bushel apples sm

Who doesn’t love apples in the fall right? I usually have plenty because I buy them by the bushel. Soon I will be picking them by the bushel as my own apples trees mature. Yay! I know I will always be interested in MORE ways to use up apples!

YouTuber Ally helps welcome autumn with this tasty seasonal fruit. Tune in for her sweet-meets-savory recipe and a quick trick for turning apples into the perfect DIY centerpiece.


Introducing Raw Food Into Your Dog’s Diet

by Tiffany in The Homestead

stellas raw dog food

I have been interested in the raw food movement to some extent for years. I am not a raw foodie but I do realize the importance of having a healthy supply of raw foods in the diet for maximum nutrition. I align more with the paleo food movement and this too promotes maximum nutrient density (raw or no) and also eating what we as humans are meant to eat. Paleo in my opinion is like the the factory settings diet for the body…our optimal diet, the diet we are meant to eat.

It only goes to follow that I would also become interested in feeding my animals the food they were meant to eat as well. This omnivorous human is meant to eat fruit, nuts, seeds, veggies, greens, and meat/seafood for the live enzymes, vitamins, minerals and nutritive value. I am not meant to eat the products of huge agribusiness…wheat, corn, and soy everything basically. Dogs are also not meant to eat that kind of diet. Dogs crave raw meat, much like they once ate in wild. Conventional dog food is far removed from the diet they once ate.

Last year I ended up taking on a rescue dog who needed to be rehomed. Our plan was/is to start giving her the raw remains of our homestead animals but we have just started to dabble in that arena and have not had any to butcher yet. I am thrilled though to find an alternative that will slowly introduce raw foods into her diet and provide us with a supplemental feeding option for when we don’t have raw animal parts to feed her.

feeding coco raw dog food

Enter Stella and Chewy’s. Their meal mixers product is meant to complement a dog’s existing diet.

So what are the benefits of adding raw foods into a dog’s diet? These are just some of them:

  • Better Dental Health – commercial diets rot their teeth and cause gum disease.
  • Better Digestion – Eating foods they are meant to eat means better digestion and better access to the nutrients in the food.
  • Vitality – You know we get groggy and tired when we eats lots of carbs and sugar… yeah dogs get the same way. Raw food will increase their vitality and quality of life.
  • Improved Skin and Coat – When you eat better, you look better. It is the same for dogs, and it really shows with a glossy fur coat and no more skin issues. No need for medicated shampoos!
  • Stronger Immune System – When their body is running on optimal fuel they are far less likely to get become sick or diseased.
  • A Lean Physique – Carbs make us fat and they can make dogs fat too.

Stella & Chewy’s offers freeze-dried options (including Meal Mixers) to get you started on raw dog foods. Their products helps owners give their pet’s nutrition that mirrors their ancestral diet. You take one scoop of the meal mixers and mix it with your dog’s current food. This allows them to slowly get used to a raw diet and not upset their GI tract with a sudden diet change.

Meal Mixers includes premium ingredients:

    • Packed with 95% nutrient-rich meat, organs and bone
    • Complemented by organic fruits and vegetables and added probiotics & antioxidants
    • No grains, glutens, fillers, artificial preservatives or colorings, or added hormones or antibiotics
    • Available in 4 protein options (Stella’s Super Beef, Chewy’s Chicken, Tantalizing Turkey, and Savory Salmon & Cod)

stella and chewys dog food

An independent taste test study conducted at leading university (University Wisconsin-Madison) showed that 9 out of 10 dogs prefer their kibble with MM. Third party independent lab analysis is conducted on each batch of food before it leaves their Wisconsin-based manufacturing facility. The results for every batch is posted on the S&C website for consumers to see. This is refreshing given how many recalls we have seen of pet food in years past!

The best part is that my Coco loves Stella and Chewy’s meal mixers!

coco raw dog food


This post has been sponsored by Stella & Chewy’s. All opinions are my own.


Frugal Friday

by Tiffany in Frugal Green

frugal fridayHappy frugal friday all!

My frugal wins for the week include:

  • Paid off a credit card. We got a Lowes card about four months ago to purchase a riding mower. We got a nice chunk of money off the mower and had six months to pay it back interest free so we jumped on it. Paid it off in four months.
  • Made a big pot of ham and beans on the weekend and had enough for lunches for most of the following week.
  • Went out of town and prepped meals for the husband to make while I was gone so he and the kids wouldn’t be tempted to eat out every night. It mostly worked. :)
  • Got a free ticket to Disney (any of the parks) but could not fathom using it for only 2-3 hours, since that is how much free time I had between other events on my trip. Decided to save that baby until spring.

Frugal Fails:

  • Did not bring sunscreen or a hat with me to Orlando. Since I knew I would be spending several hours on boat I ended up buying a straw hat in the gift shop at Disney’s Yacht Club resort. Spent $32 on a hat. Ouch! And I still got burnt. Double ouch.

All in all a very good week! What frugal wins or fails do you have to report?

Friday, November 6th, 2015

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The Top 10 Foods You Really Don’t Want to Feed Your Kid

by Guest in Healthy Eating

Foods You Really Don’t Want to Feed Your Kid

As parents, we agonize over what’s good for our children and what isn’t. Some decisions seem easy, like ensuring your child eats breakfast every morning. Other decisions can get a little more complicated, like what they’ll eat for breakfast. As we all know, what children what and what’s good for them aren’t always the same thing.

Indulging is totally fine from time to time. But every day? Put these 10 foods on the back burner when it comes to your child’s regular diet.

1. Processed Lunch Meats

Nitrates and hormones and antibiotics? Oh my! These meats seem so easy to buy—they’re not too expensive and make sandwich making a snap. Honestly though, you’ll want to avoid giving your kids processed lunch meats on a regular basis. Yes, processed meats also include hot dogs, sausages, and other weird meats like bologna. Just don’t do it. Processed lunch meats contain high levels of sodium and bad fats in addition to preservatives. There have been studies done linking high consumption of these meats to various types of cancer. Not to mention the animals they came from were tortured and sick. So, they’re best avoided.

2. Snack Cakes

These too are cheap and easy to buy. Reading the ingredient list can put some bad thoughts into your head, though—partially hydrogenated oils, sugar (of course), high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, and food dyes? Ouch! Your kids may beg you for these at the store, but make snack time more fun by making healthy versions at home and teaching your kids how to read the ingredient list.

3. French Fries and Potato Chips

The header for this one should have said “anything fried”, but fried eggs and such are ok compared to French fries and potato chips, both of which have one of the highest free radical contents of all food. The way they’re made (at high temps with oil and fat) make them some of the worst foods you can eat. Steer your kids towards healthier options. And remember, McDonald’s French fries are not gluten-free or vegetarian. (Don’t believe me? Google the ingredient list, please).

4. Frozen Pizza

Nearly every kid adores pizza. However, making pizza at home can be a lot of fun and much healthier than the frozen stuff you buy at the store. A typical frozen pizza is likely to contain BHA and BHT, two preservatives that’ve been shown to cause cancer in high levels. They also contain tons of fat, sodium, trans fats (the worst fats ever!) and words that you’ve no idea what they mean, such as “flavoring”. Get creative with custom pizza creations and teach your kids how to make their own food—avoid frozen pizza.

5. Juice

Juice in itself might not seem so bad, especially if you’re buying organic juice that doesn’t have any added sugar. However, there’s a reason that apples are apples and not apple juice: fiber. Taking the juice out of the fruit without the fiber means your body is going to suck up that sugar and have a sugar spike because there’s no fiber to help the body process it. Limit juices.

6. Soda

You knew this one was bad. High fructose corn syrup, enough sugar to inspire scary type-2 diabetes statistics, and artificial flavors? Your kids shouldn’t be drinking these. You can create your own sodas with carbonated water, herbs, and fruit juices. Or, you know, just pick up some kombucha at Whole Foods. That too.

7. Candy

Even organic candy still has sugar in it. Conventional candies contain sugars, artificial flavors and dyes, and other scary ingredients like preservatives. As many kids really enjoy candy, try to limit their consumption of it or again, make a fun project of making your own at home with raw sugar or sugar replacements like honey or dates.

8. Fast Food

Nothing terrifies me quite like the ingredient list of a fast food restaurant. Even the ones you might think are “better” (think Chik-fil-A and Subway) have really scary ingredients in there. Eating out all the time isn’t healthy to begin with, but if you’re going to eat fast food, go for something that’s a little healthier like Chipotle, which banned GMOs and has very minimal, healthy ingredients.

9. Cereal with a Cartoon Face on It

Many cereals and other brands that kids love are specifically marketed to them. This means putting ponies, pirates, or cute little animals on your kids’ cereal. Keep your kids away from breakfast cereals that have cartoon faces on them. I promise they’re not any better than eating a candy bar. Think fresh fruit for breakfast with home-prepared oatmeal. Really, you’ve got a lot of options besides Lucky Charms.

Dr. Jakob Taylor of True Weightloss Solutions understands the challenges that parents face. “Balancing what we should be feeding our children and ourselves with what we see on TV, read in the paper, or find in the grocery store can seem overwhelming.  We are bombarded with messages from celebrities or colorful catch phrases pitching us products everyday. One easy way to help stay on course and filter the noise is to follow a simple guide:

F – fruits and vegetables

O – organic lean protein

O – omega-3 fatty acids

D – drink more water!”

10. White Bread

White bread (and white flour) is not doing anything for your kid’s body. It’s been stripped of its nutrients and left to give your body blood sugar spikes after PB & J time. Stick to whole wheat and make sure your child doesn’t have a gluten intolerance before packing on the bread. Eliminating white bread is best, no matter how “good” it tastes.

Your child’s health is one of the most important things to you. Take this opportunity to teach your child about healthy eating habits, reading labels, and learning about ingredients. Limit or avoid these 10 foods when it comes to your children’s diets. Make fun activities out of learning about new foods and making creations at home!

Guest post by Jenn Ryan


Winter Essential Oil Blends

by Tiffany in Essential Oils

Winter is coming…what essential oils should you have on hand to celebrate the impending holidays and keep your spirits up during the dark, cold, days ahead? I have highlighted some useful blends below. Just add these recipes to your diffuser and enjoy!

winter essential oil blends

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

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