Here are a few frequently asked questions that I get from friends, family and readers.
Do you make all of your food from scratch?
No, not all of it. I use the 80/20 rule of real food. When I first discovered what real food truly was, I was very strict. We stopped eating out and I made everything from scratch. We needed to heal from the Standard American Diet of boxed, bagged and canned foods.
Now, our goal is more relaxed and tailored to our busy life. That means when we are away from home we do not fret over processed food. At home, however, we eat real food. That means I prepare dinner from scratch, lunch is dinner leftovers and breakfast is simple (usually) paleo food.
Are you paleo or vegan or WAPF or vegetarian or primal or . . .?
We do not adhere to any one type of real food diet. If I were single, had an unlimited food budget and was never stressed (carbs soothe me) I would follow a strict paleo diet. I believe that it is the healthiest diet.
Because we live in the real world and I have more than only myself to consider when planning our meals, we eat vegetarian meals, paleo meals, primal meals and traditionally prepared grains (although I try to limit our grains). We do not usually eat vegan meals. I try to incorporate some type of animal product into all of our meals.
Why did you start eating a real food diet?
I started eating a real food diet because I was desperate to fix my health issues. I was always on a diet but could never lose weight. I had heart palpitations, stage 2 hypertension, IBS, chronic headaches, fatigue, anxiety, PMDD, and joint pain.
I read Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A Price and Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and decided to give it a try. Within three months I was off all medications, had lost weight and felt amazing. Real food gave me my life back.
What do you mean when you say “real food”?
To me, real food is the simplest and least processed form of any nourishing food. One of the best books on this subject is Real Food by Nina Planck.
Real food means raw or low-temp pasteurized milk from pastured, grass-fed cows; grains, beans, lentils and nuts that are organic and sprouted, soaked or soured; plenty of good, saturated and monounsaturated fats as opposed to vegetable oils; meat and eggs from healthy animals raised with traditional animal husbandry practices as opposed to conventional ones; organic produce, herbs and spices; salt that still contains trace minerals; and sweeteners (in moderation) that still contain the nutrients nature gave them as opposed to artificial sweeteners or processed (white) sugar.
What is mindful living?
For me, mindful living is the practice of awareness. It involves being aware of what you are doing and why you are doing it. Mindfulness means preparing for tomorrow, but living in the moment today. Mindful living allows me to ground myself and helps me to deal with stressful situations without becoming overwhelmed for extended periods of time.
Why did you decide to leave the field of therapy?
There are many reasons why stopped practicing therapy. First, in my state of diminished health building a career was difficult. I also felt that therapy limited my ability to help people. I had serious doubts about the effectiveness of marriage therapy, in particular, and none of my mentors were able to prove that my doubts were unfounded. In fact, many of them thought marriage therapy to be ineffective, as well.
I believe strongly in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Many of my clients were poor, traumatized and stuck in abusive situations. It was heartbreaking to watch them fail to move forward even when I provided the tools they needed simply because they were stuck in poverty or couldn’t exorcise toxic family members from their lives.
I worked more as a social worker than a therapist. I was not trained as a social worker and am not interested in being a social worker. (Social workers are amazing individuals and my greatest mentor in the field of therapy was a licensed social worker as well as a marriage and family therapist. My talents and interests simply do not lie in the area of social work.)
Will you go back to therapy now that you are physically healthy?
No. I have helped more people through Our Small Hours and EO Moms than I was able to help while doing therapy. With the books I am working on, I will be able to provide valuable information to even more people. I am completely satisfied that I have found my calling. The work I am doing to help people through my blog, books and essential oils is fulfilling and important.
Why do you home school your children?
I talk at length about that in this post.
How does your husband feel about home schooling?
Although he was not on board in the beginning, he now sees the value in home schooling and supports it 100%.
How do you work full time and home school?
What curriculum do you use?
We use a variety of resources to teach our children. We do not use a single, pre-packaged curriculum because I have always found them either lacking or containing far too much.
I have a post about how to create your own homeschool curriculum if you are looking for tips.
Do you worry about socialization?
Not even a little bit. If I did worry about socialization, I wouldn’t rely on the school system to teach my children proper socialization. I believe that children learn damaging things about how to be productive, socially- and emotionally-aware humans in today’s school system.
Do you have a question for me? Send me your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will add them to the FAQ!