Posts in health & wellness
My 10 Favorite Cookbooks [Interesting Cookbooks: From Scottish to Nordic, Vegan To Paleo, & Everything In Between]
 
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It was around the year 2010 when I started getting into special diets.

Back then, it started simply with the Gerson Therapy (no, I wasn’t ill, just… bored, I suppose?) and I vaguely recall waking in the middle of the night shaking uncontrollably - likely because of removing all salt from my diet. Next, was plain vegetarianism, but with more of a homecooked flair (not the Boca burgers and Beanee Weanees from my college days). Then, living in a Zen monastery in northern Kentucky, I dove into raw veganism. Breakfast was something like a mango covered in maple syrup, a handful of blueberries, and maybe an avocado. It went well for quite a while until my blood sugar got WAY out of whack from eating too many sugars - natural or not - and nothing very substantial. I remember talking on the phone with my dad one day, shaky, weak, and feeling like I constantly had to eat something, and he laughingly recommended I go get myself a grill and “throw a big steak on there.” Full of guilt, I was so desperate that I actually took his advice and apprehensively made myself a tiny steak that evening.

Some years later, I maintained a keto/Paleo kind of diet for many years with decent results (but frankly probably too much protein).
More recently, I experimented with a whole plant foods diet, and then a Chinese Medicine diet on the recommendation of my acupuncturist.

Now at this stage in life, I find myself done with diets. Instead - I just eat real whole foods, and a variety of those.
What does that look like? Fish, eggs, veggies, fruits, grass-fed butter and ghee, raw grass-fed dairy products, sourdough breads, quality olive oil, oats, beans, nuts and seeds, wild game meats like venison and turkey, some grass-fed red meat from time to time, plentiful amounts of herbs and spices (turmeric on everything!), fermented foods like sauerkraut and kombucha, good clean filtered water, lots of herbal teas, and coffee roasted just down the road from here.

I love learning about what my Scottish and Scandinavian ancestors ate traditionally. I love learning the seemingly lost arts of baking sourdough, of soaking my grains before I use them, and brewing kombucha, to name a few. My kitchen and my cooking now bring joy, rather than guilt or confusion or over-analysis.

I give you this context in advance because my collection of favorite cookbooks is sure to be a miscellany. With the prevalence of diet culture; I know many people want a list of strictly this or that type of cookbook, but I hope you’ll find something that tickles your fancy.


“This well-researched, thought-provoking guide to traditional foods contains a startling message: Animal fats and cholesterol are not villains but vital factors in the diet, necessary for normal growth, proper function of the brain and nervous system, protection from disease and optimum energy levels. Sally Fallon dispels the myths of the current low-fat fad in this practical, entertaining guide to a can-do diet that is both nutritious and delicious.

Nourishing Traditions will tell you:

  1. Why your body needs old fashioned animal fats

  1. Why butter is a health food

  1. How high-cholesterol diets promote good health

  1. How saturated fats protect the heart

  1. How rich sauces help you digest and assimilate your food

  1. Why grains and legumes need special preparation to provide optimum benefits

  1. About enzyme-enhanced food and beverages that can provide increased energy and vitality

  1. Why high-fiber, lowfat diets can cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies

Topics include the health benefits of traditional fats and oils (including butter and coconut oil); dangers of vegetarianism; problems with modern soy foods; health benefits of sauces and gravies; proper preparation of whole grain products; pros and cons of milk consumption; easy-to-prepare enzyme enriched condiments and beverages; and appropriate diets for babies and children.”


“Dr. Michael Greger’s first traditionally published book, How Not to Die, presented the scientific evidence behind the only diet that can prevent and reverse many of the causes of premature death and disability. Now, The How Not to Die Cookbook puts that science into action. From Superfood Breakfast Bites to Spaghetti Squash Puttanesca to Two-Berry Pie with Pecan-Sunflower Crust, every recipe in The How Not to Die Cookbook offers a delectable, easy-to-prepare, plant-based dish to help anyone eat their way to better health.”





My husband purchased a signed copy of this cookbook for me from a bookstore in Homer, Alaska. The cornbread recipe is so SO perfect.

“Eve and Eivin Kilcher, stars of the hit Discovery show Alaska: The Last Frontier, are experts in sustainable living. Homesteaders by choice, the couple has had to use their self-reliance skills to survive harsh winters in the Alaskan wilderness and raise a thriving family. In their debut book, the Kilchers share 85 original family recipes and advice on gardening, preserving, and foraging. The tips and techniques they have cultivated from their family and through necessity will help anyone looking to shrink their environmental footprint and become less dependent on mass-produced food and products. Stunningly photographed in and around their handmade home and farm, Homestead Kitchen illustrates that taking on small-scale sustainable projects is not only possible in a suburban/urban setting, but ultimately a more responsible and gratifying way to live.”


“The traditional foods movement is a fad-free approach to cooking and eating that emphasizes nutrient-dense, real food, and values quality, environment, and community over the convenience of processed, additive-laden products that are the norm on grocery store shelves. 
     Based on the research of Weston A. Price, who studied the diets of indigenous peoples to understand the relationship between nutrition and health, a traditional foods diet avoids processed ingredients, but allows meat, animal fat, and grains. It embraces cultured dairy, such as kefir and yogurt, that contain beneficial bacteria; fermented foods, such as sauerkraut and kombucha, that are rich in probiotics; and organ meats that are packed with vitamins and minerals. It also celebrates locally grown foods. By choosing ingredients from nearby sources, you create a stronger connection to your food, and have a better understanding what you’re eating and how it was produced. 
     In The Nourished Kitchen, Jennifer McGruther guides you through her traditional foods kitchen and offers more than 160 recipes inspired by  the seasons, land, and waters around her. In the morning, fuel up with Eggs Poached in Fiery Tomato Sauce. On a hot summer day, Cucumber Salad with Dill and Kefir is a cooling side dish, and on a chilly fall evening, Barley in Broth with Bacon and Kale offers comfort and warmth. Old-Fashioned Meat Loaf with Gravy makes a hearty family meal, while Chicken in Riesling with Peas can be the centerpiece of an elegant supper. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Maple-Roasted Pears, and quench your thirst with naturally fermented Vanilla Mint Soda. With the benefit of Jennifer’s experience, you can craft a loaf of Whole Wheat and Spelt Sourdough Bread and stock your kitchen with Spiced Sour Pickles with Garlic.
     The Nourished Kitchen not only teaches how to prepare wholesome, nourishing foods, but also encourages a mindful approach cooking and a celebration of old-world culinary traditions that have sustained healthy people for millennia. Whether you’re already a practitioner of the traditional foods lifestyle or simply trying to incorporate more natural, highly nutritious foods into your routine, you will find plenty to savor in The Nourished Kitchen.”


The Nordic Cookbook

Initially, I bought this cookbook for the inspiring photography and culinary history of Scandinavia. Then, a friend recommended I watch an episode of Chef’s Table with Swedish chef Magnus Nilsson, and now I find myself utterly enchanted and drawn into Mr. Nilsson’s remote Swedish world.

The Nordic Cookbook, richly illustrated with the personal photography of internationally acclaimed chef Magnus Nilsson, unravels the mysteries of Nordic ingredients and introduces the region's culinary history and cooking techniques.

Included in this beautiful book are more than 700 authentic recipes Magnus collected while travelling extensively throughout the Nordic countries – Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden – enhanced by atmospheric photographs of its landscapes and people. His beautiful photographs feature in the book alongside images of the finished dishes by Erik Olsson, the photographer behind Fäviken.

With Magnus as a guide, everyone can prepare classic Nordic dishes and also explore new ones.The Nordic Cookbook introduces readers to the familiar (gravlax, meatballs and lingonberry jam) and the lesser-known aspects of Nordic cuisine (rose-hip soup, pork roasted with prunes, and juniper beer).

Organized by food type, The Nordic Cookbook covers every type of Nordic dish including meat, fish, vegetables, breads, pastries and desserts. These recipes are achievable for home cooks of all abilities and are accompanied by narrative texts on Nordic culinary history, ingredients and techniques including smoking and home preserving. Additional essays explore classic dishes made for special occasions and key seasonal events, such as the Midsummer feast.”

The most comprehensive source on homecooking from the Nordic countries.


Fäviken 

Also by Magnus Nilsson, this book offers exclusive insight into Nilsson’s restaurant, Fäviken Magasinet, in remote Sweden.

“Fäviken is an exclusive insight into one of the world's most interesting restaurants: Fäviken Magasinet in Sweden. Narrative texts, photographs and recipes explain head chef Magnus Nilsson's remarkable approach to sourcing and cooking with ingredients that are farmed and hunted in the immediate vicinity of the restaurant, and how he creates a seasonal cycle of menus based on them. He runs the restaurant with the same ethos as the farm that the restaurant building once housed. The small team of chefs harvests and preserves all the food for the restaurant by hand using the most natural methods possible. They reject the popular contemporary cooking equipment such as low-temperature water baths and liquid nitrogen in favour of simple cooking methods of grilling and roasting over open coals, relying on the chefs' innate skills and knowledge of the product to get the perfect result. This approach results in the highly creative food they serve in the restaurant, the pure, intense flavours of which, far from seeming traditional, are remarkable.

The restaurant is near Järpen, 600km north of Stockholm, in a remote part of the country, an area popular with cross-country skiiers. The restaurant is in a traditional Swedish farm and caters for only 12 people each evening. The menu is the same for all the guests, and each dish is served to all the guests at the same time, introduced by Magnus himself. The dishes sometimes involve the use of traditional implements such as a nineteenth-century ice-cream churn or an old sourdough bread basket, which is still used for proving the dough.

Even though not everyone can visit Fäviken, Nilsson's approach to working with ingredients in the most natural, intuitive way possible, and making the most of each season, will inspire all cooks and food-lovers to think differently about the ingredients that are available to them. Many of the basic recipes for yoghurt, bread, porridge, vinegar, pickles and preserves are simple and straightforward enough for anyone to attempt at home, and the advice on natural preservation methods can be followed by anyone.

The texts will provide inspiration for chefs and food lovers all over the world and are fully accessible to the general reader.”


”At Noma—four times named the world’s best restaurant—every dish includes some form of fermentation, whether it’s a bright hit of vinegar, a deeply savory miso, an electrifying drop of garum, or the sweet intensity of black garlic. Fermentation is one of the foundations behind Noma’s extraordinary flavor profiles.

Now René Redzepi, chef and co-owner of Noma, and David Zilber, the chef who runs the restaurant’s acclaimed fermentation lab, share never-before-revealed techniques to creating Noma’s extensive pantry of ferments. And they do so with a book conceived specifically to share their knowledge and techniques with home cooks. With more than 500 step-by-step photographs and illustrations, and with every recipe approachably written and meticulously tested, The Noma Guide to Fermentation takes readers far beyond the typical kimchi and sauerkraut to include koji, kombuchas, shoyus, misos, lacto-ferments, vinegars, garums, and black fruits and vegetables. And—perhaps even more important—it shows how to use these game-changing pantry ingredients in more than 100 original recipes.

Fermentation is already building as the most significant new direction in food (and health). With The Noma Guide to Fermentation, it’s about to be taken to a whole new level.”


“This is the first new edition of The Scots Kitchen for over thirty years. Beautifully laid out for a new generation of readers and with charming line illustrations by Ian Macintosh, it is introduced by the well-known cookery writer and broadcaster, Catherine Brown. She describes the impact this pioneering book has had on the whole of Scottish cuisine and traces the fascinating life story of Marian McNeill herself. Notes explain how to use the book so that its treasure trove of recipes can be explored in the modern kitchen. As well as being a practical guide to all aspects of Scottish cooking, this is above all a book to be read for pleasure, to refer to and savour again and again.”


Catherine Brown's classic book charts the history of cooking and food in Scotland from the late 17th century to the present day, with over 650 recipes. Chapters such as The Simplicity of 1690 Cooking, The Highland Table of 1715, The Edinburgh Tavern eating of 1786, Historic Orkney of 1988, and others offer an exciting look at the evolution of Scottish foods and cooking principles.

A wonderful book for anyone, but especially those of us with Scottish ancestry to get a look at how our ancestors lived and ate.


I was intrigued by Francis Mallmann when I saw him on Chef’s Table, charring foods over fires in remote Patagonia.

“Elemental, fundamental, and delicious” is how Anthony Bourdain describes the trailblazing live-fire cooking of Francis Mallmann. The New York Times called Mallmann’s first book, Seven Fires, “captivating” and “inspiring.” And now, in Mallmann on Fire, the passionate master of the Argentine grill takes us grilling in magical places—in winter’s snow, on mountaintops, on the beach, on the crowded streets of Manhattan, on a deserted island in Patagonia, in Paris, Brooklyn, Bolinas, Brazil—each locale inspiring new discoveries as revealed in 100 recipes for meals both intimate and outsized. We encounter legs of lamb and chicken hung from strings, coal-roasted delicata squash, roasted herbs, a parrillada of many fish, and all sorts of griddled and charred meats, vegetables, and fruits, plus rustic desserts cooked on the chapa and baked in wood-fired ovens. At every stop along the way there is something delicious to eat and a lesson to be learned about slowing down and enjoying the process, not just the result.”


Please - leave me some of your favorite cookbooks in the comments below!


 

Welcome!

Tiffany Davidson.JPG

My husband and I are working to build a Nordic-inspired homestead in the Washington wilderness slowly with cash and no debt. You can follow the journey here!

I write about:

  • wilderness living

  • our homestead journey

  • health & wellness

  • adventure travel

  • cozy homemaking

  • wild food foraging

  • DIY & craft projects

  • making a living online from home (or anywhere)

  • natural living

  • my own recipes from scratch

  • and much more


My hope is that you will find some nugget of inspiration here.
Thank you so much for stopping in & please come back often. The kettle's always on...

x Tiffany


INSTAGRAM:


Disclosure: This website uses affiliate links, meaning: at no additional cost to you, we earn a small commission if you click-through and make a purchase. We only feature products that we believe in and use ourselves. Your support means the world to us and allows us to host this website.
So thank you :)


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Ikarian Longevity Stew [Blue Zone Recipe]
 

People near or over the age of 100 walking several miles a day, without use of a cane, dancing until the wee hours of the morning with friends, continuing to work, and make love?

Is this the stuff of dreams? Au contraire - this is the way of life for many folks in the world’s “blue zones” - a term coined by Dan Buettner and expanded upon in his book (which I highly recommend reading).

Dan explores the factors that seem to contribute to these long, healthy, fulfilling lives and gleans what lifestyle habits we could integrate into our own lives.

One factor is, of course, diet. And here is my spin on a stew that robust Ikarians have been consuming for years - tasty and simple to make. Enjoy in a relaxed, stress-free state of mind, with friends, or after a long walk to add years to your life, and life to your years.

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Ikarian Longevity Stew

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups red kidney beans (cooked)

  • 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 yellow onion, diced

  • 1 fennel bulb, julienned

  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 2 carrots, diced

  • 1 BPA-free can of diced tomatoes

  • 1 BPA-free can of tomato paste

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • 2 handfuls of kale

  • 1 bunch fresh dill, chopped

Instructions:

  1. In a Dutch oven (I use this one), add the olive oil and bring to medium heat.

  2. Add onion, fennel, and garlic and saute until tender and fragrant (about 4 -5 minutes).

  3. Add kidney beans, carrots, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and bay leaves to the pot. Add just enough water to cover all ingredients, and raise the heat to bring to a boil.

  4. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for about 20-30 minutes (or until carrots are tender), stirring occasionally.

  5. Stir in kale, dill, and sea salt. Cover and cook another 5-10 minutes.

  6. Remove bay leaves, ladle into bowls, drizzle with olive oil, and enjoy!

[Adapted from: Dan Buettner’s Ikarian Stew]

 

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Welcome!


Tiffany Davidson Washingtons Last Frontier Off Grid Homesteading Blogs

My husband and I are working to build a Nordic-inspired homestead in the Washington wilderness slowly with cash and no debt. You can follow the journey here!

I write about:

  • wilderness living

  • our homestead journey

  • health & wellness

  • adventure travel

  • cozy homemaking

  • wild food foraging

  • DIY & craft projects

  • making a living online from home (or anywhere)

  • natural living

  • my own recipes from scratch

  • and much more


My hope is that you will find some nugget of inspiration here.
Thank you so much for stopping in & please come back often. The kettle's always on...

x Tiffany

INSTAGRAM:

Disclosure: This website uses affiliate links, meaning: at no additional cost to you, we earn a small commission if you click-through and make a purchase. We only feature products that we believe in and use ourselves. Your support means the world to us and allows us to host this website.
So thank you :)

My Delicious & Healthy Homemade Cereal Recipe [Grain Free, Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Vegan & Paleo]
 
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I love cereal.

The two most attractive factors for me are the ease of preparation and the delicious taste.

But even the “healthiest” of cereals on the shelves today are full of questionable ingredients.

So I decided to make my own!

And what I came to find out is that I should’ve been doing this all along.

Not only is this cereal recipe really, really, really tasty, but it’s a breeze to make.

Pro tip: Double or triple this recipe to make a big batch for a week or two of readymade healthy cereal.

Most of all, enjoy each bowl of deliciousness knowing you’re putting only nutritious whole foods into your body!


My —Grain Free, Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Vegan, Paleo, Whole Foods, Etc. Etc Etc. — Homemade Healthy Breakfast Cereal:


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You will need:

Instructions:

  1. In a blender, combine: dates, cashews and hazelnuts and blend thoroughly but not into a fine meal consistency. Allow for some small chunks to remain for the sake of texture.

  2. Add the cacao nibs, dried blueberries or goji berries, and coconut. Blend again.

  3. Transfer mixture into a large bowl, add a pinch of sea salt and optional stevia, honey, or maple syrup.

  4. Mix well with a spoon, making sure dates are evenly distributed throughout.
    Enjoy a bowl now with your milk of choice and store the rest in the fridge :)

Yum! To our health!


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Welcome!


Tiffany Davidson Washingtons Last Frontier Off Grid Blog Homesteading Blog Wilderness Living Blog odern Homesteading Washington State

My husband and I are working to build a Nordic-inspired homestead in the Washington wilderness slowly with cash and no debt. You can follow the journey here!

I write about:

  • wilderness living

  • our homestead journey

  • health & wellness

  • adventure travel

  • cozy homemaking

  • wild food foraging

  • DIY & craft projects

  • making a living online from home (or anywhere)

  • natural living

  • my own recipes from scratch

  • and much more


My hope is that you will find some nugget of inspiration here.
Thank you so much for stopping in & please come back often. The kettle's always on...

x Tiffany


INSTAGRAM:

Disclosure: This website uses affiliate links, meaning: at no additional cost to you, we earn a small commission if you click-through and make a purchase. We only feature products that we believe in and use ourselves. Your support means the world to us and allows us to host this website.
So thank you :)


20 Great Gift Ideas For Healthy Eaters
 

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I’ve been told over the years that my kitchen:

1.) “smells like a health food store” and
2.) “resembles a laboratory

…with contraptions big and small ready to whip up nourishing concoctions several times a day.

So I think I can help you out with an idea or two (or twenty!) about what to get the healthy eater in your life that will make their time in the kitchen even more creative and enjoyable.


GIFT IDEAS FOR HEALTHY EATERS


Like many of you, I’ve used a crockpot for decades. What I didn’t know? That conventional crockpots have been found to leech LEAD into the food. Lead is a heavy metal that can cause some pretty serious neurological problems, so as soon as I found out, I went looking for a solution.

Vitaclay is that solution. These are clay crockpots (stainless steel exterior, organic clay interior) and are safe and non-toxic and the material humans have been using to cook food for thousands of years.

(Oh! And you can find a whole shop of beautiful Ancient Cookware here, if you’re into that kind of thing!).


I love growing broccoli sprouts, but you can grow any kind of sprout with this hemp bag.

Higher-quality than buying them at the grocery, and cheaper too! Easy to use - just soak the sprouts and hang in the window or on a cabinet.

Check out The Easiest Way To Grow Your Own Broccoli Sprouts In A Bag (For Depression, Brain Health, Cancer Prevention, Anti-Aging, & More.


The centerpiece of any healthy eaters kitchen - an inspiring place to chop all those veggies!

I love live edge wooden cutting boards - they’re gorgeous and natural, solid and durable, with plenty of space, and they look lovely just sitting on the counter when not in use. I’ve had the same wooden cutting board for years and I really recommend this olive wood live edge board. (Doubles as a charcuterie!).


Any kombucha drinker knows that it costs a pretty penny to get all those good probiotics into the digestive tract by tasty fizzy means… so, it’s time to level up and brew your own!

This kit includes everything you need to brew your own, making the possibilities endless. You can make your own flavor! I think I would make a grape kombucha, ooh and a fenugreek kombucha…!

This is sure to be a hit for the recipient.


Your healthy eating loved one surely knows the value of sea salt for providing essential trace minerals… and a salt rock is the least processed form of sea salt available.

This set comes with a grater and definitely ups the posh factor of a kitchen!


Organic teas pressed into cute little shapes and ready to be dissolved in hot water, eliminating the need for tea bags or sweetener packets. Brilliant, really.


A BPA-free water bottle, with a fruit chamber so you can infuse all kinds of vitamins, minerals, and taste into your water. Hmm… I think I would try blueberry and basil, or strawberry and mint… yummm!


Far more comfortable than a standard apron, with more of an earthy artistic flair as opposed to a 1950’s housewife style.

Linen and cotton - you can’t really go wrong. Available in several earth tone colors.


Gut health is so important for all other aspects of health and fermented foods are a great way to get probiotics —those good bacteria— into the body.

This fermenting crock features the traditional design used for centuries to make sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, and other fermented vegetables. Complete wth pounder and weights!

I have this very same jar in white - a gift from a friend that I still cherish to this day.


As an herbal tea enthusiast, my teapot is an essential and cherished item in my kitchen.

I love all things Le Creuset and especially their teapot selection.

Their stainless steel teapots are heavy-duty and available in their signature array of colors!


Healthy Reads

I wanted to include a few good books for you to choose from, and I’ve made sure to select ones that don’t rely on any specific diet to be enjoyed and appreciated.

Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link To Optimum Health -
The next stage in the food revolution--a radical way to select fruits and vegetables and reclaim the flavor and nutrients we've lost.

The Jungle Effect: Healthiest Diets from Around the World-Why They Work and How to Make Them Work for You - Whether it's the heart-healthy Cretan diet, with its reliance on olive oil and fresh vegetables, the antidepressive Icelandic diet and its extremely high levels of omega-3s, the age-defying Okinawa diet and its emphasis on vegetables and fish, or the other diets explored herein, everyone who reads this book will come away with the secrets of a longer, healthier life and the recipes necessary to put those secrets into action.

Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss - This is a book that will let you live longer, reduce your need for medications, and improve your health dramatically. It is a book that will change the way you want to eat.  New recipes and menus included.

Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and Diet Dictocrats - My favorite cookbook to this day, full of traditional wisdom gleaned over the centuries (long before chronic diseases became as prevalent as they are today).


The most reputable home water filtration system - gravity fed and requires no power (wonderful for us off-grid folk!). Filters out bacteria and other contaminants while retaining essential minerals.

Can be used daily for clean water and is absolutely vital in any kind of emergency where the water supply is cut off and/or contaminated.

The higher price point makes these filters a highly coveted kitchen essential in the health community.


Us health nuts are picky about our materials - plastic utensils and hot food do not go together, so wooden utensils it is!

I’ve found bamboo to be durable and resistant to cracking (and wooden kitchen items just make things more beautiful overall!).


This is a vegan gift basket, but any health-oriented person will appreciate and devour it, vegan or not.

Pro tip: This basket would likely be highly appreciated during the holidays - the hardest time to maintain a healthy diet.






I almost bought into the Vitamix [blender] hype a few years ago (those things are over $500! they must be good, right?!). Then I read that small pieces of Teflon were coming off of Vitamix blenders and getting into people’s smoothies (so much for organic and healthy!?).

Then, I used a friends Vitamix and was less than impressed.

The blender I love and have used for years is this Ninja Professional Countertop Blender (1/5th the price of a Vitamix).

And if you cook a lot - you have to have a good blender, otherwise it’s just a source of frustration.


Because regular noodles are a thing of the past.

Nowadays, we health conscious folks make our noodles from squash and beets, and to do this you’ve got to have a good spiralizer!

This one even comes with some recipes…




Whole Foods Gift Cards (in a gift box!)

This is your fail-safe. Believe me, this gift will make them happy!

It makes me happy just thinking about it!

Hot bar, salad bar, a healthy dessert from the bakery, maybe some self-care spa item or those really nice health elixirs that just aren’t practical to buy yourself, a whole growler of kombucha, the options are nearly endless…


Your health conscious friend would probably love to replace all of their plasticware with wooden and stainless steel kitchenware, so help them out!

These wooden salad bowls are so beautiful, full of fresh colorful veggies.

Yum, now I’m craving a big ol’ salad…


Ok - I’m mostly putting this here because I wish someone would buy it for me :)

I’m a stickler about having good sharp knives in the kitchen. A good knife is an essential ingredient in an often used kitchen, otherwise the simple act of chopping veggies can become laborious and even dangerous.

This droolworthy knife set is German steel-forged and comes with a walnut block - the best combination for a kitchen knife set I can think of. Such a high-quality gift!


Le Creuset’s cookware is what every serious cook wants to line the shelves in her kitchen, but c’mon - $400 for a dutch oven?

I can’t justify it.

So - thank goodness Lodge makes enameled cast iron dutch ovens for a fraction of that price. With all the fun color options, too!


Okay, those are all my recommendations! Hopefully this helped you out and if nothing else - gave you some ideas and direction. Let me know if you have any questions at all.

Happy gift giving!

Until next time,

x
Tiffany


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Welcome!

TIffany+Davidson+Washingtons+Last+Frontier+Wilderness+Living+Homesteading+Hygge+Blog+Inspiring+Beautiful+Blog+Life+in+Washington+Homesteading+Off+grid.png

My husband and I are working to build a Nordic-inspired homestead in the Washington wilderness slowly with cash and no debt. You can follow the journey here!

I write about:

  • wilderness living

  • our homestead journey

  • health & wellness

  • adventure travel

  • cozy homemaking

  • wild food foraging

  • DIY & craft projects

  • making a living online from home (or anywhere)

  • natural living

  • my own recipes from scratch

  • and much more


My hope is that you will find some nugget of inspiration here.
Thank you so much for stopping in & please come back often. The kettle's always on...

x Tiffany


INSTAGRAM:


Disclosure: This website uses affiliate links, meaning: at no additional cost to you, we earn a small commission if you click-through and make a purchase. We only feature products that we believe in and use ourselves. Your support means the world to us and allows us to host this website.
So thank you :)


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My Top 5 Natural Stress Relief Herbs & Supplements (For Body & Mind)
 
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Stress.

It’s a word that gets tossed around all the time, resulting in a normalization of something that is, in fact, very dangerous.

Stress has been called the silent killer and in my opinion, having been a former health writer and researcher, it’s actually to blame for most diseases we face today.



UNDERSTANDING THE IMPACT OF STRESS

I recommend watching the documentary Stress: Portrait of a Killer to get your feet wet in understanding the magnitude of stress (you can watch it free here).

Another really great film that shone light on the topic even more for me was a documentary entitled HEAL.
I thought it was so important that I purchased the film for myself and as a gift for loved ones who suffer with what I think may be stress-induced illnesses.

One other thing that comes to mind is a book I read earlier this year called The Deepest Well, Healing The Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity which went into great depth about how stress, particularly in early childhood development, can lead to a whole plethora of illness and poor performance - from asthma to ADHD to complete pauses in growth! This book made me get serious about how I interact with stress, as well as practices I can adopt now to heal past damage.

If you’re reading this still not convinced stress is a big deal, or that’s it’s just “how things are”, I urge you to check out the materials listed above. Do it for your own health and well-being, or for those you love.

Even if you aren’t experiencing symptoms now, stress can cause DNA damage that festers inside of you and rears it’s ugly head years later as disease.

My guess, though, if you’re reading this, is that you do understand the toll stress can take on the body and mind.

Maybe you’re here because you or someone you love has just endured a stressful event or is experiencing prolonged chronic stress. Good! Because we need ways to recover when we experience stress. And this can be difficult in our always on, go go go, do do do, modern world.


CHRONIC STRESS RECOVERY

After experiencing a bout of chronic stress in my own life recently, I ended up diving into some research for natural ways to help my body and mind adapt better and develop more resiliency.

I saw such positive effects that I felt inspired to write an article listing the herbs and supplements that really caused a difference in how I felt - physically and mentally.

My hope is that anyone out there who is struggling finds this article, and that these natural supplements bring lightness and joy back to living.

I’m not a doctor, so please bear in mind this is for informational purposes only. Just because these natural remedies worked for me doesn’t mean they will work for you. I recommend trying new supplements and herbs one at a time, in small doses, to make sure your body doesn’t react in a negative way.


HERBS & SUPPLEMENTS FOR NATURAL STRESS RELIEF


Used medicinally for centuries (and much longer I’m sure), ginseng is a studied and proven medicine for stress-related diseases afflicting the body and mind.

Ginseng regulates immune and hormonal responses to stress, suppresses anxiety and depression caused by stress, and is now being found to prevent and treat diseases with chronic inflammation origins (stress = inflammation).

Here is a really interesting study on ginseng & stress.

Oftentimes, stress can manifest as weight - making us tired, depressed, sluggish, lazy, grief-stricken, and unmotivated. Ginseng is particularly wonderful for treating these symptoms because it restores focus and energy levels (without causing jitters).

Traditional Korean Ginseng really helped take my mood from irritable and edgy to relaxed and focused, despite the stress I was enduring.


B-complex is part of my daily supplement regimen and has been for many years. As someone who used to suffer with terrible anxiety and depression, researching natural ways to improve mental health was at the top of my to-do list for a long time. To this day, I still believe a large part of the mental stability I enjoy now is from daily Vitamin D & B-Complex supplementation.

But not just any B-Complex!

It’s important to find a coenzymated, methylated form of the B-Vitamins and to stay away from Folic Acid (an inferior form of folate —and now thought to be dangerous to health despite being recommended to pregnant women for decades).

The B-Complex that has worked for me since 2013 is this Coenzymated & Methylated B-Complex by Emerald Labs. This supplement does so much for the body at a cellular level, but in regards to stress - it’s vital for energy production and healthy stress response.

My only word of caution is this: if you are prone to anxiety or nervousness, start slow. Maybe half a capsule every two days to begin with. If you experience a racing heart (like I did when I first started this supplement), that can be an indication of low potassium levels. Ease into it, talk with a doctor or naturopath who is up to date on the latest health findings and natural treatments.


Holy Basil is one of the most powerful adaptogenic plants. Adaptogens help you adapt to a multitude of stressors.

Indian scriptures dating back 5,000 years or more repeatedly mention Holy Basil as the most life-enhancing herb.

Because of the delicious and nourishing aroma of Holy Basil, I like to enjoy it as a beverage rather than a capsule.

You can enjoy several hot cups of tea a day during particularly stressful times or, what I find to be most therapeutic, make an infusion.

Infusions are simply steeping the herbs for longer periods of time to better extract the medicinal properties. Studies show that 4-8 hours is a significant amount of time to steep the herbs.

For infusions, it’s best to purchase the tea leaves in bulk.

To make an herbal infusion, I simply bring a large pot of filtered water to a boil. Then, in a quart-sized glass jar, I add several tablespoons of the herb(s), then pour the hot water over to fill the jar. Make sure to put a metal utensil in the jar before pouring to absorb heat so as not to crack or break the jar. I let this sit until it’s cooled down, then put the lid on, and sit out of the way for several more hours to steep. Enjoy this potent medicine 4-8 hours later.

Pro tip: I make herbal infusions as part of my morning ritual. You can make as many quarts as you want, using whatever variety of herbs you choose. This way, by early afternoon I can begin enjoying them all the way into evening.

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As I just mentioned, this (along with a Methylated B-Complex) supplement is one that I started taking years ago and has helped my overall health so much, but especially my mental health.

Vitamin D is actually a hormone, and it is responsible for regulating over 3,000 genes in the human body!

One of the wonderful benefits of Vitamin D is that it helps the body deal with stress, on a cellular level and —what might be most important to you right now— an emotional/mental level. Here’s a great study on the subject.

Supplementing with Vitamin D3 alone might not be a good idea. It’s been discovered that another vitamin - Vitamin K2 - has a very important symbiotic relationship with Vitamin D3.

First, you need to understand that Vitamin D3 increases Calcium absorption.

Without K2, Vitamin D supplementation can cause calcium to get lodged in soft tissue rather than in the skeletal system where it’s needed. Calcium in soft tissue is not good, resulting in cysts (which can grow into tumors), bone spurs, and disease.

K2 acts as a traffic director, if you will, ensuring that the calcium is distributed to the skeleton and not soft tissues.

I don’t recommend taking Vitamin D3 without K2, and I’ve had great results from this specific formula.


Rhodiola is a powerful plant ally that has been used to treat depression, fatigue, and anxiety throughout Russia and Scandinavia for centuries.

Numerous studies point to Rhodiola’s extreme benefits for stress. Personally, I noticed it’s effects within two days. In this study, stress-induced fatigue, anxiety, and exhaustion improved in just three days and continued to improve thereafter.

Helping to balance neurotransmitters in the brain, Rhodiola is also helpful for alleviating symptoms of depression.

There’s also a marked impact on mental focus and physical energy levels.

I really recommend this herb as part of your natural stress relief medicine cabinet.



Do you have experience with a particular herb or vitamin that really helped bring stability back to your life? If so, please leave it in the comments below for everyone who reads this to benefit from.

Thanks so much for reading and may we all experience lightness and joy in life.

Until next time ~

x
Tiffany



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Welcome!


Tiffany Davidson, Washington’s Last Frontier - Modern Homesteading in Washington - Off Grid Living - Homesteading Blog - Wilderness Living - Work from Home or Anywhere

My husband and I are working to build a Nordic-inspired homestead in the Washington wilderness slowly with cash and no debt. You can follow the journey here!

I write about:

  • wilderness living

  • our homestead journey

  • health & wellness

  • adventure travel

  • cozy homemaking

  • wild food foraging

  • DIY & craft projects

  • making a living online from home (or anywhere)

  • natural living

  • my own recipes from scratch

  • and much more


My hope is that you will find some nugget of inspiration here.
Thank you so much for stopping in & please come back often. The kettle's always on...

x Tiffany

INSTAGRAM

Disclosure: This website uses affiliate links, meaning: at no additional cost to you, we earn a small commission if you click-through and make a purchase. We only feature products that we believe in and use ourselves. Your support means the world to us and allows us to host this website.
So thank you :)


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Nourishing Yourself Throughout Wildfire Season - Staying Healthy Amidst The Smoke
 

Here in the inland northwest, we've been cloaked in hazardous levels of smoke. We're not alone - most of the northwest, from the coast across parts of British Columbia and into Idaho and Montana, are experiencing the same conditions. 

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Originally from eastern America, this is new to me. In the past, I imagined that the fires themselves were the real threat. But it seems the smoke is actually the biggest threat to humans.

We have all been warned to stay indoors, batten down the hatches, and if we must venture outdoors to wear N95 respirator masks

It's a claustrophobic and neurotic feeling for all of us, wildlife included. The longing for rain and crisp mountain air to return can be felt like real hunger.

Despite staying inside as much as possible, most of us inevitably venture outside anyway, figuring "Oh it'll be fine..." but problems associated with wildfire smoke inhalation may not surface as disease for years and years. I don't know about you, but a breathing disease is one of the many things I'd like to avoid if possible.

So I took advantage of all of this indoor time to research detoxing the body after wildfire exposure, primarily smoke inhalation. I uncovered a lot of natural treatment strategies that my husband and I have been enacting daily. 

I figured with so many of us impacted by these wildfires, and having inhaled tiny particles into the depths of our lungs, I'd share my findings with everyone in hopes we can give our bodies a hand in dealing with this extreme pollution in the best way possible. 


 

Cleansing Indoor Air

Because wildfire smoke pushes us indoors, optimizing indoor air is the best starting point. 

Make sure to keep windows, doors, and vents closed as much as possible. Clean all air filters and be sure your A/C is set to recirculate indoor air (most A/C systems are inherently designed to do this). Avoid vaccuuming or dusting as this will stir up debris, further undermining your indoor air quality. Wait to vaccuum and dust when you can open windows. (I have been wiping surfaces down with a wet cloth and OnGuard oil, though, figuring as long as the cloth is wet the dust won't get stirred). 

While beeswax candles are known for purifying air, I find that lighting candles during wildfire season feels counterintuitive. What I've found to be so beneficial, cleansing, and soothing are diffusers

I keep a diffuser going in the main room of the house where we spend most of our time, and I turn one on in the bedroom when we go to sleep. 

Inside the diffuser, I use filtered water and two drops of Breathe - a therapeutic grade essential oil for respiratory support. This is easily one of my favorite essential oils. We stop from time to time, lingering our faces over the diffuser and slowly inhale the vapor to transfer some medicinal properties of the Breathe oil to our lungs. 

The best essential oils to diffuse inside the home for respiratory support during wildfire season are:

(I have no affiliation with DoTerra, but when it comes to essential oils for therapeutic purposes, this is the company I feel best about). 

 

Teas & Steams

It's vital to stay well-hydrated, drinking quality filtered or spring water with minerals intact. However much you weigh in pounds, divide that in half - this is how many ounces of water you need each day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you'll need a minimum of 75 ounces of water each day.  (A standard glass is 16 oz.).

If you want to add even more medicinal benefit to drinking water, make herbal teas! During my research, the following herbs and spices seem to be the most helpful for respiratory support and overall assistance via calming inflammation, boosting immunity, supporting the lungs, and mitigating the damage of smoke:

  • Reishi - a highly medicinal mushroom used for thousands of years. We slow brew the reishi over a hot stove in a large dutch oven, but a crock pot would work well too. The two keys to a strong reishi tea that is going to nourish your body so well are to use plenty of sliced reishi (about one pound) and to cook slow (at least 3 hours over medium heat, covered).

  • Turmeric & Ginger - both studied for their potent anti-inflammatory properties, we sprinkle turmeric & ginger powder over meals (even fruit!) and make a delicious beverage by combining a tablespoon of turmeric powder + a tablespoon of ginger powder + a tablespoon of lemon juice + a tablespoon of honey in a quart jar. Put the lid on, shake well, and enjoy. You can add ice to up the refreshment factor.

  • Lungwort - A delicious tea, we prefer it brewed hot. Combined with peppermint leaf, it's a real delight - and both are cleansing herbs for the lungs.

  • Plantain - This plant has a plethora of medicinal uses, and one of those happens to be in the treatment of inflamed mucous linings and irritation of the lungs. I recommend a hot tea.

  • Osha Root - I can't speak to it personally, as I've yet to get my hands on any. But, I wanted to mention it because Osha Root is native to the Rocky Mountains and has been used by native people in this area for thousands of years for lung and throat problems. Once I find a good source and make tea, I'll edit in some further remarks and information.

 

Another really beneficial - arguably even moreso - method of inviting medicinal herbs into the respiratory system is to make herbal steams. This is such an easy and refreshing self-care treatment, and I really urge you to give it a go. 

Oregano + Thyme Herbal Steam:

Simply heat water on the stovetop, bring to boiling, then move to a sturdy place where you can safely sit or stand over it. Add 2 tablespoons of dried oregano and 2 tablespoons of dried thyme. Stir them around and let sit for a couple of minutes. Now drape a small towel over your head and bend down to breathe in the steam. Long, slow inhalations are best. Be mindful not to get too close or you may experience an uncomfortable heat. Repeat the long slow inhalations of the oregano + thyme steam, and switch out with your partner, your children, or your roommate so everyone gets the benefits. 

Eucalyptus Showers:

Another way I like to use plants to support my respiratory system is by hanging dried bundles of eucalyptus in the shower. When you take a hot shower, you'll inevitably inhale some of the properties of the plant, and eucalyptus is one of the most recommended plants to help with lung issues.
 

 

Increase Oxygen In The Body

Encouraging more oxygen in the body and movement of oxygen is an important dynamic to staying well amidst wildfire smoke (and after). 

Because we're all pushed indoors during this time, it becomes even more crucial due to this sedentary state we're all existing in. Breathing in wildfire smoke (even remnants) combined with not moving much is a terrible combination. 

Exercise - With the advent of YouTube, there is simply no excuse for not being able to exercise in your home. With or without equipment. I look up "home workouts no equipment" and there are a variety of videos to choose from. Even doing 5-10 burpees several times a day will suffice. The goal is to increase oxygenation in the body and get that oxygen flowing to all parts of your system. 

Yoga  - Or any deep stretching. A brilliant massage therapist once told me that she sees two types of people in her practice: those who have some sort of prolonged stretching daily ritual, and those who don't. If we don't stretch daily, our fascia (a sheet of tissue that covers organs and muscles) becomes like a hardened spiderweb. In this state, it's hard for oxygen and nutrients to flow effortlessly as they should throughout our system. Long slow stretching while breathing deeply is one of the best things you can do for yourself, hands down. 

Deep Breathing - I know there's such a connotation for some around the word meditation. But, it doesn't have to be spiritual. Meditation is just good for you. The brain benefits of meditation can be seen in just 3 weeks using MRI scans of people who began meditating only 10-15 minutes a day. Not only that, but deep, controlled, focused breathing is good for your lungs. 

 

 

Neti Pot 

Many of the fine particles in the air from wildfire smoke lodge themselves in the sinus cavities for a time before making the full journey to the lungs. By developing a Neti Pot ritual, you can clear this debris out of your pathways before it has a chance to lodge in the lungs. 

Neti Pot is a traditional Ayurvedic therapy that dates back thousands of years. However, since the trend arrived in America, many of the varieties on the market are made of plastic. I would highly suggest not inviting plastic residues into the head - just a personal preference. For that reason, we use the original ceramic model by Ancient Secrets. 

Also - important to note - do not use tap water. Use filtered or distilled water. 

Here's a demo video (This YouTube channel is also the one I recommend for doing yoga at home - Adriene is such a sweet soul).

 

Supplements

Last but certainly not least are natural supplements. While this list could be a very long one, I decided to keep it straightforward and simple. The following are supplements I would definitely not go without during wildfire season, and links to my favorite, most reputable, brands:

  • Magnesium - depleted during periods of stress, and deficient in most Americans to begin with. This will help your body deal with the stress of smoke inhalation.

  • Vitamin C - Will help the body adapt to stress and boost immunity.

  • Vitamin D3 - Regulates over 3,000 genes in the human body, has been shown to remove asthma symptoms, crucial for strong immune system. I always take this specific Vitamin D3 with K2. If you take Vitamin D without K2, it has a tendency to cause calcium to build up in soft tissue. Not good. K2 has been shown to assist with this problem, directing the D and Calcium where they need to go.


Please feel free to add to this list in the comments below. Your input will only help to make this a more comprehensive article, so thanks in advance!

Medical Disclaimer: Folks, I am not a doctor. This article is purely for informational purposes and to share things we have found helpful. Be smart. Make good decisions for yourself. 

x
Tiffany

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My husband and I are working to build a Nordic-inspired homestead in the Washington wilderness slowly with cash and no debt. You can follow the journey here!

I write about:

  • wilderness living

  • our homestead journey

  • health & wellness

  • adventure travel

  • cozy homemaking

  • wild food foraging

  • DIY & craft projects

  • making a living online from home (or anywhere)

  • natural living

  • my own recipes from scratch

  • and much more


My hope is that you will find some nugget of inspiration here.
Thank you so much for stopping in & please come back often. The kettle's always on...

x Tiffany

INSTAGRAM:


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning: at no additional cost to you, we earn a small commission if you click-through and make a purchase. We only feature products that we believe in and use ourselves. Your support means the world to us and allows us to maintain this little space on the Web.
So thank you :)


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Homemade Medicine: The Easiest Way To Grow Your Own Broccoli Sprouts In A Bag (For Depression, Brain Health, Cancer Prevention, Anti-Aging, & More)
 

As a long-time follower - I think appreciator is a better word - of Dr. Rhonda Patrick, who is just as geeky as I about nutrigenomics (the impact that diet has on genetic expression), except far more qualified to speak on the topic, I came to really value broccoli sprouts. 

If you're at all familiar with Dr. Patrick's research, odds are you consume these powerful sprouts on the regular, too! 

Grow Your Own Broccoli Sprouts Using a Sproutman Bag At Home, Broccoli Sprouts Recipe, Dr. Rhonda Patrick Broccoli Sprouts

Here are a few examples of the power of broccoli sprouts:

  • Ease autism symptoms

  • Potential to stop cancer growth (by destroying damaged cells)

  • Potent protector against prostate and colon cancer

  • Prevent heart disease (by decreasing high blood pressure)

  • Shown to be as effective as the commonly used drug Metformin for Type 2 diabetics to control blood glucose levels (and without all the side effects!)

  • Shown to be as effective as Prozac for anxiety & depression

  • And so much more. Instead of bullet point an exhaustive list, I'll direct you to this terrific resource if you're interested in learning more of the incredible health benefits of broccoli sprouts. Here is another great resource summarizing some of Dr. Patrick's research.

These sprouts are so healthy for us because they contain abundant amounts of a compound called sulforaphane. 

And if you're really into learning about this sort of thing, I recommend playing this video while you go about your chores. Dr. Patrick herself explains in-depth why you should definitely be consuming sulforaphane. 

If you just want to get straight to the point and start growing your own sprouts right now, guaranteeing affordability, quality, and continuous availability of sprouts, here is an easy instructional I put together: 


 

Grow Your Own Broccoli Sprouts At Home Using A Bag

YOU ONLY NEED TWO THINGS:

  1. A Sproutman bag

  2. Broccoli seeds for sprouting


Before beginning, soak 2-3 TBSP of broccoli sprouting seeds for 8 hours in a container with a lid. This is how many you sprout at one time. Yes! A little goes a long way :)

STEP 1: sterilize your bag by submerging it in boiling water for about 10 minutes

STEP 2: Ring out wet bag and add your presoaked broccoli sprouting seeds (2-3 TBSP)

STEP 3: Soak bag with seeds in it making sure to be thorough (I do this by using the spray nozzle on the kitchen faucet and evenly spraying both sides of the bag through & through, making sure to mind the drawstring opening & keep the bag upright so that seeds don't spill out)

STEP 4: Let the bag drain in a dish rack, a strainer, or something similar (just long enough so that it isn't dripping incessantly)

STEP 5: Hang the bag in a window (I attached one of those Command hooks to a window, and placed a towel in the floor below to catch any residual dripping)

STEP 6: Rinse and repeat (literally). You'll rinse the bag through & through every 12 hours on average making sure the seeds don't dry out, then drain and return to the window

Your sprouts will be ready to eat in about 5-6 days! You can store them in a refrigerator for about one week.

 

In good health, 

x Tiffany

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Welcome!

Tiffany Davidson Wilderness Living Blog Health and Wellness Blog Natural Health Blog Cure Depression Naturally Broccoli Sprouts Grow Your Own Natural Living Blog

My husband and I are working to build a Nordic-inspired homestead in the Washington wilderness slowly with cash and no debt. You can follow the journey here!

I write about:

  • wilderness living

  • our homestead journey

  • health & wellness

  • adventure travel

  • cozy homemaking

  • wild food foraging

  • DIY & craft projects

  • making a living online from home (or anywhere)

  • natural living

  • my own recipes from scratch

  • and more!


My hope is that you will find some nugget of inspiration here.
Thank you so much for stopping in & please come back often. The kettle's always on...

x Tiffany

INSTAGRAM

Disclosure: This website uses affiliate links, meaning: at no additional cost to you, we earn a small commission if you click-through and make a purchase. We only feature products that we believe in and use ourselves. Your support means the world to us and allows us to host this website.
So thank you :)

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