Why I Stopped Being Dogmatic About My Diet…

fad diet,paleo diet,grain free

**Please Note** This post is NOT referring to people who must be on certain diets because of allergies or health problems. I fully acknowledge that is a different issue entirely.

I’ve been noticing an interesting phenomenon lately…

If you want to start a debate online, mention either religion or politics.

But if you want to start an all-out war, start talking about food.

I suppose I understand it to a certain extent…

Food IS important. We ARE  indeed what we eat. And in some cases, the proper food CAN mean the difference between life or death for certain folks.

honey cinnamon canned peaches

However.

Can I just say I’m growing a wee bit weary of all the different dietary bandwagons?

Vegetarian, vegan, paleo, primal, raw, Weston A. Price, Trim Healthy Mama, and the list goes on. And on. And on…

Most everyone who is a member of those different “camps” is passionately, adamantly convinced that their diet is the ONLY way to eat.

The problem? 

They all contradict each other… So doesn’t that mean somebody, somewhere, has to be “wrong”?

My husband and I often joke that if you look long enough, you’ll find someone that is “against” pretty much every single thing a human can put into their mouth.

Depending on who you talk to:

  • Meat is bad.
  • Dairy products are bad.
  • Eggs are bad.
  • Whole grains are bad.
  • White flour is bad.
  • Actually, all grains are bad.
  • And don’t forget the legumes. They’re bad too.
  • Potatoes are bad.
  • Carbs are bad.
  • Cooked food is bad.
  • But certain raw vegetables aren’t great for you either.
  • Fruit is bad because of the sugar.
  • And of course, sugar is bad–even unrefined sugars.
  • Fat is bad.
  • Vegetables are good, but only if they are uber-organic, non-GMO, and grown in your own backyard– (providing no one has sprayed pesticides within 30 miles of where you live)
  • Don’t eat too many nuts because they contain phytic acid (and that’s bad.)
  • Water is OK.
[Continue Reading]

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Blogging {Well, Almost…}

how to blog

I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately…

…in regards to this whole blogging gig, so I figured I’d take you behind-the-scenes today and talk nuts-and-bolts about running a blog.

Now, I realize this topic may be horrifically boring to some of you, and if that’s the case, feel free to skip this post altogether. Or jump over to this week’s Homestead Barn Hop and peruse all the homesteading posts over there.

But if you are a bit of a blog-nerd like me, then grab that cup of coffee (or tea, or raw milk) and let’s get started!

My Story…

Sometimes I look back at my blogging journey and I don’t know how the heck I got here… As much as I’d like to say that I had the perfectly laid-out vision of what I wanted my blog to be before I started it, that’s simply not the case.

I started The Prairie Homestead on a whim. And honestly? I’m not even sure why… Although I suspect it had a lot to do with my need to share all that I was learning about natural lifestyles and whole foods at the time–and my friend’s and family’s eyeballs were starting to glaze over, so I figured I’d spew it all over the world wide web instead. ;)

Several months into my blogging journey, I realized that I could encourage folks everywhere that homesteading was possible–regardless of where they lived. That gave me a bit more of a direction, and my vision gradually grew into what it is today.

I’m not sure I’d recommend that people follow my exact path to “success” since it’s a pretty crazy one with a lot of detours. I’m sure there’s a faster way to do it, but I’m thankful for my unorthodox journey, since it taught me some priceless lessons along the way.… [Continue Reading]

What 2013 Taught Me and My Homestead Goals for 2014

homestead goals

Crazy.

If I had one word to describe 2013, that’d be it.

But I’m not complaining, because as you know, we rather like a bit of organized chaos around here.

I’ve been doing a lot of pondering about the last 365 days and thinking about what I learned, the mistakes I made, and the adventures I’ve had. And instead of keeping them to myself, I thought I’d share them with you (cuz that’s what bloggers do, after all) ;)

20 Lessons I Learned in 2013

1. Perfection is overrated.

2. Thou shalt not die if your house is not perfectly in order all the time…

3. If you are a homesteader, the summer months are not a good time to decide to write a research-heavy eBook.

4. But finishing that 200-page research-heavy eBook is the BEST FEELING EVER.

5. A good camera makes all the difference.

6. I am not naturally talented at gardening. In fact, my thumb seems to be getting browner as time goes by.

7. You can’t do it all.

bull snake

8. Finding a snake in your house is a good way to get your heart pumping.

9. Geese are mean, but definitely seem to deter snakes. (Except in the house…)

10. Water Kefir: If you have a bottle that’s been fermenting for a while, open it outside–pointed away from your face. And blueberry water kefir is not fun to clean off of your ceiling.

11. Having a wood stove in my house is even more awesome than I thought it would be.

12. If you are a one-year old boy, a toilet is the most fascinating item in the universe.

christmas1

13. It IS possible to mix up your own GMO-free chicken feed. Not easy, but possible.

14. God answers desperate pleas for rain.

15. And a torrential downpour after a year-long drought is so beautiful it will make you cry.… [Continue Reading]

8 Reasons I Love Life in a Small House

small house living

I always used to feel like I had to defend my little farmhouse…

… when people would first walk through the door. No one ever seemed to notice all the neat things about my home; the hand-painted signs adorning the walls, the farmhouse antiques I had salvaged from yard sales, or my creative furniture arrangements…

They only seemed to want to talk about the size.

“Wow… this is… small.”

“So, are you going to build an addition soon?”

“How are you going to have more kids?”

Now honestly? Our house isn’t that small. It’s around 1100 square feet. I know of much larger families living in much smaller spaces.

But it is very representative of the houses built 100 years ago out here on the high plains of Wyoming. Resources were scarce, so the rooms are small and choppy and the stairs are so narrow that if you have big feet (like me) you kinda have to turn your foot sideways when you walk down the steps.

small space living

Is it functional? Absolutely. But my boxy little farmhouse is a far cry from many modern-day homes with sweeping living rooms and a bathroom attached to each bedroom.

But what started out five years ago as “I guess we’ll just make it work,” has turned into, “Hey… I actually kinda like this!

My insecurities have melted away and this quirky little 96-year old farm house has grown on me… A lot.

As of right now, I can confidently say that, not only am I content with living in a small space, but I’ve actually come to prefer it. Here’s why:

8 Reasons I Love Life in a Small House

1. Little houses are more budget-friendly. 

Small spaces are cheaper to heat and cool, and usually have smaller electric bills as well.… [Continue Reading]