By Ann, Contributing Writer
Raising a healthy family isn’t easy.
It takes time, knowledge, work and a bit of patience. How much time and work you put into being healthy and taking care of your family is up to you and your own ability, depending on where you are on your family’s journey to better health.
I’ve put in different amounts of each at different stages in my own journey. For example, right now I have five teenagers in my home and I’m moving so fast most days that I’m lucky to sit down to eat.
At other times, however, I have been able to sit down and dig in. I have dozens of books in my home that I’ve collected over the years as I try to gain wisdom and advice to raise my family well. I’ve read books on physical health, mental health, spiritual health and personal health. Yes! I need to take care of myself too! How else can I care for all these people in my home if I’m not healthy?
As much as I have loved and appreciated these books, right now, in this hectic stage of life, I could use more condensed resources. Somewhere I can go to get all the information I need to keep my family healthy and all at my fingertips!
Sounds like a dream, right? Do you feel that way? How about resources that are a little less expensive, especially now that my sixth child is in braces and numbers three and four are getting ready to start driving?
Here are my top five picks so far:
1. Your Grace Filled Journey to Real Food by Diana Bauman
If you read my recent post about my own struggles to get my family to eat real food you’ll know why this book is a favorite!
This beautifully written eBook is full of love and encouragement for all women regardless of where they are on the journey to feeding their families real food. Diana Bauman points out how each one of us has a different journey and challenges us to take joy in each small change we make to find better health for our own family.
Along with this eBook you will get:
- An ENTIRE YEAR of meal recipes! Including seasonal meals to maximize benefits from whole foods
- Meal planning
- Access to a Facebook group for questions and encouragement
What I love about this eBook is how Diana takes complex, heated topics about industrial, commercial and traditional foods — from the history of wheat and gluten to the mysteries of fats and oils — and gently shares how they each affect our loved ones.
Follow along in this easily digestible book to learn how one woman’s own grace filled journey started, the slow transitions she made and what her pantry looks like now.
2. Essential Oils Course For Families by Jessie Hawkins
In the past, I have found it difficult to navigate through so many oils. Most of the information I have found has been tedious and hard to follow or simply not enough to know whether I’m doing the right thing.
Through this easy-to-navigate online course you have full access to rich resources for everyone from beginner to the career minded, for those who have little time or more time to invest.
Some topics included in this eCourse are:
- Aromatherapy for pregnancy and birth
- Safe oil usage with children
- Prevention with oils
- Aromatherapy for teens
- Aromatherapy for adults
Along with a personal course instructor t0 help guide you and answer questions there is a resource library to search until your hearts content. Plus, you get an aromatherapy certification upon completion at the end of the course.
And still there is more! You will get:
- DIY tidbits on skin care
- Recipes for salves and tinctures
- Herbal Recipes for drinks, main courses, salads and desserts
With this eCourse, you get special access to the founder of Vintage Remedies and the Franklin Institute of Wellness, who holds bachelor and master degrees and post graduate education in the health and wellness field. Currently, she is earning her doctorate in public health promotion with an emphasis on integrative health prevention.
This course is PACKED with recipes and healing formulas for your families using 12 essential oils, carrier oils and herbs.
I’ve already begun making my way through this course and I can tell you its absolutely worth the cost of this bundle all on its own.
Why do I love it so much? I can spend as much time delving in or as little time as it takes to research the one thing I need to know now.
3. Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath
This one is not included in the bundle and you may be wondering why I’m including a book about uncovering your talents and developing your strengths, right? Let me tell you.
Earlier this year someone recommended this book and the online assessment that came with it to my husband. As soon as he finished, he insisted that I take it as well. I will admit, I was a bit reluctant, but I could see the passion in his eyes. I agreed to read through it and take the assessment, not expecting much in it for me. What happened next was life changing for both of us and our roles at home.
We could quickly see that we were spending too much time encouraging each other to change our weaknesses. What we learned was that we needed to be encouraging each other’s strengths.
This book gave us permission to have weaknesses and to even embrace and celebrate our differences. It became clear that each of us had certain strengths and we decided to build on those strengths instead. This resulted in a better personal relationship, strengthening our marriage, our partnership and our parenting. You can read my husbands blog post on this HERE.
4. Kombucha Kamps’ DIY Guide to Kocktails and Mocktails
This short guide rocks Kombucha fun! My kids think Kombucha is a blast to drink and since we don’t keep soda in the house I like to have lots of flavors to keep them from missing the other fizzy drinks.
Not only is it fun, but I know the health benefits for my family. Kombucha is known to be rich in antioxidants and probiotics. It cleanses and detoxifies and boosts your immune system, energy levels and stabilizes moods. Great for teens, right!? It’s also inexpensive to make!
With clear instructions on why and how to make Kombucha drinks, the guide also shares what to do with that kombucha that has gone sour. (I know I’m guilty of letting my Kombucha go bad during my busy phases of family life, so I can’t wait to try this!)
Know what a kombucha shrub is? I do now! And I can’t wait to make it along with a red wine kombucha recipe that looks perfect for enjoyment while reading the rest of these wonderful eBooks!
This guide includes:
- A myriad of recipes from your basic tea to wines and cocktails
- A link to a video on how to flavor your kombucha
- Ten easy recipes featuring apple, chocolate, vanilla, mint, ginger and more!
5. Love Your Body, The Imperfect Girl’s Guide to Positive Body Image by Elizabeth Walling
It’s hard to live life to the fullest when you hate your body. We’ve all been there! In her book, Elizabeth Walling shares her story of weight loss and body image.
“Body hate sort of seeps into every crevice of our lives, ” she writes. Elizabeth wants to encourage women to let go of social lies and trappings to instead nourish and care for their body.
In Love Your Body she talks openly about why women declare war on themselves and the things they do to hide their imperfections.
Do you avoid getting your picture taken? Avoid social gatherings? My hand goes up, I do!
Learn how and why to enjoy your family and friends again and even more importantly how to not pass body hate on to your children.
In this easy-to-read, fun guide to busting body myths, learn how to:
- Take back control of your image
- Feel confident, loved and assured from the inside out
- Take action
- Stop body bashing
Learn the 8 keys to loving your body with this book. Reassess your desire to lose weight and set realistic expectations that are sustainable.
Expand your sense of self and have a positive relationship with your body.
For me, this has been an eye-opener. I’m raising three girls, now twelve, thirteen and fourteen and I’m so guilty of modeling body hate in front of them. Something I don’t want for them to spend their lives struggling with.
In the world we live in its hard enough for teenage girls to like their bodies. They constantly compare themselves to the images they see on tv, the movies and social media. I want to teach them to love their bodies!
6. Your Custom Homestead: Awakening A Fresh Vision of Homesteading by Jill Winger
Over the years my homestead has gone from pots on a deck to backyard plots. I’m constantly changing and learning what grows best in my yard and the kinds of veggies and herbs my kids will eat is always shaping and forming my garden.
I don’t have a ton of time to tend gardens or animals and I’m not ready to raise my own meats. My dairy comes from a local farmer that knows better than me how to milk cows.
However, I love the thought of having my own custom homestead and when I read this I had renewed visions of what I am capable of.
Jill Winger shares her own journey to homesteading, not by having it all figured out, but by what has worked for her. She shares ways for you to join the homesteading journey whether you live in a rural setting, suburbia or even in an apartment.
She gives 21 days of activities broken down day by day into three parts. Day one begins with setting up a binder for all of your homesteading ideas, research, and charts that you might need along the way. Plus, Jill shares yummy-looking wholesome from-scratch recipes like:
- Whole Wheat Sour Dough Tortillas
- Homestead Beef Stock in Your Slow Cooker
- Sausage Gravy from scratch
In each section she gives a peek into her own life in which she shares what has worked for her and what hasn’t.
For those wanting to give homesteading a go, but think they can’t because they don’t own a lot of acreage you can download a list of 66 edible things that can be grown in containers. You will enjoy the personal stories and benefit from lots of practical advice like why to practice food preservation, a canning tutorial and instructions on dehydrating and freezing eggs. I’ll give that a try!
7. Spa Treatments for your Body and Soul, Tranquil Moments to Refresh Your Spirit by Janie Seltzer
Finally, mamas, don’t forget yourself!
It’s so easy to get caught up in taking care of our families that we forget to take care of ourselves. I’m so guilty of this. Making sure they’re fed healthy meals, they have everything they need for school in the morning and driving them to all of the after school sporting and academic events.
There are days when I get tired and grumpy and I hide in the bathroom, close my eyes for a moment and dream of being in a spa. I just want to let homemaking, taxi driving and all of those aches and sore muscles melt away so I don’t have to worry I’ll forget something or say an unkind word or wonder if I’ll have the energy to get through the rest of the day.
I can’t usually afford the cost or time to go to a spa, but I need a few quiet moments of renewal so I can be kind again. Kind to my children and my husband and the person on the other end of the phone. That’s when I pick up this book.
Now, instead of hiding in the bathroom pretending, I’m pampering myself with this inspiring guide to my inner spa experience and transforming my heart and spirit. I may not be able to change all of my physical ailments, but I can tell you that just a few minutes with this book and I can spend the rest of the day a better wife, a better mom and a better woman.