Hey Healthy Friends! Welcome to a new series I’m starting here at HSITK, a weekly recap of my very own, personal life. This year I’m focusing on putting more of “me” out there for all of you to get to know, in a real way.
It’s cold & snowy in Pennsylvania. It’s my favorite time of the year, I love the beautiful snow and appreciate the laziness of winter. Ray’s out hunting this morning (flint lock muzzloader season has another week) and I’m enjoying this quite Saturday with the dogs.
What’s New & Exciting…
Ray and I kick started 2017 with our annual water fast. We committed to taking the first (roughly) 2 weeks of every new year to reset, detox and heal our bodies. No matter how clean you eat or how stress free your life is, your body still needs a break to run it’s maintenance uninterrupted by digestion. In particular, we feel very strongly that a 2 week fast is KEY to preventing and banishing any cancers that may be brewing in our bodies.
To learn more about Fasting for your health, I recommend THESE books:
What I’m Reading….
One of my goals for 2017 is to read more, aiming for 1 book a week. While I agree that’s an aggressive goal, I really enjoy reading and this goal will help me feel more focused that taking the time to read daily is important.
This week I’m reading Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance.
From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class through the author’s own story of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town.
Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of poor, white Americans. The disintegration of this group, a process that has been slowly occurring now for over forty years, has been reported with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. In HillbillyElegy, J.D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hanging around your neck.
The Vance family story began with hope in postwar America. J.D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually one of their grandchildren would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of success in achieving generational upward mobility. But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that J.D.’s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, never fully escaping the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. With piercing honesty, Vance shows how he himself still carries around the demons of his chaotic family history.
A deeply moving memoir, with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.
I’m also starting each day with a few minutes dedicated to The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living as a way to set the stage for the day ahead of me.
Why have history’s greatest minds—from George Washington to Frederick the Great to Ralph Waldo Emerson, along with today’s top performers from Super Bowl-winning football coaches to CEOs and celebrities—embraced the wisdom of the ancient Stoics? Because they realize that the most valuable wisdom is timeless and that philosophy is for living a better life, not a classroom exercise.
The Daily Stoic offers 366 days of Stoic insights and exercises, featuring all-new translations from the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, the playwright Seneca, or slave-turned-philosopher Epictetus, as well as lesser-known luminaries like Zeno, Cleanthes, and Musonius Rufus. Every day of the year you’ll find one of their pithy, powerful quotations, as well as historical anecdotes, provocative commentary, and a helpful glossary of Greek terms.
By following these teachings over the course of a year (and, indeed, for years to come) you’ll find the serenity, self-knowledge, and resilience you need to live well.
Ditching, Switching & Upgrading…
Charcoal detoxifying, which helps eliminate bad bacteria in the mouth that lead to bad breath. It’s also helpful in brightening & whitening your teeth!
5 Things I’m Obsessed with…
- I can’t get enough of Hank Shaw’s new cookbook Buck, Buck, Moose. If you are a fan of wild game, like us, this is a MUST HAVE cookbook. I have at least 1/2 of the book dog eared for the recipes I must try.
- At least once every winter, Ray gets a cold sore (luckily I don’t, so don’t worry we can still kiss!) In the past he’s used an OTC cold sore topical medication, which worked well.. However, since we don’t like to rely on conventional medicines, he switched to a natural essential oil cold sore treatment. But this year. Oh this year, nothing seemed to be working.
Then a friend recommended THIS Lysine Lip Ointment. GAME CHANGER.
It seemed that after using it just a few times (like chapstick) his cold sore was almost gone. He’ll be using this daily as lip balm as a cold sore prevention along with taking a daily L-lysine supplement.
- I can’t get enough of Balsam of Peru Essential Oil, not only is it wonderful for aromatherapy while meditating, it’s also immune boosting which is so important during the winter cold & flu months.
Balsam of Peru Essential Oil (Myroxylon balsamum) is also commonly known as Balsamum peruvianim and Black Balsam. Derived from a tree grown in Central and South America, Balsam of Peru Essential Oil has a medium‐strength rich, sweet, and balsamic aroma presenting a base fragrance note.
As a tonic, Balsam of Peru is suitable for most skin types, working to tone and soothe minor skin blemishes. Use the essential oil also to support the respiratory system, loosen mucus due to occasional environmental threats, and balance everyday tension and stress. Additionally, Balsam of Peru helps promote a healthy cardiovascular system and increases natural energy.
- My New Kitchen! I mean really, while it’s not technically new, it’s completely new to me. My $500 Kitchen Makeover was totally worth all the work. Each morning when I wake up and come out into the kitchen, I’m overwhelmed with how beautiful it is.
It’s so light, bright and just darn pretty! I enjoy spending time in my kitchen so much more now. It’s amazing what a little paint can do.
- While I love Beautycounter’s Cleansing Balm year’round, it seems even more useful in the winter. I always use it as a mascara and makeup remover but now it’s my go to hair product too!
I know it seems crazy but it works like a dream to calm fly-aways, frizz and static in your hair with out leaving it a greasy mess. I rub a tiny bit in my hands then smooth over my hair to smooth it out, it works especially well for keeping my beach waves and loose curls looking silky and shiny.
It’s also a wonderful hydrating mask, apply just before bed on cleansed skin and allow it to soak in over night for soft, moisturized skin.
What I ate this week….
Seeing as though I’ve been fasting 5 days of this week, I haven’t eaten much! But before we started fasting, we enjoyed some last-minute deliciousness.
New Year’s Day at our house isn’t complete without Pork & Kraut! And of course I made it in my pressure cooker, get my recipe HERE complete with a generous side of heavy cream whipped mashed potatoes – omg YUM.
And I can’t forget this Calamari Caesar Salad! It has always is one of my FAVORITE salads. I’ll be sharing this paleo/gluten-free/grain-free recipe soon – but if you can’t wait the dressing can be found HERE and the GF breaded calamari can be found HERE.
The Beauty of Real Life…
This week, since I’m (still) without a camera …. I feel totally out of sorts but rest assured that as soon as my amazing new camera is here I’ll be sharing with you the beauty I find.
This week I’m just using my iPhone, but I can’t complain when I get a photos like this…
Behind the scenes I’m working on a little “perfect cup of tea” project with a full, comprehensive review of THIS amazing tea maker which makes tea fool-proof. Since, I’m not cooking and not drinking coffee, Tea is pretty much the extent of my edible creativity these days while fasting.
Also, in general I want to incorporate more tea drinking into my life, herbal tea, green tea, matcha tea, chi tea, tea latte… oh my!
Reading books and drinking tea seems to be my theme for 2017. Right now I’m really enjoying Pineapple Kona Pop herbal tea as an afternoon treat, if you’re a tea drinker you must try it!
Thanks for reading my Weekly Recap, I want to hear from you! What did you like and what didn’t you like from this week? What questions do you have? Feel free to comment with your feedback or queries.
Until next week – Wishing you the best,