Baby Steps to Healthy Living

Hello all! Today is the last day to buy The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle! The sale ends at 11:59pm (EST).

Last night I had a party on facebook with some fun prizes. It was great to chat with some of you about healthy living and learn from each other! The winners are at the end of this post. There is still one more giveaway that is pretty awesome that will be open until this Tuesday at 8:00am (PST). I love being able to content with readers and get to know you a bit. I think that may be my favourite part about blogging, the relationships that are built. You are all such a blessing!

It’s never a good idea to go all in when it comes to leading a healthy life. You will end up burned out and feeling more unhealthy than when you started. That’s why baby steps are such an important thing. Diving in head first may work for a bit but talking everything at once is a bit much.

Eventually you will get to a point where you are doing more of the things you want to do but it comes from taking things one step at a time. There are many things that I would LOVE to be amazing at but I’m still not there. Take gardening for example. Yes, I have gardened over the years but it was never a huge success. Hopefully I will get to a point where I have a beautiful garden like my Grandpa Stanley’s but for now I will be happy with my herbs and a vegetable plant or two.

Baby Steps to Healthy Living

Baby steps to healthy living will look different for everyone. We are all in a different part of our healthy living journies. Please don’t compare yourself to some one else. Comparing either breeds discouragement or pride, neither of which are good things.

I want to share with you a few things that I started with, slowly adding things as I went. Step by step is they way to go. The little changes won’t feel nearly as overwhelming as sudden huge changes. Husbands and children will  generally respond better to baby steps as well. Remember to have grace on yourself and your family.

  • Look through your cupboards and get rid of some of the packages that have the  longes ingredient lists.
  • On your next trip to the store add a few new healthy products to your cart that you have been wanting to try.
  • Eliminate unhealthy oils and replace them with a healthy fat.
  • Think of one over-the counter-drug you have in the house and replace it will herbs or an essential oil.
  • Think of the cosmetics and beauty care products you use the most. Slowly as time and finances allows replace your chemical filled ones with natural ones you have bought or made yourself.
  • Look through the cupboards. Those are full of toxins as well. Find a natural replacement for each product at a time.
  • Get active. This could be taking a walk around your neighborhood. Taking your kids to the park and pushing them on the swing.

Before you know it you will find yourself adding more and more changes to your routine. You will feel more healthy and have more energy as well!

Please remember it’s baby steps not a race. It is fun if there is a friends who wants to join you along the way. You can be an encouragement to each other and inspire each other on with what you have learned!

You have heard me say that the Healthy Living Bundle is an amazing deal, which is true. It is amazing. It occurred to me that you might be feeling overwhelmed by the size of the bundle. The beauty of a sale like this is that you can pick and choose what you are going to read and learn from.

Gardening might not be your thing but allgery friendly cooking is. There is a wonderful set of books all about that. You can even get a gluten-free sourdough starter in the bonuses. If you used just those recourses it would be worth it.

Even though I think everything sounds amazing I have NO way to read all of them right now. I decided to pick just a few things I want to learn about right now. The others will wait until I find time. Some might just not get cracked open. (Or I guess, clicked open since they are digital.)

What I am focussing on right now:

  • Natural Soap Making
  • The Nourished Metabolism
  • Feast!

The-Nourished-MetabolismFeast Natural-Soap-Making


Books I hope to read over the winter:

  • The Art of Gardening
  • The Gardening Note Book

Gardening-Notebook The-Art-of-Gardening

Spring Time:

  • Vintage Remedies Essential Oils Course


Facebook Giveaway Winners!

Giveaway #1 Sheila Rutter Anderson
Givveaway #2 Sherry Lynn England

Giveaway #3

  1. Deann Furey
  2. Tabatha Finch
  3. Sarah May
  4. Sharon Volkman

Giveaway #4 Joy Manley

Giveaway #5 Alyssa Buchholz

Congrats to you all! Please email me at nourishingsimplicity (@) gmail (.) com so I can get your prizes to you! If I don’t hear back by 8:00 pm (PST) today (Monday the 15th). I will pick new winners. Thank you all!

Menu Planning Resources to Save You Money

Menu Planning Resources to Save You Money

Public service announcement, real food is not cheap!

Okay, now that we’ve covered that, let’s move on. I was recently chatting with a few readers on our facebook page (if you’re not over there I’ve love you for you to join us!) about what the hardest thing about cooking more real food was. The overwhelming response was money. It’s true real food isn’t cheap.

It’s hard living in a society where the average household spend about 13% of their income on food where as families that are trying to feed their families non-processed foods have to spend much more. Did you know that about 60 years ago the average house hold spend 34% off their income on foods? Back then there was far less processed junk out there to lure people in and convince them that it was okay.

When my parents were growing up most families still ate home cooked meals. Sure restaurant, freezer meals, cereal and other connivence foods were out their but it was not nearly as common to make those items staples. They were special treats. My mom remembers how spacial it was on the very rare occasion when my grandma would let their family of 9 pick out a freezer meal to eat. Restaurants were a every few years experience for them so freezer meals were extremely special. The thing is that my grandma only bought them a couple of times a year.

The rest of the year was filled with good, yet simple home cooked meals with just a few sweets sprinkled in the mix. Looking back my grandma sure had it right.

A simpler way of life is what I am all about but at the same time I acknowledge that it is HARD to slow down. Shops are open later, our work hours are different from what they used to be and sports teams have about a million more practices.I get that. That is why I think menu planning is a must for anyone. Even a single gal.

Top 5 Reasons to Menu Plan

  1. You save money
  2. You eat better
  3. You save time
  4. You are more aware of what you have
  5. It allows for flexibility

I have gone back and forth with menu planning. Every time I plan out my meals a week or longer in advance, I eat better and waste less. Please tell me that I’m not the only one that has found a squishy vegetable in the back of the drawer or a fuzzy container mystery food in the back of the fridge. They thing is I wish I was alone in that. When ever we waste food we are wasting time and money.

Food going bad is money down the drain. It also is a waste of your time for preparing it or a waste of time of the person who grew it. Please don’t feel bad bout the times this has happened to you, remember I’ve been in the same boat. The goal is to get out of the boat.

With constant menu planning you will find that you save money, eat more nourishing and waste less.

“Okay, so that’s all good Katie Mae but how do you expect me to start?”

I’m so glad you asked! I’m sure by now some little birdie has told you about this thing called “The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle”. If they haven’t, what rock have you been living under? ;) All the same I’m excited to share some resources that are in it that will help you make a grocery budget ( ’cause those things are important), menu plan, make nourishing and tasty meals all  while saving money!

There are so many awesome blogs out there written by even more awesome and amazing people that I am privlagded to call my colleges and friends. They are ready to help you along the way to successful menu planning and saving money on real food.

I just got down reading Tiffany’s 22 Days to a Fresh Start ($1.99 value) and loved it! It reminded me of ways I need to cut back on waste so I can have a fresh start as well. Meal Planning Made Easy! ($7.95 value) written by the sweet Kelly of The Nourishing Home is chalked full of helpful hints and tips to menu plan like a pro. The good old List PlanIt ($5.00 value) is just that, glorious lists to put what you’ve learned from these two ladies into practice!

22-Days-to-a-Fresh-Start  Meal-Planning-Made-Easy Meals-ePlanner

Once you’ve got a budget in place and want to start planning meals you need recipes right? Never fear, there are so many great options to pick from! I haven’t read each cookbook yet but that’s okay. (I may just end up passing them along for some else to enjoy.) I want to point out my tried and true favourites.

I am a fan of almost everything Kimi of The Nourishing Gourmet creates. She is a sweet woman with a talent for creating nourishing meals that are so good! I own both of her print books about Salads and Soups and her ebooks as well. A few meals in Everday Nourishing Food ($4.99 value) are a bit more on the gourmet side, look those as a healthy and cost-effective way to have fancy meal out that would cost SO much more. Kimi, also has a simple and regular fair in her book that follows eating with the seasons, another great way to save money on food.

Shay’s book From Scratch ($9.99) is a jewel. I love to sit and look at the pictures from their farm and kitchen. She teaches you how to make tasty meals in your own kitchen. I’ve had the print edition for over a year now and love it! Learn from Shay how to make basic staples that you may be used to buying from the store.

Mandi’s Easy. Homemade. ($5.99 value) is just that! Think of something buy in a store, coffee shop or restaurant and I bet she’s covered it! You are never going to want to buy bread crumbs, mayo, pesto, chocolate syrup or seasoning mixes again. These are so much better for you, cost less to make and taste a gazillion times better.



Just these 5 books together would cost over $35 and it would be well worth it but with the bundle sale you get these 6 books plus 74 other resources and $200 worth of bonus products for $29.97! For that price it’s okay if every resource isn’t what you want or need. You have the freedom to pick and choose what you want to download to keep. If you want you can always gift the ones you don’t want to a friend. This sale is 95% off the regular price of everything together.

Old-Fashioned Dill Pickles

Old-Fashioned Dill Pickles in a salt brine- Nourishing Simplicity

I love a good dill pickle! There is something tantalizing about the salty crispness that comes from a delicious pickle that just draws me in. I think I have always been a bit of a foodie, even when I was little. I ate pickles of every kind but my favourites were always crunchy dill refrigerator pickles. I only ate the ones off the shelves when there was no other option.

I still remember the first time I tried a Bubbie’s pickle about 19 years ago while visiting a woman in our co-op’s house. They were so amazing, I was in love! My mom decided to buy a case of them since we liked them so much. I was giddy the day they arrived but I didn’t get to eat one right away since we had pickles in the fridge. So my mom put them in the garage pantry until we were ready for them. It was a sad, sad day a month later when we discovered all our pickles were bad, they had fermented too long and bubbled over all over the place. Sadly my mom never bought them again but I never forgot about them.

Old-Fashioned Dill Pickles in a Salt Brine- Nourishing Simplicity

“On a hot day in Virginia, I know nothing more comforting than a fine spiced pickle, brought up trout-like from the sparkling depths of the aromatic jar below the stairs of Aunt Sally’s cellar.”

~Thomas Jefferson

Back when I first got on the nourishing food band wagon I started making pickles, some were great, others weren’t so great. Through trail and error, I came to realize that the best pickles really are made from tough skinned pickling cucumbers. They hold up well and don’t lose their crispness like small Persian cucumbers (which I still use sometimes). The key to good old-fashioned dill pickles is the salt brine. No vinegar pickles will ever hold a candle to old-fashioned salt brined pickles. There’s nothing wrong with adding whey (which speeds up the fermentation process), I just prefer to do without to make it pure and simple pickles Kosher style. Plus if someone has a dairy allergy these fit the bill.

Pickles are famous throughout history for their amazing taste and health benefits. It’s no wonder that the body craves them. They are teeming with beneficial bacteria. Bubbie’s pickles have 15,000,000 active good bacteria per 1-oz serving! Old-fashioned dill pickles are good to eat when you have the stomach flu or a virus, even just a bit of the brine will allow the bacteria to go to war to kill the virus.

I generally eat a pickle a day. When I am visiting family and friends I buy a jar of Bubbie’s and a bottle or two of kombucha at the store to keep my gut healthy and happy.

Old-Fashioned Dill Pickles in a Salt Brine- Nourishing Simplicity

Some pickles for your thoughts:

  • Cleopatra claimed pickles made her beautiful.
  • Christopher Columbus brought pickles with him on his voyage. The sailors ate them to keep from getting scurvy.
  • The Americas were named for a pickle peddler, Amerigo Vespucci.
  • Many people belive that the first pickle was cured in Mesopotamia around 2400 B.C.
  • Pickles were rationed during WWII in the US so that they could be given to the soldiers.
  • Aristotle praised the healing effects of cured cucumbers.
  • Pickles were being produced at home and commercially in Virginia as early as 1606.
  • Dutch farmers in New York grew cucumbers all over the area that is now Brooklyn to sell then to dealers who cured them in barrels filled with varying flavored brine by 1659.

“Rhoda stared at the bumpy, pimply skin of the pickled, sighed, and bit through the crunchy outer layer. The pickle burst in her mouth, and the tart, garliky juice sprayed out across her tongue and combined with her own saliva in the most delightful way. Delicious!”

~Rhoda Straight and True by Roni Schotter

Note: Rhoda Straight and True is a wonderful coming of age store about a younger girl growing up New York City during the Korean War. If you have never read this book I strongly suggest reading it.

These pickles are so much easier to make since no canning in required, you can can a batch in no time! Feel free to make the pickles your own by using all the spices suggested or leaving some out. Maybe you love garlic and want to add a few more cloves. You will notice the use of oak, grape horseradish leaves or black tea bags. They contain tannins which help the pickles retain their crispness. The use of them isn’t necessary but strongly suggested. This recipe makes 1-quart canning jar. If you are a huge pickle fan you may want to double or quadruple it.

Old-Fashioned Dill Pickles
  • 6-8 small pickling cucumbers (about 3 inches long) or two large pickling cucumbers quartered
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 TBS salt
  • 2-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 head of dill plant
  • 2 4 inch long sprigs of dill
  • 1 oak, grape or horseradish leaf or one organic black tea bag (optional)
  • 1 tsp of black pepper corns (optional)
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds (optional)
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  1. Soak your cucumbers in a bath of ice water for at least 30 minutes. (If your cucumbers are fresh from the vine you may skip this step.)
  2. Pat the cucumbers dry. Cut off any of the vine that may remain attached to the cucumber.
  3. Pack them into the jar(s). If you are using larger cucumbers slice into spears (wedges).
  4. Add the spices, dill and leaf (tea) if you are using.
  5. Mix the salt and water together. (optional, heat the water on the stove and stir the salt in until dissolved. Allow to cool.) Pour the salt brine over the cucumbers.
  6. The cucumbers need to be submerged at least 1-inch bellow the brine. You can cover them with plastic wrap, fill a plastic zip-lock bag with small stones or marbles or a sterilized rock to keep the cucumbers submerged.
  7. Screw on a lid or loosely cover with a cloth depending on your jar or crock.
  8. Leave in a dark place for up to two weeks.
  9. Transfer to the fridge or cold storage like a root cellar (some day....sigh) for at least 9 months if you can have that much self-control.

Old-Fashioned Dill Pickles in a Salt Brine- Nourishing Simplicity


Old-Fashioned Dill Pickles in a Salt Brine- Nourishing Simplicity






Simple Thai Pesto

Simple Thai Pesto

I am a huge pesto fan! I use it all the time. It is amazing on pasta, to dip bread in, in hummus, on a chicken sandwich, on pizza or just about anything. I guess it could be considered more of an addiction, a good one though, right? My standby is a dairy free version that is made creamy with cashews.

Recently I had an extra bunch of Thai basil on hand that I didn’t have the time to make the dish I had planned on so instead I decided to use it to make a simple Thai pesto. It’s is the same basic idea of traditional pesto sans cheese with Thai flavors like coconut oil, peanuts and Thai basil. It takes minutes to make and is perfect on top of meat, rice or noodles.

Simple Thai Pesto
Cuisine: Thai
  • 2 cups thai basil, packed
  • ⅓ cup unsalted peanuts
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ tsp unrefined sea salt
  1. Add all the ingredients to your blender. Blend on high until compleatly smooth.
  2. Keep in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Thai Pesto

Simple Peach and Honey Ice Cream


Simple peach ice cream, it’s the prefect summer treat! There are few things better than fresh peaches and ice cream in the summer. That is why I decided it was time to marry the two for this creamy, frozen dessert. Hot summer days always seen to be better when you can enjoy a bowl of fresh homemade ice cream.

I’m over at The Nourisning Gourmet sharing this simple peach and honey ice cream!