Where Has the Time Gone?


I can’t believe it’s Friday again already! This week has seemed to just fly by. We’ve been busy doing school, trying out new recipes, playing outside.

This week I’ve also been doing a big study of the “Trim Healthy Mama“. I’ve been hearing about this book for quite a while. I finally took the plunge and bought the pdf version. This is a system for losing weight but more than that it’s a lifestyle that will help your body to be healthy not just thin. The two – thin and healthy – are not always synonomous.

Boiled down to two sentences the eating plan is this – Every meal and snack needs some form of protein. Never include lots of carbs and lots of fat in the same meal or snack. There are lots of recipes clearly written out to help you plan your meals.

Maybe someday I’ll do an in-depth review of this book. It’s 650 pages of down-to-earth information and recipes. The book was written by two sisters. The things I appreciate are that they are both busy homeschooling mamas to several children, and they both are on budgets. Those two things assure me that this plan is doable for me.

Next week my husband and I plan to start eating the way they describe hence all my studying this week. I’m already excited about some of the recipes I’ve seen. The best part – this plan includes chocolate! I don’t think a plan that omitted chocolate would work for me.

I’ll give you updates from time to time about how we’re doing. My husband and I both hope to lose 30 pounds, and beyond that to just improve our health in general.

Now it’s your turn. What have you done this week to improve your health?



Many years ago when I first started having babies I used cloth diapers. I was very faithful for the first 2-3 babies but gradually over the next few babies used more disposables. Then with baby #7 we bought a front loading washer and I couldn’t get the diapers clean. For a front loading washer to clean properly it needs to be full. So I just gave up on cloth diapers.

Then while I was pregnant with baby #8 I started to think about using cloth diapers again. The main reason being is that I believe they are so much healthier. I also knew we would need to buy new ones because what I had was pretty much used up. Thankfully a blog I follow, The Humbled Homemaker, was just doing a series on cloth diapers so that gave me a good place to start my research on what I wanted.

I had mostly flat diapers I had to fold and pin myself with a few shaped diapers with velcro tabs a friend gave me. This time I knew I wanted to spend the money on some nice, easy-to-use diapers (read minimum amount of work for me). I also sent an email to Erin from The Humbled Homemaker to get her thoughts on how I could clean the diapers because we still have the front loader. She suggested throwing something in with the diapers like rags. I had thought about that. Since I have two old sheets that I never use I figured they would work.

So I started hitting all the online cloth diaper stores. I finally settled on some all-in-ones that have a pocket. Basically these diapers will fit your baby from 10-35 pounds. They have a pocket that opens with a zipper on the outside. As long as the diaper is only wet you can open the zipper, shake the insert out and reuse the diaper. The thing that sealed the deal for me is that these diapers are made in Canada. So with some money we were given for our baby when he was born we ordered a dozen diapers which came with two inserts each – one large and one medium.

It was so hard to wait. I was excited. This was going to be a whole new experience for me. And when they came! I was in love. Their bright colours are fun to see and, boy, do they work! I still can’t believe how the liner stays dry while the insert is soaking wet. The first night I decided to try them for the night, but if I had to change them in the middle of the night we would be using disposables at night. I’m too sleep deprived to give up more sleep to diaper changing. No leaks at all. Then since we were running low on diapers for my toddler I decided to try him in the Baby Kangas. They fit him as well as they fit my newborn! I will admit to still using disposables at night and in public for my toddler, but my baby goes everywhere sporting his bright, comfy diapers. I will also admit to being less than excited about changing a dirty diaper but the benefits are worth it so I put up with it.

These diapers are almost as easy as disposables for me, and I know they’ve got to be more comfortable for my little ones. There are so many options now that weren’t available even twenty years ago. So if your sitting on the fence on this one, give it some more thought. I’m so happy I decided to go back.

Here’s some good news. I should have posted this earlier but better late than never. The blogger who started me thinking about using cloth diapers again has just written a book covering everything you would ever want to know about using cloth diapers. This week you can get it for $9.99 plus a bunch of freebies and giveaways. So head on over and see what you think about “Confessions of a Cloth Diaper Convert“.


my baby sporting his new diaper

Grain, Grain Come Our Way


I was going to put this up yesterday, but with one thing and another I wasn’t able to.

Anyway, this week we made our annual trek to a farmer’s store – Oak Manor Farms – where they sell all kinds of organic grains. We bought 260 kg (573 lb) of various grains. Some I only bought a small amount of like pot barley and a creamy brown rice cereal because I’m not sure if we’ll like them. We also bought quick cooking oatmeal (for no-bakes! and other cookies), steel cut oats, hard wheat berries, rye berries, spelt and yellow split peas.  We also bought 10 litres (2 1/2 gal) of maple syrup.  It feels so good to have all these grains again.  We started finishing up last years supply just last week. We’ve been making do with store-bought bread or white flour – not our favourite.

What did you do this week to improve your health?OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Introducing Vitamins


Let’s talk about vitamins.  We all know we need them, but what are they?

Vitamins are a chemical compound in our bodies that regulate chemical reactions to turn food into energy and living tissue.

There are 13 vitamins; a few of these can be produced by our bodies, but the majority have to come from outside our bodies. We would like to believe that our diet alone can produce all we need. Sadly, because our soils are so depleted this is no longer a reality. Everyone needs to supplement to one degree or another depending on our lifestyle and diet.

A lack of one vitamin can impede the function of another. It can also cause a deficiency disease. An example of a deficiency disease is scurvy. Scurvy is a lack of vitamin C. Sailors used to suffer from scurvy on long voyages when they had little or no fresh fruits. When the British navy realized what was causing scurvy they began to send limes and lemons with their ships so the juice could be added to the sailors’ daily grog. Hence the derogatory term “limey” was born to refer to British sailors. Eventually the word was used of Brits in general and lost its negative connotation.

Over the next few weeks I plan on doing a series on the various vitamins. We will look at what they do for us and good sources for each vitamin both in our diet and with supplements.


stressSo I’d like to make Fridays a day that we share something we did during the past week for our health.

This week my husband and I attended a seminar taught by one of the doctors at the naturopathic clinic that we go to. It was called “Managing Stress and Fatigue”.

Two things that really clicked with me were the symptoms of adrenal fatigue and the need to get rid of refined sugars from our diet.

Stress is actually a good thing. It helps us to be alert and ready to go. The problem is when we are constantly on the alert and our adrenal glands become fatigued from supporting this state of readiness. This is when we get distressed because our stress has exceeded our mental and physical resources. Some of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue are dizziness, excessive tiredness and a high craving of sugars and refined carbohydrates – all things I struggle with.

The good news is is that there is much I can do to help give my adrenals the rest and recovery they need. This can be done by limiting the sugar and refined carbohydrates in my diet, striving for a minimum of twenty minutes of physical activity every day and aiming to be in bed by 10:30 every night. Apparently our adrenal glands renew and restore themselves between 11pm and 1am. So when we stay up late we are not allowing our adrenals to get the rest they need from the pressures of the day. These are all things that can be done without spending any money for supplements that would help. Supplements are important but when the budget is tight you can always start with what is free.

So what did you do to help your health this week?



We are the Schonhaar family, and we enjoy learning about healthy living. We don’t just study though, we strive to practice what we learn. We want to invite you to come along on our journey of healthy living and learn with us. We hope that we can be a blessing to you along the way.

We have eight children so our home is often noisy, messy and full of fun. With eight children we’ve learned that eating healthy is actually cheaper than otherwise. We make most of our food from scratch, do a little gardening and a whole lot of preserving.

We’ve also learned that we cannot get all of our nutritional needs from the food we eat so we supplement with vitamins and minerals believing that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When we are sick we strive to cure the cause not treat the symptom with as natural a means as possible.

So come on in, don’t mind the noise and see if we can help you on your journey to good health.