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Most-Read Posts of 2010 & Sustainable Goals for 2011

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I’m not a person who has ever been very quick to prepare new year’s resolutions and follow them, but not because I lack motivation, desire to improve, or good ideas. I’ve just always thought to myself: “why wait until the new year to make plans? Why not make goals when it’s appropriate and timely rather than when it’s perceived to be the right time?”

I’ve always sort of compared it to buying Christmas presents just because it’s Christmas. And it’s true, I’ve always had an infinitely difficult time organizing myself to go out and find the perfect gifts during the most horrendously busy and stressful time of year. Just like my goals, I want gifts to be meaningful, not obligatory.

However, there’s also something to be said about getting motivated after the holidays are over, when there’s finally a bit of time to collect myself and think about what kinds of projects I want to accomplish over the coming year.

What really makes this time of year easiest for me to start something new, is not because it’s the new year – but more because a huge amount of stress and activity has finally come to a close, and compared to the complete insanity of the holidays, the next few months should be more quiet and calm (note the operative word should).

And every new opportunity to plan something always leads to another open door…just like in the picture.  :)

Here are the top 10 posts from Agriculture Society for the year 2010:

  1. My Home Medicine Cabinet – What I Use to Remedy Ailments
  2. 17 Ways to Boost Your Immune System for the Upcoming Flu/Cold Season
  3. My Liver and Gallbladder Miracle Cleanse Experience
  4. Common Myths About Food & Nutrition
  5. Is Cheap Food Really Cheap? The Hidden Costs of Industrial Food
  6. My Kitchen Staples – How I Keep My Family Healthy
  7. Allergies & Disease, Medications & Disinfection – Is There a Connection?
  8. Gallbladder Disease and The Standard American Diet – My Personal Account
  9. 11 Healthy and Nutrient-Dense Foods At-A-Glance
  10. The Truth About Raw Milk, Part I

I have never posted a top 10 on my site before this year – mostly, I suppose, because I am often so wiped out after the holidays and I want nothing to do with my computer for a few days.  After a cursory read of this list though, I started to realize that posting it might be useful as a tool to look at which topics my readers are most interested in seeing. This list definitely reveals common themes of detoxification, natural remedies, and using food to heal the body.

In all honesty, this is not too surprising given the fact that for the last 8 months or so, I’ve been thinking about creating an online detoxification course. This is also something which kept coming up in conversation with various people at the Weston A. Price Wise Traditions Conference in November as well.

Detoxification is certainly a topic I’m really interested in, and there are so many aspects of this topic to choose from, there’s no doubt it’s a great topic for a class.  Many people simply don’t know where to start. I’ve been detoxing for the last 5 years in one way or another – whether it’s my every day diet, removing things out of my home or other regular environments, or actively participating in some type of cleanse protocol. I have come a very long way from where I was in 2005 when I was just discovering how I could fix my own health through diet and cleansing, and it’s something I want to share with others so they can benefit from what I’ve gone through.

So, coming in the year 2011, you can expect an online detoxification class from me. I can’t say right now when exactly because I have full-time writing projects that are going to continue to keep me busy (and that’s a good thing), and most importantly, earning income for our family. Our family solar/green IT business is still getting off the ground, and in this economy, that hasn’t been easy. However, we actually made more profit this year than the previous year (2009, which was the year we started), and that is a promising occurrence. With my new job creating content for various clients, I think this year is going to be even better. We are constantly finding new ways to market our products and locate new customers who want to embrace sustainability in living.

More goals

I’m going to plant a garden this year again, and hopefully it will fare better than last year. I know a lot of people had failures with their gardens as well. I ordered from Heirloom Acres and planted about 12 different plants from seed. Our yield was that most of our tomatoes didn’t do well (although we did get some), and the only other plants that produced were lettuce, a few carrots, and a few peppers. I always use some type of organic fertilizer, and I think what I used this year – a Happy Frog fertilizer, wasn’t the same as what I used last year.

I’d like to take a moment and encourage anyone thinking of planting a garden this season to support Terroir Seeds, one of Real Food Media’s newest sponsors. I was fortunate to get to meet Stephen and Cindy Scott at the Weston A. Price Wise Traditions Conference in King of Prussia, PA in November, and what great people they are.  They have one of the prettiest catalogs I’ve ever seen, a great membership program for customers that’s quite stellar, and offer the best in heirloom/heritage varieties of seeds for produce including vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers. Stephen and Cindy live in  Chino Valley, AZ. Please visit them if you are ever in the area and also their site and support their business.

I’m also very committed to improving my digestive health in order to positively affect other aspects of my overall health.  I’m thinking about doing more liver/gallbladder miracle cleanses this year. I started a homeopathic protocol last year which made it necessary to put the continued liver/gallbladder cleanses on hold. I’m now thinking that might not have been the best decision because it delayed my liver/gallbladder cleanses which are supposed to be performed consecutively and until no more stones are passed. Fortunately I had only done one instead of several, and in this case it’s much easier to start again.

These are topics you’ll definitely be seeing more of in the coming year, as well as in-depth information about food politics and sustainability, and the science and application of nutrition towards health.

A thank you

I also spend a considerable amount of time supporting other blogs in our community who have important posts and messages to get out to the world, whether it’s leaving comments or posting information on Facebook or Twitter. And it’s critical to keep moving the message about real food forward and out. I have so many favorite food blogs that it would take awhile to list them, but any of those who are part of Real Food Media, which I joined as a featured blogger last year, are certainly included, as well as a variety of others. If it weren’t for many of these great people, I would not have been able to gain such a great network of like-minded people and friends with whom I can count on for support. Please know that I appreciate your support as readers, commenters, and fellow bloggers more than I can adequately express.

I also greatly appreciate those who came to my aid in December when I was under a stressful work deadline and agreed to guest post for me so new content was still available on my blog:

Lauren Snyder Grosz, a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Educator who produces content for Liberation Wellness. I had the opportunity to meet Lauren at The Weston A. Price Foundation Wise Traditions Conference in November of 2010, and I was very pleased to make her acquaintance. Lauren does fantastic work and I hope to be able to keep up on her posts in the future.

A Moderate Life – this site has so many great things to see – recipes, blog carnivals, regular features, and giveaways – all based around nutrient-dense diets and real food. Alex Clark has been a big cheerleader of my blog, and I really appreciate her support! I am planning to do a guest post for her in the next couple of months as a thank-you, and because her site is just so awesome.

Tender Grassfed Meat – author of the book by the same name, food activist Stanley Fishman does a great job of providing wonderful information about how to prepare meats traditionally and posts about the importance of sustainability and our food system. Stanley and his wife Keren have also been a huge supporters of my blog, and Stanley has left plenty of great comments over the last year. Thanks Fishman’s, I appreciate you and all you do for the real food community!

The Urban Homemaker – a family-run business dedicated to providing useful and practical kitchen equipment and much more as well as great articles on cooking and homemaking, with Marilyn Moll. Her site is truly a cornucopia of information, recipes, and other great articles about all kinds of things in the kitchen and cooking. Don’t miss checking out her site, it’s a wealth of interesting and useful information.

Nuturing Naturally – a brand new friend I’ve made recently, Ruth Ann Bowen, from Facebook. Ruth Ann and her co-founder Rebecca Wirtz have a great site dedicated to natural living, recipes, food, and much more. Please visit her site and tell her I sent you over. It’s pretty obvious Ruth Ann is committed to sustainability and healthy living, as she puts her heart and soul into her posts and information she writes.

All of these I’ve mentioned here are such dedicated people who are helping to carry on the message about health and real food. I appreciate each and every one of you so much. Thanks for all you do. Here’s to a bright and brave new year, where together we will conquer some of the challenges we face in the food politics realm and continue to educate and spread the word about food as a healing tool for the world.

Did you miss the first post of the year?

12 smart ways to go sustainable in the new year

Or how about the last five  posts of 2010?

Changing ingredients for a nutrient-dense diet- from Marilyn Moll

An inheritence squandered - by Lauren Snyder Grosz

Rustic baked chicken with cheese and bacon

How to get more calcium in your diet

9 reasons to make bone broth

This post is part of Simple Lives Thursday, hosted this week by Culinary Bliss.

 

Activism Green Living Healthy Living Healthy Meat Kids & Family Raw Dairy Real Food

My Weston A. Price Conference 2010 Experience

www.mypicshares.com

I attended the Weston A. Price Conference this weekend in King of Prussia, PA, and what an experience this was! The entire weekend was an overwhelming, wonderful, rewarding mix of meeting people, attending lectures, and learning new information…oh, and the food. Did I mention food?

Our morning started out with the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund breakfast, which I was told was an oatmeal bar. Now for someone who doesn’t eat many grains, I wasn’t sure I would find much to eat. I was told there were other things to eat like eggs too, so I decided to go anyway. What I found was an amazing offering of a huge variety of foods. I got so full, I nearly rolled out of the dining hall afterward. Here’s what I had:

Pasture-raised sausage, a hard boiled pastured egg with butter, yogurt from raw milk with blueberries and maple syrup, organic herbal tea, beef broth (from pastured cattle), and a glass of raw milk. It was delicious and filling!

Then I attended some lectures with Sarah Pope (The Healthy Home Economist) and Elizabeth Grange (Nourishing Creations). We saw Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez, M.D. speak on holistic cancer treatment and Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride, M.D. talk about GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) – and the connection that what we eat has EVERYTHING to do with disease and illnesses – from autism to ADD and ADHD, to other mental disorders like depression, anorexia, bulemia, schizophrenia, and bi-polar to digestive ailments and respiratory problems, as well as asthma, osteoporosis, allergies and food intolerances.

Then we went to lunch. Every meal we had at the conference was incredibly filling and satisfying (and delicious!). Amanda Love (The Barefoot Cook) is the amazing chef who led an exceptional team of others who prepared all our food. All I can say is WOW – thank you Amanda for all your hard work and efforts to make the food as spectacular as it was! I’d also like to thank Cathy Raymond – what a magician she is! I can’t even imagine how much time she and her staff spent making sure every detail was just right and thought of – they are incredibly efficient and marvelous group of people who work for one of the best causes I can think of. I am so grateful for their efforts!

I can’t write this post without saying how much I loved meeting and appreciate every one of the bloggers in Real Food Media. What a wonderful bunch of motivated, inspiring, and great people. It’s so great to be part of such a fantastic group of people who I consider to be like my family.

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You are all supportive and caring in a way that I can’t express my gratitude for sufficiently in mere words. I’m so lucky to be able to work with people I like and respect so much, and have the chance to make such important changes with for our food and health environments.

Here are some of the other great bloggers I met: Lisa Rose from Real Food Digest, Kathryn Garson from Kat’s Food Blog, Kelly The Kitchen Kop, Alex Lewin from Feed Me Like You Mean It, Kim Knoch from The Nourishing Cook, Lydia Shatney from Divine Health, Jenny McGruther from Nourished Kitchen, Kimberly Hartke from Hartke is Online!, and Jo-Lynne from Musings of A Housewife.

Two bloggers from Real Food Media also received activist awards this weekend from Sally Fallon Morell at the Awards Banquet on Saturday Night – Ann Marie Michaels (of Cheeseslave) and Sarah Pope (of The Healthy Home Economist).

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These amazing women are two of my friends and people whom I admire very much. Ann Marie has worked consistently for the past couple of years to make Real Food Media what it is today, and without her the real food movement might not be as far along as it is. Sarah writes amazing content for her blog and she has a large following of readers. Both of these women and all the other bloggers inspire me to do the work I do – and I just want everyone to know how much I appreciate them!

All weekend there were people to meet like Kaayla Daniel, David Wetzel, Stephen Guyanet (of Whole Health Source) Mark McAfee, Sally Fallon Morell, and so many others who make it their mission in life to produce sustainable products or travel to give seminars, and work constantly to educate and inform the world about a better way to maintain health and eat food. These people do amazing things and I am so thankful they are there, doing what they do to return our ways of producing and eating food to how they used to be, as well as helping to shape the way people view health.

One of the highlights of the weekend was the Saturday dinner event and awards banquet where Joel Salatin (one of my biggest heroes) spoke about how we need to be the change that’s necessary to alter the way we think about food and how we grow it, prepare it, and eat it. Watch this short excerpt from his speech:

Joel runs Polyface Farms in Virginia, and is a farmer, statesman, scholar, and activist. He is helping to change the way our culture thinks about raising animals for food, and being in harmony with the land while doing it. Thanks Joel and all the other folks at the conference this weekend who made this event one of the most fantastic I’ve ever attended in my life.