Everyone who turns to natural living does so for a reason! Perhaps homesteading or farming is a chosen profession. Some adapt parts of this lifestyle because it satisfies something deep inside.
There are yet others who raise and preserve their own food because of the health benefits they receive. Often, these are individuals who have experienced extreme health complications and in searching for answers, were led back to the natural way.
Though it may not be shared often, this is partly why the homesteading movement has exploded. People are seeing real change and this spurs them onward.
A Personal Story
I returned to natural living because of Lyme disease. I had spent several years searching for answers to my crumbling body and after receiving a diagnosis, I attended a treatment center where I was educated on how to accept and live with my new reality. One of the keys to success was found in my diet. I was educated on nutrition and consuming real, whole food.
Upon delving into this new way of life, I quickly realized clean eating was expensive! My diet also required anti-oxidant rich food, which, when living in the north, was costly.
My man and I began to realize if we could raise our own food (meat, eggs, fruits and veggies), not only would it be cheaper, but also cleaner and more nutritious.
I’ve always known that the simple farm life filled me most. With my inability to hold a regular job and without a fast-paced lifestyle to distract me, I began longing for the country once again and my man, for his own land. We knew it was time to return to our roots.
After much talking, consideration and prayer, we did a drastic move to the south and attempted to settle in a small but fertile valley. We agreed to try the change of climate, food, and lifestyle for one year. If it proved worthwhile, we’d stay.
After 4 months of searching, we found a mold-free rental home in our (low) price range where there “just happened” to be an outdoor canning kitchen and a cold room in the basement, suitable for keeping canned goods, spray-free fruit, our naturally-grown vegetables and fermented foods.
It was everything we needed keep nutrition in the home during winter months! Our landlord even permitted us to garden and raise heritage turkeys on his land. No one can convince me that all this wasn’t God’s hand of blessing on us after a very difficult time!
Nutrition Heals the Body
Naturally raised food did help. Within 6 months, we knew we’d found the answer in returning to the land. As much as I disliked having a weak body, I had no doubt as to the success of our experiment. I could feel the increase in energy and was able to once again lead a semi-normal life.
Today, I’m fully convinced: naturally grown, nutritious food helps the body heal. This isn’t true of just Lyme carriers. Take it from a few others who have allowed me (much thanks) to share their stories!
Melissa Norris of Pioneering Today shares how real food enabled her to experience real changes in her health:
“After having my esophagus and stomach biopsied for cancer, in order to avoid GMO’s, processed foods, and all the preservatives and chemicals in our modern food system, we began raising more and preserving it ourselves. This change allowed me to get off of prescription medications to control stomach acid and ulcers and I’ve been able to stay off of them for over 6 years.“
Heidi of Healing Harvest Homestead shares about her journey and battle with high blood pressure:
The medication “…didn’t work, even after making many adjustments, adding a diuretic, etc. I ended up gaining weight, holding fluids, and finally said, “ENOUGH!” I went off everything cold turkey and began taking Hawthorn daily (I’d been taking herbalism courses for several years, so knew what to try). I started using Marjoram essential oil 3x a day on my chest and went on the Whole30 plan to reset my metabolism. I make my own Magnesium Oil and I started using it religiously every evening.”
“I also started working out on an elliptical. Being on the Whole30 reinforced just why it is so important to eat ‘clean.’ I lost weight, stopped retaining water, and my high blood pressure (typically around 145/105) reduced to around 130/95. NOW, I make ALL our medicines using herbs (tinctures, teas, salves) for just about everything my husband and I need, including antibiotics and antivirals”
“We do not ever purchase meat from grocery stores, except occasionally Whole Foods or Sprouts, where we buy organic and Step 4 or 5 from WF. We grow our own vegetables and preserve them, too. We also visit our local orchard/farm to pick our own fruits and veggies in season. I make our own soap, body and facial products. In addition, we do a LOT of fermenting and try to eat a variety of types of probiotic rich fermented foods.”
Dana Thompson of Piwakawaka Valley shares about an even more personal side of her life that was amended by consuming clean food:
“I struggled with infertility (PCOS), fatigue, constant headaches and nausea. I went gluten free and that really helped – it was the beginning of a road to natural, home raised food that we are still improving on. My fatigue, nausea and headaches have resolved and while the PCOS is by no means fixed, I do have 3 children now, all naturally conceived.”
Other Benefits to Homesteading
Real food is essential to a life well lived! And when going through the process of raising our own food, there are also other benefits we receive; smaller (yet important) pieces that complete the puzzle of health.
Fresh Air Intake
Those who work full time jobs, are full-time moms and those who battle with health issues often find it difficult to get outdoors. Homesteading pushes us into the fresh air because there’s always something that needs doing outside. Growing produce requires weeding and harvesting. Animals, whether poultry or mammals, require care throughout the year, yes, even in winter! And while the air in a barn or chicken coop isn’t always clear, you’ll doubly enjoy the fresh oxygen when returning from chores!
Homesteading activities expose us to the sunlight (most of the time), and everyone knows the value of vitamin D! Raising our own food requires that we move out of the house and into the light. This lifestyle effects not only adults, but also children. In a culture saturated with electronic distractions, its not only grown-ups who need more sunlight! Living on the land will move children outdoors not only when tending to chores, but also for imaginative play and exploration.
Incentive to Exercise
Chores are wonderful way to get your body moving! Unlike plain old exercise that you are able to excuse, meeting the needs of your land and animals is a must or you’ll lose the garden to weeds, eggs to predators or animals to sickness. While it may not be intense, at least its something.
Bare Feet Provides Grounding and Stimulation
Its been scientifically proven that going barefoot stimulates good health! Grounding yourself (skin to earth) by removing shoes while gardening or doing yard work can decrease inflammation in the body. Walking on uneven ground with bare feet stimulate foot muscles, providing natural reflexology. Not only does this help relax the body, but also stimulates organs, enabling them to function to their fullest potential which also gives the immune system a boost. Sound kooky? I dare you to google it!
In a world consumed with social media instead of face-to-face interactions, homesteading with others offers opportunity to connect and bond. Natural living affords common ground to begin on for young and old alike. And relationships do make a difference in our day-to-day health. It’s been proven that those who are connected to other humans are more likely to lead a happier, healthier and longer life.
Purpose and Accomplishment
Everyone needs a purpose, a sense of accomplishment in their life! Individuals who don’t (or can’t) work a normal job often wrestle with feelings of uselessness. Even children are most settled when they have a goal to work toward, a task to accomplish, a way to contribute. It gives them purpose.
As one who is unable to hold a regular job, homesteading has become one thing I can do well. Because tasks are easily arranged according to my need for rest, it works! And I love it! Do I have a set schedule? Nope! But I can usually manage to finish whatever needs doing in a day and not overstep my physical boundaries.
Are you are experiencing health issues? Perhaps its time to take an honest look at your diet and lifestyle? Are you eating real, whole, nutritious food? Or do you simply revert to whatever is easiest and quickest? Are you looking to lead a lifestyle with relationships, fresh air, sunshine and a bit of exercise? Or do you come home after work and slump over the computer?
What part of your life needs to change in order to maintain good health so you can experience life to the fullest?