Monday, March 19, 2012

bloggity blah blah blah

black raspberries. summer 2011.
black raspberries
I think if there were a book of rules for blogging, the number one rule might have to be something along the lines of "never talk about your blog, on your blog". I mean, it's narcissistic enough that we sit down each day and talk about ourselves......let's not talk about ourselves, talking about ourselves. 
me me, starts to sound like that.


But today I'm going to break that rule, (that I just made up)
and talk about 
The Blog.

I have been torn lately on what to do with The Blog (yes it's a proper noun). 
I have been blogging now for five years, and after that many posts I sometimes find myself wondering what I could possibly say that I haven't already said. I am really, truly, not that exciting
(I say this as I sit here in pajamas with a green clay facial mask on)
I do not blog crafty cuteness, my [lack of] fashionable outfits, or recycle popular material from other blogs. It's just me over here.

But the reason I stay here, bugging you each week with odd little bits of our funny little life,
is really because of YOU. 
(and you and you and you and, well......all of you. 
please tell me you love The Muppets too) 
I get so many emails each week from YOU, saying how you've made tiny changes for you, or your family, and I am just so happy to help. 
share. relate.
(ps. I am the WORST ever in the universe at replying to emails. My days just get so busy. I try try try,  but it usually takes me a while to get back....thank you for your kindness, and your patience:)

For those that don't know my whole story, 
here is the shortest, most simple version I can come up with:
Diagnosed with Lyme disease.
Lyme attacking my body. 
Need to make my body strong to fight back. 
Need to keep "foreign" things out of my body.
Start slooooooowly changing diet.
As few chemicals, fake, processed items going in to my body as possible. 
As many whole, real foods in to my body as I can cram in. 

It has been a slow change over the last few years, I'm still learning new things all the time, and applying them to our lives. Trying to find a balance that works for us.

We have also started to learn and appreciate more the healing powers of what we put in our bodies. I have mentioned before that my Lyme doctors offer a good mix of traditional medicine, as well as alternative treatments. We have learned that sometimes the things we need to help our bodies heal, grow, and be healthy, can be found simply in the grocery store, or even growing in our backyard.

I have also found the outdoors to be healing. This may not be for everyone, I realize, but I want to continue to share my love for being outside and convince as many people as I can to join me in the mountains. You know, and live in our hippie commune together, tossing our bras, our dreadlocks blowing in the wind. stuff like that.

I see so many people who are unhealthy, sick, tired, and just unwell. 
I see people trying to loose weight by eating processed, packaged food......that's not actually food. 
I see kids growing up not eating vegetables, or even knowing where food comes from.
I see people spending too much time indoors and on the couch. 
Kids who don't know how to play.
I know that ALL these things can be remedied by small and simple changes over time.

And THIS is why I must continue this silly little blog.
These are all things I LOVE to talk about. Things I KNOW about.
Things I am constantly learning about and have a strong desire to share, so we can all change together.
Things that I had to learn, because of my Lyme, but I am so happy that these changes came so early in my life so I could raise my kids this way. 
These are things that I want to share with you--you who are also learning right along with me,
or those who have no idea where to even begin.
and all you in-betweeners.

So now I want to ask you.....
What is it that YOU want to know?
What is it that you want to find here on The Blog?

What are you trying to change? 
Do you have questions about starting healthy habits?
Swapping out processed snacks for better options? I'm even playing around with the idea of having any willing participants send me a few items on your grocery list that you want to swap out for better options, and I will try to help.....what do you think? 
Who wants in?

Last year I wrote about my slow but sure change over the past few years (here--start at the bottom)
I am continuing the How to Eat Food and How to Play Outside series. 
But I feel like there is always more. 
More room to grow and learn--all of us.
I want The Little Red House to be full of good food, outside play, and just be a happy little place to share our ideas. 
And cake. 
Always, cake.

ps. I do not claim to know "it all". 
haha, haha, ha.
maybe .05% of "it all". 
But I would love to help how I can.
When I can't help any more, then I will leave blogland and skip along on my merry way.
So don't be shy!

pps. I am going to start posting fascinating/informative food/health information links on my facebook page. 
Feel free to post any interesting articles you find as well. Also feel free to ask questions over there--sometimes it's easier for me to give a quick answer on my page, so everyone can see it, rather than email out the same answers to different people. 
This also gives others the opportunity to jump in and share their experiences as well.
We can all discuss and share and learn together. 

ppps. I am not perfect. Like I said, it's always a process of change, and finding a balance. 
For example, I love to bake, and it's not something I will give up. evvverrr. I make it work because I don't bake that often, and when I do, I TRY not to eat ALL of it. 
Are we 100% organic? No! 
I will never, ever be a vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free, etc. 
I would appreciate that criticizing comments be left unsaid--respect the choices that I have made for myself, and I will mind my own business about yours. gracias.


Sanda Vuckovic Pagaimo said...

These are really good reasons to continue!!I discovered lately food intolerances that brought me Hashimoto and am trying to change my eating habbits.Agree with you completely,we are what we eat!!

kami said...

I love your inspires me! We have had so much experience with healing through our food...I could never go back. It has completely changed my son and I feel better for it. We began eating whole foods and gluten free to heal my son two years ago and through that I discovered that I also do not tolerate gluten. I'm so glad we have had to walk the path we've walked (albeit very hard at times!) because we have learned so much and come so far. I just wish I could eat the yummy cakes you post :) I'm so glad you are finding healing too!

Kim Schoetzow said...

Food questions I always find myself asking are: What is the best whole grain to eat - oats, rice, quinoa, millet, bulgur, etc.? What are some easy seasonal produce recipes? What are the health benefits of different herbs and spices?

More importantly, I like to read your blog because I feel like I am connecting with a person who has similar interests as me, in a way that's greater than just reading recipes. I like to read about other's lives and get an insight into what makes them happy, and in turn, might make me happy too. So keep bloggin' about whatever pops in your head. It is enjoyable.

Rebecca Jane said...

I've been following your blog for about a year now, and I love almost about everything about it! I particularly like your photography and cooking tips... I haven't found many blogs with recipes that taste good AND are healthy. I would love to see more of your delicious recipes on The Blog. :)
PS I also love when you take a somewhat uncommon produce (like kale!) and give several different ways to prepare it. This is SO helpful!
PPS You may have mentioned this already, but when is your cookbook coming out? I can't wait to buy a copy!

Kris and Corissa said...

I love your blog. I love the food recipes and your outdoor series. Honestly, your blog is wonderful the way it is!

Ana Morais said...

i'm not a vegetarian, i'm not 100% organic, but i try as much as i can (as you do) to have healthy habbits.
Thinks for the tips.
Keep up with the wonderful blogging!

sheena said...

Thanks girls! YOu are all so nice:)

The cookbook I am photographing (not my recipes, just my photos.....but the recipes are AWESOME!!) will be coming out sometime this year. We don't have an exact date yet.

Brittany said...

well, i love your blog and don't find it boring at all. my husband has lyme's disease and i have my whole host of issues as well, so i love reading about people who are going through similar things. i also like associating with good people, which i happen to view you as. and yes, your recipes are uber delicious. :)

jess&rob said...

Hi Sheena! You don't know me at all but I have loved following your blog from MN for about a year now! One thing that I love to read on your blog are your posts about your garden!! I too have been on a crusade for only REAL food! The next stop is to garden. I didn't grow up watching my parents garden so don't really know where to start...I would love more detailed snippets of what you did in your garden this week--or things you've learned about HOW to garden for clueless people like myself! Keep up the great work!!

kate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Courtney said...

O I love everything about your blog, I tell everyone about it! You inspire me daily to really take care of my body, give it what it needs so it can take care of me. I don't know if you have done a post on canning,I'm not sure if you do can things. But I feel like this is something I need to know how to do. Are canned items healthy? I know nothing! Anyways love your blog, please don't stop!

Kimmie said...

I as well love EVERYTHING about your blog, love your willingness to share all about your life, love all of your healthy tips and I have tried SO many of your recipes and have PINNED many so I can try those as well. I LOVE your photography, it inspires me to be more creative in my own photo taking adventures. I LOVE your passion for life, Love your passion for your kids and hubby and the great outdoors! I love that there is another girl out there that is NOT crafty like me.

I love your clever way with words...I can't think of anything I don't like about your blog. You make me want to "JUMP for JOY" (like the adorable photo of you at the beach that you posted last week!).
Keep up the great work as long as you are posting, I will be reading!

kassidi bridge said...

I love you and your awesome blog! I always feel like I can relate personally to everything you say! Tell us EVERYTHING you know! :)

The F Girl said...

I just found your blog recently and immediately subscribed by rss, without reading that much. Why? I guess it was something in your tone that spoke to me, something that made me feel at home, something that sparked a feeling of recognition. I am glad you found reasons to continue your blog, because I have been looking forward to getting to know you better! :)

JeannineG said...

What I love: the food, photos, fantastic family fun. My four kids are older (6-14 years) so I am using your inspiration to tweak the few meager minutes a day I get to be a mommy into something worthy of a memory. Thanks for the lovely motivation!

Especially love: the seasonal produce bit where you take one veg and prepare it several different ways on the same day. SUPER inspirational and extremely helpful to those of us who are not vegetarian by birth!

Would love to see: are you a gardener? (New to these parts still, so don't have the ENTIRE backstory on you yet!) If yes, and you're interested, would LOVE some tips on veg in containers (aside from the tomato/herb thing.) We are an Army fam and are averaging 18 months in a home before we pack it up and move to a new time zone, and landlords are less than thrilled with tenants who rip up their lawns to put in veg, and then leave it fallow the following year when they are trying to fill the house with a new tenant. I ask out of respect for them, not the backache that I never get putting in a brand new garden. Over and over again. Really.

Thanks for the enthusiasm and the positivity Sheena -- it's brilliant!

tegyn said...

sheena! I ADORE your blog! Its always so fun and fresh and happy. But even more than that, I am so thankful for it (and you!) for how much I've learned here! really. I am so much more aware of what is food and what isn't food...I know how to value what is real now. thank you for that!!

i love love love your recipes...cant ever have too many of those...

and something that really has helped me in the past are your running/yoga posts. I never know what to eat before/after/during my workouts to make sure that my body is getting the nutrients it needs and absorbing what it needs. so basically..when and what to eat?? That might be fun to see.

and i always love your healthy lifestyle posts in general. the best.

you are awesome. I'm so happy you're here!

kate said...

On a personal note: I love your stories (and tips) on how to change. Your lifestyle is, honestly, awesome. I am constantly trying to get to a good, healthy place for me and Lando NOW so when we have a kiddo we will already be living a good lifestyle. When I first read it seemed so intimidating, but you make living healthy seem so accessible and doable. And it is! And I love that! I really love to hear what keeps (and kept) you motivated.

On a food note: I LOVE your simple recipes. Cabbage and gorgonzola? Check. Homemade Lara bars? Check. Honey Mustard Dressing? Check. My favorites are the ones that are simple but healthy and SO GOOD. (I am also so glad you got a recipe tab!)

On another personal note: This is by far my favorite food/lifestyle blog. I am so glad you share that here. And it doesn't hurt that you take such beautiful photos, or that your kids are so cute, or that your hair is so rockin'

kelseyadame said...

I have to know, what camera do you use!

Lindsay said...

I've loved every post but especially your posts about processed food and changing from a processed food lifestyle. What I'd like to know is how I could do it on a limited budget.

Your recipes are the best. I've made at least ten of them and at least five of them are my go-to recipes. I can't tell you how many times I've made your "Gorilla Poops." Jeff eats them in one sitting, sometimes without sharing with me. Your pictures are gorgeous and your thoughts are so unassuming. They aren't fraught with how awesome you are. You are honest and your blog is beautiful. I love it. Thank you for inspiring me to live my life. Sometimes when I see your pictures of adventure, I think, "What am I doing on this computer?" I've got to get out and enjoy being alive. I love it. Seriously. Thank you.

tanalicious said...

yay sheena.. you're awesome. lets go bowling! or watch our kids play jedis..

Stephanie said...

You are an amazing photographer, and I would love to see/read about photography tips and such. Also, your recipes and the food photos that go with them are fabulous! I think you should keep doing what you're doing, because is working!
I look forward to seeing what exciting things you continue to post (complete with all your inspiring photography!) :):)

Krystina said...

You are my hero.


Tara : Damon : Ellis : Hudson said...

i LOVE the food posts, especially since we are also trying to eat more foods- as i cannot seem to shake the weight i gained after marrying and am now pregnant with my second baby (and was just pregnant 12 months ago), i am trying to not gain weight much this time around and give up processed foods. which is really hard for me. and i lack creativity. i'd love some ideas on feeding my 1 year old, he seems to be getting a little ... selective. and i cannot think of good ideas!

c.miller said...

I really enjoy reading your blog! I also live in slc and would love you to do some posts on local spots to hike and camp and fun things to do with kids. I love the posts where you show your fun outdoor activities so I would really like to know the best places. Plus I want to take my family to the redwoods possibly late summer early fall and I was wondering if you could do a post telling where you stayed and what places you hiked with the kids. I too find so much happiness and peace in the mountains! Love the blog.

Han said...

Sheena - I adore your blog and am grateful for the insight you give to your life. I am currently expecting my first child and would love to see more posts about fun things to do with kids in the outdoors (and the indoors for those cold wet days when we are stuck inside).

Elizabeth said...


I very much enjoy reading your blog! I think reading here is enjoyable because you come across as very real and genuine. I also like your photography, recipes, and other healthy living ideas.

Like someone mentioned above, I would love to know more about gardening. I am (mostly) clueless about that.

Liz :)

Brooke said...

yes, i would like in. i have been a follower of your blog for quite some time - because i love the idea of it all. your stories are cute and fun. your photography is honest and raw. i just love to read it and pretend one day i might join in.
well, i'm tried of pretending and would just like to join in already. i read your blog and think, oh thats cute. she is doing a bunch of different stuff with kale. lucky her and her family (filled with sarcasm). then i tried kale chips at a friends house. (yum! ok, i really need to open up here) or i read about how you didn't plan dinner and so you make your "easy" everything soup. then i read the ingredients and directions and think - ok, that is NOT easy.
because easy to me if throwing a pre-made dinner bag into a skillet and viola.
however, so not healthy. how healthy can a frozen premade bag of food be.
so, here I am - taking that first step and admitting that if i really want my family to eat healthier, i will have to make SOME effort. and i am ready to do just that. my oldest son has a dinner pallet of about 5 meals (grilled cheese, corn dogs, chicken nuggets, peanut butter & jelly or mac & cheese) so to say this is going to be touch is an understatement.
but i feel ready to make the first move. i have multiple grocery items that i would love some healthy alternatives!
i would love to hear about your garden. how, when, why, what to do - as we just got a space all ready for one!
i would love to read as simple as they get recipes. i really do not enjoy cooking that much (chopping an onion usually sounds like to much.) but i am ready to grow and start to try and enjoy it! and put some effort into it :)
any tips on how to get the kids to eat better. what do you do for breakfast/lunch/dinner/snacks for them?
maybe some tips on where you get your groceries, what your grow yourself (yes, sometimes i see the ingredients your list, and i have no idea what it is).
so, to make a long request, well - longer. what is the best, easiest way for me to start and succeed (not asking much at all, huh?)
again, i just love your blog and will continue to follow, but now i am going to try and play along. you are just too dang cute :)

Maria said...

I'm a huge fan of your blog. I'd love to see more food related posts. Your recipes are some of my favourites!

Maria @ Orchard Bloom

janelle said...

I'm a lurker. Your blog is the closet thing I have seen to how I feel about food, exercise and the outdoors. You inspire me and help me along my journey of finding the right balance for my family. I dwindled down my blog list and your's remains. I look forward to your posts. Thanks for taking the time to write them.

Nicolette said...

Your blog is wonderful. I am so glad I found it back when I did. Your blog has been a large contributer to my interest in health for myself and my family. It is my major interest right now. It's fun to read your blog and the comments of others to be inspired and learn. Some things I'd like to learn are how to really cook plant based foods. I'm trying to avoid meat, especially red meat. But I'd like to know where to get local properly treated meat when I do want it. Another thing would be processed food alternatives w/o always having to make my own (granola bars, etc). I agree with the outside play for kids. I really wish we didn't live in an apartment with no good place for my kiddo to run and play!

The Rowley's said... do I replace crackers?? And like granola bars? Thanks.

Kelly said...

Sheena, I love your blog - your humor, your writings, your food, your adventures and THOSE PHOTOS - make my day everyday - be it landscapes or your adorable kids or wonderful Charly. LOVE THE BLOG! Hope it goes on for a long time to come. It lifts me up everytime! Thank you, thank you.

Lauren said...

Love your blog! Love everything about it. Great, great info, and beautiful photos. Favorite subjects are healthy recipes and fun things you do with your kids. Thanks so much for putting it all out there!

Kellie said...

Don't leave blogger land! Yours is one of my favorite blogs because it's not all about "look how cute and perfect I am." You've really inspired me creatively and health-wise. It's a slow process over here, but I love learning.

Katyha said...

so very interesting...I know we need to eat a WHOLE lot healthier and spend more time away from the computer but here in Sydney it is cheaper to buy a meal at McDonald's than go to the fruit/vegetable shop. (Not that I eat McDonald's that often or at all just saying what it is like here). I'd love to know what to do to improve my anxiety...I have it really bad. I realise the things I am suppose to do like get plenty of exercise and eat the right things but when you are a family of four, full time mum and student as well as doing an internship you sometimes reach for the fastest thing. I have many other symptoms apart from anxiety like hair loss and the doctors here are truly horrible, I have been to a few and their only advice is wash your hair less. So things have to change and by me making a change it will benefit my family immensely so I will be happy and very grateful to hear any advice :) I've only recently started following but I gotta say I love your blog ;)

Laura said...

Your blog is one of my favorites. Because it's earthy. Because it's got fabulous photography and recipes. Because you play outside. Because you have a great writing style.

One thing to remember -- your readers won't remember everything you've written over the past five years. Some readers are new and haven't heard your stories at all. No harm in a little repetition.

Keep sharing your loves and your life. :) I love it.

Jessie said...

I love your blog! Your photos, your recipes, and your adventures keep me coming back. Yours posts about simple changes resonate most with me. I'm all about baby steps. :)

Blog on!

Laura_ve said...

This post is really perfect. I came here today (from work, bad Laura) because I've been feeling depressed, a couple of things going on and no sign of strenght left. Things like, crying after a phonecall with a customer that I would have put past me with a laugh previously. I came here because you make such a good work in facing the difficulties of life with a smile on, and it shows in your blog.
So, please just continue. Reading your blog is like taking a big relaxing breath.
Best wishes (and a hug) from a soon-to-be-27 years old girl from Italy. (and I truly love that you are a young mom)

Amber said...

Everything you post about, I enjoy reading. Everything. The recipes (I have about half on a list of my "must make and eat!" recipes), your photography, little personal posts about things you do with your kids and your husband, places you visit, how you eat healthier, and everything in between.

I'm in the process of learning how to garden (this is a very SLOW), I noticed we both began reading "organic gardening" so I would love if you talked about anything you've learned. And PHOTOGRAPHY! I would love to see how you edit your pictures and how you set up your shots... I'm also in the process of learning FOOD photography.

I love finding, and following, blogs that I have a lot in common with, being able to go to someone with questions, and sharing ideas, so yes please please please continue to blog on!

Annie said...

Thank you for this great post! I am almost 26 and have been struggling with an undiagnosable (but most likely soon to be diagnosed as fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome... aka who knows what) illness, that has completely turned my world upside-down, for over a year now. My friend pointed me to your blog for your great lara bar recipe, and I've been reading ever since. I thought I already was a healthy eater before all this happened to me, but lately I've been trying to get rid of all the processed stuff, and your blog has been super helpful. Keep any tips/recipes coming!

Brooke said...

ps - please don't totally consider me hopeless. i do buy only organic meat from a local farm. (1/4 of a cow in my deep freeze right now) yay me! and the kids do eat fruits and some veggies. so there is hope!

Sarah Beth said...

I love that I have a chance to catch up on what an old friend is up to even though we may have lost touch way too long ago.

I love how you utilize the land around you. It's inspired me to really reconnect with my Montana land. There is too much beauty around here. How can I not explore every inch of it.

Plus you give me great new ways to look at food. I love trying new things that you post on your blog. You make them look so easy.

I'd say keep trucking along with what you're doing, because everyone seems to love it!

emily said...

I want to hear more about feeding your children. I know your kids are great about eating their veggies, and I know it's a natural part of your eating style. My daughter is almost 1 and is starting to eat more real foods these days. I'd love to hear more about what you feed your children, what you do when they refuse things, what concessions you make (i.e. what NOT so healthy things do you let them eat?), etc.

I LOVE your blog. Thank you for your beautiful photos, kind encouragement, and genuine happiness.

Unknown said...

sheena i just love the blog-and im glad you blog.

my favorite thing is everything-but that you keep it real. seriously yummy healthy food, cute mommy kiddo moments, fun with the husband, being outside in this amazing world,and even fighting that nasty Lyme. Im also glad that you dont give us daily outfit updates. not that i would mind that-but its kinda silly.

One thing that i would be interested seeing would be one day of meals in photos? Just throwing that out there. Your the creative one! Thanks for being my only daily read. Just what I need with my mornin breakfast.

Emily said...

I would love some new millet recipes. Not baked goods, savory dishes.

Unknown said...

I love your blog and thanks for keeping it going. I love your recipes. I love seeing snippets from your life because it's so different from mine. I like that. I like you.

Jessica Kettle said...

girl. still love you and your blog! i miss seeing you around! so. i love the idea of an "eat this, not that" kind of post. like instead of fruit snacks and chewy granola bars (hello SUGAR) to bring as snacks on the go, what would be a healthier option? i'm all about homeopathic, heathy, hippy goodness in theory, but my problem is i just don't DO it. partly because i don't have enough info, and partly based on TIME. and i'm not a super amazing chef. i'd really like to be better and this is the perfect time of year to improve with all the fresh produce that's going to be available! any tips on living and eating healthier that are quick and easy would be MUCHO appreciated! like your go to healthy meals and snacks on a time crunch. or things you always make sure to stock in your house. and if you need a grocery list swap participant, count. me. in.

Jessica Kettle said...

girl. still love you and your blog! i miss seeing you around! so. i love the idea of an "eat this, not that" kind of post. like instead of fruit snacks and chewy granola bars (hello SUGAR) to bring as snacks on the go, what would be a healthier option? i'm all about homeopathic, heathy, hippy goodness in theory, but my problem is i just don't DO it. partly because i don't have enough info, and partly based on TIME. and i'm not a super amazing chef. i'd really like to be better and this is the perfect time of year to improve with all the fresh produce that's going to be available! any tips on living and eating healthier that are quick and easy would be MUCHO appreciated! like your go to healthy meals and snacks on a time crunch. or things you always make sure to stock in your house. and if you need a grocery list swap participant, count. me. in.

mfh said...

oh please keep blogging! your voice is so authentic + in the infinite blogosphere it's so refreshing to read. plus your pictures + recipes are amazing. + your life/fam/journey is really inspiring.