5 ways we pursue a natural lifestyle

I've shared a handful of times that living a natural lifestyle focused on achieving optimal health & wellness for ourselves and our 3 daughters is incredibly important to us, and after hearing from so many of you, I decided it was time to put together a post about it! 

Below I've listed the Top 5 ways that we maintain a natural lifestyle as a family. When I say "natural" this is what I mean...focusing on using + consuming plants, foods, supplements and products that are found in nature and/or as close to nature as possible, meaning the least altered/processed things available. 

Ultimately, we believe these lifestyle choices work because we have witnessed their positive effects in our own lives and with our own children. Our girls are rarely sick, have never had ear infections, have never been on antibiotics, etc. It seems like I look around and left & right kids are sick with colds, flus, etc. and we are so grateful that ours rarely are. There is the occasional runny nose from teething or a mild cold in the dead of winter, but otherwise that's about it.

Each one of these keys is meant to be a starting point. My biggest goal is just to inform you and share the knowledge I've gained personally through my education and the education of others who are close to me (Registered Dietitians, Chiropractors, Naturopaths, etc.). Know that I too am still learning. Every day I learn more and I absolutely love it. I hope to instill the love of life-long learning in my girls, the way my parents and grandparents instilled it in me.

A little background: I went to a private 4-year university and earned by Bachelors in the Science of Nursing. I have clinical background experience specifically in mother/baby care, cardiac care and public health. I graduated in May 2012, went on to take my NCLEX in July, passed (hallelujah!) and then became a Registered Nurse. Wow that feels like a lifetime ago! I have so much passion when it comes to pursuing a natural lifestyle, especially as a Mom of young children and am incredibly grateful to have close friends and family with similar desires and backgrounds who serve as resources for our family in addition to my own pursuit of knowledge on these topics.

Top 5 Ways Our Family Pursues a Natural Lifestyle


A key component in staying healthy & free from sickness is our diet. This is an obvious one but remains one of the most important decisions we have made in our family -- to nourish our bodies with the highest quality food available. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). What we put in, we cannot take out. If it is going into our body (or into our children's bodies), we want to be sure it is high quality, beneficial and safe.

This includes buying meat that is organic, grass-fed, antibiotic and hormone-free and eating fish that is wild caught (never farmed), buying cage-free pasture-raised organic eggs, purchasing organic produce whenever possible, and steering as clear as we can from heavily processed foods. Other choices we have made related to diet include:

+ Not giving cow's milk to our children (at any age); our bodies just weren't made to digest it and we have seen how much healthier our daughters (especially Olivia, our first born) became once we removed it from their diet. If you are going to drink cow's milk, whole is the best kind to drink, and raw if possible. Whole is a thousand times better for you than skim, despite the higher fat content.

+ Not giving yogurt to our children; many people view it as a "health food" but most yogurts (even the fancy organic kinds) are purely a skim-milk base with added sugar. People are often concerned that their children are not getting enough calcium if they eliminate milk and yogurt, but calcium is actually found in many dark leafy greens, which we incorporate into their diet through smoothies, our go-to lentil recipe here, etc.

+ Limiting sugar. Have you heard that sugar has the same affect on the brain as cocaine? It is that addictive. We try to limit sugar as much as possible in our children and ourselves because of the inflammatory effects it has, which contribute to more frequent sickness, pain and an overall yucky feeling. Obviously, there are exceptions, but when we do give them something with sugar, we make sure it is a special treat in moderation. As you probably know, sugar is hidden in everything...bread, crackers, ketchup, etc. Even in baby food pouches that are solely made up of fruits and vegetables, some pouches have as many as 15 grams of sugar. Be sure to check labels before giving your child something. Even natural sugars (such as those found in fruits) need to be given in moderation, because the body doesn't process natural sugar any different than artificial or added sugar. Sugar is Sugar.

+ Drinking a lot of water. Water is basically the only thing we drink, with the exception of fresh squeezed (unpasteurized) orange juice as a treat (Dustin and I only, not our girls). We are not soda or coffee drinkers at all, except on rare occasion. We sometimes enjoy peppermint or green tea, but really the majority of the liquid we consume is alkaline water (our favorite kind here). We avoid all tap water and instead use filtered water for steaming and cooking and then directly consume alkaline bottled water. Alkaline water is said to balance the pH in your body, since it neutralizes much of the acid consumed in a person's diet. If you are interested in learning more about alkaline water, I can work on a separate post related to that. 


We invest in high quality supplements that are taken by us and our children in combination with a healthy diet. We don't depend solely on the supplements to meet our needs for nutrients but rather in conjunction with the nutrients we consume through our food. Below is a basic list of the supplements we take, what they are for and where you can get them.

Dustin and I both take a multivitamin made by one of my favorite brands, Garden of Life.  Remember when I said it's important to do your research? Even the brands of supplements you are consuming (or giving your children) should be brands you trust. My best friend originally recommended this brand to me during my second pregnancy after she switched to it from a different brand of prenatal vitamins (which happened to be the same kind I was originally taking). After switching myself, I found I just really loved the brand and their products and we've stuck with them since. You can read more about Garden of Life here.

Year round (whether I am pregnant, nursing, trying to conceive or not) I take the Garden of Life Organic Prenatal Whole Food Multivitamin. It is vegan, gluten free, non-GMO verified and contains an incredible amount of nutrients taken from whole foods. Dustin takes the Garden of Life Whole Food Multivitamin Supplement for Men. And I haven't taken it personally (because I just always take the prenatal version), but here is the Garden of Life Whole Food Multivitamin for Women. I also take Nordic Naturals DHA. During pregnancy I like this prenatal DHA and I just recently switched over to this postnatal Omega-3. Finally, I take an additional 1000 IUs of Vitamin D3 and also like the Nordic Naturals brand; I take this one here. My multivitamin has 1000 IUs and then take an additional 1000 per my midwife's recommendation.

Dustin and I also take a daily broad spectrum probiotic that can be mixed in water, juice, smoothies etc. Ours is made by Metagenics and can be found here. I also use this specific probiotic powder when I make skin salves for rashes, scrapes, etc. for the girls. All you need for that is: 1/4 tsp probiotic powder mixed with 2 TBSP coconut oil and 10 drops lavender oil, apply 2x daily or as needed.

Last but not least, we drink Dynamic Fruits & Greens, which is a nutrient-rich, superfood formula with whole food concentrates. I have shared this in my fridge and pantry tours a few times on my instastories.

It comes in an easy-to-mix powder form that you simply mix with water. It is available in a handful of flavors; a few of our favorites are Strawberry Kiwi and Pink Lemonade; they also make a chocolate and mint flavor, which we use to make "healthy hot cocoa" for the girls in the Winter, and it provides a blend of 100% natural fruit and vegetable extracts, vitamins, enzymes and symbiotic intestinal floral -- high in antioxidants, lignans and phytonutrients. It has powerful antioxidant benefits, supports immune system function, contains enzymes, probiotics and fiber for digestion, supports detox of body systems, is a natural body alkalizer, and is free of gluten, preservatives, MSG, stimulants, caffeine and added sugar. It's also Non-GMO. We purchase it from Nutri-Dyn. One canister has approximately 30 servings, so it varies on how long it lasts us because all 4 of us are drinking it a few times a week. If you were just to order one canister for yourself or your child, the idea is that it would last about 1 month if you gave it to them every day, but we use it about 3-4 times a week for our girls and ourselves.

Olivia (4) and Penelope (20 months) take the following supplements:

Fun Play Multivitamin (Kidz Play Line by Systemic Formulas) -- This is a liquid multivitamin made for children ages 2-4 and contains the classic line up of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and botanicals to support everyday health and wellness.

Brainy Play Essential Omega Fatty Acids (Kidz Play Line by Systemic Formulas) -- This also comes in liquid form, is made for children ages 2-4 and contains ultra pure, essential fatty acids (Omega 3, 6, and 9) from fish oil as well as botanical oils (such as coconut oil). Omega Fatty Acids are for support of healthy heart, brain and nervous system development in children.

Garden of Life Raw Organic Probiotic Supplement for Kids -- Probiotics are constantly being talked about and are incredibly beneficial in a diet and through supplementation. Probiotics are live bacteria (microorganisms) that are beneficial for your body, especially your digestive system. Think of your gut (when it is healthy) as a flourishing rainforest -- it is full of lush, good bacteria that is incredibly helpful in keeping your body healthy. At times, there is also bad bacteria in your guy (and in your body in general), such as when you are sick. Continued probiotic supplementation ensures your body has a healthy amount of good bacteria to keep you feeling your best. 

Nature's Way Immunables Kids Immunity Packets -- These are powder form and come in vanilla-flavored single-serve packets and contain immunobiotics, which is just a specific type of probiotic for immune health.

Nordic Naturals Children's DHA -- This is a liquid form of DHA that can be given directly or mixed into water; we always just give it directly to our girls instead of mixing it, usually in the morning.

They also get the Dynamic Fruits & Greens drink 3-4 times a week. We mix it in water and give it to them in their reusable water bottles, sometimes adding additional probiotic or immunobiotics into it and sometimes not.

**A key component of supplements, especially in children, is that they get a variety of them. So we don't give the girls the same supplements every day, but rather switch between a handful so their bodies get a variety and the most benefit.**

So in our house, for example, it may look like this:

Sunday: Dynamic Fruits & Greens Drink with 1/4 teaspoon of probiotic powder added (either the Metagenics one we take, it's safe for kids too or the MyKind Organics RAW one)

Monday: Immunable (probiotic) packet mixed in water; dose of Fun Play multivitamin; dose of Brainy play omega fatty acids

Tuesday: Dynamic Fruits & Greens Drink with 1/4 teaspoon of probiotic powder added

Wednesday: RAW Probiotic mixed in water or smoothie; dose of Fun Play multivitamin; dose of Brainy play omega fatty acids

Thursday: Dynamic Fruits & Greens Drink with 1/4 teaspoon of probiotic powder added (either the Metagenics one we take, it's safe for kids too or the MyKind Organics RAW one)

You get the idea ;) The most important thing is variety. And making sure that the supplements your kids are taking are in addition to eating healthy food. Supplements cannot be a replacement for nutrients found in food -- our girls still eat lots of veggies, fruit in moderation (usually berries which are higher in antioxidants and lower in sugar than fruit such as bananas or apples), and food with healthy fats (such as avocado, salmon, coconut oil, almonds, walnuts, etc.). I try to add healthy fat into their diet in small ways every day -- cooking scrambled eggs in avocado oil, giving them a half avocado to share at lunchtime, mixing coconut oil into their mashed sweet potatoes or butternut squash with dinner, etc. 

Moving on to the littlest in our family -- Adaline gets the majority of her nutrients through my breastmilk, which means it is very important that the supplements I am taking are high quality and that I take them every day because they are being passed to her when I nurse. Some moms also add digestive enzymes into their diet to help their babies digest breast milk if in the past they have had digestion issues or tummy troubles. Adaline hasn't ever had issues so I don't personally take digestive enzymes but have heard of others having success with them.

So in addition to the prenatal multivitamins, postnatal DHA and additional 1000 IUs of Vitamin D3 that I take and transfer to her through my milk, I give her Nordic Naturals Baby's DHA by mouth with a dropper once a day. The dosage is based on weight, so for a baby 0-10 lbs, they recommend 1 ml, for a baby 11-20 lbs, 2 mls, etc.

Keep in mind there are lots of ways you can supplement, and it doesn't have to be the exact same brands or products we take. The most important thing is that you are looking for high quality, pure products, and whole food based products or raw products are much better than something that has been processed with a lot of other additives, such as kids gummy multivitamins. Something like that certainly wouldn't hurt, but if you are going to spend the money on supplements, investing in the best ones will be your best bet for benefits!


This goes hand in hand with what I mentioned above -- seeking natural treatments (such as chiropractic adjustments) and using diet + supplementation to stay healthy -- instead of using prescription medicine, most specifically antibiotics.

When you take an antibiotic, it knocks out the bad bacteria in your body, but also takes all the good bacteria out with it. This leaves you (or your child) more susceptible to recurring sickness. Good bacteria (probiotics) benefits your body by keeping your gut healthy, your immune system strong and helping your body systems function as they were designed to. 

You often hear about children that are sick over & over who just can't seem to get healthy...the cause of this is almost always because a child was on broad spectrum antibiotics, often round after round, each one stronger than the previous because they keep getting sicker and sicker (this also leads to antibiotic resistance...which is a whole separate discussion!). 

Dustin and I recently watched a documentary on the topic of antibiotics and learned that a single course of an antibiotic (say, 7-10 days most commonly) knocks out the good bacteria for a full year. Without any supplementation, it takes a minimum one full year for the gut to rebuild the rainforest of healthy flora after just a single course of ABX. Think of kids (and adults) who have been on one after another and how long it could take to rebuild that good gut health. This is why probiotics are so imperative for children, and why in our family, we avoid antibiotics as much as possible. This includes both prescription antibiotics and avoiding eating any meat that has been treated with antibiotics (80% of all antibiotics sold in the US each year are for use in food animals). 

Below are a few articles related to the topic of ABX:
The Good, The Bad, The Ugly -- Antibiotics
(This article contains an easy to follow graphic that I found to be incredibly informative)

Overuse of Antibiotics May Cause Long-Term Harm (ABC News)
The Danger of Antibiotic Overuse (KidsHealth)


The third way we pursue a natural lifestyle -- and one of the reasons I believe our kids stay so healthy year round, sleep great and are generally in very good moods -- is receiving regular chiropractic care. I mentioned earlier that we go to an incredible Christ-centered clinic nearby, which specializes in chiropractic care for both adults and children/babies. Each of our girls has been receiving adjustments since birth, even just days old. I think a lot of people are scared of chiropractors (whether they just haven't found a good one or they have had a negative experience in the past) or picture someone adjusting a tiny baby's neck with a big crack. Thankfully, it's not that way at all.

The most important thing, again, when seeking out a chiropractor is finding one you LOVE. Not just like, but LOVE. You are trusting them with your precious babies and children, and you want to be sure your values on health & wellness as well as your beliefs align with theirs. We love taking the girls for regular adjustments to keep their spine aligned and every other part of their body functioning at its highest potential. Every single organ in the body is innervated and those nerves/the nervous system is housed within the spine; if any area of the spine is out of place, it causes nerve interference and subsequently issues with the corresponding organs. Chiropractic is based on the belief that the relationship between the body's structure (primarily that of the spine) and its function (as coordinated by the nervous system) affects the overall health of the body. 

I also want to mention (in relation to the next point) that so many problems babies and children face can be solved naturally with chiropractic care -- such as acid reflux, gas & tummy troubles, colic, ear infections, even regular colds and the flu. If you take your child to a traditional MD for any of the above, they are going to prescribe medicine -- an antibiotic, a steroid, etc. So many medications do more harm than good, especially in a baby's tiny body. Many parents (including us) have success taking their babies and children to see a chiropractor; when they commit to receiving regular adjustments, those problems almost always would improve or disappear completely.

Regular neck adjustments facilitate drainage to prevent ear infections. Regular low back adjustments help with digestion, constipation, acid reflux, etc. because all those nerves housed in the lower part of the spine innervate the digestive organs. Babies who are just incredibly fussy all the time, won't sleep or have colic -- any time I hear about that, I tell moms to bring them to the chiropractor. The science is so simple and it's been proven time and time again that by taking care of the spine, the whole body responds positively. If you think of the trauma of birth ALONE -- even a completely natural, unmedicated birth like I had with Penelope and Adaline (I received an epidural with Olivia), can trigger so many issues for a baby in their head, neck and spine.

We have found personally that our girls are so healthy and feel their best when they are receiving regular adjustments. They have always been incredible sleepers from a very early age and we have never dealt with any colic or even much fussiness in any of them. 95% of newborns have misalignments or cervical strain (neck tightness or pain) after birth...that alone, left untreated, would contribute to colic and sleeplessness. Think of how miserable you feel when your neck is sore or you have a pinched nerve. Additionally, chiropractic care has been shown to be 90% effective at treating infantile colic; I personally have never had a baby with colic but from what I've heard, it is so stressful and challenging, I would think at that point you would try anything to get some relief and given how successful it has proven to be, I always recommend to my friends to start with a chiropractic visit.

Additionally, when our girls seem to have a cold or any type of sickness coming on (or if something is going around at school/church/etc), or when they are teething (obviously Olivia isn't any more, but Poppy still is), we bring them in for extra adjustments because they jumpstart the immune system to fight back whatever they're dealing with. The nervous system controls the immune system and therefore, when the spine is misaligned it causes nerve interference by placing pressure on nerves, which in turn negatively affects the immune system and inhibits it from doing it's job.

If you are really interested in learning more about this and how we've personally seen various things change in our own family through it, I can do a full separate post on it. All this to say, I swear by it and cannot recommend it enough.

Below are a few articles provided to me by our chiropractic clinic that may be helpful in learning more if you are interested or have specific questions:

FAQs about Children & Chiropractic Care
Why Newborns Should See A Chiropractor
What Happens to Kids When They Don't Get Adjusted

Another great resources is this eGuidebook for Healthy Kids, which addresses many common problems + sicknesses that a child deals with and how they can be treated naturally. That can be accessed here. There is also a one minute video about why children should be adjusted that can be viewed here.


Last but not least, we use essential oils on a daily basis. I'm an independent wellness advocate for doTERRA and since we started using essential oils about two years ago, I have fallen more and more in love with them, their potential and all the ways they have benefitted our family and helped us pursue a natural lifestyle. We diffuse them, apply them topically, take some of them orally, use them in our cooking, cleaning, drying clothes, etc. A few of our favorites are wild orange, lavender, cedar wood, lemon, OnGuard and breathe.

I'm happy to share a separate blog post on our favorite doTERRA oils and how we use them in our home and family if you guys are interested. If you haven't yet tried essential oils and are interested in learning more or getting started, send me an email or Direct Message on instagram @blessednestblog and I can help you out with that too!

WOW, that was a lot of information! I hope that was helpful for you guys! I also set up a "natural lifestyle" page you can check out for additional links. My hope is that page will be filled with resources, articles and links to products we buy; as I post more on these topics, I'll add the post links there as well. What do you think? How do you pursue a natural lifestyle with your family?
Happy Monday!! XO


  1. I love following your family! I am the mama of a 27 weeker and she is always, always sick. I am open to trying anything to help her be healthier. I would love to know what your weekly menu looks like! Food for toddlers and feeding hubby! Thank you! :)

  2. Love your blog, thanks for sharing these tips for a natural lifestyle, especially the diet related information!


  3. Thank you so much for all of this information! I am a mom to Ryan (4) and Lily (20 months), and am always looking for ways to improve their diet and keep them healthy. They attend a daycare twice a week and I feel like they are always sick with something. They are both on a multivitamin, Culturelle probiotics, and I also supplement with a homemade elderberry syrup/gummy. We also use Young Living Essential oils to support their immune systems. I know you did stories on Instagram showing your pantry and fridge- would love for a listing/recommendations of meals and snacks for kids that are healthy!

  4. I'd love a post on how you use essential oils with your girls!

  5. at what age do you recommend working in all of the supplements probiotics? Are babies too young?


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