About me

Welcome to The Secret Homesteader

After 7 years of maintaining my Neverlivingwithout blog I have decided to take another turn in my life.

Living a gluten free lifestyle has helped me live a more normal life than I had ever dreamed. I never lived without! My health improved and majority of my stomach problems ceased. I have been practicing yoga since I was in high school and I have used that as a way to deal with stress. After living in our camper for over 4 months while we built our house, my stress was starting to spiral out of control even though I was unaware of the damage it was doing.

Starting in the fall of 2013 I began getting sick….

It brought back horrible memories from my past stomach problems.  I was unable to eat any solid food! For the next 3 months I basically survived on Boost. Yuck! Even the thought of that processed drink disgusts me. I had not consumed corn syrup in years because it caused me migraines and last year I ended up drinking it a couple times a day for months. I was able to find a few better alternatives that stayed down but the Boost stayed down the best. Right around Christmas I was supposed to attend a Green Bay Packer football game with my husband and I actually had to tell him to go without out me because at that point I could not stay up passed 9 pm with out it taking me days to recover. I was constantly living off of sugar alone. At that point it had been over 10 weeks since I had eaten solid food. I had a horrible experience in the ER where I had an orange size bruise for over a month from where they tried to draw blood. I had many tests done and thousands of dollars later, nothing! I was never given an answer from any traditional doctors….

My ND performed multiple acupuncture treatments through this time and I had an extremely terrifying experience at one of my appointments. This was at the beginning of my illness. I started shivering uncontrollable. For 20 minutes straight I shivered and cried through that acupuncture session. This had never happened before or since. What started as a 24 hour flu had progressed to much longer.

After doing research, I discovered that this little 24 hours flu bug had turned into a full blown autoimmune flu. If you are like me, you are probably wondering what the hell is that? I have Celiac’s Disease and Hoshimoto’s Thyroiditis, both are autoimmune diseases.  Another thing I did not know at the time was how much stress can destroy your body. Basically the stress was forcing my body to destroy itself. It was tricking my immune system into thinking I was having a Celiac or Hoshimoto flair up.

Between building our house, living in a camper with 3 kids and trying to prepare a years worth of lessons for 3 jobs without a dedicated space to work, I was slowly letting the stress win. I have always loved the challenge of teaching in an alternative and adult education setting but it started to change that year. Our beloved principal was retiring so his mind was on leaving even at the beginning of the year. This began to take its toll on all of the other teachers, including myself. I survived the 2012-2013 school year and packed up everything in my 3 classrooms. We were moving, our school not our home. I started the 2013 school year with a breath of fresh air and a new location, or so I thought. That is a whole other story in itself.  So you might be wondering what happened with my stomach issues.

I was getting back to that…

When I first got sick I had just made the decision to start a paleo lifestyle. Unfortunately, I could not even think about any kind of meat or even vegetables. The worst part was eggs. We have our own chickens and ducks and I have always loved eggs. What ever my body was going through it decided eggs were the enemy. Even the thought of eggs would make me gag.  I could not even stand the smell or thought of them.  It has taken me over a year to be able to eat a single egg. I am now able to eat a hard boiled egg 1-2 times a week but still no more than that. I used to eat 2 eggs daily for breakfast 4-6 times a week. I have yet to figure out the connection of my sickness to why I could not eat eggs but I have come to accept it. It took nearly 6 months for me to be able to embrace the paleo lifestyle again. I would slowly make changes and cutting out sugar was nothing new to me.

Today, April, 4th 2014 I have made a complete commitment to change my entire family’s way of eating.

Not only am I committed to the paleo lifestyle but to a sustainable lifestyle. I feel these two go hand in hand. My home and my secret homestead has become my sanctuary. It is where I can go to escape the stresses of working too many jobs. It is where I can love my children and watch them grow into beautiful young women. Instead of bringing work home and adding to the stress I am committed to leaving work at work and the stress along with it. I will dive into our new garden plan and helping my girls design their first rabbit hutch.  I will add to our ever growing lil hobby farm even if my husband thinks I am crazy. I love our lil family and our secret homestead!

During the week I am a slave to my boss and her evil ways but when I return home I am free to feed my soul and live off of our land….

Contact Me:

If you ever have any questions about what has been written or if you would like to re-post some of my ideas, feel free to contact me.

Email: brenda@neverlivingwithout.com

Disclosure Policy for neverlivingwithout.com

This policy is valid from December 29, 2011

This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. For questions about this blog, please contact brenda@neverlivingwithout.com.

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At the time of each post, all listed items were found to be gluten free. ALWAYS read labels and consult the company prior to consuming any food item if you are unsure of the gluten content.  The recommendations are all kid approved. The decision to list products by name was to help others save time and money while searching for great gluten free food to feed their family. All recipes with Weight Watcher points listed are not approved by the Weight Watchers company. These recipes have been converted to gluten free using personal recipes and  from Weight Watchers cookbooks. Weight Watchers points were calculated using the online recipe calculator. Any current member of Weight Watchers Online has access to this calculator.

4 thoughts on “About me

  1. Brenda,
    Thank you for your post. I enjoy hearing how others were diagnosed and how they are overcoming their battles living GF. I have a Blog with only 2 post, the bottom post is my story (if you’re interested) http://www.help4livinggf.blogspot.com . I would like to tell you about an all purpose GF flour you can use for all your old favorite recipes (the ones which you made in your gluten days). You can use it just like regular flour. We love this flour and have excellent results. Our Celiac support group is amazed at how well it works. It is called Better Batter. The website is http://www.BetterBatter.org Hope this helps you out.

    Be Blessed,
    Nancy~~~~ http://www.SistersThreeGlutenFree.com

  2. It was good talking to you today. We would love to have you join us in our Celiac Support Group at Northstar Health System in Iron River, Michigan… LivinGfree!

    We will be in touch. (LivinGfree Christmas cookie exchange scheduled for December 8, 2011 at the Northstar Health System Cafe)

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