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How to Stay Healthy and Lean Without Dieting

Candi JohnsI have the secret to staying healthy without dieting, running, being hungry or joining the gym.

homesteading collage

Go buy a small homestead and get some critters, plant a garden and raise your own food. It's true. I have the blood-work results to prove it.

No gym. No diet. No marathons. Nothing but homesteading.

Homesteading as a hobby has some great side benefits. It not only provides a fulfilling, enjoyable life; it also produces healthy food, and ultimately reaps a fitter, healthier, stronger you.

It's the beginning of a new year. The time when gym memberships, resolutions and diets begin!

I want to be healthy. I want to feel good. I want to have energy. At the same time, I don't want to diet. I don't have a gym membership. And I can't run because I have tried to destroy my ankle. Ugh.

This is one of the reasons I live the country, grow food and milk a cow. I want to be healthy.

So, here's what I say to my 2 daughters (14 yrs and 11 yrs):

Be healthy and strong.

Not perfect
Not a size 6
Not flawless
Not hairless
Not thinner
Not prettier
Not younger
Not sexier
Not skinnier
Not lighter
Not less wrinkly
Not less flabby
Healthy and strong.

Whatever your size or shape ... Be healthy and strong.

Sometimes I need to hear the words that I say to my girls. The size clothing I buy doesn't matter. The measurement around my waist doesn't matter. The number on the scale doesn't matter. Just be healthy and strong.

Living a "homesteading" life lends itself to this goal.


fences to stretch,
shelters to build,
animals to move,
eggs to collect,
cows to milk,
cheese to make,
coops to clean,
stalls to muck,
calves to feed,
manure to spread,
chickens to butcher,
butter to make,
pigs to feed,
ice to break,
deer to process,
dinner to cook,
lard to render,


Not to mention: gardens to plant, harvest and preserve ... it truly is a never ending cycle of life. If you are reclaiming your food and where it comes from you are going to get some exercise. You are going to learn some cool life skills. You are going to get your hands dirty.

It makes me think of all the work that goes into my favorite breakfast in the world (which happens to be a farm fresh egg fried in pastured lard):

I have to raise chickens so I'll have eggs
I have to raise pigs so I'll have pork fat
I have to get the giant pigs to the processor so he can put my pork-fat into a bag for me
I have to render the fat into lard
I have to fry my fresh egg in my healthy lard in my cast iron skillet

That's a lot of work for an egg.

Around here we try to fill our bodies with real food. I believe it's possible to stay healthy and lean without counting calories. Or going on fad diets. Or counting count points. Or starving ourselves.

Eat Healthy

I eat what I want — but I eat mostly real food. Real raw milk. Real raw butter. Real raw cream. Real fruit and vegetables. Hormone free, antibiotic free, organic meat. Non GMO. No preservatives. No artificial ingredients. No pesticides. No round-up. No stuff I can't identify or pronounce. Real food. The stuff my great -great grandmother ate.



I want my body to be strong so I can live an active life into old age.

If you are homesteading you are probably stacking hay and working with large or small animals. You may be building barns, sheds or coops. You will probably be gardening, moving manure and tilling. You may hunt, explore the woods build fires or play in creeks.

No matter what you are doing on your own homestead, it will probably be good for you.

Homesteading as a hobby is much more than just a fulfilling, enjoyable life; it also produces healthy food, and ultimately reaps a fitter, healthier, stronger you.

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