The Learning Center

9 Things You Can Do To Stay Healthy this Winter


*Please discuss any of these remedies with your doctor before trying them. This post contains no affiliate links.*

Winter has finally arrived here in Grand Forks. The snow is sticking, there’s ice on the roads, and North Dakota’s signature icy wind gusts are making our windows creak. Here I am, sitting on the floor, wiping my nose, and typing this blog hoping that my congested babies don’t wake up from naptime. It turns out that my family has caught the cold.

Ironically, I wanted to address easy ways to avoid catching every bug that goes around. I don’t think my whole family would be sick if I’d take my own advice! So, here are some easy-peasy ways to protect yourself and your family from the dreaded “cold and flu season.” These are only a few of the many ways to stay healthy:

1. Probiotics: We are HUGE fans of probiotics in this house. Ideally, they’d come from raw dairy and home-fermented foods, but you can always get them from high quality supplements (such as this, this, and this) and store-bought fermented foods. Did you know that a massive portion of your immune system resides in your gut? Good thing probiotics can kick it up a notch! On top of keeping your immune system in tip-top shape, beneficial gut microflora are key to reducing bloating, eliminating constipation (pun intended!), stopping diarrhea, weight management, mental hygiene, and the list goes on and on and on. Our favorite fermented foods (homemade) are milk kefir, kombucha (elderberry/rosehip kombucha is especially helpful for the cold/flu season), and sauerkraut.

2. Vitamin C and Vitamin D: Make sure you get your fill of these immune system essentials. We get our vitamin C through fresh fruits and veggies, as well as taking an ascorbic acid supplement. As it is impossible to overdose on ascorbic acid, I take high doses of it to bowel tolerance during sickness, and 1000 mg once a day when I’m not sick. I also add it to my daughter’s water; she loves the taste. I must mention that ascorbic acid is a synthetic version of vitamin C, and ideally we would only get it from whole-food sources. Here is an excellent whole-food vitamin C supplement. For vitamin D, we make sure to drink raw, pastured milk from healthy cows and also supplement with vitamin D3. Ideally, we would take fermented cod liver oil as our vitamin D supplement (very high in fat-soluble vitamins), but it is more expensive than we would like; therefore, we focus on getting our nutrient-dense healthy fats and nutrients through dairy and grass fed beef (and coconut oil, of course).

3. Elderberry syrup: I love to make Wellness Mama’s Elderberry Syrup recipe. It is absolutely delicious and has a little kick because of the ginger. Here is the recipe and dosage instructions. Please note that this recipe uses raw honey, and therefore should not be given to children under 1 year. Store-bought elderberry syrup is available if you’re short on time.

4. Nettle, rosehip, echinacea, and catnip tea: If you know me, you may be aware that I LOVE studying and using herbs to promote wellness. I make herbal “concoctions” almost every day and have found a few herbs to be particularly useful when fighting sickness: nettle leaves (reduces congestion and is highly nutritive), rosehips (high in vitamin C), echinacea (loaded with antioxidants), and catnip (fever reducer, gentle sleep aid, pain and reliever). Though I prefer to purchase bulk herbs and make teas based on our current needs, any or all of these herbs can be used to combat illness. They can be found in store-bought tea bags to make things easier. Tinctures of these herbs are also effective. Though I am comfortable using certain gentle/diluted herbs with my children, please do your research and talk to your doctor before giving any to yours.

5. Raw apple cider vinegar: The idea may seem unpalatable, but I heavily rely on raw apple cider vinegar (ACV) for general health. I’ve used to fight colds, UTIs, general digestive distress, morning sickness, skin rashes, [sugar] cravings, et cetera. It’s got endless uses! Relative to colds/the flu, I take 1-2 tablespoons 3x a day or more to combat sickness. When not sick, I only take it once or twice a day. Simply dilute it in water and drink. To cut the sour taste, add a pinch of sea salt or a dash of raw honey. Try not to let this drink touch your teeth as you sip it.

6. Magnesium: Sleep is hard to get when you’ve got body aches, your head feels stuffed up, and you can only breathe through your mouth! I speak from recent experience. However, despite the multiple discomforts of sickness, sleeping hasn’t been as bad as it could be. This is because magnesium relieves body aches, headaches, and any insomnia I may have. My favorite types of magnesium are magnesium glycinate (pill form; it’s very easily absorbed and is not a laxative), magnesium chloride (made into “magnesium oil” and applied topically to relieve body aches), and magnesium sulfate (aka epsom salt used in hot baths). Though I do not supplement my children with internal magnesium, I make sure to apply magnesium oil on their feet and backs before bedtime. The incredibly simple recipe is here.

7. Raw, local honey and cinnamon: Honey is a natural cough suppressant and a little kick from the cinnamon helps get over bugs faster. Simply mix them together to form a thick paste and eat it however you want. By itself, on toast, or in tea are some options. My daughter loves this stuff! This is not safe for children under 1 year.

8. Garlic: We use this to keep away the vampires, of course. Just kidding 🙂 It does keep my husband away, though! Smelling like a garlic clove is definitely not the latest trend, but it certainly does help with fighting infections. You can add it to your food, but simply chopping up a clove and taking it with water works wonders. If you can, do this up to 5 times a day, but 1 or 2 times will also be beneficial. However, getting kids to take raw garlic can be tricky. So, I recommend making GOOT, which is a simple garlic oil that can be applied topically to babies and children. The recipe can be found here. Apply a thin layer to the bottoms of baby’s feet (after testing a small area of skin) and cover with socks. Can be reapplied up to 3x a day.

9. Avoid sugar: Obviously, getting ample rest is essential for cold/flu prevention and treatment. However, it is not well recognized that sugar– the immune-dampening ingredient–will make you more vulnerable to sickness and promote inflammation. Avoiding all processed and added sugars is extremely important to beating any type of infection, whether that be an ear infection or an ingrown toenail. In my experience, allowing limited amounts of fruit and raw, local honey is acceptable during sickness, but I’d personally avoid any other type of sugar, including maple syrup.

One conundrum I’ve come across as a mother is what I can do to keep my young babies healthy without giving them remedies directly. All children, especially babies, are extremely sensitive to chemicals, even if they’re naturally-occurring compounds. I wish I had more information on how to help formula-fed little ones, but I have no experience with that. Here is what we have chosen to do with our babies, who were/are breastfed: I supplement myself with the treatments I want to give to my baby. This is because anything a mother takes will inevitably be passed through breast milk to the child. However, I do not recommend taking a lot of raw garlic if you’re nursing, as it can make breast milk taste funny and potentially give your baby gas.

I hope some, if not all, of these remedies can help you stay healthy this winter. It’s no fun feeling crumby when there are snow forts to build and holidays to celebrate. Stay warm, friends!

What remedies have helped you in the past? I’d love to learn about them. 🙂



Disclaimer: All information on this blog is for informational purposes only. I am not a licensed medical professional. Please discuss any dietary changes, supplements, or medical questions with your doctor.


dianes-profileDiane Stanislowski is a wife, mother, and researcher with the goal of restoring the practice of traditional holistic approaches to wellness and sharing evidence-based information with the public.

She lives in Grand Forks North Dakota with her husband and daughter Jane, and receives raw milk and pastured meats from Bartlett Farms.


Baby Thomas Has Arrived!


*I must first make it known that I have a low pain tolerance. Please remember this as you read my story!*

        After two bouts of prodromal labor in the weeks leading up to my “due date,” I was ready for our baby boy to make his debut. Well, that “due date” came and went, and 2 days past, my anxieties skyrocketed as my doctor insisted on different tests to check on me and the baby. I was fully convinced they’d find any excuse to induce me, despite my strong desire to give birth intervention-free. I was a wreck; crying, upset over the littlest things, and uncomfortable in my body. Everything was aching and I felt like a beached whale with stretchmarks. Thankfully, my sweet husband Dan surprised me by coming home early from work, which really cheered me up. 🙂

        We followed our usual night routine: had dinner, said family prayers, played with my daughter and put her to bed, and then enjoyed a few episodes of Frasier before hitting the hay. I woke at 1 am with hard contractions; unlike the Braxton Hicks and prodromal labor contractions I had experienced before, these were unmistakably real labor contractions. At least I’d hoped they were real…it would be so discouraging to get to the hospital and be sent home!

        I got out of bed soon after contractions started and found Dan gaming in the living room. The poor man hadn’t slept yet! He started an epsom salt bath for me, in which I tried to relax for the next hour and a half. He called his brother to come over and watch our daughter, and soon after he arrived, Dan had the hospital bag ready and the car parked out front. Contractions were coming on stronger and closer together. I focused on breathing through them, which made them much more manageable. It was 2:30 am when we left for the hospital.

        When we got there, I got out of the car and had a couple contractions on the way to the doors. This had to be the real thing! The hospital staff quickly escorted us through ER up to Labor and Delivery. I was so happy when our escort let me walk instead of insisting on a wheelchair, like they did last time! We were put in a nice labor room with a tub, and they checked my dilation. I was already at 6 cm…this WAS the real thing! I felt so relieved, but also a bit anxious. I hopped into the tub where I labored for the next 4ish hours.

       Labor was hard, as I expected. My coping techniques worked well for most of it. I continued to focus (with Dan’s priceless help!) on breathing normally, but I also found that talking to myself through contractions helped a lot. I probably looked like a crazy person…hanging out in the bathtub of a dark bathroom, talking to myself. Saying, “I can do this,” “I love you” to my baby, and “we could do this together” helped the most.

        Eventually, the contractions got extremely intense and I began to feel a little frantic. I wasn’t sure how much longer I could handle it, though it had only been a few hours. I asked for an epidural a couple times, started crying, and was trying hard to keep myself from hyperventilating. Dan helped so much by reminding me that I could do it and that I was almost done. He also handed me water and coconut water throughout the night as I needed it.

        From my reading, I could recognize this phase of labor as transition: often called the hardest part, a sign of transition is when you feel like you can’t do it anymore. Fortunately, one of my awesome nurses offered to check my dilation to see where I was at. I got out of the tub and got checked; I was “stuck” at a little over 9 cm! But, the baby was still not dropping as much as I would have liked him to. I continued to labor on the hospital bed, threw up, and contractions continued to get even more intense. They began to overlap and I found it hard to breathe, but I still was not feeling the urge to push.

        Things are a little fuzzy in my memory at this point. Somebody suggested that I have my water broken in order to move the baby down. I was so scared of more pain that I didn’t want it broken, but I knew it was the right thing to do. Suddenly, there were many people in the room: more nurses, my doctor, and others. Our doctor quickly broke my water, had me change positions, and I began to push. Finally, I felt the urge! At this point, I was not self-controlled. I had become so uncomfortable that I allowed myself to scream. The poor onlookers probably all left with broken eardrums. I think I pushed for about 20 minutes before my baby boy was born at 7:54 am. Bliss!

        Finally, I held my 8lb 9oz, 20.5 in long baby in my arms! I was a little surprised…I forgot the reward I’d receive after going through all the pain. Soon afterwards, the room mostly cleared out and it was just Dan, baby Thomas, and myself. Baby boy nursed right away for the first hour before being weighed. He has beautiful twinkling blue eyes, could hold his head up from day 1, and has the most kissable cheeks! What an absolute blessing! Every bit of the difficulty of pregnancy, labor, and delivery was worth it a million times over again. What a sweet child.

Thank you for reading the delivery story of my chunky little sweetheart! I should point out a few things that helped:

1.Drink coconut water during labor! It provided me much-needed energy to finish the job. I would have been totally dehydrated without it, as I did not have an IV.

2.READ GOOD BOOKS! Though birth is a natural process, the traumatic idea of birth that I had in my head would have scared me out of attempting to do it without any pain medication. I needed to replace my false idea of an injurious birth with the reality of an empowering, important, and completely natural birth. I got halfway through Ina May’s Guide to Childbirthand both Dan and I read the Bradley Method book. They were essential to our experience!

3.Have a good support system! If you’re surrounded by people who think you can’t do it, or wonder what the point is, REMOVE them from your birth space. My husband was my rock when I was a kite in a hurricane. At some points, I got so scared, but Dan was there to bring me back to earth and remind me that it’s all okay! Having him there reminded me that I am also doing this for him and the health of his child. You’d do anything for those that you love! Let those who are involved in your birth experience be both a support and an inspiration to you.

        As I mentioned before, I have a low pain tolerance. I am sensitive to any physical changes that I feel. And you know what? I had a natural childbirth–by choice! And if I can do it, ANYONE can do it! It is hard, hard work, but I don’t regret it for a moment and I plan on doing it again, if possible. It is absolutely worth it. I feel so incredibly empowered and recovering well. I highly recommend giving natural birth a good shot, if you can! Though not every pregnancy, labor, or delivery can go as we plan, it was worth the effort to make it the way I wanted it to be. You might surprise yourself with your strength!


Disclaimer: All information on this blog is for informational purposes only. I am not a licensed medical professional. Please discuss any dietary changes, supplements, or medical questions with your doctor.

dianes-profileDiane Stanislowski is a wife, mother, and researcher with the goal of restoring the practice of traditional holistic approaches to wellness and sharing evidence-based information with the public.She lives in Grand Forks North Dakota with her husband and daughter Jane, and receives raw milk and pastured meats from Bartlett Farms.


5 More Money-Saving Tips For Living The Real Food Life

This post contains no affiliate links. All programs/products/businesses shown are what works best for me and my family.

September 16, 2017

My second baby’s due date is tomorrow and he hasn’t yet made his arrival (phew!). So, like many growing families, we have been continuing our frugal habits and trying more new ways to save money in preparation for our little sweetheart. It has been a fun and interesting journey. I thought I’d share more of what we have found useful! 🙂 The next few tips aren’t all health-related or time-sparing, but have helped us save an incredible amount of money. I hope these recommendations can make your life a little bit easier!

1. Use Thrive Market. I compare prices on almost everything we buy, and Thrive Market (they have an app) has won the gold for buying cheap health-related items. We often buy bulk coconut oil, shampoo and conditioner (I haven’t been able to make a recipe that works yet. Bummer!), and many of our supplements. Azure Standard is another good source for bulk health food/items, and Mountain Rose Herbs is a great place to find bulk herbs/spices/teas online.

2. Use Amazon Prime. I make many of our own products ingredients in bulk. Many of those bulk ingredients come from Amazon and I enjoy my Prime membership’s free-shipping benefit. Please comment on this post for any recipes you may be interested in. I’d be happy to share mine! Here is what I make at home: toothpaste, baby wipe spray, baby bottom balm, pregnancy-belly butter, body lotion, face lotion, anti-fungal cream, magnesium oil, foaming hand soap, dishwasher detergent, and stain-remover for clothes.

3. Find a near-free or totally free source of kefir grains, sourdough starter, and kombucha SCOBYs. Store-bought kefirs, sourdough breads, and kombucha can really add up over time. But, why spend the extra money when you can simply (seriously-it’s easy!) make these items yourself? Many people who have extra SCOBYs, grains, and sourdough starter have extra, and may be willing to give you their cultures for free. If you don’t know anyone with grains or starters, you can experiment with making them yourself, buying them commercially, or see if anyone on Amazon or Etsy is selling their extras. Lots of DIY fermenting advice and recipes can be found on,, blogs, facebook, and even YouTube! We have not needed to purchase probiotic supplements in a very long time because of how cheap and effective fermented foods are.

4. If you have very young children, consider cloth diapering! It has been a fun experience for us so far. Actually, it has become a bit of an obsession of mine…there is so much to learn! We have been doing it for almost 15 months now and plan on continuing to cloth diaper all of our babies. Though some people prefer to use cloth diapers 100% of the time, we have found that it’s a lot easier to use disposables while traveling, moving, and while diapering a newborn baby in the first 1-4 weeks to avoid needing smaller cloth diapers. Even if you only do cloth diapering part-time, you’ll save HUNDREDS of dollars and trips to the store for disposable diapers and wipes! Sometimes, daycares will work with you on your preference to cloth diaper. Though diapers fit each child differently, we have had EXCELLENT success with BumGenius pocket diapers. Money-saving tip: Buy used or flawed cloth diapers, inserts, and wet bags for an extra cheap discount; most flaws can’t be seen, anyway. If they weren’t perfectly functional diapers, they wouldn’t be sold by the manufacturer. 🙂 I’ve cut up an old sweatshirts to use as cloth wipes and they’re so soft on my baby’s bottom. One last option for purchasing cloth diapers is joining a couple cloth co-ops on facebook, where bulk orders on diapers greatly reduce their prices.

5. Of course, garage sales, second hand stores, and hand-me down clothes can save you hundreds, as well. Sometimes, people will even trade items rather than sell them, which is an easy deal if you’ve got stuff to get rid of. Joining buy/sell/trade (B/S/T) groups on facebook is an easy way to do this.

Hopefully, my next post will be our baby’s delivery story!

What has helped your family save money and score good deals? Doesn’t it feel good to have a little extra cash in your wallet?


Disclaimer: All information on this blog is for informational purposes only. I am not a licensed medical professional. Please discuss any dietary changes, supplements, or medical questions with your doctor.


Diane Stanislowski is a wife, mother, and researcher with the goal of restoring the practice of traditional holistic approaches to wellness and sharing evidence-based information with the public.

She lives in Grand Forks North Dakota with her husband and daughter Jane, and receives raw milk and pastured meats from Bartlett Farms.


Watch The Farm Tour Video 2017







Preparing for Baby #2: My Labor and Delivery Approach


This post contains no affiliate links. All programs/products/businesses shown are what works best for me and my family.

Surprise! I suddenly felt nauseous, and…oops, up came my dinner. That was the first hint that my baby boy, due on September 17, was growing in my belly. But, because I was only 7 months postpartum, I hadn’t yet prepared myself for the morning sickness (it’s more like all-day sickness!), the aches and pains, the fatigue, or the fact that there was already another sweet baby cuddled up inside me. 🙂 Fortunately, I’ve made it 37 weeks so far and both baby boy and I are healthy!

There is so much conflicting information about how to have a healthy pregnancy. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I experienced much worse morning sickness, I was absolutely terrified of birth, and I was scared I’d hurt her during pregnancy or after. So. Much. Pressure. However, my current pregnancy has been easier in these aspects, and that may be because I’ve had just enough experience to know a little about being pregnant and a bit on how to be a mom. I’ve also done a LOT of reading and have worked through a bunch of the inconsistent information. Some things I’ve done differently this pregnancy have really seemed to help:

1.Visits to the chiropractor. After learning of the importance of pelvic alignment for birth, I made a point to go visit my chiropractor at Plains Chiropractic & Acupuncture in Grand Forks, ND. Dr. Natalie has been helping me throughout the pregnancy with birth preparation and with my tilted sacrum (an injury I think happened while I was delivering my daughter). I am so relieved that she has been able to greatly reduce the pain in my lower back and hips! I am confident that my pelvis is well-enough aligned to deliver my baby boy, who will probably have a big head, like his mama!

2.Drinking red raspberry leaf (and nettle) tea. Known to tone the uterus in preparation for labor and delivery, I’ve made it a point to drink 1 quart a day. I bought a big bag of loose red raspberry leaves and have been enjoying this tea hot, cold, with raw milk (seriously, it’s SO GOOD this way! It reminds me of iced chai tea.), with lemon, or with raw honey. Though some people recommend avoiding it during the first trimester, I’ve been drinking it the entire pregnancy with no problems. A great article by one of my favorite bloggers is here

3.Doing exercises and stretches recommended by The Bradley Method. Unfortunately, there is not a Bradley Method class in my area, so I’ve been using the book, Natural Birth The Bradley Way, instead. Excellent book, I must say! The exercises and stretches have also helped reduce pain in my lower back, which I am (again) so grateful for! I am confident that my body is strong enough for a safe delivery. Here is a link to the exercises from The Bradley Method workbook and a blog post on additional beneficial exercises for pregnancy and child delivery. 

4.Eating dates (6 per day) to increase my chances of a quick labor and delivery. Here is a short little blog on dates for labor.

5.Sleeping on my side with a pillow between my legs. It really helps with back pain! This position is recommended by The Bradley Method for relaxing during labor. I now can’t sleep any other way–it’s just too comfortable!

6.Taking  vitamin C, 1-2 tablespoons of collagen hydrolysate, and magnesium glycinate before bed has made sleeping significantly easier. I’ve discovered that if I skip these supplements entirely, or lake less of them (the magnesium in particular), I toss and turn all night. These things are excellent for non-pregnant individuals as well 🙂 My husband and I call this the “sleep concoction.”

7.Eating the most nutrient-dense diet possible. Not every day is perfect, and I often forget to eat, but I know that I’ve done everything I can to provide my baby and myself with the most nutrition. I try to base almost every meal off of the Weston A. Price Foundation’s recommendations for pregnancy, which is something I did not do (or know much about) during my first pregnancy. I notice that I have no digestive problems this time around (no constipation, gas pains, bloating, food intolerances, et cetera), and I think this has a LOT to do with the large amount of probiotic foods I eat daily. Milk kefir and kombucha are my favorites. I’ve also noticed that I experience no lightheadedness or general weakness this time (unless I forget to eat). A pinch of sea salt or a teaspoon of salt brine in water has made the difference. Read about kombucha during pregnancy here and benefits of sea salt brine (also called “sole” [so-lay]) here.

8.Resting while I can. Being a very high-stress person, relaxing as much as possible has been incredibly constructive. This doesn’t mean that I sit around all day…I don’t have time! This means taking 10 minutes to read before bed, putting down my to-do list every once in a while, sitting in the sun for a few minutes, or lying down if my daughter is napping. Enjoying Epsom salt baths are particularly productive in the relaxation-department. I take what I can get and every little bit helps! 🙂

Each baby, mama, and pregnancy is different. Sometimes, a person can do everything right and still end up with an outcome they didn’t want. Part of pregnancy is accepting the unknown, and possibly scary, future. Though I said that the second time has been less stressful, I must point out that I’m still nervous, still very excited, and still working on having the most positive and relaxed mindset for labor and delivery. You can only try your best and that’s good enough!

It’s possible that my next post may a delivery story–I suppose we’ll find out if the things I’ve tried this time have made a difference!


Readers, what have you done that has helped you deliver your baby? I’d love to know!

Disclaimer: All information on this blog is for informational purposes only. I am not a licensed medical professional. Please discuss any dietary changes, supplements, or medical questions with your doctor.

dianes-profileDiane Stanislowski is a wife, mother, and researcher with the goal of restoring the practice of traditional holistic approaches to wellness and sharing evidence-based information with the public.

She lives in Grand Forks North Dakota with her husband and daughter Jane, and receives raw milk and pastured meats from Bartlett Farms.



        Busy, Busy, Busy! This is the life of a mom: packed with both profound joy and plenty of things to do. Trying new things is always fun–if you’ve got the time and energy for them, of course 🙂 . Even as I write this blog, my goofy 1 yr old is crawling all over my lap trying to get my attention (and the keyboard!). Juggling my many duties has certainly been a learning process, and, naturally, I’ve had many failures along the way. One of those failures was my attempt to make chicken bone broth a few months ago, which I ruined twice in a row…oofda. Burnt bone broth + a small apartment = a stinky combination. It’s true that one learns best by making mistakes, but also by reading as much as possible to prevent potential problems. Hence, why I’ve loaded this article with further reading.

        After my failures, successes, and reading, I’ve compiled some useful tips on making successful bone broth:

        1. If your bones are raw, make sure you roast them before you make broth with them!

        2. Bring the broth to a boil and gently simmer it; do NOT keep it at a rolling boil. More details can be found here:

        3. If you’re concerned about your broth cooking while you’re out of the house, it’s more than okay to use the cumulative time method of cooking:

        4. You can reuse bones from previous bone broth. This french method is called remouillage, and it stretches both your dollar and broth flavor:

        5. If it’s easier for you, you can make bone broth in an instant pot (

        6. Or, a crock pot (

        7. Freeze it in mason jars! Here is the safe and shatter-free way to do it:

        8. Freeze it in ice cube trays (and then put the cubes in a container to save freezer space), so it’s easily thawed and rationed in recipes that require less of it.

        9. Use lots of veggies, herbs, and spices to help flavors carry into the finished product. Cooking for long periods of time can diminish flavors.

        10.Can’t get time to make bone broth? Kettle & Fire is a good store bought brand:

        I FINALLY succeeded at making (beef) bone broth using this simple recipe from WellnessMama’s blog ( At last, I had several quarts at my disposal! Good thing it keeps well in the freezer! But, the question remains: how do I use this stuff? Some useful things I’ve tried and intend to try are:

        1. Using it in soup, obviously! It’s great as a hearty soup base or even for simple egg drop soup.

        2. Drinking it as a beverage! I really enjoy it with a little lemon juice (and sometimes, ginger) I’ve found this to be very relaxing and soothing for tummy trouble. It’s also great for keeping warm in the dangerously cold North Dakota winters!

        3. Using it in place of (or along with) a fat for sauteing veggies or meats.

        4. As a gravy or added in place of water in many crock pot, stew, or freezer meal recipes.

        Making bone broth doesn’t have to be complicated, even if you’ve got your hands full! My advice to you is this: follow the directions (something I don’t always do!), research and troubleshoot to correct mistakes, DON’T BURN IT, and don’t give up! Happy cooking to all. 🙂


Disclaimer: All information on this blog is for informational purposes only. I am not a licensed medical professional. Please discuss any dietary changes, supplements, or medical questions with your doctor.


Diane Stanislowski is a wife, mother, and researcher with the goal of restoring the practice of traditional holistic approaches to wellness and sharing evidence-based information with the public.

She lives in Grand Forks North Dakota with her husband and daughter Jane, and receives raw milk and pastured meats from Bartlett Farms.


Come Learn At Bartlett Farms Farm Tour 2017

Register here to attend for free

Come and see the farm up close as talk about the problems with conventional agriculture and processed food, and show how diversified holistic farms provide the solutions needed to create healthy food for your table.

Jim Bartlett and Peter Bartlett will guide attendees to various locations on the property and you’ll get to

  • Understand the shortfalls of conventional agriculture.
  • See how animals can be raised without chemicals in a low stress environment.
  • Get experience milking a cow and riding a horse (maybe more!)
  • Interact with people who embrace the holistic view of health and life.
  • Enjoy a time of quietness away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Bring a friend! This event is free and open to the public. We encourage you to prepare for a hot day by bringing water and sunscreen, and wear shoes suitable for rough terrain. 

The tour will start at 2 p.m. and end at 5 p.m. so plan some recreational activities around the area like visiting the International Peace Gardens, or Lake Metigoshe State Park. 

Some snack items and refreshments will be served.

Spread the word!

RSVP for the event by registering to attend for free. Contact Peter at with questions.


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How I Overcame Struggles With Weight Gain


Like so many women, I’ve struggled with body image for a large part of my life. In high school, I participated in women’s lacrosse, track, and two soccer seasons a year! I was in exceptional shape, yet I still looked in the mirror and felt disappointed. I went to college and continued feeding my insatiable athlete’s appetite, only to find that I put on weight. So, I’d hit the gym almost daily to maintain my physical appearance, but became more and more discouraged by my weight gain and ravenous hunger. What was I doing wrong?

Answer: EVERYTHING! There are so many things I wish I could tell my younger self. Some of them are more mindset related:

  • You don’t like how you look because you don’t like who you are. Focus on personal growth, and it’ll be easier to correct your self-image!
  • Your response is your responsibility! Your feelings are in YOUR hands. Even if sometimes it is REALLY difficult to get out of bed in the morning, you must CHOOSE to do it if you want to be happier. Your attitude impacts everyone around you.
  • When you’re sad and very inside-yourself, go do something for somebody else. Pray for someone, play with your kids, or go make your husband his favorite meal. Often times, the best medicine is simply removing yourself from yourself.

And some of them are more physically related:

  • Only eat when you’re hungry, and stop eating when you’re full. Have self-awareness and do NOT indulge out of boredom, fatigue, or negative feelings. Eat to live and do not live to eat.
  • Practice self-control. The more you practice, the easier it gets. Want junk food? Go get some water and keep yourself busy. Hungry? Wait 20 minutes and then eat. Pitying yourself? Face your difficulties with dignity and do not snivel. Life isn’t supposed to be fair.

Lastly, the piece of advice most related to this post:

  • EAT FAT! Fill up on healthy fats, fresh produce, and reduce the sugar.

Though everyone is different and may disagree with some of my “life-lessons,” the last bit of advice is good for pretty much every body! Little did I know that my hunger was likely due to not eating enough fat. I was eating a lot of low-fat foods, which made my hunger spike soon after finishing a meal. I thought I was doing myself a favor! Oh, the things I wish I had known!

I’m so glad I learned that eating fat helps profoundly in controlling one’s appetite–even during pregnancy and breastfeeding. In fact, since significantly increasing my fat intake, my body goes much longer stretches of time without feeling hungry, and my weight levels out almost 30 lbs less than what I weighed in college. I’ve also never struggled with quickly losing baby weight. Fat is amazing!

Specifically, I focus daily on getting a lot of healthy fats in my diet in the form of grass-fed dairy fat:

  • 1-2 cups homemade milk kefir from whole milk
  • 3-6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup raw whole milk

I also make sure to add other sources of fats throughout the week:

  • Grass-fed beef
  • Lots of eggs
  • Extra virgin olive oil on salads
  • Flax and chia seeds
  • 1-3 tablespoons coconut oil in cooking
  • Lots of bacon sauteed with greens-my little girl LOVES this!

Things I completely avoid are:

  • Skim milk! It’s bad for you! Sources below.
  • All reduced-fat dairy
  • Lean beef/meats in general
  • All hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils
  • Vegetable oils and fats heated to very high temperatures in processing and frying
  • Industrially processed oils: soy, cottonseed, corn, safflower, and canola [1]

Looking at my life, I realize that I was confused about many things and still have a lot left to learn. This life isn’t supposed to be easy for anyone. However, I am grateful that I have learned as much as I have, including how fats maintain my weight! Not only has increasing healthy fats in my diet helped me lose weight and keep it off, but my skin has significantly cleared, I don’t think about food 24/7, my body stretches to the demands of pregnancy and childbirth exceptionally well, and I don’t crave sugar (unless I’m exhausted!). Keeping fats high in my husband and daughter’s diets has been helpful as well! My baby girl has her mama’s demanding appetite, so lots of fat helps her focus on playing and learning to walk instead of hunger. 🙂

Because there is already so much on the internet and in books about why a high fat diet is WONDERFUL, my contribution is only in the form of personal testimony. To learn about the physiological details of this lifestyle, further learning is here:

Article Summary:

  • Eat fat to lose fat!
  • Though there are some awesome fats out there, the best (for me!) has been dairy fat in the form of butter, whole milk, and homemade kefir from whole milk.
  • Foods to avoid are low-fat dairy products (especially skim milk!), highly processed fats, and fully/partially hydrogenated oils.

What are your tips and tricks to maintaining health and weight? I’d love to learn!




Disclaimer: All information on this blog is for informational purposes only. I am not a licensed medical professional. Please discuss any dietary changes, supplements, or medical questions with your doctor.



Diane Stanislowski is a wife, mother, and researcher with the goal of restoring the practice of traditional holistic approaches to wellness and sharing evidence-based information with the public.

She lives in Grand Forks North Dakota with her husband and daughter Jane, and receives raw milk and pastured meats from Bartlett Farms.







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Your well-deserved vacation is fast approaching!

Maybe it’s a road trip to relatives, or Disney Land, or a trek to a far away place to enjoy time together.

But what about deliveries? How do you keep your share and not worry about milk that’s scheduled for delivery?

In this short post I’ll explain what you need to do to make sure your family stays connected to nature’s perfect food (raw milk from grass-based cows), and still gets to enjoy the vacation you’ve been waiting for.

Skim the headings for the option that seems best for you. Then follow the action steps I’ve outlined below.

1) Donate your milk to a family in need.

Here at the farm we believe in helping those who are facing unexpected challenges leaving them in a place of need. As a part of our farm, we created a Real Food Sponsor program where you can donate to help a family in need.

Action Steps:

a. Contact Bartlett Farms to let us know you would like your milk to go to a Real Food Sponsor family. Email

b, Let us know how many products you would like to donate. We will then make known the availability of the resources to a needy family within our network.

2) Have a friend pick up your order or receive home delivery instead of you.

This is for you social people who have connections to healthy like-minded moms. Maybe they aren’t financially able to get the milk they know is better for their family. Maybe they would just appreciate the treat! Why not pass off some of yours to them while you’re away and be a blessing to them?

Action Steps:

a. Confirm with your friend that they will take and use the order.

b. Send an email to to give Peter at the office your friend’s address and any special delivery notes. We will do our best to get it to them without a hassle.

3) Have butter, yogurt, kefir, or some other more stable product crafted from your share of dairy products.

Yes, you read that correctly. For no extra charge we will take your share of raw milk and transform it into a product that is more stable and will be usable for you when you return. Butter is the most stable option, next comes kefir and yogurt. You may even be able to get a double portion of fresh milk given to you on the next delivery. Be sure to mention your situation and we’ll do our best to make it fit your needs.

Action Steps:

a. Email your vacation dates to 
b. Tell us which of the five options (or combinations) you’d like to transform your order into: 

  • butter (which gives you access to buttermilk and skim milk if desired),
  • yogurt,
  • kefir,
  • cream (plus skim milk), and
  • chocolate milk.

c. Get your bonus order delivered at our next delivery after you’re back.

4) Put your order on hold.

This is great if you’re gone temporarily and don’t want to bother with any details. You can set your own vacation dates by logging into your account on or send an email to We’ll take care of it from there!

Action Steps:
a. Log onto
b. Go to “Skip Deliveries” and enter your vacation start and end date.

5) Temporarily discontinue.

If you plan to be away for a year or more, you may find it simply better to cancel your shares altogether. You lose the investment you made at the beginning and would have to repurchase your shares to opt back in. This is an option if you are in the military and don’t know when you may be stationed back in the area again, or if the oil industry takes you out of state.

Action Steps:

a. Check with your boss to see how long you will be away.
b. Send an email to and we’ll erase the shares from your name.

Now before you forget, take action on one of those steps! I know how busy you are. Let us know how we can help you get the most out of your share while you enjoy your summer vacation!



Peter Bartlett manages the cattle and creamery at Bartlett Farms and is the Organizer for Real Food ND. His passion is to enable people to make diet and lifestyle changes that improve the quality of life for generations to come.