Health Herald – Winter 2023

Constance’s Corner

Greetings from my new Homestead in Idaho!

I am back and I am happy to share that I am ready to put down new roots – in more sense than one.
I found a new home, with a garden, an orchard and a little forest, that I can call my own. I am excited to start the journey of growing food on a larger scale. This will include preserving, freezing and dehydrating the produce of my harvest.

The desire for homesteading has been growing in me since I learned about industrialized food systems, the importance of healthy soil, and the greed of corporations like Monsanto, who unfortunately exploit farmers and farm animals alike, with mass and mono productions of crops. Regular consumers, like you and I, get further and further removed from “Real Food.” I mean the real food that our grandparents ate – naturally grown fruits and vegetables. In just one generation, we have gone from natural foods to newly invented, highly processed food like “edible substances”.

What’s A Homestead?
It’s a house, especially a farmhouse, including outbuildings, that is surrounded by land for farming.

What Is Homesteading?
It is the pursuit of environmentally sustainable living and responsible self-sufficiency. It can include agriculture, home preservation of food, and production of textiles, clothing and/ or household goods either for own consumption or for sale. To me this cottage business approach means I want to create or produce as much as I can at HOME inSTEAD of going to the store.

Corn patch in my garden
Sunrise above my green house

Especially since 2020, homesteading – or home grown food –  has seen a major increase all over the world. From garden planters in apartments and community gardens in urban areas, to larger farms and ranches with hundreds of acres, people are attempting to become more self-reliant and frugal. They connect again with their neighbors and local communities, often bartering food and other goods instead of solely relying on grocery conglomerates like Target or Amazon. I want to put emphasis on reducing waste and consumption and relying more on what’s already around me.

Entrance to my garden 
My first time cutting fire wood 

In the coming years I am planning to go non-toxic with items like dish soap or laundry detergent.  

I’ll share new home-made recipes for these items. I want to take my readers along this journey of homesteading, food preserving, learning and sharing.

Are you ready to join me?  

I wish you all a wonderful Holiday Season and a Happy and Healthy New Year! 
In health, Constance

New Year’s Encouragement

A fun thing you can do for yourself this coming New Year is this: Make walking a priority whenever you can.

Ditch the car and couch, opt for stairs, and aim for 10,000 steps a day. I was very inspired by the Netflix documentary “Living to 100 – Secrets of the Blue Zones”. People living in the Blue Zones walk everywhere, which correlates with longer life spans. This helps them get regular exercise while spending time in Nature. People live longer when they choose walking over using cars. The steeper the roads the better. Be your own transportation whenever possible – walk for a healthier, longer life! (Track your steps on your watch or fitbit).

If you want to add some additional regular exercise to your set of activities, consider joining my online exercise classes! We currently meet on Mondays and Saturdays for TRX, and on Wednesdays for Strength Training, each at 8am Pacific. I would love to “see” you there! Contact me and I will send you the Zoom link.

Recipe of the Month
Detox Smoothie

If one of your goals for the New Year is to get more greens and more nutrients into your diet, a smoothie is an easy way to accomplish that.

It can be taken into the car as a breakfast (I like the BPA free Blender Bottles), enjoyed any time of the day as a snack, or quickly whipped up in a time crunch. It could also be a beverage or meal to kids that don’t eat that healthily – yet. I prefer smoothies over juices as smoothies retain the bulk of the vegetable or fruit, the fiber.

Here is a base recipe that you can add ingredients to or omit, based on your personal preferences.  The main idea is to massively increase your quantity and variety of green leafy vegetables. No need for specialty powders or expensive supplements that are often highly processed. 

Detox smoothie, base recipe:


  • 1-4 apples
  • 5 stalks of celery (can be substituted with kale or baby spinach for flavor)
  • half a cucumber
  • 1 avocado
  • filtered water or coconut water as desired

When adding ingredients to this recipe, be creative and go with the seasons.

Other smoothie ingredients to try:

  • berries, pears, kiwi etc.
  • frozen pineapple chunks
  • frozen banana
  • spinach, kale
  • cilantro, ginger, turmeric


If this sounds like drinking a liquid vitamin or blended salad to you, you are right. To many people, this is a strange concept, but you get used to this liquid nourishment.

Healthy Habit of the Month
“Eat The Frog”

Have you ever heard of the “Eat The Frog” approach when tackling a difficult task?
I read about this in Jack Canfield’s book “Success Principles”. Apparently, it was Mark Twain who once said “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” For self-help guru Brian Tracy, the quote serves as an apt metaphor for effective time management.

The takeaway is this:
Do the difficult and challenging tasks first thing in the morning to have them out of the way. Hurray!

Here is how I apply this:
I keep a daily To-Do-List as part of my Healthy Habits spreadsheet. I review my list the night before and write the most pressing, difficult tasks at the top of the list for the next day. This can be a difficult phone call, starting the process for a major project or getting something organized. Sometimes it’s dealing with finances or tackling computer problems. 

What is YOUR “frog” and should you eat it in the morning?
Whatever your “frog” is, get it out of the way first thing. You’ll feel good about yourself and you can move on to less difficult tasks. Don’t confuse activities with accomplishments. You can keep yourself busy all day with numerous projects and activities. But have you tackled an important task that you can cross off your list?

Each day, make it your goal to identify the “frog” and EAT IT. I promise it will have a very positive effect on your time management, work attitude and well-being. It takes practice. Practice (and discipline) are the keys to mastering any skill!

On A Personal Note

A cherished dream of mine is beginning to take shape.
I have long envisioned having my own little homestead – a small farm, serving as a home base in the US. A place in Nature for my family to gather. A small farm where I can grow fruits and vegetables, preserve food and build a community.

After almost a year long home search, in which I lived in my van (#vanlife) and with various friends or house sitting arrangements, I found my perfect little homestead in northern Idaho, near Coeur d’Alene. It has a custom greenhouse, fenced vegetable garden, fruit trees, a cute farmhouse, a big garage and a commercial kitchen. It comes with a chicken coop, 8 chickens and a rooster! Oh my… The previous owners asked me to take care of these feathered friends and so, I will. Chickens are very beneficial to a homestead – they till the soil, eat the pests, and fertilize the soil. I can use their eggs to barter. 

My head is spinning with new ideas on how and where to begin my new life and a small cottage business. My goal is to become self-sufficient. I hope to cut down on expenses by living off the produce from my garden and orchard. I want to freeze, can and store my harvest. I will barter with like-minded members of the community. Community is key. I love bartering – I think everyone in it is a winner!  It is very important to me to support a locally sourced food chain.   

Do you have experience with freeze-drying? If so, please drop me an email.  I’d love to hear from you. 

I am happy to still have my custom-built van. 
With it I can enjoy inexpensive get-aways. This past year, I visited Glacier National Park – twice – which is only 4 hours away from my new home. Glacier NP provides endless hiking opportunities and Nature Bathing. I got two highly anticipated hikes off of my bucket list – the Iceberg Lake trail and the Highline trail.

In the future I look forward to exploring more of northern Idaho. There are beautiful hiking and biking trails, gorgeous lakes and rivers. I am only a few miles away from Lake Pend Oreille and Bayview. 

In preparation for my life as a new homesteader, I spent a week on an organic farm in Careywood last May.

During this internship, I learned a lot about growing food in the North of Idaho. The growing season here is much shorter than in my previous home in the Bay area. At the end of June, I attended the Modern Homesteading Conference in Coeur d’Alene. I learned from so many wonderful homesteaders and workshops. I was excited as it confirmed my strong desire to garden, preserve, barter and share the bounty of growing my own food. 

I felt a strong connection among all participants – “Community is key – for anything that’s to come.” We need to work together, build a tribe and keep the skills and knowledge of growing food and caring for our land alive. We not only nurture our families, but we can also share with others. For sharing, of course, there needs to be a surplus. Will I be able to grow enough for myself and to share with others? Stay tuned if you are as curious as I am, to see how I’ll fare.

My focus is a plant-based version of homesteading, as I prefer a vegan diet. This includes having a big vegetable garden and fruit trees. It means preserving the harvest through canning, freezing, drying and baking. Typical homestead skills include organizational tasks, building healthy soil, alternative medicine, permaculture, ways to prepare an off-grid home and how to make money from a homestead.

I couldn’t wait to get my hands in some garden soil again. Therefore, in April, I became a volunteer member at the Shared Harvest Community garden in Coeur d’Alene. I’ve been taking care of two raised veggie boxes where I could grow food for myself. I was also helping with the large donation garden of which the proceeds go to various local charities and food banks. I love that every Tuesday all volunteers worked together to discuss the work that needed to be done, share food (snacks and lunch), and learn from each other. On those days we all enjoyed the garden and our community. In August we held a big, successful fundraising event with an exquisite sit-down dinner called: “Dinner under the Stars.”

In health,

How to connect, discover & join

Constance’s Exercise Classes

8:00 AM Strength Training / 1 hour

Mondays and Saturdays:
8:00 AM TRX / 1 hour

email: for details and the Zoom link

Free Health Coaching Consultation:

“You, Me, and a Cup of Tea” is the perfect starting point.

Better Health for Busy People

My one-stop resource for all things health and wellness.

downloadable eBook – $9.99
Buy Now! –

Modern Homesteading Conference

Join me for the “Modern Homesteading Conference” in Coeur d’Alene on June 28 and 29, 2024