New Website Name: Why the Change?

by brenda on June 30, 2018

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You might have noticed that there is a new name around here. And you might wonder why?

I started this blog in 2010, right after we bought a farm and had many visions for how to run that farm! One of my first posts was about how we remodeled our farmhouse kitchen (with help!) and shortly after wrote a post about butchering chickens.

I wrote a lot about the GAPS Diet. I think that’s what brought many of you to this site. Proudly, I can say I was *one of the first* GAPS bloggers. If you were with me, blogging about GAPS in 2010, tell me! I want to meet the other early GAPS Diet bloggers! 🙂 I’ve always been kind of a nerd. I wrote a Mom Blog in 2003. Guys, the internet was practically a baby back then, along with my little human babies, and I was blogging. Apparently, with 2 kids under 2 I thought I had Mom advice to share. Lol. 😉 I’ve learned SO much since then!

Back to THIS blog. I started this blog to write about these two topics: FARMING and THE GAPS DIET. I struggled to find a perfect name for a while, and settled on:

It was perfect for the season we were in. See, we were also sort of pioneering the soy-free, corn-free animal feed movement in our neck of the woods. We had mills telling us “it can’t be done,” and now those same feed mills are selling soy-free, corn-free blends. I’m so glad we pushed through, even though we were really before our time and people weren’t ready to spend extra for soy-free, corn-free chicken. SO, our family was well-fed, on the GAPS Diet, and our animals were also well-fed with soy and corn-free feed.

On our farm, we raised chickens for meat and eggs, ducks, turkeys, geese, pigs, cows for beef, dairy cows and bees. We had a farm store that people came to our farm to purchase from. We had a 50′ x 50′ garden! We sold at multiple farmer’s markets.

We lived a FULL life during our short time on the farm. If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you know that eventually we had to face to the decision to sell our farm. We’d tried hard to make the farm work out financially. I was homeschooling our kids the whole time. We had spent 14 months raising foster kids we hoped to adopt and then said goodbye to (oh the grief, for all of us!). After that big loss, one of our adopted kids started exhibiting lots of big emotional behaviors. Farming, (specifically, not making it, when we worked so hard at it) plus raising kids from unique (difficult) situations, all at once, took a toll on us. We had to give up something, and it wasn’t going to be our kids. 🙂

Fast forward. We sold our farm 4 years after we purchased it, in 2014. We currently live in a neighborhood on a typical lot, pretty close to most of the activities we participate in and the stores we shop at. Here are some updates:

  • I am still homeschooling. We now attend a Classical Conversations community.
  • Our child who was struggling is doing a lot better.
  • We adopted another daughter! She was 5 when she came to us & now she’s 8! She is the same age as the youngest foster daughter we lost, which is super healing for our family. She is a perfect fit.
  • We don’t have any contact with those foster kids we lost, that is what their adoptive family prefers. We wonder about them a lot.
  • We fostered again, just this year, because we knew a family in need. It was different this time, the whole goal was to get them home, not to keep them. (Our original foster kids came to us through a “foster-to-adopt” program, we weren’t intending to be short term parents with the first foster kids we had). We feel like this recent foster care experience was pretty positive & that was good for us.
  • I sometimes go back to GAPS & sometimes I just stick to gluten free. I’m not nearly as skinny as I was on GAPS (grr!) and that’s one of my big motivations to wanting to eat that way again. My kids don’t eat GAPS. Our meals at home are healthy, mostly grain-free with a side of rice, etc.. We have given our teenagers (yes, our boys are TEENS now!) freedom to make their own food choices when they’re at potlucks, at youth group, etc. Which means, sometimes, they eat Oreos and gluten & probably GMO-filled pizza….At least I gave them a healthy foundation with 3 years of GAPS!! 🙂
  • We are not running a farm. We have 3 garden boxes and a couple of potted tomatoes and strawberries, and THAT IS IT. No chickens. No cows or ducks or geese or pigs. We have a fenced backyard where we can see our neighbors’ houses close-by.
  • We miss farming, mostly in the Spring (not in the winter when the animals’ water would be frozen! ;)).  We miss farming, AND, we are very content where we are. It was so smart for our family to move close to our church and to the things that we do. We have a home that is in just the right spot & ideally designed for hospitality. Currently, our church’s youth group meets at our home, and our women’s Bible study just finished up meeting here. I LOVE hospitality and am totally wired for it (by God!) and where we live is perfect for hospitality like this.

Nice story, but why the name change for this site?

Alright, alright, I’ll get to the point! I don’t feel like The Well Fed Homestead fits anymore. Why?

  1. We’re not homesteading.

That’s pretty much it.

When we moved off of the farm, I tried researching and writing about farming, for all of you, to keep the “homestead” part of the site going. Without actually living out the farming piece, it was really hard for me to drum up the passion to write about farming.

For a short while, even cooking became depressing for me. Why? I don’t understand it either. I went from being super creative, inventing recipes regularly and writing cookbooks to share with all of you, to cooking the most basic, boring, simple dinners ever. I think selling the farm and quitting GAPS had me questioning who I was as a cook. We didn’t have our own raw dairy. We were not collecting eggs in our backyard. Who was I, where did I shop & what in the world was I supposed to cook? Yeah…It took me a while to adjust.

During that time, when writing about farming was hard, and cooking was depressing, I just didn’t even write here. I stopped, because I didn’t know what to write about.

I’m excited to say, I’m baaaaackkkk, and I am more than OK with writing even though I’m NOT a farmer and I probably won’t be eating GAPS every day for the rest of my life. SO, who am I? What can you expect here?

  • I care about real food, and I eat healthy and feed my family healthy foods, for as much as I can control. I will write about real food here.
  • I support farms and I believe that farmers are the HEROES of the world, they are literally keeping people alive by their work. I will write about farms here, just not my own.
  • I’m a regular farmers market shopper. I take pictures of the food I buy and share it on Instagram, because frankly, real food is BEAUTIFUL. I will write about my farmers’ market experiences and I will also share the benefits of real food.
  • I always cook gluten-free because I have Celiac, and sometimes grain-free. I will share gluten-free and grain-free recipes here.
  • I am the mama of a kid with a life-threatening peanut allergy. I will write about living with severe food allergies, and how I keep my child safe.
  • I am currently studying nutrition through the Nutritional Therapy Association, and I am learning more than I can possibly share all at once. I promise, I’ve got fresh content about real food and nutrition in my brain constantly, and I will keep sharing it!
  • I am a MOM. I create spreadsheets and chore charts and all kinds of creative parenting ideas, and I would love to share them. As one of the “older moms” in some of the circles I’m in, I feel like now, I might actually have mom stuff to share. I’ll be sharing posts about being a mom.
  • I am the mom of 3 adoptive kids, 1 kid with some learning disabilities/special needs, and I’ve parented kids with pretty difficult behaviors. I will occasionally share some thoughts about parenting kids in challenging situations. I might share, in general, about adoption.
  • I am a homeschool mom, and I am constantly creating new curriculum ideas for my kids. I probably should be a curriculum designer someday. I love books. I own around 1,500. Yes. And I counted. And I have a spreadsheet that lists all of them. Did I mention I was a nerd? 🙂 I am going to share about homeschooling here, because homeschooling is a big part of my life.
  • I care about living organically/naturally, essential oils, herbs, caring for my home in “green” ways, using clean body products, taking supplements to support my real food diet, etc. Basically, I’ve got a lot of things I can talk about here. 🙂
  • I feel ready to share our farming experiences here now–what worked for us, and what went absolutely wrong. I’m ok with you guys thinking we made dumb choices. I think for quite a while I was worried about posting those dumb choices on the internet. I’m ok with it now. I hope other, wanna-be-farmers can learn from what we did wrong. I plan to share how we failed at running a farm.

I sat down and made a huge list, on individual post-it notes, about everything I could write about. I live a full, adventurous life. I cook, clean, organize, raise kids, have adopted, homeschool, love to decorate, face special needs, parent kids with mood swings, am a Christian and love God’s Word, have 2 dogs including my “baby” dog, a 5 lb Yorkie named Lincoln, we travel, go camping, I make spreadsheets, I have Celiac, I read, write, am a planner junkie and presently keep a Happy Planner, etc…..I could write about A LOT. What I decided was, YES, I can write about all of these things, AND at the end of the day, the center of this blog, the main point, the message I want everyone to hear is:

Eat Real Food.

See, I believe that REAL FOOD is what gives me the ability to do what I do. How do I do it all? I eat real food. I nourish my body. I acquire energy via real, nutrient dense stuff.

I see a huge difference in myself and in my family members when we attempt to fuel our bodies with anything other than real food (like those Oreos I mentioned above). It impacts our energy, our mood, and our overall outlook on life. Our life would look entirely different if we did not make real food a priority.

So, I could write a blog encouraging all of you to homeschool–which has been an incredible blessing in my life. But ultimately, I don’t believe everyone has to homeschool. And when people ask me, “How do you have the patience to homeschool???” my answer is: Jesus & real food.

And if you eat real food and you still don’t feel like homeschooling is your gig, that’s fine! Maybe there are other big and wonderful things that God is calling you to do in your life. My goal here is to help people realize that they can do more, be more, and feel better by fueling their body properly.

So, no doubt, I will talk about the things in my life: the homeschooling, the parenting, the organizing (oh the organizing…I’m always organizing something!), etc. And yet, these are the peripheral things. The gut of this website, the bones of this site–the fuel that makes this site run–is REAL FOOD.

I hope you will stick around.

By the way, most blog experts claim that in order to really be a successful blog (what does success mean to them?), a blog needs to fit in a specific “Niche.” EITHER my blog would need to be about farming, or real food, or homeschooling, or adoption. I’m sorry. I am a super busy mom of 5 kids and a homeschooler & I don’t have time to manage that many different blogs, social media accounts, e-mail accounts, etc. So here you have it–The Well Fed HOME (instead of HOMESTEAD), all of the topics I care about, all together, in 1 blog. (More for the price of one?! Which was free anyways!? Lol!).

The Title bugs me a little, honestly.

I don’t feed my HOUSE. I majored in English, so this kind of grammatical issue stands out to me! Most people might not notice–until now! Ha! HOME was available (try buying a domain name these days! Crazy!!), and it was just a shortened version of HOMESTEAD, and a HOME includes the people inside, right? That’s what I thought. 😉 So, despite the grammar, and the fact that we don’t own a farm & I can’t teach you how to milk a cow anymore–please stay! Hang out, read, and comment! I’m excited to be here, I hope you are, too!

If you’re not into all of my many life-topics, that’s ok.

The good news is, I can separate my e-mail list into groups, so that you only get sent the posts that you’re actually interested in. If you love real food but you don’t ever plan to homeschool your own children or anybody else’s, no problem. You don’t have to read posts that don’t apply to you! Here is the sign up form:

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Celina June 30, 2018 at 7:50 pm

You’re a really good writer B – it fun to hear that you’ve got your writing mojo back. There are things in life that kinda suck us dry and make us feel not like ourselves. It’s always a good feeling to be baaaaaaack! ❤️

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brenda July 1, 2018 at 9:58 pm

C!!! Thank you for commenting & for your kind comment!!! I appreciate you!!! <3

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Julia July 1, 2018 at 5:25 am

I enjoyed reading this. I think I found you in 2013. Maybe through Real Food For Busy Moms in Village Green Network. We have a lot in common, but you are several years ahead of me. I plan to homeschool and will be a part of Classical Conversations next year with my oldest. I’m looking forward to keeping up with you. It’s nice to have someone a step ahead of you in life you can learn from. God bless you in this new translation!

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brenda July 1, 2018 at 10:02 pm

Julia, that’s SO cool that you’re joining a CC group this year! You will be blessed! It’s so weird, just last week I realized that I’m one of the “older” moms now. At our church I’m still one of the younger moms (I don’t have a kid who is married or in college, yet). But in our CC, I’m one of the few moms with Challenge kids. And my youngest is 8–it’s SO WEIRD! I share this to say, while I’m years ahead of you, watch out–you’ll be here practically tomorrow! Lol! 🙂 I’m glad you’re here, thank you for your comment!!

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Christie July 1, 2018 at 4:46 pm

I’m one of those people that found you through GAPS and even bought some of your meal plans. I have since moved on to a Keto/Low Carb way of eating (for 2 years now) as it works best for my blood sugar, and I lost 55lbs as a bonus. I am glad you and your family are doing so well.

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brenda July 1, 2018 at 10:08 pm

Wow Christie, thank you for your comment! GREAT job, eating the way you know your body needs to be fueled, and losing 55 lbs! Woo hoo!

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Jenni July 1, 2018 at 6:48 pm

Dear Brenda,
I was one of your early followers in 2010….I clicked on your link in this post for your farmhouse kitchen remodel and it was a trip down memory lane for me, as I had also read the original post years and years ago 😢. . I found you late late late one night while researching GAPS. We had recently been introduced to GAPS when our 3 year old son (and soon after our 1 year old daughter as well) fell into acute conditions that hospitalized him (and eventually ended in both kids being scoped). No western doc suggested (or even knew about GAPS) at that time, but a long-time DO of my MIL’s in OH sent the book along with her when we were desperately looking for answers during our son’s hospitalization with digestive distress. I read it, was overwhelmed, decided no, but eventually decided YES a year later when nothing else was effectively helping him.

So I found you in the middle of the night and was ELATED!!! As you know, and correctly stated, you were a pioneer in the field of blogging about GAPS. (I also found mommypotamus at the same time, whom I think you know as well.) We stayed on GAPS for a year and a half until it became apparent that GAPS was doing more harm than good, specifically in regards to constipation. BUT, in that time period, we did GAPS up right. We did the INTRO 3 times. The first time we did it, we followed it to a T including all the recommended GAPS supplements and recipes such as making our own fermented fish 🤢… That one was hard to watch our son eat. But on intro, he happily scarfed it down after weeks of only eating broth and homemade soup with nothing else. 😳

Even after moving on from GAPS, in 2014 my youngest son (3 at the time) and I did “30 days on GAPS” (another 2011 resource I’m sure you know about from Health Home and Happiness that we purchased and utilized while on GAPS) when he was struggling with severe eczema and digestive problems related to an egg intolerance.

I’m telling you all this to say, we were there with you sister! I remember when your son was going through a flare up with RADS and you had to make difficult decisions. I remember the very heavy emotion you shared during that time. I remember reading about how sometimes chocolate got you through. That resonated with me soooooo much. We were in our own dark places having been isolated and on GAPS for so long. (My husband was a pastor, but eventually chose to leave ministry in 2013 for the health of our family.)

I wanted to say thank you for being a blogger back then. It really helped people like me face the loneliness and hardships of being on GAPS. . YOU and bloggers like you (mommypotamus, homehealthhappiness) were MY PEOPLE (without knowing you were my people) until the good LORD sent another family into our lives (with kids the same ages as ours!!) who had also tried GAPS to heal their children’s guts. We moved away from that family when my husband left ministry, but 5 years later are still thick as molasses with each other. We make long car rides and take lots of airplane rides to see each other. The value of finding your foodie soulmates is beyond calculating for me.

I thank God for this family we met, much like I’m thanking you now for being who I needed to turn to when I didn’t have many solid options to turn to in my life.You won’t ever know just how much your writing meant to me until Godwilling we meet in heaven 😇

And I’ve been following you this whole time too. I’ve read the few posts you’ve written between Well Fed Homestead and now. I may not have commented, but I’ve bern here. I’m glad you are back. I’m excited to read ALL wisdom that you have to share.

With much love,
Jenni Schuessler

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brenda July 1, 2018 at 9:58 pm

Awwww, Jenni, your comment made me teary! 🙂 WOW, you fermented your own fish? I couldn’t bring myself to do that! 😉 I am so thankful to hear that my blog–my writing–helped you get through hard times! I created this blog to find MY PEOPLE, so I GET IT! 🙂 I hope we DO meet in heaven! I’ll be eating peanut butter cups there, so look for me, k? 😉 (I can’t have peanuts here, and neither can my daughter, so we say we’re going to eat lots of peanut butter cups in heaven!). 🙂 THANK YOU for sticking around here & for your super special comment!! It means A LOT to me!! <3

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JenP July 2, 2018 at 3:32 pm

::::waves:::: it’s nice to see you! I went on GAPS in 2010! It’s crazy what eight years have brought. I love your plans for this blog and look forward to learning from you again. It’s nice to talk to people who have been at this gig a while, and are “post GAPS” and in a different groove… and homeschooling and child-raising and living authentically. I’m still working up the energy to work on my new blog as well. My old one was http://eatingmyvegetables.blogspot.com. It’s so dated now! But I leave it up because people tell me I still have useful links there. Blessings to you!

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brenda July 5, 2018 at 6:54 pm

WAVES! Jen, so fun to “meet” another blogger and a person who lived GAPS like us, and who homeschools, too! I wish you the best on your blog adventure! 🙂 🙂

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