This weekend my dear hubby will join the “50 is fun” club! I know, because I’ve been livin’ it since last year and next week I get to move on to “51 is fun”! 🎉


Due to all that is going on in the world right now and how it is affecting people, I want to take the time to say that my husband is doing an amazing job using his gifts and talents. His job requires him to put in many hours and his first concern is always his school staff, the students and their health and safety. Public schools are closed, but he works in a specialty that, at this time, remains open. 


I also want to express my gratefulness to all those out there who are on the front lines in this battle against COVID-19. Doctors, nurses, teachers, firefighters, paramedics, and many, many more!  💕


Me? I work a job outside of our home (well, not right now as many others), I manage our home with 5 of our 8 children still living at home, and I am fortunate to have the opportunity to be able to write and share my education in health and nutrition on this blog. **Please read to the end, it’s totally worth it!! **Hint: 💵💵


One additional blessing is that I partnered with an amazing company to share and educate people on healthy skincare. Beautycounter is a company with integrity and on a mission! The mission of Beautycounter is to get safer products into the hands of everyone! After decades of studies indicating that serious health issues (including but not limited to asthma, cancer and infertility) are on the rise and are due in some part to our ongoing exposure to toxic chemicals-whether it’s in our body products, in our kitchens, or while we eat lunch at a local restaurant, I feel good about doing my part to limit toxicity for those that I love and care about. That includes you! ☺️


There are more than 80,000 chemicals on the market today and many don’t have any safety data. This is particularly true of those used in the skin care and beauty industry. 


Did you know that the FDA doesn’t even have the authority to remove harmful ingredients from the products we wash our babies with every day??!! 😳😢

I’d like to share this with all of you. I’d like your help in educating people about what is good, what is better, and what is best to use on your skin. Since your skin is your largest organ, it’s kind of important, and you want to take care of it!

I know these are hard times for everyone. That is why I wanted to share this with you today.

Beautycounter is currently having a 10% off sale site wide. IN ADDITION, anyone who wants to join my team to help me share and educate others gets a FREE enrollment kit with the purchase of a $100 sampler starter kit. That is a crazy good deal!!! You will also get products at a discount!! 


I am running a personal BIRTHDAY promotion that you don’t want to miss out on !$!$ Contact me to get more “50th birthday” information today! This deal will end soon and I don’t want you to miss out! 

It is a HUGE blessing to be able to share this with y’all; to be able to work from home; to be able to have options for myself and those that I love to use SAFE skincare; to be able to offer you the same opportunities. 

I hope to hear from you soon, and I pray that you and your family stay healthy!

Keepin’ it real,


January 12, 2020

Harvest Soup

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Each new year we are presented with new challenges, new opportunities, and new seasons.  Praise God!
The bible says, “But HE has given proof of what HE is like. HE has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven. HE gives you crops in their seasons. HE provides you with plenty of food. HE fills your hearts with joy.”  Act. 14:17 (NIRV)
Well, God has sure proven Himself to be a real, loving, and providing Father around here over the years!
……and He continues to do so.
See, I was raised by a mother who was raised on a farm.  She then went on to college and majored in Home Economics. (Can you even do that anymore?)  Anyway, she had skills, experience, and wasn’t afraid to ‘change up’ a recipe. (win/win for me!) So I’ve always been in a kitchen girl, aka. “foodie”,  learning and experimenting.
I was also raised by a mother who firmly believes in God and that He has a purpose for everything!  (again, win/win for me!) J


So, after I got married and our family began to grow, and boy, did it grow…..  ;o)  I was blessed to have the motivation, fearlessness, and skills to cook and bake from scratch.  I have doubled, tripled, and quadrupled recipes on many occasions.  I have ‘replaced’ and ‘substituted’ ingredients that I’m not sure I should have, but it worked and everybody’s alive.  J  I love trying new foods, I love meal planning, and I love cooking with REAL food!  J

Good thing!

When our son got diagnosed with leukemia, one of the first things I did was find out how I could cook more healthy and healing foods for him so that he could not only survive, but thrive.  I also wanted to provide the rest of my family with foods that would strengthen them so they could fight off any horrific diseases that they too may encounter.

In my studies, which were COUNTLESS hours on the internet, in books, asking nutritionists and naturopaths many questions, I decided to go to school to learn even more.  I mean, I was the mother of 8 children, one receiving treatment for leukemia, I had time……………. :o\

I became a Certified Holistic Health Coach and I continue to study and learn every single day.  *My family can confirm,….they think I’m weird.  Shhh!

Well,…..as Momma said, “God has a reason for everything.”  This new year brings our family a new challenge. (cuz we were bored ya know)

We have learned that some of us have been suffering the side effects of Celiac disease for quite some time.  We thought it was other things or individual issues, but no.  The range of symptoms caused by Celiacs disease vary widely, and person to person.

What does that mean?

That means that although I have experimented and enjoyed gluten-free recipes and foods in the past, I now have to completely convert my family of 10 to a completely gluten-free diet.  Yep, you heard right.  The best (and easiest) way to handle the situation, is to make our home gluten-free.

OR,…..I could become a stay-at-home short-order-cook and make some gluten-free foods for some people, and regular foods for others.  No thanks.

One of our little ones said, “do we ALL have to go GLUTTON FREE?”    Despite the faux pas, “Yes” I answered.

So, what does this mean for this blog?

Well, it means that I will be posting more frequently as I journal my way through this AND it means that EVERYONE who reads this blog will still be able to eat and enjoy all of the recipes.  This shouldn’t seclude anyone, but if anything, bring in more readers. Woohoo!  (win/win)  ;o)

The great news for any of you interested in losing weight and not following a glutton-free gluten-free diet, is that if you choose to follow closely, you’ll probably lose a few pounds.  (……yep, win/win AGAIN)  J

Now, this will be a learning experience as well as a ‘fun’ journey, I’m determined.  Remember our verse at the beginning?  ;o)  I think I’ll post it on our fridge.

I hope you’ll come along for the ride and invite your friends to come too!

Keepin’ it real,


Howdy yall! 😉


I hope wherever you are, Spring has sprung! Here in New Hampshire, things are melting slowly and steadily. The robins are singing, the grass can now be seen (even though it’s not green yet), and my ducks are thrilled to have worms, dirt and their pool back. 🙂

Some time back, I told you I’d share why I didn’t write for a while, a long while. There are many reasons I was unable to write, and there was also a reason I chose not to write. Truth be told, I was embarrassed to share with you what was going on. I know I shouldn’t be, but I was. As a Certified Health Coach, I want to encourage you. I want to share with you so you can avoid the mistakes I’ve made. I want you to trust me and know that while I’m not a doctor, I might be able to help you in some way. The way I was feeling on some days (physically), the negative self talk pattern I fell into, and the guilt for both of those,…..well, I lost my perspective.

know I’m not perfect. I know YOU know I’m not perfect. I know, life is a journey, NOT a destination. Yet, I lost my perspective.

For now, I will share what I learned in the last year or so, and a little bit about what has evolved in our home, I can expand later.


My favorite highlights were that we hosted our oldest daughter’s bridal shower (our first daughter, child for that matter, to begin this part of their life’s journey).  Then, shortly after, we were attending and celebrating this same daughter’s college graduation! Then, we were blessed with welcoming our new son (in-law) into our family.   Woohoo! I cannot express the bursts of overwhelming joy and blessings we experienced in that whirlwind of a week. Yes, in one week we celebrated her graduation and hosted her wedding ….. in two different states!  We got to see family members that we had not seen in years! We gained a son! We watched and experienced God’s blessings as He joined two families together as one and created a new family as they said their vows.  Oh how my heart melts just thinking back to those moments. *sigh*

However, as life goes, there were also some “not-so-fun” moments in the last year or so.  I was officially diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome, secondary to Lupus. Booooo!  Our then 15-year-old daughter, who has been eating a gluten-free diet for a few years now but was still experiencing some disturbing symptoms, was found to have several food sensitivities/intolerances.  Because being 15 isn’t challenging enough, we’ve had to remove corn, soy, dairy, and eggs from her diet. Again, boooooo! Definitely not fun, and definitely a challenge. But, we took it head on! 😉

Now, big question! “What did I learn through all of this?” Answer, “A LOT”! I mean, how could I go through all of that and not learn anything?!

While you may not be able to identify with my season of life right now, having a child get married, you might be able to identify with something else that I’ve experienced. Do you or someone you live with have food allergies, sensitivities or intolerances? Do you or someone you know have an autoimmune disorder? Do you ever get overwhelmed? Do you sometimes need someone to just come alongside you and tell you that everything is okay? Who doesn’t?

The reality is that you and I are all on our own journeys, but we can all benefit and learn from each other.

As we experienced our highs and our lows in all of this, I was reminded of one thing, over and over.


It’s all how we look at things.

I can choose to focus on all of the challenges we experienced, my surgery, the stress that came with it all……..




I can choose to focus on all of the blessings that have come from learning to wait, learning how to plan a bridal shower and wedding, learning how to cook for someone who has food issues, learning what resources are available to both me, and you!

What are you facing today? What are you focusing on? What can you learn from my experiences and/or yours?

I will now fill my mug with something warm and comforting, I will get comfortable, and I will pray that whatever you’re going through, you will share it with others. Share your burdens.  Share your joys. Sharing your experiences with others can help you gain perspective. Sharing your experiences might help someone else and even bless you in the process!

Keepin’ it real,

Elena  🙂

About Me

Hello, I am Elena Marshall! My goal is to teach you, my family, or anyone that will listen, about all of the wonderful, real, WHOLE foods God has created to nourish and protect our bodies.