Introducing Kelly Neckels! Yes Hippies, she is a mom of 6 and a young grandmother! What? Can you guess her least favorite household chore? If you can’t guess… you’ll find out! I begged her to give us details. She is a teacher too so she knows first hand the effects healthful eating has on kids!
Check out her video to know more about what happened when she completely changed her family’s way of life. She is a huge inspiration to me and she will inspire you too! Ohhhh!! And, check out her son’s take on the family’s change to healthful eating!! He is 14 and is so funny and insightful, just like mom. He did a video for us too!
Q) What do you love about your city? A) I love Phoenix because it’s played a huge role in my life. I was born and raised in Phoenix, met my husband in Phoenix, and had all of our kids in Phoenix. I also love it because my family is all here with me!
Q) What is a tip you think every Hippie mom needs to know? A) My tip would have to come from some of the advice I have been given throughout my journey this last year…it’s okay to ask for help, to let your kids be kids, and to try new things.
Q) What is your go-to recipe or current favorite recipe? A) I can’t really say that I have one favorite recipe…I LOVE to cook and to try new recipes all the time. I have a lot of kids to feed (6, and sometimes 8 when my granddaughter and son’s fiancé are here with us), so I am always trying new recipes and adding my own little touch to some old recipes!
Q) What is your favorite or most used holistic or natural remedy? A) Over the past year or so my family has adopted many holistic and natural remedies. Some of our favorites are oil pulling (really using coconut oil for everything) and using essential oils for our allergies and to just help us relax. Our favorite essential oils to diffuse are peppermint, lemon, and lavender. When we use all three together in our diffuser it really helps with my family’s allergies!
Q) What is one thing you can’t live without? A) I cannot live without my 100 Days of Real Food blog and cookbook! These have become my best friends over the past year! One of my favorite recipes is the refried bean recipe! With so many people to feed, it really is the most affordable and delicious thing I make for dinner or for lunch. It is also a recipe I will use when we have to work all day and then quickly get dinner ready so we can move on to our nightly sports activities! I use the organic fresh tortillas from Costco to make burritos, or I just add it to a thermos container with a little cheese for a quick lunchbox lunch!
Q) What is your kids’ favorite healthy food? A) Our kids favorite healthy food would have to be as simple as fresh organic fruits and vegetables. As long as I keep our fridge stocked with fruits and veggies they are happy! Sometimes their sweet tooth gets in the way, so I have found a few ways to use fresh organic fruit to help satisfy their cravings! Two of my kid’s favorite sweet treats are fresh raspberry and watermelon popsicles and fresh berries with a honey cream dip.
I found the most amazing Popsicle molds at Costco that help me give my kids a healthy dessert that is full of fruit! Here is their favorite popsicle so far…
Fresh Raspberry and Watermelon Popsicles
2 ½ cups seeded diced watermelon
½ cup fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
4-6 tablespoons of organic honey (depending on your taste)
Instructions: Combine all ingredients in a blender; until smooth. Poor blended ingredients into popsicle molds. Freeze overnight. Keep them frozen for up to 1 week!
Before we transitioned into eating healthier, my kids loved the marshmallow dip with strawberries as a little sweet snack. I found this healthier version on the 100 Days of Real Food blog that my kids love even more…
Honey Cream Dip
4 ounces cream cheese (1/2 a block), cut into chunks
½ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Instructions: Use an electric mixer to combine the cream cheese, heavy cream, honey and vanilla. Start on low and then gradually increase the speed to avoid splatters. Whip for several minutes until thick and creamy.
(From 100 Days of Real Food Blog)
Q) What do you incorporate into your daily life for optimal health? A) Every morning I oil pull with coconut oil and drink a glass of lemon water. Doing both of these have been amazing for me! Before I started oil pulling, I would get headaches and sinus congestion. Now, my headaches are very rare and my sinus congestion is gone. I have also noticed a significant change in my skin! Another plus from oil pulling is having nice white teeth without having to use all of those harsh chemicals! Yay! I also use to have horrible stomach problems every single day. I learned that drinking lemon water can help with digestion, so I tried it. Now I can’t live without doing it each morning. I do not have the stomach problems anymore and it has also helped my skin!
Q) What was the best advice you received from another Hippie Mom? A) The best advice I have been given from many Hippie Moms is that you don’t have to be perfect. It is okay to “cheat” every once in a while and to not always buy that organic products. I am very blessed to have a wonderful Hippie Mom in my family that gives and accepts great advice…Becky Wells. I love talking to her and sharing ideas with her!
Q) What healthy habit or healthful food have you always wanted to try or incorporate into your life but haven’t? A) The one thing I wanted to try was Chia Seeds. I could never figure out a good way to use them, but since joining this group I have been inspired and incorporated them into a lot of new things…pudding, smoothies, and those amazing Chia Seed Balls! Yum!
Q) What is your least favorite house chore and why? A) My least favorite house chore, seems to be a popular one…laundry! My one and only reason for disliking it so much is because we have so much of it! I have tried my hardest to spread out my laundry throughout the week, but with working full time and having so many kids in different activities, I found myself having to rewash so many loads that I would forget about in the wash! So, I have designated my laundry to Sunday. I begin when I wake up, and I do not finish until I go to bed! On average I will do about 6-7 loads of clothes and then 3-4 loads of towels and then 3-4 loads of bedding! Sometimes, my three oldest boys will surprise me with doing their own loads of laundry, which makes this mommy very happy!
Q) What do you do for yourself on a daily or weekly basis? A) Every morning, I take about 15 minutes to just sit in a quiet place and relax. We are extremely busy in our house, and that 15 minutes of peace and quiet just helps me get my day started!
Q) What is the biggest challenge eating healthy? A) I think the biggest challenge for our family is the cost of eating healthy! With 8 of us in our house, our grocery bill can get out of hand at times. I have to do a lot of meal planning and organizing to make sure I don’t go overboard. I am a 3rd grade teacher, and I find myself planning my meals as if I was lesson planning for my week of teaching! Every Sunday, (after I have started my laundry) I look at what I have in my freezer, fridge, and pantry, and try to build dinners around those items. Then, I start my grocery list adding the ingredients I do not have, but I do this very carefully! I try to use each ingredient in multiple recipes, so that I am not buying a ton at the store…especially fruits and vegetables! Without doing this intense planning, we would not be able to afford to eat organically!
Q) What is one healthy goal you want to incorporate or accomplish in your or your kids life over the next several months? A) I think over the past year, I have really focused on making healthy changes for our entire family but mainly for my kids. Now, I want to continue learning how to make and maintain a healthy lifestyle for me…continue learning how to make some time for me and how to take care of me!
Q) What is something you can share with us that is funny, embarrassing, or vulnerable? A) The most vulnerable thing I can share is the amazing feeling I have when I see what wonderful things have happened because we decided to make healthy changes for our family! I never knew the power of food and products until we made the change. I love the way it has helped each and every one of us! My video highlights my favorite story of how our changes have helped our family!
Q) What hobbies or passions do you have? A) A hobby I have is playing the piano. I have played for 30 years! I find myself going to the piano when I am stressed, tired, or even just to relax!
Want to see the change from her son’s perspective? Watch this video and find out!
AWESOME! Kelly is amazing. She is truly an inspiration for any family of any size to make healthy changes. It begins with us Hippies!
Please share with us your take on Kelly’s journey to healthy and holistic!