This is the week that many of us set goals for the next year, make final charitable contributions, start planning for taxes, and maybe drink some champagne and kiss those we love as we welcome in the new year.
The last 525,600 minutes have been busy, crazy, hectic, hard, amazing, rewarding and so many other things all rolled into one crazy year and I’m so grateful that I got to spend some of it with you.
The Official Wellness Mama Awards (WMAs)
To celebrate, I’m creating a totally unofficial and mostly biased set of awards: the Wellness Mama Awards (WMAs) with the top posts, comments, videos and content I found from around the web this year. Unlike official award ceremonies, there are no fake gold statues to give out, no fancy dresses, and no performances. Just some of the best things I found around the web (and on WellnessMama.com) that I wanted to share with you.
Super exciting, right?
Read on for the list… (and scroll down to see the most popular content on Wellness Mama over the past year).
Product of the Year: Instant Pot
The Instant Pot would be in the running for the “best of everything” category if there was one. I use it weekly and apparently many of you do as well! It was the most-sold kitchen product on Amazon and one of the favorites with you guys too!
Useful Tip of the Year: Natural Drain Cleaning
Not super exciting and you’d never see this on any real award show, but this beyond-simple natural drain cleaning method really works! It saved me when my hubby was out of town and the drain in our kitchen clogged thanks to the three-year-old’s attempt at dishes that resulted in her pouring a bowl of butter and melted olive oil down the drain.
Runner up: These smart uses for the camera on your phone
Course of the Year: Kids Cook Real Food
Kids Cook Real Food E-Course. I seriously wish I could give this course to every family and go to their houses to make sure they actually watch it. It is that good. Katie Kimball of Kitchen Stewardship teaches your kids how to cook (with your help). My kids love it, and it includes a free knife skills class without even purchasing it!
Favorite Healthy Hack of the Year: Saunas
If you’re not a regular sauna user, I’d highly recommend it, as there are some inexpensive ways to try it at home. I’m a tad biased because she is one of my best friends, but I love this post from MommyPotamus about the amazing benefits of regular sauna use. I’m also excited to announce that Heather will be the new co-host of The Healthy Moms podcast this year and that she and I will occasionally do a “SaunaCast” episode from her sauna to answer reader questions. Stay tuned! 😉
Podcast of the Year: Ben Greenfield
I really enjoy Ben’s podcast (and he has some great articles on his website too!). Ben interviews experts in a variety of fields and isn’t afraid to tackle controversial topics like EMFs, GMOs and extreme hot and cold therapy.
Runner up: The Tim Ferriss Show. He has some great interviews with a very random assortment of guests.
Best Blog for Pregnant & New Moms: Mama Natural
If you are pregnant or a new mom, you have to check out Mama Natural. She has a great natural birth course, and a week-to-week pregnancy book coming in 2017. Check out her blog for hundreds of posts about all things pregnancy, birth and beyond.
Bundle of the Year: Ultimate Bundles
Everyone is doing bundles these days, but there is only one Ultimate Bundles and they are the only one I will promote or become an author for. I’ve become good friends with them over the past year and their commitment to quality and customer service is AMAZING! With them, you won’t be buying the same books that have been in every other bundle and you’ll learn a ton. They are running a flash sale (and the best deal of the year) right now. Check it out here.
Best Time-Saver In the Kitchen: Real Plans
Without a doubt, the tool that saves me the most time in the kitchen is Real Plans for meal planning. The Instant Pot (see above) saves me the most time in cooking, but Real Plans saves time planning and shopping (and it has many Instant Pot recipes too!). My favorite part? It is so easy to use that I can plan everything from my phone while nursing the baby!
Best Handmade Product: Kokomo Cream Deo
It is so exciting that you can now buy so many handmade products if you don’t want to make them yourself. I still make a lot of my own, but often use this Kokomo Cream Natural Deodorant from Crunchy Betty on Etsy.
Kids Choice Award: Gorilla Gym
The kids have picked the Gorilla Gym as their favorite toy/product for the last three years since they got it as a Christmas gift. They use it daily and I love that they can get their energy out inside on rainy days.
Pet Choice Award:
I’ve been making DIY products for years, but just started making them for our pets too! They love this protective paw wax recipe from Frugally Sustainable.
- Our puppy (aka- the one who chews everything) is loving this Kong toy and I like to freeze yogurt in there to help his teething.
Drink of the Year (Besides Water)
This is totally a legitimate category, right? There were some tough contenders for the title this year, but the winner goes to… Dry Farm Wines for their natural and organic wines.
Food/Snack of the Year
When it comes to pre-made food, there are a few that we use all the time. These Paleo Valley beef sticks win because they are healthy, portable, and great for camping and travel.
Best Random Gadget I Love
Do random gadgets deserve their own category? I say yes… and this Wine Bottle Tiki Torch Kit is my favorite this year. We made a few from up-cycled wine bottles and now they serve as functional decorations.
I’d Like to Thank…
As I reflect on the last year and what it has brought for our family, for WellnessMama.com and for relationships, I’m overcome with love and gratitude. I am so grateful to have gotten to e-know many of you this year in the comments and on Facebook and for the amazing community that has developed that is so much more than I could ever have imagined.
This community, and all of you, give me true hope that we are going to make lasting changes in our communities and in our world for future generations. Your passion, dedication, and interest in creating a healthier future for your family is creating ripples that can truly change the world.
The Most Popular Posts on Wellness Mama…
This year was busy over here at Wellness Mama headquarters (aka my kitchen & laundry room). I wrote a book (this one) along with a bunch of new posts, had a baby, re-branded the Podcast (now the Healthy Moms podcast), and did a whole lot of dishes and laundry.
These are the top posts of 2016 on Wellness Mama as voted by you guys (by number of times they were visited).
101 Uses for Coconut Oil
This coconut oil post is actually the most visited post of all time on the blog. It may also get the award for my most copied blog post of all time, as I’m constantly finding it (or very slightly modified versions of it) on other blogs and websites. PSA: Originality is attractive… write your own original posts people!
How to Use Castor Oil for Hair (Grow Beautiful Hair Fast)
What’s old is new again. Castor oil is one of my secrets to keeping my long hair healthy (and to long eyelashes!) This is a remedy my grandmother probably used and now it is really popular again.
Chia Seed Pudding Recipe (+ 5 Delicious Variations)
The humble little chia seed packs a powerful nutritional punch and chia seed pudding is apparently the method of choice to consume it. This recipe for chia seed pudding was among the most visited and most commented posts this year.
How to Make Bone Broth
Bone broth has been gaining popularity over the last few years. Based on the number of visits to this tutorial about how to make it, I’d say its popularity continues. I also found a great grass-fed non-perishable bone broth that I order when I don’t want to make it.
5 Minute Turmeric Tea Recipe (How to Make Golden Milk)
My long-time favorite recipe for turmeric tea was very popular this year. I’m glad to see so many people trying this delicious healthy beverage!
Himalayan Salt Lamp Benefits For Your Home
Looks like there are a bunch of us coconut oil using, turmeric tea drinking, chia seed eaters with salt lamps in their home. Or at least the salt lamp part, since it just missed the top 5 this year by a couple of votes. Here’s why I love them!
7 Natural Remedies for Eczema
I’m sad that this post is popular, because it means there may be a lot of people struggling with eczema. I hope they all found relief this year!
Natural Bug Spray Recipes (That Actually Work)
Natural products for the win! This natural bug spray works really well. I love that so many people are choosing natural options over harsher ones that may leave harmful chemicals in our bodies and the environment.
How to Balance Hormones Naturally
An oldie but a goodie. This is one of my oldest posts but it still got a lot of love this year.
Luxurious Sugar Scrub Recipe
Put food on your face… just don’t put this particular food in your mouth! Sugar scrubs are great for skin and are a much better option than eating the sugar!
Homemade Pasta Sauce Recipe (From Fresh or Canned Tomatoes)
Who knew homemade pasta sauce was so popular? If you haven’t tried it, the flavor is so much better when you make your own! Here are the recipes.
The Benefits of Lemon Water (in the Morning)
One simple change… so many benefits. I love that so many people are drinking lemon water in the morning. Have you tried it?
How to Make Your Own Deodorant
Homemade deo is super-simple to make. It also works better for me and many of the 1000+ commenters on the post. Don’t want to make it? I also love this handmade coconut lime version made with the same ingredients.
Homemade Lotion Recipe
This 3-ingredient homemade lotion recipe was very popular this year. Ever tried making your own?
Coconut Milk Shampoo Recipe
This simple homemade shampoo doesn’t work for everyone, but many of you seemed to love its softening effects over the past year.
Natural Remedies for Allergy Relief
I live in a state known for being one of the worst in the country for allergies. That makes me totally unqualified to write this post, except that I’ve personally tried (and succeeded) with many of these remedies. Apparently, they work for many of you too!
How to Detox Your Armpits
Did you know that body odor may not be the worst thing in your armpits? Many of the products we use have harsh chemicals and unnatural junk that can build up in your pits and cause itchiness when you try to use a natural deodorant. I used an armpit detox to get that stuff out!
Why I Don’t Reduce a Fever (And What I Do Instead)
Without a doubt this post gets the award for most controversial (of this year and every year since I wrote it). Notice the title says “why I don’t” as I’m just sharing what I do. I’m not a doctor and am certainly not giving medical advice. All that said, these are the reasons I (typically) don’t reduce a fever.
Oil Pulling for Oral Health
I was swishing with coconut oil long before it was trendy, but I love that so many other people are now too! (You can also do it with sesame or other oils if you can’t tolerate coconut.)
This once-ridiculed algae is now sitting at the popular kids table! Spirulina is a nutrient dense food with a lot of uses.
Healthy Coffee Recipe
It may be old news now, but everyone is putting butter in their coffee. Here’s my take on bulletproof coffee.
Magnesium: How to Make Your Own Magnesium Oil & Signs of Deficiency
My favorite mineral got some attention this year with both of these posts getting a lot of visits:
How I Remineralized My Teeth
I love to talk about oral health. I’ve always found it fascinating and this was one of my first posts about how I stopped my cavities and avoided fillings.
Top Uses for Gelatin
Gelatin is a kitchen staple for me. I use gelatin and collagen in many recipes to make everything from marshmallows to fruit snacks.
How to Make Elderberry Syrup
A remedy I always keep on hand, especially in the winter. I hope you don’t ever need it for illness, but love it for avoiding getting sick!
Most Commented This Year
The two posts that were the most discussed this year are Why I Don’t Post About My Kids Online and Dear Parents, We Owe It to Our Kids to Stop This. Needless to say, you guys are VERY passionate about your children, and that’s a good thing!
My Favorite Thing From This Year…
From the beginning, the mission of Wellness Mama has been to help other families live healthier lives and empower families with practical ways to accomplish this.
I feel like the food mission to help parents provide healthy foods for their families doesn’t stop in my own community or even just in the blogging community as there is such a need for this internationally.
Did you know?
If you’ve ever purchased something through a link on my site, you’ve helped keep WellnessMama.com up and running, and a percentage of that is also donated to charities that provide sustainable food and water sources worldwide. Thank you so much if you’ve helped support my blog in this way and also helped support many others worldwide.
Reviewing the numbers today, the giving is the real thing that I’m most excited about and most proud of. Over the years, the Wellness Mama Community… YOU… have helped provide things to families in need all over the world.
These gifts not only provided food or clothing to those in need, but in many cases, also a sustainable food or water source and a way for a family to earn income.
Over the years, you’ve helped give:
- 2000 pounds of non-perishable foods
- 840 chickens for eggs, meat and income for families
- 72 Pigs for food and income for families
- 12 goats for food and income for families
- 4 donkeys for transportation and tilling
- 3 water pumps that each provide water to a village
- 4 beehives for food and income for families
- 20 Fruit Trees so that families can grow the fruit and sell
- 10 pairs of work boots so farmers can work safely
- 5 sets of agricultural tools for small farmers
- 10 large Coolers for fishermen to store fish to sell
- 8 sewing machines and thread/material for women to open sewing businesses
- plus medical supplies and school supplies for children around the world
These things were donated through Food for the Poor in case you want to send some chickens to someone in need this year 🙂
I’ve always been a big believer in the “teach a man to fish” mentality, and giving in this way not only provides food or water for someone one time, but helps other families to start their own businesses and provide food for their children regularly. Because at the end of the day:
It is all About Relationships and Family…
Again, thank you so much for reading, for being a part of this community and for sharing in the mission of providing a healthier future for our kids.
This next year, I hope you’ll join me in one of my personal goals: to focus on my family and on relationships more. To prioritize not just making healthy food and creating a healthy environment for my husband and children, but being more present and spending more time together as a family.
Nourish not only your body, but the important relationships in your life. Tell people you love them, and show them. Because at the end of the day, that is what is going to make the biggest difference in your own life and in the lives of your family members and the next generation.
Happy New Year! I’m so thankful and honored that you took the time to be part of this crazy journey with me this year and I can’t wait to continue it in 2017.
What are your goals for the next year? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!