What Cooking With my Kids Has Meant To Me


As a child and a teenager, I wasn’t very keen on cooking. I thought of myself as “above” that in some way. I excelled at math and science and planned to have an important job and leave the cooking to other people. Truthfully, I never felt drawn to the homemaking arts at all, and I considered myself to be not very good at them. I lived in my head and had little time for wiping down counters, unloading dishwashers, or helping get dinner on the table. It all seemed unimportant and uninspiring.


It’s funny how much things have changed for me.


Though I did graduate with a biology degree, something inside me cried out against the math & science route I had been planning on. I ended up getting a Masters in counseling and then becoming a mom to three fascinating and fantastic children.


In fact, most of my adult life has been spent cooking and cleaning.


As a dreamy, oblivious child, I didn’t put it together that these are tasks few people are able to escape completely. They are the daily work of most lives. In a strange turn of events I have actually found the meat and meaning of life in the repetitive daily tasks…cooking in particular.


I have found hope for changing the world, an outlet for creativity, a place to teach and connect with my children, a way to bring production back into the home, answers to my family’s health concerns, a deeper connection with creation, and even a new understanding of God. I’m really not exaggerating here – cooking has been all this and more, a beautiful gift in my life.


Cooking in traditional ways, with raw ingredients while reaping health benefits and the simple joy of delicious foods has become part of every day of my life as a wife, mother, and entrepreneur. My kids could not help but see me cook, see the delight I take in it, and enjoy the fruits of my labor.


I guess it was natural for them to want to join in the fun!


My oldest wanted to help before he was even a year old. I realized then that watching some one cook (especially for a young child, but even for us adults, I think!) is like watching magic happen before your eyes. Interesting ingredients from different containers get mixed together, eggs completely transform, new enticing smells fill the air, and then something totally new and delicious that you can eat is created. Sitting in front of the oven and watching the bread bake can be better than watching a video on Netflix! All of this is so much better than toys or movies, and so – of course! – my kids wanted to be a part of it.


Though all my children enjoy helping me cook, it is my daughter (my middle child) who has taken to it with the most passion and ease. She is eight years old and a better cook than many adults I know. She “gets it” at a level that I did not achieve for many years. In my childhood, I thought cooking was merely a matter of following directions – not worthy of my time or energy. As I have become a cook, I have learned that recipes are only a helpful starting place – adding in creativity, having an intuitive feel of ratios of different ingredients and what could substitute for ingredients you are low on or missing altogether – this begins the expertise and the fun of cooking. My daughter is getting that, and it makes my heart full and my eyes well up with tears.


Cooking is a gift that I am passing on to my children. In a world full of technology, standardized tests, prescription medications, and pre-made foods, it is an invaluable gift of vibrant, real life that will empower them and nourish them. It’s absolutely worth a few messes and wasted ingredients, because there is so much more here than just pulling something together for lunch. Teaching my kids to cook is equipping them to provide for themselves, to be healthy, to truly experience and enjoy life, and to cooperate in creation itself!

Want to experience the fun and meaning in cooking with your children?

Sign up for Let’s Cook Together: A Healthy Cooking Class for Kids and Their Parents. Classes begin May 8th!

Self Care for Menstrual Cramp Pain

Did you know that tight points in your muscles (trigger points) could be the cause of your menstrual cramp pain? Today, I’m giving you my best self care techniques to help you be free of pain during your periods!

These techniques give me relief almost immediately and a few times working on them can even last through several cycles!

I’d love to hear from you if you try it. Did you find it easy to find the points? Did you notice a difference?

Note: There’s one correction on the video. When I go to the floor, the first step is to warm up the whole abdominal area. Then, I work the abdominal obliques (I say rectus – but I do the obliques first).

Celebrate {Come Back to Center Day 5/5}

This is the fifth and final day of our 5 Day Instagram Challenge! If you haven’t already, you can join the challenge by following us on Instagram or by joining the Sweet Water Sisterhood Facebook group.

Today your challenge is to CELEBRATE!

Celebrating reminds us of all that we have to be grateful for. It shifts our brains into a mode of appreciation instead of critically assessing what is wrong with our lives or what we need to work on.

Do This First

Before you decide what to celebrate and how to celebrate it, I want you to take a few minutes to make a list of things you are thankful for. Set a timer for five minutes and see how many things you can write down. 

Once you have taken the time to be thankful, then start thinking of what you could celebrate today and an activity that would add to the joy of what you are thankful for.

What to Celebrate

Here are a few ideas for what you could celebrate today:

  • A half-birthday or small life anniversary (like the anniversary of when you painted your room a new color or when you planted your first garden or when you moved into your home). Look through your calendar and see what you could find – it could even be a 1 month or 1 week anniversary of something!
  • Small victories – getting through a busy week or a making a deadline, a child sleeping through the night in his own bed, a month without being sick, completing this week’s challenges – anything that feels like a success to you!
  • The good things in life: your family, a dear friend, your home, your job that you love, sunny weather, flowers blooming, the weekend, etc.
  • There are lots of things to celebrate when we take the time to notice them. I’d love to hear what you come up with!

How to Celebrate

Here are a few ideas of how to celebrate:

  • Do something you love to do, like going to a beautiful outdoor location, wearing your favorite outfit, or listening to music that makes you smile.
  • Eat foods that feel like a treat but that you won’t feel guilty about – fresh fruit you don’t usually buy, a homemade dessert, dinner at your favorite restaurant, chocolate, tea – something that feels a bit extravagant and celebratory!
  • Express yourself! Sing, dance, talk about what you are celebrating with other people or celebrate with friends/family.
  • Add a little beauty. Buy or pick some flowers to put on the table, pull out your nice plates for dinner, or add some simple decorations to your celebration.
  • Keep it simple. Don’t stress yourself out trying to do something special. Sometimes the simplest things can feel the most nourishing to our hearts. This way, it feels like a treat and not like a chore.

Celebrations are part of every culture. They help us step out of the grind of everyday life, notice the goodness around us, and receive at a deeper levels the gifts God has for us. 

Don’t miss this chance to celebrate!

And, I’d love to hear about it once you’ve done it – post a photo or comment below about how you are celebrating today. 

Are you ready to join us?

Simply follow Sweet Water Offering on Instagram or request to be added to the Sweet Water Sisterhood group on Facebook to get your daily challenges.

Need More Support?

If you’re interested in more support for Holistic Mental Health, check out this group coming up in March…A Little Space: From Sad and Stressed Out to Centered and Soulful.

Connect {Come Back to Center Day 3/5}

This is the third day of our 5 Day Instagram Challenge! If you haven’t already, you can join the challenge by following us on Instagram or by joining the Sweet Water Sisterhood Facebook group.

Today your challenge is to CONNECT with some one you love who encourages, comforts, or energizes you. 

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Are You a Coffee Drinker?

by Katie Palmer, Certified Herbalist and FDN-P

Do you find yourself stumbling around, glaring at everyone, and murmuring words of frustration at the sun until you’ve had your first cup of coffee? Are you the type of person that constantly repeats the phrase, “Sorry, I haven’t had my coffee yet”? If so, this may be a sign of adrenal dysfunction.

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Books that Have Been Good for My Mental Health Lately


I love to read. And – an odd little secret about me – I love to read out loud. I started reading my textbooks and literature out loud in middle and high school, when my baby sister (10 years younger) would happily sit and listen. I soon realized I remembered everything so much better when I read out loud and that it was way more fun than just zipping through it in my head.

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