Jackie's Journey: Adventure to Wellness


 After so much inspiration and deliberation I've decided to enter into the 2016 Natural Iowa bikini competition on May 14th, 2016. This choice is a goal for myself as I love meeting goals and working towards something that pushes myself. For me it is not about the looks but about a learning process of myself and helping others learn as well.

My intention is to show that this can be attained by eating a plant-based diet, by using young living products for muscles, aches and pains and more, and the process will greatly aided with regular float tank sessions. 

Foods will be blogged, oils will be listed and explained, and, of course, some awesome vlogs when using the float tank! What is the float tank? Check out www.honestfloating.com

The plant based foods naturally keep a body at lower weights and easier to get into competition mode. Our meals at home are already plant based with the exception of 1 local small chicken every other week and eggs. There is some learning to do with the meal plans, however I do intend to eat more intuitively vs very restricted. The float tank will help me recover while soaking in the Epsom salts in 60 minute sessions and help maintain low stress and excellent focus during this busy time. Finally, by adding essential oils for muscle care, energy, aches and pains and more I can continue to be chemical free and feeling great. 

This journey started September 7th and will be updating social media such as Instagram, Pinterest and this blog! My motivation comes from helping others and any feedback you have is always accepted!! I have amazing coaches and support. Thank you all for being a part of this journey!!

Thank you Dusty Swehla, Lisa Barta and Ernestine Shepherd for this area of inspiration!!! I've made excuses long enough. Time to pony up and just do it!!

The Sustainable Couple - Marion, Iowa's Best

Kelli and her husband, John, have the most beautiful home in Marion, Iowa. They have added things like animals, produce and much more on their in-town acreage. This is one couple you want to learn from!

Lets dig in!

This family includes two dogs, Manny and Bruce, and their four backyard chickens!! (Rob I am so coming for you!) The coop sits in their backyard along with plenty of goodies growing and rain barrels collecting natures rain. Kelli has really developed a great system for her garden and understands it's ever changing needs with sunlight and using things like the three sisters gardening combinations. They also shuffle their produce locations and are very intentional with where they plant each crop.  

In Kelli's own words, "I am a former high school English and journalism teacher (turned educational mentor and blogger), and John is an electrician who spends much of his time on the road. (Read about that here and here.) We've lived a pretty traditional life for the last six years, but things changed when I quit my full-time teaching gig to do a little traveling with John. (You can read more about that here and here and here.)

You've probably gathered that life, with us, is always an adventure. 

Together, John and I love live music and live entertainment, camping, outdoor activities, and working to become a more 'sustainable couple'. I love to garden, can and preserve food, cook, upcycle, and dream of becoming a self-sufficient micro-farmer, complete with backyard chickens. John's life goal is to prevent me from getting backyard chickens. John finally agrees that I can have backyard chickens! We're getting backyard chickens!  We have four backyard chickens!

Together we enjoy making our one-third acre city lot a more sustainable place. We're building a little homestead in the middle of a large Eastern Iowa town. We believe in living a self-sufficient lifestyle (mentally and physically) and are slowly transforming our practices to encompass those beliefs. We dig simple, frugal living.

Much of what we write about on our blog relates to eco-friendly living, growing as much of our own food as possible, learning skills to make us self-sufficient, renovating our 1840s home, cooking from scratch, crafting, being cheap asses frugal, essential oils, our dogs, and our travels. Sometimes we'll throw in a good story about our knucklehead friends and family." 

Kelli showing me her lettuce and the combinations she had in this bed. 

Just looking down her rows show things like green beans, squash and corn. It was a beautiful sight and smelled lovely. So fresh!

Check out these friends that came up to say Hello! 

By using barrels from Amana they made these rain barrels that when full, one and a half barrel can water their entire garden. Each barrel has a hose up top connecting one barrel to the next. You can slightly see the white hose between the first and second barrel. When one is full it "spills" over to the next and so on and so forth. 

As I stood there talking with Kelli about their compost and scraps rotation I spy feathers amongst the growing tomato plants. These companions spend some time on the cool earth under the plants. 

Follow this incredible couple on their sustainable journey! 



Shero Experience Keynote Speaker Announced!!



We are incredibly excited to announce that Ernestine Shepherd will be joining us September 3rd, with a visit to The MAC, through the 4th, teaching a morning activity at Shero! 

Get to know this years keynote speaker by watching this short video!

"Feeling better than she did at 40, bodybuilding champion Ernestine Shepherd shows us that ”being out of shape” as we age truly is merely an option — NOT a mandate! She is a role model not just for senior women everywhere, but for every one of us." excerpt taken from her website

Italian Dressing Recipe (unreal!!)

This has to be one of my favorite new recipes for the year! I actually had this at Dhamma Pakasa where I learned the Vipassana meditation technique for 10 days silently. 

The fresh crunch of the salad with all of the wholesome goodness of the fixins, what a treat! 

Italian Dressing

This makes about 8 ounces and I mix it up into a 16 wide-mouth ball jar and use one of those metal balls that come with a protein shake mixer cup to mix it. OR traditional whisking works too but the ball in the  jar really helps when you want to pour some out in a snap. 

2 1/2 tsp & a pinch - Soy Sauce or Tamari or Braggs liquid aminos

1 1/2 tsp & pinch lemon juice

2 1/2 tsp & pinch Braggs apple cider vinegar

2 1/2 tsp &  pinch balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup + 2 1/2 tsp & pinch water

1/3 tsp & pinch salt 

1/3 tsp & pinch pepper

2 1/2 tsp & pinch honey

3/4 tsp dill, dried

1/8 tsp oregano

1/8 tsp basil 

1/8 tsp mustard powder

2 1/2 tsp &  pinch tahini

1/3 cup + 1 TBS + 1/8 tsp extra virgin, olive oil

Creamy delicious dressing!! 

Creamy delicious dressing!! 

Naked salad!

Naked salad!

Eat and enjoy!!! 

Take a photo of your meal and tag us or post on our Facebook wall. #honestlivingrecipes


31:31 A new challenge 31 days after turning 31. 31 days of no drinking!

31 days of zero alcohol the day after I turned 31

My birthday is July 28th, this year it fell on a Tuesday. Also this year when I turned 31 I thought about things I've tried, things my clients try and things that would do a body good. After a couple months of events and summer grilling out I came to rest on this. NOT A DROP OF ALCOHOL FOR 31 DAYS. It wasn't easy, and not because I drink a lot, but because so many activities seem to include alcohol and it is nice to enjoy a spiced bloody mary on a hot day while gardening or reading a book. At first I wondered what I would do on day 31. You'll see how it the past 31 days have transpired. 

Here's what happened. 

New office furniture! This was on the first day. I was feeling great, not paying attention to it to much and really didn't notice anything yet. Office is in Back in Line Chiropractic and Wellness at 102 A Ave Hiawatha, IA 52404, also coach via phone and online. 

This is the day I found I was being awarded the "What's Your 50?" The second is the day I got my award. I was nominated by the Cedar Rapids Blue Zones Project. This award goes out to 50 people in the whole state of Iowa once a year. Taken from the website, "Through the “What’s Your 50?” campaign, we encourage Iowans to participate in volunteer and service activities at least 50 hours per year.  Research has shown that an annual contribution of 50 hours tends to be a tipping point for maximizing impact; both to the individual who volunteers and the benefactor of their service.  Imagine the difference we can make by working together to meet some of our communities’ toughest challenges"

There was a lot of gym, Rierson Fitness and yoga time. Along with a wedding on the 4th day! Rob's friends got married in the most beautiful barn and we enjoyed friends and conversation all evening. I had approximately 4-5 bottles of water. By this point I was feeling the "pressure" to drink, not in an aggressive way but each person that saw me empty-handed offered to get me a wine or a beer. I did fine and made it through with about 20 trips to the bathroom. 

The next morning I was able to wake up, exercise and enjoy a good book. So often the weekends are packed but with so many activities to do it was wonderful to feel fully refreshed. This book was gift from Rob on my birthday as a recommendation from my friend, Anne Erps, out in DC. It is by Sheryl Sandberg and discussing women leaning in to adverse situations to learn, grow and excell. "Lean In" The weekend was wonderful. 

lean in book.jpg

It was now into the Tuesday, one week down on 31 days. It was ok, I really hadn't noticed a lot of things that were different. Except for the fact that I was completely refreshed and not an ounce of groggy or tired. I started to think, wow, so I am responsible for how I feel....

Here comes the first Wednesday of the month. This always brings Impact CR Siren Wednesday, which was at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art. They always have lovely appetizers, wine and beer. Impact CR's mission is, "The concept is simple - provide our members the opportunity to connect, have a voice and make a difference in their community. " After this event I noticed I snacked a bit more when I did not have wine. Interesting. 

The second weekend of 31:31 no alcohol!!! This was a great weekend for gardening, cleaning my basement, which was overdue after all of Dad's things being down there and Robert's brother, Daniel, living down there. There was a moment when I wanted to make a small bloody mary and go garden....just to remember I can't! Ack! The gardening was just as beautiful and fun as usual. This free time also gave me the opportunity to get up to speed on all my essentials for the week and assess what I needed. Charka, Rob and I had some special family time at the Cheyenne Dog Park then I curled up for a read out back. "An A-Z Guide to Food Additives

vitamins all.jpg

NeoCell had sent me their Collagen Sport Ultimate Recover Complex to review. I had plenty of time to post this up on my Honestly Yours Blog and actually now offer it in my online store. I give it an A+ and also recommend the protein powder at the Back in Line office! To get this much done in one week was amazing. I was 13 days in. I surely felt amazing, there had been a fair amount of events that I couldn't partake in the alcohol but the pros were outweighing the cons. 

POWER MONDAY! We kicked this off by our maiden voyage using our Champion juicer. We LOVE it and it works so smoothly with all the produce and has fast and easy clean up. I was thinking how nice it would be to have a dinner and a drink with my mom for her birthday on the weekend....then I remembered 31:31!!!! ACK! I was going to miss my moms birthday beverage in trade for a root beer. Then I realized, my commitment and life begins NOW. Let's see how far I can take this 31 day challenge. What can I do with this?! 

It had been a full week of clients, meetings, Shero planning and family. But I had realized it was really about me. Taking care of me, challenging myself and staying committed. The 14th Dr CJ Kleene DC from Back in Line and I put on a Meal Planning Workshop. It was amazing, everyone went home with vegetables lasagna and the kids enjoyed it too

It was after that that I realized I had a social gathering for the networking group I am in, Corridor Business Builders in TWO days! At a golf course. In the evening. AND my mom's birthday was that Saturday! Oh dear. 

"CBB is a unique networking group dedicated to relationship building, networking, and community service. Several goals of CBB include growing and building lasting relationships among members, encouraging personal business development and growth in a variety of ways such as referral business, financial success, and personal and professional development."

About this time I saw a friend post about this savory looking bloody mary and it about did me in.

The weekend flew by. At the golf outing I drank my fair share of water, had a few extra appetizers, cheers-ed my mom with a root beer and had to part ways for late night socializing but I had made it through. It wasn't incredibly hard per say, but it is so common place to have a libation with an event, meal or celebration. The occurrences were adding up. 

The 21st was Iowa Valley Food Co-op day. It was amazing! I had unexpected weight loss, hours of increased productivity, more fun and feeling good! However....I was beginning to crave that familiar salty bloody mary that I liked to kick back and enjoy while reading or out with friends. 

BUT I had announced that I was going to Costa Rica in February to the Wanderlust Teacher Training! THANK YOU! To all the Honest Living friends and clients for this opportunity!! 

"We are a direct-to-consumer cooperative of producer and consumer members in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area. IVFC is a web-based cooperative where consumers can order products directly from area farmers and other local businesses. IVFC acts as a facilitator, providing a marketplace for all types of local producers, processing orders and payments, and facilitating delivery to consumer members." From the IVFC website. 

At 26 days in we ran the Run For Shelter 5k for the Willis Dady Emergency Shelter. It started to downpour so I ducked for cover while Rob blasted through the second half. 

August 23rd I was feeling that I could take on the world and had motivation from the morning run.  Rob and I decided with Rob to climb the Praying Monk in Arizona January 2015! 

After spending more and more time outside and in the garden I could see just how this sabbatical was improving my health and my outlook on the day. I've always enjoyed the quiet and peaceful life but lately it has felt better and better. After dad passed there was a chaos to life. And now it is coming back into focus very clear and very calm.  

By this point I had become common place to forgo or not even miss joining others for a libation. I had filled my time with personal development and activities. Yoga everyday, lots of water, plenty of rest and getting everything done each day that needed attention. With a clear head too I might add!

Aug 27 yoga.jpg

The final visit to Camp Wapsie August 28th for The Shero Experience! I could NOT have pulled this off if I had been groggy, hungover or tired. This was a real example of a benefit the 31 day Challenge gave me!  

Finally it was August 30th. I could have a bloody mary....but did I? No sir. Rob and I got up early and headed to Pictured Rock in Iowa with a friend for some rock climbing!!!! A huge benefit of no drinks!!! 

So what did I learn on this 31 day challenge? 

I learned that there are temptations and opportunities EVERYWHERE to have an adult beverage. I learned that most people would like a person to join in and have a drink. I learned that many events serve alcohol, but most of the activities I like to do are best done stone sober. I learned that I feel great everyday and get a lot done this way. 

Most importantly I learned that it's OK to say, "No Thank You." It's September 8th and I still haven't had a drop. The funny thing is it's going further and further from my mind as an option. 

Will I have a drink again someday? Yes. This challenge was a way to see if I could dedicate myself to something that seems so common. It wasn't that I think everyone should refrain from alcohol, it was a test of will power. And I did great! 

What is the next 31 day challenge? 

I am going to set my next challenge as starting today September 8th to October 9th to be 

Yoga Every Single Day!!! 

Follow my challenges on Instagram and Facebook and send me challenge ideas!

Post pictures of your own!

#honestliving #31daychallenge #jackiefetter

"A nice person is a 'yes' person, whereas a good person is a person who accepts their responsibility in things and moves forward and tries to constantly evolve and isn't afraid to say no or challenge someone or be honest or truthful."Miranda Kerr

What resources does Cedar Rapids have for families?

If you were a family in need where would you go? Friends and family can only do so much. For some great resources I've started putting together a community page on my website. Let me know if there are any great organizations that you would like to add. There is also a page for businesses as well. 

No matter what your career is you can always help these organizations as well. Giving and volunteering is a very fulfilling and soul enriching part of life. If you don't already work with an organization feel free to reach out to one of these or message me with questions. 

Click to view resources.