VoyageUtah, an online magazine dedicated to authentically sharing the stories of creators, emailed and asked if they could interview me about the beginnings of BRE HEALTHY and the mission and purpose behind the brand. I was so grateful for the opportunity to work with them and share my story.
Today we’d like to introduce you to Breanna Halverson. Hi Breanna, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
Hello, my name is Breanna Panter Halverson! I am a baccalaureate registered nurse, farm momma of three, and wholesome food, family, fitness, and farm blogger. I was born, raised, and am currently residing in Northern Utah. I am grateful to share the life experiences that have brought me to where I am today as the blogger of BRE HEALTHY. Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to be a…
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My husband Karson and I planned a family day to check on our four🐴 horses, Bandit, Scout, Shotgun, and Claire and visit the nearby reservoir for a beach day with our three children Ro, HH, and E. 👧🏼👦🏼👦🏼 The children were excited and looked forward to the family adventure day.
Karson made delicious deli sandwiches 🥪 and packed food and drinks🥤for the day trip. I loaded the car with camping chairs, a big shade umbrella, and beach supplies. Karson grabbed some equine feed and supplies for our horses. Lastly, we loaded up the car with the children and made our way to our family property where the horses live for the summer.
We arrived and caught our mare and foal, Bandit and Scout. Scout was recently integrated into our extended family’s herd and we wanted to make sure he was in good health and injury-free. His mom Bandit is a good momma horse and has done a good job aiding him in his integration into the herd’s pecking order. Karson groomed them and gave them some mare and foal feed, as well as some fresh hay. He led them to the river for water and then let them go on their merry way.
Finally, we said goodbye to the horses, closed gates, and headed to the reservoir. Working with the horses worked up an appetite, and we enjoyed our lunch at a picnic table overlooking the water. Deli sandwiches at picnic tables taste extra delicious! We finished feeding our hungry bellies and walked down to the beach 🏖 . We set up our chairs, an umbrella, and a beach sheet and began our playtime. Ro and HH enjoyed playing in the mud with buckets and dinosaur 🦕🦖 figurines. They enjoyed playing with a lounge inflatble on the water too. Karson played country music on his Bluetooth speaker as we watched E play in the sand in front of us.
We enjoyed four hours on the beach until wind 🌬 picked up and threw sand everywhere, including our eyes. Consequently, Karson and I packed the children and our supplies up and headed back to our car. We washed up 🚿 at the picnic area spigot and changed the children into clean clothes.
Sleepy Beach Babes
On the drive home, all three children fell asleep. A long day of play wore them out. What a wonderful day spent with my sweet family. Until our next adventure!
Did you know that having healthy teeth is important for total-body health and general wellness? The health of your mouth can affect your whole body! A healthy mouth allows you to speak, eat, and smile in confidence. Read these top tips for improving and maintaining oral health.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to maintain a healthy mouth and beautiful smile! Brushing rids teeth of plaque, a thin film of bacteria that will lead to cavities, gum disease, and tooth decay. To maintain an odor-free mouth and pearly-white teeth, brush your teeth for at least two minutes each brushing session. Divide the time you brush your teeth by four, and spend that time on each quadrant of the mouth with a gentle, circular motion. Brushing your teeth is critical for your overall health!
With a tongue scraper or toothbrush, scrape or brush the tongue gently to remove odor-causing bacteria and film. Keeping the tongue clean prevents bad breath!
Flossing and brushing teeth go hand-in-hand for maintaining healthy teeth and gums! Floss at least once a day before you brush your teeth. Flossing removes built-up plaque, bacteria, and food particles. Be gentle with your teeth and gums while flossing. You miss cleaning 40% of your teeth when you don’t floss.
Swish mouthwash around in your mouth to kill odor and decay-causing bacteria. Fluoride mouth rinse helps prevent tooth decay. Swishing with mouthwash can be an important part of your daily dental hygiene routine!
If you are currently wearing braces or corrective hardware, keep it clean and prevent damage to it. Wear bands and hardware as specified by the orthodontic team to ensure proper teeth correction and alignment.
Wear Your Retainer
If you have a removable retainer, wear it! By wearing a retainer, you keep your teeth aligned after teeth-straightening braces and procedures. If you have a permanent retainer, avoid damage to the hardware and keep it clean.
Limit Sugar & Corrosive Acids
Harmful oral bacteria will feed on the sugars you eat and create acids that destroy the tooth enamel. Don’t let fruit drinks high in acid sit on your teeth. Rinse out your mouth with water after drinking citrus drinks, juices, and sodas. The high acid and sugar content of sodas damage teeth. If a substance can stain a white t-shirt, it can stain your enamel. Drinks like coffee, black tea, and wine will stain your teeth. As we avoid sugar and corrosive acids, we will maintain strong enamel that will prevent tooth infection, decay, and loss.
Don’t Chew Ice
Chewing ice can ruin your teeth and hurt your gums. Chewing ice can cause dental damage that often includes cracked/chipped teeth, tooth enamel damage, ruined fillings/crowns, and sore jaw muscles. When damage occurs, your teeth can become sensitive to extreme temperatures and are more prone to cavities and dental issues.
Drinking water helps wash out sticky and acidic foods. Staying hydrated with water promotes whole body health and vitality!
Don’t Use Teeth As Tools
Teeth are great for making your smile sparkle, not for opening packages! Only use teeth to help you pronounce words and chew food. Do not open, rip, or chomp down on objects with your teeth. You run the risk of breaking, chipping, or cracking your teeth. Avoid nervous habits of chewing on objects like fingernails, pens, and pencils. Save your smile!
Be Tobacco Free
Don’t smoke or chew tobacco. Smoking increases the risk of gum and tooth disease. Tobacco is associated with cheek, gum, and lip cancer. Smoking and chewing tobacco cause discoloration of the teeth.
Visit The Dentist & Orthodontist
Every six months or twice a year, visit your dentist to ensure that your teeth are healthy and free of damage and disease. During the bi-annual visit, the dentist and dental hygienist will do a deep cleaning of your teeth. They may do other procedures, such as x-rays and fluoride treatments, among others. Orthodontists can help with the prevention and correction of malpositioned teeth and jaw misalignment.
Have confidence in your smile as your take care of your mouth and teeth. Doing so will maintain your overall health. Impliment healthy mouth habits into your daily life to ensure your mouth and teeth stay healthy and clean. Keep smiling!
Hello, busy bees! 🐝 Looking for ways to bring positivity into your home? Here are daily tips that you can implement to increase optimism and gratitude in family life and motherhood.
A positive affirmation is a statement to challenge negative thoughts. To affirm positivity, state as a fact that you are already possessing the positive trait you are wanting to possess. As you say positive statements, you convince your subconscious brain to make the statements true.
The morning is a great time to implement this practice. Encourage your family to do this positivity exercise!
Reframe Negative Phrases
Throughout the day, reframe negative phrases to become positive. When you or your child is frustrated and says “I can’t do this”, rephrase by saying “I can do this!” The words we say to ourselves become true as a self-fulfilling prophecy. 🔮 You are what you say you are!
If we tell our children that they are bad, they will go along with our dialogue of being bad and be naughty. Build your child up by telling them of the positive traits they possess.
The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.
― Peggy O’Mara
Express appreciation to family members! When teaching thankfulness to our children, model the behavior by expressing thanks to spouse and children for positive actions and words.
Before bed, ask family members what their favorite part of the day was and what they are grateful for that day. This gratitude practice helps family members focus on the good throughout that day and for things that they can be grateful for. Gratitude helps us be happy! ☀️
Whether you have a digital or physical gratitude journal, create a daily practice of writing the things that you are grateful for! 📒
Digital Blessing List
Boost your mood by looking at an easy-to-access blessing list on your phone. When life is weighing you down, reading the blessings that you have helps you see life through rose-colored glasses. When sinking into a negative mindset, reading through the list helps you to have a heart full of gratitude and positivity. The Trello app is a great resource for list creation.
I truly hope that you can cultivate a positive and grateful heart.
Happy Autumn! Are you ready for crisp air and cooler weather? I sure am! I love fall and the beautiful change of weather during this time of year.
The benefit of living in northern Utah is being able to experience the wonderful change of seasons. I am blessed to be local to many picturesque recreational spots as well as fun community events that feature highlighted activities of each season. So, as I sat down with my family and thought of the activities we wanted to take the children on these following weeks and months, these festivities are what made the cut:
In a tent or trailer, camp out for one night or several nights! Invite friends or family for a social time. All good things associated with camping are stargazing, campfire cooking, and hiking. Make sure you camp responsibly and leave no trace! On our overnight camp trip, we’ll additionally ride our horses and possibly target shoot.
To preserve the bounty from the season’s harvest, can bottles of produce! Whether you do it by yourself or surround yourself by family and friends, canning food is a wholesome activity that serves a wonderful purpose. Stock your food storage and ensure yourself with wholesome food to eat later!
Over the years, I have canned with my mom, pickles, tomatoes, grape juice, apricots, pears, peaches, apple pie filling, jalapeño jelly, and jams. Yum!
Whether you cut up apples and dip it in a delicious caramel sauce or make decorative caramel-coated apples, this activity leaves your mouth watering and eventually your belly happy. My personal favorite flavoring of the caramel apple is the apple pie caramel apple with layers of caramel, white chocolate, and a cinnamon-sugar sprinkle. So delicious!
Cider Wassail and Snickerdoodles
Enjoy a warm mug of cider and a hot snickerdoodle cookie on a crisp fall day.
Corn Maze & Pumpkin Fest
Corn mazes and pumpkin fests are fun family-friendly attractions. As a family or group of friends, navigate through a corn maze and pick out pumpkins to carve. Visit the tasty food concessions and hay slides and rides for an extra fun treat!
With my daughter’s preschool, we’ll attend a local Corn Maze and Harvest Festival. This year we plan to visit my family who lives in Utah county and attend Cornbelly’s at Thanksgiving Point with them. At Cornbelly’s, try the apple cider donuts and frosted apple cider. You’ll thank me later!
Fall Leaf Display
Take a drive, hike, bike ride, or walk to go and see the changing colors of nature this fall. Take in the beauty of God’s creations and enjoy the display of colors amongst the foliage. Take time during your nature walk to breathe in the crisp clean autumn air and listen to the crinkling leaves under your feet. If you want, bring a camera along for a fall photoshoot. A fun idea with children is to collect an assortment of colorful fallen leaves and craft an autumnal art piece.
Farmer’s Fall Market
Every Saturday morning, our city hosts a farmer’s market on its downtown historic street. Look through the farm-fresh fall produce and artisan foods and goods while listening to live acoustic music and participating in community activities. Grab a warm seasonal beverage as you stroll down the street and booths.
Go to a football game or have a flag football game with your friends and family. Make this recreational activity a must this autumn season!
Attend or host a costume Halloween party with your friends, family, neighbors, community members, or church congregation. Enjoy Halloween themed foods, trick or treating, games, and movies. Trunk or treats are also a fun option for younger kids!
Pumpkin Flavored Foods
Do you love all things pumpkin spice? I have a very select few favorite pumpkin-flavored foods, including my Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. Along with my longtime favorite pumpkin pie dessert made by my mother, I also love Great Harvest’s pumpkin chocolate chip bread.
Don’t comfort food and fall go together well? I think so! Here are some of my favorite seasonal recipes from my blog that are perfect for autumn.
The Zucchini Egg Waffle is a perfect way to use up leftover or overgrown zucchini. Zucchini Tomato Soup is one of my favorite soups of all time. I just love homegrown tomatoes in homemade tomato soup. Whether you use fresh garden tomatoes or canned tomatoes, sipping a warm bowl of soup is a perfect way to warm your soul on a cool autumn day.
Hot Roasted Cinnamon-Glazed Almonds is a perfect way to enjoy the autumn season! They also are a great gift to others!
Homemade Scones and Donuts
With the recent purchase of a deep fryer, I want to make homemade deliciousness in the form of donuts and scones. Hello sugary glaze and honey butter!
Every year, we as a family attend Snowbird’s Oktoberfest. We enjoy walking through the vendor booths, eating brats and sauerkraut, and riding the scenic tramway.
I absolutely love pies and want to learn how to make them! The thought of buttery homemade crust and warm pie-filling just makes my mouth water. Around the time of Thanksgiving, we as an extended family will have a pie night to enjoy each other’s warm company and pies.
Pumpkin Picking and Carving
While attending your local fall festival, pick out pumpkins or go to the local grocery store or garden center. Extra points for growing them yourself! Decorate your front porch with whole ones and close to Halloween, your carved jack-o-lantern masterpieces. A fun post pumpkin carving food is roasted seasoned pumpkin seeds. Have you ever tried them? So good!
Go hunting and/or fishing and harvest your own meat!
Every October, my husband participates in the deer hunt. Even bigger than Christmas, it’s my husband’s favorite holiday. The hunting crew travels via horseback. I’ve enjoyed going on the horse-ride and helping my husband spot deer. More than anything, I just enjoy being in the company of my horses and husband. I appreciate the naturally-sourced meat and outdoor recreation hunting provides.
Starting November, my husband will also hunt elk. I’m excited to continue to learn how to better prepare and serve game meat meals.
For fall inspiration follow me on Pinterest and for frequent updates, follow me on Instagram!
Hearty Tomato Zucchini Soup is a perfect meal for an autumn harvest. Made from the garden’s bounty, this recipe is made up of harvested tomatoes, onions, zucchini, garlic, basil, and thyme. The soup is fresh, flavorful, and a feast for the eyes to look at with its deep red and green ingredients.
The garlic cloves I used in this recipe were from Sunnyfield Farm, a local garlic and sheep farm in Eden, Utah. Support of local farmers and growers is good for community economics and local commerce. SunnyField Farm Garlic is of the highest quality and free from chemicals and pesticides. You can buy garlic from their Sunnyfield Farm Shop.
On the more than a half-acre lot that my family lives on, you’ll find a big garden plot, horseback riding area, garage shop, barn, grassed yard, and cozy farm home. In addition to our land, we have a lease on several acres behind our property.
On our pasture, we raise horses. We personally own three equines, a bay horse, Palomino horse, and one pony. The pony is a mix between a Shetland pony mare and Morgan stud. I think horses are such beautiful animals. I enjoy their company at our home and enjoy the care and keeping of our equines. My husband is naturally gifted in horsemanship and I love learning from him!
We raised a Charolais cross beef steer for meat a couple of years ago. I loved having our own pasture-raised meat in our chest freezer. Cattle are beautiful animals and I appreciated the provision of meat the steer provided us.
Within the next couple of years, I would like to try my hand at raising chickens. However, my barn needs cleaning and de-cluttering first. I want a very clean, sanitary, and organized environment for my young children and livestock to be in. And no, my children do not live in my barn, just play in there! ha ha. Clean healthy chickens make clean healthful eggs. Clean healthful eggs will go into our clean healthful human bodies. The health of our food chain matters!
In our garden plot this 2018 year, we grew: zucchini, corn, tomatoes, spaghetti squash, and cantaloupe. The planting season was right in the middle of our move into our new home, so we planted our garden late. For watering, we used an overhead sprinkler. Therefore, our garden produced plants well, but so did the weeds. The large garden’s weeds got too much for me and I fell behind on the weeding. There were many mistakes on my behalf with the garden, however, gardening is a personal journey of trial and error and finding what works for your garden and lifestyle.
Now I know more about how I want to plant my garden next year. Next year, I will plant only one zucchini plant, half the amount of tomatoes, two cantaloupe plants, two spaghetti squash plants, and add in butternut and acorn squash into the mix.
With the large number of tomatoes and zucchini we grew, I wanted to create a recipe that I could use up the tomatoes and zucchini with. With that, the Hearty Tomato Zucchini Soup was created!
Chop or shred zucchini and mince garlic. Sauté zucchini in olive oil in a frying pan. Once the zucchini is tender, add garlic and continue to sauté until garlic is aromatic. Once finished, remove from heat and do to next step in the recipe.
In a blender, blend the onion and tomatoes. Pour purée in a big soup pot. If you want a chunky tomato soup, leave one quart or can of tomatoes unblended.
Add sautéed zucchini and garlic to the soup pot.
Add spices and seasoning to the soup, including chicken bouillon, salt, pepper, thyme, and basil.
Simmer soup for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and let each serving cool down in a bowl. Enjoy!
To spice up the meal, you can sprinkle cheese on the soup and/or add grilled chicken chunks. It is also great served with grilled cheese sandwiches!
This Raspberry Almond Smoothie is a personal favorite of mine because I love the flavorful combination of revitalizing raspberries and delightful almonds. This raspberry almond smoothie is naturally sweet, savory, and super satisfying. You can enjoy this tasty treat any time of the day!
Ingredients For Adults
1 cup milk of your choice (cow’s, almond, soy, rice, coconut, etc.)
1 tablespoon almond butter
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1 drop of almond extract
1/2 of a ripe banana
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
Ingredients For Children
1 cup vitamin D whole milk
1 tablespoon almond butter
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1 drop of almond extract
1/2 of a ripe banana
1 scoop of kid-specific vanilla powder
Extra Smoothie Add-Ons:
Combine all ingredients in your high-speed blender and blend until creamy!
Nothing screams summer rodeo and fair food like warm cinnamon glazed almonds! These sweet, nutty, and crunchy morsels are so fun to pop in your mouth as you enjoy summer festivities. Whether you enjoy them in your backyard as you host a summer barbecue or take them on-the-go when going summer adventuring, they are a perfect snack!
Thanks to my momma Elizabeth, who gave me both the nut roaster and recipe, I am able to share it here on my blog with all of you! On the subject of loved ones, this is a perfect treat to gift. We’ve taken the almonds to new neighbors and plan to give the roasted nuts as Christmas treats to family, neighbors, and friends. The options on who you can give them to are endless! Anyone for any occasion!
Cinnamon Glazed Almonds
3 cups whole raw almonds
1 cup sugar
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup water
1-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Non-stick baking tray, parchment paper, or silicone baking mat.
Spread almonds evenly in the bottom of the pan.
Pour water, sugar, ground cinnamon, and vanilla over the nuts.
Turn crank handle to mix the nuts and ingredients together.
Place pan on the burner and turn to medium heat.
Stir continuously and slowly, allowing the glaze to keep coating the nuts. It is normal for the almonds to slide around at first. The nuts will begin to tumble as the glaze thickens.
As the glaze begins to thicken, you will feel more resistance as you stir the almonds. When all the liquid evaporates from the cinnamon sugar glaze, it will quickly change to a crystalline coating. Remove the pan immediately from the heat.
Using a heat-resistant spatula, immediately spread the glazed almonds on a non-stick baking tray, parchment paper, or silicone baking mat to cool.
Separate the nuts with a wooden spoon as needed.
Wait for nuts to cool so you don’t burn your tongue. Enjoy!
A little while back I had another woman reach out to me and ask:
“What are some things you wish someone would have told you before getting married? I’ve headed that direction and just want to be as ready for marriage as possible.”
My Response Was:
First thing, is that life does not get easier once you are married. If you are trying to run away from problems by getting married, it doesn’t help. Life is amazing with a spouse, however, with marriage comes responsibility and a lot of sacrifices.
To start off, every couple’s relationship is so very different. What I will share is what has worked for my husband Karson and me. Something about me is that I am a slow-moving gal. Before I make decisions, I like to take my time and plan the heck out of it. When I move forward with decisions, I am very thoughtful and reflective so I know I am making a good one.
Girl, that fact that you are asking questions and looking for advice is awesome! I think it is so helpful to be prayerful about these things!
Time Spent Dating
Karson and I dated for about a year and were engaged for a couple of months. I liked dating Karson for that long because I was able to see him through all seasons of the year (deer season included!) and see that he was the same person I met on day 1 that he was on day 365.
Take the time that you feel is best for the two of you, which could be either shorter or longer. However, I feel that it is good to be with that person long enough for the infatuation phase to simmer down. The “in-love” feeling is wonderful, however, after it is gone, you can really see who your boyfriend is and if he will still lasso the moon for you.
Working Through A Disagreement
I also think it is good to work through a major disagreement with your boyfriend before you get married. Don’t make up a disagreement obviously, however, be forward with things that you have issues with. Marriage will not make issues disappear. There will be disagreements throughout your whole marriage and if you learn that the two of you can communicate and work through a problem and become closer because of it, that’s wonderful.
My first year of marriage was a breeze because Karson and I learned to communicate well while dating. We have been married for six years and we still get along so very well. I have not regretted marrying him once. I knew him very well and knew what kind of man I was marrying.
We view money, parenting, politics, and religion similarly. Obviously, marriage can work when you have disagreements on certain things. However, it has been nice that both Karson and I are very hard-working, frugal, and self-reliant people who work really hard and make sacrifices so we have financial freedom. We both have the same goal of raising respectful, kind, faithful and competent children. We view politics the same so that obviously makes life easier. To have a virtuous and loyal husband is such a blessing.
Marriage Prep Endnote
I also feel that it is good to keep personal matters just between you and your spouse. Obviously, if there are major marital issues, it is good to get help. Church bishops, counselors, therapists, and family members can then become involved if you can’t do it alone. However, if I were to confide in my mother about things that my husband did wrong, she might hold on to his problems because she doesn’t have the healing marriage bond with my husband like I do. That can cause unneeded tension in family relationships. Does that make sense?
My favorite marriage books are The 5 Love Languages and Covenant Hearts.
I hope this helps! I am happy that good things are coming your way!
I recently had another mom reach out to me and ask:
“How do you motivate yourself to workout, eat healthily, and keep moving as a postpartum mom?”
My Response Was:
Finding time to workout as a mother is hard! It is difficult to sacrifice time that you guiltily feel should be spent taking care of your baby, and instead take care of yourself. When we sign up to be mothers, we do give our lives away. However, raising children is worth the sacrifice. Nonetheless, it is important to take time for ourselves so we have the ability to give of ourselves to our children and husband. It is not selfish to take care of your own health.
Sometimes, I get into an all or nothing mentality with fitness. If I can’t do a 1+ hour full-body workout, my efforts aren’t good enough. However, shooting for 30 minutes of movement each day is a good starting point for me. Sometimes the movement might be mowing a lawn or weeding a garden. Typically, I do simple bodyweight workouts at home before my children wake up. High-intensity interval training is a great way to burn fat without spending hours upon hours working out in a day.
My husband’s health insurance has a gym reimbursement program, so, I recently signed up at my local gym. I plan to go at 5 o’ clock in the morning before my husband leaves to work. However, I am not nursing a baby anymore and have the extra energy to sacrifice some sleep. When I didn’t get enough sleep when nursing my babies, my milk supply would drop.
Stroller walks are a great way to get moving that also includes your baby. Finding other moms in your church group and neighborhood to run/walk with is a great way to workout. My friend and I, first thing in the morning would go for a walk around our neighborhood with our little babies. It was fun to talk to her while exercising and giving our babies an enjoyable stroller ride.
You can keep an eye on classified ads for a discounted jogging stroller if you want to start running again. Finding a sport or type of exercise you really love is the key to sustainability.
Including your spouse in your fitness journey is so helpful. He can be a great accountability partner. I have learned that sometimes you just need to ask your husband to watch your baby while you go exercise. He wants you to be happy as a mom and if going on a quick run will make you happier and more able to take care of your baby, he should gladly help. Finding accountability partners is crucial in staying motivated and driven.
Bulk cooking healthy foods and eating it throughout the week is the best way I have found to eating well. For a quick breakfast, I love oatmeal and smoothies. For quick nutritious lunches and dinners, steam some veggies, cook some rice, and eat it with a side of lean meat.
I too am still learning how to stay happy and healthy as a postpartum mom. It’s definitely been a journey. You can skim my website to read my articles for some tips and takeaways on healthy habits. You and your husband and you are doing an excellent job with your baby boy and hope we can catch up soon in the near future.