The 2016 WMAs: My Completely Biased Best of the Web List

The WMAs- my completely biased best of the web list

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 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

Instant Pot Review and RecipesThe 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!

Runners Up:

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

The benefits of letting kids use knives in the kitchenKids 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

Newborn babyIf 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

Summer Meal PlanWithout 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.

Runners up:

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.

Runner up:

  • 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.

Runners up:

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.

Runners up:

Best Random Gadget I Love

How to make a wine bottle tiki torchDo 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.

Runners up:

I’d Like to Thank…


As I reflect on the last year and what it has brought for our family, for 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…

WellnessMama- A Year in ReviewThis 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.)

Spirulina Benefits

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 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!

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Reader Comments

  1. Thanks for all the work that you do, i’m only beginning on this journey but i’m so glad to have found this blog in looking for answers to my own health that mainstream dr’s can only prescribe ‘band-aid fixes’ for. This blog has opened my eyes and mind to so many things and as a mum of 4 I also want the best for my kids. All the best for the new year!

  2. I just came back from a wonderful 4-days ski-holiday with my family and THAT is my goal for this year too. Enjoy spending time together, be grateful for having two healthy children, receive and continue to GIVE lots of love.
    Thank you wellnessmama for having created this amazing blog. I have found some great DIY recipes who helped me and my family be more healthy. HAPPY NEW YEAR

  3. It has been a great year and thanks to you! My favorites were the articles on candles, plastic, and your carrot cake recipe! You have truly helped make my home (almost) toxin free!

    This year will be my year to get sexy! Over the past year, I figured out what my body needs to thrive and loose the extra fat. I realized I was still eating too much sugar (mostly from fruit). Cutting back on the fruit and increasing the vegetables is my solution. Also, exercise is now fun! I walk, run a little (just a mile), and hike. I also do kettle bell strength training once or twice a week. It doesn’t feel like a chore now.

    This year, I’m also going to try your home-made cosmetics and skin care!

    Happy New Year!

  4. Happy New Year to you and your family. Health and happiness always. I just discovered your website not too long ago. I had made the decision to better my and my husband’s health. I was looking to start the transition to stop using chemical laden products and go green. It started by making body products. I downloaded a few books and was looking in the internet for ideas when I found your site. I was hooked from there on. When you published your cookbook I got it right away. I have made a few of the recipes and we loved them. I love your approach on the way you present your blog. I have learned a lot from you. You have taught this mature woman (I turned 50 this past summer) a thing or two. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
    My wish for the new year is to get all chemicals out of my products and food. I have started the phase out already. I hope to get more exercise in as well.
    Thank you for being an inspiration.

  5. I just read your cookbook I ordered from Amazon and I was very surprised how easy and few ingredients most of the recipes are. It makes me feel more assured that I can offer my family more nutritious foods and even healthy chocolate chip cookies!! It was a relief to find that with simple modifications, our favorite foods are not off limits. I love your blog and appreciate you! Happy New Year!

  6. Great blog and I think it’s great that you donate some of the proceeds to help people in poverty. I would feel better about donating to an organization that does not have a religious angle.

  7. Happy New Year, Katie! All the best to you and your family for the upcoming year. Thank you so much for all your hard work. I’ve learned so much from you this past year. I just wanted to let you know that since I’ve incorporated some of your ideas in to our daily lives (elderberry syrup, homemade vitamin tummies, kombucha, detox baths, bone broth), my kids no longer get colds and ear infections like they used to. My son had a fever last month, but showed no other symptoms. Our paediatrician was a bit confused, lol! I’m convinced that it’s because of these few steps I’ve taken that I’ve built up their immune systems and they rarely get sick and when they do, they get over it very quickly. I wanted to thank you for that! I also feel like I haven’t even scratched the surface with the wealth of information you provide. I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us this year!

  8. This blog has helped me so much in this past year. I now make my own beauty products, tinctures, candles and so much more.
    I am so looking forward to another amazing year on the Wellness Mama blog!
    Have a blessed New Year!

  9. Hi Katie!

    I’ve been following your blog for several years now. Thanks for all the informative posts! I’m also passionate about nutrition, healthy eating and natural living and I enjoy keeping up with leaders of the blogging world on this topic. I also follow you on Pinterest!

    Happy New Year!

  10. Hi Katie,

    I’m a mom of grown-up kids and one day I’ll be a grandmother I hope. I have found enormous value on your site – The wisdom we gain in our active mothering years is fundamental to understanding and manifesting human goodness in the world and becoming a force for change.

    Thank you!


  11. Happy New Year! I look forward to reading your bog and comments from faithful readers. My goal is to become an overall healthier person for myself and my family. I hope to begin better habits of a more healthier lifestyle and the rest will follow in time. Thank you for all of your inspiration and hard work!

  12. Katie, you’ve made a big difference in my life and the lives of my family members. We’ve made many great, healthy changes this past year. From food to household/laundry cleaning to personal care and health care. Your passion for your family and the community is contagious. I look forward to your blog every day. Not only for the great information and recipes but for inspiration. Some days I feel like giving in because my family circumstances are stressful, (we have a special needs son). But when I go to my email and open yours up I get encouraged again.
    Thank you for all the research you do and the time you take to share all of it with us.

    • When I say “I feel like giving in” I mean choosing more convenient options for meals and such when things are hectic. So when I read your blog I get inspired again and want to stay on track with healthier living. I’m not implying you’re a therapist, Katie. LOL!

  13. Health, prosperity, & blessings to you, your family, and your faithful, Katie. I’ve learned through you that even at sixty-five ‘an old dog can still learn some new tricks’. Looking forward to all you have to share and teach in the coming year . . .

  14. Thanks Katie ~ for all the ways you help so many! Including me.

    My goals incl. Keeping my family healthy and on track … Plus lots more!

    Being grateful for all my blessings and always giving credit to the Lord!

  15. I received your cookbook as a Christmas present and I have already made a number of fabulous treats for my family! Thank you for all you do and thank you for helping me to keep moving toward a more healthy life style!

  16. Many thanks Katie for your dedication to your mission. One of my goals is to stay more connected to your blog. I have grandchildren now, and I appreciate any information that will make this world a better place for them.

  17. Congratulations on being one of the 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness on Greatist

  18. Mommypotamus is going to co-host…. yahoo! I have been missing the podcast and hope to see a new episode each time I refresh my app. I can’t wait to hear more- I love your info! Best in 2017 Katie.

  19. Hi! I have a question in vitamins. It is the new year and I want to take quality vitamins. You have mentioned before about getting the right folate, that some people’s bodies can only process methylfolate and not folic acid. My question is what is your opinion on the Women’s and Prenatal Mykind Organics vitamins? On the nutrition label of the vitamins it says the vitamins provide folate from an organic food blend, but does not mention methylfolate. Would this be a good vitamin for a mom to be?

    • It should be pretty good, especially for someone who doesn’t have a MTHFR mutation. I personally took Seeking Health prenatals.

  20. Hello. I have been reading your blog now for several years. I really do appreciate all of the hard work that goes into writing a blog like this. I may have had some ‘critiques’, or some information that perhaps clashed with your recipes,or thoughts but that doesn’t change the fact that I really like this blog, and again, appreciate that you have your own life and family in addition to all of the hours and the costs involved in writing it.
    God Bless you and yours in 2017!~

    • Thanks for your kind words Carol, I wish you and yours a happy and healthy 2017 as well!

  21. Great end of year blog. The best I have seen!

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