Last night was our last in the Silver Spud, marking a year of living unconventionally in the Airstream. Wow! We are settled into a house on Sylvan Lake, IN for three weeks while Nate finishes his building project. It’s crazy how used to the small space we were, this little house seems like the Taj Mahal 🙂 Two toilets, who knew? A washer and dryer without coin slots…oh my gosh!

This traveling season is coming to a pause (I dream of someday eating my way across Europe) and we’ve made a handful of decisions.

1. We are moving to Vermont, November 1st.  We will be living in a friend’s country house in the middle of the Green Mountains, during their winter travels.

2. I have enrolled in an intensive holistic nutritional NTA program in order to get my Nutritional Therapy Practitioner certification.

3. I have also entered Immunitrition’s CHFS Program to get my Certified Healing Foods Specialist certification. A smaller program based on the same principles of NTA but more focused on cottage industry.

Out of contemplating these decisions and the future I’ve had a few thoughts on livelihood. Specifically about how one procures a livelihood…even if not directly “earned” by you…as in the capacity of a stay-at-home-mom.

This summer my lover and I celebrated fourteen years of union with each other. Together we have worked hard, loved each other despite, grown up, built homes, fed our egos, cradled babies, looked deep, let go, sold homes, talked long, questioned worldviews, faced fears, and pushed the limits of what it means to us to live on planet Earth…the girl of eighteen who married her childhood sweetheart is nearly unrecognizable to me. Today, at thirty-two, I have these thoughts –

First, I am moving away from the idea that I am a receiver of my husband’s income without thought to HOW that livelihood is earned. There was a time when I all I wanted to do was create a beautiful, peaceful home atmosphere for my kids and husband.

Today I want to extend that beauty and peace not just to my home but also to how we procure our livelihood. Just as nourishing food has a lot more dynamics than merely tasting good and filling our stomachs, so too with HOW we fill our bank accounts. I want to be sustained by a livelihood endeavor that is honestly good, Just in its stewardship of the earth’s “resources” and filled with life giving reciprocity. Going for nutritional therapy certification is part of this.

For us this also means making choices about what we buy…like buying second hand clothes so that we are not supporting sweat shops, and spending more money on ethically produced food. By asking less out of life materially I hope to be involved in a livelihood that gives life instead of taking it.

Here is a thought from a Transition Vermont blog by Ran Prieur that I think is relevant “This world is full of people with the intelligence, knowledge, skills, and energy to make heaven on Earth, but they can’t even begin because they would lose their jobs. We’re always arguing to change each other’s minds, but nobody will change if their survival depends on not changing. We need to decouple our survival from the system that commands us, so we can say no to it“.

Second, while we’re in the heart of the Green Mountains we hope to scout for our own four walls. In this part of the country we feel we can learn certain skills…like herbalism, survival skills, foraging, permaculture, local economy, etc.

Third, we’ve had success healing and energizing with food. The GAPS protocol has been the most helpful for us. When I complete my NTP training I can then go on to take training with Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride and be a GAPS certified practitioner. I will be able to more professionally help others who wish to use the GAPS protocol as part of their healing.

This is a glimpse into our decisions right now. What do you think about livelihood and how it congruently fits into the rest of life as a whole?

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs.  Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go and do that.  Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”  – Harold Whitman


About Melanie Christner NTP, CGP

I am a Nutritional Therapist & GAPS Practitioner in the Green Mountains of Vermont. I help families gain back their energy, digestive health, and robust immune systems...using targeted lab testing paired with nutrient dense whole foods. Find out more at
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Decisions

  1. Mike says:

    Awesome post! The world needs more people like you and Nate!

    • Thanks much, Mike. Your words are so encouraging. Hope you guys are having a blast in Serbia. It is harder to post often when you are more stationary isn’t it? Have you made winter plans yet?

  2. When I grow up I want to be just like you. 🙂

    Can’t wait to have ya’ll closer!

  3. Vesna says:

    Love it girl!! I hear you about not recognizing yourself as well. It’s crazy the amount of change that happens. You guys are an amazing inspiration and I am thankful to know you 🙂

  4. Carla Christner says:

    Very happy to be called your sister-in-law! you inspire me to become a better person….

  5. Aunt Sally says:

    Awesome thoughts and discoveries…awesome changes and actions, Mel. It’s encouraging to see commitment with action…I guess you call that dedication. Your blog entry pushed me to look up the NTP training and CHFS Program. They sound fascinating and so worthwhile, even if you were only doing them for self enrichment! Please keep us posted on everything; we always love to hear about your family’s journey through life! Love ya tons!

  6. Aunt Sally says:

    And I will be sure to compliment your mom on the excellent writing abilities she imparted to her children!

  7. Pingback: If Ever . . .

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s