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I am SO excited to announce this!

A few friends have told me that I need to go back and look at pictures of myself from a year ago because they see such a difference in how I looked then versus how I look now. So I did recently — and it was pretty shocking.

You guys. I forgot how tired I was. How utterly bone weary exhausted I was. How much I was living on fumes and adrenaline… and, let’s be honest, coffee… to make it through each day.

But the pictures of 2015 Crystal bring me right back to that place and space of burn out.

I don’t shame myself or condemn myself for being in that place. It was what I knew. It had become my existence. And I had bought into the hustle of more.

To be clear, I was chasing good things overall and my heart and intentions were good, but my body was suffering from all of the pushing and pursuing and productivity.

When I declared 2016 as my Year of Rest, little did I dream how much that commitment was going to change my life!

The changes began on the inside as I stepped back from the crazy, said no to almost everything and everyone, and pared down my life to the basics. It was in that space of quiet that I started to really re-examine my life and my priorities and realize that I had made productivity more of a priority than my family, my marriage, and my health.

I processed through a lot the first few months as I walked into a space in my life where there was so much breathing room. It felt too quiet. It felt too empty. And it forced me to work through a lot of unresolved hurt and grief and wounds I had stuffed down deep in order to stay focused and driven for so many years.

Once I had cried and cried and cried some more, I began to experience a new season of wholeness. I stopped finding my joy and worth in what I did. I stopped living life according to who I thought I was supposed to be. I started experimenting with new things and letting myself try living a little less on the ultra-frugal, ultra-minimalistic side.

This gave me newfound freedom, joy, and LIFE. It also emboldened me and my husband to make some decisions that were in the best interest of our family — like having our kids start going to a small Classical Christian School (which was a really, really big decision for us!). It also encouraged me to think long and hard about what would spark more joy in my life and I began to add in a few new things — like serving in the Children’s Ministry at church and joining a Discipleship Group at church.

And then came the completely unexpected change: I got connected with a nutritionist and made some radical changes in my diet and overall lifestyle.

I gave up coffee.

I did a cleanse.

I gave up white flour and all sweeteners and pretty much all processed food and a host of other foods.

I started drinking a gallon+ of lemon water a day.

It was torture for the first few weeks. I missed coffee and chocolate and pancakes and cinnamon rolls and, hello, all the NORMAL foods!

I was sick of salads (I had to eat them for breakfast many mornings on the eating plan — yuck!). Sick of fish. Sick of Wasa crackers. Sick of drinking so much water.

But because I’m not one to be a quitter and because I had committed to stay on the plan for 2 months, I stuck with it.

At 5 weeks in, something changed inside of me. My head cleared. My energy sky-rocketed. And I stopped craving junk food and started wanting to eat healthy stuff.

Not only that, but I felt so empowered. I was living without coffee! I was surviving without chocolate and sugar and empty carbs.


Every. single. one of them.

My eczema meds.

My acne meds.

My allergy meds.

And even the 5htp that I never thought I’d be able to function without (I’d been on it ever since having Silas and any time I’d go off of it for even a day, my anxiety would come back in a serious way.)

I was functioning really, really well and feeling AMAZING — without a single pill! It was incredible — and it gave me enormous motivation to stick with the nutritional program and not give up.

It has now been 12 months since I officially started my Year of Rest and 18 weeks since I radically transformed my eating and my overall lifestyle and I look in the mirror and it almost seems as if I’m looking at a different person.

So many people have asked me about my Year of Rest and about the radical health changes I’ve made. For many months, I’ve been working on a special project to share some of the things I’ve learned this past year to encourage those of you who are interested in becoming the best version of yourself that you can be, too!

I have a passion to help you become your best self. I don’t want you to go through life feeling exhausted and burnt out. I don’t want you to have to rely upon coffee or coping mechanisms to make it through the day.

That’s why I created 15 Days to a Healthier You. It’s a brand-new program to help you prioritize your health and give you the hands-on strategies, support, and know-how you need to create real, lasting change — without an overwhelming time commitment!

When you sign up for 15 Days to a Healthier You, you’ll get access to:

  • Daily 15-minute LIVE videos in our exclusive private Facebook group. In these videos, I’ll be your coach and cheerleader to jumpstart your success to better health! We’ll discuss the daily lessons and projects and I’ll take a few questions live, too.
  • Daily lessons covering important topics like why self-care is important, what self-care really is (probably not what you think!), and why self-care looks different for different people.
  • Daily projects to help you stay on track and meet your personal goals.
  • Access to an exclusive members-only private Facebook group where you can find encouragement from others who are going through the series.
  • Daily accountability through the Project Check-In Threads on the Facebook Group where you can share your progress and struggles with all the participants.
  • Bonus links and resources I love for additional inspiration!

You get all of the for just $15 total! That’s just $1 per day! Go read more about this program and sign up here. 

No, I’m Not Going to Make You Give Up Coffee!

Please note: This program is not about giving you an exact formula for what you should eat or how you should exercise. Nor am I going to try to convince you that you have to give up coffee (I promise!).

I will be talking about my own personal journey and I’m happy to share more details on what has worked for me, but I want to help you figure out what works best for YOU — and that might be very different than what works for me!

Rest assured, I will not make you give up coffee, drink a gallon of lemon water, or eat salads for breakfast! I will, however, be walking you through a lot of practical exercises to help you determine simple changes you can make so you can have more energy, feel less drained, and experience a lot more joy in your life!

25% Of All Proceeds Go to South Africa!!!

Now for the really exciting part…

You all know that our family is madly in love with South Africa and we are very committed to using the gifts and platform God has given us here to be able to make a difference in some of the poorest communities there.

Because of this, 25% of all sales through my blog and email newsletter will be donated to fully finish the Reagoboka Centre Preschool & Community Centre where you all already helped build a two-classroom building last year.

You can see that the building is so close to being finished above (that’s a picture from our recent trip to South Africa!) and I’m prayerful and hopeful that this sale will allow us to have enough funds to help them completely finish that building so they can serve many more children, get a lot more government funding, and make a bigger difference in that community. (Read more about the building and what the money will be going to here.)

What Are You Waiting For?

Go register to join us for the 15 Days to a Healthier You program here. But hurry! Because enrollment ends January 3, 2017 and it likely won’t be open again for at least another 6 months — or even longer!

Subscribe for free email updates from Money Saving Mom® and get my Guide to Freezer Cooking for free!

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  • Allison Colson says:

    I just made my purchase! I am so excited about this! My whole life I’ve been thin and never really had to worry about my weight. I’m 37 and I still don’t really have to worry, even though my second daughter added a little more than I’d like. But I’m tired all the time. I don’t exercise. I eat terribly. I’m constantly stressed and my anxiety is through the roof. I’ve tried eating healthy but have been really turned off by the high priced cardboard tasting food. Even produce is expensive! So, I’m really looking forward to this Healthier You challenge!

  • Beth says:


    I noticed that your skin looks dewey and hydrated since you made your changes. I’m excited for you! I have been on Jason’s plan for 5 weeks now. My cholesterol dropped 86 points! He knows what he is doing. I got started with him after you posted his info. Let’s keep going toward good health and habits!


    Beth Swanberg

    • WOOHOO!!! I’m so excited for you and the progress you’ve made. That’s amazing!

    • Jessica says:

      Can i ask who your nutritionist is? I was just diagnosed with high cholesterol and my goal for 2017 is to loss the weight and get my numbers down. Thank you 🙂

      • Shoot me an email and I’ll send you more details on Jason and how his program works. (moneysavingmom @

        • Alison says:

          I’ve had a difficult time over the last couple of years. I stopped looking after myself for a long time. Now I’m finally ready for some long- overdue self care. I’d be really grateful if you could possibly tell me more about your nutritionist and how I can contact him please. Thank you.

    • Marilyn says:

      Could I please have Jason’s contact information? I’m reading this for the first time today, 1/9/17, or I would have joined the group. Also, the would love to do the cleanse. Is there somewhere I can find it?

      Have a great day!

  • Laurie says:

    As I sit here and read your post I am even more motivated. I have declared 2017 a year of change for me. I am starting THM in Jan and just focusing on getting on plan and making very good choices. I have about 40lbs to loose. I have become a couch potato at night which has not been good. My plan is to get a Fitbit and start tracking my numbers. I am tired of being tired and I too am on a lot of meds for various medical needs,but do believe I can ditch some of those too. I am so happy for you. Thanks for always being so transparent. New year new me.

  • kathy w says:

    This couldn’t have come at a better time. Our family is planning to start eating better in 2017 and bought the book Whole 30. Do you give any healthy eating food options and what to I can do to help my husband and son who only like certain things. I know it will help us to eat better, feel better and look better like you do. I am looking forward to your motivation to help me and my family get started on a positive. I am looking forward to this and appreciate any help. Also, does Jason have a web site too? Thanks so much.

    • Yay! I’m so glad you are joining us! And yes, we’re definitely going to be talking some about healthy eating options and there will be lots of accountability in the Facebook Group!

      If you want more information on my nutritionist (Jason), I’m happy to share more about his program and how it works. Just email me: moneysavingmom @

  • Kym says:

    I would love to know if the rest of your family eats the same as you as well (no sweeteners, white flour, etc.). That’s where I always lose my focus. I have a hard time making two different kinds of meals at dinner, etc., mentally and time-wise.

    • Christina says:

      That’s exactly my same issue, too, especially with two boys and a husband (husband and the younger boy child are very picky)!

      This new class sounds right up my alley; I’m definitely signing up for it! Thank you, Crystal!

    • No, they aren’t eating the same way. The plan is personalized to me (my weight/age/nutritional needs), so I wouldn’t feel comfortable having the kids eat the same way I am eating. However, it has encouraged us overall to make healthier choices.

      And honesty, after the first few weeks, it’s not been a big deal at all for me, though, because my meals are so simple and because we keep food really simple at our house. 🙂

  • Rosanna says:

    I am so excited for you, Crystal! I have so enjoyed reading about your year of rest and all the health changes that you’ve made. Way to go!

  • Verity says:

    Last year I was at burnout, mega stressed, bad health, nothing left to invest in relationships. With support from my prayer partners & hubby, I took 3 months off. But as the main earner in our family, I had to keep working. Church were supportive of me having time off, but I got put back on all the rotas’ as soon as my time was up. I also continued with my voluntary role in my children’s school, as I couldn’t leave them without help. My time stopped me from going under, but has not enabled me to thrive the way I want to. Do you think someone like me can benefit from your program?

  • Carrie says:

    I’m very excited about this too Crystal. 2014/15 were incredibly stressful for my family (traumatic pregnancy, 27-weeker preemie), and I was left with anxiety and depression.

    Last summer I made some changes that completely turned things around, and I’m feeling happier and healthier than I have in years. 2017 is looking to be amazing.

    BUT, I know that my well-being is NOT a “one and done” – it’s an ongoing, lifelong commitment. I have to Sharpen the Sword every single day if I’m going to serve my family and have a healthy, happy life. I’m looking forward to this group 🙂

  • Emily says:

    So happy for you, Crystal. Been following you for years (lurking), and the changes in your life are so apparent. I know how you feel; when I turned 30, I had that quarter-life crisis that John Mayer sings about and had a total coming-to-terms-with-myself year. It was tough in a lot of ways, but having been on the other side of it for 4 years now, I wouldn’t trade it. I know myself now and am deeply, confidently rooted in who I am.

    When I read these update posts, that’s how you sound — like someone who is deeply aware of who she is and who can live confidently out of that knowledge. It’s freeing, isn’t it?

    Anyway, so very happy for you. Takes a lot of strength and resilience and wisdom to become fully-acquainted with yourself. It’s work. You have a lot to be proud of 🙂

  • Kelly says:

    Would I still benefit from this program if I am not on Facebook?

    • I would encourage you to consider joining Facebook just for the accountability, however, we are going to be sending out links to the videos every day that you can watch (not on Facebook), so you can watch those and read the handbook and still get a lot out of the program.

  • Crystal,

    This is wonderful. We did make few changes on our lifestyle this past year and it made some significant impact in our health. My husband lost quite a good amount of pounds that he had to, I lost my last few pre-pregnancy pounds and I was able to maintain weight as well as my energy level throughout my pregnancy.

  • Helen says:

    I still don’t have Jason’s program in the budget (and I might not be ready to make those drastic changes LOL) but I am ready to do your group! How fun 🙂 I love how you have changed this year into being more YOU.

  • I’ve found the information on nutrition so overwhelming. When looking to get started in a more natural lifestyle, what is a good resource? Good book? I’ve been following the journey of your new lifestyle, and I’ve been curious about your plan. I’m so happy for you and all these positive changes! Thank you for putting this together!

    • Oh goodness, I don’t know! There are SO many resources out there and it’s hard to pinpoint just one. I think I’d first say to pinpoint what your struggles are with nutrition or what you are wanting to change/accomplish/work on and then start looking for a few simple resources there. We’ll be talking some about this in the course!

      • Jessica says:

        Thanks. Carbs have always been a staple in my diet. Not that I want to have a low carb diet per say, but more well rounded. Let go of some Macaroni and cheese, bread, and waffles. {yumm, lol.} More protein and veggies. Trying some new foods. {I’ve always been a simple and picky eater} I run out of healthy meal plan ideas after a week. Looking forward to your suggestions in the course. 🙂

  • Melanie says:

    Crystal, this sounds very intriguing. I actually spent this last year losing 30 lbs and getting more in the Word. My personal issue is I feel like I self sabotage- get so close to a goal and then stop!! Could your program help me with this?

    • I think it could — if you’re willing to follow it and follow through with it! 🙂 I tried to make it really actionable, motivational, and step-by-step! However, you have to ultimately do the work. 🙂

  • Meg says:

    I have stopped reading your posts because I stopped having time. Your subject line caught my eye and after a day I stopped a read your post and cried. I am so busy – but it’s all good things. I love my job (I teach first grade) and live for those kiddos. My kids are happily active in one thing each – but really involved and it takes up time (but makes them so happy) but all of these leaves me very tired, which I get, but also very empty, which I don’t get. I am way over weight but won’t even join a gym, because if I don’t have the motivation to walk the dog for free, why would I drive to workout? I think your email caught my eye on purpose and I need to join the group! Thank you.

  • Crystal says:

    Would love the email for your nutritionist. Food and image have been a log struggle and really ready to make changes that lead to freedom in this area. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Lisa Sharp says:

    I have loved all of your courses and you have really inspired me. I can’t wait for this one.

  • I’m so excited for you, Crystal! I love seeing your beautiful smile! This was such a good update on what’s going on. Praying that your new program blesses so many people! Hope to connect soon! 🙂

  • Rebecca says:

    SO pleased for you Crystal, good health is such a gift.

    Can you let me know the nutritionist’s name/details too please?

    Thankyou so much

  • Brandi says:

    Hi! Can I ask you if you eat the meals you post? I would love to cook quick! It would be a great thing to offload since taking on the kid’s homeschooling, but I don’t want to trade one thing for another in quick cooking, but things I shouldn’t eat.
    I am looking into your program after my morning stroll ?

  • Suzy says:

    Will you be running this course again?
    I just found it through all of your links and I’d love to try it!

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