Shauna O' Brien made a name for herself as a model and actress, but she's a one kickass mom now that grows her own organic vegetable garden with such style and flair and we are lucky she's sharing some of her recipes too!
Shauna you were raised on a farm and grew up with several brothers, so is it safe to say you are can compete with the best of them at most sports?
Oh yes! One great thing about growing up on a farm with so many brothers is that it definitely toughens a girl up! I can be very physically competitive. When I was a teenager I raced snowmobiles regularly and oftentimes I would be stuck in the guys class because there weren't enough girls in the girls class. I remember the guys smirking at me in the drivers meetings beforehand like I didn't have a chance. Well I regularly wiped the smirk right off their faces because I usually ended up beating them!!
Your gorgeous looks propelled you into a successful modeling and acting career that you gave up to raise your now beautiful family. Do you miss your career?
I have been asked this question a lot. I like what I do now better! I feel like being a wife and mother is really what I am supposed to be doing. I wake up in the morning and there is ALWAYS a long list of things to keep me busy until it is time to hit the hay!!
I love thinking of things that would put a smile on my family members face and then making it happen! I think I do that a lot through cooking. I might plan out a particular meal that I know is a hit or bake a sweet treat that I know everyone will be excited about! My career before was so much fun with so many great memories attached but I think that what I do now is so much more gratifying!
I love seeing all your recipe postings of the beautiful organic vegetables you grow in your garden. Can you give us some tips on gardening?
Thank you Devin! As you know I do love to garden. Some would say that I had a small farm this year because I embarked on a 5000 square foot garden. It is now coming to the end of the growing season here in Washington and I can say without a doubt that I had enormous success! I planned my garden out through the whole winter previous to this summer. I literally had hand drawn blue prints of my layout.
I was working with virgin land so I had my friend come out with his tractor and plow the whole space. I then, by hand, raked in nice big rows. I had 18 yards of 3-way compost hauled in plus 8 yards of horse manure. I invested in a drip system which fell under the small farm category and a five foot fence to enclose my space. I purchased a very large quantity of 100% heirloom seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom seed company to assure that I was growing GMO free produce.Through the season I fertilized with bat guano. I had some trouble with blossom end rot on some of my squash but after adding some lime it seemed to fix the problem. Throughout the summer I had so many vegetables coming into the house that I spent a lot of time preserving my harvest.
This year I did a lot of freezing. I have found that I like this method of preservation. I will be doing a lot of canning next year and maybe even some dehydrating.I have become a big part of the food movement and one of the many people in the fight against Monsanto and genetically modified organisms (GMO's). Being able to offer my family 100% organically grown fruits and vegetables feels GREAT!! When I serve them a meal that I grew I am completely confident that they are eating as healthy as they possibly can, myself included! There are so many toxins in the food we buy that it is difficult to know what you are REALLY eating half the time.
When you grow your own food then that is no longer a concern! I will continue to do this for as long as I possibly can!!
What tips can you give us on staying healthy and fit when raising kids?
Haha! People just hate when I say this but I don't work out. I think that I am so on the go constantly throughout my day that I get plenty of physical activity! Then add in the physical labor of having a garden the size of mine....well I suppose I could consider that my own personal gym. As far as staying healthy I have embarked on a health plan of prevention through nutritious foods. There really isn't any medicine that is better than a well balanced,organic,gmo free diet. I have made it a personal goal to try my best to heal myself and my family through food and essential oils if something comes up. I try to stay away from the doctor as much as possible.
I have found that they will normally end up prescribing a medicine that is typically not good for you at all and leaves you with side effects that cause different sickness. Not worth it to me!! Obviously if you break your arm then you will need to go to a doctor. But if something can be done at home naturally then that is what I will do. " Let food be your pharmacy" and "Let the farmer be your doctor". Everybody loves a good junk out every once in awhile and that,to me, is okay. As long as you don't do it all the time and if you do,enjoy it but let the next meal be a healthy one! Also in the day and age we live in I agree with the many people in the know....be more focused on counting chemicals instead of counting calories.
You moved away from Hollywood and now live in Washington, how has that lifestyle changed your life?
It is a lot less pretentious. Much more relaxed. If I want to run down to the store I am perfectly comfortable to throw a hat on with no make-up and just go. Going to a store in Hollywood always felt like a dang casting call.For that matter, every place you went, now that I think about it...lol! There isn't that thick competitive vibe all around you. When you go someplace in my town people generally remember your name. There is a friendliness about the people that is quite comforting.
You are such a beautiful, dynamic woman, are there any goals you want to achieve that you haven’t attempted yet?
Thank you! I can't answer this question. All my life I have never been able to answer that question. Some people are extremely goal oriented but I have never been like that. I think I am pretty good at planning into the near future but not so much long term. My ideas are always changing and evolving so I think that I prefer to not set anything in cement because by next year it will probably be a whole new set of ideas and goals. :)