Archive for the ‘crunchy mom’ Category

Eating fresh vs. the Magic Spatula

I really wanted to eat healthier, no, not diet, the “D” word is not allowed in my house. Just healthy, REAL food. However, like many I fell into a cycle of unhealthy habits. First, I loooove food, I love to cook it, I love to eat it, I love to look at pictures of it, I pretty much love everything about it. Second, my darling Hubby only eats a total of 5 vegetables, and that’s if you count potatoes and corn as veggies. That doesn’t sound so bad you say, if I love food so much I could just wave my magic spatula in the air and

*poof*

*poof* there will appear an endless supply of meal ideas consisting of a protein of some sort (meat, fish, occasionally the unfortunate chicken) and a combination of one or more of the 5 allowed vegetables. For the most part you would be right. With the Internet at my fingertips and the guts to attempt almost any dish, we ate like kings! Food was rich, swimming in butter and cream topped with cheese and washed down with gravy. Nightly dinners were bacon wrapped and smothered in béarnaise (as proven by our waistlines).

Then I got pregnant (reality check) then I lost my job (reality punch in the face). Suddenly it was super important that I eat fresh and healthy, super important that I become one with the produce aisle………… $2.50 for a single green pepper!!?!!! Holy smokes!! It seems that sometime during my years of ignorant bliss ( and disposable income) the price of food skyrocketed! Now that both of those things are gone (well, the ignorance still reappears now and again) I find myself in shock of what the cost of fresh food is. How is a family to eat healthy with out having to auction off their kidneys?

Time to get creative.

Turns out there are several options when it comes to produce that not only are better for your wallet, but also our bodies, and the planet!

Find a local Farmers Market (or road side stand if you’re in a rural area). Many urban areas will have them at least once a week, and some run daily. Find out what’s in season in your area and try to purchase those items. If vendors have had items shipped in, find out from where, and when the produce was harvested. Remember, buying local produce means it hasn’t spent days or weeks getting to you, and therefore more of its nutrients are alive when it reaches your table. The reduced travel also means less greenhouse gasses into the ozone (it’s a win-win:)

Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). I have only recently become aware of this option and while I haven’t tried it out myself yet I can’t wait to give it a go. A CSA is a group put together by one or more farms from whom you buy a “share” of their harvest. Meaning once a week you go pick up a box of whatever produce they are growing right then, a lot of times the items were just harvested that morning! I first learned about them from this blog. Each group will vary greatly so take some time picking the right one for you and your family. Some you will pay for monthly others a lump sum for the whole season. Others have work requirements, most (in my area) do not. To find out what’s available in your neck of the woods check out localharvest.org, along with a list of participating farms they also have tips on finding one that will suit your needs.

Last Summers Garden Heart<3"

Grow your own!!!!! I LOVE this!! Before you blow this idea off as taking too much work, time, space, ect. ect. Trust me, as a former apartment tenant and someone who currently rents her home, it’s not as daunting as it appears. Many vegetables and herbs thrive in containers or small spaces with minimal upkeep. Need more motivation? Remember that green pepper that was $2.50 at the local grocery store? Well, I was able to get three plants for $1.97! Not to mention it is deeply satisfying to eat foods that you have grown yourself.

So, we’re trying to eat healthier. I still Looooove food, in fact I love it more. While Hubby still only eats 5 veggies I no longer let that stop me from preparing others for myself and the children. I am understanding food better, I don’t need to drown it in sauce to make it delicious. Its time to let the fresh flavors of meals shine on their own,  to do that you have to start with fresh ingredients. It May take a little effort but I promise it will be well worth it!
Thanks for reading:)

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the 5-year-old me knew best

I was a breastfed baby, as such I thought that was how babies were fed. As a child I remember “nursing” my dolls. In my little brain it seemed obvious, babies drank their momma’s milk. When Momma kitty had a litter of kittens they drank kitty milk.  Now I’m pretty sure we are considerably more advanced than momma K. I mean we have opposable thumbs, and therefore can operate the can opener (Momma K, not so much ). Not to mention century’s of human knowledge to draw on (again Momma K only had a couple of years of chasing mice and occasionally the dogs under her belt). So while we were a lot smarter than Momma K we always knew when it came to her kittens SHE was the expert.  We would never have DREAMED of trying to replace her milk with something artificial. Why  spend time and $$$ making a product that would in the end still be inferior to what she was already supplying free of charge?

Naturally I always assumed I would breastfeed my children, it wasn’t until late in my pregnancy that I realized that it wasn’t the “normal” thing to do. It never occurred to me that there would be classes and support groups and whole sites dedicated to helping moms who are breastfeeding, let alone that I would need any of those things. But there I was with my baby in hand and I learned really quick to use whatever resources were available. I read and read and read. I absorbed any information I could get about all the amazing things my body does for my child when he nurses. And I met (most virtually) some pretty amazing people. Eventually I was able to come full circle, my 5-year-old self had it right all along, babies drink their momma’s milk. I don’t need someone with more “advanced” training trying to replace my milk with some product of their own, or telling me that I won’t be able to do what I was built to do!

My hope is that one of these days we will have the same respect for ourselves as human mothers that we naturally give to other species. The same faith in our own bodies and their ability to provide for our babies.

I recognize that breastfeeding is a personal choice, and not one that all mothers make. I also know that formula has a very important roll in the health of babies who’s mothers are unable to breastfeed for whatever reason. Only you know what is right for you and your family and I am in no way criticizing the choices of other mothers. After all we all want the same thing, for our babies to be smart, happy, healthy, and for us to not lose our minds on the way:)

Never use a serrated knife to cut paper towels: a how-to & how-not-to on baby wipes

“We’re out of baby wipes.” says my darling husband. I take a deep breath, I had just come in from a long day at work and had absolutely no intention of leaving the house again that night. Well, I’ll just make my own. How hard can it be?

Now, I had reason to be optimistic, I had been making my own wipe solution for sometime. The thing is, hubby and I see things differently when it comes to reusable diaper supplies. I believe in them, he doesn’t. He, being the primary care giver, generally gets the last say. On this though we compromise, and by that I mean he buys disposable wipes that he uses and I use cloth wipes in a homemade solution. I had thrown around the idea about making my own disposable wipes for quite a while but I could never find the time or motivation. The thing is, that same morning after I stumbled out of bed to change snuggle bugs diaper I happened to be out of cloth wipes (laundry not being one of my strong points). What I didn’t realize was overnight a blister on my thumb had burst. I reached for the generic store bought wipes, bleary eyed and half comatose, Holy searing pain Batman!!! I threw it down.  What the heck is in these things, hot acid?!? No wonder the kid didn’t like having his diaper changed.  So later when I got home and learned we were out of the skin eating, scream inducing baby wipes, my decision was made.

Ok, here is the recipe for my solution, I have tried a couple different ratios and this is the one that I like the best:

2cups boiling water
2tbsp extra virgin coconut oil (or olive oil)
1tbsp Castile soap (I like the tea tree or rose scented)

Easy enough, easy to double if making a larger batch, AND will NOT sting even if used on an open sore. On top of that both coconut oil and tea tree are naturally anti-fungal and super good for baby’s skin.

Now, what to use for the actual wipes. As I  previously stated I have used cotton wash cloths soaked them in the mixture and stored them in a wipes warmer. Works like a charm. But what about those who want disposable wipes? I had read somewhere that you can use paper towels. To do so you need:

1 roll heavy-duty paper towels
Some sort of sharp object
Empty round wipes container (the center pull out kind)

Let’s see, first things first.  Cut the roll of paper towels in half with afore-mentioned sharp object. Well of course i started with the obvious choice, heavy duty scissors…… Not so heavy duty after all, barely left a mark. Hmmmmm it’s just paper, maybe I could slice through it with my razor sharp chefs knife!…………. Well that got through all of about four layers. *scratches head* Paper is made out of wood and you use a saw to cut wood, (can you see where this is going?) let’s see…… A saw has teeth, this serrated knife has teeth…….. it will be perfect! (insert goofy grin here) ………. Well, it cut, or rather shredded it’s way through the roll. Half way through you would have thought I had taken up shearing sheep in my kitchen. By the time I finished I stood knee deep in a winter wonderland of fluffy  paper towel snow. But at least I had the roll in 2 halves. Victory is mine!

The next two steps are to soak one of the paper towel roll halves by setting it upright in a bowl with wipe solution. Then set it aside and let cool. Once cool the cardboard center should slide out. Gently squeeze excess solution out and place in round container. You should be able to grab the end of the roll from the center (where the cardboard used to be). TaDa you have homemade chlorine and alcohol free wipes for your little persons bum.

On a side note I have so far been unable to find the round wipes containers and so have been forced to unroll the entire roll of towels and refold to fit in a standard rectangle wipes container. It works but is a bit more time consuming.

Thanks for reading:)

It all started with a boob

Well, two boobs actually, Mine. I know what you’re thinking, “here we go another breastfeeding hippy momma trying to save the world one boobie at a time”. It’s not like that really! It sorta goes like this:

I was the lofty age of 29 and I had been married for a few years. As far as I was concerned I was a pretty earth conscious individual. I mean I tried to remember to turn off the lights when I left the room, or the water while I brushed my teeth. In fact as a family we had gone from only recycling on occasion to recycling about 70-80% of our waste. I thought we were on an ecological roll! Then I got the surprise of my life.

Woah! That changed things a bit. All of a sudden I started second guessing everything. Run of the mill just wasn’t good enough.  Clean just wasn’t clean enough. (this is where you think I’m gonna start cutting out anything toxic) Oddly enough I started using MORE cleaning products MORE chemicals. Skyrocketing our spending and our exposure simultaneously. Oh boy, I was on a roll alright!
I was however doing something right. I was very committed to breastfeeding my darling son Max. It was something I felt very strongly about. Like so many breastfeeding moms I ran into a few roadblocks, and like many others I didn’t have experienced mothers to look to for advice. But what my generation lacks in experienced peers we try to make up in masses of easily accessible (if not as easily sorted through) information. Surprise! I turned to the Internet. Through certain social networking sites I was fortunate enough to connect to a handful of people who would change how I live. People like Jessica (@TheLeakyBoob) and Janelle (@HealthyChild) and many others helped me first with any breastfeeding issues I may have had, but also peaked my interest in living healthier, safer, more cost-effective lives. I learned that you didn’t have to douse your bathroom in bleach to keep it clean, sparkly, and smelling great. I that I don’t have to buy the really expensive pink laundry detergent to wash my sons clothes. That there were other options that were better for him AND our wallets! *insert giant light bulb going off*
Now I am by no means the best example of sustainable living. I am a mom with a full-time job and like most I suffer from the lack of hours in a day. But I AM learning. I AM trying to find ways to incorporate what I learn into our family’s life. Sometimes it works, sometimes in doesn’t, and sometimes we just laugh.

Thanks for reading:)

Tabitha

Who are you?!?

Who are you and what have you done with the old me?!? The old me would crank up the air conditioning so I could light the gas fire-place in July. The old me would crank up the heat so I could open the windows in January (mmmm fresh air). The old me always wanted to recycle (as a former beach bum I savored the thought of “saving the planet/oceans”) in fact I did it ALL THE TIME if there happened to be a recycle bin right next to the trash bin.

      The truth is I didn’t know that the size of my carbon footprint would have made Sasquatch tremble. *sigh* Someone said that going green was a journey, not a destination. So here is my journey, bumps, wrong turns, whining children and all.

Thanks for reading, check back later:)

Tabitha

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