Friday, October 29, 2010

Eye Opener

This halloween is an eye-opener, to all the stuff we let "slide" and all the poisons we let enter our children's bodies "just this once." One of my daughters can't have chocolate. It's OBVIOUS when she does. The other day we went to a trunk-or-treat and the kid is saying to people "Um, can you show me which ones don't have chocolate?" I like that, that she's not trying to get away with anything. But then, we get a crapload of corn syrup and even "healthy snacks" of pretzels or cheese and crackers=partially hydrogenated oils. I pick up a package of sweet tarts, maybe Airi can have one of those. . . they aren't even FOOD!! I thought candy contained AT LEAST corn syrup, if not sugar. These things are made from three unpronouncable chemicals and two dyes.

My other kid can't have corn, no corn syrup, which means, since she's a nursling, none for mom either. I've been able to tell with even the slightest indiscretion of ONE piece of licorice. I suspect she also has a sensitivity to egg (not through me, but if she eats it) and cheese specifically, not all dairy, but cow's milk cheese). Almost ALL candy is made with corn syrup, inorganic anyway.

And then, sadly, this just makes me think and feel that SUGAR. . . real live, actual sugar, is actually a healthy alternative to what we're being given. SO. . . I think this may be the beginning of striking a deal with my kids. I want them to get dressed up and go trick-or-treating. I want that to be fun. And maybe in the future, Alani won't be so behaviorally sensitive to chocolate and Airi might not even have a corn allergy, but the amount of crap in the stuff being given out, makes me sad and a little ill actually. I'm going to have to inform them and hope that we can make some good decisions together. I'm thinking, go door-to-door, gather what you want, and then mom and dad will trade you PIECE FOR PIECE with organic alternatives. That's a bit pricey, when it's supposed to be a holiday where our kids bring home TONS OF FREE SWEET LOOT that we all get to enjoy together, but it is beginning to make my skin crawl when I think about allowing them to eat it.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Looking at the Numbers

In many ways the grocery list is being honed.

The dollars: The push (from my hubby) to buy ONLY organic (though I think there are some items where nitrate free or *no hormones or antibiotics might be acceptable, except then you've got to deal with the food source of the animal) is cutting some items for us, it's keeping us from eating out (other than a snack here and there), it's creating creativity and experimentation, and I believe it's also helping us all to consume a bit less. The cost of buying itmes on this list is sometimes high, we're looking at each meal we make at home and seeing that even buying ALL organic, a meal at home costs less than a meal out that's NOT organic (only benefit. . . someone else does the dishes). And it makes me more aware of the amounts I use. I'm starting to find that dairy causes me some trouble, and I'm suspecting dairy causes my breastfeeding baby some trouble, so I've switched to sheep's and goat's milk cheeses. And I suspect, that in general, a lot of dairy in a diet isn't good for anyone. I've been jokingly saying to Mike "When you pray for patience, you get kids. When you pray for some control over your eating, you get a dairy allergy! (or a baby with a dairy allergy works just as well sometimes too)."

When I bought a 5lb block of tillamook cheese for $10 at costco, hormone free cows make that cheese (and some people too), we used A LOT of cheese, there's no reason to be careful. . . it's a "dime a dozen" mentality. Now that I'm buying 1lb of manchego for $13. . . I'm a little less liberal with the cheese. I actually noticed this when I went back to buying Organic Valley's raw sharp cheddar, 1lb exceeds the cost of that tillamook 5 pounder. . .and I'm a little bit more aware of how many "cheesy" meals I'm making, of portion control for each meal too.

The calories: Mike read "drink this, don't drink that" he LOVES the guy who makes those lists. . . and it pretty much made us want to swear off Starbucks drinks and Coldstone ice cream and all sorts of other little "treats" that aren't so "little" on the butt!!!! We're closing on on healther living every day . . . . one calorie at a time.

The pounds: Mike brought up an interesting concept the other day. I won't tell you the numbers on our weights, but basically if "B" is where he is and "D" is where he wants to be, then he said the other day "I'm not eating like a 'B' pound man." I like that. . . . let's eat like the person we envision ourselves being, or the "goal weight" person. . . not the existing weight person.

The toxicity: One of my new focuses is toxicity in cosmetics. I've been using the cosmetic database, and I'm SURE there are better ways to go about it, but everyone has to start somewhere. And some of the toxicity concerns make no sense to me, in that they're all "greek." Nanoparticles? I read one companies explanation as to why we shouldn't worry about the nanoparticle sizes in their zinc oxide. . . but why should we worry about nanoparticles at all? That's the article I need to read!!! Anyway, I've started by just putting in all the stuff we currently use toothpastes, shampoos, conditioners, soaps, sunscreens. I haven't even moved on to the make-up or face lotions. . .though, truthfully, that will encompass very few products.

So the numbers show that perhaps the sunscreen I put on my children (and myself) to keep us from skin cancer, could be causing a different kind of cancer, or reproductive toxicity or any number of other problems. . . I'm switching some things out. It's a little costly, but I don't know. . . I used pre-sun for years, because it was "mineral" and now I see that it was "criminal" and potentially doing my body more harm than it was doing my skin good, AND it's slightly expensive AND. . . a ton of it was wasted every year because I could never finish a tube. So. . . is it more wasteful to buy a more expensive, low toxicity sunscreen and use it all up or buy a less expensive, more toxic sunscreen and leave most of the bottle unused at the end of each season? I think things are worth the cost if you USE them! Which takes me back to the first set of numbers. . . if we USE up and EAT UP all of the food in our fridge, then it's worth the cost. But if we buy a bunch of expensive, organic stuff to stock our fridge and make us feel better, then eat out, both paying extra to eat out and likely wasting some of the ingredients we have at home because they expire. . . not a worthwhile cost.

I guess my "numbers" are about honing and consuming more of what we purpose to, instead of extra spending on the unecessary. . . let's simplify!

Saturday, July 17, 2010


I hope that in detoxifying and simplifying one are of my life, I will also be able to detoxify, simplify and better other areas of my life. For instance. . . . getting a handle on the types of food we buy, because of cost, this will likely lead to decreased amounts and therefore decreased consumption. More controlled consumption of food, means better portion control, which hopefully leads to weight managament. Getting a handle on one area of my life that is mental, physical and emotional, will help me figuratively detoxify other areas of my life. . . like clutter, organization, time management, etc. Still. . . it is just as unreasonable to assume that I can detoxify my environment overnight as it is to assume that I can "retrain" myself with good habits overnight. . . . this is all about my PROCESS. . .and it will be a lifelong, ongoing process of learning, eliminating, changing, substituting, and learning some more.

I often become so overwhelmed by the BIG PICTURE and need to learn to focus on one aspect at a time. Getting one area in order then adding in a second area, a third, etc. This is how my journey with "organics" has gone as well . . . first I stopped buying products with specific ingredients, then I focused more on whole foods, there has been a focus on making things from scratch and making things at home instead of eating out, moving towards buying particular foods organically and adding in others as I learned of the importance to do so, and now that I feel we have this particular aspect. . . the grocery aspect. . . in "order" I'm moving on to cosmetics and household products.

One day soon I hope to gain greater perspective on my consumerism, on my "pack ratting," on my spending, on my body, on my mind, on my time. I just want to be a better ME and share that gift with my family.


I don't want to live in fear of all the things I'm putting in and on and around my body, or more importantly, the bodies of my children. I want to reduce their exposure to the toxins that I am able to and know that I've done my best. In the past several years I've started detoxifying my life a little at a time. It's OVERWHELMING when one considers all the toxins and ways that we come into contact with them, without ever knowing or being told. It's like we're in the dark. . . but there needs to be some exposure.

I have a hard time telling friends when I know something is bad for the body. I don't want to offend anyone, or make them feel guilty, or worse yet. . .make them think I'm being ridiculous because, afterall. . .isn't that the biggest, most well-known baby care line there is? Why would SOOOO many people use it if it really caused reproductive health issues and cancer for our babies? Why wouldn't we ALL know that and why wouldn't the company just go bankrupt over night? So. . . I do my best to change things for my family and maybe drop some info here and there when it can be more well recieved than just point blank assassination of a product.

I know that I have SO far to go. I know that things that I don't think about, and things that I feel "okay" about, are sometimes NOT okay and I'm learning slowly slowly how and what to eliminate. I want to live a simpler life, a greener life, a more conscientious life. I don't want a situation where my children feel like they CAN'T have. . . but how cool it is for us to make things together, learn things together, and keep our bodies more pure. I also want to note that I'm not trying to preserve my life. . . I'm just trying to have the best quality of life on this earth as possible, and help my children learn more of that kind of living, much earlier than myself. And it's not for lack of trying. . . it's just that with information at the tips of our fingers, we can learn and see and know SO much more than any generation before us.

My hope is that in cleaner more pure living, we can eventually join the movement that demands this is the way food and cosmetics and clothing and all things we use are produced. That one day "green" will just be the norm. That we won't have to pay exhorbidant prices for organic, US products, locally made, etc.

I'm not on a personal quest. I'm not trying to change everyone, I don't want to be seen as some "purist" who is searching for something that just can't be found anymore. I'm just trying to move my family towards a less toxic path for body wellness. It's a long, tedious path. I don't think it's sustainable or reasonable to run through the house throwing out every possible toxin in one day.

Five years ago, I became aware and began sifting out products with high fructose corn syrup and msg, partially hydrogenated oils followed. I had to become a label reader. Grocery items I'd ALWAYS purchased were no longer options, I had to find substitutes or just let go of purchasing them all together. I had to be aware that these three ingredients were found in a multitude of things I never thought to consider. . . and yet, the soda train has been the hardest to let go of. It's these "impurities" these "exceptions" that I have to slowly let go of.

When my daughter began eating solids, I was more focused on whole foods and preparing at home. . . but slowly slowly, I became less strict about her diet and fast food slipped in, eating out, buying "exceptions." I have been purchasing organic goods in more and more varieties over the past three years or so now. But recently realized we were spending a fortune on organic, yet eating out far too often and of course NONE of this was organic. . .so what's the point?

We are on baby 2 now, she has recently begun solids, and we also just watched Food Inc. . . . now that I finally have real backing from my husband that encourages me to prepare food at home, to buy organic despite some of the costs, and to focus even more on whole foods. . . . I feel like I can begin moving onto other areas where toxins enter our lives. . . cosmetics, diaper wipes, diaper creams, sunscreen, body wash.

Here, on this blog I plan to share recipes for some of these cosmetics, home remedies, etc. Perhaps some new grains I'm trying as we likely won't eliminate white flour, but work to decrease it. Recipes, tips on buying organic. Buying US made products (or trying to). . . . all sorts of different ponies will be ridden here. It's just a simpler kind of life.