Thursday, December 29, 2016

Week 67

I'll just call this the week of the sick. First me, than Reuben... not a week I want to relive, but there were some highlights anyway. And lots of sleep. Missed sleep, I mean. Toddlers.

One Year ago is here!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Week 66

Wow, week 66 of vlogging! Time has flown indeed. Reuben learns to eat with a spoon and drink out of a cup. He's growing so fast!

One Year ago can be viewed here!

Week 65

Thanksgiving week, although we do not celebrate it historically. Mostly a time of fun, to get together with friends and eat good food! Brian and I started out going on vacation to the mountains to hike for a few days, and wrapped it up playing video games, seeing his mother in law, and hanging out with our cute offspring. A good week for sure, and I loved being close to those I love.

Sadly, my maternal grandmother (my mother's mom) died this week. It's been hard for her, and I would love it if you guys would keep her in your prayers. I am named after this grandmother, but do not know her well.  It is sad to think that Reuben will never meet his great grandmother....

One year ago is here!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Week 64

This was a fun week--our four year anniversary. I can't believe it's been FOUR YEARS! Next week we are going on a vacation to celebrate, yay! This week was fun, and full of really good food. Also, still doing Nanowrimo, so less footage, more writing. Lots of writing.

One Year ago is here!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Nourishing Meals Review

I'm always on the look out for good gluten free, soy and dairy free meals, and I loved that this book included all three of our families major allergies in every meal!

I've tried a few of the breakfast dishes. Breakfast is getting hard around here with a toddler that wants more than fruit on his plate now! The coconut raspberry muffins (P138) were extremely delicious! I want to try the date and walnut cinnamon swirl muffins on the next page soon.

I also made the classic pumpkin pie (p410) twice! It's delicious and I can't tell it's dairy free at all!

I do wish the book had more pictures in it. I'm prone to skipping through cookbooks and looking at the pictures and deciding what I want to eat that way. This one does not have pictures with the recipes and thus it takes a bit of elbow grease to find what I want.

But I do find, that when I make that effort, I am left with a very satisfactory and filling meal that is enjoyed by the whole family. And I would recommend this cookbook to anyone who is dealing with allergy issues!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

10 Months Paleo

I've been paleo 10 months. This month I've indulged in a bit much rice. But hey, its the holiday season and I love rice, so whatever. It hasn't bothered me yet, but as rice has basically no nutritional value so I usually don't eat it. But...mmmmmh so good! I am not worried about my consumption of a few cups of rice a week at all. It's hard not to eat it when I make it so often for my carb loving husband!

This month is turning out harder than others for this paleo foodie--all the Christmas parties where I can't really eat anything. Although I did go to one with a pineapple tray that was excellent! I realize no one wishes to exclude others, but food sensitivities and allergies can make even the strongest person a little sappy, watching everyone else have their cake and eat it too. Paleo cake is good, but I can't cook it all the time. Nor do I expect others too. I'm not upset. Just truths.

I've been baking weekly at home, making my favorite treats. I plan on eating some dairy on Christmas, because I love cream cheese icing and I won't be able to say no. This is also something I am not going to beat myself up about. No one can be a staunch perfectionist all of the time, and I know I can tolerate dairy to a point--like once or maybe twice a month (but I still try not to, because holy bloating). Christmas is just the time for one of these wonderful exception moments.

I still plan on being paleo for the foreseeable future. My next plan of action is to buy Well Fed Weeknights. I love MJ's paleo cookbooks and definitely want to get my hands on her third installment. A book of paleo dinners that are all under 45 minutes? Call me hooked.

Other than that, I need to cultivate some herbs. I'm running low, and herbs are next to godliness in a paleo kitchen.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Week 63

This was the week Donald Trump became president and I mostly hid at my house with ice cream, reading facebook. And than deleting most my social media apps, because woah America we have issues and I can't deal with the negativity right now while changing diapers.

Still doing Nanowrimo here too. That, and the fact that America was basically an upset hormonal teenager this week caused...many shorter vlogs. Oh well. At least the ice-cream was good.

I also switched my end screen over to the new Youtube end screen thingie. I like it. Much yay. (Anyway, I am sorry it takes me so long to get the videos up on my blog, after filming, editing and stuff and uploading to YouTube posting them here is the last thing on my mind! But I do get to it. Eventually.)

Want to see us one year ago? Go here!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Superiority and the Natural Minded Mom

I'm a crunchy momma. We eat all organic, no sugar, cloth diaper, use unpaper son has never (to my understanding) had anything with artificial food coloring in it. He's never eaten fast food. I don't even eat fast food. I'm so far down the biomedical wormhole of  healing your body with whole, real food I don't think I could climb out if I tried. And I won't, because I cured my own chronic pain using food. I used garlic drops in my son's ears for his ear infection instead of antibiotics and we babywear year round. We are still breastfeeding at 16 months with no end in sight, and I am perfectly comfortable with him breastfeeding for as long as he desires. Even if he's five.

I love being a crunchy mom. I love raising my son how I think he should be raised.

Is crunchy, natural parenting "better" parenting, as many people would have you think? Are granola mom's really stuck up, elitist moms?

I can tell you how and why I became a crunchy mom. I read food labels, and I decided I didn't want anything artificial in my growing child who already has serious allergies. When ever I say this, many moms feel judged. "I read food labels too," they say, holding their kid who just devoured whole little Debbie cake in their arms, "and I can't afford that kind of lifestyle."

I think that may be the difference between me and the other moms I meet. I would give up almost every luxury to keep providing my child with whole, non-processed foods. It is a priority to me. That is why I do it, because it is extremely important to me. Not because I want to enthrone myself like some organic pariah on a waterfall of gluten free, sustainability harvested breakfast muffins. It's because I care about my child, and I see this as concrete way of caring about him.   

And that's when I always loose my audience. Because don't all moms care about their children? Does feeding my kid whole foods mean I care more? I read those ingredient lists, I see what a diet full of sugar does to society, and I say "not my child, I will give him the most nutritious food I can. This is important for his future and his body." And I set aside a lot of time to cook from scratch and to research food, and how it works within the body, and how it is harvested and cultivated. I want to know what is in my food. Sometimes I wonder if other moms just don't care. Sometimes I wonder why they let their kid watch 2 hours of television or more a day, and eat cake, ice-cream, deli meat, pasta, and other refined and heavily sugared foods. I HONESTLY don't get it, and I am being 100% transparent. Why do you guys do this?

There is a delicate line. I don't know where it is, but I probably crossed it in the above paragraph. I won't mince words, I want to address the elephant in the room, I want to tell you honestly what I think and the questions I have.

I know, I am not a better mom. I am a mom just like everyone else. I am only more informed because I made a choice to study and learn. Because I am a mom. My difference is information, information I am able to shift through in a relatively stress free environment. Information, and time. I am a stay at home mom, able to devote a lot of time into finding and cooking good food for my kid. I don't have a stressful job, I don't have to rush through cooking dinner. I made a choice with the information I had: and that choice was to say NO to artificial food after reading published studies from medical and nutritional journals, doing a lot of independent research and learning about the human body. I know my own choices, my own reasoning, but each mom has their own unique journey and that is why we bicker so much and think everyone else is trying to water their garden out of competition and not, you know, because water makes plants live. I'm trying to 'water' my son with whole foods not because I'm "such an awesome mom, omg" but because I really believe it's what has made humans thrive for hundreds of years, and the "food" of today's generation is doing harm to our bodies. And I can't live in silence anymore.

me, in iconic crunchy mom pose
I also know many of us moms have been lied to. We are told our kids issues like eczema, pain, constipation, hyperactivity and other neurological disorders have nothing to do with food or environment, that they are all genetically based and there is nothing we can do except start trying different pharmaceuticals. I was stunned when I finally realized MY BODY IS WHAT I PUT INTO IT. Sure, I have genes, and those do play a part. But my son's body, my body--we are what we put in it and on it. It becomes our fuel, it becomes us. And food does impact us. It does. To say otherwise is illogical. This is my foundation, the bedrock on which I put my nutritional choices. Other moms don't have this foundation, and that is why they make other choices.

How do we encourage real food in a world where food is a corporate enterprise? 50 years ago most houses would have gardens, 100 years ago most went to "farmers markets" every few days to stock up and every home would have a garden. Part of the problem is this disconnect we have with our food. The most common push-back to organics food I see is the expense. If it wasn't so expensive, would it be your first choice? Food prices are controlled by big corporations who ship from all around the world. Food used to be grown locally, not put on trucks and toted everywhere. We are trapped. It's a trap. We don't know how to grow our own food anymore and it's expensive. Can you see the trap?     

It's a journey. I suffered from chronic constipation for 12 years, and not one doctor ever mentioned that I could try a paleo diet, or restrict gluten, or try to go dairy free--all things I explored when I finally got fed up (because none of their drugs or recommendations worked) in a last ditch effort to try and heal myself. Six months into the paleo diet and my inflammation, pain and constipation are gone. After 12 years. My journey has made me a believer.

Sometimes I think mainstream moms simply are privileged. They don't have sick kids, and they've never dealt with autoimmune issues. I should envy them, but I can't get over what they eat. But mainstream moms also think I am privileged, with free time to devote to cooking and researching and a husband who makes good money to allow us to buy whole, organic foods.

Maybe we both are privileged.

Listen guys, I'm trying to be honest here. The truth is, and most of us crunchy mothers will tell you if you ask hard enough that we do think we are making better choices for our kids and our families. And that's okay. It does not mean you can't make the choices you want. It doesn't mean we think you are evil for feeding your kid a happy meal for the third time this week. It does not mean we think we are better mothers. It just means we are trying to inform ourselves what is in our food because we care about our bodies, the environment, and our children so much that we critically analyze everything.

And I'll support your right to choose what your kid eats until the day I die, even if I wouldn't eat what some consider food these days.

I'll leave on this note: what do we do about the supposed superiority of the natural minded mom? Listen to her. And don't take it as criticism on your own choices. Take it as her exercising her right to choose for her family, and celebrate her. And: how do we talk about what passes for food these days and extol the benefits of a whole food diet free of added sugar and refinement without vilifying those who eat that way? How do I say "we eat all organic" and "it's because refined food is bad for your body" and not sounds like a pompous prick?

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Nanowrimo Week 5 Recap

So I'm sitting at 58,000 words! I would call my book done--well, the rough (very rough) first draft, anyways. And I don't have a title, so don't ask!

What I do have is more questions than answers at this point! So I wrote a book. Now what? Well, obvious--edit it! I am in the process of editing my book. First I'm going to take a few days off--writing every day has been a little bit harrowing. I need some chill time.

Starting in December, I plan to edit my first draft into a second draft. I will then try to get my husband or someone who understands grammar to edit the grammar of my book, because I still can't quite understand than/then too/to and other things that sound the same but are mind-numbingly different. Thanks, dyslexia. Thanks.

Then I will keep re-reading, re-editing for awhile. Sometime in March or April I plan on figuring out the whole create space thing, and getting some actual hard copies--that I will make available for beta readers. I will make a whole post where you can sign up to be a beta reader if you are interested in reading the probably horrible, one star story I spent my entire November writing. I can't wait to read the reviews. ((O_O))

Um. Yeah. That's my tentative time line. Please leave all thoughts related to self-publishing below. I need to go find that blog post I saved years ago from my favorite self-published author H. L Burke who wrote a how-to-createspace post on her blog. I remember this post. I hope I can find it later. On an unrelated note, if your name is H. L. Burke, I may be e-mailing you and requesting some online skype consultations because I've never self-published anything before and I feel very overwhelmed. Don't worry, I will pay you before I whine about my struggles.

But first the editing. I can't get ahead of myself! Edit. I'll worry about publishing when I, uh, have something publishable.

I still can't get over the fact that I did it! It's DONE. Why do I hear evil laughter in my head? Meh.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Week 62

I didn't vlog much this week--due to starting nanowrimo. It really does take up almost all of my free time! But I managed to write 2,000 words (my goal) each day this week. Also, Reuben started going to bed at 8pm every day. This helped me have an hour or two (plus nap time, that is, if he napped) to work on my book. If you've read my blog for a long time, you know I've wanted to write a book since I was a little girl. While I've started several stories, I've never finished anything. Perhaps that will change soon.

You can see last year's vlog here.