Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Becoming more crunchy in 2013: Some changes we made...

Let me start out by saying....we are a big ol' hybrid mix of crunchy naturalness and mainstream goodness and we are not experts so we are doing what we feel best for our family and the best understanding we have....I love this lady's take on the world of whole foodness and God.  I laughed and nodded my head the entire article as I had many of the sentiments as we navigate this new found territory.

My philosophy when it comes to parenting has always been that God gave me wisdom for my family and that may not be what you do and that is okay. (As my dad would say it is not good or bad, it is just different.)  We can all learn from one another and I have enough to worry about in my parenting journey to sit in judgment of someone else.  Can I get an amen?  So many on both sides of the crunchy-mainstream debate do that and wow, seems like "a terrible waste of resources" to me.

Much like the blog post I shared above, I stopped subscribing to most whole food blogs and facebook posts, I found they if I didn't live by a strict traditional, no mainstream food diet, you would kill yourself and the lineage after you...well I don't know about you but I don't live in a black and white world.  Some days are meant for a McDonald's happy meal and I am a-okay with that!  I am happy for their family but I am happy to ride the fence, I have always had a desire to live on the wild side (not really but I can pretend, right?).

So why did we gravitate toward the crunchy side?  Well it is a long story that started when I was pregnant with Vera.  I actually had started to get a really nasty case of heartburn and got prescribed some medication....took it my entire pregnancy and hoped after she was born it would go away and it didn't.  I was so bummed and to top it off, it got worse.  The only course of action, I was given was to up my dosage.  At age 28, I was up to 2 capsules a day of acid-blocking medicine.  Something in my bones and Scott's just said that wasn't right.  I was otherwise young, at a good weight and "healthy".  I decided to try acupuncture treatment because I was aching to fix the root problem and not just the symptom.  Well lo and behold it worked and once you start down the acupuncture path, your acupuncturist shares other holistic information with you which you kind of just let sit in your brain archives because you have 2 small children and a household to run and it sounds great but overwhelming.

I had once heard some great advice in my former teaching life that I apply to my life, do one thing at a time really well or do a bunch of things not very well.  SO we changed one thing at a time over the last 2 years.  2012 was the year of acupuncture, introducing green smoothies and vitamins to my diet and 2013 proved to be a continuation - adding in chiropractic care, essential oils, all-natural cleaning products and a healthier "crunchy" diet.  As I changed one thing and got comfortable I would try another and over time we have in our minds overhauled our home.  We still have stuff to change and stuff that never will and I am okay with that.

I am careful that this doesn't become an idol in my life that circumvents my faith in God.  Our health can be a slippery slope especially when it consumes us.  Just this year, as I was struggling with depression....the proud, crunchy side of me desperately wanted to fix it naturally and I do believe there may be ways down the road but I don't believe that is where God has me right now.  Right now, His provision of medicine is what I need.  And thankfully He has used that story to bless others in their time of need.

So let's get to the fun stuff of this post...what have we changed?  There is not always a rhyme or reason and we still DO vaccinate our children, we still go to the doctor when we are sick, get physicals, eat out and sometimes don't buy organic (it is expensive).

1.  We use norwex cleaning clothes as well as vinegar and water to clean.  I use vinegar/water (50/50 mix) to clean my floors.  The cloths are great for kitchens, bathrooms, dusting, etc.  I love how fast I can clean without finding the million bottles of cleaner and although they were an investment, I really haven't noticed us getting sick any more and probably less!  The only exception is I use 99% natural toilet bowl cleaner.  I just can't stick my cloths in the toilet...they could do it, I just can't stomach it!

2.  I normally drink green smoothies with kale, stiggi's all natural drinkable yogurt (no hormones and non-gmo), wild blueberries (frozen from costco), strawberries (frozen and not organic) and bananas (don't buy organic).

3.  We take probiotics (even the kids).  I had a serious gut issue in 2013 and ended up with a colonoscopy and the works.  Taking the probiotics and getting my gut healthy has been a huge blessing.   It wasn't pretty before ;).  I also learned so much of our overall health comes from good gut health.  I am constantly in awe of how God made our bodies.  We take the refrigerated ultimate flora brand and get it 10% at Hy-Vee on their healthfood Wednesdays.

4.  We went hormone-free with milk.  We buy regular cheese and the kiddos poo-pooed all the healthy yogurts so I just get those simply gogurts.

5.  We buy organic for some things - mostly veggies, some fruits (especially if I am at Trader Joe's), I don't buy organic bananas, avocados or onions generally.

6.  We buy mostly Annie's for snacks and get a lot of the simply balanced brand at Target for kids snacks.  The kids love the all natural fruit snacks and fruit leathers.  They still love goldfish and pretzels and still buy normal crackers and chips, etc.

7.  I bake with organic flour and sugar in the raw

8.  We started buying cage free, organic eggs.  In the summer I buy my eggs at the farmers market.

9.  Really started reading labels and try to buy things without corn syrup, sweeteners and artificial coloring.  I didn't realize how many things corn syrup is in.  We also buy maple syrup (100% real) and locally made honey (great for allergies).

10.  Drinking a lot more water and trying to drink less pop (this is one of those vices I can't completely give up ;).

11.  Started using a chiropractor (just me for now)

12.  Started using essential oils (Young Living).  We love lavender to help with sleep (really works), thieves oil for colds and illnesses (on the soles of our feet and a drop on the tongue for us adults) and a blend called RC for coughs.  Peppermint for headaches and aches and pains.  Lemon oil in water for a fun tasting water and good detox.  Still learning but God made some great remedies in nature.

13.  We take a multi-vitamin and I take fish oil and cranberry supplement.

14.  We went with all natural free and clear detergent, dryer balls (instead of fabric softener), paraben and sulfate free shampoo, conditioner, face wash and make-up (go to Skin deep app for help finding good products).

So as you can see some has changed and some has stayed the same...the changes we have made haven't been too cost prohibitive especially since places like Target and Costco now carry store brands that are more holistic in nature.  I am not a bandwagon fan, I am more a lifestyle change kind of gal and stick with it for the long haul....these changes may not be for you and that is okay.  I just ask that you respect me and what I do for my family and I will show you the same courtesy.   Life is too short to get our panties in a bunch, don't you think?

Let's keep the main thing the main thing and that is Christ....the center of our lives and the reason we draw breath each day!

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