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Friday, April 19, 2013

Struggling

It's supposed to be a good thing, this learning to be crunchy! I know that it is for the best! However, tonight I sit here struggling. I am drinking my nightly cup of coffee and just finished a Nutella sandwich. Nope, not healthy or whole! I know that I should just throw it out, but Nutella is my favorite! Yes, I am aware that it contains more sugar than icing, but for some reason that doesn't stop me. Not just that, I am addicted to Dr Pepper. In no small way. I get massive migraine headaches that put me out of commission for hours and sometimes days if I go too long without it. I have successfully quit smoking cold turkey before, but for some reason, this seems like an impossible feat to me.
I started this journey for my 4-year-old. He has a sensory sensitivity. His occupational therapist is hesitant to diagnose actual SPD, but this momma is pretty sure of it. Anyway, I have read TONS of information on Sensory Processing Disorder and the ways to help children effectively cope with it. One of the key things that so many people have said, is that when they removed all the processed foods, artificial dyes, and toxins they say huge differences in their children. I have tried everything else, so I decided to try this! I have spent more nights praying and in tears over the meltdowns that he experiences. I felt like God was leading me into this natural lifestyle.
That being said, I am not a wasteful person. I was raised with the 'waste not, want not' motto drilled into me!  My granny, who just recently went to be with her Jesus, grew-up during the Depression and, oh, the stories that I have heard. I was taught not to be wasteful and to always be thankful for food to eat. It is almost impossible for this mom to throw away perfectly edible food. I can't say 'good' food, because according to my new world of whole foods, Nutella does not fit in the 'good' category.
So, I pray for grace. I pray that by the time I reach the bottom of the jar or the end of the 24 pack I will have slowly weaned myself and kicked my bad-for-me habits. I am doing it for my son because I believe that is what my Father in Heaven has directed me to do. For this reason, I move forward in my pursuit of going natural. I have even started to be a little creative with new recipes, that I will share in future posts. My cleaning supplies are evolving (also a future post).  My world is becoming a cleaner, safer, greener place for my family!

Exploring Cloth Diapers and Wipes

Diaper Cover
prefolds

I am new to cloth diapering and homemade wipes. Let's just say that I was extremely uneducated about them. I still had the old fashioned idea in my mind of prefolds, plastic pants, and water pails. After educating myself, I came to realize that cloth diapering can be just as easy and much greener and healthier than disposables. Thus, my journey began. I had some prefolds that I had purchased to use as burp cloths for all of my kiddos, so, I just purchased some diaper covers to start. I went with Green Bees because they are local and very inexpensive! (http://www.greenbeesdiapers.com/) My goal is to have all pockets eventually, but for now I am building as I can afford them.


Next, I decided after learning that my current baby wipes were a 'moderate hazard' or 3 on the cosmetic data base (http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/product/468024/Huggies_Thick-n-Clean_Baby_Wipes%2C_Fragrance_Free/) I decided to try to make my own wipes. In an effort to be green and save even more money, I decided to try cloth wipes. After using my trusty Google search engine, I found several different recipes for the wipes solution. I went with the following recipe:

1 c water
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp baby wash (I currently use Burt's Bees which is a 'low hazard' or 1 on the cosmetic database)

I then went to the trusty Dollar Tree and purchased 20 baby wash cloths and a container to put them in ($6.51)

I mixed all my ingredients in my container, folded the wash cloths, placed them into the container, and closed it to allow time for the solution to absorb into the cloths. (I need to add here, if you are not going to use
your wipes quickly, you should add some tee tree oil to ward off mildew.)

It was a flop! They were way too saturated and caused my daughter to break out. I rinsed them very well and rung them out completely so that they were only slightly damp. This made a huge difference. Daddy T (the biggest cloth diapering critic alive) even fell in love with them after that! We only use 1 wipe even when changing our 2-year-old! That being said, next time I will cut my mixture in half.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Shopping Fun

I went grocery shopping Monday at the local whole food store. It was quite an experience seeing the difference in everything! I have used my purchases to cook the last 2 days and I can tell you that I can definitely taste a difference!

First, I started with a very specific menu:

Breakfast options:


  • granola with greek yogurt
  • granola cereal
  • muffins
  • oatmeal pancakes with fresh fruit
  • bacon, egg, and cheese rolls in homemade bread


Dinner:

  • Monday-marinated chicken wings, fried potatoes, and snap peas
  • Tuesday- Pork chops breaded in parmesan cheese and whole grain bread crumbs, oven fried with garlic smashed potatoes and fried zucchini, tomatoes, and onion in a little vinegar
  • Wednesday- Garlic shrimp, with avocado orzo
  • Thursday- Beef roast, carrots, potatoes, onions
  • Friday-Bell pepper casserole (made with turkey and brown rice)
  • Saturday-Breaded Tilapia (oven fired) Spinach and carrots
  • Sunday- we eat at our small group
Snacks for the week included:

  • Fruit salad 
  • yogurt
  • hummus with fresh veggies
With my list in had I headed out.

 Let me start by saying that I am new to this whole food eating world, and I am going about it a little at a time. As I run out of something or need something, I buy natural whole foods or products. Eventually, my goal is to have my entire house clear of all things processed!

When I got to the store I realized that the produce was beautiful and had a price tag to go with it. I had to continually remind myself how much I was saving by not buying junk foods. I was able to shop for everything on my list and successfully spend less than what I usually spend each week! I was so excited!

A copy of my list:

  • zucchini
  • tomato
  • carrots
  • spinach
  • kale
  • snap peas
  • avacados
  • bell peppers
  • bananas
  • 2 lemons
  • apples
  • blueberries
  • mangoes (got them on sale)
  • strawberry flax seed granola
  • shredded parmesan cheese
  • organic greek yogurt
  • assorted organic fruit and yogurt
  • shrimp
  • 3lb roast
  • sugar
  • coffee filters
TOTAL SPENT: $72.89 ( my normal budget is $150, now bear in mind that I already had pork chips, chicken, orzo, potatoes and turkey at home that I had find on sale previously and stocked up on!)


It has been an adjustment for my family to get use to there not being 'quick' food and snacks in the house. I have to remind them that fruit and yogurt is quick and so much better for you. They are also always complaining about nothing to drink in the house, I remind them that water is so good for them and that there is ice in the freezer to keep it cold! We are learning! It will be a process, but I believe that it will be possible!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Join Me

I am new to this whole 'going green' concept. I guess you can say that I am really set in my old ways. Recently, I was given an opportunity to partner with a company that specializes in 'green' products. I figured this was the perfect opportunity for me to jump on board!
This blog is my way of documenting my families journey to a new toxin-free, whole food, less waste life style. I will be posting before and after photos of my pantry, vitamins, as well as weekly menus. All to show that the transformation is possible. 

A little history...I am a stay-at-home mom of 4, that has recently become as part-time work-at-home mom. I have a 13-year-old step-son, B, who has recently moved in with us; a 4-year-old son, C; a 2-year-old son, D; and a 7-month-old daughter E. I am married to my very best friend and husband of 10 years, Daddy T.  I love to read (especially my Bible), write, spend time teaching my children, and bake.


Please join me and my family as we take this journey to learning how to become creatively crunchy!