Friday, March 30, 2012

Sometimes The Pediatricians Office Is Just Difficult

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Finding a pediatrician we liked was a difficult search. In the midst of the medical world, I wanted someone that was a little more 'natural'. I was lucky and got a reference from a friend for a pediatrician in the office I wanted. She comes from the same cloth I do-if not a little more crunchy. Her pediatrician didn't like her stance on a lot of issues, but he accepted them and was respectful. That's sometimes the most you can ask for these days.

He wasn't taking new patients, but since we were a referral we got in after a month or so. I really liked him. He took his time with us, explained things, and listened. When I first met him I told him I was pretty much convinced not to give Peanut any vaccines, but I wanted to know his thoughts. My backup plan was an alternative schedule suggested by Dr. Sears in The Vaccine Book. We walked out with only 2 out of the 6 recommended vaccines. We felt this was best for our family. He was as my friend said-he had his stance, but he was accepting and respectful.

Today was  little harder than normal. It feels like every time we go, we go over the vaccines again. He gives me another pro-vaccine book to read, etc. Today we also went over a fluoride prescription now that Peanut is 6 months and Zantac for his acid reflux.

His explanation for the fluoride was interesting. He said since there isn't fluoride in our water, we need to supplement it. I then proceeded to mention that my 6 month old wasn't drinking water, only breast milk. He said that was fine, he prefers it that way. I dropped it, but was thinking...if he's not drinking water, why do we need to supplement what isn't in the water?? It doesn't make sense except that he won't be getting fluoride from me I guess. Instead, I'll just brush with a little Kids Act Fluoride every once in a while-once he has teeth.

Then the Zantac. We've had this prescription since Peanut was about 2 months old. I only gave it to him when it was really bad, but it's been at least 2 months. The only symptom that is still around his a cough. This was the frustrating part of the visit. I asked if he could suggest anything 'natural' for it instead because I wasn't comfortable giving a 6 month old medication twice a day. I mentioned that I'm open to it if necessary, but would prefer not to. His reasoning was that I needed to remember that something manufactured and something grown is still medication, so it's the same. This makes me laugh inside. After a drawn out conversation where he finally said that I didn't have to treat it as long as it wasn't bothering him too much, he said "you can just watch him cough". Now he could have been lightly joking, which is how I treated the comment.

Now that isn't something that I would stop seeing him for. We have a good relationship and he knows my stance on things. It's just sad that going to the pediatrician can be so frustrating. That you can be on such a different page than the person you're trusting with your child's health. It's also hard as a new mom to stand up and tell a DOCTOR your opinion. I'm learning though. Each time I do, I'm more confident and proud.

Vegetable Washes

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I recently ran out of my store bought vegetable wash. This wash was probably around $4-$5. I used it a little at first, then it probably sat on my shelf for over a year. I recently picked it up again in an effort to make my organic produce last a little longer and get rid of bacteria and pesticides. I ran out quickly and remembered I saw something on Pinterest about a home made vegetable wash. As my spinach, cilantro, and tomato were soaking under plain water I quickly did an online search (because Google is quicker than going through my Pinterest boards-sad I know), and found a recipe. It was for half white vinegar and half water. I poured a splash of vinegar in my water-because I was hardly going to measure such a thing. Presto right?

Well this afternoon after thinking about it a little more, I decided to do quick some research. First I found two ways in which a vinegar mix can help clean off your produce. They are only about 80% effective.

1.  Use 1 TB Distilled White Vinegar and 1.5 t. salt with 4 cups water.
-The conclusion was that it worked well, but it took a little rubbing afterwards to get everything(visible residue, dirt, & bugs) off, but it came off easily.

2. Use half water, half vinegar.
-The results to this recipe was very much the same as the one above, however it was a little more work rubbing the remaining particles off the produce. I'm guessing the salt loosens the 'grip'.

So my conclusion is that I will no longer purchase the store bought wash, I'll just use vinegar & salt from my cabinet.

The other part of this theory is a little harder to decipher. What is the value of the bacteria on produce? Can you really wash off chemicals and pesticides?

I do believe good bacteria is vital to our existence. We need bacteria to survive. Washing bacteria off of our produce though will help it last a little longer. Especially because organic produce usually deteriorates faster than those with preservatives.

Chemicals and pesticides we can do without. Here's the deal though, I don't think these sprays are just sitting on the top of our produce. It's within it. It's grown with it. Chemicals are a part of the soil. It's even difficult for organic farmers to keep it away 100% of the time. So will a vinegar wash get rid of all the chemicals and pesticides. I don't have a solid answer for you, but I doubt it. Let's guess maybe 40%? Dish Soap is shown to take off wax and pesticides from produce, however I'm not fond of the idea of using dish soap. Plus it damages the greens a little more.

So what's my plan? I'm going to wash all my organic produce with just plain water. If I have organic produce that I don't plan on using for a few days...I'll use a vinegar wash. For my regular produce, I'll use a vinegar wash as well. I may even do a squirt of dish soap. If you do use dish soap though, do it right before you use it. The produce won't keep very well afterwards.

Garden Herb & Vegetable Scramble

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 I'm not a big recipe poster. I find recipes other people create. However the Vegetable Scramble is by far my favorite thing for breakfast. It's full of good proteins, yummy veggies, and whole grains. My hubby loves it too which is a plus! I can usually make it only on the weekends-so it's a great treat.

I never measure, I like the creativity in cooking without measuring. I do eventually want to measure it out so I can get the correct nutritional information though; maybe this weekend. I measured it this weekend so the information is added below!

Garden Herb & Vegetable Egg Scramble (serves 2-3)

1TB Coconut Oil
Handful of spinach (about 2 cups), Organic
3 Whole Eggs-Organic, Free Range
3 Egg Whites-I actually use the liquid egg whites from WalMart. I hate wasting an egg yolk.
1 tomato-I like Roma Tomatoes
1/4 c Feta Cheese
1/4 c cilantro (chopped if you'd like)
1/4 c parsley
1/2 c mushrooms (not pictured)
2 slices 100% Whole Wheat Bread, toasted

This is as easy as it sounds, I feel silly writing instructions.
Heat Coconut Oil in pan. Toss in spinach and wilt along with mushrooms.
Add whole eggs and some egg whites to get the amount you'd like.
Once those are done toss in chopped tomatoes, feta, parsley and cilantro just until incorporated and slightly heated.
Spread some coconut oil on the toast if desired.

Now a few notes. I'd usually throw mushrooms in as well if I had them. Any veggies you like would be great!


Thursday, March 29, 2012

What? She likes Baby Wise?

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So you're probably wondering, what is a woman who calls her self A Little Granola is doing promoting Baby Wise? I thought she was a crunchy momma? I want to address this misconception right away.

I'm a natural momma. I wanted a natural birth {more on this later} with no medication, monitors, eye ointment or vaccines. I used a midwife and a doula. I really want a home, water birth someday. I have fed my little man only breast milk with no supplementing until we started solids a week and a half ago. Even with that, I'm only giving him solids that are absolutely necessary (about 1-2 T. a day). I love baby wearing and hate medications most of the time. Get my point?

I first heard about Baby Wise from a friend at church when I was pregnant. I never knew anything about the Ezzo's or this book before this point. My friend said that it helped her get her twins sleeping through the night at 6 weeks. She was a working mom and she had to get some rest-especially with twins! To me, this sounded great! I knew I would have to go back to work at 12 weeks and needed a plan. I didn't actually order the book until my Peanut was about 4 weeks. This was a big mistake on my part. We had no idea what we were doing! I was exhausted & still healing from a rough birth. As soon as I got the book and started reading I knew this fit with our parenting philosophy.

First, I loved the importance the Ezzo's placed on the husband-wife relationship. I love how they stressed that the baby should be welcomed into your family and lifestyle-not the other way around. With this being our first child, it would have been really easy for us to begin framing our family around Peanut. I was trying to imagine doing that with other children around, and that would create havoc!

I think one misunderstanding is people hear 'Baby Wise' and they immediately think that we like to let our baby scream for hours in his crib, we never address his needs, we let him starve, and more. That's not the case. I truly believe sleep training and scheduling is in the best interest of the whole family. It's the natural way to go for our family. If you imagine back in the day, when people were living in tents, wearing their babies all the time-I doubt they planned their whole day around that baby's wants. They had to get up and work, their schedule depended on the day, the harvests, the colony's needs. The baby had to adapt to the family.

Baby Wise is Parent-Directed. Not schedule-led or child-led. This means that we as the parents make the best decision at the time. We don't let the child make the decision, and we don't let the schedule make the decision. The schedule is there to serve our family, not for us to serve the schedule. If we can tell that our baby woke up early because he's hungry-we feed him. If we can tell he's ready for a nap an hour early-we put him down. We follow his natural cues and make sure they fit in the families best interest to make our decisions.

I think the best proof that this is the natural way to go is how happy and well rested our family is. My Peanut is always happy when he's awake. He only gets fussy when he's ready for a nap. He slept through the night at 12 weeks (perfect for me going back to work). With all of this-I am happy and well rested. We all know a happy mom/wife makes a happy home. People always comment on how good our baby is. How calm and well behaved and happy he is. I constantly tell people it's not that we're lucky, it was a lot of work. It was emotionally hard at times. I wanted to pull my hair out at times. In the end it was all worth it.

We're still learning, and it seems to change every time we get accustomed to our schedule. It's a process. I'm not a professional by any means. He's only 6 months and it seems every month I have a question for the women who have been through it a few times. I know Baby Wise isn't for everyone. It's working for us though and that's what's important!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I'm a Sugarholic

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I'm a good auntie. When my nephew was selling buckets...yes I said buckets of cookie dough, I bought one. I first put down the double chocolate fudge cookies because, well they speak for themselves. I thought better of it though and knew if I stuck with that selection, I would end up having to eat most of them since my husband prefers regular chocolate chip cookies. Wisely, I changed my selection to the regular kind.

They were dropped off tonight. He wanted me to try them (he's 7) so even though I made sure to tell him that it was against my food charter-I would try the dough just for him. Now we all know it wasn't painful at all. I thoroughly enjoyed the excuse. What kind of auntie would I be if I denied him the pleasure of seeing me enjoy his cookie dough.

Having that cookie dough in the fridge is painful. I so badly wanted to throw a few spoonfuls in the oven and enjoy a freshly baked, local may I add (Utah's Best), but processed and preservative full cookie. Luckily I made myself a nice hot cup of Chamomile Lavender tea instead.

I'm a sugar addict, and I'm not quite sure how to quit.

I've gone spurts without sugar, or with limited sugar. I tell myself I can say no any time. I deny the donuts at the office all the time. I can go in the break-room and pass up the chocolate covered almonds. I can quit anytime. I'm not addicted. Sugar isn't a drug. Well, when I'm alone my little sugar demons come out. You know the ones I'm talking about I'm sure.

I've recently learned these little demons are actually opioids and dopamine. Opioids are responsible for making me feel so good after having that freshly baked cookie. Dopamine is responsible for making me eat more. Don't get me wrong, I take responsibility for my actions as well, but it's important to know that sugar is literally ADDICTING. There is an actual chemical reaction caused by what we eat. It triggers our reward system and steers our attention toward the food causing the reaction.

There's many ways to combat this addiction, and I'll go into that more in the next post. For now, realize that if you're a sugar addict, don't feel ashamed. Remember you're not alone.

Already Anxious

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I'm having a bad 'working mom' day. Which is funny because I'm currently in between jobs and taking 2 weeks off to relax, spend time at home and spend time with my baby boy. The past 3 days have been great. I've made healthy meals, cleaned my house a little, and read and played with my baby.

Today however, I remembered that I can't stay home with him forever. This will end, and too soon. I just want to cuddle him, read to him, play with him. I want to be the face he sees when he wakes up from his nap. I know I have 1.5 weeks left, but I can't help feel the impending doom.

I know once I get back to my new job, things will get back into swing. There's just so many changes that are taking place. Not only will I be starting a new job, we just found out yesterday that our child care provider, which we love-I mean LOVE, can no longer watch our son. We knew it was coming, but there was a part of me that was hoping that something would miraculously work out-for her and for us.

When I started work 3 months ago after a 12 week maternity leave, I was a wreck. The one thing that made it easier was our babysitter. She was amazing. We felt so great dropping our son off at her house. It's a nice home, with no other children besides our Peanut. Her kids are in their 20's so they would play with him when he was awake. There are so many great things I can say about her. If we had enough money to pay her a 'real' salary, I would do it in a heart beat-however if we had enough money to do that, I would stay home in half a heart beat.

So besides me wishing I could be a stay at home mom, I'm also feeling the responsibility of finding another sitter in the next 1.5 weeks. I would like to find someone that gives me the feeling I got 3 months ago, especially when starting a new job. I know God will provide someone, it's just hard to wait.

When I Grow Up

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As you can tell my the many pages on this blog-I have a lot of things I love. On my list of things I want to be is a nutritionist, a doula, a lactation consultant, and a financial adviser. Random huh? Most of all, I want to be a stay at home mom. I'm hoping one of those jobs listed above will help me do that. The problem is choosing one, at least to start with. Whose to say I can't be a doula and a nutritionist? So I'm concentrating on real food and nutrition. I'm the most passionate about those.

On my search for knowledge on my other passions, I checked the DONA website (for certified doulas) and they said a good first step is to read a book about being a doula. Smart right? I think this is a great way to see if I want to continue down this path. So I ordered The Doula Book from Amazon (along with Christine Avanti's Skinny Chicks Eat Real Food, and Annabel Karmel's Superfood For Babies).

I'm excited to crack it open. Now my problem how does a mom of a 5.5 month old have time to read multiple books?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

My Real Food Charter

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I'm on a Real Food journey. I begun learning about nutrition a few years now, but it's been a slow process. To be honest, my first motivation is probably weight loss. In a very close second place is a healthy body and lifestyle. I want to be active and have energy. I want great skin and a good figure. I want to be happy in my body. I want to teach my kids good nutrition and give them the best step forward in their health.
What I love about a Real Food journey is that you can start right away. You don't have to know EVERYTHING before making changes in your diet. I'm still learning and deciding what is best for my family. This is also new to us, so I'm taking it easy at first, then will hopefully tighten the strings a little as time goes on. My first step is to create My Real Food Charter for myself and my family. This will most likely change over the next few months as I learn more and try things out. So here goes:

Real Food
  • Is as close to it's natural state as possible.
  • Is not overly processed and does not contain more than 5 ingredients.
  • Has no added sugar in the first 3 ingredients listed.
  • Contains no artificial coloring, caramel coloring, MSG, Acesulfame-K, BHA, BHT, Olestra, Potassium Bromate, Propyl Gallate, Saccharin, Aspartame, Sodium Nitrate, and TBHQ.
  • Contains no refined carbs, such as white flour or high-fructose corn syrup.
  • Contains no factory processed polyunsaturated or hydrogenated vegetable oils.
  • Contains zero trans fats.
  • Is 100 percent whole wheat and whole grain.
  • Is organic, antibiotic-free chicken & eggs, preferably free range/pasture fed. 
  • Is grass fed, antibiotic-free, hormone-free beef.
  • Is local and organic milk. Antibiotic and hormone free. Grass fed preferred.
  • Includes organic produce off the 'Dirty Dozen' list. 
  • Is wild caught fish.
  • Contains vegetables and fruit at every meal.

If possible, buy:
  • Produce and animal products that are locally grown and raised
  • Organic & local cheese and yogurt products.
Now I know some of this will be hard to get used to, especially identifying the additives and preservatives listed above. I may not be able to do it all at first, I'll do my best though.

Christine Avanti's Skinny Chicks Eat Real Food gave me a lot of the definitions listed above. I highly suggest reading this book as a starting point. I also think Lisa Leake's 100 days of mini-pledges sounds like a great way to incorporate Real Food into your every day life. Feel free to join me on the journey to Real Food with the help of these lovely ladies.

About Me

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Thanks for visiting my blog. So you want to know a little about The Author. I'm a full-time working 27 year old wife and new mother. My husband is wonderful and we have a beautiful baby boy who's almost 6 months. We live in an older home in Utah and enjoy(ed) fixing it up.

I have recently begin to acquire A LOT of topics I'm passionate about. I've never been one to give unsolicited advice; I hate the stuff. However with so many things on my mind I've just wanted to talk about it all to whoever will listen. Thus, the blog. I will try my best to make sure everything is well researched and as accurate as possible. Remember, I'm new to this too.

Most of my passions have leaned more towards the natural side of life. I've become a little crunchy over the years. It's been a process. The food I was raised on was probably much like the food you grew up with. Processed foods, a limited selection of veggies, sugars, additives, chemicals and more food that I no longer want to put in my body.

I also grew up with a high medical influence. My family went through trials that led us to hospitals and doctors quite frequently. My mother then became a nurse. I didn't know there was a more 'natural' way to deal with some medical issues. I sadly didn't see any connection between what we ate and how we felt.

As I've grown and found my own path and I've discovered that I like being a little crunchy. I love that I tried a natural birth, used a midwife & doula, & have my little guy on an alternative vaccine schedule. I'm a baby-wearing, baby-wise using, breastfeeding, real food eating, Jesus loving, budget crazy and emotional health promoting woman. I'm A Little Granola, and I'm beginning to really like it.

Contact Me

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