November Meet Up’s


Hello! Here are the list of November Meet Up’s, if you are interested in attending one of our meetings either of these would be a great place for you to start!

Tuesday, November 19th

10:30 AM, Medina Rec Center

Ages: 1 & Up
•Room to run, skip, hop, jump, throw and play!
•Basketball hoop, balls, tumbling mats, hula hoops,
parachute & more available to use
•Parents must remain with children at all times for supervision
Tuesdays & Thursdays from 10:30-11:30a
October 1-December 12
Class Fee: $1 MCRC Member, $2 Non-Member
Quick meet up! We will probably not get to talk much, but the kids will run and have fun! We will probably start a once a month…natural mamas invade the toddler open gym. THIS is the same week as out Amazone play date which is Thursday. In the future we we try to schedule them further apart, but a few Moms wanted to throw this together for next week as well. 🙂

Thursday, November 21st

2:30 pm, Amazone in Medina

Bring out the kids, snacks, and hand sanitizer (hah!) to enjoy a fun afternoon at Amazone!

If you plan on coming please remember to RSVP as well as comment in our Facebook group! See you there!

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Tandem Days


Tandem Nursing.

Oh what joy.. Is tandem nursing. I used to think it was weird, not gonna like, strange as hell, to tandem nurse, I’d once say. That a women obviously has a void she needs filled. Way back before I was a parent. Then I became a mom, learned a lot about breastfeeding, I mean A LOT. And realized natural child led weaning was the choice for us. 

These days are long, they are hardly ever perfect. Just like nursing a newborn, tandem nursing is a learning process. Little man, is an AWESOME nurser, especially compared to the heck I went through with big sister, I am pleasantly surprised. What I wasn’t prepared for was this, the first few weeks/months will be hard because of this learning process. I had forgotten that the first 6-8 weeks post partum, you have so many pregnancy hormones laying around you can’t FEEL oxytocin rushes, you certainly have a “natural” mama bear instinct to protect and feed the newborn, and nursing just doesn’t feel the same as a few months in, and the love that reciprocates through breastfeeding. 

Big sister turned 2, 10 days before her brother was born. I can honestly say I didn’t quite realize what this would bring to the table, to our relationship with each other, her relationship with her Dada, and our breastfeeding relationship. 

More is not always better. You can’t nurse on demand with toddlers. I’m such a free spirit this has always been hard for me, following schedules, sticking to them. So we decided to set some limits on nursing. First, I implemented “don’t ask, don’t refuse”, as soon as she turned two. She would nurse 6-8x a day if I let her, so we decided to sneak in some “weaning” methods. What I didn’t realize in this is that it IS ok to say no, even if there is a new baby in the house. Sometimes we are so concerned about their behavior and not upsetting them with a new baby, that we let them do whatever the heck they want, at least we did.. And I realized this week, life STILL goes on with a new baby in the house. And rules still apply in life even when things are changing and there is something disruptive and new.

So for the sake of my sanity, I have started cutting back feedings, and in her two year old world this just means 4 or 5 times a day. A goal for me is to get her to 3 feeds a day by January.

Sometimes things “read” or “sound” better than the actual experience. I thought I could do child led weaning without any intervention on my own. This for me is just not possible with  my high needs toddler. Same is true with other life and parenting experiences, and like my previous post, it all works out well in an ideal world. I’m so glad I’m still able to provide a wonderful gift to her that provides so much security. And she absolutely loves sharing milkeys with her baby brother. It truly has turned into a sharing, loving experience. And on the rough days I have to remember, life still goes on, and there would be bad days if we were tandem nursing or not!

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And “Ideal World”


Facebook fasting, and blogging. Sometimes a stay at home mom just needs contact with the outside world. That’s why we used to love facebook. But some how, between the giveaways, quirky images, daily updates, articles, we aren’t just enjoying it. I’ve been on facebook for 8 years now. It’s had it’s time for me and I’m feeling like I need a break. It’s just way too time consuming. Yet I really need an outlet, a form to write in the mass chaos in my life. So here I am. Back at it again. With a toddler sitting on our desk playing and a newborn asleep in a sling. Here what has been going on in my life. I’ve been thinking a lot about life, what as a parent I expect of my child, and as a wife out of my husband. Oddly enough, I’m sure it’s because things feel less than perfect, with a new baby in the house, husband working long hours, it can be less than “ideal”.

I’ve been reading “The No Cry Discipline Solution” by Elizabeth Pantley, whom I love her other books, so figured I’d give it a go since the realm of a 2 year old has thrown husband and I both for a loop. We have started reading it together, and it has been good so far. One of the things that struck accord with me was the question of What do you expect your child to be like as a teenager? I have a hard time with envisioning this, but my husband has been great at this, because of his job. So when thinking about my vision for our daughter, I’d like to think of my baby sister, as well as my younger cousin. They are hard working, smart, mature girls. They have self respect, and a heart for Christ. The list of course could go on, but these are where I was thinking.  This has led me to think a lot about our personal goals as a husband and wife, and what are we doing now to help our daughter?

In an “ideal world”, I would love to stay at home forever. I would like to become a doula and a lactation consultant, working from home. His income could support us, and my income could pay off our college loans and build towards summer vacations. I could work on call visits, just part time. I would home school our kids, taking them on trips and also enrolling them in activities and programs to keep them socialized. We would garden in the summer, and the kids would help us harvest and can in the fall. We would do a lot of things “our selves”. We would teach our children how to sew, cook, can, electric, work on cars, simple DIY tasks, and anything else that needs done. We would help lead them to Christ, and our marriage would thrive and of course we would have weekly date nights.  I would have time for coffee dates in the summer with my husband, and I would have time to work out daily, teaching our children about good health and loving your body. No one is perfect, as human default, we learn through error. I feel good knowing that Christ has us under watch, and that He loves us, and renews us with Mercy and Grace every morning. I know none of these things will EVER be going on at once, I know our marriage will have weak moments, seasons with our children will become cold. Outside influence will bother our family, and our relationship with Jesus. We will have moments of swearing, yelling, leaning on our own knowledge instead of seeking Jesus. We will have moments when we should have gone to Church, we should have read more to our kids, we should have controlled our emotions. Moments when you don’t work out, eat well, and times when we don’t love our body. I don’t think my husband will truly ever support my dream of homeschooling, yet I pray that if this is something God wants me to do that he will move him into that direction. Despite all these things I hope that my goals are “headlights” to a path that we would like to see our children and our family, as Elizabeth Pantley puts it.

Day 4: Cleaning out your Cupboards, and just for today say no to your poison


Day 4

Well today I had to make sure I still drank 16 cups of water, ate a good breakfast, and have an apple. I gotta be honest, I’m dragging today. I’m tired, I overslept, I can’t seem to get one step ahead of my little girl to keep things moving, and it’s a rainy mess out. I really wanted to skip breakfast because I felt like bloated cramp this morning, but after being up about an hour I felt like I really needed to eat. So I finally let Iittle girl eat some oats & banana’s with me. She loves oatmeal:

ImageShe loved to eat the flax seed too:

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It was pretty cute. And here is the recipe:

Steel cut oats cooked with water

1 banana sliced 

2 tbs flax seed

Heavenly. I really enjoy these oats much more on the 2nd and 3rd day. Tomorrow I will try my rice cooker recipe on them.

Onto Day’ 4’s duties: Cleaning out my cupboards. Today I am supposed to trash anything not good for me in my pantry. Cleaning my pantry was on my spring cleaning to do list anyways so I’m glad I got it done. I wiped everything down, organized, and took out the j-u-n-k.

Here is what I took out:

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This is what I will be donating to our Church. I can’t justify throwing out food. Most of these items were great coupon deals that I picked up- like I have had those muffin mixes and hungry jack mixes for WAY too long, so it’s good to have them out. The puffs I just went overboard with coupons at the store and to be honest I don’t want them to be a daily part of her food menu. They have preservatives and junk in them, and if she is going to be filling her belly I’d prefer she do it with regular food. Besides, I don’t trust ANYTHING with the label Gerber on it, without associating it with baby junk food. I’m getting rid of my so called “fiber” cereal with is loaded with sugar for my new steel cut oats, and getting rid of that other sugary crap I used to call oatmeal. Sorry, but it’s true! Here is my pantry now 🙂

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As far as “saying no to my poison just for today” here is what I have ate:

B: oats w/ banana & flax seed

L: Penne pasta w/ 1 cup raw vege’s

S: 2 homemade brownies 

And that’s all I’ve ate today. I did skip out on my normal creamer & sugar in my coffee, and I still need to eat my apple and make dinner, which I still am not sure what I’m cooking yet :o) I totally failed on the brownies…. I wanted to throw them away this morning but thought I would hold off until the afternoon, then my afternoon crash came like a wave and took me over. Oh well, tomorrow! So far, I am down 2 lbs since Monday, on starting the program. Every day that i read, I get more excited about going vegan and doing a complete over haul on my family’s diet. Hope you all are enjoying this beautiful, dreary day 🙂

Day 3: Eat an Apple & Crowding out


Day 3: Eat an Apple


Day 3’s assignment was to eat an apple, something I already do every day, so once again this wasn’t really a challenge day for me. Kathy talks about the amazing cancer fighting benefits in apples, and that Apples can actually suppress all 3 levels of formation in cancer. She also talked about the big F word: fiber. So far in every chapter, there is large emphasis on fiber, and the types of fiber.  For every 1,000 calories you consume, you should have 14 grams of fiber. Most people need about 28 grams of fiber. Eating an apple a day is part of the lean plan because 1 apple has 4.4 grams of fiber.

Here was a sample of 25 grams of fiber that she included:

1/4 c steel cut oats (4 grams)

1/2 c cooked beans (10 grams!)

1 Apple w/ skin (3-5 grams)

1/2 c vegetables (4 grams or more depending on type)

Fiber is excellent for your colon health, and essential to weight loss. Basically it keeps things moving, especially things that our body has a hard time breaking down like animal flesh.

Crowding Out


Crowding out is an act that Kathy frequently talks about from her book, starting in the introduction. Essentially it’s the idea that you can eat your normal foods, and just add in healthy ones too. Eat your healthy foods first, and if you still feel full, eat your cake/pork/chips/etc…  This concept tricks your body of deprivation. So you aren’t obsessivly thinking about what you can’t eat, you eventually crowd out all of the foods that are part of a healthy diet, with time.

The reason why crowding out works- sugar and fat is addicting  this is not new to many of us. But the problem is we reach thresholds, we constantly need to reach a new high of sugar or fat content, basically because our body has a lovely drug called dopamine that eases you when you eat these foods.  When you take a big bite of cake, dopamine floods your system, and you feel at peace, just like any addiction, you need to reach that high again. This is why our cravings can be so intense for certain foods, it is literally driven by our brain. The more fats & sweets you have, the more “health food” doesn’t meet the dopamine levels that your body wants it too, so you feel unsatisfied. This why crowding out is a small step, towards large success. Plus how many of us have tried Adkins, South Beach, etc. and feel like you are starving on it? All you can think about is just getting a tiny sliver of carbohydrate into your mouth, just a bite.

Crowding out allows you to avoid the withdraw, avoid the headaches, and irritability. Win win 🙂

Food & Weight


I try not to make a habit of weighing myself. I feel like even the calmest person can suddenly become obsessive about a number on the scale, especially when it starts to drop. Then once the number goes up most of us avoid it like the black plague. Personally, I have met my own weight goals after having the baby. Of course, I would love to lose 10 extra pounds, what women  doesn’t want to just lost 10 extra lbs?

Well for the past month, Mister & I have been dropping weight like hot cakes, both of us hitting all time lows we haven’t seen since our dating years..  My bmi was about 21.8, which is pretty healthy, and his was 24.1, which is great. We are both slim people, so I feel like it’s more about how you feel in your skin than the number.

The past 2 weeks, the food monster has came into our home.. You all know who that is… The monster that drops off bacon, and lbs of cheese, and junk, and brownies, and sweets, and forces you to get fast food, the food monster that controls your thoughts and all you can think about is hunger and food. I mean I have been slamming food lately.. Normally I always stay consistently healthy within a good range, but it just has felt like my hunger has had no end. Part of this might be do to nursing, and baby is cutting teeth so she really has been nursing a lot, but I’m not sure what else it could be besides that & stress.

I haven’t weighed myself, in oh about a week, at least, can’t really remember.  Well I did yesterday, hoping to keep track of my weight on this 30 day journey. Wow. Up a whole 3 lbs since the last time I weighed myself. No biggie, figured it’s just water retention from those damn burgers we ate the night before. Well I weighed myself again today and I was down 1.4, which does let me know that it’s water weight, but it also let’s me know that I am off track, I need to re-align my eating habits, and bump up my work outs. Weight comes on too easily and off too difficult. It’s a pain- you all know that.

I was feeling pretty down about it this morning, but I decided to go ahead a blog about it, leave it at what it is, and move on from my day. It’s just a few lbs, and I’m sure it will be gone in a week or two of discipline. It’s too easy to let this stuff control you.

As a women it’s easy to succumb to pressure of numbers, to want to look a certain way, be a certain size, but all that really matters is truly your health, and if you are healthy, you won’t have extra weight. If you are pushing yourself, exercising, even if it’s walking, and make healthy  habits for yourself, the weight stays off. It’s that simple. We try to make it more difficult and it’s not. So here’s to being healthy!

And remember, we are all impressionable.

Rice Cooker Oatmeal Recipe


Rice Cooker Oatmeal

4 cups cold water

2 cups oats

1/3 c brown sugar

2 TB butter

1 t vanilla extract

  1.  Combine water and oats in rice cooker. Stir once and turn cooker on. Let cook until rice cooker switches over to “warm”, about 20 minutes
  2. Stir in brown sugar, butter, and vanilla. Serve immediately

Courtesy of Family Feasts for $75 a Week

Day 2: Eat Breakfast


Day 2: Eat Breakfast.

Still a relativly simple task… In my world I eat breakfast every day so it wasn’t a challenge. She highly suggests eating some kind of grain- for the slow energy burning effect, which gives you more energy and burns more calories. I decided to start my day off with steel cut oats, with 2 tablespoons of flax seed, and 2 teaspoons of agave nectar. I never experienced agave or steel cut oats- but I hear that steel cut oats are great for lactating women and their supply.. So I decided to give it a go.

This was a great way to start the day!

The oats were a bit watery, I’m not sure if I just didn’t cook them long enough for thick oatmeal, or if that’s the way they are supposed to be?  Combining the oats & flax gave a very crunchy texture… Honestly half way through chewing I wondered if I was just supposed to swallow it by the spoonful because it was so thin.

The flavor was EXCELLENT! It wasn’t too sweet, and it was the perfect blend of sweet & savory in terms of oatmeal. Also, I normally get sick to my stomach when I eat regular oatmeal with sugar or fruit, and this I did not. My sugar remained very balanced and I stayed full for about 3 hours, which in this point of my life is impressive! 🙂

On to Eating Breakfast.. and what I learned today:

  • Why she doesn’t recommend eating eggs: 1 egg has the same amount of cholesterol as an 8 oz steak!
  • Institute of Health came out with a study showing men who ate 2.5 eggs or more a week are 81 percent more likely to develop prostate cancer
  • The number 1 cause of death in women & men is heart disease, this disease is directly linked to high cholesterol diets
  • Another study found that eating a cup of oatmeal a day appears to extend a women’s life expectancy as if she jogged four hours a week.
  • Cholesterol is only found in animal foods, and human milk

Yikes! And I sent the Mister to work with an egg sandwich!!

On the flip side, I also have to make sure I continue to do the previous days work along with today’s task: So far I am at 9 cups of water, and I worked out this morning, I have a feeling I am going to drink more than 16 today. Also, my goal for today was to eat 5 fruit and vegetable servings, and it’s not quite lunch time here and I’ve had 2.

B: 1 cup steel cut oats w/ flax seed & agave nectar

S: coffee w/ splash of cream & sugar; apple w/ peanut butter; banana; 1 graham cracker w/ peanut butter

For lunch I plan on eating a salad with italian dressing &  croutons and for dinner I’m cooking Balsamic Tomatoes with Cous Cous.

Why Vegan..


But.. Why Vegan…?


Here is a little bit on my background: I grew up with great food, great cooking. My mom loves to cook with butter, her family is southern, great, home style cooking… Yes my Grandma would put Paula Deen to shame 🙂 But my parents also did an excellent job of instilling healthy habits in us kids, if we wanted a snack we could have fruit or vegetables, we ate “square” meals, equally paired with a vegetable every night, a meat, and a grain (usually). And both of my parents did a wonderful job teaching us that exercise was a healthy, and important for a healthy lifestyle, they made it clear that we should enjoy whatever we do- and as I’ve gotten older I have become a workout addict just to relieve stress, and I thank my parents for that habit. As I got older I developed a serious passion for nutrition and cooking. My father is an amazing chef, and cooks wonderful- more healthful meals, such as homemade lemon shrimp linguine, herb crusted pork loin with roasted vegetables, homemade cranberry pound cakes, and apple cobbler are just a few of our favorite dishes of his. Food is a big part of my life. And it is for my husband too.

I went to college for Nutrition & Dietetics, for 3 years, got married, and haven’t gone back since 🙂 My passion for food hasn’t subsided at all, and I try to instill very healthy eating habits into my daughter, even at 9 months old. It’s very important to me. One thing I learned through my own studies, and my college studies, is that nothing is healthier than a vegan lifestyle. There are different kinds of vegetarians, and I have been lacto-ovo before, and I have also been directed a gluten free lifestyle by a crazy chiropractor, but my passion for cooking really has taken out most of those healthy habits. Here are some AMAZING facts about vegan lifestyle:

  • Our bodies, major organs, and saliva are not built the same as a carnivore. Your body needs hydrolic acid to break down animal flesh, carnivores have 10x the amount of hydrolic acid in their body that humans do
  • Most meats, are production animals, they have been fed horrible meal, crammed in a barn, then slaughtered. Often times the conditions are so poor in these barns, the animals are crowded in their own feces and urine, that they need antibiotics to live, and yes, you eat their antibiotics. There are amazing studies showing the effects of meat consumption to our immune systems being weak. Many believe that the rise in diseases and sickness are truly related to antibiotic resistance- not from your doctor, but from your meat that your eating.  If you want more information on this I suggest reading the book Skinny Bitch (http://www.amazon.com/Skinny-Bitch-Rory-Freedman/dp/0762424931/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1335197450&sr=8-1) Some people reviewed this book poorly because they wanted to be a “skinny bitch” and were disappointed that it was actually a vegan lifestyle the authors were promoted. Don’t let the reviews fool you.
  • Cancer rates are higher in those who reach for poultry and fish: http://www.naturalnews.com/027517_vegetarians_cancer_risk.html
  • Weight loss. Studies have shown that people who consume meat more than 3x a week have more body fat than those who did not.
  • Range fed meats or organic dairy are no better than industry items. Think about it, why in the world should you be eating from a cow? Are you a baby cow? Or a carnivore predator who cannot sustain on anything else? Do you have sharp nails, teeth, are you incredible fast that you could catch your own product? No. You eat these things because it is plentiful, and the lobbyist’s have told you do do so. Our own government out of pure corruption has told you to do so. We can’t even trust our government to deliver us jobs securely, balance our budgets without borrowing from China, yet we are going to take their food advice.. because why?
I don’t buy for a second that we are meant to consume meat, especially on a regular basis. Now I’m not going all out and saying we will never eat meat again after this journey is over, maybe holidays, or special occasions, but animal product is not something I want part of our every day lifestyle. As I’ve heard before
 
“If you think that every vegetarian out there, was born that way,your crazy. Every person who is vegan at one point said they could NEVER give up animal products, but guess what? they did.”
 
I take my job as a mother, very seriously. Some may say that’s just being a first time mom, but my husband would tell you otherwise. I feel like it is my duty, to protect my daughter from things that can hurt her- particularly in this vulnerable time in her life when she cannot make decisions for herself. Part of that is being very aware of the things that are put on or in her body. So in a nutshell, she is my drive, she was my final push to finally make the decision I’ve wanted to make for years, but was always afraid to. 
 
Am I nervous? heaven’s yes! I know that the only way I can truly pull this off is to be able to substitute our quite delicious foods that we eat now that are laced with antibiotic and chemical eggs, milk, cheese and meat to something quite delicious, and plentiful . Am I scared to be judged? Absolutely. Am I afraid this will wreck havoc on our food budget? yes. But I am willing to make this work- for our family, and I am hoping to do this slowly.  So I can help someone else who is a frugal mama, who desires this for her family, to be able to pull it off. 
 
Now, if I haven’t scared  you away yet… Read on, and Enjoy! 

What’s New…?


We’ve been crazy busy in our home lately…. Hubby working late hours, spring cleaning, chasing a 8.5 month old… Life goes by WAY too fast! But the truth is, I haven’t updated because I’ve been waiting for the Mister to update… since he wanted to do this blog together and has only contributed once! And the truth is- I’m STUBBORN, and so is my husband,  and our sweet little angel is the exact.same.way.

Lately, she  has been working on trying to crawl. She stands by herself, scoots everywhere, pulls herself  up on things, can go from belly to sitting, but it’s very stubborn when it comes to tummy time. 🙂 Only time will tell what happens..

On the flip side,  I am starting our family on a new program. My husband will freak out when he sees that I announce this to the world wide web, but I (ahem we!) are starting the 30 day Lean program by Kathy Freston.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Lean-Revolutionary-Healthy-Lasting/dp/1602861730/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1335193082&sr=8-1

This, I am super excited about. I have been waiting for her book to hit kindle edition, and now that it’s out- we are on! Basically it’s a 30 day program that is small steps, transitioning your eating habits into a clean, healthy, vegan, lifestyle.  I’d like to go through this journey with you, hoping to update as much as I can 🙂 For example small steps:

Day 1: Drink 8, 8 oz glasses of water

Day 2: Eat an Apple

Day 3: Subsitute Milk & Butter products for Vegetable Alternatives

Day 4: Throw away your junk food

I am thrilled about this mainly because I have always wanted to eat vegan. The studies supporting what vegan lifestyle does for your body is outstanding, and I truly believe by nature, it is the way our bodies were meant to eat.  Now, I don’t mean vegan, let’s just replace your meat and dairy with meat & dairy substitutes, but a truly plant based diet.

Now, the mister is not buying vegan.. He loves meat, and cheese. and all that other stuff that is bad for you. Typical man.

This week I plan on doing her daily changes, but I am also going to make half of my menu planning vegan as well, usually I incorporate 2 meals a week that are vegan, but this week I will do more. I plan on cooking delicious meals such as:

Balsamic Tomato Cous Cous

Eggplant Spaghetti

Vegan Ratatoullie w/ homemade french bread

Chickpea sandwiches w/ roasted asparagus

BBQ Jackfruit with Sweet Potato fries

and dessert…

Pink grapefruit blueberry sorbeit

Yum! I hope to keep you updated on these delicious meals and our journey, and hopefully the Mister will find time to post as well!