Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Why I pee like a pregnant woman

No. It's not because I'm pregnant.

Because I'm not. Let's not get anyone over excited.

I have this morning routine, that I've been doing for about 6 or 7 months now. I love what it's been doing for my body, my skin, my energy level, my metabolism.

I just hate my bladder.

I suppose this may not be the best way to sell my healthy ideas, but I'm nothing if not honest. And I've kept it up this long, so obviously the benefits are far outweighing the pee factor. Except for that one time that I tried to drive to a friend's house and had to pull off the highway and stand in line at a starbucks so I could pee. That day sucked (ever try to get a toddler out of a carseat and into an Ergo while doing the pee pee dance? good times, my friend).

So what is this amazingly awesome routine you ask?  It starts with this:
Thanks to Food Babe, for both the pic and her blog about this habit, which made me try it and love it.

Every morning, the first thing I drink/eat, is a glass of hot water with lemon and cayenne pepper. Oh stop, it's not nearly as bad as it sounds. It's not my favorite flavor on the planet, but I don't gag, and I gag at EVERYTHING. Even just thinking about having to take a spoonful of cough syrup induces an almost vomit. So this is just not that hard. And I feel fabulous after it. I'm a serious coffee addict, going on 20 years now (I. AM. OLD. ugh), and this wakes me up more than any cup of coffee I've ever had. No, that does not mean that I gave up coffee. Let's not be ridiculous. This combo helps get rid of toxins (thank you lemon) and kicks up your metabolism (thank you cayenne) and of course water is always good for you. There was this diet that I tried some years back- lemon, cayenne and maple syrup and that's all you can drink for 10 days and you lose weight. Dumbest idea ever- of course you lose weight. You're not eating. However, there is actually some benefit to drinking it, minus the maple syrup, so this makes perfect sense to start your day this way.  Here's what cayenne can do for your body:

Thanks to The Farmacy for the info. I've also read that it helps fight cancer cells. Another bonus.  And of course, there's the lemon.
Also, from The Farmacy, and also amazing.

So yeah. I do this. I use about a cup and a half of water, juice of half a lemon, and a few shakes of cayenne. If you're not a fan of spice, maybe just start with one shake. I boil half of the water, and then use half from the fridge so I don't have to wait too long for it to cool down enough.

Now on to part 2 of the Pee Conspiracy. My breakfast. This is what we all have for breakfast every day (minus Saturdays...hubbs makes the bomb breakfast, and so I let him. as if I'm gonna totally give up bacon. HA!)

The Yogurt Smoothie. Not only is it so so good for us, but it is delicious. Babygirl claps for it when she sees it. There are a few variations that we use (afterall, variety is the spice of life), and all of them are delicious. I don't have a picture of this. Sorry. But I think you know what a smoothie looks like.

Yogurt-  I make my own. I love Fage, but it's not organic so we quit that. I bought a yogurt maker (the Euro cuisine one) and I have to make it about once a week. Super simple, and the yogurt is delicious. It's a little on the thin side, but we drink it so who cares. I bought the culture starter for the yogurt from Cultures For Health. Currently, we're using the Bulgarian Yogurt culture (makes my hubbs miss his childhood), but I also bought the Greek one, just haven't used it yet. Once you make the starter, that's it. You continue to just use some of the yogurt from that batch to make the next batch and so on and so on. As long as you don't wait too long to make it (a week is the most they suggest you wait), you'll have a starter for as long as you want it. Best $12 I ever spent (on food. I've spent $12 on some fabulous shoes and that beats out food every. time.) If you have zero desire to make your own yogurt, let me just suggest that you stick with an organic brand. And obviously, plain yogurt. No sugar/ fruit/ artificial sweeteners please (see that?  I said please. sometimes, I'm not overly demanding.)

Greens- We use big handfuls of organic baby spinach. The pre-washed giant box from Costco that costs $4. it's cheap and it's not filled with dirt. I never realized how hard it is to get spinach leaves clean. Again, it's really important that for leafy greens, you buy organic because they suck in a lot of pesticides. Chemical cocktail is not what we're going for. We've also used kale, chard, frozen spinach and any other green I happen to find in my fridge. Spinach is my fave. frozen spinach doesn't work quite as well- takes a lot longer to get a smooth smoothie. doesn't matter how much you put in there, I promise, you won't taste the greens. so load it up.

Chia seeds- organic. I put mine in a food processor because the hubbs requested me to. I don't think it's bad without doing that, but hubbs said it gets all stuck at the bottom of his cup. and because I'm an amazing wife, I mill them for him (while rolling my eyes and silently judging him).

Hemp seeds- GMO free. I have yet to find organic hemp seeds in the store. The ones they sell in Costco and in Whole Foods are certified GMO free so we use those. If you know of an organic brand, let me know!

Almonds- I was using almond butter, but I ran out, and just threw a handful of almonds in there and it was still delicious. Either works. And almonds and yogurt are a really healthy food-pairing...don't ask why I don't remember exactly, but it was on a list and I believe it.

Pro-biotics- yes I know. yogurt is full of them. but sometimes you need a little extra. we buy the infant pro-biotics since I make this for all 3 of us.

Coconut Oil- because it makes everything better. You could also use coconut meat or milk. just coconut in some form.

Frozen organic berries- giant bags from Costco. they are amazing- pomegranate, cherries, raspberries, blueberries and strawberries. such a good blend.

Water. those frozen berries can clump it up, so we add filtered water to smooth it out.

That's basically it. You can add some citrus (we can't cause of babygirl right now, but maybe someday). You can add fresh basil, cilantro, parsley, mint- they are fantastic for you and will give it a little kick. When I'm feeling like I'm in 2nd grade again, I'll add peanut butter instead of almond butter and it tastes like a pb&j. and sometimes you just need one. if you were to drink one of those while eating a grilled cheese sandwich, you would find nirvana. without all that meditating nonsense.

(yes yes yes, i know the benefits of meditating. it was a joke, people. that's hard work for relaxation if you ask me.)

Currently, I'm making mine without the yogurt. Yogurt is amazing, and amazing for you. It has such healthy bacteria. However. I'm allergic to whey (which is the liquid you find on top of yogurt- it's a by-product of making it). So I'm seeing if it makes a difference leaving out the yogurt (read: I'm seeing if I poop less without the yogurt). So far, no difference. Oh yeah, you'll poop after you drink this. Guaranteed. You should know that going in.

And finally, I of course finish up the morning with a cup of coffee- thank you Nespresso. Best investment. If you're looking for a new coffee maker/ espresso maker, BUY THIS. I cannot say enough good things about it. So I get a cappucino every morning. Made with organic milk, a tbsp of coconut oil, and a little bit of raw honey. It doesn't actually need the sweetness, but especially during allergy season, I try and eat local honey every day since my body is still rejecting Washington.

And I don't believe for a second that coffee isn't good for you. That was made up by some fascist.

I love this routine, and I think you should give it a try.

So that, my friends, is why I pee like I'm pregnant. But I'm not.









Monday, May 27, 2013

Hummus & Garlic & Goodness Oh My!

I LOVE hummus. The Indian restaurant we go to, Clay Pit, in Mill Creek has some of the best I've ever had. Check them out. Their food is amazeballs.

However.

I LOATHE hummus from grocery stores. Call me snooty (I am, but not because of this), but I just can't find one brand that I like. The main problem is that they add all sorts of preservatives to "keep it fresh", and my taste buds are almost as sensitive as my bloodhound schnoz. You think I'm kidding? The reason we got rid of all of our plastic tupperware years ago was because I COULD TASTE THE PLASTIC ON MY FOOD. Everyone thinks I'm insane. but I could taste it, and it ruined everything.

anyway, most companies also put cumin in theirs. or some odd spice that I don't think belongs in hummus. so I ended up throwing out copious amounts of it. bummer.

and then, I figured out that I could make it myself. HAZZAH! And between my brother and I, we've made countless flavors. But my fave is still the simplest. It's Alton Brown's basic recipe on the Food Network website, but I didn't use his measurements...I didn't love it the way he has it measured out. And I don't measure. Everything is to taste, so you just have to add little amounts slowly until you get to the magic.


First off, a food processor makes this a bajillion times easier. If you don't have one, you can use an immersion blender (a wand) but it takes a lot longer.

Second, I never used canned garbanzo beans. Those cans have some nasty stuff lining them that I'd rather not expose myself too.  Plus, if you buy in bulk, it's much much cheaper. They're supposed to soak overnight before you cook them, so I make a crap ton of them and freeze what I don't need. I freeze them in 2 cup portions because that makes the pretty perfect size for our family for a week. (that amount is what's shown in this pic- it's the smaller bowl of the kitchen aid food processor).  I also, when I'm feeling charitable, will shuck the garbanzo beans. that takes approximately forever. it makes the hummus much creamier, but sometimes it's just not worth it. This time I did not, and it's still deliciousness.

I use the juice of half a lemon, some sea salt, a spoonful of tahini (sesame paste- I use the Joyva brand), olive oil, and sometimes some roasted garlic. And filtered water. That's important. Throw it all, minus the olive oil and water, into the blender. If you have a food processor, you'll notice that the blades almost immediately get stuck in all those beans. Start pouring in some olive oil and water while it's running and it loosens up. I would say start with a few tablespoons of olive oil and a quarter cup of water and go from there. You may like your hummus a little thicker, so don't add as much. I like mine super creamy so I add a bit more than that. then you just have to keep stopping it and tasting to see if anything else is needed. easy peasy. and yummy.

We've done a caramelized onion hummus that was absolute heaven- adding some sweet hot peppers to that was pretty fabulous as well. Richie made a guacamole hummus that was pretty fabulous. And a curry hummus. There are just a million possibilities and all of them are delicious.

And then, there's the garlic. We use garlic on an almost daily basis. It would be a pain in the butt, except for this little trick that I picked up from watching The Chew. It has SAVED US. I can't say enough good things about this trick, and I hope you run out right now and DO THIS and tell me how amazing it is. Cause it is. Ready?



Buy a bunch of garlic. Buy some evoo- which you should really always have anyway cause that and coconut oil are the best ones, taste and health wise. Costco sells an organic evoo that is awesome, and the only one we use now. Get out your cast iron pan. If you don't have one, go get one. It is life changing. throw out your teflon, PLEASE. Put about 2 to 3 cups of oil in the pan, and heat it up at a fairly low temp. Put all your peeled garlic in a food processor/ ultimate chopper/ grater-type device. If you do this by hand it will take a very very long time. You want it finely chopped. Add the garlic (about 40 cloves) to the olive oil and cook it until it starts to turn tan. You want it soft but not browned. The oil should cover the garlic in the pan. Once it's done, pour it all into a mason jar. leave room at the top because you'll need to put about 1/2 cup to a cup of olive oil to it to stop it from cooking more. Then refrigerate. This lasts for at least a month or two. It's DELICIOUS, it's so easy to now add fresh garlic to whatever you're cooking, there's no chemicals in it like that garbage they sell in a jar, AND you now have GARLIC INFUSED OLIVE OIL. yup. homemade. Dip whatever in there and it's a party in your mouth. Use that to make salad dressings. And garlic is so so so so good for your body. Seriously, if I had to choose just one thing to learn from watching The Chew, this would be it. Oh, and watch The Chew. I DVR it so I can watch while I'm cooking. I'm a little in love with Michael Symon, and I'm pretty sure Daphne Oz and I are soul sisters (italian jersey girls who married serbians. we are best friends, she just doesn't know it yet).

The last picture is of a green garlic pesto. If you buy green garlic, which looks like scallions, you can use the bulbs for the roasted garlic and use the stems to make the pesto with some toasted almonds, parmesan, salt and evoo.

Anyway. Those are my tips for delicious snacks and helpful hints. And a pretty picture for good measure. You're welcome.

Loves!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Are you STILL nursing??? and other craptacular questions

Let's start here. I believe that every parent knows innately how to parent THEIR child. This post is not written to make you feel defensive/angry/guilty/shouty/any other "y" emotions. Attachment parenting is not the norm in this country, hence I get loads of questions on the hows and whys of what we do. This post is meant to answer those in one sweep. Am I providing data backing up our choice? Yup. Does that mean that I think that how you raised/are raising your child is wrong and harmful to them? Nope. I'm pretty sure you can find data showing why your way is better. We'll let babygirl tell you all about it when she's in therapy 20 years from now. I kid. In all seriousness, in my circle of mommy friends that I interact with on an at least weekly basis, I'm the only one who went whole hog on the attachment parenting train (baby-wearing, breastfeeding, co-sleeping). I for sure have peeps that do parts of it. But on the whole, I'm a loner. And my friends' babies?  They're all awesome. Happy, well-adjusted, smart. So again, please do not send me hateful comments saying that I'm a monster and that you swear your kid is just fine even though you did x, y and z. I believe you. But this is what MY CHILD needed. So. We good?  Good. Here goes.

If you don't know already, here's the quick glimpse into babygirl's arrival. My pregnancy super sucked. I started nesting at 2 months. We, of course, registered for everything under the sun. I had no idea I wouldn't be a "normal" parent. Her room was all set for her. At 29 weeks and 4 days, I rolled over in bed to discover a crap ton of blood gushing out. I was rushed to the ER (I *may* have threatened the very young EMT in the ambulance to FIND. THE. BABY'S. HEARTBEAT. which he did).The doctor saw me and said "if it's ok with you, we'd like to take her". all calm like. Me? Not so much. I wasn't even 7 months pregnant yet. I looked at the hubbs, and said "I guess...." And 14 people flew into that room and rushed me out, as I threw my cell phone at the hubbs and yelled "CALL MY MOTHER!!".

God had His hands all over babygirl. The doc had ordered general anesthesia, but in the room they decided to go for an epidural (which is MUCH safer for baby). I did vomit the entire time they were operating but I guess I was able to stay still enough. Unbeknownst to me at the time, she was out for a good minute before she made any sound. Poor hubbs knew what was going on, but he didn't let me worry. I only got to see her little foot before they rushed her to the NICU, and I sent hubbs with her while they put my insides back together. About an hour later, they stuck me in a recovery room. Apparently, I'd had a placental abruption- where the placenta is ripped away from the uterus, usually ending in fatality for both baby and mom. Hubbs passed out on the couch, there was no tv, no nothing, and I was high as a kite and had my phone. So I of course announced her traumatic arrival on Facebook (my mom could cheerfully choke me for that one).

I was not allowed to go to the NICU until I could feel my legs. Not cool. She arrived on early Friday morning, August 26th, at 1:26am. I didn't get to see her until much later in the day on Friday. And I was only allowed to grab her little hand through the incubator for a short period of time. My mom miraculously caught a flight out of Jersey (where the state was under a state of emergency for a hurricane, making leaving almost impossible) and got to meet babygirl Friday night. Back in my hospital room, the nurse came in, threw a breast pump at me and said "get started. she needs you". And I did. I pumped like a crazy woman because if this was the ONE thing I could do for her, I was gonna ROCK at it.  I couldn't keep her in- this was the least I could do. Saturday morning at 5 am, the nurse comes in to rip out the catheter (TMI??) and I jump in the shower. Get dressed. And we go downstairs to the NICU, where I camp out for the next 2 months. My docs were a little pissed at me for being MIA, but whatevs, they found me eventually. Something primal came over me. I stopped taking any meds for pain on Saturday morning, and on Sunday, they discharged me because they couldn't find me, again. Every morning, at 10 am, we met with every. single. person. that had something to do with my daughter that day to hear the plan, hear the progress. And everyday, I just cried and asked "But when can I hold her?" Turns out Day 5 was my lucky day. They finally were able to remove the intubation (which she kept trying to remove herself, feisty little thing) and that meant it was safe to hold her. Only for a few hours at a time (the outside was a bit overwhelming), but it was heaven. And I swore to her that as soon as I could, I would hold her every second of every day. And before I even knew what it was called, I had signed on to attachment parenting.


We did kangaroo care (skin to skin) for hours and hours every day- as long as her little body was able to function outside of the incubator. For those periods of time that she had to be back in there, I would pump and research. and sometimes remember to eat. I researched all of the scary things (vaccines, what's in our food supply, NEC- an awful preemie bacteria that when not attended to soon enough, liquifies baby's insides, the pros and cons of formula fortification). Things you can't unread. We made it clear that formula was not an option. I didn't care how much weight they thought she should be gaining, she would have breast milk and I would allow some human milk fortifier. but no formula. I'll tackle the vaccination aspect in another post, as it is long, involved, and gets me raging.
And we had visitors. A friend of mine, Michelle, came bearing some earthy gifts. She gave me a Moby wrap. I had no idea what this was. Turned out, it was the GREATEST GIFT KNOWN TO MAN (more on that gem later).  I read a 600 page preemie book, front to back. I should not have. The nurses made it clear to ONLY READ THE SECTIONS THAT APPLY TO YOU. I did not listen. Mistake.  I read the entire La Leche League book. I also read a LOT of Dr. Sear's parenting books. Which is when I first heard the attachment parenting terms. And I made some decisions.

Still her fave place to snuggle- in my sweatshirt. And I told you she was feisty.
I know it's shocking. SHOCKING. But I'm a leeeetle bit Type A. You could call me a perfectionist. You could call me obsessive. Some might even call me anal retentive. You would be correct. So it shouldn't surprise anyone that when we made the decision to do attachment parenting, I DID attachment parenting. And when we decided to breastfeed? There was no discussion of bottle feed because preemies have a hard time at the breast. I was going to FEED FROM MY BREAST come hell or high water.  (some of that may have been a laziness issue...who wants to go warm a bottle in the middle of the night??) So, once the feeding tube was removed, I allowed daddy to give babygirl one bottle of breastmilk. Then I made it clear that this child was not going to have a bottle again until after she was able to take a full feed from me. How do you know it's a full feed? Apparently, since we were dealing with a 3+ lb baby, you weigh her before and after to see how much she got. (and that didn't mean that I was starving my child...it meant that the feeding tube went back in- she started being able to handle 1 feed a day without the tube, and gradually worked up from there). 

With the help of the MAGICAL nipple shield, my preemie started BREASTFEEDING. that sentence? makes me sob. SOB. It was the one thing I knew I wanted to do parenting-wise before babygirl arrived. And it was the one thing that I was told by many nurses that she most likely would not be able to do (little jaw muscles weren't strong enough, they said. she'll be in the hospital for a lot longer if you don't just give her a bottle, they said.) But this girl? This girl was all about a boob, from day 1. That's where her head ALWAYS went when I held her. (Btws it wasn't every nurse that said that. Many did. But there were some cheering me on!) Eventually, when daddy tried to feed her with a bottle, she literally slapped it out of his hand! To this day, anything resembling a nipple (sippy cup, bottle, pacifier) she shuns. She'll even pull it out of other kids' mouths and throw it on the ground. This secretly makes my heart happy.

In between all of our little victories (she POOPED!!  she's in a CRIB not an incubator!!), there was the apnea. TERRIFYING. Apnea is when babygirl decides to forget to breathe. When her oxygen saturation numbers get too low, cause of the not breathing, machines go off. She turns grayish. goes all limp noodle. sometimes can't wake herself out of it. They told me to pinch her foot if it goes on for too long. Crying means she's breathing. awesome. And it's one of those things that actually gets worse before it gets better. There were 2 times when she needed oxygen blown by her face to get her to breathe again. I can't even handle remembering that. She had apnea fits on me A LOT. Blessing and a curse. She was always monitored, so they obviously would know if it was happening while she was in her crib, but because it was on me, I was able to see the signs without needing the monitors. The one time she did have an episode after we left the NICU,  I was putting her into the moby when she went all limp noodle on me. Thank God it didn't last very long and I woke her right up out of it.

And of course, there was the reflux. Oh, the reflux. That kid could puke with the best of them. She couldn't sleep on her back because of how bad it was. So they gave her a crib that could be tilted up. No help. They gave her a wedge.
Ninja baby. She had to be strapped into it because of the angle so she didn't slide off or fall forward. Still no help. She only slept on her stomach. And since she weighed next to nothing, she had no problems rolling over onto her belly to sleep, no matter how many times the nurses tried to roll her back. She would wake up crying. So. I decided to kangaroo her at night too. I'd try and sleep for a few hours (thank God I was able to sleep in her room, which was awesome) and then when she woke up around 1 or 2, I would grab her, put her in my sweatshirt, recline in the kangaroo chair, and we'd both fall asleep. Happy. Her breathing was better. Her reflux didn't bother her. I slept better- not on edge wondering if she's breathing- yes even with the monitors.
And finally, the day came where we got to take her home. EXCITEMENT. TERROR. RESPONSIBILITY. No more monitors. If she stopped breathing, it was all on us to notice. And she was still soooooo tiny. She hadn't quite hit 5 pounds when we were discharged. We were told not to have her in the carseat for too long, or in a backpack, or in any seats that weren't reclined enough (her windpipes could easily be kinked shut, like a garden hose, at certain angles). THANK GOD FOR THE MOBY!!! It kept her in the kangaroo position, skin to skin with me, and I had both my hands free to do what I needed and still hold babygirl all the time. For the next 14 months, no one ever got to see my cute outfits- that moby was on 24/7.

We discovered that feeding her was basically all I would be doing for a month or two. It took about 45 minutes for her to finish a full feed, and she needed to eat every hour and a half. So I got to read a lot more books (and catch up on crap reality tv). I read Mayim Bialik's book on attachment parenting. I have loved her since "Beaches" (and "Blossom" of course), and I loved her book even more. It made me feel less crazy about the way we were bringing up babygirl (which earned me lots of questions from family and friends, and which I was feeling a little bit guilty about- was I doing this whole parenting thing right? was I really spoiling her?)

Our life in a nutshell:
Hold babygirl.
Nurse babygirl.
Shower with babygirl- highly recommend. She LOVES water, I got to shower every day with her right there with me, and now she tries to wash me!
Hold babygirl while she naps.
Cook and Clean with babygirl in the moby.
Daddy holds babygirl while mamma pees by herself for the first time that day.
Sleep with babygirl on me, while I'm propped up with a husband pillow.
Repeat.

We did leave the house. A lot actually. She was easily portable. She slept on me anyway, so it didn't matter where we were. As long as I had the moby on, we were good to go. I eventually figured out how to nurse her in the moby too.

And during this time, and still, I hear "Just put her down." "She'll never figure out how to self-soothe if you don't put her down." "She'll never leave your bed if you don't move her to her crib now." "You're spoiling her." "We just let ours cry, and they finally figured it out." "Does she sleep through the night yet (at 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, now...)?"

Yes, the questions were said in love, by people who genuinely love us and care about our well being (although there were some random strangers who also gave me their opinion, as if I gave a crap). Did that make it any less crazy making for us? Nope. Did I cringe when I heard the start of one of these? Every time. Did I sometimes want to punch people in the throat when they wouldn't just leave it alone? Abso-freakin-lutely. I wasn't mad about it all the time. We get it. People were genuinely curious- they had never seen a baby raised this way. And that was fine. It got less fine when it was said with the "knowledge" that we were ruining our child (thanks random lady in the store. I'll spoil her? Is she produce? Will she bruise if handled too much??).

So here's my take. Babygirl is only a baby once. For a short period of time in her life. She had a traumatic beginning. If she needs some cuddles, or to be nursed, or to be held I'm gonna do it. She's smart....but she's not tricking me into holding her. Trust me, girlfriend likes to run around on her own. If she's asking, she genuinely needs me. Do I believe that she is capable of self-soothing? Meh. Maybe a little bit. Her panicked cries beg to differ. There are times at 34 years old I just want my mom.

So, I did some more research, cause hey why not. And I've been finding some really interesting things. Again, this is not an indictment on other parenting methods. This just happens to support the one I'm using.

Dangers of Crying It Out Article- Honestly, I've been going back and forth on whether or not I should include this here. There is some really really interesting information here. But she's a tad harsh. I should appreciate that, as I have that same tendancy. Ah well. Let the chips fall where they may. Please don't hate on me.

Dr. Sears- basically I read all of his books. I appreciate his style. Not judgey, just lays out the facts. His vaccine book was a life saver. And now that we're approaching 2, his discipline book has also been a HUGE help with a certain stubborn someone I know.

The Other Baby Book- love this book too. I just recently read this one, and it just helped re-affirm all that we've been doing.

So why do I need to re-affirm, you ask? Well you people just keep asking "questions". You know, things like "Isn't it about time she sleeps on her own?" "Don't you think when she can ask for it, she's too old to nurse?" Perhaps veiled comments is the more appropriate term.

Let's now answer all the questions that you know you wanted to ask but (maybe) didn't:

Do you ever have date nights?
We've had 2 since she's been born. And we're good with that. She comes out with us all the time. We waited 5 years of marriage (9 years of being together total) to have kids. We knew it was going to change our dynamic. Now that she's older and not nursing as much, we'll probably have more.

Do you ever have sex if she's in your bed?
It's funny. A bed is actually NOT required for sex!  She falls asleep, we go off and do our thang.

But your husband hates it, right?
Actually, the hubbs loves it. He works. A LOT. and travels for work. A LOT. He loves having nighttime cuddles with babygirl. There have been many a night where I wake to find she has sprawled herself across his throat. I have no idea how it doesn't choke him, but it is adorbs.

Aren't you afraid you'll roll onto the baby?
Nope. Not once. Hubbs maybe was a bit fearful of that at first, but after the first night, it was all good. I was more afraid of her stopping breathing and me not being close enough to hear it. And I cannot say enough how much easier it is to soothe a baby in the middle of the night by simply turning your body to let her nurse and fall right back to sleep. I was not a sleep deprived new mom, and that was awesome.

Aren't you afraid that if you always hold her, she'll never learn to sit up/crawl/walk?
Nope. when she was ready, she would do those things. I was told that Hindu women (I think...my memory is not as good as it used to be) carry their babies for the first 6 months of their lives, never letting their feet touch the ground because they believe that babies are sacred. I thought that was really cool- and it was a nice departure from the usual "why don't you just use a stroller" comment. oh, and babygirl has consistently scored not only above her adjusted age, but also above her actual age in her gross motor skills evals, so clearly carrying her had zero effect on her movement.

Why don't you just use a stroller?
1. I can't figure out how to open it.
2. Why on earth would I lug around a lot of extra weight and crap with me when I could just have her snuggle on me and do what I need to? I do this thing, a lot, where I imagine worse case scenerios happening and what I might do in those instances. And of course I've pictured taking babygirl for a walk in a stroller, and having someone come and snatch the stroller, and her from me. Yup. Ridiculous. But you'd have to work awfully hard to get her out of the moby before I beat the ever-loving snot out of you.  She's been in a stroller 3 times. None of those times worked well when I was there.
3. Watch this. Anna, this one's for you. Cracks me right up.

Why are you still nursing? Isn't a year enough?
Enough for who? She loves it, I love it, she's getting all the nutrition and more that she needs, the World Health Organization recommends bf'ing for AT LEAST 2 YEARS! It's the best way to keep her healthy, it clears up EVERYTHING- I had an eye infection and it cleared it up in 1 day. The doc was amazed....and then a little weirded out when I told him how I healed it. And no. I did not squirt it directly into my eye. That would take some serious skill.

Isn't she gonna be too dependent on you?
Yes, for a little while. Cause she's a baby, and that's how they work. People think it's so strange to attend to their needs, but how on earth can we expect a tiny person without the capability to even hold up their own heads for very long to soothe themselves to sleep, to occupy and pacify themselves, to only be hungry every 3 hours cause that's when the book said they should be hungry, to sleep through the night for 8 to 12 hours (I know many adults who still can't do that). I just can't imagine hearing that teeny voice call out for me, and not immediately finding out what it is she needs. She's 21 months old now, and there are times that she'll play by herself for hour long stretches. Then she'll run up and give me a hug, or want to be held or nursed for a minute, then runs back to terrorizing the cats. She makes solid eye contact with everyone she sees (and sometimes follows with a very enthusiastic "HIIIIEEEEEE"). She loves playing with other kids. She recognizes and loves Nana, even though she lives 3,000 miles away. Girlfriend has a knack for spotting nurses. I'm telling you, SHE JUST KNOWS. She LOVES them! Sure, she has her clingy phases. Like every other toddler. But she is not hurting for social skills.

Danica McKellar (Winnie Cooper from "The Wonder Years") was recently interviewed because, GASP, she breastfed her child until he was 2 1/2. When asked about attachment parenting, and if she was afraid her child would be spoiled she said cuddling and closeness is one thing. “Doing everything your child wants you to do right when they want you to do it is another thing.” Perfectly stated. For the record I should state that I wanted to make sure I got the quote right after watching the interview. The website I found it on? "Oh No They Didn't!" I. just. sigh.

Which leads me to: WHY SO MUCH CRITICISM? There are a million and one ways to do everything in this world. Why on earth do people have SUCH a hard time dealing with attachment parenting styles? There is some straight up HATE out there for the women who dare to raise their children this way. From the celebrities who take heat for it, to the daytime talk shows that pit extreme parenting styles against each other, to the cover of Time magazine taking a beautiful moment between mother and son and throwing a chair and some camo pants in there for shock value- see here.

Maybe if we all just accepted and moved on, we could take the best parts from each different style and use them as we see fit. Maybe we can just congratulate each other on making it through another crazy day (whether that day is spent at home or at work or both) instead of cutting each other down for the choices being made. Wouldn't that be nice?

And here's my little bonus. It may have something to do with how close we were to losing her (if we had gone to the hospital where I was supposed to deliver, there's a good chance she would not have made it). But I find that attachment parenting has made me a million times more patient- which, if you know me, is a miracle. I'm more thoughtful about my words and actions around her, and more thoughtful than I thought I would be when it comes to meeting her needs, even when they seem completely ridiculous.  And honestly? I never want to be away from her. Call it obsessive, but I cannot bear to be without her. So this attachment thing? It works for us in a big way. FOR US.



So that's our story. Yes we still co-sleep. Yes I still wear her and never use a stroller. Yes I still breastfeed and plan to until she's good and ready to stop. No I don't think it's weird. No I don't think I'm ruining her. Yes we will use this same method if we have another.  Yes you are more than welcome to ask me questions about it, as long as you are not silently judging me and/or telling me about this friend you know who used this method and now her son is a serial killer. That is all.

Loves!
















Thursday, May 16, 2013

How to Be Crunchy In Ten Easy Steps!!

Or maybe it's less. I don't know. I don't do math.

I do know that it's a lot easier than it seems at the start of it.

It seems DAUNTING. INSURMOUNTABLE. a HUGE inconvenience and probably not affordable. And let's face it, we're all gonna die someday and everything is bad for us now, so what's a little chemical-heavy food gonna do?

I *may* have said those things, multiple times, to my brother, Richie, as he kept throwing more information at me, and tried to make me watch "Food, Inc.". Then I'd go throw up whatever it was that I was arguing I could eat and be just fine, and nurse a Coke or Ginger Ale to make my stomach feel better.  (For the record, Richie, you were right. I'm sorry. Though I'm not really sorry for calling you a dirty hippie, cause that was pretty accurate. Ha!) Also, full disclosure- I have yet to watch "Food, Inc." in it's entirety. I just have this feeling that if I do, I may never be able to eat ANY food ever again. But I'll put my big girl panties on and watch, then blog about it. And I'll do it all for you.

I digress. The easy beginning steps part. Well here it is. Do one thing. Something you eat every single day. Make that something organic. Do you drink coffee? Invest in some organic coffee beans- not only will the coffee be WAY better (did you know that they put twigs and bark in regular coffee as "fillers"), but if you get organic, fair-trade coffee, it means that the people who make it are not using slave labor to gather the beans. That was actually the very first thing I switched to- unaware of the nastiness happening in regular coffee, I made the decision to buy based on the treatment of those working for that company, and the money they helped bring in for communities in need.  It was a nice bonus that the coffee was delish. And if you're gonna have organic coffee, you might as well get organic milk/ cream to go with it. Along with organic sugar. AND FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY STAY AWAY FROM ZERO CALORIE SWEETENERS!! I mean really. Do YOU think something exists in nature that is sweet and has zero calories? Well let's see. Do strawberries have calories? Apples? Lettuce?  Yeah. EVERYTHING has calories. So clearly if it is calorie free, it is a chemical shit show.

Or perhaps you've heard of the Dirty Dozen. These are the fruits and vegetables that have the highest amount of pesticide residue. Pesticide which is a known carcinogen and is known to have significant health impacts (go ahead and read this for more info).

For my money, if you eat meat at all, I say start buying organic meat. Chicken, beef, pork, turkey- it is SO SO SO worth the money. There is so much information out there on why it's DETRIMENTAL to your health to eat non-organic meat. Check out these articles:

Antibiotic resistant superbugs- 81% of turkey, 69% of pork, 55% of beef and 39% of chicken (non-organic) have them. Those numbers are sickening.

American animals raised for meat eat more than 30 million pounds of antibiotics a year- the reason? they routinely get sick living in foul conditions so they're given preemptive medicine to "keep them healthy". Except now, we can't fight things like pneumonia because of overuse. Oh, and your chicken is on Prozac. Awesome.

Pink Slime- Just. No.
THAT. IS. IN. YOUR. MEAT. It's extra beef parts (you know, all the yummy stuff that should never ever be eaten) and ammonia. And it's in your meat. Want to know how I easily gave up fast food? Look above.

Where's the beef??- no, seriously. Where is it?

Perhaps you think I'm being overly dramatic.  Not the first time I've been accused of that. But in this, I promise you, I've given you the tip of the iceberg of info (and drama). Once we switched to buying organic meat, I discovered that after a lifetime of LOATHING chicken if it wasn't smothered in something that made it taste not like chicken....I actually really really enjoy it. I finally tasted REAL chicken. Not only that, but we were finding that a LOT less food filled us up. And by a lot less, I'm talking the hubbs, babygirl and I split 1 CHICKEN BREAST and are completely satisfied.

"Manufactured natural flavor that is often found in conventional turkey, processed foods and other meat products is contributing to what David Kessler (former head of the FDA) calls a “food carnival” in your mouth. This makes it difficult to stop eating or drinking because the flavors they have synthesized trick your mind into wanting more and more. Butterball and other food companies use this natural flavoring to just give you the best 1 millionth part of the taste so we only want more of that product, which in turns fills their pockets. When companies use manufactured flavor, they literally are “hijacking” your taste buds one-by-one." -Food Babe Investigates
(David Kessler's book, if you want to read more about America's food supply problems)

"Manufactured natural flavor" makes me want to punch America in the face.

I really want you to read the above paragraph a few times. We've all been there. Eating so much that there's no relief for the stomach bloat and pain. unbuttoning your pants. wanting to die a teeny bit cause it feels just. so. awful. and we wonder how it's possible that we could do that to ourselves. Turns out, it was all part of the plan. You eat more, you buy more. So sure, why NOT only let us taste the best 1 millionth part so that we're constantly craving more. Lays- you can't eat just one. Well no shit, it was designed that way!!!

RAGE. SPIRAL.

Alright I'm back. perhaps a little less pissy. perhaps not. we'll see.

Anyhow, don't eat non-organic meat (this includes eggs as well). And bonus? When the meat is organic, the animals are treated ethically and HUMANELY. Not locked in a stall barely big enough to fit them, never allowed to see the light of day, sleeping in their own feces, being fed garbage GMO food that they can't actually digest, and pumped full of hormones and meds that we then ingest.

Ok, I guess I wasn't quite done. Now I am. Perhaps I should have done a separate post on organic meat. There's just SO MUCH I want to yell tell you about.

I know, I know I said it was easy and it SEEMS like it's a lot. But. Costco now sells organic chicken, organic eggs and organic beef. Would I prefer that it was grass-fed beef as well?  Yes I would. But sometimes we have to pay attention to budget. And organic is FAR superior to anything else.

Please. Don't stop reading. I'm about to say something that is going to make you angry. then sad. then angry again. then you'll yell at your computer and tell me that it's easy for ME to say because I stay at home, and only have 1 kid, and I enjoy cooking.  and believe me. I understand where you're coming from. BUT. 

Please please please stop buying as much processed food as possible for your family needs.

I know. It's easier. And they're (manufactured to be) pretty tasty. And your kids may not want to eat anything else. But do it. Even if it's just for a week or two. Or at least give me a month. For starters, your budget will thank you. Real/Whole food costs a lot less. And your taste buds will thank you. I can guarantee that it takes maybe 10 minutes longer to make mac and cheese from scratch then it does out of a blue box with a bazillion ingredients and it tastes a hell of a lot better (go to The Chew website and look up how to make a simple rue for the bomb cheesy goodness). And skip the pre-made sugar-free (and real fruit free) yogurt. Buy plain greek yogurt and add some fresh or frozen fruit. Ditch the jar of Ragu, get some crushed tomatoes, add a little garlic, olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper and you've got a delicious (and healthy) marinara. Little things. But they add up. I love to get babygirl (and the hubbs) involved with what I'm cooking. Sometimes we'll take a day and make a bunch of goodness, then freeze it. For those days when mama hasn't had a chance to breathe, let alone make dinner. Just heat up in the toaster oven and done!

So perhaps these don't seem like the easiest steps to take. But one of them is. DO ONE THING. Then maybe the next week/month/moment when you can handle it, DO ANOTHER THING. Slowly. Read the info. Decide what's most important to you and your family. Start there. Maybe go meatless a few nights a week. It's not as hard as I thought it would be.

There's SO MUCH more info I want to put in here, but I don't want to scare anyone too much. I want you to feel empowered, not intimidated (perhaps I am just not the right person for that job...) Don't let my all caps scare you.

Feel free to ask me questions, comment on what a giant boob I am, or yell at me for ruining McDonalds for you. I'll take it.
















Saturday, May 11, 2013

Nair for short shorts...

Well this is embarrassing. I have facial hair. Ok. I am hairy- hairy arms, hairy legs, rockin a mustache and a few chin hairs as well. It's not fun, it's NOT cute, but as much as I love my Italian heritage, it has it's drawbacks.

For a while, I simply dealt with it. I didn't love wearing anything that showed off the ape arms. And I just hoped that makeup would hide the facial hair. And then I discovered Veet.  I had tried Nair in middle school with a friend of mine and it literally DID NOT PUT A DENT IN my hairy legs. But when I started teaching, I decided I wanted to wear short sleeves, since I was already such a hot, sweaty mess. And I found Veet.  And we started a decade long relationship.

It REEKS. Rotten egg in a dirty diaper stink. And it burns a little. Or a lot. But man it got rid of hair easily. Woohoo mustache free! I got rid of all the hair on my arms and felt free! I still had to check for those random, errant chin and neck hairs that I swear sprout up as SOON as I leave the house, having just checked for them. But for the most part, I was hairless and happy.

When I got pregnant, I noticed that the side of the Veet box said to not use. WHAT?!?!? My hormones were already out. of. control. The hairs? Everywhere. All the time. And now I couldn't do anything about it? Crappity.

Of course, after I had babygirl, I went right back to burning the hair off of me, because let's face it, I was already heavy, sweaty, leaky and hormonal...I wasn't about to add hairy to that list.

And then I started reading things about my cosmetics, lotions, shampoos- essentially the myriad of things I had in my bathroom. And I knew in my heart that Veet and I had to break-up. I also knew that my husband, although maybe not fond of a mustachioed wife, would NOT miss the smell.

As I was wondering through Central Market, I stumbled upon Parissa Wax Strips. I decided to try them- because Lord knows I'm entirely too lazy to melt my own wax.

I LOVE THEM! Sure, it's not exactly pleasant to know that ripping this thing off your upper lip is going to cause a fair amount of pain, but it worked like a charm and was stupid easy.  Much easier, let's say, than the time I tried to wax my own bikini area and ended up GLUING MY CROTCH TO THE BATHTUB. Hot wax? Not easy to work with. Already perfectly placed wax on a strip for easy application? Bring it.

So yeah. Use this. Cause it's awesome. And I promise, you'd have to work reeeeally hard to adhere yourself to something.

*I did eventually become unstuck. After a stupid amount of time scrubbing and scrubbing with hot water and soap, it finally occurred to me WHY they give you that little bottle of oil along with the wax kit. Not one of my finer moments folks.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

And hair we are...

I've been meaning to get to this post.  I've been excited about it.  But I also wanted to wait until my hair finally didn't suck at all anymore before I carried on about the wonders of homemade shampoos (and someone I know decided that nap times are for wussies, so there's that).

About 3 weeks ago, I was FED. UP. with my stupid hair. I used to have amazing hair. Yup, gonna brag a little. It was shiny, long, straight without any product or blow dryers or flat irons. The color was awesome and natural. I totally took it for granted. I was in high school and I vowed I would never cut or color my hair.



Seriously.  LOOK AT THAT HAIR!!!  (do NOT judge me. it was the late 90's, i hated getting my pic taken, i've left out all innocent parties, and the beret is because we were on our way to Paris.)

Then college happened. And I SO wanted to be trendy. So I lopped off my hair into "the Rachel" - seriously stop judging me- and I dyed it Ronald McDonald Red. No, I don't have any pics that I would ever be willing to share at my house, thank you very much.

My hair had never recovered.  I've gotten perms, dyed it every color on the red/ burgundy and blonde scale, and lopped off nearly all of it to see if it would grow back healthy.  When none of that worked, I spent insane amounts of money on trying to buy the perfect shampoo/ conditioner for my grease slick, yet somehow fried mop. My sister-in-law, who IS the hair whisperer, helped me out tremendously showing me how to style my hair curly.  You can hide damaged, crappy hair if you scrunch it.

I had run out of curling spray, and was not up for an outing, so I decided to see what a little salt water could do- considering my hair in Jersey, at the beach, after a dip in the ocean usually looked pretty good. I found a recipe on Glamour.com that called for a little hair gel, water, sea salt and coconut oil. I just left out the hair gel part (since part of this experiment was to rid myself of chemicals in all foods and vanity items). And it worked. SO. WELL. Here's the pic to prove it:
I let it air dry and diffused it at the end to give it a little body. So, here's the recipe I use for the beachy, wavey curl spray:

*8 fl. oz. of filtered water.
*Sea salt. I used the more finely ground stuff because it mixes easier and faster with the water. Use 1 tsp for each 8 fl oz of water.
*Coconut oil: 1/2 a tsp - use more if you have extra dry hair.

Put all the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake the crap out of it. Shake it before each use as well. So easy. So good. So cheap.

Since that was such a smashing success, and I was spending a small fortune on Wen haircare, I decided to try making my own shampoo. I had heard of the "no-poo" plan and didn't think that would work on me. I am a GREASY italian, and by the end of the day my bangs alone could supply enough oil to cook a meal. No thanks. So I went trolling on the internet and found a ton of options. I went to Wellness Mama, and found her shampoo recipe, along with an awesome pic of her daughter's hair. I loved that she talked about how she had fine, straight hair and couldn't do the no-poo and this one worked for her and her family.

Natural Homemade Shampoo Recipe:

  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup liquid castille soap (like Dr. Bronners)
  • 1/2 of a teaspoon (or several capsules) of vitamin e oil(completely optional- I did not use)
  • 20 drops of Essential Oils of choice
  • For dry hair: add 1/2 tsp olive or almond oil (optional)
Silly silly me. I went ahead and added a little olive oil. Just a 1/4 tsp. STILL TOO MUCH. I was for sure a grease ball....
That is the look of not so pleased. It's Day 4 of using the shampoo, but the first time I decided to wear it straight. It's hard to tell from that angle, but notice how it looks like it may still be a bit wet?  NOPE. GREASE. I mean, it was smooth and shiny, and there is no product in there making it not frizz out, but still. Not a good look for me. Perhaps this was just me getting the coconut oil I use as face wash in my hair?  Maybe my hair has to get used to it?

So I searched some more. I landed on Mother Earth Living, who had a ton of different shampoos, conditioning masks, and recipes for anything you could ever possibly want.  Want highlights?  Use chamomile or rhubarb. Need shine and bounce?  Make a beer shampoo. Well alrighty then. I liked the results as long as I used a cider vinegar conditioner with it. Here are the recipes:

Conditioner: (I found this particular recipe on a ton of different pages)
* 1 tbsp organic cider apple vinegar
* 8 fl oz filtered water
* 15 drops essential oil (my pick is ylang ylang....smells nice)

Beer Shampoo:
* 1 cup beer (can be stale or flat...I used Guinness)
*1/3 cup Dr. Bronner's Castille Soap
*1/4 cup coconut milk (I made my own)
* 20 drops essential oil

This is a tad different than what is listed on Mother Earth Living website, because I like the coconut milk in there (it acts as a detangler), and I needed more soap when using the coconut milk. 
Day 6. Still a little greasy looking, but better than the other attempt. Still no product in my hair. Seems like we're getting closer...
Day 10. The day before I used the beer shampoo/ cider conditioner (yes, I was starting to smell like a distillery). This day I only used the cider conditioner, and I REALLY started to like the results. My bangs were surprisingly not that bad (which has never ever happened in my life, ever). Sometime during the day I decided to sprinkle a little baking soda on them cause they were starting to get a bit oily, and that stuff is magic!  So, my homemade DRY SHAMPOO RECIPE: sprinkle some baking soda on it. comb. done.
Day 11- back to the first homemade shampoo I made and some homemade curl spray.  SUCCESS! This shampoo is nice for the curly hair because the oil in it helps hold the curl. Don't ask me how. I don't do science.
Day 13. I am now happy. My hair seems to have transitioned to my crunchiness, and the grease slick is gone. This pic was taken not only on a day that I only used the cider conditioner, but also AFTER i completed a ridiculous steep hike while carrying a toddler, which caused much sweating. And to all my smart ass friends out there???  Sometimes, I hike. In cowboy boots. What.

I have no more pictures to show, but let's face it, there is WAY too much me going on here. I will say that I just made another, slightly different batch, and I've mixed it up because summer is coming and come hell or high water I. WILL. BE. BLONDE.

*1/4 cup coconut milk
*1/3 cup + 1 tbsp Dr Bronners Castille Soap
* Juice of 1 lemon
* 20 drops essential oil (ylang ylang)
*1/2 cup chamomile tea (I steeped 2 bags for a while to get the tea strong)

Since lemon helps cut grease and helps highlight, and the chamomile also helps lighten, I'm hoping this will be my perfect summer shampoo mix. I get to use it tomorrow for the first time.

Oh, and the recipe for the homemade coconut milk? Buy the Let's Do Organic creamed coconut, and for every tbsp of that add 2 tbsp of filtered water and heat until it mixes together.  Easy peasy. I found their product in Whole Foods.

My bathroom *might* look like a lab, but whatevs. I'm saving money!

Loves!

UPDATE (June 14, 2013)

I've finally found the PERFECT shampoo/ conditioner combo that makes my hair pretty awesome, with little effort from me. The shampoo is 1 cup boiling water, 6 chamomile tea bags (organic), 1 tbsp honey. Let steep for 20 minutes. Then add 1 1/2 tbsps coconut milk and 1/4 cup castille soap.  Conditioner is 8 oz filtered water, 1 tbsp organic apple cider vinegar and the juice of 1 lemon (that's to help cut any grease, and also to help the highlights along in the sun).  I put these in spray bottles, and that's how I apply in the shower. It's too liquidy to try to pour out into your hands. I just got the travel size spray bottles from target. It won't all fit in the spray bottles, so the stuff that's left over leave in your fridge- I learned that the hard way. The one spray bottle amount lasts for about a week if I wash my hair every day. Then you just go and refill from the fridge. So easy. and such great results!!!







Wednesday, May 1, 2013

How I embraced smelling like a Water Buffalo

Let's talk about my armpits.
I sweat. Yeah yeah yeah, everyone sweats. But not like me. Not even close. The pit stains that I used to rock were epic. Lifting my arms was never a good option. Try telling that to the 70 judgey high school girls you're conducting during choir. I had to ensure that I wore dark colors, stayed away from certain materials, had extra clothes in the car, never borrowed clothes from anyone....and always carried deodorant with me. Super strength, super aluminum filled, super toxic, prescription strength deodorant.

I was told that I could get botox shots in my armpits to stop the sweating. ummm...pretty sure there's a legit reason WHY I'm sweating. Not sure I want to completely stop it. and isn't that botulism? do we really want to go there? So I let them prescribe me a deo. The first time I used it I'm pretty sure I cried all night long (you must apply to freshly washed pits at night, then in the morning shower and use your regular deo). SO. MUCH. BURNING. And I was still sweating through my clothes.
I was delighted to find that my boyfriend, now hubbs, also sweat profusely. Perfect match! So, together we dealt with the awful pit stains that ruined many a shirt.

Enter our granola period. I noticed that once I switched to eating only organic, whole food, i wasn't sweating quite as much (except for the first few months after having babygirl....I would literally leave a Kristen-shaped sweat stain in my sheets. TMI??) That was a nice perk, and I kept on using my prescription strength deo (take your pic, I've used all of them), except this time it almost sorta kinda worked.

Until I read an article on propylene glycol. That crap is scary...and in pretty much ALL of our personal hygiene products. Shampoo, toothpaste, facewash, deodorant, lotion (it was also found in some citrus flavored beverages. awesome.)
About PROPYLENE GLYCOL: Propylene glycol is a small organic alcohol commonly used as a skin conditioning agent. It has been associated with irritant and allergic contact dermatitis as well as contact urticaria in humans; these sensitization effects can be manifested at propylene glycol concentrations as low as 2%.
This stuff sucks. It is rated a 4 by the EWG (Environmental Working Group), which is categorized as a “moderate” health issue. It has been shown to be linked to cancer, developmental/reproductive issues, allergies/immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity and endocrine disruption. It's main function is to alter the structure of your skin so it absorbs more chemicals into it- all of the other chemicals that companies put into hygiene products.

And then, there's the whole aluminum issue. Of course, there are studies that say it's just fine, but if there is a possibility that it's linked to breast cancer and Alzheimers, I'm gonna stop smearing it all over my pits.

What's a sweaty girl to do?

I went to the closest natural market and picked out a natural, aluminum free deodorant. And smelled like a water buffalo. NOT. OK. They did tell me that I would have to re-apply several times a day. And for a while I did. And I embraced what I've been calling my brothers for years- the dirty hippy.

But this hurt. Deep down in my insecurity-induced vanity, this one was killing me. I've ALWAYS been terrified of smelling bad. Stankphobia. I'd lived with it forever. And I have the nose of a bloodhound. (pregnant and sick, I was standing in our closet when the hubbs attempted to walk into the bedroom, as I shrieked "GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT WHAT DID YOU EAT I'M GONNA PUKE!!!" poor guy ate a hot dog several hours prior to that and had no idea he was not allowed to ever smell like anything ever around me and my super-sensitive schnoz.) So the stank? Not gonna work.

Then I read a blog post by one of my faves, Food Babe. Food Babe blog here. She talked about this one deodorant that she was given to try, and she and her hubbs loved it. So, I checked it out. OH. MY. PEAS. (sorry, apparently we've been watching too much SuperWhy in this house). This is the best deodorant I have ever used- including "regular" deo! So here's the info:
Organic Primal Pit Paste. Use it. love it. Thank me later. They have a few different scents (using essential oils), and you can get the stick form but we went for the stuff in the jar that you just smear on- you get more and I didn't want to worry about the stick melting. And it seems like a lot more money, but it will last longer than your average deo stick. There are only a few ingredients, which happen to be the ones I got for a homemade deo that I never got around to making. There are also varying strengths. We got strong, cause that's how we roll.

And bonus? Since I've started using the natural deos, especially this one, I've noticed that my armpit stubble is not nearly as gnarly, or frequent since the switch. I know you were dying to know.

So use it. and tell me how you like it. Then leave a comment on Primal Pit Paste facebook page and tell them too. It's always nice to hear that your products don't suck.

Loves!

UPDATE (June 14, 2013)

I still love and use this product. But I found, and so did a few others, that it can leave your pits a bit dry and itchy- the baking soda can do that. My friend Amanda discovered that if you mix equal parts coconut oil and pit paste, it works like a charm, and doesn't give you itchy pits. AND primal pit paste is coming out with a new sensitive skin deo in the very near future. YAY!!