Friday, February 7, 2014

FTSF9: Granola Crunch

I want to tell you...

that I'm a pretty crunchy-granola mother. I scored Quartz on this hilarious quiz. Both my children were "caught" by midwives at home, we use cloth diapers, and I nursed my children until they were ready to quit (it about broke my heart when my son told me he was done). I buy almost all organic produce (unless it's on the low pesticide list (we eat a lot of melons and oranges because they're less expensive)) and dairy and often even meat. We garden and try to clean with cloth instead of paper as often as possible (we do have paper towels on hand, however). I have Safe Mama's Cheat Sheets bookmarked for when I need to purchase more shampoo or sunscreen or some other product.

But for the record, I love TV. Would never give it up.

This is the path I've embraced. I've researched and read and listened to qualified people whose ideas I trust. I follow this path because it is what I believe is healthier for my family and often the more economic choice. But I'm not trying to convince you that you should make the same choices I do. I think there are an infinite number of "right" ways to live, and I only have the
knowledge and power to choose what it right for my family. And, for the record, I cannot fathom giving up my disposable toilet scrubbers. Everyone has a line they can't cross. 

(OK, that had to be in bold. I don't want to be seen as judgemental (that e is there on purpose; it's how it should be spelled!) or narrow-minded.)

It's funny because where I live now, I'm rather unusual in my level of crunchiness. On the other hand, when we lived in Asheville, I was average. In Asheville, you're odd if you don't wear your baby, and I was certainly unusual in my crunchy group for not embracing the family bed (I need my space!). Most everyone I knew did some vegetable gardening and owning your own chickens was far from unusual. And there were more chiropractors than you could shake a stick at (I still miss mine).

It's a slippery slope, this crunchy lifestyle. You start out with organic produce and then read that it's even more important that you eat organic animal products. Then, you start thinking about the chemicals in your cleaners and reading about how much healthier and happier and what a better person you will be if you start making everything you eat, touch, or wear yourself!!!!!!

Which leads me to my question: where's the line between environmentally-friendly and economical mother and mother who resides in Crazytown? Maybe, the fewer pesticides and antibiotics and hormones we ingest, they less likely my kids are to get cancer someday. Maybe the more we invest proactively, the more we can sock away long-term for college tuitions. Maybe the more we prepare at home and the less packaging we buy, we can keep this poor Earth from being destroyed at the same rapid rate.

Especially of late, I've come across more natural body cleansing methods that usual in my online readings. And some of these strike even me as pretty wild. But, the more I think about them, the more I think of trying the methods out. Fewer chemicals, right? Less money spent, right? And these articles are written by (or referred to me by) people who aren't crazy. Some are written by bloggers I've followed for some time, and they're honest, straightforward folk who are definitely not pushing an all-natural agenda or a particular product. Yet, I still haven't taken the plunge.

So, I'm curious, readers, has anyone tried the following methods? Anyone willing to say I am crossing the line into Extremeville by even considering these routines? I'm attaching blog posts if you'd like to read more. Oh, and these are not for my kids; they're for me.

Facial Cleansing with Oils
I have terrible skin, even here in my late 30s. I've tried every product and technique under the sun. I assure you I have tried them all. I just have senstive, acne-prone skin, and I guess I always will. This author goes into a lot of detail about this process over several posts, and I have a great deal of faith in her objectivity.

Oil-Pulling for Teeth
When I first read about this, I was sure it was a practice of Crazytown. Come on! This is insane! No brushing? But Design Mom does not strike one as a crazy person, and she even admitted her own doubts. I hate brushing, and I hate flossing. The idea is taking root.

Shampooing with Baking Soda
OK, this one is my biggest stretch. I'm not familiar with this author, and she doesn't go into nearly the detail I would like to hear. Does she keep baking soda in her shower? Doesn't it clump in the dampness? I know washing your hair less frequently makes it less oily. This I practice (don't worry, I still shampoo a few times a week), but I am still more inclined to ditch my Pantene for a healthier shampoo. At least as a first step.


Go ahead, you can tell me I'm crazy.


Hosts Janine, Kristi, Stephanie, and Kate

22 comments :

  1. Not crazy at all and always willing to learn something new and you totally did that today. Haven't tried any of these, but definitely left me curious about washing your hair with baking soda. Thanks for linking up and seriously loved learning a bit more today about you with this topic :)

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    1. Thanks, Janine, that's a vote of confidence!

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  2. I think it's cool that you're checking out more ways to save money and our poor planet. I'd probably try the face oil thing on part of your skin first, ya know? I've tried a lot of different creams (I have really sensitive skin) and always go back to the same one so I'm cautious. The teeth thing might work but would you have stinky breath???
    And the baking soda hair - I can't see how that would work, and feel like it would dry your hair out but maybe I'm wrong. A good friend of mine uses salt as body soap though and that seems to work for her, so maybe the baking soda is the same sort of thing. Let me know if you try!!!

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    1. Actually, writing this post got me motivated, and I've ordered some facial oils. Gabrielle on Design Mom said she actually has better breath and doesn't have to worry about morning breath anymore! I'm most hesitant on the baking soda in the hair thing. Not sure how that would work either.

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  3. I have none done anything that you listed. But I am so not crunchy. However, I have many crunchy friends. I think it's cool!

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  4. You're not crazy, but I'm curious to know what you think of those beauty treatments if you try them. I just read the post on oil pulling, and I have to say I am a bit intrigued. But oil in my mouth for 20 minutes? Hmmm. It would make for a good blog post, that's for sure!

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    1. I know, 20 minutes sounds like A LOT! But I can see making it work if you're doing something at the same time. For instance, I could swish while making the kids' breakfasts, etc., and then just spit in the kitchen sink. TMI?

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  5. I love hearing more about you and your lifestyle, and I applaud your efforts! I would be curious to hear how those work out for you- especially the teeth one! :)

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    1. Well, if I try them, I'll definitely post!

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  6. I've tried oil pulling. I had to quit after day 7 because I got a really bad fever. My son was only 7 months old at the time & was still breastfed, so he needed me. I heard one of the side effects of oil pulling is a fever because your body is detoxing. So in that respect, it was working I suppose. I do want to try it again when my son is older. I'll see if I can do the whole 30 days.

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    1. Well, that's interesting. I'll definitely be on the lookout for that side effect if I try it. Glad to hear someone else has gone down that road (at least partway). Doesn't seem quite as wild.

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  7. Swishing oil in your MOUTH for 20 minutes so you can get a fever?

    DUDE wake up and smell the mod-cons. I am waaaaaaaaaay not crunchy. Partly I grew up in a world where we could never afford to be. And partly cos...just cos.

    But now I know what crunchy means (I think) so you *did* educate me :)

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    1. Glad I educated you, but your turn--what are mod-cons? Wait! Modern conveniences! Am I right? And, congrats, you are the only reader willing to call me crazy. I'm proud of you!

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  8. Sarah, I love you, but that is too crazy crunchy for me.

    I absolutely do pay attention to our foods - like way more than I ever imagined I would. We do as much organic as is humanly possible and we stick to real, whole foods. Do I always get organic meat? No, but mostly because it's not all that easy and, well, sometimes it's just cost prohibitive. Personal products and cleansing products...hmm, maybe a little. I've tried some of the natural methods and found them to be just either too strange or not effective. I like my deodorant to work, thank you, and so does everybody else. The oil pulling thing? I can tell you for sure that does not turn me on. So maybe we don't do so environmentally well in that department. But I do think about our "footprint" so to speak and try to waste less, use more, recycle, etc. I make as much of our foodstuffs at home when possible - snack bars, dressings, condiments, etc. So much crap in the processed packaged foods and I just don't want that in my kid's body. But do we let her have a Happy Meal on occasion? Sure do. Because neither do I want to raise a child who feels "forbidden" and therefore has to sneak and binge to get to the treats. We're teaching her to know what's in her food and make wise choices. Know what? Ninety nine percent of the time the kid picks the good stuff - maybe because that's primarily what she's accustomed to at home. I have also done my best to use home remedies for things like coughs, colds, pills, etc. and keep us off OTC meds. Know what? Almost everything we've tried works and I've learned a thing or two about how radishes in my morning smoothie knocks the sinus congestion right out of you. Seriously. I do take meds for my RA and I'm not about to stop taking my DMARD - that would just be silly. But I do read like crazy and try to get my symptoms under control with what I do (or do not) eat. And I am really liking those effects. I'd way rather get my anti-inflammatory out of omegas from fish or from fresh berries than from a Naproxen. Maybe it doesn't work for everyone, but I'm happy with what I've experienced.

    Guess I'm only semi-crunchy. Or maybe I'm soggy. I should probably go take that quiz.

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    1. Haha - very entertaining. I'm just "sprinkled with granola." At least I'm not soggy.

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    2. This is such a great response. I think we are actually pretty similar in our shopping. Meats are hard. That's why I had to change my wording for meats. Costco has some great organic chicken options, but not great ones for beef or pork.
      And, yes, I got the kids happy meals yesterday. Maggie's gymnastics class was cancelled at the last minute, and we spent forever running errands, and I just wanted to give the kids a treat.
      I like what you said about not making things forbidden. I think there's great danger in stridency or zealotry (not sure those are really synonyms, but they are similar), and that's actually been on my mind a lot lately. I was thinking of posting about it. And here I came across as strident!
      I'm really not, and I probably should have chosen my words more carefully. Above all, I don't want to come across and judgey. We all have our own path!
      I'm really impressed with your radish smoothies and how carefully you work in omegas. I heard recently that the safest omegas are supplements, sadly. Maggie and I do spoonfuls of Barlean's Omega Swirl in the mornings to get ours. Have you ever tried that?
      If you're sprinkled with granola, I think I linked to the wrong quiz. I'll have to fix that. There's another that matches you with a rock.

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  9. Giving up brushing of teeth is definitely crazy. I'd write more but I need to take out the compost....

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  10. You already know we are very much a like, even though we are different in a few ways. This is a slippery slope my friend. It's like I tell my other friends, you can only do what you can do and then you must believe you are doing enough.
    I already am pretty sure I go overboard in my choices as compared to the rest of the people in my area, but they are my choices. I know about baking soda for shampooing. But my hair is crappy enough already. I need mint for my teeth, and I've known about oil for the skin for a while, but frankly I can't live without my chemical full proactive. You make choices right?
    Good luck!

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    1. I read about the facial oil cleansing about a year and a half ago for the first time. It has taken me this long to not feel horrified by the idea. At that time, I couldn't even stand to put lotion on my face, but I've conquered that sensory issue. And now the oil idea doesn't even sounds that bad. I think I'm heading that direction.

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  11. I really enjoyed your post and I think that any ideological path you choose in life is great when it stems from research and knowledge which is what you're doing, so more power to you :) And I haven't tried any of the methods you suggest at the end of your post, but I'm intrigued!

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    1. Thanks, Katia. If I try any of them, they'll definitely be blog fodder.

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