Posts Tagged ‘Crunchy’
These past few weeks have been insane. And amazing. I am loving the whole experience of October Unprocessed so far – we have been eating such awesome food and feeling so great (and really noticing it the few times we’ve slipped). It’s also all been a lot easier and more positive than I thought it would be.
There are so many keys to this – the support on Facebook. Knowing that so many others are committed to the challenge this month. Having the husband be so on board. The changes I’ve already noticed in my body and attitude.
Of course, it’s not all been easy. I’ve had to give things up to make the time to cook all this food. I’ve been tired and stressed and seriously tempted to order pizza. But overall it’s been totally worth it.
I didn’t post a meal plan last week, but we did stick with the program – just did a lot of basic meals that were fast and easy. It’s been surprising to me this month how many of those kinds of meals there are within the realm of real food. If I have a weakness as a cook it’s something of a tendency to make things complicated. And it’s that weakness that makes me get home at 5PM after working all day and absolutely not want do anything about dinner but head through a drive through.
So I’ve been super excited about the simple, easy, tasty meals I’ve been able to throw together on weeknights and find that they are just as good as the most elaborate of meals. In my search to come across these kinds of recipes, I was thrilled to come across Amber Beam’s cookbook, Weeknight Paleo, which promises healthy, unprocessed recipes in 30 minutes or less.
This week all of our weeknight dinners will be coming out of that cookbook, and I’m looking forward to reporting back on the experience on Friday – along with sharing a giveaway of 2 copies of Weeknight Paleo! There is so much about this cookbook that I already adore, though I’ll wait until Friday to share more – here is our week’s meal plan in the meantime. Read the rest of this entry »
I love Pinterest. Who doesn’t?
I even actually do/make/try the things I pin on a relatively regular basis, though probably not enough to justify all the time I spend on there. So this week I’m putting my Pinterest where my mouth is and planning all our meals around stuff I’ve pinned. It’s time to take advantage of all those great ideas!
(Not 100% grain free, but mostly )
- Breakfast: Egg Muffins
- Lunch: Easy Crockpot Refried Beans
- Dinner: Fish & Potatoes (cheating on this one – it’s not on Pinterest but I happen to have the ingredients in the house!)
- Breakfast: Egg Muffins
- Lunch: Meat Broth & Chicken
- Dinner: Ground Beef Stroganoff with fresh Mushrooms
Wednesday Read the rest of this entry »
In our journey to healthier eating we seem to have about 2 weeks out of the month that we do pretty great and 2 weeks that we do pretty awful.
I’ve got a pretty good guess on the reason for that (moon times have not been my friend lately) but in the meantime am trying to be grateful for what we have been able to do – and get the husband on board to offer more assistance in the kitchen during the weeks I’m feeling ‘off’.
The most exciting recent development for me is that I’ve finally gotten Dave to really work with me in eating a total real food diet. With his help and encouragement I know I will be that one step closer to making it work. We’re planning a grain free upcoming week and hoping to fully transition to what’s called the Paleo ‘diet’ very soon (something we’ve been doing off and on for several months now) – in our very busy schedule it seems like the strongest possibility to me to make a real food plan work.
We’ve also signed up to participate in October Unprocessed this year – should be a fun group with some great support – definitely stop by to check it out if you are interested!
In the meantime, here’s this week’s meal plan: Read the rest of this entry »
This is a joint giveaway with Becoming Crunchy and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only. Please find the section marked “Win it!” for the mandatory entry and optional bonus entries.
Thirsties is offering our readers a giveaway of one Thirsties Duo All in One Cloth Diaper, in a print of the winner’s choice, and a set of Hemp Inserts, a value of $25.75.
The Thirsties Duo All in One offers absorbency, waterproof protection, and adjustability in a stylish, affordable, and effective cloth diaper.
Thirsties® is a small (but growing!) cloth diaper company committed to greener parenting and Eco Friendly solutions, not to mention 100% USA Made quality! Erin, founder of Thirsties, started this business with an old sewing machine and $100 5 years ago. Through her hard work and diligence, the company is now one of the leaders in the cloth diaper industry. Our diapers are now made by work at home mothers, and very close to our warehouse, reducing our carbon output. Our customer service reps are experienced cloth diapering moms, and offer our knowledge to our retailers and customers alike.
Are you sold yet? If not, you soon will be — but I have to say first that I’m pretty excited about a company with such awesome principles, especially the whole work-at-home mom concept!
Beyond that, getting a pretty new cloth diaper in the mail is always an event (owls! yay!), and I was very happily satisfied with this one.
What I loved:
The diaper is very soft and adjustable. We got a size 2 for 22-month-old Bean; it’s meant to fit 18-40 lbs or 9-36 months. The sizing is adjustable through snaps and closes with hook-and-loop tape (though it is also available in a snap closure). It came with 2 hemp/cotton inserts that can be fit through the middle pocket.
I had purchased these same inserts for other diapers before so I knew they were good — a very thin layer of lots of extra absorbency.
The diaper can be used on its own (very nice for around the house) or stuffed with 1-2 inserts for extra absorbency. I liked how easy it was to fit the inserts in — there are openings on both sides to make a kind of tunnel instead of just one pocket, so it’s easy to pull inserts through and flatten them out without too much maneuvering.
All around, both absorbency and “containment” are great. The diaper is really nicely and comfortably made with gentle elastics around the legs to keep any leaks from getting through. We generally use a two-piece diaper system that can get out of place pretty easily with an active toddler, allowing leaks to get through the cover. With the Thirsties AIO Duo we didn’t experience one leak in multiple uses (and we mostly used it without inserts).
The ease of use was fantastic — pretty much as easy as a disposable. For me it was very nice not to have the risk of a very wiggly toddler getting the diaper all out of alignment before I could get it on her!
What I didn’t love:
There wasn’t much — I was overall very impressed with this diaper. The main small issue I had was the thickness when both inserts are in; the fitting at that point got a little snug. I doubt we could get up to 40 lbs and still get it on with both inserts in. But that’s also a very subjective thing as it goes beyond weight and into body shape, etc., so it’s certainly not something I would call disappointing.
Also (this may be a bit TMI — sorry) — I do need to remember to not wash the diaper together with my underwear, as the velcro seems to be a magnet for the elastic bands therein. Just something to be careful of.
What surprised me (in a good way!):
I really liked the all-in-one aspect. It was honestly a little hard for me to get used to a one-time use diaper, but the ease of it ultimately sold me — and the fact that it doesn’t get all out of place.
I think it has potential for an overnight diaper. We haven’t really found anything (disposable or cloth) that works overnight; we usually end up doing one change in the middle of the night. I put her in the Duo AIO double stuffed and she went a good 5 hours before needing a change (and it didn’t leak; it was just full) — that was also a night with quite a few wake-ups for milk so that bladder was pretty active! I could definitely see adopting it as a night-time diaper though I’m not sure it would go through the entire night.
The velcro closures weren’t a disaster. Bean is frequently in disposables (her caregivers won’t use anything else) and is pretty well a pro at removing them. I figured the velcro would be an issue there, but it wasn’t at all — she didn’t even try to get it off. I’m guessing it was comfortable enough that it didn’t occur to her to try it. (For those whose little ones are a little more persistent in this area, the diaper does come in snap closures.)
Washing and drying were the same as any other diaper. I’d heard AIO’s can be difficult to dry, and I did find a need to give the inserts a few extra minutes, but really there was no big deal. As recommended, I washed and dried three times before using and we were good to go from there.
The pricing is really decent. I’ve bought $15 AIO diapers and found them to be utter crap; for a $16/17 diaper this is an excellent value. The quality is obvious from just looking at the stitching, and in every way it’s proven to be well made, comfortable, and absorbent. I could never justify an AIO stock at the usual $25 a pop, which is why we’ve mostly used a two-piece system, but I could totally see the value in stocking up on these diapers.
Ultimately, I’m very happy with the Thirsties Duo All In One Diaper and hope you get the chance to check it out. (I’m thinking I’m going to have to stock up on a few more myself — I don’t want to miss out on those adorable colours/patterns, and our child caregivers may even be willing to give these a try!) Want to learn more?
You can purchase your own Duo All In One Diaper at Thirsties.com and other retailers, $15.95 for solids and $16.95 for prints plus shipping.
Thirsties also sells several other options in cloth diapers and accessories — you can request a catalog by visiting this link.
For your own chance to win a Duo All In One Diaper from Thirsties, plus a set of Hemp Inserts, enter by leaving a comment and using our Rafflecopter system below.
The winner will receive 1 Thirsties Duo All In One Diaper in the pattern of their choice, and 1 set of Hemp Inserts. Contest is open to the US and Canada only.
MANDATORY ENTRY: Visit Thirsties and tell us one thing you have learned about the company! You must enter your name and email address in the Rafflecopter entry system for your entry to count, after leaving a comment on this blog post.
Leave a valid email address so we can contact you if you win. Email addresses in Rafflecopter are not made publicly visible. Please leave the same valid email address in your mandatory comment so we can verify entries.
This is a joint giveaway with Becoming Crunchy and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only, and we’ll be recording IP addresses to ensure that there are no duplicate entries. That said, please do visit and enjoy both sites!
See the Rafflecopter entry system for bonus entries to increase your chance of winning after completing the mandatory entry. All bonus entries are entered directly into Rafflecopter. Give it a try, and email or leave a comment if you have any questions!
Any of you with CSA boxes to pick up (or get dropped off) this summer may be looking for creative ways to use Swiss Chard – I know I always am! Try as I might, I’m just not a huge fan of it sauteed (though it is pretty decent with eggs).
I’ve also enjoyed it roasted with shrimp and au gratin and contemplated making it into chips (have you tried that? Is it as good as kale?) and tonight decided to do a little experimenting with stuff that was leftover in the fridge. As it turned out to be quite tasty, I’m sharing it here – and would love to hear of your creative ways to use chard!
Chard & Feta Tarts
- 1 recipe puff pastry – store bought or homemade
- 1 large bunch Swiss Chard
- 6-8 Garlic Scapes
- 1 1/2 cups sliced white button mushrooms
- Feta to top
- Salt & Pepper
This was a really easy dinner that could probably be modified according to what you have on hand (alternate chard with any other green; alternate garlic scapes with garlic, green onions, leeks, or any kind of onion). I even used the food processor to make it really quick. Read the rest of this entry »
I bring lunch to work every day. This is mainly because I am way too lazy to actually leave my building to drive somewhere to get food (thank goodness there are no food sources IN my building, or I’d probably lose my ‘willpower’ like that!).
There are other reasons, of course – it saves money, and I’ve been on this kick of trying to eat real food and more recently, not consuming meat that doesn’t have a source I know and trust. It’s pretty limiting – but in a good way!
Thus, my brown bags (reusable handle bags, really) and the ever constant question of how will I fill them up. Some things are standard. I keep a tub of yogurt in the fridge at work for a morning snack that I top with organic local honey and crispy walnuts. Larabars used to be a fixture until my grocery store recently raised the price of a box by $2 (!) so now it’s generally a piece of fruit (I cannot get by without snacking at work – especially in the morning. I don’t know how people who don’t survive until lunch!).
Breakfast is almost always eggs – fried, scrambled, boiled. Sometimes I’ll do cheese and fruit, or if I’m being terrible I’ll go through the Tim’s drive through on the way to work, but that’s usually an act of desperation (breakfast – again, something I cannot survive without).
So that leaves lunches, which, if I’m not careful, can get real boring, real fast. And I don’t like that, so I’ve devised multiple ways to avoid the 5 sandwiches a week trap - creative cooking to provide tasty leftovers, actually making things on the weekend specially for lunches (this stuffed chicken was my pièce de résistance)… but then there are the days I haven’t thought very far ahead and need to make something in the morning – fast. I keep ingredients for the following 3 ‘recipes’ in my kitchen and know that I’ll always have something on hand when I’m in a rush that actually tastes good and keeps me going through the afternoon.
Note: The following recipes do use a microwave, which I normally am not a big fan of recommending – but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. And I justify myself by not having a microwave at home. And no, I do not judge you if you have a microwave. And yes, you could potentially be awesome with a thermos and avoid a microwave altogether with the following if you were way awesomer than I am. OK that was a long note. Anyway…
Here is my 3 Lunches for 5 Days in 10 Minutes or Less Meal Plan. Read the rest of this entry »
In the past, whenever I felt overwhelmed and neurotic and heading into an endless downward spiral, I would read Anne Lamott’s book of essays Traveling Mercies, and I would snap out of it. Because here’s someone even more neurotic, even more overwhelmed, overall just crazier than me, and somehow she manages to learn to forgive herself and live anyway…
…I’m almost definitely even more neurotic, even more overwhelmed, overall just crazier than you, and somehow I do manage to learn to forgive myself and live anyway. ~Kenna Lee
A Million Tiny Things: A Mother’s Urgent Search for Hope in a Changing Climate, by Kenna Lee, is absolutely one of my favourite books that I have ever read. (Have I ever mentioned that I read a lot?)
From the moment I picked it up, I was hooked (I’m telling you it was as bad as the last book of Harry Potter!). I was literally laughing my head off – and alternatively near tears – with just about every other paragraph, and ultimately so sorry when the book came to an end that I turned around and read it right over again!
There is no better way to convey the why of what made me love this book so much beyond saying simply: Kenna gets it.
Let me ask you – are you a mom? Have you ever felt eco guilt? Have you ever pondered how difficult it is to do what you know/feel is right combined with the necessity of balancing family and half a million other things and maybe maintaining your sanity at the same time? Yes? OK then – you will want to read this book.
There is so much wisdom – so much funny – so much truth in these words Kenna has bared her soul to share. And yes, she probably is more neurotic than you – but she’ll still inspire the heck out of you while she’s at it. Read the rest of this entry »
Boy it is giveaway central around here lately (and there’s even more to come a little later this week!). There have just been so many great things to share – and I hope you know I don’t do giveaways or reviews for anything I don’t think is really awesome – my enthusiasm is very real!
The book is called For My Children – A Mother’s Journal of Memories, Wishes & Wisdom. A gorgeous keepsake intended for mothers of grown children – it is one of the best ways I’ve ever seen for a mom to pass on her memories and wisdom in a form her children can treasure forever.
You know how a beautiful journal just inspires you to want to fill it up? I always feel that way when I browse the fancy journal section in the bookstore – and For My Children fits that bill perfectly. It’s so pretty! The illustrations, the colours – everything about it cries, “Write in me!”
And for those looking for further inspiration, For My Children takes care of that, too. Each page is headed with a prompt or guide for writing your thoughts to your kids – things like:
- What do you wish you had known as a new mother?
- If you had to compare your family members to fictional characters (from movies, books, etc.), who would they be?
- Have you ever nursed a broken heart? What did you find were the best ways to heal the hurt? Read the rest of this entry »
2 disclaimers to begin this post…
#1 – It’s late! I meant to have this as a wrap up to the posts of the week before last and just didn’t get to it in time. My apologies!
#2 – I plan to share in this post (among other things) some great reasons for ‘greening your period’ – or switching to reusable menstrual products. On the flip side of that I will be sharing some of the not-so-great things about disposable products. While I believe what I’m sharing has merit and sincerely hope that it may help provide a few answers for anyone on the fence or new to the whole idea, I am absolutely not judging you if you disagree with what’s expressed here. If this post comes as the right one at the right time for you, great! If it’s totally not your bag, feel free to ignore it!
OK – now we can get started!
I want to re-post something I shared last year:
- Over 20 BILLION disposable pads, tampons, and applicators will
be added to landfills every year in North America alone. The disposal of
these products releases dioxins and other toxic chemicals into our
rivers, lakes and oceans and pollutes our soil.
- A woman will use on average 13,000 disposable menstrual products
in her lifetime. ONE cloth pad has the potential to replace 140
disposable pad/tampon products.
- ONE cloth pad can last up to 5 years.
- Disposable pads and tampons used in an average woman’s
menstruating life will cost her $4500 compared to $200-$750 for reusable
pads and tampons.
- Many pads and tampons are chemically treated to whiten, perfume,
and make them more absorbent. They are also made of synthetic fibers.
Given the sensitivity of the vaginal area to chemical absorption and the
number of disposable menstrual products a woman uses in her life, this
is a really big issue.
This list is why I titled this post as I did.
First off, the contribution I was making to landfills with all those tampons and pads was something I never even considered. For far too long I was of the mindset that when you throw garbage ‘away’, it just goes into that nebulous ‘away’ that most of us never have to think about or deal with.
But when you do think of it…what a terrible burden to place on our earth! Don’t get me wrong – I still use things that are disposable. But I have come to see that we do WAY more disposable than we need to in so many things, where it takes surprisingly little effort to use something that will last for years.
Ultimately, whether it’s pads and tampons or paper plates or diapers or plastic spoons or whatever, we need to start counting the cost with these things. We need to start seeing the numbers – envisioning the disaster we are creating – and acting accordingly.
Moving on to actual financial cost. Read the rest of this entry »
It started last year around Earth Day when I made the switch from disposable to reusable menstrual products and spent a week reviewing the different brands and products I tried.
I’ve learned so much and been so satisfied with my choice since then that I’ve decided to turn it into kind of an annual thing – a week of each year dedicated to extolling the benefits of making the switch – AND to learning more about ourselves and our cycles in general, in a quest to turn something that may feel like a big downer (or worse!) for most of us every month into something we can actually celebrate.
Now I’ll be perfectly honest – I’m not 100% there yet. There are many, many things I don’t love about my period (especially the bloating! :p).
But it’s such an inherent part of being a woman that gets passed over so easily and so often – the amazing cycles we experience every month (they really are amazing when you think about it) are so frequently not even considered – truly it’s a shame!
I’ve been trying for awhile now to alter my own perceptions about the whole thing, which was why I was so thrilled when Lucy Pearce’s book, Moon Time: A guide to celebrating your menstrual cycle, was published. I bought my copy within weeks of the release date and was not disappointed (not that I expected to be – I love Lucy’s writing!).
Moon Time has been exactly the guide I needed to really begin the journey to loving acceptance – and the empowerment that is possible – in knowing and valuing the way my body works in all of its seasons. Read the rest of this entry »