Thursday, June 9, 2011

My Vegan love affair

About two years ago I was looking for a way to change my entire body. I was looking for an answer to my constant battle with food and all the bad stuff that goes along with it. I had given birth to my daughter and I had yet to lose all the weight. I was really struggling to find a way to get that feeling back, the one where I didn't care how I looked when I walked..or what I was wearing. I felt lost and I felt heavy. Deep down I knew everything I ate was bad for me. I have been conscious of the controversy over the "Standard American Diet" for a few years but yet my addiction to lazy, comforting food was stronger than whatever little knowledge I had. I wanted to change that, I no longer wanted to contribute to the destruction of my own body OR the ecosystem. I have a deep connection with the idea of being completely self sustaining. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to be able to only grow my own food, make everything from scratch and give back to the earth as it provides for my family. I would love to be able to sit and enjoy the quiet sounds of a farm, or a river. The other side to that, is that I love to be social..I loved living in Vancouver BC for the 6 years I did before I was married. The atmosphere of Commercial drive and its ethnic restaurants and street markets. I loved catching up with close friends over a cup of coffee from a local cafe where I knew the coffee was fair trade. I loved the shopping and the Thai food. The Beaches and the drinks. It was a fun life, but it was destructive. The self sustaining life is simple..clean..and balanced. I wanted to find that balance in the beautiful life I have now, Army wife and mother. I can't just pack my family up, and start up a farm somewhere...I know nothing about it AND the army life would make that a little difficult.
I bought the book "the kind diet" around the same time I was searching for this "new me" and it was one of the best books I had ever read. Its about living your life, and your feeding your body in a way that doesn't hurt anyone or anything...its about making conscious decisions to be "kind" in every sense of the word. I was shocked at the information I learned about the food we eat. The way its made, the disgusting effect it has on our ecosystem, our bodies..and not only that, the cruelty we are inflicting on animals. I felt overwhelmed. Where do I even start?! how do I begin to make such HUGE changes in my own life. If I had been a single woman, living on my own..this decision would have been so much simpler, but I had a child and a husband to feed...and my husband is NOT the "foodie" type. He is an old fashioned American soldier kind of guy who likes his meat and potatoes..but pretty much doesn't care how its prepared or how its served. This was going to be hard.

I can say that I successfully made the best Vegan choices for about 6 months. I had lost 20 lbs and I felt AMAZING. I shopped at all the local farmers markets and the health food store down the road was my new addiction. I was running in the mornings, going to spin class and I had so much energy! There were of course times where I messed up and felt guilty, but I am only human and I moved forward. Sadly During our PCS ("permanent change of station" for those of you who are not military) from Fort Carson Colorado to Fort Bragg North Carolina, I basically completely gave up. It was really hard to make the best choices when driving all that way. Colorado had an abundant amount of Vegan foods..they even had a few Vegan restaurants in Manitou Springs. Where I am now...forget it! There is maybe one tiny little store about half an hour away that sells some of the basics I enjoyed but they are far more expensive than what I would of normally paid back in CO. There are barely any vegan products on the shelves in your average grocery store and so I gained back the 20 lbs in about a month and then I got Pregnant. I was going to try and make Vegan choices during my pregnancy...but I was so sick the first 3 months that I just wanted whatever would stay down. Mostly crackers, cheese, and fruit. Plus we were poor and it was just less stressful for me and my husband if I just bought whatever was cheapest.
I am 8 and half months pregnant now and I am starting to feel that itch and guilt again. I know what I am eating is not good for me, all animal products feel heavy and body feels it, and I have gained more weight than I wanted this time around.  I am slowly cutting out the things that I know are the worst. Like processed foods and red meat and chicken. Once the baby is born and I am breastfeeding I will start to cut out all animal foods eggs and milk.
The weight will come off and I will get back to that place I enjoyed. I know I will. But being Vegan doesn't just mean you choose not to eat Animal products. It means you make the BEST choices possible for everyone. You buy Locally grown produce, anything that comes in packaging should be made from recycled material and you are able to read the ingredients without wondering what it is. The more natural the better. Organic is best of course, but sometimes organic choices are expensive and you have to make the best choice for your family's I tend to be flexible with that. I wish I could buy all organic products, but we are an army family and its just not realistic at this point.
I could not make the choice to be Vegan and not care about all the little things I do in my home either,  recycling, or reusing..they kind of go hand in hand. Also composting is a big thing. I was not able to compost at our old place, but here I have a yard and a garden where I have built my own compost. I carry four reusable bags with me at all times and I have a clothes line where I can choose to dry my laundry outside. I have made the choice to cloth diaper this baby, which I KNOW is the best choice I could have ever made in regards to the environment. So that is where I am now..I know that eventually down the road, there won't be any "back and forths" takes time, and serious commitment..but I will get there. I love food so much, but I know that making the choice to be Vegan has amazing rewards. I don't have to be tied down to the cravings of cheese or sugar. Once that stuff is cleansed from the body your taste buds are reborn and you can taste everything! I miss that..and I am excited to get back there.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

New Product Hunt and Win Giveaway!

New Product Hunt and Win Giveaway!

I am excited to announce that my favorite place to shop has just added a TON of new products! One of them being a Vegan lip gloss that I cannot wait to try! I can't find very many Vegan products where I live, so being able to buy something like this online through my cloth diaper retailer makes me soooo happy!! If you are looking for a great company with AMAZING customer service, look no further than Sweetbottoms Baby Boutique. I have purchased over $200 in products from them and I have been so pleased with their shipping and their customer service. They are holding a Giveaway this week, I believe it lasts until Wednesday June 8th 9:30 pm ET. Go check it out and you might have a chance to win a $15 Gift certificate to SBBB!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Cloth diapering 101- My babies bum!

Parker's bum is kind of important to me. I spent a lot of money on these diapers and I really don't want to be frustrated with diapers rashes and not knowing where to turn. So along with making my own cloth wipes and wipe solution, I have been looking into some great diaper creams. CJ's butter has amazing reviews and the one that I have "New Mown Hay" smells incredible! I also have Lusa Organics Booty balm, and a small sample of Cj's "sea spice". The smaller white bottle at the front is an all natural hand sanitizer. My new favorite smell! it smells like I just came from the herb garden..its beautiful!  

The Belly- 33 weeks!

 Time is flying and I feel like a blimp, but I have been blessed with a great pregnancy so far and I am excited to welcome our little guy into the world in about (let us hope) 7 weeks! It is HOT HOT HOT and humid here and I cannot stop sweating! Thank goodness for the AC!
We were so very very fortunate to recieve (FOR FREE!) a nursery set. Our new dresser, change table and crib were given to us by our wonderful neighbors across the street. I am so thankful!! The room is really starting to come together and today I have dedicated most of my time to catching up on blogging, and finishing my home made wall art! Pics are coming!! I should also announce that my Husband, daughter and I, have finally decided on a name for our little man...Parker Joseph!

Cloth diapering 101- My stash :)

 7 weeks to go and I feel like I have enough diapers...sort of. I think it is one of those things where I have to admit to myself that I am just addicted to cloth diapers. I have not even started using them and I already feel like I need more! haha..oh well, I have to stop at some point. So far my stash consists of one size pockets, prefolds, flats and covers. I have a couple Aplix (hook and loop) one size pockets, but most of my cloth diapers are snaps. The Brands I went for with my one size pockets are, Bum Genius 4.0, Dinkledooz, Kawaii, Sunbaby and Coolababy. I have one Happy Heiny and one fuzzibunz diaper. When I first started looking into cloth diapering I was sold on Fuzzibunz and I would have happily made my entire purchase with those. Now that I have read soo soo many reviews and watched so many reviews on Bum Genius VS Fuzzibunz,  I felt like (for me personally)  BG were the way to go. I am interested to see which ones truly hold up..and I am really hoping I am not too disappointed with any of my second hand puchases, like the Sunbaby's... I have 12 of those and I would hate to get rid of the bulk of my stash. 

For my covers, I have a couple thirsties wraps and a flip. I also Bought a few Best Bottom diapers that I will use as Diaper covers at first, they size quite a bit smaller than the others so I am hoping these will fit him sooner. I also have a few Bummies wraps that I got from a garage sale, they are newborn size and hook and loop. I bought one Newborn Rumparooz cover. I was hoping to buy one more, but we will see how my budget looks in a month! I bought the Bummies organic cotton prefolds, Gerber organic prefolds (from babies R us) and I THINK I have Imagine unbleached prefolds, but I can't remember! As for doublers, Hemp Babies have excellent reviews so I have a few of those. I also got a couple Hemp Babies Flats. I will have to do a review on all of my diapers and my doublers once our little Parker gets here! :)  

Garden Diaries- 30 days later!

Its been about a month since we tilled the garden and I officially still know NOTHING about gardening, Im trying though! Its been just over 3 weeks since I weeded my garden, laid compost and planted my seeds. So far my radishes and my pumpkins are the strongest growers. The Radishes sprouted within a week! I need to add some sort of trellis to the beans because they are already getting a little tall :) Ive been hearing from neighbors that it is extremely hard to grow anything here. The Squirrels eat and take everything, same with the birds. Ants are a serious problem too I guess! they are everywhere and I don't know how to kill them without hurting my plants. I heard Borax in a jar lid mixed with sugar might work but I tried it and it killed them all in the that doesn't really solve my problem. I have been encouraging a couple little toads to stay in my garden, its been way too hot to work out there the last week but today looks a little cooler out so I will probably try and build him a house. I know little miss wolf spider is still there too so at least I have some good bug eaters on my side.  I also need to find a way to keep the squirrels away once everything starts to grow. I read that mint keeps them at bay and so does cayenne pepper. I planted the Cayenne, but I have yet to plant the mint. Im a little worried about my spinach, its been so hot and I read the spinach is more of a cooler climate plant.  We will see!