Changing my diet

I think when a lot of people use or hear the word “diet,” they think of a short-term calorie or food restriction plan to lose weight. In this case I’m talking about changing my diet -permanently- for health reasons. I’ve mentioned before that my parents were health “nuts,” before it was trendy. I grew up without sugar or salt in the household. If I remember right, I was 9 years old when I had my first chocolate bar (soooo rich that I had a stomach ache!). When I grew up and moved out of the house, I still had the knowledge that my parents had given me on how to cook and eat healthy, but because of a busy work schedule and the single life, I started to eat poorly.

When I got married and had my son, my husband and I made the decision for me to stay home. So for 2 years I spent a considerable amount of time in the kitchen, cooking healthy meals from scratch for my family. Then I went back to work, and the processed foods entered our lives again. It’s been a struggle the last few months. For the most part, we have still eaten healthy meals, but we’re not doing as well as I’d like. I’d say we’re eating about 60% healthy meals and 40% not (that would be processed foods, fast foods, etc.). Well, maybe it’s better than that…but I want it to be 80% healthy (at least) and 20% not, and I know we’re not at that point.

On top of that, my best friend was diagnosed with lupus and started an autoimmune protocol (AIP) diet, which is similar to Paleo, and that got me thinking. I don’t have an autoimmune illness, but I am genetically predisposed towards them. Environmental factors (like diet) along with genetic predisposition can trigger an autoimmune condition. Talking to my friend and reading articles online (albeit, many of them are anecdotal…so there’s that to consider), I’ve decided to avoid certain foods, specifically, refined sugar, corn, soy, and wheat. Instead, we will eat a mostly plant-based diet with lean meats. If I actually had an autoimmune condition, I would avoid legumes and nightshade plants, but since I don’t…I’m just starting with the foods I listed above. I’m also continuing to eat dairy products and eggs.

Healthy, healthy, healthy

One challenge I face is cooking vegetables in a way that both Hubby and Little J will actually want to eat! Below is a photo of curly kale boiled in half water/half chicken stock, chopped onions, chopped garlic, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. I thought it was tasty, but they were not impressed. 🙁 Well, one day at a time.

And now I’m off to work on my shopping list!

Do you have any dietary restrictions, because of choice or necessity? What are your go-to healthy food choices? Or maybe some foods you try to avoid?

Note: The opinions reflected above are mine and may differ from yours. Before making dietary changes, please always consult your physician first!

 

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Review: SckoonCup

I need to start today’s post with a warning. I’m going to talk about menstrual cups, “Aunt Flow”, and girly parts. So if you’re a dude or sensitive to TMI subjects…you may want to read a different post!

Read my review on the SckoonCup, a soft silicone menstrual cup.

Menstrual cups have actually been around for decades. In fact, the idea itself has existed since at least the 1800s, but the cups just haven’t been popular in North America. There are two basic kinds of menstrual cups- disposable and reusable. The SckoonCup is reusable, which is very cost-effective. As far as how often you have to buy a new one, I had trouble finding that information on their website. I do know that many women use the same menstrual cup for several years before replacing it.

I’ve been using menstrual cups for well over a year now. Other than a couple of hiccups in the process, I’m very happy with my experiences. The first two or three cycles, I had to get into a routine of taking care of the cup, emptying it when not at home, etc. I found it a little messy at first, but now I’m a pro…I think.

Another plus- menstrual cups hold more blood than tampons. On my heaviest days, I have to change a tampon every 30 minutes for a few hours straight. When using a cup, I can go an hour before the cup is full. And there are different sizes of cups too.

Many moms cloth diaper their babies, because they feel that cloth is healthier for their little ones and better for the environment (read more of my thoughts on that HERE). I’ve noticed from browsing blogs and mommy forums, it seems that same train of thought is leading more and more women to using menstrual cups and cloth pads. It is true that unlike tampons, menstrual cups have never been linked to Toxic Shock Syndrome. Additionally, since the cups collect blood instead of absorbing, the cups won’t have a detrimental affect on your natural vaginal moisture.

Read my review on the SckoonCup, a soft silicone menstrual cup.

I’ve found cups to be very convenient when exercising, especially when jogging at the park. When I’m trying to travel light, I really don’t want to carry tampons too.

(^Side note: Okay, I haven’t tried the Sckoon pads yet, but from the cloth pads I’ve actually tried…I have yet to find one that worked well while running. If you’ve tried a cloth pad that doesn’t move around while working out, I’d love to hear about it. Message me, please!)

The brand of cups I had been using is made with natural rubber (latex), so when Sckoon sent me one of their silicone cups, I was very curious to discover the differences, if any. I immediately realized that the silicone cups are much softer and easier both to insert and remove.

Once the cup is properly inserted (see more about that below), it’s comfortable, and I can’t feel it.

I’ve only discovered one downside to the SckoonCup, but fortunately, it’s an issue I can fix and may not be a problem for someone else. Because it’s such a pliable cup, it’s easy for me to insert the cup too far. The way my cervix sits during my cycle, it’s easy for the cup to end up against my cervix, which then causes me painful cramps. I can tell immediately when this happens, and all I have to do is adjust the cup a little lower, and I’m fine. This only happened once with my old rubber cup, when I physically pushed it in too far. It’s happened several times with my SckoonCup, because it naturally seems to just pop up there.

So if you’re new to menstrual cups, just be aware that this can happen to some women. If you start getting unusual, painful cramps, it could be you need to adjust the cup.

If you’ve tried a cup before and had trouble with it leaking, it could be that the cup wasn’t the right size or shape for your body. Or perhaps you need to try different methods of folding and inserting it, to ensure you get a good seal. You can always ask your doctor about your cervix, to get an idea of where it’s exactly located. So don’t give up, if a cup doesn’t work for you right away!

To learn more about SckoonCup, visit them on their social media accounts. You can find details on how to care for a menstrual cup there, as well as sizes and pretty colors to choose from.

Note:  SckoonCup provided a sample of the product mentioned in this post, for review purposes. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of the Green Moms Network, and the content and opinions expressed here are 100 percent my own.

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Review: Seventh Generation Diapers (#FreeYourBaby & win free diapers!) @seventhgen

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, especially since its conception, then you know I cloth diaper my son. We had been cloth diapering full time, but this spring things have changed a bit. First, I decided to use disposable diapers for all trips (it’s just much, much easier to use disposables when you’re traveling), and then last month poor Little J had a terrible diaper rash from being on medication and having a wonky stomach.

I do like the natural diaper rash solutions, but none of them seem to work as well for him as zinc oxide…which can stain or damage cloth diapers. So if Little J has a rash, I reach for the disposables! How convenient is it that we received a box of Seventh Generation Diapers to review the same month he was exclusively wearing disposables?

 Seventh Generation #FreeYourBaby Diaper Review

Seventh Generation is the first FSCÂŽ certified diaper made in the US, and I think that’s pretty awesome! What that means is the Forest Stewardship Council has recognized the environmental efforts Seventh Generation has made while making these diapers to “encourage healthy forest growth,” “prevent loss of natural forest cover,” and more, including transparency in their forest management procedures.

Seventh Generation Diapers are unbleached (no chlorine-processing), as well as free of fragrances, inks, and petroleum-based lotions. Their Free and Clear wipes are hypoallergenic, as well as free of synthetic fragrances, dyes, parabens, and phthalates. Little J’s skin is much more sensitive than mine, and I’m happy knowing that I’m putting him in a diaper that won’t aggravate his skin.

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The wipes are quite thick, and I’m pleased with how well they clean Little J. I don’t have to use as many wipes as I do with other brands. The diapers fit him well. Little J is 2-years-old and 24 pounds in these photos. He’s wearing size/stage 4. He doesn’t have any problems with the diaper leaking overnight, but I should mention that Little J has never been a “heavy wetter.” We’ve never experienced those types of leaks. My favorite thing about these diapers is the lack of that heavy, unnatural perfume smell you get with other brands.

You can find out more about Seventh Generation and their products at seventhgeneration.com, but you’ll also find the diapers in many online and brick/mortar stores.

Right now Seventh Generation is having a pretty cool contest on Instagram! See details below:

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General Disclaimer- Floral

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