Geocaching Adventures

Today was such an awesome day!!! I picked up my friend C at 10 this morning and we went geocaching. I didn’t get home until 3 in the afternoon. We found 10 caches. Have I mentioned that there’s around oh….2 1/2 feet of snow everywhere?? Well, there is. And we had to hoof it through that snow on trails in parks, and on the side of roads, and over the river and through the woods. Well, over a creek and through a clump of trees. One cache had me holding C’s hand and bracing myself so she could lean waaaay over the creek and snag the cache from the side of the creek bed. Had anyone seen us, it would have been very silly. We had a cover story though. If anyone passed by, she would yell, “I can’t believe you dropped it. Oh, we’re never going to find it now…” Ha, very clever, no? See, when you go geocaching, it’s supposed to be on the down low. You have to be stealthy when muggles are near. Yes, people who don’t geocache are called muggles in the geocaching community. We had a few close encounters.

The best one though, was inside some sort of evergreen tree or bush. Right in a parking lot of a diner. We walked along the sidewalk, looked around and made sure no one was looking, then boom we pushed aside the branches and went under. It was like a hide-out that you’d have loved as a kid. Or…ahem…as a soon-to-be 36 year old woman. Then there, attached to the trunk, was the cache. The loot. The booty. I took a jack and left a toy car.

So yes, I played today. I haven’t laughed so much in ages. C and I are very similar. We were singing in the car, talking over each other in our excitement, and basically just being silly. I fell a few times. She fell a few times. Good thing we had snow boots, because we ended up wet almost to the knees of our jeans. We got stuck in sticker bushes. I saved her when three thorny branches got their tendrils in her long hair. We were laughing that I saved her life. I came home light-hearted with pink cheeks from the cold, and a nice bloody scrape on my shin to show off. See, I’m hardcore. I bleed for geocaching!! Here’s some pics. I didn’t get any of either of us, but I did manage to get a little snowman out in the middle of a field, and some crazy green ivy-type thing winding up a tree. It was weird to see anything green in this cold, white world.

I cannot help but think that geocaching is the perfect marriage of modern technology and the primal lifestyle I seek. I’m using a GPS to schlep my butt all over, mostly in parks and out in nature. I got such a good workout from walking in the deep, deep snow. It’s almost like a walking lunge or a stair machine kind of movement. It also works the brain, because usually included with the coordinates of the cache are little clues. Some of which are very clever. You get to the area where the cache is and you have to work out the puzzle to figure out where exactly it is. For us primal grokettes who follow The 10 Immutable Laws of The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson, this would get filed under “Move frequently at a slow pace”, “play”, and “use your brain”. It’s a win-win, people!! If you told me this morning that I’d be knee deep in snow and walking all over and falling and scraping myself, I’d say that sounds like….not so much fun. But the fresh air and the sunlight work wonders. You get out there and you don’t even notice the cold or how the wetness from your pant leg feels on your skin. You are so absorbed in your surroundings and finding the cache. It’s a wonderful thing. And it’s good for you. Again, a win-win for me. And probably for you if you tried it!

Here’s the site for Geocaching. Get out and adventure! You can thank me later.

In other news, T-Lo is 4!

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5 Great Things About Me

I started giving J a journal/creative writing assignment today. I want to do it every weekend. He wasn’t too keen on it, but then I threatened him with no video games and that perked him right up. There are no hard and fast rules, I just give a topic and he can write anything and add drawings or whatever he wants. Then he reads it to me. I don’t really have a purpose for this, other than I think it could be fun and I’d like to foster an interest in writing. I don’t proofread or correct him, I want it to be light-hearted with no pressure.

So today’s topic? 5 great things about me. His 5? He can swim, he’s a bad brother (yes, bad, he said he likes being “evil”…even though he’s a great big brother), he’s good at video games, he’s a good Lego builder, and he loves his family. Awwww. So I thought in the spirit of our new writing adventure, I’d do my version.

5 Great Things About Me

1-I’m a pretty good mother. At least I think so. Although they may act like wild monkeys at home, I get many compliments about both of my boys wherever we go. Teachers like them, friends’ mothers say how well-behaved and polite they are, and I am not afraid to take them anywhere. Well, except T-Lo. He’s not so great with the library. Yet. He’ll get there. For now it’s more of a “Mommy and J” kind of activity.

2-I set an example for blended families. Really. All of us get along: me, Mr. Dawn, J’s daddy, J’s daddy’s fiance….it was slightly awkward when the fiance came on board, but we just do our thing and she quickly picked up on it. As a matter of fact, J’s daddy frequently hangs out for nearly an hour when he comes to pick up J. J gets ants in his pants and often goes and sits in the car, waiting, as a hint. We just blab away. There is no need for animosity with the person you have a child with. It’s no good for anyone. Although, people get hurt and do bad things to each other and not being able to move forward from there is tough. I get it. But I came from a broken home, and I made it my utmost goal to make sure my child saw how functional families work, even if they are separate.

3-I can change my own oil in my car. If I have to. Which I haven’t had to in years. My father was a mechanic and I used to hang out in his shop. I had 2 brothers and a sister, so it was my special alone time with my father. That, and I was the only kid who showed and interest in anything even remotely mechanical. I can also change a tire. If I have to. Again, I can usually coerce…ahem….beg someone to do it for me. I like changing oil. Tires, not so much.

4-I feel more comfortable in my skin than ever. As I’ve aged, I’ve let my freak flag fly even more. Whereas before I would stifle myself in order to fit in…actually, I was never a sheep, but I didn’t really let loose til I got with Mr.Dawn. Mr. Dawn encourages me and doesn’t try to stop me from expressing myself. A funny thing: when I dyed my hair blue a few months ago, J’s daddy came to pick up J and he took one look and said, “You’re soooo weird!!!” He was laughing and it was funny. I don’t mind being called weird. I kinda am. But Mr. Dawn didn’t miss a beat. He said, “That’s what I love about her! I never know what I’m going to come home too!” I guess some of it is that a lot of the things I may have shied away from are now becoming culturally “no big deal”.

5-I have a weird ability to correctly total up random scatterings of small objects. I didn’t think this was weird until one lab in biology last semester. We had to scatter these beads on a tray divided into quadrants and do averages of each quadrant. I believe it was to estimate populations in an area. Well, every time we scattered the beads, I’d be the first one (by a long shot) who’d get the number. And there were a lot of beads! I don’t know if my brain groups them differently than other people, but it’s kinda weird.

Those are my 5! What do you think? What are some great things about you? Come on, you know you wanna brag!!!

Taking A Step Back

I started with a new therapist last night. My old group was meeting at a time that now doesn’t work with my school schedule. So I got a recommendation from my Nurse Practitioner. I was nervous. Finding a therapist is like dating kind of. You have to click, and sometimes that means going to a few before you get the right one. She seems to be very goal-oriented. I love this, because I am on a quest to be my very best, and that takes action, not just whining to someone with a notepad once a week. We talked a bit about my background and where I am in life right now. She gave me homework. What was my homework for the week? Breathing. Yep, breathing. I am to stop what I’m doing 3 times a day and do a breathing exercise. I can also do it when I’m feeling stressed or anxious. I am loving it so far. It is very soothing and calms me right down.

She also suggested something called EMDR. I don’t really know much about it, and my therapist is NOT an actual EMDR clinician, but she has me listening to this music that has the auditory cues embedded in it. She said it is good for people who’ve had trauma. And, although I don’t talk about it here, I would qualify as someone who’s experienced trauma. I’m curious, skeptical, and open-minded.

She also thinks that I’m taking on too much at one time. I need to step back and start over. So…..instead of trying to do yoga, body weight intervals, some running, hula hooping, meditation (remember the Buddhism kick I’m on??), and keeping up with my family, school, and housework, she wants me to just do the breathing. We can work up to the other things one at a time. I like that. I feel a big weight off my shoulders. It’s weird. I didn’t really NEED permission to step back and reassess, but that’s kind of exactly what I got. That it’s okay to do that. Because if we’re being totally honest here, I’ve been horrid at keeping any of the goals I set for myself. I am getting overwhelmed and thus frozen in place. I obviously have to tend to my family and school, but the others can wait.

So I’m breathing. I picture all the yuck and negativity leaving my bod, and inhale fresh oxygen. And as we all know, oxygen is good!!!

T-Lo has his birthday “get-together” tomorrow. I’m refusing to call it a party. We are meeting 3 of his classmates at a certain famous kiddie place with a mouse for a mascot (no, not Disney! the other place with a mouse/rat thing). Then we are just going to play and eat. No cake or anything. Just like a special playdate. This is the year of simplifying and not stressing. I think, especially out here on Long Island, there’s so much pressure to do these big extravagant things…it’s just too much. Keeping up with the Joneses. I’m out. I will not do this. And my kids don’t even care!! J had 2 friends over for his birthday and had pizza and played in the snow. Yay. He was happy.

I went to the phlebotomist yesterday. I had orders from 3 different doctors: allergist, endocrinologist, and gastro. Guess how many tubes of blood they took? Guess. 15. No, I am not kidding. I’m a hard stick too, so I was pretty impressed with this woman’s skillz. So yeah, one step closer to figuring this out, I figure. Stay tuned, I’m sure some sort of drama will ensue 😉

 

 

Enter: Lots O’ Doctors

I have my first appointment with the allergist today. It’s got me feeling a little blue. I have so many docs to keep up with now. Primary, gyno, gastro, allergist, rheumatologist, ortho, ….and I think that’s it. I think.

I am struggling with this feeling of alienation from my body. Like it’s turned on me and I don’t know how to communicate to it or receive messages other than, “Something’s wrong”. I am not usually down like this, but I think it’s important to acknowledge not-so-happy feelings along with the good stuff.  I am sick of being sick. I have a bad day at least once a week. But along with this negativity that I’m susceptible to also comes major hope that these doctors and I will figure it out. That we are on the right track . I do feel like things have been coming to a head for years now. Looking back I can see subtle signs that things were “off”. So along with the “woe is me”  comes a grateful attitude. Grateful because although this illness sucks monkey butt, the big flare up and infection that sent me to the hospital got us started on the path to finally figure this out. And that will ultimately be a good thing.

School starts tomorrow!! Eek! I have chemistry and precalculus 2. The math is a night class. I SOOOO did not want to take a night class. I hate schlepping around at night. My girl S (my ex-stepdaughter, remember??) is watching my boys until Mr. Dawn gets home from work. I am super excited. I am also a little bummed that I messed up confirming my schedule in time and I lost my creative writing class. I always try to take one class that’s just for fun, for me. I tried to work another art class in, but it’s just not happening with the schedule. So…I’m taking that as a sign that I have enough on my plate. I’m okay with that. The universe is telling me “that’s enough”. Okey-dokey artichokey.

Food, and Norman.

I made a delicious brunch this morning/afternoon. I had some frozen turnips and butternut squash left from our CSA last summer. They’ve been mocking me every time I open the freezer. I had no idea what to do with them. I make a killer squash soup (remember my friend said I could sell it?), but I just felt like making something new. Enter “The Hash”. I used to make a dish of fried potatoes with onions and garlic, fried up til nice and crispy, throw a few eggs in at the end, slap some cheese on and you’re good to go. I can’t have potatoes anymore, so inspiration struck. Make something like that!!

Turnip and Squash Hash—

1 1/2 cups turnips (if you use fresh, cube and lightly steam first)

2 1/2 cups butternut squash (again, if fresh, cube and steam)

2 small onions, chopped

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 1/2 tsp rubbed sage leaves (I used dried, but use the leaves not the powder)

cayenne pepper to taste

salt

fat of choice

-Fry onions in fat til softened (I used bacon fat), a few minutes. Throw in the turnips and squash. Put spices in. (Tip: rub the sage leaves between your palms to break it up and release the oils, it helps the flavor.) Now here’s the hard part: let it fry! Don’t keep poking at it. Let it do it’s thang. It should be flipped around only occasionally. Mine took around 15-20 minutes to brown up nicely. I like it extra crispy.

I served this with bacon, and I added some crumbled goat cheese to mine. Mr. Dawn didn’t add the cheese. I didn’t get pics of it with the cheese because I inhaled it too quickly. Sorry! But here’s a not-so-great pic of it in the pan: (it was a lot browner than this when it was done!)

I have been doing my yoga, doing my body weight interval workouts, reading more about buddhism, and in general trying to better myself and my family. I sat down yesterday and wrote down some goals for the year. A lot of them were physical challenges, but some were just improving my well-being. I want to play more. This has been lost a little again, and I need to refocus myself to bring it back!! I’ve also read so many blogs about vision boards, that I drank the kool-aid. I think I’m going to make one. It certainly couldn’t hurt anything to have a daily visual reminder of what I’m about and what I want to achieve.

Okay, now for the fun….allow me to introduce Norman:

Norman is hungry. Does Norman want a banana??

No…Norman does not want a banana! Oh look!! Yummy salad! Would Norman like some salad??

Nooo!! Hey, Norman! How ’bout a cold one??

No??? So what do you want, Norman?

Bad Norman!! No, you most certainly may NOT eat my baby’s brain!!!

I’m Educated!

I got the most exciting letter in the mail today. It’s from my school, saying that I’ve earned my associate’s degree in liberal arts!! Yay! I know it’s just liberal arts, but I had a hard time figuring out what to do with myself, and along the way I apparently got a LOT of credits towards….liberal arts. They are sending the diploma as soon as it comes in from the printer! This is exciting for so many reasons. I was one of the first to graduate high school in my family, let alone go to college. My mother had me at 17 and earned her GED. She went on to some college later, all while being a single mom of two. Two, after many setbacks in my health and the whole ordeal with T-Lo’s birth, I managed to keep it going and get there. As they say, it’s not the destination, but the journey there. I am super eager to apply for the teaching program officially, after my precal 2 is done. It’s the only prereq I have left, but I’ve been taking courses in the program for 2 semesters anyway, so I’m ready. I can’t wait to have students!!

Tomorrow is J’s birthday. He’s lucky, he’s having a friend over tomorrow, who happens to be the one boy who couldn’t make the party on Saturday. Well, he’s getting cake tomorrow, then cupcakes on Saturday. I say yuck, but hey, it’s once a year. Maybe next year I’ll try a gluten free dessert of some sort. I’m just making cake out of a box and frosting from a can. That’s how I roll. Nice and lazy…er…easy. We also started a sweet tradition that Mr. Dawn’s family does. The child who doesn’t have a birthday that day gets an Unbirthday present. We never did this, but I love it. The other child doesn’t feel left out completely. We don’t go too crazy either. We get 3 presents for the birthday boy, one from each family member. I can’t believe my kid’s gonna be 8. When the boys got haircuts yesterday, the woman who cut their hair remembered when I was pregnant with J. Amazing how time flies.

Oh, and since I should probably talk about something related to primal living or health and nutrition, I have to tell you I worked out for the first time in months today. I started my body weight program that I started this summer and only did 6 days worth. It was very tiring, involving push ups, squats, and hopscotch. Hopscotch is the cardio definitely. You’re basically jumping around as fast as you can. It was all intervals. I’m committing to getting through this 31 day program. Yoga is going well also. I feel so good after doing it. I’m liking the routine of the dvd I’ve settled into. I came up with some fitness goals for this year:

-I want to do 10 regular push ups

-I want to do yoga at least 3 times a week

-I want to finish the 31 day program I started (that’s not really a yearly goal, but I still want to do it!)

There you have it. I’ve uttered it, now there’s no going back, huh?

I hereby throw the gauntlet down. I challenge my readers to come up with a few goals (okay, even one) and come up with plans to get there. You need not just the goal, but a concrete method of getting from A to B. Let’s share. See what sorts of things come up. It’s all in good fun, and we’re all at different levels of fitness. No judgment. But we can cheer each other on, that much I know!

Sugar Is The Devil…And Other Important Stuff

Sugar is the devil. I found this out Saturday night when I ate 4 Oreos and some chocolate-vanilla ice cream. I paused for a second before I indulged. I thought, “Last time I had sugar, it wasn’t good. But maybe it wasn’t really the sugar. Maybe it was something else.” Yeah, right. The fun started around 1 in the morning, and went on all day Sunday. I spent quite a bit of time in the bathroom. Seriously, I was so hungry, but so uncomfortable, I didn’t eat until 6pm. Lesson learned loud and clear. I simply cannot eat sugar anymore. It’s over.

Which brings me into a small panic. What the heck can I eat for dessert or for that sweet craving? I never did eat a lot of sweets, but when I wanted something I could eat it. No more. I think I will look up some banana bread recipes (safe of course, gluten free, sugar free) or similar type things. I saw a recipe for these Cheesecake Brownies that I think I could sub honey into. They look yummers. Also, good dark chocolate doesn’t bother me. I just have to watch the sugar content.

I am making my spaghetti squash “baked ziti/lasagna” thingy tonight. I will try to make it thicker so it sets up better. I think I may post this recipe again, but a little better. Bear with me. I’m using ricotta tonight too. The original mash-up is here.

Okay, now to abruptly change the topic: I have used the Diva Cup for 4 days now. I freaking LOVE it so hard!!! I will answer the questions I know I had right now.

First, how will it work? I just read the instructions. There are 2 ways of inserting it, I use the triangle or “push down” one. Where instead of folding the little silicone cup into a U-shape, you just fold a chunk of the edge into itself, and it looks like a triangle/pyramid thing. Result? Smaller, easier to insert shape. See the diagram below: (from the Diva Cup website)

Second, will it leak and will it be uncomfortable?

I was really worried about leaking. I have a heavy flow and I was skeptical. The second time I used it, I had a little leak, but nothing more than seeing some pink on the toilet paper. I think it was just a mistake. The instructions say to rotate the cup one full rotation after you insert it. I say, yeah right. If you can do that, please contact me and let me know how the heck you did it!! I just do what I call “The Sweep”. I just inserted and swept my finger all around the cup to let it fully open and make sure the seal was secure. Works for me. As for comfort, there are some reviews I’ve read about it being really uncomfortable, and everyone’s anatomy is set up differently, but I found it very comfortable. I could sorta feel it the first few minutes, but it just feels like a tampon kind of. No biggie.

Is it a bloodbath when you remove it?? (Okay, that’s not really a nice way to put it, but you know you’re wondering about the mess factor!!)

Okay, yes, the first few times I removed it were a little “amateurish”. Meaning “not quite a murder scene bloody, but bloody enough”. I had to swipe the toilet with a Clorox wipe a few times. Then I got my removal method down cold, and no more murder scene!! You’ll find your method. You just pour it into the toilet, rinse it in the sink, and reinsert. It feels like it takes a long time at first, but you get better at it.

Now, this method of feminine hygiene has several advantages. First, less waste. No more tampons and pads in landfills. And that saves you money too! Also, you don’t have to carry all the period paraphernalia with you. It’s just a little cup in a really cute pouch (it’s purple and has a little drawstring!). And call me weird (which several people already do so it’s okay), but I kinda like the whole primal feel, getting back in touch with your cycle. No really, you will be getting in touch with your…ahem…self like never before. It’s more hands on. You feel your girly-parts and see the blood. It’s cool. However, if you are the squeamish type, it’s probably not for you. But I do think any woman who’s used a tampon may like the cup. You can sleep in it no problem, and you only have to empty it maybe twice a day. Three if it’s really heavy.

Overall, I can’t recommend the cup enough. It saves you money, it’s environmentally friendly, and I think I can officially dub it “The Primal/Paleo Woman’s Preferred Feminine Hygiene Product”. Okay, maybe that’s a bit much. But seriously, check it out!! I got mine at reuseit.com. I love that site, by the way.

Also, I cannot believe I just gushed (haha, get it) about my period….oy, the things I do in the name of science!! Make a girl feel good, ladies, and leave a comment. Preferable about your hoo-ha (does yours have a name??), or your period, or your favorite way to kill cramps. Or if you have the cup, what do you think??

 

A Real Recipe??

Okay, here’s the deal. I have recipe envy. I see all these awesome primal blogs with these amazing recipes and I want to join in. The problem? I am a very intuitive, let’s-see-what’s-in-the-fridge type of cook. I am also a good cook. Evidence: last night’s ground pork challenge.

Mr. Dawn brought home two 2lb. packs of ground pork. I had no idea what to do with them. Then I thought, what about something a little Thai-influenced? Then I thought coconut milk, lemongrass, ginger, and I was off and running.

Thai Pork Slop

(I say “slop” because it was kinda grody looking…and of course there are no pics)— all measurements are approximate…cuz I didn’t stop to measure everything and write it down. Bear with me, I’ll get there!

-2 pounds ground pork

-2 small onions, chopped

-1 can coconut milk

– 1/2 tsp ground ginger (you could use fresh of course, but I was lazy)

-1/4 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder

-1/4 tsp curry powder

-1/2 tsp garlic powder (again, fresh can be used)

-salt to taste

-cayenne to taste

-2 2-inch lengths of lemongrass, sliced in half lengthwise and bruised a little (just whack a little with a meat pounder)

-1 TB green curry paste

-1/2 to 1 TB soy sauce (gluten free, very important if you have sensitivities)

-1 cup sliced sweet peppers (we had little mini ones, red, orange, and yellow)

-3 cups baby spinach

 

Saute the pork, I used coconut oil to get it started. Break it all up nicely, then add onions. When the pork is nicely browned and the onion is starting to soften up, add the spices (garlic, 5 spice, ginger, curry powder, cayenne to taste). Once it’s all incorporated nicely and smells good, add the coconut milk, lemongrass, curry paste, and soy sauce. Let this simmer until it’s a little thickened, then add the sliced sweet peppers. Let cook for about 3 minutes, then start adding the baby spinach by handfuls until it’s incorporated. It will take a minute for each handful to wilt into the mixture. Then you can taste and salt as desired. I always salt last. And make sure you remove the lemongrass pieces before eating. Or just warn your family, like I did.

Mr. Dawn and I ate the whole pan. Not even kidding. So yeah, I shoveled a pound of ground pork down my gob. And I’m not embarrassed in the slightest. It was delicious. I was going to make cauliflower rice to go under the slop, but honestly it didn’t need it. It was thick and creamy and not too spicy. I will definitely be making this again.

So I can say I conquered the ground pork challenge!!! Seriously, go do a search on your favorite recipe site and then come back and tell me how many ground pork recipes you find. I say less than 3. Go ahead. I dare you!

Let me know if you try it, or if there are any errors, like I forgot to put an ingredient that’s listed into the instructions, or vice-versa.

 

 

 

Snowpocalypse 2011!

I’m up way too early. We are currently in the middle of a nasty snowstorm. I checked out the window and I think it looks like around 12 inches of the stuff! Seems like a good day to do a whole lot of nothing. Except yoga. I gotta do that.

I’ve been pondering exercise again. I’m feeling better every day and I think it’s time to kick it into gear. I’m wondering what to do. I have a treadmill, but I really don’t feel like doing “Chronic Cardio” and getting nowhere fast. Long bouts of cardio do nothing but strengthen the heart. It can even increase inflammation, which is a problem for me already. No thanks. According to Mark Sisson, we should be sprinting a little and lifting heavy things, and playing. This makes so much sense to my brain. I am slowly coming up with a plan. I think I’m going to start with intervals of body weight exercises. I’m looking at this. It consists of 6 basic exercises that need no equipment, just a timer and your bod. I tried this over the summer and only got about 2 weeks in. Fail. I will endeavor to persevere. I’m not going to bother with that other stuff on that page, the diet and whatnot. I’m set there.

I made a yummy dinner last night. I started with the Chicken and Dumplings recipe from The Gourmet Slow Cooker by Lynn Alley. But I had to Dawn it up. I added garlic powder, homemade turkey stock, omitted the peas, and used boneless chicken breasts and thighs. And of course, I skipped the dumplings. I tried to thicken it with arrowroot, but I must say I am having a tough time with the arrowroot. It was more like chicken soup. It was still delicious. Any arrowroot tips? I am probably just using it wrong, I mean it’s a chemical reaction right? If you don’t do it right, it don’t happen!

To go with the soup/stew, I made a variation of AndreAnna’s Grain-Free Savory Country Biscuits. I used cheddar instead of parmesan, I used my homemade whole milk yogurt, I omitted the chives (didn’t have any), used more parsley, more salt, and baked mine a little longer (she recommends 15-18 minutes, I think I got away with at least 20). Verdict? I think these are the best bready-substitute I’ve tried yet. Mr. Dawn ate 3! And they were big! I had to shoo him away so that we had 3 for breakfast this morning. These would be great burger buns (something Mr. Dawn has mourned the loss of). I plan on toasting them up and putting an over-easy egg over the top and jazzing it up with some other stuff…I haven’t thought that far ahead. I must say, I’ve been trying gluten-free primal recipes from all over the place, and AndreAnna is right on target. Her stuff is good.  A lot of the stuff out there leaves me lukewarm at best.

I’ve discovered a primal blog that is right up my alley. Primal Kitchen is the blog of a primal family with kids. I have such an internal struggle with the way I eat versus what I allow my kids to eat. Don’t get me wrong, they eat 80% better than most kids. They have from day one. Now with the transition to primal and my digestive problems, I find myself trying harder to get them on track. They eat lunches at school. This makes me cringe. However, it is cheaper. The district includes lunch for T-LO (preschool), and J’s dad pays for his school lunch. Not a dime out of me. Get this though: Aside from pasta, which they LOVE, they eat pretty primal on their own. J just told me yesterday he had a chicken sandwich at lunch, but he skipped the bun. I was so proud. He didn’t do it to please me or to “be primal”, he just prefers no bun. I think to get really uptight about this would be unnecessary. I know there are mamas out there who do it and do it amazingly well. I just have to trust that where we are is okay for now. We modern day mamas put enough pressure on ourselves (and other mamas) to be perfect and it just isn’t attainable, nor would I want to be living in a world where everyone was perfect. Boring. Anyway, I am very excited to see this blog and will definitely be following along.

I want to also say something about due diligence. Just yesterday, I read on facebook, someone (a very respected person in the health/nutrition world) posted a statement declaring something incredible. Which is okay, I guess. But here’s the thing that bothered me: where’s the science to back it up? I saw all these women gushing and fawning over this statement, and yet no one asked to see any studies or facts about said statement. This is dangerous, people. Don’t believe anything until you research it yourself. You can make things look any way you want to, really. There’s always a way of cooking up data to make the info fit your ideology (not that I claim to know how). Take the time to learn about what you are putting in your body and the physiological effects on it. As Hippocrates said, “Let your food be your medicine, your medicine be your food.” Just because someone is charismatic or healthy looking, doesn’t mean they are the end-all be-all of the dietary world. Everyone is different, and everyone must do the work to find what works for them.

I’d like to point out the recent scandal regarding a famous study linking vaccines and autism. It was discovered to be a fraud (one news article here). Now this one is very incendiary. Mothers everywhere were swearing that their child had been fine until the vaccine. Jenny McCarthy was a celebrity who touted this. She even went on Oprah to tell everyone how her son Evan developed autism after a vaccine. I always looked at this claim with skepticism. My kids were fine. I even had a 27-weeker who was hospitalized for his first year of life. His vaccines were a breath of fresh freaking air compared to the hell we went through. Now, I don’t want to say with certainty that the debate is over. It just has weaker legs to stand on. It’s not like I can’t sympathize. When T-Lo was so sick that they thought he’d go into cardiac arrest within 24 hours and we had to sign a DNR for him detailing what steps were to be taken (or not taken) to save his little life, I was wishing there were someone to blame, somewhere to point that would definitively answer my one question: “Why??” How the hell did this happen? How did we get here? And all too often, we blame the medical community. I guess in this case it really would be Big Pharma. And I’m sure there is a lot they can be fingered for, but in this case, autism and vaccines, they seem to be cleared.

I know this is a really sensitive topic, and I really hope that we can find what is causing autism in these children and find some ways of coping with it, or even curing it. I don’t want to seem as though I don’t care. T-Lo has his own issues, so I know how difficult it is to have a special needs child. I just think it’s a slippery slope when we believe things without doing our own research. I just wanted to use the example of the vaccine debate to show that all is not what it seems sometimes. Nor am I trying to tell any mother what to inject (or not to inject) into her child. We must all find the way that works for us.