Thursday, May 31, 2012

Judgement Coke

It's funny how life happens.
I have long lamented about how I have no friends nearby with kids. I had one for a while (we met in a weird way (like most of my friends) because I had heard she had just had a baby so I left some enchiladas and a note on her front doorstep basically asking her to check yes or no if she wanted to be friends--she's now one of my closest friends and I love her whole family so much) but she moved to Charlottesville and I'm still trying to get her to move back.
About a year ago I found out that some old friends had moved to town. They were people I knew and liked separately but hadn't kept in touch with. They met during that time and wound up hitched! I actually couldn't think of many better couples. Courtney is from Canada and he wound up in Rappahannock
because Lizzie grew up here (which is also weird because when I knew Lizzie before, I didn't even know this place existed). Anyway, none of that really matters. What really matters is we reconnected and they live 2 minutes away. They were one of the first people we told when I was pregnant with Eve and I tried really hard to convince them to have a baby too so I would have a buddy.

It worked. She still hasn't forgiven me...but that's another story.

All that to say, we hang out a lot. Eve pushes Landon around, James dances for him, Landon gazes on in complete rapture of the mayhem that is more than one kid and he loves me because I feed him. And I love him because he loves to eat which satisfies so many things in me. I love him for other reasons too, he's ridiculously cute.

About once a week, at least, we have fairly impromptu dinners. Really, Landon has his own room here. But we like to make sure we are ready at a moments notice to have a great time. Usually this means beverages. Cause we always have food. Lizzie and I can put away champagne in an impressive way, Tom mostly drinks wine, and Courtney drinks rum and coke. Okay, now we're getting to my title (sort of). Let me explain something:

I've evolved...a lot. Riding and competing in my teens and early 20s I was possibly not the healthiest girl, however active I was. I ate...anything. I might have smoked on occasion and I maybe partied sometimes. I drank Diet Coke simply as my one concession to being diabetic. As I kind of grew up I started to tone it down. I did realize that I really only like wine and didn't need to drink whatever was put in front of me. I realized that people actually can smell smoke on you no matter how stealthy you think you are. And I realized that I actually don't like the taste of Diet Coke. At all. Sometimes things take me a while.
So now on the ever narrowing and rickety branch that is (was) my twenties, I have two beautiful children and an amazing husband.

We run two businesses that are based around an outdoor lifestyle and healthy eating. I've turned into a compete crazy person about homemaking bread, tortillas, mustard, kefir, teriyaki sauce, butter, bacon, name it, I want to know how to make it myself without the preservatives or crap ingredients. Since starting raw milk I've lost weight and feel better than ever (or at least since I've had kids--I don't remember much before then and I also haven't slept more than a handful of hours since then--I imagine I felt decent when I got full nights sleep....I digress). When I go to the store my cart is full (FULL) of fresh and organic fruits and vegetables. The rest of the cart is filled possibly with ingredients I need for baking or cleaning supplies. Or wine. The necessities.
I can be a little smug walking through the store with my baby girl lounging her her Ergo (James is at school for these outings), grocery cart full of greenery. I feel like a good mom, for that one hour anyway. But I feel a responsibility to our favorite neighbors that when they come over, they don't need to bring anything. This is important cause it's not like they pass a store on their way! So last week, smack on top of my cart, in a glaring red container, was Coke. And I felt judged people. Seriously, I started pulling people aside and telling them the Coke was for a friend. Okay, I really didn't do that. But I did text Lizzie and told her my feelings of paranoia. It was worse than the usual judgement I feel for not having reusable grocery bags. Hey, it's good to know I still have room to grow.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Overshare

I come from a, um, potty talk family. I also have quite literally shoveled horse crap the majority of my life. Add to that regular lengthy discussions about stool with GI doctors, nurses, nutritionists, and embarrassed med students and sometimes I forget that not everyone thinks that poop talk is normal.

So when I actually took a picture of James's poop last week, I feared I may have crossed a line. So I reined myself in and only sent it to my mom and husband. They were suitably impressed though, and here's why:

About two weeks ago I was shamelessly eavesdropping on some other moms at James's school. They were discussing how this one mom has totally turned her son around through diet with his failure to thrive, bacterial overgrowth, and leaky gut. Oh, and they were discussing poop. I was hooked. Anyway, I have started emailing regularly and at length with her. I really haven't hooked up with a holistic type nutritionist I think because I was a little afraid of them wanting to experiment with eliminating things from his diet and I just don't think he can handle that. This mom had the same concerns and she basically has taken different parts of all the gut healing diets out there that she thought her son would partake in and truly helped him. Things that included raw milk products, coconut water kefir, and sprouted grains and flours. I jumped right on the bandwagon and we are already seeing big results.

The idea is to crowd out the bad bacteria with good while also providing nutrient and calorie dense food. But also the idea is using whole foods rather than synthetic crap made in a lab. It takes time to work them up and there is a die off effect that is a little rough. And we saw that and continue to see it as we add different things in. But before I added more good bacteria in and things more, he had the first normal poop of his life! I was thrilled! Hence the picture. Which I will not post. I will not post. I will not post.

Funny that on the same day Tom had been talking to a woman about joining a cow share and all the health benefits of raw milk as well. See, we have a jersey cow, and she has a calf at her side, but she's not trained or very tame. You can pet her, but I ain't milking her. No way, Jose. Plus we have no idea what we're doing in that department, yet. Fortunately she has had a baby girl, who I've named Butter. A Wagyu/Jersey milking cow...eventually. But for now, we thought we'd learn through Rucker Farm which is located 8 minutes from our house. ( if you're interested)

See, it's illegal to sell raw milk in Virginia, and most other states I believe. But you can buy a share in a cow, and then receive milk and share with other families that own a share. This works great because one cow gives a lot of milk! Pasteurization kills bad bacteria in milk, yes. But it also kills most of the nutrients, enzymes, and probiotics in it as well, making it really not that good for you or easy to digest. In fact, I know several people who can drink raw milk and not store bought.

At our new shared dairy we can also get cream (it is amazing), yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese, butter, and cultured butter (which is apparently amazingly good for you), AND she will teach us how to make it all, which really fulfills my need to make everything myself, which is almost getting out of hand. You can go to and that has a lot of interesting information as to the health benefits of heading back to nature. Don't get me wrong, as the granddaughter of a doctor and a sister to a doctor, I'm a fan of modern medicine, but there are irrefutable benefits to eating naturally that a laboratory can't beat. And I have to say, Tom and I feel so good physically and mentally from these changes we have made. There's still a lot of work to do to heal James's little system, but I finally feel like we are on the right road and doing something proactive for our whole family.

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