Today I am excited to announce this giveaway with Irish Twins Soap Company! This month we have been talking about avoiding toxins in our homes. This means taking a look at the cleaning products and personal care products that we are using and evaluating their safety. It is always a relief when you find products that are safe, natural, non-toxic, and biodegradable. Irish Twins Soap Company certainly fits the bill. Here is what they have to say about their products…
“At Irish Twins Handmade Soap Company we believe in natural, good-for-you products ….that are good-for-the earth too.
Our soaps are safe, non-toxic natural alternatives to harmful synthetic chemicals. They are biodegradable with no added synthetics, phosphates, ammonias, chemicals, toxins or artificial colors or perfumes. They are cruelty-free and minimally packaged. We try to be mindful of every purchase we make and strive to support fair trade, organic and sustainable businesses.
Our products are handmade with using the highest quality ingredients derived from nature. Our soaps are made with the oils of olive, coconut, sweet almond, castor, and sunflower, and butters such as shae and cocoa. We use no fragrance oils, only the purest essential oils, herbs and garden botanicals such as chamomile, peppermint, calendula, comfrey, lavender and rose petals. Oatmeal, coffee and cornmeal is added to some bars as a gentle exfoliant. They are moisturizing, with a rich and luxurious lather.”
Fresh, lemony! Our family’s favorite. It’s therapeutic properties include: anti-depressant, analgesic, and anti-microbial, astringent and antiseptic. It is also used for clearing up oily skin and acne as well as athlete’s foot and alleviates excessive perspiration.
Lavender is soothing and has a calming effect on the nerves…relieves tension and depression and is effective for headaches, migraines and insomnia. Tones and revitalizes skin, especially good for acne, oily skin, sunburn and insect bites. Aroma-Therapeutic properties: burns, inflammation, influenza, nausea, sores, ulcers, acne, asthma, Rheumatism, Arthritis.
Gardener’s / Mechanic’s Soap
A simple, moisturizing, hardworking soap with pumice and coffee grounds for scrubbing power. Made with all natural ingredients and rich moisturizing oils of olive & coconut. Nice by the mudroom sink (or your kitchen sink). Smells a bit like coffee.
Learning to make your own homemade cleaning products is a very inexpensive way to green your cleaning routine. There are many harmful chemicals in conventional cleaning products, as mentioned in last week’s post, Household Toxins to Avoid, so these are some great alternatives that work. There are a number of green cleaning products on the market but some can be a bit pricey – don’t let cost be the reason why you don’t make a change. With these cheap and effective alternative ingredients there is no reason not to give it a shot. The ingredients in the recipes mentioned here are all readily available and might even already be in your kitchen.
White vinegar was a popular cleaner of many of our Grandmothers, I can remember mine using it all the time. Vinegar is certainly inexpensive, non-toxic and biodegradable and it does a pretty good job at disinfecting. Vinegar is about 5% acidic. It is s the acid that kills bacteria and viruses. Vinegar will even kill the flu virus. Overall, vinegar is a good choice for general cleaning. This blog post: Cleaning Baby Toys, talks about using a vinegar solution to clean baby toys which is a great idea. We definitely don’t want to use harsh chemicals on toys that will go in our children’s mouths.
Baking soda is another item in your pantry that can be used for cleaning. Baking soda removes stains, sanitizes, deodorizes, polishes, cuts through grease and more. Like vinegar, baking soda is non-toxic, has multiple uses, and is inexpensive. Because of its texture, baking soda is a great ingredient to use in cleaning scrubs like this one, Homemade Bathtub Scrub.
For something that comes in a little tiny bottle, essential oils have a lot of powerful uses. Essential oils work for many home remedies and are also a great option for cleaning. Young LivingThieves Oil works fantastic for cleaning because it kills germs, other great oils for cleaning include tea tree oil, lemon oil, and lavender oil. All have some antimicrobial properties and smell great. Essential oils can be mixed with vinegar, baking soda, alcohol, or water to make cleaning solutions. Try this All Purpose Disinfecting Spray recipe using essential oils.
The acidity of lemon juice makes it a great non-toxic cleaning ingredient. The citric acid gives lemon it’s antibacterial and antiseptic properties for cleaning. Lemon works great on its own as an alternative to bleach and also works well when combined with vinegar. This Homemade Bleach alternative recipe whitens laundry and works great as a household cleaner since it kills 99% of bacteria, 82% of mold, and 80% of germs when used for cleaning.
Mixing your own homemade cleaners is simple since most of these recipes only require a few ingredients. You can also create your own recipes pretty easily by mixing and matching some of the ingredients. I’ve found that just by mixing vinegar and baking soda it makes a pretty powerful cleaner and a great solution to soak cloth diapers.
In the spring we often thing about cleaning up our diets – it’s a great time to do it. In addition to diet, Spring is a great time to think about eliminating some of the household toxins we are exposed to in the products we use. Many household products contain toxic chemicals that are harmful to our health and we may not even realize they are there. Some so-called natural products even contain things that are not 100% safe so it is really important to read ingredient lists and to know what you are looking for in the ingredients. So many of the things we need to avoid have strange chemical names that we are not familiar with so it’s hard to know what is OK and what is not OK. There can be a lot of things to look at in your home but I’ve put together a list of a few places to get started.
Antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizes such as purell, are very popular. People are pretty afraid of germs these days and I’ve seen hand sanitizing stations practically everywhere I go. Most antibacterial soaps contain a chemical called Triclosan which is something I am conscious to avoid. Triclosan is toxic and has been said to disturb thyroid functions and hormone levels in people. I’ve written extensively on the topic of hand sanitizes in this post, Hand Sanitizers: Good or Bad?
Diethanolamine (DEA), Triethanolamine (T.EA), Alklyphenol ethoxylates (APEs) and Propylene Glycol are common VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that are found in conventional household cleaning products. These chemicals are associated with many health issues including nervous system problems, immune system issues, and problems with the liver and kidneys. The level of toxicity in the air inside homes that use toxic cleaning products can be up to 70% higher then air outside the home. It has been found that women who are homemakers (and use toxic cleaners) have a higher chance of getting cancer then women who work outside the home because of the exposure to these chemicals on a daily basis. The effect on children can be even worse.
This is an area that I have written about many times before. There are so many toxic chemicals in our personal care products it’s really unbelievable You would never eat any of these chemicals in food so they should not be put on your skin or in your mouth for any reason. Chemicals absorb into the blood stream through the skin just as easily as if they were eaten. Some things to look out for in the ingredient lists include – Sodium Laurel Sulfate, Parabens, Phthalates, Petrolatum or Mineral Oil, para phenylenediamine (PPD), Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT). If you are not sure about a product you are using check it’s safety using the Skin Deep database.
Synthetic fragrances are commonly used in air fresheners, shampoos, scented candles, dryer sheets, fabric softeners, laundry detergents, perfumes, cleaning supplies, disinfectants, hair sprays, and lotions. Many of these products contain carcinogens, reproductive, and endocrine disruptors. Often air fresheners and products like lysol spray are advertised as if they are “cleaning” the air and making it fresh when it’s quite the opposite. These chemicals are creating a more toxic environment. Fragrances are best to be avoided in all products.
Best alternatives: Buy products that do not contain fragrances. In the case that you want a scent use natural essential oils. In place of air fresheners diffuse a good quality essential oil into the air.
What conventional cleaning products do you have the hardest time avoiding?
The Spring season brings many light, refreshing, and cleansing foods. This makes Spring the perfect time to clean up your diet and reset after a long Winter. Many of you have joined us in the Real Food Challenge this week and have committed to say no to packaged foods and eat a diet full of real food. Taking a pledge to give up processed foods is a great way to force yourself into a cleansing reset diet. Eliminating these items cleans up your diet without having to analyze each meal. To take this a step further, be mindful of adding this list of 7 cleansing foods into your Spring menu. A lot of these items are already in many Spring recipes like salads, light soups, and vegetable juices so it doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to incorporate them into your day.
Cleansing foods help to lightly detox your body without doing a drastic liquid diet or fast. They are also a refreshing change from the seasonally available foods of Winter. You may even find yourself craving some of these foods at this time of the year. That is a sign that your body might need a gentle detox.
Lemon might be one of the most famous of the cleansing foods due to the popularity of The Master Cleanse diet. Lemons contain vitamins A, B, C and citric acid. The citric acid and vitamins can help flush toxins out of your digestive system, detoxing your liver and cleansing your colon. Incorporating lemon into a clean real food diet is a great way to get some of its benefits. Lemon works well in salad dressing, guacamole, hummus, and vegetable juices.
Garlic is important herb for the immune system and it is also a cleansing food. It has antiviral, antibacterial and anti-parasitic properties, which help to remove toxins from the digestive tract, particularly from the colon of the large intestine. Removing these toxins improves overall digestion and absorption of nutrients into the body. Garlic works well in salad dressing, dips, and sauces.
Drinking Dandelion Root tea is an effective way to cleanse the liver. Compounds in the root cause an increase in bile production. This helps to improve digestion and also helps the liver to digest foods and remove toxins quickly and efficiently. Dandelion root tea can be purchased as a loose tea, in tea bags, or is also included in some “detox” blend teas. Mountain Rose Herbs is a good source.
I can’t make this list and not include Kale. Kale has been named The Most Nutritious Vegetable and is widely known for it’s nutrient dense qualities. Kale is rich in fiber, vitamin K, anti-oxidants, and contains anti-inflammatory properties. All of this is great for cleansing and just overall health. The combination of fiber and the sulfur content in kale make it especially beneficial for cleansing. Kale is great in vegetable juicing, lightly steamed with a tahini dressing, or sauteed with carmelized onions.
Vegetable broth is a good addition to a cleansing diet because the nutrients are so easily digestible. Drinking a warm nutrient rich broth like fresh homemade vegetable broth is very soothing to the digestive tract. A healthy digestive system is essential to regularly cleanse the body. Read this post on how to easily make your own homeade vegetable broth. Vegetable broth is great alone or as a base for a light vegetable soup with spring greens.
Cilantro is commonly used in many heavy metal detoxification programs. It has been found that cilantro is effective in removing heavy metals from the body. It is even more effective when combined with a colon cleansing food such as lemon. Heavy metals are found in many places we may not even realize and can be very damaging to our health, especially in children. Cilantro is great in Mexican dishes, dips, and vegetable juicing.
Parsley is often used to cleanse the kidneys and the liver. It is known as a natural diuretic and the increased flow of fluids through the kidneys may have a cleansing effect as bacteria and germs are flushed out. Parsley can be easily added to your diet by adding it to salad dressings, in soups, and in vegetable juicing.
Adding a few of these 7 cleansing spring foods into your diet will help to lightly cleanse your body without having to go through a drastic liquid cleanse diet. Cleansing foods often make you feel lighter and increase your energy level. They are also a delicious and refreshing change to your diet this time of year.
How do you incorporate these cleansing foods into your diet?
Our Real Food Challenge starts next week but I just couldn’t wait to make some of the recipes. Towards the end of Winter I usually get tired of Winter foods and can’t wait to start eating fresh Spring foods. As I read through all of the recipe submissions I got very excited to try all these new recipes and also to make some of my old favorites from last year.
Eating real food is so delicious and satisfying and always tastes better then processed foods. Although it can be overwhelming to make big changes to the way you eat and cook it is totally worth it. The food tastes better and you begin to feel better. A common perception of changing to this way of eating is that you will be missing out or you will have to give things up but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are so many alternatives to processed junk food that taste amazing and won’t ruin your health. In my own food journey, there were times where I ate something that I used to eat before making all my diet upgrades and didn’t even like the food I used to crave. Your taste for the junk actually goes away because your body knows better.
Cleaning up your diet might not seem exciting to some people but most people are excited by delicious food and that is what you will get with this challenge. Clean and healthy eating is not boring its exciting, delicious and fun. Offering the chance to eat great tasting food that is healthy for you is a no-brainer for me. Taking just one week to try out a way of eating is easier then trying to immediately commit to a new diet for months or years. Even 30 days can seem like a long time to make such a commitment with food. One week is more digestible and an easier commitment to make.
We have been enjoying testing out some of the recipes in the Real Food Challenge Meal Plan, here are some of the delicious foods we have been eating. After seeing these foods I am sure you will want to join us in the challenge so you can eat them too!
Coconut Crusted Cod Fish
Doesn’t that food look delicious? When you join us in the Spring Real Food Challenge you will receive the recipes for all of these dishes (and more – 37 recipes in all) plus the support of all the bloggers and participants of the challenge. There is also $237+ worth in free bonuses and a $600+ giveaway to enter with prizes from awesome real food companies like Ergo Chef, Yogi Tea, Applegate farms, Taza Chocolate, and more!
I ”met” Rebecca Hall when she joined us in the first Real Food Challenge we hosted in January 2013. At the time I had no idea that she was a fabulous jewelry designer. After interacting with her on Facebook and checking out her Etsy shop, What Cool Moms Want, I discovered her talent and her very “cool” jewelry.
Rebecca started creating jewelry when she realized she needed a new outlet for her creativity besides food creations for her kid and voice characterizations at story time. She started putting her efforts towards jewelry making and created some really beautiful, fun pieces for Moms. All of her jewelry is hand made and hand stamped so each one is a little bit unique – which is a really nice feature. I just love all of Rebecca’s designs and the great thing is that there is something for everyone. From Mom’s who sew to Mom’s who swim – there is a design that fits your interests and style.
The necklace that Rebecca has so generously offered to give one of my readers is her “Foodie” necklace (pictured above) which is so fitting to the topic of this blog and to the Mom’s who follow it. It is also an excellent time to offer this fun necklace since a lot of us are making changes and getting ready for the Spring Real Food Challenge starting soon. This necklace is so perfect for any foodie but so fitting for a Mom who is working hard to make changes towards a healthy real food lifestyle for herself and her family.
I am so thrilled to be hosting this giveaway to offer Rebecca the chance to share her talents with you and to give you all the chance to win such a fabulous gift. This is one giveaway I wish I could win – so instead I ordered one for myself! Check out all of Rebecca’s designs in her Etsy shop, What Cool Moms Want. To enter this giveaway see the entry form below. Good luck!
The 7 Day Real Food Challenge is back! Many of you participated in our first challenge in January 2013 which was super successful. We had an amazing group who made some huge changes in their diet and lifestyle. Some I would like to share with you… Some of our participants such a great experiences that they want to share it with others. One member actually landed a new blogging gig just telling others about what she learned! Others who were already in the blogging scene also shared on their blogs like this one Mama Making Changes. The community we built during the week in January was so inspiring and really helped everyone stay motivated. If you were thinking about joining us last time but missed out I encourage you to join us this time! Spring is a great time to make diet changes and detox from processed foods.
One of the biggest challenges I have heard from you as my readers is the transition from eating packaged foods to only eating real food. In the end of last year, I sent out a survey to my subscribers and the responses I got all showed very similar concerns. One of the most common challenges that was expressed was the ability to provide a healthy real food diet for your family that doesn’t take up too much time or too much money. In my experience, the key to making this work is planning and practice. This 7 day Real Food Challenge is designed to jump start the process in making a lifestyle change because we’ve done the planning for you.
Do you think you can eat only real food for 7 days straight?
To some of you this might sound nearly impossible and some of you may be thinking – I already do. This challenge is designed to help those of you who really want to live the real food lifestyle but might need a little guidance to get started. This challenge is also for all of you who have already figured it out, but you have fallen off the bandwagon. Sometimes life gets hectic and our diets seem to suffer. It’s never too late to get back into the healthy food routine!
So, What is the 7 Day Real Food Challenge?
There is a big group of us following this challenge. Everyone who joins this challenge is making a pact to eat only real food for 7 days – specifically on April 21st – 27th. Already there are 28 bloggers who have committed to this challenge and are here as a support team for everyone who joins us. Here is your support team:
So for those of you who think this might be way too hard to do – you have all these experts here to back you up and help you meet the challenge. It’s not only these bloggers that will be doing the challenge but many of our readers will be following along. We will have a special Facebook group for discussions about the challenge and a place to reach out to everyone for help and support. There are two ways you can participate in the challenge:
Option # 1 (Free)
Join us and make the commitment to eat only real food for 7 days starting on April 21 – April 27, 2013. You will receive:
An e-guidebook on “What is Real Food?”
A chance to win one of our fabulous real food prizes
If you want to get really serious about this challenge and take full advantage of the support you can get from this group – this is for you. Making a big lifestyle change can be difficult on your own but with a huge group of people doing it along with you it is a lot easier – and a lot more fun! As a member of this challenge you will receive:
An e-guidebook on “What is Real Food?”
A full real food Paleo meal plan for 7 days – three meals a day and snacks
Recipes for all of the items in the meal plan (37 Delicious recipes!!)
A shopping list to help you prepare for the challenge
Tips on how to prepare your kitchen for this event
Membership to our private Facebook group which is a place to reach out for help and ask questions
A chance to win one of our fabulous real food prizes – worth over $600+
PLUS these fabulous Bonuses (worth over $237+) for everyone who buys this package…
A 15% discount to Blessed in Homemaking Etsy shop. Blessed In Homemaking offers organic and all natural body care products, gentle baby care products, herbal products, crocheted items, and more, for your healthy lifestyle. Follow on Facebook
A copy of “What to Eat and Why: Healthy Nutrition for Preconception, Pregnancy and Postpartum” audio program (Value $197.00) by Nichi Kuechle from My Healthy Beginning. Follow Nichi on Facebook and Twitter
The meal plan for this challenge is a Paleo menu! This means that all the recipes are grain-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free. If you have ever thought about trying the Paleo / Primal diet and thought it was too hard this is the perfect chance to try it out. All of these done for you planning items and the built in support are designed to make this challenge much less of a challenge to complete. What do you think – are you ready to take the 7 Day Real Food Challenge?
The plan and recipes require basic kitchen tools. A good set of knives is the best thing you can splurge on in my opinion – even better you may win some in the giveaways that go along with this challenge!
Speaking of giveaways…Don’t forget about all of the fabulous prizes from our amazing sponsors!! We are giving away $600 worth of products!The Giveaways (over $600+ value)…
Ergo Chef Knife Company, makers of ergonomically-designed professional chef knives, is giving one participant of our challenge their Pro-Series 7” Santoku knife, Come Apart Kitchen Shears and a 9” & 12” Duo Tongs (Retail value $132) Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube
Taza Chocolate company, makers of traditional stone ground Mexican Chocolate, is giving one of our participants a package of their salted almond discs, their chipotle chili discs, a jar of chocolate covered hazelnuts and their 87% chocolate bar. Taza chocolate has a direct trade cacao program that cultivates face-to-face relationships with farmers. (Retail value $ 30.47) Follow them on Facebook and Twitter
Alive & Radiant, superfoods for delicious living, is giving one participant 5 bags of their delicious Kale and Veggie Chips, great for healthy snacking and a few $1.00 coupons (Retail value $ 10) Follow them on Facebook
Yogi Tea, products inspired by Ayurveda is giving one participant of our challenge 4 boxes of a variety of our top selling teas and a Yogi tea mug. (Retail value $40)Yogi tea is committed to providing healthy, natural teas that are accessible to as many people as possible. Follow them on Facebook.
Applegate, Organic & Natural Meats, is giving away a gift pack of products. (Retail value $ 25) Applegate meats are free of anti-biotics, growth hormones, nitrates, artificial ingredients and fillers which makes them far surpass the quality of conventional sliced sandwich meats. When buying Applegate products you can be confident you are eating a high quality product. Follow them on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter
Trilight Health, makers of fast-acting, great tasting liquid herbal supplements, is giving one participant a $50 gift certificate to order products on their website! For over 20 years now, TriLight Health have supplied their customers nationwide with their high quality line of liquid herbal products. They specialize in great tasting, alcohol and sugar free, liquid herbal formulas for pregnancy, children, and the family. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter
Eco Lunch Gear, eco friendly reusable lunch gear, is giving one participant a a reusable sandwich wrap (Retail value $10.50). Eco Lunch Gear was started by a Mom who saw a need for an alternative to plastic and aluminum foil, her products can be washed and reused over and over to save money and our environment. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
Erin Odom from The Humbled Homemaker and creator of Real Food, Real Easy the eBook is giving one participant a copy of her eBook to help you continue with your Real Food journey (Retail value $$9.95) Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest
Health Coach, Mike Lamitola, is giving one participant free entry to his Tele-seminar on Cravings. Do you have a sugar habit you’ve been trying to beat? In this tele-seminar, Mike will explain how. (Retail value $25.00) Follow Mike on Facebook and Twitter
Alix from Blessed In Homemaking offers organic and all natural body care products, gentle baby care products, herbal products, crocheted items, and more, for your healthy lifestyle in her Etsy Shop. She is giving two participants a one ounce bag of loose chamomile tea (Retail value $8.00) Follow her on Facebook
Melissa Joulwan from The Clothes Make the Girl, is giving one participant a copy of her Paleo eBook called Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Like to Eat (Retail value $14.95). This is a great resource for anyone interested in Paleo diet, whether you are just getting started or you are just looking for some new recipes to try. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter
Health Coach, Laura Prevost is giving 10 lucky participants one of her Dynamite Coaching sessions. If you are looking for some support around breaking a bad habit, or getting yourself motivated, Laura will work through it with you in this session (Retail value $20.00/session) Follow Laura on Facebook or Twitter
Jennifer from Hybrid Rasta Mama has also offered to give away two copies of her eBook, Cooking with Coconut Oil (Retail value $19.95). The 68 recipes in this eBook are all simple to make and the ingredients in the recipes are all readily available. This eBook is a great way to start getting more coconut oil in your diet to get all the amazing health benefits. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest
You will have the chance to win all of these prizes by joining is the challenge with either Option # 1 or Option # 2 detailed above!
May 2013 UPDATE: The original dates of this program are over but you can still join us! We have a strong community built and we are helping each other to eat REAL FOOD. You will still receive the meal plan, recipes and the support community. The giveaways and bonuses are now expired so the cost has dropped to $19 (from $29)
Do you have questions about this event? Please feel free to comment on this post with any questions or concerns.
Last Easter was my first attempt at dying Easter eggs with food instead of artificial coloring. I was surprised how well the eggs came out using only food items. The photo above are the eggs we dyed this year and most of them came out very nice. We tried a few new items that did not work so I will share that with you as well.
Why Skip the Artificial Dyes?
Artificial coloring can be found in a number of foods and have been linked to certain health conditions. It is usually recommended for all children with ADHD to stay away from all food coloring and additives because it can aggravate the condition. Some food dyes have been linked to skin rashes, asthma, headaches and even cancer. Food dyes can be found in Easter egg dyes but also soda, canned food, candy, boxed macaroni and cheese, and many others. It is wise to stay away from all artificial colors as much as possible to avoid any unwanted health risks.
How to Use Food as Easter Egg Dye
There are many web sites and blogs with posts on how to use food items as dye. The process is pretty much the same throughout but different choices of foods will give you different colors. The general process is to boil the food, herb, or spice in water and simmer for 15-30 minutes. Strain the liquid from the pot and add 1-2 tsp of white vinegar to the dye. The colors come out darker the longer you leave the egg in the dye. We left our eggs in anywhere from 1-2 minutes to 30 minutes and got varying degrees of color.
What Colors Worked?
Orange & Peach
Yellow Onion skins – remove out layer of 5-6 onions. Boil in 2 cups water for 30 minutes. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar.
Tumeric – boil 4 tsp. turmeric in 2 cups water, simmer 15 minutes. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar
Elderberries – boil ¼ cup elderberries in 2 cups water, simmer 15 minutes. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar
Blueberries – boil 1 cup frozen blueberries in 2 cups water, simmer 15 min. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar
Mix ¾ prepared yellow turmeric with ¼ prepared elderberry
What Did not Work
Last year I got a nice pink color from using beets which I should have done again this time. I tried using raspberries with the same technique as the blueberries but the color did not stick to the eggs at all. I also tried to get a green by boiling alfalfa powder but it also did not stick to the eggs.
This is the pink color we got last year from using beets…that is definitely the way to go for pink.
Do you use food items to color your Easter eggs? What has come out the best for you?
Part of living a healthy and holistic lifestyle is taking care of yourself in every way – not just diet. While a healthy diet is very important, it is just as important to take care of your own Primary Food. You may or may not have heard the term Primary Food before. This concept suggests that the foods we eat are only a secondary source of energy and the primary source comes from some other place.
Primary foods feed us, but they don’t come on a plate. Elements such as a meaningful spiritual practice, an inspiring career, regular and enjoyable physical activity and honest and open relationships that feed your soul and your hunger for living all constitute primary food.
As parents, our needs and our primary foods sometimes fall second or third to other people or responsibilities in life. Lack of primary food can be just as detrimental to your health as an inappropriate diet. Think of a time when you were depressed, or your self-esteem was low; you were starving for primary food. No amount of secondary food would do. You ate as much as you wanted, but you never felt satisfied. This is an example of why it’s so important to make sure our non-food needs are met.
What are your Primary Food Needs?
Sometimes its hard to even think about what your needs are when so many others need you. Take the time to establish what your needs are and how you can start to incorporate them into your life. If your yoga practice has gone from 2 times a week to non-existent in the last few years and it is something that “feeds” you then this is something to work on. Maybe yoga isn’t your thing but you love to run, read, meditate, or go to church – whatever it is that makes you feel good, it should be a part of your routine.
Schedule your Self Care
In reality, there may be a long list of things you would like to do for yourself but they never actually happen. With your children you probably have some kind of calendar to keep track of their appointments, play dates, or birthday parties. Why shouldn’t it be the same for yourself? If yoga is your thing, put your weekly class on the calendar and make arrangements to be able to go or if you want to go for a walk, set a regular time on the calender where you get to do that. Taking a practical approach to your own self-care is a better way to make things happen rather then just saying I’d like to but…
Keeping things together in a household of two entrepreneurs and a little one can get a little challenging. The schedules are not always the same from day to day or week to week so it’s impossible to do things from memory. Without a household calender, we would not be able to function. Between client meetings, scheduled office time, ballet classes, and dinner preparation – it’s a lot to keep track of without having it all laid out in one location for everyone in the household to see. A household calendar is just as helpful for families that might have a little more of a repetitive routine because there are many things that need to be planned in order for them to actually get done.
What’s on the Calendar
A household calendar will obviously vary for each family. In our house we have everything from our client schedules, birthday parties, plans with a friend, or yoga classes on our calendar. Anything and everything that is important to us is on there. In a household where one or both parents work at a job with a set schedule, such as 9-5, it may not be necessary to put any work related things on the calendar. Keeping a calender helps to keep everyone on the same page. Everyone knows what is going on, when it is and where it is located so that plans can be made ahead of time. Beyond just this obvious point, there is a lot of value in having a calendar like this because it helps to make sure everyone’s needs are met.
The Real Value in a Calendar
When it comes to your own self care as a parent, things you want to do often take a back seat to the things you need to do. Most Moms don’t take the much needed time to take care of themselves. A lot of us Moms say we would love to go to a yoga class or go for a massage but there is just not enough time. These things are important to do for yourself to care for yourself as much as you care for the rest of your family. A Mother who is well taken care of can better give herself to her children and husband and be a calmer, happier Mother. These types of things will never happen unless they are pre-planned. You can keep telling yourself you will go do that yoga class but until you look up the schedule, mark it on your calendar, and make sure the children will be taken care of at that time – it just won’at happen. This is a huge benefit to keeping a calendar that everyone can see. You are able to schedule time for the things you need to do for your own self care. Once things are scheduled they are much more likely to really occur then if they were not scheduled.
Types of Calendars
The type of calendar that you use should match the preferences of your family. For some families a paper calendar that hangs in the kitchen, or somewhere that everyone will see it, might be the way to go. If you schedule is not changing on a daily basis, this might be a good option for you. On the other hand, for families that have a lot of different schedules that change often, a digital version might work better. We use Google calendar and it is linked up to our iPhones so that we can each make our updates as they occur. If my husband is with a client and schedules a new appointment while he is with them, I am able to see that on my phone. This system works amazingly well for us because of our ever changing schedules Find a method that works for your family – which may take a few attempts. Try out a paper calendar and if that doesn’t work try digital or vice versa.
A household calender is the best way to keep everyone up to date with what is going on and allows for proper planning and preparation. The most value in this comes in the area of self care because it allows you to set the time that you need for yourself without feeling guilty. If everything is set up ahead of time, there is no reason for you to miss your yoga class or your time to decompress. We all need a self care routine to be the best version of ourselves.
Do you keep a household calendar? How has this impacted your life?
Welcome! I'm Roxanne, holistic and real food Mom. We eat real food, use cloth diapers, breastfeed, use natural and homemade personal care products, question the mainstream, practice yoga, and make everything from scratch. I am so happy you are here!
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