Baby Steps to Natural Living

Let me tell you a little bit about the origin of my natural living obsession. I stumbled upon natural living way back when Jon and Kate Plus 8 were happy and married on TLC. For those who used to watch the show, Kate Gosselin was a big advocate on organic foods, cleaning with vinegar, etc. Well as I laid in bed for 13 weeks, awaiting the birth of our son, I became addicted to the show and started doing a lot of research on organics and natural ways of living.

Over the years I have come to realize that natural living does not just happen in the kitchen. Sure that is the heart of it, but it is only the tip of the iceberg. I think that in a society that is covered with diseases, obesity, and behavioral problems, they can all be closely related to the chemicals that we are in contact with day after day. On my natural living adventure, I realized that in this season of life, I just can’t do it all. I have a 2 yr old and a 9 month old that are in my opinion, high demand. So right now, I won’t be soaking my own grains (or grinding them for that matter. But I do hear it is very easy), fermenting my own vegetables, or making my own bread (by hand that is! I use my bread machine, hehe) . I have finally accepted that there are those amazingly gifted moms out there that can juggle 9 kids and still do all that stuff. But it’s not me, and I am okay with that. As you learn more and more about ways to live naturally, it is important to know your limitations and not compare yourself to other moms. If you don’t, it will only cause you to spill a blender full of mashed beans all over your hand causing a horrible burn because you had more than you can handle (ummm….yeah I did that and its HORRIBLE). And it all could have been prevented if I didn’t put to much on my plate. Start small and then grow, grow, grow.

So, now that I have lectured you enough and you are now scared of a blender full of hot beans, let me give you a few baby steps to ease into natural living. Trust me, a little extra work goes a long way. You will feel better and so will your family! Lets start getting natural with whole foods.

IN THE KITCHEN:
Go from white to brown: Okay I am not talking about getting a tan in your kitchen by laying in front of the bay windows. I am talking about switching to Brown rice and whole wheat. Brown rice is a easy switch because there isn’t really a taste difference. It does take longer to cook though. The trick is to cook way more than you need. And freeze it. Also, try and switch to whole wheat flour. Now this is difficult because your family may need time to get used to it. Whole wheat is soooo much better for you, so transition slowly and it wont sting so bad.

Get rid of refined sugar: There is absolutely zero nutrition in your basic granulated sugar, so make a switch soon. This is actually one thing we are working on right now. I suggest trying Date sugar on top of your yogurt, oatmeal, or anything that brown sugar is used in. It does not melt well, so don’t go putting it in your coffee. Also, try Sucanat or turbinado which are basically the same thing.

Make your own bread: If you don’t have the time, make the bread machine do all the work. Freeze your fresh bread and pull out what you need.

Say goodbye to frozen meals and boxed convenience: This one is no secret. There is way to many chemicals, salt, and weird ingredients to that stuff . Okay, I am not hypocrite so I will confess. We still eat Eggos. There I said it, moving on. Start cooking from scratch. I start right after breakfast. I steal moments through the day to make the rice, shred the cheese, measure ingredients. That way when dinner rolls around, you have some things already done and it will all happen much faster.

CLEANING, PERSONAL CARE AND RECYCLE:

Vinegar, vinegar, Vinegar: All our grandmothers ever cleaned with was good old fashioned vinegar. Vinegar is very acidic and kills germs and dirt like no other.

Make your own deodorant: I stumbled across a homemade deodorant recipe and was so psyched! It is really neat and aluminum free. As we all know, aluminum is linked to cancer so why do we continue to use it. Convenience or we just don’t know any different. Well now you do, so go make your deodorant and have a taste if you want (yes it’s edible, but you won’t find me eating my deodorant. That is just a little weird).

Turn your old jeans into a skirt: so I recently lost a ton of weight from nursing so I have a ton of pants I was just going to throw away. I had big time saggy butt going on. Not a pretty site. So it suddenly came to me to turn them into skirts. Let me tell you, it is SO easy! After you make the first one, it only takes about an hour.

Well ladies, I think I have given you a taste of what it means to live naturally and as close to the earth as possible. Remember to start slow, eat whole foods, clean with no chemicals, and Go Green to save our planet!