Today I have been reading about Feminism, equality, and accomplishment.

This great thing I want to do with my life.

What I have wanted to do in my life has changed according to where I was in my life.  In college I wanted to be successful.  I wanted to be known as knowledgeable in my field, to be good at what I do, and sought after for that reason.  In the back of my head I wanted to be a mom too.

In graduate school I started out the same way.  Though, I had to prove myself more.  Until the day I realized that most of the time I spent studying in the library was researching pregnancy and birth.

Then I became a Mom.  These little beings have consumed my life.  It makes me wish I had studied MFHD and Tailoring, and worked as a housekeeper.  It is hard to feel accomplished when the task repeats day after day and STILL there is more to do.  When those little eyes look up at you though and the little arms get wrapped around your neck, you realize that this is a great thing I am doing with my life.  I am honored and blessed that I can stay home with my babies. My husband and I are working on working together.  I have never felt like what I want is out of reach because I am female.  I am a mother, I am strong, and I do great things.

I realize that this is not the only great thing I want to do with my life. I want to comfort and console.  I want to connect with others, and teach them how to live better lives.  I want to garden.  Oh, how I want to garden.  I want to help others feed themselves. I want to teach people to be themselves, feed themselves, heal themselves and learn to sustain themselves, and others.  Heal hearts who have been hurt by injustice, or inequality.  Ultimately I want to be involved in Community Gardens, Farmers Markets and local gardening.



This past month I have been reading.  Checking books out at the Library and actually reading them.  Novel, I know.

A couple weeks ago I came across "French Women Don't Get Fat".   Now, I'm sure most of us have heard of this book, it was published in 2005 (doesn't time FLY?).  I know I had, but I couldn't say I knew what it was really about.  So, I checked it out.

What I got out of it was that we need to keep our eating moderate, and we need to move more.  Really, it reminded me of back in college when I would lose weight during the semester. I had a goal of getting up the RB stairs or Widstoe stairs, two at time without panting and almost fainting at the top.  So all semester I would run the stairs on the way to class.  I even had a class on the 7th floor of the Kimball Tower one semester.  I took the stairs.  Now I kind of wish I had a two story house, for that purpose.

Also, it said to never let yourself get hungry (DESPERATE), and to give yourself treats- but not everyday.  Make them really treats.

One other thing was the idea of making eating a ritual.  We have rituals in our lives everyday, from the way we wash our face, to our bed time routine.  I have to say I LOVE this idea.  I had gotten very sloppy with my dinning habits.  Cleaning the kitchen while my kids ate breakfast, reading or checking email while eating, generally not engaging with my kids, trying to make it a time when I could check out.

Well. I decided to start making meals more of a ritual.  I started with breakfast. Later that week I read this on Apartment Therapy. A challenge to make morning rituals.  Sadly for them, as well as many of the people commenting, they don't have children.  I know some people with children get up at 5 am just to be alone, but I know me.  That won't happen unless my husband stops working nights (i.e. I still get woken up a lot at night).  But I love mornings.  I love slow, calm, happy mornings. This is where I started.

I make up the table.  Table cloth, center piece (which is either flowers, or, at the moment winter squash).  I make soft boiled eggs, toast and sliced fruit for us, and some tisane (herbal tea) in the heirloom silver tea pot from Morrocco, for me.  I highly recommend the tea.  Nothing slows down the morning like sipping tea.  It makes it really special.

I have found once I sit, it doesn't matter whether the house or kitchen is a mess.  The morning light coming through the window and my kids busy picking away the egg shells from their eggs gives me much more peace than trying to get my house clean while they eat.  We have made it a ritual in our home.

Now I have become enamored with table cloths and little tea pots.


Roundup Ready, a rant.

Lately it has come to my abrupt attention how many of my generation (and even more, our children) are coming down with chronic autoimmune conditions. Be it celiac disease, hypothyroidism, systemic Candida infections, IBS, Rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, Autism or Fibromyalgia (and yes, I know not all of these are classified as 'autoimmune' diseases, but if you search, they could cause them, or be caused by them).

I wonder to myself why this is happening, to us, in our generation.

Many people blame our diet, our stress, our society; or just advances in medicine that didn't recognize these problems earlier.

Maybe it is my background studying horticulture, my hippy tendencies, or just my experience that has led me to believe it is because of 3 main things.

1. Pesticides.

2. Antibiotics.

3. Chemical Toxins (pharmaceuticals and petrochemicals) in us, our water and food.

The first is maybe the one I know the most about. What got me thinking about it was an article by Jeffery Smith for the Huffington Post. It studied genetically modified soy, and the effects of feeding it to hamsters. What they found scared them. In each generation the death rate of the babies (pups) rose significantly, and more than half the babies from GM fed mothers died by 2 weeks. By the third generation, the hamsters eating the GM soy had lost the ability to reproduce, among other strange genetic effects (like growing hair in the mouth).

Now, this article and others they quote would make everyone raise up their arms and shout "NO MORE GMO, NO MORE GMO". But wait.

Why is it that GMO's are causing this? GM corn and soy (and other crops) are modified so that when they grow they can be treated with Roundup, which 'kills anything green'. Roundup is a mixture of glyphosate and a surfactant (which helps the chemical enter plant (animal and human) cells. Roundup has been used since the 1970's and in 1985 started a double-digit climb as it was positioned as a cheap weed killer agriculturally and for residential consumers. With the introduction of GMO corn and soybeans in 1998, it's usage has tripled again.

Do we remember Vietnam? Does Agent Orange ring a bell? 2,4,5-T? Okay maybe not, but this chemical seems to be the only one blamed with any misdeeds. It was introduced in the 1940's and it wasn't until the 1970's that the public figured out how deadly it could be. (Eventhough the government was informed on this in 1952) Do we realize that 50% of that deadly chemical (2,4-D) is still used today as a broadleaf weed killer on corn, wheat, and rice crops? Not to mention added to home fertilizers to kill things like dandelions in our own backyards?

How much corn, wheat, rice and soy do you eat? Does it make up a bulk of your diet?

What is frustrating is how so many people believe that organic food is a hoax. That using pesticides is fine, because 'wouldn't the government stop them if it wasn't?'. The truth is, the government may or may not know if they are genetically harmful to humans. The chemical companies that produce the herbicides and pesticides may or may not know. If it takes 3 generations to see the devastating results of too much herbicide usage, they wouldn't be finding any significant human reactions... until... now?

But how could they trace it back to one or two things? They can't. Not in our world of chemical additives, preservatives, herbicides, pesticides, antibiotics, petrochemicals, radiation, etc. The chemical companies are pretty much off the hook because no one can prove it is their doing.

2. The second issue is antibiotics, and, yes, I know. Antibiotics are a medical marvel, and save millions of lives each year.

My issue with antibiotics is the over-use, unnecessary use and the unconscious use of antibiotics (think beef, pork, poultry, all grown in confined spaces with disease), and their negative affect on our gut.

You know, your gut.

That friendly place between your mouth and your rectum also known as your digestive tract. People don't realize how important it is, how it functions, and what it affects.
In anatomy you learn the different organs and where they are and basically what they do, so I won't go into that.

What most people don't realize is how important the health of your gut is to your immune system, your hormonal system, and your metabolism (okay, maybe you kind of know how it affects your metabolism).

Antibiotics kill bad bacteria... and they kill good bacteria. It drastically can affect the balance of your gut flora (I highly recommend reading that Wikipedia link), which affects your digestion (duh), nutrient absorption, lymphatic system, immune system, thyroid, allergies, and metabolism (may be the real main cause of obesity in our country).

What we need to do is stop messing with the bacteria (flora, 'biotics') in our gut. When we need to use anti-biotics, make sure it is really what is needed. None of this giving antibiotics for a viral ear infection crap. (0ops, a little to passionate. Try not to get too personal here). When we do have to take them, we need to do our best to repopulate our intestines with good bacteria, using prebiotics (a good source is fermented foods), probiotics (a good source is fermented dairy) and nutritionally dense foods to help the body recover.

Number 3 might just be my category that covers everything else. Everyday toxins that accumulate in our livers, daily introduce estrogen-mimicking compounds into our systems that tax our health and manipulate our hormone balance by blocking our estrogen receptors, causing our bodies to produce more than we actually need, a vicious cycle.

I think I am too tired now. If I can formulate more words on this I will update my #3 at a later date.

What are your thoughts on why our generation is so sick?


I think I should start updating my blog like I do facebook posts.

Right now:

Raspberry Hershey kisses baked into mini gluten-free cupcakes. VERY good idea. Mmmmm.