Category Archives: Granola Living

Wheat Free Buckwheat & Oat Pancakes

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So, we recently found out my husband has to eat wheat free.  We’ve been on a 4 month journey to finding replacements for all our wheat-y foods!  Sheesh, it’s been a trip for sure.  But we’ve found some favorites… like this Buckwheat & oat pancake recipe my husband invented after getting so fed up with all the nastyness of Gluten-Free “bread” stuffs.  Seriously, rice flour!?  Eeew.  Besides, it’s not whole grain, and I wasn’t willing to start using white flours.  So… we invented this pancake recipe!  I hope you enjoy… we actually prefer it over the whole wheat pancakes we used to eat!

UPDATE : Feel free to use whatever combination of flours you want… Sometimes I don’t use the buckwheat at all and just do barley and oat, or just plain oat!

Buckwheat & Barley Pancakes

Also feel free to check out my pin boards for other Wheat Free Recipies!

Wheat Free Snacks/Sides

Wheat Free Breakfast

Wheat Free Desserts

Wheat Free Main Dishes/Sides

Wheat Free Buckwheat & Barley Pancakes or Waffle Recipie

Happy Thoughts

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This is my happy today!  Am I strange, or do you feel happy when the view from the window is clean laundry fluttering in the breeze?  To me, a clothesline is beautiful… beautiful in it’s practicality, beautiful in its simplicity, beautiful in its peacefulness.  It’s so relaxing to me to drag a basket of clothes to the line and stand in the sun hanging them out to dry… the cool wet laundry draped over my shoulder as I mozey along, soaking in Vitamin D as I clip each clean item to the line.  My absolute favorite part is this…

She’s my little Monkey and she’s 3 1/2.  Makes my heart swell with pride to see her learning to be the wonderful homemaker I know she’ll be someday!  Her squeaky little voice exclaiming in wonder, “I did dat!”  A beautiful thing!

There’s just something marvelous about using a resource normally taken for granted to serve your family in something as simple as laundry.  All winter long I throw the clothes in the dryer dreaming of using my clothesline again!  My husband built me this one this year… from scraps of lumber we found at a construction site.

I can hang three full loads out there… including all the diaper wipes & family cloth, soiled bedding, towels, and clothes!  You know… it actually ends up making laundry take LESS time!  I can keep my washer full & running instead of letting it stand full of wet clothes while the dryer struggles to keep up.  This way, I usually have all the laundry done before lunchtime (which is at 11am around here), then after naps & snack (3pm) the kids & I head outside to take it all down.  A quick tumble in the dryer on “no heat air dry” and we have laundry ready to put away (because the only thing I don’t like to be crunchy is laundry!).  The simplicity, the sense of satisfaction, the joy of it all… that’s my Happy Thought today.

Happy Thoughts aside though… there’s something even more magical about the clothesline… It’s stain-fighting powers!  What an inexpensive practical way to reduce the stains in your laundry… Look at these diapers!

Not that I’m afraid of a little stain, especially on a diaper… but… eeew!  That’s a bad one!

But look… Stain-Be-Gone!  Thank you Mr. Sunshine!

I never knew having a clothesline could bring joy to my life… until I had one two years ago.  Since then, I haven’t gone back!  Maybe the neighbors don’t think it’s pretty… sorry for that… but I think the view out my dining room window is beautiful… especially when there’s a flock of little rascals running around making up games in the sunshine.  Life is beautiful.

A Garden Update

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I am incredibly excited about our garden this year!  It’s growing beautifully and soon we’ll have loads of tomatoes.  I’ve already harvested the herbs so they won’t be pictured in this post as, well, they aren’t very pretty anymore!  But the tomatoes!  Ooooooh the tomatoes!  Check this out!

Here’s the two I bought at the Farmers’ Market… On the left is a Black Krim tomato… a GORGEOUS fruit (I’ll show you in a minute).  On the right is a Rose tomato – kind of like a grape tomato.  I stuck the kids tractor in there to show the size of these plants!  I’m not even sure how I’ll pick the fruit off the Rose because it’s so crammed full inside the tomato cage!  The Krim is so tall & heavy we had to tie it with a string to a the nearby lilac bush!  And they are both bursting with fruit.

 

 

Here’s the underside of the Black Krim!

Here’s a cluster of Rose Tomatoes… do you see how dense this plant is?  Amazing!

And here’s a picture of our first ripe Black Krim fruit…  Isn’t it gorgeous!  The outside goes from a forest green around the top & fades to a deep red.  The flavor was AMAZING!

 

Onward… these next two tomatoes we got from Costco, and had I been thinking straight when we planted them, I would have put them in larger cages!  The ones that came with the plants were decidedly NOT tall enough.  On the left is another Black Krim & on the right is a Sweet 100 Cherry Tomato.  These are also bursting with fruit & I hope they make it because the vines are bending all the way to the ground over the short little cages.  Live and learn.

 

A shot of the ripe Sweet 100… I think I’ll let the kids pick those for snack.  They’ve been checking the plants for ripe tomatoes every day for weeks!  They will be very excited!

 

And last but not least, the Bell Pepper!  Got this little guy at the Farmer’s Market as well.  I wish I had a picture of what he looked like in the pot.  I tried to grow him in a pot like the guy said, but he just never perked up.  Never even got another bloom.  My husband decided one day that we were going to just try putting him in the ground in our Back to Eden garden.  Since then he’s put on over 8 new blooms and has a 2″ fruit!  He’s quite a bit taller as well!

 

Said fruit…

 

 

At any rate, I’m excited about our wonderful garden & can’t wait for next years’ plans!

Oh, and by the way… I am eating bread that I just baked on the front porch IN MY CROCK POT!  Here’s the recipe.  It really does taste quite good, and is apparently fool proof.  I didn’t have any eggs left so I substituted flaxmeal for the egg.  Simply put 2 Tablespoons ground flaxmeal in a one cup pyrex.  Add  boiling water until mixture reaches 1/4 cup.  Whisk until the consistency of an egg!  Easy peasy.

Anyway… substituted for the egg, and accidentally heated the milk way too hot so I cooled that with a couple ice cubes!  Pathetic… I’ve never made such a mess of bread.  But it tastes DELICIOUS and is a nice texture.  I’d probably have a hard time slicing it thin for a sandwich, but that could be my tom foolery with the egg bit too!

How’s your garden growing this year? 

 

 

 

Week 18 and Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

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Made it to Week 18!  And no, I don’t have a picture because we were on vacation.  I bought an onion (because I’m carrying an Onion now!), brought my calendar shirt & skirt, and forgot to take the picture.  Go figure.  Better next week.

 BabyFruit Ticker

Started feeling this little “onion” moving around at about 16 weeks… if that’s any indication, I have a feeling we’ve got a pretty active one on our hands!  Sometime this week I’ll call to schedule the ultrasound for later this month – around 20 weeks hopefully.

So, I’m not feeling sick anymore… which is my cue to start Red Raspberry Leaf Tea religiously every day until birth (get the loose leaf product I prefer here or ready-made teabags here).  Sigh… Oh how I’ve always hated that stuff… but, I love the results, so here we go again!

Why take Red Raspberry Leaf during pregnancy?  Oi… I have done some research online, and there are so many ideas & thoughts on the subject as well as varying “recipes” and dosages.  I have decided to do what I’ve always done at the recommendation of my midwife.  According to the pamphlet she gave me when I was pregnant with my first child, the tea if taken as suggested, works to strengthen & tone the uterus during pregnancy resulting in a shorter labor & delivery.  This can be found online as well, but I haven’t been able to come up with links to any “convincing” studies.  But, I feel that it’s worked for me, and I hear success stories from friends.  That’s good enough for me!  Here is a pretty thorough blog on the benefits of RRL during pregnancy.  I learned to make the tea differently than what is instructed in this blog however.  I think I’ll continue since I have experienced great results.  Those being a 4 hour first labor/delivery, 3 hours 50 minutes for the second, and 58 minutes for the third.  Those are start to finish numbers & I aim to continue the trend!  Although, a shorter than an hour labor does make me a little nervous!

That being said, I’ve always hated drinking RRLT because it’s sooo strong (probably because I brew it for so long – see below).  However… this year my Brother-in-Law gave us some of his raw honey & I started sweetening it with that (instead of Splenda as I’ve always done, but that’s always bothered me, so I started using the honey).  I was so thrilled with the taste!  Somehow I actually like it this time!  It’s really strange.  It’s hard though, because I have this mental aversion to it because of hating it for so many years.  But I’ve found the trick for me is to set it on the counter in a jar with a straw in it.  If it doesn’t have a straw, I don’t drink it!  I don’t know what that’s about.  So, I leave the stuff on the counter and will myself to take a sip every time I walk by.  This is only the first week of taking it, so maybe, because I do like the flavor with the raw honey, maybe I will be able to sit myself down with a cup of tea sometime!

If you’d like to research more about RRLT on your own, feel free, if not, here is my “recipe”!

How I make my RRLT:

First Through Second Trimesters:

  • 1/8 Cup Cut & Sifted Red Raspberry Leaf, 3 Cups Water, bring to a boil, simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Sweeten with Raw Honey, pour into mason jar, stick a straw in it, & leave it on the counter to take sips throughout the day.

Third Trimester:

  • 1/2 Cup Cut & Sifted Red Raspberry Leaf, 5 Cups Water, bring to a boil, simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Sweeten with Raw Honey, pour into mason jar, stick a straw in it, & leave it on the counter to take sips throughout the day.

Unconventional Cooking

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I have a confession to make… until this week, I’d never started a campfire by myself!  I know… crazy.  Well, I’ve made some improvements, and to date I have started THREE fires… and not just fires… COOKING fires!

Back in April my husband built us a lovely fire pit in our back yard.  If we wanted barbecue, this is how we did it.  Traditionally, I would have a meal ready, he would come home from work, start the fire, wait for coals, cook dinner.  Not exactly my favorite thing ever since I like having dinner ready when he gets home so he can relax.

The fire pit started out as an occasional way to have a BBQ treat, since we don’t often barbecue.   As the temperature increased, we became less and less thrilled with cooking indoors in a home with no AC!  You can imagine why!  So, we started grilling a lot more often.  Which meant more late dinners, more hubby having to cook after arriving home from work.  Not ideal.  But, at the same time, we were becoming better and better at cooking over a fire!  Yea!

So!  The beginning of this week I had a meal planned that would take a little too long to wait for my Mr. to come home.  So… I mustered up as much courage as I had, built a wood tee-pee in the fire pit over some torn up egg carton, and lit a match!  Eeek.  But, check it out!  It’s a pretty good first fire!  And it was reduced to perfect coals by the time Mr. got home!  I was so proud!   And, yes, that’s a snow sled in the background… we use it to haul wood!

Even after building such a beautiful fire, I still wasn’t brave enough to cook with it.  So, I left the grilling to the pro.

Fast forward a couple days, and I did it again.  Built a fire, Mr. cooked dinner.

Fast forward to last night… I built a fire… AND I cooked dinner!  This is where things get interesting!  Dinner HAD to be Craveable Taco Dip, from the Costco cookbook.  I was craving it.  However… it was H.O.T outside… which, of course, meant it was around 84 in our house.  Oven?  Yeah, not a chance!

Okay, so we don’t have a dutch oven … technically (Update: Now we do and I Love it!).  But, in case you don’t have one, if you have two cast iron skillets, one somewhat larger than the other you can make a “dutch oven”!  Since we’ve been campfire cooking all week anyway, I figured why not branch out & do something other than grilling?  Experiment a little… I experiment for a living (mom’s do that), and dinner is no exception in this home!  Here’s what I came up with as a “dutch oven”…

Yep… it is actually two skillets one stacked on the other!

I set a few rocks up beside the fire, spread the coals around, stabilized the grill on the rocks, laid some foil out on the grill so as not to smokify my marvelous cast iron, and put the smaller pan on the grill on top of the foil.  Then I stacked the larger pan on top, lined it with foil, filled it with coals, and timed it for 20 minutes!  I looked at the clock seriously every 3-5 minutes, I was so anxious to see if it worked!

The whole time we were waiting for dinner, the kids were riding on their little outside cars.  They’d come up to me every thirty seconds giving me pretend money and asking the “gas lady” to fill up their car with gas!  So, I took imaginary money, and “Ffffffssssshhhhhh”ed my way all the way till the timer went off!

Finally it went off! I got some pot holders and practically ran to the pit.  When I lifted my giant pan off the top of my “dutch oven”, I saw bubbling cheese all around the edges!  Oooooo, was I excited… not just because I LOVE this meal, but mostly because I COOKED ON THE FIRE ALL BY MYSELF!!!!!  Okay, I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but to me, this is a huge milestone!  I’m so excited!

So, here’s the final product.  I give it to the littlest in a bowl with a spoon, and to the bigger two in a tortilla shell.  Can you believe I cooked this in such a fashion!? Next time I’m trying pizza!

I just gotta say, I know this post is a little strange, but I’m just so proud of myself I had to share it somewhere.  It makes me happy to know that I’m saving money by cooking outdoors, and it’s kind of empowering, in a weird sort of way, to know that I can cook the same outside as I can inside!  With some creativity and improvisation, anything is possible!  I only wish I had a real Dutch Oven so I could cook a cobbler! (We just planted our very own berry patch, so I have cobbler on the mind!).

One of my favorite bloggers is Kelly over at The Morris Tribe.  She’s been blogging a lot lately about sustainable living, cooking outside, raising your own food, breadmaking!, and many other things relating to living more simply.  We started our fire pit as a way to just have fun… but Kelly’s influence, and my own desire to spend less and not heat up the house, has made me think a lot more about the things we take for granted.  What if my stove broke?  What if natural gas was rationed in our country?  What if the power went down & I hadn’t cooked dinner yet?  It’s not only fun to explore other options, but now I’m seeing that it’s actually practical.  It’s good for me to know that I don’t have to depend on someone or something else to prepare food for my family.  I can do it with a fire pit and some scrap wood scavenged from construction site dumpsters!  I can cook for free!

Cloth Diaper Rash Troubleshooting

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Finding the cause of rashes can be a daunting task.  Some rashes I’ve found out right away, and some took a week or more.  I have compiled a list of troubleshooting ideas to help get you started finding that pesky problem causing your little one’s rash… I hope this list helps you find the source of the problem so you can continue to Cloth Diaper successfully.

Here’s some ideas:

1. Are you using a good cloth diaper friendly detergent?  Either something specifically for cloth, or this homemade detergent has worked well for me.  Perhaps the detergent is building up in the diapers or maybe baby is sensitive to the detergent in the first place.  Ruling out detergent sensitivity is simple: wash her clothes in it for a while, if the rash doesn’t show up anywhere else, this probably isn’t the issue.

2. Your diapers need disinfected because there is bacterial buildup… run them through a load with some bleach, then rinse rinse rinse.  Or hang in the sun for several hours.

3. Has she started solids?  It could be a reaction to a new food that she may be sensitive to.  Sensitivities that I’ve noticed causing rashes are wheat, dairy, eggs.

4. Do you need to strip your diapers?  Have you done this recently?

5. Could be a yeast infection… but if it goes away & comes back, maybe not?  At the same time, maybe there is yeast in only some of your stash.  If that’s the case, you NEED to strip them & disinfect them.  Here’s an article on yeast in diapers.

6. That being said, did you buy the diapers used?  I’ve haven’t known many people who buy used (from people they don’t know) who have success with the diapers… they usually end up infecting their whole stash with something or other.  Yeast being the major culprit.  People who get rid of their cloth diapers before the baby is out of diapers are probably running into recurring rash issues and need to de-yeast their diapers – if they can – or toss the whole lot.

7. A word about rashes… is the rash on her bumcheeks or inside the labia & around the anus?  If it is on the cheeks, you most likely have a DIAPER issue (try the stuff above), if it’s inside the cracks, you most likely have a FOOD issue.  That’s not 100%, but it’s a great place to start.

8. Do you use disposable diapers at all?  Are the disposables scented?  Some babies are really sensitive to fragrances and some are just sensitive to paper diapers in general.

I really hope this list has been helpful… I know it is not complete… mostly because I just found this AMAZING troubleshooting guide by Cheeky Bums Blog.  It is the most thorough troubleshooter I’ve found to date!  Head over there & take a look.

Please, if you have a tip I have not listed here, leave a comment & I will add your tip to the list.
I would like this list to be as comprehensive as possible so we can help
as many people as we can have success with Cloth Diapering!

The How’s and Why’s: My Journey from Prescription to Granola

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Photo Credit

I grew up in a home full of delicious home-cooked food, whole wheat bread, a berry patch so big we could never pick all the berries, and a vegetable garden to match.  We raised cows once, rabbits always, and homemade yogurt wasn’t unheard of.  I’m forever thankful for the lessons in healthy homemaking I gleaned from my Mother.

But there were things I didn’t know.  I didn’t know that Garlic was a natural antibiotic.  I thought “antibiotics” could only be purchased at the pharmacy.  I didn’t know there were herbal remedies for my depression.  I didn’t know a fever was a good thing.  I didn’t know doctors didn’t have all the answers for health issues and I believed them without a doubt.

Now, granted, back then the internet was not worth exploring or using as a tool for serious research, so how would you know the things we know now!  Oh how the tables have turned!  We have so much knowledge right at our fingertips.  For the careful researcher, the internet is an invaluable tool.  And I have used it!  A lot!  I have learned a TON.

When I was in college I began to get a sour taste in my mouth about hospitals, doctors, the trend to over-medicate.  It was just a thought… but it was the beginning of the journey.

While my husband and I were engaged I began to suffer severely from chronic back pain.  I was in the best physical condition of my life; strong, fit, 135 pounds.  Why was I having this pain.  The doctors prescribed medications for the pain but I couldn’t kick the thought that maybe I shouldn’t just be masking the pain with drugs.  Maybe there was something wrong that could be fixed.  Someone told me about a chiropractor… my first thought was negative because alternative medicine was still foreign to me.  But, I gave it a try… the chiropractor was confident that he could fix me… that he could fix the three spots in my back that were quite out of line… this even could deduce from the x-ray.  $800 later… I was no longer in pain, I had a new respect for chiropractic, and I was introduced to the world of alternative medicine.  However, when we got married we moved to another state, so I lost my miracle chiropractor.

When my husband & I found out we were pregnant with our first child we went to a local CPC because we didn’t have insurance.  We thought they could point us to a good doctor since we were new to the area & had no idea what doctor to choose.  They pointed us to a local midwifery clinic.  At this point, I didn’t know the difference between natural & unnatural… I hadn’t given a thought to the differences in skin care products, what produce to buy, what medications to avoid, that midwives even existed.  But, in the interest of being cheap frugal, we chose the midwife over the hospital because she cost less!  Our first appointment was just to explore our options.  That was only one of two appointments… at week 9 I called the midwife because I was experiencing some bleeding and wanted to know if I should be concerned.  She told me to come to the clinic & did an ultrasound.  That night I miscarried.  A “Blighted Ovum” pregnancy.  I couldn’t have done anything to stop it.  And I couldn’t do anything to stop the tears.  Inga was a phone call away.  I hadn’t even had my first appointment as a client.  She never asked for anything…  She just loved me.  She made a lasting impression.

When we got pregnant again a little less than a year later, I started seeing a doctor because we did have insurance this time.  I really wanted to go back to my midwife, but again, in the interest of being frugal, we went with the doctor.  At 9 weeks I again experienced spotting.  The doctor, after much begging on my part, did an ultrasound.  Baby had a heart that was beating!  It was the most beautiful site I’d ever seen.

During the pregnancy I started experiencing a chronic cough.  I asked the doctor about it and he prescribed a prescription cough syrup.  I went to the pharmacy to fill the prescription and decided to mention that I was pregnant and ask if the medication was safe.  The pharmacist looked up the medication & said it was a “C” class medication and that it was not recommended for pregnancy especially during the first trimester due to increased risk of miscarriage.  Needless to say, I wasn’t happy.  So I asked the doctor what else I could try.  He prescribed something else… also unsafe for pregnancy.  I decided to pursue a second opinion.  So I went to a different office, saw a PA, who told me to try Prevacid… a prescription antacid.  At this point I was quickly becoming leery of using prescriptions while pregnant.  So, I started thinking!  That was the first good decision I made!  Antacid… tums is an antacid… hmmmm… yeah, it worked!  No more coughing.  Ok… so now I’m thinking again.  Do I really want to keep seeing this doctor?  Do I really want to trust this man with my baby’s life?  With my life?  Can I trust him?  The answers to all these questions kept coming up “NO”.  So, I called the midwife.  The second good decision I made.  First, I started thinking instead of just taking everyone at their word.  Then I acted on what I thought was best.

I LOVED every visit with my midwife!  She was professional.  She KNEW about pregnancy, birth, and babies.  She understood it, and not just on a clinical level.  I could sense that I was safe in her hands.  My husband could to.  He said that when we walked in there he KNEW that was where we were supposed to be.  It just felt right.  Our appointments were never rushed.  I never felt like my questions were “stupid”.  I felt like she had all the information I needed & if she didn’t she would get it.  I felt,  most importantly, like she cared about me & my baby.  My midwife also introduced me to my chiropractor!  Phew… what a blessing he was to the third trimester!  I became a believer in chiropractic even stronger than before.

You can read our birth story here.  When I first met our Little Monkey, the gradually growing Granola in me hit a turning point.  I mean, I was  already on this journey, already sneaking peaks down a road I wasn’t familiar with but was beginning to understand was the better road, what could possibly have cemented the decision to run pell-mell down that road more than looking that little person right in the eyes knowing I wanted to take the best possible care of her?!

So… I think I’d have to say that if there is one person who influenced my journey to Granola the most…

Yes… this is just minutes after the birth of our first daughter!  She was so beautiful… so perfect.  Like any new mother, I didn’t want to tarnish any of that purity.  My experience in natural out-of-hospital birth gifted me with a strong desire to really start traveling this new road…

Everything about it was foreign to me… except the miracle of drug-free doctor-free birth!  That I knew… that I loved… that I knew was natural.  And if that was natural… I wanted more natural!  As much of it as I could get.

When our Little Monkey had troubles nursing my Doula & Midwife suggested that we take her to the chiropractor!  Now THAT was a foreign thought.  But, I’d come to trust these people & after doing some research, we decided to take her in.  It was only one gentle little adjustment and the nursing issues were a thing of the past.  Now I realized that chiropractic wasn’t just for big people, it was for everyone!  My eyes were being opened even more.

The journey has been gradual, more and more Granola added along the way!  Three years later and I’m still growing, still exploring.  Still loving every new nut I add to our box of natural.

The next nut we added was cloth diapers!  Well, I suppose we added that while I was pregnant because that was just something I was always going to do because, in the interest of being frugal (!), it just made sense!  But then, I started sewing my own diapers from re-purposed receiving blankets & making my own laundry detergent as well because I didn’t want the chemicals near baby’s skin.  That led into making my own deodorant & my husbands shaving cream because I didn’t want chemicals on our skin either… which of course introduced the wonders of coconut oil!  Love that stuff.  And eventually eliminating chemical cleaners from my home all together.

During the pregnancy I religiously brewed and drank Red Raspberry Leaf Tea – a QUART of it a day (so disgusting)… this was my introduction to the world of herbs… a fine introduction in that my fear of a 20+ hour labor like my mom’s was soundly defeated!  A 4.5 hour labor was totally worth all the nastiness of that tea as was the new understanding that God made this green stuff that grows straight from the dirt that works better than that white stuff in bottles that who the heck knows where it comes from.  I started growing curious about what other plants could be used with equally amazing results.

I’m currently interested in exploring how to grow the plants necessary to make my own medicines.  Of course, in the interest of being frugal, I have a itching desire to grow my own instead of buying ready made!

After our second Monster was born I noticed I was having trouble with milk supply.  He lost weight (about a pound) at around 5-6 months.  I began exploring herbal supplements to encourage milk production.  I took Brewer’s Yeast & Fenugreek religiously as well as pumped twice a day in addition to nursing him.  I made it a couple more months.  Then I put him on formula because I didn’t know what else to do.  He was on formula for two months before I couldn’t take it anymore… I couldn’t bear mixing up that awful smelling powder that didn’t resemble food in the least & giving it to my teeny little baby.  So, I started giving him goats milk and supplementing with Omegas & D3 vitamins.

The next step was a big one for my Mr.!  However, after suffering pretty bad PPD with our second, he was primed for my next step!  Big pregnant with LaLa, we left the kids with some friends & went on a date.  During dinner, not knowing how to broach the subject delicately (obviously, since I did it during dinner!), I pulled out the pamphlet on Placenta Encapsulation.  I had read through the birth packet from my midwife earlier that day & was intrigued by what the pamphlet said.  It said that if you just ingested the placenta (after it had been put into little pills!), you would have virtually NO PPD and it supposedly helped with milk supply issues among other things!  Having struggled sooo much after the Monster was born, I was intrigued to be sure.  My Man’s first reaction… “NO THE HECK WAY!  You are NOT eating your placenta… Oh, why don’t we just cook it up like a steak and you can eat it with a fork.  Better yet, just eat it raw!”  Haha… I was ready & willing to submit but not until I let him in on a little more information.  We read the pamphlet together & I told him about the talk I’d had with the lady who does it locally.  I don’t quite remember how it went after that, but somehow he started thinking it was a good idea.  And, in the interest of being frugal, we decided to do the thing ourselves.  How much more Granola can you get!  I had a friend & Doula in training coming over to film & photograph the birth.  She helped with the cooking process shortly after LaLa was born.  Then we, my hubby & I, encapsulated it together!  Now isn’t that romantic!

The “Placenta Thing”, as many dub it, was a life changer!  Again reinforcing my bent toward all things natural.  PPD was a thing of the past.  I still struggled with milk supply & added Milk Thistle, Alfalfa, and Marshmallow Root (all galactalgogues) to my list of herbs to encourage milk production.  I made it to 7 months.  Next time I’m trying Blessed Thistle… I hear it’s a miracle herb!  This time I avoided the commercial formula all-together.  Thankfully I had a few friends who stepped up to help, offering bags of breast milk.  This kept us going for another month, after which we had to switch again to the goats milk.

Some time after LaLa was born, Monster started having this curious pain in the night and occasionally during the day.  It started off very sporadic.  Then became increasingly worse at night.  He’d complain of pain in a particular spot in his foot or leg… he’d just scream, pointing, and saying boo-boo.  It broke my heart to see him in agony like that.  By this time my thinking was no longer first to the medical then to the natural… it was the other way round.  So, I took him to the doctor just out of curiosity… the doctor said that kids that age don’t know where they hurt when they hurt and that we should just give him Tylenol when it bothered him.  I went next door to our chiropractor straight away rolling my eyes at the thought that my Monster didn’t know where he was hurting!  It was so obvious that he knew where he hurt!  And it was obvious that he hurt bad.  I put my little Monster (almost 2 at the time) on the table.  Our Chiropractor felt his back & jaw & took some notes.  Then grabbed his tiny little electronic hammer dealie and worked on my Monster’s back a little.  He just lay there with this look in his eyes that said, “Mommy, I’m not sure what’s going on, but you said it would help my boo-boo and I’m going to try really hard to be a big strong man right now.”  We took him home and experienced no pain episodes that night!  The first in over a month.  Being that it was now Friday, I decided it best to take him back in for another adjustment just to make sure everything was firmly in place for a pain free weekend.  We went into the little room and wouldn’t you know it, my Little Monster scrambled right up onto that table and laid on his tummy and patiently waited for the Dr. to come in.  Even at barely 2 years old he knew that chiropractic had made his boo-boo go away & he was ready for more!   He wasn’t scared this time!

To me, Granola means using herbs before OTC or prescription medication, seeing a chiropractor before a doctor, home birthing, home cooking, being as wise as possible with the money my husband earns, and being in a constant state of curiosity, willing to do anything it takes to learn how to take care of my family in the most natural way possible.  I can’t say I know everything there is to know about being Granola, but I am confident saying that I am Granola because I am constantly searching for ways to approach life more naturally, more simply, more freely.  I have truly enjoyed this journey and can’t wait for what’s around the next corner.

What does it mean to you to be Granola & what has been your favorite part of your journey?


Photo Credit

Pregnancy Week 14 & Gardening!

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Well… I’ve made it into the second trimester and only lost a couple pounds!  I’m feeling sooo much better lately, food is starting to regain it’s appeal and my appetite is horrendous!

So, this post will be totally random… updates from the life & times of just another pregnant mom who hasn’t got much of a brain anyway.

My husband & I watched the Back to Eden Film this last week and we are pumped up and totally excited to start a garden!  We did a semi-BTE garden this last year and experienced such amazing results that we figured we needed to just go all out!  We’ve already got our first load of wood chips to spread and will probably start working on that this evening.

Here’s a picture of the difference we’ve experienced with traditional gardening vs. BTE gardening.

Can you believe the difference!  It’s so lush & green and the plants are HUGE!!!

This week we also took a pepper that I’d planted in a pot at the direction of the guy at the Farmers Market.  It hadn’t grown since MAY!  Not an inch.  And only produced one little fruit about the size of a kiwi!  And the leaves were all yellow.  TWO DAYS AGO… we transplanted that same pepper into our BTE garden area… it’s grown a good THREE inches and has EIGHT buds on it!  I am soooo a believer in Paul Gautschi’s gardening method that I had to share with you!  I can’t wait to see what we can grow next season!  Ooooh the possibilities! 🙂

Summertime Treat: Popsicles

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I’m a sucker for not wasting anything… call me cheap, call me frugal, whatever… I can’t throw stuff away if I find that it still has use left in it, even if that use is not what it was intended for in the first place!

So, I have TONS of leftover Playtex Drop-In Disposable Bottle Liners that just never got used when my kids were taking bottles… I couldn’t return them to the store, so I had to figure out a way to re-purpose them. I also have a bunch of wooden Popsicle sticks!

My kids eat smoothies in the summer… A LOT OF SMOOTHIES!  Ever since we burnt out two blenders making baby food & my husband got me a Vitamix (Heaven I tell you!), I’ve been blending like a maniac!  I never add sugar to my smoothies (a banana or two does the trick just fine!), so I am not opposed to giving them to my kids as often as they want!  We have smoothies for snacks, smoothies with meals, smoothies as Popsicles!  Yeah!  I really want to try this Sweet Potato Smoothie from Money Saving Mom!  Doesn’t that sound delicious!

RE-PURPOSING TIP :

Whenever I make a smoothie there is usually some leftover.  So, I press a popsicle stick into a chunk of fruit (banana, apple, pear, watermelon…), put that into the bottom of a liner so the stick stands straight up, then fill the liner half full (or full… as my kids will eat a LARGE Popsicle with no hesitation)! Then I stand those up in a container & put them in the freezer.  After they are frozen, I take them out & put them in a ziplock, or just on a shelf – they’ll get eaten fast enough!  I have three eating popsicles now, and having a shelf full is a must for us!

In this way, I always have a supply of nutritious popsicles during the summer!  And they often have spinach, carrots, cucumbers, broccoli!  You can put soooo many veggies in a smoothie, disguise it with fruit, and vwalla… a nutritious treat for everyone!

The best part for my frugal-lishious self, the liners are reusable since there is no heating involved. I put them in the top rack of the dishwasher or just rinse by hand for the next time!

What is your favorite smoothie concoction?

Pregnancy Survival Tip: EAT BREAKFAST!!!

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So far this pregnancy has been nothing but nausea.  If I cough, I lose my lunch.  If I brush my teeth, I lose it.  If I am too active, you guessed it.  I’ve been spending a LOT of time on the couch.  For a time, I keep telling myself!  This too shall pass.

So… I know one of the best things I can do for the sickies is to eat breakfast… IMMEDIATELY!  Thankfully, I have an AMAZING husband who does ALL the other morning stuff, including making the kids breakfast, while I eat a leisurely bite before the kids wake up.

I’ve always practiced this morning ritual of eating immediately after getting up… but Honey Bunches of Oats (my go to breakfast choice because it’s easy to give it up a moment later), has become sooooooo boring!  I’ve used it for four pregnancies so far and I’m.sick.of.it!!!!  But, a stroll through the cereal aisle reveals nothing more appetizing.  In fact, anything dry & bready/crunchy is rather nauseating to me this time around.

Anyway… 15 years ago (yikes!) I went to Guatemala on a short term youth group mission trip.  One thing I remember about that trip was this drink we had in the town of Holca… a small mountain town where we experienced a GINORMOUS rain & thunderstorm & slept on the concrete floor of a room with a spider in it….. A spider as big as my hand…. Let me tell you, that was the scariest night of my young life!

Oh yeah, the drink.  I’ve thought about this drink a lot since then… researched on the internet for recipes…. but could never find anything that resembled it!  I remember thinking it definitely had cinnamon in it… and some sort of grain but I couldn’t distinguish if it was barley, oat, rice or what.  So, on one particular day a couple weeks ago… after puking my guts out twice before Jesse even left for work… I browsed the internet again with a craving for this drink I remembered.  Guess what!?!?!  I FOUND IT… it’s called Mosh, and it’s a slow-cooked oatmeal with cinnamon!  Ha!

Anyway… thought I’d share with you the recipe.  I found it here, but I’ve modified the recipe slightly to make it more like what I remember.

Guatemalan Mosh

  • 1 Cup Old Fashioned Oats
  • 4.5 Cups Water
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick (these are the ones we get)
  • Mix in a saucepan & bring to a boil.

Pour into a crock pot & cook on low 4-5 hours stirring occasionally, until the oats are quite broken down & the Mosh is runny.

  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Milk

Add to crock pot, stir, cook another couple hours.Allow to cool, pour into mason jars, cover & store in fridge.  In the morning, put 8oz or so in a mug, heat on stove or in microwave, and eat immediately.

If you need more protein for your morning meal (this recipe only has about 2g per serving) just add an additional cup of water & 5 Tablespoons of Chia Seeds to bring the protein up to 5g per serving!  Chia Seeds also contribute a ton of omegas which is great for pregnancy.

So, this has really helped sooo much!  Yes, I’m still super nauseous… but since I’ve switched to Mosh from HBoO I have been able to get the morning chores done before taking a break in the morning!  That alone has been quite helpful!

I hope all my preggie friends have been able to find a “miracle help” for those morning yuckies as I seem to have found.

What has been your go-to food for conquering the sickies during pregnancy?