Doctors: beware the think-happy parents

Parents, you can either strive to be a good patient to your doctor and loyal consumer to your pharmacist, or you can strive to always do right by your child and question everything, AKA, practice defensive parenting.

That sounds like a no-brainer right? Most people would say they always choose to put their children’s best interest at heart, which is why they take them to the doctor’s office for check-ups to begin with. But let’s look at this objectively, because the reality is that many well-intentioned people deny their initial parenting instincts in submission to their doctors will under the influence of white coat syndrome.

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Why parents choose conventional wisdom over their children and natural wisdom:

Reason #1: Avoiding uncomfortable encounters

When you question your doctors recommendations for your child, you instantly become a kink in their scheduling, an annoyance in their day, and a curiosity in their month. Let’s be straight – they instantly don’t like you and things get uncomfortable.

Reason #2: Fear mongering

Western MD’s aren’t yet acclimated to having their omnipotence questioned, so likely when it happens they will raise their hackles and bark out the general scary stories and propaganda passed down to them by their great and wise leaders at Big-Pharma.

The common problem arises here for well-meaning parents: decisions made out of fear are the decisions they regret.

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I remember what it’s like in the pediatricians office and on the receiving end of the well-seeming scare tactics, “There’s absolutely no pressure, but let me assure you that your child will probably fall prey to incurable disease and likely death, sooner than later, should you continue to question these vaccines, and let’s be honest with ourselves ( insert all-knowing smirk ), how will you live with yourself if that happens?”

Where in that kindly spiel was room left for time? Time for research, fact checking, critical thinking, perhaps a ‘gut check’ – all of the necessary components involved in rational decision-making?

There was none.

Reason #3: Parents don’t see themselves as qualified to perform research

I remember also sitting in the pediatricians office crying about our struggles with autism as it through it were yesterday. Upon voicing my concerns about a possible connection between vaccines and autism, I was told the following:

“It is natural to want to find a cause or a reason ( I have since dubbed this natural phenomenon with its technical term of ‘responsible parenting’ ) when something like this happens with children, but there is none to be found ( that could sit well with her after years of vaccinating children ), and at this point there is nothing you can do, no matter what you see on the internet…but vaccinate this child too, shall we?”

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In all fairness, tacked on at the end of that last pseudo-empathetic ‘there is no causal link’ speech, permission to “think on it some more” was granted. Unfortunately I was afraid and armed with frightfully few accurate facts at that time, so that is the story of how my second child received her first and last round of shots.

The truth is that the internet houses garbage as well as gold, and I leave it to you to use your own powers of discernment here. So long as you have eyes to see, reading is not futile, and anyone who suggests as much is automatically in question.

And finally, the solution:

My suggestion to all parents is not one of vaccinating vs not vaccinating, it is simply to become that crazed THINK-HAPPY parent doctors dislike. And to remember: good consumers buy product; good parents question those products.

Fact check: In the 80’s it was actually illegal to vaccinate a child under the age of two in Japan, a country known for valuing citizen health.

You have time.

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Save the pulp – make muffins

Do you hate throwing out ALL that pulp when you juice? Me too! Luckily it’s beyond easy to throw together a batch of muffins that taste great and deliver a whole lot of extra fiber!

juice muffs

Ingredients: 

2 cups of flour ( gluten free choose almond or rice flour )

Juice of 1/2 lemon

2 tbs coconut oil ( may substitute with apple sauce )

1 1/2 cups coconut macadamia milk ( coconut milk blended with mac nuts – it’s a breastfeeding thing )

4 eggs

3/4 cup raw sugar ( optional )

1 pinch sea salt (optional )

2 pinches baking soda

All of your pulp, I had about 2 – 3 cups

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Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350

Blend everything save the pulp together in mixing bowl, then add in the pulp and mix

Oil muff pan OR do like me and use muff papers

Bake at 350 for 23 – 25 minutes

Remove and cool for an hour

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Raising happy daughters in spite of stretch marks

I find it’s almost impossible, surrounded by so many digitally altered women everyday, to feel confident about my body ALL the time. I’ve counseled women on body image and blogged about it more than enough, yet still I find myself frowning in the mirror about certain ‘unchangeables’ on a daily basis, and all advice I’ve given seems completely meaningless in those moments.

MAN my nose is weird, my hair too thin and seriously, could my legs be any twiggier?

*Sigh*. It’s not easy being a woman today. The struggle will always be real, but this morning I feel compelled to share with you something personal from my life that helps me stay present with rationality.

Nevaeh and mommy

In the face of my ever-present insecurities, and though I have many, many faults as a mother, I have always remained conscious of how I regard my physical self in front of my kids. Of particular concern to me is my daughter, for obvious reasons.

When Nevaeh asks about my stretch marks, I tell her with a smile that they are the love marks I got to receive when God knit her and her brothers together in my belly.

When she sees me putting coverup on and asks me what it’s for, I tell her with a smile that sometimes I like to put makeup on for some extra pizazz, but that I don’t ever need to wear it.

And when my husband compliments my looks in front of my daughter, I don’t ever give the usual courtesy denials. You know, “Oh, noooo, geez, I’m looking a little chubby,” or, “No way, I totally look like death today”.

NO WAY.

I answer my husbands compliments with something less hostile, such as, “Thank you, I so appreciate that”.

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It traces back to the concept that our kids don’t do what we say, they do what we do. It is less recognized, however, that they also believe what we say when we think they’re not listening to us. This is something my mom understood when my sister and I were growing up. Were we completely sheltered from body shaming and negative self-image? No, we had struggles, but our moms ability to filter some of her more negative ideals of ‘self’ certainly gave us water wings on which to stay afloat the madness.

There’s an unspoken rule among women that if you don’t negate the nice things someone says about you, you are a narcissistic weirdo. Yeah, I engage in that behavior myself, but I toe the line of censorship when my daughter is present, teetering on the fine line between perceived vanity and the self-loathing vernacular we are more comfortable with.

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Women desperately need this wakeup call: However different you and your daughter may look, she will grow into a young woman who sees herself EXACTLY, and with no exception, as you see yourself.

When you look in the mirror with disgust and contempt for the body that serves you, please look at your daughter and imagine her living that same way.

We can’t change overnight the way we feel about ourselves or the advertising we are exposed to, and in truth there’s a high probability that we’ll never be able to change those things.

One thing we always have control over is the vocabulary and expressions we choose to share with our daughters. As mothers of daughters it is our responsibility to filter what we say and to teach our girls gratitude for a body that is functional and facilitates life.

No matter how you feel about yourself today, try it. Say something nice about yourself in the presence of your daughter.

vaeh

 

 

 

Carrot cake smoothie for breakfast: get your Vitamin A

Are you getting enough Vitamin A in your diet to keep your eyes strong, your bones and teeth hard and your skin glowing? If you are taking a synthetic Vitamin A via pill form, the answer is a big NO! Not only is synthetic Vitamin A extremely hazardous to your health, the only true way to eat Vitamin A directly is through animal products such as butter, liver and fish eggs.

There are, however, many plant foods that contain the precursor to Vitamin A, beta carotene. Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin, which simply put means that in order to convert beta carotene into Vitamin A, it needs to be consumed with fat. Just for example, we instinctively pair butter with our broccoli or sweet potatoes, both foods high in beta carotene.

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I LOVE this recipe! It’s not too sweet but packs a dense punch of nutrition and immune boosting spices, and is my favorite way to ensure my kids get their Vitamin A around the holidays. Perfect vegan treat, too!

Organic ingredients:

1 medium to large carrot, or a handful of yummy baby garden carrots 🙂

1 cup coconut cream

2 tbs gluten free oat flour ( way easy to make your own )

1 tbs ground chia seeds ( I use my handy coffee grinder )

1 tbs maca powder

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tbs pure ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

pinch of ground cloves

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 – 1/2 cup pure maple syrup

1 scoop GMO free protein or vitamin powder

OR

1 frozen banana

1 1/2 cups of ice

Instructions:

Blend together all ingredients before adding the ice. Once smooth, blend together with the ice.

 

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Happy birthday Austin!

Here’s where I found the original recipe:

http://www.rawfoodrecipes.com/recipes/vegan-carrot-cake-smoothie/