Circumcision – a cosmetic procedure?

Between three kids and home school I have less time to blog than ever, though I find myself WANTING to blog more than ever. It is a comfort to me to be able to share in this space, and I thank you so much for allowing me to do so!

For now it is difficult to find the time to write and edit, but I really have wanted to touch on the subject of circumcision and share with you my thoughts and understanding of the highly debated topic!

Here’s my quick video. Due to convenience I’m going to be doing more in the way of vlogging, so if you would like to see more holistically minded content and you don’t mind the (temporary) poor video quality, please subscribe below!

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Very young children and green juice – smart?

When my daughter was … she had to have been between six and eight months old as I remember she was not yet on solids, I fed her first taste of dark green juice. I hadn’t intended to, but I was making my morning juice as usual and she reached out from her little play pen and up towards my cup. I gave her a taste in a glass baby bottle and the rest, as they say, is history.

She LOVED that green juice, and at the time I couldn’t help feeling so smug and proud! Finally, I’m going to do this right! I’m going to have one of the worlds healthiest kids! As I will explain in a future post, this was not how things would eventually play out. Did juice play a part in her issues? I don’t know.

Like I said, I’ll get to that.

HOWEVER, green juice HAS served us well, and I’m not knocking it in any way. I would simply advice past me to wait on giving that girl the green juice until she was old enough to understand the concept of “chewing” her juice.

what?

Yeah, juice should be “chewed”, or more accurately, swished. Juice has long been held on a pedestal by many in the health community, including myself, as a miracle food that “doesn’t even require digestion!“. While it is true that juice can be considered a miracle food, it’s not exactly true that it requires no digestion.

What happens if it doesn’t get swished?

Well, it’s said to be akin to drinking sugar-water in a sense. Mixing the juice around in your mouth blends it with your salivary amylase, which is important because this enables your body to properly use the juice and absorb those nutrients you worked so hard to extract!

So, take Austin’s advice and swish, swish, swish!

Sugar Bug! The mysterious vein on your child’s nose

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As divine intervention would have it, last night I stumbled upon an article that has the potential to help me understand my four-year old daughter better – an article I wish I’d been able to read when she was a baby.

Here’s our back story: as a baby my daughter was happy, smiling constantly and crying infrequently, although admittedly she was a very light sleeper.

I don’t remember exactly when things changed, but I do remember that by the time she was a year and a half old she was, for lack of better words, troubled. Frequently at night she awoke in uncontrollable screams and angry shrieks that left her dad and I feeling helpless and confused. By day she was hyperactive and very reactive, always quick to lose her temper and shriek in an aggressive and irrational manner that generally could be indicative of explosive or negligent parenting behind the scenes, which was not the case at all.

Well apparently my daughter was born with a Kanmushi, as it is referred to in Chinese medicine, otherwise known as a Sugar Bug, which is indicated by the bright blue vein exposed on the bridge of her nose.

A what?! I know, it’s a first for me too.

At her birth, my very knowledgable lay midwife said that blue spot was probably a bruise from the birth canal and that it would fade and disappear. Obviously I soon realized it wasn’t going away, and I have since always considered it normal. However, two days ago at a check up I found it odd that her doctor asked if it was a bruise; naturopathic doctors are extremely knowledgable and aware of the odds and ends of the human body.

So I say divine intervention because how funny that just two days later while scrolling through The Holistic Squid for some late night reading I see a picture that says, “Is your baby’s blue vein a sugar bug?”

I was so surprised, I felt like the article was written about my daughter!

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What exactly is a Sugar Bug?

A blue vein visible on the bridge of a baby’s nose is called a “Sugar Bug”, or Kanmushi. In Chinese medicine it is known that this vein indicates that the child will be very sensitive to sugar. It is considered a “curvy road sign”, that forewarns parents to proceed into the future with caution in order to prevent physical and emotional/behavioral problems from manifesting as the child ages.

What makes the Sugar Bug child different from any other child?

As indicated, the Sugar Bug will be sensitive to sugar, and it is likely highly addictive for him/her, so the parent should avoid giving too many sweet treats, including fruit. Sugar Bugs are deficient in essential fatty acids and fat soluble vitamins ( as was my daughter, so much so that she has had dental problems ), among other nutrients, and will need a nutrient dense diet and quality probiotic to thrive.

The Sugar Bug has problems sleeping at night, has difficulty with focus, tends toward a trademark “shriek” and screaming, and is prone to being labeled with ADD and ADHD. For emotional health and to avoid behavioral roadblocks, the Sugar Bug will require continuous rhythm, structure and schedule in his/her daily life.

What causes a Sugar Bug?

It is not known exactly what causes a sugar bug, but the author theorizes that in short it stems from a maternal lack of nutrition, balance and good gut flora at the time of Sugar Bug’s birth.

So wow, I feel like I’ve let my daughter down, and in addition I’m frustrated that as a holistic practitioner I’ve never heard of this “Sugar Bug” business!

Truth be told, until this last year or so, I’ve wasted a lot of time being rather unorganized and unscheduled in my parenting, lacking a natural knack for routine myself, and I know it’s affected my daughter. I know we could have avoided a lot of trouble, frustration and worry had I known about the Sugar Bug sooner, or perhaps had I just been a more organized person.

Parenthood guilt never ceases, does it?

There is an upside!

I subsequently searched the internet, finding that apart from motherhood forums and the aforementioned article, nothing is out there on Kanmushi.

The upside is that the advice given for the Sugar Bug is the same exact advice that can benefit EVERY parent and child! Every child deserves as nutrient dense a diet as can be afforded, and as much structure and routine as can be provided.

If you’re reading this and your baby has the telltale blue vein on the bridge of her nose, you have an opportunity to be prepared with understanding for your child during the restless nights and irrational shrieks. Or perhaps you become so prepared and proactive that you avoid these experiences altogether.

My search for information on the Sugar Bug is far from over, so stay tuned. Please comment your experiences if you have a Sugar Bug too!

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sugar bug

Keep that baby asleep! 3 natural tips to more rest

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The movies always portray the same scene of that exhausted new mom desperate for reprieve after the birth of her new baby; she is carefully disheveled, as only movie stars are, and would leave her baby with just about anyone for an hour or two of shut-eye.

This is a fairly accurate depiction of real life for many new moms, but what if I told you it didn’t have to be?

One of the many things that Dr. Weston A. Price, “The Charles Darwin of Nutrition”, learned during his experiences with traditional culture was that primitive people’s ( people living traditionally off the beaten path ) babies never cried.

Never?

Never. When I heard that I just KNEW I had to dig deeper and learn all I could from these primitive women whose wisdom apparently surpassed most modern-day parenting advice.

I was determined to have a relaxed baby that slept through the night this time around, without any stress, and you know what? I achieved just that! From Kai’s third night earthside he has slept peacefully through the night, and I’ll share with you the 3 things that I believe can make all the difference:

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#1) Eat Fat!

Don’t let anyone tell you that what you eat doesn’t make or break your milk! If you are what you eat, then your breast milk certainly is as well.

For example, if I eat foods that are high in sugar or low in nutrition before our nighttime “nursy num-num”, Baby Kai sleeps lightly and is sometimes even cranky – not typical behavior for him at all. Conversely on the days and nights that I eat nutritionally dense high fat meals, he almost always sleeps for a full uninterrupted 8 – 9 hours at night.

Keeping your milk-fat content high will keep Baby full, nutritionally satisfied and primed for a good long sleep. Remember, a crying baby is often a hungry baby.

*Note that trans ( bad ) fats, or hydrogenated oils, actually decrease the fat content in your milk*

kai eggs martin#2) Limit Baby’s screen time! 

As a matter of fact, research supports a parents decision to give baby no screen time, television or other, before two years of age for developmental reasons. Specifically in relationship to sleep however, the brightness of electronic screens such as smart phones and iPads are relative to that of the noon-day sun. You can see how this can be confusing for a new little earthling!

Exposure to this kind of unnatural lighting at strange times of the day, particularly in the evening hours, will mess with Baby’s natural circadian rhythm and his ability to sleep through the night.

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#3) Skip sleep training!

Sleep training is unnatural and creates feelings of insecurity, isolation and abandonment, as Baby does not yet possess the ability to self-soothe.

When baby is left to “cry it out”, the eventual silence that ensues is no more than a survival instinct to protect an abandoned baby from discovery by a predator.

For obvious reasons if you are raising children naturally you probably don’t want to employ a traumatic last resort survival instinct as an early sleep strategy. The fact is the baby lulled to sleep in a state that is natural and comfortable to humans will sleep sounder and longer than the baby who cried himself to sleep in the dark alone. 

nighty night

 

 

Don’t take my word for it! Eat really well, skip screens, love on that baby and see what happens!

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The children that should have been aborted

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The following was my response to a very popular pro-choice female blogger and Planned Parenthood supporter claiming that she had seen too many foster children who should have been aborted. I believe her exact words were, “I’ve seen foster kids who have gone from home to home, and whatever, and their quality of life was just not that great and it was never going to get better.” The implication was clear in the text; they really would be better off had they been aborted.

To a certain extent, this is true. We can’t save babies. Mothers and babies are a package deal, and it’s the mothers that need to be protected. At the end of an abortion, the baby will find peace. The mother will still be left to deal with the physical, emotional and spiritual damage that is not talked about in our culture.

My response gained a lot of attention in her comment section, triggering hate as well as praise, so here again I’ll share it with you: AbortionHurtsWomen-1   How heartbreaking it is, just how arrogant we have become to believe that we can know who should have died and who logically should live. We have forgotten that the act of sex is designed for procreation, and so when a baby pops up “out of the blue” and surprises us, of course we must then ‘choose’. It is in this way that babies are rendered the enemy of sex, and just as we must in every war, we dehumanize the enemy to make ourselves feel justified in our killings.

When I “fell pregnant” ( I’ve literally heard that term used with sincerity ) in a dark time during my late teens, I was, and am forever so grateful to have already seen the suffering of women who had been lied to before me. I knew that in my womb was nothing less than a beautiful baby with a soul and a heartbeat.

Why else would other women spend their lives grieving the loss of “a mass of cells and tissue”? Why would the birth of their next child be both a joyous time and a heart aching reminder of what was snuffed out years earlier? 180-movie If you haven’t seen the movie 180, well…I won’t recommend you watch it because I know you won’t. I often think of one powerful clip of real footage in which a group of German townsfolk take a stroll down to their local concentration camp after seeing a billow of smoke rising above it. Upon entering the furnace their faces are happy and carefree. Upon leaving they are in tears and no less than horror-struck.

We can be told someone is not human enough times that we eventually can believe it’s true. But to see, firsthand, bodies burning – if you could see a baby thrown in the trash can after having it’s brain vacuumed out, if you could see a baby have its precious limbs removed or be burned in acid – it might break you of the lies you cling to. Best quote from October Baby by an office assistant – “I saw him lying there, shaking on the table, and I didn’t see no mass of cells, I saw the face of a child…” 23-week-fetus-abortion-i0   To be clear, I do not believe abortion will ever be stopped. But my wish for every woman who faces unplanned pregnancy is that the lies and secrecy around abortion would end. I wish for them that we might brave the truth, and speak it. I wish they could be told what their baby looks like before seeing him or her hauled to the trash can, because that image will haunt them until death. It’s not fair.

Let’s speak the truth about fetal development, and then let who still wishes abort. Let’s give women the opportunity to make informed choices, and let’s stop allowing ourselves and teaching our daughters to become mere pawns for political gain by those who will never know the pain we might face. 50997447234febdcb28a9d194cdb226e We cannot escape the physical and emotional laws of cause and effect. A child may be killed but it doesn’t mean they never existed; they’re just dead, and a world of unspoken hurt has been created for a new mother.

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/

Pearls of wisdom from Margaret Sanger

We know Margaret Sanger as an iconic pioneering feminist and founder of Planned Parenthood, originally known as the American Birth Control League. We know that 79% of Planned Parenthood’s surgical abortion facilities are operating in poor minority neighborhoods, but this factoid is of no concern to young impressionable pseudo-feminists methodically chanting “hail Satan, hail Satan” around a pro-life rally, or our race-baiting president who gave the infamous praise, “God bless Planned Parenthood!” on national television.

Never mind the fact that Saint Sanger was also the founder in chief of the Negro Project, the ultimatum of which was to diminish the black population, or that she was a guest speaker at a Ku Klux Klan rally in 1939.

Below are just a few of my favorite little snippets from the origins of our feminist movement; glimpses into the dark mind of Margaret Sanger herself, and the agenda that still drives Planned Parenthood today.

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I share with you now some pearls of wisdom from the mouth of Margaret Sanger:

“We must cultivate our garden.”

“Birth control must ultimately lead to a cleaner race.”

“Super Man is the aim of birth control.” 

“Today eugenics is suggested by the most diverse minds as the most adequate and thorough avenue to the solution of racial, political and social problems.”

“Our failure to segregate morons who are increasing and multiplying demonstrates our foolhardy and extravagant sentimentalism … Philanthropists encourage the healthier and more normal sections of the world to shoulder the burden of unthinking and indiscriminate fecundity of others; which brings with it, as I think the reader must agree, a dead weight of human waste. Instead of decreasing and aiming to eliminate the stocks that are most detrimental to the future of the race and the world, it tends to render them to a menacing degree dominant … We are paying for, and even submitting to, the dictates of an ever-increasing, unceasingly spawning class of human beings who never should have been born at all.”

“Such parents ( poor and minority ) swell the pathetic ranks of the unemployed. Feeble-mindedness perpetuates itself from the ranks of those who are blandly indifferent to their racial responsibilities. And it is largely this type of humanity we are now drawing upon to populate our world for the generations to come. In this orgy of multiplying and replenishing the earth, this type is pari passu multiplying and perpetuating those direst evils in which we must, if civilization is to survive, extirpate by the very roots.”

“The purpose of birth control is to create a race of thoroughbreds.”

“The negro problem is one of the most complicated and important facing America.” And skipping ahead through a bunch more b.s., she writes, “The present submerged condition of the negro is due in large part to the high fertility of the race, and disastrously adverse circumstances.” Bla, bla, “…brings to light the function of birth control as a necessary agency in it’s solution.”

“We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

“Couples should be required to submit applications to have a child.”

That one reminds me of another quote that struck me from Dr. Eric R. Pianka:

“China was able to turn the corner and become the leading world super power because they have adopted the police state and because they are able to force people to stop reproducing.”

Power thirsty minds do think alike.

The foundation of a house will remain the foundation of that house until it’s demolition.

 

 

 

Margaret Sanger’s December 19, 1939 letter to Dr. Clarence Gamble, 255 Adams Street, Milton, Massachusetts

Plan for Peace April 1932

http://www.lifenews.com/2013/03/11/10-eye-opening-quotes-from-planned-parenthood-founder-margaret-sanger/

http://www.blackgenocide.org/sanger.html