getting my crunch on

09 July 2014

    
a Bumbo, an amber teething necklace, and some affection walk into a blog post ...

On a scale of 1 to crunchy I have to admit that I'm probably a 1. Maybe that's too generous. I'm probably more of a -1. I'm not proud or ashamed of my smooth existence but anyone that reads blogs as much as I do will probably realize that the rest of the world is seemingly very passionate about the crunch situation and I hate to be left out. Some of my very favorite friends and bloggers are skilled at all things cloth diapering, natural birthing, and extended breastfeeding and they have all of my respect and admiration. I'm amazed. I don't know where genetics went wrong because because my mom has an oil or a homeopathic remedy for any and all ailments. It's pretty incredible. So ... I've slowly but surely dipped my pinky toes into a few (easy! no family cloth for us, ever) semi-crunchy practices and thought I'd throw a little rundown in your general direction.

Like it or not ... here it comes.

1. Dry Brushing: I first learned about skin brushing from Kate and I love Kate and trust that she's doesn't do things just because it's the new trendy thang. She told me she uses this Yerba Prima Brush brush so I ordered it and went to work. The claim: sheds dead skin cells (encouraging new cell growth), reduces the appearance of cellulite by breaking down unwanted toxins, improves circulation and lymphatic drainage, and eliminates clogged pores and ingrown hairs. The truth: I don't know if it's doing all of this but I do enjoy a good brush of the skin every day or so because it feels almost invigorating? I do know that I've always had random break outs on my arms (so fun) but those have completely dissipated since I've started dry brushing. It takes 30 seconds so I'll keep on keeping on with it and hope that all the toxins in the yard realize my body is not a toxin wonderland. Be gone, toxins. 

2. Oil Pulling: My mom told me about this a long time ago and I thought she was nuts but then I started reading about more and more and MORE people voluntarily swishing oil around their mouths for many minutes at a time so I gave it a go. The claim: reduces bacteria and plaque in your mouth, whitens teeth, prevents bad breath, improves overall oral health. The truth: I did this quite a bit when I was pregnant with Phoebe. I got up before the kids (now I sleep until the very last possible second) and swish swish swished and I did notice my teeth were whiter. Probably my favorite about the pulling was that my gums didn't bleed once throughout the entire pregnancy which was pretty incredible because with the first three kids they most definitely did (totally normal, supposedly - or my dentist is a big fat liar). The problem with the pulling is that it takes a long time (20 minutes! I could only ever do 10-12) and well, excuses excuses.

3. butter in my coffee: Okay maybe this isn't a crunchy thing but I'm including it. Basically you throw melted grassfed butter (I used Kerrygold) along with some coconut oil and coffee (good coffee - or you can buy actual Bulletproof Coffee) into the blender and um, blend. Sweeten with raw honey or liquid stevia. The claim: that there is no caffeine crash because of all the good fat and you can also skip breakfast and not feel hungry because the coffee is so filling and calorie laden. The truth: I'm a die hard sugary creamer fan SO I didn't LOVE the way this tasted but I definitely didn't have to choke it down. There was no crash later in the day and I did feel significantly more awake and energized. I could not skip breakfast though because I love food.

4. Essential Oils: I already told you about how peppermint oil did (or did not? we'll never know) flip Phoebe from being breech. I've also diffused eucalyptus and some other oils in the big kid's room when they have coughs and it works SO much better than any cough syrup (even the homeopathic kind) we've tried. There are lots and lots and lots of knowledgable oilers around the dubya cubed and I'm not one of them. I still hate hate hate the way they smell but I don't doubt that they are most certainly effective.

I told Simon I was writing this post and he said I should add, "watching the Bachelor/ette and baby led weaning straight to formula" because he so funny. But, you can include those too.

What should I try next? Blythe has me all excited about homemade deodorant. My hair does not take kindly to being rinsed with vinegar and I still begin every day with a prayer of thanks for the almighty epidural so little tiny baby steps before we go super wild ...

... like neckless and her bff + e and their rousing wordless read of the same page over and over and over again.

48 comments:

  1. but that's goodnight gorilla - you can read that wordlessly over and over! :)

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  2. OIL PULLING. I keep forgetting how much better my teeth are when I'm doing it on the reg. I need to get back on that wagon because I feel like it helps everything out.

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  3. Been reading your blog for a while now and the love Theo has for Phoebe is too much for me not to comment! Oh gosh how how adorable! Theo is such a darling but so are Julia and Bash and Fee Fee now. You are my hero for having 4 little ones and still staying sane! God bless!

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    1. haha thanks Nissy! I promise I've never claimed to being sane. At all :)

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  4. i have been oil pulling every other day (baby steps) but can also only do 10-15 mins, 20 just seems excessive! who has the time?! i bought a dry brush but haven't been consistent... maybe i should give it a try again! you almost ALMOST make me want to jump on the crazy trendy essential oil blog train ;)

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  5. Not gonna lie, I'm not a huge fan of crunchy things. I used to be somewhat crunchy, and tried really hard, but I gave it up because, well, it just wasn't working for us (and we personally are happier for it, but that's just us). I definitely wouldn't give you a 1 on the crunchy scale if you do this stuff! You definitely merit at least a 3 or 4! ;)

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  6. Okay I didn't even know what this crunchy business was when I started spawning. I can get behind some things...but others, no no. I like my diapers super absorbent and disposable. ha! My mom is about one step away from a witch doctor and swears by oils, natural everything. I have tried some oils, and the amber necklace upon your recommendation. And I have a clarisonic, does that count as brushing? haha!

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  7. I just have to say that you can't do all these things and be a -1 on the crunchy scale. Not possible. Because then I'd be something like a -15 and I mostly don't even buy processed foods, so I can't be the extreme in non-crunchiness.

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    1. welllll we buy processed food so it definitely cancels out all my efforts above :)

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  8. I'm from the generation that was raised on red koolaid, twinkies and white bread so I consider anything I do towards eating clean/local/organic/anti-biotic free to be a giant leap for mankind of my kind. I will say that I have made an effort over the past 2-3 months to give up Little Debbie cakes, increase my fruit/veggie intake and drink more water and less juice/calorie laden stuff and I've lost 11 pounds. Considering I'm extremely sedentary and can't do anything that remotely resembles exercise lest my spine crumble the rest of the way into oblivion, that's a good chunk. My sister-in-law in NYC does the whole brushing thing and swears by it. A few years back I developed athlete's foot so severe that I got cellulitis in my leg from the cracks in my feet and nothing would cure it. My cousin told me to soak my feet in vinegar every night and it was gone in just a few days. The point is... the further away we get from chemical/artificial/stuff that God never intended, the better off we are. One last story... there's a lady here in Hooterville that runs a very crunchy farm (loganberry heritage farm if you want to google it) and once when I had pneumonia she sent me a bunch of catnip and told me to boil it in a tea. I'm not sure the cough was any better but that catnip had me higher than a kite! Made an herbalist out of me!

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  9. I should have stood a little closer to you today so you could smell that deodorant in action. Blythe made me a believer a few years ago and I've never looked back. Never never.

    But the butter and coconut oil in coffee...as much as I don't want my morning caffeine to be so lactose-dependent, I just can't wrap my mind around it. But I shall try it. I shall try it and report back.

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  10. oh, that's about the same deodorant recipe i use and i love it! also thanks for the reminder to get back to oil pulling...i start and always fade off because of the whole 20 minutes first thing in the morning situation.

    cutest little buddies you have there!

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  11. Oh I do the deodorant - works brilliantly! I put mine in an old deodorant container to help with the messy application side, and have been going hard for years, love it.

    Butter in coffee -- must do!

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  12. I've been reading about the oil pulling. But it just sounds SO GROSS! Makes me want to vom just at the thought of oil in my mouth. How is it really? On the gross-ness scale? My ode to crunchy is that I grind my own flour from organic wheat and bake all our bread/bread products. And I make my own pasta.

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  13. I've done some research about oil pulling in the past and couldn't find any scientific proof of benefit. Have you/anyone here seen any?

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    1. Nope! But my own experience was enough to convince me :)

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  14. Oh how I love the neckless stage. I remember when Noah was little and had no neck. I was convinced he'd NEVER be able to wear a collared shirt, as if the neckless stage would never go away. Oh how silly I was!

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  15. I know all de mommas out there are loving the cloth diaper but I am loving absorbency and disposable-ness and less laundry. Though I do feel a tiny bit bad for the Earth and for my baby's hiney, so we generally use eco friendly diapers (though pass me one of the Pampers Baby Dry chemical laden ones at night- those things absorb like a mother and the bambina has been sleeping later with them. No turning back.).

    And in the very little effort department, we have slowly switched to Method, 7th Gen, and Mrs Meyers cleaning products. Safer and they smell wayyyy better. And even bought in the same aisle of Target as the other stuff = really, no more effort and better results.

    Phoebe continues to be cute - if I were Theo, I probably wouldn't leave her side either. :)

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  16. This is why I love you. Some blogs are all "crunchy crunchy crunchy" and judgementy. You are judgement free. Though if you do the own deodorant thing you move up to level 3 because seriously... it's like $2 at Target.

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  17. Wow. If you are -1 then I am -10. I do none of these things. Actually, I didn't even know what the heck you were talking about, with the exception of the essential oils. Not that I've tried them, but my sister in law raves about them. Phoebe is soooooo cute! I think she is as big as my Vincent. He is so tiny for 9 months, but after all he's been through...

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  18. haha! I so love this post! It came at just the right time, as I told my friends that I'm turning in my crunchy card today as I've decided I no longer want to cloth diaper.

    I have tried (and gotten too lazy for) oil-pulling, don't do deodorant at all (gasp), and clean with vinegar. I guess my crunchiness isn't all too crunchy anymore. I might be a 3, because I make yogurt, shop a the farmer's market, and make elderberry syrup for cold and flu season. ;)

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    1. haha. um. pretty sure you're still an 8 or a 9 with all of that!!!

      And welcome to the dark disposable side!! :)

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  19. I use essential oils a TON, and they've been an incredible help for our family! If you or any of your readers want more info, and/or want to be able to order products at 24% off (don't worry, you never have to throw parties, sell anything, nothing! It's just like a Costco membership) let me know!
    abigail.dood(at)gmail(dot)com

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  20. Don't forget baby wearing! That bumps you to at least a two!

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  21. They are so cute together I can't stand it!

    So, probably a dumb question, but how do you diffuse eucalyptus oil? Do you have some kind of eucalyptus oil diffuser?

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    1. Yes, you can buy them off amazon. Just put in "essential oil diffuser" and a bunch will pop up. We have three for our house and we LOVE them.

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  22. you've never talked about breastfeeding, right? it's so hard. def feels like a maje crunch fail.

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    1. I've definitely written about it but never dedicated an entire post to it - not a can of worms I want to open :) My supply always tanks (and no amount of fenugreek, mothers milk tea, pumping or anything else helps :)

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  23. I may have given birth naturally and have some crunchy practices, but I buy my own deodorant and just had Eggos for breakfast and don't own a single drop of essential oils and I don't even feel bad.

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  24. I am crazy enough to try the oil pulling.. All I have is oil oil, anything for better teeth cheap right?

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  25. I'm not going to lie, putting butter in my coffee makes me kind of want to puke just thinking about it. I shall skip trying that voluntarily.

    Also, i superdy duperdy hate the smell of essential oils, but know that they work wonders from all my friends, but I have to weigh whether their superpowers are worth listening to my grumpity husband complain until the end of time about how stinky the oils are. Currently, we are oil free which shows you how the scales have landed.

    I will say that I am a coconut oil junkie. We use it for cooking, for moisturizing, for so many things!! I haven't done the teeth pulling yet, but that's more laziness than avoidance.

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  26. Just a word of caution when it comes to pepperming and eucalyptus essential oils - they really should be used very sparingly (if at all) around children under the age of 6. http://essentialoilblogging.com/2014/01/29/can-peppermint-and-eucalyptus-be-used-on-young-children/

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    1. Thank you! Their pediatrician ok'd it :)

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  27. Okay, my comment just disappeared. Argh.

    I'm definitely not crunchy but I do make my own deodorant (same recipe minus the oils for fragrance). I was doubtful that it would hold up to Florida summers but it works like a champ! Better than anything I ever bought at a store and no irritation - the reason I tried it in the first place. However, in FL coconut is always liquid so the deodorant must be kept in a jar.

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  28. I love a good crunchy post. I am dying to learn more about diffusing essential oils, especially with a newborn around...but I also love the fall/winter Bath & Body Works Candles that will be coming out shortly I'm sure sooooo maybe it will cancel each other out?

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  29. Just a non-mom barging in here...
    I've been curious about oil pulling for a while now, and was convinced that it was a plot to make me look like an idiot. But now that you say it's beneficial, perhaps I'll get a little crunchy and try it!

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  30. Never heard of butter in coffee but yeah, I'll stick with cream and sweets. :) And formula supplementing.

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  31. 'Radiantly You' has an awesome deodorant! It is highly detoxifying, pulls all the nasty aluminium out, is safe, effective and smells nice! Check it out! www.radiantlyyou.com/meganreetz

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  32. What kind of bristles are on that brush you use for the dry brushing? Just wondering as I am more of a purchase-in-store type of person and I thought I might look for something similar at target maybe? Thanks!!

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  33. I must be the only mother on the planet who has children who HATED THE BUMBO? Baby Daniel and all the other Kennedy kids always arched their backs and screamed bloody murder.

    All right .... next up on your crunchy list needs to be Baby Led Weaning. You'll thank me later. :)

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  34. Hahahaha I totally feel you on the crunch movement. I even had homebirths and did the whole extended breastfeeding thing but I totally suck at everything else. I don't even care to try either. I feel pretty lazy but oh well!

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  35. Do you breastfeeding? And if so how does your milk supply do with the coffee?

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  37. What did you use for the oil pulling? I heard you can use coconut oil? I recently started cooking with that stuff and love it as well. I had like 50 cavities in my mouth after my first baby...so maybe need to give that a try before I am denture bound. I bought my husband the aluminum free deodorant and asked him if he would please start wearing it so he does not get some crazy disease that his chemical filled deodorant supposedly cause. He agreed. The other day we were doing some sort of chore on the house together and after getting a little whiff of something I made the, 'Nice BO going on there" comment. His reply...."I'm wearing that crappy deodorant you got me!" Me: "Oh, I mean, it's fine...not that bad". Shoot. Crunchy product fail. Loving the blog BTW. Catholic moms. Word up. (;

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