Natural Moms Podcast #78

April 7, 2008 | Leave a Comment

With his eco-inspired clothing line, Gary of The Green Path Company hopes to encourage people to think about their choices and how they impact the planet.

It’s easy being green - instead of getting overwhelmed, pick a few eco-friendly changes you can make in your life and implement those first. Make it easier on yourself by scheduling reminders on your calendar. For instance, mark your calendar to remind you to check your tire pressure on a monthly basis. This will make your car burn less gas. Leverage the power of routine. Another idea is to replace your showerheads with low flow versions.

Having a grandchild got Gary thinking about what kind of planet she would inherit. When he lost his job he decided to launch a company that offers T shirts with green - inspired slogans to raise awareness about the environment. He also started a volunteer group that cleans up the nature trails in his area.

Making greener choices benefits more than the environment - it also typically saves you money and makes you feel more self sufficient and confident.

You can listen to this week’s show on the natural moms podcast site or download the mp3.

 

Natural Moms Podcast #77

March 27, 2008 | 1 Comment

After becoming a mom, Kathy Cozonac of Broomhuggers switched to natural cleaning products. Then she started a business to meet the needs of people who only want non-toxic, safe products in their homes. Some of her customers have chemical sensitivities, others just want to minimize their exposure to harmful chemicals.

Kathy likes the Shaklee line of cleaning products and also makes other recommendations on her blog.

To increase speed and effectiveness with cleaning, use the right tool for the job. Homemade cleaners are fine for light, frequently cleaned areas, but for deeper cleaning or for neglected areas, a commercial product is often more effective.

Kathy mentioned that apple cider vinegar has been proven more potent at killing germs than white distilled vinegar.

You can listen on the site or download the mp3.

 

Natural Moms Podcast #76

March 13, 2008 | Leave a Comment

This week on the show, Monica Salazar of Familia Libre again joins us to talk about fridge free living with a pot in potpot-in-pot.

Pot in pot is a refrigeration system that works with simple physics. Building a pot-in-pot is inexpensive and easy. It can be used to store food as well as medicine. Using a pot-in-pot saves money on utilities, so it is ideal for families who are on a tight budget as well as anyone who wants to be more self reliant.

Ipot in pot and tott also provides a learning opportunity for kids, who will ask questions about how the pot-in-pot works. Similar to the human body, the pot-in-pot cools by a process of evaporation. When the water inbetween the two pots evaporates, it cools down the inner pot where the food is kept.

It’s important to use unglazed pots. Your pot-in-pot can be large or small. More important is how large the gap is where the sand is (evaporation area) and make sure you keep the sand wet. Keeping the pot-in-pot in a dry location where there is a breeze is also a good idea.

More information:

Mohammed Bah Abba revolutionising lives in Nigeria with pot-in-pot

Pot-in-pot was used in ancient times by the Egyptians and Abba has brought it back into popularity among his fellow Nigerians. This simple technology is producing some pretty incredible results in their lives.

Thanks to Monica for the pot-in-pot pictures and instructions (in Spanish)

You can listen to the interview at the natural moms talk radio site or download the mp3 link here.

Natural Moms Podcast #75

February 27, 2008 | 1 Comment

This week on the show I am joined by Cheryl Wenzel of New Mom Central. Cheryl aims to provide support and information to new moms to help them ease the transition to new motherhood.

Often, there is a big disconnect between what a woman envisions and what her postpartum experience is actually like. This can lead to feelings of surprise and let down. Cheryl shares her own personal experiences during the early months - as a mother of twins no less! - and shares some valuable advice to help women prepare as best as they can for becoming a mom.

We also discussed the many facets of postpartum depression and how pregnant moms can take steps now to have a healthier entry into motherhood.

Mom’s groups are becoming more popular and they can help new moms connect and get out of the house, but there is also a danger that Cheryl refers to as “culture of motherhood” in which moms are scared to be honest about their struggles.

You can listen on the site or download the mp3 here.

Interview With League of Maternal Justice’s Kristen Chase

December 17, 2007 | 1 Comment

Carrie: Kristen your website that we’re going to talk about today is http://www.leagueofmaternaljustice.com. I have been seeing these little buttons all over the internet especially on some of the blogs that I visit. I checked it out and thought how fun and interesting!

You were on Mom’s Morning Show talking with Kelly McCausey the other morning. I’m on that pretty regularly and I helped her co-host it yesterday. I thought oh, I really need to have her on the show because we obviously have a lot of pet topics in common. So tell us what LoMJ is and how it came about.

Kristen: It’s basically a mom activist group. If you go to the website you’ll see our two superhero figures. We’ve got a mom holding a breast pump, she’s dressed up with a mask on and we’ve got a pregnant mom holding a chicken drumstick, just to give people an idea that what we’re trying to do is take mom activism and make it a little more accessible. And put some fun into it! And I think…not to make light of the issues that we’re trying to highlight, but as a way to get people more involved.

And so my friend Catherine who blogs at herbadmother.com and I decided to start something the whole Facebook debacle; when they had banned the breastfeeding pictures. We just thought it was ridiculous and we wanted to say something about it. So we put this together, it’s just another way to use the powerful online mom community, to spread the word and hopefully make some change.

C: That’s so interesting to me. I haven’t gotten really involved in the controversy about the YouTube and Facebook issues, but I’ve certainly been keeping up with what other people are saying about it. I’ve talked about this before on the show, how ridiculous it is to me that a mother feeding her infant is somehow pornographic, but you can’t drive down the road without seeing huge billboards with adult entertainment with women coming out of their bikini tops…

K: …when you go to the grocery store with the magazines. The whole thing is so ironic. I think that’s why so many people are outraged. We’re not, Catherine and I, we don’t consider ourselves to be anti boobs in terms of them not being used for advertising. We see women in a bikini, it doesn’t offend us. What it comes down to, these sites… you flip through, you see not only pictures of women in bikinis in sexual positions, but you’ve got these pro anorexic sites and groups, and you’ve also got women and men who engage in self mutilation and that kind of stuff. You can find those in two seconds. The whole thing with YouTube is… I clicked breast and you wouldn’t believe what came up! And yet here is this breastfeeding video, totally harmless, you can barely see anything because the pictures are fuzzy, and it’s banned. It makes absolutely no sense.

C: You really have to wonder about the agenda of these decision makers. What is their deal? I mean really!

K: The problem is, they have the community, at least on YouTube, community policing the site. I think that is a huge mistake. Because you get some hothead…Our video, as opposed to the other breastfeeding videos on there, we had tagged “news and politics”. We also tagged it under “Bill Maher”. And what happened was, we had a lot of those types of folks meaning not breastfeeding moms, searching for it. We had a lot of political folks. If you had seen the video, it had over 90,000 views, but our comments were crazy. People were comparing breastfeeding to urination, comparing it like Bill Maher did to public masturbation. What’s happening is, it annoyed someone so much that they probably flagged it. And what YouTube did, they said “inappropriate content” and they banned it.

There’s no grey area. It’s black or white. “Oops! There’s boobs. I see nipple, I’m banning it”. That’s what’s so frustrating to us. Lets stop with this whole “breastfeeding equals sexual explicitness” thing that is being perpetuated.

C: It really doesn’t make sense because I had a similar experience looking at a breastfeeding video or maybe a home birth video with breastfeeding in it. On the related videos link, I clicked on it and it took me to several. One of them was some kind of training video for the cosmetic surgery industry. It had this woman standing there, you couldn’t see her head, just her from the throat to the waist. Completely nude, with this guy drawing marks all over her where they’re going to cut, where they’re going to do this or that. It’s just so interesting how that is somehow ok.

So how does a mom get involved … an ordinary bogging mom or a mom with a website, how does she get involved?

K: Well she just has to get annoyed, a little bit annoyed! The other thing too is we focus so strongly on the breastfeeding but there are moms out there that perhaps it’s something they’re done with… or it’s not a huge issue in their mind. The other thing we’re focusing on is the toy recalls too, if people have that on the forefront of their minds. People can go to the website and snag one of our buttons and put that up on your blog. We also have a Cafemom group, where we try to keep the discussion going and that’s great for moms who don’t blog. I know there are moms out there. I don’t know too many… but there are moms that don’t have a blog.

C: How can they do that? How can they survive motherhood without blogging?!

K: Yes I know! So they can go to Cafemom and join us and we try to update the blog LoMJ at least two or three times a week. I know there’s some really exciting things going on now with the toy recalls, also with the whole plastics. The BPA leaching into the bottles… that’s a huge issue for moms right now, even breastfeeding moms who have to pump or exclusively pump. It’s still something that is important to them. So we’ve got a couple exciting things like that. So really it’s just sticking us into your feed reader, if you use Google or Bloglines. Also visiting the site and commenting. And writing posts yourself. We’re not petition signers, momsrising.org is great for that aspect of the activism. What we’re about is allowing moms to use their voice by putting the button up on their blog.

C: So Kristen tell us about your other website, cool mom picks.

K: Sure, for bloggers we call it a blog, for non bloggers we call it a website. It’s a shopping blog and basically through the holidays we’re posting three times a day. We feature products and services with a kid focus. Of course, they’re for moms and the people that love them. Our focus is specifically hand made or artisan mom business small business, as well as a lot of items that are made or invented by moms themselves. We write cheeky editorials, so it’s fun to read as well as some of the products are very unique. It’s not stuff you’re gonna find at Target, which of course is great right now when you’re thinking about toys. We have a safer toy guide as well as a holiday guide. My partner is in Brooklyn, and she is my partner in crime, searching the web for really cool stuff.

C: Awesome. When you were talking about what individual moms can do to get involved with LoMJ, something popped into my head. I’m not sure if you’ve kept up with this or if you read her blog, but have you ever visited Jennifer Laycock aka the Lactivist’s blog?

K: Yes absolutely. She had been emailing us regarding the whole YouTube thing. There was a question as to whether… we had Christina Aguilera’s song Beautiful, and there was some question as to whether it was a copyright issue. But the email we got said “inappropriate nature and inappropriate content.” They have a flag specific to copyright. So we actually reloaded the video without the song in case that was the issue. 

C: I wasn’t even going to talk about that specifically but what I was going to bring up was the fact that she is getting negative comments from other breastfeeding moms because she is attempting to wean her 2 year old. And I had the thought… and I have a blog post on the natural moms talk radio blog about that, it’s entitled “I’m for Breastfeeding, Not Nitpicking”. I think that one thing that we can do is avoid… to suspend judgment of other mothers, and other breastfeeding mothers. Because if we can’t honor each other… in my book, 2 years of breastfeeding is a pretty darn good accomplishment!

K: That is a champion breastfeeder there…seriously.

C: It really bothers me that she has people out there criticizing her, they want to strip her of her Lactivist title…

K: Well the thing is, what is a Lactivist? When I started this site, I didn’t really consider myself to be a Lactivist. It’s become in a way related to feminism. It’s like a lot of women don’t consider themselves to be feminist. But there are feminists that burn their bras, and there are those that write posts and speak out, and there are feminists that don’t say anything but just live according to making choices.  I think it’s the same with breastfeeding. I think you have to do what is right for you. In some situations, breastfeeding for two years is almost impossible if you have to go back to work. There’s no way, if I had to work full time and pump - holy moly! I give a lot of people credit. I think you have to consider the person’s situation and know that and be supportive.

I think that is what it comes down to. You know the whole government PSAs that they ran, they did all those commercials and its like “Yea! Breastfeeding, you should breastfeed!” But ten they’re like, good luck to ya! Don’t post pictures on Facebook of you breastfeeding, cause they’ll get banned. But you should breastfeed.

So there’s no support and there’s none of this yea to you for doing it for two years. It’s not for me, maybe I only did it for six months. Or maybe I am going to do it until my id can spell breastfeeding. But people just need to be supportive.

C: Yeah they really do. We have to as a group, support each other so that this kind of stuff is less likely to happen. It really is silly.

K: Divisive, it’s what it comes down to.

C: You know we hear so much negative stuff about celebrities that say stuff. Like the whole Bill Maher thing, oh he made himself sound like a total idiot! But there are other celebrities who are doing something to encourage attachment parenting and breastfeeding, like Noah Wyle is very outspoken. But you hardly ever see anything about that. I remember one day I was trying to get more information about what he was doing, because I read something about him on a website somewhere about a video he did that was published on a Doctor’s website. I think it was Dr. Jay Gordon. Yeah, it was on his website. I watched it and I thought man, I’ve never even heard about all that he’s doing, him and his wife. I Googled it and there was like, nothing. I had the hardest time scraping together some information about what he was doing to promote attachment parenting. But, you know bad news sells. That’s just the way it goes. And, it gets around …

In terms of women doing what they can, I had a good friend who, a couple of years ago she told me her story about breastfeeding her daughters. She was unable to get either one of them to latch on to the breast after weeks and weeks of trying everything. It turns out they had an anatomical anomaly. They had a very misshapen palate, a very arched palate. She tried everything. She ended up pumping for a year for each of these girls. They had exclusive breast milk feeding for one year! As she was telling me this story I could just feel her pain and guilt. And I thought, oh I admire you! I don’t know many women who would have committed that much. And I had never had that much challenge, that much difficulty. So I’m not even sure how I would have reacted to that situation. But we really have to give ourselves some credit and give other moms some credit for where they’re at and what they’re able to do.

K: Absolutely. I agree with you 100%. That attitude, at least in the circle of blogs that I read. I know that a lot of moms that I read have a lot of guilt about either not being able to breastfeed, willingly trying it and doing the best they could, but were unable to do so and therefore for them to have the support of having other people saying: “It’s ok, it’s alright if you did it and weren’t able to, you’re still a good mother”. I think we need to have more of that support.

C: Thanks for joining us and telling us about LoMJ and http://www.coolmompicks.com

K: Absolutely. And we feature a lot of breastfeeding products and also through the holidays, toys are huge. I know people are searching for toys during the holiday season and we have a lot out there that are safe and still really cute. Always important! Thanks for having me. 

Marni Matyus - Babywearing and Kangaroo Care

November 30, 2007 | 7 Comments

Carrie: You’re back with Carrie at Natural Moms Talk Radio and I’m joined this week by Marni Matyus from The Sling Station and Peppermint.com.  Good morning, Marni. 

Marni: Good morning! 

Carrie: How are you today? 

Marni: I’m great!  How are you? 

Carrie: Very good.  I think it’s finally cleared up here.  We’ve had a couple days of sort of pseudo rain, which is kind of good, but we need so much more.  We’re having a bad drought right now.  It’s nice to see the sun, but I wish it would just really drench and give us some rain.  Well, we’re going to talk about kangaroo care.  Now, you’re obviously a baby-wearing expert with your website and your business.  First of all, for those who aren’t familiar with you and what you offer on your website, tell us about The Sling Station and Peppermint.com. 

Marni: Okay.  With both websites, we offer a wide variety of baby carriers.  We represent many of the major manufacturers and in addition to all the different types of carriers, we also have people on our staff who are baby sling experts, who have used the carriers with their own children and they are available by phone and by live chat or email to help moms design which carrier is best for their needs and also to use the carriers if they’re having trouble using their carrier after they received it. 

Carrie: And I’m sure that’s an issue because I know I’ve heard that from many moms, “Oh, my baby doesn’t like it,” or “I can’t get it to work.” 

Marni: Right, right, and that’s what we really try, to provide the service to those moms because when you first get it out of the package, it can be a little intimidating, but if you’ll just step through it and give it a chance and look at our videos on our website and we also have some printable instructions in addition to what’s provided by the manufacturers.  Most people, once they give it a try or give us a call and we can give you help based on your baby’s age and your particular situation what carrying position might be best for you or some tips to help you use your carrier. 

Carrie: Oh, that’s great.  Okay, so on the topic of kangaroo care and I’m sure most of our listeners are familiar with that, but if you want to just explain briefly what kangaroo care refers to. 

Marni: Absolutely.  Kangaroo care really is skin to skin. What happened is in the 1970s in Columbia, they didn’t have the money to buy incubators and they were having a lot of premature babies that were dying. So they tried using the mother as an incubator, so when these babies were born, they literally put the baby on the mother’s chest, skin to skin, the baby’s only wearing a diaper and actually inside the mother’s gown or shirt and the mothers wore the babies 7 x 24 and they actually slept in a semi-upright position with the babies tied to their chest. 

They found that those babies did better than the babies that were in the incubator and the hospital on the top of the hill, they did have money for incubators.  Surprisingly, first of all, these babies were surviving and then as we did more and more research and in other countries, kangaroo care is really implemented much the same as it was in Columbia back when it first started where the babies are held for most of the day on the mother’s chest. 

So, what we found out is their heart rates are more stable, their breathing is more stable, their cortisol levels and their stress hormone are at the 10x lower than a baby who is in an Isolette or an incubator.  The babies that are held skin to skin and held close to their mother were getting out of the hospital faster, they were nursing better, they were gaining weight better, and they have actually a higher survival rate. 

Carrie: Wow.  You know, I had read about the benefits of kangaroo care before, but listening to you tell that story, it occurred to me I wasn’t aware of the fact that they actually encourage the mothers to have the baby sleep on their chest. It made me think that kind of decries the whole “co-sleeping is unsafe” thing and I wonder how many women have done this.  Is it a large enough group of women that we could use those statistics to disprove some of the co-sleeping detractors? 

Marni: You know, I’m really not sure.  I do know that Niles Bergman who provided most of the information that I know of, they’re very specific on the way that the babies are tied onto the mother when they are sleeping, especially that they want to make sure particularly that the baby’s airway is protected.  That is a big concern to them, especially with premature babies. 

Carrie: That would be kind of an interesting thing to investigate just as a side point. 

Marni: Absolutely. 

Carrie: Well, you mentioned some of the benefits to the baby, but what about the moms and dads too?  Dads participate in kangaroo care as well, don’t they? 

Marni: Absolutely.  I mean it’s often focused on the mother because she’s obviously there.  She’s nursing the baby in a lot of cases, but when the mother cannot hold the baby or kangaroo the baby, obviously the dad is the natural choice.  For the mother particularly — for the mother, for me, it was getting my life back when I’m dealing with a newborn — when I had my first baby it was difficult to even get a bite to eat and with the baby held tight to my body, I could now fix myself a meal, I could actually eat using two hands, walk around, things that were difficult with a newborn that wanted to be held constantly. 

Now, with kangaroo care, we’ve actually found out that some mothers have a lower incidence of postpartum depression.  Bonding is easier and they are able to get to know their baby’s needs faster to understand what the baby is needing and obviously respond to their cries faster and then obviously just to be able to do some things that they might not be able to do otherwise. 

Carrie: Yeah.  I know I always felt sorry for moms with preemies and one of the biggest reasons why is because when you see these pictures or footage of babies in these little incubators and the mommies cannot touch them and hold them, it always made me feel so sad for the mom because it’s just an instinct to want to just be close to that infant and protect them and everything and I thought, “Oh, that’s got to have some kind of emotional repercussions.”  So, that makes total sense to me that it would impact postpartum depression rate. 

Marni: Absolutely.  I think we have a physiological need to be with our babies because they have a need to be with us.  It’s a very natural phenomenon and it’s so much easier for the moms even in hospital setting if they can use a carrier to kangaroo their babies, they’re more likely to hold them longer to give them more skin to skin time, which the babies really need if they can sit there and read a book or if they can walk around the hospital a little bit.  Even if the babies have to be connected to breathing machines or IVs, the mom still has a little bit more freedom with physically having to hold the baby with her arm, so that babies tend to get more mom time, more skin to skin time.  Kangaroo care is not just for premature babies.  They’re also for newborns.  They experience the same benefits for newborn babies, which also have a need to be close to their mother.  They actually have the same benefits to a full-term baby as to a premature baby. 

Carrie: Right.  Well, back to that thing that we were talking about earlier about moms who say, “Oh, well, you know, I tried that (babywearing).  My baby just screamed.  They didn’t like the sling.  They didn’t like the carrier…” What suggestions do you have? 

Marni: First of all, starting early.  A lot of times, if you carry a baby from their very early weeks, they don’t know any different.  It’s very natural to them.  That’s a very natural place for the baby to be, so obviously it’s what they are used to. 

A lot of babies also are particular about the positioning.  So, with the newborn, the best position we found is upright on the mother’s chest.  So, with the baby’s head above in between the breasts you want to hold the baby high so that you can reach down to kiss the top of their head.  A lot of babies don’t like to have their heads covered and a lot of babies don’t like to be in a reclining position, especially if you have a baby who’s colicky or reflux, it may hurt them to be in a reclining position.  They do much better sitting upright and you want the baby to be facing you, so they’re leaning against the mother.  That way, they’re not having to support their own weight or their own spine. 

You want to fully support them so they’re leaning against you and then usually there’s fabric behind the baby’s back.  Now, when you have a little bit older baby and you’re just getting into baby wearing, you may need to show them that the sling is a nice place to be.  So, obviously, put them in a carrier and, again, for most babies, we still recommend almost at any age when you’re just starting to wear your baby upright, leaning against the mother, facing the mom.  Put the baby in the carrier, make sure they’re comfortable and walk around. 

So, the first thing you should do when you get the baby in the sling is take a walk, if the weather is nice preferably outside.  I found that just walking around and patting the baby, often they’ll calm down because for an older child that’s not used to being in a sling, it might be just something different, something they’re not used to.  So, they may be a little apprehensive.  If you can calm them down, they’ll soon learn that that’s exactly where they want to be is in mom’s arms.  So, the sling is a way for them to get what they want basically. 

Obviously, the other thing to think about is if the baby just is not happy in the sling, put it away and try it another day.  The other thing you can do to make the baby more comfortable is to make sure you’re comfortable with the sling before you put the baby in.  So, practice with a doll or even with a sack of rice and make sure you understand how the sling works before you actually try it with your baby.  That way, they’re not picking up on your apprehension or any insecurities you may have with the sling because they do pick up on our emotions. 

Carrie: That’s right.  You know, my oldest was a very high need baby and I picked up a sling when he was about 5 weeks old at a consignment shop and it was the worst sling for my body that I could have chosen.  That was one thing.  It was the wrong kind of sling for me because he was tiny and I’m kind of petite and I got a NoJo at a consignment shop.  I didn’t know that there was a difference among all the slings and it just so happened that the NoJo is about the worst possible sling for my frame.  I needed a Maya or something that I could adjust the tail independently to get him nice and tight, so that was one thing.  Secondly, for me, what worked with him was I had to put him in it and immediately start moving, almost be bouncing while I’m adjusting it and take off walking. 

Marni: Absolutely. 

Carrie: And that really helped us, but it was a lifesaver for me.  I always say that I was blessed with a high need child first because everything after that seems easier.  It was trial by fire. 

Marni: That’s absolutely correct. 

Carrie: Oh boy.  The sack of rice thing, I’ve not heard that.  I’ve heard of using a Cabbage Patch doll, but I think a sack of rice is better because it’s heavier and fluffier. 

Marni: Absolutely and if you’re afraid of your baby falling out of a sling, when you put a sack of rice in there, it’s slippery and it’s heavy and it has no arms and legs and if you can keep the rice in there, it probably is not going to be an issue to keep your baby in a sling or a wrap. 

Carrie: Right, yeah.  The thing about going outside is great.  Sometimes I would have to do that too.  I can immediately walk outside because most babies tend to calm down the moment they get outside in the fresh air.  Yeah, that was a great tip too. 

Marni: Absolutely. 

Carrie: Well, you actually had an opportunity to educate some folks in Dallas, medical staff, about kangaroo care.  Tell us about that. 

Marni: I did and it was a fantastic opportunity actually and we had nurses, physical therapists, midwifes, like patient consultants and a few doctors that actually came to our workshop.  Obviously, most of them know about kangaroo care in general because they have lots of workshops.  They understand the value of kangaroo care for the baby, so we were able to show them how to use a carrier to implement kangaroo in there in a hospital setting and they are working with not only premature babies, but also special needs children. 

So, in the child life centers, they’re dealing with children that may have cancer, may have breathing difficulties, may have brain damage or brain trauma, and they found that the carriers are very calming to the babies that when they’re held, when they’re carried they’re much happier.  It’s sometimes easier to work with them with certain physical therapy activities or when they undergoing medical treatment.  We have had a great response.  The staff was very encouraged about what we had to show them and made it easier for them and easier for some of the parents and they are able to now go and teach the parents how to use baby carriers and to encourage them to do more kangaroo care with their babies. 

Carrie: That’s great!  You know, I’ve never thought about that, babies with special needs and how they could also benefit from baby wearing.  That’s great.  Well, what kind of slings or carriers do you recommend for that? 

Marni: Well, I showed them all of the carriers and my suggestion is typically a wrap and without fail, that’s always their first choice to use once they see the benefits and learn how to use it.  Some people are a little bit intimidated by a wrap at first, but really we find that the easiest carrier for moms to get the babies in comfortably and securely is also the most versatile when dealing with babies with special needs because you can position the baby exactly where you need them and then tighten the wrap around them.  You can also vary the carrying positions depending on the baby’s needs. 

Carrie: Well, that’s really interesting.  That’s good to know.  Well, Marni, thank you so much for coming on the show and sharing that with us.  I know I’ve seen your banners from Peppermint.com, especially all over the Internet, especially the blogosphere, and you’ve got just a wonderful variety and great articles and stuff on your site, so I encourage our listeners to check you out and see what you have to offer.  Thank you so much for sharing this information with us today. 

Marni: Thank you for having me.

Craving Secrets

November 12, 2007 | 9 Comments

The following is a transcript of this week’s show. Enjoy!

Carrie: We’re going to talk about your ebook Cravings Secrets. What you do, helping women identify their cravings and what might be behind those, and how to deal with them nutritionally. Share with us the basic premise of your book.

Diana:  How it started was that I’ve had cravings over the years for everything out there: sugar, salt, coffee, fast food, fried food, carbs, everything that everyone else deals with.

I’ve been very health minded for about 30 years but then would always be sabotaging myself with lots of high carb foods. That was my main downfall. What I mean by high carb is white bread. But even whole wheat bread; the carbs are hard on our bodies. I found that there was a need out there to help others once I was able to have my diet feel easy and free from cravings.

The basis of my book is that there are 5 things that make a difference with the cravings. It really is a complex subject, but if I can give you those 5 things that I base my book around.

Number one is low blood sugar, and that’s the main trigger for food cravings. That can be caused when we are really really hungry, or if we have gone on a very restricted diet. The second one is blood sugar imbalance. If we’re having cravings and then we have something sugary; a chocolate bar or donut, then our body is flooded with sugar and we feel “high” and have energy for a little while, and then it goes down. And then we need something else again. So this can lead to a lot of mood swings too.

Then there’s emotional, number three. Emotional and psychological triggers. Of course, food is very emotionally charged for most of us. Number four would be hormones, and this is especially for women and a lot of strong food cravings happen just the week before we start our periods. So that can be the big hormonal swing, and that causes a lot of cravings. And it’s not all in your head, it’s a real hormonal thing.

And number five, sometimes we can become allergic or sensitive to foods like wheat, gluten and sugar, and our bodies just finally give up. It craves those things but we develop allergy or sensitivity to them.

I have my book laid out in those 5 main areas, and then how all our cravings tie in to that. And I give you solutions too.

Carrie: And do you think that sometimes several of those things can be going on at once? Because I know for me, I’ve had low blood sugar my whole life, and my sister and my mom have it. But at the same time it seems that kind of makes it worse… I don’t know what caused what. It’s the chicken and egg thing. Does the intolerance contribute to the low blood sugar o does the low blood sugar come up as a result of the food intolerance? What do you think?

Diana: I think that for most people it started with the low blood sugar. A lot of us have dieted a lot, right? We go without food or maybe we’ve been busy… busy moms don’t look after themselves.

Carrie: A lot of times I put the kids to bed and then I get up at about 10:30 and I just feel like I could eat a cow! I’m just ravenous and I go and eat another dinner because I just haven’t had enough calories all day.

Diana: Exactly! I think that probably started years ago and then that is something, from my point of view what has worked for me and many people, is some protein. That often is a big key to it. I’ve found that when I was strict vegetarian, I was not getting enough protein. And my cravings would be just unbelievable for sugars and carbs, or very hungry late at night. So I personally know that I have to have fish in my diet. Salmon/

Carrie: I had salmon for lunch.

Diana: Did you? Good girl!

Carrie: … and I took a picture of the children because I made a Japanese style meal. I had rice, and salmon cooked with teriyaki sauce, and carrots and broccoli cooked with garlic, and a little dash of teriyaki sauce, and they just licked the plates clean. And my 6 year old especially, he can eat as much salmon as a grown man. He just loves it!

You talk about the importance of Omega 3’s a lot. Especially for women childbearing age.

Diana: Absolutely. This is really something that unfortunately, most of us are very deficient in Omega 3’s. Not so much the Omega 6’s, so I’ll just talk about the Omega 3’s. And they’re found in salmon and tuna and sardines and also in flaxseed and hemp seeds. So there are vegetarian ways to get them. But, they really affect your mood if you are deficient in them. And it helps your – you get rid of chemicals and toxins that are in your body. So they help with cleansing your body. And you have to have them for repairing cells, and they affect your heart, your reproductive system, and nervous system. So how important is that?

Women need at least 1100 milligrams per day. I don’t take mine separately, I just eat fish. But you may want to do that, and here’s how it affects us as women in childbearing years. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding you should increase to 1500 milligrams.

Carrie: We had an expert on the topic of breastfeeding and depression several weeks ago who talked about some pretty amazing research that has been done around depression and Omega 3 fatty acids. Because a lot of women don’t want to take antidepressants, they don’t want to go that route, and they may not be able to depending on whether they’re pregnant or nursing. And that’s really encouraging to know that.

Diana: Exactly. I’m definitely on the same wavelength with her because I think that could make such a difference. And it makes a difference with cravings too. Cravings aren’t a separate thing that suddenly happens to us, it’s mostly through nutrition or lack of nutrition. Most of us are malnourished from infancy.

It seems so odd to talk about being malnourished when we’re all eating so much, but for one thing, the fruits and vegetables that are grown have up to 80% less nutritional value. So even if you’re eating healthy, sometimes you could have cravings because your body is still looking and looking and looking for the right building materials to make your cells. So sometimes that can be the craving that you’re having – your body is actually malnourished. So it’s looking and looking and never satisfied. And if you’re craving salt for instance it can often be a mineral, lack of the right minerals in your body. So each one of your cravings – there can be different things.

Hormonally of course, around PMS time, most of us are familiar with that right? It can be that the less estrogen you have, your serotonin levels in the brain are decreased. So that explains why so many of us have a lot of cravings during that period of time.

Carrie: Ok I’m confused now! The lower estrogen levels, the lower the serotonin levels?

Diana: Yes.

Carrie: Ok. I don’t understand that because it seems pre-menstrually we have higher estrogen levels, but we don’t?

Diana: No.

Carrie: Ok that’s new to me!

Diana: Yeah, estrogen is down. And it does make the serotonin levels go down.

Carrie: Ok. And it seems to me that a lot of pre-menopausal women crave sweets more, but after menopause I’ve noticed a lot of women crave salty foods, and salty foods seem to be a more dominant craving among men. Is there any connection there between what’s going on hormonally and that craving?

Diana: You know I haven’t researched that. I don’t know. That would be interesting to research. Now, most of my research has centered around (in terms of salt cravings), the mineral deficiency that would be there. I’ll have to keep track. You’ve put me on the spot here Carrie!

Carrie: I’m sorry! Maybe it’s just something I’ve noticed among my small, very unscientific data that I’ve collected!

Diana: With perimenopause, you’re right – the sugar sugar sugar just seems to increase. That’s why I like to guide people – if they’re in their 20s and 30s to cut back on the sugars and become more knowledgeable. Find alternatives, exercise more, get more sunshine, all these things because if you don’t start doing that in your 2-s and 30s it’s going to be a lot worse in your 40s and 50s, because it’s cumulative.

Carrie: And it’s harder, too I think to stay the weight that you want to be, once you hit a certain age. I’ve just heard so many women say that they had no trouble staying thin until they hit about 50 and then it seems like just walking past the refrigerator they gain weight.

Diana: Exactly!

Carrie: So if you have those good habits in place then you don’t feel so deprived.

Diana: That’s right. And it’s really important to have support. And love comes into it, and all of our emotions. There’s really so many aspects to cravings. And I’ve been delving into it for a long time.

Carrie: yes I think the emotion thing is definitely the case for a lot of women. I think if we’re craving carbs or chocolate, a lot of times what we really need is to take a break and nurture ourselves somehow. But it’s somehow more acceptable to say, “Oh I need a brownie!” than to say: “I need two hours to be alone. And don’t talk to me, and don’t touch me, and don’t ask me for anything.”

Diana: Exactly!

Carrie: We have a hard time saying that, but it’s socially acceptable to get a brownie.

Diana: Yeah, that’s true isn’t it? Very true. So there are really a lot of emotional roller coasters that people can go through and then it becomes worse and worse. Because if that’s what we put into our bodies, then we start craving it more.

So each person has to decide what they’re going to deal with first, or just make one small change every week, or even every month. So, have more protein and more small meals or snacks in between. It doesn’t have to be the 5 snacks or the 5 meals a day that’s popular now. I really believe in looking at your own lifestyle. But it is better to eat more, earlier in the day, because I don’t know if this is true but I heard that Sumo wrestlers start eating at 4 o’clock in the afternoon and eat until midnight, because that helps put on the weight.
Carrie: Interesting. I’ve certainly noticed a difference in my mood and energy level when I eat more at lunch and breakfast. And you know I think too with kids – and this is something that I’ve written down before, and sometimes I forget to do it now, but if we just put a little spoonful of peanut butter in their mouth right before we think it’s going to be a meltdown time, sometimes it’s low blood sugar that causes them to misbehave.

Diana: That’s brilliant!

Carrie: And a little bite of cheese or handful of nuts of just a little bit of protein, like at 4 o’clock at that in between time, and it really does wonders for their behavior.

Diana: That’s wonderful, that is really really perfect. You should be teaching this! Thank you so much for having me on today.

Carrie: Thank you for sharing with us, we appreciate it!

P.S. There is also a review of Diana’s book here: Craving Secrets review

A Conversation with Elizabeth Pantley

October 23, 2007 | 1 Comment

nocrydiscipline.jpgI thought you might like reading a transcript of the conversation with Elizabeth Pantley that was last week’s show. If you would like a pdf version to keep or to share, you can download it here: Elizabeth Pantley interview.

 

C: Elizabeth was my very first guest back in February 2006. That was wonderful, talking about your No Cry Sleep Solution. And once again you’ve written a wonderful book that not only gives parents inspiration with an overall philosophy of discipline and what it really is, but you’ve also given them tons of practical examples of how to apply that philosophy, which I really appreciated.

E: Discipline’s a difficult topic because when people think of discipline, they think of a child crying in a corner and an angry parent. It’s not about punishment, it shouldn’t be about anger, it’s all about teaching If parents can understand that their role is guide and teacher, then it really changes the feeling of discipline to something that’s good and not bad.

C: I like to point out that the word discipline comes from disciple, which means “taught one”. Teaching should be the focus.

I really appreciate about your book that you give a lot of thought to the fact that normal parents get angry and have to deal with their anger. I was thinking when I read through that section, that parents make it difficult on themselves when they set this standard so high and think “I’m never going to get angry”. Or “I shouldn’t be angry”. What do you say to that?

E: I’ve had a tremendous amount of response to that section of the book because we all get angry and we all feel guilty and just horrible about that anger. First I want parents to know that it’s normal. You can’t possibly raise a child from birth to 18 and beyond, without ever getting angry.

No child is perfect. They’re all going to misbehave, they’re all going to push your buttons, and so therefore, getting angry and frustrated is normal. It’s not fun, but it’s very normal. And then helping parents work though a step by step plan so they when they do feel that anger rising, they can rein that in and then proceed with discipline as teaching rather than d as angry out of control.

C: I think it’s easy for us to actually lose our children’s respect when we deal with them from a place of anger. They see us ranting and raving, and they’re kind of like, “Man, Mom’s crazy.”

E: I find that’s a common thought of parents, “Oh my goodness my children are never going to forgive me, they’re going to be permanently damaged, they’re going to be on that Psychiatrist’s couch because I yelled at them.”

And yet the reality is, if you’re a really good parent 70% of the time, everything’s going to be fine, your children will forgive you, you’ll work through the problems, and as long as you have an underlying philosophy and goals about raising your children, what kind of people you want them to be, and you love them and you teach them day by day and work with them and talk to them, you can get through those bad moments, because everyone has them, and you do work through those.

C: And that’s comforting to know, certainly. One thing I appreciated about your book is that you talk about how so many parents complain that their child doesn’t seem to respond when they’re asked to do something. The parent finds themselves repeating it over and over, and your take on that is that it’s often because parents are not requiring their children to listen and they kind of create this cycle of saying things over and over.

E: Absolutely, children get used to the fact that by the 4th or 5th time, when Mom uses my middle name, that’s when I should respond. But the other thing we need to remember is, that discipline is not a one time maneuver. You can’t do it once, and then your job is done, just like a musician practices or an athlete practices, or an actor has rehearsals.

Children require lessons to be taught over and over until they make them their own. So just because you tell your child one time, don’t pull the cat’s tail, doesn’t mean that’s the last time you’re going to say it. It’s going to have to be a repeated lesson before your child actually understands why and changes his behavior.

C: Yes, and we’re the same way even as adults, sometimes we have to learn the same lessons over and over.

E: That’s a good point, even as an adult we know what we should do, but do we always do it? Do we always eat the right things? Do we always exercise? Do we always drive the speed limits? No we don’t, and children are no different. Even when they know the rules, they’re going to break them. And that doesn’t mean your child is bad, and neither are you, it just means that it’s a normal part of life.

 angryboy.jpg C: You talk about how children are emotion in motion, untamed emotion in constant motion. That’s one thing that’s difficult for parents to put in perspective. They get wrapped up in their children’s emotions. What suggestions do you have who a parent who is struggling with that?

E: First, remind yourself that misbehavior is the symptom. The misbehavior of your children is the symptom. The real problem is their immaturity, their inability to handle their strong emotions, their inability to deal with their frustration, confusion or helplessness.

And then when they’re tired, or hungry or bored, that just adds fuel to the fire. So you know that even the smartest, most peaceful child isn’t born with wisdom, and an ability to control his emotions. That’s again one of your teaching jobs. “Wow, I can see you’re very frustrated. Let’s see what we can do to solve the problem.”

So just because your child is making a major meltdown because his red crayon broke, doesn’t mean you need to take it that seriously. One of us needs to be the adult here, and understand that it is just a crayon, and we will get through this.

But also to understand that it’s a very real pain to your child, dealing with those emotions and those frustrations, and acknowledging where he’s coming from as a child and then and then coming in as the adult teacher, and saying ok, here’s the problem, and let’s deal with it this way.

C: I read something recently reminds me of what you’re saying and it was talking about some brain research that showed that when one person has a calmer disposition in their brain, that they actually have more influence over the person who is kind of losing it, and so I try to remind myself of that: that my calm brain can help influence the out of control emotion of the child at that moment in time. So it helps me step away.

E: In the same vein, that’s why children tend to act up in public, when you’re at a party or a mall or the zoo or the fair. Because they’re soaking in all the emotions around them, al the anxiety and tension and stress and activity, and they make that their own. So we need to understand that children are very vulnerable to what’s going on around them and inside them. We need to help them sift through those emotions so that they can gain control of themselves, and as you say, we need to be calm and in control in order to help them reach that point as well.

C: Your book starts off with some common myths that parents have, expectations that they come into parenting with that can make it difficult for them to have realistic expectations. Do you want to talk abut that – some of those beliefs?

E: There are so many myths that spoil the fun of raising your children. For instance: If I really love my child and I’m really committed, my child will behave. Well the truth is, all children misbehave it doesn’t matter if you’re a perfect saint as a parent. And along those lines, the myth that good parents don’t yell at their children. Well I have news for you. Even the most peaceful, easygoing parents can lose patience and yell from time to time, because loving your children is very easy, but raising them is very hard. Pressure s on ourselves to be perfect, and I tell parents if you do the right thing 70% of the time, you can raise great children and feel proud of the job you’re doing. Don’t aim for 100%.

 565496_mother_and_daughter.jpg C: That’s great. Well again your book is full of a lot of practical examples and I really enjoyed reading the personal stores that were sent to you by Moms and Dads that illustrate some of the things that you talk about in the book. Specific things that parents were able to learn about their children, and they shared different ways of dealing with problem behaviors. All kinds of things – it was a lot of fun to read those.

E: I had 242 test parents when I wrote the book and they became like my pen pals. Their experiences in their homes with their children are no different than yours or mine. So it was a great experience to be able to have them correspond with me daily and say, “We had a tantrum, here’s what I did and here’s what happened.” And their little quotes and stories and pictures of their children I think add a lot, because they remind us that we’re all in the same boat.

C: One other thing I have dog eared here that I wanted to talk about was the importance of creating routines and how those are so comforting to children. I was thinking about something that happened just in my life last night. We’ve been listening to this audio book, Julie of the Wolves for the last week and a half at bedtime, and my 9 year old son asked for me to put it on last night, and I said “I’m sorry but I had to take it back to the library, it was going to be due in a little while.” And I could just see the disappointment on his face, just one week of that routine, and he had that expectation. So it just reminded me of what you were talking about, about how children really do best in an environment that’s predictable.

E: Oh they thrive on routine and they look for set patterns. And the problem is a lot of our routines are very negative. That bedtime battle, or rushing around in the morning to get out the door on time. We don’t realize we’ve created that as our routine.

So if we can be thoughtful and plan, as you have, a bedtime ritual of listening to an audio book, and there’s a little bit of a shift when you end one book and started another. But you’ve retained that rhythm, and that’s a lovely idea by the way. Your child can lay in the dark and listen, instead of eyes open looking at pictures in a book. It can help him fall asleep and create lovely lifetime habits.

C: That’s been a routine for us for years, and we’ve really enjoyed that. I might have gotten that from your first book the No Cry Sleep Solution.

E: We do talk about that, absolutely.

C: Thanks so much for coming back on the show and sharing your newest book. I really appreciate it.

E: Thank you, anytime Carrie, it was a pleasure.
 

Show Notes: Vegan Family

August 15, 2007 | 1 Comment

This week on Natural Moms talk radio we are featured Latara Ham-Ying of vegan family living. Latara has a podcast and a monthly magazine with vegan family recipes, tips and resources.

Although she’s now a vegan, this was not the case with LaTara for the first 32 years of her life. The change came about soon after she was married, to her vegan husband who is also a hygienic sous chef. LaTara had to learn to different ways of cooking to satisfy both palates in her household. After about a year or two of experimentation with imaginative cooking and healthier cooking choices, LaTara’s love for a vegan life catapulted.

Coming from a family history of high-blood pressure, diabetes, colon cancer and high cholesterol, an option for Latara if she wanted to take her wellbeing seriously was to become vegan.  This as she explains is different for each individual whom contemplates veganism.

Many of the benefits Latara has experienced with in a six month period were: a drastic drop in her cholesterol and many of her health conditions including the battle with overweight are improving.

LaTara’s magazine vegan family living offers meal planning help by way of a monthly magazine. featuring articles, tips, and recipes that will help vegans, vegetarians and really anyone who needs help the kitchen and who wants to eat a more plant based diet. She also has online forum about to launch in September for vegans.

LaTara considers her veganism a voyage not just a challenge, realizing that veganism is a way of life that is different for each individual. “We are what we eat,” LaTara says explaining that each person needs to be comfortable and pro-active in their meal choices.

 

Show Notes: Buy a Greasel, you too can be a frygirl!

August 9, 2007 | Leave a Comment

This week on the show I talked with a Mom who bought a “greasel” on eBay. Basically it’s an older Mercedes Benz with a diesel engine that has been converted over to run mostly on waste vegetable oil. This show is great for all those looking to buy a Greasal or those that ever wanted to just know what a Greasal is.

Greasel basically refers an automobile that has been converted over to run solely on an alternative oil such as waste vegetable, “yes the kind that is used for cooking!”. The many forms include:

• Bio-Diesel
• Vegetable oil you have the option of  using soybean or fryer, waste or no waste oil
• Regular Diesel

Lisa was first exposed to the thought using waste vegetable oil for fuel after a trip to the zoo, which led to a year of research into unconventional fueling. She eventually bought her Mercedes through eBay and is extremely happy with the outcome.

Converted Greasal allows you to use two different system of the method of fueling in which the frybrid will run on. The two-tank system using bio-diesel to begin with and switches to the waste vegetable oil in car w/ a few shifts of the car. However the oil is stored either in the trunk or the backseat of your car. The single tank system allows for more organization and easier to manage.

Lisa gets all of her oil through restaurants in the area that are more than willing to work with her and pleased about her decision. She explains that the filtration system of the waste oil is minimal and the waste filtration systems can be bought also on eBay.

I encourage anyone to hear this fascinating story and possibly take their own step toward unorthodox fueling.

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