In the perfect world, I would live a complete “crunchy” life. But unfortunately, life’s not perfect so I do the best I can with what I’ve been given.
I have created a page for “Natural Living” many times and deleted it. I never feel like I am living that well enough if I’m not 100%. But that’s my black and white thinking. I just don’t want to say that I’m something I’m not.
I love the “crunchy” lifestyle… and I don’t need a specific label to live it as much as I can/want.
I love focusing on taking care of God’s creation by recycling, reducing waste, using bulk instead of individual products (most of the time, but I’m okay with it sometimes), using natural cleaners and personal care products, using reusable grocery bags, drinking from a reusable water bottle, using glass/real dishes, using cloth napkins, etc.
Our family spends a lot of time outside and adventuring. We go on hikes, ride mountain bikes, go camping, backpacking, etc. Being outside is a huge part of our family life. We spend most of our money on that and on local foods.
As a homeschooling family, we aim to focus on the Charlotte Mason method as much as we can… nature studies, copywork, dictation, art appreciation/artist study, read alouds, living books (mostly), poetry, etc. We focus on creation and spending time outside. We love the Wild + Free philosophy and go to events in our group as much as we can (we are 2 hours away so it’s not all the time). I feel it’s important for kids to be kids, play a lot, and not expect them to grow up too fast. We do have behavioral expectations, but I used to want them to act older than they are, and I’m learning to be content with who they are right where they are.
Nutrition is the area of our life that isn’t exactly what I want it to be all the time, and that’s okay. For the MOST part, we eat lots of whole foods and I make a lot homemade. I make homemade Greek yogurt, homemade granola, homemade Lara bars, homemade bread, sometimes tortillas, etc. My goal is to buy as much as I can from local farms, mainly from our farmer’s market. I happen to have two friends that sell meat at the farmer’s market, and I love being able to support them (I can also buy grass fed beef from my friend that doesn’t live very far from us). I use mostly natural sweeteners such as raw honey, real maple, and sucanat. I buy some organic (if it’s around the same price as conventional), but that’s not as important as just having whole food ingredients. I want to be able to make kombucha and kefir, but I can’t because it has a tiny bit of alcohol in it (store bought does as well).
When I had babies, I had two home births, cloth diapered for a long time, did everything I could to breastfeed (I had insufficient glandular tissue and had to take a specific herbal tincture among other things), wore my babies all the time, etc.
I am currently a childbirth education student through Childbirth International (an evidence based organization). I hope to be a birth doula or postpartum doula one day.
Okay. So. A few areas where I’m imperfect in the area of food and nutrition are that we still sometimes eat out (and sometimes fast food, mostly ChickFilA), we eat some processed food more than I would like, and I drink sodas (Coke Zero) more than I would like (I don’t keep them at home but I buy them when I’m out and about). I am aware of what is in Coke Zero, but I am trying to have balance in the soda area because since I’m an alcoholic, it’s kind of something that I lean on. If I never stop, I’m just happy that I’m still sober (2 1/2 years +)! That’s my #1 goal. When I’m at my best, I only have soda once or twice a week. When I’m in survival, I find myself reaching for it more often. I’m working on it. We also eat in the dining hall at camp sometimes, and I’m okay with that because it’s FREE and I don’t have to make it or clean up my kitchen. I believe in balance wholeheartedly because that’s real life.
I am also not against medicine at all. Mental health meds have changed my life and my boys’ lives. I have bipolar 2 and severe anxiety (every type). I have hypothyroid. I have high cholesterol (the hereditary type… the kind that isn’t affected by diet). I have severe silent reflux (diet DOES help this a lot, and it has gotten a lot better). My boys both have ADHD and we are watching Levi because the psychologist wonders if he might have a mood disorder, but we’ll see. He has severe insomnia. Both boys have anxiety and we are currently just managing it with things like meditation, essential oils, deep breathing, etc. I’m not against using meds for Ethan’s anxiety especially eventually. Both boys are on ADHD meds and they have changed their lives. We’ll just keep doing what we’re doing. I’m not against allergy meds or antibiotics (if they are needed). In my life, I have just not noticed a huge difference with “natural” methods to treat medical issues. I do like essential oils for aromatherapy purposes. We take melatonin. I have a first aid cream made from redmond clay. Sometimes I use papaya enzymes for my reflux.
I take fermented cod liver oil (in capsule form), magnesium, Vitamin B3 complex, and Vitamin D3 every day. I take a natural form of these.
So with all of this… I say I’m “sorta crunchy,” a little bit “granola,” and a bit of a “hippie.” Haha. But at the same time, the title/label doesn’t really matter. I’m just happy with life as it is and am just thrilled for sobriety and mental stability.