I have always been interested in health, nutrition, the human body, and wellness. But that’s pretty much all it was: an interest. Before I entered chiropractic school and long before I had my two yogi babies, I didn’t think too much about good health and definitely didn’t take any conscious action to improve and maintain it on a daily basis.
Growing up, I wasn’t aware of organic farming or genetically-modified organisms. I thought a tomato was a tomato and that was that. I was taught to eat my fruits and vegetables, my chicken and steak, and drink my milk. I never asked where our food came from (I just assumed the supermarket) and never read food labels. Just give me a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, m&m’s and send me on my merry way. But it wasn’t just cookies and candy. My mother did prepare home-cooked meals for dinner with the occasional Friday night pizza party. Pop was a staple in our home as well as white bread and potato chips. If my mother worked on the weekend, my father would get us Happy Meals from MacDonald’s or cheeseburgers from Burger King. It was easy. It was cheap. I guess you could say that besides the actual process of eating the food, we were pretty disconnected from everything else involved.
Exercise and health weren’t a huge part of the picture either. I mean, I was a pretty active kid and so were my siblings, friends, and cousins. On any given day you could find all of us pedaling fiercely on our bikes and jumping from pool to pool. There were endless nights of ghost in the graveyard, water fights, dance recitals, and gymnastics on the front lawn. But this was just part of being a kid back then. My parents were well-educated and held fine jobs, but they never emphasized how important it was to stay fit and exercise. I suppose they didn’t understand what it meant to actually be healthy. I never saw them working out or going for runs. In fact, I never saw any of the adults around me taking control of their health. Most just complained about getting old and having this or that ailment. I can hear it now:
“Now honey, don’t get old. You get achy and tired and have to take prescription drugs and have no energy and osteoporosis and heart disease and arthritis and (fill in the blank) and (fill in the blank) and (fill in the blank).”
See what I mean?
This is a stark contrast from my adult life. Everyday I live and breathe health and wellness. I find it of the utmost importance to maintain health and stay connected to it. Understand that every decision you make has the potential to keep you healthy or cause disease. Now I know what you’re thinking: “Every decision? Seriously? Is this woman nuts?” And you’re right. I am nuts. No, just kidding. When I say every decision, I mean being present (the yogi in me) and conscious of the choices you make for you and your family. Pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, diet, nutrition, exercise, and meditation are no exception.
So without further ado, what kind of mother am I?
I am a natural birth advocate.
I am a lactivist (pro-breastfeeding) and intactivist.
I am an organic freak.
I support local farms and sustainable agriculture.
I read food labels.
I avoid synthetic fillers and preservatives in food.
I avoid food dyes such as Red #40, Yellow #5, Blue #1.
I rally against gmo’s and pesticides.
I despise Monsanto.
I practice yoga (even with my kiddos).
I do not litter, not even a flitter of litter.
I recycle everything.
I am green conscious.
I am a chiropractor.
Are your eyes rolling yet?? I know, I know. Yes, I am that mom. I guess you could call me a “granola,” or “crunchy,” or a “crunchy granola,” or a “crunchy mama.” (Anyone order their free-range, grass-fed, organic turkey from their local farm for Thanksgiving yet?) Honestly though, I think these labels are silly. You can be an “informed mom” and not have to be labeled as the “hippie crunchy mommy.” It’s ok though, I’ll own it. I find it’s very important to be informed on such topics like the need to choose organic food for our families and the need to understand why and how Monsanto is destroying our earth. Monsanto who? We will tackle that in future posts. But for now, here are a few stats on kids health in the US today:
1 in 10 have asthma. 1 in 17 have allergies. 1 in 5 are obese. 1 in 110 are autistic (1 in 60 boys). 1 in 10 have ADHD. 1 in 4 is on prescription drugs.
More and more children with diabetes, high cholesterol, food allergies, asthma, reflux, ear infections, dairy and gluten intolerance, etc etc. The list goes on and on and on.
Why is this happening and what can we do about it? I really believe we can change what is happening to our kids and our families by taking the following steps:
- Take Responsibility: Is sickness something that happens to us or do we create it? Be responsible for your family and their health as well as your own.
- Make Healthy Educated Choices: All food is not created equal. Choose whole, organic foods for your family. These are free from pesticides & gmo’s, artificial dyes & synthetic fillers. Know what you are feeding your family by reading food labels. If you do not know what a particular ingredient is, look it up. Get moving! Exercise gives our bodies oxygen and energy. Manage your stress with meditation and an evening out with friends (woot! woot!). Include the kids with a mommy and me yoga class. Get adjusted. Maintain a healthy spine.
- Be the Oddball: Know that it is perfectly all right to step “outside the box” when it comes to health. Choose a proactive, preventative, wellness lifestyle. Demand quality foods and care for your family.