Living naturally, most of the time.

Lab report & retort


If you don’t think blood test results from the lab are super exciting, I get it. It’s not like I expected to be distracted the entire afternoon by their bolded “high” numbers. I would have preferred to actually look at my children, to attend to them instead of breaking the rules about no screen time on weekdays, to go about my dinner-making while chatting with them (though if you have to cheat, Mr. Rogers is still the bomb), I wish I had more patience with them toward bedtime but glad I found a little once it was finally upon us. Hugs do good work. I have an annoyed husband in the other room who had a rough day and would like some attention, but I felt compelled to document this nonsense, to call in my health-minded troops and ask them to help me figure out WTF? What do I do with this info? I can’t imagine cooking more than I do now or doing anything better or more than I do now and yet I don’t know what these might suggest is lurking around the corner. Maybe these labs don’t say a whole lot, but there’s not some kind of cause for celebration, either. There’s a whole lot of... Read More

What I’ve Been Up To!


It was February the last time I wrote, in the wake of a Femworking meeting after which two members challenged me to think about what success means to me. Things have been moving a lot since then! I was also getting some coaching and working with a therapist, both of which helped me to integrate and move forward with what was set in motion at that meeting. I wanted to share with those influential women what I had been up to and found that it was a very helpful exercise to write about it. And to put out there what is next for some accountability! In the past few months, I -decided to step down from leadership with Holistic Moms this summer, 8 years after I started working to found the Arlington/Alexandria chapter -decided not to participate in an event-planning committee at my kids’ school (while still pursuing volunteer efforts that are in alignment with my core values) -in collaboration with other volunteers, created a survey that got lots of community engagement and that I hope will lead to new county and school policies regarding vehicle idling at schools and environmental health in general -decided to disband the “team” of contributors for my website (Mindful Healthy Life) to focus... Read More

What would “success” look like


Today I was challenged to define success. This was at the end of a networking meeting, and I was spinning my wheels about what I’m trying to achieve with Mindful Healthy Life vs. what seems realistically possible given the commitments I have to my health, to my family, and to my community. Well, that was what was in my head. What was coming out was really about money, that I want to at least earn enough to pay back what we (read: my husband) invested in the site: site design, lawyer fees, ongoing site maintenance, marketing materials and any other money I spend in the name of starting a business or being a writer, like conference registrations and membership in networking groups. These are things people don’t do if they are content being a career volunteer or health enthusiast, but they do do if they hope to build something that will be … successful. So what does success mean to me? It’s a great question. At the time, I answered it as someone who wants a career beyond mothering. I want to write a book, novel. I want other people to read that book of fiction and for it to enrich their lives. I also want to share information... Read More

Missing the moment, and then not


When I saw the other parents in the room at my daughter’s last dance class of the session, I froze. What were they all doing in there? I was supposed to be on a phone call! I mean, I could have figured we might be invited in at the end of class, but from the first moment? My first reaction was annoyance, and it lasted further into the class than I am happy to admit. I quickly messaged the person I was supposed to interview, who was gracious, all full of “LOL” and “no problem.” I figured that, as a mom, she would get it. But still! I really wanted to get that interview done so that I could finally finish the piece the following morning. I didn’t want to wait until later because the afternoon was busy and the day after that was slammed. If there’s anything that messes up trying to be working-at-home-mom, it’s improper sequencing! It wasn’t just frustration about missing the call, or me being caught of guard. It was my daughter also being caught off guard – the two of us together. I would have liked to prepare my daughter for my presence in the class. She was kind of a mess, so darn... Read More

Broken


I felt broken. Like a camera that had been stepped on and would never take another in-focus picture. It’s hard to know what to attribute to what, but I think food was a big part of it. The short version is that I felt moody the day after Thanksgiving and horrible the day after that but that, by dropping expectations and approaching self-care as priority #1, I got better and climbed up to a better place by Saturday evening. The longer version starts further back, at least to last Thanksgiving. Maybe it’s even further to three Thanksgivings ago, when I had some challenges with visitors and perhaps made some negative associations. I would do well to try to clear those! What I am sure of is that last year I struggled emotionally and mentally after the holiday. I chalked it up the following week to the fact that I was about to menstruate, which occasionally brought moodiness and sometimes GI upset. I recall being low blood sugar and eating oatmeal last year and then having such stomach pains I decided then and there I would be going grain-free asap and that I would start the Autoimmune Paleo (AIP) protocol come January, after we were back from travel. I also... Read More

A blissful hour: Massage Envy review


When I heard that Massage Envy was looking for review bloggers from TheDCMoms.com, I relished the idea of a free massage. However, as someone with chemical sensitivities, I was worried that the place or its products might have fragrances that might trigger a reaction. Fortunately, the manager of the Potomac Yard location in Arlington assured me that I was welcome to bring in my own oil. They also had unscented oil, she said, but I was comforted by her willingness to let me supply my own and her assurance that other clients had done that in the past. When I handed over my apricot kernel oil, the massage therapist didn’t balk at my request. She was a talented therapist who had a deft touch to hit just the right balance of relaxation with a little bit of work, as I’d requested. After having sat in a charter bus for nearly 6 hours the previous day and then having walked around Jamestown settlement with a backpack with my son’s 4th grade field trip, I just wanted to relax and let the tension melt away! I’ve had lots of bodywork over the years, often with a specific targeted issue or a hoped-for outcome. This day was just about feeling good, and it... Read More

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