Friday, January 30, 2009

High Fructose Corn Syrup...The New Big Tobacco?

If you watch prime time television you may have caught one of these precious light hearted commercials:

Aww, it's not so bad, right? I mean, those HFCS naysayers are just uninformed, right? And their ignorance is so extreme that they can't even think of one piece of information to defend their position when put on the spot.

Some people may not even be aware that they eat HFCS on a daily basis because not every food it is hiding in is sweet. For instance, ketchup, spaghetti sauces, even bread can contain the chemical directly linked to obesity and diabetes. Yet, so many Americans don't bother to read their food labels. They assume that if it is sold on a grocery store shelf it can't be toxic. The FDA wouldn't allow that, right? After all, my food is labeled "natural." Amazingly, the FDA has actually approved HFCS as a natural sweetener. So your natural bread may be sweetened with the very thing you seek to avoid.

So in moderation HFCS is okay, right? I mean, it's the same as sugar according to the commercials.

Think again.

Apparantly the FDA has known that there has been mercury found in HFCS since 2005. Have they taken steps to stop it? Of course not. Forget the fact that mercury in any amount is considered toxic. Why would they readily admit that we have been consuming poison right off the grocery shelves? It's alarming to say the least.

And what about our children? With the dramatic rise in childhood obesity, juvenile diabetes, autism, ADHD and other diseases why aren't we as parents doing more to bring attention to our children's health? Instead of accepting that it is out of our hands we need to start looking at what is going into our children from birth on. Anything from pain medication during labor to the stressful affects circumcision has on a newborn brain to what we place in their lunches and what is in every single vaccine that the doctor might recommend. What we consider progress may have a price, and I think our children pay the price when we assume the ones we trust won't ever be false. It's time we advocate for our children because as long as big money talks nobody else is going to.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Promoting Childbirth Choices

I was recently interviewed by Manic Mommy at about being a birth doula. It was a really enjoyable interview and I thought the questions were a perfect platform for promoting childbirth choices without being too obvious or pushy. :) In an ideal world pregnant women would be able to birth where ever and with whoever they chose and not be bound by insurance companies or laws catered to doctors and hospitals. My intention is to open women's birth options by promoting doulas.

Friday, January 23, 2009


My dear friend "K" just gave birth to a beautiful baby boy this morning. Her last birth ended up a c-section and she was going to try for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) with this birth.

Now K and I are totally different people. In high school she and I would bicker a lot. It was more in fun than anything but we loved each other and continued our friendship into adulthood. When I told her I was becomming a doula she was very supportive and told me that was the perfect job for me. When she told me she was going for a VBAC I gave her my full support and told her if she wanted me during her labor for any reason to call.
Well this afternoon I got this wonderful message on my phone announcing the birth of her little boy at 6:42am. Then she said something that made me tear up, "I DID IT! I DID IT! I pushed him out! Just thought you might be proud of me." Then she giggled in a way I had never heard her giggle. The sound of her voice, the tone, the joy, took me back immediately to the moments after my children were born. It's an amazing high, one I don't know how to compare. What made it even more meaningful was that K and I, who disagree on most issues, now have a common ground where we can share, appreciate, and enjoy each other's triumphs.

I am so proud of her. I know what she has achieved and I think it's the most miraculous, powerful and beautiful moments she can experience. I can't wait to hear the details. Congratulations K on your triumphant VBAC and welcome baby "O!"

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Mom Accessories

Midge has either been puking, having diarrhea, coughing, feverish, snotty or a combination of all this last week and a half.  It's been the saddest thing watching him cry in misery everytime his tummy hurt or he couldn't stop coughing.  Of course he only wants to be held most of the day and that means I get new accessories for my mommy clothes.  Most of the time it's snot trails on my shirt.  A few nights ago he puked down my back.  While putting pukey blankets in the wash a spot smeared across my shirt.  A week ago I had the lovely experience of missing a spot on my hand after I had changed a very messy diaper and went to rub lipstick off my lips with my bare hand.  Yeah...that one probably topped all of my gross mommy moments.

The funny thing about being a mom though is that you really don't care.  When your baby just wants to lay his or her head on your shoulder you don't care if there is snot hanging from their nose or if they have potential to blow chunks at any given moment.  It's all about them and making sure they feel loved and secure even if you can't fix what is hurting them.  There is nothing more heartbreaking to a mom than seeing their baby miserable.

Now I am not saying that having a sick kid is all cuddles and nurturing bliss.  I have not slept well in over a week and my fridge is bare.  I am tempted to run to Trader Joe's for the basics but I am sure that others will give me dirty looks when they see Midge coughing pathetically on the organic apples.  I miss Jazzercise, which I have not done since early last week.  But these complaints are a blip in my lifestyle, and I am trying to enjoy a break from the normal fast paced life I lead.  Let's hope the illness comes to and end soon!   

Monday, January 19, 2009

My Beautiful Life

Every January 15th I get another year older. This year my husband and I celebrated at a local restaurant that buys and prepares only locally grown food. It was a wonderful meal complete with wine and dessert. After that we met some friends for some drinks at a martini bar. It was a lot of fun.

I think about what I have done in my life and where I am going. My husband is a very hardworking loving man who is also a great dad and good leader. My kids are the most amazing childern I could have ever asked for. They are so full of love and so smart. I know they will all go far in life. My career path is exciting and I am so blessed to be surrounded with a strong loving church family. My friends are my rocks and they uplift me when I really need it. I am so lucky, so happy, so blessed.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Bear's 6th Birthday

Bear celebrated his 6th birthday today at a local pizza joint complete with an arcade and topped off with a Wii cake.  He had an amazing time.  Thank you to everyone who made it (and who couldn't but were there in spirit).  Bear's favorite part of his special day was when he blew out his candles so he could officially be six.  Enjoy the pictures!

The Wii cake, complete with remote:

Bear with his cake:

Blowing out the candles:

Midge enjoying his slice of Wii:

Nee-Nee (left) with her pals:

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My Cheating Heart

It's time that this come to light, I am leaving my pediatrician.

It's not that I don't love her, but I just think we have grown apart. Where once I felt close to her, now I find it hard to get an appointment. Especially on the same day.

A few months ago in walked tall dark and handsome. I found out about his wholistic pediatric clinic and I was intrigued but I wasn't about to leave my relationship for another just yet. I emailed him a couple of times and he wrote me back! I asked him his views on vaccines and circumcision and he wrote me back and told me everything I wanted to hear. My heart pounded with excitement. I knew he wasn't able to accept my insurance and I would have to change plans to change peds. Feeling like it was fate to stay with my current pediatrician I let the issue drop like a hot potato.

Not a month later my son's insurance plan was having open enrollment. I eyed the packet, feeling the guilt in me rise. I told myself that if it was too expensive or too complicated to switch I would stay faithful to my current ped. The form lured me in with it's simplicity and the cost was the same. I filled it out and with a heavy heart mailed it back, knowing I'd crossed the line. I rationalized that I could still stay with my old pediatrician if I wanted to, but I was giving myself options.

Today I finally got the courage to call. I set up an appointment for Midge's well check. Within a couple of hours tall, dark, and wholistic called me to welcome me to his practice and see if there was any questions he could answer for me. I was more than smitten at this point. I was giddy! I wanted to brag to my friends that my pediatrician called my house! After talking to him for a few minutes I knew in my heart I had made the right choice.

I have officially moved on. It's time to start something new. He's everything I have wanted in a pediatrician. No more worrying about being pressured to do something that I don't feel comfortable with. No more funny looks when I bring up homeopathic remedies or alternative treatments. I see this relationship as being long term.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Another Jazzercise Update

It's been so long since I've done an update that I had to go back and find my previous blogs here and here.
In the picture to your left you will see my instructor, Jackie.  Not only is she a specimen of health and fitness, but she is really funny and goofy.  Over the past 4 months I have really learned to appreciate the relationships I have formed over at Jazzercise.  Nobody is there to make you feel inadequate.  Everyone wants everyone else to succeed. 
I have dropped 2 pants sizes in 4 months.  While that might not seem like much compared to the fad diets it is a healthy weight loss that has stuck.  My body is shaping up really nicely.  Stephen tells me he checks me out all the time and I know he is really liking what he sees. 
Overall I feel better and look better.  I have lost 5 pounds and 2 dress sizes.  I actually have a butt rather than a butt that runs right into my thighs.  My stomach is more defined and you can see a little more definition in my arms.
So for anyone considering Jazzercise I give it a huge thumbs up! 

Monday, January 5, 2009

Orgasmic Birth on 20/20

This was a great segement to introduce the idea of orgasmic birth to the mainstream.  I felt like 20/20 did a great job with this segment (not so much the others). 

To learn more about Orgasmic Birth you can view the movie, Orgasmic Birth.  Here is the trailer:

You can also read Ina May's Guide To Childbirth, which contains information about orgasmic birth.

Way to go 20/20!