Natural Parenting? You Need Like-Minded Friends…

Your vibe attracts your tribe, that is for sure. But it also means you will lose people along the way. You will lose them because they cannot cope with how different you are, how differently you do things to them, and how that makes them feel. You will lose them because even though you don’t judge anyone, they will feel you judge them just because of how militant you are with your lifestyle. You will lose them simply because they don’t ‘get’ you, because it’s hard to get you, because you are complex and intense and full of passion and constantly striving to improve yourself and not everyone can handle all that intensity in one person. You will lose them, but you will gain so much more in the process. You will gain the understanding that you never really lost them; if they can’t accept you for who you were meant to be, you never really had them in the first place. You will gain the knowledge that the ones who do get you, are the ones you should hold onto forever. And you will, if you are lucky, gain some amazing new people in your life who do things just like you and with whom you will build incredibly special friendships.

Above is a picture of me and Braxton with our friends Deepa & Arjun. Deepa and I may have come from totally different backgrounds, but there is a common thread that binds us, and that’s the great thing about growing up in a place like London.

Our beautiful boys are 2 weeks apart in age and I cannot express enough just how important it has been for me, and just how much I need – crave – to have a friend who parents in the exact same way as I do. From the food we eat, how we prepare it, where it comes from, to the births we strived for, the determination to continue breastfeeding no matter how hard it got, to healthcare, and of course, our gentle parenting methods; we are pretty much identical in our approach.

When your lifestyle is so different to the mainstream, it filters down into every single thing you do. To the point that even a play date with friends holds a little bit of stress…

When she doesn’t bat at eyelid when I whip out a mung daal for his lunch, or a homemade sweet potato brownie for snack; When it’s not weird that I only give him filtered water and she has a filter tap in her house like we do; When we don’t see each other as voodoo witches for not vaccinating; When we choose homeopathy over Calpol and she has a homeopathic kit in her house in case I need it; When either of us whip a boob out and that’s ok; When either one of the children ‘play up’ by being physical, and we are both of the view that it is simply an expression of frustration and no shouting will take place, and when it’s your child who does it and she doesn’t ask you why you’re not ‘disciplining your child’.

I love and appreciate all of my friends equally, regardless of how we decide to parent our children, because they’re all amazing mums, but it’s really nice to have made a friend along the way who just ‘gets it’. I hope Braxton and Arjun will grow up to be proper buddies just like their mummies šŸ’œ

She also makes INCREDIBLY HILARIOUS vlogs about parenting so please follow Deepa and her page GirlBoyFoodBaby here.

Your vibe attracts your tribe, so make your vibe a good one!

Love & health,
Lauren

P.s. this is what it really looks like, minus the Instagram-perfect smiles and poses!

 

Menstrual Cups – They’re A Thing!

Menstruation. Periods. Blood. There, I’ve said it. Now let’s all get over ourselves and acknowledge that the blood that is released every month from a woman’s ovaries is what enables her to have children; it is what has kept our species alive. So why are we all so grossed out by periods?

Perhaps it is to do with times gone by when women were not to talk of such things, when women were supposed to be seen not heard, all in an attempt by men to control women; the same reason that birth started being portrayed as a punishment and thereby inflicting upon women the notion and belief that their bodies couldn’t do what they were intended for – because it was easier for men to control women if they were scared and thought they were disgusting.

Some Christian denominationsĀ advise women not to receive communion during their menstrual period.Ā The traditional Islamic interpretation of the Qur’an forbids intercourse, but not physical intimacy, during a woman’s menstrual period. Judaism likewise forbids intercourse, but also forbids physical intimacy.

But before the Abrahamic religions, menstruating women were seen as goddesses. ‘Menstruation’ is etymologically related to ‘moon’. The fact that in humans, the menstrual cycle quite closely approximates the moonā€™s 29.5-day synodic cycle, suggested to ancient cultures that women were more deeply connected to the cosmos, making them higher beings. Greek mythology suggests that on the day of the new moon, the women of Olympia walked together to the river Eleutherion – the Water of Freedom. They bathed and then gathered branches from the lygos bushes, which they laid in a circle. With the blessing of the Goddess Hera, the lygos encouraged the flow of their menstrual blood that would complete the cleansing. As evening approached, they called upon the Goddess in Her appearance as the Moon. Or as Carl KerĆ©nyi has called Her “the spellbinding moonlight of Greece”, the “origin of all things”. Gradually Hera drew forth the blood of purification and renewed fertility.

In some historic cultures, a menstruating woman was considered sacredĀ and powerful,Ā with increased psychicĀ abilities, and strong enough to heal the sick.Ā According to the Cherokee, menstrual blood was a source of feminine strength and had the power to destroy enemies.Ā In Ancient Rome, Pliny the ElderĀ wrote that a menstruating woman who uncovers her body can scare away hailstorms, whirlwinds and lightning. If she strips naked and walks around the field, caterpillars, worms and beetles fall off the ears of corn.Ā Menstrual blood is viewed as especially dangerous to men’s power. Which seems to be where it all went wrong…

And here we are in 2017, mostly ashamed of our periods and mostly trying to hide it and grossed out by anything relating to the blood that flows from our bodies every month. Which is exactly why I want to talk about menstrual cups.

Before coming round to a more holistic way of life, I was on the contraceptive pill for 12 years, mainly because no doctor ever thought to mention that it was a pretty stupid idea and that actually, it is not safe to take for so long. It controlled my periods; I could skip one if I went on holiday (or if I just didn’t fancy having a period that month), and it made my periods lighter and easier to time.

When I started learning more about the body and about natural health, I was dismayed at how bad the contraceptive pill actually is for us, and I came off it straight away. Of course my periods got heavier. I used Tampons and thick pads and just tried to wish away that week as fast as possible.

Eventually I started realising that if I was changing my face creams, my shower gels, my kitchen surface sprays, to natural products, surely I should look into whether the Tampons I was using were toxic. Guess what? THEY ARE.

Aside from the fact that all non-organic cotton contains glyphosate – which the World Health Organisation recently ruled as ā€œprobably carcinogenicā€ – non-organic feminine products also contain plastic chemicals BPA and BPS which disrupt embryonic development, andĀ Dioxin which is a by-product of the chlorine bleaching process which pads and tampons go through to get them looking white. Dioxin is listed by the US Environmental Protection Agency as THE most toxic of ALL cancer causing chemicals and is a known carcinogen. It has possible links to:

  • breast cancerĀ 
  • ovarian cancer
  • uterine cancer
  • Immune system suppressionĀ 
  • reproductive and developmental problems
  • organ failure
  • EndometriosisĀ 
  • InfertilityĀ 

The vagina is a highly permeable space: anything we put inside can easily be absorbed through the mucus membrane and then into our bloodstream where it presents a toxic burden to the body. Chronic exposure increases our risk of cancer, causes oxidative stress and metabolic changes, and disrupts our endocrine system. This can contribute to adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immunological effects. Conditions such as infertility, endometriosis, and thyroid disorders are all on the rise, for example, and are affected by exposures to chemicals and toxins in our environment. When we wonder why so many of us have fertility issues these days, this is just one of the many problems contributing.

So to get to the point… after much research I discovered the menstrual cup. And yes, I thought it was weird at the beginning. Only because we only think that things we are used to are ‘normal’, everything else is weird. But once I got over my fear of my own blood, the menstrual cup honestly, genuinely changed my life.

I watched some YouTube videos by an amazing girl called Bryony of Precious Stars Pads who teaches people all about reusable menstrual products and how to use them. It took about 3 months to fully get used to it but I couldn’t imagine my life without my cup now. Most of them are made from healthy, high quality and sustainable Medical Grade Silicone that can be re-used for up to 10 years. They also have a large capacity which means you don’t have to get up in the night to change (the bane of my life during period week). When I went away and I was on my period (worst thing ever), I was actually able to sit by the pool in a bikini which I never would have done with tampons, because you just don’t leak through the cup and it keeps everything in AND it’s so comfortable and snug you don’t even know it’s there. Once it’s in, you genuinely don’t feel it AT ALL.

Aside from all the benefits using a menstrual cup over tampons has for my body, I am also very happy to be doing my small bit for the environment by not contributing to the 20 billion plastic-containing pads that are put into landfill every year and are unable to be broken down.

I still use a small pad on my heavy days. The pads I use are from a company called NatracareĀ (they also do tampons) and I get them on my Ocado shop (easy peasy). The menstrual cups I read about and bought from Precious Stars. If you go on her website she will explain which one you need (different sizes and shapes for different women).

I really hope this post helps you change your stance on toxic feminine products and that you switch to the cup; for yourself, for the environment and for your poor, sweet little vagina who is dying for a break from all the toxins!

Sorry it was a long one, hopefully worth it!

Love & health,
Lauren

 

 

Cream of Mushroom and Thyme Soup

Mushroom Thyme Soup

These flavours go so well together I just had to do it! I got a load of mushrooms in my Abel & Cole delivery this week so soup it is! I love making a soup at the beginning of the week that will last me for the whole week… great for lunch alongside a salad or on its own with some Biona organic Rye bread šŸ™‚

Ingredients

A box of mushrooms – about 10-12 – chopped
1 onion – peeled and chopped
1 potato, peeled and chopped
1 can coconut milk
1 cup organic vegetable stock
About 6 sprigs of fresh thyme, without branches (add more if you like)
Salt & pepper to taste
Half tsp coconut oil

Method

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Once hot, add onion and cook for 1 minute, then add the mushrooms and cook for a further minute. Add the potato until coated in the oil then add the stock, and then the coconut milk.

Leave to heat for around two minutes then add the thyme, salt and pepper. Stir well, turn down heat, add lid and leave to simmer for an hour.

Once ready, blend fully (in a blender or with a handheld) and serve.

Enjoy!
Love,
Lauren

Vegan Lunch Sandwich

Vegan Sandwich 1

This isn’t going to be a long post, it is simply here to remind you that being vegetarian or vegan isn’t as hard as you think, so we want to give you as much inspiration as possible for easy, healthy meals to convince you that you can do it!

Ingredients

Sliced cucumber
Sliced tomato
Sliced avocado
A handful of alfalfa sprouts
Granary bread or Biona organic rye

Optional spreads:
Hummus
Vegan mayonnaise
Tahini
Cottage cheese (if you don’t need it vegan)

Easy peasy yummy lunch!

Vegan Sandwich 2

Lauren x

Book Club Bakes

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Most book clubs are known for their wine drinking more than talking about books. At my book club it’s more about eating! And when I’m hosting, my fellow book-clubbers expect some tasty treats and today I hope not to disappoint!

I’ve posted the recipes separately and you can find them here – Raw Cacao Chia Cookies & Chunky Monkey Peanut Butter Cookies – but I just wanted to put up this post to show that if you are hosting, whether it be a book club or simply having the girls round (or guys), you can offer your guests some of these quick, easy, healthy and nutritious treats.

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Happy reading!

Love,
Lauren