Saturday, June 19, 2010

10 Great Reasons to Cloth Diaper

Being in baby mode, I've been going through some of my son's old clothes and baby items.  Which made me think about the fact that we used cloth diapers with him and plan to do so again with our next baby, which made me think that I should share some important information regarding the benefits of cloth over disposables on this blog.  Some of you already know all the benefits, but then there are some probably furrowing their brows wondering why on earth anyone would use cloth diapers when we have the wonderful modern invention of disposable diapers.  Well...did you know that disposable diapers are one of the top three items overruning our landfills?  That's just the on...

10 Great Reasons to Cloth Diaper
(taken from )

1.  Safer for Baby

There are three chemicals found in disposable diapers that are disturbing and can potentially be harmful to baby – sodium polyacrylate, dioxin, and tributyl-tin.

Have you ever changed your baby only to find her sensitive bottom covered in crystals and gel? What you saw was sodium polyacrylate. It makes up the absorbent layer in most disposable diapers. The crystals become a gel when baby wets and that gel wicks the wetness away from baby. While it is pretty effective at its job by absorbing many times its own weight in fluids and keeping baby feeling dry, it also can cause allergic reactions in babies, skin irritations, and was banned for use in tampons in 1985 because of its association with toxic shock syndrome.

The use of chlorine to bleach the paper used in making disposable diapers creates dioxin, a cancer-causing chemical considered by the EPA to be the most toxic of all carcinogens. Traces of this toxic substance carry over to the finished diaper product. The World Health Organization claims that newborns are particularly susceptible to the effects of this chemical since their organs are developing so rapidly. Most countries, except for the United States, have banned dioxin. Long- term exposure can cause harmful effects on the immune, nervous, and reproductive systems.

Tributyl-tin (TBT) is a toxic chemical that can be absorbed through the skin and has been found to cause hormonal problems and harm the immune system.

2.  Better for the Environment

According to the Real Diaper Association (RDA), 27.4 billion disposable diapers are used in the U.S. each year, 92% of those end up in a landfill. Estimates say that disposables take between 250-500 years to decompose - that’s a very long time. There are some that say the water used in washing cloth diapers negates some of the positive effect gained by saving landfill space, but the RDA refutes that claim saying that the water used in manufacturing and consumption of disposables is 2.3 times greater than used on cloth.

3.  Cute Fashions and Style

Why settle for plain white paper? With all the variety of cloth styles and fabric available, your baby can be stylin’ and can have a diaper for every occasion. Match your outfits, show off your baby’s personality, be unique, whatever your taste – all the while, baby looks cute as can be.

4.  Feels Better to Baby

What baby wouldn’t want to feel soft fleece or cotton on their bottom over a harsh paper-like lining? With their stretchy designs and soft linings, cloth diapers are comfortable for baby and keep baby dry naturally.

5.  Save Money

You can find countless calculators and estimates that will compare the cost of cloth diapering with the use of disposables. While they all vary depending on prices and products used, they all pretty much agree that no matter how you look at it, cloth diapering is less expensive in the end. You do buy your products upfront which may make it appear more expensive, but many businesses selling cloth diapers will do layway or payments to help make it easier to start out. According to the RDA, using a basic cloth diaper setup of prefolds and covers, you could use cloth diapers for one-tenth of the cost it would cost you to use disposables.

6.  Next, Please!

Cloth diapers can be held onto and reused by your next baby. Usually a cloth diaper will last through use and washing for at least two kids, sometimes more. You have your next baby and you already own and have paid for their diapers. That adds up to a huge savings and makes for a great investment!

7.  Return on Investment

If you don’t plan on having any more kids of your own to use them on, you can resell or donate your cloth diapers. Sell them at a consignment store, on eBay, use a diaper swapping website. Regardless, used cloth diapers hold their value and can resell at a great price. If you would rather donate them, there are a few organizations out there like Miracle Diapers that will take your used diapers off your hands and get them into the hands of low-income families. You could also sell them yourself and donate the money to charity.

8.  Choices, Choices, Choices

You choose how much or how little you want to spend on diapers. You choose what kind of material graces your baby’s bottom. You choose the style and color. You choose how they’re made. With cloth diapers, you have the opportunity to decide what you want and what’s best for your baby. For more information on the choices available, read Cloth Diapering Basics.

9.  Easy to Use

Contrary to popular opinion, cloth is easy. Many of the styles available go on just like a disposable. Even getting rid of the poo is easy - before baby is on solids, you don’t have to do anything except throw it in the washer and it goes out with the water. When baby starts eating solids, you just dump it in the toilet or use a sprayer to spray it off – there’s no need to swish them around in the toilet anymore. And getting rid of the poo makes cloth diapering a lot less stinky than using disposables where the poo can sit around a few days before it gets taken out with the trash.

10.  Cleaning Rags for Years to Come

If you hang on to your prefolds, you never have to buy cleaning rags again.

Here's another great article well worth taking the time to read!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Because I really like this blogger's post...

I came across this post over at knitfit and could totally relate...if I had a diary or blog or something (oh wait, I do have a blog), these would be my exact sentiments.  Just had to share...

"Stop poisoning yourself: Why I care

Okay, I had a lot of fun stuff to share with you today, bunnies and nerdy crafty stuff and some thoughts about swimming and conditioning for sprints and quick recovery. But I want to get serious. I started writing the following rant in an email, and I realized it needed to go here on the blog. I know that pretty often I post about Paleo eating, usually just my personal experiences with it and an occasional recipe. This is a topic that is incredibly important to me. I believe that if people were more informed about their diets, about what healthy eating really is, based on the science, they could drastically improve the quality of their lives. Nothing is more important that that. I don't care how productive you are at work, how many friends you have, how rich and famous and fabulous you are, if you don't feel good and you don't have the energy to attack every day, your quality of life is compromised and that other stuff doesn't matter.

In my email, I started by ranting a bit about the breast cancer "industry", which doesn't really raise money for research so much as it sustains itself, with races and products. Think of all the pink tote bags, pink hats, pink ribbon everything. Cancer of any kind is a terrible thing, and I want nothing more than to support cancer patients and survivors in any way I can. But what kills me is some of the companies with the pink ribbons on their stuff are the ones causing the breast cancer!

Cheerios, Yoplait, to name a couple - they turn into pure sugar in your body, which raises your insulin, which over time makes you insulin-resistant, which screws up various hormonal cascades and feedback loops, especially estrogen, especially during menopause, leading to breast cancer and other reproductive cancers. I've been doing a ton of reading about this stuff and the science is there to back it up. I know how to critically read science and understand controlled studies and biological mechanisms. I have a Ph.D. in neuroscience, I'm not just some random crazy person out there who's found a weird niche on the internet and has fallen down a rabbit hole.

Why doesn't your doctor tell you this? Doctors are practitioners, not researchers. They don't question, they look for simple advice to give to people. They are generally overworked and simply not able to pay attention to all the studies that come out, so they just listen to and repeat the same stuff they've always believed. Minimizing cognitive dissonance.

The fact is that sugar is the worst thing for you; fat and cholesterol are a healthy part of the human diet and have been for hundreds of thousands of years. Whole grains, nonexistent for our ancestors, are just sugar wrapped up in a package, along with some dangerous proteins (glutens) that put your immune system on constant alert and make you low-grade sick all the time, so that you don't even notice anymore, and it gets worse over time (e.g., stomach problems, arthritis, lots more). It's just that the agribusiness lobbies have such a stronghold on the government, culture, media, the medical community, EVERYTHING, that nobody questions what they hear, nobody puts the pieces together and everyone keeps spewing the same conventional wisdom nonsense. There are some very powerful psychological and social mechanisms at work there, along with powerful vested interests and lots of money to be made on low-fat, grain and corn based non-food. There's no point in marketing an apple or a pork chop or a stick of butter.

I'm writing this because I care. I walk the walk. I see the tremendous benefits I've experienced in the past 10 months and no, I don't miss cake, I don't miss pasta, I don't miss any of it. I wouldn't ask anyone to listen to me if I weren't doing it myself. It's time to get serious."

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Primal Recipe: Coconut Flour Pancakes

This morning I came down with a mad craving for some pancakes.  Trying to stick to a primal diet, I made a third attempt at some coconut flour pancakes.  Have you ever had coconut flour?  It is a primally delicious and nutritious staple.  Coconut flour is a low-carb, high protein, high fiber, gluten-free flour alternative.  Click here to learn more about the many benefits of coconut flour. 

So my previous two attempts at coconut pancakes were either too dry or too delicate.  Coconut flour is a little tricky that way.  I remembered reading about a coconut pancake recipe over at Girl Gone Primal and decided to give it a go this morning.  Yum!  The hubby came in from the other room asking what yummy concoction I was cooking.  Coconut pancakes!  Hubby:  "Those are primal, aren't they?" (He's super into this primal thing, as he's lost about 20 pounds and looks younger, more cut, and more rested, in my opinion.)  Me:  "Yes, they're totally primal!"  I got two thumbs up on this batch.  Finally!

Here's the recipe:


*1/4 cup coconut flour
*4 large eggs
*3 tbsp. melted coconut oil
*about 1/3-1/2 cup water


1.  Preheat skillet to medium heat.
2.  Combine flour and eggs in a large bowl.
3.  Add oil and stir well.
4.  Gradually add water to the mixture while stirring until the consistency is just shy of runny.  (A runnier mixture will make your pancakes more delicate, a problem I had in the past).
5.  Spoon desired amount of mixture onto preheated, oiled skillet.  (You can use coconut oil or butter to oil the skillet, although butter is not really primal).
6.  Leave to fry until base is firm and edges begin to brown.  Flip and repeat.
7.  Remove from heat and serve immediately.

I served these puppies up with some defrosted frozen organic strawberries.  They were sweet and mushy and added just the right amount of sweetness.  You could also go a non-primal route and add a little maple syrup. 

Let me know if you try these as well, or if you have any favorite coconut flour recipes!

*Note:  I feel like I do have to warn you:  these pancakes will not taste like the ones you are probably use to.  I don't think any recipe will ever come close to the fluffy, carby, indulgent treats they serve up at pancake houses or grandma's house.  But if you want to satisfy your craving while maintaining your weight and health goals, give these a go! 

Friday, June 4, 2010

Go California! No more plastic grocery bags, please!

One of the issues I was going to address on this blog is the importance of reusing.  Specifically, grocery bags.  I feel like there is no excuse anymore for using paper/plastic when you can buy some reusable bags for only around $1 each.  Take them shopping wherever you go...Target, the mall, the grocery store, the farmer's market.  Whenever I forget my reusable bags (which only really happens when someone else is driving their car and I forgot to grab mine out of my own car), I feel like such a second class citizen.  Seriously!  I am truly embarrassed when I step out of a store carrying my items in a plastic bag, or even a paper bag.  Luckily I usually go shopping with my mom and she has some handy dandy purse-sized reusable bags that open up to a nice roomy bag when I'm in a pinch.  I need to invest in some of those.  Then they are always with you.  If I do end up with some plastic or paper bags, I reuse those as well as much as I can.  But never to clean up the doggie doo!  For that, I use those bio-bags.  Who wants dog sh*t rotting in a plastic bag that takes forever and a day to degrade.

So you can imagine how excited I was when I opened up MSNBC and found this article addressing California's plan to ban plastic bags in pharmacies, liquor stores, and grocery stores, to name a few.  Arnie fully backs this up, too!  If this passes, we will be the first state in our nation to enforce such a fabulous environmental law as this one.

Yay team!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Primal Meatloaf Recipe

Well hello to those of you still following my blog:)  I've been MIA since becoming pregnant and feeling yucky, but I'm getting back in the swing of things now that I'm feeling better and have more energy...exercising regularly, focusing on eating primally (except for that cupcake last week, oh and that donut today lol), and trying to do more for my boys who both speak the "acts of service" love language :) 

That said, tonight I made my old favorite for dinner...primal meatloaf with farmer's market-fresh steamed asparagus and summer squash.  Yum!  I'm so excited to be craving some of my old primal stand-by's. 

For those of you scared of red meat, please read this article.  It's the conventional variety that gives red meat a bad rap...the corn fed, antibiotic-hormone-chemical-laden, crowded, inhumanely treated variety, that is.  Grass-fed, organic, free range cows that have been humanely treated from start to finish and allowed to eat and live the way they were meant to offer tremendous health benefits.  I hear so often that pregnant women (and non-pregnant women) are anemic and deficient in essential omega fatty acids.  I am easily prone to becoming anemic myself, and  I think the fact that I eat plenty of grass-fed, organic red meat has kept me from becoming anemic.  Plus, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, the extra omega 3's from grass-fed beef are tremendously healthy for your child.

Anywho, here is that yummy primal meatloaf recipe, slightly modifed, courtesy once again of Son of Grok:



-1/2 can tomato paste
-1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
-1/4 of a green bell pepper finely diced


-1 lb organic, grass-fed ground beef (or ground buffalo)
-1/2 of a green bell pepper finely diced
-1/2 of a red bell pepper finely diced
-1/2 onion of your choice finely diced
-1 egg
-1/2 can of tomato paste
-4 slices of cooked bacon chopped (optional but it tastes better with the bacon!)
-1 tsp garlic salt
-1 tsp black pepper
-1 tsp salt
-(optional) swiss cheese broken into small chunks (not really primal with the cheese included)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Sauce:  Add water to tomato paste until you get a nice consistency and mix all sauce ingredients together.


1.  Mix all ingredients together in a big mixing bowl (with hands for best results, exciting)
2.  Form into round loaves on a nonstick pan.
3.  Paint some of your sauce on top of your loaves.
4.  Put in the oven and bake for 45-60 min.
5.  After cooked, paint some more sauce on top of your loaves and serve.

*This recipe made about four medium sized patties.