One of the things that Dana and I have noticed about being sparkly Queen of the Castle moms who happen to make a lot of our food and cleaning supplies from scratch, is that if we say that we order pure goat milk soap from this awesome homeschooling family in Pennsylvania, people will automatically assume that we’re crunchy. Or if I talk about canning jam and baking bread, or Dana talks about homemade deodorant—maybe this one most of all—we can almost see the mental eye roll.
There is nothing wrong with being crunchy. But we aren’t. We both drank a Diet Coke on Sunday.
Our approach is more big picture. We accept that there are only so many days in the week and so many hours in the day. We don’t want to be tied down to our sewing machines and stoves and ovens and laundry trees for most of our day. There are for sure times when we cut corners, from Happy Meals to Maybelline mascara. Sometimes for the convenience and sometimes because the homemade stuff flat doesn’t work.
This is the way we see it. A Diet Coke is not going to kill anyone. Shampoo with pthalates is not going to kill anyone. A juice box or applesauce with artificial sweeteners is not going to kill anyone. Wearing lipstick with lead on a big night out is not going to kill anyone. But when we start piling Diet Cokes on top of shampoo on top of juice boxes on top of lead lipstick every day, then the danger piles up too. If that’s all we eat or drink every day, then we are living a pretty toxic lifestyle. And that is not crunchy drama. That is scientific fact. You can double check me here and here.
So we think of our intake like a bucket and we watch what we put in there. We try very hard to make sure that we are not putting toxins in our bucket. And when we do, we try to make sure that we balance that with something that we know will act as a cleaner in our system. We drink lots of water. We read labels. We don’t keep soda in our homes. We make our food from scratch whenever possible and we’ve taught our kids to believe that homemade treats from scratch say we love them way more than any store bought cake ever could.
Just kidding. Kate had a store bought Frozen cake from Stater Bros for her birthday and it was good, scary blue frosting and all.
What we’re fighting here is accumulation. We don’t want to accumulate toxins in our bodies. That’s why we visualize the bucket because it helps us see what’s in there. If we drank soda and Starbucks and ate GMO and fast food every single day—and lots of people do—then our buckets would be full of chemicals and toxins and hormones. We don’t want that, not with our family histories of cancer. If we eat fresh food, organic food, homemade food and low salt food, then our buckets are not as full and they kind of get bigger too. Think about it: one mini-Snickers, or a whole half pint of fresh, ripe, sweet raspberries.
Lots of times, I have chosen the Snickers. Just not every time, or even every three times. We each have a guilty confession, too. Mine is non-dairy creamer, vanilla flavor. Which is straight up fake. And yes, I’ve tried making my own, and I’ve tried half and half and even heavy cream and it just isn’t the same and yes, I need it. Dana’s is that she uses Cascade dishwasher detergent and Finish, because the homemade stuff makes the dishes look awful and she has a discerning mother-in-law.
Our point is that we aren’t perfect when it comes to this healthy lifestyle thing, but we know our environment is dirty and big corporations are not looking out for us, so we have to balance the crap we can’t control with good stuff that we can. We aren’t judging anyone else and we try not to preach.
Although, I may need to work on this part because just a few weeks ago my dad turned to me in exasperation and said “I’m 68! I don’t care anymore!”