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Cheese and Ice Cream and Butter, oh my!

Shortly after my son was born, we discovered that he was intolerant to cow’s milk protein. That meant that for as long as I chose to nurse him, I would have to be completely milk free. Problem….No cheese, No ice cream, No butter, Oh my!

What would I eat?

What was left?

I quickly became an obsessive label reader searching for the hidden milk in my favorite products. If any of the following words appeared in the label, then it was out of my diet:

  • ammonium caseinate
  • calcium caseinate
  • magnesium caseinate
  • potassium caseinate
  • sodium caseinate
  • casein/caseinate
  • rennet casein
  • curds
  • lactate
  • lactose
  • delactosed/demineralized whey
  • lactoferrin
  • lactoglobulin
  • milk derivative/protein/fat
  • modified milk ingredients
  • hydrolyzed casein
  • hydrolyzed milk protein
  • lactalbumin
  • lactalbumin phosphate
  • whey
  • whey protein concentrate

I carried a cheat sheet list of no-nos while shopping, checked online at such websites as www.godairyfree.org and just generally ate less processed food for fear that my son would break out into a rash with a distended, gassy belly! What I discovered while going through this process is that by cooking with fresh, locally, organically grown food and not eating out I felt better! I lost weight (a lot of weight!) and I was shaping the way my children would eat for the rest of their lives.

I am no longer nursing and I have begun to add dairy back into my diet, but only a little and very judiciously. I continue to keep processed foods out of my family’s diet as much as possible and am very happy with the results.

Next up: What my family actually eats now!

Grab an apple, steam those vegetables, and spread some hummus!

Next month my daughter will turn four…just in time for spring! To honor this special day, she is allowed to share treats with her classmates at preschool. After much thought I’ve decide to green up her birthday by providing each of her classmates with a seedling starter kit!

Each goody bag will contain a starter pot (cowpots.com has ingenious and affordable biodegradable poo pots), potting soil, radish seeds (small radishes will germinate in 3-5 days and can mature in 3 weeks) and instructions for getting those little hands dirty!

I am so excited to be “giving” spring a head start this year! Why not give it a try yourself?

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With a 3 year old and a 1 year old to provide for, this coming holiday season is going to be an exciting one. As with most people, our budget is stretched as tight as a drum. I have been searching far and wide for short cuts, cheap cuts and any other cuts that will help my family save while saving the planet.

Enter the mommy blog!

Most moms have a go-to blog for the latest and greatest coupons, deals, and freebies. There are tons out there and I suggest you ask around to see what works for your friends. Like me, you might be looking to save money this season, check out one of my favorite sites crazycouponmommy.com. This website is jammed packed with trials, freebies, coupons and so much more!

You’ll be able to find just what you need at topmommyblogs.com, an amazing array of mommy penned websites! This site categorizes the blogs so you can easily find something to suit your needs. I especially like littleyellowtreehouse.com found under the eco-friendly category! I love this no pressure site that follows one family’s attempt at doing their best for themselves and the planet. I have snagged great recipes, how-to’s, and inspiration from this site.

Your holiday can be fun, frugal, easy and eco this year with a little online help. I’ll be bringing you many of my own findings, money saving eco-tips, product reviews and more in the coming year.  This holiday season, enjoy yourself and your family, be careful out there and good luck!

Being the mother of two young children, toys are an inescapable part of my life. Toys and batteries, that is. Those toxic little tubes of power create just as much mayhem as the toys they bring to life. I was truly hopeful when I came across the Ecotronic Eco Duck. Here was a toy that lit up and made music, but would not require batteries. Awesome! I cannot tell you the number of trips made to the library’s battery recycling center since our first Christmas with children.

The packaging for most toys is also an enormous waste of plastic, cardboard and paper, but not the Eco Duck. This toy comes in a biodegradable box wrapped with a one piece card stock label to keep it all together.

According to the label, Eco Duck proclaims, “I’m fun, I’m friendly. Wind me up and discover my lights and sound!” I just handed it over to the kids and away they went. Fun…debatable! Friendly, well, it kind of looks like it’s smiling, but my kids played with it for about 10 minutes and that was it. The music, which isn’t very loud, only plays when the crank for the internal battery is being turned and the lights are dim. It’s also a pull toy, but the string is too short for my 3 year old to comfortably use. Overall, this pricey toy did not hold the interest of my kids for very long and has become another item piled up in the corner of the playroom.

Toys occupy every nook and cranny of our home. This not necessarily a bad thing, though, because toys play a role in teaching children about creativity and imagination, motor skills and hand/eye coordination. Plus, sometimes you need to have your kids busy so you can rest! I have become an expert on what kind of toy will entertain my babies and for how long.

In the end, I think I’ll stick with my favorite eco toys…my own pots and pans! They’re noisy, but the kids and I have a blast with them!

Terra-zine
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