Moving into an all-natural, self-sustaining lifestyle has not been all that easy. Our transition officially began on January 1 of this year (2019) and though I’m pleased with how we’ve done in some areas, I’m frustrated in others. There have been several roadblocks that I’ve come up against.
Roadblock #1: It’s very expensive.
Can someone explain to me why gluten-free pasta and organic goat cheese is triple the price of the regular stuff? And why in the world does a multi-vitamin need to cost $20 for 30 pills? Does it really cost that much to make them?
Roadblock #2: Time.
Oh, I wish it wasn’t so, but it’s so much quicker to cook up a package of Ramen noodles and buy a loaf of bread than it is to cook the chicken and the veges and the rice for homemade soup, not to mention mix the bread dough, knead the bread dough, let it rise, punch it down, let it rise again…
Roadblock #4: Taste buds that won’t cooperate.
At certain times, these rebellious taste buds of mine would much rather have a raw cookie dough than a banana or an Oreo cookie than a rice cake with cashew butter. This is a constant revolt that I am attempting to overcome!
Despite the roadblocks, however, I am bound and determined we will become more natural as 2009 progresses! My pocketbook, clock, and body are all in denial about this, but reality will catch up to them sooner or later!
Because of the roadblocks, the original phases I had laid out for my family to go through have been switched around a bit. Instead of completing phases 1 and 2, which included doing a Candida (yeast overgrowth) detox and starting to learn about and cooking with different types of grains, I had to go to Phase 3 instead — moving into cloth products.
From paper to cloth
So far, we have successfully transitioned from part-time cloth diapering to full-time cloth diapering. One day we hit our last disposable diaper and I decided that was it for us. Of course, it helped that someone gave us twenty Mother Ease fitteds and gave us four diaper covers besides, thus helping me extend my stash a bit between washings and line dryings (I am currently without a dryer). I solved the problem of nighttime soaking issues by double-stuffing a Bum Genius diaper with the micro-fleece liner that comes with the diaper and a pre-fold. It’s working well.
As far as cloth diapering when out and about, I’ve just accepted the fact I’m going to have a couple of soggy cloth diapers to take care of when I get home. This drives my germophobe personality nuts, as I now carry wet diapers in a plastic bag in my diaper bag that also doubles as my purse, but I’m dealing with it.
I’ve added to my stash of flannel diaper wipes and have created a stash of flannel tissues, allowing me to save money each month as I no longer buy baby wipes, and buy fewer boxed tissues than before (my husband isn’t on board yet with flannel tissues, so I still buy some regular tissues). I’m still debating whether or not to move into cloth toilet paper, but am not fully there yet.
I have also gone from using paper towels to using rags to do things like clean up spills and clean my counters and bathroom and sinks. It makes for a bit more laundry, but not enough to make a huge difference.
Homemade baby wipe solution
After experimenting, I came up with a diaper wipe solution that is working great for us! I didn’t like that most of them required baby oil, and wanted something a bit more natural. The combination I found that works, even to get the stickiest poop off, is:
1/3 cup of water
1/6 cup of olive oil
2 tablespoons of witch hazel
I put this solution in a small spray bottle and it lasts me a week. Between each fill-up, I wash the bottle out with vinegar and baking soda to help cut the mildew smell down.
I also discovered just the other night that this same solution makes a great eye makeup remover!
For cleaning, I have moved beyond bleach and have moved to peroxide and white vinegar. I do not mix these two products together, as most of what I read indicated this would be unwise and result in toxic fumes. I keep them in two different spray bottles and then spray whatever it is I’m cleaning with them, and go to town. (Mixing and letting them sit results in the fumes, but a quick contact in open air will not).
If something is stained, like my stove top or my sink, I pour baking soda down and then spray just the vinegar. It’s kind of fun to see the fizzing take place — and it works as good as Comet any day!
This winter none of us have been on antibiotics, though we have gotten sick. That sickness has not extended beyond colds, however. This is a big deal, because I am an asthmatic who usually gets bronchitis at least once, if not twice a year. At the start of every cold this year, we have immediately begun taking Elderberry extract four to six times a day. Our colds have not lasted longer than a week and have not gone into sinus or ear or bronchial infections!
Kefir and grapefruit seed extract
We have been drinking kefir regularly with acidophilus powder and I have been drinking one full glass of water with grapefruit seed extract, daily. Although I haven’t been able to take my family all the way in the candida detox, these two steps alone have helped us balance out some of the unhealthy bacteria in our systems with healthy bacteria. I’ve also been eating cultured vegetables several times a week.
In the coming months, thanks to a tax return, I hope to back up to phases 1 and 2, while also moving on ahead to Phase 4. In some ways, this has been a lot harder than I originally anticipated. In other ways, it’s been easier and more “right” feeling than I thought it would be. It’s been fun to experiment with making some of my own cloth products and solutions and I have really enjoyed learning about alternative health solutions.
So far, this has not been an annoyance, but more like an adventure, and a very satisfying one at that! I’m excited to see how we feel when we take the full plunge with our eating in another week or two. I’ll let you all know how that works in a couple of months!