I learned the term "Crunchy" while sitting in the NICU with my daughter. Two nurses were talking and one of them mentioned her "crunchy" friend. I was intrigued. Upon listening (eavesdropping?), I discovered that her friend leaned toward a natural lifestyle. "Crunchy", as I learned, was a nicer way of saying "granola-loving, hippie type". I love this term, although I am sure some people may find it a wee bit offensive.
As it turns out, I am (sort of) crunchy! When it became clear to my husband and I that we were struggling with infertility, I threw myself into research. I wanted to know what could aid our quest to become pregnant. I read everything from the superstitious to the downright ridiculous! I found a lot of wisdom, as well. I came across a book called The Infertility Cure by Radine Lewis, Ph.D.. The book is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
In reading The Infertility Cure, I learned how everything that we put into and onto our bodies has a huge impact on the overall balance (Qi) of our bodies. This, in turn, impacts our overall health, including fertility. Around this time, I began to see an acupuncturist to help aid us in our endeavors.
I changed my diet and began to "eat clean". * Eating clean means to try to eat food that are in their most natural forms. Fruits, veggies, rice, lean meat, eggs, nuts and seeds are all part of a "clean eating" diet. I cut out anything that was too processed or far removed from its original state. I never restricted calories or foods. The body has to be properly fueled, especially when creating and sustaining new life.
I did a lot of research on what goes onto our skin in our everyday body care and beauty products. I was shocked to learn that a lot of common ingredients in these products contain "hormone disrupters" and known carcinogens. The last thing I wanted to do was contribute to our infertility by using any products that contained these ingredients. I ran through the house and chucked out any products with the bad ingredients. My husband and I hardly had anything left when I was through with my purge. None of my makeup, skin care products or cleaning products were free of harmful ingredients.
With my list of harmful ingredients in hand, I slowly restocked our products. I use baking soda, vinegar and "Nellie's All-Natural One Soap" for cleaning. ** It is a lot cheaper (woo hoo!) and very effective. I learned to read labels and try my best to avoid the harmful ingredients. I love the Rocky Mountain Soap Company and ZuZu Cosmetics.** I try to buy organic when I can. This can be difficult as I live in a rural community, so choices are limited.
I am by no means perfect with everything we eat and use in our home. Perfection is a goal better left for someone with more ambition than I. We did, however, find that it made a vast difference in our lives. Hubby lost 20 lbs without even trying! I started to feel far more energetic, happy and strong. Most importantly, we achieved our goal of pregnancy!
Miss. E has arrived and Hubby and I continue to be careful with our lifestyle. I feel better knowing that I am doing my best to promote my family's health.
Here are some links that I found helpful in adopting a more "natural" lifestyle:
What natural products do you like? Do organic or natural products have an impact on your life?
* Please note that I am not a doctor or dietitian. You should consult your health care provider when making any changes to your diet or exercise routine.
** The products mentioned in this post are products that I personally like to use. This is simply my opinion. I did not receive compensation for mentioning them in this post.