I’ve been wanting to start a blog since my 6 year old was a baby but I am an excellent procrastinator. It probably didn’t help that during that time I went from omnivore to vegan to strict raw vegan to strict paleo to ‘paleo/real food based with reasonable flexibility and balance’. As in, I mostly crave and eat healthy paleo based foods but am happy to eat outside of that if it makes life easier. Our microbiome is happy when we are relaxed and the pleasure in enjoying a meal with friends is far better for our bodies than avoiding eating something we deem unhealthy. It’s also not healthy for your mental health to start thinking of some foods as inherently bad and being restrictive.
During this time I also dabbled with various elimination diets and pored over information from the web. I have suffered with various ‘unwell’ feelings since as long as I can remember – extreme tiredness, black circles under eyes, brain fog, lack of concentration, confusion, daydreaming/lost in thought a lot, mumbling/struggling to get words out, tummy aches, bloatedness, sickness, feeling faint/dizzy, severe PMS, eczema and allergic rhinitis, severe anxiety and panic, bouts of depression, worrying and intense dreams and nightmares. I’m sure there’s more I’m forgetting also.
The vegan lifestyle DID NOT suit me. I felt really good about myself doing it because at the time I thought meat was bad for you. It was only when I came across the wonderful Wellness Mama and saw that she had ‘healthy’ recipes that included grass fed animal products that I began to research more. Also many of the horror stories vegans tell about the way animals are treated are untrue or vastly exaggerated. Yes things could be better but legislation in the UK is pretty good. Not that I’ve got anything against vegans at all! It is very warming to have such empathic people in the world. I just think it can get very dogmatic and I don’t like food extremism.
This came at a time when Wellness Mama was speaking at the Real Food Con – an online convention about real food. A lot of the speakers were from the paleo community and I caught a few while they were free but I missed a lot and I loved it so much that I bought the set, which included the files from the Paleo Summit too. My mind was BLOWN. I couldn’t get enough of this cutting edge, logical and well researched information. These were speakers who were not only open to but sought out oppositional research so as to dismiss or accept it into their own beliefs. If they accepted it they would adjust their own views and publicly share the information. In fact there were seminars in the summits by speakers that opposed the paleo diet. After spending a fair bit of time in the vegan community this was extremely refreshing.
I am somebody who needs a lot of convincing data to begin to believe something and these paleo guys had it in spades.
So I started eating a paleo diet and it felt AMAZING!!!! Not only did I feel great in body and mind but it felt so satisfying to feel I had so many options of food available to me. I had been working hard at the gym but my fitness levels seemed to be decreasing and I was needing a 2 hour nap every day when my son did. This improved greatly when I started my paleo lifestyle and even more so with all the other adjustments I made.
I will go into more details of my self development and the discoveries I made which contributed to my improved health in another blog post. I just wanted to give a general background and some info on why I’m starting a blog.
Yes, so it was hard for me to start a blog when I didn’t really know where I stood with my way of eating, lifestyle and beliefs but I always loved creating new healthy recipes, photographing them (even though my photography skills leave a lot to be desired) and sharing them with others who are interested in healthy eating. I often search for a particular recipe just to discover there are none on the web and if there are it’s often American with ingredients we don’t use and in measurements that require conversions. I wanted to create a library of recipes that are simple and easy to follow and unpretentious with ingredients you can buy in the UK. I find myself having to copy and paste my recipes a lot to share so it would be easier to just direct people to my blog.
Also blogging is, let’s be honest, a hobby. And who’s got time for those with kids?!! We had bills to pay so I worked where I could until my daughter came along and I realised that with 2 children I had NO spare time.
Now that my daughter is approaching 2 and a half and nursery is on the horizon I have a few little ventures I’d like to explore and this is one of them. I have a strong interest in respectful parenting, psychology and supporting mothers so I’m hoping I can write a few posts in that area.
As a first time mother with no experience of children I had no idea how to parent and although I knew I didn’t like the traditional authoritarian parenting method I didn’t know what the alternative was – other than to just love your child. So I did a lot of reading and I’m SO glad I did. It has completely transformed me as a parent and I now feel pretty confident in my parenting and happy that I’m doing the best I can within my limitations. And even those I am working on.
But one thing I found was that by reading what you should be doing with your child, it made me feel like what I was doing was wrong (which I know is part of the learning process). But it’s just more guilt. And we parents have enough guilt.
Also I feel like a lot of parenting methods totally ignore the parents’ needs. I love most of what Sarah Ockwell-Smith writes but she commented in her book The Gentle Sleep Book that the parents putting the kids to bed early so they can have ‘an evening’ is not really a good enough reason. It’s comments like this that make parents feel they have to sacrifice everything for their children and this is a surefire way to create a bad parent.
Self care and prioritising yourself sometimes is one of THE biggest parenting gifts you can give your child. Not only are you more calm and ready to parent but you are modelling self respect to your children. A happy mum is a happy family unit.
So often we feel competitive, judgemental or judged but if we were a closer, more supportive community of parents we would feel cared for, supported and respected instead – what a huge change that would make to our parenting. So I hope my blog can bring a bit of happiness or peace to some parents out there and it can encourage us to unite as a community and have each others’ backs more. We are all in this together!
Please comment below if you’ve ever thought of starting a blog and if so, what about..