Aug 02

Links and things

Sharing a cookie with Mimi.

We are on day 3 of our version of an elimination diet for Mika. We are trying our best to cut out ALL dairy, eggs, wheat, soy, nuts & gluten. Soy is in everything it seems, and it’s making it tricky to get food into this girl. There’s only so much oatmeal and hummus we can feed her (i think?). Anyway, more on that later.

I’ve read so many good articles lately, I can barely recall them all, but thought I’d share a few that have come through in the last couple days. Enjoy!

  1. The secret to desire in a long term relationship.
  2. Everything you want to know about yourself and anyone else you care about. (Addictive).
  3. How to talk to your daughter about her body.
  4. You should date an illiterate girl.
  5. For all of y’all curious about the Paleo Diet.
  6. Tampon commercials are way cooler than when I was a teenager.
  7. Careful what you search for.
  8. 40 days of dating.
  9. Adele writes (brilliantly) about work/life balance.
  10. And last but definitely not least, my beautiful mama has started a blog! I set it up for her but she is a little shy about getting the word out there. Have a read and leave an encouraging comment or two while you’re there :)

Jun 26

A story

I remember my mum reading me a similar story from one of her books when she was studying and I really enjoyed it. I stumbled upon it today and thought I’d share it:

The Rich Industrialist from the North was horrified to find the Southern Fisherman lying lazily beside his boat, smoking a pipe.

“Why aren’t you out fishing?” said the Industrialist.

“Because I have caught enough fish for the day,” said the fisherman.

“Why don’t you catch some more?”

“What would I do with it?”

“You could earn more money,” was the reply.

“With that you could have a motor fixed to your boat to go into deeper waters and catch more fish.

“Then you would make enough money to buy nylon nets. These would bring you more fish and more money. Soon you would have enough money to own two boats… Maybe even a fleet of boats. Then you would be a rich man like me.”

“What would I do then?”

“Then you could really enjoy life.”

“What do you think I’m doing right now?”

Apr 04

On believing what you’re told. And running. Barefoot.

I’m reading that book that every runner should read. Or every one who has feet should read. Or even people without feet should read. Born to Run was recommended to me by a friend and I ordered it from The Book Depository. Free shipping worldwide? Was it too good to be true? Almost. I waited one month until finally a knock at the door one sunny morning in Obregon and voila! It appeared! My book!

So first of all you need to know a couple things about me: I have awful feet. Or so I have been told my entire life. I started playing basketball when I was 8. My brother and I were in a mixed under 10s league and our mum was the coach. It was awesome. We won the B division and I still remember the game as though it was the ultimate underdog story with someone in our team scoring the winning basket just seconds before the buzzer.

I continued to play basketball all throughout my middle and high school years. At one point when I was about 13 I was playing/practicing about 14 times a week for 3 different teams. My feet hurt. They hurt so badly that after practice I’d take off my shoes and cry. When I woke up in the mornings I wouldn’t be able to stand because of the pain so I would crawl down the stairs and complain during breakfast until my feet warmed up and felt a bit better. I have no idea why I didn’t tell my coach. I think I was scared of her, so I just kept going. One day after practice my Dad had had enough so he took me to the A&E. And so it began…

It turned out I had a double stress fracture in my foot. One near my big toe and one near the fourth toe. I was passed from podiatrist to podiatrist to orthopedic surgeon and back to podiatrist. I heard the word ‘pronated’ so many times it just became a normal part of my vocabulary. I wore moon boots, I had moulds made of my feet, I was trialled in many a running shoe. They begged me to get off my feet: just swim instead! they told me. But anyone who runs or plays a sport, knows what it’s like to be told to stop. I needed more opinions and every opinion said the same thing: get good orthodics, get better running shoes, and run less. I actually did eventually stop playing basketball. But I took up running (go figure) and have run many half marathons, 5 & 10kms and a few adventure races.

We were a bit geeky…:P

So I’ve been reading this book born to run and it is so captivating. Even more so when I discovered that a lot of the book takes place roughly eight hours away from where we’ve been living in Obregon. There’s so much to talk about – the whole book is just mind blowing – but what really grabbed my attention was the whole ‘barefoot running’ debate. Prior to reading this book I thought that anyone who ran barefoot was crazy, because every foot doctor I’ve ever seen has told me that we NEED SHOES. But really? When you really think about it, it sounds mental. I read somewhere that it’s like putting a cast around your neck and then taking it off and wondering why you have no strength. Apparently ALL running injuries are modern injuries, ie. have only existed since the invention of the running shoe!

From the author of Born to Run:
I began drilling into running-shoe research, and the further I went, the less I found. There’s nothing there. Nothing. No evidence whatsoever that running shoes do anything. Know why you’ve never seen an ad for a running shoe that actually tells you what the shoe will do? Because there is no evidence that running shoes do anything to prevent injuries. None. In fact, research currently in progress indicates that runners in shoes experience far more impact than runners in bare feet.

I feel a bit silly really. Why didn’t I question the whole running shoe thing earlier? Well duh, because the doctors told me it was the best thing for me. And as a 14 year old, you don’t really question the professionals. But the older I get, the more and more I realise the importance of questioning everything. The importance of keeping an open mind and reading lots and asking lots of questions and testing things out for myself as much as I can and never just accepting one answer from one person or even one answer from lots of people. Because theories are constantly being disproved, new solutions are always being discovered and curiosity is what drives us forward.

So I’m most definitely going to give this barefoot running thing a try. My feet can’t get much worse (way to jinx it though) and I’m so curious.

There’s plenty of places to read more if this kind of thing interests you. I did some googling so you don’t have to:

If you’re a barefoot runner or have tried it out, I’d love to hear your stories!

Mar 14

Some Favourites

Today is the anniversary of the day she was due. March 14. I wonder if I’ll ever forget that day. Her first birthday is in 9 days and I was pretty chill about it all until I read this. And now I’m an emotional mess. Not really, but it definitely got me thinking about how easy it is to obsess over the things that do.not.matter in the grand scheme of things. So thank you Karen Maezen Miller for reminding me about what matters.

Here’s some more cool stuff on our internets that I’ve enjoyed lately:

Crazy idea?

Beautiful idea.

Brilliant idea.

A great cover letter.

Only 40% of Americans believe in evolution.

Why we won’t have a TV in the house.

The Head and the Heart (playing at Sasquatch this year!!)

Why ALL parents are better than you.

A super interesting article about breastfeeding and why it’s not a choice.

Ivan wants to get better at filming, so he started a little personal project for himself. He’s going to film a little clip every single day and upload it to a website for other people to use if they like. The site is called a daily take and he is on day 5.

As we explore new neighbourhoods (virtually) for our new home, we’ve really enjoyed this website that helps you live the most walkable lifestyle possible.

A vote for us today perhaps?

Mar 12

Finding balance

[image source]

I haven’t really talked about this too much but Ivan and I have stopped eating meat, dairy and eggs. It sounds outrageous! I know. But it’s been a process, a process of finding balance and a process of trying to make the best decisions for our bodies and this is where we’ve ended up.

It started with my sugar-free experiment. I stopped eating all sugars (including fruits/honey etc) for an entire month.  But to compensate for the no sugar, we were consuming a lot of meat, eggs, milk and cheese. It was gross. Mika’s eczema was awful, Ivan’s eczema was awful, I felt tired and my skin was breaking out.

A very long visit with a doctor was the catalyst to cutting these things out. He said that whilst we couldn’t confirm Mika had a food allergy (they won’t test her here because we’re ‘travelling’) it would be best to avoid all allergy trigger foods in her diet as well as mine (while I’m still breastfeeding) until she’s at least 2.

My parents were trialling a ‘vegan’ diet because my Dad has high cholesterol and type 1 diabetes and this is from him after 2 months of their diet:

“I have been on a ‘whole foods, plant based’ diet for two months now and have achieved a 25% reduction in my cholesterol level. What this diet means is ‘don’t eat animal protein’. It seems there is much research that shows a link between ANY animal protein (dairy, eggs, meat) and many ‘diseases of affluence’ including heart disease, diabetes, and many cancers. I cannot speak for anyone else, but my risk of CVD went down by about a third in a very short time.”

Like woah. And so Ivan and I came to the agreement that it couldn’t hurt. We agreed to eat more plants, more whole foods and less of everything else. We also agreed that we’d do this at 95%, meaning that if we were out at a friend’s house or at an event then we wouldn’t be too picky. We’d make the best choices we could, but we would still ‘live it up’ rather than ‘pass it up’ when dining with friends. Eating is, after all, a hugely social occasion.

So there you have it. It’s been 3 weeks or so already and we feel great.  I started a new blog to document our journey, it’s called the Cruz Family Kitchen. Check it out and like us on Facebook.  Hopefully you can get some inspiration for your own meal plans and if you have a wee one with allergies, I’m planning on posting what we’re feeding Mika too.