Fast Times

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I’m in the middle of a weeklong  Master Cleanse fast and just realized I have spent the last half-hour browsing recipes for golden lentil soup. I guess this would be a good time to collect my thoughts and feelings about how this fast is going so far. Time to refocus the mind!

Although this fast has become trendy among a certain celeb set, I first heard of the cleanse eleven years ago when it was still something only the crunchy hippies in our circle of friends were doing. And I mean that in the nicest possible way, of course.

After watching my husband go through the, um, process for a week, I decided to give it a try. While it’s true that you can lose a fair amount of weight (mostly water and…some other stuff), that wasn’t my primary motivation. I had just had my second miscarriage and was feeling pretty down about it. We had been trying for years and just couldn’t make it stick. When I heard about the cleanse I thought it might help me “clean out the pipes” so to speak, set the right conditions for trying to conceive again.

I should mention here that going into my first cleanse I was a stone-cold caffeine junky. I could easily have 6-8 cups of coffee a day. It really bothered me to feel so enslaved to something. I knew it would be hard to give it up for the fast, but I also knew that I wanted to prove to myself that I didn’t really need it. Continue reading »


The Ground Beneath Your Feet

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36352_447040471456_651989_nWe live in earthquake country. I’ve felt small tremors and medium-sized ones, and live with a healthy dose of fear that the long-predicted “big one” will hit California any day now. And yet, if it did, we would be woefully unprepared. It’s really easy to forget you live in earthquake country, until, that is, one strikes, and then it’s hard to imagine you’ll ever forget again. But then you do. You vow to get that earthquake kit together. You swear you’ll replace that funky water stored under three inches of dust in your garage. Really, you will. Right after you tend to something else which seems way more important because it’s actually happening, not theoretically happening.

But the thing about earthquakes is that they are unpredictable. It’s almost crazy not to be always prepared for them to strike because we never have any warning that they will.

Which brings me to two separate but equal events today that led me to drink down that healthy dose of fear I mentioned earlier. One has to do with imagining an earthquake won’t happen; the other has to do with imaging one has.

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Don’t Eat That Shirt

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IMG_0004Keeping growing kids clothed can be a full-time job. I just love getting hand-me-downs for our kids. We are lucky to have good friends whose two boys, ages seven and nine, keep my four-year-old clothed in cool threads for much of the year. But what you can’t find at consignment shops or other second-hand stores, you just have to break down and buy.

My son, having gone through a recent growth spurt, seems to have no pants that actually come down to his ankles. Fleece capri pants on a four-year-old boy? Not a good look. So, on our way home from an appointment yesterday, we noticed that a local Gap store was having a major pre-spring sale. Since saving money comes in second only to saving the planet when it comes to our purchases, we decided to see what we could find.

Well not long after we set foot inside the store, my son found some t-shirts with superhero themes that he just…had…to have. What kid his age wouldn’t go for a batman t-shirt with built-in cape? I mean, come on. I almost wanted one for myself. [Future DIY project: make t-shirt that reads “BatMom”.]

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Five Reasons Why Prop 65 Doesn’t Do Enough

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9803Prop65Image_150Last week California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) announced its intent  to list Bisphenol-A (BPA) on the state’s Prop 65 List, which requires disclosure of substances known to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.  While I’m certainly glad that OEHHA has moved to regulate this endocrine-disrupting chemical commonly found in baby bottles, canned foods, and paper receipts—a move that is long overdue, in my opinion— I don’t believe it’s likely to result in additional protection for consumers, at least not in any tangible way.

Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful that Prop 65 exists. It’s because of this law and the work of groups like the Center for Environmental Health that we no longer allow the sale of lead-tainted candy in California. It’s why phthalates linked to birth defects in boys are no longer permitted in teething rings and sippy cups. Those are all fantastic outcomes of Prop 65, the only law of its kind in this country. However—and I’m not speaking as a scientist here, but as a mom and a consumer—it doesn’t do nearly enough to protect our families. Here’s why:

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The Way We See It

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Last week my eight-year-old daughter found out that she needs eyeglasses. My husband and I both wear contact lenses and also got our first eyeglasses about her age, so we were concerned how she might take the news. As we picked out a cute pair of frames, she seemed almost giddy with excitement. When I was her age I begrudgingly wore mine, hating every minute of it. I was amazed that she was taking it so well. “I just want to see better” she said.

Don’t we all? Well, not quite all, but a large number of us do. According to statistics, 225 million Americans wear some kind of corrective lens. Of that number, 64% wear glasses; 11% wear contact lenses.

Although I got my glasses at age nine, I didn’t really wear them until I was in high school. And even then only when necessary to see the blackboard, when watching movies, or when driving. I guess, like most teenagers, I was too self-consious to wear them all the time even though I needed them.

I remember one day on the bus on the way to school, I suddenly realized that I had forgotten my glasses at home. My dad (who lived in a different home at the time) was picking me up after school and taking me to the DMV so that I could get my driver’s license. Crap. I knew that I wouldn’t be allowed to take the test without my glasses since my paperwork specified I needed corrective lenses. So what did I do? I turned to my friend, Melissa, who was sitting behind me on the bus and asked to borrow her glasses. That’s right, I got behind the wheel of a car wearing glasses that weren’t mine. Well, needless to say (but I’ll say it anyway), I failed. Yep, I failed my driver’s test on my first attempt. It could have had something to do with the way I ran over the cones during my three-point turn. Or, maybe I failed because I couldn’t see where the hell I was going.

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