Thoughts on Cloth

I’m giving all readers fair warning: This post is about sanitary cloth options. Now that I have warned you, I need you to know that you are absolutely welcome to stay and continue reading, in fact, I encourage it.

When my twins were 6-months old, I announced that I would begin diapering them with cloth. My move to switch was driven by a desire to save money, and a very real disgust with the amount of garbage (comprised mostly of soggy, paper nappies) we were hauling to the bin each day. Yuck! My announcement was met with a mix of happy encouragement and wrinkled noses. I wasn’t surprised in the least. Not only had I made my decision, I had also done some research, and what I found scared the crap out of me.

“Are you sure? The twins are so little, and the extra laundry is another thing to do. It’ll just be more work.” Said my well-meaning mother. She would know. Both my elder brother and I were cloth-diapered back in the 70’s.

“Yes, Mom, I’m positive. Do you know what’s in paper diapers? It’s disgusting! There’s sodium polyacrylate and carcinogens left-over from the bleaching process in there. Most kids wear diapers 24/7 for up to 2 years! Next to their delicate, sensitive skin, they’re absorbing those toxins for as long as they wear diapers. I can’t knowingly do that to the twins. I wish I had known this with Pip! I wish I had never opted for convenience with Titi!” I was excited, incensed, determined, and feeling a little bit guilty.

“Awe, it’s ok,” said my Mom, giving me a hug, “you didn’t know all this then. You’re doing the right thing for the right reasons.”

I felt validated, and I knew my Mother was right, because I knew I was right.

Sodium Polyacrylate:
  • super-absorbent polymer that is added to paper diapers and paper feminine hygiene products;
  • designed to hold approximately 100x its weight in fluid;
  • has been found inside the urinary tract of exposed individuals;
  • linked to UTIs (urinary tract infections);
  • linked directly to causing diaper rash;
  • linked to bleeding perineum and scrotal tissues, because it leeches fluid “so well” that surrounding skin becomes dry, chapped, and often inflamed;
  • was used in tampon production until the mid-80s, when it was linked to TSS (toxic shock syndrome) [worth noting that TSS is now attributed to user error – while I admit that does occur, the rate with which women were suffering/dying from TSS, it is illogical to place blame solely on each individual], it is unclear if sodium polyacrylate has been removed completely from tampon production;
  • if ingested, as little as 5g is  sufficient to result in death to small pets and children.

Because sodium polyacrylate isn’t awful enough, there’s more!

The process for producing paper diapers and feminine hygiene products is super-destructive to the environment, wastes tonnes of water, and the bleaching process results in by-products that are known carcinogens: Dioxin and TBT (tributyl-tin). Blech! And to think, even if you don’t have little ones in diapers, but you are a woman, you have been exposing yourself to the above-mentioned nasties without even knowing it.

Now what? What are your options? There are so many choices when it comes to reusable cloth “Mama Pads,” that your head might start to spin. I’m not kidding. You can get them in all kinds of sizes, colors, fabrics, and each with a different absorbency. To be honest, my personal preferences are bamboo or cotton velour. They also do not “crinkle-crunkle” when you walk while wearing them. I’m sure there is documentation somewhere that declares Cloth Pads are Ninja-Approved.

There are also insertable options, which collect rather than absorb. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I can’t find a single thing wrong them. They take getting used to, but will educate you about what your body is actually doing each time you cycle, that you never even knew you didn’t know. These are super-nice, Mooncup, and the Diva Cup is also worth mentioning.

The best part about this, what makes the most sense, these options put your health first. They also give your wallet a break. As a woman, I’m keenly aware of the advertising campaigns directed specifically at me and all women. There isn’t a single commercial break that doesn’t have at least one ad targeted at women: feminine hygiene products; female incontinence; beauty (anti-aging, hair dye, make-up, etc.); weight loss/control/body image; depression/mood; female-related medication (Canesten, Monistat, etc.); foods (Asana, Activia, etc.). All of these ads speak directly to women, and often carry connotations of “I am a Modern Woman by using these products.” I haven’t even mentioned the baby-related products and infant formula ads. As a Lactivist, I have very strong feelings, and may share them in another post at a later date. ;0)

I’m sharing this information not to convince anyone, but because I’m honestly concerned and want to share it. I care about my health,  but I also care about the health of others. This means You!


Chia Pudding and Granola

I’ve been playing around with Chia seeds, and I’m smitten. These little guys are so versatile and good for you.

2012 © copyright veggiewitch, all rights reserved

2012 © copyright veggiewitch, all rights reserved

This is our dessert from last night, Chia Pudding. Super-easy recipe, too!

Chia Pudding
1/2 C Chia* seeds
1 C soy* milk
1 C coconut* milk
1 mashed banana*
1 handful of dried fruit* (I sliced up a handful of dried figs*, optional)
1/2 tsp cinnamon*
splash of Maple* syrup (optional)
* = Organic

:: Pour your Chia seeds into a bowl and add your milk. Stir thoroughly. Mix in mashed banana, dried fruit, cinnamon and syrup. Stir it all up, then put it in the fridge for 15 minutes. You’ll notice the consistency has thickened. Stir it up, and return to the fridge for another 10 minutes or so. Enjoy! If you prepare this in advance (the night before, or first thing in the morning), the pudding will be much thicker. Additionally, you can add a little milk to thin it down, if needed.

And now for something completely different!

We are Crunchy. I’m sure you’ve suspected it, so I’m confirming your suspicions. My name is Veggiewitch, and I am Crunchy.

2012 © copyright veggiewitch, all rights reserved

2012 © copyright veggiewitch, all rights reserved

My granola is also crunchy! This recipe is super-easy!

Raw Granola
2 C raw oats* (quinoa* flakes, sprouted buckwheat* groats, etc would be perfect substitutes)
1/2 C flax* seeds
1/2 C Chia* seeds
1/2 C unsalted pumpkin* seeds
1/2 C unsalted sunflower* seeds
1/2 C raw pecans* (optional)
1/2 C raw almonds* (optional)
1/2 C hemp* hearts
1/2 C cacao* nibs
1 C dried cranberries*
1 C chopped, dried apricots*
1 C chopped, dried figs*
1/2 C Maple* syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon*
* = Organic

:: Add your oats (or substitute), seeds, hemp hearts and cacao nibs to a bowl. Stir it up. Break-up the nuts into smaller pieces, and add them to the bowl. Throw in the dried fruit and maple syrup. Mix thoroughly. Sprinkle the mixture with cinnamon, and stir. Pour  it all into a bowl or container you have with a lid that fits decently well. Store it in the fridge. Eat it with milk or add it to your cookie recipes for “Trail Mix” cookies. Yum!

2012 © copyright veggiewitch, all rights reserved

2012 © copyright veggiewitch, all rights reserved

There was a little Chia Pudding left over from last night, so I had it for breakfast with my Raw Granola. *happy dancing*

Cha-Cha-Cha Chia!

Now that I have your attention, and you’re no doubt reminiscing about the “Chia Pet/Chia Head” commercials of your youth, I want to talk about those tiny, little seeds. Despite the fun you may have had growing grass on a funky-shaped clay model, you’d have been doing yourself a great favor by eating them instead. Seriously. Personally, I neither had nor wanted a “Chia Pet” when I was young, but I am so very glad I rediscovered them now. =0)

Chia seeds (Salvia Hispanica) are native to Central and South America, particularly Mexico and Guatemala. The Aztecs were eating chia seeds as a source of nutrition centuries before some “modern dude” hatched the idea to make them art. Chia seeds are loaded with Omegas (30% of its extractable  oil is Omega 3, 10% is Omega 6), antioxidants, protein (respectable 4g per serving), and heaps of fiber (11g per serving). You can soak the seeds in water/milk/soy milk/coconut milk/juice and eat them like a dessert similar to tapioca, or bake them into your cookies or loaves. Add them to your granola, too. I’m really loving these amazing little seeds.

2012 © copyright veggiewitch, all rights reserved

2012 © copyright veggiewitch, all rights reserved

Where do you get some? Why here, at