Sunday, December 4, 2011

Why I don't drink milk.

Milk splashCow's milk that is.
But it applies to any dairy product, or any other animal's milk and milk product.

Three reasons.
  • I'm human.
  • I'm too old.
  • I feel bad for baby cows.
 (get ready for the dot-points, they don't end here)

Let me ellaborate a little, and we'll start by asking "What is milk?"

Wikipedia says:

"Milk is a white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals before they are able to digest other types of food. Early-lactation milk contains colostrum, which carries the mother's antibodies to the baby and can reduce the risk of many diseases in the baby. " says:
1. an opaque white or bluish-white liquid secreted by the mammary glands of female mammals, serving for the nourishment of their young.
2. this liquid as secreted by cows, goats, or certain other animals and used by humans for food or as a source of butter, cheeses, yogurt, etc.
3. any liquid resembling this, as the liquid within a coconut, the juice or sap of certain plants, or various pharmaceutical preparations.

I say:

  • Milk is what mother mammals make for their babies to eat.
  • It is designed to give the absolute best (read: normal) start for a young mammal.
  • It is species specific. I.E. - A gorilla mother will make milk specifically designed to feed gorilla babies, a mother dog will make milk specifically designed to feed puppies, a human mother will make milk specifically designed to feed human babies ...AANNNNDDD a cow mother will make milk specifically designed to feed CALVES.

The conclusions I have drawn include:
  • Breastfeeding is best (normal) nutrition for my daughter, and any future children. A breastmilk substitute comes with risks that need to be managed (info and resources here).
  • There is no way that a mummy cow's milk is important/essential/necessary to my health or that of my daughter. Cow's milk is so at odds with human digestion that it causes all manner of upsets for many people. Even (the much healthier) raw, organic, grass-fed cow's milk is just not supposed to be eaten by humans.
  • For a cow to lactate, she must have given birth to a calf, right? If humans are taking all of this milk from these cows, where are their babies? What are they eating? 
  • OR the cows have lactation artifically induced, with hormones which pass into the milk and end up on your cereal and in your coffee. Yum.

Drinking calf

Which leads me back to the afore-mentioned reasons that milk and dairy do not appear in my diet:
  • I'm human - Humans only need human milk. They need cow's milk as much as they need giraffe's milk. Or whale milk. Or cat or dog or chimpanzee milk. It just doesn't make any logical sense.
  • I'm too old - Yes human milk for humans and I'm all about natural weaning, but 24 is definitely too old.
  • I feel bad for baby cows - Are they ALL slaughtered, JUST so that we can steal their food? I'm an omnivore, I believe in the circle of life (lol), and that meat is an essential part of a human diet, but to kill a baby to steal it's food just seems a little over-the-top evil to me. And if they grow up to be beef cattle, wouldn't they be healthier (and therefore more nutritious eating), if they get mother's milk as calves?
(I should add that soy milk is NOT a healthy alternative.) 

Milk (any dairy) is not necessary, and even if it can be nutritious, it disagrees with my morals. there you have it folks, that's why I don't drink milk. 

What are your thoughts on dairy?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Wheat. What is it good for?

Did you start singing the song? I did too. :)

If you've heard much in the way of primal, paleo, ancestral-type health, you would probably agree that the answer is absolutely nothin' ...(say it again).

BUT I did work out at least 3 things that use wheat and are actually great :) horray!

Mix the flour and cold water
Add caption
Number 1 - GLUE!

Yep, gluten makes a great glue, who knew?
(prrreeety much everyone Jayne, duh)

We all know how to make papier-mâché glue right? Plain white flour and water. At least that was how we did it when I was in Primary School.

There are many many complicated recipes out there for it that you can google if you like, but my way is to get about a cup of flour, and just keep adding warm water until you have the consistency that you like. Start with 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup and then add in small amounts to your heart's desire.

My teenage brother made packet pancakes for his and his girlfriend's breakfast the other morning and somehow managed to leave little droplets of mix all over the kitchen (really, he must have been flinging it around or something) and due to his lack of cleaning skills they dried where they landed. Let me tell you, when I noticed them and tried to clean them, they were horrible! I had to soak, scrape and scrub so hard to get rid of them.

Great reminder of why I don't want that in my body.

Number 2 - DECORATIONS :)

Salt-dough! It's like glue, but you mold it and bake it!

I found this lovely post on salt-dough ornaments and decided to make some with Wildchild.

I put blue and yellow food colouring (because I didn't have red, I really wanted red...) into the water that I used to mix with the flour and salt so we ended up with 7 little green christmas tree decorations. They will be painted sparkly and probably have a message on the back too. Do you like 'em?
work in progress

I'm rather broke this christmas so I'm sending these out as presents for a few people and keeping one for our family. I'm hoping it can be a yearly tradition so that in years to come we can look at the tree and see her hand grow :)

Also (not wheat related, but) another ornament I'm going to make soon is a time-capsule bauble.

Number 3 - HAIR-DYE ...?

True story.
I dyed my hair darker about 3 weeks ago, and the hairdye I used said it was made using wheat, corn and soy.
I had to laugh at that because those are all things I avoid like the plague usually but they were using it as a selling point. Anyway I used it because I thought it's got to be a little better than the usually toxic chemical cocktail, and I really wanted to get the blonde out of my hair. I think it was Naturtint, but I'm not 100% certain.

I have pretty sensitive skin, and dying my hair is usually a very painful experience (I know, I know, why do it then? I have no idea, I like changing my hair colour...). BUT this time not only did the dye NOT stink to the high heavens, but also DIDN'T hurt my scalp in the slightest! Woah!

Horray! A use for all that wheat, corn and soy that people should definitely not be eating!

Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)
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So there you go, three things that wheat is good for. Not that I'm advocating for wheat in any kind of way, but if you happen to have some remaining in your pantry from a less-enlightened time in your life feel free to get crafty with it!

Can you think of any other great uses for horrible pantry-lurking poisons? Please share :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

How to Create a 'Village' for Your Child at Day Care

You've no doubt heard the saying, 
"it takes a village to raise a child"

Many working or studying mums have no choice but to have their children spend many hours a week in long day care, and this can be a great source of stress, worry and guilt. 

I stressed myself sick about starting this Teaching Prac that I'm on at the moment, because it is 4 weeks of 9 hour days, 5 days a week. I felt like I was letting WildChild down, I felt like I was a traitor to attachment parenting, and most of all I worried that it would affect our relationship negatively. I worried that we would lose our closeness, that our bond would weaken, I thought I'd never get any time to enjoy my daughter's company, and I'd become "one of those mums" who seem always too busy for their children. 
I pretty much thought it was the apocalypse.

However, I have come to realise that not only do I have no choice (unless I quit my course, which I'm not going to do), but also that worrying is a completely pointless exercise. The best course of action is to take that energy that I would have wasted on stress, and use it for something practical. 

So I have started trying to foster more of a connection between myself and WildChild's Daycare, in the hope that, instead of feeling like she's missing out on time with her mother, it will be more like she is gaining time with a whole "village". Here's how I think I can do it:

 Don't Rush
One of the best ways to help children feel more secure about leaving their parents at drop-off time is to make sure it's a relaxed affair.
I've been trying to get organised 10 minutes earlier so that when we arrive at her Daycare, it's not a mad rush to get in, throw her into one of the teachers' arms and rush out again. Now we have time to stroll around her classroom, looking at yesterday's artworks and admiring the displays that the teachers have put a lot of effort into making. We put her bag in her locker together, and her lunch in the fridge together, and stop to chat to whoever we meet along the way.
Think about how it must feel for a child to have their parent get in and out as quickly as possible. I personally would feel like I'm being being left in a place that my parent doesn't like to be in. Having extra time to enjoy the atmosphere, and connect with the place, sends children a strong message that this is a desirable place to be. This is a fun place and a beautiful place and somewhere to be comforable, relaxed and happy. 

Know the Staff
In the same vein, if you want a child to respond to and like their teachers, you need to model that behaviour. 
One day last week my phone decided to get me up an hour early (I live very close to a state border, and my phone believed it was in the state that has daylight savings, when really we are in the state that doesn't), so completely by accident I had an entire hour to hang out with WildChild at her Daycare when I dropped her. I got to chatting with a few of the teachers and found out lots of interesting things, and lots of things that we have in common. This turned out to be an excellent mistake on the part of my phone, because now when I'm doing the drop-off or pick-up, I feel much more comfortable chatting about how WC is feeling that day or what the class will get up to later. As well as miscellaneous things like what we did on the weekend, which gyms they've tried, or where is good for lunch.
 It might seem pointless, but these little snippets of information help teachers know the children, which helps them connect and teach more effectively. It also helps you appreciate their work, and the effort and forethought that goes into the 'fun activities'. And lastly, it helps you feel that instead of leaving your child with strangers, you are leaving your child with people that you know and trust.
In a traditional environment, the adults would all have strong relationships with each other and transitions between parent and temporary carer would be very fluid and natural.
Try going over to a teacher and starting a conversation. It doesn't need to be anything particularly
"How has your morning been so far?"
"I see the kids are really into the sandpit today."
"Ooh, I like your shoes." 
...Really, anything. You are just showing your child that this adult person is a friend. They are a nice person and someone you can both trust. Your little one can be more comfortable with their teachers, because you are.

Make Friends
This is probably the Early Childhood (student) Teacher in me, but I find children to be just as unique and interesting as adults are.
WildChild has found herself a best friend at Daycare, called Katie*. Whenever we arrive, Katie rushes over with the biggest smile on her face to give WC a big hug and a kiss. I started making sure that I say hi to Katie whenever I see her, and having 'conversations' (as you do with barely verbal toddlers) about what her likes and interests. Now it's to the point that three or four children will wander over when we arrive to greet WildChild and to tell us both about whatever is important to them at that moment (this often involves where their parents are at the present moment, and/or shoes). It makes me feel so warm and fuzzy to see my little girl being greeted excitedly by her peers, and it helps her begin her day more naturally when her friends come over for a chat and then whisk her off to play.
I met Katie's mum this morning too. We had a lovely chat about the things we had seen our daughters do to show how much they care about each other.
Take an interest in your child's social life, even when they're small. It helps them develop closer, stronger friendships (and I hope it will help when she's a teenager and her social life is a little more frightening for me).

The reality of modern life is that our personal 'villages' are not physical, and there may be little overlap between ours and that of our next-door neighbour's. It's easy to forget the multitudes of lives that are linked to yours. 
When your child is in daycare they are not in a vacuum of suspended animation, they are relating to people, they are learning and they are growing. Not being present for the entire day, does not have to mean that you can't still be part of it. You can make sure that you are linked to these people and these places and these lessons, and it will only prove beneficial for your child. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Little Food for Thought

Children's eating habits are very very important.

The effect of nutrition on young minds and bodies is very well documented.
We know that food is the body's fuel, and who needs the best fuel more than people who are still growing and developing?

I cannot fathom how loving caring parents can come to hurt their children by feeding them the wrong things.

There are several reported cases worldwide of young children dying because of vegan or fruitarian diets, the latest in March this year in the UK. It really is heartwrenching to read the cases. In some of the cases the mother was breastfeeding, but wasn't getting enough from her diet for her milk to correctly nourish her child, and in some of the cases the infant had been weaned far too early (risky to begin with) and started on a diet that starved the child of essential nutrients. To me, this is terribly tragic, especially so because most of the parents thought that they were giving their child the best start. They truely believe in the value of veganism, and did not understand the damage that they were doing to their own child.

Then there is the other (much more prevalent) extreme of children being poorly fed into overweight or obesity. 25% of 5-17 year olds in Australia! I can only speculate about the reasons for children becoming obese, or on parents attitudes and motivations, so I won't. I believe the circumstances are too varied and plentiful to generalise about. What I do know, is that even though these children aren't dying as young, they too are having their lives shortened significantly. This is such a problem in western nations that there are diet books being aimed at 6 year olds.

My beliefs are:
  • Children should recieve only breastmilk (or substitute) until they are at least 6 months old, and then (ideally for as long as the child desires) complimented with solids. Breastmilk is uniquely tailored to each and every child (and is very dynamic according to age, outside temperature, and even time of day), and anything the child needs is drawn from the body. HOWEVER if a mother's body does not contain a particular nutrient (such as the essential B12, which is from animal sources) the milk does not contain it either. A mother that insists on a nutrient deficient diet MUST take a supplement, or switch her child to a breastmilk substitute, like formula.
  • Children are effected by food in very unexpected ways. Examples include: dairy causing colic, asthma, and skin irritation; or gluten/wheat causing behavioural disturbances. I have seen again and again on online parenting communities how many parents have had problems solved by eliminating certain foods.
  • Full-fat dairy can be essential for some children in order to get enough protein, B12 (if there is no/not enough meat in their diet) and calcium (if they eat grains, which hinder calcium absorption).
  • Grains and legumes damage bodies. They do not provide any nutrition that cannot be better gained from other sources. Fibre, vitamins and minerals are all more plentiful in fresh fruit and vegetables and protein (from legumes) in meat (or dairy). It is more than beneficial to replace any grains with produce. One positive to grain consumption is that beneficial bacteria like to feast on them, so cutting grains needs to be balanced with probiotics from another source, like yoghurt (coconut milk yoghurt for those who can't tolerate dairy) or fermented fruits/vegetables.
  • Fat is not evil. Children NEED healthful fats for correct immune, eye and brain development. This is complex, because some foods turn potentially healthy fats into dangerous fats. Some fats that almost everyone agrees are healthy are from coconut, nuts, avocados and other plant sources. I personally believe cholesterol is an essential fat.
  • I agree with the view that if food is not nutritionally dense, the body will demand more of it in order to get sufficient nourishment. It is the lack of nutrients in packaged, processed foods (and grains...) which cause overeating, leading to overweight and obesity, NOT fat itself. 
  • Eating meat from pasture-raised animals, fresh (ideally organic) fruits and vegetables, spices, nuts and fats from natural sources is the best nutrition for growing bodies and minds.

With all that being said, I know that it is hard to keep children eating well at all times. My own family love to provide WildChild with peanut-butter on toast, muffins, cows-milk ice-cream, yoghurt and a myriad of other things that I consider less than ideal. It is impossible to give children a 'perfect' diet (if such a thing even exists). It is enough just to be aware of how food affects you and your children, and do your best with what you have.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Natural Parenting - Back to Basics in Infant Care

I came across this wonderful paper the other day. It investigates the (in my opinion) paleo style of parenting, and talks about the sort of parenting practices that babies have evolved to expect. Here's the abstract...

"Abstract: This review examines an age-old approach to parenting recently rediscovered in Western industrialized societies and known by names such as natural parenting, attachment parenting, and instinctive parenting. Its leading principle is utmost sensitivity to the child’s innate emotional and physical needs, resulting in extended breastfeeding on demand, extensive infant carrying on the caregiver’s body, and cosleeping of infant and parents. The described practices prevailed during the evolutionary history of the human species and reflect the natural, innate rearing style of the human species to which the human infant has biologically adapted over the course of evolution. An overview of research from diverse areas regarding psychological as well as physiological aspects of early care provides evidence for the beneficial effects of natural parenting. Cross-cultural and historical data is cited to reveal the widespread use of the investigated parenting style. It is concluded that the described approach to parenting provides the human infant with an ideal environment for optimal growth both psychologically and physiologically. It is yet to be determined how much departure from this prototype of optimal human parenting is possible without compromising infant and parental wellbeing. The review also invites a critical reevaluation of current Western childrearing practices."

What are your thoughts on this? Agree, disagree?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Why we bed-share

The short answer is because it is natural and easy.

But here's a story for your reading pleasure...
When I was pregnant, I had a bassinet all set up for my baby next to my bed. I thought that babies were supposed to sleep by themselves, and be "trained" to sleep soundly through the night.
I just thought this was normal, I didn't have any idea how differently I would feel once I had a real live child.

After WildChild was born, everything went out the window.

Accidently passed out on the lounge, WildChild was about a week old
(This is not an example of safe bedsharing, but luckily my dad was nearby so no worries)
 I tried to put her in the plastic bassinet that was next to my hospital bed, but I couldn't bring myself to keep her there. I can't even describe the feeling of it, it was something like putting my own limb away from myself. I felt lost and scared and unatural with my baby away from me (which was nothing compared to day 3 when they took her away to test for jaundice, I was crying into my food).
So she slept on the bed with me. I put the side rail up and wrapped her up and slept with her beside me. The nurses occasionally told me it was against hospital policy, but they were very understanding and (several of them) told me they wouldn't tell so long as I didn't tell that they knew.
I guess I was lucky for that because as a new mum I was so impressionable and if someone had screamed about it then I would have overridden my instincts and put her in the cold plastic bassinet to sleep.

So that's how we came to bed-share. It was instinctual and natural, and it was also the easiest things in the world. I did try now and then in the following months to put her to sleep by herself, but she wouldn't have a bar of it, and it killed me to listen to her cry that she was scared and lonely.
I have always gotten as much sleep as I wanted or needed, never having had to get out of bed to feed my daughter. I guess this is why I've never cared that she didn't sleep through.

anyone feel like telling this mum she can't sleep with her baby?

When I thought about it a little, it made sense to me that doing what our species is designed to do will produce the best results. (Sound a little Paleo?)

It was only after being a mum for a while that I found many online parenting resources that document the short and long term benefits of bed-sharing for babies and mothers. Research by Dr James McKenna indicates that bed-sharing protects against SIDS (and other night-time dangers), facilitates breastfeeding, and produces happier, more confident people.* Babies don't know that they've been born into a safe place, they instinctively need their parents close to feel like they aren't in danger. They also need to feed frequently because they have very small stomachs and very quick metabolisms, which in turn helps mums milk supply keep up with her baby's changing needs.

Now that WC is 18months, I'm starting to think about her having her own bed. Although this doesn't seem like a very practical option while I'm living at my parents house, in a rather cramped room, so I'm happy to continue while we're here.
Perhaps when one day we have a home of our own she will have her own room and her own bed, but I won't force her to sleep alone if she doesn't want to, and I won't mind the cuddles at all :)

NOTE: This means safe bed-sharing, where the parent is not sleep deprived, under the influence of anything, they don't smoke, the baby is above the bedding, and there is not chance of baby falling into gaps that could crush a tiny body. There are dangers, just as there are dangers with cots, that need to be monitored and minimized.
However, for us, bed-sharing is lots of reward for much less effort.

Apple & Cinnamon Scrambled Eggs

Yes I know, weird right?

I like to make things that are opposite to usual, this is one of them. Others include tomato and onion pancakes, and zucchini and sausage cake. I'm just weird like that.

So here's this recipe if you are brave enough to try it out. I don't know if it is best as a sweet breakfast, or a protein rich dessert...

  • 3 (omega 3 enriched) eggs
  • 1 apple - diced
  • 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
  •  1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • Place the eggs, cinnamon and vanilla extract into a mixing bowl and mix together (I use a fork to whip it slightly). Then add the shredded coconut.
  • Heat the coconut oil in a pan, add the diced apple and saute it for 5-10 minutes until the apple is pretty soft
  • Add the egg mix to the pan with the apple and keeping moving it around so that it scrambles. Or cook it whichever way you'd like to, if you'd rather an apple omlette I don't have any problems with that :)
  • A nice touch could be to sprinkle cinnamon sugar on before eating (like sprinkling salt on regular eggs). I'm trying to cut out refined sugar so I didn't, but I'm sure it would be yummy.
  • If you ususally put milk in your scrambled eggs, use a little bit of coconut milk or almond milk before you whip the eggs. My preference would be coconut.
  • I found that I couldn't eat too much of this for breakfast, not sure if it was because of the sweetness or because of the chewy coconut... But I ended up cooking some bacon afterwards and ate that too. 

Let me know if you tried it, if you liked it, if you made any changes that worked out amazingly, and/or if you just think it's plain bizarre.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples

(I added the 's' because the Indigenous peoples of the world are not a single homogenous group, there are many many different cultures, nations and histories and they deserve to be considered as seperate unique groups.)

The theme of this celebration is Indigenous designs: celebrating stories and cultures, crafting our own future.

To contribute, I'd like to offer some resources for educational experiences relating to Australian Aboriginal Peoples (yep, there are many different cultures, nations and histories within this group too).

  • 8 Aboriginal Ways of Learning - Aboriginal Pedagogies. Arguably the best way to learn and share Indigenous perspectives is to make use of, and credit, their processes, not just teach the content. Also working with local Indigenous Elders, communities and resource people is essential. This site is incredible, I can spend hours here.
 Below links are interesting, but should only augment, rather than form the main part of, experiences:

    I believe for anyone to consider themselves truely patriotic they must honour and value the First Peoples of their land.

    I love the quote "Indigenous Success is Australian Success" from the 8 Ways Wiki site, and believe it can be applied to any nation.

    Feel free to share any resources and I will add them to the post :)

    Monday, August 8, 2011

    Breastmilk Cholesterol!

    Everybody knows cholesterol is bad, BAD, BAD, don't they? 

    How do we know?
    How did I know? well, the TV told me. There is ad after ad of product designed to "lower cholesterol", "improve heart health". (Ususally a product made of grain, soy or canola......hmmmm wait a sec)
    We've all heard of LDL ("bad" fat) and HDL ("good" fat) haven't we?

    So anyway, I came across this article yesterday (I highly recommend you read) which I found hugely interesting. It basically says that Newborn babies are born deficient in cholesterol and they recieve A LOT from breastmilk in the first 6 months of life.
    Here's the deal:
    • Newborn (cordblood) cholesterol: 70.3 mg/dl
    • Exclusively breastfed infant at 6 months: 194 mg/dl
    • Partially breastfed infant at 6 months: 162 mg/dl
    • Non-breastfed infant at 6 months: 140 mg/dl
    This would put all of the babies, were they adults, in the "at risk" category for doctors looking at heart health, and most of all the breastfed infants.

    This, when you think about it, is very very strange.

    In exclusively breastfed infants, 6 months is around the time that that the gut closes and immune function matures. If the baby is not exclusively breastfed for at least 6 months, the immune system can take much longer before it functions properly. Low LDL cholesterol levels after birth means reduced ability to make antibodies. HDL is also important for immunity. Non-breastfed infants, recieve less cholesterol (among many other things), and are therefore at an elevated risk of suffering from allergy, obesity, heart disease, lower cognitive outcomes, infection, the list goes on. Study after study shows that breastmilk protects the health of children, and the longer they recieve it the more protected they are. 

    So why would something that is considered soo nasty and threatening later in life, be so very good for us when we are the most vulnerable and new?
    Something to ponder...

    Now, I am not recommending that you go out and stuff yourself full of animal fats right now without looking back. I know that the body is a very complex creation and many factors influence it's proper functioning. There are certain things that many people eat a lot of, like lectins found in grains, that oxidise LDLs and actually make them harmful to you.

    What I am saying is, my personal ideas about cholesterol have changed a lot since learning about the paleo way of eating and living. In fact I'm no longer scared of fats, animal or otherwise, at all. I've learnt so much about the benefits of fat (eg. the brain is made almost entirely of fat and requires a fair amount of the stuff to grow, or even function correctly). And the fact that breastmilk (read: perfect food) is high in cholesterol has completely convinced me that it need not be a bad thing.

    If you would like to learn a little more try visiting Robb Wolf, he is a biochemist-come-health-expert who says "Reducing inflammation through a clean, Paleo diet, abstaining from smoking and excessive exercise, minimizing alcohol consumption, and engaging in stress-lowering habits.  When these variables are in order, we do not need to be so caught up with (worrying about) saturated fats."

    Note: These are just my opinions and musings on information from more knowledgable others that I have (tried to) understand. It is entirely possible that I may have misinterpreted some of the facts, and if I am totally incorrect please feel free to help me out.

    What's your opinion? Are you scared of fats, or embracing them?

    Sunday, August 7, 2011

    Welcome! So what's this all about?

    Hi, nice to meet you, I'm Jayne :)
    I was born in the Northern Territory in Australia and currently live in the Gold Coast, but that is probably changing soon.
    This is Lionel, Elsie and I at the Lincoln Memorial in June

    This is my opinions, ideas and experiences.
    I try to live in a more instinctual, natural, healthy way which involves eating the way I believe humans are designed to, being fit and strong, and being an 'attached parent' to my daughter Elsie.
    What does that mean for us?
    It means my family eat a paleolithic diet high in grass-fed meats, fats and vegies, with moderate amounts of fruit and nuts, and (almost) no grains or dairy.
    We keep fit, strong and healthy with crossfit, incidental exercise and a fun outlook on movement and activity.
    It means Elsie still recieves breastmilk from me  and will continue to until she is at least 2 years old unless she decides to wean earlier. She is 17 months old at the time I'm posting this. Human milk for a growing human child :) there is nothing healthier, and no food that could possibly be considered more 'paleo'.
    We bed-share, and have done so since she was born. I went with my instincts, and I can tell you Elsie and I both were never sleep deprived, even with me starting studying full time the same week she was born. For the first year of my course, I also took her to class with me in a sling :)
    I'm studying a Bachelor Degree in Early Childhood Education, and am highly passionate about children's issues. Elsie goes to a long day care service 3 days a week while I'm in classes. I don't consider this ideal, but it's the only option we have.
    I'm also very interested in Australian Aboriginal perspectives, cultures and teaching pedagogies. After I graduate I hope to return to the Northern territory to teach in a remote community.

    Right now, I live with my parents, and Lionel lives in the US (he is a US citizen, I won't go into specifics). I consider myself very lucky because I have the ultimate parenting resource (my mum) around all the time and so much help with Elsie; I also think it's great for her to have a multigenerational environment and multiple familial caregivers.

    So that's me, and the future blog content convered, what about you? Have you heard of paleo? Do you practice attachment parenting? Do you have any experience with Indigenous education? Please tell me about yourself :)