The Half-Crunchy Mama

Trying to live a natural life with balance


Welcome! Here’s the story…

The name

I first learned about the term “crunchy” after giving birth to my daughter when a friend mentioned that I was “kind of crunchy.”  Once the term crunchy was explained to me, I decided that I am “half-crunchy.” I never realized how much I had changed while on the journey I have been on for the past 9+ years. I have strong feelings about natural health and medicine, fitness, healthy eating, GMOs, breastfeeding, my newest obsession with essential oils, and a variety of other somewhat hot topics. Reusable bags and recycling are big with me. I have a container garden. I don’t take medications unless absolutely necessary, and neither do my husband or daughter. But there are limits to my crunchiness. I didn’t use cloth diapers. Despite my obsession with reusable bags, I still use plastic bags from stores for some things (like the small garbage cans around the house). I don’t compost. I don’t own a hybrid or an electric car. In fact, I own an SUV and a car that is twelve years old. I don’t believe in every little thing that the rest of the crunchy world does, but I get it. My life revolves around my daughter, my husband, my dog, and my job, and I have learned that nothing runs smoothly if I’m not focused on taking care of myself. This includes standing up for what I believe in and helping to share my knowledge with as many people as possible.

The history

When I take a look back on my 38+ years of life, I see the many things that I have lived through/lived with/battled; and right now I’m just talking physiologically.

I had insomnia and was a sleepwalker as a kid. Back then, no one would have ever thought to look into those two things and see that perhaps something was wrong. I also ate lots of crackers…like half a box watching Saturday morning cartoons, and I loved bologna and American cheese. As processed as you can get! We didn’t know then what we know now about nutrition, especially when it comes to kids. (thank God I played sports.)

Then as a teen, I had acne (who didn’t) and ovarian cysts, resulting being put on different prescriptions for the acne, both pills and topicals, and birth control pills from the age of 16 until almost the age of 30. I was “diagnosed” with depression and put on zoloft for several years. I also had seasonal allergies and took prescriptions so often that I would build up an immunity to them and have to switch to a different one every 6-8 weeks.

In my mid-20s, I found out I had been carrying Lyme disease for so long that by the time it made itself visible in my body, several of my systems had been affected. My knees will never be the same after having such awful arthritis as a result of the evil spirochete (and let’s not even talk about all THOSE medications I had to take).

The topic of my back could be a post all on its own. All you need to know for now is that I have had back problems since the age of 13 and was put on….you guessed it…lots of different medications.over-medicated

See a theme here? Medications, medications, medications. This is such a problem in our lives, and at this point in my life, I just can’t stand it anymore. We have become a world that thrives on instant gratification. Something wrong? Take this pill and you will feel better fast. Oh, those side effects? Don’t worry about those little things. We will give you something else for the side effects. The commercials, and the fact that we even have commercials for medications, that go through an insane list of side effects make me nuts.

I was a result of over-medicating a broken body that already faced some mild genetic defects. Medications are a band-aid. They only treat the symptoms, not the cause. They don’t actually fix anything.

The journey

The best decision that I have ever made in my life was to move to the south. There are a ridiculous amount of reasons for that statement, but the journey to my present state of health and the people that have entered my life are the top reasons that I feel this way.

We moved here without jobs. After about a month, I landed one of the three part-time jobs that would get me though one of the toughest times of my life until landing my current career at IBM (ten years this month – woo-hoo!). I started helping out in the office of a naturopathic doctor, Debra MacIntyre (now Kviesis) at her place in Roswell, GA, Natural Health Solutions. That was where my natural health journey began. I won’t go into everything that I learned while working there, I’m sure I will share many of those things in future posts as they come up, but it completely changed my life and opened my eyes to this new world. One that existed in other cultures for centuries, far longer than this country has even been around.

Then I met Dr. Don Parkerson at the HP Spine Center in Smyrna, GA. I had seen chiropractors since I was a kid and can actually can say that I lived through the progression of the field. I started off with the back-cracking, neck-twisting kind, moved on to the “new” chiropractic electronic stimulation after a car accident (and those two docs I had in NY were awesome and did help alleviate my symptoms), and then I met Dr. Don after living here six months and experienced the worst back pain of my life. He’s not your ordinary chiropractor. He’s an orthospinologist which is like magic to me. There you are, barely able to walk in the door and in so much pain, he taps the top of your spine with this crazy looking contraption, and a few minutes later, you can stand up straight and feel a lot less pain. Amazing stuff that I will save for a future post.

Now on to the incredible woman that brought me the rest of the way, Dr. Tamera Firnbach at Balanced Body Wellness Centre in Kennesaw, GA. After many dead ends with conventional doctors, I figured I didn’t have anything else to lose. There I was in my late 20s, waking every night drenched in sweat, realizing that I never had a good night of sleep in my life, dragging my butt every afternoon to get through the day, eating like a bird, exercising like crazy, and still unable lose weight. Every doctor told me my test results were fine. Primary physician, gynecologist, endocrinologist. Oh, really? Yeah, I feel “fine.” Everyone lives like this, right? After going over my history, blood tests, and profile with Dr. Firnbach, I had a diagnosis – adrenal fatigue that was later confirmed with saliva testing. Not to mention I had a liver that was a piece of garbage. Years later, and there will be posts about things relating to this part of my journey, I’m in a much better place. I learned that the proper functioning of my liver is key and most of the physiological issues of my entire life, nearly all hormonal, can be traced back to that extremely important organ in my body. More to come on all this.

I now know that the knowledge exists to recognize, address, and fix all sorts of health problems through natural means. No drugs. No surgery. It takes time and patience to follow the natural path. A LOT of time and patience. And money. We only have one body and it’s worth the investment. We generally don’t take shortcuts when it comes to our teeth or our eyes, the philosophy being that we only have one set of teeth and one pair of eyes. Why not place the same priority on the rest of your body? My one regret is not keeping a journal through it all. What I have learned and seen for myself when watching others that follow my path has changed my life for the better. The tricky part is that now I can’t unlearn what I know. So now I’m half-crunchy.

The now

Moving forward with my blog, I will try to share things that I think you will be interested in, or better yet, that will help you. That is my real goal. I want to teach about things that I have learned and lived myself.

I will talk about raising my kid, and those of you who are parents will laugh with me, while those of you without kids will likely laugh at me. And I welcome that. Laughter is good for the soul.

I will share (and sometimes vent about) thought and ideas on a variety of topics relating to all the things I juggle on a daily basis; being a wife, being a mom, having a full-time career, running a household, trying to budget, having a dog…the list is endless some days.

I will finally start publishing some of my recipes. Watch for those, if nothing else. They will not disappoint. I take my food VERY seriously.

And there might be an occasional post about cars, motorcycles, sports, guns, aviation, or technology. I’m not your average girl.

Hopefully you made it to the end. Thanks for stopping by.

Until next time.