Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Vegan Mama vs. Carnivore Papa - The Compromise

Being in a relationship with some one who isn't vegan is like being in a relationship with someone who practices a different religion. You can't tell a grown person what not to eat unless they're health relies on it. Usually, you can work out your differences, but what happens when a child comes along? My husband and I have had long discussions about how our daughter would grow up to eat and sometimes those discussions would turn into arguments. My point: health. His point: culture.

First you need to understand your intentions.

Why do you want your child to eat green? Is it because you love animals? Because you believe it's healthier? If you answered yes to the first question then you really need to consider listening to your partner's side. Your beliefs or feelings don't overrule his. So be considerate.
If you answered yes to the second question then your stance is more factual and less personal. Explain that to your partner. Try to show him the facts you have seen about the negative side effects of meat and meat products. 

Remember, your child is his/her own person as well. When the time is right, you need to allow them to chose what's right for them. As long as everything is prepared in the healthiest way, they'll still be ahead.


Here are some compromises my husband and I came up with:

Child will be vegan up until an agreed age. Then, if they show interest in meat, allow them to try.

Some cultures put meat in everything. Try to find ways to make cultural dishes with out the meat and meat products.

If you can't have it all try to get some. No parent has the right to trump the other so agree on one part of the diet. For example: I told my husband that I am a firm believer in excluding dairy so I would like at least that. If he pushes for meat then that's fine. I'll make sure that if our child does like it, I'll prepare it in the best way. 

Reduce the amount of animal and animal products. You can agree to allow your child to have meat once or twice a week for example.

This list of compromises can be used together. In the end, it's not about pride or who's right. It's about your child's best interest. Health is the number one factor above culture or one's love of animals. 

Another thing to keep in mind is; you don't need to shove veganism down your partner's throat. I always try to make vegan versions of his country's food and fun vegan food. When I serve it to him, I don't tell him it's vegan. There were many times when he'd look up at me in surprise because I'm eating with him and he'll ask, "Is this vegan!?!?!?"

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Baby Wearing in Long Island

I forgot to mention this from my first road trip with the baby to Long Island. It's a funny story. Well, I found it funny.

While I was visiting, I went to Costco with my in-laws and carried my baby in a wrap. Where I'm from, it's not common, but it's definitely not uncommon. So I didn't think twice about it. I got out of the car, popped my baby into the wrap and made my way to the store.

I was already getting stares in the parking lot. Once I get inside Costco, the stares multiply. There were lots of babies... in strollers.

Here are some of the comments I received:

"That is such a great idea! It's like being inside the belly again."

"Awe, she's like a wrapped up present."

"Is she comfy in there?"

"That is very neat!"

"You're like a kangaroo."

And anyone who didn't have anything nice to say kept it to themselves but didn't hide their looks. I got a lot of "that's weird" looks. Needless to say, I was giggling on the inside the whole time.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Importance of Socializing

Getting out of the house becomes an art once you have a baby or children in general. You don't have the will in the first place when you have the struggle of getting you and baby ready. Punctuality is more of a dream than a reality. Fatigue....putting together a nursing friendly outfit......going over diaper bag items to make sure nothing was forgotten.....it all works against us.

BUT! I've learned it is extremely important to make the effort to get out and about. Not just for your sanity but for the benefits for your baby as well.

After going to  a few meet-up groups, I found it amazing how babies that are just learning how to crawl become friends and have preferences and fancies. Babies who have socialized from infant-hood have a head start over those who haven't.

How do you find these meet-up groups?

Start at community centres. Google/call around to find out what's available. Pick one group and go. Through those moms, you can learn about other meet-up groups that are available. The internet, I found, doesn't give up too much about what is out there but you can find enough to get your toe into the door.

Perks for Moms

One thing I loved about these meet-ups was the ability to rant to listening ears. My circle of friends don't really care about mama-hood problems. When I get together with other moms, I'm able to talk about family problems, breastfeeding, baby poop, the whole shabang.

It's a great antidote for cabin fever.

You just may meet some ladies that can become great friends.

Perks for Babies

Like I mentioned before, they're able to learn how to socialize with other babies. They get to see other people who are little like them.

Your baby can make great friends too.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Why Babies Appreciate Their Vegan Mamas

It's no news that people question my dietary choices. People accused me of caring only for myself and not for my unborn baby and now my baby. I'm not providing enough calcium, iron, protein, and so on. Now of course, being vegan the right way is hard enough on it's own. Yes, it becomes a lot harder when a child is involved  but if it's done responsibly, I believe vegan mamas can raise healthy, environmentally friendly people.

The Benefits of Having a Vegan Mama

  1. Baby doesn't have to find out if dairy makes him gassy and/or colicky: How many mothers do you hear have to give up dairy because it makes their baby gassy or colicky? Plenty. That says a lot about the "benefits" of dairy doesn't it. ;)
  2. Baby's mom is more energetic: being vegan allows your body to be more efficient. It spends less energy on digesting foods it was never meant to digest and leaves more energy for you. Logically, this helps out considering sleep becomes a luxury. 
  3. Baby wont be exposed to hormones and antibiotics: Livestock, whether eaten or milked, are pumped full of hormones to grow or lactate faster. Then, they are pumped full of antibiotics because they live in poor conditions so that disease is rampant. Everything is left behind in the meat and meat products that are consumed. All this gets passed along to us.
  4. Baby has a nutritionally conscious mom: Being vegan doesn't equal being healthy. Being vegan and not getting sick requires diligence and responsibility, forcing you to make better food choices. McDonald's french fries are vegan right? Because two major food groups have been cut you do need to make the most out of your food. This knowledge and habit get's passed along to your child.
  5. Baby's mom is more environmentally friendly: I could write a book about the environmental benefits, but this is a blog, not book. In general, livestock are bread to massive, unnatural numbers. This affects soil from grazing, more water is used, more emissions are created, forests are cut down, and the list goes on. (Maybe I'll write a post dedicated to the environmental benefits sometime in the near future.) Baby can be proud of having a smaller carbon footprint.
  6. Baby is a better start in life: This sort of ties in with baby learning to make better food choices. Breast is Best! as it gives children a good start. How about we continue that thought on through toddlerhood. By avoiding meat and meat products, baby's digestive system will be able to continue on its efficient way. Baby will consume less cancerous foods and food that hinders the body's efficiency.

It's always great to raise a vegan but remember, it is not a joke when cutting out two major food groups society has relied heavily on. A child's body is still growing and developing so it is important to make sure he/she get's everything he/she needs from green sources and to supplement for vitamins and nutrients you can't get in a plant based diet.

Side Note: If you haven't read my earlier posts or didn't get the hint from my name :P, I do still eat fish and other seafood. It is the only non-vegan food I consume. Here's WHY, if you're interested. Based on my research (my general finding are in the post I've linked), fish is a healthy choice to use as a source of protein, iron, and the omegas. It's a great food to keep in your diet IMHO ;).