Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Moldy Tampons (...dot tumbler dot com)

This isn't the normal subject of the blog, so I'll give everyone the tag that Dan Kober has asked for in the past.

Today on my facebook newsfeed I found a story about a woman who found a moldy tampon

I'll let you go read that. 

Okay, back?  Sufficiently horrified?  Terrified of what you might have put into your vagina over the years hidden by the little plastic casing? 

So gross - I can't even think about it. 

As many of you know, I use cloth diapers.

Seriously, how cute is he!  Cloth diapers are adorable, also a bit greener than disposables, you never run out, and smell less.  But mostly, so cute!  (Go read that blog entry I linked to above, she's very funny). 

What you may not know, is that before I had a baby to put cloth diapers on, I was using cloth menstrual pads.  I will similarly sing the praises of them.  You never run out, you don't have to buy the every month (and remember to buy them every month), they're so much greener than disposables, you don't have to worry about carrying out a used pad in a bathroom that doesn't have individual trash cans in the stalls, and they're pretty, which surprisingly matters. 

If you're an anti-pad sort of girl, there are also several cup options, such as the diva cup and the moon cup.  (There's also some sort of natural sponge thing but that kind of freaks me out too so we don't talk about that). 

I originally started using cloth pads for environmental reasons and laughed at all the stuff about getting in tune with your cycle and understanding your body.  My relationship with my period was basically one of undying hate.  I had a period to punish me for being a terrible person who deserved to spend 1/4 of her fertile life in pain.  It was something I had to put up with for 7-8 days every month.  I would be in pain, I would pop Advil like candy, I would get those portable heat patches and I would get the fuck through it and try to forget about it until the next month.  

Cloth pads (and some therapy for the terrible person who deserves nothing but pain thing) changed a lot of that.  I stopped dreading my period so much. It's still not my friend (I had a friend in high school who called it "my little friend."  I'm not even kidding.), but it's much less horrible somehow.  I think the pretty patterns help. 

Everyone always asks about washing them (because it's gross to deal with menstrual blood, right).  It's super easy.  Now I wash them with diapers, they get a cold rinse, then a hot wash with detergent, and then some hot rinses (that's mostly for the diapers) to remove any left over detergent.  I usually throw in a little bleach, or some vinegar, or some tea tree oil to kill any nasties.  If you're not also washing diapers, you can just throw them in the washer with a small cold rinse, then either wash them by themselves with a hot wash with detergent and your favorite germ killing liquid, or just add them to a socks and underwear load. 

And really, isn't it less gross than using a moldy tampon?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Falling behind...

Well, it happened again.  I got busy, and stopped updating the blog.  I'm going to try to update it with more recipes though.  I'll probably start adding some tonight that I already posted on facebook.  This whole cooking without dairy, soy, or wheat has been an adventure (and one I'm ready to end), but it's taught me a lot about food.  And we're eating really healthily now, so maybe when I can eat "normal" food again, we will continue making a lot of our own meals instead of convenience foods.

I'll start with one of our new favorite meals: Fried Rice (This, as is everything else, is dairy, soy, and gluten free)
Attempt 1: Made with olive oil, carrots, onions, peas, and sprouted lentils

Attempt 2: Made with olive oil,
a carrot/corn/green bean frozen veggie mix,
onions, and sprouted lentils
1-2 onions, depending on size (I prefer sweet onion), diced
2-3 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 bag of frozen peas
1 cup of uncooked brown rice (and appropriate water - follow packaging directions)
2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Powdered ginger
Butter Substitute (Earth Balance Soy Free)
A few Tbsp of Sesame oil or olive oil
2 eggs
1/2 cup of lentils or dehydrated sprouted lentils (and appropriate cooking water)
Attempt 3: Actually made with sesame oil - really good that way - and the same veggies as the first.

Start the water for the brown rice and the lentils.  Add the rice and lentils (to separate pots) once the water is boiling.  Saute the onions in olive oil or sesame oil, then then the finely chopped carrots. Season with ginger, salt and pepper, and let those cook while the brown rice is cooking. When the rice is almost done, add the frozen peas which have been "defrosting" on the counter, and the chopped garlic and let those cook. Push the veggies to the side of the skillet (or remove if it's a smaller skillet), add some more oil, and then the rice. 

Season the rice with more ginger, salt, and pepper, and a spoonful of the Earth Balance soy free butter substitute. Let the rice fry for a bit.  Then add the eggs and scramble them with the rice and veggies. Then add the lentils.  One last round of seasoning with ginger, salt, and pepper to taste and it's done!  

It's a bit time intensive, the rice and lentils alone take about an hour too cook, but, your veggies will be nicely cooked by the time you're ready to add the rice.  You can chop everything ahead of time if you want to save time. 

We do variations on this meal a lot, including different veggies that we have.  This is the bare bones because we almost always have these ingredients in our pantry/fridge/freezer, so we can make it whenever we want.  

Serves 2 hungry adults with maybe enough for one lunch as a main course.  Serves 4 as a side dish.