I’m excited to share the first guest feature in a series I’m calling Natural Mama Life, designed to give you a glimpse of how parenting and healthy living intersect in other mamas’ homes. So without further adieu, meet Keisha, a mom of two. Her daughter is 12 and her son is 9. Keisha balances her family life in Texas, with a career as a Marketing Director.
What does natural living mean in your home?
Natural living in our household means primarily eating whole foods instead of processed foods, being mindful of the ingredients in the foods and products we consume. We also practice natural living in our beauty and hair-care regimen, using simple products, such as coconut oil, for our hair and skin care.
In terms of natural living, where do you “relax” your approach so that you can prioritize what matters most, and how did you find peace with that?
My husband and kids use an all-natural deodorant but I have yet to find one that seems to work for me. I’ve tried a number of natural deodorants and too many of them have let me down. So I use a regular deodorant. I may eventually give the all-natural deodorants another try when I have a full-time work-from-home job.
How do you handle meals on the go or dining out with your family?
Weekday mornings are usually hectic in our household. So I typically prepare a quick and easy breakfast that the kids and I can eat in the car. Smoothies, oatmeal topped with fruit, muffins or cinnamon raisin toast are regularly in our weekday breakfast rotation.
For lunch and dinner, we have several “go-to” spots that we’ve already vetted for using fresh and non-GMO ingredients. When we need to grab something on the go or pick up take-out, chains like Jason’s Deli and Panera Bread are some of our “go-to” spots.
How do you handle sugar and sweets in your household?
We limit the sweets that we bring into our home. Instead of sugary snacks, we keep a stash of fresh fruit for the kids to snack on. Snacks like pickles, trail mix, Greek yogurt, Ritz crackers and all natural fruit popsicles are yummy alternatives to sugary treats. Our favorite snacks to nosh on while TV-watching are a bowl of grapes or cherries or homemade popcorn hot out of the popper. There are plenty of other snack options, so our kids don’t feel as if they’re missing anything by not having sugary treats. On occasion we’ll bake cookies or brownies; we’ll enjoy them for a day or two and that‘s it.
How do you deal with allergies in your household?
I’ve found that giving my children local honey in small doses on a daily basis is the most effective method for warding off allergy issues. Two tablespoons of local honey everyday was all that it took to keep my kids from suffering with seasonal allergies. I made a simple night time tea with warm water, 2 tablespoons of local honey and lemon. This simple tonic administered on a daily basis was enough to keep sneezing, itchy, watery eyes and stuffy noses at bay.
What are your favorite places to shop for (clothing, food, household items)?
Costco is my ace-in-the-hole for household supplies such as laundry detergent, trash bags, dishwashing detergent and toilet paper. The price per unit is lower than the grocery store and I don’t have to sacrifice quality or my favorite name brands.
What are your non-negotiable self-care practices?
We use essential oils for various medicinal purposes. During the winter months in particular or whenever we notice the kids starting to sniffle, we’ll put a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil in the kids’ cool mist vaporizer. We’ll let that run in the kids’ bedrooms overnight while they sleep. The vapor mist and the eucalyptus help them to breathe clearly and clear up their sniffles quickly. It’s been years since I can remember either of the kids having a cold.
Do you have any money saving tips for natural mamas?
Keep your beauty regimen simple, using natural ingredients in favor of expensive hair and cosmetic products. Almond oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter or shea butter will keep your skin looking youthful and fabulous. You only need to use one of these in your skin care lineup.
What is the biggest lesson your children or motherhood has taught you?
I admit I’m a bit of a control freak. I’d like to think of myself as the Queen Bee in our household, having an efficiently organized structure that could run on auto-pilot because I have meticulously planned and scripted every detail. Well that is NOT my story. Having children has taught me that despite my plans and my best efforts things are not always going to go according to my plans. I have to remind myself to focus on what is most important and not to stress over the little things.
What is the funniest thing your kids have done or said recently?
I’d asked my parents to stop giving the kids candy and sweets when the kids come over to their house. One evening I picked my kids up after they had spent the day at my parents’ house. I asked what they’d done that day and my daughter answered “Nana and I ate ‘secrets’”. My mother had given the kids some candy and told them that is was their secret.
Isn’t Keisha’s family lovely? I laughed out loud because I can totally relate to the sweets I’ll never be able to count at granny’s house. I’m also inspired try many of the tips she shared. So thank you, Keisha!
If you’ve expressed an interest in doing an interview don’t be shy, go ahead and send me your responses. And if you are now inspired to share your story, let me know by filling out this form. I can hardly wait to feature you.