Howdy! I’m The Maverick Mama. I’m going to tell you a little bit about myself and this blog. First, what does it mean to be a maverick? Let’s take a look according to the Goog:
Now, what does that make me? First and foremost I am a devoted wife and doting mother of a giant baby monster, known here as The Judgey Bear. You can read more about him and the role he plays in this story here [link]. This blog is my playground for expressing my thoughts on real food, real wellness, effective parenting and working towards true holistic happiness.
I’m a digital web analyst by trade, so I’ve made my living ignoring biased opinions and making decisions grounded in fact. I have grown to use evidence-based decision-making for my own family, questioning norms and relying on research for guiding my mothering compass.
I began writing this blog because I have a mind-boggling assortment of health issues that I’ve begun to chip away at slowly with a combination of some good doctors and more bad doctors. Over the years I’ve battled ailments including chronic sinus and ear infections, urinary tract infections, interstitial cystitis, endometriosis, vulvodynia, chronic yeast, the list goes on. Together they combined forces to threaten my marriage and overall happiness every day.
I was blessed with a beautiful, strapping son almost 2 years ago, following every “accepted” pregnancy norm from the likes of What to Expect and the American Academy of Pediatrics. While my pregnancy was thankfully complication-free, my birth and breastfeeding experiences were so fraught with issues that no doctor or lactation consultant could ultimately solve them. It was a painful reminder that my body would never cease to betray me.
I hit a low point a year ago after months-long bouts of viral illnesses swept through my house and extreme exhaustion from insomnia set in simultaneously. It was then that I decided to take control of my health destiny. Upon finding a functional, integrated physician whose goal is to treat illness at the root, rather than Band-Aid the symptoms, I was shocked to learn that I have been gluten- and lactose-intolerant my entire life. This was a slap in the face for a pound-a-day wheat and dairy consumer whose nickname among friends was “Noodle Ninja”, but it soon became clear that this and the rest of my very SAD (Standard American Diet) lifestyle was responsible for many of my wellness woes.
After several months of gluten-free living I was disappointed at the little progress I had made. One day I fell upon a fantastic blog post about attachment parenting, and discovered a new world: the nourishing real food movement, inspired by the work of the Weston A. Price Foundation and the book Nourishing Traditions. I fell HARD for the ancient, yet research-backed principles of food preparation touted by this book, such as soaking grains, fermenting vegetables and culturing dairy for vibrant health. I’ve also moved towards a nourishing Paleo diet that emphasizes truly healthy fats, pastured protein. This new-yet-old philosophy spilled over into tossing chemical-laden cleaning and beauty products and making simple, time-tested formulas that are more effective and healthier for my family. The proof is in the [Paleo] pudding: a year after beginning this journey, I have had ZERO sinus infections, barely a fever in six. months. The icing on the (coconut flour) cake is that my family has begun to experience radiant health as well. The stomach flu found no place in our home this season. And despite facing repeated respiratory ailments last year such as RSV and the croup, this season The Judgey Bear is the biggest, healthiest brute in his baby class.
My “radical” changes in lifestyle have not gone unnoticed, however. I routinely get curious looks from daycare from Judgey Bear’s daycare caregivers when I explain his kale and butternut squash omelets, homemade yogurt dips with fermented cod liver oil and pickled beets. I’ve ruffled a few feathers when I mention that bleach is not a healthy way to clean around children who are battling asthma and respiratory issues, and want organic and gluten-free snack alternatives to animal crackers and Goldfish. My co-workers slow to a confused amble when passing my cubicle “pantry” containing grass-fed gelatin and ghee while I’m boiling veggies for my lunch pot. I recognize that this lifestyle is a bit anomalous in my lovely but fairly “normal” Central New Jersey locale, but every day am finding ways to support a nourishing lifestyle locally and will happily share that information with you.
Although as a family we’ve made great strides through this most unconventional way of life, I myself have a long way to go in solving my body’s many mysteries. Therefore this blog is not just about the real food and nourishing wellness lifestyle as the destination, but a continual journey where I will continue to share what works and what doesn’t for me.
Through this experience I discovered a network of brilliant blogging mamas on a similar journey for different reasons, and decided to carve out a tiny space for my own voice. This blog is my attempt to gently send the real food and wellness message into an overly processed and mindlessly modernized world. These methods may sound a little…out there. You may think I’m…a little crazy. But I’m here to debunk norms and conventions that have arisen out of ailments the US uniquely suffers at the hands of corporate greed, and empower you to question our norms as well. Challenge the traditions if it doesn’t sound right. Be your own maverick.
What you’ll find: thought-provoking ideas, alternative solutions, and calls-to-action for change.
What you won’t find: harsh judgement of personal decisions made by any one person.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I am not a medical professional, and the information on this blog is not intended to replace any professional advisement from your doctor. See my full disclosure here.
I’m still figuring these things out as I go, and I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I hope that this blog will inspire other women who have suffered similarly and/or wish to learn more about this movement but don’t know where to start. I hope it will open a healthy, passionate but accepting dialogue that is free from judgement (other than The Judgey Bear). You’ll find many articles concluded with my “Maverick Mama Manifesto”, a pledge of some sort. I hope that you’ll join me in taking these pledges and sharing my journey!