Obsessive Green-pulsive

My interests are more like obsessions. The intensity of interest in topics ebb and wane over time. I feel that this personality trait is fitting for retail. There are trending seasonal flavors that are best sold with honest buy-in from the salesperson. My tastes and interests easily follow such seasonal trends.

My newest obsession this season is green cleaning. The big topic of interest this week has been essential oil. It started when I came across some green cleaning recipes through a blog I follow for clean eating recipes. Rebecca had a post on DIY cleaning recipes with essential oils.
It had not occurred to me to make cleaning products and personal care products. Part of the reason I am even considering it is my son’s nut allergy and the family’s sensitivities to the aromas of traditional cleaning products. It seems there are health benefits and cleaning capabilities to essential oils so I will include them in my upcoming green cleaning and personal care creations. 
I read about the scent and  antimicrobial action of various oils on green cleaning.about.com. Based on my research, the top three oils I am seeking to use for cleaning and personal care are lavender, sweet orange and lemon. A quick view of each oil’s benefits follow below.
  • Calming
  • Antibacterial
  • Antiviral
  • Anti fungal
Sweet Orange
  • Mood lifting
  • Nerve calming
  • Antibacterial 
  • Anti fungal
  • Energizing
  • Mood booster – helps to see the sunnier side of life
  • Antibacterial
  • Cuts grease

Bringing Home the Bacon and the Milk

When I was a kid, my mother would make lists. There were lists for everything – grocery lists, cleaning lists, to do lists, and the ever elaborate camping list. For Christmas and birthdays we were even in charge of creating a wish list complete with pricing and store availability.

As a mother myself now, I understand the necessity of lists. I have a weekly white board calendar that tracks my work hours and the dinner menu. On the side is a running list of groceries or other needs. This has helped organize our household. We can best coordinate on hand groceries and when to use them.

Since returning to work from a recent maternity leave, I have been far more coordinated in prepping food for my work days. As a breastfeeding mom, it is important to continue to eat for two. As baby is getting all of his nutrition from me still it is especially important to eat well.

I’m a longtime vegetarian with a slight dairy and soy protein intolerance who continues to have a growing interest in eating healthier. Over the last few months we have cut out most processed foods from our grocery list and have been cooking “cleaner” foods. 

It has been a very gradual process that has brought us to eating cleaner. The whole thing did not start out conscious. We learned of my son’s allergy to tree nuts when he was about 14 months old. We began avoiding foods that were processed with tree nuts. So many foods are exposed to nuts – breads, frozen treats, candies, baked goods, etc. Thus began more cooking from scratch. 

I began finding recipes that were written for cleaner eating. They reduce refined sugars and refined grains. There is focus on increasing natural whole foods and reducing processed items. Fats, salt and sugar are things to steer away from; they are often extra ingredients in processed foods. Focusing on whole foods will also result in less of these items showing up in your diet.

I have enjoyed the piece of mind and peace in the GI tract as a result of cleaner eating. It has been my goal to continue to avoid processed groceries even upon my return to work. This has meant preparing freezer meals and selecting portable snack options.

Here are a few snack and meal options I’ve been toting to work this week.

Honey peach muffins from Amy’s Healthy Baking recipe

Greek yogurt topped with raisins – stored separately and them assembled at snack time

Overnight oats from Cooking Stoned

Freezer meal quiche based on Taste of Home’s Farm Fresh Quiche recipe – cooked for dinner at home one night with the left overs packed for subsequent meals at work

Popcorn popped in a stovetop pan and salted to taste

Cheese and fruit kabobs assembled on toothpicks

Melon pieces

Oatmeal peanut butter chocolate chip snack bar cookies – pro-lactation ingredients based on Love From the Oven recipe

Whole apple or clementines