Pork roast with carrots and Gravy in pressuse cooker

Pork roast with carrots and Gravy

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes Servings: 4

Ingredients

3 bacon slices, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small yellow onion, chopped

2 pounds of pork loin roast

1 cup of beef stock

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tbsp thyme sprigs, chopped

2 small cans cream of mushroomy soup

1 pound ofcarrots chopped

directions :

Set your instant pot on sauté mode, add oil, heat it up, add bacon, stir and cook for 2 minutes.

Add garlic and onion stir and cook for 3 minutes more. Add pork loin (mine was still a bit frozen in the middle), garlic powder, stock and thyme, stir, cover and cook on High for 20 minutes. Add cream of mushroom soup, stir, set the pot on simmer mode, cook for a few minutes to thicken gravy.

I served it over pork stove top stuffing. SO GOOD!

Keto Brownie Cheesecake & the secret to “sweeteners”

OK. So I’ve been living the Keto Lifestyle for about 2.5 months now. One of the things that keeps me going is snacks. I have to have something “sweet”. If I deprive myself of something “sweet” once in a while I will lose my mind and therefore lose my WOE(Way of Eating). I’ve discovered a really good Cream Cheese Danish and this heavenly little cheesecake that fulfills my need for chocolate AND cheesecake at the same time.

If you’re anything like me, you have “issues” with the taste of no calories sweeteners. Now, I’m not talking about aspartame or Splenda because we all know those are bad news. Splenda not as much as aspartame but still. I use erythritol and stevia. The problem with the two of those is, they have their own “aftertaste”. I read in one recipe for cream cheese cookies to go halves on each to get more of a “sugar taste”. UM… NO. JUST NO. Seriously. Erythritol as a “menthol” taste to it because it’s a sugar alcohol. Stevia has its own weird aftertaste to it. I can’t quite explain it. It’s bitter while being sweet at the same time.

When you use half and half of the two it creates this awful “war” of sweetener aftertaste in your mouth that can make you want to VOMIT. No. I’m not kidding. Wish I had known THAT before I made a double batch of the cream cheese cookie dough and wasted about $5 in almond flour alone!

After that little debacle, I had decided to swear off mixing. Then I started making this gem of a treat from “All Day I Dream About Food”. https://alldayidreamaboutfood.com/brownie-cheesecake-low-carb-and-gluten-free/

At first glance this was my knight in shining armor. I am a cheesecake fanatic but being keto, there’s not a lot I can use to make a crust. This seemed like the perfect solution. EXCEPT… I’m NOT a big “dark chocolate” kind of person. The first time I made this it was much TOO dark for me. It was good but it was overwhelming and had a distinct “menthol” aftertaste from the Swerve.

So, the next time I made it I decided that MAYBE, just maybe the mixing thing might need to come back into play. The original recipe calls for 3/4 of a cup of Swerve sweetener for the brownie base. I generally use the confectioners Swerve not the granulated when I bake. Not only did I want mine to taste more like a brownie and less like dark chocolate, I wanted mine sweeter. So I dropped the Swerve to 5/8 of a cup and I added 1/8 cup of organic Stevia granules to the mix.

The result was a brownie base that tasted ALMOST like a “regular” brownie. I’m a Milk Chocolate kinda girl. So super dark chocolate just isn’t my thing. This worked almost perfectly. The next time I may even add just a tad bit more sweetener to it to see if I can get even closer to what I want. My husband even suggested cutting the brownie base in half and making into more of a “crust” instead of a deep base. We’ll see. If I do that, I’ll let everyone know. 😉

NOTE: The change in the sweetener didn’t do anything to the nutrition information. Stevia has no net carbs. So the information is still the same. Just a different way of making it so it’s less “dark” and more “regular brownie.

I like to slice up a strawberry really thin and lay it on top of it when I have mine. 😉

20170901_122533

INGREDIENTS

BROWNIE BASE

 

CHEESECAKE FILLING

  • 24 oz Cream Cheese softened
  • 3 large Eggs
  • 5/8 cup of Swerve confectioners sweetener
  • 1/8 cup Stevia
  •  1 tbsp Lemon juice

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. For the brownie base, preheat oven to 325F and butter a 9-inch springform pan. (if your springform pan is prone to leaking oil, place it on a cookie sheet)
  2. In a microwave safe bowl or glass measuring cup, melt butter and chocolate together in the microwave in 30 second increments. Whisk until smooth. Alternatively, you can melt them together over low heat in a small saucepan.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together almond flour, cocoa powder and salt.
  4. In a large bowl, beat eggs, Swerve and vanilla until smooth. Beat in almond flour mixture, then butter/chocolate mixture until smooth. Stir in nuts.
  5. Spread evenly over bottom of prepared pan. Bake 12 to 18 minutes until set around edges but still soft in the center. Let cool 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. For the filling, reduce oven temperature to 300F.
  7. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in eggs, Swerve, cream and vanilla until well combined.
  8. Pour filling over crust and place cheesecake on a large cookie sheet. Bake until edges are set and center just barely jiggles, 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
  9. Run a knife around edges to loosen and then remove sides of pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours.
  10. Serve with thinly sliced strawberries if desired.

by Carolyn

RECIPE NOTES

Serves 10. Each serving has 6.71 g of carbs and 2.51 g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 4.21 g.

Food energy: 381kcal Total fat: 33.62g Calories from fat: 302 Cholesterol: 156mg Carbohydrate: 6.71g Total dietary fiber: 2.51g Protein: 8.68g

 

Keto 2 Minute Biscuits

So, I’m on this whole new “Keto” WOE(Way Of Eating) these days. For those who don’t know Keto is HFLC(High Fat Low Carb) It’s also “moderate protein” since protein turns into carbs when you take in too much.

I spend a lot of my days eating things like hard boiled eggs and bacon for breakfast. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love me some bacon and even eating it every single day for breakfast for the last couple months, I still love me some bacon. The eggs on the other hand, yeah, not so much. BUT I miss my favorite “southern biscuits and gravy” that I usually made for breakfast a couple times a month.

Now, there’s LOTS of recipes for Keto Biscuits out there. And I mean LOTS. Most of them involve eggs and cheese. For good old fashioned “southern biscuits and gravy” cheese biscuits do not cut it for me. I needed a good biscuit recipe that would taste less like cheese and more like buttermilk. Recently on one of the Keto groups on Facebook someone had posted a recipe for 2 minute biscuits that sounded good except the only wet ingredient in the recipe was 3 tablespoons of butter. I was a bit sketchy on how that was gonna turn out but I tried anyway because, well, I am sick of cheesy tasting biscuits.

Let me just say that was a complete and total fail. As bad as a “Pinterest fail”. The “dough” was granular and burnt when it was done in the microwave. It crumbled the instant it was touched. It was an absolute mess.

 

KetoBiscuitFail

Rather than scrap the entire idea and start over I went online and did some research on what went into other Keto Biscuits. Then I added an egg to what was left of the dough mixed well and bingo, they came out perfect. They’re super simple and fast to make. Mix up the dough, one minute in the microwave in a glass or ceramic ramekin and boom, DONE.

KetoBiscuit

2 Minute Keto Biscuits

Ingredients

9 tablespoons of Almond Flour
1.5 Tablespoons of Coconut Flour
1.5 Teaspoons of Clabber Girl Baking Powder
3 tablespoons of Melted Butter
2 large eggs

 

Directions
1. Measure out the almond flour, coconut flour, and baking powder into a bowl

2. Wisk all dry ingredients together thoroughly

3. Mix in melted butter and eggs

4.) Butter/grease ramekins

5. Flatten/spread out the dough in the bowl and cut into 4 even sections. Spoon one section into each ramekin.

6. Microwave for 1 minute per ramekin

 

Boom. Perfect Keto Biscuits for good old fashioned “southern biscuits and gravy”.  At 2.6 grams of net carbs per biscuit, you can totally have biscuits and gravy again.

Normally when I have biscuits and gravy I split two biscuits in half and cover them in gravy. ONE of these was enough. I don’t think there has ever been a time I didn’t finish my entire plate of B&G and today, I left half of it on there. They’re dense and filling without tasting like cheddar cheese! PERFECT!

 

2MinKetoBiscuitNutrition

 

Keto pasta that doesn’t suck or smell

It’s no shock that I haven’t posted anything since my post about Peppermint. I have been running crazy dealing with school for me, school and the end of school for my kids, getting them ready for vacation with their dad, not to mention renovations on our house, moving rooms around, decluttering, etc etc. You know, mom’s work is never EVER done.

Well, during all of this I also started a new “diet” of sorts. It’s more of a WOE(way of eating) as opposed to a diet. It’s a forever kind of thing. Not something that I am gonna start and stop eventually. OK let’s be serious, if it was a diet, I woulda stopped it pretty freakin fast. The longest diet I ever lasted on was Weight Watchers for about 5 months, and that was only because I had someone else pushing me.

Keto is a low carb, high fat, moderate protein way of eating. I was shocked and appalled at how much sugar we actually take in. Going back through my old food logs on the MyFitnessPal app revealed that I was taking in as much as 350 grams of sugar in a single day. I hate to admit it, but more than likely I took in much more than that. I wasn’t always “good” about logging my food because, well, if I didn’t log it, then it didn’t happen. Right?? So I can tell you that a lot of those days when I was eating 350 grams of carbs it was more likely 450 or more.

Low carb means just that, little to almost no carbs. We’re talking 25-50 grams of carbs depending on which plan you choose to go with and what the Macro Calculator tells you to go with. I shoot for less than 35 per day. Do I go over? HELL YES. Yesterday I went up to 39. Last week I had a day when I went all the way up to 100. I’m not perfect. Sometimes you just need a fucking taco. Seriously. Yes, last night I ate ONE SINGLE taco and damned if it didn’t taste like heaven and was worth every single one of the 12 carbs I ingested. BUT… in general, I have been really good. I love the satisfaction of ending my day with my macros looking the way they’re supposed to. I love not counting calories. I love eating bacon, cream cheese, every other kind of cheese imaginable, salads galore, chicken, steak, BUTTER, CREAM, etc.

Which brings me to the point of this post. One of the groups I’m in on Facebook had someone post looking for the directions for this recipe. As a low carb eater, we can’t generally go near pasta because, well, too many carbs. Someone had posted the ingredients of this recipe on their blog but linked the original blog “SheCallsMeHobbit.com” for the directions. Well, that blog is no longer accessible. One of the other members of the group found the archive but not everyone can do that or will be able to locate the link again. SO, I’m copying it and posting it here to save it. This is NOT, I REPEAT, NOT my recipe or pictures. I am copying and pasting word for word, and I’m not taking credit for any of it. I’m just doing what I can to save it for those of us who occasionally miss eating pasta. I’m not one of them, but others are. I didn’t eat pasta before I started Keto. Personally, I miss cookies and sweets, but that’s a whole other post. LOL!

SO, without further ado or more discussion on Keto, here it is. Copied directly from:

https://web.archive.org/web/20161028135342/http://shecallsmehobbit.com/2016/06/what-if-i-told-you-we-could-have-pasta-that-doesnt-smell-or-suck/

Pasta, that gift from the Chinese and Italians that makes life worth living. Ok, maybe that’s stretching it jussssst a little but damn, who doesn’t love them some pasta? “Pasta” does happen in keto – there’s spaghetti squash, “zoodles” (which I still love), konjak noodles like Miracle Noodles (damn, they smell bad!), cheese-based ones (holy calories, Batman!), and even the Keto Iron Chef created a protein noodle recipe that is pretty good, but for me, none of them really hit the spot.

Heh.
That has changed.

First, I can’t take the credit for this. The Precious (aka The Lady) is to thank for this one. She researched and researched this, tried 1000000000000 different combinations until she found something on the Low Carb Friends forum. She tried it. Then she looked at it closely. The ratios weren’t ideal. The ingredients needed to be changed a bit. The glucomannan was insanely high which, because it is one of the purest forms of dietary fiber, means… YEH, NO POOPING FOR A WEEK! Thank you, I’ll pass. Hell, if I want gastro distress, I’ll just eat carbs :). The flavor needed some help. Sooooo, a little swap of this and that, add a little extra, take a few things away, and BANG!!!

$#@%&! KETO NOODLES!!

koodles

2 net carbs per serving!!

We don’t have a pasta expeller or roller, if you do, this will work EXCELLENT in one. How do I know this if I don’t have one? Trust me on this. It will work. You don’t even need either of those to pull this off. We use our Kitchenaid Meat Grinder attachment with the cutting blade removed and the smallest disk in place (hint – spray the parts with some cooking spray or wipe down with a keto-safe oil to make cleanup easier). Yeh, the noodles are thick and not like spaghetti, but if you have a real pasta machine\attachment, you CAN MAKE SPAGHETTI!!!

 

What if you don’t have any of that?
Simple solution.
Roll it out and cut with a sharp knife or even more ideal, a pizza cutter.
Yes.
This is not a gooey, sticky, FRAGILE dough.
I used to make my own fresh pasta as a carboholic. I cannot tell the difference. We made lasagna noodles with this using the roll and cut method.
Mind.
Blown.
Screw zucchini as fake noodles.
MAKE ‘ZAGNA!!!!

IF you use the meat grinder method, these will come out perfect with some cheese sauce to blow away that carby crap in the blue boxes you see in the store. Just cut up the long strands to length of your liking before cooking the noodles.

 

Switch it up with some low carb marinara, ground beef, and OHMYGOD BEEFARONI!! Keefaroni? Pffft. Call it whatever you want, I call it @!#$&! heaven in a bowl 😀

 

Swap out the garlic powder for 1/4 tsp ground ginger, pinch of coriander, and a little coconut aminos to make awesome ones for Asian dishes :).

You’re welcome 😀

Recipe below the jump.

The Precious’ Keto Pasta that doesn’t suck or smell

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 30 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

 

 

UPDATED!Please read the comments before purchasing glucomannan! Some have had issues with certain brands, this stuff isn’t cheap so I would recommend getting what others have used. It will save you in the long run. Brands I’ve personally used with success: LC Foods, Now Foods.

Ingredients:

1 lg egg
2 tbspglucomannan powder
4 tbsp oat fiber
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp coconut flour (we are HUGE fans of Anthony’s products)
3/4 cup water, warm (whatever is “hot” out of your tap)

Beat egg well in a bowl or zip it up in a blender. Add dry ingredients and mix until gravel-like texture. Add water, mix until well combined. Form into a log and let rest for 8-10 minutes. Break into balls about the size of an egg, run through your choice of pasta machine (extruder or roller), meat grinder, or roll out (do it between parchment\silipat and slice to form noodles). Refrigerate for at least an hour, it will keep for up to 5 days.

To prepare noodles, boil a couple cups of salted water (I used 4 cups water + 2tbsp salt). Add pasta to boiling water and reduce heat immediately to just slow boil. Leave pasta in for 3-4 minutes for thick noodles, 1-3 for spaghetti. Drain and use with your favorite sauce or dish.

Yes. You can also use these in soups 😀

Nutritional information per serving: Calories each 48 , Fat: 2g Protein: 2g, Carbs: 19g Fiber: 17g Net: 2g

 

Peppermint – what you should know!

The views expressed in this blog are that of the writer alone. I am not a doctor, and I am not trying to be. The following information is not, nor is it attempting to be, a substitute for proper medical treatment by your personal physician.

Peppermint, Mentha piperita, Mentha x piperita
© Steven Foster

Well, my blog is supposed to be about alternative everything right? I haven’t posted much in the way of “alternative medicine” at all. In fact, I don’t believe I’ve posted anything on the blog itself. Our Facebook page is full of alternative information on essential oils and herbs that I find and repost there, but I have nothing here.

As many of you know, I decided to go to school for my Associate Degree in Complementary Alternative Medicine with majors in both Aromatherapy and Herbalism. I am at the end of my first semester, and it’s been a pretty amazing 15 weeks. One of my assignments is to write a blog post about my favorite essential oil. Considering I’m a double major in both herbalism and aromatherapy I’m not only going to write about the oil. I’m going to tell you all of the amazing things peppermint can do in general and why you should have every kind of peppermint you can get your hands on in your home. Peppermint oil, peppermint tea, dried peppermint, fresh peppermint, etc.

Let’s start with a little information on peppermint itself. Peppermint is a hybrid of spearmint and watermint. According to Greek mythology, the botanical name Mentha comes from the story of how Pluto, the god of the dead, fell in love with Minthe, a beautiful nymph. Persephone, Pluto’s wife, became jealous and changed Minthe into a sweet smelling herb. Recorded uses of mint go back as far as the oldest surviving medical texts. Chinese have been growing mint for its menthol for 2000 years. Peppermint is one of the most commonly used herbs in the world. It is used in lotions, creams, ointments, food, candy, inhalants, antacids, cough drops and a multitude of other commercially produced items.

Let me tell you why I love it almost as much as my most favorite herb, lavender. Peppermint can cure almost anything that ails you. Steeped in an infusion for 5-15 minutes peppermint can help with gas, nausea, bloating, and indigestion. Studies have shown that patients with IBS, irritable bowel syndrome, that was given enteric-coated capsules of peppermint saw a significant reduction in their symptoms.

Peppermint has vasoconstrictor, expectorant, and analgesic properties. What does that mean? It’s one of the best things to use during cold and flu season. Its vasoconstrictor properties help encourage blood flow. When you have a fever, you can rub it on your body to help bring your temperature down. Its menthol helps break up the mucus collecting in your chest and sinuses. Its antispasmodic properties keep your coughs to a minimum, but it’s expectorant properties help keep them productive. When you have a cold or the flu, peppermint tea and oils are what you want in your medicine cabinet.

Peppermints analgesic and antispasmodic properties make it a very effective pain relieving oil as well. Combined with some of my favorite, lavender, and you’ve got yourself a good kick in the pants for any joint or nerve pain that comes your way.

Now, for the “disclaimer.” While peppermint does all of these wonderful things, there are also some things to watch out for.

Peppermint is not recommended for nursing women because it decreases milk production. Any nursing mother can tell you that is a bad thing, especially if milk production hasn’t yet been fully established.

Peppermint is not recommended for pregnant women because it is an abortifacient herb. That means it can cause miscarriage.

Peppermint oil is not recommended for children under the age of 2 because it can have a choking effect.

It is contraindicated for people with gallstones as peppermint can activate the gallbladder which can cause the stones to become lodged in the bile duct. If you’ve ever had a gallbladder attack, you know this is extremely painful.

This isn’t even close to all you could know about all of the properties and herbal actions of peppermint. It’s just scratching the surface! GO, do your own research!! Please feel free to post any comments and other helpful information in the comments section and have a WONDERFUL day!

 

References

IM HealthScience; prominent, peer-reviewed medical journal publishes editorial review of clinical data supporting novel delivery system of peppermint oil in IBgard(R), A medical food for irritable bowel syndrome IBS. (2016). Obesity, Fitness & Wellness Week, , 934. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezp-02.lirn.net/docview/1758494640?accountid=158302

Peppermint Herb Benefits. (2017). Anniesremedy.com. Retrieved 1 May 2017, from http://www.anniesremedy.com/mentha-piperita-peppermint.php

Peterson, D. (2016). Aroma 101 Introduction to Aromatherapy. American College of Healthcare Sciences.

Petersen, D. (2016). Herb 101: Introduction to Herbalism (1st ed.). American College of Healthcare Services.

Image credit: Steven Foster from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health Website.

Southwestern Pork and Sweet Potato Stew

This was posted on my old blog. I transferred it over today.

Originally this was a weight watchers recipe that I modified somewhat. The original recipe was made with Chicken. So that is also an option if you like. I prefer the pork to the chicken but the chicken is good also.
This is a GLUTEN FREE recipe naturally. It does not contain anything that has gluten in it. For those who do not want to deal with GMOs find yourself a good bag of frozen organic corn. 😀 My kids LOVE this recipe!! Even my grandson, who is a picky eater, chows down on this stuff!!! So it’s great for the whole family!
HCO_CubanPorkSweetPotato_600

1 pound of Pork Loin with fat cut off and cubed
2-4 sweet potatoes depending on size. If large use 2 if small use 3-4
2 boxes of Chicken Broth of your choice
2-3 cans of chopped tomatoes with green chilies (this will depend on if you like the tomatoes)
1 bag of SWEET corn
1 Tsp of cumin
1/2 tsp of pepper(or to taste)
1/2 tsp of salt(or to taste)

This is a “make to taste” kind of recipe. My ex-MIL(Mother in Law) loves it with more broth and less tomatoes. I love more tomatoes, less broth. Either way you do it, it’s freakin awesome and SO easy!!!

Be sure to cut as much of the fat off the pork as possible. It really does not do well in this recipe. Cube the pork into 1 inch cubes and put it into the slow cooker. Cube the sweet potatoes into 1 inch cubes also. Some people prefer larger chunks of potato but sweet potatoes take long to cook and if they are too large you end up with some that are still hard.

Add both boxes of broth(or just 1 if you like less broth), your cans of tomatoes, cumin, salt and pepper and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-6 hours if you like.

15 mins before you are ready to eat it, pour in your whole bag of sweet corn. The sweet corn really does add a LOT to this recipe. It’s good without it but it’s so much better WITH it.

ALSO, I would strongly advise you be sure you use the tomatoes with the green chilies!!! I tried it once with the Jalapenos and it was HOT!! My kids did NOT like it!

I am a woman, YOU are a woman, we’re ALL women!

girl-woman-spruche-quotes-favim-com-4249557

 

I generally keep my political discussion to the size of something that I can fit on Facebook. Why? Because, really, that’s how much I care about politics. I really could give a single shit much less two shits about it most of the time. Yes, I will admit that I love to post memes here and there. I indulge in fun, and occasionally you’ll even catch me forward something serious from a personal favorite politician but generally, I stay out of it.

But today, today I’m cranky about something, and it’s not ALL political. It’s something I’ve been watching that’s been building up in the back of my brain for some time. It’s something that really needs to be discussed and thought about by every single person out there. It’s mainly directed at women, but men can benefit also.

In our society today we’ve become prone to “judging” everything that everyone and anyone else does. While it’s human nature to “judge” others, the reason we do this is to see if things can be improved upon. Unfortunately, our society has taken this to the level of using judgments to make themselves look good. It’s all about “I’m better than Jane because….”. It’s not about improving our own selves in any way. It’s all about “status”. That’s really sad.

Mary thinks she’s better than Jane. Why? Jane doesn’t breastfeed her children. She bottle feeds. Bottlefeeding is wrong. Jane is a Trump supporter. Jane didn’t march for women’s rights. Jane is “a disgrace to women” because she didn’t go out and stand up for women’s rights against Donald Trump. Jane should be crucified and made to feel bad because Jane is a bad person. Mary says these things because she’s worried that something Jane is doing might be the “right” thing and might make her look bad. So she needs to make Jane feel bad about what she does to make herself feel good.

On the other side is Jane. Jane thinks Mary is a “whiny bitch”. Mary is one of those crazy Clinton supporters. Mary went and marched for women’s rights when she lives in a country where she has rights already. Mary lives in a lovely house, ate a full breakfast and then went out and protested because she feels “unheard”. Jane thinks Mary should keep her “whining” to herself because there are far worse things being done to women in other countries where there are no women’s rights. Jane thinks there are worse things in the world than a woman in America who has rights that feels her voice is “marginalized”. Jane also thinks Mary is a breastfeeding nazi. She thinks she’s weird because she is an “attachment parenting nutcase.” She doesn’t vaccinate her children on the proper schedule or sometimes not at all. Mary needs a “wake up call” because she’s a crunchy hippy lunatic and needs to get with the program. Just like Mary, Jane says these things because she is too worried that something Mary is doing is the “right” thing and is going to make her look bad.

You know what? How about just cut the crap? Is it human nature to judge other people’s behavior? Absolutely. But why does everyone have to keep attacking each other? Our nation is the most divided it’s ever been. Do you know why? Because we’re all at each other’s throats for our own PERSONAL choices. Why do you need to make everyone else believe as you do? WHY? Why does the person next door to you need to be exactly the same as you? Can’t we all support each other without belittling and denigrating each other?

That mom who is bottle feeding her baby? She is a MOM. Maybe she’s a new mom and she didn’t have anyone to help her breastfeed. Or MAYBE she MADE the choice to bottle feed because she needs the convenience. Or MAYBE she’s a single mother who has to work and her child has to go to day care.  Or MAYBE, she just wanted to because, well, because. Her child will not DIE from lack of breastmilk. She’s making the best choice she can for her and her family/child. Period.
That “crunchy hippy lunatic” mother? She is also a MOM. Maybe she didn’t have any maternal guidance or love as a child and is now compensating for that with her own children. Maybe that makes her feel better and helps heal her wounded psyche. Or MAYBE, she made this CHOICE because her family is on a budget and breastfeeding her baby is free and it helps her family financially to do so. MAYBE, she just wanted to because, well, because. Maybe IT DOESN’T MATTER WHY! Oh wait, that’s right, IT DOESN’T! Again, she’s making the best choice for HER and HER FAMILY/CHILDREN. PERIOD.

And don’t even get me started on choices about sexual preference, religion or lack thereof, choice of “diet”, education, etc etc. There’s just too much of it to cover. I picked the main things I could think of and left the rest to your imagination.

I see so many of you talking about how the women who didn’t march out of choice are a “disgrace to women”. I didn’t march. I CHOSE to stay home because I had school work to do. A good many of my friends made a choice to stay home because they do not feel the need to protest. They do not feel that their voice is marginalized or that they’re choices as women have changed because of who is president. Does that make us any less of a woman? No. It doesn’t make you any more of a woman because you chose to march. Now let me get this straight, I FULLY SUPPORT anyone who wants to protest. I do. I’m all for that shit and in my younger years before I became chronically ill, I might have been right out there with you. OR maybe I wouldn’t because I didn’t agree with whatever you were protesting, BUT that’s MY DECISION to make. However, whether I agree or disagree with whatever you happen to be protesting doesn’t mean I would spend my day belittling you for doing it. I support you in whatever makes YOU happy.

If standing in the cold in Washington, D.C., holding a sign and protesting while makes you happy… WELL THEN, I’M ALL FOR IT!

If sitting at home watching football or HGTV or whatever you do on a regular old Saturday makes you happy… WELL THEN, I’M ALL FOR IT!

I spent my afternoon writing out an assignment for my nutrition class. Did it make me happy? Um, well, I won’t fail nutrition class, and I won’t have to pay for a class I failed, so yeah, it made me happy I suppose.
This goes for celebrities too. I see women who are out there cheering and protesting for women’s rights attacking people in the spotlight for a multitude of things. They aren’t marching. They don’t breastfeed. They DO breastfeed and/or GASP they breastfeed in PUBLIC!  They show their bare ass. They didn’t dot their i’s with hearts as a teenager. They wore the wrong outfit at the wrong time. They chose a profession most woman wouldn’t even dream of. They live with and tolerate a narcissistic abusive husband.

If you’re marching for women’s rights and you are cutting down someone because of their own personal decisions what does that make you? It makes you a hypocrite. A woman’s right to choose includes, and is not limited to, personal career decisions, who she marries, how she parents her children, what clothes she wears or doesn’t wear, who she sleeps with, how much cleavage she shows or doesn’t show, if she wants to be a “slut” or not, and a whole slew of other personal decisions that aren’t your business. If you’re crusading for women’s rights to their own bodies, health care coverage, birth control choices, but you’re trying to take away a woman’s right to make other decisions by attacking, denigrating and belittling those choices, you my friend are a BIG FAT HYPOCRITE.

The same thing goes for those of you who are denigrating those who are marching and feel they are fighting for women’s rights. If you aren’t marching and you’re not fighting the fight, shut your mouth. You don’t have the right to say that you, as a woman, have rights but others can’t exercise those same rights by denigrating them for doing so. If you don’t like something you have the right to fight for it or not fight for it. You don’t get to tell others they do not have that right because they’re “privileged” and there are worse things in the world. So STOP. Just stop! If you find these “worse things” in the world appalling enough to discuss and try to shame another woman with then GO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THEM. Go protest and march for those women who are being raped and left for dead. Go protest and fight for those women who’s genitals are mutilated with ritual female circumcision. Go and fight for those women who don’t have the privileges you enjoy or don’t even discuss them. Bringing these atrocities up in casual conversation to shame other women who are protesting because they believe their rights are being violated makes you what? Oh yeah, a BIG FAT HYPOCRITE! You yell for other women’s rights and how people should care about those “other atrocities” but you do NOTHING about it because they’re only a convenient way of shaming someone else. You’re using someone else’s pain and suffering to yet another person feel bad with NO intention of really caring about it. That my friend also makes you a BIG FAT HYPOCRITE. So just STOP.

The thing is, we don’t have to put each other down. We don’t. We can very politely support each other even when we don’t agree. Why does being a woman have to be a competition? Why do we have to tear other women down so we can build ourselves up? Why can’t we just say “Well, I don’t agree with you on that.” and look to see if we have something else in common so we can be friends or see that we have nothing in common and just go our separate ways? Just because someone doesn’t share all of your beliefs doesn’t mean you can’t be friends with that person. I have a good many friends who don’t share all of my beliefs. My friends are breastfeeding moms, bottle feeding moms, republicans, democrats, libertarians, “crunchy hippy moms”, mainstream moms, catholic moms, baptist moms, pagan moms, and everything in, around and in between all of these things. Some of them aren’t even moms!

I know, GASP! I’m a mom, and I have friends that don’t have children! GASP! The HORROR! Oh and I even have friends that are MEN, who don’t work on my car, are NOT gay and have wives that aren’t me! I KNOW! EVEN WORSE!
My point is when you support others instead of judging them you open up a whole world of possibilities that you may otherwise miss. That weird breastfeeding crunchy mom might make the best-damned wine you’ve ever gotten drunk on or at the very least have an in on where to get some. That “whiny” protesting woman might be the best person to call when you’ve had a bad day because she can make you laugh like no one else. That Trump supporting mom might be the sweetest most loving person you’ll ever meet. That Hillary supporter might be the one who is always there for you in your time of need without fail. That non-mechanic man might be the best person to watch a sappy movie with. You NEVER KNOW. So please, just stop belittling others for their choices, whether they be political, parental, sexual, animal, vegetable, mineral, whatever and worry about your own life and making your own self happy. Stop worrying about the Janes and Marys of the world and just do YOU.
As my sweet man always tells me “The more you like, the more you can like.” In other words, the more you open yourself up to liking something IN SPITE of not liking every single thing about it, the more you may be able to find that you do like. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect. Positivity breeds positivity. Negativity breeds negativity. If you’re unhappy, more unhappiness finds you. If you’re happy, more happiness finds you. The ONLY PERSON who can make you happy is yourself, and you can’t do that if you are busy denigrating other people.

**Note that I did not fill this with any comments about my own personal choices other than staying home to do homework. I didn’t say I would have marched or would not have marched. I didn’t say who I support politically and I didn’t say make any indication of the kind to any parental, sexual or political choice that I choose to make for my own life. This isn’t about those things. This is about women supporting all other women instead of trying to tear them down!