In this episode, Sunit interviews Matt Duncan who is the author of “the Upcycled Toys Club” which is an activity book for inspiring children to be more eco aware. Matt is an outdoor experiential educator, author, and entrepreneur whose focus is on teaching families the importance of protecting and preserving our environment. Matt’s passion for the environment was sparked at a young age as a Boy Scout, and ever since he has always been fascinated by the wonders of nature, and is constantly on the lookout for new and innovative ways to instill the love of nature to his students and their families. His career as an educator with degrees in developmental psychology and a masters in education, as well as certifications in experiential education and permaculture, all came together as he created his latest project, The Upcycled Toys Club. Matt's passions include camping, rock climbing, and other activities that bring him closer to the earth, as well as spending time hanging out with, and helping to educate, really cool kids and helping them find ways to let their creativity shine!
Sunit and Matt discuss how this book came to be and what inspires him. They talk about how important it is to care for our planet and how easy it is to integrate this awareness into your children from a young age if you start early.
Take a listen to the show and see if you are inspired to implement some of the cool ideas they talk about, into your own life!
You can get the book on Amazon:
Check out the website for more info www.upcycledtoys.club
text “upcycle” to 444999 to get a “getting started” guide and certificate of membership.
To contribute to Matt’s upcoming project, you can email him at: email@example.com
Sunit Interviews Joy MacTavish who is a holistic perinatal professional. She supports families before and after childbirth, is a certified lactation consultant, a baby wearing consultant and parenting coach.
Sunit talks about how she discovered EC. She was potty training her kids at 2 years old and her mom mentioned that she potty trained Sunit at 6 months old. This piqued Sunit’s interest so she looked into it further and realized that this is actually something that people do. Sunit just wants to introduce this to her listeners who may have never heard of this.
She talks about the fact that she just wanted to do this show so people can hear about it and decide if it’s right for them.
Joy says this practice goes back thousands of years. Diapering has increased the age of “potty independence”. There is nothing wrong with using diapers, but it is an alternative for people. Sunit reiterates that she wanted to bring awareness to this as being another one of those things that used to be normal before modern day conveniences, that is now unheard of. Diapers are normal now but they didn’t exist hundreds of years ago, just like many things we have now to think about when raising children. There is another way and Sunit just wants to bring it back into the spotlight. EC was something that was naturally done centuries ago, but has evolved to the point where diapering is normal.
Sunit asks Joy what are the benefits and disadvantages? Benefits-less reliance on diapers equals less expenses and less waste. Parents feel that they are more connected to their child’s cues.
Andrea Olson who started this movement says it can start at birth. Joy says they started at 3 weeks with her baby. She didn’t change any poopy diapers after 5 or 6 months. She couldn’t relate to fellow parents at daycare during the potty training phase because she didn’t really potty train. Her child was already transitioned. EC is birth to 18 months. Potty training is 18 months and older.
Sunit asks Joy to explain exactly what Elimination Communication means and how it actually looks. Joy says there are a variety of things that parents do. There are various ways of communicating and connecting with your child, observing cues, knowing and anticipating, etc. It requires you being very present and knowing your child’s signs and signals and keeping track of the baby’s activities and environment and time of day. There is not one right way to do it. It is what you make it. Some families do it only at certain times others do it 24/7, it can really be what you make it. No pressure. EC families graduate from diapers between 12-18 months. Traditional diapering is between 2-4.5 years. It has to fit into your routine, it does take a shift in energy.
Sunit says that she has mixed feeling about it because on the one hand she would have loved to have tried it but on the other hand, there is something to be said for handling baby stages step by step. You can take one thing at a time, like newborn stage, then sleep, then solids, then teething, then potty training. Thinking about EC from birth could feel very overwhelming to a new mom. But if there is an ambitious mom wanting to try it, it’s an option. She likes that it’s flexible though. If you are interested you can try it and make it work for their family. Sunit asks about how successful people are with this method, Joy says it depends on your expectations.
Some families are gung ho, others not so much. As long as you are ok with the progress, and don’t set an impossibly high bar, you will be happy with it. Doing EC at any level can cut down on diaper use and that alone is a great benefit.
Sunit says she just wants people to listen to this episode and be open to another way of doing things. Just being introduced to it might change how you approach things.
Sunit asks Joy for some tips to help a new or expecting mom to help avoid the overwhelm she may be feeling. Joy says mindfulness. Just breathing and being. Watching what is happening in your body and with your child. Slow down and look at what’s happening and indulge what you need. Tune out the noise and what is happening in the future and just focus on the present.
Sunit says just go with your gut. Just go back to your breath, your baby and yourself. Sunit asks about non coercive potty training. Joy says there is a lot of talk in parenting circles about potty training when the child is ready but in the EC world potty training is parent led not child led. The parent decides when the family is done with diapers, not the child. It’s gentle in the sense that it is concise and focused and no rewards or punishments. A week or two of focused time.
Sunit summarizes that it’s parent led, not stressful, and no rewards.
She asks Joy for books or resources.
The Miracle Morning is a worldwide phenomenon and Lindsay is the author of one of the books in the series “the Miracle Morning for parents and families”. She is a wife and mom of two kids.
Lindsay talks about her “plan” for her life and how she envisioned motherhood. She talks about how everything went according to plan but once she was done having kids she felt like “is this happily ever after?”. She felt like she wasn’t fully satisfied living her dream. But she didn’t have any dreams past being a stay at home.
She talks about meeting Hal Elrod at a self-development conference and being moved by something he said. “The moment I accept responsibility for everything in my life is the moment I gain the power to change anything in my life”
She had been using her kids as an excuse not to follow her dreams. First it was sleeping through the night, then it was when they’re in school….It was always something that was holding her back.
She was inspired by Hal because his story is so powerful and he has overcome so much adversity so if he can do it she can. She became more purposeful about creating the life she wanted.
Sunit says that when she was reading the Miracle Morning she kept thinking she wasn’t sure if she could do this because she is not a morning person. Lindsay says she isn’t either and in the world of miracle morning she wakes up pretty late. Sunit asks her to give listeners a rundown of what Miracle Morning is all about.
Lindsay says it is basically the way you start your day. Hal did a bunch of research to find out what some of the most successful people in the world are doing in their lives first thing in the morning and he combined the most commonly mentioned things to create the life SAVERS.
Lindsay introduced the concept to her own family but decided to change it to accommodate her family preferences. They combined "silence" with "visualization" and called it "meditation", kept "affirmations" and "reading" the same, and changed "exercise" to "health" and "scribing" to "creativity". They also added an “S” for "service" because this is important to them in their family, to develop a heart for serving others.
Sunit says this is so important to understand that doing these things from early on will make it normal in your family. It is never too early to start thinking about these things.
Lindsay shares the story about how she met Hal at a conference she was speaking at and just shared with him how the Miracle Morning had changed her life and that of her kids and he was shocked that their family was doing this with their kids. After some back and forth and communication with each other, Hal asked Lindsay to write the next book in the series because he felt it was important to get this message out to parents. Through writing the book Lindsay learned that parent are their children’s greatest teachers, it all starts with them. Parents should understand and practice this themselves. Sunit says yes “start as you meant to go”, if you are practicing the habits and values you want to instill in your kids, they will grow up with it and it will come naturally to them.
Sunit mentions that the Miracle Morning advocates for people to get up an hour early to do their practice. How does this change with kids? Lindsay says she does not get up and hour before her kids. It’s usually only about 15 minutes before. She meditates and does her journaling. She also points out that her Miracle Morning is customizable-she meditates in bed and doesn’t do the SAVERS in that order. You can make it work for you.
Lindsay says meditation is not a new concept to kids, it seems new to us as adults who haven’t practiced it, but we make it into something harder than it actually it is. Sunit says meditation is really just anything that gets you focused in the present moment. They give tips on how to get older kids to meditate. Sunit says she heard that you can tell kids to focus on one object, and encourage them to explore all the physical aspects of it. Like how it might feel, look, taste, etc.
Lindsay says there are also simple ways to get them to focus on their breath. Placing stuffed toys on their belly, etc.
Sunit talks about the common responses people have to this type of thing. Limiting beliefs and using your kids as an excuse not to do stuff. Lindsay says kids can learn anything that we want them to learn. And that THEY want to learn. When children are ready, they I’ll learn. An example is reading. People think you have to teach your child to read, but in fact, when they are ready, they will learn, as long as you give them the opportunity. Change your mindset.
You’ll never truly be ready or feel you have time. If that is your mindset it will never happen. Say yes and figure it out later. Start before you’re ready.
Sunit asks Lindsay for tips to set our kids up for success.
They talk about “the family board meeting”. Spending one on one time with your children once a quarter. The kids get to pick the activity. Doing something that they choose and have one on one time with you is really special. Building memories and keeping relationships fresh is so important. Sunit recalls a point from the book about scheduling your family first and then schedule around that. Lindsay says you have to find what rhythm works for your family.
Sunit reiterates that the Miracle Morning can be whatever you want it to be. Although many people think they can’t get up earlier and end up loving it. She talks about being at the boss mom retreat and Pat Flynn showing up and saying he gets up at 430 in the morning to do his MM, even though he never used to be a morning person.
Sunit asks how to fit in the Miracle Morning during the different seasons of your life. Lindsay says to customize it. The point is to make your day better, so if it’s stressing you out that’s not good. Lindsay says it is a mindset shift, just start small. You can literally start with 6 minutes a day.
Sunit says her hope is to inspire a new generation of moms and dads who are better prepared and thinking ahead about what kinds of kids they want to raise. She wants them to be more mindful and purposeful in their parenting and starting to think about this stuff very early on is much more effective than waiting until you are bowled over with kids. She asks Lindsay what is her hope for the future. “To elevate the consciousness of humanity, one morning at a time”. Lindsay wants her kids to grow up being more mindful, more creative. Make healthy choices. Affirm their strengths and those of others. Always learning. Have a heart for service. All of the components of the miracle morning are important to her and this is her hope for the next generation and the world.
Sunit tests herself and recaps the SAVERS.
You can buy the book on Amazon here. Leaving a review on amazon or goodreads helps new readers find the book.
You can follow Lindsay at www.gratefulparent.com
Join the movement! Miracle Morning for Parents and Families on fb. https://www.facebook.com/groups/TMM4P/
If you are a TTC or pregnant mom, come Join Modern Mommy Prepschool on fb.
Episode 13-Sunit and Angie Talk Meal Planning
(This Episode is sponsored by Modern Hippie Health and Wellness) www.modernhippiehw.com
Angie Trueblood is a meal planning strategist and writer. She spends her time helping other mamas simplify dinner in an effort to create more space for quality family time.
Angie talks about working with busy moms to help simplify dinner time and it was something that was born out of necessity for her own life as a mom. Mealtime used to be fun and became a chore when kiddos came into the picture. She had envisioned meal time being a time to reconnect so she set out to do that. Her fb group was founded with the desire to share with other moms and see what they were doing. She ended up loving being able to help women plan better and bring mealtime back to being family time. Her business is a culmination of all these things.
Sunit reminds listeners that paying attention to some of these desires that tug at you can end up becoming a business that you love, that allows you to pursue your dreams and stay home with your kids.
Angie says as busy moms we are making hundreds of decisions a day, so planning appropriately for mealtime can be something that takes one more thing off the table and alleviates stress. Sunit says planning is the key. Meal planning shifts through the different stages of life so being aware that it will flex is good, and when you know these changes will shift, you are better prepared.
They talk about “start as you mean to go” and why it is important to implement this strategy for meals also. Sunit asks what women should be thinking about and how it applies to all stages. Angie says it’s important to come up with a system BEFORE baby comes along. Put in the hard work NOW while you’re pregnant. Coming up with a list of meals that take less than 30 minutes that provide you with a starting point is key.
Angie refers to kids who are more “opinionated” in their eating and sees many moms catering to all the different preferences in the home as kids get older. There is not enough time for a mom to cater to everyone, so know ahead of time what your plan is and stick to it. Parents are often accommodating their children from pureed to solid food and bending over backwards to appease their kids, and it can result in stressful mealtimes and separate mealtimes for parents and kids. It doesn’t need to be this way. Kids can eat what parents eat from a young age and always making mealtime family time will start you off on the right foot.
Sunit refers to “Baby Led Weaning”, the book which encourages starting kids on true solids instead of purees. This method helps children get exposed to different textures and flavors of food as well as encourages them building their pincer grasp. They can control what they eat and best of all, it’s easy for mom. Sunit says that this way of introducing solids has led to good eaters who are not overly picky and a peaceful mealtime in her home. When you set the expectations, your children will learn to respect them. Moms need to give themselves a break. Your job is not to be a short order cook-it is simply to feed them and teach them healthy habits.
Snack foods and packaged foods can set kids up for failure because it is tough to transition from those to real food. Start as you mean to go. Ensure snacks are truly just small and healthy. Otherwise they don’t really enjoy the next meal.
Sunit refers to “French Kids Eat Everything”, the book that is written by a woman who had to move to France when her kids were young. She discovered why French kids are better eaters than Americans and that they don’t snack. Once Sunit read the book she cut out extra snacks and it has been great for her family.
There is no eating food on the go in France. Meals are to be enjoyed while you’re sitting down and when you are truly hungry. Angie refers to the book “It’s not about the Broccoli”. It’s about teaching kids good habits. Sunit agrees that thinking about all this ahead of time avoids rash decisions in the moment.
She talks about how having those discussions with kids from an early age has been a mainstay in their home. They have taught their kids that anything that grows outside in the ground or on trees is healthy food and everything else is treat food. She mentions the documentary “the Kids Menu”, (http://www.kidsmenumovie.com ) and how she learned to talk to her kids even better about making healthy choices. Asking them “what would Iron Man (or any superhero they admire) eat?” when they are making a choice, will almost always result in a healthier choice made from a rational decision making process rather than being told to choose the broccoli over the cookie. We underestimate kids.
Sunit asks Angie about tips for new and expecting moms to prepare for being too busy to cook.
Angie says the goal should be to never sit down and feel like you’re starting from zero. Angie says freezer meals are gold. Create base food that is easily added to. A chicken that can be split up and seasoned differently can be frozen for different meals on different nights. Pasta and instant brown rice can be a great starter for that chicken. Frozen shrimp can be a lifesaver.
Sunit adds two points: ask for gift cards to restaurants that deliver instead of baby gifts, and also anything that can be made in muffin tins in batches makes a great freezer meal to make ahead. Also, there are great meat substitutes that you should keep stocked in your pantry, black beans, quinoa, mushrooms, for a hearty meal if you don’t have time to defrost meat.
Angie says you should always have a steady grocery list of must haves for your pantry so grocery shopping is easy. Also, always cook more than you plan to eat, and be creative with the leftovers. Shortcuts are key!
Now is also a good time to think ahead about what parts of your life are going to change with a baby…like grocery shopping. Who can help with this and can you order online?
Angie makes a good point that when you are actually grocery shopping you end up seeing and buying things not on your list and you spend more than the delivery charge of having things delivered!
Sunit says to start setting up your tribe. Ask for help, and if you aren’t expecting, look at your pregnant friends who might need you, and make food for them and just give it to them to freeze.
Sunit asks Angie what her vision and hope for our future is. Angie says she wants a world where we get back to valuing and having, quality time with our family. She wants to see families cutting out the “busy” and being more intentional with their time. Mealtime gets lost in the busy-ness and she wants to see it brought back. Sunit says to sit down and really enjoy your meal. Cut out the excess, don’t make it busy, we can all make our lives less busy. It is a choice.
You can find Angie at www.mealplanningmama.com.
Join the fb group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/mealplanningjunkies/
Click here for Angie’s special offer for our listener: