I was never a huge fan of Oprah, but I do remember that she had an episode every now and then where she shared her favorite material possessions with her viewers. I hate to sound like a Bitter Betty, but really? What is the point of this? Except making extreme amounts of money for some company that manufactures T-shirt bed sheets and making the rest of us feel envious for her over-the-top lifestyle, it seems a little shallow and self-absorbed to me.
So, here I go with my list of favorite things, which are quite a bit different from Oprah’s. These really have become things that we couldn’t live without. Chances are you won’t be jealous of my lifestyle after reading these and hopefully you’ll actually find some valuable down-to-earth products that will help you make it through a difficult day.
1. Microwavable bacon–okay, I know that hard-core Paleos may squirm at his staple in our household, but school day mornings are hectic and I am solo getting my kids dressed, fed, and out the door. I’ve written about how some mornings with a dysregulated 3-year-old can be disaster, so here’s to something easy and yummy. We get ours at Costco for about 12 bucks.
2. Applegate Farms Hot Dogs….since we’re talking about meat….Applegate Farms grass-fed beef hot dogs are another quick and easy meal option. They’re not cheap (Trader Joe’s sells them for about $5/package and I’ve seen them at Whole Foods for $7-$8) but you pay for grass-fed meat without nitratres or preservatives.
3. Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil…hands-down one of the most valuable products we use. I firmly believe that coconut oil has healed Charlotte’s gut in a way that few other foods could. We buy the gallon size every 4-6 months and use this to cook everything from sweet potatoes to eggs to reheating leftovers. It also makes a great skin mositurizer and deodorant.
4. Trampoline–I recently asked Charlotte’s Occupational Therapist for one thing I could do to keep her regulated over the holidays. I was surprised to hear her say bounce-and-crash. We have always encouraged her to jump on the trampoline to gain proprioceptive input, but I recently added crash pillows for her to get the added compression sensation she is craving.
5. Benik Compression Vest–When Charlotte attended a center-based program last year, one of her teachers suggested a compression vest to help her sit still during circle time. It has become so useful and frequently-used over the past year, that I can easily tell when she needs it.
6. Sleep Sheep–My sister recently had her first baby, and I sound like a broken record when she calls to talk about the baby’s sleeping, “Do you have the sheep by her head? Is it turned up really loud?” We laugh about it now, but having soothing noise for babies or dysregulated sleepers of any age is priceless. We also use it at rest/naptime, setting the timer for 45 minutes, Charlotte knows she must rest in her room until the sheep turns off.
7. The vegetable box, as it’s affectionately referred to in our house, is our weekly CSA allotment. It often has fruit or non-vegetable items, but the all items are delicious and fresh, and it also keeps our meals unique and our fridge stocked with healthy fruits and veggies.
8. Eggs. A few months ago, I began to seek out fresh local eggs after the Costco Organic Free Range Eggs were looking pale in color and small. I was able to track some down from a friend who raises chickens. The color and size of real eggs is unbelievable, and I feel really good giving my kids such a visually nutrient-dense food.
9. My iPod–okay, so this one probably sounds materialistic and non-Paleo, but it wasn’t until I recently lost my iPod that I realized how much I loved mine and needed it. During Charlotte’s twice weekly therapy sessions, I take a brisk walk and listen to podcasts from my favorite Paleo people. They help keep me up to speed on my Paleo knowledge, in addition to making me laugh, and giving me motivation to keep on truckin’ on our Paleo journey. (Oh, and yes, I do get much teasing from my friends and family about what a nerd I am for using my ipod for Paleo podcasts versus listening to music like most people do)
10. Seat cushions (sorry I couldn’t think of a fancier name) I recently ordered them from Therappy Shoppe, and I could do an entire blog post about how when kids are comfortable in their chair during meal time, they eat better! Mealtime is much more pleasant without the wiggling and finding any excuse to get up from their seats.
This worked especially well for Charlotte because she is considered a “sensory seeker” and needs to feel the seat under her to be comfortable.
Stayed tuned for more of my favorite things because as I wrote this, I thought of about 10 more things I could’ve added……hmmm….maybe I’m more materialistic than I thought.