about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    EmilyBMalone@gmail.com

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    A Look Back.



Getting Ready for Baby.

Despite the title, this isn’t a post about researching car seats or picking out a nursery theme (neither of which I have even thought about).  But more the “getting ready to even consider having a baby” and all that comes with such a big decision.

If you’ve been reading for any length of time, it should come as no surprise that pregnancy and pre-pregnancy nutrition and health were of great interest to me.  It may sound silly, but as someone who cares so much about every bite I eat, I actually felt a bit of pressure to be “as perfect as possible” since I know so much about how to eat well.  Now ten weeks in and living off bagels, I can assure you those dreams of perfection are long gone.

Let me just say quickly that for all of these baby-centered posts, this is my personal pregnancy journey, and what I have learned along the way.  If you make different choices, or have different experiences, that doesn’t make either one of us irresponsible or a bad mother-to-be, and there is so much we can all learn from one another.  The greatest lesson I have learned in all of this is that pregnancy is a totally individual experience. 

I already told you about our 14 month journey to getting pregnant, but here is an additional look at what I did to get ready for the baby – other than simply tossing my birth control.  Here we go, starting from the oldest preparations I made to the most recent…

Cutting out Alcohol

I have written about our decision to stop drinking before, and our original motivators at the time had nothing to do with a potential baby on the way.  Heck, we weren’t even married yet!  But I know for many others, drinking and baby-planning is a concern, so I thought it was at least worth addressing.

From my personal experience, I was already so aware of the many ways my life has improved since quitting drinking.  But when we started planning for a family, I realized there was one more I hadn’t considered.  I never had to worry about finding out I was pregnant with a hangover, or worried about what I was drinking during any given time of the month.  It was a wonderful burden to not be carrying!

Quitting Artificial Sweeteners

I’m not sure why I never really wrote about this on the blog, but I used to have a SERIOUS Splenda problem.  I will spare you the details, but I was using so much of that it made me seriously wonder if my insides were coated in little white crystals.  When I first began to lose weight, I was all about eating reduced-sugar and low-calorie versions of all my favorite products – jams, jell-o, zero calorie drinks, juices, diet soda, etc.  Of course along the way, I realized that stuff was full of chemicals that I didn’t want to be putting in my body anymore.

Quitting Splenda was TOUGH.  It was so ingrained in my life and my diet that I found myself having to look at food and calories in a new way.  What used to be all about finding the lowest calorie option, over time became a focus on finding the shortest and most natural ingredient list.  My original motivation was to rid my body of all the chemicals and toxins and be my healthiest self.  But even back then I was already looking down the road toward Baby Garnish – and I knew that Splenda was going to have to (literally) come off the table eventually.  It was a difficult transition, but I feel so much better now that I only use natural sweeteners and view food in a different light.

Taking Prenatal Vitamins

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As soon as I went off my birth control (in November 2009) I bought a prenatal vitamin to replace my regular daily multi-vitamin.  While I knew my diet was great and I was getting most of the basic nutrients I needed through food, I figured an additional boost really couldn’t hurt anything.  I will admit that I was not always consistent with taking it, but I did my best to remember each morning.  The bottle above is the exact vitamin I take now – all natural and safe for vegetarians – both important factors for me!

Cleaning up the Cleaners

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I will admit that the push to rid our house of as many chemicals as possible really came from Casey.  He has always had really sensitive skin, so researching products and chemical-free alternatives has always been important to him.  The more serious we got about baby-making, the more he urged me to really consider cleaning up my personal products.  Every time I sprayed my suffocating salon-quality hairspray, he would run out of the bathroom mumbling about how I was poisoning him with toxic gas.  And you know what?  I realized he was probably right.

Over the last few months, I’ve switched over to all green and natural personal hygiene products.  I get my shampoos, hair products, lotions, deodorants, etc. mostly from Whole Foods, and I try to be a relatively careful label-checker.  I am a HUGE fan of the Dr. Bronner’s soaps line, and I use them to clean everything!

Beyond the bathroom, I’ve also worked hard to find natural cleaning products that I like to keep the rest of our house spick and span (I’m laughing just typing that).

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I use Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds as both a household cleaner and as our laundry detergent – it works wonders and smells fabulous!  Of course sometimes with green products you have to put a little extra elbow into the cleaning, but it’s worth it to me to not feel like I’m cleaning in a cloud of Clorox.  I can’t wait to give our baby his or her first little baby bath with delicious smelling all-natural baby soaps!

Quitting Coffee

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Believe it or not, I actually quit coffee before finding out I was pregnant.  But I had a little extra motivation from another issue I was having.  As recently as a few months ago, I was a BIG coffee drinker.  Working at home and from coffee shops, I found I was refilling my cup all day long.  And then one day I woke up and noticed I had developed an annoying eye twitch on my right eyelid.  It lasted all day, and then the next day, and then the whole week.  And it was driving me INSANE.

I consulted all my best Google doctors, and determined that the number one most likely cause of my twitch?  Too much caffeine.  Tired of the twitching, I cut out my daily habit and within two days my eye was back to normal.  At that point I figured I had already battled the withdrawal headaches and successfully quit caffeine, so why go back? 

There are mixed feelings on caffeine consumption and pregnancy – how much is safe, what types are better than others, etc.  For me personally, the safest option is to just avoid it all together.  And to be quite honest, coffee doesn’t really sound very good to my nauseous stomach anyways!

So there you have it – the main ways I “cleaned up” my lifestyle and habits to best prepare my body and our household for our newest addition.  I love knowing that my little decisions are hopefully helping to create a clean, healthy, and all-natural little person.  And in addition to knowing I’m creating a good environment for the baby, it feels great to make the changes for my personal health too.  I know these are all changes that will last well beyond pregnancy. 

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141 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Blog is the New Black     at 2:04 pm

I am loving reading about your journey- from start to where you are now! :)

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Callie     at 2:06 pm

“Now ten weeks in and living off bagels, I can assure you those dreams of perfection are long gone.” This made me grin, and made me feel so much better about myself. At 29 weeks in (YIKES), it’s hard to accept sometimes that I haven’t been as “perfect” in my pregnancy as I would have hoped…but it’s okay. I have a feeling motherhood is going to be much the same way! :)

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Emily Malone Reply:

Totally agree! We’ll just do our best through it all. :)

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Stacy @ Every LIttle Thing     at 2:07 pm

Honestly, baby or no baby, I think these are things we should ALL be doing! They all lead to a healthier lifestyle, and what better way to welcome a baby :) Good for you!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Very good point! I personally feel so much better and cleaner without all the chemical stuff.

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Susan Reply:

I do most of my cleaning with vinegar, water & baking soda. I’m going to check into the Dr. Bronner’s products.

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Jenny     at 2:07 pm

I love this! I never thought about being more responsible with hygeine products! Everything seems to be chemicals these days!

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Freya     at 2:09 pm

I agree with Stacey above – no Splenda should pretty much apply to most :p

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Marci     at 2:10 pm

Loving your stories too. Such an honest look at what people don’t talk about but should!

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Sana     at 2:10 pm

Even though my mom is ready to be a grandmother, I am not. But anyone can clean up baby or not!

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Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing     at 2:10 pm

I love this! It’s amazing what a difference these choices can make. I am so thankful that I was able to transition into a “cleaner” lifestyle in these areas long before we will be starting a family. I think this will be immensely helpful for others :) Thanks for sharing Emily!

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Tami     at 2:10 pm

you will be happy you made the switch with the cleaning products, although when the 24 hour “bug” hits our house, out comes the bleach. we use baking soda and vinegar for most everything now.

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Anna Reply:

I have such a fear of being sick (with the “24 h bug”/norovirus) that although I use all natural shampoos etc, I haven’t been able to make a switch to 100 % natural cleaning products around the house yet. The only effective cleaning agent against norovirus is bleach, so I still use it in the bathroom and to wipe off doorhandles and other frequently touched surfaces every now and then – specially after we have had guests. I do try to use natural products for the regular cleaning of our kitchen and the floors – and hopefully for the whole house one day. The funny thing is, I’m NEVER sick, and neither is my husband – but I guess it’s just a small phobia here. ;)

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Yi     at 2:10 pm

I’m really hoping you will read my comment! I have been using homemade shampoo, conditioner, and face wash. I will tell anyone who would listen about the danger of using all those chemical ladden health and beauty products. http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/ is a excellent website to go to for finding out what’s in everything you use and how toxic they are. and I love the Simple Organic site: http://simpleorganic.net/using-olive-oil-in-your-beauty-routine/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+SimpleOrganic+%28Simple+Organic%29&utm_content=Google+Reader They have a lot of homemade, using olive oil, recipes… Check them out!
/soap box ;)

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Emily Malone Reply:

I’ll definitely consider making some beauty products eventually when I have more time! We do make our own cleaners sometimes with water, vinegar, and baking soda.

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BB Reply:

Same goes for laundry soap and dishwasher detergent. I make my own now and in addition to ditching the icky chemicals, they are much less expensive. Likey!

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Yi Reply:

Shampoo: one table spoon of bake soda with one cup of water

Conditioner: one table spoon of apple cider vinegar with one cup of water

face wash: one part of caster oil with three parts of extra virgin olive oil

you may have to twig the recipe to find the best combination for you, but it’s the basic recipe I follow!

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Sarah @ The Strength of Faith     at 2:11 pm

What are natural sweeteners besides sugar? If I was trying to cut back sugar in a recipe but didn’t want to lose the sweetness, do I have natural options?

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Emily Malone Reply:

Organic cane sugar (sucanat), maple syrup, agave nectar (although not while pregnant), honey, and stevia is also natural, but some folks think it is too Splenda-like.

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Alex Reply:

why no agave nectar while pregnant? Just wondering :)
I don’t use it anyway, I tend to use date syrup (lot less processed), or even just dates. I have a serious addition to dates I think

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Emily Malone Reply:

It has been linked to increased risk of miscarriage. Might be true, might not – but it’s definitely worth avoiding during pregnant just in case! I also LOVE dates!!

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Alex Reply:

Oh I didn’t know that about agave! In that case yes it’s best to stay on the safe side :)
You lucky North Americans also have maple syrup as a sweetener.

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JL goes Vegan     at 2:11 pm

While I don’t have (and won’t have) children, this is a really great post, Emily! Really informative!

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Julie @SavvyEats     at 2:12 pm

We aren’t ready to have a baby yet, but I will be coming back to read these posts when we are!

In the meantime, I love the cleaner recommendations. My skin is also SUPER sensitive, so I’ve spent a lot of time looking for facewash, shampoo, lotion, etc that won’t cause red, itchy skin. That’s starting to carry over into our cleaners, and I’m planning on starting fresh on the cleaner-front when we move into our house later this week. I’ll check out the ones you recommended!

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suki @ [Super Duper Fantastic]     at 2:13 pm

Even though I’m not on the road to becoming pregnant, most of this stuff (ASIDE from the alcohol) I’ve already implemented into my life. I think it’s just ingrained from the very beginning. Chemicals = bad.

Sometimes my eye twitches, and I don’t even have caffeine. :P

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megan @ blackberries for jam     at 2:13 pm

I am so interested in hearing about your journey since I hope to embark on my own in the next year or so, and this post was really helpful! My biggest challenge would be kicking the coffee habit. I only drink it in the morning, but I just love it so much!

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Stephanie @ LiveCookLove     at 2:14 pm

The hairspray comment was my favorite :) In the meantime, I hope you are starting to feel a tiny bit better!!

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Noelle     at 2:15 pm

Oh my gosh I had that same twitch! I quit when I got sick for 2 weeks and then I no longer wanted coffee little knowing that I was already preggers!

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LauraJayne     at 2:15 pm

I know I am WAY behind the game, but I saw your recipe in my Self this morning (it is you, right?)! I was so totally excited – and I am determined the make the recipe this week!

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Emily Malone Reply:

That is me!! How fun that you saw it. :) Hope you like the recipe!

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Stacey (The Home-Cooked Vegan)     at 2:17 pm

That’s awesome, Emily! And “Baby Garnish”? How cute is that?! :)

I, too, have quit coffee. It was sort of subconsciously. One morning I just didn’t want it, and I haven’t wanted it since. If I do drink it, it’s decaf. My insomnia and migraines have greatly decreased because of this! There is no going back!
I’m also trying to hop on the chemical-free product bandwagon, but I’m finding it hard to find natural products that are ACTUALLY natural (and not just saying so on the label!). We don’t have a Whole Foods here in Charlotte, but have you ever tried any of Trader Joes cleaning products? Any other store you can refer me too that isn’t too expensive?
I hear Target has their own natural cleaning line, ever tried it?
I’m so happy for you and Casey. I know that you guys will be great parents! :D

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Angie @ Musings of a Violet Monkey Reply:

Stacey – I’m in Charlotte, too. Still waiting on that Whole Foods. ;)
Try Earthfare or the Healthy Home Markets (formerly the Home Economist). They both have great options…

~

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Stacey (The Home-Cooked Vegan) Reply:

Thanks for the tip! I was just at Earthfare the other day :)

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Michelle     at 2:18 pm

I’ve tried some natural deodorants – most recently Crystal Rock – and have had issues with them because they don’t have an anti-perspirant component. This is a problem for me, since I sweat a lot – especially when I exercise. I know this is sort of a personal question, but since you’re always so open about sharing everything, I hope you don’t mind — do you sweat more with natural deodorants? Have you found a great one at Whole Foods that works? What do you do when you run or go to the gym? Thanks so much!

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Emily Malone Reply:

I’m definitely a little bit sweatier, but nothing insane or gross. And I am finding that as time goes on, I think my body is adjusting more to the natural deodorant. The one I use now is Tom’s, but once it runs out I’m going to switch to Nature’s Gate (the one Casey has – I like it better). They are both from Whole Foods!

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Meredith     at 2:19 pm

Have you heard of Indigo Wild? They sell some of their stuff at Whole Foods and it all smells fantastic and is natural. They even have a men’s and baby line of all natural products. It’s a mid-west based company(which I love because that’s my neck of the woods). I’m waiting to use up all of my chemically laundry detergent and switch over to their lavender one.

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Christina     at 2:20 pm

I love reading about your journey! It’s great to read about someone I feel I can relate to. We’re in the process of “cleaning” out all our major chemical stuff. I was worried at first but before clorox came along this is how it was done so it can’t be bad at all!

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wishful nals     at 2:21 pm

such great advice! you’re doing a great job and it’s so fun to read your journey. xo

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Brittney     at 2:22 pm

It’s funny, I’ve been thinking this way a lot lately while I’m trying to conceive, and people look at me like I’m nuts when I say I’m not really drinking much caffeine, alcohol, eating certain things, running as much, etc… I think a lot of it is up for debate on whether it affects getting pregnant or being pregnant, but I’m kind of with you on erring on the side of caution. Why risk any of those factors being a cause or problem if it doesn’t have to be? If you take it out of the equation than you’ll never have to wonder if that was the reason you didn’t conceive or had a problem… That’s what I’m thinking. Love these baby related posts Emily! :)

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R @ Learning As I Chop     at 2:28 pm

Thanks for sharing! Did you ever have decaf coffee or stevia?

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Emily Malone Reply:

I do use stevia from time to time, and sometimes I drink decaf. Recently coffee hasn’t sounded very good, but I’m sure I’ll bring back decaf eventually.

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Katie KS     at 2:31 pm

I haven’t gone the cleaning/personal products route yet (well, I just hired someone to clean and they bring their own products!) But the rest of it I have done. Here’s the natural gummy vitamins, I realized I didn’t link to them when I commented the other day: http://www.nwnaturalproducts.com/vitafusion/products-prenatal.php

Not the healthiest thing but one I can keep down is Jello, and it is so hard to find the regular jello not the “sugar-free” and I do not want whatever is in that :)

I’m glad to say that I cut my caffeine addiction pre pregnancy #1 and never went back! I do have an occasional pop while not pregnant but it is a treat (or a way to stay awake when an infant has screamed all night and you gotta be at work!) However I did notice it affected the baby when I was nursing so it was very rare.

Love hearing your stories – don’t let the whiners dissuade you from sharing!

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Anna Reply:

I think (though I may be wrong) that the gummy vitamins all contain gelatin. Just a thing to check, as they may not be suitable for vegetarians. :(

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Katie KS Reply:

Anna – you are correct! These are natural products but not vegetarian – they have fish oil and gelatin. Sorry didn’t mean to mislead anyone. Just liked they use carrot and blueberry juice for coloring rather than “Red Dye #2″ :)

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Anna Reply:

Katie,
Thanks for comfirming my doubts. I love the idea of all natural gummy bear vitamins, though – so much more fun than regular pills. :) Now I just hope one day they’ll make a vegan version of these, too!

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Shayla     at 2:32 pm

Loved loved this post! Since we’ll be trying this summer, I’ve started taking prenatal vitamins, but now it’s time to clean up the diet! I’m pretty healthy overall, but I have to say I am addicted to artificial sweetener and my husband cringes every time I use it. I know I gotta stop now and can’t use it while pregnant and that is the one chemical thing I have in my diet that I just have to quit. I’m going to start trying your natural sweeteners that you mentioned in the above comments…I’m sure I’ll feel better and make my body very happy and rid it of toxins before pregnancy. Thanks so much for this post, very helpful and I can’t wait to hear more about your journey!

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Amanda Perry at Sistas of Strength     at 2:32 pm

Great post! Did those vitamins make you sick at all?? I tried them for a few weeks when we were trying to conceive and then again when I found out I was preggo and they made me so nauseas. I was lucky not to be a puker, but ended up having to switch to gummy prenatals so that I could take 1/2 serving at a time.

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Emily Malone Reply:

I don’t think the vitamins have contributed to the sickness. I’ve been taking them for a while, and the sickness is relatively recent.

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Amanda Perry at Sistas of Strength Reply:

I didn’t think that was it, but just seeing the bottle brought back a bad physical memory for me. LOL

It’s amazing how different everyone’s bodies and pregnancy experiences are! One thing my dr did tell me is that if you feel like crap that might be a good thing…usually means your hormones are raging and the baby is healthy. :)

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betty@runbetty     at 2:35 pm

I am SO impressed you could quit the Splenda. I need to…but I’m scared food just won’t taste as good without the sweetness!

Still – it is worth a shot, and I’m starting to scale it back :)

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Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life)     at 2:39 pm

I love hearing what you’re changing (actually already changed), and it makes me feel good because I’m following the same path: no caffeine, no artificial sugars, no chemical cleaners or soaps, etc.

It makes me feel good because I’ve experienced a little bit of judgement from people saying I’m be too paranoid (also no deli meat, sushi, soft serve, alcohol, etc), but I’m just trying to do what I feel is best for my baby.

I don’t judge anyone else for how they do pregnancy, so I hope people don’t judge me!

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Lisa Fine     at 2:40 pm

So interesting. And thanks for the link to your post about drinking (or not drinking) alcohol. I rarely have anything to drink, and have never been much of a drinker…just maybe a glass of sparkling hard cider or wine now and then.

It’s sometimes a struggle, especially when people still pester me about it, or ask if I’m sure that I don’t want a drink, but I feel much healthier and more hydrated because of it.

I love Dr. Bronner’s too!

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Katy @ MonsterProof     at 2:41 pm

I kind of wish that I had had this opportunity! Our little man was a complete surprise, so…yup, I had been out drinking, had x-rays, caffeine, all sorts of things that you are supposed to avoid before we found out. Ironically, my diet has been a million times worse since getting pregnant than it was before. I craved meat so intensely that I caved and gave up on vegetarianism, and have eaten more “junk food” than I have in years just because I don’t feel the same need to watch my weight. Of course, my “unhealthy” pregnancy, is probably many people’s best days, but it still is hard to admit that I have not been as careful as perhaps one might hope.

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Emily Malone Reply:

We all just do our best, right? I definitely don’t want to make anyone else feel guilty for whatever they are or aren’t doing. My diet hasn’t exactly been stellar the last six weeks. :)

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Lucy     at 2:41 pm

Great post Emily! I always come away from your blog with little tidbits of info, you have a way of breaking things down so it seems attainable:) Cannot wait to see more of your journey!

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Jen     at 2:48 pm

I used to big on Splenda too, when it first came out they were claiming it was natural. I cut it out afer being DX with crohn’s diease. stevia takes some getting used to just because its very sweet and you don’t need alot. I still had acne in my early 20′s and when I started working at wild oats I started buying the natural skin care and could believe how clear my skin became. I keep meaning to try Dr bronners they have it at target, my friend got a small bottle for camping since you can use it for everything and said she liked it.

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Mile Posts by Dorothy Beal     at 2:48 pm

What natural sweetener do you use? I was using Stevia – then I read it lowered sperm count – which no I don’t have sperm but it make me wonder what it was doing to me? Then I was using agava but also read some negative stuff on that too….HELP :)

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Emily Malone Reply:

Sometimes I use stevia, although there are definitely mixed reviews on it. I usually use maple syrup or honey, or in baking I use organic cane sugar! I’ve just also gradually tried to make myself realize that I can use a smaller amount and not make my food QUITE so sweet. :)

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Abby     at 2:49 pm

Love this post! I need to be better about by beauty products and household cleansers!

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Erin     at 2:53 pm

I’m sure you’ve heard this already but just wanted to throw it out there… I had horrible morning sickness (ha – all day sickness really) when I was pregnant with my daughter. One of the things that I did that helped a bit was to take my prenatal vitamin at night – sometimes they can cause an upset stomach so then you’re sleeping through a good part of it. Worth a shot!

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Emily Malone Reply:

I just started doing that! We’ll see if it makes a difference. Feeling good today!

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Jayna @ Healthy Living Bites     at 2:55 pm

I love it!!!! I love the disclaimer at the top too- pregnancy and child rearing is SO personal!! My favorite part is your realization that you can have the best intentions in the world for the “perfect” way to be, but once you actually are EXPERIENCING parenthood (pregnancy counts!), most times those are tossed out the window. BOTH my kids have been making liars out of me from in the womb. Neither pregnancy went exactly as I planned, or birth for that matter. Parenting and my “dream job” (HA) of being a stay at home mom has DEFINITELY not been what I envisioned. Kudos for learning early on that flexibility is the BEST parenting skill you can have!

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Lisa     at 2:58 pm

This is great, Emily! I use natural cleaners in our house but I still use regular stuff for personal hygiene, I really need to consider switching. The time we spent “trying” to get pregnant was relatively short and I use the quotes because I never charted or anything. I did drastically reduce my caffeine intake and thought about cutting out alcohol all together, but I was afraid that every month that I did that and I wasn’t pregnant I would be too upset. So I largely lived my life as I normally would until I found out I was pregnant. Then I started on pre-natal vitamlns, cut out coffee for the first trimester, stopped running (felt too sick) and went back to dairy milk (it just sounded good!) I used to LOVE Splenda too but I cut that out of my diet last year and have been trying really hard to reduce my sugar intake since then. With the sweet tooth on my baby it’s been really hard to do!

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meredith     at 2:58 pm

Hi Emily,

I am loving reading now about your pregnancy… I have a 4 month old and reading your posts is like reliving my early weeks! I too thought I was going to be a “perfect” pregnant woman, running and being vegetarian (which I have been for a while) throughout the entire 9 months. I was suffering in those early weeks pretty bad and all I could tolerate eating was meatball subs from Wawa…!! Crazy!! But, my doctor told me, don’t worry about what you eat in the first trimester, just eat what doesn’t make you sick! Thankfully, the 2nd and 3rd trimesters were great, eating wise, and I was able to go back to vegetarian and gave birth to a very healthy baby!

Good luck to you!!!! It is the best adventure!

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Catherine     at 3:05 pm

Thought you might enjoy this article….

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/home-garden/detox-home-babies-kids.html

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Nicole     at 3:20 pm

I know you said you aren’t drinking coffee anymore but what did you use in your coffee instead of Splenda? I too have a borderline obsessive addiction to Splenda and have been fearful of cutting it out of my diet and adding more calories. I have switched to drinking Stevia in my tea, but it tastes horrible to me in my coffee. Natural sweetener suggestions for coffee? I usually drink only a cup a day, is it better just to use raw sugar than something chemical?

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Emily Malone Reply:

Ahh I wish I could be more helpful, but believe it or not, I actually drank black coffee – no sweetener! Sorry. :(

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Elizabeth Reply:

Nicole, I use honey to sweeten my coffee (as well as my tea). Takes delicious – try that!

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chelsey @ clean eating chelsey     at 3:37 pm

Loved reading this! I use Shaklee cleaners – they are all natural and last FOREVERRR! My mom has used them for years, so when I got married last year I had to go out and get a starter kit. It costs about $100 to get started, but it honestly lasts you forever.

I used to have a for real seroius problem with the splenda too – it was bad.

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Tara     at 3:40 pm

Great info! I was wondering – what kind of natural facial wash/skin products are you using now? Your skin (esp. with the “no make-up” picture the other day) looks so great:-) I’ve been wanting to switch to an organic non-chemical based product line but haven’t done so yet.

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Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn     at 3:40 pm

It makes me so happy that when women are pregnant, they become extremely conscious of what they are putting in their bodies. Why can’t we pretend we’re pregnant all the time?!

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Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me     at 3:46 pm

I really love reading your posts, both pregnancy and non-pregnancy related. You should do a post on your cleaning and make-up products. I would love to see what you use and I’m sure others would too!

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Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen)     at 3:53 pm

This is a great series for mothers-to-be. I wish I had this kind of personal information when I was pregnant. I get the eye twitches too, but that, I believe, is associated with my B vitamin and iron deficiency. Great post Emily!

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Lindsay     at 4:01 pm

Have you looked into cloth diapering since you are so in tuned with being healthy?
I hated the idea of having those chemicals on my babys butt (and girlie parts) 24/7. I used cloth and loved it, cloth is SO SO different than it used to be. You should check it out in the next couple months. Diapers are the 3rd (maybe even 3nd) largest thing that fill up landfills and some of the chemicals inside diapers are not even legal in other countires and currently are leaving lots of babies with actual chemical burns! I don’t sell cloth diapers or anything just a huge fan of the health, environmental, and money savings!

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Emily Malone Reply:

We are definitely leaning that direction, though I do still have a lot of research to do. Just the environmental impact alone is reason enough for me, and I’ve heard they greatly reduce diaper rash.

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Caitie Reply:

Go read Young, House, Love’s post on them! They did a great job explaining it!

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Ashley     at 4:15 pm

Hi Emily! You are very inspirational. I have only been a follower since about December/January. Your blog was the first one I found, and now I read tons! I also found we have a few things in common. Shortly before finding Daily Garnish online, I also cut out alcohol and splenda. Did you know they discovered splenda while looking for a pesticide? Gross, right? It was nice to read your post about giving up alcohol, since I deal with many of the same comments from friends/family. Just wanted to say I love your blog, and I wish you luck with the rest of your pregnancy!

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Kath     at 4:18 pm

I don’t take a multivitamin and just picked up one at the recommendation of my doctor to amp up the folic acid before this fall (my target off-the-BC time but we’ll see!) I got the Whole Foods brand prenatals and felt kind of nauseous last night – I wonder if that’s what it was? Maybe I’ll try half tonight.

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Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life) Reply:

I cut my prenatals in half and have 1/2 in the AM with breakfast and 1/2 in the PM with dinner. That stopped all issues I had with nausea :)

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Meagan     at 4:18 pm

You are a very strong person. I’m proud of you for giving those things up for Casey, your baby and you. :)

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Erin @ The Grass Skirt     at 4:19 pm

Thanks for posting this, Emily! I’m trying to get pregnant now, and I’m willing to try anything and everything to ensure that my baby is healthy. Like you, I used to have a horrible Splenda problem. I’ve switched to Stevia, but I’m not sure that is much better for me. Anyway, this was a really helpful post!

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Nichole (Flirting with Food, Fitness & Fashion)     at 4:20 pm

I really enjoy hearing about your journey with getting pregnant. I am also on the pill and have been for a number of years. I thought about going off of it but I am not married and don’t want any kids yet & the other options are always guaranteed…. I just get nervous thinking about going off the pill.

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Samantha     at 4:31 pm

Hi… First time commenting, but I just wanted to share a website I found helpful when my family and I started changing the beauty products we use: cosmetic database. It rates everything from nail polish to vapor rubs on a scale of 0 to 10 for harmfulness, including baby care items…

Congrats on your pregnancy and trying to have a “cleaner” lifestyle! :)

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Kiran     at 5:15 pm

My sister is not a vegetarian (me too), loves seafood and had to quit eating fish for more than a year. It was due to LED in seafood.

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Caitie     at 5:20 pm

This is totally irrelevant but I am looking at buying a camelbak and wanted suggestions! Can you tell me which one you have and and if you like it?! And how many ounces it holds? Thanks!!

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Emily Malone Reply:

I actually don’t like the Camelbak, and I never use mine! I think it’s way too heavy and sloshy when I run. But some people swear by them!

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Caitie Reply:

Thanks! Thats what I was worried about, that it would be too bumpy on my back! But I hate holding bottles, too. Grr!

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Susan Reply:

I can’t use those hand bottle holders, either.

I have a low profile backpack camelbak, but find as it gets lighter, it moves around. I also have one that goes around my waist. Of the two, I prefer that one. As it gets lighter, it moves around a little, but not as bad as the backpack one. I use it for my long marathon training runs.

Finally, mid-range long runs, I have a waist bottle carrier. It doesn’t move around and it has a little pocket for keys, GUs, etc. If you get one of those, you want to get one where the bottle is held at a diagonal. It makes it easier to reach back and put the bottle in and out.

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caitie Reply:

Thanks Susan!! So helpful! :)

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Michelle (The Runner's Plate)     at 5:25 pm

This was so informative!

Like you, I know I’m going to be even more cautious about what I eat when I’m pregnant, but I had never considered that healthy foods (that I should be eating) might cause nausea or might not be appealing!!

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Gabrielle     at 5:26 pm

Can I just say that I love the way you are approaching this? I’ve followed other bloggers who share their pregnancy journey and for some reason, it gets irritating. I think I found in the past that they totally shift who they are (“now that I’m pregnant A/B/C is the most important and only way to do things”). I love that you are EXPLAINING things are you go. I’m not pregnant but my husband and I already know when we plan to start trying (in 18 months). Your perspective on your own journey is helping me already! Thanks!

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Sarah @ The Pajama Chef     at 5:43 pm

great info! thanks!

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Nicole @ Vegan in the House     at 6:18 pm

It sounds like you’re doing all the right things!

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Emily G.     at 6:19 pm

I just started using Tom’s deodorant! I LOVVVVVVEEEEE it!

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Lisa     at 6:28 pm

Love love love this post. I have followed an almost identical trajectory of eliminating harmful things from my life and I feel so much better! I look forward to your continuing posts about pregnancy and really appreciate your down-to-earth approach in addressing its many facets.

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jen     at 6:31 pm

good luck with your journey. there seems to be so much pressure to do everything perfect however perfection is impossible and we will drive ourselves crazy trying to achieve it. this was tough while pregnant but i found it even harder once the baby was born. i struggled so much with breastfeeding and being sick myself i got so depressed i was ruining my baby by not breastfeeding. i still have deep rooted anxiety about this and he is 5. i know it is silly deep down but i put so much pressure on myself. i know a happy mom is better than a miserable mom with a bf baby now.

i NEVER drank coffee before i was pregnant. rarely had pop (or soda as you americans call it) and pretty much only got caffeine from tea. about half way through my pregnancy i craved coffee bad and started drinking it. odd. i am still hooked – lol.

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Emily     at 6:51 pm

Great post! I will bookmark for the long-distance future when I’m reading to consider having kids. :) I have been working on switching to more natural, less chemical beauty products over the past few years. About the only thing I haven’t switched out at this point is my face wash and moisturizer. I’m using CereVe, which I LOVE but is full of parabens and terrible things. What kind of face wash/moisturizer are you using? Anyone have any recommendations?

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Emily Reply:

That should say, “ready to consider having kids.”

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Heidi - Apples Under My Bed     at 7:21 pm

Great post! I so agree about artificial sweeteners. Your diet is fabulous usually, you can’t be too hard on yourself now (good to se you’re not) – just get down what you can! The vitamins will do the rest :) Interesting to read, as I know I will have an ideal food plan when I get pregnant – totally going to go out the window though, isn’t it :P
Heidi xo

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Monica     at 7:40 pm

Thank you for the cleaning/hygiene product tips! This is one area that needs a lot of improvement in preparation for our little one. I haven’t even begun to think about clothing detergents, deodorant, etc.

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Ally (oatsandspice)     at 7:43 pm

Smart moves! You must be getting so excited with each day that passes! :)

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Kristen, Sweetly     at 8:13 pm

Thank you so much for sharing these! Even baby reasons aside, it was great reading about your ideas to go a little more natural and safe.

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Anna @ Doing Good & Living Well     at 8:59 pm

Oh man, these are all things I need to do. I suppose maybe I’ll start working to practice moderation. Step one: as we run out of chemically produced cleaners, replace them with green products!

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Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama}     at 9:04 pm

Great post! I’m sure this will help many mamas-to-be as they wade through all the changes that they can make to have the healthiest pregnancy possible.

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Marissa     at 9:09 pm

I love reading about your pregnancy! Just know you’re not alone in being sick. I have a 6 month old little boy and I was sick (like throwing up became part of my daily routine) until almost my 3rd trimester. It will get better though. It’s all worth it once you hold that precious baby!

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Amanda     at 9:34 pm

Em, I beg of you to write a post about quitting splenda and artificial sweeteners. I go through periods of kicking coffee and diet drinks, but more and more I keep going back to them and can’t seem to kick it. I also have found that as I’ve gotten older my sweet tooth is getting more insatiable. I’d love to see a post on this!

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Lauren @ Lauren Runs     at 9:39 pm

Great post! Even though I’m not trying to have a baby, it’s good to be aware of what I should be aware of :)

Funny that you mention the eye twitch! I have been experiencing that for a few weeks now, and just on Friday my optometrist mentioned that they are usually due to caffeine, stress, lack of sleep. No caffeine since Friday, and it’s been down so far. I’m up on my tea consumption now!

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Emily     at 9:53 pm

Great post Emily! I am so enjoying hearing about your journey :) I can really relate to the splenda and coffee habits. When I first started loosing weight I used weight watchers and they had me believing and natural sugar was pure evil and that I should live for splenda, YUCK! During undergrad, as a Resident Assistant, I using have a really bad iced coffee habit (large dunkin’s iced coffee to start my day!) now all I drink is herbal tea and the occasional (1 per week) green tea…so much better :) Keep doing what you’re doing, you have such a great perspective!!

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Amykinz @ Foodie4Healing     at 10:36 pm

“I can assure you those dreams of perfection are long gone.” – Welcome to the first step of Motherhood, Emily! It’s amazing how motherhood changes you and challenges you! :)

“a focus on finding the shortest and most natural ingredient list. My original motivation was to rid my body of all the chemicals and toxins and be my healthiest self.” – AMEN, SISTER!!! You and me, both!

“Baby Garnish” – that just might be the cutest thing I’ve ever heard!!! :)

My personal favorite cleaning product: Shaklee’s Basic H. I bought the bottle years ago & haven’t even made a dent in it! It’s so potent that you need very little (making it super cost effective) & it’s one of the safest that I’ve found on the market. It also has other uses besides cleaning, too. Also, for baby products… Target carries a brand called, “California Baby” which I LOVE! Super safe and natural!

P.S. Thanks for the tidbit on agave nectar being linked to miscarriages. I didn’t know that!

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Ashley     at 11:14 pm

Awesome post girl! I love reading about your experience and admire you putting so much of it out there. Have you ever tried a 1/2 vinegar 1/2 water + essential oil cleaner? It fabulous for an all-purpose cleaner and you don’t need much extra elbow grease at all! I can’t believe all the chemicals I used to use. I can remember almost passing out from using soft scrub w/bleach in the bathrooms a few years back. Yuck! Baby Malone is one lucky little….apricot? How big this week? ;)

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Emily Malone Reply:

A PRUNE! :)

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Ashley @ Nourishing The Soul     at 11:20 pm

Sadly to say, I never would have thought about cleaning up my cleaners, but of course it’s important – baby or no baby! Thanks for the gentle nudge ;-)

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Georgia     at 12:27 am

Emily, just wanted to let you know that I’m really enjoying reading about your journey. You write absolutely beautifully and from the heart. Thanks for sharing :)

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Ashley     at 12:44 am

I’m no where near ready for children or consider myself old enough (not even 25 yet) and I’m doing this things, minus going off BC (medical issues) and quitting alcohol completely. Still drinking wine. It’s something I love deeply.

One thing I am struggling with is dealing with my “friends” who want the fun, wild, crazy partying Ashley back. I honestly have lost all taste for the hard stuff. It’s caused me to gain 20 lbs of the 40 lbs I originally lost. I feel like shit for days after a binge and not enjoying life like I should be. I’m at my wits end with them. Starting to think they really aren’t my friends and instead a bunch of alcoholics who use their addiction to ignore their real problems.

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Jumanah @ Healthy Living in the Middle East     at 5:52 am

What a great post! I want to try to rid my house of chemical cleaners and products. Do you find that they work just as well as the chemical filled products?

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Emily Malone Reply:

For the most part I think the work as well. Sometimes you need a little extra scrub, but its worth it to avoid all the fumes.

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Anne     at 8:03 am

I’m really happy to see natural cleaning products here ! In the past, I commented on some products I saw you used for cleaning… For me, eating healthy, not drinking, being active go together with being carefull with all that products with toxic components. Not only for our health but for the environment. That way, you also set the exemple. Way to go and thank you !

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Allison K     at 10:38 am

I’ve always been intrigued by Dr. Bronner’s..what do you use it for? (I know it has a million uses on the bottle).

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Emily Malone Reply:

I use it as body wash, laundry soap, hand soap, etc. I love it!

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Cindy Robinson     at 11:02 am

Good for you for making these healthier/cleaner decisions for your grape :) You will be a great Mommy (you already are!!!)

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Amber K     at 12:51 pm

Out of all of these I found quitting Splenda to be the easiest. All it took was finding out that they chlorinate it. Besides the fact that I’m allergic to chlorine, the idea of it grossed me out so bad that I couldn’t eat anything with it anymore.

I think these are some great ideas! My husband and I have been trying for over four years and I have found that I feel better when I pay attention to not only the food I’m eating, but the products I’m using.

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Natalia - a side of simple     at 1:16 pm

I totally think you trump Bethenny and that you need your own series. I would definitely watch “Emily Ever After!” :)

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Leah     at 1:26 pm

I switched to natural cleaners years ago. Now that we have a rental property I have to tell the cleaning woman to *only* use my natural products. I don’t even want to subject my weekly renters to harmful chemicals! Now that my Mom is battling breast cancer it’s even more reason for me to use natural products in my home (and office–I bring CVS Earth Essentials to work).

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Beth @ DiningAndDishing     at 1:48 pm

These are a lot of great tips – and things to consider even when not getting ready for a baby! I can’t give up things like wine and coffee all together, but cutting back is never a bad idea :).

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Jen     at 1:54 pm

Great tips! You and Baby Garnish are going to be very healthy through your journey to mommyville :)

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Emily @ eat.drink.run.     at 3:03 pm

You are a recipient of “The Lovely Blog Award”. I love your blog! Yours is one of the first blogs I started reading consistently, and I’ve always been so impressed with your creativity in the kitchen and your personal values. I am so excited for you and Casey that you’re on this new journey towards a baby!!
To see the award please visit http://eatdrinkandrun.blogspot.com/2011/03/blog-award.html

Then pass it along to 15 other deserving bloggers! Congratulations!!

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Ché @ Knight at the Restaurant     at 3:14 pm

Oh my God. I’m not kidding you my eyes never twitch.

I read this yesterday and my eye has been twitching incessantly all day today. Now I’m suspiciously eying my coffee as if it’s keeping a horrible secret from me.

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Mindy     at 3:42 pm

This is a great post – very helpful, even though I’m not pregnant and don’t plan on being any time soon. It’s just good to know about the changes that have to take place to be a healthy momma!

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Maryann     at 4:00 pm

Emily,
Thank you for all the tips you give us even those beyond child bearing years who now have grandchildren. Watched my 6 month old grandson last week and his 5 yo sister. It is a lot of work but to see their smiles it’s so precious.
Keep feeling better.
Lancaster CO PA Gal

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Cathy     at 8:25 pm

I haven’t commented on any of the baby posts yet, so first off, congratulations! We’re still deciding when to start trying to have a baby, so thanks so much for sharing your prep and experiences. I’m sure I’ll be researching all sorts of things (running, nutrition, etc) once that time comes, so I’m glad I have you as a resource tucked away for later.

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Jessica     at 9:05 pm

What Shampoo/conditioner do you use? :)

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Emily Malone Reply:

Whole Foods brand – the grapefruit scent!

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Ida     at 8:32 pm

I love that this post is filed under just ‘baby’!

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Lauren     at 3:28 pm

All awesome tips! Like you, I also suffer from very bad anxiety and often have panic attacks. I worry about getting pregnant before I get this under control as I’m concerned about the damage that my stress would do to my little baby. I was wondering what you are doing to minimize your stress? Yoga? Guided meditation? Journaling? Reading? Talking with Casey? All of the above? :) For me, I love doing all the guided meditations on youtube- I find them sooo helpful! Hope you’re feeling better! :)

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Michaela     at 6:54 am

Hallo

I highly recomend to you DR.Alkaitis skincare it enzymatically actie, noe heat, organic skincare. I use it 7 months and my skin neer felt better. What is the best it works like adaptogen so no matter what kind of problem do you have or what kind of skin type it heals and works well. I have 22 month old baby and use their oil for her too. Both love it

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Kendel @ Eating Abroad     at 12:05 pm

Although I am not a parent and am far from thinking about becoming a parent, I am a teacher who works every single day with the hearts and soles of others. Here is one of my favorite quotes about the decision to become a parent. “Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” Elizabeth Stone.

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Kendel @ Eating Abroad Reply:

apparently I can’t spell “souls” though! Sorry!

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Katherina @ Zephyr Runs     at 12:20 am

I love this post – or really, I love that you wrote it. I am the exact same way, all the big (or big-ish) decisions I make are in preparation for a future babe! Gotta make sure they’ve got a good, fightin’ chance! :)

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Maria     at 11:11 am

Hi Emily,
Did you continue to use the Rainbow Light prenatal throughout your pregnancy? I am taking this now (I am 7 weeks pregnant) so I was just curious. Have a wonderful time at your baby shower!!!

All the best,
Maria

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Kelsey     at 7:10 pm

Emily,

I loved this post as well, and would be really interested to hear more about the specific personal beauty and cleaning product brands you use. I know your baby is due any day so it probably won’t be high on your post priority list!

Good luck with everything!

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ELIZABETH     at 6:46 am

my name is ELIZABETH ZELE from United States and i have been trying to conceive for so many years now more than 15years and i have had 2 miscarriages over the years , i went for series of test , health seminars and all that steel there is nothing working for me ,this my situation made my husband get depressed , one day i was stuffing GOOGLE on pregnancy tips and found out how so many women who has have like my situation have contacted ASHRA SPELL TEMPLE the great spell caster online and they got there solution ,

at first i was skeptical that it was a scam but i just had to give it a try and i never new that it was my moment of break through , i did get the email from one Mrs. Margaret who was help by this same ashra spell to get pregnant , i copied the email and i sent ashra an email and it was replied and i requested for the pregnancy spells after some questions and answer , the items to be used was gotten and the pregnancy spell was cast , the first month passed nothing happened and i was thinking maybe it was just like the others and it was a fair trial until the second month i noticed i missed my period for 11days when i check i found out i was pregnant and i can proudly say to all that am a proud mother of a baby boy now , for all those that think such things are scam just like i use to think is that give ASHRA a fair trial and i say you will never regret it, just like how Mrs. Margaret gave out ASHRA EMAIL THAT I COPIED so am also giving it out , you can contact this great spell caster ashra on email:ashraspelltemple@gmail.com or call +2348058176311 , I hope this information gives some one out there hope and faith

THANKS

ELIZABETH ZELE

FROM UNITED STATES

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