That “Crunchy Lady”

Isn’t it amazing how much we grow and change through the years – and how situations cause us to look at a new perspective, which initiates changes as it is in my case. If you would have told me 7 years ago that I would be shopping for natural and organic products and scrutinizing ingredients so closely, and that I would go from parenting a child that was formula fed (though I did attempt to breastfeed), disposable diapers (the “non eco-friendly” kind), hardly any wearing time (if at all), fully vaccinated, to our last child being breastfed up until he was 2 1/2, cloth diapered until 2 1/2 (then switched to eco-friendly disposable diapers), worn until he was over age 2 as well, and no longer vaccinated (any of our children) I probably would have laughed.

Baby Wearing

It’s not that I was against those things from the beginning. In fact, I’m still very much a supporter of doing what is best for your family. I don’t think anyone is a “bad parent” because they choose differently. Of course, my husband having cancer twice and our children being diagnosed with special needs as well as my medical issues caused me to look at everything with a new perspective.

Attachment parenting came before his diagnosis out of our last two children’s needs to have that constant contact. It’s what they needed, and my instincts kicked in to parent them the way they needed. Cloth diapers just came because they were more affordable, and I could make my own! I honestly didn’t even think of the environmental impact at first. The “eco-friendly” turning point came when my husband got cancer. He was 25 and healthy. He didn’t have any specific risk factor like a family history.

That is actually why I started Pea of Sweetness – to not only share the products I make (yes, it was originally *just* a shop!), but to share everything I had been learning about products – both good and bad. (I share all that information in our About Us if you haven’t had a chance to read our story!) I continue to learn more and more, and it is my passion to continue to share it. It’s a journey, and I’m not even “there” yet.

Yet I never pictured myself to be where I am! As I was shopping at Kroger the other day I am carefully reading ingredients. The kids were out of vitamins, and their selection was slim. Most of them were the kind that are full of food dyes and other questionable ingredients. So I’m reading bottles and putting them right back on the shelf. Soon my older two kids start joining my thoughts saying “Oh, that one probably has food dyes.” LOL We eventually found one that was OK, but I can’t help but think of the people walking by with a raised eyebrow as the kids and I are talking about food dyes. They are 7 and 5!

We moved on to the body care aisle because I needed shampoo. I knew I probably wouldn’t find exactly what I was looking for, but I was hoping to find something that was at least free of ingredients on my “ban list.” Once again, I was reading all the ingredients and putting bottles right back on the shelf. My husband picked one up and said “This one says Organix.”

“Yeah, I looked at that, but it has a Formaldehyde releasing agent.”

“What? It says ‘Organix!;”

“Clever marketing, huh?”

More funny looks. Then I thought about it – am I that “Crunchy Lady?” You know, the way I thought about people before I “got it.” I didn’t think of it as a positive word like I do now – it’s actually why I’ve avoided the word. I feel like I’m so new on the eco-friendly journey still, but why not? I’m happy to be the “Crunchy Lady!”

Sometimes I feel I need to explain WHY I am so particular about ingredients, but why should I? If somebody overhears me and actually gets over their initial thoughts, they might actually start to think about what they’re using, and isn’t that what I want? I want people to not HAVE to go through what our family went through. 90% of cancer has environmental causes. That means what I’m saying and living is important! REALLY important! I don’t want another family to feel the pain we felt, and if I walk through a store and get funny looks but one person actually thinks about what I said – it’s worth it. It matters.


It’s why I share on here, too. Because it matters. So the next time I go to the store and get funny looks when I’m talking about ingredients I’ll smile knowing I’m that “Crunchy Lady.”


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  1. Deborah Caudill

    I enjoyed reading “That Crunchy Lady” and it made me want to read your story as indicated in the article. I, too, had planned to breast feed, but I had a very high fever after my c-section and my milk never came in. I used disposable diapers and had my son (who is 24 now) fully vaccinated. I’ve read a lot about vaccinating and feel I made the right choice fr my son. However, he is ADHD, which “they” say can be caused by vaccinating, just as they say autism can be caused by vaccinations. There are so many side effects caused by medications these days, but that’s another story.

    • Yes, you are right! It’s a long, complicated story! haha I think we all just have to make the best choices we can with what we know! Vaccinations now are also a lot different than they were 20 years ago since they are combining more and more of them, but that’s a long story, too!

      I had complications after my first c-section as well, and I wasn’t producing milk either – no matter how much I wanted to. My body was exhausted, and it’s just how it was unfortunately.

  2. desithebonde

    hey you got your own opion and then who ever tellyou can not do it for get

  3. I remember a time when I thought we should just enjoy life and eat whatever we want. That has changed since my son has trouble learning and has symptomes of Aspergers. We try to limit his gluten and have not vaccinated in years. We all have to take our own journey, huh?

  4. Alicia Owen says

    Haha Thanks for sharing this. I don’t feel like the “crunchy lady” yet, but I do feel like an ingredient snob a lot of times. Lol

  5. Stephanie Foster says

    Thank you for sharing. I have been paying more attention to the ingredients in the products I use too. Who knows, maybe one day, I’ll be a crunchy lady too.

  6. candy kratzer says

    I so totally agree with you. Our cancer rate in the US is extremely high due to the chemicals added to our foods, crops, air we breath. You can easily start by changing 1 thing the first week, 2 things the week after, and continue on. Then it does not seem overwhelming.

  7. I am now 50 years old and just in the last year or so I am learning more and more about the ingredients, etc. I have always had a desire to make/do from scratch with “real” items but never had the knowledge or time. Thank you for your posts. I learn something new everyday – now, how to implement them.

  8. Donna Wharton says

    It doesn’t matter who is walking by when you are reading ingredients with your kids, and it shouldn’t either. People should be educating their kids to what they put in their bodies when they are little so as they grow up they understand how to care for themselves as adults. The reason why so many are having soooooo many weight problems or other health issues is our food and of course the environment (which we don’t have a lot of control over). So enough soapbox…ignore peoples stares and be proud your kids listen to you and repeat and read the labels with you!!! 😀

  9. Edna Williams says

    I so absolutely agree we should be more knowledgeable about what we put into our bodies.

  10. Ann Cluck

    I am 60 (well will be this Monday) and my husband is 73. I am a Crunchy Lady, although I didn’t know it until I read this article/post. I didn’t know what a “Crunchy Lady” was, LOL!!! I think it is fantastic that all of your family is in on it, even at 5 and 7. More people need to be crunchy. Fantastic post.

  11. barnertrish says

    I ended up with a stomach disorder and I believe that part of it was eating as many processed foods as I did. When I started eating better- cutting out red meat and limiting white meat, more fish and loads of fruits and vegetables- I not only lost some weight, I also lost major side effects of my disorder. I now manage a lot better and feel better too. 🙂 I read labels all the time and read a lot these days so I stay informed of what is being put in the food. I am slowly but yes, surely becoming a crunchy lady also. 🙂

    • That has made a huge difference with my Fibromyalgia as well! When I started cutting out the processed foods, artificial colors, artificial sweeteners, etc. my symptoms were greatly improved! I was able to get rid of some medications that way, too!

  12. Looking back 5 years ago, I cannot believe what I did to my body. I literally grew up eating pre-package, processed foods that were were full of harmful chemicals and sugar. My dad was in the military and would often bring home MREs (meals ready to eat) which I would eat daily for lunch. MREs are full of preservatives! Once my first baby was born, my husband and I knew we needed to change and we did. We aren’t perfect…we live in a very rural town that does not have much in terms of organic and non-gmo foods…but we try!

  13. I am an avid label reader! you can never be too careful these days.

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