Dear Well-Meaning Naturopathic Homeopathic Tree Bark Fruitcake Lady at the Park:

I love you.

I love your passion and zeal. And I love how concerned you are about my family’s health. I realize we are a walking medical disaster area, so I can see why you would want to try to help. You are such wonderful caring person. Thank you for your concern.

But we’re good.

Okay, obviously we aren’t “good” in the completely healthy sense of the word good–you did notice my Autistic daughter’s diabetes sensor. And I won’t even go into my husband’s arthritis, or my breast cancer. Or what seems to be a multiple personality disorder developing in my 8-year-old… But we’ve got this. Mostly.

It was amazing to hear about Dr. Axe and Dr. Mercola and how this one doctor has cured a Type I Diabetes patient–CURED them! And I’m so happy that the massive amounts of vitamin B are curing your blindness in that left eye. And I’m sorry to hear you are still struggling so with the gluten intolerance and inflammation and hip problems and skin sensitivities and your swollen toe.

Why are so many of the people I meet who are convinced of natural remedies such train wrecks? I’m certainly not claiming perfect health, but if the vitamin you are selling is so much better than what I buy at Target, why are you not in better health than I am?

I’m not dismissing all the concoctions you are recommending as complete hooey. I know there are some valid and useful tips out there. I’ve tried quite a few of them. Currently, I’m drinking organic apple cider vinegar in my green tea, and the jar assures me that the “mother” is included. I have no idea whose mother–hopefully not yours–but it’s reassuring to me that I picked the right kind to gag down every morning.

I once tried the no shampoo movement since my shampoo and conditioner were clearly leaching who knows how many creepy chemicals into my skull. After a week I could see how the no shampoo was going to protect me–my head was so greasy NOTHING could possibly leach into my scalp. Not even the RoundUp coming in through my windows from the field next door.

When the girls were babies, I bought some all natural cleaners for my bathroom. I don’t think they said they were safe to drink, but probably a better shot at life than if the girls’ downed some bleach. But then one of them pooped in the tub and squished it around on the surround with her fingers. The only thing that would kill that smell and any memory of it from my nostrils was the sweet burning scent of Clorox.

Before I had children (obviously, since I would never have considered this ludicrous experiment when I was so sleep deprived!) I made the switch from coffee to green tea. It actually didn’t go so bad. I got over the cravings and jitters in a week or two and I felt great. I lasted a few months. Right up until the annual birding festival I ran came around. Waking up at 4 am to drive a 12-passenger van full of birders around the countryside requires caffeine. A lot of caffeine. Continuously. All day.

I’ve never been good about doing all the “safety” things you are told to do: Wash your produce. Don’t microwave food in plastic. Don’t microwave food. Don’t eat too much processed meat. Don’t eat processed food at all. There are days (actually most days) where if my kids didn’t eat processed, microwaved food, they would eat no food at all. I remind them often of the starving kids in Africa who would give their right arm for the food my kids throw away. And starving absolutely kills kids. Not washing the grapes? Unless you count the time I almost choked on a grape, unwashed grapes have caused no major illness or injury so far– breast cancer excluded, of course. (Because that’s what caused the cancer, right? Certainly not the RoundUp…)

Don’t get me wrong. I’m completely supportive of anyone who can commit to organic, farm fresh, garden fresh, gluten free, nut free, sugar free, preservative free, drink straight from the cow teet life. I would love to. I simply don’t have the energy to do it. I fight with my kids to eat. Period. Just eat. I have only so much memory space, and searching labels for gluten and dihydrogen monoxide won’t fit in there. Sadly I’ve forgotten Molly’s insulin at home and had to drive the 30 minutes one way to go get it. Priority list–Insulin, food, clothing, less junk food, less TV, try this organic sugar free food thing. No? OK. I got the insulin, food and clothing checked off. Well, I still need to go wash her underwear so she has a pair for tomorrow since she only wears this ONE kind. But mostly priorities are met. Check.

And given that even if my life is improved significantly by removing all toxins, chemicals, and taste from my diet, the absolute fact is I will still die. Perhaps a few years after my friends who enjoyed beer and steak, but I’ll still die.

I’d be so lonely those few years without my friends.

Let’s just all go together.


Aimee Erdman

Mediocre Mom raising two girls, two cats, one dog and a husband in our tiny farm house on the prairie.