Sunday, May 29, 2011

Our son....on the Paleo Diet too?

Our son will be 3 next month.   He is a pretty good eater in general.  He started off loving tons of veggies, but we became lazy and started introducing convenience foods because...well, it was convenient.  So guess what?  Now our son who used to love to eat salad, asparagus, raw bell peppers, etc. has developed a taste for bread, crackers, anything salty.  This was something that slowly happened over time.  And when we finally realized what had happened, we knew we needed to change it, but how?

My husband and I have always tried to eat somewhat healthy.  I fell way off the healthy eating train while early pregnant last year and am now just recovering.  I think that was the time that our son began developing a taste for lots of processed junk.  My husband also enjoyed my cravings for Blizzards and other such treats!  And while I don't think anything in moderation is horrible, we were eating WAY too much.

My husband is the one who introduced us to the Paleo Diet by way of Crossfit.  The two seem to go hand in hand!  I bought the book last year sometime and read about it and thought it made sense, but just wasn't ready to dive in.  He's been pretty good about his diet and rarely would eat the pasta or breads in our meals.  He would usually have a big salad every night in addition to what we had.  Something started feeling wrong though when he wouldn't eat pasta, yet we would feed it to our two year old.   Same with all of the "treats" we were giving him.   Once I realized it, I talked to my husband and we agreed we needed to not feed our son what we didn't want to eat (although at this time, I was still scarfing down the bad-for-us foods too).

Timing was perfect because within a week I read about the release of a new book "Everyday Paleo" and thought it was perfect for us to try.  I was talking to my sister in law about it and she ordered it as soon as it was available. She called as soon as she received it and raved about it.  So I ordered one.  I'm glad I did.  It's a great guide to starting the paleo diet as a family.  There are great recipes, a fabulous meal plan and even a starter workout plan.

I liked the philosophy in her book regarding crap foods.  Just don't keep them in the house.  Period.  So we got rid of everything as you see in the photo a couple of posts back.  Guess what?  Everything's OK.  Our son is perfectly fine without bread in the house.  And this is the boy that was eating honey toast two or three times a day just the week before the change.  He's still "picky" about what snacks he wants, but because we only have good snacks around, that's all he has to choose from.  So I really don't care that he wants the same snack every day!   He even tried salad yesterday from my husband's plate.  He had stopped eating lettuce last year and while we encourage him to always try it again, he never wants to.  So to our surprise, he said he wanted daddy's salad and took a big piece of lettuce out and ate it.  Yay!  It was only the one piece but he didn't spit it out!  Hopefully if we can continue, he'll start eating it again.  He ate the lasagna I made last night.  No noodles.  Well, it kind of had the form of zucchini strips!  He ate it all.

Yes, if your diet consisted of a lot of bread, processed foods, etc., your child will probably protest - especially if they are older than mine...we are pretty lucky that he's still so young.  But the answer is clear - don't have the junk in the house and they won't eat it.  Yes, they will complain, pout, maybe even cry.  But stick to it and within two weeks, they'll realize you are serious.

Now, like I mentioned before, we aren't going at this hard core.  We will allow some flexibility, but it'll be outside of our house and our normal routine.  For example, we may go to a baseball game tomorrow.  Our son will probably have a hot dog....with the bun.  It'll be OK.   He may even have a juice box.  But because it's not part of his daily or even weekly routine, it'll be just fine!

Our hope is that we can build a foundation that he can come back to.  I know that there may come a time where all he wants to eat is chicken fingers, but so long as we can control what he's offered 90% of the time, we'll do it.  Once he gets into high school and wants to make poor eating choices away from us, that will be his decision.  Hopefully by the time he has a family one day he'll come back to the basics of good, natural, whole foods and pass it on to his children.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


I was at a restaurant with friends last night and was sooo afraid I was going to cave....especially with the bread basket.  I'm not really craving grains but I LOVE bread and that is always a highlight of dining out for me!  But I didn't and even with the gigantic, wonderful brownie dessert came at the end of the meal, I was able to resist!

I am hoping this 30 days of no sugar will really help me change my taste for sugar.  I hope that when I do eat some kind of dessert with sugar again that it'll be super sweet and just a little will satisfy my sweet tooth.  Eating an entire pan of brownies in a day is just too much, you know?  I want to be happy eating just one.

So I am on the hunt for desserts that are sugar and grain free without tasting like cardboard.  Ha, yeah right.  But I am sure I can find one and I've got several recipes to try.  "Everyday Paleo" has a couple that I am super interested in.  The pumpkin pie is something I'll definitely try (especially since I have 6 cans of pumpkin in my pantry) and even her sweet potato recipe from Thanksgiving looks like it would be a treat in itself!

My husband caved last night!  :)  He was slightly freaking out and wanted to get something sweet.  We went to Walgreens and read tons of labels.  I am still shocked at what I see in "healthy" snacks on the shelves.  He ended up getting a pint of ice cream to share with my mom.  It was the only thing that had real ingredients.  He also got some peanut butter...which is a no-no on the Paleo diet.  But honestly, in my opinion, I think that's not too bad of a special treat.  I am really hoping I can make it the full 30 days without caving.  I'm just thinking how great that my special treat will be if I can wait that long!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

And so it begins...

I did it.  I gave up sugar.

I want to really keep it out of my system for 30 days so I can truly gauge what I feel like without it.  And at the end of the 30 days, if I do decide to try a little to see how my body reacts, I'm hoping I'll get a clearer picture of how it does affect me.

Here is a photo of what we cleaned out of the pantry (sorry, it's a crappy cell phone photo)

We are only on day 4 of 30.  It's already HARD.  Yesterday I thought I was going to freak out.  I'm not really missing the grains so much (although I think my body is definitely adjusting), but I am craving sugar.  I really didn't like my husband yesterday and I KNOW he didn't like me.  I was reacting very badly to the lack of sugar I am apparently addicted to.

Now, to be fair, I think that the timing of this is quite challenging.  Our 3 month old is apparently going through a growth spurt and has decided that she wants to nurse every couple of hours through the night again.  So combine the sleep deprivation with no sugar and no grains all of sudden AND the reduced caffeine consumption (since there is no sugar in my coffee, I'm drinking less), it's been pretty tough.  Yesterday I could barely keep my eyes open.  I was exhausted.  So I ran up to the newest little coffee shop and got a Queen Bee Latte that's sweetened with, can you guess?  Honey!  Finally something sweet!  It was wonderful...actually it was a little too sweet!  But I completely forgot to ask for it to be half-caff.  Yeah, I was a little overwhelmed a little while later with the caffeine high!

So all in all, it's not been bad.  We've eaten great meals and love cooking at home so it makes it that much better.  I'll list a few of the meals we've eaten:

- Whole chicken in the crockpot with onions (so delicious and gave us plenty of leftovers)
- Red cabbage slaw with cucumber and mango (YUM!)
- BLAT salad - yummy, yummy, yummy, but how can you go wrong when you have bacon and avocado in the same bowl?

- Steak skewers with sweet onions, tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms
- grilled pinapple  (oh so good)
- Cauliflower "rice" - not quite mashed cauliflower, but cooked down to be softer than raw

- Spring mix (from our own garden!) salad with leftover chicken for me and leftover steak for hubby, pears, candied (with pure maple syrup) pecans, red onion and avocado.  Dressing was just squeezed lemon and olive oil.  Sooo yummy.  Not sure if maple syrup is "allowed" in Paleo eating, but honey is and I'm assuming if a caveman found some sticky stuff running of out of tree and tasted it, he'd eat it
- leftovers and tons of them!  I was a bit worried when I saw the grocery shopping list for days 1-5 in the "Everyday Paleo" book, but we've had tons of leftovers and will definitely be stretching the meals out in the future.

With our son, we've decided that we'll do Paleo at the house, but outside of the house we'll be lenient.  For example, his school had an end of the year performance and they had a special cookie as a treat.  Fine with us.  We just don't want to keep it at the house anymore.  We were so good for so long allowing that type of stuff to be special treats, but because we knew the stuff was in the house, it was so easy to just give it to him often.    After the 30 days, we will allow ourselves the same type of flexibility.  I'm not saying I'll never eat another cookie, brownie, etc. again, but for the next few weeks I want to avoid them!

As far as exercise, I was doing great following the workout plan in the back of "Everyday Paleo" which I started the week before.  But once I started the no sugar/grain thing and my exhaustion set in, I couldn't imagine trying to even do one squat.  Just walking around the house is wearing me out!  I hope that my body recovers a bit over the next day or so to be able to add the workouts in.  I have been walking some, so I am not completely being a couch potato!

Oh, and I've lost 3.5 pounds this week.  Which sounds great, but my first thought was that it's too much since I'm breastfeeding.  I want to make sure my supply stays up.  But I think I'm ok since I'm actually eating MUCH better than I was for the first three months of my daughter's life!  I've just cut out the pure crap I was eating and I knew it would probably help me drop weight very quickly initially.  I'm just going to make sure I keep plenty of protein and enough good fats in the daily eating to help keep my supply going strong.

So far, so good!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Yet again...

So it begins yet again.  Another attempt at eating healthier.  This society we have sucks in the fact that we are all geared towards convenience.   We were sucked back into the processed foods again.   And we're tired of it and want to change.  Thankfully we didn't get too far into processed stuff.  We are still mindful at the grocery store and stay on the outer perimeter as much as possible, so I'm hoping this won't be as drastic as a change for us this time.

We will soon be starting a modified Paleo Diet lifestyle.   Basically the Paleo diet is eating "cave man" style.  Lean meats, lots of leafy veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds.  That's it.  No grains, no dairy.  Seriously?  I don't 100% agree with the Paleo Diet, but that's another blog.  I do, however, completely 100% agree with the fact that it's all real food.   To me, that's the ultimate goal.

I'll talk more about it later, but first what's happened here since my last blog post?  A new baby arrived!!!  It's a GIRL!  She is now 3 months old and absolutely wonderful.  She's smiling at everything and everyone.  She was born on my birthday over 2 weeks early!  She was determined to share my birthday with me.  It was a fast and furious birth...I'll have to share the story another time.  It was fabulous.  We did it at the birth center again and left four hours after she was born.  Amazing stuff!

Big brother is very happy to be a big brother.  He's always trying to kiss and hold her.  We'll see how long that lasts!  :)  Her arriving and our son's shift in food preferences has prompted our desire to get back on track.  He was the kid who ate "crazy" stuff that the average child does not, but now, guess what's taken over?  Bread.  The amount of veggies he wants has fallen and it's totally our fault.  We've succumbed to the whole "we don't have time" excuse.  And that's exactly what it excuse.  We are poor planners.  So instead of the good snacks he once got, they now consist of gummy gums (like gummy bears), crackers, chips, etc.  It sucks.  He still does eat veggies, just not as many.  We are ready to get him back to veggies.

So we bought this book by Sarah Fragoso called "Everyday Paleo"   It's a great book.  It has a basic overview of Paleo eating and her own personal experience plus recipes, a menu plan and exercise help.  We are starting the 30 day Paleo challenge next week.  I'm excited.  And nervous.  And completely freaked out about giving up sugar.  I am addicted to sugar.  Seriously.

So again, this blog has been revived to help me put out there what I am doing to get back to a healthier, more natural lifestyle.  I'm not sure what I'll blog about, but maybe writing down things will help me continue on.   I'll write about what I eat, my exercise and my general outlook on life...beware - I will be coming off of sugar and grains.  I cannot be held responsible for what comes out of my mouth during the transition time!