If you read my story (parts I, II and III) you know I started paleo/primal living in the middle of October 2011. From the time started, I have loved almost every bit of it…changing the way I look at food, the way I think of food, the way I treat food has made huge impactful changes on my health and my life. 6 weeks into paleo I knew I wanted to move Chris and the boys over to paleo as well, but didn’t quite know how to go about it at first. It was going to be a big upheaval for them. We have always been food lovers, and the bad-for-you carbs- grains, sugars -played a big part in our lives (and a big part in why were both so big). I grew up equating baking and cooking with love, and there is nothing I enjoy more than sharing that with others in my life.
We were on a destructive path, however. Somewhere along the line, that love of showing love through food love morphed into a love/obsession/addiction for food. Alex and Cameron had somehow managed to somehow escape the stranglehold of a similar love affair with food, but Logan has not. He had shown signs for a couple years of having that same overwhelming focus and desire that I had for anything fat/salt/sugar laden, and a healthy distaste and mistrust of anything with natural color or that can even remotely be considered ‘healthy’. While Alex and Cameron both have lean builds (Alex is tall and lanky, Cam is wiry), Logan is not only tall, but has a solid frame that earned him the nicknames Tank and Mack (as in the truck) at an early age. Between the way his body is built and his burgeoning passion for food, I knew we had to do SOMETHING, not only for ourselves but for the kids (especially him) to give them the best chance at avoiding the weight and health issues that have plagued us.
I’d talked to Chris several times about slowly moving him and the boys over to primal with me, and he was naturally hesitant at first. I spent quite a bit of time explaining paleo, the basic ideas behind it. Little by little, Chris was coming around, but I knew it would take a huge push from me. Shortly after Christmas, I stopped talking and just started doing.
Yep, I’m a sneaky Cavemom.
I knew there was no way my boys (Chris included) would go for an abrupt change, so I eased them into it. The boys noticed that I was eating differently from them at meals. I took advantage of this by telling them how my I had learned that my body didn’t like a lot of foods, and that it made me sick and feel really lousy when I did eat them. I told them I was eating like a caveman, and explaining (as best I could) what that meant- taking out the foods that made my body sick and eating mostly things that cavemen used to eat. They accepted this easily (after all, I was eating salad and they were still munching pizza!), but the fact that they had an awareness was step in the right direction, so I told them that soon we would be doing the same as a family- eating like cavemen- to make our bodies feel good and be healthy.
The next trip to the store, I eliminated chips and soda from our grocery list, and purchased only 2 loaves of bread to last us a week (rather than the 5-6 we had been using). I planned meals for the week with at least 3 days worth of meals being 100% paleo- no starches, no rice, no refined sugars or grains. I mixed and matched these– a paleo breakfast and dinner, for example, with SAD (Standard American Diet) lunch and snacks. Friday and Saturday were our designated dessert nights, so on one of those days I pushed fruit-based desserts rather than the fallback of ice cream or brownies. I brought in more fruits and vegetables with each shopping trip and less crackers and processed foods, and pushed water 5-6 days a week instead of the sweet tea we were all fond of.
God bless my husband; he not only went along with it, he has, for the most part, embraced what changes I have made and has been very supportive. For about a month the boys even handled these changes well and with few complaints.
This week was pretty major in a lot of ways for us. It is the first week I went to the store and returned without a single box of cereal, bread-type product, or grain-based snack item. No crackers, no cookies, no chips, no bread, no tortillas, nothing.
Since the boys always relied pretty heavily on cereal and toast in the morning, we’ve made some changes to our breakfast routine. They tried omelets for the first time ever, and not only liked them, they’ve had one (at least) every single day the past 5 days (we’ll work on sneaking veggies into the omelets later!). Paleo ‘cereal’ was attempted, with some good success: chopped walnuts/pecans, coconut flakes, some chocolate chips (semi-sweet, to use them up; I found some 60% chocolate chips at one of the cheaper local markets. Not the best, but better!!!), a dash of cinnamon and some coconut milk and heavy cream. Alex keeps asking for it!
We’re heavy on the fruit, light on the veggies for the boys, but that will change in time. I still get potatoes for DH, though I try to do more with sweet potatoes and have them only a couple times a week.
The boys are still asking about toast, they still want homemade pizza, they grumble when they are told they can have a piece of fruit or vegetables for a snack when they are rummaging around fruitlessly in the pantry.
At every sit-down meal together, we talk about eating like cavemen- what it means and why we do it. Hopefully the message will sink in.
It’s frustrating, still, hearing them get whiny now and then, or not having something other than fruit or veggies immediately prepared to hand them as soon as they want something, but it’s going rather well so far.
Personally, I consider turning us all into cavemen to be a really good thing.