Food Loving Kids (and Grown-ups!)
I’ve always loved food. Call it genetics (both parents are gourmet cooks and bakers), call it environment (I grew up in community living and the founder of our group was what you would call an eclectic junk-food-junkie) but whatever you call it I Love Food!
I guess because I was always around it, I too became a really good cook. The intuitive type. Don’t really follow recipes; read a recipe once to understand the gist of it and go from there.
For well over 10 years now I have had to be aware of my food choices and how they effect my digestion and intestines. Thus dairy (CHEESE, I think my favorite food group on the planet!), wheat, sugars were the first things to go. That was not too bad as I found many ways around it—with pasta, cheese, cookies and such all made from rice or soy or all the other great alternatives out there.
But my health did not improve, it got worse. After a dire situation in 2012 (I continue with the full story below) I am now cooking and baking and shopping and discovering and loving food in a whole new way. Choosing to eat a primal or Paleo diet has been right for me. And this is coming from a woman who has been a vegetarian for spiritual purposes most of her life. When it came down to choosing, death or eating right (which includes locally raised organic meats), I am now a bacon frying, filet grilling and dark chicken meat kinda girl!
Why am I writing about this in a blog for Nirvana Mama? Because I always think of the children. I have so many of them in my life that I love so so deeply. And I always think about getting the best for all children in this life. A large part of living a quality life of good health translates to good eating habits.
And good-eating habits means ORGANIC. Full circle back to Nirvana Mama. Just as organic cotton is good for our skin and our planet, the same is more than true for food. The fewer chemicals we can put in our bodies, our children’s bodies, of course The Better!
I am in my 5th month of eating a Paleo diet. For the fist time in a year I have gone 2 months with no symptoms. So something is working. I know I feel different when I cheat and eat off the diet.
When we find something that makes us feel good and prevents or stop suffering in the body, we want to share! That is why I am writing and encouraging you, and all parents to read about it. Try a few of the practices. Get the taste and fun and feel of REAL food back into your children’s lives.
Get the kids in the kitchen!!! All kids can help, even little ones can stir, drop in veggies, add spices. Older kids can pick out ingredients and help plan meals. Getting rid of all the junk food is vital for your success. If you keep a stash of pop-tarts or instant maple oatmeal, you WILL GIVE IN when you are rushed, busy, stressed and faced with a whining child. If you do not have the junk food as an option, it’s just that, not an option!
Let your kids make a mess, let them choose what they want out of your healthy paleo options, be patient and know that even if your little ones decide to skip a meal out of total revolt, they will not starve. Maintain a positive and cheerful “we can do this attitude” and you will succeed.
There is an endless supply of really wonderful web pages out there dedicated to this way of eating. Here are a few of my favorites:
- “Every Day Paleo”—winner 2012 best paleo parenting site. http://everydaypaleo.com/
- “Elana’s Pantry”-a more elegant site, she’s been at this for years. Great baking recipes. http://www.elanaspantry.com/
- “Against All Grain”-have had great success with all her recipes. And she posts daily to her Facebook page. http://www.againstallgrain.com/
- “PaleOMG”- really funny, down-to-earth no bullshit writer with great food ideas. http://paleomg.com/
As I’ve been challenged with my own health issues over the years, I feel I’ve become somewhat of an expert (or at least really well read & tested) on nutrition and the roll it takes in keeping us in a good state of health.
2012 was one of the worst years of my life (and I have had a few dozies let me tell you!). I had started the year off in poor health already as it seems every winter and holiday season I experience a flair-up (my condition is ulcerative colitis-ulcers in the large intestines). Beginning in January, from month to month I was on and off steroids, losing blood and constantly in pain.
Than in April my Mother, my teacher, my guru, my life, my everything passed away. Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati had been my life long mentor, spiritual advisor and woman who loved me unconditionally. A depression and deep sadness seemed to throw my physical body into an even deeper state of distress.
The pain and loss of blood was so severe that for the rest of the year I was basically bed bound. Having lost almost 20lbs off my tiny frame already, my mother began reaching out to all her connections in the health field. We had to find something that would help.
After touching base with a friend we had not seen in over a decade, we found that she had become a certified nutritionist and was willing to take my case on to try and move me towards healing.
It was in mid-October 2012 that I began the “Specific Carbohydrate Diet” as written by Elaine Gottschall, geared towards those with my intestinal issues and “Breaking the Vicious Cycle”. After a couple months I transitioned over to the Paleo way of eating (defined as eating as our ancestors did: removing all processed foods, including grains from our food consumption). And as I stated above, so far so good; so REALLY good!
In the end, what have I learned?
- I developed a deeper love for food, real food
- The beauty of rainbow chard
- The richness of earth I get when drinking a glass of fresh kale, celery, cucumber and ginger juice (every morning!)
- That a day doesn’t feel complete now unless I’ve baked something
- That I no longer like the taste of processed food (I know! I tried it a few times—yuck!)
- That I am truly learning new things all the time and believe I will continue to every day of my life
Food is love.
Food is life.
Food takes care of these beautiful bodies so we can take care of our souls.
Get back into the kitchen. Get out into nature, grow, plant, pluck, cook, share. Enjoy your food and let it take care of your body for you.