Let’s make this family a primal family

kiddosThose of you who read my blog fairly regularly know that I am a very easy going mom. I insist that my kids eat primal foods here at home, although I do occasionally buy nutella, popcorn, and non-paleo gluten free snacks. I let them make their own decisions outside the house. So, at sleepovers, restaurants, or when at the coffee house with their friends, I do not insist on them eating paleo/primal foods.

My 12 year old daughter has always been more resistant to this way of life, arguing that she can’t simply undo what she has done in 12 years. There is simply no reasoning with her on this issue. My mentioning that I relearned it all after 36 years had very little effect on her. My 10 year old son has been more easy going. He simply ate what I gave him, and he was happy. But over time things changed. Every time we went out to eat, they chose things like pasta, bread, rice… all the things they don’t get to eat at home. Suddenly, these foods were on their daily menu.

If you’ve ever argued with a 12 year old, you’ll know how incredibly stubborn they can be. “I don’t need to lose weight!” “I’m healthy, not sick!” “The whole world eats differently. Why do you think you got it right?” After I convinced her (many long conversations later) that paleo was in fact the way to go, she had already fallen off the bandwagon, and decided that she simply couldn’t commit. Period. End of story.

Well, last week, my eldest child moved in. She is almost 19, and she’s been struggling with a very sensitive stomach and digestive system for many years. When she had a glass of lemonade a few days ago and it gave her a terrible stomach ache, I decided to make a deal with her… and while I was at it, why not include the rest of the family!

We sat down together and discussed the primal way of life. I explained why it is good, why gluten in particular is bad, and why I think, that a 30 day challenge would benefit us all. My eldest was a little hesitant, but then agreed to do it. My son jumped right on board. The 12 year old was in tears. She was scared of having to give up the foods she loves. Bread, pasta, cookies, lemon cake from her favorite coffee house… Interestingly she did not try to argue that this primal way of life is good for her. She admitted to it right away. So I talked her through it and helped her calm down and see the positive side of it… Besides, heck, I can make her a lemon cake any day! 😉

About two hours after our conversation my daughter started asking some questions. All good questions. “How long until I stop craving sugary foods?” “Can we bake more paleo treats?” “How will I feel after 30 days?” Then she said she was excited, because she’s a ballerina, and she wants to be the strongest and best ballerina in her ballet school. She’s nothing if not determined!

It’s Day 2 today. There has been some whining, but nothing we couldn’t deal with. And besides, there is always a paleo treat.

For clarification, we are not doing a Whole 30! We are allowed snacks like brownies and things. We eat bacon, and they get to drink apple and orange juice. They get to eat as much fruit as they like. I am trying to make this challenge as easy as possible on them. It’s important to me that they feel good about the changes they’re making.

As for my eldest, I really hope that we can heal her gut and help her feel better. I’m going to interview each of them regularly and post their stories, struggles, and successes right here on this blog. Good luck to us!!

2 thoughts on “Let’s make this family a primal family”

  1. Wow. This is a very interesting experiment. Unfortunately, my elder son eats almost only grains and dairy. It is a challenge to get him to eat meat of any kind….and forget about fruits or vegetables. We have tried EVERYTHING. You’re lucky you can even try this kind of thing with your family. Good luck on your whole 30.

  2. Please keep us posted on the developments. I have a similar family structure with a 13 year old daughter who lives on mac and cheese and nutella, and a 11 year old boy who probably would try the paleo approach he understood the positive impact. I just struggle with how to convince them to get on board.

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