“Face it, Mom, I will never be paleo!”

My middle child, she is now 13 and a half, has announced this after a discussion over her food choices. But let me rewind just a bit. Neither of my younger children are terribly excited about being paleo. They eat the food I make, they like it, they also like the treats I make for them. But they will go for sugar and processed crap whenever they get a chance. My son has fewer opportunities, since he’s only 11. But my daughter has been fighting me and this way of eating since the day I introduced it.

I have never been strict about it. My rule was always, you eat what I make at home. When you go out or hang with friends, you’re free to eat what you like. And my daughter has taken this to an extreme. Almost, as if to show me, just how much she hates what I do, she demonstrates at every opportunity her power to do whatever she wants to. Additionally, she starts eating less and less meat and more and more junk that she buys with her allowance. Even after 3.5 years she still insists that what I do is not normal.

Let me make it very clear, that this child is highly intelligent, driven, passionate, and she knows the benefits of eating at least partly paleo. She is a long and lean ballet dancer. Not an ounce of fat on her body, and she is proud not to have put on the same chub that some others have put on when they entered their teens. Good genes, I guess? I was like that way back when…

In order to keep my child fed, especially in the mornings, because she absolutely refuses to eat anything paleo (forget eggs of any kind! She will NOT eat them!), I started purchasing gluten free granolas and such things. (Yes, after all these years I finally caved.)

Currently my brother and his family are visiting from Germany. Bread, candy, and soda have returned to my house, and my children are in heaven. They are gorging on junk food in the worst possible way. They act like I have been starving them for years, and they are finally getting “real” food again. No, I’m not laying any blame on anyone, least of all my brother. He eats a certain way, and he’s excited to be drinking Dr. Pepper and eating Twizzlers, all things he cannot get in Germany. Certainly, this stuff will once again disappear, when my brother leaves.

But what will not disappear is my kids’ resistance to healthy food. And I am about to throw in the towel. This is not to say, that I will stop cooking the way I have been. And when I make lunches for them, then they will be the foods I choose. However, I will bring back certain food items that make my life easier and my children happier. I know what ingredients to look for and what to stay away from. The lesser evil will have to do for a while.

Sure, I could be super strict. I could tell them to suck it up, but frankly, they’re too old for this. At this point my strategy needs to be: lead by example. Educate. Continue on the journey and hope that some day it’ll rub off on them and they will slowly start following my lead.

Do you have resistant teens at home? I’d love to hear about it!

 

Quick and easy paleo granola

granolaDo you have children? I do! Without them, I’d likely never even think about making granola. But they dig it, and they are bored with eggs. Heck, one of them doesn’t even eat eggs. A friend of mine (hi, Sharon!) shared her homemade granola with our class recently, and she mentioned ingredients like almonds, cocoa powder, and honey. I went home and forgot about it. Until about a week later, when there was drama because of a lack of “decent breakfast foods”. I checked my pantry and found some ingredients, I thought would work. And did it ever! Here’s what I did.

Ingredients:
3 cups almonds
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup chia seeds
4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (or whatever you prefer)
1/2 cup honey (warmed up)
1/2 cup melted coconut oil

Instructions:

In a food processor, blend the almonds and walnuts, until you have some bigger pieces and some nut meal. Add the chia seeds and cocoa powder and stir them in until well combined. Finally add the honey and coconut oil and mix until completely combined. I did this with a spoon. You can add a little more liquid if needed. Spread out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 200F for about 30 minutes. Set out to cool completely and fill into jars. Enjoy with yogurt, coconut milk, ice cream, or just by the handful. 🙂

And she’s back

Wow, it’s been a busy time around here, still is actually, as I am in the midst of my course to become a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. The course work is fun and intense, and it’s taking up most of my time besides my family and household of course. Here’s a little update on me, and my plans for the future. Enjoy, and hope to see you back here soon. 🙂

1) I will be in school until October. At that point I will graduate and start my nutritional counseling practice.

2) Grokette will ultimately go away and be replaced by a new site, with better design, better content, and of course with prices about my services that I will offer.

3) I am now also a certified Reiki practitioner! Woop woop! I love Reiki!

4) No, I did not continue to lose weight. As a matter of fact, I started gaining again, and I am in the process of finding out why that is, and what needs to be done. Plenty of great blog posts on this subjects are waiting to be written.

5) I have about four cookbook reviews to write, and will post them here, and will give away at least one.

I am thrilled to be back. I can honestly say, that I’ve been missing this little old blog here. And I am beyond excited about what the future holds for me. Are you still out there? Would love to hear from you.

Why you really want to keep that gallbladder!

gallbladder1At lunch yesterday I forgot to take my bile salts. I had a delicious meal of ahi tuna, bok choy, broccoli, and glass noodles (made of peas, beans, water), cooked in plenty of coconut oil. Twenty minutes later I rushed to the bathroom with stomach cramps and diarrhea. I forgot to take my bile salts just once, and this was my reward. The sad truth about the removal of most of my liver, and with it, my gallbladder, remains, that I have to take this stuff with each meal… indefinitely. Don’t get me wrong, when it comes down to it, I am glad to be alive and well, and that I do have the option to do something about this.

However, since I first reported about my issues with the missing gallbladder, I have talked to about two dozen people, who came out of the wood works to tell me that they, too, are experiencing problems with their digestion. Not, that any of them have been informed by their surgeons beforehand, what the consequences of a gallbladder removal might be. According to most surgeons, “the gallbladder is a useless organ”.

I beg to differ! The gallbladder, as any other organ in your body, is there for a reason. It serves a purpose, that only the gallbladder can. Your liver produces bile, and your gallbladder absorbs the water in it through its walls and stores the concentrated bile until it is needed to break down fats. When chyme (partially digested food) enters the duodenum, cells in there release cholecystokinin (CCK). CCK enters the bloodstream and signals to the gallbladder to contract and release bile to break down the fats in your food.

NONE OF THIS CAN HAPPEN, if you do not have a gallbladder. A logical step may seem to eat a low fat diet, which is what lots and lots of medical professionals recommend to their patients. This is not the solution to the problem. (See my disclaimer below post, please.) If you eat a diet low in fat, you deprive your body of essential fatty acids. Also, as you cut out your fat intake, you are more than likely increasing your carb intake, and in a Standard American Diet, sadly these carbs come as bread, rice, and other “healthy grains”. Carbs are digested in the mouth. They give quick energy, but this energy won’t last long, and since you digest them in your mouth mostly, you’ll be hungry again soon. More food is needed. More carbs… You see where I’m going with this, right?

My very non-professional (but common sense) recommendation is to try to keep your gallbladder if you can. Of course, a severe attack, big gallstones, or acute pain may warrant surgical removal of your gallbladder. And I won’t argue with that fact. But, if you are not in severe pain, then it may be helpful if you just sat down and did your homework on how to make sure you can keep your gallbladder. I highly recommend The Liver Doctor as a source for your research, or google Dr. Jack Kruse.

If your gallbladder is gone, and you are experiencing symptoms like pain in the upper right quadrant, diarrhea after meals, stomach cramps, even a feeling of acid reflux (yes, I experienced all of these), pain between your shoulder blades, then it is up to YOU to help your gallbladder!

1. Take those bile salts. Religiously. With every meal!

2. Eat dark leafy greens!

3. Include things like milk thistle, dandelion, artichoke in your diet, or take them as a supplement.

4. Drink plenty of water.

5. Most important, don’t fear eating fat. With the right bile salts product, you will be able to get rid of these symptoms and enjoy the great paleo/primal foods you love.

6. Never stop doing your homework. No matter, what anybody tells you, always seek a second opinion. Read up. Read the pros and cons. Do yourself a favor and take care of your own health. Nobody else will do it for you!

Having said all that, I am of course NOT a medical professional. I am merely a patient, a student of nutritional therapy, a seeker of truth. My opinions here are just that… opinions based on the research that I have done, and on my own experience with the subject matter, and the conversations I have had with other people who are sitting in the same boat. I am not prescribing any drugs, nor am I making any recommendations for anyone in particular. You are responsible for your own health, and by reading this you understand, that I am not diagnosing or treating you or anybody else reading this post.

Also, I hate legal talk. But I suppose it’s important. 🙂

Grokette on Instagram and Twitter

instatwitterYes, I have arrived in the 21st century! You can now find me on Instagram (Username GROKETTESMUSINGS) and on Twitter

After Facebook made it extremely difficult for me to reach my almost 1,400 followers, I decided to go a different route, and see where it takes me.

What you can expect on my blog in the future are a lot more health related posts. I will talk a lot more about digestions, the functions of the various organs, some motivational writing, and of course I’ll share my experiments with food. (Today I’m learning to pickle beets!)

In addition, to support my income, I will occasionally post a review of certain products and place affiliate links on here. Please consider supporting me by using these links when you purchase an item I recommend. 🙂

Finally, I invite you to comment now and then to let me know you’re there. Yes, yes, the stats confirm that you are, but it’ll be so nice to communicate with you, and of course, to understand what you are particularly interested in reading.

Oh…. there will be a giveaway on SATURDAY!

Learn to eat

moonmeditationEating a delicious meal is one of the greatest pleasures in life. The explosion of flavors, of herbs and spices combined, paired with a glass of wine, usually manages to make me calm and happy. Even the preparation of such a meal gets me excited, and I look forward to arranging the food on our plates, to set the table nicely. I envision the faces around the table, when my family tastes my new creation.

But how often do we eat in a rush? How often do you throw on your clothes, gather your things and grab a quick bite, before you hurry to work? How many times do you eat your lunch while working or running some errands? Did you know, that an increasing number of people eat their meals behind the wheel?

The problem here is this: eating should happen in a parasympathetic state. What does this mean? You should chillax before you start eating! You see, your digestion starts in your brain. And if you’re in a sympathetic state, meaning you are in your fight or flight mode, you cannot start your digestion properly. Yes, you’re functioning great, because you’re pumping plenty of blood into your muscles and brain, but you’re not pumping it into your digestive organs, and that’s bad news.

The quick and easy solution is to make a little more time for this most important time when you eat a meal. Before you eat, take a few deep breaths, slow down, relax!

Next, chew your food thoroughly. This is extremely important to let that salivary amylase start the digestion in your mouth. Set down your fork while you chew. Be aware of the taste of your food. Is it spicy, sweet, or salty? Can you taste the spices and herbs?

Don’t think you can get away from work? Come on, it’s not going to run away from you, if you leave your desk for even 15 minutes. Get rid of distractions that keep you from getting into that parasympathetic state. No phone, no TV, no computer… just you and your meal. Your work will be there for you upon your return. I promise. 😉

Really, do yourself this very important favor. Your body is going to thank you for it. I’m not telling you to meditate in front of a full moon. But a few deep breaths and some happy thoughts will go a long way.

Being healthy in the 21st century

vitruvian-man-leonardo-da-vinciImagine a world where you live happily. You live away from stress, anger, and wars. You don’t have to deal with chemicals, GMOs, stressful jobs, rude employers. In this world, you eat what you were made to eat, based on what your ancestors ate many thousands of years ago. Your body, a perfectly functioning organism of cells, tissues, organs, and systems, knows just what to do with the food you eat. It nourishes you, keeps you strong and healthy.

Of course, our reality looks somewhat different. We are always on the go. We start early in the morning, and we power through days, until late at night, we zonk out in front of our televisions with a bottle of beer and a bag of chips. The next day we do it all again, and again, and again. In the process of this evolution, we have forgotten to listen to our voice from within. We have stopped listening to our innate intelligence, that tells us what is good for us. And as we go about our days, eating the wrong food, making sure to function as is expected of us, we start experiencing symptoms, that are treated with prescribed medication from our doctors.

We do not understand, that our ailments may be rooted in this modern lifestyle, in these terrible foods we eat. And we fail to see, that each one of our organs relies on the others. If you look at your digestion as a North to South process, you will recognize, that a problem in your esophagus may be related to a problem in your stomach, which in turn may be related to a problem in your small intestine, which may be related to a problem in your liver/gallbladder and so on. But, because we don’t know this, we don’t take the time to take a step back, to look at the bigger picture. We pop our pills and continue down the same path.

We end up at the doctor’s office, our low fat diet having depleted us of precious fatty acids, our liver overworked from the high and refined carbs, our adrenals shot from our busy lives, when the solution to a majority of our problems could be so simple.

I am not making the case against modern medicine. I know it has its place in our lives, and a very important one at that. My own liver resection is evidence enough to me not to demonize doctors, hospitals, and medication.

But, if you are, like most of us, a “regular, healthy human being”, then your answer may not be medicine. Your answer, your solution, is food, and yes, supplementation. Don’t feel like you have to stick to a strict paleo diet to be healthy. Bioindividuality plays an important role in the foods we can eat and digest. If your ancestors ate certain grains, properly prepared, then you would likely respond well to them also. But take into consideration, that our 21st century wheat cannot be compared to that of even 100 years ago! And what’s also to be considered, is that our wheat in the United States cannot be compared to that in Europe.

Case in point: After giving up wheat, I started reacting with terrible stomach cramps and diarrhea. When I go to Germany, I can actually eat bread without these awful side effects. My very non-researched opinion is, that Germans don’t eat GMOs. Granted, after a couple of weeks of indulging in German bread and pastries, I still start feeling bloated and will retain water.

Eating well is a job. It’s true. We actually have to make time every day to come up with meals and then prepare them, too. This takes time, that we may not think we have. But think about it. How much time do you spend on Facebook? How long do you sit on your couch and watch TV. And most importantly, can you really say, that your health is not important enough to make the time to take care of yourself? This includes a healthy ancestral diet and the ability to calm down and relax to give those poor, overworked adrenals a break.

Make YOUR world the beautiful place you want it to be. You, and nobody else can start taking control of your life.

 

 

"Grokette's original muse" ~Mark Sisson