You’re probably wondering how this whole putting-my-kids-on-paleo thing is working out. It does, after all, have the potential to land me flat on my face, or at the very least, my cavewoman butt.
I didn’t want to start them out on paleo before school ended, because I had no clue what to put in their lunchboxes and decided that three more days of PB&J sandwiches wasn’t going to kill us. So school ended on Wednesday, and then we found our fridge and pantry pretty bare of essential ingredients. With payday and a resulting grocery trip looming on the horizon, I decided to hold off a couple more days before turning this dietary apple-cart upside down on the weekend.
So, yeah, we are officially on Day Two. Four hours ago, my family completely hated me. Four hours ago, we were also standing in the middle of WalMart while foods we used to buy with reckless abandon taunted us from their shelves. Who wouldn’t be hating during that?!
But let’s back up a bit. Yesterday we made our first ever paleo pancakes, which ironically got two thumbs up from the Hubster. The kids did not share his enthusiasm for the pancakes. They were a messy pain to cook, so my enthusiasm was waning before I ever tasted them. But they ended up being the kind of pancakes I can’t get enough of. If you’ve ever had the harvest grain (nut and grain?) pancakes at IHOP, these are similar in texture. And totally paleo. The kids ate bacon as they explained to me that the pancakes just didn’t turn them on. So be it. Not everything is going to be a win right out of the gate.
Lunch was a little more enjoyable for everyone. We had bunless hot dogs and homemade tamale chili. I can’t get my family to buy into the best-for-you hotdogs at the health food store, but everyone tolerates Hebrew National fairly well. Let me state that nothing about a hotdog makes it paleo. There are several ingredients that make me cringe. For now, though, it’s a means to an end, and it represented our first everyone-seems-happy-eating-the-same-thing meal.
Dinner was hosted by my Mom, who rocks steamed squash like nobody’s business! Breakfast this morning was fried eggs (but I think I slept through it) and A LOT of complaining and whining that everyone was hungry and all they really wanted was a bowl of cereal. I was the Wicked Witch of the Kitchen, starving my subjects with grain withdrawals. Waaa, waaa, waaa.
It was with these attitudes and prejudices that we went grocery shopping. You can imagine how much fun we had. Despite the fact that my children were bickering through the entire store, that I threatened to flat-out beat them on the salsa aisle in front of an innocent bystander, and the fact that I was abandoned to push my own buggy with a fractured elbow not once, BUT TWICE during the trip, there were some positive highlights. For one, the Hubster actually started reading ingredient lists. I showed him what he needed to look for, and as he picked up item after item that he used to LOVE to eat, he grew more and more disgusted. I think he was more disgusted with the fact that he knew those things were never again going in my buggy than with the fact that the ingredients themselves are dangerous. But, whatever it takes, ya know?
And, even though we usually despise WalMart, I have to give them kudos for carrying my fave brands of organic coconut milk, coconut oil, and chicken at really decent prices. Their seafood and produce still leave A LOT to be desired, but I’ll be heading out to Kroger this afternoon to finish stuffing our fridge.
We came home with our still-sour attitudes and blood-sugar crashes to a lunch of fajita chicken, guacamole and cherry tomatoes, after which Aaron informed me that even though it’s tough, he does believe these changes are worth it. I really needed to hear that from him. Sometimes I don’t know if he is trying to convince himself, or if he just wants to say something that will make me smile. But he’s a smart kid and I know he believes in positive change, even if it sucks for a while.
A few notes of confession: I have not nixed dairy from the kids’ diets because I still think milk is important for their bodies, and a little cheese adds great flavor to some otherwise boring recipes. I still let them have a little sugar – we bought some V8 fruit/veggie juices to drink – and of course, I add dark chocolate to my homemade trail mix.
If you’re wondering how making this change is remotely possible for us, I found these two incredible resources this morning. Paleo Plan has great recipes, and BTB Fitness gave a perfect standing grocery list and a ton of info on implementing it. Worth the reads if you’re interested.