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Our First Big Challenge

Eating away from home represents unique challenges for us as we continue to seek out healthy food choices that maintain the Paleo lifestyle. Having discovered that there are few good restaurant choices and virtually no fast food options available to us, we see food differently than ever before and we are learning to better plan ahead and pack our meals when required. Still, we found ourselves in predicament of a different sort recently.

 Summertime, the kids are out of school, plenty of fresh produce is available and we are content to spend plenty of much needed time together as a family. One of our favorite summer activities is Vacation Bible School and this year is no different. We arrived geared up and ready to serve; and serve we did. Promptly my daughter and I went to work…in the kitchen! Fortunately, no hands on preparations were required. A local agency provided “nutritious” bagged meals for each child. These consisted of a piece of ham and a slice of American cheese nestled between two fat slices of spongy, white bread, a bag of chips, an apple, an orange juice and a chocolate milk.

Tempting? Not so much!

Our new mindset kept us adults from ‘suffering’ withdrawal, but for the boys it was a much different story. Not only are they struggling to make the right choices but they also have to contend with peer pressure and image. They had to take the whole sack meal; the donating organization states this is mandatory, to a table full of boys who know nothing of our dietary restrictions. Impressively and without hesitation, both boys dug through their bags, pulled out the sandwiches, chips and chocolate milk, which were deposited enthusiastically on the “sharing table” for others to take if they were hungry.   They eagerly bit into their apples, looked over to where my daughter and I were standing and grinned from ear to ear with self-gratification.

This Mama is so very proud of her boys.

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Spaghetti Night Paleo Style

One of the foods that I believe we were all a little afraid to try was spaghetti squash. All of us have texture issues when it comes to these beautiful little fruits. The general consensus is that it’s string, mushy and just plain awful. Numerous prior attempts to incorporate zucchini, non-dessert pumpkin, acorn or yellow squash into our diet have failed miserably.

BUT WE MISS “PASTA NIGHT”, SO…it is time to try squash once again.

Overall, once we got past the surprise that this little spaghetti squash was hard to cut through, preparing it for our meal was easier than expected. A little drizzle of olive oil and 35 minutes in the oven and we were good to go. Coupled with a homemade marinara sauce and colorful bell peppers and onions sauteed in a little olive oil this meal looked delectable poised upon our dinner plates.

As our family approached the dinner table that evening, I saw a hint of excitement in their eyes but it rapidly dissipated as they came to the realization that it was NOT spaghetti sitting on the plate but rather a new paleo friendly impostor. Prepared for the worst a HUGE, triple sized salad sat in the middle of the table, lying in wait, to become the main course.

As we sat there, most of us hesitating to begin our meal, our youngest son dug right in. He is our fearless one after all. We all watched intently, waiting for the moment of truth to arrive, just knowing he would spit his large bite back onto the plate in disgust. That moment never came.

One by one, we all tried a bite and one by one each of us began to smile. By the end of the meal all of us expressed our joyful satisfaction over this latest addition to our paleo menu. In fact, I have to say, I like this much better than grain based spaghetti. Who knew it would be this good?

Needless to say, I ate salad for lunch everyday that week!

Blessings,

Mama V

FOOTNOTE: Spaghetti Squash has become our Wednesday night staple as I rush in later from work and need “fast food”. In order to cut the cooking time I have begun preparing my squash in the microwave. It takes about 6-7 minutes to cook and it just as wonderful as the one from the oven. With the shortened cooking time it is actually faster than boiling water and cooking the “old kind” of pasta products, it tastes better too!!!

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Great News!!

We had an appointment with our son’s psychiatrist today, (Yes, on a Sunday). With a bit of trepidation we explained that we had recently “gone paleo” and were pleasantly surprised when she responded positively. Not only is she supportive, she is familiar with what we are trying to do and she has done some research herself, out of personal curiosity.

This research, of which we were already aware, theorizes that when it comes to mental illness, eating a paleo diet often reduces or eliminates all negative symptoms. Allowing for patients to stop medications. It also shows that if a test subject returns to eating non-paleo foods, the symptoms of mental illness return rapidly. 

This is one of the main reasons we contemplated making these dramatic, though simple, changes to our lifestyle in the first place. I have to admit it was wonderful to have a medical professional willing to back up our decision and confirm that we were doing the right thing. Not that we ever doubted it. 

Blessings, 

Mama V

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Java…Java…Java…..(sigh)

So, here we are nine days into our Paleo life and what I miss most is my coffee. Don’t misunderstand me. I drink coffee every morning (still not ready to ditch caffeine completely). What I miss is MY coffee. You know the super sweet, vanilla cream laden, artificial ‘goodness’ that use to tickle my brain into awareness each morning, afternoon and evening. Ahhhh…memories.

I hear that the bolder the coffee, the less caffeine it has AND the smoother the flavor. Guess I am off to the store, for if I have to drink my coffee black, I am going to find a way to enjoy it again. At least until I am ready to give it up…which may be soon if I cannot find an improvement to this bitter cup o’ joe I am sipping on now.

Ideas? Anyone?

Blessings,

Mama V

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Seriously?

Okay, so I expected some challenges to this new journey of ours, but seriously…who texts you the Taco Bell menu, one item at a time, while you are struggling and trying to satisfy your late night cravings with new primal choices?? My eldest daughter, that’s who!

Ugh!

I would like to wring her little, non-paleo eating neck, (if only it were legal). I truly get that you are 23 and thinner than the rest of us. I accept that you are unable to recognize that you ARE mortal and even that you don’t feel the Paleo lifestyle is right for you; but to torture the rest of us? It’s just not right.

She had better hope that she never has to make any big changes in her life or else it’s gonna be game on! Just sayin’!

Blessings,

Mama V

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Let the Journey Begin!

Welcome to Primal Bites!

I have spent an amazing amount of time, energy and money looking for ways to lose weight and get healthy over the past few years. Some even worked, I managed to lose 30 pounds, with some help from Herbalife, and surely would have continued to lose more as it is an awesome product. Unfortunately, I woke up one morning not too long ago and realized something that would mark the beginning of change in our household, something that not everyone here is enthusiastic about. What had been staring me in the face and had gone unnoticed for far too long is that WE ARE A FAT FAMILY. We are not a little heavy, we are unhealthy, out of shape and entering the danger zone.

I have acknowledged for a long time that I had a weight problem, honestly I am in the obese range, but despite the ever rising weight of my children; I was blinded to the fact that little by little everyone in the house was rapidly approaching maximum density. Time for a change.

So fast forward a bit, (about a month actually) after I scoured the web, library, and talked to more people than I can remember, we chose an official start date. June 1.  By this time I had stumbled upon the “Paleo diet”, and it made sense to me, eliminate all of the “junk” in our diets and replace it with healthy, nutritious “back to basics” food. You know, the kind of food God intended for humans to consume in the first place.

Having made this discovery I charged forward to begin our transition, struggling to get my husband and children on board with our new lifestyle, yes lifestyle. This is NOT a diet designed to be cast aside once we achieve our goals. This is a permanent change for our family and with two adolescent boys in the picture,  it promises to be an interesting journey…I hope you will return to share it with us.

Blessings,

Mama V

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