If you’ve been following our blog since the beginning, you already know my transformation story. If not, you can check it out here. The short story is that after some tough love from Jim, I hung up my running shoes and focused exclusively on strength training. I also started making healthier choices about food.
You won’t find me posting too often about food. It’s not that I don’t like food. In fact, I love to eat. I just don’t find it nearly as interesting as what I do in the gym. I’d much rather tell you about a killer workout than a killer pot of chili. But for this post, I thought I’d do something different and share a bit more about my experience in the food department, particularly from the perspective of a mom with kids who sure do love their grilled cheese sandwiches (I admittedly love them too!).
Oh… how I wish I’d known what I know now when my kids were babies… While I’m super proud that I was able to breastfeed both my kids for almost two years each, I cringe at the memory of sticking them in a high chair with a tray full of cheerios or handing them a Nutragrain bar for an on the go “healthy” snack. I only wish I could get a do-over in that area of my kid’s development but I’m fortunate that they have both grown up happy and healthy.
By the time I transitioned to a Paleo-ish diet (I eat a small amount of dairy), my kids were 10 & 12 years-old. It was all very new to me and the thought of “forcing” this big dietary change on my almost teenagers seemed too daunting even for me. I was under no illusion that I could really control what they ate at this point in their lives especially given the fact that they share time between me and their dad. So, my goal was to lead by example and to educate them about food choices.
Today, 2 years later, my kids are not strictly Paleo. But we talk about food choices all the time and they are paying attention to how I eat. They are asking questions and know more about healthy fats, proteins and carbs than I ever did at their age. They are noticing how food makes them feel and how it affects their performance on the soccer field (something that is very important to both of them). And, they are making better choices for themselves. I am a proud momma when they order water instead of a soft drink, a burger with no bun, or a gluten-free pizza at our favorite local restaurant.
They are figuring it out for themselves and I am hopeful that in the end, they will truly understand that the food they eat is a choice that they control. No one, not even me, can be their food police.
A few weeks ago, as I was teaching Spencer to make his own grilled cheese sandwiches, he asked, “Mom, how long do people go Paleo?”
“Go Paleo” is now a family slogan. We are almost there.