Today we have a wonderful and insightful guest post from Heather of Multiply Delicious. We asked Heather to share her Paleo/Primal lifestyle journey and how it works for her entire family, including her adorable twin daughters.
When I first started on my Paleo journey in 2011, I did it for entirely for reasons of my own…. I was sick, I was tired, and needed to fix what was going on in my body (read more of Heather’s story). I needed to change my life or other things were going to take over. I had no idea what to expect but the results were so amazing that I kept going and now 3 years later there is no other way for me….it’s my lifestyle! My kids were young when I started my journey and I gradually started to change them over to a Paleo/Primal lifestyle within months. I chose to take the Primal route with them. Now the question you might be asking is what is the difference between Paleo and Primal?
The paleo and primal lifestyles are both based on evolutionary science that states that the diet we westerners are eating nowadays is nothing like what our ancestors ate a hundred thousand years ago. That’s because an agricultural revolution took place roughly ten thousand years ago and we started eating food that our bodies couldn’t digest properly. Both the paleo and primal lifestyles say that if we eat what our ancestors ate, we’ll be healthier.
Similarities between paleo and primal lifestyles include:
• Eating tons of veggies • Eating lots of protein • Avoiding grains • Eliminating gluten • Doing away with corn • Avoiding high fructose corn syrup • Avoiding sugar • Eliminating processed foods
While they are very much alike, however, paleo and primal have specific rules that differ for each.
The biggest differences between paleo and primal philosophies include:
• Primal allows the intake of raw, grass-fed dairy if the body can tolerate. • Primal allows the occasional intake of white potato, wild rice or quinoa especially for those living an active lifestyle.
As you can see, there isn’t too much of a difference between the two and the biggest being the addition of dairy, white potato, rice or quinoa.
I transitioned my twin girls slowly and made changes to each meal of the day at a time. Most of all I started to educate them and talking to them about food in general. They came along with me to the market or to the farm to get our produce, eggs, and meats. They pulled up chairs along the kitchen island and helped me in making meals. It all seemed daunting at the beginning, trust me, but step by step we have made it work as a family. So what does our day look like?
Breakfast is the meal that changes the most depending on what we have on hand. Sometimes it is eggs with fruit, egg muffins, paleo pancakes or waffles (I usually make a lot and freeze them to make busy mornings easier), or even their favorite granola or trail mix with almond milk or coconut milk.
Lunches since the girls started elementary school have become increasingly more difficult. They started to see what other kids have packed in their lunch boxes and have asked more questions as to why they get all those bad things. They do know what choices are good and what are bad but seeing more bad confused them in the beginning. Involving them in packing their lunches has been good. Sometimes that means packing two different lunches but I’m willing to do that in order for them to fuel their day. Another thing we have done to make this easier is I have started to either make a Paleo bread or when times are in a serious crunch buy a dairy-free and gluten-free bread from Whole Foods. That way the girls could start taking sandwiches to school. Those sandwiches usually are either a turkey and grass-fed cheese sandwich or almond butter with homemade naturally sweetened apple/pumpkin butter or jam. Other things we include in their lunch are: fresh fruit, carrots or other in season veggies, applesauce or yogurt (great using the Little Green Pouches), homemade granola/trail mix or bars. I have a bar (as seen in photo) coming out in my latest cookbook, Powerful Paleo Superfoods, that has become one of their favorites and is the most requested. They are easy to make and I usually make a big batch and freeze some of them. Another favorite of theirs are the Fruity Chocolate Protein Bars. And there of course is always WATER.
Afterschool snacks range for them also. A favorite of theirs lately is turkey or chicken rolled up with avocado or mustard. Apples and almond butter is another favorite. Strawberries are starting to show up at our local markets so a bowl of those are always a winner. On the weekends we will make smoothies. Our favorites being, Green Monster Smoothie and the Almond Banana Chocolate Smoothie.
I have to say dinner is the hardest but we’ve made it work and I try not to stress too much about it. We turned pasta into zucchini noodles and sauce. It’s simple and easy. We turned pizza in a paleo version with a cauliflower crust. They also like hamburgers, chicken nuggets, chicken, kale and sweet potato patties, meatballs, or tacos. On occasion they do have some rice and white potatoes but most of the time we go to the root veggies as the side of choice. They love homemade sweet potato fries. Most meals also have a side of fresh seasonal fruit too. My main goal is to have a balanced plate.
Looking for more on Paleo? See Heather’s blog, Multiply Delicious, where she shares everything from what is paleo, the yes’s and no’s of paleo, seasonal shopping, and tips on stocking your pantry. You can also see all of Heather’s Paleo Recipes on her blog.