Between a cave and a hard place…


If you’re a Paleo Parent, I know from experience you’ve gone through this. People who don’t yet understand the Paleo lifestyle (or maybe even health in general) telling you that your kids “need a break” and you need to just “let the poor kid have some cake, geeezzz” or my all time overused favorite – “EVERYTHING is ok in moderation!!”  Really? Would you give your children poison, drugs, or alcohol – even in moderation? We now know that exposure to gluten just once in a while starts the inflammation and healing cycle all over again.

When an alcoholic gets sober, everyone rallies around them and tells them how proud they are. “Great job on your life change! We’re with you all the way, so proud!” Then, understanding the person needs the support, his/her good friends will not drink around the recovering friend. They create an environment to support the life change. They don’t say things like, “awww, you can’t just loosen up and have a few???”

What about the girl who quit smoking? (This was me 10 months ago)…The support is overwhelming! “Wow, Cold turkey?? How’d you do it? Great job, good for you, way to go!!” There was a time that smoking and drinking were so commonplace and socially acceptable that almost everyone did it, and it was allowed everywhere. No one questioned it. Then, the health effects began becoming apparent, and the warnings were out. Over time, smoking became a health hazard and was banned inside airplanes, public buildings, etc. (I do remember people smoking in the mall…) More recently, the effects of second-hand smoke were revealed, and we found that everyone around the smoker was at risk, prompting further bans on even open-air smoking in public places. HOORAY for doing something right!!!

So what is so different when someone makes a lifestyle change involving nutrition? I cut sugar and grains from my family’s diet and I get quite the opposite effect. “WHAT? Why would you do that to your poor kids? Or yourself for that matter? Cutting out a whole ‘food group’ is BAD for you! Well, what CAN you eat? Oh, relax and get off your DIET for one day! Just one can’t hurt!”  I really think if I were diabetic or allergic to wheat products, the response would be so much different. I have a better question: Why on earth would I wait until I already have a disease to switch my diet? Why not avoid the diabetes in the first place? Why does that not make more sense?? I am not eliminating essential anything from my diet. I don’t know where the ‘food groups’ came from, but I do know there are 3 macronutrients: Protein, fat, and carbohydrate. I don’t cut any of those. I eat lots of protein, fat, and carbs. I just get mine from Grass fed animals, nuts, and organic veggies and fruit. I get so many carbs from veggies, in fact, that I am able to keep up my extremely tough work and kid schedule, AND workout 6 days a week (3 days of cardio), AND prep meals in advance. I have more focus and energy than I’ve ever had. What is it that me or my growing children are missing again? Sugar crashes, fatigue, cavities, illness, respiratory illness from inflammation? Yeah, keep it.

I hope against hope to make a difference in the lives of families who desperately need it. Look around next time you’re in public. Over half of all Americans are at least 23 pounds overweight, and 33% are OBESE. Health is an issue. Dare to be different, to eat better, to take some flack, and know you’re doing what’s right for your family. I’m with you all the way!

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13 thoughts on “Between a cave and a hard place…

  1. What an awesome post. we have just starte deating primal(5 weeks now) and i simply cannot undrstand why i didn’t do this earlier. the weird thing is when i 1st looked at it i thought man thats going to be hard, truth is it’s been easy, even with a 13&17 year old school lunches etc. and i cannot tell you how much better i feel, NOT bloated, thats worth it right there. no afternoon energy drains, more energy, fuller for longer. i had 1 non Paleo meal after a week, and i felt like crap afterwards. taught me a lesson. love your FB page, keep on keeping on, thanks!!!

  2. What an interesting perspective/way to describe this topic. I never looked at it from this particular angle. I like it!!!!

  3. I totally hear ya! Between my mother slipping them candy and “donut bars” (ala Little Debbie) and the kids father giving them massive amounts of gluten (mostly to spite me) I am ready to throw my hands in the air! Honestly, I got a letter from his lawyer about me keeping them gluten free and wanting the ex to do them same. I am sticking to it. If they are healthy 87% of the time, thats better than nothing I guess.
    ps- love the blog!!!

  4. You go, girl! And charity, I wish I had some tips to make your road easier, but I think you just have to keep teaching your kids to make the best food choices they can. Geez, maybe you should give your mom a copy of Everyday Paleo or something. Make her some yummy paleo treats and show her the kids aren’t missing anything. Give her some recipes…maybe she’ll at least get on board for the no gluten part!

  5. Awesome post! Couldn’t have said it better. It’s certainly hard for people to see the bigger picture; the correlation between what we eat, and how those things manifest themselves in our bodies.

    Thank you for writing this up 🙂

  6. I understand!! My son (whom is now 17) was born with CPKU and can be controlled with diet (very low protien) and if he is not on diet it will cause brain damage! and even with everyone knowing what would happen I still had people over the years trying to give him meat, cake, icecream all the things that they know would hurt him!!! I was always in shock!! wake up peolpe!! My son eats mostly vegs and drinks a speical formula. So you see, does not matter if its just because you want your kids to eat healthy or if its life changing reasons, you will always run into this problem…

  7. Dear CaveMomma and your readers:

    You write so expressively and make wonderful arguments. Someone told me about your website and I like it very much. I’ve been on a campaign to inform people that there are better ways to eat based on some books that I have recently read that are supportive of your views. These three books could not be more different, yet they are astonishingly consistent. The authors are each remarkable and you will feel as though you have known them as friends when you are done reading their books. They have given me health insights and expanded my awareness in countless ways.

    Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food by Catherine and Luke Shanahan (she’s an MD) is now in my own personal Top Ten books of all time. I could never say enough good things about this book; it’s off the charts.

    I’m a health nut from way back, always telling my friends the latest about Omega-3’s, the horrors of trans-fats, the crucial need for Vitamin D and more. It is amazing that Cate and Luke reduced the massive amount of research they have done to just one book. What we should be eating, and WHY, is what this book is all about. This narrative has unusual insights and connects things you would never expect to see in a book about nutrition. This book is so engaging and well written; it reveals the personalities and stellar human qualities of these wonderful authors.

    Your paradigms will shift! You know sugar is a problem. How bad? Pretty bad. If you treasure your health you need to know why. Catherine and Luke explain it is so well you will wonder why candy is ever allowed in schools. But cheer-up, nutrient rich foods are nothing if not delicious! The more flavor, the more nutrition. Rich cream is good for you, and butter! Who knew? Olive oil is OK, but I did not know how much damage the canola, soy, sunflower, and other veggie oils where doing. I had no idea!

    Vegans will have the biggest challenge in their path to health. Our bodies did not evolve eating only soy, vegetables, grains and sugar. Soy has major issues, well explained here.

    [I have actually cut 90% of my original review to keep this short.]

    Primal Body–Primal Mind: Empower Your Total Health The Way Evolution Intended by Nora Gedgaudas.

    I have never met Nora Gedgaudas, but I plan to send her a “Thank You” note every year for the rest of my life. When I got to page 93 I set the book down and went to my computer and found a way to order a whole a case of books, one for each family member and various best friends and neighbors. Then I finished reading.

    Nora’s wonderful book covers so much ground, providing deep and important revelations about the relationship of mental health to physical health and complete nutrition. She makes complex and confusing things understandable. Yes, sometimes I did have to read some sections a couple of times to get it, but making extremely complex things clear is one of Nora’s many gifts.

    Nora’s chapter heading give great insight into the ground she covers: A Look at Where Our Dietary Requirements Originated; The Prehistoric Food Pyramid the USDA (and Other Vested Interests) Didn’t Want You to See; Are Genes Really Everything They’re Cracked up to Be?; So, What’s for Dinner?; Grains… Are They Really a Health Food?; Don’t Get Greased by Vegetable Oils; So What about Soy?; Digestion and Nutrient Assimilation: A North-to-South Journey; Your Gut and the Immune Connection; Dietary Fats: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly; Dispelling the Cholesterol Myth; Vitamin D… What All ‘da Buzz is About; Making the Omega-3 Connection; The Tyranny of Transfats; So, How Much Natural Fat Do I Need, Anyway?; Carbohydrate Metabolism, 101; Leptin: The Load and Master of Your Hormonal Kingdom; Weight Management 101 and the Path to Type 2 Diabetes; Overcoming Weight Loss Myths; The Hidden (and Not-so-Hidden) Ravages of Blood Sugar Dysregulation; But What about Exercise? Won’t That Make up for It?; Things that May Help Conquer Sugar Cravings, Minimize or Help Reverse Gylcation and Restore Insulin Sensitivity; High Fructose Corn Syrup: A Sticky Wicket Best Avoided; Why You Shouldn’t Use the “Gylcemic Index” as Your Guide; What bout Fiber as an “Essential” Carbohydrate?; What about Juicing—Isn’t That Really Good for You?; Adrenal Exhaustion: A Uniquely Modern Epidemic; A Word about Water; Understanding the Role of Protein; Our Primordial Past; Understanding Mother Nature’s Plan and Where We Fit In; Using Insulin and Leptin to Our Advantage; The Connection between Diet, Nutrient Deficiencies and Mood Disorders, Attentional Problems and Well-Being; The Biologhy of Belief: The Real “Secret”; How Important is Fat to the Brain?; Where Does ADD/HD Fit into All of This?; ADD/HD, Learning Problems, Behavioral or Mood Disorders and the Omega-3 Connection; Mineral Deficiencies and Learning or Emotional/Behavior Disorders; Other Nutrients that May Jelop Alleviate ADD/HD Symptoms; Relief from Anxiety and Depression in Our Uncertain World; Nutrients to Support Depression and Anxiety; So How Does Exercise Fit into This Equation?; What about Food Allergies and Sensitivities?; The Impact of Modern Dietary and Environmental Stress on the Brain; Serviving in a Modern World; What Generation of Pottenger’s Cat Are You?; Appendix A: Where to Start; Appendix B: Sample Menus; Appendix C: An Abbreviated Guide to Supplementation; Appendix D: The Weston A. Price Foundation; Appendix E: Pyroluria; Appendix F: Paleo/Traditional Diet Resources and Related Web Sites; Appendix G: Protein Content in Foods; References; Index; About the Author.

    You can see the ground Nora covers is vast, and she is up to it. The daughter of a renowned doctor, and the sister of another, she would not choose to go “the med-school path” herself for she had too many issues with conventional medicine. She will tell you all about it, and much, much more. She is brilliant, insightful, and also charming and funny. You’ll love her book.

    The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice and Sustainability by Lierre Keith.

    Lierre is a woman who writes straight from her heart; one of the most committed people to the betterment of our planet in print. Awesomely eloquent, I recommend Lierre to anyone who is a vegan experiencing health issues: vegans are (or soon will be) malnourished.

  8. What a great post. I still allow my kids ‘treats’ but I have a hard time when Grandma and Grandpa come along. ‘We don’t give them pop’ turns into a challenge to see how much they can sneak into them. I will be following your blog. 🙂

    • That is my number one biggest pet peeve. I tell members of the extended family not to feed this stuff to my kids – my children even politely decline- then the family members say things like “ok, when she’s gone I’ll feed you all the ice cream you can handle” ugg…All we can do is teach and do our best. Thanks for your comment and for your follow. I will follow yours too 🙂

  9. Thankfully, my kids are grown. Regrettfully, they did not eat paleo. Regrettfully I didn’t have a paleo diet when I was pregnant. I am sure that is why I suffered from pica ( craving for non-food items ) those years. I hope to find some time, hopefully once a week to grow in my paleo knowledge. Take care everyone.

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