Celebrating Progress: Four Big Steps in One Short Week!

February 2, 2012 in Categories: by

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I want to make sure that I celebrate and appreciate each step my family makes as we gradually move closer to a fully paleolithic diet for each of us.  And this week, we made HUGE progress with my oldest daughterTime for a happy dance!

We are now a completely gluten free household!  We managed to transition my youngest to gluten free about a month ago.  And we have noticed huge improvements to her sleep already.  But it was much harder with my oldest.  She doesn’t like any of the gluten-free or paleo crackers (see my recipes for Plantain Crackers and Club Crackers) we’ve tried so far, but has gotten used to eating cheese by itself.  She is eating a gluten-free breakfast cereal beside her scrambled eggs and bacon, which is really the only non-lactopaleo food left in her diet.  She does love my paleo muffins and cookies (see all my muffin and cookie recipes), which have worked very well as bribes.  But mostly, we’we’ve substituted a lot more fruits and vegetables for the grains that she would have eaten before.

My daughter is finally eating vegetables EVERY DAY!  I’m not sure you can fully appreciate the monumental achievement that this is.  This partially reflects The New Rules and partially reflects some bribery (she has to eat a green vegetable every day for 100 days in order to earn a LeapPad).  I’m also presenting her with more variety of vegetables at both lunch and supper, so she’s also getting used to eating them more frequently.

My daughter is eating protein!  Okay, so eggs can still be a battle of wills every morning, but she is eating some.  And admittedly, a fair amount of the protein she is eating is in deli meat form (not preferred by me).  But she is eating protein and this is huge!  And she’s trying way more different types of meat cooked and seasoned in different ways (she has to try whatever meat or fish I make for supper plus she has to eat a good portion of the ones I know she doesn’t completely hate).  She even tried some salmon tonight at dinner (see all my seafood recipes here), which is huge because she normally hates the smell of fish so much she won’t enter the kitchen when I cook it.

My daughter has discovered milk!  This may seem a bit counterintuitive to cheer a dairy product when my ultimate goal is a strict paleo diet for my family.  But my plan for my children has always been lactopaleo (with as many of those dairy products coming from grass-fed cows as possible).  And drinking milk seems to be doing wonders for regulating her blood sugar between meals.

So how is improving the quality of my daughter’s food affecting everything else?  Well, for starters, her appetite seems to be much bigger too.  She’s eating more at each meal and snack and often surprises me with how much she eats at one sitting.  I’ve noticed a big improvement in her disposition.  She seems less whiny (of course, that’s tough to quantify!), more cooperative, and seems to be taking more initiative to do things by herself.  I may be projecting some of my own emotions here, but she really does seem happier.

Of course, we still have a ways to go.  My daughter still doesn’t like most of the foods she’s presented with.  She is still trying to negotiate how many bites of absolutely everything.  She still gets upset when we insist on her eating what’s on her plate at suppertime.  I would still like to see her eat more vegetables and better proteins.  But I truly appreciate how far we have come in such a short time.  And I am really, really proud of my daughter.

Updates: see this post about improvements with my older daughter’s eating, and also this post to listen to an interview with her titled “I Like Meat Now”.

Comments

That is amazing. My son is picky. Maybe I should try 100 day bribery. Avoiding dairy is the one thing I dislike about paleo. Some people have problems with it, but for others it is a godsend, especially raw, grassfed milk.

Bribery seems to work with my oldest. Lots of people include some dairy in their paleo/primal diets (at least some kefir for the probiotics). I don’t seem to tolerate it myself, but I don’t feel guilty about giving it to my kids (at least for now!). The thing that I really love about this way of living is that it is completely customizable for each person’s needs and goals.

My kids love almond milk so much more than moo. I get unsweetened Silk almond. they always have coupons and it is cheaper than dairy milk with them.

Great news! I’m so glad you mentioned that your youngest is sleeping better after getting off gluten. I thought I was crazy for thinking my 2 year old was sleeping better after taking gluten out. Lactopaleo is an interesting idea. I will have to look into that more. I recently took milk out of my daughter’s diet and her eczema is going away. What frustrates me is that she won’t drink any other kind of milk.

Have you tried goat milk? or tracking down milk from grass-fed cows? If her eczema is going away, she may be allergic to milk (but often goat or grass-fed won’t elicit an allergic reaction). If that’s the case, I would focus more on increasing meat and green vegetables and lots of variety (yeah, I know, tough with a 2-year old).

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