Welcome to my new adventure! My name is Jenn. I am a wife and a mother of two kids. I am writing this blog to chronical the results of a Primal/Paleo focused diet for my family. I have been following Primal/Paleo guidelines since March 2012 and have seen tremendous changes, with many more changes to come I am sure.
My family needs a Paleo intervention. My husband and I both have a significant amount of weight we need to lose in order to reach a healthy weight and body composition. I am still 40+ lbs overweight, and my husband is easily 80+ overweight. Having already lost nearly 40 lbs, I know that this is the way for us to go.
My children are not yet overweight, they are "solid". I know that this lifestyle could prevent them from gaining weight and developing poor eating habits that result in unhealthy conditions.
The focus of this blog, however, is going to be on my children's behaviors and whether or not food intolerances are playing a role. The first "trigger" to be tackled will be gluten. My son will be the first "guinea pig" if you will. My daughter will be my second because we have more obstacles to tackle with her - i.e. daycare.
My son is 5 years old. For the last couple of years, we have been battling some concerning behavior issues. He is disruptive in school, defies rules, exhibits aggressive behaviors, is loud, easily excited, emotionally charged, and difficult to control. His preschool teacher commented on his behavior last year and was very helpful in discussing discipline options with us. She used a color system to indicate his behavior while at school and we would discipline as we felt was appropriate when he got home in the evenings. This only worked for a short period of time.
Next we tried separating him from the class thinking that maybe he wasn't being challenged enough with the daily lessons. He was sent with the Teacher's Aide to start working on sight words. This worked very well for a longer period of time than the first approach, but was short-lived because the school year came to a close.
He then started attending a summer program that is affiliated with the school. There were a few instances of unacceptable behavior that was documented (hitting friends, talking back to teachers, etc), but I think a lot of his misbehavior was ignored or dealt with using time-outs and not communicated with us.
Before kindergarten started, I attempted to transition our son to a gluten-free diet becasue during my own studies on Primal and Paleo, I learned that gluten can have behavioral rammifications in children. This seemed to work but it could also have been the start of school that changed his behavior - new surroundings to explore and learn about that engaged his attention. Now, however, things are getting out of control again - as is his diet.
We had parent teacher conferences last week and the teacher was essentially telling us how terrible our child is. She said he's very smart but he fails to obey the rules, fails to follow direction, fails to remain on task, fails to apply himself and prefers to do his own thing regardless of the instructions given to him. She then asked about his gluten-free diet. We had to confess that we'd gotten away from it for various reasons (excuses, really) and would reimplement immediately.
The school has agreed to let us bring fresh fruit, cheeses, fresh baked homemade goodies, etc, to the school for his snacks. The after-school program has agreed to feed him snacks from home as well. There will be instances where my son will have gluten-containing foods - like on chicken nugget day at school. Our son is a pickier eater, but is coming around. We have recently discovered he loves mashed potatoes and just about any meat with gravy on it.
Our daughter is 2 years old and is starting to demonstrate the same behaviors her brother demonstrated when he was her age. She's defiant part of the time, has tantrums and outbursts, cries easily, get angry easily, and will sometimes flat out ignore our attempts to redirect or stop behavior.
Her meals will be a slight bit harder to control as she is cared for during the day by a state-regulated daycare. This daycare is required to serve bread to each child at every meal unless there is doctor documentation that says she cannot have something. I perceive sending food with her to be more difficult than it is for my son.
She does however have the tendency to ask for fruit over anything else when she wants a snack. She loves strawberries and bananas! And string cheese.
I'd like to grab a hold of this child and fix her behavior before it gets to the same level as my son's. She is also a very bright and smart child whom I also expect to have boredom issues at school.
For the time being, we will focus on keeping her meals at home as Paleo as possible and will work to eliminate the gluten as time goes on. The daycare will be the biggest obstacle, I think. Any place that puts sugar on veggies so that kids will eat them has some terrible habits that will be hard to break!
My husband is unhappy with his physique and his health conditions. He is considerably overweight, suffers from depression and sleep apnea. His biggest challenges are avoiding wheat products and sugar. It is my belief that he is not in control of his cravings.
My paleo journey started out with me weighing 221 lbs after having two kids. I also suffered from anxiety and depression, was taking 3 medications to control my mental health symptoms and couldn't control my cravings for carbs and sugar. After 8 months following the paleo lifestyle, I've lost 37 lbs, 30 inches and 3 medications. I am hoping to lose another 44 lbs.
Well, that's our story... hopefully we'll be able to change our story in the very near future!