Sunday, July 15, 2012

Food and Family

4 weeks ago, I started something called a "Whole 30."  Basically, you follow a strict Paleo diet for 30 days.  I've got 2 days to go after today.  The major rules are: no dairy, no legumes, no grains, no sweeteners, no white potatoes, and no MSG, carrageenan, or sulfites.

It was tougher than I thought.  At first I tried to restrict my intake of fruit and starchy vegetables, and was having insomnia pretty badly.  I also got sick:  dizzy and weak.  I decided trying to cut the carbs wasn't worth it, and now eat fruit and starch veggies as much as I want to.  

I do feel better now.  I am sleeping better, feel less hungry, and feel like I recover more quickly from workouts.  Part of the program is that you aren't supposed to weight yourself, but I've cheated...  I have lost a bit of weight, but only 3 or 4 pounds.*

This has been a bit of work, and putting so much effort  into my diet made me start feeling guilty that Rory doesn't eat as well as I'd like.  I got a book called "French Kids Eat Everything: How Our Family Moved to France, Cured Picky Eating, Banned Snacking and Discovered 10 Simple Rules for Raising Happy", which Raybon had heard about it.   Raybon and I both read it.  I really enjoyed the book, as someone who is both a mom and sort of a foodie and health nut.  It's a memoir, a cookbook, and parenting self-help.  A Canadian mom and French dad, who lived in Vancouver with their two young daughters, relocate the entire family to France for a year.  I enjoyed the author's perspective.  She's a Rhodes Scholar and PhD from Oxford, but she doesn't come across as overly intellectual (is there such a thing.)   She's has a humorous take on her own parental shortcomings, and her life as a foreigner trying to fit in living in France.  

She includes a list of rules she discovered for getting kids to eat better.  I'm casually following some of them.  They are meant to be habits rather than rules, anyways, but I can't say I'm making all of them habits.  The one thing that has changed is my expectation of what Rory will like, and what I do when he doesn't like something.  I don't make assumptions that he won't like something, and ask him to try everything we are eating.  He doesn't have to eat anything, but he has to try it.  If he doesn't like it, we try again next time I make it.  I'm surprised how well this has worked, and wish I'd read this along time ago.    

One of my favorite things that has come out of reading this book (besides seeing Rory try and like new foods) is that I feel like the time I spend in the kitchen is more meaningful.  I think there is part of me that feels silly that I spend so much time thinking, talking, preparing, and eating food.  I think there is part of me that thought of it as being too, I don't know, basic or primal, as if that was a bad thing.  I sort of wanted to have more sophisticated interests, like creating art of reading novels, or just doing something more productive and educational with Rory.  Although I'm not French, and am pretty sure I would have an even harder time fitting in in France than the author Le Billon did, it makes me feel better to know that there are people out there who place such a high value on eating well, and consider educating your child's palate to be more important than teaching them how to do multiplication before kindergarten.  It has elevated my idea of the importance of food, which makes me feel better about loving something and spending so much time on it.  

*I'm actually kind of tired of trying to lose weight.  I am a healthy weight, and I think I look pretty good.  I don't look in the mirror and cringe like I sometimes used to.  I think the only time I want to lose weight is when I look at Runner's World and think I'm supposed to look like the women in the magazine.  Supposedly losing weight is supposed to make you faster, but that hasn't worked for me so far anyways.  And why should I care so much about being faster anyways?  I'm healthy,  and I exercise regularly because I enjoy it.  Why does I have to have this inner voice constantly telling me that I'm not enough?  I'm not thin enough, and I'm don't swim or run fast enough.  I'm tired of that.  I have a great life and such a tremendous opportunity to just relax and be happy, I'd rather just be through with all that.  I read somewhere recently (OK, it was a comment on FB) that if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.  I kind of think this whole idea of comparing myself to others (competing) and feeling like a I fall short just makes me less of a giving person.  I hope with God's help that I can rid myself of this way of being...  Pray for me, if  that is the kind of thing you do.  (Or even try it if it isn't?)

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