Q&A: How We Choose To Eat (are we Paleo, GAPS, etc?)
Here is day 2 of Q&A at Redeeming the Table. Yesterday was about the mission & vision behind Redeeming the Table. Today focuses on how our family eats. I have had many conversations with friends & family about why we eat the way we eat, how it works and all of that jazz. So, I thought it would be good to write it out.
How does your family eat?
Our family primarily follows a no-grain, limited dairy & legumes, and unrefined sugar eating lifestyle. We aren't a strict, 100% Paleo family; but, I would say most of the meals I cook follow a primal approach. Meaning, we eat eggs, meat, vegetables, fruit, & nuts and use healthy fats like coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, grass-fed butter, & ghee. When it comes to dairy, I use heavy whipping cream in my morning Americano, have the occasional cheese with salad, or my homemade whole milk yogurt (I serve it to my girls). Basically, I'm cooking a lot from scratch.
Why do you avoid grains, limited dairy & legumes, and unrefined sugars?
Ben and I first cleansed our system from all grains, dairy, legumes, & sugars (this included honey & maple syrup) over a year and a half ago with our gym through the Whole30 program. Whole30 is a rather strict Paleo eating commitment, where one eliminates all grains, legumes, dairy, and sugars (yes honey too) for 30 days.
What Ben found was his system doesn't agree with milk & gluten. What I realized is my system doesn't agree with gluten, corn, some dairy & definitely sugar. Sugar causes anxiety & stress in me, while corn & gluten tear up my system. I also avoid soy in general, due to the evidence & research found in having negative impacts on the female reproductive systems (and men's).
Also, our oldest daughter has Sensory Processing Disorder, and by removing grains & refined sugars from her already overloaded system, enables her to process to her capacity and more. We also know that grains simply add on the pounds, as does sugar (it's about stabilizing insulin, acids & inflammation in the body). Through that first Whole30, I dropped 14 pounds, over 1% BF, and felt the most physically & mentally alert than ever before. This reinforced why eating this way was complimentary for my system. I have seen that my family is at our best when we eat healthy meats, fats & vegetables (physically, mentally & emotionally), which is why we eat the way we eat.
So why do you still eat some legumes, dairy, etc?
Honestly, I don't notice side effects by eating certain legumes (lentils, black beans) or cheese. Also, I have researched & studied the beneficial effects of healthy bacteria that comes from cultured dairy (yogurt being one of these), along with fermented foods in general. I am not hardcore Paleo, and don't hold to all the ideologies of Paleo eating. So, when I'm on vacation, I will eat some food that I normally don't indulge in. But, that's where it's key for me...indulging. It's about choices.
By eliminating those main foods for 30 days in the Whole30, it allowed me to see what worked and didn't work for my body. It also enabled me to make wise choices about food. I knew that I would have wine again after the 30 days was done. It was more about what I thought was worth it and what was not. So, a doughnut for me isn't as valuable as a glass of wine. I know I can have both if I want, but do I really “need” both? Will that doughnut be worth the extra calories? I know having some goat cheese with a Spring salad is plain beauty for me, so I think that dairy is worth it. Again...it's about choices, the people we are with, celebrations, etc, which dictate how I eat as well.