A few weeks ago we had a pretty significant problem crop up at school. My fifth grader came home in a very bad mood (which is just not like her), and when pressed a bit for details tearfully admitted that her class was studying nutrition and she just didn't know how she was supposed to answer the questions. You see, the standard American ideal of nutrition that is taught in the schools does not at all match what our doctors have taught us and what we practice at home. My poor girl was stuck between wanting to do well on her health unit but not wanting to lie.
I immediately composed and sent an email to her teacher, explaining the problem and asking if she had any ideas as to how we could come to a compromise for my daughter. Bless her heart, she wrote back within an hour, telling me that she understood and would do some brainstorming. The next morning she wrote again to let us know that she had decided that our girl didn't have to take the test, but instead could write an essay about the hows and whys of our family's paleo diet. It was a perfect solution, and I simply cannot thank her enough for coming up with an outside of the box plan!
The essay came home in her folder today, with a 100% and a big star on top. I was blown away when I read it! I loved it so much that I asked her if I could share it with you, and she graciously agreed. (Spelling and punctuation is all hers....remember, this is her first essay test!)
Some people eat chips, sandwhichs, cheez-its, and cookies for lunch. Other people eat meats, veggies, fruit and maybe some funky looking soup or meat. I am one of those other people who eat different nutrients.
I eat what is called a paleo diet. It is made up of fruits, veggies and meat. Basically, we don't eat anything with a label on it. My family doesn't eat one hundred percent paleo but we do our best. My sister and I take gluten free items in our lunch and we are allowed to cheat at parties and other events. We have turkey burgers as a snack instead of doritos. When grocery shopping we raid the produce isle, picking up whatever's on sale. We basically eat like dinosaurs. They idn't have cheerios, ritz, or bread. We still eat nuts though but no beans. We also don't eat processed foods.
We eat this way because we have allergies. Mom being the most allergic and dad being able to eat whatever. When I eat grains and dairy I get headaches, I get grumpy, I get tired, and I don't feel well. We believe that grains aren't healthy because grains can be hard to digest and irritate the digestive system. Grains also have anti-nutrients which prevent and disrupt digestion. All grain products are refined in some way which means they were changed in the manufacturing. Then the body doesn't know what to do with them. It doesn't recognize processed foods. When grains get digested, they break down like sugars do which can cause swings in blood sugar which causes mood swings and energy spikes.
If you compare my diet to another persons diet, even though they have more options, paleo has more nutrients. When I eat this way, I feel better. We replace flour with almond flour and we have found a way to make paleo pancakes. We have more options then you think. We have a lot of great recipes to choose from even though most nights we have turkey burgers and roasted carrots with steamed broccoli. We get healthy fats from steak instead of bad fats from chips. When we buy things with labels, they usually have very natural products in them.
When we pack lunches, we usually find gluten-free versions of what other people eat to make us feel "normal." We buy the healthier versions of chips by buying kettle chips and gluten-free cheese puffs. When we cheat we have to keep in mind that we won't feel well if we eat it so we have to weigh our options. When we go to church reunion in the summer we bring a bin of food to help us not get as sick. When we get meals in the lodge, we usually load up at the salad bar and have our snacks later.
We eat differently because it makes us feel better. We have different nutrition than some people but allergies get in the way. That's why we eat like dinosaurs.