When we started this blog, we wanted it to include a lot of information about eating Paleo. We didn’t choose to go Paleo because it was so popular or because we wanted to lose weight or because we thought it was the healthiest way to eat for all people. Instead, we eliminated all the foods Safe T and Magic Spark couldn’t eat without having some sort of reaction. Searching for recipes online as “dairy-free grain-free legume-free sugar-free starch-free” led to a lot of Paleo recipes, and we realized we were eating Paleo minus some starch.
The closer we came to eating strictly Paleo, the healthier we all felt. Magic Spark’s mystery rashes went away completely. Safe T’s digestive issues almost completely cleared up and he finally started gaining back some of the weight he lost when he first got sick. And even though I thought I felt pretty healthy to begin with, I realized I didn’t know what “healthy” really felt like. Even better, I lost weight eating chocolate cream pie and other decadent desserts on a regular basis. We went strictly Paleo in October 2014.
As we’ve been dealing with this roller coaster of becoming a full-time travelling family, we made a not-so-good food choice thanks to stress and cravings. We went out for pizza. Greasy, cheesy, in no way Paleo pizza. Magic Spark loved it. Safe T loved it until the next day. My pizza didn’t taste that good and I felt sick after eating it, but I still ate the leftovers for reasons I don’t entirely understand. I can’t speak for everyone, but I felt sluggish, foggy-headed, mildly depressed, and overall icky the whole next day. (Probably because I ate the leftovers, too.)
This decision led to some very intense discussions amongst the three of us about whether or not we should try to stay strictly Paleo on the road. I was adamant that we could, should, and would, but the more I thought about it, the less adamant I became.
Safe T will continue to eat Paleo, and that’s his choice, based on how his body feels after the food he eats. I will continue to eat Paleo, but allow myself the room to grab whatever I’m craving when I’m craving it and let that be that. (I’ve found in the past few days that the stuff I crave doesn’t taste as good as it does in my mind, anyway.) But what about Magic Spark?
What I’ve come to realize is that while we’ve allowed total food freedom inside of the Paleo diet, we’re not allowing her to learn the things food freedom teaches. It came down to this: do I want her to learn to listen to her body and trust herself, or do I want her to learn to listen to me and Safe T and trust us? Do I want her to eat food that makes her body feel good or bad and learn from that, or do I want her to eat food just because we say it’s okay?
Ultimately, I want her to learn to listen to her body. And that’s not something I can teach her. All I can do is partner with her and support her as she experiments with different foods.
It’s possible she’s outgrown the sensitivities that caused the rashes. It’s also possible that the foods that she’s been sensitive to just won’t taste that good, or she’ll recognize that they make her feel icky. One of the rash-causing foods was cheese. When we got cheese the other day, she kept asking for more, then only eating a little bit and putting the rest aside.
I don’t really know how this will go. I’ll admit that it’s scary, as a mom, watching her eat foods that I don’t want her to eat, but I don’t know that they’ll cause her a problem. I never wanted to put her through allergy testing or anything like that, so I don’t know.
I do know that I want her to be healthy and happy and safe. But I want her to learn how to be healthy and happy and safe even when I’m not around. So here’s to food freedom and learning to trust her to trust her body.
So back to what this blog is about. It’s not going to be so much about the Paleo lifestyle, but I will post about staying mostly Paleo on the road. It’s going to be more about vandwelling, travelling, unschooling on the road, and our adventures as a family.
We’ll be taking lots of pictures and videos along the way, and I hope you’ll follow along as we embark on this journey.