My Opinions on Dealing with Non-Paleo Family Members

I’ve only been paleo since March, fully committed since August. I may not be the ultimate word on paleo, but I’ve learned some stuff along the way. Here’s what I would like to share with you guys. My opinions on dealing with Non-Paleo Family members. I know that when you’re young, it’s easy just to be a rude little brat and stomp your little foot and tell your family, this is how things shall be, or else! A lot of people lose their family this way. I am a part of a Facebook Paleo group that I love very much, but I see too often, people complaining about their families.

Lord knows I would love to complain about my husband and his non-paleo ways. All. Day. Long. The chocolate milk and Red Bull in the fridge. The top pantry shelf full of his junk food. Having to rack my brain to make two meals out of one. Things would be so much easier if everyone I knew was paleo. But, one of my relatives told me a long time ago, “You have to live where you’re at.” That has always stuck with me. So here I go. My opinions.

1. You can’t expect everyone to understand Paleo, no matter how long you talk until you’re blue in the face.

You can share articles on Facebook, but you can’t make your friends and family read them. You can discuss it with family, but that doesn’t mean they understand. For instance, everyone knows my youngest is lactose intolerant…They think…He just can’t eat cheese. No people…This means he can’t drink milk products, eat yogurt, eat cheese, and this includes some “lactose free” cheese that actually have casein which he is highly reactive to as well. But, can you really expect to hand out a big pamphlet of things he can’t eat, have them take the time and headache of deciphering what he can eat, and then get it right every single time? Nope. You have to live where you’re at. And I, my friends, have a big family of non-paleos who love to stuff my kids full of food.

2. Give the ones trying some credit. Even if it isn’t perfect.

My mother in law is a great lady. She is that person that reminds me to stay kind and laugh. She is pretty much the only person who tries to comprehend what we can eat. She helps out often with Almond milk and even made some really great gluten free cookies. Now, some people feel the need to rant on about the cookies having rice flour that is not paleo. We could go on about the Almond Milk having carageenan. However, she’s trying and I’m not going to discourage her from helping because she’s doing a great job! Sometimes we focus too hard on the things that people do wrong. How about really appreciating the effort and being thankful she made gluten free cookies at all? I know I was ecstatic because I hadn’t had a cookie all Christmas till then!

And i must say, there are those people who know, and understand but just aren’t as vocal. I think my mom would be one of those people. She may not fully understand it but she respects me as their mom that I’m doing what I think is best. That’s a great thing to recognize.

Now…There are other people (remaining nameless, but will know I’m talking of them.) who just plain don’t care and will do anything to sabotage you. Literally, they just want to make you angry by shoving coke down your child’s throat, or making you look like a hypocrite for letting them eat conventionally on a holiday. Over years of fighting with these family members, I finally just gave up. Yelling and screaming doesn’t work. You get more flies with honey my friends. But, with these people, I think it’s important to make sure they know what you CAN eat. Meats, vegetables, fruit, nuts, chocolate (if you’re paleo). If you have a stricter diet like AIP, GAPS, Low FODMAP and are diagnosed, you may just take time to say I have “X” and I must maintain a healthy diet or I’ll get even more sick. That will actually cause me pain. Offer up a solution such as bringing your own food to family gatherings, offering to cook yourself at your house, or spending the day cooking with them and teaching them a recipe that you can eat.

3. Paleo (or other diet restrictions) are something you chose to do.

For whatever the reason may be, you think Paleo is what you need to be doing for you and your family. Which, what can be bad about it? You’re concentrating on whole foods, one word ingredients, organic, buying local, eating the color of the rainbow (no skittles), and you may be one of those cool paleos (that I hope to be one day) that is growing your own produce, eggs, and such. But, what many of your family may see is “Paleo DIET.” Diets are usually end-able. It’s not something that you stick to for long. Then, the longer you live your paleo way, they get more frustrated wondering when you’re going to give this paleo “thing” up. But, it’s not just about what you eat. It’s really about interacting with the community, putting your hard earned money in the hands of those who care about what you feed your family, buying local, eating the whole animal, and so much more. Maybe if you’re trying to have those conversations with non-paleo family members you can bring up more than just what you’re not eating.

4. Be the change you want to see in the world.

I love this saying. It is so true. You can’t fix everyone else. You can guide, hint, show, but until you really live the change, will people be like “Hey…what’s going on with that Ami? She looks great…What is she doing?” Sometimes we have to be selfish and work on ourselves. I do that by doing yoga. https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene I love doing Yoga with Adriene. I did DDP Yoga for a while but it’s more about working out than the spiritual aspect. With Adriene, you can set intentions and visualize things already being done. Remember that hard to deal with family member? Maybe envision dealing with them gracefully and kindly. I try to keep kindness and compassion at the center of my practice. You also find your center and I know on days when I’ve gotten my yoga in, I’m more calm and seem to make better decisions. Work on you, and the rest will find it’s place. You may also consider, when having a conversation with a family member…”Is what I’m about to say helpful?” Will it cause more understanding? Will the light bulb click on? Will it at least move their hand to the light switch? If not…I’d adjust what you’re wanting to say. Be thoughtful.

5. Family is more important than Paleo.

While I hope you never have to actually make the choice between family and paleo…In the end, Family is more important than what you eat. The analogy is gross…but sometimes you just got to “Let dead dogs lay.” This doesn’t have to mean giving in and going back to the Standard American Diet and enjoying doughnuts with them every Sunday. But, maybe you find a recipe for paleo doughnuts and ask if you can bring your own and leave it at that. Be comfortable with your choice but understand, they may never be paleo. Love them anyways. Even if they’re literally being *insert your thoughts on that person here* love them anyways. I think of another saying…(I guess I’m full of sayings today. ^___^) Being angry is like a holding a hot coal in your hand with the intent of throwing it at the person you’re angry with. In the end, you’re the one that gets burned from holding onto anger. And who knows! When you finally let go, you might open up your perspective and find that family member you didn’t even know had a clue…in fact…Does have a clue! Even if it’s not the exact same idea as you…It’s progress.

And that’s it! That is the summary of all my “learnings” from the past five months of being fully committed to paleo. It’s hard to get to this place. It’s hard to deal with non-paleos…but it’s also hard to deal with Hard Core Paleos that think everyone should be paleo 1000% of the time or you’re doomed! Either way you look at it…Stay positive. Seek out the good in everyone. Praise those who really try. Keep kindness and compassion. Plus, stay open minded. That’s it. That’s all I have for now.

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3 Things that Went Well – Day 3

Well it happened. A day when it was a little harder to think of those 3 things. I was getting worried as the day progressed. I ended up with a really bad headache and a really bad allergic reaction to dust…go figure. But, I did find some things in this hectic day that were good. So, without further ado, because it’s insanely too close to bed and I still have to do my bedtime yoga…Here it is!

1- Even though I had the migraine, I was able to fix supper.

All too often, this is when I slip up. I am a big baby when it comes to pain, and I just say honey…go buy something. I can’t. Well, I knew i had a whole chicken to cook and had seen Julia Child just throw one in a pot to let it cook. I looked up the recipe on YouTube and tah dah! White Wine Stewed chicken. It was actually very fun. I put a few pictures on instagram. We had mashed potatoes made with some of the fresh broth. SO delicious! Homemade chicken giblet gravy…YUMMY! along with the carrots and onions out of the broth. It was pretty amazing. It’s funny how things like that happen when you push yourself. I thoroughly amazed myself.

2- I tried out a different YouTube yoga guru.

I was going through the list trying to see which one I would do during nap time. I am really hoping to start practicing 3 times a day. A short morning routine, a more intentional practice that’s more like a workout during nap time, and bed time yoga before bed. I ended up doing a sequence with Cole from Yoga TX that was amazing! My back has felt better all day even though my head has not. It was challenging…I struggled a little, but it’s always to have room for improvement. I have the worst habit of sticking with what I know. I obsess a little bit. So branching out to different teachers and seeing what they have to offer, went well.

3 (And probably my favorite)- One of my recipes was featured on another blog!

I was going through my Facebook and happened across one of my favorite bloggers to follow. “Things My Belly Likes” She just has a fire and is funny. It’s hard to find people with your same sense of humor. Anyways…10 Best Edible Holiday Gifts and there it was! Honey Butter! At first, I was like…I knew that would be a great idea! ….Then I realized it said…The Common Sense Cook and I nearly screamed in delight! I did actually cry from being so happy. Someone out there, that I admire, liked and reposted my recipe for others to enjoy. I mean, if I don’t accomplish anything else with my cooking blog, that will do me for a very long time. I made sure to send her a thank you message on Facebook. That probably made my whole year right there worth it.

So that’s it for today! I hope y’all are doing well out there. Christmas is close and I have a Christmas party Saturday that I’m excited about. What went well for you today? Leave me a comment or if you right a blog post, leave the link! 🙂

Challenge Updates

Let’s start off with my Yoga Practice. 🙂

It is day 10 of my 31 day yoga challenge. Good grief this is going by fast! As I mention in my last practice I did miss day 6 but luckily was still active. Tonight, it is getting late so I am learning Ujjayi Breath. It’s not all about full sequences. I am also taking this journey to learn more about yoga and explore what I want from my practice. I think deep breathing techniques have proven to be very helpful to me. I’m feeling great. I’m wanting to work on doing a morning and night routine. We’ll see how that goes tomorrow. I just need to take that time to center myself after waking up and before going to bed. I have been sleeping so much better and have less dreams. Which, is an indicator that I am fulfilling my full cycle of sleep. I’ve also been able to keep more calm. Not always. I’m not immune to frustration…especially with three kiddos. I find that I recover and handle things more constructively even though I may be upset, frustrated, or angry.

7 Days of What Went Well

Today is day 2 of What Went Well Week Challenge. I found myself today trying to locate things that I could write about. That’s a pretty amazing, fast improvement in my outlook throughout the day. So here we go…

1- Seeking out positive things to write about.

As I said, pretty easy…I was identifying positive things in the day. I know I’m guilty to get into toxic thought mode. Kids are too loud, kitchen is a mess, husband is asleep and it feels like the weekend will never get here… No, I reminded myself I’m excited for Saturday. Played positive videos. I didn’t just jump into toxic thought when issues with Rylan came up. He was a little whiny this evening…but that leads me to number 2.

2- Positively dealing with Rylan.

I figured since it was so close to bed time that Rylan might get a little upset when his Mamaw came to pick up Maddy (our niece). He was whiny, near crying and I picked him up and tried to get him to wave. Got Madison and Mark to show him. Said encouraging things like, Look! Wave! She’ll see you. I picked his arm and wiggled it around and he smiled. So hard to cry when you’re laughing. He was also whining when Nick left for work but thankfully we were able to distract him with the bed time routine. We’re trying to make a good habit of brushing teeth before bed, going potty, all those healthy night time habits. He went to bed, got his blanket on him himself, and was happy when I told him goodnight. It’s easy to go into toxic thought mode when he does these things…but that doesn’t help him or me. I know I won’t always get it right, but I’m happy for this little victory today.

3- My husband didn’t like my pizza, but the kiddos did.

I tried a gluten free crust. I did kind of mess up and used shredded instead of grated parmesan, but I thought it was really awesome and I had my 3 kiddos plus our 6 year old non-paleo niece actually ate too! And she never eats Aunt Ami’s food! I made sure to give her a big hug for being so kind and eating my pizza. However, Nick did not like my pizza. Why is this under, that went well? I, again, didn’t go into toxic thought world. I know that I liked it and so did the kids. It was super filling. So, I offered up the suggestion of just buying a pre-made pizza crust for him next time. I was offering up solutions instead of being devastated that my husband who is already had more than he can handle of paleo, didn’t like it. I often take those things personal. While I know I won’t always be able to make such good thought choices, I was proud of this and thought it qualified as something that went well.

Thanks for reading. I hope you are doing well. Is anyone else doing a challenge right now? What’s your goals? Share with me below. 🙂 If you have a blog page, I’d be happy to check it out as well.

Peace and Love. -Ami

Engaging Change – 31 Day Yoga Challenge

A warning…This next little bit may offend some people, but please understand that isn’t my intention, it is simply my experience in life. Nothing else. I am well aware you may be reading this with different life experiences, and that’s great.

So. One of my biggest “people gripes” is people who think they can pray their life better. Do I think prayer and meditation has its uses? Of course, but I really get tired of hearing about just praying something will happen, or something bad will just go away. What I want to know is, what are you going to do about it? How much responsibility can you lay on a supernatural being, whoever you may believe in? When do you go work towards your goal? So that leads me to today’s post. Engaging change.

Change doesn’t usually knock your door down and say, “It’s me change! You have no choice!” Unless you, like me, have had a tornado come through your house, but that’s neither here nor there.

I have had a lot of emotional issues. My husband and I were fighting so badly and I was in great despair. I still am trying to get over his disregard for my health by wanting to eat conventional food. My feelings are still hurt, but I have to find my own inner happiness to make it through. I am the only one who can make myself happy because outer circumstances are ever changing.

So, to help with my physical well being and mental health, I am wanting to do 31 days of Yoga with Adrienne. She has a yoga channel and she is brilliant at explaining poses. I like that she has a real focus on doing what your makes your body feel good. It shouldn’t hurt. When I was doing DDP Yoga…It was great but it was too stressful on my personal body, and had nothing spiritual to encourage the poses. No method behind the madness. No explanations of how a pose helps you.

Technically it’ll be 32 days if I finish because I did do a great revitalizing flow yesterday, but that, to me, was a setting of intentions. To say, I will accomplish this goal. I am a month and six days away from my big goal of a year without soda. I have endured a tornado, homelessness, food intolerance abounding, dealing with a new house, three children, and my husband being a law enforcement officer. I’ve gotten through a lot. 31 days of yoga, really should be nothing.

To be honest, someone answered a bloggers Facebook asking what their goal was for Christmas, “survive.” I was frankly a little disgusted because Christmas is nothing to survive. I think a more positive attitude could help that person enjoy the holidays instead of dread. Then again, it seems like a lot of people need help enjoying instead of dreading the holiday seasons. Really, I know what it is to just survive and that’s not living. So, this is my engaging change.

I am engaging in change so that I can better myself, my family, and maybe a few friends or strangers. I encourage you to engage in change. Don’t wait for it to happen. Don’t lay responsibility on anyone else.

Today’s the first and I know this blog is new, but on my other blog acommonsensecook.wordpress.com I get comments and feedback and I love it. So…I feel like I’m starting all of my sentences with SO…ha ha ha

Set a goal for this month. Mine is doing yoga and keeping stress low and positivity high. What is yours? Share below! I look forward to engaging with my readers too. ❤

-Ami M. Lee, Journey on the Final Countdown