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.

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

Moving On from “Failure”

Three days ago was day 6 of my 31 day Yoga challenge. I am working through the YouTube videos at Yoga with Adriene. I was in a good rhythm, getting my yoga on each day….then came day 6. I woke up in a great mood! I felt pretty good. I felt like I could get things done. Oh boy..the house was going to get clean….and then Nick asks, “When are you going to the grocery store?” I replied, whenever he decided I needed to go. I feel great, I’m not worrying about it.

Then…There’s a Christmas Parade, we find out, later that night…. Cue the horror music. Not at the parade, but the fact that I still have to make a meal list, then the grocery list, drive all the way to Conway…I save more money if I go to two different stores…and I have to be back by 4:45pm to make sure I’m not blocked out. Thankfully, the grocery list process went smoothly…Which is surprising since I could take two days to make a perfect list.

I’m rushing…I had to get gas. I didn’t think I could make it back in time! It was 2:30 and the store is about 45 minutes away! Traffic is awful in the big town near by! So…what did I do? Actually…it’s surprising how yoga can help you in real life situations.

I was trying to breathe long and deep. I tried to “soften the skin of the face” and “relax the jaw.” I know when I’m very tense and anxious, like when driving, my neck and shoulders get very tense. Like Adriene says, we get in that “Mr. Burns” pose. So I tried to remain mindful of keeping my chest open, shoulders back, and head over heart, heart over pelvis…as best I could in a car. I tried to move my neck a little back and forth. Just enough to ease tension, but always keeping my eyes on the road. I think this helped my stress levels and I eventually decided to go ahead, bite the bullet and extra $25 bucks I had to spend at one store (Luckily I saved that much with coupons too.) I safely raced home (driving the speed limit most of the way….I promise!).

Thankfully, we made it home in time! Mainly because…they were running behind. The kids grabbed their coats (because it was super cold) and ran down to nana’s house to wait.

kiddos waiting on a parade

Nana eventually came outside all bundled up and sat on the tailgate with the kids. Madison had the most beautiful princess wave, and I think she’ll be a great parade princess some day! It was actually a good time even though it was beyond freezing outside.

We made it home, kids went to bed. Nick and I watched American Horror Story. Then…I went to bed. Notice anything missing? Yep…I didn’t do a yoga video. Which brings me to the point of my post.

Yes…I missed a day on my 31 day challenge. But, too often I see people beating themselves into a million pieces. Crying and carrying on about each little pothole in the road of the journey. This is the beauty of life, not a wall with a sign saying, You Shall Not Pass! If life was easy, anyone could pull it off. The truth of the matter is that life is work. There are so many twists and turns (PLOT TWIST!) that you truly never know where you’ll end up.

My only point being. Don’t let one slip derail your progress. Don’t quit. Never give up. Never surrender. Have courage to keep going. Hell…maybe it’s because I survived a tornado that literally destroyed everything but my life. Silly things like forgetting one day of yoga seem trivial in the grand scope of my perception.

So, my invitation is for you to decide. Which path will you take my friend? You’re always welcome to come along with me for my adventure!

And on that note…I’ll be working on the page to freshen it up a bit. If it looks a little different, don’t freak out. Just trying to make sure it is readable, and that you guys can find what you need. I do a few other blogs. You can find me all over the place. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and I’ll try to get you links to all.

I’m also considering doing a fundraiser for the local area affected by the April tornado. I’m wanting to raise money for the families affected to be able to have a weather radio and maybe supplies, for the storm shelter, and spreading weather awareness. It’s another thing that I’m very passionate about. You’ll see come spring time. Of course, if I get the network and support that I need to go through with it, I’ll let y’all know in case some of you lovely readers would like to help out.

So that’s it. Enough rambling and blog writing therapy. Have a wonderful week everyone! ❤

Peace and Love. -Ami