Saturday, November 20, 2010

Teen Paleo Solution Challenge Update

Sophia survived her sleepover, had an awesome time with friends at the opening of Harry Potter, and stayed true to eating clean.  I admire the strength and determination of this 12 year old girl like crazy. 

What she learned from the sleepover is that if she wants to eat clean, it is totally up to her.  She has to be educated about the foods she eats and assume everything has gluten in it unless she herself reads the ingredients, which she did.  She also realized that even though you explain that you have eliminated grains, dairy, legumes, and for the most part sugar, that you will have to reexplain it many times. You might turn down a cookie at 7pm and it will be offered again at 9pm. 

She also learned that friends that have eliminated foods for health reasons are very encouraging and she likes to be around them.  They supported her and made sure not to offer her foods she didn't want to consume or make comments like, "Oh yeah, Sophia can't have that."  Trust me, making a point over and over that someone is eating a special way is not wanted. 

Her goal was to bring all of her own snacks for the movie and hanging out.  She was successful in meeting her goal.  She said usually when she goes to a sleepover she feels sick afterwards.  This was the first time she didn't feel that way.

Since starting the Paleo Solution Challenge, Sophia has discovered some nice benefits:
  • Her stomachaches have disappeared.
  • Her teeth don't get yellow in between brushings.
  • The eczema that itches and draws attention in the summer when wearing shorts is improving.
  • An overall "good" feeling everyday.     
When my kids went gluten free years ago, several parents expressed a concern that I was not allowing my kids to experience "being a kid".  I think Sophia might have felt some of that at the sleepover.  What I often tell my kids is that their bodies are too awesome to be putting that junk into them.  Yes, it tastes awesome when we are eating it, but afterwards we feel like crap.  And I would be lying if I said we never eat crappy foods, because we do.  However, crap is being thrown at them all the time.  Moms offering candy.  Parties with food that is almost total sugar.  Samples at the store.  It is everywhere and we just don't need it that often.    

And what about Alexander?  He is doing great.  He decided not to eliminate corn as he loves having some popcorn at night.  Last week he and his dad bought some coconut ice cream.  He chose that because it was dairy free (and delicious).  After he started eating it I realized he bought the cookie dough coconut ice cream.  I decided not to say anything at the time and just let him enjoy it.  The next morning I said, "You know the ice cream had gluten in it, right?"  He said he didn't know when he bought it that it did.  He assumed it would be safe.  But, he said he figured it did because after he ate it, his stomach felt sick.  I love that they are both listening to their bodies and really getting to know themselves.   When we eliminate foods from our diet, it gives our body a chance to regain some strength and when we bring offending foods back, our bodies are strong enough to shout out to us that they don't want to go down that road again.