Family Food Adventure

022Do you remember last week’s blog post on the subject of food? We talked about how food was healing, emotional and energizing. We all agree that food opinions can be varying at best and downright divisive at worst.

For the past several months, I’ve been hearing all kinds of positive things about the Whole 30 Program. So being the reader that I am, I bought the book – It Starts With Food and read it.

It’s a 30 day plan and the way I see it is that it sort of resets your ideas, emotions and body on how it uses or relates to food. After discussing it with my hubby and kids, we decided to take on the Whole 30 challenge as a family. My kids are ages 11, 9 and 7 so they are definitely old enough to make decisions on what they choose to eat. My two older kids are already learning to cook basic things – frying sausage, cooking hot dogs, making scrambled eggs, etc. I know that at this age, I was cooking whole meals, but these are boys. They like things that don’t require measuring. And the biggest part of their training was to NOT cook everything on HIGH. What is it with boys and fire? Ha!

So Monday, Feb 21 started Day 1 of our Whole 30 adventure. I admit that after reading their list of what to expect while on this diet, I was terrified! This was beginning to sound like 30 days of grueling misery.

Because of my Lyme journey, I’ve been off of all dairy and gluten for several years now, but I still love to make homemade breads for my family and we have a raw milk herd-share with a weekly pickup.

a002First thing I did was clean out everything in our kitchen that wasn’t Whole 30 approved. Rice, oats, dairy, condiments with added sugars, wheat grains, hidden stashes of chocolate, etc. I found a family who was thinking about switching to raw dairy and gave them my milk for the four weeks. I knew that to keep to the plan, I needed to start with a clean plate, err kitchen. Nothing would be more frustrating to my three kids than to open the fridge and see all the things they can’t have.

Then I made a list of all the things we could have and stocked our pantry, fridge and freezer. Most of this just entailed going to the Polyface store freezer. πŸ™‚ Yes, I am so blessed in this way! Meat and eggs at my fingertips all year round. We keep a community garden so I talked to my mother-in-law before pulling the last of the winter squashes and sweet potatoes from our family stash.

Sadly, I canned my peaches last year with a tiny amount of sugar, so they were out and so was my corn. But I have lots of other veggies still left in our larder.

015-001And then we started…

Days 1-8 – Honestly, I didn’t feel any different. No hangover feeling, no “I want to kill everything in sight”, and no huge sugar cravings. Hurray! πŸ™‚ Now I will tell you that on Day 4 the kids were a little more whiny than normal, but this could just be because of the huge storm we had come in or because they were up late the night before. Should we blame the diet?

Maybe I didn’t feel these things because I was expecting to feel them with extreme intensity. Or maybe because we already eat fairly cleanly anyway and it wasn’t as if any of us were trying to break a Diet Coke or sugar habit.

We wanted to do this for a clean reset. And because many of our customers are Paleo and I love to be able to relate to how our patrons eat.

Day 9 – Really? This was the day when I felt irritable and quite honestly was ready for chocolate. Not much, but a little would have been nice. I beat the craving with cashews and grapes. Nope, not the same at all.

Days 10-11 – The days where most quit. Not us. But the kids are starting to miss homemade granola cereal.

We’re starting Day 12 today. The day where are supposed to have “Boundless Energy!”. Not sure what this boundless energy is supposed to like. Does this mean that I would actually want to clean my house and do all the laundry in one day? Can I get back to you on that? ha!

All in all, I think it is going much better than I expected, which is a very nice feeling. I miss the quick breakfasts and lunches – like granola cereal and sandwiches. But we’re doing it.

And that is a very good feeling.

In the comments today, tell me about any food lifestyle changes you have made in your life. Were they as a family or just you on your own? What tricks did you find for making changes to your kids’ diet?

Happy Friday!

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About Sheri Salatin

Sheri is married to Daniel Salatin. She is the marketing director at Polyface Farm and stay-at-home mom of three children. Sheri is passionate about clean food and is enjoying working the land along side her husband. When not farming, Sheri can be found reading, writing, sewing, baking and serving in her church family.
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11 Responses to Family Food Adventure

  1. Love this….doing th 100 days of real food myself; trying to grow what we can, the husband hunts deer & turkey; it’s tough with an almost teenage son, he is constantly eating, so i’m constantly preparing food! If I buy something, say crackers, it has to have less than 5 ingredients, found Whole Foods triscuit-like crackers, they have one ingredient. I’m also hoping for labelling of GMO foods. I’m from England but live in Virginia now – it amazes me how many additives, food colourings are in your food, things that are banned at home.
    I love Polyface and your ethos.

    • Sheri Salatin says:

      That’s wonderful! Thank you for sharing. πŸ™‚ Please stop by Polyface sometime now that we’re “neighbors”. lol

  2. Great post. I’ve often wondered if other people with non-junk diets don’t get the highs and lows from various dietary changes. I don’t, either. I also think it’s because our diets are pretty high quality already (hardly any sugar, farm everything, I do lots of canning, we buy half and quarter meat shares directly from ranchers in our area, etc.). I imagine it’s quite different after a lot of fast food and soda in your life. I haven’t tried Whole 30, but we’ve done things like no alcohol, no gluten, no dairy, lots of juicing, etc. One or two days will be harder than the others but, as you point out, that might be the case anyway. I can’t blame the diet because it could be the fact that we’re tired, worked too much, haven’t gotten out in the sunshine enough.

    The two biggest changes for us are that, after doing low white flour and low-to-no sugar for a while, we: 1) Don’t want it as much. One loaf of multigrain (homemade) bread sits in the freezer and lasts about two weeks between the two of us. We thaw slices in the toaster oven as needed. The bread isn’t in easy reach but it’s there if we really want it, so we eat much less than if it’s just sitting there. 2) Everything tastes REALLY sweet to us now, in a bad way (and thank heavens!). My husband tried a honey mustard dressing at his office salad bar yesterday and thought it was like eating spoons of honey, and I could only eat two bites of a cookie the other day before I had to just stop. We still eat fruit and put honey in our tea, but it’s SO much less than in anything else.

  3. Jubie says:

    This is really cool, Sheri! Can’t wait to hear more about it.:)

  4. Jessica says:

    Good for you and your family! I’d love to try Whole30, but my husband and kids are not on board currently. I know I won’t be able to do it alone, I am very weak when it comes to cheating and quitting. I thrive on support and would have to remove all the offending food from the house, like you did. Maybe someday. I will just be praying about it in the mean time!

    • Sheri Salatin says:

      Jessica, yes, it is very hard to cook two separate meals. I agree with you there. During my three years of active Lyme, my family wasn’t as ready to forgo all then, so I did just that for several years. This has been the first “whole family food adventure” πŸ™‚
      Perhaps one day for yours too!

  5. Connie says:

    I have not heard of Whole30, but I know/read some of the Paleo diet; but more importantly I read “Grain Brain” and was influenced by it. My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s about a year ago and my sisters and I have memory issues. Reading the book and relating it to my poor health, I felt I had nothing to loose by trying the diet. I had already stopped Diet Coke or any other soda about 7 years ago and became much more concerned about artificial ingredients. “The Food Babe” brought me further further along by making me aware of the toxins in prepared foods. Furthermore, as my education about food increased, I became determined to eat organic/non-GMO as much as humanly possible. That prompted me to get chickens for eggs over 2 years ago. It should be known that I hated eggs prior to this. Having come this far with my food/diet, it did not seem that difficult for me to adopt the “Grain Brain” diet. I have an 18 year old daughter and a 61 year old husband who were not entirely on-board with this diet, so I retreated for the first week to our vacation home. For the first 7 days I ate strictly by the “book”. I must say that I definitely went through a very sluggish, 4-5 days where I felt awful, but stuck it out and was feeling good at the end of the week. i returned home and managed to stay on this diet another 7 days (so 14 days total). I felt good and lost some weight; however, I was really, really craving bread or potatoes. It was also becoming very difficult to cook for my parents (when I go help them once a week) because they will not eat this way and I had to cook (and therefore eat) a little bit of carbs. I found that when I added back a tiny bit of carbs (about the equivalent of 1 slice of bread per day) I was o.k.; but if I exceeded that amount, my stomach would kill me. Interestingly enough, I could tolerate a little bit of sugar easier. The real deal breaker was when I ate the flour/grain, sugar, and fat combo. That combination kills my stomach. I have continued on this modified diet. I am not eating any grocery store prepackaged foods. We buy all our meats from small farmers, buy wild caught seafood, eat our own fresh eggs, buy the chickens feed from Countryside Organics in Waynesboro, VA,, use olive oil and organic virgin coconut oil to cook with, organic butter, and grow our own garden produce from non-GMO seeds and can and freeze the excess for winter. I buy organic fresh vegetables during the winter wherever I can find them. I still have health issues, but I guarantee you that the inflammation that I have suffered for so long has been greatly relieved. I hope that me taking the time to write this helps someone else.

    • Sheri Salatin says:

      Connie, thank you so much for sharing your journey with food. Day by day the choices we make in what eat certainly makes a difference. You have a beautiful journey!

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