A reader recently asked (as well as participants in my new cooking classes) how are the kids doing and what are they eating, since I started with the detox diet and all the changes that followed.
“I wonder how it goes with your kids? Do they change their diet too? Do you eat separately and prepare food for yourself only? What do your kids it?”
Well, things have changed around here.
Honestly, I was overwhelmed myself at first with changing my own diet. In fact, on the fist day of the detox I freaked out. I thought “Now I have to cook for myself, for my husband, AND for the kids and make 3 separate meals!”
Luckily, my husband was pretty much on board with me. He too, was already fed up with eating animal protein at every dinner and wanted lighter meals. Watching food documentaries like Food Inc., Food Matters, The Future of Food, etc has educated us both about what’s going on with food in the US. Not a pretty picture.
So, husband was easy.
Now, the kids.
Since the detox, I’ve been making a morning (or more accurately, a daily) shake. At first I used only fruit, but slowly I started adding leafy greens like kale, spinach, arugula, lettuce, etc.
At first the kids were hesitant about it when the shake got GREEN but after a while the curiosity got over their skepticism and they asked to try it, and of course it was delicious and they loved it, because IT IS yummy.
Now my 4 years old makes it with me sometimes and she doesn’t mind if I add flaxseeds and the green-colored pumpkin protein powder.
When it comes to change, I believe in baby steps. I did not make the change overnight. It took weeks. These days when I feel so good, energized, and 23 lbs. lighter, I LOVE this new way of eating. And, of course, I don’t want to fight with my kids over food.
In the process of change, I got suspicious that my daughter is sensitive to milk. So we had an experiment. We eliminated milk and cheese and yogurt from her meals for a week and what do you know? She felt so much better. (She was very gassy before, every day.) So now we rarely use cow’s milk and other diary-products—I buy almond and coconut milk—and we use dairy products way less then we used to before.
Also, since I found I’m sensitive to wheat/gluten and learned that a lot of people are actually sensitive to them (but might not have obvious symptoms), I don’t push my kids to eat bread or finish their sandwich, and I started buying brown rice pasta and noodles instead of the regular ones.
Breakfast has long been a fruit salad in our house but now I believe in it even more. It takes 5 minutes to make—people think for some reason it’s time consuming but for sure it’s quicker then making pancakes or toast or even scrambled eggs. Kids love fruit.
It’s funny that—and I get asked that many times—people are concerned about the sugar in the fruit. My answer is, think about all the sugar you put into your body each day that comes not from fruit but from other sources (sugar, morning cereals, bread, pasta, baked goods….) and worry about that first. Besides, I eat tons of fruit every day and still lose weight–can’t argue with the results
I try to get the kids involved in the new foods I make now, like lentils. I ask be with me in the kitchen and together we sort them, just like my grandma used to ask me to sort lentils, rice, beans and such.
When I changed my eating habits (it wasn’t easy. It took about 6 weeks to make a real, lasting change), I felt guilty about my family eating the “old” ways, less unhealthy than me. So slowly, but surely, I introduced the change. Fruit is an easy place to start and well as giving up on the dairy (or substitute for almond, coconut milk).
It give me lots of pleasure to see my family eating fresh fruit.