Day 6 of the 30-Day Paleo Challenge. How’s it going so far? Did you read about my almost-screw-up on Day 1? Haha, had totally forgot that it was the 1st. It’s all good though, my sister caught me before I made the mistake of snatching a candy that my nephews were using to decorate a gingerbread house with. Oh, you're probably wondering about the family photo. We'll get to that.
I am still up north at my sister’s place enjoying family time and playing with my adorable nephews (I don’t get to see them super often, living an 8-9 hour drive away). I’m sure I’ve mentioned that they actually are the cutest boys in the world. Still true. Because of all the family time, I have not been able to put a new recipe with photos together (don’t worry, my sister and I have been doing some brainstorming and recipe creation, but they haven’t been finalized yet), but I do have some stories for you.
Paleo Challenges – Early Observations
I was talking to my sister and brother-in-law about the observations that they have made already this early on in the challenge. They are both nurses, so topics that may be out-of-bounds for some people are fair game (WARNING: we're hitting that now). My brother-in-law noted an increase in bowel activity. The other thing is (and I noticed this in my first paleo challenge as well) that BM odor is more… fragrant. I think that's normal with any major diet change since the normal bacteria in our bowels will change as a result, and as they re-balance it should improve. At least that's what I assume is the cause. In my second month that was definitely not an issue anymore.
Also, they both have a sweet tooth, but already they’re noticing that they are not craving sugar the way they usually do. We talked about how we feel satiated after meals and that in the evening there was no need to snack while watching TV in the evening (this was not totally the case for my bro-in-law, but I think he's an exception in that he is always hungry, and mentioned a usual “post-snack snack” after dinner). We also made the observation that snacking in front of the TV is often more out of habit than need.
I think I've mentioned in the past that I generally crave cheese basically all evening, but that hasn't been the case. Don't get me wrong, I miss it, but not in a craving-kinda-way. I think life is better with cheese – for the non-lactose-intolerant like me anyway.
In response to the comment about feeling satiated after the meals that we’ve had up here, I’ve been designing meals that contain most flavors (sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and umami-or savory-, plus spiciness) and have found that when that is the case I feel satisfied with what I’ve eaten and am not left with cravings between meals. This is something I learned when analyzing the Thai diet and how amazing I felt when I was there, as well as a talk by Deepak Chopra talking about an Ayurvedic strategy of all the flavors to gratify your hunger needs (although the list of flavors is a little different in the Ayurvedic world).
Mom mentioned that she's already noticed and increase in her energy. And I don't know if this is related or not, but I am dreaming, or remembering dreams way more than usual. Any thoughts on that?
Paleo Challenge – Family “Support”
So, we’re sitting around the dinner table and Dad starts eating some of the Tim-Bit donuts that he’d brought for my nephews… “Dad! …you’re not doing the challenge with the rest of us? Mom, why isn’t he doing it?” This is the guy who was dragging his feet in trying even gluten-free diet a couple years ago, then when he finally became mostly-paleo found that his health and quality of life had improved that he’s attributed to changing his diet. Later that day we’re all sitting around watching TV and he brings down a big bag of chips. “Seriously Dad?” And then the next day he buys chicken fingers and fries (which we love, and the smell was making me hungry) for the boys and as we’re all sitting around chatting he offers us some of the fries. Haha I almost fingered him, then realized and started laughing my ass off as I told my brother-in-law and sister what almost happened. The other funny thing about that is that I still can’t cuss around my folks. (Betcha didn’t expect that, eh Dad?)
Greatest Family Photo of All Time
All in all, one of the best family Christmas vacations I’ve had in a while! So much fun cooking with my sis, playing with the boys, wearing the Superman onesie (you can find photos on Instagram and Twitter from back in October), connecting with my bro-in-law, and just enjoying my family in general.
My nephews are big into superheros (Yes!!!) and they have a ton of costumes that they play in. When my bro-in-law dresses up with them and they all wrestle, seriously, it's one of the best things ever. I really like fun family photos more than the formal ones, and this is what my sister and I came up with. This was too much fun! …that's not going to make the Awkward Family Photos website is it?!