Project Detox took back seat while the grandma's took their turns visiting, but we're back into the swing of things now. Even throughout visitors, I held fast to my rule that no concessions shall be made for individual preferences. On the whole, implementing this rule was much easier than I thought. Once I established it as the new norm and put up with temper tantrums and bad attitudes for the first few days (and occasionally now and then), things have been going better than before. The kids still complain about meals they don't prefer, but they know now that this is all they are going to get. They don't expect to get whatever they want for lunch so when I serve them left overs, it's not the end of the world.
Taking away the sugar, processed snack foods, and most of the grains from their diet was a good way to strip away all the ways they fill themselves between meals and during meals so that what remained was protein and vegetables and dairy. They had to eat them in order to survive because there wasn't going to be anything else to eat! I took the cue to take away grains from Wellness Mama. However, I have been serving whole grains in moderation because I am not convinced that all grains are bad for everybody.
Another good thing about detoxing from sugar and grains and processed foods was that I was able to get a clearer picture about what artificial flavors, colors, excess sugars and perhaps even too many grains do to my kids. I have noticed that my son has a hard time concentrating and the kids get really wound up when they had something that was out of the detox diet. Case in point: my son just came out of his bed and said his tummy hurt from eating too much cake (the only sugar food that was allowed just for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception). From now on, I will be strictly limiting and/or banishing these from their diets. The best advice that I have read was from Sarah at The Healthy Home Economist when she says, "There is no substitute for listening to your body and noticing/observing the effects of a food on your own personal biology."
However, I'm still confused about the grains thing....I am led to believe that the USDA's recommendation for grains is unhealthy. A friends suggested that there be some political motives behind their recommendations. In any case, even in my worst eating days, I've always thought that 6-11 servings of grains a day was atrocious. My husband and I have read the South Beach diet book and have had much success with that diet which cuts out all carbs for the first two weeks, then gradually introduces them in a whole grain approach while watching the glycemic index of starchy foods. But I never thought it was nutritionally appropriate for kids to go without grains. I'm not trying to make my kids lose weight, I just want them to be healthy. Wellness Mamma seems to think that no grains (including beans, corn and potatoes) is the only way to go for everyone, but I'm not convinced about that either. I did a bit of research from her blog and from the internet at large and I came up gasping for air.
Trying to move out of a state of confussion, I ignored all the extremists and paleo dietititions and went with my gut. Until there are more studies done on that, I am not totally eliminating grains. If the kids have one meal a day with grains, I think that's perfect. I'm going to try not to stress about it any more because the more research I do, the more confused I get. Everyone has a different spin and I just want to get off the tilt-a-whirl!
In conclusion of detox week, our lifestyle is now reflecting a more organic, non processed, whole food look. I hope I don't backslide, but from now on, I will be cutting back on whole grains (to about a third of what we were eating), eliminating processed grains, banishing sugar (except for special occasions) and striving toward an organic, whole food diet including grass fed beef and free range chickens.
The kids are still not lapping up their food like Farmer Boy, but I know things like that don't happen overnight. I have seen enough small sucesses to believe that we are on the right track. It's all for the glory of God.
If you have any good nutritional books or websites to suggest, please let me know!