How to Eat Primally…in Spite of Your Family!

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Being on a diet is hard. If you are single, with no kids, and only have yourself to worry about, it is tough. Add household members to cook for, whether it is parents, spouses, children, roommates, whoever it may be, and the difficulty increases exponentially!

In my case, I have a husband and two sons living at home. When I found out I was diabetic and decided to make a lifestyle change, my family was not exactly doing somersaults about doing it with me. My husband is not giving up the potato chips. My sons do not want to give up the ice cream. And cookies. And mashed potatoes. And french fries. And sandwiches. You get the picture.

So how do you do it? How do you stay true to your dietary changes, and not make your family crazy? How do you attempt to please everyone?

I believe in the primal lifestyle. I think it is the healthiest way to eat. Eat meat, fowl, and fish, lots of vegetables, some fruits, and healthy fats. Don’t eat grains and sugars. Basically, if God made it, eat it. If it was processed, don’t eat it. So how does this fit in a household with ice cream and potato chips?

My sons (12 and 15 years old) actually make pretty healthy food choices. If I put a platter down on one side of the table with sugar snap peas, jicama, cucumbers, grapes and cantaloupe, and then on the other side of the table put a bag of potato chips and some chocolate chip cookies, my sons would pick the fruits and veggies. But they still want the chips and cookies there, just in case!

I try to make everyone eat as primally as possible during the week, with treats on the weekend. Breakfast usually consists of eggs and bacon, sausage or ham. Lunch for me is usually leftovers from dinner the night before or a big salad plus protein. I homeschool one of my sons, and he usually eats what I do. I keep a bowl of copycat KFC coleslaw, made with Splenda in the fridge, as well as a bowl of Fire and Ice Salad. Yes, I use Splenda. I know this isn’t primal, but if this is biggest sin, I can live with it.

Snacks get interesting. Every week I buy a bunch of fresh veggies, cut them up, and store them in bags in the refrigerator. I take grapes off the stems, and freeze them. I cut up melon and store it in containers in the refrigerator. We have macadamia nuts and pistachios I buy at Trader Joes. I make the healthy choices up front and center in the refrigerator. I keep the nuts in the front of the pantry, with the chips in the back!

I plan my suppers like a meat and three restaurant. I include meat, low starch vegetables, salad…all primal choices. Then most days I will include a starch. I try to keep their starch choices as healthy as possible, like sweet potatoes, potatoes, corn…things that are not processed.

I try to eat at home 5-6 nights a week. Usually, at least one night will be leftovers. That means I need to plan 4-5 dinners. For variety, I rotate pork, beef, chicken, fish and seafood. I look at what is on sale each week, and plan around that. I always have frozen corn, spinach, green beans, broccoli, and greens. I try to keep potatoes, sweet potatoes and onions on hand. Then I go to my favorite produce stands, and whatever fresh produce I buy is what I feature, with the staples in my freezer and pantry filling in.

Here is this week’s supper menu. I am including our evening activity schedule, just so you see that I do not live in an idyllic world! I have two sons involved in activities, I homeschool, I blog, I have an antiques business, plus my husband is in Saudi Arabia for a couple of years, so I have all of the household responsibilities on me, plus I have things I have to do for our construction company, development company, and for the 1880 Victorian house we are in the process of moving and restoring. Thank goodness my parents are in the area to help me!

Monday:
(high school football practice from 4-7:30, and baseball from 5:30-7:30)
Grilled Cornish hens
Grilled zucchini
Watermelon

Tuesday:
(high school football practice from 4-7:30)
Crockpot Buffalo Chicken
Fire and Ice Salad, made with Splenda
Copycat KFC Coleslaw, made with Splenda

Wednesday:
(high school football practice from 4-7:30, and baseball from 5:30-7:30)
Crockpot Cube Steak
Mashed potatoes
Turnip greens

Thursday:
(JV football game from 6-8)
Tilapia
Sweet potatoes
Broccoli

Friday:
(cello from 4-5 and baseball from 5:30-7:30)
Out to eat

Saturday:
Chili
Can be made into Frito Pie for the boys

Sunday:
(Sunday dinner at my in-laws, symphony from 2:15 to 5, pitching lesson 4-5)
Ham
Biscuits
Green beans

So you see I always have things that I can eat, with no grains. A few days a week I offer starchy options for the boys. I am lucky to have boys that love zucchini and collard greens, and I know everyone isn’t that blessed. Substitute whatever non-starchy vegetables your family will eat. And I do use my slow cooker a LOT! You can eat healthy and keep everyone happy! I will start posting my weekly menu, if anyone is interested!

Kary