Today I’m featuring a Guest Post from the fantastic ladies at EatPlayLive! Karina Stuke and Jennifer Sturm are both busy moms and trainers, and they have some awesome things to share! Be sure to check out their website and their Facebook page.
We have a tremendous amount of respect for the work that Jennie does with Easy Paleo. Who doesn’t love her kitchen tips, awesome recipes, and other Paleo lifestyle tidbits? When we were approached to do a guest post for her outstanding blog, we weren’t sure what we could offer her community of followers. We gave it some thought as we went about our respective days. We noodled on it during our early morning exercise time, working with our clients, while prepping food, cooking, and cleaning the house, while volunteering at school, at music lessons, during homework time, while serving and eating dinner, at soccer practice and basketball games, while playing kickball in the backyard, during the bed time routine, while folding laundry and packing lunches…
Sounds like a crazy day, right? Well, for a working mom that runs a “Real Food Household” with healthy, active kids, this is EVERY day. This is our reality. Sure, it would be nice to take some shortcuts to make life a bit easier, but…
Wait a minute.
Eat Play Live proudly presents:
The Top Three Reasons for Not Feeding Your Family Real Food,
and How to Overcome Them…
Yes, we understand that this title is a bit on the lengthy side, but it explains the fundamental reason why we launched Eat Play Live. We believe in honesty, transparency, support, and keeping a sense of humor along the way. With six young children between us, we are fully aware that life “happens”. Raise your hand if sometime during the chaos of the school morning routine you put dinner in the crock pot, plugged it in, set the cook time, and forgot to press the “START” button. Eight hours later you come home to $25 worth of spoiled food, and even worse – nothing for dinner! How about this one: You spent hours shopping for, prepping, cooking and serving up a new delicious Paleo recipe. Your three children dig in, and then immediately push away their plates and ask for something else. According to those sweet faces it’s too spicy/salty/green/chewy/crunchy/mushy or whatever other texture/color/taste issues they happen to be having that day.
So our question for you is: When life happens, how do you stay the course?
How do you regroup? How do you stay committed to the cause? At Eat Play Live we hope to provide two things:
1) A safe community of support for those who are attempting to give their families a chance at lifelong health and wellness.
2) Tips and strategies on how to survive raising a family following Paleo/Primal/Whole Food principles in a society that does not offer much support for this cause.
So what exactly ARE these excuses we hear on a regular basis?
“IT’S TOO HARD!”
This is the most common concern we hear from those who want to transition their families to a Paleo/Primal/Whole Foods lifestyle. We are here to tell you that they are absolutely, positively, 100% correct. Yup… It’s hard. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but again, we believe in honesty and transparency. Honesty leads to more preparation, and the more prepared you are, the more success you will have!
Pizza delivery… EASY
A working mom cooking Paleo meals from scratch every night… HARD
Drive-thru between sporting events… EASY
Timing the family dinner so everyone can enjoy a meal together… HARD
Mac ‘n cheese and hotdogs… EASY
Washing, chopping, prepping, stirring, and sautéing while explaining long division to an eight year old… HARD
Alright, alright… we know what you’re thinking: If it’s so hard, then why do we do it? Why not take the easy way out? Why not just take a few shortcuts while the kids are young to survive this season of our lives?
FOR THE SAKE OF OUR FAMILIES’ FUTURE HEALTH, IT IS WORTH IT!
The motto at Eat Play Live is simple: “We don’t just feed our families. We NOURISH them.”
So what does this look like? It takes commitment, planning, resourcefulness, creativity, flexibility, and sometimes even a Plan B. Oh, and did we mention that you have to have and keep your sense of humor? Find that friend that can laugh both with and at you when things seem to be falling apart all around you and you can’t do anything right. Trust us. This is where the sanity piece comes in. It’s all about entering into a community of support.
“IF IT’S NOT ‘KID FOOD’, THEY WON’T EVEN TRY IT, LET ALONE EAT IT.”
This is where a simple gut check comes in to play: Are you taking the time to educate your kids around why you are asking them to try new vegetables, or are you simply demanding that they choke down every last leaf of spinach on their plates? Are you giving your kids a sense of ownership around the transition by allowing them be a major player? Just like an athlete who spends each game buried at the end of the bench on the sidelines, it’s difficult to feel like a part of the victory. Switch your mindset and think in terms of your family being a team, and insert your kids in the starting lineup! Take them to the grocery store. Include them in menu selection. Have them help with food preparation. Give them the opportunity to buy in to what you are selling, by making them an instrumental part of the process.
On the Eat Play Live website, we introduce you to our children. Affectionately called “The Stu Crew”, they share their own thoughts and insights about living in a Paleo household. Share this with your own children, as these amazing kids hope to inspire other children to make better choices for their health.
“BUT I AM NOT A GOOD COOK AND I DON’T LIKE BEING IN THE KITCHEN!”
There are certain chores around the house that we don’t particularly enjoy doing. For example, we don’t know anyone who wakes up on a Saturday morning and says, “Whoo hoooo! I have to the clean the bathrooms today!”. It’s not on our list of favorite things to do, but we do it. The longer you let it go, the worse it gets, and the harder it is to get it back to it’s original clean state. In the same way, the longer put off introducing your kids to eating whole foods, the more difficult it is going to be.
As parents we are responsible for taking care of ALL aspects of our household, and we believe this includes health. The reality of life as a parent is that you are asked to make sacrifices. You may not presently enjoy the process of cooking a whole foods meal for your family, but we have found that if people give it a chance, they grow to like it – and in many instances LOVE it! Keep it simple to start. Kids typically don’t enjoy gourmet meals with fancy sauces and exotic herbs. Add some grass-fed butter and sea salt to steamed broccoli. Sauté green beans and slivered almonds in coconut oil. Serve these with their favorite meat dish. These are very simple and fast ways to get some whole foods on the table without making you feel like you are a slave to your kitchen.
The most wonderful thing about the Paleo community is that it is the most supportive group we have ever been a part of. Tap in to it! Ask for help. Seek solutions to problems. Share your successes and struggles. Introduce yourself on our Facebook page, and let us know how we can support both you and your family. Whatever you do, don’t let these perceived obstacles get in the way of keeping your family on the road to improved health. Stay the course. Your family is worth it!