Blogger Peggy Emch over at The Primal Parent started eating Primal back in 2005 in order to try and overcome infertility and some other health issues. Thanks in part to her strict Primal lifestyle, she had a healthy pregnancy and is now raising a healthy and happy six year old!
Peggy recently decided to email a bunch of Primal bloggers for some words of wisdom in order to create a reference list for Primal parents with children. If you’re interested in a Primal lifestyle and want to include the kids, you should definitely check out her excellent post of collected Primal Parenting wisdom. Also, our friend Joanne @ The Real Food Mama is always an excellent resource.
From The Primal Parent:
For a long time the Paleo community didn’t even have any parent bloggers. Now there are a few but most of them are still still lingering in the shadows. I was thinking that someone ought to make a reference guide for all the Paleo/Primal parents who need more Primal/Paleo parenting tips.
So last week I emailed all the Primal minded parent bloggers I could think of for a few words of wisdom and a favorite book pic on parenting or Primal somthin’ or other.
They all emailed me back and now, we’ve got a rockin’ list of Paleo/Primal parents, plus a glimpes into their minds, and what got them there.
Living a Paleo lifestyle means planning ahead, being prepared and putting in that extra degree of effort; and yet the trade off is experiencing the joy, vibrancy, and delight of raising a family that is not merely surviving in our modern world but thriving!
A couple of books that have helped me over the years as a parent and in living this lifestyle have been: Nourishing Traditions (although not entirely Paleo/Primal, still very compelling and eye opening!) and for parenting, I learned everything I needed to know from Dave Barry’s book Babies and Other Hazards of Sex, oh and Jane Nelsen’s, Positive Discipline.
The most important thing any parent can do for their family’s health is to follow a nutrient-dense, toxin-free “Primal” or “Paleo” diet. The vast majority of modern disease can be prevented – and even reversed – with this change alone.
I’m partial to The Perfect Health Diet, Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint and Robb’s Paleo Solution. Which book I recommend depends on the person.
I know first hand how hard it can be to shift through the mountains of conflicting information on how to raise our kids to be healthy. It seems like every few weeks a new study or research comes along and disproves everything the so called “experts” had be trumpeting. As a mother I have found that the best indicator of my families health is not outside opinions from doctors or scientists, but is instead something that has been with all of us for thousands of years…. our bodies, and they are much better at keeping us alive then we seem to like to admit.
Three books that I think are worth their weight in gold for anyone interested in a healthier life style are: The Paleo Solution, Gut and Psychology Syndrome, Forgotten Skills of Cooking. All of these books look at how “we” as a country have almost managed to convince ourselves that the food we eat is nothing more then caloric intake needed to survive.
A healthy nutritional foundation is one of the best gifts you can give your child and research has shown that a healthy diet in childhood can help prevent a host of problems later on. In our world, feeding your kids a healthy diet also often requires a healthy dose of “Vitamin N” (telling them no) to keep them away from unhealthy options. Provide them with healthy, real foods and explain to them why you choose to eat this way. Let them be involved in the planning and preparation and give them the resources to make healthy choices throughout their life.
On health topics I was influenced by The Primal Blueprint and Good Calories, Bad Calories. On parenting, I’m old-fashioned, but I like most of John Rosemond’s books (He wrote The Well Behaved Child).
[While Melissa isn’t a parent (yet), she writes about women’s issues as they relate to Hunter gatherer societies. She is a great resource for learning about women and parenting from traditional cultures and reads so much, I just had to ask her for a book suggestion!]
[She emailed me this:] People should start thinking about children early and making plans for adding them into their lives. [And on Twitter she said one day:] I’m going to have children just so I can have hostages to play legos, sharks and minnows, and Pokemon with.[I hope to meet her one day, she seems super cool.]
Nina Planck’s Real Food for Mother and Baby, The Continuum Concept, and Ancient Bodies, Modern Lives by Wenda Trevethan.
My goal is Primal progress not perfection. I believe many baby steps add up to great strides. I strive to provide awareness and teaching by telling my story as someone whose Primal journey hasn’t always taken a linear path.
The Primal Blueprint came first and sold me with its thoroughness but I like Everyday Paleo for a female friendly, moderate, just the facts ma’am approach.
The Primal lifestyle is a beautifully integrated approach to sound nutrition, exercise, and wellness. Its benefits range from what you might expect (like becoming leaner and stronger) to what you might not (like relief of persistent pain, discomfort, and illness). Don’t worry about learning – it comes easily. You can always look to the many welcoming online communities (like Peggy’s blog) for what you need to know.
The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness, by Edward Hallowell, M.D.
The best thing for me about the Primal lifestyle has been the huge increase in patience I have with my children. Since I no longer feel crummy most of the time I’m able to be a more compassionate and fun mother.
I first heard about traditional foods and then Primal/Paleo from the women on the mothering.com forums. I could spend days just surfing around on that site. It’s an amazing resource for attachment parenting, natural healthcare and so much more!
How To Raise A Healthy Child…In Spite Of Your Doctor. This book… helped shape the way I view healthcare. Dr. Mendelsohn really questions the mainstream medical system of over-medicating and just treating the symptoms. Instead he advocates that a healthy body can heal itself. He gives practical advice on how to do it.
One of the most intimidating things about starting a Primal lifestyle is a sense of pressure to get things right immediately from the get-go. Don’t let this hold you back! If you like, dive in by tackling things one at a time. Try giving up sugar and corn syrup first, then after a while give up gluten… From there you can move into eliminating trans fats, other grains, and excess omega-6… Lean on the extensive community of Primal and Paleo blogs and forums to help you find inspiration, recipes, and solutions to common problems. Over time healthful habits will become second nature and you and your family will be eating Primally!
Living a life without processed foods and chemicals has changed all 5 of us! Once an out of control, sick and sluggish family our boys are now energetic, boisterous, happy tree-climbers with dirt under their fingers and smiles on their faces. We as parents feel better than our high school days, having lost over 200lbs in 15 months as well as completely transforming our own personal health. What we learned is that living healthfully doesn’t have to mean deprivation of the special treats that our kids were frustrated to be missing out on, instead we transitioned using Elana Amsterdam’s Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook.The kids loved having a book on the shelf they could turn to and open when their friends would be having cookies at preschool. It ended up being an invaluable tool for our family in making the switch to Paleo.
Having children was our biggest form of motivation for changing our eating and lifestyle habits. We want our children to grow up as happy and healthy as possible. We believe with all our hearts that living a Primal/Paleo lifestyle is the way to accomplish that.
Mark Sisson’s The Primal Blueprint made a huge impact on us. It was our first contact with this lifestyle, so it will always hold a special place for us.
One thing that my husband keeps reminding me – “remember YOU are in charge – not them.” The best way to deal with helping them eat well is having lots of Paleo food they like available, like a big fruit bowl. I cook bacon, eggs and fruit for breakfasts. Lunch – fruit and nut bars, fresh fruit, homemade sushi, packets of cashew nuts. They are starving when they come home from school – so I try to have something ready.
I really like Nigel Latta and have gleaned a lot of great parenting tips from him goldfishwisdom.org.
Living primal/paleo is actually possible – even if you have three kids under five! It has taken me some time to find family friendly recipes and to learn my groove in the kitchen, but now it is virtually second nature. Be patient with your transition – it will come.
I share with my readers how I am managing Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, hypercholesterolemia, and my childrens’ seasonal allergies. In my humble opinion, this lifestyle is THE BEST way to remedy those health problems (and I am kind-of obsessed with studying nutrition – 35 books in the past year!) More than anything though, what I want is to be a patient, energetic mom. This way of eating actually changes moods too – just ask Peggy!
Book recommendations… The Mood Cure, Gut and Psychology Syndrome,The Paleo Solution, Protein Power Lifeplan, Nourishing Traditions, The Vitamin D Solution, how can I choose just one?!
The Primal Parent
I have spent years experimenting with food, with supplements, and with exercise regimens and, while I have finally managed to get to a very healthy place, I realize that striving for perfection is like chasing the end of a rainbow.
At some point you’ve got to stop obsessing and accept what you have. This is going to come at a different moment for everyone but we must keep in mind that what we seek is not perfection (I’m not talking about but rather symptoms) and that everything in nature comes with imperfections, mutations, and oddities.
The book that changed my life probably more than any other wasNutrition and Physical Degeneration. The fact that our diet, and not genetics, causes crowding of the jaw, and that the position of the jaw and teeth is a reflection of the development of our skeleton, and hence our brains was as profound a thought as any I’d ever heard in philosophy classes. Weston Price was a keen observer of the body and had a very sophisticated sense for human nature.
It was after reading his book that I started eating raw dairy and then raw everything and it is where I first read about peoples who do not eat fiber. I attribute my recovery and understanding of nature to his work. (Him and Pottenger.)
I’m sure this isn’t a complete list of all the Primal/Paleo parent blogs out there. Please add to the list in the comments. And if you are a Paleo/Primal parent blogger, shoot me an email to get yourself on the list!