15 February 2012

The cake isn't Paleo...

It would appear as if I was a total slacker for Valentine's Day. I did not make or purchase cards for any members of my family. I did not get them any little conversation hearts or Dove Promises.

I did not get my awesome husband ANYthing or even make him a meal. Of course, what my husband always wants for Valentine's Day can't be purchased at the card store or the candy store. I slacked not because I don't love them...'cuz you know I do...it's just because I have stuff going on.

But after I got everyone out of the house and had some space to chill, I realized that I actually like doing stuff for Valentine's Day...so I made this...

Mmmmmm...'all-natural' and gluten-free...with Betty Crocker frosting 
(yes, the kind with partially hydrogenated soybean oil as the main ingredient)
Unfortunately, the bottom layer wasn't cooked all the way ... oops.
But everyone was really excited to be having cake...
...even though I made them go around the table and say something loving to everyone else 
before I would let them have any :)

My kids like to eat crappy food. Doesn't even matter if the cake is only partially cooked. I wish they hungered for vegetables and quinoa...but they don't. I've been a little indulgent in terms of mealtimes in the interest of getting whatever I can that has some remote nutritional value into their bodies. I know why I've done this, and I also understand why many people frown on it. Whatever. It has definitely been in reaction to how food was approached when I was a kid. 

Don't get me wrong...they are not plowing through Big Macs, a supersized fries and chocolate shakes...EVER. But they do eat hot dogs and merguez sausage, pasta with butter (sometimes gluten-free, sometimes not), pizza frequently...I strive to make the 'healthful' choices within the crap framework, and I know we need to make some changes.

After watching the video below, I am more inspired to make these nutritional, dietary changes...because I love my family too much to not make these changes. Or at least try them.

While I'm not sold yet on the idea of an entirely Paleo diet, my lunch today was inspired by Dr. Wahls' presentation...

A box containing half a pound of spinach...
it was two-thirds full when I started...
...now it's completely empty and I'm done.

I think if I approach the boys with the fact that some of the dietary changes are 'hunter/gatherer' based and they can be like cavemen, I might have a fighting chance.

I've given Big G the lowdown on drinking CocaCola (click that). He is so bummed and told me that he wishes he were still in the dark, but I have noticed that he no longer seems as interested in begging/sneaking/drowning himself in Coke.

I'm pretty sure Coke isn't Paleo because of the sugar. But what about Diet Coke? I guess the cavemen didn't have aspartame, so it's probably out, too.

How hard would it be for you to take Dr. Wahls' challenge? What is your stance on nutrition and health? How do you decide what to eat and what to not eat?

– I am going to try this challenge. I don't expect to be fully successful at first, but it makes a lot of sense to me. I've been working actively on deciding to eat things that are good for my body as opposed to tasty yet nutritionally unsound. I've developing some very unpopular opinions on the subject of 'treats' but I do not preach nor do I judge because I, myself, do indulge in 'treats'...even knowing what I know.


  1. This is such a timely post! I'm struggling with food right now. I want my family to eat better but it is so hard. My children are picky to say the least. And just when I think i know what "healthy" is, something changes. Good luck!

  2. The Paleo diet goes against everything I believe. While it may lean a person up (it does--I've seen it) I believe in the long run you are doing waaaaaay more harm than good to your body. I'm of the opinion that a meat- and dairy-free plant-strong diet is the way to go.

  3. I think partially undercooked cake is even better. :)

    I've gotten really pretty good at having very nicely balance dinners... I figure one good meal a day is a good start. I'm not a big fan of any really restrictive diets but different things work for different people and I am definitely not one to judge. I'm not to strict when it comes to eating... I think variety and everything in moderation is the way to go. I'm much more lenient on my snacking though than I am on my kids. "Yes, mommy is having a cupcake for snack, but you can't... how about some carrot sticks?" :)

  4. Wow, apparently I'm all about spelling & grammar typos too... oh well. :)

  5. I am somewhere in the middle on these kinds of things... I think the Greeks had it somewhat right, find the Golden Mean between things and stay as close to that as possible. I tend to eat anything, I didn't crawl my way to the top of the food chain to only eat vegetables. I do eat them, more now than I did as a kid, but, to quote my 11 year old daughter, "I would be a vegetarian if meat didn't taste so good." I try VERY hard to avoid overly processed foods and ingredients with more syllables than there are Catholic saints. I don't like "fake oils" give me animal or real plant oils from plants that actually produce them (ie coconut, peanut, olive)and I steer clear of margarine and pick butter. I figure if it won't melt under tap water temps, how hot do I need to be for the stuff to liquify in my bloodstream? Our bodies know what to do with real food, it is all the garbage they add that is doing us in. OK, this is now as long as your post. Sorry.

  6. As I sit here licking chocolate frosting from a spoon (and not even homemade frosting LOL)...

    I try really hard to get my kids to try new things and we do for the most part avoid soda and processed foods, but I'm also a big believer in nothing being off limits in small, infrequent amounts. And I'm pretty sure I'd never let my kids eat the big spoonful of frosting I just ate...

  7. With most of this kind of stuff, I'm mostly a I-see-your-point-but-there's-no-way-I'm-living-like-that kind of girl. I absolutely try really, really hard to eat lots of fresh fruits & vegetables & lean protein, but damned if I'm giving up Mission burritos & deep dish pizza! And cheese. I'd rather die from eating cheese than from a broken heart due to not having it. I'm convinced that if the cavemen knew what they were missing in that regard, they'd have gladly made the trade-off.

    And OMG, if I had to be responsible for the nutritional needs of other people as well -- I agree, you do your best with the time & energy you have, you try to educate them & hope they learn to make good choices, and that's kind of the most anyone can ask!

  8. Nutrition will certainly be a frontier I need to explore along this journey - both for myself and for my kids. The only thing that resembles "paleo" in our family is the amount of meat we eat (venison my boys kill, hogs our neighbor kills and cattle his uncle raises/kills). But we eat way too many processed, non-whole grain carbs, drink soda more than I like to admit and probably consume more than our share of any other carcinogen we shouldn't. But I believe in baby steps. I will celebrate that my children will eat some veggies (and so will I) and many fruits (same here) and try to eat less of the general crap.

  9. Wow, her healing is amazing! I want to go out right now and buy tons of fresh fruits and veggies. I struggle with getting enough of these in my family's diet. This video is a great reminder of how important they are. Thanks!

  10. I just can't get behind Paleo because of the restriction on beans and tofu. How can those possibly be harmful?! My approach is to just aim for a majority of whole foods, and everything else in moderation.

  11. I'm reaaaaaallllly wary of the Paleo diet, or any other book/philosophy/person who says that there's only one way to be healthy.

    So many traditional cultures have very healthy food and good health/longevity in their populations while eating very, very different things.
    Humans have evolved to eat and be healthy eating the foods that are available to them in their particular environment, whether that's a fish-soy-veggie model, a veggie-meat-whole grain model, a legume-veggie-whatever......blah blah blah.

    I'm a big fan of two food quotes. Michael Pollan's "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants" and Julia Child's "Everything in moderation. Even moderation"

  12. I'd certainly eat partially cooked cake. In fact, I always wonder who thought to put the batter in the oven, it's so much tastier straight out of the bowl!

  13. I switched to no meat and a veggie packed diet and it has helped me a lot...and easier than I thought it would be.
    .....I haven't had coffee yet so this may be stupid but...is the cake really GF? If so..recipe pls...

  14. I have a girlfriend who just e-mailed me about this and is encouraging me to try it out for the sake of my fertility. It's seems extreme that I go from being a total carb/preservative/trash eater to this overnight, but I'm interested for sure.

    Your cake was pretty, by the way. Mother O' Da Year. I nominate you. Today.

  15. My problem has more to do with overeating rather than eating unhealthily.

  16. I wish I had sound on my computer right now--unfortunately, I'll have to save the video for a later time.

    I have tried a more nutritious, well-balanced diet myself, but I always think everything in moderation is a good motto. And I indulge in the occasional snack, too... I just try to keep them as healthy as possible. Have you tried kale chips? My mommy friends say it's the one healthy thing their kids like to eat!

  17. I can't watch the video at work, but I could use some good food inspiration. My family always has fruits/vegetables available to them, but there's definitely room for improvement in what I'm feeding them. It's so frustrating, though, bc my husband is pretty darn resistant. And, while he isn't necessarily trying to, he is constantly working against me...buying pop tarts and horrible crap like that.

  18. I love pure sugar candy like conversation hearts. Going to watch the video in a bit.

    I'm not real good in the diet area, but am trying to improve. My diet right now consists of weighing myself every morning and eating better if I've gained a couple pounds. Not a real good plan if I really want to lose 10 pounds :-)

  19. Inspired by this post, I've just now started a screenplay that is based in an alternate universe where cavemen DID have aspartame and dogs talked. All I've go so far is the opening line to the preview (you have to say this with that deep movie voice-over voice):

    "In a world where Cavemen have diet soda and dogs talk..."

    Hot, right?

  20. Oh my goodness, this post is just a good way to think. I eat like a teenager I think although I always keep the color chart in my head to that I make sure I am getting enough good healthy foods. My little E is Gluten Free so that has made us all eat better, but my kids eat super healthy anyway, I should just eat like them and I would be all good. I do believe in balance and cutting things other than refined sugars etc. out of your diet may not be the best thing and for me it's not sustainable...but I do try and will keep trying! A little undercooked cake can always be good and ps. Gluten Free cakes are hard to cook, so good on you!

  21. My kids are super picky too. I'm horrible and a total short order cook. But, I do insist that they consume some sort of vegetable along with their buttered pasta and I do force fruit in their bodies prior to them consuming some packaged snack after school.

    I'm not a fan of restricting anything. But, I do strive for balance and think we can all benefit from focusing on whole foods and cutting back on the processed.


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