If you take the Internet’s word for it, eating Paleo is the hot new thing for age 24-25. It seems like everyone from weight-lifters (mostly male) to disordered-eating recoverers (male and female) discover Paleo and adapt it to their life (complete with late nights and NorCal margaritas) and never go back.
But Paleo AIP? The more restricted Paleo diet for people with autoimmune disease that needs sleep and weird (but effective) supplements? Barring the occasional Mickey Trescott, A Clean Plate, or Phoenix Helix, it seems like it’s a mom-iverse. The Paleo Mom. The Paleo Parents. And countless comments on their and my blogs all point to moms who are trying the autoimmune protocol for themselves or for their children.
And as silly as it might seem, I wonder if it’s not easier to adjust and stick to a Paleo AIP lifestyle (complete with early bedtimes and homemade-centric cooking) if you have kids.
Paleo AIP with Kids — Harder, but Also Easier
This question reared its head when JHubbs and I returned from a stressful 4-day trip. Despite our best efforts, bedtime neared midnight and dinner was hasty and “hope I don’t get sick” restaurant orders (… and of course I did). I couldn’t help but think how much easier it would be to enforce my sleep and food limits if there was a child (or two) involved. Is that crazy? (Moms, speak up to tell me I’m crazy!).
Of course, from what I hear, when you’re a mom, your sleeping and eating schedule is determined by your child. Sometimes that means you get less of both. But the benefit I’m focusing on is how much easier it would be to say no to things: dinners out (that seem to pop up the minute I need to eat strict AIP), late-night parties (that sound a lot more fun than going to bed at 8pm, but hurt), and generally being pulled to and fro whether you like it or not.
Restaurant eating AIP is functionally impossible: everything is covered in Omega-6-heavy soy and vegetable oils, and everyone adds unlisted “spice mixes” that often contain gluten to vegetables and meats.
It seems like being AIP with kids would make it easier to say no to these things, and to get less flack about your restrictions. Would someone understand a “No,” if it’s for your 4-year old suffering from allergies? Would it be easier for me to say “No,” if we keep a strict 8pm bedtime (and pre-bedtime rituals) for a child? I think so.
The Answer is Always My Fault
As usual, the answer is somewhere in between. Obviously adding Paleo AIP to your to-do list as a mom is more likely to be stressful than to be a relief. It’s a lot more planning, a lot more trying to control the environment your child is in, and a lot more having to work around someone else feeling deprived (rather than just feeling deprived yourself).
But I also think — at least until I can really stop caring what other people think — it would be nice to have an excuse other than “I get sick.” You’d think that’d be enough, but some people just don’t get it. And when they don’t get it, it sounds pretty weird and selfish and comes with a guilt trip.
Are you Paleo AIP with kids or without? You probably feel strongly about this, so let me know in the comments!