We, The Fragoso Family, live a paleo lifestyle; therefore avoiding grains, dairy, legumes, and sugars. We also happen to live in an extremely non-paleo world. However, as a family we have overcome some serious and some minor health issues; all thanks to cutting out large portions of the food pyramid from our diets. Yes, the food pyramid, that thing that hangs in all of the classrooms across our great nation.
As a family; our lives are obviously and vastly different than our neighbors, friends, teachers, and family members. And yet, everyday we stay strong, healthy, active, and vibrant in a world that is waiting at every corner with food that used to makes us sick, weak, and trapped in our lives. Our lives that we considered to be “normal.”
Now my kids are getting older and we are almost half way to the five year mark of our paleo journey, or pardon me, or LIFE journey, or our REALLY LIVING journey, and let me tell you; kids are really really smart and insightful and not at all blind to what’s happening in our society.
My oldest son Coby, the light of my life, my hero really, will be entering his Junior year of high school next year and we are talking about exciting stuff like which colleges he would like to apply to, what direction he wants to head in career wise, what his friends want to do, where he might want to live. All that normal almost done with high school stuff BUT my son has some serious questions and some serious concerns.
He feels really good eating paleo and has made a concious decision to keep it up, all on his own, no nagging from the Everyday Paleo lady which happens to be his mom. But he rightfully want to know; why? Why is our food supply riddled with foods that are making people so darn sick. Why? Why does HE HAVE to be so careful with every food choice when not at home to avoid being doubled over with abdominal pains. WHO would want to do this to him? WHY don’t I – as his MOTHER – have those answers for him?
Why would the people who are supposed to be taking care of us; those who are supposed to guide us; the folks who are in charge; my son would like to know: why don’t these people care about where our food is coming from, why is our FOOD making people sick, and why do some of his teenage friends have to rely on things like pharmaceuticals to stay healthy when HE knows at sixteen that all it really takes is REAL FOOD?
Does this not make you want to scream? Does this not make you want to grab your children and run for the hills? My bags are half way packed and my kids are already loaded in the car. That’s how it makes me feel. Do I have all of the answers? No. Do I have the power to change or solve all of these gigantic questions that my son has? Not on a global level; but I have the power to create change in my own little world, in my own home and on this blog. Hopefully we all can someday realize our own small influence can make a huge impact and that my friends is the one thing that keeps me from packing it all up and pulling out of the driveway to go get lost on a deserted island somewhere.
And what about my littler boys? My eight year old Jaden, my four year old Rowan. I tear up just typing their names. They trust their mom and dad. They feel good. They are happy. They don’t want their friends to be sick. They are also sometimes scared. ”Why does “insert family member name here” eat gluten mom?” “Why don’t you tell them how bad it is for them?”
Just the other day on an innocent trip to Target to pick up toilet paper; Rowan asked me in the store after noticing for the first time a bag of gold fish crackers, “Mom, why do they make “gluten cheese fish” for kids?” He KNEW if was for kids because of the damn packaging. So yes, someone please explain to my four year old WHY?? Why is this happening???
This blog post unfortunately is not filled with answers; obviously it’s filled with questions. Questions that my own insightful, hopeful, dream-filled, lovely, sweet precious boys would like to have answered and it chokes me up that this is just how it is but I’m filled with hope that they are asking! It makes me march with resilience to the GRUB farm every Tuesday to show my boys where OUR food comes from. It makes me hold my head up high when people ask me in a snarky sort of way, “How are those book sales going, are people still really interested in the whole cave man thing?” It makes me proud when I’m in my garage with little Rowan teaching him how to do pushups and he asks me to race him one more time around the block when not so very long ago it was all I could do to get up off the couch. It makes me angry that I have to work so hard to keep on keeping on but that anger is backed by the joy of knowing that we won’t quit. I’ll say it again simply because it feels good, we won’t quit!
I want every family to ask these questions that my kids are asking me. I want EVERY kid to look up at mom or dad and ask, “Why are they making gluten cheese fish for kids??”
Even though I don’t have all the answers I believe that the answers lie in all of us continuing to ask these important questions also and finding the answers that work for US! Shopping local, demanding meat that is from animals that are raised how they are intended to be raised. Teaching our children WHY we eat the way we do. Making paleo a lifestyle and not just another way to attempt to fit into that elusive pair of jeans because honestly, if this world is crumbling around us and our kids have questions too big for us to answer, who really cares how our jeans fit anyway??
And now I’m off to hug my children. The only people who’s lives I am truly responsible for. The biggest reason why I keep on keeping on. The big brown eyes that hopefully will someday not have to answer the same questions from their own children that I am faced with. They are reason that I am writing this to all of you. Please folks, let’s look at the bigger picture through they eyes of our children.