P-A-L-E-O

Feb. 17, 2013

My favorite statements, I here them all day long,. "I'm to healthy for paleo." "I am not sick enough to stick to it" I understand the excuses,. I use to make them myself. At the time, I was in the shape of a life time. healthy , active, and I had been following a paleo lifestyle, long before it was called paleo. At the time I discovered the concept, it was called a diet, and it was strictly used to help reduce inflammation and pain in your body. The fever pitch of today,.calling for higher awareness of GMO's, toxic pesticides, herbicides, and finding out exactly where raspberry flavoring comes from, can leave us reeling from the nearest fast food joint, just to convince ourselves a week later , that "just one meal" would be ok. yep,. been there too! When I was healthy, I could easily convince myself to eat "whatever" and run an extra mile the next day.

I remember as a child, we were basicly paleo. We grew our own food and had an abundant harvest every year that keep us well fed, into the spring. Our root cellar walls were lined with home made can goods,. and the ceiling hung braided cords of garlic and onions, and burlap sacks of every kind of sundried food, you could imagine. Then things changed.

Processed foods became more and more readily available. The one and only fast food resturant was a 30 minute drive away. My mom could be easily convinced to  spend $10 to feed all 7 of us. It wasnt rocket science, to figure out how much easier and cheaper it was to buy .29 cent cheeseburgers, and not have the clean up. My siblings were 10 years, more or less , my senior. They were adults , as I began to retain memories.

They remember my Mother as a slim, healthy, a fully involved parent, that they adored and were devoted to. My memories were much different. My mother became morbidly obese during my childhood, irratable, aloof, withdrawn. Everything under the sun was blamed. Age, weight, horomones, menapause , bad family genes. I spent most of my childhood avoiding her. Dad would blame sugar, and the fact that she was quickly developing diabetes. No one ever blamed the food supply. She was in the rabbit hole of denial. Calories in, calories out,. good carb, bad carb,. eat a candy bar,.take some extra insulin,. rabbit hole.

There is something to be said about being the baby of the family. No matter how old I got,. I never knew as much as the rest of the family. I certainly had a higher education, I had paid my dues and tuition,.but to my family , I remained The baby! The other side to this story, as "the baby". I had a front row seat, watching my family spiral out of control, and I was determined not to do the same. They focused on one or two body parts, but never saw the body as a whole. My dad was mortified and embarrassed when we would eat out,. as I would pull my hamburger off the bun, refuse conditments, never take cream in  my coffee, and consume a 20oz steak by myself. "your just wierd!" he would scoff, "cant you eat normal for 5 mins?" This was often done infront of a waitress, who could actually care less, how I played with my food.  She would awkwardly stand by the table, taking our orders, listening to us argue over the demonic side effects of butter vs. margerine, wondering how this was going to effect her tip. My dad would define me as a tofu eating, tree hugging hippie liberal, and apparently my food choices were directly to blame for the down fall of this great nation! I would send the bread basket back,. only to have my dad grab it out of the poor little waitress grasp. I would give him a long speech on the horrors of gluten, and the difference between the honeybutter, he  thought he was using and the margerine/corn syrup mix he was actually eating, and the fight would continue.

My dad had a Masters degree in Agriculture, so I was befuddled by his resistance. He was born in the 20's raised during the great depression,in the blue ridge mountains , of course, where everything he did was up hill ,in the snow,. both ways! He served in World War II, in the navy, and traveled the world, and he was SOOOOOOooooooooooo bullheaded, stubborn. Grrrrrrr!

I would make things worse by stating,."Dad,.this is capitolism, at its finest. Profit is key to success!" I would explain that margerine and corn syrup were cheaper, more readily available, and shelf safe,. and the basic fact that honey doesn't blend with oils,. it just made sense to me to see the obvious. I could never convince my Dad , that I wasnt pointing to a conspiracy. I was pointing to personal responability. I was pointing at making better food choices. I was POINTING AT BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE! My Dad heard,. "blah, blah , blah, blah, blah!"

It never dawned on me that my dad, was a your basic american hero,. who fought for this country and its freedom,.the great depression, war, cold war, McCarthy era, Cambodia, watergate, hippies, free love, would close his mind down to the obvious.

The last 6 years of my dads life , were spent in a nursing home, with him confined to a bed,. unable to walk and barely able to feed himself. Dementia set in quickly, and he was never truely convinced that he was out of pain from the arthritis that invaded every joint, and every bone in his fraile body.

I knew dad knew. I spoke to him in the early mornings when his clarity would return. He knew Mom had not died from diabetes,. but from the cancer, that snapped her from this world in a few short weeks, and he knew my oldest sister died, not from the heart disease, strokes, diabetes, not even the kidney failure,that had ravaged her life, but from the infection her weak body could no longer fight.

The last thing my Dad ever said to me,. as we spoke gently of our life together. " you may of been right,..we should have listened". He knew.

 

For the first time in 30 years,.I put my guard down. for the first time, I didnt have a come back,.I didnt prepare for a fight,. for the first time in my life,.  I didnt have to be right, and they didnt have to listen. He knew.

He passed a few weeks later, ....5 days from his 86 birthday