Handling Picky Eaters and Stress & Motivation - Diane Sanfilippo, Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites

Podcast Episode #247: Handling Picky Eaters and Stress & Motivation

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Topics:Handling Picky Eaters and Stress & Motivation - Diane Sanfilippo, Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites

1. News and updates from Diane & Liz [2:06]
2. Shout out: Robb Wolf [6:25]
3. Follow-up PaleoFx topic: Chris Masterjohn and fat soluble vitamins [10:16]
4. Obstacles to healthy eating: time and energy [17:40]
5. Dealing with unsupportive family [27:07]
6. How to handle kids and real food [36:03]
7. Motivation and stress [43:16]
8. Try this at home/#Treatyoself: date night [55:06]

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Handling Picky Eaters and Stress & Motivation -  Diane Sanfilippo, Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites Handling Picky Eaters and Stress & Motivation -  Diane Sanfilippo, Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites Handling Picky Eaters and Stress & Motivation -  Diane Sanfilippo, Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites Handling Picky Eaters and Stress & Motivation -  Diane Sanfilippo, Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites

You’re listening to the Balanced Bites podcast episode 247.

Welcome to the Balanced Bites podcast with Diane Sanfilippo and Liz Wolfe. Diane is a certified nutrition consultant, and the New York Times bestselling author of Practical Paleo, The 21-Day Sugar Detox, and co-author of Mediterranean Paleo Cooking. Liz is a nutritional therapy practitioner, and the best-selling author of Eat the Yolks and The Purely Primal Skincare Guide. Together, Diane and Liz answer your questions, interview leading health and wellness experts, and share their take on modern paleo living with their friendly and balanced approach. Remember our disclaimer: The materials and content within this podcast are intended as general information only, and are not to be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Liz Wolfe: Hey friends, it’s me Liz here with Diane.

Diane Sanfilippo: Hey.

Liz Wolfe: Hey buddy. You’re listening to the Balanced Bites podcast, episode 247. Remember how you used to be ready to say, “hey everyone” right with me? Well I’m ready to say that right with you now every time.

Diane Sanfilippo: Hey everyone! {Laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Let’s hear from one of our sponsors.

Liz Wolfe: The Balanced Bites podcast is sponsored in part by the Nutritional Therapy Association. The NTA trains and certifies nutritional therapy practitioners and consultants, including me, I’m an NTP, emphasizing bio-individuality and the range of dietary strategies that support wellness. The NTA emphasizes local, whole, properly prepared nutrient dense foods as the key to restoring balance and enhancing the body’s ability to heal. Nutritional therapy practitioners and consultants learn a wide range of tools and techniques to assess and correct nutritional imbalances. To learn lots more about the nutritional therapy program, go to http://www.NutritionalTherapy.com. There are workshop venues in the US, Canada, and Australia, so chances are you’ll be able to find a venue that works for you.

1. News and updates from Diane & Liz [2:06]

Liz Wolfe: Alright, very good. Diane, what are your updates?

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok, so by the time this episode airs, I’ll be on a boat. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: I still love that.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’ll be on vacation. “I’m on a boat!” I will be in Europe, which is really exciting for me. I’ve never been; well, I’ve been to Greece. I’ve never been to the places we’re going. We’re going to some parts of Italy, France, and Spain, which all this travel; I’m 38 years old, and it was always something kind of making me anxious that I hadn’t gone anywhere until much later in life. And look, this is not something everybody needs or wants to do, but it’s something I really wanted to do.

My grandparents used to travel a lot, and I think I was kind of inspired and excited about it. But I just never did it. I didn’t want to go by myself, and so Scott and I have really tried to make that a priority. And it’s been a while since we went somewhere. So we are heading out, and it’s going to be mazing, and I think we’ll be gone for about a total of 2 weeks, so yeah, this episode will be airing. I will be away, and if you’re following on Snapchat, I will be snapping. I know people get all weird about “working on vacation”, I enjoy being goofy and Snapchatting. I enjoy it for my own sort of, I don’t know, memory bank as well. I’ll download the snap story and be like; oh, that was fun. Look back through it.

So it is what it is. If it bothers you that I’m snapping on vacation, {laughs} don’t follow along. It’s fine. But I think it’s going to be fun, and yeah, we’ll see what I end up eating and sightseeing and all that fun stuff. We’ll definitely be on a cruise ship for a bunch of it. I don’t know that there’s going to be wifi at sea. We’ll see what happens there. So, that’s pretty much the update; excited about that, and excited that we’re going to have this episode ready to go for folks because I think this will be a fun one. What’s up with you? What’s new since last we spoke? {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s a trick question.

Liz Wolfe: That is a trick question. I found this app, and it’s called the Rock Clock.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} I saw your Instagram post.

Liz Wolfe: Oh my god. It’s from my hero and mentor, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Who I love.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: I don’t even know what he’s been in. I don’t even know where I’ve seen him before. But I have always loved him. I think he’s super funny. I don’t know what it is about that Polynesian; I like it. I liked Khal Drogo, I like The Rock. You know. I’m into it.

So, The Rock Clock is pretty much the most amazing app ever made, and it’s free. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will wake you up on Rock time, which is whenever he wants to get up, or you can just wake up to your own alarm of the rock talking to you, giving you motivational speeches and what not. I highly recommend it.

Diane Sanfilippo: So it’s not specific to you and baby things and parenting, or what’s it; how does it work?

Liz Wolfe: It’s like a motivational; you’re supposed to set goals and he’ll wake you up every day so you go crush life, and whatever, but for me it’s basically like; hey, why not hear Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, DTRJ, every morning when I wake up. It’s just this reminder that my goal is to be a half decent parent that day.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok. I like it.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m looking at your Instagram post. Wake up and parent hard.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, that’s the goal. Wake up; parent hard.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok.

Liz Wolfe: Wake up being the number one goal.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok, got it.

Liz Wolfe: Because that’s a prerequisite to parenting hard, so.

Diane Sanfilippo: I can get on board with that.

Liz Wolfe: Cool.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m also seeing this other post you made about octopus and olive oil; that sounds good. I really like octopus.

Liz Wolfe: I found that on…

Diane Sanfilippo: An interesting thing about octopus; very cool, this is totally random. But octopus is rich in iron and B-vitamins so people who don’t eat red meat but eat seafood should be eating octopus for iron and B-vitamins.

Liz Wolfe: That is fascinating. I did not know that.

Diane Sanfilippo: Isn’t that nerdy?

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: I would never have guessed that because it’s white, but probably, I don’t know how that is but it is.

2. Shout out: Robb Wolf [6:25]

Liz Wolfe: Alright, so what’s your shout out, Diane?

Diane Sanfilippo: Shout out! {laughs} I feel like there needs to be an audio for that. Alright, I’m going to shout out Robb Wolf. I saw him at PaleoFx, grabbed him for a photo. I was like, I’m going to fangirl with you for a second here. He was super sweaty after doing some Brazilian Jujitsu in the middle of the PaleoFx floor there, there was a whole little, I don’t know, movement sesh area.

But, I was just like, we need a picture. We took one many years ago, and I’m always reminded how he’s the one who really helped get me pushed in this direction many years ago; was very supportive but very hands off with that. And I definitely admire him as a teacher and a role model in the sense that; I think he tends to put his own self care first most of the time. You know, he is a parent now, and I think part of his self care means also putting parenting first above some work stuff. I feel like he’s had a lot of work projects in the works for many, many years, and that’s totally ok because I see him looking healthy and vibrant. And to me, a lot of being a role model and setting an example is not just this, “do as I say not as I do.” It’s actually a “see what I do” kind of thing. And I see what he does, and I feel like he walks the talk. I feel like he tinkers with his own nutrition and activity.

You know, we don’t all know what’s going on behind the scenes, but I definitely get the sense that he is putting his own health and his family and his time with all of that before just rushing to put out projects for people who are readers, or fans, or followers, or what have you. And you know, I think Liz you’re doing a really good job with that, as well. I know you’ve been working on Baby Making and Beyond for a long time, and taking care of your family has been a priority. And I think that’s a good example to set. As much as we want to get all these projects done really fast, because we feel that pressure, I just think we have to create that natural order of things and truly prioritize our lives in certain ways.

So, just a shout out to thank him for being a great role model and leader for this community, and definitely much love and respect going his way. And yeah, that’s pretty much it. Just a shout out; Robb Wolf. Robbwolf.com. If you guys don’t know him, I don’t know what rock you’re living under, but RobbWolf.com. Two B’s, no relation to our own Liz Wolfe with an “E” at the end. No relation.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Remember early on, people were like; “is she Robb Wolf’s wife?” No.

Liz Wolfe: Yep. I actually lost a couple of attendee’s at an early nutrition workshop I did because they found out I was not in fact Robb Wolf’s wife. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} That’s hilarious. Oopsie.

Liz Wolfe: Oh my. Not refundable, sorry.

Diane Sanfilippo: Pete’s Paleo is a friend of the Balanced Bites podcast. They’re bacon is insanely delicious, and sugar free, and their premade paleo meals make your life so much easier when everything is getting busy and getting real food on the table is still a top priority, as it should be. Pete’s Paleo is now offering a 30-day gut healing kit containing bone broth, gelatin gummies, instant organic soup packs, and an E-cookbook. It’s the perfect complement to any anti-inflammatory diet. Get yours today at www.guthealingkit.com. Use code GRABACUPPABROTH to get $25 off; that’s an amazing deal. It’s GRABACUPPABROTH, C-U-P-P-A. And you can grab that code any time at www.BalancedBites.com to just read it and make sure you’re typing it in right. You can also use code BALANCEDBITES to get $5 off any of their regular meal plans. Check out www.PetesPaleo.com today. Pete’s Paleo; bringing fine dining to your cave.

3. Follow-up PaleoFx topic: Chris Masterjohn and fat soluble vitamins [10:16]

Liz Wolfe: Alright. So before we get into our topics today, I wanted to hear a little bit of the PaleoFx stuff that we didn’t get a chance to talk about on the last episode. Some of the Chris Masterjohn stuff.

Diane Sanfilippo: So, the one thing I wanted to talk about that Chris Masterjohn was covering in his talk, which was on fat soluble vitamins and hormones, which I can’t get into all of it because frankly I wouldn’t be able to explain all of it, and I think we will bring him on a future episode, because we’ve had him on in the past and it’s super self-indulgent for us, we get to ask all kinds of nerdy questions. I think it will be super fun, but he was talking about fat soluble vitamins and different ways we can get those from our food, and just a reminder to us that animal foods tend to really be the best sources of those.

Unfortunately for us, some of the animal foods that are richest in vitamins A, D, and K are foods that either some people are averse to like liver; some foods that people are allergic to, like eggs, some people just aren’t getting the exposure to sun. So, kind of a reminder.

What we’ll do; I downloaded. I snapped; Snapchatted; snapped all of these slides from Chris’ talk. And I will get that up as a link on our show notes for this episode, and then probably again when we interview him so that you guys can take a look at those. But he was kind of reviewing in order where to get vitamin A in the diet, from animal foods. Obviously liver, egg yolks, and reminding us that conversion of carotenoids; which I know we’ve talked about this a lot from red, orange, yellow, and dark green leafy vegetables, it tends to be a pretty poor conversion. So when people think they’re getting vitamin A from something like carrots or butternut squash; yes, we’re getting some, but it’s similar to what’s happening with omega-3s from nuts and seeds like chia seeds.

What converts in the body for a variety of reasons, some of which can be our genetics; some of which is just whatever the landscape of our own ability to complete these conversion processes; it varies. It’s highly variable, and it’s certainly never going to be a one-to-one conversion. So the amount of vitamin A, for example, you think you’re getting; which this is super misleading. Our nutrition facts label, which there are new nutrition facts labels coming out soon. If you go to eat carrots for example, and it has a label for some reason, you’re not just buying them in bulk, and it says 300% of your RDA for vitamin A; that’s actually not true in terms of what your body is using.

So, it’s kind of confusing, but we need to know that as human animals, the forms of these vitamins and nutrients that we are getting does matter, or the quantity matters. So if you’re not getting vitamin A from those animal foods; if you’re not getting vitamin D from sunshine, or if you’re not getting it from eggs, for example, that you’re getting as much of it as possible from other sources.

Now, I don’t know how many factors we can control on our own conversion. We can control some of our absorption through eating fat with those foods; so most of them do come with fat. But if you’re eating vegetables, for example, you do need to eat some fat with them to help with the absorption of those fat soluble vitamins. But just kind of a reminder there.

Vitamin K; there’s multiple sources we’re getting. Multiple sources of vitamin K2; some of these sources convert to the other, some don’t. And just, he’s kind of making a case for getting a variety of these foods. And dairy was definitely a big topic in this talk in terms of; if you feel like you’re not tolerant to dairy, really try and nail down what it is you’re not tolerant to, so that you can find a form of dairy that might work for you. And I’m definitely on board with that. I’ve been trying the goat Gouda; which I know Gouda cheese tends to be pretty rich in vitamin K2, and the goat has been working better for me than cow dairy, for example. So those are kind of some important notes. Sorry, I’m getting tongue twisted there.

And then vitamin D from the sun, of course. We have varying levels of need for that, but basically getting midday sun exposure without getting sunburn was his advice, which we’ve been saying that for a very long time. And I just, I liked the reminders on all of this, but he was talking a ton also about things like hormone status, hormone levels, carbohydrate intake. I think we could probably take his talk and try and unpack it in terms of practical application in an upcoming episode, and I think you guys will really enjoy hearing that. He’s just super smart, and has a great way of presenting the information, because he is a teacher. He teaches this stuff as well as research and writes about it.

I don’t know if you had any other thoughts on that. I didn’t want to carry on for too, too long before we get into some of the other topics. But anything else you wanted to throw in about that?

Liz Wolfe: I got really, really hung up on some vitamin A stuff with Baby Making and Beyond. Obviously, what you’ve just said and what Chris Masterjohn said is foundational for fertility, but what I was trying to figure out, what I was trying to nail down, is the actual retinol value of what we’re eating. This is, it’s so funny, because the Linus Pauling Institute, which is a total go-to for all kinds of nutritional information, actually had it wrong. I actually had to post something on Facebook and Chris and you I think kind of came to the rescue and were like; um, you don’t get this because they have this plugged in wrong.

It’s crazy how little I think the mainstream understands not just the limitations of vitamin A conversion and the difference between true vitamin A and precursors, but we’re really the ones that are kind of leading the charge on this I think. Christ Masterjohn is really the one leading the charge on this, because it is just this area of massive confusion. And I think it’s having a huge impact on fertility, and pregnancy, and health of the little ones. So I’m excited to keep talking about this and to have Chris on.

Diane Sanfilippo: Any degree to which I was “rescuing” was to tag Chris Masterjohn, FYI.

Liz Wolfe: Well, that was important.

Diane Sanfilippo: I was not one to say, this data is incorrect. {laughs} But yeah. He’s resident expert on all of that.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Cool. We’ll definitely; we’ll probably put out a call for questions on this. He actually has, I believe, more also to say on the hot topic of carbohydrates and how that affects hormones and all of that stuff. So we’ll see what kind of list of questions we put together for him for an upcoming episode, within the next, I don’t know, handful of weeks or so. Because I’ll be away for a bit here, but we’ll definitely get him on the show. And another shout out reminder, he’s got a podcast, The Daily Lipid, so you guys can check that out too in the meantime.

4. Obstacles to healthy eating: time and energy [17:40]

Liz Wolfe: Alright, so our topic for today. Diane, you posted a question on Facebook; “other than time, what’s the single biggest barrier between you and eating in a way you know is “better” or “healthier”?” Better and healthier are in quotes.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: So today we’re going to discuss some of the most common obstacles that folks answered with, and maybe there will be a couple of rants.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Maybe. You know, I also pose that question in the context of; my team and I are always looking at different resources we want to create, which is true. This wasn’t intended only to be podcast topics or fodder. It really, we have a lot of ideas of some more resources we’ll create for you guys, and kind of keep that in mind. Whenever we ask questions like that, we really want to hear your response, because that’s what helps inform the types of things that we create going forward. Because I’m not here to just share this information to {laughs} you know, I don’t know, to hear myself talk. It’s really more to find ways to help you guys answer these questions and find solutions to the problem. I mean, that’s really what it’s all about. So, yeah.

What were some of the; let’s see what were some of the big topics. I know you wanted to read through some of these here.

Liz Wolfe: Yes. So, the number one thing, and we hear this all the time, is dealing with an unsupportive family. But I wanted to divide this into two or three; I mean, different tracts, I guess let’s say. So I want to talk about something actually that’s really valid that we haven’t discussed much in the past, and then we’re going to talk about kids, and then we’re going to talk about husbands, and/or spouses I guess would be the more fair way to go.

First up, the thing that I haven’t really tackled a lot; we have someone who says she’s dealing with a lack of energy due to chronic illness. And I think it would be really, really good to offer some strategies just for making things super simple, yet still really nourishing for someone that just is having a tough time with the food prep and all of that stuff. Because I think it probably is a really common pitfall. And it’s just this feed forward thing; where you’re sick and you just can’t pull it together to feed yourself properly, so you end up eating things that are less than nourishing, and it just keep going from there. So, what would your tactics be for maybe weekly food prep that could be kept really, really simple for somebody dealing with that?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, I think this also kind of answers a couple of questions at once. We have convenience being a tough one, which I think part of that is convenience of accessibility of foods, but I think part of it is underlying all of this, it’s time and energy kind of combined. This also tackles a little bit of unsupportive family in the sense of someone else isn’t going to do this for you; right? You have to be the one to be responsible to make it happen with the food.

So for somebody who is dealing with really low energy, of course the thing about making food is that it’s not just making food. There’s also the grocery shopping, and then there’s the clean up after it. So I’m going to focus on the actual making of the food, because there’s a lot that goes into everyone’s different circumstances that I don’t know if we can provide solutions for all of it from every angle, and also different economic backgrounds. So for some people, there may be some solutions that cost more that they can go ahead and try out, and some solutions that are not accessible because of budget and cost.

So when it comes to creating a meal that doesn’t take a ton of time or energy, you know, the vast majority of the time what we do in our house is super simple stuff. I know sometimes you guys see things on Instagram and it looks fancy; I mean, a lot of that is just because I’m trying to make it look cute for Instagram. If I were eating it without that, it would take a lot less time and energy. But we’ll take a cut of meat; let’s just say a bone-in, skin-on chicken, whether it’s breast, thigh, leg, whatever it’s going to be, or a whole chicken, put some seasoning on it, put some veggies right there with it, maybe some fat and some spices. That’s it.

You guys know there are spice blends in Practical Paleo, if it takes you a little bit of time to put those together up front, just once to kind of get them mixed, or don’t. You guys can get spice blends in a bunch of places. And go ahead and just douse what you’re going to cook with some spices and some fat, and throw it in the oven. And that’s literally it. You can buy those precut veggies; of course, we’ve talked about vegetables being cut and some nutrient value being lost, but this is not the time to be fussing over the minutia of that. I think if you can get, let’s just say, some precut butternut squash; put it in the oven with some chicken. Put some seasoning on it and some fat. Like, that’s it. No big deal. We don’t need to be always dealing with things that we have to constantly stir or stand over the oven for; set a timer {laughs} so that you don’t walk away and forget about it. Maybe set two if you do walk away; set one in the kitchen and one on your phone, for example. I’ve definitely burned many things.

But I think there’s something to figuring out just three to five basic combinations of foods that you will be successful with, that will taste good. Maybe you can tweak one thing about that recipe. Maybe instead of butternut squash, it’s chunks of cauliflower; cauliflower florets or broccoli florets, something like that. Maybe it’s chunks of carrot, maybe it’s baby carrots if you don’t want to cut them up. We can take those little short cuts when you’re shopping at the store, and not over complicate it.

There are tons of cookbooks out there, and I think some of the long ingredient lists get really intimidating to people. Sometimes the long list is really just a bunch of spices written down, and you probably have a lot of those in your pantry, if you ever bought them one time and just haven’t used them. So that might be a long list, but sometimes it’s not. That’s partially the point of Practical Paleo. A lot of those ingredient lists; you know, if I flip open the book to cook one of my own recipes that I don’t remember how I made it or what have you, I’m almost shocked at how short some of these ingredient lists are sometimes because I wrote this book 4 years ago, and that was the whole point. That you would be able to buy things once, and go ahead and use them a bunch of times and not have to constantly go to the store for really obscure ingredients. And maybe a few of the recipes have something different, like coconut aminos, or capers for example, that are either available in a grocery store or with an online order once; not something we have to be getting really obscure things all the time.

But I think we need to just kind of; less is more, simplify, not fuss so much over these recipes that involve a lot of steps and a lot of mixing and a lot of measuring. This is where cutting back on the baking, I think, is a good approach. I know lots of people want to make those “paleo-friendly” replacements for things, but honestly, I don’t have the energy for that and I’m not dealing with chronic illness. So it’s a very rare thing for me. I think setting ourselves up for success by creating meals that are very simple and easy, but just taste good. And real food does taste good; we don’t need to fuss with it too, too much.

So that’s kind of my big tactic there; it’s what we do all the time. We don’t stress too much about that. If you have a little bit more money to spend, definitely knowing where there are some places around you that you can get clean, healthy food to go. Something like Pete’s Paleo is extremely helpful in this situation. Food that’s good quality; I mean, it’s the best quality food, but it’s really easy to just kind of reheat and go from there. What other tips do you have, Liz, about that, someone who is just not having the energy to get it going? I mean, this could be chronic illness or just someone who’s feeling exhausted from a long day.

Liz Wolfe: It’s funny you say that; in another one of these questions, I have a note to make the distinction between; are you just tired because you worked an extra hour or two; or are you exhausted back from birthing quadruplets tired? {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, and the physical manifestation of that. Like, I’m not trying to lump them together to dismiss the pain of chronic illness or lack of energy of it, but there are people listening who are like; well, I don’t have chronic illness, but I feel like I don’t have the energy for it, you know?

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: But yeah, that is different.

Liz Wolfe: Just a little Dr. Phil; Philagizing there.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Whatever happened to that guy? I don’t know. So, now I was just going to say Pete’s Paleo. I know not everybody can afford to rely on premade meals, but maybe just a little bit here and there it can really help fill in some gaps.

5. Dealing with unsupportive family [27:07]

Liz Wolfe: Alright, well then let’s really bring that around to really get into the unsupportive family stuff. And I want to read a couple of things, because there’s this theme that keeps coming out, and I’m just going to pull out pieces of different people’s comments. One of them is, “Hubby is picky.” Another one says, “Hubby thinks all the processed food is ok, and I’m overthinking things.” And then someone else said, “A veggie-resistant husband,” And someone else said, “He definitely makes it difficult because he likes to eat out and order pizza a lot.” And it just goes on from there.

So we have a lot of folks who have an uninterested, unsupportive, unhelpful spouse in the picture. So I’d like to know what your take on that is, Diane Sanfilippo, please?

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Ok. {laughs} I’m debating which angle to approach first here. So, let’s talk about the picky side of things, where one has a husband who has a sensitive taster palate; which a super taster tends to mean certain strong flavors just really are off-putting to them. So, if we’re talking about a grown adult with all of their faculties about them, I don’t think we have to say, “Ok, you just have to fend for yourself.” I understand if it’s your husband and you want to make a meal that he will eat and enjoy, but as adults we do each have our own responsibility to say to one another, “here are the things that I will eat.” So if you’ve got a veggie-resistant husband, if there’s one vegetable that he will eat, what is it? And then just make that one.

Or, honestly, I think sometimes ignoring that and just making what the rest of the family will eat or what you want to eat; that’s an approach too. Of course, we’ve got some folks who are married with kids, some who are married not with kids. But it is the responsibility of your adult husband to communicate to you what’s working and what’s not, or to take a little time to figure out what works. So back to my point about throwing some meat and veg, spices and fat in a pan and throwing it in the oven; if your husband doesn’t care for the vegetables that you want to eat or the spices that you want to use, then just like people used to do with the pizza {laughs} since we were talk about pizza and order half and half; just season one side with something and mix certain things in, and the other side just doesn’t get that same seasoning or doesn’t get those same vegetables.

I think the more we try and force this, the harder it’s going to be, and I think we have to remember that as much as we want to encourage and force our husbands to eat things. Scott doesn’t eat every single thing I want to make all the time. I like mushrooms, I like asparagus, I like seafood; he doesn’t like any of those things. There are certain times when he will eat all of them because I’m just like, this is what I made and you can eat it or not. And he can cook something for himself or he can just eat what I made. And again, as a grown adult with all his faculties about him; he’s not incapacitated. He can fend for himself. So he can also then make that choice.

I think the struggle is, obviously, when your husband’s next choice is processed food or pizza, etc. That’s a whole nother topic for another day in terms of kind of a mismatch on our priorities and our goals and what it is that we put first in our lives and how that can feel if someone is choosing to eat really unhealthy food and we’re not feeling good about that. But in terms of the practical what to do each day, I think that’s kind of the approach as to not sort of blow it up and make it bigger than it needs to be. Just work with what the “yes’s” are and go from there, and not stress out too much if they only vegetable your husband wants to eat are carrots, maybe. Something like that. So just deal with that, and other than that he’s got to really figure out what else he will eat and communicate that to you to make life a bit easier. And this might involve some not so fun conversations {laughs} where you have to tell someone; “I need you to figure out what three vegetables you will eat so that I can cook those,” and just kind of boil it down that way.

I don’t know; what else do you think on that one?

Liz Wolfe: I don’t know. On one side, I’m like, “buddy, if you want to eat, either eat what is made for you or make your own food,” type thing. But I understand; sometimes that’s just not the way it works. It’s not necessarily a tough love situation every time, so I think it’s nice that you said figure out; ask that this person communicates to you what they will eat such that you can make it for them. I think that’s a nice strategy.

And I think bringing that into the discussion about, “well, is everybody going to eat the same meal or not?” I guess for some people, you’re going to be eating different meals. Maybe they will eat one thing and you don’t want that, but you want to provide something healthy for your spouse so you're going to make it and you're going to eat something else. As long as you’re cool with that, and that can fit into your life without causing undue resentment and stress, then alright, that’s cool. It also kind of depends on how that works with the kids and whether you want to make five different meals, or whether it’s just the two of you, or the two of you and kids who are too young to really know what’s going on. You just kind of consider your personal situation when it comes to that.

But it’s just one of those things where; we’re all grown people. When it comes to adults, it really does; I mean, like you said, who are not otherwise incapacitated. It just comes down to what we’re choosing to eat or not. So it’s not like; “well, my wife made carrots and I hate carrots so I had to have pizza.” That’s just ridiculous, you know?

Diane Sanfilippo: I think there’s a certain amount. I’ve got a lot of additional thoughts on this topic. There’s a certain amount; look, if we are sort of the high maintenance one in a situation that’s maybe not our own household, for example, like let’s say I’m visiting some people and I know I eat differently; I fend for myself. I grab some groceries before I go somewhere or make sure I’m taking care of myself, and I do think that there’s that responsibility.

The other thing that is kind of the downside of this, make what you’re going to make, let him eat what he’s going to eat even if it’s junky food. And this is actually; we talked about Michael Pollan on the last episode, but if you guys have Netflix and want to watch the Cooked series, I think there are 4 installments of it, I think that’s a great thing to watch with your family. It’s really sort of nutrition agnostic; right, it’s not saying eat this, don’t eat that. It’s really talking about cooking and what it means in terms of different categories of foods, and one of the big topics, which I think this is the biggest issue regardless of paleo or processed food, what have you, is that when we stop eating together, a lot of things fall apart. And I think one of the big things that falls apart here; this is my {laughs} complete tangent.

One of the things that falls apart here is that in the relationship, we’re not on the same page. If we’re not on the same page, we’re not eating together, we’re not moving in the same direction when it comes to that. This is a communication thing; we need to really start communicating better. We need to find a way to eat together. So if that means we’re eating different things, maybe it’s not in different places in the house. Maybe at least we can eat together at the table. But I do think there are a lot of things that fall apart when we’re not cooking a family style meal that we’re all then eating, and I don’t think it has to be super serious.

My mom, I know, used to cook some different things for us. But it was always something that I think she presented that was easy to do; she would be cooking something and I would just want pasta with meat sauce. I mean, I think I ate pasta with meat sauce most nights of the week on days I was playing sports. But for her, she was like; whatever, that’s easy for me to do, and she would eat it too or she wouldn’t. My sister was vegetarian.

So we’ve been dealing with people eating different things for many years just collectively. We deal with it when people are allergic to things. We kind of pivot and deal with; what can I make instead. So I think there are a couple of angles there. Sometimes we have to deal with it and know what we can do instead. Sometimes we have to have the other adult, whether it’s your husband or wife, step up and say; here’s what I will eat. And be mature about it and kind of move forward in that way. But yeah, I think that’s kind of a basic approach there.

6. How to handle kids and real food [36:03]

Liz Wolfe: Alright, so let’s talk about the kid thing. Because we have a lot of folks who are talking about; let’s see, “I can make healthy meals for myself, but then I have to make two or three other meals to get everyone else fed.” “Family has zero interest in eating healthy. I can make them all the healthy meals I want, but if they eat unhealthy at school or work and bring home junky snacks, then it has no impact.” Things like that. “Cooking for me, hubs, and two children with varying tastes.”

I think once you start stacking kids on this equation, it becomes really different. Because no human being can make 4, 3, 5 separate meals every single night, and you’re trying to get everybody together at the table. And I think it’s a little bit different. I think when it comes to a spouse, we have adults who are capable of navigating these things for themselves, but when you're cooking for little people, and you're concerned about their nutrition then it’s kind of a different thing.

So, when it comes to feeding kids that are old enough to eat pretty much the same foods that you’re eating; well, I guess from a very young age, they’re old enough to pretty much eat the foods that you’re eating. And actually my daughter, who is not much over a year old, eats better than I eat because there are certain things I’m kind of grossed out at. I don’t want to have liverwurst for the third time this week, but she’s all about it. So I don’t know; maybe start them early and it’s better that way.

But as far as the kids go I don’t have a huge amount of insight. I think Robb Wolf has talked in his podcast before about just drawing the line, and doing your best to just hunker down for the peasant rebellion that is inevitable once you draw a hard line about what food is going to be made and eaten in the house. I think that’s definitely one way to do it. But I also understand how concerning it gets when you’re like; I don’t think my kid ate enough, I don’t know what nutrients they got today, I can’t just give them another banana and feel like I’m doing the right thing. I get that.

So, I’ve heard some of the crunchy moms in some of the more hippie circles I run in; I run in a lot of circles. I’ve heard some of them talk about the Ellyn Satter Institute, and I don’t know much about it but what they talk about is the division of responsibility in feeding. Ellyn is E-L-L-Y-N, Satter S-A-T-T-E-R http://www.EllynSatterInstitute.org and you can Google the division of responsibility in feeding. Just to get a little bit of idea, I guess, how some people are handling this successfully. I know there are books that also talk about hiding veggies in different foods, things like that.

For me in particular I think one of the pitfalls that I see a lot of parents falling into that are devoted to a paleo framework is that we get really afraid of fruit, and we kind of start to feel like fruit is just sugar that we’re giving to our kids. But the good news is, our kids really do need those types of healthy carbohydrates from fruit, and it’s totally acceptable, in my opinion, to fix them like a smoothie in the morning, maybe that contains some collagen protein; I don’t know, maybe you can even throw in some kelp, some little smidges of micronutrient rich foods in a smoothie made primarily of fruit. I think that’s totally good to go. I think fruit is a really good choice; and even for some kids can help start steering them away from some of the other junky stuff.

One of the comments that we got was about; “I can make them all the healthy meals I want, but if they eat unhealthy at school or work then it has no impact.” And it actually does. It really does. When you’re giving them healthy food as much as you possibly can, getting it in there.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.

Liz Wolfe: It actually really does make a difference. It gives them the nutrients to help them more effectively process the junky foods, and the better your constitution is, the better you're going to be able to get away with that stuff. So, please don’t give up. Even a bite of liverwurst is a good thing.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Or real fruit.

Liz Wolfe: I sense you agree, Diane.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. I mean, I think what happens when you make a healthy meal is also not about what they’re eating at that moment, it’s about the example that you set and what they learn about how to feed themselves when they are older. Because inevitably a lot of us come back to what we did when we were young, even if we have the rebellion when we’re at the ages that we can be out there choosing for ourselves. We do come back to the things that we learned; not by being told, but by living them and being shown through example. So, yeah, I think that’s super critical.

And I think part of navigating this too, is about attitude. It’s not just; because every scenario is a little different, right? So we can look at 10 people who said; “here’s my situation, and the challenge that comes with my situation.” And I think part of it is about attitude and how we look at the challenge. If it’s a challenge with an adult, I think that’s different. If it’s a challenge with kids, let’s look for what we can and will eat; what they can and will eat instead of what they won’t eat. The same thing happens when we shift from eating refined foods to whole, healthier foods. That we’re not trying to focus on all the things that we’re not eating all the time, so let’s do the same thing here. Let’s shift our attitude and our perspective to; ok, well if my kid will eat this, this is what I’ll make.

I think, of course, let’s just say for example the kid only wants to eat; I don’t know, chicken and broccoli, or whatever it is and you want a much wider array of foods; maybe it’s about prepping things ahead of time so you’re making a bigger batch that the kid can eat more often, so that you’re not then cooking three things at once. And I do think it’s important to continue to try and introduce new foods to kids in a nonthreatening, nonpressured way. Just kind of having them out there and allowing that opportunity while you're eating them for them to eat some of it as well.

But you know, you guys know I’m not a parent and I’m not giving parenting advice here. {laughs} I’m just giving ideas, and things that you can try because I think kind of getting super frustrated with it all the time just feeds into the negativity and instead of that I think just kind of finding something that’s easy enough for you to deal with that they will eat and that they can; you don’t have to feel that it’s perfect for it to be good enough. Good enough is ok; and I do think that a meal that you think; “ok, this is at least whole foods, even if it’s not…” {laughs} if it happens to be always fruit and salami, you know, something like that. Let’s be ok with good enough so that it’s not Poptarts and Cheerios and Ho-Ho’s. I think we just have to recognize that sometimes we’re trying too hard to get the kids to eat everything that we think we should always eat, and it’s not critical. I just don’t think it’s critical.

7. Motivation and stress [43:16]

Liz Wolfe: Alright. I think we can move on to the next topic, which is motivation and stress.

Diane Sanfilippo: So are you going to get into some of this for us? Because you’ve had more stress with not being in your own house; you’ve had stress with having a new baby and maybe not having; this does, of course again, allude to the time thing, but we all have 24 hours in the day so it’s really not just time. It’s some other factor in here. It’s the stress, it’s the “how do I pull it together”. Yeah, what do you think about this?

Liz Wolfe: Well, first I want to say that anybody that shares that meme of, you have the same number of hours in a day as Beyonce.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Beyonce? No you don’t.

Liz Wolfe: I’m going to punch, because I don’t have 50,000 assistants.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: And a stylist and a cook. Anyway. So, I might not be the best person to talk to about this because for me, in a really stressful time. Alright, I’ll back up a little bit. I’ve been doing this real food thing for a really long time. And for a while there, I still ate and prepared food and conducted myself in a very success/punishment type of manner. So what was giving me stress was; oh gosh, am I going to fall off the wagon, or what is this food choice mean to the rest of my life. It was a really, really heavy topic for me.

And then over time; we’ve talked about this on the podcast, I just stopped feeling like this was all going to make or break every, you know.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: Every choice I made about food. And low and behold, it became easier to make good choices, when I somehow found a way to release all of that baggage around them. So, I think a lot of times that stress, when that’s still there and festering and making your life and your choices difficult, when you’re judging yourself so harshly about your choices or your potential choices, I think that makes for a really difficult foundation to operate from when you’re under greater stress. So when you're out of your house for 4 months, or when you have a baby on the way, or you have a new baby in the house, or whatever it is. It makes it a lot more difficult, so I just encourage people to try, as part of their journey, to remove some of the baggage from their food choices, and hopefully experience the fact that it becomes a little bit easier to make good ones when they’re not so loaded with all of that self-judgment and punishment.

So on that note, I think for me I would rather make choices that are not the best and by that I mean, maybe have some gluten-free pizza, or some sprouted Einkorn grain pasta, or some non-GMO corn tortilla chips cooked in coconut oil from Jackson’s Honest. Those types of choices. Ice cream a little bit more often than I usually have ice cream, but really good quality, full-fat, yummy, delicious ice cream. Those types of things. Those choices, for me, especially in times of stress, are totally appropriate. Part of that, now that I’m doing a lot of research around the stress response; part of that might be because an easier, more steady supply of carbohydrate during stressful times actually helps mitigate the long-term negative effects of stress. So it’s not the worst thing to have a couple of treats as long as they’re well constructed and well made.

But I think overall this stress thing is only compounded when you're concerned about your food choices. So can you get to a place where you understand that; say, a really good burger with a bun made of sprouted grain and grass-fed cheese and duck fat fries; you understand that’s a better choice than running through McDonald’s real quick. Those are choices that you can make, and that’s ok. And maybe that’s one of those stress cheats that you have, or a comfort meal, or you make a big ol vat of mashed potatoes and enjoy that. I just don’t think that’s a big deal. And I think some people are so consumed with not doing those things, that they stress themselves out even more. Does that make sense?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, it does. And I think that’s part of, “don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good”.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Or, you know, people are saying a stressful event will throw things out the window, or “I get home and then I just don’t want to eat what I have,” or “I eat the whole thing.” What’s this other one; “something gets me off track, and I go back to my old ways.” Honestly, I think part of it is time. You know, if you’re new to this stuff and it’s not just how you really live, and you’ve been living it for years and years. You kind of mentioned that; Liz, you’ve been doing this a long time, and I feel the same way. If you’re new to this stuff, it sometimes feels like; ok, well I just want to buy this thing that I used to always eat or make this thing in a box. But I think you get to a point where, what’s in the house, what’s available to eat, what you consider an option.

So I’ve used this analogy before that; I think for most of our listeners, something like a Twinkie just doesn’t register as food anymore. And I’m not being elitist when I say that. Quite frankly, you go into a gas station because you need gas, and you’re like; ok, well I might need a snack. And you go in there, and you see there’s lots of stuff in there that’s considered edible, but there’s a filter that you have when you look at it. You’re looking for, you know, nuts for example, or you’re looking for water or ice tea that’s not loaded with sugary stuff. There are certain things you just ignore in that convenience store because you know that’s not food, really, that’s fit for human consumption.

And I think what’s in our homes mostly when we do some of these clean outs and we just kind of take it down to what’s real food, even if that includes some stuff that we wouldn’t normally want to eat all the time, like you said the gluten free pizza, things like that. I think we just need to lighten up a bit, and the less pressure you put on yourself, and the more you prepare your surroundings, the easier it becomes to eat healthy foods regardless of the balance of them and trying to be perfect with some; “I’ve got enough protein, and not too much of this, not too much of that.” I think that’s really important too.

Because I’m with you; I really do not overthink and overstress about the balance of things. You guys know that I was doing a macronutrient based plan that was very specific with counting and whatnot, and that was for a period of time. There’s almost nothing I will say I will do that’s like that for forever, because it’s just not practical for me. I was coming into a time of dealing with a lot of stress and some projects with deadlines I don’t really enjoy, but knowing that having that extra stressor imposed of an expectation of some perfect level of balance of food is just not practical. It’s not going to get my energy and my focus and my time, so I’m going to do what’s good enough, and I’m going to keep the focus on eating real, whole foods. And sometimes a chocolate bar comes in the mix, and that’s ok {laughs}. And I don’t freak out about it.

But I do think part of this is just the longer term practice of creating healthy habits that we are used to, and they are just what we do. Where it’s no longer a constant stream of decision making, because that’s where we set ourselves up for failure, is when we actually are trying to make too many decisions in a time when our capacity to do that is sort of thwarted.

So if you know that work is going to be stressful for a couple of weeks, set yourself up for success. Get yourself a rotisserie chicken that doesn’t have some junk in it, or batch cook something on a Sunday. Set yourself up in a way that takes some of the stress out of it, and I think that really helps things. I’m somebody who is always thinking and planning when it comes to food. Scott just left the house while we’re recording this, and he was grabbing some chicken, and I told him to get two, and he’s like; “Two? I need to bring home two chickens?” I was like, “Yeah, you know how fast we go through one chicken?” Part of that is just time and experience of knowing that if I want life to be easier this week before we have to leave for a trip for a couple of weeks, I don’t want to have to cook the protein all the time. So either I would batch cook something or I’ll be like; “Hey, can you pick up two chickens?” you know?

So it’s that kind of thing where it takes time and experience, but it gets a lot easier. In terms of the motivation though; another factor here was motivation, and honestly I think this is a really personal thing. Liz, I don’t know if either of us is sort of eyeball deep in struggling with the motivation to kind of eat real, healthy food. I don’t know that there’s a lack of motivation on your part or mine. But I think we probably go in waves, and I think part of it is just not beating ourselves up for choosing something that’s not optimal, right? I mean I think that’s definitely a big element there.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: Just kind of as a last topic, because we do have some more topics, but I think this episode we got into a lot of it already. Anything on the motivation side? Part of what somebody was saying is about being tired and worn out, which we kind of already covered.

Liz Wolfe: Sometimes you just do it. Really. I’ve been in a couple of situations where the only thing that got me any level of achievement is to just be like; alright. One foot in front of the other.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.

Liz Wolfe: I’m going to do this thing, and then I’m going to do the next step, and then the next step, and eventually I’ll be done and I can be done. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: It’s not always going to be happy and awesome.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yep.

Liz Wolfe: But I do think downloading The Rock Clock is probably what all of these people need to do.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Yeah. I mean, you know, on the motivation front, I’m with you. It’s another one of those adulting things that we kind of talked about earlier. Kind of; I’m not sure I care if you’re motivated about it or not. It’s just what we have to do. We have to feed ourselves. To live, we have to feed ourselves. So I don’t think; I think a lot of it with the question I ask being, how to eat ”healthier” better. Maybe in what we’re talking about here is; let good enough be good enough. So if you feel like, “I should be eating more liver.” Maybe just chill out for a minute and be ok with where you're at, and when the time comes it will happen.

Liz Wolfe: Our podcast sponsorship today comes from Vital Choice, an online purveyor of the world’s best wild seafood delivered right to your door; because juggling a busy life shouldn’t mean you have to forgo healthy meals. At www.vitalchoice.com, you’ll find wild Alaskan salmon, halibut, tuna, sable fish, and cod, as well as prawns, crab, and scallops. You’ll also find grass-fed organic Wagyu beef, free range heritage chicken, fresh frozen organic berries, and dark organic chocolates. Make a vital choice by eating the highest quality food you can. Vital Choice; come home to real food. Use code BALANCEDBITES to save on your first order at www.vitalchoice.com.

8. Try this at home/#Treatyoself: date night [55:06]

Liz Wolfe: Alright, so Diane I think you have a combined try this at home/treat yoself this week. {laughs} I’m intrigued.

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, so…

Clip: Three words for you; Treat. Yo. Self.

Diane Sanfilippo: Try this at home/treat yoself; yeah, you would try this and it becomes a treat. A date night. {laughs} I mean, we’re talking a lot about dealing with significant others who might have different tastes and all that good stuff, but maybe you can find a place that you both enjoy, or it’s a coffee break or whatever it is, and look this isn’t easy for everyone. It’s easier for us not having kids, but to pick a date night, or a lunch, breakfast, coffee, whatever it is away with your significant other. Or maybe it’s a friend, or another family member. Take some time to step away from the daily grind.

Scott and I have been going on a lunch date basically once a week or so, and I definitely look forward to that. You know, it’s just a nice little quiet time together we really enjoy. It’s a gluten free bun burger, grass-fed burger, French fries not cooked in perfect oils, but something that’s better than the worst. And I just really enjoy that; we both enjoy the food, we enjoy each other’s company, and it’s a moment to kind of step away and not have to stress about cooking that meal, which we do cook most of what we’re eating, so it’s really nice. So I want you guys to try that and treat yoself.

Liz Wolfe: Alright, well that’s it for this week then. You can find me, Liz, at http://realfoodliz.com/ and you can find Diane at http://dianesanfilippo.com. Join our email lists for free goodies and updates that you don’t find anywhere else on our website or on the podcast. While you’re on the internet, please leave us an iTunes review. See you next week.

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