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Hey, Live Simply friends!
It’s me, Candice, and this is an interview with my son about how switching to whole foods changed his life, literally.
Before I start this interview I thought I’d give just a little background so you can get to know the boy I know and love, Gabriel.
Gabriel is ten years old. He’s a fifth grader who loves sports specifically soccer and baseball, building things like roller-coasters on his computer program, baking, and cooking. He’s one of the most amazing kids. He’s a straight “A” student and the oldest of my five beautiful children. Gabe is so smart and witty just like his father!
Okay, I know I’m bragging.
I can’t help it. I’m his mother!
The last 2 years we had struggled with something that is big in the news these days “child obesity”. In fact, our entire family had gained weight as most do when turning to take-out pizza, processed box foods and late nights through the drive-thru. It’s what we turned to after long days and nights after all we are a big busy family! I mean, four growing school kids, a dog, and 4 chickens.. it’s almost a zoo over here! But we like the zoo.
Did you know its cheaper to have your own zoo then go to the zoo?
Wait, getting off track here.
Eight months ago we decided to ditch processed foods for good. Say “bye-bye” and return to foods that we knew were not only good for us but satisfied our taste buds. We were sick and I mean SICK of diets. Gabriel didn’t think it was fair. We didn’t think it was fair. We felt that for a growing boy cutting carbs, singling him out, and feeding him like a middle-aged adult on a diet was NOT the way to teach him how to be healthy. We wanted to teach him about food. REAL Food. We desired to teach him where food came from, how it should be prepared, and how to return to the place where food is not just about filling our stomachs but also nourishing our bodies and bringing our family together. We had a desire to teach him an appreciation and respect for where food comes from.
And that we did!
Successfully too, I might add.
To date Gabriel has learned to cook, bake, and has a love for food beyond the box!
He has lost 17 pounds. An outstanding amount of weight for a child his age. A year ago he was told to eat no fat, no carbs, and start exercising 1 hour a day by a physician who diagnosed him “obese”. He came home crying. I came home crying. Both of us felt like failures.
It was miserable!
But after a few months of misery we ditched the diet and the diet mentality and embraced REAL whole food!
And there it is folks.
No going back.
This is the perspective of a ten year-old processed food-loving boy who overcame fast food, processed ketchup, soda, and more. Unedited, uncoached honest opinions. Now he’s a whole food kid.
Here is what he had to say:
Let me set the mood. Candice aka “Mom” and Gabriel sitting on the living room couch. Gabriel excited hands folded as if he’s interviewing for a big job. “Mom” a little afraid of what is about to come out of his mouth but also excited.
Q: When you first heard we were changing the foods you were going to eat, how did you feel?
Gabriel: Over all, I was disappointed because I liked french fries and tasty food from fast food places and I thought eating healthy was gross and “Veggie Central”. But I was wrong, overtime I realized there are a lot of foods that I can eat, that I still love like homemade ice cream or fries that are yummy but still whole and healthy.
Q: McDonald’s and Chick-Fil-A used to be your favorite go-to lunch what do you eat now?
Gabriel: Now-a-days I eat the classic PB &J (real peanut butter of course– as he smirks) that’s ground peanuts for your readers who don’t know or grilled cheese or even a quesadilla with a side of fruit and a glass of water. I’m still not that big into veggies, but you don’t have to write that mom.
Q: Is the real food satisfying?
Gabriel: Yes! Very satisfying! I stay fuller longer. From time to time I get hungry and snack on grapes or peaches.
Q: And was it hard to switch from skim milk from the store to raw milk?
Gabriel: No, personally I love the way raw milk has more flavor and its super creamy. I’ll never go back (with a head shake)
Q: Are you allowed to eat burgers and fries?
Gabriel: Is this a trick question? Ha, of course, I can. You make fries sliced with real potatoes and make them in the oven. That’s no bad oil for anyone who doesn’t know that (did you get all that mom?) As for burgers, they are so-so, not great for you but not bad either and to answer your question of course I’m allowed burgers.
Q: What is the 80/20 rule?
Gabriel: 80% normal lifestyle of whole foods, 20% is if we go to say an amusement park we are allowed to eat something like a treat, which is a couple times a month.
Q: What do you eat at a friend’s house?
Gabriel: Usually my friends don’t have the best stuff but I try to make the best choice like if they have fruit. I’ll choose that over like chips.
Q: Have your feelings about fast food changed and if so how?
Mom smiles, “Gabe, be honest.”
(HUGE internal grin from me, mama bear…YES go Gabe go!!)
Q: What did you snack on before and what do you snack on now?
Gabriel: Doritos, Cheetos, soda, Rice Krispy Treats, microwave oatmeal. I never felt full and I was always looking for something to fill me up. But now I snack on fruits like grapes, peaches, strawberries, no bake granola, yogurt, tortilla chips and raw chocolate milk. Mmmm. Can I have some now, mom.. do you mind?
Q: Do you know why it’s better to eat whole foods?
Gabriel: Eating this way keeps me fit and healthy. Not fat and tired.
Q: Did you have to give up your favorite foods?
Gabriel: Some yes. Some no. I had to give up my chicken sandwiches and fast food pizza but that is okay because you make pizza and Chick-(mock)-Fil-A and it’s delicious. I mean it’s baked but it tastes fried. (head shake) amazing!
Q: What do your friends think?
Gabriel: My friends can definitely tell. They think it’s great!
Q: How do you feel now that you lost weight by eating all the foods you love?
Gabriel: I am not that chubby fat guy I use to be, its great. I didn’t have to give up all the foods I love either. It’s the best of both worlds. I mean (head shake) who knew I’d lose weight eating fries and ice cream!
Q: Was this a tough change for you?
Gabriel: It was an easy change. You stay awake, you’re faster, you’re not the slow guy in the back huffing and puffing. You just feel BETTER. It just feels good. I like me now. I still eat all my favorite foods with variety, just the real version. I like that nothing is off limits.
Q: So Gabe, whats your favorite part about eating the “real deal”?
Gabriel: I like taking the burgers, fries, chicken, etc. and finding a way to make it from scratch, it’s tasty. Better than the other version and I can eat it, but it’s healthy. It’s like a challenge! And so far mom yours are winners, with a couple exceptions!
Did he say except for a couple exceptions?
I think that was a typo.
Remind me to go back and edit that later.
As for real food, embrace it and you will never regret it!
You can read how we define real food here.