Did we do a Paleo Thanksgiving? Yes and no. We ate Paleo, but it wasn't a Thanksgiving meal.
We went out of town to my brother-in-law's. He and his amazing girlfriend and community cooked the turkey, the stuffing, the yams and all the trimmings. Even the cranberry sauce was homemade. But my kids and I didn't eat any of it. Not one bite. We brought our own food and paper plates and utensils in our cooler and snacked on sausage and cucumber with olive oil and tubs of Paleo Pumpkin Pie minus the crust among other things. (My kids love it this way, they call it Pumpkin Pudding.)
We had a blast. It was family and friends and fun in amazing California weather. We ate outdoors. We laughed until our throats hurt.
But no Thanksgiving food? Not even a wee bit?
Nope. Not even a slice of the many, many, many, many (did I mention many?) pies that were available.
And here is why: it's not because we are Paleo snobs. It's not because we are trying to prove a point. It's because we have food intolerances.
If eating gluten made you sick for two days you'd avoid it like the plague, too. And not just "oh, I have a wee bit of a headache, I think I'll take an Advil" type of sick. My daughter's leg hurts so bad on gluten she cries all night. The next day she has temper tantrums that are horrible to witness, so bad you fear the neighbors will hear through all the windows you've just run around shutting and start talking about you behind their hands. When I eat gluten I can't get out of bed for a day and then when I do I'm so mean you wish I would just get right back in it.
"Not the nostrils!" my kids yell. Gluten makes me so flippin' agro my nostrils flare and fire shoots out of my eyes.
Gluten is only the beginning.
Between the three of us we are also intolerant to dairy, soy, rice and walnuts. And we haven't eaten processed sugar in over a year. And the other nuts don't sit so well with us, either. Would you want to risk all of that on a holiday when you are meant to enjoy yourself?
Hence the cooler and the cold sausage on Thanksgiving day.
And yet, I was grateful on Thanksgiving for our food. I was grateful for the family we have that supports us in our wacky food ways. I was grateful for coolers and ice packs and paper plates and Trader Joe's and Whole Foods Grocery Stores. I was grateful for feeling good.
And my kids, were, too.
I like the easy Paleo stuff.