Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
18 Aug

Dear Mark: New Parent Issues, Corn, and Pain’s Purpose

New ParentFor today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’ve got a three-parter. First, I draw on my experiences as a parent and observer of the new generation of Primal parents to tackle a big topic: how to maintain a Primal mindset as a new parent beset by all the crazy, often unreasonable demands of modern parenting. It’s not as bad or as hard as you think. Next, I discuss whether or not corn tortillas are really an issue for someone who enjoys eating them for her 80/20. Are they as problematic as other grain-based foods? Finally, I explore the purpose of pain.

Let’s go:

Hi Mark,

I’ve been searching your archives for some advice for new parents – and I’ve found a ton of great advice on breastfeeding, co-sleeping, and babywearing. I am sold on those, as well as the need to eat primally in the first year. However, I’m also interested in your perspective on adapting the Primal Blueprint principles to the new parent lifestyle – the sleep deprivation, the sense of isolation so many new parents deal with, the anxiety-producing competitive nature of parenting these days, as well as the general stress of protecting a tiny new person from harm (and the even greater stress when they finally do, inevitably, get hurt). I can see all that stress (even in moms without PPD or PPA) definitely impacting the best way to implement Primal principles in practice with a new baby. A Dear Mark answer or Definitive Guide would be so much appreciated! Thanks so much for all you do!

Kelly

Yes, the diet aspect of pregnancy and early parenthood is fairly straightforward: you just make and eat the food. Finding time to cook can be hard, especially early on, but the act of cooking and eating itself isn’t any different from before. Same with baby wearing, co-sleeping, and breastfeeding. These are things you just do (well, the last one can be trickier than many people expect) or do not.

But having precious sleep snatched from you? Feeling the prying eyes of parent peers judging the way you’re holding your kid, how big your kid is for his or her age, whether he can talk or walk or crawl or make eye contact? The loneliness when you’re the first of your friends to take the plunge into parenthood and it’s just you and your spouse entering into this whole new world without any real guidance save for a few blogs and books? The crushing realization that the fate and well-being of your progeny rests entirely in your hands? Those are dynamic and totally new for all of us. There are no easy solutions.

Sleep: First of all, the disrupted sleep of a new parent is (hopefully) a temporary situation – a couple weeks of really messed up sleep, a couple months of spotty sleep, and several more months of “merely” suboptimal sleep. This isn’t a decade of staying up late watching bad TV deep into the night. You’re doing what you have to do. You have purpose. You’re not drifting. Although I haven’t seen any research to corroborate this, I suspect that infant-induced sleep deprivation isn’t as detrimental to your health as other kinds.

That said, you can work with your situation. Scale back on your workouts; they’ll be less effective and even too stressful if you’re going on little sleep. Eat fairly clean Primal; sleep deprivation will make you more insulin-resistant than usual. Eating cassia cinnamon (say, in your coffee) on a regular basis can counter some of the sleep loss-related insulin resistance. I’m sure you’ve heard this a thousand times, but it’s true: sleep when the baby sleeps. And don’t forget, biphasic sleeping may be more common and normal than most of us are led to believe.

Isolation: Yeah, it’s tough. We by and large no longer have “the village” or the tribe or even the extended family at arm’s reach to help out and shoulder some of the load. That’s a huge deficit in the modern nuclear family set-up. I’m not sure it can be replaced, not completely. But we don’t have to be completely isolated.

If you’re the first of your crew to have a kid and you worry about falling off the face of the earth, well, don’t. Friends that are actually your friends won’t shun you. Sure, you can’t go out to the clubs or that one great dive bar with the best jukebox that still lets people smoke inside (even though you don’t smoke, it’s worth it), but you probably don’t want to do that stuff anymore anyway. You can still have dinner parties, go on hikes and camping trips, hit your favorite restaurants, have picnics, go to concerts and festivals. You can still do most of the same things you guys used to do. Just do them with a baby hanging on your arm/breast/hip. You’d be surprised at how agreeable most infants are to new situations if you just bite the bullet and take them places. It’s not that bad. Besides, if you’re co-sleeping, baby wearing/holding, and breastfeeding, chances are your kid’s going to be very easy going, comfortable, and secure in new situations.

Too many new parents assume the worst will happen if they take their infants out in public. They imagine exploding diapers, bodily fluid geysers bursting from orifices, endless crying, and hateful looks from everyone around them. That doesn’t really happen much. It’s probably all you can remember of those childless days when you’d be waiting in the Trader Joe’s checkout line with a bawling hellion three spots back that you swore was screaming directly into your soul. But there was that time at Whole Foods when a two month old slept on her dad’s chest two spots back from you, never making a peep. Or the four month old in the bookstore just staring wide-eyed agog at everything, totally silent, from the baby carrier. You never even noticed because we only notice the loud ones. They’re not all like that. Most of them just sail under the radar. Yours probably will too.

Check out Meetup.com and search for “parenting” or “kids” or “children” groups near you. There are lots of other people in your same predicament.

Competition: The opposing mom’s eyes narrow as she scans your child for characteristics that hers has surpassed or has yet to reach. You hear her brain whirring and running the numbers until she concludes that yes, her child is more advanced. “Oh, she’s not walking yet? Kayleigh was doing ballet at 10 months.” The obsession with “milestones.” False politeness, too-cheery smiles, subtle digs. The tendency to assess another person’s child like a pig at a county fair. “He’s got some meaty haunches, doesn’t he?” It’s so strange. I suggest you ignore it. Don’t get wrapped up in the competition, and don’t take anything to heart. Most parents hate that stuff, too, and only do it because they think they’re supposed to care. Be the one who stands up and refuses to engage; others will follow.

Some kids walk earlier than others. Others talk earlier. Your kid might exclusively crawl until he’s 13 months and then suddenly start walking. He’ll be no worse off than the kid who walked and talked at 10 months. Maybe even better, as all that crawling will establish neuromuscular efficiency and good shoulder and arm strength. Whatever course it takes, they’ll develop on the schedule ordained, or maybe suggested, by their physiology.

Worry: Newborns are fragile, helpless things that depend entirely on you. But then, after a few months, they’re a little less fragile. They can hold their heads up and make faces at you. They might even start to smile. And the first time they flip over onto their back, their oversized bald head leading the way directly into the floor, you cringe and prepare for tears – but they just laugh. That’s when you realize kids are tougher than we think. After all, you survived the skinned knees, the broken bones, the dodge balls to the face. They will too. And once they get hurt and bounce back, your stress levels will drop as you realize it’s not so bad after all.

How about the scary outside world teeming with sexual predators and leering kidnappers? It’s actually not. Most of those sexual predators either urinated in public or consensually slept with their 16 year old girlfriend when they were 18, and the vast majority of child abductions occur at the hands of someone the child knows – like a family member. The world is safe.

But here’s my question. What specifically is wrong with corn itself? And even if I keep corn tortillas within an 80/20 framework, what is that corn doing in my body that is potentially harmful?

I see, yes it’s carby, yes it’s a grain (and not a vegetable!), and certainly primal man did not eat it. But I have scoured the internet for in-depth information from the paleo community on corn, and mostly I turn up criticism of corn syrup, which is a different beast than corn. It’s like we’ve got great explanations on beans and soy, industrial oils and gluten, but then we get to corn and say, “Yeah, that’s a grain. And HFCS is bad.”

I know you get a lot of mail, but I hope you’ll consider answering this one on a podcast or in a blog post! Thanks for your time.

Jamey

I’m not very worried about corn tortillas, for several reasons.

The corn used to make them undergoes nixtamalization, or lime (calcium hydroxide, not the citrus) treatment. This makes corn more nutritious, creates a more favorable protein profile, increases the bioavailability of niacin/vitamin B3, and imbues the tortilla with a decent dose of calcium (from the lime) that you can actually absorb. Nixtamalization allowed preindustrial native Americans to survive and even thrive on a largely corn-based diet. If you try such a diet without nixtamalization, you end up with pellagra – severe vitamin B3 deficiency. Nixtamalization does reduce the phytochemical content of corn, but that’s what blueberries are for.

Zein, the corn prolamine that’s been likened to gluten, probably isn’t as bad as gluten. Few people even report issues with corn, let alone zein, and in people with confirmed allergies to corn, zein isn’t even the most common offending protein. Unless you have a definite reaction to corn, I wouldn’t worry too much.

They’re often vehicles for delicious, nutritious passengers, things like avocado, diced onions, pickled carrots, chiles, carne asada, carnitas, as well as more exciting/unique (at least to gringos) items like cow tongue, goat face, and chapulines (crickets). Don’t just judge a food’s worth by its weakest, most disagreeable link. Consider the strong points, too. I’d argue that all that nutrient density outweighs the presence of corn. Tacos everyday? No (unless you’re visiting Mexico). But quality tacos with quality ingredients surrounded by quality corn tortillas are an excellent justification for the 80/20 rule.

When I get a headache, I take a nap. I always wake up feeling better, no pills needed. I suspect that Grok had limited access to painkillers, and allowed his body to heal on its own by resting. Could there be a benefit to being mindful of pain as a cue to take it easy as opposed to dulling it away with analgesics?

Juan

People born without the ability to feel pain – congenital insensitivity to pain, or congenital analgesia – have to take special precautions throughout life. They can feel warmth, but not extreme temperatures. If they reach into a pot of boiling water to retrieve a dropped spoon or bite the tip of their tongue off, it doesn’t hurt. But their flesh still burns and their tongues still need healing. They can’t really depend on their nervous system to assess threats and determine damage. They have to learn how to avoid injury and then consciously remember the lessons in real time. That’s tough. Without early intervention (and cautious, watchful caretakers), people with congenital insensitivity to pain suffer terrible injuries and a reduced life expectancy.

So yes, pain is important. Pain is helpful. Pain is information. Avoid it, but don’t always dull or ignore it.

Thanks for reading, everyone. Let me know what you think in the comment section!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Thank you for answering the question on parenting, Mark. I’m not a mother yet, but these are some worries I’ve had while I am trying to get pregnant. All great advice, as always!

    Naomi Teeter wrote on August 18th, 2014
  2. Good to know I can still eat my tacos! :)

    Jacob wrote on August 18th, 2014
  3. Corn is the one grain I would like to have as a freebee.

    Groktimus Primal wrote on August 18th, 2014
    • Amen. Fresh corn on the cob with cultured butter and a little salt? Drool…

      BonzoGal wrote on August 18th, 2014
  4. Thanks for debunking corn demonization. Also, in response to Jamey’s comment, fresh corn is considered a vegetable. There are a few schools of thought that claim it’s both a fruit and a vegetable when fresh. Just because corn has kernels and looks somewhat like a grain when dried doesn’t necessarily mean it should be lumped into the same catch-all category as wheat, rye, barley, etc.

    Shary wrote on August 18th, 2014
  5. Thanks for the info on corn tortillas. Since starting Primal, I have cut back from several per day to a couple once a week, or maybe twice a week. Tex-Mex food is soul food for me. No way I am giving up the corn tortillas or eating paleo substitutes.

    My corn tortillas are always GMO-free, organic ones unless I eat out.

    Harry Mossman wrote on August 18th, 2014
  6. Chapulines => Grasshoppers.
    Crickets <= Grillos
    ;)

    Carlos wrote on August 18th, 2014
  7. Thanks for addressing the parenting issues! My daughter, who is 97% primal, born and bred, didn’t sleep through the night until she was two. She co-slept in bed with us and when she just got too active at night, I turned the (unused) crib into a toddler bed and saddled it up next to the bed, like a sidecar. We all slept better. She got her own room just after two and we’re finally getting a full night’s sleep most nights, though I’m pregnant again, so I’m already looking forward to another round. However, I did find that sleep deprivation, while awful at times, wasn’t as bad as when I was in college losing sleep for a variety of other reasons. I found it pretty amazing what you get used to. I think there must be some hormonal thing going on there. And I know when I ate better, I did feel better, which kept me motivated to eat better when I was so tired!

    Also, I took her our into public (it was summer, so less sickness worries) within a few days. I’m pretty introverted, but getting myself out of the house made sure I got up and basically got used to going out and about. I’d go buy wipes or a few apples or just something to get me out. I didn’t let people hold her and kept her in a sling (which kept people at bay until I was ready). I wore her as long as I could, and overall it was far easier than I expected. I just had diapers and a couple of toys ready, though I can’t even think of a nightmare situation until she could walk and wanted to get down and touch EVERYTHING IN THE STORE! I’ve found an attitude of recognizing that this little person cannot yet control her emotions and still has wants and desires helpful as she’s gotten older, making me more patient and able to deal with the occasional breakdown in public. Keeping her away from sugar and gluten helps. It’s shocking how many places want to give her candy or cookies. Target has it right, they give out stickers.

    Screw the judgy parents. I’m sick ‘em. My baby was a big one. She was 26lbs by 6 months, all breastfed (we were lucky enough to be able to have very few problems). My parents, my in-laws, people at the store, all made comments, some even saying how fat she was (As I had struggled with eight for years due to a lot of this kind of pressure, I was pretty sensitive, but I was eating well and was very healthy and was well below pre-preggo weight at six months. I knew the baby would be fine). She never crawled, she did the funny butt-scoot, and people said she’d have developmental delays. Screw ‘em. She started walking, eats really well (a lot and good quality food) and is getting taller and leaning out and happy and smart and curious about the world, she’s two, so we have toddler tantrums, but they’re not that common and often very short. I thank the primal/ paleo lifestyle for much of this, though we’re pretty mellow, too, so that probably helps…

    leslie wrote on August 18th, 2014
    • I applaud your great attitude, and especially the calmness. That is a priceless gift to your children – wish I’d been better at that when mine were babies :-)

      KariVery wrote on August 18th, 2014
    • Leslie,

      I had a big one too. One day a woman at the park commented on his portly size and asked, “What size diapers does he wear?” I replied, “He does not wear diapers, he wears Petite Depends.”

      Jack Lea Mason wrote on August 18th, 2014
      • Yes! I’m keeping that one stored away for when someone comments on the next one, which may grow just as fast (I hope so, honestly). I can’t wait for someone to ask!

        leslie wrote on August 19th, 2014
  8. I always felt that quality nixtamalized corn is not a problem if you are not actively trying to lose weight. Garden of Eatin Organic Blue Corn Chips and popcorn in coconut oil are our most frequently consumed cheat snacks, once or twice a week. Also home made tamales that a woman delivers every few weeks. I usually buy some gourmet corn tortillas to go with the big batches of carnitas I make, about time for a batch now to celebrate this post!

    bayrider wrote on August 18th, 2014
  9. Mark – thank you for recognizing that for some of us corn is an issue. I’m both gluten intolerant and corn intolerant. The gut pain just isn’t worth eating corn in any form.

    Beth wrote on August 18th, 2014
  10. If you need sleep, make sure you get it. If you don’t get enough, it makes the other things like isolation, and dealing with a crying baby, much more difficult. As an older new mother I really needed sleep, by accident I started pumping breastmilk right away (I had intended to wait until I went back to work). Soon enough I figured out how to get just enough sleep. At night, go to bed around your normal time right after you feed the baby, then Dad can do the next feeding (while you sleep) using a bottle feeding with pumped breastmilk. I got about 5 hours sleep most nights and was the only way I could function. I also moved our daughter out of our room after about 2 weeks because I couldn’t sleep, I was constantly waking everytime she moved or made a noise. I felt bad (and still do sort of) but I needed the sleep. My message to any new moms, take care of yourself, ask for help, sleep. It’s really important to take care of yourself so you can take care of the little one. If you can’t find a meet up group, your hospital may have a breast feedings moms group, also look for music classes or other activities, we started my daughter in a baby music class with parent/baby. This is not really primal but sleep deprivation is no joke and leads to other problems. Relax, as parents we all make mistakes.

    Colleen wrote on August 18th, 2014
    • I so agree with this post and this comment. I am one of those people who optimally gets 9 hours of sleep per night. When I had my baby (not older, but at 24), I literally felt like I was losing my mind that first month. When I started getting Dad to do a night feeding here and there and got my son sleeping in a crib, I became a much happier (and better) mother. New moms out there- be sure to look out for yourself during this period where you feel like a shadow of yourself and you feel like you are overshadowed by your cute new addition. And no comparing!! It’s ridiculous! My son was diagnosed with autism a year ago and it was almost freeing for me to not have to worry about how other kids his age are “ahead” of him. I know that my son is more developed in less measurable ways than the average child his age, so I am trying to embrace the specialness of his mind and not stress about the milestones. They are good ways to signal that they might need some extra help, but I feel like Moms should join together and be more communal and less comparative.. it’s like high school all over again.

      Beck W wrote on August 18th, 2014
    • I agree, if it’s possible, do all you can within your power to take care of yourself physically and mentally in the early months. It will make you a better mother, for sure. I really struggled early on after having each of my kids because I took on everything, didn’t ask for help, didn’t get NEARLY enough sleep, and felt guilty about not doing enough all the time, even though I was doing more than was healthy. It’s definitely not easy to arrange for help all the time but it is important to do anything you can to reduce stress on your body and mind as a new mom.

      Michele wrote on August 18th, 2014
  11. This is good news about the corn tortillas. Carnitas is a personal favourite and I’ve recently been substituting in romaine lettuce leaves as the tortillas. It actually works quite well and the lettuce leaves give a nice crunchy texture but, that said, it’s just not the same. Looks like these are back on the menu!

    Eagle006 wrote on August 18th, 2014
  12. Regarding corn tortillas, or corn in general, organic is the only way to go. Farmers grow a lot of corn in the U.S. and 88% of it genetically modified. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/margie-kelly/genetically-modified-food_b_2039455.html

    The good news is that popcorn is not a GM plant. However, considering how much pesticides, herbicides, etc., that is put on most popcorn plants, it is best to buy organic popcorn. http://www.growingupherbal.com/qa-is-popcorn-gmo/

    D. M. Mitchell wrote on August 18th, 2014
  13. Well, about kids in public….. I’m all for that and please be oblivious to the stares/frowns/etc of people who don’t like children. We were in getting coffee and a little 1 yo girl was sitting there with mom, she smiled at us and I of course went over and talked to her. It was apparent that she was very advanced for her age, really fun for me. However, as children do she screached when she saw one of her kind (another kid in a stroller) come in, then said “hi” and waved her little hand. On lady turned and frowned, made mommy feel bad, so we spent the next few minutes trying to quell the mom’s fears that it was a bad thing. She was fine soon and the baby still adorable and happy.
    And about the corn tortillas…. THANK YOU!!! My son loves them and wants them instead of my wonderful romaine taco shells….. I know, what’s up with that. I have been letting him have one or two here and there, I cook/fry them in coconut oil so he gets a good dose of that without knowing it. Corn was my “go to” snack growing up in the form of popcorn, I miss it, popped in browned butter but I do NOT miss the hole it feels like it ripps in my stomach. I do with out and enjoy the smell instead, which means I do without the pain and bloat too, score.

    2Rae wrote on August 18th, 2014
  14. Again, a good post! Was such a damaging food source for me throughout my teens, I never realized what it was. Cut all the foods except corn, to find out the thing I thought to be the healthiest was actually that which was making me sick. Thanks

    Vincent wrote on August 18th, 2014
  15. I’m surprised that no mention was made of the fact that most corn tortillas on the market are made with GMO corn unless one makes a concerted effort to seek out only organic tortillas. The ones sold in most conventional grocery stores are NOT organic and therefore most likely contaminated with GMO ingredients. That is the last thing I want to be eating. I long ago gave up eating corn products from most restaurants. Fresh, organic corn is an entirely different food.

    Its an issue that I’m surprised Mark didn’t mention, (unless I somehow missed it in my quick reading of the post.) Any comments about this issue would be greatly appreciated.

    ShaSha wrote on August 18th, 2014
  16. One comment on stress and parenting…some extra stress is inevitable, normal, and necessary. We–like all mammals–are biologically supposed to exist at a higher alert level with a newborn. So I don’t think it’s realistic to try to eliminate all the extra worry. It might be better in many cases to simply embrace our “mama bear” reality! Whole different issue, of course, if the anxiety becomes so all-consuming that it’s disabling or distressing.

    Similar issue in pregnancy…I heard some expert (I forget who) point out that rising anxiety in late pregnancy about birth is normal for humans, and the belief is that it has encouraged women to seek out attendants at their births, which because of our big headed babies and two-legged reality, has been beneficial to humans, in contrast to most mammals that tend to birth in solitude.

    Liz Chalmers wrote on August 18th, 2014
  17. After taking my oldest daughter to her first day of kindgergarten this morning, I came away a little shocked at the amount of hovering done by some of the parents – even parents of 5th graders. I don’t remember parents coming into the classroom with me for the first day of any grade. I either walked, rode my bike, or got a ride (if the weather was really bad), and played at the playground until the bell rang.
    Why can’t we just let the little birdies leave the nest and quit following them around? How are they supposed to grow into independent adults?

    His Dudeness wrote on August 18th, 2014
  18. Corn just doesn’t work for me. It doesn’t seem to make me sick, but I always gain weight when I eat it, and it doesn’t take much to do it. There is a good rundown on why corn is not such a great friend to us on Dr. Davis’ site: http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2014/03/grain-bashing-its-easy/

    What works for one may not work for another, which is why I don’t tell everybody and his brother not to eat corn, but I don’t want anything to do with it.

    Tyrannocaster wrote on August 18th, 2014
  19. Back in the winter, New Year’s Eve, when a dog used my hand as a chew toy and I went for stitches without any analgesic besides a designer drug and the alcohol I showed up in the hospital on (injury to the inside of my palm near my thumb has been slowly healing after the wound closed barely leaving a scar and will take a while yet but is much better) the doctor wanted to give me an anti-inflammatory. I declined and requested some codeine, said I was on an anti-inflammatory diet already – “paleo” (as much I can afford to be for the most part) – which he kind of scoffed at, and he said too much inflammation was bad or something like that. I told him I think it’s there for a reason. He said, “So is pain” as a parting shot as he exited the room.
    I agree, not that anecdotal evidence is needed after what Mark said and based on everyone’s personal experiences, but I’ve dulled my pain sensitivity plenty of times and have gotten some injuries occasionally as a result or really wore myself out, such as when using stimulants to accomplish a physically demanding task or journey that I wasn’t feeling equipped for. As another example from the winter I was messing with my system and went on a long hike through snow until I got exhausted and had to sleep outside with minimal shelter and no blankets or anything like that at all, and for a week or so after had two really sore ankles that were giving out or on the verge and almost made me fall down the stairs a few times.

    Animanarchy wrote on August 18th, 2014
  20. Hi. We have trouble finding quality CORN tortillas here, so before we went primal three years ago, I was toying with the idea of making my own. Once we went primal I gave up the idea, but now I’m wondering…

    Do corn flour and corn meal fall into the same category? How about hominy? These are items I’d like to re-incorporate.

    This site has been a life-saver in so many ways to me and my family. I recommend it to everyone I know. Unfortunately, very few take my suggestion to heart.

    Thanks!

    Ramona wrote on August 18th, 2014
    • Buy masa harina, online if necessary. Bob’s Red Mill is one brand. Plenty of recipes online. Not hard to do.

      Harry Mossman wrote on August 18th, 2014
    • Just read that nixtamalization (if you search it on Wikipedia) is performed on hominy as well, and the benefits Mark described are discussed in the section titled “Impact on Health.” It seems hominy has the potential to provide the same benefits Mark describes here!

      Kevin Grokman wrote on August 18th, 2014
  21. Hey, is Mark saying that I can bring popcorn back into my life. That would make me a very happy person indeed. Is anybody else reading it that way?

    Groky Balboa wrote on August 18th, 2014
    • I am hoping this is true, also. One of Mark’s early podcast guests (Steve Levine in Episode # 9?) said he eats it every day so I started having it every once in a while, with (seemingly) no ill effects.

      Janet wrote on August 18th, 2014
    • Popcorn isn’t nixtamilized, though, so it’s missing the nutrients Mark mentioned. Grains/beans typically need some preparation to make them more nutritious, and popcorn skips all that. But I think a snack of popcorn here and there would be totally fine (excepting those with an intolerance). Also, you can bring back various grains/beans into your diet, as long as they are properly prepared and you tolerate them.

      Cat wrote on August 18th, 2014
  22. Corn tortillas are just so convenient to stuff some steak and hot sauce into (and occasionally some white rice). Perfect for the post lift nutrients. Glad my tortillas actually have some element of nutrient density to them

    Vince wrote on August 18th, 2014
  23. I love reading about primal parenting, even though I am far from having any little groks of my own. I hate the way people compare kids and how our society makes parents so self-conscious. Just recently I met my partner’s co-worker and his family, which included a little baby (a little over 1 year old, I think, possibly approaching 2). She was getting fussy so mom decided to breastfeed, and felt the need to explain/apoligize, saying “we’ve been working on weaning her, it’s just been a process,” and you could see she was on the defense and worrying what people were thinking. Being very aware of how good breastfeeding is, I just told her that it was nothing to rush and she’s doing her daughter good; she should feel very lucky and happy that she is able to nurse. It was nice to see the relief in her face when I let her know I was sort of “on her side.”

    I’m pretty good about not caring what others think, so I hope that continues when I have babies of my own and keep as primal as possible, both me and the tykes.

    Stacie wrote on August 18th, 2014
  24. I’m happy someone thought to ask about corn and corn tortillas. I still don’t plan to have either often, necessarily, but I’ll feel less like they’re as detrimental as I had been thinking before (since I had not looked deeper into the issue myself).

    Kevin Grokman wrote on August 18th, 2014
  25. At first I was very self-conscious taking my baby out with friends and to events, mostly because of exposing myself to the judgement of non-parents, especially since my husband and I tend to have a “relaxed” parenting style and we didn’t exactly follow the pediatrician’s recommendation to start feeding baby solids with grains, opting for egg yolks and avocado instead. But the more we just got out there and joined in on stuff, the more it was not a big deal. Even going out with my non-parent friends, they were always more than accommodating, and usually I found several pairs of outreached arms from all the “aunties” offering to hold the kiddo and let me finish my dinner for once!

    Emily wrote on August 18th, 2014
  26. Are there organic corn tortillas (or taco shells) that are gluten free? Gluten is a big problem for me, even cross contamination, and I don’t recall seeing any that were labelled gluten free.

    Laurie wrote on August 18th, 2014
  27. Native Americans thrived on corn in addition to beans and other local carbs like squashes which gave complete proteins and abundant vitamins and minerals. Not because of nixtalimization. No one can prove any benefit of cooking or other treatment increasing bioavailability of anything. They may find more of a single nutrient but it means nothing for overall health, zero studies.

    Pellagra is rare and occurs in only one place where all they basically eat is corn. Some mommy in the real world has no chance of being deficient.

    BTW Grok is made up, Native Americans were (and are) real. If your diet focused on them I might follow it.

    Samoset wrote on August 18th, 2014
    • I suggest you read the opening chapters of The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf. Corn + beans + squash werent such a health giving combination. But im sure it works for some though. However the seeming presumption behind yohr comment is that all native americans ate this kind of diet. I know that’s not true and I only studied one module of north american prehistory during my archaeology degree! And even if they did all eat the same diet it’s still only one kind of traditional diet. If your ancestors were native americans you might to look in depth at what they ate and model your diet on that, but personally I am british/french. There is plenth of evidence my ancestors ate lots of meat, even after we started farming (the romans remarked on the amount of meat the britons ate, and a study of a graveyard near southampton shows a decline in health when we moved to a more roman diet).

      Malin wrote on September 13th, 2014
  28. I love your take on corn!

    Livi wrote on August 18th, 2014
  29. On the n=1, I got very messed up from corn alone when I gave up wheat. Swellings of sinuses, stiffness and pain in muscles and joints. Couldn’t get out of bed at one stage. I never noticed this as long as wheat made me sick, but once I gave wheat up and replaced it with corn, I realised that was evil too. And what I had would have been easy to misdiagnose as some rheumatic, degenerative condition. I wouldn’t be surprised if it could turn into something worse than an allergy over time.
    After I ditched corn, even tiny amounts of cornstarch would produce the effect, enough for it to be unpleasant.
    Wheat, corn, soy – I hate them with a deep, unreasoning hatred.

    George Henderson wrote on August 18th, 2014
  30. So happy to read this! While in Austin we indulged in breakfast tacos with corn tortillas and I wondered how terrible they were, but you can’t not eat a few breakfast tacos in Austin.

    And the sleep issue has been bugging me for, well, almost 3 years. I wish I could say I’ve only been sleep deprived for a few months but my almost 3 year old still wakes up a few times on most nights, and her new baby sister keeps me up when she does sleep so I stress about what that’s doing to my health. Plus it doesn’t make.sense to me that doing something so primal as cosleeping, breastfeeding and ot letting my children cry themselves to sleep all alone could be so bad. I’m sure our ancestors didn’t have their children sleep trained by 8 weeks.

    Ginger wrote on August 18th, 2014
  31. Cinnamon and breastfeeding are not a good combination, according to doctors here. Might want to check that out before consuming too much cinnamon.

    Anne-Karina wrote on August 19th, 2014
  32. “I suspect that infant-induced sleep deprivation isn’t as detrimental to your health as other kinds.”
    Ah… I’ve got a mix of toddler-induced sleep deprivation and preschooler-induced sleep deprivation. That’s just straight out killing me, right?

    Ion Freeman wrote on August 19th, 2014
  33. Tortillas are processed refined carbohydrates, usually cooked in vegetable oil. I may be wrong. Save the dissection for the 80 per cent, not the 20 (not that I am ‘clean’). Everyone give themselves a slap in the face please.

    Kit wrote on August 20th, 2014
  34. Lots of research to suggest that nursing mothers get a better quality of sleep due to the hormones involved in breastfeeding/cosleeping. Their sleep is lighter but more restful than that of bottle feeding mothers. Not that nursing mothers don’t feel tired. I remember it well, in fact. But I would recommend breastfeeding and cosleeping to any new mother looking to get optimal rest, particularly in the early postpartum months.

    Leanne wrote on August 22nd, 2014

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