Hi, I'm Flynn, a thirteen year old boy who has been on paleo for the good part of this year so far. I have to admit, I love the diet. I feel more energised physically and mentally and I have dropped off a huge amount of weight. I do get teased about it by friends and family, but they are mostly supportive and impressed with my commitment. Anyway, these school holidays I am going away to Italy, which means architecture and history and art... and normal eating. I need to be able to eat normally for my trip so that it isn't huge hassle when I go. Apparently Italians live on pizza, pasta, and gelato. My problem is that whenever I try to ease back into normal eating, whether it is some sushi or a chocolate bar or cheese with crackers, I feel absolutely terrible. My stomach is overwhelmed with an immense pressure and I know my body is sending all of the signs saying "No, don't eat that!" The pain in my body is really unbearable, and I do not want to be sick all through my holiday. Has anyone else experienced this? Solutions would be really helpful right now.
Saying Italian cuisine is just pizza, pasta and gelato is like saying that Americans only eat burgers, fries and milkshakes. There's a lot of other amazing foods there so enjoy yourself, and just try and limit the refined grains if they cause you problems.
Also Italian pizza has probably about a 5th of the dough compared to the American pizza. It is a very thin crispy base with about three toppings. Not the same as the typical topping loaded American bread base.
You are in a country which has one of the greatest food cultures and history ever, honestly unless your are projectile vomiting, life it way too short to avoid eating real Italian cuisine.
Just be wise with the choices, and be careful that your stressing isn't actually creating more of the problem then the food actually is. Food anxiety is not useful.
Italiens are not huge pizza/pasta/bread eaters. It is always small portions like mentioned ahead and good quality meats and fish and salads and cured meats. With seas and pasture you really will find no problem with good quality paleo food. Don't compromise your health. If you want to partake, Italy is not foreign to celiac disease. There is most often a gluten free pasta, pizza or bread dish.
If you do want to get off of a paleo diet, I suggest reintroducing foods one by one. Eat a SMALL AMOUNT (a few bites), wait a few hours, and see how your body responds. The next day, do it again. Most people here will tell you that you're poisoning yourself, but I firmly believe that your body just shuts off enzyme production for foods that you stop eating, and it takes time to get started again. See here for some of my stories.
It can be very difficult for teenagers to get decent food all over this planet. (Remembering here my daughter's foods offered in a French exchange home which seems to be cheese she does not eat, junk food only, not the wonderful French meals you would imagine)...
First of all take your own food for the flight. Airline food is often a load of junk. Secondly drink water. Everyone has water so just limit your drinks to that.
Then get lots of vegetables where you can. The Italians do have meat, fish, eggs, veg, not just pasta and pizza all the way.
The big issue for most children and teenagers is how little money most providers are prepared to spend on children's meals so at the end of the day all they seem to afford is junk rubbish in some many countries. Chips with every meal etc etc Perhaps try to make sure your parents give you a little extra cash so you can buy yourself some nuts and fruit for when the meals are not good. I also carry tins of tuna fish and sardines around (although I'm an age where I could not care less what people think - one of the nice things about being grown up).