1

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Living with a non-paleo eater

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 02, 2013 at 1:07 AM

Hi! My name is Hannah and I'll be 24 soon. I am very new to the Paleo diet (five weeks) and am loving it. I don't get bored with it. Since I'm still a full-time undergrad, I live with my mother and work part-time. I am not fully 100% paleo YET, I figure about 80-90% of my diet is Paleo; the plan is to transition fully in the summer/fall. I have had virtually no sugar problems or dizzy spells since cutting grain and mostly cutting dairy.

We are a Southern family, born, raised, and proud. I grew up with, shall we say completely unPaleo meals. My mom is trying really hard to support me on my diet, but the problem is I am not home most of the time and she ends up cooking. She told me today (as she was getting ready to leave to pick up some Hardee's for supper) that she can't eat like this all the time, that she wants "real" food (traditional Southern cooking, at which we are both fairly adept).

Simply put, she wants to support my diet but can't do it herself. Yet she doesn't want to cook two different meals every day (she hates to cook) and feels like she is running out of ways to cook "paleo." The only day a week I am even home is on Saturday, so I can't cook meals for myself for all week, they simply won't last unless I freeze them. I could try preparing my meals in the morning to cook when I get home at night, but this only would only work three days of the week, when I have work or class late enough in the afternoon that I have time. Two or three of the days I barely have time to scramble an egg or slice an orange for breakfast, and so sometimes I am still relying on cereal.

Any help or advice would be appreciated, such as ways I can make it easier on her, either by keeping her from having to cook so much or feel like she's always hungry or isn't eating what she wants. I feel like I can't transition 100% until I figure out what to do!

Sorry for long details for a short question!

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 03, 2013
at 05:21 AM

Thanks for sharing!

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on March 02, 2013
at 09:07 PM

I had Flagyl (twice), Rifaximin, Vancomycin in the last 10 years. They worked for 10 days, for as long as I was taking them. I will never take such antibiotics again. There's no reason. I'm well-enough now to not require them anymore. Going Paleo + kefir worked for me.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 02, 2013
at 08:40 PM

It happens too. Did you have antibiotics for SIBO or for something else? Because I just had two round of antibiotics, but they were for SIBO. My doctors told me I had to.

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on March 02, 2013
at 08:20 PM

I have had antibiotics many times in the 2000s (I so much hope I didn't), they only helped for the 10 days I took them. Kefir made a bigger and more lasting change for me. My celiac happened right after I moved to the US in 2001 and used the American franken-wheat, it wasn't because of SIBO. SIBO happened because of celiac for me, not the other way around.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 02, 2013
at 07:34 PM

Have you been tested for SIBO recently? Though you do not have the symptoms, you can still have it. Basically, what I am saying, is that SIBO causes celiac in over 80% cases. It could be your case (I am not sure though). If you do another test and it confirms that you still have SIBO, I would go for antibiotics. I know it is not right for me to say this - I am not a doctor, but that's what I have read.

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on March 02, 2013
at 07:27 PM

Yes, I have/had SIBO. I did the test around 2006. So far, as long as I'm below 100 gr of net carbs per day, and I do Paleo/Primal, I have no symptoms. My home-made goat kefir has helped a lot my SIBO. My celiac was revealed by a genetic test last month btw, the blood test was negative in 2002.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 02, 2013
at 07:24 PM

Eugenia, celiac and SIBO are interrelated. Have you been tested for SIBO? I was misdiagnosed as celiac at first (thank God, it was my doctor's mistake). I urge you to get a hydrogen methane test. I am not saying you are not celiac, I am just saying that you might still have SIBO, but it is assymptomatic. Because untreated SIBO does too much damage and treating it with diet only does not work for most people. I probably sound like a broken record, and I know it.

3b031bce7c181c10452ee202e2b54dc6

(803)

on March 02, 2013
at 01:40 AM

Yes, the biggest secret to being successful with paleo is realizing you dont have to eat "breakfast" "lunch" and "dinner" in the societal allotted time frames. You'll just be too full from dinner the night before or breakfast. I only eat one meal a day in general, two smaller if its the weekend.

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5 Answers

2
3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on March 02, 2013
at 02:35 AM

This might sound insensitive, but you will have to make her respect your choices. If you are the one who brings the most money in the home, then she ought to cook for you too (if that's one of her responsibilities in the house). She should be free to eat her pasta if she wants to, as long as she also cooks a Paleo meal for you too. You should also try to educate her for the bad things that wheat can do to people. Get her to read this: http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2010/09/19/paleo-diet-solution/

If she doesn't comply either by respecting your choices, or some education, tell her that you will leave. You should not be putting your health in line just because your mom wants to eat industrialized foods. You're an adult, and you should decide what goes into your mouth. Take charge of your life.

In less than a month, I'm going to visit my own mom, in Greece. She eats a lot of wheat products and legumes. Less than two weeks ago, I learned that I'm actually celiac. Although my mom knew I had IBS (that's what we thought I had, before the celiac info came along), she didn't know what celiac is (in Greece, only 1 in 1750 has celiac, it's very rare). So I explained to her that no wheat product should be in the house while I'm there. She will have to comply by understanding my situation, or I get my luggage, and I go to sleep elsewhere.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 02, 2013
at 07:34 PM

Have you been tested for SIBO recently? Though you do not have the symptoms, you can still have it. Basically, what I am saying, is that SIBO causes celiac in over 80% cases. It could be your case (I am not sure though). If you do another test and it confirms that you still have SIBO, I would go for antibiotics. I know it is not right for me to say this - I am not a doctor, but that's what I have read.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 02, 2013
at 08:40 PM

It happens too. Did you have antibiotics for SIBO or for something else? Because I just had two round of antibiotics, but they were for SIBO. My doctors told me I had to.

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on March 02, 2013
at 09:07 PM

I had Flagyl (twice), Rifaximin, Vancomycin in the last 10 years. They worked for 10 days, for as long as I was taking them. I will never take such antibiotics again. There's no reason. I'm well-enough now to not require them anymore. Going Paleo + kefir worked for me.

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on March 02, 2013
at 07:27 PM

Yes, I have/had SIBO. I did the test around 2006. So far, as long as I'm below 100 gr of net carbs per day, and I do Paleo/Primal, I have no symptoms. My home-made goat kefir has helped a lot my SIBO. My celiac was revealed by a genetic test last month btw, the blood test was negative in 2002.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 02, 2013
at 07:24 PM

Eugenia, celiac and SIBO are interrelated. Have you been tested for SIBO? I was misdiagnosed as celiac at first (thank God, it was my doctor's mistake). I urge you to get a hydrogen methane test. I am not saying you are not celiac, I am just saying that you might still have SIBO, but it is assymptomatic. Because untreated SIBO does too much damage and treating it with diet only does not work for most people. I probably sound like a broken record, and I know it.

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on March 02, 2013
at 08:20 PM

I have had antibiotics many times in the 2000s (I so much hope I didn't), they only helped for the 10 days I took them. Kefir made a bigger and more lasting change for me. My celiac happened right after I moved to the US in 2001 and used the American franken-wheat, it wasn't because of SIBO. SIBO happened because of celiac for me, not the other way around.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 03, 2013
at 05:21 AM

Thanks for sharing!

0
39311794c054f89a226f33e1afd08721

on March 02, 2013
at 03:20 AM

Our lifestyles are so opposite right now, but I remember those days of home time being severely limited, trying to stay awake just long enough to throw a load of laundry in the dryer.

Even with the differences, I might suggest doing what you can on Saturday. Think of it as cooking in bulk for yourself and your family and then being fine with your family reciprocating by making other things for you through the week alongside their non-paleo food. They should have more time to cook for you and themselves if they have some of your bulk cooking available, too.

I'll do a day where I chop a lot of veggies and steam most of them. I sometimes don't even get stuff in the refrigerator before putting it in the big pasta boiler that I use for steaming. I'll section up a pineapple or melon ahead of time. I make large batches of things that keep well, like soups. I cook a lot of meat ahead, too, whole family packs of chicken, roasts, etc. I saute tons of mushrooms. I boil or sous vide over a dozen eggs at a time.

0
3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on March 02, 2013
at 02:09 AM

My husband is somewhat Paleo, but he and the kids still eat grains. I'm paleo and low carb. My husband is also the cook in the family. So here's how we handle dinner (I'm on my own for breakfast and lunch):

Dinner always consists of a protein and at least two cooked non-starchy vegetables, often salad or an additional cooked veggie, which may be starchy. There will sometimes be a starchy side like couscous or rice for my Husband and kids, I simply don't eat it. Same with dessert, if we have any (always on Friday nights). I have some dark chocolate and other things (coconut butter, for example) that I can have if I want a sweet treat.

When my husband and kids want an entree with grain or a lot of carbs (spaghetti or other pasta dish, homemade chicken pot pie, etc.) he pulls off a serving of the protein for me before adding the grain/starch. I either eat it alone or doctor it up for myself.

Some examples: -Smoked salmon pasta--he reserved some of the smoked salmon sauce for me, and I put it over shiritake noodles. -spaghetti and meatballs--I broiled eggplant slices the night before and had my spaghetti sauce and meatballs over the eggplant. Sometimes I make "zoodles" by julienne shredding zucchini. --chicken pot pie--he separates some chicken and veggies before the sauce or pie crust.
--taco and burrito night--I make a salad with the taco veggies and top it with fried eggs and salsa.

Most of our meals wouldn't work for Southern Cooking--we eat mostly Mediterranean style with grilled or roasted grass fed beef, lamb, goat, chicken and fishes and tons of steamed or roasted veggies. Nothing breaded and fried. But you and your mom could certainly find a way to work it so she just has to put something she's already making aside for you before adding the things you won't eat. Then she won't feel like she's making two meals.

And I agree with previous posters about doing some cooking and freezing ahead on the weekends so that you have some grab and go lunches or a dinner when what your mom makes just won't adapt to your needs. I highly recommend looking for paleo recipes for the crock pot--they take almost no time and effort on your part but you get a lot of bang for your buck.

When I cook a meal it works in reverse. I made a big batch of pho (Vietnamese noodle soup). I made rice noodles for the family, shiritake noodles for me, and we all enjoyed it immensely. It was only a little extra work to make my noodles too.

0
3b031bce7c181c10452ee202e2b54dc6

on March 02, 2013
at 01:38 AM

Sounds like a time management issue to me.

But as for you, I'd eat more big ass salads. I can easily get 400-600 calories in one salad thats bigger than my head. I can sometimes get 800 if I add nuts.

These can be thrown together in under 5 minutes.

My best addition was a steamer. I simply throw in my salmon or chicken breast and set it and forget it while I put together a salad or other piece of the meal.

Sometimes monotony and repetition is necessary to be successful. I think its fun to get creative with paleo. When Im home from college my mom and I make quiches. She makes her traditionally with a crust but mine is made without the crust. I am actually trying a salmon and spinach quiche (with gouda!) right now as I type.

Try to make it fun and add new twists to old favorites. Substitute greek yogurt for mayo. maybe look into almond flour for baking? I generally keep it simple: steamed salmon with herbs twice weekly. sometimes a filet of trout. mostly chicken baked or steamed. and salads just about every night. I never spend more time prepping than eating. I enjoy my meals.

0
Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992

(4292)

on March 02, 2013
at 01:36 AM

The easiest thing for me is to make a huge batch of stuff and then freeze it in serving-size batches. If you make a roast with some veggies (beets and carrots, or whatever you like) in the same pan, you have your meat and veg in one dish, so it's extra convenient. Then when you need some quick food you can toss a sweet potato in the microwave with your tupperware of pre-cooked [fill-in-the-meat-blank] and pull out a hot dinner in a few minutes. For extra fancy, throw something green with a little coconut oil in a frying pan and have it on the side while the microwave is running. If you're home for dinner, you're home in time to do that.

I also just learned to like cold salads. I keep a bunch of spinach and a batch of cooked chicken/turkey/whatever in the fridge and throw it all together on a plate and call it dinner. Canned fish is super convenient for this because you don't even have to remember to cook it in advance.

The big thing is to remember that Paleo =/= huge 3-course photogenic meals. Once you're not fixed on that, it's not hard to find something nutritionally complete and basically appetizing.

3b031bce7c181c10452ee202e2b54dc6

(803)

on March 02, 2013
at 01:40 AM

Yes, the biggest secret to being successful with paleo is realizing you dont have to eat "breakfast" "lunch" and "dinner" in the societal allotted time frames. You'll just be too full from dinner the night before or breakfast. I only eat one meal a day in general, two smaller if its the weekend.

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