5

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I'm married to a non-paleo/need advice

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 05, 2011 at 4:42 AM

I'm married to a non paleo. Anybody in the same boat? I love her truly but I cringe when I see her eating that shitty food that I once ate back then. She knows what I do but still doesn't change. I'm scare for the future..she has tried doing something's to change but not 100%. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.

74c1777d7d39b053ca64c065dcdb0072

(713)

on September 08, 2011
at 11:50 AM

Not trying to start a fight(I am really not), but can you explain how every partner on earth can flip about smoking but not diet? (This is a matter of degree not kind,right?) It makes one scared for the future because industrial diets are destructive to the body. How could you not be scared when someone you love is systematically hurting themselves?

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on September 06, 2011
at 05:11 AM

Thanks Eazine and Sarah!

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on September 06, 2011
at 03:33 AM

i have snuck heart in...good idea on the liver. Rogue...awesome about the tongue.

Aa69579f867333b08158c70e25f7daf1

(1826)

on September 06, 2011
at 02:09 AM

Yes, the only thing I could eat during some times of my pregnancy was waffles. They make my non-pregnant body feel AWFUL, but for some reason, they were all I could eat and all I wanted. My baby is fine and healthy and once I wasn't pregnant anymore, I let go of my Eggos.

Aa69579f867333b08158c70e25f7daf1

(1826)

on September 06, 2011
at 02:06 AM

Eric, I love your view. For some people, going hardcore right off the bat works for them and that's great. But for others, one small change at a time is so much more sustainable.

Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

(4400)

on September 06, 2011
at 01:20 AM

Lead by example is the key. A few years from now when you're effortlessly lean and she's starving herself again on the lemonade diet, or whatever, yet getting nowhere, she'll figure it out for herself. It would be best if we all were paleo from birth, but people like me didn't get a chance to even start until 50. Earlier is better, but later is better than nothing.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on September 05, 2011
at 09:14 PM

Liver can be hidden in chili (or other soups) or meatballs easily. 8)

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on September 05, 2011
at 09:10 PM

FED, exactly what I did. I have been paleo for almost a year now and my husband just now jumped on board.

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on September 05, 2011
at 07:33 PM

This is pretty much my situation as well...including brainwashing the kiddos! My husband will eat whatever I make, including tongue the other day(I called it shredded beef to the kids)...

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on September 05, 2011
at 07:18 PM

FED: Love your response! +1

306aa57660d911781231f8090c2a5619

(3808)

on September 05, 2011
at 05:04 PM

(And, I should add, I didn't even have hyperemesis gravidarum, the most extreme form of morning sickness which often lasts throughout pregnancy and frequently requires hospitalization. Simply a moderate case of ordinary morning sickness.)

306aa57660d911781231f8090c2a5619

(3808)

on September 05, 2011
at 05:03 PM

Yup, give pregnant women some leeway. Yes, you're eating for the baby and nutritional choices matter, but morning sickness is truly horrible and potentially life-threatening. Imagine if, for weeks to months on end, eating anything that didn't meet your body's seemingly arbitrary demands had you running for the nearest vomiting receptacle... and your partner was making your feel guilty for your food choices. Personally, wheat products were the only thing that gave me the appetite for anything at all during my first trimester, and I still lost 15lbs despite that.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 05, 2011
at 05:01 PM

Sounds good thanks

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 05, 2011
at 04:51 PM

Thanks Micheal :)

Medium avatar

(19479)

on September 05, 2011
at 02:43 PM

The best possible thing that you can do for your wife is to accept her 100%, focus on your own diet 100%, and offer to cook and grocery shop whenever the possibility arises. My wife was vehemently against going paleo herself when I first started, but I fed her coconut bread, bone marrow, and herb salad last night and she loved it. Gradually the tide is turning, but it takes patience, love, and commitment.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 05, 2011
at 01:20 PM

Lots of interesting discussion here: http://paleohacks.com/questions/49885/how-do-i-keep-from-feeling-upset-with-my-girlfriend-when-she-makes-awful-choices#axzz1X5Ed2FAh

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 05, 2011
at 08:48 AM

I went through this early on, and eventually decided I valued my sweetie's company so much more than his eating the same things as me. I ended up making him feel bad, and neither of us were happy. The way I see it now, we're each doing our own nutrition experiment. He comes from a line of long-lived healthy folks eating the basic SAD, I don't, so I have more at stake here and feel like I have to take more extreme nutritional action so we can enjoy our retirement together someday. If he can eat Cheerios every morning and live to 95 with few health problems more power to him.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 05, 2011
at 08:41 AM

Just keep cooking. I'm the cook around here, and I had crushing fatigue the first 20 weeks of the pregnancy, I relished every meal my hubby braved to make for me. I will be forever grateful that he didn't remind me of my previous rants about the evils of gluten and dairy as I made yet another microwave grilled cheese sandwich because it was the only thing that I could keep down. Maybe you could cook rice in bone broth and sneak some goodness in there.

396679d1e1357eb7e9397ca34c8773ea

(454)

on September 05, 2011
at 08:25 AM

Lol, thanks for the other side of things. I'm not to bad about it I just try to make things she can eat. She doesn't eat paleo much, but if I cook it she'll usually eat it. So far no cravings that she's told me about, I'm not too worried, just that the only things she eats are grains and she usually avoids them.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 05, 2011
at 08:20 AM

Same thing here with the cereal. I figure he's a grown up and I respect his decisions even if I don't always agree with them. I hope he'd afford me the same courtesy.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 05, 2011
at 07:37 AM

Dude, as a not so long ago pregnant lady who had every intention of having a paleo pregnancy but just could not stick with it due to nausea and cravings, I feel for your wife. Just let it go. I drove my nutritionist whom I had hired to "babysit" my food choices to frustration several times. Pregnancy is like being on another planet, and your wife's body is in a mode of being able to super-utilize whatever nutrients she can keep down along with some pretty effective autophagy to make up for whatever she doesn't ingest. It can cause deficits in her own body, but your baby will be fine.

967229edcc94a66580110324524feb49

(688)

on September 05, 2011
at 04:55 AM

Great response. I do the same, cook a paleo meal and then put bread, rice, pasta on the side for the family who want those items.

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12 Answers

15
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on September 05, 2011
at 04:53 AM

I am in the same boat.

I do the shopping and I have started cooking breakfast and Dinner. I cook Paleo and then serve bread or pasta on the side for the family.

This year we have removed all vegetable oils and we use pastured butter and the best eggs we can find. I have stopped buying fruit juice and sports drinks to reduce sugar.

I look at it as one small change at a time. Take it slow is the way I am going.

I am able to eat Paleo and my family's health is improving over time.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on September 06, 2011
at 05:11 AM

Thanks Eazine and Sarah!

Aa69579f867333b08158c70e25f7daf1

(1826)

on September 06, 2011
at 02:06 AM

Eric, I love your view. For some people, going hardcore right off the bat works for them and that's great. But for others, one small change at a time is so much more sustainable.

967229edcc94a66580110324524feb49

(688)

on September 05, 2011
at 04:55 AM

Great response. I do the same, cook a paleo meal and then put bread, rice, pasta on the side for the family who want those items.

12
967229edcc94a66580110324524feb49

(688)

on September 05, 2011
at 04:53 AM

Live and let live. You can only lead by example and hope she follows you. Pressuring her to change will only build tension in your relationship.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 05, 2011
at 08:48 AM

I went through this early on, and eventually decided I valued my sweetie's company so much more than his eating the same things as me. I ended up making him feel bad, and neither of us were happy. The way I see it now, we're each doing our own nutrition experiment. He comes from a line of long-lived healthy folks eating the basic SAD, I don't, so I have more at stake here and feel like I have to take more extreme nutritional action so we can enjoy our retirement together someday. If he can eat Cheerios every morning and live to 95 with few health problems more power to him.

Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

(4400)

on September 06, 2011
at 01:20 AM

Lead by example is the key. A few years from now when you're effortlessly lean and she's starving herself again on the lemonade diet, or whatever, yet getting nowhere, she'll figure it out for herself. It would be best if we all were paleo from birth, but people like me didn't get a chance to even start until 50. Earlier is better, but later is better than nothing.

5
Aa69579f867333b08158c70e25f7daf1

(1826)

on September 06, 2011
at 02:03 AM

I went paleo, and my husband wasn't going to do it with me.

However, I do all of the grocery shopping and cooking for the house. And I pack his lunch for him every day.

So now he's paleo, too. I have plenty of paleo food constantly available to him. He can eat what I make, or cook himself.

He eats what I make.

Problem solved.

5
Medium avatar

on September 05, 2011
at 05:19 AM

You might want to focus on the worst offenders and see if she'll at least remove those. After trans fats, rancid seed oils, heavy fructose and wheat are removed, it's all pretty much diminishing returns anyway. If you can switch some fats around and move toward rice and potatoes as much as possible, it will make a substantial health difference.

Also, don't forget adding as much walking as possible. Nothing healthy about sitting around all day.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 05, 2011
at 05:01 PM

Sounds good thanks

4
3432683fc74c2d2a40efe1e8f16ac1f6

(1130)

on September 05, 2011
at 06:48 AM

I visited my parents recently, and while I was making my scrambled eggs, my father - a vegetarian and 90% raw foodist - came to me and said in a friendly voice something along the lines: "But, you know, eggs are not necessary for human nutrition, and it can be bad for you to eat them, it's ok for now but you should not eat them eventually and also strive to eat only fruit until noon" (he read that in some book).

I follow filial piety and don't argue with my parents on principle, but you can imagine that I didn't feel very good... this I found is what advocates of any particular diet fails to realize: how unpleasant it might be for other people when they are told that they should be eating something else or that what they eat is bad for them.

It just isn't such an easy matter to change one's belief regarding food. For example, my wife sees how I lost 22 lbs in 70 days almost effortlessly, but still isn't convinced that it is ok to eat more fat or that pastry is bad for health or that it is ok to eat eggs in three consecutive days. (But things are getting better since she seems to grasp the point of low-carb diet already).

Regarding the concrete advice, I'd follow what Travis wrote, or just let it be for a few months to see where things will go. It's very hard to change the fate of our relatives, no matter how much we would like to sometimes. ;-)

4
37f4b3c51afbd92d259afaa171270874

on September 05, 2011
at 05:22 AM

Hey George,

There are a couple of near identical questions where you might find the answers helpful.

Is Your Significant Other Paleo?

Significant others and Paleo: Ideas after you screwed it up

Hope that helps.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 05, 2011
at 04:51 PM

Thanks Micheal :)

3
7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on September 05, 2011
at 05:16 PM

I am married to a non-paleo. In all frankness, it's not my concern except to lead by example and sneak paleo foods into him on the sly.

If he wants to change he will. I respect him as an individual and won't force anything upon him. I am brainwashing my children and he does not interfere with that. That is the best I can do right now.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on September 05, 2011
at 09:14 PM

Liver can be hidden in chili (or other soups) or meatballs easily. 8)

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on September 06, 2011
at 03:33 AM

i have snuck heart in...good idea on the liver. Rogue...awesome about the tongue.

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on September 05, 2011
at 07:33 PM

This is pretty much my situation as well...including brainwashing the kiddos! My husband will eat whatever I make, including tongue the other day(I called it shredded beef to the kids)...

3
B525b3e4b1d6f1cdceec943cdec6eb7d

(1680)

on September 05, 2011
at 02:42 PM

There's only so much you can do about this, but one thing you can do is cook! Make awesome, scrumptious paleo meals that you and your wife will both love. Make paleo snacks to have around the house.

There are lots of paleo recipe websites out there; you might also find it helpful to buy a few paleo cookbooks.

I'm sorry I don't have the perfect answer for you, but I think this is your best starting point.

1
74c1777d7d39b053ca64c065dcdb0072

on September 08, 2011
at 11:45 AM

Honestly, there are two routes for this. One would be to do the shopping and the cooking so she does not have to. You can make great tasting paleo recipes that most people would prefer to >90% of restaurants.

The other would be to get her to want to eat paleo herself and not for you. I am a big believer in self determination theory. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-determination_theory No one is going to make a lasting change if they believe it has been forced upon them.

If you convince her that this a better way of eating, she will make the change on her own. (Unfortunately, you need to prevent yourself from outwardly cringing and judging. That will just cause resentment.)

Living as a good example can go a long way in demonstrating the efficacy of the diet. Be prepared for questions on your diet. Questions will invariably rise and you will have to know them cold. (Why do you avoid vegetable oil? Please don't respond Whole9 told me not to.)

1
61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on September 05, 2011
at 09:19 PM

I feel you on switching to paleo without the full support of your spouse. I switched to paleo eating about a year ago and my husband just gave me funny looks about it. I initially was making sides to satisfy his SAD habits, but eventually weeded those out.

Early this summer, I pretty much stopped making any SAD sides. He was eating tons of potatoes and would still eat pasta and such when we ate out, but for the most part was eating carb-heavy paleo because that is all I would cook.

The turning point for him was not me, but a buddy of his at work. His friend decided to go on a diet and, miracle of miracles, he chose the paleo diet! His friend is just considering this a temporary weight-loss method, but my husband has taken the leap and is calling it a "lifestyle change."

Yes, it took over a year of being an example and then a huge competitive push from his buddy, but my husband is finally eating paleo and is probably being more strict about it than I am! 8)

1
Df45ff15a3b093b7f22f0fec5ae1237a

(260)

on September 05, 2011
at 07:53 AM

Ive been hardcore paleo for almost 3 months. My husband isn't paleo, he is however very supportive and has my back like 100%. We've had conversations about why I have chosen this lifestyle and he gets it. We don't engage on a daily basis about my food choices, and although I consider his morning cereal with milk and sugar poison I would never say that to him. Why does your wife eating differently than you make you scared for the future? I think it sounds like there is something else going on.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 05, 2011
at 08:20 AM

Same thing here with the cereal. I figure he's a grown up and I respect his decisions even if I don't always agree with them. I hope he'd afford me the same courtesy.

74c1777d7d39b053ca64c065dcdb0072

(713)

on September 08, 2011
at 11:50 AM

Not trying to start a fight(I am really not), but can you explain how every partner on earth can flip about smoking but not diet? (This is a matter of degree not kind,right?) It makes one scared for the future because industrial diets are destructive to the body. How could you not be scared when someone you love is systematically hurting themselves?

1
396679d1e1357eb7e9397ca34c8773ea

on September 05, 2011
at 04:57 AM

My wife is continually influenced by her mother who is a Vegan. And since my wife is pregant I consider important that my wife eat a proper diet. I can hardly stand it when she eats only processed crap or grains like cheerios or toast because it doesn't upset her stomach.

Don't pressure. Just remind her what she's eating is bad. If that bothers her she'll tell you or you'll know. But we do the best with what were given.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 05, 2011
at 08:41 AM

Just keep cooking. I'm the cook around here, and I had crushing fatigue the first 20 weeks of the pregnancy, I relished every meal my hubby braved to make for me. I will be forever grateful that he didn't remind me of my previous rants about the evils of gluten and dairy as I made yet another microwave grilled cheese sandwich because it was the only thing that I could keep down. Maybe you could cook rice in bone broth and sneak some goodness in there.

306aa57660d911781231f8090c2a5619

(3808)

on September 05, 2011
at 05:04 PM

(And, I should add, I didn't even have hyperemesis gravidarum, the most extreme form of morning sickness which often lasts throughout pregnancy and frequently requires hospitalization. Simply a moderate case of ordinary morning sickness.)

Aa69579f867333b08158c70e25f7daf1

(1826)

on September 06, 2011
at 02:09 AM

Yes, the only thing I could eat during some times of my pregnancy was waffles. They make my non-pregnant body feel AWFUL, but for some reason, they were all I could eat and all I wanted. My baby is fine and healthy and once I wasn't pregnant anymore, I let go of my Eggos.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 05, 2011
at 07:37 AM

Dude, as a not so long ago pregnant lady who had every intention of having a paleo pregnancy but just could not stick with it due to nausea and cravings, I feel for your wife. Just let it go. I drove my nutritionist whom I had hired to "babysit" my food choices to frustration several times. Pregnancy is like being on another planet, and your wife's body is in a mode of being able to super-utilize whatever nutrients she can keep down along with some pretty effective autophagy to make up for whatever she doesn't ingest. It can cause deficits in her own body, but your baby will be fine.

306aa57660d911781231f8090c2a5619

(3808)

on September 05, 2011
at 05:03 PM

Yup, give pregnant women some leeway. Yes, you're eating for the baby and nutritional choices matter, but morning sickness is truly horrible and potentially life-threatening. Imagine if, for weeks to months on end, eating anything that didn't meet your body's seemingly arbitrary demands had you running for the nearest vomiting receptacle... and your partner was making your feel guilty for your food choices. Personally, wheat products were the only thing that gave me the appetite for anything at all during my first trimester, and I still lost 15lbs despite that.

396679d1e1357eb7e9397ca34c8773ea

(454)

on September 05, 2011
at 08:25 AM

Lol, thanks for the other side of things. I'm not to bad about it I just try to make things she can eat. She doesn't eat paleo much, but if I cook it she'll usually eat it. So far no cravings that she's told me about, I'm not too worried, just that the only things she eats are grains and she usually avoids them.

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