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Newbie Advice, Thoughts on Transition Plan?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 19, 2013 at 7:27 PM

Hello!

I am 33 y/o married female, about 135 lbs (no kids). I would like to lose 10-15 lb, but mostly get my energy back. I have a heart condition (replaced pulmonary valve) so I wear out pretty easily, since I am not getting 100% oxygen to start with.

Anyway, I have had numerous false starts, and I am just not sure what to do. My biggest problem is trying to figure out how to cook for 1 (since my husband isn't Paleo), and he is also constantly encouraging me to eat "normally" because he doesn't "get" Paleo.

I am HORRIBLE under pressure. I try and stress to my husband that I want to follow this "diet" and that I need his help to not encourage me to stray, but then a busy week will come along and I have to work late which leaves him cooking, and me off the bandwagon again.

These last few months were impossible at work, with all the holiday goodies and gift exchanges. I tried to eat Paleo at holiday gatherings, but wouldn't you know it, ALL of the side dishes were carb/grain laden! Oh, and did I mention, I haven't had a sweet potato recipe that I liked, so that tuber is kind of out. :(

So I'm looking for some advice on how to transition and how far I should push it with my husband. Should I just focus on eating Paleo for breakfast/lunch and then eat whatever he wants or cooks for dinner? He resents me wanting to cook two meals and the extra mess and cost of the ingredients.

For me, a slow carb reduction would work best. So I'm trying to figure out how to transition both to low-carb and to Paleo. All of the "plans" are overwhelming with trying to shop for and cook two separate menus, plus make things that are portable to work and easy to reheat for snacks, etc.

So I'm thinking something like this (do each step until comfortable with it and it's habit):

  1. Be mindful of the amount of carbs in foods, and aim to reduce to 200g a day regardless of source (yes, I know this is NOT a good number, but I have to start somewhere). Limit to 2 servings of wheat product a day (i.e. 1 slice toast, side dish pasta, etc).
  2. Limit myself to 175g of carbs a day, and 1 serving of wheat a day with other carbs coming from other sources.
  3. Reduce carbs to 150g a day, and aim for 1 serving of wheat every other day. Favor carbs from fruits and vegetables, limit to 1 non-wheat carb serving a day (potato, rice, etc).
  4. Reduce carbs to 125g a day, limit wheat only for cheat days (max of 1 a week), and 1 potato every other day.

By then I should be 80% of the way there, and I hope it will be much easier.

So what do you guys think? My next hurdle is to find recipes that sound good to me and buy enough fruits and vegetables to have on hand for snacks, etc. I DO NOT do offal, and my husband DOES NOT do eggs, he cannot even be in the same room when they are cooking, so scrambled eggs for breakfast is a no-go (and impossible to make at work). So I've been fasting most mornings with just coffee with heavy cream, but I know that it isn't a good start for me.

Anyway, I'm looking for some encouragement and some tips on how to handle busy weeks, non-cooperative spouses, and any "tried and true" recipes that reheat well. Oh, I get bored of flavors easily, so I can't eat the same thing day in and day out. I might be able to take the same boiled eggs and bacon for breakfast for 1 week, but by the end of the week I need something different. I also have trouble with eating plain meat, especially chicken, because it doesn't have a lot of flavor. So I need a bunch of help. :)

Sorry to dump this on you guys, I am not sure where else to go, but I really want to make this transition. :(

Medium avatar

(5)

on January 19, 2013
at 11:17 PM

I am not going to consume "more" carbs, my plan is to reduce them gradually. I don't know how many a day I am consuming now on my SAD diet, but it's sure as heck more than 200g.

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on January 19, 2013
at 09:09 PM

The addiction to carbs/grains is not going to go away by consuming more carbs unfortunately.

Medium avatar

(5)

on January 19, 2013
at 08:24 PM

I did try cold-turkey (several times), but I feel that a slow transition would work best for me (it didn't work the previous times). The low-carb symptoms made my heart race, and my cravings go through the roof.

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3 Answers

1
B535434a7c4f37d46431c7081625ef3b

on January 20, 2013
at 12:39 AM

It definitely helps having your spouse on board. My husband and I (in our 30's) just started two weeks ago. And there was a point that he wanted to start eating wheat again. But I insisted that we stick with it for at least a month. He found Dr. William Davis' lecture and book called "Wheat Belly" and it changed his whole perspective on wheat and how it fools you into wanting to eat more and how its spikes up your sugar levels more than table sugar. Anyway, we also have our kids and currently have family staying with us. At first I made a Paleo main dishes and would have pasta or rice for them and cauli-rice for us. You can maybe try doing that for a while? Could you ask your husband to maybe stick with Paleo main dishes that you'll both like? And maybe you can both sit down and meal plan a weeks worth of dinners that you can both enjoy together (that helps us too). And if he wants grains with it, and if you can handle it, skip that part.

I've found a lot of great recipes on Pinterest and in the book "Practical Paleo". I've also just had fun with trying different ingredients and spices. Lots of sauteed and roasted veggies. Almond meal and coconut flour have been real life savers. And my guests are starting to enjoy Paleo life.

Here's some sites that I have found great recipes on:

chowstalker.com nomnompaleo.com wellnessmama.com

My husband and I have already seen significant weight loss and we aren't "starving" like we use to be. So from my experience, you just have to push through and then it'll start to come easier. You don't need to try to convince your husband, he'll need to come to that conclusion on his own. But if you can take the time to watch Dr. William Davis' lecture with him, it may help.

1
Cf416725f639ffd1bb90764792ce7b8a

(2799)

on January 19, 2013
at 07:59 PM

Go cold turkey on the carbs and get the induction over with. Why stretch your "carb flu" (I never liked that term, I was a bit low energy for a few days then fine) out for an extended period?

Medium avatar

(5)

on January 19, 2013
at 08:24 PM

I did try cold-turkey (several times), but I feel that a slow transition would work best for me (it didn't work the previous times). The low-carb symptoms made my heart race, and my cravings go through the roof.

Medium avatar

(5)

on January 19, 2013
at 11:17 PM

I am not going to consume "more" carbs, my plan is to reduce them gradually. I don't know how many a day I am consuming now on my SAD diet, but it's sure as heck more than 200g.

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on January 19, 2013
at 09:09 PM

The addiction to carbs/grains is not going to go away by consuming more carbs unfortunately.

0
6b06a125e2ca28fbd78a509e2a208dbe

on January 22, 2013
at 08:16 PM

Hi Dana,

Well done for persisting on your own! I'm sure once you start having wee break-throughs your husband will become more interested in paleo. You sound like you know what is right for you and it seems that you're listening to your body carefully, which is great.

I strongly recommend giving wheat (and all gluten and almost all grains) the boot entirely. I understand the carb thing can be a struggle initially for many people, but it would be a lot better for you to focus on white rice, sweet and white potatoes, yams, squashes etc. If you eat a decent helping of these starches you'll be consuming a paleo source of carbohydrate and avoiding the many harmful toxins in wheat, and the many awful effects it has on the human body.

With the separate meals debacle, try going back to basics and keeping things simple. Things like steamed veges or stirfry cooked in coconut oil, with steak and potato (and lots of grass fed butter in yours!!). If you try to instigate small changes like the type of fat you cook in, you can granny step your way to an overall more paleo dinner. Doing things like switching your pasta for some cauli-rice should be simple enough, especially if that's all that is needed to change the meal to paleo.

Don't get too bogged down in what you can't eat when going paleo. Focus on all the wonderful foods you can have, so you remain enthusiastic and your diet feels 'fresh'. Here's an inspiring site http://www.paleoplan.com/recipes/ Smoothies are a great start to the day and you can choose what you put in.

Lunch can be just a salad and some fish, homemade soup, bacon and eggs, or leftovers- no need to complicate things! Have a potter around some paleo foodie sites and see if there are any recipes that you think you'd enjoy.

Here are a couple of sites I like for recipe ideas. If I'm organised enough I'll bake some paleo things like banana and almond loaf for a brekkie on the go. Making food ahead of time is a really good way around things-you could even make a big batch of something and freeze it. Anyway, here are those sites...

http://www.elanaspantry.com/paleo-diet-recipes/ http://paleomg.com/ http://fastpaleo.com/category/all-recipes/

So, good on you for trying to make this transition-it's well worth it. And it really does get easier! Keep on listening to your body and let us know how you go. All the best!

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