2

votes

Help me come up with a plan for convincing my wife?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 27, 2011 at 8:26 PM

So, it's been asked and answered a bit before, but my wife is going to be a bit more stubborn than some of the others mentioned in the past, I think. My goal isn't to get her to lose weight, but I want her to be healthy, long-term.

Anyway, she's very entrenched in CW, and is still scared of saturated fat. This is the biggest hurdle I need to overcome. I'm hoping that I can actually get her to watch Big Fat Fiasco, as I think that will help soften her sat fat fear.

Another big concern that she has is just the "hassle"/"weirdness" factor. She's very much go-with-the-norm and would probably never be willing to tell her family "hey, could we try having some gluten-free options at family BBQ's?" (even if she was sold on the gluten menace, which is another hurdle I still need to get past).

I know she'd be hard to break of grains, as she doesn't deal well with having things restricted diet-wise. It pretty much makes her crave them more.

Now, a big thing with her (and me, and most people, I think) is resisting things like this when they're pushed upon us. We like to find things for ourselves. If I send her links to research, she'll pretty much discount all of it as crazy-fad-diet-propaganda. If I can get her to find things on her own (or think she had), it would be best.

So, main goals: 1) Eliminate fear of saturated fat 2) Establish wariness of gluten 3) Establish wariness of other grains 4) Do so without shoving it down her throat

I've lost about 20lb since January between slow-carb and paleo, so she sees the success I've had (and am still having). She worries about cholesterol, so I'm going to go get a blood lipid panel, but I don't have a pre-paleo report to compare.

Thoughts?

Ff6560918e3b3cede8958b070cc07822

(407)

on June 28, 2011
at 08:34 PM

Hahahaha. Sold! Honestly, it would probably help.

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on June 28, 2011
at 04:17 PM

OK so we have determined the perfect solution to RootyB's problem: Chelsea Handler needs to author a paleo-friendly tome. Can someone call her agent and ask her to get on that _pronto_?

Ff6560918e3b3cede8958b070cc07822

(407)

on June 28, 2011
at 03:55 PM

Olivia, just started reading Omnivore's Dilemma on your recommendation. When I mentioned to her what I was reading, she just rolled her eyes (while I don't get preachy, I read a ton more about nutrition stuff these days. I had to point out that it's not even a paleo book. She just chuckled and went back to reading Chelsea Handler's book. :)

Ff6560918e3b3cede8958b070cc07822

(407)

on June 28, 2011
at 03:53 PM

Oh, I'm going to Hawaii with her. We're both going with her family, actually (staying in their timeshare, so no real chance of upgrading the hotel). It's a pretty sweet deal (and is at least partially why *I* started paying closer attention to what I eat in January). I could probably bribe her with a trip to Disneyland, but the Hawaii trip is going to burn up all of my vacation. Bribery is a time-honored tradition I'd be remiss not to honor. :)

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on June 28, 2011
at 01:40 AM

@Sara - I agree. I was just playing....and my wife is not a member of this forum so I can make obnoxious comments :-)

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on June 28, 2011
at 01:30 AM

"Women, like all animals, respond very well to a good bribe." <-- Trudat. :)

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on June 28, 2011
at 12:52 AM

Never tell your wife about another woman's sex drive.

Medium avatar

(19479)

on June 28, 2011
at 12:52 AM

All I have to say is may the force be with you. I have learned that any attempt, no matter how subtle, to "help" my wife (who eats Doritos for gods sake) is met with extreme resistance and "I'll show you" orders of Papa Johns Pizza. A much more successful approach IMHO is to really focus on my own self and forget about trying to change her.

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on June 28, 2011
at 12:51 AM

My suggestion was going to be bribe her into a whole 30. Sin e she's going to Hawaii, that might be hard to do. Maybe offer to upgrade her hotel? Tell her that you'll have the house and cars sparkling when she gets home? Maybe agree to do something she ways wants to do but you refuse, like dancing lessons. Women, like all animals, respond very well to a good bribe.

Ff6560918e3b3cede8958b070cc07822

(407)

on June 28, 2011
at 12:02 AM

Excellent advice, and it's definitely what I've been doing, as much as humanly possible. I'm right there with you on avoiding TV shows because they were recommended by someone else. It took me like, three years to get into the new Doctor Who because a friend said I would love it (which I do, now). I think a lipid profile will help a lot, actually. I've been getting compliments from people lately, and *she's* been the one saying it's thanks to my diet. I think she's just still scared of doing such a huge 180 from CW.

B0454de6d4f4cdd9ca2e59021dc105bf

(606)

on June 27, 2011
at 11:35 PM

Great question. I'm in exactly same situation so I'll be closely following this thread. Thanks.

Ff6560918e3b3cede8958b070cc07822

(407)

on June 27, 2011
at 11:10 PM

I've hinted at her doing a whole 30, but never outright suggested it. I might just say "What would I have to offer for you to try this for 30 days?" Thanks for the suggestion!

Ff6560918e3b3cede8958b070cc07822

(407)

on June 27, 2011
at 10:57 PM

Hahaha. That would be a nice bonus effect. :) Sounds like you've made good strides with your wife. Congrats all around. When I first started Paleo, my wife was *very* against it, calling it a fad diet and stressing about it to the point that we put a moratorium on talking about nutrition with one another. Part of this was because I had just done slow-carb (which is fairly anti-fruit), and THAT stressed her out (and kind of IS a fad diet, but could be much worse). We still don't really talk about nutrition, but she doesn't give me much grief when I eat bacon or cook with tallow anymore.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on June 27, 2011
at 10:28 PM

I went from a low-gluten diet (maybe 5-8 servings per week) to no-gluten. Within a week, to my surprise, I noticed radical changes in digestion, mood, and energy. Paul Chek says that many people are gluten-intolerant without knowing it. You could probably convince your wife to go gluten-free for say 20 days. Even if she does it for 10, if she has any gluten issues, she'll probably notice some difference. It might help for her to do it over her cycle. That is probably a reasonable test of the hypothesis. If she notices nothing, maybe she's fine or it is not gluten related.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on June 27, 2011
at 10:03 PM

I agree. I have a suspicion grains aren't as awful as we make them out to be, and other components of the SAD are much more problematic. But at the end of the day I figure there's no reason NOT to avoid them, so I do, just in case.

Ff6560918e3b3cede8958b070cc07822

(407)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:59 PM

Also (stupid character limit), I don't think there's any problem with the "n=1" testimonial blogs/authors/etc pushing paleo as a lifestyle anyone can succeed on, because really, while not everyone will have (apparent) issues with grains/starches/sugars, sometimes, if grains/high carb *are* causing the so-called "neolithic agents of disease", it's going to be hard to tell you're having issues until it's too late. That is, at the end of the day, I think the paleo WoE is a safer bet than sticking with grains because "I haven't noticed any issues with them".

Ff6560918e3b3cede8958b070cc07822

(407)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:53 PM

Excellent post. (I got in that second upvote for ya, Olivia) The thing about testimonials, though, is that they are, almost by definition, n=1. Otherwise, they'd be studies. :) Now, some more info: My wife has fairly regular stomach issues. Cramps, indigestion, bloating, etc. I, of course, think it's due to gluten. She's not buying it. She also has been hitting the gym 4-5 days a week, doing treadmill/elliptical and some weights. She's trying to lose a few pounds before a trip to Hawaii in August, but hasn't had much success.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:48 PM

Have her read the Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan. It's not paleo specifically but has some pretty astonishing information about CAFO meat, vegetable oils, corn/grain consumption in the US, and basically everything that's wrong with our food system. And it's not at all preachy, just thought provoking.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:45 PM

So many great points, I wish I could upvote twice.

Ff6560918e3b3cede8958b070cc07822

(407)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:45 PM

I actually think she'd buy into it a lot more if she'd read/watch *anything* about it. Pretty much all she knows about it is what she's heard from her friend (who tried doing low-fat paleo and felt like crap) and me. I try to put paleo's best foot forward, but I feel like anything good I say about it is met with skepticism, because I'm a convert.

Ff6560918e3b3cede8958b070cc07822

(407)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:43 PM

I've actually been kicking around the "how will our kids eat" talk. We had originally planned on waiting a year or two to have kids (which would give me plenty of time to "lead by example", I think), but that might be getting moved up, hence my OP. She's definitely eating better than SAD. No doubt about that, and I love it. She doesn't feel like she needs random bread with dinner, or even a substantial starch portion at all, which is great. She's getting there, and I love it.

Ff6560918e3b3cede8958b070cc07822

(407)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:40 PM

Hmmm.. Yeah, label-reading is one of the things I do a *ton* of these days. She doesn't, really. She checks to see how many calories things have, and sometimes how much fat, but that's about it.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:39 PM

Still, it actually sounds like she's on track with her own diet especially if you're doing all the cooking. Light years ahead of the SAD for sure. Maybe she doesn't actually need to change her diet?

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:36 PM

I think she needs to have a mindset shift: Today's food environment is so utterly and completely filled with garbage food that a WOE that limits our consumption thereof is a GOOD thing. Does she read labels? It can be incredibly eye opening to see just what the hell is in some of the foods that most people mindlessly shovel into their bodies.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:32 PM

Still, it actually sounds like she's on track with her own diet if you're doing all the cooking. Light years ahead of the SAD for sure.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:31 PM

You should have a discussion about how you feed your future kids. Maybe instead of trying to have them 100% Paleo, you could agree on a few compromises. Like, they can have some bread, but properly sourdough-fermented bread you make yourself, not supermarket HFCS-filled bread. They can have sweets, but again, stuff you make yourself instead of total junk. No really evil things like soda (speaking as an adult whose parents never ever let us have soda, I really think this is one of the best decisions they ever made, and I'm grateful for it all the time.)

Ff6560918e3b3cede8958b070cc07822

(407)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:27 PM

Yeah, I do pretty much all of the cooking anyway, and it helps. I throw some potato/sweet potato in there, and while I don't cook with it, I'll have some rice here and there if we eat away from home. All of this has helped her see the flexibility that's possible (that's one of her big qualms with it: that my WoE limits what/where we can eat).

Ff6560918e3b3cede8958b070cc07822

(407)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:24 PM

Haha. She'd see RIGHT through that, and would not be impressed.

Ff6560918e3b3cede8958b070cc07822

(407)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:23 PM

Yeah, I tried preaching paleo a little (to everyone, not just my wife) after I had done it for awhile, but I got the hint there pretty quickly. Now, I actually avoid talking about my diet unless pressed, at which point I'm happy to answer any questions (we pursue that which retreats from us, right?). This is why I'm trying to avoid pushing it on my wife directly, but I'm not above dropping hints here and there to steer her along.

Ff6560918e3b3cede8958b070cc07822

(407)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:20 PM

I actually do all of the cooking, pretty much, and frankly, we eat pretty paleo at home, when we eat together. She'll still have sandwiches for lunch, or cereal as a snack now and then, but she's even started to cut back on grains, which I love. One of my main concerns, really, is how we're going to feed our kids when we have them. I'd obviously like to keep them grain/sugar/veg-oil-free, but right now, I think she'd be very against that (but not for any reason I think she could put into words). I'm just trying to stay ahead of that conflict. :)

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11 Answers

11
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on June 27, 2011
at 09:38 PM

Maybe not exactly what you want to hear, but if your wife is healthy and happy then maybe she doesn't need to change anything. My wife and kids aren't Paleo, and while I would like some small adjustments in my kids' diets (what parent doesn't), I believe that everyone is basically healthy and happy.

Different people tolerate sugar, starch, and fat in different ways. My wife apparently has a very high tolerance for sugar and starch because it causes her no ill effects and her and her entire family on both sides are generally the same way. She can't eat a lot of fatty foods though. I am exactly the opposite, I can eat as much fat as I want, but carbs, especially grain-based, are bad for me.

Unless your wife has some specific issues or complaints, I think it might be a tough row to hoe to get her to change her fundamental diet...

EDIT: one last comment, something I have noticed about the Paleo community and the frequently cited bloggers (Mark Sisson, Kurt Harris, etc) is that virtually every testimonial is "n=1", that is, it works for that individual, and so that person makes a book / blog / self-help series about it trying to help everyone. The basic assumption is, if it works for me then it must work for everyone else in the world. But I just don't buy that. There are different people and different diets. If the Paleo diet were the only way to go, then every top-performing athlete would be Paleo, which isn't the case. This is a long winded way of saying that people without problems often don't need help.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on June 27, 2011
at 10:28 PM

I went from a low-gluten diet (maybe 5-8 servings per week) to no-gluten. Within a week, to my surprise, I noticed radical changes in digestion, mood, and energy. Paul Chek says that many people are gluten-intolerant without knowing it. You could probably convince your wife to go gluten-free for say 20 days. Even if she does it for 10, if she has any gluten issues, she'll probably notice some difference. It might help for her to do it over her cycle. That is probably a reasonable test of the hypothesis. If she notices nothing, maybe she's fine or it is not gluten related.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:45 PM

So many great points, I wish I could upvote twice.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on June 27, 2011
at 10:03 PM

I agree. I have a suspicion grains aren't as awful as we make them out to be, and other components of the SAD are much more problematic. But at the end of the day I figure there's no reason NOT to avoid them, so I do, just in case.

Ff6560918e3b3cede8958b070cc07822

(407)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:53 PM

Excellent post. (I got in that second upvote for ya, Olivia) The thing about testimonials, though, is that they are, almost by definition, n=1. Otherwise, they'd be studies. :) Now, some more info: My wife has fairly regular stomach issues. Cramps, indigestion, bloating, etc. I, of course, think it's due to gluten. She's not buying it. She also has been hitting the gym 4-5 days a week, doing treadmill/elliptical and some weights. She's trying to lose a few pounds before a trip to Hawaii in August, but hasn't had much success.

Ff6560918e3b3cede8958b070cc07822

(407)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:59 PM

Also (stupid character limit), I don't think there's any problem with the "n=1" testimonial blogs/authors/etc pushing paleo as a lifestyle anyone can succeed on, because really, while not everyone will have (apparent) issues with grains/starches/sugars, sometimes, if grains/high carb *are* causing the so-called "neolithic agents of disease", it's going to be hard to tell you're having issues until it's too late. That is, at the end of the day, I think the paleo WoE is a safer bet than sticking with grains because "I haven't noticed any issues with them".

4
Dbb6872f139877fe1a94aeb471baa7d1

on June 27, 2011
at 11:55 PM

My experience is that the more you push something, the more resistant she's going to be. Heck, I still haven't watched movies and TV shows that are probably GREAT because someone talked about them forever and now I don't even want to hear the title mentioned.

As others have said, lead by example. Quietly shop for yourself, cook for yourself. Offer her little bites of your food if she looks interested; split it with her if she likes it. Quietly improve your training, physique, and any gastro problems. Quietly accept compliments from people who've known you forever.

It'll take time. From reading other people here, it can take years. And it may never, ever happen. But no matter what else, if you love this woman, DO NOT let this become a bone of contention between you. Don't let it build up resentment or snotty comments or backhanded compliments. Your marriage is more important than what she is (or is not) eating.

Ff6560918e3b3cede8958b070cc07822

(407)

on June 28, 2011
at 12:02 AM

Excellent advice, and it's definitely what I've been doing, as much as humanly possible. I'm right there with you on avoiding TV shows because they were recommended by someone else. It took me like, three years to get into the new Doctor Who because a friend said I would love it (which I do, now). I think a lipid profile will help a lot, actually. I've been getting compliments from people lately, and *she's* been the one saying it's thanks to my diet. I think she's just still scared of doing such a huge 180 from CW.

4
Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on June 27, 2011
at 10:07 PM

My advice is don't. You continue to change and she will certainly adapt. That is what happened in my family and what my patients have experienced as well. Don't force change on anyone.

3
Bb1ba0d71083ceaecd3a3b405a977454

on June 27, 2011
at 09:11 PM

Lead by example and DO NOT preach the "Paleo Gospel". My wife is a solid Primal-style eater now and while I cajoled others (when they questioned my choices) I did not with my wife (I still want to live at home!) and she "converted" herself. She's not as strict as me but it works for her and she's not the one with an autoimmune disorder to worry about - I am - so I can be as hard core as I want. She is happy with her food choices and how they make her feel.

The kids on the other hand...baby steps to get them onside, but again, finding good food that they live and that fits what I think they should eat is the key, not preaching. More flies caught with honey and all that.

Ff6560918e3b3cede8958b070cc07822

(407)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:23 PM

Yeah, I tried preaching paleo a little (to everyone, not just my wife) after I had done it for awhile, but I got the hint there pretty quickly. Now, I actually avoid talking about my diet unless pressed, at which point I'm happy to answer any questions (we pursue that which retreats from us, right?). This is why I'm trying to avoid pushing it on my wife directly, but I'm not above dropping hints here and there to steer her along.

2
D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on June 27, 2011
at 10:50 PM

Have you suggested she try a Whole 30? (Or modified lacto paleo Whole 30 with heavy cream and butter, if the original version is too strict?)

Emphasize, "It's not forever, just for 30 days!"

You could good naturedly make it a bet between the two of you or something, make it fun. Or offer to give up something (or instead to do something) yourself while she undergoes her challenge. You could take on a major, long-deferred chore throughout the month, like organizing and doing a yard sale (and be sure to follow through, and don't involve her! Her effort is the Whole 30!).

If she did Whole 30 in July, and experienced markedly improved digestion, and suddenly was ready to go to Hawaii in August 10 lb. lighter, might end up giving her food (har) for thought.

More on the group of folks doing the July whole 30 here at this thread:

http://paleohacks.com/questions/47004/anyone-else-doing-a-july-whole30-would-you-like-to

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on June 28, 2011
at 01:30 AM

"Women, like all animals, respond very well to a good bribe." <-- Trudat. :)

Ff6560918e3b3cede8958b070cc07822

(407)

on June 28, 2011
at 03:53 PM

Oh, I'm going to Hawaii with her. We're both going with her family, actually (staying in their timeshare, so no real chance of upgrading the hotel). It's a pretty sweet deal (and is at least partially why *I* started paying closer attention to what I eat in January). I could probably bribe her with a trip to Disneyland, but the Hawaii trip is going to burn up all of my vacation. Bribery is a time-honored tradition I'd be remiss not to honor. :)

Ff6560918e3b3cede8958b070cc07822

(407)

on June 27, 2011
at 11:10 PM

I've hinted at her doing a whole 30, but never outright suggested it. I might just say "What would I have to offer for you to try this for 30 days?" Thanks for the suggestion!

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on June 28, 2011
at 12:51 AM

My suggestion was going to be bribe her into a whole 30. Sin e she's going to Hawaii, that might be hard to do. Maybe offer to upgrade her hotel? Tell her that you'll have the house and cars sparkling when she gets home? Maybe agree to do something she ways wants to do but you refuse, like dancing lessons. Women, like all animals, respond very well to a good bribe.

2
D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on June 27, 2011
at 10:34 PM

I would tell her that a friend of yours - Danielle - said she would become insatiable after going Paleo. Does she really need any other reason?

Ok seriously (not that I discount the previous sales pitch at all)...I had posted the following in response to another question about "recruiting converts" to Paleo

"Attraction, not promotion IMO. Let's leave the proselytizing for religion...I suggest you keep your side of the street clean and feel good about the choices you have made to improve your health and inspire others to understand why you have made those choices".

Additionally, I had the same issue with my wife. Here was my chronology with her-

1) Sugar/Fructose - she already was mostly sugar free for several years since Paleo or otherwise, there is not too much convincing regarding the health benefits of sugar elimination. However I still politely asked her to watch the Dr Lustig video (Sugar The Bitter Truth) with me so she understood some of the science behind it. She humored me and at the end said and I quote "1.5 hours to convince me sugar is bad. No shit Sherlock!".

2) She went grain/legume free about 2 years ago because she was low carbing to lose weight. If your wife wants to lose weight, the low carb angle might be helpful and then include information regarding gluten, lectins, phytates, etc.

3) Finally, inclusion of saturated fat in lieu of PUFAs/vegetable oils. This was and is a HUGE challenge for me. First I tried to convince her that the Diet-Heart / Lipid hypothesis was based on bad science (ala Ancel Keys). When that was not sufficient, I had to show her my lipids before and 6 months after Paleo to show her zero impact. Now she has finally (begrudgingly) ditched the egg whites and PAM spray and is eating whole eggs cooked in ghee. But every day I am being second guessed about this. However she saw my research and commitment and therefore continues to stay the course. Time will tell if it lasts.

Bottom line - Danielle was right. I may be a Darwinist, but thank God for insatiability :-)

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on June 28, 2011
at 01:40 AM

@Sara - I agree. I was just playing....and my wife is not a member of this forum so I can make obnoxious comments :-)

Ff6560918e3b3cede8958b070cc07822

(407)

on June 27, 2011
at 10:57 PM

Hahaha. That would be a nice bonus effect. :) Sounds like you've made good strides with your wife. Congrats all around. When I first started Paleo, my wife was *very* against it, calling it a fad diet and stressing about it to the point that we put a moratorium on talking about nutrition with one another. Part of this was because I had just done slow-carb (which is fairly anti-fruit), and THAT stressed her out (and kind of IS a fad diet, but could be much worse). We still don't really talk about nutrition, but she doesn't give me much grief when I eat bacon or cook with tallow anymore.

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on June 28, 2011
at 12:52 AM

Never tell your wife about another woman's sex drive.

2
Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

on June 27, 2011
at 09:02 PM

I think the best way is simply to cook as much as you can yourself, offering up lots of delicious paleo food even if at first it's lean meat and tons of veggies - serving the cooked veggies with some butter and the salads with EVOO. One would be hardpressed to argue against white rice, potato, sweet potato, winter squashes and other safe starches after reading enough of Paul, Stephan and Chris.

Anyway, it'll be a hard sell if you try to "change her views" but an easier sell if you simply give her enough of the good stuff that the bad falls away.

The things really to be wary of are sugar and n6/linoleic acid/plant oils. Grains aren't great but they're not likely as damaging as the aforementioned toxins.

Ff6560918e3b3cede8958b070cc07822

(407)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:40 PM

Hmmm.. Yeah, label-reading is one of the things I do a *ton* of these days. She doesn't, really. She checks to see how many calories things have, and sometimes how much fat, but that's about it.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:36 PM

I think she needs to have a mindset shift: Today's food environment is so utterly and completely filled with garbage food that a WOE that limits our consumption thereof is a GOOD thing. Does she read labels? It can be incredibly eye opening to see just what the hell is in some of the foods that most people mindlessly shovel into their bodies.

Ff6560918e3b3cede8958b070cc07822

(407)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:27 PM

Yeah, I do pretty much all of the cooking anyway, and it helps. I throw some potato/sweet potato in there, and while I don't cook with it, I'll have some rice here and there if we eat away from home. All of this has helped her see the flexibility that's possible (that's one of her big qualms with it: that my WoE limits what/where we can eat).

1
7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:03 PM

Who does the cooking and grocery shopping in your house? If that burden falls squarely on your wife, maybe you should think about helping her out with that. She can see that paleo cooking isn't difficult or weird, you won't have to worry about her cooking things you don't want to eat (you didn't mention if that was a concern or not, I admit). I'm not married. But if my boyfriend tried to convince me to change the way I ate to match him, yet wasn't willing to take over any of the food preparation duties himself, I would be pissed, even though I love to cook. It would be a "if this is so important to you, you had better be willing to put in some effort yourself to help me" kind of thing, you know? I see from this post that you're totally up for that, so that's great!

You might also mention that paleo doesn't have to be super-high in fat or anything. She doesn't have to put butter on everything- I certainly don't! Plenty of people eat potatoes, fruit, and even white rice. You can make great food using leaner meats, fish, vegetables, and tubers. The important thing is to avoid sugar, gluten, vegetable oils, etc. You don't have to go cold turkey on the grains. I phased them out pretty slowly- one week I made it my goal to stop eating all pasta, the next week I started cutting down on bread, etc. For foods I really loved and ate a LOT I went even slower- one week I would eat them, say, only 5 days out of 7. The next 4 days out of 7. Repeat until I was able to just drop them from my diet without much thought or any cravings.

Edit: As for establishing wariness of gluten: if I happen to have to tell someone why I don't eat grains, I never try to tell them that gluten is the cause of all disease known to mankind, mostly because I don't really believe that myself. I just say that grains are calorically dense and more or less nutritionally worthless. I don't think eating wheat will kill me, I just think it's kind of like eating sawdust, when there are so many other foods that taste better and are far more nutritious. You might try that instead of a more alarmist tactic.

Ff6560918e3b3cede8958b070cc07822

(407)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:43 PM

I've actually been kicking around the "how will our kids eat" talk. We had originally planned on waiting a year or two to have kids (which would give me plenty of time to "lead by example", I think), but that might be getting moved up, hence my OP. She's definitely eating better than SAD. No doubt about that, and I love it. She doesn't feel like she needs random bread with dinner, or even a substantial starch portion at all, which is great. She's getting there, and I love it.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:48 PM

Have her read the Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan. It's not paleo specifically but has some pretty astonishing information about CAFO meat, vegetable oils, corn/grain consumption in the US, and basically everything that's wrong with our food system. And it's not at all preachy, just thought provoking.

Ff6560918e3b3cede8958b070cc07822

(407)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:20 PM

I actually do all of the cooking, pretty much, and frankly, we eat pretty paleo at home, when we eat together. She'll still have sandwiches for lunch, or cereal as a snack now and then, but she's even started to cut back on grains, which I love. One of my main concerns, really, is how we're going to feed our kids when we have them. I'd obviously like to keep them grain/sugar/veg-oil-free, but right now, I think she'd be very against that (but not for any reason I think she could put into words). I'm just trying to stay ahead of that conflict. :)

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:31 PM

You should have a discussion about how you feed your future kids. Maybe instead of trying to have them 100% Paleo, you could agree on a few compromises. Like, they can have some bread, but properly sourdough-fermented bread you make yourself, not supermarket HFCS-filled bread. They can have sweets, but again, stuff you make yourself instead of total junk. No really evil things like soda (speaking as an adult whose parents never ever let us have soda, I really think this is one of the best decisions they ever made, and I'm grateful for it all the time.)

Ff6560918e3b3cede8958b070cc07822

(407)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:45 PM

I actually think she'd buy into it a lot more if she'd read/watch *anything* about it. Pretty much all she knows about it is what she's heard from her friend (who tried doing low-fat paleo and felt like crap) and me. I try to put paleo's best foot forward, but I feel like anything good I say about it is met with skepticism, because I'm a convert.

Ff6560918e3b3cede8958b070cc07822

(407)

on June 28, 2011
at 08:34 PM

Hahahaha. Sold! Honestly, it would probably help.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:32 PM

Still, it actually sounds like she's on track with her own diet if you're doing all the cooking. Light years ahead of the SAD for sure.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:39 PM

Still, it actually sounds like she's on track with her own diet especially if you're doing all the cooking. Light years ahead of the SAD for sure. Maybe she doesn't actually need to change her diet?

Ff6560918e3b3cede8958b070cc07822

(407)

on June 28, 2011
at 03:55 PM

Olivia, just started reading Omnivore's Dilemma on your recommendation. When I mentioned to her what I was reading, she just rolled her eyes (while I don't get preachy, I read a ton more about nutrition stuff these days. I had to point out that it's not even a paleo book. She just chuckled and went back to reading Chelsea Handler's book. :)

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on June 28, 2011
at 04:17 PM

OK so we have determined the perfect solution to RootyB's problem: Chelsea Handler needs to author a paleo-friendly tome. Can someone call her agent and ask her to get on that _pronto_?

0
8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on June 28, 2011
at 01:28 AM

First, I would not try to scare her into or out of anything. That is a CW tactic, and we know that it does work well for awhile, but at what cost? The issue with her family and food is another huge hurdle. Food isn't just something we eat, it is our culture passed down through many generations, whether it is grandma's pork roast or Aunt Louise's cinnamon rolls. I would suggest that instead of focusing on "gluten-free", focus on bringing friendly foods to the communal table and start (or re-start) your own traditions. This is where the Weston Price folks really have an advantage. Sure, there is data (and sure, paleo folks disagree with some of it), but what could be more friendly than "Nourishing Traditions"? Gosh, I hear that and I can almost smell my Aunt Emily's chicken soup with greens from her garden, can't you? You just take that image, and then just take the noodles out of it.

0
Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on June 27, 2011
at 10:54 PM

http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

^^The best starting point.

0
016de26fe61daf799662d3b7b2468324

on June 27, 2011
at 08:46 PM

Have someone, maybe a family member, child?, or friend gift her with "The Paleo Solution" by Robb Wolfe. Robb is really good at that. The book is well written, interesting and the "geek speak" is there if you require it, otherwise you're encouraged to skip over it and get straight to the goods.

You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink.

Ff6560918e3b3cede8958b070cc07822

(407)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:24 PM

Haha. She'd see RIGHT through that, and would not be impressed.

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