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Non primal spouse/partner

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  • Non primal spouse/partner

    I'm curious to know how others deal with having a non-primal spouse or partner. I started following a paleo/primal lifestyle a while ago but have yet to convince my husband over the whole thing. He has watched me follow this way of life, has seen me listening to podcasts, reading books, pouring over MDA but his curiosity has not peaked. He eats what I cook... we don't and haven't used things like vegetable/canola oil for a long time but he still eats his pasta, rice, cous cous and bread, as well as his soft drinks, white chocolate and other lollies etc.

    He is very active, lean and has low body fat, which is why I think he hesitates to follow this way of life. I guess because I'm not as fit as him he thinks that giving up these foods won't change the way he looks so why should he give these things up. Even when I explain to him that it's not just about how you look on the outside but the inside he still won't budge.

    Obviously I don't want to push him as I know that will just have the opposite effect, which I've seen already. I try to point things out here and there but to no avail. So my question is do I just let it go? I mean I guess the person has to want it to make it work, but watching him eat cereal for breakfast, then bread for lunch then pasta for dinner is hard!

    How do you deal with it if you're in the same situation?

  • #2
    This is a bit tough. When I decided to go primal my husband got the same decision. I would be tempted to go back to my natural ways if I were in your case.


    • #3
      Easy for me. I do the groceries, I do the cooking and if she wants something else she can get it out. She is a bit of a carbovor so it aint easy sometimes but I have switched from having bread with everything to making rice and serving them rice instead. She is ok with lots of veggies and meat as long as I trim the fat for her.
      Primal since April 2012 Male 6' 3" SW 345lbs CW 240lbs GW 220lbs and when I get there I am getting a utlikilt. This one actually.

      Join me at, where all the cavemen hang out.


      • #4
        My boyfriend followed me with primal (somewhat reluctantly because he loves the usual comfort foods) but he wasn't sold on it at all. He is like your husband, he has always been fit, no matter what he eats. After eating primal for a little while though, he noticed he wasn't hungry all the time. He used to be ravenous and would literally eat everything but the kitchen sink when he came home from classes. Then he would often be hungry just an hour after he did that, and starve though his next class. He was really uncomfortable being so hungry all the time. That, I think, is what sold him on it. He used to say he would go buy some bread and eat it if he really wanted it, but it doesn't seem to tempt him now. Maybe if your husband suffers from common hunger pains, you could tell him it will help with that and he might try it for a while? My boyfriend said he feels healthier and stronger in general and also, somewhat related to the hunger, he doesn't feel an energy crash between meals. Make it about how he feels, if health and looks aren't selling him on it. I think if you could get him to read some of the material on this site and/or just ask him to try it for like 2 weeks, he'd be sold.
        "...You sort of start thinking anything's possible if you've got enough nerve. -Ginny

        My story:


        • #5
          Originally posted by aspexil
          My wife is vegetarian. Lots of pasta, cous cous, etc. Wheat in just about everything except Quorn. She is rail thin. I've been suffering with being overweight all my life.
          Although your wife may be able to tolerate wheat just fine, the fact is that being underweight is a classical symptom of celiac.


          • #6
            what do you mean re "natural ways"?

            Originally posted by grattonleah View Post
            This is a bit tough. When I decided to go primal my husband got the same decision. I would be tempted to go back to my natural ways if I were in your case.
            What do you mean re "natural ways"?


            • #7
              Oh wow thanks for all the replies guys! I do the majority of the cooking at home, we get our fruit and veg delivered via a weekly delivery box which is organic and I've just ordered raw milk to try for the first time (oh and I forgot to mention my husband drinks skim milk!) Uhhhh anyway so as I mentioned above he eats what I cook but he will add pasta/rice/couscous/bread to it while I eat the primal/paleo way! I haven't touched bread/pasta/couscous or anything with wheat in it for over 6 months and no I never get tempted... my taste buds have changed during this process and I don't crave those things any more. I do have white rice on occasion and potatoes.

              Anyway he does eat a lot but he does it in one sitting, so for e.g. his breakfast will consist of a protein shake and a bar or a low fat yoghurt and berries after his gym session, then lunch will be leftovers from the night before and then at night we go for a 1-1.5hr walk and he will eat a HUGE bowl full off dinner which involves all the wheat stuff, and sometimes he will have cereal for dessert! Oh and he also eats sweets after workout sometimes... anyway as I said above it's hard to watch but as I said he doesn't see the motivation in giving up these foods! He has cut his soft drink intake down a lot but he still has it.

              Like I said it's hard but you can't force something onto someone I guess.


              • #8
                Oh I should also say that yes I buy grass-fed meats, pastured pork/chicken, free range eggs etc. Husband is adamant about trimming the fat off the meat though and I'm hoping the raw milk will replace his skim milk!


                • #9
                  On this page are some ideas for selling someone on primal/paleo. Many of them come from this forum. But the short answer is that you probably can't get someone to go primal. My housemate attended the same talk by Mark that sold me on primal 3 years ago. I do not and have not pushed. But she is determined to prove that she can do the conventional "healthy" diet and exercise approach. She is probably 80% primal but she would tell you that she can't do it "Mark's way," although I have mentioned off hand all the flexible attitudes he has.

                  White rice and potatoes are much healthier than wheat. Maybe you could cook those so husband doesn't eat bread and pasta.
                  Ancestral Health Info - My blog about Primal and the general ancestral health movement. Site just remodeled using HTML5/CSS3 instead of Wordpress.

                  My MDA Friday success story - Stubborn Senior's Testimonial


                  • #10
                    He will get many of the benefits from eating the primal food you serve. If that's dinner and leftovers for lunch then that is two meals out of three already. Well done.

                    I'm in a similar situation with my dh. I don't think talking about it will get him any further. The best I can do at the moment is try to fill him up on good primal foods so he has less desire for the junk.
                    Annie Ups the Ante


                    • #11
                      Thanks Hedonist2. I will take a look at the page you linked. Unfortunately he's not willing to give up his bread and pasta...


                      • #12
                        Thanks for your comment Annieh. I just wish he wouldn't always have to add those wheat based foods etc to the meals I make.


                        • #13
                          I know, it's maddening. Would making twice as much help?
                          Annie Ups the Ante


                          • #14
                            Hi Annieh... do you mean twice as much food? Because I already cook A LOT! Husbands eats BIG portions!


                            • #15
                              Hey Aussie. I think that you should't try to change your partner's eating behavior if he is not interested. Not only you could get in a fight or it can get anoying for him to see you trying this but you can also make him believe that you want to control this aspect of his life.

                              Eating primal is good but not a necessity for every person on the earth. If he eats what you are cooking, than by all means continue like that .

                              Take my word, if he wants to do this, he will do it by it's own will.

                              Take care,
                              I am not a bodybuilding/fat loss/strength training "guru" BUT I achieved a lean state with ease after learning the correct way to train and eat and I want to HELP YOU achieve the same.

                              Getting fit is also about managing your mindset: