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  • Looking for help with a reluctant spouse

    Hello, I am fairly new to low-carb eating, but convinced it is the right thing to do. I started implementing it 2 weeks ago and am quite enthusiastic. My husband however is putting up resistance. We have 3 boys who participate in sports, and he points to all of the children we know who are doing quite well in these sports without going low-carb. In fact, many of them are eating what I would consider a high carb diet, esp processed carbs, and performing well. They are fit, talented, and healthy looking. So the question becomes, if carbs were so bad, how is it that some seem to do so well on them?

    His other arguement is that anything that we have to gain by giving up carbs, is lost in the emotional trauma we are putting our kids (and him) through by denying carbs (esp special events and birthday parties, holidays, shared team snacks, etc).

    Any help defending this diet, or how to make it work with kids, would be greatly appreciated - or if there is a section of this web site devoted to fending off detractors, please point me to it. Thanks!

    Elizabeth

  • #2
    There are a lot of searches that you can do. Both in the forums and the blog. What I find helpful is pointing out all of the overweight diabetics at heart clinics who were athletes when they were kids.

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    • #3
      I resemble that remark Allbeef Patty.

      Elizabeth -- you may want to search the forum for what Steve Nash eats if high performance athletes are involved. Sounds like you have your work cut out for you. Maybe a step by step process will work best with them? Cut the refined oils first. If that's a success go after the sugar. If that works. Go after the grains, which will be a big challenge, I'm sure.

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      • #4
        I second Grol, got my husband on board by going slowly - change one thing at time. Now he (mostly) eats primal and tells everyone he comes across how healthy we are. Just takes time. It helped, however, that I wanted him to take up hunting and fill our freezer, which he has done for the last 2 years.

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        • #5
          I don't have kids, but did have a reluctant spouse (as in "No Fucking Way am I Going to go on that Crazy Diet!" type reaction.) I went primal for my own sake, didn't push anyone else to follow along. My spouse decided to go primal after seeing the effect it had on me. Do it for yourself first and foremost. I figured it's easy to prepare mostly normal meals, I would just eat only the meat/vegetable part of it.

          Don't worry too much about what the kids are eating right now. As your cooking evolves and the food you serve is full of delicious and satisfying fats, your family will come to appreciate primal eating even if they are not committed to eating this way in all circumstances. As time goes on you will be able to explain/educate about primal eating. People are more open to learning about it if it is couched in terms of "why this is helping me".

          I have a friend at work was also adamant about not wanting to really hear about "my crazy diet", because she, too, didn't want to feel bad about eating the way she does. I just explained to her that I had to figure out a way to eat so that I didn't feel so tired and hungry all the time to the point where I could barely do my job. "I'm sure it is because as I am entering menopause I am becoming more insulin resistant - I just feel better when I don't eat the grains and sugars". She insisted that she would never want to give up all those foods she loves. Well, after a few months she asked me how the diet was going, not defensive at all. She told me she had given up drinking beer for a month and had lost a few pounds and was feeling better. I affirmed that that is how I feel off the grains. So, I find that when I am not trying to convert anyone but just explaining in simple terms why I am doing this for me, they get more curious and a little more open minded. Trick is, I have to truly not be invested in converting anyone.

          Remember, you survived childhood eating whatever was served. Your kids will too. You are on a journey. It will have an effect on those closest to you. Be patient.

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          • #6
            I don't think you should carb restrict children. I think you should sugar/grain restrict. My boys get double the carbs I get because they eat a ton of fruit and veg and the occasional sweet potato/squash type stuff.

            You are the cook, you say what goes in the kitchen. At birthday parties etc. let it go imho. Let it go and let them eat a peice of cake. It's definitely not going to kill them.

            As for introducing this in a way that will make your hubby and kiddos swoon

            BACON! Who doesn't love bacon?
            Use some almond flour/coconut flour replacement treats if you have to. Almond flour pancakes are full of goodness, and you can see if they will go for berries and whipped cream instead of syrup.

            Meat meat meat! You hubby's really gonna turn down bacon wrapped steak with a delicious white wine mushroom sauce with a side of horseradish mashed cauliflower? Hmmmm didn't think so!
            The more I see the less I know for sure.
            -John Lennon

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            • #7
              So here in Tokyo, my wife takes my son to swimming lessons. She meets a woman who is primal. And during the initial get-to-know-yous, she asks my wife, is your husband really into it? Does he read marksdailyapple and has he read the primal blueprint? My wife rolls her eyes and says yes, he's fanatic. he does all those things. The primal woman complains to my wife about her husband, who won't change. The next week, her husband is accompanying their son to the pool. My wife asks him, so I hear you don't like primal, too? He rolls his eyes and says I don't even want to talk about it as it's a source of tremendous tension in the family.

              After my initiial enthusiasm, I don't push my family to join me. They are fine. I was obese so I had to go primal. They're not. I don't evangelize. It just turns people off. It's not worth causing family disharmony over.

              It's their choice regarding what they eat, as long as it's not poison. Heck, Mark's wife isn't 100% primal and Mark's son is vegetarian.

              Another anecdote: I asked my wife to pick up some multivitamins at the pharmacy. She says, you eat so healthy, I don't think you need them.
              Last edited by Godzilla; 05-24-2010, 12:05 AM.

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              • #8
                I'm having the same issues with my wife. I just seriously started this whole primal diet thing so I'm hoping that after a month I'll be able to show her some great results. I figure if I push it to hard it's just gonna create fights and unwanted stress so I'll just let her see how it goes for me.

                We have two girls and I try to cook for them as often as possible using natural foods, no grains, pasta, or bread. It's really hard with our girls because Mommy always makes "this" and then Daddy makes "that." I hate seeing them eat all this fake food with no value.

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                • #9
                  I've never met a bloke who wouldn't think it's Christmas if you got up and made him bacon and eggs (+mushrooms and tomatoes) for breakfast, so let him have a slice of sourdough rye toast as well and that's a 90% primal breakfast.

                  Plenty of primal options for dinner that aren't too different, just have the portions of any grainy things get smaller and veggies get bigger...

                  I'm planning on incorporating some gluten-free items, gluten-free and low-carb breads and such as transition foods for the family.

                  Made coconut banana pancakes that got a double thumbs up. Just feed them good stuff by stealth, and don't worry about the outings and stuff. Change what you can easily control.

                  ATM I'm kinda clueless as to what I'm going to do for packed lunches though, and I'm keen to get them off gluten. Hopefully they'll ajust to the heavier gluten free bread texture... or I'll come up with... something. Gluten free crackers...

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                  • #10
                    Kids are a special case. Many of them do great on a junk food diet (I did) - until a certain point, usually a few years after puberty ends. The problem is that then they not only get all the problems associated with carbohydrate overload, but they're also so used to eating carbohydrates that it's much more difficult for them to change. And since they never had a problem that they could attribute to the carbohydrates, it's very difficult for them to understand that the only cure for their health problems (obesity, high blood pressure, insulin resistance) would be a low carb, high fat/protein diet.

                    I think the best solution would be a 30 day challenge. Get your spouse to try the PB approach for a month - and be sure to tell him that the first 1-2 weeks may be tough as the body switches from burning carbs to burning fat. At the end of the 30 days he can see how he feels. If he feels good, take him to a doctor and have him test his blood for blood sugar, triglycerides, LDL/HDL etc. as well as blood pressure. Ideally, do a before/after comparison. If all goes well (which it usually does), he'll not only feel better but even his CW-based doctor will tell him that his health improved.
                    MikeEnRegalia's Blog - Nutrition, Dieting, Exercise and other stuff ;-)

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                    • #11
                      Thanks everyone. This has all been helpful. I really like the 30 day idea followed by blood tests for DH. It is very hard for me to see my kids eat fake food, always has been, so I think I've jumped into this a bit too enthusiastically, wanting to finally get that stuff out of their/my life. So the kids and I came up with a compromise tonight. I asked them to list all of the events and situations in which they want free reign on sugar, then offered to look the other way in exchage for a good go on eliminating it the other days. They agreed. I am going to keep a sugar/junk diary, write down every time they deem something a special event, so we can see how often that happens. With other parents bringing treats after every soccer and baseball game, and all of the parties at school, it could be daily. We'll see.

                      I had to laugh at the bacon suggestion. We are big into bacon already. You can get a kid to eat anything by just adding some bacon!

                      My oldest is 14 and runs on the school xc team. It seems like the runners we know can get away with more carbs than other folks. Could it be they are burning it off before it does any damage? Anyway, we know plenty of healthy runner parents with healthy running kids, so it becomes hard to point to their diet as damaging. My husband ran a 10k today and blamed his poor performance on our new diet. But he picked up Mark's book today, so we'll see.

                      Elizabeth

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                      • #12
                        Mark's book is definitely an eye-opener, so hopefully that will help your case.

                        I'm having similar issues with my spouse and family. It seems that if I focus my conversation on what I am eating rather than what I'm not, I have much more success getting through to them. I have been primal for a few weeks now, and my fiance just yesterday realized that I've stopped eating grains! When he asked me about the change, I simply told him that "being primal" means eating whole, healthy foods and avoiding processed and unnatural foods. I explained to him that I'm not eating grains because they are highly processed, hard to digest, nutritionally incomplete, and that I could find more wholesome sources for energy. I've found that if I fill up on whole foods with plenty of veggies, there's no room in my belly for grains or junky snack foods anyway!

                        This morning I read aloud the ingredients in my fiance's breakfast cereal (it took a few minutes to get through the list and pronounce all the chemicals). What the hell is Tumeric Oleoresin? Then I read him the ingredients in MY breakfast... Eggs, blueberries, pecans. He was speechless.

                        What is so "crazy" about eating the way nature intended?!
                        Remind them... this isn't a DIET. It's a lifestyle. It isn't for short term success, it's for lifelong health.

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                        • #13
                          I am working on getting my family to go primal as well. I have a 16 yr old dd who is naturally slim, but does need a bit of help in the food department. Course, I still make her breakfast most mornings and usually pack her lunch too--what is she gonna do when she moves out?? LOL!! But usually for breakfast, she almost always wants scrambled eggs, although she does eat cereal from time to time. Up until last week, for the most part, she was having peanut butter sandwiches that she was making. At least they were on whole wheat bread **hides** but she would really rather have me pack her lunch. So today, I sent her with a hard boiled egg, some ham, cucumber slices, grape tomatoes and a 'trail mix' I made out of almonds, walnuts, chopped up dried apricots, cranberries and a smattering of dark chocolate chips. We shall see how she does. She has about 35-40 minutes to eat lunch, as well as a 15 minute 'nutrition break' in the morning. The trail mix was mostly for that, with the left overs to be enjoyed at lunch. She has a few friends who are vegetarian/vegan, and while she loves meat, and thinks they are kinda nuts, I am afraid that with peer pressure she would want to try it. I can see her lunch being something a Grokette would eat, tho. At least what she took today.
                          Every day is another stitch in the quilt of life.
                          ~*~*~*~*~*~*~
                          Re-Start date 6/23/2011
                          me--Post pregnancy --mama to a beautiful baby boy--
                          273.4/269.3/115
                          Hubby--230/227.8/165

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                          • #14
                            Oh Spinner definitely update us with how her grokette lunch went! Sounds yummy to me!
                            The more I see the less I know for sure.
                            -John Lennon

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                            • #15
                              Hi Lil_em! She loved her Grokette lunch! Just wished it was bigger! Lol!! She loved the trail mix, so that is going to be on the menu, and I am thinking about giving her 2 pieces of ham with cream cheese inside and rolled up, along with her egg. I guess her friends were really impressed! I am also thinking about making cucumber sandwiches--2 slices of cucumber with cream cheese between, to up her fats a bit. So glad it was a big thumbs up!
                              Every day is another stitch in the quilt of life.
                              ~*~*~*~*~*~*~
                              Re-Start date 6/23/2011
                              me--Post pregnancy --mama to a beautiful baby boy--
                              273.4/269.3/115
                              Hubby--230/227.8/165

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