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  • everyone around me eats rice...

    Hi, I'm new here!

    I'm still reading The Primal Blueprint, and it makes so much sense. I was vegetarian for many years before I got pregnant and was constantly hungry. I've been cutting out carbs/grains in the past few weeks and have felt great!

    It is not so easy to cut out rice and grains because I'm Chinese, and my family never eats a meal without rice. My dh is Indian and he eats a lot of rice, but it seems to agree with him as he is lean and fit. I am average size but have struggled with pcos. I actually do not like rice but lots of times eat it because it's part of the traditional meal. That and bread were the last things to go in my diet experiments lately.

    Right now I am staying with my family and when eating at home I can get away without rice as they cook a lot of meat/fish/veggies (all in Canola oil though...). However, when I return to India with my dh and dd, staples are rice/rice products and lentils for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We live in a rural area, and there isn't much choice when it comes to meat. Anyway, my dh thinks too much meat consumption is not good for health...

    I am wondering now how to handle mealtimes when we go back. Any one else have a significant other who eats differently? What do you do?

  • #2
    My DH eats MEGA carbs, I eat NO grains, ever. He won't go near anything I eat, he thinks organic/free-range is "weird", and I also have 4 kids to feed. So I cook for hubby & kids, then eat later in the day. You could make yourself "cauliflower rice" to have instead. Honestly, it's your own body, let hubby eats what he wants to, and you eat what you want to!


    • #3
      Eat more like The Perfect Health Diet which includes rice and some other starches. It may be easier rather than mostly meat.
      Last edited by Sue; 08-20-2011, 06:23 PM.


      • #4
        Just because you aren't eating rice doesn't mean you have to fill up on the meat.

        Eat more greens, I dig pak choi, mustard greens, cabbage, etc. Basically, you just shift from the empty value of rice to something more useful, such as greens.
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        • #5
          Unless you're actually carb-intolerant (don't know how it is with PCOS so ask around), white rice isn't a problem. I'm from a filipino family and I actually eat more of the other stuff when I also eat rice: it cleanses the palate and makes the next bite of whatever taste better. A small bowl (which doesn't have all that much in the way of carbs) will probably serve the purpose for a meal.


          • #6
            Originally posted by girlhk View Post
            Anyway, my dh thinks too much meat consumption is not good for health...
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            • #7
              I am Chinese, living in a predominantly Chinese country in south east Asia. As you can imagine, rice is not only a family staple but a country staple.

              I haven't eaten a single grain of rice for more than 2 years.

              How do I do it? I simply do.

              Explain to your family why you're doing it and try to get them to be at least supportive. It was extremely difficult for me at first as everyone resisted my "crazy" ideas. But as I lost 100lbs and got off my diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol...etc medication, everyone couldn't help but to take notice. Most of the people around me started to try my lifestyle, and bam, everyone started to experience the same benefits.

              So now, my family is also on board. My parents have since lost their excess weight (they've never been at their present weight since they were in their teens) and got off all their medication.

              But what it comes down to is simply this: you have to find a way to do it regardless of resistance, experience some success, and then it becomes a lot easier with the extra motivation you get from success.


              • #8
                Meat availability is the only real challenge here. Is there really such scarcity in your area?
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                • #9
                  Well. Everyone around me eats rice, grains, sugar too. Hell, everyone around me drinks, and I've never drank. I think it may be easier for me to make the mental jump to eating differently than everyone around me, because I already have a lifetime of experience of buying, preparing, serving, being around, politely declining alcohol... and just never having any myself.

                  Though, granted, I also don't have kids or a spouse, so as a single gal, it's probably easier for me in general.

                  But still. Unless you find yourself tempted constantly by these foods, which is a whole other problem... you know, just don't eat them. Eat something more appropriate to your primal diet instead. A lot of foods can be modified. One thing I've done at family gatherings for years and years is just separate the grains and sugar from the meat/veg dishes. That way people who are still into grains can have all they want with the main course, and I can have the same main with a bunch of raw veggies or something.

                  I don't really know much about Chinese or Indian cuisine, but it seems like it would be possible to make the rice a separate dish. Then just don't have any.

                  Or, as other people have suggested, just get your kids and husband their meals and eat whenever you feel like it. You can still sit at the table with them and have a cup of coffee or tea or something, so you get the family meal together-time in. (Another thing I've done for years, since everyone around me drinks before dinner and NO ONE feels like dinner before 8pm minimum, whereas I like to be done with food for the day by 7pm.) Being on a paleo-esque diet means you just aren't on that whole must-eat-all-the-time sugar-burning thing. So you can eat whenever.

                  Anyway, eating this way surrounded by grain and sugar-eaters can be done. It's not even that hard. The real issue tends to be more social- whether people will hassle you about your diet choice, do that 'just have a little! A little can't hurt!' thing that's so annoying, or whether they think its really rude of you to not eat what everyone else is eating, etc etc. Also another whole other problem.

                  It can help to clearly identify what the real problem is- whether it's being tempted by having these foods around all the time, worries about not fitting in to the family's eating patterns or people giving you crap about it socially.

                  There's ways to deal with each situation. For the last one, my advice? Lie. Say you're gluten intolerant and also diabetic. Believe me, NO ONE will give a diabetic sugar and most people don't want to set off someone's food allergy and have them go into a coma in their living room or something. You can do the same with grains. It's kind of like telling people that you're on the wagon when you want to escape getting bugged by other people about not drinking. No one wants to give the recovering alcoholic booze either.
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                  • #10
                    My husband is paleo at home. I do all the cooking, so unless he wants to make his own dinner, it's whatever I'm serving! He gets his junk fix at work. It seems to work well for us... although I'm amazed how often he comes home wanting just a light dinner because he knows he seriously overdid it during the day. You'd think he'd stop relying on my "clean" food as emergency triage and just go for it all the time.

                    As others have pointed out, you could do worse than white rice. How long do you go back for? Pack travel-friendly snacks, take some IF time, and if all else fails, remember that belonging to a tribe is as primal as it gets. Sometimes you have to be less than perfect, and that's okay, just make up for it when you can.


                    • #11
                      If you have PCOS and are still struggling with it I would recommend not eating white rice until it gets sorted out, and then eating it only rarely. And are you going to be living in southern India? Cutting out or limiting rice is one of Indian people's top 'diet' tricks (unfortunately they usually just replace it with wheat, but at least you know better), so I don't think you should get too much opposition for that. Just cook for yourself and when your husband sees the changes in your body and mood he will see that meat isn't bad for your health.


                      • #12
                        My wife is Chinese and she has shown herself to be very supportive of my not eating grains over the last month or more. You/ we can do it.


                        • #13
                          Hey girlhk, I'm Chinese also and have traveled extensively in China, HK, Macau, Singapore, Bangalore, etc...

                          I know what you aren't saying is that when the family members cook, especially elder family members, not eating the food they cook is very insulting culturally. It is challenging in the family dynamic to do this when there is so much CW (in this case I mean Cultural Wisdom) in the room.

                          Also, it seems you don't have the weight loss aspect in your situation. That usually shuts everyone up when you've lost significant weight that is clearly visible. Then everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon also since they see the result. So since your motivation seems to be more internal health driven you're going to to need to do this more in "stealth" mode since "convincing" the others will be extremely challenging.

                          I think you've got the Chinese side down. Don't eat the rice, noodles (rice and egg noodles), congee, buns, sweet desserts (that includes red bean), and double/triple up on the vegetables, meat, eggs, and other delicious Chinese/Cantonese dishes. Watch out for any potatoes that may be in the dishes. Go easy on the dumplings and dim sum. The skin has a lot of carbs. No chinese donuts for the congee. Lay off the milt tea (especially the sweetened ones). Boba tea is out also as the tapioca balls are high in carbs. But go crazy on the BBQ pork (go for the fatty stuff, not the "lean" crap they've been pushing in HK), roast pork, and other BBQ meats.

                          On the Indian side, it's tough, especially if the family doesn't cook some kind of meat like chicken or goat. If there are vegetables maybe that's a choice. My advice to you is to find a source of food where you can go have a meal a day on your own and bring nuts to snack on. It's time to learn and practice intermittent fasting (IF, lots of info on the forum). This is what I do when I travel to such an area. I will reduce to one or two meals a day and IF the rest of the time. I will sit with the others during meal time and I may pick at some food (whatever meat/vegetables are avail) and just socially hang out with people but not really use that session for nutrition. If some asks me if I'm not hungry, I usually answer yes, not hungry and move on to a different topic.

                          This part requires vigilence but the benefits are so worth it. I've lost a lot of weight and have had positive physical changes but since we're talking internal benefits here, I sleep better, have way more energy, have more clarity in my thinking, my blood pressure is lower, I've reversed my diabetic situation, and have excellent cholesterol/triglycerides. I just feel better also. So given that positive experience, I am ok putting up with a little social discomfort during meals with others that don't get it. I'm not out to convert the world unless they want to be converted. This is what I meant by "stealth mode."

                          I too thought that Primal would be difficult being Chinese and the immense amount of carbs infused into Cantonese style cooking. But if you apply yourself, you can filter out the carbs and just eat the good stuff (and more of it). As an example, I regularly order Mu Shu pork, chicken, beef, or shrimp now. I toss the pancakes and the sweet plum sauce and just eat the mu shu part like a salad (I add pepper, make sure they don't add MSG, easy or no soy sauce, easy or no salt, easy on the oil).

                          Anyway, hope this helps.
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