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  • She's Caving In!



    My g/f, a vegetarian since her early teens, is starting to cave into the primal lifestyle. The changes in my weight and general well-being are making her hesitate in keeping her non-negotiable CW stand.


    There are some problems though:


    - She won't give up vegetarianism anytime soon

    - She is almost 100% convinced that fats are bad

    - She is 100% convinced that she needs grains.

    - She eats a lot of low-fat diary


    As a vegetarian (she also eats eggs and diary), she has spent most of her life under a diet of around 70% carbs, if not more.


    She has agreed to try a meatless version of the PB for a couple of weeks and go from there.


    I think this is my one and only shot to bring her on the wagon. These are some difficulties:


    - After cutting grains, she'll have a huge caloric deficit I'll have to manage to cover while keeping (good) carbs low.

    - Her body will probably take longer to get used to low carb than the average person

    - I have to manage to keep her interested in the food with varied menus.


    These are some encouraging facts:


    - she has the typical sleepiness and chronic hunger of a high-carber

    - She feels tired all the time

    - She struggles to lose weight

    - She is active, but not into sports (part of the reason she has trouble losing weight)


    So this are some ideas I have:


    - Use lots of olive oil in her tossed salads

    - Replace mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflower or squash

    - Use a lot of eggs

    - Give her nuts, which she likes but tends to avoid due to their fat content.

    - Get her almond milk and maybe some very low-carb "old" cheeses.


    So, this is a huge leap of trust she is making towards the PB, and probably the last. I can't screw this up.


    Anyway, I'm thinking of giving her a the menus and tips on the weekend so she can start on Monday. Any tips will be very welcomed!

    “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
    "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

  • #2
    1



    This is great news- at least she is going to give it an attempt. Even though she thinks fat is bad, this is going to be the key to keeping her satiated. Good luck and keep us posted on how it goes.

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    • #3
      1



      If she likes dairy you might try to transition her to full fat dairy. If she drinks skim milk, have her drink 2% first and eventually whole milk. Greek yogurt with berries would be a good snack.

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      • #4
        1



        I used to be a vegetarian (11yrs!) and what got me to rethink things was a book called "Real Food: What to Eat and Why" by Nina Planck.

        Planck herself used to be vegetarian/vegan for a good protion of her young adulthood too so your gf (like me) will see it as more of a "I know what you've gone through, because I went through it too" kind of place. Plus the book doesn't completly condemn the veggie lifestyle (she even says in a lot of her passages that "Well, even if you choose not to eat meat...eat these natural, whole foods instead and here's why..."

        Maybe get your gf a copy and let her know that it explains what whole milk, butter, whole eggs, fat and the like are important in her diet and how they can help her feel better (an lose weight!). This could be a good stepping stone for at least a conversation.


        Hope it helps!

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        • #5
          1



          Will she eat butter --- butter makes everything better!

          It's grandma, but you can call me sir.

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          • #6
            1



            If you know she wouldn't want you using fats in cooking, you could insist that she take it easy watching TV/reading/doing something not in the kitchen so that you can treat her to a meal supplemented with lots of fats (olive oil, butter, etc).


            I'd also second the greek yogurt suggestion, just don't let her see the nutrition label right away.


            Suggest that she become less strictly vegetarian and go pescatarian so that she can eat fish.


            Good luck! Hopefully she'll notice changes soon so that she doesn't give up on PB.

            Comment


            • #7
              1



              thanks guys.


              Conan thats a good idea. Plus whole milk is so much tastier than skim milk...


              CaveGirl, she is a vegetarian for ethical and emotional reasons (animal suffering and the like), so logical discussions about the pros and cons of her positions are not very effective. While I am not trying to change her, I am obviously concerned about her health. 70% carbs is not a joke, plus she's Irish (and the power of booze and tobacco compel her regularly).


              30% of her diet tends to be comprised of whole foods, but the rest is all grains, some refined, and most whole. Getting her to go low-carb seems very unlikely, but it's worth the try.


              grandma, she eats butter now (she used to eat margarine (!))


              Kryz that's actually also part of my strategy. She doesn't have to be completely aware of all the ingredients. lol

              “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
              "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
              "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

              Comment


              • #8
                1



                If you think she'll give up the minute you take carbs away, you could at least try giving her some more primal carbs, like carrots and yams, and slowly ramping that down.


                I'd make sure to switch up the way you cook eggs too..scrambled, over easy, poached, making omelettes and fritattas and so on.


                Avocados, too. I saw this the other day on Tastespotting..just sub something out for the english muffin and you've got something with a lot of fat that will keep her interest: http://soupbelly.com/2009/06/04/eggs...ct-cali-style/

                Comment


                • #9
                  1



                  I wasn't saying make her eat meat if she doesn't want to (i was veggie because I hated the idea of foctory farms and animal suffering. Now I only purchase my meats from local farmers who treat their animals with respect.)

                  All I was saying was that that book opened me up to the idea of whole milk (raw milk specifically) and eating whole eggs and the importance of less refined carbs and more fat in the diet. I was veggie when I first read the book and began to feel better right away because I incorporated whole dairy, pastured eggs and more non-animal fats. Like I said, Planck doesn't say "If you are veggie, you deserve to be sick" what she says is "hey, this is healthy, but if you don't choose to eat meat (like many societies do) then please eat these whole foods instead" and goes on with natural fats, whole dairy and whole eggs.

                  I used to be a skim milk, high carb, high fruit, egg-white only kind of gal and went through the same as your gf (tired all the damn time, putting on weight, restless sleeping patterns, gassy (I know, how lady-like) and my health wasn't good at all.

                  Just introducing whole foods (like I said, dairy, eggs, natural butter) can make a big difference.

                  Your gf can be a much healthier veggie if she lessens the carbs, ups the veggies and eats more whole dairy, eggs and nuts.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    1



                    Replacing a lot of her grains with veggies might sound odd to her, but there are a lot of options, and you could gradually make the transition. Instead of suddenly substituting veggies in for grains, you could start by mixing in veggies to her rice or pasta or whatever, and after a few meals like that remove the grains completely and serve a good variety of vegetables.


                    Also tell her not to worry about carb cravings -- I had a HUGE sweet tooth and would eat sugar and carbs whenever I got the chance, but I did a sudden transition to primal and on the second day I had absolutely no interest in bread, pasta, or even sweets.


                    My boyfriend is of Italian-Irish descent and, although very supportive of my switch to primal, seems pretty terrified of giving up his beloved pastas, breads, and baked goods...let me know what works and what doesn't for your girlfriend, I'm curious to know the best ways to get my guy to eat better.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      1



                      Will she waver on seafood at all? I have known vegetarians who wouldn't eat "anything with a face" but had no qualms about eating shellfish. If she will eat scallops and mussels, you could then take the angle that crustaceans are essentially oceanic insects. From there, it would seem that fish would just be a stepping stone away. I feel like that sounds a little deceitful...but I guess it is just a process of acclimating her to a new approach to food.


                      I think Mark has commented on a similar situation as his wife is either a current or former vegetarian who has incorporated more seafood into her diet in an effort to eat primal. I can't remember what post it was in, though.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        1



                        I think gradual substitution of grains for veggies and whole foods is definitively a big step to being healthier. My concern is not achieving short-term benefits and her dropping the PB before the more noticeable benefits begin. My goal is, if possible, to get her into ketosis. Is this too far fetched?


                        cavegirl I think you have a very good idea of what situation she's in... She currently blames all the high-carb issues to lack of exercise, and sees the PB as practically unfeasible for her because of her vegetarianism. And thinking twice, the book might convince her that whole grains are not that good after all. I'll give it a shot.


                        Kryz I'll keep you guys posted. Hopefully I'll be able to get her to make a diary so I can track her diet.


                        Shine, she uses the exact same phrase you posted:

                        "She won't anything with a face". She eats no sea fauna at all.


                        One thing though: she *loves* the smell of bacon....

                        “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
                        "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
                        "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          1



                          Depending on her personality type, you should try to get her to these threads. I learned a lot by lurking here for a week or so... A LOT. It might help if she sees an entire community of people on board with this. The last thing you want is for her to feel alone, or that she's doing something "weird". And the VERY last thing you want is for her to feel like it's HER against YOU.


                          Bring her over.... we'll be nice to her!

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                          • #14
                            1



                            Who doesn’t love the smell of bacon!


                            Yes, you might have to start hiding fats in her meals, I am good at making a meal with lots of different fats in it, for example I like hard boiled eggs with avocado, walnut oil and a small handful of crushed walnuts on top, add some greens to that and it's a really filling meal.


                            Once she has had a few primal meals and she sees and feels that she is full and doesn’t need the heavy carbs she will hopefully start reducing them and increasing the fats. Good to see she eats butter, as Grandma says “butter makes everything better” and who doesn’t trust a grandma!

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                            • #15
                              1



                              Miriam, LOL

                              It's grandma, but you can call me sir.

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