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How to convince the wife of the harmful effect of wheat?

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  • How to convince the wife of the harmful effect of wheat?

    For the past couple years, I have been convinced about the effectiveness of the primal way of eating and exercise. My wife is unconvinced. We have gotten into plenty of arguments about it. I try and remain calm and rational, not fighting but just presenting the evidence. She has no interest in this whatsoever and says she doesn't care.

    I have gotten her to agree to read one book about the subject of wheat being bad for you. I wanted to get the opinion of the posters here as to which one I should buy for her. I'm leaning towards Wheat Belly, but if anyone has any other ideas I'd love to hear what you think.

    Please keep in mind, the book should be about the affect of wheat on the diet in particular, not a normal primal overview.
    Last edited by Iucounu; 10-11-2012, 01:46 PM. Reason: typo

  • #2
    I would recommend Wheat Belly, for sure. I read it before I had heard of paleo/primal (was visiting my parents, and I was bored and it was lying there... so I didn't go into it with any particular intentions) and it really made me think about what I was eating, inspired me to cut out wheat for a couple weeks to see the effects. I did start eating wheat again after that (albeit in lower quantities), despite the positive results - I just wasn't committed enough to stick with it, but it planted the seed for sure, so when I started into the whole primal thing, I already had a knowledge basis for the grain elimination element.

    It's great that you've got here willing to at least become more informed on the issue... and don't give up hope if it doesn't inspire immediate change! There are a lot of years of wheat addiction and CW to overcome here
    My Primal Blueprint Journal


    • #3
      Wheat Belly IS great.

      Also this: The Grain Manifesto | Whole9 | Let us change your life.

      Primal/Paleo books often have large sections devoted to the concept, so I wouldn't discount them. I really liked It Starts With Food by the Whole9 people.


      • #4
        Here's an interesting PDF.
        Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.


        • #5
          I'll give you a different approach. Don't. Why do you feel the need to push your agenda on someone else? You said you have been trying for "a couple of years", stop banging your head against a wall. She does not want to listen. Lead by example, live a clean life and hope that she might follow. The old saying appplies.... "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink". Self discovery is just that, SELF. She needs to find it herself.

          I wish my wife would do it to, she hasn't, but she has noticed my weight loss, ability to stick to goals, and my new found energy. I will be ready for the day she comes to me and says "tell me about that wheat thing again?" Until then, I want harmony in the house.......
          I Kettlebell therefore I am.

          My Journal
          My Journal


          • #6
            Sounds like she is pretty uninterested, and perhaps resents you lecturing her? If you argue too much, then she *can't* change her position, because then you will 'win'.

            Wheat Belly is probably the best book, simply because the name is very good at emphasising the link between wheat and visceral abdominal fat.
            Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

            Griff's cholesterol primer
            5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
            Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
            TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
            bloodorchid is always right


            • #7
              Originally posted by TorMag View Post
              I'll give you a different approach. Don't. Why do you feel the need to push your agenda on someone else? You said you have been trying for "a couple of years", stop banging your head against a wall. She does not want to listen.
              I would tend to agree with you, but the problem is now that she is pregnant with our first child and this is really more about what approach we will be taking with her nutrition. It has been a long, long time since I attempted to convert the wife.


              • #8
                Seriously, if I were unconvinced about something, a book is not going to change my mind for me. I can find a book extolling the values of whatever it is out there. If I wanted a book promoting paleo, veganism, raw diet, polyamory, you name it, it exists. Unless your wife is open to the idea, good luck. Unless she is severely overweight and in poor health and developing gestational diabetes, leave her alone. You know what's best for your child when it's born? Parents that get along.
                F 28/5'4/100 lbs

                "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research."


                • #9
                  OK, so here's ten pence worth from a coeliac.

                  In terms of child nutrition, the current guidelines which I have read for parents who have coeliac and are concerned about their kids developing it, they suggest not introducing wheat until after 6 months old, but to see how the baby copes first with rice cereal, then trying oatmeal and barley before wheat products. Even if you are not coeliacs this makes sense, because there is some evidence that exposure to wheat too early can increase the chances of coeliac disease and gluten allergies, and I honestly also believe wheat is bad for quite a lot of us and not just coeliacs. I avoid grains altogether, but I am a consenting adult and can make that choice.

                  If you're talking about kids, then I think that putting a child on a restricted diet before you know that they have any allergies or problems, you could be setting yourself up for trouble. If their systems are never exposed to gluten, they may not tolerate it at all. Putting a child on any sort of diet that eliminates a particular food risks masking allergies and problems like coeliac disease - if they have it, then they need to eat it for it to show up, or they will have to go through the horrors of a gluten challenge and that aint pretty.

                  And I do think that we should consider as parents that our kids will need to lead a normal life to some degree - they will be invited to parties, where there will probably be wheat based foods, they will eat at their friends' houses etc. And if they do not have a wheat allergy, coeliac disease, or food intolerance, then they should be permitted within reason to eat a wide range of foods so that they can participate in the business of being a kid fully, and part of that in our modern world, whether we as primal/paleo types agree with it or not, involves the odd bit of fast food, sugar-loaded party, or cake fest. It sucks being the kid who has to take special food to a party, or can't have the birthday cake at school. If there's no medical reason, then don't restrict their diet too much, and let them make their informed choices when they are old enough. I'm not suggesting feed them loads of bread and cake - I don't think your wife would dispute that sugary refined grain products are not a health food, and would probably not disagree with you if you said OK, lets feed our child a healthy varied diet, and keep that stuff for occasional consumption only.

                  You won't ever find me extolling the health benefits of wheat, but I think when it comes to kids, you take the middle ground and agree something sensible that ensures your kids are fed good healthy food, but they aren't unnecessarily restricted either. It's got to be common sense, yes wheat is bad for you, we know that otherwise would we be on here talking about primal nutrition? Probably not. But will a child understand that? Also, probably not. As soon as they were out of your sight they'd be off to Greggs for a pasty with their mates. So long as they are fed well at home, they get lots of fruit and veg, good protein, fat, and nutrition, then a little bit of their diet containing wheat, unless they are coeliac or intolerant/allergic, is not going to ruin them for life.
                  Last edited by PaleoPanda; 10-12-2012, 05:28 AM.


                  • #10
                    I think part of the issue with wheat is that you don't know it was a problem until you eliminate it. It's very hard, despite information, to get your mind around the issues wheat can cause. I ate wheat for YEARS and felt great. Perfectly fine, except for being fat. I had NO IDEA that it was wheat triggering binges. I figured it was lack of willpower, hormones, and 801 other things other than wheat.

                    I think the best thing to do is convince her to give it up for a few weeks. Just say "hey, try not eating wheat for 2 weeks, see what happens".

                    Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by TorMag View Post
                      I'll give you a different approach. Don't.
                      This, right here.

                      It's pointless to try and push an agenda on someone that doesn't want to listen. The LAST person your wife is going to take advice from is you. She'd be far more likely to listen to a complete stranger. There's an element of pride here, and she doesn't want to hear from her husband about how she abuses her body by shoveling wheat into her mouth - even if that's not how you're saying it, that's how she's taking it. She's taking it as in insult since *you* on your high and mighty throne, keeper of all the answers, feels the need to fix her because she's *so broken.*

                      Let it go and lead by example. If you lose weight and gain health over months and slowly take on a whole new lust for life, believe me, she'll notice. My friends started coming to me. Just realize that you can't save everyone and most people are just not going to care at all, but if you try and force it, everyone will turn off their ears.
                      Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Iucounu View Post
                        I would tend to agree with you, but the problem is now that she is pregnant with our first child and this is really more about what approach we will be taking with her nutrition. It has been a long, long time since I attempted to convert the wife.
                        I hear you brother, and I understand where you are coming from, but by the laws of our land, it's not your child yet..... Once the little thing hatches, you get some say on how you are going to raise your child, but while it's in the oven, she has total control.

                        As someone said in an earlier post, the best thing for a kid is two parents getting along. Being a Dad rocks, you will have years and years to influence your kids and make sure they make the right decisions in life and that includes what they eat.

                        Since going Primal and dropping all my weight, my 14 year old daughter has become very proud of her Dad, last night, I was lazy and only cooked steak and a salad. My daughter asked, where were all the veggies.....

                        You will have plenty of time to make sure your kids walk down the right path, that will be your number one job for the rest of your life...

                        Edit: Please tell me you are going to let your kids have birthday cake, not some paleo fake wheat cake... Don't ever forget Mark's 80 20 rules.... A little cake once in a while will not hurt (disclaimer: unless of course they have some reallly bad gluten allergies)......
                        Last edited by TorMag; 10-12-2012, 05:57 AM.
                        I Kettlebell therefore I am.

                        My Journal
                        My Journal


                        • #13
                          You can't change people. As TorMag, Damiana, ChocoTaco and several others on this forum, don't push it.

                          A book isn't going to help, with as what was said, I can find a book, or a blog post (Those are always telling the truth, don't cha know!?) promoting one thing or another, and all sorts of well sounding science and studies to back it up.

                          For example; Mark's take on soy vs Leo Babauta's take on soy.

                          Here's what you do. Keep on what you're doing, and, if she likes what she'll see, she'll consider it. Don't expect it, though. Do your thing, and let her do hers. I'm certain that regardless of whatever progress I might make, my father will continue to enjoy his pastas, breads, fast food and the like. Even after his heart attack, the only change he's really made is the number of pills he takes. He's fine with it, I'm not going to worry about it either.


                          • #14
                            I think that she is willing to read, is a good first step. Then it is not coming from you but from an "expert". Something may resonate.

                            I understand your wanting to try. We all want what is best for our loved ones, especially for children who do not have much say. We have to make those decisions for them as best we can. And once you understand some of the dangers, it would be liken to a pregnant woman smoking, or drinking heavy, or doing drugs, etc. I know not the same extreme extent, but when you are passionate about something, you cant help but see the similarities. It doesnt matter if one is a slow poison or fast poison, it is poison none the less.

                            But sometimes all you can do is just keep walking the walk. I try not to preach.. anymore... but sometimes we will hear something or DH will say something, and I am like - do you want to know why that is? And he says no. haha. But eventually, I tell him anyways. I find a way to work it in. I dont pound it in, I just make sure to put it out there.

                            And guess what? He doesnt eat the subs at Subway anymore. I have noticed this week that he has really laid off his evening beers and I am seeing water bottles in the koozy instead.
                            65lbs gone and counting!!

                            Fat 2 Fit - One Woman's Journey


                            • #15
                              If you want to make your case, the best way to do it is not by telling her that she needs to change. She's not going to. Not anytime soon at any rate. You might make the case that the nutrition of your child (even while unborn) should be a mutual descision and that you want to discuss it with her. If she agrees, THEN you can bring your evidence to the table for a weat-free diet.

                              But if she still doesn't want to, you should respect that. It might be hard for you to accept, but the bun is not in YOUR oven, so to speak, and it's ultimately her God-given right to do it the way she wants to. Ever heard the phrase "mother knows best?" Go against that, especially if she's unwilling, and you may wind up the Headless Horseman in very short manner.

                              One thing you might do is simply say to her "now that you are pregnant, I'd like to help out by cooking more." Step up to the plate and offer to cook more, use non-wheat, primal approved carb sources such as squashes, sweet potatoes, ect. to replace traditional weat sources. She may complain if she's doing the cooking, but if you are, she may be more likely to say, "at least I'm not slaving away in the kitchen."

                              Make spaghetti with spaghetti squash. Make bread with coconut flour. Butternut squash mash. If you can teach her that grain-free can still be delicious, maybe she'll give it a chance. Lead by example, not by force.

                              You might not get her to ELIMINATE wheat, but if you take more proactive steps, you can probably get her to limit her intake at least, plus win bonus points by doing more of the kitchen work. I mean, what lady wants to spend forever in the kitchen when she's pregnant?
                              "The cling and a clang is the metal in my head when I walk. I hear a sort of, this tinging noise - cling clang. The cling clang. So many things happen while walking. The metal in my head clangs and clings as I walk - freaks my balance out. So the natural thought is just clogged up. Totally clogged up. So we need to unplug these dams, and make the the natural flow... It sort of freaks me out. We need to unplug the dams. You cannot stop the natural flow of thought with a cling and a clang..."