No announcement yet.

Living With Non-Groks

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Living With Non-Groks

    How many of you live with people who have yet to embrace Primal living? I'm the mom and wife here, so in charge of much of what we eat, so I thought it would be as simple as changing the way I shopped and cooked and everyone would glide into my new way of eating (and hopefully follow my lead in other ways too). But after a week and a half I'm realizing it's not that easy.

    I didn't buy more cereal last week at the grocery store and there was only enough for one bowl this morning, which my daughter got...leaving my 6 1/2 year old son in tears because he wanted cereal. Then, when I put the toaster away, I wondered if I even needed it anymore. But I think my kids might all cry if I even put it away in a cupboard.

    My husband, who is very supportive of my taking charge of my health and more than willing to eat what I put in front of him at dinner, doesn't want me touching his breakfast and lunch (fiber one bar and sandwich). He's got a lot on his plate right now and I can't help but wonder if getting those non-primal things out of his system would make for a happier and healthier guy.

    Maybe I just need to be patient, but I was wondering what others have done to encourage family to get on board? Any nay-sayers living with you? What obstacles have you had and how have you moved past them?

  • #2

    Perhaps try focusing more on adding rather than taking away? Add new yummy foods to your family's palate first, then slowly remove the bad stuff.

    The kids really don't have any say in the matter. You're the parent. If certain foods aren't allowed in the house that's the rule. Maybe you could have an age-appropriate conversation with them about foods, and explain to them what you're learning and why it's important. Make it an experiment or an adventure so they're learning and having fun, all while you get your way.

    With hubs, it's probably more of a heart-to-heart conversation... "This is important to me and I would like you to support me" sort of conversation. Again, add before you take away so he's not feeling punished or forced.

    Just a few thoughts.


    • #3

      My wife is a couple of weeks behind me on the PB, but she has the rare advantage of mostly having been raised that way. I used to think it was bizarre that she couldn't stand the taste of sugar. Now I recognize it as a real gift.

      Still, there are many people among my family and friends who are really hurting themselves with carbs and grains. And many of them are not ready to hear the message, I'm afraid. Now that I've kicked carbohydrates, I realize that they are addictive in the extreme, with their powerful mood and hormonal effects. Kicking a habit like that isn't easy, and it's very easy to blind yourself to the harm and make up excuses to justify the habit -- whether you're six or sixty.

      On the other hand, dropping grains/carbs for a week produces immediate health results and really speaks for itself, once you try it. I think the best thing we can do, at first, is to be shockingly good examples to our friends and family. Good luck with yours!


      • #4

        Primal aside, the kids thing is the most common reason for not forcing your family to eat healthier. However, it seems like nearly every mom who has cut out soda, sugary cereals, candy, or whatever else dealt with 1 - 2 weeks of whining, and then the kids just come around and go with it.

        As for your husband, slow and easy goes it. Make a bet with him and see if he'll eat primal for a week. As harsh as this will sound, your husband's a grown adult and is capable of making his own choices (hopefully he comes around). However, you're solely responsible for your kids' health, so in my eyes, that's where you should focus your energy. If you get the entire family eating primal though, I can't see him holding out much longer.


        • #5

          I've just started living primally (today in fact) but my boyfriend for example lives on ham and cheese sandwiches with lots of ketchup every day and I wouldn't be able to convimce him to eat otherwise, nor would I try!

          Don't try and change your families preference at all yet; especially with children if their everyday foods are taken away it will be like forbidden fruit to them and can set off cravings; just try and encourage them to eat healthier grains with maybe smaller servings of the cereal and more whole milk and fruit to begin with.

          Just be the best role model you can be and when they see your health and moods improve they are more likely to accept a new style of eating but don't count on them changing soon! This way of life if for YOU FIRST. Don't see it as an obstacle at all.

          The whole point of living primally (or naturally) is to be stress free! And trying to convert others who aren't ready will not be a primal solution. Even if they never change their eating habits you need to accept their choices as individuals.

          Hard to do I know!!!!


          • #6

            I have given up on putting any pressure on my family at all. My husband is 100 lbs. overweight and has hypertension, diabetes, and fatty liver. He is not ready to remake himself and I can't make him.

            My kids have problems, too. My older son has autism, bipolar disorder and panic attacks, and my younger son has bipolar disorder and severe acne. They won't hear of it. But they are 18 and 19, and the days I could tell them what to do "because mommy said" are over!

            While they do eat what I make for dinner, EVERYBODY here supplements their diet with their favorite SAD items. My husband finishes off bags of chips and packages of hot dogs on potato buns. My kids go out and buy chocolate milk and candy and cookies and juice.

            I did get my older son to go out for an hour walk every day, and he feels better for it. I figure that's a big plus.

            I would suggest gradually shifting gears with your kids. (You have a better chance with them than your husband.) There are dozens of sites online with recipes for primal 'treats' and kid-friendly food. There's even a recipe for a non-cereal granola here:

            Find primal substitutes for their favorite foods. You can make primal chicken tenders, (cheese)burgers on oopsie rolls, smoothies and shakes, cookies and cakes. Enlist your kids' help in the kitchen. Teach them about to eat so that they build strong, healthy bodies and run their engines well.

            While I am no paragon for success here, I have been a parent for a almost 20 years, so one thing I do know: do not cave in to whining while making what you are wanting from them fun. (Like a game of it----find the bad HFCS and trans fats and RUN! Can we make cookies using only good ingredients?) Remember, vegetables taste better with FAT. (And their nutrients absorbed better with fat, too!)

            Good luck and let us know how you fare.



            • #7

              @tears over cereal: Oh no =( kids seem to naturally have quite the sweet tooth, unfortunately. All I can think of is making fresh fruit salads... with nuts and cottage cheese? Yummy, primal alternatives.

              Hmm. I currently live with my mum and dad. Mum appreciates my dietary stance - she's really trying and she's more than happy to eat what I eat (she LOVED the omelette muffins I made, sushi rolls with a twist, fresh salads - just about everything!) But she still has her vices (ice cream, chips, rice, bread).

              My dad thinks my diet is Ace and healthy, but he personally doesn't like the meals I prepare. He expresses a mild interest in it all and he would 'like' to eat healthier in the future, but he maintains that he "grew up eating this stuff" (bread, pasta, etc).

              I cook for my mum sometimes because we like similar things (fish, chicken). For the most part though I pay for my own groceries and cook my own food. So basically, I'm doing my own thing within my household. I think I've done everything I can - they know where I stand, my doing anything beyond that is just me being controlling/the food police.

              I'm 19 now and I've wondered how I'm going to approach the issue you're experiencing when I'm older and have my own family.

              I think... I can influence and shape what my children eat, because they're my babies and they're my responsibility. My husband is a grown man and he can listen to what I believe, but the decision is up to him.


              • #8

                My roommate (I own the house, rent out the basement, share the kitchen) is non-primal. You wouldn't believe the procession of "food" that marches through -- take and bake pizzas, cookie dough, cornbread, pasta...never any meal that isn't loaded with starch and sugar.

                I've watched him gain 24 pounds in the past 6 months, mostly in his belly. Syndrome X in the making.

                He watches what I eat, listens to my reasoning, agrees it makes sense, then says, "I won't give up these foods. I like them too much."

                Too much, indeed. Enough to die for them.

                But it's like others have said -- you can't change anyone. You can only provide the information, as they're ready to hear it, and let them make their own choices.

                Nightlife ~ Chronicles of Less Urban Living, Fresh from In the Night Farm ~ Idaho's Primal Farm!

                Latest post: Stop Being Stupid


                • #9

                  I guess Im really lucky. I just told my fiance we were going to eat differently and showed him the websites, scientific studies, etc. He just said "well that makes sense..ok sure" and we have been doing it since. He is really into evolutionary science, so I think he thought it was pretty cool anyway hahah

                  Natural Selection:


                  • #10


                    I'm living with two Non- Groks. One is a "Eat to Live" advocate, Dr.Furhman. I used to do his program, but it is essentially a vegetarian diet and demonizes meat and saturated fat completely.

                    The other roommate is from Austria and seems to be able to consume sugary drinks, tortillas and rice, desserts, milk, gluten- and have no weight problems.

                    I am also in Mexico, which is very culturally based on meal times. It's very much part of the culture to always offer food to someone and borderline impolite to not accept. Makes for some real challenges.

                    I do eat any dairy or gluten containing grains....or sugar even when I'm back home. So, here it's been trying- but I'm persevering.

                    My one vegetarian roommate is starting to say she's craving meat and has started to eat more and more, I even got her to eat a whole egg (not only the whites!)....WOW!



                    • #11

                      Thanks, everyone. I love what Mia said about this being a way of life for me first. As a mom, I don't often put me first. Thanks for the reminder.

                      Before making this change we had been trying to eat a healthy, low fat diet, focusing on whole grains and fruits and vegetables. Even though my oldest is only 6...already they've all learned that whole grains are important, thanks to CW! He even just learned about the food pyramid...with grains being a vital part of a healthy diet. ARG!

                      I love Diana's suggestion to add first before taking away. Great way to go about it...and will force me to make changes slowly. We're at a place in life where we're going to be making lots of changes anyway. It will be good to make it a more gradual change for them. I made my changes over about a week. There's may take longer...

                      As for my husband. He's leaving in about a month and will be eating at other people's hands for about 3 months. So, I'll let him keep his consistentcy for now...and maybe he'll be inspired by the changes he sees in me after that time apart to embrace more of a primal lifestyle once we're back together.

                      Thanks, again!


                      • #12

                        And honestly - if you can get the kids to work with you improving 90% of their diet (at dinners and lunch times say) then while their breakfast may be far from ideal for a while it will still be a tremendous improvement over the SAD. You can introduce things like omelet muffins to supplement grainy breakfasts for a while. One of the things I've seen Mark say that I've really latched onto is "Don't let perfect be the enemy of good."


                        • #13

                          I've just started making a real effort in eating Primal, but I'm currently living with Auntie MD (my aunt, who is a doctor, and smokes 1+ pack a day) and she does make things a bit more difficult...

                          She's stuck on CW and insist that cutting carbs and grains is unhealthy, and that fat will make you fat.

                          Luckily we're in France so it is more a question of the French paradox (baguettes, cheese,etc.) than a low fat point of view.

                          I'll move out once things stabilize, but got now I just try not to eat anything "bad" and suck it up the rest of the time.

                          Once you learn that you create your own reality and that you are fully responsible for your life, you can begin to see the world as it is and then you realize the limitless possibilities.


                          • #14

                            I live with my grandparents and they are about as opposite to primal as you can get. Canned, bagged, boxed, packaged, if its in a container, they'll eat it. Otherwise its too much trouble. I don't even try. There's just no point. I buy my own food and make my own meals. Sometimes they make stuff and leave the leftovers for me. That's the hardest part, since its usually stuff that I used to love. Like various pasta casseroles or lasagna. It's pretty much come down to the fact that I can't even open the pantry door. Nothing in there is healthy. And if I open it, its just a recipe for a cheat day.

                            Carpe Diem!


                            • #15

                              Yeah, LX, you're probably right. They love eggs and usually have them with either cereal or with bagel on the weekends. So, it's just a matter of eventually weaning them off the bagel or cereal, but dinners are completely primal for all of us!

                              Little steps...