Living with a Carboholic
Hi everyone, I'm new here and not so sure this is the correct category, correct me if I am wrong :) This is my first official post besides the meet&greet, but I have so many questions so you'll be seeing a lot of me in the near future! :)
As far as being Primal goes, I haven't been in the game too long. I have gone from being a healthy weight, to severely underweight, and am now coming up to a healthy weight again. Before hearing about the PB lifestyle and incorporating it into my life, I was addicted to lite bread, low calorie cereals, artificial sweeteners, diet soda, and any/all fat free, diet foods. My boyfriend, however, has never had weight issues/stomach issues/mental food issues, or anything of the sort. He is a healthy weight, and never feels any consequences from eating the foods he enjoys (except lactose.) His completely sustains himself on full-sugar sodas (and adds nearly 1/4 CUP of sugar to his morning coffee!), big bowls of pasta, cereal, peanut butter, and white bread sandwiches. All of his meals HAVE to include bread, pasta, or rice in order for him to enjoy it.
Now, I'm not saying I want to change him in any way, because he is happy with the way he feels and looks and I believe that people should do whatever makes them feel happiest. However, I am always tempted to indulge in the bread and cereal that I once showed a great affinity for. Also, since we do not eat the same things, I have to make a separate meal for myself, sans carbs. This has nearly doubled our grocery bill... I spent $400 in 2 shopping trips for a week and a half's worth of groceries! Ouch!
Is there any way to remedy this dilemma? I want us both to be happy, but neither of us will comprise our eating habits... and I REALLY want to stick to this lifestyle! I want to buy the best quality foods for us, too. Something's gotta give!
I'm not sure how you will go for a permanent solution - but maybe you can ask him to jump on board and eat PB with you at home for a certain period (like 2 weeks or something) because you'd like his support? If he knows this is important to you and by eating the same just forms few weeks will help you then hopefully he will agree. You should look and creating some new, yummy meals together.
At least this way you can get a little more used to the lifestyle yourself and maybe there will be some meals / foods he decides he likes and when he goes back to eating all his bread and pasta, he might be happy to not eat they at every meal.
You could also find meals that you can both have - just add the bread / pasta to his and leave it off yours.
You mentioned having to make separate meals for yourself... how about, if you cook for him, he can cook his own pasta? Just tell him that you don't want anything to do with the stuff, and that you don't mind him eating it, but that you don't want to stare down into a pot filled with temptation for however long it takes to boil pasta.
My husband is similar. I no longer by any processed food other than his cereal and pasta. If he wants it he can get it himself. Funny thing is, other than ice cream he can't be bothered to enter a grocery store. I would just let your boyfriend know, that if you are doing the shopping and cooking, this is what you are willing to buy and make. He can get his own, or he can eat what is offered. You will likely find he will probably go along for the ride.
The bread and pasta WILL become less appealing the longer you are eating primally. Although I still have my issues, I can honestly say I am rarely tempted by them, which I would have thought impossible when I began. We have them in the house for my Honey and kids, and I don't even view them as food for me.
I would try to make meals which can easily have pasta, rice, bread, whatever, added to them. As in a very meaty thick sauce for you with noodles underneath for him, instead of lasagna. Meat and veg stir frys, with rice on the side. Sandwiches with bread for him, and lettuce wraps for you. Chile without beans with rice and beans on the side. let him slap a bun on his burger, and eat yours with a fork.
If you want to post a list of your past regular meals, I bet we can offer a lot of specific suggestions. However, the grain consumption and bill should be going down, since you are not consuming it any more.
As a long term solution, you may find him tempted more and more by your foods as the months go by.
And do not disregard eggs (if you eat them) as a low cost way of stretching your food budget. I can make a quiche for four days worth of snacks for just a few dollars.
[QUOTE=JennGlob;1082482]If he wants it he can get it himself.[/QUOTE]
This. You're doing the food shopping, you control what comes in the house. If he wants to start shopping more, he can get what he wants to eat.
I was lucky enough that my mister was willing to along with the changes to the way we eat once I sat down and explained it all to him. I know he still eats other non-primal things he likes now and again, but it doesn't happen all that often because it's more asspain to go to the grocery to get it than to just go without.
This type of question is tough to answer from the outside.
A lot of primal meals like meat + veggies can be made for both of you and then you can just make his "side of carb," for him.
If his foods are tempting you to eat garbage (peanut butter for eg., which to me tastes like wallpaper paste), maybe rearrange your cabinets so that his foods aren't near the good ones. Put his cereal, peanut butter, etc., in a bottom cabinet. *chuckle*
The suggestion to ask him to do just 30 days with you might help you both. You'd be more on course, and he'd see if living without those foods really is as bad as he thinks.
True/sorta cute story. I knew a semi-retired couple, both overweight. He adored her, but she just had to diet all the time. So she gave Atkins a try. She did very well on low carb. He wasn't losing much at all. One day my ex and I are in the grocery store, and we see him doing the shopping. Eating a bag of donut holes. He gets this really guilty look on his face, and says, "Don't tell my wife!" Now that's true love - low carb at home, sneaking donut holes in the store.
I eat PB, my husband does not. We both grocery shop, he at a regular store, me at a healthy foods store. This works if I buy the protean, fats and vegies. He buys paper goods and boxed goods.
Similar to those above he adds a starch to his dinner.
I agree with the suggestions posted. I don't think it's hard to make a primal friendly meal that can simply have carbs added to it! I know it's tough for you, but as you've said you can't change him... you just have to stand strong and resist the carbs that he eats!
I have got my husband around to a semi primal way of thinking, but even so, he doesn't consider meat and veggies (without potato lol) to be a full meal! He needs at least potato to round it out... no idea why... I think it's a mental thing because growing up they'd have their meat, their veg and their potato! I can easily just go without potato.
The kids like pasta occasionally because they're a bit sick of meat and veg, so I'll make it for them and just make something else for myself on those nights. I don't make it too difficult!
Mind you before going primal I was vegetarian, so I was pretty used to cooking one meal for me and one for the rest of the family! I've pretty much made them avoid bread as much as possible, but relent when it comes to school sandwiches, as I'd rather them eat SOMETHING even if it includes bread, than bitch and moan because they can't have a "proper" lunch! It's a compromise that works pretty well. I could eat some leftover meat or whatever for lunch, but they don't find it enough...and even though I've tried to think of alternatives that are suitable, I've failed!
It DOES make it harder when there are non-primal foods in the house. In an ideal world my pantry would ONLY contain primal foods and there would never be an issue! Unfortunately, that's not the case ;).
It only seems like you had to buy twice as much food. The thing is, your household is eating 1/2 as much sugar and grains. After a while you will see you aren't buying rice and bread very often. And if you're not eating cookies and ice cream, let him go to the store for that.
However, you are perhaps buying more fresh vegetables and higher-quality meat. That's where the real expense is, and you know you should have been eating more vegetables all along anyway.
After a while you'll see that you'll figure out enough simple recipes that both of you can enjoy. My sugar/grain-loving man tends to like things that are served over a big pile of rice or pasta or wrapped in tortillas. No big deal. Rice, pasta and tortillas are cheap. I'll just pour my stuff into a bowl, over lettuce, over a sweet potato or whatever and he can have all the rice, pasta and tortillas he wants. Sometimes I have the rice myself, too.