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Thread: Spouse support

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Raleigh, NC

    Spouse support

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    Has anyone out there encountered issues with starting PB without the support of your spouse? My wife isn't against it, but she doesn't want to participate. This makes it harder for me as I try to start the program. I read about PB almost a year ago and I've been trying to start it off and on ever since. How have those of you in this situation planned out your meals/snacks? Breakfast and Lunch aren't usually an issue, but dinner is (since we eat together). Save for making two separate dinners, I haven't yet figured out a solution. In addition, my wife is a dessert eater, and for most of my life I've never been much of one. But now, when she wants something for dessert, I usually feel obligated to partake. It's hard going grocery shopping too, as we end up spending more because I'm trying to shop PB and she's trying to shop "real" world. Anyways, I'm just frustrated, and it's made it hard to stay motivated. I really want to do PB, but I want to be all in!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    I think there needs to be a line drawn between participating and interfering. I've been living with my boyfriend for 2 years, and the last year was Primal. Though he doesn't eat that way himself, he doesn't bitch about dinner not having any biscuits or pasta or anything. On the other hand, if he wanted some, I don't really care.

    You don't usually have to make completely separate dinners unless she insists on fettucine alfredo every night, and then she can make it herself. We eat things like burger patties (he has it with a bun, I don't) or broccoli beef (sauces on the side, no rice for me), steak (which just is what it is) or chicken breasts with some different seasonings and veggies on the side (no biscuit or anything for me). It's not all that hard.

    It's really easy to say you're eating crap because your partner is. I've done it myself. But it's really your own damn fault.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    God's country, W.VA
    I learned how to cook.
    No bullshit.
    I read the book (upon a recommendation from a friend) while I was away on a business trip. I jumped all in, quite literally, overnight. I came home and was all of a sudden a picky eater, I wouldn't eat anything my wife made because it was all processed CW food, so I started cooking my own food. I've never cooked before in my life. I didn't think it was fair to ask her to cook two separate meals, so I started doing my own, turns out, I actually enjoy cooking and started getting pretty good at it. I started kicking her out of the kitchen and doing all of the cooking myself. Almost a year later, i still do pretty much all of the cooking. She is still very much CW, but she's starting to come around. She mentioned wanting to read the book and do the primal diet, but we'll see. I've never pushed it on her, I've always figured she'd see my results and convert on her own eventually. She's getting there, but it takes time, sometimes, a lot of time.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Sydney, NSW
    I can be awkward and a little difficult, but can be made to work. My wife is not supportive of my diet but is prepared to work with me. She prepares no more than five meals a week (weekday dinners) for me. I take care of breakfast and lunch and weekend dinners. If it doesn't fit my diet, she'll primalise a serving for me. Eg she often makes quiche or spinach pie - I get a serve baked without crust while the rest of the family has theirs with crust.

    On the other hand, she's not gotten creative about it either. She rarely makes pasta anymore despite my urging her to do so, but serve the sauce for me over vegetables. But then she's not keen on cooking much anymore except for desserts so I take what I can get, so long as it is wheat and vegetable oil free.

    On the matter of desserts, you are kidding yourself that you have to share it with her. My family have dessert, I don't. Instead, I have a cheese plate and a glass of red
    Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

    Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Burton, Staffs., UK
    As KV8R says, 'volunteer to cook more meals.' I'm having the same problems, though all our food is prepared and cooked at home, my wife is a big fan of curries cooked with few vegetables, save potatoes and occasionally spinach and eaten with rotis/chapati. It's delicious food, but not quite what I'm needing. Though, I don't appear to have any problems with any of the foods I'd like to attempt the PB lifestyle to see what, if anything, I'm missing. The only solution, for now, is for me to cook more. And Ramadhan is coming; lots of soup and meat, and baked, deep fried, wheaty foods (samosas, spring rolls, pakoras, parathas) to avoid
    All the best!


    The quieter you become the more you're able to hear.

    Mawlana Jalaludin Rumi

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    My boyfriend is happy to be fed, otherwise he'd be eating nothing but bachelor food. He mostly makes breakfast but is good with eggs and bacon or sausage. We handle our own lunches and I make dinner or we 'graze'. The fact that I have food intolerances and can't eat a lot of non-primal foods may make him more compliant, but he doesn't mind. If he wants bread with his dinner he has bread. Tonight I made a big pot of beef stew from bone broth that had been cooking since yesterday. For veg I added parsnips (instead of potatoes), leeks and celery. He inhaled two big bowls of it quite happily. He had a stomach bug yesterday and didn't eat at all so I wanted to make something really nutrient dense. He doesn't have a problem with the fats, I've gotten him to switch to real butter, dump the vegetable oil and use lard instead, but he still has foods he wants.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Portland, OR
    My SO is eating in a kind of half-assed Primal way, but still eats grains. He's cut back a lot and traded the morning oatmeal for eggs.
    I just finished Good Calories, Bad Calories and was trying to tell him about some of what I read and he has decided that I am getting nutty. He just can't believe that whole wheat isn't good for you, that the government would tell you to eat something that was bad for you. I said explain why the American people are getting fatter, and he said it's because they eat too much and don't exercise enough. Head, meet desk.
    "Wait! I'll fix it!"
    "Problems always disappear in the presence of a technician."
    "If you can't improvise, what are you doing out in the field?"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Dubai, UAE
    Quote Originally Posted by dannBarry View Post
    I didn't think it was fair to ask her to cook two separate meals
    So don't ask her to do all of it. Find Primal recipes that you both like the sound of and that can be easily adjusted to include non-Primal sides (as RitaRose suggested) and try them together.

    My hubby is very into bodybuilding so has been eating low-carb for a while; I think it's actually easier for us to cook together since I went Primal, and I'm encouraging him to include more veggies rather than just live on eggs, bacon and cheese. He would be quite happy to eat the same meals week-in, week-out for the rest of his life - but I know that if I do that I will get bored, and if I'm bored with what I'm eating I'll stray back to non-Primal options just for some variety. The meal options you can create with Primal foods are pretty much endless, and I have actually enjoyed finding and trying out new recipes. I am more enthusiastic about cooking than I can remember being for a long time.

    The one trouble spot for us was that hubby has "carb up days" at the weekend where crisps (chips), bread, hash browns etc are all back on the menu. In my first couple of weeks I found it hard to see him eat those and not join in - but as Peril says I don't have to eat them just because he is! I wanted to try this lifestyle, I am going to be around people on a daily basis who don't eat Primal and have no intention of trying to, so expecting my husband to eat exactly the same foods as me just because I don't have the willpower to commit is unrealistic. Yes, it was harder at first but I can honestly say that I don't even want those foods now.
    Last edited by katiepotato; 07-09-2012 at 02:42 AM. Reason: sp

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    It's really not that hard to cater for two diets: our dinners generally consist of meat, vegetables, then I'll add some potato or rice on the side for him, extra fat (butter, salad dressing, etc) for me. No big deal! As for desserts... if he wants one, he has one. Why on earth should he feel guilty or excluded from doing so just because I choose not to?!

    Rest assured I get my revenge for any perceived suffering (there really isn't any, but non-Primals insist on choosing to believe I somehow have more willpower than they do ) - up and at 'em, talking twenty to the dozen over morning coffee, while he's bleary-eyed and struggling towards consciousness!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    It's not that hard- mine hated the meat smell at first. Now its very easy- He'll eat pork and bacon, plus fish.So much easier now- grill him fish, grill me meat, throw a potato in the oven for him.

    And yeah, it is more expensive. Hard to fix that.

    But just a few "keep the peace pointers":
    Keep your mouth shut about what she is eating
    If you want something else, make it yourself.
    Offer to shop/buy the special foods you need
    Why are you eating dessert if you don't want it? Would you eat a bowl of cereal to make her happy?
    Try some new recipes and make her primal meals often. I made a kale salad and my SO raved. I made pull pork and he ate half of it. He eats bacon and eggs now (used to be vegetarian).

    It's not like primal is soy raw veganism with weird foods. It's basically meat and veggies, with no starch/grains. Not that hard to add some of those for the non-primal eater.

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