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Thread: Looking for help with a reluctant spouse page

  1. #1
    ma-judd's Avatar
    ma-judd is offline Junior Member
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    May 2010

    Looking for help with a reluctant spouse

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    Hello, I am fairly new to low-carb eating, but convinced it is the right thing to do. I started implementing it 2 weeks ago and am quite enthusiastic. My husband however is putting up resistance. We have 3 boys who participate in sports, and he points to all of the children we know who are doing quite well in these sports without going low-carb. In fact, many of them are eating what I would consider a high carb diet, esp processed carbs, and performing well. They are fit, talented, and healthy looking. So the question becomes, if carbs were so bad, how is it that some seem to do so well on them?

    His other arguement is that anything that we have to gain by giving up carbs, is lost in the emotional trauma we are putting our kids (and him) through by denying carbs (esp special events and birthday parties, holidays, shared team snacks, etc).

    Any help defending this diet, or how to make it work with kids, would be greatly appreciated - or if there is a section of this web site devoted to fending off detractors, please point me to it. Thanks!


  2. #2
    Allbeef Patty's Avatar
    Allbeef Patty is offline Senior Member
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    Nov 2009
    There are a lot of searches that you can do. Both in the forums and the blog. What I find helpful is pointing out all of the overweight diabetics at heart clinics who were athletes when they were kids.

  3. #3
    Grol's Avatar
    Grol is offline Senior Member
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    May 2010
    I resemble that remark Allbeef Patty.

    Elizabeth -- you may want to search the forum for what Steve Nash eats if high performance athletes are involved. Sounds like you have your work cut out for you. Maybe a step by step process will work best with them? Cut the refined oils first. If that's a success go after the sugar. If that works. Go after the grains, which will be a big challenge, I'm sure.

  4. #4
    jeannie's Avatar
    jeannie is offline Junior Member
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    May 2009
    I second Grol, got my husband on board by going slowly - change one thing at time. Now he (mostly) eats primal and tells everyone he comes across how healthy we are. Just takes time. It helped, however, that I wanted him to take up hunting and fill our freezer, which he has done for the last 2 years.

  5. #5
    Barb's Avatar
    Barb is offline Senior Member
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    Mar 2010
    Seattle, WA USA
    I don't have kids, but did have a reluctant spouse (as in "No Fucking Way am I Going to go on that Crazy Diet!" type reaction.) I went primal for my own sake, didn't push anyone else to follow along. My spouse decided to go primal after seeing the effect it had on me. Do it for yourself first and foremost. I figured it's easy to prepare mostly normal meals, I would just eat only the meat/vegetable part of it.

    Don't worry too much about what the kids are eating right now. As your cooking evolves and the food you serve is full of delicious and satisfying fats, your family will come to appreciate primal eating even if they are not committed to eating this way in all circumstances. As time goes on you will be able to explain/educate about primal eating. People are more open to learning about it if it is couched in terms of "why this is helping me".

    I have a friend at work was also adamant about not wanting to really hear about "my crazy diet", because she, too, didn't want to feel bad about eating the way she does. I just explained to her that I had to figure out a way to eat so that I didn't feel so tired and hungry all the time to the point where I could barely do my job. "I'm sure it is because as I am entering menopause I am becoming more insulin resistant - I just feel better when I don't eat the grains and sugars". She insisted that she would never want to give up all those foods she loves. Well, after a few months she asked me how the diet was going, not defensive at all. She told me she had given up drinking beer for a month and had lost a few pounds and was feeling better. I affirmed that that is how I feel off the grains. So, I find that when I am not trying to convert anyone but just explaining in simple terms why I am doing this for me, they get more curious and a little more open minded. Trick is, I have to truly not be invested in converting anyone.

    Remember, you survived childhood eating whatever was served. Your kids will too. You are on a journey. It will have an effect on those closest to you. Be patient.

  6. #6
    lil_earthmomma's Avatar
    lil_earthmomma is offline Senior Member
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    Sep 2009
    I don't think you should carb restrict children. I think you should sugar/grain restrict. My boys get double the carbs I get because they eat a ton of fruit and veg and the occasional sweet potato/squash type stuff.

    You are the cook, you say what goes in the kitchen. At birthday parties etc. let it go imho. Let it go and let them eat a peice of cake. It's definitely not going to kill them.

    As for introducing this in a way that will make your hubby and kiddos swoon

    BACON! Who doesn't love bacon?
    Use some almond flour/coconut flour replacement treats if you have to. Almond flour pancakes are full of goodness, and you can see if they will go for berries and whipped cream instead of syrup.

    Meat meat meat! You hubby's really gonna turn down bacon wrapped steak with a delicious white wine mushroom sauce with a side of horseradish mashed cauliflower? Hmmmm didn't think so!

  7. #7
    Godzilla's Avatar
    Godzilla is offline Senior Member
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    Sep 2009
    So here in Tokyo, my wife takes my son to swimming lessons. She meets a woman who is primal. And during the initial get-to-know-yous, she asks my wife, is your husband really into it? Does he read marksdailyapple and has he read the primal blueprint? My wife rolls her eyes and says yes, he's fanatic. he does all those things. The primal woman complains to my wife about her husband, who won't change. The next week, her husband is accompanying their son to the pool. My wife asks him, so I hear you don't like primal, too? He rolls his eyes and says I don't even want to talk about it as it's a source of tremendous tension in the family.

    After my initiial enthusiasm, I don't push my family to join me. They are fine. I was obese so I had to go primal. They're not. I don't evangelize. It just turns people off. It's not worth causing family disharmony over.

    It's their choice regarding what they eat, as long as it's not poison. Heck, Mark's wife isn't 100% primal and Mark's son is vegetarian.

    Another anecdote: I asked my wife to pick up some multivitamins at the pharmacy. She says, you eat so healthy, I don't think you need them.
    Last edited by Godzilla; 05-24-2010 at 12:05 AM.

  8. #8
    Primal Ranger's Avatar
    Primal Ranger is offline Member
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    May 2010
    I'm having the same issues with my wife. I just seriously started this whole primal diet thing so I'm hoping that after a month I'll be able to show her some great results. I figure if I push it to hard it's just gonna create fights and unwanted stress so I'll just let her see how it goes for me.

    We have two girls and I try to cook for them as often as possible using natural foods, no grains, pasta, or bread. It's really hard with our girls because Mommy always makes "this" and then Daddy makes "that." I hate seeing them eat all this fake food with no value.

  9. #9
    Helen in Oz's Avatar
    Helen in Oz is offline Senior Member
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    Apr 2010
    I've never met a bloke who wouldn't think it's Christmas if you got up and made him bacon and eggs (+mushrooms and tomatoes) for breakfast, so let him have a slice of sourdough rye toast as well and that's a 90% primal breakfast.

    Plenty of primal options for dinner that aren't too different, just have the portions of any grainy things get smaller and veggies get bigger...

    I'm planning on incorporating some gluten-free items, gluten-free and low-carb breads and such as transition foods for the family.

    Made coconut banana pancakes that got a double thumbs up. Just feed them good stuff by stealth, and don't worry about the outings and stuff. Change what you can easily control.

    ATM I'm kinda clueless as to what I'm going to do for packed lunches though, and I'm keen to get them off gluten. Hopefully they'll ajust to the heavier gluten free bread texture... or I'll come up with... something. Gluten free crackers...

  10. #10
    MikeEnRegalia's Avatar
    MikeEnRegalia is offline Senior Member
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    Kids are a special case. Many of them do great on a junk food diet (I did) - until a certain point, usually a few years after puberty ends. The problem is that then they not only get all the problems associated with carbohydrate overload, but they're also so used to eating carbohydrates that it's much more difficult for them to change. And since they never had a problem that they could attribute to the carbohydrates, it's very difficult for them to understand that the only cure for their health problems (obesity, high blood pressure, insulin resistance) would be a low carb, high fat/protein diet.

    I think the best solution would be a 30 day challenge. Get your spouse to try the PB approach for a month - and be sure to tell him that the first 1-2 weeks may be tough as the body switches from burning carbs to burning fat. At the end of the 30 days he can see how he feels. If he feels good, take him to a doctor and have him test his blood for blood sugar, triglycerides, LDL/HDL etc. as well as blood pressure. Ideally, do a before/after comparison. If all goes well (which it usually does), he'll not only feel better but even his CW-based doctor will tell him that his health improved.

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