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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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November 18, 2010

When Grok Lives with Korg, or How to Cope With an Unsupportive Partner

By Mark Sisson
164 Comments

When I introduced a forum thread asking folks to share their top three challenges in going Primal, one issue got major traction: the S.O. factor (significant other, for those of you not into the whole online brevity thing). It’s a familiar story. One partner takes on a new health commitment. Life changes for that person. He/she goes through struggles, triumphs, growth – an entire physical and psychological process that potentially leaves a relationship chasm in its wake. Then there are the logistics, a menacing obstacle course of loaded questions and irksome details. Do you still eat together? Who cooks (not to mention shops)? Do we have enough pots and pans to make two different meals each night? How do we handle the kids’ food? Finally, what does it mean for the arrangement when one person’s food expenditure overshadows the other’s?

I’m not talking, of course, about couples who follow individual but similar lifestyle paths. Few people have a fully Primal S.O., and most people don’t exactly consider that a deal breaker to begin with. As many of you noted in the forum, it’s good to honor individuality in relationships. It certainly keeps things interesting. My wife, for example, eats fish but not fowl or red meat. While I’d prefer she join me in devouring a rack of lamb now and then, I understand and even empathize with her reasoning. I also recognize that she’s one of the healthiest people I know. She merges the Primal philosophy with her own chosen values, and the result is pretty impressive. Because her diet obliges certain restrictions, she’s more diligent than I am, I’ll admit.

What I mean here is a true Grok/Korg match. One partner is living (or approaching) Primal, while the other is fully entrenched in CW – or maybe worse. Some couples comfortably and successfully adopt a “live and let live” mentality with ne’er an argument to ruffle their domestic bliss. Others struggle at times, harboring low-grade resentments or continuing disappointment that their partners – however supportive – don’t take up the cause. For a few, the contrast ignites epic conflict akin to a veritable clash of civilizations.

In the forum, there was back and forth about the social and emotional significance we attach to food. It’s not a religion, many said. It shouldn’t derail an otherwise good relationship. Others countered that it was indeed a creed of sorts. As a significant dimension of one’s lifestyle, our food choices inevitably become imbued with our individual values – and even with our identities to a certain degree.

With this deeper facet – and the day-to-day logistics – in mind, here are a few targeted suggestions for both staying true to your Primal quest and keeping peace in the shared kingdom.

Be Comfortable With Your Choice

No, really. Don’t shoot the messenger here, but sometimes others’ divergent choices get under our skin because they’re a constant reminder of our own ability to fall off the wagon. There’s a certain vulnerability to living against the current of a society, let alone one’s own household. It takes a greater commitment – not a white-knuckle, hold-your-breath, dig-in-your-heels declaration, but a deeply personal kind of pledge. It’s a decision to live in the moment and make the best choice for yourself in that moment. No one can undo or undermine your commitment without your permission. It’s accepting the ultimate responsibility. Going Primal may not always be convenient or easy. Likewise, relationships are always convenient and easy either.

Dial In Your Expectations

Don’t start your journey with the grandiose (albeit ideal in my opinion) vision of a happy Primal family. As my mother used to say to us growing up, “You worry about you.” It’s your choice, your path. Would you travel down it knowing you weren’t going to be accompanied by your partner or other loved ones? Well, there you go. Be an example to your partner, but enjoy and own Primal living in its own right – not as a constant representation of the cause, so to speak.

To Each, A Pantry of One’s Own

It’s a similar sentiment to the old adage, “good fences make good neighbors.” A little space can sometimes be enough to keep you from feeling inundated by the alternative choices residing in your household. Claim a space for your stuff and make no apologies. As for shopping and spending, be prepared to sit down and have a practical negotiation with concrete, unimpassioned terms.

Gather the Support You Need

Your S.O. can’t provide for every need or play every role in your life. We all know this, but making/going through a significant transition in life sometimes clouds our judgment. You deserve respect, of course, but fill in the support you need with friends, other family members, online communities (wink), etc. Take the pressure off your relationship, and you’ll likely both feel freer and happier. It’s a funny thing: when you finally let an issue go, that’s when people can surprise you the most.

Research suggests that couples treat divergent dietary paths in much the same way as other conflicts or differences in their relationships. (I guess there’s cause for a potentially heartening – or unsettling – realization there.) It’s a question worth exploring. I obviously believe that going Primal is a good choice, but if your S.O.’s lack of conversion is nagging at you so dramatically that it’s undermining the fundamentals of your relationship, it might be time to examine the issue from a broader, deeper, or more emotional angle. (a.k.a. It’s never really about the toothpaste cap.)

That said, I think it’s fair to feel disappointed, even saddened, by a partner’s disinterest in maintaining his/her health. If you’re taking it upon yourself to stay in good shape and put life in your years (not to mention years in your life), you might wonder why the other person won’t hold up his/her end of the bargain. What exactly, then, is the understanding behind a relationship? I’m going to venture that it isn’t about being in lock-step at every turn, in every moment. Nonetheless, I think it is about explaining why you care. (Then there’s always the jaw-dropping, stunning example you set….) If you’re in it for the long haul, there’s time to grow together – or to realize that some commonalities just aren’t compulsory for lasting devotion and domestic harmony.

Readers, what say you? Are Groks and Korgs compatible? Have you found a way to peacefully coexist in the kitchen, or has going Primal changed the game with relationships for you? Is it ever a deal breaker? Share your thoughts, and thanks for reading today.

Prefer listening to reading? Get an audio recording of this blog post, and subscribe to the Primal Blueprint Podcast on iTunes for instant access to all past, present and future episodes here.

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152 Comments on "When Grok Lives with Korg, or How to Cope With an Unsupportive Partner"

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RDunn
6 years 14 days ago

Right now, I’m glad I live alone.

Primal Toad
6 years 14 days ago

I’m jealous.

Christine Crain
6 years 14 days ago

My husband really doesn’t mind the meat and vegetables, the compromise we’ve struck is that once in a while he gets corn and white potatoes. He also buys Pepsi for himself. It’s pretty easy to whip up a can of corn for my husband and steam some chard for myself.

shannon
shannon
6 years 14 days ago
My partner has loved all the bacon and meat and eggs we’ve been having. We shop together at the farmer’s market on saturday. But he doesn’t like to exercise at all. This worries me, as he gets older. He had polio as a child and has a slight disability, but he can swim, and he joined a local pool to do that, but he almost never does. I’m worried that he will lose muscle and bone mass and start falling down more, and eventually have a fracture that might be really disabling. But I’ve given up on encouraging him to… Read more »
John
John
6 years 14 days ago

Hi Shannon,
Since your partner joined a pool, he obviously enjoys/has some interest in swimming. But it’s difficult to keep up a regular, meaningful routine of exercise just swimming laps alone in a pool. You should encourage him to join a masters swim group (lots of pools have them), where the exercise is performed as a group under the direction of a coach, with timed intervals and lots of mixing up of different strokes, speeds, distances, etc. Makes it far more interesting and the time flies!

Mitch
Mitch
4 years 10 months ago

it might get him more motivated if you two swam together! to get him to do the sprints you could say it’s a race maybe?

George
George
6 years 14 days ago
This was an issue with my ex-girlfriend and I (not the reason why we split). She constantly ate pasta, bread, cereal, etc. She made pasta everyday practically. I have good will power when I get going but when I am starting a diet I fall like a drunk on a treadmill. I never resented her for it. She knew what I wanted to do. She would offer to make food for me (pasta) and since my will power was low I conceded. She does suffer from depression…and after doing research on depression I read that depressed people tend to eat… Read more »
Sara
Sara
6 years 14 days ago

This fact intrigues me. My family suffers heavily from depression, and also from diabetes.

Johannah
Johannah
6 years 14 days ago

My father had major depression and committed suicide as a result. Just the other day I ran across an excellent lecture by Dr Robert Sapolsky (Professor at Stanford I believe) on depression that opened my eyes about what my dad was going through with this horrible disease. For anyone interested here’s the link: http://spoken-gems.com/2010/05/04/robert-sapolsky-depression/

George
George
6 years 13 days ago
Thank you for that link. I am going to read up on it some more now. I originally did a wikipedia search and read some about it. I know wikipedia isnt the best for research but it is quick, easy primer to a subject. I feel terrible that people have to live with such a condition. I see my ex, she is an absolutely great person and even better girlfriend. To know that she has to go through that breaks my heart more than when we broke up. I wish I was more proactive in my research but I doubt… Read more »
Stefan
Stefan
6 years 14 days ago

You should read the book “Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival” Among other things it touches on the inter-relationship between sugar, sleep, and mental illnesses.

Kelda
6 years 13 days ago
That is really interesting – I have recovered from bipolar disorder since becoming Primal, my father’s mother’s side of the family were diabetics and she was a manic depressive, her weight fluctuated hugely as the mania and then depression swept through her life. I’ve done battle with the mental side all my life until this year. And I was a gestational diabetic … there is most certainly a link. I’ve found quite a bit on the internet including a diet for bipolarity which low and behold is pretty much what we all follow with PB. I’m hoping Mark will do… Read more »
Patty
6 years 14 days ago
This post just makes me even more grateful for the acceptance, even enthusiasm, my husband has toward my personal quest for the optimal diet. But since going Primal, things have gotten even better. I chalk that up to our improved emotional well-being from all the good protein and fat that was missing from our previous mostly vegetarian and pasta, rice, legume filled diet. As a previous tri-athelete, he did resist giving up pasta, but came to his conclusion that he just felt better without it. He use to stop for Cheetos on the way home, but not anymore. And he… Read more »
Carla
Carla
5 years 10 months ago

wow, that sounds just like my own husband. I has joined me after months of going on about rice and pasta. He lost a bit of the fat he was gaining, has become very lean and better yet… his psoriasis is completelly gone.

Dawn
6 years 14 days ago

It is the temptations that are thrown in your path with a non-primal partner that are the hardest to face. I’m not truly primal but most of the primal/paleo beliefs fit with my own.

But my partner is a million miles away and what he eats sometimes tempts me!

frank_885@hotmail.com
frank_885@hotmail.com
6 years 14 days ago

I find that dont push anything onto your partner. She-He will see the progress, your ENERGY LEVEL, body composition change and will, ONE DAY, go primal! There is no reason why! You just have to keep at it and not to force your partner into it!

Nathan
Nathan
6 years 13 days ago

I agree with you. Since I started eating primal foods and exercising with a purpose, my wife and I have noticed my six pack coming in and she is now making better food choices as well. I never push it on her, I just let her observe. Seems to work slowly but surely at my household.

Devon
Devon
6 years 14 days ago

I agree with RDunn, I’m really glad I’ve started primal living at a time when I live alone. It means I’m less likely to fall of the wagon 🙂

Primal Toad
6 years 14 days ago

Its incredibly EASY to fall off when you live with parents who buy loads of non primal food. I have not fallen off completely but all the wheals are “loose.”

Kris
Kris
6 years 14 days ago
I think it might be a deal-breaker early on in a relationship, but once you’re in for awhile it’s unlikely. Too many other factors by that point. :p That said, it can definitely be a problem. My wife frequently goes all-in on various diets and dietary changes, then loses steam after awhile due to temptation, fatigue, poor results, etc. It was the same with primal living – she stuck with it much longer than most things, but ultimately decided she loved bread and pasta and sweets too much. One of her problems was that she didn’t lose any weight eating… Read more »
PJ
PJ
6 years 14 days ago
I really think there are some other considerations here. For example, are we talking about one healthy person who for mere whim or health-preference wants to go primal? Or are we talking about one person who is dangerously unhealthy, seriously intolerant to certain damaging foods, as a side-effect has addictive reactions to some of them, and is trying to save their own life, literally, and their energy for lifestyle, in the meantime? When I first started eating well my husband took up making pies, cookies, cakes, and deep fried donuts. The man had no interest in sweets for 5 years… Read more »
Kelda
6 years 14 days ago

Wow, and thank you for sharing that.

Jenny
Jenny
6 years 14 days ago

Seconded. And if he was willing to act like this over mere food, I’m sure there were plenty of other factors for divorce too. (no need to get into them here, of course….)

Alhaddadin
Alhaddadin
6 years 14 days ago

Seriously. Word up to you for taking control!

Ricki
Ricki
6 years 14 days ago

Bravo!

Christina
Christina
5 years 12 days ago

For real, bravo.

Kelda
6 years 14 days ago
This is a big one for our family. My husband read all the literature and joined me about six months after I started, he’s lost 6 kg and feels and looks great, better than at anytime in the 15 years since we’ve been together (not bad for a 52 year old!). He isn’t hardline about it though and if he occasionally fancies something non-Grok he’ll eat it. However, my brother’s wife, although very helpful with providing him with his Primal food continues in her eating habits – she is obese, and smokes, and rarely exercises (she drives the 1 mile… Read more »
Alhaddadin
Alhaddadin
6 years 14 days ago
I’m reading some of these horror stories, and I must say, I count myself among the truly lucky. My girlfriend and I met and bonded several years ago over our mutual vegetarianism, which both of us had practiced for more than a decade. When I made the switch to Primal eating (and living), I know that it was a big shock for her. However, I think she was more disconcerted by the macronutrient compositions of the diet (“you’re eating HOW much saturated fat?!”), because she comes at her own eating choices from a background steeped in medical knowledge. There was… Read more »
Andrea Long
Andrea Long
6 years 14 days ago

I am greatful for my awesome husband! He has 100% supported my quest and has stood steadfast with me. He tries absolutely everything I have made (and some of it was not very tastey) and either lets me know if he liked or would prefer something else. He loves his grains and cookies at the moment but I know sometime in the future he’ll jump on board with me full time.

Andrea Long
Andrea Long
6 years 14 days ago

grateful, rather. lol bad spelling.

Patty
6 years 14 days ago

I did the same thing Andrea…just got lucky and caught it before I hit ‘submit”!

Andrea Long
Andrea Long
6 years 14 days ago

tasty too. Man I’m off today.

Peggy
Peggy
6 years 14 days ago

I have considered separating the food into his & hers sections for quite some time now. Think I’m going to do it!

And ask that he not make certain things when I’m home as the scents are pure torture sometimes (ie: popcorn!)

I agree with you Kelda: I can’t understand it either! How can the see you transform & not be the least bit interested?

Scott M
Scott M
6 years 14 days ago

I met a couple in Hawaii last Fall. She was wearing Vibram Five Fingers and he was wearing those rocker shoes; she thought “Born to Run” was the awesome-est book ever, he thought it a load of merde.

Talk about a mixed marriage!

Larry
Larry
6 years 14 days ago

This is one of those instances where “LOL” actually means I laughed out loud!

StevieB
StevieB
6 years 14 days ago
My wife and I have been married for 28 years and we are polar opposites when it comes to health and fitness. I’m always looking for non CW ways to improve my wellbeing. She keeps promising that she’ll come over to the other side but it hasn’t happened yet. I’ve learned to explain what I’m doing without preaching and to gently encourage her to give it a try. Someday It will happen. My only worry is that we are just turning 50. I just hope she realizes that a better health commitment sooner will make life a lot more fun… Read more »
Melodious
Melodious
6 years 14 days ago

I’ve only had to deal with a small similarity to this problem. I shared a house with a friend (I was a renter). She ate pasta literally every night. We found that I would just let her do her thing in the kitchen, because it was pretty fast and didn’t use many dishes (which is why did it – she doesn’t really cook much), then I would take over. I only cooked every 2-4 days, and she would do it almost every day. We joked about it. 🙂

Sara
Sara
6 years 14 days ago
My husband is okay with ME being primal, and is even fine with eating low carb dinners. He, however, eats his lunch at the drive thru almost every day (partially because I can’t seem to pack him a lunch). I don’t know if I’ll ever get him off of diet pepsi. I, myself, have a very weak hold on my diet, and can talk myself into eating whatever is around. He has been very resistant to the pantry purge, and my in my weakness I haven’t done it yet, and I’ve been “trying” to live primally for a year and… Read more »
Joanne
Joanne
6 years 13 days ago

This is just a hunch based on my own experience, but you may want to read a book called Neris and India’s Idiot-proof Diet. It essentially describes a primal/low carb diet but I recommend it for the thorough and frank discussion of the emotional/motivational issues we go through with weight loss (particularly geared at women). It certainly gave me the kick in the pants that I needed to dive into this way of eating and stop giving in to outside pressures. It was also a fun read 🙂

Matt
Matt
6 years 14 days ago
I was fitter/healthier than most before I gave up grains, chips, sweets, etc. So it’s hard for my wife to see where I’m coming from. She’s supportive enough when it comes to my decision. The pain arises with our children. My 7 year old’s diet is primarily bread-based and nothing I do or say is making a difference. It’s probably the only troubling thing in my life right now, so I can’t complain. I just can’t shake it. I want him to eat fruits, nuts, and meat so badly, but she keeps shoveling bagels and sugary granola bars at him–saying… Read more »
Jennifer
Jennifer
6 years 14 days ago

Don’t fight food battles with kids. It’s the biggest waste of time on the planet. All you can do is try to limit the really horrible stuff like sodas and candy.

Jenny
Jenny
6 years 14 days ago

That pediatrician sounds like a failure even by CW standards…

Brian Kozmo
Brian Kozmo
6 years 13 days ago

I am by no means married or a parent, yet, but my response would be to put my foot down and take control of the situation. I’d probably say: NO! I am not allowing this junk in my house. From now on I’ll do the shopping, and I’ll do the cooking. Don’t worry about, because I’ll take care of it.

Angela
Angela
4 years 9 months ago

And that is why you are neither married nor a parent.

Travis Koger
Travis Koger
4 years 7 months ago

LOL!

Carl
Carl
6 years 14 days ago
Wow! It is a tough world out there. I just would like to add that it is not always the reluctant partner’s “fault.” My wife is the one who turned me onto the Primal lifestyle but she did so from an intellectual rather than experiential point of view. When I started living the life, I thought, live and let live would work fine so I kept the food and exercise to myself. i did not want to always be going on and on about the benefits of this and the problems of that, so I kept mum. It finally came… Read more »
Jason Young
Jason Young
6 years 14 days ago
I deal with this daily , my S.O. is deadset to stick with CW despite what I have acheived going primal. she refuses to give up her cereal ,potatoes, pasta ect. I do a lot of the cooking so we are able to work around it and some days we basicaly have two different meals. but a lot of what I prepare the rest of the family loves anyways so it all works out . she has actually lost weight without trying just by eating what I do some of the time. it used make it hard for me sometimes… Read more »
Scott Pierce
Scott Pierce
6 years 14 days ago

I don’t have an issue with the “you do your food thing, I’ll do mine” beyond the logistics. However… the kids. They aren’t mature enough to make their own choices here. My S.O. isn’t exactly hostile about it and is letting me set the menu for the month of February. Now I gotta figure out breakfast for six kids, a spouse and myself! The other meals are a challenge but breakfast is the quintessential carbfest.

Scott Pierce
Scott Pierce
6 years 14 days ago

One more thing, I’m putting together a “primal primer” class for my older kids and wife before February. Should be interesting to see if they “get it”.

PrimalSteve
PrimalSteve
6 years 13 days ago
Hi Scot, I took the original recipe from the paleoplan.com and have been eating them Monday to Friday at breakfast time for two months. They are a little high in carbs (according to fitday) for some people but worth a go! Ingredients 2 cups blanched almond flour 2 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon celtic sea salt 1 tablespoon cinnamon 1 cup dates, pitted 3 ripe bananas 3 eggs 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar/lemon juice ¼ cup coconut oil/ almond oil 1 ½ cups carrots, shredded ¾ cup walnuts, finely chopped Alternative Dried apricots, ground ginger and the zest and juice… Read more »
Karen Baldwin
6 years 14 days ago

Wow, I really needed this post today. I need to be on a very restrictive diet for my health and two of my 4 children eat gluten free. My husband likes his breads, crackers and ice cream and sometimes it is all I can do to walk out of the room. I think it all comes down to respecting others choices…..it has been a huge learning curve for me! Thanks again

Adrian Pearson
Adrian Pearson
6 years 14 days ago
I got into this lifestyle recently through reading. This started with following links from Nassim Taleb to Gary Taubes and Art de Vany and on to Body by Science and Mark. Issue 1) is my wife doesn’t think you can learn from books. She wanted to lose weight and pushed me into buying an exercise bike and then a treadmill, neither of which she uses(but the exercise bike admittedly makes a good clothes hanger), but she can’t relate to my enthusiasm fired by learning from reading. This did get me on the road to exercise though. Issue 2) is that… Read more »
Ely
Ely
6 years 13 days ago

Don’t fight over rice. It’s way less harmful to you than other grains. If you can get rid of the other stuff & save yourself some marriage trouble, you’ll be in better shape.

Bennett
Bennett
6 years 14 days ago
Going Primal didn’t really cause a lot of hassle until my SO and I moved in together. There were a lot of conflicts early on about the cost of meat in particular vs. that of pasta, cereal, and other SAD staples. A little at a time I’ve been able to get her into healthier dietary habits (though she refuses to touch a salad, and I almost never see her with a vegetable of any kind), but she still keeps the pasta and cereals around, still likes to buy breaded chicken and the like, and almost seems to have taken a… Read more »
Cheryl
Cheryl
6 years 14 days ago

I usually tell my coworkers and friends that diabetes runs in my family (which it does), and I am taking preventative measures against it. That usually keeps the conversation pretty neutral.

Sara
Sara
6 years 14 days ago

I’ve used that one, too, and it does seem to help. Often, though, I get the “a little won’t hurt”. I then explain to them that I’m one of those people who can’t eat “just a little” of anything.

Kelda
6 years 13 days ago

Which you are! Loading the human form with more sugars than we evolved to deal with will certainly result in some illness of some form or another at some point!

I do the same, don’t name diabetes but say I need to keep my sugar low when pressed … I’ve long since stopped trying to explain, as soon as you mention evolution eyes roll and you are on a hiding to nothing!

Brian Kozmo
Brian Kozmo
6 years 13 days ago

Wow, do waitresses seriously ask you why you don’t want a regular soda?

Carol
Carol
6 years 13 days ago

How’s this?: I ordered a hamburger-no-bun and a side of green beans at a typical chain restaurant and the waitress was enthusiastic when she brought it to the table! I almost fell over.

Bennett
Bennett
6 years 13 days ago

Yeah. I’m a tall, lean guy (borderline skinny) so ordering a ‘diet’ gets a funny look. More often the problem is having to send back a regular one when they get lazy and don’t think I’ll notice.

Kelda
6 years 12 days ago

Have a read of ‘diet’ drinks here on MDA, just having the sweet taste in the mouth can trigger the undesirable sugar reaction the PB is trying to combat!

Brian Kozmo
Brian Kozmo
6 years 11 days ago

Yea, I’ve also heard bad things about diet. I haven’t had soda (diet or regular) in over a year now, and I crave it in no way shape or form. I’m sure they wouldn’t give you such a hard time if you just ordered water! 😉

Classic
Classic
6 years 14 days ago

My partner is the one in our household who chose to go primal first. I was adamant that I would not do another crazy “diet” as I had already done sooooo many over my 58yrs. After seeing how much energy she gained and great she felt I said I would try it for 30 days. That was back in February and there has been no looking back. woohoo

Alison Golden
6 years 14 days ago
For several years now I’ve diverged from conventional eating both the food and the timing. I’ve tried many different ways of eating to help with behavioral issues in my kids which was the impetus for experimenting with different ways of eating in the first place. All along my husband who eats reasonably healthily carried on doing his own thing. Over time, about 5 years, we’ve found a way to be. He has stopped bringing Pepsi into the house and often does small amounts of grocery shopping to buy the things he wants to eat. For my part, I’ve had to… Read more »
Milliann Johnson
Milliann Johnson
6 years 14 days ago

Any change contrary to whats going on around you requires one thing “you got to get your mind straight” here’s a somewhat humorous, but intense article on the subject that helped me with becoming a non-smoker living with alot of smokers! http://selftalk4success.com/blog/2009/07/25/self-talk-quotes/ grok on

Amber
Amber
6 years 14 days ago

My situation isn’t so much about wanting him to join me, I just don’t want the eye rolling when he wants me to eat the split pea soup he’s made or the argument over quinoa being a seed when I say it’s a grain. So frustrating! We’ve always cooked and eaten “healthy” so I don’t get why this is that big of a deal. He says he doesn’t like feeling limited when he’s creating dishes. I see it as true creativity when eating this way. Oh well, he’ll get used to it or he won’t!

Alise
Alise
6 years 14 days ago
I find myself challenged in dating due to this issue. I have been primal for about 2 years, and it was my now ex-boyfriend who introduced me to it. It was fantastic being with someone who shared my eating habits and commitment to health and fitness. Now I can’t imagine a different situation. I am trying to find balance in my dating life now. I’m trying to imagine how I could ever be in a serious relationship with someone who would want our kids to have “whole grains and milk” every day. Obviously I can’t just write off every guy… Read more »
Amber
Amber
6 years 14 days ago

I think you’ll find that this is a life-style a lot of people are adopting. I bet it won’t be that hard to find someone with your views!

Brian Kozmo
Brian Kozmo
6 years 13 days ago

Go to some paleo get togethers in your area and do some networking!

Alise
Alise
6 years 11 days ago

Thanks, that is a good idea. I’m also a crossfit athlete so i’ve been trying to encourage the group to do more get togethers outside of the gym. Maybe its time I took it upon myself to host a paleo get together!

Robert
Robert
6 years 12 days ago

I’m in the same position. When you see how important a primal diet is, it really does become quite hard to compromise.

I’d just rather avoid the inevitable tension and keep my standards high.

Alise
Alise
6 years 11 days ago

I agree! There are quite a few people on this planet so I’m confident that it is not necessary to compromise on something so important.

Robert
Robert
6 years 11 days ago

Mark needs to set up a Primal dating service…

Michael
Michael
6 years 7 days ago
alright!! so I’m not the only one that thinks this. good to know! Maybe we should hook up, lol. I actually was thinking of joining crossfit for the same reason but not so much for a girl, just other primal people in general, and because I want to do it. it’s double the cost of my normal gym though and I can do everything there already. finding a girl on the primal diet that is also a good match… I’ve been thinking it’s closer to impossible than just being hard. maybe us primal people should get some kind of sign… Read more »
Erin
Erin
6 years 14 days ago
My husband did not used to be into the whole Primal thing at all. I did the grocery shopping, but I gave him an “allowance” each week for things that he wanted to pick out — so the cupboards were mostly Primal, but if there was something he really felt the need for, he could have it. He’s lactose intolerant, although I’m not, so I’ve always had dairy in the house that he doesn’t touch. Recently, his stomach had really been giving him a lot of problems, so I directed him to MDA to look around. He was very pleased… Read more »
Rachel
6 years 14 days ago
Oh, boy, try being a teenager in a family of 6. I have no input into what isn’t in the pantry. I can go out and spend my money on eggs and farmer’s market stuff, sure, but the candy will always be there. Plus, my dad, while it’s comforting that he worries about my health, feels that eliminating wheat is an extreme. Because my family is naturally slender, he sees no point in watching what he eats. Yet he has a number of health problems. Diet isn’t always about weight! I don’t think he gets that. I’m most concerned about… Read more »
Michael
Michael
6 years 7 days ago

eating wheat is an extreme!

that’s what I reckon anyway.

Erin
Erin
6 years 14 days ago

I would like to say that I found it quite an amazing breakthrough when we were shopping together and I asked for the third time, “Now, before we go check out, are you SURE you don’t want a box of cereal? Not even your favorite kind?” “Nope, I told you I don’t want to eat that stuff anymore. It makes my stomach not feel good.”

Primal 1, CW 0

Patty
6 years 14 days ago

Yay!!!!

Zyzzyx
Zyzzyx
6 years 14 days ago
I’m not dealing with an just S.O., I’m also dealing with my parents. I’ve been staying in their house the last few years while they were working out of state; they just moved back, so I’m living with them for awhile until I find a place. Dad is type 1 diabetic for many years now. I think he can see the benefits of the primal diet, especially the weight loss side (he should drop ~25#). He’s already been doing quite well with his diet, and understand carb counts, now I just need to get him to lower the carbs. Mom,… Read more »
Crystal
6 years 14 days ago
For the most part my husband and I have a good understanding on food, and since I am a chef and do all the cooking he eats what I make. Sometimes I will make him a small portion of pasta because he doesn’t want to do the spaghetti squash or veggies. He’s a carb and meat kind of person. The one issue I have that I get annoyed with is how reluctant he is to look at his food choices as being a cause for the migraine headaches or heart burn. I tell him he should consider going off gluten… Read more »
frances
frances
6 years 14 days ago
Not an issue in my house. I’m new to primal, my husband has not been interested, but makes primal dinners anyway (our dinners were pretty much primal before we knew what primal was). Interestingly, he went to his doctor a few days ago (chronic back probs from lack of exercise) and told the dr about how I’m eating primal. She had never heard of it before, but told him, “Start eating the same way!!” She’s convinced it’ll help his back. Interesting!! I think we have more of a conflict around exercise. I’m very serious about training (muay thai, running, kettlebells),… Read more »
Crystal
6 years 14 days ago
We’ve had issue with exercise at the gym. I could go for an easy 1 hour long session, but he is done with about 10 minutes of light lifting, then stands around watching me sweat. I get annoyed, as in, why the hell did I bring you if you just want to do nothing and watch TV. So, I’ve been trying to arrange more HIIT exercises that we are both done with in 15 minutes. I’ve expressed some of my success with doing the primal/paleo thing. I used to have horrible hip pain in my joints that I would mostly… Read more »
Lindsay
Lindsay
6 years 14 days ago

I eat mostly primal, but my husband doesn’t and it can be quite challenging. We always sat down and ate dinner together, but after joining Crossfit 7 months ago I’m never home for dinner and when we can eat together on the weekends, he always wants junk. It’s weird sometimes he’s supportive and other times its like he doesn’t even know I eat primal and offers me crap! Frustrating and tempting all in one. So happy to know I’m not alone. I’ll never go back to my old ways, but I do cheat every once in awhile. Great thread.

Crystal
6 years 14 days ago
I know how you feel. I will ask “What do you want for dinner?” The first words out of his mouth: pizza. I haven’t touched pizza since July 4th. One night he wanted pizza so much that I went with him to eat and I wondered around the area to find something for me to eat, and no dice for me… so I had to wait feeling hungry while he ate his pizza and a beer, and then I made he watch me eat a big plate of smoked brisket with slaw. Guess who was hungry a couple hours later?… Read more »
Gwen
Gwen
6 years 14 days ago
This is an interesting topic and one that I think about very often. My husband and I have been married for 2 years and while he eats fairly healthy there is always room for improvement. I am primal. I shouldn’t complain, really. He’s not out eating fast food all the time but he does LOVE his rices, pastas, cereals, etc. It drives me insane. He does like eating squash, veggies, etc. But at the same time he says he gets bored with them easily and needs more variety….hence having the rices and pastas. What I find the most difficult is… Read more »
Sarah
Sarah
6 years 9 days ago
My SO and I do something similar. I do the shopping and only buy a few things I won’t eat (sandwich bread and chips for lunches) so most of the food in the house is healthy. I feel that making his lunch most of the time, even with things I wont eat, is healthier than going out and getting something worse. If he doesn’t feel like veggies with dinner he can cook his own side which doesn’t typically happen. And as for the other family members, my sister and BFF are very supportive, my mom thinks that I should eat… Read more »
Sarah
Sarah
6 years 9 days ago

Oh and on the nights I’m not home because of class he usually eats stuff like pizza and mac n cheese so he makes an effort not to eat stuff he thinks I might want in front of me 🙂

Jennifer
Jennifer
6 years 14 days ago

It’s not only spouses. I recently moved back in with my mom to afford to go back to school full time. She’s in mom-mode constantly with the “balanced” meals and always asking if I want ice cream or cookies or chocolate, etc….it’s slow going, but I’ve gotten her off of the grain based carbs for the most part. Baby steps.

drdavidflynn
drdavidflynn
6 years 14 days ago

The depression and carb link is interesting. I would not consider myself to be a depressive type, but a primal diet has had a very positive effect on my mood.

Mary
Mary
6 years 14 days ago
I’m a low-carber, and my spouse is just now getting used to the idea that he can live without a third of his plate being pasta or rice or potatoes. I still make carb sides for him, but I make less and generally de-carb them when possible, so he is gradually eating more meat and veg and less carb. At first, he marveled how I could get enough to eat without eating rice or pasta, but now he gets it – after years of seeing me ladle homemade spaghetti sauce over sauteed veggies, eat beef vegetable soup ‘naked’ while putting… Read more »
Jeff
6 years 14 days ago

I’ve noticed that people around me are converting little by little. Everyone agrees that they feel better when they eat paleo.

Lance
Lance
6 years 14 days ago

The issue in my house is she does all of the shopping and most of the cooking.And I do not want to seem ungrateful at meal times. That said she does go out of her way to accommodate me most of the time and I don’t refuse to eat whats on the table when she can’t. Of course it would be easier if I could sell the primal thing, but for now a little compromise is required.

Pixy
Pixy
6 years 14 days ago
My boyfriend is usually pretty good about supporting my unconventional eating habits. For instance, we were going to get lunch and he suggested a soup/sandwich joint he really liked. I knew there probably wouldn’t be anything there I could eat, and after a little argument we decided on Brazilian BBQ instead. Delicious. 🙂 I only see him on weekends, but it seems like he fluctuates a lot with his diet, going from healthy stuff like home-made fish and veggie stews, salads, chicken, eggs and veggies to crap like bagels and diet coke (total caffeine junkie). He jokes about the “caveman”… Read more »
Barb
Barb
6 years 13 days ago

Remember, you could have a “naked” sandwich at his favorite place–meat w/ tomatoes, lettuce, onions and side salad–and skip the bread. Think of ways you can negotiate this part of your social contract.

Arty
Arty
5 years 2 months ago

That is what I do.
Everybody orders a sandwich/burger with buns…so do I, except when I’m done eating the buns will be left behind on my plate.

Carol
Carol
6 years 13 days ago

I have no issues when I order something breadless or substitute extra vegetables for fries. Restaurants are used to it now. I also have been known to eat the top off pizza with a fork, but I’m a little shy about that.

Dawn
Dawn
6 years 14 days ago
My husband loves the meat (esp bacon), but that’s where the similarities stop. I buy the groceries and they are all primal. He goes to the store for cookies when he wants and I can’t/don’t/won’t stop him — he is however about 60-70 lbs overweight and I am in great shape. He tells me all the time “I have never seen anyone eat as much as you and never gain weight.” Hello – I am eating veggies, meat, eggs, berries, etc etc, not cookies, donuts, cakes, and pies. But, we co-exist just fine. He thinks I am nuts but loves… Read more »
Carol
Carol
6 years 13 days ago

Wow, that’s my story in a nutshell! We used to be binge buddies; now he buys his own junk food and stores it (mostly) out of my sight. I cook for myself and add a starch for him. He loves that I’m healthier, but he’s hung up on sugar and flour. Meanwhile, he’s got all these ailments that would probably respond to primal eating. I don’t resort to arm-twisting and he’s not interested in changing, so we agree to disagree on food. Peacefully.

Ricardo
Ricardo
6 years 14 days ago

Been lurking for a while, but I’m coming out of the shadow to give Mark props for an incredibly thought provoking and well-written thread. Definitely struck a chord with me. We have to focus on our own health and happiness and if our S.O.’s follow our example, wonderful. Too often, our arguments about food are about our own fear of failure, or a desire to “fix” the other person. And if we’ve lived a little, we know that never works!!

Rob
Rob
6 years 14 days ago
I guess I have it pretty good. I can’t imagine dating a CW. My GF and I have managed to agree on almost everything when it comes to diet, and it’s gone through some drastic changes. She’s been a real gift. When we met we were both vegan eating a SAD (terrible amounts of fabricated vegan pretend food). Then she went to nutritional/culinary school at The Natural Gourmet Institute in NY and we started adjusting our diets almost completely in unison. I remember the first thing we stopped buying – soy milk. A big step for a vegan. Then margarine.… Read more »
alleycat
alleycat
6 years 14 days ago

I have a wonderful husband who has put up with many of my latest fads as long as they don’t interfere with him. However, I was getting concerned about his slow weight gain and decided (without asking the poor man)to send him with primal salads to work. He admits that he was extremely unenthusiastic but was impressed that he didn’t feel hungry until the afternoon. 3 months later he is at his ideal weight and loving his lunches!

lisa
lisa
6 years 14 days ago
I guess i’m lucky in a way…I’ve only been eating this way for about 6 weeks but i’ve lost 7lbs(which is a triumph when you have thyroid issues) I do all of the grocery shopping at my house and so my daughter and I eat Primal. My husband isn’t home during meals until his 2 days off, and since he eats alot of crap during the week he acctualy requests lots of veggies, and real meat. I do try to pack him a lunch when we have left-overs which he appreciates. He also tries the “different” things i make. He… Read more »
Julie Aguiar
Julie Aguiar
6 years 14 days ago
Oh, how I have ranted about this before! Well, here it goes again… I am a healthy 115 lbs of active woman who has “fixed” a lifetime of SEVERE eczema,allergies, sinus infections,Gall Bladder issues, etc.. by going paleo/primal.(the most I ever weighed non prego was about 130) I am married (barely) to a 300 lb man who is a total sugar/carb addict. zero exercise. He has vascular problems in his legs, but is otherwise healthy (?). His family is all overweight diabetics with heart disease. He suffers from frequent sinus infections. He is currently very depressed, which I believe has… Read more »
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