Trouble going back to Paleo/Budget/NON Paleo Spouse?

by 25 · April 07, 2014 at 12:16 AM

I'm apologize in advance for this most likely turning into a super long post.. I'm looking for advice on multiple issues and could really use some first hand experience if anyone has anything to offer. I AM reading through all previous questions as well but I figured I'd go ahead and post this as well.

I switched to Paleo several months ago but have since fallen off the bandwagon. After an initially harsh carb flu/die off I felt better than I have in my entire life. Giving up grains/sugar was relatively easy for me and this new lifestyle/new way of eating really agreed with me. During a particularly overwhelming period of stress it just became too much to deal with. I've been trying to go back but have been unsuccessful. Honestly I can't even tell you why I gave it up, as it literally made me feel so SO much better. For some reason I just am having problems taking the leap again? Can anyone offer any sources of motivation?

I do have 2 issues that I could use some advice on.

The first is budget. I don't have a lot of money to put down initially. I'm struggling and barely making it paycheck to paycheck. I do have access to a farmers market. I haven't gone yet and have heard that this particular one is not the best but I figured it can't hurt to try it out and see whats available, right? I also have a small backyard flock of chickens so I am abundant with free range eggs. I hope to make these the majority of my diet, along with leafy greens (love love LOVE spinach) but am having a hard time figuring out what to do with so many eggs without getting burnt out haha. We will also have a few chickens to butcher (like maybe 3, so not really enough to stockpile but anything helps!). Next year I hope to plant a garden and be in a better financial situation where I can save up to afford to stock the freezer with some free range beef/pork (there's actually an organic/grass fed butcher right down the road from me) and maybe even join a CSA to fill in the holes. Those unfortunately arent options right now though. Frozen veggies and tuna are also a quick, cheap, and healthy lunch. Anymore suggestions?

The second issue, and probably my biggest obstacle is that my husband is very unsupportive. He is not Paleo, nor does he have any desire to be. He doesn't eat very many vegetables and especially hates the ones I enjoy most (spinach, peppers, squash, etc). With our crazy schedules its hard enough to find time to cook dinner - nevermind two separate dinners! A lot of times I can make a meat, veggie, and then rice or some other type of grain on the side for him - but if I try to make paleo recipes (for example I once made stuffed peppers with spinach and other veggies and no grains) it's harder to make a paleo version AND non paleo version. It's also nearly impossible to eliminate any SAD foods in my house (which is what made the first go round so so easy) because he still enjoys these foods. Does anyone have a spouse/family that is NOT paleo - how do you find balance without forcing your views on the other person?

Thank you in advance! I can't wait to get back to my Paleo journey - I'm just not exactly sure how to get there!

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14 Replies

219 · September 07, 2012 at 01:39 PM

I have pretty much the same situation as yours. My spouse loves his sweet tea, fried chicken, etc. I am also a stay at home mom, so I don't need to tell you that our food budget is tight. I do try to make the tastiest foods for all of us. I leave off the starches most of the time. He can make it for himself if he wants. When I started this, I asked him to just taste everything I make, and if he didn't like it, fine. Definitely don't force the issue though. We still have our eat out days too. I still do buy some snacks for the kids, but I try to pick the healthiest I can. String cheese, fruit, etc. My son is very small for his age, so I have to be careful not to make him lose weight!

As far as the budget goes, I buy organic, etc., when it's on sale, or when we can afford it. I take an omega 3 supplement as well. When it comes down to it, I had to readjust the way I was thinking about my food budget. My health is more important than having extra spending money. So, if that means that we spend more on better food, so be it. I'm not saying that you might have the same situation as far as money goes, but I take from a category in my budget that isn't necessary

Motivation wise, like a pp said, you just have to jump in sometimes. Put your doubts about yourself and whether or not you can do it aside, and just do it! If you screw up, oh well. Start over the next meal, or next day, or whatever. Every new day (even new second) is a chance to turn it back around. Good luck!

1630 · September 07, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Self-encouragement. And just doing it anyway.

See, your ego doesn’t really want to do it. So it lets you do it for a while and then it sabotages you, just to prove you wrong and get what it wants (to not change.)

Regarding the budget. Keep it simple. For now you don't need all the organic, grass fed etc produce. No processed,grains etc You know the deal. Get a bunch of veggies and use those. You speak about not getting burnt out, well just make the sacrifice, it's your health after all. It is only temporary. Raw milk,egg(yolks) and a banana smoothie. That is breakfast for me everyday. Quick ,simple and cheap.(delicious too!)

I am the only person who eats paleo at my house. Don't,even by mistake, encourage your husband to eat the way you eat. It won't work. Keep doing what you are doing, results speak for themselves. As for the food issue you'll be surprised how easy this is actually. For example at my house there are a lot of dishes that contain non-paleo ingredients. It doesn't mean i get different food made for me. For example today for lunch there was Butter chicken This usually contains milk and a few other ingredients i do not eat. So just before the milk is added i remove a decent portion for myself. There's no need to make something completely different. I can give more examples if needed, as i have lots of experience with this :p

Good luck with this, start today!

26083 · September 07, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Budget wise, Asian markets are typically very cheap for decent quality veggies, so that's an option. Also eggs can be prepared in a million different ways. Google-around and see if there's a new way to cook them (poached in tomato sauce with pork loin comes to mind).

For the spouse, this is something I just don't get. My wife is not paleo/primal, but she understands that this is my lifestyle. She's very supportive. If she doesn't like what I make, she makes her own dinner. He's a big boy, let him make what he wants.

19504 · September 07, 2012 at 10:44 AM

A lot of the advantage of Paleo is avoiding wheat and seed oils. These are free.

I am the only Paleo in my family and I shop and often cook. I cook mostly normalish food but leave the pasta on the side and the bread on the side. I eat white rice sometimes. I get to eat paleo and my family gets the food they are use to.

25 · September 08, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Thanks again for all the answers (not posting from my phone this time so hopefully this reply only posts once haha)

It's SO reassuring to hear I'm not the only one living with non paleo family members. It's kind of tough because dinner is "my" thing, while he covers other things like most of the laundry/cleaning, etc due to our work hours. I love the idea of doing my "experiments" for breakfast/lunch and then something simple for dinner that we can both enjoy/modify as needed.

I am definitely worried about getting burnt out on eggs - NOTHING to do with paleo haha. This is first flock and half of our girls have just started laying. When the rest get started (should be only a few more weeks) we will literally be up to our EYEBALLS in eggs. We've alreaedy been giving them away to friends and family and the amount is about to double. I do have to say it's super exciting having eggs from our very own chickens - and the chickens have been so much fun to care for which is something I didn't really expect. Sorry to get off topic!

I am still confused on the stuffed peppers being feminine... but whatever, everyone's entitled to their opinion.

I have jumped in so to say... I did eat some rice last night because I'm not going to throw away good food but after that I'm done. I think the key thing for me is planning ahead so I don't come home late for work and end up making that box of kraft mac and cheese ( which btw I HATE, eww) because I'm too tired to make something else . I went out and bought a weeks worth of food for my lunches next week which cost me under $15 for the whole week. Nothing special. My go to lunches while at work are frozen veggies with lots of butter and canned chicken of tuna all mixed together. I'm typically not very hungry at lunch time but I have to eat something because if I skip it I'm half dead a few hours later. This is light enough it doesn't make me feel sick and keeps me going well until dinner time. Not the PICTURE of health but it's easy and quick and it'll do just fine for the time being.

I'm very excited to get my health back on track (through diet and other changes I'm trying to implement a little at a time) and I very much appreciate all the great information on this site!

4234 · September 07, 2012 at 10:50 PM

I have a non-supportive spouse. I cook all the delicious paleo everything that I like and have it for breakfast or lunch. For dinner I cook the basic simple paleo stuff he will eat, such as a piece of meat and a couple vegetables. Once in a while, I will cook him pasta noodles and make myself zucchini noodles to go with the sauce. Or I'll make a big batch of rice to serve on the side for him and I'll just go without. A couple of times out of spite I made myself juicy delicious rare steaks and served him frozen pizza.

246 · September 07, 2012 at 05:39 PM

also; if you live in an area that allows chickens- possibly you have neighbors with gardens. maybe see if you could barter extra eggs for their surplus items? basically just jump back in; the water isn't THAT cold. re: the husband- hmm tough nut. maybe just let the SAD items be used up gradually and not replace them? tell him to set a good example for the kid/s? not much to give here, sorry! HTH, Betsy

25 · September 07, 2012 at 05:24 PM

Thanks so much for all the replies!

You're right about jumping in, I think I have issues with eating something I shouldnt and then giving up, when in reality if I slip once and a while..nobig deal, try again.

And just to clarify: I know the difference between low carb and grain free. I have crohns and a host of other medical issues and eliminating grains really did seem to help. Also I was by no means undereating. I actually ate quite a bit more. The stuffedpeppers were just an example of part of a meal where I tried a paleo friendly recipe. They contained a lot more than spinach -that's just the ingredient my hubby had an issue with :)

5330 · September 07, 2012 at 12:31 PM

In my situation I just try to make the tastiest food I can and hope my wife likes it. She still gets her own non-paleo foods but there is no reason to be dogmatic.

For you, I'd suggest making meat and potatoes (or rice/other starch) and vegetables for meals. If he doesn't want the veggies, you get more. I have never met a man who does not enjoy meat and potatoes with butter.

All in all it boils down to cook as tasty of food as you can, and never say the word "paleo."

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0 · October 11, 2012 at 07:02 AM

I too was on the wagon for almost 6 months and now I've been off for about 6 months. It sucks. I have health issues that don't cause pain so it is easy for me to ignore. The only thing is that I have gained well over 10 pounds and I am to the point where I will have to buy "really fat" clothes if I don't jump back on that wagon. It was easy the first time. Why is it hard now? I should really feel lucky eating tons of meat and veggies... no filler. My fiance isn't paleo and doesn't get hungry. So, it is hard when I am a foodie/ emotional eater.

Have you had luck getting back on the wagon?

11251 · September 07, 2012 at 05:16 PM

Conventional meat works if you are on a budget. Brisket and pork roasts are often on sale.

You just can't do anything about other people. My transformation is remarkable enough; I should have followers or something. Some people like to talk about diet, but no one actually does anything. Perhaps wheat is more addictive than cigarettes.

25 · September 07, 2012 at 05:15 PM

Thanks so much for all the replies!

You're right about jumping in, I think I have issues with eating something I shouldnt and then giving up, when in reality if I slip once and a while..nobig deal, try again.

And just to clarify: I know the difference between low carb and grain free. I have crohns and a host of other medical issues and eliminating grains really did seem to help. Also I was by no means undereating. I actually ate quite a bit more. The stuffedpeppers were just an example of part of a meal where I tried a paleo friendly recipe. They contained a lot more than spinach -that's just the ingredient my hubby had an issue with :)

571 · September 07, 2012 at 01:59 PM

I think you should be feeding him beef, mince, decent burgers, potatoes, rice and butter and don't force vegetables on him if he doesn't like them. You don't have to pay for all the grass-fed stuff, the pufa's in normal lamb and beef are very low. What is cheaper than lamb's liver and onions or minced beef? I bet he likes onions and probably mushrooms fried in the juices of the meat.

Your spinach and stuffed peppers type foods sounds less like a clash between the man and paleo than him clashing with nouvelle cuisine undernourishment. Stuffed peppers with spinach doesn't sound tasty to me either. Your interpretation of "paleo" is very feminized. I was introduced to the paleo concept a couple of years back at the 'Manly Excellence' forum where I don't think any of them eat vegetables or grass-fed meat. They just eat loads of red meat and do lots of dead lifts. I bet I could cook meals that he'd like. My wife is a vegetarian and I often cook meals for her to her satisfaction.

I think you should know that feeling good on your short venture into low-carb dieting meant nothing. Seriously, I've known an anorexic and a fruitarian who felt great at first and for quite a long time. You didn't keep it up, you folded under stress. If you'd been following a fully satisfying regimen you would have kept it up knowing it was the most fulfilling and best way to eat.

Anyhow, I'm basically following Paul Jaminet's 'Perfect Health Diet' and eating safe carbs, meat, lots of fat and veggies to taste. You won't need to spend as much on meat and fish if you include generous amounts of staple calories. 80% of the benefits of paleo come from removing wheat from the diet.

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