Anyone live with a non-paleo spouse or S.O.? Do you just maintain separate diets? Eat meals together but have separate dishes?
My wife and I have been married just under a year, dated for a couple of years before that, and have eaten the same meal maybe 20 times in that span, mostly at large family events.
We have separate grocery lists, cook our meals independently most of the time (the biggest exception being when I light the grill and she'd like a steak or a piece of chicken), and are responsible for our own food. In the evening, she'll usually ask me when I'm planning to have dinner, and we're pretty good about having our meals hit the table within a few minutes of each other. (And a steak benefits from a good five minute rest before cutting it, you know.)
This arrangement started because a) I love to cook, b) she can't cook, c) I cooked a lot of meat even before I saw the paleo light, and she prefers grains. Now I cook exclusively paleo, and I've explained my thinking, and she's seen my results. She still prefers grains, but I have a lot of other reasons to love her.
Her mother is a little horrified by our "his & her food" plan, but she's the "domestic goddess" type and I have no complaints about her daughter not picking that up. My wife and I are partners in life, just not in meal preparation.
I'm the cook in my house at least for dinner, so I just make whatever I want. That way I know they at least get one meal my way. I met my wife pre-paleo, so it was a lot of fighting when I made the change. I love cooking and a lot of my old meals were decent paleo anyway....lots of butter, adding bacon to lean cuts, so I think that helped the transition some. She's a big bread eater, so when I stopped making cookies and all those sweet things on my days off, there was much saddness. Of course, one big. And her oldest son (previous marriage) was also overweight and they put him in the gym with a nutrionist. That went on for a while with good success. After the gym enthusiasm wore off and seperate meals for the kid were no longer as frequent, the kid actually lost more weight "my way" with no gym. That opened some eyes. HA HA HA.
Also, I give and take a little. If I grill a burger, I'll serve it on a bun for them that way they don't feel I'm controlling every aspect of their food. I think the results speak volumes and it's just a matter of time and patience before most rational people see the obvious.
This topic is hilarious to me; I spent 8 years as a vegan/vegetarian and just started adding in animal products around 6 months ago. Within that period I've met and married a vegan and started hard into paleo. At this point, I'm almost completely carnivore minus a few garden veg and local berries. He never knew me as a vegan, and at 28, he's pretty used to keeping his proselytising to the rallies. But I suppose we're still quite the odd couple in this respect :)
I will say he eats pretty sensibly for a vegan; no soy, no gluten, no processed foods. It's kind of hilarious how different our meals look though, me with my nearly raw-rare bloody steak and bone marrow, him with 6 bananas and 2 pounds of spinach. It's a testament to how insanely chill the guy is, which is probably why I married him :P
I still balk at how he's managed it this long, I'm pretty certain he's a genetic freak. The man was raised as a vegan/fruitarian and somehow manages to be 185 pounds (at 6'2). I'd say it pokes holes into my paleo theories but then, I've tried being a fruitarian. Worst year ever.
It's pretty simple to eat together. For instance at breakfast I'll eat bacon and eggs and drink black coffee and my spouse will just add some toast/jam and maybe a small glass of OJ. We both do protein shakes as well.
Suppertime, it's similar. I'll eat a big honkin' salad, meat, and veggies and he'll eat a small salad, meat, veggies, and potato. We both have red wine with dinner.
If we go out to lunch I scan the menu for something on the Paleo side and he eats whatever he wants.
Since I am the chief cook and bottle-washer I can sort of steer his choices to a degree by cooking yam instead of potato for example. He likes awful stuff like creamed corn and every once in awhile he just has to have a fix!
Yep, my guy is stuck on bread and is still a little afraid of high fat and dairy (yes, I know not everyone considers dairy legit). He likes duck fat and meat and paté and all kinds of good things, but has this idea that if he's not full with what I've served (usually meat + a veggie/salad) that having more of the same will make him fat, but having 2 or 3 slices of bread is a good choice. I can't get him to drop the bread habit.
I'm the only cook in the house -- unless it's BBQing steak -- so I've just started making my changes, and he's none the wiser. Oh, if he knew how much lard and coconut oil I use... lol
Also he's a fan of snacking before bed on bread and ham + onion, or chips. I just opt out. But I'd like to be able to convince him not to.
He has come a long way, though. When we met he was eating lean everything, low-fat processed cheese slices, "air bread" and way too much rice, corn and tuna. It's taken a few years, but his diet has really changed a whole lot.
Yup, and we maintain separate diets. Actually, it's more like a Venn diagram, because she does eat some of what I eat.
One of the most popular questions when people find out how I eat/live: "Does your wife eat the same way?"
"No, because she looooooooves mashed potatoes."
I encouraged my wife to take a test to see if she had food allergies. Turned out she was gluten and casein intolerant. She has now sworn off dairy and gluten containing foods so she is nearly in line with Paleo. This has made things a lot easier.
Perhaps you can get your spouse to take a test: http://www.enterolab.com/
My girlfriend is Italian so I don't think I'll ever get her off pasta, That aside, we eat together most nights.
We both like to cook, so it's about 50/50 who cooks. On my days she'll usually eat what I make but add a carb. Potatoes, french fries, rice, ect... Some nights she'll make something paleo, and others it'll be spaghetti and garlic bread. At that point I grab some eggs and the frying pan.
On the rare occasions we're both home in the morning, she is not allowed in the kitchen. Breakfast is my domain. And she eats whatever I cook.
I do the vast majority of the cooking, and my guy is a bread-eating vegetarian. He has no fear of fats, but he is simply not interested in eating meat. I actually have a serious gluten problem, so I never eat many of his favorite foods (pretzels, mashed potatoes) any more than he eats mine (roasted dark chicken meat, steak, carnitas, etc).
I do cook dark leafy greens for myself (usually at breakfast) with bacon grease, but other than that, I keep veggies vegetarian so we can share those. He can't manage spinach at breakfast anyway. :D
I was a vegetarian for the first five years we were together, and I got hugely fat on that diet. I've lost 60 lbs. since I started eating meat again in 2001. It's pretty obvious that diet was really bad for me, so we never argue about my diet or his.
My wife is training for another marathon so her eating is based on a lean protein, low glycemic carb kind of diet. She cooks egg whites; I have fried eggs in butter. She has soy creamer; I enjoy heavy cream.
She'll continue to eat her manner until the marathon, then I think she's up for the switch and not because of any pressure (I don't mention anything, just my reasoning noting she shouldn't change her process and throw off her marathon training.) I think she's up for the switch because her trainer is eating paleo and she's seeing the weight coming off of me just with weight training 2x a week, an occasional sprint and an occasional long walk compared to her hours running every week.
When all is said in done, people who exercise (especially a lot) want to change their body composition. While her marathon training works, it seems paleo is working much better without as much cardio. My guess is she'll convert. If not, then I'm okay with it. I'm done with making food my public religion.