I have a family who is completely grain and sugar dependent (and addicted.) My fiance and soon-to-be wife is not quite on board with the lifestyle or the diet. I need help in convincing her, without coming off as condescending...or preachy. (It's hard, trust me) When I see her eating panera, bread bowl, sandwich, with pasta soup, it just tilts me. She will then complain of weight, and naturally I mention the carbs. It upsets her when I point out dietary things. It's getting to the point that family and friends are rolling their eyes when I even say the word "Paleo".
I don't want to turn her off to it. We have a baby on the way, and I'm worried that my future daughter/son won't be paleo because she won't approve it, as she considers the diet "extreme". I'm worried about my family's health. I'm particularly worried about my fiance's future health, because she's constantly dealing with sugar (or insulin) spikes and dips. I'm worried she's working on a future with DM. (That's a whole lot of worrying, I know.
We also have 2 boys (both hers, my future stepsons) who believe that all meals are to be followed with deserts (although she and I have managed to curtail that a bit) Our 9yo is in the 95% in weight. He's got no tone, and is obese for his age. I love him, but worry about what his weight, and more importantly, his eating habits are going to mean for him when he gets older.
Please help! I love my family.
All manner of suggestions are welcome.
a lot of good ideas here, particularly about leading by example and sharing more in the cooking/shopping duties (if you don't already, i don't know).
Another thing I think is pretty important for kids specifically is getting them in touch with the notion that real food doesn't come from a supermarket, in styrofoam and plastic wrap. There are lots of ways to do this. Planting a garden is great, because there is nothing like the incredible flavor of stuff you just picked. An herb garden is super manageable and also a really good way to get good fresh flavors into the working rotation at your house. Thyme, mint, rosemary, basil, and cilantro are some really useful, great herbs to have growing. Herbs and quality spices are a great way to expose their palates to new flavors. Eggs scrambled with herbs and butter? Yes please. Berries are the best kiddie crack. You want a piece of candy? That's a piece of candy.
You could also involve them in cooking a bit more. Since they're boys I'd recommend breakfast, maybe they could help you make breakfast for Mom once in a while. Take them to a farmers market. They can run around outside and people watch and see all the "weird" food. These are good memories to build. Oh and summer is coming which means grill season...
I converted my pescatarian/vegan husband by making him watch the Bitter Truth video and Fathead. I cook most of the meals so he's got to eat what I make. Perhaps she would do a 30 day challenge as long as you take on the cooking responsibilities? Make sure you find some yummy recipes (plan ahead so you're not eating omelets every night!)
Don't spring liver on the kids just yet. My daughter rejected it.
I don't want to appear harsh, but you ARE worrying way too much. You can't force someone to be Paleo, and by commenting on her eating she is going to become resentful and even more determined to eat what she wants. My approach would be not to say anything, (especially right now regarding her weight) it just makes you appear like a nag, and that you're preaching. Volunteer to cook for a week, or even a month. Make up some really good dishes that everyone will enjoy. Still have desserts but healthy ones...there are some really delicious recipes for paleo desserts out there. Also get those step-sons outside and get some fresh air and exercise if you are worried about their health and no tone. As for your unborn child, you should maybe discuss some mild concerns for the child becoming addicted to sugar. Maybe show her a few facts. Just don't harp or overwhelm her. I had a very stubborn 21 yo daughter who was determined not to be Paleo. She now totally enjoys the foods I make, even making some of her own recipes, and exercises everyday, she has lost a total of 35 pounds. So, really take a breath, relax, and just incorporate into your everyday lives. They will follow YOUR lead.
I let everyone pick on me, and say I was in a cult, and whatever they wanted. But eventually, they cant argue with the results I have seen, and start asking questions, and start getting on board themselves, see results, and are sold. I have brothers and sisters with really young kids, and it drives me nuts to see them being fed garbage every day, but they are not my kids, so I really cant say anything. I leave reading material around for them, by people they may be interested in, that have credibility, unlike me, since I apparently have none. Just be patient, dont preach, and like Dana above me said, they'll probably follow your lead.
Lead by example, stay cheerful, and don't nag.
I now only answer if questioned. "Hey Kit! have you lost weight? You look great!" "Thank you, I feel great too. I have lost quite a lot of weight. i don't know how much as i don't weigh myself, but I keep having to buy smaller jeans." "Wow, how do you do it?" "Well, I follow a paleo diet, it seems quite extreme at first, but its great when you get into it. Would you like to hear about it?"
If they seem keen I then tell them, if they seem lackluster, I move the conversation onto them.
I didn't try to convert my hubby, but I did answer his questions. "If I did your diet, wheat would I do if I got hungry at morning tea?" "Well, if you did my diet I would suggest some nuts, or some cheese and steak cubes, or maybe a boiled egg." "oh, OK" And then I bite my tongue and say no more!
Hubby is now paleo too....teenage son is paleo at home, but eats pizza and chips with his mates ;)
Best resource for those new to Paleo? 7 Answers