So my boyfriend has been touting Paleo since we first got together, though he didn't actually follow it, and after I was diagnosed with Celiacs it was decided that we should do it. I've been doing all of our cooking since we moved in together 6 months ago and he's not big on complimenting food cooked by anyone other than his mother to start with. Which is fine, he'll usually eat his food and say, "This is okay." which is really the highest compliment you can get without having given birth to him. The problem is that since we dropped grains, dairy (he still eats dairy during the day claiming he "needs" it because he's an athlete) and salt nothing I cook is "ok". I've tried everything, I crawl paleo eating sites daily but none of the food ever seems to be good enough, in particular he can't stand eating meats with very little salt. We did a count in the car one day and there are only eleven vegetables that he will eat (kale, turnips, sweet potatoes, okra, cabbage, squash, bell peppers, spinach, lettuce, collard greens, and onions) This sadly leaves out all of my favorite vegetables of broccoli, brussel sprouts, asparagus, cauliflower, carrots, celery, and cucumbers. It's infuriating. If I make something he doesn't like he'll just not eat and spend the rest of the evening grazing on fruit, milk, and nut butter. It's really killing my desire to follow this diet, and furthermore it hurts my feelings. How can I convince him to eat the food that I cook? After-all didn't we decide to do this together?
I think you're asking the wrong question when you ask how to convince him to eat the food you cook. The question should be, "Should I convince him to eat the food I cook?"
I'm happy to answer that one. No. There are many, many threads on here about loved ones stubbornly sticking to the SAD. In every one of those threads, the most upvoted replies say "leave them alone, be a good model, and maybe they'll come around."
Leave your boyfriend alone. If he prefers to eat things that you don't want to eat instead of what you cook - let him. His commitment to/definition of Paleo might be different from yours and forcing your definition on him might make him want to give it up altogether.
If your boyfriend says he prefers that dishes taste like x, y, and z, offer to pick up the ingredients for xyz so he can cook them exactly the way he likes, either for the two of you or for himself if there are ingredients that you can't eat.
If your boyfriend demands that you cook things the way he likes them, collect two pictures. Point to one and say "This is me." Point to the second and say "This is your mother. We are different people." Inform him that he is free to live with his mother if he wants his exacting standards to be met.
It sounds like it's not your food that is the problem, but that your boyfriend has, to put it rather condescendingly, childish taste in food. That is, he likes simple, highly palatable foods- milk, nut butter and fruit- and doesn't sound particularly interested in anything more complex or challenging. (My grandmother is precisely the same). Of course, I could be wrong, and it might be that he's only eating those foods because there's nothing else around and his finely honed palate finds your pate to lack some of the subtlety of his mother's, but I think it's more likely that he has very fixed and, shall we say, simple tastes. Thus it's not that your food isn't 'good enough,' but that whatever real food you serve him, he'd rather down some milk and nut butter. I'm perplexed as to how he could be dissatisfied with your, presumably meat-centric, cooking anyway; pretty much all the men I know are very easily satisfied with a huge lump of steak. I wouldn't take it personally if he ate and enjoyed the meat but refused to eat the vegetables, which is fairly standard behaviour.
Also my two cents on dairy and salt are that no-one needs dairy, you can get protein from other sources. As to salt, while there's some reason to think that it's not as bad as previously thought, in that the real problem is hyper-insulinemia, rather than salt per se, a paleo-precautionary principle still suggests that adding any sodium is going to be a bad thing (unless you're VLC), given that most people's ratios are so skewed towards sodium and away from potassium anyway. Using sea salt instead will definitely not make any significant difference.
Dinner time rules in our house are the same for my husband as it is for our daughter. If you don't eat what I cook, then you don't eat. Of course I try to make things they would find appealing. Is he entirely opposed to hopping into the kitchen to cook with you? Maybe if he is involved in the process, he will be less critical.
I really like a roast in the pressure cooker. With onions and potatoes.
I think if you keep the meat and veggies seperate he could skip the veggies at times...
Kabobs on the grill would be a good choice...
If you really want to please him you'll probably have to cook to his taste rather than yours. Use the veggies he likes, allow him to season to his taste (you need a certain amount of sodium and his needs may well be higher than yours). I really don't think you're going to get big compliments from him if he is eating things he doesn't like, no matter how well you prepare them. Maybe make a couple of veggies for meals? Something you like and something he likes?
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