12.15.2011

Spouse not paleo? Part 2...

This post was originally written in early December, so forgive the tardy posting.  Life, a newborn baby, and a new educational endeavor has gotten in the way of my blogging...


Since 30 weeks pregnant, my wife, Danielle,  was "all in" on the idea of living a Paleo/Ancestral inspired diet, on the condition that she'd do so after the baby was born.  She's making a concerted effort to not consume grains and seed oils, and drastically reduced her carb consumption, specifically sugar.  I'm so very proud of her!


Some background on my Danielle: she's a self-confessed sugar addict, that has emotional ties to food.  Arguably, Ice Cream and Cake are 2 things she loves more than me.  So the fact that she's cut the sweets down to MAYBE once a week is HUGE and I don't want to downplay that.  I also want to give a heads up that I don't want this entry to come off as scathing towards my wife and family.  But the trials and tribulations of trying to transition them to an Ancestral Diet is proving to be a difficult task.

1st, while she's done a great job in cleaning out the cupboards of junk, and NOT purchasing Paleo no-no's, she still feels sliced bread (yeah, paleo no-no #1) is still a must-buy item.  I've tried educating her on this, and while she understands the reasoning and science behind why bread is bad, she insists that "The boys need bread for sandwiches."  So, still there's this idea that without bread, there's nothing to make the boys for lunch.

Cereal and oatmeal are also still considered "must-buy" grocery items in her mind.  "What will we eat for breakfast?  I can't eat eggs and bacon everyday?!"  I think in this case, it helps not to have an idea that certain foods are "breakfast" foods.  Pork chops, chicken, steak, can all be eaten in the morning.  So can (gasp) vegetables for that matter.  Again, the idea of breakfast specific foods is yet another paradigm to overcome as many, if not most cultures don't parse breakfast foods from dinner foods.  Just today, I saw that she had snuck some toast but neglected to clean up the butter knife.  The evidence was there! 


2nd, as the paleo house guru, one must also be patient with those around.  Encourage but don't judge.  Suggest, but don't require.  Cook as much as you can, as often as you can.  Be the example.  They will thank you for it later. (see the follow up post "Spouse not paleo pt. 3 (soon to come)"


It's real for people who eat ancestrally to shake their heads at every whim or cheat a newbie has.  In my case, I had to remind myself that my wife has had 35 years of programming behind her eating habits!  That's hard to break.  Her nutritional paradigms were deeply engrained, and why not?  She was taught how to eat by her parents, also carb-addicts, and educated by a system of nutrion that covets cutting fat and making carbs the staple of one's diet.  Be patient.

Lastly, we've developed this strange habit of her asking me if certain foods are "Okay."  And when I say something's not allowed on the diet, she'll tend to take it as though it's ME keeping her from eating something she's craving. 

You can't be the "Paleo reference manual" in your household.  It's imperative from a psychological standpoint that those you're trying to sway towards this way of eating do some of the legwork as well.  Educate them on the "whys" and not just the "hows".  Encourage them to read as much material as possible.  Doing this will not only ensure a healthier household, but a happier one as well.  If not, you can create a situation where your family will resent you from taking away their ice cream cakes and bagels.  Compliance to the lifestyle change will more probable if you don't go around being the Primal Food Nazi.  Trust me on this one.  


Some early results:
-My wife has already seen pretty dramatic results as she's lost a good deal of the weight she gained during her pregnancy.  She reports not having bounced back as well (weight-wise) with her first two. 
-My step son Stephen (10) has lost a lot of the visceral fat as his waist circumference has diminished by about 50%!  He's also almost off his ADD med Intuniv having been on the lowest dose possible. (Intuniv is a pretty innocuous non-stimulant med, relative to the other stimulant ADD meds) 
-And finally, my father has been taken off his blood pressure meds (lisinopril and HCTZ) as his BP has not only normalized, but is lower than it's ever been!  He's gone down from as high as 155/111 (that's a critical diastolic) to 100/67.  He's often below 100 systolic!  
More updates to follow....  

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