While changing one’s lifestyle and eating habits is by no means easy, making the decision to do so usually is. My decision literally came one afternoon in February 2014, during the second hour of my commute home, while listening to the Balanced Bites podcast. I just decided that I was going to try “this whole paleo thing” and see what came of it.
What I forgot about at the time, was my husband (then fiancé). I know, I know, he should always be on my mind, right?! And he is, totally. Except for right then. Right then I was excited that I found this style of eating, and that it made so much sense to me. I was not thinking about my husband’s beloved homemade pizzas, his love of buffalo chicken sandwiches or his devotion, above all else, to Oreo cookies.
Once I started thinking about these things, it still didn’t faze me. I mean, I could eat the way I want and he could eat the way he wants, right? Wrong. Once I changed to a pale lifestyle and saw the results I was having, it became harder and harder to pretend I didn’t notice all the grains and processed foods going into his body.
Many people who take the paleo leap will find themselves in the same situations. They’ll have husbands or wives, boyfriends or girlfriends, children and extended family members, and they’ll wonder: should I try to make them converts, too? It’s a hard question to answer, and one that I really believe depends on each individual situation.
Luckily for me, I have an amazing, open-minded husband, who was willing to try new things. To be honest, I think he was just grateful that I was buying butter and bacon with regularity, and was actually interested in making steaks for dinner. Today, after almost a year eating this way, he is almost completely paleo. When we go out to eat at a restaurant, he orders what he wants, and it often involves gluten, but on a day to day basis he avoids the same foods I avoid (I do most of the grocery shopping, after all!) and he (usually) enjoys eating this way.
But not everyone’s families will be so interested in their new lifestyle. So what then? While my blog title may be “The Paleovangelist” (a name my husband actually came up with after a commercial for Cheerios sent me into a tirade against the USDA and the “flawed American food system”…not my proudest moment), I don’t believe that shoving paleo food and paleo food for thought down your loved ones’ throats is the way to go.
When it comes to friends and family, I’ve found a lot of success in just talking about what I am doing. Instead of suggesting a friend not eat their daily breakfast sandwich with processed cheese, I might share a great recipe I found for a delicious frittatta. Instead of denouncing margarine and fat-free dairy, I blabber on about the new grass-fed butter I found that is so friggen delicious.
It’s easy to over do this (I’m sure I do), but I think you’ll find that some of your loved ones are genuinely interested. Now that my friends and family know that I eat and cook this way, they often ask me for recipe ideas, for healthy eating tips and for resources to make this lifestyle change themselves.
How have you “spread the good food” among your family and friends? Any one having issues balancing family meal times and a paleo lifestyle?