Eating Paleo in a Non-Paleo Household

Have you committed to a ‘Paleo’ challenge or a ‘Paleo’ lifestyle, but live in a household with a spouse who is not on board? If so, read on.


Adopting an unconventional way of eating can be hard enough at times, but when the person you live with is not convinced of your approach, or is not ready to try it themselves, it can be even harder. Here are a few tips that may help you stick with your goals:

1. Focus on YOU!

It’s about YOUR health, and YOUR way of eating. Commit to YOUR plan; be confident in it; take pride in YOUR choice of quality food and improved health! Don’t complain about it – OWN IT!


2. State what it means to you.

Make it known to your significant other how important it is to you to eat this way. Don’t assume your spouse fully understands what you are doing and why you are doing it. They should respect your drive whether they agree with what you are doing or not.


3. Emphasize the common foods.

Focus on what you can/do eat with the rest of your house. There’s a lot of common ground to work with when it comes to meat and veggies! Plan out meals everyone is happy with and encourage participation.

4. Commit to buying ‘paleo’.

If you are the primary grocery shopper and chef of the house, then buy and prepare only paleo foods at home. If someone else wants something different, they are responsible for it.


5. Keep non-paleo items out of reach.

If omitting all non-paleo foods from the house is unrealistic, make a separate spot for them – a chest freezer in the garage, or a high pantry shelf. If it’s work to get to them, you are less apt to grab for them.


6. Compromise!

If your spouse is always bringing non-paleo foods home, and it’s making it hard for you to stick to your plan, have a discussion and compromise. Ask for some support and set some guidelines. If ice cream is your weakness, request no ice cream in the house. If chips aren’t tempting, but chocolates are, the chips can stay, the chocolates can’t.


7. Plan and prep!

If you have plenty of paleo supplies on hand and a list of quick snacks (I’ll share some ideas soon), you will be less likely to give-in to temptation.

8. Do a challenge together.

Get your significant other on board for a set duration. Sometimes a commitment to four weeks is all it takes to realize it’s not a crazy fad diet, the food can be awesome, and one’s health starts to improve. Go through the process together of cleaning out the pantry and fridge of all non-paleo items, as well as restocking and planning fun meals.


9. Slowly and kindly educate your spouse!

Not in a defensive, threatening way – just educational (this is IMPORTANT). Do a little leg work yourself and read some of the great paleo/primal resources out there. Understanding some of the theories and rationales can help your confidence in what you are doing. If they ask questions – openly discuss. If they have counter arguments for your reasonings that you aren’t sure how to back up, focus on how you feel better. Direct them toward some resources.


10. Be patient.

A ‘paleo’ approach is different from conventional advice. Many people aren’t ready, or don’t want to learn more about it. That’s okay. If this is the case in your house, go-back and read suggestion #1!!


What techniques have worked for those of you that live in a “mixed-view of food” household?! Please share in the comments section below.


Note: Encouraging your children to see food in a new light and adopt a whole foods, meat and veggie approach is a little different. We will discuss this in a post to come.


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