Readers Questions: Paleo Beginner Advice, Hubby Not On-Board, Pregnancy Resources

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This week I’m answering a few readers’ questions. I generally reply to every email I’m sent and my goal is to offer something of value to every person who takes the trouble to write to me.

Below are three questions on topics I commonly receive: advice for someone just starting out as a paleo beginner, ideas for when Dad’s not on board and complaining, and paleo pregnancy resources.

If you have a question you’d like to ask, just contact me here or leave a comment below. And if you have any additional advice, please offer it. We are all ears, here. 🙂

Advice for a Paleo Beginner

I am starting Paleo today and I am sure I am in for quite the ride but I am doing it with my 19 year-old son who has been after me for us to try it for the past three months, so here we are. I have tried every diet known to mankind LOL, but I lose then I gain and so forth. I am truly trusting that this will be my last time and on to health and more energy, that is my deepest desire. It is only the two of us in the house so it shouldn’t be too difficult to keep each other on track. Hope to hear from you some words of encouragement.

Congratulations on taking this step! I truly hope you find your way to good health and boundless energy, too. 🙂 Here are some suggestions to start you off:

1. Take baby steps. You don’t have to go whole hog from day one, some people can’t do that. You can gradually drop items so that you slowly become paleo. Just start where you are and go to the next step. Regularly compare this month and last month and the last six months with the same six months last year. Measure your progress on that basis not the day-to-day, meal-to-meal thing we are used to.

2. In the beginning, it is really about learning skills not about losing weight or being ‘good.’ We are faced with non-paleo food all around us and we have to learn the strategies to resist them. I have written a lot about this on the blog and more in my new book (coming soon) The Modern No Nonsense Guide to Paleo. If you haven’t already, check out New to Paleo/NonPaleo? and click on the links there.

3. This is a lifestyle change not a diet. Boring I know, but it is about getting your diet cleaner and cleaner, yes with occasional days off if you need to, but it isn’t something to lose weight with, hit your goal and go back to eating as before.

4. Make sleep a priority and minimize stress. So many people write to me about how to do paleo and I find they have seven major life stressors going on at once! Almost no-one can do it under those circumstances – we need quick-fix food and fast at these times. Paleo and stress are not happy bedfellows and stress will kick paleo out onto the floor pretty quick; it’s pretty uncomfortable down there. So make sure you are going to bed early and getting enough sleep and do what you have to to minimize the stress. Make your health your priority.

Good luck!

Non-Paleo Spouse is Complaining

My child is exhibiting what I think might be “food allergies”. They are mainly mild skin irritations and a constant drippy nose. However, it’s like dragging a 200lb toddler away from the toy section getting my husband on board for it is “too much work” and “there’s nothing the kids can eat anymore.” Do you have any posts and advice about letting it go for a while while one proves it works while watching one’s kids stay sick/get sicker?

What you are experiencing is very, very common. Not just in paleo, but whenever mom tries to implement a dietary solution to a family problem. I have seen it over and over whether it’s going gluten-free, eliminating processed foods, dairy or all of them à la paleo. So it’s not a problem specific to your husband, and it’s quite usual, to have one or other parent not be on board.

My advice (and experience) is to be focused in your plan. If you are preparing all the food, then you are in control of what everyone eats. If you are not preparing all the food, then you may have to do so to make sure your kids are getting what you feel they need. My husband used to cook a few nights a week but when I first decided to implement a change in our diets back in 2006 to go gluten-, dairy-, and processed food-free, I took over preparing every meal.

Explain to your husband politely what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and provide him with information preferably from independent sources such as your doctor, books, blogs, DVDs.

If he is sabotaging you, ask him, again politely, to stop. He may not even realize what he is doing. Tell him he can do whatever he likes outside the home in relation to his own diet but at home, for food you’re preparing, this is how it is.

The thing that helped my husband most was understanding how important it was for me emotionally to feel I was doing something to help our family. No-one else (doctors and other practitioners) had offered reasonable solutions to our problems and even if DH was resistant to the rationale or science behind the change, he did understand when I explained that changing our diets made me feel more in control. It made me feel more effective as a mother and gave me hope. At the time, I also had no idea either if changing our diets would work but I had to give it a try and he accepted that. Perhaps your husband would do the same if you presented it like that.

I’m not sticking it to men here, it could be mom who isn’t agreeable, it’s just that in my experience, it is usually Dad that has problems with family dietary changes.

Lastly, mild symptoms are not the end of the world and changes can be made slowly. Remember that *anything* you achieve is progress. Even if you just get one paleo meal in your kids a week. It may be far from perfect but it is better than before you started this process so hold on to that. And keep going.

I develop these themes more in the following blog posts:

27 Ways to Live With Your Non-Paleo Spouse

12 Sneaky, Selfish Ways I Converted my Husband to Paleo

11 Clever Ways to Help Your Family Go Paleo

Paleo and Pregnancy

I am currently 4 months pregnant and am wondering if this is the right time to transition. I’m fully aware it is safe to eat paleo whilst pregnant, but I have heard that when you cut things out of your diet when pregnant the toxins that rid themselves from your body could possibly harm your baby, I have tried and failed to find any facts about this and wondered if you could help me find the answers I’m looking for?

I came to the paleo way after I was done with having children so I refer people on to those who are better qualified than I to answer your question.

Bloggers who address the issues of being paleo and pregnant and provide paleo pregnancy resources are:

They are quite different in their styles, but I would check them out and see which one resonates with you.

Chris Kresser has a program called The Healthy Baby Code and Dr. Lana Asprey has recently published a book called The Better Baby Book.

I hope that helps!

Do you have any advice for these readers, or a question of your own you’d like to pose? Any blogger will tell you that comments make their day, they are what keep us going so please don’t be shy. Drop a line in the comment box below. 🙂

And many can learn from the information here, so if you know anyone struggling with the same problems or who might benefit in some way, please share this post using the buttons below or in the bar on the left. Thank you!

For more paleo goodness, please like the Paleo/NonPaleo Facebook page. I would be so grateful!



amazon, modern no nonsense guide to paleoAre you struggling to sustain a paleo lifestyle change? Or not sure how to start? Or perhaps those around you are resistant and you're feeling undermined and unsure. The Modern, No-Nonsense Guide to Paleo provides practical tools to ease the transition to a full-on paleo life. Each chapter includes strategies, tips and checklists to identify the actions to power you on your paleo journey and create sustainable change. Buy it at Amazon.com.

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Alison Golden writes on the topic of paleo over at Paleo/NonPaleo. She aims to share ideas, inspire and motivate readers by teaching them how to live paleo in a non-paleo world. She is also the author of the bestselling book, The Modern, No-Nonsense Guide to Paleo, a unique tool that gives the reader hundreds of strategies to navigate the learning process to successful paleo living.

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