Friday, October 14, 2011

What? No peanuts?

As you can probably imagine, it's been rather challenging making the transition to a paleo diet when the hubby is a strict vegetarian.  

Today, the hubby asked why we didn't have have peanuts. Apparently, he really likes peanuts.  I've been buying other kinds of nuts like walnuts and macadamia nuts instead of peanuts because a) those are true nuts and b) they have a better ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fats.  I've also been buying cashews which in my mind are pretty similar to peanuts.  At Trader Joe's where I do most of my grocery shopping, I cannot find dry-roasted peanuts (all the peanuts on sale there are roasted in some kind of vegetable oil) but they do have these other nuts either raw or dry-roasted.  So instead of making one more stop on grocery shopping day, I've just been getting other nuts.  I had no idea that the hubby was missing the peanuts so much. 

Well, he got very upset today and feels like I'm hitting him over the head with this paleo stuff.  He just wants to have his peanuts and wheat and mock meats in peace.  I'll give him the peanuts.  I'll even give him the wheat (bought 5 pounds of unbleached white flour two weeks ago, still make pancakes with it on Sundays, and I buy him loaves of sprouted wheat bread).  The mock meats are and have been a sticking point even when I was vegan.  They are heavily processed and high in salt and other additives.  We were steadily moving away from them--or so I thought.  I guess I was driving that too.  He is perfectly happy to have them as a part of his diet.  

The hubby says he feels like he cannot give his children food the way he wants to.  He's says he's always anxious about whether they can have what's on his plate.  At this point, I got annoyed because I prepare most of the children's meals.  The only day he's really responsible for what they eat is Saturdays when I work and I'm not home.  Nothing's stopping him from giving them gobs of wheat and mock meat . . . what can I do about that from work?  I get that he's trying to respect what I'm doing with the children and he doesn't want to sabotage my efforts.  I honestly appreciate that because I have heard stories . . .   I think, though, that it's more of an issue of who spends more time with the kids. And I do.  So they do what I do.  But when they're with him, I'm not going to freak out if they have some cereal or some lentils or something but we've already observed that Z2 gets a seriously bloated and painful belly after eating wheat . . . I should think my insistence on keeping the kids (at least) wheat-free would be shared.  But alas . . . 

I'll admit, I'm not easy.  I really believe that certain things he's eating are just not healthy by anyone's standards.  But I'm still buying it and cooking it.  I guess I could try harder to keep my disapproval to myself.  But what's annoying to me is that he won't acknowledge his disapproval of my diet . . . he's acting like he's totally okay with it but it's obvious he's not. He thinks it's too extreme and has said so on different occasions.  It's also expensive, which I know is a huge sticking point.  I'm trying my best to stick to organic, grass-fed meats and dairy (although not all the meats can be organic and grass-fed).  No matter how I slice it, I'm spending more on food now than I did when I was a vegetarian or even a pescetarian.  And I know it's hard on him as he is the main breadwinner in the household. I won't lie though: I get defensive because I feel blamed for not being able to tolerate a vegetarian diet.  I feel blamed for "changing up the game".  But best believe that if I had felt all the fabulous effects I was hoping to feel when I made the switch to veganism, I would still be vegan.  I made the switch to paleo out of necessity!  I had to try something radically different.

These are the kinks you have to work out when a married couple eats two distinct ways. These are the kinks you have to work out as a married couple whose members are still growing, changing and learning as individuals.  I don't know that any compromises can be made except that we just both learn to keep our commentary to ourselves--keep our mouths shut and let the other person do him/her.  And maybe buy our own groceries and cook our own meals.  ;-)  

Thursday, October 13, 2011

You're Going to Stick with It . . . If I have anything to do with it

Z1 has been taking piano lessons since the beginning of they year.  He has been doing very well and even won the trophy for best newcomer in his music school.  He definitely has ability and, I would say, talent.  But learning an instrument is hard and not much fun in beginning.  In fact, it doesn't become fun until you master that which was once hard.  So every so often, Z1 says he wants to quit the piano.  Lately he's been saying it a lot.

Now, the part of me who wants to be the attachment/gentle discipline parent says that if he really wants to quit, I should let him quit.  The other part--the more totalitarian part of me-- says that he will quit over my dead body.  I'm afraid that the totalitarian part is winning this battle.  You see, no one ever grows up and says, "You know, I regret learning to play the piano."  He will eventually enjoy playing it and it's a useful skill.

You know what?  I feel very sad that my parents didn't follow through with piano lessons.  I took them for a short while and made lots of progress but once we moved to a different part of the city, the lessons stopped and my formal learning stopped.  Oh, I played in high school and even played for my father's church but it was all very amateur and not what I would have liked to see for myself as a pianist.  I wanted to be good.  So yeah, maybe I'm projecting what I wanted for myself on to my child.  I won't deny it.  But I think it's healthy to learn how to play an instrument for many different reasons.  I honestly can't see how pushing him to learn this skill will hurt him in the long run.  

My promise is to not yell or be mean about it but to be firm.  A challenge is not a good reason to give up.  Z1 is expected to rise to the challenge.  And I know he will.   

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