How to Make a Vegan Paleo Marriage Work

Whether you entered marriage with opposing views on food or changed your mind after you said, “I do” you can make your marriage work despite having different opinions on how to eat. One of the most important rules about living in a harmonious vegan-paleo household is to never allow the food to rule your lives. Remember that you came together because of a mutual love and respect of each other--what you eat for dinner should not take over your marriage.


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    Take the discussion of food off the table. If you disagree about what to eat and don’t plan to see the other’s view, remove the topic completely from the table. Doing so many be the best way to maintain a healthy marriage without constantly getting into arguments about which lifestyle is best.
    • Agree to disagree about how you’d like to eat. If you feel as though you can have a healthy, productive debate without hurt feelings getting involved, by all means hash out your differences. However, if the conversation becomes a forum for mud slinging and damaged egos, decide to table the discussion and just agree to disagree. This is the way many couples who feel passionately about opposing political parties (for example) co-exist.
    • Keep pious opinions to yourself. You may feel as though you know best, however so does your spouse. Realize that not all nutritional programs are an ideal fit for every body. What may work for your spouse could leave you feeling sick. Instead of looking down on your spouse for his/her choices, appreciate that he/she took time to consider which plan might work well and be supportive.
    • Don’t bring eating habits into every argument. Do you find that every time you have an argument on nearly any topic you come back with, “Well, yeah you eat too much meat (or sprouts)!”? Pull back from bringing your vegan-paleo lifestyle into discussions that have nothing to do with your food choices in order to stay focused on the topic at hand.
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    Learn to respect each other’s views on food. Obviously you both have an opinion of what you eat and why you eat certain foods. Instead of belittling or bashing each other’s choices, exercise respect and restraint when discussing nutrition.
    • Make an effort to try to see your spouse’s point of view surrounding his/her food choices. More than likely you respect the choices your spouse has made in life, so make food no different. Appreciate his/her decision to opt for this type of nutritional lifestyle and try to see where he/she is coming from. Perhaps he/she has had stomach issues after consuming meat and is trying to steer clear in order to feel better. Or perhaps he/she wants to build more muscle before a triathlon so eating meat helps.
    • Avoid sabotaging each other’s food plans if you do the majority of the shopping. If you are the one elected to do the grocery shopping in your family, avoid “forgetting” to buy your significant other’s favorite foods (whether it’s a rump roast or a bag of greens).
    • Have meals together without making immature comments about each other’s plates. There’s no reason to start whining about how “gross” your spouse’s salad may appear or how “disgusting” it is to eat meat. This will only create an unappetizing meal experience for everyone so try to keep rude comments to yourself, ignore what’s on the plate and focus on the person across the table.
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    Shop and cook food together or have separate trips. Make the eating experience collaborative even if you aren’t eating the same foods. Try sharing at least the same side dish, cocktail or dessert to blend the meal.
    • Consider a his and hers grocery shopping outing where you hit your favorite stores separately so you both end up with exactly what you want. If you want prime cuts of meat but he/she desires organic produce, and you can’t find everything at one store, make grocery shopping a solo excursion.
    • Avoid a running commentary while you are cooking or shopping. Whether you are tossing the salad or browning meat, stop yourself from using the evening meal as a platform to push your nutritional ideals.
    • Cook your own separate meals together. Even if you both eat completely different meals, you can both get in the kitchen together to cook. Crack open a fine bottle of wine, put on some music and let the cooking begin.
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    Create a set of rules and boundaries when it comes to your meal choices. If you have the discussion up front about what you can and cannot discuss in terms of your eating habits you’ll have an easier time accepting the large roast or turnip greens on the countertop.
    • Identify certain foods that may be completely offensive to one spouse or another. To be fair, exercise common courtesy when cooking certain foods that may be offensive to your spouse. If you are a meat eater, back off from bringing home a whole chicken (head and all) or pig feet to your vegan mate. Or if the smell of cooked turnips makes your paleo spouse’s stomach do back flips, cook turnips when he/she is out of town.
    • Establish rules as to what you will and will not cook if you are the designated chef in the house. Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes if you are the one who cooks most evenings. If there are certain types of food that you find to be offensive, find an equal substitute. For example, if you are the vegan but cannot go near meat, consider cooking fish or even lean, pre-prepared chicken breasts. In fact you can have your grocer add seasonings and prepare the meat so all you have to do is transfer it from package to pan.
    • Determine how you will approach feeding the children. If you have kids set boundaries and ground rules about what is acceptable and unacceptable at the table for the kids. Hash out what you plan to do early in your child’s life (or optimally before birth) so your children are not confused or see one spouse sabotaging the other spouse’s efforts. Also, consult with your pediatrician before imposing any type of defined nutritional lifestyle as growing children require more of a balanced diet.
    • Have a night where you eat something you can both enjoy. Whether it’s pasta or breakfast for dinner (pancakes or French toast), be sure you identify one night where you find common ground.
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    Determine if your problem goes beyond what he/she is eating. Although your conflicts may center around food and eating habits is the there a deeper issue at hand? Whether its control in the relationship or your overall concern about your spouse’s health, decide if you are at odds with your spouse’s eating choices or if there is something more that needs to be discussed.
    • Do your food arguments seem to crop up around other situations? For example, does your spouse become agitated with what you are eating before his/her parents come to visit or while stressed at work?
    • Could something in his/her past be negatively influencing his/her opinion. Seeing animal abuse or cruelty could be the driving reason why your spouse is a vegan, but has also influences his/her view on the consumption of meat in general.


  • When hosting a dinner party, have both vegan and paleo ways of eating represented at the dinner table.
  • Have a sense of humor when approaching the subject of diet. Remember adhere to a plan that works for you and never try impose your views on your spouse.
  • If you both love cooking, try exploring the world of wine, beer, spirits or dessert. Look for balance or ways you both can be happy in the kitchen.


  • If you believe that your spouse’s way of eating could be negatively impacting his/her health (too much meat or too little carbohydrates) have an adult conversation with him/her. Back your reasons with factual, scientific research and come to the conversation with a calm, level head. If your spouse doesn’t want to hear your reasons, back off--he/she is an adult and can make independent decisions. However, be ready to continue the discussion when he/she may possibly be ready again.

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Categories: Relationship Issues