With the launch of a new round of Additive Free Made Easy, we thought we should find out a man’s perspective of living additive-free. So we just had to interview Shane (Jo’s husband) and get his point of view on what it’s like to live additive-free as a bloke! Let’s be honest, the majority of our listeners are women, we’ve noticed a lot of your feedback that you’ve struggled to get your husbands on board to go additive-free.

Jo: Why do you believe that most of our following are women?

Shane: Well I think sometimes men have that little bit of fear, that they’re going to be involved with something that’s predominately female.

Jo: But why do you think that it’s so driven by females? I know that men care about their health too. We go to the gym, we see men in there, some of the best chefs in the world are obviously men and there’s plenty of men that are into healthy eating. It seems to be an alright thing online, say on Youtube and podcast shows, but then why do men not show an interest in registering for Additive Free Made Easy for example?

Shane: Well I think for a long time, particularly through the generations we’ve been driven to the image of an Australian man. You know, this big-bulky man who has a beard, hair on his chest, drinks cans of VB, eats pies and goes to the footy. So I think that that’s kind of where it’s all started from, and nowadays you see more men in the gym, more men looking after their health, more advertising on manscaping and other bits and pieces, so it is turning, but I think it’s turning too slowly. We need to have more men on board!

Jo: Alright, so, how do we get more men on board? How do us women cope? So our little back-story is obviously that we had a little girl that needed us to change, and we were obviously implementing a few things for her, but you were on board with that right from the start which was great! But a lot of women do struggle to get their partners on board, so we need some hints and tips that you can give to people listening and watching, to help. I mean what do you do, reverse psychology? Do you just play the interviews while they’re around, like how do we get this information into our husbands?

Shane: I think communication is the key point, the more you communicate the more you expose yourself around it, the more you’re going to show a bit of interest. It is hard, well for me it wasn’t hard because it had to be done for the sake of our daughter, and our family as well.

But for someone coming in that just wants to have a healthier lifestyle, but doesn’t have that reason of a family member being sick all the time, or suffering from an illness, it can be hard to get that initial get-go. I think that if you communicate together, you’ve got to want to have that drive together, because if only one person is only going to be involved with it, and the other half are not going to participate or show the interest then it becomes really hard and really difficult.

I think you need to set some goals to start with, just little steps, and you work towards those. It might be saying ‘OK let’s sit down and have a quick flick through the website together, have a look at it and then we’ll go to bed and have a chat about it’. There’s the first step, you’ve opened up that conversation and you’ve initiated that communication, and then the next goal might be ‘OK let’s register, let’s look at the course structure, look at some reviews’, and just constantly talk about it. For me, it was hard, in a way at the start to relate to other men, so I kind of felt that it was just this in-home thing that I was stuck with, I couldn’t go outside and communicate because no one knew about it or wanted to talk about it.

No one was involved, no one was doing it, so straight away you go to work, you go to your day job, and there are other blokes around and the conversation is always ‘oh what’d you think about the footy on the weekend, what’d you get up to? We had a Sunday session why didn’t you come?’ So straight away you’re in that mindset from the get-go, that I’m in that bloke zone, and you know the language at work sites and other bits and pieces are all the factors that are involved, and you just kind of think OK, how do I strike up that conversation without being looked at weird!

So on the job site, if you said ‘oh I made this really awesome organic, healthy, preservative and additive-free pie on the weekend, you guys would have loved it, we could have sat down around the table and we could’ve eaten it, with our sweet-potato chips or kale chips’. That conversation is hard! They’re going to look at you and go ‘wow, you need to go work over there mate, not near us’.

Jo: I certainly know of husbands that have done our course, that have their own cupboard in the house for example. So you know their partner or wife is completely desperate, so in the end, the husband’s just gone ‘you know what, you just go and have your cupboard and I’ll have mine’. Then the kids kind of look at that cupboard and go, ‘well daddy’s eating it, why can’t I eat it?’ Then the women’s left standing there going, ‘what do you say to that, what do you do with that?’ It’s just not being supportive, so how do you get those husbands to be supportive of your decision to learn this information?

Shane: Well, that’s a hard one, you have to be in it together. Everyone has to be 100% committed to it. I’ve had my moments where I’ve been exposed and fallen behind in a way and gone back to a period where I thought it was OK to have the odd energy drink here or there, bad foods or fast-food. Something quick and easy.

“I’ve had my ups and downs, but the factor is that it’s driven me to want to do it even more because that little cog inside my head keeps telling me that this is for your family and for yourself”.

So if I do it, being the role model and the male of the house, my kids are going to see that and go ‘why does daddy get that and we don’t, that’s not fair, that shouldn’t happen’. So yeah we did have those periods where it was tough, and it was who I was around at the time as well, I found that was really difficult, who I was exposed to at that point in my life. Once I got away from that it was like OK I refocused, I knew what I had to do, I got my butt into gear basically.

Every morning I woke up I felt sluggish, I felt terrible and tired, and the moment I stopped [eating additive filled foods] I thought this is great and why should I put myself through that again. I always say to my daughter, when you go to the petrol station, you don’t fill your car up with the worst fuel, you want to put the best quality fuel into your car. Our bodies are like a car, you want to put the best fuel, foods, vegetables and meats into your body that we can because you’re going to get to 2 or 3 pm and just feel sluggish and terrible.  It’s OK to still eat your packet chips and that, but get rid of all the colours, all the flavours, get your sea salt ones or even the rice crackers and make your own dip, it’s so simple!

Jo: So really it’s about sometimes treating your partner a little bit like the kids, and educating them and just slowly get them on board while continuing to make those simple swaps. To be honest, half the time the kids (aka our partners), don’t even notice that these swaps have been made. Shane, you wouldn’t even notice if I swapped from one tomato sauce to that different brand?

Shane: I would not have a clue! I’d go ‘oh this is different it’s nice’. And that’s what it’s been like and that’s what we did. We took out those foods gradually, and we had no idea, and it wasn’t until later on when you said ‘did you understand that I replaced this, and this, and this, and you really liked it’.

Even if it’s just replacing one item a week, that’s a start in the right direction. If you sit and look at your pantry and think ‘oh I’ll do that next week, or I’ll do that next month’, you’re just avoiding the inevitable, just get in there, get it done, get yourself into that mind space. I just think you’ve got to try and involve everyone, not just your husband, partner, boyfriend whatever, the family, the kids, get everyone involved.

I mean I know we even have our fur baby on it now! She has had a terrible skin condition and she’s a pup still, and we’ve replaced her diet to raw and her skin’s fantastic.

Jo: Yeah, she was costing us a fortune at the vet, we bought her steroid creams and antibiotics and her skin was awful. It’s not cheap to go to the vet, and yeah we replaced her food and hey presto her skin is now fine! It’s incredible!

Shane: Well you even commented last night that her coat’s so shiny, and it is, it’s actually glowing!

Jo: So it doesn’t matter who you are, or what animal you are, at the end of the day it comes back to our health and it’s so important to get everyone on board as you said. Great tips!

So what about money? You used to be pretty good with taking your lunch to work because it saved us a fortune, and there’s no way, I mean for a man to eat lunch at work and spend under $15 right? By the time you have your morning coffee, your lunch, maybe some snacks as well?

Shane: I reckon you’d struggle. More like $20-$25 if you have breakfast as well.

Jo: Yeah we just couldn’t afford that, so I guess leftovers, some simple tips on how to get your man involved? Obviously sharing this information with them, but try and come at it from a money point of view as well. I mean still have your coffee a day, or a biscuit or whatever, but if you can change that main meal you’re off to a really good start.

Shane: And I think you’ve got to be willing and able to cop the criticism, I mean you’re going to get criticism from the guys at work. Just push it in the back of your mind, and say to yourself ‘I’m making a difference to myself and I’m going to be healthier and feel better for it’, because if you’re sitting in an office and you go and get a coffee, you go to the lunch room and you get a biscuit from the jar, it’s generally a cream filled one, then you have your afternoon coffee and you grab another one. You might have bought your breakfast too, so it adds up it really does. I hear a lot of people say ‘but the food’s so expensive, to live and eat healthily is so expensive’. But so is eating crap! You go and buy that stuff and it adds up and most of the time it is  more expensive.

I put a challenge to people and I’ve just recently seen a lot of people doing it now, and they’re replacing their coffee, with the instant coffee from the lunch room, you know you’re still getting your caffeine fix. Sure, it’s not this beautiful barista-made coffee, but you’re still getting the same thing.

You take that $5 note, put it in a jar and at the end of the month, see how many $5 notes you’ve got. One gentleman did that for 2 years, and he saved thousands of dollars, I think it was about $1,500 a year on coffee. So you can really save a lot of money, but you’ve got to be willing to cop the criticism and put it beside you. Just take leftovers, make fried rice or whatever, just make a little bit extra and take that to work the next day.

Jo: Well really good tips thank you, so again, education, get the information into them and try to swap a few meals out and you’ll be right! We really appreciate you coming on the show Shane!  It was fun having you on board!

Shane: Not a problem, I enjoyed it!  I look forward to listening back to my voice when I check the replays!

Jo: Shane edits all of our podcast shows so yes, you’ll be able to have a listen, edit, take any bits out that you don’t want in there (laughs).

Resources and Links:  

Additive Free Made Easy next round Early Bird Sales starts 16th of July 2018 
Podcast Episode 118 – Ruth Hatten on Animal Nutrition
Additive-Free Lifestyle