HAS YOUR SPOUSE GONE OVER THE EDGE?
Or are you the one that wishes your spouse was as willing as you are to eat healthier? Do you at least wish they would support your efforts in the kitchen?
Kent must've been worried for a while there…
Obviously I love my husband, Kent, for lots of reasons, (I especially love how he makes me laugh, sometimes until I'm in pain), but for this post I'll just tell you about how cool he's been about my whole “food conversion“, to hopefully motivate any reluctant spouses out there to be a little more open to all the changes going on in the kitchen.
JUST LIKE ON THE FARM
I'm sure he'd be the first to admit that when I started throwing out food in our pantry (deemed too unhealthy to even give away), he was a little unsure of what was going on with me. Next when I suggested we purchase a couple expensive new kitchen gadgets, he only said, “I guess as long as you use them…” When we tried some raw milk from a neighbor and I exclaimed, “But…it tastes just like milk!”, he looked at me like I was nuts and said, “Well, YEAH! What did you think it was going to taste like, Kel?” He didn't even flinch when I said I wanted us to look into finding raw milk. He'd just tell everyone, “I grew up on a farm, we drank this milk all the time.”
HELPING WITH ‘THE TEENAGER'
My husband's great attitude through it all has probably been the most beneficial when it comes to switching our teenager over from our past lifestyle of eating fast food 2-3 times per WEEK (what idiots we were), to our new lifestyle of eating fast food once every 6 months or so. (Update: we don't even do that anymore, it grosses me out too much.) Having another person to field the complaints about the junk food we no longer have around the house has been priceless. (We don't hear too many complaints from our oldest anymore, though, because he's finally coming around to realizing that good food tastes good too! Keep in mind that “not too many” is still a lot some days, since he is a TEEN after all.)
SUGAR BOMBS AND JUNK FOOD
I often hear about friend's husbands who buy fast food a lot or come home with arms full of junk food they bought at the store, which they then, of course, have to share with the kids. I'm so thankful Kent is “on board” with this whole issue. (See more about that in his guest interview.) He used to LOVE his “sugar bomb” breakfast cereals, but when I told him about the dangers of extruded cereals (a form of processing almost all go through), not to mention all the sugar and their looooong ingredient labels, he was OK with not having them anymore. Now he might eat yogurt, or oatmeal in the morning and he's happy. For his workday he takes a bunch of healthy stuff from home and then just snacks throughout the day at his desk or in his truck. He'll take food like nuts, fresh fruits, cheeses, yogurt, etc. (He eats better than I do, and doesn't have a sweet tooth, either!)
COME ON, OPEN YOUR MIND, AND HELP THEM OUT A LITTLE
I know that change is never easy, especially when it comes to something as comforting as food. But to those reluctant spouses out there, think of your husband or wife's motivation: he/she wants to get you, and your children if you have them, healthy! Don't vilify them for something so noble or make it more difficult for them! Do you want your kids to have a shorter life expectancy than yours? Things are not going well out there, in case you haven't noticed, and how do you think your kids will learn about living a healthier lifestyle? Not by watching you eat junk! If you really don't have enough self-control to cut the junk food or fast food indulgences down to a reasonable level, then at least sneak it! Eat it during your workday or somewhere away from the kids and be sure to ditch the evidence out of your car before you get home. Although even that is bad advice, because kids are great detectives and they'll eventually find you out – then you'll be a hypocrite and they'll think eating crap is OK as long as it's hidden. Just do what we do: don't be too much of a Nazi about it – as a family have treats together now and then, but make them homemade, or buy the better quality foods with better ingredient lists.
IT REALLY DOES TASTE BETTER AND TRULY SATISFIES YOUR BODY
Most importantly, take it from someone who used to be a fast food junkie: after eating real food that nourishes your body the way it really needs to be nourished, soon you don't even want the crap anymore. Eventually it all just tastes like nasty grease or imitation flavorings. Not having to worry much about your weight all of the time is another nice bonus. (Of course I think about it some, but it really doesn't fluctuate much.) Read this about eating healthy without sacrifices. Eating healthier really does taste great! Using things like good quality fats, creams, broths and sauces make food taste great and these are all good for you, contrary to popular belief.
DON'T WORRY, IT'S NOT ALWAYS LIKE THIS
Not everyone goes as all-out as I did, and so quickly. For most it is much more of a slow process and changing things a little at a time, and that's probably the better way, especially when it comes to maintaining marital peace, not to mention the expenses involved (although eating healthy on a budget really is possible). But since this is how it happened for us, Kent is a great example of supporting your spouse through some major lifestyle changes.