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January 30, 2008 - Kathie Evanoff
In our house, my husband prepares quite a few of our meals.
He enjoys cooking and is good at it. His schedule enables him to be home well before I am, and he has more time to get something together for our dinner. We generally communicate with each other about what our dinner plans might be, but, unlike me, my husband has never had to worry about his weight. Perhaps it is genetic or perhaps his food choices are different than mine making it easier for him to remain at a healthy weight while I manage to balloon out like an unruly child left to wander around Willy Wonka’s factory.
Whatever our metabolic differences, he has never had to think about percentages of fat, sugar and chemical additives. He has never had to reign in the use of butter, heavy cream and other ingredients that would send even the most liberal dieter into a feeding frenzy. In addition, my husband hates most vegetables, and often doesn’t cook with them at all, forcing me to add extra side dishes to a scaled-down version of his entrée. He feels helpless at times, not knowing how to cook for me.
It can be difficult trying to stay on a healthy eating regimen while living with someone who doesn’t need to follow a specific set of guidelines. I’ve heard many dieters say they have to totally eliminate snack foods and other tempting treats from the kitchen, but tossing out my husband’s Oreos, would be the equivalent of tossing his clothes onto the front lawn. I know I am not alone. There are other people out there as well, who are fighting to make healthy choices on a daily basis, but must share their living spaces with others who require not so healthy sweet and salty snacks on occasion.
I don’t have a solution that will solve everyone’s dilemma, but I can give tips on how to keep peace in the household while still maintaining a healthy eating program.
Separate your cupboards into “yours” and “mine” or at the very least, a shelf or two in a pantry or cabinet where you store healthy foods and another where all of the junk food is kept. If you simply can’t resist getting into the junk food stash, put a lock on the cupboard and let the junk-food junkie have the key or combination. If you can’t watch this person eat these foods in front of you, go to another room, or ask that they go to another room to indulge.
I never felt it was fair to ask my family to give up what they like because I can’t resist the temptation. I know a lot of people feel that if your family cared enough, they wouldn’t indulge in the first place, but these weight issues are my problem, not theirs. I am not saying my family ever refused to give up their snacks, but I never asked them to.
Tuesdays are always busy, but I had time for a good breakfast before I walked out the door. I started my day with my usual cup of tea and a bowl of Kashi Heart to Heart oat cereal with a small banana and a pinch of sliced almonds. The cup of milk went onto the cereal.
Because Tuesday afternoon is always busy, I knew I wouldn’t have time for an afternoon snack, so I incorporated it into my lunch. I repeated my sliced turkey sandwich from the previous day and accompanied it with a serving of Kashi cheddar crackers and two tablespoons artichoke spread. In addition, I had a container of fat-free yogurt and an orange.
When I got home, I was treated with a new recipe my husband tried out based on one of his favorite things to cook, fettuccine alfredo. His recipe generally calls for heavy cream and butter, but instead he swapped those items out for low-fat cream cheese, fat free milk and added plenty of steamed vegetables.
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Breakfast: 1 ounce grains; 1 cup milk; ¾ cup fruit; 1 teaspoon oil (nuts)