When Green Smoothie Girl Meets Red Meat Boy

by Rachel on March 18, 2010

[Good morning! Today we have a guest post on a topic I simply cannot help you with until someone puts a ring on it. So I’m handing things over to my lovely blog girl crush! – Rachel ]

Hi, Shedders! It’s Teri from A Foodie Stays Fit. I’ve been married for five years and over time my husband and I have developed different eating habits. I rarely eat meat and prefer to eat clean, whole food most of the time. Rob (the mister) would love a good steak every day with mashed potatoes being the vegetable of choice. Now, he has come a long way with his eating habits (and I’ll tell you how you can get your husband to clean up his act too!), but it still takes a little work to find peace in the kitchen.

It is possible to coexist with a spouse or significant other when you have very different eating habits. Let me help ya out…

Top 10 Ways to Find Marital Harmony When You Eat Green Smoothies But Your Hubby Would Gladly Eat Steak and Potatoes Every Day.

10. Make two versions of meals. It might take a little more effort (and create more dishes to wash), but it’s quick for me to saute up some shrimp or tempeh and ground beef in two different pans to go on with our separate pasta/taco/etc. dishes.

9. Make green smoothies purple by adding blueberries to sneakily get him to drink spinach. OK, maybe it’s not a great idea to be surreptitious about feeding him greens, but find out what veggies he does like and serve those more often.

8. Don’t be a martyr. I never think it’s a good excuse when people say they can’t eat healthy because their family doesn’t like the healthy food they would make. Who says healthy can’t be tasty? Experiment with new recipes and ingredients; try some of the recipes you see on blogs or subscribe to a healthy eating magazine, like Clean Eating. Use spices and herbs for flavor. Buy lean cuts of meats, try new grains (quinoa, anyone?). Spicing things up is key to your relationship and food so don’t be afraid to find healthy things you and your man like.

7. Don’t be a bitch. I don’t think it’s very nice to talk trash about the way your hubby prefers to eat to his face or behind his back. There’s nothing productive about that. Sit down, talk about what’s important to you regarding each of your diets and find ways that you can both be happy. Perhaps it’s making two versions of meals (see #10) or finding ways to healthify a favorite dish. You’ve got to be open about how you feel so you don’t become bitter because you are being a martyr (#8) or alienate the hubsters because you are bitchy about the way you HAVE to eat. Support each other.

6. Go grocery shopping together. I might buy low-fat yogurt and not even think about buying the creamier stuff for Rob. When he comes, he can pick out his own yogurt, granola bars, cereal, snacks, etc.

5. Give in where it doesn’t matter. I used to always buy low-fat or fat-free sour cream which drove Rob crazy. Then I realized that I never even use sour cream because I don’t like it. So I started buying full-fat again.

4. Find out the limits. Find out what just isn’t going to fly and try not to cross the line. For example, a few weeks ago I tried a black bean brownie recipe. It was an epic failure (they were disgusting) and as Rob said, “Black bean brownies? Total blasphemy – hands off my sweets.” :) He is making efforts to be healthy but some things, like dessert, he isn’t willing to give in on (yet…muahahaha!). Maybe your man isn’t willing to eat tofu or he’ll only drink whole milk. Learn what your man’s limits are, respect them, and work around them.

3. Share your knowledge. Don’t beat him over the head or be judgmental, but find conducive ways to share your knowledge. Most people want to be healthy but could use a nudge. While I know that Rob isn’t likely to read In Defense of Food or other books of that nature, he does appreciate when I share condensed versions of what I learn. I truly find food (and its sources) fascinating and since your S.O. loves you, he’ll want to know about your passions. And hopefully he’ll be more understanding when you want to buy the $5 gallon of organic milk.

2. Don’t be a soup Nazi! Don’t be so uptight about your eating habits that you can’t enjoy some of life’s greatest food pleasures together. For us, we love eating ice cream while watching our favorite TV show and do it regularly. And admit that some of his favorite, perhaps not-so-healthy foods are pretty damn tasty and just eat them sometimes!

1. Have him watch Food, Inc. This movie changed my husband’s eating habits overnight. I’m not joking. The movie is very informative but not extreme. It’s inspiring, slightly scary, and enjoyable to watch. Again, knowledge is power and I think once your S.O. knows why eating healthy is so important for you, for the environment, and what impact it has on everyone’s life (including his!), he might want to think twice about that Big Mac he’s eating.

Do you and your significant other have different eating habits? If so, how do you manage it?

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jessica @ How Sweet March 18, 2010 at 7:55 am

We totally have different eating habits! I don’t eat much meat at all and wants 2lbs of meat at every meal. I love your tips and I very often make 2 separate meals – I don’t mind since I love cookin.’ :)

And I really don’t know if Food, Inc would change his mind. I doubt it would. Hell, I doubt I could even get him to sit down and watch it!

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2 Leah (Nutritionista) March 18, 2010 at 9:02 am

I definitely made my boyfriend watch Food, Inc. It made him think more about his choices, but he’ll still buy CAFO meat when it’s convenient. Baby steps!
.-= Leah (Nutritionista)´s last blog ..Easy Dinner: Pan-Seared Lamb with Roasted Green Beans and Spinach Salad =-.

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3 Becky @ flybynyght March 18, 2010 at 10:15 am

As my eating habits have changed, so have my husband’s. Now there are things that he won’t touch with a ten foot pole (eggplant, kefir), but he’s pretty adventurous and will at least give things a try before making a judgment. I try to make the things that he’s not a fan of for the meals that I eat when he’s not there. It works perfectly! And if he makes a meal that I just can’t see myself eating, he is just fine with me modifying it to my liking!
.-= Becky @ flybynyght´s last blog ..And now she’s a naked doggie!!! =-.

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4 Emily March 18, 2010 at 10:33 am

My fiance and I met 9 1/2 years ago at a Vegan function (we’ve been together 8 1/2). Up until this past January he was vegan. Then, one day, he came into the room and told me the news.. “babe, I’m no longer vegan”. My heart droped. This was something we shared, it truly hurt. We talked a bit more and found he was not only NOT vegan, but not VEG either. Wow.

We make it work, but it’s still VERY hard for me. I have to bite my tounge when I see him eat non-vegan food (he doesn’t eat meat in front of me..yet). I have to constantly remind myself that he is not his eating habits. That he is still the same beautiful man I want to marry.

I loved this post. I look forward to reading all the comments!
.-= Emily´s last blog ..AAMMAAZINGGG GRASS! =-.

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5 Triz March 18, 2010 at 11:41 am

Haha, I recently discovered that when my boyfriend said he’d stopped off for “coffee,” he was really getting one of those mammoth Java Chillers from Sonic, thinking seriously it was about the same thing. * despairs*

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6 Kim March 18, 2010 at 11:58 am

I’ve tried to impart some of the important stuff to my man, like heart healthy fats since his family has a history of heart problems. I thought it had sunk in, until he reached for the 3 grams of trans fat / serving popcorn.
.-= Kim´s last blog ..Eating in equilibrium =-.

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7 melissa March 18, 2010 at 12:40 pm

great post! thanks!
.-= melissa´s last blog ..Gastronomic Celebrations! =-.

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8 Melissa (It's a Veggieful Life) March 18, 2010 at 4:22 pm

Ha! My husband stuck his nose in a book while I watched Food, Inc. And since he can’t cook, he eats what I make him. Sometimes it has meat, sometimes it doesn’t. But he always eats it and at least pretends to like it even when he doesn’t. If he ever learns to cook (this is my ultimate Christmas wish list item) then he can cook whatever he wants and then I’ll eat it. I have to admit that my healthier ways have influenced him because the other day he told me that he thinks he’ll stop eating so much meat. Yay!! :)
.-= Melissa (It’s a Veggieful Life)´s last blog ..Cirku & Couch to 5K (W1D2) =-.

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9 Ashley March 18, 2010 at 11:50 pm

LOVEd this post. Especially #7. I love your blunt-ness. Chris definitely used to be that meat + potatoes guy. He didn’t venture out too much but always liked what I would make when we were dating. This usually consisted of something with boneless skinless chicken breasts [gag me w/a spoon!!! eeek] and noodles/rice or something of the sort. Somehow, as I got more into food, so did he. We tried new things together and I researched the correct way to prepare these new foods. Now he doesn’t really spend time researching food but he is all about the bigger picture…things like Food Inc, he is very interested in. I think it’s the more political/government part of it..he’s into that kind of stuff in general and definitely relates when it comes to food. He will listen to all of my food yammering…lucky for me! And lucky for me his tastes have majorllllly changed along with mine. He’ll usually grab chipotle 1-2x a week for lunch to get in some meat…and I’ll probably cook meat for him once a week w/your 2-pan method. Other than that he’s good with all veggies and/or tempeh. He’s not quite as enamored by food as I am, but he appreciates my passion for it, loves that I cook, and loves a good meal. Loved this post!

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10 Cherie March 18, 2010 at 11:58 pm

This is a topic I love to hear about since my husband and I don’t quite agree on food either. In general he doesn’t cook, so he eats what I fix. There is some meat in the freezer, and we have a grill, so occasionally he cooks it outside. I can’t stand meat, including looking at it (especially raw), and don’t want it in my kitchen. And I really appreciate his tolerance of this, and the fact that when he does BBQ he is very careful with the meat and what it touches, even reserving part of the grill for veggies only (his idea).
When we go out to eat he often orders a meat dish. This used to be every time, but over the last 6 years he’s really tapered off on his meat intake.
For me the key point here is “Find out the limits”, DH doesn’t like tofu, so I hardly every use it if he’ll be eating with me. My son loves it, so sometimes we have it anyway, but I try to make the meal substantial enough to be fine without it.
I would say be patient too. It has taken YEARS for each new concept to sink in with my DH. But 12 years later, we are much more aligned on our dietary opinions than we used to be and all of the changes have been moves in a healthy direction.
.-= Cherie´s last blog ..Asparagus and Eggplant =-.

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11 Heather (Heather's Dish) March 19, 2010 at 12:00 am

nate and i are totally different sometimes…i’m a LOT more adventurous and really appreciate healthier foods (GMs and stuff :)) and he’d like to stick with canned green beans (blech!) we just compromise though and try different things but stick with classics too :)

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12 Gena March 19, 2010 at 7:33 am

LOVE this post! As a vegan who has only dated omnis, I agree that it’s 100% possible for mature people to come together and respect each other’s food choices. It might involve some compromise (I, for one, have eaten at more non-vegan joints than I personally like, and my exes are often told “make it yourself or get takeout, cuz I ain’t cooking meat/poultry”) but in the end, it’s worth it.

Great post!
.-= Gena´s last blog ..Lucky Hemp Bread and Chicago Meetup =-.

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13 Michelle (Life With Relish) March 19, 2010 at 2:44 pm

I love this!! My husband is very healthy-minded, but he does like his meat! He admits that since I’ve stopped eating it, he finds himself with more energy and feeling better, but he usually will order some type of beef product when we go out to eat!

I’m totally with you about working it out together. I’ll make a veggie dish for me, and throw some chicken in it for him. He’s eaten a lot more fish than ever, and we’re both always experimenting with new recipes together. You’re right, it makes it a lot easier to kick back together and enjoy those guilty pleasures once in a while when you’re making a consistent effort to eat well. I look forward to Friday nights all week for that very reason!

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