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Eating in Sync
It hit me today that I’ve never posted anything about a topic that’s very near and dear to my heart. It’s my book, and I’ll never, ever, ever get tired of talking about the subject matter. Not only did I put my heart, soul, blood, sweat, and tears into the pages, but I live it every day! It’s called Your Diet is Driving Me Crazy: When Food Conflicts Get in the Way of Your Love Life. It’s all about how the way you eat affects your relationship, and how your relationship affects the way you eat (what, when, why, how, how much you eat, etc.). The book contains 17 chapters. Each one’s about a common food-related conflict couples face, and my hubby and I have personally battled 8 of those 17!
The good news is we’ve overcome them, and I believe anyone can. One of the main messages of the book is that food fights are a big deal in relationships. They can wreck havoc with communication, intimacy, and health. But, you and your partner don’t have to live with them. Here’s one Jack and I have faced and what’s worked for us (I’ll include more in future posts):
Jack tends to show love through food (including to our pets) and really enjoys sharing food with the people he cares about. Trouble is, we’re not always hungry at the same time, my calorie needs are far lower than his, and we really don’t like many of the same foods. Occasionally, he still offers me bites of what he’s eating with a puppy dog look on his face that says, “Please have some.” But for the most part, he’s made peace with the fact that I can’t, or don’t want to eat what or how much he’s eating.
One of our solutions is to prepare similar foods differently. As I mentioned Monday, we both love Mexican food and lucky for me, Jack cooks! He makes fantastic fresh guacamole, and we often eat beans (no surprise if you read yesterday's post) with sautéed onions, peppers, mushrooms (and zucchini when in season). But, when he cooks, he’s pretty heavy handed with the oil and seasonings (both unmeasured), whereas my version of sautéed veggies involves light misting them with an herb-infused oil. Also lucky for me, he’s a great listener. When I explained that I just can’t eat the way he does without gaining weight, and that I like the way I feel when I eat “my” way, he understood. Instead of arguing about it, or one of us having to give in to the other’s way of eating, we’ve agreed to respect each other’s needs. He’ll make a batch of veggies “my” way, then toss his in the pan to prepare “his” way.
On other Mexican nights, he’ll have tacos, tostadas, or quesadillas (with hot salsa and jalapenos or habaneros – yup, he’s a fire eater) and I’ll make a veggie taco salad (with mild salsa – I’ll never forget the time he asked me to “just try” a jalepeno, and I did – ouch!). We share some ingredients - beans, lettuce, veggies and guacamole (in his and her-sized portions) so it’s not too much extra work. And the best part is, I don’t walk away feeling stuffed, and he doesn’t walk away feeling starved. It works! Ten years later, I haven’t gained a pound, and he’s 50+ pounds lighter.
Do you and your significant other have trouble eating in sync? Or, have you found ways to make it work? If so, please share your story!
photo courtesy of Cynthia Sass - me and my sweetie out to dinner