Monday, April 25, 2011

Don't let other people be your excuse

If your response to my last post was along the lines of, "My husband would never eat that," or "There's no way my child would allow sugar snap peas on their plate," this post is for you. 

Many, many times I have been told, "I don't fix those because no one else likes them" or "I really love [insert healthy food], but no one else in my family eats them so I don't fix them".  I get it.  I just don't think it's a good excuse.  You can't let other people be your excuse for not eating better.  Because ultimately when you miss out on good health and energy, which happens when you don't eat what you should, everyone else suffers too.

Now, do I think that we shouldn't cook our husband's favorite foods?  Absolutely not.  I want my house to be a refuge for my husband, a place where he is prized and appreciated.  I can guarantee you that might be hampered if I served sauteed onions and black bean cakes every night.  (Both random foods that I love and he dislikes).  But if you are fixing meat and potatoes for your man, why can't you fix a side of something green for you?  Here's some tips for fixing a healthy side for yourself:
  • For fresh veggies like broccoli, asparagus, sugar snap peas, etc., chop up one serving (and by serving I just mean however much you think you'll eat.  Never feel bad about eating "too many" veggies.), add ~1 inch water and steam.  If you want, add a little salt, pepper, or other seasonings (lemon-pepper or oregano are good with broccoli).
  • Buy individual microwaveable vegetable sides.  Green Giant has a Just for One! brand.
  • Pop open a can.  Who says you can't heat up half of a can of veggies and save the other half for another night?
  • Raw veggies work great too.  Set them out on the table for appetizers or as part of the meal.
  • Fresh fruit as a side dish.  Strawberries, oranges, pineapple, bananas, and apples are all in season now.
  • Add a salad.  Easiest way to add some green to your day.
And here's some encouragement for parents.  No, I don't have children (yet, Lord willing).  But I have had several people tell me, "My mom told me I didn't like that so I haven't tried it in [insert large number] years."  Children need to be exposed to foods.  Truth is, they probably won't like it.  Not at first.  Maybe not for the first 20 years of their life.  But the more they see Mom and Dad eating it, the more comfortable they will be with it.  Just like I talked about in my last post, we are much more comfortable with foods that we were raised on.  Much easier to learn about foods at 5 than at 50, isn't it?

Best part of this whole principle is that my husband and I both eat foods that we didn't "like" before we were married.  Michael really likes kiwis.  I didn't think I liked kiwis, but I have always tried to buy them fairly regularly for him.  Guess who discovered that she likes kiwis?


sabrina said...

Love me some kiwis! ha!

Debbie said...

We have always had a policy that the kids have to at least try something even if it is something they have told us they don't like. You never know when your taste may change!!

Thanks and keep up the good work Alex!! Proud of you!!

Morgan said...

I was in college before I tried honey because my mom said I didn't like it. Turns out she was confused...SHE didn't like it.

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