He supports me staying at home. His aversion to cloth diapering has manifested in believing cloth is the norm and disposable should be by prescription only. He agrees with the physical and environmental impact of meat & dairy on our bodies and the world.
However, being a good sport does not mean that he sometimes wishes for me to provide a second income. Or that he isn't grossed out by having to clean a really, really, really poopy diaper. Or he doesn't crave a carne asada burrito slopped with sour cream and wrapped in a chewy tortilla.
So how did I transition my steak-cravin', fried-chicken-lovin', ice-cream addicted husband into a meatless machine?
1 word: compromise.
Well, the word FAIL is a close second, but I'll get to that!
Our 1st decision to try meatless was after watching Food, Inc. together on a lazy Sunday afternoon when there was really nothing to watch on Netflix, and the children were magically napping. Initially we agreed upon trying meatless meals 2-3 days/week. Transitioning to soy milk would be easy for hubs as he already is lactose intolerant.
However, I don't do anything half-cocked. I jumped into meatless with a 7 day menu breakdown. I ordered 3 vegan cookbooks from Amazon, and I geared up for some gourmet, meatless meals. I was going to convince my husband that we could do this full time, not part time. But my 1st 3 recipes were epic FAILS. One recipe made my husband gag. My kids were sprinting away from the dinner table. My 1st success was chickpea salad (very similiar to tuna/chicken salad) with a side of fruit salad and corn on the cob. Then 3 more nights of FAILS, and my husband threw in the towel. "Go buy chicken!" he yelled.
So we went back to a regular diet of meat and potatoes, ice cream and Hamburger Helper.
And hubs gained 5 lbs. He he he.
He agreed to try some more meatless recipes.
So here's my advice:
1. Go Slow. Chances are you've been eating the traditional diet for at least 20 years. 3-4 nights/week of eating meat/dairy isn't going to kill you.
2. Stick to traditional. Take every day meals you'd normally eat and sub the protein. If you love spaghetti, take out the ground beef/turkey, cook with whole grain noodles and serve with a side of broccoli. Chicken tacos? Try bean tacos with homemade pico de gallo and fresh sliced avocados - whole grain flour tortillas can be hung over the oven rack and cooked on a low temp (for 1-2 minutes) to give the appeal of "fried" shells. Be creative, but don't be scared about staying within the box.
3. Allow for Being Glutinous. We eat meatless 5-6 days of the week. But hubs still craves greasy take-out food & home-made "comforts": cheesy sausage pizza, bacon and eggs. So, while I control what we eat during the week (like having dinner prepped before he can come home and decide to pick up the take-out menu), I also allow for pizza night - but insist on ordering a salad. Or I whip up bacon and eggs, but serve it with so much fresh fruit he can't resist. I'm also not afraid to add a bite-size candy bar to his lunch (since I make it every day) as a special treat so he doesn't feel deprived.
4. A dallup of butter or sour cream won't kill you. You can be hard core, or you can be reasonable. If Southwest Pasta takes a dallup of sour cream to send it over the top on his #1 most preferred, then heck, let him have a dallup! If some shredded cheese completes his bean taco, then shred away! And if butter makes for the optimum garlic bread - then a light spreading is what you provide.
5. Invite him to create. Some men like to cook, some men don't. My hubs likes to be a part of the process (if 2 kids aren't dangling from our legs trying to open the oven and turn on the garbage disposal). Tasting it as I go, having him chop vegetables, asking for advice, makes him feel like he helped create it. Very child-like, no? But it totally works!
6. Complement him! I guarantee that eating less fat, cholesterol, & grease will make BOTH of you look better. Whether you loose a few pounds, your skin looks refreshed, or your energy level returns. Make sure to note the difference on him, and be sincere!
And if all else fails, get a divorce? NO! Making sure you were paying attention. Just remember:
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