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"different" diets

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monarch64

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Does anyone have a different diet than their spouse/significant other? How has it worked out for you? Is their attitude supportive or has it caused difficulties? How do you deal with buying groceries, eating out, cooking dinner, etc.?

I am just curious to find out how other women and men deal with food in the household. I stopped eating meat back in September and my DH is a total carnivore. He''s 90% supportive of my decision, but there are some instances when I think he wishes I would just be "normal!"

So are other people out there dealing with diet differences within a relationship? What about within families with children?
 

Lorelei

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Good question Monarch, great to see you popped in on the DWT too!

I am a vegetarian and Hubby loves his meat so I tend to cook two meals, but occasionally he will eat a vegetarian option which helps. Eating out is easy as I just choose differently but we don't tend to have the steak houses you have in the States here, so there is normally a place with a menu to suit us both.






 

blodthecat

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Hi there,

I am married to an Indian man, who has never eaten meat in his entire life...not even a chucky egg!

So when we first got together, my mind went into orbit, trying to think of things I could make for him to eat. By the way, I'm not much of a cook, and I have no idea how to make Indian food!

Initially, it was a bit challenging, but over the years we have found things which we can both enjoy. Pasta dishes, cous cous, rice with grilled vegetables etc....

This was food that he had never tried before..so I guess we have both met each other half way. (Although i do eat meat sometime)

I guess the thing is that we 'eat to live' and not 'live to eat'

So if you both have different dietary requirements, it shouldn't be to much trouble to make minor adjustments to accomodate each other.

Blod

 

eks6426

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Monarch--funny you should post this now. I was just sitting here working on the new menu plan for my family.

My husband and I would both like to loose weight. After our July 05 wedding and the merging of our households (his son 16, mine 8) we found ourselves putting on weight because we''ve been catering to the kids for meals.

I was pretty successful on my own at keeping weight off. When I did want to loose it, I did South Beach and had my then 5-6 year old do it with me. Lucky for me he likes veggies and didn''t seem to notice that we had no bread or pasta. But then when I started dating my now husband we went out more and I would eat more to keep up with him...well he is a foot taller than me and weighs over 100 pounds more so obviously that was not a good plan.

Fast forward to now. Husband is willing to do this with me so that''s helpful. But his son doesn''t like veggies and won''t tolerate a version of South Beach with us. I looked into doing the Nutrisystem for my husband and I but it is expensive and you have to buy so much extra food (veggies, fruits, proteins etc.) that it didn''t seem worth it. I liked the idea though to reteach portion control. So we''ve decided that we are going to have Lean Cuisines for dinner with a salad and a veggie--another version of forced portion control. For lunches, I make big pots of soup each Sunday and we eat a bowl each day. We''ll just cut out the crackers and have a salad instead. But what about the kids? Well, to make things easy I''m going to go to Sam''s and buy big bags of kid friendly food like chicken nuggets and pizza rolls. They will have the salad and veggies like us. I know it''s not the best diet plan for them, but we only intend to do this for 2 months until our stomachs learn to live on less food. We''ll probably do a weekly dinner that is something like grilled chicken, califlower mashers & salad.

I''ll be curious to hear how others handle this.
 

monarch64

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Interesting responses! Most couples we know and socialize with eat the same things, so it''s good to be able to come here and find out what other people have experienced. I think my husband sometimes thinks I will "snap out of it" one of these days and start eating meat again! But I don''t expect that he will "snap out of it" and stop eating meat...funny how that works! Of course I''m a minority among our families and friends, in fact I think I''m the only one who doesn''t eat meat. No one really gives me a hard time about it aside from the usual ignorant comments, but sometimes it''s hard to be the "different" one. I compare it to going out to a bar and drinking a Coke!

I pretty much deal with our shopping and cooking the way you all do: I buy meat for him and veggies for both of us, and when I cook I just don''t eat whatever meat there is. Winter has been easy, but this summer will be a bit of a challenge. He loves to grill (esp. burgers) and I really, really do not care for Boca burgers or veggie burgers. Thank goodness for veggie kabobs!
 

pebbles

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I just joined Weight Watchers about 10 days ago so I am still in the early stages of figuring out what to eat.
This "diet" isn''t so much a don''t-eat-this kind but more of portion control. Obviously there are things I can eat that will totally throw me off the point schedule, and this has only come up once so far (when hubby stopped for fried chicken on the way home from work) so I ate very little of that and instead ate a salad. Hubby is totally supportive b/c he knows I''ve been trying to lose weight for a while and since we''ve all been sick getting to the gym has been very hard. He knows his portions are too big so he too has been trying to cut down but he technically isn''t counting points like I am. So Monarch, this probably doesn''t answer your question but it actually has not been too bad for me.


One of my girlfriends a few years ago tried the Atkins diet to lose weight and after a few days of her husband not having any pasta or carbohydrates (which he totally loved) he decided to join her. Together they lost over 100 pounds, but they put it all back on after they stopped. Her husband''s cholesterol had skyrocketed so that was one reason they stopped. She is now doing Jenny Craig and basically makes two different meals for them. They don''t have any kids so they don''t have to worry about separate meals for them. She said it''s really hard when they go out to eat, which they do a lot, or if they go to someones house to eat or for a party. She said she really hasn''t learned portion control that much b/c everything is packaged already for you (very convenient) so she is thinking about switching to Weight Watchers with me. She said her in-laws got mad when she brought her frozen Jenny Craig meals to their house when they went to eat one day. I told her that was probably not the best way to handle it!
 

monarch64

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http://www.studiopanepinto.com/store/mesu.aspx

Check out these bowls for portion control! The circle represents 1 cup, half circle=half cup, etc. so you can train yourself to "eyeball" proper portions. (So if the cereal box says 1 serving = 1/2 cup, you use the half circle bowl.) Cool, huh?

mesubowls.jpg
 

eks6426

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Those bowls are cool. Does it still count if you fill the bowl to the top? Hah! Probably not!
 

monarch64

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I think it does, actually! They kind of look bigger in the picture than I bet they are in real life. The half cup looks pretty deep but I''m guessing it''s probably the size of a ramekin or one of those butter dishes that go over the burner thing for lobster.

My hardest measurement is 2 tablespoons of salad dressing! I love my condiments, and tend to drown everything!
 

Mara

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ID..I can''t say that I think having your kids go on a ''diet'' with you or your husband is the best thing for them...to me I don''t think children should really ever be put on ''diets'' unless suggested so by a doctor and then the doctor and nutritionist should figure our the meal plans so that the kids end up getting everything they need in nutrients. Kids are not the same as adults, they are still growing and it doesn''t sound healthy to be ommitting entire food groups so young. Also, people have all their life to worry about weight and I don''t think kids should do that as long as they eat healthily and exercise, like children should be doing anyway! It would be very easy for your son to start thinking maybe he was too fat and it''s all downhill from there ESP in the teenage years when they are so self-conscious anyway. I have a friend who ended up with an eating disorder because her Mom used to ration her food and make a big deal out of it and not let her eat to keep her from gaining weight.

For me if the kids need to lose weight, figure out a diet plan that works FOR THEM, being growing, strapping young kids and also I wouldn''t call it a diet, it''s just eating right and doing more! My Mom used to always make me eat wheat breads, healthy cereals, no sodas, rarely anything super bad for me...when I grew up and moved out, of course I rebelled and ate all the Fruit Loops and Sodas I could get my hands on, but eventually I found my way back to doing ''The Mom Plan'' which I find fairly ironic....parents sometimes do know best!

Anyway we are both meat eaters so I don''t have really anything much to contribute here re too many food habits, but I will say that since I do try to keep Greg and I on a healthier lifestyle with eating in general (we don''t keep sweets in the house except for some dark chocolate for nibbling) that he knows if he wants to have that pizza or the big fat burger he mostly has to do it at work for lunch...which he typically does. We have pizza once ever 2 weeks and a good burger and fries the same but he loves that stuff so I say get it at work! He also has the typical higher athlete metabolism and doesn''t gain weight as easily as I do.
 

moon river

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Monarch I'm a fellow vegatarian living with a carnivore who loves butterflies!!Soul Sisters!!! I have been veg for 12 years. My daughters quit eating red meat about the same time I did but then I cut out all animals. I don't eat eggs either. I can't do without my dairy though. At first I didn't like the Boca Burgers but I acquired a taste for them over the years. I even eat the patty with A-1 steak sauce. You have to be creative when you don't eat meat. I always cook a meat with lots of veggies on the side so I don't really have a problem at home. When I make chile or pasta I divide it up and add meat to one dish. Going out to eat is another story. I've slowly learned what places have veggie selections. I have been careful to ask if there is any meat broth in the veggies though because alot of places do that
I use to waitress and I always accomodated people who had food allergies or preferances by reading the labels before they ordered but not all servers are that way. I can tell when there is meat broth in something I've eaten because I get violently ill. The people at Subway don't like me because I make them change gloves and knives before preparing my food.(The are SUPPOSED to anyway) It's an adjustment I am happy to make because I feel SO much better without meat in my system.

As far as salad dressing goes, I've learned to love the taste of just the salad. I too used to drown my salads in dressing but now I love just a little salt and pepper or I dip my fork in the dressing(on the side) before I pick up the salad with the fork. It gives you just enough.
 

rainbowtrout

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Hmm...

Flyfisher is lactose intolerant, hates broccoli rabe, won''t eat pork, and is allegric to seafood--all items I love..

I have my own wierd things, like the insistance on free-range eggs, meat, and whole grains. He has been such a doll about buying the "happy chicken" eggs only and my heavy homemade wheat bread (yeah...that light fluffy "whole wheat" in the store is not possible without various additives)

I have to say there is very little conflict around the house, though...I cook everything, if it tastes reasonably good he eats it. We eat mostly vegitarian with cheese in moderation and every once in awhile a cream sauce (he loves dairy even if it can give him problems)

The only problem comes up at restaurants. We don''t have enough money or big enough stomachs to each order an entree, so we usually split it. I however will sometimes get very sad and mopey about the fact that I can''t have the mussels or the fish. Childish, I know....was raised Sicilian and lived off seafood. Usually we compromise, although the last time we went out he made me order the sea bass
and he just had an appetizer so we could afford it.
It''s quite silly but for a foodie that is one of the most romantic things he''s done in awhile


THis week I haven''t been eating bc sick...I HAVE to make bread today though!

Just for fun, here is what I was SUPPOSED to cook this week:

1) goat cheese ravioli in oyster mushroom broth (oyster mushrooms are a great seafood sub for taste)
2) winter garlic-ginger squash soup
3)risotto with dried shrooms
4) roast chicken


most of these I just stick with a spinach salad or romaine salad. if I''m feeling really energetic maybe roast carrots or potatoes.
 

monarch64

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OK, so now I REALLY miss the PM system!

Mara, I think ID meant that she and her husband have gained weight because they''re eating what the kids like to eat instead of healthier choices and it has made THEM gain weight, not the kids. And I think her solution was to keep getting some of the stuff they like to eat (pizza rolls, chicken nuggets) but make sure they eat salads and veggies with the junkie stuff, not to lose weight but to be healthier. Correct me if I''m way off-base here, but that''s what I got out of her post.

MoonRiver--I''m getting to the point of cutting out the rest of the animal products. I''m having to go really slow because it''s really a complete lifestyle change if you think about all the animal products used in our daily lives...there are obvious ones, what we eat, what we wear (leather, etc.), then all the products that might be tested on animals...it''s just overwhelming when you''re starting out! The more research I do, the further I want to go towards the vegan/raw food extreme!

FYI, my intentions when posting this weren''t to push vegetarianism or anything, but just to get different POV''s on how two people living under the same roof deal with having very different eating habits. A lady I work with told me she and her husband don''t eat dinner at all! She used to cook for him, but he would be out tinkering with something and never come inside till the food was cold, so she stopped cooking. She also said she doesn''t like to eat after 5, and consumes most of her caloric intake from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. ANybody else out there not mess with dinner? My mother and I''ve always said we wouldn''t eat dinner (or very much of it) if our DH''s didn''t "require" it!
 

moon river

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Another note...In additon to buying groceries to accomodate all of our preferances I also TRY to buy only organic foods for my daughter and myself. It is SO expensive. As are the vegetarian meals at the supermarket. You''d think with the price of meat these days that going veg would be cheaper.

Also, BF drinks sodas and I don''t buy them for the house.If he wants on he has to go buy on. My daughter might drink 2 a week when she is away from home but mostly we have fruit juices water and milk. And NO JUNK FOOD in the house either. My daughter doesn''t mind. She''d rather have piece of fruit.
Bread wise- I buy white for BF and WW for us. He won''t touch WW. As a matter of fact he won''t touch hardly any of our foods.
 

Mara

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Actually Monarch I was referring to where ID said that she had her 6 year old boy go on South Beach with her originally....

and then how the kids didn't want to do it this time around (good for them!)....so I read into it that the parents would like for the kids to go on the same diet as the parents and to me that just doesn't work from a 'health' perspective...just my two cents of course.

Haha yeah this non PM system really makes you just GET IT ALL OUT THERE doesn't it?
 

moon river

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Maybe we could start some sort of vegetarian recipe swap!! I''m always on the lookout for new ideas.
 

monarch64

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Yes, I think we should start a vegetarian-friendly recipe thread! I love reading the "regular" crock-pot ideas and other recipes but I have a bit of trouble figuring out how to adapt them to exclude meat and sometimes dairy...

I''ll see what I can come up with over the weekend and hopefully others will want to contribute as well...it would be nice for those with food allergies, cultural diet requirements, etc.

I know there are websites for all these things but it''s so nice to come to PS and find it all in one place--not to mention the other info on life-sustaining diamonds and jewelry!!!
 

Lorelei

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I''m game - I will just have to try to cross reference British measures to US cups etc, but hopefully I will be able to provide some vegetarian recipes.
 

monarch64

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Lorelei, don''t worry too much over the conversions...we are probably all good at improvising recipes anyway, since vegetarianism dictates that we be more "creative" anyway! The veg thread is up and running--take a look!
 

JCJD

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Well, "back" to the original topic of this thread, I''m veg (just don''t like the taste) but DH is a carnivore. Luckily, he likes tofu and legumes and puts up with TVP in place of meat and we like the same flavors and types of foods. He''s not a die-hard carnivore, if he can have meat one meal per day he''s happy. We basically cook vegetarian for dinner, but he cooks meat if he wants it, which is about once a month. We keep sandwich meat, ground beef and chicken breast in the freezer for his lunches and occasional carnivorous dinners, which was strange at first (meat in my refrigerator!!) but you get used to it. We grocery shop together, but I know what he gets so if I had to buy meat by myself I''d do fine. When we eat out anything goes. We will feed our future children what the rest of us are eating at meals (once they can have adult foods), but I''m personally not averse to them eating meat with daddy or at school or deciding to be omnivorous, as he''s not averse to them deciding to become vegetarian.

Actually, the veg/nonveg thing works out great. It''s his obsession with Little Debbie snack cakes and his inability to effectively hide them from me that''s the problem!
 

monarch64

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JCJD, you sound just as flexible as I am with my DH. We don''t have kids yet, either. I''d love to raise them veg, but I know that no matter what strict instructions I give either of their potential grandparents, they''ll be fed meat. Some carnivores cannot get past the idea that humans do not require meat in their diets, period. Not a battle I will probably get agressive about, although I do feel that it doesn''t speak highly of my own convictions. Oh well...you win some, you lose some.

My biggest problem with the veg/carnivore situation in our home is that anything I buy that is strictly "vegetarian" (canned chili, frozen dinners, etc.) gets eaten by both of us, while the meat and dairy only get eaten by one of us. Sometimes it seems that the things I think I have set aside for myself and planned for meals get eaten up faster by husband, but he still eats meat and has the dairy stuff as well. I guess I''m saying there aren''t as many choices for me in the fridge and cabinets after he raids them as there are for me--and that is a "beef" between us! (Bad pun, so sorry.) Do you have the same issue? Aside from the sweets?
 

Logan Sapphire

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Great thread! I''ve been a vegetarian for about 11 years now, and my husband is a carnivore. Although, I must say if we vegetarians had some sort of honorary medal that goes to the friendliest non-vegetarian, he would win
We eat vegetarian at home, so nothing with meat or seafood products. I wouldn''t mind if he ate meat (although, I wouldn''t cook it for him) but he just says it''s easier to make one meal, and he actually really likes a lot of vegetarian stuff. We have a lot of tacos and sloppy joes with the fake meat crumbles, and we make a lot of dishes with fake chicken (I like Quorn the best), and various other fake meat products. I think there''s only been meat bought once in the 2 years we''ve lived together, and that was pepperoni slices for a pizza. In fact, DH asked for a subscription to Vegetarian Times for Christmas.

My sister is also a vegetarian, and at first my parents would try to push meat on us, but now they''re totally accepting and accommodating. At my wedding, about 50% or more of the food was vegetarian.
 

JCJD

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monarch - not really a problem for us, luckily. If he wants a snack, it''s likely going to include meat, or Little Debbie''s. When I want a snack, it''s chocolate, evil Little Debbie''s, or something like baby carrots or salted nuts. I go through our leftovers quicker than he does too. He''s on the road so much during the day that often he''ll just stop for fast food while I take leftovers to work every day. If he happens to be at home for lunch, he''s also much more likely to heat up some chicken nuggets than eat leftovers. If you have a fridge at work, could you bring a couple days worth of leftovers/meals to "hide" them from him?


Logan - I''m the only veg in my family, although my aunt was until her first pregnancy - now she doesn''t eat red meat. At first, my parents thought it was rebellion (I was 13) but very very soon realized I''ve never been a big meat eater and helped me figure out what to eat instead. DH is very good at living with a veg too. He checks all labels for meat ingredients and selectively eats those with meat incredients when he''s eating alone. We also chose our wedding menu together and there ended up being only 1 meat item!
 

monarch64

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JCJD: I do "hide" things! It''s so sad, I have resorted to putting "my" stuff all the way in the back of the cabinet because I know he doesn''t like to dig--whatever catches his eye first, he grabs, lol! I do eat leftovers faster because I come home everyday for lunch, and sometimes I keep a stash of frozen meals in the office freezer...it''s too funny. I don''t mind sharing AT ALL, in fact, I love that he actually likes the "fake meat" items as well as tofu and all that, but it gets hard to plan meals/budget sometimes because I never know what he''ll take an interest in that I have in mind for my own meal/diet planning!

Logan: your husband should totally get an award, it''s so nice that he''s so accomodating!
 

JCJD

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I have an old coworker who was veg, hubby not. They only ate veg at home, but when he got a shrimp craving, he and the cat would sit on the front porch and plow through servings of shrimp cocktail!! Seems like neither one could stand to be in a vegetarian household for too long!
 

Logan Sapphire

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Date: 2/17/2006 3:20:11 PM
Author: JCJD
I have an old coworker who was veg, hubby not. They only ate veg at home, but when he got a shrimp craving, he and the cat would sit on the front porch and plow through servings of shrimp cocktail!! Seems like neither one could stand to be in a vegetarian household for too long!
That''s hilarious!!!

If anyone''s in the general VA or MD area, there''s a really great vegan B&B in Charlottesville called The White Pig. They have a potbellied pigs and various other animals. The food there is really good too. I''m grateful my husband is willing to try new things, esp. a weekend at a vegan B&B.
 

akw94

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In reference to the question about not eating dinner, I do but he doesn''t. So far, as we don''t live together yet, it hasn''t been a problem. If I possibly want to eat w/him, I just call and see if he''s eating that night. If not, I eat and he doesn''t, usually before we get together. Sometimes though i''ll have something for myself and he may have something small or nothing at all. Usually, when we''re together, we both eat or he''ll come over later in the evening after i''ve eaten. When we live together, it may be a bit odd but I don''t cook that much so i''m not that worried. Since i''m trying to eat extra healthy, I usually have something different than my son anyway so for the 3 of us to do our own thing, I don''t think it would be too weird. We also do have different tastes. He is a big meat eater whereas I am not. I eat it occas. but wouldn''t choose it on a menu. So the other night, I bought some pasta and he had meat ravioli and I had artichoke ravioli. We both had some cheese tortellini to top it off.
It worked out perfectly, although prob. not the best meal for losing weight. He is also pretty supportive w/my eating habits. I did the South Beach for a couple weeks and he made sure wherever we went, I could eat something too. When we live together, i''ll prob. do what others suggested.. just make the meal and not eat the meat part of it. At first, I thought it would be weird for us not to sit down and eat together (if he''s not eating dinner), but now, it doesn''t bother me.
I guess i''ll figure it out as the time comes.
 
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