My DH's diet is completely wrecked! A little background.....Before we met he was a macrobiotic vegan for 6 years or so. Then he was working on the road a lot and slowly stated to eat just about anything. When we met 6 years he was eating like most Americans. Now he wants to back to eating more of a vegetarian diet but can't seem to get an appetite for any of the meals I prepare. Nothing sounds good to him although I know he likes vegetarian foods. I admit to not being a gourmet cook, in fact my main critics are a couple of not so picky youngsters. I myself am happy eating simple food like grilled chicken and green salad. To top it all off DH is trying to quite smoking. So he is having withdraws. In the morning he drinks coffee and then wont to eat and then will be starving and nothing sounds good but junk, he resorts to eating out a lot at local fast food joints which is something we cannot afford. I am trying to get him to give up sugar, he drinks a lot of juice but I wont buy soda, and has a wicked sweet tooth. He also eats late into the night, doesn't exercises enough, and needs to lose a good 30 pounds.
so any suggestions on what to do to help him, not just what to feed him but how to help him make the shift/change. I know he wants to do it but is having a hard time starting. I think he needs to see improvements in his health/weight/the way he feels to keep it up. What foods help people who are trying to come off an addiction, in this case sugar, nicotine, caffeine.
I'm certainly no gourmet cook, but I can follow a recipe pretty darn good! I would start by googling "hearty vegetarian recipes" and see what you find. I'd look particularly for chilis, eggplant dishes, etc. I was nearly raw vegan before this pregnancy, and then suddenly my body would not consider raw foods anymore. I only wanted rich, hearty, warming foods. I think most men like these kinds of foods as well. I had to find ways to incorporate vegetables in ways I wasn't used to preparing them. One great way is spinach omelete with lots of spinach. Hearty vegetable soups with corn bread. This eggplant dish is on my to-do list:
I lived off of sauted kale for a week with this recipe
1 bunch kale
1 large leek
Can of kidney beans
Splash of oil, saute the leeks, garlic and mushrooms until the leeks are soft. Add the kale and a splash of water, cook until the kale is as done as you like, add beans until warm. Salt and pepper to your taste. Top with some fresh salsa (in the produce section of grocery store). Turkey bacon is a great addition too. Serve with your choice of carbs.
You can also find some vegetarian recipes that look appealing, and add a little meat to start. I love one dish vegetarian dishes with a little meat added sometimes.
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Maybe you can sit down together and plan a week of meals together, or just two or three that sound appealing to him, including breakfasts. Dh and I finally agreed after a long time of me pushing for vegetarian and him pushing back for omnivorous, to eat meat, just good quality meat in small quantities. For instance, I'll make red beans and rice like this:
1 can kidney beans
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 tsp thyme
1/4-1/2 an onion, diced
1 link andouille sausage
cut the sausage into small bites, and saute with onion and some olive oil. Add in other ingredients and water or stock, if necessary. Simmer and serve with cooked brown rice.
The andouille sausage I buy comes in packs with 4 sausages, so I can make 4 or so servings (plus two small toddler sized servings ) out of this recipe, and 4 recipes from a package of sausage, and no one feels deprived, and the flavor is excellent for such a simple recipe- the better the longer it simmers together (I usually let it go 3+ hours, but I've also made it at the last minute and it is good too)
I know this isn't exactly what you asked but just a thought....While quitting smoking, sugar and caffiene are all GOOD choices that is a lot for your body all at once. He might do better easing into one big change at a time.
Becky- Wife to DH, Mama to "Nani" (July '08) "Coco" (July '10) and expecting one very wiggly baby boy in May 2013!
I also got him involved with the cooking. Growing up, his parents never involved him in cooking anything more complex than mac & cheese, and that was a huge disservice to him. Once he got cooking, he was more willing to try things like grilled zucchini, spinach salad, etc. that he never would have touched before. Seriously - one time he told my dad that bacon was his favorite vegetable while we were at a farmer's market.
We also gradually made changes with what we used to cook with, too. We threw out any seasonings with MSG or trans fats. We stopped using table salt and switched to Redmond Real Salt. Instead of cooking with vegetable oil, we use coconut oil for most things. For others we use olive oil from a friend's family ranch. When they have it available, we buy a 1/4 of cow and 1/2 pig that have been grass-fed and supplemented with organic foods.
Why not give him one challenge to work with at a time? Say, give up the smoking first. When he feels like he has a better handle on that, try slowly cutting back on caffeine. Then try easing off the sugar. Not having as many challenges at once is likely to help his mood and willpower. Good luck!
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I'd back off and let him eat/drink what he wants until he's past the nicotine withdrawals. Changing that many things at once will make him more likely to fail at all of them because he's depriving himself of everything. Let him off the hook for a few weeks and then slowly change one thing at a time.
I quit smoking and coffee at the same time. I had to. I couldn't have a cup of coffee without craving a smoke, at least in the early days. I drank hot green tea by the glallons, with plenty of sugar. make sure that there are plenty of whole grain carbs in the house, the fiber seems to help with the cravings. And starches. And any sort of protien you can offer him that makes him happy. Then, next month, when he's over the worst of the smoking, then worry about diet.