Good morning and Happy Humpday!
I thought I would start today out with a great question I received a few weeks ago from a reader named Lauren. This really made me think, and I’m so glad she asked the question!
I’m hoping you all will have more ideas and tips that will help her (and me!) out – multiple minds are better than one, right?
I’ve got a question for you about how you work out your meals with your husband, Nick. Since you seem to be the one who is more passionate about food and have greater requirements for the quality and healthiness (ha, is that a word?) of the food you eat, do you do most of the meal planning and cooking? How does he contribute? Does he appreciate food like you do?
The reason I ask is that I am struggling working with my boyfriend when it comes to our meals together. I put a lot of energy in to finding new recipes I want to try, reading food blogs, going to the grocery store, and putting together healthy meals–because it is important to me and I would do it even if it was just for myself. But my boyfriend could throw together pasta, spinach (I’ll give him extra credit for that), and marinara sauce together every night for dinner at 8:00 PM and be okay with it. He has made the choice to not make an effort to reciprocate a healthy, well thought out meal for me, because he just "doesn’t care about food the way that I do."
Have you and Nick ever dealt with a situation like this? If so, how did you handle it? Can you offer me some advice with this situation, because I would really like to share my passion for good, healthy food with him, but he just doesn’t seem to care. Should I just accept that he just doesn’t care and give in and be myself?
I loved this question because I can relate SO much to her feelings. I am definitely more passionate about food, health, etc than Nick. He doesn’t just eat junk food or anything, but he’s not reading food blogs all day long, looking up recipes to make next week, and plotting breakfast for tomorrow at lunch the day before, you know?
Here’s the response I sent to Lauren:
Boy, where do I start?
Do you do most of the meal planning and cooking? Yes, definitely. I plan meals every week, do the grocery shopping, etc. He does help with the cooking sometimes, and he is a good cook! But, most nights, I cook the meals/get the stuff out/put the dishes and leftovers away/wash dishes.
How does he contribute? He eats it? :) Just kidding! Nick really is a great cook – he isn’t one to use a recipe and is good about throwing stuff together quickly to make a meal. And great at making breakfast.
Sometimes if I’m having trouble figuring out what meals to make that week, I’ll ask him if there’s anything he wants, like something we haven’t had in a while.
He does do the dishes sometimes (we don’t have a dishwasher) and helps me put stuff away, too.
Does he appreciate food like you do? Yes and no. He likes good food. I mean, neither one us really likes or wants really processed foods or to eat something that just doesn’t taste very good. BUT, I’m pretty sure he doesn’t think about food most of the day, read blogs about food, look up recipes, etc. I think he would be just as happy with easy meals sometimes, but he also gets sick of leftovers WAY faster than I do, so I know he wouldn’t eat the same thing every night unless he had to.
I totally understand, though. I feel like Nick is like that in some respects because he doesn’t have the same passion.
Sometimes he’ll want to order pizza or go get some burgers (which is fine) but just doesn’t seem to understand why I DON’T sometimes. Does that make sense? I’m all about onion rings sometimes, but we don’t always want the same thing at the same time, and that’s when it gets tough making decisions.
He never does that on purpose – his cravings happen when they happen, and the same with me. I mean, he’s a guy. He can, and sometimes does, eat an entire batch of chocolate chip cookies in less than a week and never has to worry about his weight. But he eats pretty healthy most of the time so the splurges are okay.
One thing that I tried to do early on in our marriage was to get ideas from him of meals he loved and just make them a bit healthier by using whole wheat pasta, adding more veggies, cutting out some cheese, etc. This also happened to be when I finally losing the rest of my weight with Weight Watchers, so that made it easier for me, too.
Maybe find out things that he just loves but never makes for himself? Or recipes that his family makes that are big traditions and find new ways to make them? Maybe if it’s his turn to cook or he wants to make a meal for you, you could give him a few suggestions of things you’d like to try.
Also, if he can find healthier snacks, etc, that he just loves, that may help give him new ideas, too. Nick just recently started loving Hummus and Clif bars.
And…if you try that, and it doesn’t work, he just may never have that same passion, and that’s okay, too.
I know Nick thinks I’m crazy sometimes – okay, most of the time – for being so excited about oatmeal or wheatberries or almond butter, and I’m okay with that.
Sometimes it is hard doing all of this and not feeling like you get an appreciation for your work, but it’s like you said – I do this not only for him, but for me. And if I wasn’t married and I was just on my own, I’d be doing this anyways.
So what about you?
How do you deal with planning / eating meals with your significant other or family that you live with? Does anyone share your passions for food, cooking, health, etc?