Please enjoy today’s article from Elaina Love, author of three recipe books and founder of Pure Joy Planet and Pure Joy Academy as the guest columnist every Friday in the Journey Back to Self Blog. ~ Chris
Many people I speak with say they find it hard to be in a relationship with a man or woman who is not eating the same as them. In this blog, I will share with you some ways I have found that you can stay happily partnered while enjoying your own autonomy around food.
Some of the obstacles you have shared with me:
- “It’s hard to come home at night to the smell of fresh popped popcorn (or fill in the blank) when I’m trying to stay on a low carb/raw food program.”
- “When I go to a restaurant, if bread is on the table, it’s too hard to resist. My partner wants to have it on the table and I’d rather not have the opiate temptation!”
- “I try not to have food in the house that I might eat in a moment of weakness such as ice cream, cookies or breads. My husband loves to have these around, what can I do?”
- “My boyfriend/girlfriend doesn’t eat the way I do, and he/she seems to always be cooking up something yummy smelling in my hungriest moments. How do I resist the amazing smells?”
- “I’m pretty good at eating well when I am home, but when we go on vacation, it seems to get a little out of control. My mate likes to eat at places that have french fries and pastries. I usually come back home feeling depressed and 5 pounds heavier from all the “junk” I couldn’t resist on my vacation.”
- When I visit my parents, my mom gets her feelings hurt if I don’t accept her offerings of processed foods. I really don’t feel well when I eat those foods, what can I do to make everyone happy?
Does any of this sound familiar?
Here are some solutions:
- Start with talking about it. Sometimes our friends, family and mates don’t understand how painful it is for us to be trying so hard to do right by ourselves only to feel sabotaged when they order a pizza. If you appeal to their softer side and say something like “How do you feel about some healthy dishes tonight? I’m in the mood for…. How do you feel about that?” The other way is to tell them how much you love them and that it is nothing personal but you don’t want to be around when they are eating those types of foods so maybe they could eat it when you are not with them or let you know so you can wait to come around.
- If the smell of popcorn or fresh toast is intoxicating to you, consider: Having your own delicious gluten-free almond bread already made and easy to grab when you are feeling tempted. Top it with Veganaise or smear some avocado on it and sprinkle with your favorite seasoning and you’ve got a delicious treat!
- When your partner orders bread, ask the waiter to also bring out a small salad right away. This will help you have something to munch on instead of just watching the rest of the table enjoy the bread. Yes, it’s true bread has opiates in it, this means even the smell of it kicks in our pleasure-seeking addictions. Another option, which I used to do a lot before I could be around bread without eating it, is to bring your own gluten-free flax crackers or something healthy in your bag. You can slip them out one at a time and munch on them while you are waiting for your healthier choices to arrive. If there is a healthy dip at the table such as hummus or salsa, you can ask for a plate of cut up veggies to dip with.
- Here is what I have done in the past when other household members have foods my hips want nothing to do with: Create a separate snack food cupboard for them that you don’t go into. If even that doesn’t stop you, consider buying your own, healthier versions such as baked corn chips instead of fried, gluten-free, fruit-juice-sweetened cookies instead of Tollhouse, Coconut Bliss instead of Dryers. At least if you are going to indulge, it’s a healthier option. One other trick that has worked for me in the past is to ask your mate to hide the ice cream in the back of the freezer underneath the frozen peas. That way you don’ t see it when you open the freezer. Out of sight, out of mind.
- Smelling a warm, delicious food can be very tempting, especially when you are hungry. The best course of action is to always have things around that will satisfy a craving. For me it’s salads with a hearty dressing such as my vegan ranch (available in Elaina’s Pure Joy Kitchen Book 2) topped with avocado and crunchy pumpkin seeds. Still need more satisfaction? Try Kale Chips. You can buy these at Whole Foods Market or make your own nut free version!
- Bring enough food to share with your mom when you visit. Maybe she will love your flax crackers and hummus. Make her a morning smoothie or green juice. If she offers you something, say I would love some fruit, do you have any? (Most mom’s always have fruit around). That way she feels you are accepting something from her and she feels good. When it’s meal time, offer to make a big salad or something healthy that you enjoy, that way you always have something nourishing to eat. My family loves my kale salad piled high with pine nuts and avocados!
When all is said and done, the last thing we want is for food to come between us and the ones we love. Share your feelings and share your food. If you are persistent, like me, and continue to make super healthy foods and treats that are always on hand, your mate or roommate will love your food and be happy to eat it and maybe even start requesting it!
Bringing pure joy and gourmet bliss to the planet,
Author, Director of Pure Academy and Public Speaker
Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc. You can learn more about her at www.ChrisSopa.com. Find her at Facebook.com/ChrisSopaInternational, Twitter @ChrisSopa, LinkedIn, and Google+.