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Author Topic: Health: Developing healthy eating habits & overcoming barriers to healthy eating  (Read 1875 times)

PerditaPickle

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Hi all,

My husband & I have crap diets and we know we need to improve this situation.  The trouble is, I'm vegetarian while he's not, and he is an exceptionally picky eater (like, I feel as though he may actually have adult 'avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder').  He almost exclusively eats unhealthy foods (fried things, fatty things, processed meats, too much meat) and will eat a minimal selection of those which fall into the healthy category only occasionally.  Plus I've already got to juggle my veggie diet with his meat-eating so that already makes mealtimes more difficult (he'll only rarely eat vegetarian substitutes).

I'm not a natural cook, finding it a stressful chore, and lack of time & energy are factors also so we keep falling into the trap of fast, junky food.  This needs to change now and for good, but I really don't know how I can possibly start to get my husband to eat healthier.  He'll stick with it for a day or two at the most if I'm giving him meals he doesn't get enjoyment out of, and we'll also end up wasting food as it'll sit in the fridge being ignored until it's only fit to be thrown out.

Does anyone have the solution?!  Finances are also a factor, so links to free online resources would be great - I'm unlikely to be in a position to be able to pay for resources at this point.

Thanks in advance, all.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2019, 02:35:03 pm by RandallS »
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Sefiru

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My husband & I have crap diets and we know we need to improve this situation. 

Yay, an excuse to talk about food! I don't think there's such a thing as "the" solution for diet issues, but I can give you some advice.

Quote
I've already got to juggle my veggie diet with his meat-eating so that already makes mealtimes more difficult (he'll only rarely eat vegetarian substitutes).

You didn't go into detail about how you define 'healthy food', but in my opinion vegetarian meat substitutes do not count since they're so processed (and they're not cheap either). I've got 2 pieces of advice here:

1. Embrace the bean. Refried beans, baked beans, hummus, three-bean salad. I'm a big fan of lentils because they don't need soaking before cooking and they're super cheap. Easy to sauce up with whatever condiment you want, too.

2. Indian and Mexican cuisines easily adapt between meat and vegetarian, they're very flavorful and also economical. If you ask me, vegetarian food is only boring when it's trying to mimic meat recipes. Let vegetables be themselves!

Of course it's important to find healthy foods that you like, not just ones that you think you "should" be eating.

Quote
I'm not a natural cook, finding it a stressful chore, and lack of time & energy are factors also so we keep falling into the trap of fast, junky food. 

Why is cooking stressful for you? Is it that you feel like you lack skill, or you're worried about doing it right? Are you just plain working with ingredients/recipes you don't like?

- Good cooking doesn't have to be fancy, and it doesn't have to take long. I get home from work at 5:30 and I'm usually eating dinner by 6, even when I'm cooking from scratch. And half that time is just waiting while things boil. During the week, I don't get more complicated than "chop, dump in pan, stir."

-This probably sounds hokey, but a very useful skill for cooking is mindfulness. I find that cooking engages all 5 of my senses; I not only look at food to know how it's cooking, but also listen and feel (such as the stab test for boiled vegetables), there's smell and taste obviously, and even my sense of time gets exercised while waiting for things to bake or boil.

- You've probably already heard this, but make ahead and freeze! Not, like, a month's worth of meals at once, but cook double and save half.

- Make sure your equipment is in good shape. Dull knives are both frustrating and dangerous! If your non-stick pans have the coating coming off, replace them. A "church key" can opener is indispensable for getting into jam and pickle jars. You can never have too many bowls.

I'm not going to suggest specific recipes because this post is long enough already, but if you're interested, I have loads.



Yei

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1. Embrace the bean. Refried beans, baked beans, hummus, three-bean salad. I'm a big fan of lentils because they don't need soaking before cooking and they're super cheap. Easy to sauce up with whatever condiment you want, too.

2. Indian and Mexican cuisines easily adapt between meat and vegetarian, they're very flavorful and also economical. If you ask me, vegetarian food is only boring when it's trying to mimic meat recipes. Let vegetables be themselves!

Of course it's important to find healthy foods that you like, not just ones that you think you "should" be eating.

I have recently discovered the delicious bounty that is roast carrots.

Healthy eating is a topic that interests me. Why, just recently my father and myself have had a debate about this exact topic. One of the points that came up is the word 'vegetarian.' Vegetarian food has a reputation for blandness (lettuce?), yet there are many meat free meals that are delicious (such as the aforementioned carrots). Solution, don't call it vegetarian. That word has a lot of baggage, and it is probably unnecessary. Food should just be food. Though things such as allergies complicate this somewhat. This is also why I don't like the word 'flexitarian.' Its just a normal diet!

I have a lot of other thoughts. But I'll get back to them later.

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Hi all,

My husband & I have crap diets and we know we need to improve this situation.  The trouble is, I'm vegetarian while he's not, and he is an exceptionally picky eater (like, I feel as though he may actually have adult 'avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder').  He almost exclusively eats unhealthy foods (fried things, fatty things, processed meats, too much meat) and will eat a minimal selection of those which fall into the healthy category only occasionally.  Plus I've already got to juggle my veggie diet with his meat-eating so that already makes mealtimes more difficult (he'll only rarely eat vegetarian substitutes).



Does anyone have the solution?!  Finances are also a factor, so links to free online resources would be great - I'm unlikely to be in a position to be able to pay for resources at this point.

Thanks in advance, all.

I've been veggie for over 30 years, my partner is not. I have perfected the art of cooking one meal for both of us and on a budget!

Buying veg from the supermarket is expensive so I have a veg box delivered every week from a local greengrocer. I leave a £10 note outside and the box is waiting for me when I get home. This was one from a few weeks ago but it's typical. It costs me a fraction of the price I'd pay in the supermarket and is pretty much plastic free too!



What does he like to eat? Start there and see what you can substitute out. For example I rarely buy the processed meat substitutes. They just taste weird to me and are so heavily processed that they don't pass my personal "healthy" and low waste filters.  For mince in (say) cottage pies or spag bolg I'll substitute green lentils.  You can buy them tinned which is the quick and easy version or dried where you'll need to simmer them for half an hour or so. Bought dried they are very cheap indeed. My partner is a complete convert to this and prefers them to the meat versions!

Another favourite is roasted vegetables - just a selection of veggies that I like, drizzled with olive oil and roasted for an hour. I serve with green salad and grated cheese but as a concession to the non veggies adding a sliced sausage to their portion works.  One is then enough - serve a whole sausage and you'll need 2 or 3!

If he'll eat baked potatoes ( sweet or ordinary) then that's really easy too. Some diced chicken or bacon in his, beans or similar in yours. Again the dicing means that you can get away with a lot less meat without him feeling deprived.

We eat a lot of vegetable and bean casseroles  - adding dumplings ( veggie suet flour and water) makes them really substantial and you can play around with the flavourings.

Vegetable curries can be as simple as you like. I fry an onion or two in coconut oil, add garlic, some chilli, red lentils and water. Simmer for 20 minutes and you have a basic dahl which goes well with some naan bread. You can ring the changes with extra ingredients and spices if you like.

Tinned tomatoes make a great base for a healthy pasta sauce- add onion and garlic and a few herbs and you're done. Again you can add some meat to your husbands portion.

Tonight it's a veggie pizza here. I make the dough in my bread machine (worth getting to make your own bread if you want to eat better quality bread than the shops. Second hand ones come up for peanuts on the selling pages) and top with a mixture of veggies.

Hope this gives you a few ideas. I don't enjoy cooking and aim to keep my preparation time down to 10 or 15 minutes max.


Sefiru

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I have a lot of other thoughts. But I'll get back to them later.

Me too. I'm fascinated by the difference between "eating right" and "eating well" and what this says about our culture, though my thoughts on the matter are not very articulate yet.

Finn

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Does anyone have the solution?!  Finances are also a factor, so links to free online resources would be great - I'm unlikely to be in a position to be able to pay for resources at this point.

Probably not the solution, but some ideas.

But first off, where is your husband on this? Is he on the same page as you--that is, is he ready to commit to eating more healthily and trying new things? Because if he really has an eating disorder (that is, if he really is way more than "picky"), and is not ready to address it, then I don't think you're going to get very far.

Anyway, I use these sites extensively for recipes:

https://www.budgetbytes.com/ -- Cheap but lots of flavors; meat, vegetarian and vegan options noted; recipes are adaptable

https://www.leannebrown.com/index/ -- Super cheap; the idea of her Good and Cheap cookbook (free PDFs) was to help those living on SNAP benefits or roughly $4/day

http://no-more-ramen.tumblr.com/recipe-index -- I haven't done as much exploring here, but things are helpfully tagged with lots of different options, including "no chopping," "vegan," "halal," "gluten-free," etc. Recipes can vary wildly in terms of measurements/details, from the very broad to the very specific
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Yei

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Me too. I'm fascinated by the difference between "eating right" and "eating well" and what this says about our culture, though my thoughts on the matter are not very articulate yet.

I think part of the problem is that it is hard to know what the 'parameters' should be. For example, should people choose their diet based on what is healthy, or what is good for the environment, or what is affordable. Not that these are mutually exclusive. Furthermore, should the idea of healthy eating be approached from an individual perspective, or a societal one? Is it possible for individuals to maintain a healthy, and ecologically sustainable diet in a world dominated by industrial agriculture and processed food?

Furthermore, in order for food advice to be accurate, it generally must be vague. For example: getting some exercise and eating a varied diet with plenty of fresh vegetables is very good and accurate dietary advice. But it is also kind of useless because it doesn't actually give any real information. I mean, what does a varied diet actually look like in practise?

EnderDragonFire

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I think part of the problem is that it is hard to know what the 'parameters' should be. For example, should people choose their diet based on what is healthy, or what is good for the environment, or what is affordable. Not that these are mutually exclusive. Furthermore, should the idea of healthy eating be approached from an individual perspective, or a societal one?

Hmm. Yeah, I'm not remotely health conscious (I'm also rather overweight) and I eat loads of fats, sugars, and other unhealthy foods. However, I still believe that I "eat right" and am very strict about my food intake.

However, my strictness is purely ethical and philosophical. I am a strict vegetarian, I eat local foods in preference over imported foods, I eat free trade foods as much as possible, and I try to avoid foods that cause damage to the ecosystem.

So, for me, "eating right" means eating food that doesn't harm animals, that doesn't hurt the local economy, that doesn't destroy the planet, and that wasn't produced overseas using unethical forced labor. My own personal health isn't relevant in my understanding of what it means to "eat right."
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MadZealot

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Does anyone have the solution?! 

For me it, it took a moderately scary health care. Made me clean up my dietary act pretty quickly.
I think most of us know the basics when it comes to healthier eating. We just make different choices.
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For me it, it took a moderately scary health care. Made me clean up my dietary act pretty quickly.
I think most of us know the basics when it comes to healthier eating. We just make different choices.
It is also a matter of what is right for your body 

As I have gotten older, i am no longer able to eat wheat, nor much at all of grains in general, nor anything high carb, nor beans. Now, other than wheat , I can do small amounts of the others VERY occasionally.

This means that eating vegan, or really vegetarian, is not an option. But, we only eat organic free range/grass fed/hormone free/etc.meat. And we also only eat organic vegetables and dairy products (can still eat those). We are both much healthier.


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PerditaPickle

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Re: Developing healthy eating habits & overcoming barriers to healthy eating
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2018, 09:59:40 am »
I don't think there's such a thing as "the" solution for diet issues

Yeah, the original post had been a bit of a long shot - where's a mind-reading super-guru when you need one?

It's been a while, so I just wanted to revisit and say thanks to those who posted for taking the time and trouble to do so.

My husband and I are still in the same position, as I've not found the 'magic' solution to this yet - it's difficult to answer some of the questions people raised, though, as some of it's hard to articulate without either writing out something really lengthy (and pretty boring) or seeming like I'm nit-picking the responses people posted.  But I do appreciate you all giving your input!

If by chance I do find some way of improving our diets at some stage I'll try and remember to post about it somewhere in this forum, just out of interest or in case anyone else has similar issues in the future.

Thanks again!
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But a voice inside her said, You want to, though...don't you...?
Ten seconds later, there was only the snow."
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Re: Developing healthy eating habits & overcoming barriers to healthy eating
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2018, 05:53:26 pm »
It's been a while, so I just wanted to revisit and say thanks to those who posted for taking the time and trouble to do so.

Nutrition is an ever-changing process, to be sure. (What foodstuff is killing us all this week, does anyone know?)

I recently learned the joys of roasting vegetables. And proceeded to confuse the hell out of the grocery-store cashier by buying celery root.

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Re: Developing healthy eating habits & overcoming barriers to healthy eating
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2018, 09:26:50 pm »
Nutrition is an ever-changing process, to be sure. (What foodstuff is killing us all this week, does anyone know?)

I recently learned the joys of roasting vegetables. And proceeded to confuse the hell out of the grocery-store cashier by buying celery root.
Lol!!!


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Re: Developing healthy eating habits & overcoming barriers to healthy eating
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2018, 09:45:36 pm »
(What foodstuff is killing us all this week, does anyone know?)

Probably water.
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Re: Developing healthy eating habits & overcoming barriers to healthy eating
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2018, 11:35:57 am »
Does anyone have the solution?!

Fitness and nutrition are very important to me so here is some simple advice. 

Your body is your responsibility and nobody else’s.  Nobody is going to make it awesome for you.  That is something you must do on your own if your health is important to you.  Working out obviously is a significant factor but an even more important factor is nutrition.

Begin with water.  Worship it.  Consume it frequently.  It is more precious then you think.

Lean meats.  Lean steak, fish, chicken, etc.  Grill them or whatever just don’t fry them.  Eggs, beans, etc also all very high in protein.  Begin prioritizing protein intake especially if you are interested in an athletic lifestyle.   

Fresh fruit.  They all taste good and you know it.  Wash them well and eat them however.  Especially as sides to everything.

Fresh vegetables.  Feel the energy after you consume them.  Combine them with other things if you have to, like fresh spinach, tomato and grilled chicken in salads or grilled bell peppers on a lean steak.

There are other things but these are the most important.  Eat bigger meals towards the beginning of your day and smaller meals towards the end of the day. 

Don’t miss breakfast. Like, ever.  If you want my advice for when it’s best for your body to workout, go workout about an hour or two after breakfast.  Drink a protein shake before.   Give your body the energy it needs to push itself to its limits.  Anaerobic exercise is my suggestion.  After you work out, come back and eat a high protein meal.  Begin your recovery right then and there.  And then your day begins.

Most important, learn why you eat and get used to feeling the strength and energy rejuvenate your body after eating something healthy.  This is how you know, obviously, because of how this food makes your body feel after.  Dont just eat to survive, or because it makes you feel good.  Eat to become stronger and to transform your body into a formidable machine to help your pursue your goals.  Learn to synergize nutrition and fitness and experience the science yourself behind becoming stronger, faster, healthier.  Then you can really discover for yourself the things that work best for you personally, and how relevant any of this advice actually is.

I am aware that you are a vegetarian and your husband is a picky eater who enjoys unhealthy foods but perhaps it is time for you both to compromise and explore some new horizons.  You can begin small and go from there.  It’s one possible future among many.

« Last Edit: October 06, 2018, 11:43:20 am by Goddess_Ashtara »
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