Hello CC&C readers! My name’s Kristin and I’m the blogger behind Iowa Girl Eats, where I share my quick & easy recipe ideas, travel adventures, and workout routines. I was so happy when Ashley asked me to guest post while she’s off on her honeymoon – oo la la! Congrats to the newlyweds!
It wasn’t that long ago that my husband Ben and I were newlyweds. We live in Iowa and just celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary last April. On one hand, I can’t remember not being married to him, on the other hand, I feel like we just exchanged vows last week!
Ben and I lived separately until the day we said ‘I do’ and although we shared plenty of meals and I cooked for him all the time before we were married, it was a completely different ball game after we tied the knot and lived together full time. Immediately after the honeymoon I found myself wanting to make the most luscious, finger-lickin’ meals for him to come home to every night, showering him with desserts like cupcakes and brownies to make him blissfully happy!
Everything was fine and dandy, of course, until I found myself 7lbs heavier 2 months later, while he was no worse for wear. I think they call that happy weight, but I don’t know, it didn’t make me feel very happy!
Soon after, I took control of the situation – bound and determined to lose the weight. I wanted to continue to make meals for Ben that he would enjoy, of course, but knew I couldn’t continue to eat like I had been. That’s when I came up with 5 ways to satisfy my husband’s appetite, but save my waistline.
1. Modify your meals
There’s a healthy(er) alternative to pretty much every dish out there. Here are a few ways I make husband-friendly meals with a healthy twist.
If I’m making a yummy alfredo pasta, I’ll make my own cream sauce using low-fat milk and Greek yogurt, instead of loads of butter and cream, like in Skinny Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo.
If burgers are on the menu, I’ll use 99% fat-free ground turkey breast or chicken instead of beef, and place it on fresh lettuce like in Thai Chicken Burgers with Mango Salsa.
If Ben’s craving fast-food, or a bar-type meal, I’ll make it healthier by making it at home. Bake your own tortilla chips then top with a moderate amount of garden-fresh toppings like in Greek Salad Nachos.
Tricks like cooking up brown rice for yourself and white rice for your man, mashing regular potatoes from him and sweet potatoes for yourself, and keeping wheat bread around for you and white bread around for him, are also easy changes to make!
4. Get your husband in the kitchen
The quickest way to get somebody to care about what they’re putting into their body is to have them make it themselves.
Your husband or partner may ask for extra butter or salt when you’re making the meal, but if they see how much is actually going into the dish when they’re involved in the cooking process, I can almost guarantee you they’ll cut back.
3. Keep snacks separate
I want my husband to eat healthy so we can grow super old and wrinkly together, so I generally try and keep junk food out of the house. That said, I’m not the food police and can’t deny Ben the stuff he loves (ok I love them too) – potato chips, cookies, etc – so we keep separate snack shelves in the pantry.
This technique is actually more for me because if I see those Chewy Chips Ahoy or salty BBQ Lays, it’s light’s out – I’m totally going for them! If I have a shelf filled with crunchy, better-for-you cereal like Kashi Honey Almond Crunch, or chewy Pumpkin Walnut TLC Bars for a sweet treat, I know I can easily reach for those instead.
4. Eat smaller portions of the real thing.
Sometimes it’s fun to go all out and make a crazy, calorie-filled dinner for you and hubby. It’s ok. Life’s short – have ribs!
The trick is to just eat less. I always use a small, salad-sized plate instead of a big, entrée-sized plate. It makes portion control so much easier.
5. Don’t freak him out
If you try and serve your meat and potatoes husband grilled tofu on a bed of steamed spinach and brown rice (yep, I’ve done it,) it’s not going to go over well, no matter how you try and spin it.
If you want to incorporate healthy foods you love into dishes he’ll love too – try mixing them in. Make a veggie-filled stir fry with cubed tofu for you AND cut up chicken to include for him.
If you’re dying to try a new vegetarian recipe, grab two individual-sized baking dishes, pour half into your dish, then sauté up a chicken breast, add it to his half and bake it up next to yours.
By using these tips over the past four years, Ben and I have come to a happy medium when it comes to cooking and eating both healthfully and deliciously. Hopefully these tips and tricks will work for you too. Here’s to a happy, healthy, and tasty, marriage!