As a kid, I refused to take generic soggy homemade sandwiches for lunch. I turned my nose up at those nasty lunchables with the crackers, American cheese and “ham.” Instead I took soup and salad. One of my first memories in kindergarten consists of me spilling my thermos of tomato soup all over myself. It was DEVASTATING. Needless to say, since an early age, I’ve developed a palette for the healthier things in life. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good cheeseburger and fries (side-note: I actually hated cheese on burgers until I got to college) but I naturally crave vegetables and fruit if I start to feeling like I’m eating bad.
You can say I’m an “in-moderation” type of girl and luckily that’s worked out for me for the past 26 years. Combine moderation, a fast metabolism (thanks parents) and childhood dinners always consisting of a dark green vegetable and I can say I eat relatively healthy. My fiancé, on the other hand…not so much. Luckily, he has the fast metabolism thing working in his favor but since we’ve moved in together we’ve realized our eating habits are a little different.
Since our wedding is a little over six months away and we’re starting to really take our health seriously, the fridge is starting to look a different these days.
Show no mercy with fridge items. Throw out everything that’s not healthy and set clear boundaries on what you will and won’t be incorporating into your meals. There may be arguments. There may be silent treatments. But remember that “hanger” is not a real thing and eat a carrot stick. If you leave the ice cream and potatoes in the fridge you’re eventually going to eat it during a weak moment or convince yourself that you deserve it, which you do, but you also deserve a healthy and happy body.
Go shopping together. Trader Joe’s date anyone? Cruise up and down the aisles and read the ingredients on packages, making sure you understand everything in it. Stop at the sample station and treat your boo to a little snack, free of charge. You can even grab a cup of Joe also for free at their coffee sample station. I could go on about how amazing Trader Joe’s is, however, I’ll save that for another blog post. But in all seriousness, by carving out time to go shopping, you’ll hold each other accountable and no one will stop at 7-Eleven to pick up chips because your cabinets are already stocked.
Be mindful of your portions. It’s easy when you live with someone else to fix all of your meals the same. But if you’re trying to eat healthier and/or lose weight, the portions between you and your S.O. should probably differ. For example, the other night I made whole wheat penne with ground turkey meat sauce. When I went to fix our plates I grabbed a larger soup bowl for Doug and a smaller salad bowl for myself. Why? I didn’t want to overeat and since Doug is a male, they tend to naturally store less fat and process calories differently. Moral of the story: don’t let your man get you caught up and plumped up.
Ease into it. I’m not suggesting anyone dives into the non-GMO, gluten free, vegan lifestyle but there are really easy ways to ease into eating better. Our staple dinner at home used to be white rice, chicken and a veggie. I then decided to swap out the white rice for brown rice and we’ve now graduated to quinoa. Quinoa is a lighter starch than rice that is high in fiber so it fills you up and can help with weight lose because you don’t need to eat as much.