He wants ruddy chips with EVERYTHING!!!

Hey guys, I don't know about you, but do any of you struggle eating healthy food because your partner doesn't want to? I did well yesterday in terms of my diet, had my tomato and feta on toast for brekkie again, lunch was some vegetable stew (just

I worked late so I didn't have time to go to the gym and have a proper workout, and my fella was off for the night so I wanted to make us a nice dinner (normally i make myself something really simple when i'm cooking for myself after my gym workout) so I just had to make do with a quick 2 mile run. I made us a nice chilli con carne (lots of veg in it too), and I asked my fella before if that was going to be ok for dinner (he's been complaining I cook too many pasta dishes, as he eats this a lot at work), and he was like "yes but I don't want it with rice I want it with chips". So I had it with rice, he had it with chips, but of course I still nicked like about 10 oven chips. His diet is atrocious, he just wants everything deep-fried, with chips, with white bread and butter, with mayo and cheese on top. He says his favourite type of food is "American" (basically anything meaty/covered in cheese I have surmised).

Myself, I love healthy food. Don't get me wrong, I love a good kebab like many others, but I also love salads, I like vegetarian food (I grew up with both my parents being vegetarian so don't see meat as a big deal), I like soups. I just cant get away with cooking it for him. He's like "i don't like hippie stuff", hippie stuff being beans, lentils, , nuts, fruit, salad, soup, brown rice or anything wholemeal or seedy. Anyone else have this problem, trying to be healthy eating/exercising but hitting barriers when it comes to their partner?

Today I will have some leftover chilli, with grated apple and rice for lunch (turned it into a sorta salad), then a basic vegetable stew for dinner. My fella is working late so I can eat what I want. And i'll work out for 2 hours fingers crossed.

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  • It feels great to know I am not the only one. My husband does not struggle with his weight and eats what he wants. Unfortunately I do need to watch what I eat and I am doing quite well at the moment so I decided to stick to my guns and I had a chat with him, explained the situation and supports me 100%. The only downside is that we eat different meals, most of the times at different times because I workout after work...I know it is not ideal because is always nice to eat together but we always have the weekends when there is more time to plan, prepare and maybe cook together.

  • Yeah its just a bit of a pain to prepare two different meals, I know exactly what you mean. Plus I just think it'd be nice to eat the same things. My boyfriend isn't overweight, BUT I do worry about his overall health though. I mean he smokes, he drinks every day (not a lot, but like 4 cans of stella a day), and without feeding him healthy food I worry about his lifestyle choices. This is the reason why whilst I was working away from home for a couple of months, he put on loads of weight (because he just buys kebabs/ chicken kievs and chips/ Pasties), and now he's back with me and I'm cooking us homemade dinners again, he loses weight. His mum loves me, because she's always worried about him relying on junk food without her cooking for him (he CAN cook, he just doesn't enjoy it like I do, finds it boring). :)

  • Two meals?....nope...I am happy to cook one delicious and healthy meal but most of the times he prefers something covered in cheese so I don't struggle anymore he is a grown up man...

  • The problems is the fact you're tempted to have his chips, not that he's having the chips in the first place. If you can conquer that feeling of temptation in the first place then everything will start to get easier. Also, if he saw you being happy with the rice and not needing to top up with chips he might think you have a perfectly satisfying meal and he might be more tempted to forgo the chips next time.

    I also have to serve slightly different plates for me and my boyfriend as he'll have cheese on his pasta whereas I'm dairy free, so I'll add a few lentils or kidney beans to my half of the pasta sauce (the whole situation is complicated by the fact he's slightly intolerant to beans and pulses). But he needs to put on weight rather than lose it, so I can't start making judgements about how much cheese he's having! Also, for him cheese is a healthy component, as he'll have a fairly moderate amount whereas in the past I would have piled it high!

    How about choosing one meal a week where you both have chips, then one meal a week where you both have a healthy style dinner, then the rest of the week serve things slightly differently according to your preferences. Also there are some meals that could work for both preferences. You can bake potato wedges in the oven with very little oil, you can make a sauce creamy with lower fat dairy options, or you can make a creamy delicious curry/stew using coconut milk. Not everything healthy has to look like 'hippy food' :)

  • I completely understand this, but I cant get away with cooking him a "healthy style" dinner. He will not eat anything vegetarian, or with wholemeal things- in the past he has literally said "I'm not eating that" and has gone to get a kebab. Its annoying having to cook two separate things/meals, it's like having a picky child or something. I'm not tempted to "have his chips", if he would have been like "rice is rice" then I would have cooked rice and been happy about it.

    Its ok though, at the moment I have a lot of dinners to myself (his hotel job atm has ridiculous hours), and only about twice a week do I cook for the both of us, but soon he's getting a new job which means we'll be home together every night, which is of course AWESOME, but means that I need to try and cooking healthy thing's he'll like. I make homemade wedges and lowfat coconut milk things all the time, I';m not trying to feed him "rabbit food".

    Eh. Just moaning I guess. It just annoys me that he always wants takeaways and ready-made foods instead of my cooking, which I see as a personal slight (everyone else I know absolutely loves my cooking).

  • Put the pressure on him to do a bit of the cooking then? When his new job starts and he's home more evenings? I get frustrated when things I cook get turned down as time and effort has gone into that! But also I appreciate I'm not the world's best cook so things do sometimes get turned down for good reason! A lot of the time the criticism I get is that I've overcomplicated things. It seems easier to separate things out, e.g. have a nice salad/salads etc as an optional side, but the main focus of the meal as simple recognisable stuff. E.g. salmon and potatoes, pasta with tomato sauce, jacket and beans. Perhaps if your OH could do a bit more towards cooking you could have a store of salads in the fridge that you could have as an accompaniment to a small portion of what he's having? Although I appreciate this is all easier said than done. In my experience you can't tell people what to eat or what not to eat, even if you have their best interests at heart. Please feel free to complain about it though, where else can you moan about these things if not on here!

  • Yes, but thing is i'm an award winning chef, and everyone else likes my food- friends, family and customers! And the fact he always wants pre-made food like chicken kievs and oven chips and kebabs and burgers pisses me off a little bit, just saying.

    Plus I actually love cooking. He is a good cook but when he does cook it's huge portions, lots of cheese and butter and bacon, and lots of meat and potatos, very little veg.

    Yeah I'm just having a big moan to be honest. The worst thing you can say to me is not liking the food I cook, as a chef and as myself, good food is everything to me. I would literally prefer it if someone said I was ugly compared if someone said I don't like dinner, lol!!

  • Sorry totally missed the 'chef' bit in your name. Yep - that's definitely galling then. It's a difficult one!

  • Hehe 😊 I'm married to a Glaswegian and they say a Glaswegian salad is cold chips!!! Rofl πŸ˜‚

    Seriously, slowly slowly . . . Gradual changes . . . You are doing really well but it is difficult when family members eat differently πŸ˜• I have my daughter back at home after Uni and wanting sweet stuff in the evenings, making brownies etc πŸ˜• It's been really tough but I've struggled to give up sugar and don't want to slip up now πŸ˜• I don't have an answer really just want to let you know you are not alone 😊

  • Haha, that's excellent! I think it's funny how in Scotland (I've only been to Edinburgh so don't quote me on this one) you add "supper" on to the end of something to mean it is "with chips", like a "fish supper" or a "burger supper". Like it isn't actually a real meal unless it comes with chips, lol! I guess the more subtle ways I try to make my meals healthier is 1) I ALWAYS put three portions of veg (each) into whatever dinner I am making (so at least 500g). 2)I try to pick leaner meats (chicken, turkey and lean beef rather than pork/bacon etc.) and actually sweet things aren't a problem for us- we are savoury freaks really, we could both polish off a big bag of doritoes each but cakes/cookies/brownies I'm not really bothered. I mean I like them and that but I never really "crave them" or deliberately buy them.

  • You are on the right path then 😊 It's about habits really, my hubby was brought up on a very conservative diet, but we both love food and nowadays he is more adventurous than me 😊 But now and again will want a square sausage or scotch pie! ' I can get the man out of Glasgow but canna get the Glasgow out of the man' 😊

  • I house shared with this guy from Gretna a couple of months ago, and I told him I can cook him anything he wanted and he said "stovies", I literally had no idea what it was (and I'm usually quite good with exotic food). Once researching it, it's basically like a wetter corned beef hash isn't it? with different regional variations, and every Scottish mum will make "the best" of course! I made a healthier one with roasted cherry tomatoes on top (just to get some veg in there) but he loved it :) I make a mean cranachen and Cullen skin too :) (I also love haggis- I make nice haggis vol au vants as appetisers for burns night sometimes).

    I suppose taking deep fried food is like taking cider away from me- Somerset lass through and though, with my cider' and my tracterrrrs!!

  • I think Scottish food (like English and American) sometimes gets a bad press, no doubt inner city areas have had appalling diets in the past, but we can get lovely local produce, fish, venison, potatoes etc 😊 Stovies is very like 'hash' or even 'scouse' that someone mentioned recently, it was just a way of feeding a big family on very little, but from what I hear, 'proper' stovies is made with boiling beef, then added to potatoes fried in the dripping on the 'stove' top. Very healthy (not!!) lol 😊😊😊

  • Have you tried making vegetable chips instead of serving rice? Big chunky oven baked vegetable chips, drizzled with healthy fats and seasoned with things like paprika can be healthy and tasty. They don't always look or taste healthy though, it's about how you prepare them.

    And, if you're doing the cooking, make your chilli half meat, half green lentil. I doubt he'll know the difference (other than finding it more filling, and the effects of the extra fibre if he's not used to it :D ) once it's got the chilli powder in.

  • He wont eat lentils or beans, says he hates the texture of them. Normally I would add beans to the chilli but he told me not to. I added lots of chopped tomatoes, onions and peppers instead in order to up the veg amount. Vegetable chips would be too hippie for him, but yes I regularly make "potato wedges", and prefer these to oven chips. But these are obviously still much higher calorie than just plain rice. And also he seems to prefer pre-made oven chips. Haha, philistine.

  • When my children were little I used to make a "tomato" sauce with carrots onions and lentil hidden in it, whizzed through a blender so they couldn't see or taste them 😊 I still use this base for chilli or bolognaisse 😊

  • I do something like that, adding grated carrot into pasta sauces. It sort of melts in... Grated courgette mixes into pesto nicely too :)

  • It's so funny sometimes I feel like treating him like a child, because its like he's acting like one. Hiding vegetables and all that. It's funny actually- his mother told me when he was little, he hated peas so much, that if she served them he would hide them all under his plate, so when his mum picked up the empty plates after dinner she would find a big circle of peas underneath, lol!!!

  • Hehehe πŸ˜‚ Sounds familiar!! Lol 😊

    I had a similar thing with my son who suddenly decided he didn't like peas, I said' I don't care, but when I come back in this room they had better not be on your plate' . . . They weren't . . . He had put them, one by one, into the ketchup bottle!!! Rofl πŸ˜‚ We still tease him about it 20 years later!!

  • Your first mistake is in serving rice with chili in the first place! :O Chilli is a stew rather than a curry and so doesn't need rice. Or chips for that matter (unless you're having chilli cheese fries and then it's more of a topping than a meal :) ). I always like chilli with a few tortilla chips or some cornbread.

    As an American, I can tell you your other half has a very skewed idea of American food towards the chains that have been exported over here! But normal people don't eat like that all the time and we don't have fries (chips) with things nearly as often. I think a lot of the chains serve chips to match British sensibilities rather than because it's American. I couldn't believe the first time I went to KFC over here that they don't serve mashed potatoes or cornbread for instance. But then, I had a skewed idea of British food as well until I moved to England! :)

    Luckily my husband (who is English) is also in need of losing weight so he's very happy to eat what I cook as he's been seeing the results on the scales. :) I suppose you could always cook healthy food and if your other half doesn't like it he can make his own food? Maybe if it's a choice between being hungry, eating what you've cooked, or making his own he'd try new stuff. There's always the tried and tested hidden vegetable trick used to get kids to eat things they don't like in a sauce!

    Sorry, a bit of a waffle here, think a nerve may have been hit! :) Hopefully you can convince your other half that you need his support rather than being sabotaged. Maybe he just doesn't realize he's doing it.

    Good luck! :)

  • Oh I didn't mean to sound negative about American food, I absolutely love it- but I would say I prefer like Cajun/creole food (like jambalayas and things) to the burgers and philly cheese steak and stuff. I've been to New York, florida, Orlando, California and Nevada, and have loved all the food out there. I dunno though, it might be European and that but I like chilli with rice.

    You know I think your right, because sometimes I've made things that normally he wouldn't have liked, and he comes home late (I'm asleep by then) and in the morning i'll have noticed he will have eaten it. Sometimes I think I should adopt the stereotyped Yorkshire attitude to the whole thing "You'll get what you're given and be bloody' grateful!

    No worries, waffling is good. As are waffles, mmmm :)

  • That's ok, I didn't think you were being negative about American food. It was just your other half using it as an excuse to eat a load of crap that gets my goat. Sure we have junk food, but so do many other cultures! :) I'm sure there's many regional American dishes that I haven't had!

    My Mom had that attitude when we were growing up! So it's not just a Yorkshire thing.

    Yes, waffles are fantastic.... Just wish I could find a waffle iron.... :D

  • I laughed so much at your post! My hubby had a choice; eat what I cook for him or get his own. His idea of heaven was, and probably still is, a couple of tons of mashed potato, a huge steak and kidney pie with chips followed by more chips, then apple pie and custard. He is a true convert to rabbit food now and was jumping for joy earlier in the week when he jumped on the scales and found he had lost 10 lb. x

  • I am following the Slimming world diet plan now and I have chips regularly but I chip potatoes thicky par boil them for a few minutes then pop them on a baking tray spray with low cal oil then sprinkle either schwarz chicken seasoning or steak seasoning on top and cook in oven till they are done. They are delicious too

  • You know what I find? The more I push healthy eating on my housemate the more he resents it...I learned that at the very beginning. I was not impressed with him, of course. :P

    With this in mind I just let him get on with it but I found that I was the one sorting the shopping out and sometimes I would also do the cooking for the both of us and I sat him down and told him losing weight and getting healthy is more important to me. This, I outlined, would mean I will not buy junk food and when I cook it's what I have made or he can go to the shop, buy the stuff himself and then make it himself. He was fine with this, although I do tease him occasionally, but I found that when I left him be he would start looking at the calories, sugars and fats in his food when he thought I was not looking. :)

    He'd snack on more fruit because that would be what was in and he didn't want to go to the shops every time he wanted to snack. His meals are healthier because he's not one to cook, he's more of a microwave man lol and if all I bought was healthy ready meals that's all he would eat. If I cook for both of us he still really enjoys the food I make but I'll serve him a larger portion. He's just happy he don't have to make himself dinner that he doesn't worry that it's healthy lol. :P Now he weighs himself (no prompting from me, he came to my room the other night to tell me he'd lost weight, I was like wow well done but secretly I was smiling inside because he always claimed not to care about that, yet here he was weighing himself and being proud when he lost some weight). He enjoys eating healthily and I think he's starting to look better for all of that. :)

    But have you twigged what I am getting at here? Just because your partner wants to eat junk food does not mean you have to get it for him. If he wants it, he has to go out and get it himself. He has to respect that you may not want to make that or order it in the shopping because you want to lose weight. That makes it easier for you but harder for him to get his junk food. Just by making it less convenient junk food will not be so much an option anymore. Of course he can still go out and get his own so try to show him that he'll be saving money by just eating what's in and he will be tired after work so he will *hopefully* settle for the healthier option you're making. If he does not, tell him to make his own meals. You should not be in a position where you're making him food that you know you'll help eat (you mentioned you pinched some of his chips). Explain this gently to him and really put in how important losing weight is for you. Remember, when you're at home you're not paid to make what he wants...when you're cooking at home it is your rules; home is not a restaurant.

    Now do not expect this to work over night, it took a good two or three weeks before Rich really got into it and it was a gradual process. I started on the snacking first, then I moved on to the meals and now I am trying to get us moving more by telling him it's been too warm to take Sazki out during the day (which has been sort of true, it's been very warm and she's not as young as she was) so we waited till the evening, when it's cooler, and Sazki won't go out unless everyone in the house goes with her (thanks Sazki ;) ) so he then has to fit some exercise in the evenings so she can get her exercise. Another trick I use is try to get at his competitive side and offer him a race, this has not failed yet. ;) Now we're not only walking the dog but we're also getting some running in too. :P Now I know all this sounds harsh and yes, in some cases (like the dog walking) down right manipulative, but heck that's why us ladies are the ones to give birth and (traditionally) do the child rearing...it's not that different from trying to get children to eat a healthier balanced diet. The best bit is, you're not dealing with a child, you're dealing with an adult that should be able to rationalize and see reason and understand where you're coming from better than a child might do.

    I hope this helps, what's the saying? Slow and steady wins the race; this bloke will have to rise earlier to catch this worm! :P

    Good luck. ;)

    Sazkia x

  • I love doggies, what breed is Sazki? My mum found having a dog really helped her keep a check on her weight- she had a flat coated retriever and as a big dog used to take her on 2 x 1 hour long walks every day. She died quite young (think she was only like 3 or something?) and mums been too upset to get another dog, even thought its been like 5 years since. I cant have a dog, me and my fella both work full-time so it wouldn't be fair to have one- id love to get a cat buy my fella isn't too keen on them. I mean I prefer dogs but I still like cats.

    I know what you mean about buying the junk food in. When I did my nutrition degree we looked at some studies about women (sorry everyone if this is sexist but this is what science is telling us!!) being the "gatekeepers" of the home in terms of the family's diet and well-being. Traditionally (although this is very much changing with the number of women being the breadwinner increasing) the woman/ mother is the one that does the cooking, and that does the grocery shopping, so even without any outside influence SHE has much more power to change herself and her families diet than perhaps the father/breadwinner would. This is why children's food are usually targeted towards mums (look at a kids food advert/packaging next time you are in the shops!). The kids/ partners might moan about dinners but they'll eat it anyway and eventually get used to it.

  • Sazki is 12 in November and she is a short haired border-collie. :) She's been with me since she was like 2 months old. :) Richard, that's my house-mate, loves her and I know that, which is why I (in a kind way) use her to my advantage with regards to getting Richard to do some much needed exercise. I know how I sound but I only use my powers of deceit for good not evil haha! :P

    Yes, I get the world is changing, that's why I put traditionally in brackets as I did not want any one thinking I was being sexist but in a lot of homes mum does control what comes into the house and what goes on to the plate. It certainly works in my house, we don't have human babies there but I am very much the matriarch if that makes sense? I mean I'm not in a romantic relationship with Richard, we're friends and we find it easier to share accommodation but that's it. However, I guess my personality is more domineering and usually what I say goes. Again, I only use these powers for good (most the time - just stay away from me when mother nature visits; I'm a mad women)! :D

    I reckon you just need to be firmer with your partner, even if he's not over-weight like you said, his life stye can't be helping him and again weight is only one indicator that we're not healthy (although I know there are people of a bigger size that are very fit to be fair and would argue they can and do more exercise that the average Joe). Nothing will change over night and you are already a good influence on him because like you stated in one of your comments on here, when you left home for a while he gained weight. You came back, he lost that weight. That tells me that even if you don't think it, he is being positively influenced by you. It's actually very difficult to live with someone and not be influenced by each other. It works both ways.

    Just because you are a chief though does not mean you should make things that you know won't help either of you. I mean this; when you're at home there has to be rules. I think that's the problem in a lot of homes now, the poor mum (or dad) is stood there taking food orders from the kids and making like 3 or 4 different dishes. Now I am only 30 and my own mother was not perfect (far from it, she was bloody awful and I have nothing to do with her now) but one thing she did do that I think was spot on was no one messed with her and what we had for dinner. It really was a case of eat your dinner or you go without...even worse, she'd save the dinner from the previous day and you would keep getting that till you eventually ate it. She was a no-nonsense sort of mother. I was terrified of her and she was out of order with a lot of stuff but I think if every household had her stand on dinner (perhaps not THAT strict but certainly an element of it) then we wouldn't have some of the issues we have now, or perhaps not have these issues to the extent we do have them. Don't get me wrong, there was nothing wrong with the food she served. She was a good cook. Most of the time it was one of us just being picky or wanting to dictate what we got for dinner but at the end of the day when you have 7 of you everyone has to eat the same, she'd have been living in the kitchen if she gave in to our demands.

    I do remember that I was a very good eater as a child but there were certain things I could not eat so when I was the one refusing food she usually cottoned on that it was not something I could eat and she wouldn't force the issue all the time. Although there were times she tried to force it down me. I remember the first time she served me black pudding (it was also the last) I puked right there and then, I just could not face it. I still hate the stuff on sight. Now if it was my younger brother you never could know, it was always the boys who played up with food...one day they could eat that dish fine, no problems but another day they would state they never liked it and would rather something else.

    Now I am not telling you to force your partner to eat healthy stuff, I find that it is never good to dictate, much better to be more subtle and reason the whole thing out; especially as he is an adult who is fully capable of making his own decisions but he can be influenced. ;)

  • Hi. The hairy dieters cookbook may be the answer to your problem? They take meals that your other half will probably like and make them healthier. Might be worth a purchase? Xx

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