Some friends and I have noticed a growing trend in the whole foods world that we find disconcerting, and we decided to join forces to counter-act it! We believe that it’s important to eat healthy food… but that it’s not everything. Each of us is sharing our thoughts on this subject today; you’ll find links to my friend’s posts at the end of this article.
True story: the first really bad argument my DH and I ever had was actually before we were married, and involved a quite heated discussion over the merits of… get this… whole wheat versus white bread. Yup. You can guess who was on which side.
Our second really bad argument was over the music we wanted at our wedding. Actually, to be specific, it was about the music for the prelude in our wedding – you know, the part of the wedding where neither one of us would be present and therefore would not even hear the music being played? Yeah. We had some silly arguments.
The second one I let him win because, I guess, common sense (and true love, of course) prevailed. After all, what was the point of arguing about music that we wouldn’t even hear? But the first argument continued to drag on intermittently over our brief engagement (I’m serious!) until we finally reached a compromise: I would learn how to make a good white bread from scratch. I figured that was better than buying the nasty store-bought fluff that passes as bread these days.
That particular argument, though, was only the harbinger of things to come. Around the same time, I read “The Maker’s Diet” by Jordan Rubin, and I realized that everything I thought I knew about healthy food was all wrong. Or at least only partially right. Already having a distinct bent toward all things natural and healthy, this book only intensified my desire to feed my family nourishing foods. On top of which, the author, Jordan Rubin, said that he cured his colitis by eating a diet such as the one he recommends. Since my husband happens to have colitis, I threw all my efforts into over-hauling our diet so that maybe – just maybe – he could be cured of his colitis, too.
Um. Well. That didn’t work out quite so well as I thought it would.
It turns out that my husband was quite pleased with his diet the way it was and had absolutely no desire to change it, even if it would, on the off chance, improve or eliminate his colitis. By this time fully entrenched in the whole foods movement, I set out to change his mind, by sheer force if necessary. I tried my hand at wheedling. At nagging. At expounding on the benefits of whole grains and cultured dairy. At surreptitiously sneaking healthy foods into his diet. At guilt and even occasional manipulation. None of it worked. Surprisingly, it only made him mad.
I couldn’t believe it! Why was he mad at me? I was only trying to help, after all! In my mind, he should have fallen gratefully at my feet, thankful that his wife cared enough about him to serve him only the healthiest and very best food.
It took me longer than I care to admit, but finally I came to the realization that I could not – and should not – try to change my husband. Our relationship became a lot more peaceful when I stopped trying so hard to turn him into what I thought he should be, and simply accepted him the way he was (junk-food-loving fiend that he is!).
When we’re passionate about something – like good health and nutritious food – it’s easy for those passions to override our common sense, and even our love for those closest to us. Over the past few years, I’ve learned that relationships are far more important than food, and that the value of a relationship far exceeds the nutritional value of the food I eat.
Let me say that again:
Relationships are far more important than food,
and the value of a relationship far exceeds the nutritional value of the food I eat.
Simply put: food is not worth arguing about with the people I love. The preservation of the relationships I treasure is of more importance to me than the food I – or anyone else – eats. In practical terms, this means:
- I don’t offer my opinion on food and health unless somebody asks for it. (This blog is the exception. This is where I come to spout off my opinion!)
- I eat where everybody else wants to eat, even if that means a fast food restaurant.
- I don’t ask about the ingredients or method of preparation of food when I eat at someone else’s house. (Exception: if my children are eating food someone else has prepared. They have food allergies, so it’s essential that I get nosy about the food someone wants to give them. If you have any kind of dietary concerns, you understand what I mean.)
- I don’t refuse food given to me simply based on the grounds of its nutritional value (or lack there0f).
- If the situation warrants (like a pot luck dinner, or a casual dinner), I bring a healthy dish to share, but I still eat the other food that is offered.
- I occasionally buy special (and not particularly healthy) treats that my DH and children enjoy.
My DH and I have both grown since those early days of our marriage. I backed off on forcing him to change, and instead began to introduce small changes to our diet as he was receptive to them. He, in turn, relaxed and became more and more willing to try new and healthier foods. We’ve been married 6 years now, and our diet at home is at least 80% whole foods, and both of us are happy. He still gets to eat things like hot dogs and marshmallows sometimes, and I’ve completely given up on trying to get him to eat homemade yogurt, so he still eats sugar-laden store-bought stuff. But he’s also learned to enjoy healthier foods, too, like whole grain pasta… and even whole wheat bread! Yes, that argument has finally been put to rest.
And I’m happy to report that at his last check-up, his colon was completely free of inflammation! I can’t claim the credit for that; God is the one Who heals – or not – as He chooses. I also can’t forget that the condition could flare up any time, regardless of what he eats. But for now, we are both grateful that God created so many healthy and nourishing foods that are also delicious and enjoyable to eat!
Does your significant other balk at healthy food? How do you handle it?
Read the rest of The Real Truth About Real Food posts:
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