In Everyday Life, Food

ere is the funny thing…no, wait…here is my hypocrisy; Kelsey, for the first years of our marriage, made lunches for me to take to work…

How I saw these lunches:

FUEL! I seem to have a thing for recalling detail; intricate, circumspect details (goes back to my point guard days). But what I had for lunch yesterday? No clue. Lunches are consumed, eaten while walking from one meeting to another, eaten during meetings, or part of multi-tasking while waiting on endless hold for technical support. If asked “What did you have for lunch today?” my response, more times than not, would be “Wait, did I eat lunch today?”

How my wife saw these lunches:

Planned weeks in advance, based on carefully paying attention to my preferences, ingredients meticulously selected one by one at the grocery store and prepared with loving hands the night before. Not to mention, I’m pretty sure she envisioned blue birds bringing my lunch to me and angel’s breaking out with choruses of “Hallelujah” every day when I opened the little brown paper bag.

Sooooo….when I would come home each night and not thank her for the day’s fuel…um, I mean her loving care…there were a few “conversations” over the years. And I really do not recall caring much when she would explain why there was a zip lock baggy of some unnamed “good for me” substance in my lunch.

BUT (here comes my hypocrisy)…talk about going “healthy” with my dinners? Whoa Nellie! Now I am paying attention and already digging my heels in. “Heath food” is Greek for “no flavor”. “Good for you” translates best to “gag reflex”.  Uh uh…no way.

In the end, I enjoy food more.”

Look, her cute little ideas about changing our diet to a healthy one were that…cute. A bag of assorted nuts is one thing but now we’re messin’ with my chicken fried steak and tall glass of ice cold Coke! Ahh…little beads of condensation flowing down the outside of the glass…yeah!

But she started making well informed points about nutrition…points I could not intellectually argue. Then she started laying out plans for our grocery budget and, though it would cost us more money initially, over time we could come out about even while eating better food (buying in bulk, investing in a half a grass-fed cow, making more of our own food from scratch). Um…ok, good plan! Then I saw her intent: to help me live a healthier and more energetic life. She wanted to raise our children in a healthy way and it meant changing how we ate. Of course, first it my mind and now my heart strings (figurative and literal).

Soooo…I gave in. Pathetic. I did not encourage her. I did not go all in and help. I simply gave in and made one non-negotiable requirement: “As long as it doesn’t taste like cardboard!”

And thus began our move away from processed foods, GMO products and a whole lot of ingredients that I could neither spell nor pronounce.

An interesting thing happened along the way.

I watched my wife develop a passion for real food. This meant she researched and learned, inspected and grew intellectually. She began making good portions of our food from scratch, burning dozens of attempts along the way (someday she will write “The Sourdough Bread Chronicles”…for now it is still painful and just “too soon”), and she found value in making food from scratch.  She also used the transition to real food to help her improve budgeting for groceries, planning ahead, and finding better ways to source food and stretch a dollar. This was about so much more than food and revealed my willing ignorance (and stubbornness).

So men, here is the challenge from me to you…if your wife desires to move your diet towards a traditional diet, not only agree but support and encourage her. Even better, get involved!

Are you a wife with a husband who is asking you to change? Get on board!

Not married and thinking about moving into real food…argue with yourself! Then get over yourself and go for it!

None of that sway you? Ok…how’s this.

Plum syrup, pork sausage and chops, grass fed steaks, venison burgers, SALT & BUTTER, fruit smoothies better than that juice place at the mall, seasoned ground beef lettuce wraps (uh huh!!!), avocado chocolate cookies and chocolate bugs, lemonade water kefir (so long Gatorade!), pear pie (where have you been all my life!). Before Kelsey got us started on eating real food I would not eat broccoli, black or green beans.  Now? No joke, I sometimes eat the broccoli BEFORE the steak…I know, right! Who am I?

In the end, I enjoy food more. We have great times preparing and cooking as a family – even doing dishes! I do have more energy and a better understanding of what I’m eating, what my wife and children are eating, and I’m no longer sticking my head in the sand simply so I can indulge.

Really glad I finally got on board.

One one more story about why I am now all in and thankful for my wife’s move into a traditional lifestyle. A few years into this lifestyle change we took a trip to the Pacific Coast to see family. While packing for the trip we forgot our homemade toothpaste. No problem, someone will have some. Toothpaste, right? It has one purpose…health! Healthy teeth and healthy gums. For the first time in years I pasted my brush with a mainstream tooth paste.

Remember? Earlier I wrote “good for you” translates best to “gag reflex”. Here comes the irony…

The mainstream toothpaste?…I gagged. I felt like I was eating Fun Dip…pure sugar that made my face pucker. And, where once I missed it, I no longer cared for the mouth full of bubbles and foam. This really caught me by surprise. Toothpaste’s only purpose is health, and this toothpaste (yes, one of those brands that you pick off the shelf “because look at it…it has to be good for me”) made me gag. So what was I being conditioned to all of those years in all of those products?

No thank you!

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    This is awesome in so many ways! I followed the recipe for homemade deoderant the other day and my husband had a smile on his face so i asked him what he was smiling about and he just said that he thought it was CUTE that I was making this homemade deoderant:) So this is encouraging once again to keep pushing through with what I believe is so important for our family!

    • Jason Steffen
      Jason Steffen

      Tracy, yes! Keep pushing forward. It took me a few years to really understand what my wife was trying to do for our family, and to ultimately get involved. Lifestyles do not change over night!

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