This Week’s Meal Plan and A Husband’s Perspective

Starting the post off with a little laugh: clearly I couldn’t make my mind up about what to eat on which days. I don’t think Mr. Baker was surprised one bit. I just couldn’t help it. Oh well [and hey, we still ate!]. I’ll order the meal plan as it’s seen on the board because I think if I told you what we actually ate on which day I might really confuse you.

Sunday: Leftovers. Ahhhh. They don’t happen a lot because someone whose name rhymes with Buck Chaker loves leftover lunches [and I think his students love that he’s not attacked by a case of the hangries at the end of the school day]. Love that guy. We ended up having one of my favorite guilty pleasure meals: cheese and spinach quesadillas. And seriously, I swear, they taste better when someone else makes them for you. Yum yum.
Monday: Vegetable stew that I posted about here. I really, really enjoyed it.
Tuesday: Red Lentil Coconut Curry from the cookbook Simply in Season. It’s one of my favorite cookbooks because even before I enjoyed cooking I had success with the recipes in it. This was no exception. It was great. It’s fun to throw a completely different flavor into the week. I roasted the cabbage separately. And next time I’m definitely going to add in the optional green peas.
Wednesday: Veggie burritos from here. If you want to make your friends forget about meat serve them these burritos. Oh.My.Goodness. They were delicious! I only roasted the sweet potatoes before baking the burritos. The onions and peppers were still snappy and I was okay with that.
Thursday: Pizza! Homemade pizza! Here’s my favorite crust recipe. We had one with mushrooms and onions, one with chopped sweet mini peppers and onions, and one half pineapple half cheese. They were very tasty and we got to share them with some favorite friends, even better. We had this [vegan] pumpkin ice cream with homemade magic shell for dessert.
Friday: When the fridge is feeling a little full or you have some veggies that are barely holding on: fire up the oven and put some quinoa in the dutch oven. We’ve thrown green peppers, onions, tomatoes, carrots, squash… every kind of veggie imaginable into our quinoa. It’s always lovely.
Saturday: Joy the Baker for the win again! As the temperatures are dropping our tomatoes are busting with the last of the season’s harvests [and we have lovely friends who share their spoils] so tonight we feast! Tomato Cobbler with blue cheese. Eeeeek. I have such a foodie crush on JtB.

Sidenote: I didn’t even realize the menu was meat-free until I started typing it up. I think that means we’ve officially wandered to the “other” side. The stegosaurus has always been my favorite dino… herbivores unite!

Today I asked my wonderful husband to give me his perspective about how he’s been impacted by our diet change. [I wrote a little about how I feel I’ve changed here.] I am glad he agreed because I honestly could not imagine implementing the changes we’ve made to our diet without his support. I greatly appreciate his “all-in” attitude and the way he’s trusted me to feed our family what I feel is best. I’m a lucky girl.

3 things I Do (and 3 Things I Don’t) in Our Food Revolution

Depending on how you grew up eating, making a switch from meat, bread, and potatoes (and processed snacks in between) settles somewhere on a range from uneasy, unrealistic, uncomfortable, unbelievable, and unwilling. If you are anything like me, you’re pretty uncomfortable with change, and that can manifest negatively and (sort of) unintentionally at someone who’s trying to change up the menu. (grumpiness, anger, seclusion, denial, etc.)

The best thing Beth did for me was to walk me through this with kindness. I witnessed her evolution in perspective as she read, watched, and researched food, bad food, and what it does to our bodies. She shared with me along the way. She sprinkled interesting facts at me in the middle of a book. She found movies for us to watch together. She taught me some of what she was learning about the science of our nutrition. She spoke one of my love languages: statistics! She weaned me from meat-dependence with first one, then two, three, or four nights a week. This period was a couple of months long. She made amazing food.

1. Most importantly in this, I think, is that I tell (and show) Beth that I trust her. I think most people think I’m joking when I call Beth my domestic engineer, but I started doing it because of the way Beth approaches her role. She’s all business about playing with kids, making cool stuff, and preparing (and learning how to prepare) amazing meals. Once Beth knew she had reign to run the home, I saw her creativity and fulfillment increase. Translation: If you don’t feel like your husband is trusting you in this, do what you can to build that.

2. I take interest in what she was doing. If Beth is watching something on Netflix about food, I ask her questions. When the night’s meal had an ingredient we’d never had before, I let her tell me all about it. I asked her to let me go shopping with her so I could learn about ANDI scores, too. I gave her freedom to make these food changes, but I DIDN’T shutdown and tune out. Translation: Invite your family along for the ride. If your kids are older, share with them all you’re learning, too. Let’s be honest, they’ll probably change their habits sooner and easier than your husband, anyway. :)

3. I eat. This one is easiest. Beth always feels really proud and encouraged when I get up from the table for a second bowl. On the flip side, I give her grace if a meal doesn’t turn out as well. Even when we were eating a traditional American diet dinner didn’t come out right sometimes, so it was easy to get over expectations for perfect dinner every night. Translation: If the food is tasty, your tongue and your stomach won’t miss the meat.

4. I don’t keep a secret stash of junk food somewhere (or grab it while I’m out). Generally, I do my best to eat “good” food with less/no processing, and no chemicals in the ingredients list. Your mom really was right about not spoiling your appetite. I’m not perfect at this, but having leftovers for lunch at work helps, and we have a “one-vice” rule, too. I use mine to eat “normal” cereal for breakfast.

5. I don’t question every food purchase she makes. This is related to the financial side of our lives – I know that Beth isn’t going to spend more than we have, and that she’s going to put together a good meal plan as cheaply as she can (getting most of our produce at Aldi really helps here).

6. I don’t have a double standard for grown-ups/kids or man/woman diets. Did you ever see that show on TLC called Honey, We’re Killing The Kids? I’m sure those parents would always say they wanted their kids to eat veggies, but they sure weren’t showing it. If your kid wants to be grown-up so fast, show ’em that grown ups eat lots of vegetables. Our culture says that manly men eat a ton of meat, but I remember Daniel leaving out the meat and being okay. (Daniel 1:8-16) This guy and this MMA champion are doing alright for themselves, too.

Bottom Line: Changing a family diet takes a whole family. It takes just as much leadership and servant-hood as finances, child-rearing, work and spiritual discipline – aspects of life where teaching and training are most commonly devoted.

What a guy, huh. Anyone else have advice for getting the family on-board with a new way of eating?

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6 thoughts on “This Week’s Meal Plan and A Husband’s Perspective

  1. mommalovescookin says:

    Thanks for the honesty and encouragement guys! Working towards a similar goal!

  2. So young, and yet, so wise! Good job, Baker family! Right now we’re experimenting with “vegetarian meals when daddy’s at work” and it’s true you can turn your kids before you can turn your husband. :) He did Whole 30 with me, so it’s not impossible to get him to eat healthy, especially since he’s a cop!

  3. The movie Forks Over Knives was probably what turned my mind from “something I do to support Beth” to a realistic possibility (and nutritional need). The both of the clips above are from that, actually. If you’re on Netflix, you can stream Forks Over Knives, and they produced another 52 minutes just about Engine #2. The way I learn: I respond to video, and then I support it with reading.

  4. This is so true! I still like to make sweet desserts (that I typically make, so at least they are not processed), but my diet on the whole has become so much more whole. The transition was the hard part, re-framing my mindset and looking at it as a lifestyle change rather then a “diet”, all that took some doing but is totally worth it. Love your menu for the week, the quinoa and roasted veggie looks particularly good on this cool, fall day.

    • heybethbaker says:

      I agree. If you think of it like a diet it’s hard to commit but if you look at it as a positive lifestyle change it’s a lot easier. And it’s easier not to eat processed desserts if you’re not buying them. You really have to be sure you want something to go through the trouble of making it!

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