Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Meal Planning for One Dieter and Two Non-Dieters....

So, I'm guessing that quite a few of you are doing the "I'm on a diet and can't eat what everybody else in the house is eating" shuffle. As the wife and mother, I'm pretty much the one that does the cooking and meal planning...but let me explain....cuz I just HAVE TO explain this one.....

I both love and hate this role....And I am consistently inconsistent about it.... Because I don't want to be stereotypical....anything. I want to be good at it cuz I try to, not because I'm the wife or the mom and its part of the gender.

Now, despite the fact that I have always strived to be as UNconventional a woman as possible....In my lifetime I have, at one point in time or other, done all of the following: tune-ed up cars, overhauled two car engines, installed car brakes, welded, roofed a pole barn, tiled a bathroom, hung and mudded 75 sheets of drywall, remodeled two kitchens, wrenched on airplanes, hunted, shot an M-16, wore combat boots, had babies, flew a small plane, beat every guy in my aircraft mechanics classes, built furniture, and wrecked a motorcycle....there are still things I do that are very conventional...hence the meal planning and cooking.

Now, I've had a chip on my shoulder my entire life. I grew up with the "anything you can do, I can do better" attitude. "You" meaning a guy, and "I" being a girl. I never wanted to be "expected" to do something or be good at something because I was a girl. Likewise, I didn't want to be doubted on other things because I was a girl.

Somewhere along the way I sorta lost the attitude about "showing up" the guys, and realized that I've just learned to do things out of necessity, because, quite frankly, the drywall fairy doesn't come to my house. Neither does the car mechanic fairy. I got divorced when my kids were just getting ready to start school, and there were a lot of things that needed to be done, and no one but me to do them.

But GD-it!! Don't anyone expect me to do or not do something purely because of my plumbing!!

So back to dinner planning. For a long time, I still had this lingering chip on my shoulder about being "expected' to do certain things in the house, merely because I was the mommy or wife. And yet being the mom made me want to be "a great mom" and that was so conflicting for me!


Well, my hubby and I have been together for 8 years now, and he is about an unconventional as I am. He has no preconceived notions about gender roles, or who's job it is to do dinner or laundry or any other household chore. I am a lucky woman! We have settled into a routine based on a couple of criteria: what are we good at, and what are we willing to take care of. And how it has worked out is this: I cook and plan, he does the grocery shopping. He also does laundry most of the time.

And this works well for us.

Except now that I'm dieting, I have to do things in a whole new way. I am struggling to plan dinners that they will still eat and enjoy, that are healthy and within calorie range for me. (Honestly, I really want to change their diets too, so we are all eating healthier, but I noticed that I have to be slow and careful about it, otherwise they are heading for the snacks very soon after dinner, or whining about wanting some fresh bread with dinner, or tons of mashed potatoes, or fried stuff). In any event, my goal is to make things that are healthy all around, and tasty, and which I can manage calories by controlling portion size. Making radical changes for them isn't going to work very well.

So my questions for all of you: How do you integrate your dieting with family meals? Do you put the whole family on a diet? Do you cook separately for yourself? Do you have new healthy recipes that your family likes as well?


  1. Dear, this is a million dollar question. I've been trying to do the whole thing with getting the boys to eat healthier meals with me but I'm finding that it is difficult, especially when they request special things that I can't have and I feel guilty for denying them. So, I'm changing the rules this week. I'm buying separate food for me mostly to simplify things for me. I need easy things because of all I'm going through so I want things I can just grab from the fridge or fix in the microwave. So I will be doing that for the next couple of weeks and will let them have whatever they would like to have. When I am more mentally together, I will then try again to get all of us more healthy food wise but neither of them has a weight problem so a couple of weeks of eating what they want won't hurt them. Sometimes you just have to do the best you can. You know?

  2. I have my hubby and a 2 year old. For the most part, I cook one meal. I do most of the cooking, because I love to.. but hubby does the dishes after.. score! Once in awhile we do the "your choice night". Everyone gets to eat what they want. I figure it isn't going to kill them to eat healthier... actually just the opposite! They can adjust portion sizes to get their needs met. I just can't be a short order cook! I did just get a couple of new cookbooks that I think will help. One is with recipes under 350 cals, and one under 300 calories. I'm excited to find some healthier meals we can all enjoy.

    Lunch on the other hand is every man for himself! My hubby makes his own to take to work, either leftovers or sometimes a frozen meal. I am usually making me a salad, and my my daughter get's to have her "kid" food.. grilled cheese, or tortilla wraps, etc.