8 Ways To Eat Healthy When Your Spouse Doesn’t.

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Articles, Nutrition

In my nutrition consulting, I must often help husbands or wives who need to develop a healthy nutrition plan when their family or spouse doesn't necessarily want to eat healthy. So here are eight ideas I've developed that allow your spouse to eat unhealthy when you are trying to eat healthy

1. Serve every evening meal with a salad. Get your spouse used to a small salad PRIOR to dinner. They are very easy to make with mixed greens + 1 vegetables + dressing. Your spouse can use whichever dressing they like. But you use a light drizzle olive oil + vinaigrette.

2. Hamburgers: Use ground turkey instead of hamburger. Top with grilled onions, tomato, ketchup and mustard, and a slice of fat free american cheese. Use a whole wheat english muffin for your spouse, or a regular bun. You eat with no buns. You can serve with an ear of corn slathered with a wedge of cheese or butter for your spouse, but lightly salted or sprinkeld with lemon pepper for you. Fresh cherries are good for dessert with this one.

3. Pizza: Let your spouse order whatever they want. You eat ONE slice, and you cover it with mixed greens and dressing, then eat with fork and knife through the salad. This is actually really good, and tastes like veggie pizza.

4. Chicken or shrimp stir fry with brown rice. Get the frozen stir fry, sautee with chicken or shrimp and you eat with very light teaspoon of teriyaki sauce and 1 scoop of brown rice. Let your spouse add as much sauce as they want (you can get different sauces at grocery store), and cook white rice or yakisoba noodles on the side for them to include as well.

5. Taco/Burrito night. This can be modified greatly with various types of meat, beans, and rice, as well as any variation of cheese, sour cream, and veggies.  Also whole wheat tortillas or taco shells as apposed to corn or white tortillas or taco shells. Let your spouse choose whatever they want. But you eat a bed of lettuce with ground turkey, veggies, small sprinkling cheese, salsa, tomatoes and yogurt instead of sour cream.

6. Seasoned chicken breasts: Put it over a bed of brown rice and vegetables and for your spouse add a rich and tasty “Cream of Mushroom Soup” topping.

7. Whole grain spaghetti with tomato sauce. Your spouse can simply add parmesan cheese to their leisure. You serve similar to pizza – small portion with salad over top, eaten with knife and fork. Also as a side could make whole grain rolls and your spouse can add butter or margarine.

8. Black bean pita sandwiches.  For your spouse, just do the following recipe. But for yourself, just don't add the mayonnaise and sour cream (possibly substitute some olive oil or fat free dressing if taste is too bland)

-Stir together mayonnaise, sour cream (or yogurt) and chipotle in a small bowl; set aside.

-Combine black beans, onion, cilantro, garlic, chili powder, cumin and lime juice in a large bowl, and season with salt to taste. Slightly mash the beans while stirring, until all ingredients are incorporated and the mixture just holds together.

-Slice off the top third of each pita. Spread the bean mixture inside each pita. Top with the chipotle mayonnaise, shredded  lettuce, sliced avocados and tomatoes.

Finally, take heart! I have witnessed many times that a family will eventually adopt very healthy eating habits when you set a good example…

Do you have any other ideas about how to eat healthy when your spouse doesn't?? I'd love to hear them, and I bet that other readers would too! Just leave a comment to this blog post…

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3 thoughts on “8 Ways To Eat Healthy When Your Spouse Doesn’t.

  1. Are you eating only to whet your appetite or have you been eating to take better control of one’s life?

  2. Luke Wold says:

    Cool stuff, Ben!

    While the kids have their little dish of ice cream after dinner, my girlfriend and I share a Hansen’s Diet Ginger Ale for our sweet treat.

    We scramble eggs up with veggies for breakfast, and have eggs and salad, while the kids, grandmas, and friends all add something like toast with jam. So the base is the same, we just eat healthier sides.

    My girlfriend competes in physique events, so when she has to get really lean we eat close to the same KINDS of foods (chicken, steak, veggies) just different AMOUNTS.

    Thanks, and keep the good stuff coming!

    ~ Luke

  3. Jessi says:

    Ben, this is one of my favorite posts you’ve ever done! Well done! I think this is an issue not only for couples, but also for families with kiddos who weren’t born into healthy eating. These are also some great tips in here that you could use when having friends over for dinner or eating at someone else’s home.

    Love the pizza idea – I’d never thought of that!

    One of the things I did before my hubby got on the healthy eating bandwagon was keep some whole grain artisan bread in the freezer at all times. That way, I could serve meat and veggies for dinner and add some extra bread for him without much work for me at all. I also cooked a bunch of rice at the beginning of the week. So for dinner when we’d have shish kabobs with meat and veggies, I’d then add rice for him.

    I also think ignorance is bliss. Sometimes I would just serve samples (smoothies is one example) and just “leave out” the information about the ingredients. :) I only mentioned what was in it after he confessed he liked it.

    I also used the Oroweat Sandwich thins which are like a thin bun (19g whole grains and no high fructose corn syrup) with the equivalent calories to just one slice of bread. This was a great alternative for sandwiches and hamburgers (still is) as well as the lettuce wrap option.

    There are endless options with the taco dinner. The most common in our household is that I have a tostada or taco salad while my hubby might have burritos or tacos.

    Salad bars are also kind of a fun dinner idea. It takes a little prep work, but can add a lot of great variety and everyone adds their favorite toppings. If you make extra and put the toppings in little leftover containers to start with, you can just cover and reuse for lunches or dinner the next day.

    For breakfast, we’ll do egg muffins. First, I changed the english muffins to whole grain. Next, added spinach and tomato. Then, changed the cheese to low fat. Sometimes I add in some turkey. These are now a family fav!

    Many/most of these ideas have been inspired by YOU, Ben. So thank you for all the resources you have given my family for health.

    I never knew that 2 years ago, I’d end up with sweet potato and quinoa fans! LOL! Never say never, eh?

    Thanks again for the great post!

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