The Solution for Meals the Whole Family Will Love……And Eat!

The Solution for Meals the Whole Family Will Love……And Eat!

For the next 6 weeks or more, we’ll be staying with my family as we house hunt and get settled into life back in the good ole US of A.

Its great to have family around.  But with it, comes new “issues” to navigate.  Lets face it, family can lure us into old unhealthy habits, increase our stress levels and make us throw all those new healthy behaviors we’ve created out the window.

Not everyone may be at the same healthy place as you.  They may not exercise or do the same type of workouts.  They may not want to eat the same healthy foods you are eating.

I’ve found that nothing elicits more of a reaction than food.  As my mom said to me, “I have no IDEA what you guys like to eat.  And I know our food choices and meals differ.  I don’t think your dad will eat the same way.”

What I heard….a challenge.  Find a way for all of us to eat healthy and still have the foods we love.  After all, we are going to be living together till we find a house….or someone kills the other!  Just kidding!

Here’s what I did:

1.  Plan a menu.  I planned a menu that would include favorites of my dad’s (he’s the least adventurous eater of the family.) and options to make them healthier for Jim and myself.

    Weekly Menu

    Tacos with homemade guacamole
Jim, Mom and I ate it as a salad, Dad ate his as tacos.  My family loves guacamole, mom and dad don’t, so they just left it off.

guacamole2

    Chicken with grapefruit salsa and salad
A new recipe for all, but if you don’t like the salsa, just don’t take it!

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     Pancakes with sausage and fruit salad
My family, especially my dad, loves breakfast for dinner.  I’m not a big sausage fan, so I’ll leave it and have an extra serving of fruit.

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     Steak salads with baked potatoes
We’ll grill the steaks, I’ll put mine over a bigger salad full of lettuce, peas, asparagus, mushrooms, peppers etc.  My family won’t want all that on their salad, so I’ll leave it off theirs.  More veggies for me!  I can also take a smaller portion of protein, to keep my portions within reason without making anyone else feel deprived of what they normally do.

Beef-and-Salad

     Hamburgers and hot dogs
No bun on mine please and I’ll have it over extra lettuce and tomato.  The kids and big kids are happy and so is my waistline….and guilt factor.  Plus, there are splurge points left for ice cream!

2.  Get approval.  After I planned the menu, I passed it by my Mom, the main shopper for her family, and got her thoughts.  Big Thumbs Up!

3.  Shop together.  Now that I had a menu, I had a grocery list, Mom and I went grocery shopping together.  This way she could see how I made decisions on healthy products and I could she what she and Dad liked or wouldn’t budge on.  Compromise!

So far its working.  Sure there will be hiccups as we go over the next few weeks.  But being open to the stomachs of those you’re living with, planning meals that can stretch to include ALL of your needs and communicating with the family the menu for the week, is a HUGE help to avoiding stress, guilt and falling into poor eating habits.

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