When my husband, Bill, and I started dating, he was like most college students and wasn’t a huge fan of vegetables.
The only vegetables he would eat were iceberg lettuce, carrots and raw green peppers.
That’s the case for most college-aged guys who are more concerned with Saturday’s party than whether or not they’re eating enough of their leafy greens.
When we were talking about this topic the other day, Bill shared what a typical college day of eating looked like for him:
- Breakfast: If he ate it, it was eggs, sausage, bread, and milk or cereal with coffee if he didn’t make it to the dining hall.
- Lunch: Taco salad in a fried shell topped with cheese or a roast turkey sandwich with cheese, lettuce and mayo with cookies for dessert…with a soda on the side.
- Dinner: Whatever the dinner special was that night and ice cream or cookies for dessert.
- Fourth Meal: If he was still hungry (or wanted something to do at night), he would go to The Pub for a fried fourth meal, which often consisted of either a cheese steak or chicken tenders and curly fries.
Fortunately for him, he had a revved up metabolism, since he was always playing sports, so he didn’t notice the ill effects of his diet at the time.
Over the past 8+ years, both of our diets and our bodies have undergone some pretty dramatic transformations, and we feel better than ever!
I asked him what he has found to be MOST surprising and enjoyable about getting to where he is today, and very thoughtfully, he shared these two observations…
- “I’m surprised by how filling beans can be…and that I don’t need meat at every meal to feel full.”
- “I like knowing that I can order a meal at a restaurant…without holding the onions…and tomatoes…and mushrooms. I just order it ‘as is’.”
When people see how I eat, they almost immediately turn to Bill with a bit of skepticism and ask,
“Do you eat this stuff??”
He does. And it’s 100% his choice.
He’s experienced for himself the energy, health, satisfaction, and flavor that comes from eating whole, fresh, unprocessed, nourishing food, and that’s why he’s made it a priority in his life, too.
In fact, he’s now the one who comes to me and says, “I forgot my lunch today, so I had to eat in the cafeteria. I doubled up on the tomato and cucumber salad but had the cafeteria pizza [he’s a teacher]. I figured I would feel crappy and tired a few hours later…and I did.”
It’s been a journey for both of us, and all of these changes have happened gradually over time…over 8 years, in fact! Even to this day we’ll try things and find out that we don’t like them…but most of the time we DO like the foods we try and the dishes we make.
Shopping for, preparing, cooking, and sharing food together has become an integral part of our relationship and is an opportunity for us to bond, be adventurous and spend quality time together.
So, what are the secrets to how we’ve made this transition…and how Bill has grown to like vegetables so much?
I’ve listed my top 10 tips below and explained each tip in more detail in a post on another health blog I write for on a monthly basis.
- Eat more of what you like already.
- Pick your own.
- Meal plan together.
- Take a field trip.
- Make it fun and play with your food.
- Blend it up!
- Roast them.
- Veggie scramble.
- Soups, stews & chilis….oh my!
- Puree away.