*I’m going to preface this post with a little disclaimer.  I think of myself as a strong, independent woman and always will.  However, I also have a very nurturing side.  I love to take care of people, namely Vishnu.  And one of the ways I take care of him is by cooking healthy and (hopefully) tasty meals.  After reading this post, you may be inclined to think that after June my life will revolve around cooking for my husband, but that is not true at all.  In fact, he is more than capable of doing this himself, but I genuinely love to cook, and he doesn’t. I love planning healthy meals, while he’d rather just eat the healthy meal. And this works for us.

A topic that has been frequently making its way into recent conversation is how marriage is going to change mine and Vishnu’s eating habits.  The short answer is that marriage is not going to change anything.  I’ll still be a vegetarian, and he’ll continue to eat white meat and fish.  I’ll still be somewhat of a health nut, and he’ll take on some of my healthy habits while still eating the things he wants.

I think one of the reasons why people ask me about this is because I have been an on again off again vegetarian for years.  However, back in August 2010, I made the decision to give up meat…forever.  Trust be told, it grosses me out – more then ever.  And thinking about it makes me sad.

When we first got engaged, Vishnu stubbornly stated that no meat would be cooked at home.  He wanted to respect my way of eating.  Instead, he would resort to eating non-veg things when dining out.  Over time, as we talked more about this, I convinced him that having meat in the house won’t bother me.  I don’t want him to change his way because of me.  I even offered to cook him meat dishes, as long as he prepped everything beforehand.  For example, if I was making an Indian vegetable curry, we could very easily add chicken to his portion.  No big deal!  I honestly have no intention of converting Vishnu into a vegetarian, and I know with 100% certainty that it will never happen. 


Story of our lives!

I think another reason the question comes up often is because of my focus on eating clean and healthy.  People who know me understand that about me, and again, while I don’t want to lure Vishnu over to my sometimes crazy ways, I do want to introduce him to a healthier way of eating.  Luckily, he’s already made some awesome changes to his diet this past year.  He and his roommate make dinner at home most nights of the week – lasagna, sandwiches, stir-frys, grilled chicken and veggies, etc.  He’s a fruit fiend – blueberries, bananas, and apples are his favorite.  And he now prefers wheat pasta over white (this is HUGE because a couple of years ago he absolutely hated wheat anything).

As far as changes go, I’d like for us to pay more attention to the quality of the meat we purchase.  If he’s going to eat it, might as well make sure it’s coming from a good source.  I also want to make sure Vishnu eats a good, filling breakfast.  I know, I know – he’s not a child, but with his busy class schedule, breakfast often goes to the wayside.  He loves green protein smoothies and protein cereal and has said himself that he’s very much looking forward to breakfast after the wedding!  Having a variety of healthy snacks around will also be key for us.  We both love granola, Greek yogurt, hummus + veggies, peanut butter, cheese, etc.  We’ll just have to make sure these things are readily available.

healthy eating someecard

Vishnu’s not the only one that’s going to have to be adaptable.  I too am going to have to be more thoughtful about our meals.  For example, there are days every now and then where I don’t feel like cooking, and when that happens, I eat a couple of bowls of cereal and call it a night.  However, I know that cereal would never satisfy my hubby-to-be.  And me being me, I know I would feel guilty if he went to bed on an “empty stomach.”  Also, I could honestly eat the same dinner three to four times a week.  It’s easy and convenient.  Vishnu, on the other hand, likes variety.  So, I think we’re both going to have to compromise a little and be a bit more flexible.  Finally, I know I’m going to have to kick it up a notch when it comes to making Indian meals.  Vishnu and I both grew up in families where our moms made Indian food for dinner five to six times a week.  And by no means is Vishnu demanding I cook certain kinds of food, but I do want to continue with that tradition, but it’ll probably be a three times week thing for us.

It’s funny how food is one of my major marriage “concerns.”  It’s just that Vishnu and I have different views on food and what we like and don’t like.  I know this isn’t abnormal for a couple, but it’ll be interesting to see how we adjust over time. 

Do you find yourself adjusting to the eating habits of those around you, or do you use your influencing skills to get others to adapt to you?

By Parita

17 thoughts on “When Two Ways of Eating Collide”
  1. I totally get where you’re coming from. I’m a vegetarian, the husband is NOT. There are some days where he’ll eat a vegetarian meal, but for the most part I will cook him some meat to go along with his dishes. It really doesn’t bother me!

  2. I love this post, P and I think you’re going to make an awesome wife…such a realistic approach! Whether it’s a friend, family, spouse whatever- I think the key to living together is compromise! Imposing your views, beliefs, eating habits, whatever is a disaster! Although I eat meat in general, I don’t touch beef (religious reasons) or pork (personal preference) yet I don’t mind others around me ordering it and when the time comes, I will probably cook both for my husband if he wants. Last week when I was in Dubai, I stayed with my aunt who isn’t the healthiest of eaters however guess who was hooked on quinoa (and even asked me to teach her cook how to make) it by the time I left :)!

    1. Thanks, K! I agree, compromise is the name of the game. And I’m with you – love love love the feeling of introducing someone to a new healthy food/recipe and then having them come back to tell how much they loved it!

  3. As you know from some of my posts, this has been one of our biggest moving in together hurdles, and I eat meat! We just try to find to find a balance cuz he’s used to his meals consisting primarily of meat and I’m used to primarily vegetables with a little bit of meat. He also claims to hate all vegetables! So over the last year i’ve been learning how to compromise without cooking 2 meals every night. he’s found a few vegetables he does like to eat so that makes meal planning a bit easier. Also I’ve learned some sneakiness tactics and grate a lot of veggies into his favorite meals (like into mashed potatoes 😉 It takes some give and take and a lot of learning experiences of dinners he refused to eat! And me having meltdowns because I can’t always eat so much meat, my stomach can not take it. But we now a year in, we have a good list of compromise meals! I’m sure you guys will be able to work it out!

    1. As long as he preps the meat, I’m ok with incorporating it into any meal! I think this whole living together thing is going to be about compromise and learning through experience. It’ll be an…adventure!

  4. This is a great post and I can definitely relate. So my husband and I are both non-veg, white meat and fish. Despite me being non-veg, we rarely ever cook meat at home, maybe once a year. we think it more hygenic and better to just eat it outside, but when I do buy meat on that rare occasion, i make sure it’s good quality – whole foods. my husband is a lot like vishnu and didn’t like eating healthy or anything that was wheat, it took a few years of convincing him that whole wheat is better for you, but he didn’t like the taste. i started making pasta and he had no idea i used whole wheat and loved it. now he munches away on peanuts, peanut butter, whole grain bread, avocados, and in the past that would never happen. i do cook but mainly on sundays, i don’t even have the energy to cook everyday. initially when i was married i did that, but after 3 years, u kinda of figure out what works for you as a couple. definitely do the indian food 3-4 times a week. 🙂

  5. I can totally relate to liking to cook for your man! No need for a disclosure. 😉 I see it as my contribution to our household since I am unemployed so that gives me some comfort. Plus my fiance loves to eat and I love to make him happy! 🙂

  6. My whole reason for starting my blog was because I was trying to find healthy meals that my husband would eat and not complain about. It’s been a lot of fun trying new foods and seeing what his reactions are, especially when I sneak attack him with things like quinoa and tofu. Marriage is all about compromise after all, so some nights he eats vegetarian meals that I make, and others I find an interesting new way to use buffalo wing sauce. Give and take my dear 🙂

  7. I love this post! It’s pretty much the exact same way that Sam and I are. It’s all about compromise and respecting each others eating habits. 🙂

    And that first picture? Perfect!

  8. I loved reading this post. One of the reasons that Mr. Mason Jar and I are no longer together (I think) is that he really had the most difficult time accepting the fact that vegetarians (or “vegans with benefits” ;)) and meat eaters could co-exist in communal eating contentment! I tried to explain that there are whole cookbooks devoted to just this concept…but….oh well…

  9. Arrgh! WordPress ate my comment!

    Ok here goes again – I ate mainly vegetarian before I was married since my mum did the majority of the cooking at home – when we went out we’d occasionally eat meat. Evs – because primarily is from a diff religion doesn’t have the same ‘hangups’ about meat that I do. I don’t think it’s fair for me to force him to conform to my religious beliefs when it comes to food and the same with me for him. And I don’t actually mind he eats meat (he can cook his own steak tho!) and do prepare/cook it as well. All I’ve asked is that we make sure we buy sustainable, good quality products.

    What I have found that since I got married, I eat a lot more meat now. And when Evs cooks he makes mainly meat dishes so I end up eating what he makes as well. And recently realised that while I do like it, I don’t NEED it – in fact quite happy to eat vegetarian. I’m just too lazy to cook two meals. So my goal this year (as you know) has been to reduce the amount of meat I eat and all the while increase Evs’ veggie intake. Which he eats quite willingly now – despite my ‘weird’ healthy experiments (yep – he knows what quinoa is now :P)

    As an aside – it’s funny – that despite us being strong, independent women, we still feel guilty when we don’t feed our husbands ‘properly’. I think a lot of it comes from seeing our own mothers do it and the guilt comes ingrained with the concept of being a ‘good’ wife. Add the Indian culture thing on top of it and next thing you know you’re bringing him chai in the mornings!! 😛 While I know it’s your nuturing side, I’d still encourage you guys to mix it up – if you cook – he does the dishes! Or get him to cook something once in a while when you honestly cbf’d. Only fair 😛

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