I’ve always said that my husband was a man ahead of his time. When I met him 35 years ago, he was wearing those short sleeved knit golf shirts with the little crown on the pocket that he got out of the “old men’s” section of the Sears catalog . This was long before Izod put a little alligator on the same pocket and
set the whole world crazy! I remember thinking that once the ring was securely on my finger, I’d change his wardrobe.
Long before organic became a buzz word, he refused to eat or drink artificial ANYTHING! I grew up on products like Tang. Remember that sickeningly sweet, artificially flavored, artificially colored faux orange drink? We didn’t have a lot of soda, but when we did it was full of cyclamates - you know the one the FDA pulled after mice started getting cancer and their babies were born with five limbs? My mother was diabetic so when we did get any soda pop it was pretty much that or nothing. I’ve never drank anything that wasn’t “diet”.
Not the husband.
Does that mean he ‘s always been a healthy eater? Noooo…
Not hardly. It just means NO FAKE GREASE for him! He loves Little Debbie because she is pure --
Yeah. Pure sugar. Plenty of sweet but no innocence!
So I figured out early on in my “dieting” days that our meals were going to be a real challenge. AND that changing my husband's diet was going to be about as easy as changing his wardrobe...
I didn’t want to be fixing two dinners. I didn’t want tempting “real” snacks in the house.
What was I going to do? Like all things in marriage -- communicate and compromise. I told him that I needed his support and, as I blogged before, he did agree to try. Just one request:
“No fake crap!”.
I readily agreed and then -- served him a Bocca Burger…
The ensuing gagging, hawking, and coughing performance was Oscar worthy, let me tell you.
When he asked what the heck THAT was I insisted:
“It is a REAL all vegetable soy protein patty and I like it!” Well, at least the first part was true…
The truth is that I, myself, love nothing more than a greasy burger dripping with cheese, hot crispy fries, and an ice cold beer.
My waistline, however, decidedly DOES NOT. Not to mention my arteries.
I tried limiting such indulgences to only when eating out, but found the calorie overload just too depressing to see in black and white when I tracked it.
So what to do? Forever give up foods I love like burgers, pizza, spaghetti? After all, over time I have learned to enjoy many new healthier foods.
But what about my husband? Watch him eat a juicy burger dripping with cheese while I spear my fork in fat free dressing while eating my garden salad without croutons?
I would try to make “lite” versions at home, but what about my husbands no fake crap rule? Therein lay my challenge.
Could I make tasty, lighter versions of some of our favorites and “sneak” them past my husband’s taste buds?
Take a look at a few of the items:
It tracked like this side by side with a similar restaurant version:
Hamburger made with 3 oz. extra lean ground beef - 199 calories
Kraft Free American cheese - 1 slice - 31 calories
Village hearth Light Italian bun - 80 calories
Dill pickles and onions - 10 calories
Lays Kettle Cooked Reduced Fat potato chips - 140 calories
Crunchy cole slaw made with olive oil and cider vinegar - 43 calories
Michelob ULTRA beer - 95 calories
Total: 598 calories
Compare that to an Applebees cheeseburger, cole slaw, and potato chips
WITHOUT beer - 1282 calories
Needless to say it passed my husband's taste test - despite me sneaking in a few
less than "real" ingredients. I told him that I call it my "reasonable facsimile" meal.
That meal is still a calorie indulgence for me but, for the occasional yearning, it satisfies without totally breaking the calorie bank.
The other day I debuted a new lower cut shirt that I had bought and when paired with one of my Victoria's Secret floatation device bras - I changed my normal flat chested appearance to one with a little more oomph!
I gushed to my husband, "What do you think? Do I look like I have LADIES now??"
He grinned a sly grin and said "I'd call 'em a reasonable facsimile"...