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5/22/12 3:27 P

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I have a dear friend that has complained for years about having to cook three different meals for dinner when she is dieting. What I have wanted to say to her over the years is that it wouldn't be a diet if you didn't have to sacrifice something, but like I said she is a dear friend so instead I just sit and listen and try to suggest ways to fix the problem.

Do you struggle with this problem? Well, if you do, hopefully I can help.

First of all, if you have small children, don't make the mistake of cooking to please them. It is so easy to just give in to what they want, but then the whole family will suffer in the long run. I know this because we made that mistake with our oldest child when she was a toddler. It didn't take very long to realize that my husband and I were the ones suffering. She, of course, was suffering too, nutritionally. Once we realized our mistake, we fixed it by going back to cooking nutritionally sound meals and lying to her about what the food was. It worked, but don't do that. By the time my second child was born, our oldest was eating just about anything, but in her mind she was only eating chicken nuggets and "pickled parsnips" (don't ask). Anyway, we continued putting a variety of food in front of our children and they all eat anything I put in front of them. Even "pickled parsnip" girl, who is now 22 and beautifully skinny and healthy. The point here is to cook one meal for everyone. We incorporated a "no thank you" bite for our children. There were foods that my husband liked, that I thought I didn't when we got married, but once I tried them, I discovered that I did like many things that I just never tried. Nine times out of ten, kids say they don't like something because they have never tried it.

Secondly, we are very blessed to be changing our habits to a way of eating that is very conducive to family dinners. I make lasagna with egg crepes and my family doesn't even notice the difference. I may bake a loaf of whole wheat french bread for everyone else which I just set on the other end of the table. A huge salad and a plate of lasagna and I'm perfectly content. When we have a "meat & potatoes" meal, I just eat the meat and other veggies I end up serving such as green beans or steamed broccoli. I mean, if you want to get mad because your husband and kids can eat potatoes and you can't, then your not really in the right mind set to "diet". It doesn't matter how you decide to change your eating habits, the key word is change. If you were always completely healthy and at a healthy weight, you wouldn't have anything to change. Please don't resent your family because they can have stuff that you can't.

Thirdly, there are so many "Somersized" recipes that are family friendly. You can convert many of your favorites or look in one of Suzanne's books. If you don't have any of her books, I would recommend The Sexy Forever Recipe Bible, which has just about every recipe from all of Suzanne's other books. They have been updated and categorized beautifully.

Finally, my friend has used her family as an excuse to not change her eating habits permanently and has suffered chronic weight gain and severe health problems. She's had an active lifestyle and gets lots of exercise, yet she won't eat right because she cooks to make her kids happy. Please don't make this mistake with your family. Now, not only is she suffering, but her children have been taught terrible eating habits and will eventually suffer as well.

Eat well and be happy!
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