Sunday, April 17, 2011

I'm Seeing Less Of My Husband!

How's that for an inference-laden title? For those of you wondering if I was about to reveal trouble simmering outside of the kitchen--sorry to disappoint. No, my husband, Brian, has not abandoned me in a quest to visit every major league ballpark. Nope, he's around more than ever. It's simply that my husband, who suffers from no known food intolerances, has been eating meals made up of my cookbook recipes for many months...and he's been losing weight

This welcomed development comes despite the fact that he has not kept to his exercise regimen of mountain biking for many months. So even though his exercise has been curtailed, by significantly reducing his consumption of breads, white rice, white pasta and dairy, Brian is quickly shedding weight. And he came to this conclusion all by himself about a week ago :)

Like most of us, Brian noticed his metabolism slowing up throughout his 30's. And based on what he knew, he responded by exercising more. “Conquer at play and you can eat all day” became his new motto. But unfortunately it didn't work out that way and, despite increasing his mountain biking habit, Brian was still gaining weight. 

So his next move was to cut back on long-standing food favorites such as ice cream, lasagna and creamy dishes. That {and a whole lot of exercise} allowed him to maintain a pretty good weight. Yet he was dissatisfied with this combo, knowing that if he upset the delicate balance between vigorous exercise and eating less of what he wanted, he'd put back on the weight.   

This is the point in the story where I must humbly admit that in the early days of my adventure into gluten-free and dairy-free cooking, my family wasn't exactly sneaking into the kitchen to gorge on my DF, GF, low-sugar experiments. So, back in the old days, I would most often fix two meals—one "healthy meal" for myself and my daughter who has dietary restrictions, and another "normal" one for everyone else, including Brian. 

I could sometimes coax him into sampling a GF cookie or even a main dish, and he would always compliment me {Usually something along the lines of “this is the greatest GF product I've had all day!” Isn't he funny ;) but he was not at all interested in substituting any of his food with my healthier versions. And then, it all changed.

As I stuck to it, countless tries later, a very interesting thing started to happen: Brian tried my creations and his new response became, “Hey, this is really keep making it better,” and furthermore {to my GREAT satisfaction} he'd eat the entire GF, DF, SF item in question. 

Pretty soon I was cooking only one meal and only one desert and, by that point, he was happy about it because he and the rest of my family actually liked the food. And now, after having eaten about 80% GF, DF and low sugar for sometime, I have to say I really like the change in how healthy he looks. 

I now attribute the family's “conversion” to the fact that my re-imagined, GF, DF, SF recipes feature the same kinds of textures and tastes found in the old dishes that rely on gluten and dairy ingredients. I love to hear family and friends say that they never would have known that something they just ate was gluten and dairy-free, or to hear them ask incredulously, “This sauce has no dairy in it?!” 

So my family's story is how this all started. And now my cookbook is full of recipes that take the best of everything I learned along the way and will show other families with special diets new ways to enjoy creamy dishes, cookies, muffins and a host of other formerly off-limit foods

So, here's to healthy eating and happy husbands! ;)

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