When Your Diet Is Different Than Your Partners

When your diet is different than your partners (Photo: Minerva Studio/Shutterstock)

You’re vegetarian, she can’t live without her steaks and burgers. Or perhaps she’s sworn off carbs, and you get cranky without your sandwiches. With just about everyone with some sort of food intolerance, allergy or personal restrictions, different diet plans than your partner are more and more common. So how to handle your differing food choices smoothly? It’ll take more effort and planning but you can handle these potentially tense meal moments with ease by trying some of these tactics.

Make a meal schedule

Alternate nights cooking for each other, so you each are playing a part in contributing and appreciating each others food choices. If she’s vegan and you simply can’t go without some meat on the night she cooks, then make it your responsibility to make your own pork chop or salmon fillet. Take turns for six nights in a row and once a week, take a break and focus solely on your own meals (think of it as a “cheat day”).

Find recipes you both adore

Head to the bookstore to explore the cookbook section and find a few that includes recipes that meet both of your needs. Or search online and maintain together a list of links of recipes you’d like to cook together with your dietary needs in mind. If there’s a cuisine that includes many dishes that meet both of your needs, consider taking a cooking class together so you both can become experts at cooking it.

Eat your food choices at the office or when out without your partner

If she has the more restricted diet, one that you’re more or less happy with following, then make the lunches you have at work or at business dinners the ones where you get to eat the foods she does not. This way you still satisfy your need for carbs, for example, without making waves at home.

Be tactful and sensitive to each others food choices

Just because you’ve sworn off sugar doesn’t give you the right to look at the candy your girlfriend is eating as a treat as though it’s the root of all evil or worse, to make snarky remarks about it. Be respectful of each others choices and when walking that fine line of encouraging your partner to make healthy choices, be mindful of not being overbearing.

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