How to Stay Healthy When You Live With a Junk Food Junkie

My name is Heather Allen. I am a Holistic Nutritionist and I live with a junk food junkie. Before my man and I shacked up, the phonebook was his cookbook, delivery drivers knew him by name and he had been living off pizza and takeout for almost half the time Stephen Harper was Prime minister.

I cook the majority of our meals because I love cooking! But there are some nights when I get home late, the last thing I want to do is whip up a healthy dinner when there is already a piping hot pizza on my table thanks to my man’s ‘trigger happy’ delivery dialing fingers. So yes, his eating habits may throw my healthy lifestyle a curveball now and then, but living with my pizza loving, cheese and cracker snacking man has taught me some pretty valuable lessons.

So if your partner is derailing your health goals, keep in mind my 7 Tips for Staying Healthy While Living With a Junk Food Junkie:

1. Honour yourself  First and foremost, remember why you’re doing it. Maybe you want boundless energy to play with your kids and conquer the world or maybe you’re trying to shed a few pounds. Whatever it may be, keep the end goal in mind. Visualize how amazing it will be to reach your goal. How will you feel? How will it look? How will it change your life? Keeping these things in mind will help keep you strong when faced with temptation.

2. Express yourself Sit down and let them know why it’s so important that they support you. Let them in on what your goals are and why you’re doing it. Also, make your house a no junk zone and ask them to keep their junk food stashed at the office.  *Open communication is extremely important in relationships, so if the thought of sitting down and expressing your feelings with your loved one makes you queasy, there may be larger issues to explore beyond what is going on in the kitchen.

3. Find healthy version of their favourite foods  This is one of the best ways to inspire your junkie to align with your goals. My man’s favourite foods are pizza and Indian food. Turns out my veggie loaded cauliflower crust pizza and degreased chickpea chana masala can easily keep him from dialing for delivery. Win win.

4. Get promiscuous  If your partner isn’t giving you the support you need, find it somewhere else. Join an online community that aligns with your goals, shack up with a fitness group or ask your pals for a pat on the back to help you keep going.

5. Get cozy in the kitchen Cooking is a lot more fun and a whole lot quicker when done in pairs. Show off your ninja cooking skills with your partner and maybe, just maybe, some of it will rub off on them and you’ll be coming home to healthy meals in no time.

6. Gather recipes – I used to get so annoyed when I got home hours after my man and there was no dinner in sight. But I realized that he wouldn’t cook simply because he didn’t know what to cook. So I armed him with the resources to make it easy. I bookmarked some simple recipes in my favourite cookbooks and printed out a stack of recipe cards for him to turn to when it’s his turn to whip up dinner.

7. Get educated – I found that once I understood the mechanisms behind why processed foods are so bad for us, it was easier for me to turn them down. I can now watch my man chow down on a bag of Doritos containing neurotoxic MSG and ADHD triggering Red Dye 40 without slobbering like a fool. Knowledge is power.

So now that you’ve started sipping smoothies and eating kale & quinoa salads, you might think it’s nasty that they love cheese slices and sandwich meat. But if you’re trying to get them on board with your goals, choose the high road and offer solutions rather than casting judgment. Keep in mind that this was your choice, not theirs. Inspire them to change using positivity rather than create resistance through ridicule and always, always stay true to yourself.

In health & happy relationships,

Heather