Wow, this is exciting. I got to the point in the book "It Starts with Food" where I am ready to choose a start date and get my kitchen ready. I also called a family meeting for tomorrow morning so that I can "break" the news to my husband and kids. My kids already seem to be sensing something is up because of the exceptionally healthy meals we have been eating the past two weeks, but I'm about to take it up a level.
I think that by telling my husband that I am trying to get clean so that I can figure out why I have psoriasis (an auto-immune condition that started a couple years after moving to Japan) and why I have such a hard time losing weight, he might get on the same page. Luckily for him, he rarely eats meals with us during the week...though recently he has been asking me to set some food aside for him to eat when he gets home.
I can almost predict what he will say:
Y did indeed ask all of these questions and made a lot of know-it-all comments. These are the things I have to listen to from the person I am sharing my life with.
Make sure the kids are still getting rice and miso, tofu and other important, nutritious food even if you can't eat it yourself.
He understood about rice, bread and pasta because he is aware of the low-carb/no-carb diets that are out there, but he doesn't have a clue that they might be unhealthy for people in general, even for people who are not trying to control their weight.
And of course, he commented that I still need to feed all this stuff to the kids on a daily basis. I wanted to laugh, not only because I predicted it, but this because this is the guy that always insisted on eating WHITE rice, thick WHITE bread, and WHITE pasta because whole-grain stuff tastes gross.
Still, my job is not to insist on anything but to just take care of myself. If he and the kids want all that stuff, I am happy to make and serve it to them, but it annoys me that he seems to feel that MY EFFORTS to eat healthier impede so much on HIS EFFORTS to NEVER EVER CHANGE ANYTHING AND STILL ACT LIKE AN IGNORANT, NAIVE CHILD.
Are you sure you have to go this far?
Again, he admonished me having to go to extremes, and suggested that just by cutting out my morning mochas (which were mostly skim milk!) and by exercising more, I would have seen a big difference in my weight.
Now, I did begin the explanation by saying this wasn't just about weight, it was also about my other health issues, issues we have been dealing with for years but with no relief. But still, he says, "I have always been saying this. Stop drinking those mocha coffees and get out and exercise more." Yes, so easy, isn't it?
Don't you think you should just exercise?
Yes, of course, and I am exercising.
Coming from someone who mostly sits on the couch, eating junk food and watching TV, I think it's ironic that his advice is so simple. However, he does often remark that UNLIKE HIM, I rarely veg out on the couch surrounded by bags and boxes of junkfood, and that in general, I seem to eat quite healthy, but that I don't move my body enough. Well, I have tried this route (and I still am trying), but not much progress gets made.
Does this mean no more going out to eat?
That depends on where you want to go.
Yes, he did whine about this. He even said that I should have considered the family when I decided to go on such a restrictive diet because now how/when/where will we go out to eat. I told him that it would depend on the place. Restaurants that serve fast food or instant food are out of the question, but there are some restaurants that serve dishes made from scratch, and as long as there is a nice salad bar and I can avoid the pasta/rice/bread that often gets served with the meal, it would be fine! To be honest, I didn't get that far in my explanation because I was already so frustrated with his attitude.
What about Ailin's birthday parties in February?
Her birthday party is the perfect chance for me to test out my skills at not succumbing to peer pressure. It also gives me a chance to discuss with her which types of foods she should NOT request for her birthday dinner because if she chooses, for example, LASAGNA, Mama won't be able to eat it with the family. I am steering her towards choices that are acceptable or that I can pick around.
He did not ask about this specifically.
Finally, what about tofu? It is SO HEALTHY?
Well, actually, it's not. I'm supposed to stay away from all soy products because apparently they cause a lot of problems, and they very well could be the explanation of my psoriasis issues developing AFTER moving to Japan. This is something I need to test out and make sure of.
But seriously, imagine all the various forms of soy beans that we eat in Japan!!! This will be the most difficult thing to avoid/explain/deal with!
He was most shocked and incredulous about the notion that I have to cut soy products out of my diet, even if it's only for one month. He insisted that Japanese food is so healthy and Japanese people are healthy, so obviously any soy products (miso, soy sauce, tofu, edamame, etc.) are extremely healthy, and I shouldn't eliminate it from my diet.
He also commented that I should stay away from MEAT, EGGS, and OILS. I told him all these were fine but that I needed to be careful about where it comes from, what type of oil, etc. Then, he said, no, you should just eat FISH. Well, of course, I would include fish and seafood in the diet, but not only fish, every single day.
I can see he is confused, and even going to AEON soon after to go shopping, he insisted on buying margarine, and I said, we have plenty of butter at home, so why buy margarine. He insisted that margarine was healthier and then he ran back to the other side of the store, supposedly to pick up some margarine, but I didn't see it in the basket when I paid for the groceries, so I am not sure if he changed his mind.
Later on the way home, he seemed to sense my obvious frustration. He said, "I bet you wish you had married a cooler guy, but YOU married me and this is what you got!" I replied, "No, I wish you were smarter and read books and kept up to date on new research so that I don't have to argue with you about such stupid things. Your information comes from very old ways of thinking." He then insisted that he is smart.
Well, good luck to me this month.
Today, I put together a grocery list for AEON to restock my cupboards with items that I can buy easily and will be useful in our menus from now on. I also put in an order at iHerb to get some organic items that are not available at AEON.
If anyone would like to shop at iHerb, use this discount code. They ship to Japan fairly cheaply.
Here is my iHerb order in case you are curious. Lots of coconut products. The chocolate bars are for a friend as I plan to send her a care package next week.
Wish me luck!
Resources that I am using include the following three books:
And the following web site: