We have a food dilemma. My body is so sensitive to what I put in it that every time I make poor choices, I suffer. While the solution may look simple from the outside, it is not. These are the challenges we’ve been facing:
I prefer a vegetable based diet, with legumes or beans as my protein. I love international dishes and go for a satisfied palate rather than a full stomach. Dairy, gluten, and shellfish are no-no’s for me.
My husband is a meat-lover, despises beans, thinks of vegetables as a side (after starch) and is adverse to curry. Apart from bell peppers he has no food intolerances, and likes high fat, high sugar food. He’d eat hamburgers daily.
He does all the shopping, and most of the cooking, due to my current state of health. Did I mention that he is also mobility challenged, and apart from looking after me, runs a full-time business? Meeting both our needs has been a problem.
Our former solution was to order out most nights, usually with leftovers the next day – not recommended!
Over time, we are learning to cope by implementing a few changes:
- We’ve hired a teenager, who comes to the house two afternoons and chops vegetables, and other basic prep. Some days, with my supervision, she will make soups, or simple meals, which has been very helpful. Otherwise, she leaves chopped up produce in small bags in the fridge so that we can use them for smoothies, or cooking. This works if there are groceries in the house, and I have planned ahead.
- Loblaws, we have discovered, now offers online shopping. For a $5 fee, we can select our purchases from the comfort of home, and pick up the filled order at a location and time we specify. This has been a great help for my husband and allows me to participate in the process. (Ontario, Canada)
- Chef’s Plate is a food service that delivers meal kits (up to three per week). The meals come packaged with all that you need to cook your own dinner along with a step-by-step recipe card. Meals are selected a week in advance, and there are choices that accommodate food sensitivities, which is very helpful for me. We usually choose one for his palate, one for mine, and an agreed upon meal. The meals are healthy, tasty, and always satisfying.
Meal planning can be difficult at any stage of life, whether single, juggling parenthood and work, catering to different food needs/tastes, or aging. Add disability and dependence on others to the mix, and it becomes an all-consuming (pun intended) problem.
Happy to say, we are making headway.