Updated: Feb 2
Do you have a picky eater in your family? Or someone with high cholesterol but refuses to change his /her diet? I do.
Reducing meat in diet
My husband’s first love was meat, especially, beef. In his late 40s, the doctor told him his cholesterol level was too high and required medication. He also told him the medication would harm his liver. My husband argued that his condition was hereditary and he had no intention of changing his diet or taking medication.
At about the same time, his knees hurt. He was not overweight but definitely looked 5 months pregnant.
I knew I couldn’t reason with him so I started changing my cooking gradually and meticulously. I started by cooking meat mixed in with a lot of vegetables, mushroom, red peppers, onions, carrots or celery in the dish. He felt like he ate a lot of meat. Another example was to have beef slices on top of tofu making the dish looked bigger. I didn’t know if he noticed the difference in my cooking but at the time he didn’t say anything.
Occasionally, I cooked a piece of good quality steak and discussed the texture and flavor of the steak while eating. This helped to enhance his memory and prevent him from complaining that there’s no steak.
When I stewed meat, I cooked it one day in advance and scooped out all the harden fat. I also put a lot of vegetables in the stew. The carrots and celery became very tasty because it absorbed the flavours from the meat, hence satisfying.
After one year, his cholesterol level dropped to the safety zoom and didn't require medication. He also lost his belly fat which became the envy of his friends. I was able to keep him in check the next 10+ years. In recent years, he has to go on medication but thankfully the newer medicine is safer.
My younger daughter didn’t like eggs when she first tried it. With experience from my first child, I didn’t persuade or coerce her to eat eggs. I just continued to cook eggs in different ways. Hard boiled, scrambled, omelet with veggies or meat, sunny side up, easy over and steamed eggs. After one week, she loved eggs.
My husband didn’t like eggplant but I loved it. Using the same strategy I cooked eggplant in different styles without saying anything. Of course, I included some meat in the beginning. Now he is converted but it took several years.
My husband loved Coke and complained constantly that I didn’t buy Coke. I introduced him to virgin mimosa using one part of orange juice to two parts of Perrier. The carbonation has a coke like sensation and the orange juice offers a little sweetness and citrus flavour.
Make it special
We eat with our eyes too, so I always served virgin mimosa in everyday IKEA wine glasses. Making a choice between a can of Coke and a frizzy, elegant orange drink suddenly becomes easier. I also used my nice plates occasionally on vegetables dishes making it harder to complain.
Grocery shop alone
I preferred to do grocery alone because I didn't want to argue over processed food in the supermarket, particularly when my kids were teenagers. I also became forgetful. I forgot to buy butter and Coke all the time. Gradually my family knew these two items would never show up in the fridge. I also forgot their snacks like chocolate and cookies. All I saw were oranges, watermelon and bananas.
I hope these tricks can help some of you. Please share your experience in the comments. It may help other people to eat healthier.