A Man's Perspective on Eating Real, Unprocessed Foods

Hi everyone. My name is James. I am Delia's husband. Delia asked me to write a guest post about healthy eating from a man's perspective, so here it is. Similar to Delia, I grew up eating a typical American diet.  Although my parents did make me eat my vegetables as well as a balanced diet, our food choices were not organic or  entirely unprocessed.  As I entered high school and college, I ate what was quick and convenient and I didn't question it because I didn't know any better. Subway and McDonald's dollar menu were part of my regular diet. After I met Delia, she slowly opened my eyes to what healthy eating looks like.  Since our wedding four years ago, our eating habits have drastically evolved from the American definition of "healthy food" to a more holistic definition of healthy food. Below are a few questions that I get asked on a frequent basis.

Is it true that you travel for work? What do you eat on the road?
I typically travel most weekends each month, which means most of my meals are highly processed. Although I am grateful for the hospitality of others, most meals I eat on the road are quick convenience foods because that is all that is available. When I first started traveling, there were several occasions when I would come home feeling sick to my stomach. Now I try to find the healthier options when I can. Delia and I have found a couple tactics to help me stay on track. I found that eating a big healthy breakfast at home before flights helps those morning cravings for nasty airport food. Delia will also pack little snacks such as granola, fruit, and nuts to keep me from hitting up the nearby gas station. Because I cannot control all I eat when I travel, it's important for me to eat healthy at home. And one thing is for certain, Delia knows how to pile on the asparagus and broccoli. 

What was your reaction about eating unprocessed foods for 30 days?
As a supportive husband, I must support all constructive projects my wife embarks on. We both figured this would be a great way to kick off Delia's Kitchen, but I didn't realize what I was getting myself into. I never realized how many foods contain processed ingredients especially restaurant food. When we first started I was really pumped and figured we would just need to read food labels and everything would be fine. As the weeks when on it became hard to go out with friends and family. They can only tolerate going to Chipotle so many times. This was the only restaurant we found where we could eat entirely unprocessed by choosing brown rice and not eating tortillas or chips.  However, eating home cooked wholesome meals was easy, especially when Delia would make flavorful dishes. This challenge proved to me that its possible to eat healthy foods without compromising taste.

Now that the challenge is over, what exactly is your definition of healthy eating? 
After participating in this challenge I have learned that healthy eating is not only about a well balanced meal, but it's equally important to know the ingredients in your food. Moderation is key. I want us to strive to eat unprocessed food at home, so that we can afford to indulge when the occasion permits.

Be honest. Do you feel deprived? Do you wish that you could just eat a Standard American Diet?
Ha ha. I wouldn't say I feel deprived at all. I enjoy eating healthy, but I would be lying if I said I don't crave an occasional Chicago-style hot dog. Eating healthy most days of the week is a huge priority in our household. As a result of this, we can give in to our cravings once in a while without feeling guilt. I am grateful that we don't eat a standard American diet of lots of convenience foods and highly processed ingredients. I think that we are on the right path to health, and that feels great.

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