When our service members are gone, us military spouses do one of 2 things:
We either eat chocolate and junk food while drinking our wine or we decide to eat healthy.
Honestly, I’ve done both and though that junk food tastes amazing in the moment, and really there’s nothing better than a fresh pizza from the small Italian pizzeria down the street…. I have to swear by the healthy eating tactic instead.
If your spouse is anything like mine, he brings home beer at the end of a long day or proposes eating take-out from the pizzeria. He is inevitably coming home with bottles of soda-pop and bags of my favorite chips and man…while he is home eating healthy can be so hard! Even though I cook dinner most nights, the junk food calls at lunch and snack time. So, when my spouse is gone on TDY or deployment it is a great time to reset my body and my healthy eating habits.
Here are my 4 tried-and-true healthy eating tips when you’re home and your spouse is on deployment.
Choose a lifestyle change plan and stick to it.
To reset and curb my sugar and bread addiction I enjoy doing Whole 30 while he is gone. Whole 30 is a lifestyle change that takes you down to a bare bones whole foods only menu. Meat, veggies and fruit make up the menu with absolutely no added sugars, no dairy and no grain.
Whole 30 is hard, but to me it’s kind of fun to have that challenge.
The last time I did it, I lost 10 pounds (that I never gained back) and I found afterwards that most candies were now too sweet and unappealing to me.
This lifestyle change got me back in the swing of meal planning, trying new recipes and cooking dinner each night. This can really help with holding onto a stable schedule when your spouse is gone.
Get the Kids Involved in Cooking
When your spouse is gone, the kids are constantly underfoot while you are trying to cook. This can lead to taking shortcuts like ordering from the pizzeria down the street. To help with this, my dad built our kids a learning tower (step stool with rails) so they could reach the counter and help with stirring, mixing or just generally checking out what you are doing. Your kids learn about healthy eating and you get a little more peace – everyone wins!
Try New Recipes
You know that veggie you swear you hate? Look up some recipes and try to prepare it in a few different ways. You may be shocked to find that you actually really like this vegetable! Just not the way your mom used to steam it and toss it on your plate. It’s amazing what a little garlic and lemon can do to a dish!
If You Fall Off the Healthy Eating Wagon, Hop Right Back On
The biggest problem with diets, is that once people break them they feel like they should give up and then they fall back into their old habits. It is OK to have moderation and cheat meals or cheat days! Just hop right back on that healthy eating wagon and remind yourself why you got on it in the first place.
During deployment, we can already feel really yucky. We miss our spouses and we hate our new routine and we just feel so lonely.
Though chocolate may make you feel better for a few minutes, too much of it will make you feel worse in the long run.
Healthy eating has proven to improve not only your physical health, but your mental health too — so give it a chance during this season of your life – you may be shocked how much you like it!
What are your tips for eating healthy when your spouse is deployed? Share them in the comments section.