Blog post

Dealing with Dietary Differences

Okay, so you’ve finally decided to make the leap, take the plunge, and commit yourself to a new eating philosophy. You’ve done the research, made the shopping lists, and meal planned like crazy (thanks to Pinterest). You’re IN. Except for one tiny bump in the road… Your significant other? Your ride or die, other half, bff, and biggest fan? Well, they’re not exactly in. In fact, they’ve made it pretty clear that on this one, you’re on your own. So how do you end up dealing with dietary differences without having to eat in separate rooms and hide your kale under the mattress? The answer lies in a little bit of space, and a lot of planning and patience.

Communicate!

Communication is probably the most underrated element of a relationship. TALK to your person. Let them know what prompted this decision and why it’s important to you. Undergoing a philosophy change in your diet is a big deal for most people and it usually stems from a pretty emotional place. It’s important that they understand where this place is if they’re going to support you.

Make it clear that you don’t expect them to follow suit, but you DO want their support in this. Establishing that this change is for you, your health, and your beliefs also shows them that it’s in no way meant to create a barrier or be judgmental. While these things are rarely said, they’re often felt when one partner undergoes a change like this. Be clear about your inspiration, but also be clear that you still support them too.

Respect Their Space

We know, this sounds a little counterintuitive since you’re the one making this change, and they’re not being as supportive as you think they could. But consider this: when we choose to change our dietary philosophy, it’s usually to better ourselves. We’re striving to eat better, feel better, and look better. We’re READY. The problem is, your partner might not be, and your change is a bit of a reminder of that, especially if your changes stem from the desire to lose weight.

If you want your partner to be supportive of your lifestyle change, you have to equally respect their space. Do NOT nag them to join you. Don’t rub it in their face, or flaunt your newfound enlightenment. Instead, just go about business as usual. If they have questions, explain where you’re coming from. The less you pressure them, the more likely it is that they’ll eventually be open to trying some of those new recipes you’ve been whipping up. And who knows, at some point, they might be ready to go all in.

Plan Ahead

Now that you’re making different dietary choices, you’ll probably need to put more forethought into some of your meal planning, grocery shopping, and dining out. Planning ahead will help prevent conflict, or nights when one person goes without a full meal. Make sure you stock the kitchen with your own staples and if you eat meals together, start planning for dishes that satisfy both palates. If you’re eating out, look the menu up on the internet and see if there’s something available that you’ll both be happy with. If you’ve recently given up meat, then you probably won’t want to hit up the BBQ Shack, but they might not be ready to dive into Plant Paradise. Instead, a pizza spot would be a better compromise where you can each customize your order. A little planning goes a long way, and ensures that both people feel considered.

Make It Fun

Just because you decided to change up your diet doesn’t mean that you guys are committed to a life of separate TV dinners and sadness. Play with  your newfound differences. Cook food for each other that incorporates both your needs. Gone vegan? Make a plant based dessert that will blow his mind. The next day, he can reciprocate with a meat free guilty pleasure that will have you both celebrating that plant life. Getting to know each other through what you can cook for the other person will bring you closer and help you bond over what you initially thought would be a divide.

48 Comments

  • Zhanna

    December 8, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    Such an amazing post! We are dealing with the same issue, too. Communication and respect are definitely the keys in this situation

    http://www.morethandestination.com

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      December 9, 2017 at 2:43 am

      Thanks Zhanna! And it’s so key!

  • Heather Rowland

    December 8, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    These points are so true as it can be so difficult switching to a new diet, both on yourself and your significant other. Fab tips for keeping the peace in the kitchen!

    Heather xx
    https://www.hefafa.me.uk

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      December 9, 2017 at 2:43 am

      It can be super difficult! It’s all about finding that middle ground.

  • Andrea

    December 8, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    I’m a die hard carnivore, my best friend is vegan, my daughter and her boyfriend are vegetarians. What I’ve learned when we go to restaurants is not to let the menu fool you. They will often accommodate your dietary needs by not only leaving things out, but even making you something special. Just ask! If you’ve never been there before, call ahead first and ask.

    Andrea
    Breastfeedinganswersandsolutions.com

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      December 9, 2017 at 2:44 am

      This is so true! Most restaurants are more than happy to make accommodations!

  • Kya

    December 9, 2017 at 7:01 am

    Such a great post. It is important to respect other peoples opinions and space, and it’s great that you have made others aware of the diet side too!

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      December 9, 2017 at 4:19 pm

      Thanks Kya! You’re right, this really applies to ANY differences we might find in each other!

  • Kuks

    December 9, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    communication and respecting your partner’s space are very important in a relationship. It prevents unecessary fights
    Wonder Cottage

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      December 10, 2017 at 1:53 am

      We totally agree!

  • Britney

    December 9, 2017 at 9:38 pm

    I’ve actually never really had to deal with this because the people I associate with all have similar diets. If it did happen though, I would certainly be supportive of what they choose and don’t choose to eat. Maybe I would even be able to try new things myself. I’m not vegetarian or vegan, but I do follow some vegan bloggers, and some of them post the most amazing looking meals. I definitely want to try some of them.

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      December 10, 2017 at 1:54 am

      We love the fact that the internet allows people to even just consider trying new foods! Just because it’s vegan doesn’t mean a carnivore can’t enjoy it :). Love your open mindedness Britney!

  • Rachel

    December 10, 2017 at 1:19 am

    Being on different diets can definitely be a challenge. But I knew my boyfriend was a keeper when, less than 2 months into dating me, he completely respected my choice to try out a new restrictive diet and brought me sparkling water instead of wine when we cooked dinner together.

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      December 10, 2017 at 1:55 am

      Ahhhhh we LOVE this! Someone who goes out of their way to make you happier is always a good choice :).

  • Courtney

    December 10, 2017 at 2:29 am

    These are good tips for sure. Communication is very key to get through it.
    https://sugarcoatedbears.blogspot.com/

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      December 10, 2017 at 10:08 pm

      Absolutely!

  • Nancy

    December 10, 2017 at 6:03 am

    When I first started dating my boyfriend, he was a pescetarian. I was all about meat but I could understand why he gave up land meat. Communication and respect are definitely necessary and it’s not that hard to execute. Years later, I found myself eating less land meat for health reasons and it’s not that bad! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on how to accommodate dietary differences :).

    exquisitely.me

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      December 10, 2017 at 10:09 pm

      The same kind of thing happened with Ben and I! I decided to give up meat, and then a few months later, he started to eat less just because I was. Eventually, he went full veg (also for health benefits). Communication and respect were definitely key in keeping the peace while we weren’t both plant based!

  • Brandy

    December 10, 2017 at 6:42 am

    Thank you for sharing. I’ve always struggled with diets and making poor food choices. You’re truly an inspiration

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      December 10, 2017 at 10:10 pm

      Thanks Brandy! The food struggle can be so tricky, but it’s all about being kind to yourself and making small changes that add up. You’ve got this!

  • Ashley

    December 10, 2017 at 7:50 am

    So many amazing tips babe!! I have lots of vegan friends and we have a great time when we go out. We just need to plan it properly!!! Also my mother in law is celiac so everything has to be gluten free but i swear she’s the best cook ever!!!

    xxx

    Ashley

    http://www.missgunner.com

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      December 10, 2017 at 10:12 pm

      Planning is the key! When we go to family events with Ben or my family (who are avid meat eaters), we make sure to scope out the menu beforehand, OR bring our own options if it’s a potluck type deal. That helps us avoid any conflict! And we’ve had some AMAZING gluten free goodies here in Boulder. I think people are really breaking down the notions that gluten free and/or vegan means not tasty!

  • Dasynka

    December 10, 2017 at 9:40 am

    That’s all true 🙂 everything can work in a relationship by communicating. It’s the most important thing that lead a relation through the years… 🙂
    xx Dasynka
    http://dasynka.com

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      December 10, 2017 at 10:12 pm

      Communication is 100% the secret to maintaining a healthy relationship! We so agree!

  • Gabrielle

    December 10, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    Making it fun is a brilliant point; you never want dietary preferences/necessities to make things awkward! Thanks for all the great tips, they’re fab to keep in mind for when eating with friends/family as well as partners!

    aglassofice.com
    x

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      December 10, 2017 at 10:13 pm

      Exactly! Honestly, getting to know each other through that is so fun. And having your SO cook something special just for you is really sweet! Win-win there!

  • Eena

    December 11, 2017 at 4:57 am

    These are really great tips! I’ve been thinking about changing my diet and possibly going vegan in the next year and fiancé’s on board with it because I tell him it’s so I can get my gut back on track and to hopefully lose weight and he’s all supportive. But we’ll see. Baby steps.

    cabin twenty-four

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      December 12, 2017 at 1:42 am

      That’s awesome Eena! We’ve honestly seen SO much improvement with our gut health since going plant based. If you have any questions, hit us up! And that’s great that Chris is on board with it too. It makes the transition so much easier when you have support!

  • Constance

    December 11, 2017 at 11:17 am

    I think making it fun is a must. Great post !

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      December 12, 2017 at 1:43 am

      It absolutely is! And let’s be honest, who doesn’t like being cooked for?!

  • Gemma

    December 11, 2017 at 11:40 am

    Really great tips! Have a great week. Gemma x
    http://www.jacquardflower.uk

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      December 12, 2017 at 1:43 am

      Thanks Gemma! You too!

  • Hannah

    December 11, 2017 at 11:49 am

    I always love your posts, and thank you for sharing this one! I think it’s so important to communicate about it, and support is a must xx

    Hannah | luxuryblush

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      December 12, 2017 at 1:44 am

      Thank you Hannah! That means so much. Communication is SO key, and it strengthens your relationship so much. Even though it’s a change for YOU, it still affects them!

  • Shivi

    December 11, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    Well, that’s something new yet important info. No one usually discusses about it. Great work 🙂

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      December 12, 2017 at 1:44 am

      Thank you!

  • Rosanna

    December 11, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    A really interesting post and something to bear in mind – thank you!
    Have a lovely day 🙂
    Rosanna x

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      December 12, 2017 at 1:44 am

      Thank Rosanna! You too!

  • Emily

    December 11, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    This isn’t something I’ve ever really thought about! But you’re right, changing your diet can really freak some people out. It’s a huge change. These are definitely great tips for getting past dietary differences and dealing with the effects it has on other people around you.

    -Emily http://www.coatandcoffee.com

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      December 12, 2017 at 1:45 am

      It really is! And it’s an incredibly personal one too. But the more people understand where you’re coming from, the more on board they’ll be with it. And support is so important!

  • Carly

    December 11, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    My husband and I have completely different ideas on what constitutes a good, healthy meal. It makes me crazy! Your tip on switching off cooking for each other helps a lot. We do this often and works well as compromise to keep the whole family eating the same thing together.

    Have a great week!
    Carly at A Modern Mom Blog

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      December 12, 2017 at 1:46 am

      Haha that can be SO tricky! Switching off on the cooking is helpful because even though they’re cooking what ‘they’ want, they’re still keeping in mind what your dietary philosophy is. And eating as a family is the MOST important!

  • carsla

    December 11, 2017 at 9:15 pm

    this is usually a deal breaker, esp. early on in the relationship. great advice! (:

    ♥ | xoxo | ♥ | carsla | ♥
    http://www.instagram.com/xoctcxo
    http://www.twitter.com/viixoviixovii
    http://www.viixoviixovii.tumblr.com

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      December 12, 2017 at 1:46 am

      Thanks Carsla! Luckily, it doesn’t have to be anymore!

  • The pink pineapple

    December 12, 2017 at 8:27 am

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      December 13, 2017 at 4:19 am

      Thanks lady!

  • the adventurer

    December 13, 2017 at 4:25 am

    Love this post! I have been a lover of anything chocolate all my life and when I met my boyfriend he told me he can’t eat chocolate (allergy reasons ) and so when we would make dessert I felt like there was absolutely nothing we could make. Instead we started to use caramel or use vanilla flavoring. I still indulge in my chocolate but together we figured out desserts we both like =o)

    https://dreamofadventures.com/

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      December 13, 2017 at 4:31 am

      Ahhhhh no chocolate?! That would be super tricky! But also fun to figure what you guys CAN eat together. It’s all about being creative!

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