Can a happily committed, loving, healthy relationship be maintained between two people with opposing dietary habits?
My answer is a resounding “YES!”
Of course, there are variables that come into play. Personal characteristics such as sensitivity, understanding, the degree of respect and acceptance each has for the other and willingness to compromise to name a few.
I wouldn’t trade in my meat-eating hubby for anyone else on God’s green earth. Although we are polar opposites in many ways (ethnically, culturally, traditionally, personality-wise etc) we share commonalities in the ways that matter. The ways that enable you to last through the years, the invisible forces that bond, strengthen and nourish. I’m talking about values, morals, long-term goals and aspirations. My 2 cents: you gotta be on the same page in this regard… as a clashing between these fundamental elements are likely to be deal-breakers.
It would be infinitely easier for a vego to be in a relationship with another vego, no doubt about it. Things such as the weekly grocery shop, deciding what to make for lunch or which restaurant to go to would be a simple, painless process. For a while hubby’s battle-cry when it was his turn to make dinner was “So… a salad for you then?” Good grief, I never thought there would come a time when I was sick of salad.
But it came. And reared its ugly head. After some ‘lively’ discussion, it came to light it was not carelessness or laziness on his part, but confusion, bewilderment and unintended ignorance that was the problem. This is why men don’t ask for directions, preferring instead to drive around dazed and lost! After giving him a crash course on Vegan Substitutes and Staples 101, referring some handy websites his way, and arming him with a veganised shopping list – he has flourished and done me proud.
No longer does he ask me if I want salad for dinner. No longer does he look befuddled when making quinoa. No longer does he make an ‘ewww’ face when I ask him to try my kale smoothie. I tell you, his coconut tofu flan would’ve bowled over the MasterChef judges (recipe below).
I shove as many veg as I can into him, he’s drastically minimised the amount of meat he consumes, I veganise his favourite dishes, he makes sure there’s something on the menu I like before we decide where to eat. See this pattern? It takes two to tango.
I don’t crucify him for having a cheat meal… I just smirk when he returns, muttering he ‘feels like crap’, that ‘it wasn’t worth it’ and he’s ‘dying for an apple’. It’s an ongoing gradual process. The cheat meals happen more infrequently as time goes by.
Hubby likens our relationship to a quote from a Rocky movie.
“I dunno, she’s got gaps, I got gaps, together we fill gaps.”
Now, I don’t usually refer to Sly Stallone movies. However I must attest its accuracy. It describes us to a T. Two contradictory personas, each slowly toning down the other until a blissful medium is reached, and there are no more gaps.
I don’t see him as a ‘meat-eater’. Instead, I see a man who only wants the best for me and loves me unconditionally – I see my best friend, my biggest supporter, my hubby, my heart. Someone who will always give me the last bit of chocolate. Someone who still opens doors and pulls out chairs for me. And that my friends, isn’t what’s most important at the end of the day?
Hubby’s Coconut Flan
5 tbs raw sugar + 3 tbs water
2/3 cup firm tofu (crumbled)
2 tbs agave
1 tbs syrup mixture
1 tsp coconut extract
2 1/2 cups rice or almond milk
1 tsp agar agar powder
To make syrup: Bring water and sugar to boil in a small saucepan over low heat. Simmer uncovered 5 mins.
Working quickly, put tofu, 1 tbs prepared syrup, 2 tbs agave, coconut extract and salt in the blender. Set aside.
Pour remaining syrup evenly into 6 moulds or small bowls, making sure to coat the base and sides evenly.
Into same saucepan, bring non-dairy milk and agar agar quickly to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer 5 mins.
Carefully add this hot milk mixture to ingredients already in the blender. Immediately blend to a smooth cream, stirring down any bubbles.
Pour blended mixture into coated moulds/bowls and skim off any foam.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.
To unmould: dip bottom briefly into boiling water, then turn upside down onto a plate. It should slide out easily. Pour any remaining syrup over the pudding.
If you’re feeling fancy decorate with fruit or mint leaves.