Managing Martin’s recovery has taught me more than ever about nutrition.
I love my husband, Adrian, and would like to keep him healthy.
I’m kind of a control freak.
These facts were bound to collide at some point. That’s why, except when we go out for dinner or he has a business event, I now prepare every bite of food Adrian eats.
Years ago, Adrian skipped breakfast and, during the work week, bought whatever for lunch. When he decided to manage his diet better to lose a few pounds, he still skipped breakfast but I started sending lunch to the office with him. In the beginning, I sent a sandwich of cheese, fake meat (usually processed soy), greens, and mustard or vegan mayonnaise on whole-wheat bread; two fresh fruits; and two protein snacks like nuts, or veggies and hummus, or (more) cheese and crackers.
Then the sandwiches and fake meat disappeared altogether. Then I insisted on adding breakfast at home. Then an insulated container of lentils snuck into every lunch, to make sure Adrian had enough to tide him over even when he works late (which he usually does). Then I tried to eliminate cheese snacks. That last effort, the cheese, was unsuccessful, although I did manage to switch him to raw-milk cheese, usually purchased directly from a local farm.
As of 2016, Adrian’s weekday menu is as follows:
Breakfast. Smoothie made from plant-based protein powder, nut milk, peanut butter, and frozen berries.
Lunch and snacks. Two bento-style boxes (I use LunchBots) containing avocado (South American by origin, Adrian craves avocado daily), fruits, nuts, cheese, olives, and/or raw veggies, accompanied by a hummus cup or baggie of rice crackers and a container of lentils or legumes.
Dinner: Whatever Martin is eating. Last night, dinner was white beans with home-grown-basil pesto and arugula salad from my garden. Tonight, Samara is preparing her special lentils with onion, garlic, and carrots; Adrian never minds lentils twice in one day. Tomorrow evening, Adrian and Martin will eat fish and fermented kale. In the event Adrian, a pescatarian, cannot eat what Martin is having (say, meatballs), I make him a “hearty salad,” which comprises fresh greens, berries, nuts, and seeds, dressed with olive oil and chickpea miso.
All the food is organic, except the nut milk, because sometimes I buy a brand that is only GMO-free, and the fish, which is wild-caught. Weekends, I make a full breakfast for Adrian and Martin, and we often eat dinner at a restaurant.
Adrian is a corporate attorney at a white-shoe law firm in Manhattan. Last month a visiting friend was ribbing Adrian, asking if he is the only firm partner who brings homemade lunch every day. Adrian laughed and said he didn’t care. “I like my lunch. My lunch is tasty.”
Now, if I could only get my own diet into such good shape.
Lunch and snacks for Adrian’s day: carrots, strawberries, TigerNut flour cookies, peaches, cheese, pistachios, avocado (coated with lemon juice), grapes, hummus.
Lentils, heated, being loaded into an insulated container to accompany Adrian’s lunch and snacks.
More bento boxes, with oranges, pears, avocado, cheese, cold bean salad, and olives.