Roadmap to Diet Success

Cooking for the Family

September 01, 2022 Miriam Hatoum Season 1 Episode 14
Roadmap to Diet Success
Cooking for the Family
Show Notes Transcript

Episode 14: Cooking for the Family

In this episode you don't just learn how to plan and put together meals for the entire family, but you learn something about support too. I support you to dispel beliefs that anyone's opinion of us at the table matters not, and that we need to learn to have our own backs and be our own support system. Your family and friends will travel your journey alongside you; they are not there to carry you. You will learn the consequences - emotional, financial and time - of preparing separate meals.  This is all in addition to more than a dozen family-friendly meal ideas, and resources to find cultural cooking websites.

1:12.         Personal Story
2:32.         There is no need to eat separately from your family
4:00.         What mistakes are we making?
4:20.         Why are we making these mistakes?
7:31.         What are the costs of making these mistakes?
8:20.         Calling out a new way to live your life
12:07.      Calling out a new way for planning your meals
13:36.       Ideas for family meals
16:16.      This week's actionable COACHING ADVICE
18:27.       VFO: Valuable Free Offer: Meal Planning Guide
20.42.       Episode 15, coming up

Breaking Free From Diet Prison Book

Breaking Free From Diet Prison Course
Meal Planning Guide
Blog: No Sandwiches? Keto Lunch Ideas
Blog: Ideas for a Keto Breakfast
Breaking Free From Diet Prison Facebook page
Roadmap To Diet Success Instagram
Dominican  and Latino Recipes (more in my course)
Asian Recipes (more in my course)
Mexican Recipes (more in my course)
Access Transcript Here

Episode #: 14   Cooking for the Family

 You’re Listening to the Roadmap to Diet Success Podcast, Episode # 14, Cooking for the Family.


 Did you know that you don't have to spend money on a diet program or weigh, measure and track your food? What if you could learn to have success by following an easy roadmap that takes you on adventures from learning how to change your mindset so that you can believe in yourself, to learning about what foods work best in your body and why? Join me, Miriam Hatoum, health coach, course creator and author of Breaking Free From Diet Prison, as I give you actionable coaching advice that is sure to empower you so that you will finally find peace with food and learn to trust your body’s signals. You’ve got this, girl! 

 Oh, and before we start, I want to let you know that the primary purpose of this podcast is to educate and does not constitute medical advice or services, and I’m keeping up with the science as fast as I can so I can share with you the latest breaking research in this area to help you achieve your dreams!


1:12      Personal Story

·       In all my years of dieting I would cook separate meals for myself and for the family. Once in a while I would hit upon a recipe that everyone would like and it was upon me to portion out my meal, either by way of measuring cups or the scale. But more often, it was an entirely separate meal. 

·      I remember once, when I was a Weight Watcher’s member, I actually took my food scale to a restaurant and, of course only ordered something like grilled chicken breast, took the skin off, and then – OMG – weighed it on the food scale I brought. Of course, I got big applause at the meeting that week, but looking back, I can see I did myself no favor. Talk about being separate from the rest of the family. Yes, I was at the table eating with them, but no, it was not normal at all.

·      I remember taking that darn food scale to the grocery store, laying it across my purse, and then weighing russet potatoes until I found the 10 ounce one that would be my 3-Point serving of potato that night for dinner. I made sure not to mix it up with any of the other baked potatoes I was serving the family.

·      Yep. That’s a window into my life when I was weighing, measuring and tracking my food along with dozens of restrictions. 

2:32     There is no need to eat so separately from your family. 

·       There are plenty of ways to be a part of family meals – whether at home or at a restaurant – that are inclusive and don’t make it obvious that you are dieting or following a certain eating style that your family might not be following with you.

·       You can decide on any eating style, and the internet is filled with recipe and meal ideas for any one of them. 

·       Even keeping things simple with no recipes can be easy. A protein, a cooked vegetable, a salad, and pasta or rice on the side – have it or not, bread if you serve it, and dessert if you serve it. Any eating plan will support a meal like this. What and how much you eat of this is not dependent upon what and how much your family eats of it.

·       If your family would balk at a meal like this and instead looks for their hamburger helper or tuna casserole, I bet you can find recipes for these within your eating style – even if you pull out a portion before putting it into the oven and making it with some cauliflower florets instead of pasta. Yes, that is an adjustment that you will make, but it is not preparing, fully, a separate meal then sitting there sulking that you can’t have what the family is eating.

·       It can easy to cook for the family in a way that includes your eating style.

4:00    What mistakes are we making?

What mistakes are we making before we even put the food on the table?

·       There are two mistakes that most of us make. 

o   The first one is thinking we must cook separately for ourselves.

o   The second one is thinking that we need our families to change their way of eating to support us.

 4:20    Why are we making the mistake of thinking your meals must be different from family meals?  Why are we making the mistake of thinking that everyone around us must give us support to be successful?

 ·        Our beliefs are at the root of all of this.

o   Diet culture has led us to believe that we are either on a diet or off a diet. 

o   Those beliefs include thinking that our way of eating is set apart from “normal” (air quotes) eating. Everyone else eats normally. We dieters eat, but are usually deprived and on a diet.

o   Even if we don’t eat the traditional diet foods – like boneless skinless broiled chicken breast or broccoli with no butter and salad with no-fat dressing – we still believe that we cannot eat a regular family meal with all the fixins. 

o   While this might be true to some extent, based on which eating lifestyle you choose, there is certainly no reason to make a gorgeous, sumptuous meal for the family while you sit eating a Lean Cuisine with a salad and no dressing at the end of the table. 

o   And why should anyone’s opinion and support, or lack of support, the reason you change the way you eat. 

o   Let’s take the gorgeous, sumptuous meal you have prepared for the family. Why is it anyone’s business whether or not you take a helping of potatoes? And if you do take some, why is it anyone’s business how much you take?

o   Our beliefs are that other people’s opinions of us at the table matter, and matter enough to shape what we eat.

o   I have news for you: What you put in your mouth is determined by your hand and your beliefs. If you believe that you are worth it to make an effort, those mashed potatoes will not even speak to you if they are not on your plan. Well, maybe they will speak to you, but they won’t call your name and magically appear on your plate. 

o   Believe and know that anyone’s opinion of you is a reflection of their thoughts and not actually a reflection of you. Don’t eat in a way that satisfies them and their opinions rather than in a way that satisfies the way you would like to eat. 

o   This is why I am saying that other people’s support does not matter. You would like at least for them not to make fun of you and harass you. That is just a matter of love and respect.

o   But they still can have their ice cream and chips and mashed potatoes. All that matters is that you have your own back and support yourself. 

o   You bring your own hand to your own mouth. It is your decision, and you must support yourself in this decision. 

o   This is your journey, not theirs. Their journey is to learn this love and respect, not to give up chips and ice cream. 

o   In that way, they are still on a journey alongside you. But you are not traveling on their backs. 

o   You don’t have to travel this journey alone. That is not what I am saying. They are there to accompany you, not carry you.

 7:31     What is the cost of making these mistakes?

o   If you keep making the mistakes of believing you have to cook meals that are totally separate from the family’s meals, or the mistake of believing that you can’t do this without their support, you do face consequences.  

o   The first consequence is that this is not sustainable unless you want to make yourself miserable. It is also expensive to cook separate meals.

o   The second consequence has nothing to do with the monetary and time costs and effort of separate meals. It is that so much of weight re-gain is that we ate according to a prescribed diet and never really took the time to make those subtle necessary shifts, such as finding our own strength and beliefs in ourselves.

8:20    Calling out a new way to live your life 

·       First I want to address family support.

o   A little further in this episode I will explain how to eat if you do not want to call attention to your eating style.

o   However, if you are all set to move forward with no shame or embarrassment that sometimes comes from trying again, I have some advice for that too. But an aside here: There is no shame in trying again. That actually is quite admirable.

o   At some point, sit down with your family and explain why you are doing this. 

o   Explain that you will do your best to continue finding meals that you all can enjoy as a family, but that you would appreciate it if they would support the way you are eating and trying to change your life. But that support does not mean that they must change the way they eat and give up the foods that they love.

o   Ask that they do not tempt you, for fun or otherwise, with what is on their own plates that you might like.  

o   Put out a family challenge to find recipes that they would enjoy and that would fit into the new way you are eating.  

o   With little ones, make a challenge of asking what some of their favorite foods are and how you could make them healthier or what might be a good substitution.  

o   Make fun kid foods such as “ants on a log” which is peanut butter topped with raisins on a celery stick.  

o   Even you can have that if you get a good healthy peanut or almond butter and use only two or three raisins.

o    You are not asking your entire family to change, just to whatever support they are comfortable with.

·       And as I said, do not expect your family to eat your way.  

o   I understand (and encourage you) if you do need some support from your family and friends. 

o   However, this is your journey. You cannot expect them to never have another snack, piece of bread, potato, pasta or cookie. 

o   Don’t whine that you cannot do this because you do not have support.

o    Hopefully at the very least, they would not tempt you with the “off plan” foods they are eating, and not make fun of you for trying something new. 

o   You can do your part to find family-friendly recipes for the way you are eating. 

o   If your reasons are strong enough for finding a new eating lifestyle, THEN YOU CAN BE STRONG ENOUGH TO FIND A WAY. 

o   Stop trying and just do it. 

o   It’s your why and your journey. 

o   Have your own back and don’t think you can’t do it without support.

o    Remember to KISS!! Which for me, means Keep It Simple Sweetheart! Episode 16 will be all about kissing!

o    Don’t make separate meals for family members. 

o   Find a way to keep it simple but add things for other family members. 

o   In my book, Breaking Free From Diet Prison, I have worksheets for learning to plan family-friendly meals. 

o   You can keep this simple even while pleasing everyone in your family. Trust me on this!

·       It may not be so easy at the beginning to have your own back, but it’s a process.

o   Episode 3: It’s the Food, has shown you about what the food itself does to ignite cravings and urges.

o   Why dig in your heels and fight nature and be miserable? Learn to eat in a way that supports you so that you can support yourself. You will think and see a lot more clearly than when you are in the throes of an overeat or binge. Once you start learning to support yourself, outside support will be a pleasant thing, but not necessary for your success.

 12:07   Calling out a new way for planning your meals

·       As you continue listening to this podcast and reading my blogs and books, you will begin to learn how to make your meals fit the way in which you have chosen to eat, and still serve family favorites.

o   Honestly, if you don’t say anything to anyone, your friends and family might never know you are eating a different way. 

o   Let’s say you have chosen to eat low carb: Make your usual rice, pasta or potato. Serve fresh bread. Put some croutons on the salad. Serve dessert. 

o   BUT, keep your head about you and don’t throw a pity party that you can’t have this and that. With a determined attitude you are in no danger of eating all the other food once you make up your mind you are going to eat this way. 

o   One way to dissolve the tension in wanting to eat all the things is to just take a breath and ask yourself, “If I loved myself would I eat this?” The answer to that is not always easy because we have become accustomed to not loving ourselves based on what the scale says. But sometimes just taking a breath and a few seconds even if it does not include the question, can reduce anxiety. I know this sounds a little “woo” but it works, really.

o   This is what I mean by having your own back. Cook and serve what the family enjoys. Don’t make them give up their favorites. 

13:36   Ideas for family Meals

Before we go on to this week’s actionable coaching advice, I want to give you some ideas for family meals. The suggestions I am making are slanted toward being as low sugar and low grain as possible, but you can make adjustments according to your own eating plan. The point is to show you that you can make an abundance of family-friendly meals without freaking everyone out with “Oh gosh not another diet…”

            How about…

o   Buffalo chicken wings or tenders using any Buffalo sauce without sugar.

o   Chicken cacciatore with home-made marinara or a very low-to-no sugar bottled sauce.

o   Mushrooms, onions, peppers and beef or chicken strips sauteed in garlic-butter. Serve with pasta or soft taco shells for the family.

o   Chili and taco bakes – there are dozens of non-sugar chili and taco recipes!

o   Chicken roasted with fresh garlic and white wine, salad with dressing, and broccoli or Brussels sprouts roasted with garlic and topped with crumbled bacon.

o   Oven-roasted pork chops with shredded cabbage sautéed with butter, onions and a touch of apple cider vinegar.

o   Include starches, observing any limit you have for yourself such as

§  Rolls and bread 

§  Rice, baked potatoes or sweet potato fries

§  Tortilla or fajita wraps – there are even some fabulous non-grain or low-carb ones

o   People from certain cultures might find it almost impossible to cook “light” family meals. It is not hard, I promise you! Some examples would be:

§  Chorizo and Jalapeno Breakfast bake which combines bell peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes, spinach and cheddar cheese into an egg delight.

§  Fajitas can be served without tortillas, or taco salads can be served without the chips.

§  Dominican favorites are pollo guisado and repollo guisado, Dominican chicken and stewed cabbage, respectively.

§  With Asian selections look up any eating style you are following and there will be a plethora of recipes for Asian cuisine. If you are ordering at a restaurant order any steamed versions being offered as well as roast pork and roast duck. 

o   Use any of your own familiar recipes without flour or regular breading. If something calls for potatoes and you are not eating those right now, still make the dish. Remember: You have your own back, and no one is stopping you from leaving the potatoes on the side!


·      Whether you live alone or are cooking for a family, and whether or not you have settled in on an eating plan, I want you to plan out some meals that include REAL foods.

o   Go to my blog on my website at and look for the two blogs entitled: “No Sandwiches? Keto Lunch Ideas” and “Ideas for a Keto Breakfast.” The reason I am asking you to read these two blogs has nothing to do with Keto. I am having you look at these blogs because they will help you think outside the diet box. 

o   Use the two worksheets in the blogs. I also give them to you as a download at the end of this episode. You will be able to plan a few non-diet family-friendly meals that you will find quite easy and satisfying. 

o   These worksheets, and dinner-planning worksheets, are available in my book, Breaking Free From Diet Prison, my course (by the same name) and my e-books available on the website.

·      I am adding another action item this week, and this is especially important for people who need to cook in a cultural manner for their families, but still want to support themselves in a chosen eating style.

o   I want you to do an Internet search using your eating-style term, low-carb for instance, and pair it with the cultural food you want to prepare.

o   In the show notes for this episode, I have resources for Italian, Asian, Dominican and Mexican to get you started.

o   I also cover this extensively in the “Cooking for the Family” module in my course.

I also want to leave you with this to think about:

·      The best feeling in the world is finally knowing you took a step in the right direction, a step towards the future where everything that you never thought possible is possible.

·      Take that step toward learning to plan your own meals with the foods that you and your family like.

·      You are smart! You can figure it out!

18:27   VFO: Valuable Free Offer 

I am giving you here the breakfast and lunch worksheets that I use with my clients, and which are also available in my book, Breaking Free From Diet Prison and the course of the same name. I have offered them to you in earlier episodes, but if you haven’t already downloaded them, this might be a good time to do it. The download is available at and the direct link, as always, is in the show notes and transcript. 

 My e-book, found at, is entitled Meal Planning for Keto. It has information on how to plan your meals – not meal plans themselves, but ideas for meals and how to round out a meal to make it family-friendly. The e-book specifically addresses Keto but is also helpful for low carb, and any other style where you need some nudging to think outside the box.  The price of this e-book is a nominal $5, and every purchase goes 100% to Operation Footprint.

The link for Operation Footprint, if you want to learn more, is in the show notes and transcript. The mission of this organization is to provide free surgical care to indigent children with a variety of inherited (genetic) and acquired conditions of the foot and ankle, such as clubfoot, lingering polio deformities and cerebral palsy, and to train local surgeons to be able to manage and treat these conditions.

And, if you like what you hear, please like and subscribe, and remember to leave a review wherever you listen to your podcast. It helps other people find the show. Also, don’t be a stranger. Come on over to my Facebook page, Breaking Free From Diet Prison, and let me know if there is anything you would like to hear on the show. I always look forward to hearing from listeners. You can also email me directly … I would especially like to hear about episode ideas you are interested in.

 20:42    Next week’s episode

 Now that there have been episodes covering some popular eating styles, and how to cook for the family, it’s time to take on the dreaded grocery shopping. Honestly, I happen to like grocery shopping, but I know that many of you do not. I am going to give you some tips for getting in and out of the store quickly. The work is on the front end, meaning you must think things through and make a coherent list, but hey, that can be done with coffee in the morning while the tv is on in the background. No pain there!

 So go share the show with your friends, let them know that’s coming up in the next episode, and invite them to tune in with you and learn how to become free from diet prison with my Roadmap to Diet Success.

Until then, go live free from diet worry — I’ll see you back here next time. 

Breaking Free From Diet Prison Book
Breaking Free From Diet Prison Course
Meal Planning Guide
Blog: No Sandwiches? Keto Lunch Ideas
Blog: Ideas for a Keto Breakfast
Breaking Free From Diet Prison Facebook page
Roadmap To Diet Success Instagram
Dominican  and Latino Recipes (more in my course)
Asian Recipes (more in my course)
Mexican Recipes (more in my course)