Confessions of a Food Nazi's Spouse

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It starts off with just one leaf of kale. Next thing you know you are voluntarily eating quinoa. Then you are sneaking homemade hummus in dark corners. Before you know it…..you are hooked. Asking friends if you can borrow some coconut oil. Drinking 3 glasses of water a month ain’t enough. You need it every day, like a couple times a day, then 6 times a day. You are basically DRINKING WATER ALL DAY. 

You have an addiction. Its official. You are healthy.

That’s not exactly how it happened, but you get the point. I exaggerate, frankly, its one of my favourite things to do. Know what else I like to do? Eat smoked meat and drink beer……and that diet met its match when I fell in love with Ashley Srokosz.

It was our first date actually…..we were out at a restaurant in London, Ontario, and Ashley ordered a plate of fries. Before long, she was sick and couldn’t concentrate, and her stomach was a lake of acid. I offered to walk across town in the pouring rain and thunder, and get her car so that I could drive her home. (I’m exaggerating, it was overcast, and only a few blocks). She was embarrassed to make me do it…….but It was my chance to be chivalrous. I think I got a kiss out of the deal.

Fast forward a little while and we were booking doctors appointments to find out what the problem was. Everything was making her sick…..breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The doctors we saw told her it might all be in her head, so we decided to try out a Naturopath. Finally we had something to go on…..food allergies. Not just “pepper makes me sneeze" allergies, but gluten, dairy, eggs, and basically everything else in the diet of any self respecting polish man. My ancestors screamed in horror from the heavens. "How are you going to eat bread and drink a litre of milk for every meal??" they would ask. (Sadly, thats no exaggeration.)

Ashley isn’t a food Nazi because she thinks it is endearing…..she has no choice. Her body is a wonderland. (How many times did I sing that to her in a sleazy John Mayer voice while she was having a reaction to yet another food…..answer: too many times.) She didn’t get to choose whether or not to eat healthy. That begs the question….why wouldn’t you choose to eat healthy?

When you can’t trust anything you buy from a package, there is only one thing you can do. Cook your own food. Get your own ingredients, and know what it is you are eating at all times. Sounds crazy, right? No…..it actually sounds like WHAT YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO DO ANYWAYS! I say this not because I am an angel….but because along this crazy roller coaster ride that is Ashley Srokosz…..something pretty amazing happened. (Other than me losing a few unwanted pounds)…..I began to LOVE WHAT I EAT.

Thinking back to my diet before living with the Martha Stewart of rice pasta……it was boring. It was salt, salt, and more salt…..and that tricks your taste buds into thinking everything is going to be alright. The truth is, you don’t even know what you have been missing until you are eating fresh, natural and organic foods that still have their flavour. Trying new things….learning to make everything from scratch….it’s empowering.

Once I had accepted all these changes……butter and not margarine, organic and not dyed red meat, brown rice and not white rice, whole grain bread and not wonder bread, oven and not microwave….I figured I was safe and sound. But another train was coming and I was just a rusty cutlass sierra that stalled out on the tracks. That train was called meal planning. 

Here is how Ben Srokosz used to plan meals. Get hungry, open the fridge, and eat whatever is in there. Out of food? Go buy some. Or drink more beer. And only buy stuff that can be cooked fast so that I don’t have to plan anything again, ever. i rarely even think any more than a day or two ahead…..let alone a whole week. I wish i could have seen my face the first time Ashley told me we were going to start planning our meals and making grocery lists.

You may ask…..why do you go along with all this stuff? The rules, the plans, the restrictions, why…..WHY? Be a man! Well, the short answer is that Ashley is, how to I put this gently…….really f____ing convincing. There is no point resisting…..just do what she says, its easier. The crazy thing is….she is also insanely smart, loving, and passionate, so going along with her idea is usually a smart move. Plus, there are things we share as husband and wife that I can’t disclose in this Blog.

It may not be fair to imply that the only way to get a man to eat good food is to be stubborn and then offer your body as a reward….so I’ll list a few other ways to get your hubby on board.

  • learn to make healthier versions of food he likes. That way you aren’t saying his family didn’t raise him right!
  • let him have his judgement free item on the weekly grocery list. (unless it is a bucket of chicken)
  • don’t try to be perfect yourself. Because you aren’t, and its just another way to inadvertently get him to think its too hard.
  • variety. Be willing to try different recipes until you find ones you both like. It might take a while, but its fun trying! (thats what she said)

I have no idea if this blog post is enjoyable….or informative, or what…..so i’m going to start wrapping it up and finding a point. There is one thing that I truly believe from living through this transformation. People who eat fast, prepackaged, additive laden food have it all wrong. Don’t you realize you are just being brainwashed to think that convenience comes before your health? Don’t you feel the stomach aches you get after eating fast food? Don’t you want to feel better and live longer just by eating fresh, flavourful, delicious food? Now that I am on team Ashley…..the way I used to live just seems dumb and destructive. Not to mention we have a child to think about. Watching him enjoy good food is a pretty rewarding experience.

No, Ashley isn’t standing next to me with a naturally sourced gun to my head……this is the truth folks. No post traumatic stress syndrome…..although I will say there is a bit of stockholm syndrome. What is life REALLY like with a food Nazi? 

Delicious. (Insert sexual joke here).

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Ben Srokosz (Ashley's husband) is a Sound Engineer and Videographer. His company, Spur of the Moment Media, creates multimedia content for the web, specializing in capturing live music performances.

He is also Vice Chair of the Historic Downtown Chatham Business Improvement Association, and Vice President of Culture Factory, a not for profit organization that focuses on bringing Art, Music, and Culture to the Chatham-Kent community.