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Eat to live or live to eat?


Fresh Hawaiian ahi poke. Yum!

Sven and I are back to reality after our wonderful week in Kauai. It really is one of the most gorgeous places we’ve ever visited, and highly recommend it (seriously, send me a message if you want to know more)! We loved the active lifestyle and shared so many fun adventures like hiking an 8 mile trail, stand up paddle boarding down a river, taking an open-door helicopter tour, whale and dolphin spotting on a catamaran, yoga on the beach, and taking our Jeep down dirt roads to find secret beaches. But it’s not that interesting to read about our vacation, is it? Especially since most of us are probably just trying to get through the rest of this winter. So here’s a better topic:

Inevitably, when people spend lots and lots of time together, they’re bound to disagree, and Sven and I are no exception. We typically travel well together (after all, we met while traveling), but our travel styles are not always perfectly aligned. In Paris last fall, I had more energy to see the sights whereas Sven was happier to relax and people-watch with a glass of wine. This time, I wanted to try as much local food as possible whereas Sven was happier to not eat at all.

Some key background:

  • Sven generally doesn’t eat. He has a bowl of corn flakes every morning, and cheese and orange marmalade sandwiches at night. Very predictable. He hates going to restaurants, which is typically reserved for birthdays (not his), anniversaries, and vacations. He considers eating a nuisance required for survival and generally a waste of time.
  • I look forward to every meal, I like to eat what I am craving that day and cannot keep a routine (though I’ve tried and failed). I have something different almost every day, and order Seamless at night, always for one. I’ll take any opportunity I can to go out to eat! I love to try new foods and consider dining an experience.

On top of this, Sven needs to eat breakfast within minutes of waking up, but he can’t eat hot food. Cereal or cold sandwiches it is! I can’t eat for a least an hour after waking, if not more, but then I love my hot eggs with hot sauce! Sometimes this means that I want to eat “breakfast” at lunchtime (or brunchtime), and Sven doesn’t want to have lunch.

In Kauai, the food was mainly local, organic, and fresh…I was so excited by all the local restaurants to try. But most nights, Sven didn’t want to have dinner at all. All the restaurants in town are pretty casual – even the “fancy” place would let you in wearing shorts and flip flops. So, I felt that since all our dinners were casual, this was a good compromise. Also, we had generally skipped lunch since Sven is never hungry, so I noshed on spicy pumpkin seeds and fruit throughout the day.

While I wished we had the opportunity to try more food places in our seven days, by the end of the trip, Sven had made a mental tally of how much money we had spent on food and developed an internal mini-rage. (That’s the equivalent of a full day deep sea fishing trip! And a round of golf! And more!) What I viewed as culinary experiences that enhanced my trip, Sven looked at as superfluous spending, and perhaps even time-wasting. And I really had no idea. And the fact that I had no idea drove him nuts. Especially since we’re trying to save as much money as possible due to the home renovation we’re doing right now. (Side note: We “paid” for the flights/hotel entirely on points, so no money spent there!) For my part, I thought that we were saving money on meals because we didn’t go to any fancy restaurants!

Sven and I have always had divergent eating habits, but when we’re at home, it’s much easier to fend for ourselves, so it’s not an issue. We almost never eat together. (But we do always go to bed at the same time!) When we’re on vacation and forced to eat together, it can be more challenging. Frustrating. Annoying. But at least one good reason to be back home. 🙂

Do you eat to live or live to eat?!

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Jen - 02/10/2016 - 3:03 pm

I’m definitely more like you. While I wouldn’t say that I live to eat, I do consider food one of life’s many pleasures! If I eat the same thing repeatedly, it’s because it genuinely gives me so much joy to do so. Luckily, my husband and I share the same passion for food, and we are both very healthy eaters. We are also instilling the same belief in our 2-year old, which means we eat both breakfast and dinner together as a family every single day. That being said, we don’t always eat the same exact thing. She eats what we cook for her, but I may have a side of salad instead of a side of pasta, while she and her dad tend to be heartier eaters at night. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with different preferences, provided you both respect each other’s priorities. Personally, I’d take an amazing culinary experience over a day of deep sea fishing any day!

Melanie - 02/11/2016 - 9:46 pm

I do love deep sea fishing, and eating our fresh catch afterwards! Whenever we catch something, I’ll ask Sven, “can we eat that?” He, of course, prefers catch and release.

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