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05 November 2021

A feast for all the family

One of the greatest difficulties people face when trying to adopt the OMS diet is persuading family members to join them. Making separate meals is neither enjoyable nor easy, so here are some suggestions to help get all the family on board.

Invisible changes

There are some things that are part of the diet that can be adopted without anyone even noticing.

  • Dry fry or use a little water when cooking onions and vegetables.
  • Make friends with your oven. So often we fry foods when they would happily bake. If you want, coat in a little olive oil and cook at 180C.
  • Find the dairy alternative you love. There are so many options out there that there is bound to be one that suits you. The barista edition milks are worth considering if you want something really close to regular milk. Soya cream, yogurts and even crème fraiche are readily available and, when used in cooking, impossible to detect.

Minor adjustments

If you are finding family members reluctant to try new foods, you can still keep up with the diet without giving yourself too much extra work. Making minor adjustments to your part of the meal allows you to incorporate your needs with the family’s.

  • Kids love burgers and while you are making theirs, you can make a delicious plant based one for you. Simply clean and slice a large portobello mushroom in half horizontally, bake in the oven/dry fry and serve like a regular burger.
  • Pizza night? You don’t have to be left out. Pizza without the cheese topping is delicious. Ideally, buy or make the base. Add all the toppings you love and on your own serving omit the cheese and instead add a tiny drizzle of olive oil.
  • Pasta. This is always a quick and delicious meal. OMS options abound here from the classis tomato sauce (you can make your own in minutes) to pesto to mounds of delicious vegetables. If everyone else wants meat, set your sauce aside before adding their meat or better still, go for a meat alternative like soya.

Who could tell?

One of the easiest ways to get everyone on the OMS track is to cook food that is naturally OMS friendly. I consume gallons of vegetable soups in winter and salads in the summer. I also take inspiration from those cuisines which ally easily with my food requirements: Oriental, Indian and North African dishes hold endless options. 

Hidden vegetables

A plant-based diet works best when you use a wide variety of vegetables. ‘Eat the rainbow’ is great advice. Try to include as many colours and types as you can. We all know how children can be resistant to such things, but by sneaking carrots or swede into their mash and always adding a small portion of peas, corn or broccoli you can help ensure they get their five a day.

Cakes and snacks

These are really best made at home as vegan options are often full of fat. It certainly doesn’t have to be laborious though. Everything below takes less than twenty minutes.

  • Medjool dates – a delicious sweet treat. Stuff with walnuts or almonds for extra sophistication!
  • Carrot sticks and apple slices. I have these almost every day for lunch. They add delicious colour and crunch
  • Kale chips. Wash and remove the tough stem of some Italian kale. Roughly chop and pop in a moderate oven. Remove when dry and crispy and sprinkle with salt.
  • Popcorn. Pour the kernels into a heavy based pan and cover the base in a single layer. Add a lid and turn the heat to high. Keep shaking the pan until all the corn has popped. Remove from the pan and tip into a large bowl. For a buttery taste, add a little walnut oil or simply salt.
  • Cakes needn’t be off the menu when you adopt the OMS diet. I’ve made wonderful scones using olive oil and oat milk; muffins substituting apple puree for egg and chocolate cookies with bananas and cocoa. Other egg substitutes include aqua farba (chick pea water), flax and chia seeds. There are so many recipes available. Find a few you love and give your family a treat.

Eating together

Food is such an important part of our lives and meals the one time that we can all be together. Shifting to an OMS diet shouldn’t change that. It will take time and some experimentation to get to grips with all aspects of the diet, but please rest assured that it is more than possible.

Perhaps you will not be able to make all the changes at once. That’s okay. Each step you take will lead to better health. As you grow in confidence and prepare ever more tempting dishes, your family is sure to join in. And it is worth encouraging them. After all, the OMS is good not just for us but for everyone. Not only will it reduce the risk of your children developing the disease, it will protect them from a wide range of common auto-immune and heart disorders. Most importantly of all, it will keep your family in optimal health and looking and feeling great.