The Boiled Husband Speaks on a 10-Year Shift to Real Food (HPC: E26)

Raise your hand if you WISH your spouse felt the same way about healthy eating, natural living and/or parenting strategies as you!

That would have been me for almost ten years, but all of that has changed. It’s been a long road, and today, my 10-year anniversary of helping families stay healthy without going crazy at Kitchen Stewardship, I’m interviewing my husband to share his story of being dragged along on this journey!

We are 100% on the same page now, and it feels AMAZING. I can’t even tell you. But it wasn’t terrible as we worked through things the past 10 years, and today you’ll hear about how we maintained respect, the keys to helping someone learn about new ways of living, and just how far we’ve come.

  • From Hamburger Helper and soda pop every day to adding greens to his eggs and saying, “I never need to eat fast food again…”
  • The funny story of the day he rebelled and bought his own cereal. 😉
  • Why we keep using the word “shift” and how you can apply that in your own household.
  • What “boiling the husband” means and why it was vital to our real food success.
  • How Lent and doing something for someone else can be a powerful way to change habits.
  • My hubby’s health – triglycerides that nearly killed him, our Crohn’s Disease journey, and a new announcement that is SO INCREDIBLE and the first time we’ve shared it publicly since we found out in the fall!!!
  • Some stories that pushed us to be a bit cynical about modern medicine. 🙁
  • Sugar is a big, big change over the last 10 years: “Sweet used to be fun and great, and now I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t enjoy it anymore.” If you wish someone you love could get to that point, watch this video with them!!!
  • Physical activity and why Kris is dragging ME along in this area!

No time to watch the whole video? Here are the notes!

The Boiled Husband Video Time Stamps

  • 0:28: When I started doing these Healthy Parenting Connector interviews, I started getting the suggestion to interview my husband Kris! Over the last 10 years, you’ve seen my journey to real food through Kitchen Stewardship and Kids Cook Real Food, but he has also shared in the journey. Today we’ll hear his perspective on the changes our family has made.
  • 1:21: Over the 13 years that we have been parents, we have shifted from hamburger helper, bottled dressings, daily soda pop and not caring about exercise to where we are today. We are by no means perfect, but we’ve come a long way.

What I thought was healthy eating has shifted a lot over the years. -Katie Kimball

  • 2:07: Kris shares how he felt when I started making healthy changes in our household. He particularly remembers getting rid of hamburger helper at the beginning. Before we began cooking from scratch making hamburger helper was cooking to us. It could be a fun activity of cooking together and it was one of the things Kris could make on his own to help at dinner time.

FREE DOWNLOAD: 10 Snacks Kids can Make

  • 3:24: Breakfast was another big change. We used to buy up to 40 boxes of cereal on sale with coupons to keep our budget healthy, but not necessarily our bodies!
  • 4:18: What was Kris’s reaction when I visited a raw milk farm for the first time?
  • 5:28: It’s taken about 10 years for Kris to shift to being on the same page as me. Now we roll our eyes at the same things and he’s actually even better at turning down over-processed sweets at parties than I am!
  • 6:03: Once the cereal disappeared, there were a few times when Kris would come home with boxes of cereal, and we had to work out a few compromises as we made changes.

You had made the decision. I hadn’t made the decision. So it took me a little while to come around and I wasn’t ready yet. -Kris Kimball

  • 6:57: We talk about a couple milestones, like giving up soda pop. One of Kris’s strategies has been to give something unhealthy up for Lent each year. That way he has a health reason and a spiritual reason to keep him motivated. One year, he just decided to continue not drinking soda pop after Lent was over.
  • 8:27: Knowing your personality is important when trying to make healthy changes and stick to them. What motivates one person, won’t necessarily motivate someone else. Kris knew if he wanted to quit soda pop, he needed to be all or nothing.
  • 10:04: After giving up soda pop there were noticeable changes in Kris’s triglyceride levels! Seeing the numbers go down was a huge motivation for him.
  • 11:03: We still have test results from 9-10 years ago where the doctor gave the vague prescription of “low fat diet” one year and “low carb diet” the next year. He also recommended a non-sustainable 1800 calories for Kris. That experience began to shift the way we viewed doctors.
  • 12:07: Kris considers his decision to complete a Whole 30 as the point where he took agency and began owning his health decisions for himself.
  • 12:29: Kris completed his Whole 30 for Lent. That seems to be a good time for him! Even if you aren’t Catholic, or don’t have any religious component to help motivate your healthy decisions, many people find it easier to stick to a goal when they’re doing it for something outside themselves. Think about your spouse, kids or grandkids.

Do you want to see your grandkids? Yes? Well, what’s important? Your health! – Katie Kimball

  • 13:19: By the time Kris decided to do a Whole 30, we had already shifted to less carbs and less grains. It was a finite time limit, so he felt confident he could complete it.
  • 13:55: The very first time we gave up grains was a pretty revolutionary shift. It was pretty sudden, but at the time Kris was suffering from symptoms of Chron’s disease, so we had a strong motivation to make drastic changes.
  • 14:51: Kris was diagnosed with Chron’s (an autoimmune disease affecting the small intestine.) and had surgery shortly after college. He was symptom free without medication for about 7 years before symptoms started to flare again. We thought it was the beginning of medications, maybe more surgeries, and lots of doctors visits. Prescription anti-diarrhea medications did nothing, but within 2 days of going grain, legume and dairy free his symptoms improved!
  • 16:42: The very first time we tried grain and dairy free, we realized that Kris probably had a gluten sensitivity. At the time, I was making a ton of sourdough and that was a big shift in our house and on the blog.
  • 17:09: Throughout these changes we still weren’t completely in sync until Kris read a certain book that changed his perspective. (After 10 years of his wife talking didn’t work! :))
  • 18:45: Now Kris is making his own healthy food choices without any prompting from me!

Eat vegetables because of what they give you. -Kris Kimball

  • 20:15: Sugar and fast food are two areas of massive change since we got married. We’ve made slow and gradual changes to reduce sugar and shift our palettes.

Sweet used to be fun and great, and now I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t enjoy it anymore. -Kris Kimball

  • 21:37: Fast food became an occasional treat and then Kris began to notice he didn’t feel as well after eating fast food and decided it just wasn’t worth it. Be sure to catch the parenting tip in that story.

Now it's to the point where fast food is not worth it. -Kris Kimball

  • 23:13: We discuss how our views have shifted and how it takes time and gradual steps to make these significant changes in our health.
  • 24:22: I have a post on Kitchen Stewardship called “How to Boil a Husband.” Kris originally came up with that term several years ago. We explain what exactly that means.

Get Your Kids in the Kitchen with a Free Lesson

  • 26:43: Physical activity and exercise is an area where Kris is dragging me along. When we first got married, Kris mostly played sports as exercise. As he’s gotten older he’s gotten more intentional about exercise.
  • 27:30: Growing up Kris hated running. It wasn’t until his late 20s that he could run a mile without walking. He did a “couch to 5K” for the social aspects, and has since completed a 10K! Now he does workouts in the basement and video guided workouts.
  • 30:10: Scheduling workouts is what helps Kris stay consistent. For now, I do yoga once a week and take walks, but Kris is trying to get me more into exercising. 🙂
  • 31:16: We close with some encouragement to the spouse who wants to lead the change in their family.
  • 34:46: Some real life, healthy eating decision making happens before your eyes. 😉

Resources We Mentioned

The Calorie Myth by Jonathan Bailor

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

How to Boil a Husband

Couch to 5K

How to get a spouse on board with healthy eating.


Check out a Free Sample of our course!

This is our 10-minute knife skills and safety class for kids ages 2-12:

kids cooking class knife skills video

Subscribe to our YouTube channel for more ways to connect as a family around healthy food (and all these great videos)!

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.