There is no doubt that trying to bring loved ones on board with you on the healthy lifestyle train can be a daunting task. This is especially the case if your hubby, kids, relatives and friends have been used to eating a certain way alongside you and now the sudden change. Their first response will most likely be to reject this change because admittedly it is far easier to eat savory, convenience foods that we’ve always known and trusted to appease our senses of comfort and enjoyment than to embark upon the intentional effort and due diligence required to eat real foods. Add the misconceptions that “healthy foods” must be tasteless with limited portion sizes and that will just about take us out! “No thanks, I’m good” is the likely response I used to get.
Here are a few of my favorite hacks for getting my family on board without sounding like a nagging preachy food nerd. Feel free to try these at home!
Don’t tell them immediately that you’re making the change.
If it’s you who’s doing the shopping and preparing the food, make the swift change without an announcement. Instead, prepare their household favorites using better ingredients, such as grass-fed butter, choose locally grown vegetables and swap out the less healthy table sugar for pure cane sugar or coconut sugar instead. Also, buy organic brands of as many food products as possible since that they don’t include any additives and preservatives.
Showcase your culinary skills with a little presentation.
While your mom and Aunties may still believe that eating healthy means they must throw out all of the spices and suffer through flavorless boiled vegetables and dry chicken cutlets, prove them wrong by presenting them with delicious herb crusted salmon sauteed in olive oil or coconut oil and topped with natural herbs, spices and sea salt.
Also take healthy, colorful dishes to your next meet-up event. When you have a few friends over, give them a taste of what you have been enjoying these days! Say nothing until the end when they are peppering you with compliments. This is when you can tell them exactly what went into the recipe and provide the specific details of the healthy substitutions (be sure to let them know the why behind each).
Include your significant other and kids in the fresh food shopping experience. (This is one of My Favorites)
Try bringing your significant other and kids on a trip with you to the local farmers’ market to choose a few of home cooked favorites. Involve them in the process of gathering specific delectable ingredients for a healthy recipe that you plan to cook for them that day. Then while cooking, allow them to watch and even taste as all the delicious new colors and flavors come together.
This process just might convince even the most chronic junk-food eaters in your household that healthy food can taste amazing. More importantly, it may spark a new lifetime appreciation for home cooked, whole food meals that are delicious and a great source of nutrients!
Teach them the science behind why healthy food is beneficial to them.
Once you’ve primed your loved ones by taking the steps mentioned above, it is then time to teach them the science behind why it is important to eat healthy meals. This can be done by simply sharing details about your personal body transformation results or medical condition reversals as a result of you making healthier choices. While we all know that we should eat healthy foods, the Why behind it can seem abstract and unclear until it hits home with a few actual results. If you present a few succinct scientifically backed arguments, such as the opportunity to avoid any number of diseases, discomforts, and even an early death or dementia, they will be a lot less likely to say no to those healthy changes and will be all ears!
When you try these steps, pop back in and comment below to let me know how it went!