Eating Healthy When Others Don’t (or Won’t)

I posted earlier this month about the importance of preparation. With the holidays in full swing, I’ve been thinking a lot about the second part to success, which is community support and eating healthy when others don’t (or won’t).

Here are some tips to rally support at home (and avoid resistance):

The “DON’Ts”

Don’t use words like “nutrition” and “healthy.” You’ll notice I rarely use these words (with the exception of today to make a point). They come with a stigma that isn’t fair to vegetables. If you are moving away from packaged food items, start talking about the ingredients themselves or what you’re going to make with them. Organic vegetables and conventional vegetables are still vegetables. Grass fed steak and conventional steak is still steak. You can change your buying habits without using these words.
Don’t be overly vocal about the process. If you feel inspired to clean up your diet that’s great, feel empowered and take action; but also understand that people around you may not be in the same place and respect their food choices. There is no wrath like lecturing someone trying to enjoy a donut.
Don’t overhaul your whole house. If you start throwing away someone’s favorite foods, it’s going to cause a conflict. Make a slow transition – start by buying high-quality versions of the favorites then maybe try an alternative version and gauge the response. The pantry is the hardest spot so I have a pantry guide below to help you.
The “DO’S”
Pack your life with flavor. If you don’t call something “healthy,” no one will think twice if it’s delicious. Transitioning your life should be delicious and they’ll be begging for an encore.
Enjoy a meal together at home. Shop together, cook together, experiment with new ingredients, and get feedback on the meal. Getting people involved and having fun will open the door to finding good go-to options that everyone is happy with.
Start talking about your results. Live by example and reap the benefits. When you feel amazing and are outperforming yourself, talk about it! Be proud! Those around you will be happy for you and start asking questions which will open the door naturally.
Find a community of like-minded people. If you don’t have the support you need at home, find a meet up group, group of friends, people at the gym, etc. that can swap recipes, brainstorm ideas, and hold you accountable to your health goals.
The most important DON’T:
Don’t assume! Don’t assume that those around you aren’t interested in what you’re trying to accomplish. If the above steps are getting a good response, ask them for their support and to join you on the journey.