Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Getting Your Family And Friends To Eat Healthier Without Being The Food Police

Now that you have begun your journey into making more healthful choices about your everyday food, you will want to 'share' the good news about organic whole plant foods... especially in the beginning... with your loved ones. Well you will soon learn not everyone wants to hear the sick sad truth of what they really are eating. Toxic food is considered normal. Even those folks who look like a heart attack is in their very near future, will say they 'do not care.' Diabetes, cancer, heart attacks, and many other diseases are now linked to the advent of modern industrialized food. Since those are the facts, I know you really want to help your family feel better, and be healthy. A lifetime of ignorance, created by television and convenience foods, promoted our very harmful food habits. Corporations purposely put addictive food ingredients into these fake food-like stuffs. This deception along with their advertising is what now controls the American mind and body. It is a hard process for most people to change anything about themselves, let alone something they are addicted to like a drug. The convenience of fast trash food weighs heavy on peoples choices who are working outside of the home. You may try to explain with concerned heart-felt conviction to others that, "Yes, food matters! Food is what runs the body, and it matters big time."  They may not believe anything you say at all...  after all aren't they doing just fine right now? Many people in your life will falsely believe that eating plants is just "rabbit food" and that "beef is the only source of protein in the world" propaganda. You can try to be a hard sell, but be ready for complete rejection. Even worse is those whose personality traits will make them want to do the opposite just to defy you. Unfortunately your friends and family need to be 'ready to hear' what you have to say about the important topic of processed food related to their own wellness and longevity.

In the meantime... the answer is simple of what to do... just being 'you' will be an inspiration for those who really want to change. 'You' are the shining example of healthy eating choices, and that is the best thing you can do for anyone. They will see your enthusiasm, your glow, and maybe one day be tempted to taste what the heck you are eating. They may see you lose weight and becoming far more healthier than you were in the past. They may see these new colorful foods are not really so scary, but actually mouthwatering. Be happy, as that is contagious too!  At home in your own kitchen you can introduce them to the new foods without making a big deal of telling them that it's healthy. Serve the food beautifully and with love. Share the fun of new foods! There is a bigger variety to healthier foods than the boring bland tan, brown, and white flour foods of the old ways. When they find a new healthy food dish enjoyable, maybe then you can explain how it benefits their body as well... or not. Mostly share your joy and gratitude for the fresh local whole foods that you are now eating. Celebrate the food you are making at home for your family, even if only you know it's very healing. When you eat more home made meals together that will be less fast food, take out meals, or restaurant food that your family is currently consuming. You can take solace in that fact. You have more control in your home, and that is where you can have some plant power.

When friends or family start asking you questions about what you are doing that is changing your body, mind, and Spirit... that is your moment to engage them in some of the real food truth. Just see if their eyes glaze over, or if they truly want to hear your secrets to health. If they do not that is okay too. It is not your responsibility to change people. If they do show a genuine interest in what you are doing and being... then recommend that they watch a food documentary on Netflix, or a get a good food health book if they are a reader. I list some of them on my inspiration page. As with anything... they have to wanna! They have to be their own agent of change. You can point them in the right direction when that time comes... if ever. Someday maybe they will be sick of being sick. Continue to work on yourself and your own life journey, that is why you are here anyway. We can feel grateful that we finally learned about good food. Plus having gratitude for the food you can serve to your family, and for your loved ones is also very healing for the body, mind, and Spirit.

Don't unfairly expect compliance and miracles from others, especially if they do not share your passion for nutrient dense foods. It may take time for those you care about to notice or even think about this subject themselves. For family members in your home give them their own space to change. If you are the one who prepares the meals, choose to create healthier versions of recipes that are similar to what they love to eat. I have a number of items listed on my substitute page and my shopping list page to try serving instead. Completely eliminating or reducing some of the familiar food products will take more time than others, for example meat and cheese. Those two foods seem to be the hardest. (As an FYI that might help, read my article on cheese. The governments influence in this subject alone might help change some peoples minds about eating so much cheese.) In the early stages of introducing new foods to your family just limit the amounts and how often you eat the bad foods now. Eventually buy better organic versions of those products. With each change remember to use the 'good/better/best' guideline as you make improvements for your family's food. Transition from old processed food, to good whole food, to better organic food, then eventually to the best... by adding nourishing organic green juicing and green smoothies to your lifestyle. This could be your long term goal. It may take only a few months or it may take a year. The point is to begin, and slowly introduce a few new foods each week to your family with a joyful attitude. If you fill the house with good foods then that is what they will be eating. Keep bowls of organic fruits out on the counter. In the refrigerator you can place containers of hummus, salsa, fresh cut carrots, celery, peppers, cauliflower, broccoli. Have unsalted nuts, and seeds available for your families quick snacks. Maybe this way you will help to cut back on the junk foods they eat when they are at home.

When you have infants you can serve them nutrient dense plant foods from the beginning of their life and they will not question eating them at all. That will be what they know. My grandchildren ask for apples, grapes, carrots, avocados, coconut water, salsa, hummus, raisins, soups, and salads for snacks. When children have grown up being fed addictive foods such as chicken nuggets, fast food burgers, sodas, candies, sugar loaded breakfasts, and donuts, you have created a different problem. It will take time for you to bring them around. It takes two weeks to detox off of sugar. It can be done, as long as you have enough things in the house for them to eat instead. 

Children can be made part of the decision process at lunch and at snack times to avoid them asking for unhealthy choices. I always used the psychology of the "either/or" scenario for my grandchildren. "You can have sliced cinnamon apples 'or' you can have almond butter on celery. Which do you want?" That way they feel they are participating as well as deciding for themselves. Involving your children when you go to the farmers market, CSA, or food store, will make ' fresh local food' an exciting event for them. Start to grow some food at home even if it is in containers on the patio. Experiencing planting the seeds of real food, the magic of watching it grow, and picking your co-creation to eat, is fulfilling for kids as well as adults. I love when my grandson picks the cherry tomatoes in the garden and eats them from the plant immediately. You can't get a fresher burst of enzymes in your body than that!

You can do the same food adventure activities with your adult partner, and become fresh foodies together. It's fun to go to farms to get food. Try out new farm to table restaurants and new natural food stores in your area, as well as when you travel. Read all the food labels together and become an investigative food team when you shop! This creates a bond for your mutual health goals. The feeling that you are on a mission to create wellness in spite of the propaganda you have been fed, feeds the rebel in you too. Even those uninterested in making any healthy changes to their food choices will enjoy farm to table restaurants as they also have many comfort food favorites and meat dishes. Eating well together creates healthy minds, as well as healthy bodies, and that could possibly make your relationship even better.

Still back on the home front, be sure to go to my recipe page where you'll find many different kinds of dishes to try out on your family. My free shopping list page also has a list of links for organic processed foods that may feel familiar and help with your family's snack food urges. I have a large list of better processed foods in this section of my amazon store too. Check out my smoothie and juicing page too. When you whip up yummy green smoothies for breakfast that taste like dessert who can refuse? 
Yes some may blindly look at a green smoothie, and assume it tastes like grass without ever tasting one. Serve them a tiny glass of smoothie at first. Make sure it is a green smoothie and not one of those sugar coated things some cafes sell. You can add in extra berries to be sure it is naturally sweet for a first time taster. The same goes for green juice. In the beginning you add in more apple to make the taste buds get used to the flavor. You can tell them all you like about the government recommendation of eating five servings of fruits and vegetables a day... but having a delicious green drink that tastes like dessert... that needs no words besides yum!

For kids and adults try freezer containers like this Silicone Ice Pop Maker Set to pack a pre-made frozen smoothie in a lunch. Use the new healthier BPA free non-toxic stainless steel eco bento style lunch boxes with section dividers, and fill them with colorful fresh fruits, veggies, nuts, and home made leftover snacks too. Here is a snack article for ideas. I may not agree with all the choices, but you get the idea. Be creative. Follow a variety of food blogs so you are always getting fresh ideas about your new healthier food choices. A few of my favorite food blogs are Oh My Veggies, Ricki Heller, and Oh She Glows.

Attempt to get the adults and older children in your house to watch the food documentaries with you. Knowledge is power, and that helps move the change in some people quicker. If teens do not want to listen (because you are the parent), then maybe the voices of those experts in a documentary may be helpful. Perhaps that will bring them around to now understand the truth of the American food system, and then gross them out when their friends go to the fast food joints. At the very least it will be in the back of their mind to think on another day. If your stubborn partner is a reader, get some of the books on my inspiration page and leave them around the house. Thug Kitchen is a good one for the laughs first, then they might say "Hey this dish actually looks good to make! If they are still not interested, remember it is not your job to change them. That is their job. Still... delicious tasting food will always be your best ally in winning over family members to healthy fresh real food.

My daughter made colorful homemade signs with my grandkids as a craft project, and then took her small children to the family based 'March Against Monsanto' rally in our small town. Educating children about GMO's, how pesticides are killing bees and butterflies, and letting them experience the right of free speech in our country at the same time is a fantastic idea. Food education with the real facts is what is ultimately needed to make changes. Start small. Seeds grow into big oaks. My granddaughter often asks if a certain food is good for you or not. See... she is listening, even at five. The corporations and the government started shaping our minds at birth with false information about food and that is why we have such a problem now. We need to do a turn around to promote the goodness and the health of fresh local whole foods to our loved ones. We just have to do it in a respectful way with no heavy pressure. Mostly if you are in control of making the meals just feed everyone in your home the good whole organic foods and remove the toxic sugary junk foods. You will feel good knowing they are not getting hormones, pesticides, chemicals, sugars, salts, MSG, and those nasty GMO's at every meal. There is so much variety in fruits and vegetables that you will certainly find a few new dishes your family members will enjoy. A bonus effect is the clean up in the kitchen is easier when you eat mostly plants! If the teens help out in the kitchen they will love that part even if they do think you eat weird...

In our society food has become a commodity, and not treasured for it's ability to heal. Unfortunately for me and many others, it's a sick sad medical condition that needed to happen, to wake us up to the truth about modern industrialized fake factory food and its effects. I would prefer if people were pro-active before their body starts shutting down like mine, and realize organic food has the nutrients a body needs to heal. Addressing a lifetime of bad patterns, and misinformation, can seem like a daunting challenge for many. Most will have many excuses about time and money. In the end it is each person who controls their own journey in life, and if they choose not to get healthy. It is no one's job to belittle them. We should not be heavy handed by constantly criticizing peoples choices, which ultimately turns people off. Certainly we do not want that to happen. You can take positive action by creating healthful meals for your family. Also bring your healthy organic dishes to parties, tailgating, and holiday gatherings. Quietly share just how delicious real food can be with everyone. The food will speak for itself, and maybe someone will ask for the recipe. Be a good example by your actions. Most of all share the joy during your process. Many will witness your body make fantastic changes as a result of your efforts. For some your new vitality and cheerful excitement will be inspiring and they will naturally be curious.

When others do come to you ready to accept the power of plants in reversing disease and creating a healthier life for themselves, it is a joy to share in that moment. Till then have a great time exploring the world of real food yourself. Organic whole plant foods are the gift of health that has been there all along. If we think about it... industrialization of our food has only been with us for a short time in the scheme of things. Getting back to real food is simply the natural way it was meant to be for our bodies. That is the simple reason it works. Don't worry, the word is spreading fast, and that means those of us who are currently eating a plant strong diet will be there when our friends and family catch up with the goodness. It will be exciting to hear, "You look so good! Tell me what you are doing!" 

I do realize it helps if you have a partner, or a friend, as a support, to share the changes of your food lifestyle. I am fortunate to have a man in my life who has been there for me every step of the way, supporting me during the years of illness, and then jumping into our healthier food lifestyle whole heartedly! If you cannot share this healthier way of eating with your partner, or any friends in life, please share your journey with me in your comments to blog posts, or on the facebook page. I'd love to hear from you! Writing a blog takes much time and energy, it is nice to know someone has been reading this stuff, and finds it useful. I know people who have done this healthy food change on their own. Having a group on the internet to connect with helps those who get no support for these important food changes at home. Find the plant strong doctor and author who speaks to you and become involved with their community (For me it is Dr. Joel Fuhrman). As you become awesomely healthier some friends will take notice, and a few may eventually become your 'foodie buddies.' Together you will enjoy the new food adventure and perhaps check out some cool restaurants and juice bars... Till then go be the best version of you that you can be, by eating whole organic nutrient dense plant foods. Create wellness and live your dreams! When others take notice of your big changes, you can pay it forward to them at that time! 

Be happy. Be healthy. Be peace.

Note: This blog post is an excerpt from my Get Started/FAQ page which is filled with tips and info on becoming a plant powered person full of life and vitality.

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