Helpful tips for when your partner or family are reluctant to eat as healthy as you...
I hope you have been making the most of the intermittent sunshine as much as I have. As well as the abundant rainbow of fruits and veggies currently in season for us to take advantage of, this weather also means barbecue time!
We've been lucky enough to enjoy a few so far this year, and I look forward to sharing with you a few new summer recipes we have come up with. So I hope you love them as much as we do!
I bring you this article following a topic of discussion that has recently come up with several of my personal trainer clients. As exciting as they find time of year, they have expressed how it can also often be quite challenging.
Barbecue season often sees their partners become insatiable carnivores, perhaps demanding burgers, sausages, ribs and chicken wings; turning their noses up at the salads or vegetable-based dishes that my clients have put the effort into creating. And when there is meat, there is also often alcohol. Lots of it...
If this sounds familiar and you find your other half and/or family are reluctant to eat the healthier plant-based dishes you are making and enjoying yourself, here's a few helpful tips to make keeping the peace at home slightly easier, when it comes to making changes to the way you eat.
My husband and I have both made a great deal of changes to our diet over the years, but still don't always eat the exact same things. We follow a primarily plant-based diet at home throughout the week and sometimes he eats red meat or a dish containing gluten when we go to a restaurant.
As every relationship is unique and individual, I can only use what I have found successful from my own personal experience!☺️
First and foremost: respect your partner's feelings
Even though we believe we always do this, chances are we can revert to thinking we are in the right, just because we're the one that wants to eat healthier!
Playing this card does not give us the right to believe we can tell anyone what to do; and doing so may often result in an argument. Believing we're right implies that they are wrong! So remembering that your beliefs are not always going to be shared, before discussing any type of changes, will help avoid any unnecessary conflict.
If you're planning on making some changes to the way you eat, it's important to make your partner, family or whoever you share regular mealtimes with not only aware of this, but also your reasons why. We all know how important it is not to force changes on someone who is not ready to change. And change can often be met with resistance simply because it is that: change!
If something you are currently doing is not serving you, such as your current diet, this is where honest and open communication with those close to you will help. If you want to rid your fridge and cupboards of any processed products for example, sit down with your partner and explain why.
Whether they share your views or not, taking ownership and responsibility for your own personal choices is down to you. This also nips the excuse of 'not wanting to rock the boat' in the bud!
A very effective meal-time strategy here (that also avoids you having to cook two separate dinners) is to include something you know your partner will eat, such as a piece of chicken or fish, as a side dish to the new recipe you are making for your dinner.
That way you are offering new ideas to share, but without being pushy, which only creates tension and resentment. It's up to them whether or not they want to try them.
Let food be thy voice!
When you're feeling amazing and starting to become a living breathing example of the endless benefits that result from nourishing your body, of course the results will speak for themselves!
But remember, just because you've experienced these benefits doesn't mean someone else is ready to change just yet. It might be your colleagues at work eyeing up your beautiful looking homemade lunch, or even your partner watching you make your green smoothie (but pretending they're not...) 😉
And yes, of course your new choices may not always be met with kindness and interest. When anyone does anything *differently* to what is considered *the norm* it's likely to create tension. You might get sneers, people turning their noses up or some even letting you know how disgusting they think something you're eating or drinking looks. How kind...
What's important here is to accept that not everyone is going to share your views and just continue to lead by example and enjoy the benefits for yourself! YOU are the important person, and it is your responsibility to look after your own health, not convince those around you to start taking care of theirs.
Chances are, when people around you see how much you are thriving, they will be interested and perhaps even ask questions. All you need to do is verbalise how good you're feeling and how eating this way makes you feel so much better.
And when the new recipes you're eating look this bright, colourful and exciting they too will speak for themselves!
These tips have certainly worked wonders for my personal trainer clients, whose families are now also starting to enjoy the benefits of a few simple dietary changes. I hope you too have found them useful and wish you all the best in cultivating a peaceful, healthier and happier lifestyle.
(Just don't always expect your other half to admit to liking something *healthy* you've made them - even after they've devoured every mouthful of it!) 😜