It’s that time of the year again and front and center is the most admired guest of all…FOOD! Food is our way of celebrating together.
Your priorities and food choices may have taken a big shift for the better, there’s absolutely no reason to isolate or separate yourself from your family and friends.
Over the holidays, everyone is getting together and while there may be plenty of joy and cheer, there may also be some stress. Here’s how to make sure that fighting about your dietary choices or lifestyle doesn’t add to the tension.
Instead, I’m going to share 6 ways to talk to your friends and family about Clean Eating in a way that will inspire them to actually listen – and maybe even give it a try themselves!
1. Be positive and non-judgemental
So you’ve begun to Eat Clean and you’re having all of these revelations about processed foods, and how TOXIC most of them are. Sugar is the devil (duh!) and you want to shout it from the roof-tops because EVERYONE needs to know what they’re doing wrong.
Of course, this is all well-intentioned, but even so, family members and friends may easily become defensive if your new-found wisdom comes off as judgemental or critical.
Understand that one of the best ways to show others the power of Eating Clean is to simply ENJOY the process yourself, and let them come around when they are ready. Speak positively about your new lifestyle, but don’t push it on anyone.
2. Bring a crowd-pleasing dish to share
Show up with a crowd-pleaser that will get everyone talking! And remember, when everyone asks what’s in it, instead of launching into an educational seminar, simply share the ingredients and how much energy you’ve had lately since adding more fresh foods into your diet! People will feel much more inspired to follow your lead when they feel free to make their own choices AND they love the food too. Bringing a healthy and flavorful dish is certain to inspire taste buds.
Here are a few of my fav crowd-pleasing Clean Eating recipes:
Sticky Glazed Drumsticks (make a big batch and bring em’ over to any party!)
3. Answer questions without defensiveness
It’s natural for people to ask questions when a family member begins to make major transformations in how they eat and live. Sometimes big changes can lead people to feel like with all of the change their loved one is making, they might be left behind. Keep in mind that any defensiveness coming from a family member about your lifestyle choice likely has more to do with them fearing loss of love than anything else. It will be immensely helpful for you to remain calm, loving and brief when answering questions about your new lifestyle. Stick to your experience, how you feel, what your results have been, and why you personally chose this path. This will help others feel safe, and let them know it’s ok to be curious.
4. Focus on yourself
As much as possible, remain focused on yourself and your process. It’s natural to want our family and friends to get on board, especially when we see them making choices that are self-destructive.
It’s even more difficult if a loved one is suffering and we just KNOW deep down that if they tried what is working for us, they would experience a change. Unfortunately, this rarely works so the best thing to do is simply remain focused on yourself and your own process.
They will be watching you whether you bring it up or not. Sometimes by giving them space they will come around sooner and ask you what you’re doing to get such amazing results!
5. Honor your Clean Eating boundaries
It’s ok to hold your boundaries around your new lifestyle and what feels good for you. Don’t succumb to the pressures of family or friends to revert back to eating things that make you feel bad or pull you off track. Here are a few ways you can set boundaries in a loving way:
“I would love to attend, and I’ll be bringing a few items to share so I can honor my personal health goals.”
“Thank you so much for the invitation and supporting me in honoring my new lifestyle”.
“Thank you for having me, everything looks so delicious! I’ve discovered that I’m very sensitive to a few foods I used to eat frequently, so I’ve brought a few things with me to make sure I’m taken care of”.
“I’m doing this for me and I don’t need anyone to be different. Supporting my choices is all I need, thank you!”
6. Bring a Clean Eating dessert
Sweet, savory, or a little bit of both – dessert is a great way to introduce healthy ingredients to skeptics. Obviously you cannot live off of Clean Eating desserts as they still contain sugar, but they are much better for you than any traditional dessert and the best part is, no sugar crash afterward! I love bringing healthy desserts to gatherings and watching everyone light up with joy as they “indulge” and then find out, it’s totally guilt-free!
Here are a few delicious Clean Eating dessert recipes to choose from:
What are your tips for talking to your family about Clean Eating over the holidays? Share in the comments below!