Even though my husband’s 100% on board now (and runs this blog with me), he wasn’t always on the real food trolley.
I knew that I could convince Cameron to make these changes with me. He’s very analytical, LOVES the food he eats, and wants to make me happy.
So here’s how I converted him:
- Expressed to him my sincere desire, multiple times, to try another way to solve our infertility issue. This took a while and I was getting sick of all the needles and nasty medications.
- Took him to the chiropractor/holistic doctor appointment with me kicking and screaming (this had the biggest effect).
- Gave him books to read (started out with the Nourishing Traditions books).
- And you better believe I played the “yes honey, you can still eat bacon” card.
He was a little more convinced by the end. His exact words were, “If you think this will help us get pregnant, then I will do it with you.” Funny thing was, HE was the one who sorted through our pantry and threw out all the Hamburger Helper, Honey Bunches of Oats, and Spaghettios.
And I know I’m lucky that he’s so supportive – but that’s not always the case with spouses or kids.
What else can you do if your family’s not willing to give up their Standard American Diet?
I’ve asked 6 of the top bloggers I know (who’re much smarter and have been helping people longer than me) what they would do to get a resistant family on board with wholesome and natural eating.
Here we go!
“If I were to write down all the things my husband has put up with as I dive down the rabbit hole of health research, someone would probably give him a medal. But I will say that he had a hard time giving up some of his favorite unhealthy takeout meals. When I could I tried to recreate healthier versions of them at home. When that wasn’t possible, I looked for new recipes that met the same type of craving.”
~ Heather from Mommypotamus
“It’s easy to get excited by all the prospects of a wholesome, real food diet. All of a sudden you find yourself wanting to make bone broths, or yogurt, or try kombucha, but it can be overwhelming not only in workload as you learn to manage all your new projects, but also in getting your family on board with new flavors.
~ Jenny from Nourished Kitchen
Pushback is to be expected and is totally normal. You should in no way be confused, distracted, discouraged, distressed, or derailed by this type of reaction.
Most importantly, never take this type of thing personally because it has nothing to do with you.
The reason is because everyone is different when it comes to the speed with which preconceived ideas and mental barriers are broken down giving way to acceptance of new and better information. Some folks do it quickly, others take years, and still others go to their grave never having made the leap at all.
With this in mind, I thought I would summarize for you the four necessary steps that are required for an individual to pass through mentally in order to accept a new idea and embrace it as his/her own.
- Perception – A person has to be able to fully understand the words they are reading or hearing pertaining to a necessary change.
- Cognitive – Once a person understands the actual words being used, he/she then needs to mentally progress to comprehension of the logic and reasoning the words convey.
- Emotional – If the logic and reasoning behind an argument are firmly grasped and acknowledged, then emotional factors come into play and they need to be positive emotions.
- Social – Worrying about what others will think or the opinion of those in our community has a powerful influence on our behavior, whether we like to admit it or not and no matter what we might truly believe deep down inside.”
~ Sarah from The Healthy Home Economist
“My husband still isn’t 100% on board with the real food diet. It takes time. He used to be totally all about whatever crap he could buy: McDonald’s, and it would be the cheapest food possible. But as he started realizing there are other options, and eating real food is actually cheaper and tastes better, it’s been easier to convert him.
Education about what’s actually in packaged foods helps a lot (not the “it’s all a conspiracy” education, but about why a lot of those ingredients aren’t necessary). People don’t want to feel deprived, and sometimes people worry they’ll feel deprived of taste, etc with a real food diet. A lot of times they don’t realize real food actually tastes BETTER (like homemade tortillas vs. store-bought).
Sometimes the fear is about being inconvenienced; finding recipes that are fast and simple to make (one’s that make you go “really? That’s all it takes?”) is key.
My advice is that if you want to start eating real food, and you’re the cook for your family, then just start cooking with real food. Your family might bellyache and complain, but the reality is most people will eat what’s in front of them, especially if it smells good, for the sake of convenience. You can’t push people into a lifestyle they don’t want, but if you take the lead and stick with it, I bet you’ll be able to make small changes very quickly, and small changes add up.”
~Maat from The Frugal Chicken
“Overall, my family is “on board” with eating healthy, but we all (including myself!) have our weaknesses and struggles and times when we are tempted to give up and eat (fill in the blank with your favorite cheat food).
Typically we talk about it — a lot. But we talk about everything — a lot. We talk about what the not-so-healthy food might do to our health, and about how we need to take care of the bodies that we have been given from God, and how our health is more important than momentary pleasure.
I also try to watch documentaries with the whole family. Having family members hear messages of healthy living from experts carries a lot of weight and helps to bolster the message that I am already sharing with them.”
~ Adrienne from Whole New Mom
“When it comes to getting people on board with real food it’s going to depend a little on each person in the family. If they are moderately adventurous eaters then they may be able to branch out into new foods with little or no issue. If they are not very adventurous, or tend to be picky, then my best advice is to start off small. Take baby steps and don’t expect everyone to love everything all at once.
One thing I have learned is that many people who have been accustomed to eating a highly refined (standard American diet) have actually lost some of their ability to taste things properly. Refined and processed foods actually change our taste buds and we have to spend some time re-training them towards real food. They may not like certain foods now, but after some time goes by, they may start enjoying them.
Patience is key here. Making the experience open and fun is also key. Getting the whole family involved in the food selection and preparation process, as well as listening to them when they say they do or do not like things is really important. The more the family feels included in the transition, the more likely they are to adapt to the change. If they feel like this new “diet” is being forced on them then they may tend to resist more.”
~ Jessica from Delicious Obsessions
“Yes, I have had several family members resist my change to a real food lifestyle. I’ve been mocked, ridiculed, scorned and judged. At first, I tried f00d evangelism to convert them to my way of thinking. That did NOT work! That never works.
Since then, I have learned my lesson and have adopted a quiet lead-by-example approach.
I don’t preach. I don’t condemn. I don’t correct them when they eat something unhealthy. I simply love them for who they are and pray that God opens their eyes to the truth that their bodies are the Temples of Holy Spirit. At the end of the day, this is the only way someone is going to be “converted.” It takes true conviction, and I believe that this comes from Above…”
~ Dr. Eric L. Zielinski from Dr Eric Z
Special thanks to all these terrific bloggers for participating! We found your answers enlightening and helpful. Do you have any other tips you’d add? Let us know!