I vividly remember one day while dating my now husband that he called me at college to say he had given up soda for a month and felt much better. Well, what inspired you to do that, I asked? YOU, he quickly responded! Honestly, I had never once mentioned to him to stop drinking soda, but hearing my health story and why healthy living was so important to me had inspired him to make a little change that had huge benefits.
Over the years of being married, making healthy and delicious meals has become one of our favorite activities to do together and a fun way to have people in our home. Food is always healthy, always disappearing quickly and the process is one that brings us both joy.
I frequently am asked how we do it, how we both make healthy living and non-toxic living a priority but also how we enjoy both the process and ramifications so much.
Here’s what I have found have worked for me and my husband as well as made the process of healthy living *actually* attainable for us BOTH!
How to Get Your Family on Board with Healthy Living
Explain why healthy living is important to you
**YOU MUST START HERE.** Do not pass go without first knowing why and being able to clearly communicate it. Communication is key in any relationship, this all coming from the girl who has had some major communication fails in her life.
If you all of a sudden start changing up your eating routine, throwing away toxic beauty and cleaning supplies, your spouse or roommate might be majorly confused as well as develop some animosity when he can’t find his favorite bag of snack mix or deodorant.
Do you research, know your facts (especially when it comes to men, they love factual evidence!) and then clearly communicate why this lifestyle change is important to you but also how it will affect them. Maybe you all are dealing with digestive issues, feeling exhausted ALL the time, or infertility—have those often difficult conversations that truly can open up so much potential and have the power to impact generations in the future.
One of the best starting points: discuss how healthy living can allow you to live better for each other so that you have more energy and passion to do what you love together!
Lead by example, don’t badger
Honestly my best and most truthful advice is: never tell someone what to do. Show them a better way through your actions, discipline and passion for healthy living. Let that spirit become so contagious so that they ask, “Hey, can I do that too?”
I can say that I have honestly never once told my husband what to do. Rather he saw my discipline and how eating healthy and non-toxic products influence me so much that he wanted in. I vividly remember the day when he emailed me a long list of Primally Pure & Beautycounter products he wanted to try.
Make it fun
Have homemade pizza night (use this box mix for simplicity!) or purchase an ice cream machine as a fun activity to do with your children. Let your spouse or child pick an themed dinner and then spend some time that week coming up with a healthy menu together.
Eating is fun and gathering and enjoying community together around a meal is a great way to boost oxytocin, the powerful anti-stress, “love” hormone. Let your guard down a bit, enjoy a glass of wine and laugh—connection is just as important as eating healthy!
The crazy part is that when you feel great you have more energy to do what you love. Overtime by eating healthy you might develop a new found passion for cooking and creating or simply having more energy to pursue outside interests.
Remember, you are on the same team
Living together, being married or having a family is a TEAM effort. You will be stronger together when you are united in your daily routines.
When it comes to healthy eating, I often hear of people making 3 different dinners or having totally separate routines. That honestly is no way to go through life and will only leave you feeling more stressed about life and disconnected from your spouse or partner.
But being on a team requires a give and take from both parties. Yes, you may have to sacrifice your weekly nail appointment because your spouse wants a tighter grocery budget. And your spouse may have to try eating healthier snacks and occasionally eat that roasted broccoli instead of microwave pizza. But in the end, both of you united in a common goal will be stronger, more content and healthier people.
Today, I challenge you to go back to your why, share why healthy living is so important and be willing to make sacrifices on both sides so that you can come together as a team.
Everyone has been out to dinner with that person who dramatically complicated the ordering process (and I’m not talking about simple modifications due to necessity). Perfection and rigidity is a big turn off, especially if you are trying to be a positive and joyful example of what healthy living looks like. Striving for perfection and taking the joy and community aspect out of eating and living is only going to annoy your friends and family more.
Life happens and let it happen! Your friend may choose a less than optimal restaurant for her birthday party, so eat a small snack before hand and make the best possible choice when out to eat. You can still laugh and celebrate and make memories.
Positive, joyful thoughts with a side of fried appetizers will do a-lot more for you big picture than being a grump and stressing about the menu.
Yes, I occasionally buy my husband a York Peppermint Patty, because they are his favorite. Sugar, yes. Chemicals, yes. But he is so disciplined most of the time that enjoying in life’s little pleasures isn’t going to hurt! Living a life that you enjoy is always most important!