We briefly alluded to this topic in the last piece, about challenging food on the go and living a healthy lifestyle while visiting family. Your own or your significant other’s, each one can have its challenges.
If you learn one thing from this: It takes time. Whole Foods wasn’t built in a day, and neither will changing your family or extended family’s lifestyle habits. It is in taking these small steps that will truly affect positive changes that can, and hopefully will last a lifetime.
This is one of Naturally Fortified’s tenets when working one-on-one with our clients: by adding in something nutritious you begin to crowd-out the less healthful crap. We recently took on this challenge with our own family and had some great successes.
Learn from the experts (us), and though the family wasn’t vegan, raw-foodists by the end of the annual summer vacay, we were amazed at the receptiveness by which most of the family met our small tweaks with surprising enthusiasm. From our morning green smoothies to our free-ranged, antibiotic-free chicken we became confident that the whole family was present in the process and will take with them a more healthful approach to shopping and meal planning.
Here is a brief sample of what worked for our family and some easy ways to enhance your family’s vacations with just a hint of a healthful twist:
Have a plan, man. Foremost, we recommend finding accommodations that have working kitchens. Not only will your family’s vacation budget shrink as you spend less time eating out at expensive tourist spots, but you can control what is going into the meals.
Meal planning allows you to save time and control what is being bought. This, however, is not the time to make enemies. After all, this is everyone’s vacation. Remember, we are slowly adding in the good while still allowing some of the bad. Hopefully, by week’s end they are eating more of the fruits and vegetables and less of the processed orange cheesy things (you know who you are).
Creating theme night is always a success. Think “taco night” or “chili night” and build the meal around the theme. This makes for a much easier grocery excursion and allows for less impulse buys.
Swap-meats. One of the easiest methods by which to add in the more healthful ingredients is simply swapping them in. Turkey meat for ground red meat on chili night. One hundred percent whole wheat bread, wraps, pasta and buns instead of its less nutritious white flour brother.
Most times they won’t know the difference, but it is a great opportunity to explain why you have made these changes and to educate the fam a little in hopes they make this swap for themselves at home.
Meal planning is also a great opportunity to introduce more plant-based and raw food options. This is where you may want to keep a tight lip about the swaps until the thunderous applause dissipates at the meals end. We know that words like “vegan” can scare the more impressionable. At week’s end have the family reflect back on what they liked or did not like and help them to understand the healthful benefits of making these choices in their daily lives.
Child labor. The enthusiasm that comes from kids and what they are eating can be both hilarious and enlightening. We know that starting children when they are young about the importance of “you are what you eat” will often last a lifetime.
Get the kids in the kitchen and let them help prep the food and encourage questions about what the food is and why it might be a more healthful choice. Having a rule like they can’t refuse a food until they taste it can often lead to lifetime changes in the ways they approach their food choices.
We recently had an experience with a niece who is a fairly picky eater as she watched Doctor Keith and I make our morning green smoothies. She began to question why we were making them and I told her the we like to start our days with a nutritious drink. When she learned that she could too and put whatever she wanted into it, she was hooked and soon the rest of her cousins were vying for the Nutribullet to create their own.
Nothing is more satisfying in life than knowing you are affecting a person’s health and longevity by offering up some positive healthy lifestyle changes. This what we do for a living, but it was even more enlightening when we were able to apply it to our own family. Do you think you are up for the challenge?
Naturally Fortified has finalized our “Refresher Course,” a 21 day jump-start to reboot your mind, body and spirit back onto your path to total health. This program consists of three weekly meetings including meal planning, shopping lists and words of wisdom that will help you through this progressive cleanse. Each week requires a gradual lifestyle shift so much of the program is up to you: what you put in, you will get out! The goal is that on day 21 you are back onto your path to total health free of unhealthy food addictions and habits. Start date is August 5th!! Private message us at Chip Allman on Face Book or email us at Chip@NFortified.com for more information. Talk to us about groups! We love accountability.