Healthy Family  >  4 Ways to Get Your Friends & Family on Board with Your Healthy Lifestyle {Giveaway}

4 Ways to Get Your Friends & Family on Board with Your Healthy Lifestyle {Giveaway}

Love Me, Love My Kale: Getting Your Friends & Family on Board {Giveaway}

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, I’ve spent the last few weeks wracking my brain for love-related topics.

“5 healthy, pink foods you should make for Valentine’s day!” “Heart-shaped chocolate truffles!” “How to show someone you love them with kale!”

Shockingly enough, none of these made the cut.

Then I really thought about it, and I realized that the most valuable & loving gift you can give someone is a healthier and more joyful life.

When we decide to make changes or deepen our commitments to our healthy lifestyleshow we eat, the way we move our bodies, the stories we tell ourselves about foodthe people in our lives don’t always know how to react.

They might feel frightened or rejected.

They might feel defensive.

They might just miss their partner in pesto pasta and red wine.

But it’s completely possible to live an intentional, healthy life and include the people you love...and maybe (just maybe!) even get them to join you.

Here are my favorite ways to engage and empower your loved ones so that they can willingly evolve along with you.

Show—Don’t Tell When we discover the healing properties of turmeric, it’s tempting to tell everyone, but your 10-year-old probably doesn’t care. Your hairstylist? Probably not interested either.

What’s most effective? Living your life as a happy, fit, energetic human who happens to drink turmeric lattes after dinner every night. When you feel great, people notice, and they’ll want to know what you’re doing that they’re not.

And when they ask...then you can reveal the details of your love affair with turmeric roasted veggies.

Involve Them in the Process People don’t usually enjoy having changes foisted upon themespecially children. Instead of instituting a three servings of vegetables with every meal rule, give your kids a voice.

Ask each child to choose one vegetable each time you go shopping. Then, invite them to whip up a dish with you in the kitchen. During dinner, they can tell everyone about their veggie.

Of course, this isn’t limited to kids. You can involve anyone in your healthy activities. Encourage your partner to choose a new recipe from a plant-based cookbook, and then get cooking together. Invite your best friend to meet you at the farmer’s market. Take walks with co-workers during your lunch hour.

Provide Healthy Choices—All the Time, Everywhere I’m the person who brings kale salad to Super Bowl parties. I roll out trays of  grilled vegetables whenever I entertain. I make flourless garbanzo bean brownies for the lacrosse team. (Shhh. Don’t tell!) When my friends want to catch up, I suggest a walk on the trail instead of cocktails.

These tweaks are tiny and innocuous, but they all add up... and people notice and appreciate them. They’re too small to raise eyebrows (or alarms), but they’ll introduce people to your healthier approach to life.

Lead with Enthusiasm When you’re making exciting changes to your life and accomplishing health goals left and right, you feel amazing. You’re more confident in your choices and your abilities. Channel that energy into your interactions.

If your co-workers tease you about those goji berries, just smile and say “I know they look weird, but they make me feel great!” If your roommate rolls her eyes about all the kale and quinoa, laugh and say, “I never thought I’d see the day that I would be addicted to eating my greens, but they give me so much energy!”

It’s hard to argue with a confident, happy person who’s obviously cooking, moving, and living in a way that works for them. How did I learn all this?

I’ve spent the last 19 years trying to get my two sons on the healthy lifestyle bandwagon. Let me assure you, it has been a long process. There were so many complaints about too many Brussels sprouts and not enough “white” pasta…and lots & lots of  “Oh, mom!” comments.

But a few weeks ago on my birthday, I knew that all the effort was finally paying off. My birthday present was more meaningful than any beautiful bouquet or lavender-scented candle or massage gift certificate. It was evidence that my kids were listening:

Overnight Oats

Because I really believe that a healthy lifestyle tastes & feels so much better when friends & family join in on the fun, I’m challenging you to take action and encourage the special people in your life to jump on board. Share your plan (or your success stories) in the comments!


  • mamaste says:

    I would have LOVED to see the heart-shaped truffles! And probably the most important lheart-felt message is “Show don’t Tell”. That always works. Happy Valentines Day to you & the whole Kale & Chocolate crew. xoxo

    • Hi Mamaste! For you, I will start working on the heart-shaped truffles! I agree with you about “Show Don’t Tell”. My kids finally became more interested in eating healthier and taking care of themselves when I stopped “telling” them what to do. Thank you for sharing here. xo

  • debbie says:

    I try to make healthy treats but don’t let my kids know they’re healthy alternatives until after they’ve said they like it.
    For example, I use dates to sweeten treats instead of sugar. I use chickpeas instead of flour in cookie bars. Sometimes it works & then they feel good & want more.

  • Kiley says:

    Great post, as usual! I needed this encouragement, it’s really hard to get the boys in my family on board, but little baby steps like kale salad is now requested! Love the heart bowl to remind yourself to love your body every day! Happy Valentine’s Day! xo

    • Thanks, Kiley! Baby steps are so key, especially since they all add up. The heart bowl reminder is so powerful. Happy Valentine’s day to you and your kale-chompin’ boys. xxx

  • Carrie says:

    This is wonderful – thank you! I totally have a tendency to try to convince my family of the benefits of eating healthier, which hasn’t worked at all. Healthy eating is new to me, so I need their support and buy-in as well. They could live on potatoes and mac and cheese as side dishes, whereas I don’t enjoy food much at all. Last week I made roasted cauliflower with a red pepper relish on top. I loved it – my husband and son wouldn’t even try it. So this week I backed up a bit and made a wild rice side dish with grilled chicken. Hubby loved it and requested it be made again! We’re getting there!

    • Carrie,
      Congratulations to you on committing to a healthier lifestyle. It is definitely a little bit of trail & error with you family, but it sounds like you are making progress with them. The roasted cauliflower with the red pepper relish sounds divine. Keep experimenting…and don’t forget to have fun with it all too. xo

  • Ingrid says:

    Your kids are so sweet! Makes me wish I was still with my mom so I could prepare her daily breakfast of overnight oats again. My family used to say I wasn’t eating enough rice or pasta, and that I couldn’t just eat all vegetables. However, since my mom started reading more health articles and my brother began developing an interest in a fit lifestyle, I’m happy to say that our family meals are a lot more nutritious (not that they weren’t before)! My brother loves to try new recipes; we now enjoy whole wheat pizza from scratch, coconut milk-based sauce with quinoa pasta, bean salads, etc. My mother even convinced my father to switch from white bread to whole grain bread, which took quite a while! Since I introduced my mother to banana ice cream over the summer, I would love to serve it to her with Breakfast Criminal’s beautiful heart bowl! It would add a lovely touch to her breakfast-in-bed on Mother’s Day.

    • Wow, Ingrid. Most people don’t eat enough veggies so you are ahead of the game. Sounds like your family is on the super healthy fast track. The banana ice cream in a heart on Mother’s Day! You’re so thoughtful. Keep doing what you are doing. xo

  • Ava laTanya Hilton says:

    The Kale & Chocolate family has had a significant impact on me. Over the last 11 months I have quietly removed over 120 pounds and found a whole new life! I am the poster child for “show don’t tell”. The changes are extraordinary in my health overall, in my spirit and on my outlook. The impact I have had on others is humbling. Most recently my husband is joining me in my new lifestyle. I have him on board in four ways: We eat lean and green, with healthy fats and lots of protien. We hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. I work with him to find healthy replacements for the things he loves to snack on (the joy I get from watching him munch on pistachios and almonds). We enjoy good balanced activity (biking, swimming, elliptical, etc.) weekly. We also practice mindfulness to help with that good old nemises, stress. There is so much more I could share.. Suffice it to say.. I am proof that, we are what we eat, and my heart is filled with love as I am truly thankful to arrive at this valentines knowing my husband (who has removed 17lbs in 3 wks) and I would love, love, love, those heart shaped truffles!!

    • Tanya, I don’t even know where to begin. All of THIS! It’s so inspiring and heartwarming to hear. You’re obviously taking care of yourself and now you have the hubby on board. Thank you for joining this conversation, sharing from your heart, and being a part of the Kale & Chocolate Family. Happy, happy Valentine’s Day! xxx

  • Dee says:

    Thanks for the inspiring post…

  • Cailee says:

    Love these tips! I’ve found that the best way to get my family and friends on board with healthy eating is to be sneaky about it 😉 Like literally, I just sneak greens into literally everything and then mask the taste with chocolate or fruit. Smoothies are the perfect way to get not so tasty but incredibly nutritious things like spirulina or blue green algae.

  • Dana says:

    i love all of your ideas. It is difficult to get your family on board but not impossible especially if you are the person doing most of the cooking and grocery shopping! Purchasing more fruits and veggies especially organic when it is available. There are coupons and sales on organic products so that it is not prohibitively expensive. Looking for farmers markets and purchasing foods that are locally sourced is also healthy. I try to make foods for my family that incorporate lots of spices and different colors and textures to keep thins interesting. My daughters favorite snack is a date, nut bite rolled in dark chocolate and unsweetened coconut. She now makes it by herself and she brought it to the Super Bowl party that we went to.

    • Dana! So much inspiration & wisdom in your comments. Thank you for offering suggestions on ways to save money with organic produce.That’s helpful!And, I love that your daughter eats dates with nut butter. That’s one of my favorite snacks also. xxx

  • laurie tucker says:

    At work we are having a 2nd annual heart luncheon filled with heart healthy dishes for valentines day. Eating healthy is better with friends!

  • Robin says:

    I love it. Helping our loved ones live a healthy life is good for everyone. I plan on making a healthy, but still fun, Valentine’s dinner for my family.

  • Olivia says:

    I adopted my healthy lifestyle within the last year & I have never been happier. however, my mother is a traditional Italian woman who scoffs at the thought of whole wheat pasta or grain free pancakes. things are difficult & I constantly feel judged in my home whenever I eat or go to the gym. my passion is cooking & I hope to eventually open my own farm to table restaurant. my plan to get my family involved in a healthy lifestyle is to cook more often & show them how delicious a healthy eating can be! I was allowed to make a side dish for Thanksgiving, so I made roasted butternut squash with cranberries & feta— everyone loved it & for a second they saw that you can have the sweetness of something like sweet potatoes without all of the extra added sugars candying involves. My goal is to cook for every family function to introduce everyone to my lifestyle so that hopefully they can support me & be inspired to adopt one as well.

    • Hi Olivia,
      Wow~how amazing that you not only kickstarted your own healthy journey, but you also have been bringing your family along too. It seems like baby steps and small persistent baby steps might work for them. Keep doing what you are doing! Thanks so much for sharing here. xxx

  • Emily says:

    I would love to win a heart bowl!!

  • Emily Atmstrong says:

    I am so glad I found your everything you have touched on. Thanks for sharing!!

  • Erin Erdman says:

    My whole family has a history of health problems on all sides. This last year, I decided the change will start with me, and I will teach my kids how to not just eat healthy but live healthy. It’s not just the right nutrition that helps our heart, but positive actions and thoughts as well. : ) I would love to use this bowl so they have a daily reminder that we start each day with love………love for our bodies and love for eachother!

  • Marsha A says:

    Great post! I started eating raw foods in January bc I joined a New Year’s challenge. Just one meal a day, but it was a start to better eating. The challenge has ended, but I continue to eat raw and have added more than one meal. My body craves it now. In the process, I posted my journey online and all my family and some friends took interest. My family requested me to juice for them and friends started asking me for recipes. Such a great feeling to spread health and good eating to those whom I love very much, near and far!!

  • Ingrid says:

    I’ve been posting breakfast pictures for a while on Tumblr but finally decided to start a blog this year to share my breakfast bowls with more people. I make breakfast for family occasionally and want to inspire friends and whoever sees my pics to start the day off right. Having a healthy and wholesome breakfast will hopefully inspire people to eat well for the rest of the day as well!

  • Kimberly F says:

    I have two sons. The oldest is 5. It started with daddy. I would try new recipes and asked him to try whatever was cooked (he was not the most adventurous eater). Then, after a few years his mother made a comment about his eating. Without even realizing it he was someone who ate the roasted Brussels sprouts and veggie sides that came with his steak (rather than exchanging it for the fries or potatoes). It was just the slow & steady and the constant introduction– my 5yr old will take roasted broccoli over mac n cheese any day. It’s just about making it a habit… and always having it available.

    I LOVE the heart bowl & would love to add one to my collection of nifty bowls. 🙂


    • Great strategies, Kimberly! That’s amazing that you helped your husband transform his eating habits while also teaching your son to love roasted broccoli. I hope you all enjoy Valentine’s Day together. xxx

  • Ingrid says:

    I have a passion for breakfast and had been posting pictures of my breakfast bowls on Tumblr for nearly two years. Occasionally, I make breakfast bowls for the family but this year I finally decided to start a blog to inspire more people to start the day off right. I think eating something that is healthy but delicious in the morning will encourage people to adopt a healthy lifestyle and eat better throughout the day. Love your blog and thank you for the inspiration it brings!

  • Leslie r says:

    I love this post! Such an inspiring and positive take on creating change!

  • Silvia says:

    I love to show not tell. It speaks volumes! Great ideas Elise. Nice photos too! Happy Valentines Day and belated Birthday.

  • bonnie says:

    Loved “Love me, love my kale.” Your recipes and sharing inspires and uplifts me.

    Hope your Valentines Day was special!


  • Susan Joseph says:

    I would sincerely express my thanks to the writer for bringing something to the online world which is completely new.

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