Get Supported, Not Booed When Changing Your Dietary Habits

Whether you’re juicing, going vegan or gluten-free: your loved ones’ support is crucial for your success. Here’s one easy hack that has helped me get everyone on board.

In order to succeed with any healthy change in your life, we humans happen to need support. It’s much harder to create new, healthy habits, if in addition to your own weaker self, others ridicule your food, your look, your habits, your new friends and your new lifestyle.
Granted, they do it for many reasons, from “poking fun” without actual ill-meaning to intense fear of change and loss.
I myself am positively stubborn in the health department – if I’m absolutely sure that I’m doing my body good, no amount of mick taken, no provocation, no manipulation can make me surrender. Still, I love to share my health & ethics knowledge, and to keep my dear ones healthy and happy, so I also need a clever trick to get everyone interested and entusiastic.
Now, no matter why you could use that simple trick, what is it exactly?eating-healthy-with-support-from-your-family

It’s a simple trick that will help fill your family with enthusiasm rather than scepticism.
This simple trick is like a gift that makes your loved ones’ all bright-eyed; it can be your source and inspiration for brand-new recipes or help you perfect your new recipes by making them more tasty, by tweaking their texture, flavour, by finding out the perfect preparation time and so on.

“So what ON EARTH is that hack that you’re talking about?”

When you go to a really nice restaurant and order your starters and mains and wine and bubbly, quite often you are served a little hors d’oeuvre, a surprising amuse-gueule that you didn’t order and that doesn’t show up on your bill. I’ also in love with the witty German expression for this extra course: Gruß aus der Küche, literally a greeting from the kitchen, which is also describing a delicacy always free for the guest – an amuse-gueule and an hors d’oeuvre mustn’t be.
hors-d-oeuvre-a-clever-surprise-changing-food-habitsNow, quite often the served food is surprising in terms of preparation or choice of ingredients and shows off the chef’s ideas and, of course, prowess. But the best part (aside from being free of course) is the element of surprise. Pleasant surprise. Thankfully, I am yet to be served a Gruß aus der Küche that I need to send back because it’s disgusting.


Don’t try – never try to turn people. What does it mean?
If they hate onions, don’t try to find ways to feed them onions (what are you after all, onion mafia?).
If they never eat eggs, don’t force them to try those in a “surprise” recipe.
No shrimp cocktails for vegans because “this isn’t meat”.
No mini-pizzas for a gluten-intolerant person to prove that “they’re liars and hipsters and mamma’s pizza fantastica will cure that in no time”.
If they have an intolerance or allergy, don’t serve them their personal allergen. Never! Not even in a homeoepathic dose!
This is mean and very dangerous.

If you, Adventurer, are wondering why all the fuss before I even get started, let me assure you that I’m serious: I’ve heard and lived such stories proving that some people are either incurably light-headed (so always watch what You eat) or just control addicted jerks.

For food presents and food surprises, please always make sure that you can disclose all ingredients if asked or, better yet, ask in advance if there are sensitivities or allergies. Spare yourself and your friends a lot of trouble.

Now that being said, how to perform that healthy food support magic in your own kitchen?

Whenever I need to know if my family would love something brand new and rather experimental, I tend to make a smaller portion. (This one came from experience. Don’t ask!) I also serve it in a pretty, unexpected, elegantly dainty piece of tableware.

I never attack my loved ones during a frantic week.
When everybody are tired from a long day at work and look forward to their fave comfort food, serving them a surprise dish to hear their opinion might influence the same – and not in your favour!
But in the convenience of a nice Sunday lunch, a surprise elegant serving (tip #1) of an experimental dish yields me positive response more often than not. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition a surprise starter!
Sure, there can be criticism (“too little salt”, “too cold”, “too little topping”, “too much dough”, “I’d use rice for base”), but in 99% of all times there is the wish to try the recipe for real. Mission accomplished!

You don’t need to blurt out all the juicy details on the health benefits of that food experiment.
Make sure it’s as healthy as it is delicious, and STFU on how good it is. Keep the secret.
But let them get hoooooooked on it and its healthy delish friends, and get a villain-style organ tune for ringtone while at that! 😉

Be attentive when cooking – sometimes an ingredient is too abundant for the current recipe, and something just magically sparks your imagination. Go for it, experiment, try it, and if it’s good, serve it following the tips 1-3.

Everybody loves delicious surprises, and more than that, everybody loves gifts.
How often have I sneaked healthy recipes into my friends’ and relatives’ kitchens by just bringing a BBQ marinade here, a spice blend there, sometimes a vegan spread that tastes nothing like a vegan spread, sometimes a jar of gluten-free shortbreads too delicious too be sugar-free and from left to right: a surprising salty snack; a sweet treat; a jar with a small food gift.

Believe me, if you don’t totally suck at cooking, these simple ideas will help you get fans of your new nutrition plan that will be supporting you ardently and even sharing healthy recommendations and recipes with their pals.

What healthy food habits do you want to implement where you need your loved ones’ support? Share in the comments below! xo


Geeking out about all things truly green, healthy and ethical over at (Avatar illustration by A. Goncharenko)

11 Responses

  1. I’ve experience/witnessed every one of those “try to turn” scenarios!

    I find intriguing people works and as you say making it look lovely and taste delicious. Stealth health – I don’t go on about whatever the healthy ingredients unless I’m asked. I’ve noticed that if I say beforehand that a dessert is vegan for instance, people automatically think it will be tasteless but if I don’t say anything they are licking their lips 😉

  2. Heather in Arles

    No tips! But I will just relate a story from a looong time ago when I suddenly started having allergic reactions to beef (it turns out it is the hormones added plus the chemical tenderizers not the beef itself): a “friend” made one of those surprise dishes as she was convinced in my head. She fessed up after I ran to the bathroom, violently ill, half an hour later!

  3. Your ideas are brilliant Nath. I don’t think we have lovely little greetings from the kitchen in our restaurants but, then, I don’t go to them often enough to know for sure. It’s a charming tradition.

Comments are closed.