My daughter is an inspiration! I know I've mentioned it before, but she is the true inspiration and reason I started this blog. Over a year ago, I completely changed my eating in an attempt to alleviate my gut issues and chronic pain. My daughter jumped on board and joined in on my lifestyle and diet changes, something that was completely outside her comfort zone. She was a very picky child when it came to eating and although she was an athlete/dancer, she didn't make the healthiest food choices. Once she adapted to a new lifestyle, not only did she see changes in her body but, more importantly, she saw improvement in her energy and overall health. She also saw the way my overall appearance, health and energy improved and she kept encouraging me to carry on. She encouraged me to start a blog to inspire and help others and that's just what I did.
Does that happen to every kid...NO!She felt inspired and has self control so changing her diet was pretty easy. My son has always had stomach issues and has jumped on board with our new eating habits, has been awesome about trying new recipes and admits to feeling so much better since our family has overhauled our eating. He is a big football player and requires more food so I supplement when I need to with him. I'll take whatever changes in eating habits I can get!
I believe the biggest change in my kids' eating habits was simply watching me. I've always considered myself a "clean eater" but when I went AIP/Paleo out of necessity, I realized I was not eating as "clean" as I could be. I was eating lots of gluten free processed foods but they still had quite a bit of artificial ingredients that were contributing to my continued health issues. I started cooking completely clean for my entire family and although they didn't enjoy every single dish, they did embrace our families' new eating habits and began to appreciate the improvement in their energy and overall well-being. Eating completely clean, grain-free, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, etc. isn't always easy or fun but my family is coming to realize how good they feel. Every one of them has shed fluids and fat, increased their energy and improved their cognitive functioning. You can't argue with that.
The biggest thing is to lead by example with your family. Set a good example and show them how you have changed your diet and how much it has impacted your life. Continue to play with new recipes, have fun with cooking and include your family in your eating choices. Ask them what recipes sound good and ask for their help with cooking. My daughter has gotten to the point where she asks for certain veggies each night and if she's home, loves to be included in the cooking process. She's my biggest "taste tester" when it comes to recipes and I have learned to rely on her for an honest opinion when it comes to recipe development. I also rely on batch cooking so I always have clean food readily available. I make sure to have quick breakfast items, snacks and treats ready to go. It takes some planning and prep work but my family is worth it! If you are wanting to transform your family's eating habits, most likely it won't happen overnight so ease into it. Maybe start with some healthy options at dinner. If you get the "thumbs up", make that dish again the following week or offer to put the leftovers in lunches the next day. Mix veggies into whatever you can such as meatballs, casseroles, spinach into eggs, etc. Sometimes you have to be creative and persistent.
I have to admit, I do what I do everyday because of my husband and children. They are my biggest motivators and supporters. I want them to be as healthy as possible and hope they develop good eating habits they can pass along to their families. I'm in this to build a legacy for my family. How will you leave a legacy for yours?