Winning Over Your Family/Significant Other
If you lead by example, those you care about will take notice and want to support you. They will also see you being a healthier you and want in on the plan! When you have an entire family to cook for, it is hard to make yourself a “clean” meal and them a separate meal. SO let’s focus on switching out some “unclean” ingredients or items at first, so it isn’t such a shock. You can still make your favorite recipes, but just find ingredient substitutions! It becomes almost like a fun game 🙂 Honestly, your spouse or family probably won’t be able to tell if something is “clean” unless you tell them. Food doesn’t have to be bland or “diet-like”. It’s your new lifestyle and there are SO many good clean eating recipes out there, you just need to find what your family loves and make it fun! I LOVE sweets and so does Jason, so I am constantly on the look out for clean dessert recipes that keep us on point! If I don’t have a substitution below, do a quick google search for whatever ingredient you need to substitute and you should be able to find something that is clean! Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be replacing everything with cleaner options! Check out some of my favorite recipes under the recipe tab. All of the recipes can be altered to different tastes and a lot of them (crockpot salsa chicken) can be made in bulk and taste great! Remember to use spices and herbs and be creative! I had no idea what spices to use with certain foods at first, but now I just know what tastes good with certain meats for my taste buds.
As I stated on another page, some people like to take baby steps and others like to jump in with both feet! I was the type of person who jumped in with both feet! I went 100% all the way, but I must keep in mind, a lot of people have families they are cooking for too! Sometimes when you are cooking for the entire family, going 100% at first just isn’t feasible…so here are my tips for getting started – the baby step version and substitutions for everyone 🙂
Taking It Slow
If you jump in fast and replace whole fat milk or skim milk with almond milk, your kids/spouse will probably notice and even if they like it, they will still probably rebel if they know it is a better option for them. Will they notice a difference when you’re cooking with coconut oil instead of butter or margarine? I highly doubt it. If you start replacing all white flour with whole wheat pastry flour when baking cookies, they will notice. So take it slow…do half and half for awhile in recipes until they get used to the taste. You’ll find that a lot of kids actually end up preferring unsweetened almond milk!
Make the Replacements: Half and Half at First
You know what foods your family eats the most of…so replace those items, with healthy/clean items by using the half and half rule at first. If you know your family LOVES pasta and eats it once or twice a week. Make half wheat spaghetti and half white and mix it together. Wheat spaghetti takes a little longer to cook and is just a little more chewy/thick than white spaghetti, so they would notice if you switched right away. Eventually you will switch all of the pasta to whole wheat. If you often use a name brand pasta sauce that is 1. not organic, 2. has added sugars, 3. has more than five ingredients (make sure you’re checking those labels!!)…then switch to an organic, no sugar added, less than five ingredient sauce. And remember, it doesn’t HAVE to be organic, but I’ve found that when I check the ingredients, even on the no sugar added, low sodium regular brands, that often there is “maltodextrin” or some other chemical preservative. Also, if you usually add a meat or meatballs using beef to your spaghetti…then switch to turkey meatballs or ground turkey meat! They probably will not notice the difference between turkey and beef when it is mixed into items such as spaghetti and chili, so go ahead and go 100% with those and just see how it goes 🙂
Here are MY most common food/ingredient replacements:
White Potato—>Sweet Potato
White Milk—>Almond Milk
White Rice—>Brown Rice
White Bread—>Wheat Bread or Ezekiel Bread
Refined Sugars—>Sugar in the Raw or Stevia
White Flour—>Whole Wheat Flour, Oat Flour, Almond Flour, Coconut Flour
Sour Cream—>Greek Yogurt
Cooking Oils/Fat—>Coconut Oil and Olive Oil
Brown Sugar—>Ideal Brown Sugar
CLEAN BUTTER AND OIL SUBSTITUTIONS:
Canola oil: In certain recipes, replacing butter with oil works well, especially if the recipe calls for melted butter. Although slightly higher in calories, canola is much lower in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium.
Greek yogurt: Replace half the amount of butter in your cookie recipes with half the amount of full-fat plain Greek yogurt. For example, if the recipe calls for one cup of butter, use half a cup of butter and one quarter cup of yogurt. You’ll reduce the calories and the saturated fat. You can use more yogurt and less butter but it changes the consistency, so you’ll need to experiment to see what you like.
Applesauce: The mild flavor works best in cake and muffin recipes. Replace half the amount of butter in your recipe with applesauce; if the recipe calls for one cup of butter, use half a cup of butter and half a cup of applesauce. If you don’t mind denser, moister bread, replace all the butter with applesauce (using equal amounts) to cut even more calories and fat; however, the texture will change a bit.
Avocado: This is a new one for me. Substitute half the amount of butter in a baking recipe with mashed avocado (it works well with cookies); use the same method as you would when using applesauce. Using avocado creates a softer, chewier baked good, and works great if you want to omit the dairy.
Canned Pumpkin or Sweet Potato Puree: Works well in spicier breads and cakes or chocolate desserts. Substitute equal amounts for oil or butter.
Prunes or Dates: These add richness to brownies or gingerbread. Blend a half cup with six tablespoons of water until smooth, the use the puree to replace an equal amount of oil or butter.
Banana: These work well in breads, muffins and cakes that can have a fruity taste. Substitute half the amount of oil or butter for the same amount of mashed banana; if recipe calls for 1 cup oil, use a half of cup of oil and a half a cup of banana.