How to: Talk Up Eating Healthy Without Being a Buzzkill

Hopefully you’ve been able to try out some of our tasty and healthy Go Folic recipes (like the ones here on our blog and in our Folate-Full Easy Recipes and Snack guide).  But what if your friends and family don’t want to eat healthy or take folic acid supplements?  In fact, what if they tell you to mind your own business when it comes to their health??

It’s not easy to talk to your friends and family about making healthy lifestyle choices.  While you want to respect their choices, you also care about them and want them to be as healthy as possible.

Fortunately Darya Pino of Summer Tomato has got some helpful tips on how to talk to your friends and family without seeming like a total jerk!

  1. Don’t get defensive:  The worst thing you can do when some criticizes you for ordering a salad is to get defensive and start preaching your nutritional superiority.  Whatever you do, keep an upbeat tone and maintain perspective. Not everyone understands the importance of their daily food decisions, and they aren’t going to change their mind by being criticized.  Instead of:  “At least I’m not going to have diabetes by the time I’m 40!”Try:

    “Actually the salad here is tasty as hell, have you tried it?”

  2. Use humor:  Without getting defensive, you can still jab back a bit so long as it is clear you’re being playful and joking. If someone asks why you aren’t eating from the giant Costco tub of brownie bites, cracking a joke about how it isn’t your vice of choice today can break the ice and get the attention off your healthy decision.  Instead of:“Eeeewwwww. Haven’t you ever eaten a REAL brownie?”Try:“Thanks, but I’m saving my heart attack for the weekend.”
  3. Happy honesty:  It’s hard to say bad things about someone who is clearly happy and at peace with their decisions, especially if it’s clear you aren’t being motivated by your ego. Instead of:“I’m choosing salad because I’d really like to lose 10 lbs this year so I don’t end up looking like you.”Try:

    “I’m just trying to eat a little healthier these days to see how it makes me feel.”

  4. Share alike:  If you know in advance you’re going to be bringing your own food, you have the advantage of having a meal that looks, smells and tastes much better than anything your friends will find at the corner sandwich shop. Show off your amazing new flavors by bringing enough of something delicious to share.Instead of:“Yuck, I can’t believe you’re eating that disgusting excuse for a calzone.”Try:

    “Have you tried the mandarins from the farmers market this season? They’re freaking amazing! Here, I have an extra one.”

  5. Don’t overwhelm with advice:  No matter how tempting it is, don’t be the reverse jerk. Only offer nutrition advice to friends if they seem somewhat open, otherwise you may totally turn them off. The best thing you can do to help your friends is show them what good healthy food looks and tastes like by setting a good example, then let them watch for themselves as you lose weight and get in shape.  Instead of:“You know, that Lean Cuisine isn’t going to help you get rid of those thunder thighs.”Try:“Wow, I have lost weight! Thanks for noticing! Yeah, I’ve been reading this site called Summer Tomato. It’s great, you should check it out.”

How do you deal with friends who don’t want to switch to a healthy lifestyle?

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