Dress up your salad – you never know who’s watching

Alive and Aware -  Patti Sliwiany
Alive and Aware –
Patti Sliwiany

Photo by Lisa Williams

We all know someone who’s a veggie hater. They simply don’t like food that is raw, green, or lacking in “flavour” (a.k.a. salt and sugar). They’re not interested in hearing about the nutritional benefits of kale, juicing, or cleansing, and they brush away your concerns about their diet by claiming that they do eat vegetables… in the form of salsa, french fries, and iceberg lettuce.
Are you picturing someone who fits that profile?
Fear not! There is a way to inspire others to adopt healthier eating habits by incorporating more salads into their diet.
Follow the five tips below and your loved one will be on their way to becoming veggie lovers in no time! Just make sure to keep in mind that lasting change must come from within, and that it happens gradually.
Eat it yourself
People are greatly influenced by the eating habits of those around them, so simply walking your talk and consuming your own fresh veggies can go a long way in planting the seed of healthy eating in the minds of those around you. Enjoy your own wholesome and delicious salads every day, let others see you, and offer to share!
Make it special
Who says salads only consist of lettuce, olive oil, and vinegar? There are a million delectable combinations of veggies, toppings and dressings that can elevate your salads to irresistible gourmet status. Tempt your veggie haters with salads made with fruit or dried fruit, savoury dressings, or some of their own favourite foods mixed in. They’re more likely to eat the entire salad if it already has a familiar taste.
Prepare and offer
Bring your healthy dish to a family dinner, invite others to your place for a meal, and simply give it away whenever you can. There’s always a chance it’ll go to waste, but it’s also possible that they’ll give it a try simply because it’s there.
Never nag
Telling people that they should eat something because it’s good for them is probably not going to work, and it might even lead to them avoiding it even more. Sometimes backing off on the pressure and pretending not to care – while you simply enjoy your own healthy diet – is exactly what might help pull someone toward wellness rather than push them into it.
OK, this probably isn’t the most honourable way to go about it, but hey, negotiation is a tactic that has bridged greater divides than this, so it’s worth a try.
If the veggie hater is someone you’re in a position to bargain with (kids, spouse, parents, even friends), then exchange their eating a salad for something they want in return. It’s possible they’ll get annoyed at you, but if you play your cards right, they might just eat the salad and realize it’s actually pretty good.
Patricia Sliwiany is a board-certified holistic nutritionist, and founder of Alive & Aware Holistic Health. Alive & Aware offers workshops, lunch-and-learn series, and three- to 12-month individual or group coaching initiatives for those who want to take charge of their health and prevent disease. To find out which program meets the needs of you or your organization, please visit http://www.aliveandaware.ca, or contact patti@aliveandaware.ca or 204-997-2031.

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