Is It Really Possible to Get Your Family to Eat Healthier? : Exclusive Renegade Health Interview

Monday Apr 30 | BY |
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Since I was at Jean Haner’s face reading event over the weekend, I didn’t get a chance to publish Part 2 of Robyn Openshaw’s (Green Smoothie Girl) interview…

Today, I have it for you!

Everyone wants their family and friends to eat better, but is it really possible?

In this interview, Robyn gives some great, practical ideas on how to start a healthy conversation with your family, easy tips to get your on the healthy track every day, an awesome way to get someone to make your smoothies and healthy food for you, and how to “sell” good health to your kids.

Let’s get going (my thoughts follow in writing)…

Listen to Part 2 here:

robyn openshaw green smoothie girl

Click the play button to start the call:


Here are my comments…

1. How do you start the conversation about diet with a family member or friend?

To put it bluntly, you don’t.

With Robyn’s experience, and mine too, talking to people who you think need the health information you know is not a way to create goodwill with them.

Every person who I’ve given unsolicited health advice to, 99.9% of the time has not taken it and continue to have unhealthy habits.

It’s the way of the world.

The best way to influence someone (particularly family) is to let them watch your transition. As they see you getting healthier and looking better and younger, they may start to ask you questions.

This is when you start to unveil your secrets.

And know this, even when they ask your for information, it’s sometimes best to give them access to a third party — like a book or a website — so the information is coming from someone who they think is more credible.

I’ve always said, I can understand why my mom didn’t listen to me… she changed my diapers. That’s a relationship that will always be quite different than one that is expert-student. LOL!

2. “I’m here in Utah where the Standard American Diet is the other religion.”

This quote had me laughing.

3. If you do say something about health unsolicited, just drop a hint.

If can’t contain yourself when it comes to the health information you know, the best thing to do is say a sentence or two and leave it at that.

Robyn gives an example about a few mom’s talking about antibiotics on her tennis team. Robyn bit her tongue when she overhead them saying how amazing these drugs are for their children.

Instead of jumping into a tirade about how toxic they can be for regular use, Robyn just simply said, if you ever want some natural solutions that work, let me know.

This approach is usually tactful and much less abrasive than any other. Try it and see what happens.

4. An easy health hack.

I asked Robyn about some easy tricks she has up her sleeve.

Her most powerful, and simple, is to not do anything in the morning until you’ve made your smoothie (or juice.)

Basically, it’s the first thing you do when you get into your kitchen.

No passing go here, just bedroom, to bathroom, to smoothie.

It definitely works.

5. Do you value time or money?

Robyn laid out an awesome way to make sure you get your healthy grub on — in the morning or throughout the day.

Her tip is to find a healthy friend who is willing to trade services or time. So if you make a decent living, find someone who has time and propose that you pay for the groceries, if they make smoothies (or whatever the two of you agree upon.)

If you have a lot of time and don’t make so much, then find someone who might be willing to pay for the groceries — or some sort of similar deal like this.

Also, in the office, you can pool money to get a Vitamix or juicer and take turns making the smoothie or juice in the morning.

I also suggested to do a healthy smoothie/food co-op. In this instance, you’d get 4-5 people together and pool your money to hire someone who can make your smoothies and healthy food then distribute it.

You can have this person rotate kitchens, or assign one that they will do all the prep in. This is a great way to save money and get your healthy food delivered to you!

6. How to sell good health to your kids.

Finally, Robyn talked about how to sell healthy eating to your kids.

She has a basic formula that is straight out of the Zig Ziglar book.

Think about a benefit of eating healthy that your kids will care about and then make sure you share that benefit when you talk about why they’re eating healthy.

So for example, Robyn has discovered that her kids care about sports performance, coolness and attractiveness.

Because of this, when she tells them to eat a salad, she shares that the reason they’re eating it is because it will help them be better at sports, or help them look better or make them cooler (that last one is a stretch, LOL!)

Try it and see what happens!

They might not respond at first, or even mock you, but chances are they’ll come around.

Your question of the day: What works for you when you’re trying to help people eat healthier? Do you have any awesome, easy to implement tips?

Live Awesome!

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


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  1. Kat says:

    Sorry, I don’t have any tips. I think my family thinks I’m nuts. But, I don’t take any medications and they do. Go figure. I did want to make a comment on your article. “hire someone who can make your smoothies and healthy food then distribute it.”……I wanted to do this for some seniors who were more than happy to pay me. Thought it was a great idea, make healthy foods for seniors who, in their words, are too lazy to care about what they eat. I was told by the county that the food would have to be prepared in a “professional” kitchen and would have to be transported properly. They said, “you wouldn’t want to be sued by family members would you?” I don’t know if you weren’t PAID for your services if you could still do it, but their are a lot of laws when it comes to making food for someone other than your family. I just wanted to do something nice and got shut down by the authorities. Loved the idea, just want to warn people.

  2. Nicole (Australia) says:

    Thanks, great article, no tips, except being gracious helps. I am in constant battle with my 9 year old daughter, anything healthy she will not touch, but my 10 yo son is willing to eat healthy, he even has wheatgrass!!!. At least I now have some tips for my daughter.
    Thanks KEVIN

  3. LynnCS says:

    So good to see/hear Robyn over here on RH. Good interview. Nice to get another person like her talk about this way of life. So encouraging.

  4. Jen says:

    I agree that you just have to be a positive, shining example, and people will eventually come around. Not everyone, but some will, if they’re looking for positive change and see you as a good example. As for kids- if you want them to eat healthy, don’t bring junk food into your house. If there is only healthy food to eat, that’s what they’ll eat when they’re hungry. If they’re used to junk food, and you want them to eat healthier, start to swap out some of their staple junk with healthier versions. Eventually they will prefer more fresh foods over processed foods.

  5. John Michael says:

    I really like Robyn’s approach and I have to bite my lip quite a bit to ensure that I am speaking of alternatives for friends and other folk. Sometimes I will slip into a conversation through my friend’s friend and the level of awareness where they hang out. Like the other day when I spoke of the amount of weight a friend has lost in this last year (100lbs.) and how he did it under the supervision of my friend who is a naturopath. My friend’s friend perked up and asked if the could work with a real alcoholic and I said yes as the person who lost the weight had several substance abuse issues and I told him about how my naturopath made his own alcoholic drinks which were much healthier and less likely to add pounds and how he replicated pharmaceutical drugs through Radionics and created similar but homeopathic for the individual and both my friend (who was quietly listening intently) and his friend were very impressed with this idea and asked for an interview with my naturopathic friend. This made me see how I could circumvent health issues by waiting patiently for the right time to add to a conversation.
    Also, for Robyn, I adore my smoothies also and yet my first ingestion is with pure organic lemon juice and water followed by a fresh organic coconut and then the smoothie. Both of these after I lay in bed and stretch for a while and say my prayers and then meditate and do breathing exercises.
    So many possibilities we all have for upgrades in our lifestyles and it only took me 68.5 years to discover this. (:D

    John Michael

  6. jayvanthy says:

    Thanks for the illuminating interview.
    I have been using Robyn’s idea of reccomending good reading material for quite some time now & even gifting books to family and friends who need guidance.
    Another method is to wait for some leads that can veer the conversation to health issues. This is not difficult as everyone likes a ear for their health problems… & then thats the time to bring in your own experiences into the conversation.

  7. hopeful says:

    hi all
    i am very diabetic & cannot eat fruit, altho’ i can eat ‘veggie fruits’, ie: tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, etc.
    i really want to drink savory smoothies but haven’t found any recipes worth repeating.
    if anyone has a recipe for a savory smoothie that actually tastes good, i would sooooo appreciate it if you would share it with me!
    thank you so much…

  8. satori says:

    I know they changed my diapers! They won’t listen to me even if I became a doctor, dietician, the president of US, or Lord Voldemort. They never listen to me until they want to. I just need to keep showing the positive results I’m getting.

    If you were a kid and your parents are buying your food, I suggest you to keep on telling them that you want organic food. Don’t need to explain science or anything difficult. Just tell them that you want organically and/or locally grown food because they taste better or whatever.

    I did it for two years and now my mom buys organics whenever possible. She started to try organic products such as organic miso here and there and realized that they taste much better for a bit more money. Now she buys a lot more organic produces too. She doesn’t do this for her health, but for the better taste and she likes the idea of helping the community. Also buying organics shut me up and that’s what she really wants:P

  9. I don’t see play button

  10. Delphine says:

    When I was a kid (about 10 or so) I decided to go vegetarian. My mom thought it was just a phase and did not buy anything I asked. She thought she could starve me back into the family meals and only kept junk food in the house. I was fortunate enough to have had a job and so I bought all my food and hid it. I bought vegetarian cookbooks online and had it sent to my friend’s house because my mom went through my mail and stuff like that was banned. I learned to shut up about most of my lifestyle choices to her. Both my brothers asked me for help since they are obese and have tons of health issues, but mom got to them and they went back to junk sad eating. I got yelled at for forcing my beliefs on them. They have had surgeries and my dad had a heart attack. They want to listen, but mom is the only one who goes shopping and won’t buy anything but the same old crap. I don’t think any tip in the world is going to fix this situation. I guess I’ll save who I can when mom is no longer the dominant influence, however that will happen.

  11. Dia says:

    Great ideas and great interview. I really enjoyed this.

  12. Hello says:

    I read an article that said that it takes at least 10 exposures to a food for a kid to try a food or start to like it. Exposures should not be all in one day but maybe with some time in between to process. Also, the food should be presented in different dishes or different forms. For example, one day some fresh tomato in a salad, another day a roasted tomato in a recipe etc.

    I agree with Jen. This same article said the best way of parenting is an authoritative style where kids are offered choices but parents limit what is available.

    I’ve also had similar experiences to Sartori’s. No body ever listens to me either. Although, a lot of my family believe what I say and agree; they just don’t want to take the next step and change. It doesn’t take rocket science to see what’s healthy and what not. I mean every one knows eating fresh fruits and vegetables is healthy and processed food is not but they don’t do it. Some of it is habit and some of it is cultural. I’ve learned a bit about different cultures and their cuisines in school. Argentinians, I’ve learned are a very meat heavy group. They even all have barbecues at their houses. It would be pretty ridiculous to ask an Argentinian to give up meat I think just like it would be silly to tell a hard core vegan to eat meat.

    I also agree with throwing in a few sentences here and there. Sometimes even a few words will get someone curious enough to ask for an elaboration. I remember I didn’t want to eat a dish and my aunt asked me why and I said because it’s poison. Probably not the most diplomatic choice of words, but it mad her curious nevertheless. After she asked why, I simply said that the whole purpose of eating is to get enough nutrients to function and this dish has hardly any nutrition in it. She was surprised at my response and stated she’d never thought about food like that before. Her whole mindset was that these foods make you fat and these food don’t. I think this mindset is true for a lot of people. They don’t really see food’s purpose anymore. They see the emotional relationships with comfort or body image.

  13. acs says:

    Walking the talk is key to showing others that it does work to eat whole foods. Since I found out about my food sensitivities a couple of years ago, I’ve completely revamped my family’s eating and nutrition. Though I thought we ate healthy before, we’re even more so today. I’m thankful that my husband was so supportive in the change in my eating plan and didn’t require me to make different food for them–they’d just eat what I made for me! I found and altered recipes that have become some of their favorites. As a result, they’ve become healthier too.

    Even my teenage daughters’ friends see what they bring to school for lunch and sometimes get to sample, if my kids let them. 🙂 When they come over for a meal, they look forward to the next invitation over. Oftentimes, the meals are vegetarian or vegan and they never complain but ask for seconds! When my girls eat from a restaurant that doesn’t serve high quality food, their bodies can tell almost immediately (they feel bloated, etc.) and it takes a few days to leave their systems. They’ve become very conscious of what they’re eating.

    Smoothies are definitely ppart of our morning routine that we drink down with our vitamins. I feel off when I don’t have one. I include water kefir, coconut milk, hemp protein, spirulina, maca, and fruit. After a few swigs of lemon water, it’s a great start to the day!

  14. Robyn says:

    Saying eating salad will make you cool is not a stretch at all Robyn! That is exactly why everybody eats more greens and [cooler] foods in the summer. Thanks for all you do!

  15. Karen says:

    Loved this interview Kev! Robyn has such a beautifully simplistic approach, especially for newbies like me. I just told my 10 year old a little about sodas leading to oesteoporosis. He is fairly cluey, but my fussiest eater, so I just keep chipping away at him. He is currently totally mesmerised by his friend who is extremely giftedly sporty, but who also lives on a diet comprising of complete rubbish (mainly processed foods, chocolates, lollies, crisps and soft drinks!). We don’t buy sodas, but every chance he gets (at a party or somewhere out of my control), he drinks one! It’s an uphill battle, but hopefully I will win in the end! If he is being obnoxious, I always ask him what he thinks that he ate or drank to make him feel that way? He likes to figure things out for himself. Play to their strengths.

  16. Em :) says:

    Wonderful advice! Loved this interview! Thanks so much!

    To Delphine: I feel for you in your situation…just know that you are NOT the only one in this type of situation. I don’t have an answer for you, but just remember that when you eat better you think & feel at a higher level than others who do not get their nutrients. You are awesome for choosing to live better & in a more healthy way!! Good luck to you sweetie.

    I try to control what I eat (but am definately weak sometimes & struggle with binge eating) but I am unable to control what is IN my house because I live with my boyfriend. He just told me yesterday how I am “the worst person to go grocery shopping with” because I put something back on the shelf that had high fructose corn syrup in it. I almost got mad, but chose to let it go…. (That is just ONE example-comments like this are normal from him) I just said that I am trying to lose weight & hfcs makes that harder.
    It just seems like so many people don’t CARE what they eat….I don’t understand it, but I suspect some of it has to do with vibrating at a lower level…. And I am GRATEFUL that I CARE about what I eat. Amen, lol 🙂

    P.S. I like “hanging out” with you guys cuz you understand me!!! hehe

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