How To Turn Your Family Into Clean Eating Machines

In my opinion, the filthiest four-letter word in the English language is, Diet. Besides the fact that it usually leads you to saying every other filthy four-letter word in the English language, it fills people with short-lived hope and motivation, then leaves them on their ass, crushed and unhealthy.

I know this from many years of research. I spent my twenties trying every diet. All left me starving and unhealthy. So, I made the conscious decision in my thirties, never to try another 'diet' again. I know enough about eating healthy to know what I should and shouldn't be eating. It's the willpower part I am not so great at. 

In an effort to get my love of all things cheesy, creamy and crunchy, under control, I've spent the past year working on substituting major staples in my life, for low-fat, healthy versions. For example, I started by swapping all white flour for wheat. I traded my usual mid-day cheese and crackers snack binge for apples and peanut butter, or yogurt, fruit and granola. Then I experimented with cooking clean meals for my family. 

I'm here to tell you, it wasn't easy. The boys thought I was punishing them. Especially, when I tried to cook with coconut oil instead of canola or vegetable oil. The Aussie thought I had lost my mind. I admit, the food did taste a little 'Islandy'.

However. switching Greek Yogurt for sour cream has still yet to be detected. It's so good, I may never buy sour cream again. I love using avocado in my sandwiches and on toast in the morning, instead of Mayonnaise or butter. Vanilla almond milk is awesome in my coffee, and the Kid loves it, too!

Basically, I have spent the last year trying healthy substitutes for our usual fatty-favorites. Some worked, some didn't, but in a way, it's been fun and interesting trying. And of course, yummy! 

The best part is that my family is eating healthier. We have fruit for snacks, whole grains at dinner, and protein-packed breakfasts. And even though it took a year, it was worth the complaining, and the occasional bad dinners and bland substitutes.

If you're trying to find a way to move your family to healthier eating habits and cut back on fats and sugars, try food swaps. Work to completely revamp your shopping list, with the goal of being in a different, much healthier place in a year. 

It takes time to overhaul years of semi-poor choices. At least it did for me!  Start now, and go slow so you will stick with it. Substitute one thing at a time. Try making one 'clean dinner' a week, with the goal of making 90% clean meals. BONUS: Fresh produce almost always costs less than a box of processed food, so don't be surprised if you spend less than your usual grocery budget!

Bottom Line: Diets end. A healthy lifestyle last forever. Where do you want to be in a year?

For more ideas for swapping unhealthy habits and foods, there is a fabulous list on Women's Health Mag worth checking out, 38 Simple Food Swaps That Could Change Your Life Right Now Below are a few great ideas to get you started...

April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit