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A couple of years ago I decided to get into clean eating, I have always tried to eat healthy, but I decided to take it a step further. My household is made up of only adults and we are all set in our ways, so I decided to do this on my own and still let them have their less healthy options. After a year, I decided to get them involved, but not by outright telling them, just to start making small changes in our meals — and I have to say it has paid off.

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It started with my grocery shopping; other than the basics I incorporated more veggies, and made it a point of adding color as to make it more attractive on our plates. I added more fruit and made sure they were eaten, and also made healthier choices like brown rice instead of white, whole-wheat pasta, whole-wheat flour, low-fat milk, and other milk choices, lean cuts of meat, and of course less processed foods. Also, I bought things that were not usually in our grocery list: quinoa, chia and flax seeds, nuts for snacks and so on.

At home, I started with small substitutions. For example, my husband is a pizza lover, so instead of ordering in or buying the frozen kind, we made our own whole-wheat pizza dough, and our own tomato sauce. We topped it with low-fat cheese and (the best part) we made two kinds of pizza: the traditional meat lovers (men love) and a veggie pizza topped with peppers, onions, zucchini and mushrooms. We are also pancake lovers so instead of the traditional buttermilk pancake, I started making oatmeal and whole wheat pancakes, sometimes adding dark chocolate chips for an extra treat. I made it a point to have salad at all times at home, but spiced it up by mixing different kinds of lettuces, adding blanched veggies, nuts, fruits like berries, or grapes and homemade salad dressings. When mayonnaise was called for I substituted homemade Greek yogurt for it.

For my daughter with the sweet tooth, I still bake cakes and cookies, but not as much, and now make more oatmeal cookies with less sugar and added bonuses like dark chocolate or chia and nuts. Basically, I started making everything I could at home, using only the best and natural ingredients.

>> Read more: How Sugar Affects Your Health

I love to cook, so the extra time in the kitchen for me is a joy and the best part is that now my family asks for the healthier options in our meals. My husband prefers everything homemade and now my daughter ask for quinoa and salad on a regular basis. As for me, I feel great. Now all I have to do is to get them to go to the gym with me!

>> Read more: Cutting Carbs? Don’t Freak! Here Are 10 Healthy Alternatives