Have a great day - eat something healthy.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Hunger vs. Habit - Day 9

Many times eating or drinking is triggered by certain events or behaviors rather than by true hunger or thirst. Think about all the times you've sipped a glass of wine while you prepared dinner or lost count of the number of pieces of bread you munched while you waited for dinner to be delivered at a restaurant.

Some of you may have felt some pangs of desire - almost Pavlovian responses to events or circumstances you encountered. But you've had to overcome those urges - you've been forced to think about them and then deal with them. And I suspect that ultimately you realized that what you were missing was the behavior - the habit - and not the food.

So much of what we put into our mouths is driven by habit rather than hunger. And we think we can't live without certain foods when it's really the behavior we've become addicted to. But you've just gone over a week without alcohol, sugar, caffeine, gluten and animal products - that's everything the Western diet is based upon! So you've shattered a few long-lived myths you've carried about yourself and about the choices you have when it comes to nutrition. You really do have a choice! Isn't it liberating to learn that?

Congratulations on completing eight days of mindful eating! I hope it has left everyone feeling a little more clarity, a little more energized, and a lot more empowered than you did last Sunday morning! You've all done a great job!


  1. What amazes me is how much easier this is in practice than in how hard we think it's going to be. All the build up in the mind about what you can't have detracts from all the things you can - all the new foods and tastes and textures. For me it's been fun to throw my palate a curveball and snap myself out of the usual fare.
    Habits are hard to break that's for certain. I think that's why this is so empowering - to be able to take control of your body and it's basic drives. Very cool.

  2. I hope everyone is doing well. I went to a movie yesterday and wanted candy and yes it was more habit than hunger. I passed on the sweets and it made me notice how loud the theater is with everyone eating popcorn and candy. Good luck on week two!!

  3. Amen, Jenny! And way to go, Kathleen! Funny observation about the theater. In my head I hear the sound of hundreds of hands reaching into the crinkly paper of popcorn and M&M bags!

  4. I am amazed how difficult I am finding it to set a table of food without the old stand-bys. It is so much easier to grill a piece of meat and throw a potatoe in the micro-wave with some veggies or add a salad.

  5. It does take a while to get used to this, Lois. And when it's your first time you're not always as prepared as you'd like to be. Preparing a couple of dishes at one time can help - that way you've got something you can warm up instead of having to prepare an entire entree each day. Be sure to cook up some tofu when you have a spare minute, too - that way you can warm it up and serve it with a salad. A very simple meal!