Once upon a time I always ate processed, snacky type foods like Kashi crackers, pretzels or frozen, baked french fries as my “side” at lunch. While those are certainly better than some foods and are of course OK once in a while – one of the best habits I ever created for myself was learning to automatically put vegetables on my plate instead.
A pile of steamed veggies, vegetable sticks, a side salad – I don’t even miss crackers or pretzels anymore and don’t feel like I’m depriving myself either.
I never really thought about why it’s so easy for me now until saw this article titled Train Your Brain to Crave Healthy Foods on CNN Health last week. This line really hit home:
while we’re born with certain cravings, there’s also evidence we start to crave whatever we eat in large quantities.
You had me at “large quantities”.
For lunch today – a grilled pepper jack cheese and tomato sandwich on Ezekiel bread, grilled with real butter. On the side, the last carrot in my produce drawer plus a small green pepper. Both the tomato and the pepper were picked from the garden moments before they were sliced into and turned into my sandwich filling and crunchy side dish.
Want to get better at eating vegetables? Eat more vegetables! Who’da guessed? I love it.
Consider taking a break from buying crackers and other snack foods while you’re re-training your brain. In my experience it makes it a lot easier to not even have that option in the house. (The above article mentions the same thing!) When your only choice is green pepper and carrot sticks – green pepper and carrot sticks are what you eat. I like to save the snack foods for the weekend and have absolutely no problem going vegcrazy during the week.