It seems we’ve all formed some habits over this past year we’d like to break! I’m right there with you!
No matter what your less-than-desirable habit is, health experts tell us you can work to eliminate it if you understand why the habit exists.
Charles Duhigg, the author of a book titled The Power of Habit, says to try these three steps:
- Uncover the Cue. The next time you are reaching for a can of less than healthy soda, for instance, make a quick list of everything that might have triggered your impulse to indulge. Write down the following:
- Time of day
- What you were thinking about
- What you were feeling
- Where you were
- Who you were with, or who was near you
By doing this, you will begin to see a pattern in what makes you want to indulge your habit. I can attest to this absolutely working! I recently revamped some of my eating triggers, and was amazed at how diverting myself can make me forget the item I thought I wanted!
- Rework Your Routine. Once the above triggers are identified, you can begin to retrain your brain to follow a new – better for you – habit. For instance, if unhealthy soda is your go-to thing, try jazzing up some seltzer water with a little juice or flavored stevia, or have a plain iced tea. Making a healthier choice, whether it’s a food or an action, will soon train your brain to follow this activity and accept it as the norm.
- Allow a Little Reward. Duhigg promotes slowly backing from the habit, rather than going cold turkey. I’m not positive I agree with this thinking, but he says “baby steps” can be easier for some people. For instance, if you are trying to eliminate soda, have half a cup, and pour the rest down the drain. If you opt to try this, I’d add to really savor the half cup, and then wash it down with some water to reset your taste buds.
Habits form because our brains get used to something and our bodies like easy and repetitive. We can retrain both our brain and our body to get used to something else. How do you think the habit formed in the first place? It sounds easier than it really is, but give it a try if you are trying to change the way you eat, drink, smoke, shop, etc. Return to your Full Vitality!
Zucchini Casserole Scratch Recipe
Who joins me in having SO much zucchini?! It’s a lovely vegetable, but what the heck do you do with it when you have a lot of it?
Make Zucchini Casserole! This recipe comes from a college friend who “taught” several sorority sisters how to cook once we were out of college. Hmmm….
The beauty of this scratch recipe is you use your own judgement and eyeballs. Give it a try. I made it last night, and it was delicious! Make double and freeze a portion for those busy school/work/activity nights!
- Zucchini – depending on size, about 6 medium-sized, sliced
- Ground beef, browned
- Tomato Sauce - make a no-cook sauce from the bountiful tomatoes coming in! Simply quarter 8 – 10 medium sized tomatoes of any kind, add a few cloves garlic, an onion, some fresh basil and oregano. Put all of this in a blender and blend. I add another 1-2 chopped tomatoes to add substance to the sauce.
- Mozzarella Cheese – 1 pound, sliced
Mix the zucchini, beef and tomato sauce together in a large bowl and put into a 9x13 casserole dish that has had a swipe of olive oil coating (or layer it in the casserole dish). Top with the mozzarella cheese. Bake in a 425 degree over for about 30 minutes and let sit for about 10 minutes before serving.
Experiment! Add mushrooms, peppers, additional cheese, like parmesan or cheddar. Add more of each ingredient, or use less. This is truly a recipe you can own!
Enjoy! To Your Vitality!