If you want to make changes to the way you are eating on a day-to-day, meal-to-meal basis, you’ve got to change the way you are doing things on a day-to-day, meal-to-meal basis. Kind of obvious, we know, but an often misconstrued concept nonetheless!
Oftentimes we associate changing food behaviors with big overhauls and the “I’ll get back on track Monday morning!” promises to ourselves, despite the fact that research (and experience!) tells us these kind of sweeping, all-encompassing changes are just not sustainable.
Better still, we delay making changes by spending countless hours obsessing about diet protocols, pinning recipes, and reading healthy living blogs, fooling ourselves into believing that this research will set us up for perfect success when we finally do start to heal with food/stop eating sugar/lose weight/insert your goal here.
But behavior change is more sneaky than that.
Behavior change happens in the magic of actually getting up and doing something new with that information, and getting it in your body. It’s about moving from that uber-tempting “information gathering” phase to that “holy crap I’m doing something new” feeling.
When you are in this crazy powerful execution mode, your brain and body are working together to imprint the new behavior in a profound way.
Trust me, I looove to live in info gathering world. Its safe there! I can be perfect there. Hardest to admit:
I can zone out there and avoid the discomfort of dealing with the emotions that can come up when I don’t have a screen to distract me!
I hear it from clients all the time: “Oh, if I just had a few more recipes, I could get going with this grain-free thing!” to “I didn’t get to actually try any of the recipes, but I did buy a new appliance online to help me cook better!” to “I didn’t get to try the appliance yet, because I have to read the manual” to “I feel overwhelmed by all the appliances in my kitchen so I had to sell them to make space to cook.” and then back to “I’m researching more recipes in order to get started.”
But here’s the thing we don’t often hear: Every time you are in the kitchen trying something new, you are doing the amazing work of burning new neural pathways (those are the super-highways to really making changes that stick!) and closing down those dusty old habits that no longer serve you.
As you chop, sautee, season and taste you are opening yourself up to new desirable behaviors that will move you, habit by ever-loving habit, toward that big beautiful vision you have for your health and your life. The one you know is possible, but feels far away and out of reach and “someday” is always attached to your thinking around it.
Today is your someday!
Gathering information and having the right tools on hand is important for making changes, yes,
but it is also the lie that keeps us chained to Pinterest every night and prevents us from actually doing the thing we want to do…
…all the while telling ourselves “I don’t have the time to cook anything for myself!”
Your time is there, hidden in the time you are spending planning to one day have time to cook.
Sometimes you just have to close the computer, turn off your phone, and push past the discomfort. You don’t have to do everything, you just have to do something. Behavior change is definitely not about doing it right the first time, and in fact, its more likely to stick if you somehow “fail” at it, and then get back up and try it again.
One of my favorite ways to help empower clients to feel this kind of shift is to encourage them cook something simple in bulk, and use it all week long in new ways. Winter squashes are hitting the markets, please use them as your behavior change gold this coming season!
Buy winter squash. Both delicata and kuri have been at the top of my list this year. Less known than butternut, these squashes are delightfully creamy and sweet when cooked properly, and best of all require no peeling before cooking! Easy peasy.
Find the time this week (see blog musings above!) to wash, chop, and roast these suckers (recipe below!) and pop them into some containers in the refrigerator.
Use one of the below ideas to integrate those luscious squash hunks into a few meals this week. You can do it! We believe in you!
Breakfast: Roasted delicata squash warmed in a skillet next to a fried egg with some avocado then topped with some sriracha (this took 3 minutes!) Roasted vegetables are a great substitute for toast in the mornings, and offer loads more nutrition.
Lunch or Snack: Leftover roasted kuri squash mixed with sprouted lentils, drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice and topped with green onions. (2 minutes!) Don’t make this complicated or get scared by the sprouts. Open a can of garbanzo beans if that’s where you are at, or mix the squash with some warm quinoa. Or if you are ready to take your behavior change to the next level, start sprouting!
Dinner: Grassfed ground beef with chili powder/garlic/onions, atop a quick kale salad, served with warmed leftover kuri squash, and topped with a guacamole, salsa and cilantro (8 minutes!) It’s no secret that we love taking real food components and combining them in a skillet or bowl. Having your starchy sweet squash ready to go will help you to make up a taco bowl like this in a flash, and leave behind the not-as-nourishing corn tortilla or rice.
Are you feeling your behavior change juices flowing? Are you ready to get on your feet and make it happen in a real and tangible way? Fabulous. Give the below recipe (more of a method, really) a quick scan, then close the device you are on and get moving!
Let squash become your friend, helping you (one meal at a time!) enjoy the new flavors and behaviors taking shape in your awesome body and life.
Now, on to the recipe (and the unplugging!)
Roasted Kuri or Delicata Squash
1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. Wash skin of squash under cool water, no peeling is required!
3. Cut squash down its middle, through the side with the stem and chop into bite sized pieces. The delicata may be sliced into half moons.
4. Toss squash with a high smokepoint cooking oil, like refined coconut, bacon grease, or ghee. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Optional: add spices. Curry powder and Garam Masala are nice this time of year!
5. Roast on baking sheet for 20 minutes, then toss pieces around with spatula. Roast another 15-30 minutes, depending on thickness of pieces and desired doneness.
6. Enjoy a few pieces hot out of the oven as a snack, then package remainder in storage containers and refrigerate to use in meals all week long.
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