How to Be a Grown-Up

Growing old takes time, growing up takes work

5 Steps for Training Your Brain to Like Healthy Food

Can "carbivores" train their brains to love veggies?

Step 1:

Go bridesmaid dress shopping for your best friend's wedding. Have everything fit fine 9 months before the big day: 

 

But the week of the wedding-- after a summer of too many satisfied pizza cravings-- you discover that the dress is way too tight.

 Crap.

Decide that you will refrain from eating carbs for the rest of the week in order to fit into the dress. Eat lunches that look like this:

 

...and discover it's not so bad, even though all your life you've hated vegetables.

Hmm, that's odd, you think to yourself.

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Step 2:

Walk down the aisle on the big day and discover that all that salad made no difference. Too little too late, as they say.

(The dress is so tight that the mere passing of gas could make the seams burst.)

But your taste buds have already opened their minds to less processed, less salty, less fatty foods. You're curious to see what other healthy foods you might like.

So for breakfast one morning, you eat this:

 

 

 

...which isn't so bad when you blend it all up with some crushed ice and 1/4 cup of skim milk so that it looks like this:

 

 

 

You discover that this funky green smoothie doesn't kill you or make you gag. In fact, your new eating habits make you feel energized and satisfied throughout the day!

Hmm, that's odd, you think to yourself.

 

Step 3:

Once a week you have pizza, Thai food, or a bag of chips. But you generally don't crave unhealthy food as much as you used to. And you don't feel guilty about indulging when a craving does pop up because hey, you just had 1.5 cups of uncooked kale for breakfast.

(Which means you've come a long way; you used to want to name your son Kale, until you learned just this past summer, at age 32, that kale is apparently a leafy green vegetable with tons of protein.)

You also discover that when you eat healthy foods, your poop is magically odorless.

Hmm, that's odd (and very convenient!), you think to yourself.

[No photo of my odorless poop here. I have my limits.]

 

Step 4:

You find a simple recipe for black bean salad. It turns out to be delicious:

 

 

 

You freeze half of the batch for next week, and Bam!-- you've bot 6 meals to stretch out over the course of two weeks.

You feel like a Domestic Diva even though all you did was learn how to throw together black bean salad.

At the supermarket you discover that for the first time in your life, your shopping cart is 50% fresh produce, 25% processed vegetable-based foods, and 25% toilet paper (because according to your husband, you use half a roll per sitting).

You're proud of your supermarket cart, so you stop and take a photo of it:

 

 

 

The grocery shoppers around you wonder what's going on, so they crowd around the exotic cheeses you happen to be standing next to, expecting to see a funny typo on the sale sign or something else worth whipping out a camera phone for.

They find nothing-- just a girl taking a photo of her groceries.

Hmm, that's odd, they think to themselves.

 

Step 5:

After a few months of odorless poop and photo-worthy shopping carts, notice that all your clothes fit better. Also notice that this inspires you to go shopping for new clothes so that you can have more outfits to look fabulous in.

Your husband gets jealous that you're seeing such noticeable results while his diet doesn't seem to producing any for him.

Hmm, that's odd...I'd like to kill you, he thinks to himself.

 

Your Turn: Have you developed a taste for healthy food? What tips can you offer?

  

Read more of this writer's PG-13 antics at A Brave Life.

Copyright Kimberly Eclipse

 

 

 

 

 

Kimberly Eclipse, M.A., M.S.Ed., a Visiting Nurse Service bereavement counselor, teaches psychology at Nyack College.

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