I once talked to a parent who said up until 16 years old, her kids had never eaten vegetables with the exception of canned green beans.
First of all… I had no idea how that was even possible. Only green beans? 16 years?!
Either way, getting people to eat veggies when they don’t already eat them is tough.
So how do you get yourself to eat them if you HATE them…or if you don’t mind vegetables but you aren’t in the habit of eating them?
In today’s Tiny Habit Friday video I’ll show you how.
How To Get Those Veggies in
Create Awesome Habits That Stick in 3 Easy Steps
First… here’s a quick primer on how habits work.
As it turns out, habits are created in a three step process:
The cue is whatever sets off the behavior and triggers it. For a smoker, they might be sitting at work around 3 pm when the boss comes over and drops a huge project in their lap. They start stressing out and need a break. They feel agitated and need to do something. That’s the cue.
So what does the smoker do? She gets up and goes for for a smoke break and takes a little walk / de-stress session outside. That’s the routine.
As a result, she feels relaxed and much more calm than before. That’s the reward.
Here’s another example many of you are probably familiar with: Compulsive texting / emailing.
The cue in this case is the phone sending us a notification. The routine is checking the notification. And the reward is feeling satisfied – like our ADD has been temporarily relieved :-).
So How Do You Get Yourself to Eat Mo’ Veggies?
First things first, if you hate the taste of vegetables you are probably going to need a blender here.
The kind I recommend is the pulverizing type like a nutribullet – so you can throw anything in there, it’ll mash it up, and it’ll turn it into a pulp so that it doesn’t feel like glass is sliding down your throat.
But here’s where the magic happens, where we use the habits “linking technique” – I want you to take your breakfast in the refrigerator, and put it ON TOP of vegetables.
I’ll give you an example in a minute, but here’s how it works.
Whatever you have for breakfast, yogurt, eggs, toast etc. you’re going to put it on top of the vegetables in your refrigerator.
So let’s say here your typical breakfast is the yogurt, and you consistently eat that every day.
But you know you need more fruits in your diet, yet you’ve struggled with actually turning that into a habit.
You would put the yogurt ON TOP of the bananas (yes, so it looks awkward), so when you remove your yogurt, that’s the mental trigger to take one or remember to eat one.
What this is going to do is cause a mental link, like we talked about in the “linking method” for creating healthy habits.
How I Got Myself to Actually Eat Broccoli With Breakfast
I struggled to get myself to eat veggies for breakfast because it didn’t feel like a natural meal to have vegetables with.
So I used the linking method to awkwardly put my eggs on top of broccoli – so it drew my attention in the morning.
Then I’d see the broccoli, and it’d remind me of my tiny habit – and then I’d take a tiny bunch, throw it into my eggs with the breakfast, so I was getting an entire chunk of broccoli in my breakfast whereas before I wasn’t really eating that many vegetables in the first half of the day.
Now, with some of my clients, here’s what we’d do for people that hate vegetables.
We’d work on getting them to juice and add loads of fruits in order to sweeten the taste – but we’d follow the same principles for turning this into an actual habit here.
For example, if they only drank coffee in the morning, we’d put vegetables underneath the coffee bag or beans, or we’d put a huge note on the coffee pot: “EAT PLANTS!”
From there, the habit was the exact same: that would be a split second reminder to toss the veggies inside the blender, blend it up (in 60 seconds) while the coffee is brewing, and then have it after they had their coffee.
So one part here is dealing with the TASTE, which can be fixed by adding it to existing meals, or by juicing and adding fruits.
And the other part is the actual habit of eating more vegetables, which can be fixed by using this linking method to create mental reminders.
So Use Linking to Get Those Veggies
If you need some help here, refer to the other tiny habit friday videos here:
- How to Psychologically Trick Yourself Into Meditating by Using the “Linking” Method
- Addicted to Soda? Use This One Simple Habit to Quit (For Life)
- The Really, Ridiculously Simple Guide to Creating The Habit of Drinking More Water
What have you found works well to eat more veggies? Share below.