Why are good habits so easy to break? I read somewhere that it takes 21 days to form a habit. That seems easy enough, considering in the grand scheme of life, or even a year, 21 days isn’t that much time. Imagine how many ways you could change your life in one year if you dedicated the time to forming good habits. Three weeks is all it takes to start something new for yourself.
When I started the SpinachJunkie project, it was because I wanted to do something for myself everyday that was good. I didn’t want to set a goal that left me feeling dejected if I didn’t accomplish it, such as going to the gym everyday, or never drinking again. Sure I could exercise more, and I could also drink less, but I like having a little too much wine, or bourbon, or champagne, if I feel the occasion calls for it. That being said, I felt that developing the habit of eating spinach everyday would be something healthy I could manage to achieve, it would be easy to do and make me feel good.
The results were more than I bargained for. My hair, my skin, my digestive system, my mind; everything benefited. I had more energy, and without “being on a diet” my pants felt a little looser and my stomach became flatter. Even on the days that I felt sluggish from the aforementioned one-too-many-last-night, a big plate of spinach proved to be a great foundation for even the necessary burger with bacon to combat a hangover. I found myself more motivated to get to the gym and make use of that monthly donation I was making to my local fitness center. I was inspired to find other healthy foods to eat with it and found myself reading up on nutrition and developing a new hobby as a result of this new healthy habit.
This lasted for all of two years then suddenly, I fell in love. I got lazy, I started eating out more with my new partner and once or twice a week I didn’t have time to prioritize my grocery trip to stock up on fresh spinach. At first, I didn’t care, I had a new habit and I felt that all consuming love addiction which rules. I told myself that missing a salad a few times a week wasn’t going to drastically change my body. But as easy as it was to form a new habit with a little effort, I broke it without even trying. I began to miss my spinach habit and the healthy side effects that came with it. Lounging around in bed with your lover is one thing, lying in bed due to lack of motivation or energy is another. Could spinach really have such an affect on a person’s body?
Let’s review: *Spinach has only 41 calories, but is extremely nutrient-dense. Carotenes, folic acid, manganese, magnesium, iron, Vitamins B1, B2, B6, C, E, and K, are just the tip of the chart. In fact, spinach contains over 23 vitamins minerals and nutrients which work with each other to maintain your body’s smooth operation. Historically it has been regarded as a plant with remarkable abilities to restore energy, increase vitality, and improve the quality of the blood. Because it is one of the most alkaline producing foods, it is very useful in regulating body pH. One of the riches sources of lutein makes spinach especially important for healthy eyesight, and like other chlorophyll and carotene containing vegetables, it is a strong protector against cancer. At least thirteen different flavonoid compounds in spinach function as antioxidants and anticancer agents, prompting researches to create specialized spinach extracts to be used in controlled studies which have yielded optimistic results.* I won’t even get into what that means as far as anti-aging benefits.
So I am ready to put myself to the challenge and once again form a Spinach Every Day, Spinach Every Way habit. Just in time for the holiday season, I am putting my vow up on the internet for the world to see as my big giant mirror to face. Wouldn’t you like to start a good habit before the new year? Tune in tomorrow for a loaded baked potato spinach salad….
*Nutritional information referenced from The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods (Michael Murray, N.D. and Joseph Pizzorno, N.D. with Lara Pizzorno, M.A, L.M.T 2005, 230-231)