Before my pregnancy I was pretty pristine in my eating (Monday to Friday, that is, the weekends are much less strict). I ate like a mostly raw vegan and felt wonderful for it. But along comes a baby, and I started craving things like dairy and was hungry all the time. I found myself loosening up the standards and allowing myself to eat what my body needed during the pregnancy (not burgers and chips every night), but I did eat more meat, dairy, pasta, rice, etc. Now I am still breastfeeding, so I haven’t quite gone back to my very clean eating days, but I have been thinking how I am going to “quit” some of the foods I have become quite attached to. Mostly cheese… I find myself having cheese every day. Do I really need to be having cheese every day? Definitely not. So how do I break the habit? What is the best way?
Often a method used to just stop something. I could just stop buying cheese, then I won’t have in the fridge, then I simply wont be able to eat it everyday. But the problem is, what if on the weekend I feel like having a little grated cheese on my dinner? Then I won’t have any cheese in the house at all, and could very well just run to the corner store and get some. Then the cheese is back in the fridge again.
Sometimes we fall into bad habits when our willpower fades. I might promise myself that tomorrow I won’t have any cheese, but then when lunch time rolls around, I am super hungry and I am making my salad and I think, “Oh just a little bit of cheese will make this salad so much tastier and fill me up too”. The reminder that flashes on my phone will be completely ignored!
Most habits give us some sort of satisfaction or psychological reward, which is why we keep doing them. I do love the taste of cheese! But I also love the taste of chocolate and I don’t need to eat that every day. I need to be re-frame the way I think about eating, less of “its only while I’m pregnant” and more like “cheese is loaded with saturated fat, salt and cholesterol and I am doing this to my body every day”. Right! No more cheese in my house!