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Health by Habit
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Every day when I sit down in the lunchroom at work, I invariably pull the same contents out of my lunch bag. Ignoring the groans and sarcastic remarks from some of my colleagues, I tuck into my food with the zest of a sushi enthusiast finally sitting down at a Sushi bar in Kyoto, Japan. I am naturally a beast of habit, so stuffing my gullet with the same fair daily does not bother me in the least. And perhaps this has the side benefit of adding predictability to what is almost always an unpredictable day. But besides these other factors of my non-foodie nature, putting the same items in my lunch bag every morning is something that I do for my health as well.

The contents of my daily meal, with few variations, are as follows:

1 banana
5-8 sticks of celery
1 can of V8 juice
1 container of beans and rice, rice noodle soup or oatmeal

These items may not inspire any triumphal shouting upon ingestion, but they leave me feeling satisfied in more ways than just gutturally. You see, I have lost a little over thirty pounds since I got married (I am expecting some metaphorical pats on the back here), and my body could lose a few more. And this is a constant battle because I absolutely adore foods that have been labeled by experts as “bad for you,” and “unhealthy.” Ben and Jerry were pretty close friends in college, and it seems whenever I go shopping they ask me to hang out again. Sometimes I am only too happy to oblige. So the habitual placement of “healthy” items in my lunch bag  forces me to become the healthy person I am always vowing to be, even if I am always wishing the beans and rice were lasagna. 

And the benefit does not end with a few more shredded pounds. Less fat and cholesterol means less chance of coronary disease. Less coronary disease means less doctor’s visits. Less doctors visits means less co-pays. Less co-pays means more money in the bank. And I think we could all agree that there is benefit there. So I think I will keep enduring the ribbing of my colleagues, and keep pretending my V8 is Cherry Garcia.

So if you’re like me and can be waylaid by the deli case at your local supermarket, than perhaps forcing yourself to become healthy by limiting what is available to eat could work for you, too.

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By Garrett Gladden. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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