What creates that feeling of comfort for you?
Truthfully, what we are comfortable with is what we’re used to — what we grew up with — and what others around us are doing.
We tend to be uncomfortable with things that are new and different, and with things that are different from what those around us are doing. Of course, after we get accustomed to new things, they become comfortable, but there is always a stage where we experience at least a little discomfort when we try something new.
There’s nothing at all wrong with seeking comfort . . . except when it puts you in a danger zone.
And that’s exactly what’s happening to most Americans.
The Standard American Diet is comfortable. We’re used to it. It’s easy, convenient, socially supported, and, well . . . . you know, comfortable! It doesn’t require any decision making or conscious choice. It’s like falling off a log.
But falling off a log can be dangerous! You can twist your ankle, or worse, cripple yourself for life.
And that’s exactly what is happening for everyone who is comfortably ensconced in eating the Standard American Diet (SAD).
The SAD puts you squarely in the middle of a danger zone. Those eating a diet high in animal products and processed foods are marching directly toward heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, obesity, Alzheimer’s Disease, arthritis, and a life of multiple medications and medical procedures. It hardly seems fair that something as comfortable as the SAD should ultimately create so much harm. It’s almost like being betrayed by your best friend.
What can we do about this?
- First, recognize that sometimes our comfort zone puts us into a danger zone.
- Then, find out what we need to do to get out of the danger zone and enter the safety zone.
- Finally, get used to the new safety zone so that it becomes comfortable for us.
So if the SAD is a danger zone, what is the safety zone?
Eating a plant-based diet of unprocessed vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, and a few nuts and seeds is your safety zone. When you eat this way, not only do you prevent the harm that is caused by eating processed foods and animal products . . . you also support your body to reverse and heal from many of the harmful effects of the SAD.
If you’re not used to eating a diet of unprocessed plant foods, it will feel unfamiliar and uncomfortable at first.
So what can you do to get comfortable with it?
Like with all new things, you get comfortable with practice. It takes about 3 weeks for your taste buds to change so that you actually prefer the taste of healthy, whole, plant-based foods. It takes about 30 days to establish new habits.
You’ll also feel more comfortable if you connect with others who are eating this way, and get the extra support you need while forming new habits.
The wonderful thing about human beings is how adaptable we are. It takes a surprisingly short time for us to learn new habits, to establish new preferences, and to achieve new results.
All it takes is for us to decide that being in the safety zone is more important to us than being in our comfort zone, and then taking the steps we need to create a new comfort zone that is also safe.
QUESTION: I’d love to hear about your transition to a healthier diet. What made it become more comfortable for you? Or is it still uncomfortable? Or has the discomfort kept you from making the transition? Please share your COMMENTS below!
If you’d like to talk with me about how to move from the comfortable but dangerous SAD to a safe diet, click here.