Food for Thought

Blog 20-06-16 photo Mindset[1]

My husband, Doug, is not a picky eater and I am not a skilled cook. He eats anything I make, which isn’t very often.

One time I misread my mom’s meatloaf recipe and put in two tablespoons of salt instead of 2 teaspoons. In spite of my asking if it was too salty – it definitely was – it took him 10 minutes to finally admit he wanted more water. What a wonderful man! That’s how our culinary relationship works for us.

Doug is an also an adventurous cook, putting savory and sweet combinations together that I wouldn’t even begin to think about. His offer of a bite is almost always met with my automatic response: “No thank you; you enjoy.” What an awful wife with a pedestrian palate! That’s how our culinary relationship doesn’t work for us.

My reaction is definitely not because I don’t appreciate his spending time in the kitchen. (If you’re reading this, Doug, keep it up. I love you!) And it isn’t because I absolutely know my taste buds won’t tolerate that food. Instead, I point the finger at my brain. I’ve never eaten “different” foods.

You see, the brain is a fascinating organ. A US National Library of Medicine research study discovered the brain’s memory capacity is about one quadrillion bytes worth. So, the longer we’ve held certain thoughts and beliefs, the deeper and wider the brain’s neuropathways become. The end results are subconscious behaviors that repeat themselves over and over again automatically. The good news is that neuropathways can be changed; at the center of change is mindset.

Where people’s mindsets differ is in the specifics – engrained things such as strong core beliefs, traditions, and stories people have told themselves for years. What makes mindsets similar is the type – fixed or growth. Fixed means believing things are what they are, with no openness to trying to change. Growth reflects a willingness to try new things, to develop and grow.

I do have an overall growth mindset; I’ve been lazy about exploring the ’different’ food area. Guess it’s time to focus on that neuropathway.

Honey, what’s for dinner?

This Week: If you truly want to change your mindset about something, it will take time, focus and energy. One way to start is to write down your current mindset. Then, jot down all of the ways that mindset works for you; things that are positive, etc. Then, write down the ways in which it doesn’t serve you and/or holds you back. Once you’ve captured the pros and cons, what is the new mindset you’d like to have? Write that on a sticky note or notecard or type it into your smartphone – put it where you’ll see it and repeat them often each day. Sharing your new mindset with someone close to you is icing on the cake. Yum, I love cake!

In Next Week’s Post: Setting Achievable Goals

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