Hummus: The Importance of Small Steps

Hummus is remarkably simple. It’s a good vegan recipe – just chickpeas and tahini with salt and garlic added to taste. Chunk it into the blender or food processor and keep it going until it looks right. If an adobo pepper had made itself available, it would have joined the chickpeas in the twirling blades.

It’s simple, but if I want to overhaul my eating habits by lent, I have to start somewhere.

Most people want to jump in and change immediately. Two examples come to mind: the cold turkey approach to giving up something or jumping starting a new routine. These work for simple things. I gave up caffeine cold turkey without looking back. I never specified a time, but at the moment, I haven’t really thought about coffee or Dr. Pepper or Cherry Coke unless I’m around people that are drinking said beverages. It has made family visits interesting because we don’t have a coffee supply in the house.

The second I think is more rare, but I know people that have committed to workout groups and teaching classes on a spur of the moment commitment. The burn out rate is much higher, it is easier to give something up than to make time for new things. Adding anything to our routine is not only difficult it can often be impossible. For those suffering from addiction, they find themselves in two binds. They have to give up something that exists not only as a substance they enjoy but also as a practice they engage in. Second, they must replace one habit with another. I cannot imagine what they have togo through to change.

Small steps coupled with cold turkey can be effective, and the more complex the change in behavior, the more small steps that can prepare us. For changing dietary habits, I plan on filling out my recipes over the next few months one recipe at a time and multiple recipes a week. I only have two months to figure out how to go vegan full time.

As I find myself easing back into my work out routine, I have to take small steps. I’ll admit, I find this much more frustrating than the excitement of adding recipes. Taking the time to work my way back up to speed is like starting off in molasses. When my muscles feel good, I still have to reign myself in so I don’t get injured or too tired to come back tomorrow. But I know the risks of going to fast and being out for a month and having to restart again.

The amazing thing about going slow is it really lets you slip big changes right by. It’s working off of careful planning and intentional behavior change, but the results can be staggering in a long enough period of time.

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About Sean Smith

Husband, Father, Pastor, Swimmer, Writer, Reader, and attempted Adventurer!
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