Stuffsoup – a little blog with a lot of "stuff"


21 Day Habit?

Posted in 30-day vegan cleanse by stuffsoup on March 11, 2010

I often wondered where the 21-day habit theory came from. Apparently, in 1960, Dr. Maxwell Maltz wrote about amputees needing 21 days to cease having phantom sensations in their amputated limbs. He also believed that it took 21 days to adjust to any change. So, that is who came up with that idea – and it certainly seems to have stuck. Though, perhaps the more recent research from a paper in the European Journal of Social Psychology would be more accurate. Researchers found it took, on average, 66 days to form a habit (though the span was from 18 days up to 254 days!).

Well, here we are on day 21 of my 30-day vegan cleanse and I don’t think I could consider this a habit. I guess in some ways it is easier since I more readily know what I can have. Though I do still want things that aren’t a part of this cleanse, like the birthday cake my family was eating tonight. But, I can tell you now that I’m not planning to do this fully for 254 days to ensure automaticity.

Day 21 – no phantom pain

Breakfast – bowl of grapes

Snack – carrot sticks

Lunch – tortilla chips with “summer” salsa

Dinner – black bean sweet potato chili over quinoa

The good, the better, the best. The kids ate ham mini pizzas (made on english muffins) and they looked like they turned out just perfectly. Please bear in mind that pizza would be my deserted-island food. I’m glad they turned out for the birthday girl and her now much-younger brother. I’m glad I like the chili ok or it would have been even harder.

I guess there is something that has kind of become a habit and I think it might be the most important part and that is… I think more about my food. So perhaps some of that phantom diet pain really can pass.

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2 Responses to '21 Day Habit?'

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  1. Kim said,

    Okay, now I’m definitely worried that you’re not eating enough!! EAT MORE!

    But I’m proud and amazed at your willpower. Are you keeping a list of all the things you’re going to eat on day 31?! Just don’t eat them all at once.

    And have you posted the black bean and sweet potato chili recipe? I want it.

  2. stuffsoup said,

    Yeah, when I typed up the day, I realized how many times I kind of “forgot” to eat. I wasn’t starving though and I hadn’t worked out, so I hope it is all ok. The next day (today) I did get a workout and I did eat more, so I think it’s ok, but I’ll try to keep an eye on it. Thanks for watching out for me. 🙂
    I do have a few things I’d like to get into on day 31, but I’ll just eat them as they come. 😉
    And, yes, the black bean and sweet potato chili recipe is on day 3 under a post called “Some plans come together”.


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