Around 9 am I always need a second breakfast, since my first breakfast at 6:30 am won’t last. Usually it consists of a pretzel with butter, but as I’m on a 1-week Vegan challenge right now, that’s off the menu. Fruits and nuts it is!
Over the week I most often chose an apple or a banana with some nuts. I got used to it so quickly that today I thought I had to stir things up a bit – how can I make this uncomfortable? As if eating Vegan for a week wasn’t uncomfortable enough, right?
So today, I’d like to propose a comfort zone challenge to you: Eat an entire lemon!
When I checked the fridge, I spotted a few lemons sitting at the bottom, and before I could finish wondering whether you could eat lemons whole, like you do with oranges, I found myself next to a bowl with 4 big, peeled, chopped up lemon slices ready to go.
Here’s me eating one:
I finished the whole thing. I’ve had more pleasurable experiences with fruit, goes without saying. But here’s what I learned:
- Variety = Energy: Just by varying what I ate I felt more energetic. It’s not only that the lemon was a better fruit, but that changing the routine gave me a boost of energy to continue working on other things with more focus and awareness. Just like puzzles and other brain exercises keep you mentally sharp, because they force your brain to adapt and work, so does the lemon for your metabolism.
- Lemons are not the best source of vitamin C. Nor are oranges: Lemons contain 53 mg of vitamin C (per 100 grams), roughly as much as oranges. Bell peppers outgun these two by far. With a whopping 190 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams, and about 10 other fruits and vegetables with more vitamin C than lemons, you could easily cover your entire vitamin C intake without any citrus fruits at all.
- Your comfort zone expands faster than you think, and that’s a good thing: As with everything, the hardest part is starting. When biting into the first slice it hit me hard: The sourness, followed by the bitter taste of the fruit flesh, to be succeeded only by dull chewing on the tasteless remains of the fiber until I was able to swallow it. But that was it. The other 3 slices were a piece of cake (no pun intended). Once you make that initial push, the boundary of your comfort zone expands a little bit, and with repetition it gets easier and easier.
- Change begets change: That first tweak in my second breakfast was the start of a series of experiments. For the rest of the week I would not an apple or a banana again. I kept mixing things up, for example with veggies. Today I had a 7 fruit smoothie (make sure to sign up to my newsletter for the recipe!).
- Sour makes funny: This is a German saying and it proved once again to be true. I had to laugh, and so would have had everyone seeing my face. Double the fun by watching babies eat lemons for the first time.
Some more ideas for picking fruits outside the comfort zone:
- Actually pick fruits. Go outside and try to find a wild berry, fruit, vegetable or herb that’s edible.
- Buy exotic fruits you usually wouldn’t, or whose name you can’t even pronounce, such as: pomegranate, camu-camu, ditakh, pitaya, carambola.
- Combine fruits and veggies into a smoothie.
- Try fruits with spices. Personal favorite: Orange slices with a few dashes of cinnamon and a cup of black coffee.
- Make an entire meal fruit only, even if that means you devour a whole pineapple.
Let me know if your endeavor to leave your comfort zone today was fruitful (okay, this time pun intended) and how you pulled off this comfort zone challenge!
PS: Don’t forget to brush your teeth afterwards, as the substantial amount of acid in the lemon might otherwise damage your enamel!