I am always intrigued by how we all develop our own personal habits. Some habits may be healthy, and some habits may not? How we brush our teeth, take a shower, put on our clothes, drive to work, exercise, grocery shop, make our bed, eat breakfast or not—we all have personal habits that make up most of our day.
So, what is a habit? A habit is a behavior that starts as a choice—and then over time becomes a nearly unconscious pattern. Almost 70-90% of our human behaviors fall into the habit category. Imagine if we had to consciously think about every little activity or task throughout our day, we would be exhausted by 10am!
In Charles Duhigg’s book The Power of Habit he discusses how habits are formed--The Habit Loop. The “Habit Loop” is a three-step process that begins with a cue, or trigger, this tells the brain to go into automatic mode and which habit to use. Second is the routine, a routine can be physical, emotional, or mental. Finally, there is the reward or benefit, this helps the brain determine if this specific habit is worth remembering for the future.
Over time, “The Habit Loop” becomes more and more unconscious, meaning the brain has to exert very little energy to execute this habit. For most habits to take hold, it takes approximately 66-days of consistent repetition!
The Habit of Coffee
Do you know a habit that 70% of adults in the United States consume every day? If you answered coffee, you are right! We love our coffee in the United States to a tune of 400 million cups per day or 146 billion cups per year and these numbers continue to rise each year! We consume more coffee in the United States than any other country in the world. 75% percent of the caffeine consumed in the U.S. comes from coffee. I am fascinated on how the habit of drinking coffee began? How was coffee first introduced to you? At what age? Were the rewards and benefits of drinking coffee strong right from the start or did they grow over time? Most would agree, the cues, routine, and rewards, all grew over time. Drinking our morning cup of Joe is now entrenched in our DNA and we love it!
"How was coffee first introduced to you?"
Building a Daily Habit of Cod Liver Oil
One of our major healthcare concerns facing the United States today is the skyrocketing growth of Type 2 Diabetes. In 1970 we had less than 500,000 Type 2 Diabetics in the U.S. and today we have over 35 million, yes 35 million! If we stay on this rapid pace, we may have over 100 million Type 2 Diabetics in the U.S. in the next 8-10-years, costing billions of dollars in healthcare costs and even more important, millions of lives!
Let’s begin with a quick understanding of Type 2 Diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes is a problem with the cell. When the outer rim of the cell, the cell membrane, becomes stiff and rigid it is difficult for insulin to open up the cell for glucose to enter and feed the cell. Most people believe that Type 2 Diabetes is a sugar problem, avoid fruits, potatoes, starchy carbohydrates, anything that is high in sugar, if you cut out these types of sugars or carbohydrates your Type 2 Diabetes will drastically improve? Eating fruits or potatoes did not cause Type 2 Diabetes—and cutting them out will not fix the problem. What causes Type 2 Diabetes is an unhealthy lifestyle! Too much processed foods, soda pop, energy drinks, fast food, trans fats, alcohol, lack of movement, chronic dehydration, stress, lack of sleep, and the lack of omega-3 fats, the list is long—bottom line, the cell membrane is stiff and rigid.
Cod Liver Oil—The Norwegian Health Secret!
In the country of Norway there is little Type 2 Diabetes. Not surprising is the fact that a common morning habit or ritual is taking a shot of cod liver oil. Cod liver oil is served in hotels and restaurants, very similar to the United States habit of serving coffee. Did you know that one of the main benefits of taking cod liver oil is that it makes the cell membrane soft and permeable? As the cell membrane gets soft and permeable Type 2 Diabetes begins to disappear! Is the secret to Norwegian Health their habit of taking cod liver or is there more to the story? Maybe it is the habit of putting something in their body that is extremely healthy and that drives better habits throughout their day? Maybe in feeling better, they have less desire for unhealthy processed foods? Or that they have more energy that promotes a more active lifestyle? Whatever it is—I believe a large part to the Norwegian health secret is their habit of taking cod liver oil on a daily basis!
So how do you develop the habit of taking cod liver oil? Let’s begin by building your Habit Loop.
- CUE or TRIGGER—put the cod liver on inside of the door of your refrigerator—when you open the door of your refrigerator it is staring you right in the face.
- ROUTINE- do this first thing in the morning, make it part of your morning ritual. When you travel put the three-ounce bottle of cod liver oil in your suitcase, make this part of your daily routine.
- REWARDS or BENEFITS- Let’s begin with addressing the taste—most people believe cod liver oil tastes bad. First, have you ever tried cod liver oil? Second, this is not the bad tasting stuff our grandmas would give us as kids.
Our On Target Living Cod Liver Oil has a rich, smooth, lemony taste, and the feedback we receive at our live events has been fantastic. On top of the great taste are the amazing health benefits cod liver can bring. Improved cognitive performance—brain health, lowered inflammation, improved cholesterol profile, a decrease in triglycerides, and improved hormonal balance. The benefits of taking cod liver are extremely powerful for overall health and wellbeing.
Let’s get crazy here and dream big! Step back and ponder this next question. What would happen to the health of the United States if 70% of the United States population started their day by taking one-tablespoon of cod liver oil prior to drinking their morning cup of coffee? Did you know that 95% of the American population is deficient in Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids (Cod Liver Oil)? Omega-3 Fats are essential for optimal health!
What if our entire nation started to embrace the habit of taking cod liver oil on a daily basis? What would happen to our healthcare costs? Could we lower the prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes by 50% in the next 5-years? What would happen to our high levels of inflammation, anxiety, and depression? Could we lower the need for medications for improved cholesterol, blood pressure or sleep?
Is it possible that such a simple habit could drastically improve the health and performance of the people around the world? We believe so!
Let’s get busy building a Habit of taking Cod Liver Oil!