Feeding Your Nutritional Piggy Bank

Consistency is the magic potion that transforms lives. While we all experience events that dramatically shift our cognitive and emotional frames, it’s the consistent action that rises from paradigm shifts that ultimately changes our lives.


That’s why we feed the piggy bank.


Each day we make a small, positive action deposit that compounds interest into transformation.


We know we need to make a deposit, especially nutritionally, but how?


As Jeff Olson says in The Slight Edge, it’s always the things that are easy to do. They’re just as easy not to do.

the slight edge

How do we do these profoundly easy things?


We start small. We stay small. We focus small.


Pennies compound into a million dollars over time. Let’s start depositing pennies.


Break It Down By Meal


Big nutrition plans are overwhelming. That’s why they so often fail. Thinking beyond the day we’re in is often more nutritional focus than folks can handle.


Hell, thinking beyond the current meal is more than people need.


Let’s conceptualize it in terms of investments.


We’ll posit that a week of nutritional focus is a $2,000 investment.


A day is $100 investment.


A meal is a $30 investment.


Most of us can handle a $30 investment—it’s a burger and a few good beers at a decent restaurant. It’s small. It shrinks the change.


Just seeing $2,000 puts our mind in a different frame. The change is forced to a much larger scale.


$30, however, isn’t a frame buster. We can look at thirty bucks—a $20 bill and a $10 bill—and not need a change of pants.


Extrapolate that feeling to nutritional decisions. Big change equals big frame disturbance, small change equals a more accommodating frame change.




The change is shrunk. It’s easier to invest $30 than it is $2,000. It’s easier to focus on one meal than it is 21 meals.


But we all know the value of preparation—especially having good food prepared so that we don’t make poor choices. How does this think small mindset extrapolate to a week’s worth of planning? How do a week’s worth of $30 investments turn into a cumulative $2,000 investment?


Plan individually.


Focus on breakfast first—make a plan that covers breakfast. Solidify your breakfast plan and own it for at least one week. Once breakfast is owned, own lunch. Then own dinner.


Then, once you’ve owned all three and you’re planning a week’s menu, plan each meal individually. Figure out the week’s breakfast plan, then lunch plan, then dinner plan.


The investments accumulate and compound over time. At the end, we have the $2,000 investment—and more—but it’s the result of continued $30 investments.


One Thing At A time


Maybe $30 is too steep right now. Maybe we need to make $10 investments. Maybe a whole meal of food isn’t going to work.


Let’s say each macronutrient is a $10 investment, and you’re piggy bank is lacking protein. Focus on making one protein selection at one meal. Make a good fucking choice and then slam those 10 smackaroos triumphantly into the bank! Make that same 10 buck investment at the next meal…then at the next one.


See the grand behaviors remain the same. We end up planning for the whole week, we end up making bigger changes than we think. But the small focus allows us to feed the piggy bank consistently by making manageable investments. As our capital grows, as we’ve accumulated more and more healthy behaviors, we can make bigger investments if we need to. But the process of investing small for big changes will always serve us well.


Take Action


In what way does your nutritional piggy bank need feeding this week?


Write down one investment your nutrition bank needs.


Maybe it’s veggies. Maybe it’s protein.


Make a $10 – $30 investment at each meal throughout the week. Keep track of each investment. You can do it in your notebook, you can make dashes on a piece of paper. It’s up to you. Then, at the end of the week, add up the total investment.

Piggy Bank