Kale, Mushrooms, Cabbage, Onions, Brussels Sprouts and Turnips. Great food examples that tend to share one common denominator: They often divide opinion.
Hate em’ or love em’?
Are any of those on your “don’t eat” list? – A list that’s nearly always based on assumption and very little experimentation.
“I don’t eat that because I’ve never actually tried it” becomes: “I haven’t tried it, and it looks like I won’t like it, so therefore I don’t like it.”
This psychology isn’t relegated only to vegetables, I’ve encountered many whom “eat healthy”; healthy being skinless chicken breast all day, every day – and it must be boiled! “Oh I couldn’t try Tilapia, I don’t like it.” Well, at that volume of consumption, I doubt your digestive system parallels your views that chicken breast is “healthy” anymore.
If we take a trip back a mere three years, maybe more, I too was in this camp. Even way after I had revamped my lifestyle and begun looking at fitness as a profession and not just a lifestyle, I flat out just “didn’t eat” a host of wonderful foods……..
- Spring Greens
To name a few. I proudly state today though, those are some of my most enjoyed and most consumed, produce. So how’s it done? How do you go from supposedly “not eating” X amount of veggies and foods, to genuinely enjoying them?
Experimentation & willingness.
You have to recognize the value of something before you begin a venture. Essentially, the value of nutritional variety. You must appreciate the potential(s) before you even begin to seek. Much like that guy/girl who is obviously wanting to date you, but you’re not that sure. Although you know he/she definitely has plenty of qualities, you’re not quite sure whether to nod your head yet. But their potential is sparking your consideration.
Sometimes you just need to yield to the unfamiliar and invite yourself to adapt to it.
If you’re not willing to give it a chance, it’ll never happen. Spend a little more time with that someone, they grow on you. The new job you thought you’d struggle to endure 6 weeks in, that in hindsight was the best career move you made. Didn’t seem so bad once you adapted, did it?
It also helps when you have someone in your life who does eat the foods you don’t. Be it a family member or spouse. Sometimes a little nudging can be good.
A few easy ways to ‘trick’ yourself into eating a wider spectrum of nutrient dense foods – particularly vegetables:
- Change your cooking method. Instead of boil, steam. Instead of steaming, stir fry.
- If you stir fry, rotate cooking oils. Coconut oil, Macadamia oil, Avocado oil – even duck fat, goose fat etc!
- Mix, mix, mix and mix some more. Why not throw a few onions (if you “don’t eat” them) in with the vegetables you do like? This was perhaps the MOST influential thing I did to enhance my diet!
- Start with very small pieces and then add more when they’re tolerable.
- Make spices your new best friend. Paprika, chilli powder, cayenne, garlic, turmeric, pepper varieties, different salt alternatives; pink Himalayan sea salt and those really are the tip of the iceberg!
- Use oils such as Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Walnut oil and Sesame oil as vegetable dressings. Grass fed butter is fair game too! (These alone are VERY under-exploited.)
I engineered subtle methods like those to really widen my horizons with food. Stubbornness and fear of the unfamiliar causes us to narrow our scopes. Those damn comfort zones are everywhere.
Implementing the above will give your taste-buds a party, and they’ll not even detect the food you think you “don’t like”.
By really trying to be a jack of all trades in terms of vegetables, fruits and foods in general, you’re working towards piecing together a picturesque nutritional puzzle. A puzzle void of deficiencies and problematic intolerances.
Color, I want to see more color on that plate!
What vegetables do you like or dislike? It’s time to start re-categorizing!
Recommended reading: My top 10 countdown of fruits and veggies to start eating (and why)