What do you do if you don’t like vegetables?
Really? This is a real thing? I love vegetables and I feel bad for people who don’t.
You know they are good for you and you want to be able to eat them, but you just can’t force yourself. It may be a texture issue. It may be they just taste like crap to you. No matter what you do to them or put on them they still taste gross. They may even taste bitter.
Strange, but true. Broccoli may taste like stinky socks and green peppers may taste like turpentine. Not that you have eaten stinky socks or turpentine, but it is the old, it tastes like the smell of _____, thing. Right. This is a real thing. I remember as a kid trying to explain this to my parents and they would always look at me like I was crazy. It’s the chemical compounds in these vegetables that makes this happen. How weird and fascinating is that?
So how do we learn to like them, or get the benefits from them if we don’t eat them? Vegetables are super good for us. They are full of good stuff. They have a lot of volume, so you get fuller without adding a crap ton of calories. Not a bad deal at all. This helps you maintain a healthy body weight or lose body fat. Eat up, right? But again, what if you just don’t like them?
Something interesting that I have read in my PN literature is that our genetic makeup can affect our taste for vegetables. Some people are super sensitive to strong flavors and therefore foods that taste “normal” to some of us, taste overwhelmingly bitter to them. Isn’t that interesting? So they are really sensitive to foods with strong flavors, such as hot, sweet and bitter. They have sensitive taste buds. I vaguely remember doing some kind of taste test strips in grade school science regarding this very thing. I’m pretty sure it tasted fine to me. But I do remember kids saying it tasted terrible and was really bitter.
It can also depend on how you grew up. If you weren’t exposed to a lot of vegetables, you might not like them or care if you eat them. What about how they were cooked? Mushy brussels sprouts anyone? I can’t believe we survived. I love Brussels sprouts now. I hated the mushiness of them then.
But guess what? We can make some changes to our flavor preferences and learn to like vegetables. There are 3 steps you can take to start changing the way you feel about your vegetables.
Challenge yourself – get ready, find a bitter food that you normally will not eat. Put on your big girl or big boy pants and try it. You might hate it, but you might not.
Next find some flavors you like – think spices, such as garlic or different kinds of pepper; or salty, such as vinegars or lemon and lime juices; and finally sour, such as mustard, olives, salt, cheeses.
You can then try buffering the vegetables with some yummy sweetness, such as berries, maple syrup or honey. Orrrrrrr the yummiest fats, such as avocado, butter or bacon. Can you say green beans with onion and bacon. Yum!! Sign me up. Those flavors together…you can’t go wrong.
Then decide how to cook them or leave them raw. Before you know it, you will be on your way to LOVING vegetables (Heidi). Explore, experiment and discover what tastes good to you.
Check out the super informative comprehensive graphic to help you with your journey towards loving vegetables. It’s awesome! Click on “veggies” below.