Food

27Jun08

Sweet Tooth and Picky Eater
So one of the big problems I’m going to have on this diet is food.

See, I’ve got a sweet tooth, and I’ve been a VERY picky eater, my whole life.

And most of the foods I’ve been patting myself on the back about liking – corn, potatoes, peas, carrots – well, it turns out those are persona non grata on a lot of diets.

Breads, rices? Ditto.

I’m in hot water. Especially since I’ve never been someone who warmed up to foods on my “bad” list very quickly.

I didn’t like spices in my scrambled eggs until I got out of high school. And by “spices”, I mean salt and pepper, not basil and oregano. God forbid there be green bits in there.

I’ve been on a steady diet of bland for so long that I distrust flavor.

Drastic Changes
The last thing I need to be doing is dropping my old diet and immediately swapping to something drastically different.

Yes, it’s absolutely a good idea if you already like the foods on the other diet. But, for example, one of the recipes recommended by the diet I intend to try is “Terragon Chicken”

I read the instructions, looks nice enough. Only I don’t have a clue what terragon is, aside from a very general belief that it’s probably some kind of herb.

Have you ever smelled terragon?

I hadn’t. I went to the grocery store on a terragon fact-finding mission. Wanna know what I found out? Terragon smells like licorice.

I don’t like licorice.

“Recommendations”
The diet recommends snacking on celery.

I don’t like celery.

Broccoli, it crows, is a superfood.

Don’t make me vomit.

Try mashed cauliflower in place of mashed potatoes!

You’ve GOT to be kidding me.

AMAZING!!! Taste
Seriously, how many diets have been won and lost because people pretend the food on the diet is AMAZING!!!!! and refuse to acknowledge that it’s an acquired taste?

How many people who need to go on a diet cook regularly with terragon? Hell, none of my friends even knew what terragon was!

Food Fears
I have managed to conquer some of my food fears. I used to absolutely get revolted by tomatoes. How could you eat that? It’s gross!

And onions? Don’t even get me started on onions. Seriously. If I see an onion in my browned meat, that’s a deal-breaker.

Right?

Wrong. Well, now, it’s wrong. It used to be right.

Now I can’t even imagine having a sandwich without a bunch of red onion and  some thick slices of tomato with salt and pepper. MMMM. I’m drooling just thinking about it.

It can be done. But it can’t be done when you’re already starving and telling yourself that you’re punishing yourself with this disgusting food that you hate.

It has to be done slowly, and gently, and with the understanding that you can grow to like (no, love) these foods.

Not all of them. I don’t intend to love every food recommended by this diet, but I damn well have to like enough of them to stick to the diet. I can only have eggs so much before I go insane from the eating of them.

Salads
I’m introducing recommended vegetables and foods into my meals NOW, before I start the diet.

If you don’t like the foods before you make them your only source of food, your diet will fail.

I used to hate salads. I hated the texture of the lettuce, the taste of all the veggies in there – it was awful. Carrots were the only part I liked. When I was a kid, I’d get carrots, cheese, croutons, and smother the whole mess in french dressing.

That’s…nothing like what this diet recommends, but it’s a start.

Want to know how I started liking salads?

Sandwiches.

A crispy lettuce leaf on a sandwich masked the sound of the lettuce against my teeth, which I hated. And it was actually kind of refreshing.

It was the same with tomatoes. I added a wafer-thin tomato slice, with salt and pepper, to my sandwiches. That…that was actually pretty good.

As time went on, my tomato slices got thicker and thicker.

And now I can eat a salad and actually consider it good food.  I’ve found that certain veggies (tomatoes and cucumbers) taste better in ranch dressing than french, so I’ve moved even farther away from my dependence on “sweet” to make things edible.

I’m not ready for vinagrettes. I tried one recently and I still hate it.

But I’m moving, step by step, into unfamiliar territory and broadening my list of “okay” foods while I’m doing it.

When I start the diet, I will be prepared with recipes that I like and enjoy, and it won’t seem a hardship. When I say I love the food on my diet, I will mean it. Because nobody can stick to a diet if they hate what they’re eating.

New Friends
Let yourself learn to love your food. While you’re training yourself to new foods, don’t limit yourself from the others. You’re not on the diet yet. You’re just…making a new friend, is all.

Celebrate each new flavor that you make friends with.

Cucumber is my latest friend. I don’t love it yet, but I’ve been able to eat it when in the past, I couldn’t eat anything that had been made with it.

Trust me, if I can learn to like some of these, you can learn to like things you thought you hated too. But you absolutely have to do it slowly, and learn to like them BEFORE you start on your diet.

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