I am a picky eater. I will try many foods, but there is a method to my madness. As a foodie I know my taste buds very well, so when making the decision to try a new food, I’ve already calculated the probability that I’ll like it. If it’s too low, I typically won’t try it. This isn’t a terrible quality. That is unless it limits the amount of healthy food that you consume. You see, most of the foods that I am very picky about are fruits and vegetables. Sometimes I don’t like the flavor and sometimes I don’t like the texture of them. I also have a difficult time with trying healthy substitutions. For example, eating a small portion of walnuts instead of potato chips. Don’t get me wrong, I like walnuts. However, when I want chips, I want chips! After years of ups and downs in my weight loss journey I finally realized that it was time for me to make a change or my health would just continue to decline.
The common denominator in this little food struggle is this simple sentiment- “it tastes different”. Different doesn’t always equal dislike. It doesn’t always mean disgusting. It is simply different and I had to learn to overcome that barrier in order improve my nutrition. I always said that I hate berries. Anyone who knows me well, knows how I am when I like a specific food and when I don’t like it. After years of telling myself I’ll never eat berries because they taste weird, I started eating blueberries. I tried this fruit first because it’s packed with great nutrients and it’s a fruit that is low in sugar.
Here are a few quick tips when you are trying to introduce a new food into your diet:
1) Mind over Matter:
While trying blueberries, I told myself that I was eating live vitamins. I treated them like multivitamins, instead of some weird food that I was trying to consume. Change your mind and your behavior will follow.
2) Ready, Set, Chase:
I would eat a couple of blueberries and follow it up with a sip of my chocolate protein shake. Since I am very particular about flavors and textures, adding them to a smoothie was not the solution for me, but making smoothies could be an option for you.
3) The Perfect Pair:
When I introduced spinach salad into my diet, I always had some sort of protein such as grilled chicken or salmon with each bite. Pretty simple, right?
4) Be Aggressive, Be, Be Aggressive:
Well, you don’t have to be aggressive, but be consistent, especially if it’s a healthy food that you’re introducing into your diet. I ate small amounts of blueberries every day until the shock factor wore off. Yes, I said shock.
To all of my picky eaters out there, trust me, I feel your pain. Just know that you can make the changes necessary to have a more wholesome and well balanced diet. I can do this. You can do this. We can do this.
*I am not a licensed health professional. Consult a physician before starting/changing any fitness and/or nutritional program.