Why It's Okay to Be Picky
Am I the only one who considers themselves a super picky foodie? I love food. But I also really dislike a lot of food. Shellfish or raw fish? Nope. Spicy things? I can't do them. Avocado? I guess I am not a true Californian then... And the list goes on and on. And one of the things I have the hardest time eating are vegetables. Now, I don't hate vegetables. In fact, I am kind of in awe of the amazing things they offer us! But, I really hate the taste of bland veggies and there are many veggies out there I don't or cannot eat.
I get migraines from onions and peppers, so those are out. Eggplant's texture freaks me out. Kale and other cruciferous veggies are too hard on my stomach if I eat them too often... So that leaves me with... spinach?
I've been spending a lot of time this summer figuring out what vegetables I enjoy and how I enjoy eating them. I used to force myself to eat vegetables, even if I didn't like them, because of their nutritional value. But this habit just reinforced my dislike until one day I was so disgusted by the thought of them that I wanted to throw up. Hence, the experimentation.
So what did I figure out? I love crispy green beans and asparagus with sea salt, black pepper, lemon, and parmesan. I also adore roasted root veggies, like carrots and turnips, with salt and pepper. And don't even get me started on zucchini... I am afraid I am going to turn into one because of how much I eat it. But besides these guys, I try to get creative with my veggie intake because I can feel when my body needs more.
So I started making a smoothie bowl for breakfast, and it was absolutely delicious. Buuuuuut, I would find myself not satisfied after, still hungry. Listening to my body, I realized the bowl wasn't giving me what I needed to refuel after my workouts. At the same time, I also realized that the bowl was making me feel more energized in different ways. For this reason, I knew I wanted to keep the smoothie in my life, but make it an afternoon snack. So now, I enjoy a green smoothie almost every afternoon, and it really helps me power up!
When I realized how much I love zucchini and summer squash, I decided there was no limit on how often I could eat it. If I loved the veggie so much, why not have it for most dinners or lunches? Now, I make zoodles at least once a week, just tried making a zucchini lasagna, and am hoping to make zoats (zucchini oatmeal) in the near future.
When I go out to lunch, I am always tempted to order the "healthiest" item on the menu, just as I am to order the "least healthy." On the one hand, I know I will feel good and healthy if I order the first. On the other, I know the second (stereotypically) will taste super good. So which do I order? While there are days when I do order the "healthiest" or "least healthiest" item because of what my body wants, I usually go with the third pick- the somewhere in between. I know if I order the healthiest, I most likely won’t satisfy my taste buds and may even feel nauseous. If I go with the latter, I will feel sick after just a couple of bites because of the amount of sugar/dairy/etc.. So if I order the in-between, I can get a bit of both! Not to mention that I can always persuade someone else into ordering another dish so I can have a bite and try it for myself... I'm listening to my body and no longer ordering the Kale Superfood Salad when I don't crave it, but just because I should.
Vegetables can be hard to get psyched about. Forcing yourself to eat baby carrots for a mid-afternoon snack can be really difficult if you don't like baby carrots. A big bowl of kale can make you unhappy if you hate the taste. So I encourage you to do a bit of food exploration and figure out what you like and how you like it- you will have some major hits and misses, but you will learn so much more about your body along the way!
A lot of people call me picky, and maybe in their opinion I am… but honestly, I would rather do what is best for my body than force myself to do what will make it, or me, upset. There are definitely situations when I go out of my comfort zone (like at a dinner party or traveling), but on a day to day basis, I don’t see the need to. Instead of considering myself picky, I like to think of myself as "knowing what I want."
What are your favorite veggies and how do you prepare them? How do you sneak them in throughout the day? Help me find something new!