Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Picky, Picky

I was reading an article on SP this evening that made me think about my eating habits and how healthy eating has helped me to become a bit more open to what I will eat.  The article was about picky eating and how it can become a larger problem for some.  There are people who are so picky that it can have a negative impact on their health. This? Makes sense.  We get set in our ways and don't want to venture away from what we know we like.  The problem with this is that sometimes we don't get enough nutrients. Some of us who are picky do like other things and get nutrients from the foods that we do like.  However, some people will only eat specific foods, some even at specific meals or on certain days.  This is not classified as an eating disorder but in the case where it is so extreme, it is definitely a pattern of disordered eating. In some cases it may seem a lot like obsessive-compulsive disordered (if it's that severe, maybe just traits or tendencies if it's not as severe).

I have never been so picky that I'd consider my likes and dislikes to be disordered. However, there are foods I decided I didn't like as a child and I still do not care for. I don't know that I ever tried these foods before deciding I didn't care for them.  However, as an adult attempts to try them have failed.  I haven't liked them. Whether it's texture or taste, some foods just are not for me. 

I seem to have the most difficulty with vegetables.... Here's what I really don't care for (that I can think of at this moment; there might be more): onion (I will only eat them in some foods), tomatoes, all forms of peppers (tried them recently and...no), mushrooms are okay only in certain foods but years ago I didn't eat them, zucchini, cucumbers (but I like pickles; must be the flavor), spinach (which I like now, depending on how it is prepared) eggplant (I like it now; at least the ways I've had it prepared), some forms of squash (this was all squash until I actually tried butternut and liked it), I could never eat raw celery but don't mind it cooked, like in soup....And I'm sure there are more.

The vegetables I could eat anytime (and still will) are broccoli, green beans, peas if I'm in the mood for them, corn, cauliflower, lettuce, and carrots. No problems there. I didn't always eat enough of them but would eat them. I still struggle with getting enough veggies in my diet (probably because I am still pretty limited in which veggies I will eat), but strive for at least two a day. For some reason, vegetables are easy for me to avoid. 

Some other things I had decided I didn't like either... venison (which wasn't bad when I actually ate some), dark chocolate (depends on the percentage...I'm okay with 70% but 80% is just too bitter for me), and seafood (I'd only eat shrimp, crab, or lobster - now I eat white fish like tilapia and cod too, but still cannot stand "fishy" tasting fish like salmon). Now I try to make fish a part of a meal at least once a week.

I like to think that in recent years I've become more open to foods, especially since getting healthy. I'm more willing to try new foods and combinations of foods now. I know that a variety is a key to good health. I know that I need certain nutrients that certain foods provide. I'd like to think that knowing that helps me to focus more on eating foods that would be easy for me to avoid.

Oddly there are foods I like but I tend to go in cycles of when I will eat them. Sometimes I will eat a banana every day. Other times the taste, and even just the smell, of the banana is enough to turn my stomach. Lately I've been doing well with yogurt but there have been times in the past that I couldn't stand the texture. Oatmeal is the same; I've been able to eat it lately but every now and then it sounds horrible. Oh and I am really not a fan of my food touching, but am able to handle it better now than when I was younger.

I definitely still have my quirks when it comes to food but I think we all do. What's important is to make sure you're getting the nutrients that you need. While a fast food sandwich/burger/fries/chips/taco/donut/whatever may sound good and taste good, much of that lacks nutrients and has a whole bunch of things that you don't need. Sometimes we get set in our ways and prefer certain foods.  It's important to remember that in weight loss, and health, you need to eat a variety of things. You miss out on key nutrients. Your body somehow adjusts and may derail weight loss efforts.  Don't be afraid to try something new; you never know what you may end up liking. Cooking your own meals can be helpful - you try new things, get a variety, and will be eating healthier in general (unless you're cooking things that aren't so healthy all the time).

So...go pick up a cookbook, find a new recipe, go get the ingredients, and try something new!!


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