Do you keep eating foods you hate? Here is why you need to stop forcing yourself to eat them!
I have a question for you…..What is one food that you’ve really tried to like….but just don’t? When I asked that question on Facebook the first time a few months ago it opened the floodgates and I had almost 100 responses. That question really resonated with everyone and that really got me to thinking….
We are exposed to articles and information every single day about the benefits of a particular food and how we should be eating more of that food to be healthier (think kale, avocados, spinach, liver, beets, superfoods, salmon, etc). So we go to the store and get some that food to add those health benefits to our diet.
But there is only one problem….we try that food, but don’t like it. Even worse than that, we hate that food to the very core of our being, and shudder at the thought of ever eating it again. But then this strange phenomenon occurs and we decide that the health benefits are so great that maybe, just maybe, if we try it again in a different dish or prepared a different way then we’ll like it.
Unfortunately, that never seems to quite work out and we hate it just as much as we did the first time…even though we continue to find ways to make it different and keep forcing ourselves to consume that food because it has such great health benefits. Admit it, you’ve done that, haven’t you? I know I have! Well, I am here to say that it is safe to step away from the kale and put down the beets…if they are not your cup of tea, of course.
It is actually very important, especially while making the transition to real, whole foods to give yourself permission to not have to eat food that your really don’t like! Have you ever seen a baby given a new food for the first time that they did not like? They spit that stuff right out and they won’t eat it again! So although it may not be the best to spit it out (although I have done that a couple of times with things that were really bad to my poor taste buds), you certainly don’t have to finish the portion you put on your plate. Just say no!
I don’t know where we got this misconception that eating healthy, real food had to taste bad. But it absolutely does NOT have to be torture to force feed yourself foods that are yucky and unsatisfying. Eating good food should be pleasurable and SHOULD taste good. When it does, it makes the transition easier and will help you to stick to a real food lifestyle for the long haul.
Once I gave myself permission to stop trying to like foods that I really didn’t like, I created a rating system with three levels that I now use to judge new foods that I try. And it is good to try new things at least once, so you can discover new foods to love and foods to leave behind.
Three levels for judging a food
- Level 1– these are the foods that you absolutely LOVE. Think chocolate, bacon, ice cream, steak, bananas. Whatever those foods are to you. These are the foods that you simply can’t imagine living without and that are really a treat for your taste buds. These foods you will definitely keep around because they will make a real food lifestyle much easier!
- Level 2– these foods are your “okay” foods. If you eat something and thing “It was okay” or “It was good, but not great” then it is a level 2 food. What you can do with a level 2 food is to try it prepared differently. So, for instance, you tried kale in a fresh salad and though it was okay, but not great. Next time then, perhaps you can try it sauteed with some butter and garlic, or blended in a smoothie. Once you’ve tried it a couple of times, if it’s still not striking inspiration, then you can put it on the “Don’t keep” list and move on to a food that will be more tempting to your palate.
- Level 3– and this is an important one! These are the foods that you try and really don’t like. You absolutely hate them, can’t stand them and can’t understand why other people would eat them! Put them on your “Don’t keep” list and do NOT eat again. You have permission to do that! You don’t have to try to reinvent them with the hopes that you will magically love them prepared a different way. You won’t….and it’s okay! You certainly don’t need to torture yourself simply because a food is considered a trendy must eat food!
There are plenty of incredible super foods out there that will provide you with great levels of vitamins, minerals and amino acids….you just need to get out there, try new foods and if it doesn’t fall into the first two levels, then just move on to another food that you do like and your taste buds will be thanking you!
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