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Boy have I heard that one! For many people, their only exposure to vegetables has been the overcooked, bland mixtures their mothers made for them and were “forced” to eat. They have a really bad taste in their mouth (pun intended) for vegetables. Let’s just say, you may be prejudice. You have made an assumption based on little evidence. So let me challenge that idea. Can you try to remain open minded for a bit and hear me out?
We know the health benefits of vegetables, we hear about the phytonutrients, the vitamins, the fiber that helps with our digestion, but we figure we can just take a vitamin and be good. How is that working for you? If you are the epitome of health, then read no further. Otherwise, you may want to read some more and at least give me a chance.
Even people who eat vegetables on a consistent basis have vegetables they don’t like. They also have ways they don’t like vegetables prepared. Many of us have not boiled a vegetable since the 50’s, unless is was fresh frozen and with just enough water to heat those vegetables for a short amount of time. So keep the idea that there may be something you may enjoy enough to eat from time to time.
Most people at least enjoy a raw carrot stick, or celery with peanut butter. Some enjoy sweet red peppers dipped in hummus (others cannot stand hummus, don’t panic!). How about that salad at your favorite restaurant; the little one before the meal that you eat because you are waiting for the meal? How about your favorite Chinese stir fry? Chicken soup with those peas and carrots added in that you sort of ignore, but eat anyway because you love the soup? Maybe you don’t hate all vegetables?
Now I am going to ask you to venture out a bit. Don’t jump right into trying steamed kale, but how about adding a little bit of spinach to your scrambled eggs in the morning? Just a hint. Add some other goodies, such as cheese or ham if you eat those; just other things to make the experience enjoyable. Could you add lettuce and tomato to your sandwich? Are these things too simple? Are you ready for a next step?
Search out recipes for vegetables that actually sound good to you. Do you love Indian food? If you love the curry spices, a great thing to try is oven roasted cauliflower with lots of coconut oil and curry spice. Recipes abound with flavors that will surprise you.
An idea that may surprise you is to take a sweet potato, bake it in the oven for an hour, open it up and slather it with butter and you can even add a touch of brown sugar if you have to, or some honey; better yet, sprinkle some cinnamon on top. Go ahead, take a bite; it may surprise you that eating dessert can be healthy. The benefits of the humble sweet potato are well documented. Most importantly, it tastes so sweet naturally, many people can eat it without anything sweet at all.
Speaking of sweet potatoes, I make sweet potato pancakes from the book, Practical Paleo, by Diane Sanfilippo, and they are a favorite for my family. There are great recipes in vegetarian and Paleo books and websites that will really surprise you.
I have been told by people that they don’t like anything green; yet we all know how important greens are in our health, so they feel guilty. These are times when I may suggest hiding them in a smoothie, starting with just a few, then trying to work their way up to a larger amount. Smoothies are also good for people on the go in the morning, or even for an afternoon pick-me-up. To save time, you can put your ingredients into the blender container, but don’t blend them; put it in the refrigerator and take it out when all you have time to do is blend and go. However, do not be the person that adds 3 cups of fruit to 1 leaf of lettuce. Fruit is good in small quantities, but it can have too much sugar for many individuals. I suggest 1/2 to 1 cup frozen berries or pineapple, add some yogurt or coconut milk or water, some gentle greens such as spinach, and you can even add some honey or stevia to sweeten it more if you need to. Recipes for smoothies abound, and you can make them taste wonderful, but don’t get carried away with the flavor and forget the nutrients. Please, no more than a cup of fruit, and preferably something low in sugar, such as berries.
If you don’t like or want to attempt smoothies, fine; there are many other ways to enjoy greens without having to change your life. If you do anything that resembles a stir fry, add a little book choi, or spinach.
Some people surprise me and say they don’t like vegetables, but they like sauerkraut. Well, cabbage is a vegetable, so glob that kraut onto whatever you traditionally eat it with. In the future you can learn to make your own home fermented sauerkraut, and increase the vitamin potential as well as the probiotic benefits and possibly improve your health without even changing a food.
This is just a start. There are so many ideas out there, including soups in the winter months, or trying things you hated as a child but may really love now if it is cooked with flavor and care. Please don’t give up. Feel free to contact me if you need more ideas. I would love for you to follow my blog at my website at pattibealer.com.
Your health is your journey, don’t be afraid of it and take it one step at a time. In fact, invite a friend to take this journey with you! Send this link to them and share this information!