“I can’t believe how many things you haven’t tried.”
That’s the comment Laura left me on my food blog regarding my first time eating a plum. Yes, I ate a plum for the first time a few days ago. It was one of the many fruits and vegetables that for the longest time was on my “ew, I’m not eating that” list.
I’ve probably mentioned it a few times here, but it bares repeating: I used to be a really picky eater. A really, really, unbelievably picky eater. My path to obesity was paved with bland processed food and few vegetables and fruits. The vegetables my mother served with dinner rarely made it to my stomach and only went down after much protesting.
As a child I somehow decided certain foods were gross while others were acceptable. I honestly can’t recall exactly how those decisions were made but it went something like this: anything with sugar or that’s been deep fried is good and anything that’s a fruit or vegetable or weird meat is bad. Those decisions I made at a early age in a no doubt sugar induced frenzy of excitement were ideas that stuck with me for a long time. In high school they had the most strength when I had both the freedom to choose my food and the ability to make the wrong choices that led to severe obesity. That continued until my first year of college where I finally decided to lose weight and literally forced myself to eat salads.
I struggled with compulsive eating and binge eating during college but at the same time I lost weight by eating more vegetables and salads. Even when I finally started eating these things by “choice” I stuck to a very boring and limited selection. Most vegetables were still classified as “yucky” and never made it to my plate. New vegetables and fruits that I didn’t recognize didn’t even stand a chance. I stuck to a very small selection of things like iceberg lettuce, carrots, and peas.
In the past year, especially since starting my food blog, I’ve tried a lot of things I never even knew existed and many things that once seemed to me like the most disgusting things ever. For example, last night I ate brussel sprouts for the first time. My mom made them once when we were kids because she loves to eat them, but I refused to even try one. Now as a much wiser, open and educated adult I’ve discovered that I actually like them.
I’m so glad I’m not a picky eater any more.
I’ve come a long way since I first started forcing myself to eat vegetables. I will now try everything at least once and I like most fruits and vegetables. There are some things I still don’t like. Raw tomatoes, mushrooms, and pickles being the main offenders. But I no longer write off foods before trying them like I did as a child. I’m a much more adventurous eater these days.
Despite my new(ish) healthy eating habits, I still haven’t tried a lot of things. Like plums and brussel sprouts, there are many other foods I’ve never had the opportunity to try because of my picky eating past. I now want to try everything and have decided to make the one of the missions of my food blog.
The mission is simple – try as many different fruits and vegetables as possible. I figure this is as far removed a goal from the formerly picky eater that I can get. The longest list of vegetables I could find was on wikipedia: list of culinary vegetables. Most other lists online only include the most commonly eaten ones. Similar is the list of culinary fruits. These two lists will be my guide and I will slowly cross off vegetables and fruits for as long as I can. They say you need to eat more fruits and vegetables, so I might as well be adventurous in my choices. ;)
Do you try to eat fruits and vegetables you’ve never tried before or do you stick to what you know? Are there any that you haven’t tried but want to?