3 Ways to Think Like a Healthy Eater Part 3 - Find your gateway veggie
We all have mixed feelings about eating our veggies.
There are some that we love, our old standbys, that we love no matter how it’s prepared (I’m lookin’ at you bell peppers) and then there are others that just don’t do it for us (that’d be you, Mr. onion). It’s totally normal to be a little picky about what we eat.
Not liking one veggie doesn’t mean “you don’t like vegetables”, it just means you don’t like that one veggie.
If you have someone in your life who “doesn’t like vegetables”, help them to find their gateway veggie.
This was how my husband got on board the veggie train.
I made a big switch towards eating healthier last year and all summer, from about April to September, my husband had politely eaten all of the veggie based meals I made. For me it had been a summer of fresh tomatoes and basil, warm breaded eggplants, lightly steamed summer squash, and all sorts of fresh, juicy fruits. For him, it had been a summer of not meat, not meat, and not meat. He was barely following alongside the veggie train.
It finally happened at the end of summer, when I came home with the first butternut squash of the season.
He and I disagree on what that first recipe was. He thinks it was farro with broccoli, butternut squash, and a poached egg. I thought it something with fried rice and asian spices. He remembers thinking the butternut squash was something else or generally not knowing what the ingredient was.
He remembers being surprised that he actually liked it and then really surprised that it was butternut squash.
(Squash was one of the designated do-not-like veggies).
It was a turning point for him where he started appreciating what was in the meal instead of wanting it to be something else. It change his mindset from feeling deprived, to feeling content.
For my husband, butternut squash was the gateway veggie to a whole world of eating vegetables and actually liking it.
Sometimes it works out like this, where you do something over and over again and then all of a sudden it feels natural. If you've read the last two posts in this series about taste and expectations, I'm sure you recognize those factors at play in this story too. There's not one easy way to make big changes in our lives. Life is messy and complicated. We have to create the change we want to see in our lives.
If you're feeling resistance to making the changes you know you need to make to live a healthier and happier life, you have two choices. You can take the route that my husband did and not like it for a long time until you finally get used to it. Or, you can choose to enjoy the road you're taking. Actively start acquiring the taste for foods you aren't used to. Get rid of your expectations, both good and bad. Make your own list of veggies-I-actually-like and eat them all the time! You'll be surprised how quickly your taste and attitude adjust to your new healthier life.