Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Pick, pick, pick

Okayyyy…so just when I think I’ve run out of topics to discuss under the Step 1 – No More Denial part of the plan, I run across this article. And yep, there it is, one of my big issues staring me in the face.

Hi. My name is KJ and I’m a picky eater.

Always have been. Always will be.

I would say this article describes me to a “T.” I was picky as a kid. I have an overly developed gag reflex. I once threw up at the dinner table at the mere mention that I’d have to eat squash. My sense of smell is so sensitive it’s been described as almost “psychic.” If my sense of smell were an animal, it’d be a shark – able to detect the tiniest scent traces in the vast distances of the open ocean.

Not very useful in modern day life although I’m sure it saved some of my ancestresses from accidentally eating a deadly mushroom or something because I’m assuming it is some sort of evolutionary ability (my mom has it, too).

Then there’s the whole texture issue. I love that the article talks about tomatoes because I can’t think of a better example of something that is SO icky in its raw form. I just can’t even go there. Yet, I have no problem whatsoever with tomato sauce (as long as it’s not “chunky” style) or ketchup and I love cream of tomato soup. I remember my mom telling me that no boy would ever want to date me after he saw me pick the tomato off my hamburger. She was wrong, by the way. I just have to find boys who also do not like tomatoes.

And yeah, I might be a bit OCD about a few things. And yeah, my parents were overly concerned with forcing me to eat stuff and making me sit at the table until I’d cleaned my plate.

I did find it interesting to note that in the study mentioned in the article, picky eaters rated certain flavors (sweet and bitter) as more intense than non-picky eaters. Since taste is largely influenced by sense of smell, I wonder if my sense of smell could be part of the problem. I definitely find a lot of fruits almost too sweet to tolerate and most vegetables taste too bitter.

I’m working on it, though. I don’t think I’ll ever really make friends with vegetables, but since I started cleaning up the rest of my diet, I’ve found a couple of ways to add fruit in that I can tolerate (and even enjoy in some cases). I make smoothies in the morning for breakfast quite frequently. It gets me around the whole “texture” issue and I cut the sweetness by adding vanilla-flavored soy powder and using non-fat milk instead of juice as the liquid. When I get to the eating section of the plan, I’ll post my recipe.
I’ve also learned to do a better job picking out apples and keeping them in the fridge so they are nice and crisp because I can’t stand it when they are mealy. Gross! Spreading peanut butter on them helps considerably and again, cuts any amount of over-sweetness. I’m very careful to measure out only 2 tbsp. of the peanut butter, though. It has a lot of calories and fat. That’s okay in small amounts but I could eat half a jar in one sitting if I’m not careful.

I don’t really have a final point to make. I just thought the article was interesting and if there are any other picky eaters out there, you are not alone!


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