Confession: I haven’t always loved healthy food.
Shocking, right? I actually used to love, and live off of white bread, Kraft mac and cheese, hot dogs, pizza, and chocolate milk.
If you asked my family, I was the “healthy” one because I did love salad growing up and I ate a lot more variety than my younger sisters. But, I wasn’t really all that healthy and I was still extremely picky with what I would eat. My salad usually consisted of iceberg lettuce (little nutritional value), cucumbers, and Italian dressing (processed & full of chemicals). That’s it - because I didn’t really like many other vegetables.
Since I was also a naturally thin kid, I think it was easy to assume I was very healthy. I do remember a time when I was a child and I really struggled with constipation. The doctor believed it was caused by dairy and had me eliminate it for a couple weeks to see if it helped. I believe it did help, but I didn’t make it too long before I was craving pizza and milk and ignoring that dairy may be causing issues for me.
Today, I have come a long way from the way I used to eat. I have learned and accepted that dairy really doesn’t make me feel good. I have tried and learned to like so many new healthy foods that I wouldn’t have ever considered eating. Kale, beans, broccoli, lentils, chickpeas, quinoa - just to name a few.
The thing is so many people tell me “I just don’t like healthy foods.” or “Ew, I could never eat that.” And I’m calling BS.
I used to think like that, but really, is that way of thinking truly SERVING you?
Do you want to live your life feeling tired, sick, or overweight? Nevermind the fact that what you eat is directly related to cancer and disease.
I think YOU and your body deserve better! And honestly, if you are reading this, i think you already know deep down that you can do this!
So if you’re ready to take responsibility of what you choose to eat & your health, Here Are 5 Tips to Start Liking Healthy Food:
1. Change Your Mindset | As I’ve already mentioned, it truly is a mindset issue. Yeah, you may think it’s a tastebud issue, but it’s not. Our tastebuds can adapt and change. Mine have and yours can to. But first, you must acknowledge that it is possible to start liking foods you never thought you could. You must change you mindset from “I can’t” or “I won’t” to “perhaps, I can”. Try to look at this as an experiment of possibility and transformation.
2. Find Your Why | Changing your mindset will be a whole lot easier if you have a big WHY. Why do you want to start liking healthy foods? Do you want more energy? Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to live longer? Once you know your why, dig a little deeper. What do you think having “fill in the blank (more energy, weight loss, etc.)” will do for you? Will you be happier? Will you be able to spend more time playing with your kids? Once you truly understand WHY you want to eat healthier foods it will make the process so much more enjoyable.
3. You Can Acquire Taste | This may come to you as a shock or you may not believe me quite yet. I assure you, you can acquire taste. Have you ever heard that it can take time and repeated exposure before your child decides if they actually like or want to eat a particular food? Well, it’s the same for adults. It can take time and a bit of trial and error, but I assure you I did not like black beans for the first 20 times I tried them and now I eat them regularly. When you want to try something new and immediately think “Gross! I can’t!” remind yourself that it is possible to acquire taste.
4. Try New Foods & Take Your Time | I recommend focusing on 1-2 new foods that you want to start adding into your diet. I suggest picking a vegetable that doesn’t completely gross you out, but is something you would like to start eating on a regular basis. Give yourself plenty of time and repeated attempts before deciding you truly don’t like it. Sometimes it can take a few weeks and other times it may take months. Just keep trying and once you can stand a food or decide you actually like it, move on to a new food you want to try.
5. Experiment | Now it’s time for the fun part. Whatever food you are trying to acquire taste for begin experimenting with different ways to eat it. You can experiment with flavors by using different sauces or seasoning. You can experiment with how you cook it by sautéing, baking, grilling, or steaming. Look up new recipes with the ingredient and find ways to eat it without really tasting it. I started liking beans by combining it with an overwhelmingly spicy salsa to mask the flavor. I started to like broccoli more by roasting it in the oven with avocado oil and garlic sea salt.