Almost three years ago I wrote a post titled “A History of my Pickiness.” I hadn’t really thought about it since, but last week Ali from Picky Eating RD told me how much she related to it and encouraged me to update it when I said a lot had changed. So here we are.
Three years ago I said how I didn’t eat a vegetable until I was 21; I had just recently started drinking milk; I didn’t eat much meat; and I wanted to learn to like Asian food, fish, eggs, and yogurt. An update on each one:
VEGETABLES: I still eat tons of vegetables. I try to have 2-3 servings a day and I’d love to have more. During the winter I mostly stick to frozen vegetables (mostly broccoli and green beans), but in the summer when I can get veggies from the Greenmarket I take advantage of those. And Brussels sprouts in the fall. I really love Brussels sprouts.
MILK: I do not drink cows’ milk any more. I certainly still eat dairy, but the phase of drinking milk and putting it on cereal has passed. I don’t find cereal and milk to be a filling breakfast and I just don’t find myself craving milk. I probably haven’t had a glass of milk or cereal and milk in 2.5 years.
MEAT: I stopped cooking meat at home right around the time I started this blog three years ago and I didn’t cook meat at home on a regular basis (meaning more than once or twice a year) until a couple months ago. Now I find myself wanting meat more often, so I make meat. Always organic, local and grassfed when possible, and I still only eat it maybe 3-4 times/week.
ASIAN FOOD: I said in the original post how I liked Indian food, well, I still love Indian food and I’m also now a big Thai fan. I could eat that spicy basil sauce all day. And steamed veggie dumplings. I’ve also tried Vietnamese food which I really enjoyed. I still can’t get onboard with Chinese or Japanese food. My guess is that I just haven’t found a dish I like, but unless some Chinese or Japanese restaurant wants to sponsor me it’s probably not going to happen as I don’t have money to waste on food I don’t like. As I’m writing this I had a realization, I’ve had cold sesame noodles and chicken teriyaki that I’ve liked, but they’ve both been dishes made by a coworker who’s a very good chef. As I said in my original post, part of what makes me picky and turns me off from trying food is the fear of not knowing what it is. When my coworker made the food I knew there was nothing crazy in it.
FISH: I’ve gotten on the shrimp wagon. I can’t imagine eating those freaky pink shrimp with cocktail sauce you see places (they’re so weird), but in my beloved Thai spicy basil rice dish or in a jambalaya or with grits or over pasta I love them. I still haven’t found a love of other seafood. I did order snapper at dinner the other night, but that’s the first time EVER that I’ve ordered fish in a restaurant. I don’t know what came over me.
EGGS: I did a really good job of eating eggs. I ate eggs, both that I made at home and I ordered in restaurants, for a good year and a half. Then, in the winter of 2011, I went out for brunch at a place I go all the time, felt sick the rest of the day, and then spent the night throwing up. I don’t think it was the food, a few people I know had stomach viruses around that time, and I felt better in pretty much exactly 24 hours, but (sorry for the imagery) once those eggs came back up I haven’t been able to bring myself to eat eggs again.
YOGURT: This was probably the easiest thing for me to get myself to eat. I started with flavored Greek yogurt. I went through a small Chobani pineapple obsession, but in the past year or so I’ve gotten into buying plain Greek yogurt and adding a little bit of fruit preserves. Much less sugar.
I’ve always been a big fan of Michael Pollen’s and an article about food rules in the NYT a few years ago really spoke to me. This rule, which was actually submitted by a reader, always stands out in my mind:
Anyway, that weird tangent is my way of saying that although I’m making my own personal judgements about all of these foods I totally do not judge anyone else for what they choose to eat/choose not to eat. You eat those deep-fried sheep eyeballs (or cocktail shrimp) and you enjoy every second of them.
Looking back, and thanks Ali for encouraging me to do this, I think I’ve made a lot of really good progress. But there are still foods I would like to conquer:
DARK LEAFY VEGETABLES: I eat a lot of romaine. And I pretty much only eat romaine. I think I like the crunchiness, I try eating spinach, but it’s just mushy. But the dark, leafy greens are so good for you that I know I need to work on this.
SEAFOOD: I will keep trying.
Then there are other foods that no matter what I try or anyone says I will never like:
ARUGULA: Probably the worst tasting food on the planet. The smell of it has made me physically ill (literally running to the bathroom). Completely vile.
CUCUMBERS: They taste like soap.
MELONS (besides watermelon): They’re in the same family as cucumbers to me, they’re too clean tasting.
Another thing I can’t seem to make myself like is sweet with my savory food. Like an apricot or apple chicken dish or maple syrup on vegetables. I really like savory food and bitter food (which is why it’s weird I don’t like arugula) and combining those flavors with sweet foods is just too much for me.
There’s my long update on what I’m eating/not eating/want to be eating/will never ever eat. I read somewhere that your taste buds change every seven years or so and I definitely think that’s true and I think my tastes will continue to evolve and hopefully expand!