lani_muelrath_hs_t-tap_lighMy friend Kathie hates veggies.


Pretty much anything green.  The less color, the better, seemingly.

Iceberg lettuce, tomatoes are OK.  But not on a sandwich.  Heaven forbid. She’ll yank them out of a subway sammy so fast it will give you lunchtime whiplash.

Heck, she won’t even eat raisins in cookies, which along with the rolled oats is about the only redeeming factor in my Aunt Jo’s Oatmeal Cookies.

Kathie  is also a good 70 lbs overweight.  And it doesn’t seem to bother her. Every couple of years  she casually mentions teaming up with one of her kids to drop some pounds.  Lose a little weight.  But then again, the entire family of 5 is, well, big.  They are all just large humans yet with lots of extra layers of avoir du pois to boot.

You CAN learn to love your veggies!

Though Kathie insists she “doesn’t like vegetables”, she persists with this notion despite the fact that she has considerably compromised her health, energy, and well-being by shunning plants in her diet.

She’s not alone.  When one is used to a diet of heavy, high fat foods, processed meals, and burgers-to-go, there can be some serious re-alimentation that needs to take place.  Let’s talk about that.

Re-alimentation:  changing your tastes

We become accustomed to our food choices.  They become our preferences, then our habits of choice, and then what we really desire, if not downright crave.

Food choices are largely learned behavior.  Reflect on Kathie’s family.  It’s hard for any of them to face a veggie.  Vegetables  are an afterthought to meals.  A garnish.  And at great cost to their health.

The good news is, these tastes can be massaged, educated, and morphed so that the foods that are most instrumental in building health, facilitating weight loss, and assisting us in realizing our fitness ideal are the ones we like!

You may have experienced this.  Did you ever try to cut out sugar – completely – even for a few days?  I remember doing that as part of “induction” on Diet Center (years ago, don’t get me started) and noted in just 2 short days how darn sweet an apple tasted.

Fruit tasted like dessert!  And so it should be in the natural order of things.  In a slim universe.

Our alimentary system – the process of digestion and absorption – begins in the mouth.  I argue that this system can be totally re-sensitized to support our body composition, weight loss, fat loss, and health goals.

I call it “re-alimentation”.  Learning new tastes.

Are your taste buds corrupt?

If veggies don’t sound good or you need to slather them with dips, sauces and dressings to choke them down, then chances are very good – ahem – that your taste buds are corrupt.

I’ll give you this: there ARE some people – a segment of the population – who have a genetically induced aversion to certain cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower.  You can read more about this in Dr. Neal Barnard’s Turn Off The Fat Genes.  As I said, a small segment of the population. But really, these veggies are just a fraction of what await you to delight in in the plant and vegetable kingdom.

Strap on your veggie training wheels

Here’s how.

  1. Decide, first of all, that it is worth your while to invest in your enjoyment of the vegetable.
  2. Start with the vegetables with which you are most familiar, and like.
  3. Then take a trip to market – farmer’s or super – and investigate at least one new choice.  Bok choy?  It’s like mild, mild cabbage and steams or stir fries up beautifully.  Leeks?  Light, flirty onion taste and go great in the stir fry with the bok choy.

From there, an ever-widening circle of delights awaits you.

Not to mention a trimmer waistline.

© Lani Muelrath 2009 All Rights Reserved

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