It can be frightening—perhaps so much so you’re not willing to even consider the possibility. But it’s worth it and may potentially elevate mealtime beyond the dullness of routine.
I’m suggesting you revisit the ghastly veggies of the past—those brussel sprouts that stared you down in elementary school or that purplish orb that bore the repulsive moniker “eggplant”. Or zucchini and its soggy, bland, putrid medallions—an indigestible bridge between you and Mom’s apple pie.
Maybe your “I-hate-that” list extends beyond vegetables to meat (liver!) or sauces. Just the other day my son determined to never eat gravy—because it’s made from graves and that’s just gross.
And that’s my point.
Our perceptions change as we age and so do our 9000 taste buds. A 2012 NY Times article however, points that the real issue is not our sense of taste, but smell.
“When people talk about their taste, they’re really talking about the smell rather than the taste,” said Dr. Scott P. Stringer, chairman of the otolaryngology department at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
Which is good news because by the time those buds are 60 years old, many will atrophy and lose the ability to sense flavor altogether. Now that’s scary!
If you’re following the Ideal Protein diet, your food options in most categories have slimmed—however the select and occasional vegetables you are required to eat provide limitless options if you’re willing to forgo past fears and get creative.
I hated brussel sprouts, eggplant and zucchini as a child. As an adult, I realized it was how they were prepared that I despised. I don’t boil brussel sprouts for example—but shred them and eat them raw in salad. I still can’t eat a sauteed medallion but I shred raw zucchini weekly and use it in soups, enchiladas and spaghetti sauce. My kid who is grossed-out by gravy loves zucchini muffins. That purple eggplant makes great medallions which when rolled in egg white, topped with crushed White Cheddar Ridges and marinara make a delicious lunch.
Re-visit the veggies that haunted your childhood—but prep them differently. Add new spices and flavors to invigorate your sense of smell. Serve them beautifully to please your sense of sight.
You may be wonderfully surprised.
Dionne is a certified Ideal Protein coach who lost 25 pounds following the protocol way back when. Since then she's learned to cook healthier meals (and actually eat them), get a daily dose of iron in the form barbells and kettle bells and is usually training to improve her time in an upcoming half marathon.