Can’t Eat, Won’t Eat, Don’t Want to Eat, and Allergic

I am somewhat of a picky eater.  I don’t mind admitting this, and it has never really bothered me.  I do not feel sad that I don’t get to experience all sorts of exciting cuisines.  I’m just not that into it.  More than anything, the problems it causes me are social.  Other people do not want me to be picky.  Now, I don’t always care much about what other people want me to be, but I also recognize that I live in a society, and this sometimes requires me to be social, and sometimes that means eating food.

I have finally found the value in trying to open myself up to new food experiences, since it makes life easier on my friends and family if I eat more things rather than fewer things.  Perhaps you too are a picky eater, and do not know how to become less picky without eating a lot of gross stuff.  Well, I am going to share my rehabilitation system with you, and maybe it will do you some good.

What I have realized, is that I do not have equal hatred for all foods.  I used to divide food into two categories: like, and dislike.  This made it very easy for me to be a picky eater, because anything I did not “like,” I would just not eat.  Simple.  Easy.  Obnoxious?  Maybe.  But when I decided to try to be somewhat less picky, I was able to separate out the dislike section into more specific columns.  Some foods I really could not eat without gagging or feeling sick.  Some foods I just would not eat because I was very annoying.  And some foods weren’t really that bad, they just weren’t my favorites.

Armed with this knowledge, my next goal was to move some of the food up a category.  So, for instance, I used to not like asparagus.  But now I actually like it.  Like, for real like it.  I desire to eat it.  So it gets moved to the “Like it” side.  Broccoli I was never a huge fan of, but it actually isn’t that bad.  I don’t ever really want to eat it, but eating it won’t kill me, so it gets moved from the “Won’t Eat,” to the “Don’t Want to Eat” column.  Which brings me to the “Can’t Eat” area.

When I was sorting all of this out, I was very interested in trying to figure out why some foods I just really, really hated, when other people ate them with no problems.  And one thing I realized is that I may have some food allergies.  Finally, some of my pickiness was validated!  I wasn’t eating these things because they were actually poison, and my body knew it!  One of the foods I have always hated and avoided is nuts.  I can do peanuts and peanut butter, but walnuts, cashews, and other types of nuts always gave me a headache and made me feel yucky all over.  Then I looked up online that these nuts can cause migraines and headaches in people with mild allergies to them.  Problem solved!  A little research, and I was well on my way to figuring out what I can and can’t eat.

Olives are another food I put into the “Allergic” category.  Suddenly, everything was lining up and making sense for once.  Now, my “Can’t Eat” list is very small, and things that I previously refused to eat, like lima beans, turkey bacon, and most seafood, are now only on my “Avoid if possible, but eat if necessary,” list.  This makes my life a lot easier.

So my message to all of you picky eaters out there is, put some thought into why you don’t eat certain foods.  Do it on a food by food basis.  Do you have food allergies?  Do you have texture issues?  I do.  I can’t eat lumpy mush, which rules out oatmeal, cream of wheat, and guacamole for me.  Maybe it’s the same for you.  But once I learned that my hatred of oatmeal was a texture thing, it opened me up to liking baked oatmeal, which is delicious and not a lumpy mush.  So there may also be hope for you too.  I know it’s fun to only eat your favorites all the time, but believe me, at least knowing that you can eat some other stuff too will make your life a lot easier.  Especially at pot lucks.

Posted in Food.

One Comment

  1. Do I have to wait until my 4 year old is your age to be less picky? I wish there was a 4 year old translation for this. She mostly just won’t even try things.

    I’m glad you’re making progress. Enjoy the new foods, and good luck avoiding the allergies.

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