Ok, I’ll admit it: I DO like kale, I’m not just being trendy or whatever. I’m not lying through my teeth. I like it, I do! I might not be the best test case, though, because as a toddler in northern CA, my parents fed me tofu and avocados.
The compelling questions is whether people who are used to eating a standard American diet (that’s SAD) can adapt their tastes to actually prefer healthy food. Spoiler alert: yes, they can, but it generally takes some time. On a personal note, I have two examples:
- I switched from dairy milk to soy or almond milk in my coffee a few years ago, and shortly after, to unsweetened versions. A few months after the switch, I ordered a soy latte at a coffee shop– and I was SURE they had screwed up and added some kind of flavor syrup to it. Nope. It was just their standard soymilk: sweetened, and vanilla flavored. Before I made that switch, I’d never have found it sweet.
- I like to eat peanut butter or almond butter a lot. I’ve always tried to buy brands that didn’t contain sugar or palm oil (if you read labels, you’ll be horrified– even some brands touted as all-natural do.) I also generally buy it unsalted. I was in a rush the other day, and while I was at target buying god-knows-what, I picked up a jar of PB that, while it didn’t have the real nasties, did have salt. How bad could it be? HOLY COW, you guys, it tastes like a salt lick to me! I used to eat peanut butter with salt and it tasted normal.
I firmly believe that a commitment to eating less processed food without excessive added sugar, salt, and fat for a few months will change your tastes. We are used to eating what we eat. This means that 1. it tastes normal to us, and 2. we may not be able to tell how our food is affecting us. A trial period of REALLY CHANGING is one way to figure out both pieces. If you start with 6 weeks, you might find your food tastes different, and you feel different.
A few tips to make it work:
- prepare food yourself. if you buy it packaged or from a restaurant, it WILL have added salt, sugar, and/or fat.
- plan ahead. bring snacks. think about what you’ll need.
- don’t go it alone! if a friend or family member will do it with you, it will be more fun, and easier.
- be flexible– eat food that’s in season and buy produce that looks good. you can always google it to figure out how to prepare it.
- eat food that’s lots of different colors. and i don’t mean eat funfetti cake.
- read blogs and cookbooks! there’s an amazing community with tips out there. (https://zabbylogica.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/whats-for-dinner/)
- be OK with not finding every meal you eat AMAZING. you are starting where you are. you are committing to change, which isn’t instantaneous or easy.