Wednesday, March 15, 2017

What to do when you don’t like vegetables.




What can you do when you have serious health and fitness goals…but you just don’t like vegetables? First, know that you’re not crazy (and you’re not alone). Next, try our 3-step formula to go from spitting out to seeking out the veggies you used to hate.

You should eat your vegetables.

“Eat your veggies” is a childhood mantra, a government agency slogan, and a lesson that almost any health or fitness coach will eventually teach their clients.

Even newbies know they should be “eating the rainbow” (though they don’t always know how).

Yes, vegetables are good.

Of course, in theory, you could eat “too many vegetables”… but for most people, that would mean eating several pounds a day. (And lots of bathroom unpleasantness).

Most people, of course, have the opposite problem: barely eating any vegetables at all.

3 steps to really love your veggies

Regardless of where you’re starting — never eaten a green thing ever, or just want some new ways to eat plants — there is a simple formula you can use to make bitterness less intense, more palatable, and much more enjoyable:

  1. Challenge.
  2. Complement.
  3. Cushion.

1. Challenge.

Find a bitter food, something that requires a special effort, and something that you won’t normally just eat.

Psych yourself up. Put on your ragiest, peppiest music as a soundtrack. Do a primal scream.

You’re going to TASTE that kale! YEAHHHHHHH!!! BITTER BEAST MODE!!!


Do it.

See what happens.

You may hate it… you may love it… you may just think “meh”.

Either way… you have now been brave, and at least tried it.

Research suggests that we may need to try new foods many times before we’ll tolerate or like them. So, challenge yourself regularly. You might be surprised about what happens.

2. Complement.

Building on the complexity of flavor perception, almost all well-developed recipes use a kind of “flavor harmony”.

In this case, it means pairing a food or aromatic with your vegetable to push several taste/flavor buttons at the same time.

We can actually predict some of this harmony in advance now, using complicated measurements like gas chromatography. But generally, we rely on chefs — who often have amazing intuition about “what goes with what” — to do it for us.

3. Cushion.

Pairing bitterness with certain flavors can magically turn its volume down.


On your tongue, you have a variety of receptors that bind to the chemicals in food. When these receptors get a chemical signal, they send information to the brain about what you are “tasting”.

(Variations in the number and type of these receptors help give us our innate flavor preferences.)

Chemical signals are like cars on a roadway. Sometimes the road to the brain is clear, sometimes the road can get jammed.

Sweet and fatty flavors, in particular, can jam up the road and interfere with our brain’s perception of bitterness. Even the specific types of sugar and fat can matter (for instance, butter versus olive oil; glucose versus fructose, etc.)

So, after we have chosen our Challenge food and a Complement, we find a Cushion.

Excellent Cushions for bitterness include honey, maple syrup, oil, almonds, and butter.

Don’t freak out if those sound calorie-dense. We just need balance, not a cup of oil or a pound of bacon.

Now, check out the matrix below.

  1. Pick one challenge.
  2. Pick one complement.
  3. Pick one cushion.

Pay attention to the simple cooking methods, which help you preserve the vegetables’ texture (mush ends here, people.)

As you become more comfortable, experiment with combining more flavors — up to one item per category. The different combinations are endless.

Read the full article HERE.



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