Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Green Beans Don't Come From a Can?!

The Beginnings
I have been on a food journey. Not just lately but for awhile now. It all started a little over 6 years ago when my husband and I were dating. We decided to participate in a "Daniel fast", which is like going vegan for a specified amount of time. I thought I was going to die. I'm pretty sure I complained the entire two weeks of potatoes and beans. That was basically what I ate, with the exception of a few spears of broccoli. I was so hungry! No sugar, no meat, only whole grain carbs! Who could live like this!?! It was then I began to realize I eat like a kid. At 24 that's kind of a big deal.

Growing up you couldn't get me to taste a new veggie. I scoffed at carrots and cauliflower, and threatened to vomit at the sight of a green bean. You may think I'm joking... I am not. One of my less attractive qualities is stubbornness, and it always showed come dinner time. My parents never forced me to eat anything, just try it once. So I would and if I hated it I never tried it again.

From the realization of my childish ways came a new determination to eat better. I wanted to be healthy, so I decided to learn how to cook veggies and started adding them to my meals. Now here I am six years later actually considering vegetarianism, or at least "flexitarianism". It's a real thing, I swear! Flexitarian means that you eat mostly plants and every once in a while you have a big mac and a milk shake, or my favorite pepperoni and olive pizza from Round Table.... mmmm... My mouth is watering. Anyway back to what I was saying...My desire to be healthy has driven me to eat all sorts of things I would have never before considered: flax, oatmeal, brussels sprouts, kale, eggplant, onions, tomatoes, celery.  The list really isn't that exotic, but these are things I would never have opened up for.

What I've discovered over the last six years is that trying a food again and again is what makes you love something you thought you hated. I'm still working on avocados, and can only eat a tomato without the seeds or cooked until it is unrecognizable, but it's working, a little at a time. And I could eat oatmeal for breakfast every day now! Spinach salad, bring it on.

I know I'm not the only person who can't stand the sight of a beet or has never tasted a bean sprout. So I thought I would share what's worked for me and how I hide veggies from myself in food that is, well, delicious. I love to cook and experiment with food. I know some people aren't like that and maybe you don't want to do all the leg work to figure out how to incorporate more veggies for you or your kiddos. That's where I come in. 

My plan is to get my meat-loving, veggie-hating friends on board as tasters and testers. (Watch out guys I'm coming for you!) I hope to share yummy recipes and exciting new food adventures with you. And I would love to get feedback, celebrate triumphs over the artery-clogging diet we are all so used to. So let's get to it!

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