Happy Motivation Monday!
Today, I want to encourage you to keep trying if there are healthy foods that you want to (or think you “should”) enjoy. Quite often, a client will tell me that they “just don’t like” broccoli, salmon, kale, quinoa, or some other healthy food. When I ask they last time they’ve tried it, the most common reaction is something like “well, I had it 5 years ago in this restaurant, and it was just … weird.” The client is not saying that the taste itself was awful or that they got violently ill from eating it, just that it was not what they were expecting or not something that they are familiar with.
Did you know that our brains need repeated exposure to foods to begin enjoying them? I encourage my parent clients to keep trying healthy foods over and over with their kids – after all, research shows that a child needs about 10 exposures to a new food to begin enjoying it. If a child says he or she doesn’t like broccoli the first time, I encourage parents to not make a big deal, fix broccoli again in a new way, and ask the child to try a few bites per meal until the resistance eventually fades away. Also, I always recommend serving new foods one at a time – you don’t want to overwhelm the kid with many new experiences and tastes all at once.
The same principle of trying and re-trying new foods can apply to you! Most of the time, our dislike of a new food comes from just not knowing what to expect. Darya from Summer Tomato says that when we try a new food, “the unfamiliarity and strangeness of the texture makes us slightly uncomfortable, and we interpret this feeling as a personal dislike.” So maybe the cauliflower crust is just different from the pizza crust you’re used to, or the salmon is just different from the chicken that you’re used to … not worse, just different.
There are some foods that we still won’t like after 10 times, and that’s fine. We all have innate preferences, and I’m not saying that you need to enjoy every single “healthy” food on the planet. But, you owe it to yourself to discover what you truly can enjoy before automatically dismissing unfamiliar foods as unpleasant.
So this week, I challenge you to take a food that seems scary or uncomfortable, and try it again. Search Pinterest for a new recipe, try it at a new restaurant, or experiment with a new cooking method that you think may work well.
Reminder: You have until Wednesday to enter my giveaway for free yoga for a year!
Now it’s your turn: What will you re-try this week?