Why do You Have to Like Everything You Eat?

My child told me, “Mom, I don’t like broccoli.”

I responded with a smile, “Just eat five bites, because you’re 5.”

One of my clients once said to me, “Barb, I don’t like vegetables—never have.”

I responded with concern. “So, that means you’re off the hook?”

Believe it or not, I get it. Me, I hate spinach. It’s okay cooked, but fresh? It’s thick, leathery, and super green tasting. I have spent my whole life avoiding it. Bleckkk.

Ever notice, though, that life has a way of not letting you off the hook? One evening, my daughter’s boyfriend, Tyler—who is very limited in what he likes to eat—was standing in my kitchen eating, you guessed it, spinach. Chowing it down like it was no big deal. I watched in ewwwww instead of awe.

I’m about to turn 52, and at the age where developing a thicker waist concerns me a little, especially since that’s where I carry any extra fat. I always have, thanks to inheriting my mom’s build. (My sister is blessed with a “pear-shape” body type: a small waist & shapely behind-thingy. Life ain’t always fair ;) So I’m always trying to do better.

It’s important when trying to improve on something to look at it as an enjoyable challenge, rather than a beat-yourself-up thing. Do I fail a lot? Yep. And many times, like most of us, I tell myself, “Okay, Monday. I’ll try again on Monday.”

Watching Tyler eat spinach that day made me think, “Darn him, my life was just fine without noticing him standing there eating the enemy.” I knew I had spinach in my fridge. I actually buy it all the time. My husband has taught our two youngest children to include the leafy greens in the smoothies they make for breakfast. I also wondered, “Why do I ask my children to eat things they don’t like?”

  1. A)It’s good for them! Nutrition at its best comes from whole foods.

  2. B)If I don’t make them try things, chances are they won’t . . . ever.

  3. C)It’s important to eat a variety of foods, not just what you like.

  4. D)When they keep trying things, they have a better chance of learning to like them.

And then I did it. I pulled a “Tyler.” One evening, I stood in my kitchen and made myself eat spinach, straight from the container. I kind of felt like a bunny. Bunnies aren't bad, which helped me. And you know what? It wasn’t terrible. (WOOT.) I didn’t love the taste, but I did love knowing it was over-the-top good for me, fat-free, and only 5 calories per cup. I could eat the whole bag if I wanted! There is no greater feeling then guilt-free food consumption.

Now, I eat spinach everyday. Each day, I add a little more to my bowl while taking bigger and bigger bites—and feeling more and more like a bunny. A happy bunny.

So, I’m starting a new movement: Eat something (healthy) you hate!

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