I don’t like vegetables. There. I’ve said it. I don’t know how or why this is true for me, but I have detested everything vegetable since I was a small child. This has led to some long-term difficulties for me, not the least of which was my mother’s exasperation with me a the dinner table in my childhood years!
I know intellectually that I should eat veggies. Green leafy vegetables protect you from diseases such as cancer and diverticulitis, many of them have more calcium than dairy, they have trace minerals and vitamins we need for optimal health, and on and on and on. But I just can’t stand them. I don’t even like the orange or red ones like carrots, beets, squashes, or pumpkins. And I don’t mean I just don’t like them. They gross me out and trigger a gag reflex that just isn’t pretty, especially at a holiday table set with candied yams, green beans, and buttered brussel sprouts. I can appreciate these things on a photographic, esthetic level, but then I need to leave the room!
Unfortunately, a life-long avoidance of vegetables has led to some life-long problems. For many years my diet was high in animal proteins, nuts, starches, and sugars. (And Diet Dr. Pepper. There was a lot of that too.) That diet triggered a lot of inflammation which showed up in my body as asthma, allergies, joint pain, weight gain, and what my polite Southern upbringing has taught me to refer to as “digestive dysfunction.”
So what’s the solution? If you don’t like vegetables either or if you have a picky eater at home, I have a couple of suggestions for you to help increase consumption of greens and other vegetables.
- Disguise them. Put vegetables in a soup, puree them, chop them small and hide them in other foods. Speaking personally, put vegetables into anything you call “potato soup” and I’ll probably eat it.
- Blend them. I’m a big fan of green smoothies. Blend 60% fruit with about 40% spinach or kale and drink up. There are a million recipes online to try. This is a great way to consume fruits and vegetables if you are a picky eater or have one in your life.
- Juice them! This is my current favorite option. There are a lot of juicers on the market and a huge online contingent of Juice Geeks touting their favorite juicer and why this one is better than that one. But the important part is getting those veggies in your system when and how you can. I juice 3-4 carrots and an apple together several times a week and the results are amazing. The down-side of juicing is the compost that’s created, so get your compost going if you haven’t already.
The important thing here is to ingest those veggies. Get them fresh, get them organic. No amount of herbs or pharmaceuticals or supplements can take the place of these.
Cat Calhoun, L.Ac.