I’m not a bad cook. I’ll never win any awards but I can usually rustle something up. Since I went on the fitness kick, things have got a bit tougher. I’m relatively well educated when it comes to nutrition but have found a few gotchas in the last couple of years and all the contradictory advice about what is good for you and what is not can be more than a little confusing for my poor head at times.
I’ve tried a diet club once or twice in my teens but, quite frankly, found them disheartening and of no particular value. I can provide all the support I need internally and on the days when that support is not available, no amount of external support is going to help. If I can plan my meals, even if it’s only in my head, that usually helps and I eat fairly well but there are weeks when I suffer from a chronic lack of imagination. When that happens, I rarely feel like eating anything and consequently when I do it’s often the wrong thing.
I would really like to be able to conquer my sugar and chocolate addiction but – seriously – the devil on my shoulder makes me lack the conviction to do anything concrete about it. I understand the logic behind cutting down and giving up sugar intellectually but it’s a hard one for me emotionally. It just tastes so damned good. I have nobody to blame but myself.
The other thing that really doesn’t help is that I’m a fussy eater. Or I have a fussy palate. Whichever way you look at it, there are certain foods that I just plain do not like. Fish is one. I also struggle with vegetables. When I was younger, the only veg I would eat would be potatoes and carrots. I’m better than that now but acquiring the taste for new foods is a long and slow process for me and I still pull faces and stick out my tongue when faced with things like broccoli and spinach and other good green vegetables. I do try to incorporate them now and again and found a fabulous high fibre, lowish fat lasagne recipe that incorporated spinach in one of the layers. I made it, I loved it and couldn’t really taste the spinach so it was a win:win for me. I also found a prepared vegetable dish in one of our supermarkets that incorporated little pieces of broccoli so that I managed to get some of that without noticing, but it’s a hard struggle. I just don’t like the taste.
I’ve never been a great fruit lover either. It’s not that I don’t like fruit – it just does nothing for me and I’m not wildly keen on it. I can tolerate the occasional banana or apple but the last thought when shopping and seeing a pallet load of fruit is “oh I must buy some of those raspberries / strawberries / kiwi fruit / oranges [delete as appropriate] and consequently they don’t end up in my basket. I trawl recipe books and websites frequently to try and get some ideas for healthy recipes but still I find inappropriate items in my shopping basket when I get home.
Maybe the re-education of my palate is like everything else about this journey of mine – slow but steadily forward.
I guess I’ll just have to be patient.