Developing Your Palate - 5 Steps to Not Being Picky
My name is Cole Connor, and I’m addicted to sugar. And fast food. And a whole bunch of bad stuff. This is no joke. It took me a lifetime to see how intense my addiction is/was. But now i see.
I also see that right now I’m drinking a cappuccino with almond milk while chewing a delicious blueberry scone. You think that’s bad? You have no idea.
Honestly, I don’t really want to get that deep into why my addiction for McDoubles, Monsters, REESE’S and all things delicious started. That’s enough for a book. Today, I want to talk about some ways I developed my non existent palate and began to allow my body to not reject anything healthy.
To give a little context, I was the picky kid. I gagged when I was 8 and was forced to eat cucumbers. Gagged and spit them out I might add. I hated more than my fav vegetables of peas, butter beans and corn (haha). I stayed picky up until I was (let’s say) roughly 24. I’m 26 now. And it has been a JOURNEY of changing my tastebuds. My partner in business and life, Jacqueline, created somewhat of a step by step program to (as she says it) “fix Cole’s palate”.
So here’s what we did. I say we because she was and still is very influential in my growth.
1. Erase All of Your Previous Thoughts About Food
When you grow up and aren’t really taught about the mechanics of food, you start to form your own opinions and listen to people who honestly don’t know what in the world they are talking about. I’m no food genius now, but I am learning a lot.
Best example I can think of off the top of my head is… MILK. Dairy is not good for you as much as we drink it. I’m not going to pretend to be an expert. Here is a fairly balanced article. Green does not mean gross. Fast food is not a treat. Spinach is not boring. Water does not taste like NOTHING. Chocolate is not king. You have to erase these thoughts. They aren’t real. First off I know first hand that most of the foods you “don’t like” are just foods you don’t enjoy… YET.
2. Change Your Mindset from Gross to Beneficial
After you erase your previous thoughts on food, it’s time to completely shift your mindset. It’s much like working out. Yeah it may be painful at first, but once you get going, it feels SO GOOD.
Why is it important to eat healthy? It’s really obvious or so it seems. What’s crazy is that I remember in my worst state I didn’t even know what was happening. I went from 185 pounds to 207 pounds in less than two years. It was so gradual, but I never really watched what I ate. WHY? Well, because I wasn't really registering what was so BAD.
What makes me feel like a literal idiot is that I used to complain almost DAILY about my stomach. My stomach would hurt so bad sometimes. Specifically after large amounts of dairy, and honestly I never really questioned it. Yeah, my stomach hurts and I feel horrible when I do this thing, but hey I can’t stop doing this said thing because...dummy.
When you change your mindset from “ughhh I don’t want to eat this salad” to “I want to feel good on the inside and look good on the outside”, the world of health opens up. It no longer becomes a chore. It’s more like hey this is a step towards me being my best self.
3. TRY Healthy Foods Slowly
If you are trying to switch your lifestyle up, no need to dive in and scare yourself. Start slow. Especially if you are a very picky eater.
With every new healthy food now, I make sure I try it. One bite at a time. This has completely transformed my palate. I.E. Spinach. I had never “liked it”. I tried it and realized it doesn’t really taste like anything. WHAT. Brussels Sprouts really aren’t horrible. Salad is not horrible especially with some yummy dressing. Broccoli is great (cooked). Peppers are a great addition to most meals. The list goes on and on. Don’t be afraid to TRY.
4. Ask Yourself Why
I had to start over. I’ve tried so many things over the past 2 years. I have to actually try the food. Once you try the food, you have to ask yourself why I do or don’t like it. Really taste it. Chew slowly. Feel the texture. If you don’t like it, why don’t you like it? I.E. I don’t like the taste of carrots raw. I tried so hard. They are very gross. The actual taste. Not a fan. BUT I will go back in another 6 months, and try again. Because my palate will continue to change and grow. I’m actively making sure of that.
Once you ask this question and continue to try, you will find that most things aren’t actually gross. They may be considered “boring” to your taste buds compared to let’s say a bacon double cheeseburger or OREO milkshake, but they aren’t gross.
5. Replace Unhealthy Foods with Healthier Foods (Start Small)
As an avid coffee drinker, my first step was to wean off of my daily use of dairy creamer. Now, I very much enjoy almond milk creamer and even more so coconut milk creamer. And my stomach doesn’t hurt every morning.
To start to include more veggies in my diet, Jacqueline put me on the infamous “green drinks”. We drink the Garden of Life Energizer. I almost threw up the first time I had one, but now I drink them every day. I love to mix a “raw meal” powder with some water, one banana and some green drink powder. It’s the perfect morning drink. I’ve even begun to replace coffee in the morning with it. Crazy right?
Instead of rice, I now eat quinoa. I don’t eat soy sauce, but I eat this amino acid stuff Jacqueline gets. ;) I eat less and less cheese every week. I went from going to the Pig weekly to shopping all organic, non GMO etc at Whole Foods & Earth Fare in Columbia, SC. And I’m not going to lie to you, it feels amazing.