Tales From a Failed Foodie: Foods I’m Trying to Like

There is an excellent chance that I am the world’s pickiest eater.

I’m not at all experimental when it comes to food–I could be happy eating the same few foods every day for the rest of my life. And coming from an Italian family, that list includes a lot of pasta and bread. Soft, chewy bread with a crispy crust…Mmmm…

Anyway.

My favorite foods do not stack up well on the nutritional score card. As I have started my new clean eating plan, I’ve really been making an effort to try new foods and include a wider variety of foods in my family’s menu–i.e., putting different veggies in my pasta. Hey, that counts, doesn’t it?

It’s a struggle for me–I like what I like, I have some issues with texture, and food has always been an aswer for everything: when I’m sad, I eat. When I’m happy, I eat. When I’m stressed, I eat. When I celebrate, I eat…you get the picture.

Earlier this year, I experimented with swapping pasta out for spaghetti squash with marinara. It wasn’t bad, but it didn’t trick my tummy like I hoped it would. I have definitely cut down on my pasta intake overall (my Italian metabolism that could handle all the carby goodness 3 times a week began to fail me when I hit 30) and when I do eat it, I make sure it’s the whole grain or vegetable kind.

On our first date 9 years ago, my husband ordered hummus. I didn’t even know what hummus was. I finally tried it last year (I told you, I’m insanely picky). It’s a good thing I did, because I love it and I dip everything in it. It’s made me branch out and try some new veggies, because how bad can something be when it’s covered in roasted garlic hummus? One of those new veggies were red bell peppers. I’m a little obsessed with them right now, and when the mood strikes, I’ve been known to eat one like an apple.

Then there was the quinoa phase. Quinoa has so many health benefits, and with all the scary arsenic rice stories, I thought it would be a great thing to switch to. Too bad I don’t like it. At all. I’ve tried several recipes, and it always comes out tasting a little grainy to me. Maybe I’m just not doing it right.

Another miss? Avacados. All those good fats…but so much squishiness. Which is a shame, because I really want to like guacamole. Whole tomatoes are another problem–I love them in a good sauce, but just don’t like them on sandwiches or salads.

I am not above treating myself like a toddler and sneaking vegetables into my regular food–pureed cauliflower into cheese and cream sauces, spinach into my smoothies, and adding a variety of beans and veggies into crock pot soups. Ironically, the actual toddler in the house has better eating habits than me. His favorite food on the planet is, I kid you not, a mix of spinach, broccoli and cauliflower. He won’t go near a chicken nugget or a fruit snack. Apparently, I should be taking a page out of his book. Until then, who is up for trying some homemade kale chips?

Do you have a hard time eating healthy foods?

Tricky Things that Trip up my Healthy Eating

This has been a really good week, food wise. This week I started working towards my clean eating goal, and I’m proud of myself. Aside from a slip up or two, all of my meals have been homemade and full of whole ingredients. My favorite recipe this week? These pumpkin muffins that are made with whole wheat flour and honey instead of sugar. You can find the recipe here.

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Three things that have tripped me up this week:

  • The perils of Pinterest: I know, I know…that which we love the most will be our downfall. At least, the dessert boards will. I quickly realized that zoning out on Pinterest while I was trying to shift into clean eating was going to be a challenge, so I went through and unfollowed all the cake, cookie and luscious looking dessert boards on my page.
  • I need a detailed plan: If I don’t have a plan and something in front of me that’s healthy, I will eat whatever is quickest and easiest. This goes for at home and even more so while we’re out and about. I really have to rearrange my thinking to eat before I go out or bring enough snacks to keep me away from a restaurant with queso dip. Which brings me to…
  • If it’s not in my house, I won’t eat it: there were plenty of times this week when I could have easily sat down and inhaled an entire box of Girl Scout cookies. Luckily, I didn’t have any cookies. Or candy. Or ANYTHING. It made me grumpy, but I didn’t eat any junk food.

What trips you up when it comes to healthy eating?

Unexpected Ways Running Changed my World

I’m linking up with April, Patty and Erika today for Tuesdays on the Run! Today’s theme is post-run treats…but since I’m working really hard on getting a better handle on my eating, I’m going to take a pass on it and thought I’d write about unexpected ways running changed my world. Even though I’m focusing on shorter distances, running has given me–and continues to give me–lots of unexpected perks:

Running has made me think about what I put in my mouth. When you’ve slugged away on the treadmill for an hour, you re-think those cookies.

Running has given me a legitimate reason to wear running clothes–outside of lounging around the house.

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How many pairs of running shoes do YOU have?

Running has made me a better planner. Popular races can sell out quickly and require travel which means I have to think ahead. In the same vein, running has made me better with a budget–race registrations and cute running clothes add up quickly.

Running has expanded my vocabulary. Now I know what things like Gu, KTTape, Nuun, and fartleks are.

Running has changed my dreams. I used to dream about giving book reports naked or being unprepared for a big meeting. Now I dream that I’m late for a race.

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The only time I’m excited to get up this early…

Running has helped me make new friends. When I was younger, I loved going to concerts–the energy during a live show was always amazing, and I loved the idea that I had something in common with everyone who was there. Now I feel the same way about the starting line of a big race–it makes it so easy to strike up a conversation with the people around me.

Running has made me brave. Before I started running, I may have set foot in a gym once or twice–mainly because I was just too shy to go in. Now I’m not so scared anymore–running gave me something that belonged to me and that I could be a part of.

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It’s amazing, the things you find when you’re out running.

How has running changed you?