Learning To Love Veggies
Vegetables, ‘veggies’, are healthy food our bodies need. I have always been ‘okay’ with them, but given another option, I used to avoid them. Not because I didn’t like them. Somehow they never seemed like exciting food. Likely part of the reason for that was because veggies were not emphasized very much when I was growing up. They were available at dinner only and we were told we had to try them even if we didn’t eat them all. I hated the times when turnip was on the menu. I disliked intensely the bitter flavor but the rule was you get a scoop whether you like it or not. I gag even today at the thought of eating it. I just didn’t like it and never saw the value in being forced to eat it. I still don’t. The knowledge part of my brain knew vegetables were good for me. The visual part of my brain knew they looked nice too, they were pretty. Somehow, neither enticed me to want to eat them.
Diabetes came along and I had an awakening that led me to think more about the things I called food. Veggies became more enticing with the diagnosis but my dedication to actually eating them was still weak. Over the years, I have not only learned to appreciate veggies, I actually love them. They are a big part of my diet. Here’s how I got there.
How to love eating vegetables
At first I only ate veggies at dinner, cooked, and shredded cheese was added to everything. In small amounts, no issue; small wasn’t how I did it. It was almost like I had to drown the taste with something else I loved.
I later progressed to raw veggies. I discovered dips. Again, unless the veggies were smothered in something, I really would only pick at them. One step closer to a better diet because after all, I was now eating veggies, right?
Next, I discovered drive-thru restaurants that offered salads for lunch. These quickly became very interesting. Look at what they give you with the salad, the add ons! Educating myself as I went along, I quickly saw these types of salads were half my day’s allotment of calories. But, it’s veggies, how can it be bad for me? Back to avoiding the veggies again.
A variety of other ways to eat vegetables
Finally, I found there were other ways to get veggies. Sauces for instance. This was a great way to add them to my diet, keeping the calories down, by replacing the red meats in the sauce at the same time and gaining healthy nutrients.
It’s more common now that my lunch is vegetarian. Salad made at home, eaten with add ons that are measured so I know exactly what I’m eating. If I have no time to make a salad, I will buy one, but not at the drive-thru. I walk into the grocery store and buy a premade one where I can choose what I want in it.
Somewhere in the process, I learned to love veggies. Now I have vegetables several times a day, as part of my meals and/or as snacks. I get good nutrients, the low caloric intake and I love the taste. It’s taken me a long time to get here but I’m glad I kept working at it.
My lunch today? Raw veggies with a little bit of plain hummus dip. Yum!
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, sleep apnea, RLS) in addition to your diabetes?