Variety is the spice of life!

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love avocados – I’d go as far as saying I’m addicted to them!  But there was once a time when I used to think I didn’t like them.  I really can’t imagine that now as I could just eat them all day…  I think it all started when I found that I actually liked a few other vegetables after trying them cooked in a different way to how I’d had them before.  I always knew how nutritious avocados were; full of essential fats and vitamins.  So somewhere along the line I decided I would try to like them.

There’s a theory that you need to try a food on average 10 times before you decide whether you like it or not.  Of course some foods we can decide on much quicker; I can’t remember my first taste of chocolate, but I’m pretty sure I would have liked it instantly!  My dad recently told me that he didn’t like olives until he was in his 40s, now he loves them – some foods are more of an acquired taste.  From an evolutionary point of view it makes sense that we dislike foods we aren’t familiar with.  The theory goes that early humans in the wild would’ve been suspicious of unfamiliar foods and this helped to protect us from eating poisonous berries or other potentially harmful foods.

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My rustic homemade millionaire’s shortbread. Think of your favourite treat – how did you know you really liked it until you tried it for the very first time?

So knowing that avocados weren’t poisonous and were full of nutrients I started trying them to see if I would like them.  First I would occasionally try a little mouthful when other people had them.  Then I found I really enjoyed some guacamole.  I wasn’t sure of the texture to start with as avocados are kind of slimy really, but I persevered until I found I felt  indifferent to them…. now I can’t get enough!

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These are a few of my favourite things!

I was talking to one of my clients recently about the problem with falling into the habit of eating the same things over and over and the risk of getting bored of what we eat.  This boredom can lead to overeating, ‘falling off the wagon’ and giving up on your attempts to lose weight.  It’s easy to think that when you’re trying to lose weight that you’re restricted to certain foods, but really all food is absolutely fine.  Rather than focusing on individual foods, it’s more important to get the overall balance right and watch your portion sizes.  Food should be enjoyable and you could be missing out if you stick to the same foods.  Eating a wide variety of different foods, particularly different fruits and vegetables, means you are more likely to get all the different nutrients your body needs and you are likely to feel more satisfied.  Let’s be clear, I’m not talking about forcing yourself to eat foods you hate, but take a minute to reflect on how diverse your diet is.  When was the last time you tried something new?  Think about a vegetable you dislike – could it be to do with the way it’s prepared?   I’m not a big fan of plain boiled carrots, but if they’re raw with some tasty dips or mixed up in a stew or Bolognese I quite like them!

So that is my challenge to you this week – try a new food.

I’d love to hear how you get on in the comments below.

If you could do with some help balancing your diet and getting control of your weight once and for all (without the need to cut out the treats!), get in touch to book your assessment – fill in the form to the right of this blog post.  Looking forward to working with you!

Louise Tanner-Stokes
Hi I'm Louise, a Food Relationship Coach and registered Dietitian with a passion for helping mums to ditch the diets for good. I want to help you feel good about yourself, feel in control of your eating and enjoy your food again - normal food and especially the cake and chocolate!

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