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  1. #1
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    Default Deep-seated food issues

    Recently I had realization that, regardless of what my doctor says, my self-limited diet is a serious problem. I eat zero vegetables and can't stomach anything with a texture similar to pasta -- so my diet consists of mainly fruits, grains, processed foods, and dairy. (Emphasis on grains and processed foods.) I eat a decent amount of meat and maybe a few servings of nuts a week. This isn't just picky eating. I'll eat foods that taste bad, as long as they're somewhat familiar. I'm a pretty flexible and resilient person, but trying to force myself to eat something I'm not comfortable with completely and literally shakes me.

    I recognize how childish and irrational this issue is, believe me. I've made tons of attempts throughout my life to add new foods to my diet and to eradicate the problem altogether...I tried addressing it once with a therapist, but they didn't see it as serious compared to my other (previous) issues. I haven't made any effort since then.

    But now that my depression and anxiety have for the most part faded out, yet I still feel exhausted and foggy almost constantly, I think it's time to get serious about it. My goal is to add at least three vegetables to my regular diet by the end of summer.

    (Pretty sure it's a recently 'discovered' and minimally acknowledged eating disorder, but I can't remember what it's called and haven't been able to track down the original article I read. My doctor and former therapist have just described it as phobic. If you have any idea of what the proper term for my problem might be, I'd really appreciate it.)

    This is what happens when I come in contact with one of these foods: I take a bite, am immediately reviled, have to coach myself through the process of not spitting it out, chewing it and swallowing. If I'm feeling brave (hah) I'll take another bite, but it's extremely rare that I can fully convince myself that something isn't disgusting. Even if I'm able to add something to my diet, I never totally acclimate to the point that eating it is a comfortable experience. I mean, I've been eating yogurt with chunks of fruit of it for years and still go through this process every time I eat it. It's kind of funny, but...ultimately not at all.

    What I'd appreciate feedback on:
    1. Why do you think I'm like this?
    2. What do you think I can do to become comfortable with these unfamiliar tastes and textures?
    3. Where would you recommend starting? / What are some good, healthy recipes that include relatively palatable vegetables?

    How to piss me off:
    1. Tell me that this is a ridiculous first-world problem and that I need to stop being such a child (I've learned to anticipate this)
    2. Turn this into a discussion on cognitive functions. Telling me that I have underdeveloped/malfunctioning Si would probably not be useful.

    Thanks to anyone who reads this / responds! Even just some good resources would be great.

  2. #2
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    1. It could be a sensory sensitivity or you might just be naturally resistant to change. Most people have some kind of quirk like this, though to a lesser extreme.
    2. How much does it bother you when familiar foods change? If it does not bother you very much, there are ways of integrating vegetables into other foods. I'd look for recipes via an amazon search.

    Although, if you're careful, you could get a lot of your necessary nutrients without consuming a lot of vegetables, I'd think. Especially since you like fruit. Whole grains have fiber. Orange pit fruits like peaches have some beta carotene. Nearly all fruits have some vitamin C.

    Also, if you can tolerate juices, something like V8 Splash might be okay. It doesn't have a lot of texture to it. If you can tolerate something more along the lines of purees, Naked Juice and similar juices have a lot of veggies incorporated while mostly tasting like fruit.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    1. It could be a sensory sensitivity or you might just be naturally resistant to change. Most people have some kind of quirk like this, though to a lesser extreme.
    2. How much does it bother you when familiar foods change? If it does not bother you very much, there are ways of integrating vegetables into other foods. I'd look for recipes via an amazon search.

    Although, if you're careful, you could get a lot of your necessary nutrients without consuming a lot of vegetables, I'd think. Especially since you like fruit. Whole grains have fiber. Orange pit fruits like peaches have some beta carotene. Nearly all fruits have some vitamin C.

    Also, if you can tolerate juices, something like V8 Splash might be okay. It doesn't have a lot of texture to it. If you can tolerate something more along the lines of purees, Bare Naked and similar juices have a lot of veggies incorporated while mostly tasting like fruit.
    I'm not sensitive to anything else sensory (besides artificial lights, the feeling of wearing glasses, and anything above 60 decibels...you might be right ) and I like change, so I don't know. But I guess knowing the cause probably isn't that important.

    Thanks for the suggestions. and I love purees/juices, it's just that I haven't been able to find any inexpensive enough to drink on a regular basis. V8 Splash is decently priced and tastes fine, but the sugar content is kind of ridiculous, so I've stopped drinking it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Pseudo's Avatar
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    Have you thought o makin your own juice. It can find moderately priced juicier and I think they would be worth it to improve yor nutrition for the rest of your life.


    Which vegetables to you find palatable already. Which do you dislike most? Is cooking method a factor? Then we can make suggestions.

  5. #5
    subterfugee Xann's Avatar
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    http://greensmoothiegirl.com/ , worth a try, even if youre not a girl. Smoothies are just a lot easier to handle than actual vegetables.

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    Senior Member Scheherezade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chawie View Post
    http://greensmoothiegirl.com/ , worth a try, even if youre not a girl. Smoothies are just a lot easier to handle than actual vegetables.
    this looks like a great site,

    @decrescendo i have a friend who does n t eat tomatoes and loathes them and apparently it is a phobia but she did eat yellow tomatoes in a salsa because she did n t know what they were

  7. #7
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    This is really something that therapy is intended for. I'd suggest trying to find another therapist and making sure they understand that it goes far beyond picky eating. Not eating any vegetables is likely to make you seriously malnourished and unhealthy. Forcing yourself to eat them when you have a response as strong as spitting it out after could easily make the problem worse, not better.

    If you won't do that, though, my experience is that with things you find repulsive, slowly pushing your boundaries a tiny bit will increase your tolerance over time, and pushing them too far can make you more intolerant. But a therapist, particularly one specializing in eating disorders, may tell you something very different, and I would really suggest going that route.
    -end of thread-

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    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Disclaimer: While I am a certified nutrition consultant, I do not know everything and this game IS mental, as most food issues are. That therapist should have taken it seriously since (first of all) YOU take it seriously, and (second of all) food has a HUGE impact on your hormones and health, which COULD be contributing to other issues you are having (for example, common symptoms of depression AND an unhealthy diet are lethargy, irritated bowels, the inability to concentrate, etc.) and/or exasperating these issues unnecessarily. A therapist would be my go-to answer, especially one that deals with eating disorders as s/he's more likely to understand your issue in depth and work with you on it. I find things like depression affect every single issue and aspect of your life, and food is actually a major one in this case.

    With all that being said.

    1. Why do you think I'm like this?

    This is answered, to me, by the vicious cycle of depression/stress/other issues in your life. When the core issues in your life are not being addressed, nothing really gets 'fixed'. Having a therapist 'reject' this issue as a serious one is not the right answer s/he should have given at all, they should have referred you to a food therapist.

    2. What do you think I can do to become comfortable with these unfamiliar tastes and textures?

    Start making them the textures you are familiar with. For example: Did you know you can frequently add a couple spinach leaves to a smoothie and you will not taste them in the smoothie AT ALL even if it turns the smoothie green in color? Starting out with something as simple as that could be a way to introduce vegetables in your life. Pureeing some whole vegetables into a heavy-flavored sauce is something my parents did for us as kids to get us to eat more veggies.

    Since the relationship is mental, start out slow. Find SOMETHING you CAN do and be satisfied with. Experiment with it, and make it a game. This is NOT a long term solution at all.. I do NOT recommend catering to this (for lack of better words) picky eating behavior. But if you are going to be dealing with this, you should at least squeeze veggies in somewhere in your diet. (Have you thought of just buying a few pre-made juices? There are those Green Machine, Blue Machine juices that have veggies in them, and even if you didn't like the taste, you could have the satisfaction of knowing you at least got SOME veggies in your diet in the morning that way.) I think vegetables are a key ingredient here.. Pasta, you could definitely live without that just fine for the time being.

    The second recommendation is to swap out some of your staples for higher-health convenience foods. For example, if you eat rice at all, switch to brown rice.. or compare labels on the soups you eat to pick more organic, less-sodium soups. Buy the 'healthier looking bread' in the aisle. Small swaps like that will at least make you more aware of the ingredients in your convenience foods, and (hopefully) make you care more about the foods you are ingesting. There's a book I like called "Unjunk your Junk Food" that shows you different additives and preservatives and foods that lack them.

    Experiment with ingredients you have never tried. For example.. Horned fruit (an orange spiny fruit with a green inside) tastes like cucumber, but it is fruit,and actually takes zero effort to prep and eat (slice transversely, squeeze from the bottom, eat the little fruit-coated seeds that come out). If it is a mental game, maybe finding the taste of a vegetable in the texture/classification of a fruit will warm you up to the idea of eating the vegetable itself.

    Mooooost importantly, if you don't cook already, I recommend starting to cook your food instead of buying pre-packaged foods. Cooking creates a more positive relationship with food.

    3. Where would you recommend starting? / What are some good, healthy recipes that include relatively palatable vegetables?

    Since my diet is pasta heavy, I'll try my best. On top of my recommendations, of which a therapist is at the top, here are a few websites and books to get you started.

    http://voices.yahoo.com/ways-sneak-v...-11826332.html -- Some immediate, simple puree recipes to start you out. I can only recommend googling your favorite foods and learning ways to put vegetables in them. It is way too simple to puree a can of mixed veggies into a pre-made brownie mix and call it a day. You're cooking, you're creating veggies in your diet (granted, this requires you to like brownies) knowingly, but the texture and taste of the brownie is familiar and will overpower the taste of the veggies. Recipes like this are beginner steps that are easy easy to do. (As I said before.. this is NOT a long term solution, and there are many reasons to have a healthy relationship with whole vegetables. But if this is the difference between you eating a vegetable or not, I think most would agree that they'd rather you eat the vegetable.)

    http://www.skinnytaste.com/ Even though this is centered around dieting, it also has many good qualities: vegetables replacing grains and fats, home cooking recipes, using ingredients vs convenience foods. Learning how to make the things you already like (and the ingredients in them... like buttermilk ranch at the store vs making it yourself..) may show you how many of those ingredients are bad for you or adversely affect your health, and it may nudge you towards things that help with that (coughveggiescough). It's worth a try.

    And as I said before, "Unjunk your Junk Food" is a great little book with lots of pictures and examples to guide you through.

    These are tiny, baby steps, that may get you looking in the right direction.. but seriously, a therapist is going to be the best call to arms you can have in shaping your diet to be more functional.
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  9. #9
    morose bourgeoisie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    This is really something that therapy is intended for. I'd suggest trying to find another therapist and making sure they understand that it goes far beyond picky eating. Not eating any vegetables is likely to make you seriously malnourished and unhealthy. Forcing yourself to eat them when you have a response as strong as spitting it out after could easily make the problem worse, not better.

    If you won't do that, though, my experience is that with things you find repulsive, slowly pushing your boundaries a tiny bit will increase your tolerance over time, and pushing them too far can make you more intolerant. But a therapist, particularly one specializing in eating disorders, may tell you something very different, and I would really suggest going that route.
    This is really good advice, Randomnity.
    You should find a therapist who also does hypnosis. I think that might help dislodge some of the subconscious anxiety about eating.
    Also, there are therapists who specialize in working with eating disorders. Now, I understand that you don't have anerexia or bulimia, but someone experienced with those may have insights into this, or at the least might have good recommendations for the next step.

  10. #10

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    I used to have that thing about pasta too, no idea were it came from because I was a big fan of it as a kid, can eat it again now but from seventeen to twenty three maybe I couldnt eat the stuff at all.

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