Help cure me of being a picky eater.
posted by papakwanz to food & drink (32 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
As long as I can remember, I've been a fairly picky eater. This leads to a good bit of social embarrassment as well as a limited and probably not totally healthy diet. I've gotten a little bit better as I have grown older, but I would like to expand my tastes more and train myself to be more adventurous when it comes to food.
Stuff I generally don't like: soups, most salads (except Caesar salads), just about all vegetables, seafood, many ethnic cuisines (especially Mexican, Chinese, or Japanese food), most foods with a mushy texture, foods with a lot of sauces on them, anything with mushrooms or onions, anything with beans, meatloaf, many fruits (I do like apples and bananas, but most others I don't eat).
The foods I like and eat at least fairly regularly: burgers (turkey or beef, usually with cheese only, sometimes w/ mayo also, rarely with lettuce & tomato); pizza (usually just with pepperoni, sometimes with sausage or bacon); spaghetti or other pastas (sometimes stuffed with cheese, spinach, occasionally chicken; simple generic Ragu-style sauces); baked potatoes, french fries, and recently learned to like mashed potatoes (but no sour cream on the baked, no gravy on the mashed); steak (as long as there isn't some weird sauce on it); grilled chicken; chicken wings (but none of the "exciting" sauces like jerk or teriyaki or whatever; just the bbq sauces); sandwiches (usually just some sliced turkey or ham & cheese, occasionally with mayo, lettuce, tomato), some Indian food (again, not the vegetable dishes).
I could go on and on, but you get the idea. As you can see, generally a lot of fairly simple and sometimes bland foods. I know that I'm never going to be one of those people who can travel anywhere and eat anything. But, I would like to be able to go out with my friends when they go to a Mexican restaurant without having to make some lame excuse like "I just ate, so I'll stick to the nachos." I also worry, now that I'm 30 yrs old, about my future health, especially because of the lack of vegetables in my diet.
I think a lot of it is mental, and I'm sorely lacking in willpower. I also wonder if I maybe have an oversensitive olfactory sense, because often very strong smells of food, sometimes even food I like, makes me feel a bit nauseous, but I think it's mostly just because my parents let me be a picky eater when I was young (my dad is also somewhat of a picky eater, but my mom and brother will eat ANYTHING).
So, practical advice? Tips? Recipes? Mental exercises? Anything?