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i’m not picky, i’m selective

food hang-ups: many of us have dealt with one form or another at some point in our lives. when i was a kid, none of my nosh could be touching on my plate. i didn’t like carrots or tomatoes. i couldn’t stand the look of smeared ketchup on a piece of bread, (it had to be applied to the meat side.) when you’re a child though, it ain’t so surprising. you’re supposed to be weird. some scientists even believe kids are generically programmed not to like their vegetables. (they’re sensitive to bitter flavors.)

as we grown into adulthood though, are palates tend to evolve. suddenly we can appreciate the bitterness of coffee, the awesomeness of hot salsa. even raw tuna doesn’t gross us out anymore – in fact – it sounds mighty delicious! (i’m just drawing from personal experience.)

but finicky food habits sometimes stick with people. in fact, it’s said there are thousands of adult picky eaters. it brings such interest that researchers at Duke University and the University of Pittsburg have started the first national registry of picky eaters, where participants are encouraged to log in and report their unusual eating preferences.

it’s not just an interest though – it’s a legitimate health concern. the American Psychology Association intend to label picky eaters as “selective eaters” and classify them in the ”not otherwise specified” category of eating disorders. (source.) because picky eaters tend to gravitate towards blander foods (french fries, chicken fingers, pizza) they may not be getting all the nutrients their body requires. doctors worry this might lead to nutritional deficiencies and cause bone and heart problems.

gulp.

so what does that make me then?

this is incredibly embarrassing. most people know this about me already, but still, i’m sweating as i type away here. the truth is……..i’m a picky eater. and not just a picky eater. i may be the worst kind of all. you can’t cook for me, we can never go to McDonalds or The Olive Garden together. because, well, here is my list of food hang-ups, in no particular order:

  • red meat: haven’t had in 15 years. i used to be a lacto-ovo vegetarian but after some odd years, got worried about my protein intake and started eating fish again (and the occasional chicken breast.)
  • anything deep fried: pan-fried is okay (if it’s not heaped in oil) otherwise, i simply can’t digest. my intestines don’t like it. however: in my defense, i saw a doctor once who asked me “is there any foods you can’t eat?” and i said “yup. fried foods”. you know what? she didn’t blame me one bit.
  • cheese and butter: gulp. i know, right? you can’t even look at me. cheese is sacred. even the Subway girl last week, when she asked “cheese?”  and i said “no” she said –  ”what? you on a diet??”  this poor girl, who doesn’t even know me, couldn’t help but reach out with concern. and i completely understand. totally. i know cheese is good. the truth is, i just like chocolate so much more. and in the spirit of choosing my calories,  if i had to choose between cheese on my pizza or chocolate for dessert – chocolate wins, hands down. but that’s just me. i’m not saying it’s healthier, i’m just sayin’.

so yeah. it’s pretty embarrassing how picky i am, and unforunately, i can never hide it! maybe it’s just the restaurants we frequent, but 95% of any given menu seem to contain one of my three no-nos. if it’s vegetarian, it has cheese. if it’s chicken or fish, it’s probably deep fried or covered in butter. and i feel bad, really i do. i don’t want to be high maintenance. i don’t want to stick out when everyone’s having nachos except me. i don’t want to be that girl the Subway artist is concerned for. but i also have to listen to my body, and if it doesn’t want fried food, it doesn’t want fried food. if it’s telling me to save my calories for dessert, i’m gonna do that to. (that’s weird, right?)

do you have any food hang-ups? anything you don’t like or refuse to eat?

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