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Why It’s Worth It to Keep Trying Foods You Don’t Like

by | Jun 9, 2015

Sardine on a stick in Kyoto

When I was kid (you know, before my relationship with food was completely warped by my mother’s dieting habit), I was actually pretty normal.

I loved ice cream, grilled cheese sandwiches, and the strawberries I picked with my grandma.

I shamelessly copied the food preferences of my fellow classmates, and rejected things like onions and tuna fish for fear of looking uncool.

And of course, there were many foods I absolutely hated. At the top of the list were cilantro, lima beans, spinach and brussels sprouts. But I was also not a fan of eggplant, cucumber, beets, egg yolks, most fish and rye bread. The list goes on.

Of course, with time I grew out of my childhood tastes. Little by little I learned that spinach can be delicious in a fresh salad as opposed to the frozen gray-green slop my parents served, and that cilantro tastes completely different when used in Vietnamese cooking compared to the Mexican food I was raised on.

That’s normal, and you probably have similar stories of foods you’ve come to love as your palate has matured.

But I’ve noticed something funny about people over the age of 25. From what I can tell many––if not most––of the adults I speak to about their food preferences have reverted to the stubbornness of childhood when it comes to certain foods.

The argument goes something like, “I’ve tried olives a zillion times. I just don’t like them, so what’s the point of trying again?”

This line of reasoning makes intuitive sense. Life is short, so you shouldn’t waste your time on things that don’t make you happy. YOLO.

But you can probably guess that I don’t feel this way. Ant rants aside, my opinion is based on a somewhat unique set of experiences that, if you haven’t been through them yourself, you might not fully appreciate.

I’ve witnessed firsthand how much more enjoyable life is when you choose to like more things, and for this reason I feel compelled to share my story and hope to convince you to try again.

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For the Love of Food

by | Jul 25, 2014
For The Love of Food

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

This week eating with others transcends better health, the new tastebuds on the block, and why to avoid certain peaches.

Want to see all my favorite links? (There’s lots more). Be sure to follow me on on Delicious. I also share links on Twitter @summertomato,  Google+ and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you. (And yes, I took that pepper heart pic myself).
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Ant Rant: Why Do You Let Your Brain Ruin New Experiences?

by | May 4, 2014

Some annoying comments on one of my Instagram posts last week got me thinking about all the limiting beliefs we have that keep us from being healthier and happier. For this post, ranting seemed more appropriate than my normal, rational writing.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Here’s the offending picture, along with some other amazing things we ate in Copenhagen:
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For the Love of Food

by | Jan 24, 2014
For The Love of Food

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

This week wheat is let off the hook, you’re still not eating enough egg yolks, and happiness slows aging.

Want to see all my favorite links? (There’s lots more). Be sure to follow me on on Delicious. I also share links on Twitter @summertomato,  Google+ and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you. (And yes, I took that pepper heart pic myself).

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For the Love of Food

by | Dec 13, 2013
For The Love of Food

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

This week exercise is better than drugs, organic, full-fat milk attains nutritional superiority, and how dad’s diet affects baby’s health.

Want to see all my favorite links? (There’s lots more). Be sure to follow me on on Delicious. I also share links on Twitter @summertomato,  Google+ and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you. (And yes, I took that pepper heart pic myself).

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For the Love of Food

by | Dec 6, 2013
For The Love of Food

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

This week cavemen actually did eat beans, dairy fat is surprisingly healthy, how God can help you lose weight and so much more. I found an abnormal number of fantastic articles this week, so definitely don’t skip this round.

Want to see all my favorite links? (There’s lots more). Be sure to follow me on on Delicious. I also share links on Twitter @summertomato,  Google+ and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you. (And yes, I took that pepper heart pic myself).

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For the Love of Food

by | Nov 8, 2013
For The Love of Food

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

This week broccoli is 43% less pretentious than kale, weight loss improves your sex life, and a new secret to making workouts more enjoyable.

Want to see all my favorite links? (There’s lots more). Be sure to follow me on on Delicious. I also share links on Twitter @summertomato,  Google+ and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you. (And yes, I took that pepper heart pic myself).

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For the Love of Food

by | Jul 19, 2013
For The Love of Food

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

This week a huge jump in life expectancy for NYC, chewing affects nutrient absorption and the chemicals in cosmetics.

Want to see all my favorite links? (There’s lots more). Be sure to follow me on on Delicious. I also share links on Twitter @summertomato,  Google+ and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you. (And yes, I took that pepper heart pic myself)

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11 Proven Ways To Get Kids To Eat More Vegetables

by | Jun 5, 2013

Photo by woodleywonderworks

Adults can be absurdly stubborn about eating their vegetables. But when it comes to picky eating, children take the cake.

I don’t have children myself, but many people have asked me for tips to get their kids eating healthier. So for the past few months I’ve been reading the scientific literature and talking to parents around the world to uncover the secrets of getting kids to eat their greens.

The good news is it is not impossible. The bad news is that it requires consistency and persistance from the parents, and it won’t be easy. But if you’re willing to stick to your guns, you should come out triumphant in the end.
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It’s A Texture Thing: How To Get Over Slimy, Spongy And Other Unfamiliar Food Textures

by | Mar 13, 2013

Photo by Sushicam

Taste is the sensation we usually associate with food, but picky eaters can be just as fixated on texture as flavor. Ask someone who doesn’t like mushrooms or eggplant what turns them off and they are just as likely (if not more likely) to say the food is “slimy” or “mushy” as they are to complain about the taste.

Of course texture is important. It is the essential difference between fresh and stale popcorn, and the springy crunch of a fresh grilled shrimp versus the rubbery give of an over-boiled one. But for most picky eaters, the issue is rarely a matter of cooking preference.

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