Growing up, I would’ve rather lit my fingernails on fire and given myself a back scratch than eat broccoli.  We were a french fries and canned green beans sort of family, but for balance, we sometimes put cream cheese on celery and went to town.  My point is that I didn’t grow up loving vegetables.  I loved fruit, but vegetables had no place on my preference card.

At some point shortly after I moved to Chicago and started truly making food choices for myself, I took a long hard look at how I’d eaten for the first 23 years of my life and decided that I had no idea how I was even alive. Right then and there, I went to the grocery store and bought actual raw produce. Crazy, I know.  I even made it a goal to try as many new foods as possible.  I swore off fast food, and a new me was born.

A few favorites surfaced on my search for fresh nutritional goodness- I fell hard for pineapple, red peppers, and Bermuda onions.  I will say, though, that I have never really enjoyed broccoli. The first time I had it, I dipped it in BBQ sauce to mask the flavor- true story.  Eventually I grew to appreciate it and found some healthier ways to make it palatable.  It was a simple vegetable that I could add to a lot of different dishes, and it quickly became a staple on my grocery list. I wouldn’t go near it if it was raw, but if it was steamed or grilled or sauteed, I was in.


Throughout my treatment, I’ve had several food aversions.  This time around, the aversion is vegetables, particularly broccoli.  I look at other vegetables and think, Someday I’ll enjoy you again. But when I see broccoli, I literally want to gag.  The smell, the shape, the little balls… it all grosses me out. I would be interested in talking with a specialist about food attachments, cravings, and aversions to find out why particular foods set me off during treatment.  I don’t know if such specialists exist, and if not, they should. I think it’s fascinating.

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6 thoughts on “Broccoli…

  1. Yinglingr says:

    If you find such a specialist, give me his/her number! I grew up eating fresh (and organic, though we never used that word at the time) veggies, and have always loved them. But I just don’t have cravings for the green stuff right now (except for salad greens). Which makes things complicated, since I’m not a big meat eater either (though you’d never know by my last week – between Thursday and Saturday I ate an entire $3 frozen supreme pizza and four hamburgers). Maybe try spinach instead of broccoli? Good raw or cooked, in salads, smoothies, scrambles, pasta…

  2. exiledtyke says:

    The only thing I could taste during chemo was tomato ketchup.

  3. Jean says:

    Hello Kelly,

    I hope that this finds you well. I am contacting you to enquire if you would like One Big Exhale listed on my website under Blogs, If you are interested, can you please email me. Many thanks and take care, Jean.

  4. arlene says:

    It seems to be a pretty common side effect. I had to leave the house one day when my husband cooked shrimp. And when he popped a bag of popcorn, blech…I was dry heaving the moment that smell hit my nose!

    Glad to see you post again. I’ve been silently following you through your cervical cancer as I go through mine.

    I wish you the best of everything!

  5. I am so glad to hear you want to eat healthy, that will make all the difference! That and your great attitude! You can also try Juice Plus 17 fruits and veggies in a capsule, including broccoli! and you don’t have to taste it!
    best wishes for a long, happy, healthy life!

  6. PS…you might also try a product called DIM Diindolylmethane and also I3C indole-3-carbinol this might be a good thing for you too. my understanding is that broccoli acts like an I 3 C which inhibits cancer growth! happy researching!

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