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.