Do I Really Need to Eat Those Veggies?
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Recently I had several people ask about what to do if they don't like any vegetables. Or if they could stick to the Attack phase for longer, just to avoid those pesky veggies. Unfortunately, especially once your weight loss has stalled, sticking to just protein is not going to do you much good.

But what if you really, really, really hate those greens? Well, I'd like to write about a few things you can do or try that might help you find vegetables that you can tolerate or maybe even learn to love with time. For some explanation let us first go back to your childhood.

Taste changes with age

As children we are more sensitive to the bitter taste, and with many vegetables falling into this taste category it's not hard to imagine how easy it is to get discouraged and vow to never have another veggie again. It is a tough situation - if parents push too hard, kids might decide not to eat the greens just out of stubbornness. On the other hand parents should be a little pushy in this department, but make sure they give the child a variety of veggies to try. If a kid doesn't like broccoli, maybe he'll eat carrots, beans, cucumbers or tomatoes...

But because tastes change as we grow up, if you never had any veggies after your childhood "traumas" you might be missing out. Many people starting out on the diet might say they don't like any vegetables, but how many have they actually tried? I'm not saying this is true for every one out there, but with a fast food diet, or even just the ready meals that fill our supermarkets it's very easy to avoid eating any fresh veggies almost all your life. So as you might have guessed I'm going to suggest all you veggie haters try to do the unthinkable.

A rainbow of colours, and a rainbow of tastes

First the good news; if you followed the diet through the Attack phase, your body will have been on a sugar detox. This can be good, as it's hard for your taste buds to be objective when veggies are compared to foods that were actually manufactured to be as attractive to you as possible. So you might actually be surprised how sweet a raw carrot would taste at this point.

What I would suggest is that you try to sample as many vegetables in as many forms as possible (I'll talk about food preparation a bit later). By this I don't mean you have to eat a whole cauliflower, but try a mouthful or two to see if you like the texture or flavour. If you're around people who don't mind sharing a bite of their side dish with you it's a great way to explore various veggies without wasting food.

The allowed vegetables list on the Dukan diet is not small. If you don't have the patience or time to experiment with one vegetable at a time, you could organize a tasting buffet. Prepare a small amount of a bunch of veggies and try one after the other. If you are particularly averse to vegetables, you could get a friend to help and do the test blindfolded; maybe even throw in some "other foods" in the mix to keep your senses guessing.

I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to sample different veggies. The taste between mushrooms, tomatoes, carrots and broccoli is worlds apart.

But I KNOW I won't like it

Well if you're not willing to even give it a try, you can't expect to find something you like. I have never been a fussy child and always had some veggies I enjoyed. My sister on the other hand would barely touch any vegetables. And despite constant nagging at the table she would often even refuse to try anything new.

When she went on the diet, when it came time to move to the Cruise phase she had no choice but to introduce some vegetables. And she surprised herself, because after trying several veggies out she actually found some unexpected winners. I think courgette and tomatoes are high on her list these days. She still hates cucumbers with a passion, but it shows that it isn't an all or nothing when it comes to vegetables.

Preparation matters

This might seem obvious when mentioned but vegetables can taste differently depending on how you serve them. For example, think about onions, when raw they can have a sharp, strong taste, but saute them and they become sweet. A crunchy pepper in the salad is not the same as a grilled or cooked one.

Also for some people it's not really the taste that's an issue. Sometimes it can be the texture of certain vegetables that you might find not to your liking. Try out different things - maybe you prefer something crunchy, or maybe you'd rather have it soft and cooked.

Most dipping sauces will not be allowed on the diet; however you can still experiment with different flavour combinations. For example cucumbers go nicely with yoghurts. Grated carrot with a splash of lemon juice and sweetener can be a refreshing desert. Or you could try making various soups - maybe this would feel less like eating vegetables.

All the veggies I tried still taste bad

If you refuse to try anything then obviously there's not much else I can say. However if you braved all the tasting and actually tried things and still find that not a single one was enjoyable, here is one last piece of advice.

It might be easier to understand if you drink coffee, but even if you don't you might want to give this a try. Most people I spoke to said they didn't enjoy drinking coffee when they started drinking it. It tastes bitter and is commonly known as an acquired taste. Well they still went through with it, most often for the benefit of staying alert.

You might have figured out by now where I'm going with this. Pick something you feel is least offending and just force yourself to eat those veggies. Surely there's more benefit from them than from coffee... And you might find out that after a while you have developed a new acquired taste.


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