Help! I’m NOT enjoying my new food

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Help! I’m NOT enjoying my new food

Postby UtahJane » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:13 pm

I have been on the new diet for three weeks now (I’m following Dr. Esselstyn’s diet which I believe is pretty similar to Dr. McDougall’s). Breakfast (oatmeal with fruit, green smoothie, and whole wheat toast) is OK, but almost every other meal has been a disaster. I’m not a cook, but I’ve been trying to put together meals for myself that are nutritious. They might be nutritious, but they either have no taste or taste awful. I’ve tried a few recipes. The only one I liked was a dessert. The rest where pretty tasteless.

I still feel committed to the diet (I threw out everything in my kitchen NOT on the diet), but I’m not sure how long I can last when almost every lunch and dinner is a painful experience.

I know my lack of cooking skills are a problem, but I’m trying to learn. I’m just getting so discouraged every time I try to eat something that doesn’t taste good. I used to enjoy my food so much. I always thought I loved veggies, but now I’m realizing I always loved them with good fattening dressings and butter!

I can’t find any salad dressing I like (I don’t care for any vinegars and squeezing a lemon is not cutting it). I also can’t find something to top my cooked veggies. I’ve tried various store bought herb/veggie seasonings, soy sauce, Bragg’s Aminos, nutritional yeast, low-sodium tamari, etc. Nothing is half as good as what I gave up. If I could just find something that tasted good on my raw veggie salads and my steamed veggies, I think I could survive the diet, but I see no possibility at this point of ever really enjoying this food.

I’ve heard people say your taste buds change, but mine don’t seem to be changing. It seems to be getting worse, not better. I want to encourage others to think about this diet, but I can’t do that knowing how terrible the food has tasted so far.

Any suggestions or encouragement?

Thanks so much!
Jane
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Re: Help! I’m NOT enjoying my new food

Postby pinkrose » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:21 pm

Jane, I think you can adapt and do well even if you never acquire any cooking skills. At first the food lacks taste because you have not adapted. Stick with it for a few weeks. Get hungry and I think you will start enjoying simple meals such as steamed veggies and brown rice. I do. :nod:

Cooking is not required. My wife says I only make things hot since I do all of my "cooking" in the microwave. Of course I trust you can use a rice cooker and a microwave. Keep it simple and easy and in a few weeks I think you will overcome your feelings of deprivation and enjoy eating for health!

Please keep us posted on your successes! :-D
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Re: Help! I’m NOT enjoying my new food

Postby Norm » Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:19 pm

UtahJane wrote: Any suggestions or encouragement?


Hi Jane! Welcome aboard! It's true that your taste buds change. The first time I ate chickpeas I couldn't believe that anyone considered them foodworthy. Now I love them.

My favorite quick "fallback" dinner recipe is 1 part brown rice, 1 part quinoa, 1 part chickpeas, 1 part dehulled barley, 4 parts water, enough Vegetable Based Better-Than-Boullion to match the amount of water, simmered on the stove till done, then add in some frozen veggies and cook longer till the veggies are ready. My "1 part" is half a cup, and that feeds 2 of us with leftovers.

Pick your favorite starch and browse the recipe section till you find a recipe that sounds good. It helps to have your own "fallback" recipe.

Good luck!

-Norm
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Re: Help! I’m NOT enjoying my new food

Postby kwatson100 » Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:05 pm

Congrats on staying with it!

I have found that some books do not hit my personal taste buds as well as others. Books I like, besides Dr McDougall, are Dr. Fuhrman's Eat for Health. Check out this board for lots of ideas and look for vegan websites with recipes.

My husband loves the recipe on the back of the Lundberg's Wild Blend Rice. I leave out any oil and add any veggies I have like broccoli, bok choy, carrots. Sometimes I throw in shelled edamame, beans or walnuts. It is the first hot dish that my husband will eat cold in a brown bag lunch!

Try a salad of greens, cut up apple and walnuts. Top with 1 Tablespoon pomegranate juice mixed with the juice of half a lime.

It can be challenging but worth it so check out other sources of recipes that may be more to your liking.

Best of Luck!
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Re: Help! I’m NOT enjoying my new food

Postby finn » Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:09 pm

My mom used to say: "If you are hungry enough, you can eat even small stones and they will taste fine."
So maybe you aren't hungry enough when you start to eat? In my case this is true since I don't always want to wait until hungry but want just to eat something...
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Re: Help! I’m NOT enjoying my new food

Postby MixedGrains » Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:38 pm

Just based on your subject line, my instant thought was "if you're not enjoying your new food, pick different food." There is an infinite variety possible.

Like you, I've yet to find a satisfactory dressing for green salads. Nothing I've tried is truly appealing without the oil to help coat the leafy salad vegetables. Solution: I don't eat green salads. Instead I make salads out of vegetables that I already like a lot (like tomatoes and onions and cukes and peppers) that almost dress themselves in their own juices; and I add herbs, spices, vinegar, or citrus juices for even more flavor.

Another example: I'm not a big fan of oatmeal, and it's a harder slog without milk. I can sometimes enjoy it plain with fruit, but what's working better for me is eating savory "dinner-type" food for breakfast. My fallback meal is cooked brown rice or mixed grains in the bottom of a bowl, and leftover (I try to always have a pot in the fridge) savory beans or peas or lentils poured over the rice. For me that makes an excellent breakfast -- or any other meal. I've been eating it for months now, the savory beans/legumes mix has different ingredients and spices every time I make a pot, and it's a meal I haven't gotten tired of despite eating it at least once each day.

Of course that probably sounds gross to you. Excellent. Find something else. From all the universe of compliant foods, find a few that you like, figure out ways to cook/serve them that you like, and make your meals of those foods. Then, you'll be enjoying your new food. If there's something you're not enjoying, just don't try to eat that any more.
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Re: Help! I’m NOT enjoying my new food

Postby ETeSelle » Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:24 am

Hi and welcome.

You need THIS, pronto:

Jeff Novick's Fast Food DVD

It shows you how to make easy, fast, and tasty dishes using no recipes and simple ingredients, most of which you can store long-term. IMO it's the single best thing a McDougaller can do for him/herself! :)
Last edited by ETeSelle on Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Help! I’m NOT enjoying my new food

Postby UtahJane » Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:29 pm

I very much appreciate all the comments, suggestions and encouragement! Thanks for your kindness. I feel your support.

I guess I’m worried that even if I do start to enjoy this food it might only be because I’ve gotten use to very bland, boring food and that it will never be as good as all the food I’ve given up. Are people enjoying this food because it objectively tastes very yummy and delicious or because they are restricted to it and their body adjusts to boring when that is all it is given? Does that make any sense?

I guess in a sense I know I’ll never have as good of food as I had before because I can’t cook even alternative versions of all the delicious Indian, Thai, Chinese, Korean, Mexican, etc. foods that are readily available in restaurants all over the place. I know with my skills, I’m not likely to become a great cook, and there are not many options for me in local restaurants. Have I given up truly delicious food for good with this diet?
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Re: Help! I’m NOT enjoying my new food

Postby finn » Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:35 pm

Hi UtahJane, I also thought first that I can't give up on ice cream, spicy meat, candies and all those "good" things but I'm still amazed how fast my taste changed.
When I started I always waited until I was really really hungry and then when I got my meal I didn't remember to think the taste. I just ate my stomache full and after that I didn't even remeber all those "good" things. When days go by I think them less and less every day.
To me personally, potatoes are the absolut BEST. After them I'm so saticfied that I don't have any cravings at all.
I have tried to keep everything so simple as possible. For example just potatoes and veggies or rice with veggies. It's hard to explain, but I simply enjoy these meals and they keep me saticfied. And I don't even use salt or any spices but yet I want to continue on this "path" and don't want to go back to old habbits. My soul has gotten her peace.
(OMG, food has never before waken this kind of "spiritual" feelings in me :-D )
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Re: Help! I’m NOT enjoying my new food

Postby pinkrose » Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:37 am

finn wrote:。。。For example just potatoes and veggies or rice with veggies. It's hard to explain, but I simply enjoy these meals and they keep me saticfied. And I don't even use salt or any spices but yet I want to continue on this "path" and don't want to go back to old habbits. My soul has gotten her peace.
(OMG, food has never before waken this kind of "spiritual" feelings in me :-D )


Finn, you have described very well what my McDougalling experience has been like also! I am glad you have adjusted so well!

Will it be like this for Utah Jane? Maybe, Utah Jane, you will continue to miss the mind blasting experience of some of the old flavors and sensations of your regular foods for a while. If you continue to omit them for a few weeks (or months), I think you will lose your desire for them and you will be satisfied (delighted ?) with your plants. :-D

However, I think the will is involved. Some of us here have so much fear of sickness (especially heart disease and strokes) that we have no desire to look back to the old foods because we feel like we were killing ourselves with them. :nod:

Know you are not alone in this battle to overcome these old friends...or enemies!

So if you know you have said goodbye to these old foods that were killing you (or at least hurting you), go ahead and grieve for them, omit them and then embrace a higher level of health and functioning with the determination that you will enjoy the new foods! You can do this!!! :nod:

Please keep us posted, Jane! :-D
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Re: Help! I’m NOT enjoying my new food

Postby Mrs. Doodlepunk » Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:43 am

Jane, what you are asking is partly what happens. If you stick with this, you will get used to this boring tasteless food! There is definitely a period of mourning the old ways and getting used to this way of eating. But it gets much better!

The thing is that it's not as grim as you are thinking. This way of eating opens up a whole world of flavors, once your tastes readjust. Things taste WONDERFUL to me. I can smell my baked potatoes getting just about done and start drooling over anticipating one or three of them with broccoli on top and no other enhancements.

If you are not a cook, no worries. Like ET recommended, get Jeff Novick's DVD. Other than that, you can bake potatoes and cook rice and microwave frozen vegetables or steam some greens and add a little vinegar. It doesn't take much talent to make basic food like this. Lots of people here do more elaborate recipes but some of us don't do that at all.

It might help you also to read Dr. Kessler's book, The End of Overeating. He explains the way food in restaurants and the stuff packaged in stores is made specifically to entice and make you want more. The Pleasure Trap is another one, there is a book and also a DVD available in Dr. McD's store here.
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Re: Help! I’m NOT enjoying my new food

Postby willing2believe » Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:11 am

Jane- I went thru the same thing when I tried to start. Even Jeffs SNAP meals that I tried to create were painful. What helped me were the recipes at http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/. They are flavorful and tasted good from the beginning. I'm a little careful over there because not all of the recipes are low fat and some use tofu which I don't use. One or two even have oil although she is good at pointing those out.

Good luck on your journey.
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Re: Help! I’m NOT enjoying my new food

Postby ETeSelle » Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:28 am

UtahJane wrote:I guess I’m worried that even if I do start to enjoy this food it might only be because I’ve gotten use to very bland, boring food and that it will never be as good as all the food I’ve given up. Are people enjoying this food because it objectively tastes very yummy and delicious or because they are restricted to it and their body adjusts to boring when that is all it is given? Does that make any sense?

Honestly, and don't take this the wrong way, if your food is bland, you honestly have no one to blame but yourself. How do you think food gets "yummy"? Appropriate use of SPICES! Learn to use spices and you'll love your food. I'm a turmeric, cumin, and garlic fanatic--almost all my recipes have those in some combo or other. I also add very small amounts of chili powder (I can't take a lot of heat but I like a LITTLE). I also never make anything that doesn't have onions in it. Etc. It's MY job to make my food taste yummy--by experimenting with spices.

If you don't have high BP or some other reason to be extra careful w/ salt, you can add a small amount to your food--but it's better to do so once it's in your bowl and salt to taste. You will add less this way.

Mostly people miss salt when they say things are "bland." But the fact is that salt is just what we've all gotten used to b/c of the grossly oversalted processed food and restaurant food out there. There are MANY more interesting (and healthier!) tastes out there that you can add to your food. :)
Read my Star McDougaller Story and my Testimonial thread[/b]
Trust me on this: One day you'll wake up and realize that it no longer feels like "being strict." It just feels GOOD. :)
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Re: Help! I’m NOT enjoying my new food

Postby Rosey » Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:01 am

I'm with Eteselle on this if you use your spice your food isn't going to be boring and bland. I use mainly cumin, tumeric, curry, garlic, onion powder, cayenne, and ginger but I use many others too.
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Re: Help! I’m NOT enjoying my new food

Postby afreespirit » Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:18 am

Very good suggestions and commentary here. That "party in your mouth" sensation we were all accustomed to on SAD was killing us. Think carefully about what lies ahead on that road. Your choice.
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