Food 180s

I remember the first time I changed my mind on a food. I thought tomatoes were gross for a long time. Then one day, my mom put her usual baked tomatoes in front of my dad, and I looked at them and thought "huh, that looks good". So I asked for a piece, and thus began tomatoes being added to my diet. (I was not a child who was forced to eat things like broccoli and such if I didn't like them. I ate a lot of vegetables, so my parents didn't see the need to force ones I didn't like on me).

Bon Appetit wrote about this a bit--that people get more adventurous in foods they eat as they get older, partly because our reactions to sweet and bitter isn't as strong.

There's the occasional food item that people start to like as they get older, or tried in a new way. Don't get me started on Brussels sprouts--I love that they're so ubiquitous on menus now that tomorrow's youth will not understand why they were the stuff of nightmares for years.

However, for me, the past five years have been a season of change for me with some very specific foods. I credit a lot of this to Whole30--for a month when you're only eating whole, unprocessed foods, your taste buds really get a reset and you start to really think things you didn't used to like sound . . . good.

Image result for avocados
This is basically heaven on earth

Fist up, my very first Whole30, was avocado. Before, people would not believe me when I said I didn't like avocado. And, guys, I don't just mean I didn't care for it. I mean I felt sick to my stomach if I had a bite of guacamole or avocado in a salad. I spent an entire party dodging a friend's guacamole after she told me she was so excited for me to try it (had to lie and say I'd had some and it was great, luckily it was out by then). Then, I embarked on my first Whole30. I was ordering a salad from Chopt, and got to avocado on the menu and suddenly thought "Wait, that sounds . . . good?" So I asked for it on the side, and slowly added it in. And, you know what? I liked it. That Whole30, I slowly added guacamole and avocado to things. Now I could easily eat an avocado a day. With a little salt and lime juice, with cherry tomatoes, guacamole on a burger, avocado on eggs, with sweet potato. Guys, the sky's the limit.

The next one I remember is coconut. I used to think coconut water tasted like, well, I don't even know. But this was another Whole30 revelation. Thought it sounded good one day. I now mix coconut flakes into trail mix, use coconut milk in things, etc. I, however, can't stand fake coconut flavor, like in pina coladas or at Starbucks. But give me a coconut milk latte at Starbucks ANYDAY.

Then, mango. I still don't want to just eat fresh mango pieces, but I love it in a smoothie, making popsicles, dried mango, etc. Around the same time, I started to tolerate pineapple juice in some things. Still don't love it or want pineapple chunks, but the occasional splash of pineapple juice is tolerable. Following this was grapefruit (I used to think grapefruit tasted like vomit aftertaste. Told my dad this. Have not seen him laugh so hard since. I think I was 5).

Most recently? Mushrooms and olives (not together). Mushrooms have never had much flavor in my opinion, and the texture really grossed me out. But, if they're paired with the right other thing, I like 'em! And especially like sauteing them myself (still can't do raw mushrooms. Loaded up my salad at Whole Foods with some recently and NOPE. Had to scoop them into the trash).

Olives has been a BIG revelation for me. When in Greece, we went on a food tour, which took us to a few stalls in markets selling olives. Now, I'm a "when in Rome" person when it comes to food in other countries. So I started out with the mild olives they offered and slowly moved up to the more flavorful ones. And, oof, it was rough. I had to stop. I figured I'd tried and failed. If you don't like olives in Greece, you don't like olives, right?

Nope. My last Whole30 in September found me at an engagement party looking at a charcuterie platter. After snagging some prosciutto and salami, I looked at the olives and was like "actually, yes." I slowly started eating more of them over the next few months. Now my fridge is never without a jar of olives.

I'm kind of interested as to what other foods I might start to like (if I ever like celery, hell will have frozen over). Have you ever changed your mind about a food?


  1. I used to hate mushrooms, oysters and kale, now I love them all. Well, I guess I don't love kale, but I eat it.


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