I am a picky eater. I went through my childhood despising everything that was healthy. I didn’t like the taste, the color or the texture. I didn’t feel safe for me to venture out of my comfort zone of eating the same things over and over again. It even went so far that my dad once tried to force a slice of cucumber in my mouth. I must have been ten or so and I’ll never forget the drama and my revulsion at this interaction of seams, water and the substance of this vegetable.
I honestly don’t know if it was a mental barrier or if it simply didn’t taste good to me. So, I stuck to carrots and peas. All other vegetables and fruit altogether was banned from my diet. Even during the years of my anorexia, I ate carbs and protein, never once thinking that getting rid of those food groups and exchanging them with healthier (and more low-calorie) food. In a weird way, this is probably something that helped to save my life.
When I started my recovery and I was exposed to a broader variety of food, I began to go out of my comfort zone, but for the wrong reasons. I figured I’d save some calories by eating more salad, asparagus, beans or whatever else they offered instead of noodles and rice. I was surprised how much my tastebuds liked these new experiences and so I felt driven to expand even more. My husband and I started cooking together on the weekends. He introduced me to many of his favorite meals and I felt safe enough to try mushrooms or Brussels sprouts.
So when I met Farnoosh Brock in Australia late last year and she shared with me her ideas for her upcoming Green Juicing Book, I decided to go to a new phase of my fruit and vegetable adventure. I found a Juicing Bar here in Zurich and tapped into safe foods like oranges, carrots and limes as starters. Drinking my first green juice was weird. I have to say it. I was constantly scared (yes, literally) that there’d be pieces of pulp in there, which is something that still disgusts me.
The feeling after my first juice was quite weird. I felt a bit sick and uneasy, but I was determined not to give up after only one juice. I bought myself a juicer and used some of the recipes that looked really scary to me, to be quite frank. Juicing celery (a vegetable I hadn’t yet eaten), beet (ditto), apples (never fancied them) or kale was both thrilling and unnerving and I had to try them a few times before I could really enjoy them.
I have found that these juices do wonders for my digestion, which has been messed up because of my years of laxative abuse. I also feel invigorated when drinking them after a hard workout or first thing in the morning. It is definitely a fun experience and has helped me delve deeper into the world of vegetables and fruit.
Sometimes I cannot believe how long I have denied myself the explosion of tastes and aromas. Thinking that I am 24 years old and I am only now starting to experience food in all its forms is a bit sad, but I am glad I came to this conclusion at all and I was brave enough to throw away old beliefs and open my mind to new wonders of this world.
We tend to stand in our own way of experiencing everything the world has to offer. We build mental barriers, start believing something out of fear or insecurity and over time this belief system traps us in a routine or limits us in reaching our true potential. The more we open ourselves up to new input and the more we believe that we can achieve and do anything with the right mindset, we will see the changes happen.
Had I continued to tell myself that fruit and vegetable don’t taste, I’d have continued to be extremely limited in my food choices, as well as having to find weird excuses when we are invited for dinner and they’d serve something I wouldn’t like. Giving yourself the permission to eat everything and being brave enough to try new foods gives you an incredible amount of freedom and the rewards that come with that are amazing.
Whatever it is that you fear or are denying yourself, my advice to you is to simply stop doing this to yourself. Start letting go and do what you are scared of, try what you have dreamed of and simply go for it without letting your mind hold you back. Life is too short not to take every opportunity to have an adventure even if it is as small as starting green juicing.
The fact is that I had no idea what I was missing out on until I shoved my fears and hesitations aside and simply went for it with an open mind. Think about all the possibilities that are out there and all the things you and I have not yet experienced. It’s never too late however to start experimenting with life.
You owe it to your life, my friend. Stop being afraid. Stop thinking you’re not enough. Stop wasting time and simply get up and experience every face of this incredible world.
P.S. Check back in tomorrow for an interview with the expert of Green Juicing, Farnoosh Brock.