Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Confessions of a Veggie Hater

I was a very agreeable child when it came to my nutrition needs. Ever since I could remember, special thanks to my parents, I became a certified Dairy and Vitamin C lover. I would gulp Celine Vitamin C like honey. I never miss out on my dairy needs. I used to drink Sustagen (Vanilla flavor) in my bathroom if I knew I was running late. If I miss my milk I get cranky till recess. Submitting to syrup medicine wasn’t very traumatic, and eating fruits was never a problem for me. Fish has always won over meat and I seriously think I can live on an island, stranded, as long as banana plants and functional fishing gears are within my reach. There’s only thing my parents weren’t successful at, VEGETABLES.

I don’t eat vegetables as part of a daily viand. I just can’t and I just won’t. I’ve tried and I’ve suffered horrible memories from it. When my parents still had the supreme power over what I eat, they forced me to eat different kinds of vegetable dishes with rice. Boiled squash, potatoes, Ampalaya, pechay, carrots and Baguio Beans, you name it. I would cringe whenever I’m faced with any veggie dish. I’d rather starve and eat bananas all day than find myself chewing something like boiled squash. I may like potatoes as French fries, but I never really liked them baked or stewed. I may like lettuce in my burger, but I don’t like them floating in soups. I honestly don’t know what went wrong since all of my family members eat veggies like pros.

Until now, I’m not spared of my mother and father’s constant yapping whenever I contact some random illness or my eyesight continuously wavers at an early age. They always attribute it to my aversion to vegetables. But I always try to console them that I am a fruit lover. I also honestly believe that fruits can supply me with whatever specific vitamins I’ve been missing from veggies.

Another dilemma for me is accepting first time dinner invitations. There’s always a moment of truth in the dining table. I just have to be honest whenever they would offer me dishes infused with vegetables. What I do is politely decline. Even sumptuous Chopsuey, Pinakbet, Nilaga, Lumpiang Fresh, I would stay away from. I would always draw surprise at people’s faces, like not eating vegetables is seen as a crime. At first stages I get embarrassed, but it’s better than having to stuff it all in my mouth, lie and go to the bathroom to puke.

But surprisingly I do eat salads. I eat it, even with minimal dressing, gracefully. I like lettuce in my burger and I sometimes eat potatoes depending on how it’s uniquely cooked (fried/baked with butter and cheese). Does eating Carrot cake count? Even if I do love other healthy sources of nutrition like fruits and fish, I figured why not increase it by “learning” how to like vegetables even in moderation?

Some tell me that it’s purely psychological and maybe they are right. Maybe what I really need is a mental supplement to block whatever neuron that spurs disgust over veggies. But then again I figured, why go for the hard way when there are capsules and vitamins out in the market that have the same nutritional content without the dreaded taste in my mouth? I think I might try some this week. I feel how my body needs that extra boost. My mother (as usual) reacted that it’s always best to go natural. I just say, she’s overly traditional about it and what life offers now are choices and alternatives, and nutrition in a capsule is the best alternative I can get.

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