Exposing Myself As a Picky Eater: the Upside

I often mention having a selective eating disorder, and while I have not been officially diagnosed with this, I feel pretty confident in saying that this is what I have. Of course, I have also been known to Google back pain symptoms and wholeheartedly convince myself I am dying of kidney disease. I’m wouldn’t say I’m dramatic AT ALL.

Before taking my website and blog live, I was feeling very apprehensive of how it would be received. Naturally convinced that the reaction to it would be negative, or that people would view me as a freak (if they didn’t already), the opposite has been true; people have so pleasantly surprised me by their comments of support and empathy.

A gentle reminder that I’ve had over the last week and a half or so, is that most people are carrying around their own baggage or troubles in various forms. I told myself when I began this journey that I was doing it to educate others and to help myself be accountable. Part of what I’m trying to come to terms with is accepting this condition for what it is and not worrying about the embarrassment that I have allowed myself to feel. Each week, as I write down ideas and work through each blog, I still struggle with what I want to write because I’m afraid of what people might think about all of my weird food issues.

One nice benefit of social media is that is has the power to connect people from all over the world, as I've recently been able to enjoy. However, a lot of the time we tend to forget how perfect people’s lives can seem through the lens of a camera, or a carefully cropped photo, or a perfectly scripted status update. While I certainly don’t revel in everyone else’s problems and insecurities, hearing from some of my friends and relatives this past week about some of their issues has been nice. The feedback sort of makes me feel less alone.

This blog has allowed me to reconnect with old friends, learn more about my coworkers, and talk to strangers from different parts of the country. People have shared their personal stories about weight struggles, their dealings with their children who are picky eaters, and I even talked to people who admit that they only frequent the gym so much because they just can’t give up junk food from their diets. So we’ve all got something it’s hard to kick.

For me, I think you know I’m kind of stuck on fries. I lurrrrv them! They’re my favorite. I called my dad while I was driving home to Louisiana on Friday. He told me they were having roast beef for dinner (but not the beastly kind) and asked if I’d eat that. I said, “Heck no! I’m not there yet!” I told him I’d probably stop and get something, since I hadn’t gotten to eat lunch, and I heard everyone on the line yell, “Tell her to stop and get some fries!” So it’s no joke. Everyone knows I love fries.

So my friend from college, Beth, sent me a pin last week on Pinterest for carrot fries. I’m willing to try almost anything if you put “fries” on the end of it. Carrot fries? Yep. Zucchini fries? Sure. I followed the recipe, and they came out looking pretty much like sweet potato fries. I did the ultimate test and tried to give Brody one before trying it myself. Well...

Brody wasn’t interested. I had no idea where this was going. I was sitting on my couch while kicking off a new episode of Grace and Frankie, so if the carrots decided to make a sudden upheaval, there was going to be quite a crime scene on the couch and carpet. I won’t do a play by play, but overall, they weren’t bad. I dipped them in ranch dressing, and they tasted a lot like sweet potato fries. They are by no means a substitute for real fries, but they do if you’re looking to make your diet a little healthier. My only gripe was that they never got crunchy. My hangup with with textures, so I'd like them to be a little more crispy.

I ended up making them again later in the week. I’ve read a lot of articles, and a lot of them seem to be about picky eaters being “super tasters,” and for that reason, a lot of picky eaters like bland foods. Not me. I LOVE to spice up my food and give it more flavor. This time around, I dipped them in eggs and sprinkled them with parmesan cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, salt, and pepper. I skipped flour and panko breadcrumbs because then I thought I was getting too carby. About ten minutes after putting them into the oven, I realized why something to coat the eggs is needed!

A very pleasant aroma filled my kitchen, but if you imagine it was the carrots, don’t be fooled. I opened the oven, and the eggs that had puddled around the carrots on the foil had begun to cook. By the time I took the carrots out at 25 minutes, the egg/cheese coating was definitely crunchy...because it was burnt. I grew up in a “happy plate” kind of house, so I ate them anyway.

While tossing the carrots in eggs was perhaps a miss, the parmesan was good. I baked regular potato rounds a couple nights later and sprinkled parmesan on them. I had never cooked them this way, and they were delicious! I need to do more research so I can perfect the art of making my carrots a little more crunchy, but I didn’t have a hard time eating them (unlike with the spinach incident), and I can definitely say I’ll keep going with them.

If anyone has any recipe suggestions, I am very welcome to receiving them. Keep in mind I’m still in the “Basic” stages of trying new foods, so casseroles and things like that are probably a no-go just yet, but if you’ve got an interesting way that you make individual vegetables, I’d love to hear how you make them.